Saturday, November 22, 2014

Renting a stroller for Disney!

* A free stroller rental was given to me in exchange for an honest review. This review is also posted on!

One thing that I recommend to everyone who is traveling with small kids to Disney is this: RENT A STROLLER!

Unless you absolutely need to have a stroller in the airport with you, I highly recommend skipping that fiasco. It's just one more thing that I personally do not want to deal with on top of everything else.

However, if you've got little kids like I do, then you really do need a stroller at Disney. Why? Well, for starters, it's a TON of walking. In fact, I wore my jawbone step counter while I was there and logged 15,000 or more steps every single day. We ended up walking over 50 miles during our trip! I know that my kids couldn't have handled all of that!

This time, I decided to rent from Simple Strollers. We went with the city mini double stroller. We've used this stroller before and really love how easily it pushes through the various park terrains and its simple folding mechanisms. Since we utilized Disney's bus system quite a bit this trip, it was important to have a stroller that folds easily and quickly (strollers must be folded on the bus).

The rental process itself was so easy! Just head over to their website and browse through their list of strollers. In addition to the City Mini's they have BOB's, Baby Trend Snap and Go's and Joovy Sit and Stand's. They are also the only company offering triple strollers! They've got the Joovy Big Caboose Sit and Stand Triple for those of you with three littles!

I added on the optional insurance just for peace of mind. One thing I loved about renting from Simple Strollers is that the include a drink/storage caddy. The company we used last year did not and we had no where to store drinks! You can also rent other goodies like rain covers and car seat adapters from them.

Simple Strollers also delivers to you at your resort. When you make your online purchase, just let them know what time they will need to drop off and pick up the stroller. Simple! Plus you don't have to worry about messing with the bell desk (which can form quite a line!). They hand deliver the strollers to you. Everyone was so nice and accommodating, even for for those coming in on late flights. I highly recommend them!

If you're headed to Disney World and need a stroller, be sure to check out Simple Strollers!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Our Trip to Disney: Animal Kingdom Lodge, Disney Dining & Magic Bands!

Well, we are back from another fun trip to Disney World! If my blog seemed abandoned last week it's because I was in the happiest place on earth! ;-)

So, you might have heard that a few friends and I started a Disney planning blog. We aren't travel agents but we are moms who love taking our families on well planned Disney trips! We want to help you do the same and we have all sorts of free resources for you. Head on over to Real Mom's Disney for more information. You'll also be seeing some much more in depth posts about every aspect of my latest trip posted there, so keep checking back in!

So, today I'm going to cover three topics in one post! If you want more info on any of these things, then pop over to RMD! =)

When Chris and I were first considering going back to Disney, we weren't planning on going again so soon! After all, we were just there 11 month ago. Now, if it were up to me, I would go back every month, but A.) that's not feasible and B.) it's not practical either. Ha!

However, the free dining deal came along and we just couldn't pass that up! Disney occasionally offers a free dining deal, meaning that if you stay at certain Disney resorts and buy your tickets through them as well, they will give you free food. We ended up deciding on the Animal Kingdom Lodge (and each getting 1 quick service meal, 1 table service meal and 1 snack per day).

The Animal Kingdom Lodge catches some flack for being "out of the way" or "the furthest from most parks." We utilized their bus system and had no issue getting around quickly! The lobby is very pretty and the rooms are small but clean and cute. Unfortunately, we didn't see very many animals from our savannah view room, and I probably wouldn't stay here again...but, even if I LOVED it, I probably wouldn't stay here again because there are so many great hotels to try out!

When it comes to the free food, I'll be honest. I was nervous. Would it be enough food? Were there enough places to choose from? Would the kids find things they like? I am here to report that there was an ABUNDANCE of food and everyone found things they liked!

We used our table service credits at Be Our Guest, Disney Junior Play and Dine, O'Hana, T-Rex, Tusker House and Cinderella's Royal Feast (which takes 2 table service credits per person).  Be Our Guest was by far my favorite dinner! I highly recommend it!

Our food at Be Our Guest (not including dessert!):

As far as the quick service meals go, we ate a several places but my favorite were Wolfgang Puck Express at Downtown Disney (we ate their twice!) and Pinnocchio Village Haus and Magic Kingdom. I'm shocked that Wolfgang's is quick service - the food is so good and much more like a table service meal!

A new addition from our last trip is the Disney Magic Band. They were actually just trying them out when we were there in December last year and only a few guests had them. Now they are everywhere and even if you aren't staying onsite, you can purchase a magic band.

Our magic bands held our room key, all of our fast passes, dining reservations, our photo pass and our credit card. What's that mean? You don't have to carry a whole bunch of stuff to the park with you. I didn't even take a wallet! The kids though they were so cool and they fought over who would get their bands scanned after each photo opportunity. You can check out my easy tutorial on how to link Memory Maker to your Magic Band here!

Much more from our vacation is coming up! Leave me a comment and let me know what you want to hear about, both here and on!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Turkey Lasagna

Turkey Lasagna

10 lasagna noodles
1 lb ground all white meat turkey
1 small yellow onion (or half of a large one) finely diced
4 cloves garlic
1 15oz can of fire roasted diced tomatoes
2 15oz cans tomato sauce
1 6oz can tomato paste
2 Tablespoons sugar
15 oz ricotta cheese
2 cups low fat cottage cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
3 cups shredded monterey jack cheese

Preheat oven to 350.

Combine turkey and onions in a saute pan over medium heat. Once turkey is cooked, add garlic, let cook for one minute. Add all tomato products, parsley, basil, oregano and sugar to the pan, stir to combine and reduce heat to medium low.

While tomato sauce is cooking, heat a large pot of boiling water. As you wait for the water to boil, combine cheese mixture by adding ricotta, cottage cheese, salt and pepper to a bowl. Separately, shred your cheese.

Once your water is boiling, par cook your noodles for about 4 minutes. They should be pliable but not cooked completely.

In a 9*13" pan, put a thin layer of sauce. Top sauce with a layer of 5 noodles. Top noodles with a layer of cheese mixture and a layer of grated cheese. Repeat: sauce, noodles, cheese mixture, shredded cheese. End with a final layer of sauce.

Cover with tin foil and bake for 35-45 minutes, until noodles are cooked and the dish is hot.
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