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

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!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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!

 

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