Showing posts with label #DisneySide. Show all posts
Showing posts with label #DisneySide. Show all posts

How to Disneybound for Work

A few weeks ago, I decided to do a little experiment and see if I could do a whole week of Disneybound looks that were fashionable, professional, and recognizable.  I got a lot of love on social media with my posts and decided to follow-up here with some ins and outs of how to add a magical touch to your day by incorporating Disneybounding.



Keep it simple - I almost exclusively use solids when putting together a professional Disneybound look.  Many Disney characters have certain colors that are associated with them which, when mixed appropriately, can create a character inspired look without being over the top.  Below you can see that I took a solid red shirt and gold skirt to create my Winnie-the-Pooh outfit.  I was attending a conference for work and most people would never know I was Disneybounding, but once I shared that I was going to an advanced screening of Disney's Christopher Robin that night, I had several people say "you even look like Pooh Bear!"



Don't forget to accessorize - The accessories in a Disneybound can sometimes really put some polish on a look.  Without the pops of yellow from the necklace and earrings, the outfit below would not represent Dory.  I always keep my eyes open for fun accessories on the sale and clearance racks in stores.  For example, a simple red rose necklace paired with a yellow sundress can easily become Belle.  And the shoes!  Don't neglect your choice of footwear.  Cinderella would tell us that a pair of shoes can change your life, and I'm telling you a pair of shoes can change your Disneybound.  With my Ariel outfit, I couldn't incorporate her red hair into the actual clothing, but let it pop up in the shoes.




Have fun! - If you're fortunate enough to work in a place that let's you have fun with some your clothing some days, take advantage to go a little overboard!  I'm a middle school assistant principal so I get to participate in spirit weeks and goofy events on a regular basis.  To my kids and staff, I'm known for my love of Disney and they fully expect me to break out my Minnie looks whenever I can.  The beauty of Disneybounding is that you can have fun, but then quickly flip the switch back to professional if needed.  In my Minnie Mouse outfit, the red dress is simple and professional so all I have to do is remove the ears and gloves if I need to look a little more serious during the day.



Remember that at the end of the day, Disneybounding is all about the fun you have showing your Disneyside.  Whether you're channeling your inner Disney princess or your favorite cartoon friend, your friends and co-workers will certainly enjoy guessing who you are each day!

Happy Birthday Brody and Caleb!

It's a big week in our house as both Brody and Caleb celebrate birthdays - Brody is turning 5 and Caleb is turning 2.  Each year when I plan their birthday party, I try to work in a little Disney magic.  This time around, I broke out some creative energy to throw a Figment themed birthday party at Port Discovery Children's Museum in Baltimore.  Port Discovery has three floors of interactive fun for kids of all ages.  It really is a place for imaginations to run wild, which is why I thought Figment would be perfectly suited.  It turned out to be an amazing day with a lot of fun, some creativity, and a little touch of Disney magic.

The Invitations - I designed custom invitations for the birthday party using the HP Card and Invitation Kit that I received as a sample as part of the HP Millennial Influencer Panel.  The HP website made it easy to pull up a template and create the invitations.  I used an image of Figment in the background and a Disney font that I downloaded to my computer to inspire the look.  To draw in an extra piece of nostalgia from Epcot's Journey Into Your Imagination ride, I made Dr. Nigel Channing of The Institute, our special guest host.  This also played well with the mad scientist theming that Port Discovery offers for parties.

The Decorations, Food, and Cake - We were fortunate that Port Discovery is an amazing venue and they were providing balloons and table cloths.  I purchased purple, orange, and yellow paper goods to mimic the colors of our imaginative dragon.  The colors that Port Discovery used just happened to correspond perfectly with our inspiration.  I wasn't sure how much table space we would have in their party room, so outside of a framed invitation, I really didn't bring other Figment decorations.  I did however Disneybound with a Figment look for the day!  We decided to keep food simple - ordered some pizzas, served bags of chips, grapes, GoGo Squeeze applesauce pouches, juice boxes, and bottles of water.  The cake was truly out of this world.  Brody came with me to Starry Night Bakery in our hometown to help pick out what he wanted.  I originally was going to do white icing with a picture of Figment, but Brody wanted purple icing with orange writing and borders.  I think his idea turned out better than what mine!  The cake didn't just look good, but it was delicious too.  Brody is a chocolate lover so the cake was chocolate with Oreo mousse filling.  It was a big hit!




The Venue - If you haven't been to Port Discovery and live around the Baltimore area, you should definitely check it out.  They have a coloring room, water room, pretend Royal Farms store, indoor soccer field, and a whole half of a floor devoted to soft play areas for babies and toddlers just to name a few.  The favorite spot though for my oldest is the three story indoor playground - complete with rope ladders to climb, bridges to cross, and big slides!  They also have some areas of the museum that feature visiting activities.  The current visiting attraction is a Thomas the Tank Engine play area - perfect for my little boys.  Kids can dress up as engineers, load the train, play interactive computer games, and even enjoy a expansive toy train layout.  We bought a family membership to Port Discovery last year after our first visit because we knew we would enjoy coming back time and time again.  As members, we received a discount off of our party package and our membership for the upcoming year was renewed.  The party package featured a make your own slime activity that gave everyone their own bag to take home.  Port Discovery also gave BOGO admission tickets out to party guests as favors.

Overall it was a wonderful day!  We again had the chance to show our Disney side with a Figment inspired party while enjoying all the fun that Port Discovery Children's Museum has to offer.  Can't wait until next year when we can plan another memorable birthday party for the boys.  Happy Birthday Brody and Caleb!      

Hi I'm Kristi and I'm a runDisney Shoe Addict

The gender stereotype that women are all obsessed with shoes has always driven me crazy.  That's not me.  In my closet, you'll find a pair of black boots, a pair of black heels, brown heels, a few sandals, and Mickey flip flops.  By no means elaborate and not the stereotypical 125 pairs that men seem to think women have.

But, then there's my athletic shoes.

Whether you call them running shoes, sneakers, tennis shoes, or simply the most fabulously adorable, functional, and comfortable things to ever put your feet in, I love them!  My New Balance / runDisney running shoe collection is my absolute favorite.  My first pair were the pink Minnie New Balance 860v4 stability shoes, part of the 2014 collection.  Obsession began.


I used these shoes as inspiration and motivation to get back into running for the first time since college.  They joined me on my Disney Cruise Line vacation for my first race, the Castaway Cay 5K, in April 2014 in roughly a decade.  I then used them to train for my first Walt Disney World runDisney weekend - Mickey's Jingle Jungle 5K and the Wine & Dine Half-Marathon.

While in Walt Disney World for Wine & Dine weekend, I couldn't resist temptation.  I had to buy another pair.  And another.

Functionally, I needed a new pair of running shoes and, since we are talking about serving a purpose for training, they needed to be the stability shoe.  So I had to buy the throwback black and white Minnie Mouse New Balance 860v5 shoes, right?  But the Tinkerbell Fresh Foam shoes were soooooo cute!  What's a girl to do?  Buy both of course.

Shoes and running bling - two of my favorite things!
While the Tinks won't be my training shoe simply because they don't have the stability support I need, I love their bright green color and think they are going to be adorable to sport around this Spring and Summer as my everyday "I'm going out to the mall and wearing comfy shoes" shoes.

Now, New Balance has left me drooling again.  The 2016 New Balance / runDisney collection made it's debut this week at the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend expo.  The red carpet Mickey and Minnie shoes are, no surprise here, showstoppers.  I love the yellow for the Minnie shoes, and as my stability shoe, I may need to get these later in the year when my mileage is up on my latest pair of running shoes.  The other female shoe is inspired by Ariel.  The teal, purple, and red not only pay tribute to one of my favorite Disney princesses from my childhood, but make for a really cute color combo on these shoes.

Who wouldn't want to make these part of their world?
Photo from www.newbalance.com
Why do New Balance and runDisney have to create such wonderful shoes year after year?  Will my bank account ever be the same again?  <Sigh>  The problems of a running shoe addict.

Welcome to 2016!

With the turning of the calendar, a new chapter in the book life is about to be written.  I thought I would take some time to look back on my resolutions from my "Happy New Year" post from this time last year and reflect a bit before setting my goals and resolutions for this year.

  • Maintain balance between wife, mom, daughter, Kristi, and Assistant Principal.  Juggling multiple roles can be exhausting and I want to do my best to prioritize and make time for each of these important responsibilities in my life. - This is probably still my biggest struggle moving forward into 2016.  Keeping up with two kids, a full time job, my house and husband, and still making time for me is never easy.  I think as I move forward this year, this is going to continue to be an area I focus on with my resolution being to be present in every moment.  When I'm at home with my husband and kids, be at home and enjoy them.  When I'm working out, use that opportunity to clear my head and focus on me.  And when I'm at work, give 110% there so I can also have time for my family when I get done.

  • Run a half-marathon.  After the pregnancy, I've decided to set an ambitious training goal to force me to get off the couch and back into shape.  My plan is the Wine and Dine Half-Marathon in November.  Which leads me to Resolution #3. . . - At the end of the year, I'd have to say I half accomplished this goal.  The Wine & Dine Half-Marathon was shortened because of storms in the area to only 6.72 miles.  In 2016, I will run a half-marathon!  Currently, I'm planning to take part in the King Crab Challenge which includes the Frederick Half-Marathon in May, the Baltimore 10-miler in June, and the Baltimore Half-Marathon in October.  

  • Somewhere Disney.  If you know anything about me by now, you know that I need to feed my Disney addiction with a yearly trip.  Dan and I are celebrating our 5 year anniversary this year and are planning either a long weekend getaway to the Food and Wine Festival in November or a short DCL trip in October. - Well, we ended up blowing this one out of the water with a surprise last-minute trip to Walt Disney World with the kids for a week in July where we stayed at Saratoga Springs Resort and Spa.  My husband and I have different memories of this trip, but I say it was fabulous!  We then also went in November for a long weekend for the runDisney Wine & Dine Half-Marathon weekend where we stayed at the Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek. The Food & Wine Festival was a fun time and I can't wait to participate in another runDisney race.  Sadly, it doesn't look like a trip to Walt Disney World or Disney Cruise Line is in our budget for this year, but my trip in November means that I'll still be eligible to apply for the 2017 Disney Parks Moms Panel and my husband has already tentatively given me the green light for a Disney trip in February 2017 to participate in the Princess Half-Marthon Weekend.  

  • Continue blogging and interacting with the social media community.  2014 was a first for me with beginning a blog and actually using Twitter.  I've had an amazing time connecting through these outlets and hope to build my skills and followers in the year to come.  If you don't currently follow me on Twitter, please do @dsnyrunrgrl.  I've also applied to host a #DisneySide @ Home Celebration and submitted my interest to be selected for the #DisneySMMoms On the Road Conference - fingers crossed!  And hopefully I'll make it past R2 in the Disney Parks Moms Panel Search this Fall. - This is another area where I feel like I exceeded even my own expectations.  My blog readership increased exponentially this year and my Twitter following has grown from under 100 at the beginning of 2015 to over 1,000 by the end of the year.  I've also entered into the world of Instagram.  I was so excited to host a DisneySide at Home Celebration in February and even more humbled and grateful for the chance to attend the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration On the Road in New York City.  This year, the Disney Parks Moms Panel search ended with an exit in Round 1, but it was exciting to chEAR on some amazing friends who were fortunate enough to make the panel this year and maybe next year will be my chance to be a part of the magic!  

2015 was a year of exciting changes personally too with the addition of our youngest son Caleb in February and purchasing a new home in January.  The beginning of the new year always brings excitement and anticipation and I hope that 2016 brings pixie dust and blessings to my family and yours!  Happy New Year!

runDisney - The Fashion Edition

A quick Google image search of runDisney will let even the most novice fan of these races know that running in Disney is about way more than the race - it's about the fun!  And a large part of that fun is dressing the part.  Runners from the first corral to the last come to runDisney events sporting running outfits and sometimes full on costumes that showcase their favorite characters and their own personal "Disney Side."

This was the plan for my costumes.  There were a few slight changes that happened closer to race day.
If you're planning to run in Disney, there are a few basic things to know about costuming.  First of all, costumes are optional.  If it's not in your DNA to dress in a funny outfit while you run, no worries.  There are definitely people who don't opt to dress in Disney inspired gear, so you won't be alone.  Secondly, runDisney does have on their website the following guidelines related to costumes:

Screenshot from www.rundisney.com

Basically, be smart and don't wear anything that is unsafe or offensive.  Lastly, you don't have to be creative to create you ensemble.  Places such as Etsy have many crafty individuals who will gladly sell you a Disney themed racing outfit.  Or, you may even elect to create a Disney inspired look using running gear that you already own or can easily purchase.

I opted for the second choice.  While I love to think I'm creative and crafty, at the end of the day - not so much. . .especially when it comes to sewing.  So instead of going with a full on "costume," I opted to create Disney themed outfits that would be comfortable to run in because they are actually running gear.  

During the Wine and Dine Weekend, my first race was Mickey's Jingle Jungle 5K.  For this race, I chose to go with a classic Minnie Mouse outfit.  I already owned the white tech shirt and black running shorts.  From a local Halloween store, I purchased the white Minnie Mouse gloves and I ordered the red and white polka dot running skirt from Rock City Skirts on Etsy.  Originally, I was planning on wearing my plain Minnie Mouse ears, but I opted to switch it out for the more festive Christmas one when we arrived in Disney.  I thought the outfit captured the classic characters of the race as well as the Christmas theme well!


For the half marathon, I decided to "Disneybound" as Snow White.  I already owned the royal blue tech shirt and added a yellow princess running skirt that I picked up at the runDisney expo from Running Skirts.  I know the cardinal rule of running a race is not to wear a new outfit on race day, but I felt comfortable using a new skirt from Running Skirts because I have used their products before.  I had purchased a headband with a red bow on it to complete my look, but after experiencing the brutal Florida heat and humidity in the days leading up to the race, I decided to lose the headband after a few pictures and trade it in for the more functional runDisney headband.


The costumes and fun of a runDisney race are part of what make these the most magical miles around!  Happy running friends!

What's Happening with Disney Parks

During the opening presentation of the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration On the Road New York City event, we were given a recap of some exciting happenings around Disney Parks and their vacation destinations.  Here are a few highlights:

Disneyland Diamond Anniversary Celebration – That’s right!  Disneyland is turning 60 years old this year and the celebration is one that only Disney can throw!  The castle shimmers in special diamond decorations while Paint the Night Parade captivates young and old alike.  Disneyland is special in the hearts of all Disney fans and a celebration of this magnitude is well deserved.  Sleeping Beauty's Castle even received a makeover for the big birthday bash!



Disney Cruise Line Returns to NYC – In 2016, Disney Cruise Line will be returning to New York for a series of cruises that tour the New England coast and Canada.  There are also cruises out of New York to the Bahamas including a stop at Walt Disney World!  This is great news for those in the Northeast who can get all of the magic of a Disney cruise vacation but without the airfare.  There are very limited sailings offered for these unique cruise itineraries, so be sure to check them out soon!

Seeing Europe by RiverAdventures by Disney has entered the popular European market of River cruising.  For those of you unfamiliar, Adventures by Disney offers non-Disney destination vacations with the service and quality you’d expect from the industry leader in each.  Perfect for kids and adults who want to leaving the planning to the professionals, Adventures by Disney offers escapes on multiple continents including African safaris, exploring the Grand Canyon, and now cruising the river waters of Europe. 

Disney Marketing Campaigns – Disney knows how to reach it’s audience and is always trying to create new fans.  The #DisneySide campaign is still going strong which encourages everyone to show their #DisneySide – whatever that might mean to you!  More specific to traveling to Disney parks, Disney is hoping to reach out to parents of toddlers and preschoolers with it’s #DisneyKids campaign that showcases just how magical a trip to Walt Disney World can be for even the youngest members of the family.  In addition, they have also launched the #GrandDisney campaign which reminds us that “children are a blessing, but grandkids are a reward.”  Both of these show us that you are never too young or too old to enjoy a Disney Parks vacation.




Disney is always growing and changing which is why I can go every year (sometimes twice a year!) and constantly find new ways to enjoy the parks.  For all the latest Disney news watch the Disney Parks Blog (disneyparks.disney.go.com).  What are you most looking forward to about your next Disney vacation?

Disney Bounding - Show your #DisneySide!

Disney Bounding is a term that even some of the more experienced Disney travelers don't know.  This is all about fashion and brining a little #DisneySide to your day without looking like you're a cartoon character.

The idea behind Disney Bounding is to dress in outfits that are "inspired" by a Disney character.  One quick search on Pinterest will give you lots of great ideas.  I've started to compile some of my favorites on a Pinterest board to keep an eye out for pieces as I shop.

I made my first attempt at Disney Bounding this past Monday for the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration On the Road in New York City.  Here I am with Mickey. . .can you tell which character I'm going for??


If you guessed Belle, you'd be correct!  She is one of my favorite Disney princesses and the one I probably relate to the most.  This look is the classic small town Belle.  I have her signature blue dress and paired it a white cardigan.  I also wore black flats (which of course you can't see) to complete a simple Disney Bounding attempt.  The beauty of Disney Bounding is that it's like a little secret among Disney fans.  You wouldn't know that I'm Disney Bounding by the outfit above, unless you knew to look for it.  Periodically working Disney Bounding into your wardrobe is both a fun and fashionable way to share your #DisneySide!  Try it out and enjoy!!

Disney & Pandora - A Perfect Match!

Both Disney and Pandora have been brands I've enjoyed for some time.  So when they released a Disney Pandora line back in November, I knew I was going to be in love.

I received my first Disney Pandora charms from my aunt at Christmas.  She gave me three beads and a bracelet since she knew I would want to have a dedicated Pandora bracelet just for Disney.  I added to it the one Chamilia bead I had from my Disney Cruise Line vacation in April.


For my birthday this year, my husband gave me Mickey and Minnie to add to my collection.


And then just yesterday, Dan and I celebrated our 5 year wedding anniversary.  As part of the anniversary surprises, I received 5 Disney Pandora charms - one for each year of marriage. 


The Disney Pandora collection is a perfect way to show your #DisneySide in a classy and grown-up way!  There have been three releases of beads so far and the collection keeps getting better and better.  Some beads are available through Pandora retailers while others are exclusive to Disney Parks.  I can't wait to add more to my collection over the years!

Why I Love My Disney Visa

Saving money and earning rewards is always a great deal - especially when those rewards can help feed my Disney habit.  A few years ago, I signed up for a Disney Rewards Visa credit card from Chase and have really enjoyed some of the perks.  There are two different kinds of cards - the standard card and the premier card.  I have the standard card so I can't speak to the added benefits that come with the premier card. If you've ever wondered if the Disney Visa is right for you, here are some reasons why I've loved my card!

1. Earn Disney Rewards Dollars - Every purchase on my credit card earns me 1% back in Disney Rewards.  These reward dollars can be spent on Disney vacations and in Disney stores.  So whether I'm planning my next cruise, dreaming of a dole whip, going after the latest Pandora charm, or saving up for a new Disney Dooney and Bourke, the rewards can add up to make a big difference.

2. Discounts - Who doesn't love a discount?  And Disney offers a few special ones to their credit card holders.  You can always get 10% off a $50 or more purchase at The Disney Store and at most retail locations on Disney property.  In addition, credit card members will occasionally get a headstart on sales from The Disney Store and a few days jump start on vacation package discounts over the general public.  When you pay for you Disney vacation with your Disney card, you can also access special financing perks to make your vacation even more affordable.  And don't forget to check for restaurant discounts on Disney properties as well!

3. Epcot Character Spot - This exclusive character meet and greet is for Disney credit card holders only which means the lines are usually much shorter to meet some of the "Fab 5" as opposed to other park locations in Walt Disney World.  You can also get a free 5 x 7 picture of your family's visit!

4. Show Your Disney Side Everyday - While this is the only perk that doesn't have a financial side to it, I think this might be what I like best about my Disney credit card.  There are so many cute designs to choose from and I get comments almost every time I use my card on how adorable it is!  I'm always looking for ways to show my Disney Side and this is one small way I get to do that.

Image from www.disneyrewards.com
I love having a credit card that goes to work for me so I can have a little more Disney in my life!

Show your #DisneySide for FREE!

If you love Disney as much as my family, check out this freebie currently being offered from Disney Parks!  Visit www.buildyourdisneyside.com to create your own stick figure family.  The image is available for instant download!  Also, for a limited time, Disney is sending a free decal of your family's Disney Side decal!  I ordered ours tonight and can't wait for it to come in the mail!  Visit to show your family's Disney Side today!


Our Cars #DisneySide @ Home Celebration!

I received free products in order to host the #DisneySide @Home Celebration. The opinions expressed here are my own. 


On February 28th, we hosted our Disney Side party!  We were excited to invite friends and family to our house to celebrate our love of Disney and gather young Disney fans to enjoy food, fun, and festivities.  With the cold, ice, and snow that have plagued the Mid-Atlantic this winter, the Disney Side party was a great distraction.  The guests at our party ranged in age from 3 weeks to 63, proving that everyone can have fun with Cars!

As everyone arrived, there was food and Cars coloring pages waiting along with the Disney Parks Vacation Planning DVD.  The menu consisted of some Radiator Springs favorites including Mater's Tater Tots, Sarge's Nuts and Bolts Trail Mix, and Luigi's Casa della Pizza.  All of the food was a hit and it was a great way to start off the day.


After the food, we headed off to play Pin the Smile on Mickey - one of the games included in our Disney Side celebration box.  Our partygoers enjoyed the game and we had one smile that was almost perfect!  We used some of the games and toys from our Disney Side box as prizes for the game.  We also had fun in our Show your #DisneySide photo booth.  Kids and adults alike enjoyed using some props show our Disney Side!  We were also planning on playing Disney Bingo, but our preschool crowd was losing focus on organized activities and just wanted to enjoy each other so we skipped the second game and let the kids play in my son's Jake and the Neverland Pirates bedroom.  Not surprisingly, our Disney Side is not limited to one party on one day - we show it everyday in our house!


The Mickey cake was a big hit with partygoers - especially the kids!  They all enjoyed the festive tie-dye Duff cake and the sugar rush was enough to keep them all partying straight through nap time.  While the kids ran and played, the adults enjoyed each other's company.  I even got the chance to talk with my cousin about his potential plans to take his family of 5 to Disney this fall. 



Each family left the party with a gift bag of goodies supplied in our Disney Side celebration box.  Guests received HP photo paper, Twinings Tea, Disney Parks luggage tags, and Disney Side chore charts.  The kids also took home Cars favor boxes with some candy and Cars stickers from our party box. 




I felt fortunate to have been selected to host a #DisneySide @ Home Celebration and want to thank all of the sponsors for their amazing generosity, especially BSM Media and Disney Parks.  Remember Disney fans, there are always wonderful ways to let your Disney Side shine each and every day.  For ideas about letting your Disney Side shine, visit www.disneysidecelebrations.com and follow #DisneySide on social media. 


I received free products in order to host the #DisneySide @Home Celebration. The opinions expressed here are my own. 

Creating a #DisneySide Cake

I received free products in order to host the #DisneySide @Home Celebration. The opinions expressed here are my own. 
Back before life was crazy with two kids, I took cake decorating classes through Wilton at a local craft store.  My grandmother instilled a love of cakes in me and this seemed like a fun hobby to pick up.  Over the years, I've done several Disney themed cakes (and many that weren't).  I'm no professional, but it has been a skill that has come in handy at birthday parties and special events throughout the years.


For our #DisneySide @ Home Celebration, we received a Mickey cake pan and some Duff Goldman Tie-Dye Cake Mix in the box.  This was the first time I used the Wilton Mickey pan and Duff Cake Mix and have to say, I had a blast with both!

For those of you who aren't familiar with the cake decorating world, Duff Goldman is a renowned cake decorator who happens to be right down the road from me in Baltimore.  He owns Charm City Cakes and gained fame beyond Maryland thanks to his own TV show.  He has released several different cake mixes that are funky and fun as well as some cake decorating supplies that let you show a unique side through your decorations.  His tie-dye cake mix was both fun an festive for our Disney party.

The cake itself was easy to make.  It's a white cake mix that you divide into six different bowls once it's you have it prepared.  Then you use his supplied food coloring to color the mix into six different colors.  I successfully colored the cake batter with only a small mess on my hands!  Then the box gives you different options about how to layer the colors to achieve a tie-dye look.  Since we were doing a shaped cake pan, I started with red and drizzled all of it in the pan.  Then followed the same with orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple.  The great thing with a tie-dye cake is that there is no wrong way to drizzle the colors and design your cake!  It baked perfectly in the Mickey pan in 35 minutes.


After letting the cake cool on a rack for about 20 minutes, I turned it onto a cake board and let it cool the rest of the way.  I used a baking spray in my pan to make sure it released easily from the pan.  When the cake was cool, I "dirty iced" it with a thin layer of my homemade buttercream white icing to seal in the moisture and smooth out any crumbs.  I then used the Wilton icing colors to color cake icing for my Mickey design.  I had all the icing colors and decorating tips I needed to successfully go from a naked cake to Mickey Mouse in about 90 minutes. 


Overall, the cake was fairly easy to put together from start to finish.  The hardest part on party day was keeping my 3 year old off of it until the guests arrived.  Thanks again to all the sponsors who helped make our #DisneySide @ Home Celebration a big success!  For more ideas on how to add some more Disney to your next party, visit www.disneysidecelebrations.com and follow the hashtag #DisneySide on Social Media.

I received free products in order to host the #DisneySide @Home Celebration. The opinions expressed here are my own. 

Gearing up for a Cars #DisneySide @Home Celebration!

I received free products in order to host the #DisneySide @Home Celebration. The opinions expressed here are my own. 
With our #DisneySide @Home Celebration less than 2 weeks away, planning is in full swing.  I've loved looking at Pinterest, Instagram, and following the adventures of fellow party hosts on Facebook and Twitter for ideas as well as tapping into some of my own creativity.  Invites for our party were sent via Facebook and we're anxiously awaiting responses from family and friends with preschool aged kids who would love to come and celebrate a Cars fun-filled day with us!

As any party host knows, one of the first things to decide upon is the menu.  An easy way to let your Disney Side show at any party you throw, is to theme your food with the event.  I had an idea of some of the menu items I wanted to serve and then tried to come up with creative ways to connect the food to characters from Cars.  Between some of my own ideas and the ones I found on Pinterest, here is what I've come up with for our menu.

During lunch, I'll be playing the Disney Parks Vacation Planning DVD.  And, as part of the party favors guests will receive, I'll be sending home several Disney goodies and some sweet treats for the kids too!

The other part of the party that I've been anxiously planning is the games!  The preschool crowd can be difficult to keep happy for a long period of time, so I've been trying to find games that are short and to the point while also being age-appropriate for the kids.  Included in my Disney Side party box were two games that I plan to incorporate - Pin the Smile on Mickey and Disney Bingo.  The Disney Bingo might be tough for little ones to navigate on their own, but I thought it would be fun to play one quick game and encourage parents and kids to play together.  The Disney Bingo winner and winner of Pin the Smile on Mickey will be treated to prizes that were provided to me.

Some of the games in our Disney Side celebration box!
I also found on Pinterest an idea for a game - Guess Which Cone the Car is Under.  Inspired by the Cozy Cone Motel, a car is hidden under one of three orange cones.  The cones are then switched around while the kids watch.  They then have to guess which cone the car is under.  I'm going to use the Cars stickers from my Disney Side party box as prizes for all kids that play the game.

Now it's crunch time to get the final details pulled together!  I can't wait to share how the party went when it's all complete!

For more ideas on planning your own party, check out www.disneysidecelebrations.com and follow #DisneySide on social media.

I received free products in order to host the Disney Side @Home Celebration. The opinions expressed here are my own. 

Planning a Disney Side @Home Celebration!

Disclaimer: I received free products in order to host the Disney Side @Home Celebration. The opinions expressed here are my own. 

My email congratulating me on being selected!
Back in December, I found out about the Disney Side @Home Celebration opportunity through my Disney groups on Facebook and Twitter.  I quickly read over some brief descriptions of the program and decided it sounded right up my alley.  I applied to be selected as a host and was thrilled to receive an email in the beginning of January that I was selected and would be receiving my box soon!  Last week, I received my box of goodies and have been anxious to plan a great party!


It arrived!
So what is Disney Side @Home Celebration?  Disney Parks teams up with BSM Media and a variety of sponsors to send individuals some awesome free products to host a Disney party at your house.  In exchange, we agree to host a party by the end of February and share our experiences on our social media outlets - blogs, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, etc.  I have been following many experienced "social media moms" who do these kind of events on a regular basis, but this is a first for me!

I was so excited to open it, but waited for Brody to go to bed because I knew he'd want to rip into everything!
So what goodies were in the box?  Some really awesome products!  Based on the questionnaire I submitted in my application, I was selected to host a Cars themed preschool party - perfect for my preschool boy!  There were so many goodies that I decided to capture them in a picture for now and will talk more about them as I plan and host my celebration.  (P.S. - Notice the Mickey cake pan???  How exciting is that for this novice cake decorator and Disney fan?!?)

Some really amazing items!
And when will this party take place?  Well, those of you who know me personally know that within the next two weeks we are moving into a new house and due to have a new baby.  Some of you think I'm crazy to have applied and be selected for this, but I couldn't pass up a Disney opportunity!  With that in mind, we're planning a get together on Feb. 28 for some of Brody's friends to come and play.  I think Brody will enjoy the time celebrating with his friends in his new house and it will also be great for him to have a day devoted to Brody with so much attention focused on the arrival of his new baby brother.

A little bit closer view of some of the goodies in our kit!

I can't wait to host my party next month!  Look for more blog posts as the date draws closer about planning for the party and, of course, a summary of the party afterwards.  A big thank you to all the sponsors for being a part of such an amazing opportunity for us Disney fans to show our #DisneySide!


Disclaimer: I received free products in order to host the Disney Side @Home Celebration. The opinions expressed here are my own.