Daily Life, Parenting, Society

How “Queen Elsa” Broke My Heart

Elsa Frozen

My daughter celebrated her third birthday a couple of weeks ago (more on that in a later post) and, now that she’s getting older, we’ve started allowing her to watch Disney films. It would be an understatement to say that we’re movie fans in this household (duh- I write movie reviews) and that love for film is something my husband and I are passing along to our child. I don’t mind when my daughter pretends as if she’s Queen Elsa from Disney’s “Frozen” or Merida from Disney’s “Brave” but she said something the other day that caught me completely off guard.

“I want to be just like Queen Elsa.”

Now I know it’s common for little girls to emulate and want to be like their role models (and Queen Elsa is a great role model to have) but it broke my heart to hear my three year old child say that she wanted to be anyone other than the amazing little lady that she already is.

We live in a World where most of us are constantly trying to be like everyone else, chasing unattainable standards of beauty (you can read more of my thoughts on this from my previous posts on the subject), thinking we’re never good enough, and nothing could have prepared me for the day when my daughter wanted to be different from who she already is. I explained to her that many of the same characteristics we appreciate about Queen Elsa are ones that she already has.

She is strong.

She is smart.

She is wonderful.

I recognize the innocence in my daughter’s words. I understand that she may not already be feeling that sense of inferiority that seems to plague us all with time but the mere fact that she feels the need to be different from the perfect person she is concerns me.

How do we find a balance, especially in our society, of encouraging our daughters as they look up to the heroes around them and teaching them that just being the person that they already are is good enough?


Our DisneySide Celebration!

If you’ve been following my blog for a while (or if you know me in real life), you’re probably aware of this already but my sweet, loving daughter recently turned into a three year old. Coincidentally, I was also recently given the opportunity to host a Disney Side At Home Celebration for friends and family. Even though we hosted a Disney themed birthday last year, we decided it would be perfect to show our Disney Side while celebrating C’s birthday.

Disney, along with a few other partners, teamed up to provide some incredible decorations, activities, and take away items for our guests. Take a look at what they sent over:

American Tourister

Everything came in this great American Tourister (the official luggage of Walt Disney World). This luggage is pretty fantastic. It’s lightweight, easy to use, and will undoubtedly be perfect for our next trip.

American Tourister

Hanes TShirts

The first item that was included in our hostess packet was this pack of children’s shirts and fabric markers, provided by Hanes. These were an excellent addition to our party. The children had the opportunity to decorate (and then wear) their own shirts and show their Disney side. My daughter wears hers as a smock for artwork. It’s pretty fantastic.


Disney Decorations

Disney also provided wonderful Mickey Mouse Clubhouse partyware and decorations.

mickey mouse

Combined with the colorful inflated balloons we added around the house, these decorations helped our guests show their Disney side.

Disney Side At Home Celebration

Other items included stickers, temporary tattoos, ESPN Sports bracelets, a Disney planning DVD, recipe cards and measuring cups for ABC’s “The Chew”, face painting tutorials, Muppets calendars, Crasins, and some fantastic cookie cutters most of which were used as favors in each guest’s treat bag.


Speaking of party favors, I encountered some great finds while shopping my local Target. They had tons of Disney, Disney Junior, and Star Wars (which is also now owned by Disney, like everything else in the World ;)) goodies for children marked at only $1 a piece.

Disney Water Bottles

Treat Bags

Favor Bags

Also included in our Disney Side kit (and not pictured) were Run Disney cards which we used as placemats for each child, bumper stickers, HP Photo card packs, and a beautiful 8×10 “So This Is Love” Minnie and Mickey art which went home with each guest.

Our primary focus during the event was to help our daughter and her friends celebrate her special occasion so most of our pictures have other children on them. In the interest of respecting the privacy of our friends and their children, I have not included them on this post. If you’re following me on Instagram, however, you can see more pictures from the party.

We were so honored and thrilled to have been selected to show our Disney Side and encourage you to do the same with your friends and family. Disney is such a special part of our lives and it’s always fun when we have the chance to celebrate with Mickey, Minnie, and all of the other characters that are so wonderful.

*Disclaimer: I received these products free of charge in exchange for hosting a Disney Side at home celebration. All expressed opinions are uniquely my own. Questions about this post, or any product reviews contained herein can be sent to itsanordinaryblog@gmail.com.


“Saving Mr. Banks”: In Review

“Saving Mr. Banks”

Release Date: Friday December 20, 2013

Run Time: 125 Minutes

MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for thematic elements including some unsettling images.

Cast: Emma Thompson, Tom Hanks, Colin Farrell, Paul Giamatti

As a longtime fan of Disney’s “Mary Poppins”, I was very excited to see “Saving Mr. Banks” and learn more about how the tale of everyone’s favorite singing nanny came to life on the big screen.  “Saving Mr. Banks” details the acquisition of the “Mary Poppins” story by Walt Disney from the author P.L. Travers. It is an entertaining, sweet, well acted, and heart-warming story. Of course, as “Mary Poppins” was a simplified and somewhat cartoony version of Travers’ original work, so is the story of “Saving Mr. Banks”. I often wonder how much truth there is to movies that are inspired by actual events and so, after seeing “Saving Mr. Banks”, I decided to find out. I was disappointed to learn that it is far from an accurate depiction of the events it covers.

“Saving Mr. Banks” wins you over with its performances. Tom Hanks portrays Walt Disney as a down to earth, energetic, amiable people pleaser.  Hanks as Walt Disney really wanted you to like him, and you did.  Conversely, I liked Emma Thompson as P.L. Traver’s because her character didn’t care if you liked her.  Thompson does surly well and she was in fine form.

The movie also does a good job of exploring the meaning and motivation behind “Mary Poppins” as she existed in Travers’ original work.  It was clearly a very personal book, and one understands why she was so hesitant to relinquish control over it.  After seeing this movie, I plan to read “Mary Poppins” and re-watch the Disney movie.

It is ironic that this film about the Disneyfication of her treasured work has been so Disneyfied itself.  This is a sweet film about a not so sweet story. In real life, Travers held onto decades of resentment for how she perceived she was treated during the making and subsequent release of “Mary Poppins”.  She steadfastly refused to collaborate on any future Mary Poppins projects.  Even though “Saving Mr. Banks” is undeniably entertaining, it has to be noted that P.L. Travers would have hated this movie as much as she hated Disney’s “Mary Poppins”. I enjoyed it, but it all seems a little too disingenuous when put in context of the real life story.

On a scale of 1 to 10 with 1 being the worst, 5 being the best and 10 being the worst again, I give “Saving Mr. Banks” a 3.25 with an emoticon based sub ranking of: Conflicted.

Mad About It Mondays, Parenting, Rants, Reviews

Mad About It Mondays: Toodles The Saboteur

Disclaimer: If you’re offended by strong language and sarcasm, this post is probably not for you.

Check back tomorrow for pictures of my adorable child. Also, I love Disney.

Welcome to Mad About It Mondays

because passive aggressive Facebook posts were so yesterday

Mad About It Monday- Copyright It's An Ordinary Blog

I’m not entirely certain how the love affair started but at some point within the last 10 months my child has developed somewhat of an obsession with Disney’s “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse“. Being a Disney fan myself, I don’t have a problem with that. I do, however, have an issue with the fact that Netflix has only one Mickey Mouse Clubhouse show available to stream from my Roku device. Really?! Doesn’t Netflix have an agreement with Disney?! I mean, honestly….come on. That’s not even what irritates me. If it was, this M.A.M post would be awfully short, am I right?! Want to know what really pisses me off?! It’s Toodles.

Toodles is a whiny bitch.

There, I said it. Now we’ve seen some of the old shows where he was sweet, didn’t talk, and was relatively helpful. Now? Not so much. I’ve probably seen “Road Rally” (please, Disney, for the love of all that is holy make more available on Netflix) a couple hundred times and every time I watch it, my hatred for Toodles grows just a little bit stronger. If you’ve never seen it, here’s a re-cap:

Mickey and friends decide to go on a fun road trip together where they stop at various points throughout their journey to solve mini-mysteries. Each time they get through one of their pit-stops, they’re rewarded with a special surprise (whoo! Exciting!). Before they’re set to leave, Goofy realizes that he doesn’t have his bike to travel with so the professor gives him a handy rescue truck that he’s been working on to take along. The only requirement is that Goofy agrees to use the rescue truck whenever anyone needs help. Sounds simple, right?! Wrong.

Why?! Because their group has a saboteur in the mix. That’s right, Toodles, I’m onto you. The group is met with a series (as is the case with every episode) of unforseen obstacles along the way and guess who just so happens to have exactly what the group needs to continue along?! Ding ding ding! Toodles. Hmmmm…. sneaky sneaky.

I’ve always been a little suspicious of Toodles but he really shows his true colors in the episode. When Goofy comes to the rescue to help out the team, Toodles looses his shit. And here’s the thing: Minnie actually feels bad for him and tries to rally support. What the hell?! Are you freaking kidding me?! You’re a manipulative bastard, Toodles. And when the trend of recovering from, what I believe are, staged attacks on the group on their own continues, Toodles just ups and leaves. The team feels sorry for him, goes to look for him, and then gifts him with a surprise that’s bigger than everyone else’s at the end. Wow. Just wow.

Even if the obstacles are not of Toodles’ design, he needs to learn that it’s ok for someone else to help out for a change.  What’s more, by placating him, they’re only feeding his insecurities.  He needs tough love.

Dear Toodles,

Knock that crap off.


It’s An Ordinary Blog

Culture, Daily Life, Travel

Downtown Disney: Orlando, Florida

We spent the last day of our vacation in Orlando, Florida and we decided to head down to the Downtown Disney area for a little fun. Since we were only there for the day, spending the money to go into one of the parks didn’t seem like the most financially sound decision. Thankfully, Minnie and Mickey were there (if only in statue). Here are some pictures: