Beaches and Cream Soda Shop

IMG_1266If you’re looking for one of the best burgers in town or just hungry for some yummy dessert…Beaches & Cream Soda Shop is the place you’ll want to go!  Beaches & Cream Soda Shop is located at Disney’s Beach Club Resort, along side of Stormalong Bay.  It’s a short walk from The Boardwalk or if you happen to be at Epcot in the World Showcase area, you an take a quick walk or boat ride from the exit between France & the United Kingdom.

Beaches & Cream Soda Shop is adorned in a pastel color palette .  It reminds me of the colors you see if you buy a bag of saltwater taffy.  You’ll definitely want to grab a seat early on in the day if you can, as it is a very small place.  It has three booths adorned with beach balls, a handful of white wrought iron tables & then you have a counter running along two wall with plenty of seating there as well.  Of course, there is a juke box right when you walk in as well.  They also have a few tables outside on the sidewalk overlooking Stormalong Bay, if you prefer to sit outside.  The tables are adorable and look like ice cream cones.

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The day I went with my parents, we were lucky and didn’t have to wait more than 5 minutes to be seated at one of the tables inside.  We took awhile to look over the menu, but we were all hungry for a good burger, so that’s what we all ordered.  Honestly, it’s one of the best burgers I’ve had since moving to Florida.  If I wasn’t so hungry for a burger that day, they had the most amazing looking grilled cheese sandwich served along side a cup of tomato soup.  I’ll definitely be getting that next time!  They also have hotdogs, chili, & a few other sandwiches to choose from.

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When it was time for dessert, none of us were still that hungry, but it all looked so good as we see order after order of ice cream and shakes being delivered to other tables.  My dad loves a good Chocolate Malt, so that’s what he ordered.  Keep in mind, if you order one of the shakes/malts…they serve it up the old fashioned soda shop style way.  They fill up a big glass with the shake or malt and then give you the remainder of what is left in the tin cup it was made in, which is another big cups worth, so you may want to share!  As for my mom and I, we decided to split the strawberry shortcake with fresh strawberries, which was topped with a huge scoop of vanilla bean ice cream and a big ‘ol dollop of whipped cream with colored sprinkles.  It was delicious!

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So don’t forget about this little hidden secret next time you are out visiting The Boardwalk or lolly gagging around Epcot and you’re hungry for some tasty treats!  All of the prices are really reasonable too!  Oh, and if you or your family are big fans of ice cream, you may want to order up one of there most known for deserts….The Kitchen Sink!  If you’re able to tackle that beast…congratulations!  It is eight giant scoops of ice cream smothered in about every topping imaginable!

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May 2013 Blogging Challenge

I know I’ve been super bad and posting lately, although in all fairness…I have technically been writing up posts for i.seeKissimmee.com behind the scenes, but they just haven’t been official posted yet.  They did launch the start of my week of posts this past Friday.  Today, the first official post with a review in it has been posted, so make sure you head over to the website and read up on my post about The Boardwalk.

With that being said, if you’re having trouble posting lately, you may want to take the blogging challenge during the month of May, which I’ve posted below.  Click the link below to join in the challenge!  This blog hop is being hosted by The Blog Designers Network, Creative Girl Media & Delightfully Inspired.

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Yay for the Freakin’ Weekend!

Happy Friday, y’all!  This has been the slowest week ever, so I’m hoping this weekend goes nice and slow, as well, but we all know it won’t!  It’ll more than like go by super fast and Monday will be flying upon us like those crazy creepy flying baboons from the new Oz movie.  Oh well, it is what it is….happens every week like clockwork!

Giveaway.Painting

If you’re interesting in entering a giveaway for one of my 8×8 “Moonlight Cherry Blossoms” paintings, make sure and head over to Simply Stephanie blog a.s.a.p.!  All you have to do is visit my Etsy shop “The Painted Palette” & take a look and then go and leave a comment on her blog, as to which painting you like.  Easy peasy!  The winner will be announce on Monday, May 6th, so you only have until this Sunday to enter.  Last I checked there were only 4 comments, so you have a pretty good chance, so go enter!

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Remember in my last post where I said that all of my posts I’ve written lately were in draft mode over on i.seekissimmee.com?  Well, if you head over there now, my first post has been published, so you’ll have about 10 more that will be published throughout the next week! Some of the posts you’ll see over there this week are for some pretty good places to eat, like Hawkers, Beaches & Cream, & Blue Bird Bake Shop.  You’ll also see my review of the musical dinner show the Hoop Dee Doo Revue, which is pretty spectacular, as well as things like the Boardwalk, Downtown Disney, shopping at The Loop & of course the Epcot Flower & Garden Festival.

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Other than that, not much else going on.  Been doodling a bit in my sketchbook & playing around with my logo character.  Tomorrow is my 1 month weigh in.  I’ve been trying my best to be a good girl and eat more veggies and smaller portion sizes.  My goal for the month was to hopefully be down -10lbs, so fingers crossed I can hit that in the morning.  As of week 3, I was down 7.7, so far, so we’ll see!  Well, until I post again…yak at ya y’all later & have a fabulous freakin’ weekend!!  

Hello, Spaghetti Squash! Goodbye, Pasta!

Spaghetti squash, in one word…Amazing!  I bet you’ve seen it in your produce section while grocery shopping & wondered…how do you even cook that stuff.  I know I did at first!  Thank goodness for the internet & a quick google search!  I first started cooking spaghetti squash several years ago, but for some reason I haven’t picked any up for a year or so.  Anyways, I was at the grocery store this past weekend & noticed that they had some nice small sized spaghetti squash, which was perfect, since I was only cooking it for myself.  They come in all sizes, so you can pick one up that will suffice for however many people you’re cooking for.

IMG_1590There are several different ways you can cook up your spaghetti sauce, so just go with whatever way is best for you.  I’ve baked it in the oven and used the microwave both and it comes out the same either way you cook it.  So, if you’re going to go the microwave route, like I do, you’ll want to poke it several times with a sharp nice all over!  This is a very important step, otherwise, your squash may explode & nobody wants to clean up the microwave after that mess!

IMG_1591Once you have poked your spaghetti squash all over, so it can vent while cooking, you’ll want to place it on top of two paper towels in your microwave & cook it for 10-12 minutes.  While that’s cooking, you can prepare whatever else you want to have with it.  I had picked up some chicken meatballs & had them baking in the over for 25 minutes, while I was doing everything else.  Next, I put some spaghetti sauce on the stove to heat up.  Then I thought some mushrooms cooked in a little garlic would be a good addition, so I got that started up on the stove.

IMG_1595Once the microwave goes off, you’ll want to get your squash out of the microwave.  Be careful, it’ll be steaming hot!  You can let it set for 5 minutes or so, if you like.  When you’re ready, you’ll want to use a sharp knife and cut it in half length wise.

IMG_1597Next, you’ll want to take a big spoon and scoop out all of the seeds in the middle.  It should only take you a couple of scoops & it comes out super easy.

IMG_1599Once you’re done scooping out the seeds….it’s time for the fun part!  Get yourself a fork and just start scraping from the sides, towards the center and you’ll quickly see why they call it spaghetti squash!  Just scrape until you’ve got it all out of the shell and put it in a bowl!

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IMG_1602See!  It looks just like spaghetti, only this is super healthy & very filling!  Just an FYI for those Weight Watchers people out there…this stuff is ZERO points, so eat up!  So once you’re all bowled up, add whatever toppings you’d like!  I chose chicken meatballs, mushrooms & spaghetti sauce & topped it all off with a little parmesan cheese!

IMG_1605Bon Appetit!

A Much Needed Saturday Out

Man…weekends are just too darn short!  After another crazy week at work this week, I decided I needed a day out on Saturday, so I made plans to meetup with some peeps at Downtown Disney around 1:00, so I could sleep in that morning and enjoy snuggling in my bed while the weather is cooler out.  Headed out the door around 12:30 and as soon as I got on I-4, it was a parking lot.  What is typically a 20 minute or so drive turned into a 50 minute drive….BLAH!  Once I finally got parked and met up with my peeps at the bar at Bongos, we decided to head over to Raglan Road for lunch.

RaglanRoadSince I slept in…I ended up eating a breakfast at 11:00, so I wasn’t hungry, so I just got dessert…bread pudding.  OMG…so good!  I would highly recommend getting this dessert if you get the chance, but you may want to order it and plan on sharing!  Unfortunately, I was only able to eat about 1/3 of the dessert, but since we were heading to the parks, I didn’t want to mess with getting it to go & everyone else was too full from there lunches to eat any of it.  It was really a shame for so much of it to go to waste….it was piping hot and came with a carmel sauce and a vanilla cream sauce that you could pour over the top of it….Nom,Nom,Nom!!  I’ll definitely be headed back to this place one of these days when I actually have an appetite!

RaglanRdBreadPuddingWhen we were all done, we headed for Epcot as our park of choice for the day.  It was nice and cool out and great weather for just walking around the park in a hoodie.  We ended up going on the Finding  Nemo ride & then The Land ride & then after that we walked around the World Showcase.  Unfortunately, the park was crazy busy for some odd reason…maybe because of the 3-day weekend for people with President’s Day off…not sure, but it was really odd for this time of year to see so many people.  To give you an idea…it was an hour wait if you wanted to do the little Viking boat ride in Norway, it was a 2 hour wait for Soarin’ & a 3 hour wait for Test Track!  Needless to say, after we walked completely around the World Showcase, we decided to check our Disney app to see what the wait times were like at Magic Kingdom & the other parks and they were insane.  So we decided to call it a day at the park.

I wasn’t in any hurry to go home, so a couple of us decided to just head back down to Downtown Disney and hit up a movie at the AMC movie theater.  We ended up deciding on “Hansel & Gretel”.  I love fairytale related stuff & I was quite curious on what kind of a twist they were going to put on this old fairytale.  The movie was actually pretty good to my surprise.  It was a bit too much on the guts and gore side for my taste, but it was still a pretty good movie.  Definitely not a kid friendly movie!  The witches are pretty “scary” looking and like I said…lots of blood and guts!

Hansel-and-Gretel-Witch-Hunters-2012-Movie-PosterAfter that, we called it a night and I headed home in another crazy amount of slow traffic on I-4.  So, by the time I got home, I just decided to have a nice hot cup of tea & read for the night before getting all cozy in bed.  All in all, it was a pretty good day out!

Catch Up Time!

Holy smokes guys….it’s been a while since I’ve written an actual post!  So, I guess it’s time to play catch-up!  November 16th I packed my bags and headed home to Illinois for Thanksgiving for a nice 12 day vacation.  It’s hard to believe it was a month ago today that I was getting on that plane home.  Like they say…time flies!  Time flew by pretty fast when I was at home too!  It was a lot easier leaving and not crying my eyes out like I usually do when I leave, since my parent are coming to visit the first week of February!  YAY!!  Anyways, before I flew home I thought it would be nice to have some family pictures taken since we haven’t had any taken in years, so the day after I arrived, we headed out for pics down by the Mississippi River & then to my favorite park.  We lucked out & it was a gorgeous & warm day outside for that time of year….now a week later…it’s was in the 30’s, so when I say we lucked out, I mean it!  Here’s a few shots…

Mom, Chris (Not so little bro), Me, Dad & Sara (little sis)

Mom, Chris (Not so little bro), Me, Dad & Sara (little sis)
Sara, Jenn & Chris

Sara, Jenn & Chris

12.17If anyone back home reads this & is looking for a good photographer in the Burlington, IA area, you should check out SAS Photography & contact Sarah Schulz, as she does a wonderful job & has awesome prices!  Thanks again, Sarah!

After being a bum & gaining 10lbs from all that great home cooking, I headed home on the 27th.  I had a little bit of an annoying cough when I got on the plane & had been popping vitamin C all day like a crazy person, but by the next day or so I was back in Orlando it had turned into a full blown cold…Blah!  I blame the plane ride & all that recycled air.

So with being on vacation, being sick & busy with Christmas shopping…I just haven’t had the urge to write.  Seems like when I do have thoughts of things to write…its when I’m somewhere that I’m not near my computer, like on the ride home from work and totally space out and miss turns and such…yes, I do that.

I have managed to do a Disney park pretty much every weekend since I returned from vacation, so I can check out all of the Disney holiday goodness.  Like the lighting of Cinderella’s Castle….it was magical & oh so beautiful!  I took a video of the whole thing so you wouldn’t feel left out, but I can’t figure out how to post it here, so I will post pics, which just don’t do it justice!  🙂  We even experienced New Year’s the night I went as they were filming some sort of New Year’s celebration and had the clock on the castle set to midnight for filming…it was kind of comical.

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IMG_1012Along with enjoying all the lights & events in the parks, my friend Eric & I have been resort hopping and checking out the lights & decor in all of the Disney resorts.  They all have lovely trees…one had a life size Gingerbread house in the lobby that they of course were selling gingerbread cookies out of.  Another had the biggest freakin’ Mickey Mouse wreath I’ve ever seen!

DisneyChristmasNow last weekend, my friends Eric & Jay took my out for and AWESOME dinner at Epcot at Tutto Italia, which included specialty seating for the Candlelight Processional AND V.I.P. viewing area for the fireworks show Illuminations.  I didn’t get any pics that night, as I was just having way to much fun.  There are several videos on YouTube of the Candlelight Processional…I went to the one that was narrated by James Denton (Actor from Desperate Housewives).

Now this afternoon I have plans to go with my Disney companions to go to Mickey’s Jammin’ Jingle Parade at Animal Kingdom & then we are hopping over to the Osborne Family Light Spectacle at MGM (Currently known as Hollywood Studios, but I refuse to call it that like any diehard Disney fan)! 🙂

Well, that pretty much wraps things up to what’s been going on in my world lately.  Got all presents wrapped and shipped out yesterday, so all that stuff is out of the way.  I have gifts for friends sitting here to hand out this coming week.  I’m kind of bummed I’ve only gotten one Christmas card so far this year.  I always loved Christmas cards…I only send out a few anymore since I never seem to get any back.  I was super excited to come home Friday though and found my landlords had left my yearly Christmas present hanging on the door, which this year was the cutest cookie jar…filled to the brim with cookies & a cute jar full of peppermint taffy.  They are the best!

IMG_1022Well…I’m going to call it a wrap!  Let’s hope the writing bug keeps flowing this week, so here’s until next time!

Cheers!

Salon Time, Shopping & Friends…

To put it short & sweet…I had a pretty good weekend.  I had taken Friday off & spent a good portion of the day at Aveda getting some new highlights/lowlights.

Then as soon as my appointment was done at Aveda, I headed to Ulta to see by brow girl.

Then on Saturday morning I got up fairly early & headed for the Orlando Premium Outlet Mall in search of a light coat, since I’m flying back him to Illinois on Friday for close to a week and a half & I know it’s going to be chilly!  It’ll probably be the temperatures I used to love, but Florida has spoiled me and chilly in Florida is 70 degrees.  Well, I made the mistake of going in the Coach store & then them handing me a 30% off coupon as soon as I walked in the door.  Doomed from the start!  I sharked the store about 5 times & finally narrowed down my choice & walked out with a brand new purse.  I love purses like most people love shoes, but I only buy a new purse maybe once a year and I use it till it’s falling apart, so I don’t feel bad.  Would love to have a matching wallet, but I have a hard time spending that much money on a wallet…buy that time, I wouldn’t have anything to put in it!
After the Coach store…I popped in one more store & grabbed a cute scarf & then headed home before I spent any more money.  After chilling out at home for a couple of hours & headed back out for an evening with friends at Downtown Disney.  The Festival of Masters art show was going on & it’s always neat to see all the Disney artwork.  The only downside of going to this even was parking…45 minutes driving around the parking lot before finding a spot to park…wasn’t a happy camper.  But the frown was quickly turned upside down when I met up with the BFF to scope out the art work.  They actually seemed to have a lot more art work out vs. last years event.

After looking around and working up an appetite, we quickly decided to do dessert first after walking by the Ghiradelli store and the amazing chocolate smell that was hanging in the air.  We ran in one of the shops and picked out one of the best chocolate cupcakes I’ve ever had….so good!  After shopping around for awhile, we finally decided we were ready for dinner & decided to try the House of Blues since we’d never ate there before.  Bad side…it was about an hour wait and then when we finally got in and seated it just wasn’t the best experience.  All of the workers were pretty rude, which is unusual when you’re in a Disney area!  Food was all overpriced and nothing to write home about…I don’t think I’ll be going back, but that’s just my personal opinion.  When I’m spending money to go out, I don’t appreciate rude service whatsoever!

After dinner…when met up with a good friend to catch up on life events and what not & just had a good time out walking and talking.  So Saturday was a pretty good day in my book!  Then Sunday I ran around and did a little more shopping and picked up some odds and ends & that was my weekend.  Now I’m counting down the days until Friday when I fly home to see family!  Can’t wait, but I will miss my friends in Florida that I’ve gotten quite used to getting someone out and about at least one day every weekend. 🙂

Disney & BFF’s…Can it Get Any Better?

The weekend is over….Boo!  I had a nice long weekend, since I had Friday off.  Friday & Sunday were spent running errands and relaxing.  Saturday was a Disney day with the be sties.

We spent a good majority of the day enjoying the Food & Wine Festival at Epcot.  We were kind of hoping for the cooler weather we have had all week, so we could wear jeans and sweaters and enjoy some fall weather, but we got clear skies, hot sun & no breeze.  I know it hit at lease 85 degrees, so it was a little warm, but we’re used to it, so we had fun.

When we first entered the World Showcase our first big decision was to go right or left…we opted to head left.  We walked by a couple of booths that didn’t really catch our eye & then we came to Austrailia.  None of the main dishes really sounded like anything we wanted, but the dessert sounded pretty good, so that’s what we got for out first taste of the day and it was delicious!
After that, we headed for Mexico & went on the ride there.  Didn’t bother with the food since it was mostly tacos and expensive margaritas…both which can be made at home…PASS!
Next up on our list, which is my most favorite country to get food….GERMANY!  I stepped in line and ordered one of everything…Brat on a Pretzel Roll, Schinken Nudel (Pasta Gratin w/ Ham & Cheese) & Apple Strudel with Karamel-Vanilla Sauce.  Don’t worry…I shared!
When we were all done stuffing our faces with yummy German goodness.  We decided to play around with Stephanie’s new iPhone and take pictures of ourselves.  It actually turned out pretty good because we were just being silly and having fun.  Please excuse the brows…the German came out and they went crazy again.  No worries…I have an appointment to whip them back into shape Friday! 🙂
After poking around in Germany and having some fun we headed towards France in search of Creme Brûlée & alcohol.  I passed on the Creme Brûlée, as I was too full from all the food in Germany.  I did go for a Grand Marnier Orange Slush….it tasted just like an orange push-up pop.  So good!  I was quite sad when it was all gone! 😦
After the orange slush, I was good to go for awhile as far as treats went.  I think we headed towards Greece & Canada and the group split and everyone got what they wanted.  I just wanted a water by that point, as I was a bit parched, since it was pretty darn warm out.
Next, we headed for Spaceship Earth before we left the park for the day.  Stephanie & I ended up heading over to the Magic Kingdom though, since we wanted to ride a couple of our favorite rides.  By the time we got over there, we decided we wanted ice cream.  It was pretty good, but I think they gave me more whipped cream than ice cream.
When we were all done with our dessert we headed for the Laugh Floor & watched a quick show, which is always amusing.  Then we headed for one of our favorite rides…Haunted Mansion.  Got there and it was closed due to technical errors.  So we started heading for the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and quickly turned around when we seen the line & wait time of over an hour.  Next stop…Pirates of the Caribbean & guess what?!  Closed due to technical errors!  Ahhh!  After that, we called it a day & headed home.  The end.

Weekend Wrap-up

Whew….that weekend went by fast!  It was a pretty mellow week this week.  It was actually kind of slow at the office….hence the below “We’re Bored & Happy it’s Friday” photos.  It was entertainment for a good 10 minutes or so…

Then on Saturday, it was just so darn gorgeous outside….I went to Disney!  It’s finally that time of year where we are getting the cooler weather…low 80’s…haha!  I went in the afternoon & then had some friends meet me there who are Disney nuts too!  We had a good time running around and doing a few rides like The Haunted Mansion, The People Mover, Pirates of the Caribbean, etc…  We snuck in a few others things here and there as well, but the parks were insanely busy for this time of year!  We saw 60 minute wait times for rides like Peter Pan….CRA-ZY!

Disney is all decked out in Halloween decor & was super cute.  You can see in the photo above of a Minnie Mouse holding a pumpkin statue and then of course the adorable pumpkin Mickey wreath.  I was a little hungry since I ate brunch and by 3:30 I was wishing I would have just waited and had lunch.  Since there is a bit of a Biggest Loser weight loss competition going on at work that I’m in on, I tried my best to be good.  I ended up opting for a delicious fruit tart….yes it was as good as it looks!  It was hard opting for that vs. the hot cinnamon roll the size of a plate that smelled out of this world, but I was totally satisfied with my fruit tart as it was very yummy!

Well, that pretty much sums up my weekend in a short and sweet way.  I was pretty much a bum today, other than for some light cleaning & laundry & of course the Sunday grocery run at Target, where I always find other things to buy besides groceries!  Perhaps, I should limit my Target run to once a month! 🙂

Disney, Food & Wine….Oh My!

Well, I don’t know about y’all, but I had a rather FABULOUS weekend!  On Saturday, I woke up late for a change.  While I was trying to wake up a little, I crossed my fingers and checked my bank account and payday came early for me instead of having to wait until Monday….YAY!  So, I paid bills & determined I was going to treat myself, after a super busy couple of weeks at work.  So, I jumped in the shower & got ready for the day & headed out on a mission.  Guess what?  Mission Accomplished!  I’m the proud new owner of a Disney annual pass!  YES, YES, YES!!!  So excited!

After I bought it…I immediately sent a text to a friend and they were there within the hour with friends & we spent the rest of the day until a little after 9:00 eating & drinking our way around the world at the Epcot Food & Wine Festival.  While I was waiting for their arrival, I took a shortcut and jumped a ferry straight to Germany, as I was starving since I hadn’t ate all day & I was craving the brat on a pretzel roll, so I scarfed one of those & stood in line for some good ‘ol German beer.  I opted for a flight of four different beers & they were all pretty tasty!

My partners in crime showed up while I was enjoying my beers, so I finished them up and then started walking towards China and ran into them shortly around Korea.  Then it was onward ho the rest of the day.  Had some awesome Key Lime Wine at the Florida booth, then a Belgium Waffle with berries and whipped topping in Belgium, Creme Brûlée in France, “Le Cellier” Wild Mushroom Beef Filet Mignon with Truffle Butter Sauce and Apple Ice Wine in Canada. Oh yeah…I also had some of the apple strudel before leaving Germany. It was a pretty kick ass day of just chill in’ out, eating, drinking,  people watching & having some good laughs.

Pure Chocolate Sculpture of Finding Nemo….total waste of chocolate, I say!

Then on Sunday morning, I got up and browsed the Target ad, while trying to wake up.  I got super excited because there was a piece of furniture I had taken a picture of on my phone about a month ago that I wanted to get eventually & it was in the ad on sale for about $30 off….SCORE!  So, I got ready real quick & drove straight to Target and snagged the last one on the shelf…YAY!  It took me a while to put together, as all the screw holes weren’t exact, but after walking away for a bit and coming back to it later with some good advice from my brother, I got it put together.  I think it looks pretty darn good!

Also, while I was at Target….I finally found the suckers I’ve been searching for, around this time of year, for the past couple years….Double Score!

And that was pretty much my weekend!  How was yours?