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The Art of Playing Dress Up

I truly believe that every little girl loves to dress up and pretend to be a princess. Some adults do, too! Sophie Arroyo is one of the luckiest girls in the world.  Sophie’s Grandmother and a friend of the family make the most exquisite child-size replica costumes of all the Disney characters for her to wear to the parks. Sophie’s closet looks like a magical dressing room fit for a princess! How lucky is she? Most adults don’t even have a closet as amazing as Sophie’s.

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Sophie’s mom, Vel, is a fellow Disney addict. As premier Disney passholders, Vel and her family visit both Disney parks as much as possible. Vel was born and raised in Southern California and living only 20 minutes away from Disneyland, she visited all the time growing up. Vel continues that tradition with her husband and children, visiting at least three times a week. I can’t help but be extremely envious about that!

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Sophie and her brother, Mikey in their Toy Story finest!

Sunday’s are their favorite day to visit Disneyland. Sophie, or Mary Poppins as she likes to call herself, is always dressed in costume and  gets tons of compliments and attention – as every little princess deserves. A few weeks ago, Sophie was dressed as the Candy Bakers from the Disneyland Fantasy Christmas parade and her own meet and greet with them. Vel’s husband and son sometimes join in on the action and dress up along with Sophie, but most of the time the focus is on adorable Sophie and her amazing costumes.

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I know I will be contacting Sophie’s grandmother on her Facebook page to have some dresses made for CJ when we go back to Disneyland for the diamond anniversary!  Vel also recommended her friend’s Sharan’s Etsy shop for costumes and I KNOW which one we are getting for Halloween this year. Hopefully, CJ can amass a closet like Sophie’s.

20150130-090850.jpgSophie with her favorite character, Drizella

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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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