2018 Christmas Event Guide

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…

Here is your 2018 guide to Christmas Events happening in and around the Tampa Bay Area.

Parades, Lights, Santa, and more!

 


 

ChristmasEventGuide

Please verify all information on events website before attending!

Parades.jpg

prade icon12/8 Pinellas Park Christmas Paradeprade icon

prade icon 12/8 Zephyrhills Christmas Parade

Parades.jpg

christmaslights.jpg 11/10 – 12/31 Wiregrass Symphony in Lights

christmaslights.jpg 11/17 – 12/31 Christmas Town at Busch Gardens

christmaslights.jpg 11/22 – 12/29 Wonderland of Lights

  • When: November 22 – December 29
  • Hours: See website
  • Cost: ONLY $20 per vehicle- through November 21! ONLY $25 – after November 21!
  • Location: 215 Sydney Washer Road, Dover, Florida, 33527
  • More Info: https://thewonderlandoflights.com/Default.asp?

christmaslights.jpg 11/23 – 1/03 Oakdale Christmas House

  • When: November 23 – Jan. 3
  • Hours: 6 pm – 10 pm
  • Cost: FREE
  • Location: 2719 Oakdale Street S., St. Petersburg, Florida
  • More Info: http://www.christmasdisplay.org/

christmaslights.jpg 11/23 – 12/24 Christmas Lane

  • When: November 23 – December 24
  • Hours: 6:00 pm – 10:00 pm
  • Cost:  Tickets are $5 for ages 13 and up, $3 for ages 12 to 4, and free for those 3 and under. Rides are a separate ticket.
  • Location: 2508 W. Oak Ave, Plant City, Florida, 33563
  • More Info: https://christmaslane.com/

christmaslights.jpg 11/23 – 12/30 Holiday Lights at the Florida Botanical Gardens

christmaslights.jpg 11/28 Centro Ybor Tree Lighting

christmaslights.jpg  11/30 Grinchmas and Christmas Festival

christmaslights.jpg 11/30 Tampa Tree Lighting

christmaslights.jpg 12/1 – 12/31 LIghts of Lake Park Estate

  • When: Dec. 1 to Dec. 31
  • Hours: 6 pm – 10 pm
  • Cost: FREE but donations are appreciated
  • Location: 102nd Ave & 109 Ave N, Seminole, FL, 33777
  • More Info: http://lightsoflakepark.com/

Parades.jpg

satnaicon.jpg11/10 – 12/31 Christmas Card Lane 

satnaicon.jpg11/16 – 1/5 Winter Village at Curtis Hixon Park

  • When: November 16 – January 5
  • Hours: See website for hours
  • Cost: Winter Village is free to attend. Additional cost for special events, food/beverages, ice skating, Winter Village Express, Shopping etc
  • Location: 600 N. Ashley Drive, Tampa, Florida, 33602
  • More Info: http://www.wintervillagetampa.com/

satnaicon.jpg11/17 – 1/6 Christmas at Gaylord Palms and Ice Attraction

satnaicon.jpg11/17 – 12/16 Tampa Theatre Winter Classics

  • When: Select Fridays and Saturdays
  • Hours: See Website
  • Cost: free
  • Location: 600 N. Ashley Drive, Tampa, Florida, 33602
  • More Info: http://www.wintervillagetampa.com/
  • Movie Lineup: Friday, Nov. 17 – White Christmas
    Saturday, Nov. 18 – Home Alone
    Friday, Nov. 24 – Miracle on 34th Street
    Saturday, Nov. 25 – A Christmas Story
    Friday, Dec. 1 – The Polar Express
    Friday, Dec. 15 – Elf
    Saturday, Dec. 16 – It’s a Wonderful Life

satnaicon.jpg 11/17 – 12/31 Christmas Town at Busch Gardens

satnaicon.jpg11/17 -12/31 SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration

satnaicon.jpg 11/22 – 12/29 Wonderland of Lights

  • When: November 22 – December 29
  • Hours: See website
  • Cost: ONLY $20 per vehicle- through November 21! ONLY $25 – after November 21!
  • Location: 215 Sydney Washer Road, Dover, Florida, 33527
  • More Info: https://thewonderlandoflights.com/Default.asp?

satnaicon.jpg 11/23 – 12/24 Christmas Lane

  • When: November 23 – December 24
  • Hours: 6:00 pm – 10:00 pm
  • Cost:  Tickets are $5 for ages 13 and up, $3 for ages 12 to 4, and free for those 3 and under. Rides are a separate ticket.
  • Location: 2508 W. Oak Ave, Plant City, Florida, 33563
  • More Info: https://christmaslane.com/

satnaicon.jpg 11/24 – 12/30 Christmas in the Wild

 

From all of us here at Everyday Moms, we wish you and your family and Happy and Safe Holiday!

Please verify all information before attending!
Written By: Shineta A

CBD & Motherhood

Motherhood is hard.

I used to be an overly social, happy person before kids. Then the anxiousness, irritability, and an overwhelming sensation took over. Maybe it was lack of sleep, maybe it was hormones, maybe it was because my munchkins would never give me 5 seconds to eat a meal.

Who knows!

I just know that after birthing my two chaotic boys, I needed help. I was drowning in all of these negative emotions, and I didn’t feel like myself anymore. I had been on several medications for my mental stability, but nothing seemed to make things better without giving me added issues. This is when I searched for more natural alternatives.

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A friend of mine introduced me to CBD oil, a hemp extract with all the medicinal benefits of cannabis but without the high.

I thought to myself “HA! I’ve never done drugs. I don’t want to start now” Turns out, it’s a dietary supplement that is legal in all 50 states. (Who knew? I felt silly).

This was 6 months ago. I want to tell you how it’s changed not only my life, but my family as well.

Two weeks into using full spectrum CBD oil under my tongue twice a day, I felt like a new person. It balanced my moods completely. I no longer felt anxious, overwhelmed, irritable, etc. I could enjoy my kids without screaming at them for no reason. I felt like I could resume social dates with friends without that last minute “something came up” panic text.

Two months after being on the oil, I realized I hadn’t had any pulsating inflammation in my head in awhile. I couldn’t remember the last time I needed an ice pack, or to sit in the dark.

Once I realized how well this helped me, I started everyone else on the oil. My husband suffers some a traumatic experience which causes him irritability and difficulty sleeping. The first night he used the oil, he slept with no body sweats, screaming fits or any tenseness/twitching.  I couldn’t believe the change I saw in him. My son has a difficult time focusing as he fidgets a lot, and is naturally very impulsive. He struggled in Kindergarten last year due to these traits. After finding a serving size that works for him, it drastically helped him focus and control his impulsive reactions. In his words, CBD makes him “good”. My dogs also use CBD oil in their food, and get beef CBD treats at night to help their anxiousness. They love to bark at strangers and other animals, and would occasionally get nervous during storms. When they get CBD, they are completely mellow.

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Overall, this hemp extract has given all of us a better night’s sleep and more energy.  I can’t recommend this enough. I love it so much, I am now an advocate to help others struggling like I was.

Not all CBD oil is going to be created equally though. DO YOUR RESEARCH!
Ask yourself: 
Where was this grown? 
How was it extracted?   
What are the ingredients?
Is it an Isolate or Full Spectrum?

Do they third party test for purity and potency? Am I able to see those results?
Does it come with a money back guarantee?

If you would like to learn more about the product I use, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me via Facebook or Instagram. I absolutely love talking about it.

Corn Mazes, Pumpkin Patches, and Fall Festivals 2018

2018fall

Here are your local and worth the drive listings of corn mazes, pumpkin patches, and fall festivals in and around the Tampa Bay Area.

Enjoy and Happy Fall Y’all!

**Event Guide is updated weekly, so check back often for new events added**

Please Note: Time and price may change, please verify all information with event before attending!

Corn Mazes

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Fox Squirrel Corn Maze

  • When: WEEKENDS ONLY Oct. 6 – Oct 28
  • Hours: 10am – 5pm
  • Location: 3002 Charlie Taylor Rd, Plant City, FL 33565
  • Cost: Adults: $11 + tax (18 & older) Youth: $10 + tax (3 – 17) 2 & Under: FREE (cash only, there is no ATM on site)
  • Website: http://futchentertainment.com/

Scott’s Maze Adventures

  • When: Oct. 6 – Dec. 9, Sat and Sun ONLY
  • Hours: Saturdays, 10 am – 5pm, Sundays 12pm – 5 pm
  • Location: 26216 CR 448A, Mount Dora, Florida, 32757
  • Cost: $12.00 Admission, Kids 3 and under – free
  • Website: longandscottfarms.com

Harvest Holler Corn Maze

  • When: Sept. 21 – Nov. 11
  • Hours: Friday: 4pm – 8pm Saturday: Noon – 8 pm and Sunday Noon – 5 pm
    Monday to Thursday: by reservation only
  • Location: 950 Tavares Rd. Polk City, FL 33686
  • Cost: 2 and under is free, Kids 3-12yrs old $8.50, Adults 13 yrs and up $10.50, Sr Adults (65) and military $8.50, Field Trip rate $8.00
  • Website: .harvestholler.com

Timberline Farm’s Annual Corn Maze and Fall Festival

  • When: Oct. 5 – Nov. 4, Weekends ONLY
  • Hours: Friday 4 pm – 9pm, Saturday 10am –9pm, and Sunday 12 pm – 9pm
  • Location: 3200 Southeast 115th Street, Belleview, Florida, 34420
  • Cost: Admission is $8.00 Adults, $6.00 Children, Children 3 and under get in FREE. Active military, firefighters, & law enforcement always FREE!
  • Website: https://timberlinefarm.net/

Harvest Moon Farm

  • When: Sept, 29 – Nov. 5, SAT and SUN ONLY
  • Hours: 10am – 5pm
  • Location: 15990 Stur St, Masaryktown, FL, 34604
  • Cost: Adults & Children (ages 3+) $11.95+tax, Miltary Discount –

    $2.00 off general admission For military personnel only & must have ID present

  • Website: .harvestmoonfl

Sweetfields Farm

  • When: Weekends ONLY Sept. 29 – November 4
  • Hours: 10am – 5pm, last admission sold at 4pm
  • Location: 17250 Benes Roush Rd. Masaryktown, Fl 34604
  • Cost: 12 and older $9.50 each + tax, 3-11 $5.00 each + tax , 2 and under are Free
  • Website: sweetfieldsfarm.com

Hunsander Farms

  • When: Oct. 13-14, 20-21, 27-28
  • Hours: 9am – 5pm
  • Location: 5500 CR 675, Bradenton, FL, 34211
  • Cost: Admission $10, Parking $5, Children 12 and under free
  • Website: hunsaderfarms.com/pumpkin-festival

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Pumpkin Patches

HorsePower for Kids Farm Fall Festival

  • When: Every Sat & Sunday in October 6 – 28
  • Hours: 11am – 5pm
  • Location: 8005 Race Track Road, Tampa, FL, 33635
  • Cost: $12 admission and $1 Parking
  • Website: horsepowerforkids.com

Timberline Farm’s Annual Corn Maze and Fall Festival

  • When: Oct. 5 – Nov. 4, Weekends ONLY
  • Hours: Friday 4 pm – 9pm, Saturday 10am –9pm, and Sunday 12 pm – 9pm
  • Location: 3200 Southeast 115th Street, Belleview, Florida, 34420
  • Cost: Admission is $8.00 Adults, $6.00 Children, Children 3 and under get in FREE. Active military, firefighters, & law enforcement always FREE!
  • Website: https://timberlinefarm.net/

Florida Railroad Museum Pumpkin Patch Express

  • When: Oct 20, 21, 27, and 28
  • Hours: Trains run at 10am, 1pm and 4pm
  • Location: 12210 83rd St East, Parrish, FL, 34219
  • Cost: see website
  • Website: pumpkinexpress

Harvest Holler Corn Maze and Pumpkin Patch

  • When: Sept. 21 – Nov. 11
  • Hours: Friday: 4pm – 8pm Saturday: Noon – 8 pm and Sunday Noon – 5 pm
    Monday to Thursday: by reservation only
  • Location: 950 Tavares Rd. Polk City, FL 33686
  • Cost: 2 and under is free, Kids 3-12yrs old $8.50, Adults 13 yrs and up $10.50, Sr Adults (65) and military $8.50, Field Trip rate $8.00
  • Website: .harvestholler.com

Hunsander Farms

  • When: Oct. 13-14, 20-21, 27-28
  • Hours: 9am – 5pm
  • Location: 5500 CR 675, Bradenton, FL, 34211
  • Cost: Admission $10, Parking $5, Children 12 and under free
  • Website: hunsaderfarms.com/pumpkin-festival

Picking Patch U-Pick pumpkin Patch

  • When: Sept. 29 – Oct. 28
  • Hours: Fridays 3pm -7pm, Saturdays 10am – 7pm, and Sundays 12pm- 7pm
  • Location: 11000 Rolling Hills Road, Dunnellon, Florida, 34432
  • Cost: $5pp and 3 and under FREE
  • Website: dunnellonpumpkinpatch.com/

Sweetfields Farm

  • When: Weekends ONLY Sept. 29 – November 4
  • Hours: 10am – 5pm, last admission sold at 4pm
  • Location: 17250 Benes Roush Rd. Masaryktown, Fl 34604
  • Cost: 12 and older $9.50 each + tax, 3-11 $5.00 each + tax , 2 and under are Free
  • Website: sweetfieldsfarm.com

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Fall Festivals

Timberline Farm’s Annual Corn Maze and Fall Festival

  • When: Oct. 5 – Nov. 4, Weekends ONLY
  • Hours: Friday 4 pm – 9pm, Saturday 10am –9pm, and Sunday 12 pm – 9pm
  • Location: 3200 Southeast 115th Street, Belleview, Florida, 34420
  • Cost: Admission is $8.00 Adults, $6.00 Children, Children 3 and under get in FREE. Active military, firefighters, & law enforcement always FREE!
  • Website: https://timberlinefarm.net/

Oct. 20: Fall Festival at Fellowship Baptist of Valrico

  • When: Oct. 20
  • Hours: 10 am – 1 pm
  • Location: 106 Rolling Hills Blvd, Valrico
  • Cost: FREE
  • Website: facebookevent

Oct. 27 – 28: Fall Festival at the Grove Wesley Chapel

  • When: Oct. 27 – 28
  • Hours: 4 pm
  • Location: Grove At Wesley Chapel, 6105 Wesley Grove Blvd, Wesley Chapel, FL, 33544
  • Cost: FREE
  • Website: www.groveshopping.com/events/

Please always verify all information on each event through their website. Hours may change due to weather.

  • Written By: Shineta A

Must Have Mom Subscriptions

Must Have Mom Subscriptions

There are so many monthly subscriptions out there, from a personalized selection of clothes picked just for you to fishing supplies, depending on what type of water you fish in. (My husband is all about this by the way.)

This list is in no particular order and consist of things I have personally tried or plan to try in the near future.

  1. Amazon Prime – This first is so obvious but should come with a warning label. I love that I can buy anything on this site I need for my family. My most frequent purchases are diapers and Pediasure Grow and Gain but during the last Prime Day I ended up with a 2-pack of Clarisonic brushes and a shirt. I call that a success. But warning, it’s so easy to add things to your cart, check out and have it delivered in 2 days that you may quickly become a “primanista”. That meaning you’ll have packages arriving every few days. Which, doesn’t sound so bad actually. At around $10 a month its a complete and total NEED for moms, who just can’t go to the store one more time that week.
  2. Shipt – Hallelujah! I wish Shipt had been around when I had a newborn in the middle of the Tampa summer years ago. It’s a freaking life saver. Especially when you’re cooking dinner and need a forgotten ingredient or it’s raining, or you just don’t want to go. This subscription is an upfront annual fee of $99 but often run a $49 special when they add a new store or for special holidays. Current stores include Costco, Publix, Target, GFS, Winn Dixie and ABC Wine & Liquor (ummmmm yes!). If you don’t have it, get it. Now. G
  3. Netflix – This is our  most used subscription in my house. They’re always adding movies – whether they’re good or not is not my place to say. It’s less than $15 a month and you can stream it on 2 devices at one time. Yes, I know this for a fact. It’s usually a fight in my house to see who’s going to stop watching. I lose. Every time. So instead of hauling your kids to the movies to watch the newest Disney release, wait 12 weeks after it’s out of box office and save yourself the hassle and money. Unless its an Avengers movie because who doesn’t want to see Chris Hemsworth on the big screen?
  1. Firstleaf (Wine) – How many times have we had to pick up a bottle for friends on the way to a girls night/playdate – this happened to me 3 times last week. Whether you’re a 3 bottles a week gal or 3 bottles a month this could work for you! Firstleaf offers $20/month subscription which includes 3 bottles. The process is super easy, you take the quiz seeing what you’d like white, red, mix and import preference. The last question asks how many bottles you drink a month. So depending on your answers you’re given a suggestion. The wine is delivered to your door. So, you’re never without wine and wouldn’t that be a shame?
  1. FabKids – similar to clothing subscriptions for moms, it’s for the little’s. This is the way I see it. You’re going to spend money on your kids’ school clothes regularly. You see the cute top at Target, oh but does he have a pair of shorts to match? Can’t remember, may as well grab another pair. You’re doing that once a week while there PLUS the pre planned trips for new shoes they’ve outgrown, picture day..you know the drill. Here’s the fine print. Between the 1st and 5th of the month you’re sent an email for action – to shop or skip. If you do choose to skip your card is debited for $29.95 but you’re given that $29.95 as a credit to be used anytime. You’re charged the $29.95 until you cancel. There’s also perks like free shipping (that always gets me) and a rewards program.

This list was composed with you in mind, a little more added convenience to our lives is the way to go. I dread shopping with my kids, even if its a quick trip so you’ll find that all of these eliminate bringing what I’m sure are you wonderfully behaved children in public.

Disclaimer Alert: I haven’t listed all details for everyone of these subscription suggestions. It’s important to conduct your own research. 

36266338_10213004457965528_2216563528326709248_n Written By: Meghan Goodman

Back to school, back to school…

It’s that time of year again, time for back to school shopping and the highly anticipated first day of school. Whether it’s your first year sending your little one off to preschool or it’s your first year sending your child to college, photos are a must. It’s 2018 and documenting important moments are easier than ever. Just snap a few pictures on your smart phone and within minutes you can send pictures to grandparents in other states or post your pictures to Instagram. And let’s be honest, who doesn’t love seeing cute kids on your Facebook feed?!?

I searched Pinterest and found several ideas that were quick and easy. I enlisted the help of my older girls (my littlest lady already started preschool) for a little back to school photo shoot. Manned with sidewalk chalk, printable signs (which I found free on Pinterest) and a few props we headed outside for a little fun! I don’t claim to be an award winning photographer and I was only using my iPhone, but I was able to capture several great photos of my girls.

So get out there and start snapping pictures of your adorable kiddos!

 

  • Kimberly Lasher – SAHM to three beautiful girls, reality TV junkie & ISR advocate. 

Park Spotlight

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On this months review of our local parks, I am highlighting my childhood favorite: Alderman’s Ford Conservation Park.

Location

100 Alderman’s Ford Park Dr.

Plant City, FL, FL 33567
Hours
Spring/Summer: 8 AM – 7 PM
Fall/Winter: 8 AM – 6 PM
Contact (813) 757-3801
 Entrance Fee

$2 per vehicle. Up to 8 people per vehicle. Rentals are extra.

 

This county park is at the top of my list. It offers a playground with shade for all ages,  a boardwalk, canoe/kayak launch, a gorgeous 1.9 mile paved hiking trail, and CLEAN bathrooms!

It is one of the most well-rounded parks in the area. The paved loop is hiker, pet, and bicycle friendly. The Boardwalk is great for bird watching and possibly spotting an alligator. The boardwalk is currently being repaired. (see note below).

The last time we went I took my daughters bike. She loved riding the trails and even rode her bike on the boardwalk bridge. We had the best time. She also enjoyed taking a break at the workout equipment along the trail.

As a self-proclaimed hover mom, this park makes me comfortable. I was able to walk the trail as my daughter rode her bike. It was not too hard to keep up with her and I was able to see her even if she was ahead of me. There is also a side-walk all the way around the playground (off the main trail) that kids can ride on. I can sit on a bench and see her ride around and around. The park equipment is appropriate for all ages even the little ones. there is a nice rubber pad under both play areas. There is also a big open area for the kids to explore while you keep an eye on them. We love to print and bring scavenger hunt with us too.

This park is also perfect for parties and family gatherings. Pavilions need to be reserved in advance, but can be done online. The cost ranges from 42.00 to 75.00 for the day. They also have a 600 sq. ft. air-conditioned room you can rent with 12 banquet tables and 65 chairs. The room cost is 161.00 for the day. All of these areas are close to the restrooms.

A canoe launch is located in a separate entrance at 9625 Canoe Launch Loop Lithia, FL 33547. The launch entrance opens daily at 7 a.m.

Fellow Everyday Moms, Jennifer Dean and Courtney Fletcher have spent many hours with her families at Alderman’s Ford. So I asked the two of them a few questions to provide a little more perspective.

1)What are your key reasons for visiting the park?

Jennifer Dean: “We were introduced to Alderman’s Ford Park by my oldest son’s school. They had their cross-country meets there once a week. He would run and our other kids would play on the playground. After visiting a few times, we decided to see what else the park had to offer. We’ve gone canoeing, hiking, fishing, attended a birthday party at the pavilions and have even had a photo shoot there.”

 

Courtney Fletcher: “The main reason for visit the park is to let the kid(s) play on play ground and run around and go on the trail and explore nature.”

Do you feel safe when visiting this park?

Jennifer Dean: “I’ve always felt safe at Alderman’s Ford, though I’ve never been there after dark or without an abundance of other families.”

Courtney Fletcher: “I have felt safe with no issues at Alderman’s Ford, other than squirrels liking to steal food when are not watching it.”

What is your overall opinion of Alderman’s Ford?

Jennifer Dean: “Overall, the park has some great offerings for families. We enjoy spending time there as a family. The main downside is lots of bugs (more than other parks we’ve been to in the area) and few restrooms or drinking fountains. As long as one plans ahead for these, a fun day can be had.”

Courtney Fletcher “I do like Alderman’s Ford park but due to the river flooding the past year its been hard to go out and enjoy the trails.”

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Overall Alderman’s Ford has much to offer the families in our community. As long as you protect your food and bring bug spray, you should have a wonderful time. Also, for those of us born and raised here this usually goes without saying, but BEWARE OF ALLIGATORS!

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Gator on the bank while Canoeing at Alderman’s Ford. Photo by Jennifer Dean

 

Suzette Foister,

SAHM, Wife, Homeschooler, EM contributor, Owner/Artist of Bring Your Own Canvas

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**PLEASE NOTE**

Unfortunately mother nature has caused the main trail to be closed during the weekdays this summer for repairs.

  • The canoe launch is temporarily closed (posted 7/3/18)
  • The paved trail at Alderman’s Ford Conservation Park will be closed during the weekdays from April 16, 2018 thru September 2018 for construction to the boardwalk. The trail will be open for use on the weekends.

For more details, please call the park at (813) 757-3801.

 

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!

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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.

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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

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

Play-Dates Indoor Playground

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What do you do with two rambunctious toddlers, during the day, in the Florida heat (helloooooo Florida, it’s officially fall, I’m going to need you to get the memo!) to keep yourself from going stir-crazy in the house?  Take them out to play, of course!  But outside play is still face-meltingly painful, amiright??  That’s where Play-Dates steps up to the plate.  This new indoor playground in Valrico brings it all.  It boasts an expansive play room with everything from a decked out train table, to dress up, to a play house-complete with grill set up, and a full kitchen and laundry station.

My first impression, upon visiting Play-Dates, was that it is open, airy, bright and clean.  There are no smelly feet or stale diaper pale smells here.  The owner, Laura, greeted me with a smile and welcome, went over the easy paperwork ,and admitted my chomping-at-the-bit boys right in to play.  She then gave me a quick run-down of the space.  I promptly took advantage of the free coffee and wifi (that’s right, moms, FREE COFFEE. Take that, Starbucks!) and plopped myself into one of the several comfy lounge chairs.  The room is big enough to allow lots of kiddos to explore and play together with ease, but not so big that you feel like you’re constantly losing sight of your littles.  The sight lines are clear and easy, with one smaller area designated for really little ones that keeps them out of the direct path of any toddler-hulks who might be visiting for the day.  Laura also mindfully included a small snack area complete with toddler sized picnic tables, so that your always hungry munchkin (please tell me my kids aren’t the only ones who need to eat every 5 minutes??) can sit and enjoy a snack or drink that you bring with you, without worrying about them spreading cracker crumbs all around the play area.

Recently, Play-Dates was kind enough to host a private playdate for Everyday Moms that was loaded with fun and goodies, complete with a visit from Eddie Bull the mascot of Eddie Bull’s Cookie Dough, treats from The Sweet Tooth CakerySugar Sun Sweets, and a goodie bag filled with treats and discounts from other local businesses.  We had a great time getting together with friends old and new from this amazing group of moms.

Each weekday at Play-Dates is designated for different daily enrichment classes held at 10:30am that are free with paid admission.  Laura directs the kiddos in fun activities that are easy and geared to their ages.  There’s Movement Mondays, Story Tales Tuesdays, Arts/Crafts Wednesdays, Story Tales Thursdays and Fine Motor Skills Friday.  More info on each day’s activity here.  Our first visit was on a Friday morning and my boys – aged 3.5 years and 1.5 years both enjoyed the fun activity Laura guided them through of using their hands, or tweezers of different sizes, to sort different sized and colored pom-poms into mounted pvc pipes with corresponding colors above the pipes.  I was amazed to see my 1.5 year old take interest in the activity and spend quite a bit of time playing with it.

Laura is attentive and helpful without being overbearing.  She breezes around the playroom periodically picking up and putting away toys that the playful tots have discarded and cleaning off any that made their way into mouths.  She manages to keep the space tidy and organized with an appearance of ease that I would love to be able to adapt in my own home, as my clean up “routine” usually involves a fair amount of yelling and gnashing of teeth (mostly my own).  She also has a fun incentive for sharing photos of your little ones enjoying the space.  She draws winners for a free day of play, each Friday from anyone who has posted pictures on social media and tagged Play-Dates in them.  We actually won a free day of play after our first visit, SCORE!

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Play-Dates also has events and offers party packages.  Who doesn’t dream of a birthday party where everyone gets to play, have fun and you don’t have to clean up the mess afterward?  All the info and pricing for their parties can be found here.  Play-Dates is hosting a fun “Spooktacular Event” on October 14th from 5-7pm with food, music, games, crafts, trick-or-treating and a costume parade.  More info and ticket information here.

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Daily admission Play-Dates pricing for one-day play is as follows:
Ages 1-5 years old are $10
Ages 0-11 months are $6.25
Ages 0-5 months are FREE with a paid sibling.
First 2 adults are FREE. Additional adults are $3.25

They also offer packages including monthly and annual memberships.  I know what I’m asking grandma and grandpa to get my guys for Christmas!

So, as Laura says on her website, “be sure to stop by and play for a bit.  And don’t worry, we’ll clean up the mess.”

1040 E. Bloomingdale Avenue
​Valrico, Fl 33596
Tel: (813) 438-5248
laura@playdatesflorida.com
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Sharon Letsinger is a SAH boymom to two tow-headed cuties.  Her chosen partner in crime, Danny, co-owns The Big Red Barn in Riverview.  She enjoys sarcasm, yoga, dark chocolate, red wine and belly laughs.  She’s not a runner, no matter what Taylor says.

Homeschool Hindsight

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After resigning from my job (two years ago) to stay home with my daughter, homeschool was never on my radar… Now, its second nature.  There are many challenges, but my family loves this life. I can now say with confidence, “I would not have it any other way.”  However, before my family began this Journey, I wish I had heard more of the good, the bad, and the ugly.  Here is a little of mine.

You spend ALL of your time with your child– Every single minute of my day is spent with my daughter. Every question and thought that runs through her brain, comes out her mouth and straight to my ears…every single one! It is mentally exhausting to take the majority of the conversations and turn them into a learning experience. At the end of the day/week I feel more exhausted than I did when I worked full-time, but my heart grows fuller and brighter EVERY single day!

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Not all Homeschool journeys are created equal– When I first started homeschooling, I was constantly comparing my journey with others. I felt a need to get ahead and spent more energy than I would like to admit worrying about why my child wasn’t as far along as others. I am a homeschooler. Where is the fire?? My daughter and I are walking our own path. We do this so that we can go at our own pace. There is no rush or need to compare yourself with others. Do what works for you and your family!

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Join Homeschool groups/Co-ops, but be prepared to leave a few too- We are lucky enough to live in an area with a large amount of Homeschool families. In the beginning of my journey, I joined Facebook groups, attended events and reached out to other Homeschoolers in Everyday Moms. Some groups weren’t a good fit for my family. It took some time to find like-minded groups, but we now have an amazing amount of support. I could not do this without knowing other homeschool mothers. I would honestly lose my mind without them! Their support has been invaluable.

You will doubt yourself constantly – I also see this as a positive. I am constantly questioning myself. Am I doing enough? Am I screwing my child up for life? Could I have approached this better? Is my child happy? Am I happy? Can I do this?. THIS is what drives me and makes us better. The very fact that I question myself means that I want to do this to the best of my ability. I know my child better than anyone else. NO one knows my child better than me!

You are the responsible party- The pressure and responsibility that comes with homeschool is taxing. You have to motivate yourself to engage with your child the majority of your day. Your Spouse, family, and most of all your child are counting on you! Their education literally rests on your shoulders. Sometimes I feel as if I am being looked at with a microscope by many.  Not always the case, but a horrible feeling. Like I said above…’This is OUR journey”. I believe that this lifestyle is best and will do anything to make it work. If for whatever reason it isn’t working, I will be big enough to admit it and fix it!

 

Family– I do not know what I would do if my Husband didn’t support homeschooling. I certainly wouldn’t be writing this if he didn’t. Homeschool is a decision that we made together (my daughter included). We are also lucky enough to have support from our immediate family.

Some days are lonely – There are days when my daughter gets sad and wants a friend to play with. It makes me sad too. There isn’t always someone available to come over and play. Those are the days that I try my best to get out of the house. We go to the park, for a walk or head to the pool for some fun. After all, we eat, sleep, and homeschool under the same roof Every. Single. Day.

We have so much fun- We have lots of time and opportunities to explore our surroundings. We go on nature hikes, field trips at least twice a month, and build long-lasting and deep seeded relationships. Not a day goes by that I’m not thankful for this opportunity! My daughter is more cultured at age 5 than I was. She gets to see and do so much. The freedom we have is priceless. This is why we do what we do.

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THIS IS “OUR” JOURNEY!

Suzette Foister

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SAHM, Wife, Homeschooler, Owner/Artist of Bring Your Own Canvas