Saturday, January 24, 2015

From Belle's Library | Disney U, by Doug Lipp

Reading Disney U, by Doug Lipp, was less informative than I hoped. I have heard many amazing things about Disney University and I have ever been a huge fan of the customer service at Walt Disney World. It seemed natural that this book would be of interest to me. In full disclosure, I didn't finish it.

I'm not exactly sure what I was expecting or hoping for, but I wasn't expecting a self-help book so much as a history of the University and a peek behind the curtain. I know, it's naive of me to think so about a book with the subtitle: How Disney University Develops The Worlds Most Engaged, Loyal and Customer-Centric Employees. I just wanted less of this let's-consider-your-organization sections and more of the, here's-what-works sections.

For those of you who are hoping for the same thing, may I recommend Creating Magic, by Lee Cockerell. I reviewed it back in November of 2013. I loved it and it had much more of the personal feeling I was looking for in this book.

Until next time, may all your days be filled with fairy dust!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

DIY Upcycled Disney Resort Map Bucket

You know, I'm always surprised at how the easiest map projects become my favorites! This little bucket is no exception. And honestly, it was really easy to do! All you need is a paper cutter, a map and a tape runner.

I started with a bucket of Ghirardelli chocolates (minis) that we picked up at Downtown Disney this fall. They are not nut free, so I liked that Doc still have them as a treat, yet could keep them up on a high shelf away from Little Chef (and his nut allergy) in this handy bucket. Once the candy was gone I rescued the bucket from the recycle bin, not yet sure what I would do, but certain it would be useful in the future.

And yesterday, inspiration hit! I grabbed an Epcot map from my stash and cut it in two strips to cover the entire bucket. Future World for the front of the bucket and World Showcase for the back! I just used my tape runner (dry adhesive) to adhere the map to the plastic bucket and voila! I have the perfect little catch-all for my desk area! I am in constant need of another container for pens, colored pencils, googly eyes, colorful elastic, you name it! I love the way this looks. And wouldn't Jiminy Cricket be proud? We've upcycled this into something wonderful!

Until next time, dear readers, may all your days be filled with fairy dust!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

DIY Disney Resort Map Pinwheels

Sometimes a girl just needs a breath of fresh air. This project was that little breath for me. It's starting to feel like winter is going to be here, in the midwest, for ever. I always start to sense it around this time, and last year it was even earlier with our crazy weather! I needed a reminder that spring is really coming. So I decided to dig into my map stash and make some whimsical, spring-inspired pinwheels for my studio cabinets!

These were fairly simple to do and in about an hour I had a fun new addition for my studio! It had been a while since I had made any pinwheels of my own, so I used this pinwheel tutorial from See Kate Create. It was very simple and easy to follow. I did one or two from the maps and realized I really wanted to see the map on both sides of the pinwheel, so I just cut out two map squares of the same size and used my tape runner to adhere one map to the other. The darker pinwheels are made from flyers introducing the New Fantasyland and all it's attractions.

I hope you have fun with this idea! I'd love to see what you do with it. Until next time, may all your days be filled with fairy dust!



Monday, January 19, 2015

Disney's Hilton Head Island Resort Trip Report

For those of you who may be considering a trip to Hilton Head Island in the near future, remember that Disney has a gorgeous resort on the island that I HIGHLY recommend! We were there last April and had one of the best vacations ever! Head on over to the Wishdrawals blog and read all about it!

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Sitting With Grandmother Willow | Carla of WDW Travel Prep


This article posted in December as I was in the midst of dealing with all manner of flu, the hubbub of the Christmas season and the craziness of life in general. As such, I wanted to re-run it this month and give Carla her due! I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

As part of our on-going series, Sitting with Grandmother Willow, I am happy to introduce you to Carla of WDW Travel Prep, and Etsy store Magic Travel Prep! This series of blog posts highlights artists and fellow bloggers of all stripes with one thing in common: a passion for Disney!

Carla has incredible planning tips and planners on her blog and in her Etsy shop, sure to give even the most seasoned planner a little help in making the most of the magic! As most of us know, the more you plan, the better your Disney vacation can be. And as the Disney experience grows, so does the need to get your ducks (or mice?) in a row! Carla is a terrific resource for making all those Disney plans. I'm so glad she could join us on the blog this month!

Disney by the numbers (with apologies to Harpers):

# of trips you have made: 3
Date of first trip: December 2011
Date of next trip: January 2015
# of Resorts stayed in: 3
Usual # in your travel party: 2, just me and my boyfriend
Pairs of mouse ears in your cottage: 2

WDW or Disneyland (or other)? Both!
How do you usually travel to Disney? Plane
Do you have any tips for trips? My favorite tip is to not over plan! Although Disney planning is my favorite thing to do, it’s important to make sure you don’t try to lay out every single second. Give yourself some wiggle room. 
Do you have a favorite place to eat while in Disney? There are so many to choose, but the only place I go to every time is Aloha Isle for some Dole Whip. 
What is your absolute DON'T MISS attraction? Expedition Everest is a must for me. 
Stage shows, yes or no? Yes! The ones at Epcot are wonderful. 
Parades, yes or no? Yes! Festival of Fantasy is my new favorite. 
Best Fast Pass to get: Toy Story Mania.
Favorite park: Magic Kingdom
One piece of advice you'd give a novice about WDW/DL: It will always be more crowded than you think!
How do you create extra magic for your family? We buy matching pins to wear
How can we connect with you? You can check out my website for all my current social media links! Wdwtravelprep.com

Thursday, January 15, 2015

DIY Mickey Bookmarks/Tinkerbell Treasures

These little items were so quick to make I even surprised myself! I'd seen versions of this on Pinterest, and have been wanting to try it myself for a while. Piece of cake! I had all the supplies I needed right at home and if you are a crafter, I bet you do too! These would be a fun little Tinkerbell Treasure for any Disney trip, especially if you have an avid reader in your travel party! I'd totally pair this with one of the Peter And The Starcatchers books!

Here's how I did it:

Supplies:

black felt
large paper clips
embroidery floss (I used red and black)
needle
scissors




1. Cut out a pattern to use. I just hand drew this Mickey head. You could also print and use this one:

2. Fold your felt in half so you only cut once, but get 2 pieces.
3. Pin or trace your pattern to your folded felt and cut out.
4. Using your embroidery floss, stitch all the way around both silhouettes, stitching them together, starting one arrow and ending at the other arrow. Don't cut your thread!

5. Insert the paper clip at this point and continue to stitch around the silhouette completely. Make a knot and tie it off. Now you can cut your thread.
6. Your paper clip will probably still be loose. I took some black embroidery floss and secured the paper clip by sewing it right in the middle of the silhouette. You can barely see it!

And you're done! Simple as that. This was definitely a nap-time friendly project and I am certain I could make several of these in an hour while watching my favorite TV show! Until next time, may all your days be filled with fairy dust!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Disney Road Trip 101 | What's In The Bag?

Keeping the little kids occupied in the car for two days can be a chore. Some trips are just better than others, and there is no way to tell which day is going to be good, and which day you will need reinforcements. For this very reason, I over pack the goodies I take on the road to WDW. I do it on purpose. I like to have things to bribe the kids with, be it on the road, while we are in the hotel room, or on the return trip. I have found that being ready with something new heads off a confrontation. And especially when we are all trapped in the car together, this can mean the difference between a car full of foul people and a car full of eager-to-meet-Mickey travelers.

So, here's what I packed for the two-day there, two-day back road trip this October:

For The Toddler Set

I collected most of these things from the Dollar Store or the Dollar Section of Target. I found coloring books, activity sets, mechanical pencils, stickers, jewelry, stress balls, Disney themed board books, dry erase boards and color wonder books all for just a dollar each!

I picked up a new set of color wonder markers as ours were all getting dried out, and new small packages of crayola crayons, as I like each of them having their own set, and I hate the flakiness/waxiness of the dollar store brand. Also, we've had the dollar store crayons melt in our van from the hot Florida sun. The Crayola brand holds up much better!

I added to this some Frozen magnet books I found at Gordmans (for $5 each), some fake key toys ($2) and a Mickey bracelet for the boy that I brought back from a previous trip to WDW. I also included some free lanyards we received from a friend who'd kids were no longer interested in the Cars lanyards!

For Everyone to Enjoy



I found these great Disney themed light sticks at the Dollar Store too. We love to have them at the night time parades. I also found these small tissue packs and hand wipes for our park bags. So helpful!

As an aside, the hand wipes are serious business for those of us dealing with peanut and tree nut allergies. They are the best way to get rid of nut proteins on tables and hands!

For Teens & Tweens

I've collected a lot of this over the years, but all of it was used by the teenage boys on our road trip. As it turns out, your phone has to get charged every once in a while, and you still need something to keep you busy! I also made sure to put some of the tissues and wipes in the bag they kept in the way back seats to try and curb some of the mess. It was a valiant effort.

You can find the Phineas and Ferb Look and Find book here, and the National Geographic Kids Road Trip Atlas here. We love the Imagineering Field Guides (they are available for all the parks in Florida and California) and the Hidden Mickeys books too. Lots Of Fun On The Go seems to be out of print, but there is something similar on Amazon for those who would like to find it. The On-The-Go Game Pad in a new addition and I wasn't sure the kids would use it, but they did! You just never know.

Perhaps this will spark some creative ideas for you for your next trip! Until next time, may all your days be filled with fairy dust!

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Googly Bear Design Now On RedBubble!

I was inspired to create this design when my littles started calling one another Googly Bear. It was so cute and I immediately knew I needed to design something for my RedBubble store!

I love the simplicity of this one. It's just so much fun! And RedBubble just keeps adding more and more wonderful products to display our designs. While I am still partial to the t-shirts and baby clothes, check out these great products:


Saturday, December 27, 2014

Sitting With Grandmother Willow | Carla of WDW Travel Prep


As part of our on-going series, Sitting with Grandmother Willow, I am happy to introduce you to Carla of WDW Travel Prep, and Etsy store Magic Travel Prep! This series of blog posts highlights artists and fellow bloggers of all stripes with one thing in common: a passion for Disney!

Carla has incredible planning tips and planners on her blog and in her Etsy shop, sure to give even the most seasoned planner a little help in making the most of the magic! As most of us know, the more you plan, the better your Disney vacation can be. And as the Disney experience grows, so does the need to get your ducks (or mice?) in a row! Carla is a terrific resource for making all those Disney plans. I'm so glad she could join us on the blog this month!




Disney by the numbers (with apologies to Harpers):

# of trips you have made: 3
Date of first trip: December 2011
Date of next trip: January 2015
# of Resorts stayed in: 3
Usual # in your travel party: 2, just me and my boyfriend
Pairs of mouse ears in your cottage: 2

WDW or Disneyland (or other)? Both!
How do you usually travel to Disney? Plane
Do you have any tips for trips? My favorite tip is to not over plan! Although Disney planning is my favorite thing to do, it’s important to make sure you don’t try to lay out every single second. Give yourself some wiggle room.
Do you have a favorite place to eat while in Disney? There are so many to choose, but the only place I go to every time is Aloha Isle for some Dole Whip.
What is your absolute DON'T MISS attraction? Expedition Everest is a must for me.
Stage shows, yes or no? Yes! The ones at Epcot are wonderful.
Parades, yes or no? Yes! Festival of Fantasy is my new favorite.
Best Fast Pass to get: Toy Story Mania.
Favorite park: Magic Kingdom
One piece of advice you'd give a novice about WDW/DL: It will always be more crowded than you think!
How do you create extra magic for your family? We buy matching pins to wear J

How can we connect with you? You can check out my website for all my current social media links! Wdwtravelprep.com