Our Experience on Disney’s Wild Afrika Trek Tour

There are a ton of tours available by Disney. I chose the Wild Afrika Trek tour because of a video that I saw on the Disney World Facebook page that highlighted the tour experience. It looked so amazing. And in all honesty, my tour was just as amazing, if not more, than that video.

Please note: I spelled Africa with a K in this entire post to make it look cooler. I know how to spell, I promise.

You have to schedule it in advance, we went in the winter and scheduled it just a few weeks before our trip. Even then, we still did not get the exact date and time that we wanted. Everything worked out in regards to planning since I had a few weeks to move things around. In the summer, I’m going to assume, that you will have to book way in advance.
Now, on to the fun stuff!

This is us getting suited up in our gear. These harnesses are legit. They even gave us a little hook for our cell phones so that we could bring them while trekking. We also got badges and water bottles.

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These were our tour guides. They were awesome and so knowledgeable. I fell in love with them already even before the tour got started.

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We first walked through a trail and then through part of the “forest”.

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We crossed the two bridges with ease. It was a little bit scary, to be honest, but they do make it very safe. They took some great photos of us while walking the bridge.

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We were able to encounter quite a few animals, including hippos, alligators, giraffes, just to name a few. They say that the animals are more active in the morning, our tour was at 12:30 PM, and the animals were still pretty active at that time. But, we did go in early December and the average high at that time when we went was about 70 to 75°.

We got in the little Safari jeep and got a personal safari tour. We were able to stop, unlike the Kilimanjaro Safari ride, which we ended up not riding because we got the real tour instead.

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We got to eat a very lovely meal. I put the flower in my hair after the meal, and Andy, the tour guide, teased me about having food in my hair. That was funny. I regret not eating that flower now.

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The best part about this trip was that we got to experience something new together. The second best thing was that the weather was perfect. It wasn’t too hot and there was a light breeze.

Not that they will ever read this, but special thanks to the photographers and tour guides for this tour! I’m a picture fanatic and I was satisfied with the quality and style of the photos.

If I find the time to update this post with more pics, I will! I have so many! :)

How to get a discount on tour?

We paid approximately $400 for the both of us for this tour. You could’ve gotten a discount if you had used your Disney Visa card and if you would booked in the late afternoon. For my next trip to Disney World, I’m definitely going to have a Disney Visa card!

 

My DIY Minnie Mouse Ears!

Ever since Prentyce and I decided that we were going to go to Walt Disney World for honeymoon, I became obsessed with creating Minnie Mouse ears. They are just so cute and you can get so creative with them, plus I love DIY projects! I decided to do a post about them since I get asked about them a lot (mostly by my Disney lovin’ coworkers).

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We were originally going to go to Orlando in early September. Our plans changed due to a very unfortunate family situation. So, our trip was canceled the minute we landed on Orlando. We flew right back. I had made ears for my trip at that time, but since we then decided to reschedule our trip to early December, I had to go and make some new Minnie ears and actually fix some of the ones that had already broken while I was traveling.

Tip: Put them in your carry-on in a plastic bin (if you can). I used a large Iris latching bin and bubble wrap. This may not happen to you, but they were damaged in my check-in luggage.

One of the two ears I added due to our December trip were my wreath ears with small little Christmas lights. My husband actually offered to make these light up for me with his electrical engineering skills, but it was too late at that time. I regret not letting him do it now; they would’ve looked so cool at the Very Merry Christmas Party. For this, I actually used the wired green thing they give you to wrap around your artificial Christmas tree to keep it from opening. I’m sure this is something you will be able to find at a craft store during the holidays. The small Christmas lights were from Michaels. The silver bow I ordered online here!

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The second set of ears I added were my Frozen themed ears. This was one of my faves because turquoise is my favorite color! I use wired white tinsel (with snowflakes!) that I got from Hobby Lobby to create the circular ear pattern. I think I got it for less than $2 around Christmas time. Since they were wired, they stayed in the circular shape! The sequin bow I made from sequin fabric at Joann’s. I only purchased 1/8 of a yard (less than $3) to make the sequin bow!

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Now, on to the other ears I made for the trip! I made so many because I knew I wanted a different pair to wear every single day. I tried to match them with my outfits too. That didn’t always pan out, but I tried. I also picked ears for the day depending on what park we were going to or character meet we had planned.

Note that I created my Minnie ears on my own. I adore DIY and I love personalized things, but, if I was a baller, trust and believe I would’ve bought some ears from Etsy. There are amazing ears out there! But, for now, just look at mine and be amazed. Start your expectations low, okay? Just kidding. Maybe.

Up ears – My absolute favorite Disney movie is now Up. Who doesn’t love a love story? Everything about this movie makes me feel so good. I wish I could’ve met Carl at Disney World, but he is not a regular character meet there. I did, however, meet Dug and Russell in Disney’s Animal Kingdom. I told my husband that if I had to choose one character meet, it would have been this one. I used felt (cut in shapes), fuzzy balls, and yarn to make these ears. The bow was purchased online here. The bow on these years are smaller than most of my other ears because I wanted the balloons and clouds to not be covered up.

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Baymax ears – I wore these on the day that we were exploring Tomorrowland. Unfortunately,  Baymax does not have a meet and greet at Disney World. The bow was ordered from here and the Baymax pieces are from here. They were keychains that I cut up and glued on my ear parts.

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Floral ears – These are very popular online; they are one of the easiest ears I made. There are a few YouTube tutorial videos on how to make these! They were not very expensive either. I put a crown on this one instead of a bow, cause I didn’t want it to block the flowers. You can buy this little crown (it’s a tiara clip) here or at an accessories store like Claire’s.

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Pearl bow ears – I used a $1 flower girl/toddler dress I found at Goodwill for the fabric of the stress. I purchased the pearl bow online here. I don’t have a photo of me wearing these ears because I forgot to wear them on the trip! Grrr.

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Fuzzy animal print ears – These were some of the hardest ears to make for two reasons. It was really hard to cut the fuzzy material (fur got everywhere!) and they were the first ears I made so, I wasn’t really sure what I was doing. I got the fuzzy material in the felt section at Michaels. The bow was purchased online here.

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Polka dot ears – I got the polka dot fabric from a craft store or Walmart; I can’t remember exactly. I just know that it was in their $1 scrap fabric section. I purchased the red sequin bow online here. (Sorry for the low quality photo!)

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Fluffy lace ears
– I made these using sleeves from a lace shirt I found at Goodwill for $1. The sequin bow was purchased online here.

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Floral print with lace bow ears – I used fabric found in the fabric section at either Walmart or Michaels. I think it was only $1, because it was a small piece of fabric, maybe 12 x 18″ in size. I made the lace bow using a lace headband for infants (from here). I just cut it up and put it in a bow shape. I wouldn’t do this again, because I think the bow is way too small. Plus, it kept drooping forward because the lace was soft and that looked tacky.

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Ariel clam shell ears – These are one of the last ears I made. I think I hesitated and waited so long because I didn’t know how I was going to achieve the clamshell look. I used foam and outlined a clam shell image on it with a purple marker and then cut it out. I found the miniature forks at Dollar Tree; they are supposed to be for appetizers. The bow was purchased online here.

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And, that’s it folks! I hope you enjoyed all the pictures and info. I’ll be creating more posts on this topic, including tips on DIY. Have fun creating your ears! If you have questions, don’t hesitate to ask!

 

5ive List: Universal Studios Orlando Planning

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There are not very many websites dedicated to planning your Universal Studios Orlando trip. The ratio of Disney World to Universal Orlando planning websites is at least 100 to 1, if not more.

I know that I’m only a first timer for both WDW and Universal, but I felt like I need to write this article because Universal Orlando doesn’t get the love that it so very much deserves! My husband and I had an amazing time there!

1. Find Pinterest boards

There are a ton of pins on Pinterest about Universal planning! Search ‘Universal Orlando’ or ‘Harry Potter Wizarding World’.

2. Podcasts

There aren’t very many good podcasts dedicated to Universal Studios Orlando planning, but you will find some episodes dedicated to Universal on Disney World podcasts! When you find a Disney World podcast, look at their episode list to see if they mention Harry Potter World or Universal Studios Orlando. They can can give you some decent tips in regards to getting there and back if you’re also going to Disney World and comparisons between the two parks.

3. Use Undercover Tourist.

The best things from Undercover Tourist that I used for Universal Orlando were the following:

a) Map – it is easy to read and understand; I wish I could make graphics this nice!
b) Touring plan – the 2-day plan was the one we used as a template
c) Crowd calendar – this helped me decide which park to go to on which days; very useful

P.S. I have heard that Undercover Tourist is a reliable seller for tickets, but I purchased my tickets from TicketsAtWork.com through my job’s affiliation.

4. Download apps before you go! 

Use an app to track wait times! The app made by Universal Orlando is not the best, I would recommend Magic Guide for Universal Orlando. I only used the free version. I used the app to track wait times mostly in the afternoon and early evening, the wait times were very minimal for us early birds!

I also used an app for weather called AccuWeather. They have a MinuteCast feature that will let you know rain is coming, e.g. “Rain in 60 minutes.” This will help you plan accordingly! Luckily for us, we went in the beginning of December and didn’t encounter much rain.

Undercover Tourist also has a nice app! The layout is decent and very modern.

P.S. Don’t forget to have adequate memory on your phone for pics!

5. Create your own touring plan and use it as your screensaver!

We had a four-day park hopper at Universal Studios Orlando. Since our flight got in late on arrival day, we were not able to go to the park, so we only did a total of 2 1/2 days. This was enough time for us to get to see and do most of everything we wanted. We could’ve stayed more, but I only would have used that extra time to guzzle down some more butterbeer.

Here are photos of my touring plan. (These are sized for an iPhone 6 wallpaper. To size it to your phone’s dimensions, you will need to adjust the size of your Microsoft Word document.)

Some things to note about our touring plan:

  • We are two adults that can move fairly quickly, so we were able to get a ton done in a short period of time (e.g. less potty breaks too)
  • We woke up early for the first two days for Universal Orlando and were there for rope drop (which was about 20-30 minutes before the scheduled opening time); the last day we took our time
  • We didn’t stay at a Universal Orlando resort, it was too pricey! We stayed at a La Quinta that was literally 5 minutes away! We were able to get up later and go home sooner because it was so close!
  • I knew I wanted to meet characters
  • We paid extra for the Photo Connect plan, which is why it is referenced on our touring cards
  • We did all the water rides at once (with ponchos that didn’t really help)
  • We were flexible, so if we rode or did something the day before or needed to ride it the next day, I just edited my touring plan on the Microsoft Word app on my phone and saved a new screenshot of the plan
  • We did a ton the first day, we had so much energy since it was day 1 of our 10-day honeymoon. Instead of doing more, I wish we would have slowed down because I ended up getting horrible and painful blisters!
  • We didn’t wait for any ride for longer than 20 minutes
    • A few of our longer waits were: Grinchmas (45-60 minutes wait – it was opening day), meeting the Grinch, Raptor Encounter, and Poseidon’s Fury show
  • The numbers in the parentheses after each attraction (on my touring cards) is how long the attraction is, i.e. (7m).  I got these values from TouringPlans.com
  • The colors mean something: black for rides/shows; orange for Harry Potter stuff; and purple for meet & greets. Lastly, pink is for snacks, which is the most important part! 😉
  • Remember, not everything will go according to plan! But, you’re an adult and you already knew that!

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I hope you guys find this useful. Good luck with your planning! I’ll be posting more planning posts soon!

 

Our perfect little flower girls #TYGHT2015

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Not to take anything away from the rest of our wedding party, but the flower girls were the cutest flower girls of all time. (I said of all time!) I might be a little biased, but I don’t care.

Hana – 8 years old, Filipino with a hint of Chinese

Isabella – 6 years old, African American and Mexican

Nia – 3 years old, African American and Filipino

The dress I chose for the girls was ombre and floral and they were purchased from PinkPrincess.com. This website has lots of reviews, is well-organized, and has nice photos. Click here to see the exact dress we bought. My flower girls’ parents ordered the dress on their own and didn’t report any problems to me. That doesn’t necessarily mean they didn’t have any, it means they are awesome.

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Depotting LA Colors Eyeshadows

If you don’t depot, are you human? Just kidding, but seriously. Depotting is for makeup freaks/hoarders/organizers. There’s a plethora of information about it (how to do it, when to do it, how often to do it) on YouTube and other blogs, I’m just here to show off my work.

These LA Colors eyeshadows are cheap, but are still very pigmented. I especially love the glitter versions of these eyeshadows. LA Colors has been stepping up their game lately too, especially with their lipsticks. I can’t remember where I purchased these eyeshadows since it’s been so long, but they don’t retail in any stores in Las Vegas that I’ve seen/remember. I’m pretty sure I got them at the swap meet or in the L.A. Fashion District.

Supplies:

Empty 15 mm x 26 mm palette

Nevertheless, I got my empty 15 mm x 26 mm palette from here on eBay. (I also use Z Palette’s magnetic palettes, but they are pricier.)

Darice magnets

I use magnet sheets made by Darice. You can find them at Michaels and sometimes Walmart.

This are the aftermath leftovers of my depotting in all its glory.

If you don’t depot, you should start!!! Have fun.

10 Wedding Dresses I Said No To

Wedding dresses are so fun to try on, especially when the dresses you’re trying on are ones you can actually afford. When I used to watch ‘Say Yes to the Dress’ on TLC, I was mortified about going dress shopping because some of those girls would pay $10,000 for a dress. Yikes! Luckily, dresses are actually much more affordable than that show makes it seem.

Here are 10 dresses I tried on at David’s Bridal and Celebrations Bridal. In order to find my wedding dress, I tried on less than 15 total dresses. Kind of crazy, right? I thought it would be a lot more. But, trust me, you will tire of trying on dresses and you will tire of dragging your family out to watch you try on dresses. Or, is that just me?

Anyway, on to the rejects!

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For awhile, I thought I wanted a long-sleeved dress to hide my ginormous upper arms. I thought I would look sleek and classy. The long-sleeve dress I tried on didn’t fit (too small, as you can see), but it just made me feel old. So it was a no-go. The dress on right has some nice layering, but it felt as if it was made for a beach wedding. Plus, it didn’t feel like it had much support.

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Oh ballgowns… How I love thee. These two could have been poofier. (Is that a real word?) If you’re going to wear a ballgown, why not a huge one, right? The neckline on the dress on the left was unique and I liked that it hid my cleavage. The neckline on the dress on the right seemed tacky to me for some reason. Maybe it was those straps?

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This dress on the left does nothing for anyone’s shape. Unless you are ridiculously curvy – this dress won’t help at all. I felt like it held me in, but I felt like it didn’t add anything. The dress on the right was on top of my list before I went to Celebrations Bridal. Looking back now, I don’t know that I would’ve like how loud the ruffles are, but after trying this dress on, I knew I wanted the fitted waist all the way to my hips.

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You all have to excuse the faces I make when I tried on these dresses. I love lace, but these dresses just looked horrible on me! Plus, I hated the neckline on the dress on the right.

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This simple ballgown dress (on the left) felt like it had a nice fit. I would’ve added sleeves, but looking at it now, it looks boring. The dress on the right is like someone’s 90’s prom dress. The fabric felt cheap and I’m pretty sure it was cheap.

If you’re planning to go dress shopping soon, these are a few helpful hints:

  1. Try on dresses you can’t afford
  2. Try on dresses you don’t think you will like
  3. Take a picture of yourself in every dress, front and back
  4. Bring shapewear and a strapless bra
  5. Remember that alterations can do magic – like add sleeves!

Choosing My Wedding Dress…

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I purchased my Maggie Sottero bridal gown from Celebrations Bridal in Las Vegas. I was never actually going to go to Celebrations Bridal and was planning on just going to go to David’s Bridal and Alfred Angelo. I only decided to browse their selection because a David’s Bridal employee, who was also a bride, said she wasn’t going to get her dress from David’s Bridal because they were too typical. I did not feel the same way, I think David’s Bridal had some gorgeous dresses. However, after actually seeing the gowns at Celebrations Bridal, I thought they were on a different level. Plus, the atmosphere and aura inside of Celebrations Bridal made you feel like you were on that TLC show Say Yes to the Dress. Seriously! My sisters (Roselle and Rosalie) even attested to this. After I found my dream dress at Celebrations Bridal, I never followed through with an appointment at Alfred Angelo.

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My dress budget never really existed. I knew I didn’t want to spend more than $1000 for a dress, not including alterations, accessories, or shoes. What I did, though, was spend more than double that. I got the okay from the hubs to do so, which was a blessing. He said there was no point in spending all this money on photography and videography if I didn’t wear a wedding dress that was worthy of being photographed. I agree!

In the end, I guess I could’ve spent less on a dress, but I was IN LOVE with my dress. It was sparkly, covered in lace, and made me feel like a million bucks!

Here’s the dress in all its glory. Excuse me as I wipe my tears of joy.

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Here’s the back of the dress and the train.

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Here are more detailed photos of my wedding dress.

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I purchased the belt from Celebrations Bridal that eventually went on the dress. I felt like I wanted more bling and this was the perfect extra shiny piece on my dress. I like the belt because it made my waist seem more cinched in. I need all the help I can get y’all!


Here are the two dress runner-ups that I had to say no to. It was so hard! 

1) I didn’t select the ballgown because it made me feel like a little kid.  What I did like about it was that it made me look way thinner. I think ballgowns do this for everyone. Wearing this type of dress would have been 100 times more comfortable at the reception too. I showed this to Prentyce (after the wedding was over) and he said he liked it as well. Knowing that, I should have purchased both. This dress was less than $1,000.

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2) I liked this dress and its shape, but it didn’t have enough bling for me. The ruffles were so modern and stylish, but when I ended up showing this to my now-husband after our wedding, he said they looked tacky. Good thing I didn’t pick this dress!

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If you go to Celebrations Bridal, the person that helped me choose my dress was Hailey. She was so sweet and so helpful. She taught my sisters how to tie up the corset back of my dress. I think she’s so great at her job. I loved her upbeat attitude.

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I only had to go back for alterations twice, which I personally thought was not a lot. I had a really great alteration specialist (Cindy) who understood me and was good at her job. I had sleeves attached to my dress and they also had to make me a bustle, because my dress did have a thick train. The bustle was ginormous, but I think Cindy did an amazing job of making it work and teaching my matrons how to put it together. We did practice a few times! I suggest you do the same.

These are some photos from my final fitting. This was exactly 10 days before the wedding!

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A special shoutout goes to my sisters and my mommy for helping me find the dress of my dreams! Thank you for your honesty, patience, love, and support. I could not have asked for better sisters!

Thanks for reading friends. Don’t forget to read the related articles if you love wedding stuff just as much as I do!


 

I also tried on a slew of dresses that I quickly said no to. Check out that blog article here.

Read about my wedding day accessories here. [ COMING SOON ]

 


 

Photo credit to Cassidy Zellman Photography (our official wedding photographer) & my sisters and matrons of honor Rosalie and Roselle.

Thanksgiving 2015

Thanksgiving this year was at Grandpa’s house. It was a very bittersweet Thanksgiving because my sister-in-law Ammarrette was not there in physical form. It will have been the first major holiday she would not be here for. Every Thanksgiving, she would always make her brothers’ favorite foods, like German chocolate cake and macaroni and cheese. She always would make collard greens for me, she knew they were my favorite. We didn’t have any of those foods this year. 

After we blessed the food, Prentyce asked everyone to say something they were thankful for this year. It was a really nice activity that I think we should do every year. Our brother-in-law Steve, Ammarrette’s husband, cried during this part and it made me cry. I don’t know what I would do if I lost Prentyce. I can’t still imagine what he is going through. They say that the holidays are the hardest for me how lost someone. I bet that is probably true.

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We came early to help Joyce and Grandpa prepare for the guests. Prentyce had to read up on how to fry a turkey and that was fun for him learning how to do something new. I think we might have to get a turkey fryer. It cooked the turkey so fast! I also had to learn how to cook yams on the fly. And surprisingly, it actually wasn’t very hard and everybody said they liked it! Yay! I told Prentyce I am still refusing to host Thanksgiving until I get a kitchen with double ovens! Ha!

Anyway, I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! And, I’m sorry this post is so late. I feel like I’m just finally getting my life back together after our honeymoon and the holidays. Better late than never, right? 

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5ive List: Tools for Christmas Shopping

Christmas is going to be here in no time! I honestly have not been as prepared this year compared to years before, but this year has been busy for me!

Here are 5 amazing tools I use for Christmas shopping. The best part about these though, is that they can be used year round, especial the first one. :)

Amazon.com
I love Amazon and being a Prime member (5+ years and counting)! Prime members get free 2-day shipping with no minimum purchase price. They have a variety of products and competitive pricing. For example, Fry’s Electronics will price match anything they have that is sold by Amazon (not third party sellers). Furthermore, you can track prices on Amazon by placing items in your cart. It’ll update you on any prices changes each time you check your shopping cart. (You can also use the Camelizer plug-in mentioned below.) I have always had great customer service with Amazon too.

Google Docs
I use a spreadsheet to track who I am giving presents to. Mine is sorted by family, but you can just list by category too (i.e. coworkers, neighbors, siblings, friends, etc.). My columns are:

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2014 Project 365: February

 

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  1. Homemade strawberry milkshakes
  2. My niece’s birthday cake
  3. My comforter… Still going strong after 5+ years!
  4. I woke up from a nap without eyeliner on only one eye
  5. A helicopter landing at work! Woah!
  6. Del Taco’s chicken soft tacos… O.M.G.
  7. Homemade tomato and mozzarella on ciabatta
  8. Mayhem of carts at Target
  9. My forehead as I’m using Prentyce as a pillow
  10. Eggrolls or lumpia waiting to be fried
  11. Cake display at Blueberry Hill
  12. Schedule for the skills fair at work
  13. Krispy Kreme donut delivery
  14. Cupcakes made by my coworker for Valentines Day
  15. Playing at the park with our nephew Osiris
  16. On the couch in my robe
  17. Chillin’ at the park
  18. Homemade red velvet pancakes
  19. Lunch at work
  20. Homemade chicken bruschetta; it was a waste of chicken!
  21. Joe, Prentyce’s cousin, with a baby that Prentyce’s sister was babysitting
  22. Delicious cupcakes for the 2/22 birthday party
  23. Homemade pink velvet and white chocolate chip cookies
  24. Lebron James poster at Nike in the Forum Shops
  25. Prentyce looking at a giant woman’s private region
  26. The temperature reading was 82 degrees
  27. The bright blinds in the master bedroom
  28. Delicious. Corned. Beef. Yum.

That’s it for the shortest month of the year! I love February, but it’s always so busy since we have to celebrate Valentines Day, our anniversary, Prentyce’s birthday, and the birthdays of three other family members. Only 10 more months to go!