Top 10 Things to Do in Disneyland and California Adventures

Hello! Happy Friday! We just go back from Disneyland and I thought I would share my top 10 Things we did and enjoyed during our visit.

1. MaxPass

OMG this thing is amazing!  If you have not heard of this, you are missing out.  For $10 you can get Fastpasses on your phone through the Disney App and you can download the photos from the rides and photographers.  How cool is that?  You know what else?  You can get Fastpasses every hour and a half instead of every two hours!  We didn’t use it in California Adventures because we didn’t feel like we would need it.  But it was so useful in Disneyland.  We got on every ride we wanted plus some we hadn’t been on in years.  It was amazing!  So is an picture we got from the photographers and were able to download right onto our phones.

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2. Pixar Fest

If you are planning on going to Disneyland in the near future (like before October 2018), you will get to experience Pixar Fest.  This event is super cool because Disney and Pixar are coming together.  So every movie that Disney and Pixar has worked on together is coming to California Adventures.  And rides are changing to be more like Pixar, so California Screamin’ is turning into the Incredicoaster.  Here are some of the pictures from California Adventures where Pixar was everywhere!

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3. Pixar’s Together Forever Event

OK!  This event is so cool!  Disney has out Disneyed themselves with this.  For this awesome event you stand in the middle of Main Street and Disney projects scenes from movies onto the buildings.  I had so much nostalgia during this and I will admit that both Haley and I were in tears from happiness from this night.  So I won’t give too much away, but here are some pictures of what you can expect.

 

4. Pixar Parade

Who doesn’t like parades?  Well Disneyland has a new one!  The new Pixar parade features all of our favorites like Up, Inside Out, Toy Story, and Monsters University.  Can I just say that the Kevin and Russel character from the parade is the cutest?

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5. Guardians of the Galaxy

Before I get into Guardians of the Galaxy, I have to say that I was disappointed that the Tower of Terror was going to be disappearing.  BUT!  I did enjoy the new Guardians of the Galaxy.  There was a lot more going up and down which was great and it was quite enjoyable.  And even though I haven’t seen the Guardian of the Galaxy movies, I was still able to enjoy myself.

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6. Electrical Parade

Okay, I will be the first to say that I love anything shiny.  So watching the electrical parade was a lot of fun.  To see how everything was lit up and bright and shiny.  One of our favorites was seeing Mac from Cars.  His whole trailer was full of lights and lit up in different patterns!  That was really cool.

 

 

 

7. Characters

As Haley and I have gotten older, it hasn’t been as important to see all of the characters at Disneyland.  But it’s obviously something fun for kids of all ages.  During this trip we took pictures with Minnie Mouse and Mary Poppins and Bert.  The cool thing about seeing Minnie Mouse is that she had a photographer with her and we were able to download our picture almost immediately with the MaxPass.  You can also use the Disneyland app to see where different characters are going to be in the park.

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8. Rides

Of course you have to hit the rides!  It doesn’t matter if the ride is Peter Pan or Big Thunder Mountain, all rides are a must.  We rode Peter Pan, Roger Rabbit, and Matterhorn for the first time in years.  And thanks to the MaxPass we were able to get our Fastpasses and get on even faster.  You know what’s even better?  Rides like Splash Mountain and Space Mountain where they take your picture, you are able to download right onto your phone right after the ride.  Have the 8 digit id code and BOOM!  You have all of your screaming faces right in your hand.

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9. Food

Try the Grey Stuff?  It’s delicious!  Don’t believe me ask the dishes!

Yes!  There is an actual treat called The Grey Stuff at Disneyland!  And it’s so good!  It’s at the Red Rose Tavern in Fantasyland.  It’s a little tiny cake with lots and lots of frosting sitting atop a shortbread cookie.  And boy howdy is it good.  The cookie was okay, but the cake and frosting.  MMMMMMMMMM!  We also tried two new restaurants, The French Market and The Hungry Bear.  We really enjoyed The French Market and have already vowed to go back to try the other things on the menu.  We had the chicken ceasar salads, french dip, and the pulled pork sandwich.  They were so good!  The Hungry Bear has your standard burger and fries.  But it was still really good.

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10. Family Time

Obviously the best thing about Disneyland is getting to spend time with your family.  I love being able to experience new things with them and spend quality time with them.  Even though we have been to Disneyland numerous times, I will always enjoy going with them yet again.  I could go on each ride over and over again and I still wouldn’t get tired of visiting the parks.  All in all, the time you spend with your family is priceless and it will always be cherished.

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Great Grandma’s Vintage Trunk with Havenly

A few weeks ago I was inspired with an idea from Havenly, an online site with interior designers and decorators to serve you.  It’s a convenient, personal and affordable way to redecorate your home room by room. You can collaborate with professional interior designers on an online platform and they will work with you to decorate your home. I checked it out and it looks really cool! You can read a profile on each designer and pick one that fits your style and needs the best. If you are looking for someone to help you with your home, this is the perfect place to go.

I was asked to write a post about a piece of family history that I have and how I use it in my home. I showed you this vintage trunk before and now I thought I would tell you the story behind it. Here goes a little history lesson.

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Mary Amelia Thomas Goodrich traveled with her family from Wisconsin to Leadville, Co., where she met her husband Elliot Goodrich. From Leadville, they traveled to Aspen, Co., where they crossed Independence Pass. They eventually moved to an area of Aspen called Oklahoma Flats. I received this map of Aspen, Co. from my mom for my birthday. It was given to her by Aunt Hazel, the same aunt who had the trunk. The map is dated 1893. The arrow on the second picture points to where we believe Oklahoma Flats was located.

great grandma wooden trunk aspen mapgreat grandma wooden trunk aspen, co oklahoma flats

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Elliot was a miner, who would go up into the mountains and work. Mary Amelia, washed clothing for the Chinese railroad workers that worked in the area. There are stories about her crossing the river on the railroad trestle to deliver clothing, once even crossing while a train was barreling down the tracks!  They also lived on a dairy, but we aren’t sure if that meant 4 cows, or many cows, or if they even owned the dairy. They had 5 children, the oldest was Anna. She married Peter Kelsey in 1901 and my grandmother, Amelia was born here in 1903.

great grandma old travel trunk

When Amelia was just a year old, the family moved to Grand Valley, Co., which is now called Parachute. My great-grandparents would take any kind of job to earn money for their little family. While living here, a second daughter, Velma, was born, in 1905.

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The family moved again, looking for a better life and headed further west. The stopped in Yarington, NV., where a third daughter, Hazel, was born in 1910. Less than a year later, in 1911, they traveled on, crossing over Donner Pass in their horse and open wagon. I can’t even imagine traveling with three small children, including an infant. While traveling through this area, a silver spoon was found. It reads Reno, NV. and Scenes of the Truckee is printed on the cup of the spoon.

great grandma trunk truckee spoon

 

Another story passed on by grandma-it was pouring down rain and her father stopped at a cabin to ask if they had a place where they could stay and get out of the rain. The man who answered the door was an Indian! He told them they could sleep right inside the cabin. My grandma remembered small chunks of mud falling down on them from the roof because the rain was coming down so hard. I wonder if her parents slept with one eye open that night!

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They stopped again in Placerville where they worked until they could get enough money to move on. Anna worked at a motel and Velma remembered there were dishes of candy all around the motel for the guests. Velma did this in her own home later because of her memories of this time. Finally, the family traveled through Sacramento and ended up here in the Central Valley, near Grangeville. They camped in an apricot orchard and worked there too.

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They eventually moved to a place called The Island and lived in a small shack. My great-grandfather was trying to get a job as a ditch-tender, but had heard nothing. He finally told my great-grandmother that when he returned home that day from his work, they would get ready to leave and move on. When he came home from work, there was a note on the table, saying he got the job as the ditch-tender! The family was able to move into a nicer house right near the river. My great-grandfather would go to each weir, where water is controlled, and he would change the levers depending on how much water is let out and which way it should go.

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My Aunt Hazel, the youngest, ended up with the trunk and then gave it to my mom. She finally passed it on to me. I now have my wedding dishes stored in it. I keep it in my living room. I love having a piece of history in my home and sharing the story with the visitors to my home. It’s fun to imagine what kind of things were carried in here and how far the trunk traveled. I’m sure there were some special family mementos, plus clothing and other household items. It’s an honor to have such a piece. Thank you Havenly for giving me the opportunity to write about my family history!

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Graduation Gifts to Make and Give

Good morning! How was your weekend? I was finally home for a weekend and it was sooo nice! Our weather is pretty crazy though. We had 100 degrees on Thursday and then yesterday, it was 65 degrees and rainy! This is the most spring-like weather we have had in years! I am ready for warmer weather, but not too hot.

Of course, this time of year, there are graduations happening. My niece will be graduating high school this month. She is the youngest of the 6 grandchildren in our family. This is certainly reason to celebrate! While I will be giving her cash, because what high schooler doesn’t want money!, I wanted to find a fun way to give it. Here are some of the ideas I found. Click on the picture to be taken to the post.

  1. A box that looks like a graduation cap. I actually made similar ones when the older nieces and nephew graduated.

2. I love these little origami caps. So cute!

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3. How about a rose? Maybe a dozen?

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4. Every teenager also like pizza. I think this is such a cute idea!

Do you have a special graduate in your life? Here are some super fun and original graduation gift ideas for kindergarten through college!

5. This is so adorable? It would be cute to paint little graduation caps on the umbrella.

Graduation is an exciting time. Show your support and excitement with a fun handmade graduation gift that everyone will want. Give the gift of cash!

6. How about a jar filled with little money diplomas? A lot of us have extra jars around the house. This is a great way to use them!

grad gift idea | NoBiggie.net

7. I love this! I have done a candy gram for other events, but not graduation.

you "rock"! after completing "mounds" of homework and "piecing" together all of your knowledge, you've finally hit "payday": graduation! as you head off to college, don't listen to any "snickers": you're no "dum dum"! you are one "hot tamale" on your "way" to making "100 grand"! congratulations on your graduation "smartie"!:

8.  A 2 liter full of cash and candy? Yes, please!

9.  This little guy is so cute! Another use for those jars. Fill it with cash, gift cards, or candy.

Owl Graduation Gift in a Jar

10. I adore these! I found these on Etsy. They would be so cute to give with the city of the college the student is going to.

What do you think? Would you give any of these to friends and family? I will be getting started on a couple of these. Hope you all have a great week!

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It’s Been Pretty Quiet Around Here…

It’s Monday again. Back to school and schedules again. Really not wanting to go back, but there are just 6 weeks left and I know we will busy with different activities and time will go by quickly.

We haven’t been around much this past week either. Without a schedule and with spring break, everything got thrown off. We did get to take my little nieces to the zoo and it was so much fun to see it through little one’s eyes again. We enjoyed a beautiful day there and saw a baby rhino and a baby lion. Even a rhino is cute when it’s a baby! My mom and I held our annual yard sale and did pretty well. I’m just glad to get rid of all that stuff and make a little bit of money too! This next weekend, I am going with Haley to visit another college. We will see how it goes! Here are a few pictures from the zoo:

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I don’t have any new projects for you, but here are a couple of past ones you might enjoy! Just click on the title to be taken to the page.

Celebration! Our Peacock Graduation Party!

graduation party 2015 (7)

Recovering My Outdoor Swing (I Cheated a Little!)

swinging chair 23

Springtime Concrete Painted Planter

concrete planter stencil succulents

Hope you all had a great week and enjoy reading these posts!

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Valentine Games for Kids of All Ages

Good morning!  We have had the strangest weather this past week. Last Monday, it was so foggy here, we had several big accidents on a nearby freeway. Thankfully, there was nothing serious, but lots of crushed vehicles. On Wednesday, it was so nice, we could wear short sleeves outside in the sunshine. On Thursday, it rained. On Friday, there was so much rain, some areas flooded and on Saturday, it was back to short sleeves again. Whew! It’s pretty hard to know how to dress each morning!! First world problems, right!?

Here we are, just a week before Valentines! Do you have your plans yet? I thought I would share some fun games for the kids of all ages to play. Even my grown kids like a little adventure now and then.

1. Scavenger Hunt

Scavenger hunts can be done a couple of different ways. I made this one for my preschool class for a fun Valentine Day activity and it’s great for the younger kids who can’t read yet. This can be made with all different kinds of things in the squares, depending on what you have in your home. I made this on Microsoft Word and added in the different pictures.

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You can also make a scavenger hunt with written clues, which works better for older kids. The clues can be a easy or hard as you want. I have made simple ones, such as ‘look where the movies are’, to harder ones like ‘this is where we go each day to talk about our work and play.’ I hand the child the first clue and then they have to go search for the next one. The second clue leads them to the third and so on. There is a special gift at the end of the hunt.

2. Yarn Treasure Hunt

I did this one for the girls a couple of time at Easter. Each girl got their own color of yarn. I tied the end of the yarn on their doorknob and then wound it all through the house, over and under furniture and all around. There would be little treats at various places and then their basket at the end. We even took it outside through the doggy door! The girls would have to follow their color string all over until they reached the end. I didn’t have any pictures of this, but here is a very similar one from handsonaswegrow.com.

The spider web scavenger hunt for Halloween

3. Mad Libs

We love Mad Libs! We play them when we travel in the car. They always bring on a good laugh. Haley gave these to her friends in her Senior year of high school. She wrapped them around a piece of chocolate and gave them out at lunch time. Then the group sat around the table and had lots of laughs together.

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Haley also mentioned using Conversation Hearts to fill in the blanks. I’m sure some of those answers would be hilarious!

4. Heart Hunt

How about a heart hunt? Similar to an Easter Egg Hunt, but the kids can look for hearts instead. This could be heart shaped candy, heart gift certificates, or bags filled with candy.

Just try and remember how many you hid them or you will be finding candy long after Valentine’s Day!

I hope you all have a wonderful Valentine’s Day filled with love and lots of chocolate!

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