Saturday, October 21, 2017

A most magical Minnie Mouse painting party

We went to the most magical birthday party ever.  It was a "Minnie Paints the Dots" party hosted by TaraMarie at Growing Up Main Street for her daughter CJ's third birthday.

TaraMarie set up a table with easels and canvases for everyone to paint.  The artwork that was created was amazing and the memories produced were priceless.

My favorite part of the event was the amazing cake created by Something Sweet by Roe.
As delicious as it was beautiful!

The dessert/candy bar was like none I've ever seen before.  It had everything your sweet tooth could imagine and more!

I can't wait to see what CJ's next party will be!  I am hinting for a Bambi or Daisy Duck theme so that I can relive my childhood but whatever it is I am sure it will be perfect.

Monday, October 16, 2017

It's incredible to be here!

I've been procrastinating about writing this post for two weeks. I simply could not sit down and put into words how excited I am to be taking over Picturing Disney!

One of my fondest childhood memories is sitting on our fuschia velvet couch (I'm not kidding) every Sunday night to watch "The Wonderful World of Disney" on ABC. I've always gotten the Sunday night blues and for that short window of time each week my worries melted away. I've never really figured out a way to completely squash the Sunday blues but I can tell you that spreading the Pixie Dust certainly helps! With that said, we are going to continue to deliver the Disney Magic! I promise to bring the same whimsical fun that Melissa and Monique brought so passionately to all.  

We have a lot of fun planned starting over on Instagram. Don't know if you've noticed but we've been participating in the Fall into Disney Style October photo challenge! Picturing Disney started out as a Photo Blog and we will always stay true to our heart. Pictures capture our love story with Disney and we have a lot of stories to tell. Tara has been posting some fantastic photos over on our Instagram. Please check out her fantastic perspective.  It is fresh, it is whimsical and it is everything that you are going to come to love about our new vision. If you are not following us on Twitter please jump on board!  We like to sneak in some flash giveaways over there so if you are not following you will miss out!

I just realized that today is October 16th.  The Disney company was born on October 16, 1923! In that pioneering spirit I encourage you to share your Disney photos and experiences with us. Drop us a post on Facebook or tag us on Instagram for a chance to be featured.  We'd love to build a magical community with you one snap shot at a time!

Monday, September 25, 2017

The Only Way To Say Goodbye

The First Picture Ever Posted on Picturing Disney: 11/20/11

As many of you know, I founded Picturing Disney almost 7 years ago. We started out as a small little photo blog devoted to pictures I had taken in the parks over the years. This was a hobby of mine, to take pictures, to be creative, to see things people hadn't noticed before. But as I did this so did many, many others. In that I found my blog changing shape. I found my creative ways of raising trip money became posts with huge views, that people liked my trip reports, that people enjoyed that I shared my printables and crafts and my recipes which I have been reposting all summer, and that companies loves my writing style enough to send me free stuff to write about and take pictures of. I found that I had a little community here. And without realizing it, I had come to need that.

You see, my Disney trips were not just because I loved Disney World, there was something bigger at play. My high school sweetheart, my boyfriend, my fiance, my husband (all names he had from me over the course of my blog ownership) he had a lot of anxiety and travel was a trigger for him. He had traveled to Disney as a child, and to some beach vacations and therefore he didn't have much issue with Disney Parks or various Beach trips we had taken. I wanted more than just laying on a beach and repeating, I wanted a place I could have adventures. I found that place in Disney. Don't get me wrong, I went to many beaches up and down the east coast and even got him out to the Bahamas once. I tried to get him out to Cali once and we had to change our entire trip on the spot (and on my credit card) to Disneyland to stop an all afternoon anxiety attack that ensued upon landing.

In sickness and in health was something I was prepared to handle. I was here, I had my PD community, I had a great community of Disney friends, and I had my family and wonderful friends at home. I woke up one day and I realized I had been gaslighted. I realized I had been in a cycle of abuse. And the more I woke up to it, the more I realized I couldn't get out. I focused on ways to fund Disney trips while he was out of work, while he was back in school, while he was going to classes but I was doing to research papers and working full time and getting my Masters, and all the while GUILT GUILT GUILT and PAIN PAIN PAIN. I was so busy taking care and control in BOTH of our lives, so busy getting everything done, so busy giving him ALL of my sunshine that all that was shiny and beautiful inside me was dying. I was withering away because I had forgotten to save some of my sunshine for myself.

And then the unthinkable happened. Those moments in life that when they are happening and in the immediate aftermath you think "I will never forget this" but then somehow your own defense mechanisms make you forget everything but how you felt inside. Something happened between us that had happened before but never like this. And as he pulled back his arm, I could almost watch all of my sunshine go to black, see him pulling from me all that I had fought for over the years. And in a moment of intense emotional rewind, my brain brought me back to that same face in a different place. Suddenly his face was not angry and sad and overwhelmed and filled with all the things from his childhood he'd never dealt with.

Suddenly, we were on Prince Charming's Carousel at 3am during Spring Break Magic Kingdom Extra Magic Hours. He was smiling and laughing like a kid. I was giggling. His eyes were happy, they had a shine to them, a sparkle. My heart was full. The air was cold and I had the hood of my sweatshirt pulled up. There was no anxiety in either of us, no pain, no fear, just two kids celebrating my 30th birthday. Suddenly, in that moment I knew I needed to leave him here. I knew I needed to be that happy every day. I knew that this glittering moment that happened 10 months and a lifetime before was how I should remember my high school sweetheart, boyfriend, fiance, husband, and ex husband. And so I did.

I could not continue my life as I once had. That was when Monique of Only One Mark Inc took over the site. She was wonderful and Picturing Disney flourished for the 3 years she was the owner. OOMI has ballooned and become her full time work (and she is incredible!!! she designed my housewarming invitations, engagement announcements, and wedding invites!!).  Over that time that Monique was the owner and manager of PD, I found my sunshine. What is incredible about it was that I thought this whole time that it was important that I make my own sunshine, that I find a way to grow and do it within my own soul. Then I met Jason. I met the man who has redefined what the saying "You are my sunshine, my only sunshine" means in my world. I have never felt more loved and more overwhelmed with happiness than I do every single time I meet his eyes. I have always wondered about soulmates, about what love truly is, I questioned everything after my divorce. I never questioned Jason. He never questioned me. We met and that is all there is to it. We were never going to be whole again without each other.  Our lives have been filled with love and adventures since the moment we met and I have never in my life been so excited to grow old.

I found my happy place and it has been wonderful. We have a family together, we got engaged in Disney World. We are going to be married next month! And when Monique asked me to manage Picturing Disney and take the reigns back, I was so happy to take this step of my journey with my family! We shared the fun in doing Disney Publishing reviews. My youngest is our LeSportSac backpack reviewer extraordinaire, and I found a way to come full circle. I found a way to make peace. And in the year that I have been running the site again I have had a wonderful time.

In my time managing the site, I have also found someone who truly loves this site, who has worked with us for years, and who has been running her own site Kid Congeniality with heart and compassion that PD has always craved. I could not be happier to introduce Michele as the new owner of Picturing Disney. She has a breadth of social media knowledge that I could only dream of, she lives in the greatest city in the world, she loves all things Disney, and we share the same ideals of love, harmony, and sprinkling pixie dust wherever we go.

To celebrate this lovely happenstance we are going to run a little giveaway through Picturing Disney on instagram. Featuring our lovely account, Kid Congeniality, and my StepMommy Blog: StepMusings, you will be able to win a wonderful prize pack from LeSportSac and Disney Publishing, just in time for a spooktacularly special October!

I urge you, like Walt (and I like to think myself now too), to keep moving forward.
I will be around from time to time, but lets all give Michele the warmest of welcomes as Picturing Disney embarks upon a new and most exciting adventure.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Power Up Your Next Vacation with NintendoxLeSportSac!!!

LeSportSac has done it again! 
Here are Picturing Disney we just LOVE the collaborations that we see coming out of LeSportSac over the years! We have featured their Disney collections, as well as their pairings with Mr. Men and Peanuts. And as a girl who still has her original NES hooked up in her living room (and still can't beat World 8 on Super Mario Bros 3) this pulled at all of my heart strings! 

Nintendo x LeSportSac features two distinct lines: Power Up Burst and Mario Travel (and also some adorable Gamer Accessories).

We got to check out two awesome products from this collab for review. 
LeSportSac Weekenders are our FAVORITE travel bags! They are perfect for someone who packs light and wants an easy-to-slide-under-the-seat-in-front-of-you carry-on bag or a great sleepover pack! And the material is easy to clean and lightly waterproof! 

We also got, to my daughters complete and udder joy (as her initials are SMB) the Essential Backpack in Mario Travel

As always, the theme is tried and true and the smallest details make our hearts flutter, like the coin zipper pulls! These are my favorite backpacks of all time. And while they are pricey, so are any of the best quality bags and while those boast lifetime guarantees, we've never had a LSS backpack break in the last 6 years of use! 

We, of course, can never ever enjoy beautiful items sent for review without getting some giveaway items as well! We are teaming up with two of our favorite accounts, LeSportSac, and Disney publishing for a Spooktacular Giveaway on Instagram featuring these two beauties:
The Piranha Plant Pouch and Square Cosmetic are amazing quality (and worth a combined $60) in a giveaway with another $40 worth of great storybooks coming your way soon!


Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Windy City Magic is the perfect read this Summerfall!

Oh I am sorry, you aren't acquainted with the term Summerfall? Well let me explain. My sister and I invented this word for that time of year where you and mother nature are in denial that summer is ending. The sun still sets around 8, there are days where shorts are needed, you still order sangria and margaritas out at dinner, the crickets chirp, tomatoes still grow, and most importantly... you can allow yourself to be in total denial that its time to go back to school! Why? Because Summerfall is all about the sunshine. 

Just like we all love experiencing the great summer reads each time school lets out, Summerfall lends itself to fun, romantic, reading with characters we can connect to and just enough whimsy that we can wish we lived in that world. "The Best Kind of Magic" delivers just that feeling! And being the first book in a series, we can't wait to get our hands on the rest of the Windy City Magic series! So grab a bath bomb, pull your hair back, swipe on a clay mask, put some soft folksy music on, and relax with this wonder! And you might as well crack the window so you can feel the slightly cool breeze and smell the sweet scent of grass, just like Summerfall beckons.

Monday, August 28, 2017

#BrewYourHappyPlace with Trader Sam's!

This September is the perfect time to check out Trader Sam's Coffee Company! The folks at Trader Sam's sent us some delicious coffee and an awesome mug to help commemorate their upcoming 3 year anniversary! Inspired by your (and my) favorite rides and attractions at Disney Parks, these unique and delicious blends are sure to excite all palates! We were lucky enough to try Ghoulish Delight, Roundup Roast, Skipper's Brew Jungle Banana Pie, and EnchantedTiki Coconut (with distinct Haunted Mansion, Toy Story, Jungle Cruise, and Enchanted Tiki Room theming respectively) and they were as magical as they sound!

The Skipper's Brew is by far a personal favorite with Tiki Coconut a close second. Here at Picturing Disney we love exploring our favorite place and bring the happiness of family vacations, magical memories, and loving laughs that we have on adventures into our homes. Trader Sam's fits the bill here. We love their story, the way they have donated some of their profits to help rescue dogs, even the way their coffee showcases artists. While they are not affiliated with Disney, they have really hit a heartstring with us and we hope you check them out and share our love of this great brew! 

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Cars 3: Driven to Win Review!

Thanks to our great friends at Disney we were able to test drive the newest cars game and we just adore it! Our family had a great time playing, it was a "Disney version of Mario Kart" according to our son and everyone in our family enjoyed the game. (We have kids ranging from 8-13.) Although we played on Xbox One the game is available across all platforms and is sure to keep away those end-of-summer blues!

From the publisher:
Cars 3: Driven to Win picks up after the final big race in the upcoming Cars 3, and offers an all-new high-speed competition that is filled with both familiar and new faces.  Players will be able to take the driver’s seat and set out in action-packed adventures as they join Lightning McQueen and Cruz Ramirez in preparation to take on rival racer Jackson Storm.  With over 20 customizable playable characters to choose from, including popular heroes from the Cars franchise and next generation racers, and more than 20 unique tracks across 13 iconic race environments from the film, Cars 3: Driven to Win allows players to customize their racing adventure and discover a variety of possible experiences through its replayability.

Food & Wine Festival Hawaiian Kalua Pork Sliders Recipe!

Epcot Food and Wine Festival Hawaii Booth Kalua Pork Sliders 
with Pineapple Chutney and Spicy Mayo on Brioche Buns
These are so easy and so delicious! I love that you don't need to add anything to the pulled pork and I have made the spicy mayo many times since then! Love love love!


Kalua Pork:
1 (4-pound) boneless pork shoulder
Banana Leaf (optional)
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Brioche Rolls:
I am including the directions for the rolls here but 
I bought mine from our local Stop & Shop bakery 
and they were perfect!
1/3 cup warm (110 degrees F) water
1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast
3 eggs
2 egg yolks
1/2 cup drained crushed pineapple
1/4 cup sugar
3 1/2 to 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 egg white
2 tablespoons water

Pineapple Chutney:
1 pound diced pineapple
1 large sweet yellow onion, diced
1/2 small red bell pepper, diced
1/4 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
1 cup rice vinegar
1/2 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon  ginger Spicy Mayo:
6 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons sriracha
2 teaspoons white vinegar
Salt and pepper, to taste


For Kalua Pork:
1. Cut pork into 2 pieces; season with salt and pepper and wrap each piece in a banana leaf half (if using).
2. Place pork in a slow cooker. Cover, and cook on the lowest setting for 8 to 10 hours, until meat shreds easily with a fork.
3. Remove meat from slow cooker, reserving drippings. Discard banana leaves, if using. Shred meat, adding drippings as needed to moisten.

For Brioche Rolls:
1. Combine water and yeast in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment. Stir to dissolve yeast; set aside for 5 minutes, until mixture begins to bubble slightly. Add egg yolks, eggs, pineapple, and sugar. Add 3 1/2 cups flour, and knead with dough hook until a dough forms; add butter, kneading until dough is combined. Add remaining 1 cup flour, a bit at a time, until dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. You may not use all remaining flour.
2. With lightly floured hands, pull dough into pieces slightly larger than a golf ball. Roll into smooth balls, and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cover with a clean kitchen towel; set aside in a warm place to rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Whisk together egg white and 2 tablespoons water. Brush on tops of rolls. Bake until deep golden brown, about 20 to 25 minutes.

For Pineapple Chutney:
Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan over medium-high heat; bring to a boil. Lower heat to medium-low, and simmer until pineapple starts falling apart and most of the liquid has evaporated, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

For Spicy Mayonnaise:
Combine all ingredients in a small bowl, stirring until combined.

To Serve:
Cut brioche rolls in half. Place warm pulled pork on the bottom on the roll. Place the Dole pineapple chutney on top. Drizzle the spicy mayo over the chutney. Top with the second half of the brioche roll. 

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Muppet Rainbow Connection Cupcakes!

When I saw a pin of adorable Rainbow Cupcakes on Pinterest I immediately knew I could recreate them and they just SCREAMED Muppet to me! lol! And its all in the decorating! I have made these twice and they are always a big hit! My stepdaughter had us add some TARDIS sprinkles to her birthday cupcakes as those Doctor Who was flying around her rainbows!

What you need:
  • Vanilla Frosting
  • Airhead Extremes Rainbow Sour tape
  • Baked (and cooled) cupcakes
How you make the magic:
  1. Split the frosting in half and color half of it blue (leaving the rest white)
  2. Lightly frost all cupcakes blue
  3. Pipe an "8" in white frosting on both the left and right sides of your cupake.  Fill in the circles so that your 8's now look like to mini, fluffy white clouds.
  4. Cut each piece of the sour tape into thirds, take one of the pieces you have just cut and stick on end into the middle of one cloud... then bend into the cloud on the opposite side of your cupcake
  5. Voila!! (I recommend putting completed cupcakes into the fridge to harden up after you've finished icing.)
"Someday we'll find it- the Rainbow Connection- 
the lovers, the dreamers, and me
All of us under its spell, it must be some kind of magic..."
-Kermit the Frog

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Starring Rolls Butterfinger Cupcake Recipe!

The Butterfinger Cupcakes at Starring Rolls Cafe in Disney Hollywood Studios is a fan favorite.  Last year when I was on a baking kick I decided to take my chances and give a recipe I found online a try.  You can find the original recipe posted over on A Disney Mom’s Thoughts.  And I’ve added any updates/changes I made as I wrote out the recipe.

Starring Rolls  Cafe Butterfinger Cupcakes
Cupcake Ingredients
  • 1 box Devil’s Food Cake mix, plus ingredients to make cake
  • 1 batch butter cream frosting
  • 1 can fudge frosting 
  • 4 cups chocolate chips 
  • 6 Tbsp canola oil 3 
  • King Size Butterfingers (or a bag of miniatures)

Quick Buttercream Frosting Ingredients:
  • 3 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons whipping cream

1.  Prepare cupcakes as stated on the box. Let cupcakes cool completely.  This is a good time to make your frosting, since you will have approximately an hour of baking and cooling.  (You can also purchase frosting or use a favorite recipe, this is what I used for my cupcakes, however.)

2.  Using a sharp knife, cut a cone shape out on top of the cupcake. Make sure the cut goes about halfway into the cupcake. Remove the cake and fill the hole with fudge frosting. Add the cake you removed to the top of the cupcake, making sure that the pointy cone end is sticking up.

3. Ice your cupcakes. Let the frosting set for about 30 minutes. I used a piping bag for half of my cupcakes and a knife for the other half, as it seemed to get easier as time passed, but you can work with whatever you have on hand. 

4.  While the frosting is setting, use a food processor to crush up Butterfingers. (It may be easiest to use frozen Butterfingers.)  If you do not have a food processor, use a meat tenderizer on the flat side while Butterfingers are still in their packaging. This worked great for me as a way to improvise.

5.  Combine the chocolate chips and oil in a medium microwave-safe bowl. Heat on HIGH for 1 minute. Stir and continue to heat at 30 second intervals until completely melted. Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes before using.

6. Dip the frosted cupcakes into the chocolate.  I used a spoon to hold the frosting into place to make sure it didn’t fall off the cupcake (I highly recommend this and you will see what I mean when you're working if it doesn't make sense right now). Immediately coat the cupcake with the crumbled Butterfinger bits.. Repeat until all cupcakes are dipped and covered.

7.  Refrigerate approximately 1 hour to allow the chocolate to set. Then enjoy! Nom!

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

New MXYZ from Disney Store!

Disney Store sent us some adorable new items from the MXYZ collection! The adorable Stitch, Minnie & Mickey, and Alice merch is fun and functional!

We especially love the water bottles which recently kept our coffee warm on an overnight road trip and our water icy at the pool in Georgia for over 6 hours each time! 

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Finding Nemo Squirt Cupcake Recipe!

A few years ago, a friend sent me a link to the Squirt cupcakes.   ou can follow the link to check out the AWESOME recipe posted on the Disney Family website, but I made some changes so I am going to post my modified directions here since I think my turtles may be just a liiiiitle cuter than the originals! You can also check out the crab cupcakes and other undersea themed goodies in the Mermaid Baby Shower post from a few months ago!
Blue Crystal Sprinkles
Large Gum Drops
Mini Chocolate Morsels
Spearmint Leaves Gummies
Skewers or toothpicks (I actually used chopsticks)

Keep in mind, you may want to purchase two bags of the large gum drops.  One bag only gave me enough red/orange drops to make shells for 10 turtle cupcakes.  Either that, or get creative with shell colors!

1. Make your cupcakes and let them cool completely

2.  While you are waiting for your cupcakes to bake and cool I suggest a trial run of the little turtles! It may be easier to do this by looking at pictures than reading my descriptions but I like the way mine came out better than following the directions from the site and using their candy suggestions. 
Shell: Trim about 1/4 inch off the bottom of a red or orange gum drop and place in center of cupcake 
Head: Trim about 1/4 inch off the bottom of a green gum drop.  Squish the newly chopped sticky sides together so you can make your head a round ball.  It takes a little working and rolling around but once you do it once, you can do it easily. Then take your skewer (or toothpick or chopstick) and poke holes where you want to eyes to go on your head.  Put a little dot of frosting on the end of a mini morsel and insert into the eye hole you created.  For a more googly-eyed look, try attaching Wilton candy eyes! Set entire head near the shell on your cupcake. 
Legs: For each turtle’s 4 legs you will need only one spearmint leaf.  Slice your leaf into two, horizontally so that you now have 2 leaves.  Cut a half oval out of each leaf.  The ovals will be your back legs, place them in the anatomically correct place on your cupcake sugary side up.  Then the remaining pieces of your spearmint leaf will be his front legs.  Simply place them sugary side up so his flippers can meet the middle of the shell and still sit entirely on the cupcake.
3.  Frost your cupcakes.  You can use plain vanilla frosting, or even make it blue.  I decided to go with the sugary theme of the gum drops and use blue crystal sprinkles to make my sea of frosting.
4.  Add your little turtles to the top of the frosting.

5.  Serve and enjoy! If you have leftovers, store in a sealed container but let sit for 5 minutes before serving a second time (sometimes the gumdrops get a little hard from the fridge)!


Thursday, July 20, 2017

1900 Park Fare Strawberry Soup Recipe!

Among my favorite things at the Grand Floridian's 1900 Park Fare dinner were: seeing Cinderella and Prince Charming dance (and meeting them), the banter between Anastasia and Drizella as they came table to table, and the delicious strawberry soup!  I recreated this recipe at home and it was magical (and easy)! I used the recipe I found on All Ears and it turned out great! 
  • 2 pounds, 8 oz. strawberries*
  • 16 oz. heavy cream
  • 2 oz. sour cream
  • 3 oz. plain yogurt
  • 8 oz. fresh strawberries
*the recipe calls for frozen strawberries and I used fresh ones, this was probably a little more pricey but came out just fine!

  1. Mix first four ingredients.
  2. Beat slowly until well mixed and a smooth consistency.
  3. Chill; shake or stir  well before serving.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Adult Butterbeer Recipe!

I am not sure anyone could come to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter without grabbing a signature Butterbeer! And it was the highlight of my visit- I went back for a refill! ;)

Want to know how to make a batch of your very own adult butterbeer (and by adult I mean alcoholic)?
Read on for a super easy, at home recipe!

I first saw this on Elise's Kitchen, a super cute blog that has lots of great recipes!

All you need to make a full pitcher of Adult Butterbeer is:
-a pitcher
-8oz of Butterscotch Schnapps
-2 liter Cream Sode
-4 tbsp Marshmallow fluff

I used a beer pitcher and it was the perfect size!


Start by combining your fluff with 1 tbsp of butterscotch schnapps.  Microwave the mixture for 30 seconds and then stir again and set aside.

Next pour the rest of your schnapps into the bottom of your pitcher and fill the rest of your pitcher with cream soda.

Stir your pitcher to make sure the schnapps and soda combine equally.

Final step: pour your marshmallow mixture carefully on top.  Let it sit for a minute or so afterwards since sometimes the foam rises on top a little. I've made this about 4 or 5 times and have had the fluff bubble up my drink once or twice.

& voila! You are done!

Last thing to remember is to drink responsibly! As Elise put it, no hopping on a broomstick and heading out for a ride after drinking this schnapps-based drink!!  Always, ALWAYS, ALWAYS drink responsibly!

Friday, July 7, 2017

Picturing Disney Summer Book List!

Disney Publishing Worldwide and Hyperion have always sent us the most amazing books for review and giveaway! We have a huge stack we are working on at our house! Keep up to date with our weekly updates on the Instagram account (we usually share to Facebook as well so make sure you follow us everywhere)!

Here's our early summer favorites for the whole family!

For the littlest littles:
Dream by Matthew Cordell
 As you might remember from our Book Review of Wish, we LOVE Matthew Cordell! Be prepared for this to be a favorite to read to the babies in your life, whether that is your own children, siblings, nieces, nephews, or that you might even want to grab a copy to give to your big kids becaust it is SO beautiful!

Next up, we have Night Night, Groot by Brenden Deneen.

As huge Guardians fans in our house, we all love this but its perfect fun for your smallest baby groot fans! I think younger elementary grades would love it most- Kindergarteners to 2nd graders would likely be most entertained.

And our 8 year old (3rd grader)'s pick for the best summer book: Star and Marco's Guide to Mastering Every Dimension

If you have never seen Star vs. the Forces of Evil, it is a true Disney gem and you should enjoy it with your kids when you have some down time on rainy days. This book would would be great for any kid who loves the show and I think the best target audience is somewhere around 8-10 years old!

And the cover picture for this article is featuring my very favorite book of the summer so far:

Wildman by J.C. Geiger
This young adult novel is a beauty! I read it in a day, the words flowed together as the perfect coming of age summer story. It is everything I love about summer reading: a great setting, real characters I can relate to and watch evolve, and of course a little bit of love! This might be classified as YA but I recommend to teens and adults alike! 
And finally, for all those lovely ladies looking for a little guided path to self discovery, check out Choose to Matter by Julie Foudy. This one is especially great for a plane ride or beach grab. Its easy to work through and gets your thinking hard about changing your habits and being the best you that you can be! We have actually used some of her "team" exercises with our family and they worked wonderfully! 

Happy Summer!

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Boardwalk Bakery Crumbcakes Recipe!

Boardwalk Bakery Chocolate Chip Crumbcakes

One of my favorite hobbies besides going to Disney Parks and photography is baking! I just love to bake!  My Disney recipes have been previously featured on Chip and Company and Mouze Kateerz.  I wanted to put all of my Disney kitchen adventures in one place so it would be easy for all my readers to find the recipes they would like to recreate! I thought creating a column here on Picturing Disney would make it nice and easy for you to access all of the recipes in one spot and I could add some commentary to the previously posted articles.  

Without and further rambling my first recipe is from the Boardwalk Bakery!

When I stayed at the Boardwalk Inn for the first time in 2008 I picked up one of the official Walt Disney World cookbooks just so I could make the delicious Crumbcakes! 

With some advice from the chef over on the Disney Food Blog I decided to make these as cupcakes and they have been such a big hit the last few years I have probably made them 2 dozen times! Below is the adjusted recipe from the cookbook (if you find this recipe elsewhere omit the lemon extract because it really messes with the taste and I had to completely throw out my first attempt at these because of it)!

These are really easy and made completely from scratch.  Even if you are a novice baker you can pull these off and they are so rich that people are sure to love them! 


1 1/2 cups + 2 tbsp cake flour

1 cup cornstarch

1/2 tsp baking powder

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 1/2 sticks of butter (softened)

1 1/4 tsp vanilla extract

4 large eggs

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1. Preheat oven to 350F
2.  In a medium bowl combine: 1 cup plus 2 tbsp of the cake flour with cornstarch and baking powder
3.  Using an electric mixer, beat 1 cup sugar, 1 cup plus 2 tbsp butter, 1/2 tsp vanilla together in a medium bowl until light and creamy.  
4.  Then add eggs one at a time, beating well after each one.  Before last egg add 2-3 tbsp of flour mixture. Beat until creamy once again.
5.  Fold in remaining flour mixture with spatula. 
6.  Stir in chocolate chips!*
7.  In a small bowl (or in your now empty medium bowl that used to hold the flour mixture like I did), mix together remaining 1/4 cup sugar, 2 tbsp butter, and 3/4 tsp vanilla and 1/2 cup flour with a fork.  This should be crumbly. (Note: I had to make double of this to be happy with the amount of crumbs on my crumbcupcakes!)
8.  Spray cupcake pan or add liners.  Then fill the cupcake pan with batter.  (I filled to 3/4 and ended up with 18 cupcakes.)  Sprinkle crumb mixture generously over top of cupcakes.
9.  Bake 30-40 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean (edges are lightly browned)
*I bought a package of the chocolate & peanut chips mix when I made these once and didn't realize until I was baking.  This variation tasted amazing so if you are a PB fan def give it a try!