Monday, December 21, 2015

Goodbye, Osborne Lights!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Christmas means even more Disney magic at home!

If Disney is the most magical place on Earth and Christmastime is the most magical time of year its no wonder they go together like Peanut Butter & Jelly (or Banana if that's your fancy).  My home sparkles with the magical shimmer of Disney all year but at Christmas there are no decorations as fun or whimsical.

I think having a Disney tree sort of just happened to us.  It started when my mom used to let me and my siblings each pick out an ornament a year.  By the time I was 10 or 11 I started picking Disney ones each time. (my mom is so cute she still buys us a new ornament every year)!

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I collect ornaments on most of my trips, or at Disney on Broadway shows. I like to collect ornaments that remind me of the particular trip I am on.

Somewhere along the way my decorations around the house have slowly started to become Disney themed as well! 

I am also a big fan of the snowglobe pairs and ornaments that the Disney Store offers each year.  I guess the idea of Disney magic isn't that different from Christmas magic... it stays the whole year through.

Looking for some holiday ideas?  I am always fully stocked in Disney cocoa, and OF COURSE I always manage to incorporate Disney into my Christmas baking. (Click the pictures below for the links to the recipes pictured!)

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Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Memorable MAGICal Cruise Part 3

That night we went to the Polynesian Resort so Grandma-ma and the kids could see the "Spirit Of Aloha" luau. It was fantastic! Justin couldn't take his eyes off the stage, especially during the fire dance!

We visited Epcot the next day. Soarin', the World Showcase, The Seas. Dinner was at Raglan Road, the Irish pub in the former Downtown Disney. We had a fine meal and got to visit with friends, Amy and Angela before we went back to the resort and spent our last night at Disney World. 

Finally the day arrived and we went to Cape Canaveral and boarded the Dream! The next three nights we were all in a Dream world. We visited Nassau and then Castaway Cay, Disney's private island in the Bahamas. After the cruise, we drove back home and got back into the mundane "life between Disney trips" and I began to plan the next one.

Now all of my grandchildren had been to Disney. But, now two of them had been on a Disney cruise. I setup and booked an Eastern Caribbean Disney cruise for myself in October of this year. But, I didn't really want to go alone, so I got with Amanda and we found this cruise in December 2015. My granddaughter, Janelle, will be starting her Christmas break then.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Java for the Holidays from Joffreys!

Check out this awesome gift set of Disney Parks & Resorts coffee available from the Joffrey's website! You can also nab an adorable duo gift set with coffee and a travel mug! And for $24.99-$49.99 they are perfectly priced as well!  

Have you tried any of the park offerings from Joffrey's at Walt Disney World this winter? I was excited to hear I won't have to miss out since they will be around through January 10th!

Santa's Delight: Rich espresso blended with creamy milk, cinnamon flavoring and white chocolate.
Topped with whipped cream.  Served hot or over ice.

Peppermint Mocha Latte:  Rich espresso blended with creamy milk , mint flavoring and dark chocolate.
Topped with whipped cream.   Served hot or over ice.

Rudolph’s Favorite:  Rich espresso combined with creamy milk, gingerbread flavoring syrup and white chocolate.  Topped with whipped cream.  Served hot or over ice.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Disney Publishing Winter Fun Guide!

We have kids from ages 7-11 in our home and they are on very different reading levels with very different interests.  As always, Disney reaches all of them (and even their father and I who are both 32).  We can always seem to find books that grab us and pull us into the story (with a little tugging of heart strings as well).

Our 7 year old loves...
Cloud Country: This is one of the Pixar animator showcase books and as you could guess the imagery and imagination make it an instant hit with our outgoing, never-stops-singing girl. 

Our 9 year old loves...
The Princess, the Scoundrel and the Farm Boy: A classic retelling of the first saga the world ever laid eyes on from the greatest space opera of all time.  Star Wars, A New Hope, is just one of the books in this series.  Perfect for fans (especially those who are anxiously awaiting the release of the newest movie!

Our 11 year old loves...
Star Darlings: This is the first in a series where each book introduces new characters.  We first spotted this book on a shopping trip to Justice and I saw it catch her eye.  The cover art is beautiful and the whimsical tale made for something we could probably have read aloud to both girls. 

I've got my sights on...
Black Widow Forever Red:  I love Marvel and love the new expansions now that Disney is the happy owner of the franchises, however, I tend to gravitate towards movies that are a little more legend-based and books that are more realistic.  This is a nice mix about a character I knew very little about! I have only just cracked it open but it seems to be in the tradition of the Mary Jane book released back when I was in college. 

Their Fractured Light:  Thanks to a preview copy Disney sent me of These Broken Stars I am hooked on this series! I am actually setting off re-reading the first book before I dive in.  I can't wait and will post all my thoughts to both books on my Goodreads account!

We ALL love...
Olaf's Night Before Christmas: Everyone Loves Olaf!
Once a weekend we are usually taking a long car trip thanks to our lovely location in the middle of the woods in northwest CT.  We generally have reading time or read aloud before bed but books on CD are awesome ways to break up the monotony of a car trip.  This one is fabulous because its an adorable Olaf-spin on a classic and everyone's favorite snowperson narrates!

I always love seeing how a franchise like Frozen isn't cheapened but continues to add magic to our home.  Happy Holidays from Picturing Disney and Disney Publishing! 

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Wonder Forge Games to Delight the Whole Family this Holiday!

 I love good ole fashioned family fun and board games are right near the top of my family fun lists (I mean, you can't go to Disney World every day, right?)

Monday, November 30, 2015

Memorable MAGIC-al Cruise: Part 2!

Due to a freak accident in March of 2014, Brenda passed away. We had taken our other 2 Granddaughters Megan and Jordan to WDW in the Fall of 2013, so all but one of our Grandchildren, Justin, had been to Disney. It was my dream of taking my grandchildren to Disney that prompted Brenda to make Disney a part of our lives in the first place, so I felt like I had to take Justin to experience Disney first hand.

But... I had been wanting to go on another cruise. Now there was nothing to stop me from taking another cruise. My reasoning was, it might not be Disney World, but it was still Disney... I could take a four night cruise and take Justin with me! That should satisfy the "taking the Grandkids to Disney" dream of mine. While I was justifying the cruise in my mind, I realized my Granddaughter, Jhaela, had just turned 16 and we had not settled on a gift for her... Grandpa had an idea! I made a phone call to Jhaela and asked her if a cruise would be good enough for her Sweet Sixteen. She said, "Oh, you would be the best Grandpa!" Lol I was still thinking four night cruise. Up to now, my Mom said that she didn't want to go on a cruise, but it was just about this time that she told me she wanted to go. I got with Amanda, my Exclusive Disney Travel Pro with "It's All About The Mouse Travel" and had her check prices for a 3 night and a 4 night Bahamian cruise.

Thinking a bit more, I wondered about a 2 night stay at a Value Resort at Walt Disney World tacked onto the front of a 3 night cruise. It all looked doable so I had Amanda work out the details. She came up with 2 nights at The All Star Sports resort and then 3 nights on The Disney Dream, stopping in Nassau, and Disney's island, Castaway Cay. We decided on the beginning of December Now we just had to wait... about 6 months!

Finally the day arrived. Mom and I met the gang at the Big Boy in Hillsboro, we had breakfast, said our good-byes, and the four of us headed off on our adventure of a lifetime! About 6pm we had dinner with my son Scott in Charlotte, North Carolina, then went on to Columbia, South Carolina where we stopped for the night. The next day we went on to Florida and stopped for the night to visit with my Brother in law and family.

The next day it was time to meet Mickey and the rest! We went on down to Disney World and checked in to the All Star Sports resort!

Sunday, November 22, 2015

The Memorable MAGIC-al Cruise

The Memorable MAGIC-al Cruise is a 5 night Western Caribbean Cruise on the Disney MAGIC.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

HP Social Media Snapshots!

Back in June I was thrilled to be invited to attend a My Printly event in New York City.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Lauren Conrad's Bambi Collection for Kohls

Do you love Bambi?

Friday, November 6, 2015

Force Friday: X-Wing

Thanks to the Disney Store we have some fabulous Force Fridays finds as we take a look at ride vehicles straight from the Star Wars saga as we countdown to the release of The Force Awakens!

What is an X-Wing?
A fan favorite thanks to their prominence in the first trilogy.  I loved seeing this when I opened the box from Disney because it brought back memories of the first time seeing Luke weave around obstacles on the Death Star.  The official description from Star Wars reminisces on the same point! "The X-wing is a versatile Rebel Alliance starfighter that balances speed with firepower. Armed with four laser cannons and two proton torpedo launchers, the X-wing can take on anything the Empire throws at it. Nimble engines give the X-wing an edge during dogfights, and it can make long-range jumps with its hyperdrive and its astromech droid co-pilot. Luke Skywalker is famous for destroying the Death Star behind the controls of an X-wing.."

Disney sent me one of these awesome die-cast models and they are beautiful, finely detailed, and perfect for the Star Wars lover in your life (both young and old) this holiday season! Currently out of stock on the Disney Store website, check your local stores or maybe scoop up a Y-wing in the meantime! ;)

Friday, October 30, 2015

Force Friday: TIE Fighter

Thanks to the Disney Store we have some fabulous Force Fridays finds as we take a look at ride vehicles straight from the Star Wars saga as we countdown to the release of The Force Awakens!

What is a TIE Fighter?
Why, its the quintessential imperial ship, thank you very much! Seriously, though the official description shows this is the imperial fighter pilot's go-to ship, especially in the first trilogy (IV-VI), "The TIE fighter was the unforgettable symbol of the Imperial fleet. Carried aboard Star Destroyers and battle stations, TIE fighters were single-pilot vehicles designed for fast-paced dogfights with Rebel X-wings and other starfighters. The iconic TIE fighter led to other models in the TIE family including the dagger-shaped TIE Interceptor and the explosive-laden TIE bomber. The terrifying roar of a TIE's engines would strike fear into the hearts of all enemies of the Empire." TIE fighters have a long history in the Star Wars saga, and they aren't going anywhere!

Disney sent me two versions of these awesome die-cast models and they are beautiful, finely detailed, and perfect for the Star Wars lover in your life (both young and old) this holiday season! Click the pictures below to check 'em out!