The 10 Commandments of Disney World (Part Deux)

The 10 Commandments of a Successful Disney World Vacation by The Big Reveal

If you were around these parts on Monday, you saw the first half of my epic 10 Commandments for a successful Disney World adventure.  We had a bit of a slow start to our Disney vacation and learned quite a few lessons. I am hoping to save you from some of the pain, misery, and childhood Disney dream crushing that we went through. (Catch up on the first 5 Commandments here.)

Fair warning: This post is going to be a little on the longer side, but I feel compelled to tell you all the things that I wish someone had told me before I went and dropped some major cash at Disney.  

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The 10 Commandments of Disney World (Part One)

The 10 Commandments of Disney World (Part One) from The Big Reveal

(After writing this post, I realized it was just so darn long that I had to split it into two posts.  Stay tuned on Wednesday for part two!  I’m throwing in some of our vacations pictures for good measure. And, trust me, if you are going to Disney or even think you might, you should Pin this list and save yourself compete and utter Disney heartache and have the magical Disney adventure you are dreaming of!)

As you guys know, Nate, Lulu and I went to Disney World last week (and, just to clear the air, nope this trip wasn’t sponsored, so the opinions here are purely my own).  The last time we visited Disney, Lulu was just 18 months old and we went more for our son, Jayce (aka The Kid).  He was pretty bored with Disney World once his cousins introduced him to Universal Studios, so when we told him we might go back this summer while he was visiting Virginia, he was all for it. 

We were just in the talking stage until a few weeks ago when we found out I would have to go to Tampa for work and then it was on.  With literally two weeks to spare, we booked our trip to Disney which didn’t leave a lot of time to plan or even think about what we would do while there.   The last trip, Lulu and I mostly walked around in her stroller and waited while the boys rode rides, but this time with Lulu at almost 6 years old, it would be all about her.

The only planning I did for this trip was grabbing a new pair of Chuck Taylors, a couple new pairs of shorts and new tops.  Technically that isn’t so much planning as just ensuring my body was covered, since up until this point I owned maybe 1 pair of shorts. (Have you seen how pale I am?  My shade of vampiric white is not exactly shorts conducive.)  In any event, I rolled up at Disney World with my freshly laundered shorts and my dreams.

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Beach in a Glass

Beach in a Glass Cocktails from The Big Reveal

About a year ago, my friend, Jen, introduced me to Joia all natural sodas.  Joia is not too syrupy sweet and has a range of really interesting flavors, like Pineapple, Coconut and Nutmeg or Grapefruit, Chamomile, and Cardamom.  The sodas on their own are delicious, but Jen planted a little seed about a year ago that they probably would be super tasty as cocktails.  I tested a few out, but it wasn’t until I found Far North Spirits that I had that eureka moment.  I put the two together and it was like the clouds parted and angels started singing (do they do that over cocktails?)  In any event, the taste is full on magical beach in a glass deliciousness.

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The Poisoned Apple

Food Poisoning by The Big Reveal

First I have to apologize for the missed post on Monday…let me explain.  As you may know, Nate and I brought Lulu on a little Disney adventure.  The weekend started off on a rocky note with Nate hurting his foot and Lulu having an allergic reaction, but they leveled out quickly and we had a truly magical time.  After 4 days at Disney, we were wrapping things up and preparing for the work part of my trip when something truly awful happened…

I ate a poisoned apple.

Ok, not really, but I did get food poisoning.  For those of you who have never had the pleasure of having food poisoning, it is a condition in which your insides end up on your outsides and you wish you could crawl into a dark corner and die.  In the wee hours of Monday morning, I awoke to the above havoc-reeking-intestine-destroying-death-begging affliction and there was not even a remote consideration of posting.  I apologize.  Heartily.

Today, I am back on fluids.  Intaking fluids that is.  Yay!  Small victories. By Friday’s post, I am praying I will be fully operational and we can get back to TBR bloggy biz.

Thanks for being patient and understanding. See you all back here on Friday!

Till Friday,


Up in the Clouds

Clouds from my plane

The view from our plane…


If you follow along on my Instagram account, you may already know that yesterday we hopped a plane to Disney World!  I already had a work trip planned to Florida and we decided we would tack a few extra days on to hit Disney.  We got into Florida midday and holy humidity, batman!  My hair nearly quadrupled in size. It was impressive.

I had another post planned for you for today, but after hiccup after hiccup (ranging from problems with rental cars, sadsies wifi, the hubs hurting his foot, the daughter having an allergic reaction), I gave in to what the universe was clearly telling me…let it go.

So, I will be back on Monday with all of our regularly scheduled programming. I’ve got some fun things in store for us.  Lulu and I actually planned a post together and shot the pictures…ON A PLANE! (Talk about a photography challenge!) In the meantime, let’s all take a deep breath together and get a little relaxation in this weekend.

Till Monday,


Currently Crushing: Calligraphy

Currently Crushing: Calligraphy

As you guys know, I love my Too Legit calligraphy print from A Fabulous Fete.  That Lauren Saylor is one talented chica.  I’ve been talking with her about putting together a little something special for you all, so stay tuned for that!  In the meantime, I have gotten a crazy fixation on calligraphy of all types.  Anyone else know what I’m talking about?

When it comes to penmanship, I think I may have missed that day in grade school, because mine is woeful. Woeful, I tell you.  And, it is at such odds with my love for handwritten letters. Oh, the injustice! (Insert dramatic sigh…) It often holds me back from things I want to do, like just recently when I sent the Tess + Tricia necklace to the giveaway winner. In my perfect blogger montage, I hand lettered a beautiful thank you card to accompany the necklace (on my all white desk with a vase of peonies obvi).  Instead she got a thoughtfully handcrafted email

When I saw Lauren’s post on her favorite calligraphy tools, I got wicked inspired to learn myself and I am guessing there are a few of you out there that want to, too!  I wish Lauren would teach a class, but till she does, here are a few other resources that I’m thinking about:

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The Great Closet Purge and an Organizational Challenge

The Great Closet Purge from The Big Reveal

It has been a long time in coming.  I told you all that I wanted to start my fashion forward journey with a clean slate and I finally did it.  It was time to do the great purge.  So, I set aside a couple of hours and I got my team together (and by team I mean my husband and daughter to give me a little moral support and alternately heckle my poor fashion choices for some much needed comic relief.)

Before I could even think about adding to my closet and starting to really curate a collection of things I could heart fully, I had to let go of the things that were weighing me down and take an inventory of what I have. 

In addition to having all these clothes that needed to be kicked to the curb (aka passed on to a loving home), my closet was also a full on hot mess.  Now, I don’t know if the kids are saying “hot mess” anymore these days, but it just seems apropos.  A little outdated, like my wardrobe.

Here’s the hot mess I started with…

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Rosy Rhubarb Lemonade Cocktail (and An Epic Fail!)

Rosy Rhubarb Lemonade Cocktail from The Big Reveal

Sometimes I get these bursts of creative energy that we jokingly term “brain blasts”  in our house.  I see something or hear something that makes my brain just explode with ideas that I have to write down or do ASAP.  I am never without a notepad…even in the shower (true and moderately embarrassing story.)

As you may know, I am obsessed with rhubarb.  I think about it for months before summer finally arrives and when I finally see those ruby pink stalks in the produce section, I have been known to actually gasp…out loud (also true and somewhat more embarrassing story.)

Recently when I discovered Art in the Age of Spirits makes a rhubarb tea liquor, my brain had a near meltdown at the possibilities.  The first idea I had seemed oh so good in theory, but the second, infinitely easier option ended up being the hands down winner.  Let’s start with the winner and don’t worry, in the spirit of keeping it real, I’ll tell you all about the fail that earned a resounding “Non-Hollah!” from my husband.

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Garden Party Girl’s Room

Garden Party Girl's Room from The Big Reveal

I had no sooner hit publish on my post for July 4th when I heard my daughter’s footsteps run down the hall and a plaintiff wail of “Mommy!”  Someone was sick which threw out all our grandiose plans for the holiday. Because we ended up stuck in the house for the whole day, we decided to tackle a project that has been taunting us for a while. We cleaned out Lulu’s closet.  So, what does that have to do with a Garden Party Girl’s Room?  Let me explain.

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A Classic Wrap Dress: Two Ways

I’ve sworn off buying anything new until I have a chance to go through my closet and decide what pieces I truly need, but broke my own rule when our dog jumped up on my favorite trusty wrap dress and her giant paws caught the fabric leaving a trail of mini tears in her wake.  

This weekend I happened to find this replacement wrap dress on sale at Banana Republic. Hollah! You can never really go wrong with a simple wrap dress, so I snatched this one up! They also have it in some fun jewel tone colors, so I may have to go back for more than one.  A wrap dress is probably THE most versatile piece of women’s clothing and I wanted to take mine from a more formal work look to something a little more casual.

Let’s start with the classic work look.  If you work in a traditional environment like I do, this look is a nice balance of simple with a tiny bit of edge.

Wrap Dress Styled for Work from The Big Reveal

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