Disney Day 5: Part 1 – Mickey and Tiana

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How cute is this princess sleeping? This is how Elin looked when we woke up on day 5 of our trip. This day was exciting but sad because it was our last full day in Disney and we wanted to enjoy everything!

Our first stop of the day once we arrived in Magic Kingdom was to go see Mickey Mouse at the Town Square theater. This is the only place in Disney that you can hear Mickey talk during a meet and greet. This is well worth using a fastpass for if you have a Mickey loving person in your party.

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Of course all the details to look at while you wait are seriously so amazing and intricate.

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Mickey was so awesome and we got to spend a decent amount of time with him. He first asked Elin to do the hotdog dance with him which was so adorable! Elin was shy of course, but it was clear how much she loved him. She embraced him and literally would not let go until we had to practically pry her off of him.

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After seeing Mickey, we rode rides including the Ariel ride and of course we made it to see old Belle again.

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We also enjoyed the Mickey PhilharMagic show. I wasn’t expecting much from this 3-D movie show but it was so cute and had extra touches like air blowing on you, a light water splash, and smells piped in. Truly unique and fun. It only lasted 15-20 mins or so.

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Then we went and saw Princess Tiana for the first time. We went early and were the first in line, so I got a few pictures of Elin with the flowers as we waited.

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Tiana was beautiful and very sweet. Her dress was one of the prettiest up close.

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Then we made our way over to watch the afternoon parade. They perform this Move it, Shake it parade at least two times a day and it’s fun and loud. Lots of dancing and singing.

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We also watched a show in front of the castle and Elin was waving to all the princes and princesses.

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I’m on picture overload at this point and will have to split this day into 2 posts. Check back soon for Part 2 of day 5 at Disney World.

Disney Day 4: Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique

I cannot even tell you how excited Elin was for her Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique appointment! Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique is a beauty salon for children where you can become a princess, complete with hair styling, nail polish, and princess costumes. They offer a few different packages for all different kinds of budgets. We choose the the castle package that included everything along with a photo shoot. The BBB has only 2 locations: inside Cinderella’s Castle and there is one location at Downtown Disney. This is one of the hardest reservations to get and it is advised to book at the very least 180 days in advance. However, I would recommend booking an appointment as soon as you book your tip. We actually got lucky and got someone’s cancellation. Of course there is also some strategy to try to get your appointment in the early morning to get into the park earlier or to try to book Cinderella’s Royal Table after the appointment, but we were just excited to have snagged an appointment at all.

We spent the morning riding rides and enjoying walking around the the park.

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When you walk though the door of the bustling boutique, you are taken to a display of all the different princess dress options. We of course chose Cinderella. Then you are taken back to a dressing room where the gown and accessories in the correct size are waiting for you….a bit like magic.

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Elin was assigned her Fairy Godmother in training and they went right to work on her hair and another one came to work on her makeup and nails. For those concerned about makeup, it was very minimal and barely noticeable. Elin was all about it and got to choose her eye shadow shade, blush, and gloss shade. She also got to keep the palette they used. After she had her first application of eye shadow on one eye, she reminded her godmother to not forget the other eye.

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I was surprised to see the sparkle nail polish, because in all my research I learned that the options were a very light pink or blue. Apparently this change is recent. I would have preferred the former options, but this worked as well and it was very glittery.

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After the hair was put up and makeup was applied, it was time for a shake of the wand with glitter falling and the magic words of, Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo!”

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She loved seeing the Mickey shaped rhinestone barrette they put behind the bun. For anyone considering the BBB, I highly recommend it! It was honestly our favorite thing we did in Disney. Elin loved it so much and I think it was purely magical for her. It is not cheap, but I thought it was worth every penny!

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Then when the salon part was over, we walked next door to the Castle Couture shop where they have a little photography studio. Our package came with some printed photos. It was so hard to pick our favorites. Luckily, since we have the memory maker package, we got digital copies of all the photos.

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I could not be happier with how the photos turned out. The photography studio was tiny but it was decked out with the most adorable displays from the Cinderella movie.

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Then, as luck would have it, as we were leaving the photo shoot we saw that the fairy godmother from Cinderella was out to take photos and the line was decently short. The fairy godmother was probably nicest of all the characters. She spent a long time with each child.

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Then right after that Lady Tremaine and the stepsisters from Cinderella came out. They spent a long time talking to Elin as well. I think Elin was a little concerned about it since she knows they are not very nice to Cinderella.

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After meeting the sisters, we had our fastpass+ ready to see Cinderella. I love that the costumes at BBB were such high quality and were the exact shade of the costumes the cast members wore.

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Another one of Elin’s faves is Rapunzel and she was right next to Cinderella.

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Then Elin wanted to go to Belle’s Enchanted Tales again. She was excited to be Chip in the play.

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Elin had such a good day and meet so many characters! I couldn’t resist taking a few pics of her looking so adorable in her jammies that night.

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Disney Day 3: Magic Kingdom & First Haircut

On Tuesday morning we woke up to it rainy and dark outside. This was less than ideal because we had an early morning reservation for Be Our Guest Restaurant. We are not breakfast people and prefer quicker items for breakfast but I specifically booked this reservation because I read in my planning research that if you make an early reservation to one of the restaurants in the park then you can get in early before the park opens and its an awesome way to get pictures without hoards of people in the background. I was so excited to do that but the rain put a damper on that. I was able to get some pictures, but it was slightly miserable to be in a rain poncho holding an umbrella and trying to take pictures without getting the lens wet.

Elin was also not happy to get up early. I think she was ready to sleep in since she had a late night before, but with Disney you have to make all your reservations in advance.

Here are some pictures of Main Street leading up to Cinderella’s castle.

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There were only a couple Disney photographers out, which was disappointing, but it was because of the rain. However as a side note for anyone thinking of booking a Disney vacation, we LOVED the Disney Memory Maker package that we purchased in advance. This package allowed us to get access to all photos taken. The photographers are hanging around everywhere you can have them take pictures and they all get loaded into your account. This was especially nice since we did the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique experience. More on that later.

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Below are the images from the walkway in the castle. It’s almost impossible to get pictures of this without people in it since it’s a smaller area so I was glad to get pictures on this morning.

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After some photos we made it to Be Our Guest. There is different themed rooms that all resemble the castle in the movie Beauty and the Beast.

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This girl was happy to get her milk. She was a fan of the Mickey straws she got everywhere.

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On our way out of the restaurant, we checked out all the different rooms and we saw the rose.

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Then we rode some rides before we had to make it to see TinkerBell. We rode the spinning teacups many times.

Elin was mesmerized by Tink’s wings. She still talks about her flying around.

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Then we saw Ariel in her grotto. I have to say this was the most rushed meeting. I don’t know why, but I felt like she barely had had time to talk to her. I didn’t get any good pictures of them together.

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Then after some more rides we saw the afternoon parade.

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Then it was time for Elin’s first ever haircut! I knew it was time for it and in researching Disney, I found out the Harmony Barber shop was a fun place for her first cut. It is modeled after a old barber shop. They keep them entertained with stickers and fun toys and then when they are done they get a certificate and Mickey ears with “First Haircut” stitched on the back. Plus they bagged up a lock of her hair nicely for me.

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We had our Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique appointment the next day, so I was nervous for her to cut off too much, so they just trimmed it up for us. Elin did very well and got her little certificate at the end. Our appointment was right in the middle of nap time, so I was really impressed with how well she did.

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She was up for a photo-op with some of her stickers.

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We made our way back to our hotel for her to nap a little, then we made our way back into Magic Kingdom in the evening.

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We had the best time with no wait times at the rides. We rode the teacups and the Dumbo ride endlessly without having to get out. Elin loved it! She also rode her first roller coaster, the Barnstormer. This kid has a need for speed.

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We had a long but awesome day at the park and this little girl was exhausted, but extremely excited about her princess appointment scheduled for the next day.

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Disney Day 2: Hollywood Studios & Downtown

Our second day in Disney was spent going to to Downtown Disney in the morning and then going to Hollywood Studios the rest of the day. This day was my least favorite by far. I was not a huge fan of Hollywood Studios and I didn’t plan well for this day. In retrospect, I wish we would have spent the day exploring Epcot. Maybe next time!

I just love this picture below of Elin checking out the castle. Every morning when she would wake up the first thing I would hear her say is, “I like the castle”.  She loved seeing it from her bed.

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When we first go to Downtown Disney, Elin just had to ride the carousel a few times and a little train ride. She loved them both.

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Then we did a bit of shopping, including checking out the World of Disney shop. Naturally, Elin loved the Cinderella statue and the huge coach on the sign. We spent awhile in there getting some cute souvenirs.

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We had lunch reservation for T-Rex. It was such a fun themed restaurant. Elin loved all the different displays and all the different areas of the restaurant. She particularly liked the meteor shower every 15 minutes or so.

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After lunch, we stopped at Goofy’s Candy Company to let Elin pick out a treat. She loves M&M’s, so we went with a Rice Crispy treat covered with chocolate and M&M’s. It was fun to place our custom order and watch them make the treat in front us. Elin painstakingly picked off each tiny M&M and ate them one by one. It was quite the process but we just sat and enjoyed the air conditioning as she did this and she was just excited and happy with her little treat.

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On our way out of the Downtown area, we spotted this sign and Elin was happy to get pictures next to it.

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Then after a bit of a bus ride, we arrived in Hollywood Studios. The main reason we decided to go there was for her to see the Disney Junior Live on Stage. She watches these shows all the time and I figured it would be so exciting to see them in person. It was pretty cool and it was fun to have bubbles, snow, and even gold doubloons fall from the ceiling during Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Sophia the First, Doc McStuffins, and Jake and the Neverland Pirates.

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Then we had tickets to catch the Ariel on Stage show. It was pretty cute and Elin enjoyed it. Photography was not allowed in the theater.

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Not too long after the Little Mermaid show, Elin started to get grouchy and then she just promptly fell asleep before we even made it to it the big firework display and Fantasmic show. It was bound to happen since we had been up early without any nap. I can’t believe she was asleep for almost all of the show considering it was extremely loud and had so much action going on. Luckily she woke up right at the end to catch the best part of the boat going by with all her characters.

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Disney Bound- Day 1

The day had finally arrived for our first Disney trip! We got up at a horrendously early hour to get to the airport in time for our 5:55AM flight. It was Elin’s first time on an airplane and she was so excited! She looks rather unexcited in this photo but I think it was hitting her how tired she was while waiting to board the plane.

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Elin did so good on the plane and spent the flight watching Mickey Mouse on the tablet or sleeping. I was so glad that the air pressure didn’t seem to bother her ears at all.

The flight seemed to go by quickly and before we knew it we had landed in Orlando. We then boarded Disney’s Magical Express and headed to our resort, The Contemporary. For anyone considering staying there, it was very nice and we loved it. It’s the only resort within walking distance of Magic Kingdom and has the monorail running straight through it.

Elin got so excited when she saw this sign at the airport so she just had to pose with it.

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Once we arrived at the Contemporary, we were happy to see that our room was ready and we got to go up there and change Elin into shorts before hitting the park. I believe we were in the park by 9:45am. Here was the view from our room’s balcony.

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We of course oohed and ahhed over Cinderella’s castle as we strolled down Main Street! Then we were off to our first FastPass which was Belle’s Enchanted Tales.

We didn’t know what to expect but it was such a fun interactive experience and of course meeting Belle was the highlight for Elin. We ended up doing this attraction a total of four times during the duration of our trip!

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Belle was so sweet and spent a decently long time with each child. Elin loved she was presented a bookmark with Belle’s photo on it. Her face just lit up when Belle handed it to her.

We also rode the Little Mermaid ride which was another one of  Elin’s favorites.

After walking around and checking out all the attractions, we headed back to our room to take a late nap before our dinner. We had a late dinner reservation at Chef Mickey’s.

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I was so excited for Elin to get to meet all her Clubhouse friends! She spotted a few of them when we walked and in and was literally shaking with excitement. We had just gotten seated and Minnie popped around the corner and took us all by surprise. Elin covered her eyes and acted star struck. I couldn’t believe that she wouldn’t even hug Minnie!! We did convince her to give a quick high five, though. I was starting to freak out that she was going to be afraid of everyone, but she acted fine after that and hugged and smiled with everyone else. I think Minnie just took her by surprise or something.

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We then headed back into the park to ride more rides and to watch the fireworks. The Fireworks were of course so magical and Elin was just captivated by the whole display on the castle and the Wishes song.

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Then because we are such rebels we headed to our out 10:30PM Fast Pass to meet Anna and Elsa.   10:30PM!! Yes, we totally let Elin stay up crazy late even thought we had been up since 4:30 AM but we had taken a nice nap that afternoon and this was the only FastPass we could get for those fun-loving Arendale gals and we were not going to miss it! They have the longest wait time and are the most sought after attraction in Disney right now and we knew we would not be able to see them otherwise.

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I don’t know why Elin looks so nonplussed in these photos. She really was excited.

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Anna was very charming and quirky.

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On our way out of the park we got distracted by the electrical parade!

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When we got back to the hotel room Elin, got a little surprise for being so good and surviving such a long day. She received a Jaq and Gus stuffed animal from the Cinderella movie and she was thrilled. Whomever mentioned in a Disney blog to bring kids new toys to play with in the hotel was a genius, because these little stuffed animals were a huge hit and kept her entertained the whole time we were in the hotel room.

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Our first day at Disney was long but Magical! We got to see and do so many exciting things. If you survived my picture overload, thank you for reading and stay tuned for Day 2.

Disney Princess Mania- Target Dollar Section Spring 2015

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The dollar section at Target never disappoints and right now it is completely full of Disney princess gear. The items are perfect for traveling (especially to Disney World!) and for just any Disney loving toddler.

I primarily picked my items based on our upcoming trip and I think I found several new and exciting items that will entertain Elin on the plane, in the hotel, and even waiting in line at the parks.

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This item is a cheat because technically this is one of those items that falls in the $3 category. There is a hardcover book with stickers, stencils, and gel pens. We already have an autograph book for all those Disney signatures, but this could work for a cheaper alternative or an extra one.

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This is another good sized notebook that I am planning to let Elin carry around to distract her from pawing up her autograph book. Also, the little princess crayons were not in the dollar section but were back in the crayon section for a dollar.

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This sticker book is so cute with stickers included. Elin will love this for sure and hopefully it keeps her from sticking the stickers all over herself or the hotel room.

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I was super excited to see a Disney princess glow stick! This would be great for anytime but especially for our Disney trip!! I have heard that the parks sell glow sticks but that they are pricey. I don’t think the bath drops are probably worth a dollar but I had to to get them to make her baths more “magical” in Disney! Definitely trying them out in a hotel tub and now our own!

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This reusable bag with all the characters is also so fun. It’s a great size and I think it will also make an adorable gift bag for only a dollar.

There you have it. I love seeing what others find at the dollar section, so let me know if you spot anything awesome!

Disney World Planning

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I have been quieter than normal here on the blog because I have been busy planning Elin’s 3rd birthday, re-organizing many of my closets, and last but not least–planning our first ever Disney World vacation!!!

The countdown is on and we will be going to Disney World very soon! Due to the fact we booked our trip rather recently, we have not had a lot of time to prepare and research as much as I thought we would. However, I have come across some excellent resources that I thought I would share in case anyone else out there is planning their first Disney trip!

1.)  Chatting over Chocolate: As soon as I booked our Disney vacation, I knew I had to immediately visit one of my favorite Disney blog/vloggers. Brenda and her family know their way well around Disney and I just love reading all about her tips and tricks for navigating the parks. Plus she and I have been having fun chatting Disney together. Here are just a few Disney blog planning posts I really enjoyed:

Choosing the Perfect Disney Character Meal for Your Family:

 

10 Tips to Help You Get the Most Out of Your Disney Character Meal:

 

Dozen Ways to SAVE Before, During, and After Your Disney World Vacation:

 

2.) WDW Prep School: is another great blog that has tons of Disney world information on it. I based our trip on her crowd calendar information. In fact, I noticed she just recently posted the crowd calendar for 2016.

 

3.) Packing List: I am working on a packing list and I came across this packing list and thought it looks very helpful for anyone packing with a toddler. I will be using this packing list along with one I customize for myself.

 

4.) Disney Dining: There is a lot of debate as to whether the Disney Dining Plan. I think everyone just needs to decide for themselves and their family if it makes sense to purchase one. This app is great for looking at all the different dining options and pricing.

 

5.) Disney Resort Guide: When it comes to Disney World, the endless choices do not end with the lodging options. There are so many different price points and there are pros and cons to each resort. This guide helpful with very in-depth reviews of each resort.

 

All these websites and blogs have played an integral part of my  planning process. I hope you will find them interesting and helpful if you are planning a trip to Walt Disney World.

 

Toddler Snacks

Elin is a pretty healthy eater but lately she has been trying more sweets and snack items and I am trying to steer her back toward healthier items. She got lots of Easter candy and that’s great, but I don’t want her to start to favor these sweets over her current favorite snack options.

I think toddlerhood is such an important time to introduce and form healthy eating habits.

Here are just few of Elin’s favorite snack items.  Hopefully they give you some ideas of what to try with your toddler.

 

Water and Milk Only: Elin drinks exclusively water and milk right now. The day will come when she starts to like juices and soft drinks, but right now is not the time for that. She loves water and milk and they are the healthiest options out there for her right now. I literally shudder to think of the day I hear her whining for juice.

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Yogurt: Elin loves yogurt with snacks and with her meals. She has recently starting loving Chobani Tots and Chobani Kids. It’s healthy greek yogurt in fun portable tubes. I love how the tubes make it mess free and easy to travel without using a spoon.

Baby carrots: These are great because they are already cut to the perfect size so all they need is a quick rinse and they are ready to be eaten. This is helpful when she is following me around the kitchen asking for a snack right this instant.

Pretzels

Pretzels: When Elin asks for chips, I usually give her small individual bag of pretzels. I love the holiday packs we find at Target in the seasonal section. Elin loves that it’s in a little individual bag that she can hold.

Slice of Bread: Elin loves bread! She will sometimes just ask for a plain slice of bread. Sometimes I put peanut butter on it and sometimes she just wants it plain. So far she likes any kind if bread I have bought, so we have been able to get her wheat instead of white.

 

What healthy snack items do you suggest trying with a toddler? I feel like we stick with the same things and would love new suggestions.

Easter and Four Egg Hunts

Elin celebrated her Easter with many celebrations and four Easter egg hunts. The first egg hunt took place on Saturday at my parents’ church. We showed up on on the time but apparently the egg hunt had just started. Despite a late start, Elin found tons of eggs and we had to cut her off from collecting them because her basket was actually overflowing. After the egg hunt, she had a great time going through all her eggs and finding all the candy, toys, and stickers inside.

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The next day on Easter she was so excited to get downstairs and see what the bunny had brought her. She was thrilled with her basket of goodies. The standout item was the Cinderella magic clip doll, of course! She was so excited to get them out and immediately start playing.

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Angel decided to pose and look cute with the Easter basket.

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The bunny of course dropped off some eggs in the yard to hunt which was fun to look for. The morning was so beautiful and springy. Perfect Easter weather.

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Then it was off to Nana and Papa’s for Easter lunch and another Easter egg hunt. Elin had a fun time playing with her cousins and getting another basket of goodies.

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Then later in the afternoon, she went on another egg hunt at my husband’s sister’s house. Her Oma made her a basket to collect all her eggs in.

She got lots of goodies at all her celebrations and had so much fun.

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Bunny and Lamb

Elin was one lucky girl last weekend when she got to have her photo taken with a real bunny and lamb! A friend of ours noticed a local photography studio was doing these photos and we were lucky enough to grab one of the last spots available. I knew Elin was going to be so excited and, as anticipated, she was! She got to see the bunny first which was such a little fluff ball of fur. He was very gentle and sweet. The lamb was so sweet as well but he was more adventurous and was skipping all around the set. He was a little harder to capture. Overall I think the pictures turned out well.

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