spreadsheets and suitcases

organization + travel = family fun

Yes, I am still here!

Again, it’s been a while, but I wanted to pass along a few items I found interesting…

  • Hawaiian Airlines announced some new West Coast routes: year-round nonstop service from Oakland to Kauai, Los Angeles to Kona, and Portland to Maui.
  • Disney Parks Blog did a live-stream of Rivers of Light at Animal Kingdom tonight: click the link to the video if you’re into spoilers!
  • My kids are back to school, and avalanche of notices, syllabi, reminders, upcoming field trip forms, etc has begun to slide in.  You know what I mean, guys- it’s Paper City!  My solution is an accordion file, one per kid.  For the High Schooler, I label the tabs with each subject, plus one for papers/info about the Open House, one dedicated to her semester schedule for easy reference, and a few miscellaneous for things like receipts from School Store purchases, the combination to her gym locker in case she forgets it, etc.  For the Grammar Schooler who doesn’t have syllabi yet, I have tabs for receipts on school lunch deposits, upper halves of permission slips (including the $ paid, date paid, and payment form written on them for confirmation), one that has the sheet the school provides to stick Box Tops for Education on, and a few miscellaneous for the school year calendar, fundraiser/school picture order info, and past monthly lunch menus (the current one gets stuck to the fridge).  Both kids have a tab dedicated to report cards and progress reports. I just realized that my accordion files are basically a 3D spreadsheet for physical items!  <heart eyes emoji>

    accordion folder

    This is the kind I use, except mine have 12 tabs each.  I also store them in the “permanently open” position standing upright next to my desktop computer- ain’t nobody got time to be opening and closing them over and over.

Their placement by the computer is perfect- on one side of them I have a bin of items that need to be shredded, and on the other side, a dedicated space for scrap paper.  I can easily get through a big pile of stuff while sitting at my home desk by sorting quickly into these systems.  Shaves seconds off my day, lol.  I’ll take it, because nothing gets lost.

As Tigger says, Ta-ta For Now!

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Bits & Pieces: new HI routes on United, Virgin America partnerships, Disney media

My posts have slowed down some- work has gotten much busier lately, and so my usual routine of getting started with the main text of a post while at the office, then adding the finishing touches/pictures at home for posting has been disrupted. Boo.  Still, as the days go by I add items to my Post List so as not to forget them when I do have the time.  Here’s what I added to my Clipboard of Fun over the past few weeks: Read the rest of this entry »

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Bits & pieces: Pandora, Happily Ever After, Music of Pixar-Live, deals

Some Disney News!

Confession: I have never seen Avatar. So when Disney announced a few years ago that they would be recreating the world of Pandora: World of Avatar at Animal Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World, I was all, “meh.”  Now that the work is mostly completed, and they are airing TV spots, and the opening is slated for Memorial Day Weekend 2017, I’m all, “…still meh.”  However, a few things that might make me change my tune: Read the rest of this entry »

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Bits & Pieces: T-A-G, Elena of Avalor, Crayola Store

  • Remember my post about Disney T-A-G, and how I hoped more items would be available on DisneyStore.com eventually?  Well, I got my Disney wish!  I got an email this morning offering 25% off plus free shipping (use code: PARKDEALS) when you order any Disney Parks item…including newly added T-A-G offerings.  There are 20 items listed, ranging from $14.95 for a curling iron case to $199.00 for a 28″ rolling suitcase.  Oddly, the umbrella that I bought is not among the offerings.  But this lovely Jewelry Organizer is:

Why do I love this so much?  If you know me in real life, you know that I never change my understated earrings, can’t stand to wear anything around my neck, and only wear bracelets on very special occasions.  So I really have no use for this.  But…pretty!

  • Elena of Avalor: Disney’s first Latina princess!  She is independent, bilingual, has a smart ‘n spunky sister, great hair, and rides a magical flying jaguar.  Yes, as a matter of fact I am flattered that Disney Channel chose to create a show based on my life story.  Hahaha.  Anyway, the show is cute, funny, and includes wonderful messages about believing in your own strengths and abilities.  Disney Parks Blog has announced the debut of Elena at Walt Disney World, with a special show in front of Cinderella Castle called “The Royal Welcome of Princess Elena of Avalor,” to be live-streamed online.  The first show on August 11th is the one to be live-streamed, but after that they will have it several times a day for Park guests.

elena

  • Finally, a shout-out to Crayola’s online store!  I decided to create something in the Crayola My Way section, which allows you to create a custom crayon box where you choose the colors you want.  I repeat: YOU CAN CHOOSE YOUR OWN CRAYON COLORS, for 8-count and 64-count boxes.  You can also add a photo to the front of the box, choose holiday and birthday-themed boxes, customize an art case, and even get your kids’ doodles made into stuffed animals.  Anyway, the shout-out is for their Customer Service team….I got an Amex Offer for the Crayola Store, and loved the idea of customizing a crayon box.  So I went on the site, created something, ordered it, and completely forgot to use the card that had the Amex offer attached to it.  I realized it an hour later when I noticed that I hadn’t received the “You’ve just used your Amex Offer!” email.  I called them, and spoke with a rep, who stated that because it was a weekend she couldn’t make any changes to the order, and a manager would call me on Monday to see what they could do to change the payment type.  On Monday, I called again, and a different rep said she would have a manager call me right away.  10 minutes later, I spoke with the manager who unfortunately couldn’t make the change, because of course the payment was already authorized to the card I had used, and as custom order, there were no refunds/cancellations.  So I didn’t get my statement credit for using the Amex Offer, but guess what?  I didn’t really mind, because all 3 of the ladies I spoke with were so kind, friendly, and genuine in wanting to help me.  I messaged the company on Facebook to praise their service staff by name.  It was my mitzvah for the day.

    crayola

    I clapped with delight upon seeing this on my screen!

 

 

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Disney T-A-G, and a personal bag

It’s been a rough time for me emotionally, though of course my suffering is infinitesimal compared to those who actually died/were injured/are missing in the Earthquake.  No new (safe) donation opportunities haves popped up specifically for Hawaii.  I sent money to my cousin’s car service, and from what I understand, it was helpful.  I will continue to send aid in that manner.  It was really great to see that communities with lots of Ecuadorians (NY, Miami, etc), were getting together Facebook Groups to organize donation drives via the airlines or local travel agencies.  There have been lots of inspiring stories of rescues, international aid arriving, and huge quantities of donations from the less-hit areas of Ecuador.  The inevitable political sniping and accusations of favoritism are alive and well, too.  There is still along ways to go towards rebuilding, of course.  Time to put those donations to work and get on with it.  Ok, Disney time! Read the rest of this entry »

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Bits & Pieces: IllumiNations live stream & Marriott/SPG merger

  • !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Disney Parks Blog is having another live stream event TODAY!  IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth, the evening finale at Epcot, will be watchable on the Blog starting at 8:50p EST, or 2:50p HST.  As I have stated repeatedly, this is my favorite fireworks show at Disney World, so I will definitely be tuning in.
  • In travel-related news: Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) and Marriott were all set to merge later this year, merrily making plans for Marriott to take over the program, while SPG cardholders like me had started to worry that our points might be devalued sometime next year.  Last weekend, a Chinese hotel company upset the apple cart and came in with a higher buyout bid, which SPG had to consider.  They had only a certain amount of time to accept the higher bid.  Then Marriott came back this past weekend with a hugely improved offer.  Now SPG must reconsider both, and the Chinese company can even counter again if it chooses.  A bit of drama going on here.  For more business-sy details, see this article on Forbes.com.
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Bits & Pieces: Disney, etc.

  • The Disney Parks Blog has another live-stream from the Parks for tomorrow!  Mickey’s Soundsational Parade will be streamed LIVE from Disneyland tomorrow, 2/24 at 2:20pm HST.  I guess their live-stream of Fantasmic! was a big success, so they are doing this one and have others planned for the next few months.
  • Did you guys catch “The Wonderful World of Disney: Disneyland 60?” celebration on ABC Sunday night?  It was very nice.  I can’t stand Derek Hough, or his annoying sister, but I must admit that this dance clip with a surprisingly spry guest at the end was awesome.  This was the end of a longer montage that also included “Part of Your World from The Little Mermaid and “Friend Like Me” from Aladdin.
  • We’ve put the deposit down on the banquet hall for DD’s Quinceañera in November.  So exciting to have that checked off the list.  Now that the date is completely secured, one of my Ecuadorian cousins has already purchased her flight to attend the party!  Of course, we already have our flights.  Moving down on my To-Do Timeline, time to really nail down the theme colors, which will help us choose the dress, linens, etc.

As Tigger says, TTFN!*

*Ta-ta for now 🙂

 

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Bits & Pieces: Virgin America, American Airlines, Fantasmic!

  • Virgin America announced daily nonstop flights from Los Angeles (LAX) to Honolulu (HNL) beginning in May, with an introductory rate of $169 (one way, plus taxes/fees).  Also on offer, LAX-Kahului (OGG), beginning in June, same introductory rate.  Details here, press release here.
  • American Airlines is bringing back free snacks in Economy on transcontinental flights in February, and will expand that to all domestic flights by April.  Of particular interest to us:

Starting in May, complimentary meal service will be available in the Main Cabin on all flights between Hawaii and Dallas / Fort Worth International Airport (DFW).

  • The Disney Parks Blog is live-streaming Fantasmic! from Disney’s Hollywood Studios in WDW today at 6:50p EST, that’s 1:50p HST.  Go the blog for the link, and enjoy!
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