Sunday, August 30, 2009

How I Met Julie Andrews

A few weeks ago I got a Disney notice that Julie Andrews will be appearing at The Grand Californian Hotel (located next to Disneyland). She and the artist will sign original artwork by Toby Bluth depicting her as Mary Poppins in her Jolly Holiday dress with the penguins.

I could not pass up the oppurtunity to meet a living legend since I almost fainted when I saw her Mary Poppins hat when I visited Disney Studios last year and I participated in the Sound of Music Sing-a-long at the Hollywood Bowl for the last 8 years! You could say I'm a BIG fan!

The signing wasn't to take place until 1:30 but Sheridan and I got there at 9 am to get our voucher for our place in line. We were #193. We had a lot of time to kill so we had fun wandering around Downtown Disney. We went to the Disney Vault and I bought a vintage Alice in Wonderland t-shirt and I had beignets from the Jazz Kitchen-SO good!

We then made Sheridan an appointment at Disney 365. It is a makeover store where girls can become Pop Stars like Hannah Montana. There is even a display of her clothes that she wore on stage. To start the makeover, Sheridan was asked about her favorites: TV star, rock star, color, etc. and was asked to sign the contract. Then it was off to see her personal studio stylist. After getting her hair and make up done, she was whisked away to the red carpet to give an interview for her adoring fans! She's got that wave down, don't you think?

After the red carpet, it's time for a rock star photo shoot. Sheridan really got into character. Several people (studio staff members) asked for her autograph. As we left the store, she asked me how many other people would be asking for her autograph...Oh boy!

We were to arrive in the ballroom of the hotel no later than 1:00 and at 1:30 they started calling groups of 25. Before the first group went in, they said we could take pictures. Then after the first group was done, they changed their minds. Total bummer! I don't have a picture of her that day but she pretty much looked like this... She was wearing a camel colored blazer and a white shirt like the one above. Her husband, Blake Edwards, was hanging out in the back of the room keeping a close eye on his wife. She was so sweet! She said hello to Sheridan and said what a pretty name she had. Then Sheridan said that she (Julie) sounded like her favorite TV actress. Julie said "Hannah Montana?" and Sheridan said "No, YOU!" Way to suck up the the legend, kid! I told Julie that Sheridan thought tha she would be dressed in her Mary Poppins outfit. She said she wouldn't fit in it any more. After we met with Julie, we got the atrist's autograph.

Lithograph custom matted and signed by Julie Andrews and the artist -$35

Sheridan's rock star make over - $39

Introducing your daughter to a legend - Priceless!

This is Sheridan and I waiting in the ballroom. We watched Mary Poppins on my portable DVD player I brought along as we waited. My digital CF card decided to seize so I had to buy a HORRIBLE disposable camera at the World of Disney. Sorry the pictures stink.

After the signing, Sheridan and I had a late lunch at the Rain Forest Cafe. It is one of Sheridan's favorites. She loves when the forest comes alive and all of the animals start making noise and there is a thunder storm. Sheridan said it was the "best day ever"! I couldn't agree with her more!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Custom T-shirts

I LOVE Anthropologie! It is one of my favorite stores. Unfortunately, it is not in my budget to spend $58 on a t-shirt. Yes, that's how much these shirts cost (not together, seperately !)

So when I visited One Pretty Thing and she posted a how-to on making your own embellished shirts for $10, I knew I had to share this news with my friends. Thursday, I had the girls over. I had them buy 2 t-shirts at Walmart for $5 each. I'm sure you could find 2 old t-shirts in your dresser as well. I used the same color but my friend, Sandy, had a black shirt and made white flowers for it. Sorry I don't have a picture; I had a bit of a headache today and wasn't thinking clearly :)

In the original instructions, it says to cut 3 circles in small, medium and large; the largest being the size of a soda can bottom. I cut 7 of each. Layer them on top of each other, largest on the bottom.

Run the needle up throught the fabric and then down again. I then folded the circle in half, and then half again making a pie shape. I whip stitched it about 4 times going through all of the layers and then tied it off. It turned out puckered. I arranged them on the shoulder and around the neckline. I tacked them down and Viola! a new custom t-shirt for 1/6 the price of the one at Anthropologie.

I have been very busy with my business and I have some exciting news to share in the upcoming weeks!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Back to School Party for Scouts

I hosted a Back-to-School party for my Brownie troop on Tuesday which was the day before school started. I set it up to run like a regular school day with diiferent subjects in different periods. I got the great paper decor from Parties by Hardie. It was so easy to print and cut out.
I bought each of the girls gifts consisting of 64 count crayons, mini notepad and a glue stick---all from the dollar store.
I even decorated the chandelier with Parties by Hardie designs and pencils from the dollar store.

One of the periods was MUSIC. I have a new kareoke machine and girls had a great time belting out Miley Cyrus songs and Popular from Wicked.

Period 2 was SCIENCE. I demonstrated a chemical reation with Diet Pepsi and Mentos. The girls thought this was fabulous!
SNACK was served cafeteria style on High School Musical lunch trays (from the dollar store)
ART period consisted of decorating tray liners for the local hospital.
For HOME ECONOMICS, the girls made chocolate dipped pretzels. I got the downloadable wrappers fro Parties by Hardie blog.
They turned out really great! It was a wonderful way to kick off the new school year!
Today, I got this great email from one of my Brownie's mom;

Hi there- it was a bit crazy this am and I had lots of people to speak to, but I wanted to thank you for all of your hard work with the girls - your meeting yesterday was wonderful- I always tell people I have the Martha Stewart of girl scout leaders for Katie- she loves it so much and couldnt stop talking about how much fun it was- thanks again for all you do - I dont feel like I have thanked you properly for last year- it had been so hectic-this year is fixing to be much smoother(I hope) let me know what I can do to help this year- E
I love my troop and their parents. I'm glad to be a part of their childhood!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Back to the Future Backyard Movie

We just hosted our last backyard movie of the summer, Back to the Future, on Saturday night. I'm so glad that one of our guests went all out on the theme and showed up in this beautiful 1950 Plymouth! That's Chasen dressed up as Marty McFly.
I went to the grocery store looking for a plain, white sheet cake but they had a red velvet cake with some cake sprinkles on top. I attempted to decorate it like the cake in the movie when Uncle Joey didn't make parole.

Chasen is drinking Marty McFly's drink of choice...Diet Pepsi!

Chasen managed to sneak a couple of marshmallows out for the guests and I also had raspberry lemonade.

We had the most people we had all year...28! Our backyard was pretty packed with chairs and blankets. Everyone had a great time and can't wait for next year!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Back to School Project

A few weeks ago, I asked my oldest son (whom has Asperger's Syndrome-he is extremely high functioning) where he would like to do his homework. He told me he wanted to do his homework with his brother and sister at the kitchen table. This is good for me so I can keep an eye on them and on task (second son has ADHD) and help them when needed. To help keep them focused, I found a privacy screen project on Family Fun. I went to Office Depot and bought 2 tri-fold display boards and cut them in half. I bought checklists and dry erase boards for each child and I let them decorate their own boards.
Sheridan chose to write inspirational phrases. She also used markers and stickers to decorate her board.

The kids really enjoyed personalizing their own space. Matthew started high school today and the younger 2 start next Wednesday. I'll keep you posted on how the boards are working out.

Freshman in the early morning light.
He had a great first day!

Happy Back-to-School!
Update: This is a comment that was left by one of my friends on Facebook. I'm looking forward to homework now!
Mary Jo said: great Idea, my son was diagnosed with add in 2nd grade and this was an idea the child therpist gave me for doing home work and I even got his teachers to allow him to use a system like this at school when he took tests. They now have them for all students who need them at his elementary school. you will so notice a difference in his work..way to go Donna hes a very lucky boy!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Last Days of Summer Break

I'm sorry I've been MIA from blog posting but I have been trying to squeeze as much "fun" as I can out of the next few days because school starts on Thursday! Last Friday, I signed my son up for high school...he is officially a FRESHMAN! When did THAT happen? He was just a 6 year old when Sheridan was born and that was just last week, right?
On Saturday, I hosted a Girls Night Out for my backyard movie. I screened Romancing the Stone. It was the movie I saw on my very first date! I served Sangria, apple empanadas and chips and guacamole. My friend Marina brought homemade salsa...super yummy! I got requests for more GNOs!
On Sunday, I took the kids to a Dodger game. We sat in the shade, yeah!, and ate Dodger Dogs, sipped on cherry Icees and compared shades of red on our tongues. The Dodgers lost but I don't care. The kids got free Webkins and I got to spend time with my babies.

On Monday, Sheridan and I decided to take a trip to Santa Barbara. It is about 1 hour and 15 minutes north of where we live. We visited the zoo (where her 9th birthday will take place) and scoped out the site. The zoo is like a park and the lions and giraffes have an ocean view since they are right across the street from the beach.

Next, we headed to the Santa Barbara Pier to the Ty Warner Sea Center. Sheridan spent 2 HOURS collecting specimens from the sea and checking them out under a microscope. She is my future Marine Biologist!

After the lab studies, we headed down to the beach for some practical study. Sheridan had a great time dodging the small waves. Tomorrow---Bowling!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Cute as a Cupcake

This is such a frilly 1st birthday! Look at the adorable birthday girl
and this taffy centerpiece is amazing!
Love the giant cupcake with the giant paper liner.
It's her party and she can cry if see wants to.
This party was hosted by Jamiee Rose, not Party Wishes, and you can check out more of her pictures here.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Beauty and the Beast

I can't believe we showed our 10th backyard movie of the summer on Friday! We planned a "girl" movie since Chasen was away at Boy Scout camp. I remember going to see Beauty and the Beast in the theater by myself back in October 1991 (before hubby & kids). It was Disney's big princess fairytale comeback. They used computers to do some of the animation- a very new concept at the time! One of my neighbors was an animator on the film.
For the s'mores, I bought strawberry marshmallows for a girly twist. My friend Marina brought beautiful mini chocolate cupcakes. Half of them had fresh raspberries! That morning, I walked by my kitchen counter and smelled the peaches I let ripen. I knew they were ready to be made into peach cobbler, so I served that at the movie as well. Strawberry Kiwi sweet tea quenched our thirst. I had a rose left over from my Mad Hatter party and tied it with invisible thread inside my large cloche. This was the "Enchanted Rose" of the Beast. It looked great in the candlelight.

One of my friends from high school, Sarah, saw my post on Facebook inviting everyone to my movie and decided to bring her daughter, Elise, for a "Girls Night Out". Elise has 2 older brothers just like Sheridan. Sometimes it's hard to get special girl time with mom.
The raffle was a big hit again and we have collected a lot of food for the Hunger Defense Fund. 2 more movies and we will make the big delivery!