Disney FAQs

We took my daughter to Disney for the first time when she was 6 months old.

Five years later, we’ve been around. We’re Annual Passholders so we can go anytime, anywhere.

I’m going to go through some of the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for Disney!

Parks

There are 4 parks that make up Walt Disney World in Orlando (as opposed to Disneyland, which is in California).

  1. Magic Kingdom
  2. Epcot
  3. Hollywood Studios
  4. Animal Kingdom

Plus 2 waterparks, Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon.

Where to eat?  

There are several restaurants in each of the 4 parks. Character Meals (meals where you can meet characters, are marked with a *) are also available. Here are some of the most popular:

Magic Kingdom:

  1. *Cinderella’s Royal Table- located inside Cinderella’s Castle. Meet the princesses.
  2. Tony’s Town Square Restaurant- Italian fare based on Lady and the Tramp (no character meet-n-greets)
  3. *Be Our Guest- French fare, including alcohol for dinner, in the Beast’s Castle. Meet the Beast at the end of dinner (Belle does not appear). Serves breakfast, lunch and dinner.
  4. The Plaza- Club sandwiches, salads, hamburgers, plus milkshakes! No characters.
  5. Casey’s Corner- Hot Dogs
  6. *The Crystal Palace- Buffet includes kids favorites like Mac and Cheese, pizza, etc. Characters here are Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, Eeyore and Piglet.
  7. Jungle Navigation Skipper Canteen- only place other than Be Our Guest to get alcohol in the Magic Kingdom! Based on the Jungle Cruise ride.
  8. Liberty Tree Tavern- We had Thanksgiving dinner here last year and it was AMAZING! Typical Thanksgiving and New England fare, served family-style. We had the Toffee Cake for dessert. OMG.0C99E717-45BD-4167-BCDA-8EBDC89B6D06.jpeg
  9. The Diamond Horseshoe- family-style American/ BBQ includes salad, plate ‘o’ meat, Mac and Cheese, corn and baked beans. And dessert.
  10. Pinnochio Village Haus- This is where we usually end up if we have no reservations. It’s pizza for the kiddos or Mac and Cheese, flatbreads & salads for the adults.

Epcot:

  1. *Ashkerus- in Norway, near Frozen. Meet the Princesses. Breakfast and dinner. My husband ate his weight in Lox when we went for breakfast.
  2. Le Cellier- Canada. Hubby and I had a date night here and they cut his steak for him!

Hollywood Studios:

  1. Brown Derby-We’ve eaten here a couple of times. It seems really fancy, but is very kid-friendly. I’ve had the Cobb salad, it’s delicious!
  2. *Hollywood & Vine- Buffett-style. We’ve had a Minnie Mouse Holiday-themed dinner here. During breakfast, Disney Junior characters are here.

Animal Kingdom:

  1. Yak & Yeti- We are Landry’s Club members, so this card lets us basically “cut” in line at this restaurant. It’s pan-Asian food!
  2. *Tusker House- African buffet. Characters during breakfast.
  3. Rainforest Cafe- Also a part of the Landry’s Club, so skip the line! (Seriously, if you go to Disney a lot, get this card)

Outside of the Parks 

  1. Tratorria Al Forno- Located at Disney’s Boardwalk. Meet Ariel and Rapunzel, along with Flynn Rider (dreamy) and Prince Eric for breakfast.D1160DF8-C524-4225-9A5D-907321613337.jpeg
  2. O’hana- Ohana means family. Meet Lilo and Stitch and Mickey Mouse while dining on fresh pineapple bread served family style to your table. Also, yummy juice and Mickey waffles! Located inside Disney’s Polynesian Village.338CA39F-6C36-4BAC-9EE1-EEDBB35C809E
  3. 1900 Park Fare- Located in the Grand Floridian meet Cinderella, Lady Tremaine, Anastasia and Driscella and Prince Charming while feasting on a buffet featuring kids favorite as well as a carving station.
  4. Chef Mickey’s- meet the Fab Five- Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Pluto & Goofy inside the Contemporary Resort during a buffet-style dinner.

Disney Springs 

More dining! And also, shopping 😉 4DC062F8-4A28-4758-BEE9-B535CAA4DCEF.jpeg

  1. Rainforest Cafe- dine in a rainforest. Skip the line with Landry’s card.
  2. T-Rex Cafe- same as Rainforest, but with dinosaurs! Ask for the ice room if it’s available.
  3. Morimoto Asia
  4. Raglan Road- Irish dancers provide entertainment all night long and invite littles up on stage to dance! Whiskey on tap. Bangers & Mash. Fish & Chips. Need I say more?! My husband’s favorite place!
  5. The LEGO Store- enough said.
  6. Ghiradelli- chocolate!
  7. Amorette’s Patesserie- more chocolate! Plus, coffee! YUM. We went here for my birthday and got a Mickey Mouse.63F0AFD2-45E5-40E2-813F-6D1B1E776CA5.jpeg
  8. I have been DYING to go on the Hot Air Balloon ride at Disney Springs, the Aerophile!
  9. The Art of Shaving- if you have a hubby, take him here! They do hot shaves for men!
  10. Basin- Bath bombs!
  11. Bibbidi Bobbity Boutique- same princess stuff, no park ticket required.

Fast Passes

Magic Kingdom:

  1. Seven Dwarfs Mine Train- if you can get this, GRAB IT. It’s almost always 120+ minute long wait. 38″ to ride.143F9DD1-F08F-4894-ACBC-B9D7DD746BBF.jpeg
  2. “The Mountains”
    1. Space 44″
    2. Splash 40″
    3. Big Thunder 40″
  3. Peter Pan (any height)
  4. Pirates of the Caribbean (any height)
  5. Mickey Mouse
  6. Princesses- Tiana & Rapunzel. Cinderella & Elena.

Epcot:

  1. Test Track 40″
  2. Soarin’ 40″
  3. Frozen Ever After (any height)

Hollywood Studios:

tbh, this is our least favorite park (until Toy Story land opens in June!). It’s A LOT of Star Wars and we have two girls and one of them is afraid of Storm Troopers, sooooo….

  1. Toy Story Mania (any height)
  2. Tower of Terror 40″
  3. Rock N Roller Coaster 48″
  4. Frozen Sing-a-long

Animal Kingdom:

  1. Avatar Flight of Passage (FOP) 44″
  2. Nav’i River
  3. Serengeti Safaris (any height)
  4. Expedition Everest 44″
  5. Meet Mickey & Minnie (in safari gear)
  6. Festival of The Lion King- LOVE this show! Seriously, almost like a Broadway show!

xoxo,

your favorite Disney Mom!

3D1F44E1-1B7E-43FF-8D89-94BF246EE6CE.png

Jennifer Silverstein is a SAHM of two infuriating girls, one husband, one dog, two chickens and a tortoise. She lives on 6 acres in Plant City and her hobbies include: Disney (obvi), hiking & camping, running and gardening. She loves tacos and tea time. Follow along at http://www.growingupsilverstein.com.

94112930-C6BF-4107-94B4-81D8885C06A3.jpeg

Easy Cheesy Enchiladas

Enchiladas is a dish I’ve ALWAYS wanted to make. I always thought they were too hard or wouldn’t taste the way I wanted them to because there are some good authentic Spanish/Mexican restaurants around the Tampa Bay Area.

I finally found a recipe that HITS THE SPOT + we love it 👌🏼 Plus, I sub ground turkey for beef, so it’s *healthy*😬🤭 it also has no artificial colors, flavors or ingredients.

To me, this is the red sauce recipe I’ve been looking for. Combined with cholula + Tabasco chipotle hot sauces and the spices I use: totally is the real deal ✔️

I actually used some ingredients left over from my Simple Sloppy Joes 🤘🏼again, these ingredients you might have on hand. Check out the directions at the bottom of the post. You can use black beans, pinto beans, refried beans or whatever you like! You can also substitute for peppers; use whatever you have on hand.

Let me know how you guys like it, k?!

SnapseedSnapseed - CopySnapseed - Copy (3)Snapseed - Copy (2)img_3285.jpgI forgot to take a picture of the rolling process 🤦🏽‍♀️ cus it was my first time making these and I was focused 🧐 then forgot to take a picture of the final product cus we were hungry and dug right in 🍴FYI, my favorite hot sauces are cholula + Tabasco chipotle 🌶🥫🔥

INGREDIENTS:

  • Flour tortillas
  • El Paso enchilada sauce
  • Hot sauce
  • Ground turkey/ground beef
  • Onion
  • Jalapeños
  • Green bell pepper
  • Tomato
  • Cumin powder
  • Onion powder
  • Garlic powder
  • Oregano 🌿
  • Chipotle powder
  • Cayenne powder
  • Coriander powder
  • Chili powder
  • Black or refried beans
  • Cheddar cheese 🧀
  • Green chilies

Directions:Preheat oven to 350 degrees

  1. Chop vegetables
  2. Brown meat with all seasonings + Worcestershire sauce. Drain set aside.
  3. Soften veggies in same pan, maybe add a little more oil
  4. Add back in the meat, enchilada sauce + black beans bring to boil and simmer for 5-10 minutes.
  5. Now assemble: tortilla, layer of cheese, meat/bean mixture. Roll & place seam side down on buttered 9×13 baking dish.
  6. Top with remaining enchilada sauce + cheddar cheese
  7. Bake uncovered for 25-30 minutes or until cheese is golden brown, melty-ooh gooey 😋🧀

Xoxo

Lisa

If you would like to FRIEND Lisa on FB, click HERE. You can also FOLLOW the natural modern mama on FB, HERE.

Or you can view more foodie blog posts at https://lisathegourmetfoodiemama.wordpress.com.

Thanks for the ❤

Showering when my family is home
A poem

Walking by a mirror I realize

It’s time for a shower!

I call out to my kids, “I’m going in the shower, does anyone need anything?”
No, is echoed through the house
I walk into my sanctuary

my bathroom

and turn the water to hot
Mom! He’s bothering me! Mom!
Can I have my tablet?
I then turn the water off
Sort them out
I call out to my kids, “I’m going in the shower, does anyone need anything?”
The NOs echo again
I quietly close and lock the bathroom door
Water turns hot much quicker this time
Before my foot steps in I hear the call-
MOM? MOM she won’t leave my room! Mom!
I’m hungry!
I step into the shower and drown out the sound
I lather up with shampoo and they call again
MOM! Can you wipe me?
Quickly wrap the towel around my soapy body and run!
Don’t slip!
Can I finish my shower now?
I step back in, no longer a sanctuary but a work place
Need to hurry!

wash my hair as fast as possible
I hear it again
MOM! The little one found the sharpies!
And with that, I’m clean enough.

Valentine’s Day- The unfiltered mom version

By: Nicole Leigh Marcellus

As I sat down to write this blog post, I started to think what could I possibly say about Valentine’s Day? I am probably one of the least mushy gushy lovey dovey people I know. I am the last person that has anything to say on the most Hallmark holiday all about love of the year. So if you are expecting a blog about how I have this wonderful relationship where we can barely stand to be apart, have sex multiple times a day and go on romantic date nights every weekend, stop reading now and find another Valentines Day blog post. This isn’t the one for you.

SMP_8365

Heres the nitty gritty truth of the matter. I write about a lot of things. I am not afraid to get personal. I have never ever written about my husband or my relationship. If I am being honest, I don’t mention him very often. The reason is I am a come as you are kind of girl. I like to be honest. I don’t like to give the appearance that everything is sunshine and rainbows when it’s not. That’s not my jam, guys! Social Media has enough people shoving down your throat that their life is perfect. I refuse to be one of them. That being said, my relationship is far from perfect. It’s not all hearts and stars and rainbows. Because of this I have chosen to stay silent about it. I have choosen to almost pretend like it does not exist, to not be fake. I’m choosing this hallmark holiday to lay it all out on the table.

Our relationship has been through the ringer. The short abbreviated version. My husband and I had an instant connection, dated for a few months, and I got knocked up. While this wasn’t a planned pregnancy, it was very much wanted. Unfortunately, we lost our sweet baby. We still went on to get married as planned, and then had two more children in less than two years. Essentially, in less than three years, we had three children with one that unfortunately is in heaven. We had only month’s of dating under our belt. Now we have a home and two precious girl’s and this loss weighing on our still fresh marriage. On top of that, I went from a stay at home mom at the beginning of last year, to opening my own business, and now I am working at the business full-time. We both have endured our struggles. I don’t feel like it’s my place to share his. I, however, will be blunt and say I definitely suffered from post partum depression, and the loss of our first baby. Pair that with my husband working swing shifts, and be starting a business, and its a recipe for disaster. We have really been in a constant season of survival for years. A relationship cant thrive on survival.

SMP_8349-Edit

My girl’s have gotten a little bit older now, my business is a year old and more established. I am coming out of this season of just surviving. This season where guys if I am being honest we were ships passing in the night. We were roommates, not husband and wife, and definitely not valentines. I went into 2018 realizing something had to give.

I have committed this year to not just surviving but thriving. To not pushing my relationship to the back-burner for my kids, or my business. To realizing that the two people we were 5 years ago when we began our journey are still in their somewhere. To letting go of five years of built resentments of me feeling like he didn’t change enough diaper’s, wipe enough snotty noses, hold my hair back when I was vomiting for months while pregnant, or most importantly appreciate me enough. He’s learning to cope with me forgetting or misplacing half of our life. He’s learning to love the imperfect person I am. He’s learning to take on more of the responsibility at home since I started working at my business full-time. He’s realizing how this mom gig may not be as easy as he thought. We are learning to prioritize each other, and our relationship.We are both realizing that this marriage thing isn’t always easy. We are both learning to find some middle ground, and be more than just roommates.

SMP_8359

Season’s come and go. Babies grow up; hard time’s get easier. What I have taken away from it all is this: Stick with it, keep on keeping on. Don’t throw in the towel as long as there is still love there. This too shall pass. I have changed a million times since I married this man, he has changed as well. That change doesnt have to be a bad thing, as long as we can grow together. I don’t have this whole marriage thing figured out, guys. My relationship still isn’t sunshine and rainbows everyday. As I said, I am probably the worst person to write a Valentines Day blog post. I wanted to do it though, because I know I’m not alone. I know there are other mama’s just like myself with little babies, and toddlers, and even big kids, in the thick of it. I know that they are to knee deep in diapers, laundry, and homework to look up at your husband. I am you, and I am here to tell you: we will be ok. You are not alone! I too have an imperfect realtionship in a social media world where everyone else is getting a dozen roses, diamond necklaces, and love notes. I will be getting the Fresh Market meal deal for a simple dinner at home. There is nothing wrong with that. This is just a season as long as we can remember though at some point we have to stop surviving, and start growing forward. At some point we need to look up at our husband’s even when we are exhausted and feel like we have nothing left in us, and make our realtionship a priority.

I’m Nicole Leigh Marcellus

20171130_034642267_iOS

Photographer, Educator, Blogger, and all around life inspirer, with huge dreams. I’m obsessed with all things farmhouse, chai tea lattes, yoga pants, top knots, and my family.

EveryDay Moms Photographer List

 

Tampa Area Photographers

In today’s photography world there are so many choices. Choices in photographers, choices in types of photography, different editing styles, full-service luxury or DIY digitals with everything in between. The list goes on and on. So how do you choose the right one? Is a documentary photographer right for you, would you rather more of a lifestyle session or maybe a posed portrait session is more your style? OR maybe like 90% of the world you don’t even know there is a difference in all of this! Maybe you don’t care about the label as much as the results!

 

When you start looking for a photographer the number one best place to start (after you have asked your friends, that neighborhood Facebook group and maybe looked through some Instagram hashtags) is by looking at a photographer’s portfolio. Scan through their website, pour through their latest images on FB and IG. Do their images speak to you? Do they make you feel something? Do you look at them and think, wow I want images like that? Does their editing style match your taste and your vision? Really look at their work and ask yourself if it is something you would hang on your wall! Do you just like their pretty pictures or do they make you feel something inside? Do they create art that you would hang on your walls?

 

Next thing to ask yourself do they fit in your budget? Remember that cheaper doesn’t always mean better but we all have a budget to work within. For some that might mean saving money for 6 months to have that dream session, asking the photographer if they accept a payment plan (many will!) or looking elsewhere to find someone that fits. Your photographer understands that everyone has financial constraints, talk to them about what your budget really is or if you really want them, wait and see if they offer a sale!

Ask yourself:

  • Do you want heirloom art to hang on your walls or an album to pass along to future generations?
  • Maybe you want digital images only to put on your computer or make your own prints
  • Maybe you want all of the above?
  • Does your photographer blog their sessions so you can share that with friends and family?
  • If you only want digitals ask yourself why and what you really plan to do with them
  • Do they offer family films as well as photography services?

Knowing these answers will help you narrow down your choices!

Other considerations are does their service match your needs? Are they a full-service provider to help you through each step in the process from a pre-consultation meeting to helping you put prints in your hands or on your walls? Maybe you don’t want that and just need someone who provides you with digital images and let you do the rest of the work.

tampa bay area photographers

Now let’s talk about different types of sessions. Posed Portrait traditional sessions, Lifestyle session or Documentary sessions.

Traditional Sessions

These can be in a studio or on a location. They are typically stiffer, everyone is placed in a certain position, told to look at the camera and smile. Clothes generally are coordinated, makeup artists hired, the background is pretty.

Lifestyle Sessions

These can also be either in a studio or on location, although more typically they are done on location. While everyone is dressed in their coordinated Sunday’s best, the session itself is much more relaxed. There is still a lot of direction usually given by the photographer, but mainly they are gentle cues to elicit warm funny reactions. These often take place in a gorgeous setting, sometimes with props, but not always. They can be more of a hybrid between Traditional and Documentary.

Documentary Sessions

This is all about real life, real moments and very little to no direction. Sessions like this can take place in your home or other places that contain memories for you and your family. They can be centered around a daily activity or just your everyday real life. No special bought coordinating outfits, no cheese, no stand there, do this. These sessions are more about photographing the pieces of your life that matter the most at this point in time (and yes those important moments vary from season to season, that’s what keeps it fun!). Think about a few things happening in your life right now that you would be over the moon to have in a photograph giving you the chance to remember once they no longer happen, that is what these sessions are all about!

Tampa Bay Area Photographers

Below is a list of local photographers that all belong to the EveryDay Mom’s group. They are moms, friends and post funny meme’s. Scroll through the list, look at everyone’s work and see what style really fits your tastes and needs! 

 

Momma Got Soul Photo and Films

http://www.mommagotsoulphotography.com/

Artistic Storyteller and Documentary Family photographer. Telling your family story through beautiful real-life moments.

Families, Day in the Life, Maternity, newborn and events

 

Running Circles Photography

www.runningcirclesphotography.com

Birth and Newborn Photographer

 

Nicole Marcellus Photography

www.nicoleleighmarcellus.com

Families and Weddings

 

Heartstrings Photography

https://www.facebook.com/heartstringsphotosbytiffany/

Families

 

Lokelani Photo

www.facebook.com/lokelaniphoto

Rather than giving you the same posed portraits you’re so familiar with, I’m more interested in capturing the authentic connection between loved ones.

All aspects of Family Photography from the engagement to the wedding, maternity, birth & newborn, and finally the traditional family photos.

 

Clara Aluri Photography

https://www.facebook.com/claraaluriphotography/

Families

 

Precious Memories by Michelle

http://www.preciousmemoriesbymichelle.com/

Newborn through the first year

 

Mama and Crew

www.mamaandcrew.com

Focused on capturing life’s candid moments

Families

 

Sunshine Smiles photography
Www.sunshinesmilesphotography.com

Glamour

 

Lauren McDonald Photography

laurenmcdonaldphotos.com

Newborn, maternity

 

Sweet Novalee Photography

https://sweetnovaleephoto.wordpress.com/

Capturing candid natural light images

Families

 

Sweet Plum Photography and Boudoir

www.sweetplumphotography.com 

www.sweetplumboudoir.com

Specializing in maternity, birth, family, and boudoir. I love making my clients cry (in a good way!) I find the beauty in you and your family and I capture it.

Birth, Families, and Boudoir

 

Andrea Dwyer Photography

Www.andreadwyerphotography.com

Beautiful heirloom portraits and a fabulous experience with personalized session styling

Maternity Newborn through the first year

 

Miranda Love Photography

https://www.facebook.com/Mirandalovephotography/

Maternity, Newborn and children

 

Sheena Marie Photography

https://www.facebook.com/sheenamariephotos/

Maternity, newborn, families

 

Christine Lee Photography
www.christineleephotography.net

Sessions focused on real emotions, genuine smiles, and honest laughter.

Families and Kids

 

Misty Jones 

www.mistyjonesphotograpy.com

Natural light photographer. Sessions are held in a home studio or on location.

Families, Children and couples

 

Kalyn Parrish Photography
Facebook.com/kalynparrishphotography

Newborn, maternity

 

Amber Lynn Photography

www.facebook.com/amberlynnphotography.ambernanton

Family

 

Anna Faiola Productions 

www.annafaiola.com

Photography and video production company

 

Kimberly Smith
http://www.faithfuljoyphotos.com/

Lifestyle, candid photographer

Families

 

Yanira McCall Photography

http://yaniramccall.com/

Specialize in Family, Women, Children, Senior, and Personal Branding/Headshots style Portraits.

 

Ali Shryock Photography
www.alishryockphotography.com

Families, Maternity, Newborn

 

Nadia Lauchman 
Www.nadialauchmanphotography.com

Newborn, maternity and families

 

Rachel Rayne Photography

https://www.rachelraynephotography.com/

Luxury Maternity and Newborn Photography specializing in beach sessions and an

award-winning experience

 

Memories Captured by Kelly 
https://www.facebook.com/memoriescapturedbykelly/

Family

 

Essentia Photography 

www.essentiaphotography.com

Specialize in beach photography,

Wedding, Lifestyle, and Maternity

 

Lindsay Bove Photography
Lbovephotography.com

Lifestyle, maternity, children and family portraits

 

Darlene Barlows Photography

www.darlenebarlowsphotography.com

I want to document the special moments in your life, whether at your wedding or the birth of your first child, but I also want to be there for the ordinary moments.

Wedding, Families, Headshots

 

Abbey Saxton Photography

www.abbeysaxton.com

I would love to document your family just as they are!

Families, Day in the Life, Maternity, newborn and weddings

 

Jennifer Lynne Photography

https://www.facebook.com/JenniferLynneSelf/

Families

 

Dream Portraits by Olaya

https://www.dreamportraitsbyolaya.com/

Maternity, Newborn and Family

 

Tee Lynn Photography

www.facebook.com/teelynnPhotography

Wedding & family photographer

 

Golden Owl Photography

www.fb.com/goldenowlphotography

Child and Family Photographer

 

Amie Brady Photography
www.facebook.com/amiebradyphotography

Family

 

Chelsea Stewart Photography

Facebook.com/chelseastewartphotographer

Maternity, Children, and Families

 

Allison Ward Photography

http://www.allysonwardphoto.com/

Family, Senior, and Head Shots

 

Jessica Cruz Photography
www.jessicacruzphotography.com

If traditional imagery and shot lists are your thing, we might not be the best fit. Your love is one of a kind and your photos should reflect that.

Weddings, family, maternity

 

Digital Myst Photography

www.digitalmystphotography.com

Maternity, Newborn and Family

 

Cherished Moments Photography

http://dustygirl4.wix.com/cherishedmoments

Family and Wedding

 

Nicole Elizabeth Photography & Design

www.facebook.com/NEphotography11

Family, maternity, wedding

 

Mir Salgado Photography

www.mirsalgado.com

With a very Elegant, Emblematic and Artistic style

Wedding & Portrait Photographer

 

J Morgan Images
Www.jmorganimages.com

Family, Portrait, Weddings, and Beauty

 

Marie Crowne Photography

https://www.mariecrowne.com/

Children, families, maternity, engagements, and weddings.

 

Soul Child Photography

facebook.com/Soul-Child-Photography

Engagement, families and children

 

Austyn Lee Photography

facebook.com/austynleephotography

Families

 

 

Make sure when you reach out that you ask lots of questions and tell them you are a fellow EveryDay Moms Member!

 

Mom and Daughter Selfie

The momma behind Momma Got Soul Photo and Films, Tampa Bay Family Photographer. I am a wife. I am a mother. I am an artistic storyteller. I stay up late, try to sleep late, and drink lots of coffee and beer (usually in that order, but not always). I grew up in sunny (which means really hot) central Florida, never go to the beach or Disney, but try to hike in the woods as much as I can. I remember a time when I said I would never photograph people, now that’s all I do. I think it started with wanting to explore the world and capture that to share with people. Now I want to scream to the world that real stuff beats out fake any day of the week!

Just Breath Supermom

supermom

Thank you. Thank you to the mom that wrote something that moved me so much that I was paralyzed with emotion while sitting in my bed, surrounded by laundry, dust bunnies, and a computer that begged for me to do my homework. Thank you for making me realize that I am not alone. That it is “ok” to not be “ok”. That it is ok not be a supermom all-day, every single day. That sometimes letting the kids eat dinner in front of the TV just so I can sit down and breath for one damn second is OK.

You see we moms are pretty hard on ourselves. Call it biology. Call it societal pressure. Call it what you want – but we often hold ourselves to a ridiculously impossible standard. Why? I am certainly not the one who has it all figured out but what I do know is that I thank all the mommy bloggers and mommy posters out there that at some point, have had a rough day, and then have taken that opportunity to make light of it for the rest of us who just mig

SuperMom (1)

ht also be having a rough day.

And to the mom that posted in a mom’s group of 5600 women that today she was just surviving and that it was ok – you freed me from my self-inflicted notion that I suck at this parenting thing just because I feel too overwhelmed to do anything worthy of super-mom status, thank you. Thank you for making me feel, and connecting with not only myself but so many other women than needed to hear your words. Words can do so much. Because of words like hers and the many other women that put it all out there – even on really bad days we can remember that tomorrow is brighter and better than this one bad day. That because I am a mom I can survive this and pick myself up and move forward for not only the ones I love, but for myself.

So moms, let us give ourselves permission. Permission to turn on Micky Mouse Clubhouse so we can read a chapter out of our favorite book. Permission to hide in our bathroom for 5 minutes to paint our long over-do toenails. Permission to do whatever it is that helps us do this mom thing a little better. Some days are awesome – some are not. In those moments when we feel we just cannot do it anymore, remember you are not alone. There are women out there from all walks of life “just breathing” in their closets, bathrooms, and driver’s seat. Go on, and remember to “just breath”, and make tomorrow better.

How your family can Celebrate & Honor Black History Month.

February is African American History month. It is a time when we pay tribute to generations of African Americans who struggled with adversity to secure equal opportunities in America. It is a time when we recognize that although we are all different, we are really all similar, too. There are many ways to celebrate with your family.

• Visit local museums. It’s likely that February’s premier exhibits will focus on the work of African American creators.

• Sit back, relax and listen to some good, classic jazz. Or go to a jazz concert. Enjoy African American music from the past from Duke Ellington, Zora Neale Hurston, Ethel Waters, and Langston Hughes.

• Read a book together or watch a movie about the story of Jackie Robinson, the first African American to play major league baseball.

• Join the celebration. Visit cities and towns that enjoy festive cultural celebrations during this month.

• Talk to your kids about diversity and racism. Ask them if they see it in their school and how they feel about it. What can they do to fight it?

• Study your own family’s history and help them see that we all come from another country and culture.

• Head to the library to check out a few books about African American adventures or biographies.

How do you like YOUR peanut butter?

I’m going to try to paint a picture for you…

Imagine you see a very normal looking, early 20’s girl get out of her car in a Walmart parking lot on Christmas Eve.
Now imagine you saw that she’s parked in a handicapped space. What would be your first thought?
Some old people driving by, thought that there couldn’t possibly be a reason for a young girl to have a handicap plate. PLATE, not tag. PLATE. They, considerably annoyed that they missed out on the front row spot, preceded to yell out the window “OH SHE LOOKS MENTALLY HANDICAPPED TO ME!!”

What they didn’t know, is that young girl almost died months prior. That she could only walk about 5 feet before having a really hard time moving. That she relied on that shopping cart for mobility.
They didn’t know her WHY.
It was none of their business.

Now imagine that same girl out at the Dallas Bull with her best friends. When they wanted to go to the second floor, they had to use the elevator because she couldn’t get up the stairs.
The elevator guards, looking for a reason to make sure they were not just trying to use the elevator, wait for a response. Her friends point to her. Guess what? That was ENOUGH. They rode the elevator. Week after week. While that girl, out at a bar with her friends, was re-learning to walk. What an accomplishment it was to be able to walk up and down those stairs.

What if I told you that girl…. was me.
I tell you my story, to remind you that you literally have NO IDEA what others are going through.
We all need to look at things from different perspectives…..

 

Let’s keep painting.

Now, imagine a mom. That first time mom who has questions, and nobody else she can turn to for answers. This is the reason she is in a MOM GROUP.
She asks a question, and gets completely ATTACKED. I’m going to use the most popular reason for receiving this reaction to a question.

Now, imagine that same mom. She gave birth to beautiful twin babies, and after getting the vitamin K shot, one of those babies had trouble breathing. MAJOR trouble. The on-call pediatrician was called umpteen times that night while that mother, fighting to stay awake, feared for her baby’s life.

YOU’RE PROBABLY ALREADY JUDGING.
That’s what everyone does.

What about when that same mom brought her baby back to the pediatrician several times in between the normal appointments because of issues that are not normal?
What about listening to the pediatrician when they said it was ok to get more shots?

Guess where they ended up? IN THE HOSPITAL. A 2 week old baby. With a reaction to those shots.

That is this mom’s WHY. And it’s none of your business.

 

Another picture…

What about that 5/6/7 year old kid you see being pushed around in a stroller in the mall?
Is your first thought “that kid is a little old to be riding in a stroller…”?
What if that kid has MS, or Palsy and their parents can’t afford a wheelchair?
What if the child is on the spectrum and that is the ONLY way to keep them comforted while their parents still have to go on with life? Maybe the kid just woke up from a nap and refused to walk, but the parent had shit to do.
Again, their WHY. None of your business.

 

What about breastfeeding vs. formula?

What about the bedsharers vs. cio?

What about the fast food vs. organic everything?

My point is, everyone is different. Some people need to learn how to be adults.
Let’s realize that our children are watching and learning EVERYTHING we do.

So to YOU, Judgy Mcjudgerson. Yes, you. The one who comments on everything. Turns anything into an argument because someone else has a different way. A differing opinion.

I have a challenge for you.
Take a look in the mirror. Find your WHY.
Do you not get any attention at home? Do you feel like nobody values your opinion? Do you lack adult interaction? Did you have a bad childhood? Do you not know how to make friends?
What does your constant need to undermine others have to do with your life? Seriously.

Find your WHY. Figure it out, for yourself and your kids.

 

And when you find it, guess what?

It’s none of MY business.

 

Becky Phillips

stay at home mom of 2

1731A1BA-0CAA-4763-968A-4450E3E76194

You can find more of my posts on Workingwifemommalife.wordpress.com

Confessions of an Accounting Wife

accountant-accounting-adviser-advisor-159804.jpeg

My husband works… a lot. When I say a lot, I mean 80+ hour weeks are the norm in our house and travel is a frequent occurrence for our family. My husband, whom I will refer as “Mr. Tax” for the purpose of this article is Tax Director for a public accounting firm. What people don’t realize is that public accounting is 365 days a year operation and while there are certain times throughout the year when my husband is less busy, that simply means he is working a 60+ hour week instead of an 80+ hour week. It’s quite different than individual accounting and has much different deadlines and extensions. My husband has always worked in public accounting for as long as I’ve known him and in order for him to progress in his career, I knew there would need to be a lot of sacrifices from both of us. Mr. Tax sacrifices sleep for the most part and I sacrificed my career when we decided I would stay at home with our children. The only members of our family who haven’t sacrificed anything are our children. They’re key players in our family, because we are firm believers that their childhood should never have to suffer as a result of their dad’s career choice.

On average, Mr. Tax arrives home between 6:30-7:30pm during the week. More often than not, we eat dinner together at least 5 nights a week. By 2018 standards, that is more than average, but sitting at the table together every night has always been a priority for us. This gives all five of us time to talk as a family and keeps us grounded. Are the afternoons a little crazy with homework and after school activities? Absolutely. The thing all five of us seem to look forward to the most is gathering at the dinner table to eat dinner and share our days with one another.

Like I mentioned before, our children have never suffered as a result of the long hours and frequent travel. Like most parents, our three children are our top priority. Mr. Tax is fortunate to work for a firm that prides itself on “work/life balance.” The benefits are fantastic and the support the firm provides for its families is incredible. Mr. Tax has missed the occasional parent/teacher conference or doctor appointment, but we prioritize which school activities, doctor appointments and other functions are most important. At the end of the day, they all know they can count on both of us to be there when they need us. They also understand that their daddy works hard to provide for his family and their mommy works hard to make sure the household functions properly. When Mr. Tax is away or if he’s working late at the office, we make it a point to Face Time with him before the girls go to bed. Just because daddy is away or working late, doesn’t mean he doesn’t have time to hear about their day.

Don’t get me wrong; there are some amazing perks to Mr. Tax’s job. For example, last October the two of us took our first, real trip away from the kids to Vegas. It was technically a work trip because Mr. Tax was promoted and spouses were required to attend training sessions along with the employee, but an all expense paid trip to Vegas? Yes, please! It was really great to meet and commiserate with other accounting spouses, as well as gain perspective on new expectations of my husband and possible new expectations of me. Our family also gets to attend a yearly conference hosted by Mr. Tax’s firm at Disney World. During the day, he will teach clients about the latest and greatest in his niche of public accounting while the girls and I live it up at the resort and parks. There is even a family night that includes a big dinner for attendees and their families, complete exclusive Disney character meet and greets and a dessert party on the docks of The Grand Floridian Resort. It’s the little perks like these that make the job a little more bearable.

IMG_1494

Preparation is very important to our family. Each Sunday, the entire family prepares themselves for the week. For my husband and I, this means going over the upcoming week (including if outside childcare is needed for the week) and making sure everything is in place for the week (clean uniforms, groceries, meal planning, after school activities, doctor appointments, etc.). For the girls, this means making sure their rooms are tidy and reviewing their school agendas. When all five of us are organized and prepared for the week, things run smoother. Preparation continues throughout the week in the morning and at night. While setting schedules are important, frequent reminders are helpful in making sure Mr. Tax and I don’t miss anything. We communicate constantly to make sure everything is accounted for (full pun intended). The easiest way for our family to quickly communicate is via texting. The old adage, “if it’s not documented, it didn’t happen” hold true for our family so we prefer to text and email when we are discussing and fine tuning our schedule.

As I write this, I’m enjoying a quite evening at home while my girls sleep peacefully in their beds. Mr. Tax is traveling this week for work and will also be traveling next week for work. Since having children, I have begun to enjoy the solitude during the evenings after the girls go to bed and Mr. Tax is traveling or working late. I pour myself a glass of cheap champagne, catch up on terrible reality TV and unwind after a long day. Of course, this doesn’t occur until everything is prepped for the next day.

Here are some tips that have proven to be helpful for our family in managing Mr. Tax’s work schedule and our busy family schedule:

  1. Prioritize! Make a list of what is most important for your family. By prioritizing it helps everyone communicate what is most/least important.
  2. Keep a calendar! An electronic calendar isn’t my forté so I keep an old fashion, hand written calendar on the wall of our kitchen and my husband adds his work commitments to our calendar.
  3. Face Time and Skype! Absence makes the heart grow fonder, but this certainly does not apply to children. Make it a point to talk and see each other daily.
  4. Communicate! If something important is happening next week, make a point to discuss it as a family so that expectations are clear.
  5. Organization! Prepare for the week the Sunday before and spend time each evening to prepare everyone for the next day.

 

Getting to Know..Taylor Vincent

WHO IS THE SECOND FACE OF EVERYDAY MOMS?

My parentsare amazing!

Last week we went on the journey of getting to know Jessica Cook, one of the two founders of Everyday Moms. Lets get to know the second founder…Taylor Vincent.

26733508_338125323335002_4002329593807878127_n

So, who is Taylor?

Here is a little info, in her own words:

Hey you guys!!! My name is Taylor and I am a mom to two amazing little ladies (11 and 5)..I have been married to my better half for almost 7 yrs and for all those that might not believe in love at first sight because I know I didn’t, it definitely was with him. I have traveled a good bit and seen some pretty amazing places. Both my parents were in the Air Force for 20 yrs so I had the chance to live in Japan and the Azores for several yrs combined until we moved back to Tampa in 1990 where they retired out at MacDill. I officially stopped working about 2 yrs ago when I became a full time stay at home mom where the girls keep me on my toes and VERY busy!  I love hanging with my family and close friends, I love working out with my amazing lady gang , I’m a pretty shy person until you get to know me and then I become the biggest dork ever. I love challenges and things that push me, mud runs and GORUCK events are my me time, my family is my everything, I’m happy when I see other people happy and get so much joy out of seeing people do good and doing things they didn’t think they could do, I believe in being friends with people that other may not want to be friends with because those people turn out to be some of the most amazing people ever, I don’t stay mad long and probably forgive quicker than I should but life is to short for all that. That’s pretty much me in the short form!

• For letting me be your Shipt Shopper•• Shineta •

 

 

Why did she start EM?

Taylor started EM with Jessica because like her she wanted a place where moms could go to ask questions, vent or just feel like they could be their self for a moment and not get judged even though we know the world isn’t perfect and that it might happen. Overall she feels this group is filled with amazing moms who give each other answers, an ear to listen or shoulder to lean on and are there for complete strangers for one reason or another …so in the end Taylor thinks they have succeeded! 

• For letting me be your Shipt Shopper•• Shineta •

 

10 Q and A with Taylor:

1. Who inspires you to be a better person and why?
  • My parents, they make me want to just be a better person everyday just because of the people they are. They are the most giving ( without expecting anything back) loving, caring and hard working people I know. I couldn’t be more proud of or love them more than I am or do.
2. What do you wish you knew more about?
  • If there is other life out there
3. What is something you think everyone should do at least once in their lives?
  • Sky Dive…it’s one of those things that you have to give full control over to someone else or something else. Once you are out that door there is no turning back, so just open your eyes and enjoy!
4. Where is the most interesting place you’ve been?
  • Isle of Man
5. When you are old, what do you think children will ask you to tell stories about?
  • My childhood and theirs
6. What food have you never eaten but would really like to try?
  • Nothing…if I have wanted to try it I did
7. What obstacles would be included in the World’s most amazing obstacle course?
  • Water Slides and Ice Baths ( Boy do they wake you up)
8. What movie quotes do you use on a regular basis?
  • Say I’m a Bird and Is something wrong with YOUR medulla oblongata.
9. where do you see yourself in 10 years?
  • Hopefully a pretty well liked GFI doing what I love and making people see all the amazing things I know they have in them.
10. What TV show character would it be the most fun to change places with for a week?
  •  Penelope Garcia from Criminal Minds because her job is awesome and also to flirt with Derek Morgan

 

TEN THINGS YOU DO NOT KNOW ABOUT TAYLOR:

1) One of my bucket list items is to swim with whale sharks

2) My favorite color is Orange

3) Favorite band (The old stuff) is Metallica

4) Favorite song is One by Metallica

5) I have been sky diving before

6) I suck at Math(some of you know this though)

7) I have 3 tattoos

8) My parents got me flying lessons for my birthday one year and I got to fly a small plane. If I didn’t suck at math I would have loved to keep learning, but way to much math involved.

9) Favorite movies range from Troy and 300 to Grease and Dirty Dancing to Elf and The Notebook.

10) I LOVE LOVE LOVE SLOTHS!!!

 

Hope you enjoying getting to know Taylor. Be on the lookout for our next installment of getting to know you..

Written By: Shineta A.