Friday, April 28, 2017

Cancun Here I Come! Staying at the Grand Oasis Cancun

I'm traveling with my friend Jennifer to Cancun, Mexico to do what are called site inspections. It's one thing to see a photo of a resort on the internet, and it's another to experience it first hand. I will give you the travel professional and tourist point of view. 

We get to stay at the Grand Oasis Cancun, which is an all-inclusive 5 star resort!!! I'm super excited about that. I have heard that it is an amazing resort, so I'm looking forward to experiencing it first-hand. During our stay we will be visiting the other Oasis Resorts: the Oasis Palm and the Oasis Sens. The Oasis Palm caters to family's that want to have fun together and enjoy some quiet time too. The Oasis Sens is an adult only resort that is known for it's romance. 







Day 1: Arrival
Day 2: Oasis Inspections: Grand Oasis, the Oasis Palm, and the Oasis Sens.
Day 3: Riu Resort Inspections: Riu Palace Peninsula, Riu Caribe, Riu Cancun, and Riu Palace Las Americas
Day 4: All day trip to Xel-Ha
Day 5: Free time
Day 6: Fly back home

I will be tweeting and blogging from there, so stay tuned! Follow me on Twitter @bsweet321 

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Prepping for runDisney 10K. Next step: Booking the Travel


If you missed my motivation for doing the race, click here.

Now that I'm all registered for the race, next step is to book the travel. Last time we went to Disneyland we stayed at a Best Western that was literally across the street from the park. It was your typical Best Western, no thrills, but it was conveniently located, included internet and breakfast. I can speak about the breakfast, because there is an iHop next door and that's where I ended up eating instead. 

This time we tried to book that same hotel and to my surprise in April the racing weekend which isn't until November, but it is all booked. People must make their hotel reservations long in advance. It's also a holiday weekend, so it might not have anything to do with the race. 

I chose another Good Neighbor Hotel that is a few doors down from the Best Western. It's called the Camelot Inn. We were able to use our Chase points to pay for the hotel stay, which is good. One less expense for this trip. 

Monday, April 24, 2017

How to Make Disney Mickey Mouse Chocolates


Materials:



2.  Candy Melts in a Light Brown Color 

3. One pipping bag
4. A spatula 

Procedure:

1. Fill in pipping bag half-way with the candy melts.
2. Place it in the microwave. I gave it 1 minute. I squeezed the contents to make sure they were mixing in together, and then I gave it another minute.
3. Secure the end of the pipping bag with a knot or tie.
4. Cut off the tip of the pipping bag and start filling out the mold cavities. I had to refill my pipping bag twice in order to fill all the cavities.
5. Use a spatula or blunt knife to scrap the top of the mold. This will will disperse the extra chocolate and give it a smoother bottom. 
6. Place the mold in the refrigerator for 5-10 minutes until it has completely cooled down and become solid.
7. Take out of the fridge. Place the mold upside down onto a plate. One by one carefully push the cavity out. The silicon mold makes this a lot easier than hard plastic. 

Variations:
Use any type of chocolate you prefer: white, milk, dark. For a specific holiday or for a birthday party use either colored chocolate in the themed colors or use white chocolate and food coloring. 

Uses:
Eat it as a chocolate snack or as a cupcake topper. 

Sunday, April 23, 2017

My runDisney Story

My runDisney story: I've been caring for my mom for over a year. She was diagnosed with both Ovarian and Brain Cancer. She is now terminally ill and in hospice. Doing anything for myself makes me feel guilty. I gave up my job and my life to a big extent, to care for my mom.  

Food has been my comfort. At times when I couldn't control what was happening in my life, I could eat the foods I liked and feel better. It's not surprising that I've gained more weight than I would like.

Motivating myself to do anything for me, including eating healthy or exercising has been hard.

I love all things, Disney. Disney is one of those things that makes me happy. It reminds me of being a child and worry-free.

I've been looking at all those amazing costumes the runDisney runners wear and how fun and motivating that must be to train in preparation for running at Disney. An idea came in. What if I could try to do a runDisney Race? It would give me a reason to work-out, a reason to care for myself, and something happy to look forward to.

Luckily, I have a very supportive husband. When I told him that I was thinking of doing a runDisney Race, he didn't say no. He asked for details and immediately said that he would join me, even though I told him he could be a spectator and take photos.

So now, I'm officially registered for the 10K Super Heroes Race on November 11, 2017, at Disneyland Resort.

Join me  http://www.runDisney.comrf=EJ3fqImMz&ts=T

Update:
Unfortunately, I lost my mom earlier this year. Participating in a Disney race continues to be my motivation to get out there and workout. Exercising is helping me fight depression, overeating,  and stress. 

Earth Day Hike 3.45 miles




App: I used the app MapMyRun. I didn't like the sharing feature on this app, so I will probably keep looking for another app. Looks like it syncs with your iWatch, but I don't have one, so I don't know how well that feature works. 



Route: I visited Don Edwards Natural Wildlife Refuge. I did the loop closest to the Ranger Station. 



Critters: I love all things cute and fluffy. Walking a trail where I have the potential to spot wildlife, is a plus for me. It motivates to get out there. On this walk, I spotted several geese with babies and 4 rabbits. 







Weather: The weather was good. It was windy enough to need a light jacket. 


Lots of California Poppies on the side of the trail. 

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Mickey Mouse Jelly Beans

Jelly Belly has  Mickey Mouse Edition jellybeans. 

Flavors include: Coconut, Lemon, Red Apple, Sour Cherry, Sour Lemon, Very Cherry, Wild Blackberry. 

Fat, gluten, and peanut free. 

Take the Mouse with you to work as a snack and enjoy some of the Disney fun. #nationaljellybeanday


Friday, April 21, 2017

Disney Movie Rewards Freebies

Disney Movie Rewards allows you to redeem your Disney Movie points for a variety of Disney merchandise or gift card. 




You earn points by entering the Magic Codes inside eligible Disney Blu-Ray and DVD, Music Codes from eligible CD's, and see select Disney Movies in a Movie Theater. However, not everything costs points. There are some things that are free. 

To find them, sign into your Disney Movie Rewards account. If you don't have one, sign-up for free. Then click on the tab that says Get Rewards. It will open a new page. On this page the farthest left option is to search for rewards by points. Move the scale from 1 to 0 as the starting point and then click search. 

Current zero points rewards:

Lots of fun activities for Disney Families at no cost. 

What Kind of Tea Does a Disney Fan Drink?


It's National Tea Day and what better tea to drink than Twinings Beauty and the Beast. This is a limited edition design celebrating the new Beauty and the Beast movie. Disney fans need to get them before they are gone for good. 


  • Each box has 20 bags. 



  • Flavors include: Lemon and Ginger, Peppermint, Orange and Cinnamon Spice, Chamomile, Lemon & Vanilla. 



Thursday, April 20, 2017

Trade in Car Seat for 20% off a New one at Target

Target has a big car seat trade in event. I walked into Target yesterday to find a huge box by Guest Services that was full of used car seats. Looks like a good opportunity to recycle your old and get the next one. More more information click here



Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Unicorn Frappuccino Review


Today is the first day that Starbucks has the Unicorn Frappuccino available. I've always thought the baristas at Starbucks where artists, but this brings it to another level. 

Color: First of all, I love the color! Pink is my favorite color. I love how the blue is swirled inside and then sprinkled with the pink on top. When I first got mine, it was so beautiful that I felt bad about drinking it. 

Taste: I don't like frappuccino's. I'm a latte kind of person, so I was skeptical of the taste of the Unicorn Frappuccino. I was actually impressed with the taste. It's not super sweet. You can taste the mangoes right away, but it's not a strong overpowering flavor. I didn't get the flavor of the sour blue until several sips later, and I thought it was not overly sourly, just enough to give it a little something extra to the taste.

Mood: I'm calling it, mood changing. The Unicorn Frappuccino is so bright and cheerful that you can't help smile when you have one.  

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

How to earn free Disney Dollars: Disney Credit Card

 I love my Disney Credit Card. I get Disney Rewards Dollars on everything I already spend money on: groceries, gas, bills, etc. It's an easy way to make those Disney dreams a reality without having to spend money out of pocket.

 I like the flexibility of the Rewards Dollars too. If you want to use them to buy a Disney DVD, you can, and if you want to save them up and use it for your next Disney vacation, you can too. 

There's no annual fee. These days there are so many options when it comes to credit cards that if it has an annual fee, I look elsewhere. 

Lots of compliments. Every time I go to pay with my card at the store, someone comments on how they love the design on my card. I have the Sorcerer Mickey design. My husband after seeing my card decided he needed a Star Wars design. He chose the Yoda one. 




The current offer for new card holders, allows you to receive a $200 Disney Gift Card for free if you spend $500 in the first 3 months of receiving the card. Click here for details. 


Disclosure: This page contains affiliate links.

Flavor Changing Unicorn Frappuccino Coming to Starbucks Starting April 19

Love unicorns and Starbucks? From April 19 through April 23, Starbucks will offer a special Unicorn Frappuccino. The base of the drink will be creme Frappuccino with mango syrup with sweet pink powder, then layered with a sour blue topping, and topped off with vanilla whipped cream. The top will have a sprinkle of sweet pink and sour blue powder.  

It looks almost too beautiful to drink!




Monday, April 17, 2017

Disney's Moana Inspired Donuts


Follow your desired donut recipe. I don't fry my donuts. 

Donut Recipe:
2 cups of flour
3/4 cup of sugar
2 teaspoons of baking powder
1/4 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon of salt
3/4 cup buttermilk
2 eggs beaten
2 tablespoons melted butter

Donut Baking:
Spray the donut pan with cooking spray. Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl. Fill each pan cavity 2/3 full. Bake for 7- minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes before taking them out. Makes 12 donuts. 




Decoration Ingredients:

  • Red fondant
  • White fondant
  • White Candy Melts
  • Pink, yellow, and black food coloring



Decorating Instructions:

  1. Melt white chocolate Candy Melts in two microwavable bowls.
  2. Add yellow food coloring to one of the bowls.
  3. Dip half of the donuts in the white chocolate and the other half in the yellow. Shake each donut after dunking to ensure that you get an even coating. 
  4. Cut a portion of the red fondant out of the container and flatten out with a small roller. Using a knife, carefully cut out the shape of the crest. Attach the crest to the top of the yellow-coated donut.
  5. Pull out a portion of the white fondant. Flatten it out and shape it into the ears and snout. The nose looks like an upside down heart. 
  6. Using pink food coloring and a little of the white chocolate paint the inside of the ears and snout.
  7. Cut out two small pieces of the white fondant for Pua's beauty marks. 
  8. Make grey paint by adding a small drop of black in with a little of the white chocolate. Use it to paint Pua's beauty marks and to put two drops as the nostrils. 


Saturday, April 15, 2017

Star Wars, Virtual Reality, and Google: Force for Change







Star Wars Force for Change is donating money for the purchase of 270 Starlight Virtual Reality (VR) headsets and equipment for children hospitals across the U.S. Lucas Film will provide Star Wars themed content for the VR headsets! Can you imagine being a sick child in the hospital, feeling sick, bored, and being able to travel to another galaxy and fight with Obi-Wan. 

The grant also includes the delivery of Starlight Brave Gowns. Picture a hospital gown, but with a Star Wars theme! Makes wearing a hospital gown that much cooler. 

The Starlight VR Set will include both a stationary and a mobile unit. Google will provide all the content they already have available for VR: Google Expeditions, Virtual Field Trips, Daydream, Google Earth VR, and Tilt Brush. 




You can join the force and help make these experiences possible for children. Donations give you tickets for a chance to win 3 amazing Star Wars Experiences:

  • Spend the night at Skywalker Ranch
  • A visit to the Han Solo Set and a chance to be in the movie
  • Meet the Star Wars Cast at the premiere of Star Wars: The Last Jedi
  • Flights and accommodations provided for the winners and a guest 
A chance of a life-time for any Star Wars fan and your contribution will help thousands of sick children.


Click here for more information. #ForceForChange

Friday, April 14, 2017

Easy Crockpot Vegetarian Bean Soup



Ingredients:

One bag of dried mixed beans. I only used half this time.
A can of diced tomatoes. Substitute with fresh cut tomatoes.
Kale
Water
Italian seasoning
Salt & pepper to taste

Procedure:

Rinse off the dried beans. Leave them over night in a bowl submerged in water.
The next day, drain out the water and place the beans in the crock-pot. 
Add the can of diced tomatoes or fresh.
Add desired amount of water. You want the beans to be covered.
Chop two leaves of kale. Add it to the pot.
Sprinkle in the Italian seasoning, salt & pepper. 
Cook on low for 6 hours. 

Makes an easy, hardy, and nutritious meal. 

8 Easter Ideas: Post Round-Up

Easter is right around the corner. Here are some ideas and sales that I've posted during the last few weeks which I have compiled into one post.


1. Super Bunny Kit

2. Unicorn Slime

3. Funfetti Chocolate Bunny Cupcakes 

4. Easter Pudding Cake Cup 

5. Hop on DVD

6. Under $5 Easter Items at Walmart 

7. Non-Candy Easter Items Under $5 at Michael's 

8. Pillsbury Funfetti Cake Mix and Frosting Sale at Target

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Super Bunny Kit at Target

I bought this cute paper mache bunny at Target. It was $5.99. They had a decorating kit for $3 which included some paint, brush, foam cut-outs, feathers and googly eyes. When I saw them, there were only 2 bunnies left, so I decided to get one. I'm glad I did, because they quickly sold out at my local Target. Target has different decorating kits. I went for the Super Bunny Kit


It gives kids something to work on after they find all the Easter eggs. It's an easy, family friendly activity. 

Disney Rewards Members Exclusive Beauty and the Beast Pin

For a limited time, Disney Card Holders can purchase this collectible Beauty and the Beast Pin. It's $12.99 plus tax.

You can purchase it at select locations at both Disney World and Disneyland, phone or email. Phone and email orders require a minimum of 2 pins per order. 


I have some pins, but I'm not a hardcore pin collector. However, this is a well made pin with some weight to it. Belle and the Beast slide to make them looking like they are dancing. For purchasing information, click on this link.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Free Samples from PinchMe

Want to get a box full of free samples once a month? You don't even pay for the shipping. All they ask is that you evaluate the products they sent you. Sounds awesome, right? 


The company is called PinchMe. You first fill out a questionnaire with the demographics and interests of your family. Then, based on your answers, they match samples that would interest you. Click here to sign-up. 



Thanks to (Couponing to Disney)

Monday, April 10, 2017

Pillsbury Funfetti Cake Mix & Frosting on Sale + $10 Back on Groceries at Target

Pillsbury Funfetti Cake Mix on sale for $1 The cake batter comes with Spring colored sprinkles in it. 

Pillsbury Funfetti Frosting on sale for $1.39. The frosting comes with matching sprinkles to help you decorate your cake or cupcakes. 

You can make some Funfetti Chocolate Bunny Cupcakes just in time for Easter. Check out my blog post with instructions here



There's a $10 Target Gift Card coupon with the purchase of $50 of groceries. I wasn't able to find it in my Cartwheel app, but I texted Food to Target (827438) and I immediately got the link for the coupon. Valid 4/9-4/15/17.


*Did you know that Target offers free order pickup? Go online and add to your cart the items that you want. When you're ready to checkout pick your local Target. You will get an email when your order is ready for pick up. When you get to Target, go to the customer service booth and they will hand you your purchase. 

Use your Target Red Card for an additional 5% off your purchase. 


This page contains affiliate links. Prices are subject to change at any time by the supplier. 

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Unicorn Slime Recipes and Tips

Recipes:
Elmer's Glue Slime Recipe
Unicorn Poop Slime Recipe


Materials:
3 bottles of white school glue
food coloring
baking soda
contact lens solution
craft sticks for stirring 

Optional:
I used 4 plastic cups, one for each color. 
I used a paper plate to lay out flat the white slime.
This made clean-up easier. 



Process:


  • Once you create the first batch of white slime following the Elmer's Glue Recipe, you lay it out flat in the shape of an oval. Mine was a circle, since I was using a plate to lay it out. 



  • I poured half a bottle of glue in each of my 4 plastic cups. I added the remaining ingredients and 1 drop of the desired color. 



  • Stir the contents of each of the cups. 



  • Pull out a piece of each color and paste it into the white circle. You continue doing this until all the white is covered with strips of color. 


Now it's ready for you to play with. Fold and pull the slime as desired. 


Add-ons:

You can add glitter, glow in the dark paint, googly eyes, and more to customize your slime. 
This is a great STEM/STEAM project. Kids love getting their hands on slime. 

Super Cute Beauty and the Beast Socks on Amazon


I have a small obsession with Beauty and the Beast these days. If you're a Disney fan, you can understand. I found these beautiful socks on Amazon, which I just love. 




Amazon also has this other set where the design is more realistic and less animated. I'll probably get these next.  
Fits ladies sock size 9-11 and juniors.

STEM Toys for all ages at Target: Save $10 when you buy $50

Target has a sale on toys, which includes STEM toys where you save $10 on the purchase of $50. If you buy it online, use promo code TOYS. Offer expires April 18, 2017.




STEM toys allow kids to learn through play. The most natural way to learn. It also allows children to start developing the skills they need for the future. It's never too early to start learning STEM or STEAM.

Target has everything from: Biology, Chemistry, Physics, circuits and robots, coding, Earth & Space, Engineering. & Math.

You can also shop for STEM toys by age level. Making it easier to figure out what the best toy is for each age. 


Use your Red Card and save an additional 5%, plus free shipping.