Monday, January 15, 2018

It is time to take action and start saving for Disney! Who is with me?

We have come up with a savings plan and will be posting ways to achieve those savings each week in our new Facebook group so make sure you join.

Disney seems out of reach for families that live paycheck-to-paycheck. That is why our plan involves ways to find and earn extra money. That way your Disney vacation is not coming out of your check and daily expenses. We explain this more in our new eBook

An average Disney vacation costs around $5,000.  We spent $4,000 last time just to give you an idea. That does not include plane tickets because we drove. Everyone's budget, cost, and where they are at in their savings will be different, but we can still come together to achieve our goal.

A lot of savings plans start with a small number and then slowly increase over time. That just doesn't seem doable for a lot of families. Our plan moves up and down over time so if you miss a goal one week, it will not seem impossible to get back on tract. That is why you see a +/- column. Some weeks you can easily achieve your goal and even a little extra. Some weeks life happens and the goal isn't quite reached. That is okay. Don't beat yourself up over it. You will still get there.

By the fourth week you will have enough to book your vacation. Save a little money by purchasing Disney gift cards to pay your deposit. You can get a $100 gift card for $95.99 from BJ's Wholesale. Plus sign up for Ebates if you haven't already. You will get 1% cash back from Ebates. If you sign up with my referral link, you can get an extra $10 just for signing up! Click HERE.

Make sure you go right now and join our new group, How to Save Money for Disney - Tips and Tricks from Paper Angels, to get all the latest tips and money making opportunities.

A goal is much easier to achieve when you have a support system to back you up.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Swagbucks is a popular site to earn a little extra money. I use that little extra for trips to Disney World. I'm going to show you how I made $65+ in one day. I turn that money into Disney gift cards for our trips. Swagbucks can be overwhelming when first getting started. It is easy to get caught up in the fact that you are earning nothing but pennies at times, but those pennies add up and sometimes there are offers that will really pad that budget for Disney.

(You may find referral/affiliate links in this post. We will get a little something if you decide to purchase or sign up, but it doesn't cost you any extra. See full disclosure here. Thanks for the support!)

You have to be smart about doing sign-ups and making purchases for Swagbucks. You need to turn those offers into money making offers. That is what I'm going to show you. These are things that  I needed anyway and got some extra cash for it. If you haven't signed up for Swagbucks before, click HERE and you will get a bonus $3. You can click through each offer linked here. Make sure that you have the Swagbutton installed on your browser and the offer is activated to get credit when you sign up.

The first thing I did was the BarkBox offer. You can nab 1,500 Swagbucks for signing up which is equal to $15.00. Some people found it for 2,000. I was not one of the lucky ones. You need to select the subscription for six months. Don't worry, you can cancel after your first box. Boxes are $25, but use my referral code 3K8GAKCTTE so your first box is free. You don't even have to pay shipping.

This is our first Bark Box

The next offer is CreativeBug. This is a craft site that you will need a subscription for. Sign up for the two week free trial and you will get 500 Swagbucks. Cancel your subscription before the two weeks is up and you won't be charged. Or keep it because it looks like an awesome craft site.

You will have to spend $5 for this next offer, but you will get 2,000 Swagbucks in return. So you will make $15 on this offer. Purchase the $5 starter kit from Dollar Shave Club. It was time for me to get some razors anyway so this was perfect timing. You can get an extra 1,500 if you choose to continue your subscription for another month. 

The next offer will actually get you some extra money for Disney too. The description for this site states, "Paribus watches for price reductions and automatically gets you money back if prices drop on your eligible purchases." You will get 400 Swagbucks for signing up. I will let you know how well that works so check back.

Okay, so this next offer will not end up being a money maker, but you just need to pay $1 right now and get 2,000 Swagbucks. It's the Disney Movie Club so you will be buying five movies right now for $1 and make a commitment to buy three more movies at full price within 24 months. We purchase Disney movies all the time when new ones are released so this is no big deal for us. When you click on the offer, it will tell you to buy four movies for $1 and a five movie commitment. Scroll down to the very bottom and click on Enter Promotional Code. Enter the code 50822 for a free Moana blanket or 50503. This code allows you to get five movies for $1 and only have a three movie commitment. 
Side note: Sign up for Disney Movie Rewards and enter the codes that will be in the movies. You will get points that you can trade for Disney gifts cards or other fun rewards.

I signed up for each one of those offers and will get $64. Each offer will show pending in my account for different amounts of time. For the last $1+ earnings, I did searches, videos, the daily to-do list, and surveys. That is $65+ that I am putting aside for our next Disney trip.

If you are trying to save up for a Disney trip too, be sure to check out our new eBook. We show you how to earn an easy $30+ and other ways to save for Disney. Swagbucks is only the beginning. Join our new Facebook group, How to Save Money for Disney - Tips and Tricks from Paper Angels, so we can work together to earn for Disney.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

We are all about magic here. A big part of that magic is Disney. I believe that everyone should be able to experience that magic at least once in their lives. It is the kind of magic that you can't describe. But that magic may seem like a distant dream to you because of the cost. We are here to help with that. 

It is hard to save money especially when you are living paycheck to paycheck. Saving thousands for a vacation sounds scary and impossible. Trust me, I've been there. I know exactly how you feel. It doesn't have to be that way though. A huge family vacation with all the extra perks can become a reality with a little determination. 

All it takes is finding money that you are already have, earning extra money in your spare time, planning, and some help to have the vacation of your dreams.

I know you still don't believe that you can do this. I've been there, remember? I will be completely honest. It will not be easy. It will take careful planning and commitment. But it will be completely worth it in the end when your child's face lights up at the first sight on the castle. 

We have put together a resource eBook that will help you along the way. It contains tips and tricks to achieve your goals. It also contains advice about what extras are worth the money. The cost of the eBook will save you hundreds.

Then join our Facebook group for more advice, support, challenges, and tips. We can all work together to achieve our goals. 

We won't stop there though. You will continue to find Disney tips, DIYs, and recipes on a budget right here on the blog. Every little bit adds up. 

You do not have to do this alone. 

When you are ready to start saving for your dream family vacation, click add to cart and only pay $7.99 with a safe and secure checkout through Paypal. You will be emailed a link to download the eBook immediately after payment. Whenever we find any new ways to help you save money or earn money, you will receive an updated copy for free

Alert: the book shows you how to get $30+ for free, so it actually pays for itself!

Add to Cart

Sunday, December 3, 2017

This yummy treat is for all the Frozen fans, more specifically the Olaf fans. So everybody, cause who doesn't love Olaf?  
The Olaf snack mix is great for movie nights, birthday parties, winter get-togethers, or a fun treat on a random Sunday. I was inspired to come up with this snack after watching the new Frozen short, Olaf's Frozen Adventure. 

Olaf is such a fun character that is full of sweetness and joy. That is exactly what I wanted the mix to be, too. I carefully selected each ingredient to represent the lovable snowman, while still staying tasty. 

- Rice Chex.
- Snowflake pretzels. 
- White Chocolate.
- Sprinkles. I found snowman and snowflake sprinkles. I also added in the orange sprinkles to represent his carrot nose and the blue sprinkles just because it's a fun pop of color.
- Mini Marshmallows.
- Mini Chocolate Chips. 
- Blue Sugar Sprinkles.


Lay out your Chex cereal on a piece of wax paper. Melt your chocolate and put it in a sandwich bag. Cut off a corner of the bag and drizzle your Chex with the chocolate. Add some blue sugar sprinkles for some extra Frozen magic. The best part is, not even the Duke of Weselton will accuse you of witchcraft because of this magic!

Let the chocolate harden up in the fridge. That should only take a few minutes. Place your Chex on a plate or in a baggie and then add in your other ingredients and mix it up. That's it. It really is that simple. 

Kid's Thoughts:

Bug is a huge Frozen fan so it wasn't a surprise that she was thrilled with this snack. She loved exploring all the different ingredients. I heard extra giggles when she found the snowmen sprinkles. 

Bear's favorite part was the snowflakes pretzels which is surprising since he doesn't usually like pretzels. (By the way, I found those at Wal-Mart.) 

Bean loved the cereal.  I think he might have a new favorite.

I would call that a success. It is always a good feeling when you get smiles and giggles from putting together a treat like this. And it lasted about as long as a snowman doing whatever snow does in summer. 


Sunday, November 26, 2017

I'm going to do things a bit differently, and give you the TL:DR version first of my movie review of the new Pixar film, Coco. See it. Just do it.
You're better off going now and then coming back to read my thoughts after. If you simply must know right now, just check below this adorable photo of Bean enjoying himself thoroughly.
Now either you've already seen the movie, or you're bad at following instructions. Either way, we're here now, so let's make the most of it. Going in, I wasn't super excited about Coco, not gonna lie. Which is a little odd for me, since I lived in California for a time, and have some passing familiarity with Dia de los Muertos. The girls were all amped up for Olaf's Frozen Adventure, which was good enough to warrant its own review. We were curious about Coco, even though Olaf's latest adventure was as long as a TV show. And I am so glad we got to see it.

Now, on to Coco.  First off, the visuals are amazing in this film. Being married to a photographer, I found myself paying extra attention to things like color and lighting. And they were breathtaking. I'm used to seeing visually pleasing elements in Pixar movies, that's nothing new. This movie went beyond all that. The scene where you first see the land of the dead is stunning; there's no other word for it. 

But the story is what really makes this film a classic. I won't re-hash all the details, that isn't what we do here. Instead, I'm going to tell you that this film has an engaging storyline, a whole host of fully realized characters, and includes a lot of Mexican history and tradition, while still remaining accessible. It packs an emotional punch, too. While it isn't as heart-stopping as Toy Story 3, for example, I think the emotional current runs deeper in this film. For me, it was right up there with Big Hero 6 and Inside Out in terms of the feelings it generates.  

Now, the reason that I told you to go see it first is because I do feel a bit like the movie did benefit from having relatively no expectations going in. It's Pixar, (and not the Good Dinosaur,) so it's liable to be pretty good. But not knowing much else may have lent this movie a little more punch; only time and repeat viewings will really tell about that. My initial response is to put it up with such favorites as Big Hero 6 and Inside Out, due to this being a big story and emotion-based movie. Like I said, additional viewings will show if it holds up, like those two did, or if it falls a little flat, like Monsters U. My gut feeling is that this will be a classic, though. And Bean loved it, start to finish. He successfully fought naptime off the entire movie, and when it ended, he started signing "more." The only other time he's done this for something non-food related was the Incredibles 2 trailer. We might end up hitting this one again before it even leaves theaters.  

Another major factor that really made the movie is the music. I'm a fan of Flamenco guitar and Mariachi music, so I wasn't shocked that I enjoyed the soundtrack. What was more surprising was that the rest of the family loved it so much, too. When we quizzed the kids about their favorite part, Bug's was Remember Me, a key song in the movie. She went so far as to dig out Bear's guitar afterwards and try to play it. She's never shown any interest in even picking up a guitar before, so we'll call it a work in progress. 

But Benjamin Bratt and Gael Garcia Bernal both put in impressive musical performances. I wasn't familiar with the other actors, but there isn't a bad song on the soundtrack. I'm less fond of the pop version of the main song, but well, that's been the deal with pretty much every Disney soundtrack, ever. I guess I'll have to learn some of the songs (if I can,) so that I can teach them to Bug.  

Who should go see this movie:

Everybody. Seriously, it's a buddy comedy. It's a musical. It's a cultural piece. It's an emotional story. It's a fun adventure. There are so many hats this movie wears, and yet it never felt scattered or disjointed. It never felt like they were trying to combine too many things. All the ingredients came together to form one fantastic pan dulce. Okay, fine so let me be more specific.
- Dates. If you're seeing somebody who doesn't mind heading to a cartoon movie, this wouldn't be a bad option. You'll seem sensitive.
- Parents. In classic Pixar fashion, we get a film that can entertain kids while still engaging adults. There's some humor, and a great family ethic.
- Kids. Duh. Even the one-year-old stayed locked in.
- Pixar fans. If you think the company's been a bit off lately, apparently you missed Inside Out. But this is the Pixar we know and love, and they hit it out of the park on this try. 

Who should skip this movie:

- People without souls.
- Hardcore MMA enthusiasts who don't want to be caught walking out of a kids' movie all misty-eyed. 

So finally, I just want to say that you really need to give this movie a chance, even if you only really want to see the Frozen (really, really long for a) short beforehand. Stick around. You're missing out big if you don't.  
- Jacob

Friday, November 24, 2017

Disney and Christmas may well be two of the most magical words in the English language. And we are putting them together with this Mickey Mouse Christmas wreath. This is a super easy DIY that even the kids can help with. Bug and I made a special day out of it by visiting the craft store together and picking out the perfect supplies for our wreath, then heading home to make it. Together we came up with a beautiful wreath that is the very definition of magic.

If you've read our DIY Mickey Mouse Fall Wreath post, then you know that I like to play it by ear. I visit the craft store with only a vague idea, and see what inspires me. This wreath can be made so many different ways with different ribbons, foliage, hat or no hat, etc.  It really is about what inspires you. Bug and I found ourselves in an aisle loaded with reds and greens and glittery foliage. I could see her little mind racing with ideas. She immediately fell in love with the ones you see on the wreath. She's a big fan of sparkle and glitter, as you can see. (Confession time, me too.) I was all about the Santa hat and burlap ribbon. I grabbed one big wreath plus two smaller wreaths and a can of spray glitter and we were all set.
To recap, you will need:

  • One big wreath and two smaller wreaths for the ears.
  • The decor items that inspire you.
  • Ribbon.
  • Santa Hat.
  • Glitter spray.
  • Also, grab some cardboard, thick floral wire, and a glue gun.
All set? Good.

Now for the fun stuff.

My method for getting the ears on seemed to work last time so I went with that. If it ain't broke, don't fix it, right? 
Use your hot glue gun to glue the ears in place and then use the floral wire to tightly wrap around your ears to secure them in place. I mean, the wreath's ears, not yours.
I wrapped some small battery-powered lights around the wreath. You could skip this step, but I think the added lights make it even more magical. Wrap your ribbon around Mickey. Use hot glue at the beginning and end to secure it. Nothing fancy. Just a whole lot of wrapping. You will get tired of wrapping. If you do decide to add the lights, make an extra loop with the ribbon on the back to hold the battery pack in place.
Next, spray glitter everywhere. Okay, not really everywhere. Just on the wreath. The glitter gives it extra sparkle and almost looks like snow. 
Now it is time for the hat. I wanted to make sure that the hat stayed upright. I got some cardboard, and then cut out a trapezoid that was slightly smaller than the hat. The trapezoid shape allows the tip of the hat to hang down. I used cardboard from a cereal box, but I would actually recommend a thicker, more sturdy cardboard. Once you have the look of your hat down, glue a small wooden stick to the cardboard at an angle so it can slot into the top of your wreath and down the side. I used a bamboo skewer, but a popsicle stick should work just fine too. For extra insurance to prevent floppiness, spray the hat with spray starch. Hot glue the actual hat to the wreath for added support. 
Bug picked a pretty silver flower to put on the hat so I hot glued it straight to the hat. I would have never thought of that, but it was a perfect addition. 

Lastly, just stick in any foliage or decor item that you picked out. I believe less is more in this case. I also hot glued those to make sure they stayed. Basically, hot glue everything. Again, not actually everything, just wreath things.

I love the way this turned out and it holds a special mommy-daughter memory too. Let us know how you did your Mickey wreath and send us pictures. We can't wait to see them.

As always, feel free to leave a comment with any questions.


Friday, November 17, 2017

We've made this Thankful Tree a Thanksgiving tradition for our family. It is an easy craft and a great conversation starter. It reminds us that this is a time for us to come together as a family and talk about what we are thankful for. Afterwards, you have a beautiful Thanksgiving centerpiece. 


You will need:
  • Fall colored construction paper.
  • Sticks.
  • Scissors.
  • Any kind of string. We used twine.
  • Vase.
  • Hole punch.
  • Leaf. (optional)
  • Pine cones. (optional)

The kids went on a nature hunt to find the perfect set of sticks and a leaf to use as a template. The size that you need will depend on how big you want your thankful tree. Pine branches worked out really well for us. The kids found some nice size sticks with lots of little branches. They even picked out a branch with a pine cone on it. I left it there because it was a cute addition to the thankful tree. Then they picked up some pine cones to add in the vase which looks pretty and helps keep the sticks in place.  
We used a real leaf to trace around on the construction paper, cut it out, and then used that one as a template for the rest. 

Next, we all wrote what we are thankful for on the leaves. It made me proud to see that they were writing things like family, friends, our house, and God. But it was fun to throw in ones like Star Wars too. It is interesting to see what they will come up with each year. 
Punch a hole in each leaf and then tie your string on it so it is ready to hang. Tuck your branches in the vase and add your thankful leaves. I added a string of battery-powered LED lights to the branches, too. 

It got hectic at times with a one year old that wants to help, but I am so thankful for that time together. 

Check out the video from last year to get a visual of how we made our tree.
As always, if you have any questions, feel free to reach out to us. And send us pictures of your thankful tree.


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