Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Dressing for Disney: Epcotiversary in Norway and Japan

John and I doubled up this month for our Epcotiversary and visited two countries in one visit. This worked out well as the 16th of this month (January) fell on a Saturday and we had some extra time to spend in the park, rather than cramming it in after work on a weekday like we usually do. 

When we drew the countries out of the cup, I jumped on to My Disney Experience to see if we could get an ADR at Akershus, since we haven't eaten there. Part of my plan when devising this whole Epcotiversary thing was for us to be able to eat at every resturaunt in World Showcase (we've hit most of them; this would give us a good excuse to visit the ones we often overlook). I found us an ADR but when we checked the price for the meal, we just couldn't justify spending that amount on something that neither of us were really all that excited for. You see, when it's just John and myself, we don't really love to do the character dining. If we have a group or a kid with us, it's fine, since the conversation flows a bit better. But with just us, it can feel a bit... awkward. Combine that with the fact that Akershus is filled with face characters who you actually have to carry on a convo with, instead of fur characters that just pantomime in reaction to whatever you say, and we were really sweatin'. 

So, long story short, we canceled our reservation and decided to get lunch in Japan and dessert in Norway (hello, school bread!). 

We stopped in Starbucks on the way in- decaf iced soy latte for this pregnant mamma

Then we hopped a Friendship boat across the World Showcase Lagoon on our way to Japan.

With a bouncing bundle of joy on the way, John and I have done a bit of budgeting and decided to keep our costs down by eating at a quick service restaurant. We headed up to Katsuri Grill. John got the spicy ramen bowl and I had the tempura shrimp bowl with a side salad. They were both really yummy. I especially liked John's with all the veggies, but I was scared to order it due to the 'spice' factor. I hate to admit it, but I'm kind of a spice wuss. I like and appreciate the flavor, but I don't have a high tolerance for spicy. I envy those people who can eat REALLY spicy things, and wish I could, but alas, I cannot. 

We ventured counter-clockwise around World Showcase after lunch. The temple in China is getting a facelift. 

Finally we arrived in Arendelle Norway for dessert. The line at the Kringla bakery was out the door! Errybody wanted them some school bread. 

I was also going to get one of the heart-shaped waffles with strawberry jam in the middle, but THEY DON'T HAVE THOSE ANYMORE!!! Sadness. So I waffled (ha!) between the cloud horn and the cream puff, neither of which I'd tried before. We went with the cream puff, and while it was okay, I wouldn't order it again. That school bread though. That. School. Bread. 

We had errands to run so we left Epcot after dessert. One Spaceship Earth selfie and one monorail picture later, and we were out. 

Thanks for reading! XOXO, Ashley 

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Dressing for Baby! Expecting Baby Suit-- Summer 2016

If you follow me on any of my social media platforms (Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, or Facebook), then chances are this is old news to you.

BUT in case you missed it, John and I are beyond excited to announce the arrival of Baby Suit in Summer 2016!

As I delve deeper into the blogosphere, I'm constantly torn over the issue of 'over-sharing' information about myself/our life. I don't want to assume everyone wants to hear everything about little ol' me, nor do I want to over-expose my family or friends. But, some of my very favorite blogs are the ones where the authors are real, open, and down to earth, so following on that note, I'm going to go with the flow and write what I feel comfortable with.

That said, we were very fortunate to conceive VERY easily! I've been on birth control for just about 16 years, and I'm 34 (see, over-sharing), so I had some concerns about this. In addition, I've had a handful of girlfriends who have had trouble conceiving, and my heart goes out to each and every one. 

So you can imagine our surprise when it happened almost literally after I stopped taking the Pill. Now, I'm a Type A planner, and a former teacher, so I've ALWAYS said I wanted a Fall baby-- that way they're older in the the class developmentally, socially, emotionally, etc. It's amazing what a difference a few months makes when you have a four year old and a five year old sitting in the same Kindergarten class. 

Best laid plans, and all that jazz. We conceived right off the bat and are due for a late July/early August birth date. Looks like we'll be red-shirting our Baby Suit for a year before starting school. BUT, I'm so grateful for the ease with which we conceived, and we count our blessings every day. As my doctor said, "All your husband had to do was just look at you to get you pregnant, huh?" ;)

I can honestly say I have had a really great pregnancy so far. I'm currently 13 weeks along, and have had only a handful of bouts of nausea. My main culprit is heartburn, but even that's not debilitating. I've also had occasional headaches from time to time, and have been pretty tired. I'm not sleeping great either; I'll fall asleep just fine, but will wake up in the night and not fall back asleep very well. Perhaps my body is prepping for sleepless nights once the baby comes, eh? 

Here are our ultrasounds from our 10 week scan and our 13 week scan. It's AMAZING to me how developed he/she looks just in three weeks- growing from an alien-looking creature to a little human, complete with a precious little nose! See it in that second photo?

We won't find out the sex of the baby until around week 20, if he/she cooperates when it comes time for pictures. I'll share as soon as we find out, though. 

I've always thought I wanted a girl, and I still would be over the moon to have a daughter. However, after teaching preschool and Kindergarten, I've seen that even at four and five years old, girls are DRA-MA! Boys are so much easier going; they get in a fight with a friend, and one push or shove and they're best buds again. I also grew up with three older brothers, and have always gotten along with boys, so I'd be happy as a clam to have a son, too. So as cliche as it sounds, John and I would be thrilled with either a boy or a girl. I can't say I really have a feeling, one way or another. I've heard about 50/50 from close friends and family, as to their guess of the sex. What are your thoughts?

I guess that's it for now. It's so nice to have the news out- our family and close friends knew, but everyone's been afraid to spill the beans, so I know they're breathing a sigh of relief too. I of course called my mom in early December when I took the first pregnancy test, so she's known since we have. It's been so hard for her to keep the secret, but she did it! We told my Dad on Christmas day by wrapping up a onesie that had the words 'Coming August 2016' on it; we have video of his reaction; it's the most precious thing ever. 

I can't wait to be a Mommy and am open to any and all advice you can send my way. It will be interesting to see how this blog evolves; Dressing for Pregnancy, Dressing for Baby, and so on. And you know Baby Suit will be in Disney World sooner than later. In fact, his/her first trip to Disneyland was in utero! Ha! (That reminds me, I still need to post about that trip... So much to do, so little time.)

Thanks for reading and following along on our new journey. 

XOXO, Ashley

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Weekend Wear-abouts: MLK Weekend

Howdy! This past weekend was a fun one- and aren't long weekends the best? There's just something so great about having a third weekend day. We were blessed with perfect weather, cool and sunny and everything that Florida winters are made of. 

Saturday was the 16th of the month, which means EPCOTIVERSARY! That will be it's own post though. On the drive in to Epcot, they're installing a solar power farm. I saw something on Twitter the other day that it's being made in the shape of a Hidden Mickey! Here's a photo from the tweet (I don't remember who tweeted it to give credit to, sorry). 

Sunday was a wonderful, lazy 'home' day. I did some yoga (insert cat here), watched a movie with my hubby with the windows open (inserts cats here), and even napped in the afternoon (insert cat here). 

Monday was John's birthday, BUT he had to work, whomp whomp. So I celebrated for him by meeting my friend Christine and her sister at Magic Kingdom! (Find her Instagram here, and her YouTube channel here, which features lots of Disney videos). 

It was a picture-perfect day. I mean, look at that sky!

Rapunzel Beanie // North Face Jacket (old, but I love this one) // J.Crew Jeans // Lilly Pulitzer Sunglasses

Christine and I even wore matching shirts (unintentionally!) Hers represents the East coast and is from Walt Disney World; mine reps the West coast and is from Disneyland. 

We took a leisurely tour around the Kingdom on the train. I wore my sweet customized RunDisney New Balance that I got at the D23 Expo, and carried my holy grail Club 33 Dooney. Swoon. 

That evening, I made skillet lasagna and a small chocolate cake, and John opened his presents and cards. He's like a kid when it comes to gifts; I've had them wrapped for a week, and he's asked if he could open them EVERY DAY since they arrived. I made him wait though-- he liked his rain jacket my mom got him! And look at that cute face. 

It was a lovely end to a lovely weekend. Hope you enjoyed it as well. Thanks for reading!

XOXO, Ashley

Friday, January 15, 2016

Dressing for Disney: Epcotiversary in the UK

'Ello, loves! Join us as we venture into Epcot for our Epcotiversary in the UK! 

We parked in the main parking lot at the front of the park and strolled back into World Showcase. It was a beautiful night. Our hope was to be able to score a walk-up table at Rose & Crown, but the holiday rush was just staring up in full-swing, and it was close to Illuminations time, and Rose & Crown is one of the prime viewing locations for Illuminations with it's lagoon-side seating, so the cards were stacked against us. 

Sure enough, no room at the inn. Our default option was the fish and chips stand next door, but I just wasn't feelin' it. Then it dawned on me! I love me a Scotch egg, and John wanted fish and chips. So we headed into the pub area of Rose & Crown and simply placed our food order at the bar! Bam, two birds, one stone. 

Once our food came, we took it outside to one of my favorite seating nooks in all of Epcot. 

Douse that bad boy in malt vinegar and YUM! I'll admit, my mouth is watering now just talking about it...

Anyway, after finishing dinner, we headed around the countries to check out the special holiday dessert offerings. First stop was France for a Yule log. 

In our opinion, it looked better than it tasted. It was okay; it just had a bit of a fruity orange hint to it that we weren't expecting. I was hoping for a chocolate explosion and well, this didn't deliver. John wasn't a fan at all. 

We continued on and dipped into the American Adventure pavilion to see the gingerbread Capitol Building and Washington Monument. There were some hidden Mickey's placed around, and John proceeded to find them all! He's more 'Disney' than he'd like to admit :)

I love love LOVE this quote by Uncle Walt. 

Circling around, we found ourselves in Mexico and the temple to check out the new/old Three Caballeros animatronics! In case you haven't heard, D23 helped to install these animatronics without any guest knowledge or fanfare, and boy are they awesome. Read the neat story here

After a spin on El Rio del Tiempo, we headed outside to get the holiday sweet tamale. This one was a big fat PASS! It needed more of the yummy sauce on top, because the cornmeal was a bit dry. It also needed A LOT more of the jelly filling inside. 

It was a work night and we're old, so we headed out. As tradition states, we took a Spaceship Earth us-ie. 

J.Crew Fireburst Necklace, old

That's it for this month! But fear not, our next Epcotiversary is *tomorrow*, January 16th! Stay tuned for the next installation. 

Thanks for reading. 

XOXO, Ashley 

Monday, January 11, 2016

Snapchatty Cathy

Just wanted to pop in to make a confession. Get it off my chest. Fess up. Admit fault.

*I* am a Snapchat-aholic. A Snapchatty Cathy, if you will. Which wouldn't be so bad, if I weren't a grown-ass woman in my thirties. 

I blame my niece, really. She taught me how to use it, so it's all her fault. But, she's 17, so she's allowed to by Snappy savvy. What's my excuse?

Anyway, just wanted to share. 

For those who may not be familiar, Snapchat is an app that allows users to take photos or short videos and post them to a feed, a la Instagram. The difference is these only last 24 hours and then disappear from your feed. 

Feel free to follow along (disneyfiedash), but be warned. You'll see lots of Disney, even more of my cat, a bit of randomness, and step-by-step recipes. Exhibit A:


Ok, signing off to watch the College Football National Championship game-- Go Clemson! Go Tigers! 

XO, Ashley

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Dressing for Disney: Epcotiversary in China (and yes, more Food & Wine Festival)

Hey. So. It's only almost three months after the fact, but heck, here's our Epcotiversary from November. The country we pulled out of the Epcot mug was China. With the Food & Wine Festival winding down, and us having eaten in both restaurants in China's World Showcase before, we decided to kill two birds with one stone and try the F&W offerings from that country (along with the other items I had on my 'must-try' list before the Festival ended). 

We started off at the Cheese booth to get the Goat Cheese Panna Cotta. I love goat cheese; this reminded me of a goat cheese flavored greek yogurt. 

Next stop: the Dessert and Champagne booth. There were three, count 'em three offerings I wanted to try: the Chocolate Cherry Explosion, Cream Soda Float, and Strawberry Champagne Mousse. Everything was delicious. Thus begins the 'trash can dining' portion of the evening. 

We tag-teamed the next few stops; John hit up France for Braised Beef and Escargot, and I swung by Belgium for a Chocolate Waffle and Pot Roast Waffle. 

Saw this cool cup in Tangerine Cafe in Morocco. I wonder if other countries/eateries are getting their own unique glassware?

As we rounded the bend out of Germany, we ran into my friend Sue. We used to teach at the same school. She and her man (who called himself Dan; any Beatles fans in the house? But really, his name IS Dan) were picking up their Passholder port glasses. We chatted for fifteen minutes or so, then headed on. 

Finally, the country we came for. In China we split some Potstickers and Shrimp Noodles; both were yummy. 

As we headed out, I persuaded John to take a cheesy Photopass picture with one of the custom frames they have out for special events. How much Food & Wine is too much Food & Wine??? When you're holding the sign like this, it's time to go...

No Epcotiversary is complete without a selfie us-ie of some sort, preferably involving Spaceship Earth in some form or another. 

Thanks for reading. I'll post our December Epcotiversary in the next week, and then we'll be all caught up as we celebrate again on January 16! 

XOXO, Ashley