Things at home we bought from Walt Disney World

During our many trips to Walt Disney World we’ve made lots of purchases. From Pins to huge works of art we have lots of things in our home that we bought in Walt Disney World. Each and every one of them has a story or a memory attached to it and I’m going to list just a few of them below.



Huge painting


In our lounge hangs a fairly large painting we bought from the art shop in the Swan Hotel - Hubby and I had seen it a few times and said how much we liked it. We even took a photo of it hanging in the shop so we could talk about it later. After chatting and working out where we would put it we decided we wanted to buy it.


An oil painting hangs on the wall of a lounge.


The painting now hangs above our sofa in the lounge and every time I look at it I remember that we bought it in Walt Disney World and smile.



Goofy picture


Another thing that hangs on the wall in our lounge is a Goofy picture. We love going into the shop in Epcot, right near Spaceship Earth. One time we went there and saw a series of pictures that were all along the same lines and we loved them. Unfortunately we couldn’t take all of them because we didn’t have enough space (I would totally have had them all if we could). In the end though we settled on the Goofy picture because we knew where it would go. Right now it hangs on the wall right by where the Hubby works in the lounge, so he gets to look at it every day.






Aloha Isle sign


If you’ve ever been to Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World you surely know the best drink/snack to get is a Dole Whip - they’re tasty, refreshing, and SO GOOD. Well, during one trip we happened to do the drawing class that, when exiting, would take you through another art shop. We would often go in the shop but rarely saw something we wanted. However this particular time the Hubby spotted this…




And we simply had to have it. Aloha Isle is where you buy your Dole Whip from and it was such a brilliant memory to take home we couldn’t leave without it. Unfortunately at the time they didn’t have one to sell, but Disney being Disney they searched for days until they found one!



Light boxes


Art isn’t the only thing we buy from Walt Disney World though, there’s also these lovely light boxes. We spotted them a few times but none really stood out. Until we saw these






There was something about these ones that stood out to us, they were the best we’d seen, and of course we were in Walt Disney World so we had to buy them. 



Wall hanging


I’ve mentioned before how much I love walking around the World Showcase in Epcot. In particular I like China, there’s just something about it that makes me feel all relaxed. One time when we were walking around I spotted a wall hanging that I liked.

The best thing about that though was that I had just moved into my office (spare room) at home and had somewhere I could put it. It was promptly bought and brought home.



Pins


Our collection of pins is always growing and just before our trip to Walt Disney World this year we had to buy a second pin board because we’d run out of space. The boys have bought ones they like, as have we. But the main part of our collection has been gathered through pin trading with Cast Members




We introduced the boys to Pin Trading when BP was 9 and LP was 4 and they’ve loved it ever since. It’s a great chance for the boys to talk to strangers without the worry that they’re not allowed to talk to strangers, and they get to collect something that reminds them of holiday. For us we get to watch our boys have a great time and we do, on occasion, point out the best pins for trading.


Things at home we bought from Walt Disney World


There are lots of other things in our home that we bought in Walt Disney World and I have no doubt there will be more before long! I love having mementos from our holidays and things we can look at while at home and remember being there.

What mementos do you have from your holidays?


If you liked reading this post you might enjoy What I love most about Walt Disney World and if you'd like to read more about the place check out How to make your trip to Walt Disney World more magical.

I'd love to hear what mementos you have at home from your holiday so come connect with me on Facebook and send me a message!

And if you're a mum fighting mum battles every day join my #MumWinning Revolution where I celebrate your wins - yes, even the ironing!

The summer battles of Mum

As stay-at-home mums we are well aware of the battles we fight on a daily basis. Teenage tantrums, tween strops, not to mention them both eating you out of house and home! But when it comes to the summer holidays, when you’re stuck with the kids at home for six whole weeks during the hottest time of the year there’s a whole host of new battles to fight.



Activity time


During the summer months the kids expect to be entertained. It could be days out to an aquarium, day trips to the zoo, or even weekends away in exotic (or not so exotic) locations. Finding things to do is a battle in itself, especially when you’ve already done everything locally during the other school breaks in the year. You spend hours on end searching for new things to do or to take them to and when you think you’ve finally found something they inform you they’re not interested. 


Two boys walk away from the camera towards a castle at Alton Towers theme park.



Keeping the kids busy


You’ve spent days out, you’ve been to the zoo, to aquariums, you’ve even taken them to the local park. And there’s still FIVE WEEKS of holidays left. Because it’s not all about the day trips and leaving the house is it? They expect to be entertained when they’re at home too! I always try to make sure I have movies planned, activity books (for the tween), and other things waiting in the wings. 





Summer means happy times and good sunshine. It means going to the beach, going to Disneyland, having fun. 

Brian Wilson





Food


Food, food, and more food. The kids will want snacks at 9am, after just having breakfast, they’ll want something good and tasty for lunch, and they’ll want something even better for dinner. I find that we go through much more food during the summer, and yes, obviously it’s because they’re at home for all three meals but it’s also because they eat more too. And it’s not just about the amount of food they’re eating but the type of food too. There’s only so many packs of crisps they can eat, and you closely watch the number of sweets they eat. Trying to get them to eat fruit is another battle in itself, but one you try to fight occasionally.


Cinnamon rolls and pain au chocolate laid out on a wooden table. Breakfast for the family.



Boredom


Boredom is an inevitable part of the summer holidays unfortunately. There will come a time when your children get bored. They’ll have played their games, watched movies, had days out, weekends away, played with friends, and then finally they’ve come to the end of their list and they’re not quite sure what to do with themselves. That’s when the bickering and fighting start - with each other. They seem to turn on one another and think that fighting is a way to entertain themselves - and you have to be referee!





Summer is the annual permission slip to be lazy. To do nothing and have it count for something. To lie in the grass and count the stars. To sit on a branch and study the clouds. 

Regina Brett




The kids behaviour


Towards the end of the holidays, when they’ve been out of routine for a while and have had far too much time to themselves the kids’ behaviour takes a nose dive. My two do not do well without routine, eventually their behaviour gets bad and I have to make rules to ensure they get it in check. I know it’s the lack of routine that is messing with them but I also know they are well aware how to behave and are choosing not to. It’s times like this when I make them go to bed earlier than usual so they can get used to a routine again, or I say we’re having a “normal day” at home. It’s not easy when their behaviour goes bad, when they decide they’ve had enough of everything and just want to play up. It gets everyone in a bad mood and change a good day into a terrible one.


Boys fight while waiting in line for a monorail at Chester Zoo.



Back to school


Finally, school is on the horizon - but during the week before they go back you have a load of new battles to fight. Like getting them back into a proper routine, getting their school things ready for a new year, and preparing yourself for making packed lunches every day again. 


The summer battles of Mum - do you fight too?


To me though those last three words, “back to school”, are magical. After six weeks of fighting battles with the kids at home I’m finally ready to hand them back to the teachers and get my peace and quiet back during the day. 

What summer battles do you fight?


If you enjoyed reading this post why not check out The Battles of Mum, or if you're done fighting battles for the day you could read Why it's awesome being a mum to tweens/teens.

I'd love to hear how you cope with fighting summer battles - come connect with me over on Facebook and we can chat!

I'm here to celebrate your wins so when you win one of your battles let me know and join my #MumWinning Revolution!

The best music in Walt Disney World and where to hear it

Not only is Walt Disney World full of your favourite characters and rides to keep you screaming or entertained there is also wonderful music to hear wherever you go. The music becomes a part of your holiday as much as the rides and if you ever hear the music when you’re not in WDW you’re instantly transported back. Some of my favourite music isn't even in a ride, and below I'm listing some of the best music in Walt Disney World, and where you can hear it.



Epcot


The ambience music in Epcot is brilliant. The Hubby and I sing it (or hum it) all the time when we're at home and it makes us smile every time. Walking around Epcot, near the fountains, and hearing that music brightens my day. It brings back memories of previous visits, it makes me remember how Hubby and I laugh together at home, and best of all when I'm hearing it for real it means I'm in Epcot! But that’s not the only brilliant music to be heard in Epcot - we’re just getting started.


The fountains in Epcot, Walt Disney World.




Journey into Imagination with Figment


The song played in the Journey into Imagination ride transports me back to when my boys were very young. Both of them know all the words to the song and have for many years. They always sing along when we go on the ride and it helps me remember when they were babies and loved that little purple dragon. I will be so sad if they ever get rid of Journey into Imagination because it's become a wonderful, magical place for me - it captures the feelings I had when my boys were young.


Journey into Imagination in Epcot, Walt Disney World has some of the best music.




Gran Fiesta Tour Starring The Three Caballeros


For years now the boat ride in Mexico has been a place my boys come alive. The song, sung in part by Donald Duck, is one they sing along to and get very animated when doing so. Even now, with a 9 year old and a 14 year old, both my boys sing along. I think the Three Caballeros is their favourite song from Walt Disney World, and it’s one we have on an album we downloaded because we love the Walt Disney World music so much!





Music is the divine way to tell beautiful, poetic things to the heart.

Pablo Casals





Soarin’


I loved the old music on the Soarin’ ride and I’m hoping they’ve included it in the updated version. Whenever we're listening to our favourite Disney music album Four Parks, One World, and the Soarin' music comes on it's like a video starts playing in my mind and I remember the entire ride. Flying over the sea, smelling oranges as you fly over the groves, it's amazing.



British Revolution


One of my favourite forms of evening entertainment, British Revolution play music live in the UK pavilion. The best bit though is that if you're of a certain age you'll know all the songs and can sing along, and even dance (!) while enjoying the wonderful fish and chips from the Yorkshire Fish Shop.





Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent. 

Victor Hugo




Magic Kingdom Good Morning Show


Just before the park opens Mickey and the gang arrive on the train but not before the people of Main Street put on a show just for you. They sing good morning and dance and wave while you smile at them all. It’s a brilliant way to start the day and it never fails to make me smile.


Magic Kingdom, just outside the entrance, in Walt Disney World.



Haunted Mansion


The music in the Haunted Mansion is brilliant, and it's another one my boys enjoy singing along to. Stepping onto that ride the music starts and my boys immediately smile, yell "yay!", and start singing. It's an amazing feeling to see your children enjoy the music as well as the ride, especially when they're both at that teenage/tweenage stages. I love the song and always look forward to seeing the singing heads towards the end of the ride. 


Haunted Mansion, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World



Hollywood Studios - Fantasmic!


Just before we went on holiday a few months ago I heard the music for Fantasmic and that video in my head started playing again. If you've ever seen Fantasmic you'll know what I mean when I say I saw Mickey dancing and waving his arms around (all in my head) and remembered every part of the show as the music continued. If you have never seen Fantasmic you really should - it is one of the best entertainment shows in Walt Disney World!


Want to know where to hear the best music in Walt Disney World - here it is!


If I was to list all my favourite songs and music in this post it would be EPIC so I'm going to leave it there. Needless to say it isn't all about the rides in Walt Disney World - the music makes it too!

What's your favourite music in Walt Disney World?


If you enjoyed reading this post you might also like What I love most about Walt Disney World, and if you're planning a holiday do check out Things to know before visiting Walt Disney World.

I'd love to hear what your favourite music is so do stop by Facebook and let me know!

And if you're a mum wanting to connect with other stay-at-home mums do join my #MumWinning Revolution where I celebrate your wins!

How to get time for yourself during summer

The summer is the most trying time for us stay-at-home mums because there’s no escape from our kids. We rarely get time to ourselves during the school holidays and when you’re used to having time to do the things you enjoy (while they're at school), that can be a huge deal. Getting some time away from the kids is so important, even if it’s just in an evening when they're in bed.



No guilt


Banish the guilt straight away. You are allowed to want time alone. You are allowed to feel smothered. You are allowed to want to get away. There's only so much time we can spend with our kids and not feel like we want to pull our hair out. And don't get me wrong - I love my boys, I really do, but six whole weeks together when they're at home every hour of every day is a bit much. 


A woman stands on a beach at sunrise with her arms in the air.


When the boys are bickering constantly, when they just won’t leave each other alone and all I can hear is “muuuuummmmm!” I just want to hide in my bedroom and pretend I’m not there. Why don’t they ever call their dad?

Now, I know how difficult, and rare, it is to get time to yourself during school holidays. But it’s still important that you try.


Tell your partner you’re going in the shower and are NOT TO BE DISTURBED. You can do that you know! They can take care of the kids while you enjoy a long, hot (or cool depending on the weather!), shower. Have some real time focussing on yourself.





We need solitude, because when we're alone, we're free from obligations, we don't need to put on a show, and we can hear our own thoughts.


Tamil Ansary - West of Kabul, East of New York: An Afghan American Story






Get up early


During the summer months my boys find the uncanny ability to get up early - they get up and go straight on their games. Which means that if I want to be up before everyone else I have to get up even earlier than usual. But this is one of the tactics I use to get some time for myself during the holidays. 

When everyone else is still in bed, the house is peaceful, and tidy (hopefully - but unlikely) and you can drink a hot coffee before the chaos starts again when the kids get up. I always enjoy having a coffee when the house is quiet - it is THE BEST time in the day.



Go to the supermarket alone


In the summer the kids will thank you for not taking them with you and you get to have a little time to yourself - even if you are doing a food shop. For me, the short drive from our house to the supermarket (about 1.5 miles) is enough to make me feel a little better. The car is quiet and peaceful, and that’s all I need.


A woman leans out of a car window and reaches out her arm. The wind is blowing her hair behind her.


While I'm at the supermarket I can think about the things we need for the week without having my thoughts constantly interrupted and that means I'm less likely to forget anything. When I do my shopping I am in a world of my own, yes I think about the things I need but I kind of ignore everyone else in the supermarket and just get my shopping done. 



Read a book


Reading is a good escape - you get to enter someone else’s life and watch the chaos descend (and realise it’s not just you that has to deal with chaos!). You get to leave your own life for a little while and engulf yourself in a story. It lets your brain chill out a little, calms you before bed, and is a great way to induce sleep! 

I love reading before going to sleep at night, it helps my brain calm down after a busy day. 



Visit the Spa


Booking in a spa day during the summer sounds like fantasy doesn't it? Believe me I know. But if you can sneak one in it will do you the world of good.

Someone else looking after the kids for a whole day while you get other people to look after you. No cooking lunch. No picking up after the kids. Just you, a great book, and the peaceful spa. Heavenly huh?


A woman is laid on a massage bed with her eyes closed. A man is massaging her back.


I love Eden Hall in Newark is my favourite place to visit when I get a spa day, I've been numerous times and always go back. It's my peaceful place, my getaway. I love the lunch there, a 3 course meal just for me and I don't need to do any cooking OR washing up afterwards. It's brilliant. Add to that a room that's just for sleeping (or reading) and a lovely pool for swimming and I'm one happy lady. I don't think I've ever left there feeling anything but relaxed and refreshed.





It is hard to love yourself if you never spend time with yourself.
'Alone Time' is necessary.


Izey Victoria Odiase



I know that getting any time for yourself during the summer is nearly impossible but you do need to put in the effort to make sure you do. We all need time for ourselves and just because you're a stay-at-home mum and it's the school holidays doesn't mean your time alone should be sacrificed. Just as you put in effort to plan excellent days for your kids put that same effort into planning something for yourself too!


How to get time for yourself during summer - it's not easy but can be done.

How do you plan to get me time during summer?



Seeing as we're on the subject here's Why it's important to have 10 minutes to yourself, or if you're looking for ways to cope through the summer with your kids at home try reading How to cope through the summer holidays.

I'm always glad to hear from people so why not stop by Facebook and let me know what you're up to this summer - how are you spending time on YOU?

And if you want to start celebrating your wins join me in my #MumWinning Revolution.

How to avoid the crowds in Walt Disney World

The crowds in Walt Disney World can be bad, no matter when you go there are going to be people around but during the summer months, particularly the early part of summer (July - Mid August) it’s very crowded. But just because it's crowded doesn't mean you have to be part of the crowd - with these simple tips you can avoid the crowds!



Pay attention


The key to avoiding crowds and even getting to rides sooner is paying attention. It might sound like a silly thing to say but look around, pay attention to what is going on and act on the information you have. For example, at bag check near the entrance to every park they have lines. The line that moves the quickest is the one you want to be in. Take a minute to scan the area and decide on the right line to join. The quicker you get into the park the quicker you can get to the rides. 


Norway pavilion, almost empty, in World Showcase at Epcot, Walt Disney World.


The same goes for the actual entrance to the park, if you’re there at opening time there will always be a Cast Member about to open another queue. Keep your eyes peeled and be ready to swap lines if necessary!



Go in the opposite direction


When you enter the park if you see the majority of the crowd heading in one direction - go the other way. When we go to Magic Kingdom the boys get to ride Space Mountain more than once because they don’t follow the crowd. They know which rides they want to go on and Space Mountain is usually one of them! At Epcot most people tend to head straight to Test Track, whereas we head towards Soarin’. By going in the opposite direction you avoid the crowds and get to ride rides sooner than others!


Italy pavilion in World Showcase at Epcot, Walt Disney World.



See attractions almost empty


By using the tactic above you can get onto rides and attractions before anyone else. The thing I love most about being somewhere the crowds aren’t are the amazing photos I get to take because the place is almost empty. I have had times where I’ve been able to snap a photo of the Italy pavilion with no one else in the photo because we got there early enough. Even in Magic Kingdom, in an area I thought was always busy I’ve been able to get photos without anyone in them! 



Be the first into an area


I’m using World Showcase as an example because I love it and always like being there early. The boys love it when we get there early because they can do their pin trading with Cast Members in the country pavilions and usually get some of the best pins! They get to interact with the cheerful Cast Members and we leave smiling because we’ve avoided the crowds.


The America pavilion in World Showcase, Epcot, Walt Disney World with no crowds
The World Showcase is almost empty when it opens.



Use Fastpass+


Fastpass+ is basically the queue jumping service. You can prebook a time slot for you to return to a particular ride and go on without much of a wait. Sometimes you’ll find that there’s a short queue in the Fastpass line but it’s not usually very long. If you’re staying on property you can book your Fastpasses 60 days before the day you arrive, and for the entire length of your stay (or about 2 weeks). Before our trip this summer we booked lots of Fastpasses and planned our entire trip to Walt Disney World because we knew that was the easiest way of guaranteeing avoiding the crowds.



Why it’s good to avoid the crowds


When you’re an introvert like me avoiding crowds becomes kind of a hobby. I don’t like being around lots of other people. You may wonder why on earth I would choose to go to Walt Disney World during the summer if I don’t like crowds but that’s when it’s best too (in our opinion). We love visiting in the summer and we’ve learned ways to avoid the crowds during our many trips.


A queue of people wait in line to go on Astro Orbiter in Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World
The queue for Astro Orbiter, growing while we ride the Peoplemover!


More often than not we will walk in the opposite direction to most other people choosing to go further into the parks before heading to a ride queue rather than joining the first queue we come to. This is most obvious when you enter Epcot first thing in a morning. You’ll notice that the first ride you come to, Spaceship Earth, will have a long queue almost immediately. People join the queue as soon as they enter Epcot and the queue ends up long. But if you wait until later in the day, perhaps when you’re heading out of the park towards the afternoon you’ll see that there’s almost NO QUEUE for Spaceship Earth. Many times we’ve gone onto Spaceship Earth as we were leaving the park - with no wait! And the same goes for other parks too. 



Visit later in summer


If you can visit towards the end of the summer - towards the end of August. This is when the American children go back to school and the crowds are a lot smaller. We have noticed queues have shorter wait times and there’s a lot more breathing space towards the end of our holiday. It’s much easier to do the things you like or get on the rides you prefer when there aren’t as many people about.


How to avoid the crowds in Walt Disney World


Seeing crowds, and being part of them, is inevitable in Walt Disney World during the summer months but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a magical time. By avoiding the crowds when you can and booking fast passes to beat the lines you’re sure to have a wonderful time.


Do you try to avoid the crowds when in Walt Disney World?


If you're thinking of booking a holiday to Walt Disney World but haven't done so yet you should read Why you should visit Walt Disney World, and once you've read that check out How to make your trip to Walt Disney World more magical.

I'd love to hear about your experiences of Walt Disney World, come connect with me over on Facebook.

And if you're a Mum/Mom sick of fighting those mum battles why not start winning? Join my #MumWinning Revolution!

Simple ways to enjoy the summer

The summer can end up being one of the most expensive times of the year, with holidays, days out, and weekends away, when you check your bank balance after the kids go back to school it can be quite a shock. That's why focussing on simple ways to enjoy the summer can sometimes be the best bet. Not everyone has the time, the funds, or the inclination to arrange days out, or weekends away during the summer holidays. But that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the summer just as much as those who do. 




Splash away!


When the sun is shining it’s great to get the paddling pool out in the garden and just let the kids play. It doesn’t matter what age they are, they’ll always enjoy a pool. My two love getting in the pool and playing around splashing each other. Yes, sometimes it ends in complaints and bickering but there is definitely fun had too.


Boys play in a swimming pool in the sun, a white chair is in the background.


Having the pool out can help them stay cool when it's too hot but it also distracts them from the fact that they're actually still at home. They get to have fun, take their toys outside, even enjoy time with their siblings (at least some of the time) and you don't have to leave home!




Water guns and water fights


Back when I was a girl we used to have epic water fights. We used water guns, water balloons, even entire buckets of water that we threw all over each other. It was fun. It made a mess, but it was fun.





The most important thing in the world is family and love. 

John Wooden





My boys like water guns too, especially when they can soak me or the Hubby. So sometimes we do just that, we let them play. We get wet (sometimes soaked) but we also get to soak the kids too - and we all laugh together. 



Learn in the garden


For younger children you can take them into the garden to learn. Take a magnifying glass with you and you can show them all the small creatures they can find as well as the interesting plants. Teach them about how things grow, and how we can help them grow. 


A garden waiting for kids to explore as a simple way to enjoy the summer.


For older children you could talk about photosynthesis (although you might have to do research first, like me) or how different countries have different animals in their gardens. BP loves to talk about how there are killer animals in Australia and how the UK is a lot more safe when it comes to wild animals. 





Walking is the best possible exercise. Habituate yourself to walk very far. 

Thomas Jefferson





Walking


Now you know I like walking right? Why not take the kids for a walk. It’s amazing the difference you can see in your children when you get them away from all the tech and get them walking in nature. Whether it’s along a canal, in a local park, or just along the road nearby, walking gets you outdoors breathing fresh air and taking in the sunshine (if there is any!).







Camp - in the garden


Don’t fancy camping when you’re not at home? 

Put the tent up in the garden and let the kids play. We’ve done this a few times and the kids thought it was great. They sat in the tent all day, they played on their iPads and read books, but they thought it was brilliant. They even had a little picnic in there too. It was like a little holiday for them - and we didn’t even leave home!


Here's a few simple ways to enjoy the summer without spending a fortune.



You don't have to spend a fortune to let your kids have a wonderful summer. Stay at home and try out a few of these things to keep your summer busy, but less costly!

What simple things do you do during the summer?


If you like this post you might enjoy reading It's the simple things and if you're looking for more ideas to keep you busy this summer check out What we did during the holidays.

I'd love to hear how you use the simple things in life to entertain your children, head over to Facebook to let me know.

And if you're a mum let me know how you've been winning by joining my #MumWinning Revolution - I can't wait to hear how you've rocked it this summer!

How to cope with Florida heat when visiting Walt Disney World

It has been a hot summer in the UK this year, people walking around in shorts and t-shirts, red skin wherever you look, and every single person you speak to is complaining about the heat. But even despite the hot weather there's still a big difference between UK hot, and Florida hot. Florida is like no where else I've ever been, mainly because it's not just heat from the sun but humidity too. After many years visiting Orlando we've come up with a few tips on how to cope with the heat when visiting Walt Disney World.



Don't take a big backpack if you can help it


For people from the UK travelling to Walt Disney World they’re not thinking about what they should carry around in the parks all day - or at least we don’t. I don’t want to have to carry around a big backpack full of things that’s going to make my back sweat and drag me down when the heat gets too much. For me it’s about travelling light - making my day in the parks as light as possible. I take a bumbag (fanny pack in America) and fill it with essentials. Everything else we need we get in the parks during the day.





We are not trying to entertain the critics. I'll take my chances with the public.

Walt Disney






What are you wearing?


Forget style - think comfort. For a long time I was preoccupied with looking good rather than feeling good when in the parks. I wore uncomfortable shoes that gave me blisters and clothes that I was pulling and tugging at throughout the day. These days I’m a tee, shorts, and trainers gal. My boys prefer sandals to trainers but still it's shorts and tees all around. If I can get some comfortable sandals I’ll go for that, but with foot pain I have to stick to trainers these days. 


Morgan Prince wearing blue shorts and a pink t-shirt in Walt Disney World to cope with the heat.



Water - drink AND play!


Drink


First of all stay hydrated. You'll find yourself getting a lot more thirsty a lot more often when you’re in the parks. There are plenty of free water fountains around the parks, there are drinks carts and shops for you to buy drinks too. With the Disney Dining plan you get two snacks (or drinks) per day per visitor and you’ll definitely use those plus some. Snacks are the thing we always get through because we’re always buying drinks. You finish a drink, walk about 10 yards, and are ready for another drink - and that's no exaggeration. You definitely want to drink plenty.


Two cocktails sit on a white tablecloth in Contemporary Resort Walt Disney World



Play!


When we’re at home I don’t really let the boys play in water. I don’t know why, I’m so bothered about them getting wet and not being able to dry off that I don’t let them. But I have learned that when in Florida you need to let that reservation go. Even if your children get wet, they’ll be dry in no time. There is absolutely no problem with them playing in the water and there are plenty of fountains around the parks to have fun in - so let them! They will think it’s brilliant and will name you Super Cool Mum for letting them do something you usually say no to!




Air con baby!


Unlike back in the UK there is EPIC air conditioning in all indoor places. Shops, hotels, shows, and rides, all have air conditioning. We use that as a way to stay cool during our days in the parks. If we’re walking along Main Street for example and it’s a hot day we’ll dip into all of the shops on our way along the street, that way we’re not walking the whole way in the sun and we get to stay cool for a little while longer.


Entering Tomorrowland in Magic Kingdom Walt Disney World.


The shade helps a little, but if you’ve ever been to Florida before you’ll know it can get pretty humid, so a lot of the time it’s not just the heat that’s bad, but the humidity too. The shade will not get you away from the humidity. 

I’ve even been known to dip into the toilets, when I didn’t need to go, just to get some of that lovely cool air!





I don't like formal gardens. I like wild nature. It's just the wilderness instinct in me, I guess.

Walt Disney





What time is it Mr Wolf?


In our experience the Florida heat gets bad around lunch time (or DINNER TIME!😂) and can be very bad in the afternoon. The sun is up early and shines most of the morning, building up heat as it does. Which means that from lunch time onwards it is very hot. Sometimes there’s a rain storm in the afternoon and that does alleviate the humidity. We’ve found staying out in the rain is not generally a problem. We watch as the Americans scatter for cover and stare at us as we laugh and dance in the rain. We’ve been enough times to know that the rain will stop soon, and even if it doesn’t it’s not like it’s cold!



Sunscreen



USE IT. As Brits we’re a bit scared of the white stuff, it’s something we tend not to bother with but in Florida you absolutely must use it. As someone who has sensitive skin and burns easily, even in the UK, I learned that I have to wear the highest factor sunscreen I can get my hands on. I would rather not tan than end up with sunburn, it’s just not worth it. 



A view of the France pavilion in Epcot Walt Disney World - not a place to go to avoid the heat in Walt Disney World.


We don’t buy sunscreen at home though - my top tip would be to head to a local store like Walgreens when you arrive in Florida and buy what you need. It’s much cheaper that way and you’re not using up your much-needed suitcase space on sunscreen. Another thing I want to mention is that last time we tried out the sunscreen as a spray and found it a lot easier, and quicker, to use. Rather than it taking 20 minutes to make sure everyone is covered in the cream it can take just 10 minutes to spray everyone and we know we’re sorted. 



Have a shower


At the end of a long day in the parks when you've been in the heat and in and out of shops to soak up that lovely air con, taking a shower can feel amazing. Washing off that sunscreen makes you feel fresher and spending a little time in the hotel room when you don't have to wear the sunscreen is so good. I tend to have a lot of showers when I'm in Florida, and it's not just to escape the kids for a while!


So there you have it, a few tips to help you cope with the Florida heat when visiting Walt Disney World.


Top tips for coping with the heat in Florida when visiting Walt Disney World

Are there any tips you'd add?


If you enjoyed reading this you might like What I love most about Walt Disney World or perhaps you're looking for a little more information about the place in which case you should read Things to know before visiting Walt Disney World.

I love to hear what other people get up to when they're in Orlando so why not stop by Facebook and say hello!

And if you're a mum sick of losing battles during the summer (and the rest of the year!) why not join my #MumWinning Revolution where I celebrate your wins! I'd love to hear what your wins are.

Focus on being real, not perfect

The strive for perfection is never-ending. Insta-perfect family photos, manicured nails, make-up, not a hair out of place - it's easy to feel inadequate and self-conscious when everywhere you look there seem to be perfect mums. For a while now though I've been focussing on being real, not perfect.

Before I became a mum I thought I would be fantastic at it - I'd have school things ready before school started on Monday, I would make packed lunches that were entertaining as well as healthy, and my children would adore me and never play up.


Are you laughing yet?



I'm sure you know my children did play up and while, yes, they adore me they also think I'm evil and hate my guts a lot of the time. The packed lunches haven't been entertaining for a while now, although I'd like to think they're healthy, and as for having school things ready lets just say we haven't quite managed it yet - in 14 years!



via GIPHY


With a mountain of washing to be done, the house looking like it hasn't been cleaned in months, and two boys who go to school every day, parenting, being a mum, is much harder than I thought it was going to be. You see when we're imagining what being a parent is like we imagine the end result, we don't think about all the hard work that goes into getting that result.



The Instagram Effect


If you're feeling inadequate, self-conscious, or even just a little bit down you really need to STAY AWAY FROM INSTAGRAM. It is full of photos of perfectly happy children in gorgeous outfits smiling sweetly for the camera. There are mums dressed in floaty dresses with no stains on them, make up all done, and hair perfect, standing with their smiling children. And there are photos of wonderful looking food that has been cooked by said mum.





Be the Mum you want them to remember






While I know that a lot of work goes into achieving these seemingly perfect photos what they present makes me feel like I'm not good enough. I punish myself for not trying harder, I tell myself I'm rubbish for not wearing my floaty dress and doing my make up in a morning - I mean, what's stopping me?



Stop and think


When I start to attack myself I try to think about why I don't do those things. I make a choice. I don't want to wear make up every day - I don't like the hassle involved in standing in front of the mirror for at least 20 minutes so that I can look a little bit better. My hair has never behaved itself and even though there are some days I absolutely love it, on the other days it is best just swept back into a mum bun or ponytail. These things are my choice, I'd rather live life than mess about trying to make myself look better.


Morgan Prince dressed in a pink dress waiting to go out for a meal. This is focussing on being real, not perfect.


Don't get me wrong, I like to dress up sometimes, but I don't want to do it everyday, it's just not me. What is me is wearing jeans and a t-shirt, my hair either messy waves or swept back, and being here for my boys. I am not perfect - I'm real.



How to be a perfect mum


When I was thinking about writing this post I came across an article on the Express website featuring a list of 40 things to show you're a perfect mum. First of all I don't think that's actually a thing - a perfect mum - because we are all different and parent in our own way. We are the perfect parents for our children. But anyway, back to this list...

A few of the things made me laugh out loud when I read them, like number 10 which read "Has school uniform washed and ironed for Monday morning". Now that certainly isn't me, I'm lucky if I've managed to get their uniform in the washing machine my Sunday afternoon! Luckily I have a quick wash option!

Then there was number 14 - Reads to children every night. This is actually something I used to do with LP when he was younger. Our routine involved me reading a story to him and it was every night for a long time. He enjoyed listening to the stories and talking about them afterwards. I like to think that the reason LP loves to read now is because I read to him when he was younger.





In the end, I am the only one who can give my children a happy mother who loves life.

Janene Wolsey Baadsgaard





Number 30 said "Never runs out of milk or washing up liquid" and I really laughed at this one because I frequently run out of both! Milk is easily done because LP drinks a lot of it, the supermarket is more than a mile away and we don't have a local shop. But there I go making excuses you see. Let's face it, I see we're low on milk and think it can wait until I next to go the supermarket. I don't want to make a special trip just to get milk.

And as for number 38... "Lays the breakfast table the night before" I mean, really? Does anyone really do that? I'm lucky if BP sits in the lounge to eat his toast between dragging himself out of bed and rushing out of the door to catch the bus to school. Setting the table for breakfast would be a big waste of time!


But that's the thing, these lists exist to make us all feel inadequate when what we should be doing is calling them out. You can't tell someone what perfect is when it comes to parenting because every child is different, and so is every parent.



Striving for perfection takes the fun out of everything. You can't enjoy a day out with your family if all you're doing is trying to capture that perfect photo. You can't eat breakfast together if you're busy putting make up on. You can't watch your children grow up from behind a screen.


Three boys climb to the top of a climbing frame. The sky is cloudy behind them.


What you can do is BE THERE. See your children grow as you play with them, talk to them over breakfast (even if it's a rushed discussion over toast), and forget about being perfect. Focus on being real, be in the moment with your children and you will live a much happier life.


Focus on being real, not perfect - it's time to ditch the perfect in live and learn to love who you are now!


How do you tackle the need for perfection?


If you enjoyed reading this post you might enjoy Embrace your stay-at-home mum status! or perhaps you're looking for ways to spend time with your family in which case you should check out Activities that will bring you together as a family.

I'd love to hear what you've been up to during the summer holidays and how you've been staying real - let me know over on Facebook!

And if you're sick of fighting mum battles why not join my #MumWinning Revolution and start winning!