Friday, September 27, 2013

Planning a Trip to Disneyland and Knott's Berry Farm

As you may know, I recently went on vacation to Disneyland and Knott's Berry Farm.  It was an unplanned vacation and we had a wonderful time.  We decided late on a Monday night that we were going and left 9 days later.  I worked 80+ hours in those 9 days.  Needless to say there was not much time to plan a vacation, yet it was one of the best times our family has shared together.  I would like to share some things that I learned to help you plan a trip to Disneyland.  However, some of the things I share may help you plan a trip to somewhere else.

Shop Around
1. When we planned our trip, we didn't have a lot of time to plan.  However, I still took some time to shop around.  I started by checking at work to see if I could find discounts through my corporation.  Discounts for Disneyland weren't that easy to come by with the short notice that we were planning.  The corporation that I work for has lots of discount programs available.  Check with your HR department to see what is available.  I was able to purchase our tickets at a savings of $22 each for Disneyland and a few dollars for Knott's Berry Farm.  Every little bit helps.
2.  On-line travel companies can save you big bucks.  My favorite place to go is  I have found great deals on airline tickets, car rentals, and hotels.  I found a great hotel within walking distance of Disneyland.  More on choosing hotels later.
3.  Don't be afraid to check to see if your destination has deals.  Though I wasn't able to find a deal that suited my needs from Disneyland, you might find a hotel/ ticket deal while at a Disneyland Resort.

Choosing a hotel
1.  As mentioned before, Disneyland has it's own hotels.  Check it out and see if you can save money and meet your families' needs.
2.  Choose a hotel that offers breakfast.  This has the potential to save you big bucks.  Eating at Disneyland is a bit expensive.  The hotel we chose was a bit more expensive than some of the cheapest.  However, it provided a full hot breakfast instead of a continental one.  We typically didn't need to eat until mid to late afternoon.  More on dining later.
3.  As mentioned earlier, we chose a hotel within walking distance of Disneyland.  This saved us money every day because we didn't have to pay to park.

1.  As mentioned before, we chose a hotel that offered a full breakfast.  We usually weren't hungry until later in the day and didn't even need snacks.
2.  Disneyland's official brochure asks that you not bring food into the park.  I didn't find this until the night before our last day in the parks.  We carried snacks into the park on the first day and water bottles in each day.   Bags are checked at the entrance and nothing was said.  It seems that they unofficially allow small snacks.
3.  Water is your friend and depending on the time of year, you will need to drink lots of it.  If you carry a water bottle or purchase one in the parks, there are lots of drinking fountains to fill them.  A drink is going to cost between $3-4.
4.  There are lots of great places to eat in the parks.  We wanted to experience them so we decided to eat one meal a day in the park.  It pretty consistently ran us around $65 a meal for a family of 4 with drinks.  We tried:  Rancho del Zocalo and Redd Rockett's Pizza Fort at Disneyland, Paradise Grill at California Adventure, and Johnny Rockets at Knott's Berry Farm.  California Adventure does not refill drinks, but the others will.  This was helpful to know.
5.  The snacks in the parks are going to run around $5 each.  We didn't purchase a lot of snacks, but there are some great ones available.
6.  Knott's Berry Farm has a large drink bottle that is refillable the day of purchase.  Check it out in the morning.  We didn't know about it until near the end of the day so didn't use it.

Online Resources
Learning about what is available is very important to maximizing your Disneyland experience.  Look online, read blogs, and see what you can find out.  Don't forget to check out the Apple and Android app stores and Pinterest is loaded with ideas.  Here are some things I would look for:
Pin trading - so much fun.  Find out how you can prepare before ever leaving home
Wait times
Fast passes
Attractions - familiarize yourself with what is going on when you are scheduled to be there
Hidden Mickeys

A bit more on buying tickets
The more days you buy at a time, the cheaper each day will be.  We chose 3 day passes that enabled us to get into both Disneyland Parks.  We spent 2 days at Disneyland and 1 at California Adventures.  We did not choose the park hopper option which was more expensive.  If we had it to do over again, we would probably choose the park hopper.  It would allow a bit more time to divide between the 2 parks.  This is just a little something to think about.

Packing a bag
As I mentioned, I packed snacks the first day.  What I didn't mention was that I ended up taking most of them back to the hotel.  However, there are a few things I would absolutely pack in a small backpack.
Ziplock bag (comes in handy for the camera, cell phone, and wallets on those water rides)
Water flavor packets (I really don't like water)
An autograph book or journal - mine is here

I hope this is helpful as you begin to plan your next trip.  Watch for more posts about Disneyland.  In the meantime, remember to take some time to enjoy the little things today.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Brave is Beautiful ATC's

As 3 Girl JAM continues it's month long celebration, I would like to celebrate something special today - 


With October and Breast Cancer Awareness Month quickly approaching, I want to take a moment to celebrate the lives of the brave women who have fought breast cancer.  I would dare say that every person reading this post knows someone who has valiantly fought this dreadful disease.  For those currently fighting, you are in my prayers.

These ATC's were designed for Breast Cancer Awareness month.  Brave truly is beautiful.

I used:
3 Girl JAM Dress White ribbon - get yours here
"Positive Thoughts" stamp set by K. Andrew Designs
Memento London Fog ink
Pink paper from my stash - possibly Provo Craft
Blue Moon metal beads
Scor-Tape, ATG, Glue Dots, Glossy Accents
Creative Inspirations paints - Tutu Pink and Frost White
Small cream colored roses from my stash
Lace - Really Reasonable Ribbon
Chipboard cut into 2.5" X 3.5"

As a nurse, I would like to remind each of you remember your monthly self breast examinations.  Don't forget to schedule your mammogram if you are over 40.  They could save your life one day.

You can see the whole ATC and supplies in the video below.


Thanks for stopping by today.  Remember to take some time to enjoy the little things.

Monday, September 23, 2013

More Disneyland Journals

Hello.  Today, I have 3 Disneyland Journals to share with you.  If you take the time to watch the videos, I also show you my completed journal and talk about how I completed it.  I offer some tips and show you what I packed to maximize my space and yet have everything I would need to keep up with my journal.  Believe it or not, I only took 5 items including my journal plus a set of ink pens.  I keep the pens in my Day Planner which I took on the trip, but you could easily use the Smash pen for the whole project.

I found out that 2 of my sisters are also headed to Disneyland over the next couple of months so I made them each a journal.  I also made one for my niece.  I altered books for my family, but I made these books from my stash.

For the first 2 journals I used the following:
Bind-It-All with 3/4" rings
Disneyland paper from EK Success
Bright colored card stock and paper from my stash
White slick paper from our office supplies
Disneyland stickers from Sandy Lion
ATG and Scor-Tape

My niece's book took some different supplies:
Princess paper from Hot Off the Press
YourStory book binder and adhesives
Purple card stock from Core'dinations Foundations
Silver Embossing Powder by Ranger
Wine colored card stock from my stash
White slick paper from our office supplies
TPC Studios stamps
Baby Girl Ribbon from 3 Girl JAM
Stickers from EK Success, Sandy Lion, and Walmart
ATG and Scor-Tape

The video shows the inside of the journals as well as my completed journal.  You won't want to miss the tips that I include!

Planning a trip to Disneyland?  In future posts, I will share some of the things I learned from my trip so stay tuned.  In the meantime, take some time to enjoy the little things today.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

More Sketch Inspired Cards

I finally made it to my crafty space for a little while the other night.  I didn't have a lot of time, but I wanted to get a few cards done.  Once again, I pulled out the OWH sketches and chose B-21.  You can find these fabulous sketches by clicking here.

I know I've said it in the past, but I want to say again, how easy it is to make cards using sketches.  If you look at the original sketch, you will see that I changed things up a bit on some of the cards to make the sketch work for me.  I think that I made all 4 cards in about an hour and that is with filming the video.  You could really push out a lot of cards if you chose coordinating 12X12 papers went to work.

I used paper and embellishments from Basic Grey's "Life of the Party" for the two cards shown above.  Basic Grey's "Shine On" paper with "Shine On and Serendipity" embellishments were used on the two below.

The sentiments were stamped using Hero Arts "All Occasion Messages" in Memento Tuxedo Black Ribbon.  Ruby ink from Close To My Heart was used to ink around the edges of some of the papers.

If you are interested in the video, click on it below.

Thanks so much for stopping by today.  Remember to take some time to enjoy the little things.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Grandma's Spice Tea

As the weather begins to cool, I find my thoughts returning to comfort foods and warm clothing.  Fall is in the air and that usually calls for hot tea, hot chocolate or coffee.  I thought of this special tea recipe that I received from my Grandma more than 20 years ago.  I can't remember a time when Grandma Rice didn't have her tea on hand for a cold day.  I decided to make some today so I thought I would share it with you.  I know that I'm not the only one who had been thinking about it because it came up in a Facebook conversation with my sisters.  I wish they were here to share a cup with me!

I have heard this called Russian Tea, but this is how Grandma Rice makes it.

2 cups Tang
1 cup lemonade mix
1 cup of instant tea - unsweetened
1 cup of sugar
2 teaspoons of cinnamon
1 1/4 teaspoons of ground cloves
Mix all ingredients together and  place in a storage container.

To serve: Place 2 teaspoons of mixture into a tea cup or mug.  Add 8 ounces of hot water, stir and serve.  It is so delicious.

Be sure to stop back soon for some projects.  I have one that just needs edited and posted.

Thanks for stopping by today.  Remember to take some time to enjoy the little things.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Bottle Swap

I recently participated in a Bottle Swap over at Krafty Kre8ations.  It was a lot of fun.  I thought I would start with the bottle that I altered.  At the end of the post, I will also link the video of the gorgeous bottle that I received from Meka.

I used paper and lace from my stash, ribbon from American Crafts and journal spots from Fancy Pants.  Hot glue and Scor-Tape holds it all together.

Meka sent me this beautiful bottle in return.

Thanks so much for stopping by.  Remember to take some time to enjoy the little things.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Vintage Birthday Card

Looking for the perfect card for the men in your life?  I hope that the card that I share with you today will be just what you are looking for.  I used the Halloween Harvest ribbon from the new and improved Season's Bundle.  It is a gorgeous multi-colored ribbon.  It comes in a 3 pack that has 2 other beautiful multi-colored ribbons.  You can find yours here.

I have been on vacation for a while and just got home late on Tuesday night.  I had so much to do today that I didn't have the creative juices flowing in my mind.  Does that ever happen to you?  When it happens to me, I will often grab a sketch.  This is sketch B-25 from Operation Write Home which you can find by clicking here.

I also used the following products:
Kraft card stock from my stash (Joann's maybe?)
Brown card stock (unknown manufacturer)
Flesh colored card stock - Provo Craft
Echo Park - This and That Charming  6X6 collection
7 Gypsies Stam
Tim Holtz Adage Tickets
Memento Tuxedo Black Ribbon
The Paper Studio - Mustache gemstones

Have you joined the 3 Girl JAM birthday celebration?  If not, be sure to join in.  There are lots of fabulous prizes and we would love for you to join in the fun.  I plan to link this project.  You can link yours below.

Take some time to enjoy the little things today.

Purple Notepad

Looking for a quick and simple gift but still want it to be pretty and special?  I have just the thing.  I hope that you're not tired of seeing little altered notebooks because that is exactly what I want to show you.  Unfortunately, I must have not taken a photo, so please enjoy this quick video.

Have a great day.  Remember to take some time to enjoy the little things.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

"Love you more than coffee" Birthday Card

A while back I posted a gift bag that I altered for a friend.  At the time, I also made a card that I want to share with you

Paper Trey Ink - Latte Love stamp set and Plum cardstock
My Mind's Eye - So Sophie
American Crafts - red glitter tape
Stampendous - Happy Messages stamp set
Memento - Tuxedo black ink
Tim Holtz Distress Ink - Bard Door and Dusty Concord
Tim Holtz Distress Markers - Barn Door and Black Soot
Sakura - Gelly Roll Stardust pen

Thanks for stopping by today.  Remember to take some time to enjoy the little things.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Winner of the 3 Girl JAM Bow Maker

Thank you everyone who took the time to visit and comment on the 3 Girl JAM Celebrations Blog Hop.  Using, the winner is:

#8 - Silvia who said:
"Fabulous journals!!! The Castle is my favorite!!"

Please email me at to claim your prize.

Good Gifts

Waiting for the light to signal that we could cross the street, I heard the words, “Would you like your sunglasses?”  The answer was quick to follow:”Yes please, mom”.  The little one speaking the words couldn’t have been more than 2 or 3 years old but her words were so mature for such a tiny mouth.  I could hear her older sister chattering away but didn’t realize that in the next few minutes a little girl’s dreams would come true.  I thought she was just reading the signs around us when she said “Disney Way”.  Boy was I wrong!

We crossed the street and continued down the next block as the older girl continued to chatter to her parents and grandparents.  As we reached the end of the next block, she looked across the street and saw the sign that signaled you had arrived at Disneyland and she understood that it was near.  I heard her beg to go in and her mother say, “maybe next year”.  That was when I realized that she had no idea that she was about to enter the happiest place on earth.

I wanted to stay close to this 6 or 7 year old to witness her reaction.  I had told my husband that she was about to find out she was going to Disneyland and that I wanted to see it happen.  As the crowd surged across the street, we were separated and I was disappointed.  Then came a break in the crowd.  Just a few feet ahead I saw the little girl, brown hair bouncing and pink skirt twirling.  She had just figured out that she didn’t have to wait until next year.  She was going to Disneyland today.  Joyous cries of “thank you daddy” echoed in my ears.  As her family stopped to have their bags checked, our family ended up right behind her.  Her beaming daddy told us that she had just been surprised that she was going to Disneyland.  Several hours later, we passed a stroller with a beautiful little one sound asleep.  However, her big sister with bouncing hair and twirling pink skirt was still dancing in delight to be in Disneyland.

As I think of this happy time, I am reminded of some words from long ago:

“If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him?” (Matt. 7:11 – NKJV)
As much as this little girl’s daddy knew that this special gift would delight his daughter, this was a small thing compared to the gifts bestowed upon us by a loving Abba Father.  He has provided His children with a love that is beyond human comprehension.  He has provided them with an eternal home in heaven as well as with a personal relationship with Him now.   He delights to meet not only their needs but also the desires of their hearts when they are part of His perfect will.  Do you know Him?  He wants to be your Father and to welcome you into His family with open arms.  That my friend is far better than anything Disneyland can offer.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

3 Girl JAM Celebrations Blog Hop

Welcome to the 3 Girl JAM blog hop.  If you are here from Julie's blog, you are in the right place.  If you are just stopping by today, be sure head out to the beginning of the hop by clicking here so that you won't miss one project.  We are so excited to celebrate 3 Girl JAM's birthday.  In fact, we are so excited that we are celebrating for a few weeks.  There are some great prizes with this hop.  In fact, Julie is offering a Bow Maker to one of my followers.  My purple bow maker sits on my work desk all the time.  I know that the winner will really like this great prize.

In addition to celebrating 3 Girl JAM's birthday, I am also celebrating family time.  3 Girl JAM is a family operated business.  In fact "JAM" is actually an acronym using the names of the owners' family.

My family is celebrating the chance of being with each other and we are going to Disneyland!  Woo Hoo!!! I didn't know if I would ever get to go to Disneyland, but that's where we are headed.  I wanted to make memory books for each of us.  They were simple to make, but will give each of us a place to write down memories, glue pictures, and use like a Smash book.

To start with, I purchased some notebooks from Walmart.  3 of these were super thin and came in a package together.  The 4th (which is mine) was purchased separately and is a bit bigger.  All of them are large enough to hold a 4X6 photo.  I also used ATG and Score-Tape for my adhesive.  Disney themed paper from EK Success and Disney Princess paper from Hot Off the Press were perfect for my project.  The Mickey Mouse jewels you will see are also from EK Success.

For this first book, I used 3 Girl JAM Holly Berry crinkle ribbon to cover the binding.  It is simple but perfect for this Mickey paper.  The year was made using Basic Grey letters.

The binding for this one was covered using red Washi tape that I picked up at Target about a year ago.  Tuxedo Black 3 Girl JAM ribbon was the perfect ruffle for this little book.  The inside has some of that fun Princess paper, but you will need to check out the video to see it.  The "13" was made from some old number stickers I found in my stash.

The journal I made for my husband may be my favorite.  Tim Holtz tissue tape from the "Commute" set finished off the binding and Echo Park had some stickers that were perfect for the date.  I used more Tuxedo Black ribbon and used it to make my own Mickey Mouse head embellishment.  How fun is that?

I love the way this turned out.  It doesn't add too much dimension, but it adds a little bit as well as some texture.

The final book is mine.  I covered the outside with papers from the Princess stack and then used Witches' Brew, Iris, and Purple Passion ribbons to create the pretty ruffling binding.

You can find the video below that show's the inside of my journals and walks you through the process of making it.

As I mentioned earlier, one commenter on this post will receive the Bow Maker, so be sure and comment below.  The winner will be announced on Monday.  The only other request that I have is that you be a follower as well.  Don't forget to hop through the whole hop to learn about more fun prizes that are being offered.  You won't want to miss a thing.  Thanks for stopping by today.  Remember to take some time to enjoy the little things.

Julie K- 3 Girl JAM-
Jessica B-
Julie O-
Jessica E-
Julie K- 3 Girl JAM Challenges-

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Happy Birthday 3 Girl JAM

Woo Hoo!  3 Girl JAM is celebrating its 2nd birthday this month but instead of getting presents, they are giving them.  You can't beat that.  A whole team of sponsors have come together to provide some pretty incredible prizes.  If you click on the picture, you will be taken to the 3 Girl JAM page that is full of information.

Stay posted.  There will be lots of fun things coming up.  Have a great day and remember to take some time to enjoy the little things.