I love being able to use holidays to add a new dimension to our learning. These St. Patrick’s Day vocabulary cards do just that. Plus, there are so many fun activities that you can use them!
St. Patrick’s Day Vocabulary Cards
What is it about St. Patrick’s Day that makes it so much fun? As a kid about all I ever did for the holiday was dress in green, and yet I always looked forward to it every year.
St. Patrick’s Day has become a much bigger thing then it was when I was a kid. Now parents and schools find lots of ways to add fun to the holiday with fun crafts and learning activities.
That’s why I love these St. Patrick’s Day vocabulary cards so much. These cute shamrock cards really add some extra language arts fun to the holiday.
There are 20 shamrock cards on the vocabulary printable. Sixteen of the cards contain different St. Patrick’s Day vocabulary words. The remaining four shamrocks on the printable are blank. That way you can add your own St. Patrick’s Day words if you like.
St. Patrick’s Day Vocabulary Activities
These vocabulary cards are fairly simplistic, but that allows for them to be used in a lot of different ways for multiple language arts activities. This allows means that their use can maladjusted for different ages, different learning abilities, and even different interests.
Below I have shared some of my favorite ways to utilize these shamrock vocabulary cards, but this is truly a small list of ideas. You can use these cards for so many fun St. Patrick’s Day word activities.
St. Patrick’s Day Words Matching Activity
Kids love to play matching games. Often we play that game with pictures, but word matching games are a great way to help give extra reading support in a fun and relaxing way.
For this activity you will need to make sure to print two copies of the vocabulary cards. Then have your child flip different cards over until they match two with the same words.
Matching the same word may seem fairly simple, but there is more to it then you might think. Several of the St. Patrick’s Day words start with the same letter, so kids have to look at more of the word then just the first letter in order to match them up.
If your child is able to read then add another level to the activity by having them read the cards as they match them up. This is a really great way to reinforce the new words that they are learning.
Vocabulary Words for St. Patrick’s Day Placed in ABC Order
Having your child put vocabulary words into ABC order is a another great way to support literacy learning. With this activity your child will not only need pay attention to the word on the card, but they will also need to pay close attention to the letters and their location in the word.
In our area this is a very common activity, and I used to do it with first graders a lot when I used to sub. Over the years I have seen that some kids can get this task fairly easily, but others can really struggle with it.
If your child finds putting words into ABC order is a bit tough than you can help by giving them an alphabet chart to look at as a reference. This can especially be helpful for times when there are several words that start with the same letter because that starts getting trickier.
If they need more help you can coach them by helping talk them through the activity with dialog such as: “Are there any A words? No? OK, are there any B words?” Go through each letter that way, and if there are words with more than one letter do the same thing for the second letter of the word.
Sorting Words for St. Patrick’s Day
Until Nick started kindergarten I didn’t realize just how much sorting kids in the early grades do on a daily basis. I’m not sure a day goes by that Nick didn’t bring a sorting page home.
There are so many different ways that you can sort these vocabulary cards. You can make the sorting activities easier or harder depending on the level your child is at. Here are a few sorting ideas:
Sort by the first letter of the word
Sort by the number of letters the words have
Sort by the number of syllables in each word
You can even encourage your child to decide how they think the words should be sorted. It’s amazing what a child’s mind can do when given some limited instructions.
St. Patrick’s Day Word Wall
Word walls weren’t really a thing when I was a kid, but they were becoming a very big thing by the time I was in college and getting my teaching degree.
During my years working in classrooms I saw how much kids loved to add words to their word wall. Nick was a big fan of the word wall himself. When he used to come with me to other classrooms before the school day started the word wall was one of the first things that he looked for in each room!
In fact, Nick loved word walls so much that I created one for him at home on our refrigerator. He always loved when I would add new words to it and these St. Patrick’s Day shamrocks certainly make fun additions to any word wall. It seems like such a simple thing, but it’s really a fun way to help kids expand on their reading vocabulary.
Download Your St. Patrick’s Day Vocabulary for Kids
Is your child looking for something green to wear this St. Patrick’s Day? This shamrock beaded safety pin is just what they need. Beaded safety pins are such an easy kid crafts, and with this one they’ll have something fun and green to wear for St. Patrick’s Day!
Shamrock Beaded Safety Pin
I’m sure when you think back to your childhood you can remember a St. Patrick’s Day or two when you were searching for something green to wear so you wouldn’t get pinched. Certainly schools are on top of making sure pinching no longer happens, but we all need some green in our lives on March 17.
This shamrock beaded safety pin is such a fun way to add some green to the holiday. Plus it’s a great activity for a snowy March day when the kids are stuck inside and everyone is feeling so over the winter.
Over the last year or so I have had so much fun designing new beaded safety pin crafts. I have such a good time creating them, but coming up with the designs are not always easy. It can take a lot of fiddling to get a design to work.
You don’t have to worry about that part of the process though because I have that part covered for you. You can just hand the supplies and design over to the kids and let them have fun crafting away!
Before I get into the technical part of the craft I do want to put a disclaimer out there. This craft is not made for young kids. Between the pins and the tiny beads it’s all around not the best idea. I do create these crafts with kids in mind, but I create them for older kids. I’m sure I don’t really need to say that, but the educator in me just can’t pass this part by.
I also have a tip I want to share. If you’re new to seed beads be aware that they are not created equal. The shapes and size of them are not all the same. This means that you might need to play around with what actual beads you use to get the design to look the way you want it to.
Alright, now with all that out of the way let’s get crafting!
Building the Beaded Safety Pins
To make things easier I will talk about the order of the safety pins from left to right. In reality though the pins are a mirror image, so you truly can go left to right or right to left. Which ever works best for you.
When making beaded safety pins I like to make them by first building all of the pins. Then I work on assembling the entire pin. I find working this way makes it easier to play around with the seed beads if needed for everything to line up right.
While it seems like the easiest step, assembling the entire pin is actually the trickiest part, and will most likely require some adult help.
The first step is to open up the coil of the safety pin that all of the beaded safety pins are going to hang from. You don’t need to widen it a lot. You just need to open the coil enough to allow the beaded safety pins to slide over it.
The easiest way to open the coil is with a butter knife. Slide the thin cutting side of the butter knife into the coil. Then pull on the knife in order to open up the coil.
You can start to add the beaded pins to the main pin once the coil is open enough. I start with Pin 1 and work my way to Pin 11, but since the sides are mirror images you can start at either end.
To attach the beaded pins you just slide the hole of the beaded pin onto the opened side of the main pin. When you get to opened coil just continue to slide the pin over it so it ends up on the other side of the opened pin.
Don’t worry if this sounds a bit confusing. Once you try it a few times you’ll get the hang of it. If you are unable to slide the beaded pin through the coil then just use your butter knife to open the coil a bit wider.
Something that is important to note is that when you attach the beaded safety pins make sure that all of the beaded pins are facing the same way when you attach them. If you don’t do this then the beaded pins will face in different directions when they get to the other side of the pin.
The way they face, either left or right, when you attach the beaded pins is totally up to you. I’ve done it both ways. Just depends which way I grab the first pin when I go to put it on.
Once you have all of the beaded pins on the main pin, and they are all facing the same direction, there is just one small step left. You’ll need to take the pliers and pinch the coil of the main pin shut again. That will keep any of the beaded pins from sliding back through it.
Yield: 1 Beaded Safety Pin
Shamrock Beaded Safety Pin - St. Patrick's Day Kid Craft
This shamrock beaded safety pin is a fun St. Patrick's Day kid craft. It's a great way to keep kids entertained on a snowy and cold March day.
12 Safety Pins - size 3
Seed Beads - Size 6/0 (55 orange and 55 green)
Create 11 beaded safety pins as listed below (pins are a mirror image so can be built from left to right or right to left)
Open the coil on the main pin with a butter knife
Slide beaded pins over the coil in the correct pin order
Meatloaf is a meal that I crave on a cold winter night. The recipe that I used called for egg though, and my son has an egg allergy. In order for him to be able to eat it with me it had to be an egg-free meatloaf recipe. Luckily it was easy to modify it and add it to my list of recipes without eggs.
Egg-Free Meatloaf Recipe
When you say “meatloaf” you often get two different reactions because people seem to either love it or hate it. I’ll admit that as a kid I wasn’t a big fan of it, but things change. As an adult I can’t get enough of it.
My mother’s meatloaf recipe is one of her own creations because she had never been a fan of most meatloaf recipes that she had tried. In the end she took a little of this, a little of that, and created an easy meatloaf recipe that she enjoyed.
To this day she just throws the ingredients into the bowl without really measuring them. I have never had the knack to cook that way, so I use the recipe that I posted below that includes specific ingredient amounts. It still tastes just as good! Promise!
Meatloaf is so soft, that it can be a good food option for young kids to try. With Nick’s egg allergy though our recipe was off limits because it contained egg. One day my mom mentioned to me that she thought we could modify her recipe to be an egg-free meatloaf recipe.
I still remember when we tried to make the meatloaf recipe without the added egg for the first time. We really weren’t sure how it would turn out. Would it taste as good? Would it fall apart on us?
The only difference we have ever found between the two recipes was that with the egg-free meatloaf recipe the meatloaf doesn’t hold it’s shape quite as well, but it still stays together. Basically unless you’re going for a five-star restaurant meatloaf presentation you should be fine.
In the end adjusting the ingredients to remove the egg part turned out to be very easy. There really is no reason to include the egg in my opinion.
Here’s What You Need to Make the Egg Free Meatloaf
For the Meatloaf
1lb burger (I personally like to use 1lb of ground turkey burger)
First you need to combine all of the ingredients for the meatloaf into a large mixing bowl and mix them together. I recommend crushing all of the crackers in the sleeve before dumping them into the bowl. If you find that your mixture is a bit soupy than add some additional oatmeal.
At some point while the meatloaf is cooking you’ll want to mix the ingredients for the topping together in a bowl.
After the 45 minutes remove the meatloaf from the oven and apply the topping to it. I find it easiest to just pour the topping on to the meatloaf and then move it around with a basting brush.
Finally, put the meatloaf back into the over and bake it for another 15 minutes at 350.
That’s all there is to it! You can see why this is such an easy meatloaf recipe to make! It takes almost no time to make. The only thing that actually takes much time is waiting for it to bake. That isn’t all that easy either because your house will quickly start to smell really good.
Yield: 6 Helpings
This egg-free meatloaf is such an easy meatloaf recipe to make. It'll really hit the spot whether you're craving winter comfort food or you just want something new to serve for dinner.
1 hour 10 minutes
For the Meatloaf
1/2 Can tomato soup
1 Sleeve Ritz crackers (crushed)
1/2 Cup ketchup
1/3 Cup barbecue sauce
1/2 Cup oatmeal
Pepper to taste
For the Meatloaf Topping
1/4 Cup ketchup
1/4 Cup barbecue sauce
Combine meatloaf ingredients in a bowl and mix together. Crush the crackers in the sleeve before adding them. If you find that the mixture seems to soupy then add some more oatmeal.
Bake the meatloaf in a sprayed oven safe bowl for 45 minutes at 350.
Mix together topping ingredients.
Remove the meatloaf from the oven and apply the topping with a basting brush.
Put the meatloaf back in the oven and cook for an additional 15 minutes at 350.
Whether you need an egg-free meatloaf recipe because someone in your house as a food allergy, or just because you are craving meatloaf for dinner and you don’t have any eggs on hand, this egg-free meatloaf recipe is sure to please!
March is such a wonderful month. Winter is no longer as harsh, signs of spring start to appear, and it’s all about reading! March is Reading Month is so much fun, and a great way help kids find joy in reading. There are so many March is Reading Month activities to help add to the fun, and this March is Reading Month activity calendar will help you bring reading fun and excitement to each day of the month!
March is Reading Month Activity Calendar
As a child I always loved the month of March. Partly because it was the month that my birthday fell in, but also because I loved March is Reading Month.
March is Reading Month was a really big deal in our school. There were so many fun activities that would happen during that month.
One thing that every child looked forward to was being caught reading. Teachers would randomly call their students in the evenings and if the student was reading when the call came in then they could go to the office for a special prize the next day.
Of course there was always a fun competition going on all moth to see which class could record the most reading minutes. The winning class won a pizza party, so of course everyone wanted to add to the total. The principal always sweetened the deal by vowing to do some crazy thing if the entire school passed a certain number of combined reading minutes.
Still, what I always loved the best was the March is Reading Month activity calendar. Just before March started a calendar would be sent home that had fun reading activities for every day of the month.
March is Reading Month Activities
It’s amazing how many fun activities there are to help children get focused on, and to have fun with, reading. There are so many ways we interact with reading in our everyday lives, and these March is Reading Month activities help kids to see that.
Even though it’s been many years since I participated in March is Reading Month activities at school (and we won’t say how many years) I still remember how much fun I had doing them. Now as a mother I see how much these activities get my son excited for reading too.
Nick is at an age where he’s starting to be able to read books that interest him. He has always liked having me read to him, but he’s starting to pick up a book now and then to read on his own too. That doesn’t happen all that often yet, but with many of these fun activities he’s jumping for book time.
One of the things I really love about so many of these activities is that they are things the whole family can get involved in. There are so many great ways to bond such as reading a recipe and then making it, or playing a board game that requires reading.
Printable March is Reading Month Calendar
When I was a kid our March is Reading Month activity calendar had activities that we could complete every single day of the month. No day went without something fun to do.
When I went to create this March is Reading Month printable activity calendar I followed the activity system my school used. Many of these activities were ones we did. I even called my mom up to ask her to help me remember some of the reading activities we had.
As a child I simply loved March is Reading month. As an adult with a language arts degree I’m so proud of the program my school put together for the month of March. These fun activities help instill in children a love for reading that will last far past March is Reading Month. My son’s school does stuff, but not to the extent my school did and I think it is such a shame because I got way more out of the entire month then he does.
Whether you’re an educator yourself, or just a parent that wants to add some reading fun for March I hope this March is Reading Month activity calendar helps your children realize how much reading is.
As a busy mom it’s hard to find time to clean the house. I don’t know about you, but I’m still working on finding a routine that helps me get it done every week. The one thing I have an easy time doing though is keeping my floors swept and mopped, and that is all thanks to my Sh-Mop!
How to Clean Floors Fast with the Sh-Mop
I have no problem admitting that I’m a perfectionist. It shows in many areas of my life. One area where it really comes through is cleaning.
For years the only way I would mop my floors was on my hands and knees with a rag. My ex-husband used to beg me to do it a different way, but I can be very set in my ways.
Plus I have never been a fan of traditional mopping. It always seemed like far too much work to get out a bucket and fill it up with soapy water. Plus then you have spend a lot of time waiting for the floor to dry.
I had always liked the idea of reusable floor mops. They seemed like an easy fix, but I didn’t want something that would require me to be constantly buying refills.
Then one day, while doing some reading on an online forum, I read about the Sh-Mop. It sounded like a great solution, and after reading some reviews I decided to bite the bullet and order it.
That was over 5 years ago and I still love my Sh-Mop! Truly cleaning my floors hasn’t been the same since. In a good way of course.
What is the Sh-Mop?
Unless you were actively searching on Google for Sh-Mop reviews you might be asking what is the Sh-Mop? Well, the Sh-Mop is the amazing, green way, to get clean floors over and over again.
The mop has a long metal handle and a flat rectangular surface at the bottom. On the rectangular surface you’ll attach a cloth cover. It is very easy to get the cover off and on which allows you to wash it as needed.
The main cover is made of terry cloth, but you can also get microfiber cloths for it. The microfiber is better then the terry cloth for dust mopping. I have one of each because I like to use my Sh-Mop to quickly dust mop my floors daily to get rid of all the pet hair.
While it isn’t as common, you can actually get a 3rd mop cover that is made specifically for dusting. This is great for dusting high, hard to reach, locations. From what I’ve found the dusting mop cover cannot be purchased on it’s own, but you can get two of them if you purchase the Sh-Mop Pro Kit.
Personal Sh-Mop Review
After several years of use I still really like my Sh-Mop. It does an amazing job of cleaning the floors. It gives floors the same type of cleaning that I used to do with hand mopping, but without the pain to my knees and back. Plus unlike with traditional mopping the floors are dry within a few short minutes.
The mop not only works well, but it’s a well made product. My mop itself is in great shape. It still looks brand new. About a year or so ago I did finally buy a new set of mop covers because mine had finally gotten too dirty and worn out. I really can’t complain though since I used my original two covers for a good three years.
The only thing I can say I don’t like about the Sh-Mop is the mop head isn’t tiny. This means that there are a few spots that I can’t clean as well as I’d like because the mop won’t fit. Now there aren’t that many spots like that in my house. It’s mostly small areas like the backside of the toilet. It is a small downside that I still have to hand clean those areas now and then, but I can still clean the floors a lot faster with my Sh-Mop then any other way I’ve ever done it.
Where to Buy a Sh-Mop
I get asked all the time where I bought my Sh-Mop. Sadly a Sh-Mop isn’t a product you’re just going to easily find in a store. Basically you’ll need to order it from an online site. I ordered mine on Amazon.
There are different Sh-Mop packages on Amazon to choose from. I decided to get the standard starter package that came with the mop and two mop covers. I liked that particular package because it included the terry mop cover as well as the microfiber cover.
There are two different mop designs. You can get it with a regular handle, or a telescoping handle. I have the regular one, but you might want to look into one of the telescoping handle packages if you want to use your mop to clean high places such as windows.
Tips for Using a Sh-Mop
After several years of using my Sh-Mop I have using it down to a science which makes floor cleaning a breeze. You’ll probably need to try it out to find out how it best works for you, but here are some tips of how I’ve come to use and care for my Sh-Mop.
To keep my floors clean from pet hair and dust bunnies I dry mop it quickly every day while I make my morning coffee. I grab the mop, and just quickly move it around the spaces I want to clean. Then I take off the mop cover, open the sliding door, and shake all of the dust from it outside. In the winter when it’s really cold I’ll shake it over the kitchen garbage can, but I prefer to do it outside. I use the same mop cover to dry mop for the entire week.
Once a week I will use my Sh-Mop to truly mop all of my floors. When I do this I take the cover off, run it under water, wring it out, and then spray it with my floor cleaner (see below for how I make that) and clean my floors. I usually spray more cleaner on before I switch to a new floor.
Here’s a helpful tip that I read about before I even bought my Sh-Mop. If you have dirty spot on your floor that won’t come up (I can get these in my kitchen from time to time) grab the mop head, and while holding the mop head with your hand scrub the dirt spot with the side of the mop. That always works for me to get those tough spots.
Once I’m done mopping I take of the mop cover and throw it right in the washer. I always make sure to mop before I do my weekly load of towels which is why I throw the wet cover right into the washing machine. It works out really well because the best way to wash towels is also the best way to wash the mop covers.
After I remove the used mop cover I get the other one and put it on the mop to use for the next week. This way I keep rotating mop covers to help them last longer. Each cover is supposed to be good for 250 washings.
The one thing I have to say for this is, I feel the microfiber cover does work a lot better for the dry mopping. It really slides along the floor better when it’s dry then the terry cloth does. I currently have one of each cover though, so I use both covers for both things because it just makes things easier. I really should get two of each cover so I can switch based on how I’m mopping while still having a clean spare of each to switch too while the other is being washed.
My Quick Cleaner for the Sh-Mop
I mentioned above that I spray cleaner onto my Sh-Mop when I do a wet mopping. I know there are people that dip their Sh-Mop into a bucket with cleaner, but to me that’s too time consuming, and it always sounds like a wet mess. Having cleaner in a spray bottle ready to go is the best way to mop floors fast with the Sh-Mop.
You can use any cleaner that you like. I like to keep a spray bottle on hand with my cleaner that is made of a cup of Spic and Span (and when I say a cup I mean I pour the Spic and Span into the lid “cup” of the bottle it comes in) and then I fill the rest of the spray bottle with water.
You can use any spray bottle that you want. At the time I decided to do this I had a bottle of Windex on hand that I had just used up, so I decided to reuse that. My bottle is a 26 ounce size. I think one around that size is best in order to have a pretty good balance of cleaner to water.
I have had my Sh-Mop for well over 5 years now, and I am still so happy that I decided to order it way back when. It has made cleaning my floors so much easier, and I can now clean them so fast. If you look on Amazon you’ll find that the Sh-Mop receives high reviews and it doesn’t surprise me one bit. It truly is a fabulous mop no matter what level of cleaning that you need it for.
The Walt Disney World Dining Plan isn’t new to the Disney World vacation planning tips that many people give. After all it has been around for a very long time. It can be a great way to save some extra money, but it won’t help everyone save on their vacation.
Walt Disney World Dining Plan: Is it Worth the Cost?
I love going to Walt Disney World, but even I cannot deny that a Disney vacation can get pricey. Dining costs can get especially high. Which is why many vacationers spend time considering adding a dining plan to their package.
The dining plan can be a great add-on, but it is not for everyone. The question is though, “is it worth the cost for you?”
A Look at the Walt Disney World Dining Plan Options
I’m going to start with a quick overview for those of you that don’t know much about the Walt Disney World Dining Plan. If you already know about the types of the dining plans available and Disney Dining Plan costs then scroll farther down to check out exactly how the plans work and to see the advantage and disadvantages of choosing one of these plans.
The dining plan is a dining service that you can add to a Walt Disney World vacation package. The dining plan will cover the cost of the majority of your meals for your Walt Disney World stay.
There are three different plans to choose from. The prices listed below are for 2019 packages and include the cost of tax.
Quick Service Dining Plan
This plan includes 2 quick service (aka counter service) meals per day. For each of these meals you get an entree, dessert and drink. The plan also includes one snack every day. Each person on the plan will also receive a refillable drink mug that can be used at any resort for unlimited drinks during your entire length of stay. The cost per adult per day is $52.50, and per child (ages 3-9) per day is $23.78.
Basic Dining Plan
This plan includes 1 quick service meal per day (same inclusions as above). It also includes 1 table service meal per day. The table service meal allows you to get an entree, drink, and dessert or it can be a buffet meal. Each day you will also get one snack credit as well. As with the Quick Service Plan each guest will also receive a refillable drink mug. The cost per adult per day is $75.49, and per child (ages 3-9) per day is $27.98.
Deluxe Dining Plan
This plan covers three full meals a day. You can choose to use your meals at any type of restaurant (quick service or table service). Quick service meals include the same foods as mentioned above, but table service meals include an appetizer as well as the entree, drink, and dessert. This plan includes two snacks per day, and each guest still receives a refillable mug. The cost per adult per day is $116.25, and per child (ages 3-9) per day is $43.49. The cost of this plan can vary some depending on the season.
How the Walt Disney World Dining Plans Work
Each dining plan will give you an allotment of a certain number of dining credits. The number of credits that you receive is based on the type of dining plan that you choose as well as the number of nights of your Walt Disney World vacation package.
For example if you add the Basic Dining Plan to your vacation package you receive one quick service dining credit and one table service dining credit per night booked. So if you booked a vacation package for 5 nights and 6 days then you’ll receive 5 quick service credits and 5 table credits per person. If you had booked a 6 night and 7 day stay then you would receive 6 quick service credits and 6 table service credits.
Note that I’m saying you get so many dining credits and not so many meals. This is important when it comes to table service meals. A large number of table service restaurants at Walt Disney World require 2 dining credits to eat there.
Your dining credits are yours to use as you want over the course of your vacation. That means that you could use 3 quick service meals one day and none of your credits on another day. However, and wherever, you decide to use them is totally up to you.
All dining plan credits are valid from the day of check-in through the day of check-out.
Is It Worth Getting the Dining Plan at Disney World?
The big question though is if the Walt Disney World Dining Plan is really worth the cost or not. The answer isn’t a black and white one though. The usefulness of the dining plan truly varies from one family to the other. Let’s break it down.
The Benefits of the Dinging Plan
It makes budgeting for your trip a lot easier when you’ve paid for most, if not all, of your dining costs before you even leave the house.
You can order whatever you want and not worry about how much something costs.
Since 2018 alcohol and specialty drinks are now included in the beverage choices. This allows you to splurge on fun drinks without adding to the bill.
It can also help save you money if you want to do a lot of character meals as the cost of those can be high.
In the fall of 2018 Disney raised a lot of their food prices by quite a bit, especially on beverages and certain snacks. Currently a fountain drink will cost you $3.99. With prices like that the amount you’ll spend on food every day can add up quickly.
The Disadvantages of the Dining Plan
You may end up overeating… A LOT! Many people find that the amount of food included is way more than they normally eat, but no one wants to waste what’s covered, so people end up overeating day after day.
If you don’t have big eaters in the family then you might find that the daily cost of the plan is more money then you would spend if didn’t use the plan. This can be especially true with kids. My son eats like a bird. He’s happy with a bucket of popcorn which makes it a waste to pay for a meal he likely won’t eat.
As I mentioned before some table service restaurants are considered premium ones and will require two of your table service credits to eat at them on your plan.
Children 3-9 must order a kids meal. The only exception is kids can order from the adult menu if you have the Deluxe Dining Plan. This won’t be an issue for most kids, but I know there are some out there that wouldn’t be OK with that rule.
If you get the Basic Dining Plan you’ll be paying for a table service meal every day. We prefer to only do a few table service meals per trip (usually ones with Disney characters) because those can become long and they take up a lot of your park time.
Gratuity is not included for table service meals, so you will still need to have money on hand for that.
So is the cost worth it? That truly depends on your family and situation. The important thing is to do some research and see if the Dining Plan will actually save you money or cost you more. Although there is something to be said about paying for a convenience.
Tips For Using the Walt Disney World Dining Plans
Now if you do decide to go with the Dining Plan I have some tips to help you get the most out of them.
Second, take advantage of those snack credits! Unless you have some really big eaters you likely will find that you won’t be hungry enough to want to get a snack during the day. If you get the Quick Service or Basic Dining Plans a great way to use your snack credits is to buy something for your breakfast with them. In the past we’ve used them on everything from pastries, to fruit, to yogurt.
As a side tip make sure to purchase your snack items separately from any other food you might be purchasing at that time. That way you can be sure that your credits get used for the most expensive items.
If you find yourself with a lot of snack credits at the end of your trip another choice would be to buy packaged food (such as a box of little cookies or cheesy Mickey head crackers) that you can take with you. These can be really useful as snacks for the trip back home, or they’re a fun way to bring some magic back to your day once you’ve returned home.
I hope this has helped you better understand the basics of the Walt Disney World dining plan options. I also hope it helped shed some light on whether a dining plan would be a good choice for your vacation or not!
Do you feel overwhelmed trying to plan your Walt Disney World vacation? Would you like to have someone make your reservations and help give you guidance? As an agent with DreamFinder Travel I can do just that for you! Plus my services are completely FREE! Request a no obligation vacation quote today and let’s start planning your magical vacation!
Disclosure: This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #CraftPBJCreations #Meijer #CollectiveBias. This post is sponsored by The J.M. Smucker Company
It’s hard to believe that the holiday season is behind us and that it’s time for kids to head back to school. My little guy, though, was not ready to go back. Luckily, I was able to make the transition a little easier with the help of Jif® & Smucker’s®PB&J Pizza!
PB&J Pizza – A Fun Twist on the Traditional Sandwich
For the most part Nick likes school, but he never wants to go. He’s very much a homebody, like me, and he would happily stay home all day.
I have found that it’s much easier to get him to school if he has something during the school day that he’s excited about. A fun lunch is one of those things.
I knew the first week back to school after break would be especially hard for Nick. To make it easier I decided to plan something extra special for his lunch.
When I headed to Meijer the other day though, I still wasn’t sure what that special lunch would be. Luckily, inspiration struck while I was reaching for a jar of Jif® Peanut Butter to put in my cart.
Nick loves a good PB&J sandwich. Like most kids he is also very particular about how his sandwich gets cut. He likes his sliced diagonally to create, in his words, pizza slices.
As I was grabbing my jar of peanut butter I got the idea to make Nick an actual PB&J pizza for his lunch! Talk about a fun lunch!
After putting the peanut butter in my cart I continued down the aisle. I grabbed a jar of Smucker’s® Fruit Spreads for the PB&J pizza. Then I finished by grabbing a box of Jif Power Ups® Creamy Clusters because of the great mPerks coupon I had clipped.
Have you tried Jif Power Ups® snacks yet? They are really good. Nick needs breakfast before school, but he’s not one to sit down and actually eat. He prefers food that he can snack on while he slowly wakes up. I like to give him snack food choices that have good protein, so peanut butter snacks are my go to. Jif Power Ups® are a choice that makes us both happy!
One of the best parts about Jif Power Ups® is that they are so portable. Nick doesn’t always wake up fast enough to eat all of his breakfast. With these though it’s so easy for him to bring them with us to eat on our way to school.
After I grabbed the Jif Power Ups® I had only a few more PB&J ingredients to get while I finished my grocery shopping.
What You Need to Make a PB&J Pizza
1/3 Cup Jif® Creamy Peanut Butter
1/4 Cup Smucker’s® Strawberry Jelly
7″ Pizza Crust
2-3 Fresh Strawberries
How to Make a PB&J Pizza
What is it about peanut butter and jelly? It is just so good. Jif® peanut butter with it’s creamy, fresh roasted peanut taste, and Smucker’s® Fruit Spread with it’s amazing flavor coming from fresh picked strawberries, make a PB&J simply amazing. It’s no wonder that both products have been trusted for years for their wholesome goodness. Whether in a sandwich or on a pizza crust Jif® and Smucker’s® spreads are the perfect pair to give you the best tasting PB&J!
Making a PB&J pizza is quite easy. It takes a tad more work then making a regular PB&J sandwich, but not much.
To start you’ll need to bake your pizza crust. I would just follow the instructions on the package of pizza crusts that you purchased. Mine said to heat the stove up to 450. Then to turn it down to 425 and bake for 7 minutes. That really didn’t get mine done enough, so you might need to bake another minute or two.
Just before your pizza crust is done scoop 1/3 cup of peanut butter into a microwave safe bowl. Then place the bowl in the microwave and warm it up for around 30 seconds. You want to heat the peanut butter up enough so that it’s really smooth and easy to spread. Spread it on the pizza crust as soon as it comes out of the oven.
Once your peanut butter has been added it’s time to top it with the jelly. To do this you’ll want to place around 1/4 cup worth into a sandwich baggie. Push all of the jelly into one corner of the baggie and cut the tip of that corner off. Then squeeze the jelly out onto the pizza in a spiral pattern. You can help spread the jelly out even more by taking a knife and gently pulling the cutting edge through the jelly.
Once you have your peanut butter and jelly all set cut the pizza into four slices.
To finish your pizza cut up two or three strawberries into small pieces. If needed turn them over and cut the pointed edge off so they can lay flat on the pizza. Then place a few of the cut pieces on each slice. While the strawberries do add to the overall pizza flavor they actually have an extra purpose. When you put the pizza into a baggie (use a quart size one) they keep the baggie from touching the peanut butter and jelly and making a mess!
Nick really liked his PB&J pizza when we did a test run of it. It’s such a fun way for him to eat something he already likes. Plus, just as I had hoped, he was really excited about having it for lunch when I dropped him off at school this morning. I hope your back to school transition went just as smoothly!
Want more fun Jif® and Smucker’s® spreads ideas? Be sure to check out all of the great ideas here!
Save on Jif and Smucker’s at Meijer
Before you head to Meijer to buy the supplies to make your own PB&J pizza be sure to log into mPerks and grab some money saving digital coupons! From now until 2/2/19 you can save over $2 on Jif® peanut butter, Smucker’s® fruit spreads, and Jif Power Ups® snacks!
Add a fun twist to the traditional peanut butter and jelly sandwich with this PB&J pizza!
1/4 Cup Jif® Creamy Peanut Butter
1/3 Cup Smucker's® Strawberry Jelly
1 Pizza Crust (7")
Bake pizza crust according to instructions on packaging.
Melt peanut butter in a microwave safe bowl. Heat for 30 seconds or so. Then apply melted peanut butter to pizza crust.
Put the jelly into a sandwich baggie and push it into one corner. Cut the tip of that corner off and then squeeze onto the pizza in a circular pattern. Gently pull the cutting edge of a knife through the jelly to move it around.
Cut the pizza into 4 slices.
Cut up 2 or 3 strawberries. If needed cut off any pointed tips so the pieces can lay flat. Then place the strawberry pieces on the pizza slices.
In our home we’re big dessert fans. We especially love cakes. Due to my son’s egg allergy he wasn’t able to eat many cakes though. Over the years I have taken lots of our favorite cake recipes and modified them to make them recipes without eggs. This recipe for pumpkin bundt cake without eggs is one of my favorites and it’s a perfect fall dessert.
Recipe for Pumpkin Bundt Cake Without Eggs
I just love this recipe for pumpkin bundt cake without eggs. The recipe was given to my mother years ago by a friend and I modified it to be egg-free.
What makes this pumpkin bundt cake so great is that it’s really moist and has a lot of pumpkin flavor. I love cream cheese frosting on fall cakes like my harvest cake, but this one does not need it. In fact the frosting would only take away from the fabulous flavor of the cake.
One of the really great things about this recipe is that the cake continues to taste great for days. It’s so moist that, when wrapped up, it can go for a week or more without drying out. In fact, I’d go as far as to say that it almost tastes better a day or two after it’s made. So no worries if you have leftovers with this cake, because you can continue to enjoy eating it. Although you aren’t likely to have any slices leftover!
Ingredients needed for Egg-Free Pumpkin Bundt Cake
1 Cup of applesauce (For this recipe I like to use cinnamon applesauce. You can also use 2 applesauce snack cups instead of measuring out the exact amount of applesauce. I find they’re very easy to just keep on hand for egg-free baking.)
This pumpkin cake is fairly easy to make. It does take a decent amount of time though. Partly because it needs a long baking amount, but it also has so many ingredients that it just takes a long time to measure everything out and mix it together. It’s totally worth the time you put in though.
To start you need to combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, allspice, and cloves in a bowl. Then mix everything together.
Next add in the applesauce, pumpkin, and oil. For this part use an electric mixer set to a medium speed. Continue to mix with the electric mixer until the ingredients are well blended.
To finish add in the walnuts and chocolate chips and stir them in well. You can adjust the amount of walnuts to your liking. The original recipe called for a full cup. I felt that was a bit much myself so I cut the amount back to 3/4 of a cup. If your family doesn’t like nuts then feel free to skip the ingredient completely. It gives a bit of crunch to the cake, but the cake is amazing with or without the nuts.
Once you have everything mixed together it’s time to bake the egg-free pumpkin bundt cake. Pour the batter into a well greased bundt pan. Then bake the cake at 350 for 1 hour and 10 minutes or until a tooth pick interested into the cake comes out clean.
Once the cake is done remove it from the oven and let it cool down for 5 minutes or so. Then turn it over and place on a wire rack to finish cooling completely.
Just a word of warning. Be careful when you turn the bundt pan over. This cake is very heavy, and if it’s still too warm it can crack a bit when it comes out of the pan due to the weight. This is why you won’t want to remove it from the bundt pan too early.
Once the cake has cooled and you are ready to serve it you can give it a finished look by sprinkling powdered sugar on top. A sugar sifter makes this very easy, but you can also just rub it between your fingers as you move your hand around.
Pumpkin Bundt Cake without Eggs
This recipe for pumpkin bundt cake without eggs is a wonderful fall dessert. This very moist cake is packed full of pumpkin flavor and is sure to please.
3 Cups Flour
2 Cups Sugar
2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
2 Teaspoons Ground Cinnamon
1/2 Teaspoon Ground Nutmeg
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1/4 Teaspoon Ground Allspice
1/4 Teaspoon Ground Cloves
2 Cups Applesauce (Cinnamon )
1 Can Pumpkin Puree (15oz)
1 Cup Oil
3/4 Cup Walnuts (Chopped)
1 Cup Chocolate Chips
Powdered Sugar (Optional)
Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, allspice, and cloves in a bowl and mix well.
Add applesauce, pumpkin, and oil and and mix together with an electric mixer set on medium speed until well blended.
Stir in walnuts and chocolate chips.
Pour batter into a well greased bundt pan. Bake at 350 for 1 hour and 10 minutes or until a inserted tooth pick comes out clean.
Allow cake to cool for at least 5 minutes and then turn it over on a wire rack and allow it to cool completely.
Before serving dust with powdered sugar if desired.
I hope your family and friends and enjoy this pumpkin bundt cake without eggs. It is certainly a favorite fall dessert recipe in our family, and it is still a great one to serve through the holiday season. In fact I’m about to bake it again as a holiday gift for my neighbors. Enjoy!
When it comes to fall desserts the pumpkin ones are usually my favorite. I just love anything that has a pumpkin flavor. I don’t always have time to make a full pumpkin dessert though. That is why I absolutely love this pumpkin pie popcorn! It’s a great way to quickly and easily enjoy a pumpkin dessert.
Pumpkin Pie Popcorn
What is it about the flavor of pumpkin that is so good? Pumpkin pie has to be one of my favorite desserts. That is why I love this pumpkin pie popcorn recipe! What I also love about this fall dessert is that it is easy to whip up at any time.
Plus it’s a great dessert to take to a party. People love party food that is easy to just grab and eat the way you can with a handful of popcorn. That’s not so easy with a piece of pie. Plus the popcorn can be stretched a lot farther.
This is also a great recipe to have on hand in the fall when last minute events pop up. This is so easy and fast to make, and it’s easy to have these ingredients on hand for whenever you need them.
This really is such an easy recipe to make. In fact, it’s so easy that it’s a really good recipe to let kids help with.
The first thing you want to do is combine the sugar and all of the spices in a bowl. Mix them well and then set the bowl to the side.
Now it’s time to pop the popcorn. If you really wanted to use a microwave bag of popcorn you probably could get away with that if you use one that is for completely plain popcorn. In my opinion though this recipe is best made with popcorn you pop yourself.
The bag or container of popcorn kernels should have instructions on how to pop it. Basically though you want to cover the bottom of a sauce pan with cooking oil (usually 2-3 tablespoons will do it). Then add 1/2 a cup of uncooked popcorn to the oil. Then you’ll heat it on the stove.
Set the stove to a medium heat level and cover the sauce pan with a lid. Make sure to leave the lid slightly cracked to let the steam out. While the pan is on the stove you’ll want to move it around a little over the burner. You know the popcorn is done cooking when the popping has slowed down to 2 or 3 seconds apart.
Once your popcorn is done pour it into a large bowl. You want a bowl big enough that the popcorn isn’t overflowing it. Otherwise you’re going to have a big mess.
Now take your spray butter and squirt some on the popcorn. Then sprinkle some of the pumpkin pie spice mixture that you made earlier onto the popcorn and use a large spoon to mix it up. Continue to spray the butter and mix in more of the spice mixture until there is no spic mixture left.
That’s all there is to it! Now you have a yummy pumpkin flavored dessert to serve. I also like to keep some pumpkin pie popcorn in a container on the counter so I can add a little pumpkin to my day any time I crave it.
Pumpkin Pie Popcorn
Easily and quickly add some pumpkin flavor to the end of your day with this pumpkin pie popcorn.
3 Tablespoons Cooking Oil
1/2 Cup Popcorn (Uncooked)
1 Tablespoon Sugar
1/2 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
1/4 Teaspoon Ground Ginger
1/8 Teaspoon Ground Allspice
1/8 Teaspoon Ground Cloves
1/8 Teaspoon Ground Nutmeg
Combine sugar and spices in a bowl and mix together. Then set aside.
Add 2-3 Tablespoons of cooking oil to a sauce pan and then add the uncooked popcorn. Cover the sauce pan with a lid leaving it slightly cracked to let out steam. Set stove to medium and move the sauce pan around periodically. Cook popcorn until the popping slows down to every 2 or 3 seconds.
Pour popped popcorn into a large bowl.
Spray the popcorn with some spray butter and sprinkle on some of the pumpkin pie spice mixture. Then mix the popcorn up with a large spoon. Continue to spray the popcorn and sprinkle on spice mixture until the spice mixture is all gone.
I love the look of fall. There is nothing like the bright colored leaves on trees. Especially when the sun hits them just right. That’s why I love this fall tulle wreath so much.
Easy DIY Fall Tulle Wreath
I love hanging wreaths on my front door. From about the end of September through October I put up my Halloween tinsel wreath, but that left me without anything to put up for the majority September and the time between Halloween and Christmas decorations. So I decided it was time to make a wreath that worked for those other fall times.
I love how this fall tulle wreath turned out. There is nothing better then when a craft you think up turns out just like how you saw it in your head.
I really like how the leaves look against the brown tulle. To me it really captures that look of the fall. I found some leaves to use that had a bit of sparkle added to them which looks simply amazing on a sunny fall day.
Brown Tulle (The link is not to the exact tulle I used as I can no longer find that one. They seem to constantly change those up. This tulle should work fine. Just want to make sure to note that it most likely is darker then the colored tulle I used.)
This wreath is really quite easy to make. I have to admit though that it isn’t really fast to make. The way that I attach the tulle can take some time to do.
The tulle work is pretty mindless though. I don’t know about you, but I love having a mindless craft that I can do while watching TV or other simple tasks where I am just listening. I’m one of those types of people that is better able to stay focused if I have something to do.
Cutting the Tulle
One of the things that can take a bit of time is cutting the tulle that you’ll use to make the fall tulle wreath. I prefer to cut it up as I go, but you might prefer to cut it up in big batches and then later attach it to the wire frame. Either way is totally fine. It just depends on what works best for you.
Now, if you’re lucky enough to find 3 inch wide tulle you’ll save yourself a cutting step. I haven’t had as much luck finding that size of tulle any more, so like me you’re most likely going to need to buy 6 inch wide tulle. You will need to purchase 3 spools of 6 inch wide tulle. If you purchase 3 inch wide then you likely will need to get 6 spools although you might get away with only 5 spools.
This is where you will need to use the 12 inch ruler. You need to start by cutting the tulle into 12 inch strips. I measure it out with the ruler and then make a quick cut up at the end of the ruler. You do not need the pieces to be perfectly straight, so precise cutting isn’t necessary. That at least saves a little bit of time in the crafting process.
This is the point where the next step depends on whether you have 3 inch wide tulle or 6 inch wide. If you have 3 inch wide skip down to the next cutting step.
If you have 6 inch tulle take the 12 inch piece of tulle that you just cut and fold it length wise (hot dog style if that rings a bell). Once you’ve folded it over cut the entire length of the fold. Again you do not need to worry about a precise cut.
Now take one of pieces you just cut, or your 3 inch wide tulle piece, and fold it in half width wise (hamburger style). As before you’re going to cut right along the fold.
There is just one cutting step left. Finally take the pieces that you cut up and fold them length wise (hotdog style) and cut along the fold.
When you are all done cutting you should have strips of tulle that measure 1.5 x 6 inches. You will have 4 pieces if you had 3 inch wide tulle or 8 pieces if you had 6 inch wide tulle.
Attaching the Tulle
Once you have strips of tulle cut up you can start attaching them to the wire frame.
To do this take one of your 1.5 x 6 inch strips of tulle and fold it in half so the size is 1.5 x 3 inches. Then wrap that piece of tulle around one of the rims on the frame.
Then you’re simply going to tie the tulle into a knot. You should have about the same amount of tulle sticking up from either side of the knot.
Finally push the tulle up until it can’t go any farther.
You will continue to do this until the frame is fully covered in brown tulle.
Decorating the Wreath
Now comes the fun part! Once the wire frame is fully covered in brown tulle it is time to decorate your fall tulle wreath.
You can get whatever kind and color of silk leaves that you like. I happened to get a collection that contained different styles, sizes, and colors. At first I wasn’t sure about putting the brown leaves on the brown tulle, but the colors ended up being different enough and I felt the red and orange also helped the darker brown pop.
Before you start attaching any leaves I recommend placing them on the wreath the way that you would like them to go. That way you can play around with your patterns and placements and you’re able to change things that you don’t like.
I chose to create a color pattern with my leaves, and I changed the direction that the top of the leaf pointed for each one. I must say I lucked out because when I placed my last leaf it fit the pattern perfectly.
Once you’ve decided that you like that way your have your leaves placed you can attach them to the tulle wreath. I picked each leaf up, one at a time and put a strip of hot glue down the back. Then I placed it back into it’s spot on the wreath and gently pushed it into the tulle. Once it was attached I would pick the next leaf up and do the same. That way my pattern and spacing didn’t get messed up.
How much hot glue you put on is up to you. I felt a small strip was enough. I didn’t want my leaves to look really tacked down. I tried a smallish dot at first but felt that wasn’t quite enough glue.
When your glue is all dry your wreath is ready to be hung up and proudly displayed on your front door!
I hope you enjoy your fall tulle wreath! I just love how it looks hanging on my front door, and I’m sure you will too!