Wednesday, February 13, 2019

UPDATE: Disney Trips + Pregnancy Style

Guys! Hi! I've been wanting to write a post for so long now but couldn't really pin down what I wanted to write about, so figured I'd just dump whatever photos or thoughts came to mind here and at least get something out in the blogosphere. Blogging is in a weird place right now, agree? I feel like most content now lives on Instagram, specifically IG Stories (at least that's where I find myself sharing and looking at my favorite bloggers, instead of actually going to blogs anymore.) The times, they are a-changin'.

Let's get started, shall we?

We'll start back in January at Disney's Hollywood Studios where we went to catch the last few days of holiday merriment and sweet treats. This is the chocolate hazelnut cone from Backlot Express and yes it was as delicious as it looks. We also hung with the lovely Christine (@hkitizzle on social media).

On to the Magic Kingdom. You know it's 'Florida cold' when we bust out the North Face fleece and Uggs (college habits die hard, amIrite??). Thomas, Angie and I watched the Christmas parade which runs during the day after all of the Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Parties have finished for the season (until then, it only runs the nights of the parties). Angie bought this hat first and I copied her because I thought it was going to go the way of the Mickey Pumpkin hat which I had in my hot little hand but didn't buy, and then couldn't find ANYWHERE after! So I had major FOMO and bought the Christmas version, even though there were tons of them on the shelves all the way through the holiday season. Still searching for that Pumpkin hat if anyone comes across one.

Here's Will enjoying a pool day at the Polynesian resort the beginning of January because Florida winters are the best.

BOOM! How about a pregnancy belly shot, and a Spaceship Earth Selfie all in one. Our tees are from TeePublic and designed by my friends Ryan and Josh (@honorary_android and @thesteele, respectively). My jeans are Paige under the belly maternity jeans and honestly, I've worn them almost every day of my pregnancy. No lie, no shame. They're awesome. You're told to buy your pre-pregnancy size, and because they are under the belly and have belt loops, I'm hopeful I'll be able to wear them postpartum, too. Worth every stinking penny. I bought a ton of over the belly Jessica Simpson jeans my first pregnancy and hated them- I was constantly hiking them up. The belt loops on this Paige pair is a game changer- no more droopy crotch jeans! Rejoice!

Perk #2958 to living by WDW- bringing home desserts from the Norway pavilion in Epcot to eat while watching TV at night after putting the kid to bed. This is the viking chocolate mousse cake and the beloved school bread.

My sweetie holding lots of plush sweeties.

Ah! I was so excited to see this! The CM in front of the Haunted Mansion was holding an invisible dog- remember when they used to sell these at a small kiosk outside of the Haunted Mansion?? Talk about a throwback.

Only the best Disney snack (besides the giant pickles). Citrus Swirl will always have my heart, as will this Walt/Train Magic Band that Uncle Thomas and Michael gave to Will but I claimed as my own. Sorry not sorry.

The Liberty Belle riverboat is back up and running. It's always an enjoyable journey around the Rivers of America, and gives some glimpses into parts of the park you can't see unless you take a ride. Will loved climbing the stairs and exploring the boat.

Back at Epcot with more obscure Disney nerd t-shirts. Mine is another @honoraryandroid design (Waynes World/World Showcase mashup which is genius) and Will's in from @retrowdw. He wears his Fozzie hat that his uncles Thomas and Michael gave him about as much as I wear my Paige maternity jeans. This was us checking out the first day of the Festival of the Arts, which is probably my favorite Epcot festival (with Flower and Garden being a very close second); Passholders can get a free Figment magnet at MouseGears until the festival ends on Feb. 25.

DHS randomly popped up an Incredibles celebration back in Pixar Place where the original Toy Story attraction used to be located. The whole thing is kind of slapped together and fairly disjoined if you ask me, but it DID bring us the famed Jack Jack's Num Num Cookie from Disney's California Adventure park, so for that alone I'd say WORTH IT! This puppy is huge- literally the size of Will's face- and dense and served warm. Definitely sharable. In fact I think in the best interest of your health, you should share it. Also shareable but not nearly as good is the Key Lime Pie on a stick, which is sold at the same place as the Num Num cookie. I wanted to like this, I really did, and they key lime pie was ok I guess, but the blue coating was just too much and not necessary. Plus this sucker weighs a ton and is too much for any one person to consume- it's very dense and sweet. Oh yeah and there's little Incredible-themed photo ops set up around the area. (Confession- I still haven't seen any of the Incredibles movies. I really don't see many movies, even Disney ones, so you'd be surprised to know how many I actually haven't watched. The classics, yes, but the newer stuff, not so much.)

Ok quick aside here. This is the kid's meal from Woody's Lunchbox back in Toy Story Land. Half a grilled cheese, and you can choose two sides. We went with the tomato soup dipper and tater tots. It's plenty of food and I could happily make a meal out of it. Many times it advantageous to order the kid's menu items, especially because they come with a drink, which really makes the savings add up.

Overindulging at the Plaza Restaurant for breakfast with a friend. The food is decent but it's the castle views over coffee that make this a nice option for breakfast, especially if you can get a reservation for before park opening and enjoy the relatively quiet atmosphere of Main Street.

The train is parked at Main Street Station during Tron construction and makes for a fun experience to chat with the engineers and learn more about these antique beauties. Even if you don't think you're interested in it, I urge you to check them out. You'll walk away with a greater appreciation of them. You can also read here to learn more. This is my particular favorite, the Roger E. Broggie. If you don't know who he is and want to learn more, there are bios of each person that the four different train engines are named after, down in the train station under the tracks. Check it out!

Random pictures:

Reminder of the best rocking chairs in MK and yes, you can sit up there. It stinks that they'll boot you out during the Muppet's Great Moments in History show every hour or so now, but still a great spot to sit and peoplewatch.

Cute Valentines Day and St. Pat's Day themed Mickey plush.

Cute Will in a Fozzie hat holding a Fozzie Muppet Baby plush.

 If you ever want to break out of the Disney Bubble and see a more authentic side of Orlando, take a drive toward Downtown Orlando. Winter Park, College Park, and this area pictured below, Baldwin Park, are all nice spots to spend a day shopping and having lunch. I get my hair done in Baldwin Park by the amazing @ashleyfehthair, and she's gracious enough to cut Will's hair (and does a super job). Will likes to walk out onto the gazebo on the lake and play with the love locks that are strung up.

Christine again! We went to MK to catch the New England Patriot's Super Bowl victory parade and saw quarterback and GOAT Tom Brady and MVP Julian Edalman, then stayed to watch Festival of Fantasy from our primo spot. We then serendipitously ran into some friends and were fortunate enough to have afternoon snacks and drinks in Club 33. Will doesn't know just how good he has it.

Watching Illuminations. It's being replaced with a new nighttime show in September 2019 and Will hasn't seen it in its entirety before, since it's wayyyy past his bedtime. He liked it, and I love this pic of my mom and son gazing up at the fireworks.

Galentine's Day with my beautiful mommy tribe. So blessed to have these women in my life.

We did a maternity photo shoot with my lovely friend Alexis (@alexismann_ on IG). Check out her page Alexis Mann Photography and get in touch with her if you're ever in the Disney/Orlando area! Can't wait to show more pictures after my baby 'sprinkle' this coming Saturday. She did a phenomenal job.

My loves.

Thanks for reading! 

XO, Ashley 

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Life Lately + Christmas Prep

Hi! Just popping in to catch up and say hello. We've been having so much fun decorating and prepping for Christmas this year- Will is really 'getting' the whole concept, from the Nativity story to Santa to his daily advent calendar chocolate to decorations to his grandparents coming to visit at Christmas- the whole shebang, and it's cliche but true that it really IS magical to experience holidays though the eyes of your child (and Disney, too;)

He met Santa (didn't hate it, tolerated it, but was kind of ehhhhh the whole time, which you can totally see on his face in the picture haha) and told him he wants presents, red and blue specifically. (We'd better make sure to have red and blue wrapping paper lol). We got him a handful of items:

  These next two presents are for me and John. Being a grown up means buying household goods for yourself for birthdays and holidays, right??! I'm excited to finally get an Instant Pot after having our air fryer for a year (which we love and use quite a bit); let me know some of your favorite recipes and tips and tricks if you have one! (Can I be honest that one of the features I'm looking forward to the most is the ability to toss in FROZEN chicken breasts and have them cook within a half an hour?? Whaaaaa?? It's that stinking thawing time that always thwarts me when I don't plan ahead for dinners. Can't wait!) Also this stick vacuum has been the bomb especially during pregnancy- lightweight and cordless and effective.

Speaking of Christmas, I've been enjoying a few Trader Joe's holiday goodies this month. I like to add a splash of the Chocolate Peppermint Almond Beverage to my afternoon decaf coffee (I'm turning into my parents haha!), and these waffle cookies are yummy; they're made to sit on top of your cuppa and soften from the heat, making the thin layer of caramel inside nice and creamy. Mmmmm! I've been enjoying these sweet treats in moderation, though, since I have another glucose tolerance test coming up at the end of the year. One of the joys of being considered 'advanced maternal age' at 37 is going the glucose test twice- once early at 20 weeks and another at the usual 27 weeks. I had to do the four hour follow up test after the first screening, which sucked, so I'm crossing my fingers this next one comes back okay.

Besides that, this pregnancy (knock on wood) has been really smooth and going QUICKLY!! This bump be bumpin' more and more each day, and we still don't know what the gender is. We have the results in an envelope in our desk drawer, but I want to wait and be surprised at the birth. It's been a delicious little secret brewing in my belly and I love the mystery. I wanted to wait and be surprised with Will, but John had to know, so we obviously found out. So this round, it's my pick and we are waiting (at least for today)!

I've also been using my doTerra oils this pregnancy, and really loving the natural and effective options for everything from digestive issues to immune support to emotional balance. The whole family battled a cold a few weeks ago, and my arsenal of oils helped us a lot.

Other than that, we've been popping in to the Disney parks and resorts to enjoy the cooler weather and soak up all the holiday decorations before it gets too crazy busy for Christmas and New Year. The train is currently parked permanently at Main Street Station due to track maintenance and Tron construction, and Will LOVED getting an up close look at the engine and tracks. He even got to ring the bell on the train! Will has also been enjoying meeting 'face characters' lately, specifically Elsa from Frozen. He's a tad smitten.

We celebrated Mickey's 90th birthday with a small celebration hosted by our local library. We celebrated MY birthday on Thanksgiving weekend with a group at the Melting Pot. My mom and I also made the short drive to Gator Lilly's, a FABULOUS Lilly Pulitzer-only consignment shop near downtown Orlando. We bumped into on of my Instagram Disney/Lilly friends, Theresa, who was down visiting from Maryland! My friend Krista also gave me the surprise of a lifetime when she invited me to the newly opened Club 33 in Walt Disney World. It's pretty hush-hush as far as social media goes, so I'm limited in the pictures I can share, but trust me when I say it was a crazy awesome experience.

We've been having lots of fun with our wonderful mommy group. For a mom's night out, we rented a party bus and tooled around Celebration checking out the beautifully decorated homes for the Celebration Holiday Home Tour. We also had a cookie exchange where we each brought two dozen cookies to share and took home a mixed bag of treats.

Will went to my mom's during Destination D weekend (D23's fan club bi-annual event held at Disney's Contemporary Resort) so John and I had a couple date nights, including a ride on RetroWDW's Lake and Lagoon boat tour with lots of our friends.

Will and I recently went to my mom's house in Melbourne to spend a few days, the highlight being Santa coming around in his decorated fire truck. It's an event the local Indian Harbour Beach volunteer fire department puts on every year, and it is so sweet.

I'll leave you with some of my favorite oil blends I've been diffusing during the holiday season. I'm sharing a different blend each day over on my oil-centric Instagram page (suit.essentials) if you're interested in following along!

If I don't post on here again before then, have a Merry Christmas and a happy new year! As always, thanks for reading. 

XO, Ashley