Disney at Home on the Weekend!

Louisiana Crepe MyrtlesI don’t know about at your house, but at ours the weekend goes by WAY too quickly!  Seems like the hours between Friday afternoon and Monday morning are shorter than those during the rest of the week.  Whoosh!  Weekend’s over!  This weekend was especially packed with fun and Disney!

Fall has arrived and with our next trip to Walt Disney World just two weeks away, I realized how much still needs to be done!  So I kicked it into high gear over the weekend and got a few things accomplished.

Saturday, Junior got his Halloween costume finalized.  I’m 100% sure he doesn’t care about dressing up for this holiday or any other, but I care, so he indulges me.  I went with Star Wars and am really happy with the cuteness level!  What do you think?  Doesn’t Junior make a cute Tauntaun?

Sunday, I ran 7 miles as my longest training run of the week.  It seems I’ve got to run a half Junior as a TaunTaunmarathon to run a half marathon.  Sounds ridiculous, doesn’t it?  In order to NOT start at the very back of the pack for the Disney Princess Half in February, I’ve got to prove I can go the distance in less than 3.5 hours.  I’ve run several half marathons in the past, but not in a couple of years, so I need a recent qualifying time.  I’ve decided on the East Texas Half in Nacogdoches, Texas on November 16th.  Who doesn’t want to run 13.1 miles for their 50th birthday?  Should be fun, right?

I was really hungry after all that running and decided I could cook up something fattening and delicious while crossing another item off my Disney New Year’s Resolution List.  After our Tutto Italia dining experience in May was such a disappointment (very poor service, very mediocre food), I wanted to use a recipe from the Tutto Italia of the past – when they had both awesome service and delicious dishes!  I’m not giving up on them forever at Walt Disney World (Epcot’s World Showcase, Italy Pavilion), but I’m giving them some time to work out their current kinks before we go back.  In TaunTaun Canine!the mean time, I’ll keep whipping up some happy memories at home!  I decided on the Gnocchi with Spinach and Gorgonzola Cream Sauce.  I took a picture of the finished product to show you, but, well, it’s kind of ugly so I changed my mind.  Let’s just say that my first attempt at gnocchi from scratch was a little rough – they were not pretty, uniform little pieces of pasta.  Thankfully, they tasted absolutely divine (in spite of the dish’s humble appearance).  I used this recipe from Allears.net.

Finally, after waiting for what felt like forever, Season 4 of Once Upon a Time started Sunday night.  It was worth the wait!  I won’t go into detail since you either watch Once and you’re with me in my excitement OR you don’t watch it and don’t care.  I will say that I was not expecting Kristoff to be so perfect.  I thought Anna was spot on (Elsa not so much) and having Marshmallow make an appearance was a great (and fun) surprise.  I wasn’t expecting to like the Frozen takeover, but so far so good!

Did you add any Disney to your weekend? 

Disney Pirates I’d Love to Meet

Captain Jack Sparrow Photo Op on Castaway CayAvast me hearties!  We be settin’ sail on a mighty adventure.  Hop-to ye scallywags, hoist the mizzenmast and swab the deck – It be International Talk Like a Pirate Day!  Park yer dungbie and grab some grog, landlubber.  Arright, Matey, let’s parley!

Happy International Talk Like a Pirate Day!  In honor of this most auspicious occasion….

Here are Five Disney Pirates I’d Love to Meet (and why):

1. Captain Hector Barbossa – Oh, sure, Jack Sparrow is quick-witted and charming, but if I actually got to choose a pirate to meet from the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, it would be Barbossa, without a doubt.  He’s edgy, learned, appreciates the finer things in life and has a certain mystery about him that makes me want to spend some time in his company and find out what makes him tick.  What was his childhood like?  What made him into a seemingly greedy and ruthless salty dog?  For real, I’d take meeting Geoffrey Rush over Johnny Depp any day.

2 and 3. Captain Hook (both of them!)Emma and Hook OUAT

  • Peter Pan’s Nemesis, James Hook (voiced by Hans Conried) – Even though he’s a cartoon, I love him!  Childish, spoiled, paranoid, and manipulative – what’s not to love about that?  He’s got a great sense of style and some pretty impressive facial hair.
  • Killian Jones (played by Colin O’Donoghue)  – Once Upon a Time’s dark, yet vulnerable hottie.  Easy on the eyes with a lovely accent, this Hook has been making viewers swoon since he appeared for the first time in Season Two.  Now that we know his past, he’s all the more lovable and I’m sure you’re with me in hoping that he and Emma will work out their differences – or at least give into their mutual attraction.  Finally.

4. Blackbeard from 1968’s Blackbeard’s Ghost – Played by Peter Ustinov, Blackbeard is cursed upon his death to wander in limbo.  The only way for him to move on is to perform a good deed.  If you haven’t seen this film, you probably won’t understand how Blackbeard made the list, but hey, my list.  It’s Peter Ustinov.

Disney's 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea5. Captain Nemo from 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (James Mason)- I know he seems ruthless, but I’d love to tour the Nautilus and see all of Nemo’s inventions.  Plus, he had such flair and a really fine beard.  When he wasn’t being diabolical, I bet he was a heck of a great host.  Esmeralda, his pet sea lion, would be pretty awesome to meet as well!  Remember the ride at Walt Disney World?  I rode it just one time in 1990.  Good times.

Who would you have on your list of favorite Disney pirates? 




ABC’s Once Upon a Time – Addicted and Unashamed

ABC’s Once Upon a Time – Addicted and Unashamed

OUAT - Charming, Regina & SnowThis blog is titled “Living a Disney Life”.  The name was chosen very carefully and, I think, wisely.  Seriously, Disney is a big deal at our house!  We may have passed the time of having little ones at home that keep us in the know about the hottest TV shows on the Disney Channel/Disney Junior, but I will never outgrow the enjoyment of going to see the latest Disney movie in theaters.  I grew up with The Wonderful World of Disney – on our family’s TV – EVERY Sunday night.  It’s Disney….on Sunday night.  That’s how, I’m convinced, it was SO easy to become addicted to ABC’s Once Upon a Time.  And addicted we are!  Except for Joseph – and I’ll cut him some slack since he’s 18 and perhaps too young to appreciate all the subtleties, nuances and incredible plot twists – the sheer genius of every single moment of Once.

So – big Disney TV action on Sunday evening.  It’s perfect!  Nothing makes me happier than ABC's Once Upon a Time(just like when I was little) – gathering the fam together, grabbing a snack or late supper, and watching great stories unfold in the comfort of our own living room.  So…this begs the question.  Is Once Upon a Time good enough?  Would I still watch if it were moved to another day of the week?  YES!  As we wrapped up Season Three this past Sunday – I have to say – this show just gets better and better!!!  Each and every episode of all three seasons – genius!  Packed with twists, thrills, surprises, joy, heartache – this show has it all!

OUAT - Red, Belle and HenryI don’t want to spoil the story-line for anyone who is just joining the OUAT mania.  I have to say, though, that just about every single Disney character you can think of has appeared in one or more (or all) episodes – and the characters are developed beautifully and fully to viewers’ satisfaction.  Snow White, Prince Charming, The Evil Queen, Rumpelstiltskin, Pinocchio, Geppetto, Jiminy Cricket, The Blue Fairy, Captain Hook (oh, sigh), Peter Pan, Tinkerbell, Mulan, Ariel, Aurora, Prince Phillip, Red Riding Hood and Granny!  The Wicked Witch of the West, Belle, Robin Hood, Marian – and many characters both well-known from Disney and classic fairy tales.  Additionally, there are brand new characters for the show.  The writers make it easy to keep up with (and adore) each and every one!  Some you love to hate (and others you hate to love) – it’s just perfect.

Curses, different realms, magic (with which always comes a price), time travel – this show has it all!  Good versus Evil – the lines are often blurred and unpredictable – which alone is probably OUAT - Rumpleone of the show’s biggest draws!  My compliments to writers Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis (both also wrote Lost) who focus on strong female characters who (mostly) do the rescuing as opposed to waiting to be rescued.  I’m proud to say I’m a Once fan and I cannot wait for Season Four!  Tiny spoiler ahead – WHO is the biggest, most sought-after character currently in the Disney parks?  Yep – She’s coming to Season Four!!!  Again – GENIUS!

How about YOU?  Are you a Once Upon a Time fan?  If not, have you thought about giving it a try?

Catch up – watch Once Upon a Time episodes here.