Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Top 5 Disney World Breakfasts

Prepare yourselves, friends. This post will probably leave you hungry.


Athos and I recently sat down to go through our top 5 Disney World breakfasts. It kinda turned into our top 5 Mickey waffles, because what's a Disney breakfast without Mickey waffles?


You'll have to watch the video to find out which restaurants we picked - there were a few in the parks, a few at the resorts, a mix of buffets and off-the-menu places. As soon as we were done filming, though, I was thinking of all the amazing places we didn't mention.


Maybe we should have made it a top 10...but then I think breakfast might be my favorite meal at Disney!

What are your favorite Disney breakfasts?

Sunday, April 23, 2017

My Vera Bradley Collection

I took a fun stroll down fashion memory lane with last week's new video...


I dug out all my old Vera Bradley handbags to share favorites from my collection! I still use many of them, but it was fun to pull out some styles I had forgotten about.  I associate many of the patterns with the year they came out, what I was doing at the time, what Disney trip I used them during - lots of fun memories!

Do you have a favorite Vera Bradley pattern or bag style?

Monday, April 17, 2017

WE'RE DOING A PODCAST | Disney World A to Z

If you're following me on social media, you'll probably have already heard the news...


...we're doing a PODCAST!  I feel like the question/request for a podcast has popped up intermittently throughout all the time I've been blogging and youtubing, so I'm SO excited to be able to finally tell you YES, a Disney podcast from yours truly is actually happening...but I'm even MORE excited to tell you who I'm doing it with!

My co-host is Josh Taylor - he's a podcaster extraordinnarie, one of the triumvrate who runs my family's absolute favorite YouTube channel (seriously go check out Blimey Cow right now if you don't know it already), AND he's a Disney vacation planner and huge Disney fan!


We've already had so much fun recording the first episodes - we're working our way through the alphabet Walt Disney World style, so we've hit A for Animal Kingdom and B for Budget tips so far. What will "C" be? You'll have to tune in to find out!

Subscribe on iTunes here, Google Play here, or check out the website.

...also follow @DisneyWorldAtoZ on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to stay up-to-date on new uploads and to submit questions to be answered during our Q&A segments!


Monday, April 10, 2017

Where to Go to Catholic Mass When You're at Disney World

If you've been following my blog or YouTube channel for awhile, you may have picked up from occasional references to going to Mass or quotes from my favorite saints that yes, I'm a Catholic. My whole family is Roman Catholic, and one thing we love about traveling is discovering different churches all around the country. One place we obviously love to travel to is Walt Disney World, and many is the time we have paused the magic for a jaunt to Sunday Mass.

(but let's be real, it still follows us to church...nowhere else in the world will you find so many people in the pews wearing MagicBands...)

I've gotten several emails over the years from fellow Disney-going Catholics asking for advice on where to go to Mass while at Walt Disney World, and I'm surprised it's taken me this long to think of writing up a blog post about it!  So without further adieu, here we go...

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

DISNEY SPRINGS: Top 5 New Favorites

In the olden days, I have to admit that Downtown Disney was one of those skippable places at Walt Disney World. Not that we didn't enjoy going there - we had awesome lunches at T Rex Cafe and enjoyed the shopping and of course had to get Earl of Sandwich as often as possible - but when you had to choose between DTD and one of the theme parks or even a resort, it wasn't a difficult decision.


Now things are a different. I have to admit that Disney Springs has left me very impressed and eager to explore more.  I love the new stores, the new walkways and town center are beautiful (have you guys been in the new guest relations? it's so nice you want to sit and stay awhile!), and the new food stops are super tasty. So without further adieu, here are my top 5 new favorites at Disney Springs so far...

Friday, March 31, 2017

Quote Collection: March 2017

"Live life today like there is no coffee tomorrow."

quoted in The Little Book of Hygge by Meik Wiking


I hope everyone is having a Happy March!  We're on the eve of April, so I thought I'd share a summary of my favorite quotations from this month's reads, and since we're on the subject of coffee...

"Husserl liked coffee: long before Aron talked abou tthe phenomenology of apricot cocktails, Husserl told students in his seminars, 'Give me my coffee so that I can make phenomenology out of it.' "

At the Existentialist Cafe: Freedom, Being & Apricot Cocktails by Sarah Bakewell

(Sarah Bakewell makes existentialism not only accessible but absolutely charming. So cool to get to know these famous philosophers better.)



Both the Hygge book and the Existentialist Cafe book were new acquisitions this month - watch my book haul/unboxing to see more!

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"He sauntered through life with a cheerful insouciance, and up to the age of twenty-five had only once been moved by anything in the nature of a really strong emotion - on teh occasion when, in the heart of Bond Street and at the heigh of the London season, he discouvere that his man, Meadowes, had carelessly sent him out with odd spats on."

Mulliner Nights by P.G. Wodehouse

(That 'cheerful insouciance' is what you read Wodehouse for - can't be beat.)

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"I am a product of long corridors, empty sunlit rooms, upstairs indoor silences, attics explored in solitude, distant noises of gurgling cisterns and pipes, and the noise of wind under the tiles. Also, of endless books."

"You can do more with a castle in a story than with the best cardboard castle that ever stood on a nursery table."

Surprised by Joy: The Shape of My Early Life by C.S. Lewis

(Just started this and already am enjoying it SO much!)

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"Discernment is that light which dissolves all darkness, dissipates ignorance, and seasons every virtue and virtuous deed. It has prudence that cannot be deceived, a strength that is invincible, a constancy right up to the end, reaching as it does from heaven to earth, that is, from the knowledge of Me to the kowledge of oneself, from love of Me to love of one's neighbors."

The Dialogue by St. Catherine of Siena


I mentioned St. Catherine of Siena along with some of my other favorite spiritual writers in my Lenten reading video! This is the perfect time of year for that sort of reading. 😊  We'll close things out with a few more words of wisdom from St. Catherine...

"So your justice is not lessened but proved by the injustices of others. That is, you show you are just through the virtue of patience. Likewise, your kindness and mildness are revealed through gentle patience in the presence of wrath. And in the face of envy, spite, and hatred your loving charity is revealed in hungry desire for the salvation of souls."

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Favorite Floral Dresses for Spring!

Raise your hand if you're excited for the grass to be green again, the trees to be covered in leaves again, and the flowers to all be blooming. 🖐 I know I'm *so* ready for spring!

I'm ready for more colors not just on the ground but in my wardrobe! 🌷


From Lily Pulitzer to Kate Spade to ModCloth to Nordstrom to the Kohls Disney Princess Collections, I've collected some pretty spring dresses from a variety of places over the years, and I love pulling them out every spring. A couple of these may look familiar from past outfits I've worn to Disney World and elsewhere!

Do you have any style favorites for spring? 💐

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

The New MagicBand 2!

It seems like yesterday I was posting on here about this crazy new My Magic Plus thing and the brand new "MagicBands" - and now of course we're familiar with all the ins and outs - you walk through the parks and literally everyone is wearing a MagicBand.

But there's a new player on the block this year!


Have you seen the MAGICBAND 2?


Disney just started sending these out to guests with resort reservations in January, and we got a box for our trip earlier this year!

Friday, March 17, 2017

Dreaming of Ireland on St. Patrick's Day

Happy St. Patrick's Day, everyone!


The holiday and all the green everywhere have me dreaming of Ireland and our amazing week there last summer...so why not take a quick blog trip back?


This island truly is so green and lush - even the rainy days (which were unfortunately pretty frequent during our June trip) felt so colorful...

Monday, March 6, 2017

Disney's Wilderness Lodge: New Old Faithful Club & Copper Creek Cabins/DVC Construction

In case you haven't heard, there have been some changes happening at Disney's Wilderness Lodge Resort these days!


The Disney Vacation Club side of the resort is getting an upgrade with a new pool, and it's been renamed the Boulder Ridge Villas. DVC seems to be invading the main building now too with the Copper Creek Villas - the south wing (as you'll see in the photos and videos to come!) is completely closed for refurbishment.


But we're not here to talk about DVC - we're here to talk DISNEY CLUB LEVEL. The Old Faithful Club has new headquarters - the lounge has moved from the south side of the 7th floor to the north side (for photos of the old set-up click here!).  We recently stayed club at the Lodge and were interested to see the construction and the new lounge lay-out. I'm happy to say that in spite of the changes, the club experience was as magical as ever...


...there were macarons. Have I mentioned that yet? And the almost-a-castle view room that we've had in years past is now DEFINITELY a castle view as the trees have been cut back. We also had a pretty fabulous view of the adorable new Copper Creek Cabins being built!

Monday, February 27, 2017

Quote Collection: February 2017

"I like the feeling of doing just a bit more than I can manage; it keeps me moving, and I like moving."

The Yellow Brick Road by Elizabeth Caddell


I'm closing February out with a new quote collection post! Don't forget you can watch the February Reads video on my YouTube channel to hear more about my reading month. 👍

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"No use trying to please everybody. No use trying to please critics. Live under your own hat. Don't be led away by those howls about realism. Remember - pine woods are just as real as pigsties - and a darn site pleasanter to be in."

Emily's Quest by L.M. Montgomery

(Finally finished the Emily of New Moon trilogy - the last book wasn't my favorite but had many charming scenes nonetheless)

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"As soon as they had gone, Elizabeth walked out to recover her spirits, or, in other words, to dwell without interruption on those subjects that must deaden them more. Mr. Darcy's behaviour astonished and vexed her."

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

(Love the way Jane Austen can spin her sentences around on a dime with a spark of sarcasm! And the last volume of the book when Lizzie and Darcy get together - I love it more every time 😁)

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"The bedrabbled snows of March shrank away before the keen, quickening sunbeams; the hills emerged, brown and sodden, like the chrysalis of the new year."

In Exile and Other Stories by Mary Hallock Foote

(I know we haven't quite arrived in March yet, but I couldn't resist sharing this one - Mary Hallock Foote is an amazing writer, been enjoying her short stories so much!)

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"The correct costume for a young lady going to fix a gentleman's sink on a Sunday afternoon has never been authoritatively dealt with."

"Then Mr. Ames made his mistake. He should have told her the truth, that she did indeed smell pretty foul. But he wasn't used to people who took their truth neat."

"Cluny had already reverted to her own personality; she could never be any one else for long."

Cluny Brown by Margery Sharp

(I want to be best friends with Cluny - she's one of my new favorite characters. Just hilarious)



I feel like there was quite a bit of Brit Lit reading this month! I shared some of my favorites for reading while on vacation from the Grand Floridian. 😊




If you're looking for yet more books, I did the Sisterhood of the World book tag this month - there were such fabulous bookish questions to think about!

I've also been trying something new on my Instagram (@bookishprincess) recently. Every Friday evening I've been doing a livestream bookish #FridayReads chat - would love to see you there!

Monday, February 20, 2017

NEW Disney Express Transportation: 4 Parks in 4 Hours!

Now my family loves resort hopping at Disney World - there are so many gorgeous Disney hotels, how can you pick just one to stay at?  Even if it means packing up and moving the luggage twice (or thrice), it's worth it to experience life on the savanna, on the islands, and in the future all in one trip.

But when it comes to park hopping, it's a different story.  Visiting one Disney theme park can be exhausting enough - after circumnavigating the globe at Epcot's World Showcase, the thought of walking to my car is bad enough, walking around another park? Forget it. Park hopping would involve parking twice (or waiting around for busses), trekking from the parking lot to the entrance twice, going through the security/bag line and turnstiles twice...you get the picture.  Typically we would only visit more than one park in a day if there was a long resort rest in between.


But we experienced something on our recent trip that changes the game.  Not only were we crazy enough to visit 4 parks in 1 day, we actually made it to 4 parks in 4 HOURS.


It's the new Disney Express Transportation, and it's a Disney bus unlike any Disney bus you've seen before.  It picks you up in the middle of one park and drops you off in the middle of another park.  You're whisked backstage behind Buzz Lightyear Spaceranger Spin, Spaceship Earth, Rock n' Roller Coaster, or Expedition Everest and after about a 20-minute journey (or less depending on which two parks you're journeying between), deposited magically at the next park.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

My Bullet Journal Set-Up 2017

I'm doing it, guys. I'm jumping onto the BULLET JOURNAL bandwagon!


Have you heard of bullet journaling?  It's a planner system for staying organized and keeping all your lists in one place, but you can customize it in about a thousand and one ways. Seeing all the creative ways different people online have been using their bullet journals (some of them are works or art or scrapbooks!) got me inspired to give it a try.


Here's a look at some of my first spreads...

Monday, February 6, 2017

Epcot's NEW Festival of the Arts 2017

At this rate, Epcot is going to become the land of the never-ending Festival - but really, I'm not complaining.


Because the brand new Festival of the Arts running extended weekends (Friday-Monday) January 13 - February 20 is full of fabulous things - entertainment, exhibits, fun photopass ops, and food - of course!


Let's be honest: whether they've got art or flowers or gardens, really they're all food and wine festivals. 😉


Today we're going to be chatting about all the fun at Epcot's Inaugural (that makes it sound like it's coming back next year right?) FESTIVAL OF THE ARTS.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Winter Fashion Haul: Anthropologie Favorites

I recently got the chance to scope out the 40% sale selection at an Anthropologie store, and it inspired me to pull out my collection of Anthro winter wool to share in a new "haul" video!


Over the past four or five years I've found a number of favorites that I love getting out and wearing every winter.  I didn't realize until I was making the video that a bunch of them are by the same label, Rosie Neira.  The quality is so good, the cut is so perfect, the style so unique - just a 10 out of 10!

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Visiting Louisa May Alcott's Orchard House: Home of Little Women

"I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning how to sail my ship."


Today we're sailing to Concord, Massachusetts to visit the home of Louisa May Alcott and her classic, Little Women!


Learning about the real-life Alcott family who lived in Orchard House brought the March family of Little Women completely to life, because of course all the characters in the book were based on Louisa (or "Louy's") real family.  From her impractical and idealistic transcendentalist-philosopher father to her genius mother to her brilliant sisters, Louisa's family was just incredible, and touring the house made me feel like I knew them all.  We got to see May (or Amy!) the artist's sketches, which were everywhere from the cutting board to the walls - and Louisa's "mood pillow" which would be propped up or lying down to warn anybody coming in about whether or not it was safe to go up and chat with her. 😉

I believe the house passed essentially straight from the family and became a museum, so a lot of their original possessions are still in the house.  It made it feel like they had all just gotten up to go for a walk and might be back any second!

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Quote Collection: January 2017

One of my resolutions for 2017 is to attempt to do more of the "Quote Collection" blog posts that I've done sporadically on here in the past.  So let's start things off right!  Here are some favorite lines I've picked up from the pages of January...


"I cannot be prevented from pirouetting behind Miss Matthews into prayers."

"She spreads her arms as she comes to [the trees] and takes to the shade like a swimmer."

"Out of me now my mind can pour. I can think of my Armadas sailing on the high waves. I am relieved of hard contacts and collisions. I sail on alone under white cliffs."

The Waves by Virginia Woolf

(been working my way slowly through this for awhile - so many beautiful lines and images!)

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About authors like Wodehouse, Mitford, and Durrell... "One could learn to write from any of them, and I wish more people would. No matter what the genre, good writing alway tells."

Howards End Is on the Landing by Susan Hill

(a non-fiction book about an author revisiting all the books she has collected throughout her life - sounds really enjoyable but somehow wasn't. I did add a few titles to my list of books to check out, and there were some good passages, like the above the quote, but there were also a ton of opinionated presumptions and pretentious name dropping) 

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"Life would be split asunder without letters."

Gift of a Letter by Alexandra Stoddard

(a book about letter writing - somewhat pretentious but somehow in a pleasant way! This author drops quotes instead of names, and there are lots of inspiring lines from the letters of famous writers.)

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"'I get a moral satisfaction out of putting things together,' he said. 'I like to see a thing finished.'"

The Optimist's Daughter by Eudora Welty

(my first taste of Eudora Welty - more about characters than plot, but definitely ideas that have stuck with me)

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"The misfortune of Goldsmith in conversation is this: he goes on without knowing how he is to get off."

Brothers of the Quill: Oliver Goldsmith in Grub Street by Norma Clarke

(excited to read more about Oliver Goldsmith, a contemporary of Samuel Johnson and an author mentioned in Jane Austen!)


You can hear a few more lovely lines in my January Reads video!

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

The New FROZEN EVER AFTER at Epcot

Before we get any further in this blog post, let us all pause and shed a single tear for the wonderful ride that was MAELSTROM. 😢


Yes, forever shall it be missed.  I still, when riding Gran Fiesta - even while I enjoy the antics of the Three Caballeros - hear whispered echos of the old El Rio del Tiempo script.

Let's be real. I'm probably the one whispering them.

So I have no doubt that "Back, back, over the falls!" will always be playing in my mind when I ride Frozen Ever After.

"All things must change, to something new, to something strange."  I am not going to let the fact that I miss Maelstrom keep me from enjoying Frozen Ever After, which I do think is a beautiful and fun and well-done ride.

It's when they someday replace Impressions de France with some soulless merchandising promotion, that's when I'm going to really get upset. 😉


ANYway, anyone who landed on this page solely to read about the new FROZEN ride in Epcot's Norway Pavilion is by now thoroughly confused and on the verge of giving up, so let's LET IT GO and get on to the new ride!


75 minutes standby. No joke.

Now is the ride worth waiting 75+ minutes in line? Probably not. Is it worth planning ahead and booking a Fastpass+ as early as you can? Definitely.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

AKERSHUS | Epcot Lunch Review

I have a BRAND NEW Disney World restaurant review for you guys today, and I love this place so much that I'm frankly surprised I've never posted about it before...but then again it's on the pricey side, and with four brothers tagging along, princess meals don't happen on every trip for me. ;)


Have you guessed what I'm talking about? Tucked away in a castle in Epcot's Norway Pavilion, this is AKERSHUS! 💖😄


AHkershus or AYkershus, however you chose to say it, this restaurant ticks all the boxes for me: beautiful surroundings, amazing food...


...and of course all my princess besties!
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