Friday, April 20, 2018

Five on Friday - New Kimono, Back Porch Dinner, and Olivia's First Dentist Appointment

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This week was a whirlwind!  It seems like every time I have appointments and errands to run that they all seem to fall in the same week.  This week consisted of loads of doctor/dentist appointments (just check-ups!), errands, after school activities, and other miscellaneous to-dos.  I think this was the first week that I didn’t have a spare second to work on purging/simplifying/organizing and that stinks because I just want to get it DONE!

Today is the only day all week that I didn’t have a full schedule, and it’s also the first Friday in weeks that I didn’t have any commitments, so I’m hoping to go full throttle with the cleaning out and organizing!  We’re aiming for a June yard sale, but I still have to clean out some of the second floor of the house plus the entire first floor – YIKES!  I need to get moving!  My goal today is to get my dresser, night stand, and laundry room cleaned out as well as my planner/to-do lists reorganized and prioritized.  It’s going to be a big job, but I think I can do it!  As always, you can follow along with me on Instagram stories if you want to keep up with me in real time.

Now for some faves from the week!

O N E – New Kimono

Sheer kimonos are all the rage for spring and summer this year and I’ve been wanting one since last year.  When I was grabbing a few things at Walmart last month I just so happened to stumble upon this one and I fell in love with it!  It comes in many different colors and patterns and it’s only $14.97!  Color me impressed.  Walmart has really stepped up their fashion game these last couple of years and the quality of their stuff has really improved as well.  I paired my kimono with my new Old Navy cross-front top (which I LOVE... even more than I thought I would!) and it was perfectly adorable for a spring day!

I saw a commercial the other day saying that Walmart had launched a new line of clothing and my kimono ended up being from that new line.  And as I was pulling up the kimono to link it for you guys, I also came across a few other great pieces from that same line.  Look at this OTS top with tassels!!!!  It’s only $9.94 and it comes in four colors, too!

And hello, Old Navy-esque swing dresses for only $9.96!!  These are the cutest!  And so many colors!

T W O – Work Outs

After a good three weeks of busyness and not being able to set foot in the gym, I finally got back in there last week and this week and it feels so good!  I only use the gym to do my cardio (strength training is done at home) so I always use the treadmill when I go.  A typical treadmill work out for me looks like this – 3.6 or 3.7 mph (super fast walking) on an incline of 10 (really steep) for 30 minutes with a five minute cool down.  This workout typically burns 350-400 calories and gets me to a little over two miles.  Since I do the incline it really works my glutes and legs and I always feel fantastic when I’m done!

T H R E E – Wet Braids

This past week Olivia told me that she wanted to have “curly” hair AKA crimped hair, so after her bath one evening I braided her wet hair into two braids.  She slept on them all night and by the morning her hair was dry and she had perfectly crimped hair that lasted for two days!  Doing this for her brought back a rush of sweet memories from my childhood as my Momma used to do this for me when I was little, too.  <3

F O U R – First Dinner on the Back Porch

Our weather finally perked up this week and we’ve spent the last few days in the seventies and sunny!  Can I get an amen?!  This past weekend we had cleaned off the back porch so it was screaming to be used for dinner, and Wednesday night we did just that!   I got dinner cooked, we turned on some tunes, B and I grabbed a couple of beers, and then we ate a nice leisurely dinner outside.  The temperature could not have been more perfect and the sky could not have been more blue!  After dinner we all went out in the driveway so the kids could use their sidewalk chalk, and I lay down on my back and stared up at the sky for a while, just soaking it all up.  I don’t know how long it’s been since I have done that, but I can tell you that’s it’s been far too long.  It was nice to have a nice, slow moment to just take in the vastness of the blue sky and really think about these creations that we see every day and likely take for granted. 

If you haven’t done that lately, I urge you to pull out a big blanket, lay it out in the yard, and just lie on your back and watch the big, puffy, white clouds go by for a bit.  It’ll put you in such a great frame of mind.  :o)

F I V E – Olivia’s First Dentist Appointment

Jacob, Olivia, and myself all had dental check-ups on Monday and this was Olivia’s first appointment.  I know that you’re supposed to start sending your kids to the dentist way earlier than this, but due to the fact that she doesn’t like weird noises and is very timid in certain situations, we held her off for a little bit because we wanted to make sure she was really ready.

I have been going to the same hygienist for well over a decade and Jacob now sees her as well and she is so, so sweet.  We just love her so much.  We had our appointments scheduled with her only to arrive and find that she had injured her hand and was out on leave.  Womp womp.  Therefore, they had set the three of us up with two different hygienists in her absence and Olivia was going to have to see someone else for her first check-up.  :o(  I was so sad!

Jacob went first so Olivia could watch and know what to expect and he did great as usual.  At his check-up we found out that he now has FOUR loose teeth!  He has yet to lose any (I think he’s the only one in his class who hasn’t) so I was wondering when it would ever happen.  Well, the hygienist wiggled them for me, and one of them on the bottom is really loose.  I’m thinking he’ll be losing it in the next couple of weeks for sure!

After Jacob’s check up it was Olivia’s turn, and as suspected, she was VERY wary of the thing that sucks the liquid out of your mouth because it’s so noisy and weird-sounding.  And wary is putting it nicely.  At one point her little chin started quivering and I thought she was going to full-on cry, but she ended up being so brave and getting through her appointment like a BOSS. 

No cavities for any of us either!  #Winning

S I X - Lunch with Old Coworkers

Thursday I made it to lunch with three of my girlfriends from work and we had a great time chatting and getting caught up.  They caught me up on the latest at work and we also celebrated Gwen's and my birthdays since they're both in April.  As a matter of fact, today is Gwen's actual birthday... happy birthday, Gwendol!!  <3

Well, that about wraps it up!  If you haven’t read it yet, be sure to check out my blog post from Wednesday – it’s all about our trip to Epcot!  I’ll be back next week to recap Magic Kingdom and I can’t wait!

And finally before I go, a funny to get your weekend started... because this is exactly how I feel about both of my kids.  ;o)

Happy Friday, y’all! 

*Linking up with A Liz Adventures and Carolina Charm for Five on Friday, A Little Bit of Everything for Friday Favorites,  September Farm and The Farmer's Wife for Oh Hey, Friday, Meet @ the Barre for Friday Favorites, and Cup of Tea for High Five for Friday.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Girl Chat - Guilty Pleasures

Happy Thursday!  It’s time for another edition of Girl Chat, and today’s topic is guilty pleasures!

I have plenty that I can share here, so let’s just go ahead and dive right in, shall we?

Adult Beverages

I was not one to ever break the rules and drink before I turned 21, but man, from the moment I hit that milestone birthday I have loved indulging in a good drink.  Domestic beer, craft beer, wine, margs, Moscow Mules, other specialty cocktails, I love it all!  Give me an ice cold beer in a Georgia koozie and I’m a happy girl.  Just don’t give it to me in a can.  ;o)

The picture below is one of my Vodka Strawberry Lemonades.  It’s perfect for this time of year… well, if the weather would hurry up and stay warm, that is.  ;o)

Reality TV

Namely, The Bachelor and The Bachelorette.  Yes, these shows are definitely not everyone’s cup of tea, and yes, sometimes I swear I lose brain cells as I watch, but there’s nothing like being lazy on the couch and counting how many times Chris Harrison can say, “It’s the most shocking finale in Bachelor history.”  Ha!

Social Media

Hi, my name is Lindsay and I love social media.  What can I say?  I love keeping up with people and I LOVE taking a peek into people’s daily lives.  My very favorite part of social media right now is watching people’s stories on Instagram.  I know it provides zero intellectual stimulation, but it is a nice way to unwind at the end of a long day when you just want something mindless. 

And if you want to follow along with my Instagram stories, you can do so here.  I’ve been decluttering and reorganizing our house for the last couple of months and I’ve been documenting some of my journey there.  I also documented our entire Disney World trip in my stories as well.  Just click the story highlights right above my pictures to watch!

Dessert Before Bed Every Night

I loooove sweets so pretty much every evening after the kids go to bed, B and I treat ourselves.  Most nights I choose Halo Top because it’s a healthier version of ice cream, but sometimes I just want a big ol’ piece of cake or a brownie or a slice of cookie cake.  I’m making myself hungry just thinking about it!  ;o)

This dessert below is one of my Blueberry Lemon Drop cookies.  These are so unique, light, and delicious, and again, perfect for this time of year!  They are so refreshing… if cookies can be described as refreshing, that is! 

Taking Weekends Off from Cooking

I typically try to cook Monday through Thursday each week (although during soccer season some of those nights involve leftovers or something quick), but on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, Momma does not cook.  Friday evening after a long week the last thing I want to do is spend the evening in the kitchen, so we almost always go out or bring home pizza or takeout to enjoy.  We typically attend church on Saturday evening at 5:30 so we pretty much always go out to eat for dinner afterward.  Then Sundays are known to be our family days with our extended families and typically my MIL and my Momma cook.  Every now and then my Momma won’t cook and I’ll cook instead, but other than that, I don’t pick up a pot or pan on the weekend!

The recipe below is my Beef and Parm Pasta with Zucchini.  It only dirties one pan and it's super easy to make!  

Rap Music

I love love LOVE rap music.  Always have and probably always will much to my Daddy’s dismay.  The louder the better, and do not give me the clean versions!  I want the original versions, cuss words and all.  Yes, I’m aware that some of the lyrics are pure filth, but there’s just nothing like a good beat.  I still know all the words to Gangsta’s Paradise, Baby Got Back, In Da Club, 99 Problems, and loads of others and, yes, I am the mom riding up to the car line blasting Dr. Dre, Snoop, and Jay-Z.  But don’t worry, I turn it off before the kids get in the car.  ;o) 
Happy Thursday, y’all!  I can’t wait to read about your guilty pleasures!  Be sure to link up with us below!

*Linking up with Home of Malones for Thoughts for Thursday.

To link up – just grab our graphic, link upand let’s get to chatting!  Make sure to stop by a few others in the link up for an extra bit of girl chat!

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Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Disney World Vacation Day 3 - Epcot

Monday was our second day in the park and we headed to Epcot!  Epcot didn’t open until 10 AM the day we were there, but since we were staying on a Disney property we were able to get in at 9 AM.  We were still pretty exhausted from Animal Kingdom the previous day so it was nice to be able to sleep a little later.  We were up by 7 AM and leaving the room by 8 AM to ensure that we were at Epcot right when they opened.  We gave the kids their granola bars and fruit pouches while we were waiting in line for security, and we were all done and waiting at the gates about five minutes before the park opened.  And we let them bring their souvenirs from the previous day into Epcot again so they would be less inclined to ask for more souvenirs!

Our fast passes for the day didn’t start for a little over an hour, so we used our early morning time to ride one of the popular rides that we didn’t have a fast pass for – Soarin’ Around the World!  This was BY FAR my favorite ride of any of the rides that we rode at any of the parks.  It was SO FLIPPING COOL, y’all.  To board, you walk into a huge room with rows and rows of hang gliders in front of a HUGE 80-foot dome shaped screen.  Everyone loads up in the hang gliders and buckles in and when the ride starts, the hang gliders lift you 40-feet into the air and put you right in the dome of the screen.  You then take a “flight” around the world, soaring over oceans, through mountains, over canyons, and by major landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower, The Great Wall of China, and Sydney Harbour.  Since the screen in front of you is a dome and you are “in” it, no matter which way you look side to side or in front of you, all you see is the projection so it truly looks and feels like you are flying over these amazing sights.  It felt SO REAL.  I didn’t want it to be over!!

The kids both did really well on the ride, although Olivia was a little tense for most of it.  She would have gotten off unscathed if it weren’t for the fireworks at the end.  She hates fireworks (and loud noises in general) so she was a little freaked out when we “flew through” the fireworks.  If the wait hadn’t been super long by the time we got off I would have definitely wanted to ride it again.  If you ever go, add this ride to the very top of your list!

Since we only had to wait about 10 minutes for that ride, we still had time before our first fast pass started, so we ran downstairs in that building to fill up our Disney cups for the day.  We also let the kids squish a couple of pennies to add to their collection, and then we headed to use our fast pass at The Seas with Nemo & Friends!  On the way, we ran into some ducks and Olivia and I watched them for a few minutes while Brian and Jacob took a potty break.

The wait was very short for Nemo & Friends since we had fast passes and it was completely kid-friendly so it was enjoyable for everyone.  After the ride the kids wanted to walk around the aquarium area for a bit and they had to pop in the big shark and get their picture taken!

By the time we exited Nemo, we still had plenty of time before our second fast pass started, so we stopped in to visit with Baymax from Big Hero 6 and Joy and Sadness from Inside Out.  Both of them were in the same area, but they had separate lines that were both really long, so B and I split up with the kids.  He stayed with Jacob in line for Baymax (Olivia had no interest in seeing him) and Olivia and I got in line for Joy and Sadness.  We ended up waiting for a good 45 minutes to see both, but thankfully they were all indoors so it was comfortable and air conditioned.  Brian and Jacob got done meeting Baymax just in time to join Olivia and I for meeting Joy and Sadness which worked out perfectly.  I know Jacob wanted to see Joy and Sadness, too, so I was glad that they finished before we did and were able to get in line with us just in time.

Since that took up a good chunk of time, we only had a few minutes until our second fast pass of the day started, so we headed to Norway… Anna and Elsa’s stomping ground!  ;o)

The wait for Frozen Ever After was soooo long – I think around two hours at that point – so I was incredibly thankful for our fast passes!  We only waited about 10 minutes and then we were boarding our boat!  This ride was a water ride taking you through a journey of the movie Frozen.  There was loud music and Elsa singing Let It Go and at the end even Marshmallow makes an appearance!  We all loved this ride as well, even though Olivia was pretty scared of Marshmallow at the end.  She has always closed her eyes or asked us to turn the movie off when his part comes on, so we figured she wouldn’t like him on the ride either. 

By the time we got off of the ride it was almost lunch time, so after snapping a quick picture by the Anna and Elsa shrubs, we headed next door to Mexico to have lunch at La Cantina de San Angel.  I had the Empanadas con Queso with Mexican Slaw and my gosh, I am still thinking about those, y’all.  They were so unique and so delicious!  I’ve eaten a lot of Mexican food in my day (it’s my favorite!) but I’ve never had anything like that before.  I have to say, I did not expect the food at Disney World to be very impressive, but boy was I wrong! 

And it wouldn’t be Mexican without margaritas, so B and I both indulged in Patron margaritas… and yes, the Patron margs were included in the alcoholic options for the meal plan!!  I was prepared to get one of the margs with the cheap liquor, but the Patron was actually included.  Disney, y’all!

After lunch we were still near Norway, so we decided to go ahead and try to meet Anna and Elsa.  Since we had eaten a bit early, prime lunch time was just starting and therefore the lines seemed a bit shorter for the attractions, so we only had to wait about 20ish minutes to meet them whereas the line had been almost 45ish minutes just before we ate lunch.

The kids loved meeting them but for some reason Olivia became really shy which I couldn’t believe.  Anna and Elsa are her favorites ever so I thought for sure she would be talking their ears off, but she was very quiet like she couldn’t really believe that they were right there in front of her.  And I was in awe of both of them because both girls looked just like their characters!  Of all of the characters we met on this entire trip, that Anna and Elsa were by far the best because they were the most realistic!  The girls they chose were just perfect for those parts.  The girl who was Anna even sounded like Anna from the movie, and I heard Elsa casually bring up in her convo with the kids that, “The cold never bothered her anyway.”  Lol.  I cracked up when she said that. 

We had some time to browse the park after that, so we slowly walked in and out of each of the countries.  One of my favorite parts of Epcot were all of the gorgeous flowers, plants, and shrubs pruned to look like all of the Disney characters.  B wanted me to take a picture of he and Jacob in front of Rafiki and Simba doing the same pose and Jacob was not amused.  Lol.

We stopped in Italy to see the statues, and then we stopped in France to see the Beauty and the Beast shrubs.  Beauty and the Beast has always been my favorite Disney movie since I was little, so I had to get in the picture!  ;o) 

We also stopped in England to step into one of the red telephone boxes… since I haven’t ever been able to check that off of my bucket list in actual London, I was at least able to simulate it in pretend London.  ;o)

Everyone was getting hungry for a snack at that point, so we grabbed ice creams for the kids and me and a pineapple whip for B (not a real Dole whip, but one that was kind of similar) and we found some shade and took a little rest.

Once we were done with snack time it was almost time for our third fast pass of the day for Spaceship Earth.  Spaceship Earth is the ride in the Epcot ball so the kids were excited about getting to go inside it.  On the way over, B was a good #InstagramHusband and he snapped a few pictures of me in front of the Bubble Gum Wall and the Blueberry Wall.  Y’all know I love a good wall mural to put on Instagram, so I was glad my girl Marie told me about them before we went on our trip!  Disney has several!

The wait for Spaceship Earth was only about 10-15 minutes since we had fast passes, and before we knew it, we were on our way ascending in to the ball!  That ride is all about the history of communication technology so it was low-key and more of a learning type of environment, but Jacob LOVED it.  And in case you were wondering, it does take you to the top of the ball inside because you can see the dome and the pattern on the ceiling toward the end of the ride.  At the end of our ride just as we were descending backwards in the dark our ride stopped suddenly and the warnings came on saying that the ride had stopped and to stay in our little cars. 

Y’all, my heart stopped right there on the spot with the ride. 

One of my worst nightmares is getting stuck on a ride or in an elevator or something else that I can’t get out of, so I almost went into full panic mode.  Thankfully, Olivia was in my car with me so I knew I had to keep it together for her… otherwise I probably would have freaked out.  The ride started up again within probably two minutes, but it felt like forever!  Haha. 

During the ride they snap a picture of everyone in each car and then they play a little video with your pictures in it at the end.  Olivia and I were cracking up at our video!  Then when we exited the ride, they also had our pictures up on some huge globe.  The kids thought it was cool to see themselves up there. 

After that ride we still had some time to spare before dinner, so we decided to squeeze in one more ride – Journey Into Imagination with Figment.  We didn’t have a fast pass and we ended up waiting a good 30-40 minutes for it and that was probably the only time that the kids got really restless during the whole trip, but they enjoyed the ride because it was so silly.

Once that ride was over we headed to our 5:20 PM dinner reservation at Akershus Royal Banquet Hall in Norway.  This was the Storybook Princess Character dining experience so Olivia was in heaven.  Upon entering, it started to drizzle outside, so we had timed it perfectly to get inside right when the rain came.  When we got inside we were immediately escorted to meet Belle from Beauty and the Beast, and then we were promptly seated at our table. 

Shortly after we were seated, they announced that the Disney Princess Procession was about to begin and that all of the kids were welcome to parade around the room with the princesses.  Aurora (Sleeping Beauty) came to our table and grabbed Olivia by the hand and she and Jacob got to lead the parade with her.  #PureHeaven

When the parade was over, it was time to eat.  Brian grabbed an assortment of Norwegian meats, cheeses, and breads from the appetizer buffet for us to snack on and then we ordered our main courses from the menu.  Brian and I both ordered Scandinavian beers and the Tradisjonell Kjottkake which was Norwegian meatballs served with mashed potatoes, seasonal veggies, and Lingonberry sauce.  It was delicious!  And fun fact, my father-in-law is 100% Norwegian so Brian is half Norwegian which makes our kids a quarter Norwegian so it was fun to learn more about the food from their heritage.  If meatballs are popular there, then I’d be just fine!  They are one of my favorite foods!

All throughout dinner the other princesses came to our table one by one to meet the kids and autograph their books, so it was non-stop fun!  Cinderella stopped by first, followed by Ariel (Ariel with her walking feet, not Ariel with her tail since she was on land – LOL), followed by Aurora again, and then Snow White ended our princess journey for the evening. 

Once the girls had all come and gone, it was time for dessert, and they brought out an assortment of Norwegian inspired desserts – chocolate mousse, cinnamon apple cake drizzled with whipped cream and caramel, and rice cream.  And yes, you read that right – RICE cream – not ICE cream.  It was served cold, but not frozen, and the texture was a little different, but it was yummy.

By the time we left the restaurant the drizzle had already cleared, the sun was back out, and the ground had already dried so we didn’t have to worry about weather ruining any of our plans.  The rest of the evening was up for grabs, so we walked around a little longer, caught one of the dancing fountain shows, had one of the Photo Pass photographers take some fun pictures of us as a family, and then we headed back to Spaceship Earth so Jacob could ride one more time.  That was his favorite ride of the whole trip, so he and Brian decided to wait in line for it one more time.  The wait ended up being maybe 45ish minutes?  I don’t really remember, but Olivia and I found a comfy spot underneath the Epcot ball where we just hung out and waited for them.  We called my parents and talked to them on speakerphone for a bit to update them on our trip, and by the time our phone call had ended, Brian and Jacob were coming off of their ride.

At that point the sun had gone down completely and the Epcot ball was shimmering in the dark in all of its pretty colors so we decided to go ahead and call it a night.  I wouldn’t have minded staying for the fireworks, but we knew we had a super early morning the next morning for… MAGIC KINGDOM!!!!

Now for the day’s summary and schedule:

Hours spent in park – 11 (9 AM – 8 PM)
Rides – 6
Characters met – 10
Countries walked through – 11
Disney Photo Pass pictures and videos taken – 61

Arrive 9 AM
Soarin’ Around the World (everyone)
Fast Pass – The Seas with Nemo & Friends (everyone)
Met Baymax (Brian and Jacob)
Met Joy and Sadness (everyone)
Fast Pass – Frozen Ever After (everyone)
Lunch – La Cantina de San Angel (everyone)
Met Anna and Elsa (everyone)
Walked through all of the countries we hadn’t yet seen (everyone):
The American Adventure
International Gateway
United Kingdom
Snacks (everyone)
Fast Pass – Spaceship Earth (everyone)
Journey Into Imagination with Figment (everyone)
Dinner Reservation – Akershus Royal Banquet Hall in Norway (everyone)
Dancing fountains (everyone)
Spaceship Earth (Brian and Jacob)
Left park 8 PM

Just when you thought my posts couldn’t get any longer…

Haha!  This one may take the cake!

And if you missed any of my other recaps so far, you can see them below!

My next Disney installment will be Magic Kingdom and I’m the MOST excited for this one!  If you think this post was long, just you wait until that one!  ;o) 

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