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Friday Five : Father’s Day Edition

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Most days, Mom gets all the credit. She’s a business woman, nurturer, activities coordinator, and personal chef wrapped in one. Once a year, we remember how amazing Dad is and we celebrate him. Dads are truly the superheroes that make every day a little bit more fun, silly, and exciting. In our house, Dad is a wrestler, a rock star, a baseball coach, and so much more. To celebrate dad, we put together some awesome items we think would make great Father’s Day presents (most are available in store for you late gift givers!) Cheers to celebrating Dads everywhere with this week’s Friday Five.  I hope all the dads out there have a wonderful day.

1.  Vans Nintendo sneakers –  My husband loves video games. It’s usually my go-to gift for him. Vans’ newest collaboration with Nintendo is a classic game lover’s dream come true. The collection has pieces from Super Mario Bros, Donkey Kong, Duck Hunt, and The Legend of Zelda!


2. Pixar Dad Shirt- My hunny loves graphic t shirts and all things Disney, so this shirt is a no brainer. Featuring all the best dads from Pixar, this is a great shirt to wear to the parks. Two of my local Target stores have it in stock!

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3.  ESPN 30 for 30 collection –  ESPN continually amazes me with their documentaries, which highlight important people and events in sports histories. If your dad is a sports fan, this is the gift to get him. There is something for everyone, as the documentary subjects have been Larry Bird (the best ever), Muhammad Ali, Reggie Miller, The Raiders, NASCAR, and so much more.

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4.  Herschel Settlement Backpack – If the Dad in your life loves Disney, but doesn’t want to parade around with giant, colorful graphics, this backpack is for him.  The black on black Winnie the Pooh design is subtle, yet striking and totally Disney.

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5. Sprezzabox subscription –  Some dads have effortless style and others need a little help. Sprezzabox is perfect for both types of dad! Each month, the recipient receives a  curated box filled with stylish accessories. The box theme changes every month, so you will never get the same item twice. Items include socks, ties, lapel pins, skin care, and sunglasses.

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Friday Five: Disney World Preparation Edition

I think I may have mentioned before, that I am currently in graduate school and writing my thesis on Copyright issues and the Walt Disney Company. With graduation almost here, it is crunch time for my paper. I still have a long way to go and while I was hoping to get to the Walt Disney Family Museum to complete it, airfares to California are insane. Fortunately, I have a very thoughtful funny who is willing to drive me to Florida to get some first hand interviews at Walt Disney World. So, in a few weeks, we will be driving there. Lucky for us, the Flower and Garden Festival will have just started and crowds will be low because it is not yet Spring Break. Even though this is a “business” visit, we are still planning to pack as much fun into our short trip as possible. So, to get us ready for that trip, I bring you this week’s Friday Five – a look at some of the things we are bringing with us!

1. Le Ears Custom Ears – shortly after Halloween, I entered an instagram contest to win a pair of custom ears from the super talented Nancy of Le Ears. Nancy indulged my need for a pair of ears that reflected my graduate school work. Together, we came up with the most awesome (well I think they are), one – of – a – kind ears featuring Disney inspired fine art from Keith Haring and Andy Warhol. I have been waiting months to wear these to the Wonderground Gallery!

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2. Lost Boys Club T shirt – Hunny has a spectacular collection of Disney T shirts. Junk Food Clothing makes some great ones, but they are kind of generic. They all feature images of characters. Recently I stumbled upon Lost Boys Club shirts and I fell in love. These shirts are unique and perfect for die-hard Disney Fans. How can you not love a shirt that has a Mickey Mouse ice cream bar on it??

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3. Little Gun Tank Outfits –  Ok, so I know I have gushed about her before, but Charlotte is amazing. Thanks to her, CJ will have the most epic wardrobe for our very short trip. I am sure we will have to do 3 clothing changes a day to fit everything in, but it will be so worth it. Make sure you head to her instagram page and ask for a tag when she opens up for orders again in March. And while you are there, enter her 3,000 followers giveaway.

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4. Minnie Mouse Jamberry Nail Decals – I admit it. Unlike most women, I do not like to get my nails done. I can count on one hand how many manicures I have had in my adult life. I usually do them myself and the results are underwhelming. I always look online and see the most adorable Disney themed nails and want them for my trip, but don’t really want to deal with getting them done.  Jamberry nails have changed everything for me (I’ve mentioned this before). Earlier this month, the company unveiled their Disney line and they are EPIC! Gorgeous Disney nails that you peel and stick. No nail salon required. No hefty bill for gel nails or intricate designs. They are super easy to apply and last for about two weeks. Each sheet you order can do at least two full manicures. I purchased the Mickey’s Girl design for this trip (and for CJ’s Minnie themed Birthday party), but I cannot wait to order more………Ariel, I’ve got my eye on you!

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5.Customized Celebration Buttons – I love that the  Celebration buttons from the Disney Parks are free. If you are really on a budget and not buying souvenirs, you can still get a button to celebrate your trip. There are so many different Disney-themed celebration buttons for sale, but my favorite are the Child Identification / Emergency ones made by Crowley Castle.  The last time we were in Disney, CJ still was not walking. Over a year and a half later, and things are much different. Having one of these buttons with our information makes me feel a bit more at ease. The buttons are also able to be customized with any allergies or handicaps your child may have.

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While there are so many more things, I would love to buy for our trip, I think funny would kill me for spending the money! What are your favorite things to have during your Disney vacation? Let me know in the comments.

Friday Five : Rock the Dots Edition

In honor of National Polka Dot Day, Disney has gone all out to promote its newest fashion venture, Minnie Style. Minnie is the original polka dot icon and a true fashionista. Along with Fashion designer, Christian Siriano, and Refinery 29, Disney threw a Minnie themed fashion show in Los Angeles today, inspiring everyone to #rockthedots. To continue with the festivities and kick off a year long polka dot party, there will be an interactive art and fashion installation tomorrow that celebrates Minnie’s iconic style and her place in fashion history at the Paper Agency in Los Angeles! So all of you lucky West Coasters, RSVP and have a ball!. We will be snowed in tomorrow, so instead, to celebrate the cutest pattern and the most adorable fashionista, here are the Rock the Dots picks for Friday Five!

1. Kate Spade Bag – This March, a limited-edition collection celebrating Minnie Style will be released. Kate Spade New York is the designer to turn to when you want a feminine dotted piece, so this collaboration is a no brainer! I hope there will be more pieces other than this gorgeous bag. Shoes and accessories would put me over the moon!

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2. The Perfect Manicure – Some girls may be adept at giving themselves a great at home mani. Others are lucky enough to live in an area where it is easy to find a manicurist that can paint amazing designs on nails. Unfortunately for me, I can’t say that I have access to either, so when I need an adorable manicure, I rely on Jamberry nail wraps. They are super easy and come in hundreds of colors and designs. There are plenty of polka dot options, but the poppy and white polka just scream, “Minnie!”

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3. Polka Dot Flatware – We dress ourselves like Minnie, so why not dress up our utensils? This flatware set is understated, yet still so much fun. I know I couldn’t help but smile anytime I used them. Life is too short to have a boring home and these are the perfect utensils to make sure your meals are anything, but boring!

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4. Limited Edition Minnie Mouse Signature Doll – This might be one of my favorite limited edition dolls ever. Minnie is so chic. It looks as if she has a gorgeous head of long hair and it is styled into to buns, to create her ears. Her black and white peter pan collared dress is such a nice contrast to the usual red dress she wears (and don’t get me started on the pink dress). Her outfit and makeup are so stylish – look at those lashes. She looks like she is about to sit front row during Fashion Week. Ok…so she is sold out online, but many stores still have the dolls available.

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5. Tom Ford Polka Dot Tie – This gorgeous silk tie would be a wonderful addition to anyone’s closet! Polka dots are not just for the girls. That special guy in your life needs a little #minniestyle in his wardrobe.

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If you are on the East coast, stay safe this weekend during the blizzard! We will be baking, playing dress-up and rocking the dots!!!

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Friday Five: Happy Halloween

Happy All Hallows’ Eve. Halloween is a big deal in our house. There are two ways to do Halloween. There is the cute costume, get some candy and be in bed before the big kids come out way. Then there is my way. Watching horror movies all month until you can’t sleep and then going out late and raising some H. E . double hockey sticks. What better way to get into the mood than revisiting the most terrifying disney villains of all time? Here is our Halloween Friday five!

1. Lady Tremaine: Cinderella’s Step Mother: what could be worse than this lady? Her cat is named after the devil (Lucifer). LT makes Cinderella a slave, forcing her into doing all the chores waiting on the two step sisters and even her demon pet. Then LT gives her the glimmer of hope that she might go to the ball only to let the step sisters tear her dress to pieces as they were about to leave. Let’s not forget the most overlooked detail: there are no magical powers at work here. Tremaine could 100% exist in the real world.

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2. Stromboli: This villain has only a few minutes of screen time, but is not easily forgotten. I still have nightmares about this wine soaked, villainous Italian. He is larger than life, charming a true showman with a rage inside him rivaled only by his appetite. He buys Pinocchio and locks him up with the sole purpose of using the wooden boy to make money. Stromboli wants all that he can get from Pinocchio and once he gets too old, he intends to use him as firewood.

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3. Maleficent: The darkest of the dark, Maleficent can turn into a dragon or whatever else she wants and has the coolest sidekick in her Raven (Diablo). If those fools just invited her to the party, then maybe she would not have cursed the royal family. Personally I would do anything to stay on her good side.

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4. Chernabog: This Demon King of the mountain  torments the town in the valley by raising the dead. Fantasia’s “Night on Bald Mountain” segment is absolutely terrifying and can give adults nightmares all these years later. Chernabog controls fire and brimstone and makes it rain down on the people below.

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5. Oogie Boogie: Don’t let his singing voice fool you. Mr. Boogieman himself is nothing short of pure evil. Being the worst of the worst in Halloweentown really says something. He has not one redeeming quality  ok maybe one he can belt it out) and his insides are made of bugs. He was spawned straight from the darkest parts of our nightmares and wants to take Sandy Claws down.

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Have a safe and Happy Halloween!

 

 

Friday Five: Disney World Vacation Highlights

After 9 awesome days in Disney World , we came home Tuesday a little sad that it ended, but filled with some great memories. Here are the top five highlights from our trip.

1: Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party – MNSSHP is by far my favorite thing to do at Disney. If you can schedule your vacation around one of the nights of this annual fall event, do it. It is so much fun. Disney goes all out for Halloween. Gorgeous decorations are put up throughout the park and on party nights there are extra special touches, like Halloween themed balloons (Jack Skellington), characters in costumes and special character appearances. Meeting Jack Skellington and Sally was awesome. My husband and I dressed up like young Carl and Ellie and CJ was Kevin ( I told you we were Up obsessed). We got to trick or treat around the park and we saw so many cool costumes. MNSSHP is a ticketed event. It is approximately $60 to attend the event, but it is well worth it.

 

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2: Dapper Day – Although not run by Disney, Dapper Day is a fashionable event that takes place twice a year at three Disney Parks – Disneyland, Disney World and Paris. Dapper Day aims to get people to dress in their fashionable best and head out to the parks in style. There were so many gorgeous outfits and hairstyles in Hollywood Studios that day. I had as much fun being dressed up as watching all of the stylish participants. We Disneybounded as Wall-E, Eve and the stars. It was a fun way to incorporate some Disney into our Dapper Day outfits.

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3: Memory Maker – At $149, The Memory Maker  was the best money we spent the entire trip. We have hundreds of photos from our vacation that were taken by the talented photo pass photographers. Even with having my own camera, I would have never been able to capture all of the moments without the memory maker. I was able to be in the photos and we now have the digital copies of them to use anyway we want. The money is well worth it for the peace of mind and ease of not having to take my own camera.

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4: Puerto Rico Marketplace Booth at Epcot’s Food & Wine Festival – Everything at Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival was delicious. I love the idea of bite size food. You can have a little bit of everything without overdoing it.  The Carne guisada con arroz blanco (Slow-braised beef with Puerto Rican-grown rice) was my absolute favorite. The portion was generous and the flavors were fantastic. I will think about this meal for a long time. Hopefully, the Disney Dining blog will post a recipe!

 

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5: Baby’s First Haircut – CJ doesn’t have a lot of hair. Up until a few weeks ago, I would consider her to be close to bald.  This has been extremely upsetting to me. I am not a huge fan of those giant baby headbands. Small ones are fine, but I long to put her hair in pigtails. She did have this fabulous mullet, though. Bald on top, long in the back. Ever since I was pregnant, I knew her first haircut would be in Disney. There was no hair to work with the first two times we visited with her, but this time we had something! I loved everything about the Harmony Barber Shop on Main Street. They clearly cater to kids. CJ got the first haircut package, which included personalized Mickey ears, a first haircut certificate and a sample of her hair with some confetti to take home. Her hairdresser, Diane, was a lot of fun and made CJ feel comfortable, which made us feel great. Harmony Barber Shop is small – three chairs for haircuts and a small corner to wait, but it is a great experience. Harmony doesn’t only cater to kids. CJ’s Uncle Chris got his haircut that day, too!

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Friday Five : August Edition

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Happy August! According to the television ads and flyers, it is “Back to School” time. However, I plan on enjoying the last few weeks of summer before school officially starts. I will be soaking up the sun before the days get short again. There is so much to do and experience before the fall. Here are five things to do this August!

 

1. Guardians of the Galaxy –  Comic Book fans (hello fellow nerds!!) have been waiting since 2010 for the release of this Marvel superhero film. It is finally in theaters today. There is already a sequel in the works set for 2017.

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2. Villains Unleashed –  On August 23 in Hollywood Studios, 50 Disney Villains will come together for a nights of partying and mischief. During this special ticketed event, guests can see Hades perform with his band and treacherous treats will be served. There will be a spooky fireworks show and Oogie Boogie will be hosting a Freaky Funhouse Show on Sunset Boulevard. It will definitely be a fiendishly fun event.

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3.  Jazz Age Lawn Party –  If you are anywhere near New York on August 16 or 17, make sure you attend this annual event. Held on Governor’s Island, this party is THE place to go for flappers, jazz music, dance lessons and all things 1920s. This party is perfect for families with young kids as well as singles (what a great way to meet someone!). Dressing up is not required, but it is encouraged.  Tickets are available here.

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4. Summer Streets –  On three consecutive weekends in August beginning the 2nd, approximately 7 miles of NYC streets from the Brooklyn Bridge to Central Park are closed off to traffic and opened to the public to walk, run, bike and play. Summer Streets aims to get people thinking about alternative forms of transportation and sustaining the resources of NYC. Summer Streets is like one giant block party with games, a rock climbing wall, a zip line and healthy treats. Learn more about it here.

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5. Artist Sketch of the  Month –  Every month, Disney World and Disneyland offer their Artist Sketch of the Month at various locations in the parks. This month’s Disneyland sketch is inspired by Up and features Russell & Kevin. As I have mentioned before, we are huge Up fans. This sketch is a must-have for me, so I have been doing my best to pull some strings or find some friends who will be visiting the park during August! *Fingers Crossed*

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Friday Five: Favorite Etsy Shops

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I have always loved buying handmade items, but ever since CJ was born, it has become an obsession. I love having unique items for her that you can’t find in any random store and knowing that I am contributing to a small business rather than a chain makes me happy. Etsy is the go to place for all things handmade. Today’s Friday Five features some of our favorite Etsy shops. Make sure you check them out.

1: Mina Loves Bows – Anna, the owner of this shop is simply amazing. She’s the superwoman of Etsy and Instagram. Each month she hosts a bow swap so various Instagram users can pair up and swap handmade bows. She is also one of the most generous women out there, donating her items to charity auctions and giveaways. As if that wasn’t enough, this mother of four has her own Etsy shop where she offers gorgeous bows of various styles and custom orders. Anna is a Disney fan and it shows in her work. She just created a custom Alice in Wonderland themed leather bow set for a customer. Check out her shop here and her Instagram.

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2: Megan Carrigan Fine Art/18th Century Shop- Some people have the talent to create things that take your breath away. Megan Carrigan is one of those people. Her paintings truly are works of art. Megan paints in oils, water colors and acrylics. Her miniature framed water colors are my absolute favorite. The colors are vibrant and she truly captures the spirit of every character she paints. Megan also takes commissions, so contact her to paint something wonderful for your home. Check out her Etsy shop and Instagram.

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3: Wild Darlings Shop – Moccasins are all the rage in baby fashion, but with so many shops selling them, it’s hard to know where to make your purchase. Mackenzie, the woman behind Wild Darlings Shop has made it impossible to shop anywhere else with the release of her Neverland Collection. This limited edition collection of moccs celebrates one of my favorite movies of all time, Peter Pan, with four pairs of shoes: Peter Pan, Tinkerbell, Tiger Lily and a Lost Boy. I am eagerly awaiting CJ’s Tinkerbell pair – coming all the way from Okinawa, Japan where her husband is stationed in the military. Hurry to her Etsy shop now and check her out on Instagram, as well.

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4: Piece Love Paper- It is no secret that I adore the movie Up – My personal Instagram name is Elliefredricksen. Stephanie, the owner of Piece Love Paper, has a fondness for the film also, but that’s not why I love her shop. Stephanie’s Etsy store sells beautiful notecards and paper goods that anyone would love to receive. Stephanie donates a portion of each sale to the Rheumatoid Arthritis Foundation, so anytime you make a purchase, you know that not only will you be getting something fun, but also giving to a good cause. Check out her Etsy shop and Instagram.

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5: Sweet T Baby Boutique – Headbands, crowns and bows are mandatory for most baby girls. Tessa’s Etsy shop is filled with gorgeous, glittery and unique pieces that will compliment all your baby’s outfits. While all of Tessa’s items are gorgeous, her Disney crowns are simply perfect. Made from lace, they are painted and dipped in glitter. While I am partial to the Minnie Mouse crown, Tessa also makes Anna and Elsa for all of the Frozen fanatics Check out her Etsy shop and Instagram.

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Have a great weekend!