Friday, March 13, 2015

High Five

  1. I seriously can't believe how big Charlotte is getting! In the past few weeks she has learned a handful of words, can respond to questions (with her actions) and is now properly using a fork?! I love how she learns something new everyday!
  2. In case anyone was worried, Milo is still getting attention. It's not always when he wants it, but I think he's slowly learning that after Charlotte goes to bed, he gets us to himself. You can tell it's his favorite time of day....being held like a baby.
  3. Charlotte has discovered Minnie Mouse this week and I can't handle how sweet she is when she gives that over-sized stuffed animal a big squeeze as if they are best friends.
  4. Alex and Ani released a Disney Vacation Club bracelet that sells out within hours. This was the second release and I missed it again! Lucky for me, I found someone who bought two and sold me her extra. Talk about my lucky day! Most people are selling their extras on ebay at over $100, so you can only imagine how happy I was to hear she would give it to me at retail! 
  5. I've always wanted to try my hand at the fun vinyl letters that you see everywhere now. If I can't embroider it, I should sticker it, right?! So my mom gave me her old Cricut machine to give it a try. I haven't had time to test it out just yet, but you better believe I'll be busting this baby out over the weekend.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Be Our Guest - Dinner Review

Exactly 180 days out from our trip, I called Disney Dining in hopes to get a reservation at the elusive Be Our Guest Restaurant. This is one of Disney's newest restaurants which means it's THE hardest to get a reservation for. Of course, knowing that it's so difficult to get in, only makes me want to eat there more. Lucky for us, there was one reservation left and it was for our last day in the parks (I still find it ridiculous that they are booked 180 days out by 10am).

I truly had no idea what to expect. I felt like I had won the lotto just by getting a table. But since I had 180 days before I would actually be inside Beast's Castle, I forced myself to lower my expectations for fear of getting disappointed in the whole experience.

It was finally here. The day of our reservation! We couldn't have planned it better as we had the first reservation of the day. Sure, it was senior citizen's dinner hour, but it allowed me to get some great shots of inside the restaurant before it filled up!

The restaurant has three dining rooms (it's quite amazing that they book up every day), the west wing, the ballroom and the rose gallery. We ate in the ballroom where snow falls right outside the window.

Now it was time to order. Since we had just ran the half marathon that morning, and we were so excited to have gotten this reservation, we decided to go all out. We started with a bottle of wine (which was a must considering this is the only place you can get alcohol in Magic Kingdom) and a meat and cheese tray. For our entrees I got the strip steak with Pommes Frites (fancy word for french fries) and I think they were the best part. The cooked them in truffle oil which gave them such a unique flavor. Rachel ordered the sauteed shrimp and scallops that came in a puff pastry which was also very good.

In between dinner and dessert, the Beast made his grand entrance into the ballroom and then on to the throne room to meet and great guests on their way out from dinner.

We were going to just try the grey stuff for dessert, but after seeing all the other options from the dessert cart, we had to get two desserts.

Since part of the experience was meeting the Beast, we couldn't leave without partaking. We made our way to the throne room and stood in line for about 15 minutes before it was our turn to take a picture. We had a little magical moment when I dared Rachel to sit in his chair while the people in front of us were taking his picture. When he heard of what was happening, he tried to keep his composure until the people in front of us were gone. Then it was our turn for a picture, but first he had to brush off his seat to rid it of Rachel's "germs". He then sat down and claimed back what was rightfully his.

Probably one of the best moments of the trip!

All in all I would say to definitely try and get a reservation at Be Our Guest Restaurant. While it is one of the more expensive places to eat, I found the food to be very good. I loved that the menu was different enough from other Disney restaurants so you didn't feel you were eating the same things. The ambiance of the restaurant was also amazing. They definitely got all the details right. I also loved that fact that you could order a bottle or glass of wine in a park that it's forbidden in! Lastly, the experience with the Beast is one you can't get anywhere else.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Back on Track

Mondays don't get the credit they deserve. Everyone is always complaining about how awful they are, but to me I see it differently. Mondays are good for one thing...a fresh start. With the snow melting, the sun staying out later and temperatures feeling like spring means it's time for my fresh start and to get my butt back in gear. I've been so lazy about so many things this winter, but that's all going to change starting today.

The half marathon I ran (mainly walked) two weeks ago proved that I was more out of shape than I thought. It also reminded me that I do enjoy running (when I'm in shape) and it's time I make it work as a mom. For the past year, Charlotte has been my excuse, and to be honest she's been the best excuse, but it's time to do this for me, no excuses. 

Running isn't just about what it does physically to my body but mentally as well. When I'm exercising regularly, I find that it reflects on all aspects of my life and makes me a happier wife, mother and employee.

So to start, I have set a few goals for this week: To drink more water (anything will be an improvement from before when I was drinking next to nothing), pack my lunches (no more gorging on sit down lunches with friends or raiding the vending machine when I'm too busy to go out) and to run at least three times this week (now that it stays light until after 7pm I really have no more excuses).

If you're like me and need to get back on track with your diet and exercise, stop talking about it and just do it! I'd love to hear about your plans and progress along the way, so be sure to leave a comment so we can encourage each other. Here's to a fresh start!

Monday, March 2, 2015

Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend 2015

I can't believe its been a week since I ran my second Disney Princess Half Marathon (DPHM) and my third half marathon ever! The last time I ran the DPHM was in 2012 and I was pleased to see the improvements they've made to the weekend in just three years. runDisney certainly knows what they are doing with these races!

After driving through the night, we arrived first thing Thursday morning to hit up the expo at opening. Things went super smooth at packet pickup with basically no lines. There was still plenty of merchandise to purchase and all the lines were organized and moved fast (which is important when you have other things to do like play in the parks!).

Beer at 10am on vacation is totally acceptable, right?!

With the expo crossed off our list and the race not until Sunday morning, we had a few days to enjoy Disney. We did all sorts of fun things like dinner at Hoop Dee Doo Musical Review, drinks at the Polynesian, meet and greet Elsa and Anna and carb loaded at Mama Melrose the night before the race!

We laid out our outfits and called it an early night on Saturday, after a senior citizen's dinner (4pm reservations), to get our beauty sleep sleep since we were waking up at 2:30am! We figured we would get plenty of sleep as long as we were in bed before 8pm. Mission accomplished!

We waited less than 5 minutes before a bus arrived at our hotel (I think it helped that we were at DVC resort so there weren't as many racers). Lucky for us, the low that night was in the 50s so it made the long walk to the start bearable. We were prepared this year with cheap sweat suits from Walmart to wear while we waited for the race to start and even for the first few miles. You can just shed that layer whenever you want and they have people along the side of the course picking up the clothes to donate to charity. Easy peasy!

I noticed that this year the corals were easy to find and organized. They had volunteers at the entrance to each coral checking bib numbers to keep them even and manageable. The start of each coral began with fireworks which is always magical so since we were in coral I we got to watch lots of fireworks before it was our turn. The race started at 5:35am but we didn't cross the start line until 6:00am.

 Considering I didn't train AT ALL I was quite happy that I ran as much as I did during the race. Of course, we stopped plenty of times to get pictures since in 2012 we didn't stop once which we instantly regretted. My goal was to finish in the upright position, have fun and take plenty of selfies! As you can see, I think I accomplished just that!

Since the lines were 30 minutes long for each picture, we decided to skip the lines and take selfies instead!

One of my favorite parts is running under this underpass with a super fun DJ wearing giant Mickey gloves blasting music. This is about mile 4 and the perfect place to get pumped!

 My face as I'm about to run through the say I'm excited is an understatement.

 Quick! Let's take a picture with the castle behind us! If only the selfie stick was smaller, I would have been able to get some better pictures, but the old fashioned way works too! 

 Passing through the castle and who was there to cheer us on?! Kristoff, Anna and Elsa!  

 Around mile 9 I was running out of gas, but these little inspirational signs helped.

For some reason, this sign just cracked me up, had to make Rachel take a picture since she was dressed up as Belle!

Truly dead at this point, but we were on the homestretch! Mile 12!

Just feet before the finish line was Mickey and Minnie, I couldn't resist. The perfect way to end the race!

By 9:30am we had run 13.1 miles. So now what?! Go to Magic Kingdom and play in the parks...after a shower of course! 

Friday, February 20, 2015

High Five

I know I've been MIA this week, but so many things have thrown me off my normal routine! Monday was a holiday, then we had a snow day on Tuesday and Wednesday I left for Disney World to run walk  the Disney Princess Half Marathon! But don't worry, even if my blog is looking sparse, you can always see what I'm up to on my Instagram.

  1. So excited to show you our costumes for the Disney Princess Half Marathon! We finally got the finishing touches done today and I couldn't be happier with how they turned out!
  2. As part of all my crafting projects for the race, I thought I would try my hand at a MagicBand bow. I thought they added to our awesome race day outfits!
  3. Charlotte had her first experience with a's the little things. Of course I couldn't help but snap this little selfie of her playing with her balloon and our matching duck faces. Again, it's the little things. :)
  4. We have been so lucky to have a baby that isn't really picky when it comes to food. But I must say, she definitely favors fruit over meat, that is until now. We went out to lunch and she demanded that she eat a hamburger slider. 
  5. This picture just cracks me up. When Charlotte sees herself in the camera, instead of smiling, she makes this face.....such a ham!

Friday, February 13, 2015

High Five for Friday!

  1. Like most people in our area, we took advantage of the beautiful weather we had last weekend. We had so much fun playing outside and now that she's at an age where she can play on a play-set, it's even more fun!
  2. I went to lunch at a local resort this week and it was amazing! The library was my favorite room with wall to wall bookshelves full of books to borrow and this luxury Monopoly game. I could have spent hours just sitting by the fire, sipping a glass (or two) of wine and playing board games.
  3. I took some much needed time off my little side business of embroidering, but am slowly getting back into it with some special requests for friends that have come in this week. I especially loved these little Frozen ears I did for a friend's upcoming trip!
  4. Charlotte was styling in her gold moccs and bow that I couldn't resist snapping a picture. Of course within 5 seconds of the bow being placed on her head, she decided it needed to go. 
  5. With Valentine's Day being tomorrow, I just had to share this little applique design I did for another friend. I liked it so much, that I made a Valentine's Day shirt for Charlotte just like it!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Easy and Fun DIY Valentine's

Even though this is Charlotte's second Valentine's Day, it is our first experience with buying Valentine's for her friends at daycare. I wanted to do something that all the little kids could enjoy but at the same time stay out of trouble with their parents. Most of her classmates are under 3 so candy would not be a good option. My friend offered to order me rubber ducks since she would be doing the same thing for her daughter's daycare. So, rubber duckies it was.

Now that I had a dozen Valentine themed rubber ducks, it was time to come up with a cutesy way to package and distribute. To the Pinterest machine! I stumbled across Formula Mom who came up with this idea!

What You'll Need:
Rubber Ducks - Oriental Trading Company
Tape - double sided is best
Free Printable from Formula Mom
Card stock paper to print on
Fancy pen to sign them with

Simply print out the design on card stock paper (they will print 2 per page), then trim the edges. Have your little one sign the card now before the duck gets in the way, unless of course they can't write yet and in that case you will sign the card. Then tape the duck to the center of the Valentine and that's all there is to it! Handmade Valentine's in less than 30 minutes!