Baby Shower Cookies

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A few weekends ago, I helped host a friend’s baby shower, and took on the task of making favors. When thinking about favor ideas, I decided on going with something edible. I had never seriously decorated cookies with icing before, so i decided to take a crack at it, using a design for a very dapper little boy.

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The first step was simply making sugar cookies. I used a very basic sugar cookie recipe, and cut out over 50 cookies from three batches of cookie dough. This was a large shower, so I made sure there would be more than enough for guests to take home. The onesie cookie cutter was easy to find online, and I have also seen it at local craft stores.

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For the colors, I took inspiration from the party invitations, and stuck with a classy black and white outfit with a pop of light blue. The piping was certainly more difficult than James and I anticipated; one tricky issue was figuring out the consistency of the icing. We needed some thick icing for outlining, as well as some that was thinner and looser that would pool to fill in shapes.

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After a while, we got the hang of it, and set all cookies out to decorate in an assembly line fashion. James was in charge of doing a lot of the more precise lines, and determined that he couldn’t get the buttons to be neat enough with icing, so we decided instead to use some candy pearls for those.

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The baby blue bow ties added the final touch to these treats, tying the little outfit together. Being a first time effort, they certainly were not perfect, but I was pleased with them overall. I’m glad that I had the opportunity to try out cookie decorating, and most importantly to put a smile on the expectant mother’s face.

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Tokyo Disney Resort

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A very important part of our Japan trip was visiting the Tokyo Disney Resort, and Tokyo DisneySea in particular. In our many years of Disney Parks fandom, we have read and heard so much about this park, and after seeing it, we can definitely say that some of the best work Walt Disney Imagineering has ever done lies within DisneySea.

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So much of the park is about exploring on foot, rather than boarding ride vehicles. At Explorer’s Landing, there is so much to discover inside the fortress, as well as on the sailing ship docked outside.

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We dined at Magellan’s Restaurant, which is part of the experience of Explorer’s Landing. In the center of the restaurant is this large globe that subtly rotates while diners enjoy their meal.

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The fortress was built by the Society of Explorers and Adventurers, which is an organization that Imagineering has woven into many stories throughout the Disney Parks.

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The story of the S.E.A. continues at Hotel Hightower, where a member of the organization has had a strange mishap with an elevator…

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The scope of DisneySea is unimaginable. There is even an entire ocean liner inside of the park. We boarded the ship and had a drink at The Teddy Roosevelt Lounge.

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We had so many fun treats at the parks, but the little green dumplings filled with mochi were definitely the cutest.

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Mysterious Island is the base of Captain Nemo, and the home port of the Nautilus. It shares similarities with Discoveryland in Disneyland Paris, but it is much more extensive and provides a cohesive story.

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James’ favorite ride in the park is Journey to the Center of the Earth, which he puts right up there with the Disneyland mountains.

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Taking a relaxing gondola cruise through Mediterranean Harbor is a good way to rest your feet after so many great walkthrough attractions.

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Casbah Food Court has many hidden away spots to escape the crowds.

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Chandu the tiger is from my favorite attraction in the park, Sinbad’s Storybook Voyage. Its tone lies somewhere between it’s a small world and traditional dark rides. As soon as I saw this little plush I knew I had to bring him back home with me.

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We stayed at the Tokyo Disneyland Hotel, which is right outside the gate of Tokyo Disneyland, similar to the Disneyland Hotel at Disneyland Paris.

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Of all the troubled Tomorrowlands that we have visited, the Tokyo Disneyland version is the only one that we wouldn’t consider broken. It feels like it still has an identity and is not just a messy stylistic mashup.

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James had looked at so many photos of this spot in Tomorrowland while working on various science fiction projects, and he was so excited to finally be there in person.

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The exit for Star Tours that leads into the top level of Pan Galactic Pizza Port really feels like you’re in a spaceport and gives this Tomorrowland a sense of place.

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Our favorite attraction in Tokyo Disneyland is Monsters, Inc. Ride & Go Seek. This was one of two attractions in the park that were highly recommended, but sadly the other, Pooh’s Hunny Hunt was closed.

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The whimsy of the exterior of It’s a Small World flows seamlessly into Queen of Hearts Banquet Hall.

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There are adorable homes for all sizes of critters in Grandma Sara’s Kitchen.

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Visiting a new Disney park is such a thrill, and it’s always surreal to see slight variations on familiar attractions. Disneyland, USA will always be our favorite park, but Tokyo DisneySea certainly gives it a run for its money.