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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 blogspot.com 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:


Sigh. 
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