02 February 2018

1. Right? Right. February always feels like the short and sweet consolation prize for the eternity that is January but this year I can't complain because January was mostly fine. Hopefully you escaped unscathed as well.

2. If you've had the displeasure of catching my IG stories in the past few days you'll know that what started as a, "we'll just move the kids' rooms around to get Abe out of our room" has turned into a 10 day (and counting ... ) odyssey of purging, organizing, painting walls, repainting dressers ... the whole nine unnecessary yards. Multiple detailed blog posts to follow. The girls' begged to have Abe in their room so in he went. The jury is out on whether or not it was a wise decision but we can reconfigure when we move this summer. 

Simon was thrilled to hear that that dresser is getting relocated to our room and being painted a totally different shade of ......... pink. 

3. Simon is still hot on the interview trail as our December trip pushed his schedule back a bit. He's had to miss a few Monday nights of Arie which has devastated him to no end. 

4. Speaking of Arie - I know the knee jerk and popular reaction is to say how boring this season has been but I have to agree with Sharleen and say I'm not hating it. He's got some great ladies that are totally carrying the season and I think we'll be in for a great Bachelorette no matter who it is. My favorites are Becca, Bekah, Seinne, and Tia. So -- not much has changed from night one for me. I discovered the EW live podcast with Robert Mills and it's a close second to Juliet Litman's Bachelor Party on the Bachelor podcast front. And my heart is SO happy that Ashely is still recapping because they are the best. BEST. 

5. After 2.5 years of living 1.5 hours away from Orlando we are taking the four oldest kids to Disney World. I don't think it's possible for a human to know less about taking kids to Disney anything than I do so any food recommendations or parks to avoid ... I'm all clueless eyes and ears. 

6. Books! I'm reading The Wedding Date and so far so great but I'm coming off a long line of mediocre reading so my judgement might be clouded. 

7. Let's talk SALES.
+ 40% off sale inventory right on over here. I have and wear this cardigan ALL the time.
+ I haven't clicked my way over here in a bit but was pleasantly surprised by their new arrivals (this jumpsuit in particular) that are all 30% off at the moment ...
+ and not on sale but in all my purging I found an old favorite pair of jeans. I'm an unabashed AG denim lover but these are a great alternative and quite a bit softer.

Alright -- happy weekend! May the best team win! 


  1. We've been to WDW a few times with and without kids (mostly because we could stay with family in Orlando and our kids were young enough to be free). All of the fast passes are now online, so you really need to plan your big rides well in advance. I recommend skipping Hollywood Studios if you don't want to do all four parks, since it's the least interesting for littler kids. I also recommend against doing the Park Hopper--it's a really long day and you don't get to do as much in the second park you visit because the lines are much longer by then. It's also fun to do a character breakfast, plus you then get in a park earlier and can hit some of the most popular rides. Sometimes there are evening events (we did a Christmas party one year) where the staff kicks everyone else out early--again, good for getting on the higher traffic rides without a long wait. Or, you can head to the popular rides first thing when the park opens, and save the less popular ones/continuous boarding-type rides (like Spaceship Earth)/dark rides for later in the day. You might do ok with wait times if you go this month (except Feb.'s February vacation in the Northeast!), March is dicier because there are lots of school trips and kids on spring break.

    As for food, I'm sure there are bigger experts than I, but I really loved the shaved ice in Japan at Epcot! I've also heard the Dole Whip is legendary, but I've never tried it. Have a magical time! :)

  2. If you are staying at the park, you can get Fast Passes up to 60 days out, so if you want to go on Elsa's ride at Epcot, start looking for times now. (ps... you can drink in Epcot). If you don't want to buy any of the food at any of the parks, you are allowed to bring your own food in. Everything will get checked like bags and strollers before you go into any of the parks. If you're going in the summer, make sure you bring lots of water because it can get expensive, and their water fountain water is not too exciting. The corn dog nuggets on Main Street in Magic Kingdom are the BOMB, and I'm sure the kids will enjoy them. I'm a season passholder, so we're there most every other weekend.... Enjoy!

  3. As a parent who started WDW with daughters ages 1 & 3 through taking my daughters for a 30th birthday trip and generally taking 4 kids I can't emphasize enough the value of A few hours of planning will save you hours and hours of waiting.

    1. Yes! That book made our day 900x more enjoyable! Seconded completely! Also I followed several Disney IGers before our trip and got great food recommends via their posts: @thepixietraveler, @yoho_disney, @magic_kingdom_mamas (they are CA focused, but I found some stuff carried over to FL).

  4. Love LOVE both Ashley's and Sharleen's recaps, and I also really love the recaps at . She's hilarious!

  5. Kathryn over at Team Whitaker has blogged an entire series about doing Disney with a large family. This is her "Disney Archives", which includes a small trip with just one child that she took last year. Family and group stuff is chronologically earlier.

  6. My parents 4 of us kids under the age of 4 to Disney World (as well as two older kids that were 8 and 10!). Totally doable! There are double strollers there already :) I'd recommend Animal Kingdom for sure. I love Magic Kingdom but it is crazy hectic and too much waiting. Take it from a Disney pro - I'm 27 years old and have been there probably 2 dozen times!

  7. For Disney tips check out the blog The Great Umbrella Heist. Not my blog! But it’s great. Probably more about Disney than you want to know ha

  8. I like to ride rides and see shows but I hate spending the time to stand in line to meet the characters so since you have Disney newbies don’t tell them about that . So say you see Winnie the Pooh walking around and you say “ look kids ! It’s Winnie the Pooh !” And you watch him walk away and you sigh happily . The End . Parents were standing in line up to 3 hours in epcot to meet Anna and Elsa when we were there but I think there are E n o u g h lines to stand in , I at least want some Soace Mountain action at the end of my line , KWIM ?

  9. Even as an adult, I abide by my mom's Disney rules: wear supportive shoes; bring a hat; when one person needs the bathroom, everyone goes; and when some one is hot/tired/cranky, do a cool, calm indoor activity without a line - at Magic Kingdom Carousel of Progress, at Epcot the movie in France. When we were kids we brought snacks had a small quick service lunch, and had a reservation to sit down for dinner. (My mom isn't a big drinker, but she sure loved a margarita in Mexico on those occasions) These are tried and true.
    More recently, we discovered taking the boat near the UK in Epcot to Hollywood Studios is a much more relaxing way to park hop than walking back through the park to the bus. Also more recent, some quick service restaurants are doing mobile ordering through the WDW app - amazing!

  10. I love your book recommendations! I'm currently reading Sweetbitter by Stephanie Danler. If you've worked in the restaurant/service industry, maybe you will enjoy it more than I am. The writing style is different than what I am accustomed to and without that restaurant background, it's just been meh.

    After I trudge through this one, I've got Home Fire by Kamila Shamise and then A Word for Love by Emily Robbins planned.

  11. The Wedding Date look like a cool read and I've been looking for something new so will definitely be giving it a go! I am so happy it is February - I mean why is January always so long. I hope you get the girls (and boys) room in order soon, those things always take so much longer than expected!!

    Holly from The Art of Being Holly xo

  12. Find little Disney trinkets in stores or on-line BEFORE you leave the house. Set out one/child in the morning or evening and you will avoid the "I want that!!!" yodel when surrounded with the billions of marketing magic displays. YOu could probably find lots of things at garage sales because of your proximity to Disney World. When we went, the children enjoyed playing in the hotel pool for a day as they did in the theme park. Everything is twice as expensive as it would be outside the park, but since you are a captive audience it works for them. Disney is truly a marketing marvel.

  13. We live less than an hour from Disney and at the risk of sounding like a completely weird stalker, I almost want to offer to come with you. I am very seasoned re: Disney and my oldest son works there. One thing that I must mention from an above comment is that you can get free water cups anywhere they have fountain drinks in the parks so don’t feel the need to bring all the water and you don’t have to spend the money on the water bottles. Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom are definitely the best for your kids’ ages.

  14. Disney people really freaked me out about the planning required to go to the parks. I decided to go anyway and did 0 planning. We chose a non-busy time, downloaded the app, and showed up around 10 or 11 at the gates with no expectations. The app gives you the wait times (in other words: which rides to avoid), which was helpful. It was fun!



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