Casey’s Bright Red Christmas Book Review

During the holiday season my family and I look forward to our nightly routine of picking out a Christmas related story to read before bedtime. I received a free copy of Casey’s Bright Red Christmas to share with my children. They were thrilled to add a new book to our holiday collection.

Casey's Bright Red Christmas

Click on picture to be taken to Amazon Affiliate link to purchase

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Top 3 Disney Questions Answered

You may remember Erin’s informative post this summer about 5 Disney Freebies.  If you missed it, (read it here: Freebies at Disney World).  Erin is a travel agent dishing out more Disney info that will help you when determining when to visit Walt Disney World in 2016 and the reasons that staying on property enhance your Disney experience.

Thinking about a Disney vacation in 2016?  Here are top three questions I’ve been asked in the past month about planning a Walt Disney World Vacation:

1) When should I book my Disney vacation?

2) When is the best time to go to Walt Disney World?

3) What are the benefits of staying in a Walt Disney World Resort?

Disney 2016

When should I book?

At least 6 months before travel is best.  The main reason?  Dining.  On your 180th day before travel, you’re able to make dining reservations.  If you want to eat dinner with Cinderella at “the castle” or Breakfast with Mickey at Chef Mickey’s, it’s important that you book early.  And by the way, when you book your vacation with me,  I’m the one who is up at 6 am to make those reservations for you.

Disney Restaurants

Be Our Guest Restaurant and Chef Mickey’s

When is the best time to go to Walt Disney World?

Confused about when is the best time to visit Walt Disney World?  I’m here to help!  In general, the lowest crowds and the lowest prices are when school is in session.

Here are some of my picks for the best weeks for Disney World travel 2016:

January 9th – Note:  This is Marathon Week at Disney.  Even with the influx of runners, the crowds and costs are still projected to be low.  If you need to travel in January and cannot travel the weeks listed below, this is another great option.

January 23rd- January 30th

February 20th

*February 27th*

The weeks of April 2nd through the first week in May,

The weeks of August 20th through September 24th

 October 15th* -Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party is great! (requires separate admission)

October 22nd* -Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party is great! (requires separate admission)

October 29th* -Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party is great! (requires separate admission)

November 12th* -Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is tons of fun! There are parades and activities that are specific to this event. (requires separate admission)

December 3rd – Note:  This week has projected low crowds and low prices, but it is also Pop Warner Week.  What does this mean to you?  The food courts (breakfast) and the pools will be crowded at the resorts where the athletes stay.  Traditionally the resorts that are booked are the All Star Resorts, Caribbean Beach, and sometime Port Orleans and Coronado Springs.  Stay away from these resorts and you should be fine. * These are my top picks for 2016!

Now that you know which weeks are good, which weeks should you stay away from if you don’t want crowds?

Some weeks are obvious (Christmas week, Easter week), but others may surprise you.  Here are some of the busiest times at Walt Disney World:

– January 16th – Stay away from MLK weekend if you can!
– February 6th – Could be busy. Some southern states have this week off for Mardi Gras.  Those of us in Ohio can lose sight of how seriously our friends in Louisiana, Alabama, and Texas take Mardi Gras!
– Presidents’ Day – February 15th – Stay away from this weekend if you can.
– Easter is March 27th in 2016.  The entire month of March will be moderate to high in terms of crowds and prices.  If you’d like to travel during Spring Break 2016, book ASAP to get the best choice of dining reservations and resort room options.
– Memorial Day is May 30th – Another busy week.
– The week of November 5th – Jersey week – Very busy!
– Thanksgiving Week – November 24th – Extremely busy week!  If you want to dine at some of the popular restaurants, it is so important that you book before mid May in order to be able to make your dining reservations on your 180th day before travel.
– The week between Christmas and New Year’s Day is the busiest week at Walt Disney World.  If you must travel during this time, book early and get to the parks early.  It is not uncommon for the parks to fill to capacity on these days.

Don’t let high crowds scare you away!

Many people don’t have the option of taking kids out of school, and are limited to visiting Mickey and friends during peak times.  Don’t worry!  I can help you pick the parks that will be least crowded on certain days, and can give you tips on maximizing your itinerary.  I have clients who go every year at Christmas time, because it’s the only time between school and work that they can go.  They love it!  They love the crowds, they love the atmosphere, and wouldn’t dream of going any other time.  Bottom line – with a little planning and some knowing what to expect, your vacation will be magical any time that you choose to go!

Disney Family

Holiday Happenings at Walt Disney World

Disney begins decorating for Halloween in late August, and the decorations are complete by first Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party.  Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party is an event requiring separate admission that occurs on select nights in September and October.  This year, the first MNSSHP was on September 15th, and the last one was on November 1st.

Christmas decorations usually go up beginning the first of November.  All of the resorts and theme parks are decorated, and the decorations are typically complete in time for the first Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party.  Like Mickey’s Halloween Party, Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is a separately ticketed event.  This year, the first MVMCP was on November 8th, and the last one will be on December 8th.  Both parties do sell out, so it’s advisable that you purchase your tickets early!  The deluxe resorts at Walt Disney World have especially amazing edible holiday displays that are a must see!  The biggest edible production is the gingerbread house at Grand Floridian Resort.  The recipe uses 800 pounds of flour!  Here’s a time-lapse of the gingerbread house going up:

What are the benefits of staying in a Walt Disney World Resort?

This video explains it perfectly:

Happy Holiday, friends!  I’d love for you to consider me when you plan your next vacation – whether it’s to Disney or beyond, I can help!  My concierge services are free!  For a no-obligation quote, Click Here. You can reach me at Edavis@mmvagent.com or on Facebook by clicking HERE.

There are many exciting changes happening at Disney World in 2016.  Look for more posts from Erin coming soon so she can keeps us all in the know about Disney and other travel information!

Wild Kratts Live Giveaway

Calling all Wild Kratts Fans in Columbus, Cincinnati and Bloomington for the chance to win 4 tickets to see Wild Kratts Live in person.  My son loves learning all about animals from the Kratt Brothers and he would go wild to get the chance to see the action unfold live before his eyes.  Enter below for your free chance to win tickets to this educational and exciting show!

The ULTIMATE Wild Kratts Holiday Gift!! Wild Kratts Live Holiday Giveaway Family Focused Media 1

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WARNING: Giving the gift of Wild Kratts Live may set you up for the inability to ever match this gift awesomeness level again.

 

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Want to give your Wild Kratts fanatic the gift of all Wild Kratts gifts?? Give them the Kratt Brothers LIVE and in person! We’re completely serious! Click here, check out the tour schedule for Wild Kratts Live and purchase tickets to meet Chris and Martin LIVE & IN PERSON!


“In this live version of the wildly popular PBS KIDS® television show,

animated Kratt Brothers, Martin and Chris, ‘come to real life’ in a
classically Wild Kratts story. Off ‘To the Creature Rescue’, the Emmy-
nominated Kratt Brothers activate some fan favorite Creature Power
Suits to confront a comic villain. Through hilarious pratfalls and amazing
animal ‘wow facts’, the Wild Kratts team rescues their favorite invention
from Zach’s clutches so the animals of the creature world are safe once
again. The Kratt Brothers’ national tours draw tens of thousands of
creature-crazy kids and their families and the not-for-profit Kratt Brothers
Creature Hero Society, together with kids, has successfully protected
critical wildlife habitats through the creation of nature reserves.”

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SECURE YOUR TICKETS TO WILD KRATTS LIVE NOW:
Cincinnati, OH (April 16, 2016)
Columbus, OH
(April 15, 2016)

Bloomington (Indianapolis) (April 11, 2016)
Full Tour Schedule (ongoing)

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

GIVEAWAY DETAILS:
Prize: One lucky winner will receive 4 tickets to see Wild Kratts Live in their choice of Cincinnati, Ohio, Columbus, OH or Bloomington, IN. Tickets will be left at will call at corresponding venue. Open to residents of US or Canada over the age of 18. 4 The Love Of Family and promoting sites are not responsible for prizes or sponsors that do not fulfill their prizes.

Running Time: This giveaway starts on December 1, 2015 at 12:00am and ends at 11:59 PM EST on December 16, 2016 at 12:00am.

Winner: A winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter . If we are able to verify the entry (ie, Tweets, FB sharing, etc) the winners will be contacted via email by 11:59pm, December 18 ,2015. The winner has 48 hours to respond. If the winner does not reply within that time, another name will be chosen.

 

LOOKING FOR THE PERFECT WILD KRATTS GIFT?
4 THE LOVE OF FAMILY HAS YOU COVERED WITH OUR
WILD KRATTS GIFT GUIDES. (CLICK IMAGES TO LINK)

.@4TheLoveOfFam @WildKrattsOffic Wild Kratts Complete Holiday Toy Gift Guide #WildKratts #KrattBrothers #HolidayGiftGuide #ActivateCreaturePower #ActivateCreaturePowers .@4TheLoveOfFam @WildKrattsOffic Wild Kratts Complete Holiday Personalized Gift Guide #WildKratts #KrattBrothers #HolidayGiftGuide #ActivateCreaturePower

 

Disclaimer: This giveaway ends at 12:00 AM EST on December 16, 2015. Wild Kratts logo and products are owned and copyrighted by the Kratt Brothers Company. All rights and credit belong to them on original images used within.This website and blogger are not responsible for prizes or sponsors that do not fulfill their prizes. All opinions expressed above are those of 4 The Love Of Family’s and are in no way influenced by the giveaway, giveaway sponsors or affiliated brands. Posts and pages may contain affiliate links.

Best Christmas Books Featuring Santa

The magic of Santa brings happiness to all.  I’ve gathered a list of the best Santa books in different categories: Classics, Animal Santas, Humorous, Unique, Santa Assistances and new releases.  All I want for Christmas is a good book, how about you?

This post contains Amazon Affiliate links for the books below.

Santabooks

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Columbus Love: T-Shirt Campaign

One of the greatest parts of living in Columbus is all of the local pride.  From our football team, downtown, varying communities, food scene and fashion there are many reasons to love Columbus.  I’m excited to reveal two different options of t-shirts that I created on Tee Originals.  Read more about Tee Originals on my blog post HERE.

One dollar from the sale of every shirt will go to a Columbus charity.  There are too many good choices so I need your help deciding.  Read my blog post here about Ways to Give and Volunteer in Columbus, Ohio and comment below to vote on a charity.

Cbus Shirts

Two  Shirt Options

CBUS Love

By now you are probably well aware that the nickname for Columbus is Cbus.  I like this catchy phrase so it was the inspiration for this shirt.

Cbus shirt

Purchase for only $15.00 by clicking HERE!

Dublin Mom

I’m a Dublin Mom, Hilliard teacher and supporter of all things local.   I’m excited to wear this shirt out in the community and to my children’s sporting events. Look for me around town and who knows maybe we will both be wearing our Dublin Mom shirts!

Dublin Mom

Purchase for only $15 by clicking HERE.

Upper Arlington Love

Purchase by clicking HERE.

If you are interested in other communities, let me know and I can create those as well.

Tee Spring Process

Closing Date: Order by December 15, 2015!

Price: $15.00 for each shirt

Sizing: You can select which size you want to order.

Production Timeframe: Once 40 orders have been placed Tee Originals will print, package and ship the shirts to the supporters. If the minimum isn’t met for the entire campaign Tee Originals will contact you via email and you will not be charged.

Shipping:  Once printed, the shirts will ship directly to you.

Charity

Don’t forget to vote below for which Columbus charity I should donate a portion of the proceeds.

Ways to Give and Donate

I post lots of fun happenings in Columbus, travel and educational ideas on Local Busy Bee’s Facebook, Instagram ,Twitter and Pinterest so follow along if you want to stay in the know! Thanks for helping to support the Columbus community and show your local pride.

Homemade Kid Christmas Ornaments

Each year the kids and I create a few different types of ornaments for our tree and to be handed out as gifts.  We took basic Christmas ornaments and jazzed them up with craft supplies.  Making homemade Christmas Ornaments is loads of fun for the kids and will bring back memories each year as their hard work gets placed on the tree.  Check out:

Christmas Ornaments

Sometimes I find open ended craft activities to be the best.  I laid out a variety of craft supplies we had and let my little elves get to work with their creations.

Craft Supplies

Supplies: Plain ornaments, glitter, glue, paint brush, paint, stickers, ribbon (or whatever else you want to use like sequins or googly eyes).

This post contains affiliate links to Amazon products that you can purchase.

Stickers

Check out the BLING BLING we added to this one using stickers!

Christmas Ornament

Buy some similar stickers using these links:

Glitter

Some people are anti-glitter because of the mess.  Not me!  I say bring on the sparkle!

DSC_4137

My kids dipped a q-tip in the bottle to make their glue design, poured on the glitter and shook off the extra.

You could also use glitter glue pens like these for less of a mess:

Paint

Here my little ones decided to make polka dots and other designs with paint.

Paint Ornament

Other Options:

  • Combine different materials such as stickers, paint and glitter.
  • Use permanent markers to write words or draw designs.

Visit The Resourceful Mama to see a wide variety of other ornaments your kids can create!

Screen Shot 2015-11-27 at 9.58.04 AM

As quoted from the super cute book The Not Very Merry Pout Pout Fish ” For his gifts were big, And his gifts were bright.  And his gifts were perfect- And they all brought delight!  And his gifts had meaning Plus a bit of bling-zing, And his each and every friend loved their just-right thing.”  Check out my review here: The Not Very Merry Pout Pout Fish

 

I think everyone would love receiving a homemade ornament packed with love and meaning.  We’re taking orders on these homemade Christmas ornaments.  Who wants one?  🙂  Just kidding, but they are adorable.

How to Run Amazing T-Shirt Campaigns on Tee Originals

Have you thought about running a t-shirt campaign?  If not, it is a great way to bring unity among a group and generate a profit for yourself or organization.  Tee Originals is a site where anyone can design and sell t-shirts.  The process is quick, easy, with no upfront costs and the end product will be a unique and comfortable t-shirt. I’ve partnered together with Tee Originals in this sponsored post to show you can get started:

Tee Originals

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The Not Very Merry Pout-Pout Fish Review

I was very excited to receive a review copy of The Not Very Merry Pout-Pout Fish.  It has quickly become one of our favorite books.  The sing-songy rhythm is catchy and it didn’t take long for my little ones to join in on the repetition. The illustrations are detailed and filled with humor.  Be sure to take the time to read the labels on the items in the gift shop.  Best of all is the message conveyed in this story.

Not Very Merry Pout Pout Fish

Mr. Fish is searching for the “perfect” gift to give his friends but he realizes that the best gift of all cannot be bought. Miss Shimmer helps Mr. Fish make his gifts from his heart and he is delighted to present the homemade trinkets to his fishy friends.  After all..

“His gifts were big,

And his gifts were bright,

And his gifts were perfect–

And they all brought delight!”

Deborah Diesen and Dan Hanna have been creating books together since 2008.  Be on the lookout for the next books in the series.  Kiss-Kiss, Pout-Pout Fish will be out soon, followed by a touch and feel alphabet book, a sticker book, Trick or Treat Pout-Pout Fish and The Pout-Pout Fish, Far, Far From Home released in 2017.

Deborah Diesen

Deborah Diesen (author)

Dan Hanna

Dan Hanna (illustrator)

 You can buy a copy of this adorable book using my affiliate link below.
As the holiday season draws nearer I will be reminding my kids of the lesson learned in The Not Very Merry Pout-Pout Fish!

TrendBrew: The Ultimate Shopping Experience

Shopping has always been one of my favorite activities. After becoming a mom I quickly realized that driving all over town and lugging two kids in and out of stores to search for the best deals was just pure madness. Imagine my excitement when I was introduced to TrendBrew.   I’ve partnered with TrendBrew to tell you all about the features of this site and how it can save you time, money and keep you in the know on the current trends.   This post includes affiliate links.

TrendBrew_barefeetonthedashboard_Giveaway

What are the benefits of using TrendBrew?

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12 Elves of Dublin Scavenger Hunt

Hunting for the 12 Elves scattered in various businesses in Historic Dublin sure is a fun way to spend an afternoon.  My children and I enjoyed the beautiful weather this weekend and visited a few of the particpating shops to search for the hidden elf.  We were very amused at the intersting hiding spots and my children were thrilled when they were presented with prizes after finding each elf.  Sounds like a lot of fun, right?

elveshunt

Here’s what you need to know:

  • This event is FREE and sponsored by the Historic Dublin Business Association.
  • Elf Hunting continues until December 22nd.
  • Pick up a scavenger hunt card at one of the participating locations and be sure to get a signature on your card at each location.

DublinHunt

  • If you turn in a completed card by Decmeber 22nd you will be entered into the grand prize drawing.
  • Explore all that Historic Dublin has to offer.  There are so many cool shops along the way and I love that this brought me into places I wouldn’t have normally stopped.  If you haven’t shopped around lately you sure are missing out on some great shopping and dining!

Dublinshops

  • One thing to keep in mind is most of these businesses are only open until 5 or 6 pm and many are closed on Sunday.  Be sure to check the hours of operation for each business.
    • We visited on a Sunday and although majority of the businesses were closed we still had a great time.  Without a doubt, we will come back so we can finish off our scavenger hunt ticket.
  • Some of the prizes are really great.   La Chatelaine let my children pick a tasty treat from the bakery.

Dublinshops

  • It’s great to support local businesses that go above and beyond in the community.
  • List of participating businesses:
    • Boho 72 , Chelsea Borough Home, Dean Insurance Group, Donato’s, Dublin Library, Ha’penny Bridge Imports, La Chatelaine,  Our CupCakery, Sister’s Sweet Shoppe, Thread, Winans, Z Bearla’s

Have fun searching for the 12 Elves of Dublin!