Mani Monday

Today’s manicure was inspired by the Disney 100 celebration. I was so excited to visit Disneyland earlier this year and be part of the festivities. It was particularly special to get to see all of the decorations and character costumes in the anniversary color scheme of silver and a lovely shade of purple. I don’t know why it took me until now to plan a mani reflecting the “100 Years of Wonder,” but once I did, I realized I had the perfect polishes for it. I used Sally Hansen Miracle Gel in “Anything is Popsicle” and “Hi Ho Silver” with a splash of glitter on the thumb thanks to “Deep Sea Diamond.” I also did my best attempt at a not-so-hidden-Mickey on my ring finger, and honestly, while it’s not perfect, I think I did a pretty great job!

Tasty Tuesday–The Official Disney Parks Cookbook

Summer vacation is coming to an end, which means I won’t have as much time for cooking “fancy” dinners. So even though I still have a lot of recipes left to try in The Official Disney Parks Cookbook, here’s a look at the ones we’ve tried so far. Unlike Delicious Disney: Walt Disney World, a cookbook of recipes from only Disney World which was the inspiration behind many of our Disney Dinners last year, this cookbook contains recipes from Disneyland, Disney California Adventure and beyond, Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Disney’s Animal Kingdom and beyond, and other Disney locations including Vero Beach and Aulani.

  • Mini Strawberry Cheesecakes
  • Walt’s Chili and Beans
  • Shrimp Boil Tacos with Andouille Sausage and Corn
  • Honey Crunch Cake
  • Totchos
  • Tres Leches Cake
  • Key Lime Pie
  • Charred Nebraska Corn Chowder
  • Pork Goulash with Sauerkraut Pierogi
  • Caramel Hawaiian Sweet Bread Pudding
  • Chef Mickey’s Breakfast Pizza
  • Pink Leilani
  • S’mores Gelato Shake
  • Watermelon Lemonade
  • Goofy’s Kitchen Cherry Tomato and Bocconcini Salad
  • BLT Flatbread
  • Red, White, & Blue Sprinkle Whoopie Pies
  • Naan Bread with Cucumber Raita
  • Mango Lassi
  • Tomato Florentine Soup
  • Lemon Soda Float
  • The Hollywood Brown Derby Cobb Salad
  • Beef Sliders with Pimento Cheese
  • White Chocolate Peppermint Bar topped with Peppermint Meringue Kisses

I really love our Disney Dinners, and I’m really excited about the newest cookbook in this series, Delicious Disney: Disneyland, which comes out this fall!

Radiator Springs

“You’re in Radiator Springs, the cutest little town in Carburetor County!”

It’s time for a look at one of my very favorite parts of our trip to Disney California Adventure…our visit to Radiator Springs!

Cars is the movie I most associate with Turkey’s and Bunny’s early childhood. We went to see the movie at the drive-in theater when our house was being built, and it quickly became a family favorite. It’s still my favorite animated movie, and one of my favorite movies, period. So it was really special to be able to explore that town with Turkey and Bunny!

We discovered that apparently everyone knows to park their strollers by Stanley:

I loved getting to see the Cozy Cone Motel…it’s a popular spot to meet Lightning and Mater, too!

The most popular ride in town is “Radiator Springs Racers.” The area they built up around the ride not only looks really cool, it also tells the story of how Radiator Springs came to be (yes, there is an actual spring flowing from an old radiator!):

We saw other familiar spots, like Ramone’s House of Body Art:

And Flo’s V-8 Cafe, where we stopped for a bite to eat:

Luigi’s Casa Della Tires is also the location of another fun ride, Luigi’s Rollickin’ Roadsters:

We got to see Doc Hudson’s trophy case:

And the Horn-O-Plenty:

There were also cool billboards on the way into town:

We saw three different Radiator Springs residents…Lightning McQueen (of course!), Mater, and Red. They were treated like any other costumed cast member at Disney with handlers and everything!

But what was maybe the coolest part of the whole experience was seeing the neon lit up at night, just like Lightning did for Miss Sally:

I am so thankful we got to have this special experience together!

Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella

I thought it would fun to take a side-by-side look at the two Disney castles I’ve visited. Of course, the Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland is the original, and is iconic, but there’s no denying that the Cinderella Castle at Disney World is much grander (both because it’s actually taller and also because they didn’t screw up the forced perspective). I love that I got to see each of them decked out for a special anniversary!

From the back, the Sleeping Beauty Castle almost reminds me of a child’s castle blocks set, while the Cinderella Castle is fancier:

Walt and Mickey stand proudly in front of each!

I’m not the type of person who wants to visit every Disney park, but I certainly wouldn’t mind seeing “Le Château de la Belle au Bois Dormant” at Disneyland Paris someday, too!


I took so many pictures of Disneyland…I made a conscious effort to really see things, notice things, all of the things, not just the specific attractions we were interested in (although I saw plenty of those, as well!). As a result, I have a lot of photos that don’t really fit in any particular category besides “stuff I liked at Disney,” so here it is!

It might not be as magical as Disney World (I have it on good authority that Disney World is the most magical place on earth, after all!), but it is beautiful, and I’m so glad I had the chance to experience it with Turkey and Bunny!

Unfettered Joy–Part Two

What is it about Disney that makes people so happy?

Last year, following our trip to Disney World, I shared a look at a moment of pure joy I experienced there. Looking through my photos from our trip to Disneyland this year, I realized I had a similar moment when we met Goofy. I couldn’t tell you why (I mean, aside from the fact that Goofy is awesome), but you can see from the look on my face how completely happy I was in that moment. I don’t know how Disney does it, but I wish everyone could experience moments like these!

Chasing the Characters

If you look closely at the shirt I wore to Disneyland, it says “Chasing the Fun.” Turkey and Bunny said it should have read “Chasing the Characters,” because apparently that’s what I do best when we go to theme parks!

Here’s a round-up of the characters we met or saw up close at Disneyland and Disney California Adventure (plus Goofy’s Kitchen)….my personal highlights were meeting Donald Duck, and also getting to see Goofy in his snazzy green suit! Also, since I was wearing a birthday celebration pin, many of the characters either said “Happy Birthday!” to me (like Lightning McQueen), or pantomimed it in some way (like Minnie Mouse).

Not pictured, but also seen by us include Peter Pan and Wendy, Captain Hook, the other chipmunk, Mirabel, Pinocchio and Geppetto, Sadness and Joy, Snow White, the Evil Queen, Ant-Man, Thor, Merida, Mr. and Mrs. Incredible, the Dora Milaje, Mary and Bert, Chewbacca, Rey, Mulan, and Clarabelle Cow. I think that’s pretty impressive for just two days in the parks!

Tasty Tuesday–Goofy’s Kitchen

We only had one truly sit-down meal when we were at Disneyland, but it was a very special meal, prepared in Goofy’s Kitchen!

The restaurant is located in the iconic Disneyland Hotel, and I was very excited to have an excuse to stop by there.

The highlight of our dinner was probably getting the chance to pay our compliments to the chef!

We really loved that Goofy’s distinctive profile is prominently displayed on the tables!

It’s a buffet restaurant, but it wasn’t at all what I was expecting. Of course their were kid favorites like mac ‘n’ cheese and chicken nuggets, but there were also some pretty high-end foods, including international options and even a carving station with steak!

Did I mention there’s also a huge dessert section? There were endless options of cakes, cookies, brownies, and also a soft-serve ice cream bar with all the toppings! (One of the dessert offerings is the specialty of the house, peanut butter and jelly pizza, which I’m sure that Goofy created for Max, good dad that he is).

I had quite an eclectic plate, and it was all delicious! Seriously, I wasn’t expecting buffet food at a family-style restaurant to be so good, but it really was! In addition to the steak, I especially enjoyed the fennel salad (I went back for seconds!) as well as the salmon with artichokes. (Not pictured is the carrot cake I had for dessert, which was also delicious!)

Another highlight of the dining experience were the character interactions. We saw Minnie, Pluto, and Chip ‘n’ Dale (why does Goofy employ so many rodents in his establishment?!?), and in addition to going table to table, greeting the diners, they also entertain with dances on a regular schedule. While they’re performing, the diners are encouraged to wave their napkins in the air (which I did with gusto!), which just adds to the fun atmosphere!

This was such a great dining experience…I’m so glad we had the opportunity to eat at Goofy’s!

The Sleeping Beauty Castle

After our trip to Disney World, I really felt like I hadn’t taken enough time to appreciate the beauty and grandeur of the Cinderella Castle. Now, I know that the Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland isn’t as grand, but it’s small stature doesn’t make it any less beautiful, and this time, I made sure to really see it and photograph it. Here are some of my favorite views, from the front, side, and even the back…I feel very fortunate to have seen it dressed up for “100 Years of Wonder,” just as I saw the castle at Disney World decorated for their 50th anniversary!

The castle at night is quite a sight to behold, lit up, and with light illuminating the stained glass windows!

Maybe someday, I’ll get to see “Le Château de la Belle au Bois Dormant” at Disneyland Paris, too!

Partners and Storytellers

I love the two Walt and Mickey statues at the two California Disney parks! The Partners statue in front of the castle is obviously the most well-known (and is replicated at other Disney Parks), but the statue at Disney California Adventure, featuring a much-younger Walt, is also charming!