October 7, 2015

Whatever Wednesday- runDisney Training Update and 2016-2017 Schedule


“That day, for no particular reason, I decided to go for a little run."-Forrest Gump

I'm so proud to say that I've been running for over a year now! Last August I started running to get ready for Princess 5k {which I ended up not doing} and have continued getting healthier and stronger ever since. Now I'm training for the 2016 Princess Half Marathon!

September 30, 2015

Whatever Wednesday- Tips for Photographing Fireworks

Welcome to this month's Blogorail Red Loop. Today we are sharing tips to get great photos on your Disney vacation.


Photographing fireworks can be a little bit tricky. I have a degree in photography and even I have taken some not so frame-able shots. I'm going to share some tips with you to help you make the most of shooting the beautiful nighttime spectaculars that Disney puts on.

The main idea is that you want to "drag the shutter" or keep the shutter open as long as you can in order to get the trails of the fireworks or even multiple bursts. The problems you can run into here are over exposure (the fireworks look way too bright or even white), and movement in the camera. Don't fret, there are ways around both of these problems.
If you're using a phone:
First let's talk equipment. A tripod is a must. This Joby Magnetic tripod is on my shopping list for sure and it's on Amazon for $24.99. I like this one because it's magnetic and you can attach it to fences, poles, or other large metal surfaces.

 I'm sure you've heard that Disney no longer allows selfie sticks. This should fall within the guidelines as acceptable to bring in the park, but I personally haven't tried it so I can't say for certain. Per the rules and regulations page prohibited items are "Selfie sticks (hand-held extension poles for cameras and mobile devices) and Large tripods."

Another piece of gear you should look into is a Bluetooth remote shutter release. Even the slightest movement of the camera can cause your pictures to be blurry. I like something like this on Amazon for $6.99. Or if you have an iPhone you can just use the earbuds that came with the phone. The volume button doubles as a shutter release!

Next, apps. I like Slow Shutter Cam {iTunes $.99}. It gives you a ton of control. Play with it before you leave home and familiarize yourself with the controls.

The last piece of the puzzle is fining a great spot. This is totally personal preference. Disney Tourist Blog shared their favorite spots {as well as some FAB pictures!} on this post.

If you're using a DSLR or Point and Shoot camera:

A tripod is a must. Again I like a Joby Magnetic Tripod like this one on Amazon for $36.19.  Again, it's magnetic but this one is strong enough to hold up 6.6 pounds!


A shutter release is another must. Search Amazon for something like this.

Last but not least for all you DSLR users, a neutral density filter. This will allow you to keep the shutter open longer without over exposing your shot. You can imagine it acts as sunglasses. I own this one on Amazon for $14.99 and love it.

Now, all camera brands are different and point-and-shoots have widely different controls from model to model, so I can't tell you exactly how to use your specific camera. What I can tell you is to look for "B" or "bulb" mode. This will keep the shutter open as long as you are holding down the button allowing you to capture several bursts in one shot.

Be aware of smoke. If it is an exceptionally humid day the smoke will hang in the air creating a cloud around the fireworks like this:


Also, you don't want to over do it. It's tempting to keep the shutter open for all of Wishes but you might end up with something looking like this:

While these aren't bad pictures, they could be better with these simple tips.

I hope the tips helped you understand how to better capture those beautiful bursts! Keep in mind this is a vacation and you need to enjoy the shows! Don't let this stress you out. I've found myself too worried about getting the perfect shot in the past. I had to make myself step back and enjoy the moment. There is nothing more precious to me than seeing my children's faces in those moments!

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For more Disney photography tips, check out the other great posts from the Blogorail!

Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail Red | Disney Photography Tips Loop:

September 28, 2015

Make Something Monday- runDisney Inspiration Hand Stamped Necklace

A daily reminder of what I'm working towards.
I love hand stamped jewelry. A few Christmases ago I made gifts for everyone. I've finally gotten around to making something for myself and I love it!
Using shrink film I made a replica of Jack Sparrow's tattoo. I printed a copy as a wallet size which shrunk down to the perfect size. I like using colored pencils because it makes the final product opaque. Make sure you punch a hole before you bake it. Once its cooled put a jump ring through the hole.
For the colored beads I used headpins and followed this tutorial.
For the hand stamping I followed this tutorial. I chose this quote because it fits perfectly with the idea. "Keep a weather eye" to me means to keep looking forward {to the end result}. And it also may be a nod to what I plan on dressing as...
I love it so much! After the race I plan on making adding my time and maybe taking off the sparrow. We'll see..

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September 16, 2015

Disney Dining Plan Worksheet *Free Printables*

Welcome to this month's Blogorail Blue Loop. Today we are sharing some Disney trip printables to help you plan your vacation.

Printables can be so helpful when planning a Disney vacation. Keeping track of Dining can especially be tricky. Between what reservations you would like to get to making sure you keep track of how many credits you're spending it's good to keep things organized.
I made two printables to help with exactly that! First getting dining reservations.

If you have the luxury of planning your vacation more than 180 days in advance, this sheet is especially helpful. I organize by priority instead of date that way I get to it first. There's also a spot at the top to write the date you can make your reservations. Once I got the reservation I highlighted it.
The next printable is for  the reservations you've made already.
I included reservation numbers on this one because I like to have it in writing as well as on my phone/computer. I also include how many credits each meal will use. I included the TOTAL number of credits used, that way I know how many we have. I also included a spot at the top to write all the entitlements you'll have.
If you liked to download them click here.

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For more Disney trip printables, check out the other great posts from the Blogorail!

Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail Blue | Disney Trip Printables Loop:

September 15, 2015

Take With You Tuesday- runDisney- Energy Gels


Lately my long runs have been getting long. Like legit long. I feel like anything over 6 miles is a long run.
 I'm at the point where I need to refuel while I'm running so I'm trying new things. Last Saturday I had an 8 mile run and used these Gatorade Prime Energy Chews {mostly because the health store was closed and they sell these at Publix}. They worked really well for me, but may not work for you.
It's important to pack what works for you. It would be bad news to be so far from home with 13.1 miles ahead of you and no where to find your kind of fuel. 

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September 11, 2015

Where To Find Your New Disney Luggage Tags

Traveling to Walt Disney World is really an amazing experience. Yes, it can be an expensive vacation, but with the Disney Company you really get what you pay for. When you stay on property every bit of your vacation is really magical. It stars before you even check in. You get to go online and pick the color of your MagicBands, book FastPass+ reservations, and book dining reservations. Another thing that adds to the magic is Disney sends every {on property} guest luggage tags. If you've been before you probably recognize this:

Super cute! I remember being so excited when I got them the first time! Well you may have heard that Disney is rolling out a new line of luggage tags that coordinate with the MagicBands you choose.

I love these also {with the exception of Goofy. I don't like this version of him. I feel like if I were a cartoon walking down the street, and this Goofy was walking toward me I would cross the street.}.
Guest checking in after 9/29 should get these new luggage tags in the same box as their MagicBands, however they are not in the most obvious place. I advised a client to look under the MagicBands and low and behold that's where they were. She would have thrown them out otherwise because she didn't feel like there was anything important down there.
Thankfully she took some picture for me to give a better idea of where to look.

So check all the way at the bottom of the box in a blue envelope. It is marked that the envelope contains the new tags, but it's black lettering that doesn't jump out.
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September 10, 2015

Wreck It Ralph and The Muppets Birthday Ideas

Did you know that both of my boys have birthdays at the end of the year? Yep, our schedule goes Birthday, Thanksgiving, Birthday, Christmas. In a matter of roughly 6 weeks we have 2 major holidays as well as 2 kids birthdays.
I like to call January "the month we have no money" or even "time to enjoy all of your shinny new things because we have no fun money left".
Anyway, because so much happens at the end of the year I start planning early. I'm one of those people that starts shopping as early as I can. This year I bought the first gift in July! So far I'm about 1/4 of the way finished with Christmas, and birthdays are done!
Now to start planning the parties! This is where I thrive! I love party planning.
Like really love it.
Disney Junior has already decided he wants to have his birthday at Catch Air {an indoor bounce house/play structure type place} and Disney XD wants to have his at a new Stars and Strikes {bowling alley} that just opened over here. I'm not sure how I lucked out of having parties at my house this year, but I did and I'm not complaining!
Frist is Disney Junior. He loves Wreck It Ralph, and I think it makes an adorable party theme. So far I've collected these ideas. For credit for all pictures please visit my Pinterest board or my Polyvore page.
 Did you know that Paperless Post is launching a new line of Disney themed invitations? They are fantastic! I love this Wreck It Ralph one!

Now for Disney XD- We love the Muppets and can't wait for the new show to come out! The hard part is making a Muppets birthday party look a little older and more masculine. Again for credit for all images please visit Pinterest or Polyvore.

I love the detail on these envelopes. Great job Paperless Post!
I can't to do an after post to show the things that I actually made and how everything turned out. Look for that in December.
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