Monday, February 19, 2018

Affordable Disney Inspired Jewelry!

A few weeks ago I shared the news that I am a brand rep for the Etsy shop Cajun Keepsakes, and I shared a little about the shop owner and some of the products I have from her shop.  (You can catch up on that post here).

Today, I wanted to share some of her adorable Disney inspired pieces. All her pieces are affordable and can be customized to say pretty much anything, so if you've got a favorite Disney quote here is your chance to wear it with pride.

I currently only have one Disney inspired piece from her shop, but have my eyes on a couple more pieces.

This darling Mickey necklace with my Blog Name stamped on it was so comfortable and proved to be a big conversation starter especially with cast members and people in lines. You can pick this beautiful necklace up from Cajun Keepsakes for about $7.00, use the code STORYBOOKERIN for additional savings at checkout!


I love this so much, it looked cute with everything from dresses to t-shirts. If you are a fan of the Mouse, go grab one of these necklaces, you won't be sorry!


There are a few more Disney inspired pieces in her shop that you might like. 

These Lava Rock bracelets with a little Mickey bead are $10.00 and can be used with your favorite essential oils. 



These Princess Bangles are a subtle and inspiring way to share your love for the Princesses. They remind me of some of the bracelets I've seen in the Disney Parks. They are $7.00.


If Disney inspired jewelry isn't your thing, she has lots of other family and motherhood inspired pieces all at affordable prices.  Be sure to use the code STORYBOOKERIN at checkout for a discount.

This code is not an affiliate link, all proceeds go directly to Kelli and her beautiful family. The code will expire April 26, 2018, and is valid for 10% off your purchase of $5.00 or more.


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Friday, February 16, 2018

FAT-SHAMED at Davids Bridal!


I have the great honor of standing up next to my future sister in law as she and my brother in law exchange wedding vows this Spring. I didn't imagine the struggle finding the perfect bridesmaid dress would be nor did I anticipate being fat-shamed at one of the most known bridal shops around. 

David's Bridal, this is for you... on behalf of every other curvy girl who has to deal with your store and employees.

Dear Davids Bridal, 

Have you ever tried to make an appointment on your own site? 5 redundant steps with the last one being a second confirmation of the appointment?  I arrived at my local Davids Bridal and was greeted by two girls who seemed quite annoyed at my existence. When they couldn't find my appointment, I was told I'd have to wait - the two girls then proceeded to talk about their personal plans and lives while still trying to gather information from me - After a few moments one girl says to me... 

"do you have the brides phone number of not?!" 
I responded with
 "I was waiting for your personal conversation to end so I could give it to you" 

After a few minutes, I was greeted by a third (annoyed) employee. Every other word out of her mouth was how she wasn't working the next day, and she'd had a rough day. She brought me the dresses I'd requested and then disappeared. Thankfully, I had my husband there to help me try everything on so I could make a decision and leave. The appointment was quite tense and the employee made no effort to assist in helping me find a dress.

Every time she came to me, her words were negative 

"your back doesn't look good in that dress"

 "are you sure you like that?"

 it just didn't end, and I was feeling overwhelmed with her negativity.

To make the situation worse, I wasn't able to get into one of the dresses that was the exact same size and material as all the previous dresses (that had been loose), so I asked her to verify that the dress was labeled correctly. 

Her response was quite sharp, and she says 

"Yes, that's the size. I didn't bring you the wrong one". 

 her sharp response frustrated me because she just wasn't listening. 
So when she brought a larger size of the dress, I showed her how the one she originally brought me was 4+ inches smaller than the other dresses of the same material, and it HAD to be mismarked. 

That's when she said it... words that hurt me so deeply and have rung in my ears for over a week. Words that put me in tears for hours, words that no one should ever have to hear. 

"You don't know how big you are" 

I took a deep breath and responded with,  

"WE ARE DONE TALKING!" 

Once in the dress that was now about 3 sizes too large, I asked her why the size she originally bought was $129.00 and the one I was wearing was 189.00. 

She grabbed the tag from the dress I'd questioned and says...

"Oh, this is a Junior Bridesmaids dress. 
That's why it's cheaper"

(EXCUSE ME????)

She THEN proceeded to tell me that someone ELSE must have put it in the wrong place. 

She Never took responsibility for bringing me the wrong dress
and she never apologized for her words. 

I got dressed, grabbed my husband and left in tears. 

Davids Bridal, you are the worst of the worst. 

I hope I never have to set foot in your store again. 

- - - 
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Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Your guide to the Epcot Festival of the Arts with kids


Walt Disney World brought back the Festival of the Arts for the second year, and it is SO much fun for adults AND kids! There a few days left in the Festival so I thought I'd share some of our favorite activities you should definitely check out at the Festival! 

The Festival Ends on February 19th, 2018! 
So you don't want to miss it! 


Paint By Number! 
I found this activity to be so nostalgic, I remember painting by number as a child and now that my girls are getting older it's becoming one of our favorite activities. 
Seriously, how exciting is it to paint a GIANT Canvas IN DISNEY WORLD? 

We absolutely loved this activity and the free postcard given when you exited was an added bonus to the excitement. 


Artful Photo-Ops
These were so much fun and rarely had a line so you could take lots of fun photos as a family or however you want. 



Kid Cot Stations 
There were custom stamps for the kids to collect in the countries in addition to the traditional stamps you can collect in the kid cot locations. 

Art Walk 
Inside your FREE Festival of the Arts Passport, you are led on a little tour of the countries filling your passport with images found when rubbing a crayon over the template. This was a lot of fun for the girls, our two-year-old especially loved this!

So, what are you waiting for? Grab your family and head on over to Epcot for some Art filled fun! There were so many other things to do at this festival these were just the ones we did with our girls and found perfect for families of all ages.

The question of the day: Did you attend the festival, what was your favorite part? 


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Monday, February 12, 2018

Is the 2018 Disney Dining Plan right for you?

I just got home from the most magical week at Walt Disney World, and am so excited to share some Disney content!

I'm a Florida Resident, and also an annual pass holder so since I'm semi-local to Walt Disney World, we don't often stay more than a few days at a time.  This year we decided that we would do an entire week, and check out the dining plan, and I am so happy that we did, you do have to be staying on property for more than one night (I think three nights is the minimum), but when you consider the perks of staying on property it is worth it!

The dining plan we purchased had the following credits and was only $75.50 per night. 

  • 1 - Table Service (per night of stay)
    • Includes alcoholic beverage for guests over 21
  • 1 - Quick Service (per night of stay)
    • Includes alcoholic beverage for guests over 21 
  • 2 - Snack Credits (per night of stay)
I personally found the dining plan to be absolutely worth it. We just spent a week in Disney with our three kids, and never had to purchase any food - everything was paid for in advance! 

If you are on the fence about the dining plan, here are a couple of things to think about. 

  • Are there enough table service restaurants that you have been wanting to try to fill your vacation?
Long before our vacation, I had a list of places we wanted to try with our family, and when we were 180 days before the trip, I started making my reservations. 

  • Are you willing to sacrifice park time for a sit-down reservation? 
I have small children, so a sit-down meal out of the sun was perfect for our family. But, you might not want to sacrifice the 60-90 minutes out of your day for the dining. (There is a quick-service only dining plan you could look into). 
  • Do you want to try all the snacks? 
Disney is known for some creative and yummy snacks, these snacks can be quite expensive so we personally don't typically buy a lot of snacks while we are there. On the dining plan, there are two snacks per day included. We had so many snack credits left over that we actually we able to bring a whole bunch of treats home to share. 

  • Do you like to have a Beer (or wine) with your meal? 
Something new that is included with the dining plan in 2018 is the inclusion of a specialty beverage with both the quick-service and the table-service meals. I am not a big beer drinker or wine, but it was nice to have that available. 

Favorite Snacks tried
  • Carrot Cake Cookie
This is only available inside Hollywood Studios, and is ABSOLUTELY delicious! 
  • Caramel-Covered Pop-Corn
This is only available in the Werthers Store in Epcot, SO GOOD! A large bag is considered a snack credit and fed our whole family of five. We loved it so much we brought home 3 bags! 
  • Starbucks Beverages 
All sizes are included, so get a venti of your favorite beverage. 
  • Cookies the size of your face!
Available at Big Top Treats inside the Magic Kingdom, this cookie was so much fun!


Overall, we loved the Dining Plan and would absolutely do it again for a future trip! I'd love to hear from you, have you tried the dining plan? What snacks did you try? 

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Thursday, February 8, 2018

Our Pinkalicious Birthday Party on a Budget!

PINK, PINK, PINK!

I'm not going to lie when my daughter told me she wanted a Pinkalicious party I was ecstatic! I fell in love with the story Pinkalicious when I was in college, and actually hosted a pink-themed tea party! This year we decided that instead of a BIG party with all her friends, we would have a simple celebration at the zoo with our friends, and then have a special Disney day with her cousin.

Thanks to some bargain shopping at our local Walmart, and an unused tablecloth from her  Tangled party we put together the decorations for the party for less than $10.00!

To add to the theme, we included some of the stories around the food table.


Our daughter picked a menu of hot dogs, fries,  macaroni and cheese and of course
PINK CUPCAKES!

FRUGAL TIP: Bake your own cupcakes! 






 If you can't get enough Pinkalicious, be sure to check out the 
PBS Kids App for the new TV Series that 
just released and our girls LOVE it!

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Monday, February 5, 2018

My Running Story.

"RUNNING IS THE WORST" 
You've said it, you've heard it, but do you really believe that running is the worst

I used to believe that. 
In fact, I spent most of my life believe that. 

This is me before I ran, and then again while training for my second Marathon! 

A post shared by Erin ✨ (@storybookerin) on

So how does someone go from the girl on the left, 
to the girl on the right? 
How does one go from absolutely hating running
to obsessing over running? 

It started with a walk, that turned into a run. 

In the year 2012, my husband and I decided we'd lived our unhealthy lifestyle for long enough, and we were going to walk each morning before work. So, at 5:30 a.m. each day we got up and went for a walk around a nearby golf course. We started to lose some weight, and then one cool March morning an older large man ran by us. 

I was so humiliated and inspired at the same time, so I took off running and I haven't stopped since. I went to work and told a co-worker that I'd run a little bit that morning and didn't hate it. So, what did she do? Encouraged me to sign up for the Everest Challenge at Disney! (Read all about it here


After the Everest Challenge, I got serious about learning to run and the research began. I'd like to say that I figured our running pretty quickly, but the truth is, I didn't. When I first started running, I would run, run, run until I just couldn't run anymore and then I'd walk really slow trying to catch my breath. It worked and helped motivate me to keep training and through it all, I continued to lose weight! 

In February of 2013, I ran my first half marathon than in April I ran my second and fully solidified my love of running! 

5 years later, I've run 11 half marathons, 2 marathons, 2 10ks and countless 5k's! Many of these races I've run while pregnant with one of our three girls and I've learned SO many things! 

So, here are the things I tell people who have seen my love of running develop and how I encourage them on their journey. 

TIPS FOR STARTING YOUR RUNNING LOVE-STORY

Before you begin your running journey, I think it is important to set some goals.  Is your goal to run a 5k, run a mile? Maybe you want to run a Full Marathon! Set that goal, write it down and put it somewhere you will see it. 

When I first started running, I had the numbers 26.2 written on a post-it in my office, I'd look at it every single day, and then in January of 2015 I hit that goal and it was awesome! 

The second thing I tell people is to look into the Run-Walk-Run method of running. Developed by Olympian Jeff Galloway, the Run-Walk method is perfect for any level runner. - Find out more about the Run-Walk Method on this post

Lastly, find accountability!  If you don't have someone physically with you to run, try reaching out online. The running community online is so supportive! Track your fitness with apps and get social! I've found some amazing friends in the running community on instagram and twitter and i'd love to connect with you too!!

My Favorite apps for tracking fitness include:
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Friday, February 2, 2018

How to make money while working out!


Last week I made $10.00, just by sharing my workouts online! 

Too good to be true?  It's not! 

In January of 2017, I ran across a blog post introducing the app Achievement. This is a FREE app, that pays YOU for working out! Since I was doing the 21-day fix at the time, I thought I'd give the app a try and you know what? it worked! My husband was the first to cash out, but I wasn't surprised because he bikes to work every day, so obviously, he was earning more points than I was. 

How the app works

This application is basically like participating in a big market research, and health companies fund the app which in turn gives you financial incentives for making healthy choices!

How to earn points 

  • Connect your favorite health apps and work out as per usual. 
    • I have the following connected: 
      • Garmin
      • FitBit
      • MyFitnessPal
    • List of apps that you can connect here
How many points to cash out? 
You need 10,000 points to cash out at $10.00. The money is redeemable in Giftrocket or Paypal. 

How long did it take to cash out? 
It took me 1 year to earn enough points to cash out, and my husband about 8 months. 

There are ways to earn more points, by doing surveys and referring friends, we just simply didn't do those things! 

So what are you waiting for? Let's make some money JUST by tracking your exercise with your favorite device! 


*Use my link and we both get a point bonus!* 



Affordable Disney Inspired Jewelry!

A few weeks ago I shared the news that I am a brand rep for the Etsy shop Cajun Keepsakes, and I shared a little about the shop owner and so...