Magical Memories!

If you saw this post you may be wondering where my recap is on how mine and B’s trip to Disney went. Well here it is!

As you can imagine he was quite surprised to hear that we were going to Disney, although I don’t think he completely grasped what he was about to experience. To see his reaction when I let the mouse our of the bag, you can click here for a short video. I love his reaction!

To sum up our trip, we had a great but exhausting time!

I will let the pictures below tell the story and then I will clue you in on what I think I did that made the trip better and what I wish I would have done differently.

 

B's first plane ride!

B’s first plane ride!

A selfie while on Disney's Magical Express.

A selfie while on Disney’s Magical Express.

At our hotel - Disney's Pop Century.

At our hotel – Disney’s Pop Century.

Giant keyboard by the computer pool at our hotel.

Giant keyboard by the computer pool at our hotel.

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Yes, it rained but we didn't let it damper our spirits.

Yes, it rained but we didn’t let it dampen our spirits.

B's favorite ride - Buzz Lightyear!

B’s favorite ride – Buzz Lightyear!

I think he almost has it!

I think he almost has it!

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The only "characters" that he wasn't afraid of.

The only “characters” that he wasn’t afraid of.

Getting Goofy!

Getting Goofy!

His other favorite ride - Star Tours!

His other favorite ride – Star Tours!

Disney Junior!

Disney Junior!

There's tired and then there's Disney tired. (At the airport.)

There’s tired and then there’s Disney tired. (At the airport.)

So what did I do right?

1. Keeping the trip a secret - This tactic was used so I could give B a HUGE surprise but also so I could save my sanity. If I had told B in advance about the trip he would have pestered me about it non stop.

2. Letting B dictate our day - The trip went very smoothly mostly because I let B be “in charge” of the day. When he was ready to leave the park, we left. I didn’t push him to keep going when he was tired and needed a break. Instead, we went back to the hotel and took a nap on day 1 and went swimming on day 2. After he recharged, we headed back to the park. There were also some rides that we never got to and that was ok!

3. Having him wear his Road ID - Quite some time ago, I had a Road ID made for him for a trip that we took to Cedar Point. I had forgotten about it but after reading Rise.Run.Mom.Repeat’s blog posts about Disney and her tips for traveling with kids, I dug it back out for him to wear while we were there. It gave me a piece of mind knowing that, heaven forbid if we were to be separated, he was wearing all the information needed for someone to contact me.

4. Prepping B for his first flight - Since B had never flown before I wasn’t sure how he would react to everything. I came across a TSA video for kids that helped B understand what it would be like in the airport and it was a huge help!

What would I have done differently?

1. Booked a preferred room - Our room could not have been any farther from the main building of Pop Century! It would have been well worth the extra $10 to have paid for a preferred room closer to the main building and bus stops.

2. Checked our luggage - We each had a carry on plus one personal item because it was free to do so. However, lugging it all through the airport plus trying to keep B on task was a challenge. It would have been worth the fee to check our suitcases.

Have you been to Disney? How was your experience?

What tips do have for traveling? What about traveling with kids?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Why I May Stop Eating Dairy

Goodbye Dairy-

Thanks to social media, I may have to stop eating dairy.

Let me explain.

Sometime a few weeks ago I scrolled passed an article on Facebook or Twitter that was against people eating dairy. Initially I thought, how can you be against dairy? I love dairy. More specifically I LOVE LOVE LOVE cheese and ice cream. Really, I love them. But for some reason, I was intrigued enough to click on the article and read it. And it was eye opening.

Unfortunately, I didn’t save the article so I can’t share it with you but there are many others out there just like it. Google will find lots for you to read, trust me because I have been doing a lot of Googling to try to confirm what I read in the first article.

Now I realize I may be behind the times when it comes to this great dairy debate but humor me for a minute because I honestly never thought about milk in this way. For some reason I did not realize that cows only produce milk once they give birth to a calf. It seems like common sense now but I just never put any thought to it. So in order for dairy farms to get milk, cows are artificially inseminated. (Against their will I am guessing because if I were a cow I would totally want to get pregnant the real way. I’m old fashioned like that and it is probably way more fun.) Once the calf is born it is taken from the mother (bad things are done to it that I don’t want to speak about) and the milk that is obviously meant for the calf is taken from the Mom to give to all of us. (Now I am certainly not an expert in dairy farming just because I did some internet research so feel free to correct me if any of the above information is incorrect.)

So basically dairy products are made out of cow breast milk that was meant to nourish a calf during it’s infancy. I equate that to taking human breast milk from a baby and making it into food for us. That’s just weird and wrong right?

Not to mention, since cows only produce milk after giving birth to a calf, it is obvious that nature didn’t intend on that milk being for us. It was intended for the calf. And last I checked I am not a calf and I don’t want to become a cow, so why would I drink / eat cow breast milk?

Now that I know all of this, I have trouble eating dairy products. I want to eat them because my taste buds crave ice cream and cheese but as soon as I do all I can think about is how I am eating cow’s breast milk and that I am depriving a calf from its nourishment. And that line of thinking makes me sick to my stomach. Blech!

 I am curious to hear what you all think of this!

Is all of this new to you or were you already knowledgeable of the dairy farming process?

Also, have you given up dairy or are you considering giving up dairy?

 

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The Most Asked Question

`This post was inspired by the novel Dad Is Fat by comedian Jim Gaffigan who riffs on his adventures co-parenting 5 kids in a two bedroom Manhattan apartment. Join From Left to Write on April 22 we discuss Dad Is Fat. As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.

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Reading Jim Gaffigan’s book, Dad is Fat, about his adventures in being a Dad to five kids got me thinking about the most common question that I get about mine and Chris’s relationship.

Want to guess what that question is?

No, it is not the “Are you going to get married” question although that one is a close second. The most popular question I get asked is, “Are you guys going to have any kids of your own?”

Well I am here to publicly answer this question for all to hear and hopefully I will not have to answer it any more. (I literally LOL at that! You know I will still keep getting that question.)

The answer is…… NO! No, we are not going to have any more kids.

We have 3 kids between the two of us so that means we are already out numbered. Why would we want to stack the deck even more against ourselves? Not to mention, when all 3 kids are together it can feel like we have 6 or more depending on how each one of them is behaving at the moment.

On top of that, before Chris and I even started dating each of us had individually decided that neither of us wanted to have any more kids. Now that we have been together for a while (2 years) neither of us feels the need to validate our relationship by having kids “of our own.”

So there you have it. The kids question has been answered!

Any other questions?

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The Medal That I Didn’t Earn

This past weekend I was scheduled to run the Martian Meteor 10k but the universe had other plans for me. Those plans involved me laying in bed all day with the upper respiratory plague. I normally push myself to run races even when I am sick, but there was no pushing through this. I was having trouble breathing just walking around the house thanks to all of the phlegm (TMI?) in my lungs. So this race, was a no go.

The bf on the other hand, who seems to have the world’s best immunity (knock on wood), ran the race solo. You can read his recap here.

I had requested that Chris pick up my race packet, so I could at least get a new shirt out of the deal. My entry was already paid for after all. In the past when I was a bit more hard-core, I wouldn’t have even wanted a shirt for a race that I didn’t run but I have softened up a bit about that. I blame aging and being all lovey dovey with the bf for making me soft. ;)

Normally I don't like the back of race shirts, but I love the way they displayed the sponsors!

Normally I don’t like the back of race shirts, but I love the way they displayed the sponsors!

When Chris came home from his race, he handed me my shirt and this.

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Yep, a medal. The Martian medal. A medal that I didn’t earn.

Evidently Chris ran with my race bib in his pocket and then sweet talked the medal girl at the finish line into giving him my medal. He said that he told her I would run a virtual 10k to make up for not being there but I am pretty certain she just thought he was cute and caved in to his request.

Either way, I now have a medal for a race that I didn’t run. I haven’t put it on my medal rack yet because I am a bit torn. All of the medals currently on my rack are from races that I have actually completed. Medals that I have earned. On the other hand, I could just run a 10k and call it good enough. If nothing else, that medal would have an interesting story behind it.

I need you to weigh in on this. 

What do I do with the medal?

Run a solo 10k and keep it? Or?

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MyOatmeal.com Review

This post was made possible by Fit Approach and MyOatmeal.com. From MyOatmeal.com I received my own customized oatmeal blend and a PB Lean blend to review. As always, all opinions are my own!

A lot of people wake up in the morning and have coffee to start their day. Not me, I don’t like coffee. Instead, I wake up with a bowl of cereal or oatmeal. That might sound strange but it gives me fuel to start my day and it is usually the first thing I do in the morning.

With that in mind, you can imagine how excited I was when I was given the opportunity to create my own custom oatmeal from MyOatmeal.com! I found creating my own oatmeal to be a fun and simple process. I literally got to pick every ingredient in my oatmeal and I even got to name it! How awesome is that?

So ready to find out what I put in my Badass Breakfast Blend ?(That is seriously what I named my oatmeal!)

Badass Breakfast Blend and Pumpkin Spice PB Lean.

Badass Breakfast Blend and Pumpkin Spice PB Lean.

Ingredients of Badass Breakfast Blend:

- Organic, gluten free, thick rolled oats.

- Cinnamon roll flavoring

- Honey

- Chia Seeds

- Flax Seeds

- Pecans

- Brown Cane Sugar Granules

And the result? Badass yumminess!

I also got some Pumpkin Spice PB Lean which I have not tried yet. I am looking forward to making muffins and pancakes with it!

If you haven’t already tried MyOatmeal.com, I really think you should! It is a great way to put the fun back in breakfast while still giving you control over what fuels your day!

What ingredients would you put in your oatmeal and what would you call yours?

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The Most Magical Surprise Ever!

For about a month now I have been hinting at an item that I will be crossing off my bucket list. So guess what ? Today is the big reveal!

Before I tell you, I need you to swear to keep it a secret for a little while though. Well just from one person at least.

This cure kid right here, can't be let in on the secret yet!

This cute kid right here, can’t be let in on the secret yet!

Here’s the scoop. Today I am working a half a day and then I will be picking up B from daycare (he’s on Spring Break from school). After I pick him up we will be headed to the airport to hop a flight to Florida! We are going to DISNEY!!!! Just the two of us and he doesn’t even know it!

This will B’s first time flying and his first time at Disney. I am SO excited!!

I actually have the bf to thank for pushing me to make this happen. I had already planned on taking B’s Spring Break off from work because I have some vacation time to use up. I wanted to do something fun with him so I was looking into going to Kalahari or another indoor waterpark / hotel. Once I saw how expensive that would be, Chris pointed out that I could fly to Florida for the same cost as going to Kalahari. I was a bit hesitant because Chris and I just went to Disney a couple of weeks ago and B has a Disney trip planned with his Dad in May but I have been wanting to take B to Disney since before B was even born so why not live a little?

I will admit that I am a little nervous about traveling with B by myself but I am looking forward to the quality time that we will have together. I am also excited that this trip can be 100% about B.

If you want to check in on our adventures this week, I am sure I will be posting things to Twitter, Facebook and Instagram from time to time. Make sure you follow me on those channels so you can stay up to date!

 Have you ever surprised your kid(s) or a loved one with a big surprise?

What was the biggest surprise that someone did for you?

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Hollywood Studios Recap

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Before we get started, let’s make sure that you are up to speed and that you have read my other two Disney posts. Click here and here. Ok, great! Now we can move on to day #2 of our Disney trip!

Day #2 was all about Hollywood Studios and luckily for us we got to take advantage of the extra magic hour since we stayed at Pop Century, a Disney Resort Hotel!

An hour might not seem like a lot of time but it sure makes a difference when you are at Disney. Less crowds means more can be accomplished during that time. It also means that your day starts off on a more relaxed note. Hooray for that!

We used our extra magic hour to get a pic with this guy!

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We also rode Toy Story Midway Mania which was a lot of fun! (We rode it again later in the day as well because we had a FastPass for it.)

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We got in line to see Buzz and Woody but ended up jumping out of line to move on to something else. We did get a few fun pics while waiting in line though!

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Naturally as the day went on the crowds grew but it never got as crazy as our day at Magic Kingdom. The only area that had a crazy amount of people was over by the Rock ‘n’ Rollercoaster and the Tower of Terror. That didn’t bother me one bit as I really wasn’t interested in either ride since I am scared of heights. (Although, I did tell Chris that I would go on the Rock ‘n’ Rollercoaster but the wait ended up being too long. I was secretly grateful for that.)

The one other area that was super crowded was getting into and out of the Fantasmic show but that was to be expected. The Fantasmic show is super popular. So popular that Chris and I reserved a dinner package that included tickets to the show, but more on that in a bit.

Let’s break down our day at Hollywood Studios!

Favorite Ride: This is super easy for me to answer! Hands down my favorite ride was Star Tours. I LOVED it and we went on it 4 times! You would think that perhaps I am a Star Wars junkie but I am not, it was just a really cool ride. And each time we rode it we got a different experience so I thought that was pretty sweet!

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Least Favorite Ride: The Great Movie Ride. It wasn’t bad but it was just okay. I think Chris and I just expected more from it.

Favorite Show: This is a tough one because all of the shows were really good! I can’t just pick one so instead I will narrow it down to two. I really liked Fantasmic and Muppet Vision 3D. We saw the Muppet show twice even!

Muppets!

Muppets!

 

Fantasmic!

Fantasmic!

 

Least Favorite Show: I don’t have one! They were all superb. You really can’t go wrong with any show at Hollywood Studios.

FastPasses Used: We used a FastPass for Toy Story Midway Mania, Star Tours and The Great Movie Ride. All of those were good choices for us. However, if you are interested in the Tower of Terror or the Aerosmith Rollercoaster you would definitely want to use FastPasses for those as they had the longest waits. DO NOT, I repeat DO NOT ever use a FastPass for one of the shows. There seems to be plenty of seating for all the shows at Hollywood Studios. (With the exception of Fantasmic, of course.)

Food Consumed: We saved money on breakfast by eating some of the snacks that we brought with us. We also brought some snacks into the park so that we had something to eat in between meals. For lunch we ate at the Studio Catering Co. We beat the system a little and saved a little bit of money here. While Chris was finding us a table, I ordered our food and I ordered myself a kids meal. It was perfectly sized for me and the two of us ate for under $15!

For dinner we did the Fantasmic dinner package at Hollywood and Vine. This definitely made up for the savings we had at lunch but it was worth it because the food was great and we got two reserved seats for Fantasmic! I highly recommend this package if you are crunched for time as it is recommended that you get to Fantasmic 90 minutes before the show starts if you are going to sit in general admission. We didn’t have 90 minutes available to waste so it was a no brainer for us.

What would I do different: Not a darn thing! This was my favorite day at Disney and I can’t think of anything that I would change!

After Hollywood Studios, we headed to Downtown Disney because we really wanted to go to the LEGO store for our kids. I expected there to be special Disney themed mini-figures there but I was wrong. The store was big but there wasn’t anything there that we couldn’t get back at home.

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We did walk around Downtown Disney a bit but it was super crowded, just like our day at Magic Kingdom and there was some construction going on down there too so we didn’t spend a ton of time there.

After Downtown Disney we headed back to the hotel to rest up for our third and final day of our Disney vacation!

Have you been to Hollywood Studios?

I would love to hear about your experience!

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Our Day at the Magic Kingdom

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If you read my Disney World vacation planning post last week you may be wondering where the recap for day #1 of our trip is. Well, here it is! It’s a little later than I expected but hopefully that helped to build your anticipation! ;)

Day #1 of our Disney trip started VERY early in the morning. Around 4:15am to be exact. That’s what time I got up to get ready to head out to the airport. As expected, I didn’t sleep much the night before either because I was too excited. Please tell me that I am not the only “adult” who still acts like a kid the night before vacations.

Our flight was uneventful AND it landed 40 minutes earlier than expected! That was a huge win for Chris and I since we were trying to pack so much into our weekend trip. Once we got off the airplane we headed straight for the Disney Magical Express which is the bus that takes you from the airport to your Disney hotel. We didn’t have to worry about retrieving our checked luggage since the good folks at Disney would take care of that for us!

Our Magic Bands were our ticket on the bus and into everywhere else!

Our Magic Bands were our ticket onto the bus and into everywhere else!

The Magical Express buses were very plush and comfy for our ride to Pop Century. Once at Pop Century we headed to check into our room. We checked into our room online before we left Michigan so we got to avoid the long check in line. It was easy peasy and I highly recommend that you take advantage of that time saver.

Pop Century

Pop Century

Once checked in we deposited some of our stuff into our room and then headed out to the bus line for Magic Kingdom. Buses run about every 20 minutes so we didn’t have to wait long for the next one to show up.

The castle was under construction while we were there.

The castle was under construction while we were there.

We got to the Magic Kingdom around noon and with it being a Friday it was quite packed with people. I mean PACKED. Obviously weekends are not the ideal time to travel to a popular tourist attraction but weekends are what we had available.

The crowd did make things a bit overwhelming at times. It was hard to make our way to anything or even get our bearings straight. A lot of the rides had long wait times and at the end of the night we averaged only about 1 ride an hour.

So let’s break down our day at the Magic Kingdom.

Favorite Ride: Haunted Mansion. We went on it twice and Chris and I both enjoyed it. The special effects were great!

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Least Favorite Ride: Mad Tea Party. We waited quite some time to get on this ride and then we waited some more while on the ride but never actually rode it. It broke down. :/

Favorite Show: Main Street Electrical Parade. I guess it is not really a show per se but close enough. I love parades especially Disney ones!

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Least Favorite Show: Carousel of Progress. We jumped on this because it had no wait. It was a silly and cheesy revolving show that showed technological improvements over the past 100 years. The present time didn’t seem very current, more like the 80′s but we got a good laugh about it.

FastPasses Used: We had FastPasses for It’s a Small World, The Jungle Cruise, and Space Mountain. All of them were good choices but next time I would opt to not get one for It’s a Small World as later in the night you could walk right onto it. I would get a FastPass for Peter Pan’s Flight instead which had a very long wait all day long.

Food Consumed: We ate lunch at Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe which was extremely busy but it moved surprisingly quickly because it was so large. We saved money on our food by asking for no sides with our meal. (It is not advertised as an option but you can do it. And I personally can not eat that much food anyways.) Dinner was at some walk up place that I don’t know the name of that served macaroni dishes. Chris and I each had the bacon cheeseburger macaroni. We also got a Dole Whip from Aloha Isle (you will want to read the bf’s post about that) and I got a Mickey Shaped ice cream from a street vendor.

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What I Would Do Different: Not wear flip flops. I was excited to wear flip flops since my feet have been in hiding through this very long Michigan Winter. By the end of the night my feet were killing me with all the walking and standing that we did.

We stayed at the Magic Kingdom until it closed at midnight. It probably goes without saying we were very exhausted and fell asleep the minute our heads hit the pillow. I’m sure I didn’t have any dreams but if I did, I am certain they were about what day #2 would bring at Hollywood Studios.

Have you been to the Magic Kingdom?

What were some of your favorites and least favorites while you were there?

 

 

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Rock CF 5k Recap

This past Sunday Chris and I ran the Rock CF 5k! It was an extra special race because it marked Chris’s 1 year runiversary! In addition to that, Chris and I went on our first date 2 years ago on that same date!

Rock CF is one of my favorite races and I have been to every race since it started! In 2011 I ran the 5k, in 2012 I ran the half and PR’d, in 2013 I ran the 5k and this year I ran the 5k as well.

The reason that I like Rock CF so much is because it is always very well organized, it has a great scenic course, the race swag is awesome and the post race food can’t be beat. This year was no exception.

There was a new route for the 5k this year! We actually started the race inside the Grosse Ile Naval Air Station Hanger. It was very cool! The bf has pics of it over on his post, you can click here to check it out. The rest of the course went through residential areas of Grosse Ile and along the water.

I am happy to say that race day was much warmer than the last two races that Chris and I have done, so I didn’t struggle with my breathing at all. Woohoo! And because of which, I had a much more pleasurable race experience free of whining even. Go me!

Chris struggled a bit with shin splints but still had a good time.

How did I do?

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It wasn’t a PR, my 5k PR is 26:33 but I wasn’t after one anyways. My goal was to whine less and have a good time. Mission accomplished!

At the finish!

At the finish!

Now to check out the race swag!

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I really like the shirt but I think the medal was better the last two years.

This is the medal from 2013. I like how there is color in between the outside circle and the inner medal.

This is the medal from 2013. I like how there is color in between the outside circle and the inner part of the medal.

Despite the medal, it was still a great race. Odds are, we will be back out there next year!

Did you have a race this past weekend? Tell me about it!

If not, what were you up to this weekend?

 

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