Five Family Favorites at Downtown Disney Market

When you tell anyone you are going to Orlando, they automatically assume that you will spend your entire vacation in the Theme Parks. Who can blame them when there are more theme parks than you can visit in one week in Orlando. However, we have been to Orlando countless times and I start to feel Disney-burnout.. Surprise surprise!

Our recent trip down to Orlando for a 5 day vacation trip, we had decided to choose only 1 Disney park and 1 Disney’s Water park. The rest of the time there we enjoyed spending with our friend and another non-theme park favorite location – Downtown Disney.

Downtown Disney is a destination within itself that I think a family with kids will truly enjoy without breaking a bank. It’s very conveniently located right off from I-4. There are plenty of parking and the best of all it’s FREE.

It has various shops and restaurants situated around a lake in the outdoor setting. We loved to go there and enjoy a nice day out in Orlando. A few of our favorite spots are:

1. Once Upon A Toy – A fabulous and unique toy store that offers fun for the whole family for hours. We enjoyed our visit to this store and couldn’t get enough of them.

2. Lego Store – It might be not Lego Land but it is a perfect fun place for lego fan alike. There are plenty of stations that allow kids to explore and play with lego. The creations are also amazing to see.

3. Disney Store – It won’t be Downtown Disney Market without a Disney Store. A mega Disney Store has sections for the whole family from baby, girl, boy, man, woman, and home goods. I think the most popular one is the Disney Princess Salon. Girl will be transformed to a princess with all the pamper from Disney staff.

4. Waterfront Theater – This open-air waterfront theater has events throughout the year. Last year we caught the magic show. This year it was raining. It was right in front of the Ghirardelli Soda Fountain & Chocolate Shop. Grab an ice cream for kids and a cup of coffee for yourself and enjoy people watching.

5. T-Rex Restaurant – Ok.. We didn’t get a chance to go but it looks so cool that we will have to try. It’s the concept restaurant that similar to Rain Forest Cafe. When we went there, the restaurant just recently opened so the line just to get your name on the waiting list was already longer than some of the ride in Blizzard Beach. So maybe next time…
Orlando Things To Do

My Favorite Things

Last week, I just received the item from Pamper Chef that I ordered from my friend’s Pamper Chef party. I have to say that it has quickly become one of my favorite thing to use in the kitchen. It’s not the tool that can do it all like Kitchen Aid. It’s just a small little tool that make sandwich prettier. It’s the Cut-N-Seal. Kellie was talking about it at Busy Mamas blog on how great it will help prepare lunch for your kid.

The verdict is… drum roll please… It’s amazing. I like that it seals the sandwich so there is no mess and no falling cheese or jelly from the sandwich. Miss J now loves to bring PB&J to school. It will make my lunch packing routine much easier. I can just prepare it all in bulk and freeze it in the freezer. The best part is I can do a lot more than just PB&J. I can make Ham and Cheese sandwich, Sausage and Egg sandwich, Turkey sandwich or anything your kiddies love to eat.

Hello New Friend!

Say ‘Hi’ to my new walking/jogging partner.. the New Balance 767 For the Cure Running shoe.

I’m getting serious people! I have been walking 3 times a week for a couple weeks now. And I plan to do so till I can jog for te 5K challenge next month. So Mr. Rojo has been pushing me to check my feet and look for a new pair of shoes that has better support. I got to admit my old pair is probably more than 7 years old. Plus I don’t even know if it’s the tennis shoes, training shoes or walking shoes. My only concern at that time was.. was it on sale!

I guess after living with me for so long my frugality has rubbed in on Mr. Rojo. He found 20% off coupon from Sport Authority. So we headed there today and checked out if I can find any shoes in my price range. I’m all for better shoes to protect my ever-changing knees. But I don’t want to spend a fortune for that either.

When we got there it was like a mad house. Too busy but I found 2 NB shoes (767 and 768 models). Those 2 are pretty good with stability control for people who pronate (ok.. I haven’t heard this word before we start running.. From what I understand it’s the way you walk inward). Anyway, the best part is the 767 is on sale for 50% off from $89.99 to $49.99. So with additional 20% off I paid only $40 and changes.. Oh..yeah!! And another good part is this model is part of the Lace Up for The Cure. So part of the proceed will benefit the Susan G. Komen foundation.

I have to say though.. I thought getting better shoes might make me run faster.. I guess that’s not the case. hehe..

Attention Organic Shoppers!

I have been shopping for organic food for a while. I think it started when I picked up coupons and see that the saving I have on my grocery budget allows me to be able to buy more organic food.

I learn a lot along the way on how to shop organic without breaking the bank. Here are a few tips I have learned.

Shop even at the unexpected place
If your area has Big Lots, I suggest you at least check it out. There are several organic items on sale consistently. Keep in mind that Big Lots is like Marshalls of all things. What you see this week might not be there the next week. Also check the expiration date before pick it up. I have found Organic Mac & Cheese that won’t expire till 2009. For $1 per box of Organic Mac & Cheese, you can’t beat that price

Check out online source for coupons
You don’t need to be a price expert to know when it’s a good price. Just let your finger do the work for you. Check out online forum or blog ranging from Hot Coupon World, Organic Grocery Deals, Fiddledeedee, Money Saving Mom, The Centsible Sawyers.. These are my main site that I check each week to see what deals are out there. They have done a great job in compiling all the information for you. Then match those deals with your coupons and head to the store to stock up on sale items. This week I paid $1.50 for a half gallon Organic Valley milk. That’s $3/gallon for an organic milk.. You can’t even buy that for a conventional milk.

Don’t buy only brand name
With the push for more Green and Organic products, grocery stores come out with their own generic brand of organic food.. Good news for you! Look for those products when you can’t find coupon for national brand.

Wait for sale and stock up
This week the organic milk is really a good deal for my area. I am experimenting in freezing my millk. I will let you know the result later.. If you have frozen milk before, please let me know.

You don’t need that Organic Lollipop
It will be nice if we all can afford all organic in our pantry. But the fact is it’s too expensive. So shop wisely and don’t get caught up in all organic for those junk food. I mean come on.. do you really need that Organic Lollipop? If you can only afford one organic item, then pick the one that you eat the most like Milk, Bread, Poultry, or anything from the Dirty Dozen list. It will be different for each family so you should be able to take the list and see which one your family tends to consume the most.

How about you? What are things you know or learn along the way shopping organically?

I won… I won…

I won An Island Life Giveaway gift that is.. I have never won any giveaway on the blogosphere before. So I was so thrilled to receive an email from Kailani informing me that I won her Salty Chix giveaway.

Diane – the owner of Salty Chix – was so wonderful. She contacted me almost immediately and shipped my lovely, super soft, super chix t-shirt to me within a few days. Not only I won a t-shirt for myself, to my surprise when I opened the package I also received a hat to match my cool shirt and a toddler t-shirt. My daugther eventhough she is no longer a toddler is a very petite girl. So the shirt fits her perfectly. See how happy she is to get a matching t-shirt with mommy!

The shirt comes in a nice pouch that my daughter now claims it for her little treasure. The fabric of the shirt is supersoft. The cutting is very good. It fits me perfectly. The design is so chix and so beachy. I can’t wait for our next beach trip. Living in Atlanta, I know how hot and humid it can be. So I know that this shirt will be perfect for my summer wardrobe.

Thanks, Diane and Kailani.. I love my Salty Chix shirt!