Saturday, July 23, 2016

DIY Disney Mousekeeping Envelopes

For those of you Disney newbies, Mousekeeping is the Disney version of housekeeping. These are the people who make your room look like new when you walk in. They even make some fun shapes with towels and play funny games with your stuffed animals. Tip them well. They work very hard.

Side note, if you are staying in one of the DVC villas, you should note that housekeeping does not come every day unless you request them to. We find the standard service to be enough. Others in our Disney family do not. It's something to consider as you plan your next stay at the Disney Resorts. If you do wish to have addition Mousekeeping services, remember to request them at check-in, or press the mousekeeping button on your room phone.

And on that note, WDW Prep School has some terrific Disney themed Mousekeeping envelopes free to download! There are several designs to choose from, so have some fun printing these out. It helps Mousekeeping know that the money is for them, and it keeps my little guys from trying to give it back to me! (Or pocketing it for themselves!)

Be sure to check out Shannon's entire site for all sorts of really helpful Disney planning tips, especially if you are just starting out. As my dear friend Fauna says, it feels you need a B.A. in Disney Planning, and a minor in Disney Dining to make your first trip successful! WDW Prep School can take some of the edge off of that for you.

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

Thursday, July 21, 2016

DIY Ice Cube Painting | Colors Of The Wind Paints

Ice cube painting is another idea that comes from Pinterest. It's summer and not always easy to find something fun to do with out allergy-prone toddler when an Indiana heat wave hits. This idea was fun and easy and something we could do in the shade or in the house, depending on the air quality! It was also free, and I love a free activity that inspires creativity.

We followed the directions for Ice Cube Painting found here, with the exception of using clothespins for handles. I just broke some popsicle sticks in half and propped them up in the trays instead. I might try the clothespins idea next time. It would provide a much bigger, more stable handle. I also had non-chemical food dyes (with the exception of the red) so our colors were perhaps a bit more muted than they might have been. We did have some red chemical dye from a science project that was left over. It was perfect for this activity! Despite having to prepare it ahead of time (which took all of 10 minutes!) it was very simple to do.

All in all, Happy seemed to really like it. He's not one for messy games and activities, but this one was a winner. I think it would be a great idea for a Pocahontas themed party: painting with the colors of the wind! Let us know if you give it a try. Here's a sample of our work:


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

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

DIY Disney Dinner | Catfish and Grits from the Coral Reef

I think one of the best kept secrets for Disney Dining is the Coral Reef at Epcot's Living Seas. If you have never taken the opportunity to dine there and you even remotely like seafood, you are missing out! Book an ADR for your next trip. You'll be glad you did. Not only is the menu outstanding, the atmosphere is complete unique from any other restaurant on property. Where else can you dine inside a living coral reef? And they even give you souvenir guides so you know what fishes you are looking at. (Don't forget to spot that hidden Mickey on the ocean floor!)

This recipe is from Magical Recipes, a truly great resource for Disney recipes from around the "World." If you are looking for something specific, I would search there first. Although I'd stay away from the Crystal Palace Lemon Bars. Just saying.

Mr. Photos from the Parks is an amazing chef and his spin on this recipe was simply delicious. Although I'm not sure I would recommend this wine for this meal, as we both felt it was more like a Pinot Grigio than a Chardonnay; we would go with Francis Coppola's Diamond Collection Chardonnay instead. It's one of my standbys. (And if you even get the chance to visit that winery I HIGHLY recommend it!)

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

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Vintage Mickey & Pluto Posters Now on Disney Rewards

Ok Disney DIY lovers! This is awesome! If you are not a Disney Movie Rewards member, you really need to sign up. I'm sure many of you, like us, have a large Disney movie collection. You may have noticed that in every Disney movie case, there is a little paper flyer that has a rewards code. We redeem all those codes at the Disney Movie Rewards site. Each movie gives you about 100-200 points! Even if you do this once, you can find all sorts of great rewards for your family and DIY needs.

There are so many great digital rewards for little to no points on this DMR site; I was able to download all these vintage prints from the DMR website yesterday for only 10 points. If you love DIY, you know that the possibilities with these images are endless! And if you need a little inspiration, check out these tote bags that I made for a trip a couple years ago:


And these notebooks from some Frozen themed posters (also downloaded from the DMR website):


Head over to the DMR site and see what you can find. And if you make something with those images, I would LOVE to see it! Tag me on Instagram, or leave a comment here. And until next time, may all your days be filled with fairy dust!

Thursday, July 14, 2016

DIY Savings Bank for Disney

Here in the cottage, we have always followed the same rule my parents set up for me regarding buying souvenirs in the parks. They gave us a set amount (and later we earned our own money). That was all we had to spend. If they purchased something for us it was their prerogative, but we knew even before asking that the answer was probably going to be no. (This didn't prevent my sister from asking - ever.)

For Doc, out of sight is out of mind; and before you know it we are leaving and he is complaining that he didn't know it was so close to Disney and why didn't we remind him? (Of course, we did; he just doesn't remember; ever.) When I saw this idea on Pinterest, I knew I would be using it for Doc. At least this way, there's a tangible reminder that Disney is coming!

I started with an 8"x8" shadow box, a dremel tool with a rotary cutting bit, and this gorgeous Disney subway art available for download from Eighteen25.

Cutting through the frame was weird. It wasn't wood, and it smelled like it was plastic; but given enough time I was able to get it cut. I had to cut an opening much larger than I expected in order to get the change to fall in easily, but once it was cut and sanded it was easy to get the money to drop right in. I used a dentist pick tool to help line up the cut lines and to scrape away some stubborn shaving bits.

I printed out the subway art and cut it to fit the 8x8 frame. I decided to cut off "Disneyland" since we would be going to Walt Disney World - and Doc is a stickler for details. As an added bonus, the more change we put in it, the sturdier the frame bank became. I assume there will be a tipping point for this. We may have to encourage paper money instead of coins!

All in all, the bank was a fairly easy project (once the littles were well away)! I highly recommend trying it. Imagine the possibilities! Until next time, may all your days be filled with fairy dust!

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

DIY Alice In Wonderland Disney Tea Cup

I found a wonderful glass mug at the Dollar Store recently, just big enough to do a glass etching on it. And it seemed to say Alice In Wonderland to me. And so this project was born! I used my Silhouette SD to create a stencil that says "Drink Me" using the font Started By A Mouse. It reminds me of Fantasyland - where you can find some fabulous spinning tea cups!

This mug was big enough that I didn't have to finagle the stencil too much around the curves. Once the stencil was on I applied the Armor Etch with a popsicle stick and 10 minutes later, the mug was done! I really love how quickly the etching cream works. This definitely qualifies as a nap-friendly project. And it's budget friendly too! The mug cost a dollar and I already had everything else I needed. You can't beat that!

As an added bonus, I thought I'd share my favorite sleepy time tea recipe, developed right here in the cottage!

Merryweather's Night Time Tea
makes one tea bag (two infusions)

2 lemon verbena leaves, crushed
1/2 tsp. lavender
1/2 tsp. lemon balm
1/2 tsp. peppermint
1/2 tsp. ceylon tea (optional)

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

Saturday, July 9, 2016

DIY Infinity Scarf from Upcycled Disney T-shirts Tutorial

I have to admit right up front, I'm not much of a scarf wearer outside of winter. They just seem in the way to me. But a scarf from jersey? That I can get into. And one that has more than one way to wear it? Even better. And one that showcases my old Disney Ts? Now we're talking! I'm even playing around with the idea of wearing this to the parks in the evening in October. It could happen!

This project was conceived mainly because I wanted to see the logos of the shirts I was using. Most tutorials I came across online were made with the bottom half of the T-shirt. That wasn't going to work for me. So I whipped up a practice scarf using some shirts destined for the rag bag and found that my idea worked! Here's the tutorial on how to make a Disney T-shirt Circle Scarf:




You will need:
  • 3 adult sized T-shirts (this would work with any T size 5 and up; the smaller they are, the more you need)
  • Good pair of scissors
  • coordinating thread
  • pins

Begin by turning your T-shirts inside out and measuring a 12" swath down the middle. Be sure any logos or designs you want to keep are inside that 12" area.


I then marked with white pencil (or a fabric marker on the white shirt) a line all the way down both sides. This is my stitch line. Once you have all your shirts marked, take them to the sewing machine and stitch down each line creating a tube. You don't have to be too precise with this; remember it's going to drape so no one has to know that your side seams are a little wavy.

Once all your shirts have been sewn up the sides, cut off the excess fabric on the sides leaving a 1/4" to 1/2" seam allowance.

I then cut off the collar of T-shirt and the bottom hem so that I had a nice tube. **I also took the tag off the Pirates shirt so I could reuse it on the outside, a little bit later.**


Begin sewing you first two shirts together. Turn one tube right side out and keep the other one inside out. Sandwich them together, right sides together. This is a good time to check that your logos are lined up the way you want them to be.

Pin the side seams together and pin the middle of each side together. Sew this seam using a 1/2" or 5/8" seam allowance. If the two pieces of fabric don't line up perfectly, you can stretch the fabric as you sew it so it lines up a bit better.


If you wish to insert the tag from the T-shirt so it shows on the outside, sandwich it into one of these seams, aligning all the raw edges. When you turn it right side out it should look something like this:


Continue sewing this way until you have sewn the last piece on. You should have one giant tube. 
To connect it, turn the scarf in on itself so that you can line up the last pice with the first piece just as you did all the others: right sides together, aligning the raw edges, and pin. When you sew this up, remember to leave about at 3" gap so you can turn the scarf right side out.

Once you have turned your scarf right side out, you can either sew the gap closed by hand (which looks best) or use the machine. I chose to use the machine. I invoke my grandmother once again: if you can't see it from the back of a running horse, it'll be just fine.

And that's it! I'd say this took me about 3 hours from start to finish on this project. Not bad for a rainy afternoon. If you want some tips on how to wear your circle scarf, check out this wonderful graphic. While this one isn't the sort you can wear as a dress, you could certainly work it in many of the other ways.


Enjoy experimenting with your circle scarf! And until next time, may all your days be filled with fairy dust!

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Walt Disney's Favorite Chocolate Soda Recipe

I'm a fan of Ghirardelli chocolate. A HUGE fan. And I don't feel my trip to Walt Disney World is complete without stopping at the Ghirardelli store in Downtown Disney. (Incase you are unaware, they give out free samples! Worth the trip to Downtown Disney just for that, if you ask me.) I especially love their chocolate soda. It's not on the menu; you have to ask for it. Without a doubt, it's my favorite thing there. Except for the Pumpkin Spice Chocolate Squares; those are to die for. So I felt a kindred bond when I found out that Walt himself was a fan of the chocolate soda. So much so, that the Plaza Restaurant recreated his favorite Chocolate Soda.

Here's the recipe, perfect for bringing a little magic home:



Ingredients:

  • 1/3 Cup chocolate syrup
  • 2 scoops vanilla ice cream
  • 6 oz. soda or seltzer water
  • Maraschino cherry

Directions:

  • Pour chocolate syrup in the bottom of an 8-ounce milk shake glass.
  • Smoosh in 1 scoop of ice cream.
  • Slowly pour in soda water almost to top of glass.
  • Perch another scoop of ice cream on top.
  • Add a cherry and a colorful straw or two.

Now we don't do Maraschino cherries here (Doc has a sensitivity to artificial dyes), but we are happy to report that the cottage approves even without the cherry on top. Personally, I can't get enough! We used our Soda Stream to make as much soda water as we needed. (A seriously great product!) And, while we didn't have any Ghirardelli syrup in the cottage at the moment, we highly recommend Trader Joe's Midnight Moo. It's delicious!

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

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

DIY Disney Travel Game

When I saw this idea on Pinterest, I knew I wanted to recreate it using the Disney ephemera I had collected over the years. I tend to be a pack rat - every now and again, this winds up being a good thing. It's nice when that happens! If you are a pack rat too, then this project is free to create. I know I love a budget friendly DIY.
I had an old sturdy tube from some Silhouette stencil vinyl that was just right for this project, perfect for outlining the shapes of some old Disney stickers I had lying around. (I believe these are from the 90s - when I was still paper scrapbooking. Disney had a terrific scrapbooking store back then; I'm not sure if it's still around today.) If you don't have any stickers, they are very easily obtained from the Dollar Store, or a craft store. And they are usually fairly inexpensive, especially if you have a coupon.

The idea here is simple. I removed the outer edge of the sticker paper, leaving the actual stickers on the page. Then I used the "blanks" as a stencil to trace the shapes of the stickers onto the paper tube. I used a fat Sharpie to trace them and then a fine point Sharpie to label the shapes. (I have a bit of a pen addiction as well. I love my Sharpies!) Happy isn't quite able to read yet, and I wanted Poppins or Doc to be able to help him if I wasn't available.  So now there are several Disney shapes and characters to match to the shapes on the tube. I figure this could last him a good 20 minutes if he takes to it! Stickers are generally a favorite for him. For our family, the trick is finding new and different things to keep the little ones occupied on our drive. It's a LONG way to Orlando from our cottage in the midwest! I'll let you know if this works for us. And if you try it, let us know how it worked for you!

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