About Falon Ballard

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The Little Mermaid Live in Concert at the Hollywood Bowl

Hello merfriends! Because my husband is very wise (and knows how to take a hint), I was gifted tickets to see The Little Mermaid Live in Concert at the Hollywood Bowl for my Mother’s Day present. The show was all over Facebook and as soon as I saw it, I knew I had to go. The Little Mermaid is one of my favorite Disney movies, and one that I literally watched every day after school when it came out on VHS. It is still one of my go to’s, in fact I have it saved on our DVR and I tend to watch it every time the husband is out of town overnight. Because I’m eight (though I do also drink while watching it so that makes me a grown up).

Anyway, the concert was amazing. Seriously, one of the coolest performances I have been to and I loved every minute of it. Even my non-Disney loving, musically trained and employed husband was impressed. It was effin awesome. Here’s my recap, which will not do it justice, so apologies for that in advance. I am really, really hoping that the success of this performance means they will tackle other classic Disney movies (Aladdin! Beauty and the Beast!) in upcoming concert seasons. But for now, here’s a look at The Little Mermaid!

I will be doing a blog post later this summer about my tips for the Hollywood Bowl, but since this was a lease event (meaning not part of the Bowl’s regular season) there were some restrictions as to what could be brought in, namely no outside booze. So we left ample time to make sure we could grab a glass of wine before the show, and luckily the guy at the concessions stand hooked us up.

Also, the hand holding the white wine is Matt’s, not mine! The pre-show for our concert night (we went on Monday, which was the final performance) was just as good as the movie performance. We got to see Brad Kane, who was the singing voice of Aladdin, and Susan Egan, the original Belle on Broadway and voice of Meg in Hercules. Both performed individual numbers and then they dueted on “A Whole New World”. They were both amazing and I was thrilled that they were a part of the show.

little mermaid hollywood bowl

little mermaid hollywood bowl

I had never been to the Bowl for a movie/concert, though I know they have done them in the past. The concept is super cool: there is a live orchestra onstage playing all of the music from the film and then performers come out and sing the songs live, like a concert (minus the obnoxious singing from the audience). They played The Little Mermaid in its entirety, pausing to introduce the singers and allow for applause at the end of each song. They also added in four songs from the Broadway production of The Little Mermaid since there are quite a few characters (namely Prince Eric) who don’t actually sing in the film.

The highlight of our performance was getting to see the original voice of Ariel, Jodi Benson, sing live. It’s been almost thirty years since The Little Mermaid was released (WTF?) and Jodi is obviously not a sixteen year old girl anymore, but she still killed it.

little mermaid hollywood bowl

We also got to see Rebel Wilson sing “Poor Unfortunate Souls” as Ursula and she was hilarious. As I said to Matt, what she lacked in grace and timing, she sure as hell made up for with enthusiasm. And her evil laugh was ridic.

little mermaid hollywood bowl

Prince Eric was played by the darling Darren Criss, whom I first fell in love with on Glee. We are going to be seeing him as Hedwig in Hedwig and the Angry Inch in a couple of months, so I was excited to see him live. His voice left me a little underwhelmed, to be honest, but I’m hoping that’s because the Bowl is a notoriously bad venue for singers. But if nothing else, he was adorable, so there’s that.

little mermaid hollywood bowl

Another notable performer was John Stamos, who came out with a fake mustache and beret to sing “Les Poissons”. He was so good I didn’t remember to take a picture during his performance. During the credits, the orchestra played what I would think of as an overture, highlights from all the songs, and we were treated to a fireworks show.

little mermaid hollywood bowl

The Hollywood Bowl is an iconic landmark in Los Angeles and a venue we try to visit at least once each summer. If you are visiting So Cal in the summer, definitely put it on your must see list. And if you are a Disney fan, keep an eye out for additional film concerts in the future. Given how popular The Little Mermaid was, I am sure there will be more coming our way soon, and I for one, will be at every. single. one of them. We had an amazing night watching The Little Mermaid, there were truly some unforgettable moments. Can’t wait to do it again!


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Frozen Live at the Hyperion Theater: An Honest Review

So, if you haven’t heard the latest Disneyland buzz, Frozen Live at the Hyperion Theater has officially opened. A few months ago there was lots of sadness and tears as the Aladdin live musical closed after thirteen years. The salt in the open wound of losing Aladdin was that it was to be replaced with, what else, Frozen. I have to say, when it comes to the Frozen debate, I am kind of like Switzerland. I don’t love Frozen with the same zeal as an eight year old girl, but I also don’t hate it like many of the Disney diehards. I don’t love that it is everywhere in the parks right now, but I get why it is–the people who visit Disneyland once a year (you know, the ones who make Disney the most money) want to see Frozen.

The new Frozen musical has been being hyped for the past couple of weeks now, and tons of Disney bloggers and social media peeps were invited to the premiere about two weeks ago. They, of course, all gave the show stellar reviews (from what I saw). But I decided to reserve judgement until I could see the show for myself. As you probably know, I have a background in professional theater, so I am a tough critic when it comes to live performances. And I really, really wish I could sit here and write a scathing review of Frozen Live at the Hyperion Theater….but I can’t. Were there issues? Yes. Were there parts of the show that were eh? Yes. But overall, it is a phenomenal experience. The tech and sets alone make it a worthwhile watch. So let’s break it down.




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DIY: Tiki Themed Minnie Ears

You guys, I think I have a problem. My name is Falon, and I am a DIY Minnie ear addict. I now have a whole box in my office dedicated to ear making supplies. When I made my first pair of fabric covered ears, I was happy with them, but they took so long that I didn’t think I would be making many more pairs. But now that I have the hang of it, I can churn them out pretty quickly. The only problem is, when you start making fabric ears, you realize just how many fabric options are out there, and you. cannot. stop. Serious problem. So keep an eye on my Instagram (link on the right) because I will have to start giving away some pairs soon or my husband is going to kill me.




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Life Right Now

Hey y’all! It’s been a while since I did one of these bad boys, so I thought it was time for a check in. This is how I’m rolling right about now!

Making fabric covered Minnie ears. I have a problem.
Drinking one of my favorite summertime drinks: Corona Light with lime and salt.
Reading the Throne of Glass series, which is really good so far.
Wanting a vacation!.
Playing lots of podcasts, mainly Straight Up with Stassi and the Bitch Bible.
Wishing I were lounging by the pool with a cocktail!

My office is coming along!

My office is coming along!

 

Enjoying The Bachelorette…so far.
Waiting for a really awesome package that I am super excited for.
Liking my new subscription to Owl Crate.
Wondering how life as an entrepreneur is going to treat me.
Loving blogging for myself bitches. Oh, and cussing.
Hoping for lots of work over the summer.
Needing a massage.  For reals.
Wearing flip flops. Because once I break them out, I refuse to go back to real shoes.

The Owl Crate Young Adult Lit subscription box is my new favorite thing.

The Owl Crate Young Adult Lit subscription box is my new favorite thing.

 

Following everything/one related to Game of Thrones.
Noticing that Squirt may have inherited my stubborn streak.
Knowing that everything will work out in the end.
Thinking about finances, and advertising, and taxes…the joys of starting a business.

Basically my motto in life.

Basically my motto in life.

 

Anticipating lots of summer trips.
Celebrating Squirt’s second birthday!
Laughing at my kid. I mean with my kid.

So close to the perfect selfie. So close.

So close to the perfect selfie. So close.

Feeling relieved, anxious, hopeful, excited, free and positive.

My last day of teaching was three days ago and it was a bittersweet day. But mostly, I am so excited to be my own boss and do something (actually many things) that I really love. I can’t wait to see what comes next!

 

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Wizarding World of Harry Potter Take Two

Before the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Hollywood officially opened, I took Squirt over to Universal Studios during the week to check it out while they were having their soft openings. And as a huge Harry Potter nerd, I fell in love with Hogsmeade and Hogwarts, much like I expected I would. However, the one bummer was discovering how un-toddler friendly WWHP (and Universal in general) was. So for my second trip, I grabbed an adult friend (that sounds super creepy, but it’s not, we’re just friends who happen to be adults who happen to love Harry Potter) and we headed back to Universal. My main goal for this trip was to ride the rides, since neither one in WWHP is toddler friendly. Plus, it was my friend Kristen’s first time at WWHP, so she wanted to do everything.




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Restaurant Review: Hearthstone Lounge at Disney’s Grand Californian

Hey y’all! I hope if you have only learned one thing about me it is that I love Disney and drinking. I guess that’s sort of two things, but you know what I mean. So I obviously seriously love drinking at Disneyland. It’s interesting as someone who grew up going to Disneyland because before California Adventure opened, there was no opportunity to drink in the park. And since Downtown Disney is also relatively new (not really, but in terms of my youth), there was no booze in your Disneyland trip unless you were going to one of the hotel restaurants or bars. So to now have plenty of opportunities to imbibe while at Disney is awesome, to say the least.

I digress. One of my favorite places to drink at Disney is Hearthstone Lounge at the Grand Californian. I love this place because they have great drinks, some yummy appetizers, and lovely air-conditioned seating. During the summer in particular, Hearthstone is a great place to relax in the middle of the day when the heat is at its peak. There is lots of seating, I have never had a problem getting a table, and it is nice and cool. It is also one of the few places you can find a TV at the resort, so if there is a big game on, you can head to Hearthstone to check the score. And now for the goods! Here are just some of the delicious offerings from Hearthstone…




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A New Outlook on Blogging

Well folks, my days as a teacher are numbered (literally,I’m counting down the days–it’s six if you were wondering) and as I embark on this next chapter of life, filled with following my dreams and living my truth and all kinds of cheesy cliches, I have made some decisions. And some of these decisions are going to affect how I blog, but hopefully in a good way. I don’t want to say I am done with the ambition of becoming a full time blogger because let’s be real, if I all the sudden become a super special unicorn blogger who’s raking in six figures, then um…yeah, I’m going to do that. Not like I’m going to be turning away those checks.

But I’m also going to change the focus on my blog a bit. I’m going to write for me, and for you. I’m not going to write for brands and, specifically not for Disney. The chance of me becoming one of the few bloggers on the inside at Disney events is slim to none. The chance of me becoming one of the bloggers invited to Disney red carpet events, and even the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration is pretty slim. So eff it. Let me be clear, not eff them (I will always heart you, Disney), but eff this idea of writing a blog to appeal to someone else. I’m tired of censoring my potty mouth to protect this idea of being brand friendly, when in reality it’s gotten me like definitely not enough money to be worth it. That doesn’t mean I won’t be working with brands, I’m happy to work with those who get me and are cool with my style of writing, but I’m not going to pitch products I don’t believe in. And I’m done holding back me, and my voice.

Because sometimes, you just need to say “fuck”.

FUUUUUUCCCCKKKKK!!!!!

That felt good.

I realize that most of you are not regular readers of this blog, and you just pop by to check out a tutorial, probably via Pinterest, and that’s awesome; hopefully whatever brought you here turns out to be useful to you. But if you do plan on becoming a regular (hi!) know that you are going to see a lot more swearing like the sailor I am deep down inside, and a hell of a lot more honest opinions. Which means the content here is going to become a lot more varied. Whatevs. I do what I want.

There will still be crafts, and travel, and family stuff, and books, and all the things I love, including Disney, always Disney. There will just be a lot more me in them. So I’m still going to teach you how to make fabric covered Minnie ears, but I am also going to not hold back when it comes to how freakin’ frustrating those bitches can be to put together.

I seriously have had more fun these past ten minutes writing this post than I have had in a while on this blog (at least the writing/posting portion, I legit enjoy the majority of the experiences/crafts/books I write about). So go me. Hopefully you enjoy this new turn, but if not that’s cool too.

And with that, we out.

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