Month: March 2014

Kids Easter Activity: Mod Podge Minnie Mouse Easter Eggs

Mod Podge Easter EggsTo some they’re just scribbles…to others they are works of art.

I love to see my children creating.  I encourage any little creative spark I see within them at that very second I notice them reaching for a crayon.  I try my best to display and not throw away any of their artwork, but coloring sheets can be overwhelming.  Victoria, my two-year old, can go through three sheets in a sitting.  I have to admit that not all of them have made it to the refrigerator display.  Today I decided to channel her love of coloring into creating cute little Easter gifts for members of our family that I know will appreciate them as “Works of Fine Art”!  Here’s how we made them…

Victoria and I began by getting out her Mickey Mouse Clubhouse coloring book.  She picked her favorite coloring sheets of Minnie Mouse and got straight to work.  If you’d like to try this too, any coloring book will do.

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Once she finished coloring her sheet, I cut the paper down to 4.5 inches from top to bottom and kept the width at its original size.  We used extra-large eggs for this project so the eggs used the entire width of the paper.

Gramma and papa's 104Before we used the Mod Podge, I cut slits into the top and bottom of the sheet.  This allowed the egg to be covered a tiny bit easier.  Then the messiness began, aka Mod Podge.  Victoria took this step very seriously.  Finally the yuck factor became too overwhelming for her and she announced “Mommy, you do, I watch” for the remaining egg.  Gramma and papa's 109

And that’s it!  After the eggs were dried, I hot glued a little pink bow on to each.

Gramma and papa's 111I hope that you enjoyed reading about our Easter Egg craft.  This craft was perfect for my little two-year old, Minnie Mouse fan, but I think it would be a great project for older elementary education kids too!  The ideas for Mod Podge on plastic eggs is endless!

I hope you enjoy your weekend and it’s full of creative fun!

The Magical Reasons Our Family Loves Bay Lake Tower

Bay Lake Tower and The Contemporary Resort “Our Building”

Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort is my family’s favorite resort at Walt Disney World. We stay there so often that my six year old son, Gavin, refers to Bay Lake Tower as “Our Building”. From the monorail, to Chef Mickeys, to the background sounds of a steam train’s whistle blowing nearby, to the side walk leading to the Magic Kingdom’s gates, to the beaconing boat dock by Bay Lake, every corner of the Tower leads to adventure. For my family, it’s the tower of our own Disney castle nestled nicely next to Cindy’s!

Today I’ll share with you the many magical reasons that my family choses to stay at Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort. You’ll read about the convenience. You’ll read about the fun. You’ll read about the potential money savings. And of course, you’ll read about the Magic!

walkway to Magic KingdomConvenience

My husband and I have two small children, 6 years old and 2 years old. The Magic Kingdom is our most frequented park during each vacation. Our mornings are as close to stress free as could be possible. There is no rushing to the bus stop in hopes that we don’t miss the next bus to the Magic Kingdom. We simply take the elevator downstairs, walk out our door and stroll along our side walk which leads us straight to the Magic Kingdom . Then, as the evening comes to a close and our feet are tired of walking, we hop on a monorail and get off at the first stop, The Contemporary Resort.  BLT (Bay Lake Tower) is connected to the Contemporary by a walkway located on the Concourse Level of the main Contemporary building.  The Concourse level is where you’ll catch the monorail and it’s also home to the famous Chef Mickey’s Restaurant and Contempo Café, a quick service dining option. So to get to our room all we have to do is roll our stroller off the monorail, walk across the walkway, hit the elevator button for our floor and we’re home.

Chef Mickey’s is the 2nd most popular character dining experience at Walt Disney World. Each year we kick off our first full day of our Disney vacation by having breakfast with the characters at Chef Mickey’s. We leave our room fifteen minutes before our reservation time and moments later we’re at the check-in desk of the restaurant. If you are not staying at a Magic Kingdom Resort, getting to the early morning breakfast reservations for Chef Mickey’s can sometimes be challenging, especially if you do not have a vehicle. There are no direct buses to the Contemporary from other Disney Resorts. With small children, mornings are stressful enough without adding the pressure of lengthy transportation ordeal to get to the Contemporary. For example, if you’re staying at the Coronado Springs Resort you would take a bus to Downtown Disney then transfer to a bus to the Contemporary, or take a bus to the Magic Kingdom and walk over to the Resort.

Another convenience of BLT is that Epcot is an easy and fun ride to the Transportation and Ticket Center and then a skip over to the Epcot Monorail. Traveling by monorail is massively convenient if you have an infant or a young child. Little ones love riding the monorail. It’s not out of the norm to hear that the monorail is a little Mouseketeer’s “favorite ride at Disney”! Also, strollers do not have to be collapsed for you to ride this mode of transportation. This is especially convenient if your child is taking his or her nap at the time.

Most importantly, Bay Lake Tower is a Disney Vacation Club Resort. Since it is part of the DVC family of resorts, all rooms have extra amenities, such as a kitchenette in the studio rooms and a full size kitchen in the one, two and three bedroom grand villas. Although this is a DVC Resort, you do not have to be a Disney Vacation Club member to stay at Bay Lake Tower.


Bay Lake Tower offers a variety of fun adventures.  In this photo my husband and our son wait on the boat dock for a boat to take them to Fort Wilderness Campground where we’ll check out the playground and animals.

Fun Adventures

An entire post could be dedicated to fun adventures to be had while staying on property at any of Disney’s resorts. However, today I’ll share the fun adventures that my family enjoys while staying at BLT.

After checking into our resort, the first thing we do is drop off our carry-on luggage in our room, check out our view of the castle and monorail, and then head to the monorail platform for a ride. Due to travel, our first day at WDW is often a half day, so we try to do some fun things that don’t require using a full day’s park ticket. Although the monorail is used to get to two of Disney’s four main theme parks, it also stops at three resorts, Disney’s Polynesian Resort, Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa and Disney’s Contemporary Resort. We enjoy stopping at each Resort to explore their gift shops, restaurants and entertainment.

Another fun exploration that’s a must do for my family is riding a boat from our boat launch over to the Fort Wilderness Campground where we let loose and explore. Our son loves to play at the beach, then move to the playground, followed by checking out the animals and he’s even frequented their arcade. The Fort seems to move at a much slower pace. They have less crowds in the middle of the afternoon, so it makes for a great place to go for a brief escape from the over stimulating environment that children are in while at the parks.

Once we return back to “Our Building” we stop in at Community Hall to check out the week’s special events and projects. The Community Hall is usually very quiet when we stop in during the day, so our son has the place to himself, pick out coloring pages, check out their movies and games. One great activity that is preschooler friendly and that they seem to do often, is make your own pillowcase or pirate treasure bag. We also note the movies that will be playing that week at our resort.

Having a young children that have an early bed time, we haven’t yet taken advantage of the following fun adventure, but I thought I would mention it, in case you have an older child that could enjoy the event. During the evenings, outside of Bay Lake Tower and the Contemporary, located in a nice open area, between the two buildings and close to the boat launch area, a Disney movie is shown on a huge screen for families to watch. I look forward to the future when I can take our children to one of those showings. I’m certain they will think it’s pretty cool.

IMG_2416And we can’t forget the awesome slide at the pool!  Not pictured in this photo is a wonderful splash area separate from the pool, perfect for toddlers and preschool age children.

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In the above photo Gavin intently watches the monorail while finishing up breakfast in our 2 bedroom villa at BLT.

Money Saving Potential

Since Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort is a Disney Vacation Club Resort, many of the conveniences of home can be found at the Resort and some even in your room. The resort has four types of rooms, Deluxe Studios, One Bedrooms, Two Bedroom, and Three Bedroom Grand Villas. The Deluxe Studio is the type of accommodation that we have recently chosen, since our family consists of four. In previous years, we have stayed in the Two Bedroom when we stayed with additional members of our extended family. Both types of accommodations at Bay Lake Tower were fantastic. In regards to saving money, the Deluxe Studio and the Two Bedroom saved us a lot of money when it came to purchasing food in the parks.

The Deluxe Studio at Bay Lake Tower has a kitchenette, which we used everyday. It includes a small refrigerator, a kitchen sink, microwave, coffee pot, toaster and a pull out pantry. The kitchenette area is stocked with plastic utensils and paper products, including paper plates and bowls. Other than the morning that we eat at Chef Mickey’s, we eat our breakfast in our room before leaving for the parks. It’s so nice to sit on the balcony and watch the park come to life in the morning. You can see the Monorails start zipping on their rail, hear the whistle of the steam engine warming up for its day, and watch as the astro-orbiter prepares for approaching passengers, all as you munch on a bagel and sip your tea. With the close proximity to the Magic Kingdom, we would eat one other meal at our resort each day. The short walk or monorail ride back to the resort allowed us to do this without missing too much of our day. On occasion, we would sneak in a quick nap for everyone.

The One, Two and Three Bedroom Villas all have full size fully equip kitchens with a small dining area and a spacious living room. It’s wonderful to have that extra space if you have a large family or are traveling in a group.

In addition, they have a washer and dryer within the one, two and three bedroom villas. The Deluxe Studios do not have the washer and dryer but there is a laundry facility at Bay Lake Tower and it is free for guests to use. I find that this has saved our family money. We usually travel by plane, so when we do we have to watch how much stuff we pack. Checking luggage can really add up to a large expense with multiple people in your family needing to check bags. We make sure that we take only enough clothing to cover three or four days, then we do laundry on our day off, usually the middle of our week.

As I mentioned many times earlier, Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort is a Disney Vacation Club Resort. Our family members are DVC members. We use our membership to the fullest and know that it has saved us a lot of money. Honestly,we would not be able to afford to stay at this magnificent resort without our ownership. If you are a Disney Fan and love to travel to Walt Disney World and stay on Disney property, take the time to look into the membership. The DVC tours, that are done on Walt Disney World property, are stress free and fun. It could save you thousands too.

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The one word to sum up staying at Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort is magical. Each night the resort is in the middle to two special evening events, Wishes and The Electrical Water Pageant. Since there are several types of views at Bay Lake Tower, each room experiences a different view of the events.

The resort rooms are booked under the following “views”, Theme Park View, Standard View, and Bay Lake View. I’ve come to find out that there is another view labeled “obstructed” but this is not an option to book. The resort rooms are broken down into the following percentages, 25% of the rooms are considered Theme Park View, 25% are Standard View, and 50% of the rooms are Bay Lake View. On one occasion, we booked a Bay Lake View and were given an Obstructed View. This view was fantastic for us. We had a view of the Magic Kingdom but also some of Bay Lake.

Disney Easter Disney Birthday 025The theme park view in a Studio Villa during the day.

Most of our stays have been in a Studio with a Theme Park View. We enjoy staying in our room and using the balcony to view Wishes. The kids’ favorite part is seeing Tinkerbell fly!   After my children and husband are fast asleep, I enjoy a silent moment, soaking in the sight of Cinderella’s beautiful castle lit up for the evening. It’s simply breath taking and a site that I wish I could capture with a camera.

One or two evenings during our stay, my husband or I take the kids with us as we walk over the Skyway Bridge to The Contemporary Resort. Gavin’s tall enough that he can see over the railing of the bridge to view the Electrical Water Pageant. Of all the parades he has seen, this is favorite. The only down side is that the pageant stops at the resort a bit late for little ones, so he doesn’t get to see it every night.

For those Disney Vacation Club Members not staying in a Theme Park View but wanting to see Wishes at the resort, they are in for an extra magical treat. At the Top of the World Lounge located at the rooftop deck of Bay Lake Tower, DVC members staying at the resort are able to take in the sights of Wishes while listing to the music of Wishes in sync with Magic Kingdom firework display. The view is amazing and one of the most magical on property.

From rooftop to balcony, no matter what room we may stay in at Bay Lake Tower, my family believes “Our Building” is the most magical in the “World”. We hope you enjoy your next vacation to Walt Disney World and hope you get the opportunity to discover for yourself the magic at Bay Lake Tower.

If you have any questions regarding Bay Lake Tower, I’d love to answer them!  You can leave them in the comments section, or email me at .

I hope you have a Magical Day!

Easy To Make Kermit Inspired T-shirt

Muppets Shirt 052It’s So Adorable Being Green!

With the release of  “Muppets Most Wanted” this weekend, and the continuation of planning my son’s upcoming Muppets party, I’ve been searching the stores for anything Muppets related.  Strangely enough, there’s not much available.  I haven’t been able to find even a t-shirt!

Freezer Paper Stenciling is something I’ve wanted to try for a while now, and I thought this would be a perfect time to try!  Today I’m going to share with you my experience trying this for the first time, my mistakes and all!  First I started by consulting my little Muppet fans as to their characters of choice.  To my surprise both picked Kermit!  Then I went to work gathering supplies.

1. Before you head to the craft store, pick up some Freezer Paper at your local grocery store.  Muppets Shirt 003

2  . Pick up the supplies from your local craft store.

You’ll need a T-shirt, fabric paints, cutting board, X-Acto cutting knife, and brushes. I purchased this basic green t-shirt for $2.50 at Michael’s Craft Store. The paint that I chose to use was Tulip brand.  The first mistake I made was not reading the bottles completely, I purchased three containers of Matte finish paint and one container of Pearl, which could have easily been called glittery.  Luckily I started with my daughter’s shirt first!  Gavin quickly put his foot down and proclaimed he wasn’t wearing a shirt with glitter.

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3. Choosing an image to stencil.

 I chose a photo of Kermit that I sized to fit the area I wanted to paint.  I found the photo on Disney Wiki.  Here’s where my first problem occurred.  Since Kermit’s green and red are deep colors, I had a horrible time trying to trace the mouth.  If you take a look at the image below, you can see that the eyes were easy to trace, but I ended up having to freehand his mouth and looked to other images to come up with his neck area too.  After this project I can see why most freezer paper stencil projects are text or graphic related.

Muppets Shirt 0154. Trace your image onto the Freezer Paper.

Make sure that you have the shiny side of the Freezer Paper on the image and the dull side of the paper facing up.  This means that your tracing on the dull side of the paper.  I used a black permanent Sharpie marker to draw the template.  Here’s a look at the template.

Muppets Shirt 025   5. Cut the Template Out

Protect your cutting surface by a mat board to cut on.  Take your time cutting it out and remember that the remaining negative space is where you will be cutting.  Here’s what the template looked like after cutting out the areas to paint.

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6. Iron the Freezer Paper template to the t-shirt.

Before ironing the paper to the t-shirt, iron out all the wrinkles on your shirt.  Then I placed a cardboard piece in-between the top and bottom of the shirt.  This way it’s prepared for me to paint in the next step.   Next, shiny side down, place your template where you want it on the shirt and gently iron it onto your shirt.

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7. Paint!

In painting Kermit, he had overlapping colors, such as the white and black of his eyes and red and pink of his mouth and tongue.  So, first I painted the white and pink layers.  The paint bottles told me to wait 4 hours for it to dry, but being impatient I used a blow dryer to dry it quickly so I could move on to the next layer of paint.  His eyes took three coats to cover the green color.

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 8. Peel off the Freezer Paper to see your finished piece.

Unfortunately, the result wasn’t what I had hoped.  The paint of Kermit’s eyes and mouth didn’t have the clean edge I had hoped for.

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9. Touch up the edges.

Freehand touch up any little messes left behind where the freezer paper allowed the paint to leak through.

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10. Steam iron the painted area to allow it to set into the shirt.

According to the paint instructions, I was supposed to hold the iron 1/2 an inch away from the shirt and steam the image.  I haven’t washed the shirt yet, but I’m pretty happy with the turn out!  Now to make another one for my son, Gavin…without the sparkly pink paint, of course!

 There were a few bumps in the road, but it’s actually pretty easy being green!

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To complete this project I looked at a few blogs for reference in learning this technique.  If you’d like to check out their projects and steps for completing them, here’s the links.–craft-1838

 Have you tried Freezer Paper Stenciling?  I’d love to see your results! If you’d like, share the links to your Freezer Paper Stenciling projects in the comments below.

Thanks for stopping by the blog today and as always, I hope you have a Magical Day!

Finding the Muppets at Walt Disney World

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The Muppets’ highly anticipated film, “Muppets Most Wanted” is released today in theatres across the U.S.  From the film’s title, I have a feeling that those crazy colorful characters are up to no good and the authorities are looking for them.

Without even seeing the film, I can tell you if YOU’RE looking for the Muppets, head to Walt Disney World!

When I think of the Muppets, I can’t help but think of “Muppet Vision 3-D”.  Located within Disney’s Hollywood Studios Park, “Muppet Vision 3-D” has always been one of my favorite shows to see.  From Kermit to Beaker to Sam Eagle’s finale, guests can’t help but leave the show with a smile on their faces.  This attraction is a known location to find a touch of Henson magic.  However, did you know there are more than five locations at Walt Disney World that are of Muppet importance?

The Muppet Mindset

Today I’d like to invite you to visit The Muppet Mindset Blog.  I stumbled upon this blog and a fantastic post written by Mitchell Stein.  The post outlines every Muppet detail you can find when at Walt Disney World.  If you love The Muppets and Walt Disney World, you’ll love this article, as well as the blog! The link below will take you directly to the “Muppety Day at Disney” post.

Enjoy and have a great weekend!  Are you planning on seeing the movie this weekend?  I’d love to hear your thoughts on the film!  Please feel free to share them in the comments.

“Let It Go!” Let Go Of Winter That Is, And Enter To Win Our Spring Fling Giveaway.

Flower and Garden Giveaway

I’m SO ready to let winter go and welcome the green of spring.

 Why not do it with a Giveaway of Green?

When I think of spring, I think of Epcot’s Flower and Garden Festival.  If you haven’t explored Epcot during this beautiful season, I highly recommend it.  In fact, this giveaway might even help you to start your Disney World trip fund with a $60 Disney Card!  Beginning today, Monday, March 17, 2014 through Monday, March 31, 2014 at 11:59 PM EST you can enter to win a $60 Disney Gift Card and a Limited Edition Flower and Garden Festival Pin!

This Spring Fling Giveaway is open to all United States residents 18 years old and up.  After verification of entries, the winner will be chosen by Rafflecopter  and will be notified by email.
To officially accept the prize the winner must reply by email within 48 hours.

To enter to win, simply use the Rafflecopter Form Below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I’m thrilled to be working with a bunch of magical Disney bloggers to bring you this giveaway.  Below are the names of the awesome blogs that made this giveaway possible.  You can find them on Facebook or stop by their blogs!

Focused on the Magic
Can Do It MOM
My Pixie Dust Diary…
Home is Where the Mouse is
Run. Walk. FASTPASS. Repeat
Disney Mamas
Disney Donna Kay
Mouse Ears Mom

Don’t forget to enter daily!  Good luck!