20 Tips for Visiting DisneyWorld

So, if you follow me on social media, you know that I love Disney. My family and I go there often, and in fact, my husband and I even go there for dates.  We’re large children at heart, apparently.

Since we live in Central Florida now, we have annual passes– which means that I’m very experienced at some tricks for making your visit more enjoyable.  I thought I’d share!

  1.  Make sure you have the Disney App.  It allows you to make fast passes, dining reservations, check wait times, etc.
  2. Make fast passes on your app or computer.  You get to make three at a time, and when you’ve ridden all three attractions, you can make new fast passes at a kiosk.  It’s more convenient to get a magic band, rather than using your plastic card ticket.

magic bands

3.  Look for the “hidden mickeys”.  They are hidden in various places throughout the park– in the form of paint rings, sculptures, rock art, etc.

Hidden Mickeys

4.  Make Fastpasses for rides like The Mine Train, and Peter Pan (Magic Kingdom), and Soarin’ (Epcot) as far in advance as you can.  They sell out fast, and the stand-by lines reach 80 minutes regularly.

5.  If it’s your birthday, stop by guest relations and get a birthday button.  Cast members will be wishing you a Happy Birthday all day long– which makes your day even more special.

6.  If you’re a woman, and don’t absolutely need to take your purse in, don’t.  Then you can skip the bag check lines at the gate.

7.  The best place to see tons of princess is the Breakfast buffet in Norway.  Plus you get yummy food for Breakfast!

Norway breakfast

8.  I personally think the best times to go to D-World (in terms of lighter crowds) are September, November and February.   Christmas, Spring Break and Summer are crazy busy.

9.  It’s ALWAYS least busy at night.  We like to make fast-passes for the evening, and arrive at 6:00-ish and stay til 11:00-ish.  If you’re a fireworks fan, they put on the best show– every night.

10.  Ride lines are shorter during parades.  So if you’re not the biggest parade fan (we’re not), then skip the parade and hop on rides.

11.  At Epcot, ride the Spaceship Earth in the afternoon or evening. Since it’s right inside the gate, many people will get in line as they go in, and stand there for a long time.  So skip that one and ride it on your way out- or make a fast-pass.

spaceship earth

12.  There’s an entrance to Animal Kingdom through Rain Forest Cafe. So if lines are really long, cut through the restaurant.

13.  Best places to eat at Animal Kingdom:  Tusker House, and The Yak and the Yeti.  Both places are fairly expensive, but delicious.

14.  The Beast’s castle in Magic Kingdom is awesome– and it contains the Be Our Guest restaurant.  You need reservations for dinner (and make these months ahead of time), but you can usually walk in for lunchtime.  Make sure you get the Gray Stuff (Master’s cupcake) for dessert. It’s delicious!

beast's castle

15.  Don’t overlook riding the People Mover in Tomorrowland.  It’s a great way to rest your feet, cool off, and see attractions. We ride it every time.

16.  One of my favorite roller-coasters ever is the Rock n’ Rollercoaster in Hollywood Studios.  Try to make a funny face during the take-off, that’s when they snap the picture.  It accelerates so fast, that I can never manage to keep my eyes open during the beginning.

Rock n Roller Coaster

17.  If you go during winter months, truly– pack a jacket.  You think that Florida never gets chilly, but it does at night, and especially if it rains.  Pack a small umbrella, too.

Mine Train

18. Wear comfortable shoes, and take a ponytail holder.  I know it’s tempting to want to look cute– you’re on vacation, I get it.  But trust me, it’s humid here.  You might spend an hour curling or straightening your hair, but the humidity is going to spoil it within an hour.  Wear a ponytail or mom-bun.  And skip the fancy sandals.  Wear tennis shoes.  Thank me later.

19.  Don’t skip the Hall of Presidents at the Magic Kingdom. The presidents are so lifelike.  It’s a great ride to go on when it rains.

20.  When you ride Thunder Mountain– if you like to go faster, sit toward the back. If you like to go slower, sit at the front.  You can request that of the person placing you in line.

thunder mountain


Most of all, keep hydrated and have fun.  It’s going to be busy, it’s going to be crowded.  But it IS the happiest place on earth.

DisneyWorld arch

Cougar Chronicles Sequel!!!! Finally!!

(Yes, finally!)



Whenever I have signings, one of the most commonly asked questions is WHEN WILL CONFESSIONS OF AN ALLI CAT HAVE A SEQUEL??  Yes, it’s usually spoken in all shouty caps.

I know.  Alli Cat was released in 2012, and It’s now 2016.  BUT!! Time is just a number, like age, because TODAY, the sequel is released.

If you want to read Sara’s story– it’s here, it’s here, it’s here!



Our definition of Cougar:

A sexy, confidant woman who knows who and what she wants.

This is Sara’s story.

She’s fiery, sassy and explodes at any given second.

She’s sexy, funny and wildly inappropriate.

She pokes holes in eggplants,

And has an obsession with penises.

She might be a train-wreck,

but she sure has fun before she crashes.



Also, just in case you haven’t read Confessions of an Alli Cat, it’s on sale for three days.. from now until April 26th.  If you enjoy wildly inappropriate things, you need this book in your life.



I hope you enjoy the sequel.  I’m sorry it took so long to write.  But I do plan on writing other novellas in the Cougar Chronicles.  They’re a fun break from reality— a chance to laugh at ridiculous things.  Have fun with them!

Have a great weekend!



Let’s take 2016 by the balls!

Happy New Year!!   *throws confetti and sips a mimosa*

I hope your 2015 was awesome, and that you’re gearing up to completely crush 2016.  I know I am.  I took a lot of time off last year for personal reasons, but I’m ready to get back in the saddle now.

CoCo beach

I had an epiphany last night in the middle of the night.  Yes, I know.  I don’t know why my moments of genius always come at 2am, but they do, which is weird because I’m SO not a night-owl.

But anyway.

I’ve decided that I’m not going to live in fear in 2015.  

I’ve been hesitant to fully engage in life for the past few months because of a personal issue, something I’m still battling to overcome—because I’m AFRAID that it might come back or recur.

And you know what?  That’s a dumb way to live.

If I spend my time worrying that it will come back, it’ll mar each and every day that I have, and so in essence, I’m ROBBING MYSELF OF JOY and I’m giving my fear power.

I’m not willing to do that, and I hope you aren’t either.  Fear is a choice, and I’m choosing to close the door on mine.

No matter what is troubling you, I hope that you choose to put it aside, to decide that you’ll handle it IF it should ever arise.  Don’t worry about it before it happens.

I’m ready to grab 2016 by the balls and make it my bitch– and I hope you are too!

Let’s DO THIS!!



40 Things I’ve Learned in 40 Years

Sooooo, my 40th birthday was yesterday.

I thought it was going to be this big, terrible, scary thing, but you know what?  It wasn’t.  I feel good, I’m healthy, I’m in an awesome place in my life, and I’ve learned A LOT in this 40 years.  So much, in fact, that I wouldn’t go back to my 20’s if you paid me.  And I’m not even kitten you right meow.

40th Birthday, Courtney

I celebrated with a margarita lunch, and I wore a tiara all day.  I went to Epcot and wore a Happy Birthday button, so tons of people were wishing me a great day, and I dragged my kids and hubby to Medieval Times, because I’m nerdy like that.  (Why does the Green Knight always get to win?)

Medieval Times with Bella

I’m not gonna lie.  This past year was hard for me.  SO HARD because of personal reasons.  And you know what?  Life is like that sometimes.  You take your knocks.  You fight back.  You get knocked down, so you get up again, and kick life in the face and you keep going.  That’s what adversity and trauma teach you.  YOU CAN DO IT.  You can make it.  You keep getting up in the morning, and you just keep doing it.  That’s how you make it to better and brighter days.

I’ve learned a few other things in the past forty years, too.  In no particular order, here are 40 bits of knowledge that I’ve banked up:

  1. You can’t please everyone, so you just have to please yourself.  It sounds trite, but it’s true.
  2. Wear a Pashmina to the airport.  It doubles as a blanket if your flight gets delayed.
  3. Take care of your skin.  You’re not going to be 20 forever (thank God!) but having good skin makes you look that way.
  4. Be your own hero.  You can’t always count on someone else swooping in and having your back.  So you know what?  HAVE YOUR OWN.
  5. Chocolate chips will do in a pinch when you get a sweet tooth and three’s nothing else in the house.
  6. Sleep in when you can and order room service in your robe.
  7. You’re never too old for Harry Potter or DisneyWorld.
  8. Drink lots of water.  It keeps you pretty.
  9. What you put into the world comes back to you.  Karma is real, people.
  10. Blood isn’t always your family– it’s who you choose.
  11. What doesn’t kill you really will make you stronger. Or crazy.
  12. You can dye your hair 12 times in month and it won’t fall out.  Probably.
  13. You can never aim too high.  I mean it.
  14. No one is better than you, and you aren’t better than anyone.
  15. Laugh lines are totally worth it.
  16. If you rely on someone else to make you happy or to complete you, you’ll never be happy or complete.
  17. A good night’s sleep can literally make all the difference.
  18. Don’t judge yourself too harshly.  There are plenty of people in the world who will do that for you.
  19. To prevent a hangover, drink a glass of water for every alcoholic drink you have.  I’m serious. It works.
  20. Don’t drink wine and hard liquor in the same night, though.
  21. Your mistakes don’t define you.
  22. Use manners and treat others with respect.  it goes a long way.
  23. Don’t carry hatred.  The only person it hurts is you.
  24. If you don’t try, you won’t fail.  But you won’t win, either.
  25. Your kids will learn to value what you value.  So be a good role model.
  26. TRUST Y OUR GUT.  This took me 40 years to really get through my thick head.  Your gut will NOT steer you wrong.
  27. Invest in good shoes.
  28. Do things that scare you.  It will wake you up and make you feel alive.
  29. No matter how much money you make, save some.  Even if you aren’t making much money right now, save a little. Even $5 a week will add up eventually.
  30. You become like the people you surround yourself with, so choose them wisely.
  31. Ask for what you want and say what you need.  People can’t read your mind.
  32. Vacations are important.  Take them.  The memories you make with your family are priceless.  Your job comes second to them.  When you’re dead and gone, your job will just find someone to replace you. You are irreplaceable to your family.
  33.  Artificial foods/sweeteners can’t be good for you.  Don’t eat them.  Just use moderation with the real stuff instead.
  34. Comparison is the thief of joy. (<<– my BFF Michelle Leighton taught me this).
  35. Feelings aren’t facts.  When you get into arguments, don’t use them as such.
  36. Everyone has their own crosses to bear and demons to fight.  Don’t judge them.
  37. If you don’t have time to shower before bed, at least wash your face and feet.  You’ll sleep better. (See #17)
  38. Vulnerabilities and weaknesses don’t make you weak.
  39. Never ask if a woman is pregnant, no matter how much she looks like she is.
  40. It’s ok to paint over chipped toenail polish.

There you have it.  These are the things I can think of off the top of my head.

Age is just a number.  It really is.  Feel fantastic and do fantastic things.  That’s what matters. My goal now is to make my 40’s my b@tch.  My plan is to make it the best decade of my life so far.  I’ve never shirked away from anything in my life, and I’m not about to start now.

Watch out, 40’s.  I’m coming for you. 

I’m going to do the things that are still on my goal list.

I’m going to write the books that are bursting to get out.

I’m going to take more vacations.

I’m going to stress less about the things I can’t change.

I’m going to keep toxic things out of my life, and keep reaching for more knowledge, more grace.

I’m going to walk in the blood of my enemies.  << Ok, fine.  That last one was an exaggeration.  Lol.  But you get the point.

I’ve got this.  And no matter what point you are in life, or how old you are, so do you.


She believed she could, so she did