Chase Disney Visa $200 Bonus – Referral Offer – NEW – June 2018

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It is that time of year again. As many savvy consumers know, Disney Visa sometimes offers greater sign up bonuses through referrals, sometimes it is hard to get one of these offers. Well, I just got a new Disney Visa referral offer in my inbox, after offering it to friends and family, no one needed a referral.

So, if you are in need of a $200 Disney Visa Referral follow this link to the special offer:

https://www.referyourchasecard.com/200/WCP3S1D6I3

 

The details regarding the offer:

“Earn a $200 Statement Credit after they spend $500 on purchases with their card in the first 3 months from account opening.”

As of right now I have 5 offers to give away.  

Disclaimer: This is an offer made through Chase Disney Visa, I make no guarantees or warranties in regards to their offer. I am only offering to provide a referral to the offer which has been made to me through Disney Visa. Please read all of their materials with regards to their offer.

Thank you.

 

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No Sugar / Low Sugar Dieting

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Simple side salad

Simple side salad

I have been dealing with being overweight for years.  I finally just came to the realization that I’m fat because of sugar – or at least that is my hypothesis. I’m really at a loss for why I’m the way I am and others aren’t. So, I’m testing my theory.

I’ve been trying to find information about low sugar / no sugar dieting. I haven’t found much in the way of people talking about their own experiences, there are some but not as many as I thought there would be. I found a website through a search engine which was promoting a whole diet program about it. That seemed just too commercialized for me. Anyways. I wanted to put in my 2 cents.

I’ve been cutting my sugar intake since December 2017. It has been 4 months. I have been trying to stick to under the 24 grams of sugar allotted per day. I had read that 24 grams was the guideline for women and just stuck to that number.

What happens when you watch your sugar intake…

Here are some of my observations:

The first 2 week were hellish, but it gets better. The two months was still a bit hard. I’d say after the third month, it wasn’t as bad. I’m still trying to abide by the daily limit.  I have had several “cheat days” where I treat myself to one dessert. I have had ice cream on a couple of those days.  I had some other small treats at a family event. It gets easier, I can walk through a bakery and not feel all antsy about it now.

I don’t crave sugar like I did. I hate to say this because it seems a little silly, but sugar seems like it really is an addictive substance. I’ve read that and it seems like BS, but try taking it out of your diet and you will see. I got headaches, muscle aches, cranky, overly moody. I do think I was addicted to sugar. When you start to control how much sugar you have, you really notice when you aren’t able to eat whatever you want when you want it.

Read the label.  I ate a piece of “healthy bread” and noticed that it tasted really “good” for health food. I read the label…4 grams of sugar. No wonder, it had 4 times more sugar than a piece of plain white bread. So, just be aware of it, they put sugar in everything. I’m not saying the healthy bread is worse than white bread, but it had sugar added. So, yes, it had more fiber, protein, etc. but it also had extra sugar so you have to keep track of it. Hidden sugars are found in salad dressings, condiments, yogurt, granola bars, cereal, milk, etc. You have to check.

My taste buds seemed to change.  I can taste sugar now a lot easier than I have ever done before.  I can taste it in restaurant food and eat accordingly. I’ll be more likely to push aside something that has extra sugar and eat real food instead.

I seem to be satisfied with a smaller amount of sugar as well. If I eat a piece of toast and have a small amount of jelly (maybe once a week), I am very aware of the sugar and can appreciate that it is a treat.  I do not feel the desire to be gluttonous.

I appreciate real food more than I did. I think about food a bit differently as well. Food is fuel. When dining out, I try to pick food that is going to be a better at sustaining me. I appreciate what I’m eating. Vegetables can be delicious and satisfying too.

I am smaller. I went down two notches on my belt.  While I haven’t had a chance to weigh myself, I have definitely gotten smaller. I’m not going to concern myself so much with my weight in pounds. My arms and legs and stomach seem smaller than they were. I’m going to measure my success in terms of keeping up what I’m doing. I’ll try to reduce carbs here and there, exercise more. My goal really is to be healthier. The rest should fall into place.

I feel less jittery. Can’t really explain this, it is just something I noticed. My feet don’t “burn” at night the way they did.

Most days I think I am under the 24 grams of sugar. I read that sugar from fruit doesn’t count towards your daily allowance, but I try to go by the daily allowance and work the fresh fruit into that. For example, a grapefruit is supposed to be 8 grams of sugar.  I use stevia (ZERO! sugar) in my tea or coffee. I’m not drinking diet soda when I can help it. I might have had 3-4 Coke Zeros in the last few months. I am not drinking alcohol either.

All calories are not the same.  I read the back of a yogurt cup, it said 21g sugar and 150 calories. Imagine someone who is eating 1500 calories a day, theoretically if they ate 10 yogurt cups, they would have eaten 210 grams of sugar for the day, but still stayed in the 1500 / day! That alone would mean they exceed the daily allotment for sugar by almost 9 times. I can only imagine that this could be partly to blame for my lack of success in the past, a seemingly healthy and harmless granola bar and yogurt for breakfast alone could have exceed my daily allotment for sugar! Avoid “diet foods” anything that claims to be a “diet” food, read the label. I have read that artifical sweeteners aren’t good for you, they kill off the good bacteria in your body, and I avoid them when at all possible.

I feel more in control.  I felt completely out of control before. I felt like there was no hope, that trying to lose weight was a daunting and unachievable goal. Compared to how I felt 4 months ago, I feel more positive and disciplined. My good habits are rubbing off on others.

I’d love to hear from anyone who has also cut sugar from their diets and how it has effected you.

 

 

Voodoo Doughnuts Throne @ Citywalk Orlando

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The first Voodoo Doughnuts on the east coast is open for business at Universal Studios City Walk, Orlando! I’ve been by there a few times and the lines have been crazy, especially on their first few days. I haven’t had the chance to try anything yet, but it all looks really good. I love their giant doughnut throne they added, which is an amalgamation of all their different and unique doughnut creations. I had to wait about 5 minutes to get this photo because there were so many people getting in an out of the chair for a photo op.

Check it out:

Voodoo Doughnuts Throne - City Walk, Orlando

Voodoo Doughnuts Throne – City Walk, Orlando

Satu’li Canteen – Avatar Land – Animal Kingdom Theme Park WDW

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It’s been a while since I’ve posted, so much to do and so little time. But, we were able to get in a special sneak peak at the new Avatar Land in Animal Kingdom Theme Park, thanks to our Annual Passes.  I reserved space for a preview when they announced it back at the end of March.
I was really looking forward to trying the new Satu’li Canteen, the quick service location that is in Avatar Land.  I had watched a trip report last week and the person was saying that they thought the food was top notch.
Satu'li Canteen Chicken Bowl

Satu’li Canteen Chicken Bowl

We got to eat at Satu’li Canteen today. We didn’t order a lot of different items or desserts. It was way too hot out for sweets.  I ordered a chicken meal with rice, I tried the onion chimichurri sauce an my husband had the black bean vinaigrette. My husband tried the “green beer”. We ordered from the build you own bowl menu, you pick a protein, a base, then a sauce. The base could be like quinoa, rice, salad, or potato.
Satu'li Canteen Chicken Bowl

Satu’li Canteen Chicken Bowl

I thought the food was very good, especially for quick service. It was nice to have a meal that seemed healthy, grilled meat, brown rice, and some veg and sauce for flavor. My husband said the black bean sauce tasted a little tangy, probably the vinegar, maybe it was meant to pair well with the salad base.  Portion was decent, it was enough to fill up from my completely empty stomach. I hadn’t eaten all day and I was hungry.  The fountain drinks were refillable, there were no annoying RFID chips in the paper cups, which was nice. I like to combine two drinks together, like lemonade and soda or vitamin water.  Price for two meals, one 22 oz. beer, and one fountain drink was about $38 and change. No discounts available right now for passholders, TiW, or DVC.
Satu'li Canteen Green Beer

Satu’li Canteen Green Beer – Hawkes’ Grog Ale

The restaurant was interesting, a mixture of “alien” technology and primitive and natural design, there was a lot to look, it was a nice cool relaxing space. It was like a cafeteria, you get your food on trays and take them to your table. The plates they were using were nicer than typical paper plates, these were stylish plastic bowls that seemed like washable dishware.  The had metal utensils rather than plastic as well, a nice touch.
I can imagine how busy it is going to be after the main opening. Today the canteen filled up a lot after about 6:30 pm. There was outside seating as well.

Sanaa Restaurant – Walt Disney World Orlando, FL

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Sanaa Lounge Appetizers

Sanaa Lounge Appetizers

Sanaa Lounge, Kidani Village Resort / Animal Kingdom Lodge, Walt Disney World

Bread Service, 5 Traditional Naan Bread with 3 dips (cucumber raita – yogurt and cucumber, mango chutney, and hummus) & Samosas – Spiced Peas and Potato in a bread dough with tamarind sauce, mango chutney and shredded vegetables

We love ordering the bread service at Sanaa, it is one of the most popular things on their menu.  We usually order all traditional naan bread, but they offer 5 different ones (I believe one of them is very spicy) and if you do not specify which ones, they bring out one of each. You get to choose your dips as well, we choose three of the most mild ones they have, each of the ones we get are delicious.

The lounge at Sanaa is small, they don’t take reservations in the lounge – which is good because most of the time you need a reservation for the restaurant, but here you can come in and get service as long as you can catch a table. There is some seating at the bar, then two 4 top half booths, and a long table – I think an 8 top.  Good news, you can order anything off Sanaa’s full menu at the lounge, and they also have special appetizers like the Samosas available here as well.

Biryani with Shrimp

Biryani with Shrimp

We ordered a Biryani with Shrimp to share, it was so good. I’ve ordered it before and loved it.

They have great coffee and have a full bar, plus some specialty drinks only found at this restaurant. For anyone who likes adventurous eating, you definitely should try Sanaa.  It is one of our favorite places at Disney.

 

 

Where I get my Disney Main Street Bakery Cinnamon Bun fix…

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Main Street Bakery Cinnamon Buns

Main Street Bakery Cinnamon Buns

Mmm Cinnamon Buns…

The Main Street Bakery Cinnamon Bun is a sore spot for some folks, specifically where the two worlds of Cinnamon Bun aficionados and die hard Disney fans collide. I’d draw a Venn diagram but I’m sure you got the picture. It might be a small portion of people but you’ll come across one eventually – like me!  Frankly, I would have thought there would be more die hard CB fans (I call them CBs for short), after all you’ve got your Dole Whip people, your Turkey Leg people, Churro people, and Mickey Ice Cream people, etc.

My point in posting today is that I have finally found a cinnamon bun that rivals the Main Street Bakery’s CB.  No, it isn’t the one at Gaston’s – which is wretched and dry (plus it is maple – ew). I’ve found what I was looking for at an Amish Bakery in Sarasota, and it was someplace we’ve been going to for years. The place is called Der Dutchman and it’s a bit of a drive. They are popular place in the local area, they have a full service restaurant and buffet, plus a huge gift shop and bakery.

Der Dutchman is making cinnamon buns with both maple and vanilla glaze, and they are making them in various shapes and sizes. They offer them in 2 pack large rectangle (most similar to the Main Street original in size and shape), and a 4 pack large round, and 6 pack small, all with various icing. Some packs are all maple, or all vanilla, and some have both.  Their prices are great too. But the best thing about them is that they got the consistency right.  I like to heat up my CB in the microwave for about 30 seconds to get the bun warmed up and icing slightly melted.  For those who LOVE icing, those who always wanted extra icing, the good news is that Der Dutchman really slathers it on thick, there is so much icing you probably can’t even finish it.  My trick is to heat it, let the extra icing roll off, and then eat it. Whatever rolls off I leave on my plate, I can’t even finish it.

If you are making a drive all the way to Sarasota, FL, be sure to call them first to see if they have it, because they often sell out of product. I’ve also been told they don’t hold product for people.

P.S. They also make the best chocolate cake ever.

Here is the information for Der Dutchman (it’s actually just down the street from Yoder’s which was featured on Man v. Food)

ADDRESS

3713 Bahia Vista Street
Sarasota, FL 34232
941-955-8007

HOURS

Restaurant & Bakery, Nov–Apr
Monday–Thursday: 6am–8pm
Friday–Saturday: 6am–9pm

Summer Hours, May – Oct
Monday–Saturday: 7am–8pm

 

Pandora – World of Avatar Annual Passholder Preview May 2017

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Special Event - Annual Passholder Preview of Avatar Land

Special Event – Annual Passholder Preview of Avatar Land (Artwork courtesy of Disney)

Disney is hosting a Preview of Avatar land in Animal Kingdom for Annual Passholders.You must have valid theme park admission to be eligible, so Epcot after 4pm passholders for instance would not be eligible.

There were 4 dates available, May 15, 16, 17 and May 22. There were 3 time slots per day, each time slot is 2 hours. Times were 12 noon to 2pm, 3 pm to 5pm, or 6pm to 8pm.

There are limited spaces available and registration has already begun.

Follow this link:

https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/passholder-program/verify/?CMP=EMC-WDWFY17Q2PHPANDORAEM0001&awc=2632_1490369714_cdbd64508b81c4d8e794893cb5e8529e&utm_medium=affiliate&utm_source=Skimlinks&utm_campaign=Editorial+Content

Good Luck!

Chuy’s Tres Leches Cake

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Chuy's Tres Leches Cake

Chuy’s Tres Leches Cake

Chuy’s Tex Mex Restaurant

Three locations in Orlando, Florida (and many throughout the US)

Chuy’s Tres Leches Cake is worth the trip. I love this dessert. It’s huge, big enough for two to share. It might look heavy, but it tastes light and refreshing.  I’ve had tres leches from a few other places, but none compare to Chuy’s.

Cost: roughly $7 plus tax and tip.

Practically everything on Chuy’s menu is great, my only complaint is that I can’t handle spicy food the way I used to and I can’t eat spicy food later at night.

Nomad Lounge – Disney’s Animal Kingdom

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Nomad Lounge

Nomad Lounge

Nomad Lounge is a brand new lounge located in Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park. It is situated in the same building as Tiffins which is also new.  Tiffins is one of Disney’s ‘signature’ restaurants – the designation denotes it is one of their highest level of food and service that they offer.  There are roughly 15 signature restaurants at Walt Disney World.  The Nomad Lounge offers high end nibbles and refreshments.

The Nomad Lounge had an Adventurer’s Club type atmosphere, rich colors, dark woods, and unique decor gives it a British Colonial feel, slightly exotic – but also luxurious. It is open seating, both indoor or outdoor. I’m sure the outdoor seating will be very nice once the weather cools off, right now there are too many mosquitoes.

We ordered the vegetarian summer rolls and the cheese board.

Vegetarian Summer Rolls

Vegetarian Summer Rolls $7

These were really delicious, but very hard to eat. When they cut them in half like this, they are hard to hold together, they just want to fall apart. The outer wrapper is very chewy, be careful eating it.  This was slightly spicy, the ponzu sauce was really complementary.

 

Artisanal Cheeses

Selection of Artisanal Cheeses $12

The cheese selection was very nice. The chunky yellow one was an aged cow cheese, reminded me of cheddar. The white one on the left was a goat cheese, very mild though which was perfect for my taste, I don’t really like strong goat cheese.  And the white one in the middle back was a tangy blue cheese. A small portion of marcona almonds, toasted bread (very crisp), and a gooseberry for accompaniments.

Kungaloosh Ale

Kungaloosh Ale $8.75

If you are a fan of Sam Adams Winter Lager, you will probably really enjoy this Kungaloosh Spiced Excursion Ale, it has some unique spices and nutty finish. It went really well with the food.

Keep in mind the portion sizes are small, prices are a bit high – this is pretty typical for any of the lounges, especially those adjacent to signature restaurants.  They are taking the Tables In Wonderland card here (20% discount for members – http://www.tablesinwonderland.com).

I’d say the best time to visit the Nomad Lounge would be around the last hour or hour and a half before the park closes. The crowd thinned out the later it got. I’d definitely go back and am also interested in trying Tiffins as well.