Octopus cookie cups

After making the key lime cups, the boys have been on a dessert in a cup kick, so this past week we combined vanilla pudding, crushed Oreos, whipped cream, and sour gummy octopuses to make these tasty treats. All you do is make up a small box of vanilla pudding, divide into four cups and let set (about ten to twenty minutes). Then crush up Oreos and sprinkle on top. Then top that with some whipped cream and a gummy octopus and you’re all set!

Oh, and if you want a grown-up version add a small layer of Irish Cream between the pudding and Oreos. Super tasty and adds just a bit of a kick!

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Summer vacation essentials

Whether we are headed out on a road trip, or headed to a summer camp, or just hanging out these are some of my must have items. I opt for casual and comfort during the summer, so with a few exceptions I look for super soft tees, moisture wicking tanks, and shorts that can be pajamas or I could wear if I’m working around the house. The best thing is that most of these tops and shorts come in a wide variety of colors so you can pick a color scheme and then just mix and match everything.

1. A halter for date night, or lunch out, that can be paired with all three shorts.

2. A lightweight cotton sweater for when we’re at home or at a hotel and everyone is hot and I’m freezing.

3. My go to work-out/hiking/running errands tank.

4. Printed pajama shorts, I always pack at least two pairs of these, and they can also work as swim cover-ups, or early morning coffee/donut runs.

5. A scoop neck striped tee, that can be tucked in or worn out, or tied slightly on the side.

6. Printed scallop shorts in lightweight linen/cotton that work with all the tops.

7. My favorite v-neck tee of all time. Seriously. I have it in at least four colors, and I’ll buy more.

8. These shoes shouldn’t be as comfortable as they are for the price point, but I prefer them over my Converse.

9. My favorite flip-flop brand I’ve owned a pair of mine since college and still love them.

10. The athleta shorts that I wear to work-out, or run errands, or go to Disney or anywhere else super hot.

11. A lightweight dress that works with the sneakers or flip flops. I could wear it with wedges, but honestly that’s a lot of extra effort when the heat index is 105!

 

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Friday Favorites

We’ve been doggy sitting all week! I think that A would be perfectly content with a dog sleeping at the end of his bed always. This third week of summer has included VBS in the morning and swim lessons in the afternoon. My boys are still waking up at 6:30 a.m. so I just don’t think any amount of activity will convince them to sleep in, ha! The boys passed their swim test, so they now get to move up to the next level swim class! This was their goal for swimming, so they were all pumped! It includes swimming the length of an Olympic size pool without stopping, so it’s quite a feat! This weekend we are planning to get in some free play pool time, test out J’s new bike, and celebrate Father’s Day!

Bees are totally genius, another reason to fear them.

The perfect exhibit to take J. And then maybe a Braves game. 🙂

I’m starting a must eat dessert list for our Disney trip. The mermaid cupcake is high on that list.

Career advice…my favorite is “your path is your own.” So true!

The anime series I have on my birthday list.

Perfect hoop earrings.

Summer stripes.

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This and that

Last week was our first real week of summer at home (last week we were at the beach), and I already ran out of popsicles…

The boys also started refresher swim lessons, and my niece was the best towel holder (and so good, considering she couldn’t get in the pool)…

We did a few “avoid the summer slump” things…

And a whole bunch of reading…

And J has been doing his own hair…

I’m thinking of getting him some styling cream, but all I can think of is these neon LA look gel that we used in the eighties…

Oh and I totally want this shirt in my size…

And the boys and I made key lime pie jars

That we ate while watching baseball on TV! Summer is definitely in full swing!

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Port Orleans: French Quarter

As I was going through past Disney posts, I realized I’ve never done a review of our favorite moderate resort at Disneyworld. Two years ago, we were planning to take the boys to Disney for the first time, so I turned to a friend of mine who knows a thing or two about Disney stays (she’s the original creator of the Disney Diva site). When I was a kid we always stayed at deluxe resorts, but I wanted to try out a moderate (for cost purposes). She immediately said “Port Orleans: French Quarter, you’ll love it”. We booked it, and have stayed there another time since. It is indeed our favorite moderate resort and one of our overall favorite resorts at Disneyworld, so let me tell you why!

First, ambience. This resort never seems crowded (we’ve stayed in both June and October, which are high crowd times at Disney), it is quaint, with beautiful gardens and views. We always pick a garden view room, and both times have been located close to both the quick service dining area and the transportation area. It is tree covered, so there are cool places to sit and you can get almost all the way to the quick service area under cover (helpful for when it’s raining).

Second, rooms. Unlike every other moderate (at this time, as far as I know) on property, they have queen beds. Now moving from a double to a queen bed may not seem like a big deal, but my husband is 6 foot tall, and my boys argue when they are in close proximity to each other in a bed. This saves us a lot of headaches. In addition the rooms have always been clean, and they’ve been quiet.

Third, transportation. You can take a boat to Disney Springs, and while every where else you’ll have to take a bus, there is bus specific for French Quarter. You can’t even get that at some of the deluxe resorts. We have only had one issue waiting for a bus, and it was at park close at Epcot. The cast members at transportation ended up calling us a separate bus after we waited for almost an hour. However, I’ve had that happen while staying at both Animal Kingdom Lodge And The Boardwalk, so it can happen anywhere.

Fourth, cast members. This is true of many Disney resorts, but we’ve always had great experiences with the cast members here. The door greeter is always humorous, they took us to our car with our luggage when we left on our first trip, and gave us lots of advice for places to go on our trip that everyone got sick.

Fifth, the pool and the playground. The pool is awesome. Water slide, splash pad area, on going kid activities. There is also a shaded playground. I know this sounds basic, so often you think, I didn’t take my kids to Disney to play on a playground! Believe me, I thought that too. However, I realized that when you over plan you end up creating so much structure, and my kids need to run. And you cannot always just run around in Disney World, but you can at the playground.

On the flip side, there is no table service dining at French Quarter. It’s only quick service. The quick service does have lots of options, like shrimp and grits, and our favorite…beignets.

A few other downsides are you can’t walk into any of the parks, and sometimes the boat for Disney Springs can take awhile. Also, the French Quarter doesn’t typically participate in special offers from Disney World (Port Orleans: Riverside does), so the standard rate is typically what you’re going to get. However, I really think it’s one of the best resorts on property. The rate, to me, is reasonable and it’s going to be a closer bus ride to the parks than the value resorts. This year we’re staying at The Beach Club for A’s tenth birthday, so we’re taking a break from The French Quarter. I haven’t stayed at The Beach Club in probably twenty years, so I’m interested to compare it to our experience at French Quarter. I’ll be sure to share when we return!

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Friday Favorites

Missing the beach already!

Here are some of my favorites of the week!

I’ve got this book on my list when A reads through all of The Mysterious Benedict Society series.

Balance. An important part of summer learning.

These sunglasses. And I’ve got this podcast on my listening list for our Texas road trip.

I added a whole bunch of books to my reading list after talking to my Mom this week.

I’ve been trying to figure out my game plan for packing for a trip where we have to switch hotels a bunch, then I saw this genius packing tip.

And I’m thinking about getting the boys Citiline Roka slip-ons for our fall Disney trip.

A painted terracotta planter project to do with the boys.

And finally, a steak and noodle salad is on my list for summer dinners.

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Destin 2018


One of our favorite trips of the summer is our beach trip to Destin! We build sandcastles, boogie board, and eat all the fresh fish, and key lime pie we can handle. Here is a re-cap of some of the highlights from our trip!

Some of our favorite restaurants in Destin are Surf Hut, Stinky’s Fish Camp, Kilwin’s, and Hammerheads. The kids almost always get wiki sticks and crayons…

And I almost always get key lime pie…

We typically stay in the Miramar Beach area, near SanDestin and 30A. The boys pretty much want to spend the whole time playing in the sand and boogie boarding…

 

However, we cannot beach twenty-four seven, so we also go to the wharf at SanDestin. We look at the boats, do some rope climbing, and look for Ospreys on the Jolee Island trail…

And best of all we just veg out. We watch movies, play board games, and watch for dolphins from the balcony.

We love our Destin get away!

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Our favorite enchilada dishes

 

Enchiladas are one of my all time favorite meals. Chicken or beef, cheddar cheese or Monterey Jack, at home or at a restaurant, corn or flour tortillas, they’re one of my favorite things to eat. My classic enchiladas are these.

Created by my Mom, they’re the recipe that everybody in my family knows (cousins, aunts, uncles, etc.), and they always taste like home. They also are dear to me because B and I made them together for our first Valentine’s Day together. No frills, no fancy dinner out, just cooking enchiladas and watching re-runs of Reba. I could’ve married him that day!

However, with B’s food allergies I’ve created modified ones over the years to accommodate his diet. These include three cheese enchiladas

 

And green chile enchiladas

My beef enchilada recipe is also a take on my mom’s recipe and the boys’ favorite…

And sometimes I’m just cooking for me and make a modified version for lunch…

And in summer we make The Pioneer Woman’s chicken enchiladas with strawberry poppyseed salad

Hope you find your favorite enchilada!

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Friday Favorites

Perfect sunset. ?

J is so excited about the Christopher Robin movie! I’m going to be sad the day he doesn’t love Winnie the Pooh as much as he does now.

Proxemics in action. Also known as why people get offended that I have a bigger personal space bubble than they do.

Key lime pie was created by a ghost?? The key lime pie from Marlin Grill has been my favorite so far in Destin, but no worries I will try more!

Beach waves…also known as me being lazy and not doing my hair all summer. Kind of like this…

And I’m all about summer tops right now, so I’m going to search out this one while I’m at Nordstrom in July.

And finally, this y’all:

J holding his cousin’s hand so she doesn’t run and slip while she’s walking is my absolute favorite thing of the week.

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This and that

This is the haul of shirts I bought for the boys at Old Navy and The Gap for $14.15 (total):

No, this is not a paid advertisement. Yes, this is why I have a Gap card. And actually I got a free gift with purchase, so if you deduct that, the total is actually $2.

This is my favorite lunch at Connor’s…

Crab cakes with sweet potato fries.

This is the beach set B asked me to pick up from Costco…

Hopefully now we have enough sand castle building items!

These are the books J is loving right now, and are on his summer reading list…

I hope that he’s always this excited about summer reading!

This is the way the boys are chilling in the shade outback right now:

These are the baby birds hanging out by our baby maple tree:

And that was the happiest way to tell me I’m done grading in my Canvas app…

 

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