Sunday, December 31, 2023

Alli loses her 7th tooth before the new year - 2023/12/30

There's only a few days left until the new year! Alli and Ian are spending the night in the rental house with all the Michigan family (while Theresa and I go back to the RV each night due to capacity limitations). On the last morning they were there, I got a text from their Aunt Amy with just this picture. Alli has lost a tooth! 

Ian loses his 10th tooth in Wisconsin - 2023/07/27

I realize I forgot to post this one when it happened, so here we are at the end of the year making sure it gets recorded. 

Late one evening after the kids had already gone to bed, Ian calls out that he was wiggling a tooth and it popped out! 

Celebrating Christmas with the family in Florida - 2023/12/27

Today, just a couple days after Christmas, we're celebrating Christmas together as a family!
Because everyone has obligations all over the country, it took us just a few days to get everyone to Florida and into the AirBNB house we'd rented. 

Monday, December 25, 2023

Merry Christmas from Florida

Merry Christmas from Florida! This year Theresa's Michigan family is coming to Florida to celebrate! 

Merry Christmas!

 From our family to yours, wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 23, 2023

Merry Christmas! Giving Christmas Treats to 500+ Disney World Cast Members!

During Halloween 2022, we had the great idea to do reverse Trick-or-Treating at Disney World, giving bags of candy to all the cast members we saw. That went so well that for Valentine's Day 2023, we did the same thing, giving Hershey Kisses and Valentines to cast members at the Magic Kingdom. Halloween 2023 came and the kids wanted to do the exact same thing

The kids have such a fun time with it, that we felt like Christmas, being the season of giving, would be the perfect opportunity to bring joy to the people who give us so much joy throughout the year. Let's give out some treats! 

Friday, December 22, 2023

Getting ready for the holidays

I've already shared quite a few of the ways that we've been getting into the holiday spirit, but here's a few more that don't quite get their own post. Instead I've bundled them all up into this one big one. 

Thursday, December 21, 2023

Getting into the Holiday spirit at Epcot!

Happy Holidays! 

We are fortunate enough to have Disney World in our backyard and luckily Epcot has so many different ways to get into the Christmas Spirit! On a random Tuesday in December, we all decided to head there to see what we can see! 

Wednesday, December 20, 2023

Holiday Treats - Cookie / Treat Exchange

Who wants to do a big cookie exchange? I do! Plus I know a few other people who would love to do one too!

While doing another taste test (Pepperidge Farm Cookies), it was Nicole that mentioned that she had a Gingerbread Chocolate Chip cookie recipe that she really wanted to make this season. From there it evolved into "let's do a cookie exchange"! A few days later, we all got together to do it! 

Tuesday, December 19, 2023

Holiday Treats - A Pepperidge Farm Cookie Smorgasbord taste test

Who likes cookies? If it's you, then today's taste test is sure to be a treat! 

While Theresa and I were out shopping, we were talking about the cookie stroll at Epcot. They had a couple good cookies, but many were disappointing. Jacob and his Sister-in-law Nicole also went to Epcot and felt the same way. Surely we can get better cookies than this for the holiday season! 

Thus the idea of a Pepperidge Farm Cookie taste test was born! Now normally I'd try to find every variation of every cookie when we do something like this, but with the amount of cookies Pepperidge Farm makes and the cost of each bag being $3-$5 (this blog isn't sponsored or anything), that gets pricy quickly! So instead, I tried to get a sampling of all the different cookie types I could, plus a few of our known favorites. Jacob and Nicole brought a few more, so in total we'll be tasting 16 different Pepperidge Farm cookies! 

So today, we will be trying out: Pirouette Chocolate Hazelnut, Sausalito Milk Chocolate Macadamia, Captiva Dark Chocolate, Farmhouse Thin & Crispy Dark Chocolate Chip, Milano Double Milk Chocolate, Milano Orange Chocolate, Milano Mint Chocolate, Milano Slices Peppermint, Linzer Raspberry, Snowball Citrus, Holiday Nog, Chessmen butter, Gingerman Ginger, Zurich Sugar, Brussels Dark Chocolate, and Verona Cherry. 

Sunday, December 17, 2023

Holiday Treats - Terry's Chocolate Oranges and Ovation Break-A-Parts Taste Test

(From Christmas 2022) One of my favorite holiday treats is the Terry's Chocolate Orange. These have been staples in my stocking for the last few years! I'd be in trouble if these were available year round! I regularly find the original Milk Chocolate Orange and the Dark Chocolate Orange, but this year I was on the lookout for even more flavors! 

My brother Jon found most of them and when I saw them all, I knew we had the makings of a Chocolate Orange taste test! 

For today's test, we're trying 5 different Terry's Chocolate Orange flavors, and 3 Ovation filled chocolate flavors (in the shape of oranges, but not always flavored with orange). 

We'll be sampling the original Terry's Chocolate Orange, Terry's Chocolate Orange Dark, Terry's Chocolate Orange Toffee, Terry's Chocolate Orange Popping Candy, Terry's Chocolate Orange White, Ovation Break-A-Parts Crème d'Orange, Ovation Crème de Menthe, and Ovation Crème de Raspberry. 

Saturday, December 16, 2023

Saturday Morning Cereals - Gingerbread Toast Crunch

Cinnamon Toast Crunch has a brand new flavor out for the Holidays! Along with the Sugar Cookie Toast Crunch, that we tried a while ago, this winter they've also released Gingerbread Toast Crunch. 

I love seeing a new flavor from Cinnamon Toast Crunch! Every time I see a new flavor of Cinnamon Toast Crunch I try it along with whatever it's supposed to be emulating! And I've made a whole bunch of different ones! 

I've done the original Cinnamon Toast Crunch and a loaf of homemade bread for homemade cinnamon toast. French Toast Crunch with homemade bread for homemade french toast. Chocolate Toast Crunch and a loaf of homemade Chocolate Bread. Cinnamon Toast Crunch Churros and making homemade churros! And of course when Cinnamon Toast Crunch Chocolate Churros came out, I had to make those too. For Sugar Cookie Toast Crunch, the kids and I made sugar cookies. Apple Pie Toast Crunch and my sister-in-law Megan's homemade apple pie. Cinna-Graham Toast Crunch where I made homemade Graham Crackers for the first time! Cinnamon Roll Toast Crunch with homemade cinnamon rolls. Even CinnaFuego Cinnamon Toast Crunch that we tried with Freckle Bread!

It's not just the cereal either! We try Cinnamon Toast Crunch in lots of other ways! Cinnamon Toast Crunch Ice Cream, Cinnamon Toast Crunch Treat Bars, Cinnamon Toast Crunch Cinnadust seasoning, Cinnamon Toast Crunch Pizza, Cinnamon Toast Crunch Oatmeal, Cinnamon Toast Crunch Cookies, CTC Pancakes, Cinnadust Cake Mix and Frosting, Cinnadust Coffee Cake Mix, and Cinnamon Toast Crunch Creamy Spread

Cinnamon Toast Crunch might be the post popular cereal on this blog! 

Friday, December 15, 2023

Visiting the Original Chick-fil-A Dwarf House Grill - 2023/11/13

Continuing our Thanksgiving Road Trip to Colorado, our next stop after leaving the World of Coca-Cola was another native Georgia business that is near and dear to us. From Hapeville Georgia, it's the Chick-fil-A Dwarf House. One of my first jobs was working for Chick-fil-A when I was in High School, along with both my brother and Sister-in-Law. 

And this isn't just any random Chick-fil-A either. This is the original! (or at least where the original used to be) 

Wednesday, December 13, 2023

Little Debbie Christmas Trees and Little Debbie Christmas Tree Ice Cream Taste Test Comparison

It's time for another Holiday Taste Test! This one is brought to us by Jacob! He was out shopping at Walmart and found all these Christmas treats and thought it would be perfect for a taste test to do together! I agree!

Tonight we're going to be trying Little Debbie Christmas Tree Cakes in both Chocolate and Vanilla, along with Little Debbie Christmas Tree Cakes Ice Cream in both Chocolate and Vanilla! 

We'll also be comparing whether the Christmas Tree Cakes taste better fresh or frozen. 

Gotta get a good picture to start this off. 

Monday, December 11, 2023

Visiting the World of Coca-Cola - 2023/11/13

Welcome to Atlanta Georgia and the World of Coca Cola!

The World of Coca-Cola is something I've been wanting to visit for a while now! Normally when we are coming through Georgia in the RV, we're pushing to get into Florida and back home. Plus there isn't a super convenient place to park the RV near downtown Atlanta. Lucky for us though, we're on a road trip! We're delivering a car from Florida to Colorado on the way home for Thanksgiving, giving us the perfect opportunity to stop by for a visit!

We've got a lot of things we're trying to squeeze in today though and we've got a bit of a drive ahead of us tonight. Let's get into it! Apologies ahead of time for the massive amount of photos. 

Friday, December 8, 2023

Holiday Challenge - Sewing my own Hades Santa Hat

It's the Holiday Season! 
Every year since 2014, I've made it a challenge to myself to do something new for the holidays that I've never done before! It started with my friend Ariel sharing Disneyland's recipe for Gingerbread Cookies, and I thought to myself "I've never made homemade gingerbread. I should try it!" Since then, I've been making different treats every holiday season that I've never attempted before! Things like Homemade Candy Canes (2015), Fudge (2016), Peppermint Marshmallows (2017), Figgy Pudding (2018), Eggnog (2019), A Holiday Yule Log (2020), English Toffee (2021), and last year Pepperidge Farm Cookies (2022)

This year though, I'm doing something a bit different. Instead of the kitchen, my challenge will be in the sewing room! I'm going to make my own Santa Hat! 

And I suppose the idea all started earlier this year when my Sister-In-Law Megan gifted me this awesome Christmas shirt. She knows how much I like Hercules. And Hades has to be my favorite Villain! If I'm going to wear a cool Christmas shirt like this, I need a fun hat to go with it. Throughout the year, I searched eBay and Amazon for a hat with matching colors, but with Christmas coming up, I knew there was only one thing to do. Make my own Santa Hat! Plus learn a new skill! 

Sunday, December 3, 2023

Graciasgiving - A Thanksgiving Celebration in Colorado - 2023/11/23

This year instead of the traditional Thanksgiving and all the traditional Thanksgiving food that goes along with it, Megan had the great idea to do something a little bit more simple that everyone will still love. Mexican food! Thus the idea of Graciasgiving was born! Great idea Megan! 

After spending the morning opening Christmas presents together (GraciasMas we called it), the afternoon was left to just hanging out together. Megan made sure we did not go hungry while we were catching up. She's become quite the sourdough bread baker. 

Friday, December 1, 2023

GraciasMas - Christmas celebration in Colorado - 2023/11/23

Merry Christmas (early) from Colorado! 

My sister-in-law Megan had the great idea that instead of having a big Thanksgiving dinner that will take all day to make, we'll have something everyone loves just as much! Mexican Food! Thus was born GraciasGiving! Because we've got the whole family here too, we're going to add an early Christmas celebration to the mix too, giving us, what we liked to call, Graciasmas! 

On a side note, being so far behind on writing things up, I'll be posting things from all different times of the year going forward. So if you see something from March or July, don't be concerned. I'm catching up as best I can! 

Tuesday, November 21, 2023

Thanksgiving Road Trip

Happy Thanksgiving! Normally we'd be flying to visit family, but this time we're on a different sort of adventure. We're driving! 

Thursday, November 9, 2023

Epcot's International Food and Wine Festival 2023 - 2023/11/08

Happy November! We're finally back in Florida from our travels all over the country (and all over the world for that matter) and are starting to get settled back in! We got here just in time for Epcot's International Food and Wine Festival! It'll end on November 18th!

The kids were particularly excited to be trying all sorts of foods. In the days leading up to our trip, for their daily reading, we let them read the Disney Food Blog about all the different foods that were available, along with pictures and reviews. They made a list of their favorites that they for sure wanted to try. 

With 5 people here, we're going to be able to get quite a variety of food and split it up so that we're not overly full after the first few booths. 

Wednesday, November 1, 2023

Visiting the Orlando Cat Cafe - 2023/10/30

We're back in Florida and that means we get to do all the fun things here! This weekend, Nicole suggested we come back and visit the Orlando Cat Cafe! Why? Because they have kittens! Oh you should have heard the squeals of excitement from the kids when they found out. 

They love cats in general, but kittens just ramp up the cuteness factor. 

Tuesday, October 31, 2023

Happy Halloween! Reverse Trick-or-Treating again at Disney World! Giving out 350+ bags of candy to Disney Cast Members!

It's Halloween! A day that the Alli and Ian really look forward to, but it might not be the reason that you think. For them, they do like getting candy, but they LOVE giving away candy! Disney World gives us so many good memories, thanks in large part to the amazing cast members. Halloween is a great time for us to give back!

Earlier in the week, we put together an assembly line and filled over 350 bags with Snickers, Reeses, Twix, 100 Grand, and 3 Musketeers. That's a lot of candy! 

Back in April, before we left Florida for a summer of travel, I made a reservation to the Magic Kingdom on October 31st. I know where we're going to be going when we get back! 

When coming up with ideas for costumes, a group costume is always fun! We all love Nightmare Before Christmas and both kids were very happy to be Jack Skellington and Sally. Perfect for handing out candy on Halloween. Even better, Jacob is able to celebrate with us this year! He's opted to be the Mayor, Theresa is Zero, and I'm Sandy Claws Santa Claus!

Monday, October 30, 2023

Halloween Pumpkin Carving and candy prep for Disney

What a beautiful October day here in Florida! It sunny and warm, which is the perfect weather to be outside and carving Halloween pumpkins! And look who is here! Uncle Jacob! We've been carving pumpkins with him for years and he's out here in Florida nearby so he can come carve pumpkins with us! 

Sunday, October 29, 2023

Tasting the Pumpkin Spice Frosty and Pumpkin Spice Frosty Cream Cold Brew from Wendy's

It's Fall Y'all! That means all the delicious fall treats are back in season, including a new one this year from Wendy's! The Pumpkin Spice Frosty!

Of course we love the Chocolate Frosty, and even the Vanilla. The limited time Strawberry Frosty was okay, but didn't have a strong flavor. Same with the seasonal Peppermint Frosty we tried. Very light on the peppermint flavor. How will the Pumpkin Spice Frosty turn out? We'll try it and see! (sorry kids, I know it's super sunny)

Thursday, October 26, 2023

Mystery Mountain Dew 2023 - Mtn Dew VooDew 5

Happy Halloween! 
In what has become an annual tradition, Mountain Dew has released another version of their mystery flavor VooDew! What will 2023 bring? 

In their very first year, 2019, Mountain Dew released VooDew that tasted like Candy Corn

In 2020, VooDew2 was said to be a Fruit Candy Explosion, which was a generic term to mean it was flavored like Skittles

Then 2021 brought VooDew3 flavored like Fruit Candy Chews, so Starbursts.

Last year 2022, VooDew4 tasted like melted Bomb Pops to us, but we found out later it was supposed to be Sour Candy Flavor aka Sour Patch Kids.  

What could this year be? 

It's the same cloudy white color as always, so no hints there. 

Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Disney around the World - Day 5 Part 2 - Morning at Shanghai Disneyland 2018-10-18

Welcome to Shanghai Disneyland! After getting through security and picking up our tickets, we entered the park right around 8:30am, about 30 minutes after the park officially opened. 

As soon as we entered the park, we saw Duffy the Disney Bear in an adorable Halloween outfit! Alli told him that she has a Duffy bear too! 

Monday, August 28, 2023

Disney around the World - Day 5 Part 1 - Early morning at the Shanghai Disneyland Hotel 2018-10-18

Good morning from Shanghai! It's 4:20am and Ian is wide awake! Like I've done the previous days, when the kids got up early, I took them out of the room so the rest of the family could sleep. 

Ian asked if we could go to the pool! I told him it was super early and I didn't think it was open, but we could try. I had him change into his swimsuit and we left to explore. 

Tuesday, August 22, 2023

Disney around the World - Day 4 Part 3 - It's Day 1 of Shanghai Disneyland - evening! 2018-10-17

When we last left off, Theresa, Ruston, Ian and Alli were enjoying the new Toy Story Land at Shanghai Disneyland. Where did Jacob and I run off to? 


Friday, August 18, 2023

Disney around the World - Day 4 Part 2 - It's Day 1 of Shanghai Disneyland! 2018-10-17

Let's continue our story from last time where we're just getting to Shanghai Disneyland!

Friday, August 11, 2023

Disney around the World - Day 4 Part 1 - Flying to Shanghai China 2018-10-17

Ian - Daddy, when are you going to stop writing about taste tests and write up our big Disney trip? 

I know, I know. That one has gotten away from me. I'm already behind on writing up other travels, and this one is super daunting, knowing there's Shanghai Disneyland, Hong Kong Disneyland, Tokyo Disneyland still to go. And after that, Paris Disneyland too! But the kids really want to see the pictures and hear the stories, so, here we go again!

Where were we? What's this trip all about anyway? Well years ago now, Theresa, Ruston, Jacob and I thought it would be awesome to do a trip to all the Disney parks in the world! We held back until Shanghai opened, then waited a little bit for them to get all the kinks settled out. By that time, Theresa and I had kids! Why not go ahead and bring them along! So, we decided to travel to Korea, China, Hong Kong, and Japan all in one massive trip to visit all the Disney parks, plus a little bonus travel. 

I've previously written up our 3 days of travels around Korea, but stopped before we got any further. Now it's time to continue our journey as we fly into China to visit Shanghai Disneyland! And just a reminder that during this trip Alli had just turned 3 the day before this, and Ian was 4 years old.

The kid had both fallen asleep super quick the night before. It had been a busy day exploring the Korea, visiting Namsangol Village, and Lotte World. But the time change is still something they're adjusting to. Ian was awake at 3:30am and Alli wasn't far behind at 5am. Since we had 2 separate rooms, I went over to play with them while T got a little more sleep. If you look, those pencils spell out ALLI. Nice work girl! 

Saturday, August 5, 2023

Saturday Morning Cereals - French Toast Frosted Flakes taste test comparison

We love all sorts of cereals, but Frosted Flakes is a favorite. We've tried lots of different flavors including Strawberry Milkshake, Chocolate with marshmallows, Cinnamon, Banana Creme, Chocolate, Pumpkin Spice, Honey Nut, Regular Frosted Flakes, and Frosted Flakes with marshmallows

Today we get to try Cinnamon French Toast Frosted Flakes. 

And lucky us, we're in Washington and Jess knows a great recipe for French Toast! Perfect!

Sunday, July 30, 2023

Cinnamon Toast Crunch Creamy Spread taste test comparison

Cinnamon Toast Crunch with another new item? I mean, we've tried so many different ones before, we've got to try one more! So so much Cinnamon Toast Crunch things

And whenever the need arises, I like to bake a fresh loaf of bread to go along with it. If we're having Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal, freshly baked bread with cinnamon sugar is going to be perfect! 
But today instead of cinnamon sugar, Cinnamon Toast Crunch has given us a Creamy Cinnamon Spread to go on top!

Saturday, July 29, 2023

Saturday Morning Cereals - Captain Crunch Birthday Crunch Cereal taste test comparison

It's Captain Crunch's 60th birthday? Happy Birthday Captain!

And the day I'm posting this happens to be my birthday too! Happy Birthday to me! 

Seems fitting that I should do a post about Birthday Cake cereal!

Friday, July 28, 2023

Doritos Dips and Chips taste test comparison

We love our Doritos Chips. There was even a taste test where we tried 11 different flavors at the same time in an effort to find our favorite! Today though, we're moving away from the Doritos Chips and trying the new Doritos Dips!

There are two different flavors of Doritos Dips. Doritos Dip Spicy Nacho and Doritos Dip Cool Ranch Jalapeno. We'll be tasting those with tortilla chips, but for comparison we'll be having Doritos Chips. 

Thursday, July 27, 2023

Starburst Cotton Candy FaveREDs - Cherry and Strawberry - taste test comparison

While visiting Michigan, Aubrey and Jared took the family out to a store that specialized in importing unique snacks and drinks from other countries. They knew I'd love it. I'll have pictures of all that in a post in the future, but for now, let's look at some of the treats that I got from there! 

Starburst Cotton Candy! We love just about everything coming from Starburst, and this is something new! The last thing we had were those Starburst Airs and Starburst Gummies, so hopefully this can provide some sort of redemption. And they have included my favorite flavor! Strawberry Starburst! 

This is Starburst Cotton Candy FaveREDs so they've included Cherry and Strawberry. To go along with it, I bought a Sharing Size bag of Starburst FaveREDs from the local grocery store. 

Wednesday, July 26, 2023

Milkis Korean Soda Beverage taste test - all 6 flavors compared

Today we are having a giant Milkis beverage taste test! The kids are certainly excited to try all the flavors!

There's 6 different flavors we'll be sampling. Original, Strawberry, Peach, Apple, Melon, and Banana! 

Tuesday, July 25, 2023

Moon Pie Cotton Candy taste test comparison

Moon Pie Cotton Candy? I'm always up for trying something new! 

Growing up in the south, Amy and Richard were both big fans of the original Moon Pie. Will a Moon Pie Cotton Candy be able to take its place? Let's find out!

It's like they knew people would want to do the comparison. On top of each container of cotton candy, they included two small Moon Pies! Thanks for doing my job for me!