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 sister and brother each pick out an ornament growing up.  By the time I was 10 or 11 I started picking Disney ones every year (and 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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Sunday, December 13, 2015

DIY Mickey & Minnie Ornaments

© Monique Garcia

If your holiday season is anything like mine, you are rushing to buy those last minute Christmas presents. However, I may have two wonderful, inexpensive gifts that you yourself can create.

After creating our Autumn, Disney Inspired Wreath, I decided to make some for the Christmas holiday for different family members. You can check out the blog post here for more information on how you can make your own Disney Inspired Wreath and add a few magical touches of your own.

Another gift that is great to do is your very own Mickey Christmas Ornaments. I have a co-worker who loves to decorate for the holidays in themes. This year her house is all filled with Gingerbread décor. Next year, her décor theme will be none other than Disney. As our office gift exchange drew near, I had no idea what to get her. Yes, there are beautiful items available on, but at this point, times were desperate. As I looked through department stores, I just couldn’t find that perfect item for her theme next year. Then it hit me…I could make her some decor.

I stopped at Target and in their dollar section they had tubes of plastic, round ornaments. They had matching sets in different sizes and colors. I grabbed two sets of both small and medium ornaments and ran home.

For this project, you will need:
  •           Plastic, Round Ornaments: any size will do as long as you have two of the smallest for the ears and one larger ornament
  •           A Glue Gun and Glue Sticks
  •           Scissors and an available trash can
  •           Ribbon or any decorative touches (optional)
  •           Hooks (decorative or those that come in the box)
  •           Shot glasses or tiny teacups. Either one will serve as a place to set your ornaments while building and allowing the glue to set without a huge mess.

Take the smallest of the plastic ornaments and carefully remove the silver clasp. Then grab your scissors and cut the at the base of the ornament. Try to cut gently over a trash can so that you have less mess and keep most of your ornament intact. This will allow for the smaller ornaments to sit flat (as best as possible) on the larger ornament. Grab your glue gun and be a little generous with the amount of glue you set on the smaller ornament. If you put a tiny dot or thin layer of glue, it will not hold. Place the small ornament on the larger ornament and let it set for 2-5 minutes. Once the ornament is set, do the same to the other side. Voilà! You have made an adorable Mickey Mouse Silhouette Ornament.

© Monique Garcia

For an added touch of magic, I took half of the ornaments and placed bows on the top to make the look like Minnie Mouse. 

Have a merry and safe Holiday Season!!

Looking for a printable version of this craft?! Head over HERE!

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!

As most of you know, 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?)

Wonder Forge has a great line up of fun and affordable games and we got to test them out this Thanksgiving break just for you! I will start with my favorite! (Well, really, our entire family's favorite.) 

The Good Dinosaur Roarin River is a cooperative board game with the fun of chutes and ladders and just enough intensity to keep everyone involved.  We had ages ranging from 7-11 kids playing plus adults and we all had fun but even younger kids could easily get the hang of this and have a blast.  I love these universal games where everyone works together!

Our next game was Star Wars Pictopia and this may have been a poor choice on my account since Wonder Forge has other awesome Star Wars games that may have suited my family better.  Pictopia games are super fun trivia games but we did not have the Star Wars expertise to play this one the way other families surely will be able to.  

It is high quality and the style of Pictopia lends itself to be games all ages in the family can enjoy. We just only made it through a short round (that only one child really ended up enjoying because he was the only one who could answer every question correctly). 

Last, and certainly not least, is the awesome Disney Imagicademy Storymation Stop Motion Video Kit.  This was a HUGE hit and I don't even have pictures to do it justice because we just were not done creating anything yet! 

Its easy to use since kids can record through a free app from Disney on phones and ipods/ipads but whats even better is that there are enough elements that everyone can get involved (we are a family of 5).  You design your "movie" with adding clay-animation elements, setting up the background, and if you want to you can use posable mickey and minnie that come in the set.  Its easy and fun and the set is also a great carrying case for all the pieces you will need in your video creations!

Since we only had before pictures to share, stay tuned for more on the Instagram once we finish our video! And do your family a favor and grab some of these great games to put under your tree this holiday season! :)