Tag Archives: disney

Tessa’s Winnie the Pooh Themed Baby Shower

29 Jul

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Saturday was my daughter Tessa’s baby shower at Ethel Reds in Lemoore! I always knew that when I had a chance to produce offspring that their “Welcome to the World” party would be Winnie the Pooh themed. So this was an exciting bucket list achievement for me!

My amazing friend Bree hosted the party, and she let me go nuts with crafts and décor. She even encouraged and supported my obsessive nitpicking of the room, helping me to transform the little banquet room in Ethel Reds and purge it of every trace of ornamentation that was too overwhelmingly cowboy.

As I’ve said in previous posts, the theme was Classic Pooh with an emphasis on honey and honeybees. The colors we chose were yellow and tan. And the overall feel I was going for was Disneyland’s Critter Country. (I even compiled a playlist comprised mainly of the Disneyland Critter County soundtrack to be played at the party, haha!) I deemed the party décor a success once it felt like I was standing in line for Splash Mountain. Yes, I felt like a veritable Disney Imagineer of party planning, hehe.

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Since my form of nesting is apparently manifesting itself in the form of creating party decorations and theme setting, I’m going to outline all the steps we took to create our little party space. Here’s some of the special touches we added to the room:

– First, check out the Winnie the Pooh baby shower invitations that Bree and I made for the party.

– We hung up the fabric pennant banners my mom and I made from Winnie the Pooh print above the dessert / drink table and along the windows.

– We put yellow balloons around the room and tied to the backs of chairs. There was an 11×14 framed photo of an Indian on the back wall, and my friend Shauna hung up balloons in front of it, since I was trying to hide everything “cowboy”, haha. (I love my friends.)

– We put yellow silk flowers in vases and mini terra cotta pots all around the room to give the tables a bright, sunshiney feel.

– I printed out some original Classic Pooh artwork by E.H. Shepard and put them in little 4×6 Dollar Store frames, and had them sitting around the tables to lend some storybook Pooh imagery to the room.

– We brought along some goodies from home that will soon be decorations for Tessa’s nursery: a ceramic Classic Pooh figure, a stuffed Classic Pooh bear, and a Classic Pooh hunny pot lampshade. We also brought along a honeycomb pitcher for water with lemons.

– My mom had the creative idea to bring some Pooh Sticks – chocolate dipped pretzels in yellow honey pots. I thought it was a super cute idea, and they were tasty too!

– There was a HUGE 10 foot long framed cowboy mural along the main wall where we put our dessert / drink table that I insisted simply had to be covered. So my mum supplied the yellow floral print fabric to cover the painting, and we strung up a clothes line of some of Tessa’s Winnie the Pooh themed baby clothes to hide it!

– My favorite project and special touch to the party was the Hunny Pot centerpieces. Me, Shauna and my mom painted these pots the night before, and we had way too much fun sticking the bees among the fresh flowers.

– For dessert we had ordered a honeycomb cake with honey bees. We didn’t see the cake before ordering, so we were a little surprised when the bees came out looking like cartoon dookies with googly eyes, but it was still cute! It was still, in it’s own way, a “Pooh” cake. (Haha, get it?)

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The party itself was a blast! My lovely friend Eliza took the pictures of the party and made me step away from the camera after grabbing my pre-party shots. (She’s the lovely friend who took my maternity pictures!)

So! Party details! Bree put together the games which consisted of:

Baby Shower Gift Bingo – Bree insisted we play this, and I thought, “Yeah, okay, sure. Sounds fun I guess.” But I didn’t see the inherent genius in this game. It was a great party starter, as people took the blank cards and filled out the empty squares with potential gifts Tessa might receive. And so the part of the party that makes everyone slightly bored – the gift opening – became a fun group conversation and rivalry as people tried to Bingo over their gift predictions. And it’s a life saver if the gift receiver is awkward when it comes to accepting free stuff, like I am. I would be genuinely thrilled with a gift, and then would be able to relax and enjoy the present while everyone devolved into scribbling on Bingo cards and arguing over what constitutes a teething toy. This game NEEDS to be played at every baby shower!

Guess The Baby Food – Bree brought a number of baby foods, took the labels off, and had the jars on display with mini tasting spoons. Everyone was encouraged to guess the baby food, by either looking, smelling or tasting – whatever they were comfortable with! It was surprisingly competitive, and I didn’t expect so many of my friends to approach the tasting portion so thoroughly. (I will forever hold the gagging faces photos as blackmail material.)

Blindfolded Speed Diapering – One person was blindfolded, while another coached and guided the blind partner in diapering the Winnie the Pooh doll as fast as possible. We’d originally planned to have the diapering be on a baby doll, but we forgot to bring it. Which I think made the game that much more hilarious… Pooh was so chubby and the newborn diapers so small, that it required a bit of manhandling and punching down the fluff to get the diaper on. Which was kind of awesome. My beautiful friend Mikaela won with a blindfolded diapering job of just 16 seconds!!

Before we started in on the games, we all had a sit down steakhouse lunch. The food was all good Western style hearty comfort foods. Guests picked off of the select lunch menu choosing from dishes such as BBQ Bacon Burgers, Tri-Tip Sandwiches, Pulled Pork Sandwiches, Chicken Salads and more, served with French Fries and Onion Rings. Everyone ate their fill, and many had to take to-go boxes home! (That’s my kind of party!)

We were all extremely happy with our choice of venue. Ethel Reds was extraordinarily budget friendly, and accommodating beyond all expectations. They provided great service and were very helpful and flexible with requests from moving furniture to providing extra plates, condiments and dessert utensils. The only down side was that the banquet rooms air conditioner had recently quit working, and the room had to be cooled via fans, which were very noisy. And even with the fans we were all uncomfortably warm. But aside from that detail, I have absolutely no complaints with the location and service! I love the barn wood walls, the rustic atmosphere and the eclectic décor. It fit our Winnie the Pooh / Critter Country-esque theme perfectly!

I had so much fun at Tessa’s Baby Shower! I feel so very blessed to have the amazing friends and family that I have. I am floored by the gifts my little girl received (So many kitty cat themed clothing! And Winnie the Pooh goodies! I couldn’t fit them all into my car!) and I’m deeply touched by the overwhelming kindness and support from everyone that came to the baby shower. I will treasure the memories from this day my entire life. I truly do mean that. THANK YOU EVERYONE WHO MADE MY DAY SO SPECIAL!!!!

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Hunny Pots and Pooh Sticks – Winnie the Pooh Baby Shower Decorations

28 Jul

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So yesterday was my Winnie the Pooh themed Baby Shower for my daughter Tessa! Before the shower, I posted a DIY tutorial blog for the Fabric Pennant Banners my mum and I made for the event. I haven’t gotten a chance to even look at the photos taken of the shower itself, but I did get some pictures prior to the party of a couple of the other do it yourself projects / decorations we dreamed up for the event!

I am proud to say that these are both fairly original ideas. While trolling Pinterest and the web in general for Classic Pooh Baby Shower decorations, I was slightly disappointed at the repetitive and generic décor. I knew our theme was Winnie the Pooh, and the emphasis would be on honey bees and honey, with yellow and tan as the primary colors for decoration. I thought, hmmm, Hunny Pots as a centerpiece. With flowers? And honey bees? Yeah. Why not? After I ran with the idea I saw a couple of terra cotta pots with “HUNNY” scrawled on them being used for favors or centerpieces on the web, but not quite like my dripping honey / fresh flower / swarming bees creation. Yay originality! (I’m mostly thrilled because everything I “dream up” I find has been done to exhaustion on Pinterest already, haha!)

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The “Pooh Sticks” chocolate pretzels were entirely my mother’s idea. She thought, why not coat pretzels in white chocolate with yellow food coloring, and stick them in a honey pot? And it will look like they are honey coated sticks out of the honey pot? My bestie Shauna and my mum made these the night before the party (I was being pregnant and lazy and compiling a “Baby Shower Playlist” and letting them do all the work) and it was really fun to listen to. Apparently yellow food coloring can make chocolate seize up?? Or something? I don’t know. But the pretzels tasted REALLY GOOD! And they look super cute too.

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Anyway, we had a bunch of other small details and projects we tackled to make the Baby Shower unique and fantastic. My inner Disneyland imagineer comes out when I get to party planning. I’ll share the photos and details of the actual Baby Shower as soon as I get the photos onto my computer. I had an absolute blast and I can’t wait to share!

The Hunchback of Notre Dame Cosplay in Hanford, California

1 Jul

 

These were last years Halloween costumes! I had dressed as Esmeralda  for Halloween when I was 18 years old, so this was another case of pulling out a costume my mom had made me years ago, and then making Jonathan a costume to match!

We made Jonathan’s Phoebus costume mostly out of Eva Foam and scrap fabric / recycled costume pieces we already owned. Our friend Eliza took the photos for us around The Bastille and the old Hanford Courthouse buildings in Hanford, California on Halloween day, before heading out to a costume party.

Aladdin Cosplay in Visalia, California

23 Jun

It has somehow become a “thing” that I always try to dress as a Disney princess each Halloween. Since I had been a bossy snooty snoot cosplay-wise in the summer of 2011, when Halloween rolled around that year I let Jonathan have his pick of the Disney realm. I was hoping for something classic and old fashioned – Cinderella? Sleeping Beauty? – but Jonathan picked Aladdin. And despite my decidedly un-Arabian princess-esque features, I had no choice but to in all fairness comply. And our roommate at the time, Sean (who has joined us on tons of other cosplay projects) was only too eager to join in as Jafar.

We made all three of the costumes in this shoot from scratch, and that includes drafting the patterns by hand as well. All of this was freehand, and making it up as we went. (I hope our being amateurs doesn’t show!) The necklace, earrings, and Jafar’s staff Jonathan made out of fimo clay (he is getting so good at that stuff) and I painted them gold. The wig is a regular black wig that I covered in hair extensions to give it the round shape and long tail. This was also my first time trying my hand at my own makeup using a “Disney’s Jasmine Make Up Tutorial” on YouTube – it was also my first time wearing false lashes!

We did the photoshoot at some random business buildings down the road from where we used to live in Visalia, California. It was a weekend so they were closed.. but we still got people pulling over and asking for pictures, or just honking and waving at us like crazy! Being just days away from Halloween we got the celebrity treatment instead of the, “Uhhhh, are you going to a costume party? Is there a Renaissance Faire going on or something?” treatment.

TRON Cosplay at Disney’s California Adventure elecTRONica

10 Jun

Well!! Jonathan and I were tromping around San Diego Comic Con in our Princess Bride outfits, and we saw a guy in a Tron outfit. It was a mixture of electroluminescent wire, florescent paint and reflective tape. And while I tend to not be an overly judgmental person when it comes to others cosplays, I thought, ohhh man, we can do better! We hadn’t even left the Con and I was googling catsuits from Jonathans iPhone. ^_^

I regret that I didn’t take photos of the making of these costumes, but it all happened so quickly. We were taking our time ordering all the base materials (we decided to go with white catsuits and reflective tape), and we had MONTHS to get these bad boys done, when Disney announced their private elecTRONica Meet-Up Party at Disney’s California Adventure, and we managed to score tickets.

So we had a WEEK to make this costume! Lemme do a quick rundown on the costume pieces:

– We got the catsuits custom ordered off of eBay from China. They took about a month to arrive, and aside from being slightly see-through, they were perfect! We bought some white tights to wear under the suits to remedy the see-through-ness.

– The shoes at a thrift store finds, spray painted white and trimmed with reflective tape.

– We got a white sweater at a thrift store, cut off the arms, and my mum stuck some elastic in and hemmed them for me. Voila last minute leg warmers!

– The belts are actually plastic place mats from the Dollar Store… we hot glued them into belt form, covered them in white fabric and decorated them in the reflective tape. We attached some elastic on the end to give them some bend.

– The wrist bracers are actually little kids shin guards. We took a seam ripper to them to take off the black elastic wraps, and then spray painted them, decorated them and hot glued them to the catsuit.

– Jonathan’s disc is a frisbee that we spray painted and covered with the reflective tape. We attached some pudding cups to his back to make it stand out and used velcro to make it removable for pictures. (Talk about cobbling together a cosplay, haha!)

– The hats were the hardest part, and I’m not too thrilled with mine. We looked everywhere for something to turn into a Yori cap.. from buying a plastic toy kids helmet at the Dollar Store, to a swimming cap at a sports store. I finally settled on this bright orange hunting cap from a thrift store, cut it into a kind-of Yori hat shape, spray painted it, hot glued a white lining and decorated it with the tape. Jonathans helmet was a sports helmet that was spray painted and trimmed.

– The body of the catsuit was decorated with reflective tape (obviously) that needed to be hot glued to the suit… while we were wearing them. Seriously. We have blisters and scabs. I seriously wish I were joking. These costumes actually made us BLEED.

We finished my costume around one in the morning before having to leave to elecTRONica.. and we were hot glueing and touching them up on the way out the door in the morning.. but it was a BLAST! The Disney Parks Blog people took pictures of us and featured them on the Disney website blog, and the screenwriters from Tron Legacy said that our costumes looked as nice / nicer than the actual Tron costumes from the original movie!

We got stopped for pictures every couple of steps, which was a lot of fun, and people kept freaking out over how the tape glows in the pictures, which we got a BIG kick out of. I love the pictures we were able to take with the awesome background, and the party was unforgettable. This is by far one of my favoritest costumes!! ^_^

Alice in Wonderland Cosplay in Hanford, California

7 Jun

My mum made this costume for me for Halloween of 2007. After wearing it to the mall for a costume contest, and having tons of little kids asking for my picture thinking I was the real Alice, I decided to apply for work at Disneyland (something I’d wanted to do since I was a little kid).

After moving to Southern California to work at Disney – and subsequently meeting Jonathan in Anaheim in 2008 – I decided to pull out this old costume for the Halloween of 2010, upgrade the wig, and give it another go, this time with Jonathan as the Mad Hatter and our good friend Eric as the March Hare. ^_^

We decided to do our photoshoot at Hidden Valley Park in Hanford, CA. There was a perfect area for the shoot, a square of flat ground surrounded by bushes and trees. I borrowed my parents picnic bench and my coworkers folding tables, and we used a medley of my parents and my own chairs. We’d been collecting tea cups and tea pots from thrift stores for weeks leading up to the shoot, so we had a nice little collection. Mum pitched in some spoons and we picked up the pink table cloths at the dollar store.

It was really sunny and due to various work schedules, we had to do the shoot in the worst part of the day lighting-wise. Some friends held up reflecting sheets to control the shadows and help with props, so we had some mild success in the lighting of the photoshoot. This also started the process of investing more and more planning into following shoots. During the shoot my mum brought us some pizzas for a picnic in the park, so it was a rather lovely unbirthday of a day. The marvelous part of this shoot? We only broke one saucer during the whole day!

Oh, and the “tea” in the pictures? Diet Coke and water. ^_^

Snow White and the Seven Dwarves Cosplay in Hanford, California

31 May

 

This was our Halloween costumes of 2009. I was Snow White and Jonathan was Prince Charming. The photos were taken at Hidden Valley Park in Hanford, California.

These costumes are all my mom! This was before Jonathan and I had tried our hands at sewing our own costumes and she made both of them by her onesie. I decided to do Snow White and the Seven Dwarves because when I worked at Disneyland a couple years before, I had always intended to audition for one of my favorite princesses. I never did have the chance – Disney won’t let you change departments till you’ve put in a certain amount of time at your current department, and by the time I was eligible to audition, I had accepted a new job in Riverside as a pro-life activist.

So I decided to turn my princess dreams into a Halloween reality, but this time with a Prince Charming by my side!