Once Upon 4th Of July: 100 Day Countdown

Happy Fourth of July from both Cissy and I from Underwear In Our Kitchen!

For the last few months I have noticed the #100daysofhappiness craze on Facebook and Instagram. I have been hesitant to start since I like to post A LOT already. However, when I realized we were approaching our 100 mark til our October wedding, I thought this would be a great way to document the remaining way to the alter.

100 days until Disney WeddingI am not going to lie, wedding planning has been stressful as much as it has been fun. But instead of focusing on the negative, my daily photo update on this blog will hopefully keep me in a happily ever after state of mind.

100 Day Until Our Disney WeddingEnjoy your holiday! Josh and I will be!

Want to see other posts on our DisneyWedding:
The one where Josh proposed using cupcakes.
The one where we called the mouse to set up our wedding date!
The one where I went dress shopping, Princess style.
The one where I found the perfect bridesmaid dresses for a Cinderella inspired wedding.
The one where we traveled to Disney to plan our Epcot Wedding
The one where we went to NYC to buy our wedding rings fit for royalty!
Don’t forget to help me get Josh to wear the Disney Groom Ears on our wedding trip. I need your help!


Travel Tuesday: Moderate v/s Deluxe Walt Disney World Disney Resorts

Having travelled to Walt Disney World approximately 1-2 times per year since our children were young–my daughter’s first trip occurred when she was just two months old–we’ve stayed at various resorts. Now DVC members, we call the villas our home when traveling to WDW. However, being the “Disney expert” among my friends, one question I receive often is: “Where should I stay? Is a deluxe resort worth the extra cost?”

Stated simply, the deluxe resorts are more upscale than moderate with a greater choice of restaurants, better locations and, in some cases, grander pools. The only drawback to a Disney deluxe resort is the price. Many WDW guests including myself find the convenience of taking a boat to Wilderness Lodge from Magic Kingdom after a long day of meeting princesses and pirates an indispensable part of their Disney experience. Getting from resort to park and vice versa is the only downside in my mind to the entire experience. Waiting for a bus–sometimes watching a full bus pass by– and squeezing or even standing among guests during busy times of the day can wear on tired kids and their parents.

moderate versus deluxe

There are pros and cons to moderate versus deluxe accommodations, and everyone’s tastes and budget differ making this a tricky question. With four levels of resorts at WDW–Value, Moderate, Deluxe and Villas– prices vary widely ranging from $90 to $489 (today’s listings). Moderate accommodations include:

Our first Walt Disney World resort stay with the kids, though not my first at Disney, was Port Orleans-Riverside when I used a maternity break from work as an excuse to visit with relatives from Orlando. Though only two months old, my mother and I strolled the paths at this beautiful resort, eating breakfast each morning in Boatwright’s Dining Hall without the pressure of running to the parks each day.

Speaking of firsts, our first deluxe resort vacation was actually as new DVC members. Knowing we wanted Animal Kingdom Lodge to be on our itinerary, our logic was simple. Pay over $2,000 for one vacation or $10,000 (for 100 DVC points) for 37 years worth of resort stays. And while we did stay in AKL Villas, they are attached to the main lodge giving vacationers a similar experience as deluxe resort guests. The deluxe resorts include:

I liken moderate versus deluxe to childbirth. If you don’t know any better, it’s not bad at all. But once you’ve stayed in deluxe Walt Disney World resort (or given birth) there’s no turning back. You know what it’s like and are a little bit spoiled. Or, in the case of baby #2 or beyond, slightly more apprehensive about the pain involved.  Moderate Disney resorts are quite lovely and you’ll have a grand time staying at any one of them. But if your budget allows for deluxe accommodations, go for it.

The below video highlights one of my favorite resorts, Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Villas. For the record, my top pick for a deluxe resort is Animal Kingdom Lodge and Port Orleans French Quarter for a moderate, though Port Orleans Riverside is quite nice as is Disney’s Beach & Yacht Club. So many favorites…

What is your top Walt Disney Resort pick and why?


The Contest: Please Comment On This Post So My Groom Will Wear Mickey Ears On Our Disney Wedding & Honeymoon Trip.

A long time ago, in distant Penn State diner, I some how convinced my fiance Josh to agree that if we were to ever get married it would be at Walt Disney World. Impressive considering I just met him 5 hours before in a bar and we weren’t even out on a date.

I am either very charming or he had a few too many Penn State sized drinks. ANYWAY, we did start dating and this date last year, he asked me to be his wife. And the next day, he lived up to his word and we made the phone call to the Mouse. Hello October Epcot Wedding.

I should be happy right? What else can I want?

Josh is a good sport.. no shame with a photo with MIckey or with me rocking my ears. He just tries to avoid them. But I am persistent!

No shame with a photo with MIckey or with me rocking my ears. He just tries to avoid them.

PHOTOS. Well, more specifically, photos of Josh and I wandering around the happiest place on earth wearing the groom and bride Mickey Mouse ears. This is the ultimate Disney freak experience since this is the only opportunity to wear the top hat and veil ears. And as you can tell by my Instagram, I like to photograph EVERYTHING.

Somewhere in our relationship, I got him to agree to ONE photo of him in the mouse ears. One. I have pushed and prodded, and he has held firm. An oral agreement is a contract after all. However he agreed to amend this arrangement if I could prove my social influence. But I will have to give up my guaranteed photo in this deal. So this is where you all fit in.

Disney Bride Needs Help

The Contest

Josh agrees to take as many photos as comments I can get on THIS blog post. (Facebook comments does not count). We agreed that 25 comments would equal one photo. Each comment has to be by a different person. The more comments this post gets, the more photos he will take wearing the grooms ears. If I get less than 25 comments, he doesn’t have to wear the ears at all.

This contest will run until we say we I do in Walt Disney World on October 12, 2014.

Let the odds ever be in your favor..

(aka, please help me win by commenting and sharing with all your friends).

Should Josh have to wear Mickey Ears if he is getting married in Walt Disney World? Please tell me why he should or should not below. I need all the pixie dust I can get!


Throw Back Thursday: My Favorite Trip to Disney World as a Kid

I think anyone looking at this site may get the hint the Cissy and I LOVE DISNEY. I mean, we have a Mickey Mouse head on our tool bar for Pete’s sake. I thought today would be a good day to tell you why I love Walt Disney World.

It’s Throwback Thursday but more importantly today my mom is attending the funeral of the man who made this trip possible with his Winnebago, Dr. Tony.

90's Disney Mickey

Picture it, Spring 1995. I was in third grade at St. Patrick’s School. Summer seemed so far away and I was bummed that I did not get a part in our spring play. Mom worked a lot since she was supporting my sister, brother, and myself with little help from my Dad. Cissy was 21 and already acting like my second mom while going to college full time at the University of Scranton.

One morning my brother Billy and I woke up to my mom and sister hanging out in the famous Underwear in our Kitchen. I still remember clearly her saying, “Guys who would like to go to Disney World today instead of school.” Billy and I raised our hands like good little sleepy students. Duh, I thought. Is that even a contest? But to my surprise, she said ok. And off we went.

90's Disney Hollywood Studios

Ok, we didn’t exactly make it to Walt Disney World that day. Flying the four of us would have been a little outside my mom’s budget back then. But luckily she had a really great friend, Dr. Tony from the CMC ER. He had just gotten a brand new Winnebago and helped drive us the 24 hours to get down to Orlando.

90's Disney Sisters

Jena oblivious note: Cissy and mom had been stock piling loads of food and drinks in our kitchen for about a month prior to the trip. Cissy just told me it was for a work picnic at the firm she worked for part-time. 9 year old Jena totally did not have a suspicious bone in her body. Well played Cissy. Now I will share some 90′s photos of you in retaliation :-) I am sorry to Cissy’s friend Tina who also traveled with us on the trip, because she got crossed in the 90′s cross hairs too!

90's Disney Cinderella's Castle

I have to be honest. I don’t remember too many particulars from my second trip to Walt Disney World. What I do remember is being very happy and excited and enthralled in the magic of the place. All the worlds problems just fell away and my family had a good time just wonder the parks MGM Studios and Magic Kingdom.

90's Disney Mickey Toon Town

The few I do remember is being in Mickey’s Toon Town. I loved the cartoon inspired section of Magic Kingdom and being able to walk through both Minnie and Mickie’s houses. Autograph book in hand, I was so happy to meet the characters. Hence my mega watt genuine smiles in all these photos.

90's Disney Character Breakfast

I even remember this character breakfast including Pluto and Chip and Dale. Billy tried to tell me that Chip wasn’t real and I may have told him off even though I suspected otherwise. But that is why I love going to Walt Disney World. The escapism to a happy place where my mom didn’t have to work so hard or I could forget my Dad, no matter how much I loved him, was not always the nicest guy. Problems change as you get older, but any time I go to Disney they temporarily leave.

So, I want to thank Dr. Tony for helping my family make the most important trip to Florida. He allowed my Mom to create one of my most cherished memories, and for that I am forever greatful. Rest in peace.

PS: Sorry Cissy put gas in the water line in the brand new Winnebago. She and her best friend Tina are very pretty but sometimes missed out on common sense! (I kid I kid!!)