Princess & The Blog

14Feb2015

Happy Valentine’s Day!

By |February 14th, 2015|General, Holidays, life|0 Comments

 

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Happy Valentine’s Day!  Today, couples from around the world recognize Valentine’s Day. For most, Valentine’s Day is a day of love, a day to shower your beloved with gifts and tokens of appreciation, to enjoy a nice meal with them, and to have moments of romance. Many consider it to be a “Hallmark” greeting-card holiday, created by the retail business in order to get people to spend money on flowers, chocolates, stuffed animals, jewelry, travel, meals, and other luxuries. However, Valentine’s Day is not a modern creation. Rather, it is a day with ancient roots, both cultural and religious. With many legends and tales surrounding Valentine’s Day, the supposed day of love, it can be difficult to ascertain exactly where and how Valentine’s Day originated. Valentine’s Day is not a global holiday. It is celebrated in many countries, but its classification as a holiday is somewhat limited. It is also referred to as St. Valentine’s Day, or the Feast of Saint Valentine, which gives the impression that the celebrations on February 14 have Christian roots. However, the day is also said to have Pagan origins. So with that said, no one can say for sure where Valentine’s Day originated from. Many people will argue that the holiday has Pagan roots, perhaps inspired by the Roman festival of Lupercalia.  Meanwhile, other people view it as a Christian holiday, started by a brave St. Valentine who went against the law and married those who were in love, or a St. Valentine who fell in love with a warden’s daughter, and who lost his life due to the love letters he wrote to her, signed “Your Valentine.” Regardless of the roots of the holiday, Valentine’s Day remains a popular day to be in love. –

http://www.ancient-origins.net/history/day-love-complex-origins-valentine-s-day-002672

13Feb2015

It’s Friday, 13th! So Where Does All the Superstition Come From?

By |February 13th, 2015|General, life|0 Comments

images-1With today being Friday, 13th I thought I would share this from Wikipedeia.  Happy reading!

Friday the 13th, also known as Black Friday in some countries, is considered an unlucky day in Western superstition. It occurs when the 13th day of the month in the Gregorian calendar falls on a Friday. There is no written evidence for a “Friday the 13th” superstition before the 19th century, and the superstition only gained widespread distribution in the 20th century. The fear of the number 13 has been given a scientific name: triskadekaphobia; and on analogy to this the fear of Friday the 13th is called paraskevidekatriaphobia, from the Greek words Paraskeví (Παρασκευή, meaning “Friday”), and dekatreís (δεκατρείς, meaning “thirteen”).[1][2]

It’s not known for certain how the superstition surrounding this day arose, but both Friday and the number 13 are connected with the crucifixion of Christ (Friday being the day the crucifixion took place, commemorated weekly in Catholic practice, and 13 being the number of people present at the Last supper). According to Phillips Stevens, Jr., associate professor of anthropology at the University at Buffalo (SUNY), “There were 13 people at the table (at the Last Supper) and the 13th was Judas. The Last Supper was on a Thursday, and the next day was Friday, the day of crucifixion. When ’13’ and Friday come together, it is a double whammy.”[3]

Friday has been considered an unlucky day to undertake journeys or begin new projects at least since the 14th century, as witnessed by Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales.[2]

However, folklorists maintain that there is no written evidence for a “Friday the 13th” superstition before the 19th century.[4][5][6] An early documented reference in English occurs in Henry Sutherland Edwards’ 1869 biography of Gioachino Rossini, who died on a Friday 13th:

He [Rossini] was surrounded to the last by admiring friends; and if it be true that, like so many Italians, he regarded Fridays as an unlucky day and thirteen as an unlucky number, it is remarkable that on Friday 13th of November he passed away.[7]

 

Other possible contributing factors include:

In numerology, the number twelve is considered the number of completeness, as reflected in the twelve months of the year, twelve hours of the clock day, the twelve deities of Olympus, twelve tribes of Israel, twelve Apostles of Jesus, the 12 successors of Muhammad in Shia Islam, twelve signs of the Zodiac, the 12 years of the Chinese Buddhist cycle, etc. In contrast the number thirteen is considered irregular, transgressing this completeness.

There is a superstition, thought by some to derive from the Last Supper or a Norse myth, that having thirteen people seated at a table results in the death of one of the diners.

On Friday, 13 October 1307, hundreds of the Knights Templar were arrested in France, possibly giving rise to the fear of a curse on that day. This connection between the Friday the 13th superstition and the Knights Templar was popularized in Dan Brown’s 2003 novel The Da Vinci Code and in John J. Robinson’s 1989 work Born in Blood: The Lost Secrets of Freemasonry, and also in the Maurice Druon historical novel series: “The Accursed Kings” (French: Les Rois Maudits). However, experts agree that this is a relatively recent correlation, and most likely a modern-day invention.[2][9][10]

 

29Jan2015

Disneyland to Launch New Parade & Firework Display for 60th Anniversary

By |January 29th, 2015|Disney News and Events, life, Uncategorized|0 Comments

 

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I cannot believe that Disneyland has been around for 60 years already.  If Walt Disney was alive, I think he would be quite proud of what has become of his company and the leadership of those at the helm.  This is an article that came out today from the LA Times.

The Disneyland resort in Anaheim will celebrate its 60th anniversary this year with a new parade, an upgraded fireworks show and other changes that park officials describe as “amazing.”

Disney officials unveiled details of its Diamond Celebration during a presentation Wednesday night that included a brief explosion of fireworks and a light projection show on Disneyland’s Main Street.

The new celebration is set to start at the park May 22 with no end date scheduled. “It’s really going to be amazing,” said Tom Staggs, chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts.

Officials said the celebration will include a new nighttime parade, inspired by the Main Street Electrical Parade, which ended at Disneyland in 1996. The new parade, dubbed “Paint the Night,” is to feature more than 1.5 million LED lights that will be in synch with the music and the lights of the costumed characters in the parade.

The park’s nighttime fireworks show will be upgraded to include light projections that will extend beyond Main Street to splash images on such attractions as the Matterhorn, It’s a Small World and Rivers of America, said Steve Davison, executive of parades and spectaculars.

The “projection mapping technology” will be used to project characters and scenes from popular Disney and Pixar films throughout the park, he said.

In addition, Sleeping Beauty’s Castle in Disneyland and the Carthay Circle Theatre in Disney’s California Adventure park will be overhauled with diamond exteriors to reflect the diamond anniversary, said John Addis, senior show director at Disneyland.

“It’s going to look sparkly,” he said. At Disney’s California Adventure, the “World of Color” light-and-water show will also be remade to use fire, water and lights to tell the history of Walt Disney and his park, officials said.

27Jan2015

To Vax or not; that is the question

By |January 27th, 2015|General, life|0 Comments

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In light of the recent measles outbreak in Southern California, I thought I would chime in on this topic since I happened to be one of the people visiting the area at the time. I am also a parent, and I too long ago had to once weigh the pros and cons of the vaccine debate. For me it was a matter of medical concern and not a religious belief, as autism runs in my family. This past week, Californian health officials recently warned people with unvaccinated children including babies under 1 year old, to avoid Disneyland and other crowded venues that attract people from around the world. I concur.

Both of my children are fully vaccinated. I believe in order to eliminate certain illnesses in this world, people need to be vaccinated. I also believe that to not do so is harmful to both our society and the world–this includes the elderly, those with compromised immune systems, as well as those of us who have been inoculated. However when my children were babies, I too was faced with the decision whether to vaccinate or not. In my situation, two close similar-aged female family members each have a son who is autistic. I therefore had to do some serious soul searching, as I was the last female relative having kids at the time. In making my decision, I not only wanted to do what was best for me and family, but what was best for society as a whole. This was also the time when the English doctor Andrew Wakefield released his study linking autism to the MMR vaccine. As a first time mom having children, this was not a pleasant time for me.

Within the past 16 years though, the CDC, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) and many other well respected medical reporting agencies have stated they cannot find a link between vaccines and autism. The research that has been done during this time clearly states that autism is genetic. It begins in utero in the early stages of development far before a child is born into the world. I fully believe this to be true and my family’s history lends support this research. As a person and as a parent, I understand that it can be extremely difficult if not gut wrenching to see families struggle with this disorder, but to not vaccinate your children because of either autism or a possible rare side effect occurring is harmful. What you need to understand is that there is a bigger picture to consider; you cannot look at just a small portion of the painting. When you choose not to vaccinate, that is what you are doing. Andrew Wakefield by the way, was stripped of his British medical license in 2010 after his autism research had been discredited,

An illness such as the measles and polio is highly contagious and poses a real risk to everyone. Measles can linger in the air, infecting people even two hours after a sick person has left the room. Take FDR for example. It is believed he was exposed to the polio virus while visiting a Boy Scout camp. At the age of 39, this vibrant man was left paralyzed from the waist down. As we saw in Disneyland, people who are both unvaccinated as well as those who are inoculated are at risk. One of things that I love about Disneyland is that it attracts people of all ages. It’s not just people that are young with small children going there. I was blown away how many elderly people I saw this time around. I am talking people in their 70’s and 80’s zipping around in their wheel chairs. It is the elderly, the ill and the young who have the most susceptible immune systems. The reality is vaccines have turned many childhood diseases into distant memories in industrialized countries. However, questions have been raised about the safety of some vaccines because of rare but serious adverse effects that have sometimes been attributed to them. As mentioned, no substantial evidence links measles-mumps-rubella vaccine to autism. The same is true for the hepatitis B vaccine to multiple sclerosis. Thimerosal is also being eliminated from routine childhood vaccines because of concerns that multiple immunizations with vaccines containing this preservative could exceed recommended mercury exposures

I know it is also hard when you have celebrities in the news like Jenny McCarthy, Bill Maher and Katie Couric taking an outspoken stance on vaccines. The thing that you need to remember there is that they are not part of the medical community. I know it’s easier for us to want to put the blame on something, but you cannot deny the genetics. Does that mean environment does not play a role? No. Does it mean that there are not going to be rare, unusual side effects? No. If you feel that strongly about vaccines, then delay and space them out. That’s what I chose to do with my younger daughter. A newborn’s immune system takes between 6 months to one year to kick in. Breastfeeding your child during this time is extremely important. I also believe in using organic and natural foods.  Stay at home with your child or hire a nanny if you can’t. The key though is to vaccinate your child before they begin school, and to not take them to large, crowded places such as airports and Disneyland while they are unprotected. I waited until my youngest was about two and a half before I started the vaccination process and spaced them out.  I also did all of the above. A California High School has now barred dozens of non-vaccinated students from school on Wednesday over concern that a classmate may have contracted measles in a rare outbreak that began last month. The order, which affects 66 students at Palm Desert High School near the resort community of Palm Springs, marks at least the second time a California school has prohibited non-vaccinated students from classes since the outbreak began. More than 90 people have been diagnosed with measles in California and nearby states since an infected person, likely from out of the country, visited the Disneyland resort in Anaheim between Dec. 15 and Dec. 20. This is very sad since in 2000 it was declared that measles was eliminated from the United States.

23Jan2015

How to have a fabulous Cinderella Them Party

By |January 23rd, 2015|Birthday Party Ideas and Tips, General, Organization|0 Comments

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After a year of Frozen mania, I for one am ready to move on in a new direction.  With the upcoming March 13th release of the film version of Cinderella, this theme is the perfect party idea for your daughter’s next birthday!  For me, the Cinderella story has always been near and dear to my heart.  Not only did Jennifer and I title our company after this princess, but I chose this theme for my oldest daughter’s first princess party at the age of four, many years ago.  And it was that very first party long ago that inspired me to become a children’s event planner a couple of years afterward.

One of the things that I love about this theme is that you can use many different things for decorating: mice, glass slippers, carriage, pumpkins etc.  I LOVE using and decorating with pumpkins, so I use them every chance I can. Pinterest is a great site for party ideas!  Below are some party theme ideas.

 

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Table Decor

You can usually find pumpkins at Michaels, Jo Ann’s or Hobby Lobby.  I prefer using the white pumpkins and spraying them with a hint of blue paint and glitter.   Years ago, I had one of my close artist friends create several Cinderella centerpieces for me because at the time, Cinderella was one of my most popular theme.  The main piece that she created, was a replica of the the pumpkin coach that was on display in one of the shop windows on Main Street in Disneyland.  She had carved out a door, used hinges, place gold duponi silk inside the cab and painted a gilded “C” on the door.  The pumpkin was placed on an iron base that I had made with seat and and turning wheels!  I then had several other pumpkins designed that represented the different phases of the coach development.   A delicate briar patch type of greenery with pretty flowers will complete the  look!  For table linen, I like the idea of using a pretty shade of blue–something on the darker side to represent night time.  I also prefer the romantic look of a cloth that drops down to the floor and always use a  lightweight fabric that will drape more easily.

 

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Place Holders

Depending on what your centerpiece is, and the look you are going for, these are cute.

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Food Display

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Photo Op

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Snack

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Lunch

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Take Home Treat

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Cake Ideas

17Jan2015

Disney’s “Cinderella” Coach on Display

By |January 17th, 2015|Disney News and Events|0 Comments

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With the March 13th release of Disney’s film Cinderella just around the corner, the golden coach featured in the movie will be making an appearance at Disney’s Hollywood Studio at the Walt Disney World Resort for a limited time. The vehicle will be on display outside the movie theater façade on Streets of America from Feb. 1 to April 11, Disney says. Park-goers might have already seen the carriage during the holidays at Magic Kingdom; it also appeared during the Disney Parks Frozen Christmas Celebration broadcast which aired Jan. 1.  You can also see an exclusive preview of “Cinderella” at the park’s ABC Sound Studio.  Kenneth Branagh directs the live-action retelling of the classic story, starring Cate Blanchett as the wicked stepmother, Lady Tremaine, Helena Bonham-Carter as Fairy Godmother and Downton Abbey’s Lily James as Ella.

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7Jan2015

The Inspiration behind Disneyland’s Sleeping Beauty Castle

By |January 7th, 2015|Disney News and Events|0 Comments

 


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This past Christmas my family and I spent several days at Disneyland.  In all the years of living in California and visiting the Happiest Place on Earth, I had never been there during the holidays.  I have to admit that I really hate crowds, but I am glad that I went because the entire park is so beautifully decorated and the Sleeping Beauty castle looks amazing–especially when it is lit up at night.  One of the things that I love about Walt Disney is that he and his wife Lilian, loved to travel the world together and it is through their travels that they brought back pieces of inspiration that led to some of the beloved and iconic attractions in the parks today. Did you know that Aurora’s castle is based on the late-19th century Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria, Germany?

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I had a chance to visit Neuschwanstein Castle while visiting Bavaria last summer and it absolutely beautiful. The Neuschwanstein Castle is one of the most visited castles in the world.   Besides being a popular tourist destination, the castle also has a pretty fascinating history. Located in Bavaria near the town of Fussen, it was commissioned by King Ludwig II of Bavaria, a reclusive king who was also known as the “Fairytale King”.   King Ludwig II was an eccentric king who was passionate about architecture and was responsible for commissioning and designing several amazing castles before his untimely death/murder.  When Ludwig II died in 1886, Neuschwanstein was still incomplete. The king never intended to make the palace accessible to the public, but no more than six weeks after his death, the regent Luitpold ordered the palace opened to paying visitors to pay off debts.  The palace paid for itself many times over from these tourist visits.  More recently, during WW II the castle was used but the Germans to hide stolen art and is featured in the Movie Monument’s Men starring George Clooney .

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Walt Disney’s Sleeping Beauty castled opened July 17, 1955.  The castle is the oldest of all of the Disney castles. Though it reaches a height of only 77 feet (23 m), it was designed to appear taller through a process known as forced perspective; design elements are larger at the foundation and smaller at the turrets. The castle initially featured an empty upper level that was never intended to house an attraction, but Walt Disney was not satisfied with what he viewed as wasted space, and challenged his Imagineers to find some use for the space.Beginning April 29, 1957, visitors were able to walk through the castle and view several dioramas depicting the story of Sleeping Beauty.  The Castle features a real, working drawbridge, though it’s only been lowered twice — Disneyland Park’s opening day, July 17, 1955, and again in 1983 to unveil the newly remodeled Fantasyland.  The crest above the drawbridge of Sleeping Beauty’s Castle is the Disney Family crest.

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5Jan2015

Be Sure to Book Early!

By |January 5th, 2015|Birthday Party Ideas and Tips, General, Organization|0 Comments

images-1I hope that everyone is off to a fabulous start for 2015!  I know that I am.  I for one am so glad that December, 2014 has passed though.  I truly love the holidays, but they can be very hectic and very difficult.   And for whatever reason, this December was a bit grouchy like it had a grudge to hold.  Anyway, I am one of those people who like to get off to a positive and well rested start and for me that means organizing and being as efficient as I can be!  Once Christmas is over, the tree and decorations comes down immediately.  I always have to laugh at this because I truly believe that I was left behind in a former life or something, as I always have to be the first to leave or arrive somewhere.  With this said. I love the start of a new year!!!! Jennifer and I accomplished quite a lot in 2014 and we now can get together to regroup and discuss our new goals for 2015.  Business is already off to a booming start, so I want encourage everyone to start thinking about their yearly commitments.  This of course means things like work schedules, spring break, taxes, summer vacations, and your children’s birthday parties of course.  Please do not procrastinate on booking their party.  Once January rolls around, everyone will become extremely busy and schedules will get booked up fast.  If your child has a summer birthday, I would start doing your research now.  Check out Yelp reviews, ask friends, do Google searches.  We book out 2-3 months prior.  Please don’t allow a company though to convince you to book out before then.  The reason being is that people’s schedules change.  Performers come and go all the time.  Personal and work conflicts will also occur.  You want to book with a company that will give you the greatest chance of securing a performer that you want.

 

3Jan2015

Disney, You Truly are the Best!

By |January 3rd, 2015|Disney News and Events, General, Holidays, life, Organization|0 Comments

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My family and I visited Disneyland over the Christmas holiday for my older daughter’s birthday.  I was warned beforehand about the overwhelming number of people that would be there, but we still opted to go because it was the only time we could go do so.  Having been to Disneyland many times before, they never ever cease to amaze me about how well they are dialed in.  The Disney Corporation does not post daily attendance figures, but the maximum amount is 85,000 people and that is in addition to 10,000 cast members working there.  In reading an online article this week, both Disneyland and Disney World had to close their doors at 2pm on Christmas day due to reaching their maximum capacity.  I was there several days before Christmas and at the time I had heard the attendance was about 68,000.  That is not only a whole lot of people, but having to happily serve them, deliver an incredible product and experience, while managing your property at the same time is not only overwhelming but mind blowing.  Way to go Disney because you do it so well!

At one point while standing in line for the Indiana Jone’s ride, my husband began questioning the way the stanchions were being routed before I snapped back at him with a pointed finger, “Do not question the mouse!” It’s so true!  Disneyland is open 24/7 roughly from about 7am-midnight.  With the amount of hours they are open and the amount of people visiting, the place is always clean!!!!  You will never see an overflowing trash can because they are always emptied and polished clean.  The same thing goes for the bathrooms. The bathrooms are always spotless and fully stocked.  Emergency staff and security is always nearby. Guests that are visiting for the most part do behave.  With the exception of some loud frat boys, no one that we saw was out of line. Rides that do break down are usually fixed within a reasonable amount of time.  Service staff is always polite, very helpful and fabulously dressed of course.  People in wheel chairs and those needing assistance are are helped carefully and efficiently.  And I have to add that the wait times for rides are pretty accurate and reasonable considering the volume of people.

Not bad for a place that was predicted to fail!  When Disneyland opened its doors in 1955, opening day was such a disaster that pretty much every press organization that attended the celebration had predicted the park’s failure within one year. It opened on a day that was 101 degrees and the street asphalt still wasn’t dry, leading to it sticking to shoes. By the end of the first day, all but 2 of the 48 Autopia cars were crashed and about half the rides were broken. Fast forward 60 years, and The Happiest Place on Earth is completely dialed in and has been for many years.  As a consumer and a business owner, how great would it be if every business operated the Disney
way?

 

 

 

2Jan2015

Let it Go

By |January 2nd, 2015|Uncategorized|0 Comments

il_340x270.693901185_5sdxHappy New Year everyone!  I for one am very excited that 2014 has come to an end.  On a personal and professional level, my year was bittersweet. On one hand it was a really good year, but at the same time it was also a somewhat difficult year as well.  A lot of growth happened during 2014, which came from a tremendous amount of hard work and perseverance that arose from some very challenging situations.  As I begin a new year and think about new year resolutions, I’ve decided for one to not take myself so seriously anymore.  I can be a bit of a pit bull at times and not let things go, so this year I’ve decided  to ease up on things I haven’t been able to ease up on in the past and to happily move on.

Today as I was reading an online article about Idina Menzel’s New Year’s performance in Time’s Square, I could’t help but think that we as people in general need to let things go.

The 43 year-old singer seemingly missed several notes and the Twitterverse exploded with negative comments about her singing skills. One fan compared her performance to a dying whale and others jokingly said that her inadvertent “alter ego,” Adele Dazeem, had taken her place/  The Tony winning actress responded to the criticism via social media by tweeting a photo showing how she defines success.”There are about 3 million notes in a two-and-a-half-hour musical; being a perfectionist, it took me a long time to realize that if I’m hitting 75 percent of them, I’m succeeding,” she said. “Performing isn’t only about the acrobatics and the high notes: It’s staying in the moment, connecting with the audience in an authentic way, and making yourself real to them through the music.  She continued, “I am more than the notes I hit, and that’s how I try to approach my life.” She concluded by saying, “You can’t get it all right all the time, but you can try your best. If you’ve done that, all that’s left is to accept your shortcomings and have the courage to try to overcome them.”

With our advances in technology and social media, we have become this highly aggressive, entitled, critical, mean-spirited and negative nation of people yelling “give me what I want, give me what I want”  and then posting negative comments to sites such as Yelp, Twitter, Facebook, etc when they don’t get it.  I have to say that this makes me extremely sad because people are losing their sense of perspective and sense of empathy.  I also say, “way to go Idina!”   I think your response is perfect.  As people, none of us are without fault!!!!   If so, please stand up because the world would like to meet you.  All of us will and have fallen short at one time or another.  All we can do is try our best by consistently giving our all!