February 24, 2015

Disney 2015 - Day Three!

Day 3 was Hollywood Studios day! We caught the bus bright and early…..

…and waited for the park to open!

We always go straight to Toy Story Mania, even though we have FastPasses for later. We love to ride twice and this ensures that you get to do this without waiting!

We met up with the whole family for lunch at the 50s Prime Time Cafe! Of course the atmosphere at 50s Prime Time is always fun (with servers fussing at you to eat your veggies and telling you to mind your manners!), but with our group it was even funnier.

Our server gave us the challenge of listing 20 Disney animated movies that have one-word titles (it's harder than you'd think!). We all enjoyed brainstorming together, and my brother-in-law and I bonded over our love for an old fashioned Cherry Coke. :) 

We had FastPasses to the new Frozen Sing Along show, but right around that time Lynley fell asleep in her stroller! We usually don't go back to the hotel on Hollywood Studios day, because it's just too far of a trek. So Kurt's mom sat with her in a shady spot while we took the kids to the Frozen show!

We absolutely loved this show! It was perfect for kids but they added in a lot of humor that had the adults laughing a lot!

Pit stop for a snack...

Then it was off to Disney Junior Live on Stage!

We did the Fantasmic Dinner Package, which means you eat at a participating restaurant  (for a fixed price) and then have reserve seating for a Fantasmic show. We thought this was definitely worth it, considering our experience on our last trip (Fantasmic reached capacity RIGHT as we were walking up). We loved knowing that we could relax since we were guaranteed a seat!


My famous Cobb salad! I waited a long time for this!

We geared up with lollipops for Fantasmic and were ready for the show!

Once we got back to the hotel, I snapped this picture of Liam's trundle bed. It has a beautiful scene painted on it with the lyrics to "Stay Awake" from Mary Poppins. Just beautiful and so heartwarming for me!

Next up: Epcot!

February 16, 2015

Interior Inspirations

I am so excited to share something that's been brewing for several months!

Our dear family friend, Lisa Rippy, has always been inspiring to me in her love of the Lord but also in how she loves all things "home." When I was in high school and received an honor at school, she invited me over to her house so she could do my nails, let me sit in her master bedroom while soaking my feet in warm, soapy water and just relax. I got dressed and did my makeup in her master bathroom and I felt SO pampered. She has always had a knack for making people feel welcome and for making her home a haven.

Fast forward all these years. When I was planning our recent Christmas women's event at church, the Lord impressed me to ask Lisa. She agreed and when we started talking. . .things started clicking like you wouldn't believe!

Just around that time, Lisa had started posting videos about homemaking to a Facebook group she created called "Interior Inspirations." She had a business of consulting and helping others with decorating, organizing and more, but the Lord really prompted her that women's hearts needed to be turned back towards home. This DOES NOT mean that all women should be at home full time! Lisa just felt like many women were wanting to learn more about creating a happy home (in lots of different ways), and she just started sharing from her heart.

Well, the small group of about 200 grew QUICKLY to a group of over 1,000! When Lisa came to speak for our event, she sat me down and poured out her heart about it. Then I poured out mine. And now I'm so excited to announce that I'm on the Creative Team for Interior Inspirations! Our mission is simple: to Inspire the Interior of Your Heart and Home!

Interior Inspirations is unique because we are combining the practical with the spiritual. Decorating meets Bible study. Cooking meets Christian hospitality. It's amazing, and I'm SO excited to be part of it!

Our team consists of women in all stages of life. I represent the "young families" demographic and while that's a big task, I'm so excited about it. I will be blogging and also creating some videos for the website (which just launched this weekend!), and I will also be helping to expand our ministries into webinars, conferences and more. This is truly the perfect combination of what I'm passionate about, and I'm so happy to finally share it with you!

I hope you'll check the II website often - there's fresh content constantly going up, and there's something for everyone! You can see my first couple of blog posts here and here. See you there!

Disney 2015 - Day Two!

For our first official day of touring, we went to Animal Kingdom! Now for those who have read this blog awhile, you know I'm not the biggest Animal Kingdom fan. I went many years ago when it had recently opened, and it just seemed like a big zoo to me (albeit a really clean, pretty and well-run zoo, I will admit!). Part of our issue in the past was that we just didn't have enough days to justify going to Animal Kingdom. We definitely prioritize the other parks (we always allow 2 1/2 - 3 days to Magic Kingdom alone), and so it just wasn't a huge deal to skip it.

However, on this trip we were going to be there over a holiday weekend (MLK Jr. weekend), and while the crowds were still relatively low (compared to spring/summer/Christmas), we definitely saw a surge over the weekend. I had consulted my crowd calendars (I use the year-at-a-glance found HERE and the monthly detailed calendars found HERE) and knew we had to avoid Magic Kingdom like the plague on Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Animal Kingdom was listed at the recommended park, so we went for it, and I'm SO glad we did!!!

Yes, you're looking at an Animal Kingdom convert! :)

I would still skip it if we were short on days (simply because we prioritize other parks), but whenever we're at Disney for enough time, we will absolutely visit. We had such a great time! Important to note: I really think Animal Kingdom is a half-day park. We were easily done by about 1:00. There's no nighttime entertainment, and the park usually closes around 5:00pm. It's the perfect time to visit Downtown Disney, which is exactly what we did! Here are some highlights from the day.

Up and ready to go!

On the bus with Cousin C.J. (this is Kurt's older brother Cory's son)!

We got to Animal Kingdom right around 9:00 or a little after and went straight to the Kilimanjaro Safaris first thing. This is recommended because the waits can get long in the afternoon and the animals are usually out and about in the morning. This was absolutely wonderful! The weather was perfect - around 75 degrees with a nice breeze. I do remember loving this when I visited Animal Kingdom many years ago. The scenery is just gorgeous. The kids loved this, and we saw so many animals!

After the safari, Kurt, his brother and his wife Ashley and Kurt's dad went to ride Expedition Everest with FastPasses. Kurt's mom and I took the kids to Dinoland, U.S.A. We rode the Triceratop Spin, which is just like the Dumbo ride and Magic Carpet ride in Magic Kingdom. They had a blast!

We met back up with the Everest group and went to the Finding Nemo show! This was something that Kurt and I saw when we stopped in Animal Kingdom a couple of years ago, and we had really loved it, so I knew the kids would too! It was so adorable and the music is so cute - I even own the soundtrack!

The bubbles at the end were a big hit!

Okay, I need to go ahead and restrain myself, otherwise this post could become a tribute to the AMAZINGNESS that is the Festival of the Lion King show! For whatever reason we had never seen it and we were BLOWN AWAY. It wasn't anything crazy or off-the-wall; it was just how they combined so many elements to make it a beautiful and entertaining experience. I walked out of there telling Kurt, "That was seriously beautiful." Fun fact: The Lion King is one of my least favorite animated movies, but "Can You Feel the Love Tonight" is one of my very favorite Disney songs. I have no idea why; maybe because I really like Elton John? No idea. But I love it!

We ate lunch at the quick service version of Yak and Yeti (it's called Yak and Yeti Local Foods Cafe), and we found a great table in the outdoor seating area. It was shaded but we were right next to some plants and it was so pretty. After lunch, Kurt's parents took Lynley back to take a nap so Kurt and I could take Evy and Liam to Downtown Disney!

Twelve Days of Christmas store. . .a must-visit for me! It always smells so yummy in there.

Something new since we had been there last was the Downtown Disney Co-Op. It was a building with lots of different little pop-up stores and I just loved it! It was a unique shopping experience. I was thinking about doing a "Disney Haul" post where I share my souvenirs. I didn't take pictures but I bought some of the Beautifully Disney makeup palettes, which are so pretty!

Then I stumbled upon the pop-up store "Centerpiece" and about died. I spotted melamine dinnerware that was a vintage Disney theme! 

I couldn't resist. I got the dinner plates…..

Salad/dessert plates and bowls. The accent plates are each a different "land" - Fantasyland, Frontierland, Adventureland, and Tomorrowland. We've actually used this dinnerware every single day since we've been back! You can find the dinnerware online - scroll down towards the bottom of the page!

Cute little Christmas window displays on the way out!

After shopping, we headed back to the hotel to get ready for dinner. This was our one time to wear matching family shirts, and they turned out so cute! I ordered them from this shop, and they featured all of us with our names! 

The whole Lancaster family!

Mia and Randad with their grandkiddos.

We headed to the Contemporary Resort for dinner at Chef Mickey's. It was a wonderful buffet that evening and we met all of the characters!

One of my favorite artists is Mary Blair and this is a mural she helped design (she also did the concept work for the "it's a small world" attraction).

It was a wonderful evening and a great way to spend time together! Next up: Hollywood Studios!

Other posts from this trip:
Day One - Arrival
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Image Map



Our Happily Ever Afters
<div class="grab-button" margin: 0 auto;"> <a href="http://www.ourhappilyeverafters.com/" rel="nofollow"> <img src="http://i909.photobucket.com/albums/ac293/munchkin_land_designs/BlogDesigns2/HappilyEverAfters/HappilyEverAftersNewButton2.png" alt="Our Happily Ever Afters"> </a> </div>
Designed by Munchkin Land Designs • Copyright 2014 • All Rights Reserved