Thursday, February 19, 2015

DisneySide-ing before #DisneySide was Cool

Yes, I totally hear the Barbara Mandrell song in my head while reading that title. LOL!

In preparation for my Disney Side @ Home Celebration this weekend, I thought this post was fitting... especially on "Throwback Thursday." 
I received free products from Disney Parks and MomSelect in order to host a Disney Side @ Home Celebration. The opinions expressed here are my own.

It's no secret I'm a huge Disney fan! My fanfare started at a very young age.

My cute little sister at 5 mos old.
One of my earliest memories of my love for Disney was in 1983 when I was 7 years old and I learned we were getting The Disney Channel. I can still remember my excitement - I think I may have even cried! LOL! When my dad signed us up for The Disney Channel with Cablevision, they had given him Mickey Mouse ears as part of the promotion for the channel.

However, thanks to my memory-keeping mother, she shared these pictures from my 6th birthday party in 1982 with these ...umm... interesting Minnie Mouse and Donald Duck characters. LOL! I have no idea who the dog is suppose to be in the bottom picture, maybe Pluto??

You can always count on a little brother to be silly.
With The Disney Channel, we woke up to do morning exercises with Mousercise and before bedtime we watched cartoons on Mouseterpiece Theater. As a young teen, I wanted nothing more than to be a star on Kids Incorporated or The All-New Mickey Mouse Club. And, on Sunday nights we'd watch The Magical World of Disney as a family. It's funny as I was doing a little nostalgia searching on YouTube for this post, I can still recite the opening songs to all these programs and more.

My deepest passion has always been for Disney's animation. As a young girl all the way through probably my sophomore year of college, I wanted to be a Disney Animator. I drew Disney characters all the time! With the rebirth of Disney's animation in the early 90s from The Little Mermaid ('89), Beauty and the Beast ('91), Aladdin ('92), I was inspired to write a high school term paper called "Music in Disney's Animation"...it was perfect! I also corresponded with the Disney Animation Dept. to find out which colleges Disney animators attended. But in the end, I followed my mother's footsteps and became a LSU Tiger {Geaux Tigers!}.

Some of my old sketches:

"Be Our Guest!"
"Combination hookah and coffee maker.."




I also started pin collecting at an early age. I bought my first pin from the Animation Courtyard on a Disney vacation in 1993. My mom used to buy me pins, too. I think the pin trading started in 2000 because for some reason, I have a quite a few from that year. I'm not a huge fan of pin trading because I like the pins I bought or received. LOL! I buy pins on vacations and have started my kids with their own collections as well.

Disney's College Program

The summer after my freshman year at LSU, I was accepted to attend Disney's College Program. I was going to work for Disney!!! I truly believe The Disney Company laid the foundation for my work ethics that has carried on to today. I'm not going to say it was always magical - it was my first big job and my first time away from home - so needless to say, I was miserable half of the time. But, the memories of walking down Main Street at night with all the lights and no crowds were worth every tear. This summer will be 20 years since I participated in College Program - wow, I'm feeling old but I still have my Ducktorate Degree!

After all this, I graduated from LSU with a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications. Call it cold feet or just the changes in life, but I will never understand why I did not pursue my animation dream. I guess that's why I enjoy designing party invitations so much because it's like capturing my own an animation still. Anyway....

DisneySide-ing Over The Years

Fast-forwarding a bit...I've showing my #DisneySide at my wedding with our napkins, for Halloweens, and in my kids' rooms.

Halloween 2004

My sister and I painted the Toy Story mural.
I also believe I was a member of any official Disney fan club (Ha!), including now, D23. The quarterly publication alone is worth the membership fee. It's beautifully put together with lots of interesting photos and articles full of insight and details on what's going on with the company! Before then, I had a subscription to the Disney Magazine. Remember that?

DisneySide-ing With My Kids

When the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse debuted in the summer of 2006, my son was 6 months old. I was so excited that a new generation of kids would grow up to learn and love the Disney Fab 5. It's been a great entertaining and educational program for the kids. My 5 year old still watches it, especially I {Heart} Minnie Mouse and Minnierella. And...sometimes...from behind a book, I'll see my 9 year old sneak a peek :)

I've had such fun planning birthday parties with the Disney themes my kids loved. As my kids have gotten older, they like to help with the party plans, decorations, and baking the cake. I've cherished each party.

Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Birthday:


AristoCats Birthday:

She loves pink, flowers, and cats!
My sweet little invitation.

Cinderella Birthday:

Another pretty invitation I designed.


And of course, Frozen Birthday:

My Frozen-themed invite...
printables on Etsy ;)
...with matching party...




DisneySide @ Home Celebration

I was shocked and excited to be selected by Disney Parks and MomSelect to host a DisneySide @ Home Celebration. I've seen so many cute ideas on social media from other celebrations and I have a few interesting takes on ways I'll show our DisneySide for our party. I received the free products below in the celebration kit - which included party decorations and games. All opinions expressed are my own and I can't wait to share my photos from our celebration! So stay tuned!


Our package reveal:

video

It's apparent that I can go on and on about how much of a role the World of Disney has played in my life - and now in the lives of my children. To me, Disney is so much more than theme parks, movies, and money (as some always think) but inspiration for imagination, getting goose bumps to musical scores, where no detail is too small, always involving the family, and to knowing that...
"All of our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.” – Walt Disney.

xxoo,
Juliet

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

World Cancer Day 2015

I knew something was special about today...it's World Cancer Day and St. Jude's 53rd Anniversary thanks to founder, Danny Thomas!

It seems like over the last few weeks, I've read more Facebook posts about friends battling cancer themselves or with a loved one..or whose lost loved ones to cancer. My thoughts and prayers have been with them. We understand just how much cancer sucks.

I also realize that I did not post about our second trip to St. Jude at the end of October when we learned that Lily's treatment was a success (no radiation needed). As I'm looking through some pictures to share, it's still so odd for me to think that my daughter fought off cancer.

Here's a few pictures from that trip.

Mask up for port access.
Weight is better.
Did chemo make me taller? 
Lily likes to help with her blood work.
After her Assessment appointment,
we saw this special artwork!
Cheering for Breanna

Radioactive tracer for a PET/CT scan is
carried in a tungsten - heavier than lead.
Movies on the ceiling - only at St. Jude!
My little trooper never moved.

After reviewing the results of her scans, blood work, and physical exams, it was the consensus of  the medical team that Lily showed no signs of cancer activity and now in remission. We were given the all clear to remove her port! Yay!


Hug from Mrs. Jessica, CLS, after surgery.

Adventure is Out There

During the week, we were able to go on a few adventures. We visited the Memphis Children's Museum, Zoo, and Graceland. Lily kept asking to ride the horse and carriage on Beale Street so we took her one evening. Admission and the carriage ride were free of charge to St. Jude patients. The community support for St. Jude families is astounding! Even some of the restaurants offered discounts.




They could not get enough Memphis ribs. 
Ribs every day - this little girl could eat!
Since we were at St. Jude the last week of October, we were able to attend the Halloween festivities. The nurses, doctors, staff, and volunteers really go all out with decorations, costumes, candy and goodies to provide a fun day for the kids at St. Jude. Lily wore her Elsa costume that Grammy made - she was so pretty! My favorite table was a dedication to Robin Williams., which included a few of his iconic characters :)





Early Detection is the Key

I cannot express the importance of early detection! You know your body. Parents, you know your children's body. If something doesn't look right, get it checked out. I believe having that enlarged lymph node examined so soon after first noticing it on Lily's neck, we were able to catch and treat the cancer at such an early stage. 

It's amazing how our lives have changed in the past 6 months...






As always, we thank God, the medical staff at St. Jude and the Baton Rouge Affiliate Clinic, and your thoughts and prayers for helping to heal Lily. She's a tough little girl and I look forward to seeing what God has planned for her.

xxoo,
Juliet