Sunday, May 26, 2013

Lowe's Build and Grow Summer of Pixar

Have you ever taken your kids to the Lowe's Build and Grow Kids Clinics? We've taken Bean almost every time since she was 3. She loves being able to build, paint, and decorate the various wooden projects. I love that she has learned how to properly hammer a nail, put in a screw, and paint carefully. And best of all, the Kids Clinics are free!

Lowe's often teams up with various movie companies to make their projects more fun. Last year, they worked with Dreamworks to create four summer projects, two from Shrek and two from Madagascar. My favorite was the Onion Carriage from Shrek. It was hilarious! This year, Lowe's is working with Disney and has created six fun new Pixar movie inspired clinics.

The first two clinics are part of the Monstrous Summer leading up to the premiere of Monsters University on June 21. On June 5-6 kids will be building Mike and Sulley Scarers. They're so cute! At the second one, on June 22-23, kids will have a chance to build a chest to store their treasures. It comes with stickers inspired by the Fraternity emblems and logos of Monsters University.

The next two clinics feature vehicles from the Toy Story series. At the July 13-14 clinic, kids will build the Pizza Planet Delivery Truck. Once decorated with the stickers, it looks just like the one in the movies! And the second, July 27-28, features the loveable RC.

The final two clinics celebrate the upcoming August 9 release of Planes. At the August 10-11 clinic, kids can build the star of the film, Dusty the cropduster. At the second, August 24-25, they'll build the dashing and daring El Chupacabra, a famous racing plane from Mexico.

Bean is beyond excited to go to these clinics, especially because they feature Disney and Pixar. I hope you'll go, too. Be sure to signup online as the clinics fill up quickly and only have space for around 75 kids. Be sure to print out your waiver and bring it with you. Each child who signs up and attends the clinic will receive a kit to build, an apron, a certificate of completion, and an iron-on patch.

Friday, May 24, 2013

POP! Vinyl Series 5

© Funko
I just love Funko's POP! Vinyl collections, especially the Disney collections. I have a few from the first three series, and really want the Captain Jack Sparrow from series  four. On June 15th, the fifth series will be released. It includes several classic characters from early Disney movies as well as new characters from Pixar films. Here's the list of of characters for series 5: Baloo and King Louie from the Jungle Book, Alice from Alice in Wonderland, Dumbo, Carl and Russell from UP, Jafar, Jasmine, and Genie from Aladdin, the Rocketeer, Merida from Brave, and Mary Poppins.

And be sure to keep an eye out for the new Cupcake Keepsakes. They are a crazy combination of Disney characters and cupcakes and they are adorable! Cupcake Keepsakes are 3 inches tall and have removable frosting  and a super cute display that looks like a pedestal cake stand with a cover. Apparently, you can store things in their heads. Characters are expected to include Lilo and Stitch, Mickey and Minnie, Tinker Bell, Snow White and the Evil Queen, Maleficent, Winnie the Pooh, and Miss Piggy and Kermit. Visit for some great photos of these fun new collectibles.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Funko 3D Bookmarks

© Funko
© Funko
Funko has a new line of Vinyl bookmarks that are awesome! Each bookmark features a 3D vinyl head and a printed body that can be squashed in a book. They have several different designs that will be available, including figures from both new Pop Vinyl collections and older collections as well.

© Funko
Some of the bookmarks feature classic Disney characters, such as Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Tinker Bell, and Maleficent.They also have a set of four Disney Princesses: Ariel, Cinderella, Belle, and Snow White. Pixar characters include Sulley from Monsters University and Buzz Lightyear from Toy Story. There will also be several Marvel characters to choose from, including the Mark 42 and Iron Patriot from Iron Man 3, a basic Iron Man from the first movie, the Hulk and Spider-Man.

So, which one is your favorite? I know I'll have a hard time choosing!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Haunted Mansion

Today I'm over at Tips from the Disney Diva talking about one of my favorite rides in the Magic Kingdom: the Haunted Mansion.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Funko Mystery Minis

Have you seen the new Funko Mystery Minis vinyls? They are so incredibly cute! I found some yesterday at Barnes & Noble and I just had to buy one. My sister and I are rather addicted to Funko's vinyl characters and I have a hard time resisting mystery items.

There are 8 different characters in this set and each is available in 3 poses. Characters include Mickey Mouse, Mike and Sully from Monsters Inc., Tinker Bell, Winnie the Pooh, Stitch, Jack Skellington, and Maleficent. They're all adorable, but I really wanted one of the Maleficents. She's always been my favorite evil queen. And as luck would have it, that's exactly who I got! I just love her smirky smile! And her staff is removable, not that I know what else you'd do with a tiny Maleficent staff.

Each character is about 3 1/2 inches tall. They retail for $5.95 each and are available at Barnes & Noble, Hot Topic, and other retailers. I fear I feel a new collection coming on!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

OPI Couture de Minnie

I love OPI's nail polish collections. They have a great sense of humor when it comes to naming their colors. Their latest Disney collection is all about Minnie Mouse. The Couture de Minnie collection includes five shades: Innie Minnie Mighty Bow, A Definite Moust-Have, Chic from Ears to Tail, Magazine Cover Mouse, and Minnie Style.

The colors are very Minnie. Innie Minnie Mighty Bow is a true red with a slight gold shimmer. A Definite Moust-Have is a fuchsia pink with a glittery shine. It's a very pretty pink. Chic from Ears to Tail is a gorgeous bubblegum pink with a bit of sparkle. Magazine Cover Mouse is a Liquid Sand polish. I have never used a sand polish before, but it has a very interesting texture. Magazine Cover Mouse is a very strawberry red with pink and gold sparkles.  Minnie Style is definitely the one I love the most. I'm partial to glitter polishes and this one is fantastic. It has a clear base with red/magenta and white glitter bits. It's very reminiscent of Minnie's polka dots.

The Couture de Minnie collection is available individually or as a set of 4 minis. The individual bottles retail for $9 and the Couture De Minnie Runway Minnies retails for $12.95. The only shade not included in the Runway Minnies is the Minnie Style glitter polish.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Iron Man Legos

I don't know if you know this about me, but I am absolutely, totally, ridiculously addicted to Legos. I have loved them since I was a little girl. And like potato chips, I find that it's hard to just have one. I can never get enough!

It all started simply enough with a Lego Duplo farm. I then moved on to more complex toys, a Lego castle. In my early days, I just liked to assemble and disassemble them. When I got a little older, it became all about collecting and displaying my Legos. I have several Lego collections. I love the Star Wars Legos because they combine two of my favorite things. I have several sets, including Ewoks, Chewbacca in an AT-ST, and a few spaceships, like Darth Vader's Tie Fighter and Anakin's Podracer. Then there were the Harry Potter Legos. I got a bit carried away with these and nearly ended up with the whole of Hogwarts! I even took them to college with me and displayed them on top of my 5 foot long TV cabinet. It was a little crazy. More recently, I've started collecting the Pirates of the Caribbean Legos. I love Pirates of the Caribbean, so I just keep buying them. I like to buy the small sets when they first come out, but wait to buy the big ones. I have gotten some fantastic deals when mass market retailers clearance out their Legos!

For Christmas, I received a huge box of basic Legos for building anything. Then, I picked up two new Lord of the Rings and Hobbit sets. I have Bilbo and Gollum in Gollum's cave from the Hobbit and Frodo and Gandalf in the cart filled with fireworks from Lord of the Rings. I recently saw a new set with two Mirkwood elves, including Legolas, and two dwarves, Fili and Kili, that I may have to buy soon. It also has a big ugly spider, similar to the Aragog in the Dark Forest Lego from Harry Potter. But this one has better eyes! In addition to regular Lego sets, I also have Star Wars and Pirates of the Caribbean hard cases for my Nintendo DSi. I especially love the styluses with the Jack Sparrow or Obi Wan Kenobi minifigures on top. (Jack Sparrow is my favorite!) And the mystery minifigures are hilarious, too. I keep looking for a Medusa, but I haven't found one yet.

I've gotten Bean hooked on Legos too, much to my sister's chagrin. She loves to play with my sets, her Duplo Cars sets, and the new girlie sets called Lego Friends. She was really excited to be able to create a minifigure that looks like her and has recently started collecting the pets and their houses. She enjoys watching Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and was very excited to discover that they make a Lego version. She bought a set with her favorite turtle, Michelangelo, holding a pizza. And we love to play the Lego games. We always play them by Lego's rules the first time and then make up our own rules, usually to make it more difficult. And the Heroica games are a lot of fun, especially because you can link them all together to make one gigantic game.

Saturday, I came across a new Lego collection and I was immediately hooked. I found Avengers Legos! Squee!! I decided I could only buy one set for now (after all, eventually, you run out of display space!) I chose a set from Iron Man 3. The set includes Iron Man Tony Stark and the Mandarin. The Tony Stark minifigure is so cute! His faceplate even opens, just like Iron Man's! I haven't had a chance to see the movie yet, but the Legos are awesome! Another set includes Captain America in his motorcycle battling aliens from Avengers. There's also a set with the Avenger's jet, Thor, Black Widow, Iron Man, an alien, and even Loki. The Hulk's Helicarrier Breakout set is hilarious because the Hulk minifigure is so much larger than the others, as it should be. You can also get a set with Tony Stark's Malibu mansion and Pepper Potts wearing the Iron Man suit. I guess I'll be saving my pennies to buy these new sets. And so my love affair with Legos continues...

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Disney Infinity

© Disney
Have you seen the ads for the new Disney Infinity game? It's kind of like Skylanders, which my family loves. You have characters, such as Jack Sparrow, Sully from Monsters Inc, and Mr Incredible, that you place on a base and they appear within the game. You can play in their worlds, or create your own. It looks awesome! Disney Infinity is available on several platforms: Wii, Wii U, Nintendo 3DS, Playstation 3, and XBox 360. It is currently available for pre-order from the Disney Store for $74.99 and comes with Jack, Sully, and Mr Incredible. Additional characters are also available. Single characters are $12.99 and multi-character packs are also available. Currently, they are offering Mater, Francesco Bernoulli, Lightning & Holley, Syndrome, Violet, Dash, Mrs Incredible, Mike Wazowski, Randall Boggs, Davy Jones, Barbossa. There's also a sidekick pack with Barbossa, Mrs Incredible, and Mike Wazowski and a villains pack with Syndrome, Randall, and Davy Jones. I can't wait to see more! Be sure to check out the videos on the Disney Store website.

Monday, May 6, 2013

EPCOT's Norway Pavilion celebrates 25th Anniversary

I love the World Showcase at EPCOT. It is one of my favorite places at Disney World to take a leisurely stroll... while attempting to eat my way around the world. I can honestly say, I've never made it all the way around the world in one day. There's just too much fabulous food! (And it's even worse during the Food and Wine Festival!) One of my favorite snacks at Disney World is the School Bread from the Kringla Bakeri Og Kafe from EPCOT's Norway Pavilion. In honor of the pavilion's 25th Anniversary today, I would like to share a recipe for School Bread. I have researched several recipes for School Bread, both Norwegian classics and one's straight from Disney, and think this recipe combines the best of both. I haven't had a chance to try it yet, but hope to soon!

School Bread
1 cup water
2 envelopes Active Dry Yeast
1/2 cup sugar
5 Tbsp butter
1 tsp cardamom
4 cups flour
1 large egg, beaten

Heat water and butter to 100 degrees Farenheit. Add yeast, sugar, cardamom, flour, and egg. Mix approximately five minutes or until it becomes a stiff dough. Form into a ball and put into an oiled bowl. Cover and allow to rest 45 minutes or until doubled in size. Roll into a log shape and cut into orange sized pieces. Roll each piece into a ball and allow to proof for 30 minutes. Bake for 15 minutes at 375 degrees. Allow to cool. While the bread is cooling, make the custard filling.

1 2/3 cup milk
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla
4 egg yolks
1 Tbsp corn starch

Bring the milk to a boil in a heavy saucepan, then set aside. In a bowl, beat together eggs, sugar, and vanilla until doubled in volume. Slowly add the hot milk to temper the eggs, mixing well. Pour the mixture into a double boiler. Dissolve the corn starch in a small amount of water and slowly add to the mixture, stirring constantly. Allow mixture to thicken, but do not boil. Remove from heat and place in an ice bath to cool.

1 cup powdered sugar
2 Tbsp milk or water
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 cup shredded coconut

Mix together powdered sugar and either water or milk and vanilla to form a thin icing.

Now, you can bring it all together. Dip the top of the bread into the icing and sprinkle each one with the shredded coconut. Fill a pastry bag with the custard. Using a fairly large star tip, poke a hole in the center top of each bread and fill with custard. Finish with a decorative swirl of custard on top.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

May the Fourth Be With You

Happy Star Wars Day! I love this ridiculously geeky holiday celebrating one of my favorite movie series. When we went down to Disney World for Star Wars Weekends last year, we took a lot of great photos. This is one of my favorites.
"Aren't you a little short for a Stormtrooper?"

Jedi Training Academy

I'm over at Tips from the Disney Diva today talking about one of the most fun activities for kids at Disney's Hollywood Studios: Jedi Training Academy.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Decade of Marvel

© Disney
Well, it looks like this may be the decade of Marvel. After releasing 2 Iron Man films, Thor, Captain America, the Hulk, and the Avengers, Marvel has raised the bar for superhero movies. And with two new Avengers series movies due out this year, two next year, and 2 in 2015, there's a lot to look forward to. Here's a list of what's to come: May 3, 2013 Iron Man 3, November 8, 2013 Thor: The Dark World, April 4, 2014 Captain America: The Winter Soldier, August 1, 2014 Guardians of the Galaxy, May 1, 2015 the as yet unnamed Avengers 2, and finally, on November 6, 2015 Ant-Man.

Today, Iron Man 3 was released in theaters. I can't wait to see it! I had some issues with parts of Iron Man 2, mostly related to the villain, but 3 looks really good. I love Robert Downey, Jr as Tony Stark and really like Don Cheadle as Rhodie, too. This film introduces Iron Patriot, as well as other Iron Man characters. At one point, even Pepper Potts wears the suit. It looks awesome!

© Disney
I can't wait to see Thor: the Dark World as well. Thor will finally be reunited with Jane Foster before battling the dark force that threatens our universe. Faced with an enemy that even Odin and the Asgardians cannot defeat, Thor must risk everything to save us all. It looks like just about everyone from the first film has returned, which is fantastic.

© Disney
Next will be Captain America: the Winter Soldier. I don't know much about Captain America, but my sister had told me about the Winter Soldier when we saw the first movie. I won't mention names as it may be a surprise to some, but this film will team up Steve Rogers and Natasha Romanoff, the Black Widow, in a battle against dark forces hiding in Washington, DC.

I'll share more about these films as they reach their release dates. I love Marvel superheroes and am glad that they have now teamed up with Disney for the movies. And if you do watch these films, be sure to keep an eye out for Stan Lee. He always makes an appearance and it's always hilarious!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

New to me Disney fun

 I don't know about you, but I love to go to garage sales and used stores like Goodwill looking for fun Disney treasures. The prices are always affordable and I've found some really fun items. I wanted to share some of the goodies I've found in recent weeks.

I am unfortunately addicted to the Little Green Men from the Toy Story movies. I just adore the little critters. When I found a Big Bucket O' Little Green Men at the shop across from Toy Story Mania in Hollywood Studios, I really wanted one, but just couldn't spend $20 on a bucket of Little Green Men. What would I do with 25 anyway, right? Well, I guess I'll have to do something with them because I just bought an unopened set at a garage sale for $3.

 I take so many photos at Disney World that I figure you can never have too many frames. I found the cutest Fantasia frame at Goodwill for 50 cents. The only trouble was that Mickey's nose was missing, but I figure I can fix that easily enough. 

I also picked up this cute Mickey pirate for $1. I love pirates and Mickey, so I couldn't pass it up. And I found a kids cup with Mickey and Friends dressed as Pirates of the Caribbean for 50 cents that I plan to use as a vase.

One of my favorite finds is a set of three McDonald's glasses from 2000. I have Animal Kingdom, Magic Kingdom and EPCOT and only paid $3 for the set. I have looked everywhere for a MGM Studios one, but they seem to be fairly scarce and far too expensive. Regardless, I love these glasses and use them every day.

Bean was happy when we found two of the color your own pillowcases, one with Fairies and one with Princesses. They were brand new, still in the package, for $2 each. Bean has recently discovered that she loves to color iron-ons, so this was perfect.

And now you know why I can never pass up a garage sale or Goodwill: I never know what Disney goodies I will encounter!