Monday, December 31, 2012

Mondays Bite! Disneyland Monte Cristo

Upon visiting Disneyland the most popular dining recommendation I received over and over was "Do not miss Blue Bayou in New Orleans Square!" Boy was everyone right! 

Friday, December 28, 2012

Something There That Wasn't There Before

If you love Beauty and The Beast you are probably as enchanted by the opening of the New Fantasyland as I am. In celebration of the new Fantasyland here are some fun facts you night not know about the film:

Monday, December 17, 2012

Dress up your cocoa Disney-style!

Here's a fun Disney inspired Hot Cocoa Recipe:

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Show me a sign!

I love everything about the Poly right down to the retro polynesian style of the signs.  Theres something extra magical about knowing a resort has been open since the beginning. 

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Why Everyone Should Read the Tao of Pooh

I have made no secret of the fact that I love my job.  I teach 9th grade World History and could not love my content or age group any more.  9th graders are the epitome of teenagers to many but to me they are still impressionable and I can empower them and when I tell them they CAN AND WILL change the world, they believe me! 

When we approach World Religions our curriculum asks us to study the big 9: Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, Animism, and Shinto. Our curriculum hits religions from all corners of the world and exposes students to all different world cultures.  I think this is a great way to study the world because so many conflicts have grown out of religions and so many people do not know any facts about ones other than their own.  Since there are strict laws about the difference between teaching and preaching my school districts takes a historical and comparative approach.

When we study Ancient China we talk about the Tao.  I have found along the way that I value many of the same things in my life that a Taoist would, specifically the idea that "everything works out the way it should".  The idea that you can't force life to go the way you WANT and instead must accept life for what it naturally has to give.  You must allow things to work themselves out and not push yourself too hard.  Stress and anxiety fill so many people's lives today and they just don't fill mine.  I can't help but think that its because I don't crowd my brain with useless worry and that I value wisdom over cleverness.

This year for the first time, I used Benjamin Hoff's adorable book The Tao of Pooh to explain Taoism to my Honors students.  Comparing the famous A.A. Milne stories to harder concepts was really quite helpful in my teaching.  I also think it can help make destressing much easier in the way that "Don't Sweat the Small Stuff" helped a lot of people have an "A-ha! Moment".  More than that, I think if you have overlooked this book (which was first published in 1982- a year before I was even born) it is inspiring and empowering.... and fun!


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Living with the Land

Living with the Land is one of the most beautiful, yet often overlooked, rides in Epcot. I can't say enough good things about this fun and informative boat ride! Here are my top 5 reasons why YOU should check out Living with the Land on your next trip:

1.  Its beautiful! Filled with more than just the food grown and served in the Land there are gorgeous plants to be found throughout this boat ride!

2.  Its educational in a fun way! Learn how to grow tomato plants into tomato trees and how castmembers grow the famous Mickey Mouse shaped Cinderella pumpkins!

3.  There never seems to be a line! Waiting for a Soarin fastpass? Waiting for your reservations at Garden Grill? Its nearly always guaranteed to be walk on!

4. There are different rooms and terrain to interest everyone in your party!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Mondays Bite! Gingerbread Mice!

I am all about Disney kitchen supplies. And when I came across a Gingerbread Cookie Mix in the parks last October that came WITH a Gingerbread Mickey cookie cutter I could not resist! I wanted to share my exploits although you could really use any dough!  

The dough rose a little more than I would have liked but it was no real issue as I just trimmed the ones I didn’t like down.

I decorated with some cookie icing that was conveniently on sale at the local grocery store.

And while I am pretty good with covering and frosting things in various forms I am not that artistic with tubes of cookie icing so my husband and I got a good laugh out of a few of these guys (before eating them to destroy the evidence of my mess ups).  lol.

This was a great little package, the gingerbread was tasty and since I would have paid that much just for the cookie cutter I am very happy with my purchase.

Happy Holidays from my Disney Kitchen to yours! xo

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Mischief Managed

Do you know where in Walt Disney World you can find Louie (my favorite of the triplet nephews) hanging from the ceiling? I'll give you a hint: he's hanging out at one of the resort hotels!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Lagoon with a View

Where in the Disney World do you feel the most zen?

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Free Disneyland & Disney World Art Print-ables!

After I came across the blog Vintage Lemon last month I posted a file I made from Marci's free downloadable state files! My first was using Florida with the tagline "I Left my Heart in Disney World" and few hearts and a Walt quote.  The follow up does the same but with Disneyland. 
Happy Birthday, Walt! :) 

I thought these would be great for scrapbooking, printing as wall art/cards, or cute gifts for the Disney lover in your life! ;)

If you right click on the files and "open in a new tab" you should be able to enlarge the image and save.  I was able to print it on 8x10 cardstock and it fit nice and clear but you may be able to go bigger! :)

Make Your Own Disney Coasters!

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Not long ago I found myself in a Disney outlet (dangerous in it’s own right) and I picked up some awesome glasses at 50% off! I loved the boxes they came in so much that I couldn’t bring myself to throw them out! Then I saw a make-your-own-coasters post on Pinterest and a craft was born!
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All you need is:
Basic coasters (I used free Miller Lite cardboard coasters we had in our cabinet but you can use any basic free coaster or simply cut your own out of cardboard)
A park map or other picture you want to use
Modge Podge or other clear-drying tacky glue
1.  Cut pictures for front and back to the size of your coasters.
2.  Put a dot of glue or Modge Podge on the back of your picture and line it up on your coaster.  Let it set.
3. Paint the Modge Podge over top of your front image and wait until completely dry.
4.  Repeat steps 2 and 3 with the back.
5.  Once dry (let set and dry overnight) and enjoy!!

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Want a printable PDF of this craft? Head over here!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Mondays Bite! Peppermint Swirl Cookies!

This original recipe came from the original recipe made mickey shapes but I couldn't get mine quite right... and loved the way they ended up turning out so here is my take on this recipe! Follow the instructions on each image below and you will have some Disney magic in your Christmas baking too! :)

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Make your own Vinylmation Holder!

I had this epiphany that I could use a spice rack as a cute way to display my Vinylmation in my Disney kitchen.  Went out to Michael’s Arts & Crafts only to find that they don’t sell unfinished spice racks (LOL). So I improvised.  And about 10 minutes and $12 later I came home with this stuff:
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I used a Shadow Box that was made to create your own checker or chess board, some wooden sticks that were just slightly higher quality and thickness of paint stirrers, a cute cut-out that said “Imagine”, and paint
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I am both an impatient and impulsive crafter so I used acrylic paint to paint what would become my shelving (the wooden sticks) and then took the paint outside to paint the shadowbox.  I then repeated painting each to get a second coat in.
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I then did the same thing with the first layer of clear coat (with the exception of bringing the sticks outside).
The next step was assembly, so I slipped a little crazy glue on the Imagine word and used it to cover an imperfection in the wood.  Then I glued the shelves in with the tiniest bit of Gorilla Glue in the corners to make sure they stayed snug.
I let dry and voila!
Although I still think a spice rack would be an easy fix, since here at Chip & Co we love Top 5s here are some tips for creating your own…
Top 5 Tips for Making Your Own Vinylmatin Holder
(This can also be called 5 Things I Learned From my Crafts Today)
1.  Check the wind before you start spraying clear coat outside.
2.  It is easier to keep your jewelry clean when you take it off PRIOR to painting.  
3.  Sometimes thumbtacks work just as good as nails (PS- Don’t tell my husband that one!)
4.  Not all 3″ vinyls are 3″… bring your tallest one with you as a measurement!
5.  Annnd if your vinylmation army is large (as mine has grown since this project last summer)... consider purchasing a holder! Shotglass holders are PERFECT! Michaels Arts & Crafts sells ones that you can get 50% off sometimes! I have since upgraded to these and must say they are great for bigger collections because they have a door that keeps dust out! 

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Best Photo Spots: Disney's Hollywood Studios

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As with all Disney World parks there are great shots right at the main icons! Try to keep in mind that the Sorcerer Hat is simply a new icon and the Great Movie Ride's Chinese Theatre entrance was the original main eye-grabber!

Obviously there are some great spots and you will see Photopass photographers outside rides like Tower of Terror and Rock’n Rollercoaster.  One of my favorite areas to take some shots it outside MuppetVision! the huge Kermit, the fountain of Muppets, there are so many fun things to try out here!

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While there are lots of opportunities to Meet & Greet characters in Disney Parks one of the best areas, in my opinion, is inside the Animation building.  Often you will see that there is an additional Photopass castmember standing with the photographer who will snap you some more candid shots with your own camera! This is the case often, all over the “World” but I have gotten this star treatment multiple times in this particular area!

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While you are at Hollywood Studios, don't forget to:

  • See the art in the shop displays!  I love how strips like Hollywood Boulevard and Main Street have all those attached shops where you can just walk through, check out the different gear, people watch, and enjoy the wall and window displays!

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  • Practice forced perspective on Streets of America! (Not just to make your family look like you are really walking down the streets of San Francisco or New York, but also at events like the Osborne Spectacle of Lights!)

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  • Never underestimate a random line picture! I doctored up a picture from waiting for Fantasmic one night and its one of my favorites just by omitting all the color but some Stitch blue!

What are some of your photo tips for Hollywood Studios? Let me know in the comment box below.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Boardwalk Arcade

Looking for a great no park day? Head over to Boardwalk! Its great to take in all the sites, sounds, and shops here on the Boardwalk on an arrival or departure day... or a day you just feel like taking it slow and enjoying your family.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Monkeying Around

The best thing about Animal Kingdom is how you stumble upon awesome animals everywhere you go!    It is so important to leave time to just be while at Animal Kingdom so you can enjoy the fun habitats!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Mondays Bite! Pineapple Dole Whip Recipe!


This recipe originally came from the blog Prudence Pennywise.  It is my 3rd attempt at Dole Whips so I made sure I read up on making my own soft serve before I took the plunge.  I also made sure this recipe was different then my previous two flops! I altered it ever so slightly to make sure it would work taste-wise from what I had learned from my past experience- the results were Cap’n Cooks-worthy!

2- 20oz cans Dole crushed pineapple in juice
1 tbsp Lemon Juice
1 tbsp Lime Juice
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream, whipped

1) Drain 1 cup of pineapple juice from your 2 cans of pineapple (this will leave you approx 2 tbsp juice with your fruit and leave you enough pineapple juice to make 1-2 floats if you’d like!

2) Blend together pineapple, lime juice, lemon juice, and sugar until smooth.

3) Pour into freezer bag (I double bagged to be safe) and freeze approx. 2 hours (should be slushy but not frozen).

4) Remove from freezer, pour contents into bowl and blend with whipped cream (don’t use a hand mixer here, just blend together with a spoon or fork).

5) Return to freezer until completely frozen (another 1-2 hours).

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Best Photo Spots: Magic Kingdom

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First and foremost when heading into Magic Kingdom Park, keep in mind the same thing you should keep in mind when visiting ALL Disney parks!

1. Photopass Photographers are set up where they are for a reason! They are standing waiting to take pictures of your family in the best frames and most classic shots!

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2.  Kodak Picture Spots are marked off for a reason! They are overlooked so much but they really set you up for a great pic!

Now, that you have your classic Castle pictures and have taken advantage of the best places to nab a pic outside major attractions, there is only one hint left on that matter-- there is a big different between night and day!

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Also, don't forget all the attention to details imagineers have paid here at Magic Kingdom! From the signs in the Main Street Windows to the small little things lurking in the signage, look at things from a new angle to see Tinkerbell as you never had before or a small hidden gem.

While you are at it, join in the fun! I love pictures where my husband or I jumped into a queue area or positioned ourself in a play area (one of my faves is my husband with Brier Fox, Beer, and Rabbit).
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Another reason to get to stage shows and parades early is the great photo spots!

You can get clear, professional quality photos with a steady hand and a clear spot!

And if I can get amazing parade and show photos at just over five feet tall, I think EVERYONE can! :)

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I also think Disney is the best place to master the art of the self shot.  I take pictures of myself all the time (LOL) and if you have never noticed, I can take a picture that doesn't look like I am taking a bad bar or club picture pretty easily that includes nice angles and backgrounds and it really doesn't take that much effort.

Annnd if you need a little help, check out the article I wrote that gives you some tips on how to get a good self-shot everytime: The Art of the Self Shot.

Last put not least: NEVER DELETE YOUR PHOTOS! I swear, blurry tea party pictures might be my favorite ones ever and on a little touch screen they look so crappy! But on the computer they look like crazy spinning fuuuun!!! So, always always always bring a couple big memory cards and wait until you get home to hit 'delete'!

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