A Princess (with Disney) On The Road

Posted on Jun 19, 2013 in Disney | 6 comments

Once upon a time, there was a kind and beautiful princess who lived in a humble castle with four dwarfs and a hard working prince. Her days consisted mostly of cleaning and caring for others while trying to tell her own story to thousands millions on her blog. But what she really dreamed of doing, was to one day join the likes of fellow princess bloggers to learn and be inspired by the people behind the most magical kingdom on earth. The Twitter fairy allowed her to make this one wish by filling out a form to express interest in the event. As luck would have it, her wish was granted and she was invited to the ball. Now this ball was not the Grand Ball at the Magic Kingdom but rather a smaller ball that takes place throughout the land, On The Road. Regardless, it was an event to be cherished and she was grateful for the opportunity.

This may sound like a fairy tale to you but it’s actually my dream come true. Recently, I had the opportunity to experience Disney On the Road, a Disney Social Media Moms event in Washington, D.C. and what an experience it was! If you happen to know me personally or have read any of my Disney posts such as Cabins to Club Level or Tips for Planning Your Disney World Vacation I’m sure you know I’m a Disney fan. In fact, for as long as I can remember I have always admired the Disney brand, especially Disney World. The way they manage to stay classic while continually bringing new and enhanced experiences to their guests is quite impressive. So, any opportunity to absorb some of their “magic” is a welcome one in my book.

Therese Given at Disney On The Road

It was only just over a month ago when I first heard of this event. As I was stalking  following all the buzz on Twitter for Disney Social Media Moms Conference in Disney World , I came across a link that told about the On The Road event and offered a form to express interest. Not too long after I got the invitation in my email.

What to expect? I had no idea. What I got out of it? Let me tell you about it…

Maria Bailey, host of Mom Talk Radio, set the tone for the day when she stated that “Mom owned businesses are something we need to be focussed on.” This is one woman who clearly understands the power and challenges that go along with being a mother while running a business and I was eager to soak in all the knowledge possible. Overall, I think she shared just as many tips for handling the business side of life as she did for handling the parenting side of life. It was turning out to be a good morning, indeed.

Maria Bailey | Disney On The Road

There were several other wonderful speakers at the event as well. Gary Buchanan (@Gary_Jerry), Disney’s Social Media Managing Editor, helped to start things off by giving us a rundown of what’s new and happening in the Disney Parks this summer. Disneyland is celebrating the new Carsland and Disney World is gearing up for a Monstrous Summer which was kicked off with an “All Nighter” where guests could spend the whole day and night celebrating in the Magic Kingdom. If they were selling vacation packages right there I may have just handed over my credit card. Lucky for me (and my husband) they weren’t, since we just visited in January, but it does have me looking forward to our return trip.

The keynote speaker for this event was Jennifer Labit founder of Cotton Babies, a cloth diaper company. She started out by telling us her company’s humble beginnings of basing her business out of her home and eventually moving into a large warehouse space. Also impressive was how she realized the unique needs of different marketing segments and met that need by offering diapering systems for every budget. One of the things I loved most about hearing Jennifer speak was how authentic and down to earth she was, giving solid advice that even if you already knew, it was good to hear again. She spoke about writing down the things that are important to you “in a pretty notebook”(definitely my kind of girl), understanding what it means to get what you want and knowing your exit plan. The most memorable part for me was when she pointed out that you cannot get answers to questions you don’t know to ask and because of this encourages going back to school. Going back to school has always been a little whisper in my ear and I definitely welcomed hearing it spoken out loud.

We also got to hear from Michelle Stephanie, a contributor to Disney Parks blog ,who gave us some great information on interacting with the media as well as a panel of Momtrepreneurs who shared some of their wisdom and best practices with us.

momtrepreneur panel at Disney On The Road

I think that too many times,  as mothers, we get caught up in the either / or scenario… either I can be a great mom or a great business person but not both. I know, I for one have been guilty of this for far too long. Putting off having a career until you can give it your everything. Truth is I will probably NEVER want to give my career everything. It’s just not who I am or who I want to be. For now my kids are and will be my number one priority. After that, if I’m lucky I’ll have some awesome grandkids to dote on and love. In between, I’m sure my husband wouldn’t mind a little extra attention. Long story short, I will work to live, not live to work. I loved meeting and hearing from these fellow moms who seemed to have similar attitudes but are making it work in spite of the challenges. This day surely left me feeling refreshed, reinvented and connected to some incredible moms.

As the clock struck twelve, the princess hurried off to begin her long journey home. It was a morning filled with information, inspiration, and of course imagination… dreaming of the one day she will be invited to the Grand Ball. Until then, she will return to her castle where she will live Any Given Day, happily ever after.

 

Kids eating Disney Rice Krispie Treats

 

 

 

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DIY Custom Sidelights Using Frosted Vinyl and Silhouette Cameo

Posted on Jun 17, 2013 in DIY, Tutorials | 13 comments

DIY Custom Sidelights Using Frosted Vinyl & Silhouette Cameo

 

I am super excited to share this project with you. It’s only been in the works for about seven years now. Okay, not exactly THAT long but it has been some time now.

Anyone who has sidelights (those windows directly to the side of the entry door) has probably wrestled with the dilemma of wanting to let in light while preserving some degree of privacy. This has been my mission ever since I moved into my house seven years ago. Curtains were an option, although a little too “grandmom-ish” for my taste. I also had my heart set on custom shutters I originally spotted in blogland a few years back. While I still like the idea of these, we never seem to have the extra cash laying around to invest in them, not to mention the fact that we have two dogs who may very well put a beating on them after one visit from the mailman. So with curtains and shutters out for the time being, I had to approach a more creative solution. Once I came across Frosted Vinyl (etched glass vinyl), I knew it could be somehow incorporated  to achieve my goal. Once again, I called on my trusty companion, my Silhouette Cameo, to help me achieve style with function.

I’m going to walk you through the steps I took to complete this project.

First, select a pattern. I chose to use the same Silhouette file that I used for my Stenciled Lampshade, geometric background. I took the easy way out here but there are plenty of awesome patterns in the Silhouette store that would work for this project.

Next step involved is creating the cut file in Silhouette Studio. Here’s an video showing the steps:

Now it’s time to actually cut your vinyl. Start by selecting vinyl from the cut menu but you may have to adjust your settings a bit. Remember to ALWAYS do a “test cut” before you start cutting. Weed out any vinyl that will be negative space.

Frosted Vinyl Cut for Sidelights

Once your vinyl is cut, you can start to apply it to your sidelights. These are the items you should have on hand to complete this:

  • Transfer Tape
  • masking (or painters) tape
  • squirt bottle with solution of water and drop of dish detergent
  • pan scraper (or credit card) 
  • lint free towel

Use the transfer tape to cover the frosted vinyl.

Cover Frosted Vinyl with Transfer Tape

Next, tape in place using a hinge method.

Frosted Vinyl Sidelights Tutorial

Using a pan scraper or credit card, firmly rub the entire surface. This is going to ensure that the vinyl is adhering to the transfer tape.

After that, lift the sheet away from the glass and spray the glass surface lightly but thoroughly with the soap solution.

At this point, carefully remove the backing (not the transfer tape) from the vinyl exposing the sticky side of the vinyl. Lay this down on your window. The soap solution will allow you to move the decal a bit until it is in place while preventing air bubbles.

Starting from the center out, firmly rub the entire surface using a pan scraper or credit card. This will also help to remove any air bubbles. As you press, water will seep out the edges so have a towel handy to wipe it.

Frosted Vinyl Sidelight Tutorial

When you have pressed out as much water as possible, let it sit for a while. I left mine overnight which worked perfectly. That way any remaining water will have dried and the vinyl will have time to adhere.

Last step is to simply remove the transfer tape and stand back and admire your work :)

Frosted Vinyl Sidelight Tutorial

 

Here’s the view from inside…

Frosted Vinyl Sidelight Tutorial

And from outside…

Outside view of sidelights

 

Outside View Sidelights

 

Now keep in mind, this project only took me seven years because I had to figure out all the details like pattern, material and how to cut it. Fortunately for you I have ironed out all the details for you right here so hopefully you can knock this out in a weekend. I would love to hear if you give it a try! Thanks for stopping by and don’t forget to follow via email or Bloglovin’.

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Getting Crafty with A.C. Moore | Girls Night Out, Summer Fun & Giveaway

Posted on May 31, 2013 in Entertaining | 17 comments

*Giveaway Update*

Heather (@DiaperedKnights) was the winner of the @

$20 A.C. Moore gift card!

A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of attending a Crafty GNO hosted by A.C. Moore thanks to a fellow blogger, Melinda Babiak (@LkWhtMomFound) who blogs over at Look What Mom Found. I’m not sure how she did it but she managed to score us a night filled with craft projects, supplies and  enough inspiration to last all summer and then some. Best of all, I got to meet some super awesome people like the amazing Robin Beam(@rdbeader) who is the Director of Education at A.C. Moore and overall master crafter. Seriously, she was so full of ideas and techniques I felt like I was in craft paradise. We also got to meet a relative of the founder of Beacon Adhesive, one of my favorite & essential craft supplies, who so generously provided a bag full of their products.

Beacon Adhesive

While we were there, A.C. Moore had two projects for us to work on. Here’s the Rustic Romantic Quilled Flower Wreath…

Quilled Flower Wreath with burlap

And the Paper Patchwork Composition Book…

Paper Patchwork Composition Book | A.C. Moore

You can find the Rustic Romantic Quilled Flower Wreath and Paper Patchwork Composition Book on A.C. Moore’s newly designed website. While you are there I’m sure you’ll stumble upon other projects to inspire you. I know while I was browsing I found several new projects to add to my Pinterest “Must Make” Board.

Now, I consider myself a crafty and creative person who comes up with plenty of projects on my own but there is something special about sitting down and having everything planned and prepared for you. It really allowed me to take it all in and enjoy the relaxing side of crafting and to learn more about the things that A.C. Moore offers. And boy do they offer a lot. Besides the fact that they pretty much have something for every craft under the sun, they also host in-store events like birthday parties and scrapbooking nights.

This summer they will also have their Summer Fun Wednesday Program going on every week from 1-3 starting June 26th. To kick this off, they will be partnering with Alex’s Lemonade Stand and will feature a Buy & Decorate activity where customers can purchase a canvas bag for only $1 and decorate it with a custom ALSF look  for free using Simply Spray® fabric paint. All proceeds will go to Alex’s Lemonade Stand supporting pediatric cancer research. You can read more about the event HERE.

Here are the other upcoming  FREE events for Summer Fun Wednesday:

July 3, Orb Factory Sticky Mosaics®  Bling Stickers

July 10, Crayola® Model Magic Owls

July 17, Schur-Tech Duck Tape Duckling™ Frames

July 24, Karmin International™ Design a Puzzle

July 31, Melissa & Doug Scratch Art® Tube

August 7,  Fashion Angels® Tapeffiti™

August 14, Polyform® Eraser Clay Sweet Treats

These events are for children ages 4-12 and did I mention that they are FREE!?! A.C. Moore did such a wonderful job entertaining us bloggers for the night I just know that these activities will be a blast for the kiddos!

A.C. Moore were so gracious in hosting and had everything planned out to perfection. To top it off, they sent us home with a bunch of goodies to get crafty with. If you know me at all you know I love to share so I thought that I would spread the love for A.C. Moore by giving away the $20 gift card that they provided. To enter you just need to “like” the Facebook page for Any Given Day Inspiration and then leave a comment on this post telling how you would spend that $20. Enter to win below:

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Oh and here’s how my wreath turned out…

Quilled Flower Burlap Wreath | AnyGivenDayInspiration.com

 

Hope you find some inspiration to either get crafty yourself or bring the kids into A.C. Moore this summer for some fun! Can’t wait to hear how you would spend the gift card!

 

 

 

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Silhouette Cameo Tutorial | How to Customize Shape Using Knife and Weld Tools

Posted on May 24, 2013 in DIY, Tutorials | 0 comments

How to Customize a Silhouette Shape Using Knife and Weld Tools

 

Recently while participating in the Weekly Shape Challenge over on the Silhouette blog I came across a shape I needed to alter in order to fit with the project I had in mind which involved altering a shape and then cutting it out of vinyl using my Silhouette Cameo. You can see my project here in this blog post. I did most of the altering using the knife and weld tools in Silhouette Studio. Since these tools open up so many options once you know how to use them I thought I would do a quick tutorial showing you how easy they are to work with.

Doesn’t this just inspire you to go out and customize a shape? There are so many options out there to chose from! Do you have a favorite design feature in Silhouette Studio or questions on any features… I’d love to hear what you have to say!

 

 

 

 

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How to Create a Self-Hosted WordPress Blog | My Guy Friday Guest Post

Posted on May 17, 2013 in My Guy Friday | 0 comments

If you’ve ever talked to me about my blog, I’ve probably mentioned that My Guy is also my very essential IT guy. This week for My Guy Friday, he has graciously agreed to share what you need to set-up a WordPress blog.

If you want to stand out and be seen as a professional blogger, now is the time to transition away from your Blogger or WordPress.com account to a “self-hosted” blog. Self-hosted simply means that you have your own domain name that is hosted somewhere, rather than using a service like Blogger. So, here’s what you need to do to bring your blog to the next level.

Think of a name for your blog

To create a self hosted blog, the first thing that you should do is to give it a new name. Your blog’s name is called a domain, which is the address that people will use to find your blog (e.g., www.yourblog.com).  When thinking of a name for your blog, keep in mind that incorporating keywords into your blog’s name can help improve your visibility with search engines, which drives more traffic to your site.  Think of keywords as the words or terms that people search when looking for content on the web. For example, marysblog.com doesn’t contain any keywords unless someone is specifically searching for “Mary’s blog”.  A better domain name would be www.maryshomedecor.com, assuming that Mary’s blog focuses primarily on home decor.  You should try to come up with 3-5 names in the event that your first few choices aren’t available.

Determine if your blog name is available

Once you come up with some ideas for your new domain name, you need to see if it is available.Visit:  www.GoDaddy.com  or 1&1 Internet, Inc. to look for your name.

Tip: Stay away from using dashes or hyphens in your name.  Think of how it would sound if someone asks you the address of your website. 

If your name is available, then move to the next step.  If not, keep working through your list until you find something that is available.

Claim your name

Now that you have found a good name for your blog, you need to claim or register it to prevent anyone else from taking it.  There are many places that you could register your blog’s domain name such as hostgatorgodaddy,register.comnamecheap, and 1and1 to name a few.  When you register your blog’s domain name you basically are claiming ownership of that name for a specific period of time (for example, one to three years).  This shouldn’t cost you anymore than $15 per year, but you can usually find good deals particularly for the first year.

Give your blog a home (Hosting)

Once you have the name of your blog registered, you need to have it “hosted”.  Think of this as giving it a place to live somewhere in cyberspace.  Basically, hosting allows you to place your blog, along with all of its associated content and files on a particular server (i.e., a big computer) online.  There are many places that offer hosting, but I would recommend either Hostgator or 1&1.  Pricing ranges from about $4 per month to $7 per month depending on the length of time you select. You will most likely get the best deal if you use the same company that you used to register your domain name.

Install WordPress

Once you have your name and your hosting set up, the next step is to install WordPress on your site. This is a software package that is the back end dashboard of your blog. Having WordPress installed on your site allows you the ability to fully customize your blog to the look and feel you want. There are many themes you can explore to customize the layout of your blog. Once you have the layout looking the way you want to you are ready to start creating great content.

Web Hosting for only 1 Penny!

 

 My Guy is the very talented Dennis Given, licensed psychologist and blogger over at SuccessfulPractice.net. He would love to hear if this info helped you out or if you have any other technical questions about your blog so leave a comment! Thanks for stopping by!

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