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The Hilliard Clan's Guide to Disney World...with a toddler.

It's no secret that our family loves Disney World. We were lucky enough to have gone three times in the past year. Every trip we learn new tips and tricks that make our vacations more enjoyable and less hectic. Traveling with a toddler to Disney can be hard and stressful, so here is the Hilliard Clan's guide to Disney World with a toddler!

Planning

When to go:
There used to be "sweet" spots in the year where Disney was just less crowded, but Disney has done a great job with year round special events that keep the parks relatively busy all year long. Of course the summer months when kids are off of school are still the busiest times to go to Disney World. Here are some things to take into consideration when figuring out when to travel to Disney.
-Go when flights are cheaper.
Pay attention to flight and hotel costs. I check flight prices literally everyday and that's when I base when my family goes to Disney. Of course this requires the ability to book a trip "l…
Recent posts

40 Pounds Gone With Keto

*Disclaimer: I am in no way a medical professional or an expert of the Ketogenic diet. The following is my experience with keto and my results.

Flashback to the end of March 2018
I've always had low confidence but it was at an all time low and I consumed myself with YouTube videos and bad eating habits. In an attempt to better myself, I signed back up for my local gym and went a whole whopping three times and wasn't "feeling" it. A beauty influencer I followed was talking about her recent weight loss with the Ketogenic diet and it peaked my interest. So...I did what I do best, and googled the crap out of this whole Keto thing and decided the next day I'd try it out. That was March 26, 2018.

What is the Ketogenic Diet?
How I explain Keto because I'm again not a medical expert is; a low carb but high fat diet. Instead of your body burning carbohydrates for energy it instead burns fat. If you want a more in depth explanation there's a million websites that you…

Quick Melanoma Update

If you have by chance read one of my previous blog posts you know that at the end of August 2017, I found out I had Melanoma. I saw an oncologist in September and surgery to remove more tissue surrounding the lesion called a Wide Local Excision and to remove and test lymph nodes called a Sentinel Node Biopsy was performed in the beginning of October.

October 4, 2017: SURGERY DAY

Nuclear testing prior to surgery:
I had to arrive much earlier than my scheduled surgery time, because I required nuclear dye testing to locate which lymph nodes that area of my thigh “drain” to. A tracer material was injected at the site of my melanoma (upper thigh) and it was tracked on a screen to see which lymph nodes it reached first. During this process I had to lay on the skinniest metal “bed” I have ever been on. It was most uncomfortable 45 minutes! The lymph nodes that the dye reached first were the ones in my left groin area. "Lovely!"

My surgery:
The melanoma located on my left upper thigh…

Overcoming my hatred for breastfeeding

Breastfeeding is the mother of all topics when your pregnant. You get asked the same question over and over again from your doctor, family, friends, and even complete strangers, “are you going to breastfeed?”

Before I go any further, I’m going to go ahead and make one thing clear. I am 100% pro “fed is best.” This post is in no way meant to offend or put down those who couldn’t or did not choose to breastfeed.

This is my story and journey through breastfeeding...

Here's the deal, I've never been fond of the idea of breastfeeding. The thought of having a baby attached to my boob just never sounded glamorous. Of course, when I got older and understood the benefits and the purpose of breastfeeding I decided it would be something I'd at least attempt when the time came. I knew even before I became pregnant that breastfeeding is and can be hard, but it wasn’t until I had my own baby that I fully understood what all went into breastfeeding.
Establishing a proper latch is the fir…

I saw the oncologist today...

If you read my prior post, you know that last week I found out I have Melanoma. You also read about how I'm a researcher and googled probably every case scenario for my melanoma. It really does come in handy to have a prior knowledge of what to expect going forward. I find it helpful and less stressful to have an idea as to what will be said and happen at my appointments.

Bright and early today, well actually it was very cloudy and rainy, my husband and I made the 1.5 hour trip to the UPMC Passavant Cancer Center in McCandless, PA. If there was ever a more organized and laid out hospital, it was this one. All the doors outside were labeled so that you knew which one to enter that way you were closer to your actual destination. I got to see the main lobby, the lab, and obviously the cancer center wing, and they were all so nice. Anyways to the point..
The surgical oncologist told me pretty much everything I expected to hear. I will need a wide local excision and a sentinel lymph n…

Today I went for a drive

Today I went for a drive. In the seat next to me, the pathology results from a mole I had removed one week prior. Diagnosis; Malignant Melanoma. Yes, you read that right, I have skin cancer. 
What do you do when you find out you have cancer at 26 years old? You go for a drive! So, that's what I did with my 7 month old son, snoring in the backseat. 
I have a great appreciation for the great outdoors and today was a great day to take in the scenery. On a back road I passed a large gathering of Amish, I'm assuming it was for a wedding. I passed some of the prettiest and most unique homes I've ever seen. At a four way corner stood an very old convenience store that was surprisingly still operational, even though it was out in the middle of nowhere. I wish I could have stopped to take a picture because it honestly looked like an old photograph. The other great thing I witnessed today on my travels was the already changing leaves here in northwest Pennsylvania! Oh how I love fall.…

The heart-wrenching part of Trying to Conceive

Trying to conceive (TTC for short) is an emotional roller coaster, but there are heart-wrenching moments during the journey that are hard to face. Moments that you know you should feel a different way but you can only feel your heart tearing to pieces. Those moments are what I am writing about in this post.

I began officially TTC in December 2014, but more like January 2015. I was excited, eager, and just plain naive! I mean how hard could it possibly be to get pregnant? Especially since guess what...Your best friend AND sister-in-law just told you they were PREGNANT! It was so exciting thinking that my best friend and I would be pregnant at the same time! I believe we even went as far as planning out our summer drinking lemonade by the lake...


January and February came and went without a positive pregnancy test and by March I was already getting the feeling that this wasn't going to be easy for me. When March also ended without me being pregnant I realized my chances of having a…