Friday, December 19, 2014

4 x 11 (or another "get to know me" post)

4 names people like to call you other than your real name:
-Monkey Butt

4 jobs you've had:
-plumbing sales associate
-car porter
-dog show photographer

4 movies you've seen more than once:
-The Avengers: "Puny god....."
-Love Actually: "Aren't you the Prime Minister?"
-Clue: "He threatened to kill me in public."
-The Lord of the Rings trilogy: "All you have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to you."

Hulk throwing Loki around GIF

4 books you'd recommend:
-The Harry Potter series
-The Devil Wears Prada
-The Hobbit
-The Kingdom Keepers series

4 places you've lived:

4 places you've visited:
-Las Vegas
-Los Angeles
-The Caribbean
-Walt Disney World

4 places you'd rather be right now:
-Walt Disney World
-On a Disney cruise
-London, England

Magic Kingdom fireworks GIF

4 things you don't eat:

4 of your favorite foods:
-French Fries

4 TV shows you watch:
-Agents of SHIELD
-Doctor Who
-Once Upon A Time
-The Big Bang Theory

Sheldon in the ball pit saying Bazinga GIF

4 things you're always saying:
-"Okie dokie!"
-"Honey, honey, honey"
-"Alrighty then!"

Thanks to Michelle over at Mich Mash for letting me steal her idea

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

#MarvelWithFriends Schedule

Marvel With Friends movie schedule

If you listened to this week's episode of the Five(ish) Fangirls, then you hear we're planning on joining our brother podcast Traveling The Vortex in doing viewings of all of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) movies between now and when The Avengers: Age of Ultron is released on May 1st, 2015.

As with Friday Night Who, we'll all jump on Twitter and press play at the designated start time and Tweet our thoughts, comments, and whatever else comes to mind. You are more than welcome to join in as little or as much as you like, there's no pressure, it's all in the name of fun and friendship.

As an added option, we've included where the first season of Agents of SHIELD falls into the MCU. We will NOT be doing any sort of Tweet along with AOS, but it does play into the story lines from Iron Man 3 forward (and season 2 is building up a major story line that will appear in one of the Phase 3 films.....SPOILERS!!!)

So mark your calendars, and we hope to see you on Twitter for #MarvelWithFriends

Friday, December 12, 2014

So Mr. Dragon, we meet again.....

Harry Potter and the dragon Goblet of Fire The First Task

So if you remember earlier this year I faced one of my biggest fears, the dentist. Since then I've gone to that same dentist for another cleaning and while I still hated every second of it, I was able to make it through to the end. In the meantime we had made an appointment with a different dentist to see about getting some fillings done. Why? Because our usual dentist doesn't offer sedation, and if anyone was going to be doing more than a cleaning, I need to be OUT! We ended up having to push back this appointment when I ended up needing to have my gallbladder removed, and the new appointment was to take place last week. I say was because we did go to the appointment, I was there a whole hour before I was sent home. And here's why:

One of the many bruises I incurred at the dentist

That dear readers, is ONE of FIVE bruises I incurred before we gave up. I have really tiny veins, like so small that "I can't give blood because the needles they use at the blood bank is too big for my veins" small. And the dentist, doing what any medical professional would do, told me to abstain for food and fluids before my appointment. So my tiny veins were dehydrated which made it even worse. They could find a vein to try and put the IV in, but as soon as they started the fluids from the IV, the vein would swell instead of sucking the fluids into my bloodstream. So after poking me in five different spots, they called it quits and sent me home and rescheduled for this week. I'll be honest, I was a bundle of nerves going into the first appointment, so to find out that I had to go back did not help. I cried all the way home and ended up sleeping the rest of the day. I don't handle stress well.

I'm a little stressed cartoon
So with the new appointment, they told me to load up on fluids all the way up to the minute I walked back into the office. I spent the next week drinking water like it was going out of style, along with a couple of glasses of coconut water (with two limes squeezed into it because straight up coconut water is gross!) So my new appointment arrived, again I was nervous and stressed as all get out. But I put on my big girl panties and went. This time, they gave me a round of nitrous to 1) calm me down and 2) it's supposed to help "fluff up" your veins (something they had tried at the previous appointment but it obviously didn't work then). The dentist came in, took a look at my arm, found a vein she liked and gave it a poke with the IV. They started the fluids, we waited a few minutes and she didn't go to remove it. So I looked at her and asked, "Did we get it?" and she said, "I believe so." Next thing I know, 2.5 hours have gone by and they're waking me up telling me it's all over!

Success baby

So the dragon as been ran back into his cave for now, but the battle is far from over. I still have my wisdom teeth that need to be removed, which more than likely won't happen till the later part of next year (going under twice in the past 3 months is enough for now). I still hate going to the dentist, and I probably never will enjoy it (but seriously who does?) Thankfully modern medicine has evolved enough that people like me can get the care they need without being completely traumatized.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Our Frend Family Cruise: Characters at Sea

One of my favorite things to do on any Disney vacation (besides eating, but that's for another post) is do meet and greets with characters. I don't care that I'm an adult, without kids, who carries around a teddy bear, Mickey and his friends are happy to see me just the same.

While you aren't going to get as much variety when it comes to characters on the cruise ships (there's some licensing issues that don't allow some to not appear outside the parks like Winnie the Pooh and friends), you can almost always find the classic favorites like the Fab 5 and a lot of the Disney princesses. And if you happen to be sailing during a holiday or other special event, a few surprises or two!

Me with Jack and Sally from The Nightmare Before Christmas on the Disney Fantasy

Most meet & greets occur just like they do in the parks, a schedule is given out each day in your stateroom that will tell you which characters are meeting, at what time(s), and where. All you have to do is show up with your autograph book and camera and be prepared for a hug or two (don't worry if you forget your camera, Disney has their photographers on hand as well with Mickey's camera).

me with Princess Tiana on the Disney Fantasy

That being said, there are a few exceptions. On certainly sailings there is what's known at the "Princess Grand Gathering" where 4 or 5 of the Disney princesses meet at once. And recently Anna and Elsa from "Frozen" are making appearances as well. Because all of these ladies are so popular (Anna and Elsa have been commanding 4-6 hour wait times in the Magic Kingdom!), a ticket is required to attend their appearances. Tickets are free, and must be picked up before hand (inquire at Guest Services or in the printed schedule on the first day of your cruise for pickup locations). The tickets just give you a time to arrive so that there isn't a mad rush and you don't spend all day waiting in line (similar to FastPass).

me with Anna and Elsa from Frozen on the Disney Fantasy

Another tip, be prepared from unscheduled character appearances. There were several evenings where we'd stumble across Peter Pan or Aladdin (to name a few) in a corner just waving and chatting with guests, without a handler or Disney photographer in sight. If you are ever curious if you or your kid's favorite character is on board, just inquire at guest services.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Good Eatin': Hot Dog Bar Dinner Idea

Ever struggled with what to make for dinner? Having family or friends over and wonder what you should serve for people to eat? Well I have an idea for you! (Disclaimer, my father-in-law actually came up with this idea so props to him). We recently had a group together at my husband's grandmother's house, and with people of various ages and food preferences, we had a hot dog bar!

The premise is super easy, we made a bunch of hot dogs on the stove and laid out almost every type of topping you could think of (chili, peppers, sauerkraut, onions, cheese, cream cheese, mustard, ketchup, and more!) plus multiple types of hot dog buns (white, wheat, poppy seed).

hot dog bar dinner idea

hot dog bar dinner idea

hot dog bar dinner idea

We also had some sides like macaroni 'n cheese, chips, dip, cheese, crackers plus deserts like cookies and brownies. Then everyone took their turn making up their hot dog how they wanted. We had a couple of pieces of paper with suggestions we found on Pinterest, which a few folks used, but then we also made up our own.

hot dog bar dinner idea

The best part was, everyone could customize to fit their tastes. Plus you could easily adjust the options for anyone with dietary restrictions (for example my sister-in-law doesn't eat pork, so we made sure to get Angus beef hot dogs for her). You could also do other things like bratwurst, polish sausages, or even breakfast sausage links! Everyone who attended agreed it was a great idea and we certainly plan on doing hot dog bar night again.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Two by London Jewelers

Did you know that Christmas, New Years and Valentine's Day are some of the most popular times for couples to get engaged? And if you've looked at your calendar lately, you'd see that all three are quickly approaching. If you are thinking about taking that step, and you want to make sure you pick a ring that's as unique as your future fiancĂ©, might I suggest looking at Two By London Jewelers

Two by London is part of the London Jewelers family of stores, which goes back four generations and remains independently, family owned. Two By London offers a personable and customizable ring buying experience, allowing you to choose the perfect ring. I know when I was looking at getting engaged, I wanted something different than what was seen in most jewelry stores. I spent countless hours online and in and out of every store within a several mile radius of my home looking for the perfect ring. As it is something you're likely to wear for the rest of your life, making sure you find the perfect ring is very important.

So if you are thinking of getting engaged, be it this holiday season or sometime else in the future, why not consider Two By London. You can visit their website to make an appointment, check their store hours (if you aren't near their store location, e-commerce is coming to their website soon!), or learn more about the ring buying experience.

Disclaimer: I am a member of the Buzzstarter blogger network and was compensated for this post. All opinions are completely my own. 

Monday, December 1, 2014

Get in the Christmas spirit with the Happy Holiday Glee Club!

There aren’t many who will argue that the holiday season at Walt Disney World is truly magical. And there are so many things to see and experience like the popular Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, the Candlelight Processional and the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights. However, there are some lesser-known experiences that occur during the holiday season and I want to share one of my favorites.
One any given day over at Disney’s Hollywood Studios if you hang out around Sunset Boulevard you’ll encounter the always funny Citizens of Hollywood. The Citizens appear throughout the day performing various skits with each other and guests--my husband and myself have been pulled from the crowd on several occasions to play along. It’s always a fun time. One of the skits that you’ll only see during the holiday season is the “Happy Holiday Glee Club.”
Several of the Citizens get together wearing their favorite Christmas garb and are trying to get into the finale of Bing Crosby’s Christmas Cavalcade. As it is with the Citizens, hilarity ensues and guests get involved.

Video of the Glee Club in 2011

The Glee Club performance tends to be toward the end of the day at the Studios (if you catch the first Citizens skit of the day they’ll usually say at what time the Glee Club performance is or you can ask a Cast Member or Guest Relations). I highly recommend you see it if you find yourself at the Studios during Christmas.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

World's Most Comfortable Shirt

Black and White Splendid button up shirt, Old Navy coated denim, black boots
Shirt: Splendid; Jeans: Old Navy Rockstar coated denim; Boots: Wet Seal (really old); Necklace and Earrings: Forever 21; Lipstick: Rimmel Moisture Renew #260 "Berry Rose"

Guys, this shirt is one of the most comfortable shirts I have ever worn in my entire life. It is so soft, it's like pajamas! I don't know what Splendid does when they make their tops, but it is amazing. This is my third Splendid shirt, and I plan to add more in the future.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Our Frend Family Cruise: What I wore and some packing tips

Me in a vintage 50's-60's dress
Me in a vintage 50's-60's dress
Me in a vintage 50's-60's dress
Dress: Vintage/thrifted; Shoes: Old Navy; Clutch: Von Maur; Earrings: Francesca's; Ring: Forever 21

Tee: Walmart; Shorts: Forever 21; Shoes: Old Navy; Hat: Forever 21

Mickey Mouse tee skinny jeans scarf cardigan silver flats
Tee: Walmart; Cardigan: Joe Fresh; Scarf: Forever 21; Jeans: American Eagle; Shoes: Old Navy

Top: The Limited (really old); Cardigan: Joe Fresh; Skirt: Thrifted; Necklaces: Kenneth Cole and Von Maur; Earrings: Francesca's; Shoes: Old Navy; Clutch: Von Maur

Obviously this isn't everything I wore while on the cruise, but this is a good cross-section of the types of outfits I did wear. So with that, here are some of my tips when it comes to packing for a cruise:

-Don't overpack, but don't underpack either! 
On our first cruise, I overpacked way too much and I ended up not wearing half of what I brought. This time I really took stock of what I was putting in the suitcase, I planned on one casual outfit during the day and one more "formal" outfit for dinner each night. Laundry facilities are available on most ships, but if you know you aren't going to take the time to do laundry, make sure you pack enough in case something gets really dirty or damaged.

-Pack items that will work with more than one outfit! 
Being able to mix-and-match will certainly stretch your wardrobe. My black cardigan was worn almost every day, same goes for my Mickey Mouse tee, and my black maxi skirt. If it can't be worn at least twice, then it might not be worth packing (obviously there are exceptions like my vintage dress I wore for formal night, if it's super special or unique it's probably worth making space in your suitcase for it).

-Plan for all types of temperatures and weather, regardless of your destination!
We were sailing to the Caribbean in late October, so the weather was expected to be very warm, which it was. However we did have one day where it was rainy and cloudy, which if you're like me and very sensitive to temperature and humidity levels, I got a little chilled. Plus, I found that all the inside spaces of the ship (the theatres, the main dining rooms) were way too cold for my liking. I was freezing at dinner every single night, while my husband and his parents were just fine. My black cardigan became my best friend at dinner.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Movie Preview: Into The Woods, Christmas 2014

Into The Woods movie poster

“Into the Woods” is a modern twist on the beloved Brothers Grimm fairy tales, intertwining the plots of a few choice stories and exploring the consequences of the characters’ wishes and quests. This humorous and heartfelt musical follows the classic tales of Cinderella (Anna Kendrick), Little Red Riding Hood (Lilla Crawford), Jack and the Beanstalk (Daniel Huttlestone), and Rapunzel (MacKenzie Mauzy)—all tied together by an original story involving a baker and his wife (James Corden & Emily Blunt), their wish to begin a family and their interaction with the witch (Meryl Streep) who has put a curse on them. 

The Witch (Meryl Streep) with the Baker (James Corden) and his wife (Emily Blunt) in Into The Woods

Cinderella (Anna Kendrick) in Into The Woods

All images and videos courtesy of Walt Disney Studios

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Our Frend Family Cruise: The Report Begins!

Hello everyone! The time has finally arrived to share our fantastic and amazing cruise we took a few weeks ago. Normally with our Disney related vacations, I do a day-by-day recap, but this time I thought I would try something slightly different. Instead of detailed, daily reports, I'm going to just cover the highlights and important parts I think you need to know. Of course, if you have a question about something, please ask and I'll do my best to give you an answer. So stay tuned, I'll try and post at least once a week for the next few weeks.

But first, an intro!


Chauncey and I on Pirate Night on the Disney Fantasy
Myself (Rachel) and my husband, Chauncey (aka C, DH or Sasquatch)

Terry and Tweeter on the airplane to Florida
Chauncey's parents: Terry and JoEllen (aka Tweeter)


Disney Fantasy specs


Jack 'o Lantern porthole on the Disney Fantasy

Changing Room Confession

Splendid striped top Knit vest skinny jeans riding boots

Splendid striped top Knit vest skinny jeans riding boots

Splendid striped top Knit vest skinny jeans riding boots

Top: Splendid; Vest: Von Maur (really old); Jeans: American Eagle; Boots: Von Maur (really old); Necklace: Kenneth Cole; Earrings: Boutique in North Carolina

I have to make a confession, this is not the same outfit I left the house in on this particular day. I had on a completely different shirt. I had bought this Splendid top at Von Maur, and then when I was trying on clothes in Old Navy (where these pictures were taken), I changed shirts. I really wasn't liking the shirt I had on before, and I didn't want to go home and change, so I just put on this shirt I had just bought. Much better!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Thursday's Treasures: My Black Friday/Christmas List (Updated)

Toms Taupe Suede Desert Wedges

Modcloth Airport Greeting Cardigan in Oatmeal

Old Navy Dark Chambray Button-Down Shirt

Old Navy Cable-Knit Sweater in Polar Bear
Old Navy Frost Free Quilted Vest in Merry Strawberry
Doctor Who Her Universe Union Jack TARDIS Cardigan

It's my Blog-aversary!

Blogging is a legitimate way to indulge in my narcissim someecard

4 years ago I made my first post on this blog. Since then it's been an interesting ride. I've had months where I'd barely post, and then BAM, topics come pouring out of my brain (although sometimes I've had help). Overall I wouldn't change this whole blogging thing for the world. 

Normally here's where I'd say something like how I promise to step up my game and be a more active blogger from here on out....but who are we kidding? If I post something, I post something. If I don't, I don't. Life is going to happen, and if we're lucky, I might remember to take pictures and write about it later. But for now, I have work to do and I seriously need to take my car to get its oil changed. Thrilling right?

Monday, November 3, 2014

Our family/group Halloween costume

Hello everyone! I'm back from an amazing Disney cruise. I will have a full trip report for you ASAP, but for now I'd like to reveal what we wore when we attended Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party at the Magic Kingdom. We wanted something that would work for all four of us, was comfortable, and easy to pack. So we came up with.....

Chauncey and I on Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

Tweeter, Chauncey, and I on Space Mountain

Chauncey and Tweeter at Coronado Springs Resort

Tacky tourists!

We broke out our loudest looking shirts, patterned socks, and fanny packs. We got a few weird looks from folks, but those who got the joke thought it was quite funny. Personally I thought it was hilarious!