8 posts

Creating Disney Inspired Costumes for CHEAP! | The Aristocats

The kids are back to school and our stores are being filled with a mixture of Halloween and Christmas all at once. It’s glorious, isn’t it? Our oldest daughter simply loves Halloween, and since we are a Disney family we like to create our Disney inspired costumes for CHEAP!

Featured in this blog post you will find how we put together our costumes for Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween party on a tiny budget.

The Easiest Halloween Costume Hack EVER

Let’s start with the EASIEST way to create a costume. Are you ready? Use items you already own. I think it’s easy to get caught up in the fun and excitement of shopping, but oftentimes you can create a Disney inspired Halloween Costume with items you already own. Using this technique my husband put together his Thomas O’Malley costume for FREE!

Thomas O’Malley | FREE COSTUME

When bounding for Disney; especially for an event like the Halloween Party, you will want to stick to the prominent colors of the character. Thomas O’Malley is an Orange Alley Cat with a white belly and feet. His simple color scheme made creating his costume easy. My husband does have an orange shirt, but opted for comfort and went with the button-down plaid shirt and a moisture-wicking shirt underneath to keep him cool.

DIY | Do it Yourself

The Marie Costume was so much fun to put together. With just a few items from the craft store and an inexpensive dress from Walmart, we created a beautiful dress that was completely recognizable as Marie. The entire costume was put together for about $12.00!

Marie Costume | Under $15.00

To create the Marie costume; I first purchased a white t-shirt dress from Walmart. It was on sale for $7.97 when I purchased it. The brand is “Wonder Nation”.

Next, I purchased the pink tulle from Joanne Fabric ($2.97 for the roll). To create the bow, I wrapped the tulle around a DVD box about 3 times. Then I pinched the center and wrapped another piece of tulle around the middle to create the bow. It was almost too easy for how perfect it looked!

To finish the look; we added a pink bow to cat ear headband that we purchased at 5 Below.

Be a “Prime Mom”

If DIY isn’t really your thing; that’s totally fine! My original plan for the dutchess costume was to find a white shirt to wear with my white sparkle skirt*. [The one I’ve used for several other Disney inspired costumes] However; when my daughter’s Marie costume started looking so cute, I jumped on Amazon and ordered this dress* last minute. It was AMAZING!! The material is 95% spandex and 5% cotton. This made it breathable, stretchy and comfortable. While on Amazon be sure to pick up some Cat Ears*. It completes the look, and there are so many choices online for very reasonably priced.

If you are going to be a “Prime Mom”

Remember to purchase clothing you would actually wear again. I am a firm believer in only purchasing items you absolutely love and would wear again and again. Although a white dress isn’t my first choice, I can already see myself wearing it again for some star wars Disney Bounds, anniversary dinners and perhaps Easter at church. Don’t just purchase a dress for one day; make sure you are buying an item you love.

StorybookErin on Youtube

Pin for later!

Join my FREE Disney Fans & Bloggers Group on Facebook!

Join here; IT’S FREE!

Traveling to Walt Disney World?

Find great deals on Orlando resorts and Disney hotels on!

Gold Coast Railroad Museum

Just before you read the entrance to the zoo, you will see a couple of signs for the Gold Coast Railroad Museum. This cute little non-profit organization is packed with charm and history. It opened in the summer of 1956 and continues to be a unique location for rail enthusiasts of all ages to explore.

Read the full history here. 

Hours and Pricing

At the time of this post, the hours are from 10a – 4p Monday through Friday and 11a – 4p on Saturdays and Sunday. The cost to enter the museum is $8.00 for adults and $6.00 for children ages 2-12.


The museum offers free entrance on the first Saturday of the month. My sister was in town visiting on the first Saturday of July so our family decided to go check out the museum on that day. If you are planning to head over to the museum on one of the free admission days, go early. When we first arrived the trains were fairly empty so we were able to explore, take some fun photos and take our time. As the day went on the museum did fill up.

What to Expect

There are several rows of trains, some of them you can go inside and some of them you are only able to view through the window. For example the Presidential Pullman Passenger Car “Ferdinand Magellan”. This is truly a must-see at the museum. It is the only passenger railcar to be designated as a National Historic Landmark. In order to preserve the car for future generations, you can only view the car on a guided tour.

Train Rides are also available on the weekends for just a few dollars a person. You can select from a small “link” train to one of the speed trains.


The Walt Disney World 4 park Challenge | Ultimate List of tips!

The Walt Disney World 4-Park Challenge

I first heard of the WDW 4 park challenge when I was watching some of my favorite vloggers (The Wayts World). This awesome family had decided to conquer all four parks in 1 day and vlog the journey for all of us to see.

As our annual passes were about to expire in December of 2016 my husband and I booked a quick 2 day trip to Walt Disney World. We’d just recently welcomed our third daughter and even though it probably wasn’t ideal for us to complete the challenge, I had too!

[*This post contains affiliate links]

Check out Part 1

4 Park Challenge History

I’ve done some research around the internet and found a post from The Main Street Mouse. This post explains the story of how two friends accomplished the most epic day, visiting all four parks and riding the properties 62 rides. You can read one of the Orlando news articles here.  The Main Street Mouse gives several options for completing the challenge. However, in my opinion, with the opening of Pandora, Toy Story Land and the much-anticipated opening of Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge (August 2019) the original challenge seems impossible. Not that I don’t want to try it,…it just seems like quite a task! 😉

Our 4 Park Challenge Experience

My husband and I completed the 4 park challenge with our infant in December of 2016. We followed the same guidelines The Wayts World used. 1 Ride, 1 Snack, 1 Photo in each park. This challenge is exactly as the word says “a challenge”. My husband and I were fortunate enough to attempt this challenge during the few months that Walt Disney World was piloting the “Disney Express Transportation“. This meant, that my husband and I only had to go through security 1 time and that we were able to travel through back-stage Disney to get from park to park. This service was really affordable ($15 per person), and probably the best option for families wishing to park hop. Sadly, express transportation is no longer available, but it was worth every penny! We did complete the challenge, and it was literally one of the most memorable Disney experiences I’ve ever had.

Things to Consider

The Weather

This is Florida. Our weather is quite unpredictable. In Summer the weather will be hot. You will want to be sure you have lathered up in Sunscreen, are properly hydrated and even have cool comfortable clothes for the day. You will also want to consider if there is any rain in the forecast. Fall and Winter the weather isn’t quite as hot as the summer months, but the weather can vary in extreme temperatures so you will want to be prepared with some layers. Spring is a beautiful time to visit the Disney Parks. The weather is usually warm but not quite hot and the mornings are a little cool. Not enough for the need of layers, but comfortable. For a more detailed and informative post about crowds and weather expectations by each month, check out my friend Keri’s post.

Nutrition and Hydration

When completing this challenge, you will be walking about 20 miles in one day. That’s a lot of walking! You will want to be sure to have a water bottle, snacks and your meals planned out for the day.

Park Hours and Park Order

Be familiar with the Disney Park hours before attempting the challenge and have a plan. If you are staying on property, be sure to use the Extra Magic Hours to your advantage. Many people like to start the day atAnimal Kingdom and then head towards Hollywood Studios from there. It doesn’t matter what order you attempt the challenge, but be mindful of park hours. It’s a good idea to consider starting at the park that opens the earliest and ending the day at the park that is open the latest. Typically the Magic Kingdom. You will want to have the My Disney Experience App downloaded on your phone.

Something to consider is that Animal Kingdom is the farthest park as it is not connected to any of the others. You can easily walk from Hollywood Studios to Epcot and there is a monorail that takes you from The Magic Kingdom to Epcot. It is for that reason that many people check Animal Kingdom off thier list first

How much should I budget?

Park Hopper Ticket: $169.00 (Florida Residents $139.00) Ticket prices do change without notice. Be sure to check the Walt Disney World website for the most up to date prices. Money-Saving Hack: You can purchase Walt Disney World Gift cards from Target with your Red Card and save 5%. You can also purchase a discounted gift card with your wholesale membership to store like BJ’s and Costco. This is will only save a few dollars at a time, but every little bit helps when saving for a trip like this.

Meals and Snacks: Each snack is roughly between $4.00 – $7.00, and a meal will cost between $10.00 -$15.00 at quick service locations.

How should I schedule my FastPass+

Since there were specific rides we wanted to ride in The Magic Kingdom (our last park) we scheduled them there. I know many people like to schedule theirs for the middle of the day. In all honesty, I think it’s important to pick a couple of rides or perhaps your favorite park and schedule those fast passes.

4 Park Challenge | Experiences of Others

Taryn and her family attempted the challenge in June of 2018. I loved how raw and honest Taryn is about the challenge. It is important to realize that there are many variables that come into effect when attempting the challenge. One must consider the weather, crowd levels, and your own personal health. Although Taryn didn’t complete the 4 park challenge how she anticipated, the Lau family did manage to visit all four parks. Read all about their experience here!

Jill completed the challenge in March of 2019 with her husband and 3 year old son. She recommends comfortable walking shoes as she logged 12 miles on her fitbit! She also gave some tips for getting the most out of your fastpass. She scheduled each her fastpasses on the MyDisneyExperience app one at a time while she was in the park. It worked like a dream, you won’t believe how much they got done by 9:00 p.m.! Check out her post here!

This husband and wife team accomplished the challenge, quite by accident. They simply wanted to make the most of their 1 day at Disney! Such a fun read. I love that they completed the 4 park challenge on their first ever day at Walt Disney World! First Trip Goals!

Join my FREE Disney Planning Group!

My friend Keri ( and I have an awesome group of Disney fans and bloggers, we’d love for you to join us! We are two moms who love Disney and love talking about it. See you in the group!


Let’s Chat

Comment below if you’ve done the 4 Park Challenge, or if you are planning to do it soon!

Visiting Savannah on a Budget

Savannah Georgia

Savannah was established in 1733 and is the oldest city in Georgia. Back in the 1700’s downtown Savannah had 4 squares with communities surrounding them. Today, there are 22-squares. Each square is named in memory of a person or historical event.

Just walk the cobbled streets and you can’t help but want to explore the history of this city.

Getting Around Savannah

Downtown is a very walkable city. With plenty of sidewalks and public transportation, you can get to wherever you want to go fairly easily. My recommendation is to park your car and walk. (Grab a parking pass here!) If you are going to spend more than a day in Savannah, I’d recommend the hop-on-hop-off trolly. We’ve done a similar tour in St. Augustine, and it was completely worth it. Grab a Groupon for the Savannah Tour here*

If you are traveling with young children, I would ditch the stroller and grab a baby-carrier* and a backpack for your day. Here’s my all-time FAVORITE baby carrier! I’ve used this carrier for the last 3 years, and it still looks fairly new – I love it!

Savannah on a Budget

If you are sticking to a budget and don’t mind skipping the guided tour approach to Savannah. I’d recommend the DOT. Since we were only there for a couple of hours, we opted for this approach.  This fare-free transportation will take you all over downtown. You can also board the water ferry and visit “Waving Girl”, City Hall and Hutchinson Island! Check out the DOT website for current hours.


Budget-Friendly Savannah Accommodations

For our trip, we booked an Airbnb in Beaufort, SC.* We saved a lot of money by booking outside of Savannah and were able to cook our own meals and relax before exploring the city. If you’ve never booked an Airbnb, you might want to check it out – there are lots of great properties in the area! Use this code for $40.00 off your first booking! *

Saving Money on Attractions

It’s no secret, I love to search through Groupon* when visiting a new city. It’s a great way to save a bit of money, and have an experience I might not have booked. The official Savannah Website also has a section dedicated to coupons, so be sure to check that out before your trip.

Eating in Savannah

We didn’t actually eat any meals during our visit. We had a big breakfast in a nearby cracker barrel and then some ice cream at River Street Sweets. River Street Sweets is located on East River Street and the perfect destination for something sweet during your visit. They have World Famous Pralines, Home-made candies, treats and ice cream available for purchase. It was absolutely delicious and we even brought home some of the pralines to share with friends and family.

If you are a big Paula Deen fan, you might want to check out Lady and Sons. 

If you want to keep on exploring the city or eat like a local. I’d recommend walking to the nearby Kroger and purchasing some picnic supplies. Here is the address: 311 E Gwinnett St. Savannah, GA 31401

There are plenty of yummy places to eat depending on your budget.

Family Fun

This city was a beautiful location for a family adventure. It is home of SCAD (Savannah College of Art and Design) so you will see several college students out and about working on projects. You will also see the playgrounds filled with families and children.

You will find gardens to explore, old city streets and history wherever you look. We only had a few hours in this city, but it could definitely be a destination for a longer family vacation.  Check our Savannah Vlog to see all the fun we had! 

So, what are you waiting for? Let’s go visit Savannah!

The question of the Day: Have you ever been to Savannah? What’s your top thing to do?


Share Me💕

If you find this post helpful, would you do me the honor of sharing on your favorite social media platform?


Three BEST Breakfast Dishes (according to my 3-year-old)

The Importance of Breakfast

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Eating breakfast helps wake you up and get your body ready for the day. From my own experience, when I start my day with a glass of water and something small to eat I tend to make better choices throughout the day. My children also tend to eat better throughout the day when they’ve started their day with a meal.

Additionally, when I first started my weight loss journey in 2012 one of the first things I did was to make time for breakfast in the morning. I firmly believe that eating a healthy breakfast in the morning was key to kick-starting my weight loss journey.

Here is a photo of me when I first started my weight loss journey with a photo of me last fall. – The biggest thing I remind myself is that I am worth it. This August I am getting back on track with my weight loss goals and reminding myself that I am worth it  and You are too!

3 Best Breakfast Dishes (according to my 3-year-old)

If you didn’t know, my daughter has requested to start making “cooking movies”.  This particular video is one that she asked to do, and I thought it was actually a really great thing to share. She gives her top 3 favorite things to eat for breakfast. So, I do hope you’ll take a moment to go watch her video and give her a big thumbs up!👍🏼

Breakfast One

The number one thing my children request for breakfast is scrambled eggs with cheese. We recently purchased some round plates at our local Target, and they were perfect for making the eggs into a happy face.

Eggs kind of get a bad reputation sometimes. However, they aren’t as awful for you as you might think. Did you know that just 1 large eff has 6 grams of protein? They are also packed with lots of nutrients that help boost your brain power, vision and keep you feeling full longer. – Go ahead, google it! Eggs are a great breakfast for your kids!

Breakfast Two

Muffins! or, Breakfast Cupcakes. Muffins also have a bit of a reputation for being an unhealthy breakfast. Yes, there are a lot of muffin recipes out there that fill you up with empty calories. However, with this recipe, you are loading your kids up with Kale (and they might not even realize it!) 😱

Kale is such a great vegetable to include in your diet. It is rich in so many vitamins and nutrients, including Fiber, Protein and Folate. Do your brain a favor and have some Kale.😊

Breakfast Three

Mickey Waffles.

Mickey Waffles are a Saturday tradition in our home. Everyone in our family loves waffles, and who doesn’t want to eat a Mickey Waffle? If you want to make this option a little healthier, I recommend the recipe for the 21-day fix cookbook. It is made with whole-wheat flour and other quality ingredients. My children have been eating their waffles this way for so long they prefer whole-wheat waffles to any other.

*This post contains affiliate links. I appreciate your consideration of supporting this website with your purchase.

If you found this helpful, would you consider sharing it?


Blueberry Kale Muffins (Vegan) and Toddler Approved

Vegan Blueberry Kale Muffins

Full disclosure, this recipe is not my own. It came via text message from my friend Meg, ( and is one that she created based off this recipe. When Megan and her family lived in Miami-Beach, she and her children would come to Zoo Miami with us and bring these delicious muffins. After my oldest daughter ate about three of them, I had to have the recipe. These muffins have become a staple in our home, and I make them a few times a month.

Recipe for Vegan Blueberry Kale Muffins

All-Purpose Flour, 3/4 Cup
Whole Wheat Flour*, 3/4 Cup
*I often use all whole wheat flour, the difference is the final product is a little denser
Brown Sugar, 1/4 Cup
White Sugar, 1/2 Cup
Baking powder, 2 teaspoons

salt 1/2 tsp

Vegetable Oil, 1/3 Cup
A Ripe Banana
Milk (Nut Milk for Vegan), 1/2 Cup
Blueberries, 1 Cup
Kale Blended with water, 1 Cup

Mix all ingredients together and bake at 400 degrees for 17-20 minutes.

Watch the Video

These muffins are super easy, you will want to put it together with your kids. Since it’s egg free, you won’t have to worry about chance of your children eating it before it is baked.



Easy (Toddler Approved) Cauliflower Pizza Recipe


Cauliflower Pizza Recipe

As a mom of three toddlers, I am always on the lookout for easy, veggie-packed recipes to feed my girls. My girls love Pizza, but I want them to love vegetables. When I found riced cauliflower at my local Aldi, I knew I needed to find a recipe for cauliflower pizza. Thank you, Pinterest for directing me to this blog –  with only three ingredients needed for the crust, I knew it was the perfect recipe to try with my girls.

Cauliflower Pizza Crust Ingredients

Again, this recipe was not my own. I found it on this website. 

For this recipe you will need:

  • Bag of Riced Cauliflower
  • 1 1/5 Cups Parmesan Cheese
  • An Egg

Optional ingredients:

  • Garlic Powder
  • Italian Seasonings

I found all these items at my local Aldi, making this recipe super budget friendly. Another one of my favorite Frugal recipes is my Taco Chicken Casserole. 

Directions for Cauliflower Pizza

This pizza recipe was so easy my three-year-old was able to put this together.

Watch the vlog on our youtube channel.


Recipe for Hidden Mickey Cookies!

Cookie Collaboration

Who wants a Cookie? I am so excited to collaborate with my new friend Bethany from The Pintastic Girls to share our favorite Cookie Recipes. Be sure to go check out The Pintastic Girls and give their channel some support! You can find them on Youtube, Twitter and Instagram! 

My Favorite Cookie Recipe

My favorite Cookie Recipe was actually found by my sister in law, and she first made it with my girls a couple of months ago. (Find the recipe here) It has become our go-to recipe for chocolate chip cookies, and if i’m being honest – I have made it about 3x this week. It really is THAT GOOD!.

Cookie Ingredients

Again, this recipe was not created by me, it was found on pinterest.

  • 1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 3/4 Cup Brown Sugar (packed)
  • 1 1/4 Cup Flour (Sifted)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 Cup (1-Stick) Melted Butter
  • An egg
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder

In order to make these cookies Mickey inspired, I purchased some M&M’s and added little Mickey shapes into each of the cookies. For the Minnie Bow, I cut an M&M in half and attempted a bow look. I think it turned out pretty cute, but you definitely need to use your imagination for the Bow. 😉 For all Disney sweets inspiration, I encourage you to check out this instagram feed. She does some of the cutest little Disney treats.

How to Make the Cookies

First, combine both types of sugar with the softened or melted butter. 

Next, you will want to add the egg and vanilla. Mix the dough until well combined.

Finally, sift the flour and baking powder together.

Don’t forget the Chocolate Chips! 😍

After everything is combined, let the dough chill for about 20-30 minutes.

We like to use a tablespoon to scoop out our cookie dough, but you can use whatever you prefer for this step.

To make these cookies Disney inspired, add your M&M’s in the shape of a Mickey Mouse and bake.

Bake the cookies for 11-13 minutes in the oven preheated to 350 degrees.

Pro Tip: These cookies are extremely chewy, you will want to let them cool on the pan for about 5 minutes before moving them to a cooling rack.

Frugal Tip: M&M’s can be found pretty inexpensively at your local pharmacy or grocery store, and are an easy way to create Disney Inspired cookies. If you have Mickey-Loving kids like me you will want to give this little tip a try! When we made the cookies in the video we added the candies before baking. This didn’t work out as well as I’d hoped. Simply because the cookies expanded. A better way would have been to let them back halfway and then add the candy for the remainder of the bake time.


Recommended Baking Supplies

Storybook Erin is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Your purchase helps support our family and keep this website running.

Pin for Later