Kindle Unlimited and Disney Books

My daughter begged me to sign up for Kindle Unlimited so she could get a bunch of books she wanted to read, and I said “YES!” I love to read and anything that encourages my kids to read gets a big yes from me. At only 9.99 it is the same we pay for Netflix and I would much rather encourage reading. We are on our first month free trial, so we will see how we like it,

First thing I did was look up Disney books and there are so many free Kindle Unlimited books. I have about 15 in my wishlist right now and there were a lot more to choose from. Biographies of Walt, fiction, and park secret books are all on my list. I can not wait to get reading!

If you like to read about Disney and love your Kindle this may be the plan for you.

Disney Trivia and Scene It Games

I own both the Disney Trivia and Disney original Scene It DVD game. I love playing these and challenging my Disney knowledge. I win almost every time playing Scene It but the Disney Trivia stumps me frequently. It is basically a Disney version of Trivial Pursuit.

I realize how little I know of the Classic Disney movie and songs and the actors who play in them. I hate to admit this but I have never seen Mary Poppins or Bedknobs and Broomsticks.

I play this with my daughter who hadn’t even watched Lion King until this past week when she figured out she could probably beat me if she actually watched the movies they were asking questions about! I have been picking up VHS movies at goodwill for both of us to watch so we can both compete in these games. I’d sure love to meet some other Disney fans for us to play with.

Where I have been all summer.

It has been a long time since I last updated this blog. Summer with teens and Tweens in the house has kept me beyond busy. I have also been doing a lot of soul searching and trying to figure out what to do with my life.

I have been reading lots of self help books, writing out my goals and dreams and making plans. I have been changing my life priorities and discovering who I really am and who I want to be. I really want to simplify my life and focus on what is truly important. In the past two months over 30 garbage bags full of stuff has left my house. I have been cleaning out my physical space and mental space.

I disconnected from Facebook and took my computer out of the main living area. I would love to get rid of cable but my football loving husband will have none of that!! Just getting off Facebook has freed up tons of time and cleared my mind immensely. It does limit my social interaction and knowledge of what is going on in the community, but I’m ok with that for now.

In the midst of all the clean out I have downsized my Disney collection and stopped thrift store shopping for now. I was beginning to feel overwhelmed with the sheer amount of stuff in my house so I am in the process of paring down to just the things I use and love.

I will be working on redoing this blog as well. I have discovered I am just too lazy and not creative enough to do family movie nights on a regular basis and blog about it, so I will be removing that entire section. Same with the recipes. There are already many websites that cover that arena over and over.

This blog will be more of an outlet for me to bounce ideas off readers about my Plans and ideas to someday get myself closer to Disney, plan trips on the cheap, and immerse myself in my Disney addiction with others who appreciate it.

I hope you will come along for the ride.

My dream night would be staying here….

Like most Disney fans, my ultimate dream night would be staying in the suite at Cinderella’s castle. The author of the Happy Housewife blog won a trip and describes it here.

What a fantastic thing it would be to stay in the park after closing time and sleep over in the Magic Kingdom. I think I would not even be able to fall asleep and would stay up all night just looking over every little detail of the room and enjoying it.

Cinderella Castle Suite Tour & Photos

A reservation is something you can’t even buy, it is reserved for special guests, surprise random people and sometimes famous people.

What I wouldn’t do to win a night in the famous suite. I am putting all my powers of positive thinking and law of attraction at work to win a night in this magical place. If you have ever stayed here I would LOVE to hear about it!

Hooray for yard sales!!

Today at a yard sale I got these two snap ware containers and a few additional PVC characters to add to my existing collection so I decided to separate by category instead of throwing them all into the bin like I used to do.

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I have had some if these figures since 1996 or so when I used to buy sets at the Disney store. The one in our local mall has since closed down, and that really ticks me off, but I have been finding a lot of these at yard sales and goodwill. I know I could buy sets on amazon or Disney store online, but I have fun finding them at yard sales. it’s like treasure hunting for me.

I found a few other fun disney items to add to my collection as well like this juice jar.

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I am so happy for the start of yard sale season!!

How badly do you want it???

For the longest time I thought “We can’t afford to go somewhere like Disney.” The real problem was a lack of wanting it badly enough. Then my husband had a very scary health event and was in the hospital for almost a month and out of work for over 6 months. I busted my tail the whole time he was out of work to keep us afloat and realized I can do what it takes if I want or need it badly enough.

I also realized it was time to start living life to the fullest and not putting things off until we can “afford it”.  I just needed to make it happen. Disney was one of the first things we did after my husband was recovered enough to travel.

Pick the date you want to travel and start counting down, estimate $1000 per person for the trip and use that as a goal. Break that number down into monthly amounts, weekly amounts and even daily amounts. Strive to hit that goal of savings or earnings every day or week. For a quick example. A family of four would be a $4000 goal. To make this easy I will choose a year from today. 52 weeks. Just about $333 a month, $77 dollars a week or $11 a day. Do everything you can to hit that daily goal. Do you usually go out for lunch? Take a bag lunch and save the difference. Call every single one of your monthly bill providers and work with them. For an hours worth of calls you may save $20 a month.  Cut cable for an easy $60 or so a month. I could go on and on on ways to save, but there are so many websites dedicated to this I won’t go into it here. My personal favorite is http://moneysavingmom.com/ , but there are tons of others.

You can earn extra money too. Sell anything you don’t use. Not only will you make money, but you will have a cleaner and less cluttered home and bless others who could use exactly what you aren’t. Work extra hours, ask for a raise if you think you deserve it, babysit, tutor, do online surveys, join swagbucks to earn gift cards, ask everyone who normally gives you gifts at holidays to give you Disney gift cards instead. Tell everyone about your goal of taking your family on a Disney trip and let them know you are willing to barter, work for them and do whatever it takes. Sometimes just getting the word out there will lead you into unexpected opportunities. Again this topic is covered in many websites so I won’t go on and on, but you CAN earn extra money.

If you are thinking you can’t do this because you already work full time, or have kids around all day and just don’t have time to earn extra money or save money you are kidding yourself. You can find time if you really want to. Put up a pictures of Disney all around to remind you of your goals. Get yourself motivated. Read inspirational books, my favorite is “The Secret”. Believe you can get there, and you will!

Anyone Can Afford Disney!!

That is the title of a class I decided to offer for FREE to anyone in my local community who is interested. I think everyone should be able to experience the Magic of a Disney vacation at least once in their lives and I want to help make that happen for as many people as possible. I am working on making up a class outline and handouts and realizing I could do full classes just on eating/dining plan, where to stay, park tickets and entertainment, and other topics. The class I am doing will touch on a lot of subjects, but I could go so far in depth on many of these it is just crazy!

My class is going to focus on how to make the trip affordable and setting financial goals to get there. It will help people decide if they want to stay on site or off, use the dining plan, get a rental car, and the type of park tourist they are. I will be giving out tons of tips and hints, money and time saving advice and so much more that I have learned while planning my own trips and dreaming about future trips.

I have spent at least 500-800 hours of research and trip planning in the past few years because I am a Disney nut and I love it, but I can truly see how planning a trip can be completely overwhelming for someone just starting to look into booking a trip. Forget just the sticker shock, there is so much to learn. I hope to share some of this knowledge with the people in my area and help them have the best most affordable trips ever!

Ebaying my way to Disney!

As we all know, going to Disney is a bit expensive. Especially for those of us who live so far away that we need to fly there. We can’t bring our car full of food and stay offsite easily. We need a rental car, or stay onsite where it is even more expensive. A trip to Disney is a big expense, running in the thousands of dollars. For most of us that requires saving money and earning extra money any way we can.

I have read some very creative ways that people do this including taking a second or third job,extreme couponing, or even selling their own plasma! I choose to use Ebay as my #1 moneymaker. I go to the Goodwill by the pound store and find some really cheap merchandise to list on ebay and sell for profit. I have been doing this on and off for years. Ebay and Paypal fees have increased making this far more difficult, but I still have success. After much trial and error, I have found what works for me and what usually sells.

I am very lucky to have such a wonderful source of low priced items to sell. I can get books are 2 for 25 cents, clothes and other merchandise sells for 49-99 cents a POUND depending on what it is. This way if I buy something that doesn’t sell, I am not out much money. Yard sales are a great way to get inexpensive stuff to sell as well. You can offer to help someone clean out their garage, basement or attic as well as long as you have first pick of the items they are getting rid of. Also take a look around your own house and start there. You may have tons of things you don’t use just waiting to get sold.

Here is how to get started. Create an Ebay and paypal account if you don’t have one. Buy a few inexpensive things from other sellers just to get a little feedback. Get a good postal scale so you don’t completely underestimate shipping costs and then you can print shipping labels right from your computer with Ebay’s shipping program. Go ahead and list a few small, inexpensive items for sale. I use my ipod with the ebay app to do listings. it is easier than using my computer. Once you start getting good feedback, start listing more. Be aware Ebay will take 10% of your final value fee and shipping price, so if you sell an item for 26 dollars with free shipping they will take $2.60 and paypal will too.

I spend some time in different Ebay categories checking completed listings to see what kinds of things will sell, which brands are popular and that sort of thing. I also seek out small, light things to list. I will sell heavier items, but I make sure to weigh them and charge appropriate shipping costs. I mostly stick with fixed price listings so I don’t end up letting a 50 dollar item go for 99 cents if only one person bids on it. You can start the bidding at a higher price as well, but those auctions don’t seem to generate as much interest.

I tend to stick with categories I know. Books, Disney items, toys, fashion items like sunglasses and vintage clothing, and baby gear. I stay away from antiques, breakables, jewelry and items like coach purses that could be fakes. I have no knowledge of these and would not want to sell a fake item or misrepresent an item.

I no longer sell clothing lots. They are heavy to ship and rarely make a profit.

Overall, I make 25-50 a week depending on how much luck I have at the thrift store. I spend about 3 hours a week on this between shopping, listing items and shipping. If I wanted to dedicate more time to it, I could probably double or triple that, but for now I am happy with the amount I am doing.

Soon I will be posting more ways I add to my Disney fund. What are they ways you save or earn money for Disney that are a bit out of the ordinary?

Do they even have catalogs anymore??

At the thrift shop I grabbed this old Disney Store catalog out of the book bin. I remember getting these in the mail and having actual Disney Stores in our local malls. Sadly the closest Disney Store for me is about a two hour drive now. This catalog is from 2000.

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Wow those are some, umm, unique, overalls. But in 2000 they would have been in style, maybe?? I do however LOVE the kids pjs and fashions.

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I love some of the other products in this catalog and realize how much I miss paper catalogs. I don’t like shopping online. I miss the physical Disney Store. I live so far from WDW shopping there was a little bit like being there. Maine needs a Disney Store!!! Bring it back!!!!

Christmas Trip is falling into place!!!

After the whole free dining announcement came out, I got serious about looking into a trip during those dates. I priced out resorts, tickets, dates etc and thought I might have a plan. I mentioned it to my mom and she let me know she wanted to come too. Well after more discussion, we decided to go ahead and book her timeshare. We only want a few park days and also want to visit Universal. The way we eat doesn’t make much sense on the dining plan anyway, especially if we are only doing a few park days, and she doesn’t mind Florida driving either. So Timeshare it is! It will give us more than enough space, a full kitchen and laundry. And it is roughly one fourth of the price of staying at a similar sized room on Disney Property. Someday when I am traveling solo, or with just one other person I may stay on property, but right now, it just does not make sense for us.

We booked her timeshare for the week of Dec 13-20. The rest of our plans can fall into place around that. I am most excited about Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party!!!

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

We will not buy a park ticket one of the days of the party and just arrive at 4pm and stay until we are super tired! It looks like so much fun. Just thinking about the special Holiday Wishes makes me a bit teary eyed. SO excited!!!!

Then we will do one full day in Epcot and a hopper day to do all our favorite rides. One full day at Universal and Islands of Adventures and then lots of relaxing around the resort pools!

I love when plans fall into place. This is even better than my original January plan!