Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Happy New Year of Great Books to Read from Disney Publishing!

Disney Baby has a bunch of adorable new books coming out.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Disney Scrapbooking Guide!

Disney Scrapbooking is a ton of fun!

Want a printable, full color, photo-filled PDF version of this guide? Head over here!

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

A Charlie Brown Christmas from LeSportSac

Just as you all did, here at Picturing Disney we collectively LOVED the collaboration between LeSportSac and the Peanuts! And now they are back with new great patterns and awesome unique designs! These would make a great last minute gift for someone you love (even if that someone you feel like shopping for is YOU)! Here is a multi-bag review of the great bags in the new Peanuts Collection!

As you all know, I love me a tote (I think this statement can be made for any mother or teacher) especially when its a zipper top. But with zipper pulls like this... I mean #Icanteven! I use a LeSportSac Hailey tote for work daily and bring all my books that I had intended to grade back and forth to work. Our reviewer of this bag was stoked as a retiree who was looking for something durable, water resistant and with a zip top (again, those zipper pulls though) so she could carry her crochet products back and forth when she was on the go!
"I have loved the Peanuts gang since I was a little girl and honestly I have always loved everything I have ever gotten from LeSportSac. The fabric washes easy and holds its color. You would not believe how hard it can be to find a decent sized zipper tote that I can count on!"

New for me to check out are these great Essential Wristlets!

 Our reviewers had this to say:
"I have been looking for a great grab a go bag, when I can't tote my purse around with a diaper bag as well.  Carrying both is too much but if I keep my wallet in here I can quickly grab it and throw my phone and keys in it if I have to run out for formula or diapers!"
"Sometimes I don't want to carry a big bag but I need more than just my wallet. It's great for shopping or running errands! And I have already gotten so many compliments on it! "

Snoopy in the Stars
Snoopy Stargazer

And finally, this amazing design on the small cosmetic bag.  
Our reviewer, a college student who needed something she could keep both makeup, essentials, and even pens & pencils in. "The best part about this bag, and all the cosmetic bags I have actually ever seen from this company is the 3-sided zipper. Being able to unzip around the bag on three sides makes it easy to find what I am looking for and I never have those awkward moments where I drop something that was meant to stay in my bag and unseen!"

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Winter Wish List Must Haves by Wonder Forge!


Wonder Forge has outdone themselves this holiday season! My 12, 10, and 8 year olds helped us review these new games! I will start at their very favorite! "Where's Olaf?" This is meant for children far younger than mine but they really got into it! Its basically a simple board-game version of the hot/cold game that comes with pre-carded questions. So someone hides Olaf and then the other player(s) have to look around for him based on the questions they pull up and the hiders answers. Our Olaf may just end up hanging with Sazwop, our Elf on the Shelf! ;)

Although we really loved The Good Dinosaur game that seemed similar to this last year, Boulder Burst was a little young for my brood! They played without a complaint but this is much better suited for the range of Pre-K to around 1st grade I think. Our 2nd grader enjoyed it most but I think it carried greater appeal for those who watch The Lion Guard!

We love Eye Found It! And the Star Wars version did NOT disappoint! The only drawback to this game being the Star Wars version was that our 10 year old fanatic could sweep the board because he already knew which planets he could likely find someone. For example, his sister chose Jakku for the first planet to search for Princess Leia but he went right for Endor following by Hoth and spotted her twice. 

We haven't had a chance to play the Marvel Hero Training Game, I Can Do That because it was clearly pegged for the age group Boulder Burst was. Based on the adorable tools, unique gameplay, and Wonder Forge's reputation for games filled with family fun-- we know our cousins are going to love playing this when we see them over the holidays!

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Welcome Moana to your Disney family this holiday season!

I loved the feeling I had when I left the theater after seeing Moana!

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

LeSportSac Moana Collection!

The LeSportSac Moana Collection is spunky and spiritful!

Sunday, December 11, 2016

LeSportSac Moana Weekender Prize Pack!

Here at Picturing Disney, we have had a longstanding relationship with LeSportSac, although we are always open about our partners sending us samples they go above and beyond sending us items to share with YOU! And this is one beautiful bag and comes with a flat cosmetic bag!

I adore the new Moana collection (and you will hear all about my love for the new LeSportSac lines this week)! This bag is just fantastic! I have multiple sizes in the weekender and love this for one has no bounds! I use it for sleepovers for our children, to stow under our seats as my personal item on planes, to carry books around when I attend workshops and conferences for school, and of course as an oversized satchel for my NYCC haul each year! I have used my Monster's Inc one over and over in the last few years and it remains in as good as new shape! 

On top of the fabulous bag, I am going to throw in a Pirates of the Caribbean Inspired Wish Bracelet from my Etsy shop and some surprise books from one of our recent shipments from Disney Publishing for this prize pack! 

The contest will run from 12/16 to 12/22 and you can use the rafflecopter links below! 

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Free Printable Disney World Photo Scavenger Hunt!!

As always, I like to give credit where credit is due, when I first started searching the internet to see if someone else had developed this sort of list I stumbled on a few more generic "pictures everyone should take on the their Disney trips" lists and even a few printables.  

The one over on Travel Hyper linked to some free pattern pieces on the blog Sprik Space which I used for the adorable chevron backgrounds.  And I found the fonts, as always on the free font site Da Font.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Fall into Reading this Autumn with Disney!

Disney has really outdone itself with the amazing art and stories this season! We are totally loving the new empowering Disney Princess campaign we are seeing all over and the new book releases focus on just that: brave, strong, fierce heroines teaching girls to overcome challenges, never stop loving, and to always be brave and kind! 

My favorite this season is Moana! Find her featured in one of the new and amazing Art of Disney Coloring Books! This one features sea life, polynesian style art, and of course all the great characters from this upcoming release! 
My idea of a great night in!
She is also featured in the fabulous novelized version of her feature story that focus on her bravery during her adventures! It is a beautiful hardcover that is canvased with nice printing and great design.

Moana isn't the only new princess on the scene this season! Elena of Avalor is on fire! Her show is one of the only both our 7 and 12 year old BOTH get excited for and she is here for some great fun! 
Featured here is the Elena of Avalor Christmas Book Feliz Navidad: A Royal Christmas and a lift the flap book called A Palace Fit for a Princess both of these are great finds this season (and any) I love the art style of the books.  We've previously reviewed Sofia the First books similar to the Christmas one, the art is sketchy and bright, and the hardcover is bound with fabric.  These really make swell gifts! And the lift-a-flap book will surely occupy any Elena fan as both my girls had fun checking it out!

A review of Disney Publishing releases features brave, strong female characters could not be complete with the new quintessential classic, Frozen! Disney and paper artist Matthew Reinhart have really outdone themselves with this AMAZING pop-up book! Every page opens up into a beautiful world and almost every page features pull tabs to transform part of that world along with the story itself.  Art and Disney at it's very best. 
The attention to detail is incredible!

Also being released this season is the original Disney girl, the one and only Minnie Mouse.  This compilation art book titled The Art of Minnie Mouse features some of my favorite current artists and I've snapped a few sample pics.  Any Minnie Mouse or Disney Parks fan in your life will love this awesome coffee table book and your imagination will soar as you page through it! 

I think this is my very favorite in the entire book!

Sunday, October 9, 2016

When Fairy Tales Do Come True: An Up-Themed Disney Engagement Party!

I am many things.  Three of those many things are: someone who life has broken in the past, a true believer in fairytales (and the heroines that rule them), and a cynical optimist (yes, you read that correctly, I both doubt it will come and believe in happy endings at the same exact time).  So there you have it. I am for all intents and purposes a typical middle American: a hard-worker who loves her job teaching, a dreamer of impossible things, and a lover of love. I will come right out with it: I got engaged in Disney World this summer.  There are lovely details to this story, but they are for me and my family and friends, not the entire internet.  I will share this:

So you may know of me if you have followed Picturing Disney from when I started it (and we were still located at lol) and you may have figured out my personality from the way I write, review, share, and photograph.  Whether this is your first read or you figured this out long ago, let me say... this was the single best moment of my life thus far. 

We came home from Disney World and bought a house! While, I know that seems simple... anyone who is reading this who has bought a house can vouch for me that it has not.  It was the single most stressful process of my life so far (and I am previously divorced and have lost people I love dearly).  I am not demeaning other people or my own pain.  This was just such immediate stress and such a long process that it really was not as simple as "and then we bought a house" might make it seems and I wanted to attest to that. 

Newly Engaged + New House = Party Time

I was immediately in touch with my girl, Monique, at her company Only One Mark Inc! She designed and printed announcements and invites for our celebration!

I used a Shutterfly code for 10 Free Magnets and used the 4 mini square design, ended up with 40 two inch by two inch magnets, used adhesive circles to attach them to the announcements and VOILA! If you enjoy that idea, the magnet coupon has long since expired but you can get a Free Photo Book with this link!

Monique and I designed the cards together, my fiance and I are huge fans of "Up" for many reasons, some are personal and private, others are the same as the reasons you love Carl and Ellie. We went with an Up theme for our announcements and invites and really our whole party (and probably our wedding)! I added a touch of Doctor Who to the back of our announcements because... well, anyone who has watched any 10th Doctor episodes knows I do not need to finish that sentence! Also, the party invites were not flawed at all- they are and were perfect! I just had to block out our phone numbers so haters and trolls won't hate and troll. lol. 

In any case, onward! We moved in and love our home! We were truly a couple that is meant to be. Every happy line from every sappy country song literally describes us.  One of our first projects together was the purchase of a white mailbox so we could do this:

It's even cute when I look at the pictures again! 

Onto the big PARTY! Because that's why you are here! I tried to photo document as well as I could so enjoy my captions and shoot us a message or comment if you are planning and have any questions! We tried to keep it DIY and personal.  Homemade, but with so much love that was the key to our planning. 
The metal ampersand light up ($7 on clearance at Target) and the Hello frame ($5 on clearance at A.C. Moore) are both are battery operated and switch on and off.  I had them at one end of our drink table which was also on the porch when people walked in.
I handpainted "Paradise Falls" on a mason jar then filled it with change.  We put Sharpies for labeling drink cups in the jar as well!

Another awesome frame find was this kickass photobox frame in Target! It was only $7 and has 4 mini shadowboxes on the sides and is a pin board.  I put our magicbands and buttons from our trip in the shadowboxes and other trinkets. Then I used a Carl & Ellie pin we had bought on the trip and a Walt Disney World one I'd had to pin our engagement photo up and put it in the middle of our food table!

I handpainted a big mason jar with a likeness of the Up house and then used cookie pops shaped as balloons to fill it up so that we had our own mini (and edible) Up house at the party!

We served some chips before dinner and fresh made popcorn from a home popper! We got the machine plus the popcorn boxes plus kits to make about 200 cups of popcorn for about $200 on Amazon.  I think that most people end up shelling out around $50 for party snacks, and this is only an investment once.  The next time we have a party, for about $20 or so we can feed everyone awesome popcorn snacks! an investment, yes, but a good one! 

We got popcorn and cookies and of course had dinner... but what do we all love best? CAKE! My mom made us this awesome book! It was perfect and beautiful and delicious (I am literally eating leftovers as I type)!

Favors? ELLIE BADGES of course! I attached a soda cap pin (made with printouts and epoxy on metal) to a piece of white cardstock and then glued a black backing piece of cardstock to secure it and neaten it up.  The Highest Honor We Could Bestow was a huge hit.  

Almost as big of a hit as the "balloons out front marking the house" :)
We couldn't have an Up themed party without balloons on our chimney! 

What's next? Happily Ever After, I think. 

Party Playlist
Up theme
Mango Tree - Zac Brown Band
Falling Slowly - Once broadway musical soundtrack
Laundry Room - The Avett Brothers
Thinking Out Loud - Ed Sheeran
You & Me - Dave Matthews Band
Ghosts That We Knew - Mumford & Sons
Flowers in Your Hair - The Lumineers
Dog Days are Over - Florence + the Machine
Some Nights - Fun.
Sound of Sunshine - Michael Franti & Spearhead
Lava theme
Margarita - Great Big Sea
Wanderlust - Flogging Molly
I and Love and You - The Avett Brothers
Work Song - Hozier
As We Are Now - Saint Raymond
She Got the Honey - Mat Kearney
I Need Never Get Old - Nathanial Rateliff & the Night Sweats 
Marry You - Bruno Mars
XO - John Mayer