Disney: Animal Kingdom

Taking a little detour from our Spider-Man party, I thought I’d share about one of my favorite parks: Animal Kingdom.

Animal Kingdom is a must-do when visiting Disney World in my opinion. From the animals, to the rides, to the food, it is all incredible. We love the “towns” that you pass through as you walk the park. They offer that authenticity that Disney is always able to provide. We especially enjoy the music provided by people who are actually from the regions of the world represented.

We love Expedition Everest. While I’ll admit I do not like huge and scary rides, I even thoroughly enjoy this ride, as it is just right for me on the scary scale.

645

The show, Flights of Wonder (a bird show), is completely worth the time to see. You learn so much about these amazing creatures and get to see them fly and swoop. My parents are true bird lovers and this is a special stop for them to see these more exotic birds in action.

By far, the best part of all is the Kilimanjaro Safari. I could ride it over and over again. I absolutely look forward to it so much for each visit. The tour guide gives all kinds of facts about the animals that you are seeing. The animals are so close sometimes that you could reach out and touch them (but don’t).

397406418

401

David called these dragons.

413

 

I always love to see how excited my children are to see the animals. They never get tired of it either!

 

Photo Booth Fun

One of the things at our little man’s party that ended up being so fun was the photo booth.

We just set up the foyer with a backdrop (tablecloth) and some buildings (boxes). We provided masks (David’s collection) and some signs and let our guests have fun with it. The boxes were various ones from our many orders from Amazon. My crafty daughter painted them black and then stuck aluminum foil squares on it to make the windows.

The signs were from a blog and were part of a pack of free printables. We laminated them and placed them in the dress up box.

I loved how creative some people were.

imageimageimageimageimage

This was just such a simple thing; but it really added such a fun and memorable touch to his party.

Spider-Man Trivia

image

My little man is having a Spider-Man birthday party. I always make a trivia game for every party. Some people love them, some hate them, but I think they’re fun and at least you walk away having learned something. I’m going to be telling all about his party over the next few days (hopefully), but wanted to give you the preview of the trivia game. I used Homoarakhn font from Fonts2U. If you need help with any of the answers, feel free to ask. Also, feel free, to cut and paste if you want to use my quiz.

Spider-Man Trivia

 

  1. Stan Lee got the idea of Spider-Man after seeing what?

 

  1. Peter Parker worked for (A) The Daily Mail (b) The Daily Bugle (C) The Daily News

 

  1. True or False: Spider-Man has died a few times.

 

  1. True or False: the Green Goblin was a fan creation bought by Marvel for $220.

 

  1. Peter Parker has an IQ of (A) 140 (B) 200 (C) 250

 

  1. True or False: Gwen Stacy and Uncle Ben are among the very few comic characters to remain dead.

 

  1. Spider-Man is considered the (A) 1st (B) 2nd (c) 3rd favorite Superhero according to IGN

 

  1. True or False: Tony Stark made a stark spider suit for Spider-Man.

 

  1. Peter Parker graduated high school in (A) 1962 (b)1965 (c) 1967

 

10.   Spider-Man’s first girlfriend was (A) Betty Brant (b) Gwen Stacy (c) Mary Jane

 

  1. True or False: Spider-Man’s webbing lasts eight hours..

 

  1. True or False: Spider-Man has been affiliated with the Secret Defenders (Avengers), New Fantastic Four, and the Outlaws..

 

  1. Stan Lee compared his Spider-Man character to ????, the Biblical figure who, in addition to defeating a giant, was also saved from death by the web of a spider according to Jewish tales.

 

  1. True or False: Uncle Ben told Peter, “Remember, with great power comes great responsibility.

 

  1. Peter Parker’s parents were members of what secret agency?  

Meet the Disney Junior Characters

Of all the Disney World parks, Hollywood Studios is ranked lowest on my favorites list. I feel like there are not enough rides and that for our family, there isn’t quite enough to keep our attention for very long. On our last visit, I took the littles with me while my husband took the bigs to ride Tower of Terror ( I’ve done it once and I’m good). We decided to meet the Disney Junior characters. The lines were long, but not horribly long. I loved seeing all the little kids just eager with the anticipation of meeting these characters. It was adorable. My parents were with me, helping me wrangle the children. It was incredibly hot that day and they needed water and cold treats and cold napkins the whole time we were in line so I was so thankful they were there! 465 When it was finally our turn it was magical and memorable and they loved it.

 

023

459

David was a little shy with Jake. He really liked Minnie Mouse. But he LOVED Sofia.

485

 

488

490

491

There was so much laughter at that kiss. He had obviously been thinking it out since he saw her. It was priceless and I’m SO GLAD we got pictures of it.

Meeting these characters is completely worth the trip to the park. You don’t get the opportunity to meet them (with the exception of Minnie, of course) anywhere else. If your little ones are Disney Junior fans, then they will definitely enjoy this experience!!

 

 

***********************************************************************

This site has an auction with a lot of different and really awesome stuff up for auction all to benefit the Meyers family (The Freckled Fox), if you want to check it out.

 

Bubble Birthday Party

Last year, bubbles were the baby’s favorite thing.

image

I ordered a birthday shirt from Etsy shop, boutiquesewunique.

2082

 

We had bubbles as the theme for his second birthday party. We had lots of bubble gum, actual soap bubbles, bubbles made from gelatin, and bubbles made from slime, bubbles made from food. We had bubbles made of everything.

I tried to make the foods as circular as I could to resemble bubbles. I made a fruit tray and balled all the fruit. I made cake balls. I got cream puffs. I made cheddar balls covered in bacon. I made rice krispy treat-like balls out of Trix cereal.

1903

We made a slimy bubble solution out of glue and liquid starch. We then raced to see who could make bubbles out of it with a straw. This was hilarious because it was very challenging. Most of the children quit and then adults just kept going and going.

I can’t remember where I got the recipe originally, but this site has one.

1906

1918

Nana was the first to get a bubble.1923

Lillian got one too!

We then made bubble art. I placed bubble solution and washable paint in several different cups. The children had to blow into the solution to make bubbles and then place their paper on top of the bubbles. Several of them looked amazing. It was very messy and definitely requires an adult nearby.

We also had a bubble blowing contest. We went two at a time. Then we got to a small group of winners and had a contest between them.

1977

1983

Blowing a bubble under pressure is hard!

We had a huge bubble pool in the back. I got a kiddy pool. Placed lots of dish soap, glycerin, and a little water  into the pool. I used about a cup of Dawn, 4 tablespoons of glycerin and turned on the hose until it looked like enough water. A child would carefully step inside (it’s VERY slippery) and then two children would stand on opposite sides of a hula hoop and gently life up the hula hoop up the top of the child. If it worked out, the child was enveloped in the bubble. It was my favorite activity. When everyone had done it that wanted to, we then just made huge bubbles. I bought a huge pack of different shaped wands. There were bubbles everywhere!

1934

I didn’t get a single picture with the kids inside the bubble, because I helped every single one.

1937

We had a bubble trivia game (of course)

 

                       All kinds of BUBBLES Trivia

  1. How many sticks of gum does the average American chew each year?

(A) 200  (B) 300 (C) 400

  1. If all 5 piece packs of Bubble Yum ever chewed in the U.S. since its introduction in 1975 were laid out end to end, how many times would it circle Earth at the Equator? (A) 2 (B) 5 (C) 7
  2. What is the official bubble gum of Major League Baseball?

(A) Bubble Yum  (B) Bazooka   (C) Topps

  1. When was the first successful bubble gum invented? (A) 1891 (B) 1906 (C) 1928
  2. True or False: Soap Bubbles are always elliptical.
  3. Soap bubbles are “minimal surface structures”. This means that they always hold the gas or liquid inside them with the least possible surface area. The geometric form with the least surface area is ____________.
  4. True or False: If three soap bubbles get stuck together, they will have one common wall at 120 degrees.
  5. True or False: A soap bubble gets its color from the light waves reflecting between the soap film’s inner and outer surfaces.
  6. Susan Mont”gum”ery Williams is the Guiness Record Holder of the World’s Largest Gum Bubble. How big was it? (A) 19 in. (B) 23 in. (C) 27 in.
  7. True or False: Bubble Wrap was originally designed to be a wallpaper.
  8. About (A) 200 (B) 300 (C)400 Million dollars worth of bubble wrap is sold each year.
  9. A painting by Hanneman showing children playing with bubbles is from the year (A) 1730 (B) 1630 (C) 1530

13 True or False: Youngsters who blow bubbles are most likely to find learning language easy.

We had bubble cake. We made bubbles to place all over the vanilla cake. This was done by mixing gelatin, water, and food coloring together. The ratio is 2 parts cold water to 1 part gelatin. Mix until dissolved. We then took balloons that we’d blown up. We dipped them into the solution holding onto the part you blow. We then placed them into muffin tins mouth part down. We let them dry for about two hours, then dipped them again. Any part that was too thin, we used a paintbrush to put on more gelatin solution. We let them dry for 48 hours. Then we popped the balloon and handled them very gently and placed them on the cake. I thought they turned out so cute!

2078

We had a great time at LBD’s second birthday party!

Disney: Cinderella’s Royal Table

223

A few days before we were leaving for our Disney World trip, I heard that a company had been selling Disney dining reservations illegally and that Disney had stopped them. Because of this, there was now a chance that there were reservations available where there hadn’t been any before. I checked for dining reservations again and lo and behold, there was Cinderella’s Royal Table with several dinner slots open. We chose late reservations. We had arrived in Magic Kingdom later in the afternoon; but it was Extra Magic Hours night and the park was open until 1 a.m. We didn’t tell the children. We told them we were eating somewhere we had never eaten before. They guessed everywhere, but no one guessed inside the Castle! When we walked into the entrance of the Castle and went up to the desk for our reservation, all of the children were shocked and so excited!278

In the foyer, they got to meet Cinderella.

049

No detail is overlooked, as is usual for all things Disney.

280

cinderella-royal-table-07

photo credit: disneyworld.go.com/dining/magic-kingdom/cinderella-royal-table

 

 

285

It really is special eating inside the Castle.The food was good. The service was better. The experience was the BEST!

The children all get a wishing star. The girls get a wand and the boys get a special sword.

288

All of the princesses come to your table. They are all so very sweet. They actually came by more than once.

292

300

We really had a special time and loved being able to surprise the children with something they had never thought of doing.

If you get the chance to eat at Cinderella’s Royal Table, I would highly recommend it!

A Disney World Surprise: Animal Kingdom

When we booked our trip to Disney World, we were first planning on using points and staying at the Hilton. For weeks, I worried about fitting that many people into the room. I looked up ways to keep things organized in small spaces with so many people. My husband wasn’t too worried. That was until he looked at the room again and began to realize that there wouldn’t be any privacy for anyone. He realized that we would be listening to our girls at all hours of the night talking and facetiming friends. He called Disney to see if they had any availability the week before our trip. (I had checked online for weeks and hadn’t found any rooms available for our size party).  They had two adjoining rooms available at Animal Kingdom Lodge. We kept it all a secret from the children. We kept telling them to get ready to be cramped for the next week. We told them that they needed to stay organized. When we drove up into the parking lot, they realized we were staying there. They were beyond excited.

206

Animal Kingdom Lodge is truly remarkable. We loved all the African touches throughout. It was neat to see artifacts from the continent and to learn a little about some of the countries. Disney does the most fabulous job at fully immersing its guests into the theme.

613

 

We ate at Boma one day for a late lunch. I loved the food there. The sweet potatoes were amazing.

I have to say that it is truly amazing to wake up to giraffes and zebras outside your window! Seeing the animals night and day was definitely the best part! The rooms were great as well. We had a room with bunk beds and a full bed and then a room with two queens. It was plenty of room for the seven of us.

350

The only drawback to staying at this location is the transportation. We waited more than 30 minutes sometimes for a bus. The buses were also almost always full. I don’t feel safe riding on a bus while standing and holding my 2 year old or having my children pressed up against a stranger’s body. This is the only complaint I have at all about the experience.

Overall, I really enjoyed staying at the Animal Kingdom Lodge. I’m glad we got to experience this hotel.

Getting Ready for Shark Week

sharkweek2016-logo-8a7543abd5

When I was in the hospital with my first baby it was Shark Week. For years, we knew the start of school was right around the corner when Shark Week was upon us. For the past couple of years though, Shark Week on Discovery Channel has been in June. I wish they would’ve kept it the same time as always. Last year, I was planning all kinds of festivities to go along with the week. Then I realized I had already missed it. I was so disappointed! Since I know it starts this Sunday, I can use the plans I had last year.

Some cute ideas can be found at Community Table.

There are free printables at Pretty Providence

shark-party-food

Photo credit: Pretty Providence

Teachers Pay Teachers has a great little bundle all about sharks.

shark tpt

Photo Credit: TPT

 

I bought a few things from Amazon. I got some shark plates, cups, and toys.

I know they sell shark fruit snacks at Kroger so I’ll be getting some of them.

On Monday, we will have a seafood dinner in honor of Shark week. I got the recipe from The Fresh Market. We’ve had it once before, and it is so good!

image

Baked Blue Cheese and Lime Shrimp

Ingredients

2 lbs. 21-25 ct peeled & deveined shrimp
juice of 2 limes
1 stick unsalted butter
1/4 c. heavy cream
1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese
2 oz. blue cheese, crumbled
1/2 tbsp. hot sauce
1 (14 oz.) box brown rice
– paprika, to taste
fresh parsley, to taste
Preparation

Preheat oven to 350º. Place shrimp in a single layer in a 9×13-inch baking dish; drizzle lime juice evenly over shrimp and set aside.

In a 4-quart pot over high heat, melt butter; add cream and bring to a boil. Add cream cheese, blue cheese and hot sauce, whisking until smooth. Pour cheese mixture over shrimp and bake for 20 minutes in preheated oven.

Meanwhile, cook rice according to directions on package; set aside and keep warm.

Serve shrimp and cheese sauce over cooked rice; garnish with paprika and parsley.

I’d love to hear if anybody out there plans on doing anything fun for Shark Week.

Something to Smile About

I love being a mom! I have found a different joy in being a boy mom which I had heard about but obviously never experienced until 2 years ago.  It seems like LBD came out loving all things superheroes. He asks for every mask he sees at the store and pretends to be one or more superheroes at a time all day long. I came across a video that made me laugh so hard. The joy in the Video makes me smile and it is the same joy I see on my boy’s face everytime we pretend.

imageimage

I hope you’ll watch the Video and laugh and smile too. Everyone needs something to smile about!

Celebrating Earth Day

The kiddos woke up to an Earth Day breakfast. I thought that Earth pancakes sounded so cute. image

They were not the hit I’d hoped they would be. Only one of my children would even try them. Good thing I knew that was going to be the most probable outcome and made the rest of the batch normal.

Later, we read The Lorax by Dr. Seuss and the two little girls did a couple of worksheets pertaining to the book.

image

After some school work, we made seed paper out of old catalogs. We tore paper into about 2 to 3 inch pieces and put them into a blender filled about halfway with water. After blending, we took the pulp outside and used an old screen to press out the excess water and mold them into shapes. Then we added marigold and hollyhock seeds. We plan on giving these away once they dry.

imageimageimageimage

We even had a Lorax themed dinner and an “earthy” dessert.

I got the coloring sheet printable from Dawn Nicole Designs. Olivia loves to color and after we read The Lorax, she was so excited to color and frame her work.

I made bow tie pasta (the Lorax’s mustache) with broccoli (truffala trees) with homemade low carb Alfredo sauce with Keto fried chicken. For dessert, the kids used chocolate pudding, smashed Oreos, and gummy worms to make their “earthy” dessert.

imageimageimage

I hope you had a nice Earth day too.