Disney World – with the kiddos

Happy New Year everyone! It’s been a while since I’ve written a post and I’ve really been itching to write about our first trip to Disney World with the kiddos! I wrote a really long one but decided I may just have to write about the highlights because it was looooooooong!

But before that, I just wanted to thank everyone who has followed me on my blogging journey. It’s been hard coming up with content because I get caught up with what I think people may want to hear instead of focusing on writing about what I feel like writing about. So this year, my goal is just to write. Without thinking about what may be a “hit” or what may start to “trend.”

I started blogging because I wanted to share my adventures as a mom, but also to share my adventures as an individual. If it happens to put a smile on someone’s face, then all the better! So here’s to 2019!! Looking forward to writing more about things that give me joy! Thanks again for the follow!!

Disney World

img_3405

This past Christmas, my family and I went to Florida for our annual Christmas family reunion. Since this is the first time our little ones have been to Florida, A and I decided to suck it up and go to Disney World! What an adventure for sure! Here are some of the highlights that happened during out trip there!

JK it wasn’t that bad… haha

Animal Kingdom

Can I just say that Disney World is a machine?! The way everything works from the trams that take you to the parks and back to the parking lots, to the staff that notices the small things and make sure that you feel special. No wonder people call it “the happiest place on earth!”

OK! So yes, Animal Kingdom. This is where A and I went “solo” with our little family. Everyone else went to Universal and we took E and baby bro (let’s call him J from now on) here because we know they love animals. We were not disappointed!

img_4365

They loved the shows especially The Lion King and Finding Nemo. I mean who knew a 2 year old can sit still in awe for a whole 35 minutes? J enjoyed the shows so much he kept yelling “more” after each show we went to.

Lion King

Guys, legit, go here. E and J were staring open-mouthed the whole entire time. It’s basically songs from the movie with lots of tumbling and jumping and dancing! Here is J… who even taught him how to clap like that?!?

Pandora

We didn’t do the Flight of the Avatar – couldn’t get a fast pass to it and then the line was like 4 hours long! But we were able to go on the Navi’i River ride. Reviews showed that adults didn’t really like it, but the kids loved it so much! A boat ride in a cave with lots of glowing lights? Yes please!

We also indulged in the Night Blossom Drink! One of my good friends recommended I try it, so I did and I heart it. The kids loved it too. Limeade, apple, and pear flavors with popping passion fruit flavored bubbles? Yasssss! It also makes for a great insta pic… just saying.. if you’re into that…

Finding Nemo

It’s the whole movie in 35 minutes. Loved it. E got a little scared of the shark scene… but J was all about everything. I can’t believe this boy sat through the whole thing. Ok Disney, I see you.

My Thoughts on Animal Kingdom

It’s definitely a lot harder to get around with kiddos. Yes, bring them strollers. It’s super helpful. Also, note to self, E and J both have major FOMOs and don’t want to miss out on anything. So yes, J will forego his nap… but also know he will break down as soon as you get home… it was a rough night.

Magic Kingdom

I love this place! I LOVE THIS PLACE! If E and J weren’t with me, I would still love this place. Here is where E got her fill of princesses while also being treated like a princess. She was one happy kid. J didn’t nap his usual 1-3 pm but fell asleep during dinner and then woke up hangry… yayyyyy! This was also the day that 15 of our family members joined our family of 4 to enjoy the park together!

img_3746

Ok Disney… I see you and your awesome lights!!

The Rides

We rode a few rides – Buzz Light Year, Winnie the Pooh, the Carousel, Peter Pan’s flight, and of course It’s a Small World (my mom’s fave). The fast pass saved us from waiting too long in a few of the lines. This is when 19 of us would go through the fast pass lanes to enjoy the rides together. I loved it! It reminded me of when I was little and our whole family would wait in line together. This is when the cousins would either bond or get into fights depending on the mood. Luckily, there was no fighting this time around.

img_4348

Meeting the Princesses

There was a portion of the day where my mom, A, E and J broke off from the whole family, so E could finally meet the princesses. People… let me tell you! If your kid wants to meet a certain princess, make sure you stand in the correct line! Because we waited for an hour to meet Rapunzel, only to find out we were in the Esmeralda and Jasmine line!! Thankfully E didn’t know any better and thought we were just gonna get in another line again after meeting Esmeralda and Jasmine.

Little did she know that her mother had to pretty much beg the fast-pass people for the Rapunzel line. I think it helped that E was all decked out in her Rapunzel outfit – hair and all, that they kindly let us through the fast pass lane (especially since no one was there). E was speechless as Rapunzel tried to talk to her, but her smile said it all – her dream had come true. My heart melted when I saw that.

Enchanting Stories With Belle

Ok guys, I had to single this one out. There wasn’t a long wait for this one and honestly, I thought it was going to be a total dud… but guys, if you ever have a chance to take your kiddos here… do so. They get the kids involved and they get an up close and personal time with Belle!

img_4354

I loved it because E and J volunteered to be in the little story… this momma was so proud that J didn’t cry because the whole trip, he only wanted to be with me. So I was so proud to see him up there. I really think it’s because E was up there and he saw that she was having fun so he’s like “ok me too.” And my personal favorite, A, got picked to be a knight. The last person that would volunteer for anything that would make him be in the spotlight… but he did it for the kiddos and I loved it so much I had to write separately about it.

That Dole Whip

Ummm, O (my friend) is the best. She recommended this and I wonder why of all the years I’ve been to Disney when I was younger, I have never had it before. Guys, get it. It’s legit. It’s basically soft serve pineapple ice cream. And if you think it’s too tarty, get it mixed with vanilla ice cream and you’re good to go. Legit. Get it!

My Final Thoughts on Magic Kingdom

I can’t even. What can I say? I love this place. The shows were great! Beware of Mickey’s Philharmonic though – it could scare a 2 year old because of the loud cymbal sounds. Speaking from experience of course. Lol.. but otherwise, the shows were great and over the top and awesome. I loved them all.

Yes, it’s a lot harder with the kiddos. But I can tell that they really enjoyed it and if you can take them being whiny and cranky from lack of sleep/tiredness, then I really think you ought to try it.

Finally…

img_4367

Ok, that was longer than I thought it would be… but trust, it was way longer. LOL.

When I was a kid, I totally enjoyed all these rides and shows and stuff. But truly, I only remember snippets of it. As a mom, I don’t even remember what happened in any of the rides or the shows… what I do remember are E and J’s faces – their smiles, their awe, and their cheering. I guess that’s what my mom remembers when she took us when we were younger. I think that because of the way her face lit up every time E and J were awed of something. And I know that because of the way I felt when I saw their faces light up.

img_4359

So yes, A and I were exhausted… but we both agreed that the best part of that trip, was watching E and J. We also agreed that we would have to go again without the kids so we can enjoy it for ourselves… hahaha.. just keepin’ it real yo! Disney is not just for kids ok??

Thanks for reading and have a great rest of the day!!

 

(all gifs are from giphy.com)

Winter Lights Festival – Exploring Maryland Series

Hi guys! Time for exploring Maryland Series again! Ok, so this may be a little late but better late than never. Are you guys looking for stuff to do with the kiddos that’s festive? Do you live in the Gaithersburg/Rockville/Germantown area? Even if you don’t, and you’re nearby those cities, you should go and check out the Winter Lights Festival in Gaithersburg!

Rothy’s – a Review

Well! I done done it again, set a whole new trend… HA! I WISH! I’ve got no fashionable bone in my body and that’s being nice. When it comes to fashion, I admire from afar and at times, I do try to be trendy. However, it doesn’t turn out well and it just looks like i’m trying way too hard. Enter Rothy’s.

The first time I saw these shoes was at work. My friend was wearing a pair of Rothy’s flats and told us about the company and what it stood for and my interest was piqued. However, I didn’t really think of buying it until one of my best friends said she got one. Hey, copying is the best form of flattery okaayyy?

img_2228

What is Rothy’s?

The co-founders of this company – Stephen and Roth – realized that “sustainability with style” wasn’t really something that was popular before. This is why they came up with shoes that are stylish, but also very long lasting. Stylish washable shoes? I’m totally in!

Rothy’s shoes are made directly from recycled water bottles! It’s also machine washable and supposedly has a quick dry technology. The insole is removable and washable… so basically the whole shoe is washable. Their website states that the soles of their shoes are “carbon free” rubber.  It also claims that it’s comfortable and you can wear it all day every day. And lastly, the shoe itself is light weight – about 9.3 oz. each shoe!

Cost

These shoes are not cheap. Rothy’s are $145 a pair, but you can get $20 off if you refer a friend or if a friend refers you. Unfortunately, those do not stack up. As in, if you get 3 of your friends to use your code, you still only get $20 off a pair of shoes. But you know, if you are into this company’s mission, it’s not a bad deal. Buy a pair, save the planet type deal. Even their shoe boxes are vegan and biodegradable. So yeah. Go for it if it’s something you believe in =).

My Experience

I went ahead and bought these shoes about 5-6 months ago. I’ve been seeing my coworker wear them and I was totally intrigued. When I found out one of my best friends bought a pair, I was like I’m in!

I chose the red  “the point” shoes. Quite bold for me, but this mama has got to get some of her groove back on okkkaaayy? It didn’t take long to be delivered at all.

My normal shoe size is 6.5 and so I ordered 6.5 because I heard they are true to size. They were. They fit nicely! Some reviews did say that they tend to stretch out, but I haven’t had that experience. So far, so good! Very comfortable indeed! Ok Rothy’s I see you.

 

Wash and Re-Use

So the biggest claims about these shoes are that they are machine washable so I had to try to wash them before I wrote a proper review. My concern was that the shoe will lose its shape and that it will basically break apart after washing them in the washing machine.

Ok so the Rothy’s website states you just remove the insoles and throw them into the washing machine with the shoes. So I did. Don’t use hot water – I mean the shoes are made from plastic bottles… amiright? Gentle cycle with gentle detergent. Afterwards, lay on a flat surface, leave over night, and voila, good as new in the morning.

As long as you don’t use any heat, the shoes were fine. They maintained their shape and when I wore them, they felt the same as when I first bought them! Still comfortable indeed.

My Final Thoughts

Ok, so yes, this is esssspensive! BUT, it’s washable and reusable and it’s actually pretty cool. If I had the funds, I would definitely buy more of these. I would love to try their different styles just to see how they fit. Maybe this upcoming Christmas, I can has some?? 😉

 

Thanks for reading and have a great rest of the day!

(all gifs are from giphy.com)

 

Homestead Farm – Exploring Maryland

Since the weather has been mild the past week or so, we’ve been trying to find things to do outdoors. Last week, I wrote about Clark’s Elioak Farm in Ellicott City. Though I loved everything about the farm, we wanted to go somewhere closer to home. Enter Homestead Farm.

Homestead Farm

Homestead Farm is located in Montgomery County, Maryland, specifically in Poolesville. I don’t have stats on the acreage of this farm but it is rather large. Their pumpkin patch is one of the biggest I’ve seen.

On their site, you can see when fruits are in season so you can pick the time of when you want to go.

Cost? Admission is free! So just visit and see what they’ve got there =) The following is what we saw when we came in mid-October =)

Hay Ride

Like legit hay rides. During the weekends. You sit on a truck bed with hay and is pulled by a tractor! It’s great! Ok it’s $4 per person and free for under 2 year olds. What’s cool about this place is it’s a 20 minute ride all around the farm! The view is great and if company is awesome, then this ride is definitely fun! Ok Homestead Farm, I see you.

Petting Zoo

Not completely a petting zoo. You don’t really pet the animals but you do get rather close to them. My favorite is the little tiny spotted piggies. The kiddos definitely enjoyed this part and even the adults loved looking at the animals. A cool feature are the ramps/climbing places for the mountain goats! I like the fact that Homestead Farm thought about this feature. They also have chickens, more goats, and alpacas.. or llamas… I have no idea.

Apple Picking

Or fruit picking really. October is for apples. During the time we came, Pink Lady Apples were in season. There are tons! Just walk through the many aisles of apple trees and you can fill up a bucket in a short amount of time! Also they make for great pictures, okkkaayy?

Market

All the farms have great markets! This one is pretty big with lots of produce and jelly! They also had caramel apples! YUM!

 

Final Thoughts

 

img_1189

There aren’t as many things to do for kids as far as activities. But Homestead Farm is huge. You can still have your kids see many different things in the farm. It’s also nice because you get to spend time with your kids in some form of nature. I definitely loved seeing baby bro run around, looking at his surroundings. Good deal Homestead, good deal.

 

Thanks for reading and have a great rest of the day!

(All gifs are from giphy.com)

Clark’s Elioak Farm – Exploring Maryland

I heard about this place from a friend who lives in Howard County. What peaked my interest was the fact that the artifacts from the “Enchanted Forest” were transferred to Clark’s Elioak Farm. The “Enchanted Forest” was a theme park in Ellicott City but it closed in 1995. The park was untouched for a long time until the current owner allowed the structures to be moved the this farm.

img_0711

Clark’s Elioak Farm

Clark’s Elioak Farm is located in Howard County, MD. Its 540 acres are part of the farmland protection programs meaning the land cannot be used for non-farm development. The farm has been owned by the Clark family for seven generations! Pretty cool!

The main attractions for this farm is a petting zoo, the enchanted forest restoration – which includes the pine tree maze, pony rides, train rides and the hay rides. On the weekends, they have Ellicott’s City’s bubble man, Mr. Barry Gibson, who brings bubble magic to the farm. There are also face painters and food vendors on the weekends. Lastly, for the fall lovers out there, a farm cannot be complete without a pumpkin patch! So during the fall, you can bet Clark’s Elioak Farm has that too!

Cost of Admission

img_0376

It’s $7.50 per person (free for babies <1 years old). I’m not sure if you think that’s pricey but I think it’s pretty reasonable for what Clark’s Elioak Farm has to offer. We easily spent 3 hours there and could’ve stayed longer if I only had the energy.

The rides also cost money except for the hayride which takes you around the farm and is included in the admission. The Pony ride is $2 per person, the cow ride (not real cows) is $2 per person, and the train ride is $4 per person. I’ll discuss each later.

Petting Zoo

This place is great because it has a lot of animals to see and pet. And ladies and gentlemen, baby goats! Who doesn’t love baby goats?!?!

Ok, that gif above is not from the farm, but I thought it was funny.

Anyway, again, I digress. E and baby bro thoroughly enjoyed watching and petting the animals that they saw. From goats, to sheep, to cows, emus, ponies, and more! E loved feeding the baby goats. She’s usually scared of the bigger goats so it was nice to see her be able to feed the little itty bitty baby goats. Did I mention I love baby goats?

There’s also a tiny little barn that houses chickens and rabbits but there are warnings that they can bite, so petting is not encouraged in this case.

 

Enchanted Forest

Part of the appeal for me is to see the structures that were in the old Enchanted Forest Theme Park! I’m such a kid I know! But the structures are from old fairy tales and it’s just so fun to look at them and imagine yourself in the fairy tales.  They are placed all around the farm and if you’re a big kid like me, it’s fun to seem them placed in different places on the farm!

Pine Tree Maze

Some of the structures from the Enchanted Forest are hidden in the pine tree maze. I believe the original plan was to have people come and cut down these trees for Christmas. However, now that the trees are so big, they are now part of this amazing “maze” with hidden gems from the ol’ theme park. Ok Clark’s Elioak Farm, I see you ;-).

What’s great about this maze is the smell. Pine trees. Yassss Christmas! I mean I know it’s not the holidays yet, but wooooot! The smell of these pine trees is enough to make even scrooges get into the holiday spirit!

I loved this place! I mean, the kids enjoyed it too because of all the stuff they “found” in the forest!

 

The Rides

There are several rides that you or your kids can enjoy at Clark’s Elioak Farm. Some of them are worth it and some of them are up to your preferences. We enjoyed all the rides ourselves. =)

The Hay Ride – included in the admission

So you basically go in a huge truck and it takes you around the farm. It’s a good way to take a break while doing a little “sight seeing.” The great thing about this is that you can go on it as many times as you want. I recommend sitting on different sides of the truck if you go on there twice so that you can see different things while going around the farm.

 

The Train Ride – $4 per person

So, it’s the same exact route as the Hay Ride. Yes, you got that right. BUT if you don’t like “crowded” spaces and you like to see the view of both sides of the vehicle AND your kids LOVE trains, then this is the ride for you! It also comes with tons of “choo choo” sounds which baby bro loved so much.

 

The Cow Ride – $2 per person

For the little ones! If you’re comfortable letting your kids go without you for a couple of minutes, this is the ride for you! ;-). Adults can also sit with their kids, but this ride is specifically made for the little ones. I think baby bro, who is 2, may have been a little scared going by himself, but E saved the day. The ride operator was really nice and let her go without a ticket. Woot!

 

The Pony Ride – $2 per person

It’s literally one of the shortest pony rides ever. But E was insistent and I was in a giving mood. Also, had to give it a go for my readers right?!? eh? eh? haha… E loved it of course, but I may forego this one unless they go around the little “track” like 2-3 times.

 

Extras

The Photo Zone

There’s a “Photo Zone” set up so you can take your little family and pose for pics with a cute little set up. Haha however our little ones weren’t too into it.

The Hay Maze

A little mini maze that for some reason was so much fun for E and baby bro. The hay is low enough so you don’t necessarily have to join your kids inside the maze and still see where they are at. E and baby bro ran around like crazy when they figured out how to get in and out of the maze. The older kids tended to be on top of the hay, so just look out for your little one as they traverse through the maze.  We could’ve stayed in the maze for a while but I wanted to explore some more.

 

Other fun stuff

It’s not every day you get to sit on a tractor. Baby bro loved it so much, I had to pry him off the seat. It also makes for a nice photo op! There are also wooden trains and other fun structures around the farm for kids to play in.  Lastly, they do have a store that I forgot to take a picture of. But they sell lots of locally farmed items. I went ahead and bought their apple butter which is actually pretty good on toast. E even wanted to make apple butter sandwich which she ate and loved as well =).

 

Final Thoughts

We had such a great time at Clark’s Elioak Farm! There is so much to do and see for both kids and adults. I would definitely come here again. I recommend going here in the fall because there is a pumpkin patch for the fam and it’s not so hot. The only shade you’ll really find is n the pine tree maze so if it’s too hot, you may get a little uncomfortable when exploring the farm itself.

Thanks for reading and have a great rest of the day!

(all gifs are from giphy.com)