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Happy Birthday UP!

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Today is the sixth anniversary of the release of Pixar’s UP. It is no secret that this movie holds a special place in my heart. I relate very much to Carl and Ellie. In honor of one of the most beautiful films, here is today’s Friday Five. I hope you have a wonderful weekend filled with adventure.

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1. 3D Wooden Puzzle- This puzzle is handmade and absolutely beautiful! Perfect for an UP themed birthday party or wedding, or for family game night. It comes in several different sizes, so you can definitely find one to suit your needs. This puzzle has so many great details, including the rolled up hose!

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Available on Etsy from Birdswoodshack

2. “Carl’s New Adventure” Giclee – This gallery-wrapped Giclee is by the super talented Rob Kaz. This would look great on a gallery wall or a nursery. I love that this piece is long and not your standard size. It makes the house really look like it is flying.

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Available at Disneystore.com

3. Adventure Is Out There Tank Top – I am usually not a fan of shirts that have writing on them (no logos either), but this tank top is an exception. It is a nice shape and looks like it could be a perfect summer staple.

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Available at hottopic.com

4. Grape Soda Cufflinks – Just like Carl always wore his Ellie badge, guys can wear their own grape soda pin  – and without putting a hole in their jacket! These adorable cufflinks are perfect for Father’s Day!

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Available on Etsy from JegasCreations

5. Carl Cookie Cutter – This might be one of my favorite Etsy finds ever. I would eat Carl cookies all day if I had this. It is so fun and unexpected. There are also Dug and Russell cutters for sale. I wish I knew about these when I was planning CJ’s first birthday party!

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Available on Etsy from TopCookieMore

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Friday Five: Valentine’s Day Edition

Happy Friday, everyone! The last two weeks have been cold and snowy in New York. Usually around this time of year, we would be getting ready for our annual Valentine’s Day trip to Disney World, but we have had to put Disney World on hold this year. I’m holding out for a Disneyland 60th anniversary trip in December, though. Even though we won’t be visiting the happiest place on earth for Valentine’s Day, I still love to celebrate the holiday. Valentine’s Day is special to us. It is when hunny proposed in Central Park (I mean if you can’t get to Cinderella’s Castle to propose, this is THE most romantic spot in NY). So here are my five favorite things to show your loved ones how much they mean to you. You still have two weeks, so don’t say you weren’t warned.

1. Concrete City and State print- If you have a loved one that lives far away or you are in a long distance relationship, this city and state print is the perfect gift. Order a print of their hometown, where you met, or even where you hope to relocate one day. It is a thoughtful and simple way to give a piece of yourself to someone so far away. 20150130-092835.jpg

$14 on Brickyard Buffalo

2. Winnie the Pooh Valentine Plush- Pooh is still CJ’s number one guy (after her Daddy). The theme of her birthday this year is 100 acre wood, so I figured I would start a few months early and get her this doll. He is absolutely adorable. There’s even a dapper Eeyore in a adorable red velvet tux. Both are sold out online, but still available in stores and right now, all plush toys (except frozen and tsum tsum) are buy one get one for $1! 20150130-093803.jpg

$19.95 at the Disney Store

3. Giles and Brother Railroad Spike Bracelet- This bracelet is one of my favorite presents ever. Hunny and I have matching ones. Mine has his initials (coincidentally, they are also CJ’s) and his have mine. The bracelet is very unique and I always get compliments on it. It is a perfect every day bracelet that reminds me of the one I love. It comes in brass, gold, silver and rose gold. Giles and Brother is an NYC based jeweler who makes gorgeous unique pieces. They ship very quickly, so unlike a lot of other personalized jewelry pieces, you will definitely have it in time for Valentine’s Day. 20150130-094942.jpg

$55 at Giles & Brother

4. Heart Knit Boot Cuffs- I am seriously obsessed with these handmade boot cuffs. They are absolutely adorable and perfect for the cold weather. Any girl in your life would be happy to receive them. 20150130-095758.jpg

$22.90 from Sennursasa on Etsy

5. Play Comme Des Garçons Unisex Converse Sneakers – I live in my Converse. Most people complain that theirs are uncomfortable, but to me, they are the only comfortable shoes I own. These unisex sneakers designed by Comme Des Garçons for JCrew, are a little pricey for Converse, but well worth the money. Your loved one will feel very special and stylish wearing these. 20150130-100752.jpg

$100 at JCrew

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: 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!

Bastille Day

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On Sunday, we crossed an item off of our summer bucket list and continued our annual tradition of going to the NYC Bastille Day street fair. Now, we were a family of 3, so there was a little more preparation to get down there and a lot more stress navigating thru the crowd. I have always been aware of large crowds and their unwillingness to be respectful of strollers (Disney World is a prime example), but Bastille Day is a beast of a different sort. Most NYC street fairs take place on main avenues that have traffic running two ways, not one lane side streets. Add vendors on both sides of the street and crowds of people pushing to get to them, and you can have a dangerous situation for a stroller.

We used a small umbrella stroller because pushing a large jogger thru the crowds seemed unfair to others (it really is packed that tightly). CJ loved it. As she was pushed thru the crowds, she waved at everyone and barked at the dogs she passed.
Most NYC street fairs are jam packed with generic fried foods and lemonade stands. There are two exceptions to this : The San Gennaro Festival and The Bastille Day fair. Lemonade is still abundant, but French pastries, crepes, macarons, wine and sandwiches make the crowd bearable. This year, the creator of the Cronut, Dominique Ansel, had a stand. In addition to French pastries, the stand was selling freshly made frozen yogurt. It was impossible to get close to his stand, so we headed for the equally delicious, but less crowded Payard and we were not disappointed.

Since it was so crowded and incredibly hot, we walked thru the fair only once. We got to see adorable cancan girls and a mime who played peek-a-boo with CJ. There was also a marching street band playing Jazz. The food and performances definitely make me want to return year after year, regardless of the crowds!

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Tomato Mozzarella & Basil Pesto sandwich and an apricot tarte from Payard

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Cuddly Little Cubby

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Winnie the Pooh is kind of a big deal in our house. CJ loves all things Pooh. I guess this is probably my fault. I have a small (ok, huge) Pooh obsession. In fact, I have loved Pooh for so long that one of my aunts actually calls me “Pooh”. In my teens, I collected the now defunct Hunny Pot Points and saved up enough for a giant Winnie the Pooh doll. When I moved out of my mother’s house, I left giant Pooh in my old room. She did not want him, but I refused to get rid of him. I knew someday that giant Pooh would loved the way he deserved. 

Last week, giant Pooh was cleaned and we surprised CJ with him. We even had a photoshoot at JCPenney Portraits with CJ dressed up as a hunny pot and Piglet. To say she was excited, is an understatement. I am so glad that I kept him for so many years. I know she just turned one, but I already have her Winnie the Pooh theme 2nd birthday party planned out. Giant Pooh will be the main attraction. Image