Sister’s Snippets {Disneyland}

If you know Sister, you know she is full of good ideas.  Seriously!  So while her own blog is long defunct, I’m trying to convince her to contribute here on a regular basis – think decorating, dining, dressing the littles, etc.  Since I’m sharing all things Disney this week, I thought it would be fun to dish on tips and tricks from her family’s Disneyland vacation earlier this year!! 


For this first and likely once in a lifetime vacation, they laid their heads on property at Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel.  This old-California boardwalk themed resort was moderately priced, recently renovated and featured a fun rooftop pool!  Sister said the rooms were fine considering they spent all of their time in the parks.  Since they were traveling clear across the country with a baby in tow, she shipped all of her baby food, diapers, etc in advance straight to the resort.  The main perks were its on site character breakfast, that it was a super easy walk to Disneyland, California Adventure and Downtown Disney, and that the extra magic hours benefit was GREAT and not many people were using it!


Their first stop and main reason for the trek across the country was to visit CarsLand at Disney’s California Adventure park.  They used the extra magic hours that morning and were thrilled to see Tow Mater and Lightening McQueen greeting people as the park opened.  She said they were all awestruck at how the life sized Cars drove down the road and talked to you.  Everything was amazingly themed and featured all of the movie favorites – Cozy Cone Motel, Flo’s V-8 Cafe, etc.  Oh, and she said it was even more thrilling all lit up at night and advises not to miss the DJ dance party in the main intersection in CarsLand. As far as crowds, she said they only used one fast pass for the small roller coaster. 


Other favorites in Disney’s California Adventure were the boardwalk games at Paradise Pier where they were pleased to find you get a prize every time you play!!  No walking away in tears like at some other parks :-)  They lunched at Taste Pilot’s Grill in Condor Flats and said the food was great.  She said the Pixar Parade was the best one they saw, with so many favorite characters from Toy Story, Cars, A Bug’s LIfe, Incredible and Monsters.  In addition to the parade, the Toy Story army men can be found just marching down the street at random times!



Their second day was spent in Disneyland park.  Again, they said the extra magic hours were absolutely worth it!  They did the latest seating for the Breakfast with Minnie & Friends at the Plaza Inn and said it was perfect timing.  The characters spent tons of times with her littles, coming back more than once, since it was nearly empty.  They saw Peter Pan, Chip & Dale, Minnie, Captain Hook, Eeyore, Tigger and Pooh.  (I love this variety!!)  A huge benefit of breakfast here was that you can access a special entrance to the park (far left line) with no wait.  They also got a special button when they came in.



Not to miss attractions in Disneyland include Aurora’s castle and Mickey’s Toon Town where all the characters live.  She said her littles went wild exploring Donald’s boat, Goofy’s house and Mickey’s house, and then meeting Sorcerer Mickey at the end.  She said there were also tons of characters in the Main Street Square and found them all much more accessible than in Disney World.  Since we are a family of Dole Whip addicts, she suggests going to the Tiki Room attraction and then getting your Dole Whip straight from there with no wait.  Otherwise the regular line outside is insane.


She suggested allowing some time to visit Downtown Disney as well,  They took the monorail from Disneyland and waited to ride in the very front with the driver!!  I so remember doing this every time we visited Walt Disney World as kids and hated to find they don’t allow this anymore.  They did dinner at Tortilla Joe’s in Downtown Disney on their first day.



Other Tips & Tricks:
  • Use the stroller passes on all the rides if you have one not big enough to go. 
  • The fast pass system is the old WDW style and she said they didn’t need to use a single one.  They were able to do most things two times in a row with minimal wait.  (They were there in March over Spring Break.)
  • It was chilly at night so bring layers.
  • She suggests two days in California Adventure and two days in Disneyland.
  • They said the Disneyland bus from the airport was a disaster.  It was expensive and they waited over two hours for the ride.  They said to hire a car service.


I am green with envy over this entire trip and cannot wait to get there with my family!!  If you have your own tips and tricks, post them in the comments here and I will publish them for others :-)  Thanks, Sister, for the inside scoop!!


Walt Disney Quote {Free Printable}

I cannot believe it took me this long to share the free printable quote that graces our family office.  Sorry, y'all! As you may recall, I wanted space in the room for an inspirational quote.  Something that could be easily changed out for both the seasons of the year and the seasons of our lives.  Since we are a house full of Disney lovers, who better to quote than Walt himself?!?  This one has always been one of my favorites…

Laughter is timeless, imagination has no age, and dreams are forever.  - Walt Disney

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You can download the print below in three color ways – black, blue and pink. 

Tootles, y’all!


Minnie’s Bow-tique

Like my DIY fabric covered mouse ear headbands, this is a fun little project that I’ve had on my mind for ages.  While in Disney, I am never without my ears.  But since the red bow they came with didn’t always match my outfits, I’ve been wanting to make my own sort of Minnie’s Bow-tique. 

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I started with this headband that I picked up in the parks a few years back.  After carefully snipping off the red sequin bow with tiny sharp scissors, all that was needed was a little piece of black elastic, a needle and thread, mini hair clips and ribbons for new bows.  (I found these clips in a set at Michael’s on sale for $2 for six.  They were perfectly tiny and I just pulled off the butterflies, bows and flowers before using.)  I had the idea to do it this way, because this is exactly how Mother has fashioned all of CeeCee’s head bands and interchangeable bows!

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I cut a length of elastic sized to wrap around the top of the headband.  I used a simple stitch to close it into a loop.

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All that you need to do now is slip the top of the clip through the bottom of your bows and then clip it onto the elastic loop!

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I cannot wait to sport my Tink inspired bow, pink bow and silver glitter bow on our trip to the most magical place on earth!!  Aaaaannnnddddd, because I have a hard time leaving well enough alone, I’ve since added a bandana bow (for Mickey’s Backyard BBQ) and a Lilly Pulitzer bow in the Lobstah Roll fabric.  *squeal*

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I am literally over.the.moon. with the Lilly lobstah roll bow because Mother made me this absolutely, positively, completely precious and preppy tank in the same pattern to go with patchwork shorts.  It is hard to tell, but the mouse head is sequined.  Hello, lover…


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I expect I’ll be adding even more to the collection over time!!



Pressed Pennies at Disney {Free Printable}

Bestie S and her darling family are making the trip down to the World at the same time that we are going.  Yippee!!!  We have really had so much fun scheming and dreaming for our visits.  So, when she sent me Entirely Emily’s ideas for collecting pressed pennies at Disney (see her blog here and here), I was all in!  We set up a breakfast date with our sweet friend Tricia at HKL Designs and she made our wish come true.  As usual :-)

If you aren’t familiar with pressed pennies, there literally LOADS of the machines all over the Walt Disney properties.  In Florida you can find many in every park, as well as at every resort.  And each machine has multiple options for designs.  It costs $0.50 to make each penny, so you will need to have a supply of quarters and pennies at your disposal.  I have read online that clean and shiny pennies look best, so I picked up a few dollars worth of pennies at the bank and just poured through them for the best ones.

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Just as Entirely Emily did, we ordered these pressed penny collector books.  Tricia covered the fronts in vinyl and added our littles’ names and the Mickey silhouette.  We used the mini m&m containers to hold the coins.  Each tube holds enough coins for 28 pressed pennies, stacked quarter-quarter-penny so they are ready to go.  I also made the little guide book/checklist for them.  You can find much more comprehensive maps and guides for free online.  But mine is cutest :-)

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I didn’t have much time today to write up instructions, but if you are interested, you can download an unpersonalized version of my pressed penny guide below.  The lines on the first page show you where to cut.  You will print the even numbered pages first and then put the odd numbered pages on the backs.  It’s not perfect, but it’s good enough!

I cannot WAIT to surprise them with this little treat.  My kids adore collecting things, love money, and I know this will make a fun and relatively inexpensive souvenir for them to carry home at the end of our trip.  Not to mention, it will be something they can build on for years to come!!

PS. I’d love to know if any of you have interest in personalized versions of the guide books. 



I am so beyond excited for our family to hit Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party this year decked out in our FROZEN finery!! 
We learned a few key lessons at last year’s event… 1) It is HOT so dress accordingly.  We had to cut the long sleeves off of our costumes to survive!  2) You’re there to walk the parks and have a blast, not for a costume contest.  So, keep it fun but simple.

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Mother did all of the heavy lifting as far as the other three are concerned, but I took the lead on John’s Olaf outfit.  We’re going simple, with just a short sleeved tee and a ball hat.  He will wear shorts on the bottom. 

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This is such a quick, easy and inexpensive DIY and would be perfect for Halloween night on a long sleeved tee or sweatshirt!

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You’ll need:
1 piece each of white, black and orange felt
black fabric paint (I had the 3D shiny Scribbles paint already.  I didn’t end up using the orange.)
brown pipe cleaners
white baseball hat (It’s adult sized but adjustable enough to work.)
white tee shirt (Found mine on sale at Michael’s for $2.99)
hot glue
picture of Olaf’s face & buttons

Here’s how:
1. Using your Olaf picture as a guide, draw the outline of the white part of his eye on felt.  Fold over and cut out both at one time.

2. Using one of your white circles, draw the outline of the larger black circle slightly bigger on the black felt.  Fold over and cut out both at one time.

3. Cut two smaller black eye balls using the same method.

4. Using the Olaf picture as a guide, draw the outline of an eyebrow on brown felt.  Fold over and cut both at one time.

5. I used a piece of paper to make a template for the orange nose.  You can see the general shape of the orange felt before I formed it here.


6. Apply a line of hot glue down one side of the felt triangle.  Roll up into a carrot shaped nose.  I stuffed it lightly with some of my orange felt trimmings.  Fold the ends inside of itself and glue to the hat with hot glue.

7. After the nose is in place, glue on the felt pieces for the eyes and eyebrows.

8. Using hot glue and pipe cleaners, form his hair.  Glue this around the button on the top of the hat.

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9. For the shirt, slip the picture of his buttons inside of the shirt and center.  Use this as a guide to paint the buttons with fabric paint.


And that’s it!!  I cannot wait for John to see this!!

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As for the rest of our crew, I brainstormed, sketched and scoured the craft stores for a few inexpensive supplies, and Mother was able to bring them to life in a way that was even better than I imagined!!!


Whit is going as Sven.  I asked them a while back what character they would choose to dress up as if there were ever the occasion, so I got their input without telling them exactly why.  I was even able to try his ears out on him when they came in the mail – no questions asked :-)  We used reindeer antlers and this brown t-shirt as the base.  Mother added a swath of white fur around the neck and the red felt strips with bells to mimic Sven’s harness.  I turned his swim team medal around and used gold glitter paint to add a snowflake.  He will wear brown shorts on the bottom.  I think it just turned out precious!! 

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Honey will be attending the party as the handsome and loveable Kristoff!!  We started with this gray beanie cap and this gray t-shirt, and added red felt and fur trim to the shirt and as a large waist tie.  Like the boys, Honey will just wear shorts on the bottom.


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I’ve saved the best for last… my Anna princess moment.  I mean, I had to be a reptile last year, for crying out loud.  I started with a black tank from Target, to which Mother added the gold trim and I added the floral detail.  She made a separate short skirt (due to the heat) out of solid blue fabric on a gold waistband.  I added the same floral detail to the bottom with fabric paint. (PSA: When measuring for the length of a skirt, do not use shorts.  14” on a skirt does not equal 14” on shorts.  I will be wearing bike shorts underneath so as to not be removed from the Magic Kingdom.  LOL)


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Once again, I couldn’t have done this without Mother.  She’s the best side-kick a girl could ask for!

*This post utilizes Amazon affiliate link(s).


DIY Custom Minnie Mouse Ears

I’ve mentioned our impending trip to the most magical place on earth a few times over the last few weeks and it’s finally so close that I can taste it!  With our school struggles of late, this fall break couldn't have come with better timing.  I fall to my knees with gratitude over all of the love, support, encouragement and stories y'all have shared with me these last few days. Honey and I now have a plan and we have a date on the calendar to start to making headway on that plan.  Since there is nothing I can do between now and then, I'm forcing myself to make it through this week of school and then to let it go.   Sooooo, rather than walking around like a zombie with a pit in my stomach, I'm going to shower (why is that always the first thing to go when I'm distraught?), put on a smile and spend the next week getting ready for our trip.  I'll be blogging about my projects and fun finds non-stop for a while!!

Many, many months ago I began thinking of a few ways to combine some of my favorite things: Lilly, Disney, preppiness, pink, hair accessories, etc.  You get the picture.  I searched the internet for someone that was using Lilly fabric to make ear headbands (at the time there was nobody, now there is) and I came up with nothing.  So, I then searched the internet for instructions on how to make my own.  Again, I came up with nothing.  And with that, I set out to make my own and ended up with the cutest ears I ever did see.

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The first pair just turned out so good that I made another in a different Lilly print.  And then a third.  Because I had to have one in that print.  And now I have a fourth in the works too.  More is just more, sometimes.

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Obviously these instructions are the same for whatever fabric you’d like, and you don’t need a whole lot of it.  Without further ado, here’s how to make your very own custom Minnie ears…

You’ll need:
foam board
exacto knife
ear pattern (below)
headband (wide enough to hold the ears)
fabric (I found my Lilly fabric on etsy.  There are numerous sellers.  I just used one that had prints I liked.)
glue (spray glue + hot glue are ideal)
a bow

As far as a pattern for the ears, mine is below.  Save it to your computer and print it at full page size.
Minnie Ears
1. Trace your pattern on to the foam board.  You will need TWO layers for each ear per headband.  So, one headband will require 4 cut out ears.  I used an exacto knife.  This is the hardest part, fellow crafters.  I marked top and bottom here, but I’m not sure that it matters.

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2. Glue the two pieces for each ear together.  The reason for needing two layers is that 1) I couldn’t find a board already thick enough, and 2) even if I had it would be the devil to cut.


3. While the glue is drying, lay out your fabric.  Use your ear template to draw cutting lines slightly larger than the pattern.  You want them to just be able to wrap around the outside of the ear.  You will need four pieces for each headband – two for the front of the ear and two for the back of the ears.

4. Cut out your fabric.  And then iron it!  No sense in ruining your project with wrinkles :-)


5. Glue the fabric to the ears.  I started off with good old elmers on this first pair.  It took forever to dry, seeped through the fabric and was just a little hard to deal with.  For subsequent pairs, I grabbed my spray glue and it made a world of difference!!  Whatever glue you choose, firmly attach the fabric and smooth out any bumps or wrinkles.


Each ear should look like this now…

6. Use hot glue to glue down the sides of the fabric.  I ran a thin bead down the middle of each piece of foam board and went along, burning my fingers, and pressing the fabric down.


Now it looks like this…


7. Run another bead of hot glue around the ear and adhere coordinating ribbon to cover up all the seams and mess!  It’s the perfect finishing touch.


8. Glue the ears to your headband, again using the hot glue. (This is where I fell of the picture taking train and just wanted to BE DONE.)

9. You can certainly fashion a bow out of ribbon or fabric, but I had a coupon and just picked up a bunch of the cheer bows at Michael’s.  I snipped the tails off at the back of the bow.


10. And, I used a blob of hot glue to attach the bow to the headband!

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I cannot wait to wear these on our trip!!! 
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