28 October 2016

Favorite Walt Disney World Snacks


I don't think it's a secret that 1. I love Disney and 2. I love the food at Disney. And whether you're using a Dining Plan or just paying as you go, the food to be had is amazing. In particular, the snacks at Disney are magical. A lot of them you can only find at Disney locations and I think that helps to keep it special (and also drive all of us crazy who don't live near enough to have it very often). Anyway, I thought I'd share my favorite snacks with you today for Friday Favorites!

Magic Kingdom

- Dole Whip

This treasure is one of those treats that you can only find at certain Disney resorts and at the Dole Plantation in Hawaii. Dole Whip is pineapple soft serve ice cream and you can find it in Adventureland at Aloha Aisle behind Aladdin's Magic Carpet ride. I recommend going as soon as they open because the lines can get long! (At WDW, you can also find it at Captain Cook's at the Polonesian Resort).

- Cream Cheese Pretzel

Guys. This one I dream about. This cinnamon sugar goodness can be found at the "Launching Pad" in Tomorrowland (and also at Fife and Drum in the American Pavillion in Epcot). If you need a little sweetness while you ride the people mover or wait for Monsters Inc. to start, this will do the trick. Also if you just love yummy cream cheese sugar cinnamon goodness. You won't be sorry.

- Cinnamon Rolls

Ever seen a cinnamon roll as big as your face? Go to Gaston's Tavern and you will. And then you should eat it because it will knock your socks off. So good. And while you're there....

- Lafoos Brew

We stumbled upon Lafoos Brew on our last trip and it was the PERFECT afternoon refreshment. It's a sweet apple juice, caramel drink that is so tasty! We couldn't get enough of it! Also found at Gaston's!

Epcot

- Karamell-Kuche (Caramel Kitchen) 

OH MY GOSH THIS LITTLE SHOP IS A SLICE STRAIGHT FROM HEAVEN. Located in the Germany pavillion, I dare you to pick a favorite thing. Ok, just kidding, I actually do have a favorite. The chocolate covered caramel with sea salt. But the other offerings will not disappoint you either! (Archer clearly gave his stamp of approval).

- Cream Cheese Pretzel

Another place to get the cream cheese pretzel is at Fife and Drum located in the American Pavillion in the World Showcase.

- Future World Popcorn Stand

This was a surprising find for me to be a favorite. But we LOVE popcorn and it was conveniently located in Future World when we needed a snack. They had a few different flavors and we tried (and enjoyed) all of them. It was something we could snack on throughout the day and even take back to our room with us that night.

Animal Kingdom


- Harambe Market

There are several things to snack on at the Harambe Market. I love the chicken skewers and the Watermelon Lemonade. The theming of this market is so neat and is a favorite place of ours to sit in the shade for a few minutes and have a snack and a break!

- Chocolate Mickeys

We discovered the Chocolate Mickeys on our trip in 2013. You can find them at Zuri's Sweet Shop. They are solid chocolate in milk or dark chocolate, and they have banana chips inside!

Hollywood Studios


- Cupcakes

The cupcakes at Hollywood Studios are to die for. You can find them at several places in the park, but check out the ABC Commisary for some special themed options like the Darth Vador Cupcakes :).

Disney Springs

- The Ganachery

Located near the Landing in Disney Springs, this little place of goodness will make a trip to Disney Springs worth it if it's all you do. Dare I say, I liked it better than The Karamell-Kuche. It's really neat to see in the window to watch them making this special treat!

- Crepes

The Aristocrepes Cart in Disney Springs offer both sweet and savory choices. The Strawberry Romanoff was amazing and gone in 60 seconds.

Is your mouth watering yet??? Hopefully you will find this helpful or like me daydreaming about your next Disney trip!!

For more Disney Food Ideas, check out My Favorite Quick Service Dining Food.

For more travel tips, help planning your next vaction, or just for fun, check out my TRAVEL PAGE, or email me at carrie.wiley@keytotheworldtravel.com




I'm linking up with MomfessionalsGrace and Love Blog, and Little Bit of Everything Blog for Friday Favorites! Join Us!


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27 October 2016

Our Favorite Quick Dinner Ideas


In this stage of life, having quick dinners isn't just a nice idea, it's a necessity. We are in and out of Survival Mode with half our kids in school and half still at home and little. Last week, Shea guest posted about the morning "marathon hour", and I think the dinner hour can also be a marathon hour. About 4:30 every day, I start REACHING MY LIMIT! Add that to my lack of kitchen "ease" and I NEED dinner prep to be quick and painless.

Here are some of my favorite meals that takes 20 minutes or less to prepare:

Homestyle Meatballs

This is a family favorite and so easy. I buy a bag of frozen meatballs (either Beef or Homestyle work best) and empty them in a 13 x 9 Pyrex pan.

I mix together the following things in a separate bowl: 1 1/2 cups of ketchup, 3 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce, 2 tablespoons of vinegar, 3 tablespoons of onion powder, 3 tablespoons of sugar, salt and pepper to taste. Whisk it all together and pour over the meatballs. Roll them around in the sauce a little bit and bake at 350 degrees for 35-45 minutes or until heated throughout.

We typically serve Mac N Cheese and a steam in bag frozen veggies.

**For a fancier version, you can always make your meatballs and shells and cheese from scratch.

Breakfast

Breakfast for Dinner is something I grew up with and an easy tradition we've carried on in our own home now. There are a lot of different ways you can go with this.

For a REALLY quick dinner, we do cereal and yogurt and fruit.

But, it really doesn't take very much time to whip up something heartier. My favorite way to cook bacon is on a foil lined pan in the oven at 375 for 20 minutes. While that is cooking, you have plenty of time to scramble some eggs and toast some bread in the toaster.

Another quick idea is to scramble eggs and breakfast sausage and toss them in a tortilla for a breakfast burrito. Freeze leftovers for Breakfast.

Carrie's Chicken

First of all, the crock pot has to be one of my favorite inventions of all time. It's the best time saver!!

I've talked about this recipe a lot. How even my picky eaters will eat it. If you havn't tried it yet, you should, you won't be disappointed!  You can find the full recipe here: Carrie's Chicken Recipe.

Tortellini

In the frozen section at the grocery store, you can find several different kinds of Tortellini. I like to buy the cheese filled kind, but for this recipe you can choose any kind you like. Cook the pasta per the package directions, drain and empty into a Pyrex baking pan.If your pasta doesn't have meat in it, you can brown some breakfast sausage and pour it over the pasta. Mix together 1 jar of spaghetti sauce and 1 jar of Alfredo sauce and pour over the pasta. Cover the top with Shredded mozzarella cheese and bake at 350 until the cheese in bubbly hot.


These four recipes are quick and easy and TASTY. Let me know if you try them how they work for your family!!

Today, the ladies in the Babywise Friendly Blog Network are sharing their favorite dinner tricks and ideas. Be sure and check them all out!



Chronicles of a Babywise Mom - "Favorite Fall Recipes"

The Journey of Parenthood - "5 Reasons I Love the Crock Pot"

Mamas Organized Chaos - "Quick Dinner Ideas: Gluten, Dairy, Egg, and Soy Free"

Team Cartwright - "Easy Dinner Staples To Keep On Hand (And How To Use Them)

Twinning Babywise - "How To Make Any Dinner A Quick One"





Looking for meal ideas to feed a crowd?? You can find 6 great ideas here: 


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25 October 2016

2016 Book Character Parade



One of my favorite events at our kids school is the annual Book Character Parade. I LOVE the encouragement to dress up and be a part of a book.

Laura Kate is my girl. She gets it and she just LOVES to read. We all know this right? So I love her choice in book characters. Last year she chose Anne and this year she chose Fern from Charlotte's Web. I just love these fabulous female characters that she chose.

Shepherd chose Iron Man. Not because we've ever read a book about Iron Man, cause we havn't, but just because he likes Iron Man. But you know what? He's in Kindergarten and our friends had the costume we could borrow, and I found the book at the library, and you know what?? It worked, and he looked so cute!

Before the parade, we got to eat a picnic lunch with our kids, which was really fun!






It was so fun getting to see the kids march in their parade and getting to see all of our friends and their cute characters!  The school arranges for a drumline from one of our local high schools to come play during the parade for some fun beats to march to and the kids always love getting to hear and see them play!













Such a great parade this year! 

See last year's parade pics here: 2015 Fall And Halloween Fun 
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24 October 2016

Thai Themed Dinner Party



We really love having dinner parties! It's a fun way to express creativity when creating the menu and setting the table. This month, we hosted a fun Thai themed dinner party. I've been wanting the chance to practice the Thai cooking I've been practicing and this was the perfect opportunity.

Fischer helped me this week make the gold glittered mason jars by painting the inside of the jars with modge podge and rolling gold glitter around inside the jars and letting them dry. Then I just lit tea lights inside of them and they glowed beautifully.

For my table settings, I kind of used a mix of my own china as well as some wooden bowls from Thailand that I borrowed from my Mom. The chop sticks were mainly for looks at the Thai people don't typically use them, main just a fork and a spoon. But the chop sticks ARE actually from Thailand that Kyle brought back with him on his last trip so I chose to use them anyway :). The Bamboo place mats I found at the Dollar Tree (Yep, that's right... $1 each) back ten years ago in my first year of marriage! I use them all the time and LOVE them. And the table runner I got when I was in Thailand back in 2006.




My friend Molly has been teaching me how to cook some Thai dishes.I love Thai food so much but I'm not always the best chef in the kitchen and needed some help. Our kids go to the same schools and our paths keep intersecting and so one day I just asked her if she would help me and she agreed! My favorite part of cooking lessons with her though, has been becoming such great friends with her. We have the sweetest time together and then the icing on the cake is me learning how to to make some yummy dishes!


 

My dinner party menu consisted of:

- Beef Satay w/Thai Peanut Sauce (I forgot to get a picture, but you can find a great recipe here)

- Masamaan Curry Chicken (A Mild Yellow Curry Sauce) **Recipe Below**



- Chicken Fried Rice



Sauces and Sides:

-Thai Peanut Sauce

-Stir Fry Sauce

 -Pineapple chunks

-Thai "Wai Wai" Noodles

-Roasted Peanuts

(These three things are what my Granny always serves Curry with so I felt like I should have them too.)



For dessert I served a fruit salad with some exotic fruit I found at the local Asian market: Dragon fruit, Rumbuton, and Logan fruit with Ice Cream (I looked for coconut ice cream but couldn't find any, so I just had vanilla).


Fried Rice Tips:

Everyone has their own recipes that they love for fried rice, and I had one tried and true I had been using for years. But I asked Molly to teach me how to make it better because hers tasted like what I ate in Thailand or a good, authentic restaurant and mine tasted like, well hamburger meat with soy sauce and some rice.

Molly's tips are:

- Use a good sauce made up of: Soy Sauce, Fish Sauce, and Oyster sauce. Start with 2 tbsp of Soy and 1 of the fist and oyster and add little bits at a time to taste. This sauce makes a huge difference!

- Use half white, half brown rice. Under cook both before you fry it in your wok or pan. Because you are cooking it again, it will help it not end up mushy if you undercook it whenever you first boil it.

- As you are frying, toss the rice (eggs, veggies, and meat) as you would a salad while it sizzles and cooks over medium heat.

- Add the sauce sparingly to taste

Molly's Massaman Curry Chicken Recipe
(serves 4-6)

Ingredients:
**Do not be afraid of these ingredients, if you don't know what they are or cannot find them in your local grocery store, you can order them on Amazon or check a local Asian Market... don't be afraid of it either!**

2-3 Chicken breasts, sliced 1inch
3 cups of coconut milk (more if needed)
1 large spanish onion sliced (1/4 cup)
4-5 Potatoes peeled, quartered, and boiled
3 large carrots peeled, sliced and boiled
2 tbsp roasted peanuts (optional)
3 kaffir lime leaves
3 tbsp massaman (yellow) curry paste
1/4 cup fish sauce (more to taste)
3 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp cooking oil
1 cup chicken broth

Directions:
1) Heat oil and cocunut cream (the thick part at the top of the can of coconut milk) in a frying pan until oil appears on surface, then add the massaman curry paste and cook until fragrant.

2) Place the remaining coconut milk in a large pot with the chicken and simmer until tender. 

3) Combine the massaman curry suace, kaffir lime leaves, fish sauce, sugar and chicken broth potatoes, carrots and onions. 

4). Heat to boiling and cook for 5-10 minutes.

5) Adjust taste and add more fish sauce if needed. 

6) Serve over rice and enjoy!

It was such a fun and delicious dinner party! You should try it and let me know how it goes! 

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17 October 2016

{Weekend Recap} Legos and LK's Business edition

This weekend was great. It was such a good time to catch our breath and have some much needed family time.

This sweet girl had a long week and it was really good to just sit with her on the back porch for a few minutes and hear about her day and talk about the weekend.

Speaking of the Sasster, she has started a new business venture. Don't worry, you'll probably be hearing about it soon. But know this, she has "hired" employees (friends next door and little brothers) and they work after school on the front porch. And it's for a great cause. Stay tuned....


There's a little bitty boy who is not happy that he is not big enough to play outside on the front porch. He feels like he is bigger than his britches. Bless it. 


Also, Gilly think she is human and should get to play outside in the front with the big kids too. 


I've been on my weight loss plan for two weeks now and have lost 8lbs! But if you think I'm going to give up Friday Pizza nights, you're joking. So I made some yummy tomato pizzas which is on plan for me. Just sliced some tomatoes, sprayed with olive oil, topped with mozzarella and parmesan and pepperoni.

On Saturday, the kids had a lego marathon. Which I love because I wasn't feeling very well and it kept them occupied while I was puny on the couch.




For Family Worship, LK has been reading our story lately... is she not the cutest? I love hearing her read!


Sunday morning was our week to serve in Children's ministry and I got teach alongside one of my favorites. 


Sunday afternoon was the boys FAVORITE THING... Hair Cuts... if you ever hear screaming coming from my house, check with me first, it's probably just hair cut day. (Insert eye roll emoji here). But look how big this tiny baby looks???? Like a TEN YEAR OLD, right??


Sunday night was Ladies Night at church and we painted pumpkins! One of my favorite activities is painting pumpkins. I pulled an idea off of Pinterest and it actually worked!! I love how it turned out!



It was a fun weekend and I'm so thankful for time with my people. 
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13 October 2016

Morning Routine With School Age and Preschool Kids

Hey y'all, it's Babywise day again and I am so excited to have Shea guest posting here today. You can find me over at Katrina's blog: Mama's Organized Chaos with tips for managing a toddler at theme parks!




Today, Shea is sharing straight up WISDOM about how she handles the "marathon hour" in the morning with four kids.






There are two times each day that I call "marathon hour". The marathon hour begins our day, and it ends our day. The morning marathon includes all the hustle and bustle it takes to get out of the door and onto our desired destination. Then, we close out our day with another marathon that takes us from dinner prep and eating to bathing and into pajamas in the evening. Managing my time with 4 kids during both of these times of the day has become key to how successful I consider our day to have gone. Today, I am going to talk about how I manage our morning routine with as little drama as possible.

Since I now have school aged children, our mornings have become a bit earlier, and lot busier. Over the last two years (this is only my 3rd school year to have a child in school. Now I have two of them that I send to school 5 days a week and my younger 2 are home with me except for when they attend pre-school everyMonday and Wednesday) I have to do a lot of trial and error to know what seems to work smoothest for our family. Now, I think we have found an ebb flow for our mornings that works quite well. 

Start the night before
I have found that prepping as much as I can in the evening after the kids go to bed makes the morning time so much more efficient. 

-breakfast
So the night before, I have a plan for breakfast we will be having. This is honestly usually just oatmeal, yogurt and fruit, or a breakfast casserole that I make ahead of time that will last several mornings. I sometimes will also make muffins ahead of time as well. Just knowing exactly what we will be having so that it can be quickly prepared in the morning really saves on time. In my mind, breakfast can go 1 of 2 ways. 1. Its quick to throw in a bowl and eat, or 2. It can be made ahead of time and re-warmed for several days worth of breakfast meals. Only on holidays or Saturdays do we have enough time to afford me actually cooking something like scrambled eggs and bacon or pancakes, etc. 

-clothes
Our school does not require uniforms, so picking out clothes each night before is a must in our home. I try to always have a weeks worth of clean clothes in their dressers and closets (ok this doesn't happen all of the time, but I do my best) and we pick out what they will wear the night before. We take into consideration obviously the weather, if they have PE that day at school, what activities they might be doing that particular day, etc. We lay their clothes out, and everyone knows what they will wear.

-lunches and backpacks
Lunches and backpacks are ready to be grabbed as we walk out the door. We make sure everything is in place the night before. This way, we grab and go knowing that we are not forgetting anything in the rush of the morning. Folders that need parent signatures for the day are signed and in place, library books have been put in backpacks, all homework is completed and inside the folder to be turned in. Our backpacks have a "home" in our 2nd living area that is right off the garage. The girls know to grab them as we walk out of the house into the garage to load up and leave. 

I pack lunches the night before as well. Since I do this, I keep it simple. Nothing super fancy for lunch. A sandwhich, some cheese, raisins, carrots, applesauce, pretzels, yogurt, grapes. Easy stuff. It is stuff that is easy to throw together in the evening, stick back in the fridge until morning, and foods that they like. I am not trying to win awards for best packed school lunches, and I am just fine with that! On Sunday and Tuesday nights I pack all 4 lunches. The rest of the week, its only necessary to pack 2.

The Pre-schoolers and our morning routine
The 4 year old and the 2 year old obviously do not have to be at school, so they dont necessarily need to be ready for the day by the time my school aged girls need to be ready. My thought, though, is if the house is awake and some people need to be fed and dressed at a certain time, why don't we all just do all of this together. So I do go ahead and have everything laid out for the littles as well. They come and eat breakfast with their big sisters. Then they brush their teeth and get dressed and when the big sisters do as well. I have them all line up and have their hair done and then we are all ready to begin the day. I decided this when my oldest began kindergarten, after some trial and error. I didn't get my youngers ready for the day before I took my oldest to school, and I realized I was grumpy mid morning because I was STILLLLLLL getting people ready for the day and it felt like that process was prolonged. So I changed that up, woke everyone up 15 minutes earlier so that I had time to get everyone in clothes and hair done before we left. Then, when we were done with drop off, I was also done getting people dressed. It made my mood better, it made my morning marathon a bit shorter, and made me feel more prepared for the day all together. 

Mom in the morning
I make it my goal to at least be up and dressed (maybe not showered, dressed somedays is literally my gym clothes and hat) with my teeth brushed before I begin getting my girls up and around. If I am taken care of and can be appropriate to walk out the door before they even get out of bed then I can use all the time that they are awake and getting ready to help them do so. I don't have to worry about myself this way. I will admit, I fail at this sometimes, but when I succeed - it does make a difference in how much time we have from start to finish in the morning. I feel like I should note that my favorite time of day to spend in the Word is in the morning. I just know that during this particular season of my life, that won't always happen. I count it a win when it does, but I also allow myself to search God out in other parts of my day as well. Nap time for my littles has been good for this, but like I said, my favorite time to meet with God is in the early part of the day. So when I can make that happen, I do.

My girls have to be at school at 7:50, so we begin our morning between 6:30-6:40. When bags are packed and lunches are made, clothes are laid out, and a plan for breakfast is in place - this is truly all the time we need. We use every minute of it, but its all we need. We leave our house at 7:40 (We live less than a half mile from the girls school, so we don't have to account for much commute time at all, thankfully)

For me, smooth mornings start the evening before. If you can spend 30 minutes prepping for the next day, you will save yourself a lot of time and possibly a lot of morning chaos! I recruit my husband to help me and keep me company while we do just a few things to make the start of the next day a good one. It makes all the difference, becauase when the day starts off well and you feel in control, things seem to fall into place!





Shea is a mom of 4 daughters and blogs at www.themoseshome.blogspot.com 

Be sure and check out all of the blogs in the Babywise Friendly Blog Network!

Kimberly - Team Cartwright
Natasha - Let's Be Brave
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12 October 2016

{Lately Recap} Family, Travel, and The Dentist

A couple weekends ago I went to visit my Grandparents! I road-tripped with my parents and my sister met us there. It's been a while since I've seen them and I really missed them. My Granny is really struggling with some health things and I want to be able to spend time with her while she's still here. 

She makes me laugh and is so precious to me.


Also, this sister of mine. Love her so much. I only got to see her for 24 hours, but it was so great. We were even able to work on a little Disney Business in the SAME ROOM for once! ha! 


The other really great thing about vising Arkansas is seeing my cousins! I somehow managed to leave without getting a picture with Jenny and Julie, but I sure did get one with this sweet squishy baby!! (and his Mommy too :)! 


People have always said that Rachael and I look more like twins than Cassie and I! She's so much more than a cousin to me, she's my friend and I love being friends with family!! 


This past week I started really watching my diet hard and trying to get some exercise going. It has been so difficult to lose the baby weight this time and I've been so discouraged about it. It got to the point where I either had to be really strict about my diet or buy bigger clothes and I just don't want to do that!! I'm off to a good start with just a basic high protein, low (to no) carb diet and drinking all the water. 


Last month, Kyle was gone for 10 days to Thailand. It was such a great trip and the Lord really moved in big ways. We are so thankful for this mission and ministry that the Lord has called our family to. That being said, the Lord has really been working on my heart about what my role looks like and what it means (and doesn't mean). I'm working on a longer post that I hope to have up soon with just my thoughts and tales as a Missionary Wife, the one left at home. 

The kids and I survived with lots of movies, early bedtimes, lots of play time, and great friends who took good care of us! 





As proud as we are of the work he does, our FAVORITE PART is him coming home to us!! 




One crazy thing that happened while Kyle was gone is that Shepherd got a severe toothache. If you have known me for any length of time, you probably know that I can’t handle teeth. Gives me great anxiety. So much so that I discussed it in pre-marital counseling and I don’t sleep the night before dentist appointments. I’ve had multiple nightmares of having to get dentures. It ranks somewhere above all-red Christmas lights and right below finger-nails on a chalkboard.
I wholeheartedly and completely blame the movie Castaway. (Ok… And maybe the 5 oral surgeries I’ve endured and the 4 years in braces…) (Friends don’t let friends watch Castaway). 
Anyway, Shepherd got a toothache and so I gave him some Motrin and prayed we could make it till Daddy came home. Well, the next day his teacher told me he barely made it through the day, several times he was in tears because it hurt so bad! So, I put my big girl panties on and called to make an appointment for the next day at the Dentist. But, around 11:00, Shepherd woke up because the pain was so bad and his left cheek was SWOLLEN. I was so scared. Swelling on the face really scares me and my irrational fears kicked into high drive! I was a hair away from driving him to the ER, but I decided to call the Pediatrician's after hours line and talked with our Nurse Practitioner. After talking with her, I decided against going to the ER and just waiting it out until our appointment the next day. I did something I very rarely do and put him in my bed with me because I was so nervous and just wanted to hear him breathing all night!!

Shepherd was SO BRAVE at the Dentist! I was so proud of him. He didn't cry at ALL and I only teared up once and that was only when I was explaining about my irrational fears to the dentist. The really unfortunate part was that he had two abscessed teeth! Bless his heart! The hygienist said that she didn't see any plaque on his teeth and could tell he had been brushing, and that sometimes this just happens. I have always had bad teeth so I can sympathize really easily. We had to make an appointment for the next week because at his age he needed to be sedated in order to extract the abscessed teeth. Thankfully, the appointment was after Kyle got back! The dentist did start us on an antibiotic in the meantime to get the swelling down and help the infection. It did help the swelling, but took longer than I was comfortable with! After Kyle got back, he took Shep to his big appointment and now Shepherd is Cavity free and minus a few baby teeth. Whew! We survived, yall!!



  
Fall is so busy for our family! Lots going on! Trying to keep up with it all and enjoy all of the fun moments! Thanks for reading!
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