Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Nine Months of Brynn

You are officially "out" longer than you were "in' and we can't believe it. This month was filled with so much fun and new things for you so let's get right into it.

 Your "9" is made from golf balls since you made it through your first school year as a coach's kid

This month the night before we traveled the Nashville you said your first word which was...MAMA! I was so excited and daddy was only mildly jealous. You love to gab all day with your Mim and you like to "sing" songs from The Little Mermaid with her. You absolutely LOVE music! Your favorite songs are "The Hot Dog Dance" from Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and the "I'm a Little Teapot" that's on a commercial...you will stop whatever you're doing to watch that commercial. Sometimes you try to "tip" over during it or once the song is done. This month brought your first tooth completely popping through. It's on the bottom in the front and now the tooth right next to it is making it's way up. That one little tooth has brought a love for food including hummus, mashed potatoes, peas, beans, and organic puff snacks...which you can feed to yourself!

You will not sit still for anything. You want to move, move, move and we love it! You are a super fast crawler, even though you always keep your left leg popped up with your knee to the sky. You can pull yourself up on anything and can even stand a few seconds by yourself. You've learned how to open drawers and cabinets so it's time to baby proof everything because you will be walking before we know it. This month you went to your first class at The Little Gym and had so fun! We are planing on signing you up for the summer session. Your doctor said you're growing exactly how you should be and that you are in the gifted bracket when it comes to motor skills and development. She thinks you might be walking in the next month which is absolutely crazy!

It's hard to believe that the planning for your first birthday is already underway. You have your joint early birthday party next month with Stella and then we will travel up to Cleveland to celebrate your actual birthday with our family there. We love seeing you grow and become a strong and independent little girl but we wouldn't mind it if you slowed down just a little. We love you so much Mouse!

This month's top items: Baby Pool // Minnie Mouse Walker // Alphabet Puzzle Floor Mat

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

What Have I Gotten Myself Into?!

You read that right people. This girl is registered for her first ever half marathon! I am a complete mix of nerves, excitement, and fear but I love it. I had always heard that you change so much when you become a parent and now that I've gone through it myself I have to agree. So many people (myself included) think that your life is "over" once you have children but I have to say I completely disagree. I've become a better wife, daughter, sister, friend, and person since becoming a mom and deciding to do this half marathon proves it. I want to teach Brynn that you should do things that are out of your comfort zone and that you don't think you can do. I want her to have a healthy relationship with food and exercise in a way that I never did. I'm finally ready to take the step towards a healthier life and am starting a program (today is my first session) with a health coach who has the most amazing mindset on healthful living that I can't wait to learn from. Wish me luck y'all!

I have been to dozens of Run Disney events as a working cast member (directing runners, getting them checked in, handing out medals, cheering them on, and unfortunately picking runners up who weren't keeping pace) but have only ran in one event myself. The Princess 5K back in 2013 with my friends Alexis, Billye (Alexis' mom), and Kacie. We all are running the half marathon together and adding my sister, bestie Natalie, and my health coach/Natalie's sister Diana to our running pack. Here are some pics from the 5K all those years ago. I can't wait to see the pictures we will get from the half!

Post Race Pics from 2013

Let the training begin y'all! Do you have any advice for me? Have you ever ran a ha;f marathon or race at Disney? Comment below!

Friday, April 21, 2017

WDW Tips & Tricks: Let Me Upgrade Your Souvenir Game

Trust me...I once to was the big eyed Disney fan buying up all the t-shirts, character plush animals, and random knickknacks in the parks but now I'm older and wiser to the Disney game. Today I want to share with you my favorite Disney souvenirs that are anything but basic...

Guided Tours 

I'll go ahead and admit that I'm totally biased when it comes to this one because I was a tour guide at Walt Disney World but I promise you'll love this alternative souvenir. Clearly you're a fan of Disney otherwise you wouldn't be spending your hard earned money on a trip there so why not ditch the $80 sweatshirt and coffee mug in The Emporium for a behind the scenes look at a place you love.

Yours truly giving the UnDiscovered Future World Tour

If you're a big Magic Kingdom fan and have always dreamed about walking through those famous Disney tunnels Disney's Keys to the Kingdom  is the tour for you...find more details on it HERE.

If Epcot is your park of choice I highly suggest The UnDiscovered Future World Tour because it was my favorite tour to give. You learn about the history of why Epcot is designed the way it is and why if Walt didn't have the dream of Epcot the Walt Disney World you know and love today might not exist....you can find more details on it HERE.

Caring for Giants is a great option for families (with kids age 4 and over) over at Disney's Animal Kingdom and you can get all the details HERE because who doesn't want a behind the scenes look at the amazing animals.

I had the pleasure of experiencing the fun and interactive Disney's Family Magic Tour a few years ago with my younger cousin, Will, and my mom. All the kids on the tour had a blast and us adults didn't stop laughing...mostly at each other acting like kids. You can get more information about that tour HERE.

Throwback to Segway tours at Epcot that I also gave that unfortunately are no longer offered at Epcot


This is something I only started doing once I had my daughter but it's quickly become a must-do for us every visit. At various locations around The Walt Disney World Resort you can have an incredibly talented artist cut a silhouette for you. The fee is practically free compared to how much hand cut silhouettes are anywhere else in the world. So here are the details on the prices...a single is $12, for two people it's $20, for three people it's $24, and for a group of four it's $27. You get two "copies" of each silhouette done (oh hey gifts for grandparents) and you can purchase a frame for a mere $8.95 so you don't have to hunt down one at your local Hobby Lobby. If you have children GET THIS DONE EACH TRIP and I promise you'll love seeing how much they change.


Magic Kingdom- Outside the Ye Olde Christmas Shoppe in Liberty Square by the bridge

Epcot- The French Pavilion in World Showcase across from Chefs de France (i.e. the pics above)

Disney Springs- A small kiosk by the carousel near Earl of Sandwich and Once Upon a Toy

Our framed silhouette of Brynn (4 months old)

Professional Photo Session 

You are spending a small fortune on a trip to WDW so why not have some amazing tangible memories captured of you and your crew.

A few years ago (2011) I booked a session with Disney Fine Art Photography for my mom and I for Mother's Day and they were good but the quality has come a long way since then. I'm such a picture person that I want professional photos taken as much as I can. I love having a beautiful memory captured with EVERYONE in the photo.

My favorite "Disney Family" The Brankamps (I met them when I was working at Disney and we have stayed in touch for several years) had a session taken by them during their stay last year and even got a few senior shots for their oldest, Meg.

If you want more custom tailored family portraits check out Faison Anne Photography for an amazing session! I recently stumbled across this central Florida local on IG (you can follow her HERE) and she knows the parks well and is able to capture the most beautiful "in park" photos I have ever seen. She's a mom who takes her adorable son to the parks often so she understands more than anyone on how to capture the magic children have while at Disney. Her sessions provide way more options as far as location and style than the DFAP and you're supporting a small business! To be honest I'm surprised someone from the WDW Media team hasn't snatched her up for some campaign shoots. I for one can't wait for my personal session with her and when you book your session tell her I sent ya! Here are some of my favorite shots of her photography.

So there are my two cents on my favorite Disney souvenirs. Have you done any of these? What are your favorite Disney souvenirs? Comment below!