Posted in My Travels

The Disney World Trip Reveal!!

Disney World Here We Come!

Finally! After months of all the stealth Disney World trip planning, the girls were able to get in on the secret on Christmas morning.

The girls came downstairs, at the crack of dawn, to find the tree lit up and surrounded by tons of wrapped and unwrapped toys. The blue wintery wrapped and unwrapped gifts from Mom and Dad, and the striped gifts from the big man, Santa. But. The most special were right in the front; 2 giant, red, overstuffed gift bags adorned with black vinyl Mickey Mouse heads from BOTH Santa and Mickey Mouse!


They raced for those Disney bags shouting, then started in on reading every letter and unwrapping every stitch of wrap meticulously. The girls were making noises I never thought possible to come out of the mouths of small children like them!  

So, what was inside those bags anyway?

Some things I have been collecting for months!! Crayons, light up fans, stickers, Minnie themed elastics, coin purses, Minnie Ear clips (which I think will magically be clipped to my hair!), and more hair accessories. Then tissues for their bedrooms.
Light up Disney fans.
Light up necklaces!
I created these "meal invites" for the girls.  My oldest loved these.  I figured it was a great way to let them in on where we are eating and when...They can hand them to me every day to also remind me!  heh
I created these Disney Character Meal “invites” for the girls to go along with our dining reservations. My oldest loved these and mentioned how Santa didn’t go into this much detail last time (haha). I figured it was a great way to let them in on where we are eating and when…They can hand them to me every day to also remind me! heh
Some $1 Store rain ponchos (2 yellow and 2 white), just in case!
Each Minnie Mouse head change purse (from the Disney Store) was filled with $.50 and $.01 so they can use the pressed penny machines wherever they want. Which is their fav thing to spot out.
A cute purple pair of fuzzy Minnie Mouse slippers for the hotel. (a big score at WalMart!)
The Minnie Mouse letter was also a huge hit! These tulle makeup bags were  for each girl. Major score with these bags. They were free from my cosmetic purchases from Nordstrom online. They were filled with mini hair comb tiaras, glimmery nail polish, sparkly lip gloss, Minnie Mouse hair bands, a lip gloss crown ring, and Minnie Mouse hair clips.  I also had a baby blue tulle bag was filled with the ‘Mom has to use’ products-glitter hairspray, gel, bobby pins, brushes, etc. All the items I’d need to do their hair the right way. heh
The activity books I made with a few boxes of glittery, fun colored crayons.
The Mickey Mouse head button tees!
The countdown calendar that was set up off to the side.
The Mickey Mouse bandaid dispenser!
They freaked out over the personalized Phineas and Ferb letter regarding the autograph books. I mean, I knew they wanted autograph books cause all they talked about were getting one. They unwrapped them as fast as they could after reading the letter, then jumped for joy. Literally, three feet off the ground! My oldest started cheering over their names on them; it was so sweet.

Customized embroidered clothes made by the very talented KatieJoBelle’sBoutique, a.k.a, Mrs. Claus! She had made personalized tees, sculpted Disney character clips, Minnie Mouse dresses and hair bands last trip that will come along on this trip, too! Below are shots of the two personalized handmade chevron striped dresses, the Disney character embroidered/personalized tee shirt and tulle skirt, a Minnie Mouse hair bow, and embroidered striped tees.  The other two items, the dresses, are from the Disney Store.

Luckily, every gift went over phenomenally well. They were absolutely over the moon with all the detail Santa put into their presents, especially to find out what resorts Santa planned for us.  I never have seen two kids overjoyed over resorts before.

The insanity of all the secret planning was well well wellllll worth it!  I cannot tell you how much joy it brought to me seeing their faces light up and hearing the squealing over the fun things. Especially, when my oldest held up her button Mickey head tee saying she thought that was the most special gift of the trip stuff because it was purple. 🙂  She held onto it for an hour!  

We haven’t spent a minute of our days since the big reveal Christmas morning discussing anything else. The girls cannot wait to get back to Disney World! And, well, we cannot wait either! I cannot wait to introduce them to the rides that were closed on our last trip; which happen to be my favorite!– Thunder Mountain and the Khali River Rapids! They are going to flip! Though knowing Splash Mountain will be closed was a big bummer! But it is still going to be an amazing trip!

Posted in Random Stuff

Christmas! It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the YEEAAAR!!

Buon Natale a tutti!  Merry Christmas, Everyone!!

I am ever thankful for my family and friends.  They are the best gifts that I could ever ask for in my life.  Especially my husband and two children.  We have had a great season celebrating with everyone, and, after weeks of hectic planning and worry, am happy to say that all the festivities went off without a hitch!    

Unfortunately, with our house under construction the way it is, without a kitchen, I wasn’t able to have the amount of get togethers or cook/bake anything like we normally do, but we made do and our family & friends pulled through to make some memorable get togethers happen!

Also, with this project going on, we had to cram our tree in the corner of the living room behind two couches, and next to the entryway; leaving us not much space for all the presents Santa left behind..but it still looked amazing, and the girls went batnutfacecrazy. We are going to Disney World y’all!


Christmas Eve and Christmas Day were lots of fun. We split our time with each of our families, which made for our first relaxing Christmas as a family.  This was the first time in many many years that we didn’t run around on the Eve or host our families to Christmas Day dinner. And you wanna know something?  I enjoyed every darn minute with my family. So much so, that I am not sure I want to spark back up to do it!  What have I been missing all these years with my children!?!? Lots of laughing, lounging, catnapping, playing with toys, and eating cookies, that is what!!  😛

Well, here are some snapshots from all the fun we had this season.  Hope you had an amazing Christmas with your loved ones, and that Santa was very good to you all like he was to us.



This has been the closest I got to owning a dog this Christmas… giving this gorgeous, giant plush to my baby buddy nephew 🙂 I do want a dog, jussayin Santa! A Great Dane with blue eyes would be nice!
Last weekend..first time in 10+yrs we have made it to this holiday party in town!  Can you believe we have had previous engagements over the past ten years plus and not able to attend!!?!?  FINALLY!
The girls being sweet before having some friends over!


And. A holiday isn't complete unless someone falls asleep..this time in my arms.  :)  Buon Natale!
And…a holiday isn’t complete unless someone falls asleep.  This time in my arms. One of my favorite presents.  🙂 Buon Natale!
Posted in My Travels

Disney- Mickey Mouse Head Autograph Books

We are getting down to the big trip reveal wire!

One thing the girls didn’t request till after we left Disney World were autograph books. As we started to plan this trip a few months ago, I started feverishly searched for one they would love, and kept hitting dead ends. The Disney store sold one, and many people make them, but they were unsightly, flimsy or busy! Which got my creativity juices flowing…why not make them one!?

Back during school supplies week in August, I purchased two feminine, colorful patterned journals from Walmart; each under $3. Each journal was filled with pages and large enough for the characters to write on.

The plan was to take thee journals and paint them into Disney themed books…but I changed my mind!


I had some script and Mickey Mouse head shapes of vinyl cut, then placed them on their centers. Then had pink vinyl shapes cut to cover the barcode on the back.




Along with these books, the girls will have a large Sharpie attached to these on a string.

Cute right!?

Posted in Random Stuff

The Best Day of the Year

Thanks to my family for making today fun! To my husband, and our beautiful children, for making every day fun and wonderful for me, but today extra special.  You went overboard with the presents and homemade cards that it made me feel absolutely loved and so overjoyed. And. Thank you to my parents and sister (with her family) who also helped make this day special!  Being together is always a good time, and today was no exception.   I am so lucky to be surrounded by such beautiful people.

This also goes for those who couldn’t make it, too!

It was snowing out there, but the camera didn't capture it. But no snow was going to bring Sunshine down! (sunshine's my nickname btw)
It was snowing out there, but the camera didn’t capture it. But no snow was going to bring Sunshine down! (sunshine’s my nickname btw)
My baby nephew, isn't he adorable?
My baby nephew, isn’t he adorable?
My little girl, nephew and I.
My daughter and niece coloring.
My oldest daughter and nephew chilling together.
Enjoying my favorite drink..a Madame Lillet. Sooo yummmmmmayyyy
My beautiful Mom and I.
My nephew is a fantastic brunch date 🙂
My sis and brother in law.
My parents.
My husband and I. :))))
My family.
One more time, MY FAMILY!
My family…but someone is missing….
Do you see him in the far corner??
Just for that, you have to take one alone with your Zia Valeria! 😉
And there is always someone who ends up falling asleep at the end of our get togethers..this time it’s my nephew!
Aw, isn’t he the cutest? ❤

And.  To all my friends for the insane amount of birthday wishes I received today through the mail, emails, FB posts and texts; All of you guys made this birthday girl feel so loved.  🙂 Thank you!

Until next year! Xoxoxo

Posted in Weight Loss Diary

Anyone Else Afraid of Gaining Weight at Disney?

Hey All!

I haven’t blogged about my weight loss adventure in a long time, because due to all the hectic things going on in my house, I have given it a rest.  Well, sort of, just not blogged about it.

As of where I left off with my blog about my weigh ins, October 17, I decided to try my best at maintaining that new weight, and guess what?  I have, and actually, am down another 2lbs! I am officially staying in that weight bracket now! Which is a super shock to me. This means since my weight loss challenge this Summer, I am down a total of 19 lbs.  This weight loss was the most visible by me, and others, too.  I got told a lot how great I looked and asked if I was losing weight often.  I guess my face changed a lot this Summer, cause that was the biggest compliment of all.  Finally down to one chin! ;P

Which also means, since 2010, when I started gearing my head in this losing game I have lost 66.5 lbs!!!! (actually more cause I yo-yo’d a tiny bit between)  Wow, doesn’t seem like I was THAT much heavier, but holy moly I guess I was!

Now, here is my real issue with all this good positive weight loss.  As most of you guys know, we are taking the girls to Disney World in 2014, and I am frightened.

YES. FRIGTHENED! About gaining weight that I don’t want to gain!

Disney World is a glutton’s paradise!   I know I have been on a good path this year keeping tabs on my diet and consumption.. and portion control! But being at Disney has been a fear of mine, my waistband, since we left there last time.  I came back from that 8 day trip with a hefty number on the scale that was so disappointing.  So, when I say frightened, I am saying I am petrified thinking of being there for 11 days..without a scale.  Yes, I know I can go to the gym and I’ll be running around all day, but it’s the calorie consumption that I am fearing.

You know what’s going to happen after the first night there, right? I’ll keep myself in control, then while I am sleeping ‘Vacation Valeria’ will show up. Everyone loves her.  She loves to be on vacation! And, boy does she LOVE to pig out and drink! Without realizing it she’ll be snacking on tacos, slurping slushes, chugging frozen margaritas, Dole whipping, picking at pretzels, sampling wine, and shoving Mickey Bars into her mouth every hour!!  lol  She is so much fun, but she throws diet caution to the wind!

Ok, I am exaggerating, but that’s what Disney feels like to me by the time we leave.  Like a whirlwind of eating all day long!  I said that in my dining plan post, that it felt like we were eating for the sake of our children and the plan.  Which this time we are going to skip it for half the time, to see if eating on our own without reservations or obligations will make it better on us.

I feel better posting about my fear now.  I do sound crazy about gaining weight, but I have been working so hard every day to not be that person.  Not Vacation Valeria, but Unhappy Chubby Valeria.  She sucks, and brings everyone down.

Have a fantastic week everyone!


P.S.  Does it make me neurotic to bring a scale with me to the resorts?

Posted in My Travels

DIY- Disney Mickey Mouse Head Button T-shirt

The big Disney trip reveal is only 15 days away!
(and the best day of the year is only 4 ! heh)

Found this DIY shirt on pinterest a few months back, and have been itching at giving it a try.
What you’ll need:
plain t-shirt
buttons, at least 40 buttons
a Mickey Mouse head image printed on a piece of paper
craft glue (water soluble)
needle and a thread that matches the buttons

Shown here are two t-shirts I had made for both my children today; purple for my oldest and pink for my youngest. I will probably also make one for me from an old t-shirt I have using white/mother of pearl buttons, but I won’t have time till after the New Year.


Map out the buttons over the printed Mickey head image making sure you have the right sizing and pattern.
Carefully move the buttons aside in order. Then run a thin bead of craft glue over the image.
Center the image upside down over the t-shirt and place on. Leaving the glued impression of the Mickey head. Don’t make the glue line too thick, or as it dries the needle won’t be easy to push through the glued material.
Line up the buttons over the glue image as you had it lined up before. Let dry for a few minutes.
Now you are ready to sew the buttons to the top. Pass the thread through each hole the same number of times for each button, so the thread is uniform.
Up close.
Done! Any visible glue will come out in the wash and all that is left are the cute buttons! 🙂 I can’t wait to make mine!
20131210-154225.jpg Here are the pictures of the pink button t-shirt in the making.
Done! Two cute DIY Mickey Mouse head t-shirts for two cute girls to wear during their big Disney trip!

UPDATE: 02-14-2014- 

The Mickey Head T-shirts were a huge success! 

We just returned from Disney, and the girls loved wearing the Mickey Head t-shirts, just as much as the crowds at the park.  I got asked at least every ten minutes where we got them, and I was so proud to say Mrs. Claus ;).

Here are a couple of shots of them in their tees, and one with me in the one I made for myself. 

Riding the tea cups! Weeeeeeeeeee!

I own a million tank tops …and buttons.  For this, I chose a tank that was fairly new, bright, and that I didn’t mind having the buttons sewed onto.  Also, a tank I’d not miss wearing so often (for just when we go to Disney).   Hope you try making these! Happy Sewing!