Friday Favorites

These three ducklings napping together remind me of the episode of Friends were Joey and Ross take the best nap ever. If you can’t nap with your besties then who can you nap with? We are bidding these sweet baby ducks goodbye today as they go back to their home on the farm. With the amount of rain we’re getting they could probably swim home at this point! With another rained in weekend, we are looking forward to cousin time, movie watching, and trying not to go stir crazy inside. Here are some of my favorites from the week!

A beautifully light filled kitchen reveal.

The Storyteller’s Tale is the book I’m reading this week.

Apparently Sesame Street had a terrifying episode that we all missed.

When Monet moved from impressionist to modernist.

My boys have talked about becoming chefs for years….and Auburn responded.

Assigning work tasks to different days of the week.

My favorite business podcast from the week.

B and I recently rediscovered my favorite chef show from the early 90s, Yan Can Cook, and we’ve been recording and watching the episodes. I still love his show!

Customizing a plain rug with a little DIY.

Leaning into the winter season….or monsoon season around here.

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Disney Five Day Travel Guide

One of the things that we get asked a lot about going to Disney, is it worth it to do all the work/planning ahead to go? And my answer is always yes. I’m a planner by nature, so I love checklists, charts, etc. so planning all of our days in advance is definitely something I enjoy. However, even if you are not a planner like me, you can still do just a bit of pre-trip organization to make your experience while you’re there much more enjoyable. Our favorite website to use for ride/event planning is WDWPrepSchool, and our favorite food planning site is DisneyFoodBlog. For every trip we go on I plan out a travel guide that includes our fast passes, dining places, and events. We sometimes follow it exactly, and other times we go off the path. For example, on our last trip we walked into Disney early on Saturday, so we ran to fantasyland and liberty square and walked on several rides we weren’t planning to go on. Another day, we were headed out of lunch in Frontierland and there was only a 25 minute wait at Splash Mountain so B and J went and rode it.

A couple of other items to note, as I’ve talked about in the past A doesn’t like big rides, so we actually divide up our magic bands, so J can ride them with either B or I. You can tell this in the set-up if there is a big ride, but it says N & A it is typically J & N. This is a good plan if you have one like ours, or a kiddo who’s not quite tall enough for the rides and one who is.

The last thing, is that I try to plan so we aren’t trekking back and forth across the park, you will log a lot of steps anyway, and backtracking with kids is not fun. Happy Disney trip planning!

Disney World

Monday-Arrival Day

  • Arrive at Beach Club and drop off luggage 
  • Animal Kingdom Lodge
  • Lunch: The Mara
  • Pool at Beach Club

Tuesday- Magic Kingdom Day 1

  • Pirates of the Caribbean 
  • Jungle Cruise
  • Dole Whip Snack Aloha Isle
  • Pirate Adventure Kiosk
  • Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse
  • Lunch: Pecos Bill 
  • Thunder Mountain 11:40-12:40 FP x 2 A &B
  • Splash Mountain 12:35-1:35 FP x 2 J & N
  • Tom Sawyer Island
  • Haunted Mansion FP x 4 1:35-2:35
  • Peter Pan FP x 4 2:40-3:40
  • Finish pirate scavenger hunt
  • Take Disney train 
  • Mermaid cupcake or Mickey cinnamon roll
  • Dinner: Casey’s Corner

Wednesday- Epcot Day 2

  • Frozen Ever After
  • Explore World Showcase
  • Test Track FP x 4 1:30-2:30
  • Spaceship Earth FP x 4 3:00-4:00
  • Living with the Land FP x 4 4:45-5:45
  • The Seas
  • Finding Nemo Ride 
  • Dinner: Coral Reef 6:50 p.m.
  • Soarin’

Thursday- Hollywood Studios Day 3

  • Toy Story Mania FP x 4 9:45-10:45
  • Lunch: ABC Commissary 
  • Rocking roller coaster 12:00-1:00 FP x 2 B & J
  • March of the First Order 1:00
  • Tower of Terror 12:40-1:40 FP x 2 N & A
  • Star Tours x 2 FP 2:15-3:15 B & J
  • Muppets 3 D
  • Dinner: Via Napoli 7:05 p.m.

Friday-Animal Kingdom Day 4

  • Wilderness Explorer Books
  • Kilimanjaro Safari
  • Rafiki’s Planet Watch
  • Jungle Juice Slush @ Tambu Tambu- Snack
  • Pretzel – Snack
  • Gorilla Falls Trail
  • Lunch: Flame Tree BBQ QS 11:00
  • Kali River Rapids – FP x 4 12:25-1:25
  • Dinosaur 1:50-2:50 FP x 2 B & J
  • Boneyard
  • Snack
  • Navi River Journey 3:05-4:05 FP x 2 N & A
  • Flight of Passage x 2 3:25-4:25 FP x 2 B & J
  • Expedition Everest x 2 4:40-5:40 N & A
  • Maharajah Jungle Trek
  • Flights of Wonder
  • Dinner: Yak and Yeti 6:15 p.m.

Saturday – Magic Kingdom Day 5

  • Breakfast: Ohana 7:50 a.m.
  • Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
  • Prince Charming Carousel
  • It’s a small world 
  • Dumbo 
  • Meet Disney carnival characters
  • Lunch: Be Our Guest 12:20 p.m.
  • Seven Dwarves 1:05-2:05 FP x 2 B & J
  • Little Mermaid 1:10-2:10 FP x 2 N & A
  • Carousel of Progress
  • Space Mountain 3:10-4:10 FP x 2 B & J
  • Tomorrowland Speedway 2:30-3:30 FP x 2 N & A
  • Monster’s Inc Laugh Floor 
  • Buzz Lightyear 4:35-5:35 FP x 4 
  • Dinner: Ohana 6:50 p.m.
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The Pioneer Woman’s Comfort Meatballs Remix

I’ve made The Pioneer Woman’s comfort meatballs so many times, the binding on my cookbook has broken in that exact spot. They are the boys very favorite type of meatballs, and we make them at least once a month, if not more often. However, over the years I’ve streamlined the recipe so it is faster to put together because I rarely have time to individually cook the meatballs in a skillet before baking them in the oven. Here are some of my favorite tips for making them a little quicker. First, I make the normal meatball recipe, but I leave out the diced onions (food allergies) and add a tsp of garlic powder instead. I then divide the meatballs out onto a nonstick foiled lined pan:

And bake them for 10 minutes at 400 degrees. Then, I take them out of the oven and turn the temp down to 350 degrees. While the meatballs are cooking, I make the sauce that goes with the recipe, and line the bottom of the pan with about 1/4 of the sauce:

Once the meatballs have “pre-cooked” I put them on top of the sauce:

Then I add the rest of the sauce on top:

And then I bake them in the 350 degree oven for about 25-30 minutes, until the sauce is bubbly, and the meatballs are cooked through. We serve them with mashed potatoes, corn, or sweet potatoes depending on the week. Either way they’re delicious!

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This and That

This is my Target order haul from the past week:

Since it’s been a pain-ish to get to Target right now, I’ve been adding things to my cart throughout the week and then I order it all at the beginning of the next week. I also may need to stop following so many blogs that I keep discovering new things to try.

J is reading Sarah, Plain, and Tall out loud with his reading group at school and at home to me:

This was one of my favorite books when I was his age, so I love that he’s reading it and that I get to hear it all over again!

My Mom had baby chicks hatch in her classroom this past week, and J really loved them so:

This kiddo has a heart for animals!

On Friday we braved the rain to pick up new baseball equipment for J, and for the boys to spend their Christmas and birthday money at Target:

These are the newest Elite Trainer Pokémon boxes. They were excited about them, I was excited there were two boxes!

This is the salmon sheet pan supper that is so, so easy:

Salmon, asparagus, lemon. Drizzle with a little olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and cook at 400 degrees until done (about 12-15 minutes).

And finally, this podcast got me intrigued by A Color Story App, which I promptly downloaded and have had fun trying out!

My first in-app purchase was At Home and I love it! It creates amazing filters that look natural, but just a tad brighter, truer, better. I definitely recommend it! Have a great Monday!

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Friday Favorites

We have had a lovely week! The boys got to see chicks hatch in my Mom’s class, nobody was sick all week, and we celebrated Valentines Day with steak, microwave potatoes, and Dr. Pepper for the boys. We are enjoying these few weeks of calm before baseball season starts, and we start trip planning for spring and summer vacations!

Libraries to add to our bucket list.

Like I’ve said…go to Shake Shack.

Sundress and sunglasses for Spring.

How to pack a suitcase.

Newsflash: you aren’t at the mercy of your emotions.

Best list for preparing salmon.

Love the color splash in this home.

And finally, The Darkest Year is the next WWII historical book on my list.

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ESPN Club

The ESPN Club at The Boardwalk in Disney doesn’t get a whole lot of recognition, but for three sports loving boys, it was one of their favorite restaurants at the resort. The restaurant is filled with sports memorabilia and lots of televisions to watch all the games that are playing at that time. The meal itself was very good, and our waiter was excellent. I especially appreciated how kind the waiter was with our boys, answering their endless sports questions patiently, and bringing celebratory apples (A’s request) for A’s birthday.

B picked the ESPN burger…

And I chose the fish and chips:

J selected the hot dog:

And A loved his birthday apple slices!

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Are you ready for some football?

J’s football party was such a blast! We spent our Saturday afternoon jumping sky high at a trampoline park and then spent our Sunday eating queso, tacos, and watching The Super Bowl. It’s hard to believe that my baby is seven! There are times when he seems so very grown-up, but then other times he’s still our silly boy, looking for a laugh and playing with his peeps. In a way this party celebrated that milestone, he picked the theme, the party place, and I just supplied the decorations, and food.

One of my favorite current decorations are the banners on the fireplace:

J’s favorites were definitely the table decor, that included inflatable footballs, a Super Bowl ring, and a golden football that one of B’s co-workers made:

The treat bags for J’s birthday were a hit! I went super simple, just a squishy football, football straws, a football pencil, and a container of mini m&ms:

And that was it! Here’s to a great seventh year, J!

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Mock neck sweater + midi skirt

This is probably the closet I’ll ever get to a turtleneck. The sweater fits true to size, but is a bit shorter so I pair it with higher waisted items, like this midi-skirt I picked up on sale last year from Banana Republic. You can find a similar version here, and pick up some knee high boots from DSW if you don’t already have a pair in your closet. I’ll admit I like matching my nail polish to my outfits, and this Essie polish does the trick. Finish it with this clear coat to keep your nails chip free all week. Oh and make sure you have a fun pair of socks to pair with your boots. The honeybee socks are my favorite!

 

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Friday Favorites

What a week! This kiddo is seven and we celebrated at a trampoline park with friends and a family party on Super Bowl Sunday. This weekend we’ve got a Pinewood Derby race for Cub Scouts and a birthday party for my nephew. In between we’ll be making out Valentines Cards and reading, reading, reading!

How to boost your morning coffee. I already add collagen and have been impressed with the energy and protein boost.

The A Beautiful Mess interview podcast I have next on my car drive list.

Love this kitchen and floor plan.

Classic staples perfect for the transition from winter to spring. Which is happening weekly in the south.

A cooking memoir and cookbook.

Intrigued by this etching method of art creating.

I just finished the Nightingale which was excellent, but I definitely needed a lighter read afterwards so I’m starting The Proposal this weekend.

And finally, the loafers and shorts in my Nordstrom cart.

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Current favorite Disney souvenirs

Part of the fun of going to Disney is finding some new souvenirs! As I discussed in a past post we had a set amount of souvenir money for each kid. It worked out great. Especially for math loving A who decided to evenly split his money among each park. A carefully considers a variety of items before he decides on a final purchase. Like this classic Mickey Mouse to add to his Mickey Mouse collection:

J on the other hand is very decisive, he sees what he wants and immediately makes a choice like this guy:

Just kidding. While very lovable, this almost life size Stitch was out of his price range. He instead settled on this:

Pluto with the keys!

We also love the wall of Tsum Tsums at Big Top Souvenirs:

And all the plush animals in Animal Kingdom:

It’s always fun to have a memory to bring home of our trips! I have found through our many visits that the office supplies are very enticing, but can be a bit overpriced. In addition, the books are usually very overpriced, and unless it is a Disney exclusive, I’ll suggest the boys save that idea, and I’ll order it off Amazon for Christmas or a Birthday. In contrast, the plush animals and many home goods are priced pretty reasonably. Happy souvenir shopping!

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