Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

CInderella Fountain

Would you like to see more fun Disney pictures? Head on over to the Blog Hop!
Focused on the Magic

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Special Mouse Podcast Interview

Every family has different needs when it comes to traveling, but for families that include disabilities it can sometimes be an extra challenge.  It was my pleasure to be interviewed by Kathy Kelly of the Special Mouse Podcast about traveling with Fibromyalgia.  We discussed my recent vacation, how I prepare for a trip, and how when pride gets in the way of taking care of myself it can have bad results.

You can listen to the episode over at specialmouse.com!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Power Leveling Mom Hack

This morning I dropped my girls off at a park that was having an Anime Convention.  And I use the term convention very loosely, it's more of an organized costume picnic, but they have really been looking forward to attending.  I however never planned on staying, so I let them to their own devices as far as planning went.  I made sure they got to the right place, and then headed to the Starbucks about 5 minutes down the road to get some work done.

As I drove away, I realized that they didn't have any food they knew they would eat (the plan was pot luck) or water, and the only reason they had chairs to sit in was because I keep two camp chairs and a blanket in the back of the van.  I hadn't been at Starbucks long, in fact I had *just* sat down and pulled out the laptop when they started texting me that they needed stuff.   You might have thought that they wanted food or water, but no - the camera batteries had died already.  Frustrated I sent back a message that they should have though of that yesterday - and - when I said I would be 5 minutes away that I meant in case of emergency.

They apologized, and like the sucker I am, I packed up and headed off to find a grocery store.  While at the store I bought a small cooler, their own water, food I know they would eat, wet wipes for the "gross" potties, and even their much desired batteries.  I discovered however that when trying to buy an ice pack for a cooler they don't generally come pre-frozen.  So trying to think fast I snagged a bag of frozen strawberries to do the job.  Hopefully they will "get it" that the strawberries are keeping everything else cool and not just a weird snack Mom stuck in the bag. 

Plus Health, Plus Experience, Power Leveling Mom Hack for the Win!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Disney Channel To Hold Open Auditions!

Calling all Moms with fabulous theatrical kids! The Disney Channel is having a Nationwide Search for Actors, Singers and Dancers Ages 10-17 for Upcoming Series and Movies produced for the kid- and family-targeted channels!

An open call auditions will take place SATURDAY, JULY 27 and SUNDAY, JULY 28 in San Antonio, Texas.

Judy Taylor, senior vice president, Casting and Talent Relations, Disney Channels Worldwide, said, "Our annual open call auditions give kids a unique opportunity to showcase their comedic acting skills and/or singing and dancing ability and be seen by a professional casting director. We look forward to discovering a range of diverse, talented kids at this year's open call and helping make their dreams come true."

The open casting call auditions will be held on Saturday, July 27 for last names beginning with A-M and Sunday, July 28 for last names beginning with N-Z from 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. on both days at the San Antonio Marriott Rivercenter, 101 Bowie St., in downtown San Antonio. All attendees are advised to park at any nearby public parking facility. Parking will not be available at the Marriott Rivercenter.

An application and monologue will be provided to all candidates upon arrival, and minors must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. There are no guarantees of employment and there will never be any fee to audition for Disney Channel or Disney XD. For more information, applicants can visit DisneyChannel.com/talentsearch.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

First Look Trailer for Saving Mr. Banks

I'm so excited!   Check out this first look trailer for the upcoming movie 'Saving Mr. Banks.'   Based off of true events the story chronicles two weeks in the life of Walt Disney as he was trying to woo author P.L. Travers for the rights to adapt 'Mary Poppins' for the big screen.  The film stars Tom Hanks as Walt Disney, with Emma Thompson as P.L. Travers and is sure to tug on your heartstrings.

Want to know more? Head on over to Moviefone's website for a great interview with the film's Director John Lee Hancock!

Saving Mr. Banks opens in limited release December 13th, and comes to theaters everywhere December 20th, 2013!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Trip Report: A Rainy First Night At Epcot

The trip to Florida was a long one - 20 hours of drive time, plus rest stops, meals, and two hotel nights. Arrive at Walt Disney World was a more than welcome break. The drive had gone fairly easily, but the last hour in the car was full of excitement and anticipation. At long last we had arrived at Disney!


Our family has a tradition of calling my best friend Becks at the moment we go under that archway welcoming us home so that we can all arrive together. Though this trip was no different we were even more excited because she was already down there and on the shared vacation we would celebrate her wedding.

It wasn't long before we were arriving at Disney's Wilderness Lodge, which would be our home for the next four nights.


Though we wanted to just drop everything and run for the Parks we had a few important things to take care of. Our room wasn't yet ready (arriving at 10am) so I sat Geordon down in the beautiful Wilderness Lodge Lobby to relax for awhile as the kids and I headed off to Magic Kingdom Guest Relations to pick up our Park Tickets. I must admit, we weren't quite prepared for that hour of time. Standing out on the boat dock we got our first taste of Summer in Florida, a time of year we generally avoid there. It was about 90 degrees with a staggering humidity. We missed the first boat to the park and waited about 20 minutes for the next - while we waited the line behind us grew and grew and grew. The trip across the water was lovely, but for some reason I hadn't considered that the guest relations window would have a giant queue. But this was Disney at peak season and I was very wrong, about a half an hour in I looked at my daughter's face and realized that sunscreen is NOT an option, even for an hour.


Eventually we had what we had come for. The kids grabbed their passes and headed off to Epcot while I made my way back to the Wilderness Lodge where Geordon had just texted me that the camera I had rented had arrived. We ate lunch and I fiddled with my toy for the trip. It was a Nikon D500, and I was more than a little excited to get to play with something more snazzy than my usual point and shoot. We ate lunch at Roaring Forks Cafe before checking on on our room once again.

Luckily they had a Villa with our name on it! We settled in and got unpacked, which is my habit. I like to get everything organized in the room before venturing out so that when I come back from the Parks exhausted I'm not rummaging through suitcases. While we were getting settled in, WDW got hit with one heck of a rainstorm. Tropical Storm Andrea had blown through the day before we arrived and this was one last deluge with crazy amounts of thunder and lightning. It was pretty impressive, and I was glad to be safe and dry in our room but I knew very well that this was a super short trip and every minute we were in the room was a minute we were losing at the Park.


After it let up around 6:30PM - Geordon and I headed to Epcot to try and salvage what was left of the night. Epcot was open until 9PM which didn't leave us much time. We wanted to hit Test Track and the boat ride at The Land. As we were walking in we saw Becks' groom Carlos and his family - who told us that Test Track had been shut down for the night. Bummed - we made our way to The Land, where the boats were also not running.

This was not the way that a fun trip to Disney starts. I was hot, wet, tired, hungry, and my plan had completely fallen apart the further the day went on. It was about 7:45PM and though the kids had run around having fun all afternoon, Geordon and I had done nothing. We headed toward World Showcase and tried to decided where to eat. I really wanted to try Les Halles, but my tummy said it wanted tacos. We made our way through the light rain until we got to World Showcase Promenade and still hadn't made a choice, should we go right to France or Left to Mexico.

Right then my phone rang and it was Tori looking to hook up. She was on the walkway to Mexico, so our choice was made! We headed to the left and as we did we heard the announcement that IllumiNations would be starting in a half an hour. Most of the people we saw were all headed towards the exits and I wondered if it was even possible that we might get a table at La Cantina de San Angel.



For the first time the rain seemed to be on our side and La Cantina was not nearly as packed as I expected it would normally be on a Saturday night 30 minutes before Illuminations. It took a bit of hunting by Tori, but we were able to find a seat under the pavilion on the water. Geordon ordered us some tacos and I gave Katie a call to come meet us for IllumiNations. Kirk - who has been soaked to the bone in the last downpour had already headed back to the room for the night.

With some food in me I finally started feeling more human and less like the day had been a waste. I ordered the Tacos de Carne, which is smoked beef brisket served on fresh handmade corn tortillas with Pico de Gallo and a squeeze of lime. They were absolutely delicious. Full of bright, fresh, simple flavor they really hit the spot. I'm not sure what Tori and Geordon ate, but my oh my were those tacos good. We were dry and sitting on the lagoon, my tummy was full, and IllumiNations was about to start.



As the drum beats began the start of the show I think it finally sank in that I was home.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Just a little something artsy.

Last night when we went to watch fireworks I got a new appreciation for this odd suspended walkway behind the Discovery Center. The light in the sky was just right, the lights on the structure had just come on, and all I had with me was my iPhone to shoot pictures with.  However, I'm really happy with how this one came out.  A spot that I had considered nice but out of place became really visually beautiful as the night took over.

Rockford "Bridge"

After renting a Nikon D5000 in Disney last month I have a great desire to advance my photography skills further. I really want to invest in a DSLR camera, but there are so many other things that need to be taken care of first I'm just not sure that's going to happen. So for now, I'm going to focus on improving my eye and finding light. It's a start.