Art of Animation Cars Suite Review

During our most recent Disney World trip, we stayed in a Cars Suite at the Art of Animation Resort. We have stayed at AOA twice before, in both a Lion King Suite and standard Little Mermaid Room. I made a post about AOA and will be updating it for this section as well…so now we just need to stay in the Finding Nemo Suites!

I have to admit, since AOA opened, we always said “We probably won’t ever stay in the Cars area” because we liked the theme the least out of the 3 suite themes, except for the cars outside.

Man, not only were we wrong, but it sure is funny how your kids can completely change your viewpoint on things. While we would have been happy in any suite, we specifically requested Cars because of Trent. He had a Cars party this year, and has really gotten into the movie (the first one!), so we thought he would just be elated with this section of the resort.

We visited this section during our first visit (Trent’s first trip) so that he could take pictures with all of the Cars in the area. He didn’t know much about them then, but he was over the moon running to each Car. This time, he knew all their names and was so excited to see them ever time we were outside of the room. Unfortunately, we waited too late to take pictures with them and they had temporary fences around each car during our last two days in order to renovate the ground around them. So here’s a photo from our first visit instead 😉

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Our room was really close to the pool, parking lot and main building. We had the very first room on the first floor in this building. It was the perfect spot except that since we were the very first room on the first floor, we were right next to the door to get in and out of the building. Convenient, yes, but very loud. The door itself wasn’t the worst part, although it was quite the loud bang each time it closed. The worst part was all the inconsiderate people that think it’s ok to yell down the hall to their family members, or to stand by the door while their kids screams and cries, or to just be as loud as possible at all hours of the day and night without regard to the people that may have babies napping or sleeping 3 feet away on the other side of a door. This is something that really irritates me when we are on vacation…other people and their inconsiderate tendencies. But, there’s not much you can do about it (I did go an knock on a door once while at the Contemporary – you can hear everything in the older hotels – it’s so bad).

With all that being said, if you want convenience and are a heavy sleeper, I would definitely recommend this room. If not, pick a room on another floor and away from doors and elevators.


Once you enter, our room had the tables and chairs to the left, the living area with the tv and kitchenette straight ahead, and bathroom to the right.



This table actually pulls out to a bed. This is where Brett and Trent slept, which is probably why it was so loud for them seeing that it’s the closest to the door, but after one night on the pull-out sofa bed, Brett thought this bed was much more comfortable.



The living area with tv, pull-out sofa bed, and kitchenette area.

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With kids, this kitchenette area was used quite a bit and was very beneficial to us. I didn’t use the coffee machine, but it was so nice to have everything else, like the microwave to warm up leftovers for the kids whenever we’d be hanging out in the room and the sink to wash sippy cups and reusable mugs. It also came stocked with things like paper towels, plastic utensils, cups, bowls and plates.



We brought snacks, fruit, applesauce, juice and milk to keep in here for the kids.



Bathroom #1 is pretty standard with the sink area separate from the tub and toilet.



The main bedroom is a separate room with a door; perfect for sleeping babies when the other kid is still awake and you don’t want them to be disturbed.



The “master” bathroom is all one room with a walk-in shower.



I love the design of the shower.



You’ll find sprinklings of Cars images throughout the suite. This is the shower curtain in bathroom #1.



These next two images are from art on the walls.

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The carpet has little cones all over it.



The table has “post cards” designed on top…yes, I actually tried to grab one before I realized what it was. D’oh!

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The safe is in the master bedroom. It’s not that deep, but it’s pretty tall. Here you can see my Macbook Pro fits inside nicely.



Don’t forget there is a hidden panel under your TV for any accessories you need to bring or charge; no need to fish around behind the tv.
**TIP** Notice the HDMI port? Well we all know the TV stations in the rooms are fairly limited (they want you to spend time in the parks). Well, if you are having trouble finding something for your kids to watch, you could always plug in a HDMI dongle like Chromecast and stream shows from your phone or Ipad to the TV!



Art of Animation is one of our favorite resorts at WDW – so fun and colorful and the kids love it too! It just need monorail access to Magic Kingdom and we’ll be set!

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To see our original AOA review, click here!

Thanksgiving Shortcuts from Hormel

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Thanksgiving Shortcuts: Have no fear! The preparation for the “big feast” this Thanksgiving does not mean you have to spend hours slaving in the kitchen. We’ve listed some tips for taking shortcuts on prep time, giving you more quality time with family and friends at the dinner table this year.  

  • Know your numbers: Make sure you know how many people are attending your dinner, that way you know how much food to prepare and what to get at the grocery store. Whether you’re making turkey, ham or another main meat dish, make sure you’re choosing a size that fits your party – a 1/2 pound (eight ounces) per person is a good rule of thumb.
  • Hand out assignments: If you’re short on time, help in the kitchen or cooking space – there’s no problem for asking for a little help! Items like side dishes or appetizers are quick and easy for guests to bring, like HORMEL GATHERINGS® Supreme Party Tray or HORMEL® Bacon Ranch Mashed Potatoes from Hormel® side dishes. The extra help will give you more time to focus on dishes with longer prep times, like the turkey or ham.


  • Prepare food the night (or days) before: Cleaning the salad greens, chopping up all the necessary veggies or even preparing entire dishes a day or two beforehand can save you a lot of time. In fact, stuffing, casseroles and marinades can actually taste better when they’re made a few days in advance because their flavors have more time to blend, like this Herb Marinated Pork Filet using HORMEL® ALWAYS TENDER® Original Pork Loin Filet – which you can refrigerate overnight and prep quickly the next morning.


I personally am a big fan of the Hormel Gatherings trays. They helped us make the Meat & Cheese Skeleton at Halloween twice and would be an easy appetizer to enjoy so you’re not starving while waiting hours and hours for the turkey to be done!

What’s your go-to dish for Thanksgiving?


This post was written by me as part of my involvement in the Hormel Family Blogger Program. Thanks for reading!

Just 5 More Minutes Mom!!

Ok, it’s about to get crazy up in here….family, food, shopping, business-running, cleaning, decorating, etc. Our kids are late night party animals, so the earlier I can get them to sleep, the more I can accomplish…or sleep. It’s the same routine every night for us. I will say “Ok, let’s go to sleep” and before I can even finish the sentence, Trent screams “We’re not going to sleep!!”

I guess I can’t get mad, seeing as he said WE, which means he is fighting the fight for Aubrey too. Isn’t he so thoughtful?

Recently, Netflix gathered from it’s viewers some of the funniest excuses from kids as to why they absolutely cannot go to sleep. Wow, kids sure are creative…I wonder if I can use any of these as an excuse to stay home from work?


Since we can all use as much productive time…or sleep…as possible during the holidays, just as they did for New Year’s Eve, Netflix, along with DreamWorks Animation, launched Dinotrux 5 Minute Favorites, new episodes of the latest hit, all in a nice little 5-minute package — letting your little negotiator think they’re getting away with the age-old ‘just five more minutes’ ploy. In a mere 300-seconds, your kids will be speechless as they march themselves up to bed knowing they got exactly what they wanted. You: 1, Kids’ stalls: 0.



Trent’s stalling tactic is to just get right to the point…no excuses for him. “I’m not going to bed.” Tell me how you really feel? Hahaha :) He used to say he was hungry, in which case we would totally cave in because he hardly eats enough as it is, but thankfully he hasn’t used that excuse in a while.

So what kind of “staller” do you have? Use the infographic below to counterattack those bedtime struggles!



So when I hear “I’m not going to SLEEP!” I can say “Ok, you can watch one more show and then we go, ok?” I know I’ll win because he likes DinoTrux already. It’s also always so funny when he falls asleep so quickly after saying he’s not tired. Not tired? Riiiiiiiiight.



P.S. Netflix, I need some excuses for my boss to let me watch shows during the day. Let’s get started on that too, mmm’kay? 😛


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This post was written by me as part of my membership in the Netflix Stream Team. Thanks for reading!


North Florida Fair 2015

Last week, we had our annual visit to the North Florida Fair!

This year, we decided to go during the day, instead of in the evening like we usually do, since we felt it would be better for the kids with more time to play before it gets dark. It worked out so much better and we ended up staying there for 6 hours!

Our first stop was to feed the goats!

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Aubrey didn’t want to actually feed the animals, but had fun watching Trent do it.

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Baby goat!

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The big kids went on the big kid rides while we headed to the little kid rides.

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That is one loooong torso!

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I had to accompany Trent on some rides…yes, I had fun going down the giant slide too! 😉

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He took his driving pretty seriously…he’ll be 16 before we know it.

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This was the best photo of the night…look at that face!

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The best part about the fair is the treats! Ice cream cone dipped in peanut butter…yum.

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The Princess and her wand.

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I don’t know who was more excited for Trent to be riding a monster truck…me or him!

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I guess we’ll have to get a bounce house for his next birthday party!

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My niece rode the bull…it was pretty hilarious. I hope she doesn’t find out I shared these here hahaha

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Trent rode a pony all by himself.

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Pretty girl. Aubrey was mostly a spectator this year, I’m sure she’ll get to do more next year!

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On our way out, we caught the daredevil acts.

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Another great year at the North Florida Fair!

Check out our past Fair adventures:

North Florida Fair 2014

North Florida Fair 2013

North Florida Fair 2012


HP #StickaPic Party and Magnet Craft

As a member of the HP Smart Moms Panel, I was given the opportunity to host an HP #StickaPic party to experience and share the new HP Social Media Snapshots photo sticker paper and app. As an Etsy sticker shop owner, I love stickers, especially ones that can help me document my life in my planner and such, so the fact that these are sticker paper for photos made my giddy to try them! And the fact that the pictures can come directly from your social media channels, which let’s face it, hardly ever get printed, was definitely a bonus.

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These little cardboard cutout sayings were perfect decorations for the party (almost like confetti!), as well as fun additions to our actual craft project for anyone that wanted to glue them on their photos.

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I had a basket of HP Social Media Snapshots for us to use at the party, as well as extras for everyone to take home and print to their heart’s joy!

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I love the idea on the back of the package to make a little heart collage in the corner of a room…that would be so fun for a tween!

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Each box comes with 25 sheets of 4″ x 5″ photo sticker paper.

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In love with the back of the sticker paper…old-timey cameras!

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We had plenty of craft supplies out because we didn’t have a set project…people could make whatever they wanted. Some ideas:

-Decorate clothespins with paint or glitter then hang the snapshots by the pins off of a string along a wall

-Make a photo collage or scrapbook page and decorate with glitter pens

-Place the photos in your planner or calendar to document your life and decorate with washi tape (below were just 2 of the hundreds of rolls I have!)

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For my project, I made fridge magnets! I just needed the supplies shown below:

-HP Social Media Snapshots, of course

-Foam Board

-Magnetic tape

-Poster knife

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But first, we all had to download the HP Social Media Snapshots onto our phones. The app is available for free on iTunes and Google Play. It was very easy to find and install, and after selecting Instagram and signing in, I was ready to choose photos from my feed or my camera roll.

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I considered making some family photos into magnets, but then I thought it would be even more fun to decorate our fridge with some Christmas in Disney photos from Brett (@DisneyPhotoSnapper on IG) since we have a trip coming up in December!

It was super simple to choose a photo, then select a layout (they even have a couple of Disney ones!) and edit the caption. When you’re ready to print, just click the print button, change the paper size and then click print again.

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Having the HP Envy 5660 helped make printing super simple…these 4×5 sheets fit perfectly in the separate photo paper slot!

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To turn them into magnets, just place the snapshot on top of the foam board and use the poster knife to cut the board to the size of the snapshot.

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Once the foam board is cut, peel off the backing the snapshot sticker paper and place the snapshot on top of the foam board cutout.

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Then, cut strips of magnet and place them on the back of the foam board.

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Then place them on your fridge, filing cabinet, or anywhere that a magnet works! Sheep magnet is optional. :)

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Now we can be remind of our upcoming trip to WDW whenever we walk by! Even Aubrey pointed it out when she saw it the first time.

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These go great with our other, more silly Photo Booth strips from WDW we already had on the fridge. :)

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I’m already brainstorming more ideas for these snapshots! Christmas is coming and I’m thinking gift ideas for sure.


HP Social Media Snapshots are now available at Staples.

Now through November 30th, HP Social Media Snapshots are BOGO when you use the following link and click “redeem now”: At just $9.99 each, that’s an amazing deal!


As an HP Smart Mom Panel member, I received free products in order to host the HP #StickaPic party. The opinions expressed here are my own. Thanks for reading!