Tuesday, December 31, 2013

My 10 favorite pictures from our Disney World Trip

It's so hard coming back to real life after being in Disney World for a week.  Dessert with every meal, the magic of Disney in our hotel and a short monorail ride away, and tons of time with my family that I love so much.

I have a gazillion pictures (really, a gazillion), but here are my 10 favorites.

1.  Arabesque(ing) in Animal Kingdom.  My absolute favorite park.  Nothing beats the Safari Ride there...nothing!

2.  Walker rode all the rides with his Grandpa, and somehow, every time he sat in Mimi's lap, he fell fast asleep.  (Mimi has magical baby nap powers.)

3.  This is our version of a "princess picture" at Disney World. :)  The boys do love Woody and Buzz Lightyear, so this was a dream come true. 

4.  We decided to leave our stroller at home and rent one there.  Best decision ever.  The strollers at the actual parks are hard plastic and can't be taken out of the park, so we rented a stroller through a company that works with Disney.  They delivered a really nice, BOB double stroller to our hotel, so all we had to do was pick it up from the front desk, and take it back to the desk when we left.  It was really nice.

5.  Just take a look at that front row.  We are roller coaster junkies, but seriously, this is my face in every single roller coaster picture.  Eyes shut tight and hair all crazy-like.  Disney is super high-tech now, and allows you to get fast passes in advance.  Because of this, we didn't wait in any lines (the longest line we waited in was about 15 minutes to see Buzz Lightyear and Woody.) 

6.  We took the boys to see the tigers at the Animal Kingdom, and it was honestly one of my favorite 30 minutes of the trip.  This was set in a location where the boys could roam freely, and it was fun to play around with my sister and sister-in-law.

7.  My boys are borderline terrified of Santa.  They like him from afar, but run (screaming) from him as soon we get close.  A man from my parents' hometown plays Santa every year in Epcot.  My dad invited him to breakfast with us on Christmas morning, and instead of wearing his full Santa gear, he just wore a red shirt...(I seriously believe he's the real Santa!) :) Charlie saw him from far away, and I asked him, "Is that Santa?".  Charlie said, "Yes, but he's wearing regular clothes", and then showed him the car carrier he got earlier that morning.  Who knew that it was the outfit that was so scary?!

8.  Me and my siblings in France at Epcot.  I do love them so much, and wish all the time that we could live on the same street.  One day...one day.

9.  The best Christmas present ever was being in Disney with my entire family.

10.  Experiencing Charlie's first airplane ride with him is something I never want to forget.  Everything is magical to him.  When we rose above the clouds (which were perfectly fluffy that day), I got teary-eyed thinking about how awesome that moment was....and Charlie saying "I'm wiggling Mom!! I'm wiggling!" when we took off.

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas, and that you were able to spend time with or talk to someone that you love.

Friday, December 20, 2013

A sweet example

^^Mmm that was good.
^^Aunties!!  How lucky is Charlie that he gets these special ladies in his life? 

As we were heading out of Charlie's special Christmas program at school, I saw a friend from church that asked me what Charlie was in the show (there were shepherds, stars, sheep, etc.)  I told her that he was an angel, and she said, "Yes, he is an angel."  I thought that was so sweet of her to say, and I have to agree.

Charlie has to bring something for Show and Tell each week.  Usually, when I ask him to pick something out to take, he grabs a car or a picture book.  Last week, after I asked him to go get something special, he brought The Book of Mormon to me...and I was so proud of him.  As members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Days Saints, we believe in and read from the Bible and from the Book of Mormon. Charlie loves reading the scriptures and really enjoys learning about Jesus Christ, and I thought it was neat that he wanted to share that with his friends.

I am teaching him and Walker that the reason we celebrate Christmas is because it was the day our Savior was born, and that because of Him, we can be together as a family and live with our our Heavenly Father again.  

Charlie showed me that morning that it's important to share things that make us happy, and things that we love.  What a great example he is.

****And then as we were walking out the door, he said, "Mommy, I actually want to bring my new orange digger."  Ok, then.  How quickly young babes change their minds.  But I think the story is still pretty awesome...up to the orange digger part.**** :)

Happy Friday, friends!!  I hope you have a wonderful weekend! 

PS.  I am in a Styling Contest for OnlineShoes.com.  It's a "one-time" voting contest, and I would really appreciate your vote!  (It should only take a few seconds to do.)  Thank you so much for your help!  You can go here to vote.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

My Greatest Adventure

My new favorite scarf is from Zara (it's currently unavailable, but hopefully will be restocked soon!) I've worn it here as well. 

I've been blessed to know a few photographers who have the special gift of capturing a perfect moment. Carl Hoverstad took these pictures for us, and he has just that...such a beautiful talent.  It was THE coldest afternoon at the NC Art Museum....oh my goodness....I'm shivering just thinking about it.  The temps were in the 30s, but somehow it felt like it was in the negatives.  

Despite it being ridiculously cold, and all of us being pretty close to frozen, Carl captured these (and more) shots that I will treasure forever.  I have a quote framed in the boys' room that says, "You are my greatest adventure."  And it's so true...they really are, and they make life so much fun.

I can't wait to see their faces when we go to Disney next week.  I'm not sure who's more excited...the boys or me! (probably me) :)

PS.  I am in a Styling Contest for OnlineShoes.com.  It's a "one-time" voting contest, and I would really appreciate your vote!  (It should only take a few seconds to do.)  Thank you so much for your help!  You can go here to vote.

Linking up with Shanna and The Pleated Poppy

Monday, December 16, 2013

Polka Dots and a styling Contest!

Classic Tall Boots: c/o OnlineShones, Dress: Old Navy (similar here), Tights: Old Navy (similar here),  Scarf: Old Navy (similar here), Belt: Old Navy (similar here) Yes, I like Old Navy.

Today felt like a summer day (compared to last week) with it being in the low 50s and the sunshine out bright. (I loved it!)  It has been absolutely freezing here lately, and most of last week was rainy and cloudy.  I'd much rather be inside in my sweatpants on cold days, but that's kinda impossible to do all day, every day.  So scarves, my North Face coat (this card about North Face coats is pretty funny...but they really are SO great!), and boots have been helping me out a little.

Ugg Boots are kinda controversial (some people love them, some people hate them), but I LOVE them...mainly because they keep my feet nice and warm, AND they are so cozy.  

I was so excited when Onlineshoes.com sent me these Classic Tall Boots....I already had a pair of the short ones in grey, so the tall ones in chestnut are a fun addition to the collection.  I'm also a huge boots fan (I can't get enough of them this winter), and this website has a huge collection of women's boots that I really, really like.  

Now, I have a big favor to ask!  I am in the Online Shoes Monthly Styling Contest, and would love so, so much for you to vote for me.  You can go here to vote, and by voting you will be entered to win a pair of boots!

Thank you so much for your support!!  I really appreciate it! The contest runs today through December 27.

Happy Monday, friends!
Linking up with The Pleated Poppy

Friday, December 13, 2013

6 ways to Love life

Guy or girl, young or old, here are 6 ways to absolutely love the life you're living.

1.  Don't feel the need to be productive all the time.

        Elder Richard G. Scott said, "Many voices from the world in which we live tells us we should live at a frantic pace.  There is always more to do and more to accomplish. Yet deep inside each of us is a need to have a place of refuge where peace and serenity prevail, a place where we can set, regroup, and reenergize to prepare for future pressures."  I'm guilty of this...always feeling the need to do at least 2 things at once.  I'm getting better at understanding the importance of finding a moment and a place of peace every day.

2.  Have a support system.
          Establish good relationships with people that encourage you and support you.  Surround yourself with people who make you feel your best...your soul will be damaged if you're constantly with people who don't uplift you.

3.  Have a hobby.

        I've had several conversations with people that, when asked what their hobbies are or what they enjoy doing, have said something along the lines of  "Oh, I'm just a mom or, I take my kids around.."..and I'm like excusemewhat? We all need to have a hobby that involves just us.  That's just for us.  

4.  Exercise.

        I don't know anyone who feels amazing after sitting on the couch, watching tv, and eating Cheetos all day.  I do know that I feel energized, happy, and motivated after I exercise...even if it's taking a walk around my neighborhood.

5.  Count your blessings.

        Sometimes it's easy to get caught up in an "I wish I had that" attitude, which is so bad for your spirit.  When you're in a tough moment, think about everything you do have, and things will start turning around.

6.  Unplug.

        Doesn't your life seem so much better when you're not comparing it to others?  People usually don't post pictures of their low moments, so it's easy to compare our normal to everyone's best.  I've found that I enjoy life so much more whenever I'm living it...playing with my boys, visiting fun places, reading a great book, talking face to face with a friend, etc.

I am my happiest when I am doing these 6 things.  

What makes you love life?!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Early wake-up call

Skirt: Banana Republic (similar here), Top: Gap Outlet (similar here), Necklace: Ann Taylor, Sunglasses: Francescas, Heels: Cousin Couture (similar here), Coat: Old Navy (similar here), Tights: Target (here)  
Photos edited by Kayla

I have a great reason for why this skirt is ridiculously wrinkled.  It was wadded up in my purse (along with the rest of the outfit) during our 3-hour trip home from the beach, and I change into it from my pjs, in the car, when we were about 20 minutes outside of town.  (My friend's son was being baptized that morning.)

Not my best move...probably should've ironed it and put it on a hanger before I left...but when I  leave somewhere at 6 o'clock in the morning, my brain isn't functioning properly.

I do love this skirt, though, and have had it for years and years.  A black pencil skirt is a must for every wardrobe, in my opinion.

Linking up with KristenShannaand The Pleated Poppy

Friday, December 6, 2013

A few photos and a few thoughts

*These are just a few snapshots of our Thanksgiving at the beach.  I look forward to this vacation every year.  

*We saw Frozen at the beach, and it was amazing.  Idina Menzel is the voice for one of the leads, and her voice in this song, is...I don't even know...because "incredible" doesn't do it justice.  But there goes Idina Menzel being all fierce again.

*I also saw Catching Fire last week, (I can't believe I haven't talked about it until now), and agree with the people that are saying that the movies are better than the books.  Noel says that he's Team Gale, but that's probably only because I have a mega crush on Peeta.

*Carla recommended the book, Dad is Fat, to me, and I'm so glad she did because it is hilarious.  I always read it when someone is asleep or when I'm in a room full of people, so I'm always doing that laugh thing through my nose.  You know? Where you can't actually laugh out loud, but it's impossible not to react in some way because it's THAT funny, so you end up just kinda loudly nose breathing?

*The other night, as I was putting Charlie in his bed, he said, "Ok, I'll go to sleep here for a little bit, and then I'll come to your bed so we can snuggle." My heart about burst. Can he stay that sweet forever?

I hope you have an amazing weekend!!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

The movie I watch all year long

Sweater: Old Navy (similar), Cords: JCrew Outlet, Shoes: Old Navy

While we were at the beach for Thanksgiving, we went to Ruth's Chris one night with our family and some friends.  On the way to the restaurant, I asked the crew to pull over so I could get some pictures of my outfit (which they thought was hilarious.)  Outfit pictures, in general, are super awkward....so just times that by a thousand with a car load of people staring at you. :)

Anyway...before we got in the van, I noticed my sister-in-law wearing the most beautiful color lipstick. She said it was "Berry Kiss", which sounded so familiar.  Remember that scene from The Holiday, when Jude Law's daughter asks Cameron Diaz what the name of her lipstick is?  It's Berry Kiss!!  So that's what I'm wearing in these pictures (because of course I had to wear some after discovering the connection), and I kind of love it.

The Holiday is my absolute, favorite movie of all time, and I watch it even when it's not Christmas.  I do love me some "just" Christmas movies, though.  We've already watched Elf, Polar Express, and a Charlie Brown Christmas this year.  

What are some other good ones?!

PS.  I got this entire outfit on Black Friday when everything was 50% off!  
Linking up with KristenShannaand The Pleated Poppy

Monday, December 2, 2013

Season's Eatings

^smacking his lips just thinking about the chocolate :)

One of the things I love most about the holidays (and all year long, really) is baking treats with my boys.  I was trying to think of a new tasty treat to try, when my sister, Jessica, insisted that I try these chocolate chip cookie brownies.  I mean...a chocolate chip cookie and a brownie combined?!  It sounded like the perfect thing, so I bought all the ingredients from Harris Teeter and went to town baking.

I used the recipe from Baked by Rachel, (her pictures are much, much prettier and delicious(er) than mine are! 


Cookie dough ingredients:
5 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
3 Tbsp brown sugar
3 Tbsp granulated sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp coarse sea salt
1 1/4C all purpose flour
3/4C semi-sweet chocolate chips
Brownie ingredients:
1/4C unsalted butter
3oz bittersweet chocolate
3/4C granulated sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp cocoa
5 Tbsp all purpose flour


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease sides of an 8x8-inch baking pan and line with parchment paper, slightly overhanging two edges.
For the cookie dough:
In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars. Lightly mix in egg and vanilla. Add baking soda, baking powder, salt and flour, mixing well. Finally, add chocolate chips and mix until dispersed throughout. Set aside.
For the brownie batter:
Melt butter and chocolate in a double boiler, set over a saucepan with simmering water. Stirring gently until completely melted and smooth. Remove from heat, whisk in sugar, followed by egg and vanilla. Whisk in cocoa and salt. Gently fold in all flour until combined.
Pour brownie batter into prepared pan, spreading out evenly with an offset spatula. Top off with large spoonfuls of cookie dough, press down gently. Bake for 25-30 minutes.
Cool in pan completely before slicing. Store in an airtight container.
The boys gobbled them right up after they cooled!
Now for the fun news!

Harris Teeter is having an incredible giveaway!  You can go here to start entering!  Not only are there the mega prizes, but Harris Teeter is giving a $25 gift card specifically to a Dancing with Ashley reader as well! (Just share the link to your #SeasonsEatings Pinterest board in the comments by Thursday, Dec. 12 to be entered in the $25 gift card giveaway!)

And here's a look at my #SeasonsEatings Pinterest Board.

Follow Ashley Anderson #SeasonsEatings on Pinterest

Happy Pinning!  
PS.  I'd love to hear about some of your yummy Christmas treats!
*A big thanks to Harris Teeter for sponsoring this post*
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