Thursday, January 18, 2018

Superbowl Snacks

The Superbowl is coming on February 4th!

So for those who have followed me for a while, you know that I love a good party...and I love to cook. However, it's just not going to happen for this year's Superbowl.  January and the beginning of February is a busy time for me (personally and professionally), so I have already made the decision to remove some stress from myself.  I plan to purchase (already made) snacks for this year's Superbowl.  Below are a few that I am considering.  What do you think?

Boulder Canyon snacks provide a better-for-you crunch with vegan and gluten-free flavors everyone will love. 

TGI Fridays Snacks and Cole’s Middles brands are excellent for your junk food fans who love to snack.  (By the way, my son loves the Cole's Middles. I recently found this in the freezer section at Walmart and brought a package home to try. My son snacks on them often! They're great for breakfast and as an afternoon snack!)

Don’t forget dessert! CafĂ© Valley bite-sized cakes and treats will satisfy your guests’ sweet tooth.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Lunch at Epcot's Chefs de France

For our 13th Wedding Anniversary, hubby and I decided to enjoy lunch at Chefs De France in Epcot. I had been on two separate occasions with my mom; however, my husband had never been.

We had a 12:50 pm reservation, but went to the podium at 12:20 pm to inquire about the possibility of dining a few minutes early.  To our delight, there was availability for us! 

A hot baguette, my weakness! 

In addition to Perrier sparkling water, Hubby asked for a French Beer (Kronenbourg 1664) and I had a (house) Cabernet. 

Hubby chose the 3-course menu (French Onion soup, Beef Bourguignon and Vanilla Creme Brulee). 

I chose the Beef Filet with Potato Gratin. 
(I asked for no green beans, so received a second portion of potatoes.)

I just love this restaurant! 
The service is superb, the portions are nice, and I never feel rushed.

2018 - Epcot International Festival of the Arts

#ArtfulEpcot is underway at Epcot! 

The Epcot International Festival of the Arts opened this weekend at Walt Disney World's Epcot Park. Hubby and I went by for a few hours today to check it out.

We love Figment and are happy to see him front and center.

Grab your festival guide and passport at the park entrance!

There is a special Alex and Ani bracelet for the festival, available only at Epcot. 
I spotted it in Mouse Gears.  

There is also a special edition Tervis Tumbler for the festival (as well as tee shirts, hats, a wine glass, and a shot glass).

Our first stop was in the Festival Center.  
We tried the "Pop Art" cookie. It is designed to look like a Pop-Tart but is more of a sugar cookie with strawberry filling.  The Figment white chocolate puzzle was yummy too.  (Notice the dipping chocolates in Figment colors!).

Processco is my favorite! 
We also enjoyed the North Coast Brewing Co. Scrimshaw Pilsner Style in the Odyssey Festival Center; and the Bell's Tow Hearted America-style India Pale Ale from the Cuisine Classique near Germany (similar to a Sam Adams, says hubby).

As with all festivals at Epcot, special food and drinks are available.  I loved the Fried Shrimp in Lotus Flower Shell near the China Pavilion.  I was given three fried shrimp, which were drizzled in a sweet chili sauce. It was a delicious combination and I want to have this snack again!

In America, we tried the Scallop on Parmesan Crisp with a Red Pepper Coulis.  I was surprised to find sausage in the sauce, but it was a tasty hearty sausage.  Hubby loved the sauce, but I thought it was a bit over-powering. Otherwise the scallop was cooked perfect. 

In addition to the amazing food and drinks (Culinary Arts), there is so much to do and see this year...
Living Statues, Performances, Chalk Art and more!

Take your time, enjoy the sights and sounds of the day.
I definitely need to go back to see more. 

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Santa at Disney Springs

Have you heard about the Christmas Tree Trail at Disney Springs at Walt Disney World?
Through January 7 2018, 25 Disney-themed Christmas trees are on display! 

It's the second year for the event, but this year they extended the trail and added Santa!
I went on a weekday and the line was only 10 to 15 minutes. I imagine more time would be needed for a weekend visit. 

Amazing recipes from Moore's Marinades and Sauces

I wasn't sure what I was going to cook for dinner tonight, when a (free sample) of Moore's Marinades Original Buffalo Wing Sauce arrived at my door!

I went to the Moore's Marinade web site and was surprised at all the recipes available...And let me add, I was also surprised at the many flavors of marinades and sauces available!
I decided to try a "twist" on the Buffalo Ranch Chicken Roll Ups (pictured above). I cooked frozen chicken breasts in the crockpot with the Buffalo Sauce on high for 4 hours.  I then shredded the chicken; and assembled the roll-ups using the shredded chicken, fresh spinach, ranch dressing and mozzarella cheese!  Yum yum!  Definitely a homerun at my house.  
This is an easy dinner for me to make on a school night and it will be added to my rotation of recipes.
I love that the Original Buffalo Wing Sauce is gluten-free and MSG-free., but more importantly it tastes great.  I plan to try several other recipes on the web site -- like the Buffalo Chicken Cheese Ball and the Buffalo Chicken Smashed Potatoes.
Want to try it for yourself?  Click HERE for a list of retailers. 
Disclaimer: I received a free sample of the Original Buffalo Wing Sauce by Moore's Marinade in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Christmas Decorations at Hollywood Studios, 2017

The Christmas decorations are up at Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World.  

This year the signature Christmas tree has been moved from the front gates of the park into the center of Echo Lake!  

This shirt is very popular WDW guests this year: 

The decorations are "retro" this year (throwback to the 1950s/1960s)! I love the nostalgic feel!

If you recall the Osborne Light Show retired two years ago (2015).  
Well, last year (2016) Hollywood Studios began the Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! Fireworks Show, and it has returned this year (2017)...
AND, a second event has been added to the park, Sunset Seasons Greetings

What is your favorite Disney Park at Christmas time?

Wednesday, November 01, 2017

Family Halloween Costumes: Fast Food Junkies

This was a last minute idea for our family this year and it worked out great.  Each of us chose a fast food franchise and went with it!

Hubby - KFC
Me - Starbucks
Daughter - Wendy's
Son - Pizza Hut

My husband already had a white dress shirt and glasses.  We ordered a red apron from Amazon, picked up the mustache/goatee at Party City; and a spool of black ribbon (for the neck tie) at Joanne's. 

I had a green tee shirt and found the cute Starbucks fascinator/headband on etsy!

My daughter had found her Wendy's tee shirt at Uniqlo in the summer for $5. We braided her hair and threw on the blue ribbons. (I would have liked to paint her hair red but she decided not too.)

We found my son a red polo on clearance at Target; ordered a "Pizza" cap off of Amazon; and I printed the PizzaHut logo on my computer. 

It was seriously easy and so much fun! 
(The restaurants were happy to give us "free accessories" -- cups, buckets, etc).
Happy Halloween y'all! 

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Get your Tickets: Disney Junior at the Movies – HalloVeen Party!

Movie theaters will be home to a special party this fall with “Disney Junior at the Movies – HalloVeen Party!,” an interactive cinema event playing three days only on October 21, 26 and 28. Kids and parents are invited to dress up, sing, dance, play and celebrate the most spooktacular time of the year with a special Disney Junior-themed celebration just for them.

Presented by Fathom Events and Disney Junior, this one-of-a-kind event includes special screenings of a never-before-seen episode of Vampirina, Disney Junior's new animated series starring Lauren Graham, James Van Der Beek and Isabella Crovetti as a family of vampires who have recently moved from Transylvania to Pennsylvania, as well as episodes of hit series Mickey and the Roadster Racers, Halloween-themed music videos and interactive games.

The events will take place in U.S. cinemas for three days on Saturday, October 21 and Thursday, October 26 at 10:00 a.m. local time, and Saturday, October 28 at 12:55 p.m. local time.

Tickets for “Disney Junior at the Movies – HalloVeen Party!” can be purchased online by visiting or at participating theater box offices. Fans throughout the U.S. will be able to enjoy the event in nearly 400 select movie theaters through Fathom’s Digital Broadcast Network (DBN). For a complete list of theater locations visit the Fathom Events website (theaters and participants are subject to change).

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Halloween Fun in Orlando: Visit the Coca Cola Orlando Eye

Happening now, the Coca-Cola Orlando Eye is set to become the home of Halloween and the spookiest sight in all of Central Florida transforming into a 400-foot tall spider web with giant creepy-crawlies, an all-new light and music show, themed Snapchat filter and more family fun as part of “Spooky Nights and Spider Frights”, Friday, October 13th to Saturday, November 4th.

The itsy bitsy spider may climb up the water spout, but this month, it’s an enormous 60-foot spider and ten of its eight-legged friends that will take over the top of the Coca-Cola Orlando Eye building creating quite the creepy sight for all to see ­– and take a selfie with of course!

From the I-Drive 360 courtyard, guests can also experience the witching hour as 64,000 LED lights bring the tallest observational wheel on the United States East Coast to life in a kaleidoscopic ten-minute show synchronized to an iconic Halloween soundtrack that is sure to have everyone dancing. The light show will run Sunday-Thursday 8pm and Fri-Sat at 8pm and 10pm. 

Goblins and ghouls of all ages will be able to take in the sights while 400 feet in the air in one of four spooky Halloween-themed capsules. Experience unique views of Orlando surrounded by sneaky spiders, petrified pumpkins, ghoulish ghosts or frightening fall decorations.

Sunday, October 01, 2017

Lunch at Epcot's Coral Reef Restaurant

I've been a Walt Disney World passholder for nearly 20 years, but today was my first time having lunch at Epcot's Coral Reef Restaurant

The doors open for lunch at 11:30am and our reservation was set for 11:35am.  We were seated right up against the tanks, which was pretty exciting! We sae rays, dolphin, fish and more!

Menu posted outside of the restaurant
(Seasonal menu may change!):

My husband opted for the Prix Fixe menu (one appetizer, one entree and one dessert), 
whereas I opted for two appetizers. 

Seasonal House Salad: 

Lobster Bisque:

Mahi Mahi on coconut lime rice:

Crab cakes (appetizer):

Key Lime Dessert:

The decor is a little dated, but the service was excellent and the food was delish! 

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Guest Post: National Declutter Day is coming! Are you ready?

September 23rd Is National Declutter Day: 

How To Tackle The Clutter In Your Home, Room By Room

By Tracy McCubbin, Founder, dClutterfly

Everyone is talking about decluttering.  In fact, decluttering is so important it now has it’s own day: September 23rd is National DeClutter Day.  Why declutter? The answer is easy: Decluttering saves you time and saves you money. It also improves your health and happiness.  Being cluttered eats up a lot of time: Time looking for your keys, looking for the mail to pay the bills or trying to find an outfit to wear to work that day. 

And think about the real cost of clutter.  How about all the clothes in your closet with the tags still on them?  Or the pantry items you buy again and again cause you can’t find the mustard you bought the last time you went to the store?  And let’s talk what you are paying for off site storage spaces: $100 a month? $150 a month? It’s no wonder everyone is talking about decluttering!

Ahead of National DeClutter Day on September 23rd, there’s no better time to share some of my favorite tips to tackle the clutter room by room, and in turn, living a happier and healthier life:

1.     Kitchen
a.   Tackle Tupperware (or all food storage).  Pull it all out and make sure every top has a bottom and every bottom has  top.  If not … Out.
b.   Spices. Contrary to what my grandmother believed … spices do not last forever.  They eventually lose their flavor.  Ground spices 3-4 years and leafy spices 1-2 years.  And here’s a quick tip … write the year the spice was purchased on the lid.
2.     Living Room
a.   Take a look around the room and see what items have homes they can be returned to.  Sometimes a quick returning of things to their proper homes will declutter a room in a very short time.
b.   Magazines.  First item to make a room feel cluttered.  Last thing to be reread. Be honest about the time and interest you have and put magazines in the recycle bin.
3.     Bathroom
a.   Sart with under the bathroom sink.  That’s the first place to become a clutter catch all.  Cleaning products you longer use.  Out.  Bath toys the kids have outgrown? Out.   
b.   How about sunscreen?  It’s designed to last for 3 years but if it’s older than that, it loses it’s efficiency.
4.     Bedroom
a.    Let’s declutter those nightstands.  Nothing gets the day off to a bad start than waking to a pile of clutter.  How many of those books stacked up there are you going to actually gonna read?
b.   We wear 20% of our clothes 80% of the time.  So let’s get real about all the clothes spilling out of our closet.  Doesn’t fit?  Out.  Regret buying it and will never wear it? Out!
5.     Garage
a.   Only 25% of American’s can park their cars in their garages.  Garages are the biggest offenders of clutter.  Let’s start with sports equipment.  Broken, worn out, no one plays that sport any more?  Out.
b.   Boxes of old paperwork?  Check with your tax advisor about what you really need to keep and shred the rest! If it’s a lot more than your little home shredder can held, consider calling a mobile shred company.

It is best to these projects up into manageable time chunks. Remember, Rome didn’t get cluttered in a day so it’s not going to get uncluttered in day. Use National Declutter Day as the day to kick off your decluttering.

Good luck!

Non-Profit Website:

Cocktails at Disney's Wilderness Lodge

Last night, Hubby and I planned on a quick trip to Epcot to hear Air Supply during the Food and Wine Festival Eat to the Beat Concert Series.  But at the end of the day, we were both tired so decided on an alternative plan--cocktails at Walt Disney World's Wilderness Lodge

We started with cocktails in the Territory Lounge. It's a quaint lounge with comfortable seating (tables with leather chairs, wingback chairs, and small sofas) and friendly service. 

After looking at the menu, we decided to order the Neapolitan Pizza, and yummy, it did not disappoint! (The menu is limited as this is a lounge, not a restaurant, but as you can see there is a variety of options.) 

Then, we moved outside to Geyser Point Bar and Grill. It was my first time at this location (which opened about a year ago).  It is considered "quick service dining" but don't let that fool you.  There is an area where you can order food at a counter, but there is also a bar area with wait staff.  A limited menu is available in the bar area.  It was a beautiful night out, so we sat on the water while enjoying a second round of cocktails. 

We chose not to order another appetizer, but the menu looked tempting. 
(I saw a couple next to us enjoying the Brisket and it looked delish.)

We walked around the river for a few minutes before heading back home. It was a nice evening and the perfect location for a mid-week date night. 

What is your favorite spot for cocktails at Walt Disney World?