A sweet treat on a snowy day

I wanted big fluffy snow to fall in St. Louis. I kept thinking of my childhood, how exciting it was to watch your school scroll across the bottom of the screen on the tube (not YouTube kids). We lived across the street from the highway that led to downtown St. Louis. On snow days, it would be eeire quiet. I was used to the constant noise. This silence was golden and I loved it.

Although I have children now, it’s rarely quiet. But I still cherish these snow days. This time around, I wanted to make cookies. For some reason, lavender sounded so good. To smell is one thing but have you tried eating it? It’s a burst of flavor. Add the lemon and it’s heaven! It’s probaby a Spring snack, but it just felt right.

If you’re looking for a change from the traditonal holiday cookie, try these!


1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon dried lavender (I got mine from Williams Sonoma)
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt 

In a medium bowl, mix the sugar, lavender, and lemon zest.  Using a handheld mixer, beat the butter at a moderate speed.  At a low speed, add the flour and salt until a soft dough forms.  Transfer the dough to wax paper and refrigerate for 20 minutes.  Form the dough into a 4-inch log and chill for at least 45 minutes longer.Preheat the the oven to 350 degrees.  Slice the shortbread dough into 1/4 inch thick rounds and place on an ungreased baking sheet.  Freeze the rounds for 5 minutes. Bake the shortbread for 15 to 20 minutes or until the edges are lightly browned.  Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Makes about 12-18 cookies 

Recipe came from Food & Wine Magazine.

Disneyland Paris?


Is it worth going to Disneyland Paris?

I love the Disney brand and usually they get things right. My husband and I debated whether or not we should go to Disneyland Paris on our last day in Paris.  We both decided to hop on the train and see our old friend Mickey.

First impression went something like this. When the train stopped at the park, it seemed quiet. I wasn’t for sure if it was our stop. I was expecting music, color, decor and balloons! The ticket counter cast member was extremely nice and helpful, so that was a great start. As we entered Main Street I thought, “where’s the pretty Mickey balloons”? They had balloons, but not the fun ones sold on Main Street in Walt Disney World or Disneyland California. Ok, no big deal… Why is Main street so devoid of cast members? I always wave to plenty of cast members as we walk through Main Street. No cast members were seen! Want a picture in front of the castle? Where’s the photographer? As I put on my Mickey ears, I felt so out of place. I rarely saw anyone wearing any fun Disney flair! Ok, this is getting weird.

The fast pass line was a little frustrating, people were showing up way too early for their return time. The cast members would allow them to stand in the way of those who were there on time. It was so unorganized, I couldn’t help to wonder if I was at a typical amusement park. This didn’t feel like the Disney magic we’re used to. The crowd level that day was managable.  We had heard rumors that the food wasn’t great in DLP. So we opted for Casey’s Corner for a hotdog. I can’t imagine they could screw up a hotdog, but they did! The bread was horrible! My goodness!

We did some shopping, but the merchandise was nothing special. Shopping in Disney parks is exciting! Heck, even Shop Disney is fun! DLP main store was so dissapointing. Disney merchandice is better at Target and Walmart compared to DLP.

I feel horrible about my feelings on Disneyland Paris. Perhaps it was an off day. I came there with an open mind after reading many bad reviews on the park. I do have to agree that Disney needs to step in soon to help this park. I hope D23 will have big news to change things soon.

On the positive side, everyone is going to LOVE Ratatouille. I was so thankful to experience this ride before the opening in Epcot. This is going to be a fantastic addition to World Showcase. DLP version of Space Mountain is also amazing and much more intense than the WDW version.


Bottom line is this: If you are a true Disney fan, you should go to Disneyland Paris. If you don’t have the time, you should skip it. This park is not a destination, just an attraction. They need a lot of help and I am hopeful they will bring Disneyland Paris to the glory it needs to be in.

As always, thank you for reading and your support!

Early Morning Magic in Toy Story Land!

Are you tired of the crowds in Toy Story Land? Are you the one running to Slinky Dog Dash at rope drop and still have a 60 minute wait or longer? What if you rode Slinky with your fast pass and wanted to ride again? There is a way to beat all of this…. but there’s always a price to pay. Is it worth it? Keep reading.

You should arrive at 7am to park in the empty parking lot. The spots are pretty close to the entrance. Breakfast will be available from 7am-10am at the Backlot Express Resturant (near Star Tours). I also noticed a coffee stand open by the quick service inside Toy Story Land. There was a contental buffet breakfast and a hot breakfast at the quick servce section. I took some photos to get an idea. We thought the food was pretty good. The actual ticked event with Toy Story Land access is between 7:30am-9:00am.


You will have access to Slinky Dog Dash, Alien Swirling Saucers and Toy Story Mania! You’ll also have the chance to meet Buzz, Woody and Jessie. Photos will be linked to your photopass. Slinky Dog Dash was about a 20-30 minute wait. The other two rides were walk on. We did the early morning magic twice during this trip. The second trip, Slinky Dog Dash was down at 7:30 and didn’t open up until after 8:15. The good news is that they continue to let you on Slinky Dog from 9am-10am through the Fast Pass line. We also felt like we were able to ride MORE with him being down. We probably rode Slinky Dog 7-8 times on this morning. So don’t get discouraged if this happens to you. It’s actually an advantage!

Slinky Dog Dash is my family’s favorite rollercoaster. We all agree that the Early Magic Morning pass was worth the time and money.

Since this is a private event, you are able to take some great photos of the park! Finally, take a photo of the sea of people that are entering the park at rope drop! It’s crazy!


The price? Get ready, because it’s Disney afterall! Special event admission is available for $79 per adult (ages 10 and older) and $69 per child (ages 3 to 9); tax not included. Regular theme park admission is also required.

I hope you find this post helpful with your planning! Enjoy your experince with Toy Story Land!

We all scream for Disney Ice Cream!

What do you do when you’re home sick? Home sick from Walt Disney World that is. You eat the new Disney themed ice cream!

The closest you’ll ever get to Walt Disney World are these Mickey shaped ice cream bars from Nestle. They are on a limited run, so hurry!


I puchased my treats from our local Dierburg’s in St. Louis, MO.









Store verison

The limited edition in grocery stores


The original package available in WDW

I have been asked a lot on Instagram where can they find them. Here is a list below. Don’t be afraid to call the store manager as well. They were able to tell me when shipments were arriving. These are limited-don’t give up!

Food 4 Less
Harris Teeter
Crest Foods
Milam’s Markets
Weis Markets
Woodman’s Market
Fred Meyer
Market Basket
Giant Eagle

The NEW Toy Story ice cream by Edys is available to everyone and should be easy to find.

toy copy

I hope everyone finds this post helpful! Enjoy!

Our Fall 2018 Disney World Trip Report

The ever-evolving Walt Disney World will always keep you on your toes. We returned home tweaking our plan for our future trips. The good news is that Disney will take your suggestions seriously. So the thoughts I have now could certainly change in the future. As of now, I’d like to share my current thoughts from our last trip. It’s always a good discussion of what worked, what didn’t and what experiences we enjoyed this time around. I will break it down in sections for easy referencing.


The Drive: I thought I would start with the drive from St. Louis to Walt Disney World. This was our first trip by car to WDW with our children. We broke it up into a two day drive. We were very lucky to miss the traffic on the way there. I had a lot of anxiety about going through Atlanta. I have heard so many horrible experiences in the past. If this information is anyway helpful to you, I’d suggest going though Atlanta around 10:30-11:00am on a weekday. We sailed right though downtown. I was not aware Chattanooga, TN had a traffic problem until a friend who was local had informed me through Instagram. We didn’t have a problem on the way down, but on the way back (on a Sunday!) we ran into problems. The drive to and from wasn’t bad. Plan ahead, break it up if you need to. I think it was best for our family to break it up into two days.

Our Resort: We checked into Bay Lake (DVC Resort next to The Contemporary) around 5pm. Our room was ready, which was located on the first floor. I prefer the first floor, so I was very happy about that! We love Bay Lake for many reasons. The smell in the lobby, the spacious rooms, the modern artwork and the convenient location! Hop on the monorail or walk to Magic Kingdom! We like to stay in this resort especially if we are attending a ticketed event, such as “Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party” Or “Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party.” The beauty of this is beating the crowds and not having to stand in line for transportation after the party. It’s about a 15 minute walk back to the resort. Our thoughts have remained the same, we love this resort! *Side note: Joffrey’s now has their latte stamps in The Contemporary! No need to head to Disney Springs to get that fun Mickey design!*


The Food: We noticed some changes at our usual stops. We also added a new restaurant to try on this trip. Our first usual stop is San Angel Inn restaurant in Epcot. I know the Disboards guys hate this restaurant. We all have our preferences, but I’ve always thought it was pretty good! There were some updates we noticed! Perhaps they saw the disboard reviews and made some new updates. Like I said before, Disney will listen to your feedback. The menu was freshened up with a new look and feel. The layout was clean and well laid out. The presentation of our dishes looked different as well! I always order the same, the Carne Asada. The menu items were the same, but presented nicely on my plate. We also agreed that the taste overall was a step up although my husband missed their old salsa choices. Overall well done!


The Crystal Palace in Magic Kingdom is another usual stop for us. We have never walked away feeling like it was a waste of time or money.  Again, I felt like the quality was there! We pigged out this time around too. The kids really enjoyed their meals as well which says a lot, they are picky eaters! The characters came around quickly and interacted well with the kids. It’s a good place to sit down in Magic Kingdom.

A new restaurant we tried was Biergarten restaurant in Epcot. This was disappointment! I really liked the view of the facade of Germany. You feel as though you’re eating outdoors in an old German town. The part we didn’t like was the food. I’ve had good German food before and this didn’t even come close in comparison. It is a buffet style and I didn’t think the food was hot. The choices were poor for children. The appearance of how the food was displayed was sloppy. I understand if people were sloppy while serving themselves, but we were the first ones to be seated for the day. Disney may change things in the future, but for now we will cross it off the list.

Finally, our last new restaurant was The Hollywood Derby in Hollywood Studios. One word. Fantastic. I’m not sure why we cancelled our reservations in the past, but I’m so glad we finally experienced this place. We loved it so much, we were able to score another reservation on this trip. The menu items are appealing not only to us, but for the kids as well. Both servers we had were prompt and helpful. The cocktail and wine list was great with lots of choices. The wine prices were actually reasonable as well. I wouldn’t say they were slow, but make sure you have enough time to enjoy the service and food. Try not to rush through this one.

*We’ve been to many other restaurants in the past-but I’ll cover those experiences in the future. I wanted to only cover what was up-to-date.*

The Crowds: I bet we love this topic! It’s always crowded, however this time it wasn’t so bad! You read that right folks! We were there Tuesday-Sunday, October 16th-20th. We haven’t experienced low crowds in a long time. We were in Toy Story Land for two evenings and it was very enjoyable to walk around! I would recommend night-time too, as you’ll be able to see the light effects in Toy Story Land! I’ll just call it luck this time around.


Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party: I’ve been to a few Halloween parties over the years. I always loved the decorations, the first impressions in front of Magic Kingdom, the enthusiasm people have with their costumes. Some people look better than the cast members! This particular party didn’t have this feeling! Shocking, right?! I’m serious as I write this. The entrance didn’t have their extra special magic and spookiness. No sound effects! The partygoers hardly dressed up! Am I joking? NO! This wasn’t normal and I left the party feeling a bit bummed. The best part in my opinion is seeing everyone in costume. I totally understand those who can’t dress up for other reasons. This was just out of the norm for Disney World. There’s a million parties, I’m sure some of the others had better experiences. We did the desert party at the MNSSHP. The Halloween desserts were very cute and creative. The view of the fireworks was great. *Side note-the fireworks for Happily Ever After is better. If you want to use your desert party money towards that, I would think that is a better choice.*


Overall thoughts: The drive is doable. This biggest advantage was having a car on site. Rather than waiting forever for a bus, we got in the car and headed to the parks! This saved a ton of time! We also packed anything we wanted! I don’t know about you, but I get sad leaving behind our Disney Balloons when we fly. It’s been a few weeks and I’m still enjoying our Halloween balloon! In our opinion, the Christmas party is better than Halloween. Next year we plan to book for Thanksgiving, as that worked out great in 2017!

I hope you found this post helpful! If you have any questions, please send me a message!

Have a magical Thanksgiving everyone!


It’s a Mickey Mouse Summer!

Mickey is celebrating his 90th birthday-which is November 18th! He is celebrating in a big way! So many exciting things are being released in stores! It’s all cute, I will share all the details below!






Grocery stores:


Now it’s time to decide what goodies you want for you and your family! Oh Boy!



Enjoy this free Menu Template!

I always like to add something special to our dinner table during the holidays. I created this menu to help make your dinner table extra special for this Valentine’s day!  Your someone special will appreciate this extra touch at their place setting! Let’s get started! Download this template HERE.


Create a new project. Then go to SHAPES and grab the HEART Icon. This is going to be your largest heart (the backing). Drag to the desired size.

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Repeat the heart shape again, but this time make it smaller.

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Then after you saved the template file I provided, upload the file as shown here. The file is a PNG file. That’s why you see the checkered background. It just means the the file doesn’t have a background.

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Choose SIMPLE.

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Then choose “Save as a print then cut image.”

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Insert image and drag to the appropiate size.

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Grab the text icon and insert your dinner items. Then you will need to size them correctly.

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Like this 🙂

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Select the white heart and all text (do not select the pink or whatever color you chose) and FLATTEN the section (as you see on the bottom.)

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After you “MAKE IT” this is what the print and cut file will look like

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Chooose printer and turn off bleed. That’ll look like a hot mess if you dont! 🙂

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This is what this will look like in action!


Then attach the two hearts together! I used to handy scotch tape.


I hope this helps! Happy Creating!

Add a special touch to your Valentine letters!

As I was browsing through Hobby Lobby one day, I came across this wax stamp and colored wax. I thought this would be really neat to do on my Valentine’s Day cards! After a few practice rounds, it was really easy and fun to do! I would like to show you the photos from my instagram stories for inspiration! You can buy this stamp here. I also used this wax here. Enjoy!