A Wish Full of Magic and The Happiest Tears On Earth

This post is about a sweet princess named Violet and her Make-A-Wish trip to Disneyland.  I am so honored that her mother, Shenay, gave me the opportunity to share their special experience with you all. Grab your tissues and be prepared to remember what a blessing life is and see how magical Disney can truly be.

~Michaelyn

Violet's Make-a-Wish trip to Disneyland

Our sweet baby Violet Brielle was diagnosed with a pediatric cancer called Retinoblastoma at just 7 months old. We were devastated beyond belief. Within just days we were forced to move near to Seattle Children’s Hospital and everything started … CT scans, MRIs, surgeries, 6 months of chemotherapy, labs, exams under anesthesia, injections … It was the most difficult time my husband and I had ever faced. Genetic test results came back that Violet not only had Bi-Lateral Retinoblastoma, but she also had the RB1 gene mutation and a rare chromosome 13 deletion. This meant she was at higher risk of other cancers developing in her body throughout her life along with many other threats to her health. Violet’s diagnosis is a lifelong, day by day risk and there is currently no cure. Violet’s cancer is in remission, however, her body does not create the protein that ours does to suppress new tumor growth. Every cell in her body is a potential danger, and so, every day of health is a very precious gift.

Violet Brielle

When we heard the news that Violet was approved for a wish through Make-A-Wish she was so excited! At our first visit with Violet’s Make-A-Wish volunteers it was easily determined that Violet wish was to see Mickey and friends at Disneyland. Making it even more special, Violet would be enjoying this trip on her 3rd birthday! The countdown began and we had so much to look forward to. Everyday we would talk about how much fun we were going to have at Disneyland! Violet would watch videos of the rides and parades in between jumping up and down for joy at the thought of being there soon.

When we arrived at Paradise Pier we were greeted by the manager of the resort hotel and treated with VIP status. We stayed in a beautiful room with this awesome view of California Adventure.

Grand Californian View

Over the next 3 days, Violet’s wish experience at Disneyland was full of wonderful surprises from start to finish. The characters and cast members at Disneyland were just amazing! They had such a sincere joy for Violet and our family and they all made her feel like she was the most important little girl in the parks.

Violet and the Princesses Disneyland

 

Violet and Minnie, Make-a-wish Disneyland

With her Make-A-Wish Genie Pass, Violet was quickly escorted to the front of all lines to meet her Disney character friends! Even the photographers followed Violet around for long periods of time to make sure they captured all of her special moments.

Violet with Tigger and Pooh

Each character interaction had our family in the happiest tears because they took so much time with Violet. They hugged and danced together, they walked with her hand in hand to meet other characters, princesses gathered to play ring around the rosies with her and they even gave her a personal tour of Fantasy Faire.

Violet and Belle

Violet and Belle

Violet and Belle Violet and Belle Make-a-wish

Did you know there is an exclusive place for children on a Make-A-Wish trip to visit at Disneyland? It is called the Wish Lounge and it is located at the end of Main Street. It was a beautiful and relaxing retreat where they had snacks and drinks for our family. Best of all, Violet enjoyed a playdate there with Mickey Mouse himself! They played a whole game of Candy Land and they even spent time coloring together. Violet absolutely loved it and there wasn’t a dry eye in our family as we witnessed this very magical time.

Violet and Mickey Make-a-wish

 Make-a-wish DisneylandViolet and Mickey Make-a--wish

Violet also received a complete Cinderella make over at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique! Violet’s sweet little face beamed with happiness when everyone she met at Disneyland that day referred to her as Princess Violet.

Princess Violet Make-a-Wish

Cinderella and Princess Violet Make-a-Wish

Violet make-a-wish Disneyland

Violet with Chip & Dale

One of Violet’s photographers arranged even more special time with Mickey! He walked us over to a spot in California Adventure where Mickey would again make Violet feel like he was there just for her. He came out from behind the scenes, gave Violet a big hug, took her by the hand and lead her up and down Buena Vista Street. Mickey was personally showing Violet around his land! They stopped to dance, read the Disney newspaper, say hi to Pluto and wave to the guests on the trolley. Crowds gathered to witness this once-in-a-lifetime moment and many were snapping photos! Oh my heart, it was just unbelievable and wonderful. Here was our sweet and brave girl, who goes through so much that a child should never have to face, just beaming with ear to ear smiles and not having a care in the world. Violet was walking hand in hand with the mouse himself as if they had been friends forever. It was a perfect moment that we will never forget.

Mickey and Violet Make-a-wishMickey and Violet Make-a-wish

On our last night there, when it was time for the special castle lighting and firework show, the cast members were kind enough to give our family seats in a reserved area front and center. Violet was in awe of the show and threw her arms up in the air with excitement when they made it snow on Main Street!

When Make-A-Wish and Disney get together, they make incredible moments happen. Moments full of joy, love and wonderment … A magic like no other! We shed many happy tears watching Violet shine her little light all over the Happiest Place on Earth. Our courageous little girl was treated like a true princess and it was the biggest blessing to witness. We will always remember Violet’s blissful smiles as her wish came true. We are so very grateful! Thank you Make-A-Wish and Disney!

~Shenay (Violet’s Mom)

046_VioletB&W (1)

Click here to watch Violet’s official Make-A-Wish video (and get your tissues ready!)

We believe in miracles! Please follow our sweet Violet’s journey on Facebook.

If you know of a child that may be eligible for a wish, please don’t hesitate to contact the lovely staff at Make-A-Wish! Violet’s local chapter is Make-a-Wish Alaska and Washington.

 

Gleam by Melanie Mills

I’m twenty something days away from our first family vacation to Walt Disney World. I have been doing an inventory of all of the things I would need for the trip. Do I have enough medication, plenty of socks, and lots of sunscreen? Yes to all of those. What about my make-up? You know, the stuff that is going to make me look like a nice mom having fun with her family and not like a tired old hag who should have stayed in bed? Yep, that stuff. Well, that was not up to snuff and was in need of a serious refresher before those Photopass photographers started snapping my Memory Maker photos!

Gleam by Melanie Mills

Little did I know that my broken make-up would lead me to discover a really fun line called Gleam by Melanie Mills. That would be THE Melanie Mills who has worked her magic on the performers on TV’s Dancing with the Stars and is a leading beauty consultant in Hollywood. With 15 years of that level of experience, I figure she might know a thing or two about make-up, so I’d give it a whirl.  I was given the opportunity to try the Body Radiance, Radiant Dust, and Lip Radiance.

Gleam by Melanie Mills

There are four different shades of Body Radiance — Light Gold, Rose Gold, Bronze Gold, and Deep Gold. I tried the Light Gold and was a little scared at first since it appears to be quite a shiny yellow. Pleasantly surprised that when massaged in,  the gentle glimmer just added a little highlight to this mama’s usually very tired looking skin. It also didn’t feel caked on at all, but actually really moisturized my dry skin. I then managed to drop my shirt onto the leg I was testing it on. Of course. Another shirt stained? Nope. The make up won’t transfer and it won’t stain. Awesome, because I am the messiest person on the planet and will stain everything I own if given the chance.

Gleam by Melanie Mills

Radiant Dust is available in Light Gold, Rose Gold, Bronze Gold, and Deep Gold. I used Light Gold Radiant Dust. Here is where I got tricky. I used the Body Radiance as a base on my eyelid so that my Radiant Dust wouldn’t even be tempted to rub off later in the day. It was great alone on my eyelid for a little color and then I added a little bit of a copper colored eye shadow later in the evening for some night fun. I didn’t even have to refresh the Radiant Dust at all! This is perfect for a day in the parks when you don’t want to have to worry about reapplying make-up!

Lip Radiance is moisturizing, hydrating lip color that won’t bleed. It’s available in seven colors — Naked, Pop My Cork, Uncontrollable, Unforgettable, Unstoppable, Up Against the Wall, and With My Heels On. You may not know if by the incredibly memorable names of those colors, but cross my heart, this is a rated “G” blog. ;) I used the Naked color and really liked the color. Even if you aren’t a fan of the “glossy” lip look, you can blot it a little bit and you’re left with a lip stain that lasts for hours!

Gleam by Melanie Mills

And voila! The finished product. All in all, I was really impressed by this line’s versatility and the overall ease with which you can liven up your look. I’m looking forward to using Gleam by Melanie Mills on my trip so that I can get pictures of me with my family that I will actually want to display.

Gleam by Melanie Mills Products

If you’d like to know more about Gleam by Melanie Mills, visit the website or follow them on Facebook or TwitterThere will be a Twitter Party complete with prizes on September 10, 2014, at 9:00PM EST. You could win the entire Gleam product line, gift cards, and more! So join in the fun with the hashtags #GleamGirl and #Gleamalicious!

Disclosure: I received complimentary product for this review. As always, all opinions are my own.

Sweeties Locket Giveaway

Wake up. Feed kids. Pay bills. Get groceries. Feed kids again. Yadda yadda yadda. You know, everyday life. It can be incredibly amazing and fulfilling….but it can also be incredibly monotonous and “blah.” Insert here a fun piece of jewelry that reminds you of those fun and amazing parts of your life when you’re in danger of falling victim to the dreaded “blah.” That is why I love living lockets. You can completely personalize them to include all of your happy memories and favorite things…even Disney things!

Sweeties Living Lockets

We have a great giveaway for you today! My friend over at Sweeties is giving one lucky winner a living locket! The winner may choose from her etsy shop any locket (excluding the heart shaped locket,) 4 charms, and a choice of either an 18″ chain, a bracelet or a keychain.

If you win, you can personalize it for yourself or even a loved one or friend if you’re feeling so sweet. I have bought a few of these for mother’s day and birthday gifts and they are so cute and of great quality, too. With so many options for charms, you can really make the locket a perfect fit for anyone!

Good luck everyone!

US residents only.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wordless Wednesday ~ Attractions!

 

This week’s Wordless Wednesday blog hop is all about attractions! Here are some fun ones from the California Adventure park!  A big thank you, as always, to Deb at Focused on the Magic for hosting this hop! Don’t forget to click the adorable button below to hop around to see all of the other great blog posts today! Happy hopping everyone!

California Adventure Attractions

 


Focused on the Magic

Summer Celebration Giveaway!!!

It is that time again, mousefans! GIVEAWAY TIME!!!

frozen image

Summer is in full swing and, like Olaf, I’m sure many of you are dreaming of all the wonderful things you’ll do “In Summer!” I’m still working on the “getting gorgeously tan” part….I think my white-ness repels sunlight…but back to the giveaway!

One lucky reader will receive a $75 Disney gift card and choice of one of these custom made shirts from Behind The Mouse. That oughta make some of your summer dreams come true!

Disney Shirts

All you have to do is follow the Rafflecopter below. Winner must be 18 or older and a US citizen. No fake entrants please!

Good luck everyone!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Ode to Mickey and the Magical Map

Oh Mickey and the Magical Map, how I love thee, let me count the ways. Disney is all about entertainment, and to me, the theater shows that they put in in their parks really just embody the reason Disney has captured the hearts of so many.

Fantasyland Theatre, Mickey and the Magical Map

The Fantasyland Theatre at Disneyland has been home to many musical productions over the years. My personal favorite was Beauty and the Beast Live in the early 90′s. (Here is a link to a video I found of it on YouTube in case you want to reminisce with me.) I still remember watching that and thinking “I want to be her.” Not Belle, although that would be pretty cool, too. That Beast did turn out to be quite the handsome fellow, but no. I wanted to be the girl playing the part of Belle. The one who got up and sang and danced in front of thousands of visitors every day. It inspired me to want to pursue a life in the arts. I danced for many years, and although I never became the professional dancer I hoped I would be, it gave me the drive and passion for the arts that no movie ever could. There is something about seeing it up close and live that makes you appreciate it so much more.

In 2006, the theater became the Princess Fantasy Faire. It was lovely, and all those princess loving little girls and boys enjoyed it. A meet and greet spot for the princesses was something that I think the park needed. However, I always felt that Disneyland was missing out on an opportunity to inspire future performers or even just bring out that appreciation for live musical productions in children as well as adults.

Mickey and The Magical Map

I jumped up and down (not even kidding, not one little bit) when I found out that Disneyland was planning to relocate the princesses to a more fitting location next to the castle and use the theater for a much better purpose: a live, musical production of Mickey and the Magical Map. In May of 2013, the theater once again started stealing visitors from the long lines of other park attractions and dazzled them a 23 minute show that is more than worth the time taken to sit and watch. My girls love that they can see characters from their favorite movies like Tangled, The Princess and the Frog, Mulan, The Jungle Book and Pocahontas come to life on stage while in the park. It really helps give that extra magic to a visit to Disneyland.

Mickey and the Magical Map

Mickey and the Magical Map

Not only does this show inspire a love of the performing arts, but it also sends a great message from a very wise sorcerer. “The map contains never-ending magic. For it will never be completed, for as long as there is imagination in the world.” If that sounds familiar, it should:

“Disneyland will never be completed. It will continue to grow as long as there is imagination left in the world.” – Walt Disney

Mickey and the Magical Map

Mickey and the Magical Map

Do yourself, and your kids a favor and take the time to see this incredible show next time you head to Disneyland. It is much more than just a shady spot to sit or a way to pass the time while you finish your churro and frozen lemonade slush. (Although it is most definitely those things, too!) It is a beautiful park attraction that is not to be missed.

Mickey and the Magical Map

Genevieve’s new single “My Telephone Number Is”

I was sent the single of “My Telephone Number Is…” by Genevieve Goings to review as an influencer with Entertainment New Media Network.  I have been compensated for this post but all opinions expressed are my own.

l am sure you have all heard of Genevieve Goings of “Choo Choo Soul with Genevieve” fame on Disney Junior. You know, “all aboard the choo choo train!” You and I both know that you have had her catchy songs in your head and have probably sang them almost as often as your kids. I will admit to you right now that a few years ago I was quietly singing her song “Animal on the Farm” in the check out line at the grocery store, only to have the cashier join in with me. I tell you this truth not to begin a dialogue about what an incredible singer I am or about how all of my kids strangely cover their ears when I sing, but to give you an idea of how catchy her songs are if you don’t already know.

Genevieve Goings

Genevieve has come out with a new song called “My Telephone Number Is…” from her new solo album “Do You Know,” which is set to release June 3rd, 2014. I really can’t even type out the title of her song without singing it in my head! I played this song for my kids the other day…well…that actually isn’t true. I was sent the link to the song and I immediately played it to see what it was all about, but my kids weren’t in the room. No sooner had I started playing it than my two and four year old girls came bounding into the room ready to put on their dancing shoes. I am loving their enthusiasm for music, let alone for a song that will actually teach them their phone number! The use of music as a teaching tool is something I love, especially when it is done so creatively.

Here is the song I have been talking about with a great video to go with it!

Isn’t that an adorable video!?!? I love the 90′s throw back as it adds a fun element for the parents as well. The Furbies, The Fresh Prince, and the awesome clear phone that must have been stolen from my childhood bedroom were some of my favorite sightings!

I love this song, and really, I love Genevieve Goings and the passion that she has for inspiring children to learn in a musical way. Keeping a little one’s attention can be difficult when trying to teach them things, but the entertainment that comes with this educational song is something that makes it a must have. I for one can’t wait to hear the rest of the album!

"do you know" genevieve goings

You can buy “My Telephone Number Is…” on iTunes. While you’re at iTunes, be sure to take a peek at her free app “Sing with Genevieve” for some more musical fun.

The album release date is June 3, 2014. If you pre-order the album (which you can do starting early in May,) you’ll receive instant access to the albums next single “Gotta Do My
Business.” Yep, it is a potty training song, but with a reggae twist. I am thinking that I’ll just throw it in with my Sublime playlist because while the words are definitely geared towards the wee ones, the beat is awesome for everyone!

Keep up with everything Genevieve has going on by following her on social media!

Twitter: @ChooChooGirl
Facebook: Facebook.com/GenevieveGoings
Instagram: Instagram.com/GenevieveGoings

I was sent the single of “My Telephone Number Is…” by Genevieve Goings to review as an influencer with Entertainment New Media Network.  I have been compensated for this post but all opinions expressed are my own.

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

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