Saturday, December 31, 2016

New Year's Eve


Another year ends tonight. 2016 was interesting and busy, crazy and full of fun, but I'm looking forward to 2017 and whatever it may bring. I spent last New Year's Eve at EPCOT with fireworks and music. This year will be spent at home with family. What are you doing New Year's Eve?

In Memoriam

Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.

Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Friday, December 30, 2016

Ducktales Reboot


An all new version of Ducktales is coming to DisneyXD next summer. It looks like all of your favorite characters will be returning, but with new voices. Bean was most excited about David Tennant as the voice of Scrooge McDuck. In a fun nod to the original series, the new cast of Ducktales sang the old theme song.



Ducktales debuts in summer 2017.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Pandora Revealed


Disney shared a behind the scenes look at the making of Pandora: The World of Avatar. The sneak peek, with James Cameron and Joe Rohde talking about what to expect, is incredible. I can't wait to see it in person!

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

May the Force Be With You, Carrie Fisher


Carrie Fisher, best known to Star Wars fans as the iconic and indomitable Princess Leia, died yesterday at the age of 60. Her dry wit and amazing air of authority made Leia an incredibly powerful role model for girls everywhere. May the Force Be With Her, Always.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Happy Hanukkah


Happy Hanukkah!

Here's one of my favorite Peter, Paul and Mary songs. It's from A Holiday Celebration, which is a wonderful mix of Christmas, Hanukkah, and folk songs.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Santa's Workshop


In honor of Christmas Eve, here's a classic Silly Symphony short about the goings on in Santa's Workshop.

Friday, December 23, 2016

My Favorite Christmas Cookies

Photo courtesy of Betty Crocker
Every year, my family makes Russian Tea Cakes for Christmas. These shortbread cookies are known by many different names (Mexican, Danish, or Italian Wedding Cookies, or in parts of my family, Butterballs), but they are my absolute favorite Christmas cookies. We usually make them several weeks before Christmas because they only get better with age, but they're also delicious as soon as they cool. If you'd like to make them for Christmas, just follow my family recipe.

Russian Tea Cakes
1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar, plus additional for rolling
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/4 cups flour
3/4 cup chopped walnuts

Cream butter and powdered sugar. Add vanilla, flour, and nuts to make a stiff dough. Roll into small balls, flatten, if desired. Bake at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes, or until just barely brown. Remove to racks. Roll each warm cookie in powdered sugar, twice. These cookies will keep for weeks in a tightly closed container, but only if you hide them.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Pluto's Christmas Tree


I was thinking of this old Disney short as I was putting up my tree yesterday. It may take a long time, but at least there are no chipmunks to destroy it when I'm done. Chip and Dale can sure be ornery, but it's always good for a laugh.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Star Wars Hoth Tsum Tsum Collection


The most adorable Star Wars Tsum Tsum set was released yesterday: The Empire Strikes Back, scenes from Hoth. The collection includes six individual mini Tsums and a five piece set. The mini Tsums include: Princess Leia in Hoth gear, General Veers, K-3PO, an AT-AT driver, 2-1B, and a Snowtrooper.


My favorite part of this collection is the five piece set: a carrier shaped like a Taun Taun with four mini Tsums inside. The mini Tsum Tsums includes a Taun Taun, Wampa, Luke Skywalker in Hoth gear, and Han Solo in Hoth gear. To extract the minis, you have to open the Taun Taun's belly, which is totally appropriate if you consider the scene from The Empire Strikes Back. The set retails for $34.95, but was sold out online as of last night. I would love to add this to my collection.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Pentatonix Carol of the Bells


Here's another Pentatonix video to brighten your morning. I love the Carol of the Bells, and this version is a lot of fun.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Disney Christmas Stockings


I have several Christmas stockings that I've loved for years, but every few years, I get the urge to make a new one. Last year, I made my dad an elaborate pirate stocking. This year, I'm helping Bean make one as a gift. (We're thinking Stormtrooper.) If you're looking for a little Disney stocking inspiration of your own, you've come to the right place.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Once Upon a Wintertime


Classic Disney cartoons always make me happy. I've loved "Once Upon a Wintertime" since I was a child. It's such a cute example of an old fashioned first love.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Pentatonix Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy


I've had the music from the Nutcracker running through my head for days, so I thought I'd share Pentatonix version of the Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy. Enjoy!

Friday, December 16, 2016

Red Mint Marshmallow Recipe

Photos courtesy of Disney
We love marshmallows at our house. They're just so gooey and sweet, wonderful in Rice Krispie Treats, and the perfect addition to a cup of hot cocoa. This recipe for Red Mint Marshmallows comes from the Festival of Holidays at California Adventure. They sound delicious and I can't wait to try them.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Quote of the Week


I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future. The Spirits of all Three shall strive within me. I will not shut out the lessons that they teach!

- Ebenezer Scrooge,
A Christmas Carol

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Elf On The Shelf


I don't know if you've been following the adventures of our crazy Elf on the Shelf elves on Instagram, but so far, they've had a grand time counting down to Christmas. Today's antic is by far the craziest. I think they were trying to recreate a scene from The Hobbit. You know, the one where the spiders catch all the Dwarves and cocoon them in webbing. And it looks like they've enlisted the aid of Lego Bilbo Baggins to get them out. Silly elves!

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

On Tannenbaum Tsum Tsum Short


Time for a little Tsum Tsum Christmas fun. I wish there were more Tsum Tsum Christmas shorts, but O Tannenbaum is really cute.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Duracell How the Rebels Saved Christmas


I adore this Duracell Christmas commercial. The kids pretending to be Rebels from Rogue One delivering Christmas joy to a child in the hospital are just too cute. It makes me smile every time I see it.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Baby It's Cold Outside


Our favorite radio station has been playing the Idina Menzel and Michael Buble version of "Baby, It's Cold Outside" nearly every day. Bean and I love it, especially her little asides during the song. They're so funny!


Surprisingly, there are two versions of this song sung by Idina and Michael: one with the classic lyrics, and one that's been made more kid friendly. The video with the little kids is just so adorable!


I love both versions, for different reasons. Which version is your favorite?

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Christmas Movies for Kids 4

Here are a few more of my favorite Christmas movies for kids.

Prep and Landing - When Prep and Landing Elves arrive in a child's home, their job is to get everything ready for the arrival of Santa. But when Wayne the elf is passed over for a promotion, he decides not to do his job, with disastrous results. However, after seeing how much his new partner Lanny and a little boy named Timmy love Christmas, he has a change of heart.

Prep and Landing: Naughty vs Nice - There are two types of Elves that visit homes on Christmas Eve: Prep and Landing Elves who visit nice kids, and the Coal Elf Brigade who visit naughty kids. This year, Wayne must work with his Coal Elf baby brother Noel to stop a naughty kid from ruining Christmas for kids everywhere.

Nightmare Before Christmas - I can never quite decide if this is a Halloween movie or a Christmas one. While walking in the woods near Halloweentown, Jack Skellington stumbles across doors that lead to other holidays. Intrigued, he decides to bring Christmas home with him. Then he thinks that the citizens of Halloweentown should be the ones to provide gifts and holiday cheer this Christmas. The results are disastrous, and it's up to Jack, his wise friend Sally, and Santa to save the day.

The Year Without a Santa Claus - This is another Christmas classic from Rankin Bass. When Santa wakes up with a cold in December, he decides he won't deliver gift this year. In an effort to change his mind and show him that he's truly needed, Mrs Claus sends two elves, Jingle and Jangle, to Southtown. They get into all sorts of trouble along the way, meeting the Miser Brothers and Mother Nature before finally convincing Santa to take his annual Christmas ride.

Nestor The Long-Eared Christmas Donkey - This is anpther Rankin Bass classic. Poor Nestor has ears that cause him to be picked on by the other donkeys. But his mother loves him no matter what, and even gives her life to save him from a storm. After talking to a cherubim named Tilly, he wanders through the desert until he meets Mary and Joseph, whom he helps on their way to Bethlehem. In the end, his long ears make him a hero, and an important part of the Christmas story.

If you need a few more ideas for what to watch this Christmas, check out my other favorites:
Christmas Movies for Kids Part 1
Christmas Movies for Kids Part 2
Christmas Movies for Kids Part 3
A Christmas Carol

Friday, December 9, 2016

Pentatonix The First Noel


I love Christmas carols, so here's a lovely version of The First Noel from Pentatonix to start your day.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Quote of the Week


Christmas isn't about candy canes,
holly, or lights all aglow.
It's about the hearts that we touch,
and the care that we show.

- Donald and Daisy
Mickey's Once Upon a Christmas

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Rogue One Comes to Disney World

Photos courtesy of Disney
At a special Disney Parks Blog meet up at EPCOT on Monday, guests were treated to an amazing glimpse into the film Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. During the event, Spaceship Earth was transformed into the Death Star with projections, lights, and lasers. It looks incredible! I wish I could have seen it in person.


It was also announced that Rogue One will soon be invading Hollywood Studios. First, AWR (Advanced Weapons Research) Troopers will make their debut in a new scene during the "Star Wars: A Galaxy Far, Far Away" show. These Troopers act as bodyguards for Director Krennic and wear dark, ominous armor. Next, the displays in the Star Wars Launch Bay will be updated with props from the film, including a Shoretrooper Blaster, Death Star model, and U-wing gunship. And a behind-the-scenes film will be added to the Launch Bay Theater.


The nighttime show "Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular" will return on December 16 and join "Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! " as a second nightly fireworks show until December 31.


In mid-December, Star Tours - The Adventures Continue will return to a randomized set of destinations, instead of always starting on Jakku.

In 2017, the Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular Dessert Party will return. The party includes sweets and savory snacks, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages,  and VIP viewing of the fireworks. And for the ultimate Star Wars fan: a Star Wars Guided Tour. The seven-hour tour will be led by a in-the-know Star Wars Guided and will include: a journey on Star Tours, an opportunity to participate in Jedi Training (for kids 4-12), exploration of the Launch Bay, dinner at a quick-service restaurant featuring Star Wars-themed items,  the Dessert Party, and more.

    

If you missed the live-stream of the meet up, you can check out the replay above. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story opens in theaters on December 16th.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Finding Nemo Tsum Tsums


It's time for another Tsum Tsum Tuesday. This week, the collection is a little fishy with characters from Finding Nemo. The collection includes eight Tsums: Gill and Flo from the Tank Gang, Darla and Nigel from the Dentist's office, Pearl and Sheldon from Mr. Ray's School, and Squirt and Bruce from the open ocean. So cute!

Monday, December 5, 2016

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Teaser Trailer 2


The latest teaser trailer for Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is loaded with clips of Baby Groot. He's absolutely adorable! This trailer reveals a new character, Mantis, who seems to be revealing Star-Lord's deepest, darkest secret, much to Drax's delight. We also get a glimpse of Ability, a multidimensional monster the Guardians must fight.


Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 arrives in theaters on May 5, 2017.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Freeform's 25 Days of Christmas Lineup


Once again, Freeform, formerly known as ABC Family, is counting down to Christmas with an amazing lineup of movies. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the 25 Days of Christmas. They've filled the lineup with classic cartoons, Christmas comedies, and a few ABC Family originals.

Thursday, December 1
6:00 PM The Year Without a Santa Claus
7:05 PM National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation
9:15 PM The Santa Clause
11:20 PM The Nightmare Before Christmas
12:55 AM Rudolph's Shiny New Year

Friday, December 2
11:00 AM Jack Frost
2:30 PM The Year Without a Santa Claus
3:35 PM The Nightmare Before Christmas
5:10 PM Disney's A Christmas Carol
7:15 PM The Santa Clause
9:20 PM  The Polar Express

Saturday, December 3
7:00 AM  Mickey's Once Upon a Christmas
8:30 AM Mickey's Twice Upon a Christmas
10:00 AM  Richie Rich’s Christmas Wish
12:00 PM Disney's A Christmas Carol
4:40 PM The Polar Express
6:45 PM Arthur Christmas
8:50 PM Elf
10:55 PM The Holiday

Sunday, December 4
7:00 AM 'Twas the Night Before Christmas
7:30 AM Nestor, The Long-Eared Christmas Donkey
8:00 AM Richie Rich’s Christmas Wish
10:05 AM Rudolph and Frosty’s Christmas in July
12:10 PM I'll Be Home For Christmas
2:20 PM Arthur Christmas
4:30 PM Santa Claus is Comin' to Town
5:35 PM The Year Without a Santa Claus
6:40 PM Elf
8:45 PM National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation
10:55 PM Santa Claus is Comin' to Town

Monday, December 5
4:00 PM The Year Without a Santa Claus
5:00 Jingle All the Way
7:00 PM National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation
9:00 PM Scrooged
12:00 AM Snowglobe

Tuesday, December 6
5:00 PM Scrooged
7:00 PM The Polar Express
9:00 PM The Santa Clause
12:00 AM Snow

Wednesday, December 7
5:00 PM The Polar Express
7:00 PM The Santa Clause
9:00 PM Elf
12:00 AM 12 Dates of Christmas

Thursday, December 8
3:00 PM Holiday Joy
5:00 PM Deck the Halls
7:00 PM Elf
9:00 PM Disney's A Christmas Carol
12:00 AM Holiday in Handcuffs

Friday, December 9
11:00 AM Frosty’s Winter Wonderland
11:30 AM Holiday Joy
1:30 PM Home Alone 3
3:35 PM Santa Buddies: The Legend of Santa Paws
5:40 PM The Search for Santa Paws
7:45 PM Santa Paws 2: The Santa Pups
9:50 PM Snow Buddies
11:55 PM Rudolph and Frosty’s Christmas in July

Saturday, December 10
7:00 AM Mickey's Christmas Carol
7:30 AM Santa Buddies: The Legend of Santa Paws
9:30 AM  The Search for Santa Paws
11:35 AM Santa Paws 2: The Santa Pups
1:40 PM Snow Buddies
10:50 PM Arthur Christmas
12:55 AM The Year Without a Santa Claus

Sunday, December 11
7:00 AM The Little Drummer Boy
7:30 AM Home Alone: The Holiday Heist
9:35 AM A Dennis the Menace Christmas
11:40 AM The Year Without a Santa Claus
12:45 PM Arthur Christmas
9:55 PM The Polar Express

Monday, December 12
5:30 PM The Nightmare Before Christmas
7:00 PM The Polar Express
9:00 PM Elf
12:00 AM Christmas Cupid

Tuesday, December 13
3:00 PM The Nightmare Before Christmas
7:00 PM Elf
9:00 PM National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation
12:00 AM Three Days

Wednesday, December 14
3:00 PM Home Alone 3
5:00 PM National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation
7:00 PM Arthur Christmas
9:00 PM The Santa Clause
12:00 AM Santa Baby

Thursday, December 15
7:30 AM Holiday Joy
11:00 AM Santa Buddies
1:00 PM Home Alone 3
3:00 PM A Dennis the Menace Christmas
5:00 PM Arthur Christmas
7:00 PM The Santa Clause
9:00 PM The Search for Santa Paws
12:00 AM Santa Baby 2: Christmas Maybe

Friday, December 16
1:00 AM A Dennis the Menace Christmas
9:10 AM Jack Frost
11:15 AM The Search for Santa Paws
1:20 PM Santa Paws 2: The Santa Pups
3:25 PM Home Alone: The Holiday Heist
5:30 PM Jingle All the Way
7:35 PM National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation
9:45PM The Polar Express
11:55 AM Disney's A Christmas Carol

Saturday, December 17
7:00 AM Rudolph's Shiny New Year
8:00 AM Nestor, The Long-Eared Christmas Donkey
8:30 AM Jingle All the Way
1:00 PM The Nightmare Before Christmas
2:35 PM The Polar Express
4:40 PM National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation
6:50 PM The Santa Clause

Sunday, December 18
9:30 AM Richie Rich’s Christmas Wish
11:30 AM Mickey's Christmas Carol
12:00 PM The Nightmare Before Christmas
4:10 PM Disney's Prep & Landing
4:40 PM Disney's Prep & Landing:  Naughty vs Nice
5:10 PM The Santa Clause
9:50 PM Elf

Monday, December 19
7:00 AM Mickey's Once Upon a Christmas
8:30 AM A Dennis the Menace Christmas
10:30 AM Richie Rich’s Christmas Wish
12:35 PM Home Alone 3
2:40 PM The Search for Santa Paws
4:45 PM  Santa Paws 2: The Santa Pups
6:50 PM Elf
8:55 PM  National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation

Tuesday, December 20
7:00 AM The Search for Santa Paws
9:10 AM Santa Paws 2: The Santa Pups
11:15 AM Home Alone 3
1:25 PM The Holiday
4:30 PM Santa Claus is Comin' to Town
5:35 PM The Year Without a Santa Claus
6:40 PM National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation
8:50 PM The Santa Clause
12:00 AM Holidaze

Wednesday, December 21
7:00 AM Snow Buddies
9:00 AM Santa Buddies: The Legend of Santa Paws
1:10 PM Santa Claus is Comin' to Town
2:10 PM The Year Without a Santa Claus
5:20 PM Disney's Prep & Landing
5:50 PM Disney's Prep & Landing: Naughty vs Nice
6:50 PM The Santa Clause
8:55 PM Elf
12:00 AM The Mistle-Tones

Thursday, December 22
11:30 AM The Little Drummer Boy
12:00 PM The Polar Express
2:05 PM Jack Frost
4:10 PM Frosty’s Winter Wonderland
5:10 PM The Nightmare Before Christmas
6:45 PM Elf
8:55 PM Jingle All the Way
12:00 AM Disney's A Christmas Carol

Friday, December 23
7:00 AM Frosty’s Winter Wonderland
7:30 AM Jack Frost
11:00 AM Richie Rich’s Christmas Wish
1:00 PM Jingle All the Way
3:00 PM The Nightmare Before Christmas
4:35 PM Santa Claus is Comin' to Town
5:40 PM The Year Without a Santa Claus
6:45 PM Disney's A Christmas Carol
8:50 PM The Santa Clause
12:00 AM Home Alone: The Holiday Heist

Saturday, December 24
7:00 AM Jack Frost
8:05 AM Mickey's Once Upon a Christmas
9:40 AM Mickey's Twice Upon a Christmas
11:15 AM Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town
12:20 The Year Without a Santa Claus
1:25 PM Arthur Christmas
3:30 PM The Polar Express
5:35 PM The Santa Clause
7:40 PM Elf
9:45 PM National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation
11:55 PM Scrooged

Sunday, December 25
7:00 AM The Search for Santa Paws
9:10 AM Santa Buddies: The Legend of Santa Paws
11:20 AM Arthur Christmas
1:25 PM The Polar Express
3:30 PM Santa Claus is Comin' to Town
4:30 PM The Year Without a Santa Claus
5:40 PM Elf
7:45 PM National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation
9:55 PM Scrooged

Saturday, December 3, 2016

The Night Before Christmas Silly Symphony


When I was little, the Disney Channel played a fantastic medley of Disney Christmas shorts from years past. It included Mickey's Good Deed (where Mickey sells Pluto to help a starving family), Pluto's Christmas Tree (Chip and Dale end up in the tree and cause trouble for Pluto), Santa's Workshop (lots of toys are made as Santa checks his list), The Clock Watcher (Donald Duck works in the gift wrapping department with comedic results), and my favorite The Night Before Christmas. I've always loved this short, based loosely on the poem of the same name. The animation is fairly simple, but I love the laughing Santa and all the toys.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Moana Lego Sets

Photos courtesy of Lego
Have you seen the adorable new Moana Lego sets? There are currently two sets available.

Moana's Ocean Voyage includes several characters: minifigures of both Moana and Maui, Hei-Hei the chicken, and two Kakamora. You can build Moana's boat as well as a transformable Te Fiti island, and a Kakamora launcher. This set retails for  $39.99.
Moana's Island Adventure includes a Moana minifigure and Pua the pig. You can build Moana's house as well as a waterfall and cook fire. There are lots of little accessories like pineapples, shells, and a map of Te Fiti. This set retails for $24.99.


These sets are for ages 5 and are available from multiple retailers. These sets would make great gifts for any Disney Lego lover. I know they're on my Christmas list.