April 1st Follow Up- New Year’s Resolution

We are officially heading into the 4th month of this year and I can’t believe how quickly 2017 is going!  It’s just zooming by!  It’s time to check in with my New Years Resolutions. I can honestly say that for some of them, it’s probably the longest that I’ve ever stuck with a resolution, while with others, I need to get my behind in gear!

Resolution #1- Be healthier in 2017.  With this resolution it was 2 fold… both being physically healthier by losing weight, and by being mentally healthier.  For the weight, I was off to a great start.  At one point I was down 13 pounds… alas, I quit trying os hard, went back to my old eating habits and gained about 5 pounds back.  My goal for April is to get back on track with my food journaling!  For my mental health, I’ve had some great experiences and breakthroughs as well as some set backs. I’m really coming to the conclusion that for me my mental health is going to be an ongoing journey.

Resolution #2– BLOG MORE!  I have been making a genuine effort to be more consistent in my blogging this year, and I am succeeding!  In January I did 11 posts,  12 posts in February, and 15 in the month of March!!!  In addition to blogging more, Mr. Mouskaholic and I added a YouTube channel back in February as well as increased social media presence!  You can now subscribe to our YouTube Channel, Follow on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (Check out all the handles at the bottom of this post!)  I really want to keep up the momentum that I’ve built in the past two months as well as keep up with our monthly (for right now) YouTube posts!

Resolution #3- Earn more Swagbucks in 2017. In March was $60 (double the amount of what I earned in February of this year).  That is ahead of last year’s average of $48 per month and overall my yearly average is still a little higher than last year, at $55.00 per month so far!  If you are interested in learning more about how Swagbucks you can go back and check out my 3 day series that I published in the middle of March!

Resolution #4- Continue to have new experiences at Disney in 2017- Okay, so we know that Pandora will be opening at Animal Kingdom, so that will be a new experience.  I am also looking forward to “Happily Ever After,” the new night show at Magic Kingdom!

Resolution #5- Book more trips with Charming Travels LLC- I was able to book a VERY last minute trip for a family in March, as well as some other trips that had been booked for a while!  With the new summer specials that came out I am hoping to get my summer sales up, while saving some money for my clients!!

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Resolution #6- Run a Half Marathon- I STILL haven’t even started to work on this goal yet.  The weather is finally getting nice though, so I’m running out of excuses to start trying.  I am thinking this month I will register for a 5k to motivate myself and get in gear!  This should also help with goal #1 of being healthier!

So that’s my resolution update!  Here’s to keeping at it!  How are you doing on your resolutions?

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Tuesday’s Tips- Take an Uber!

Disney makes getting from Orlando International Airport (MCO) to your resort a piece of cake with Disney’s Magical Express.  With this free service you’ll be taken from the airport straight to your resort on a Disney themed motor coach.  You won’t even have to worry about going to baggage claim!  Disney takes care of that for you as well!  Put the special tags on your bags, and they will be magically delivered to your resort after your arrival.

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While these awesome perks are magical indeed, they’re designed to keep you on property.  A magic bus that eliminates the need for a rental car?  Yes perk, but also convenient for Disney to keep you (and more importantly your $$$) in their parks, stores and restaurants.  (I’m certainly not complaining either… “All magic comes at a price.”)

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There have been plenty of Disney trips that we have taken where we’ve been very content to stay right on Disney property and keep our adventure there, however there are sometimes where it is also nice to get off property to visit other theme parks, and restaurants.  While I’m a dedicated “mouskaholic”  I also very much enjoy the magic of Harry Potter.

Because of my devotion to this other magic, I have visited The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios. (Shhhh… don’t tell the Disney Gods lol!)  We had a few options for getting from Disney to Universal for us, taking an “Uber” was the most economical, and quickest option.  If you purchase your Universal tickets through at travel agent, they have the option of selling you tickets that include round trip transportation from the Disney Resort to the Universal resort via Mears Motorcoaches.  This isn’t a bad option, but it is time consuming because the bus makes stops at multiple resorts, AND costs $26 per person for the roundtrip transfer.  For a family of four you’re looking at $104.00 extra just to get from Disney to Universal.  Another option is renting a car… If you’re on a week long trip you’re looking at at around $150.00 – $200.00 (depending on car type and size) for a week long car rental.  If you’re only plan is to head to universal or off property once or twice this is definitely not the most economical plan.  You could head to the “Disney Car Care Center” and rent a car just for the day, but getting there means taking time out of your valuable vacation time to do so.

So what is the most economical solution that I’ve found?  Ride-sharing Apps!  I personally have only used Uber, but I know that Lyft is also available in the Orlando Area.  Ride-sharing apps base their fares on a combination of mileage and time spent in travel, rather than basing in on per person.  So with an UberX you can transport up to 4 people for one low price.

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Here is the price (without a surge) going from Disney’s All Star Music Resort to Universal Studios

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So for $17.24  you can transport 1-4 individuals to Universal (one way).  So even at the round trip price of about $35.00, that’s still considerably less than round trip for two on the Mears motor coaches ($52.00 round trip for 2), and about the same price as a one day car rental, just without the hassle of heading to the Disney Car Care Center.

Here are some other approximations of cost to other popular orlando destinations (Estimates are done from the All Star Music Resort to the destination)

One of my favorite places to eat off of Disney Property is Giordano’s Pizza!  It’s deep dish Chicago style STUFFED pizza, and it’s AMAZING (FYI, they also deliver).  An uber to Giordano’s is approximately $11 bucks

 

An Uber to the Orlando Eye= $14.00

An Uber to Orlando Premium Outlets= $12

An Uber to Seaworld= $13.50

To use Uber you just need to download the app to your smart phone, and sign up with a valid credit card.  If you’re interested in getting up to $15 off your first ride enter this code when you sign up- ashleyf1931ue 

Happy Riding!

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Do you want more travel tips, and help planning your magical vacation to Disney World, Universal, or SeaWorld?  Contact Ashley@charmingtravelsllc.com for all of your central Florida travel needs!  She specializes in Disney and central Florida locations, and her planning services are free of charge!

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YouTube- Episode 2 is now available

So Mr. Mouskaholic and filmed and prepared Episode 2 to be posted by the end of February, but you know… technical difficulties and all that jazz!  Alas, February’s “Episode 2” is now officially available to watch on YouTube!

In this episode we discuss Disney news, park and resort updates, my favorite ride at the magic kingdom, resort refillable mugs, and other travel tips!

So check out our episode 2 and subscribe to our channel  for our monthly update videos!

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February 1st- Resolution Follow Up

So many of us start the year with New Years resolutions and goals.  I began my year with 6 specific goals in mind, many of them are Disney Related- Click here to read my original Resolutions post.

To stay on track, I think it’s important to do a check every so often to see where you are.  So today I want to check in and hold myself accountable to my 2017 goals.

  1. Be Healthier in 2017.  For me this was about both physical and mental fitness.  As far and physical fitness has gone, I have logged my food that I’ve eaten on “MyFitnessPal.com” for the past 31 days, and am down about 13 pounds since I weighed myself on New Year’s Eve.  I am proud of this accomplishment and plan to keep going on my path to a healthier weight.  As far as mental fitness, I’ve definitely taken some steps to improve my mental health.  I am working on being less apologetic (for things that I don’t need to apologize for), being more assertive, and have even said “no” to a few things.  These are all still works in progress, but things that I’m committed to sticking with and continuing to work on.
  2. Blog More- I slacked off A LOT towards the end of 2016 with my blogging.  In January I did 11 posts, where between August and December of 2016 I did 1 post… so I’m off to a good start!  I just need to keep my momentum up.  Talking about Disney is one of my favorite things, so I just want to keep making sure that I make the time for what I enjoy!  As part of my recommitment to my blog, I also started an Instagram account to go along with the blog! You can now follow @TheMouskaholic for photos and other fun goodies!
  3. Earn More Swagbucks for Disney Spending Money- In January I was able to cash in 7500 Swagbucks for $75 Sam’s Club Giftcards, which I will use to purchase Disney Gift cards with.  On average in 2016 I saved $48 per month with Swagbucks, so in 2017 I’m doing better than last year’s average. I’ve got a about 800 swagbucks going into February, so I’m hoping to stay above last year’s average and keep saving!  If you’re interested in learning more about how to save money for your own disney trip using swagbucks click here!
  4. Continue to have new experiences at Disney in 2017- I haven’t had my first Disney trip of the year (I say first because I’m always hopeful that they’ll be more than one lol!)  I have however booked my summer 2017 trip!  I’m super excited because not only is it going to be a nice long trip AND Mr. Mouskaholic and I will be celebrating our 10th wedding anniversary while we are there!  One aspect of our trip that we have planned is eating at all new restaurants!  Every single dining reservation that we have is at a restaurant that we’ve never eaten at!  We will be eating at the Spirit of Aloha dinner show, Storybook Princess Dining at Akershus Royal Banquest (Norway at Epcot), Bongos Cuban Cafe, Whispering Canyon Cafe, Yak and Yeti, Chef Mickeys, Cape May Cafe, Rose and Crown Dining Room.  I’m sure in addition to all of these new dining experiences I will find some more new things to experience while on our trip 🙂
  5. Book more trips for Charming Travels LLC-  In addition to having my own Disney blog, I am also an independent agent for Charming Travels LLC.  I have been with CT since January 2015.  I’ve gotten a few more bookings each year.  As I look at my stats from last year, I booked 16 Disney trips for various families in 2016.  So far for 2017 I have booked 6 trips for different families.  I would love to hit at least 20 for 2017, so I’ve gotta keep plugging away and promoting my business!  I’m not off to a bad start 🙂
  6. Run a Half Marathon-  I haven’t even started to work on this goal yet.  I live in Ohio, so I will blame the weather lol!  I have gotten 13 pounds off so that’s less to carry around when I run. This month I want to decide which half to run, and then maybe in March the weather will be better enough to start training!

So that’s my resolution update!  Here’s to keeping at it!  How are you doing on your resolutions?

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New Year’s Resolutions

It is that time of year once again to make promises to ourselves that we will hopefully keep.  2016 has been so good in so many ways, and just TERRIBLE in others!  On the plus side, we were able to visit the Happiest Place on Earth three times in 2016!  We were able to experience new things that we never had done before (Flower and Garden Festival, Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, and the International Food and Wine Festival).  In the world though there are just so many scary things happening.  All we can do though is continue in positivity, and that is what 2017 is going to be about for me; positivity and perseverance.

Resolution #1- Be healthier in 2017.  For me this means a few things.  Of course, losing weight (who doesn’t have losing weight as one of their resolutions haha!).  But in all seriousness, I am an obese woman.  I need to lose 80-90 pounds, and it’s not going to be easy, it will require positivity and perseverance.  The second part of being healthier for me includes being more mentally healthy.  I live my life in nearly constant chaos and stress.  Much of it is my own doing and I am aware of that.  With that in mind, de-stressing and being more mindful is a goal of mine for 2017.  My husband got me a “spire” mindfulness tracker for Christmas, and that is just one step towards this goal.  I think that these two areas go hand in hand as well… after 33 years I am well aware of my tendency to stress eat.

Resolution #2– BLOG MORE!  I can give you 1000 reasons why I didn’t blog much this past year, but let’s just remember what I said about resolution #1- “I live my life in nearly constant chaos and stress” that I bring upon myself.  I am hoping that with a more mindful 2017 that I will make time for the things that I enjoy.  One of my favorite things is talking about Disney and thinking about Disney, so it’s my goal to make more time for this blog in 2017.

Resolution #3- Earn more swagbucks in 2017.  www.swagbucks.com is a website where users can earn virtual currency that they can redeem for real gift cards.  This past year I earned enough swagbucks for $580 in gift cards, where as the previous (2015) year I earned $1050 in gift cards.  In 2017 I would like to match my 2015 swagbucks earnings.  All of the gift cards that I earn go towards our Disney trips.  Read here how I saved for our Disney trip with swagbucks.

Resolution #4- Continue to enjoy new experiences at Disney World in 2017.  My husband and I were fortunate enough to be able to visit Disney World three times in 2017.  On two of the trips we were able to take in TONS of new experiences such as the Flower and Garden Festival, Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, and the International Food and Wine Festival.  I would like to continue to experience all that Disney has to offer.  As it is every changing, this seems like an impossible task, but that is just part of the magic.

Resolution #5- Book more trips for Charming Travels LLC. With my knowledge of Disney properties continually expanding, I have increased opportunities to talk with clients and help them plan a magical vacation that they’re remember for a lifetime.  In 2016 I grew as a travel agent and I want 2017 to be the best year ever.

Resolution #6- Run a 1/2 marathon.  I have run 15 half marathons in my lifetime, but I have put a considerable amount of weight on since my running prime.  Due to a lack of training and motivation I walked the majority of my last two 1/2 marathons.  My goal is to no just “do” a half marathon, but to actually train and run it.

Well those are my goals for 2017!  What are yours?

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