This Blog Is Moving

*PLEASE NOTE: All posts are moving to I will continue to post in both places until the end of June. Begining July 1, 2011 I will post solely on the other site. I hope you will follow me there. Thanks!!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Mentoring Mondays - Jana - Mousekaholic

Jana - Mousekaholic

twitter: @mousekaholic

I met Jana through the Disney Blog Hop, her blog is a favorite of mine. I have a soft spot in my heart for her because like my daughter, she is an Army wife and I know first hand how tough that can be. Like me Sleeping Beauty is her favorite Disney movie, and Aurora her favorite princess. You are going to enjoy today's interview!! So without further ado, here's Jana...

Introduce yourself and describe your blog.  My name is Jana Robins, and I have a blog called Mousekaholic. I am an Army wife and mom of an 8 year old daughter and an almost 3 year old son.  Mousekaholic is a blog about my obsession with Disney.

What inspired you to start blogging?  Being a military family, we move all the time.  I originally started blogging to keep family and friends updated.  While my husband was deployed to Iraq last year, I decided to apply to become a Disney travel specialist.  I started a Disney blog titled Jana’s Guide to Disney to give clients some helpful tips.  I never updated that blog and I feel that it was the name that was really dragging me down.  I was overwhelmed with the feeling that every post had to be a tip.  Sometimes I wanted to just talk about something Disney-like that had happened in my day.  I abandoned that first blog, and started Mousekaholic about 4 months ago.  The name is more generalized, so I was encouraged to write whatever Disney thought happened to cross my mind. 

How do you decide which articles to include in your Mousekaholic Daily? How do you keep them organized?  This question made me giggle.  I get this question so much and there’s a very simple answer.  I don’t.  The Mousekaholic Daily is a daily newspaper that is automatically generated from the website  It uses who you follow on Twitter or Facebook to create your own paper.  I have gotten some pretty amazing followers based on the Daily mentioning their names!  
Any tips for choosing topics for posts, how early do you write them?  I think this is something all bloggers struggle with.  One thing I do if I’m having trouble thinking of anything, is to go through and look at my Disney pictures on my computer.  Remembering past trips usually generates a good topic.  In general, I am not a planner – the exception being planning Disney trips.  We tend to do things spur of the moment in this family, so I write my posts as they come to me.  I have found this method (or lack of method) a little harder with both kids at home for the summer, so I may have to tweak when I write my posts!

If you could give a new blogger one piece of advice what would it be?  Blog about your passion!  If you’re not passionate about what you’re blogging, it’s going to become a burden to write and your readers will be able to tell.

How important is networking with other bloggers? Do you have any suggestions for connecting with fellow bloggers?  Super important!  A lot of my readers are fellow Disney bloggers I’ve connected with on Twitter and Facebook.  It’s great to connect with other bloggers who share your same passion.  One great way to connect is to find a blog hop to link up to.  I get lots of new readers each week from linking up with blog hops. 

How often do you post, and how important is it to post frequently?  Ideally, I would like to post everyday, but that has yet to happen.  My goal is to get at least 3 new posts a week.  I usually don’t blog on the weekends, as they are reserved for family time.  I do think it is very important to blog frequently.  It’s really the only way to keep readers coming back to your blog.  If there’s nothing new to read, readers will lose interest quickly.

If you could be a Disney Princess for a day who would it be, and why?  Definitely Princess Aurora!  Sleeping Beauty is my favorite Disney movie and she of course is my favorite princess.  In addition to being a Disney nut, I am also very artistic and musical.  I LOVE the art in this movie and how the characters appear to have been placed in a Renaissance painting.  The music is amazing as well.  I would love to sing and dance around barefoot with an owl in a cape in such a wonderful backdrop.  Prince Philip is also a definite plus!

Do you have a Disney Vacation tip you would like to share with our readers?  I think the most important thing to remember is to relax and have a good time.  Go into it knowing that it is impossible to do everything, so there’s no reason to run yourself into the ground trying to get it all done.  If you have small children, let them be your guide.  Let them go back and take naps, so they can enjoy their time.  Believe me, if your kids are tired and cranky, no one is going to have a good time.  Also if you’re travelling with a large group, don’t be afraid to split up.  The worst mistake you can make is trying to keep everyone together one hundred percent of the time.  Everyone is going to want to do different things at some point during the vacation, and it’s perfectly okay to split up for a while and meet back later.  You’ll alleviate a lot of frustration that way.

Anything you would like to add?  When I first joined Twitter, I have to admit I was a little discouraged.  I was overwhelmed with how many Disney blogs there are and all the Disney experts.  For a while, I thought I shouldn’t blog about something when others have the most updated information out there.  I would hesitate to post an update about something because I had already read about it on Twitter.  But, you have to realize that even if there are a million blogs about that one subject, no one has the same viewpoint.  You have different experiences, so your blog will be unique as are you.  You also have a whole different group of readers.  My readers don’t visit Disney sites regularly, so even if something has already been posted out there, they won’t know about it unless I post it as well.

I also want to thank Donna Kay for hosting Mentoring Mondays.  When she first asked me participate, I wondered if she had me confused with someone else.  What a great way to help those new to blogging as well as those who have been at it for a while.  It's an honor to participate amoung all the great guests you have interviewed.  Thanks, Donna Kay!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

#15 Ursula - The Little Mermaid (Disney Blog Hop)

#15  Ursula - The Little Mermaid
Hi! Welcome to everyone who is stopping by from the Disney Blog Hop hosted by Babes in Disneyland. Please join in and visit everyone on the blog list and say HI! The theme this week is "Under The Sea" and I couldn't think of a better time to turn to my list of Favorite Disney Villains and Ursula.

Ursula is truly evil down to the core, she would do anything to get rid of King Triton. From her gray skin to her ruby red lips Disney created a great villain you love to hate. She truly loves adding to her "collection" of Poor Unfortunate Souls. This clip is when she starts to formulate her plan to get rid of King Triton using Ariel's love for Prince Eric.  Hope you enjoy it!! Have a Magical Day!!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Mentoring Mondays - Beth - A Disney Moms Thoughts

Beth - A Disney Mom's Thoughts

Twitter:  @adisneymom

Welcome to Mentoring Mondays!! Today's featured blogger is Beth Green of A Disney Moms Thoughts. Beth holds a special place in my heart, she is the very first person to follow my blog. I think she accidentally found me right after Auburn won the national championship when I posted the Auburn Fight Song. So you see, we share three very important things, our love of Disney, our love of Auburn University (War Eagle Beth!) and we are both Alabama girls. But I have to tell you, even if we didn't share these I would still love her blog. So I will step aside now and let you read what you really come here for.

1. Introduce yourself and describe your blog.
My name is Beth Green.  I’m a mom of two boys ages 10 and 2.  While I am the “Disney Freak” in the family, all my boys support my obsession and we try to travel to WDW at least every other year, if not every year.  When I’m not blogging about Disney or being a mom, I am a full time youth minister. “A Disney Moms Thoughts” is now 15 months old!  Through my blog I try to share my thoughts, ideas, tips and experiences about Disney, particularly Walt Disney World.  Many of my posts deal with our past travels and traveling with children.

2. What inspired you to start blogging?
I started blogging for 1 reason: to attend the Social Media Mom’s Conference at WDW!  I read Disney blogs and followed the Disney Mom’s Panel members on twitter for over a year.  When I read about the SMM Conference I knew I had to start being a “social media mom” in order to attend, so I started blogging and soon a twitter account and facebook page followed.  Now it’s an obsession!  Maybe in 2012 I’ll be fortunate enough to attend! :)

3. I know you write for the Magical Blogorail Green, and are a guest blogger on occasion, how are these post different from your regular blog post?
My Magical Blogorail posts aren’t that much different from my regular posts.  I write about what I know and what I’ve experienced.  I know I do a better job of editing my Blogorail posts since I know more people will be reading and I’m linked to other writers- even though I’m sure you will still find type-os and grammatical errors in them…  I think sometimes my Blogorail posts are longer because I put more thought into them.  We have our topic for several weeks before we go “live” so I have plenty of time to think about the topic and do research if needed.

4. Any tips for those who would like the opportunity to write for other blogs?
Don’t be afraid to ask and put yourself out there!  When I first ran across the Magical Blogorail I thought it was amazing!  It wanted so much to be a part of it so I put myself out there and asked about being a part.  When other bloggers ask for guest bloggers, put yourself out there and volunteer!  When someone asks for a co-host for a blog hop, put yourself out there.

5. How important are photos to your blog, how many pictures do you usually use in a post?
Photos are important to my blog.  I try to use at least one photo on each post.  Sometimes I use more.  I am a visual person and I like to have photos to accompany the text.  I like photos (on other blogs) when they are writing about something I haven’t experienced and I try to remember that for my readers.  Everyone hasn’t experienced all I have, so when I write about something at WDW, I try to add photos for those people who have never seen or done it.

6. You are a Mom of 2 and Youth Minister for your church and still find time to blog, you must be very organized, any organization tips for us?
This question makes me laugh because I am made fun of often at work and home for how organized I am!  I have multiple calendars, to do lists, files, binders and spreadsheets going at all times.  My organization tips are 1) keep a calendar and write everything on it- when you have appointments, parties, dates, meetings, birthdays, etc.  I even write on my calendar when special events are at WDW so I will remember to blog about it at the right time!  2) keep your computer organized.  Utilize folders and create good file names so they are easy to find in the future.  3) stay on top of things and don’t let anything get too out of hand (housework, shopping, couponing, laundry, yard work, etc).  Do a little each day or week and don’t put it off until it’s too big to handle.  4) once all your “life stuff” is  under control, take time to write several blog posts at once and either schedule them to post or keep them to edit before you’re ready to post.

7. I know you use social networking (Twitter/Facebook) and post very regularly.  Which do you feel has been more beneficial to you in relation to your blog and why?
Personally, I like Facebook better.  I’ve been using facebook for years and it’s familiar.  But, I get more visitors from twitter, so I guess it’s been more beneficial.  It wasn’t until I started using “tweetdeck” that twitter became a useful tool!  I can now schedule my tweets ahead of time directing others to my blog.  There’s another organization tip!

8. You are currently planning your 16th Disney vacation. Please share a favorite Disney vacation memory.
Wow!  What a hard question!  I have so many so I’ll make a quick list for you~ taking my sons for the first time, running in the marathon (03) and half marathon (08), going on the pressed penny hunt with my friend Heath, spending time at the MK with my husband, and driving the monorail!

9. Do you have a Disney Vacation tip you would like to share with our readers?
Be prepared.  Have all the “stuff” you think you’ll need at your resort or in your backpack.  Be familiar with the parks, the distance between things, and how long it takes to get places.  Know the park hours, parade times and your dining times before you arrive and plan accordingly. Don’t think you’ll be able to do it all- you won’t!

10. Anything you would like to add?
Thank you for allowing me to be a part of your Mentoring Mondays.  What an honor to be interviewed with these other bloggers that I admire myself!  If any of your readers have specific questions for me, feel free to ask and I’ll answer- either with my own experiences or after some research!  You can contact me through my blog, email, facebook or twitter.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

#16 -Prince John - Robin Hood

#16 - Prince John
Money is truly the root of all evil isn't it? When King Richard is tricked into going on a crusade, Prince John quickly moves to assume his brother's throne. Due to his excessive greed, the new ruler moves to take everything of value from his subjects with his unjust taxes.  At the same time his is almost childlike in his mannerism, having a habit of sucking his thumb. Humiliated after he was fooled and robbed by Robin Hood and Little John, he is more cruel than ever to his subjects. He is probably the wimpiest Disney Villain there is, but he is truly villainous just the same. The clip below depicts Prince John as who he truly is. I hope you enjoy it. Have a Magical Day!

Magic Moments - Disney Blog Hop

Hi everybody!! It's Thursday so that means it's Disney Blog Hop day hosted by Lisa at Babes in Disneyland and co-hosted this week by my friend Manda of Manda's Disney Blog.  Welcome to anyone joining the hop for the first time and Welcome Back to everyone who has visited before. I really appreciate all of you stopping by.

This weeks theme is Magic Moments. I try to be a glass half full kind of girl, and find magic in life's little moments. Having Dakota want to sit down and watch a Disney movie with me, or flipping through the channels to see that Monster's Inc. is on Stars (there's something special about finding it on TV and not watching the DVD weird I know).

Mike is not a huge Disney fan, we are going to Walt Disney World for me and I am well aware of that. It's such a small thing, but having him ask about Disney restaurants or say something about wanting to ride Peter Pan's Flight are magical moments for me.

Reading Disney books to my kids when they were younger was really magical for me. They loved the pictures and the stories, even though they had every video Disney ever produced, something about the books and reading them together was so special. To this day Ashley & Dakota love to read, I attribute it to the Disney books we read when they were small. Now Ashley is reading the stories to Lexi, and it looks like I am going to have another grandbaby to read to in February.

Actual Walt Disney World magic moments, I think my most magical moment was seeing the Walt Disney World sign for the first time. There is something so magical about seeing it and knowing you are actually there. My palms were sweating and my heart began to beat a little faster, there was even a tear in my eye. I hope it's just as exciting this time around, and somehow I think it will be. Another magical moment was seeing Main Street for the first time, we were going to breakfast reservations at Crystal Palace and it almost seemed as though we were the only people there. I think it was like you went back to a time when life was a whole lot simpler. It's amazing how you forget the rest of the world even exists when you are there.

I hope you will all take the time to try to find a little magic in everyday!  You all make my days more magical, I'm glad I have so many new Disney friends.  I hope each one of you has a Magical Day!!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Mentoring Mondays - Chad - Days In The Park

Chad - Days In The Park
Twitter: @DaysInThePark

I am pleased to have Chad here today from Days In The Park. His blog hasn't been around as long as some of the others featured here on Mentoring Mondays but you will find that it is always interesting, and his true love of Disney really shines through. He has a fabulous sense of humor and the pictures on his blog are always great. I doubt I will ever get to see Disneyland for myself, but Chad makes me feel like I've already seen it. I know you are going to enjoy is Mentoring Mondays interview.
  1. Introduce yourself and describe your blog.
My name is Chad Elliott and I’m the co-creator/founder of a blog entitled Days In The Park.  Days In The Park is a blog all about the random fun, adventure, and “Days” we spend at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California.  We try to be a bit different than a lot of websites that deal with Disney in that we try to be more personal, or relational, than informational.  We like to write about our own personal likes and things we enjoy doing around The Parks, and we try to use that to set us apart to some extent.  It’s not to say we never report on any news items, but the ones we do report on are the ones that interest us the most and have a personal tie to us in some way.  We try to keep it fun, lighthearted, and humorous in any way that we can because we feel that’s where we’re able to do our best writing.

  1. What inspired you to start blogging?
I had been doing my own personal blog for a while when we began Days In The Park, but other than a few personal friends and family members, there wasn’t much traffic going on.  I really enjoy writing a lot, and I really only do it for myself, but at the same time it is enjoyable having others reading what you’re writing.  I had written a few articles about The Parks on my own personal blog and couldn’t help but notice that those were the ones that got the most traffic, so I figured I might be on to something there.  My friend Mark, who writes on our blog along with me, and I had been spending a lot of time in The Parks together at the time, and were having a “texting” conversation one day in which I mentioned I was considering starting a blog solely aimed at Disneyland, and he said he’d like to start one, too.  Rather than do two separate ones, and since we spent many of our “Days” there together anyways, I approached him with the idea of combining our efforts and just doing one together.  The rest is, as they say, history.

  1. What do you think is the best way to attract new readers/followers?
I think that the best way to attract new readers/followers is to do your best to constantly have new content for people to keep coming back to.  It’s easy when you’re first starting to fall off a bit, but the downside of that is if you have new readers checking you out, if you do it’s easy for them to fall off too.  I think it’s really important to continue churning something out as often as you can.  It shouldn’t be stressful but if you’re having trouble doing something substantial every day, do something lighthearted and easy so people have something to come back to.  Secondly, I think it’s important you just be yourself and who you are.  With so many websites/blogs dealing with Disney out there, a lot of the information gets repeated on a lot of different sites.  It’s important to take whatever you are writing and infuse your own voice into it.  I think that people really respond to that and love seeing it in a blogger’s writing.

  1. What attributes do you think make a good blogger?
I’m kind of piggy-backing what I just said just a little bit, but I think one of the best attributes a blogger can have is to just be themselves.  Readers are pretty smart, and they can easily tell if someone is being themselves in their writing and I think that they respond to that.  Inject as much of yourself and your personality into what you write and you’ll never go wrong with what you’re trying to convey.  I also think that bloggers need to be knowledgeable as well about their source material.  As a blogger you owe it to your readers to be as correct in what you say as you can.  Also, for me, it’s really important (and it may just be me) that you write as professionally as you can.  I go to a lot of trouble and re-read what I write several times to make sure my spelling, grammar and structure are all correct.  When I’m reading other blogs, I notice things like that right away, so I try to do the best I can to make mine what I’m looking for in others’ writing.  I think that’s really important to make your blog match up with what you want to see in other’s work.  We’re not perfect, and we don’t have to be, but it doesn’t hurt to strive for it!

  1. If you could give a new blogger one piece of advice what would it be?
I’m probably sounding like a broken record at this point, but I’ll say it again; just be yourself!  It’s okay to look other blogs and see how they’re structured and what other people are writing about, but it’s really important to make your blog yours and infuse it with as much of you as you can.  I think it’s really important too to not get discouraged, but keep at it.  When you first start blogging, you’re probably not going to have a lot of readership (that comes with time), and it’s easy to get discouraged because of it.  But if you are writing for yourself, and because you enjoy doing it, then it becomes easier to take the good days and the bad days when you’re blogging.  Pay attention to your numbers (stats) so that you can see what’s working for you in terms of your writing and what isn’t, but don’t get too caught up in the numbers.  Just write about what you enjoy writing about, and if anyone wants to come along for the ride with you, consider it a blessing and do your best for those people that are reading you.  It’s supposed to be fun, so do everything in your power to keep it just that: fun!

  1. How important is social networking (Twitter/Facebook) to blogging?  Any advice on getting followers/likes?
Social networking is crucial to your success as a blogger in my opinion.  Nothing will ever beat “word of mouth”, and if you have a presence in the social media world and people reading you, they’re almost sure to tell other people (friends) about you and you can pick up quite a following that way.  It’s probably the #1 way to increase readership of your blog.  When you write a new article, let people know on Twitter and Facebook and invite people to come read your articles.  As for getting more “likes” and followers, it’s just a matter of getting out there and interacting with people.  If you’re on Twitter, spend some time interacting with people, let them know you’re there, and always respond to them (do your best not to ignore them).  If they get to know you there, and like you there, the odds of them reading your blog are much higher.  Same goes for Facebook!  Lots of interaction is a good thing.  And don’t be afraid to advertise yourself or “fish” for new followers too.  Don’t spam the Twitter Stream to the point of annoyance, but don’t be afraid to try and gain a few new followers here and there either.  It sure can’t hurt!

  1. Do you thing being a male blogger is an advantage/disadvantage and why/why not?
That’s actually a great question and one I’ve wondered about myself from time to time, mostly on days when my numbers haven’t been very good – LOL!  I think it’d be really hard to prove one way or the other, but I like to think that we’re all just bloggers and as long as we have great content and something worth reading, it doesn’t matter one way or the other in terms of quality of what we’re able to put out.  Some of my favorite bloggers are women, and some of my favorite bloggers are men, so I think that in the end it all shakes out.   

  1. If you could be a Disney Villain for a day which would it be, and why?
Fun question!  And really hard to answer!!  I think I’d probably go with my favorite Disney Villain of all time (and one I’d love to meet one day), Prince John from “Robin Hood”.  Up until the end of the flick he’s really living the good life there – riding the countryside, pet snake, sucking his thumb and ruling England!  Oo-de-Lally, sounds like a party to me!

  1. Do you have a Disney Day Trip tip you would like to share with our readers?
My tip is pretty much always the same; take it easy, relax and just enjoy the magic.  I see so many families (and used to get caught up like this myself) that are worn out by noon (complete with kids lying in the ground throwing a tantrum), because they just run around like crazy thinking that everything has to be done ASAP so that “everything we need to do” gets done, and to me the tradeoff has never been worth it.  I honestly don’t see how you can enjoy what you are seeing if your thoughts are constantly on the next thing you need to get to, a la Clark Griswold in “National Lampoon’s Vacation”.  So I guess my tip is to focus more on the enjoyment of what you are doing and less on what you “have” to do, if that makes sense.  It has certainly helped me enjoy my time in The Parks more!

  1. Anything you would like to add?
I just want to say a personal “thank you” to Donna for asking me to interview for her.  I haven’t been blogging very long myself, so to be included alongside some of these other bloggers is mind-blowing, and I’m not entirely sure I’m worthy of that quite yet, but I hope that my answers do help in some way.  Thanks so much again for the opportunity!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Disney Blog Hop - Family

Hi to everyone returning from previous Disney Blog Hops & Nice to meet you to everyone stopping by for the first time.  Thanks to Lisa at Babes In Disneyland for hosting the blog hop each week. You should really check out her website and book if you haven't already. When you leave Disney Donna Kay today don't forget to visit the other bloggers who are Disney Hopping today!

Today's theme is Family. I thought I might introduce you to mine. I don't post personal things here very often, so indulge me.

I had my "Baby Girl" on June 11, 1987. I was a single parent, much to the disappointment of my father (Papa). She is definitely one of the best things that ever happened to me and I would do it all alone again. By the way, she is the apple of Papa's eye and she feels the same way about him. The Disney character that Ashley reminds me of the most is Ariel. She is strong and independent and determined to do things her way, no matter what. She is curious, intelligent and loves to learn new things.

Little Mermaid Wallpaper  Disney Image

Mike and I got married  December 16, 1995 after dating for 8 months. When it's right you know. I think the Disney character Mike is most like would be the Beast from Beauty and the Beast. Probably an odd choice I know, but here is my reasoning. Mike can seem a little short tempered and selfish sometimes. But, deep down he is a softie who loves us more than he wants anyone to know. He's kind of old school in feeling like showing affection is a sign of weakness. I know his heart is in the right place.
Beauty & the Beast
Dakota is my biggest unexpected blessing, he was born on June 27, 1997. Mike and I were in agreement that Ashely was going to be an only child. I took my birth control pills religiously. Well, let me tell you, it is true they don't work when you take antibiotics. God is smarter than all of us, because Dakota is the most amazing person. He is so loving, kind, generous and smart. He is somewhat shy, and is a huge fan of 60's & 70's music (disco not included). His guitar is his prized possession, and he's pretty good with it. He's probably the hardest one for me to pick out a character, but I am going to choose Simba from The Lion King. Dakota has a strong sense of responsibility even now at almost 14. He likes to have a good time and goof off, but when it comes down to it, he's always going to accept his responsibilities and do what is expected of him to the best of his abilities.
The Lion King and Horus

Donna Kay
Wow, who am I? I was born August 19, 1963 on my mother's 27th birthday. I was the "Baby Girl" (at least until Ashley took over). I come from a large family, 5 sisters, 2 brothers. We are all fiercely competitive, and love nothing more than beating each other at games. I am extremely devoted to my family and friends, you'd better not mess with them. I think quick on my feet, and I can handle whatever situation is thrown at me. But which Disney character am I most like? After much consideration, I think I am going to go with Wendy from Peter Pan. I think she was a mother figure to her brothers, Peter even wanted her to be a mother to the lost boys. She enjoyed having a good time, but she still understood that you have responsibilities you must keep. She believed that she could fly, and that all her dreams would come true. All I'm doing is waiting for Tinker Belle to come by and sprinkle some Pixie Dust, then I'm off to Neverland...

I know I was a little long winded today, I hope you enjoyed getting to know me a little better. Have a Magical Day!!