The Importance Of Placement In Life And Cirque

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Prologue: A few months I was hosted by Disney Springs to hang out, see the sights and tell you all about it. It was a great time. But, during that experience, I had an ah-ha moment. I wrote about it and, as with so many thoughts and feelings, it's been sitting in drafts. I wanted to get this up during the month of December in honor of this being the last month of performances of La Nouba at Disney Springs. I've seen La Nouba several times. The first time, I'd won the President's All-Star Award at my job and it called for a few days with all of the winners from across the country. I was in awe. The performance was magical.

I've seen it I think 3 other times since. One of those times, it was a nerve wracking show. I'm not sure what was going on but there were several mishaps that had me wanting to stop the show myself. I've always wondered if something had happened before the performance to unnerve the cast. But, no one got hurt and there was always something there to keep the show going and keep the performers safe.

This last time, I was with the Frog Princess. I watched the performance through her eyes. It did not disappoint! But, as the show went on, I started noticing something. While each act would take the main stage, not everyone would be off stage. At one point, I noticed that Les Cons were just hanging out in a patterned way. And suddenly, a light bulb went off.

While the main act is performing, everyone else has a role. It's not a role that you would immediately get, unless something went wrong. You see, Les Cons (and the Clowns, the Titan, and others) are there for a reason. If everything goes smoothly in the performance, you will never understand the purpose.

It is when something goes wrong that we realize the importance of their presence. Because, in reality, they are there specifically to support. Should a mishap take place, someone has already been assigned to stand, sometimes quite literally, in the gap.

[Tweet "See, sometimes we're the main act and sometimes we are the supporting cast."]

They are vital to the show. Without them, the main acts would not have the security and assurances that they need in order to perform their amazing feats. From the outside, you just see folks wandering. You might ask what they're doing there. Maybe your eye catches them and you end up missing a really amazing acrobatic move and you get annoyed with yourself for letting something distract you.

But in essence, the show happens because they are there. It runs smoothly because they move and perform in such a way that seems artistic, matter-of-fact and completely devoid of attachment to that thing that's happening. They appear to be watchers, just like us. But, the main acts know better. They are a well-oiled team. One takes the center stage only because the other takes the sideline.

[Tweet "One takes the center stage only because the other takes the sideline."]

It made me think of friendships. Of people that hold me down. Of people that I help support. And the whole damn thing just came full circle in such a way that made me lament the departure of this beautiful show even more.

See, sometimes we're the main act and sometimes we are the supporting cast. In both cases, we matter. We have to be careful that we don't fall into spaces where we feel as if we don't or as if we are always holding the net. I thoroughly enjoy being in the supporting role. I think supporting others is one of my life's purpose. But, I've learned (the hard way) that sometimes, people around me don't understand this dynamic or have honored the mutual respect that should flow easily between people in these relationships.

It's funny how things affect us, right? Interesting how we can watch the same thing (or read the same book) several times and wean something different each time. I call it growth.

Later on after the show, I reached out to a few of my friends. My spiritual connections that hold the ropes to the nets under me when I am swinging from the rafters. They told me I should write about it. So here I am.

The last show will be on December 31st. I want to try and make my way back to see it one last time and see what else I catch while the magic fills the stage. If you're in the area, I hope you get a chance to see it before the final curtain falls.

I promise, you won't be disappointed.

 

 

Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Time!

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Disclosure: I was invited to Disney's Magic Kingdom to experience the holiday magic of this annual festivity. All thoughts, opinions and annual passes are purely my own. Just as Halloween begins when Mickey says, in this house, the holiday festivities begin when the Mouse invites us over for some hot cocoa and snickerdoodle cookies, showers us with fake snow, wows us with the lights on the castle and asks us to settle in to all things merry and bright.

Yes, it's time for Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party.

This year, I got to thinking...what else can I do there? What else can I tell you about? I mean, everyone knows that Santa takes time off during the holidays to visit Mickey and his friends. And it's common knowledge that all the action happens center stage at the castle with singing and dancing to your heart's content. But...what else?

  • Frozen Holiday Wish? CHECK
  • Mickey's Once Upon a Christmastime Parade? CHECK
  • Holiday Wishes Dessert Packages? CHECK (and YUM!)
  • Complimentary Holiday Treats? I ate all the cookies before I could check this off the list!

As I was reminiscing on holidays past, it hit me! PICTURES!

Raise your hands if you keep meaning to take pictures in order to send out Christmas cards? It has been like 3 years at least. And every year I feel bad. This year, I wanted to slap myself for not thinking about this earlier.

YOU GUISE! I'm already going to the perfect place with all the decorations one could possibly want AND PHOTOGRAPHERS!

What was I thinking?! Now, I could've gone all out with fantabulous Christmas gear but I wanted it to be fun as well. If you have time and can get your life wardrobe together then, you might even be able to change clothes and take more pictures!

Now, I SWEAR by my Memory Maker. Honestly, I don't know how anyone goes to the parks and doesn't get one. It's the perfect way to sit back, enjoy the parks without lugging around a huge camera, and still capture the memories. I've told you about this before so don't act like you just heard about it.

So, I now have a handful of cute pictures to choose from (along with some holiday ears and lights that we found along the way!).

Check these out:

Finding the hot spots are easy! Be sure to walk through the right-side entry once you step into the Magic Kingdom. Cast members will lead the way. You will notice photographers ready and willing to snap a picture of you and your family. Be sure to pick up your event map at the entrance to find out where the treats and cool spots can be found (along with fireworks and performance times).

Not only were we able to capture our joy but, we ran into Brittany from Clumps of Mascara and Ms. Elle from Little Brown Gymnast and it was just the cutest thing EVAH!

Check out this video that Brittany just put together (she is ALL. THE. THINGS!):

By the end of the night, the Frog Princess told me "see, Mami! Now I have a little sister and you didn't even have to do work for it!" I mean is this place magic, or what?!

 

Are you planning on heading to Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party? Be sure to check out the site for available dates! See you at the parks!

Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Fun!

Disclosure: I was invited to attend Disney's Not So Scary Halloween Party. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Halloween has been officially checked off in my book! I know, I know. You might be thinking it's not even October yet BUT every year, it's tradition for the Frog Princess, our friends and I to head over to Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party. It's the bestest Halloween situation in the world.

I love it for many reasons but mostly because I get to trick-or-treat! 

Sadly, I didn't dress up this year (I had ideas that possibly required a makeup and costume person from the entertainment industry). That being said, I SO enjoy seeing the big kids (aka adults) dressed up for the festivities.

Did you know that this is the only time of the year when adults are allowed to dress up at Walt Disney World?

The Frog Princess loves it for many reasons. Candy is one of them but she also gets to enjoy the park past her bedtime with her BFF. As usual, the magic of Disney for us is in the connections and the memories that we make together with those that we love.

Never one to forget the details, Disney offers bags for the kiddos with allergies. I dig it!

We got a little rain this year but that just meant we got a chance to throw on some ponchos while we made our way around the park! 

The rain allowed us to drop in to one of the shops where these girls may or may not have had a little fun. I heart them!

Of course, I can't forget the Happy Hallowishes Fireworks and the Boo-to-You parade. I mean, y'all! Can we say fun? Every year, we leave Disney's Not So Scary Halloween Party full of not just candy but memories. It's a time honored tradition that I hope continues on through the years. The only thing missing? YOU!

I hope you make it out. The party happens on specific dates through November 1st so, pick a date that works and let's go!

EDITED: I missed my girl Brittany from Clumps of Mascara when we were at Magic Kingdom but I got to catch up to her magic and I'm so glad she made it out!

Costa Rica: Reclaiming My Magic

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Last summer, I boarded a plane just hours before the moving truck left my new home. Was I insane?! Who closes on a new house and flies off to Costa Rica 2 days later? This girl, right here!

Let me say that this trip had been planned for MONTHS. Even before I'd started searching for a home to purchase. I never thought I'd be cutting it so close, though. Looking back, I see what happened: who told me to buy a home during Mercury Retrograde?!

Papers disappeared, people didn't get my emails, documentation upon documentation upon documentation was requested. The same damn thing over and over again. It left me frustrated and drained.

In the end, I got my house and that's what mattered. For weeks beforehand, I considered canceling the trip, losing the money I'd paid into it (the best part about this trip is that I just put a little something on it every month. I don't think I would've been able to go otherwise. Thanks, Tawanna!) and just forget about the whole thing.

My brother and cousin said they'd take care of the last bits of the move and I packed hastily and wondered if I'd lost my mind.

Costa Rica was magical. It was exactly what I needed. And it was a reminder that I don't travel enough. I don't slow down enough. I don't treat myself enough. I will never forget this trip. How powerful and strong I felt throughout. Not just physically but spiritually as well.

From the minute we got to the hotel, I sat outside with an aguas fresca and watched rain come down with a beautiful sunset behind it. I fell in love with my travel mates immediately. Christie was my roommate and though we travel in the same online circles, we'd never met. Isn't it funny how that happens?

Our hotel room overlooked a volcano that wouldn't come out of the clouds the first day.

Let me say that I made the mistake of trusting Tawanna in the planning of this trip. Which led me to a 50 million mile trek in a rain forest that had 32k hanging bridges (note: I AM AFRAID OF HEIGHTS). It also led me to zip lines (note: NOT ONE BUT 7 OF THEM!). Tawanna is deceitful as hell!

Arenal Hanging Bridges Park

Because I am 12, I'd be remiss if I didn't show you a picture of the penis tree. These are its roots y'all!!!!!

We saw all kinds of amazing plants and animals. Like these leaf cutter ants making their way from one side of the rain forest to the other.

[video width="1920" height="1080" mp4="http://mymamihood.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/Leaf_Cutter_Ants.mp4"][/video]

At some point I realized I wasn't going to be able to capture everything on film.

So I tried my best to capture it in my heart. Like the fact that everywhere I went, I was met with birds of paradise, one of Mami's favorite flowers.

We did approximately 18 million things on the first day. Things I wouldn't normally have put on my travel agenda. But, I pushed myself and worked through my fears.

La Fortuna Waterfall

Our second stop of the day was at La Fortuna Waterfall. To say it was breathtaking is an understatement.

This is the view from the top. And we were supposed to go to the bottom. Our guide, Brandon (who was ridiculously knowledgeable during this entire day) casually mentioned that it's 500 steps to the bottom. Oh, okden. Did I mention we'd already walked through an entire rain forest?

It wasn't easy but it got done. And it was worth it!

Throughout this trip, I felt connected, not only to nature but to the magic within me. I believe this trip dislodged the things I've always been aware of but hadn't taken the time in many years to get reacquainted with. I dipped my feet in the cold water and enjoyed the magic with my squad.

Volcano!

After hiking our asses back up to the top, we had one other thing on the agenda (I told you Tawanna was evil, didn't I?). 

We ran over to where the last volcano erupted (I think in 1993?). Brandon once again showered us with knowledge on both the area, the volcano, as well as the flora and fauna before and after the eruption.

This climb didn't seem as bad but then again, we'd made it through 6 million steps across a rain forest with venomous snakes and 500 steps two ways to the waterfall so, this seemed like a cakewalk! I was happy it was done. Can you tell?

Little did I know 7 zip lines, me parting the clouds to show a friggin' volcano, and one crazy trip to Nicaragua lay ahead...stay tuned!

Traveling While Sick: How To Help Yourself Feel Better

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Today, Tawanna from Mom's Guide to Travel stops by to give us some tips about traveling while sick. We don't want to do it if we can help it but unfortunately, germs don't check our itinerary. Stay healthy, folks!


What's worse than going through the security line at JFK airport on a busy holiday weekend during a snow storm? Traveling while sick!

We've all been there: you're on a trip or preparing for one and suddenly you get the sniffles. Thinking it might just be dry air, before you know it a cough ensues and you realize that you've caught something.

Ask your doctor

You always want to seek professional medical advice to make sure nothing is truly wrong. Once you start feeling aches and pains, dizziness, vomiting or more than just your average runny nose or cough, it's time to pick up the phone.

In the meantime, here are a few quick and easy tips if you're just battling a cold.

If you can't change your travel plans to rest up and get better, because travel takes a toll on our immune systems, then you want to take measures to help your cold from getting worse.

Related: Traveling While Sick

Sleep is your friend

The next best piece of advice is to sleep as much as you can. Giving your body extra time to rest allows it to repair itself and fight off whatever is going on with your system.

Traveling_SickWater, water, water

You want to make sure that you increase your hydration. Bump up your water intake beyond the recommended 8 glasses per day.

Related Post: 5 Things to Help You Survive Cold/Flu Season

Not just an apple a day

You also want to increase your Vitamin C intake. 500 mg is the average recommended daily dose but a healthy adult can actually take 1000 mg safely and you can find tablets of that size which help with increasing immunity.

Air on the plane

If you'll be flying, travel with nasal spray to help combat the dry air on the plane. The air pressure and circulating air can do a number on our sinuses.

Sanitizers come in all forms

Traveling while sick

Travel with a portable air purifier/sanitizer. This device is called the Air Angel from a company called Air Oasis. It's perfect for the plane, rental cars, and hotel rooms. Produced by a NASA engineer, it reduces germs and allergens by 99%. You can purchase it through my Travel Store.

Lastly, sanitize and wash your hands consistently to avoid transferring even more germs to your already weakened system.

Check out this segment I did on WBAL-TV 11 in Baltimore sharing these same tips.

How do you heal yourself quickly when you are traveling (or not)? What are some of your favorite or secret tips? Share with us. I'd love to hear them below. 

This post originally appeared at Moms Guide to Travel. Reposted with permission.


Tawanna_Browne_SmithTawanna Browne-Smith is the Managing Director of MGTTravel Media as well as the Editor In Chief of MomsGuideToTravel.com. She's built an online business centered around travel and digital marketing and has written for popular online travel publications such as the Travel Channel, 10Best USA Today, and Trip Advisor to name a few.

Disney’s Star Wars Experience

 “…a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away…”  With those words, a 5 year old boy’s life changed forever.  In that movie theatre in Brooklyn in 1977, I was awakened to the power of The Force…the force of imagination.  At 5 years old, I was already exposed to comic books and “Star Trek”, but this was different.  This was adventure on a larger scale.  This was epic space opera fantasy and I was hooked.  Being a 43 year old Special Correspondent of Geekdom is not easy.  It means I remember suffering through the ridicule of being a Geek, back before it became cool.  Everyone’s on the band wagon now.  Now that the nerds of the past have taken over the world with their technology and media outlets, it’s chic to be Geek.Paul_Star_WarsAll of those kids that grew up watching “Star Wars” in the theaters had younger siblings that watched it on television when it came on. They grew up and had kids that they bought “Star Wars” toys for and had them watch the movies on VHS, then DVDs, Blu-rays and soon, streaming online.  It’s not just for boys either. What, you thought your little sister wasn’t paying attention when “Star Wars” was on television?  You think seeing a Princess that could wear a beautiful gown one minute and shoot a blaster and fly a spaceship the next, doesn’t totally blow away their Princess doll? “Star Wars” has a little bit of everyone in it. Its themes of good vs. evil, loyalty, family and perseverance in the face of adversity are universal themes that just so happen to take place in space. Perhaps that is the key to its universal appeal and continued success and relevance.

It’s the continued success and relevance of which we now speak. After acquiring Lucasfilms several years ago, Disney has been taking the brand and “Disneying” the heck out of it Disneying means making bigger and more imaginative, with universal appeal. That’s what “Star Wars” initially did in 1977. Beyond Disney’s upcoming slate of films, “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”, “Rogue One” and “Episode VIII”, Disney decided to go all in, with plans to grow beyond the significant “Star Wars” presence at its Hollywood Studios theme park, to a full-on Star Wars theme park of its own, to open in the next year or so.

Disney offered us a glimpse of what to expect in the new project with “Star Wars: The Experience” at Disney Hollywood Studios. The park was relatively empty that morning, with eager cast members waiting for the day to get started. The tour began the all-new Launch Bay.

The presentation started with a video of the many creators behind the scenes of bringing the Star Wars films to life. You get a sense that the work behind the films is difficult and taxing but rewarding on a personal level to the creators, whom many are fans of the franchise themselves. 

Next was a tour of the various props and models from the films and the animated television shows, “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” and “Star Wars: Rebels”. Why are “cartoon” props part of the presentation of models and props from the live action films, you ask? Because Disney has co-signed on the Lucasfilm declaration that the animated television show (not a mere cartoon) is “canon”. Canon, (for you non-Geek noobs out there) means that it is considered part of the official “Star Wars” universe. What happens on the TV show is considered part of the history of what happens between the films. Also, at this location is the opportunity to meet Darth Vader and Chewbacca live. With them speaking to you. Live. With photo ops.  LIVE! 

Sorry, you caught me in a moment. I was about to ask Vader about the logic of spending all of those resources on building the ultimate weapon in the Death Star but leaving an open vent that leads directly to its reactor open, but the lady next in line was throwing me serious shade. I digress.

Now over to the new short film, Star Wars: Path of the Jedi. There was a panel of people there speaking about the “Star Wars” themed cuisine, merchandising, shows and events taking place. These guys are kicking butt and taking names in making this stuff great. 

But what is this about a short film recapping all six of the Star Wars movies with a peek forward at Star Wars: The Force Awakens?  When does that start?  Oh, right now?  Okay, let me just sit back and relax and, oh. Oh my…wait was that…oh and…yeah, I remember that…and here comes the footage from SW:VII…MAGNIFICIENT!!! Is it cool to give a standing ovation on the mere recapping of films? I don’t care. That just made my day (Sorry, no cameras allowed).

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Well, we’ve worked up an appetite.  Time for some intergalactic grub. They had some food on display at the Launch Bay at the beginning of the tour that included some chicken and waffles and a burger with a dark colored bun (not on the menu). They did have these awesome cupcakes of some “Star Wars” favorites. There was a lemon cupcake, with chocolate, multi-colored rocks decorated with new droid, BB-8. There was a Chocolate and peanut butter Chewbacca cupcake and chocolate and coconut Darth Vader cupcake. They looked too good to eat. But eat, we did!

The original “Star Wars” attraction at WDW was “Star Tours”.  I actually went on it over the summer and saw some new footage and dialogue already.  However, with the new feature film coming out, they have added even more to the attraction.  I don’t want to spoil it for you, but you know that scene in the “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” trailer where you see the Millennium Falcon flying over a desert with Tie Fighters chasing it? Imagine flying a space ship behind it. Yeah, that just happened.

Finally, there was the new and improved Jedi Training Academy. Again, I saw this over the summer. There have been changes, people!  Disney went and made this into some kind of cinematic scene out of one of films—with a message to the kids. 

padawans

The kids are still playing Jedi Padawan learners, but they are not simply learning how to handle a light saber and perform a Force push, they are learning that the greatest fight you ever face is against yourself and your own fears. Boom! Message! 

So these kids are being taught that the temple next to their light saber training area is rich with the power of the Dark side. The temple will manifest whatever fears they take with them. So of course, who are you going to immediately think of when you think of fear right? Darth Vader. But not just Vader, he brings along the female Dark side Inquisitor from the “Star Wars: Rebels” animated television show (canon, remember?). The kids get to duel with them for a while, each getting a crack (or whack) at them, until they eventually use their collective Force push to get them back into the Temple.  But not so fast, who then emerges? The most popular character from the “Star Wars” prequels, Darth Maul! 

sistah_jedi

Who has the midicholorians (just roll with it) to duke it out with Darth Maul? Wait, who’s that? Who’s that sistah with the braids brandishing the light saber? Hold up, that’s a sistah Jedi, with braids, brandishing a light saber and battling Darth Maul! She won? Oh, snap! But she wasn’t really supposed to win, because the whole point is that she had to ultimately defeat him by laying down her light saber and thus, laying down her fears (message). Still, #SistahJedi was a star. 

Fight_Scenes

I wish my 4 year old daughter was with me today. I would get a kick out of her seeing that #SistahJedi and saying, “girls can beat up the bad guys too, Daddy.” I would have said, “Yes, baby.  And girls can be a Princess, star-pilot, Jedi, bounty-hunter, smuggling, nerf-herder too.” Thank you, “Star Wars”. May the Force (of imagination) be with you too.

Walking On Sunshine: Cruising With the Kid

I finally had a chance to take my baby girl on vacation this past August. What ensued was a great deal of unrest but a lovely array of memories that I know will live on in both of our minds. Why the unrest? Traveling solo with a child is...different. All the attention all of the time. With no one to help with the distractions. And my Frog Princess warned me ahead of time and pretty much kept to her word that she didn't want to go to Camp Carnival because "I just want to hang out with you, Mami."

I couldn't argue with her. I was anxious to get away and just be present with my child. For many reasons, I kept waiting to go on an official vacation. It was a reminder for me to stop waiting on things/situations/people to start creating vacation memories and traditions.

As I was trying to find a last minute cruise (y'all be on this booking ahead game!), Carnival Sunshine kept bubbling to the top. After chatting with Tawanna who let me know the skinny (she's a travel expert and makes my life way easier though I'm pretty sure I give her heartburn) and then talking with Cara from Jefferson Parish Parent who had been on this ship in particular, I was convinced. The Carnival Sunshine did not disappoint.

The Frog Princess had a most favorite thing. Well, two: ice cream every day and water slides!

My most favorite things? The service was amazing and I absolutely fell in love with Cucina del Capitano. The food was beyond delish and we really enjoyed the service staff. It was great to engage with them on what they loved about the islands we were visiting and a bit of their time on the ship.

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Though the child did not stay at camp, we both loved the Camp Carnival quarters. I will say that after dinner one night she said yes to stopping by the camp. An hour later when I came to pick her up (because it was past her bedtime) she told me she almost cried because she missed me so much. Y'all, the guilt she was trying to dish out was real!

Frog_Princess_Invitation

I definitely enjoyed my time, though. Loved the one hour I spent on the serenity deck (read: no kids allowed) and feared falling asleep in the hammock and missing picking her up. Our trip was definitely needed and I really enjoyed connecting with my child outside of the walls of my home and in places where we felt we could go on adventures. From the beaches of Half Moon Cay (Carnival's private island) to the shores of Atlantis and their beautiful aquarium, to the sounds and flavors of Freeport, Carnival Sunshine offered us exactly what we needed. Fun, great food, adventure and relaxation.

Things to remember when cruising solo with a child:

  • Have items to engage her with (we had coloring books that we both used and books to read).
  • Determine up front what's important to you on your vacation (for me, it was spending quality time with the kid).
  • Have a plan B if child doesn't want to participate in kid friendly activities on the ship.
  • Play it by ear. It's okay if your everything on your list doesn't get checked off.
  • Pack antacids for kids. The last day, we indulged a little too much and the Frog Princess ended up with a tummy ache that I thankfully could fix.
  • Try to relax.
  • Enjoy.

Cruising with the kid.

Have you been on a cruise lately? If not, I suggest you put it on your to do list soon. You won't regret it. What did I miss on this list?

Disclosure: I was provided with free WiFi during my cruise as a media courtesy. I was also invited to dine at Cucina del Capitano. All thoughts, opinions and sand in my bags are purely my own.

Food and Fun In Orlando

Where can you find food and fun in Orlando? I will give you one hint: Disney. I'm terrible with hints, aren't I? Let's just get right to it because you want these details. It is October and while the rest of the country is knee deep in fall leaves, boot shopping and possibly scraping of windshields (unbelievable!), in Florida it means a few different things. Let me 'splain.

Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party

If you're reading this instead of getting your ticket, I don't know what to tell you. Maybe next year? Listen. To. Me. Now. You have like 3 days MAX remaining for this most awesomest, fantabulous Halloweeniest party ever. I'm going to tell you all right now (don't tell the Frog Princess) that every time I go to this party, I feel like I am done with Halloween. Like done. Because it can't be beat. Real Halloween cannot beat the Halloween Party. Let me just mention that it's the ONLY time of the year where adults are allowed to dress up. Check out the "If Princess Leia ever came to Disney with her kids, this is totally what she would rock" outfit.

Epcot® International Food & Wine Festival

My level of excitement about this festival is about a 13 on a scale of 1 - 5. Where do I begin? Oh yeah, the food! Let's list my favorite 3, 5, 7 dishes*:

Australia: Grilled sweet and spicy bush berry shrimp with pineapple, peppers, onions, and snap peas.

AUS_Spicy_Shrimp

Brazil: Escondidinho de carne, “Little Hidden One”: layered meat pie with mashed yucca.

Dominican Republic: Pretty much, the entire menu because YASSSS!

  • Lechón asado: Roasted pork with mangú, pickled red onion and avocado
  • Soufflé de yuca: Yuca soufflé topped with griddled cheese
  • Pescado con coco: Seared grouper, pigeon peas and rice with coconut sauce
  • Caramel flan with rum-roasted pineapple

Souffle de Yuca with Grilled Cheese

Caramel Flan with Rum Roasted Pineapples

Farm Fresh Market: Loaded mac ‘n’ cheese with Nueske's® pepper bacon, cheddar cheese, peppers and green onions. Because who needs anything else for dinner?!

Loaded mac ‘n’ cheese

Patagonia: Roasted Verlasso salmon with quinoa salad and arugula chimichurri. Y'all, this salmon was everything I ever hoped a salmon would be. And the chimichurri sauce? Help me Geezus I need more!

Patagonia Salmo

Oh and let's talk about the Chew Lab. It has me trying to find liquid nitrogen on the internets so I can recreate this little number (but only in the middle of the night when I can't just drive over and grab some of these. I introduce you to liquid nitro chocolate almond truffle with warm whiskey caramel. Read it again, go ahead. I'll wait!

Liquid Nitro Chocolate-Almond Truffle

And the wine? I mean, if the food looks like this then, you know. Wine flights, beer flights, Mami flig...okay, you get the drift.

Epcot Food and Wine Festival

Oh wait! There's more! Eat to the Beat concerts left and right. Yes, baybee! You can get your groove on while getting your grub on. You're welcome!

I love that we have more time to hang out at Epcot so, give me a call when you're on your way there, mmmkay?! This is definitely a perfect Mami's Day Out.

 

MNSSHP_TMNT_Princess*These are my favorites because they have made it to my mouth prior to my stomach punking out on me and wanting no more food. I will keep adding to this list as long as I can try new things before I get full.

Disclosure: I attended a Media Preview for the Food and Wine Festival. That being said, I am also an annual passholder. Why you ask? Because I can't miss the awesome. All thoughts, opinions and return trips, are purely my own.

Capturing Unforgettable Memories at Walt Disney World

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Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. All thoughts, opinions and smiles are purely my own. My first trip to Walt Disney World was 1989. I had bright clothes and big hair. Don't believe me? Look!

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That's my cousin Emy. We had a blast on that first trip. It was overwhelming. So much to see, so much to do. We. Were. At. Disney.

I'm glad I have glimpses of this trip. This picture reminds me that I need to go to this same spot and take a similar photograph with the Frog Princess. 

Of course, we'll use the Disney PhotoPass® Service. That's the official name of the service of amazing photographers that get to capture all the smiles and cheers as we walk around the park. It seems that they get sprinkled with fairy dust because they always know the best spots for awesome photos.

Some of my favorite places to shoot?

I'm in awe with the Tree of Life®! It is above board. Maravilloso, I say!

You can probably spend an hour looking at its massive trunk while attempting to find the 300 animals that have been masterfully carved there.

The Princesses and the Pic

Y'all, how many times have we been to Disney? I think because we have that "we'll be back" mentality, sometimes we don't rush to do things. Like. Meet. Tiana.

I'm ashamed to say we had never caught up with our girl but I am also glad it happened this way. Why, you ask? Because this had an extra dose of magic. The Frog Princess didn't know she was coming. I got teary eyed and hoped no one saw me. Look at this face!

Living the Magic: Capturing Unforgettable Moments

As usual, the surprise, the smiles, the giddiness are all transferred over to me. Not that I didn't have my own, mind you. We loved it and the best part is we get to visit these memories over and over again for years to come.

Capturing the Magic at Walt Disney World

And yes, I like to join in the fun. I like meeting princesses too!

Living the Magic: Capturing Unforgettable Memories at Walt Disney Word

I've told you before, you have to show your Disney side, people! Know how else I show my side? Awesomesauce photos like this!

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Life is short! Show your Disney side and make sure you are capturing a little bit of magic with fantastic pictures that you can enjoy for years to come.

Capturing the Magic at Walt Disney World

Capturing the Moments

Being a single parent poses a special photo-taking first world problem. Because it's difficult to take my own pictures. I mean, there are only so many selfies I could have and I always want to incorporate the views around me. Enter Memory Maker!

Pay attention because this is like my bestest tip for photography.

I don't have to stress about whether or not I'll get an awesome image here or there, I don't have to worry about being able to find a nice picture to print for Papi so he stops harassing me about why he doesn't have a recent picture of the Frog Princess (why does no one want a picture of me, I ask you?).

If you're like me, you lug the camera around the entire time and never actually use it. Then you use your phone to take pictures and never download them.

With Memory Maker you get to have your picture taken by the Disney PhotoPass photographers, get home, ohhh and ahhh over how great they look and then, download and print. Attraction photos and videos are included as well as magic shots and dining photos.

And now you can save by purchasing in advance. You can't beat that. Do you see now why this is such an amazing tip? You're welcome!

And because I am the keeper of the memories in my family, I leave you with two adorable babies that have my heart.

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This is what happens when your sister is in charge of the memories AND a blogger. Aren't they cute! Uncle Pete and Titi Q love the magic too!

Did you miss any parts of this series? Lucky for you, I have a list!