Saturday, February 14, 2015

Princess & Pals Disney Side @Home Celebration!

We hosted 21 preschoolers at our house last Saturday for a Disney Side @Home Celebration and it was a blast!! All of the children that attended had a fantastic time showing their Disney Side, and we had lots of opportunities for the preschoolers and their siblings to take part in Disney fun!

At the party, we had a number of different craft stations set up to keep the kids entertained and give them some crafts to take home with them! The first craft was in the "Rapunzel area" (otherwise known as… our family room!) - where the kids could make their own lanterns and flags to take home!

In the princess room (playroom!), there as a "decorate a foam cupcake" station - where we had foam cupcakes, jewels, and heart stickers set up to make cupcakes fit for a princess. And also a make your own pipe cleaner tiara station as well! (DIY tutorial will be coming shortly on beingmommywithstyle!)

There were also a number of coloring stations available, Disney matching games, "Pin the Smile on Mickey", and of course… lots of dress-up opportunities and TOYS!

The kids also had a great time decorating REAL cupcakes too!

One of my favorite areas was the photo prop area, where the kids could take photos in front of princess banners and interact with the photo props. The preschoolers actually really loved incorporating the photo props into their play without even worrying about taking photos!

My girls had a wonderful time hosting their friends and I hope we created an event that they will all not soon forget! The best part was seeing all of the attendees show their Disney Side! Even the adults took part in the fun - from Disneybounding to dressing up in full costume!

Also in attendance was another blogger, Jessica Babbles, that enjoys sewing her own Disney costumes!

Her blog is 'Jessica Babbles' and you can find her great tutorials at:

Check out my video blog of our "Princess & Pals" Disney Side @Home Celebration!

And our unboxing HERE:

** FTC Disclaimer: I received a party pack from Disney and Mom Select to host a #DisneySide @Home Celebration party at our home! We provided additional party items and food on our own to have a wonderful Disney Side time! All opinions are my own.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Reflections on the Disney Maker All Star Creators Conference - Final Day

The final day of the All Star Creators Conference, what more can you say? I got up in the morning and begrudgingly packed up my things to take down to bell services and check out. From there, I headed to breakfast and our last conference session of the weekend. (Sad face.) I was able to meet up with my Disney Rep one last time and thank her for helping me so much along the way. Voice Play, a singing group from Orlando, stopped by during the last conference session and it was a great send off!


After the session was over, we disbursed and I had a small amount of free time before the Magical Express was coming to get me to head to the airport. I decided to go over to EPCOT one last time since I hadn't been able to spend much time there over the weekend. There also was one item on my list of things to do that I had checked off yet, and I wanted to try that out! I got into the theme park just before 11am and realized the World Showcase hadn't opened yet. After the Showcase opened, I headed to Japan to try the "Pick a Pearl" experience! It was great fun and I was able to bring a beautiful pearl home with me!

From there, I had to make one last stop in the France Pavilion to pick up some macarons and macaron souvenirs. (Of course.) And by this time, it was time for a VERY special meet up!

After I had announced I would be in Florida, a number of my viewers asked about whether I would be doing a meet and greet. This was the first time hosting one for beingmommywithstyle. (I had previously hosted meetups for my handbag channel, Bags4Bubbles.) And I decided to set a date on Sunday at the Boardwalk Bakery! I headed over to meet everyone at noon, and it was a wonderful time being able to meet some lovely viewers in person and chat with them! One of my viewers is also a YouTuber, and is was great to be able to meet another YouTube mommy on the trip - Jessica from Kindercrafty was there with her family and I just loved them!
After that, it was time to head to the Magical Express area to get my luggage and head to the airport!

The All Star Creators Conference was a magical time that was full of memories and incredibly inspirational moments! It is an experience I definitely will never forget, and I think I was able to bring home some great ideas for my channel as well!

Watch my video on my final day the All Star Creators Conference here:

** FTC Disclaimer: I received an all expenses paid trip to attend the All Star Creators Conference after winning a video contest showing my Disney Side! I was not paid to blog or vlog the conference. All opinions are my own.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Reflections on Disney Maker All Star Creators Conference - Day 3

The third day of the All Star Creators Conference, I knew to expect great things. I awoke at 4:30am (after going to bed at 1 am, mind you) to get ready to be at breakfast at 6am. We picked up a "grab and go" breakfast to eat on the bus and were heading to Magic Kingdom before the theme park was open. As many times as I have been to Walt Disney World in my lifetime, I had NEVER been into the parks before they were open or after they were closed. The experiences at Hollywood Studios after close and on this morning were definitely two highlights of the trip.


We arrived at Magic Kingdom through a side gate and were confined to the new Fantasyland area. My Disney Rep, Melissa, and I headed straight to the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train  to get in line for the ride mount. I ended up being the first person in line and we waited a few minutes for the sun to come up completely. The Seven Dwards Mine Train was fantastic, definitely a lot of fun and I loved the ride mount footage I ended up with from it. This will be a "must see" on our next visit to Walt Disney World with the girls, as I think my preschoolers will LOVE this ride. It has just the right amount of speed and hills without going too fast for them, and there are lots of fun things to see inside of the mountain in the Seven Dwarfs mining area. Snow White may become a favorite princess for them after riding this ride.


We then headed to Dumbo for ride mount footage and that was also quick as I was the first one in line over there as well. I of course have been on Dumbo MANY a times, so this one was a little bitter sweet for me, as it just isn't the same without a squealing preschooler sitting next to you. I knew I wouldn't be using the ride mount footage in my final video submission to Disney either for this reason. It was a fun ride though and I loved being able to look at their camera mount equipment on this ride since I had a little bit more time to check it out. (And wasn't being slung up and down in the air like Tower of Terror.)


After that ride we had some free time and a meet and greet that turned out being ADORABLE with Snow White and Dopey. While Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs has honestly never really been my favorite Disney movie for some reason, I have to admit - Snow White earned some MAJOR bonus points with me that day and Dopey was just adorable as well. We had a fun dancing time, they were both very sweet to chat with, and... well, come to think of it - maybe I should watch Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs again to give it another chance.

When the ride mount portion of the morning was over (all still prior to the theme park being "officially" open) we headed to stand in front of the castle for a group photo! This was a good time and I ended up directly behind someone's head, but at least you can "kind of" see me there. From there, we headed back to the buses for another conference session morning.
Photo Credit: Walt Disney World
Photo Credit: Walt Disney World

The conference session that morning started with an opening discussion with Vin Di Bona, the creator of the hit TV series, America's Funniest Home Videos. He gave great insight into persistence, believing in your ideas, and also to how things have changed over the years in the film industry. YouTuber CharismaStar, also spoke about her journey with Youtube and was a great inspiration.

From there... probably what I will look back on as one of my favorite parts of the event began... James Ford Murphy, the director of the new short film by Pixar, Lava, spoke and was incredibly inspirational. This is what got my wheels turning and I really started to get excited as I began have realizations. We also had the producer of the Pixar short, Paperman speak to us as well - and after watching all three films, LavaFeast, and Paperman... I realized. This is what (in a much smaller scale) we DO on YouTube. How had this never occured to me? We are short film markers AND story tellers. We can share a story with the world... and my inspiration went from there. This time with Pixar Studios was fantastic and the audience was definitely moved to tears a few times during the shows.

After the morning conference session was over, it was time for lunch and to head into the parks again! This time, we only had a few short hours before we needed to head to Hollywood Studios for a group dinner, so I tried to make a list of items I still needed to film and which parks we should plan to go to. We went back to Magic Kingdom - it's a classic - to look at a few snacks, and then headed over to Hollywood Studios for the Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular Dinner!

We made it in to the park a little early and had time to ride Rockin' Roller Coaster, but on the way into the park I was able to meet up with yet another mommy YouTuber - Jessica from as3rd23 was at the park that night with her husband and we got a chance to say "hello" as she was heading out & I was heading in!! She was a sweetheart and I'm excited that will be collaborating together on the new Moms with Mouse Ears collaborative Disney channel! We also had time to ride Star Tours before heading to dinner.

I've seen the Indiana Jones Stunt Show a number of times... but one thing I'd never done before this, was eat dinner on the floor of the show area! After the show, they pulled back the stage and had tables set up, and we had dinner catered right there in the show area! The food was great and I was especially excited about a brownie that had glitter "sparkles" all over the top of it - because 2015 IS the year to sparkle after all! It was another fantastic meal and after things finished up, it was time to head back to the hotel for our last night at Walt Disney World!

Check out my third day of videos from the All Star Creators Conference:

** FTC Disclaimer: I received an all expenses paid trip to attend the All Star Creators Conference after winning a video contest showing my Disney Side! I was not paid to blog or vlog the conference. All opinions are my own.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Reflections on Disney Maker All Star Creators Conference - Day 2

As I awoke the on the morning of the first full day at the All Star Creators Conference, I tried to mentally prepare for everything that was about to happen that day, even though I didn't know exactly what it was going to be yet... I knew it was going to be BIG. I headed down to breakfast and found some familiar faces. I was happy to hear I wasn't the only one that decided to call it an early evening.

The food was great and I loved the "movie & film" details around the room as decoration. At the end of the designated breakfast period, we started hearing chimes to indicate we should start going... somewhere. And headed out to find the conference room.

WOW. That is really the only word that sums it up. The photo backdrop from the evening prior was outside the doors along with banners along the hall way with the All Star Creators Conference logo on them. We walked into a large banquet hall type of room... it was expansive, well decorated, and I instantly noticed the added technology in the room. Large monitors that would later be used for social media resources lined the room. Disney & Maker logos bounced across the screens, fun music was blaring... THIS... this was going to be a once in a lifetime experience.

Screen Shot 2015-02-13 at 8.52.39 PM

We had sessions in the morning after an introduction from George Kalogridis, President of Walt Disney World - who shared brilliant statistics of how long it would take to stay in all of the hotel rooms on property and eat at each single restaurant for a different meal each day... Niether of course I got on film, so I won't repeat what I *think* they are in case I am remembering them wrong... but it was amazing. Then we got right into sessions with chats from different YouTubers. Sam Macaroni and Mark Daniels were the hosts and did a great job of being entertaining and giving information at the same time. Shay Carl from the ShayTards, Stampycat from StampyLongNose, the Epic Rap Battles of History guys, and two directors from Disney's Creative Inc. all stopped by to talk to us about creative ideas and YouTube.

After the sessions were over for the morning, we had a chance to have lunch and meet with our Disney Representatives. (From this point, shall hence be called the "Disney Reps".) My Disney Rep was brilliant, they did a great job matching us up. She had a little one around Natalie's age, so she understood preschoolers and unspoken... I think she sensed the moments that I was missing the girls and helped to move those moments along. She also let me drag her around all four theme parks and log over 12 miles walked in 2 days... so for that, at the end I felt like thanking her and apologizing to her at the same time, ha! The Disney Reps accompanied us throughout the theme parks over two main conference days, to make sure we knew the rules of filming in the parks, but also to give us information along the way, help with navigation, and my Disney Rep, Melissa, even jumped in to hold the camera to film as well!

I, of course being me, was ambitious in the beginning and wanted to do Feet be darned. I was doing everything! There were a number of challenges presented by Maker that we could do on that Friday, so I decided to give it a go on all of those. (Spoiler alert: I didn't win any of them.) They had amazing prizes like annual passes to Walt Disney World and a visit to the Cinderella Suite at CINDERELLA CASTLE... That's a life long dream, I had to least try, right? The three challenges were a Disneybounding challenge (dressing in clothing as your favorite character - no costumes allowed!), Vinylmation challenge (taking pictures of the cute little characters "roaming" the parks), and a Selfie Challenge.

Screen Shot 2015-01-22 at 1.57.00 PM

Hollywood Studios was our first stop, I was Disneybounding as Sully from Monster's Inc. and wanted to get a picture with him. From there we headed to Character Palooza and I got some great footage that I've since used for my new Disney collaborative channel, Moms with Mouse Ears.. and took some vinylmation pictures along the way as well for the third challenge. Riding Expedition Everest at Animal Kingdom was one of my big personal goals for the weekend, since this normally wasn't a ride I could go on with the girls along... so we headed to Animal Kingdom to ride that and stop by to say "hello" to Mickey & Minnie while were there. Animal Kingdom is definitely growing on me and I see us spending a good day or two there on our next family vacation to Walt Disney World.

Screen Shot 2015-01-22 at 1.57.59 PM

After completing everything I set out to do at Animal Kingdom just as the park was closing, we headed to Magic Kingdom to have dinner and ride a few rides. Deciding what to ride was a tough choice, I normally have everything pre-planned based on our Fast Passes and the girls' schedule... so I was a unique experience just being to "come and go" as I pleased. We eventually decided upon riding Haunted Mansion and Space Mountain, and tried the dinner at Columbia Harbor House.

It was my first time eating at Columbia Harbor House and I thought the food was really interesting, maybe not some place I will attempt to eat at each time we visit Magic Kingdom, but definitely some place to keep in mind if people in our party were wanting seafood.

After finishing up at Magic Kingdom, it was time to head back to the hotel to change clothes to go to the Hollywood Studios "after close" party! This was an amazing experience, to be able to go into the theme park after it had closed for the evening. We arrived via a back gate and used a back entrance to go into the theme park. Earlier in the day, we had signed up for character meet and greets - and I was particularly excited about an Olaf meet and greet. (It was not to be...) We entered right new Toy Story Midway Mania, and decided to wait in line to ride that first.

This was probably my only and/or biggest mistake of the weekend... thinking, "Oh the parks are closed, we won't have to wait long to ride things" I got into line at Toy Story Midway Mania with about 45 minutes to spare before my Olaf meet and greet time. What I hadn't calculated, is that there were not ride mounts (to film the YouTubers riding) on each car, so we had to wait for the ride mount cars to come back around and be available again. 45 minutes later... it was up to next in line and had to make the decision of whether to try to get out of line after standing there so long and trying to run to the Olaf greet (which was across the park), or just go ahead and ride since I'd already missed it anyhow. I ended up riding and we ran (literally, ran folks... and if you know how much I dislike running, you know how much I wanted to try to see Olaf!) to try to get to the meet and greet area... but alas, Olaf was gone and I had been the last Olaf time slot for the night. I met with Anna and Elsa after only having to wait a few minutes and we headed to the Tower of Terror area.

Then I had to make another decision of whether going to ride Tower of Terror or Rockin' Roller Coaster to get ride mount footage, and I chose to go to Tower of Terror. IF I could do it all over again, I would have skipped Toy Story Midway Mania, knowing I hadn't planned on using that footage anyways, and rode the two roller coasters for better ride mount footage. I blame my bad judgement on being tired from all of the walking. I had a fun time riding Tower of Terror and by that time, it was time to head back to the hotels and get a few hours of sleep before being up early the next morning!

Check out my vlogs from the first full day of the All Star Creators Conference:

** FTC Disclaimer: I received an all expenses paid trip to attend the All Star Creators Conference after winning a video contest showing my Disney Side! I was not paid to blog or vlog the conference. All opinions are my own.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Reflections on Disney Maker All Star Creators Conference - Day 1

There were many wonderful things that came out of attending my first YouTube conference ever. First, I met a ton of awesome people at the All Star Creators Conference - everyone from my Disney Rep, who was amazing and put up with me dragging her from theme park to theme park for two days - to tons of fantastic YouTubers that I may not have come across their channels without this event... and best of all, it sparked creativity, imagination, and inspired me to try new things once I arrived home.
The event was hosted at Walt Disney World over 4 fabulous days on January 15th -18th, 2015, and every detail was well planned. Each day we had planned events and meals to attend, and on a few of the days we had free time to go into the parks to create our own specific content. To say the weekend was a whirlwind would be an understatement, but at the same time - it felt like we were there for a month! So many things were packed into a short time period!
On Thursday, I arrived early in the day as I had opted to take a morning flight to have more time in Orlando! (I mean, why not - right???) Once I arrived, everything was arranged for us to take our luggage down to the Magical Express and board the bus to get to our resort. This process was seamless and from the time I arrived at the airport to arriving at the Yacht Club resort, was under and hour and a half. I began keeping an eye out for other YouTubers right away! I arrived at the Yacht Club and immediately knew this was going to be an AH-mazing experience as I checked in at the conference.
I picked up my Magic Band at the front desk after arriving, and headed to my room to drop off my things before sneaking in a few hours of play time in the parks! The room was gorgeous, I loved it - finding little details is one of my favorite things, and of course there were plenty of "Hidden Mickeys" in the room to have a hidden mickey hunt before heading out. I decided to stop by EPCOT first, since the Yacht Club is in the EPCOT resort area and is only a short walk away from the resort.
Walking through EPCOT on a slightly blustery and rainy day was still wonderful - I was in Florida and at Walt Disney World! I stopped by the France Pavilion to try the Strawberries and Cream macaron (fantastic, by the way) at L'artisan Des Glaces. It was probably the best macaron I've ever had, definitely hoping they keep that one on the menu. From there I decided to just walk through EPCOT and enjoy the sights, heading towards the front entrance gate to board the monorail to Magic Kingdom to meet a YouTube friend I knew was in the theme park that day.
I'm not going to lie - being there without the girls was extremely ODD at first! I kept looking down trying to make sure I had my little "people" with me, only to not see anyone standing beneath me. A few times, I would catch a glimpse of families with small children having one of those magical Disney moments, on the monorail... at the entrance to go into Magic Kingdom, and I suddenly would second guess myself. Maybe I had made a mistake not bringing everyone with me... a few times I teared up as I smiled at the families under the safe confines of my sunglasses. A slight twinge of pain of missing those moments with my own littles. I knew it would all be worth it though, and in my heart of hearts - knew I would have a more immersive experience going solo on this trip instead of trying to work the girls schedule into the conference schedule or visa versa.

At Magic Kingdom, I luckily immediately  had an opportunity be to uplifted - and by another YouTuber! Niome from My Life with a Cherry on Top happened to be at Walt Disney World this weekend and I had a fantastic time being able to meet her in person!

After a quick meet up, it was time to head back to the hotel room to change clothes for dinner and the first official event of the conference! We were having a kick off dinner and dance the the Atlantic City Dance Hall at the Boardwalk that evening, where all the YouTubers had a chance to meet each other while having a fantastic meal. Here I met some of the other Mommy YouTubers in attendance, MadeByMommyPinsandThings, and ReneeJRoss, I also finally had a chance to meet Rosalie from RosalieSaysRawr - one of the other winners of the trip to attend the conference. We had helped each other contain our excitement over email in the days prior to the conference, so it was great to say, "We're finally here!!".

After the dinner event was over, I called it a night and headed back to my room. I knew it was going to be a jam-packed few days, and as it turns out... that was a good decision, because would be the ONLY night I would get over a few hours of sleep over the weekend. The next morning we would be up bright and early for breakfast and our first conference session! As well as meet our Disney Representative!

Check out my video 'Day in the Life' vlog from my first day at the Disney Maker All Star Creators Conference:

** FTC Disclaimer: I received an all expenses paid trip to attend the All Star Creators Conference after winning a video contest showing my Disney Side! I was not paid to blog or vlog the conference. All opinions are my own.