Friday, January 12, 2018

Disney Highlight Reel

We've had Disney passes essentially our entire marriage, but we decided about 2 years ago to hold off on renewing until all of the new construction at the parks was finished. You can pay monthly for a pass, but with hotel expenses and food - our trips were really adding up. We figured we'd wait a few years and then all the new stuff would be open and it would be worth the wait! Last year my parents bought us the 4 day Florida resident ticket for our anniversary, and we happily used that

When my sister in law invited us to go with her, we were really stuck between a rock and a hard place! I've been wanting to go with our niece and nephew since they were born, but we really had no intention of getting passes for awhile. Well peer pressure won out, and we decided to go. Amazingly, the Florida resident special ticket went on sale 2 days before we were going! It's such a good deal. You have to use your days before June, but it's about half the price. Total score! 

Disney is such a special place to us, and we have lots of great memories there. We made quite a few more this trip! On to a few highlights:




My favorite moments:

The Star Wars VR experience at Disney Springs
By far one of the coolest things we've ever done. Teams of 4 gear up with a backpack and virtual reality helmet and go on a secret mission together! It's so amazing. It's a bit disorienting at first, but super super fun once you get the hang of it. 

Riding Thunder Mountain just as the fireworks started
We could not have timed this even if we tried. Our goal was to stay until the firework show started, even though it was getting pretty cold. We had about an hour to kill, so we decided to ride Thunder Mountain. Even though the wait time said 35 minutes we knew it was much longer than that as soon as we got into the queue. We boarded the roller coaster, and just as we were going over the first hill the fireworks started going. It was such an epic moment. Turns out the fireworks are shot off toward the back of the park, and when we got off the ride we could see the whole show perfectly from there. Thankfully they started piping in the music throughout the park, so we didn't miss anything! Warming up with hot chocolate and churros right after the show was a perfect end to the day. 

Watching my niece enjoy Soarin'
Gia is actually the perfect age for Disney. Everything was amazing to her, and she is such a ham anyway. She reacted to everything just like the designers hope. Yelling for Prince Phillip to get Maleficent during the parade was a close second to how she responded to Soarin. She was mesmerized, said wow about a thousand times, and even pulled her feet up when she thought she was really going to hit the top of a mountain. So precious! Exactly why I wanted to go with them so bad. (Although, my nephew Zane was completely traumatized by all the characters, so that did put a damper on things, haha)

Dying of laughter at all of our ride photos
The Memory Maker package is expensive, but totally worth all of the amazing ride photos we got! I sprinkled a few in this post. I have never laughed so hard in my life! The best one is our group riding Frozen. Blake and I went to go get a beer while everybody else rode. When we got back everyone was soaked! We've ridden before and I swear we never even got a droplet of water on us. The picture is worth 1,000 words.

Finally, I'd like to give a shout out to my amazing blogger husband. He snuck over to a stranger's stroller to rotate their $20 balloons so that we could get a shot of the carousel and castle. Real MVP right there. 

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Wednesday, January 10, 2018

My 3 Step DIY Skin Care Routine

3 Step DIY Natural Skin Care Routine

Part of my main goal for the year is to really keep up a good skin care routine! It sort of hit me a few months ago, when the girl who did my eyebrows suggested an anti-aging serum that they started selling. It was actually pretty terrible because the salesperson at the mall earlier that day asked me if I was wanted to try on a pair of jeans with rips or no rips, looked me up and down and then laughed to herself. (The answer was heck no, I don't want rips in my jeans, but I'm not that much older than you!!) 

I am in my *late* twenties now, and I know I really should be doing lots of good skin care now for the future. I shared my DIY face wash recipe last summer, and since then I've been able to really tweak that recipe and I've added 2 more steps. (The original recipe is still great!) 

I've been following this routine for at least 2 months, and have been very impressed! There are 3 steps like most skin care systems you can buy: Cleanse, tone, and moisturize. These recipes use very few ingredients that are safe and non toxic. 

3 Step DIY Natural Skin Care Routine

Adding just one ingredient to my original recipe makes such a difference in this foaming cleanser. It's such a luxurious foam, and this is so pleasant to use. Frankincense is great for wrinkles, lavender is calming and tea tree will kill bacteria. 
Here is what you do:
Add the following to an empty foaming dispenser:
- 1/4 cup unscented castile soap
- 4 Tbsp jojoba oil
- 15 drops lavender
- 15 drops tea tree oil
- 15 drops frankincense
Fill the rest up with distilled water. Shake before use!
I've read about so many benefits to using apple cider vinegar on your face! I historically have pretty bad blackheads on my nose, but since using this I have seen a huge difference. The smell is potent to say the least. I do think you get used to it though.
Here is what you do:
Combine the following to a glass jar:
- 1 part distilled water
- 1 part apple cider vinegar (get the kind that says "with the mother")
Apply with a cotton pad and let dry.
This step was the weirdest to start. Rubbing oil on your face?! It really is amazing though. Jojoba oil is so moisturizing and it actually absorbs into your face. I use it on my entire face-even the places I consider oily. It does not make your face greasy because it does not clog your pores.  Hello glow!
Here is what you do:
Using the same bottle of jojoba oil that went into your face wash add:
- 15 drops lavender
- 15 drops frankincense
Use about 1-2 drops and massage into your skin. I usually wait about 5 minutes before applying makeup. (Tip: Places like your eyelids don't seem to absorb this super well, so make sure they are dry before applying eye shadow.) 
I do these three steps in the morning, and then again in the evening after removing my makeup. This is the first time I've really stuck with a system, but I know it's because I've actually seen it improve my skin. I love it so much I wanted to share!

Leave a comment below if someone has implied that you aren't so young anymore recently! Do you have a trusty skin care routine that you love? How about making your own beauty products, have you tried it?! 
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Friday, January 5, 2018

St. George Island - The Perfect End to 2017

St. George Island will always hold such a special place in the hearts of my family! It is one of the closest beaches to where I grew up, so we spent many many summers there. In fact the first time I was ever behind the wheel of a car was down a side street on the Island! It's so fun to continue the tradition with our spouses and my nephew (soon to be nephews!). 

My parents rented us a water front house a few doors down from the house my uncle has rented for the month! We had both warm and cold days, which made things interesting! 

A few trip highlights:

Visiting Bowery Station, and hearing some great local music! 
Carter was probably the first 3 year old to step foot in the establishment, but it was 2 in the afternoon, sooo it's all good. 

Spending time with family!
This probably goes without saying, but it's so nice to be together. Blake and my brother in law drove over together, so it was actually funny to be in the house with our original party of 5 for a little while without them. Things go back to the way they were really quickly! Plus, we got to visit with my aunt and uncles who we rarely get to be with. 

Going for a few runs!
It's kinda hard to exercise on vacation, but I do love that you can run anywhere. SGI has a great bike path and one of the days we did a 4 mile walk/run with the group. I haven't run in months, so it felt really good to warm those muscles up again. Plus staying on the 3rd floor meant lots of steps throughout the week! I mean we ate a lot, but at least we weren't sedentary.

Playing Balderdash!
This game has been around forever, but we were reintroduced to it at a game night a week or two ago and had so much fun playing. I picked up a copy of my own at Target to bring to the beach, and it was worth every penny. So many laughs! Plus, the box got a really cool make over sometime in the last few years-it def doesn't look like the one we had growing up. 

Discovering Up The Creek Raw Bar!
My family loves seafood, as you can see in these pictures. We have new favorite restaurant in Apalachicola called Up The Creek. Oh my goodness, it's great! While most of the group ordered oysters and peel and eat shrimp, I ordered what may have been the best meal of my life! They have a tuna poke bowl, which was ah-mazing. I may have ordered twice on this trip...

I've been having some sort of allergy since October. I've been avoiding dairy since then, because I was pretty sure that was the culprit. On Wednesday before we left I got the results from my food allergy test, and I am indeed not allergic to dairy! While that is good news, I'm still not exactly sure what's the problem. Being itchy all the time is terrible, but I am happy to be ruling things out. I was so thrilled to be able to eat normally again on this trip! Cheese on my scrambled eggs never tasted so good!

PRO TIP: I invited everyone to a shared Google Photos album, and everyone uploaded their pictures from the trip! It's great because we all got copies of the group shots-and they are easy to download. I will continue to sing the praises of Google Photos. It's awesome. 

Leave a comment below if you have lots of memories in a particular place! Have you ever been to the beach in the winter? It's a very different experience isn't it? Do you and your siblings go right back to the way it was when you were growing up?
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