Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Dinner at the Grand Floridian Cafe

If you read my post yesterday, you will see that I surprised my kids with an impromptu visit to Magic Kingdom on Friday.  Well, I also made us (later) dinner reservations at the Grand Floridian Cafe!

After ice cream, (and a few rides!), we took the resort boat over to the Grand Floridian. I had not dined here in many years.  We checked into the restaurant a few minutes early. The cast member said they would text my cell phone when our table was ready.  This gave us a few minutes to enjoy the sounds of the Grand Floridian Society Orchestra in the lobby! (I do have a video clip of this on my Instagram account) 

The Grand Floridian Cafe offers a nice selection of wine, beer and specialty cocktails. 

The dinner menu is limited, but offers some amazing choices. 

My husband chose the Lobster Thermidor Burger. He said it was great, but I didn't get a taste. The seasoned fries were a nice compliment to the burger. 

At the suggestions of our waitress, I selected the shrimp and grits--yummy! The grits were super creamy and the sauce was flavorful. 

I didn't grab pictures of the kids' plates as they were standard Disney offerings (cheese pizza, nuggets, sandwiches, etc). However, my son did ordered the Kids Chicken Noodle Soup appetizer. I had a bite and it was delish--full of flavor!

After dinner, we went outside to enjoy the fireworks from the Magic Kindgom. It was truly a magical evening for my family!

Have you ever dined at the Grand Floridian Cafe?

Monday, August 21, 2017

A Visit to the Plaza Ice Cream Parlor on Main Street at Magic Kingdom

SHH! (I planned the perfect surprise for my kids!)

To celebrate the kid's first week of school, I picked them up in carline on Friday afternoon and we made a surprise trip to The Plaza Ice Cream Parlor (hosted by Edy's) at Magic Kingdom! 

Who doesn't love ice cream, especially on a hot August afternoon?

So many wonderful choices! (See full menu HERE

The Doughnut Sundae:

Double cone of Mint Chocolate Chip:


By the way, I had recently ordered a new Disney tee shirt (from Livin' The Dream Company) and mouse ears (by Ulous)! The mint green was the perfect match for The Plaza Ice Cream Parlor.
And since it's the end of summer I went for a pink pedicure, too! 

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Sunday Brunch (Summer menu)

I have family in town this weekend and hosted a Sunday brunch at my home today. 
(Y'all now how much I love to entertain!) 

First off was setting the right atmosphere.  I think music is so important!
I found a great Disney Jazz soundtrack, "Everybody Wants to Be a Cat" on iTunes.

White flowers in a Mason Jar with cut lemon; these scream summer!

As I began looking for recipes earlier in the week, I chose recipes that could be prepared ahead of time, which allowed for easy set up this morning. I also tried to find recipes that use seasonal produce. In Florida that would be berries and tomatoes.

BLT Pasta Salad:

Egg Salad and Chicken Salad on Croissants:

Sparkling waters (from World Market):

Blood Mary's are a must!

And my favorite, Shortcake with fresh berries: 

We all need more "Mickey", right!?
(Sweet Cream Shortcake recipe here.)

Strawberry Shortcake Recipe (Mickey shaped!)

Do ya'll remember the star-shaped shortcake I made over the July 4th weekend? It was so easy and delish and I knew I would make it again soon.  Just wasn't sure when...


And, Yeah...an opportunity arose!
I have a cousin who is starting work at Walt Disney World this week under the Disney College Program.  I wanted to welcome her to Orlando so invited her over for brunch this past weekend.

What I love about this shortcake, is that the shortcake stays good for a couple of days. Therefore, I was able to bake the night before. (When entertaining I always try to prep and/or cook as much as possible in advance!)

I used my Mickey Mouse cookie cutter this time...Into the oven they go!

Thank you to I Should Be Mopping The Floor for this Sweet Cream Berry Shortcake recipe!

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Got a sweet tooth? New Halloween treats at Magic Kindgom for 2017

Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party 2017

Do you have a sweet tooth? 

Below is some of the new Halloween Merchandise I spotted for sale at Magic Kingdom!

Popcorn tin:

Hot cocoa:



Candy treat bags (assorted)

Pumpkin Spice Pretzels:

Friday, August 18, 2017

Disney Halloween Merchandise 2017

I was on Main Street USA this evening at Walt Disney World.  The Halloween and Fall merchandise is now out!  Not surprising since the first "Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party" starts in one week (August 25th),  I grabbed a few pictures to show y'all what is new this year!  

What do you think of the new Disney tee shirts and Halloween plush characters?

New idea for getting character autographs at Disney!

I saw this Little Golden Book for the first time tonight at Walt Disney World. It's three stories in one (as you can see on the back cover).  Retail: $9.99
The cast member suggested to me that it be used for character autographs as many/most of the characters on the pages are seen in the theme parks. What a great idea!! 

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Dine with Snow White in New York City this Holiday Season

Exciting news from AllEarsNet.com
Me and Snow White, Nov 2017

Snow White character meal is coming to Saks Fifth Avenue in New York City this holiday season. The famous retailer will hold the Saks Holiday Breakfast Character Meal: A Royal Celebration of Disney's Snow White in honor of the 80th anniversary of the animated Disney classic, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Guests can mingle with Snow White, the Prince, and Dopey, while dining on a family style meal. Tickets range from $200 for a table for two, to $800 for a table seating eight. For more details and to purchase tickets, visit saksfifthavenue.com.

Perfect for Summer: Key Lime Pound Cake

On Sunday nights, I like for my family to sit down to a big homemade dinner, which always includes dessert. (We do strive to eat dinner together as often as possible as a family but that isn't so easy with work schedules and after-school activities, so Sunday dinner is a MUST for me! The kids look forward to it as well. It's become our tradition, so to speak.) This weekend, I pulled out my recipe binder to look for ideas, and came across a Southern Living recipe published in 2011 for Key Lime Pound Cake

One word: AMAZING!

It's truly the perfect summer recipe! I would suggest two things if you decide to try this recipe yourself:

First, bake this cake in the morning while it is cooler outside (especially if you live in the south like me) as the cake bakes in the oven for 80-minutes. You don't want to heat up your house in the heat of the afternoon.

Second, The recipe calls for shortening. I don't have shortening in my house and didn't want to buy a huge container as the recipe calls for so little of it, so I used regular cream cheese as a replacement. It worked great.

Happy baking, my friends!

Saturday, August 12, 2017

A Visit to N. Reddington Beach

I have been in Central Florida for over 20 years. The one thing I love the most is that there is so much to do here.  We are always "exploring" on the weekends. Last month, we headed to N. Reddington Beach (located between Clearwater Beach and St. Pete Beach) for one night.

The first thing on our agenda was lunch--and we found a good spot, The Conch Republic Grill. I had the BEST cup of crab soup and an appetizer (similar to Bang Bang Shrimp)! 

Unfortunately it was rainy and overcast most of the first day, but it did clear up somewhat so we were able to head outside for sunset. 

The next morning, I went to the beach (alone!) to enjoy some quiet time and the sound of the waves.  (Bonus: I found Starbucks in our hotel!)

There is a vendor in front of the DoubleTree Beach Resort that offers two padded beach chairs and an umbrella for $25.  The DoubleTree also has a wonderful Tiki bar that is perfect for snacks and drinks!

The weather was beautiful and we enjoyed a nice family day at the beach.

Many say that North Reddington Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches on the west coast of Florida as it offers visitors the soft white sand and clear Gulf water.  Have you ever visited this area?