Friday, 1 June 2012

a-k vitamins guide

The A-K Guide to Vitamins

Monday, 28 May 2012

Oil of Oregano

Oil of Oregano Health Benefits

What is Oil of Oregano?

Oil of Oregano
Numerous university studies have shown that Oil of Oregano is a highly potent purifier that provides many benefits for human health. It is a natural substance that is extracted from wild oregano plants, and two key compounds found in it are carvacrol and thymol. Studies have shown that both of these compounds have significant effects on harmful micro-organisms that cause many illnesses in humans.

It is important not to confuse Oil of Oregano with common oregano that is used as a spice for cooking. Common oregano is typically Origanum Marjoram, while Oil of Oregano is derived from Origanum Vulgare.

Oil of Oregano can be purchased as either a liquid or as capsules/tablets. In both forms, it is important to verify that the oil is derived from the proper potent oregano plant, and that the carvacrol concentration is at least 70%.
What are the Benefits of Oil of Oregano?
The ancient Greeks were one of the first people to recognize this oil for its health benefits and medicinal qualities. It is known to be a potent antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, and antiparasitic oil that can reduce pain and inflammation and effectively fight off infections.

Some of the specific benefits of Oil of Oregano are:
  • Destroying organisms that contribute to skin infections and digestive problems.
  • Strengthening the immune system.
  • Increasing joint and muscle flexibility.
  • Improving respiratory health.
Uses of Oil of Oregano

Skin Infections

Oil of Oregano can be applied directly onto the skin to treat itches, skin infections, and irritated gums, but only if it has been diluted. Always follow the instructions on your particular bottle before applying topically onto the skin, since highly concentrated oils may first need to be mixed with Olive Oil or Coconut Oil before application (usually one teaspoon of Olive Oil or Coconut Oil per one drop of Oil of Oregano). 

Digestive Problems  The high concentrations of thymol and carvacrol in Oil of Oregano have been shown to calm upset stomachs and aid digestion. Therefore, a quick home remedy for mild indigestion is to drink a glass of milk or juice that is mixed with 2 or 3 drops of the oil. 

Sinus Congestion
  Oil of Oregano is a wonderful natural remedy for sinus congestion. A common solution is to add 3 drops of the oil into a glass of juice and drink this mixture daily for 3 to 5 days.

Colds and Sore Throats

Oil of Oregano is an excellent early defense mechanism when you feel a cold or sore throat coming on. Simply take 3 drops of the oil once per day (you can mix it into a glass of orange juice) and you should notice results within a few hours. Repeat this once per day for up to 5 days until the symptoms are gone.

What are the Side Effects of Oil of Oregano? While Oil of Oregano has many benefits, there are a few possible side effects:
  • It may reduce the body's ability to absorb iron. Therefore, it is recommended that any regular use be combined with regular consumption of iron supplements. For this reason, women are advised not to take this oil during their pregnancy.
  • Pregnant women should also avoid this oil since it can stimulate blood flow in the uterus, which can weaken the lining that surrounds the fetus in the womb.
  • People that have allergies to thyme, basil, mint, or sage may be sensitive to Oil of Oregano as well, since they are in the same family of plants. If any skin irritation, rashes, or vomiting occurs when using it, it is recommended that you discontinue use and consult your doctor.

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

25 Rules for Moms with Sons

1. Teach him the words for how he feels.
Your son will scream out of frustration and hide out of embarrassment. He'll cry from fear and bite out of excitement. Let his body move by the emotion, but also explain to him what the emotion is and the appropriate response to that emotion for future reference. Point out other people who are feeling the same thing and compare how they are showing that emotion. Talk him through your emotions so that someday when he is grown, he will know the difference between angry and embarrassed; between disappointment and grief.

2. Be a cheerleader for his life
There is no doubt that you are the loudest person in the stands at his t-ball games. There is no doubt that he will tell you to "stop, mom" when you sing along to his garage band's lyrics. There is no doubt that he will get red-faced when you show his prom date his pictures from boy scouts. There is no doubt that he is not telling his prom date about your blog where you've been bragging about his life from his first time on the potty to the citizenship award he won in ninth grade. He will tell you to stop. He will say he's embarrassed. But he will know that there is at least one person that is always rooting for him.

3. Teach him how to do laundry
..and load the dishwasher, and iron a shirt. He may not always choose to do it. He may not ever have to do it. But someday his wife will thank you.

4. Read to him and read with him.
Emilie Buchwald said, "Children become readers on the laps of their parents." Offer your son the opportunity to learn new things, believe in pretend places, and imagine bigger possibilities through books. Let him see you reading...reading the paper, reading novels, reading magazine articles. Help him understand that writing words down is a way to be present forever. Writers are the transcribers of history and memories. They keep a record of how we lived at that time; what we thought was interesting; how we spoke to each other; what was important. And Readers help preserve and pass along those memories.

5. Encourage him to dance.
Dance, rhythm, and music are cultural universals. No matter where you go, no matter who you meet - they have some form of the three. It doesn't have to be good. Just encourage your son that when he feels it, it's perfectly fine to go ahead and bust a move.

6. Make sure he has examples of good men who are powerful because of their brains, their determination, and their integrity.
The examples of men with big muscles and a uniform (like Batman and LaMarr Woodley) will surround your son from birth. But make sure he also knows about men who kick a$s because of their brains (Albert Einstein), and their pen (Mark Twain), and their words (Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.), and their determination (Team Hoyt), and their ideas (The Wright Brothers), and their integrity (Officer Frank Shankwitz), and fearlessness (Neil Armstrong), and their ability to keep their mouths closed when everyone else is screaming (Jackie Robinson).

7. Make sure he has examples of women who are beautiful because of their brains, their determination, and their integrity
The examples of traditionally beautiful women (like Daphne Blake, Princess Jasmine, and Britney Spears) will surround your son from birth. But make sure he knows about women who are beautiful from the inside out because of their brains (Madame Marie Curie), and their pen (Harper Lee), and their words (Eleanor Roosevelt), and their determination (Anne Sullivan), and their ideas (Oprah Winfrey), and their integrity (Miep Gies), and fearlessness (Ameila Earhart), and their ability to open their mouths and take a stand when everyone else is silent (Aung San Suu Kyi).

8. Be an example of a beautiful woman with brains, determination, and integrity.
You already are all of those things. If you ever fear that you are somehow incapable of doing anything - remember this: If you have done any of the following: a) grew life b) impossibly and inconceivably got it out of your body c) taken care of a newborn d) made a pain go away with a kiss e) taught someone to read f) taught a toddler to eat with a utensil g) cleaned up diarrhea without gagging h) loved a child enough to be willing to give your life for them (regardless if they are your own) or i) found a way to be strong when that child is are a superhero. do not doubt yourself for one second. Seriously.

9. Teach him to have manners
because its nice. and it will make the world a little better of a place.

10. Give him something to believe in
Because someday he will be afraid, or nervous, or heartbroken, or lost, or just need you, and you won't be able to be there. Give him something to turn to when it feels like he is alone, so that he knows that he will never be alone; never, never, never.

Source: via Chris on Pinterest

11. Teach him that there are times when you need to be gentle
like with babies, and flowers, and animals, and other people's feelings.

12. Let him ruin his clothes
Resolve to be cool about dirty and ruined clothes. You'll be fighting a losing battle if you get upset every time he ruins another piece of clothing. Don't waste your energy being angry about something inevitable. Boys tend to learn by destroying, jumping, spilling, falling, and making impossible messes. Dirty, ruined clothes are just par for the course.

13. Learn how to throw a football
or how to use a hockey stick, or read music, or draw panda bears (or in my case alpacas), or the names of different train engines, or learn to speak Elvish, or recognize the difference between Gryffindor and Slytherin, or the lyrics to his favorite song. Be in his life, not as an observer but as an active participant.

14. Go outside with him
turn off the television, unplug the video games, put your cellphone on the charger, even put your camera away. Just go outside and follow him around. Watch his face, explore his world, and let him ask questions. It's like magic.

15. Let him lose
Losing sucks. Everybody isn't always a winner. Even if you want to say, "You're a winner because you tried," don't. He doesn't feel like a winner, he feels sad and crappy and disappointed. And that's a good thing, because sometimes life also sucks, no matter how hard (as moms) we try to make it not suck for our kids. This practice will do him good later when he loses again (and again, and again, and again, and again.....) Instead make sure he understands that - sometimes you win - sometimes you lose. But that doesn't mean you ever give up.

Source: None via Emma on Pinterest

16. Give him opportunities to help others
There is a big difference in giving someone the opportunity to help and forcing someone to help. Giving the opportunity lights a flame in the heart and once the help is done the flame shines brighter and asks for more opportunities. Be an example of helping others in your own actions and the way your family helps each other and helps others together.

17. Remind him that practice makes perfect.
This doesn't just apply to performance-based activities (like sports and music) but also applies to everything in life. You become a better writer by writing. You become a better listener by listening. You become better speaker by speaking. Show your son this when he is just young enough to understand (that means from birth, folks - they are making sense of the world as soon as they arrive), practice trick-or-treating at your own front door before the real thing. Practice how you will walk through airport security before a trip. Practice how you order your own food from the fast food cashier. Practice, practice, practice.

18. Answer him when he asks, "Why?"
Answer him, or search for the answer together. Show him the places to look for the answers (like his dad, or grandparents, or his aunts/uncles, or his books, or valid internet searches). Pose the question to him so he can begin thinking about answers himself. Someday, when he needs to ask questions he's too embarrassed to ask you - he'll know where to go to find the right answers.

19. Always carry band-aids and wipes on you.
especially the wipes.

Source: via Katie on Pinterest

20. Let his dad teach him how to do things
...without interrupting about how to do it the 'right way.' If you let his dad show and teach and discover with your son while he is growing up, some day down the road (after a short period of your son believing his dad knows nothing), he will come to the realization that his dad knows everything. You will always be his mother, but in his grown-up man heart and mind, his dad will know the answers. And this will be how, when your son is too busy with life to call and chat with his mom, you will stay connected to what is happening in his life. Because he will call his dad for answers, and his dad will secretly come and ask you.

21. Give him something to release his energy
drums, a pen, a punching bag, wide open space, water, a dog. Give him something to go crazy with - or he will use your stuff. and then you'll be sorry.

22. Build him forts
Forts have the ability to make everyday normal stuff into magic. Throw the couch cushions, a couple blankets, and some clothespins and you can transform your living room into the cave of wonders. For the rest of his life, he'll be grateful to know that everyday normal stuff has the potential to be magical.

Source: None via Tabitha on Pinterest

23. Take him to new places
Because it will make his brain and his heart open up wider, and the ideas and questions and memories will rush in.

Source: None via Anne on Pinterest

24. Kiss him
Any mother of sons will tell you that little boys are so loving and sweet. They can be harsh and wild and destructive during most of the day. But there are these moments when they are so kind and sensitive and tender. So much so that it can cause you to look around at the inward, reserved grown men in your life and think, 'what happens in between that made you lose that?' Let's try to stop the cycle by kissing them when they're loving and kissing them even more when they're wild. Kissing them when they're 2 months and kissing them when they're 16 years old. You're the mom - you can go ahead and kiss him no matter how big he gets - and make sure he knows it. p.s. (this one is just as important for dad's too).

25. Be home base
You are home to him. When he learns to walk, he will wobble a few feet away from you and then come back, then wobble away a little farther and then come back. When he tries something new, he will look for your proud smile. When he learns to read, he will repeat the same book to you twenty times in a row, because you're the only one who will listen that many times. When he plays his sport, he will search for your face in the stands. When he is sick, he will call you. When he really messes up, he will call you. When he is grown and strong and tough and big and he feels like crying, he will come to you; because a man can cry in front of his mother without feeling self-conscious. Even when he grows up and has a new woman in his life and gets a new home, you are still his mother; home base, the ever constant, like the sun. Know that in your heart and everything else will fall into place.

25 Rules for Mothers of Daughters.

1. Paint her nails. Then let her scratch it off and dirty them up. Teach her to care about her appearance, and then quickly remind her that living and having fun is most important.

2. Let her put on your makeup, even if it means bright-red-smudged lips and streaked-blue eyes. Let her experiment in her attempts to be like you…then let her be herself.

3. Let her be wild. She may want to stay home and read books on the couch, or she may want to hop on the back of a motorcycle-gasp. She may be a homebody or a traveller. She may fall in love with the wrong boy, or meet mr. right at age 5. Try to remember that you were her age once. Everyone makes mistakes, let her make her own.
4. Be present. Be there for her at her Kindergarten performances, her dance recitals, her soccer games…her everyday-little-moments. When she looks through the crowds of people, she will be looking for your smile and pride. Show it to her as often as possible.

5. Encourage her to try on your shoes and play dress-up. If she would rather wear her brother’s superman cape with high heals, allow it. If she wants to wear a tutu or dinosaur costume to the grocery store, why stop her? She needs to decide who she is and be confident in her decision.

6. Teach her to be independent. Show her by example that woman can be strong. Find and follow your own passions. Search for outlets of expression and enjoyment for yourself- not just your husband or children. Define yourself by your own attributes, not by what others expect you to be. Know who you are as a person, and help your daughter find out who she is.

7. Pick flowers with her. Put them in her hair. There is nothing more beautiful than a girl and a flower.

Source: Pinterest-

8. Let her get messy. Get messy with her, no matter how much it makes you cringe inside. Splash in the puddles, throw snowballs, make mud pies, finger paint the walls: just let it happen. The most wonderful of memories are often the messy ones.

9. Give her good role models- you being one of them. Introduce her to successful woman- friends, co-workers, doctors, astronauts, or authors. Read to her about influential woman- Eleanor Roosevelt, Rosa Parks, Marie Curie. Read her the words of inspirational woman- Jane Austen, Sylvia Plath, Emily Dickinson. She should know that anything is possible.

10. Show her affection. Daughters will mimic the compassion of their mother. “I love yous” and Eskimo kisses go a long way.

11. Hold her hand. Whether she is 3 years-old in the parking lot or sixteen years old in the mall, hold on to her always- this will teach her to be confident in herself and proud of her family.

Source: Pinterest-
12. Believe in her. It is the moments that she does not believe in herself that she will need you to believe enough for both of you. Whether it is a spelling test in the first grade, a big game or recital, a first date, or the first day of college…remind her of the independent and capable woman you have taught her to be.

13. Tell her how beautiful she is. Whether it is her first day of Kindergarten, immediately after a soccer game where she is grass-stained and sweaty, or her wedding day. She needs your reminders. She needs your pride. She needs your reassurance. She is only human.
14. Love her father. Teach her to love a good man, like him. One who lets her be herself…she is after all wonderful.

15. Make forts with boxes and blankets. Help her to find magic in the ordinary, to imagine, to create and to believe in fairy tales. Someday she will make her 5 by 5 dorm-room her home with magic touches and inspiration. And she will fall in love with a boy and believe him to be Prince Charming.

16. Read to her. Read her Dr. Seuss and Eric Carle. But also remember the power of Sylvia Plath and Robert Frost. Show her the beauty of words on a page and let her see you enjoy them. Words can be simply written and simply spoken, yet can harvest so much meaning. Help her to find their meaning.

17. Teach her how to love- with passion and kisses. Love her passionately. Love her father passionately and her siblings passionately. Express your love. Show her how to love with no restraint. Let her get her heart broken and try again. Let her cry, and gush, giggle and scream. She will love like you love or hate like you hate. So, choose love for both you and her.

18. Encourage her to dance and sing. Dance and sing with her- even if it sounds or looks horrible. Let her wiggle to nursery rhymes. Let her dance on her daddy's feet and spin in your arms. Then later, let her blast noise and headbang in her bedroom with her door shut if she wants. Or karaoke to Tom Petty in the living room if she would rather. Introduce her to the classics- like The Beatles- and listen to her latest favorite- like Taylor Swift. Share the magic of music together, it will bring you closer- or at least create a soundtrack to your life together.

19. Share secrets together. Communicate. Talk. Talk about anything. Let her tell you about boys, friends, school. Listen. Ask questions. Share dreams, hopes, concerns. She is not only your daughter, you are not only her mother. Be her friend too.

20. Teach her manners. Because sometimes you have to be her mother, not just her friend. The world is a happier place when made up of polite words and smiles.

21. Teach her when to stand-up and when to walk away. Whether she has classmates who tease her because of her glasses, or a boyfriend who tells her she is too fat- let her know she does not have to listen. Make sure she knows how to demand respect- she is worthy of it. It does not mean she has to fight back with fists or words, because sometimes you say more with silence. Also make sure she knows which battles are worth fighting. Remind her that some people can be mean and nasty because of jealousy, or other personal reasons. Help her to understand when to shut her mouth and walk-away. Teach her to be the bigger -the better- person.

22. Let her choose who she loves. Even when you see through the charming boy she thinks he is, let her love him without your disapproving words: she will anyway. When he breaks her heart, be there for her with words of support rather than I told-you-so. Let her mess up again and again until she finds the one. And when she finds the one, tell her.

23. Mother her. Being a mother—to her—is undoubtedly one of your greatest accomplishments. Share with her the joys of motherhood, so one day she will want to be a mother too. Remind her over and over again with words and kisses that no one will ever love her like you love her. No one can replace or replicate a mother’s love for their children.

Source: Pinterest-

24. Comfort her. Because sometimes you just need your mommy. When she is sick, rub her back, make her soup and cover her in blankets- no matter how old she is. Someday, if she is giving birth to her own child, push her hair out of her face, encourage her, and tell her how beautiful she is. These are the moments she will remember you for. And someday when her husband rubs her back in attempt to comfort her...she may just whisper, "I need my mommy."

25. Be home. When she is sick with a cold or broken heart, she will come to you: welcome her. When she is engaged or pregnant, she will run to you to share her news: embrace her. When she is lost or confused, she will search for you: find her. When she needs advice on boys, schools, friends or an outfit: tell her. She is your daughter and will always need a safe harbor- where she can turn a key to see comforting eyes and a familiar smile: be home.

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Organized closet

1 - Only keep clothes/accessories you actually wear or use. If you have been hanging on to jeans that you wore ten years ago because you want to fit into them again, let them go. By the time you do, they will be out of style anyway. Not a bad thing to have a goal, but don't hang on to stuff hoping to wear it again. When you don't like how something feels when you wear it or it's just not comfortable, donate it!

2 - Colour code your clothes. One of the nicest things you can do is have your clothes lined up by colour. It's easier to see what colours will go wear. Within that colour coding, you could hang by sleeve length if you really want to go the extra mile. But, colour coding is quick and easy.

3 - Have all the same colour/type hangers. This might seem like a pain in the neck, but it's really not that expensive to do {if you do all plastic or buy in bulk} and will make your closet instantly look organized.

4 - Have a dresser or drawers for your folding clothes. Even if you don't have a closet system, sometimes just putting clothes in a drawer makes it look so much nicer and neater than sitting on the shelf half folded.

Source: Love of Family and Home

5 - Only put appropriate items in your grown-up closet. If you have a closet half full of clothes and half of it with cleaning products, that makes no sense. If possible, keep only the appropriate items in a closet - shirts, pants, purses, belts, shoes, and the like.

6 - Keep a hamper in there. If you have the room, keeping a hamper in the closet to easily throw your clothes into when you are done dressing and undressing keeps things neat and tidy.

Source: Young House Love

7 - Have hooks. You can use hooks to hang belts, scarves, or even to have your outfit ready for the next morning.

Source: Decorology

8 - Consider using pretty boxes and baskets. Having a set of boxes to put your purses into can keep it neat and tidy, plus they can add texture and prettiness.

9 - Put things away as you take them off. It seems obvious, but if it's not dirty, hang it back up. If it's dirty, put it in the hamper. Shoes go back to their original spot, belts on hooks, and purses back on the shelf.

10 - Labels.

11 - Folding. Find a good way to fold your clothes so they fit appropriately in the drawers or on the shelf. Sometimes you will have to come up with something different to fit it in. Try folding in quarters or thirds to fit it in the right way and neatly. Put the folding edge facing you, if it's on a shelf, and standing up, if it's in the drawer.

Cleaning tips

Cleaning Tips You Haven't Heard Before
  • The best way to dust blinds: Close them, then wipe up and down with an old dryer sheet. It'll create an antistatic barrier that helps prevent dust from building up again.
  • The Mr. Clean Magic Eraser is your friend. It will cut your cleaning time in half for bathtubs, sinks, countertops, and dirty walls.
  • To clean glass and mirrors, use coffee filters, not paper towels. They leave no streaks or lint — and they're cheap.
  • Vinegar and water is a great deodorizer for a musty bathroom. Spray your shower down as you're getting out. It really absorbs the odors, and the smell of vinegar goes away in an hour.
  • A wet pumice stone will clean a dirty oven faster than any spray-on product.
  • Vacuuming bathroom mats is a nightmare. Toss them in the wash every week or two instead.
  • To damp-mop wood floors, use plain water or a water-based floor cleaner like Bona. Don't use vinegar. The acid in it will pit your polyurethane finish, can void your warranty, and may reduce shine over time.
  • Seventh Generation dish liquid diluted with water is a great nontoxic all-purpose cleanser. Just put two squirts in a spray bottle and fill it with water.
  • Our biggest secret weapon? A powdered product called Bar Keepers Friend ( We use it on everything. Its active ingredient is rhubarb powder, which really cuts through grit and grime. It cleans glass-top stoves, counters, toilets, porcelain and more. Your sink will never be shinier.
  • To clean your microwave oven, microwave a cup of water with some baking soda in it until it's boiling. That eliminates odors and makes it super easy to wipe away all that stuck-on stuff.
  • Clean cobwebs with a yardstick covered by a tube sock. That also works for cleaning under stoves and refrigerators.
  • Shine your bathroom tiles with lemon oil. It also helps prevent mold and mildew.
  • To eliminate that ring in your toilet, drop in a bubbling denture tablet, and leave it for at least 30 minutes or overnight. The stain will come off with just a few swishes of the brush.

Turning dirty, dingy, and stained into white, fresh and clean

1 cap of laundry detergent

1 cup powdered dish washer detergent
1 cup bleach
1/2 cup borax

If possible let the whites sit in the mixture for a while.

Insiders Guide to Disneyland!

Insiders Guide to Disneyland!
Written by Lisa. Posted in Disneyland

Button 300x300 Insiders Guide to Disneyland!
Okay so maybe I’m not exactly a Disneyland insider, because I’ve never worked there. But, when it comes to being a guest – I definitely am an insider! My qualifications are:
  • I grew up 15 minutes from the 57 freeway from Disneyland. My Mom use to take us at the end of summer each year on the day before school started.
  • In High School I had an annual pass, a drivers license, and no job – nuff said :)
  • Since having kids our family had annual passes for 2 of those 8 years and have taken at least 10 trips each of those years.
  • On the years we don’t have passes we go at least once at Christmastime.
  • While caring for my Mom I took Davis and Beckham every single weekday for about a month. Each day we had “Mommy only” time at Disneyland from 3-6.
It’s safe to say that I have been to Disneyland well over 100 times. I feel so sad when I see people spending so much money on trip and wasting half of their day just because they lacked information! I always check out the Disneyland “tips” I see on Pinterest and I always feel let down. Really? They never seem to have anything real or practical that you can actually apply to your day, just platitudes.
One day while mopping my floor I thought I should write down our families best tips since I see a lot of people planning trips coming up for Spring Break. I just started typing them out as I thought of them all throughout the day and came up with my top 12. As I was writing them I found there was so much more I wanted to include about individual rides. So, over the next 5 Wednesdays, I will be going through Disneyland, land by land, and telling you what you need to know – ride by ride. Does the line move fast? Is there a fast pass? The best time to ride?
I also thought, why not let you readers ask questions and I’ll answer them each week. Do you have a question for planning your trip? Write to me at I’ve asked Lori from Mouse Encounters to help me answer your questions, so between the two of us we should be able to answer all of your questions!
Ready for my top 12 tips? Here they are! You can download them to print if you would like or you can just keep reading.
12 Tips for Making the Most of your day at Disneyland!
1. Get there early! If the park opens at 9:00, be pulling in no later than 8:15! It takes time to park, ride the tram, and get through the front gates. They open Main Street before the park opens and they block the crowd off at the end of Main Street. It’s a great time to explore Main Street while not using ride time. You can take pictures, browse the shops, and I have even seen some characters out signing autographs before the park officially opens. One of us usually saves our place near the front of the crowd while the other takes the kids potty 10 minutes before it opens. There is nothing worse than having to take a potty break 20 minutes into your first line! When they open the park you are already in the middle of Disneyland ready to roll!
2. Pick a priority ride with no fast past to go on first! For our family it’s always Peter Pan and Casey Junior if we are going to Disneyland (vs. California Adventures). Peter Pan always has a huge line and it doesn’t move fast! It is always our first ride to hit, unless it is a Magic Morning (guests staying at Disney hotels get to enter the park early) and then the line is already long and we go straight to Casey Jr. If you have the chance to do the Magic Mornings, do Peter Pan first! If we are going to California Adventures we hit Toy Story Mania first.
3. Fast pass! You can have 1 fast pass at a time. (With the exception of World of Color in California Adventures. If you want to see World of Color you have to get a pass. You get them at the Grizzly River Run fast pass machines. After the World of Color fast passes are distributed the fast pass machines are converted back to Grizzly River Run.) Fast passes allow you to use a shortcut in the line for that specific ride. Not all rides have fast passes, but most major rides do. To get a fast pass you scan your ticket outside of the ride and it gives you a pass with a time listed on it. That time is when your fast pass is valid for that ride. They only give so many out for each hour, so as the day goes on the time to return gets later depending on how many people are fast passing that ride. Not everyone has to be there to get a fast pass. One of us will go get a fast pass with all our tickets while the other waits in line with our kids. What a lot of people don’t know is that as soon as your fast pass is valid you can get a new one. For example if your fast pass is good from 12:20-1:20 you can get a new fast pass at 12:21. Plan ahead and figure out which rides are most important for you and fast pass those. Space Mountain is a must with a fast pass! Other good rides to fast pass are Star Tours, Indian Jones, and Splash Mountain. Those passes really put you ahead of the line. Thunder Mountain and Autopia’s lines move pretty fast, so fast passes are good, but not as necessary.
4. Wait for attractions right after the first showing! If you want to see Fantasmic, show up when the first show is ending. As people move out you can move in and get a perfect seat! On really busy days this can be a good idea for the Jedi Training Academy too.
5. Incorporate food into waiting – Eat lunch or dinner while waiting for the Parade or Fantasmic. You can bring a tray from any restaurant with you and set it on any trash can in the park and they will return it to the correct restaurant for you! One of us usually waits in a good spot while the other gets the food and then we have a picnic! The best place in my opinion to sit for the parade is the little strip that runs between the Matterhorn and the Castle. What I love about this area is that you have front row seats and no one can stand behind you, so when the parade comes by they look right at you and you get the full show without worrying too much about other people. Be ready to defend your spot though! People will keep trying to squeeze in! This spot is also great because some lines in Fantasyland are closed during the parade and when the parade gets past you, you can jump right into line and not have to wait!
Disneyland Map by Captain Halfbeard copy 575x460 Insiders Guide to Disneyland!
6. Don’t wear yourself out! Try to plan ahead, so you don’t jump all over the park, rather work your way thought the park. Finish one section of the park and then use the train to get to the other side of the park and start on that side! The train and monorail are different! The train is an actual steam engine train that has 4 stations – Main Street, New Orleans Square (near the Haunted Mansion), Toontown Depot (next to Small World), and Tomorrowland Station (behind Autopia). It’s nice to sit and its interesting to see parts of the park that you can only see on the train. You can get on and off at any of the 4 stations. Most days the line in minimal and trains come every 5 minutes. We have gone between California Adventures and Disneyland on the same day but it wastes a huge amount of time. If you are going for multiple days, plan a day in Disneyland and then another day in California Adventures. You will be able to see more and you won’t be so worn out! Even with doing these tricks I guarantee you will walk more than you have a long time! This is the day to not go for the cute shoes! Wear your running shoes. They may not look the best but you wont be miserable by 3:00 that afternoon either!
7. Child swap! If you have kids that are too short for certain rides you can take turns without all the waiting. How it works – the whole family has to go to the line entrance. Find a Disney worker and ask them for a child swap pass. One parent and any kids that are tall enough to ride then wait in line normally, while the other parent stays out of line with the children that are too short to ride. The second parent then can use the child swap pass anytime that day to go through the exit or the fast pass line (depends on the ride) and not have to wait in the whole line. It is good for two people, so you can take another child back with you. For example, our 8 year old can ride the ride with me (we stand in the line normally) and then when my husband goes to ride, the pass will get him and our 8 year old back on. We find this really handy when we can’t get a fast pass. If you have fast passes, it’s pretty much the same thing since both parents can use the fast pass line. But if you can’t get a fast pass and are going to wait in the whole line – take advantage of this for sure!
8. Use the single rider line. Many rides have a single rider line – Splash Mountain, Indiana Jones Adventure, Grizzly River Run, Soaring’ Over California, California Screamin’, & Goofy’s Sky School. Usually there is a sign directing you, or you enter through the exit. When a single space opens up they put you into that spot. This means you can take turns if the line is so long that you don’t want to wait. You just won’t get to sit together, but it’s worth it on a busy day!
9. Pack light! They have lockers, but we just pack light, so we don’t waste time going to and from lockers. Here is our list of essentials that we pack:
Easy snacks – fruit snacks, granola bars, and our kids favorite Dum-Dum-Pops  Insiders Guide to Disneyland!! Perfect for keeping kids in line happy without too much mess! We pack our favorite Disney trail mix too ( Food is expensive, so we usually eat a HUGE breakfast and get full before we get there. We snack until the afternoon when we have a big lunch at one of the Disney restaurants, and then we snack for the rest of the day. A churro makes a great dinner icon smile Insiders Guide to Disneyland! Our favorite restaurants – The Hungry Bear Restaurant is our all-time favorite. It’s tucked away over in Critter Country by Splash Mountain. There is tons of shade and it is right on the Rivers of America. It’s very relaxing and picturesque, plus we like the food. Our second choice is the Rancho del Zocalo Restaurante in Frontierland. Great food and great environment! This is usually the place we hit if we are picnicking it while waiting for the parade.
• We freeze two or three water bottles and let them melt. As the day goes on we just keep filling the melted space up at water fountains. This way we have cold water all day without too much weight to carry and without spending tons of money on water. Stay hydrated! You will feel better and have more energy.
• A deck of cards Insiders Guide to Disneyland! for times when you are waiting for parades or shows. Its light and will keep you busy and make the waiting time go faster! Don’t forget eye spy can be a great ride waiting game! We also use the maps to play eye spy on.
• A cheap tube of glow sticks. Trust me you will thank me for this one! When it gets dark Disneyland has such fun light up toys for so much $$$. We pack our own tube and our kids are happy! We usually find them at the craft store in the dollar section, but you can buy lots of them online Insiders Guide to Disneyland!.
• Sunglasses, sunscreen, and chapstick!
• Headache medicine. Heat, dehydration, walking all day, the motion of the rides – it’s a headache waiting to happen! Not only do I pack it, I usually take 2 Excedrin on the way to prevent a headache. My hubby takes a non-drowsy motion sickness pills Insiders Guide to Disneyland! too, so he can enjoy the rides more.
• If you are taking a stroller pack it light! Our favorite is an umbrella stroller Insiders Guide to Disneyland! with a basket. Don’t underestimate the power of piggybacks while in the park for little ones.
• Camera!
Autograph book and Pen Insiders Guide to Disneyland!. There are some great tutorials out there on how to make your own!
10. Save souvenirs for the end of the day! There is nothing worse than having to haul around toys that kids are sick of carrying. To keep our spending in check we allow our kids 1 souvenir. They look all day long and then at the end of the day we purchase it as we are leaving at the Emporium. The Emporium is a giant Disney store located at the end of Main Street. It has most of the items that are available all over the park, but you buy them on your way out and you only have to carry it to the car! If you want a specialty item ask the store clerk if the Emporium carries it, so you know ahead of time.
11. Don’t let anything spoil your day! You have planned this trip and spent so much thought on picking the perfect date only to show up and see 50 middle school busses full of kids icon sad Insiders Guide to Disneyland! Bummer. This has happened to me and I let it ruin my day. Don’t – you will regret it! You may not get on every ride, but you can still have fun! Fun things to do on really packed days – Ride the Double Decker bus around Main Street, Mark Twain Ferry Boat, Play tag on Pirates Island or play Hide and Go seek in Toon Town (play on teams so kids are not unsupervised), Ride the train around the whole park, Ride the monorail and wait to sit in the very front, get great seats for parades or shows, look for hidden Mickey’s, play in the water in Bugs Life Land, Tarzans Tree House, King Arthur’s Carousel, and the Tiki Room. Whatever you do – have fun! Let the stress go and just roll with the day!
12. Have fun! I cannot tell you how many parents I have seen yelling at their kids and being grumpy! What a waste of money! Don’t forget you are taking this vacation for your family and to have fun! Most of us go to Disneyland for our kids. Don’t forget about them! Make their day special and go with their flow and do what’s important to them. We have a rule in our house – you have to try every ride one time. If they don’t like it, then they don’t have to do it again. Make sure you make the day fun! I love being the coolest Mom at Disneyland! We tell jokes and my kids for one day have my undivided attention. I play like I’m a kid again and it does so much for my relationship with my kids. Don’t forget why you wanted to take the trip!