Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

Happy Monday!

We took Andi to Disney World last weekend and she had an amazing time (as usual).  We started out at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. Just like the Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, there are only a certain number of tickets sold.  At 6pm they start clearing out the people who did not purchase a special event ticket.  FastPass is deactivated during the party but it makes the lines move much quicker.  There are several cookie stations located throughout the park where you can enjoy complimentary cookies, chocolate, snow cones, prezels, eggnog, hot cocoa, apple juice and more!  We hit up almost every station.  As I have said before, Andi LOVES eggnog.  She calls it “Christmas Milk”.

There are some great shows and parades throughout the night but our favorite is always the fireworks show.  Tinkerbell even flew across the sky!  And check out Cinderella’s Castle below!  The lights are amazing!  You do not need to purchase a MVMCP ticket just to see the castle lit up though.  You can see it any night during this time of year.

We spend the remainder of our days between Epcot and Magic Kingdom.  We went on some rides and met a few of her favorite princesses.  Somehow we have never gone into Storybook Circus.  That place is a goldmine!  The Dumbo ride has a play area inside that Andi could have spent all day in.  She also enjoyed the little water area in the center.  Next time we will remember to bring her swimsuit. Her favorite part of Storybook Circus was Goofy’s Barnstormer rollercoaster.  Yes…  Rollercoaster.  The height requirement is 35″.  Lucky for Andi, she is 36″. They had me measure her almost every time we went one.  She fell in love with the ride during a fireworks show, so there wasn’t a line at all to get on.  We went about 6 or 7 times in a row and got to sit in front each time.  I couldn’t believe how much she loved it.  She wanted to go on some of the bigger coasters that we passed throughout the park but she will have to wait until she gets a little taller.

Our last night was spent at Epcot.  There are so many beautiful decorations along with a special holiday firework/light show at the end of the night. Similar to the Food & Wine Festival, Epcot has International Festival of the Holidays.  Each country has a station with a “Holiday Kitchen” with a select menu.  It was perfect to get a taste of a few different things throughout the World Showcase.  Check out the menus here.

We decided to do Chip & Dale’s Christmas Tree Spree.  That was a lot of fun!  To start, we purchased a map and sticker set from one of the gift shops ($6.99).  Then we had to look in each county to see where Chip & Dale were hiding with an ornament.  Here is a hint:  They are in wreaths within the gift shops.  Once we found them all and placed the stickers on the correct spot on the map, we could turn it in for a prize!  Any guesses on what Andi got??

Check out some of the photos below from our trip.

Cinderella's castlePrincess Tiana Princess RapunzelPrincess BelleStorybook Circus

Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party

Thanks for stopping by!

xx Niki and Andi

Continue Reading

Santa 2017

Hi everyone and happy Sunday!

I am finally sharing Andi’s visit with Santa from last week.  The Mall at University Town Center has an amazing set up this year.  The theme is Santa’s Flight Academy, where kids can enjoy a personalized experience during their wait in line to sit on Santa’s lap.  To begin, kids get to print their own badge with their name and photo on it.  They will use it  throughout the line for different things.  Each time they insert their badge, their name will pop up on the screen.

sarasota holiday events

Next, they get fitted for their elf suit.  There is a station to measure hands, feet and height.  Andi knew right away what to do because she insists on measuring herself every night before bed to, as she says, see if her head grew.

sarasota blogger

^^ This was cute because it makes your voice sound like a little elf.  Andi loved it!

mall at utc christmasgap kids plaid dressflight suit visualizer

After getting “fitted”, kids stand in front of a visualizer, where they can see themselves on a screen wearing the elf suit.  They are encouraged to dance and wave their arms.  We should have taken a picture of Andi on the screen but it just didn’t happen.  Onto the next part of the line…  The snow!

fake snowfaux snow

Living in Florida doesn’t give us the option to have a White Christmas, so playing in faux snow was one of the biggest highlights of Santa’s Flight Academy. Andi loved picking it up and tossing it over her head.

santa's flight academy

^^ This is the last station the badge is inserted.  The next stop is Santa!  I love the anticipation Andi is showing in this photo.  She was overfilled with excitement!

Santa Clausthe mall at university town center santa

She did MUCH better this year than last year.  She actually talked to him a little and she says he gave her a high five.  I should have taken a video of her on our way back to the car because the little grin on her face and the way she was skipping in the parking lot was absolutely priceless.

Be sure to check out the Holidays on the Green through January 15th where you can enjoy ice skating, train rides, live music and movie nights!

Andi’s Dress, tights, shoes and bow


Thanks for stopping by!

xx Niki and Andi


Continue Reading

A Day on Main Street At Lakewood Ranch

station 400 lakewood ranchStation 400 trainStation 400 cobb salad


















| Facebook | Instagram |


This week, I had the opportunity to partner with Visit Sarasota for their annual Shoptember event.  We spent the afternoon strolling around Main Street at Lakewood Ranch. Our first stop was Station 400.  This is my absolute favorite place to go for breakfast or lunch.  It three locations are locally family owned and operated.  Everything on the menu is delicious and we are always impressed with our selections.  They even offer flavored mimosas!  I love the rustic decor.  Andi’s favorite is catching glimpses of the train as it passes through the dining room.  She also loves the Cheesy Grits!

Influence Style:

Influence Style Lakewood Ranch

Quay Australia sunglassesSRQ baseball hat



























LWR Lakewood Ranch baseball hat








| Facebook | Instagram |


After lunch, we decided to make our way down Main Street.  There are several boutiques located on the strip.  The first shop we went into was Influence Style.  It is a trendy little store with some of the cutest pieces.  I loved these sandals, and check out this star sweater!  So cute, right??


Wish at Lakewood RanchCorkcicle bottles






Oyster Shell Christmas Tree









Alex & Ani beaded bracelet

HOBO bags

| Facebook | Instagram |

If you are in the Lakewood Ranch area and are in need of the perfect gift, Wish is where you need to go!  They have something for just about everyone.  From clothing and accessories to unique housewares.   I really liked their selection of HOBO bags.  And did you see the oyster shell Christmas tree above??  How perfect is this for Florida!?

Ana Molinari Salon Spa Boutique:







kerastaseAna Molinari Salon


















Ana Molinari boutique and spa

Main Street At Lakewood Ranch


| Facebook | Instagram |







One of the original places on Main Street at Lakewood Ranch is Ana Molinari Salon Spa Boutique.  You wouldn’t know by looking from the outside, but this place is huge!  Upon walking in, I was greeted by the lovely receptionists.  Although… I was promptly distracted by the amazing selection of unique clothing and jewelry!  They have some of the most gorgeous pieces I have ever seen.  I need to go back soon.  Maybe I will pick up some things and do a blog post on them.  What do you think??

Aside from their boutique, Ana Molinari also offers a wide variety of salon and spa services.

Pastries by Design:

Pastries by Design Lakewood Ranch
















crystal cake







cocolate pretzel sticks







lion king cakered velvet cupcake















| Facebook | Instagram |

Our final stop of the day was Pastries by Design.  I cannot say enough great things about them.  We first used them to do our wedding cake back in 2009.  Not only do their cakes look beautiful, they taste amazing!  We were so happy with how everything turned out, that we decided to use them again for Andi’s baptism.  As you can tell from the photos, they are known for their attention to detail.  Even if you are not in the market for a custom cake, stop in for one of their take out goodies.  I recommend the marshmallow pops!

Have you been to Main Street At Lakewood Ranch?  If so, what is your favorite place??

Thanks so much for stopping by!

xx Niki

This post was sponsored by Visit Sarasota

Continue Reading

Visiting the Sprouts Farmers Market

Hi everyone!

Happy Good Friday!  Easter is just a few short days away and I have been running around like crazy getting last minute things for Sunday.  We were lucky enough to get invited to our new Sprouts Farmers Market for a private tour before they officially opened.  It was perfect, because I needed to get things for a new meal plan that I am starting this week.  To say it is our new favorite grocery store, is an understatement.  They have fresh, natural and organic groceries at amazingly affordable prices. Eating healthy doesn’t have to break the bank if you shop at Sprouts.  They carry everything from cage free eggs, refrigerated breads, grass-fed beef, and even an in house butcher, who can custom cut, season, and even provide cooking suggestions.  Sprouts stores contain around 18,000 products, 90 percent of which are natural or organic.

The store itself felt comfortable and easy to navigate.  I hate going to grocery stores that feel intimidating and are hard to find what you are looking for.  That wasn’t the case at Sprouts Farmers Market.  Like it’s name, Sprouts felt like a southern, old time farmers market.  From it’s decor down to it’s prices.

Anthony and I were blown away in the produce section.  Everything looked colorful and delicious.  They even offer to cut anything open for samples if you want to try before you buy. Produce can be found in the center of the store. Sprouts’ produce prices are on average 20 to 25 percent below other supermarkets.


healthy eating sprouts farmers market healthy meals sprouts farmers market produce sarasota

fresh cut meats sprouts farmers market sprouts butcher shop sprouts farmers market


sprouts farmers market farm fresh eggs lifestyle blogger



sprouts farmers market fish

We learned that Wednesday is one of their best days to save money and get more bang for your buck.  They call it “Double Ad Wednesday”.  Their weekly ad runs from Wednesday to Wednesday, which means if you happen to go on Wednesday, you can double your saving when the ads overlap.


sprouts deli sprouts farmers market

sprouts farmers market mommy blogger lifestyle

sprouts farmers market mommy blogger


The new mobile coupon app makes it even easier to save on Sprouts’ already low prices! Simply download the Sprouts app for iPhone or Android, create an account, digitally clip your coupons and then scan the barcode at checkout. Link to this page: https://www.sprouts.com/mobilecoupons  Find out more ways to save here. 

I can’t wait to go back and pick up some new things to try.  I could have spent hours there the other night.

Thanks for stopping by!

xx Niki


Continue Reading