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Friday, December 31, 2010

Top 10 Posts of 2010

On this last day of 2010 I thought that I'd take a look back  at my top 10 viewed posts  of the year.  It always surprised me as to what gets viewed and what doesn't.  As a blogger I do my best to be relevant and sometimes I just feel out of step.  My favorite post of all of these choices is the post about the kids and I completing Mickey's Halloween 5K.  

I've truly enjoyed having you join me along this journey and I hope that you enjoy this peek back at my year. I look forward to sharing 2011 with you more than ever. 
 
Aug 9, 2010, 1 comment

Jul 25, 2010, 3 comments

Aug 15, 2010

Oct 5, 2010

Oct 7, 2010, 3 comments
Oct 31, 2010










Oct 10, 2010, 1 comment










Dec 9, 2010, 7 comments










Nov 19, 2010, 2 comments










Sep 13, 2010, 4 comments












Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - I miss summer.

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Sunday, December 26, 2010

Barefoot Bubbly Rose' Cuvee'

I love a good wine, but when it comes down to it, I'm a bubbles girl.  If it sparkles, I'm in.  If you're looking for some bubbly to help Ring in the New Year give this a try!

On Christmas Eve day I made a stop at the local wine shop to see if I could find a lovely Sparkling Rose' to try.  Since I was going to be the only one drinking, I didn't want to spend a lot of money.  It's a pitty to waste what I can't drink, but second day bubble just fall flat when not resealed well.  My mission was to pick up the Yellow Tail sparkling rose' with the new resealable cap, but instead I came home with was Barefoot Bubbly Rose' Cuvee'.  Barefoot wines is offering a fabulous array of sparklers from Brut to Moscato, the quintuple selection and sale price (I picked up my bottle for $6.99) drew me in.

Barefoot Bubbly Rose' Cuvee' is a strikingly pink pour that bubbled up in the glass, and left behind some lovely legs.  It's bouquet of sweet strawberry and rose is enjoyable and inviting.  Superbly tiny bubbles created an explosion in my mouth, a sweet and fruity taste that finished just slightly drier than I had expected.  Barefoot Bubbly Rose' Cuvee' is fun and highly drinkable without being pretentious or taking it's self to seriously.  It's a fabulous every day sparkler with a price point that welcomes everyone.


The one small down point is that this seemed to be uncorking this wine. It is, as has been reported by others online, really difficult to get the cork out of the bottle.  Have someone with strong hands do the job and remember to twist the cork out, not just pull.


Winemaker's Notes: "Think pink with Barefoot Bubbly Rosé Cuvée! This slightly sweet sparkling wine is versatile, great tasting and perfect for a special occasion or everyday celebration.  Its delightful aromas and sweet flavors make a fun, flavorful and affordable addition to any meal."

Disclaimer: All opinions contained within are my own and no form of compensation was received for this review. Also posted at http://savordenevell.blogger.com and on snooth.com

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas to All...



As the snow falls outside the window I sit warm and comfy snuggled on the couch. Meet Me In St. Louis is playing on the television and the kids are playing with their hauls. Some of the things that I put very little thought into turned out to be huge holiday hits, and everyone is filled with the holiday spirit. Erik is in the kitchen whipping up a lovely holiday breakfast, while I continue to rest and try to recover from the pneumonia that has moved into my lungs.

This Christmas seemed to be a struggle to get to, and it was scaled back considerably. Overall though, this laid back, relaxed, modest Christmas seems to be just what the doctor ordered. My thoughts turn to my friends, my readers and with all my heart I wish that all of you are having a lovely Christmas as well. I hope you're safe, and well, and surrounded by the people who you love and that love you. When it comes down to it, those are the best gifts of all.

Merry Christmas.

Love,

~Kristen

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

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Dear Santa, Please bring back summer. K, Thanks! Love, Me

Monday, December 20, 2010

DCL Makes Conde' Nast Traveler's Gold List

In it’s January 2011 issue Conde’ Nast Traveler releases it’s Gold List. Comprised of the best of the best in luxury travel from the 2010 Readers Choice Awards. Updated annually the Gold List collects Hotels, Resorts and Cruise Lines from across the globe and brings them together for a look at the cream of the crop in travel accommodations. Though several Disney Properties made the Reader’s Choice Awards, only one star shone brightly enough to earn it’s spot on the Gold List.

Making a repeat appearance on the list and ranking #4 in it’s category is Disney Cruise Line. With an overall 2010 score of 90.3 this fleet of magical ships received especially high marks in staterooms, service and activities.

The Disney Cruise Line continues to be a top contender in globe trotting travel. The lavish addition of the Disney Dream, setting forth on it’s maiden voyage January 26th, 2011, and the spectacular Disney Fantasy launching in April 2012, assure travel fans that there will be no lack of rooms for guests to enjoy Disney’s world class service on the high seas.

Congratulations Disney Cruise Line, we can’t wait to sail with you in May!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Be Back Soon...

Dear Friends,

My son was admitted into the hospital yesterday morning and I have been by his side. He will be there for a few days. The outpouring of love that we have already received means the world to my family. His condition is steadily improving, please keep his continued recovery in your prayers. Posts will return once things have calmed down here.

Thank you so much

~Kristen

Monday, December 13, 2010

DVC Member Holiday Perk Alert

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To celebrate the Holiday Season, Disney Vacation Club is offering some fantastic discounts for it's members to enjoy at home. Visit the DVC Member website and follow the page to "Member Perks at Home" for a little savings while adding Disney Magic to your home for the holidays.

D23, the official Disney fan club, is offering DVC Members a 10 percent discount off the purchase of new Gold and Silver D23 Memberships through Dec. 31, 2010!

Disney on Broadway has discounted show tickets for DVC Members during this limited-time: 20% off regular-priced tickets to select shows. Offer Expires: 7/3/2011

The DisneyStore.com loves DVC Members too and for a limited time take $15 off your purchase of $100 or more! * Offer expires 11:59 pm PT, January 9th, 2011

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Holiday Crafts & Cookies from Disney

mickey-reversable-ornament-240x240Baby, it’s cold outside, and with the kids coming home for winter break, moms across the country are looking projects to keep them busy.

Disney Family Fun offers all sorts of holiday cheer for you and your kids to bring a little bit of Mickey into your home. Projects and printables include coloring pages, tree ornaments, paper wreath patterns, and cookie stencils to name just a few. So take a peek, and follow the link for great craft ideas from Disney Family Fun.

Looking forward to a little baking this holiday season? Give this sugar cookie recipe a try, it’s straight from the fabulous kitchens of Walt Disney World’s Swan & Dolphin Hotels. Disney can help you add a little fun here too, with decorating stencils to help you create sparkle and smiles from Mickey Mouse. Just download, print, and cut them out for easy use in decorating your holiday cookies.

Sugar Cookie Recipe from Disney’s Swan and Dolphin

 Ingredients:
• 3½ Cups Sifted Flour
• 2½ Tsp. Baking Powder
• ½ Tsp. Salt
• 1½ Cubes Sweet Butter (6 oz.)
• 2 Tsp. Vanilla
• 1½ Cups Granulated Sugar
• 2 Tbls. Sour Cream
• 1 Lemon (grated rind only)
• 2 Eggs
• 1 Tbls. Milk

Putting it all together:
Preheat your oven to 340 F.

Use a stand alone mixer if one is available.

Sift together flour, baking powder and salt.

Cream butter, vanilla, sugar, sour cream, lemon peel in a separate bowl, beating them well. Whisking briskly, add eggs one at a time, then incorporate into the milk. Next gradually add the sifted dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and continue to mix.

Once the dough is fully mixed, set it aside to rest for a minimum of 3 hours in the refrigerator. When ready to make your cookies, roll the dough down to desired thickness. Use holiday cookie cutters to cut into fun shapes.

Place the cookies on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for 8 – 10 minutes. Once out of the oven, move the cookies onto a cooling rack.

Wait until completely cool and decorate with sugars and icing.

Disclaimer: I was not compensated for this post, but you know I printed out some holiday fun for my kids! Recipe Resource: http://www.swandolphin.com/recipeclub/1207print.html

Saturday, December 11, 2010

The 14th Disney Blog Carnival is out.

DisMarks is a great community that gathers together Disney Bloggers from around the web. DisMarks Blog Carnival puts their collective knowledge assembled into one place and releases a digest that puts off the magic right at your fingertips. The DVC Mom Blog is honored to have participated in several past Disney Blog Carnivals and is happy to announce that Carnival #14 has been released.

Visit the DisMarks Website today to check out the fabulous collection of Disney Goodness in Disney Blog Carnival #14!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Simple...

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When life is getting hectic and the pressure of the world seems to be crushing me, I try and look to simple pleasures that will boost my spirit. The world is full of little things that give us joy but are often overlooked. It's important to stop, however briefly, and acknowledge those ordinary joys that can lift spirits when times are tough.

My favorite mid-day escape is cup of coffee. I don’t need a frilly sugary latte that’s more like dessert. Just a nice cup of coffee with a little cream, and I have a little escape from all of troubles that are worrying me. The warmth of the cup in my hands, the lovely aroma drifting up in the steam, a full bodied sip of deliciousness. It is a moments respite, from the world around me. Simple comfort, in a perfect cup.

As a busy mom I often forget how important it is to take a few moments for myself every day. It’s so important to schedule a few minutes of “mom time”. It doesn’t matter if you find joy in a beautiful piece of music, an extra few minutes in the shower, or a cup of coffee. Take a little time every day to focus on you, and something that gives you that simple pleasure.

What is your simple pleasure? Leave a comment below to tell me the secret to your joy.

Mama's Losin' It

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - Grand Floridian

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Monday, December 6, 2010

WDW Value & Moderate Rooms for Six

Over the years, I’ve learned the hard way that this world is ready made for a family of 4. Prepackaged food, sets of plates, small cars, restaurant tables contest prizes and hotel rooms are always ready made for this customarily deemed perfect size. However, that leaves many of us with larger families out in the lurch, often having to buy double the amount of things we really need, or travel. Some hotel rooms can “squeeze in” and extra child or two while they are still infants, but once they start growing, what’s a parent to do? It can be particularly challenging if you’re a single parent with several children, because even booking two rooms is frequently not an option.

At Walt Disney World (WDW), most of the deluxe resorts have sleeping space for a family of five in their standard rooms, with the use of a daybed. My family, however, has that magic number that makes a do it yourself travel planner want to cry. Six. There are six of us and we simply don’t fit into a standard hotel room. It's been a challenge over the years when traveling and I've tried it all. I've made the kids squeeze into one bed, packed a camping cot, air matresses, I’ve rented two rooms had the "big" kids stay down the hall. As a mom though, I enjoy my family, and their company, I like to keep us together. Adjoining rooms in most hotels are requests that can sometimes be reserved, but can’t usually be guaranteed.

Our solution to the problem was solved when we purchased a membership in the Disney Vacation Club (DVC). The flexible point system of DVC allows you to pick a wide variety of rooms, room even for a family of 9-12. DVC isn't for everyone though, and if you're on a tight budget when you travel the following Value and Moderate options might be the key to vacation success.

AllStar_Music_Resort_LogoThe All Star Music is one of the Value Hotels on WDW property. That means that it is designed motel style with hallways on the outside. There is no sit down eatery at the hotel or room service (possibly pizza) but there is a food court. It offers the same privileges as other Disney properties - complimentary transportation throughout WDW (also a large family plus); the ability to charge purchases at most WDW locations to your room; an affordable food court; package delivery from the theme parks to your resort gift shop, and creative, well maintained pools. One additional perk is the use of Disney's Magical Express (free ground transportation from Orlando International Airport to any Disney Resort).

The All Star Music family suites are outfitted with two TVs, and pay per day high speed Internet access. There is a queen bed, a full-size sofa sleeper, and a convertible chair sleeper. The small kitchenette includes a microwave and small refrigerator (4.3 cubic feet) plus a coffee maker. A delightful addition to this room is it’s two full bathrooms. A huge plus when traveling with older girls. They are by far the most cost effective rooms for this family size. I love having a Suite of two rooms because it can be a huge sanity saver for Mom & Dad while enjoying down time at the hotel.

The All Star music family suite sleeps six and in 2010 offered a rate of $235 weekday/$265 weekend during regular season.

Coronado Springs LogoDisney's Moderate hotels offer a little more style and expanded services than do the Vales. The next room that we’re going to look at is a Jr. Suite at the Coronado Springs Resort. This resort includes one of the large Disney Convention Centers on property. As a moderate resort guests at Coronado Springs receive all the benefits of staying on property and a few more amenities such as several pools with one larger themed pool called "The Dig Site", which includes a water slide and children's area. These next level properties offer more dining options than just a food court. Table service can be enjoyed here, as well as light room service and lounges. For all of your travel needs the Coronado Springs Resort also has a gift shop, fitness center, beauty salon, and spa.

A very large property, the Coronado Springs is very spread out, so the complex offers an internal shuttle system, as well as connections to the greater WDW transportation system. You’re able to put in a personal request for the area of the resort you would most like to stay in, however no matter where you’re room is you’ll have a wonderful time. Because of it's size, unless you have a rental car, this is probably the most difficult option to get back to the hotel for a mid-day rest.

The Jr. Suite at Coronado Springs that sleeps six and is $405 weekday /$420 weekend during the regular season.

I hope that this article has offered ideas you a couple of new ideas on where a large family can stay in casual comfort and style, while visiting the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida. These certainly aren’t the only rooms available for large families, but they’re a good place to start if keeping your family together is important to you.

This post is part of the Disney Blog Carnival #15! Head over there to see more great Disney-related posts and articles to make your vacation planning a breeze.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Winter has come...

This is what awaited me out the window this morning.

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I can honestly say that I'm less than thrilled about it. At the moment I estimate a mere 3-4 inches, however it's still coming down. Though I think it's beautiful, I'm really not a snow lovin' gal. I can handle a little here and there, but the thought that this will begin three months of what will most likely be below 20 degree weather does not have me jazzed. It's not so much the snow I mind, but when the temps drop down by zero and the wind blows so hard it stings you skin is just not my favorite.

Do you live someplace warm and sunny? Tweet me a picture @DVCMom to cheer me up!

Friday, December 3, 2010

I'm IN!

HoooYAaaaH! I'm going to the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration in March. Just called my best friend Bekah and let her know that she's coming with! Woot!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

DisneySMMoms - Regstration Day

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This evening has calmed down a bit from the Internet hilarity that ensued after registration opened for the Disney Social Media Moms Conference, being held next March at the Grand Floridian Resort and Spa. This is one of those things that I’ve been working towards over the past year with my little blog. If I didn’t make the 2011 Mom’s Panel, I wanted to at least be able to go to the social media conference. The 2010 inaugural conference was a spectacular success and got praise from mom bloggers across the Internet. Top notch business speakers and events were highlighted by Disney Magic around the resort at one vey low price. A great opportunity to learn from those leading the industry and to network with moms from all across the country. Not to mention, those of us who are regular Disney goers were floored at the value given to conference attendees.

Registration was set to open December 2nd at 2PM EST. I emptied my calendar and rescheduled appointments so I wouldn’t have to worry about anything else. I was ready and waiting for over an hour to get in the virtual door. Only priority programs running, check. Kids entertained for at least an hour, check. Blog stats, check. Credit card information, check. The twitter hastag #DisneySMMoms was in full furry with a virtual race grander than Filene’s Basement on bride’s day about to take place. Over 1,000 mom bloggers from around the world, trying to get just over 100 spots at the conference on a first come first serve basis. I closed down my twitter so that I could get down to business.

Registration opened and I started trying to get to the website. Click… click… click… the registration page was not was coming up. The place holder told me to wait and that the page would auto-refresh. 5 minutes, 10 minutes, 15 minutes passed and still I was left staring at a little orange circle going round and round. Nothing seemed to be happening, and I was beginning to panic, had I missed it? Was there something wrong with my Internet? I opened twitter back up to see if anyone else had gotten in. No, no one had been able to make a connection. Fingers were flying with frazzled, panicking, moms hoping to snag a coveted spot. More time went by and a few people slowly started to get registrations. Others just waited and tried everything they could thing of to get their page to load. Some moms had to leave their house and dropped out because it was taking so long to get registered. Some got kicked out of registration several times and had to get back in que. Some moms went through registration and then decided at the last moment they didn’t have the money, other still sat watching the orange circle go round and round.

Finally! Just a few minutes shy of an hour, the registration page came up for me. I was in! I made sure that all my fields were filled out, and five pages later I hit submit. It took, I had put in my request to register. However my dear readers the story doesn’t end here. I received and email shortly thereafter saying that all registrants would be verified and a confirmation of registration would be sent later. Verified!? Later!? Good googlie mooglie what new hell was this? Tweets still kept streaming at record speed on the thread as more people got in and others still waited. No one was really sure exactly how verification would happen, or what it would entail. I closed my computer and went to get coffee with my husband.

I arrived home a little over an hour later and saw that the registration process had been shut down. No one is quiet sure how many people got to register, but we do know that some people never even got to the registration screen and were stuck staring at the little orange circle of death for over two hours. Word was sent out that confirmations would not come before morning.

Now… for those of us who did make it through the process, we wait. Wine will be involved and hopefully, I sleep.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Kristen & Great Pat 1981
I really miss my aunt.