Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Spring Bucket List: visit the zoo

Sweet Turtle Soup - Spring Bucket List: visit the zoo

The first activity on our Spring Bucket List has been marked off! Our zoo passes are set to expire at the end of this month and we really didn't take advantage of them much this past year. I don't think we went more than 2 or 3 times. So, I added 'visit the zoo' to our Spring Bucket List to motivate us to get in at least one more visit. It's just far enough away to be annoying, and we never make it further than a fifth of the (tiny) zoo before Aria is ready to go home. Zoo animals are clearly not her thing. But, we did make it before our passes bit the dust and Aria made it through the petting area, the play area, the water play area, and two thirds of a single loop of actual zoo animals before she let us know repeatedly that it was time to hit the road.

Sweet Turtle Soup - Spring Bucket List: visit the zoo
Sweet Turtle Soup - Spring Bucket List: visit the zoo
Sweet Turtle Soup - Spring Bucket List: visit the zoo
Sweet Turtle Soup - Spring Bucket List: visit the zoo
Sweet Turtle Soup - Spring Bucket List: visit the zoo

Sweet Turtle Soup - Spring Bucket List: visit the zoo
Check out the rest of our Spring Bucket List:

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

[Cheers to Five Years] Disney Trip #24, day 2 - A Full Day at Magic Kingdom

April 11th -

I'm back with the second day of our Cheers to Five Years Disney trip. With our annual passes expiring on the 12th we wanted to soak up a few more days of magic. So, we decided to lump my Birthday and our 5th Wedding Anniversary into a 3 day trip to celebrate. If you missed day one you can find that here.

When we stay at Disney for a few days I don't like to over-plan our days. I'd rather wait to see how we feel. The only plan we really wanted to stick to was the fastpass I snagged for the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. Aria is finally tall enough to ride on the 38 inch rides and since it's a newer ride none of us had ridden it yet. Chris and I are of the mind set that we would rather wait until we can do the rides as a family instead of riding alone using rider swap.

So, the night before we decided to go ahead and get up early and try to make it to Magic Kingdom in time for the morning welcome show. One of my favorite things about staying on Disney property is having breakfast in our room for a relaxing slow morning, but the Pop Century rooms aren't as exciting to do that in as say the Wilderness Lodge rooms. Instead of slow we went with the get up and go go go method.

A couple people asked how we liked our stay at Disney's Pop Century Resort, so I thought I'd give a quick review.

What we didn't like...The bathroom faces into the bedroom area, so if you want to get up earlier than your kid and turn on the bathroom light it will brighten up the whole bed area. It was noisier than our stays at The Boardwalk or The Wilderness Lodge, lots of toilet flushing and feet walking past the window and door. There was no ceiling fan. I hated the lack of air movement. I always like a fan on when I'm sleeping. It wasn't hot, just still. There was a piece of old cheese on the tissue box and the floor was wet in one spot for the first day and a half. I don't normally bring condition because I don't condition my hair, I use apple cider vinegar but I don't bring the glass bottle I store the solution in. I usually just use the little condition samples you get, but you get a shampoo/condition combo one. It was gross, and in hindsight we should have run over to Target so I could buy my own but who wants to waste time at Disney World? And, the pillows sucked.

What we did like...The theme is really fun. We liked walking around and checking out all the larger than life decorations. We even played a little twister. Chris liked the food he got from the food court one evening. The buses were prompt and plentiful every time we used them. And, the biggest plus - it's a Disney bargain.

Would we stay there again...Probably not. We enjoy the convenience of a short boat ride to Magic Kingdom or being able to walk to Epcot more than the convenience of not having to drive 2 hours back home at the end of the night. To us it is worth it to splurge on a great resort, especially since we can do day trips. When we do get to treat ourselves to a stay on property we like to take advantage of breakfast in our room, the fun of being super close to the parks, super soft pillows, and enjoying our time out of the parks as much as our time in.

Now back to day two!

Chris and I got up and got ready for the day, while Aria slept until the last possible minute. We brought muffins with us, so we had a quick breakfast bite before making our way to the buses. A bus was already there and we were the last to board, so we made it to the Magic Kingdom in good time. I even got randomly selected to go through the metal detectors, Chris was excited about it. But, most importantly we arrived in plenty of time for the welcome show - only the second time we've ever successfully made it on time.
[Cheers to Five Years] Disney Trip #24, day 2 - A Full Day at Magic Kingdom

After we made it through the gates we beelined it to as many rides that usually have longer lines as we could. It was supposed to be a busy day so if we didn't get them done in the morning the lines would have been too long for us. We made it to Peter Pan's Flight, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, Barnstormer, Journey of the Little Mermaid, It's a Small World, Country Bear Jamboree, and Pirates of the Caribbean.
[Cheers to Five Years] Disney Trip #24, day 2 - A Full Day at Magic Kingdom
[Cheers to Five Years] Disney Trip #24, day 2 - A Full Day at Magic Kingdom
[Cheers to Five Years] Disney Trip #24, day 2 - A Full Day at Magic Kingdom
[Cheers to Five Years] Disney Trip #24, day 2 - A Full Day at Magic Kingdom
[Cheers to Five Years] Disney Trip #24, day 2 - A Full Day at Magic Kingdom

Our fastpass time wasn't until 8pm because the fastpasses for the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train are snatched up quickly. So, we decided to head back to the room for family nap time. It took Aria a bit to settle down but she eventually did and took a good long nap. We had early dinner reservations at the Liberty Tree Tavern, around 5pm I believe. So, we made our way back to Magic Kingdom just in time for that.
[Cheers to Five Years] Disney Trip #24, day 2 - A Full Day at Magic Kingdom

I'd wanted to try Liberty Tree Tavern for a while so I made these reservations well in advance. When I made day one's Garden Grill reservations I didn't realize it was basically the same exact meal. Turkey and Beef with sides all served family style. We ended up liking the meal we had at Garden Grill better than this one at Liberty Tree Tavern. Chris really didn't enjoy it much at all. Aria only ate rolls again. I didn't think it was bad, but I didn't enjoy it much either. Everything seemed too salty. I liked the salad the best probably. Needless to say I don't think we will be tempted to go back.

Aria loves playing at the Dumbo play area, so we walked over there next. It was a good time because there weren't that many kids. Sometimes it is packed. Chris and I could actually sit and keep an eye on Aria, normally one of us has to walk back and forth to watch her. Although Aria talked Chris into going up in the play set with her, but I got to sit.

Next we used a fastpass for Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin. Then Aria tried to kill us with her "faster, faster" on the Mad Tea Party. Followed by recovery ice cream from Storybook Treats.
[Cheers to Five Years] Disney Trip #24, day 2 - A Full Day at Magic Kingdom
[Cheers to Five Years] Disney Trip #24, day 2 - A Full Day at Magic Kingdom

And, then the big one! Our first ride on Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. Aria and I sat in the very front, and she looooved it. She loved it so much she wanted to do it again, and when that wasn't possible because the line was probably 95 minutes she insisted we go do Barnstormer again. Three times in a row. My little thrilled seeker.
[Cheers to Five Years] Disney Trip #24, day 2 - A Full Day at Magic Kingdom
[Cheers to Five Years] Disney Trip #24, day 2 - A Full Day at Magic Kingdom

We rode The Carrousel, It's a Small World again, caught part of Main Street Electrical Parade, and ended the night with a squeaky Magic Carpet ride.
[Cheers to Five Years] Disney Trip #24, day 2 - A Full Day at Magic Kingdom
[Cheers to Five Years] Disney Trip #24, day 2 - A Full Day at Magic Kingdom
[Cheers to Five Years] Disney Trip #24, day 2 - A Full Day at Magic Kingdom

Once we got back to the resort Chris was a little hungry from not eating much at dinner so he and Aria shared a roasted chicken meal. Then Aria picked out a handful of pressed pennies on the way back to the room. I think she made it to bed around 1130, mom and dad shortly thereafter.

Disney Trip #24


A fun and long day at Magic Kingdom all on video! You can check it out below, I'd especially recommend a glance at Aria riding Seven Dwarfs Mine Train for the first time right around the 17:30 mark.



Thursday, April 21, 2016

Stitch Fix Review - #1

Sweet Turtle Soup - Stitch Fix Review #1
I'm excited to share with you my very first Stitch Fix review! I thought that my Birthday was the appropriate time to schedule my first fix. I mentioned in the notes when I scheduled my fix that we were going to be taking a little Disney World vacation and that I'd love something to wear for it. I was a little nervous to receive my first box because I've seen plenty of dud reviews around. But, I had my fingers crossed and I really think my stylist (Sarah!) did a great job. While I didn't love everything, I loved a part of everything. So, let me show you what I got in my first ever fix!
 
LOORA CROCHET DETAIL TOP & MONA BOYFRIEND DENIM SHORT

The first item I pulled out was this pretty coral Loora Crochet Detail Top by Skies are Blue ($64). I loved all the sweet crochet details and I liked the color. I also pulled out the white Mona Boyfriend Denim Short by Kut From The Kloth ($68) and my heart sank a little at the white color. I'm not one of those people that will skillfully avoid sitting in something disgusting while wearing white on my rear. But, I'm told you need to try everything on and I'm a rule follower like that.

Sweet Turtle Soup - Stitch Fix Review #1 :: Loora Crochet Detail Top by Skies are Blue and Mona Boyfriend Denim Short by Kut From The Kloth

I liked the Loora Crochet Detail Top on as much as I did off. I liked the scalloped details on the bottom that I didn't even notice before I put it on. I thought the length and fit were also right on. It was loose without being too loose. A great top for all the hot hot hot weather we get in Florida.

verdict: kept!

I was even more bummed about the white color of the Mona Boyfriend Denim Short after I slipped them on. They were so incredibly soft and comfortable. I wasn't sure about the length at first either, I normally prefer shorts that are a few inches shorter, but I liked the longer length after trying it on. I thought the white looked nice with the coral top. I hemmed and hawed over these. In the end I felt like I would be uncomfortable in them every time I wore them because of the color (and naturally sit in gum), so back they went.

verdict: returned.

IVETTE CROCHET DETAIL TOP

As soon as I pulled out the navy Ivette Crochet Detail Top by Crescent ($48) I thought it was lovely. Navy blues are one of my favorite colors to wear, and again I loved the sweet crochet details.

Sweet Turtle Soup - Stitch Fix Review #1 :: Ivette Crochet Detail Top by Crescent and Mona Boyfriend Denim Short by Kut From The Kloth

And then I tried it on. I hated it. It did very odd things to my boobs, I did not like the shape by the neck, and the edges were stiff and uncomfortable. I also felt the bottom half wasn't as flattering as the coral top. Just not a good look on me at all.

verdict: returned.

SEBSATIAN MAXI DRESS

I was the most excited about this lovely navy blue Sebsatian Maxi Dress by Gilli ($78). The color, again, I love navy blues. The straps allow for regular bra wearing. I was really hoping for a maxi dress in my fix, so I was excited to find one inside my box. This maxi dress had many things going for it before I even put it on.

Sweet Turtle Soup - Stitch Fix Review #1 :: Sebsatian Maxi Dress by Gilli

I tried it on and then did a little happy dance. The material is soft, smooth, cooling, light. My other maxi dresses are all heavier, this one is like wearing air. The cross over bit on the top doesn't let my boobs hang out (yay!), and the straps are indeed regular bra friendly. Also it isn't too long on my 5'2 self. I was sold, and it was the first item that I knew I was going to keep.

verdict: kept!

ATHENIA BUTTON DOWN TOP

I wasn't overly excited when I pulled this summery plaid Athenia Button Down Top by ARATTA ($54) out of the box. The summery plaid just wasn't my favorite, but I still tried it on per the rules!

Nope. It didn't fit. It did that ever so fun pulling open across the boobs thing. I'd have to censor the picture so I didn't even bother taking one. I hated the ruffle folding along the chest as well. I did, however, really like the darling buttons. If I would have thought of it at the time I would have taken a picture of the buttons, but it has long since been returned.

verdict: returned.

THE RESULTS:

Mona Boyfriend Denim Short by Kut From The Kloth ($68) -- returned
Loora Crochet Detail Top by Skies are Blue ($64) -- kept
Ivette Crochet Detail Top by Crescent ($48) -- returned 
Sebsatian Maxi Dress by Gilli ($78) -- kept
Athenia Button Down Top by ARATTA ($54) -- returned

2/5 this round

TELL ME A LITTLE MORE ABOUT STITCH FIX

If you haven't heard about Stitch Fix it is a really fun service where you are paired with a stylist that hand picks 5 pieces of clothing for you to try on in the convenience of your own home. Getting started is easy. You just answer a few questions to create your free style profile. And, when you are ready you can schedule when you want your fix to arrive. For a $20 styling fee, you will be paired with a stylist that will review your style profile and even check out a specific pinterest board where you can pin all of your favorite styles before selecting 5 items they think will be perfect for you. Your fix ships for free. When it arrives you have 3 days to try everything on to see what you love and what you want to send back. After you've made your decisions simply return the items you don't want in the provided pre-paid shipping envelope, keep what you love, and check out online.

If you happen to love all 5 of your items, you even get 25% off the total. And, you can use your $20 styling fee towards your purchase so an instant $20 off anything you decide to keep.  You can also choose how often you want to receive fixes - every few weeks, every month, etc. Or, you can manually schedule your fixes to suit your needs.

If you haven't tried it yet, I'd recommend you sign up (with my referral link if you so desire) and get your first box. It is really exciting to find a box full of lovely clothes sitting on your door step.

MAY STITCH FIX LINK UP
Check out some other Stitch Fix posts shared by bloggers too. Head over to Crazy Together to find them!
Share Pics Of Your Fix Button



Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Spring Bucket List!

Sweet Turtle Soup - Spring Bucket List

I'm a wee bit late to the Spring Bucket List making party, but we were oh so busy when Spring actually began. I'm playing catch up now. And, since there is still a nice chunk of Spring left...it's time for a bucket list! We've done Spring and Summer Bucket Lists the past few years and we've had all sorts of fun chipping away at them during the boring and hot non-holiday months. They give us a little something new to do so we don't just do the same things every day. I'm awfully boring when there aren't any holidays to look forward to. Now we have a list to keep us entertained. Aria is particularly excited about Gatorland, although she was a little concerned when she asked if they were real ones and I said yes.


Here's to a fun Spring! What is at the top of your Spring to do list?


You may also be interested in last year's Spring Bucket List:

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

[Cheers to Five Years] Disney Trip #24, day 1 - Hollywood Studios, Sunday Brunch, Pop Century, and Garden Grill

April 10th -

I'm excited to share with you the details from our latest Disney trip! With our annual passes expiring on the 12th we wanted to soak up a few more days of magic. So, we decided to lump my Birthday and our 5th Wedding Anniversary into a 3 day trip to celebrate.

We woke up a tiny bit early, but not too early (my request - those 5am wake up calls are rough), and hit the road for Hollywood Studios. Chris wanted to check out the Star Wars Launch Bay and I wanted to collect my fourth and final 'you are here' mug. Aria's new favorite thing is looking through the gift shops, honestly she gets so excited and just has to go inside. So, while Aria and Chris walked around the gift shop I headed for Starbucks to get my mug and a coffee. When I walked back out I saw that Aria was the proud mama to a baby Pegasus - one of those that comes wrapped in a blanket. Just can't resist that little face sometimes.

We continued on our way to the Launch Bay. Aria saw the Storm Troopers that walk around outside the building and immediately wanted nothing to do with the whole area. So we crossed the meet and greets off of our list. I believe you could meet Chewbacca or Kylo Ren. She may have tolerated Chewy but I'm pretty sure Kylo Ren would have scarred her for life. We walked around inside instead. Chris watched the little documentary video they have playing, but Aria and I skipped it. They have props and pictures and any number of things for sale. I like Star Wars, but it was only mildly interesting.  Chris really enjoyed it though.

We came, we saw, and then it was time for lunch.
Sweet Turtle Soup : [Cheers to Five Years] Disney Trip #24, day 1 - Hollywood Studios, Sunday Brunch, Pop Century, and Garden Grill
Sweet Turtle Soup : [Cheers to Five Years] Disney Trip #24, day 1 - Hollywood Studios, Sunday Brunch, Pop Century, and Garden Grill
Sweet Turtle Soup : [Cheers to Five Years] Disney Trip #24, day 1 - Hollywood Studios, Sunday Brunch, Pop Century, and Garden Grill
The plan was to hit up Earl of Sandwich at Disney Springs for lunch before unloading our stuff at our resort for this trip, Disney's Pop Century Resort! Instead of Earl though we noticed the Sunday Brunch for Raglan Road and decided to try that instead. Raglan Road is one of our favorite places to eat on Disney property, and we've probably dined there more than anywhere else. However, we hadn't been for the Sunday Brunch before so we couldn't resist. It is an Irish Pub complete with live music and Irish dancers. Good food, fun atmosphere, delicious Bailey's shakes.

They started us off we complimentary smoothie samples, which Aria chugged. Chris got The Irish Breakfast I believe, with a little bit of everything and he loved it. Aria got a fruit bowl and french fries. I got fish and chips and the Bailey's shake of course. We left full. And, Aria even almost went up on stage - she got stage fright at the last minute and sprinted around the restaurant until Chris caught her.
Sweet Turtle Soup : [Cheers to Five Years] Disney Trip #24, day 1 - Hollywood Studios, Sunday Brunch, Pop Century, and Garden Grill
Sweet Turtle Soup : [Cheers to Five Years] Disney Trip #24, day 1 - Hollywood Studios, Sunday Brunch, Pop Century, and Garden Grill
From Disney Springs to Pop Century. We'd checked in online so we already had our room number ready to go. We were in the 70s building. We found our room and unpacked our things before hitting up the playground for a bit until we needed to catch a bus to Epcot for dinner.
Sweet Turtle Soup : [Cheers to Five Years] Disney Trip #24, day 1 - Hollywood Studios, Sunday Brunch, Pop Century, and Garden Grill
Sweet Turtle Soup : [Cheers to Five Years] Disney Trip #24, day 1 - Hollywood Studios, Sunday Brunch, Pop Century, and Garden Grill
Sweet Turtle Soup : [Cheers to Five Years] Disney Trip #24, day 1 - Hollywood Studios, Sunday Brunch, Pop Century, and Garden Grill
Sweet Turtle Soup : [Cheers to Five Years] Disney Trip #24, day 1 - Hollywood Studios, Sunday Brunch, Pop Century, and Garden Grill
We had time before our reservations so we made our way over to the Nemo ride and then checked out the tanks. Aria found a book she wanted to read in the gift shop too. We moved on to the Land pavilion for one of our favorites, Living with the Land. And then it was time for dinner.
Sweet Turtle Soup : [Cheers to Five Years] Disney Trip #24, day 1 - Hollywood Studios, Sunday Brunch, Pop Century, and Garden Grill
Sweet Turtle Soup : [Cheers to Five Years] Disney Trip #24, day 1 - Hollywood Studios, Sunday Brunch, Pop Century, and Garden Grill
Sweet Turtle Soup : [Cheers to Five Years] Disney Trip #24, day 1 - Hollywood Studios, Sunday Brunch, Pop Century, and Garden Grill
Sweet Turtle Soup : [Cheers to Five Years] Disney Trip #24, day 1 - Hollywood Studios, Sunday Brunch, Pop Century, and Garden Grill
Sweet Turtle Soup : [Cheers to Five Years] Disney Trip #24, day 1 - Hollywood Studios, Sunday Brunch, Pop Century, and Garden Grill
One of Chris's goals was to eat a lot of food and in particular at food places we hadn't tried before. So we made a last minute reservation to the Garden Grill. It's a slowly rotating restaurant that serves a set meal family style with visits from Chip & Dale, Mickey, and Pluto. It also overlooks part of the Living with the Land boat ride, our favorite was the farm house with the dog barking. We ate rolls, salad, turkey, beef, green beans, sweet potato fries, mashed potatoes, mac and cheese, stuffing, and cranberry sauce. The food was good, not great...but really I was still full from lunch. Aria, however, was running on an early morning, a busy day, and no nap. She was over-tired and over-excited when the characters came to the table. Bear hugs and the inability to leave noses/ears/tongues alone and manic giggles. oy. I'm sure the characters were delighted. We all survived and Aria didn't end up bowling anybody off their feet with her hugs, so it was mostly a win.
Sweet Turtle Soup : [Cheers to Five Years] Disney Trip #24, day 1 - Hollywood Studios, Sunday Brunch, Pop Century, and Garden Grill
Sweet Turtle Soup : [Cheers to Five Years] Disney Trip #24, day 1 - Hollywood Studios, Sunday Brunch, Pop Century, and Garden Grill
Sweet Turtle Soup : [Cheers to Five Years] Disney Trip #24, day 1 - Hollywood Studios, Sunday Brunch, Pop Century, and Garden Grill
After dinner we rode Figment and Aria ran around like a wild child in the ImageWorks (the interactive play area following the Figment ride). Then she ran around like a wild child at the Music Garden Melodies Play Ground (which is part of the Flower & Garden Festival), and tried her hardest to climb up the rope jungle gym that was just a bit beyond her capabilities yet. But, she did finally score a spot on the spinning thing while the big kids all took turns spinning it around and around. I wasn't sure if she would ever get off. We finally enticed her away with the boat ride in Mexico, the Gran Fiesta Tour featuring Donald Duck, Panchito, and Jose. After that it was dark, so we made our exit back to the buses and back to our room where we all crashed.
Sweet Turtle Soup : [Cheers to Five Years] Disney Trip #24, day 1 - Hollywood Studios, Sunday Brunch, Pop Century, and Garden Grill
Sweet Turtle Soup : [Cheers to Five Years] Disney Trip #24, day 1 - Hollywood Studios, Sunday Brunch, Pop Century, and Garden Grill

Disney Trip #24

And, if you would like to check out the day one video you can find it right below!