Author Archives: TheInspiredHousewife

Disney Magic – Part Two

It is so different going to Disney World as a grandparent…It is wonderful! Don’t get me wrong, I have wonderful memories of taking my children to Disney.

Pluto

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But somehow this is sooooo much better!

 

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One of the great things is…..it’s not our problem! My daughter and son in law had to think about all the stuff to pack, we just threw in a few things and went. The same went with planning. My daughter did all of the research and planning, and I have to tell you , she did a great job.

She decided that we would go to Animal Kingdom the first day. Her thinking was that she wanted to go light the first day. Kind of get the kids use to the crowds and the idea of standing in line. I can’t tell you for sure if that is why both days worked so well for us, but they couldn’t have been better.

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If you haven’t been to Disney in a while, you may not know about their newer systems. If you create an online account with Disney ahead of time and make travel plans, they will send you “Magic Bands” in the mail. Each one comes in your favorite color choice with your name on it. Knowing what I know now I would have made them all the same color so you wouldn’t have a problem with kids that are upset about wanting someone else’s color. We didn’t have that problem, but I could see it happening with an older child.

I suggest you make your “Fast Pass” selections online as soon as you make your travel plans. We waited until a week before, and some of the time spots were already full. We were shocked!

The Fast Passes made for no more waiting…Well let’s say almost none, in Disney time. I think the longest wait over two days was under 40 minutes. To me that is amazing!

The first Animal Kingdom stop for us was the Safari ride. We had been told to do this in the morning because the animals are up and moving more then. It was wonderful! We had bright eyed toddlers the whole ride.

If I had to chose between parks I would pick Animal Kingdom for toddlers. They know what a giraffe is. My one year old grand daughter jumped for joy when she saw her first one. She could care less the next day that Mary Poppins was right in front of her. The overall experience was so much more low key.

We got to meet Mickey and Minnie at Animal Kingdom. We decided to use one of our Fast Passes for this, and it was great!

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Here are some “mom tips” for the trip.

1. Instead of a diaper bag, bring a backpack. It is so much easier to keep track of, and the one we used had lots of compartments making it easy to find what you wanted.

2 Put a change of clothes for each child in the back pack. My daughter packed a complete outfit and put it in a ziplock bag. Even if an accident doesn’t happen, sometimes just changing into fresh un-sweaty clothes can make all the difference to a child.

3. Bring some food for your child. My daughter made up some sandwiches for the kids. This made it easy for us to find some shade and feed them before going to the restaurant.

4. Set up a schedule…we didn’t do this, but I could see where it would be good to have an alarm on your phone for re applying sunscreen, changing diapers, and drinking water. It is so easy to lose track of time at Disney, and life runs so much smoother if you don’t forget these things.

5. Get started early. The parks get busier and busier as the day goes on. By the time the 3:00 parade was done, so were we….it was wonderful!

6. Find the changing station. Both the Animal Kingdom and the Magic Kingdom have them. It is the best kept secret in the parks.

They even had a little store to buy whatever you might have forgotten.

 

They had private nursing rooms, and a wonderful room to cool off in and take a time out to watch a movie.

It was just what this Amma needed.

7. My daughter was brilliant on this idea…She decided to gather all of the Disney things that they had around the house and bring them. He had his Buzz Lightyear drinking cup…

buzz

they had ears, pajamas, Mickey and Minnie dolls. They felt no need to get the I wants, because they were surrounded with it all. The best part is 99% of their stuff came from Goodwill.

 

There is nothing better than slowing down to see the world thru the eyes of a child

One final tip….When we got to the park first thing in the morning, the line was already long for customer service. My daughter wanted to go and get the kids the buttons that you get for free if it’s your first time at Disney. We decided to wait until we were leaving and that was a great call. We walked right up to the counter and got them.

button

A few good choices and you can actually leave Disney with a smile on your face.

 

 

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The Disney Magic

Mom and Dad DisneyWhen we were young parents we wanted to take our three young kids to Disney, but the thought of taking three kids under the age of eight seemed a bit overwhelming. In come my heroes…my parents.

 

Tabitha Parade

 

 

They came with us with no agenda but to be there for the little one so we could enjoy the older ones. It wasn’t until this weekend that I realized that their act of kindness might have been a bit more selfish than I had realized at the time.

We had the privilege to go the Disney this weekend with our daughter and her family.

I have so much to share with you about the experience that I am sure I will have to break it down into a few different posts.

1. We stayed in the Fort Wilderness cabins. The cabins aren’t cheap but it’s cheaper than two hotel rooms.

We gave my daughter and her family the bedroom, while Mr. Amazing and I did the murphy bed in the living room. Our teen used a blow up bed in the kitchen. This allowed the kids to go to bed and not be bothered. I can tell you that there is nothing better than being woke up by one of these little faces.

Photo: So excited!!!!

2. The cabins were great because we could bring food from home to save a bit of money and to give the kids a chance to run around in the morning before we headed off to the parks.

Photo: My Gracie girl󾌧

3. We have learned from past experience that you want to rent a golf cart. Make the reservations before hand. One year we came and there were none available. I think we could have done nothing but the golf cart rides with the grandkids and they would have been happy.

Photo: Look at that smile on grandpa

4. The grandkids loved the campfire and sing along. They weren’t so sure about meeting Chip and Dale, but it was a good practice run for the days to come.

5. We enjoyed the fireworks from the beach at Fort Wilderness, but my daughter and son in law jumped on one for the boats and watched the fireworks from the observation deck of the Contemporary Hotel. Now my daughter has seen a lot of fireworks from all over the Disney grounds, but she said this was the most wonderful… it may have a bit to do with  it being the first time seeing them with her husband .

Photo: I highly recommend watching the fireworks from the 4th Floor balcony at the Contemporary.

6. There are two general stores in the camp grounds so don’t worry about trying to remember to pack everything. One thing I always forget to pack is a tablecloth, yes a dollar store tablecloth at Disney is about $15.00 but at least they have it.

7. What I love most about staying at the camp ground is ….we don’t have to use our car all weekend. Between the golf cart…buses…and boats you can get anywhere you want to go on the Disney property.

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There is nothing like a long day at the Magic Kingdom that ends with a boat ride home.

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The Promposal

Oh the world it is a changing.

My daughter is a sophomore and  is dating a junior.

Ashlyn and Deter

 

They haven’t been dating long, but so far he seems like a nice guy.

One day she told me that he talked to her about the up coming Prom, but he didn’t “ask” her. She told me that he was working on a Promposal idea. (Am I the only one that had never heard of such a thing?)

Come to find out girls don’t get just a ” hey you want to go?” anymore. These guys have to be clever.

I know right now there are some of you wondering what in the world I am talking about.

If you type into Pinterest “Promposals” you can actually see some of the things other guys have come up with.

My mind flashed to wedding proposals …. my father in law, I think, was driving when he handed the ring to my mother in law and said “you want to get married?”

While my son in law put the ring in a box of her favorite snack and stuck it in the pantry knowing it wouldn’t take long before she would find it.

I love the clever ideas that guys do, but are we just setting guys up to disappoint us? The ring in the box was perfect for my son in law because he is not an over the top romantic guy, and my daughter needed to understand that he probably wasn’t going to become one.

I worry about what my grandsons are going to be “required” to do. Will they be renting limo’s to yell out of the sunroof…”Susie! Will you go to the playground with me?”

My youngest daughter’s Promposal turned out perfect. He had carved a message on a tree for her at “their” spot and he made himself a shirt. On the tree he carved out with a knife “Ash Prom?” He made her search for the “surprise” he had on the tree. Once she found it, he took off his polo shirt and his undershirt said, “Prom?” “Yes”, “Maybe”, and “Heck Yes!”…. I guess no wasn’t an option..lol

promposalShe was over the top impressed and I have to admit her sisters and I were too.

So tell me…have you ever heard of this tradition and what are your thoughts?

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10 Things I’ve Learned Along the Way

My mother use to say…You won’t have it all figured out until you are a grandmother …and then know one will care.

Well I am a grandmother of four and I’m not sure I’ve got it all figured out yet, but there are a few things I’ve learned along the way, so I thought I would share them…I’m assuming mom was wrong and you really do care. Heheheheee so here goes…

1. Despite what you are told, you are really pregnant for 10 months…not nine. That month after the baby, your body is changing just as much as it did during pregnancy…take it easy.

2. After that 10th month, stop wearing stretch pants…If you aren’t exercising at that moment then you shouldn’t be in workout pants. You will never get your stomach muscles back if you keep wearing maternity clothes.

3. Give yourself up to 9 months to get your body back…no more. The longer you let it go, the harder it is.

4. You ate healthy during your pregnancy for your baby…now keep it up…. for you. Your baby needs a healthy mom.

5. Sleep …then if you wake up before the baby, you can clean…not the other way around.

6. Remember, it is important that the baby knows that other people other than just you loves them…Let other people have the baby…it’s good for them…and you.

7. Get a life…your children will be grateful when they are teens and you aren’t obsessing over them.

8. Don’t just call your husband daddy…there are other woman that will see him for more than that…make sure you do too.

9. Take time as a couple…the kids will be gone all to soon…many couples split during this time because they aren’t best friends anymore..

10. Keep believing in happy endings…

This is my new grandson …George…born March 28th.

 

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Caretaker Tuesday…Finding a place for them to live

I know that my caretaker posts can be depressing for some. For that reason I keep thinking I am going to stop, then someone will contact me and tell me how much the posts have helped them. I have been given this story and an avenue to share it for a reason, so I feel compelled to do so.

Today I would like to talk to you about looking for a place for your loved one to live. Often, when a loved one is being released from the hospital we often want to try to bring them home …even if we know deep down that it’s not going to work. That’s a noble thought, but if you go to a nursing home right out of the hospital, Medicare will pay your nursing home bills for 90 days. ( I am remembering back a few years on these details so don’t sue me if my facts are a bit off) Three months is a lot of money when we are talking health care. I am not saying you should put someone in the nursing home if you have a better option…just put that into the equation.

When people are going to be released from the hospital, a case worker will come and decide what kind of help will be needed. Educate yourself before this time comes.

They will often get the wheels turning pretty quickly if you don’t already have a plan in place. Remember, your choices are not limited just because your loved one needs a Medicaid bed. Every nursing home has these beds, they look just like every other bed. The problem is they don’t have many of them.

If you have some choices, here are a few things to consider…

1. If there is a new place in town, go check it out. Wouldn’t you rather live in the nice new place?

2, Remember, you are probably going to be spending a lot of time at this place, so make sure it is handy for you. I remember thinking that I was fine driving 20 minutes to see mom and dad, but many people told me to put them closer. They were right. It was great being able to just drop by for a minute or two as I had the time.

3. If you don’t like the smell or the workers, keep looking.

4. If you can bring someone with you, it will help lighten the mood.

You will hate the first place you visit. It won’t be good enough for your loved one. It will be depressing and upsetting.

I have heard that some cities have businesses that will pick you up at the airport and take you on a tour of all the facilities in the area. I have no idea how much they charge, but if you don’t know the area I would think this would be a huge help.

If one of these businesses is not available to you, try stopping at a local church. Pastors visit many of these places. They might have some insight that they would be willing to share.

Remember that your loved one has had a life, which means they probably have people near by that care about them. A neighbor? Best friend? Bible study? If you are out of town those people could become very valuable to you.

I remember once that my parent’s phone was busy for the longest time. My imagination grew with each passing minute. Lucky for me I had their neighbor’s phone number. She quickly found out that their phone was just off the hook.

One last thought…always laugh..because the only other option is to cry.

 

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A Perfect Dessert!

I had a dessert party at my house about a month ago. I provided the space and other people brought the desserts. It was WONDERFUL! People brought the most amazing things….thank you Pinterest!

One thing that I loved came in clear plastic individual cups.

Bobbie's desert

It was light and fluffy and soooo good.

Flash forward to this week when I was having dinner guests. The people I was having are not big eaters, but they love good food. I had decided on grilled salmon with some sweet potato fries  rolls and green beans. A pretty simple and light meal.

I hardly ever make desserts but this night I wanted to have something to offer, so I decided to go grab the recipe from my desert party that I had gotten. It was once again a huge hit, so I thought I should share it with you.

Start by buying:

A package of Jello “no bake” cheesecake mix

a small tub of coolwhip

whole milk

strawberries.

Take the “no bake” cheesecake and make it with the whole milk. Fold in the coolwhip and then slice the strawberries and add them in. Place in small individual bowls. Top with some of the graham cracker crumbs that come in the package and chill for one hour.

So simple and yet so good.

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Decorating the Stairwell

I knew when I designed the house that decorating the stairwell wall would be a challenge for me. Looking at that large massive space was overwhelming, yet doing nothing with it wasn’t the answer. It made the home seem cold and bland.

stairs Hours had been spent looking at pictures of stairways when I finally came across this one

I want to do something like this on my stairway

Gallery walls often stress me out, but there was something about this one that was calming. These are the elements that I liked about this wall:

1. Everything was over-sized.

2. All the pictures were black and white or sepia.

3. The frames didn’t match .

4. The pictures were of kids playing in water.

It was time to make this happen. I grabbed my best friend and headed to Hobby Lobby. They had their frames on sale at 50% off, so what better time was there to do this.

I had no idea how many frames I needed, so I just kept sticking everything I liked in the cart figuring I could always return what I didn’t use.

I thought the next part would be the hardest…figuring out how to lay them out…WRONG.

We had laid the pictures on the floor and had friends come over. We would talk for a while, and then someone would get up and move the pictures around. I would take a photo, and then we would sit and talk until someone else got up to move them. It was actually fun. After a couple of hours,and countless designs, we came up with…floor frames

 

We decided to cut out poster board the same size as the picture frames and mark on the poster board where we needed to put the nails. Then the poster board was stuck to the wall to double check our plan.ladder

Now for the fun part ….NOT!

Finding the pictures for the frames has proven to be much harder than I ever imagined.

1. my grandkids…they look adorable in all their pictures, so how do I chose one?

2. Pictures taken when my kids were little were all taken with a crappy camera so they don’t enlarge well.

3. If you don’t have high resolution photos and you blow them up, they get very grainy.

4. “Professional” pictures from Kmart look purple when you blow them up.

5. If they look dark they will look very dark on the wall.

6. If your grandbaby has a runny nose in a picture, it will really bug you when it is blown up huge.

I am still working on my gallery, but even with the problems, I am loving what it has done for my space. I love looking up and seeing these smiles…

Photo: When you miss your grandson you blow his picture up huge and smile

 

 

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Our Salvaged Shelf

I have to show you what we made this weekend.shelf A

I was at HomeGoods looking to buy something that I didn’t know I needed…lol…isn’t that how most of us shop?

Anyway, I came across two cornices….They were on clearance for only $30 each. I hesitated for about 30 seconds because they weren’t the same color, but hey, I know how to paint.

Now came the struggle of finding a board to go across the top of them. Lucky for me the Mercato sale was this weekend. I don’t know if you remember me telling you about this place …http://www.theinspiredhousewife.com/2014/01/the-venice-mercato/….but it is the perfect place to find something like old weathered wood.

shelf2I was a bit concerned about how the edge of the board was going to look when we cut it. The one edge had a wonderful knot in it , and so much character.

shelf1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mr. Amazing decided to cut it with his reciprocating saw. He kind of went at it as if he was doing an ice sculpture.

Once he cut it he took a blow torch to the end to darken it and to help give it that aged look.

shelf2

I love how it all turned out.

shelf with table with candles

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It brings such warmth and style to my dining room…at this point I’m not even sure I’m going to paint the cornices to match…..what do you think?

shelf 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Oh, For a Painted Brick Home

Anyone that knows me well knows that I am the queen of ideas. I thought of reusable grocery bags long before anyone was using them. If I made a list of other item ideas that I have had, I would get depressed at all the millions I have missed out on in my life.

I remember as a child learning about the industrial age and being depressed that I was born after everything had already been invented. Yes, that thought makes me chuckle too when you think about all the things that have been invented since the late 60′s when I had this thought.  Some adult…I’m not sure who it was, got upset with me and told me that it wasn’t true and that if I gave it much thought, I too could come up with new ideas.

Since that time, my brain has been working overtime with new ideas. Maybe you watch the show “Intelligence”. I will have you know that I have been saying for at least ten years that I think we should all have a computer disk that will identify people when we walk up to them and tell us how we know them.

Anyway the point of this is to tell you what someone out there needs to invent now, if it’s not already out there.

When I was building my house, my husband did not want a wood house again. I understand, it is a bit more maintenance but I liked the look. My next choice was painted brick but that was way too expensive.

Now don’t get me wrong…I like my house

DSCN5042

I will admit that my heart does still melt over the thought of painted brick.

I think there should be a way to make stucco look like painted brick. It needs to be cheap and easy for people to add to their old houses.

Now look at some painted brick houses and then tell me if you agree.

modern class @ Pin Your Home

Sooooo trying to figure out gow to mame our bla brick house look more cottagey. An entry way like this plus the color would work wonders!

White Washed Brick - entry here - but could also update an interior brick wall or fireplace.

exterior french doors with shutter & lantern and painted brick with timber inset over doors/windows

 

If you could make your house look like painted brick, would you?

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Mom Guilt

I am 55 years old, and I am here to tell you that mom guilt never goes away.  Sorry, I know that is not what you wanted to hear, but it is true.

The mom guilt started early….during pregnancy actually. Was I eating properly? What if I was doing something to harm my baby like cleaning the bathtub with something I shouldn’t?  Yep, if anything was wrong with my baby I knew it would be my fault. It was the mommy guilt that allowed me to go thru childbirth with no drugs.

Mommy guilt got no easier once the baby was here.  If I gave the baby a bottle instead of breast feeding…guilt. If I let the baby cry…guilt. If I wanted to take a long shower…guilt.

Mom’s have guilt because they choose to have another child…turning their child’s life upside down. And guilt for not having another so their child has no built in playmate.

We have guilt if we go back to work. How could we leave our babies in the arms of another? And then the guilt of not working and wondering how we are going to teach our daughters that they can reach for the stars if we are content doing the laundry.

Guilt will happen again when your child goes to school. You didn’t sign up to be room mom fast enough so someone else got it. You were secretly happy until you saw your child’s disappointed eyes…then you felt guilt for being happy…How could you?

School years are full of guilt. You kept the kids out too late last night, so they were so tired when you had to wake them. Guilt when you heard that all the other mom’s don’t just throw a sandwich in a lunch box. They make them look like dinosaurs.

When your child doesn’t get picked for a part in the school play, it’s somehow your fault. You should have taken more time to practice with her.

Guilt is at an all time high during the teen years. Guilt that your child doesn’t want to be your best friend. Guilt that you didn’t know your child snuck out of the house. Guilt for every bad choice your child makes.

As your child grows, so will your guilt. They will now think it is funny to share all the things that you didn’t know they did during their teen years. To them it is funny, to you …guilt. Why didn’t I know? If I had been a good parent, I would have known that.

I hear parents longing for their children to become adults. They think that at that point they will no longer be their problem,,,,,WRONG!  You will have guilt that they don’t have enough money for their down payment and you could help them but you don’t know if you should. Guilt that they have college loans. Guilt for what they have to pay in child care.

No….guilt never gets better we just learn to live with it.

How do we do that?

1. Realize that you are a better mom than you give yourself credit for.

2. There are no guidelines for what a perfect mom looks like.

3. Just as our fingerprints are all different, so are our lives/ You can’t compare yourself to someone else.

4. Realize that you are your toughest critic….others are not judging you nearly as much as you are judging yourself.

5. We can’t give our children all of our time or money, but we can give them all of our love…and really that is all they really want.

 

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