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

Silhouettes

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.



Locations:

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! 






Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Let's Get Real...

If we were having drinks together here is what I would be gabbing to you about...



It's SUPER DIFFICULT to make friends as an adult. The struggle is real y'all. This summer will be three years we have been in here GA and I have as many friends as Erika Jayne has f*cks given...that's right...none, not one, zero, zero, zero, done! My biggest fear is that will trickle down and affect Brynn's ability to make friends. I have always been so lucky to have amazing friendships just fall in my lap so this is crippling for me. I've gone so far as to join the Peanut app which is pretty much Tinder for moms to find mom friends but it's too weird for my liking. I've joined the Atlanta Social Club and have my first event next week so I'm hoping for the best.

Social Media and Blogging sometimes makes communicating awkward. Don't get me wrong I love them both so much but sometimes I wonder when I reach out to other bloggers and instagramer is it creepy. Do they realize that I simply admire them and their voice or do they think I'm a complete weirdo. I mean if you're putting your life out on a blog to share with others I hope you aren't startled when people reach out but I don't know. I've gone back and forth on whether or not to send a Mother's Day card to one of my blogging "friends" because I truly feel that she has made my transition to motherhood so much easier but I don't want her to think I'm a stalker lol.

We have started looking at houses here in Atlanta. I know this should be exciting but it's very bittersweet for us. I know we both have always thought we would raise our children are family and friends so the thought of truly planting roots here is a mix of emotions.

This is the craziest "season" of life. My best friend Katie and I were talking about how people always say that you find yourself and become "you" during your college years but Katie is calling bs on that. We both agreed that you become "you" in your mid-twenties to mid thirties. You're trying so hard to hold on to your old life and self while welcoming the person you've become. This is the time people are forming lasting romantic relationships, making homes, starting families, and trying our best to get our shit together once and for all. All the while we are trying to maintain and keep up with everyone in our social media circle. It's so exhausting and I for one am tired of the picture perfect lives everyone is trying to pretend they have. Life is messy and things rarely goes as planned and i think that is far more beautiful than a perfectly cropped and edited post on Instagram.

Hopefully I'm not alone in these feelings but even if I am it feels so much better to get them out. 



Friday, April 14, 2017

Eight Months of Brynn

I know I say it every time but I can't believe how fast time is flying! This month feels like the most you've grown and here's why...


You've gone from kind of crawling to full blown crawling like a champ
You are far too active for your swing and it has officially been retired
You are pulling yourself up to stand every chance you get
You love jumping in your JOEY JUMPER and now ever know what the word jump means
Your teeth are finally popping through your little gums
You love eating baby food and can hold your spoon (and bottle) all by yourself
You recognize the "Hot Dog Song" from MMCH and start dancing when it comes on

and my favorite...

You are so close to saying your first word which sounds a whole lot like "Momma"




Even though you have some amazing toys you prefer playing with the baby wipe box, tv remote, and "petting" your dogs. We got you your own BABY PHONE but you would rather play with the real phones. You celebrated your first St. Patrick's Day and I think you're going to be the life of the party because we tried to put you down for bed at your normal bedtime and you wanted to stay up and play.

Your "8" is made from bows made by momma. This month we opened our shop TheBraveBow Company and if it wasn't for you there would be no shop! You are becoming such a big girl and I can't believe we're already starting to make celebration plans for your first birthday! I can't wait to see what new things you learn to do next month. We love you so much Mouse!

Happy Easter Weekend!

Can you believe this Sunday is Easter?! This year is flying buy and I feel like I'll blink and it will be time to order Christmas cards. Nevertheless here are my top five things from the week...

{1} We started our week out in Nashville to visit with our bestie, Erika. She is the friend that set Brian and I up. She was there for work and since it's such a short drive from Atlanta we took a very quick trip up.


The street beside of Draper James is an Instagramer's dream with the blue stripe wall and the "I believe in Nashville" mural!

{2} I have been blessed with a husband that is amazing at picking out hotels and his Nashville pick did not disappoint. We were right across the street from The Grand Ole Opry House. 


{3} Brynn met the Easter Bunny for the first time and absolutely loved him!!!



{4} Brynn has taken a liking to tv remotes so THIS BABY REMOTE is going in her Easter basket in hopes that it becomes her new favorite toy.

{5} Last but not least we get to celebrate Brynn's First Easter this weekend! Brunch is on the books for Saturday and my mom is cooking Easter dinner on Sunday so it's sure to be a great weekend!



HAPPY EASTER EVERYONE!

Linking up for FIVE on FRIDAY & Oh, Hey Friday 



Friday, April 7, 2017

Five on Friday

Today I'm linking up for Five on Friday so here are five things that stood out this week!

I sent out the first orders of bows from my shop The Brave Bow Company! It was such an exciting feeling and I'm completely overwhelmed by all the love and support for my small business.


Brynn is totally over sitting and is standing up every chance she gets so we're finally having to buckle her in every single thing.


I started planning an early joint birthday party with my bestie Natalie for our little Disney divas and it's taking over my life in the best way possible.

Here's a little sneak peak at the back of the invitation

My birthday gift to myself these Kendra Scott Elle Earrings arrived in the mail thanks to the awesome sales associate named Kelsey. If you haven't heard we had a major bypass/bridge here in Atlanta collapse so traffic is worse than usual and getting over to the Kendra Scott store in Buckhead would have taken me hours. I decided to give it a shot and call the store to see if I could use my birthday discount with a phone order and they said yes! My earrings arrived beautifully packaged with a birthday card!

When I get home today I've got to pack some overnight bags for us because we're spending the weekend in Nashville! I've been so many times because my aunt and uncle used to live there but this will be Brynn's first trip. Hopefully she cooperates with all the pictures I want to take!

Here's a throwback from 4 years ago...before I even knew Brian and well before Brynn

 Thanks for stopping by everyone and have a great weekend!