Thursday, June 25, 2015

Fisher Price Friday - A Visit to the Firehouse


I'm back for Fisher Price Friday with an adorable little board book to share with you.  A Visit to the Firehouse is a Little People Books board book from 1986.

It's a funny little book about the Little People family and their trip to the local Firehouse.  

Naturally a few shennanigans ensue while they are there.

Including the kids going along to a fire call while their parents stay behind at the station!  Crazy times in the Fisher Price world.

There is another Look and Play Book in this series called "Who Said Moo"?  I don't have this one yet, but I'm on the lookout!

Unlike my other Little People Books this board book is teeny-tiny.  It's a perfect size for a toddler to hold.

My little 3 (almost 4 year old!) loves this book and I hope you can find one to love too.

If your kids love Firetrucks, Firemen and Fire Stations check out these sets:






Other Fisher Price Books:

also


and


Enjoy and happy reading!

Disney Aulani Resort Review Pt 1- Spoiler Alert it was Amazing!!


My family recently visited the Disney Aulani Resort and Spa on the island of Oahu.  This beautiful "Disney themed" resort is a recent arrival to the Hawaiian islands, opening in 2011.  Back when I lived on Oahu there were just flora and fauna on the beautiful cove that is now Aulani.  It is placed out of town in a much less busy are of the island.  The traffic is still horrible to get there depending on your arrival day/time, but once you're there it is paradise.

We are just easing into Disney here in my family, we only took the girls to Disneyland for the first time last year.  Although the girls are all about Minnie, Mickey and princesses my husband and I have been more reluctant to support the mega-Disney-corporation.  However, my research told me that Aulani was "disney light" and after staying there I agree!

Aulani had all the perks of a Disney property including well trained and helpful "Cast Members" and the attitude of trying to make your experience magical.  They had the best customer service of any hotel/resort I've stayed at in Hawaii so far.



For a little overview this resort includes 1 and 2 bedroom rooms with full kitchens in addition to regular rooms.  We chose a 1 bedroom with a partial ocean view.  Our room had a full kitchen, bathroom with shower and jetted tub, sleeping for 5 (King bed, queen pull out sleeper and a twin fold out bed) and 2 lanais (decks).  The kids loved the hidden twin bed (a Murphy style coming down from the entertainment center), and of course the jetted tub.  I appreciated the huge dining room table and full kitchen.  Note that you can purchase groceries across the street in a little grocery store or down the road in Kapolei at Safeway, Costco, etc.



Aulani included many ways to play in, on, around and with water.  There is a HUGE splash pad water park for kids only, a long lazy river, two slides, a snorkeling reef, two pools (plus an adult pool), multiple spas and of course the beach!  At the beach you can snorkel, swim, boogie board and kayak.



In order to use the facilities you have to get a daily wrist band.  Each day the color changes and my girls enjoyed saving them and stacking them up like arm-candy.  



My girl's favorite water activity was the splash pad water park.  It was huge and included bridges, a boat that fills with water and then dumps it all at intervals and a couple little slides.  They would have spent all day and night there but it was only open from 9-5.  There are lounge chairs all around the water park for adults to relax on while watching your kids have a great time.  This was my favorite place to relax while they had fun.  Let's just say there is only so much swimming with a 3 year old that I can handle.



Our whole family enjoyed the lazy river and a couple of times that we were there Goofy joined us in the river!  Man, that was one of the best parts of Aulani, the fact that you'd just be hanging out having fun and a Disney character would appear that you could meet, greet and take photos with.  Fabulous!



The infinity edge pool with grotto was a favorite as well as the two big slides.  Especially the inner tube slide that I could go down with either child, even my 3 year old.



Now, to get back on dry land the absolute best part of Aulani for my children was Aunty's Beach House.  The Beach House is the childcare center that is included for no additional charge. This amazing place had so many fun activities and options for kids, my girls were begging to go every single day!  


Open from 9:30am-9pm you can drop off your kids during the day for any length of time.  The only exception being if they are at capacity, then you have to keep coming back until they have room.  The way to avoid this is to sign up your kids for scheduled Beach House activities during the day.  For example, I signed them up for a 11am Beach Party and that guaranteed that I could bring them in at 10:30am.  They could stay as long as we wanted, especially if we signed them up for meals (lunch and/or dinner).


Meals at the Beach House are the best deal around, only $8.17 a child is a bargain at Aulani for kid's meals, especially since they serve family style which was ideal for my picky eater.


To sign your kids up for Aunty's Beach House you have to plan ahead.  Aunty's opens at 8am for sign ups/registration/meal payment but...you want to be there MUCH earlier to wait in line.  The tickets for programs (ie- your guarantee to get your child in) are first come first serve.  We appeared at Aunty's the first morning a little before 8 and the line was already around the side of the building.  The next morning I got smart and took my coffee and a book and got in line at 6:55am.  I spent an hour reading, meeting new people and ultimately getting my kids signed up for everything I wanted. :)

The staff come out of the Beach House around 7:15-7:30 and they'll start passing out tickets.  If you aren't signing up for meals you'll be able to fill out your tickets and be on your way.  However, if you are paying for food you have to stay in the line until 8am when they open.  This is also true of registering your kids for the first time, that can't be done until 8am either.



I loved the early morning start at Aulani.  It was a peaceful and relaxing way to start the day.  I suggest that you get one of the refillable mugs and grab yourself a cup of coffee and get in line!


Note: The refillable mugs are a must-have at Aulani.  These plastic mugs are about $18.99 and you can refill them for no-additional cost at any of the beverage stations for the entirety of your visit.  This includes soda, iced tea, lemonade and coffee.

For more on our magical Hawaiian visit check out Part II for our  review of the Spa, Dining options, on-site Entertainment and other goodies!!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Mesothelioma - A Deadly Cancer You May Have Never Heard About

Have you heard about Mesothelioma?  I hadn't until just recently.  The husband of a Mesothelioma cancer fighter/survivor reached out to me to share some important facts and prevention information with you all.

Mesothelioma is a deadly cancer that is caused almost exclusively by asbestos exposure.  Asbestos was a fire-retardant and home insulation product commonly used up until the 1970's in building materials.  Asbestos has been used for thousands of years and over time was shown to cause sickness but only recently did we realize that it was a carcinogen.  

Asbestos can be found in insulation, fire retardants and adhesives.  If your home was made in the 1970s or prior you very likely have it somewhere in your home.  While asbestos exposure is hazardous not all products with asbestos are necessarily hazardous.  You need to inhale asbestos in order for it to be a health risk.

Mesothelioma affects the lining of the organs including the lungs, liver, spleen, bowels and even the heart.  It is a tricky cancer to diagnose because symptoms such as: shortness of breath, chest pain or chronic cough can mimic other minor respiratory conditions.

So what can you do?  Look for asbestos around your home or office in places such as popcorn ceilings or broken/damaged drywall if it was built prior to 1980.  If you think you have asbestos call a professional to have it removed.

Here is a checklist of other summer safety tips just in time for June which is National Safety Month.



For more information on Mesothelioma go here.
To learn about cancer survivor Heather Von St. James.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Fisher Price Friday - Aloha




Aloha!  I've been away from my blog for a bit while my little family was finishing up school and then going on vacation!



We had a wonderful time in Hawaii doing a lot of this.






And this.

I'll be back soon with a review of Aulani (a Disney resort on Oahu) as well as more vintage Fisher Price toys!

Mahalo and Aloha :)