Thursday, November 29, 2012

Thursday's Treasures: Doctor Who?

If you follow me on Pintrest then you've probably noticed my newest favorite thing, Doctor Who. I started watching the newest incarnation (it's been on since the 1960s) via Netflix a few months ago and have been hooked ever since. There's a lot of fantastic merchandise out there, some of which I need to get my hands on.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thursday's Treasures: Words of Wisdom

Another Thanksgiving come and gone and with that the official kick off of the Christmas season. As we get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the season here are a few of my favorite quotes I've found on Pintrest. Hopefully to remind you that the important things in life are necessarily things.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Our first Disney cruise: Part 7

Wednesday, November 7th, 2012 Continued....

So when we left off we had just had the honor of meeting Richard Sherman. We still had a little more time before the party so we grabbed a spot on near the balcony on deck 4 to watch the characters come into the atrium for the "See You Real Soon" show.

Then is was off to Evolution for the going away party. I don't think all 450 of us were there but the room was full. We found a table and chatted with some of our new friends while waiting for the festivities to start. Lou started off with awarding prizes to the winners of the flag making contest (we didn't enter, no time) and the door decorating contest (we didn't win. I don't have a picture of the winning door because we never saw it but it apparently had 3D models of several ride vehicles and in the center had a tablet attached to a model of the ship's funnel and the tablet was on playing Toy Story 2!) Then it was time to get onto the raffle. Before they drew winners Lou and Beci announced the grand total that was raised for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. 

I can't remember what the exact total was, but there was a surprise that Lou didn't know about. One of the gals that blogs for the WDW Radio website had taken it upon herself to raise money as well through campaigns at her school including letter writing, a yard sale and several bake sales. So on the cruise she presented Lou with her contribution.

So with Makena's addition the total was well over $5,000! You can learn more about the Dream Team project here.

There were 15 prizes that people could choose to put their tickets into:

  1. Dinner with Lou, Beci, and the WDW Radio Team at Palo on WDW Radio Cruise 3.0, along with a Disney Fantasy Maiden Voyage baseball hat
  2. An autographed Vinylmation from the EPCOT 30th celebration, including signatures from animators, Disney legends, and the WDW Radio team
  3. A snack-around World Showcase with Lou during your next Walt Disney World vacation (includes snacks at no less than 5 World Showcase nations). [This item includes auction winner and one other guest and admission to Epcot is not included..]
  4. One-of-a-Kind, customized Orange Bird drawing created by Disney Character Artist Casey Jones, as well as Citrus Swirl meetup for two with Casey and Lou Mongello. The drawing will be a personalized sketch featuring the Orange Bird themed to the winner’s favorite WDW attraction. (Prize may be mailed home if no future WDW trips are scheduled.  Admission to the Magic Kingdom is not included.)
  5. Oswald the Lucky Rabbit ears with additional, unique Disney merchandise!
  6. Vinylmation gift set, including a San Diego Comic Con exclusive, Sparkysaurus, 9” Carsland Vinylmation, and more!
  7. WDW Radio Cruise autographed photo mat with 8×10” image of the WDW Radio Cruise attendees.  The photo mat will be signed by all attendees of the WDW Radio Cruise and then used to frame an 8×10” picture of the group on Castaway Cay.
  8. Disney Storybooks, complete with autographs from MANY Disney characters
  9. Co-Host For a Day with Lou on WDW Radio
  10. Disney Scrapbookers Delight—Scrapbooking and crafting Materials for the Disney scrapbooker in us all!!
  11. Ariel sketch by Disney Senior Character Artist Alex Maher
  12. Bambi sketch by Disney Senior Character Artist Alex Maher
  13. Limited edition Disney Pin Surprise Lot!
  14. Carbon Frozen Lou plus dinner with Lou at Sci Fi Dine In restaurant for winner and one guest  (availability permitting).  Admission to Disney’s Hollywood Studios not included.
  15. The “Mystery Box” – What surprises, items and experiences await the winner of the Mystery Box? You’ll have to be in it to win it! 

I had broken our tickets evenly into #3 and #14 as I knew anything involving hanging out with Lou and food would be guaranteed to be a good time. They did the prizes in order so #3 came and went and we didn't win. Then came along #14 and wouldn't you know it................

WE WON! I had Lou sign the figure (which you can read more about on the Disney Parks Blog here) and got the information I needed to arrange the rest of our prize (which we're still trying to schedule). Then it was time for dinner, this night we were at Royal Palace.

Royal Palace Dinner-Royal Market Green Salad

Royal Palace Dinner-Pomegranate Glazed Duck Breast with Gerwurztraminer Gelee and Pomegranate Glaze

Royal Palace Dinner-Roasted Wild Boar Tenderloin

Royal Palace Dinner-Double Cut Rack of Lamb with a Dijon Crust

Royal Palace Dinner-Peanut Butter Mousse

Royal Palace Dinner-Tahitian Vanilla Creme Brulee

After dinner we finally got a picture with our amazing travel agent, Vicki! She's been helping us plan and book our Disney vacations for 4 years. She's awesome!

And a picture with our new friends and table mates

Then we all went up to deck 11 to wait for Lou as it was Wednesday night and Lou always does a live broadcast for the WDW Radio Newscast. He can broadcast live and there is a chat room and those of us who hang out in the chat room have become known as "The Box People". But for once those of us on the cruise got to be outside the box!

You can view the entire broadcast here with special guest Richard Sherman (and you'll see me later in the crowd!)

After the broadcast we went and saw the last show in the Walt Disney Theatre, "Believe". It was a beautiful show, although I think Villains Tonight is my favorite. Then it was time to go back to our room and pack. At this point reality that our cruise was pretty much over had hit me and I'll be honest, I cried. I held it together (kinda) during the walk from the theatre to our room but once we got back I lost it. I sat down and cried my little heart out (in my defense I was PMSing to so my emotions were somewhat exaggerated but I was still sad!)

At the end of your cruise you have two options, you can pack your luggage and set it outside your stateroom the night before you get off the ship and they'll collect it and you won't see it again till you get it in customs. If you go this route make sure you don't pack anything you'd need in the morning (meds, toothbrush, etc. a change of clothes unless you plan on traveling in your pajamas). Or you can keep your luggage with you and walk off the ship with it (if you plan on eating breakfast in the morning make sure you don't mind taking your stuff with you). We didn't want to lug our bags to the restaurant in the morning so we went with option A. We watched the Phineas And Ferb movie on our TV while we packed and then went to bed.

*Up next, customs and traveling home. Plus some tips and tricks for cruising!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Let's Get Cooking: Buttermilk Blueberry Breakfast Cake

This is another recipe I found via Pintrest, the original source can be found here

Buttermilk-Blueberry Breakfast Cake

Serves 6-8
½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2 tsp. lemon zest or more — zest from 1 large lemon (I didn't have a lemon so I left this out, I doubt it makes much impact on the recipe)
7/8 cup* + 1 tablespoon sugar**
1 egg, room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups flour (set aside 1/4 cup of this to toss with the blueberries)
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. kosher salt
2 cups fresh blueberries
½ cup buttermilk
* 7/8 cup = 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons
** This 1 tablespoon is for sprinkling on top

1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Cream butter with lemon zest and 7/8 cup of the sugar until light and fluffy.
2. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until combined. Meanwhile, toss the blueberries with ¼ cup of flour, then whisk together the remaining flour, baking powder and salt.
3. Add the flour mixture to the batter a little at a time, alternating with the buttermilk. Fold in the blueberries.
4. Grease a 9-inch square baking pan (or something similar) with butter or coat with non-stick spray. Spread batter into pan. Sprinkle batter with remaining tablespoon of sugar. Bake for 35 minutes. Check with a toothpick for doneness. If necessary, return pan to oven for a couple of more minutes. (Note: Baking for as long as 10 minutes more might be necessary.) Let cool at least 15 minutes before serving.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Our first Disney cruise: The Videos!

I know I said the next post would be the going away party but since Chauncey got our vacation footage edited together I had to share with you our cruise vlog!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Our first Disney Cruise: Part 6

Wednesday, November 7th, 2012

Wednesday was our day at sea. I was up before Chauncey again and had breakfast in Enchanted Garden again. After eating I went back to see if Chauncey was up yet. We didn't have to be anywhere till after lunch so we were pretty lazy that morning. He eventually got up and we went to lunch in Royal Palace.

Royal Palace Lunch-Chilled Strawberry Soup (just like what they serve at 1900 Park Fare in the Grand Floridian!)

Royal Palace Lunch-Antipasto plate

Royal Palace Lunch-Mozzarella Sticks and French Fries

Royal Place Lunch-Angus Burger and Fries

After lunch we had an appointment to tour the two suites on the ship, the Roy Disney and the Walter Disney suite. Both are located on deck 12 in concierge so we were lead by one of the ladies from Mousefan Travel. Both of the suites were really nice but I can't imagine staying there myself. Both sleep 5 people but there is only one bedroom, the other beds are in the living room (they fold out of the wall) which I guess would be good for a family with kids (the parents would be in the bedroom and the kids out in the fold outs) but if you wanted to share with another pair of adults then you'd have to figure out who got the privacy of the bedroom. There are two bathrooms but only one has a tub, the other is just a standup shower and is a bit small.

The Roy Disney Suite

Private hut tub on the veranda of the Roy suite

Wall that contains the pull-down beds, one is a single and the other is a double


Ceiling above the tub

The TV inside the mirror in the bathroom

Walter Disney Suite

After the tour we went back to our room and changed for dinner. Before dinner Lou was holding a "see you again soon" party in Evolution where they would be drawing for the raffle prizes and other stuff. We also wanted to try and catch the show that would take place in the lobby with the Disney characters. After changing we went down to deck 3 and wandered the shops down by the Walt Disney theatre till the character show.

While we were in the shops we spotted Richard Sherman and his wife in White Caps, the shop that sells purses, jewelry and watches. We had seen them in there the night before but it was obvious they were shopping and didn't want to bother them. So when we spotted him again I really wanted to stop and say hello to him but I was so nervous! A couple of others from our group ended up talking to him while I was watching (and gathering my courage). When they walked away I finally gathered my nerve and walked up to him. Turns out I was nervous for nothing, he was SO NICE! I shook his hand (I shook the hand that probably shook Walt Disney's hand!) and thanked him to for the performance and for coming on the cruise. He asked us if we were having fun and chatted for a few moments before we parted ways. But not before getting a picture:

*Up next, the going away party and did we win anything in the raffle?