Friday, February 28, 2014

The Road to runDisney: The Best of Both Worlds

I love the treadmill. There, I said it!

The consistent pace, the climate control, getting to listen to something other than the deafening silence of the great outdoors (more on that later)- let's just say I'm a fan. Unfortunately, half marathons are not typically run in the haven of a gym cardio floor, so when my long run rolls around each weekend, I am face with the age-old dilemma: inside or out?

I most often am forced to hit the pavement on the basis of sheer logistics; the treadmills in my university's fitness centers have a one-hour limit, and after that long I usually feel like a machine-hog anyhow. However, I'm apt to feel a bit unsafe running more than a quarter mile beyond the confines of my tiny campus, mostly due to the uncomfortable and inevitable isolation found on country back-roads. As a result, I am generally resigned to making loops around my little-bitty campus, the scenery of which, while very pretty, gets monotonous after the third or fourth time around. Fortunately, on my most recent weekend run, I found a way to enjoy both!

My method is embarrassingly simple, actually- I just do half of my mileage outside, then complete the remainder of it inside the gym with beloved mechanical buddy! Of course, I'll eventually work up to completing the entirety of my longer runs outside, but for the time being this system has helped to make the runs more manageable. I'm gradually becoming more comfortable with my environment on the outdoor stretches, and I've noticed a very encouraging improvement in my stamina. Training has definitely been rough, but if running were easy, we'd all do it, right?

The best aspect of this half-and-half system is definitely that I get to jam out during the treadmill portions of my runs. I have several designated workout playlists (dominated by Disney, natch), but this week's runs have been exclusively accompanied by none other than the theme to Disney's DuckTales. I'm convinced that this song possesses some magical quality that, when played on continual loop, provides more motivation than the greatest coach in athletic history. Also, it makes me seriously wish I had been conscious during the heyday of the Disney Afternoon!

I'm still curious to know what you guys would like to see me cover in this series! More focus on runDisney events? Disney-inspired workout tips? My ears are wide open for suggestions (as is the comment section)!

Love and pixie dust,
Becca :)

Monday, February 24, 2014

Festival of Fantasy Roundup!

Well, princes and princesses, it's official: the Magic Kingdom's newest parade will be premiering on Sunday, March 9! No time at all, right?!

Anyhow, to help all of us get pumped about this stupendous street spectacle (because it was so difficult to get excited before... she said with tongue firmly in cheek), here are all of the videos that Disney has shared with us over the past few weeks!

First, we saw the floats...

Then we caught a glimpse of the cast's wonderfully whimsical garb...

... And what would a parade be without music and dancing?

I don't know about you, but I cannot wait to see these worlds of fantasy floating down Main Street in March!

What are you most excited to see in Magic Kingdom's new parade? Sound off in the comments below!

Love and pixie dust,
Becca :)

Friday, February 21, 2014

Snowpocalypse? There's a "Frozen" Fix!

Guys, I promise that one day, I will stop writing about Frozen.

However, today is not that day.

Practically since the day of the film's release, the internet has been inundated with various fan-made renditions of the Oscar-nominated anthem "Let it Go" (side note: yay!). These love-letters to Robert and Kristen Andersen-Lopez's brilliant hit have touched every end of the spectrum, ranging from  conventional covers to epic choral productions (you know the one). My personal favorite came to me via Dole Whip Daily's Facebook page, and is hands-down the most inventive and - if I may say- floor-rollingly (not a real phrase? It is now!) hilarious version I've seen yet!

I, for one, would be pretty proud if my dad did this!

Are you partial to one of the many "Let it Go" covers? Be sure to share your pick in the comments below!

Love and pixie dust,
Becca :)

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Epcot Flower & Garden... Complete with Tasty Treats!

Beyond the festive flora and meticulously manicured topiaries that have become synonymous with Epcot's annual celebration of horticulture, one of the biggest draws to the 2014 Epcot Flower and Garden Festival  the event's various and sundry "Outdoor Kitchens"! This year will mark the second annual appearance of these Food-and-Wine-style kiosks, each filled to the brim with tasty treats and libations from both near and far. I'll be making my first-ever sojourn to the festival this March, and I've been waiting with bated breath to glean the tiniest thread of information about this year's menu. Luckily, my anxious anticipation was relieved earlier this week when the Disney Food Blog announced the full lineup for this year's botanical bonanza... and boy, does it deliver!

With so many intriguing, inventive, and downright mouth-watering options (twelve, to be exact!), I don't know how on earth I'll make up my mind! I guess it's good that I've got a few weeks to decide, but in the mean time, I thought I'd share a few of the dishes I'm most excited to sample!

5) Sweet Potato Waffle with Dole Whip, Pineapple Promenade
Sweet potatoes? Good! Waffles? Good! Dole Whip? Good to the power of the Tiki Room! But do three tasty components a cohesive (and equally yummy) dish make?  Honestly, I haven't the slightest clue, but I most assuredly intend to find out when I visit the Pineapple Promenade kiosk next month. Though the Disney Food Blog has this selection singled out as a must-try, "Sweet potato and pineapple" isn't a flavor I can quite wrap my head (or tastebuds) around. Still, the thought of delicious Dole Whip soaking into a fluffy waffle is just tantalizing enough to tempt me for a taste.

4) Baghrir, Taste of Marrakesh 

I am a self-proclaimed pancake enthusiast, so this Moroccan spin on the ubiquitous breakfast treat is right up my alley. Described as a "Moroccan pancake with honey, almonds, and Argan oil", the exotic dish looks like the perfect snack for wandering the World Showcase promenade!

3) Gnocchi Parisien à la Provençal, Fleur de Lys

Okay, so maybe I just want to gobble up everything on this kiosk's menu (more on that later). I have a sneaking suspicion that I'll be making multiple stops at the France pavilion's kitchen, and this gnocchi dish with veggies and mushrooms is at the top of my list! 

2) Tacos al pastor, Jardin de Fiestas

As a general rule, I don't do savory when there are boundless tooth-achingly, sugar-coma inducing sweet options available; this taco is the exception. Filled with pork, onions, and a bit of grilled pineapple (ah- there's that sweetness!), my mouth has begun to water just thinking about it! 

1) Macaron à la fleur d'oranger, Fleur de Lys

That's French for "HOLY MOLE, WHAT IS THIS DELICIOUSNESS?". I kid, I kid- it actually refers to a delicate orange blossom macaron with a white chocolate ganache... but really, what's the difference? 

What are you most looking forward to at this year's Flower and Garden Festival? You can find all of the kiosks' menus on the Disney Food Blog (complete with stunning photos) and the Walt Disney World website!

Friday, February 14, 2014

A Valentines Serenade

When I say Disney, several things should come to mind: magic (naturally), imagination (of course), and- last but not least- LOVE! So, then, what better way is there to celebrate this glorious day of romance than with a playlist of Disney's greatest love songs? The other day, I stumbled upon this ranking of Disney love songs, but I found it to be a little less "definitive" than I'd like ("If I Never Knew You" is dead last? Not on my watch, Buzzfeed!). These are the Disney songs I'll be belting out this Valentines Day!

What are your top Disney love songs? Put your additions in the comments below!
- Becca :)

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Valentine's Day Disney Duds!

With Valentine's Day mere hours away (eek!), I'm sure lots of you have been thinking about what to wear! Well, today I'm sharing some of my favorite cupid-approved ensembles, courtesy of the Disneybound Tumblr page!

This ensemble is perfect for a "bella notte" with your sweetheart... perhaps over a heaping platter of spaghetti and meatballs?

Channel Up's adorable Carl and Ellie while you go adventuring with your honey this February 14th. Remember: Adventure is out there!

Yes, I know that Ms. Poppins and everyone's favorite sweep are "the very best of friends", but a girl can dream, right? These outfits will make this Valentines Day an extra jolly holiday!

I just love this homage to the original Disney couple... you can't get more classic than that!

Finally, all the single ladies who'll be shootin' for their own hands can channel the headstrong princess of DunBroch. Who needs a prince when you can ride through the glen, firing arrows into the sunset?

Will you be channeling one of Disney's dynamic duos for Valentines this year! Let me know in the comments!
-  Becca 

P.S.- My sincerest apologies for such a short post today! School's got me a little bit swamped at the moment, but things'll be back to normal in no time. Thanks for bearing with me! :)

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Snapshots From a Pixie Dust-ed Day

Heh... remember that trip report I was working on for you guys?

Well, I think my lack of initiative in a timely delivery has seen the end on its statute of limitations. That is to say that this Disney Day took place nearly two months ago, and I don't know that I could accurately (or engagingly) regale your with the tales of my romp through the Magic Kingdom and Epcot. I do, however, have a ton of fun pictures that I had planned to share... and wouldn't it be just too much of a shame if they were left to collect (virtual) dust on my hard drive?

Next time, I promise to do better with the whole reporting thing, but in the meantime, please enjoy some of my favorite snaps from the day!

Ready for adventure with Ariel

A little glimpse at the super special Jingle Cruise!

Can you tell that I'm a little bit in love with New Fantasyland?

And with that, the infamous Disney Day of December 14th has been put to bed. Here's to a more successful effort next time! :)

Friday, February 7, 2014

Lessons from Disney's Love Experts

Brace yourselves: Valentine's Day is coming.

For some, that phrase may usher in a tide of cold sweats and endless anxiety (me? I'm just excited about 50% off chocolate on my favorite holiday: February 15th), but there's no need to fear! All you need do is turn to your favorite Disney films for a stroke of inspiration, and a lesson or two from the greatest romance-coaches known to mankind!

You've got Sebastian to help you brush up on your flirtation techniques...
... and Cogsworth is here to fill you in on what your date really wants:

Speaking of amorous enchanted objects, Lumiere is the absolute authority on achieving that glamorous "date-ready" look!

Once you're all spiffed up and ready to go, you can count on Tony and Joe to set the mood with spaghetti and song!


You might be hesitant to embrace the love in the air, but don't fight the feeling! The Muses have got you covered!

 If you just need a good wing-person or two, look no further than Frozen's love experts  for a little boost...

And remember, the most important thing is to be(e) yourself!

In short, take a page from the Disney manual this Valentine's Day, and you'll be well on your way to happily ever after!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

The Road to runDisney: Little Victories

One year ago, I couldn't run for a minute, let alone a mile.

One year ago, my lungs (And legs) protested at the softest suggestion of cardiovascular activity beyond a stead power-walk.

One year ago, running was a pastime that I regarded as admirable, but personally unattainable.

Two days ago, I ran six miles.

Now, I know that to you super-intense, hardcore running folk, that's just kid stuff- not even a 10k. But for me, it is so much more. It's a victory, proof that I can accomplish things I never dreamed I could. It's a blessing and an encouragement that shows me what I'm made of. It is a source of pride, and it is a reason to celebrate. Whenever the topic of running comes up in conversation, I emphatically declare that taking this leap was the best choice I've ever made, and I truly believe that. I've been given such a gift in running, and I'd like to thank all of you for coming along with me. I know that some weeks, this series can be a little boring and that some weeks I don't have much to say, but I love sharing the highs and lows and little victories with all of you.

That said, I'd love to know what you would like to see in this series! It'll be a few months before I can register for any Disney races, but I want to keep up with Disney-related running content until then! Please leave some of your suggestions in the comments below!

Again, thanks so much for the support along my journey, and I can't wait to keep it up!

Love and pixie dust,
Becca :)