Monday, September 30, 2013

October Calendar

Hello Friends!

Well this has been a busy two weeks!  If you've been reading my posts about our wedding trip, thank you for joining me on my walk down memory lane.  I had a great time and I even remembered some things that I'd forgotten!

While I've been busy working on Wedding Trip Recaps, I've also worked on plenty of projects here and there.  I'm hoping to get pictures of them up so you can see them!

I've spent a lot of time playing around with Illustrator and InDesign and I ended up making some more calendars.  You probably recall my first calendars that I made to keep track of our bills and our training schedule for our Disney Half Marathon this January.  I've been working on a few other designs and I've decided that I'd like to share one with you!

Click Here for October's Calendar.

From here on in, I'll be posting a PDF calendar for the new month!  I love the fun Mickey and Minnie designs!  Enjoy!   °o°

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Wedding Trip Recap- September 26, 2012

They say that all good things must come to an end, and sadly, our wedding trip was no exception.  Eliot and I woke up Wednesday morning with heavy hearts that our trip would soon be over.  I wasted no time jumping up to go look out our window hoping that seeing the animals would put a smile on my face.  Alas, the savannah matched my mood and I was greeted with a hazy morning and no animals.

We had decided the night before to end our trip with Epcot and the Magic Kingdom, the two places were we'd made many memories over the past week.  We got ready in our Mr. and Mrs. Cady shirts that we'd saved for our last day and we headed over to Epcot.  We took a bunch of photos with Spaceship Earth before we made our way into the park.

We walked around the park one last time and I took a few photos of the Terrace des Fleurs, where we had our IllumiNations Dessert Party for our wedding.  We went into Mouse Gears one last time to grab a few of the wedding items that we'd waited to buy and we left with a Minnie and Mickey wedding picture frame and a snow globe to remember our wedding when we got home.

After that, we said good bye to Epcot and went back to the Animal Kingdom Lodge to do our final luggage packing and to checkout.  We'd asked the front desk if we could have a later checkout since we were leaving Disney so late in the day.  They had agreed to let us checkout at 1:00, so we still had a little bit of time to relax before we had to leave.

After we'd packed and double checked everything, I went outside to sit on the porch for a while.  I was struggling to come to terms with returning to the "real world" after the amazing two weeks that we'd had at Disney with our friends and family.

Eventually, it was nearing the time to checkout, so we took a few last minute photos of us with the savannah in the background and then we said goodbye to the beautiful view and all of the animals.  We checked our luggage into storage, checked out of the hotel, and made our way over to the Magic Kingdom for our last Disney hours.

On the bus ride over, I made sure to take pictures of the gate entrance to the Magic Kingdom as well as the sign for the Wedding Pavilion.  Once we arrived outside the Magic Kingdom, we looked back across the Seven Seas Lagoon to the Wedding Pavilion where we had so many magical memories this trip.

Inside the Magic Kingdom, we caught part of the castle show "Dream Along With Mickey." It was hard to believe that just two days before we were standing right over there taking our Bridal Portraits.

We made our way over to the Haunted Mansion and then Pirates of the Caribbean.  We always start our trip with these, and I've made it a point to try to always end our trip with these as our last two rides as well.  We went on the Haunted Mansion before heading over to Pirates.  However, when we arrived at Pirates, the Cast Members were sending guests away. The ride was temporarily closed for some reason, so Eliot and I waited outside for 20-30 minutes hoping that they might re-open it.  I took a few photos of the empty entrance while we waited.

Ironically, the same exact thing happened the last time we went to Pirates for our last ride.

Finally, we couldn't justify sitting there anymore so we left Pirates and made our way back over towards the castle.  We took a few photos there with our t-shirts and got one last good look at Cinderella Castle.

Then we made our way down Main Street through the Emporium.  It was getting close to 3:00 so the "Celebrate a Dream Come True" parade would be starting soon.  We decided that we'd stay long enough to watch the parade.

Eliot and I hadn't actually stood to watch the parade at all this trip and we'd only seen parts of it in past trips.  It was fun to actually watch the entire thing.  I always love seeing the designs of the floats.  The music really expressed how I'd been feeling the entire trip.

"Celebrate A Dream Come True, and you might just find a wish for you.
When you close your eyes, then you realize, any dream is possible!"

It was overwhelming and I ended up tearing up at the end.  We'd wanted this trip and our Disney Wedding for so long I felt as if I was in someone else's dream coming true.  But we did wish on a star- on a lot of stars.  And it had come true.  (To this day, I still have moments when I think that I was simply dreaming the whole thing.)

Finally, we said goodbye to the Magic Kingdom, to Cinderella Castle and to the magical place where dreams come true.  I left the land where you enter the world of yesterday, tomorrow and fantasy in tears, but they were happy ones.  We had to get back to the Animal Kingdom Lodge so we could get our Magical Express to the airport and catch our flight home, but there was time for one more photo.

I pulled it together so we could take a few last photos in front of the Train Station.  It was appropriate that this was the last place we took photos since it was also the first place we took pictures on the most incredible trip to Disney that I've ever had.  So we took it all in: we had come to Disney as a couple planning to make a commitment to each other, and we were leaving as husband and wife.  We'd had the Disney Wedding that we thought we could only dream of.  And we'd made many magical memories with all of our family and friends.

It was time for the memory making of this trip to come to an end.  But with that, came a new adventure as husband and wife, a whole new set of dreams and possibilities for us.  Let the Memories Begin.  °o°

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Wedding Trip Recap- September 25, 2012

Tuesday morning, we gathered our luggage together so we could move over to the Animal Kingdom Lodge.  We had to check out of Pop by 11:00 am and we couldn't get into our room at AKL until after 3:00, so we decided to check our luggage into holding until we had to make the switch between hotels.

As excited as I was to move over to the Animal Kingdom Lodge, I was sad to leave Pop Century and all of the fun memories that we had made over the last few days behind.  It also meant our last night at Disney, boo!  But I was sure that it would be a fun adventure.  We were even staying in a room with a savannah view- for FREE!  

If you have a Wedding Room Block and use 25 room nights, you get a free night anywhere on property.  So of course, we wanted to use our free night at one of the Deluxe Resorts! Eliot and I debated going to the Grand Floridian, but since we'd been there so much for our wedding, we decided that it would be fun to try something else.  After finding out that we could in fact get one of the savannah view rooms for free, we were sold!

We got ready and packed up our belongings, and made our way to the hotel lobby.  We'd decided to go to Blizzard Beach again while we were in limbo between hotels.

After spending a few hours at Blizzard Beach, we went back to Pop Century to get our luggage and made our way over to the Animal Kingdom Lodge.  I was completely overwhelmed when we walked into the main lobby.  The design details were amazing.  We checked in to the hotel and made our way to our room.  We could even see part of the savannah along the way.  I was so excited to see our view!

Our room was amazing.  I love how the moderate and deluxe resorts have the theme continued so well in the hotel rooms.  The decor in our room was amazing.  Of course we were happy to see a familiar face made in towels on our bed.

The detail of the hotel rooms was incredible.  One of my favorite parts was that the curtains had the characters from the Lion King designed into them.  With a quick glance, they just look like white sheers, but when you take a closer look, the characters are in the pattern. Mousekeeping also left a guide in each room so you can figure out which animals you're looking at!

But the real treat at the Animal Kingdom Lodge is obviously the view of the savannah and the animals.  I was not disappointed when we opened our curtains and immediately saw giraffes and zebras right below us.  It was breathtaking!  Eliot and I spent quite a while sitting on our porch and watching the animals roaming around.

Eventually, I dragged myself away from the view so I could take a shower and get ready for Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party.  I guess I didn't make it too far though, while Eliot was showering and getting ready I apparently passed out on the bed.  He got a cute photo of me curled up with my Halloween Duffy.

After a little rest, we got moving so we could go to the Magic Kingdom.  Eliot and I had decided to go to MNSSHP a second time since we didn't get to take pictures with any of the characters that we'd wanted to.  They dress up for Halloween and you can get your picture with some characters that you usually can't take them with.  The last time we'd gone, we got our pictures with all seven dwarves and it was awesome!  We'd gotten quite a few Disney Gift Cards for our wedding so we used one of those to pay for our tickets.

We got to the park in time to watch the first "Boo To You" parade so we watched it from the top of the Train Station.  After that, we made our way to the character locations.  We bolted over to meet Mickey and Minnie as soon as the parade was over since we figured that we could beat everyone to it.  We were right; the line wasn't as long since everyone else was so busy watching the parade.

We got big hugs when it was our turn with Mickey and Minnie.  (Eliot was so excited he knocked his hat off center and didn't even realize it until we got our photos back.)  They noticed our Bride and Groom Ear Hats and were pointing at them.  We told them that we just got married at Disney the other day and they were all excited.  I thanked them for coming to our reception as we took a photo with all of us.  After, they took photos with each of us individually.

Then they had us both come back together so we could do a special photo.  Mickey and Minnie kneeled down in front of us and had the two of us kiss behind them.  It was so much fun.  The picture came out great and it's one of my favorites from our PhotoPass.  It's like the magic from our wedding just kept coming back to us.

We made our way down Main Street and got a few photos at the castle before heading over to where Halloween Duffy was taking photos with guests.  We just missed him so we had to wait for his next session.  In the meantime, we went on the Haunted Mansion and took our photos outside of it once again.  

Then we stood in line to wait for Duffy.  We were second in line and we had to wait for the second "Boo To You" parade to pass before they'd bring Duffy back out.  We could see the parade pretty well from the landing of the Liberty Belle so it made the time go by faster.  It was well worth the wait though!  I brought my mini Halloween Duffy to meet Big Duffy and it was so cute.  We got photos with all of us together.

Then once more, we took a few individual photos.  Of course I had to make sure mini Duffy was in my picture too!

After that, the only other characters that we really wanted to get pictures with were the Winnie the Pooh characters.  We'd just missed them when we went to MNSSHP in 2010 and Eliot really wanted a picture with Eeyore.  So we made our way over to Fantasyland to their new Meet and Greet area outside of the Winnie the Pooh ride.  We had to wait a while for them to come back out as well, but again, it was worth it.  We got a really cute group photo with them.

After that, we walked around the park enjoyed the Halloween decor.  We took a few more photos in front of the castle before making our way down the Jack o'Lantern decorated Main Street.  

I love the decorations, special lighting and the Halloween themed music that they play at MNSSHP.  It definitely puts you in the Halloween spirit!  

Once we passed under the "See You Real Soon" Jack o'Lanterns we decided to take a few more photos in front of the Train Station before exiting the park.  It's lit up for the Halloween Party as well.

We got a few photos of me with my mini Halloween Duffy and then we called it a night.  

When we got back to the hotel we hung our eat hats up and passed out.  We wanted to get up early to make the most of our last few hours the next day before flying back home.   °o°

Friday, September 27, 2013

Wedding Trip Recap- September 24, 2012

On Monday, Eliot and I had our Magic Kingdom photo shoot first thing in the morning. Our photographer Stephanie was picking us up at Pop Century right at 6:15 am to take us over to the Magic Kingdom.  I got up at 3:00 am to take a shower and to get ready for my 4:00 am appointment with Beauté Spécialé for my hair and make up.

Eliot stayed in bed for part of my hair and make up appointment.  (Grumble.)  I was glad that I got to work with Jessica again.  At this point, we'd seen each other 3 times in a week and I knew the drill.  In no time she had my hair and make up looking amazing.  I had my Mom help me into my wedding gown and my Dad helped tie it up.  (Stephanie still had to help get the ties put away.  She rocked!)

Right at 6:15, we were off for our photo shoot.  I was so excited to see the Magic Kingdom empty!  (Or so I thought!)  Stephanie was a great tour guide and she showed us all of the behind the scenes sites.  I wish that'd I'd asked if I could take pictures of it.  She used her Disney Cast Member ID to get us in through the backlot.  I don't know what I was expecting, but we literally drove through the entire back stage area.  Stephanie showed us the back side of the Pirates of the Caribbean ride.  We also saw some of the ride vehicles that were being serviced.

What I wasn't expecting, was how busy and not empty the park was.  Stephanie explained that it would be pretty busy with everyone getting ready for park opening.  We literally drove right out onto the walkway in Frontierland next to Splash Mountain.  There were cars and trucks parked all along the sides and workers were everywhere fixing the flowers or delivering supplies to the restaurants and stores.  It was insane to see cars parked where people are usually walking!

We pulled over near Liberty Square so we could be closer to Cinderella Castle.  Stephanie had us walk onto the grass through a gated entrance and she set up a tripod on the bridge facing the castle.  Her assistant set up lights down on the grass where Eliot and I stood.  We took a few photos at the castle with us looking at the camera.  Then we took a few photos of us looking at the castle.

After that, Stephanie had us come up closer to the walkway.  She had asked me to make sure that I brought one of our paper umbrellas, and now I knew why.  She helped position us behind the umbrella.  The result was breathtaking.  This is one of my favorite photos from our photo shoot.

Next, I got to play Cinderella!  We moved over to the Castle and I got to take a few photos looking like I was running up to the castle.  I love how they came out with the lights still on with the windows and clock lit up.  I truly felt like a real Disney Princess.

We also got to go inside the Castle to the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique where we took a few photos in the mirrors.

And a few photos with our wedding shoes and stickers.  You can tell that mine are still brand spankin' new since I didn't wear them during our ceremony… me and my stupid black sandals!

Afterwards, we made our way towards Fantasyland where we got to use my other wedding shoes, my glass slippers.  I'd told Stephanie that I wanted to do something with them.  She had us set up by Cinderella's Fountain.  I thought it was a perfect location for Prince Charming to give Cinderella her glass slipper.  (Plus, I got to rest my foot on the fountain so I didn't tip over!  Score!)

We noticed that the other couple getting their bridal wedding photos done got to actually go onto the castle so I begged Stephanie to let us.  She had us walk up the back stairs with our "And They Lived Happily Ever After" sign.  I love how these photos came out!

She also took a few more once we came back down the stairs with the castle in the background.  Simply stunning!

Eliot and I had wanted to take some pictures in the New Fantasyland, but since it wasn't opened, we decided that we'd do a few by the new entry gates.  We decided to use the back of our sign with "Here Comes the Bride" since we didn't get to use it on our wedding day.

Finally, we finished our shoot at the Haunted Mansion.  If there's time, the Disney photographers will let you take pictures in the park that aren't in Fantasyland or at the Castle.  We both really wanted to take some here and Stephanie knew exactly what she was doing.  Some photographers take the pictures so that they Photoshop the groom's head onto the bride's hands (like in the ride when Constance beheaded all of her husbands).  

Stephanie decided that was too morbid so she had told us that she had something else planned.  I loved it!  She took a few photos with me in the background with my veil over my face.  Next, she took a few photos with just Eliot in them.  Then she told us that I'd be a ghost in the background.  We didn't get to see how they turned out until we got our wedding photos, but the result was fantastic!  I love it!

The Magic Kingdom photo shoot was well worth it, and I'd love to do it again someday. The only disappointment was with how dark it was when we took our first castle photos.  If we did it again, I'd make sure that it was brighter at 7:00 am so the photos would come out a little brighter!  But it was cool to get some photos with Cinderella Castle lit up pink in the background!

After our bridal photo shoot was over, we jumped back into the van and Stephanie gave us a gift.  She had printed out two of our wedding photos for us to see.  I was so excited that I couldn't wait to see how the rest turned out!  We told Stephanie that we might be back for a Trash the Dress session during our honeymoon, and she told us that Typhoon Lagoon was a great backdrop for photos.  We also said that we'd make sure that we booked her if possible. (We didn't end up doing the Trash the Dress on our honeymoon but it's still on our Disney Wishlist!)  All too soon, we were back at Pop Century and we had to say goodbye to Stephanie.

But there's no rest for this bride and groom, no.  We also had to do our video shoot from our wedding video package.  We could have opted to have Disney film our rehearsal, but since we were eating off property, it didn't seem worth it to waste the two hours of video on our 30 minute rehearsal.  Eliot and I decided to do the Love Story Interview instead.  We were given the option to film at a bunch of different locations, but ultimately, we decided to go to the Wilderness Lodge since we'd never been there before.

Once we got back to Pop Century, we changed out of our wedding attire and back into something a little more comfortable.  Then my Dad drove us over to the Wilderness Lodge for our 10:00 am appointment.  We got there a little early and explored the lobby while waiting for our video team.

Eliot and I aren't really camera people, but I'd gotten a little more used to it during our wedding day.  Although, I quickly realized that having a camera watching your every move is totally different from someone interviewing you with a camera a few feet away looking right at you. The wedding was a lot less nerve wracking!  

Eliot and I were seated on directors chairs right in front of the Silver Creek waterfall. Kirsten, our video coordinator, asked us a few questions about how we met, how Eliot proposed, why we decided to get married at Disney.  After a few questions, we eased into it and it was less terrifying.  She asked us how we felt a few days after our wedding, how it was and what we have planned for the future.

After that, they separated us to do individual interviews so we'd be surprised when we got our final video.  Eliot went first so I hung out by the lodge and took a few pictures of him. When it was my turn, they asked me about what I felt when I was walking down the aisle.  I laughed and told Kirsten that I couldn't see Eliot since I didn't have my glasses on!  But that I knew it was him obviously.  She also had me film a special message for him.

After that, Kirsten left us with our two videographers to film a B-roll.  The B-roll was basically supposed to be shots of us holding hands, kissing and having fun together.  We took some footage at the creek and Eliot started splashing me.  It was funny because anytime we did something spontaneous, they'd have us do it again for the camera.

Wilderness Lodge map. (Photo from Disney.)
Afterwards, we walked along the trail way and took some footage by the trees.  We also got some video of us on the boat dock.  We found the location where they rent out bicycles and we got to ride on one of those for free!  That was hilarious.  Finally, we ended the session with Eliot and I on the beach making hearts in the sand.  (I had NO idea what to expect, but the final result was really nice.)  We called my parents to let them know that we were done and we hung out in the gift shop while we waited for Dad to come pick us up.

Later that afternoon, it was time for Mom, Dad, Nana and Papa to leave and start the long drive back up to Maine.  I was pretty upset to have them go.  At that point, everyone else had left Pop Century and it was too quiet after having us, our families and all of our guests occupy the entire wing of our 50's section.  They were the last ones to leave and I was pretty depressed that it really was coming to an end.  Eliot and I helped them pack all of our wedding stuff into the trailer and they took everything that we wouldn't need for the next two days with them.

After a tearful goodbye, the car, truck and trailer all pulled out of the Pop Century parking lot, and Eliot and I went back to our room to take a nap after our super early morning.  I was completely emotionally wiped out at this point.

When I woke up, I felt a lot better.  We still had that night, the next day and part of the following day to enjoy the rest of our time at Disney. We decided that we were going to call our extra few days our "mini moon" since we were planning on doing a Disney Cruise or another trip to Disney the following year.  (We should have called it our "Minnie" Moon!)

We decided that since it was our last  night to watch whatever show we wanted, we would go back over to Epcot to see IllumiNations again.  We hadn't really been able to watch it the night of our wedding since we were so busy taking photos and video footage.  We didn't get there early enough to get a good view, but I was still happy to see the show.  

Afterwards, we danced to Promise for a few minutes before heading back toward the front of the park.  On the way we stopped at Mouse Gears to get a look at some of the wedding items that they had.

When we got back to Pop Century, we started to pack up all of our stuff since we were spending our last night at Disney at the Animal Kingdom Lodge and we had to switch hotels the next morning!  °o°