Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hello! It's been a while since I've posted- I apologize for that. But I am involved in a lot activities plus an overwhelming amount of schoolwork. It's doesn't give me that much time to post. :-(

Oh well, I just wanted to wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving!

(p.s. I don't own that picture.)

Monday, October 22, 2012

SeaWorld and Universal Studios

Hey all! I visited SeaWorld and Universal Studios Islands of Adventure last weekend and I had soooo much fun! I had a really great experience at both parks, and I'm really excited to share my tips and tricks on enjoying both parks, as well as the many photos I took!

One of the best parts of our trip was going in the fall, it was beautiful weather- with temperatures in the mid-70s with light breezes. It wasn't hot, but it wasn't too hot that the water rides didn't cool you off. Above is a photo of my brother and sister and I in front of the Shamu Stadium sign. 

They have Shamu pretzels! Like, they are whale shaped pretzels! Isn't that amazing!

We went to the "One Ocean" show. It was very cool- although there was like five Shamus there. 

The trainers were very great with the animals. I would really reccomend you get to the stadiums at least 30-45 minutes before the show starts to get the best seats. If you are bored waiting, do like we did and raid the snack bar. We ate while we waited so we weren't distracted during the show.

Another thing that we did  (which I would definitely recommend) is visit the Dolphin Nursery. This is a quieter, cheaper, and less crowded alternative to the dolphin feeding station. When we visited the SeaWorld in San Antonio last spring break, we went to the dolphin feeding station and it was very crowded, not to mention it costs an obscene amount of money to purchase food for the dolphins. Since we had already visited the feeding station before, we decided to try the Dolphin Nursery in Orlando. It was great! While you don't get to interact with the dolphins, you do get to see them- including the tiny ones!

We also visited one of the Clyde and Seamore shows they have there. These are the "funny" shows that included audience interaction as well as sea lions, otters, and walruses. These are definitely better shows for younger kids as they are funny, relatively short, and include a wide variety of animals.

Here's a photo of the adorable little otter carrying the treasure map!

Here are the trainer/actors with the animals featured.

We also saw "Blue Horizons" which is a dolphin and parrot show. It's very "symbolic" and follows a "story line." Really, it's a very beautiful show with fabulous acrobatics courtesy of the dolphins. 

This was really a once-in-a-lifetime shot. It's really not the best photo I've ever taken, but it shows every part of the show- the five dolphins, the parrots, and the actors in the background. 

Here are travel tips that will make your trip at SeaWorld very enjoyable:
  • visit in the fall- smaller crowds and more enjoyable weather
  • plan around the shows- the shows are really the best part and really make the "SeaWorld" experience
  • snack throughout the day- it's much cheaper to snack throughout the day and save your money, then go to a restaurant outside of SeaWorld and get a huge meal, vs. eating all day at the park

Islands of Adventure (at Universal Studios)

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is definitely the best part of the trip! This time around, we did everything- eating there, going to Ollivander's, and riding Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey.

It's really a picturesque park- it feels like you're walking into J.K. Rowling's books. 

Hogwarts. Ahhh....
Anyways, here "takes place" the Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride. This is only ride in the Harry Potter part of the park that does not allow you to use "Express Passes," so it's especially important to get to this ride early and have it be the first thing you do. It really is worth the wait! Speaking of waiting, the wait line is "in Hogwarts." You walk through the greenhouses, Dumbldore's study, the Defense Against the Dark Arts classroom, and the hallways or Hogwarts. It's not a boring wait, but it can be a long one. I recommend if it's your second+ time on the ride or you are going by yourself, use the "Single Riders Line." While you don't pass through the above locations, you do get in and out in about 10 minutes.

Here's a photo of my brother, sister, and I in front of Hogwarts. If you're curios, my sister is drinking butterbeer (you HAVE to get it if you're there). They have both chilled and regular butterbeers, and while I liked both, the chilled was just a teensy-bit better.

Move right over to Jurassic park, they have this cute little photo-op perfect ride. My brother and sister both enjoyed it. 

We also ate at the Three Broomsticks in Harry Potter. The food was actually really good with decently priced kid's meals. It really completed the Harry Potter experience. 

Here's another shot of the restaurant. It looks a lot like it does in the movies!

Here are travel tips that will make your trip at Islands of Adventure very enjoyable:
  • visit in the fall- smaller crowds and nicer weather
  • spend the extra money and stay on-sight- you get easier access to the parks as well as a free express pass
  • if you can't stay on-sight, still purchase the express pass, it really is worth it, especially if you love going on roller coasters
  • while this post was mainly about The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, the other sights are fun too, like Marvel and Jurassic Park
Have you ever been to the parks above? Do you think I provided got tips? Did you like this post, anyways? :-)

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Baby Name Tuesday: Week 9

Hello all! Today, for this BNT, we will be focusing on the most popular names of the 1910s.  This BNT is going to be a questionnaire, giving you popular names from the 1910s corresponding with your  answers. For example,

Girl's Name #1
FN What is your favorite color?
Blue- Betty
Green- Gabrielle
Yellow- Yolanda
Red- Rachael
MN What is your favorite pet?
Dog- Daphne
Bird- Britton
Cat- Catalina
So, if your favorite color was green and your favorite pet was a bird, the girl's name would be Gabrielle Britton. Cool right? You can use this game to make "families" but it's really just for fun!

Boy's Name #1
FN What's your favorite Disney Channel show out of the following?
Good Luck Charlie- Charles
Austin and Ally- Angelo
Shake It Up- Sylvester
Jessie- Julius
MN Out of these destinations, which you would most like to visit?
Santorini, Greece- Glen
Edinburgh, Scotland- Frederick
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil- Bernard
Canberra, Australia- Forrest

Boy's Name #2
FN What's your favorite sport out of the following?
Soccer- Ivan
Gymnastics/Cheerleading- Clayton
Ice Hockey- Orville
Softball- Lawrence
MN Out of these, what's your favorite flavor of chips?
Barbecue- Fred
Sour Cream and Onion- Peter
Chedder- Leonard

Girl's Name #1
FN What's your favorite clothing brand out of the following?
Forever 21- Julia
Hollister- Virginia
Delia's- Josephine
Nike- Mattie
MN Out of the following, which is your favorite country singer/group?
Lady Antebellum- Blanche
Taylor Swift- Lorraine
Carrie Underwood-Lucile
Miranda Lambert- Eloise

Girl's Name #2
FN What is your favorite game out of the following?
Life- Carolyn
Clue- Addie
Yahtzee- Geneva
Operation- Vera
MN What's your favorite summer camp activity?
Archery- Rosemary
Arts and Crafts- Sylvia
Swimming/Water Activities- Alma
Drama- Mabel

So, what names did you get? I got Charles Glen, Clayton Peter, Josephine Lucile, and Addie Mabel. I think all of these are names very classic and somewhat cute, but I don't think I would ever actually use them. :-)

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Baby Name Tuesday: Week 8

Hello! Can you believe it's week 8? :-O Already? Wow! Well, this week I'm still continuing on with my decade series, but also combining it with celebrity baby names (which was the winner in my poll). I hope you like it!

This week, I'm focusing on most popular baby names from 1900-1909. Many celebrities within the past 6 years have chosen very vintage (yet gorgeous) names for their kids. Here are some below!
Tori Spelling and her husband welcomed Hattie Margaret last year. Both of these names were very popular in the 1900s (Hattie was #64 and Margaret was #3).
Maya Rudolph and Paul Thomas Anderson’s first daughter, Pearl Bailey, was born in 2005, however her name has been around for a lot longer. Pearl was #31 in the 1900s.
Angeline Jolie and Brad Pitt have a beautiful little girl named Vivienne. While her spelling wasn't very popular in the 1900s, the more traditional spelling of Vivian was #129.
Jennifer Garner and her husband Ben Affleck welcomed baby Samuel this year. He is just precious- and Samuel (#39) is such a cute name.
Last year, Prince Frederik and Princess Margaret of Denmark welcomed twins! Both have very classic and vintage names. The oldest is Prince Vincent (#114) Frederik Minik Alexander (#97) and his twin sister is Princess Josephine (#37) Sophia (#196) Ivalo Mathilda.
These are just some of the many celebrity vintage baby names out there! Personally, my favorites would have to be Vivienne and Samuel. What are yours?
You can view the entire list of popular 1900s name right here.
What do you think of this post? Did you like learning about celebrity baby names? Please tell me in the comments!
p.s. I don't own any of the photos. 

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Guess Where I'm Headed!

Hi. Just look at this nice photo:
Ain't it gorgeous?
But, can you guess where I'm headed?

Another photo. Oh- look at that snow. Am I going up North?

Nope! I'm headed to Universal Studios Florida and...
Sea World Orlando!
My fall break is this week so my family to taking visit to Orlando to enjoy all it has to offer (which is basically just theme parks).

I hope to purchase some fun Harry Potter goodies in Universal (maybe even something for a possible giveaway...) and I'll even go behind the scenes in Sea World. :-) I'm taking my camera this time, so expect some fun pictures in about a week. 


Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Baby Name Tuesday: Week 7

Hello guys!
Today for this Baby Name Tuesday, we will be talking about the most popular baby names in the 1890s! For this week, here's a fun baby name to go with the most popular names from the 1890s. (You may remember this game from BNT: Week 4.) For those of you don't know how to play, simply find the girl name and the boy name that corresponds with your birth month (the first name) and your birth date (the middle name). Then you end up with 2 very old-timey names!

Girls' Names
month (first name):
January = Ruth
February = Bessie
March = Gertrude
April = Frances
May = Lillie
June = Iva
July = Nina
August = Eliza
September = Belle
October = Frieda
November = Madeline
December = Delia

date (middle name):
01 = Celia
02 = Genevieve
03 = Amelia
04 = Lela
05 = Emily
06 = Ellen
07 = Ruby
08 = Katherine
09 = Viola
10 = Maggie
11 = Nora
12 = Effie
13 = Anne
14 = Eleanor
15 = Lucille
16 = Dorothy
17 = Mae
18 = Stella
19 = Rosa
20 = Amanda
21 = Rebecca
22 = Violet
23 = Amy
24 = Verna
25 = Sophia
26 = Isabelle
27 = Josephine
28 = Ada
29 = Lucy
30 = Mamie
31 = Pearl

Boys' Names
month (first name):
January = Ernest
February = Roy
March = Charles
April = Clarence
May = Oscar
June = Jesse
July = Alfred
August = Russell
September = Clifford
October = Jacob
November = Edwin
December = Theodore

date (middle name):
01 = Calvin
02 = Dave
03 = Dan
04 = Nathan
05 = Wesley
06 = Mack
07 = Emmett
08 = Matthew
09 = Harrison
10 = Kenneth
11 = Anthony
12 = Michael
13 = Floyd
14 = Louis
15 = William
16 = Simon
17 = Jasper
18 = Owen
19 = Aaron
20 = Clinton
21 = Cornelius
22 = Ross
23 = Roscoe
24 = Harrison
25 = Wilbur
26 = Vernon
27 = Bennie
28 = Percy
29 = Willard
30 = August
31 = Nelson

I got Delia Lucille and Theodore William (my birthday is December 15). I kind of like both of them! What did you get? You can see the full list of most popular 1890s names here.


Thursday, September 27, 2012

A Care Package for a Sweet Girl

Hello guys.

A sweet camp friend of mine, Amanda, was just diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma last weekend. Hodgkin's lymphoma is a cancer of lymph tissue that affects the spleen, borne marrow, or other sites.

I met Amanda last summer at my summer camp, and I have known her sister, Shauna, even longer. Shauna and I went to camp two years ago, met back last summer, and have remained friends throughout those years. It was so much fun meeting her sister this year and it was heart breaking to learn she was diagnosed with cancer.

Amanda and Shauna live about 45 minutes away from me and we have never gotten the chance to see each other except for summer camp. We text and talk are still friends throughout the school year, but it's not the same as going to the same school or living in the same neighborhood, which makes it even more sad knowing that I won't get to see them and offer my support face-to-face.

My mom came up with a great idea to send Amanda a care package filled with goodies so she isn't bored throughout chemo or her months of home-schooling, and she knows that we wish her the best. But, I don't know what to put in the care package!  I've already started a small list below:

  • the latest issue of Seventeen and Teen Vogue
  • The Dark Unwinding (a really excellent novel)
  • nail polish
  • iTunes gift card.
I still need some more ideas, though! Please suggest anything that you think a 12-year-old girl would like. Whether it's favorite novels (please, nothing cancer related or depressing or inappropriate), favorite magazines, favorite movies, or things you like to do in your free time. I'd really appreciate this (and I know Amanda would too).

My mom and I are planning to put these items in a colorfully decorated box and send them to her so she knows even her camp friends are looking out for her. :-)

Thank you for your suggestions- I can't wait to read them!