Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Walt Disney World...with a Baby

The title of this post is enough to scare any sane person but I'm here to tell you that YOU CAN GO TO DISNEY WITH A BABY and have a damn good time! My family is WDW spoiled. They have never had to plan an itinerary, book a dining reservation, look at a park map, or question where the closest ice cream cart is and it's 100% my fault and I wouldn't have it any other way.

Working at The Most Magical Place on Earth (not the Happiest...that's DisneyLAND people!) for five years made me a professional Disney tourist. I mean how cool is it that I get to tell Brynn that her bae, Mickey Mouse, was my boss?! So let me share with you some of my tips for conquering Walt Disney World with a baby.

The pace of the park is going to be much different for you now

The sooner you come to grips with the fact that you're not going to be sprinting from attraction to attraction the better. Getting through the crowds in the parks is hard enough so when you add a stroller it becomes a bit more challenging. Enjoy the things that other wise you might blaze past like street performances, parades, and the general beauty that the parks offer. My brother-in-law, Jay, noticed so many more details on our most recent trip because we were taking our time getting around and he loved it.

Plan out what attractions are most important to you

Obviously babies can't go on all the attractions but they can go on more than you think. You can see what they can and can't go on in your park map or My Disney Experience app. If there is a height requirement it's a no go for your little prince or princess. The great thing is Disney offers something called a rider switch pass that you can get the details on HERE. Pretty much one person waits with the baby while the other goes on the ride and when they are finished the other person gets to go through the Fastpass line and experience the attraction too. We did this with a couple rides and it worked out wonderfully, instead of just waiting on a bench I used my time waiting to feed Brynn.

Speaking of feeding...

It's so easy to feed your baby at Disney. There are a ton of tucked away and quiet spaces for feeding that are great for both nursing and bottle feeding. In the state of Florida you can nurse anywhere you please but I'm not one that likes to do that out in the open. Each park has a Baby Care Center that offers a wonderful spot for you and your baby. I used the centers for pumping (when I was on a girls trip without Brynn) and for nursing when I had her. They are insanely clean and have rooms for feeding, changing, and relaxing equipped with Disney movies! Are you terrified that you are going to forget a baby essential?! Don't worry! The Baby Care Centers have everything you need for sale (at VERY reasonable prices) from pacifiers to bottles, diapers to formula, bibs to baby food. I can't say enough good things about the Baby Care Centers....use them!

Bring your own stroller

Disney does offer rental strollers but they are suited more for toddlers than babies. You want your little one to be comfy so having the stroller they are used to will help more than you know. Keep in mind that you can't take your stroller into every building and you'll have to park it in a designated area so I highly suggest investing in a stroller cover just in case of rain because those areas are not covered, we have one like THIS. Another thing I did was order an outdoor decal with our last name to put on our stroller. You won't believe how many times as a tour guide I struggled to find my guests strollers because they do get moved around in the stroller parking area sometimes...so relax no one stole your stroller. Balloons don't help because everyone puts balloons on their stroller so if the decal isn't your style try my tour guide trick and tie a distinctive ribbon on your stroller handle to make it easy to spot.                            

Stock the bag

I'm not telling you to over pack your diaper bag but make sure you're prepared. I made sure to pack a couple more diapers than I thought I'd need, same with with pacifiers, and had an extra outfit just in case of a disaster. When the sun goes down it might feel great for you but chilly for the baby so make sure to bring a blanket just in case so you don't have to buy one.

Capture all the memories

People will say you are crazy for going to Disney with a baby but it's pure magic in my opinion. Your baby won't remember a thing but guess what...you will! We were lucky enough to have our friend Kathleen on Brynn's first trip to snap a bunch of wonderful pictures but you don't have to have a pro to get good pics. Disney's Photo Pass has you covered with high quality pictures throughout the entire Walt Disney World Resort. We also brought along our GoPro and it's our favorite video to date. You can watch it HERE {Brynn's First Trip to WDW}.

Have another question or have another tip? Comment below!

Friday, February 10, 2017

Friday Favs

Hi everyone! I am SO ready for the weekend! This work week has been insanely busy and I desperately need some time to recharge! In the meantime here is what I have been obsessing about lately...

The Straight Up with Stassi podcast. On my drive in to work I'm a devout Jeff and Jenn Show listener (have been on the show twice now) but on the way home I wanted less music and more talk to help ease the pain of Atlanta rush hour. This podcast is amazing even if you aren't a Vanderpump Rules super fan like me. Stassi is hilarious and I feel like I'm in the company of some of my besties. Check it out!

These gold utensils from Target that are mega cheap! I want something to give special dinners a fun pop and I think these would do just the trick with my place settings!

I've been itching to get a paid of these Kendra Scott Tessa earrings and I think this weekend I'm going to pick a pair up. They are so simple and chic that I feel like I'll wear them with everything!

Old Navy's new baby girl spring line! This little bubble romper will be in Brynn's closet very soon!

I hope everyone has a great weekend and thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Allow Me to Reintroduce Myself...

In honor of me buying this little ole blog it's very own domain I thought I'd celebrate with a post to help you get to know me better. I haven't written an "about me" post since way back when I started blogging and I have some new readers that I would like to get to know me so I hope you enjoy these fun facts...

I started this blog to document wedding planning and it's evolved into a lifestyle blog now.

I named it Former Kennedy from the start to pay homage to my maiden name and because I didn't want to have to change the name of my blog several times. I felt as though Former Kennedy stuck and I haven't grown tired of it yet.

I'm a proud alum of West Virginia University and absolutely loved my time there...in large part to my sorority, Sigma Kappa.

An SK alumni tailgate a few years ago

I was set up with my husband by my sorority sister and bestie, Erika. They worked together at a college in West Virginia and were roommates. He messaged me on Facebook with a quote from one of our favorite movies. We talked everyday for a month and then they both flew down to Orlando for a weekend (so he and I could meet) and the rest is history.

The three of us on that first visit

I am one of those crazy Harry Potter fans. If you like HP we're going to get along just fine...even if you aren't a Slytherin like I am.

My bestie Kathleen and I (on the far right) at the last HP midnight premiere 

I'm obsessed with Bravo...no really, our schedule revolves around the show lineup. We have lived in Atlanta going on three years and I'm so bummed I haven't run into a real housewife yet, only Porsha's ex-husband (Kordell) at Home Depot one time. At our reception our wedding party walked out to Kim Zolciak Biermann's "Don't Be Tardy for the Party" and Brian and I walked out to the Vanderpump Rules theme song...and yes I did toss my veil like Lisa used to toss her scarf.

I worked for Disney at the Walt Disney World Resort for five years. My roles included: merchandise, front desk, concierge, guest relations, guided tour guide, call center agent, Disney University Facilitator, and VIP Tour Guide. This year I want to have a lot more Disney tips and tricks posts and maybe a giveaway or two. One of my biggest pet peeves are poorly written and researched posts about WDW.

One of our Epcot Guest Relations group pics (that I organized lol)

I consider myself an outgoing introvert and those close to me agree. I'm standoffish at first but once I'm comfortable I'm nothing less than rowdy. This is what I consider my best and worst quality.

There ya have it! A few things about me and my life that you might not have know. Have any questions about me or want to share a fun fact of your own. Comment below!

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Favorite Home Decor Hacks

During my maternity leave I watched every episode of Fixer Upper and, like every Chip and Jo obsessed American, I decided I needed to redesign our entire house. Like most house projects these are coming along slowly but surely and I feel like I will never finish but that's kind of the fun part. I'm linking up for WHW with Jenn and sharing three of my favorite design hack inspirations.

The first is from my dear friend Lauren, the creative force behind Ren Ott Events. Not only is Lauren an amazing event planner but she's incredible at design and staging. She shared this Restoration Hardware: Looks for Less on her blog and I was obsessed! Make sure to check out the post if you love the RH look but hate the price tag like I do!

Next up is an industrial farmhouse style hack that I will be trying out very soon. We got a new dining set that is very rustic industrial and I wanted a few more pieces to tie in and this IKEA Hack was hit with my husband. We actually got the shelf for $9.99 during the IKEA Winter Sale! I will make sure to share photos when we finish it.

Currently we don't have the space in our bedroom (we moved out the master to be upstairs across from Brynn's room) for these nightstands but the hacker in me wants to go ahead and make these so when we do have the space they are ready to go.

What are your favorite design hacks?! Comment below and share!