Thursday, September 18, 2014

Disney Dining Review: Everything Pop Food Court

Last weekend we didn't have any reservations or plans out at Disney to use our Tables in 
Wonderland membership. Since we have been eating at the nice sit down places every week for the past 8 weeks now, we decided to take a break and eat cheap. Or cheaper (nothing is cheap at Disney). 

Enter Disney's Pop Century resort, one of our favorite value resorts out at Disney. 

       

Pop Century is a resort where each of the buildings represents a different decade. It's really neat and colorful and the whole resort just makes me happy. 


 How could a larger than life Mr. And Mrs. Potato Head not make you happy?

We have stayed here a few times and have frequented the food court when we stayed. Since Hubs and I didn't have plans or desire to do another sit down dinner we decided to just go to the food court out at Pop Century for dinner and then walk around the grounds after dinner. It was a good choice. 




The food court features everything from burgers and hoagies to a full meatloaf dinner. Lots to choose from. I went with the sesame chicken with rice and veggies and Hubs did the meatloaf. It was all good! Nice, casual night out! 

This weekend we don't have dinner reservations because Epcot's Food and Wine Festival begins on Friday!! My favorite time of year is finally here! You better believe I will be eating some steak with chimichurri!! Cannot wait! 

How about you ... Have you been to Pop Century? Anyone else excited about Food and Wine a Festival? 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

I Love Hotels

Today I attended a workshop for trainers on how to develop and design web based training. Enthralling, right? Actually it was pretty darn interesting, but I'm nerdy like that. 

The workshop is taking place at a hotel down near the attractions and I must say it's a really nice hotel. Unexpected! 



It has a huge convention center area and it's all very fancy. 

I love hotels. I'm not staying at this hotel, but spending the entire day at the hotel made me realize just how much I love hotels. (I said hotel a lot in that sentence) They always make me feel like I'm on vacation, and I love putzing around and getting they lay of the land - finding the pool, the gym, the little hotel gift shop - I act like I own the place (or at least like I'm staying there). And they always smell so darn clean. What is that smell? It's so clean! 

I have two more days of my workshop so I'm going to enjoy hanging at a nice hotel for the next couple of days and pretend like I'm on vacay! 

How about you ... Do you like hotels? 

Monday, September 15, 2014

I Caved

So I caved ...



After I said I wasn't ready for Fall decor just yet, over the weekend I got out just a couple of Fall decorations because it is mid September after all. I won't go full out til October though. And I must comment on that candle - it is my favorite scent ever. It's Yankee Candle Fields and I found it at Homegoods two years in a row. It smells so so so good.  And I'm sad because I am running low on it and I went to Homegoods over the weekend to pick up another one and they didn't have it! I will just die if I can't find it again this year. I checked online, but I think it's one of those discontinued scents.  Argh.

To go with my Fall decor, I wanted to paint my nails an orangey "Fall" color. But after lining up all my polish (yes, my nail polish obsession is a sickness), I went with pink. I feel like I can only do pink a little while longer, then it's on to oranges and reds.


I have no idea why I own so much blue polish. I never wear blue.

Even though I'm not making my triumphant return to working out until next week, I read this article today and got a little inspired.  Two words: Squat challenge. I need this. 

Our weekend was a nice and relaxing one. On Saturday we went and walked around the Pop Century Resort and had dinner (review to come).  Jillian got to see gigantic characters.



Oh hey, Lady!

Sunday we watched three Spider-Man movies - the original one with at Tobey Maguire (I totally love that movie) and then the two most recent ones with Andrew Garfield. Both were so good. 

I'm in a training workshop for the rest of the week, so I don't know how often I will be able to check in.  Bummer.  So if I don't get to chat, have a super week and we'll catch up on Friday!

How about you ... How was your weekend?  Have you see the Spider-Man movies?


Friday, September 12, 2014

Random Fact Friday

What a crazy week this has been. Working from home all week throws me off a bit. I'm back in the office today and feel like I haven't been here in a month. Anywho, ready for some randomness? It's Friday! 

So I know that Labor Day generally signals the end of summer but it just does not feel like Fall yet. Yeah, I know it's "technically" not Autumn until September 23rd, and it's not Fall-like weather in Orlando until December, but I'm not ready to get out Fall decor or do anything pumpkin related yet. I went to Target yesterday and they didn't even have the Halloween stuff out yet (mallow cremes pumpkins I'm waiting for you). Two more weeks, then I'm all in. 

I'm kind of itching to start working out again. Next week is going to suck because I have a workshop in town which means I have to leave my house at the crack of dawn most mornings, so morning workouts won't happen (and let's be honest, evening workouts won't either). So I am marking my calendar for September 22nd - the day of my triumphant return to exercise. I'm debating whether I finish what I started and close our T25 or if I just jump right over to InsaniT25. Decisions. 

I am itching to go to Disney this weekend. We haven't been to Magic Kingdom since May. MAY?!?!? I want to go and see the Fall decor there (they have already embraced Fall). Here's some fun pics from when we went to Epcot on Labor Day. 


France - Dad got one of those selfie stick things where you can hold your camera out like 5 feet and take a selfie. We were obviously still learning how to perfect it in this pic. 


Italy - In this one we didn't hold it out far enough to get Jillian in the shot. 


America - Ice cream break for the babe. That face! 

- I bought Meghan Trainor's EP, Title on Tuesday when it came out. It's amazing. She is super talented! Go buy it now, it's like five bucks. 


That's all folks! Have a great Friday and a great weekend!

How about you ... What are you up to this weekend? 


Thursday, September 11, 2014

Disney Dining Review: Kona Cafe at Disney's Polynesian Village Resort

This past weekend we actually didn’t have any Disney dining reservations, so on Friday night we scoped out the My Disney Experience website to find a place to eat on Saturday night and decided on Kona Café at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort. 

I italicize Village because the Village is new.  Well, it’s old and new.  I remember waaaay back in the day when my family stayed at the Polynesian in 1984 (yeah, way back) we stayed at the Polynesian Village Resort.  But then the name somewhere along the line changed to just Polynesian Resort, no Village.  I actually just Wikipedia’d it and it was Polynesian Village Resort from 1971-1985, was Polynesian Resort from 1985 to 2014, and is now Polynesian Village again.  A little Disney history lesson for you there.


Anyway on Saturday night we headed out to the Polynesian Village for dinner.  One thing we did not realize is that the resort is completely under renovation.  It is tore up from the floor up, in every respect.  They are completely revamping the center lobby, so it’s kind of a mess.  And then outside where the pool used to be is just a huge dirt pile.  So there wasn’t much walking around before or after dinner. 

We have actually eaten at Kona Café a couple of times and have enjoyed it every time.  It’s our second fave restaurant at Polynesian.  Our first is Ohana, which is hands down the best restaurant at Disney.  In our opinion anyway. But Kona is a very close second.  


Kona offers an Asian flare to traditional dishes, to keep with the ambiance of the Polynesian resort.  Menu items included Kona Coffee rubbed pork chops and Taal Chicken.  

Our meal started off with a loaf of their amazingly yummy Hawaiian bread with macadamia nut butter.  Seriously, I could have just eaten that and been happy.  Since we weren’t starving, we ordered an appetizer and one entrée to split, and it was plenty. 

We ordered the Sticky Wings, where were glazed wings with a spicy mustard sauce and sesame seeds.  Mmm mmm mmm.  They were delish.  And then for our entrée we split the Pan-Asian Noodles with chicken and vegetables in a ginger garlic sauce  It was really tasty, but I focused most of my attention on the wings and the bread.  Everything was great.

Overall, we really liked Kona Café.  I’d like to try it for lunch or for their character breakfast because I heard it was great from Sabrina

Next up … We don’t have a reservation again this week!  So we’re going to fly by the seat of our pants again! 


How about you … Been to Kona?  What suggestion do you have for our next Disney dining outing?  

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Happy To Report

I am happy to report that I put make up on and washed my hair today.  Hallelujah! 


I only did it because Hubs and I have a hot date tonight.  We’re going to Target to buy diapers.  It’s going to be epic.

I’m also happy to report that Jillian is almost 100% totally better from her little hip thing.  Thank you Lord.  We have a doctor appointment tomorrow to get her checked out, but I am thinking that she is almost there. 

Another thing I’m happy to report – I’m doing pretty well on those little guidelines I set for myself last week – no fast food out of a window, and eating veggies every day.  I only missed one day of veggies, so that is pretty good for me.  I set a couple more rules for myself this week – 1) 2 liters of water a day (yeah, I’m getting back to the water again because I fell of the wagon there); and 2) water with dinner.  I’m not allowed to have soda with dinner.  During the day, sure, but I gotta shut it off at dinner time.  So far so good on both fronts. 

I totally forgot to talk about my latest Stitch Fix that I got right before Labor Day.  I probably forgot to talk about it because it kind of sucked and I didn’t keep anything.  But I did take pics of the pieces for your viewing pleasure. 


This one wasn’t bad, and I almost kept it for a work shirt to wear with black pants, but the arm holes were too big.  Meh.


This one I actually liked, but it was too short in the front.  It was one of those tops that is short in the front and longer in the back, which I’m not crazy about, but in front it was a little too short, so it looked weird.


I contemplated keeping this dress because it was kind of cute and it fit, but I knew I would never ever wear it. 

Not pictured are a maxi dress that was way too tight and form fitting (aren’t maxi dresses supposed to be flowy?) and a necklace that made me look like an extra in Katy Perry’s Dark Horse video.  A little much.


I scheduled another Fix for early October.  After that one I might put it on hold for a while because I haven’t really been too excited about the clothes I’ve gotten lately.  We will see. 

Alright, I have a bunch to do so I should skedaddle.  Have a super day!


How about you … Are you into Stitch Fix?  

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Immobile

Immobile.  That is the word of the week.  For many reasons. 

I am immobile.  No exercise again, because I have turned into a lazy lump.  Two weeks is now turning into three because life got a little crazy.  It’s no excuse to not take care of yourself, and I am internally beating myself up for it, but I know I will get back to it. 

Jillian is immobile.  We had a scare this weekend that landed us at Arnold Palmer Children’s Hospital (a place you never want to be).  Miss Jillian, who is on her feet, non-stop 24/7, woke up on Sunday and could not walk.  I noticed her limping around Sunday morning after breakfast, unable to hold her weight on her right side.  I first thought that she maybe slept on it wrong or something, but as a little time passed it seemed to get worse and eventually got to a point where she just sat herself on the couch and didn’t move.  I knew something was very wrong at this point because she never sits.  Ever.  Even when we tell her to.  After a call to the pediatrician, they advised we go to the hospital to get it checked out.  Four hours, some x-rays and bloodwork later the prognosis was transient synovitis – inflammation of the inner lining (synovium) of the hip joint.  It commonly (although not too common, I had never ever heard of this before) accompanies a mild cold in children.  And Jillian did have a runny nose all week, so it checks out.  It’s so strange and so random, but it’s also so heartbreaking to watch.  On Monday she tried and tried to walk, but would just crumple to the floor when she put weight on her right side.  Seriously heartbreaking when the night before she was running laps around the dining room table.  She’s been completely unbothered by any of it though, in super great spirits and was a total champ in the hospital. 

TV and iPad?  This place is great!
Today, she is much better, walking around (albeit still with a limp) and maneuvering much better.  Thank the Lord.

I'm good
During this ordeal, I went through periods where I was immobile with fear.  Fear that there was something really wrong with my little girl.  Fear that she might not walk again.  It’s terrible not knowing what is wrong with your child.

And because of this, I have decided not to travel this week for work (obviously I can’t leave her).  So I’m immobile in that respect and working from home for the week.  I may not wash my hair or wear make up until Friday. 

So now the goal is to become mobile.  To get back to exercise and to get my little girl back to running laps around the house.  I think that’s very possible.


How about you … Are there any aspects in life where you are immobile – afraid to move forward?  

Monday, September 8, 2014

Disney Dining Review: Whispering Canyon Cafe at Wilderness Lodge Resort

Last weekend we had another Disney dining outing. This time we took a gang with us - my mom, dad and aunt visiting from Chicago. 


Our destination was Disney's Wilderness Lodge, one of the prettiest resorts out at Disney. 








We went to Whispering Canyon Cafe, a delicious restaurant that boasts a "rootin tootin good time" - and it was! The restaurant has a regular menu, and then one of the menu items is the Family Platter which is an all you care to enjoy platter of BBQ ribs, pulled pork, roasted chicken, BBQ steak, corn on the cob, the best mashed potatoes ever and cornbread that tasted like cake. OMG it was so good! 

If you are looking for a quiet, romantic dinner setting, this is not your place. While the food is top notch and the scenery is gorgeous (the restaurant overlooks the amazing lobby), the atmosphere of the restaurant is extremely kid friendly and almost has a dinner show type of feel. For example if anyone in the restaurant asks for ketchup the server yells as loudly as they can across the entire restaurant, "KETCHUP!!!!" and 20 bottles of ketchup are delivered to the table from the last table that asked for ketchup. It's actually quite funny. Luckily we needed no ketchup at our table. 

And at some point during the meal there is always a round up, where all the kids in the restaurant gather and ride stick ponies through the restaurant while everyone in the restaurant claps and says "yeeehaw!"  Only at Disney!! 

Overall I loved this restaurant, great food, fun atmosphere. It was definitely rootin tootin!! 

Be back later this week to chat about this weekend's jaunt to Kona Cafe. At the Ploynesian Village Resort. 

How about you ... Ever been to Whispering Canyon? 

Saturday, September 6, 2014

"Off" Week

Oy. It's been one of those weeks where it's been uber busy and I feel like I can't catch up. Monday was a holiday, Tuesday I was off, so I have been like two days behind all week.  Hence the whole no blogging thing lately. Hate that. 

So here's what's up over here...

- I don't even want to talk about the fact that I haven't done anything  exercise related now in two weeks. Two weeks. So lazy! And the next two weeks aren't looking promising either. Next week I travel (and you know my track record with working out while traveling) and the following week I have a workshop to go to in town, but I will have to leave my house before 7am each morning. Bahhh!  I will return to normal working out activities soon.  I must, because I sort of feel like crapola.

- I mentioned last week that I wanted to clean up my diet a bit … or a lot.  So this week I made a rule for myself and that rule was no fast food.  I'm kind of a fast foodie, so I have eliminated eating anything that comes out of a window or, more specifically, any fast food restaurant that serves fries.  Fries are my kryptonite, so this is a good rule.  The only "fast food" place that is allowed is Subway, because it's my favorite.  But I'm not allowed to get chips.  Chips are another one of my kryptonites.  I have a lot of those.

- In conjunction with the fast food rule, I wanted to make sure I ate some sort of veggie every day this week.  This is big for me considering I don't like anything green, or of the vegetable variety.  But I have kept up my end of the bargain on this one too.  Every day since Tuesday I have put a veggie in my body.  This is big for me.  And no, it wasn't all potatoes.

- Last weekend was the Disneyland Half Marathon and I read all of the recaps around the blog world and it just made me nostalgic for Disney races.  I feel so far removed from running lately that it was fun to kind of go back there.  And it totally made me want to pick up the running again.  Eek.  Cooler weather is on the horizon (well, maybe), so maybe I will make this dream a reality.  Plus, I do have the Princess 10K coming up in February, so I've gotta get on the horse sometime soon.  

- This weekend is Night of Joy at Disney and Rock the Universe at Universal Studios - two huge Christian music festivals that we've attended every year for the last three years.  This year, alas, we are not going.  Our favorite bands are at Universal this year (they alternate every year) and we weren't huge fans of Rock the Universe a couple of years ago, so we're sitting this one out.  But, we did find out that the Newsboys will be at the 2015 Strawberry Festival, so you know we'll be out there for that!  That's our jam - strawberry shortcake and good music?  We're there!  

From last year's Night of Joy
- I owe you a recap from our Disney dining last week at Whispering Canyon.  Here's a hint, it was great!  I will work on typing that up today because we are going to our next place tonight - Kona Cafe at Disney's Polynesian Village Resort.  Is it Polynesian Village Resort or Polynesian Resort?  Hubs and I had this debate the other night and I swear it's always been Polynesian Village.  

Anywho, have a fab Saturday!!  

How about you … How was your week?  Have you been "off" all week because of the holiday?  

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Great Holiday Weekend

We had a great weekend with my aunt here! Lots of Disney fun. Here's some pics. I'll be back tomorrow to give a proper recap! 


(At Wilderness Lodge)


(With Belle)


(In Japan)


(Meeting Pluto and Minnie)





Friday, August 29, 2014

Random Fact Friday - Labor Day Weekend Style

Hey there!  It’s Friday?!?  OK!

- I have been so off this week because I worked from home Monday and Tuesday and then Thursday.  Usually I only work from home Tuesday and Thursday but Jillian had a mid-day pediatrician appointment on Monday so I just stayed home that day.  Anyway, as a result I have been so off since Monday.  Tuesday I thought it was Thursday since it was my second day working at home, and Thursday morning I woke up and thought it was the weekend.  It’s just been weird.  Whatever, it’s Friday. 

- I have a 4-day weekend this weekend and I couldn’t be happier!  My aunt is coming in from Chicago, so we have some fun planned, including some Disney action, so it’s guaranteed to be fun.  It’s the freakin’ weekend!


Long that song!   (I now have it stuck in my head, toot toot, beep beep)

- So I went a full week without T25.  Hmph.  When I’m on, I’m really on.  When I’m off, I’m really off.  Oh well, that’s the way the cookie crumbles.  (Mmm cookies…)  I’m kind of mad at myself for this because I was thisclose to finishing T25.  Now I have another 2 weeks.  It’s OK, I’ll get back on it. 



- Hubs and I made a pact last night after eating pizza for dinner.  Our pact:  no more pizza.  We even shook on it.  We have both been feeling a little “eh” about our eating lately.  And by “eh” I mean sort of disgusted.  We make poor food choices more often than we make good ones and we need to stop that.  So we’re going to focus on eating better, putting healthy things into our bodies, trying to eliminate some bad stuff … try being the operative word.  (hee)  We are good at committing to something for a period of time (a la 24 day challenge, or Insanity)  but normally when the time period is over we go right back to our crappy ways of eating.  We need to just make a change.  So we’re going to try and do that. 

- I am NOT a Taylor Swift fan.  I find her so annoying that I just can’t even handle it. (I’m sorry, I know that makes me evil to some)  However … this song and video make me like her a wee little bit.  The song is catchy and video is so fun.  I still can’t get on board with her, but I can get on board with this song.  And, um, this isn’t country music now, is it? 


- My Stitch Fix box should be at my house now as we speak.  I cannot wait to get home and rip into it!  I hope there’s good stuff in there.  I built a gigantic “Closet” board on Pinterest so that they could get ideas.  Fingers crossed I get some good pieces.

- Jillian is having way more fun than I am right now.  She’s chillin’ at the kiddie pool with my in-laws.  Wish I was there!!


And on that note, I’m outta here.  My afternoon meetings just got cancelled, so maybe I can start my weekend early… ?


How about you … Do you have any plans for the long holiday weekend?  

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Disney Dining Review: Turf Club bar and Grill

On Saturday night we put our Tables in Wonderland membership to use again and visited Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort. 


Saratoga Springs has a couple of eateries on property – The Artist’s Palette, which is a quick service restaurant, and Turf Club Bar and Grill, which is where we ate. Turf Club was located near the golf club and had that “country club” kind of vibe. 



The menu offered classic American cuisine and had items such as free range chicken, root beer brined pork chops and a selection of steak and fish dishes as well.  Good menu!  We decided to start our meal with an appetizer.  I have not yet learned that you should never order an appetizer, because I always eat way too much and end up feeling sick at the end of the meal.  No good.  But… they had a buffalo chicken dip on the menu that sounded really yummy, so we got that.  And it did not disappoint.  Until later than night when I was miserable because I ate too much.

After that, we ordered our entrees.  I stuck with the Crispy Free Range Chicken, which was a bone-in chicken (it was huge).  It was good, but lacked salt which made it taste a little blah.  Hubs ordered the interesting sounding Root Beer Brined Pork Chop and it was really good.

Overall the restaurant was just okay.  The food was good and the service was good, but the ambiance just wasn’t really there.  I didn’t really feel like I was at a “Disney restaurant,” which I know you’re not always supposed to notice the pixie dust, but still, it was just okay.

After dinner we walked around the common areas of Saratoga Springs and checked out the pool. 



They had a great pool that made me want to go on vacation! Or at least jump in!

This weekend my aunt will be here from Chicago, so my parents are coming up and we are all going to Whispering Canyon, a restaurant at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge.  It’s actually a favorite among our family – we celebrated my high school graduation dinner there way back in the 90s!  Fun times!


How about you … Ever been to Whispering Canyon?  How about Turf Club?