Month: April 2014

Frozen Merchandise Frenzy

Frozen DVDThis morning the movie “Frozen” graced our living room television screen for the tenth time in a week.

My son and I went to see Disney’s “Frozen” in the movie theatre when it was first released and really enjoyed it.  However, we didn’t anticipate the obsession that would soon follow with Victoria and “Frozen”.  Weg-O, which is how my two-year-old daughter, Victoria loving refers to the film’s famous song, is played over, and over, and over again on EVERY SINGLE drive in our vehicle.  This ritual began way before she saw the movie, since the bunny just gave the DVD to her on Easter morning.  I can’t remember when or how the obsession started…probably watching YouTube videos, but nonetheless our entire household, Daddy included, knows the words to the film’s soundtrack.

Knowing the Easter Bunny would be hopping into town with the DVD, I ventured out the week before Easter to find some Frozen-related merchandise to put together a themed basket.  Silly me.  I was unaware that my daughter, although oh-so-special to me, was simply one of say a million+ little girls singing “Let It Go” as their parents frantically comb the universe for something with the word FROZEN on it.  Every store I entered had a huge chunk of vacant space somewhere within their toy department. And in this space I found shiny silver pegs with stickers on the end showing me the names of the lovely Anna and Elsa items that once were beacons of light beaming for a mere second before a half-crazed mother snatched them from their pegs and bolted to the closest register.  Silly me.  I expected to find bulk stacks of Elsa dolls at every end cap.  If you haven’t been living under a rock, like say me, you probably already expected that.  Oh well, Victoria did not receive any Disney trademarked “Frozen” toys on Easter morning. However, she did receive a beautiful headband with an Elsa and Anna bow attached to it.  Where did I get that, you might ask?

Feeling completely defeated in my search, I happened to walk by a locally owned gift shop and could see from the window a bow with Olaf the snowman on it.  I felt as if I had hit the jackpot!  The bow was too big for my daughter’s head so the wonderful crafters that own the store attached the bow to a headband and “POW!” I had a “Frozen” headband for Victoria.

In the past week, I’ve made a point to seek out this untapped market, “The Crafters”, to see what Frozen-Inspired goods I could find. Since I’m certain that I’m not the only mommy out their looking for “Frozen” gifts, I’m excited to share my discoveries with you!  Below you will find three business, all located within Northeastern Pennsylvania, that put their heart into creating mini works of art to sell to customers across the country.  I’ve included links for you to contact each one for more information, if you’d like to purchase these items, see more items that they sell or even request a specific item to be made.

Mia Bella Boutique

frozen bows

Phyl Your Bags

Olaf Inspired Frozen hatElsa Inspired Frozen DollBi-lingual Frozen Inspired Bows

Sophisticated Lady by Patricia

Phone Patricia at 570-383-0353 or Email Kimberly at

photo (46)

I love these flip flops for the summer!

photo (49)

I love this hat for the winter!

photo (47)

Hair Accessories for all year round!

In addition to the above items, Kimberly and Patricia offer Frozen-themed tutus too!

If you’re like me and just joined the Frozen Merchandise Search Team, I hope these items help you put a smile on your daughter’s face.  They may not be the specific items that we all keep clicking the Disney Store link in hopes of getting, but they sure are adorable options.  Don’t you agree?

By the way, Disney Store’s link is on the side bar, if you have to check one more time…



From the Kitchen of The Swedish Chef {DIY Free Printable}

The Swedish Chef favor tagsThe birthday weekend is finally here!

My son, Gavin’s birthday party is tomorrow.  Today I’ll spend the day preparing for his big day. Last night I put together these little tags for the candy favors that will go inside the Muppet tote bags his guests will be receiving.  One of Gavin’s favorite candies is Swedish Fish (yum).  I have to admit, he gets his sweet tooth from his Mommy.  Anyways, I thought I would be perfect if these special fishes came from The Swedish Chef.  He is Swedish, you know.

The little bags came out cute and I’d love to give each and every one of you a bag, in honor of Gavin’s 7th birthday.  However, the shipping fees would kill my bank account, so I thought I’d share the file for the tags instead.  I think the tags would be a perfect accessory for “Muppets Most Wanted” movie night treat or if you plan on throwing a Muppets themed party too!  I found the image of The Swedish Chef on Wikipedia and it’s most likely a copyrighted image.  These little tags are not for sale and are only being used for my son’s party.  Having said that, here’s the PDF file for your personal use:

 The Swedish Chef

Here’s how to put the tags together.

 Print the page out on a piece of 8 1/2″ x 11″ white card stock.

The PDF file has two rows, one with The Swedish Chef’s images and the other with the “FROM THE KITCHEN OF THE SWEDISH CHEF” text.  Cut both the Chef’s image and the text out in a square that measures 1 1/2″ x 1 1/2″ .

Glue the two sides together back to back or what I did was insert a 1 3/4″ x 1 3/4″  piece of a brown or blue card stock between the top and bottom and then I glued it all together.

Hole punch it, add the string and your ready to go.

Now for me to get back to the kitchen. Have a great weekend!  “BORK BORK BORK!”

The Swedish Chef snack bag tags

How to Become a Wilderness Explorer at Walt Disney World

Wilderness Explorer program at Disney's Animal Kingdom

“A Wilderness Explorer is a friend to all, be it plants or fish or tiny mole.”

If you’ve ever watched the Disney/Pixar film, “Up”, then you know how important being a Wilderness Explorer is to Russell.  Earning all those badges can be hard work!  Did you know that your little explorer can become an Official Wilderness Explorer while visiting Disney’s Animal Kingdom?

Today we celebrate Earth Day.  The day where the world shows its support for environmental protection, is a perfect day to share with you information about Walt Disney World’s Wilderness Explorer program.  This educational and challenging activity involves your child participating on a self-guided adventure throughout Disney’s Animal Kingdom park.  During his adventure, he can earn more than 30 different sticker badges to complete the 40 page Wilderness Explorers Handbook. The handbook and miniature challenges are included with the cost of your park ticket, so don’t worry about any extra fees.  It’s up to your child and, of course your family’s schedule, as to how many badges he earns in one trip to the park. Explorers are not required to fill the entire book in one day.

Wilderness Explorer HandbookThis past fall, my son Gavin became a Wilderness Explorer.  During our visit at Animal Kingdom, we stumbled upon the Wilderness Explorer sign-up kiosk located on the bridge between the Oasis and Discovery Island.  We noticed a bunch of children yelling “Caw Caw Roar“, so headed over to check it out.  There Gavin met a Troop Leader and a Badge Guide.  They welcomed him into the program and helped him earn his first badge, “The Wilderness Explorer Call Badge”.  Then his Troop Leader handed him a pencil and a handbook, which included a map showing all the badge-earning challenges he had before him, and sent him on his way.  We quickly discovered that we could spend more than an entire day earning badges, but didn’t have quite enough time that day to complete them all.  So we decided to complete badge-earning challenges which were at the attractions that our family already predetermined to see that day.  The one badge-earning experience that really stood out from the rest was at Conservation Station.

Disney World September October 2013 259At Conservation Station Wilderness Explorers can earn a handful of important badges in one location!

Conservation Station was where Gavin learned about conserving natural resources, caring for our planet Earth and the animals that inhabit it.  During the years of working at Walt Disney World and then over a dozen trips to parks after moving back to Pennsylvania, I never took the time to go to this attraction before our Wilderness Explorer day.  What a mistake that was!  It’s a wonderful experience where learning meets fun.  Of course it is, this is what Disney does best!

Disney World September October 2013 269Although earning badges was fun for Gavin, Victoria spent her entire time at Conservation Station brushing the animals.  Don’t forget to wash your hands when you leave this station.  You’re child will earn his “Hand Washing Badge”.

Gavin truly enjoyed participating in the Wilderness Explorer program.  We plan to take his handbook with us the next time we visit Disney’s Animal Kingdom park and we’ll complete some new challenges until he’s earned all the badges to complete his handbook.

I encourage you to stop by the Wilderness Explorer sign-up kiosk during your next trip to Disney’s Animal Kingdom.  When you do, tell them we said “Caw Caw Roar!”

Wilderness Explorer discoveries




Easter at Disney: Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort’s Easter Egg Display

Grand Floridian Easter Eggs in loggy

Have you visited Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa during the Easter season?

Happy Easter to you and your family!  Was the bunny good to you this morning?   Personally I was hoping to receive one of these beautiful chocolate eggs from the bunny.  However, unfortunately, the task was a bit unachievable for Mr. Rabbit. On the bright side, I’m happy to report that you and your family can still visit these outstanding works of edible art in the lobby of  Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa through April 22nd .

Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa’s lobby is well-known for the life-size Gingerbread Houses that amaze the resort’s guests during the Christmas season.  But did you know that “The Grand” is in its third year of hosting a wondrous display of decorated chocolate eggs?  Below is a photo of the information you’d find about this display if you happened to stumble upon it today at The Grand.

Grand Floridian Easter Eggs
Photo courtesy of Jackie Mroczka

If you’re visiting The Walt Disney World Resort today, I hope you have the opportunity to see these exquisite eggs in person.  Wherever you’ll be celebrating today, I hope you all have a blessed day with the ones you love this Easter.  Happy Easter!

Disney Easter Egg Decorating Ideas For Kids: Q-Tip painting and Monster’s U Egg Dying

Easter Eggs 050

Today, many kitchens are filled with families preparing for Easter by dying hard-boiled eggs.

Yesterday, my children and I followed the tradition of decorating eggs, but this year we decorated eggs two different ways, of course both showcasing our #DisneySide. For our usual way of decorating eggs, I purchased a packaged dying & decorating kit to use at Grandma’s house for some hard-boiled egg fun.  I purchased this Monsters University Easter Egg Dye Kit at Target for $3 US.

Easter Eggs 018Gavin’s favorite part of the kit was the little blue hard hat that he used for his Mike egg.  I’m thrilled to report that he made this adorable egg for his Mommy!

Easter Eggs 043As with previous years, the kids and I had a blast dying eggs with Grandma.  It’s a shame that despite all the hard work that went into decorating the eggs, they will be gone in a few short days.  So this year I scheduled an additional egg decorating activity for the kids to make eggs that we will be able to keep for years.  I purchased these craft eggs at our local Michael’s Craft Store.  I laid out some newspaper, wax paper, paint and Q-Tips and let the kids have some fun.  Having small children work with non-breakable eggs really is a great idea.  The eggs fell on the floor a few times and it saved quite a few tears when my son saw that they had survived the multiple falls!

Easter Eggs 003This Q-Tip project is perfect for young children, like my 6-year-old son and 2-year-old daughter.

Here are the reasons that I love to have my children paint with Q-Tips.  First, LESS MESS.  Painting with kids is messy.  Giving a child a tiny little cotton swab to use for painting alleviates the potential mess that could come with having a regular paint brush in the set of destructive little hands.

Easter Eggs 008Second, painting with Q-Tips allows for QUICK CLEAN UP…if there is such a thing with kids.  Once the kids were finished, I simply picked up the Q-Tips and threw them away.  I  enjoyed not having to clean the brushes after the project was over.  Take a glimpse of just some of the Q-Tips that were used in decorating six eggs!

Disney character inspired eggs Q-Tip painting

Have you figured out what characters we’ve modeled our painted eggs after? Victoria worked on a pretty Sophia the First purple egg.  She tried her best to draw the white on her dress, so the other purple dress is my attempt to make a Sophia dress design.  Gavin’s red and black egg is a Mickey Mouse inspired egg.  Any guesses as to whom the silly one in the middle is themed after?

Happy Egg Decorating!