A First Visit to Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom

Now, this is my second time to go down to Walt Disney World but it was my very first time to stop foot in Magic Kingdom and I felt like a little girl full of excitement walking into the park. When you first walk in it’s much like Disneyland in that you go through the ticketing area to the front lawn area, then when you walk around you see it. You see that amazing beautiful castle.

image

Now, I have to remind you that I was on this trip as part of the new movie Zootopia that is now in theaters, and my dear friend Judy Hopps had to pay homage to the creator…Walt Disney himself with a selfie.

image

She also wants to remind you how funny her movie is and that you can go see it this weekend, (we’re going next weekend as a birthday present to my son).

Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom is amazing. I really truly loved it and if an adult ever tells you there is nothing there to do for adults please don’t believe them. You have to try it out yourself…starting with the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train.

image

The way this ride was created was so creative. You get on it and it’s a roller coaster but the individual cars sway back and fourth making the ride even smoother. It was so much fun.

image

We also rode the Jungle Cruise, the Haunted Mansion, Pirates, Big Thunder Mountain, The Magic Carpets of Aladdin, THe Many Adventures of Winnie The Pooh, Peter Pan’s Flight and Splash Mountain. My favorite ride was the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, but I also enjoyed everything about the park.

image

Walt Disney World is much more spacious than Disneyland. All the rides are spaced out and there is so much detail in the sidewalk and all of the surroundings it’s quite amazing. The food was also amazing at this park. We ended up eating at Aloha Isle to get a Dole Whip (my first and it was really really good). Then we had lunch at Columbia Harbour House. I’m on a diet so I tried really hard to eat healthy while I was there and at Columbia House it tasted so good. I had a salad that had three servings of veggies in it. It was so so good. All the food there looked good.

image

While we were there it started raining and the park cleared out. The rain lasted less than 10 minutes and then the park was empty but we still had a great deal of fun. Thanks for all the fun Disney….

image

Fitness Friday: The Healing Benefits of Tumeric: Carrot Soup Recipe

The Healing Benefits of Turmeric: Plus a Carrot Soup with Turmeric Recipe

By Carolyn Harrington, Holistic Health Practitioner and Founder of Maty’s Healthy Products

I’m always on the lookout for foods that promote healing. That’s why I love anything with turmeric in it. If you haven’t had experience using this remarkable spice and don’t know how to incorporate it into your diet, I have a recipe for you to try.

10 Healing Benefits of Turmeric

  1. Has Medicinal Properties
  2. Is Anti-inflammatory
  3. Increases The Antioxidant Capacity Of Your Body
  4. Improves Brain Function
  5. Lowers Risk Of Heart Disease
  6. Helps Prevent And Treat Cancer
  7. Helps Treat And Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease
  8. Helps With Arthritis
  9. Helps Against Depression
  10. Is Anti-aging

This carrot soup, with its nutrient-rich ingredients, can stand on its own as a healthy recipe. Then add the turmeric and this recipe becomes a wonderful agent to promote healing.

This yummy soup is unique because it contains not only turmeric but also another delicate spice called saffron. With the carrots and bell peppers thrown into the pot, you’ve got a delicious soup that’s chock-full of healing potential.

Carrot Soup with Turmeric Recipe

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons butter or vegetable oil
2 medium leeks, peeled and coarsely chopped (white and light green parts only)
1 pound carrots, peeled and sliced
1 bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 teaspoon turmeric (add last to minimize exposure to heat)
¼ teaspoon cayenne
1 tablespoon ground coriander
½ teaspoon saffron
4 cups vegetable stock
½ cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon salt or to taste, if desired
Saffron to garnish

Directions:

Melt the butter in a medium (3-quart) saucepan on medium heat. Add the leeks and cook for about 6-7 minutes or until translucent.

Add the carrots, and bell pepper and cook for another 5-7 minutes or until the carrots begin to soften.

Add the cayenne, coriander, saffron and mix well. Cook for another minute.

Add the stock and bring to a boil. Cover and cook for about 20 minutes or until the vegetables are very tender.

Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.

Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender.

Stir in the cream, turmeric, salt and pepper and garnish with saffron.

Pinnacle Lucky Leprechaun Recipe

We’re getting ready for St. Patrick’s day and Pinnacle Vodka has a few ideas on how to get green!

Lucky Leprechaun

 

Pinnacle Lucky Leprechaun

1 1/2 parts Midori® Melon Liqueur

1 1/2 parts Sweet and Sour Mix

1 part Pinnacle® Citrus Vodka

Juice from 1/2 of a Lemon

2 1/2 inch square of fresh Ginger

Float JDK & Sons™ O3 Premium Orange Liqueur

Garnish with fresh Cranberries

Fill tall glass with ice, pour Midori® as the bottom layer. Muddle fresh ginger and juice of 1/2 a lemon. Add sweet & sour and Pinnacle® Citrus Vodka. Shake with ice. Strain and pour over the bottom layer. Finally, carefully top with cranberry juice and a floater of Orange Liqueur. Garnish with candied ginger and cranberries.

#TravelThursday: Changes At The Roxy Hotel

Roxy Front_Day

The Roxy Hotel, 2 Avenue of the Americas, NYC NY – www.theroxyhotel.com . Sunday Brunch is priced at $35 per adult / $15 per child – for an additional, $20 adults can enjoy endless cocktails.

Renowned for attracting the film and music industries finest, The Roxy Hotel is extending its reputation further by offering the ultimate Sunday sessions for families combining a jazz-infused brunch for parents as their kids enjoy a movie marathon in The Roxy’s infamous cinema. Roxy Lounge

Starting at 11am every Sunday, parents wishing to while away their Sunday with some light jazz beats, delicious food and crafted cocktail in hand can now do so safe in the knowledge that their children are equally enjoying The Roxy’s ever-changing kids movie schedule, mixing favorites such as Happy Feet and Shaun The Sleep with classics including Cinderella and Lady & The Tramp. Parents meanwhile have free reign to indulge in the hotel’s extensive buffet-style brunch, complimented by live jazz music upstairs in The Roxy Lounge – a re-imagined ground-floor dining space by Chef Joseph Abruzzese, formerly of The Breslin. Brunch highlights include made-to-order Belgian waffles and omelets, a baked ham carving station, plus a variety of sweet treats ranging from lemon verbena scones with clotted cream & lemon card to house made doughnuts and black raspberry coffee cake. For families staying at the hotel, kids can further be kept entertained throughout their visit by a pet goldfish, which can be arranged on request via the hotel concierge.

Located on the border of TriBeCa and SoHo, two of downtown’s most affluent residential neighborhoods, The Roxy Hotel (formerly Tribeca Grand) is giving visitors and locals a bevy of reasons to stay and play in the area by unveiling a whole host of new venue concepts. This line-up includes:

  • The Django, a boozy, underground jazz club reminiscent of a classic Parisian boite serving fine, hand-crafted cocktails
  • Jack’s Stir Brew Coffee, a chill new coffee bar by New York’s favorite homegrown brew master – launching April 2016
  • The first outpost of Blackstones, an innovative and personalized East Village salon – launching April 2016
  • A complete transformation of all 201 guest rooms, emerging with fresh design and custom furnishings from local designer Briana Stanley, new amenities such as Fretté bathrobes and modern technologies like Roku – to be unveiled May 2016

The Filipino Cuisine: Eight Dishes You Need to Know

No matter if you’re planning on visiting the Philippines to immerse in its diverse culture, or maybe you want to experience some of it at the comfort of your home, there are some amazing discoveries awaiting you, especially in the field of cuisine. Read on to learn about the eight Filipino dishes you simply must try at least once in your lifetime! And, what’s best, you can prepare most of them by yourself on a budget when you simply go to Discountrue and shop for the ingredients and appliances you’ll need at Target.

1. Lechon Kawali: Made of fried pork belly, this delicacy brings in a mix of traditional Filipino and Spanish influences to the dining table. Typically, a Pinoy holiday celebration is never complete without the roasting of an entire suckling pig – lechon – over coals. A condensed version served in most restaurants basically comprises of pork belly, skin and a little bit of meat fried till crisp.

2. Inasal: This popular street food which also happens to be a cookout staple is comprised of skewered, grilled chicken that is marinated in lime, vinegar, peppers and various tropical seeds. With origins in the west coast city of Bacolod (also referred to as the City of Smiles), Inasal is one dish that Filipinos are really proud of.

3. Lumpia: Lumpia mostly means a vegetable (or sometimes meat) dish that is wrapped up in a crepe-like, egg-based wrapper. Most Westerners see Lumpia as the Filipino cousin to the egg roll, salad roll or spring roll. Lumpia is either served crisply fried or fresh/unfried. Some of the ingredients that can go into the rolls include carrots, sprouts, other veggies, and optionally shaved chicken, pork, shrimp, or tofu. It is also often served with peanut sauce.

4. Sinigang: Sinigang is a soup dish that is very popular as a comfort food in most Filipino eateries. It is renowned for its characteristic sour taste, something which is common in many other Pinoy dishes and mostly comes from tamarind pulp. Sinigang is often served with meat, fish, pork, okra and even spinach, and can vary from one region to another.

5. Balut: Balut is a typical street food, a protein snack that is essentially a hard-boiled chicken or duck embryo. It is very common on the streets from bike vendors. Balut snacks are available at various stages of growth, ranging from 12 to 17 days when embryo begin developing their bone structure and wings. Some Westerners consider this dish a pretty extreme taste of the Filipino culture and food, but you never know – many end up loving it once they try it!

6. Adobo: Adobo is typically pork, chicken or seafood that has been simmered in a marinade of vinegar and soy sauce. Often touted as the national food of the Philippines (though this is unofficial), Adobo begins with a protein like bone-in chicken, pork loin, fish or squid that is then dipped into a pot filled with vinegar, soy, garlic, onions or another vegetable and simmered till it is very tender, pickled in its own stock and then served over rice.

7. Menudo: This is another Pinoy delicacy that is a stew of roasted pork in peppers, other veggies and tomato sauce. More or less a reinvented Filipino version of the classic Spanish soup, Menudo is mostly served over rice with a side of Desperado in the dish.

8. Kinunot-na-Pagi: Kinunot is another popular flavorful and spicy Bicolano dish (from the Bicol region) whose main ingredient is white flake fish – typically tuna or sting ray – cooked using coconut milk and malunggay leaves.

What You Must See and Do in Hollywood Studios

At Walt Disney World, Hollywood Studios is the place to find the Force. I had some time in a few of the parks at Walt Disney World and Hollywood Studios was one of them. I’ve spent some time in Hollywood Studios before because it has two of my favorite roller coasters there. The Hollywood Tower of Terror and Rockin Rollercoaster. Both of which I love to ride over and over again.

image

 

This time, I spent time getting to know the park a little better and seeing that there are other rides to ride. I rode Toy Story Midway Mania and The Great Movie Ride which they have updated a little bit with plans to update it even more.

I didn’t have time for any of the shows but there are some really fun ones like the Frozen Sing a long and The Indianna Jones Stunt Spectacular. I did have time to watch The Path of a Jedi which I really liked and spent some time exploring the Star Wars exhibit.

image

imageimageimageimage

You have to stay for the Star Wars Fireworks Display and dessert party, which is only going to get better as the summer goes on. I saw the Fireworks show and participated in the dessert party (which is an extra cost but unlimited desserts and alcohol so worth it) and it was AMAZING. the music was so dramatic and the fireworks looked like death stars and spaceships fighting it out. This summer you’ll see even more projections as the fireworks display goes on. After seeing what they did at Disneyland with their projections I can only imagine how amazing it will be this summer.

image

The next generation of Star Wars-themed fireworks shows, “Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular,” will premiere this summer with new themed fireworks, lasers, special effects and video projections of characters and scenes from the complete saga, all set to the iconic score of the film series.

The live stage show “Star Wars: A Galaxy Far, Far Away” will debut April 4, celebrating iconic moments from the Star Wars saga with live vignettes featuring popular characters such as BB-8, Kylo Ren, Chewbacca, Darth Vader, and Darth Maul.

The March of the First Order Stormtrooper procession led by Captain Phasma from the Star Wars Launch Bay to the park’s Center Stage adds menace to the entertainment. The just-opened Star Wars Launch Bay showcases large-scale artifacts and encounters with characters including Kylo Ren. The re-imagined Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple experience also features new characters. And at Star Tours – The Adventures Continue, guests buckle up for an enhanced high-speed journey with new Force Awakens characters and a visit to Jakku.

In the park’s Hyperion Theater, the Royal Historians of Arendelle host a jolly sing-along tale of their “Frozen” kingdom with special appearances by Anna, Elsa and Kristoff. And at Celebrity Spotlight, guests can meet Olaf and give him a warm hug.

 

I

Judy and Nick both really enjoyed the fireworks and meeting all the different characters, although Nick was way to scared to meet Kylo Ryn.


Kylo Ren is super scary #theforceawakens #zootopiaevent #starwars #darkside

A photo posted by Louise Bishop (@momstart) on

But he does want you to remember that he has a movie out in theaters…..

Judy also got a selfie with a storm trooper.


Fellow law enforcer #zootopiaevent #starwars #theforceawakens

A photo posted by Louise Bishop (@momstart) on

#TravelTuesday: Murder Mystery Dinner at Southampton Inn

clip_image002

 

MURDER comes to Southampton Inn on March 12th – the perfect evening of escape from cabin fever! Experience excitement and skullduggery at this audience participation dinner theatre event – conveniently paired with an overnight.

Keith & Margo’s Murder Mystery Events are the country’s leading producers of murder mystery dinners and events. Southampton Inn offers an affordable getaway or night out with this unique opportunity. Guests receive a welcome packet complete with name tags and witness forms upon check in. The event begins with a cocktail hour with light hors d’oeuvres and mingling. The host will encourage guests to ask questions that may be pertinent later on in the evening! A gourmet 3 course dinner is served all while the murder mystery event plays out. To conclude the evening, prizes are given out for winners who solve the crime and awards for those who give the funniest answers.

Come alone, with your significant other, or with a group to have a night of fun detective work to solve the whodunit! The event will be held in the Southampton Inn’s recently renovated ballroom. Packages are $340* per couple for the event and include a 3 course dinner, open bar, and overnight room. Breakfast, individual, and longer stay packages are also available. Call 631-283-6500 to book, or for more information visit http://www.southamptoninn.com/specials/murder-mystery-dinner.

The Southampton Inn is set in the heart of the Village of Southampton, and surrounded by many restaurants, shops, and galleries – many of which stay open through the winter! The Southampton Inn is a welcoming respite for all – year round.

The Southampton Inn is constantly updating its website with all the local happenings and fun opportunities. Complete pricing and menus are also available on the website. Go to www.southamptoninn.com for more opportunities like Book Signings, Pet Month, Dinner & Cultural Theatre Nights and the annual Easter Egg Hunt. Call a knowledgeable agent at 631-283-6500.

*Rates based on double occupancy rooms, plus tax. Subject to availability.

The Fun Must Do Items In Walt Disney World’s Animal Kingdom

Walt Disney World’s park Animal Kingdom has so many different things that you can do. From shows to rides to oh yes…THE ANIMALS. Quite a few years ago, when I first went to Walt Disney World I had the privilege of doing the Wile America Trek. It wasn’t open this visit, so instead I was able to do an Animal Kingdome backstage tour.

image

Here is our fearless tour guide along with Nick Wilde and Judy Hopps from Zootopia. You know their movie is now playing in theaters.

On the tour we learned all about how Disney cares for their animals at Animal Kingdom. They take very good care of them as far as I can see. Their health and enrichment are very important on the list. The animals are provided with toys, treats, and anything that could possibly improve their day. Disney does not force the animals to do anything, including animal check ups. They are encouraged quite a bit to make choices by food and other rewards. This also includes getting them in their “beds” at night. Animals know their routine and are usually done with their day before it’s time for food just because they know it’s about time anyway.

image

To get to the backstage tour you have to take the Wild Life Express train to the Conservation Station. Inside the Conservation Station there are so many different opportunities to learn about animals. You can even watch an animal that is going through a surgery. They do as many surgeries as they can in front of the public. It’s such an educational place but so much fun that no one realizes they are learning anything.

Another Tour you must take is the Kilamanjaro Safari Ride. This ride is super duper fun and has amazing close ups of family. It’s a ride through the African Safari with Giraffes, Lions, Zebras, Elephants, Rhinos and so much detail. It was my second time on this ride and I enjoyed it just as much the second time as I did the fist.

image

This was the first time that I rode rides at Animal Kingdom and I had a blast. I visited the Dinoland and rode two different rides. I rode TriceraTop Spin and Dinosaur both of which I enjoyed. Dinosaur is much like Indiana Jones in Disneyland and TriceraTop was just fun, it’s a mini coaster that spins a bit.

For shows, I can recommend two different shows. One is Finding Nemo’s Musical and The Festival of The Lion King. The Festival of the Lion King was so good it brought tears to my eyes. (remember yes I am one that cries)

image

You have to visit the tree of life..not just to get a selfie but also to try out the Bugs life show.

image

At Night be sure to catch the amazing night time show that is starting this summer, the Rivers of Light. The Rivers of Light will have lights projected into the sky, fountains, and water with the backdrop of Mt. Everest and the Tree of Life.

 

image

Food? There are lots of good places to get food but the one I have to recommend is Tusker House. It’s a bit pricey but tasty and all you can eat. Plus it’s a character meal.

image

There is plenty to do in Animal Kingdom, just make sure you have fun with whatever you decide to do. I didn’t have time to do it all.

Easter Bunny Camp Little River Inn Mendocino County California

LRI_Bunny Camp

The Saturday before Easter, guests and locals are invited to hop on over to the inn’s annual EASTER BUNNY CAMP. Held on March 26, 2016, from 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m., littles can hunt for Easter eggs, meet the Easter Bunny, get their face painted, and partake in a host of spring-themed arts, crafts, and games. Cost is $10 per child with a portion of ticket sales benefiting the Mendocino Unified School Enrichment Program. Children can fuel-up for the big hunt at the Little River Inn’s BUNNY BRUNCH. Held in the main dining room, the breakfast includes a bunny pancake, egg, and hot cocoa. Cost is an additional $5 per child. Space is limited for both events so reservations are required. To book, call 707.937.5942 or 888.INN.LOVE.

For it’s first time and as part of Mendocino County’s Earth Day events the Little River Inn is proud to present ”DON’T BE SCARED, IT’S ONLY A REPTILE.” Held on Saturday, April 16, from 9 to 11 a.m., the program teaches children of all ages all about reptiles and other creepy crawly critters through an informative presentation by Al Wolf and friends from the Sonoma County Reptile Rescue, based in Sebastopol, CA. Snakes and lizards will be available to touch, feel, and observe in addition to a host of other activities and exhibits to explore. Healthy snacks will be provided too! This event is free and open to inn guests and the general public.

About Little River Inn

Little River Inn is a family-owned and operated boutique resort on the Mendocino coast of California with a chef-driven restaurant, nine-hole Audubon-certified golf course, professional tennis courts and day spa. Ideal

for the entire family and pet-friendly, the Inn has 66 guest rooms ranging from the economical to the luxurious. Several private meeting and special event spaces with stunning ocean and garden views make the Inn an excellent venue for small- to medium-sized weddings and corporate retreats.

Sweet Potato Muffin Recipe Martha White Muffins & Win Tickets to CMA Music Festival

This is a partnered post.

We have partnered with Martha White who is promoting a contest to win tickets to the CMA Festival in Nashville. I haven’t been to Nashville for years but I LOVE it every time I go. The music scene is amazing and I can’t image what it’s like during the CMA Festival so if you are a country fan this is your time!

MW CMA Festival Promo

You could win a trip for two to the CMA Festival in Nashville and it’s easy to enter. Entering is quite easy. Just visit the Martha White Facebook page and share your information. Then they contact the lucky winners.

Martha White has been around for over 100 years and has a very large selection of items for baking. Their mixes make baking very easy. We received three different muffin mixes to test out in honor of the CMA Festival.

image

These three mixes, the Sweet Potato Muffin Mix, The Blueberry Muffin Mix and the Wild Berry Muffin Mix are super easy to make. Just add milk and mix together. Place in muffin tin and bake. Zoe just recently made the Wild Berry mix. Her and her brother devoured the muffins. So quickly that I wasn’t even able to snap a photo of the final product.

I’m planning on letting them make some of the Sweet Potato muffins tonight and maybe even adding some fruit to it. I found a recipe that includes pineapple, I’m thinking adding apples will be yummy! On the Martha White website they have some tantalizing recipes. Just looking at them makes me want to start baking. Here’s a copy of their recipe from their website!

Red Carpet Sweet Potato Cupcakes

Ingredients

  • Crisco® Original No-Stick Cooking Spray
Cupcakes
  • 2 (7 oz.) packages Martha White® Sweet Potato Muffin Mix
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 (8 oz.) can crushed pineapple, undrained
Frosting
  • 6 ounces cream cheese
  • 3 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups sifted powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped, toasted pecans
Preparation Directions
Cupcakes
  1. HEAT oven to 400º F. Spray 12 medium muffin cups with no-stick cooking spray.
  2. Stir together mix, milk, and pineapple in medium bowl just until blended.
  3. FILL muffin cups almost full. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. Cool in pan 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from pan and cool completely.
Frosting
  1. BEAT cream cheese, butter, brown sugar and vanilla in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Gradually beat in powdered sugar until blended. Spread generously over cool cupcakes. Sprinkle with pecans.
Nutritional Information Per Serving

Serving Size (1 of 12 muffins), Calories 350 (Calories from Fat 120), Total Fat 13g (Saturated Fat 6g, Trans Fat 0g), Cholesterol 30mg, Sodium 250mg, Total Carbohydrate 57g (Dietary Fiber 1g, Sugars 41g), Protein 3g; Percent Daily Value*: Vitamin A 10%, Vitamin C 4%, Calcium 15%, Iron 10%.

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

You’ll find many more amazing recipes on their website. I suggest you head there now. I hope to have a great recipe to share with you after tonight. It depends on how the apples work out. Winking smile. Enjoy!

And don’t forget to go enter that contest!