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Entries in travel (10)


Disney as an Adults-Only Destination... YES!

Today we are snuggled in just waiting to lose power while hurricane Sandy approaches.

But just a week ago I was at Walt Disney World to preview the New Fantasyland, and I'm channeling those warm memories as I write this.

I was invited for a media tour of the New Fantasyland expansion that has taken place in Magic Kingdom. I was invited to bring the family but we just couldn't work it out with our schedules.

So, I went alone.



It was awwwwesome! (I totally sang that)

I was actually down there with a group of bloggers, many of whom I've had the chance to get to know over the years and others I had the pleasure to get to know. You see most of them couldn't work it out to bring their families and we realized...

We could go on all the roller coasters our kids refuse to go on!

Like the Rockin Roller Coaster!

Partay like Rock Stars at Hollywood Studios dude.

We also realized it was the International Food and Wine Festival at EPCOT.


If this isn't the best reason to visit Disney without kids, than I don't know what is.

Yummy Mummy Drink

All of the countries have exotic food offerings and unique drinks that range in price between $5 and $15.

It was such a fun way to experience Disney. Something very new to me and something I want to do again with my husband and possibly for a girl's weekend.

Who's in??

Of course the highlight was being able to be one of the firsts to experience the New Fantasyland. But that needs a post all to itself.

For now, start planning your adult Disney trip and let me know if you need any tips.



Do you prepare meals for your family before you leave for a weekend away?

As I prepare to head to New York City for a 4-day conference I have a lot of preparing to do.

I need business cards
I need to choose appropriate outfits
I need to work out camp carpool.

Then there is always the issue of FOOD.

The Mister is very good about fending for himself and the girls, I try to at least have some foods that make the fending easier. I also let go of the fact that he might not be feeding them the way I would, but they are fed nonetheless... And alive... And usually happy when I return.

I recently polled my friends on Facebook to see who prepares meals for their family when they embark one 'girls's weekend' and who just lets them figure it out.

There were basically 3 types of responses
1. "I don't need to prepare anything because they end up going out or ordering in all weekend"

2. "I let them fend but I make sure to stock the fridge"

3. "Are you serious? My husband cooks more than I do!"

Notice not one actually admitted to cooking and freezing an entire meal.

Times have changed.

I find this fascinating because this week I received the ingredients and the recipe for an easy to make meal, plus the Glad storage containers to keep it fresh from the folks behind Glad Mom Made

 I pictured myself calling my family mid-trip to see how much they enjoyed my enchiladas. I believe I briefly pictured myself in a 50s style dress and apron in an I Love Lucy episode. You know, me being a redhead like Lucy and all.

When the packages arrived I realized,
"Who am I kidding? I don't have any time to make this! But how awesome that my husband has No Excuse NOT to make it! "

And better yet, I expect leftovers stored for me in the Gladware when I get home.

Times have changed Ricky.

So let me ask you dear readers, do YOU prepare food for your family when you go away with friends for the weekend?

It's important to note that Glad Mom Made has tons of cool things from easy recipes (to make yourself or leave for Dad) to crafts and more.  Check it out on Facebook!


Disclosure: I received the items in the photo for the purpose of this review. It also qualifies me for an entry to win a gift card from BSM Media. All opinions are my own and this post was neither reviewed nor approved prior to being published. I just loved the idea of having a meal prepared!


5 Ways to Celebrate Your 40th Birthday

I keep hearing "40 is the new 20!" but I'm not feeling it. I'm not feeling 20. I feel old and wrinkly. Like one of my good friends said recently abou her upcoming 40th, "I wish I could just ignore it."

Why is it that some of us plan a celebration and some of us reject the idea that this is some major milestone?

Everyone has their own idea of what a 40th birthday celebration looks like. Here are 5 that vary from extravagant to mundane. Which one appeals to you?

1) Weekend getaway with friends


image of Muholland Brothers Safari Bag via Skyepeale on Flickr

This was how my group of girlfriends decided to celebrate. We figured with everyone turning 40 within months of each other, we could either travel all over to everyone's 40th birthday party or...all go away together! We are leaving for Meh-hee-co on Thursday!!

Other popular destinations as polled on Facebook and Twitter: Vegas Baby (you have to say 'Baby' after's a law), a cruise, Paris (not just for lovers), and Miami.


2) Professional photo shoot

photography by Melissa Arroyo Photography

A neighbor of mine did this with her 4 girlfriends and the photos are so great. We are not talking Glamour Shots here either. Is that place still around? We are talking PRO fessional!


3) Buy yourself something nice...REALLY nice

image of 5th Avenue Apple Store via bearroast on Flickr

Had we not planned a trip I was trying to think of something I've always wanted that I could treat myself to. There's the Cartier Tank watch I love, the Bulgari ring, and the convertible Audi TT that still calls out to me as I pick crayons out from underneath the seats in my minivan. My photog friends would get a really nice lense - and this is what The Mister did. What would you buy?


4) Nip, tuck and botox

Here is where I draw the the sand (not with permanent marker)...and then I causually erase that line with my foot. I realize the irony that I will invest in 1/10 of an organic grass-fed cow, yet I am not above injecting botulism into my face. I haven't done it yet, but those 'lines' seem to be getting deeper every day and the $500 I spent on airfare to Mexico would also have smoothed out a few of my rough spots.

If it's any consolation (mom) the nipping and tucking are totally out of the question.


5) Party like you are 29 and it's the 90's

image of a Rolls-Royce via Wikipedia

While my friends decided to ditch the big parties this year, other friends of mine are coming back from extravagant weekends where they were flown, hoteled, wined and dined by the 40th birthday boy/girl. It sounds like the 90s again when everyone had their stock options, talked IPOs, and spent money like crazy cause we were all turning 30 and had a strong economy at our back and zero kids climbing on it. These weekends usually include limos, clubs, and lots and lots of mixing of drinks that a 40-year old stomach just can't handle.

So tell me...

How did you (or how do you plan to) celebrate your 40th or 50th or 60th birthday?



10 Things You Might Not Know About Me as I Turn 40


Somehow I turned 40.


Let me roll that one around on my tongue for a bit.


Since I refuse to sit and cry I have decided to share a little more about me. You may know some of these things. I honestly have a terrible memory and can't remember if I blogged about any of them. If you have questions, let me know. Otherwise, enjoy this little window into ME.


1. I did not have a middle name until I got married

For a brief time, in 6th grade I believe, I toyed around with the middle name, Victoria. The problem is that Victoria was the name of my dad's stepmother which would have left my other two granmother's really PO'd. Plus, not having a middle name minimized the impact of the you're-in-trouble-now yell that many parents do when they hollar out their child's full name.


2. I have a tattoo


It's a star with angel wings and it's on the inside of my left wrist. It's in honor of my dad. Whenever the question, "Who's your hero" comes up my answer was and still is My Dad (although my Mom is now my hero too). So the star is because he's my hero AND because he was a Marine. The angel wings you can figure out.


3. I have been inside the Pyramids in Egypt, awed by the Taj Mahal, helecopter skiing in New Zealand, scuba diving on the Great Barrier Reef, and on safari in Africa...twice.



Me hanging out at the Treetops Hotel

Much of that I did before I even graduated high school. I still have the travel bug. But life, kids, and reality has scratched that 'itch' for now. Whenever I'm asked what I would do if I won the lottery I always say, "TRAVEL". Maybe I'll get that PowerBall ticket today.


4. I'm addicted to hand cream

Rarely will you find me without a small tube of cream, Aquaphor, or something I can use on dry skin. I HATE the feeling of dry skin on my hands. In a pinch I'll use chapstick. Sometimes I think the more I use, the more I need.


5. I am very trusting, and willing to give people the benefit of the doubt, but if someone burns me, I'll never forget.

I'm not vengeful, but I will keep that little piece of history in the back of my head...forever.


6. I was an extra on an episode of Sex & The City

I had just had the girls and my hair was really short. It's a restaurant scene where Kim Catrall has pasta spilled onto her by a little kid, and if you blink twice you'll miss me. But the best part was getting a tour of the set, hanging with Mr. Big (Chris Noth) at the food craft table while he was dressed in a hospital gown, and watching Kristin Davis (Charlotte) and Evan Handler (Harry) rehearse the 'tea-bag scene'...clothes on.


7. I like to swear...a lot


Classic Jon Wye belt and comic buckle. Be jealous.

I don't swear on the blog and I rarely cuss on Twitter but sometimes a good four-letter word just FEELS so good rolling off the tongue.


8. I have a flawless British, Australian, and Southern accent

OK, not flawless but if a big Hollywood type is googling "flawless Australian accent" this post will surely be on page one! I have always been able to mimic accents well, and then when I was 30 (gulp, 10 years ago) I took a few acting classes at Studio Theater in DC and one required that I listen to an Australian accent CD over and over. I got pretty good. It would take some refreshing but I bet I could head down under and survive.


9. My most famous quote, "It's not who you know. It's what you know about them that counts."

That landed my photo on a giant screen in a huge ballroom during a work conference in the 90s. You know, one of those conferences where there was a LOT going on outside of the conference sessions? People were giving me funny looks the rest of the weekend. Truth is, I'm always the LAST to know anything. Just ask my friend Linda.


10. I like airplane food


image via Wikimedia Commons

I always have. All the salt and fillers and preservatives. MMMM. Not that I get to eat airplane food anymore what with cutbacks and all. But I loved it all. The salsbury steak, the pasta, the little cherry pie dessert you had to scrape out. It was like TV dinners but everything minaturized. First class and business class are of course the bomb. But I'll take a cafe sandwich with my own little salt and pepper packet any day.

OK, that's it. So is there anything I didn't cover that you really wanted to know? Leave me a comment and maybe I'll answer it!

For now, thanks for helping me celebrate turning 40!



We made it to Disney thanks to quick thinking, phone waiting, luck, and God

Now I'm not a religious blogger, nor do I ever talk about religion, my beliefs or anything probably remotely related to that.

But I have to say there was some Devine Intervention yesterday as we got out of DC before snomageddon, snopacolypse and snOMG #3 came barreling down on us.


Powered by Whrrl



Here's a brief recap of what happened:

We are scheduled on a flight for Wednesday 2/10 at 1:20pm

On Monday 2/8 I'm looking at the upcoming storm and see they upgrade it to a 'warning' calling for 10-20 inches of snow.

Around 10:30 am I am chatting with other DC area bloggers headed to Disney and someone on Twitter alerts me to the fact that many airlines are NOT charging change fees for people trying to avoid the storm.

I immediately get on with Air Tran and sit on hold for about 30 min. Lo & behold they are NOT charging change fees AND there are 4 seats available on a Tuesday morning flight! whoot!

Now we start scrambling to finish work, get packed, find a hotel room, etc.

Later in the afternoon it dawns on me that I can check in 24 hours in advance! Oops!

I go to the AirTran website to check in and I realize I'm on a different flight!! WTH?

I then scramble to call AirTran to figure out what happened but the flight is for 12:28 so I still think we're safe. We stick with the flight and spend the rest of the day/night getting ready.

Day of Trip

I just have to say that it was really a miracle we made it.

1. Of all days this day we leave late for the airport

2. Somehow there is no traffic going to the airport despite the snowy roads (some have been reduced to one lane because of all the snow)

3. The line at security was minimal...I could have sworn it would be awful with everyone and their brother trying to get out of dodge before the next storm. But maybe everyone's flight had already been canceled and they didn't want to get stuck at the airport?

Anyway, wishing all my friends good luck getting here...some are on busses, trains, and driving down. In the mean time I'll just be grateful we made it safe and sound.