MousekaTools is Going to Walt Disney World!

Well folks, look outside because somewhere out there, pigs are flying. Or maybe they’re being carried by Tinkerbell and her Pixie Hollow friends. Either way, things are getting crazy. My wonderful, amazing, incredible, loving, sweet husband has given me the go ahead to book a vacation. This may sound like I am going overboard a smidge, but no, trust me, I am not. We don’t do “vacations” in the traditional sense around here. We go on trips to see our families and we have done a few overnighters here and there. This is a real, honest to goodness, get on a plane and fly across the country, vacation. Hang onto your hats and glasses folks, because this family is going to Walt Disney World…and I may die of happiness before I even get there.

I can't keep calm, I'm Going to Disney World

Follow along as this family of Walt Disney World newbies makes plans for our magical trip to Florida! Any suggestions for us? I can use all the help I can get!

My Disney Side @Home Celebration

This post is part of a series of posts for my #DisneySide @Home Celebration Party through Mom Select. I received free product in order to host a party and talk about it on my social media networks. 

Disney Side

You know how it goes with kids. Life gets crazy and you get busy. Too busy to pick up the phone or even respond to a facebook message in a timely manner. Kids are incredible, but it can be tough. This is why moms need friends. Especially other mom friends. Ones you can call and say “I am dumping all of my children on your porch for a half hour while I go grab a coffee and get my head screwed on straight again.” Yep. Those friends. These are people I wanted to celebrate and party with for my Disney Side @Home Celebration….oh, and their wonderful kids as well!

Disney Side Celebration

All of the craziness mentioned above is exactly why I decided to forego my awesomely planned pinterest party (which I will have to throw someday since it really was awesome) and go with the party that had been all planned out for us in our Disney Side @Home Celebration kits! It really has everything you’d need to plan a party: recipes as well as games! Don’t forget that you can download your own kit with recipes and all for your very own party! On top of these things, I did receive some awesome Mickey party decorations along with the kit I was sent a few weeks ago! Not to mention the amazing American Tourister suitcase, which I had to incorporate into the decor as well. It turned into a kind of push toy for the toddlers, and I gotta say, it is kid tough and kid approved!

Disney Side Celebration, American Tourister Suitcase

We’ll start with the food (because I am a major foodie who believes that every good party needs some tasty snacks!) I served a trail mix bar in these adorable little red and white striped boxes that I found on Oriental Trading (also sold through Amazon as well.) We had Ocean Spray Craisins, Cheerios, M&M’s, chocolate chips, marshmallows. peanuts, raisins, goldfish crackers, fruit snacks and chocolate covered Mickey pretzels (that I picked up in Target’s Valentine’s Day section.) The boxes worked out really well because everyone could create their own trail mix with things that they liked.  In addition to this there were Mickey chicken nuggets (from Costco….the second happiest place on earth) so that the kiddos wouldn’t fill up on only the sweet stuff. Since I am an adult, I am allowed to binge on sweet stuff and ruin my dinner….just don’t tell my mommy on me! I also had some gluten free chocolate chip cookies at the ready for the gluten free crowd.

Disney Side Celebration

We also made Dole Whips! Well not exactly, but it was pineapple deliciousness and totally worth the blender I bought just to make them! I may or may not have copied Epcot’s brain child after the party and added some rum to the already yummy treat. I think that Captain Jack Sparrow would have approved.

Disney Side Party, "Dole Whip"

And last but not least, desert! I had ordered a sugar icing image off of etsy that had a picture of the Disneyland castle. It was incredibly cute, but came in the mail a couple of days too late. So, I did what any party planner would do, and panicked! You can’t have a party without desert! So I ran out to the store and grabbed some pre-made (gasp) cupcakes and a box of Oreos and voila! Mickey cupcakes. Granted, the frosting was a little thin so I probably should have gotten the Oreo minis. Since my party guests were all moms who were used to going with the flow, we went with it and the guests put together their own cupcake right before eating it! It totally worked out.

Disney Side Celebration

As for the entertainment, we played the Disney trivia game that was sent along with my kit a few weeks before my party. Being that I am a “Disneylander” I was thrown by a few of the Walt Disney World questions. One of the fun things about Disney is that there is always something new to discover. And of course, learning new things about “The World” only makes me want to go there! If Florida were a smidgen closer to California, I probably would have already driven myself there by now.

 Disney Side Celebration

There were more games planned, like a bingo game and a game where we put pictures of Disneyland attractions in the order that they were built, but we didn’t get around to them. The parents were busy talking about recent trips to Disneyland and swapping trip tips. And the kiddos, well, right before my party, Frozen had come out on itunes. So, they were pretty engrossed in that for the majority of the party. It is such a wonderful movie. If you haven’t already seen it, it is definitely worthy of a family movie night.

Disney Side Celebration

As the little ones got hungry and came into the kitchen for snacks, they took note of the craft table that I had set up with blank books, markers, stickers, mickey shapes and glue. The craft was making autograph/photo books for their next Disney trip! I really like the idea of incorporating photos into your autograph books so that you can remember the moment that Tigger signed your book for all of eternity. The kids had a good time decorating them after the movie was over.

Disney Side Celebration

I also had devised a plan of getting a picture taken of each family in front of my glorious backdrop so that I could print them out on the HP Photocards that I was provided in my kit and put them inside everyone’s books. Well, many of the kids were not too into posing for me, and strangely enough, the moms didn’t want to wear the Merida wigs I had ready for them. While it didn’t quite go as planned, I did still get some great pictures of my friends and guests.

Disney Side Celebration

Disney Side Celebration

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Disney Side Celebration

 

After it was all over, I sent my friends home with a bag full of the goodies that was included in the kit I was mailed as well as some yummy cookies I made just for the occasion! I was going to make them red, but of course, I ran low on the red “tasteless” dye. So I improvised and made them blue. No big deal as they were yummy in whatever color!

Disney Side Celebration

Parties rarely go according to plan, unless your plan is to have a great time catching up with your friends while chatting about Disney. The party was an incredible success and I am so glad that I was selected for this party as it made me take the time to celebrate those amazing people I have been blessed to befriend. It also gave the kids that much needed time off from running around from activity to activity and it let them just dress up in their Disney wear and veg out with their friends. I hope you’ll check out the Disney Side Celebrations site I mentioned above and consider hosting a little get together of your own. because really, friends and Disney just go together.

And just for fun, my friend even got her pets in on the Disney love!

Disney Side Celebration Disney Side Celebration

*I received free products in order to host the Disney Side @Home Celebration. The thoughts and opinions expressed here are my own.

Be sure to hop around and see all of the other incredible parties that were thrown by some very crafty bloggers by clicking the button below!


Show Your Disney Side Party Blog Hop - Focused on the Magic

Sofia the First Dance Party and CD Giveaway

When we get packages at our house, our kids are always incredibly excited. Even when it is car parts for my husband they comment with things like “wow, I love it!” We order a lot of things online, so almost daily they experience the thrill of seeing the UPS truck pull up and drop off that package full of unknown surprises…even though it is rarely something for them. Well, last week the kids got to open a free cd that I was sent to give my honest review of…it was Sofia the First: Songs From Enchancia. My two youngest (2 and 4) almost broke the cd case trying to get the package open. No joke. Once they saw it was Sofia the First on the cd, they politely demanded an immediate listening party in the way that toddlers and preschoolers do that might seem pushy if it wasn’t so incredibly cute. My 4 year old then changed her mind and said “you can’t play it yet” and ran away. She has been known to change her mind, but what in the world could have changed her mind that fast? This.

Daughter as Sofia the FirstYep, no cd listening party would be complete without the appropriate purple princess attire. The girls had a great time dancing around the living room to all of the fun songs. Not to mention the karaoke fun that was had with the additional sing-a-long versions of a few songs at the end of the cd. They didn’t know the actual words well enough to sing them, but their made up lyrics seemed to go with the music perfectly!

Sofia the First CD

The thing I discovered about this cd is that it has magical powers. I am not sure how, but it kept the girls from fighting for at least two hours. I can’t tell you for certain if it was just the Sofia music or if that kind of peacefulness comes with all music. I can, however, tell you this: I won’t dare tempt fate by trying something other than the Sofia the First: Songs From Enchancia cd! Yep, when you have 4 kids and you get that kind of quiet time in a usually very loud house, you just stick with what works. Plus, as an adult listening to the cd, it was actually very sweet and fun music, not at all the kind of children’s music that drives you to put in your ear plugs.

Here is the full list of songs that your kids will love!

Sofia the First: Songs from Enchancia 
1. “Sisters and Brothers” Sofia
2. “Merroway Cove” Sven, Oona and Sofia
3. “The Love We Share” Ariel and Sofia
4. “Bigger Is Better” Amber
5. “(You Can Always) Count On Baileywick” Cast
6. “Make It Right” Belle and Sofia
7. “Good Little Witch (Ballad)” Sofia
8. “Good Little Witch” Lucinda and Sofia
9. “The Ride of Your Lives” Jasmine, Sofia and Amber
10. “A Recipe for Adventure” Aunt Tilly and Sofia
11. “Bring My Best Friend Back” Clover and Sofia
12. “The Simple Life” Cast
13. “Make Way for Miss Nettle” Miss Nettle
14. “Enchancia” Ruby, Jade and Sofia  Bonus Tracks
15. “Be Who You Wanna Be” Performed by Jake and Sofia
Bonus Karaoke Instrumentals
16. “Merroway Cove”
17. “Bigger Is Better”
18. “Good Little Witch”
19. “A Recipe for Adventure”

Now is that time when I get to tell you that you have the chance to win your own copy of this great CD! I will pick 3 winners of the Sofia the First: Songs from Enchancia cd! All you have to do is enter in the rafflecopter below. Good luck!

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Disclosure:  I am a participating Influencer at The Entertainment New Media Network. I have received free product for review and to give away to my readers. I was not compensated for this review and all expressed opinions are strictly my own. 

 

Big Thunder Ranch Cornbread Recipe

Cornbread Recipe

The past few days here have been cold and rainy and the only thing on my mind has been chili and cornbread! So over the weekend I made my favorite chili along with the cornbread recipe from the Big Thunder Ranch Barbecue at Disneyland, and it didn’t disappoint!

Disneyland Cornbread

  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup pastry flour
  • ½ cup powdered milk
  • 2 T baking powder
  • 1 T salt
  • 1 T vanilla
  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease a 9X13″ baking pan. In a large bowl blend together oil, sugar and eggs for two minutes. Add 2 cups of the water and mix until blended with sugar mixture. Add vanilla and the dry mixture of the flours, powdered milk, baking powder, salt. Mix ten minutes at low speed. Add remaining ½ cup water and cornmeal. Mix for five minutes. Pour into prepared pan. Bake 40 to 50 minutes or until golden brown.

Disneyland Cornbread Recipe

It was really very simple to make and the amount of deliciousness was so worth any effort I did put into it! I will definitely be making this recipe again. I fed it to the family and the kids were actually calling it corn cake. It wasn’t quite the consistency of cake but it did have a more cake like texture. They ate all of their cornbread up, but true to form, they didn’t eat my chili! Oh well, more for me! Too bad I’m almost out of cornbread to go with it…guess I’ll just have to make some more tonight! To sum it up, you should definitely try some of this delicious cornbread on one of these cold winter evenings.

Disneyland Cornbread and Chili

Starstruck at the D23 Expo

The D23 Expo last summer was incredible! It was all Disney, all the time. Seriously, it was my Mecca. Exclusive access to Disney merchandise, sneak peaks of upcoming Disney movies, and insight into what is next for the Disney Parks. What Disney lover wouldn’t want to be there? There were quite a few movie and tv stars on hand at the at the presentations, which was really fun, but it wasn’t the movie stars that left this Disney nut starstruck.

Journey into Imagineering D23Expo 2013

The second day of the Expo, I found myself on the floor early. I wanted to be sure that I hit the Journey Into Imagineering exhibit nice and early, before all the crowds got in line. I got in there and started wandering around between displays with everything from Avatar and Star Wars project hints to a Magic band showcase.I then wandered into a room with pictures of cars. I was too busy looking at everything on the walls at first to realize who was in the room. When I finally did see him, I was in awe. I had to stare for a minute to be sure I was seeing who I thought I was seeing. Right there in front of me was Disney Imagineering legend, Bob Gurr.

Bob Gurr D23 Expo 2013

A nice lady in there leaned over and whispered, “you know who that is?” Ummmm YES! He is only the imagineer behind iconic Disney attractions such as Autopia, the Monorail, and the Matterhorn bobsleds. He also helped to develop the audio-animatronic figure of Abraham Lincoln in Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln.  This man had an almost 40 year long career at Disney and has his own window on Main Street USA for heaven’s sake! Of course this Disney nerd knows who that is!  He was having his picture taken around the room, so I immediately asked if I could take his picture, too and was given the go ahead. So I picked up my camera and started taking pictures.Bob Gurr D23 Expo 2013

Ahhh! What an incredible opportunity! Seriously I was just snapping away waiting for someone to tell me to quit. Nobody else was in the room except for me and two people working at the Expo. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity and everyone else there was missing it! Then it got really crazy. Out of nowhere, John Lasseter walked in the room. No. I am not kidding. THAT John Lasseter: the Chief Creative Officer of Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios and Principal Creative Advisor of Walt Disney Imagineering. A security type had gotten behind me and asked me to put the camera down, but not before I snapped this one picture.

John Lasseter D23 Expo 2013

 

I know it is blurry, but it is reflective of how quickly he was in and out of there, He came in, shook hands with Bob Gurr, took a quick photo and was gone as quickly as he came. I was absolutely frozen solid the whole time he was in there. I mean, what does one say when they are this close to John Lasseter? “Hey John, love the shirt” or maybe something deeper like “what ever happened to Andy’s dad in Toy Story?” I don’t know, but even if I could come up with something to say in that moment, it would have come out like “glerrrrg blummm” I’m sure. But hey, if I ever get the opportunity to see him again, I’m sure I could come up with at least a “hi.” I hope.

After Mr. Lasseter left, I did manage to get the courage to talk to Mr. Gurr and thank him for the role he played in creating so many of my dearest Disney memories. He was incredibly sweet and even picked out the perfect photo spot for us to take a picture in front of.

Bob Gurr D23 Expo 2013

 

If all I had the chance to do at the D23 Expo was meet Bob Gurr and see John Lasseter’s blurry image brush by me, I would have left a happy lady. It was a magical day and one of my most treasured Disney experiences. Oh, and Mr. Lasseter, if you happen across this blog post and are unhappy with the picture I have of you, I would be more than happy to meet with you and take a less blurry shot to replace it with. If you promise to wear one of your awesome signature shirts, I promise I will work on being able to speak if that day ever comes!

 

My Disney Side @Home Celebration Box Is Here!!!

It’s here! It’s here! Seriously, I have been waiting for this box for weeks now!

#DisneySide box

*I received free products in order to host the Disney Side @Home Celebration. The thoughts and opinions expressed here are my own.

What is it? I’m so glad you asked! It is my Disney Side @Home Celebration host box full of all kinds of goodies to help me host a kick booty party! I was sent an email back in December letting me know that they were looking for people to host a party and show their Disney Side, which also happens to be Disney Parks’ theme this year. Convenient, yes? I thought so, too. I also thought that having a bunch of my friends over to celebrate the greatness that is Disney and their incredible theme parks was right up my alley. Not to mention, I thought that all of you would be interested in seeing my Disney party in action, Well party time is coming in a few weeks, but until then, let me show you my bag of tricks….well, my suitcase of tricks actually!

American Tourister Suitcase #DisneySide

In my box was this amazing American Tourister 20″ Skate Spinner suitcase! Seriously, how did they know that I desperately needed luggage? And it is such a nice piece of luggage as well! So light and easy to roll around, yet it is great quality and seems like it’d be able to stand up to the good old airport checked baggage test! And that was not all!

RunDisney cheer cards #DisneySide

Inside the suitcase were these ESPN Wide World of Sports and runDisney chEAR cards! Such a great idea for chEARing on all of those runDisney participants or even to chEAR on your kid at the spelling bee! Write a little message on there and chEAR away!

#DisneySide Bingo and Disney triviaThere was a very kind welcome letter along with the best Disney bingo game I’ve ever seen, Disney trivia, a recipe card from Carla Hall of ABC’s “The Chew” and bumper stickers that have a white image of the castle that you can’t really see in the picture.

Mickey Party Supplies #DisneySide

 

There were Mickey and Pluto plates, napkins, cups, a tablecloth, ceiling decorations, and cupcake cups. Of course every party needs balloons! The Mickey cookie cutters will be put to good use and those Craisins will certainly be gobbled up by our party guests! Yummy!

Muppets Calendar #DisneySide

 

Face Painting suggestions, Goofy tattoos, Mickey stickers, measuring cups from ABC’s “The Chew,” a 2013 Disney Parks planning DVD, 2014 calendars from the upcoming movie “Muppets Most Wanted: and runDisney bracelets that say “Every Mile Is Magic.”

HP photo cards #DisneySidePerfect for helping to document this fun occasion are the HP photo card packs! I can’t wait to give these a test run!

Hanes #DisneySide

 

These shirts also came inside with some fabric markers! I think that some little kiddos will be having a blast decorating these babies at our party! Mickey and Minnie print #DisneySide

I also got these adorable Mickey and Minnie prints, all ready for my guests to take home in sturdy envelopes so that they won’t get bent!

baby #DisneySide

 

Well all that excitement really tuckered us out! I can’t wait for our party! Stay tuned for the post about all of the fun in a few weeks! Can’t wait, follow along on twitter with the hashtag #DisneySide to see what all of the other party planners are up to as well! Better yet, want to have your own party showcasing your Disney Side? Be sure to visit the website to download your own party kit!

*I received free products in order to host the Disney Side @Home Celebration. The thoughts and opinions expressed here are my own.

Wordless Wednesday ~ Sidekicks!

 

 

Wordless Wednesday’s theme this week is sidekicks! Of course, Mickey’s 4 legged pal was the first one that came to mind! Here is a picture of the Pluto that is near the partners statue. Happy Wednesday, all!Pluto

Disneyland Partners Statue

 

 

Be sure to visit all of the other great blogs that have linked up to the blog hop today!


Focused on the Magic

Disney Magic Can Happen To You!!!

Disneyland Baby's First Trip

On New Year’s day, we took our one month old son on his first trip to Disneyland. That may have been my first mistake.No, not the taking our one month old son to Disneyland part. That part is actually fairly easy: lots of sleeping and mandatory sit down time every 3-4 hours for feedings. Good stuff. No, I meant the New Year’s day part. The larger our family has gotten over the years the more I have come to realize that holiday trips to the land of Mouse are slightly more stressful. Do NOT get me wrong. I think that Christmas is the most magical time to visit Disneyland as it not only has it’s usual charm and magic, but it has a little extra holiday pixie dust as well. However, doing a constant head count for your children and trying to corral the walkers in between strollers while getting from the Tiki Room to Pirates is a little unnerving. Moving on.

We had spent a surprisingly low key day at both Disney’s California Adventure and Disneyland. We were just leaving dinner at the Plaza Inn, where we ate this delectable masterpiece:

Disneyland Plaza Inn Yule Log

Totally off subject, but doesn’t it look amazing!?!? Anywho…

So we were making our way It’s a Small World Holiday so that we could take our son on the ride, like we have taken all of the other kids on their first trips to Disneyland. Well this was my second mistake. I should have gone on any ride that was important to me first so that what happened next wouldn’t have happened. By the time we got there, it was closed for fireworks and wouldn’t re-open until afterword…and for multiple reasons, we had planned on leaving before the fireworks. I was biting my lip hard on this one so that I wouldn’t lose it. I told myself that it was okay, because at least we could get our other tradition taken care of while we were over there. That is taking a family picture off to the left of the attraction with the gorgeous lights in the background. It is the perfect spot because you get the lights and no random people! But nope. Third mistake. Cast members were ushering people back in preparation for the fireworks and not allowing anyone to get to my photo spot. The mistake that I made there was waiting until the end of the night to take a family picture. What on earth was I thinking? Who knows, but either way, the tears were coming and I was on the verge of an all out cry fest at Disneyland. Even though we had had a wonderful day, I was only able to see the fact that two things I wanted to do with my family were not going to happen.

In a last ditch attempt to get the picture I wanted, I approached one of the cast members and calmly asked if there was any way that I could get by them to take a family picture for one second.  Her answer was no. Out came the tears. Upon seeing this (which I am sure wasn’t pretty) another cast member whispered something to her and she had us follow her. She escorted us to the Storybook Land Canal boats which were still open and got us our own private boat, I had never experienced some of that “extra” cast member magic until that night. It meant the world to me that we were able to have that special experience on my baby boy’s first trip.That little bit of pixie dust went a long way and turned my night around. And we even got a family picture…

Disneyland Storybook Land Canal Boats Family Picture

 

Okay, so it wasn’t a great picture, but we were all in it and these days, that is good enough! After we got out of the boat, we did find a nice person to take another picture of us with Small World in the background. It wasn’t the exact picture I wanted, but really, it was perfect.

Disneyland Small World Family Picture

 

I don’t know if that cast member truly knows how much that boat ride meant to me. Her kindness really was the thing that helped the day to be remembered as the great day that it was and not a disaster.

Have you ever experienced any of that special magic while you were in the parks? Feel free to share your experience with us!

A Disney Movie Collection Giveaway

Disney Movie Collection Giveaway

This is a great giveaway for all Disney lovers! We are giving away a collection of 19 movies! This collection is great for all ages as they range from Tinker Bell all the way to Iron Man 3! Here is the full list of movies:

  • The Little Mermaid
  • Toy Story 3
  • Mary Poppins 40th Anniversary 2 disc set
  • Brave
  • Monster’s University
  • Cinderella
  • Babe’s in Toyland
  • Lady and the Tramp
  • A Bug’s Life
  • Muppet Treasure Island and Great Muppet Caper
  • Wall-E
  • Aladdin
  • Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland
  • Iron Man 3
  • Tinker Bell and the Great Fairy Rescue
  • Tinker Bell
  • Wreck it Ralph
  • The Incredibles
  • Disney 4-Movie Collection: Herbie (Love Bug/Herbie Goes Bananas/Herbie Goes To Monte Carlo/Herbie Rides Again)

The absolute best part I think is that if you win and happen to already own some of the movies, you can use your duplicates as gifts for all those birthday parties your kids are bound to be invited to this year! Be sure to enter soon as this giveaway ends on January 27th! Good luck!

*Some important details to read before you enter: Winner must be a US Resident 18 years or older. Winner will be notified by email and will have 24 hours to respond to claim their prize or another winner may be chosen. Movies will be sent individually from each blog sponsor. Winner’s address will be shared with all blog sponsors (18). If winner does not agree to have his/her address shared with all sponsors, another winner will be chosen. Giveaway starts at midnight EST on January 15th and ends at 11:59 PM MST January 27th 2014

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