Visiting Disney World During COVID

Visiting Disney World During COVID

Have you thought about visiting Disney World during COVID? After a lot of research and careful consideration, we decided to give it a try. It ended up being a wonderful, but different, Disney experience, so I thought I’d share some information and tips to help anyone else planning a trip. Please note that rules and the pandemic situation are constantly changing, so you may experience some differences during your visit. Differences in the Parks We visited all four parks on our recent visit and even though things were different, we still had a great time! The most important difference is that you need to have a park pass to enter a park. So, before you go, purchase tickets and then use My Disney Experience to book a park pass for the park you want to visit. You won’t be able to enter the park without the park pass – even if you have a valid ticket. Right now, Fast Passes are also not available. That does mean that some of the more popular rides may have long lines. We did wait about an hour for some of our favorites. The best way to get around the long lines is to get to the park early (as in before it opens) and hit the newer rides first. We found we could successfully ride 3-5 rides in the first hour and a half of our visit before the lines got crazy. You’ll have to wear a mask all day. The only exception is if you are eating or drinking while stationary. So no wandering around Epcot with a drink in hand,...
Are you looking for the BEST holiday gifts?

Are you looking for the BEST holiday gifts?

You’ll find it here, in the BEST holiday gift guide! It’s that time of the year! Gift-giving! Every year, I love putting together these gift guides – it helps me with my shopping list too! This year I’ve found a variety of fun and useful ideas for everyone on your list! Start shopping now and be ready for the holiday season early – I promise, you’ll thank me later!!! The BEST Outdoor Fun Gifts These gifts are perfect for your outdoor adventurers – of any age! We love our snowshoes – and because they come with a travel case, we often throw them in the car when we are heading to a ski vacation or other winter getaway. We’ve also been known to use them to trek through the backyard to our neighbors for a drink – very useful! Okay, I’m not going to lie, I thought this was a waste of money when we first saw this snowball maker in the store. But, we were on vacation and I caved. I have to admit – I was wrong. Both kids LOVE these and we actually have purchased a second snowball maker since so they can both use them at the same time. For a pretty inexpensive gift, we’ve gotten a ton of use out of them. They also always make the list for items to bring on our annual ski trip as we know there will be plenty of snow! If you don’t have water shoes, get some! They would make an ideal holiday gift for any of your adventure lovers. We used ours SO MUCH last summer....
Easy Ways to Make Extra Money on the Side – Part 3

Easy Ways to Make Extra Money on the Side – Part 3

I hope you’ve been able to make extra money on the side with this series! It’s been fun for me to look in-depth at all the methods I use and see how much they are truly making for me! Here are two more easy ways to make extra money on the side. One I’ve been using successfully for YEARS and the other is fairly new to me! Missed the other two posts? Go check out Part 1 and Part 2! Earn Gift Cards for Travel, Restaurants and More MyPoints is a program I’ve used for years. And I’ve cashed in my points several times for $100 gift cards. I typically save them up and then use them for restaurant gift cards for places I know we will visit when we travel. For instance, we used to visit T-Rex (a Landry’s restaurant) every year at Disney. It was a must-do when the kids were little. So, I’d use my points to purchase that gift card and voila, one meal paid for. There are dozens of other options, as well as retailers, travel, etc. Insider tip: Watch for gift card sales on MyPoints. Often you can get a gift card for fewer points – then your points go even further! There are so many ways to earn points via MyPoints, but as you’ve probably figured out by now, I’m pretty lazy and don’t want to spend a ton of time on my computer earning points. Therefore, I tend to focus on just a few simple methods, and yet my points add up really quickly! Here are the top ways I earn...
Fall Fun in Miami County, Indiana

Fall Fun in Miami County, Indiana

Sunday was the perfect fall day in Indiana. Crisp weather but plenty of sunshine! With nothing to do until late in the day, my daughter and I took off to see what type of fall fun we could find. We drove to nearby Miami County as part of my Explore Indiana series. Coffee, Music and the Circus Our first stop was of course for coffee. Both of us love coffee and we especially love local coffee shops. Aroma Coffee Shop in Peru, Indiana was the perfect start to our day. Thanks to decadent coffee drinks and delicious Apple Cider donuts (look at all those spices inside!), we thoroughly enjoyed our stop at this cozy shop. With a fresh coffee in hand, we took off walking around downtown Peru. I noticed a few stores, but overall the downtown was pretty empty. I always find this depressing as I love a vibrant downtown area and from the buildings can imagine how lovely it was years ago. Hopefully, the city will be successful in revitalizing in the coming years. The Miami County Museum is located right across from the courthouse, but it was closed. We checked out the large photos in the windows as well as a few window displays on woman’s suffrage. I’d like to get back someday soon as it looked quite interesting as we peeked in the windows! Just outside the square, we stumbled across a circus museum. Peru, Indiana has a unique annual event where local children train and perform in a summer circus. What a cool experience for them, I’m sure. The museum was closed, but we...
5 Must-Do’s at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

5 Must-Do’s at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

As long time Disney lover’s, we have definite favorites at every park. Thanks to being annual passholders, I don’t feel the pressure to see “everything” each time we visit as I know we’ll be back. However, there are certain “Must-Do’s” at each park. Even if we miss everything else, if we enjoy these favorites, it was a successful park day! So, here are our top 5 Must-Do’s at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. The Top Must-Do Rides Kiliminjaro Safaris. How can you visit Disney’s Animal Kingdom and not enjoy the animals? Right? The safari is the best way to do this. I’ve always found the guides to be informative and great about sharing their love of the animals. It’s also wonderful that every safari ride is a little bit different. You’ll see different animals doing different things throughout the day. Sometimes you’ll even have to stop and wait for an antelope or ostrich to walk in front of you! This is definitely a ride you’ll want to fast pass as the wait can be pretty long. Insider Tip: Have your camera ready – you can get some really amazing pictures during this ride! Flight of Passage. Although all of Pandora is pretty amazing, the ride Flight of Passage is truly amazing. During this ride you’ll get to ride on the back of a banshee – and it truly feels like you are flying. The first time we rode Flight of Passage, we hadn’t even seen Avatar and still loved it! Definitely either get a fast pass or head to this ride as soon as the park opens. Expedition Everest. If you...
Easy Ways to Make Extra Money on the Side – Part 2

Easy Ways to Make Extra Money on the Side – Part 2

Are you ready to learn a few more super easy ways to make extra money? Remember last week I shared two of my all-time favorites, Swagbucks and Rakuten? Both of those I’ve been using for YEARS. This week I’m sharing two newer ones that I’ve been very impressed with so far. Sell your stuff to make extra $$ Remember the days of selling everything on eBay? I know I made a TON of money selling old baby clothes back in the day. A few weeks ago I decided to give it a go again to sell some of my son’s old soccer cleats. I sold two pairs, but it was very cumbersome and with the high fees I didn’t make as much as I’d hoped. Then, I found out about Mercari. Mercari is an app you download to your phone where you can easily sell and buy items from other sellers. It was so simple to list items right from my phone – I discovered it only takes me a few minutes to list something! I also love that it’s not an auction like eBay, so I set my price, and then if I want Mercari has a feature where they will lower the price every day or so until it hits a floor I’ve preset. One of the things that drove me crazy with eBay was figuring out shipping. Mercari makes it simple. You can either offer free shipping, or they will help you set a price based upon what you are selling. Once the item is sold, you just print out a prepaid shipping label, package the...
Summer 2020 Book Reviews

Summer 2020 Book Reviews

Hard to believe summer is coming to an end. How can it be September already? Although we didn’t take a big vacation this summer for the first time EVER, we did enjoy a LOT of day trips! And I definitely had fun exploring many areas of Indiana that I hadn’t visited before. So, overall it was still a win in my book! Speaking of books, ready for reviews of the BEST books to read now? Looking for fun in Indiana? Check out my Explore Indiana blog post where I round up ALL the counties I’ve visited – if you live near Indiana I guarantee you can find something fun to do near you! Best Non-Fiction Books Summer 2020 https://amzn.to/31wtI6Q The 12-Week Year by Brian Moran is the best goal setting/ business book I’ve read in a while. It’s not a new one, so I’m not sure how I missed it, but I am glad I picked it up! It’s exactly what I need right now to push myself to reach my goals. I’m in the midst of my first 12-Week Year and I can already feel the momentum and excitement. I can’t wait to reach my goals!!! Next, I plan on purchasing the 12-Week Year Field Guide to help me plan my next 12-Week Year! My rating 4.5 out of 5. Creating Your Best Life is another very timely book! September is often referred to as the “second New Year.” There is still time to complete your goals, and with kids going back to school, it just feels right to give yourself a fresh start too. One of the...
A Perfect Day in Henry County

A Perfect Day in Henry County

When searching for a fun activity to do for #avaiationday, I discovered that just an hour away is the birthplace of Wilbur Wright. Although I couldn’t make the trip on the actual date (you know, work), I did take off for an afternoon with my son to check it out. We visited the area on two separate days, but you could easily combine this itinerary for a perfect day in Henry County. It has been so wonderful being able to get back to finding new places for my Explore Indiana project! Wilbur Wright was born on April 16th, 1867 near Millville, Indiana. The Wilbur Wright Birthplace Museum has a rebuilt version of the house that he lived in for three years, a full-size replica of the 1903 Wright Flyer and a wonderful little museum FULL of historical facts and personal anecdotes about the Wright Brothers. The museum even houses a replica of the camp Wilbur and Orville set up at Kitty Hawk. We found this part of the exhibit especially interesting. I was really impressed by how much information this museum held. It is out in the middle of nowhere, but well worth the drive if you have any interest in the Wright Brothers or the beginnings of flight. After browsing the museum, we headed into nearby New Castle for a quick bite to eat. As we were headed into town, we saw a large roadside stand called Weenee World. How could we not stop, right? Stop at the local hot dog stand My son ordered a coney dog and said it was delicious – a large dog with...
Easy Ways to Make Extra Money on the Side – Part 1

Easy Ways to Make Extra Money on the Side – Part 1

Working on your travel funds? There are all kinds of easy ways to make extra money to put towards vacations. Today, I’m sharing two of my all-time favorite (and easy) ways to make a little extra cash! Neither of these requires a lot of work, and the money you make can add up quickly with minimal effort. Earn extra money for your next vacation! Not only am I sharing the best of my money making tips, but I’m also sharing how much I made off of each of them with one month of my normal use. An Easy Way to Make Extra Money by Searching the Internet Swagbucks – Although there are all kinds of ways to earn Swagbucks, I typically only use it as a search engine. Instead of opening up my normal web browser, I open up Swagbucks and do all my searches from there. A few times a week, I’ll randomly earn 4 – 20 Swagbucks. Every once in awhile I’ll watch a video, complete a survey, or purchase something through a shopping link (but only if the site isn’t on Rakuten). Swagbucks! I tracked my Swagbucks earnings for the month of July and I earned 52 Swagbucks simply by doing my internet searches through it. For the month of June, it was 45. May was 54. The only thing you need to remember is to open up Swagbucks when you log onto your computer each day and then go to that page for every search you do. You can also download a Pretty darn simple. Related Content: Save Money on Museum Visits Every 100 Swagbucks...
The BEST Way to Enjoy a Day at the Lake

The BEST Way to Enjoy a Day at the Lake

Until this summer, we’d forgotten how much we love spending time at the lake. Years ago, we lived on a lake so we definitely know the BEST way to enjoy a day at the lake! As one of our summer day trips, we headed over to Lake Shafer in Monticello, Indiana to spend some time in the water and sunshine. Start with a boat! When visiting a lake, the first order of business is to get yourself a boat. If you are lucky enough to be visiting lake friends, you may be covered. But, if not, there is typically at least one lakeside marina where you can rent a boat for the afternoon. Insider tip: call ahead of time to reserve your boat. Most marinas have a limited amount of rentals and you might not be able to get what you want if you just show up. We were able to rent a deck boat for the afternoon through Lake Shafer Boat Rentals which was perfect for a day of tubing and cruising. When we arrived, we were given instructions and a short lesson on how to drive the boat. We watched them disinfect it before we climbed aboard which was comforting. Lake Shafer Boat Rentals has life jackets, or if you have your own, you can just bring them along. You will need one jacket per person, so plan accordingly. Insider tip: think about what you want to do and how many people are with you when you decide which boat to rent. A pontoon boat is ideal for cocktail cruising and larger parties. A ski boat is...

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