Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Disney Holiday Weakness: Part 2

As you now know from Part 1, I have a total addiction to Disney's holiday merchandise.  Christmas is probably my worst holiday when it comes to my weakness.  The Disney's Days of Christmas store in Downtown Disney, is basically the first place I go as soon as we get there!  Disney already has a few items on their website for Christmas now.  They've been releasing new ornaments here and there.  Which brings me to Part 2 of my confession: I have a special weakness for Disney Christmas ornaments.

I've collected Christmas ornaments in general for a few years now, but I started specifically getting ornaments from Disney every year in 2007.  They have those adorable ornaments with the year and logo on them.  And I have one for every year that I've been since then!  I've also tried to grab a few character ornaments.  And I usually get some from my parents every few years.  Eliot was introduced to my Disney Christmas ornament collection when we started dating, and since then, he's actually bought quite a few ornaments of his own to put on our tree.  (Note: we probably need a second tree...)

Right now, I'm totally in love with the Ear Hat ornaments.  I love hats, especially Ear Hats!  Disney is killing me with all of their awesome designs.  Of course the bride and groom ears are a must for Disney Wedding couples.  And I have a weakness for the Princesses.  Here are a few of my favorites!

Disney Christmas Merchandise- photos from Disney Store website.
Then there's the ornaments based off of the theme park rides.  There's a Pirates AND a Haunted Mansion ornament?  (Disney, if you're trying to completely break my willpower, you've succeeded!)  One of my other favorites from the newest collection is the snowman in the snowglobe from Pixar's Short Knick Knack.  It's my all time favorite Pixar Short and obviously I've never seen any merchandise from it before!  I basically squealed when I saw it!  There's even a little escape door at the bottom like in the short!  How awesome is that?!!?

Disney Christmas Merchandise- photos from Disney Store website.
The other ornament collection that just about knocked me out of my seat was the shoe collection.  I'm a great lover of shoes.  I actually designed some Minnie Mouse shoes to wear at our wedding rehearsal.

My custom designed Minnie Mouse shoes for our Wedding Rehearsal.
So when I saw the shoe ornaments, I knew that would be a great addition to my ornament collection.  I haven't gotten any of them yet, but I'm hoping to collect them over time. 

Princess Shoe Ornaments- photos from Disney Store website.
I really wish that they made real shoes just like the ornaments!  How cool would it be to have a pair of Tinkerbell or Rapunzel pumps?

 Character Shoe Ornaments- photos from Disney Store website.
And you can't forget the Villains!  How cool are these?

Villains Shoe Ornaments- photos from Disney Store website.
On top of my ornament collection, I also have various Christmas items to decorate the house with.  I'm so excited that we have a whole house to decorate.  Our apartment has been pretty packed the past few years.  But the addition of a yard and front porch will be fun to work with.  Not to mention the fact that we have the exterior of the house.  Mr. My Disney Life has huge plans for a Christmas light spectacular!

I've also gone to great lengths to collect two Disney Christmas Villages.  I finally found the entire Toontown Village (minus the fountain).  And I'm almost done with my Main St. USA Village.  I think the only buildings I need are the Emporium and Town Hall.  I can't wait to set them up!  I'm hoping to put the Toontown Village in our front window bay so it will be all lit up at night.

My Toontown Village and other Disney Christmas Decorations.
In addition to my Christmas collection, I have a few Disney Hanukkah items.  Eliot is Jewish, so I made sure to grab a few Hanukkah things when I spotted them.  Disney Hanukkah merchandise is hard to come by.  There are only a few things that Disney puts out each year.  This year, they actually made a new set of dishes that are really fun and modern looking.  I absolutely love them!  And they look like they'll go pretty well with my Happy Hanukkah wall banner from a few years ago!  I might have to get a few of those wine glasses… 

Disney Hanukkah Merchandise- photos from Disney Store website.
I also have some great ideas for some Disney Christmas and Hanukkah themed crafts.  Needless to say, I'm sure that we'll have our own Spectacle of Disney Chrismukkah Wonder come December.  °o°

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Disney Holiday Weakness: Part 1

Alright, so it's time for a confession.  I am absolutely addicted to Disney's merchandise.  (What Disney fan isn't, right?)  We have Disney items in every room of our house.  Basically, there's something Disney related no matter what direction you look in.  But their holiday items… they make me total mush.  Take all of my money Disney.  I really should get at direct deposit from my bank account to Disney set up.  Anyways… 

Disney recently released all of their Halloween items on the Disney Store website.  And then they offered free shipping with the purchase of something from the Halloween shop, as long as it was purchased by today at 11:59 pm.  Thanks for the major temptation!  Lucky for me, Mr. My Disney Life is going to Disneyland next weekend and I'm going to have him scope out some deals in the park!

Disney Halloween Merchandise- photos from Disney Store website.
The one thing that I'm dying to get is the Minnie Mouse witch hat that I couldn't find anywhere last year when we were at the parks during our wedding trip.  We bought the ornament version of it, but the actual hat proved to be elusive the entire trip.  I am so excited.  I'll probably wear that thing everyday the entire week of Halloween!  
Minnie Mouse Witch Hat- photo from Disney Store website.

It's really too bad that they only sell the matching Minnie Mouse dress in kid's sizes, or I'd totally be rocking that as my Halloween costume!  (You think I'm kidding...)

Minnie Mouse Halloween Dress- photo from Disney Store website.

Last year, I also bought the Mickey and Minnie Halloween Plush to decorate the house with.

Mickey and Minnie Halloween Plush- photos from Disney Store website.

I also really like the Haunted Mansion Halloween reversible door hangers!  How cute are these?

Haunted Mansion Halloween Door Hanger- photos from Disney Store website.

And the Halloween countdown calendar!  I swear I have a million of these for Christmas, but I don't have one for Halloween... yet.  ;-)

Mickey and Minnie Mouse Halloween Calendar- photo from Disney Store website.

The other thing that I'm a total sucker for, is anything Haunted Mansion related.  I love the Haunted Mansion.  It's my favorite ride at Disney and I was so excited when they came out with new merchandise!  We bought the picture frame and throw blanket on our honeymoon.  (I'll probably ask for some more items from the collection for Christmas.)  I also have a pact with a few of my other Disney friends to build an actual Haunted Mansion house if we ever win the lottery... and even if we never win the lottery, I'm still planning on having a Haunted Mansion themed room someday!

Haunted Mansion Collection Items- photos from Disney Store website.
I think that my absolute favorite Disney Halloween item has to be the Halloween Duffy.  I bought one last year on our wedding trip, and he holds a very special place in my heart.  (He's also my first Duffy!)  He proudly sat on our tv stand the entire wedding week.  When Eliot and I went to Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party a few days after our wedding, little Duffy got a picture with big Duffy.  (And Big Duffy loved it!)  Now Duffy lives on a shelf next to my side of the bed where I see him every morning when I wake up.  He's too special to get put away only to come out at Halloween!

Halloween Duffy Plush-  top right photo from Disney Store website.

As you can see, I definitely have an addiction.  Wait until you actually see our house decorated for the holidays!  Stay tuned for addiction Part 2!  °o°

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

One Month Until Our Anniversary

I can't believe that our one year wedding anniversary is only a month away!  Where the heck did the last year go?

It's been a very busy year for us:

September- After the wedding craziness, we had a post wedding attempt at some relaxation!  We had a few days at Walt Disney World after our wedding to enjoy some time with family and friends.  Then we enjoyed a relaxing few days to ourselves. 

October- Most of our free time in October was spent preparing for our Wedding Reception in Maine.  It was a great way to bring home some of our Disney Wedding fun to show family members and friends who were not able to make it to the festivities in Florida.

November- In early November, Eliot was offered his job in Southern Maine.  We decided to go for it and prepared to move.  We also ate a lot of turkey and I won the yearly fight over the left over turnip.  (I wish you better luck this year Daddy!)  ;-)

December- Eliot started his new job and I stayed in Massachusetts for a few more weeks to finish up at my job.  I left mid-December and then we prepared for our first Christmas together as a married couple!  We had a great holiday season!

January & February- We rung in the new year with some of our best Disney pals.  We then spent a good portion of the winter slowly moving to Maine.  Our leases overlapped a little, but it was nice to have a more relaxing move.

March- At the end of March we went on our honeymoon to Walt Disney World!  It was so much fun.  We couldn't wait to check out all of the attractions in New Fantasyland.  It was so much fun to be there in the spring when we were still dealing with snow back home!

April & May- We spent this spring getting settled in our new home.  I'm one of those people who organizes while she unpacks, so it's taken some time.

May- At the end of May, I decided to start my blog!  I don't know what took me so long.  I love it!

Summer 2013- We've spent this summer training for the WDW Half Marathon, enjoying summer in Maine and setting our sights on the future!

I think it's been a pretty great year!  °o°

Sunday, August 18, 2013

More Projects

This past week I've been busy with more projects.  I really seem to be getting in the groove.  But I also would like to have my dining room table functioning again at some point, so I guess I have ulterior motives?  Either way, I might as well finish the projects!  Here's what I accomplished:

Picture Frame- I sealed the frame and added the red Mickey Mouse rhinestone "bling" to the corners.  It is now hanging back up in the bathroom!  I just need to add a picture to it… 

Mickey Mouse picture frame.
Shelf for Bathroom- This week I put a few more coats on my shelf for the bathroom.  I just have to finish sealing it and then add one more detail to it and it will be done!  It's going to be awesome.  Yay!

Painting more layers on the shelf.  Almost finished!
Flowerpots- I've been working on my second batch of flowerpots this week.  I've been having such a good time with them, that I bought even more pots last weekend.  Home Depot got a fresh supply, so Eliot and I bought two small 4.25" pots and one 10" flowerpot.  And I plan to buy more.  My name is Melissa and I have a problem... ;-)  

I've finished painting my mini Mickey and Minnie pots as well as a second set of large ones.  I also worked on painting the details on my Sorcerer Mickey pot that I've been putting off.  The stars and the moon for the hat were a little bit tricky.  And his belt wasn't exactly a walk in the park either, but I finished it!  Now they all just have to get sealed.  My other works in progress still need their details painted.  I'll probably finish that next week!

My original flowerpots are displayed on our front steps.  Sadly, when we went to try to buy flowers for them, Home Depot had run out of the kinds we were looking for.  So, no flowers right now.  But we're planning to go back to try again!  (And I'll try not to buy more flowerpots... maybe?)

Flowerpots everywhere!
Sign- This week, I also wanted to start working on a sign for our front porch.  We have a random nail that's already inserted in the brick front of the house, so of course I saw it as a signal that we needed a sign to put on it!  I bought a wood sign from Michael's a few months ago.  I've painted it in our wedding colors since I thought that it would be a nice reminder of our wedding and because there are lime and pink accents all over our house anyways!

Working on our new address sign.
I used InDesign to create a template for the sign.  I used the "Minnie" font for the text.  I also wanted to add the Mickey Mouse heart hands detail because I thought it was a cute way to incorporate our love of all things Disney.  I think that it's going to look great on the porch next to all of my flowerpots!

Planning the approximate location of our new sign.
Tray for Living Room- My favorite project from this week was my tray for our living room.  I've also had a tray for our living room for months.  I found the perfect one at ACMoore and it's been sitting unfinished on our side table.  I've known what I wanted to do with it for a while now, but I was holding back because I needed to use a technique that I've never tried before!  After a few attempts of different methods, I got the hang of it and my paint splatter tray was created!  After I finished the splattering, I added three "hidden Mickeys" for fun.  (Can you find them?)  I absolutely LOVE how it came out!  So much so, that I'll probably do a tutorial on it!  

Paint Splatter Tray with Hidden Mickeys for our living room.
I'm sure next week will probably be another crafty one.  I still have that 10" flowerpot to paint!  °o°

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Graduation 5 Years Ago Today

Five years ago today I graduated from Wentworth Institute of Technology.  I can't believe that it's been 5 years already!

Wentworth Commencement August 17, 2008.
You're probably wondering how on earth this relates to Disney.  I went to school for interior design, and when I graduated I had big dreams of becoming an Interior Designer for Disney Imagineering.  Throughout the past five years, I've decided that I want to run my own business someday since I need a creative outlet with few boundaries.  Instead of becoming an actual Imagineer, my husband and I dream up our own designs for rides and attractions at Disney.  (It's more fun when the sky is the limit and there are absolutely no budgets involved right?)  Maybe I'll share some designs in the future!  ;-)

Wentworth Institute of Technology Interior Design Graduate!
Wentworth felt like home away from home, plus it's school colors are black, gold and red… sound familiar?  They're pretty much the same colors as my favorite Mouse!  So that worked out nicely for Eliot and me.  (I bought Eliot and myself Mickey Mouse colored tie dye shirts and it doubled as his WIT graduation present.)

Wentworth Commencement August 17, 2008.
I also have an amazing print that I ordered from SomethingPrintable on Etsy.  Victoria Ann makes beautiful prints and I had to have one to match my husband's (he got one as a gift from our friends BJ and Katie).  So I also have this awesome Mickey Graduation Print to proudly display on our wall!

My Mickey Graduation Print from Something Printable.
Finally, the most meaningful tie in to Disney was with a photo of me and my dog Lucky.  Lucky was 13 when he went to my graduation ceremony.  I wanted a photo with my puppy and it wasn't until after graduation when I put the pictures on my laptop that I noticed a familiar outline hidden in the sunlight behind our heads.  (Can you find the Hidden Mickey?)

Lucky and me after the ceremony.  Can you find the Hidden Mickey?
We lost Lucky a little over a year after this photo was taken.  But it's my absolute favorite picture of the two of us.  It's almost like someone was trying to send me a message on my graduation day.  I may not ever become a "real" Imagineer, but the possibilities are endless, and I'll find the right path for me.  After all "if you can dream it, you can do it."  °o°

My interior design classmates, friends and family.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Fun Find: Wonderland Headbands

My next fun Disney find is from Wonderland Headbands.  

My friend Kathleen recently started her new company Wonderland Headbands.  She is also a diehard Disney fan like myself, so of course we get along really great!  (We birds of a feather tend to flock together right?)  Another thing that Kathleen and I have in common is that we love to craft and to make things!  This girl made a killer Snow White Halloween costume a few years ago and she's definitely one of my crafty sole sisters!

Merida Princess Ribbon.
Kathleen found the idea to make ribbon princesses on Pinterest and decided that would be a great way to make something to wear on her next trip to Disney, which will be her 10th visit!  What better way to celebrate a milestone like that then with some new Disney accessories?  She wanted to make the trip special, so she decided to dive in to see if she could make some.

Belle Princess Ribbon.
Kathleen came up with her own designs on how to create the characters, and most of her recent designs have come straight out of her imagination.  She's made most of the princesses, and has plans to make more of them in the future, as well as a Minnie Mouse design!

Cinderella Princess Ribbon.
The princesses can be made into headbands or small hair clips.  All you have to do is let Kathleen know which style you prefer.  The princesses will be the same size whether they are on headbands or clips.  Headbands/Clips are $8.00 each, or $10.00 with shipping to the continental United States. 

Jasmine and Snow White Princess Ribbon Headbands.
To order one of Kathleen's amazing creations, message her on Wonderland Headband's Facebook page.  There you can discuss your order details and exchange addresses for payment and shipment.  I definitely give my stamp of approval that she'll make you a beautifully handcrafted product!

Rapunzel Princess Ribbon.
These are the perfect accessories for the princess in your life!  I know this Disney princess certainly has her eye on a few.  Now I just have to figure out which ones to order!  °o°

Ariel Princess Ribbon.

Note: I believe in honesty, so if I'm ever writing a post in the future where I'm getting paid to do a review, or if I receive free merchandise in exchange for a review on my blog, I'll let you know!  Honesty is always the best policy.  °o°

Thursday, August 15, 2013

New Facebook Page

Hey everyone!

I wanted to let you know that I started a new Facebook fan page for my blog!

I've been thinking about making one since I started my blog, and I finally caved last night!   By having a Facebook page, I'll be able to:

Add More Photos and Videos!  I can post more photos and videos without completely overwhelming my blog posts.  So you can see more of my project photos, tutorials, events, and trips.

Meet and Connect with Myself and Other Disney Fans.  This gives you all an opportunity to connect with me, my friends and other Disney fans on my page.

Make my Blog More Interactive.  It will make my blog more interactive!  Come say hi and tell me what you would like to see more of on my blog!  °o°

Become a fan!  °o°

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Jodi Benson (Voice of Ariel) in Concert!

As you all know, the Jodi Benson concert was Friday night!  Oh.  My.  Gosh!  It was SO amazing!  I couldn't even believe that we got to see her in concert!  She was so nice and so talented!  I still feel like it was all a dream.  
Jodi Benson and me!  Ahh!  :-)
I wanted to make the night special, so before I even left my house, I put on my pre-planned outfit.  I decided to try my first Disneybound as Kiss the Girl Ariel.  I also had music note earrings, a dinglehopper and shell for my hair, and an Ariel scarf that I bought from the New Fantasyland while Eliot and I were on our honeymoon this past March.  I was pretty pumped.  (I don't think anyone got my Kiss the Girl reference, but I know that I'm just that cool.  That counts for something… right?)
My Kiss the Girl Ariel Disneybound!
The show was a few towns over from us at the Seaside Pavilion.  It was an outdoor covered venue surrounded by white pines.  The weather wasn't so great, but it stopped raining shortly before the show started.  Eliot and I got there a little over an hour before the show started and got center seats 8 rows from the stage, right in front of the sound booth.  I was very impressed with the stadium seating, sound system and the pavilion… but I digress.

At 7:05, Jodi made her way on stage singing "Rain on my Parade" from Broadway's Funny Girl.  She then proceeded to thank the Salvation Army for having her and by letting all of us "Old Orchard Beachians" know that she and her family enjoyed going to the carnival on the beach.

The first half of her show was all Broadway songs, and she told us all great stories in between each song.  I really enjoyed the story about how she sang a song called "Disneyland" in the short run Broadway show Smile and how it was before she got the part of Ariel in The Little Mermaid.  I guess it was fate!
The Set List from the first half of Jodi's Concert.
The other amazing part of the first half, was when she announced that her 12-year old daughter, Delaney, was going to perform for us.  She and her husband had decided that this was a great small venue and a good family show for her kids to have their first stage performances.  I was completely blown away!  Delaney sang Amazing Grace.  Her voice was incredible and she played the song on the piano as well.  It was a remarkable thing to watch.
Jodi's daughter Delaney playing piano and singing.
Jodi finished up her first half with a song from Wicked and then we were treated to a quick 15 minute intermission.  This was the perfect opportunity for our friends to join us since they arrived to the show a few minutes late and we had saved them seats.  Once we were all reunited, we were ready to begin our Disney musical journey!
The Set List from the second half of Jodi's Concert
Jodi came back on stage singing a medley of songs from Beauty and the Beast.  She followed up by telling us about how she and Paige O'Hara (voice of Belle) both were at the final callbacks for the role of Belle.  The night before the callbacks, Paige had called Jodi to tell her that they wanted her to sound like Jodi did.  (We all got a chuckle of Jodi singing Paige's Beauty and the Beast songs trying to sound like herself.)

Next, she sang two Pocahontas songs, Just Around the Riverbend followed by Colors of the Wind.  She then asked all of the kids to come up on stage and my friend Katie and I wanted to go.  Luckily for us, Jodi reminded us that she never specified an age, and that there could be many "kids at heart in" attendance.  So the next thing I know, Katie and I are ON STAGE singing the Circle of Life with Jodi Benson and a ton of other children who didn't even know the words.  Our husbands both got a kick out of it, and there are photos and video footage to prove it!  That was an experience I'll never forget!  The best part was probably when Jodi lifted a small baby boy at the end of the song just like Rafiki with Simba.  Too funny!
Singing on stage with Jodi Benson!  (We're in the middle in back on either side of Jodi's head.)
Jodi then asked her 14-year old son McKinley to join her on stage.  He accompanied her on the piano while she sang When She Loved Me from Toy Story 2.  He played very well and it was a special moment for mother and son.  
Jodi accompanied by her son McKinley on piano.
Jodi showed us a sneak peek video of the making of The Little Mermaid with her in the studio preparing to sing Part of Your World.  It was a short clip from the movie "Waking Sleeping Beauty."
A short clip about Part of Your World from "Waking Sleeping Beauty."
After that, of course Jodi had to sing "her song" which she told us she never gets tired of doing.  It was a truly magical experience to see her perform Part of Your World live.  I could almost picture being in the studio with her when she recorded it so many years ago.  If you closed your eyes, you really thought Ariel was under the sea singing it right in front of you.
A short clip about Part of Your World from "Waking Sleeping Beauty."
She finished the concert by introducing her husband Ray, and showing us a video of their family in the Dominican Republic working for World Vision.  Then they sang The Prayer (Celine Dion and Andrea Bocelli) to finish the concert.  Our friend BJ also loves Celine Dion.  So when they started to sing, BJ, his wife Katie, and his sister-in-law Jenn all jumped to record it.  

Finally, the Benson Family all took one final bow together.  It was a beautiful way to end the night.  
Jodi, Delaney, Ray and McKinley take a final bow.
But we quickly found out that the night wasn't over yet!  They announced that Jodi would be doing a meet and greet!  Ahh!!!  So we all stood in line for about 30-40 minutes to meet her.  Of course we were a little rushed since there were so many people in line to meet her, but it was well worth the wait!

We got to say hello, get her autograph, and get a few photos with her!  Katie, Jenn and I all wanted individual pictures, so Eliot and BJ made sure to take some.  A BIG thank you to BJ!  Eliot's camera phone pictures didn't come out well!

And then we got a group photo!  It was so amazing.  Jodi loved my Ariel scarf and I told her that I got it at the New Fantasyland while on my honeymoon.  She was so nice!  

BJ, me, Katie, Eliot, Jenn and Jodi Benson!

Overall, it was an unbelievable experience and a night that I won't ever forget!   °o°