Wreck it Ralph 2: Ralph Breaks the Internet

Finally got out to see the new Wreck It Ralph last night and it was amazing! I laughed through most of it and gasped at a lot of scenes, but I’ve been told I’m too easily entertained at movies. On the other hand, my husband and brother, along with my kids, all loved the movie too!

It’s been six years since the events of the first movie, Ralph and Vanellope are still friends, playing their games all day and hanging out all night. Ralph thinks this is the greatest life possible, but Vanellope is getting bored. All the races are predictable, all the tracks have been unlocked, nothing new ever happens. Ralph tries to help, but the Sugar Rush game console ends up broken.

The two go to the internet to find the piece they need on Ebay. The bidding war is hilarious, ending with the two shocked to find they need actual money. Luckily some of the spammers gave them the idea to play games to win money. This leads them to Slaughter Race, with the amazing Shank, voiced by Gal Gadot.

Vanellope falls in love with Slaughter Race, the excitement, the newness of every race. Ralph becomes a BuzzTube darling, earning money by making an idiot of himself in videos. You know, true American fashion!

The bit with the Disney Princesses was entertaining. I liked seeing the Princesses fall in love with casual clothes. Every woman can relate to that scene!

Ralph earns the money for the part, but freaks out when he realizes Vanellope doesn’t want to return to the arcade.

The weird thing about this movie, something happening more and more in kid films, is that there is no definable bad guy. There are shady characters, bad elements, but the line of “good” and “bad” is getting blurred. That sends an important message to kids because “bad” people, aren’t always bad. We all are capable of making bad calls and doing the wrong thing.

The side story about what’s going on with Felix and Calhoun is hilarious, especially to parents. Tony and I were cracking up all through that bit!

There are post credit scenes that are worth staying for. Tony had just mentioned that the scene with the kitty and bunny wasn’t in the movie, and not two seconds later, it showed up in the credits. Watching it in the theater I’ve decided that it was baby Moana playing that game, and I loved it all the more for that fact.

Family recommendation: go see it, laugh your butt off, be scared and relieved, take the amazing advice from a character named Shank. The advice given was that you can still be friends without being in each others pockets all the time. As an army brat, constantly moving, I thought it was great to have that in a kids movie!

Pin Collecting

I’m not a huge collector as a rule. I like stuff and I have an assortment of random things, but I don’t really have an “it” item that I collect. Tony has his shot glasses, the thing everyone knows to get him for souvenirs. I have a few Pop Vinyls, but only the ones I like. I have scarves, but only in patterns I love.

The closest thing I have to a collection is pins. I have a wide array, from random places, and of different types. I tried to separate into categories for the following pictures.

Peter Pan and Friends

Assorted Disney Pins

Epcot World Showcase

Disney is my biggest collection of pins. We’ve been three times with my parents and my mom is an avid pin collector. I love the pin trading that goes on, but it’s also hard for me to let go of pins because if I got a pin it’s because I want to keep it!

Universal Studios

I love the Universal parks! I don’t have as many pins from there, but it is slowly becoming more of a thing, so who knows what the future holds?

Hard Rock Café pins

I love the pins available at Hard Rock Café! Their sexy and iconic images always grab your attention. It’s also fun to see the variety available at different locations. This is another one my mother is big on!

Walmart pins

I’ve worked at Walmart for 15 years. While they don’t do pins as much anymore, I love some of the ones they’ve had in the past. My personal favorite out of this lot is the Rollback Man!

Movie pins

I have more movie pins than this, but they’re attached to different purses and such. I am way too lazy to pull them all! FYE is my favorite place to grab movie pins, but some, like my minion, can be snagged at the movie theater when they’re doing their charity drives. Isn’t he cute?

Random pins

They’re are always going to be ones that don’t belong in a category. My Marine pins and my Thousand Islands River Run pins are such. I’m hoping to do more motorcycle runs in the future, so I’ll (hopefully) be adding to that category!

Fandom pins

This is probably my favorite, albeit smallest category. For now anyway! Have you seen the Etsy selection of fandom pins? They are so beautiful, and capture moments, or quotes from some of my favorite books! I can’t wait to make this my biggest category!

What are your collectibles? Do you collect pins too? How do you store them? My mom has several binders for her Disney and Hard Rock pins, but I think I want something that I can see easier. Thoughts?

A Day At Disney Hollywood Studios

Our Disney trip was last summer and I still haven’t covered it all yet! Slacking off here!

Above is the planned itinerary for our day at Disney Hollywood. Of course it is just a plan, so things change, but the plan sure helped us get the most out of it!

The day started off early for Arthur and I. We got up and caught the bus from the campground to Disney Hollywood to be there before the park opened. I wanted to be sure Arthur was able to attend Jedi training! Once the doors opened, we quickly made our way over to Indiana Jones stunt show area and got Arthur signed up. Then we had a little time to kill before everyone else arrived.

I’m in the process of raising geeks, so Arthur made our way to the Star Wars side of Disney Hollywood. We had a lot of fun meeting some characters and checking out the amazing displays they had set up.

It was really nice to get in early. We were in and out of character meet and greets in no time. 

We made our way back to the park entrance to meet the rest of our party. Then it was a little bit of wandering in and out if buildings to avoid the sprinkling rain. The rain was a little nerve racking because it could cancel out Arthur’s Jedi training, so we were constantly checking the weather reports. Thankfully we were good to go!

Jedi training is amazing! During signups, they give you a time to come back, when you arrive, they give the kids a Jedi cloak and have them march to the stage. Once there, the kids are given lightsabers and taken through a series of moves as a group. It is a bit of a show too, with the teachers interacting initially with Darth Vader, the Seventh Sister Inquisiter, and Kylo Ren briefly. Then the kids are given the opportunity to face either Darth Vader or the Inquisitor individually. Big tip for this one: make sure your kid goes to the bathroom prior to this show as they hydrate them before going on stage!

We used our fast pass for this park to see the Indiana Jones Stunt Show. This was amazing! It was stuntmen and women reenacting scenes from Raiders of the Lost Ark. Rolling boulders, flaming airplanes, whip work and people flying through the air! The kids and adults in our party were awed through the whole show. There is also some audience interaction when they pull some of the audience members on stage to be bystanders during some of the stunts. Definitely a show worth seeing!

Chiara had another fun princess interaction, just like at Epcot, when she got to walk away with Sophia the First. She was the last one in line before the princess’ break, so Sophia took her hand and walked away.

Our lunch was at Mama Melrose’s Ristorante. Delicious option for a meal, but truthfully this was probably a little too heavy for lunch. Especially if you will be walking around more in the summer heat of Florida. Large portions, friendly staff, delicious food! There is the added benefit of getting to reserve your seats for Fantasmic, the amazing Disney Hollywood show. We ended up missing the show because everyone was wiped, but mom and I had seen it on another visit, and the show is amazing!

Other highlights from the day included the kids, and my almost 30 year old brother, making their own lightsabers. Arthur made his to look like Kylo Ren’s, Chiara made herself a purple one to match my Mace Windu one. Josh, my brother, made himself a green one. 

We also rode Star Tours several times! This is an amazing ride that starts off as a tour through the galaxy, but you go astray, end up in a battle, facing Kylo Ren, and finally making it safely back to the start. Arthur, my sweet little Star Wars geek, loved this ride a lot!

We may not have followed our itinerary very closely, but we still had a blast. That is the most important part of vacation after all!

Beauty and the Beast

Beauty and the Beast was one of my favorite Disney movie growing up. As soon as I found out they were making a live action version, I was over the moon about it! Then March 17 finally came, and now it’s time!

Emma Watson as Belle is fabulous! Little Hermione has grown up and is perfect for the role. The music is perfect, as I remember from childhood, with just enough of a change to make it new. There were parts, when Belle was singing about wanting more on the hillside, where the animation/graphics is a little questionable, but as the rest of the movie has fabulous animation, I let it go.

More was added to the storyline to explain the curse, the town’s lack of knowledge, and to make the timing a little more believable. The enchantress was a little more vicious than she came across in the cartoon!

Most powerful scene for me was the ballroom scene. I was smiling like a lunatic through the whole scene. Don’t judge me, but happy tears for the sheer beauty of it may have happened….

I know there was a lot of anger/confusion/weirdness over Lefou being the first “openly” gay character. It’s not a spoiler, but other than one scene at the end where Lefou dances with another guy, he’s no more “openly” gay than he was in the cartoon. We watched the cartoon the following day to verify.

There were several songs I wasn’t familiar with, but I was informed that the musical had several songs that weren’t in the cartoon. The actors and actresses they had for this film did great with the songs. Emma Watson of course was great. Dan Stevens as Beast was also great. The biggest surprise for me was how amazing Luke Evans was as Gaston! His singing in the tavern was spot on. His character was a little more evil than cartoon Gaston was, but most live action Disney movies add a little more violence.

Disney magic continues, I can’t wait for this to be released to own and watch again. The theaters were crowded, I know many were sold out, but when you get the chance, be sure to see it. Whether you loved or liked the original, even if you never saw it, you’re sure to love it.

A Day at Epcot

It’s been months since we were in Florida, but I still remember how much fun we had! Then I looked and realized I never fully blogged about our trip. Bad Stevie! I did briefly talk about Epcot, and how we drank our way around the world. There is so much more that we did that day!This trip to Disney started with a lot of planning. Our first Disney trip, Epcot was a half day, boring stop. After hitting Pinterest, I came up with the following itinerary.

Mine was handwritten, then my mom did her thing to make it pretty.

I usually try not to start days like this in the gift shop, but we needed to so we could buy the kids passports.

The passports come with stickers, featuring the flag and different sites from that country. As you go around the world showcase, you stop at each KidCot station and someone will write a little note in the native language. 

If you don’t want to get the passport, you can pick up a Duffy fan for free at any station. Chiara wanted the fan, as well as her passport, mainly so she could color it!

The itinerary was set, but as usual, we didn’t get to everything, but here was our day by country:

MEXICO: Here we only stopped for a drink, churros

NORWAY: Norway included a visit with Anna and Elsa, easily the most beautiful Elsa I’ve ever seen. My brother was enchanted.

We also rode the ride Frozen Ever After, it’s a really fun log ride! KidCot station, drink and moving on!

CHINA: China was a fun country. KidCot, drink, but with the addition of a lunch stop. Who doesn’t love Chinese food? Then we made a stop at the gift shop for some fans. If you buy a fan, be sure to ask the workers to write your name in Chinese on the fan. Here is mine:


AFRICAN TRADING POST: There was no KidCot station here, but Chiara had a lot of fun playing the drums while the grownups enjoyed their drinks. It’s vacation and we’re outside, play on!

GERMANY: I was really looking forward to Germany because I read about a shop called Karamel-Küche. I think it is really expensive, even for Disney, since this delicious strawberry cost $5 alone! Tony was really excited to find liqueur chocolates at another stand too. KidCot, drink, and moving on!

ITALY: Italy is a personal favorite, after all, I married an Italian! 

The kids enjoyed gelato while the adults had their drinks. Quick stop at the KidCot station before moving on.

THE AMERICAN ADVENTURE: This was a time of catch our breath and let the adults recover from the drinking. Arthur enjoyed copying Uncle Josh’s meditative rest. Then it was KidCot, an American beer and onward!

JAPAN: Chiara really enjoyed Japan! When traveling through, we stopped at Mitsukoshi. Here, you get to pick out an oyster and keep the pearl found inside. Chiara got a very pretty silver colored pearl and she chose a small glass bottle I think purple sand or hold it. They have many settings available for your pearl, including Cinderella’s carriage! KidCot, alcohol, then moving on.

MOROCCO: Sadly we missed the meet and greet with Aladdin and Jasmine, but we enjoyed the mosaic work here. KidCot was fun, I especially enjoyed learning the words they featured. Drinks and then onward.

***We backtracked to Norway at this point for dinner at Akershus Royal Banquet Hall for our princess dinner. This was another big treat for Chiara because we met Belle at the door and during dinner, four different princesses came to our table.



Dinner was delicious, meeting the princesses was really fun, then we were on our way again.***

FRANCE: Walling to France after dinner (that’s fun to say), Chiara saw Aurora, then the Princess took her hand and led her right to the front of the meet and greet line. Chiara was in heaven! I always love seeing he mini Eiffle Tower in France! The fountains and architecture here are very beautiful as well. My brother treated us to mini eclairs while here and they were delicious. KidCot, alcohol and continue on.

UNITED KINGDOM: Those of us that were drinking hit the Rose and Crown Pub for our beverages and the pub itself was beautiful. Exactly what I think a pub would look like in England! The kids enjoyed playing in the phone booth before we hit the KidCot station and then we were off of our last country.

CANADA: Canada wasn’t super thrilling, mainly because we lived near Canada for so long. We did however meet some really fun French guys, who worked at Epcot, and had a nice long talk with them before the light show began. KidCot, a beer before last call, then off to find our place for the Illuminations show.

The light show was fabulous! The giant globe on the water moves around, lasers shooting through the air, fireworks, music and projection images on spraying water. Definitely worth staying late for the show!

It was such an amazing day! With a little planning Epcot can be so much until, so take a little time, make your own itinerary and enjoy!

In This House We Do Disney

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Another Pinterest success! I love things like this, and I’m happy that it suits our family. I can’t provide credit because my pin tells me the Etsy listing is no longer valid. I did change a lot of the sayings to suit my own preference, so here’s what I ended up with:

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Just keep swimming – Finding Nemo
Let it go – Frozen
All it takes is faith and trust and pixie dust – Peter Pan
We’re all mad here – Alice in Wonderland
At last we see the light – Tangled
Never lose sight of what’s really important – Princess and the Frog
To infinity and beyond – Toy Story
Giving up is for Rookies – Hercules
Want adventure in the great wide somewhere – Beauty and the Beast
The right path isn’t the easiest one – Pocahontas
Hakuna Matata – Lion King
Bear necessities – Jungle Book
Makes the world go ’round – Sword in the Stone
Life’s no fun without a good scare – Nightmare Before Christmas
Our fate lies within us – Brave
There’s always a way to turn things around – Inside Out

Yes, I did use fun fonts. I went to fontspace.com which has a ton of amazing fonts. I think I downloaded about 15 different fonts!

Then it’s just print it out, I used some very fancy paper I had leftover from my Happily Ever After couples project, and frame it up. I raided some thrift stores this afternoon and found two like this. There were some flower paintings in the frame, but I cut those right out. Now I have this fun project to hang on the wall, I just need to find the right place…..

If you decide to make your own, feel free to use my wording, or make up your own. What from Disney inspires you?

Try the Grey Stuff……. It’s delicious!

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This is a pin that I’ve only recently pinned and it looked scrumptious (maybe I should say delicious?)! Then on Girls Night, Emily, our hostess made some. The picture above is actually the stuff she made. It is super rich and super yummy! Don’t overindulge, savor.
My recipe, which was very similar to the one she used, came from this site.
To make this amazing desert, all you need is:
•1 regular package of vanilla pudding (not family sized)
•1 1/2 cups whole or 2% milk (I used 2%)
•12 Oreos (not double stuffed)
•1 8oz tub of cool whip
•2 or 3 tbs of chocolate pudding mix
•sprinkles or edible pearls (optional)

Start by mixing your milk and vanilla pudding mix, then refrigerate while you complete the next step:

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Use a food processor, or just smash them manually, but grind up your Oreos until you have a fine powder:

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**Side note on how important it is to read directions:12 Oreos, not a package. My Grey Stuff, while still yummy, was definitely brown.**

Combine your Oreo dust and vanilla pudding, mixing well. Mix in your Cool Whip, I pulled out my hand mixer at this point because my Cool Whip was still a little solid. Slowly add your chocolate pudding mix, stirring as you go, so hopefully yours will be grey instead of brown!

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**The picture does make it look grey, but trust me, brown!**

Refrigerate for at least an hour, then serve up on brownies, or just in a bowl like pudding, which is what my kids call it, decorating with sprinkles or pearls at your discretion:

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All in all, delicious! And who knows, maybe next time it’ll be grey……

Happy dining!