Road Trip Survival Kit: A DIY Tutorial and Free Download

Road Trip Survival Kit

If you’ve read our blog in the past, you’ll know that I love to design, craft, and generally make stuff. It’s so much fun to create items for family vacations. However, traveling with kids can be difficult. Therefore, I knew I needed something entertaining for our long road trip to Walt Disney World. I came up with this fun and edutaining Road Trip Survival Kit that was a big hit!

Road Trip Survival Kit: A DIY Tutorial and Free DownloadRoad Trip Survival Kit

I’m so excited to finally share my DIY Silhouette studio design and file with you all! Before we get started however, I’d like to say that this post is not a sponsored post. We’re not being paid to promote the Silhouette Cameo and Crayola products I used. I just happened to stumble upon these awesome travel art cases and couldn’t resist personalizing them for our big road trip.Also, I LOVE my silhouette cameo. If you have a silhouette cameo, then you know what I mean. If you know what I mean, then let’s get started by listing what you’ll need!Road Trip Survival Kit

Supply List

  • Silhouette Studio software and compatible vinyl-cutting machine
  • Permanent Vinyl in your favorite colors (I used oracal 651 white and silver)
  • Crayola Stow and Go (I used the Dry Erase and Color Wonder Mess Free versions)
  • Free Road Trip Survival Kit download file (for personal use only)
  • Rubbing Alcohol and Cotton Balls -OR- Clorox/Lysol wipes
  • *Optional: printable worksheets and laminating machine

Road Trip Survival Kit

Do It Yourself

First of all, download the free file here. The fonts featured in this design are indicated within the file so that you can download and customize the name with your own. Furthermore, fonts featured can be found at dafont.com and are free for personal use only. Please DO NOT use this file to create your own items for sale. This file is intended for personal use only.Road Trip Survival Kit

Extras

Whether you’ve got a laminating machine or not, you’ll want to include some fun roadtrip extras. After a short pinterest search, I found several fun and free printables to include in my own kids’ roadtrip survival kits. Here’s a few we used and enjoyed. Additionally, if you’re using the dry erase version of Crayola’s Stow and Go, you can laminate the worksheets to use again and again!Road Trip Survival KitThanks for reading! If you’ve enjoyed this freebie, please let us know! Be sure to check out Beth’s Driving Tips here on our blog too! Road Trip Survival KitFor more Disney tips, tricks, tutorials, packing lists, dos and don’ts… Okay, you get the picture. We’ve got a podcast too! The Mouse and Monorail Podcast. You can also find us on the following socials: FacebookTwitterPinterestInstagram, & YouTube. ~Meredith ºoº

Get Ready: Cruise Planning and Early Packing

Get Ready: Cruise Planning and Early Packing

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Hey howdy hey guys, guess what today is! Go ahead… If you guessed the anniversary of the Disney Dream’s maiden voyage, then you’d be absolutely right! And that couldn’t be more relevant for me because I am in full-on planning and packing mode. I’ve got just a few days before we head out for our whirlwind few days at WDW and MK and our much-anticipated Disney cruise aboard the Disney Dream. I can’t wait to share all the fun once we leave on our socials (facebook, instagram, twitter, & periscope) since I won’t be able to share here on the blog until I return. You can find us on periscope by searching for “mouse and monorail” in your app.

Join Me on My First Cruise

First things first. Come follow us on all our socials before I leave! I plan to do some fun periscopes around the Wilderness Lodge on Saturday night and may even broadcast some of the “peaceful serenity” that is Whispering Canyon. Haha!! (If you don’t know what I’m laughing at, go check out what the Whispering Canyon is all about here). I’ll be broadcasting via periscope as much as service will allow on Sunday in the Magic Kingdom so be sure to follow us ahead of time to get the notifications on your device! Additionally, I’m going to periscope as much as I can on the ship Monday and possibly our Castaway Cay day (Wednesday). SO don’t miss out!! Speaking of watching live, did you know that you can watch Port Canaveral live via their webcam? Yep, come watch me sail away!! Haha!

FE Sneak Peek!

Cruise Planning

Finally to cruise packing. Now, don’t go throwing your favorite swimsuit and sandals in the suitcase just yet! There are things that can and should be done well in advance of a few weeks (or less than a week in my case) of your sail date. And for me, this has been the most fun Disney trip I’ve ever planned. From meeting people who we’ll be cruising with online months in advance via fb, to creating unique gifts to exchange through the fish extenders, to planning the ultimate “best friends” day at the Magic Kingdom for my kids and their best friends (who just so happen to be going with us! Whoo hoo!!) I can hardly contain my excitement!!

Cruise Packing Preview

Early Packing

But planning and packing isn’t always easy and some things that need to be done can get overlooked until it’s too late. And with a Disney cruise specifically, there are certain things you’ll want to do well in advance of your sail date. After booking, you can decide if you’d like to participate in Fish Extenders, and if so find your sail date group on fb and sign up. Check out Sarah’s amazing post on 5 things to know before you go for help on familiarizing yourself on what you’ll need to do to be prepared. Other items like passports, car maintenance services (in case you’re driving), scheduling your flights and auto rentals, and making boarding/other arrangements for your pets should all be done earlier rather than later.

Don’t Forget Documentation

Passports can take several weeks to come back and if there’s a particular hold-up on getting yours, it could be delayed even longer. A car servicing can also be beneficial to get done earlier in case something needs repairing so that you’re not forking out a huge chunk of change on your car RIGHT before you head out on your trip. And if you haven’t researched a bit about keeping your devices charged while on vacation, earlier is definitely better! Check out my post all about that very topic here.

Organize Your Packing

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The photo above shows my own (insane, I know. There’s five of us now) list of stuff to pack and whether you use a crazy looking app like me (which totally works beautifully for me 🙂 ) or a good ‘ole pen and paper, keeping a list is a great way to ensure that you’re on track. And while making your own personal list is key, you’d be missing out if you didn’t check out Amy’s Cruise packing list and Sarah’s WDW packing list! Both of them are great place to start and are printable so you can print whenever and even have copies for family members so big kids can help pack too!

 

Hooked on DCL design by Mouse and Monorail

 

Fish Extenders

I’m now a week out and have begun to pack starting with our fish extender and gifts. They’re all done and packed in a small separate suitcase. (Eeek! So excited to give them out and even more excited to share about them after I get back!!) This serves the purpose of ensuring that they all stay together, can be easily checked, and the suitcase space will be available to bring home our own fish extender gifts we receive. I’m updating my Hooked on DCL decal to include a silhouette cameo cutter file as well as a printable for instructions on how to apply the decal should you decide to make and give them as gifts for your own fish extenders! So exciting! Right click on the image to below to download the decal application instructions and be sure to check out the original Hooked on DCL post that has been updated with the additional file.

Decal Application Instructions

And packing early isn’t all about fish extenders! There’s extra space in our suitcase, so I’m adding in items that I can easily pack early like suction cup hooks for hanging swimsuits (we won’t have a verandah), door magnets, and our dry-erase magnetic board where we can write and encourage fun messages to people onboard. Pretty much anything else that we can deal without having until our luggage is brought to our room will go in here as well.

It’s Almost Time!

I’ve printed and gathered our signed cruise docs/signature pages from our online check-in, and placed them in my carry-on (yeah, that totally rad Disney Dream Inaugural bag my brother got me for Christmas!) since I’ll need those items to board.  That’s all the time I have for now since I’ve got to get back to packing!! And don’t forget to stay tuned for my live posts from WDW and the Bahamas this coming weekend and next week! ~Meredith ºoº

Countdown to Adventure

Hey everyone!! Today I’ve got a free download (printable) for you! It includes the “Countdown to Adventure” clouds, balloon template, and the balloon holder box and UP inspired house designs.

 

For those of you who might not listen to our podcast, I’m in full-on planning mode for our upcoming WDW park day and DCL cruise. We’re really excited and our countdown recently reached double digits!! I’ve been wanting to do something fun with the kids for a countdown for a while and now that we’re under 100 days, it’s finally time to get a move on lol.

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I browsed pinterest for fun countdown calendars and found some really cute ones. For our family, we needed something that could be high up so that our fur baby and real baby, won’t be able to reach it and tear it up (this reason alone is why I personally won’t do the paper chain ones. They’re super cute, just wouldn’t work here haha). I found a cute idea from a girl who was doing a countdown to her Disney College program.

 

I loved it and immediately knew how to make our own version. Flashback to Boo’s 6th birthday party. She had a Disney themed party and pretty much had any movie and character presented as long as it was Disney. In leiu of cupcakes, she had her Daddy bake some of his special cupcakes and they became balloons for Carl Frederickson’s house. I let my husband handle the cupcakes and I made the board. 2014-04-19 15.29.05

I found a blue-paper foam core board at hobby lobby and cut around little white cloud shapes out of cardstock. On the main cloud, I printed out Happy 6th Birthday and cut around it as well. As for the actual house, I just found a photo online for reference and drew out my own house in adobe illustrator. (Yes, I have graphic design background and it served me well here). By making my own, I could dictate how large I wanted it when printed. I figured out my size, printed it out, and pasted it on the board along with all the clouds. Then we just added cupcakes. Easy peasy!

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Back to this week, once I saw her pin I knew I wanted to reuse this board for our countdown project. To start, I grabbed a pack of bright colors paper from the store and let the kids help me cut out enough balloons for our countdown. We actually did a periscope for this activity too! And you can go ahead and be printing the free printable file while you watch! You can download it here.

Supplies needed:

•blue foam core board

•white cardstock

•colorful paper

•scissors

•glue stick

•old cardboard crayon box insert

•printer

3m photo hanging strips

•the Mouse and Monorail’s “Countdown to Adventure” pdf
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So, for starters, I’ve designed some templates for you since I didn’t have any prepared for myself when cutting out the balloons. You’ll print the pdf that includes three pages on white cardstock. Cut out all three pages’ shapes. Then cut out some random cloud shapes with more white cardstock til you have enough clouds to evenly distribute them on your board. Take the old crayon box insert and glue the printed “Adventure is out there” cover to it. Lay EVERYTHING out on your board first and move things around until you get a layout that looks good to you. Once you’re satisfied with the placement, glue everything down except the crayon box insert. You can probably glue stick it too, but I went on and used some 3m command strips for it just to be sure it doesn’t fall off once the weight of the countdown balloons are inside it.

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Now, you’ll cut out your balloons. I’ve included a balloon template on the download, so you can use that or simple just go for it. I had the kids go ahead and number them to practice writing and counting, but you can just cut them out and number them as you go if that’s easier. Once you’ve got everything cut out, use the 3m photo hanging strips to mount your board to the wall. These are fantastic because you can have your board securely attached to the wall, and be able to remove it whenever without leaving damage to your wall. Once you’ve got it hanging, place your balloons in the box and begin gluing your balloons each day. Super simple and so cute!! It’s worth noting though, that you should probably start up high and work your way down to the house so that the balloons overlap each other with the tops showing. You can use whatever you want to do for string, just we’re just using a fine tip sharpie. (You can see where I used the sharpie for the cupcakes, so it looks a bit silly for now til we get enough balloons to start covering them. Eh, it works for us, but you can do yours whichever way is easiest for you) 🙂

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We can’t wait until we have enough balloons to take off on our adventure!! If you enjoyed this post or know someone who might like it, please share it out and show us yours if you make one! Tweet us, share on fb, or tag us on instagram! ~Meredith ºoº

More Cruisin’ News

Hey howdy hey everyone! Usually it’s Amy’s week here on M&M but seeing as how she just disembarked from the Dream on Monday, Sarah and I are bringing you some more Disney fun while she gets settled back at home. Amy, can’t wait to see photos and hear all about your trip! In the meantime, today I’d like to talk about how my blog post from a few weeks ago came about. If you’re familiar with Fish Extenders (and you should be since Amy posted all about them) then you know that sharing Disney items can be fun and exciting during your Disney cruise. We also had a Disney cruising crash course on our podcast! Over on facebook, there’s a group called the FISH EXTENDER DISNEY CRUISE LINE where you can go to find not only the particular fb group for your actual sail date, but also to find people sharing fun ideas for their gifts. I’ve been a part of the group for several months now and love to follow along and see all the amazing things people come up with. If you’re reading this and have posted there before, shoutout to YOU for being awesome! The group has fantastic admins that are very helpful and work hard to keep the group a drama-free and family-friendly group. If you’re looking to sail, definitely check out this group!

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One day I was scrolling through my feed and saw the cutest cruising decal someone had designed and shared. Her name is Jenn and she had used her Silhouette Cameo machine to cut out the design and apply to her car’s back window. I immediately loved it and commented on it. Having a background in graphic design, I knew I could come up with something similar, yet change it up enough to call it my own and share it here with you all. Here’s the original design:

Isn’t it just the cutest?! Well, I set to work on my own and after brainstorming sessions with my Sarah and Amy, I got to work. I was (and still am) super happy with the outcome and hope that you all are enjoying the design as well. If you have your own cricut or silhouette machine, or you just want to see what my design looks like, check it out here. I’d like to thank Jenn for the idea. And what better way to thank her than to actually promote her own design?! She’s had a bit of bad luck today and I’m hoping that this will somehow restore her faith in the honesty of people on the internet. You see, people aren’t always out to play fair and someone ended up copying her design and posting it on the popular website Etsy for sale before she could get hers up in her own Etsy shop called EndUpArt. Okay, so whoever took it made a slight font change, but the graphic and layout are exactly the same! Check it out here:

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Now, I don’t want to wrongly accuse but the other account in question didn’t open up shop until 3 days after Jenn’s original fb post. Just seems fishy to me. Heh, get it? Fishy?! Sorry… I digress. Ultimately what I’m trying to say is that if you loved my original design, you can thank Jenn for the initial inspiration. And if you don’t have access to your own vinyl cutting machine and would prefer to purchase a decal instead, please be sure to check out Jenn’s Etsy shop and give her your business. 🙂

 

I guess that’s all for today, but be sure to stay tuned as Amy plans to start sharing about her cruise here on the blog very soon! ~Meredith ºoº

Free Math Worksheets and How-To DIY Coloring Pages

 

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Hi everyone! Today I’d like to share a simple DIY project to turn free coloring pages you find online into math worksheets! The concept is simple: find and download a coloring page you like and add on math problems that coordinate with a specific numerical answer. I searched online for a few coloring pages and found a Mickey Mouse football player and Minnie Mouse cheerleader since it’s football season and math coloring worksheets would be a perfect game time activity if you’re watching the big game from home. To download the coloring pages here, simply right click on the coloring worksheet of your choise and choose “save image as” OR hold down on your mobile phone until the menu pops up and choose save photo.

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It really is just that easy! Download the coloring page you want to use (simple line drawing coloring pages with larger sections works best) and add math problems to it. I used photoshop to add the math problems, but if you don’t have photoshop you could always use another program that allows you to place text over photos. There’s even apps for your phones that will do this! Don’t have time to photoshop or play with apps? That’s okay too! Just print out the original coloring page and hand write your math problems and legend before giving it to your child. Easy peasy!!

minniecheerleaderMathWorksheet_AU_

I love this project because of its simplicity! I actually thought of this blog post because my daughter Boo (7yo and 2nd grade) requested I make some for her after she completed a worksheet like this for homework. I figured it’d be easy enough and I could kill two birds with one stone by making a post out of it too. Turns out it was easier than expected! This diy is perfect for kids who need help with specific math concepts. For example, your child is acing addition, but needs help with subtraction, make your worksheet include more subtraction than addition. (Just don’t make it all subtraction! Let’s keep it fun too!) 😉

MickeyFootballMath_UA minniecheerleaderMathWorksheet_UA_

There are loads of coloring page websites to pick from. And though the ones I chose are Disney themed, you can choose just about any character or theme your child would like. I’m including two versions of Mickey and Minnie since Sarah, Amy, and I all hail from Alabama, where football rivalry rules supreme. And although I’ll always be an Auburn Tiger, (and love it!!) I’ve provided coloring sheets for my fellow Alabamians who may not be bleeding orange and blue like me. If you’re not from Alabama, or just don’t have any ties to our top two teams here, I’ve included a blank Mickey and Minnie so that you can include your favorite team colors too! Both Mickey and Minnie feature addition only. But if football just isn’t your thing, no worries!! I made one more of a Toy Story green alien that includes both addition and subtraction.

toy-story_GreenAlienMathWorksheetMickeyFootballMath_BlankminniecheerleaderMathWorksheet_Blank_

 

And that’s it!! Hope your kids have as much fun as I know mine will as soon as I get these printed. And as always, if you like this post, please share it! We’re available on fb, twitter, and instagram. Come follow us and be sure to check out our companion podcast by searching for “Mouse and Monorail” with your favorite podcast listening app.  ~Meredith ºoº

Disney Cruise Line Fan Graphic

Disney Cruise Line Fan Graphic

Disney Cruise Line Fan Graphic

Hi everyone! In case you don’t already know, I’m planning a Disney Cruise Line vacation on the Disney Dream next year, and I am in full planning mode. I can’t wait to participate in Fish Extenders, and I have been hard at work planning for it. I came across a few cruise decals on my searches, and I liked them so much that I thought I’d design one of my own!

Disney Cruise Line Fan Graphic

Free Download

This free download is in the .svg format so that you can use your cricut cutting machine to cut the vinyl for your own decal. This decal was intended for a car window, but it could be applied on so many different items! Think canvas totebags, sand buckets, and drink tumblers… the sky’s the limit!! Please share your photos of how you use it too! I would love to see how you all apply the design! You can share over on our Facebook page, tweet us, or tag us on instagram (@mouseandmonorail)! *This is a FREE download and is made available to our fans for personal use only! DO NOT download and sell this file or your creations!  

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*Update: You can now choose a .svg (cricut) or .studio3 (silhouette) file! Download File (files will not include watermark as shown above)

**Updated 26 Jan 2016: You can now check out this cruise post to download the free printable decal application instructions page to include with your DCL decal fish extender gift!

We can wait to see how you will use this download! Will you create Disney Cruise Line gifts for your friends and family? Are you going to create fabulous Fish Extender gifts? Or will you just make something for yourself (it’s ok, we won’t tell!)? The possibilities are endless!

DIY Disney Inspired Coasters – Free Download!

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DIY Disney Inspired Coasters

We are 35 days away from our first Disney cruise, and I’ve been super busy making my Fish Extender gifts. What’s a Fish Extender you ask? It’s an organized gift exchange between cabins. Meredith has been working on the cutest Mickey ears crocheted beach sandals for her gift for her upcoming cruise. Chere out her awesome tutorial for that. I have been thinking about doing Mickey coasters for ages, and Meredith was so kind to design some Disney inspired coasters for me! She even came up with 2 designs: traditional and Disney cruise inspired. Today I’m showing you how easy and fun these are to make! Let’s get started!

Looking for an easy, Disney inspired DIY? Give our Disney inspired coasters a try! They are fun and simple to make. Great for gifts or Fish Extenders!

Supplies

  • 4×4 inch porcelain tiles
  • Decoupage glue sealer (Modge Podge)
  • Foam brush
  • Tile design
  • Felt
  • Clear spray paint

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You can print out our download, which is the perfect size for 4×4 inch tiles, or use any scrap book paper cut into 4×4 inch squares. You can find the tiles at home improvement stores for about 15 cents each, and the decoupage glue can be found at Michael’s for around $6.

Directions

Step 1: Take your tile and apply a good coat of decoupage glue evenly on the tile. Make sure that you don’t have any clumps.

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Step 2: Apply your paper evenly to the tile, making sure to smooth out any bubbles that appear between the paper and the tile. I try to apply pressure from the inside and work my way outwards, pressing down firmly, to get rid of the bubbles.

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Step 3: When all the bubbles are out from under the paper, layer the top of the paper with a good coat of decoupage glue, using broad strokes in one direction. Be mindful of the edges.

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Step 4: When the first layer of glue has dried for a few minutes, repeat step 3, only swap directions. If you applied the first layer of glue left to right, apply the second layer from top to bottom. Check the edges closely to ensure all bubbles are pushed out.

Step 5: Allow coasters to set for 24-48 hours for the glue to dry.

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Step 6: Cut squares from your felt and hot glue to the back of the coasters. These will serve as a protective backing on the coasters so they don’t scratch the surface of your furniture.

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Step 7: Apply a coat of clear spray paint to seal the coasters and make them waterproof. Allow to dry for 24 hours in a well ventilated area.

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Step 8: Enjoy your hard work!

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Free Download!

And now for your free download! To create your own Mouse & Monorail coasters, simply download this file here.  You can then print in color and you will be ready to go!

I’m going to tie my Disney inspired coasters up with a pretty ribbon and bag them up for delivery. With just a few hours of work, I have the perfect fish extender gift for my group, and it was affordable, easy and homemade. I can’t wait to give our gifts out to our new friends in a few weeks, and I hope they enjoy their coasters as much as I do.

The Wait is Over! MMM’s Disney Planning Printables

They’re finally ready! I’m so excited to finally be able to share these with you all. This has been a fun project and definitely look for us to update this in the future!

 

So, wait no more! You can download the MMM’s Planning Printable here. It includes the customizable cards for each day and a single reference card that features qr codes to easily scan while in the parks for useful references like our abbreviations reference page, as well as Disney help, and myDisney Experience. There’s even a code that will call Disney Dining for you in case you need to make a last minute change within the parks!!

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We hope you’ll enjoy these and please, help us share these to as many Disney families as we can! Thanks!

Before I go, I’d like to say to be sure to stay tuned for tomorrow’s post as well! Sarah is going to finally get our helpful references page up and running (it has its own qr code on the printable, but won’t be live until her post goes up tomorrow) and I can’t wait to have all of those links right there for you all. Well, that’s about it I guess. Let me know what you think of these and be sure to post photos if you use them! I’d love to see 🙂 ~M °o°