Sparkles and Sunshine: March 2017

How to: Visit All 4 Disney Parks In One Day

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Growing up in Orlando, my family had annual passes to all of the theme parks. If I had to pick a favorite though, it would definitely be Disney! With four fun parks to pick from, Disney has something for everyone. Most of the time, if you go to Disney, you only go to one park a day so you can get the most out of the day. However, a friend of mine who has never been to Disney, is currently visiting from Germany. So of course we had to take her!

My boyfriend and I wanted to give her the full Disney experience, so we sat down, chose the best rides from all four parks, and planned the best day of her life!

This blog post includes what rides we went on in each park plus tips on how to achieve four park status in one day. Let's begin!

First off, I HIGHLY recommend starting at Magic Kingdom when the park opens at 9 a.m.. Don't be late!
*Tip* Once you have parked and are ready to get on the monorail to Magic Kingdom, take the "resorts monorail." It will save you so much time because while the line gets longer for the "park monorail", there is no line for the "resorts monorail" which only has a few added stops before it hits Magic Kingdom. 
Magic Kingdom is the busiest of the four parks, which means the lines for the rides get long very quick. If you are wanting to go on any roller coasters, water rides or completely new rides (meaning within the past few years), you should start with those.

For example, our plan was to go on Space Mountain and Thunder Mountain first, however due to the lines we could only get on Thunder Mountain (space mountain already had a crazy 90 minute wait after only being open for an hour).
After that, I recommend heading over to rides that get you out of the heat for a decent period of time (Pirates of the Caribbean, Haunted Mansion, Spinning Tea Cups and Country Bear Jamboree)
Now let's move on to Animal Kingdom! This park has a lot to offer, however if you're on a time crunch like we were, the best two rides to hit are Expedition Everest (a.k.a. my new favorite roller coaster and Kali River Rapids).
Funny story about the rapids ride. Growing up, my mom and I loved going to Animal Kingdom. For some reason though, every time we went on the rapids ride, we always went down the waterfall backwards. To this day, I STILL don't know what it looks like from the front!
*Tip* Expedition Everest is one of those newer(ish) rides that always has a long line. I recommend getting a fast pass for this ride. To get a fast pass at any point, download the Disney Experience app and simply link up your pass. From there you can link up any other passes that are in your group and reserve fast passes for all of your friends! You can get three to start and then one additional fast pass for every other park you visit that day.
Once you've gone on those rides, it's time for Hollywood Studios, formally known as MGM! This park in particular is known for it's shows. You can see anything from Indiana Jones to Beauty and the Beast. If you want to see the shows, I recommend going to this park on its' own day because the shows are scheduled at set times throughout the day.
The top two rides to go on at Hollywood Studios are Rock 'N' Roller Coaster and Star Tours! Now, I'm sure some of you are thinking "What about Tower of Terror?" I, personally am not a thrill seeker who likes freefall type rides, so I skipped this one. If you do like those types of rides, you have to go on it!
If you love Steven Tyler, rock music and limos then you will LOVE the Rock 'N' Roller Coaster. This fun ride puts you in a stretch limo that takes you all over Los Angeles! With fun, energetic rock 'n' roll music blasting in your ears the whole time, you'll be ready to take the stage at your own concert once the ride is done!
Now, I didn't forget about all of my Star Wars fans! Growing up, I LOVED watching Star Wars with my dad. We watched everything together. Star Wars, Star Trek and Godzilla! I was such a tom boy! Any who, Star Tours is a fun simulation ride that takes you on a mission all over the galaxy. Don't worry though, you won't be alone! R2D2 and C3PO will be with you the whole time guiding your flight!

Finally, the best park to end a four park day with is Epcot! I used to hate this park when I was little because it was so educational. Now, I absolutely love it! You get to explore so many different countries in just one loop around the park!
One ride that you have to go on is Spaceship Earth. This ride is educational, however, it has many really cool parts to it. Not to mention, this ride is completely inside the giant "golf ball" that you see when you first walk in. How cool is that?!
*TIP* Eating at one of the nicer restaurants at any of the countries is a must! However, you have to make a reservation first thing in the morning or else they will all be full by the end of the day. You can book a reservation on the same app that you got your fast passes on.
We decided to eat at Italy (because you know, I love pasta) and it was amazing! What I love most about Epcot is that every person you meet in each country, is actually from that country. When we were eating dinner, one of our servers had just come over to the states to work at Disney two weeks ago! It was so cool to get to know her a little better and meet a true Italian.
Last but not least, the fireworks show. I had  never seen the fireworks at Epcot before! I've only ever seen Magic Kingdom's fireworks. Chandler told me that Epcot has the best and he was right! Not only does Epcot do fireworks, but they also include a laser show and every country lights up during the show.
I hope you enjoyed reading my post about my trip to Disney! If you have any questions, I would love to answer them in the comments below!

Diesel's First Trip To The Beach + Dog Friendly Beaches in Florida

Friday, March 24, 2017

I'm a firm believer in the benefits of socializing your dog. They are less likely to be afraid of people (unless they have a gut feeling or sense some form of hesitation from you) and they are more likely to approach a new dog with a positive attitude.
Since we got Diesel we have taken him everywhere, and I mean everywhere! He's been to BurgerFi, Smoothie King, Aerie, Altar'd State and of course every pet store there is! On Valentine's Day, Chandler and I brought Diesel with us to the surprise Chandler had planned, which just so happened to be an Olive Garden picnic at the beach (aka HEAVEN haha). Diesel had never been to the beach before and so shocker, he lost his mind!
I knew that I had to take him to the beach again for his first official trip without the distraction of delicious marinara sauce.

He was so excited that he immediately starting digging to China in the sand. Of course, all that was running through my mind was "please oh please do not poop on the beach!"
He's not a fan of water though, even though we're pretty sure he's part Labrador. I'm hoping that will change as he gets older but if not, the only way I'll be able to walk with him in the water is with a TON of treats.
All of these photos were taken at Atlantic Beach, Fl which is a beautiful, dog friendly beach! If you're wondering what dog friendly beaches or dog friendly attractions are in your area, you have to visit this site:

This site allows you to search dog friendly attractions in your city and it rates each location on a bone (star) rating. I mean seriously, how cute is that!

I would definitely give this site five out of five dog bones. πŸΆπŸΎ

Photography by the talented Sarah. I highly recommend booking her!

I bought this dress about a year ago at Francesca's! They're definitely one of my favorite boutiques! 

St. Patrick's Day

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Everyone loves St. Patty's Day! No matter where you look, you're bound to see something or someone completely green. I've always loved seeing all of the food and drinks that people dye green just for the holiday. So today, Chandler, Diesel and I are sharing our favorite St. Patty's day treat...Irish pancakes!
Okay, they're not really Irish but they are green and festive!
For our pancakes we used Krusteaz delicious buttermilk pancake mix and some basic food coloring! 
First, we mixed up the pancake mix until it was the right consistency. Fun fact for you guys, Chandler is definitely the pancake chef in our household. He makes the perfect pancakes every time and honestly, once I told him that we would be shooting making pancakes for my blog, he got really excited. 😊
Of course, Diesel had to check to make sure he did it right.
We then added in the food coloring! One side note about food coloring: if you want the color to be more prominent, add more drops!
 Next, pour some, but not too much, batter in your skillet or frying pan and flip once you start to see bubbles around the edges. I will say though that the tops of the pancakes will turn brown even though the batter is green.
 I really hoped they would completely stay green but you can't control that!
P.S. The shot above was taken right after I caught it in the air. Can you tell I was excited?
We obviously couldn't wait to dive in after we made these. I promise they were delicious!
Now, I'd love to hear your St. Patty's Day traditions! Comment below with what you do with friends or family so I can learn more about your traditions. 😊
 You can find the pancake mix and food coloring at your local Target!  

Behind the Blogger

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Hi Everyone!

I love getting to know more about the person behind the blog, so today, I wanted to share some fun facts about myself that you may not have known before!

1. My boyfriend and I have binge watched the entire seasons of Friends, How I Met Your Mother and New Girl. We're currently looking for a new series so please leave me some suggestions in the comments below!

2. I'm originally from a small town called Mount Dora, FL! It's in central Florida and it's known for it's historic downtown filled with fun shops, great restaurants and tons of fun events!

P.S. We have the best Christmas lights. I don't care what anyone else says! πŸ˜‚

3.  I've always wanted to learn how to fly a plane. I was scared to get on one until just a few years ago but for some reason I've always wanted to learn!

4. I did a study abroad to Germany during my junior year of college and fell in love with the country. My entire mom's side of the family, except for her sister, live in Germany. They've come over here a few times but it's expensive. I visited with them as much as possible.

5. I am an only child! My mom's joke is that our dogs were my brothers and sisters.
6. My family used to breed purebred Labrador retrievers. We used to have puppies all over the house and it was great! I can definitely say that was a fun childhood.
7. I have been singing my whole life. I sang in choir growing up and even sang the Phantom of the Opera when I was in middle school.
8.  My favorite car is a Ford Mustang. I currently have a 2000 V6 but I would love a new one. I recently got to drive the 2017 model and I swear I cried when I got in the car. No shame! πŸ˜‚

9. I HATE snakes. One time, when I was little, we were washing dogs in the front yard in our old truck. I went inside to get a dog bowl to get some water for one of our dogs and when I stepped back out our front door, a snake went right in front of me. I freaked out so much, I threw the bowl up in the air and I was in the back of the truck before the bowl hit the ground! πŸ˜‚
10. I'm a social media marketer!
I'd love to learn more about my readers! Please feel free to leave a fun fact about yourself in the comments and don't forget to share your favorite TV series so Chandler and I can start binge watching it! πŸ˜‹
You can get this beautiful maxi dress from Red Dress Boutique! I'm wearing a size small.

Diesel's Training Graduation

Monday, March 13, 2017

Raising a puppy is like raising a child. You feed them, bathe them and take them to school. Graduation is one of those sad/happy times because you know that they have officially succeeded at what they have been working on.
I couldn't be more proud of Diesel. I knew he was smart the first day we met him at the shelter when he said hi to us and then immediately sniffed out a bag of dog food. :) haha
He is going o accomplish so much in his life and Chandler and I can't wait to watch.
We love you Diesel. ♥



Thursday, March 9, 2017

Everyone loves Instagram because you constantly get to look at beautiful photos. However, that photo that you love, probably took about 20 tries to get!
I know I wouldn't be honest if I said all of my photos were just taken on the first try. So to give everyone a good laugh, here are some photos that DEFINITELY did not make the cut! :)

Was I breathing? Lol.
I love nature :P
In my head I was listening to BeyoncΓ©'s "Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)"
That's what I call an action shot!
I literally look like I thought the balloons were a bunch of bees...
AGGHHHH Cookieeeeeessssss
So, what are we doing again?
You want me to walk? Like now? #trexhands
How do I hold a flower and look natural?
Long hair don't care. :P
Umm...lemme fix that.
I hope everyone had a great laugh! Please let me know what you thought of this post in the comments below! Have a great weekend everyone and happy Friday!

A Day in St. Augustine, FL

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Sometimes I forget what places are right in my backyard. St. Augustine, FL is a beautiful town filled with history, great restaurants and tons of famous landmarks!

When I was younger,  I used to do field trips to St. Augustine all the time. We would visit the fort, do tours, and more!

St. Augustine is also a great place for a girl's day! Me and a bunch of my good friends did a day trip and had the best time. Below are some of the places we visited and I promise, this place has something for everyone!

Okay fellow pasta addicts, have I got the restaurant for YOU! First of all, this restaurant is in the coolest location. From one entrance it looks like another restaurant but when you walk to the dining area, you're actually walking through an alleyway (hence the name). ☺

They have a great deal called their "Pastabilities" where you can create your own pasta dish from start to finish! The meal comes with a salad, and my favorite part, bread! The food was absolutely delicious and I can't wait to go back!

Next on the list was Castillo de San Marcos, St. Augustine's oldest fort. This fort dates all the way back to the 1600's and is perfect for any history buff! The fort also has many learning attractions for children including actual firings from a cannon!

P.S. Make sure to plug your ears!

Of course we had to visit Ripley's Believe It or Not! When Chandler and I did our road trip back from California, we actually visited the Ripley's location in Hollywood. It amazes me at what is in these places every time I visit. My favorite part of this location is this one dark room where lights are spinning around in a circle and you have to walk through the room without falling over. It looks easy at first....until you step into it!

It was definitely a good laugh! :)

Another historic landmark in St. Augustine is Flagler College. The architecture on this campus is jaw-dropping! Even the bathrooms are beautiful! :P

P.S. Yes...that's a balloon up

The last landmark that you have to see is the "Love Tree." This tree is actually two trees combined into one, hence the name.

I hope you take a trip to St. Augustine in the near future and have a wonderful time! Let me know what you thought of this post in the comments below!

Dress is from Francesca's

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