Monthly Archives: November 2013

Hats Around the World: EPCOT World Showcase

I’ve always wanted to do this. Every other time I have tried to do Hats around the World I have failed. Eleven countries doesn’t seem like that many, but when you are walking and trying to enjoy all aspects of the country, you get distracted and tired and start to lose motivation. Aaron and I made it our mission to tough it out on this trip. We were up against a disappearing sun and my iphone that takes terrible pictures in the dark, but I’d say we succeeded.

Canada: Aaron dons a racoon, and I a Canadian flannel.


United Kingdom: a little Union Jack for me and a Trilby for him. (Couldn’t find him a flat top cap for anythng. Get with it Disney).


France: Berets for everyone! Very appropriate.


Morocco: Seriously. No hats. We scoured this place. I thought they would have a fez like Aladdin at least. This is Disney’s failure not ours. Get with the program Disney. Hats around the World is a thing!


Japan: Slacking a bit in the hat department. They had a lot of hats, but none very culturally representative. Aaron has a dragon. I tried to find a Hello Kitty hat or one of those furry animal hats with the hand pockets. No luck.


Murica!: Colonial tricorne for me and Uncle Sam for Aaron.IMG_0580

Italy: Some Italia mouse ears. There is a tiny gondalier hat on top, but you can’t appreciate it this picture. It’s there, guys. I promise.


Germany: Steins on our minds (Why am I so cheesy. Stop it.)


China: Rice hat for both of us!IMG_0595

Norway: Viking helmets! Aaron sans braids.IMG_0597

Mexico: Sombreros for novia and novio. IMG_0599So much fun!



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I grew up in Belle’s house: A New Fantasy Land review

If you want to read more about my love for Disney World, check out some previous posts:

Disney post from 6 months ago, WHAT???…(just go with it)

French Fry Free Disney: What we ate at Disney World

Disney World and My Irrational Fear of Animatronic (previous visit)

On our most recent trip to Disney World we got to experience New Fantasy Land for the first time. We went to Disney at the end of 2012, but nothing new was really open then (that’s why I wanted to come back so soon. Haha!)This time I got the full Beauty and the Beast and Little Mermaid experience…and yeah, Dumbo was there too, but I’m really all about the princesses.

Here we are in front of the new Beast’s castle. In all honesty, when I heard there were going to be more castles built, I imagined they would be on the same scale as Cinderella’s castle. They aren’t. That could be disappointing, but I think I like that Cinderella is the main event. She’s my favorite anyway.


Before we ate at the castle we had to go hang out with Belle at her new attraction, Enchanted Tales with Belle. Upon entering her house I came to the quick realization that I grew up in Belle’s house. What is this style? French country? I’m not sure but it has my mom’s name written all over it. It was really hard to get a good picture because this is really just a themed line and the room was packed with people, but just take this snapshot and run with it. Wooden furniture with heart cutouts. Low dresser with a bowl and pitcher. I’m pretty sure my mom owns that lantern shelf.


One of my favorite characters!


This is where they asked for volunteers. I will go ahead and say that this is a very kid-centered experience. Don’t get me wrong and think I’m a non-participator…I’d have knocked a kid down to get the chance to have the wand choosing experience at Ollivander’s in Harry Potter World. But this was just holding cardboard and making animal noises. Maybe if they were passing out real costumes I would have been interested.

Lumiere was pretty cool. I think I watched part of a documentary about how they made him  look so real. It was impressive.


And then Belle came out! It was definitely more fun to go through this experience than just standing in a line. I also think that it’s a good way for kids to meet Belle and really interact with her. I think sometimes kids don’t know what to say to character when they meet them, and this had a purpose. They told a story together.

Personally I was a little disappointed because I wanted to take a picture and meet Belle, but I didn’t volunteer to hold cardboard cutouts earlier , so I didn’t get to.

Afterwards we ate at Be Our Guest for lunch. Such good food. You can read about the food here. The theming of the restaurant was beautiful. We ate in the room with the music box, but here is a picture of the main dining room. The cherubs on the ceiling are just like from the movie!

IMG_0490You could also eat in the West Wing if you fought hard enough for a table. That’s where everyone wanted to eat. It’s really dark in there, so I was happy eating in the other room and just exploring the West Wing afterwards. The rose was set up and petals would fall off.

And the Beast’s picture would change as time passed.IMG_0489Even more Beauty and the Beast stuff was waiting on us. We got immersive!

Aaron posed with Gaston’s statue.

And sat in his chair in Gaston’s tavern.IMG_0494

Then we moved on to Under the Sea: Journey of The Little Mermaid.


This was another “castle.” Which I didn’t think really deserved to be called “a new castle.” It’s very small.IMG_0478

This ride was just a typical dark ride. It’s cool. I’m glad The Little Mermaid has a legitimate place in the park now, but the ride didn’t blow me away. I’m sure I’ll still ride it every time we go back thought. At least it has good music!

That’s all of the New Fantasy Land that I have to show you. I’m excited for the new Snow White and the Seven Dwarves mine train roller coaster they are adding. I guess we will just have to back sometime soon 😉


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Roasted Red Pepper and Goat Cheese Alfredo

IMG_0813Things you should know:

1. I have a goal to get through all of my practical Pinterest recipes by the end of the year. I don’t have time to make one twice. I made this twice. It’s that dang good.

2. I feel like a real chef when I make this. I mean, come on. I am legitimately roasting my own red peppers. These aren’t from a jar. Nope I’m a kitchen master. I also use my immersion blender for something other than smoothies. And to top it off it’s actually a really easy recipe.

3. Don’t freak out about the goat cheese, guys. Be cool. It’s good stuff.


2 whole red bell peppers

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup fat free half & half

4 oz garlic and herb goat cheese

2/3 cup grated parmesan cheese

1/2 lb linguine, cooked al dente

salt & pepper


1. Preheat oven to 500 degrees. (holy moly yes that is hot. I was surprised my oven went that high, but it did)

2. Place peppers on baking sheet and bake 20-30 minutes until peppers are charred.


3. Remove peppers from oven and cover with foil for 10 minutes.


4. That’s going to take some time, so go ahead and dice onion and mince garlic


5. Might as well get your noodles boiling too while you are at it.


6. Saute garlic and onions in olive oil for about 7 minutes or until softIMG_0797 IMG_0798

7. Add in half & half, goat cheese, and salt & pepper. Stir to melt goat cheese, and keep warm over low heat.

(I was worried about finding the right kind of goat cheese, but I used this from Publix…exactly what the recipe called for).IMG_0799

8. Uncover pepper, peel off skin, remove stems and seeds. Chop up peppers.


9. Place peppers in sauce.


10. Add parmesan cheese. IMG_0806(The original recipe made a big deal about using fancy parmesan cheese. This is as fancy as I get. See. It says “fancy” on the bag.)IMG_080411. Pour sauce in a food processor or use immersion blender to pureed sauce. If you use non-stick pots and pans, don’t be dumb like I was and use the immersion blender in the pot. It will make a scrape in the non-stick coating and ruin your pot. 😦

12. Puree until it gets to the level of smoothness you want in your sauce.


13. Add noodles and top with extra parmesan cheese and parsley.


14. Devour the deliciousness.


Thanks for reading. I found the original recipe for this pasta from here.


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Disney post from 6 months ago, WHAT???…(just go with it)

Editing pictures can be tedious. And let me tell you…when you have a whole bunch of blog posts planned that require you to edit a bajillion Disney pictures…well, it’s no wonder I’ve put it off for so long. That coupled with all the stresses of daily life means it’s been a while since I blogged. I’m just going to pick up right where we left off because, like I said before, I have a plan.

Who cares that Thanksgiving is next week. Are you ready to check out my Disney trip from May? In this post I want to share just some of my favorite pictures and moments from our trip.

Our first night at Disney we went to Downtown Disney and of course World of Disney to play with some toys. Here I am as  Jedi/Samuel L. Jackson. Look at that intensity.


Aaron trained me up well.


After walking around Downtown Disney we did something new to us. We caught the river cruise over to Port Orleans to do a little resort hopping and eat at the quick service restaurant over there. (You should check out my post about all the food we ate on our trip!) It was so much fun riding the boat around and exploring the other resort.

I love walking in to Magic Kingdom for the first time every trip. I know I should follow crowd calendars and all that, but I just feel like I have to go to Magic Kingdom first. It’s just so Disney.

The iconic Cinderella’s Castle and the boyfriend and I all matchy-matchy.

The iconic shot of Spaceship Earth at EPCOT.

It actually rained on us pretty hard when we went to EPCOT, so we sought shelter in one of the Innoventions buildings. We walked around looking for something fun to do and stumbled upon this piggy bank game. I basically had to drag Aaron along to do this with me. He was all “This is for kids” and I was all “We are trapped here so we are going to entertain ourselves one way or another.” It was a game to teach kids about personal finance. Fun, right? Actually YES! We BOTH had a surprising amount of fun with it.


There’s our little piggy bank. When you get started you have to pick a goal to save for. The options were vacation, college education, or retirement. We picked retirement because 1. We were sure we would be the only people in the history of Disney World to pick that one and 2. We thought it was hilarious. Then you play games and stuff and your little piggy gets heavier…It was a grand old time. I highly recommend it. Haha.

Here we are on a prettier day at Animal Kingdom.


We went to Rafiki’s planet watch because neither of use had been there before, and I was so excited because I found a hidden Mickey.

Y’all. I do not look for hidden Mickey’s. I completely stumbled on this one and it took me by surprise. Aaron had gone to the bathroom, and I was leaning on a wall waiting for him when I saw it. I for real turned to a random lady next to me and said “Did I just find a hidden Mickey!!” I was so ridiculously excited.

Also on this trip, I figured out that I could zoom with my camera. Yep. Did not know how to do that until I was on the safari at Animal Kingdom. Glad I figured it out though, because we got up close and personal with some giraffes (my favorite!). I’m very proud of this giraffe hiney picture.


Aaron tasting the rainbow at EPCOT.


Phone booth in UK.


Aaron’s British Superman impression.


For the record Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin is rigged.


Look how happy he is with himself. He maxed out the level. It’s ridiculous really. Nothing to do with skill at all. This was in like the first room. Note my score here:

IMG_0613I just gave up.

After the fact we heard that you can get a special button for doing this, but we didn’t know at the time, so Aaron is buttonless and only has these pictures to vouch for his amazing space ranger skills.

More Disney goodness to come 🙂 You can always read about our last trip to Disney here.


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