Epcot’s Wilderness Explorer!

Please tell me you’ve seen the movie UP! If you haven’t, you need to stop reading this now and go watch it. But fast-forward through the first 10 minutes because no one should have to cry during Pixar movies! Anyway, there is this little boy in the movie named Russell, he is on the hunt to get all his badges and become a Senior Wilderness Explorer!


Well, in June when we were at Animal Kingdom, I saw all these stands that said Wilderness Explorer. One of the cast members told us that you could get a book and go all around the park earning your badge, but there were 31 badges you had to earn so it was hard to do it all in one day! So I asked the obvious question that any normal 31 would ask-Is this just for kids. I was told it was for kids of all ages! I knew we would be going back to Disney in early September, so I told Scott that is the one thing I wanted to do! Go to Animal Kingdom and earn ALL the badges in ONE Day!


And we did! If you are thinking about doing this fun activity at Animal Kingdom I would encourage you to! I don’t feel like we missed out on anything and I paid attention to more things in the park by doing this! There were also some things I wouldn’t have done had it not been for the Wilderness Explorer! Here are some tips/thoughts/suggestions from our time as a Wilderness Explorer:

  • You don’t have to skip the rides or shows! Go ahead and make your Fast Pass for Expedition Everest and the Kilimanjaro Safaris. A few of the badges are earned from these rides. (If someone in your party isn’t tall enough or doesn’t want to ride Expedition Everest you can find the items you need to locate around the outside of the ride). We also made our fast past for the first showing of Festival of the Lion King. The park opened at 9:00am the day we went and the first showing wasn’t until 10, so we had an hour to start on our Wilderness Explorer book!

  • Africa is where you will spend the majority of your time! 13 badges are found in Africa, so we spent about four hours in that section of the park. This included watching The Festival of the Lion King, eating lunch, and going to Rafiki’s Planet Watch to earn those badges.

  • Get a picture with Russell and his dog Dug! We were going to go back and do this, but didn’t get a chance. Every time we walked by the line was never long, we were just in a hurry to get somewhere else. But looking back, it would have been cute to get a picture with them while we had our Badge sticker on and had our book.

  • To get a few of the badges you have to meet someone from that country! Scott loves to talk to people so this was probably his favorite part! It’s fascinating to learn about other countries and what is important to them. Like the fact that pretty much everyone we met spoke at least one other language. One guy we met knew 5! I don’t even remember Spanish from high school!
  • You do get a prize for receiving all the badges! You get a special sticker that says Senior Wilderness Explorer plus you have a special ceremony on the bridge! {Parents, or husbands, get your camera ready for that one}
  • Make your dinner reservation late enough in the day to find all your badges. We were probably done by around 4:30 or 5:00 and we got to the park when it opened normally (non Magic Hours)
  • Be prepared to say this motto to anyone who has on a badge! It’s so much fun!!!

    Haha!!! I love it!

  • Young Living Cleansing Trio

    IMG_0859So, I’ve been wanting to try the Young Living Cleansing Trio for a while now and I finally worked up enough guts to get it! Outside of my Elimination Diet and the supplements I was taking with it, this is my first type of cleanse. I figured that with all the bad eating in November and December (and let’s be honest January), this would be a good time to reset my system.

    The Cleanse includes 3 products: Comfortone, ICP and Essentialzyme. The trio didn’t come with any instruction, but I am following the protocol in the book “Inner Transformation Using Essential Oils” by Doctors LeAnne and David Deardeuff. It a pretty simple process to follow:

    Step 1: Introduce Comfortone pills one at a time working up to a maximum of 10 pills a day.
       Day ONE: 1 Comfortone in the AM
       Day TWO: 1 Comfortone in the AM and PM
       Day THREE: 2 Comfortones in the AM and one in the PM
       Day FOUR: 2 Comfortones in the AM and two in the PM
       Day FIVE and on: continue on this pattern adding one Comfortone a day until you have reached 5 in the AM and 5 in the PM or until you have a achieves 2-3 good BM’s a day, whichever comes first. (If you aren’t achieving this after a week there are a few tips in the book)

    Step 2: Once you are achieving 2-3 BM’s a day you can add in ICP and Essentialymes.
    1)Begin with 1 teaspoon of ICP in the AM and PM. Add 1/2 tsp each day working your way up to 1 Tbs in the AM and 1 Tbs in the PM. The best way to do this is to add it to a juice and drink it quickly (There are also some tips in the book for troubleshooting this process)
    2)Start taking one Essentialzyme between breakfast and lunch and between lunch and dinner. This helps break down all the build up.

    Ok- here comes the gross part– you’ve been warned. You are suppose to stay on this process until you have passed the lining coating the bowel- this is long and black and is held together in a long tube shape and contains the gross stuff in the bowels. It can take a few months to pass this. (For a more scientific description see by 31 in Inner Transformation Using Essential Oils)

    So far I am on the first week, still working on adding Comfortones each day. Here are the observations I’ve made so far
    1) Adding one pill a day really makes for easy transition into the cleanse
    2) Taking the Comfortone at night will cause a BM within the first 30 minutes of waking- so just be warned if you are a wake up at the last possible minute to get to work type person.
    3) Drinking A LOT of water is really the key to helping everything process. I felt much better on the days that I have been drinking a lot of water.
    4) I haven’t had to watch what I’m eating or change my diet any and everything has still been fine. I think this really helps with not having headaches. When I was on my elimination diet, I had to cut out so much food and start supplements all at the same time and I was very weak and sick the first few days. Not so with this one!
    5) You can take whatever supplements you normally take on this cleanse! I’m still taking my Vitamin B,C and D, Mindwise, Ningxia and Pro Plus!

    I’ll be back next week to let you now how adding the ICP and Essentialzyme goes!

    DIY Russell from Up Costume



    If you haven’t seen UP yet, STOP reading this right now, RUN to the store, BUY IT, WATCH IT, and THEN come back here… I’m not joking. Oh and just a warning- be prepared to cry!

    Ok, now that we have that settled, lets get back to the costume tutorial. Isn’t Russell just the cutest! And his costume is so easy to make! Most of these items can be found at a craft store like Hobby Lobby or Michael’s and at Good Will.

    Here is what you need:

    • Yellow T-Shirt
    • Orange Bandanna
    • Khaki Shorts
    • Khaki Socks
    • Hiking/Dark Colored Outdoor Shoes
    • Brown Fabric for the Sash
    • Yellow or Khaki Hat- or white and spray paint
    • Brown, Orange, Green, and Yellow Felt
    • Orange Construction Paper
    • Long dowel for flag
    • Plastic Buttons
    • Balloons
    • Book-bag
    • Printer with Colored Ink
    • img_0359

      The Hat was probably my favorite thing to make. We couldn’t find a yellow one, so we bought a white one and spray painted it yellow. I printed out the Wilderness Explorer logo to the size I needed for the hat and then cut out each piece from felt. I glued them all together with a hot glue gun and then glued the whole piece to the hat.

      Aren’t those badges just the cutest! I googled Wilderness Explorer badges and found a sheet that I liked. I ended up having to play around with it in Microsoft Paint and Word until they were the right size. You don’t have to have fancy editing software for this. I just saved the picture to may computer, opened it in paint and cropped the picture tight on the badges. Then I opened it in Word and changed the margins four all for sides to around .25, then printed off the sheet in black and white to make sure they were the right size. Once I got them right I printed in color, cut them out and put them in the plastic buttons.
      The sash was probably the hardest part. I bought 2 yards of brown fabric in the discount section on Hobby Lobby. Depending on what your fabric is like will depend on how much work you have to do. The fabric I used was already cut into one yard sections, it was also very wide. I ended up cutting in half length wise and then hot gluing the ends together. I folded over the sides and hot glued those. We ended up folding the whole garment again length wise because it was so wide. I measured the sash around Scott and then cut and glued it to the right size so he could slip it over his arm. After that we pinned the buttons on the sash.

      I promise this flag is orange! More like florescent orange, but still orange! Fold the construction paper down the middle and draw a triangle (long end on the fold, point going towards the outside). Cut out the triangle keeping the fold intact, that is important. Next place the wooden dowel in the middle, where the fold is and hot glue it in place. Fold the paper and hot glue the sides together. Next print off two Wilderness Explorer Logos and tape or glue them onto the outside of the flag.
      For the final touch I picked up four balloons in red, yellow, orange and blue and tied them onto the a book-bag that Scott wore all night. I don’t think this will make or break the costume, but it added a nice touch!

    Halloween Costumes: Russell and Kevin

    I love dressing up in costumes! Blame it on years and years of theater, but it’s one of my favorite things. Scott on the other hand….. totally not into dressing up! In fact, I’ve had to go back to the drawing board for his 30th birthday party because he broke the news to me that he wasn’t into dressing up! And let me tell you, it was going to be awesome. But anyway…Each year our church does a Neighborhood Candy Fest. Basically a few Sunday School Classes get together and are assigned a neighborhood. We set up a bouncy house and have games and pass out candy! It’s a way for us to get to know people in our community. It’s also the perfect time for adults to get away with dressing up and not having people look at you weird!!!

    So the Sunday before Halloween, I kindly told Scott he was being a party pooper and that we needed to dress up. So over lunch we narrowed down our choice to Peter Pan and Wendy or Russell and Kevin from Up. Clearly, Russell meant no green tights for Scott so that one won out (It if wasn’t 90 degrees on the last day of October, Peter Pan may have been in the running for longer).

    Well, just in case you forgot- Hobby Lobby is not open on Sundays. So Micheal’s and Good Will were the places to go! I’ll do a post breaking down what I used and how I made each costume, but all in all I was really happy with how easy each one was to make and I loved the way they turned out! I’m not a DIYer, so if I say something is easy, it is! Seriously all I used was a glue gun and a stapler. If I had a sewing machine, the whole process could have done a lot smoothly (and probably looked nicer), but mine was at my parents and since this was last minute, a glue gun worked perfectly! It’s also not a time consuming project either. I would say it took me about 5 hours to do both costumes, which again for a none DIYer isn’t that bad!

    Stay tuned for the breakdown from each costume!


    Disney and Food Allergies: Part Two

    We just got back from Disney for my 32nd birthday! 32!!! Because Scott and I have only been married two years and have no kids, a lot of times I feel a lot younger than I really am.

    Anyway…. Onto what the post is about…Food and Disney. If you missed my last post on Disney and Food Allergies from our visit in July you can find it HERE! This time we tried out some new places! Some where hits and some where complete misses!


    Animal Kingdom Quick Service:
    Harambre Market
    Harambre Market is inspired by the street foods of Africa. They had an allergy menu to choose from, but it wasn’t one of our favorites! Scott and I both had the Grilled Chicken Skewer which is gluten and dairy free. It is served with Green Papaya Slaw and Black-Eyed Pea, Corn and Tomato Salad. The Salad was very good, but the Slaw had too much vinegar for my taste. We didn’t order dessert, but I think they had a Gluten Free Cookie- probably from the brand Enjoy Life.

    Animal Kingdom Lodge
    Boma-Flavors of Africa
    Scott really wanted to try out Boma. It’s a family-friendly buffet that has flavors from over 50 African countries. Like with any table service, when we made the reservation we listed that I couldn’t have gluten or dairy. The waiter showed us to our seat and then the chef came out and walked us through the buffet, explaining the ingredients in every dish and letting me know what was safe and what wasn’t. The chef is extremely thorough and if you forget anything or have any other questions during your meal he will come back! There were a lot of things I couldn’t have, but what I could was WONDERFUL. Some of the highlights: Seafood Gumbo over Rice, Salad Bar with the Apple Dressing, and Steak with a dipping sauce that I can’t remember the name of now. I couldn’t have anything on the dessert buffet, so the chef made me my own special gluten/dairy free dessert plate. It had a cupcake, two chocolate cookies, a chocolate chip and sugar cookies and I think some DF ice cream. The menu for the buffet changes slightly from night to night, but I’m sure all the food is equally as great!

    Magic Kingdom Quick Service
    Columbia Harbour House
    The Columbia Harbour House is in the Liberty Square section of Magic Kingdom. They have a great Allergen menu! Complete with gluten free, dairy free chicken fingers and fries! I am a chicken finger and fries addict, so I looked no further on the menu than that! Here a little tip- There isn’t a chicken finger plate on the regular menu. It’s Chicken Breast Nuggets and Fish Fingers. So if you are more of a chicken finger fan vs nugget fan than order off the allergy menu. Here is what I really like about the Columbia Harbour House that is different than most quick service restaurants. When you order off the allergen menu, they prepare that food to order. They give you a pager and tell you to sit down and when your food is ready they will page you. Once it’s ready, one of the cast members will escort you through the line to the counter to retrieve your food. They also put the food that is ordered off the allergy menu on a separate tray, away from all the other food!

    Epcot Table Service
    Coral Reef Restaurant
    This is a restaurant you go to for the atmosphere. It sits next to the The Seas with Nemo & Friends and has panoramic windows so you get a great view of the coral reef and the 4,000 sea creatures! There allergen menu wasn’t extensive and it looks like they serve their diner menu at lunch, so the food was kind of heavy. Scott and I ended up splitting the Grilled New York Strip Steak. We ordered if off the allergen menu, so it came with steamed green beans and roasted whole potatoes. I also ordered the Frisee and Endive Salad with was very good! If goat cheese is a form of cheese you can have, make sure to tell them or they will leave it off.

    Disney Springs Table Service
    If you followed along on my elimination diet, you may remember that dairy (specifically casein) was the only thing that showed up on my blood work that I was sensitive too. However, because of my autoimmune disorder, I was strongly encouraged to go gluten free as well. Because of this, I eat gluten every now and then and for the most part have a fine reaction. I just try to limit the amount. So, fair warning, the food I ate at The BOATHOUSE was not gluten free…. But it was delicious! I had the Coconut-fried Wild Pacific White Shrimp, with Orange- Chili Sauce and French Fries! It was soooo good! If you get a chance to eat here you need to and you need to ask for a table outside on the dock. The boats outside are owned by the restaurant and they are beautiful.