DIY: Disney Parks Map Picture Frame

Hello Mouseketeers!  I’m back with another fabulous Disney DIY for you today.  It’s been quite a few years since I’ve actually needed a map at Disneyland–I know the place like the back of my hand–but I love using maps for crafts!  I grabbed a bunch during our last trip and this is one of the crafts I came up with.

First, gather your supplies: a plain wood frame, some craft paint and a sponge brush, a map and some Mod Podge (not pictured).

Put your frame face down on top of the map and position it how you like.  I wanted Main Street to be on my frame so I used that as a guideline for spacing.  Trace the outline of your frame, making sure you do the inside outline too.

Cut out the frame shape.

Paint the frame as the edges of the frame will not be covered with the map.  I went with a light blue since it blends in well with the colors of the map.

Once your paint is dry, use the Mod Podge to attach the map to the frame.  I gave the frame a coat of Mod Podge first, then placed the map, then covered the map with another coat of Mod Podge to seal it.

Once the glue is dry,  put your favorite park picture in the frame!

I have this picture of the hubs and I sitting on my desk at work and it makes me so happy every time I look at it.  It’s not just a reminder of my lovely husband and me celebrating my birthday, but it’s also a reminder of my favorite place on Earth!

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At the Park Tour: Trader Sam’s

Today I want to take you on a tour of one of my favorite spots in my most favorite place on Earth: Trader Sam’s.  If you are a Disney aficionado like myself, you know that Trader Sam is the head hunter seen at the end of the Jungle Cruise (always willing to trade two of his heads for just one of yours!).  Disney opened Trader Sam’s at the Disneyland Hotel a few years ago and it has since become something of a cult favorite among Disneyland fans.  The hubs and I had our wedding after party at the tiki bar (because of course we spent our wedding night at the Disneyland Hotel) and ever since then it has been one of my go to spots when I visit the park.

You can find Trader Sam’s on the Disneyland Hotel property, near the pool (guests using the pool often pop by the bar to grab a drink before hitting the lounge chairs).

The inside of the bar is super tiki-ed out.  There is all kinds of cool and cheeky decor covering the walls and the shelves of the bar.

One of my favorite Trader Sam’s libations is the white sangria…

The hubs is partial to the margarita…

When guests order certain themed drinks, the bartenders put on a little show, complete with clanging bells and squirt bottles.  The volcano seen through this “window” will erupt or a storm will rage depending on the drink.

All of the drinks are delicious, and many of them come in cool souvenir glasses.

There is an amazing patio outside with tiki torches and comfy furniture.  This is where we sit when we visit at night.  There are typically live musicians playing Hawaiian music while you sip your fruity drinks in the evening hours.

If you need to get away from the crazy park crowds for a minute, or you just want to enjoy a delicious cocktail, Trader Sam’s is the place to go!  You might see me sitting at the bar, sipping my pina colada!

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Inside the Park: Where to Find the Best Drinks at Disney California Adventure Park

It’s no secret that this Momma likes her drinks.  The nine dry months of my pregnancy were pretty dang tough and I was very happy to get back to my wine and beer once Baby was born!  One of my favorite things about Disney California Adventure Park is the fact that they not only sell booze, but you are able to walk around the park with your drinks.  Waiting in line for rides is so much more pleasant when you have a beer in your hand!  These are my picks for best drinks at DCA!

Down by Paradise Pier is the Karl Strauss Beer Cart.  They have a good selection of draft beers, including a seasonal option, and yummy pretzels.

I am partial to the Hefeweizen, but I also enjoy the Endless Summer Light!

Also along the pier is the Cove Bar.  This is a full bar with lots of drink and appetizer options, plus an amazing view of California Screamin’ and the waters of World of Color.

We recently discovered the Sonoma Terrace, located near the Little Mermaid ride, which has a great selection of craft beers and California wines.  Show up at the right time (we got lucky last time!) and receive a free pretzel!

Probably my favorite location in the park is Carthay Circle.  If you have the opportunity to eat there, take it because the food is absolutely amazing.  We don’t get to treat ourselves to a meal there often, but we are regulars at the gorgeous 1920’s themed bar.  My go to drink is a dirty martini and no one makes them quite like Carthay!

DCA recently opened the Alfresco Tasting Terrace, which features selections from different wineries who all have ties to the Disney family.  My fave was the chardonnay flight!

Right next door to the Karl Strauss Beer Cart is Rita’s, where they make delicious frozen margaritas.  These babies really hit the spot on a hot day!

Rita’s has both traditional and strawberry flavors (and non-alcoholic options if you’re into that kind of thing)!

Bayside Brews is located on the far side of the park, near the swings.  They have some great draft beer options, and typically offer an array of wines as well.

My hubs is a Sierra Nevada fan, while I am partial to a Blue Moon, though our last trip was so hot I went for a refreshing Pacifico with a lime!

What is your favorite spot to grab a beer inside the park?  What libations are you partial to?  Leave a comment and let me know!

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DIY: Mickey Song Lyric Tote Bag

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Hello Mousekteers!  I have another cool DIY project to share with you today!  Here is what we are going to be making!

Cool right?  And pretty easy to make!  All you need is a plain white tote bag, some fabric markers, and a cutout of whatever shape you want to use for your bag (I chose Mickey, of course).

First, tape your cardstock shape down in the center of your bag.

Then use the fabric markers to write out your song lyrics (my bag uses “When You Wish Upon a Star”).  I used black for the majority, but then chose to highlight the words “star” and “heart” by writing them in yellow and red.

The hardest part of this is making the spacing work on the left side of your shape.  You want to get as close to the cutout as possible so you are making a clear and defined shape.  This is much easier on the right side where you can start your word wherever you need to.  Keep an eye on the spacing and leave extra space in between words if you need to.

And there you have it!  A super cute and personalized tote bag that is perfect for a day at the parks!  Plus, you could do plenty of different shapes and songs, I think my next one will be a seashell and the lyrics to “Part of Your World”!  What shapes and songs would you try?

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My Disney Bucket List

I think every Disney fanatic has an idea of some of the Disney related things they want to accomplish and I certainly am no different.  I decided to write down my bucket list in the hopes that seeing it in print might force me to make some plans and check off some of my dreams!  I know it is going to take me some time (and money) to get many of these things done, but some of them are pretty doable (with a little help!).  Without further ado, here is my list!

My first two bucket list items are recent additions.  The hubs and I have been running in the Neverland 5k at Disneyland for the past two years (and we’re signed up again for 2015!) and I have loved every second of it.  So of course I want to run the two races that involve two of my favorite things: princesses and wine!  Plus, that would mean I could get the Coast to Coast medal, which would be awesome.

The last time (and only time) I visited Disney World, I was ten and Animal Kingdom hadn’t been built yet so I need to go back and visit that park in particular (and I of course wouldn’t mind spending time at the rest of the Disney World parks either!).

Going on a Disney Cruise would be pretty awesome, ’nuff said.

Eating at Club 33 and 1901 seem like they should be pretty easy since they are in my neck of the woods, but I am lacking one important detail: someone who can get me in!  As I’m sure many of you know, eating at these exclusive locales in the California parks requires a membership.  A membership requires a ton of money (and patience as there is a wait list).  My only hope for this one is to find someone with some connections who is willing to help me out!

I would love to stay in the Dream Suite at Disneyland or Disney World.  I have a feeling this one will be the hardest to accomplish as the suites are pretty much not in use any longer, unless celebrities or the Make a Wish Foundation are involved.  But a girl can dream!  The themed suites at Disneyland Hotel should be much easier to check off the list, I just have to fork over the cash!

And finally, I would love to visit the international Disney Parks at some point.  These items are probably going to be the last I check off as I can imagine it will be difficult to travel so far with kids.

What items are on your Disney bucket list?  Have you checked off any of my bucket list items?  Let me know!

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DIY: Frozen Inspired Minnie Ears

Hello MouseketEARS!  I’m back with another set of DIY Minnie ears for you today, and these are inspired by Frozen!  Unless you have been living under some sort of very heavy rock, you have been hearing the music of Frozen and seeing the faces of Anna and Elsa for almost a year now.  So of course in my ear obsession, I had to include some from this frosty flick!  Today’s ears are inspired by Elsa…

Again, I used the same process as for my Birthday Ears and Ariel Ears, just with Elsa themed colors.  I picked blue glitter foam for the ears and silver for the bow.

Since Michael’s has all of their Christmas stuff out already (in August), I was able to easily find these silver sparkly snowflakes to attach to the center of my bow.

Right after I finished this set of ears, I was a little bummed because the ears themselves looked to be too far apart, but after wearing my Ariel ears to the park this weekend, I actually think the spacing on this set looks a little better.  So I guess it worked out in the long run!  These babies would be perfect for any Frozen fan!

I still have two more ear tutorials to share with you and I’m sure by that time, I will have come up with a few more!  Leave me a comment if you have any themed ear requests and I’ll do my best to work something out!

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2014 CHOC Walk–Help Support Me!

When I saw Disneyland AP tweet about the 2014 CHOC Walk, I was most intrigued.  Any chance to walk through the park before opening gets me a little excited so I decided to check it out.  To be honest, I didn’t even know what CHOC stood for before I went to their website.  As soon as I logged on and saw the Children’s Hospital of Orange County, I knew the hubs and I would be registering for the walk.  Sure, I’m excited for the chance to walk through Disneyland and pose with characters in the wee hours of the morning.  I love getting Disney swag and having the opportunity to win Disney prizes.  But mostly I am excited to be raising funds for such an amazing cause.  I mean, look at these faces…

I don’t even live in Orange County, but now that I have a kid of my own, I couldn’t resist this chance to help others that might be in need.  When my son was two months old, he came down with a pretty high fever and had to be checked into the hospital for testing and monitoring (routine procedure for infants with a fever).  We were there for three nights and they were by far the longest three nights of my life.  By the second day, his tests were coming back negative and his fever had disappeared, but still that fear that something could go wrong lingered in my mind.  At the end of that third day we got to go home with a healthy baby who had managed to catch and quickly beat some sort of virus.  I cannot imagine what it must be like for the parents who don’t get to go home after three days or don’t receive negative test results.  Parents and their children might have to be in the hospital for weeks, months, or even years.  The fear that must live in those parents is hard to fathom.  After such a small taste of it myself, I will do anything I can to make that fear a little less for any parent with a sick child.

And so that is why my husband and I (and our little one, who will be joining us in his stroller for the walk) will be walking in the 2014 CHOC Walk.  We hope to raise as much as possible for this incredible cause.  If you would like to walk yourself, please click this link here to register.  If you are unable to join the walk and you would like to donate to our fund, please click this link here to donate.  Remember, every dollar helps!  Let’s do what we can to make an impossible situation a little bit easier for the kids and families of the Children’s Hospital of Orange County.

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