Saturday, September 13, 2014

Dressing for Bloody Mary's at Disney's Animal Kingdom's Dawa Bar

John and I love to spend Sundays at Animal Kingdom with an adult beverage, wandering the tree-lined pathways and observing animals (especially the tigers!). So you can imagine my excitement when Dawa Bar rolled out four new variations of the classic Bloody Mary. 

photo cred: Disney Parks Blog
Now usually, especially on Sundays, we've found that the parks don't start serving alcohol until 11, 11:30, or 12 noon, depending on the bar or lounge. In fact, that seems to be the start time for most places in the World, any day of the week (boy do I sound like a lush!). So we were fully expecting to get there at rope drop, only to be told they weren't serving until later. 

Here's a tip for you-- they WERE in fact serving the Bloodies at 9, when the park opened. They were also pouring other drinks if people ordered them, so if Bloodies aren't your thing, but getting a buzz before noon while on vacation is, then Dawa Bar is your place. 

We entered the park just after 9 and made our way to Dawa Bar to ask Bob from Boston (our go-to bartender who is always there) if they were serving. 

Bob from Boston! And the Bloody Mary menu.
He said yes, we told him we'd be back soon, and went for a spin on Kilamanjaro Safari. Another tip, do this attraction as early in the day as possible-- it's as cool as it's gonna get, and more animals are active, or at least out, than later in the day. 

Photobombing John!

Because my dress matched the zebras. 
After helping Wilson stop poachers in Africa, we went back to Dawa and found seats at the bar. 

I started with the Discovery Island Bloody Mary, while John had the Dawa Bloody Mary because he likes spicy things! All of the Bloody Mary's start with the yummy Loaded Bloody Mary mix and Grey Goose Vodka (ftw!). 

Discovery Island Bloody Mary- lime and olive juice, garnished with parsley and a skewer of mozzarella cheese, basil, cherry tomato and a stuffed olive. 

Dawa Bloody Mary- Worcestershire sauce and horseradish, garnished with basil and a skewer of truffle and blue-cheese stuffed olives and prosciutto 
Mine was delicious- just a classic Bloody with yummy garnishes. John really liked his- I had a sip and it was really good, but very horseradish-y, so consider yourself warned. 

John held our spots at the bar, and I sipped my drink while walking to Pizzafari to get one of the new breakfast offerings. We needed something to soak up the alcohol! 

I returned with the new multi-grain breakfast croissant stuffed with egg whites, fresh spinach, provolone cheese and vegetable chutney, with a side of breakfast potatoes ($7.49). I asked them to wrap it in tinfoil so it would be easier to transport back to the bar. 

I know, I know, doesn't look too appetizing, but it was really yummy! And the potatoes- yum! They tasted like Cracker Barrel's hashbrown casserole, if you've had that. Tasty! And not relatively too unhealthy in park food standards. Had to offset the calories we were drinking, ya know. 

Speaking of, back to the Bloodies! We finished our first round and tried the other two. Hey, it's all in the name of research! 

I went with the African Bloody Mary, and John tried the Asian Bloody Mary. Again, both were really good! 
African Bloody Mary- spicy African berbere sauce garnished with a house-made berbere rubbed beef stick , celery and carrot stick, and parsley. 

Asian Bloody Mary- kimchee-sriracha puree, garnished with Asian slaw (cucumber, carrot, and daikon radish) and tandoori shrimp

Versace Sunglasses // Necklace: Old, from a souvenir shop in Tallulah Gorge, GA. I'm glad we have photographic evidence of these, because they now are at the bottom of a lake in Orlando, the victim of a Labor Day party boating-and-tubing fiasco. I don't want to talk about it... 

The African Bloody Mary had a slightly barbecue flavor from the berbere sauce, and even though it was described as spicy, it wasn't bad at all- and I'm not the biggest fan of super spice. And the beef stick (think beef jerky) really is house-made, which I thought was impressive and VERY good. 

John's Asian Bloody was good too, although a tad too spicy for my taste. The slaw on top was REALLY good, and thank goodness we had a fork from breakfast to eat it with. Bob from Boston said they usually serve it with chopsticks, but they were out at the moment. The curry-spiced tandoori shrimp was a nice touch. 

Seriously, with the amount of toppings, these drink almost like a light meal. And really, what's a cocktail if it doesn't have lunch floating on top? All in all, we really liked these and will be back for more.

While sipping our second Bloodies, some of our favorite Disney friends joined us- hi Thomas (@tradzak on Instagram) and Angie (@pangiehubbard on IG) (and Danny, forever not pictured)! 

A warning about the Bloody Mary's though... they may cause public dancing. 

So that happened. 

We ventured out of Africa and headed toward Asia, stopping to get a drink in one of the fun whistle cups! Then we thought it was a good idea to have a mini photo shoot in the little pavilion by Yak and Yeti.

We wandered through the Majahara Jungle Trek and serenaded strangers with our cup music.

I think this guy loved it. 

John and I left to attend said Labor Day party, mentioned above, then met back up with our friends at Epcot later that evening. This time, Luis (@disney_nuts on IG) joined in on the fun. I'll leave you with these pictures of how we closed out the night. Cheers!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Dressing for travel (to Disneyland!) + the Lilly Pulitzer After Party SALE!

Greetings from Orlando International Airport (MCO)! But, as you're reading this, I'm already (hopefully!) in L.A. 

My dad needed to visit the City of Angels for business, and I hopped along for the ride. We're visiting old friends, doing some sightseeing, and of course, hitting the DLR for a few days-- keep your eyes peeled for that post! It'll be my first visit EVER to Disneyland and Disney's California Adventure; we're staying at the Disneyland Hotel. I CAN'T WAIT!!! I'm especially excited to meet up with some of my favorite Disneyland Instagrammers!

Okay, on to the post. My MAIN reason for posting today was to alert you to the semi-annual Lilly Pulitzer online sale, happening this Monday, August 18th at 8 a.m. It's not to be missed. More on that below. 

But first, Dressing for Travel. As most of you know, MCO is one of the most glorious airports for two reasons- the Disney Store and the fake-o-rail. After checking my bag (50 lbs on the nose, thankyouverymuch), I moseyed through the Disney Store to see what they had to offer. 

And it turns out- nothing unique. I thought this watch was kind of cute in an art-deco way. I'm not a big Mickey watch fan, but this one, I could rock. 

 After making it successfully through security, it was time to board the highway in the sky--er, the fake-o-rail. I recently read somewhere where the voice of the actual Disney monorail and the one in the Orlando airport are voiced by the same person?! Is that true?

 As if I wasn't getting odd looks already for taking pictures in the airport, then I went and started taking selfies of my outfit and bags. Weirdo! 

American Rag Jacket // J.Crew Side Slit Tunic Tee // Lilly Pulitzer Travel Pant (THESE are fantastic- and possibly might be part of the Sale. If so, GET SOME! I want a pair in black. More below...)// Converse Chuck Taylor All Star Core Low Sneaker 

 Longchamp Mini Le Pliage // Stella & Dot How Does She Do It Tote // Lilly Pulizter Murfee Scarf (this print is old, but these are the BEST scarves, and perfect for traveling. Lightweight yet substantial enough to keep the chill at bay on those freezing airplanes. I have as many of these as I do Elsa shirts. PLUS, these are often included in the Sale-- a great time to snag one!)

People Magazine is my 'airplane flight' guilty pleasure. I always buy one to read on the plane. And Strawberry Mentos, because who has time for those pesky orange and yellow?!!

Okay, now onto the Lilly Sale.

Ladies, this is the event you've been waiting for for the past six months. People often ask how I can afford so much Lilly, and THIS IS IT! The prices are shockingly low- dresses as low as $39, shorts for $19, shoes for $29- I also tend to stock up on pieces for my nieces for Christmas. Haha, pieces for my nieces.

If this is your first times shopping the Sale, I'll give you a few tips to help you successfully navigate the waters of shopping overload.

First, go to the Lilly Pulitzer website and create an account. This is essential! I'll explain why but first, just take a minute and go do it. Go on, I'll wait...

Ok, welcome back! (Hope you did it, if you know what's good for you!) You see, here's the thing. This Sale is so good, thousands of Lilly fans flock to the site looking for their holy grail piece. Just because an item is placed in your shopping bag does NOT mean it's safe keeping-- I've had many o' pieces disappear from my bag by the time I went to check out, literally seconds after adding it.

The good news is that Lilly offers FREE SHIPPING on all sale items, so if you see something, add it to your cart, enter the security code on your credit card (because you've already created an account and saved your credit card info, RIGHT?!?!), click 'order,' and *boom*, you're back with one additional passenger, extra large. (Or one shift dress, size 6, in my case.) Then go back and do it all over again.

The sale lasts for three days, with new items added throughout. The best selection is usually had at the beginning though, so clear your calendar for 8 a.m. Monday, August 18th. All sales are final, but if you order something and aren't happy with it, there are lots of options for re-sale, including the Re-Lilly Facebook page (another source where I've amassed my collection), ebay, and more.

Ok, let's recap because if you're like me, you do better with a list. SO:

1. Go to the Lilly Pulitzer website and create an account- save a credit card on file.

2. While you're there, browse around and make yourself familiar with the site. Figure how to sort items by size, print, style, etc. This will help you narrow down your choices when shopping the Sale.

3. Go on the Lilly site around ten minutes till 8:00 on Monday morning and sign in to your account.

4. Have your credit card with you, or make sure you know your security code.

5. Once the Sale starts, go immediately to your most coveted item, add it to your cart, and purchase.

6. Lather, rinse, repeat.

7. Bask in the glow of all that preppy print when it arrives at your doorstep a few days later.

Good luck! I'll be back tomorrow with a few pieces I'm hoping to snag, along with a fit guide of a few items I already own. Let me know if you have any questions. Happy shopping!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Dressing for Drinks at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort and Spa + Mizner's Lounge

One of my favorite spots in all of Walt Disney World is the Grand Floridian Resort & Spa- specifically Mizner's Lounge. It's the perfect place to grab a cocktail and enjoy a mellow evening. It's especially nice to stop in either before or after dinner at Citricos or Narcoossee's (or the ultimate, for a pre-dinner drink preceding a meal at Victoria & Albert's, as we did before our engagement dinner this past May. Watch for that blog post to come...)

So pull up an oversized upholstered chair, order a stiff drink, and enjoy the music of the Grand Floridian Society Orchestra as we take a look at dressing for drinks at Mizner's Lounge.

I love love love the floral arrangements in the Deluxe Resorts. 

Lilly Pulitzer Elsa Top (limited edition print, similar here) //  Citizen's of Humanity Jeans (old, similar here)

A couple of notes here: Hang around this (blog)space long enough, and you'll notice I have quite a few Elsa tops in my possession. They're my go-to top for so many occasions. I wear them with shorts, jeans, dress them up with white jeans or pants, add a statement necklace to a solid version... the possibilities are endless. Definitely a staple to have in your closet. And in case you missed my Mother's Day post, Lilly P. is releasing a new, fan-favorite, limited-edition print in the Elsa each month. This month's is to DIE for-- I'll have to drop a hint to my lovely fiance that it would make a nice addition to my collection. ;) (Hint hint, Johnny boy! Love you!)

Also, Nordstrom (where my jeans are linked to) is having it's Anniversary Sale through August 4th, with seriously good deals on seriously good stuff. Free shipping and free returns, always. 

Let's head downstairs- doesn't everyone slide down the handrail of the grand staircase here?! High class, I tell ya. 

Peering into the circa 1890 squirrel cage. Slightly creepy, slightly cool. 

Window shopping at Summer Lace- always gotta check out the new Lilly selections! 

A visit to the Grand Flo is never complete without a stop into Basin White. What a treat it is to pick up a bath bomb and take it home (or even better, back to your Resort room!) to soak in a hot tub. My personal favorites are the Lovely bath bomb and the Ariel soap (both with notes of patchouli, musk and sandalwood- swoon!).

A rule of thumb in Disney parks and resorts: look up, down, all around. Details are everywhere, and some of the very best may just be under your feet. Hey Donald! 

Lilly Pulitzer Paige Sandals (old) // Essie Bikini So Teeny 

Have a wonderful weekend!

Friday, July 4, 2014

Dressing for the 4th of July

A wise man (Robert Burns, Scottish poet and lyricist) once said, "The best laid plans of mice and men often go astray." This is fitting for this post for two reasons; one, I had planned to bring you a Fourth of July outfit post from in front of the American Adventure pavilion in Epcot and two, well, ya know, mice -- Mickey -- all that jazz. 

BUT those notorious Florida afternoon thunderstorms rolled in and by the time John got off work and we made our way back to Epcot, it was a rainy mess. Which means no Fourth of July outfit post from in front of the American Adventure pavilion. So, plan B of course was dinner at Flying Fish Cafe followed by drinks and outfit photographs at Disney's Boardwalk Resort. Tough life, I know. 

Here's a picture of me at Epcot earlier in the day, ready to cheer on the USA vs. Germany.

*Tip- I like to buy my Lilly at Summer Lace in Disney's Grand Floridian Resort and Spa because I can use my Annual Passholder discount! That's where this outfit is from. 

And here's a picture from the American Adventure earlier in the day. 

We scored a walk-up at the Flying Fish Cafe and enjoyed a lovely meal, then headed up to the Belle Vue Lounge for an after-dinner cocktail. 

 Haunted Mansion iPhone Case (in Walt Disney World merchandise shops) // Lilly Pulitzer Carded ID Wristlet // Alex and Ani Bangle Bracelets

Those radio show broadcasts from the 30's and 40's sure are the bee's knees!

 I'm probably thinking here, "Hmm, maybe I can convince John to book a spur-of-the-moment room here tonight!" (Oh wait, we did that once -- back in October!)

Not the best photo, but wanted to show you a pair of my favorite earrings. I call them my 'Epcot earrings' because they remind me of Spaceship Earth. 

 Stella & Dot Earrings- these are only $24, are made with stainless steel and Swarovski crystals, and I wear them with everything! They are definitely one of my daily go-to earrings (the gold pair, too!). 

I had originally taken a picture squatting next to the creepy chairs in the lobby, but John said it looked like I was pooping, so here's this one instead. 

Chair, why are you so creepy?! And did you know that these chairs have their very own Facebook page??!!

Here's wishing you a happy and safe Independence Day!