Square Life Round World

I'm navigating through this round world while living a square life, and it fits exactly as it should.

Cravebox May Giveaway Winners

I know I’m a day late announcing the winners, yes, winners of my Cravebox giveaway.  Please forgive me.  Both the winners were contacted yesterday and I was waiting for the second one to respond before making the official announcement.  So without further ado, I’d like to wish a big congratulations to Samantha C. and Tracey C., both from Florida. 

Wow!  It was a big weekend for Florida!  That was the place to be!  First the Powerball winner was from Florida and now both my Cravebox winners are from Florida.  I think there’s a message in there somewhere.  Everyone, quick!  Move to Florida!

So, why are there 2 winners, you ask?  Cravebox was kind enough to provide 2 Cooking Light Fast Meals Craveboxes.  My original intentions were to host 2 separate giveaways for them.  However, when I realized there were coupons in the boxes that expire on May 31 (2 of them for free items) I decided I needed to get them into the hands of lucky readers as soon as possible.  

If you didn’t win this time, keep reading!  There will be another Cravebox giveaway coming up in June. 

Which Cravebox would you choose if you could pick any of their instant boxes?

Feel free to follow me on Twitter.  I”m @myglasssneaker.

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Blog Rewind Wednesday–Disney Dream Cruise May 2011

I’m very excited because I’ll soon be going on my 2nd cruise with Disney Cruise Line aboard the Disney Dream. I’m a creature of habit, so yes, I’m repeating the same ship. Lately I’ve been reminiscing a lot about the last cruise in anticipation of this one. So I thought I’d share with you a few of my thoughts from last time. I will have a much more in-depth account of my upcoming trip when I return.

The iconic DCL smoke stack and horn

The iconic DCL smoke stack and horn

First of all, I cannot even begin to explain the level of excitement when we saw the ship for the first time. We drove from Pop Century at the Walt Disney Resort to the port the morning of boarding, and for some reason, we thought the port was much further from WDW than it actually was. We knew we would cross a bridge over a body of water but we incorrectly thought the port was another 30 minutes away after that. We were in no way prepared for the beautiful sight of the ship as we topped the bridge. I was much too excited to take pics, and we were almost there before I thought to snap this pic.

Approaching the ship

Approaching the ship

The food aboard the ship was just wonderful! I consider myself a foodie and had no trouble finding things I liked and am even looking forward to having again. My favorite main dining room menu was the Royal Palace regular menu. I had a lobster/shrimp appetizer, french onion soup, filet mignon, creme brulee, and Grand Marnier souffle.

Royal Palace Dinner

Royal Palace Dinner

Yes, I had 2 desserts. They let you do that on Disney Cruise Line. In fact, you can have 2 of anything you want (or more). Don’t get me wrong. I’m not condoning gluttonous behavior, but it’s nice to know you can have something if you really want it.

Palo brunch was another highlight. Palo is one of 2 adult dining venues with a surcharge on the Dream (Remy being the other one). Palo serves dinner each evening and brunch on sea days for a $20 per person surcharge (advance reservations are required, and there is a dress code). At brunch, each person gets 1 included glass of champagne or a mimosa, which is always a great way to start brunch. I had the best chicken parm I’ve ever had.

Chicken Parm from Palo

Chicken Parm from Palo

It’s legendary, and now I know why! There was also an extensive brunch and dessert buffet to enjoy in addition to the entrée ordered from the kitchen.

Desserts from Palo Brunch

Desserts from Palo Brunch

Castaway Cay is Disney’s private island and most of their cruises make a stop there. It was gorgeous!

Castaway Cay

Castaway Cay

I wish they would build a resort there so it could be its own destination. That’s how much I loved it! Castaway Cay has 3 beaches. One of them is an adult beach (nothing crazy, though) called Serenity Bay, and that’s where we stayed most of the day. I also parasailed, and my parents did a glass bottom boat tour (both excursions are for an additional fee and advance reservations are required).

The view of the ship from the air while parasailing

The view of the ship from the air while parasailing

Lunch was a barbecue right on the beach featuring steak, Mahi Mahi, chicken and ribs in addition to the usual hamburgers and hot dogs.

Serenity Bay Lunch Menu

Serenity Bay Lunch Menu

Castaway Cay is also the sight of one of my top 5 favorite cocktails I’ve ever had, the Konk Cooler. I’ve even re-created my own recipe, which you can read about here.

I also really enjoyed getting room service whenever I wanted it. Mickey ice cream bars are available from room service 24/7 as is a fruit and cheese plate that made for a great snack while getting ready for the evening activities.

All Hands On Deck fruit and cheese plate ordered from room service with our own champs that we brought on board with us

All Hands On Deck fruit and cheese plate ordered from room service with our own champs that we brought on board with us

The room service menu is pretty generous, although these were the only items we ordered. Room service is included, however a tip for the delivery person is appreciated.

The shows were also wonderful. Disney really does a great job of making sure something is available to entertain everyone. There were so many shows and other forms of entertainment that you really had to pick and choose what you saw and did. This time I’m looking forward to experiencing some of what I missed last time. My favorite was Pirate Night.

Pirate Night

Pirate Night

There was a stage show on deck, cute light-up cocktails (with and without alcohol both for a charge) and fireworks!

Pirate Night Cocktails, with and without alcohol

Pirate Night Cocktails, with and without alcohol

Pirate Night Fireworks at Sea

Yes, fireworks at sea! Disney was the first cruise line to offer this. There was also a late night pirate themed buffet, but we were still full from dinner and didn’t have any of it.

Pirate Night Buffet Decorations

Pirate Night Buffet Decorations

Then there’s the Aquaduck!

Aquaduck

Aquaduck

That’s the water slide/roller coaster that is the first of its kind at sea. It can only be found on the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy. It was so much fun! Lines can get long, so in true Disney fashion, a little strategy can go a long way. I also recommend riding it both during the day and at night. It’s a completely different experience at night with the lighting effects.

There is no way I can share enough about this cruise in one post, but these are the high points. I remember when I booked the last cruise, the first thought that came into my head was that I was going to get to ride the Aquaduck. This time when I booked our upcoming cruise, my first thought was that I’m going to get to do the Castaway Cay 5k. How I’ve changed in just 2 short years!

Have you been on a Disney Cruise? What were your favorite parts?

Don’t forget to enter my giveaway to win a Cravebox! Find out how here.

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Cravebox Review–Girls Night In

By now you should all know that I really like Cravebox.  Of all the box subscriptions I’ve tried, this is the only one I’ve become a repeat customer of.  When Cravebox opened the drawing for Girls Night In, I did not hesitate to enter (being chosen in a drawing means that you get to purchase the box at a discounted price).  At first they said there were certain states the box couldn’t be delivered to.  A few days later they announced that the drawing had opened up to all states but that if you lived in a previously exempt state, one item would not be included in your box.  I knew all of this could only mean one thing:  that alcohol would somehow be involved.  Keep reading to see if I was right.

This is what a Cravebox looks like when you first open it upside down.

This is what a Cravebox looks like when you first open it upside down.

Girls Night In Cravebox Contents

Girls Night In Cravebox Contents

My Girls Night In Cravebox contained the following:

  • Neutrogena Revitalizing Lip Balm
  • Tree Hut Moroccan Rose Renewing Hand Cream
  • Fruit 2 O, Strawberry Flavor
  • New Girl Nail Polish
  • The Mindy Show Nail Polish
  • Hills Bros. French Vanilla Cappuccino Mix
  • New Girl/The Mindy Project Nail File
  • Zaca Recovery Patch (for hangovers!)
  • Warriors in Pink Bandana (I actually thought this was a scarf but according to the Cravebox website this is a bandana.)
  • *******A $50 Nakedwines.com gift card!!!!!!!!!*********

Yay!  I was right!  Let’s hear it for wine!  As always, I loved everything in the box.  I received the box on a Tuesday, and the funny thing is, I was watching New Girl on Fox as I was opening the box.  I did a double take when several pieces of the contents were promotional items for the very show I was watching at that very moment!  I thought the Zaca Recovery Patches were absolutely hilarious.  Of course, who doesn’t love a good lip balm?  The hand cream smelled wonderful, the nail polish was beautiful, the bandana was neat, and the cappuccino was delish!  However, the crowning touch to the box, and the thing I was most excited about was the $50, yes, $50 gift card from nakedwines.com.

Nakedwines.com box

Nakedwines.com box

I have never ordered wine online before, and I was a bit skeptical.  With that being said, I immediately went online to place my order.  I ordered what nakedwines.com calls the “Nifty Gifty”.  It was a mixed case of both domestic and foreign whites and reds.  After I applied my gift card, with tax and shipping, my total came to $47.30.  For a whole case of wine, you can’t beat that!  When it came in (one week later), the screw tops kind of threw me for a loop since I usually only buy wines with corks.  To date, I’ve only tried 2 of the bottles, a Chardonnay and Malbec.  The Chardonnay was one of the best I’ve had.  The Malbec wasn’t one that I would buy again, but I’m still pleased with my purchase.

The "Nifty Gifty" contained a mix of domestic and foreign whites and reds.

The “Nifty Gifty” contained a mix of domestic and foreign whites and reds.

All-in-all, this was a great box!  I might even go so far as to say it’s my favorite one yet!  I don’t know how Cravebox does it, but for $13 the value was phenomenal.  As always, there were items in there I use on a regular basis, and items I’ve never heard of but am excited to try.  I can’t wait to see what they come up with next!

If you’d like to win your very own Cravebox, please enter my giveaway.  One lucky reader will receive a Cooking Light Fast Meals Cravebox, compliments of Cravebox.  To find out more about this box, check out my review of it here.  The contest period is open to US residents living at a US address only from now until May18.  You may get one entry per day by leaving a comment below.  An additional entry may be obtained by following me on Twitter (@myglasssneaker).  Want even more entries?  Tweet about the contest to get up to one more entry per day.  Be sure and mention me in the Tweet (@myglasssneaker) and use #CLFastMeals and #CraveOn.  The winner will be chosen by random draw and will be announced here at my blog on May 19.

Have you tried Cravebox yet?  Which one is your fave?

Disclosure:  I purchased Girls Night In Cravebox with my own money.  All thoughts about this Cravebox are my own.  The giveaway was provided by Cravebox for winning their Fast Meals Cooking Light Cravebox blog contest.

ETA:  Please note the ending date of the giveaway has changed from June 3 to May 18.  I realized there are coupons in the box that expire on May 31 and I’d like for the winner to be able to use them.

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2nd Generation Wedding

I had an opportunity to do something this weekend that I’ve never done before in my life.  I attended the wedding of a young lady whose parents’ wedding I also attended when I was a child.  Partly, this made me feel old but mostly I was honored and humbled to have been a part of this wonderful family’s lives for multiple generations.  The bride’s grandparents were our next door neighbors when I was growing up, and I attended her great-grandparents’ 50th wedding anniversary celebration as a child as well.  So I’ve been a part of the lives of 4 generations of this family.  That’s a pretty special and rare thing.

The centerpiece for the wedding reception

The centerpiece for the wedding reception

When she was a toddler, the bride was the flower girl in my sister’s wedding.  All three weddings (her parents’, my sister’s, and hers) were held in the same church.  It was a very emotional ceremony for me.  When her flower girl walked down the aisle, I could put myself right back at my sister’s wedding, and when she walked down the aisle, I could put myself right back at her parents’ wedding.  It was almost like watching my life flash before my eyes, only backwards. 

My favorite part of the day was the recessional.  The song choice for the recessional was, “You’ve Got A Friend In Me” from Toy Story.  The icing on the cake (no pun intended) was the fist pump followed by, “Yes!” by the mother of the bride as she walked back up the aisle during the recessional.  The entire ceremony was light-hearted so this was a great way to put the finishing touches to it.

I wish the happy couple a lifetime of love and laughter, and I hope there will be a 5th generation that I can soon also be a part of.

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My Guest Blog Post–Grilled Drunken Barbeque Shrimp

I had the privilege this week to be a guest blogger for one of my favorite blogs, Through Heather’s Looking Glass.  Heather Montgomery is an avid Disney fan and runner.  Her blog was formerly known as Running With Sass and was primarily running focused.  Earlier this year she changed it to Through Heather’s Looking Glass and broadened her focus.

I wrote about one of my best recipes, Grilled Drunken Barbeque Shrimp.  It’s one of my most requested dishes.  Here is what it looks like.

Grilled Drunken Barbeque Shrimp

Grilled Drunken Barbeque Shrimp

You can read the entire blog post here

I enjoyed the opportunity to guest blog for her, and because of that post, my blog set a record for the number of visits in one day by almost double. 

Have you ever been asked to write a guest blog?  Would you want to?

Oh, and please feel free to follow me on Twitter.  I’m @myglasssneaker.

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