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Sunday, December 2, 2018

Leftover Mashed Potato Soup

I know Thanksgiving seems like it was forever ago now that it's December and the holiday season is in full swing, but I posted in my Instagram stories about this amazing soup I made with the leftover mashed potatoes my mother-in-law sent home with us so I wanted to actually post the recipe. 


It's super easy to make and so so good. I made probably two servings, but I ate it all at once because it was fantastic on the super cold days we have had. So, here it is. I hope you enjoy as much as I did!

1 1/2 cups mashed potatoes
1/4 of an onion, chopped
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons butter
2 slices bacon, cooked crisp
salt, pepper, garlic powder and celery seed to taste
I also threw in one of those Laughing Cow cheese triangles for extra goodness. 

Cook the onions until translucent then add everything else and heat through. 

See? Super easy!

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Disney 2018: Magic Kingdom

Our second day at Disney was spent at Magic Kingdom. The park opening has changed since we were there last, and you can actually get into the park, up Main Street and to the castle before it actually opens now. Since we didn't do a character breakfast super early we got there not too long before it opened and waited what felt like forever to have a family photo taken in front of the castle. As we started walking closer, we realized that the lines were much shorter the closer you get, so we kept that in mind for when we went to Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party later in the week. I personally loved seeing Main Street all decked out in Halloween and fall decorations.  



I'm not entirely sure of the order of what we did things, but I think the kids rode the carousel first, then we went and saw Mickey's PhilharMagic before riding It's a Small World. We had a fast pass for Peter Pan's Flight since we never rode it the last time because the line was always crazy. It was ok, but there are so many other rides I'd rather wait in line for. We had another fast pass to meet Cinderella and Elena of Avalor since we didn't get to meet Cinderella last time - I was the only one who would talk to Elena - I felt so bad because Cecily wanted nothing to do with her and only wanted to see Cinderella. 



Our next fast pass was for Dumbo and as we made our way over to it, we saw that the line for Journey of the Little Mermaid wasn't very long, so Ewan, Cecily and I rode it. When we got to Dumbo, the line for the Barnstormer wasn't long at all, so Alan rode it with the big kids while I fed Cameron before riding Dumbo. 

I think after that we grabbed lunch then went and got our spot for the parade. I waited with Cameron while Alan and the kids browsed the shops on Main Street. 





After the parade, we headed over to Tomorrowland and the kids met Stitch. Cecily loves him and we didn't tell her she could meet him so she was super excited. The kids rode the Astro Orbiter and we all rode the People Mover before Alan and I took turns staying with Cameron while we used a fast pass for Buzz Lightyear's Ranger Spin. After Cecily and I finished, those lovely rain bands from Hurricane Michael were coming through and it started pouring. So, we hung out under an overhang for a bit until it died down a little. 


Alan got the kids a fast pass for the teacups so he rode it with them while I waited with Cameron. I get horrible motion sickness so there was no way I was getting on that ride! 


Since MNSHP was that night, we had to be out of the park by 6, but we saw that the line for Haunted Mansion wasn't too long so we decided to ride it before leaving. As we were walking over there, the sky kept getting darker and darker and right as we parked the stroller the sky opened up again. Luckily, we had umbrellas and were able to wait almost the entire time under the covered portion of the line. We didn't ride it the last time we were there and I was sure that we never did when we went in 2010 as part of the Higgins Family Vacation. But, once we got on the ride, I realized that we actually had been on it. 

All the parks were somewhat crowded because of all the fall breaks going on at the time, but we still got to do a ton of stuff. I know a lot of people go to the Halloween party after spending all day at Magic Kingdom, but since you can just go at 4PM with your MNSHP ticket, we did that on another day. So, stay tuned for more of our trip!

Monday, November 19, 2018

Disney 2018: Animal Kingdom

Like our last Disney trip back in 2016, our first day at Disney World was spent at Animal Kingdom. We were there the week Hurricane Michael was coming through and while the Orlando area didn't get directly hit, we did have to deal with rain bands the first few days we were there, yay. The day we were at Animal Kingdom happened to be the day it was open for extra magic hours, but we didn't get there right as they opened so it was already a little crazy. 


Our fast passes were later in the day so we first headed to Dinosaurland so the kids could ride Triceratop Spin. Then Ewan and I waited for what seemed like forever to ride Primeval Whirl while Alan took Cecily and Cameron to play in The Boneyard, which is a playground. Once we all met back up, we did rider swap for Dinosaur, although the line was still pretty long so I waited with Cameron for probably an hour then rode it with Ewan since Cecily didn't like it that much. Ewan loved it. I can't remember if it was before Dinosaur or after, but we saw that Launchpad from Duck Tales was out so we met him. Scrooge was also out but the line was crazy and our fast pass for Kilamangaro Safaris was ready so we couldn't really wait.


Animal Kingdom is my favorite park because it's basically a zoo and theme park all in one and my favorite ride here is the safari. It started raining while we were in the truck and we got to see all kinds of animals. My favorite was the baby elephants swimming. So cute!




We were on our way to get some lunch when we saw that Timon was out and Ewan wanted to meet him. 


After lunch we went over to check out Pandora and use our fast pass for the Na'vi River Cruise. It was really cool, but there was no way I would wait over two hours in line, which was the standard wait when we rode it. Nope, nope, nope!


Pandora was a really cool place to wander around. It was early October and still super hot so the kids and I all enjoyed a glowing frozen drink to cool off and rested our tired legs for a bit before we walked over to Adventures Outpost to meet Mickey and Minnie. 


We weren't sure how Cameron would do meeting the characters but he loved Mickey and just wanted to boop his nose. I figured he would cry so it was a nice surprise! Afterwards, we caught the last Festival of the Lion King show of the day. The last time we were here, we saw the Finding Nemo show and Lion King is SO much better. I will admit that I was a little teary-eyed at it all. 

After the show we just wandered around the shops, killing time until we could use our last fast pass for the Rivers of Light evening show. I was really excited that Animal Kingdom has an evening show since it wasn't around when we went before. However, I was a little disappointed. I don't know if it was because we had grumpy kids or what but it just didn't live up to the extravagance of Disney in my opinion.



When we were walking back to the park entrance afterwards, it started thundering. And before we could get the stroller cover on and get to an overhang, woosh! the sky opened up. Alan and Ewan ran for cover and I gave Cecily my phone and told her to keep it dry while I finished getting the cover on the stroller for her and Cameron. I got totally soaked. It was kind of comical, like the park was like ok, get out! 

There are a lot of characters you can meet at Animal Kingdom and more things to do, but we focused on the things we didn't do and characters we didn't meet last time. It's probably still my favorite park but I can see how once you've done everything at least once why people say it's a half day park. Still great though!
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