learning to draw Disney characters


Have you ever stopped in at the Animation Academy at a Disney Park to learn how to draw Disney characters?

Mr. M and I used to do it quite often (in fact, this is his Minnie Mouse from Disney Hollywood Studios) before Miss L accompanied us on trips as a little break from the non-stop action of the rides and shows outside!

2009 - February - Walt Disney World

Well now you can have the fun of that experience “on demand” thanks to Disney Parks and their YouTube videos! Click any of the videos below and learn to draw Disney characters such as Minnie Mouse, Olaf, Anna, Grumpy, Oswald, Ray the Firefly and Donald Duck!


Learn to draw Minnie Mouse:

Learn to draw Anna:

Learn to draw Olaf:

Learn to draw Donald Duck:

Learn to draw Grumpy:

Learn to draw Oswald the Lucky Rabbit:

Learn to draw Ray the Firefly:

the science behind happy


If you’ve ever been in interested in taking a MOOC (Massive Online Open Course), but have been turned away by the intensity of some of the subjects and coursework, I may have found one you might be interested.

EdX is offering a course this fall semester on “The Science of Happiness” from professors at UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center. The course promises “to teach the ground-breaking science of positive psychology, which explores the roots of a happy and meaningful life.” Pretty heavy stuff there… especially if all the secrets are held in just a simple (& free) online course for the masses!

I’ve dabbled in a bit of the scientific happy stuff online via Happify and have been pleasantly surprised by the simplicity of how small activities can refocus your thoughts and attitudes. So diving in a bit deeper into the background of it all seems like it would be fun (and useful) to do. I mean, it’s probably a better use of my time than mining great happy quotes on Pinterest?

So… I’m signed up and ready to go on September 9th and will be posing as a student reading out in the quad on my lunch breaks. After five years of working on a college campus, I figure it’s the least I can do to blend in with my surroundings.

Right now, there are 85,000 people signed up and ready to participate in the class… maybe you’ll join us?

serious geeky loot

Have you heard of #Lootcrate? It’s advertised as a monthly subscription box of geek and gamer gear… and judging from their hashtag popularity, they deliver month after month on that promise.


So, being a family of “gamers & geeks,” I gifted Mr. M a 3-month subscription to LootCrate for his August birthday. And what arrived on our doorstep at the end of August was silly fun for the whole family! There was an exclusive Pop Vinyl Groot collectble (which mandated that we go out and find all his Guardian friends), Shwings to add wings to your favorite lace-ups, and TMNT sunglasses and an action figure!

Needless to say, Mr. M was pretty happy and Miss L is sporting those sunglasses as often as possible.

I’m always pretty skeptical of the monthly subscription boxes, mainly because I’ve been jaded by one too many fragrance samples I’ll never use for $10/month. I mean, does anyone ever run out perfume in those little sample vials? But LootCrate this month was definitely worth the $18.37 price tag! Mr. M actually asked, “Um… so I get more of these right?”  Yes dear, yes you do.

Next month’s theme: GALACTIC!  So, items from Firefly, Star Wars and Star Trek… yeah, I think it’s a safe bet that he’ll love that one too!

[p.s. if you use the code SAVE10 you’ll get a 10% discount on your subscription]

Anyone out there an avid looter too?

rock your baby to sleep with rock n’ roll


I was driving in the car with Miss L when “Boulevard of Broken Dreams” by Green Day came across the speakers. “I think I’ve heard this song before Mamma!” she exclaimed before trying to sing along with the words she didn’t know.

I got really excited for a moment. REALLY excited.

You see, Miss L’s only concert in utero was going to see Green Day. And I’m pretty certain my belly couldn’t keep the music out of her little cramped space in my belly. So as I was driving, I had these grand visions of her knowing every song, and being all due to her exposure at one concert. You know, some sort of personal experimental confirmation of those “babies can hear classical music you play” studies.

I was starting to compose tweets in my head to @BJAofficial with my amazing story, and my daughter who just magically knows how to rock out because of one concert when she was 20-something weeks old.

But by the time I got to the next stoplight, I realized something. And I felt a little silly.

I realized that we had purchased Rockabye Baby! Lullaby Renditions of Green Day
when she was a wee babe… and she had heard it play countless times over the years. So… that would be the logical explanation for why she knew the melody and not the lyrics. Good job mom brain…

But… the song was still really familiar to her??? That’s still cool, right?

So if you’d like to prepare your child to love the songs you’ll love for all time, then I’d start priming them with Rockabye Baby! music right now. And there’s an even better option for all Amazon Prime members, as your free subscription to Amazon Music includes 51 Rockabye Baby! albums! Make a playlist of all your favorite rock songs and lull your child to sleep as they stream over the noise machine in their room every night!

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