Monday, December 28, 2015

Christmas 2015

We had ourselves a merry little Christmas. A morning full of surprises for one lucky little girl and lots of gift unwrapping. Out of all the new presents Aria received I think her most favorite is the swing daddy put in the tree for her. When she saw it she said "Daddy made a swing for me! Thank you daddy!". Chris got a fitbit, Baxter and Lizzy got new pillows for their crates, and I'm the proud new owner of a shiny tripod. A very merry Christmas spent together indeed.
Sweet Turtle Soup - Christmas 2015
Sweet Turtle Soup - Christmas 2015
Sweet Turtle Soup - Christmas 2015
Sweet Turtle Soup - Christmas 2015
Sweet Turtle Soup - Christmas 2015
Sweet Turtle Soup - Christmas 2015
Sweet Turtle Soup - Christmas 2015
Sweet Turtle Soup - Christmas 2015
Sweet Turtle Soup - Christmas 2015

I hope that you all had a wonderful Christmas!


Thursday, December 24, 2015

Counting Down to Christmas: 17 to 24

For days 1 to 7 click here, and for days 8 to 16 click here!

Tomorrow is Christmas! I'm so excited to not have to hide Santa's presents any longer, or stash stocking stuffers. But, I'm most excited for Aria's excitement tomorrow morning when she can finally tear open her gifts.

So, here is how we spent the last few days of our countdown.


Day Seventeen: Grow Santa Beards
Sweet Turtle Soup - Counting Down to Christmas: 17 to 24
Last year we used shaving cream. Aria was not a fan. This year we decided to use whipped cream. Aria was a big fan, ha. We were supposed to do this as a family, but we ran out of time.

Day Eighteen: Drink Hot Cocoa
Sweet Turtle Soup - Counting Down to Christmas: 17 to 24
This is Aria's very first legit hot cocoa too. It has marshmallows and whipped cream, plus shaved chocolate on top, a cookie, and a Mickey straw.

Day Nineteen: Drive Around to see Christmas Lights at Bed Time
Sweet Turtle Soup - Counting Down to Christmas: 17 to 24
Aria got in her jammies and then we piled into the car to go find the best Christmas lights. The one pictured was our favorite. My picture doesn't do it justice, it was gorgeous. We drove around until Aria fell asleep - easiest bed time around. We actually had so much fun we did it another two evenings.

Day Twenty: Have a Donut Breakfast
Sweet Turtle Soup - Counting Down to Christmas: 17 to 24
It was this or snowman pancakes. I opted for the easier of the two.

Day Twenty-One: "Snow" Fight
I picked a terrible day to put this in the advent. We ended up not having enough time. I've made a mental note to tuck this activity in the advent earlier in December next year.

Day Twenty-Two: Watch The Muppet's Christmas Carol
Sweet Turtle Soup - Counting Down to Christmas: 17 to 24
My absolute favorite Christmas movie. It's not Christmas until this gets watched.

Day Twenty-Three: Make Cookies for Santa
Sweet Turtle Soup - Counting Down to Christmas: 17 to 24
I went with soft loft house type sugar cookies this year with buttercream frosting. I've always hated regular sugar cookies. Fun to decorate, terrible to eat. These are downright delicious, and we still had fun decorating them. I hope Santa comes hungry this year I have approximately 50 of these left.

Day Twenty-Four: Buy a New Ornament
Sweet Turtle Soup - Counting Down to Christmas: 17 to 24
I have the best of intentions every Christmas that we go to Disney to pick out an ornament. And, every year one thing leads to another and I never remember. So, this year Target Cinderella will have to do.

Merry Christmas Eve!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Disney Trip #20 - Holidays Around the World at Epcot

After our visit with Santa this year we decided to head over to Epcot. It's not that far away from the mall, and it always makes sense to squeeze in a Disney trip at every opportunity. Epcot is an amazing park, especially as an adult, but I love that between Thanksgiving and the New Year they host Holidays Around the World. There is a little something in each of the country's pavilions - storytellers, carol singers, special treats, decorations. This is the first year we've actually had the chance to check some of them out.

Our favorite way to visit Epcot is by parking at The Boardwalk and walking in the back entrance. Plus, it's always nice to see the resort decorated for Christmas. When we made it to the world showcase we started in Canada and circled around hitting whichever show was happening at that time. In Canada we saw the Canadian Holiday Voyageurs, in the UK we saw Father Christmas (and caught Quickstep on the way), in America we saw Voices of Liberty, and in Germany we sampled the Caramel Kiss and Black Forest Cake drinks. I loved everything, but my favorite was Father Christmas. Aria got a great picture with him. The Caramel Kiss drink was incredible, but I could have shared it with three other people it was so filling. Like drinking pure molten caramel. Neither Chris nor myself liked the Black Forest Cake drink though.

By that point Aria was over walking around and watching mini shows, which is why Epcot with a toddler is best served in small doses. We made our way back to The Boardwalk, picking up a few treats and french fries while we were there, and then hit the road.
Sweet Turtle Soup: Disney Trip #20 - Holidays Around the World at Walt Disney World's Epcot
Sweet Turtle Soup: Disney Trip #20 - Holidays Around the World at Walt Disney World's Epcot
Sweet Turtle Soup: Disney Trip #20 - Holidays Around the World at Walt Disney World's Epcot
Sweet Turtle Soup: Disney Trip #20 - Holidays Around the World at Walt Disney World's Epcot
Sweet Turtle Soup: Disney Trip #20 - Holidays Around the World at Walt Disney World's Epcot
Sweet Turtle Soup: Disney Trip #20 - Holidays Around the World at Walt Disney World's Epcot
Sweet Turtle Soup: Disney Trip #20 - Holidays Around the World at Walt Disney World's Epcot
Sweet Turtle Soup: Disney Trip #20 - Holidays Around the World at Walt Disney World's Epcot
Sweet Turtle Soup: Disney Trip #20 - Holidays Around the World at Walt Disney World's Epcot
Sweet Turtle Soup: Disney Trip #20 - Holidays Around the World at Walt Disney World's Epcot
Sweet Turtle Soup: Disney Trip #20 - Holidays Around the World at Walt Disney World's Epcot
Sweet Turtle Soup: Disney Trip #20 - Holidays Around the World at Walt Disney World's Epcot
Sweet Turtle Soup: Disney Trip #20 - Holidays Around the World at Walt Disney World's Epcot
Sweet Turtle Soup: Disney Trip #20 - Holidays Around the World at Walt Disney World's Epcot
Sweet Turtle Soup: Disney Trip #20 - Holidays Around the World at Walt Disney World's Epcot
Sweet Turtle Soup: Disney Trip #20 - Holidays Around the World at Walt Disney World's Epcot
Sweet Turtle Soup: Disney Trip #20 - Holidays Around the World at Walt Disney World's Epcot
Another festive trip for the books!

We are hoping to make it over to Hollywood Studios for the last year of Osborne Lights, but so far we haven't found the time (or energy). If not I'm sure we will be back as soon as we can in the new year.

And, here is the video for this trip.


Merry Christmas Eve Eve!!!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Year in Review - Sweet Turtle Soup's Top Posts of 2015

In the blink of an eye 2015 will be over and 2016 will be starting fresh. So, with another year closing I thought I'd share both my readers' favorite posts and my personal favorite posts from 2015. One of the best things about keeping a personal blog is the ability to search through it anytime and relive a few captured memories. There are just so many that I love, and I am so grateful that they are preserved for me and my family. I also really appreciate that you enjoy getting a glimpse into this family too. Thank you for a great 2015.

p.s. You can also click on the 'best of' tab at the top for last year's favorite posts!

Reader Favorites:

What to Pack for a Trip to Disney

A Day in the Life - Summer

Big Girl Status - new bed & potty training

Five Toddler Approved Activities

Countdown to Halloween recap #1

Teaching Together Blog Hop #1

SBL - Fingerpaint Outside

Aria's Easter Basket

SBL - Easter Hunt at Epcot

Personal Favorites:

Summer Bucket List - Family Canoe Trip

Aria's Third Birthday Disney Trip

Book + Activities - Bear Wants More

7 Favorite Memories

Jumping Under the Water

12 in 2015 - January

Partin Ranch Corn Maze

SBL - A New Park

Visits with Santa 2015

Have a very merry rest of the year and a fantastic 2016!