September 2017

Liam’s 6th Birthday Weekend ~ Part 4 ~ Wrapping It Up!

For Liam’s 6th birthday weekend, we had packed our bags & enjoyed a staycation at Walt Disney World.Β This is the last post in our series. It’s really been a blast sharing our memories & photos. My main purpose of this blog is turning it into a keepsake book for Liam, so capturing all of these special moments & memories is a privilege for him.

You can catch up with the 1st post about our stay at the Animal Kingdom Lodge – HEREΒ ; the 2nd post about our magical time at Cinderella’s Royal Table – HEREΒ ; and, the 3rd post about our fun time with character dining – HERE.

I’ve mentioned before how much we LOVE the magic shots throughout the parks. This was a cute one with our friend, Olof, that we found while wandering through the Magic Kingdom.Β  Showing a little personal flurry & of course, all good things!! — I’ve finally started to remember to ask some of the photographers if they have any they can use πŸ™‚

Ever since our annual passes started in January, we’ve been dying to ride the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train at the Magic Kingdom. However, each time I attempted to secure a Fast Pass for this ride, I was not able to & the lines were always ridiculously long. Since we had a resort reservation, though, I finally was able to get one & Stephen and I were stoked. Liam ….not so much at 1st. In fact, he down right almost refused to get on the ride. He’s not a fan of roller coaster rides, and thought this was one. You can see from his face below that he wasn’t thrilled as the ride started….lol.

Got to love the Photopass shots — this one was snagged from the ride & sent directly to our magic bands! So awesome. — Liam was still not loving the ride at this point ….but by the time we pulled back into the cottage area, he was all smiles. Thanks to Hurricane Irma & low crowds at the park lately, we’ve been able to ride it again since his birthday weekend.

Another family favorite ride for us is Pirates of the Caribbean. Love this new fun snap shot that’s yet another Photopass feature. — Murphy family holding it down in the back of the boat!

Family Picture in front of Cinderella Castle….

Believe it or not, one of Liam’s most favorite parts of the weekend was riding the resort buses. He talked about it a lot in the weeks leading up to this weekend. We see the resort buses all the time while we are driving around on property, but we never have (or need) the opportunity to ride in them. I think it has just been the curiosity to be in them and see what they are all about.

He was all about it each time. He even noticed when there was a different type of bus picking us up. In the gift shop of our hotel, he chose the matchbox car gift set of the resort buses as one of his birthday presents.

On Sunday afternoon, as we were heading over to Epcot, we stepped onto the bus and Liam was holding his matchbox version of the same bus. The bus driver noticed he had it, and the two sparked conversation. She told him all about the bus and gave him little cards that looked like trading cards. They have photographs of the bus on one side and info/stats on the other. He loved them.

When we got to the park, she asked if we could wait to leave until everyone else stepped off. We obliged. She then asked if it was okay if Liam sat in her seat & wore her captain’s hat. O M G — yes!! He was over the moon excited! She raised the seat up for him to reach the steering wheel & pointed out some buttons. He was beaming! — It was so kind of her & we will forever be grateful πŸ™‚

Sunday evening, we hopped over to Animal Kingdom. Doesn’t the Tree of Life look amazing at night?

We also were excited to check out Pandora — The World of Avatar. I had previously taken Liam back in May for the annual passholders preview event, but Stephen had to work. Thus, this was his 1st time checking it out. The first night time experience for all of us. The lighting effects throughout were very cool….

Last sleep as a five year old …..the next morning, our sweet boy woke up SIX!! πŸ™‚

We have love all things Disney & this Build Your Disney Family image & decal was super fun to create. Check it out HERE while it’s still available! The best part of all is that it’s FREE!

Liam’s entire 6th birthday weekend was filled with so many wonderful memories and special experiences. We are blessed to have been able to share that together as a family, and it’s a time we won’t soon forget. He’s growing in to an amazing little man! Watching his personality flourish and seeing him mature before our eyes is the greatest blessing as a parent.

Until next time, friends,

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September 2017

Liam’s 6th Birthday Weekend ~ Part 3 ~ Character Dining Fun

For Liam’s 6th birthday weekend, we had packed our bags & enjoyed a staycation at Walt Disney World. If you’ve been following along on my last few posts, this is the 3rd in a series from Liam’s birthday. We had so many adventures this year that I wanted to break it up, as there were a ton of photos to share. You can catch up with the 1st post about our stay at the Animal Kingdom Lodge – HERE – and the 2nd post about our magical time at Cinderella’s Royal Table – HERE. Β As part of our celebration, we splurged on a few super fun character dining experiences.

On the morning of Liam’s actual birthDAY, we had breakfast at the Crystal Palace on the corner of Main Street at the Magic Kingdom. It’s a buffet-style service, and the food was good. We enjoyed the charming atmosphere, which is inspired by the Victorian greenhouses of the late 1800s.

All of our favorite friends from the Hundred-Acre Woods were there, so that made little man’s day! He even got to particpate in a celebatory parade that marched them all around the restaurant with the characters. So cute!

Winne the Pooh….

I couldn’t decide between sharing the hug picture above or this regular ‘cheese’ pic ….had to do both. Loved the hugs from Pooh Bear.

Seriously, how cute is Piglet? πŸ™‚

Not even sure how Eeyore signed the book, but kudos to him! That was one area, too, that Liam was completely on top of. He made sure that no one forgot about his book. That was top of his list before any hugs, pics, or small talk with these guys. It was too funny!

Can’t say enough about how good all of these character meet & greets are at the dining experiences. They take so much time with the kids & are so patient. Love it!

Tigger…..

Our final character dining experience took us over to Epcot to the Garden Grill in the Land. We had dinner at Chip ‘n’ Dale’s Harvest Feast. This is a family-style dining meal with food that’s grown from the Living with the Land area there. OH.MY.GOODNESS — it was SO delicious!

It is also neat because the restaurant slowly turns in a circle while you eat, and you get to see different part of the Living with the Land attraction. While you’re dining the characters come around to your table.

We had told our server it was Liam’s birthday, so they presented him with this signed birthday card & stickers. So sweet & he was thrilled!!

Hanging with Chip….

Sharing a laugh with Dale …..

His best pal, Pluto…

So in love with the one & only — Mickey Mouse …& loved his farmer Mickey outfit, too!….Β 

We had THE best time at all of our character dining experiences over Liam’s 6th birthday weekend. I’m sure we’ll be looking for more unique visits in the future. The food at all the venues was so yummy, and all 3 of us LOVED the convenience of the meeting the characters right at the table.

Until next time, friends,

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September 2017

Liam’s 6th Birthday Weekend ~ Part 2 ~ Cinderella’s Royal Table

For Liam’s 6th birthday weekend, we had packed our bags & enjoyed a staycation at the Disney Animal Kingdom Lodge. As part of our celebration, we had a special birthday dinner in Cinderella’s Castle at the Magic Kingdom at Cinderella’s Royal Table.

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This restaurant is described by Disney as a ‘one-of-a-kind fairytale dining experience’, and it 100% was. We all LOVED the entire night! I literally had to book our reservation months in advance, so this was one dinner we had been anticipating for a while. The restaurant, itself, is quite small & quaint but I think that made for a more personable experience. It’s situated in the back half of the 2nd floor of the castle. You can see it from the carousel area.

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When we 1st went into the castle, we were greeted by the lovely, Cinderella. Liam was smitten ❀ — She chatted it up with him & danced with him. It was seriously the cutest moment ever! We snagged a nice family pic with her, as well. πŸ™‚

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While we waited to be seated, we hung out in the downstairs area where Cinderella was. Both floors are decorated in a medieval-style & you totally feel like you are in a page from the storybook.

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A winding staircase takes you up to this view, which is where the actual restaurant is ….

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So many pretty details everywhere you looked to make the experience feel complete. Our server was so sweet, too! She referred to Liam, as ‘my Prince’. I was ‘my Queen’ and Stephen was ‘my King’. Loved it!

Each of the boys got their own sword and I was given a wand πŸ™‚ ….We also were given a ‘Wishing Star‘ that Fairy Godmother helped us to make a wish with toward the end of the meal ❀

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While dinner got underway, MORE PRINCESSES came out & around to everyone’s table. How cool is that?!?! — They took their time & chatted with Liam for a minute & then posed for a picture. This mama appreciated that they didn’t leave until you acknowledged that you got a pic you were happy with πŸ˜‰

Ariel from the Little Mermaid….

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Snow White …..

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Aurora from Sleeping Beauty…

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Jasmine from Aladdin….Β 

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Now, let’s talk about the food for a sec because it was fabulous! Both Stephen & I had the beef & shrimp dinner. So yummy! I didn’t take a pic of his, but Liam had the kids mac n’ cheese. Holy cow, it was probably the best mac n’ cheese ever. SO good! For dessert, we had a dark chocolate mousse dish, “The Clock Strikes Twelves“. — heaven!

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Liam got to make/decorate his own cupcake for his dessert. Our server also brought out an extra birthday cupcake with a candle & we sung to him ❀

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It was such a magical evening & such a memorable way to celebrate this special boy’s 6th birthday. We even timed the reservation pretty perfect, as we were able to see & listen to the Happily Ever After fireworks show as we finished up dessert. So fun!

Love our sweet boy & loved everything about this night! Until next time, friends,

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August 2017

Liam’s 6th Birthday Weekend ~ Part 1 ~ Animal Kingdom Lodge

For Liam’s 6th Birthday weekend, we packed our bags & had a staycation at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge.

This was honestly our 1st real vacation away from home as a family since Liam was born, so we were extra excited for this experience. We stayed in Jambo house, and our room was off of the Kudo Trail on the 2nd floor. This is the view of the massive lobby area when you 1st walk into the resort. It is gorgeous!!

The details that you see throughout the resort are incredible. The entire resort is themed after the Animal Kingdom theme park. You can tell, at every glance, that great care was taken to showcase the culture, wildlife & artwork of Africa.

As soon as we started exploring the grounds, we found the fire pit that is surrounded by rocking chairs. If it wasn’t 100 degrees outside, it would have been perfect….LOL!

I usually am not one to talk about food, but I would be a fool to not rave about all of the deliciousness we enjoyed throughout the entire weekend. We ate at some pretty cool dining experiences, and there’s definitely more to share in my next few posts.

First up –> Boma ….This is a buffet style restaurant with African-themed dishes, and all of the food was amazing. We ate there for breakfast on Sunday.

Their signature drink at breakfast is Jungle Juice. It’s a tasty mixture of orange, pineapple & mango juices. Liam didn’t quite care for it, but Stephen & I thought it was pretty yummy!

Mickey Waffles πŸ™‚

Now onto the grounds outside the resort …..there is a cute, shaded playground for the kiddos & it’s close by the pool.

Once we found the Uzima Pool area, we didn’t want to leave. This pool is amazing! It is SO big — 11,000 square feet & it has an awesome water slide.

Liam was thrilled for this slide! He went down it over & over again πŸ™‚

Cheese!

Our room was nothing short of incredible. It felt like we stepped into our own safari get away the moment we walked in & I’m sure that was the plan. We were fortunate to be able to have the savanna view room, and it did not disappoint.

When you stepped out onto the balcony, it was immediately overlooking one of the savanna’s. There were beautiful animals freely roaming around so close to you. It was awesome!

In total, there are over 30 species of wildlife out on the savanna here. We loved the Wildlife Field Guide that was in our room for helping to track & discover some friends we spotted.

This Giraffe guy, here, was one of our favs. He stayed close by our balcony a lot. ❀

Zebra friends….

Ankole Cattle….

White-Bearded Wildebeest….

Addax….

At one point, on Sunday afternoon, we looked out & saw a little heard of friends πŸ™‚ ….

We saw so may other amazing creatures during our stay at the Animal Kingdom Lodge. So many birds, cranes, Ostriches, & Gazelles just to name a few. Even by walking through the resort, there are so many spots you can stop & observe the savanna’s or even catch little spots, like the Flamingo area that’s over by the pool. It was truly an experience we will never forget and one that we all LOVED!!

The Animal Kingdom Lodge was, hands-down, a magical Disney experience. It was a perfect way to ring in little man’s 6th birthday! We hope to someday return ❀

Until next time friends,

 

 

 

 

Latest & Greatest News, May 2016

Easy Summer Fun With Your Little Ones

Hi Friends!

My latest post with Orlando Moms Blog is up today….just in time for the start of summer, which is sneaking up on us, right?!?!

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Easy Summer Fun With Your Little Ones

You can link to the full post HERE.

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I’m definitely not a fan of over scheduling our family time – which can be easy to do these days! I want to focus on making memories this summer, so this post gives youΒ a simple list of activities to do together this summer!

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happy reading!

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