Animal Kingdom Adventure

Friday, July 18th

Animal Kingdom has always been one of my favorite Disney World parks.  I remember visiting for the first time during their Annual Passholder's soft opening.  Ever since then I have loved seeing all of the animals, wandering through the different lands, and watching the spectacular Broadway-style shows. 

Throughout the park you can find exotic animals in natural-like environments.  Disney is always careful to give their animals plenty of room for exercise and places to hide from the tourists.   

Because I was with dad, he wanted to check out one of the coolest restaurants in the park, the Yak and Yeti.  This is an African restaurant with options for even the pickiest of eaters.  Dad and I shared their Dim Sum Appetizer for Two before he enjoyed a house salad and I ate their amazing Wanton Soup.

A trip to Animal Kingdom is never complete without a safari.  The Kilimanjaro Safaris takes you through a simulated African landscape that is home to the most beautiful animals. 

It does not matter what species they are, preteens are always awkward.  You have to love how adorable this elephants lanky limbs are!  

Elephants are one of my favorite animals because of their devotion to one another.

Here is a happy rhino just enjoying a mid-day snack. 

These little guys have the coolest horns and found a perfect resting spot, right next to the road. 

Dad and I ended the day with a trip to Downtown Disney where we explored the new Marketplace Co-Op store and ate dinner at the House of Blues. 

Disney Frozen Fun Day #2

Friday, July 11th

My dad and I hopped into the car early to go to Islands of Adventure however, once we neared Orlando, we started to see billboards for the Frozen Summer Fun Days at Hollywood Studios.  We had gone the Saturday before for the opening day and I wasn't sure if I wanted to fight the crowds again.  Because parking at Islands of Adventure costs money for me and my dad (only J has the ticket with free parking) dad gave me the choice to go to IoA or go back to Hollywood Studios where he would buy me the Minnie Ears I had been wanting.   Of course my complete obsession with Frozen won out and off we went!  

A lovely lady at the front gave my two paper Olafs and I was so excited to start my adventure!  Our first stop was at one of the shops on the main boulevard where dad bought me Minnie Ears.  I love these ones because the sliver sparkles remind me Elsa's dress details. 

I was determined to take as many pictures of Olaf as possible.  My Instagram page soon filled with Frozen related pictures!  Here is a quick picture of me and Olaf in New York City!

Then it was time for the Frozen Sing Along!  Unfortunately, we were placed in a row with great seats but behind two women with crying children.  I could barely hear the first part and I was disappointed that a cast member did not say something to the women.  On top of that, the couple in front of us were super tall so I could barely see around their heads.  I am hoping that the next time we go, I will have better luck because this show is AMAZING!

Olaf loved my new ears!

Because I am a Florida girl through and through, I was excited to play in the Snow Playground!  I have never seen real snow and loved building my first snowman!  I think Olaf approved of his new friend :)

The snow was just like the crushed ice in Icees so it was freezing and a little difficult to work with.  Each group was given 10 minutes in the playground and the time flew by!

Olaf and his new friend.  What do you think I should name my first snowman?

Naturally, Disney figured out a way for guest to take a picture with their favorite Frozen characters.  Using a free app called Aurasma, you point your phone towards the special backgrounds and watch the magic!  I was so excited to have both my goofy sidekicks with me for this special photo!

Of course their is nothing like family and the trolls are the best example of family bonds.

If only this really did lead to the palace...

On hot days, nothing tastes better than cold ice cream! 

Olaf busted some movies with his main girl, Daisy!  It was so cute to watch all the kids bounce around the characters at the dance party. 

Pluto was by far the best dancer on the floor! 

Even though we did not eat at the Brown Derby, Olaf still wanted to see all the pictures inside. 

And of course, a day would not be complete without popping into the Planet Hollywood shop to see the signed posters and movie costumes! 

Have you been to the Frozen Summer Fun Days yet? 

Mini Ulta Haul

Recently, I have been experimenting with makeup and have realized that makeup is fun to apply and wear.  This summer I countless YouTube videos by EleventhGorgeous, AmyLynnBeauty, JamBeauty89, and MissGlamorazzi.  J and I have been struggling financially this summer however, he surprised me with $20 for an Ulta shopping trip. 

Here are the products that I picked up:

"Light" Rimmel London BB Cream - $5.99
I have been using this product almost every day this summer.  It is light to moderate coverage with SPF 20.  I find that it tends to make my face a little shiny however, if I apply a light coat of power over it, the cream looks great.  It lasts through the day and is easy to remove. 

Rimmel London Lipstick by Kate Moss - $4.49
The color of this lipstick is gorgeous.  It is basic enough for me to wear everyday and can be dressed up a bit for a night out with J.  I love lipsticks so this was an easy choice for me.  One downside is that I have to reapply this product more often than my favorite Mary Kay lipstick.  For the price and color, this is one of my go-to products. 

"Tulip" Ulta Powder Blush - $3.00
This is my first time trying products from the Ulta brand.  I am very happy with the color of this blush however, I am disappointed with the results.  I usually have to apply it a few times before I can notice that I am wearing blush.  I am not sure if I would purchase this product again. 

"Black/Brown" Ulta Automatic Eyeliner - $1.00
I do not normally wear eyeliner because I have no idea how to apply it.  I have only owned one eyeliner because of dance and I would always have someone apply it for me for performances.  Because this product was only a dollar, I thought it would be a good teaching tool.  I have yet to apply it the right way however, I do like the way it glides onto my eyes. 

"Light" Ulta Fabulous Face Liquid Concealer - $5
I have been searching for a good under eye concealer and I thought I would start with one from Ulta.  My mom and I both struggle with dark eye bags and I feel like I arrive at work each morning looking like I have not slept in days.  This product did not have the effect I was looking for.  This was one of the more expensive products that I purchased and I am not sure it was worth it.  Also, Link wanted to make sure you knew how big the bottle was compared to his giant paws.

"108" Ulta Extreme Wear Cream Eyeshadow and Eyeliner - $0.48
I found this product on the clearance rack and fell in love with the light pink color.  To be honest, I have not tried this yet because when I arrived home, I noticed a long "sunburn alert" on the back.  Apparently, the eyeshadow contains Alpha Hydroxy Acid which is known to increase the skin's sensitivity to the sun, even a week after wearing the product.  
What do you guys think?  Is it worth the risk?

A Day in St. Pete

July 13, 2014

J and I were blessed by one of my coworkers with free tickets to a Tampa Bay Rays home game.  I had only been to game in the Tropicana once and this was J's first time.  

Our first stop was at one of J's favorite restaurants.  We used to eat at Pazza Bistro almost weekly until they moved to Pinellas Park.  Since the Tropicana stadium was only 15 minutes away from the restaurant's new location, J asked to check them out.  We had a wonderful lunch and I highly recommend trying them if you are near by. 

Then it was time to play ball!  Here is a view from our amazing seats.  The tickets were provided by Smart Tuition, a company that provides "tuition management services and software for K-12 private and parochial schools" (visit their website here).

The Rays played the Toronto Blue Jays and we enjoyed being in the middle of the action.  Because this was J's first time at a Rays game, we explored the stadium during the 5th and 6th innings.  There were several restaurants, shops, and entertainment stations, all indoors. 

Winning the game was the cherry on top for our wonderful day!  The crowd went wild and we had the opportunity to participate in a stadium wide wave.  

Smart Tuition surprised us with $60 in vouchers to use at the concession stands or in the Rays gift shop.  J loves baseball caps so he was happy to have a Rays hat.  I found an adorable cap on sale and a collection on MLB inspired OPI mini nail polishes.  I am not sure who was happier. 

Here is a photo of my new mini bottles.  There name are:  Umpires Come Out at Night, Girls Love Diamonds, 7th Inning Strrretch, Short—STOP!, Orange You Going to the Game?, and Love Athletes in Cleats.  How cute are those names?!

Disney Frozen Fun #1

Saturday, July 5th

For some reason, I thought that the Frozen Summer Fun began on Monday, July 7th.  So when I started finding pictures of the Frozen events at Hollywood Studios on July 5th, I was too excited for words.  J had to work all day so I called my dad and asked if he wanted to take an impromptu trip to Disney.  

When we arrived at Hollywood Studios, we were greeted by rows of Frozen Fun signs.  Some signs were plain, like the one above, while others included pictures of Anna, Elsa, and Olaf.

That morning a talented sand-sculptor created a summer-themed Olaf.  Rain threatened us for most of the day and everyone was worried that Olaf would wash away!

There were several stations around the park that gave away paper Olafs!  If you use the hashtag #olafsummervacation when posting photos of Olaf on Instagram or Twitter, you could be featured in the video during the special Frozen fireworks!  I was not able to see the fireworks because they do not occur until 9:45 pm.  I hope I can go back and stay long enough to enjoy them! 

I loved that Disney decorated most of the park to match their Frozen theme.  Here is a close-up of one of the signs that feature Elsa and Anna.  Isn't it adorable?

Olaf was very excited to find the Wandering Oaken's Trading Post!  When we arrived, there was an hour and a half line for the Funland and Trading Post store.  When I peeked inside the shop, I was shocked to see dozens of new Frozen merchandise along with rows of their most popular items. 

Next, my dad and I grabbed free tickets to the First Time in Forever Sing-Along!  I listen to the Frozen soundtrack in my car and I have memorized almost all of the songs.  I love Disney because I can act like a child without getting judged!  

While we were waiting for the sing-along, dad and I grabbed some snacks at Rosie's (next to the Tower of Terror).  We were so excited to find one of my loveliest friends, Julie.  Julie is currently working at Hollywood Studios through the Disney College Program.  Look how adorable she is in that outfit! 

Because of my obsession with Frozen, Julie surprised me with this amazing Olaf cupcake!  It was massive and made out of carrot cake.  Disney always creates the best desserts. 

I hate singing in public however, I let it go and sang as loud as I pleased during the sing-along!  The narrators were hilarious and I loved the special appearances by Anna, Kristoff, and Elsa.  It even snowed Disney snow during "Let It Go."

It had rained during our show and the line had shrunk for Oaken's.  We waited about 20 minutes for the best experience of the day.  Inside the Trading Post was an ice rink, station to build your very own snowman, and the largest collection of Frozen merchandise I have ever seen.  We did not do any of the activities because the snow station had long line and the ice skated cost $10 per person.  However, dad and I enjoyed watching everyone participate.

My favorite part of the Funland was bakery.  They had rice crispy snowballs, Olaf candy apples, Sven cookies, and more.  I just wanted one of everything!  Which one do you want to try?