My Favorite Products From The Ordinary

My Favorite Products From The Ordinary

I was introduced to and have been using a number of products from The Ordinary for a little over a year now. If you haven’t heard of The Ordinary, they are a Canadian skincare brand and they were founded on the idea of creating transparency in the beauty industry. When doing research to start the company, founder Brandon Truaxe came to realize that most skincare companies have a markup of around 95% as the active ingredients in products really only cost pennies to produce. That high markup comes from lots of filler products, luxury packaging, and marketing. The Ordinary sells very simple products that only contain the active ingredients that truly work – with no fancy fillers or frills. The products can feel a lot less luxurious than higher priced products (many are quite tacky or slightly awkward to apply), however the prices are too good to be true (as in most products are under $10) and the products are highly effective. Today I wanted to share my favorite products I use from the line!

Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 // Hyaluronic Acid normally occurs in our skin, but as we age the amount we naturally have decreases. Hyaluronic Acid acts as a magnet for moisture, retaining large amounts which helps keep the skin hydrated and contributing to a plumped appearance. Hyaluronic Acid is a must for anyone who is interested in their skin’s hydration & appearance, and you really can’t beat the price of this one. This is a must in my skin regimen and I use it as a first step every night in my skincare routine. I’ve heard it is a great dupe for the Peter Thomas Roth Hyaluronic Acid.

Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% // Niacinamide is also known as vitamin B3, and this product is great for clearing congestion, brightening skin tone, and I’ve even heard it does have some anti-aging properties. I have noticed a huge improvement in my skin with this in preventing breakouts & clearing blackheads and this is a product I can’t live without! I use this product at night prior to applying serums/moisturizers. It can pill a bit with application, but I’ve found it applies best by patting it on the skin rather than spreading it, and letting it sink in a bit before applying anything else. I’ve heard this is a good dupe for Paula’s Choice Niacinamide.

“Buffet” // This is a recent addition to my skincare regimen as I had heard so many great things (and I have a friend who swears it is her favorite product from the whole line). This product is a mix of peptides, probiotics, amino acids, and hyaluronic acids and is supposed to target general signs of aging. The product is supposed to help stimulate collagen production, as well as help relax muscle contractions (aka Botox in a bottle!), however there are some claims that peptides are not super effective. Yet I’m excited to give this one a try and see if I notice improvement in my skin after a few months of use! I have heard this may be a good dupe for Lancôme’s Advanced Génifique Youth Activating Serum.

100% Organic Cold-Pressed Rose Hip Seed Oil // I use this oil almost nightly, and this oil is great for targeting signs of aging, reducing irritation, and for hydrating. While is it is a lightweight oil, it can make your skin look a bit oily so I would recommend it for night only. I apply this just prior to applying moisturizer.

100% Plant Derived Squalane // Squalane is sometimes known as the “non-oil oil.” This is a great hydrator and it helps with the skin’s moisture barrier. And it is great for people with oily skin as it won’t cause breakouts. This product is really a gem, and I primarily use it during the day for a little extra hydration prior to applying my moisturizer. It wears well under makeup without making your face oily or greasy feeling. It’s an amazing dupe for the Peter Thomas Roth version.

Alpha Arbutin 2% + HA // This is a new product to my line up and I purchased it in hopes of reducing a sun spot and a few freckles I have! This product is supposed to reduce the look of spots and hyperpigmentation, and even help with lightening acne scarring. I apply this every morning prior to applying a vitamin C serum. I haven’t been using this long enough to see if it is effective, but I am hoping I see some positive results after a few months of use! So far I’ve not experienced any negative effects after a few weeks of use.

Marula Oil // This oil is a great hydrator and helps brighten skin tone. This is a somewhat heavier oil, so I typically reserve this for post peel, or during the winter months when my skin is needing some extra moisture. This is a great dupe for Drunk Elephant’s Virgin Marula Luxury Face Oil. I recently tried the Drunk Elephant version, and while it’s a nice product, I don’t see enough of a difference between the two to justify the significantly higher cost.

AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution // I absolutely love this exfoliating peel. It brightens, evens out my skin tone, clears congestion, and leaves skin incredibly soft. This is a bit messy to apply (I’ve heard it called the vampire peel!) as the product is a red, runny liquid that you spread on your face & leave on for up to ten minutes before rinsing. However the results are worth it! I’ve heard this is quite similar to Drunk Elephants T.L.C. Sukari Baby Facial (which I have not tried), that also uses AHA/BHA. (**I just want to note – this is a very strong peel – so if you are a beginner with peels/acids I would highly recommend that you start with a gentler product than this one.**)

What I’m planning to try next:

Caffeine Solution 5% + EGCG // This product is supposed to reduce the look of puffiness and dark circles, so I’m curious about trying this one as a daytime under eye treatment.

Lactic Acid 10% + HA // I’ve heard this exfoliating treatment is a good dupe for Sunday Riley’s Good Genes, and I love a good exfoliator!

Glycolic Acid 7+ Toning Solution // I’m actually a big fan of Mario Badescu’s Glycolic Acid Toner, so I’m curious to try this one to compare!

Have you tried The Ordinary?!

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Taking Care of Yourself During the Winter

Taking Care of Yourself During the Winter

Sweater // Jeans // Boots // Coat // Sunglasses

One thing I love about Idaho is experiencing the four seasons, including winter. I’m always so excited for the first snow and the start of ski season, and I do genuinely enjoy the cold…for a few months that is. It’s at about this time every year, where I really just start to feel “over” winter and am so ready for spring. We’ve had an onslaught of snow and colder than normal temperatures over the past week, which is starting to get to me a bit. Today I’m sharing some ways to help feel your best to help get through these (hopefully) last weeks of winter!

HYDRATE

I do find its harder to drink enough water when its cold outside, and I prefer hot drinks like coffee (which is super dehydrating). I love sparkling water which helps me increase the amount of water I drink, and an infuser to flavor water can also help encourage fluid intake.

MOISTURIZE

My skin really struggles in the winter, so I really try to take the time to give it a little extra TLC. Hyaluronic acid helps the skin by working as a magnet for moisture and helps your cells retain as much as possible. I apply hyaluronic acid nightly, along with a moisturizer, and often include an extra hydrating step like a sheet or sleep mask. And even though it is winter, don’t forget to wear your sunscreen! I also make sure to moisturize my whole body with a quality moisturizer, and for my feet an extra rich moisturizer. My hair also tends to get very dry, so I add moroccan argan oil daily, and use a deep conditioning treatment 1-2 times per week.

EXERCISE

I love running, but it’s very hard for me to continue to run regularly in the coldest part of winter. Of course warm clothes help, but sometimes I just find it too miserable to run. When I lose motivation to run due to the weather, I try to ski as often as I can and even just increase my walking as much as possible. An indoor fitness program can be a great option, or even just taking time for yoga or stretching.

EAT WELL

Rich, heavy comfort foods are really tempting during the winter, and it is super easy to pack on the pounds. Finding the balance of having warm foods that are still light and healthy (like broth based soups with vegetables), will help you feel your best! I also try to make kale smoothies several times a week. A vitamin D supplement is also very important during the winter!

TREAT YOURSELF

Treating myself some warm and cozy loungewear helps cheer me up a bit when I feel trapped indoors. My feet are constantly cold as well, so warm slippers and aloe infused socks are a nice treat.

SHOP THE POST

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Water Bottle Infuser // Hyaluronic Cloud Cream // La Mer Moisturizer // Water Sleeping Mask // Kiehl’s Moisturizer // L’Occitane Foot Cream // Moroccanoil // Hair Mask // Running Jacket // Vitamin D Supplement // Sweatsuit Top and Bottoms

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The Perfect Lace Blouse Styled 6 Ways

The Perfect Lace Blouse Styled 6 Ways

Lace Blouse (also here)

I have been on the hunt for ages for the perfect lace blouse…as in I’ve been looking for probably 2 years now. I wanted it to be something that was very versatile and could be styled a multitude of ways, was lined, and looked luxe while not being crazy expensive. This blouse (which is under $100!) is pretty much everything my lace blouse dreams were made of! Today I’m sharing with you a fun little try-on session I had the other day coming up with some of my favorite ways to wear it!

TRANSITIONAL

I see myself wearing this blouse styled this way for the next month or two as a transition piece from winter to spring! I think it would also be really cute styled with my beige suede moto jacket as well.Blouse // Cardigan // Jeans // Booties // Similar Rag & Bone Hat // Bag

 

ROMANTIC

With Valentine’s Day around the corner, as well as February being heart month with many benefits/fundraisers happening, this would be a perfect romantic look for date night or outfit to wear to a dressy fundraiser.Blouse // Skirt (old DVF, similar here) // Shoes (amazing dupes here!) // Bag // Similar Earrings

 

SOFT

Even though it’s not exactly feeling like it outside at the moment, spring isn’t far away! I think this outfit would be perfect for a spring wedding, Easter, or for a baby/bridal shower. Blouse // Skirt (old ASOS, similar here) // Shoes (amazing dupes here!) // Bag // Similar Earrings

 

EDGY

This would be an outfit I would wear for a date night with my hubby, or for a fun girls night out!Blouse // Moto Jacket // Jeans // Heels // Bag // Similar Earrings

 

PROFESSIONAL

I love wearing monochromatic looks for work, and I love pairing this top with pale neutrals like beige.Blouse // Skirt // Pumps (old Kurt Geiger, similar here) // Bag // Similar Earrings

 

CLASSIC

How I will most frequently wearing this top! Definitely a great outfit for day to day running to appointments, meeting friends for lunch, or even just looking a bit more polished for volunteering at my kids’ schools!Blouse // Jeans // Belt // Shoes (great dupes here!) // Bag // Similar Earrings

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Snow Day Fun

Snow Day Fun

If you live in the Pacific Northwest you are probably hunkering down this weekend with the big storm we’ve been having! We’ve only received a small amount of snow here in Boise, but many areas around us are getting 1 foot or more! My kids absolutely love playing in the snow, and today I wanted to share some ideas for making the most of the snow and having a fun snow day!

 

WARM CLOTHES

Coat // Pants // Base // Socks // Boots // Gloves // Beanie

Kids Ski Suit // Mittens // Beanie // Boots

 

TOYS

Snow Stencil Kit // Snow Brick Mold // Snow Scooter // Snowball Maker // Snowman Kit // Snow Plow Toy // Tube (comes in 5 animal options!)

 

WARM UP INSIDE

Hot Cocoa Pot // Hot Cocoa // Marshmallows // Temperature Gauge Spoons // Peppermint spoons // Indoor Snowball Fight Kit // Cozy Blanket

Have fun!!!Signature

Celebrating Valentine’s Day as a Family

Valentine’s Day is a week away, and today I’m sharing how we choose to celebrate the day! My husband and I don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day as a couple (I feel like it’s a bit cheesy) but I do admit I kind of enjoy embracing the kitsch and celebrating it as a family. I tend to go a bit overboard on celebrating most holidays, but I like to keep Valentines to a minimum with a fun homemade dinner for the family & a simple gift for each of the kids.

I typically get the kids each a little basket and fill it with some inexpensive toys and a few treats. Matchbox cars, small packages of legos, mini boxes of chocolates & candies, glow sticks, playing cards, bath bombs, small books, & miniature stuffies are all a few ideas for simple, budget friendly basket fillers. I will often grab the kids each a Valentine’s Day balloon to tie to their basket to complete it! (The dollar store is a great place to grab balloons)

Heart basket, Mini chocolate box, Book, Heart box, Puppy with purse, Bath bombs, Legos, Hot wheels, Glow stick, Silly book, Cupid farts candy, Best son ever sketchbook (best daughter ever book), Playing cards

Heart shaped pizza is a classic Valentines Day dinner that is so simple to make with refrigerated dough! (I buy it from Trader Joe’s) The hubs and I love a good bbq chicken pizza, and for the kids you can amp up the valentines theme with some heart shaped pepperoni! Heart shaped pasta noodles, or even pink-dyed noodles would be cute as well. For dessert, I love making a chocolate fondue (pot and recipe) with lots of different dipping items like berries (especially strawberries!), marshmallows, and mini-brownies and/or cookies.

How do you celebrate Valentine’s Day?!

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What To Wear To Disney World In January

What To Wear To Disney World In January

One // Two // Three // Four // Five // Six // Seven // Eight // Nine // Ten // Eleven // Twelve // Thirteen // Fourteen // Fifteen // Sixteen // Seventeen // Eighteen // Nineteen

When you plan a trip south during the winter months, I know there is always the assumption that the weather is going to be warm. However after living in Southern California for eight years, I am well aware this isn’t always the case. When we planned our trip to Disney World for January, I expected the weather to be cooler and unpredictable and packed accordingly…and am so thankful I did because we had a few days there where the temps were nearly the same as it was back home in Idaho! I met a few gals at our hotel who were visiting from South America and had only brought shorts, and were pretty much freezing and miserable. We had pretty wild temperature swings while we were there, and it could be anywhere from 40 degrees to 70 degrees, even on the same day! We dressed in layers, and carried backpacks to carry extra layers or shed them during the warmest parts of the day. I packed a mix of short & long sleeve tees, sweatshirts, and warm coats for morning & evening. We also made sure to wear comfortable shoes, because we averaged 7-10 miles a day walking through the parks! Our hotel had laundromats located throughout the property, so we washed & re-wore things several times to cut down on the amount of stuff we brought, and it also allowed us to dry wet coats & shoes. I also packed things all in the same color scheme, so I could easily mix & match – and it all coordinated with my red & black sequin Minnie ears! The day we took off from going to the parks was actually quite warm, and we were able to go swimming – so I would recommend bringing a swimsuit even during the winter months! I also packed gloves for the kids for the evenings when it was coldest. Even though the weather certainly wasn’t hot, we enjoyed the mild temperatures since we were so active, as well as the overall smaller crowds in January – and we would definitely go visit in January again!

img_1101img_0164My shirt // My jacket (I’m obsessed with this I.AM.GIA dupe and want more colors! Size up 1-2 sizes) // My jeans // My shoes (also love these, these, and these)  —  Evan’s sweatshirt // Evan’s jeans // Evan’s shoes (sold out, similar)  —  Cole’s shirt // Cole’s jeans // Cole’s shoes

facetune_27-01-2019-20-08-40img_1038Ponchos are an absolute must to have on hand! I packed some disposable emergency ponchos so we could just toss them & not have to worry about bringing them back home. Also this stroller is amazing – I even got stopped by a few fellow parents who asked about it! It’s super affordable and is very sturdy, plus it has great storage, a reclining seat, and a sunshade.

My coat // My hoodie is old but similar here & here // My tee // My leggings (these were great for a rainy day since they dried quickly!) // My shoes // My backpack  —  Evan’s sweatshirt // Evan’s jeans // Evan’s shoes (similar)  —  Cole’s coat (similar) // Cole’s shirt //  Cole’s jeans // Cole’s shoes

snapseedFor our day off from the parks I felt like dressing up a bit! This dress is a few months old from H&M, but this is similar. My belt is here, and my shoes are J Crew & a few seasons old but these are similar.

Cole’s tee // Cole’s jeans  —  Evan’s tee // Evan’s jeans

img_0446My shirt (and I layered this tee underneath) // My jeans // My shoes // My bag  —  Evan’s sweatshirt // Evan’s jeans // Evan’s shoes (similar)  —  Cole’s tee // Cole’s jeans // Cole’s shoes

facetune_30-01-2019-23-42-36-1My tee // Not pictured but for evening I layered this cute Mickey sweatshirt on top (it runs small & cropped so size up!) // My jacket // My jeans // My shoes  —  Evan’s tee (not available online but similar) // Evan’s jeans // Evan’s shoes (similar)  —  Cole’s coat (similar) // Cole’s jeans // Cole’s shoes

img_1103facetune_31-01-2019-22-46-24My shirt is last summer J Crew but similar options here, here & here // My jeans // My shoes // My bag  —  Cole’s tee // Cole’s jeans // Cole’s shoes  —  Evan’s tee // Evan’s jeans // Evan’s shoes (similar)

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Our Walt Disney World Vacation

Our Walt Disney World Vacation

Happy Monday! We are all still a bit jet-lagged and tired today as we just got back from our first family vacation to Disney World! When we lived in Southern California we didn’t live far from Disneyland, so we did take Cole a number of times, but we had been hearing from friends for ages that Disney World is a completely different experience & we really needed to go! Before I share a bit about specifics of our trip, I wanted to share a few tips and recommendations should you be considering a Disney World vacation.

The My Disney Experience App is really key in booking all of your restaurant reservations and Fast Passes so if you are planning a visit, as soon as you book your hotel, downloading the app should be your next step! We booked our trip about 4 months in advance, and we were able to get dining reservations for everything we wanted but I’m pretty sure we were only able to do so because January is the off season – and we still ended up with meals at off times (like 4pm & 7pm). I would highly recommend booking at minimum 6 months in advance, and making all of your dining reservations at that six month point! Extremely popular restaurants like Be Our Guest and Cinderella’s Table are very difficult to get reservations for, so book as early as you possibly can! Fast Passes can be booked for guests staying on site 2 months in advance (only 1 month if you are staying off site), and popular rides get booked solid very quickly. We elected to stay on-site and it is definitely the way to go as they really do make things so simple for you. Disney sends you tags to place on your bags, and once you drop them off at the airport, Disney does the rest and delivers them right to your room! When you leave, they also check your bags into the airport right from the property & you can go straight to the gate without dealing with luggage! (Not dealing with bags was amazing and I’m now wondering why don’t all hotels do this?!) They also provide shuttle service to & from the airport, as well as to the parks from the hotels. You are given a magic band prior to your trip, which links to the app & you use it to scan in at rides for fast passes, link photos, make purchases with a linked card, and it also acts as your room key.

We chose to stay at Coronado Springs – which is a moderate resort at Disney. It is a convention hotel – which appealed to us since they have fewer park guests so the bus lines were very short and the pool wasn’t crowded. They also have a full service spa unlike most moderate resorts. Overall we were happy with our stay! The staff was super nice & friendly, the food was good, the beds were very comfortable, and the pool with water slide was a lot of fun for the kids. Housekeeping surprised us & spoiled the kids with balloons, birthday pins, and a stuffed Pluto & Goofy as we were celebrating Evan’s birthday while we were there! That said – if we go back I think we would choose a deluxe resort for a few reasons. One reason would be that several of the deluxe resorts have monorail access, which makes transportation to the parks even quicker & easier. The deluxe resorts also have bus stops closer to the park entrances, and more frequent busses for pickup so the wait is a bit shorter. Also the deluxe resorts have character experiences on site – which would be nice to enjoy a character meal right at your hotel & make for a bit more “Disney” experience without having to leave the resort every day. Also with two kids, a slightly larger room would be an added bonus as well. That said, there is a lot of value to be had at the moderate resorts with a pretty large savings, and you still do get the majority of the amenities found at the deluxe resorts.

We also opted for the Disney dining plan, which I highly recommend! We went to a number of character meals, and they are very pricey. A character meal for a family of four is in the $200 range, so having those included in your dining plan is fantastic. Also all of the cute snacks & drinks around the parks are included in the plan, so it really allowed us to feel free to indulge in the overpriced themed snacks as much as we wanted! With your dining plan you also get refillable mugs which you can fill with soda, coffee, juice, tea, and cocoa as many times as you want for free at any Disney resort throughout your stay. We also purchased Memory Maker, and with this, all of your photos taken by Disney photographers & on the rides are uploaded to your app for downloads. It is something I would absolutely recommend purchasing!

We spent our first day at Magic Kingdom, which in hindsight may have been a mistake. Our first day was a Saturday, and even though it was January, Magic Kingdom is always very crowded on weekends. We weren’t able to make it on as many rides as we wanted, and restaurants were pretty crowded. But we were able to snag breakfast reservations at Be Our Guest (which is a great value on the dining plan!) and this was our favorite restaurant from our entire visit! The Beast doesn’t appear at breakfast or lunch, but it’s such a neat place to dine with the whole Beauty and the Beast theme, and just the ambience alone makes it so enjoyable.

Magic photos are so fun and included with Memory Maker! And it’s always a fun surprise seeing what they added to the photo! This ride is an absolute blast, and also extremely popular! Early fast passes for this one is a must! The wait was consistently 2+ hours. The Mickey Ice cream bars are delicious!We ate dinner at Crystal Palace which is a character meal featuring the characters from Winnie the Pooh! The buffet was quite good, and the special friendship celebration parade with all the kids was just so cute! The characters at all of the character meals are just fantastic and make it so special for the kids.You can’t go to Disney and not take a ride on the Tea Cups! We also watched the evening firework show which was fantastic.

Our second day we went to Hollywood Studios…and we were not blessed with good weather. It absolutely poured. All day. I had been watching the weather, so I was prepared with ponchos for all of us. But it was pretty hard to completely avoid getting wet. Luckily many of the rides & experiences are indoors at this park, so we were able to dry off at each experience, before bundling up & heading to the next one! And the one big perk of toughing out the day was that there were virtually no lines at any of the rides and the park was pretty empty.

Our highlight of the day was meeting all of the Star Wars characters! The kids are still talking about this & saying it was one of their favorite things from the whole trip. The storm troopers were walking around questioning people, Kylo Ren was pretty scary, & Chewie was like a big teddy bear – and it just made for a super fun experience! We also stayed dry watching the Indiana Jones show which was a neat behind the scenes peek at how movies are made & they did some really neat stunts. My boys weren’t interested in seeing it, but if you have girls I heard the Frozen show was really neat! We also went on the Tower of Terror ride (it’s absolutely terrifying & I’m questioning my parenting that I took my kids on it), as well as Slinky Dog Dash which was an absolute blast! The Star Wars 3D ride was really neat & they change the graphics constantly so no two rides will be the same! We ate dinner at the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant & this was one of our favorite meals. You sit in a car and they show old sci-fi movies on a big screen. Unfortunately we missed the evening Fantasmic show which we had really wanted to see, because once the sun went down we were too wet and cold to stick it out at the park any longer. That’s something we definitely want to catch next time.

The next day we headed to Animal Kingdom! This park has a much different feel than the other parks and is more of a zoo than an amusement park. You definitely need to make sure to go on the Kilimanjaro Safari – it really is like going on a mini-safari and you get to see all of the animals in a more natural habitat.

The dinosaur ride was one of the kids favorites!

A few highlights of the day in addition to the safari were; Its Tough to Be a Bug (which is a super cute 3D show inside the Tree of Life), The Boneyard playground where they could dig up dinosaur bones, Dole Whips (it’s like a pineapple soft serve), and the evening water show was absolutely incredible. We ate dinner at Yak & Yeti, which was one of the more disappointing meals of our trip. We love Asian and Indian food so we were excited to try it – but the food was just very mediocre for the price, so I would try Tusker House next time!

On Tuesday we took a day off from the parks to rest a bit & we also booked brunch at Chef Mickey’s where we celebrated Evan’s recent birthday! The ambience at Chef Mickey’s was really fun. It’s really lively and the characters were absolutely fantastic! Mickey seemed a bit rushed, but all of the other characters were so playful and fun. I had pre-ordered a cake through Disney dining ahead of time so as we were finishing up our meal, they brought the cake out and sang for everyone celebrating birthdays! There was only one other person I saw celebrating, so it was kind of neat and felt really personalized! I had also pre-arranged to have balloons & a plush Mickey delivered to our table to be waiting for us which I purchased through Disney Floral & Gifts. Just a disclaimer on this – there is a $25 delivery charge (ouch!) to have them deliver a gift for you.

Chef Mickeys was really fun and I’m glad we did it. But you are paying for the characters and ambience. It is very pricey for what you get as the food is very mediocre and there weren’t as many options as I would expect from an expensive buffet. It is a part of the Disney dining plan, so it was a good value to use a dining credit towards. However I think if we went back, I would look into trying the dinner buffet instead as I felt that $60 per person for a somewhat limited breakfast menu was a bit steep.

After brunch, we spent the rest of our day swimming, and playing at our hotel playground and hotel arcade. For dinner we headed over to Disney Springs which is the shopping area on property. They have a lot of great shops including some of my favorites like Zara, Uniqlo, and Free People. My kids absolutely loved the LEGO store & they had a neat area where you could build LEGO cars and race them against other kids building them! We also grabbed some Sprinkles cupcakes for dessert!

On Wednesday we headed to Epcot! I am a total foodie, so Epcot was a lot of fun for me. We spent a fair amount of time just walking around World Showcase and sampling foods from around the world! We had breakfast in France at Les Halles Boulangerie & Patisserie, lunch in Mexico at La Cantina de San Angel, and dinner in Italy at Tutto Italia. Some of our highlights from Epcot; I absolutely loved the Soarin’ Around the World Ride while the kids loved the Test Track ride – in fact so much so that we skipped the evening firework show because they wanted to do that ride over and over! It was also just a lot of fun to walk around in all the countries and browse the shops where they had things from those countries available to buy! I ended up buying some Givenchy lipgloss in France as a little souvenir.

On our last day we went back to Magic Kingdom and after a breakfast of cinnamon rolls and LeFou’s Brew at Gaston’s, we had a marathon day of riding all the rides! Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Splash Mountain, Pirates of the Caribbean, Haunted Mansion, and Seven Dwarfs Mine Train were our favorites and we did several of these more than once! We also caught the afternoon parade which was really cute.

For our last night, we went to Be Our Guest for dinner and this was one of our favorite experiences of the whole trip! The food is actually impressively good, and the Beauty and the Beast theming is really fantastic. There’s 3 dining rooms; the Ballroom where we were seated which is huge & grand – and there is always snow falling outside the windows, the West Wing where the enchanted rose is (our table was right near the doorway so we could see the rose from our table), and the Castle Gallery which has a large figurine of Beauty and the Beast dancing as well as a number of large paintings of them. The food is French with a 3 course price fixe menu. I opted for the French Onion Soup, the Seafood Bouillabaisse, and for dessert you get a trio with a raspberry Macaron, a white chocolate “Chip” filled with the gray stuff, and a chocolate truffle. The gray stuff is incredibly rich…but it is in fact delicious! The kids dessert trio came with sugar paint & they got to paint their Chip cups and eat them which was darling! The Beast periodically walks through the dining area & then greets guests in his study where there is a photographer to take your photo with him after dinner.

And there you have it…a summary of our week at Disney! We aren’t huge “Disney people” so we were a little unsure of how fun it would be, but we enjoyed it so much I do think we will go back in a few years. If you are thinking of taking a trip to Disney and have any questions, please leave them in the comments for me! And because the weather was quite temperamental during our stay, I’m planning on writing a follow up post this week about what to pack & wear during a January Disney trip!

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