Cathy's Sherried Tomato Soup (via Pioneer Woman)
Saturday, November 02, 2013
Cathy's Sherried Tomato Soup (via Pioneer Woman)
Thursday, October 31, 2013
Clayton and I love soup so I started a post asking for favorite recipes on Facebook. I had many good responses so I designated this week as soup week. We will be trying 7 new recipes that are guaranteed to be tried-n-true by my friends. Day 1 started on Monday but then I ended up working on a movie set on Tuesday (12pm-2am), so day 2 got pushed to Wednesday. Well, I was too exhausted on Wednesday and we went out to eat instead. Tonight will be day 2 and then I will finish day 7 on Tuesday. I will post each recipe here along with a review so everyone can try these amazing soups. :)
Last week, we tried a recipe and loved it. This Sicilian Chicken Soup is very much the same as the chicken soup at Carrabba's. It is very hearty and the flavor is spot on. I want to thank Amy for sharing it with me. :)
Sicilian Chicken Soup (Carrabba's clone)
1. Cook chicken. Reserve broth to cook vegetables in. Tear it into 1 inch pieces, kinda thin, but not shredded.
2. Dice celery, carrots, onion, potatoes and bell pepper into 1/4-inch pieces.
Stay tuned for: Day 1-Chicken Verde Stew with Hominy (It was another hit!)
Thursday, October 10, 2013
My Aunt Judy is my "other mother". She has always acted as a second mom to me. My mom worked full time when I was little so my aunt stepped in to provide childcare. I have always deemed her extra special since she played such a large part in my upbringing. When her 50th anniversary desires for a big party came up, I offered to make invitations. Originally, I was going to do a simple computer graphic one and print it through Shutterfly. That ended up not happening. I decided to make all 54 invites myself. Besides the shopping and creating the rough draft, I spent a whole day putting them together (7:30am-11:30pm with just a few breaks for meals and picking up the boys from school). It was a pain but well worth the ecstatic praise I got when Judy saw the invite for herself. They are elegant and classy, just how I view her.
Posted by Brandy at 10/10/2013 11:43:00 AM
Wednesday, October 09, 2013
Saturday, October 05, 2013
Tuesday, September 17, 2013
I know I haven't really said much about it but I have been sick for the past several months. I knew it had to do with my vestibular system again (last time was in 2009 for 6 months). Floors move, my eyes get blurry, my ears feel full and hurt, my head gets weird sensations, dizziness takes over, my stomach gets nauseous, and I get panicky. It really sucks. I ended up in the ER back in July thanks to feeling like I would pass out. It was then that I was diagnosed with migraines. Ugh. It runs in my family so it really wasn't a shock. What is different about me is that my migraines are related to my vestibular system (ears-they control balance). I have what is known as MAV (migraine associated vertigo). Typical migraine medicines do not work for a person with MAV. It's quite a bit more complicated. I have good days and bad. There's no rhyme or reason. Disney World was a scary place to be with this illness. I was so scared of getting sick and not being able to ride the rides. I just took it really easy and made myself take naps occasionally when I could feel a headache coming on. My biggest fear happened at the Grand Floridian. I had a massive panic attack during afternoon tea. Looking back, it was likely due to the tea's caffeine and the champagne that I had. It was embarrassing and I had to leave quickly. I have medicine to combat panic attacks but I was already too far into the attack for the med to work correctly. Ugh. Anyway, I won't really complain because I was able to enjoy Disney most of the time and I was lucky that I didn't end up in bed for days on end. Now that we are considering a Disney cruise next year, I am a little concerned. We will just have to wait and see.
Posted by Brandy at 9/17/2013 06:00:00 AM
Monday, September 16, 2013
Sunday, September 15, 2013
8.24.13---Dum dum dummmmm... The suckiest day of the whole trip was finally here. I didn't want to leave! We had such a blast. Here's a few things we learned this time around:
- The Polynesian means a lot to us and that the hefty price tag is well worth it.
- Animal Kingdom was about to get written out of all future WDW plans but Expedition Everest redeemed it.
- Emerson isn't quite ready for thrill rides.
- Magic Bands are the bomb diggity.
- Sanaa and Via Napoli are now in our "must-eat-at" restaurants.
- The Lapu Lapu pineapple drink at the Poly is nothing but straight up rum.
- Sci-Fi Dine-In will always be our quiet refuge in Hollywood Studios.
- Waiting in long lines is for suckers. Fastpass + and paper fastpasses are the only way to go.
- People are rude even in the happiest of places. Feel free to put them in their place from time-to-time. ;)
- Counter service options in our resort is a HUGE deal. We should be able to grab a quick bite easily without having to walk 500 miles to get to it.
- Always, and I mean always, book another trip immediately before departure so that the planning can begin as soon as we get home. :)
Saturday, September 14, 2013
8.23.13---This was the last full day and the craziest of the whole trip. We managed to park hop to 3 of the 4 parks. It was insane but necessary. We had 3 fastpass + ressies for Star Tours, Rock 'n' Roller Coaster, and Toy Story Mania so we headed over to Hollywood Studios first. We didn't like our lunch options in HS so we got on a bus to head to Animal Kingdom.
Friday, September 13, 2013
That night, everyone went to the pool while I hung back for a nap. I woke up just in time to watch Wishes from our balcony. It was hard taking shots of fireworks when I can't remember how to do so but at least you can get an idea of how pretty they were. I loved being able to watch the show in the comfort of our room.
Thursday, September 12, 2013
We headed over to the Magic Kingdom to use our 4 fastpass + ressies. After riding those rides and a couple others, we headed back to the Poly. We couldn't figure out what we wanted to eat so Clayton decided to drive somewhere. When I saw a sign for Chuy's, I knew that was where we should go. I have heard rave reviews of this place but never been there. It was good but apparently I really missed out by not trying a margarita. My friend Jessica says that they are the bomb diggity. A Chuy's just opened up in Charlotte so we will have to make the trip down there for one soon.
Wednesday, September 11, 2013
Tuesday, September 10, 2013
Monday, September 09, 2013
-For starters, the room was hard to get to thanks to the labyrinth of hallways and lack of stairwells. It felt like we were trapped when we were in there.
-The set of 4 small elevators in only one location (far from the room) was annoying. We hated standing with the droves of people just to go up to our floor.
-The pool wasn't that fascinating. This resort supposedly has the BEST water park/pool on grounds but I disagree. I enjoy Wilderness Lodge's pool more than this one. Heck, the Polynesian's is small but better too. The kids were not very impressed.
-There was no "magic". Nothing about this hotel had the Disney magic, as far as I could tell. It felt stale, boring, and just wasn't worth the money. It is pretty inside, but without the magic, it is just any other hotel in my eyes.
-The view of a nasty rooftop was weird. I know I didn't pay for a view, but wow. It couldn't have been worse. I wish I had taken a pic but I was too disappointed to. There was trash on the roof and it just looked gross. Paying more to stare at a parking lot view from the Polynesian is a better deal, if you ask me.
-The maids yelling down the hallways at 7am pissed me off. I swear, that is rude!! We know it was the maids because Clayton was sneaking out the door to get some food when he witnessed it. That day was a sleep-in day so I was not happy.
-The night before was loud with hammering. I was taking a relaxing bath to shake off a headache when I started hearing the beating and banging a few doors down. It went on for a long time and it was close to 10pm. Grrr...
-Transportation from YC stinks. We opted for our car most of the time because taking a bus is just plain awful. To get to the Magic Kingdom via the monorail, we would have to walk all the way to the front of EPCOT to catch it. We hated parking at the TTC to get to the MK. This is where we realized why we pay so much to stay in a monorail resort. It is worth it!!
I am sure that there are more bad things to say about the YC but I am going to quit talking about it and get to the good stuff. We quickly packed up all of our belongings and made our way over to the Polynesian around 1:30pm. The front gate guy greeted us with "Aloha!" and we knew we made the right choice right then. There was a hula lesson going on when we walked into the Great Ceremonial House and the smell of tropical flowers smelled so delightful. It was the magic we were looking for. We went straight to our room and found it to be dirty. It was never cleaned. I called the front desk and they moved us next door. It wasn't clean either. Hmmm... We were a little taken aback by that. I called the front desk again and they ended up moving us to a different long house. They also upgraded us to a Magic Kingdom view! Yes!!! Just so you know, that is a HUGE deal. The weekend rack rate on that room is $610 per night and a regular room is $452 nightly. That is a big difference and I would never pay that much just to look at the castle. I made sure to watch Wishes multiple times from the balcony since this type of room will most likely never happen again for us, lol. Oh, and to make matters even better, we were never charged the $497 up-charge fee for switching from YC to the Poly. :)
Sunday, September 08, 2013
Saturday, September 07, 2013
Friday, September 06, 2013
8.15.2013---We got up and were out the door by 4:05am. I drove the entire way down and only stopped for gas. The boys slept a good portion of the trip. As you can tell, they were out cold. I wish I could have done the same! In all honesty, I was wayyy too excited to sleep so that is why I elected to drive. We pulled into Coronado Springs Resort around 12:30pm. We only booked one night there (room only) because it was a cheaper option than going straight to the Yacht & Beach Club and beginning our package. I don't like to start our package until we have a full day to take advantage of it. Anyway, we were really hoping to like the hotel so that we could stay there again in the future. Staying in a moderate resort would save us a fortune over staying deluxe but we just can't see the point in it. We are much happier saving our money up and staying in the nicer hotels because they offer so much more than the moderates and values. Anyway, we did like CSR for the most part. It had a great pool and we liked the theming. We stayed in the Rancho section (there are 2 other sections with totally different decor). It was right behind their cool Mayan pool. The problem with the Ranchos is that they are too far from the main section that houses the food court, shops, and restaurant. We had to get in the car and drive to the other side for dinner. I found that extremely inconvenient.
My crew sitting outside the Maya Grill
Love my sweet family! It made things feel complete having Stephanie with us. She is so much fun and this was her first time visiting WDW. Unfortunately, her first table service dining experience wasn't the best. We tried out the Maya Grill in the main building of CSR. It was unbelievably HORRIBLE. I cannot stress enough my disdain for this place. The food was cold and tasted bad. We all had different plates and yet it was all pretty gross. I couldn't believe it. How do you mess up Mexican food?! It's really not that difficult to make good tacos, burritos, salsa, and enchiladas. Somehow, this place managed to screw it all up. If you ever find yourself at CSR, my advice is to go to the counter service place (Pepper Market) instead. We didn't try it out but there is no way that it could be worse than the restaurant. If PM sucks too, at least it won't cost as much as MG did. Oh, and please note that MG is not owned by Disney. It is independently owned so I won't blame the mouse for this bad experience.