Friday, April 21, 2017

Beauty and the Beast Giveaway!

Use the Rafflecopter form below to enter to win a beautiful Beauty & the Beast prize pack that includes:

Check out our Beauty & the Beast Book and Product reviews for more info on these great items!

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

We are "certain as the sun" that you will love these new Beauty & the Beast products!

A whole new world of Beauty & the Beast fans have emerged making older millenials like myself pleased as punch to see our favorite tale as old as time reinvented beautifully as a live action film for new audiences to adore. Emma Watson was a match made in fandom heaven for this role! Much like re-reading Narnia, this film resonated differently with me as an adult. I found myself more interested in the Beast character than Belle but nonetheless fell head over feet for this rendition of the story. 

The Disney Store and Disney Publishing have send us some amazing products to share (and stay tuned on Friday for a giveaway as well)!

And since a picture is worth a thousand words, lets start with this breathtaking journal! 

Retailing for $19.95 at the Disney Store, this is almost too beautiful to write in! And paired with this beautiful compact that will make you feel like you are looking into a magical mirror at the heroine of your own fairy tale, the exquisite attention to detail is just lovely! It retails for $16.95. 

On Friday we will be teaming up with our friends at Kid Congeniality and StepMusings to giveaway BOTH of these items as well as the new book release, Lost in a Book!

(You can check out my full Disney Publishing Beauty and the Beast round-up here!)

Friday, April 14, 2017

Stay Golden, Girls!

As many of you likely know, I love me some Dorothy, Blanche, Sophia, and Rose! I adore the way they have made a return back to pop culture (likely thanks to popular online streaming sites having the entire series ready at the touch of a remote)! 

I made these awesome candles, that are lightly scented with berry and coconut and made of clean-burning soy wax. I am really happy with the way my golden-inspired creations came out! Check them out in my etsy shop! They are housed in small (4 oz) mason jars that can be converted into salt, pepper, or any other spice, shakers. 

Recently, Disney Publishing sent me this amazing new coloring book of the lovely ladies themselves! I was so excited to add this to my ever growing, Golden collection! 

Next on the list: grabbing up some of the adorable Golden Girls pops!

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Dooney and Bourke Flower & Garden Festival Exclusive!

As lovers of all thinks Disney style and all things Epcot this new Dooney & Bourke pattern is a match made in collaboration heaven! This is a 2017 Flower & Garden Festival exclusive and the merchandise this year is really just extraordinary. Oh how I wish I could get down to Orlando before the end of may for a shopping (and eating) spree! I mean, seriously, just look at this pattern:

And this adorable satchel is perfect for park going! It is easily wiped clean grained leather, metal feet, embossed Dooney & Bourke logo plate, has an easy to add-on shoulder strap and lots and lots of interior room and pockets!

There is a zip pouch on one side, compartments for electronics across the way and a key clip!  The dimensions for this bag are 10'' H x 12'' W x 5'' D with a 5" handle drop for the two exterior handles.

Since this is a festival item, you can't order it online through Disney Store or the mobile Shop Disney Parks app, but you can locate it from within Epcot using the app.  

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Disney Recipe: LeFou's Brew!

I love Beauty and the Beast so obviously I headed out into theater's with the masses last week and have been whistling Be Our Guest ever since. Though I love me some live action, the original holds my heart so when I visit Walt Disney World Resort, I never want to leave the Beauty and the Beast area of New Fantasyland in Magic Kingdom! Being there for the first time back when it first opened was the most overwhelmed I have been in the parks since the first time I saw Cinderella's castle.  

When I decided I need a taste of Disney World to cheer me up, LeFou's Brew was my first thought.  (Here are my thoughts on Gaston's Tavern and Be Our Guest restaurants, by the way, if you stumbled here looking for reviews.)

In any case, I hit YouTube first but even though most recipes got rave comments they were just too easy or had ingredients that seemed to cost too much or take too much time.  I want something that won't set back my trip planning but will also bring me back to the parks.  Then when hunting on google I came across Home is Where the Mouse Is and their take came from a recipe from the Disney Diner

I adjusted the original recipe below but you can find the full recipe on the Disney Diner site and her tips for finding ingredients and putting this together. I found all the ingredients at my local grocery store except for the marshmallow syrup which I had to order online.  The link on the original recipe leads to a bottle for under $5 but that would've cost me $15 with standard shipping so I ordered from Amazon for $12 shipped prime for free! :)

LeFou's Brew Recipe


Foam Topping:
1 cup heavy whipping cream, cold
4 tablespoons Mango Nectar/Juice
4 tablespoons Passionfruit Juice

Apple Slush:
2- 12oz cans of frozen Apple Juice
10-12 ice cubes
1/4 cup Torani Toasted Marshmallow Syrup 

1.  Topping: Combine whipping cream and juices into mixing bowl. Beat on high 5-7 minutes (until stiff peaks form when mixing)

2. Slush: Blend ice cubes until they are chopped up.  Add both cans of apple juice, water, and syrup.  Blend on high until mixed. 

3.  Pour slush into cup and top with whipped topping.  

4.  Enjoy :)

The foam here is really a lightly flavored homemade whipped cream but it works here because the Lefou's Brew in the park is foam that mimics the head on a beer.  If you want to make this an "adult beverage" you could most likely swap out the Butterscotch Schnapps for the marshmallow syrup and use the foam recipe I used for my Butterbeer here.
Also, this works better made to order, and should make about 4-5 cups of slush with plenty of whipped cream to top them off so I recommend halving the recipe rather than trying to go back for more later because you will have no choice but to freeze and re-mix any leftovers if you save for later! 

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Disney Movie Club FREE MOVIE offer!

As any Disney fanatic would, I obviously considered Disneyfying my home an essential part of the purchase of my new house! One of the things I waited to do until we were official was re-sign up for the Disney Movie Club, this is Disney's version of the Columbia House CD club that we all remember from the 80s and 90s. lol.

Basically you get 4 movies for $1, and commit to buying 4 more at MSRP over the next two years.  I did this full membership about a decade ago and found it worked out to be really cost effective.  You have a choice to accept or decline a title each month (accepting means they charge your card and ship it out).  If you choose blu-rays you are paying about $30 for 4 which = $120 at the end of commitment.  However you really got 8 movies so you are looking at $15 for each blu ray (most of which are combo packs).  If you choose wisely this could save you anywhere between $5-10 a movie.  If you are a Hayao Miyazaki fan it would be worth it for collecting Studio Ghibli alone!

Take into account a current Disney Visa Cardmember deal (although when I purchased it allowed me to use ANY credit card during sign up) and this deal is worth it for any fan! Head to the Disney Movie Club website and voila! (The link should give you the extra promo, but if it does not simply click up top to indicate you have a promo code.  Enter 42033 and suddenly the site will be transformed!) You will get 5 movies for $1 and only have to commit to buying 3! Now you are looking at $11.25 per movie if you combine your 5 initial plus the 3 from your commitment! Not even Amazon could beat that price!

But wait, there's more (LOL)!

You also get a free Olaf blanket! I was surprised by the quality, a thin fleece but still a nice addition to the throw blankets we keep in our living room! (Mine is pictured above!)

Obviously, all promos are subject to change and while there is no end date for this one, I am sure it won't be around for long.  ALWAYS remember that you should read all the fine print, be sure you understand what you are getting into when you make a club commitment, and consider the overall cost for your family.  There are small shipping charges and if you are not looking to build a library this may not be cost effective or helpful for you, and on the contrary may seem cumbersome and expensive.  It meets a need my family has, and I am excited to share even more Disney and Studio Ghibli with them! And I look forward to fulfilling my obligation with the great upcoming releases slated over the next few months!

Monday, March 20, 2017

How to Tour the Parks from Rope Drop to Fireworks

Every time I have a conversation with anyone about my Disney Trips, the term "Rope Drop to Fireworks" always comes up. For those of you who don't know, Rope Drop to Fireworks refers to guests who will go to the parks from the opening to closing. This idea of being at the park for that many hours to many people would seem like a daunting feet, but it can be done.

The first thing to know is that you will have to get up early. Whether there are extra magic hours or not, you will need to know what time the park will open its doors to guests. Check with the My Disney Experience App (available for iPhones and Android phones) the night before to make sure there are no extra magic hours for the next day's visit. If so, note that any opening show will happen during the magic hours, not usual park opening hours.

It is also a good idea to take into account what mode of transportation you will be taking to the parks and how long it will take to get there. This is a must when using park transportation from the resorts. Although park transportation is seemingly very efficient in getting guests where they need to go, there may be up to 45 minute wait times from a certain resort. Rule of thumb, the more time you give yourself to get there, the easier it will be to relax and not stress.

The next tip is go in with a game plan. Talk to the other members of your party and ask what are the must do attractions or experiences they are all looking forward to. By making a list of what attraction or experience to hit first, all the members of your party will know where to start walking to (or in my case usually, speed walking/running) once those gates are opened to guests.

During the afternoon, the parks will be the busiest. This is the time to hit up attractions with low wait times and get a snack or two. This is especially true when the 3 o'clock parade rolls in. It's best to get a snack and pick out your spot about 45 minutes to an hour before showtime and wait. If not, you might miss out on the show.

Keep in mind that magical moments will happen and as my next tip, I urge you to let them happen. Sometimes, you may find yourself running around the parks as if they will close the ride and not allow entry for the rest of the day. Make time to actually enjoy your visit. Sit on the Tomorrowland Transit Authority and kick up your feet (if possible). You would be surprised at how relaxing a ride through the many attractions in Tomorrowland can be.

There are a lot more tips where that came from! Stay tuned for more tips on how to enjoy the parks!

Friday, March 17, 2017

To Anyone Who Ever Stopped Believing in Happily Ever After

To Anyone Who Ever Stopped Believing in Happily Ever After

Last year, after meeting a new colleague and being asked by a friend what kind of person he was, I replied "Don't worry, he's our people. He's real." That's what life is, right? We are all Velveteen Rabbits. We are all Woody and Buzz. Love makes us real. The magic of love somehow transcends time and space and make us more than we used to be. 

If we can acknowledge that there is magic in real life, why do we fail to acknowledge that we become less than when love hurts? That is what truly makes us real. Our pain and panic make us as real as our love and elation do. Our bad relationships shape us into being. And if we are lucky we don't grow older, we grow wiser. If we are lucky we stop standing at the edge of the water. If we are lucky we look back at the dark path through the forest and realize that dodging wild animals and being pricked by thorns was worth it when we reached the castle gates. 

How do you survive in the thick of it? How do you trudge on through the darkest days? How do you slay the grief dragon or outwit the sorcery of heartbreak? You must become the love you are seeking. You can't just forgive the person who hurt you, you must also forgive yourself. You can't just look back at memories with pangs of sadness in every fiber of your being, you have to look forward to what still awaits you and feel anticipation course through your body like pixie dust that will lift you off your feet.

Longing for adventure in the great wide somewhere is not the same as packing a bag and heading out the door. Remember, Merida fought for her own hand and Tiana lead the way to her own dreams. We are all dreamers, we are all capable of loving ourselves with the ferocity we can love others. We just forget that when we get lost in the fog sometimes. 

So to you, who may have stumbled upon this because you have lost your hope. To you who may have given up on love. To you who no longer believes Happily Ever After is a destination you will reach. I have some advice. And it is clear and it is simple and it is truer than any other words I have written or spoke. 

Happily Ever After lives inside you right now. 

This moment could be your turning point. And this one the one where you step in the directions of your dream. And then this moment still could be when you decide that the cliche is true: you won't catch your dreams unless you chase them. So throw open your window sashes like Scrooge on Christmas morning, leave your tower to see the lantern festival, go on a hero's quest even if you were written into the game as a villain. Whatever you do, put your heart into it. 

"Because," to quote Jiminy Cricket, "that, my friends, is where magic lives."

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Something to bark about: Harvey's 101 Dalmatians collaboration!

It's pretty common knowledge that here at Picturing Disney we love Harvey's seatbelt bags and one of our favorite Disney couture collabs is the adorable Disney x Harvey's collections that we are wowed with each season!

This time around we had the best time checking out the new Harvey's 101 Dalmatian collaboration. No bones about it, you are gonna love these bags! Join Melissa and Michelle for a joint review and scroll on down for a fabulous giveaway! 

Last week I received the best fun mail ever!
Melissa sent me this Harveys for Disney Couture 101 Dalmatians streamline tote to review! (Also pictured is the matching coin purse!)

Isn't it adorable?

The tote is made of horizontally stitched seatbelts with dalmatian dot accents.  I love the red top carry handles and the fact that it comes with a detachable cross body strap.  The bag is both sturdy and fashionable.

I love the subtlety of this bag.  The fact that I can channel my inner Cruella while sporting it is fun but it is not over the top screaming dalmatians!  Those among us that don't like to Disney-bound might not even get the dalmatian reference.  That is until you look inside.

Just look at these cuties:

And let's talk about those convenient pockets.  One zippered pocket and two extra slip pockets to hold your cell and other necessities are key!

I could not agree with Michele more! The three things that I love most about Harvey's are always the same: subtle classy style, versatility with how you can wear the bags, and the amazing pockets! This pattern is just for the dogs! It's pupsational! Its a regular Dalmatian plantation of arm candy! I could not contain myself from getting some help with my review. 

Two mutts and their humans agree: this is a must have line! The lining is always my favorite, and I do not think I have loved the great styling inside so much on any bag I own. (Although my Alice Harvey's bag is a close second!)

Besides the tote and coin purse, there is a Crossbody Messenger bag offered. (We reviewed one of them here.) And a fourth bag on the way that may be the cutest of them all! The Puppy Foldover bag is available for pre-order on the Harvey's website and is expected to come out this Friday March 17th! Reserve yours now! 

So head on over to today to nab a coin purse or foldover puppy bag before they sell out! And because we love you like Pongo loves Perdi head on over to the Picture Disney Instagram account for your chance to WIN a sold out Medium Streamline Tote!

Friday, March 10, 2017

Beauty & the Beast Bookworm Breakdown!

If you grew up like I did... a beauty but a funny girl... then one of the most relatable and charming things about Belle was her love of a good book! When Disney Publishing sent some new Beauty & the Beast releases for to review I was overjoyed!

The countdown is on for this amazing adaptation and I know I am not alone in having waited since the moment it was announced. I don't even know how I am going to sleep on March 16th knowing it will be on its way!!! Disney is really hitting on all my nostalgia these days and all I can say is keep the memories coming!

As huge fans of Disney's Art of Coloring series, we were ecstatic to see this included! Just as beautiful as any of the other books in this series and filled with fun and whimsy! 
(Pick up your copy from Amazon today!)

Once upon a time I read and coveted a book called "Disney's Art of Animation from Mickey Mouse to Beauty & the Beast". I read it over and over as a Disney-obsessed youngster (and still have my copy today). This is the first book to come close to that quality since my childhood. It included beautiful art and even some awesome info about the now retired Broadway musical. (Pick up your copy from Amazon today!)

For younger audiences, we were able to check out the movie tie-in for middle grades as well as the step into reading. Additionally, we received a copy of the book on CD and this amazing and adorable quote book called Belle's Library. It features classic literature quotes and Belle's notes about them! Truly well thought out and adorable!

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Part of Your World: A Mermaid Themed Baby Shower

 Like most people party planning, when we found out we would be throwing a baby shower for my sister-in-law my tween daughter and I took it to Pinterest for some pinspiration! We nearly immediately decided on a mermaid theme! We pinned our hearts out and here is the result! 

Fisherman's netting is sold in most craft stores and paired with some color themed balloons made a great backdrop for our main table (used for food and favors
I took some of the netting, cut and glued it around mason jars, and then wrapped the tops with hemp (also hot glued on). Then I made tiny signs for forks (dinglehoppers), knives (whosits) and spoons (whatsits).
My daughter painted a mermaid with no scale details on her tail for the guest book. We put it out on our main table with ink and wipes so people could "sign in".  It filled her tail with beautiful scales and was a great keepsake for mama.
Party favors were mini bubbles. I tied a card on them with a beautiful image I found on Pinterest that says "We got no troubles, life is the bubbles under the sea" on one side, and on the other I put the date and shower information. I printed everything on card stock and tied the bubbles on with hemp.
Another awesome Pinterest find was this easy to make octopus! We decorated the living room (where gifting was planned) with under the sea touches like this. All we needed was a balloon, some cardstock, and pink streamers. We also used constructions paper to make fish swimming around the room (below) and green ribbon and streamers and twisted them up by the fireplace to create seaweed!
For our cake we had a small layer cake and some cupcakes. I followed this recipe for the turtles and my daughter found the cute crabbies on, but of course, Pinterest.
We also had sugar cookies (not pictures) with 5 sliced almonds placed on top to look like sand dollars and these little clams which only required Nilla Wafers, icing, and candy eyes to create!

Party Playlist
To the Sea - Jack Johnson
For the Summer - Ray Lamontagne
Pink Moon - Nick Drake
Kiss the Girl - The Little Mermaid
God Only Knows - The Beach Boys
A Drop in the Ocean - Ron Pope
Wonderful World - Iz
How Far I'll Go - Moana
Hawaiian Roller Coaster Ride - Lilo & Stitch
Lava Theme - Lava
High Tide or Low Tide - Ben Harper
Bubble Toes - Jack Johnson
Bubbly - Colbie Caillat
Chasing the Sun - Hilary Duff
Sunshine - Matt Costa
Part of Your World - The Little Mermaid
Wouldn't it be Nice - The Beach Boys
Knee Deep - Zac Brown Band
Three Little Birds - Bob Marley
That's How You Know - Enchanted
Under the Sea - The Little Mermaid