Disney’s Animal Kingdom

I have to admit, Animal Kingdom is one of my favorite Disney parks.  I love the atmosphere, the shows, and most importantly, the animals!  Animal Kingdom has been labeled by some as a glorified zoo, and I would partially agree with that.  I absolutely love zoos, and Animal Kingdom definitely has its fair share of zoo-like qualities, but it also has great shows and some rare meet-and-greet characters that can’t be found anywhere else!

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Our first stop in Animal Kingdom is ALWAYS Africa.  It is by far my favorite stop in this park.  I love the Kilimanjaro Safari, the Drummers of Harambe, and The Lion King stage show.  All of these bring Africa to life.

The first attraction we visit is the stage where the Drummers of Harambe perform.  I absolutely LOVE them!  They are so very entertaining.  They get the crowd involved every time.  Since we are usually at their first performance of the morning, it is not very crowded.  I have been picked every time to dance with them!  It is so much fun!

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The Lion King stage show is to die for!  The music, performances, and dancing are all beautiful.  There are all sorts of things to see in this show, such as acrobats, a fire dancer, performers on stilts, dancing, singing, and much more!  If you only make time for one show at Disney, this is the one to pick!

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Also, we made the mistake of using a Fastpass on this show during our first trip to Disney World.  Since the seating is 360 degrees around the stage and there isn’t really a best seat, so there was no benefit to using a Fastpass.  We have been several times since then and have gotten just as good seats without a Fastpass.

I am also a fan of Rafiki’s Planet Watch.  However, this is not everyone’s cup of tea. It takes a while to get there due to waiting for a train, which is the only way to access this attraction.  Once you arrive, there are several things to do and see.  You can watch live video streaming of the animals around Animal Kingdom. You can also see live animal shows were you get to come in contact with animals. I was able to pet a rabbit and meet a darling hedgehog.  The Affection Section is a favorite of mine as well.  You can pet and interact with MANY goats, all of which are happy to be handled.  It is here that you can also meet Rafiki and Chip and Dale!

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Chip and Dale are so much fun!  I love getting kisses from them.

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We loved eating at Yak n Yeti in the Asia area of Animal Kingdom.  It was delicious.  It was a little more than we wanted to spend; however, we got TONS of food.  The egg rolls are to die for!

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Flights of Wonder is a great show in Asia to see.  The live birds are amazing to watch! At one point an owl flies over the crowd and his wings actually brushed the top of my head.  This show is definitely a must-see for Animal Kingdom.

Also not pictured is DInoLand in Animal Kingdom.  Primeval Whirl is a fun ride in DinoLand.  The carnival-style game booths look like a lot of fun, but we chose not to do them because they cost extra.  I am a big chicken so the Dinosaur ride was a definite “no” for me!

The Finding Nemo stage show is a neat stop, especially for kids, or even for big kids like me!  It is located near DinoLand and is actually a little difficult to find.  We had to ask a cast member and almost missed the show because we were running behind.  I’ve only seen it once, but I definitely enjoyed it.

Pocahontas can be found at Animal Kingdom, as well as Tarzan.  I have met Pocahontas, but I haven’t met Tarzan yet.  That is at the top of my list for our next visit!

And finally a little couple selfie to wrap up this post.  We stopped to take this on the African trail.

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Stay tuned for the next post!  I’m going to give a little “guided” tour of each park with all of our favorite rides and attractions.

Love,

Anna Beth

Disney World Weekend

This past weekend my husband and I took a weekend vacation to Disney World.  We had a blast!  We are fortunate to live close enough to Disney World that we can drive down on a Friday and spend the weekend in our favorite place.  The last trip we took, we brought my polaroid camera along to snap the shots, but this time we decided to bring our GoPro Hero 3+ to capture our special moments. Troy was the primary photographer on this trip, which feels so weird.  I’m usually the one behind the lens.

I love how handy the GoPro was!  We kept it on the retractable “selfie stick” in our backpack.  When we were ready to take a picture we just grabbed it and snapped the shot.  I was able to use photoshop to edit the photos and I am so pleased with the final product.

When we arrived on Friday, we started out the weekend with Hollywood Studios where we took several character drawing classes at the Magic of Disney Animation building.  This is one of our favorite things to do!

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We ended the evening browsing the shops and wandering on the streets enjoying the lights.

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Saturday, our second day, was spent in Magic Kingdom.  This was our first time on the Mad Tea Party ride.  I had so much fun!DCIM100GOPRO

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We also watched the Festival of Fantasy Parade for the first time, and it was stunning!

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We ended the evening with the most beautiful view of the castle and the Wishes nighttime fireworks show.  It is absolutely magical!

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Of course, I couldn’t leave Disney without seeing two of my favorite characters, Minnie and Baymax, so we went back to Hollywood Studios on Sunday before we headed home.  I was actually in line to see Baymax when Minnie came around the corner and invited me into her room.  She showed me around the room while she pointed out her favorite things, including several pictures of her and Mickey.

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Hiro and Baymax loved my custom-made Baymax ears. I got a big hug from Baymax and a high-five from Hiro!

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I hope you enjoyed looking at our little vacation.  We are so ready to go back in May.  Can you guess what we’ll be bringing along with us?  Our GoPro!

Please leave a comment and let me know you stopped by!

Love,

Anna Beth

Low Carb, Coconut Flour Fudge Brownies

Low Carb, Coconut Flour Fudge Brownies

 

Ingredients

1 cup coconut flour

1 cup cocoa powder

1 cup sugar free imitation honey

1 cup butter, melted

6 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla

1 cup sugar free chocolate chips OR 1 cup diced sugar free Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups

 

Directions

Preheat oven to 300 degrees

Mix all ingredients thoroughly in mixing bowl

Pour and smooth into greased pan

Bake for 35-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean

Let cool for 30 minutes

Store in the refrigerator

I have made these brownies twice this week and they disappear almost instantly! They have become a favorite in my house. Please comment with any questions and please let me know if you try the recipe out for yourself.

As you can see in these photos, I love my Pampered Chef tools! They definitely come in handy!

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I hope you enjoy this tasty treat!

Love,

Anna Beth

Blogging Madness & Hot Air Balloons

Hi everyone!

I know many of you are new to my blog, Hello, Anna Beth. I’m so happy to have you stop by and see a piece of my world.  I would have never thought my small town blog would be getting this much attention thanks to a feature on BuzzFeed.  My blog post, How We Kept Our Wedding Cost Under $500, was featured in an article about having a beautiful and unique wedding without breaking the bank.  You can see the BuzzFeed article here.

Now, I want to share a fairly recent adventure Troy and I had.  We attended the Callaway Gardens annual hot air balloon festival and were able to ride in a hot air balloon for the first time.  It was such a beautiful view and an experience we will never forget.

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We can’t wait to return next year!  Now on to the next adventure on our calendar, Disney World.  The road is calling us!

Love,

Anna Beth

Low Carb Mini Pizzas

I have seen photos of similar recipes before, so Troy and I decided to try out our version of the Low Carb Mini Pizzas ourselves tonight. It was a hit at our house!  I wanted to share the recipe we used. Low Carb Mini Pizzas– Prep time 5-10 minutes.  Cook time 10-15 minutes. Ingredients: Mission Low Carb Tortillas Pizza Sauce (We used Classico because it had the smallest amount of carbs out of the sauces in our pantry) Shredded Mozzarella Cheese Any other pizza toppings of your choice (We used spinach, green onions, ham, black olives, and jalapeños.) Parmesan Cheese (Optional) Directions: Cut the tortilla into small circles using a standard size can.  Place each “crust” into the greased muffin pan. Add approximately one teaspoon of pizza sauce to each crust.  Then add the toppings of your choice covered in shredded mozzarella cheese.  Place in the oven and bake for 10-15 minutes at 350 degrees.  Remove from the oven and add parmesan cheese if desired. Handy Tip: We used a butter knife to gently lift the mini pizzas out of the pan. That seemed to be the most effective way to get them out. DSC_0003 DSC_0007      DSC_0014DSC_0008DSC_0009DSC_0010DSC_0012DSC_0019   DSC_0028 DSC_0042 We estimated the number of carbs per pizza bite to be between 2-3 carbs depending on the toppings you choose to add.  Make sure to take note of the amount of carbs in each topping you add because they can add up quickly! Please leave a comment if you try the recipe.  I’d love to hear how you like it! Love, Anna Beth

Pizza Taco

Troy and I have been eating low carb for about two weeks now and have had success with it so far.  I feel better than I have in a long while and can see this being a lifestyle change for us.  I’ve struggled to find recipes that genuinely taste as good as they sound, and I can say this is the best one I’ve made so far!  In case you’re wanting to try low carb too, or if you are just looking for an easy dinner, this is the recipe to try!

Ingredients:

– Mission low carb tortillas

– 1 can El Paso refried beans

– Precooked taco meat (my husband browned the meat and added taco seasoning prior to making these)

– Tostinos Salsa Con Queso dip

– Shredded Mexican blend cheese

– Raw spinach (optional)

– Chopped raw green onions (optional)

– Tostinos salsa (optional)

– Chopped black olives and jalepenos mixed (optional)

Directions:

1. Place the low carb tortilla on the pan.

2. Spread a thin layer of refried beans on the shell.

3. Scatter the taco meat evenly over the refried beans.

4. Cover the taco meat with a thin layer of Totinos Salsa Con Queso.

5. Add any of the optional toppings or any other topping you would like to add.

6. Cover with shredded Mexican blend cheese.

7. Place in the oven for 10 minutes on 375 degrees.

8. Remove and let cool, then enjoy!

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Below is my husband’s Pizza Taco.  He chose to use Mission salsa instead of refried beans since he has a bean allergy.  He also chose to leave the spinach off.  The excellent part of this recipe is that you can include whatever toppings you’d like to make your own personalized dish!

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I hope you enjoy!  Feel free to comment with any questions, or let me know if you tried the recipe.  I’d love to hear your feedback.  I know it was a hit at my house!

Love,

Anna Beth

Master Bedroom

As promised, today I’m sharing photos of my master bedroom decor.  I still have a few changes I want to make, but I still love the room!  I plan on adding a burlap bedskirt and getting a few more decorative pillows on the bed.  But until then, I will enjoy it just the way it is.

One of my favorite parts of the room is our little blue nightstand.  It is actually an antique child’s dresser.  The small blue pillow is also vintage. Our color scheme for the room consists of blues and yellows with a few accents of red here and there.  This quilt was purchased at an antique store for an amazing price!  I love the colors and the pattern.  Finley loves it, too!

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The pie safe in our bedroom belonged to my great-grandmother.  It is so special to have family heirlooms in our home.  It is filled with only the most beautiful quilts.  Some of the quilts in our home are made by family members and others were purchased at antique stores.  I love quilts with pale colors and beautiful patterns!

The yellow chair was purchased at an antique store for only $20!  I have been looking for a vintage chair for our room for so long, but everything I found was either too large or a hideous color.  Considering I didn’t want to invest money in having it reupholstered and I have absolutely no experience in reupholstering, I had to be patient.  I am so glad I was because this was the chair of my dreams!

The beautiful pitcher is china brought over from England.  I fell for the beautiful pattern and colors right away!

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The corner cabinet was a custom made piece specifically for our home.  It was done by a little furniture store just down the road from us that will make custom furniture specifically for the customer.  This little nook needed something special and this was it!  The wooden R was a wedding gift from one of my bridesmaids and the picture frames were given to me by my mother-in-law. Believe it or not, the Singer sewing machine was only $2 at a thrift store!

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As you can see, I love to collect antiques and decorating. I hope you enjoy this glimpse into my home!  In another life I’d be an interior designer, but for now I’ll enjoy working on my own little cottage.

Thanks for reading!  Please leave a comment letting me know you stopped by the blog and let me know what you think!

Love,

Anna Beth