Category Archives flowers and plants

Photos on the Go – Appreciating Nature

You never know what may be photo worthy when you are out and about. Often times, I just use my phone quickly to capture something that I want to check into later. Sometimes, I know if I do not get it with my phone , the moment will be lost by the time I get my camera out of my purse. Here are some of those moments from the last week that focus on nature.

On Sunday, it was time to tackle the over grown lawn. Thanks to the dry summer, TechyDad has used our new Black and Decker lawn mower much. It came out and did a nice job shortening the green weeds that make up our lawn areas.

Green Grass and new lawn mower

While wondering around, I also noticed a single white rose. This new rose plant came off of one that had previous been died. None of the other buds made it this year, but this beautiful sign of life came out to say hello that morning.

Lone White Rose

While heading into the library on Monday, the boys and I noticed a lot of activity in the butterfly garden. There were at least a dozen butterflies flying around the flowers. They were amazing to watch and the boys asked me to take out the camera to snap a photo. On the way out, I snagged an extra one with my phone and there was a little bee hanging out as well.

Beautiful Butterfly and Bee

While walking back into the house on Wednesday, a little someone caught my eye. Thank goodness it was nothing too exciting. Just a beautiful little lady that I noted in my letter to the boys.

Lucky Little Ladybug

Then, while getting the garbage cans ready, I noticed the beautiful blooms on the side of the house. These trees have really taken over this summer and the flowers on them have remained for weeks.

Flowers in our yard

No, these photos may not be perfect, but they were taken while on the go. I was able to spend a few moments appreciating nature, her creations, and capture them to look at and smile again later. No doubt these will be appreciated more in the winter months.

What photos have you taken while out and about this week? I would love to know and hear more about how you capture those unique moments while on the go.

It's Me

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Welcome Home to Disney’s Art of Animation Resort

I have been going to Walt Disney World since the late 1970’s. I can remember before a lot of the resorts were built. On the flip-side, I can also recall the wonder of visiting many of them for the first time. What I had never done before the 2012 Disney Social Media Moms Celebration was tour a resort before it opened.

Art of Animation Resort

Yes, on the last evening of the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration, our families were whisked away by buses to an amazing new world. The Art of Animation Resort does not officially open until May 31. When you pull onto the grounds, it is hard not to feel the magic that you are about to live. No, it is well beyond an experience.

The minds behind Disney’s Art of Animation Resort truly have thought of everything. The resort brings you into the world of Disney Animation and will put you into four movie worlds. Yes, by the end of the year you will be able to spend time with these amazing Disney classics.

Four Worlds to Explore

On May 31, Finding Nemo will officially open up to the public. Cars will open June 18, Lion King August 10, and The Little Mermaid wing will finalize the resort September 15. The Art of Animation Resort is a value property consisting of mostly family suites. The initial three phases will contain the suites. The Little Mermaid area will be themed, but with rooms like Pop Century which is adjacent to the new resort. Rates for the 1,120 family suites will begin at $248 per night. These rooms can sleep up to six and include two bathrooms, a kitchenette, and three sleeping areas. The 864 standard rooms will sleep up to four and will be as low as $95 a night.

The story telling begins the moment you walk into the door of the lobby – Animation Hall.  When you go in, be sure to look up at the amazing chandelier that is made up of animation storyboards.


As you continue walking, you will see pencil sketches that begin telling stories of Nemo, Lightning McQueen, Simba, and Ariel. Their worlds come alive as the drawings are fine tuned and begin to have color added to them throughout the hall.

Welcome time

Once it is time to check into the resort, you go to smaller individual greeting desks. Here cast members will assist you in making your magical vacation begin.

Time to check in

After checking in, it is finally time to head out to find your room. When doing this, you will likely walk outside and get your initial view of the “Big Blue” pool area. Get ready to be wowed. Seeing it in photos is not going to be the same as watching the world of Finding Nemo appear before your eyes. This Nemo world includes the largest resort swimming pool in all of Walt Disney World. It measures 11,859 square feet.

Big Blue Pool

Just looking at the pool makes you want to “Keep on Swimming” like Dory would say. As you wander around the pool area, you will see colorful reefs, Nemo, Marlin, Mr. Ray, Crush, and other friends from under the sea.

Nemo friends by the pool

Behind the main pool area is a children’s splash area. Imagine an afternoon here letting the kids run, play, and cool off after a morning at the parks

Splash and Play

Of course, if you prefer a place for the kids to stay dry while running and playing, head over to Squirt. Yes, the little dude is watching over the Righteous Reef which is a children’s play area.

Righteous Reef Play Area

If you are staying in the Finding Nemo rooms, be sure to pay attention to the details along the route. Even the plants make it seem like you are swimming along with Nemo and friends. In addition to this, the side of the buildings have fish that are your friends, along with sharks, adding to the beautiful theming. Oh and don’t forget to look up as well. You may recognize some of MINE my friends there.

Attention to details low and high

We were allowed to tour the Finding Nemo suites and it was beyond gorgeous inside the rooms. While I love the theming at each of the previous Disney resorts that I have stayed at, I do believe this may be my favorite. There is just something extra special about sleeping in a world from one of your favorite Disney films. When you walk into the room you will be greeted with a table and chairs. When ready for a nap or to sleep for the night, this area transforms into a double bed. The murphy bed has a Nemo scene above it for sweet dreams.

Sleep time transformation

The rest of this room includes a kitchenette area, along with a couch that transforms into a sofa bed, and television. Note the fine details from the art on the wall, the coral lamps, and beyond.

Main Room Area

The two bathrooms are amazing and I would love either/both of them in my own home. Of course, even the mirror reminds you of some very important words from Finding Nemo.

Both bathrooms

The separate bedroom area has a queen size bed, television, dresser, and full bathroom within the space. Once again, you will see that you are under the sea in every way possible.

Bedroom area

My father was actually able to snag some photos of the Cars area that will be opening in mid-June. The paved road in this area will lead you to the Cozy Cone Motel that will also have a Cozy Cone pool and cone-shaped cabanas.

Cozy Cone Motel

Just from these views of the resort, I can only imagine how stupendous (my son’s favorite word) the Lion King area will be with the elephant graveyard for kids to play and Ariel’s grotto with treasures from The Little Mermaids human world collection. My boys can not wait to stay in this resort. My little kiddo did not understand why we could not go back to Nemo Land after this night. Yes, he truly thought it was a destination in itself.

One other area that we saw a small sneak peek into was the food court area. This dining location is called The Landscape of Flavors and will feature items that include fresh smoothies, hand-scooped gelato, and Mongolian barbecue. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner will be served, along with snacks here, the poolside snack bar, and pizza delivery.

Dining area

There is so much more to be found and explored within the Art of Animation Resort, but you will have to capture those memories with your friends and family. I know that we hope to stay here one day soon.

So if you were to go to the Art of Animation right now, what would be your first must see item?

It's Me

Disclosure: Although we paid for our own trip to Disney World to attend the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration, we were given an incredible deal from Disney. Also note that Disney never asked us to blog about this event. As a long time Disney fan, it is my pleasure to share my experiences from the event.

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Spring or Summer

Winter turning into Spring is a pretty big event in our neck of the woods. It typically means that  the snow fall amounts will lessen, and the bone chilling temperatures fade away some. What you do not expect is to see temperatures well into the upper 70’s on the last official day of winter. Remember, I live in New York State, not Florida.

Flowers are not typically something that we see quite this early. Normal highs for this time are in the upper 40’s. So when you walk out your front door to the following, you stop to take a photo.

Spring is here

When I took JSL to nursery school the other day, I noticed that they had a lot of daffodils already out of the ground and open. When I pulled into the driveway, I spotted yellow by the fence. I pulled my camera out to capture these beauties before the bunnies and birds get to them.

Daffodils are out

The weather is gorgeous, but it is HOT in the house. We went from trying to stay warm with the heat on at 63, to the living room reading 79 last night. So my question to you this week is inspired by the warmer than usual temperatures.

Assuming you have air conditioning units, or central AC, when is the earliest you will use them and why?

We do not have our window AC units in yet. Kind of early since the temperatures are likely going to shift. For now, fans are working really well since the house is warm, but not sticky like it gets in the summer. The cooler temperatures should arrive back this weekend and I will enjoy wearing my sweatshirt outside when taking walks.

It's Me


Thanks to Kailani at An Island Life for starting this fun for Friday. Please be sure to head over to her blog to say hello and sign the linky there if you are participating.

Aloha Friday by Kailani at An<br<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
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    Island<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />

Aloha #195

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