Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween!

Hi Friends!  Happy Halloween!!!  Here's a little video to get you in the spirit!

I can't believe it's been a week since I last posted.  (Argh!)  So much for my Halloween projects... I've had another busy week even with Eliot being away.  However, I've gotten caught up on a lot of things that I've been putting off.  I guess that's a good thing!

I hope you all have a great time trick or treating and celebrating tonight!  I will be at our house waiting to see if we have any trick or treaters this year.  We didn't last year, but Mickey and Minnie are ready to greet any that might come our way!

HappHalloween!! °o°

Friday, October 24, 2014

Fun Find: Kyle Landry- Pianist

Hey Guys!  I'm sorry I haven't dropped by lately.  It has been another busy week at the Cady house.  Eliot's grandfather has been very ill and he passed away Wednesday night. Understandably, I've taken a break from my blogging to spend time with my husband.  Pa Joe was a wonderful man and I'm glad to have known him.  He will be greatly missed.

Eliot will be in California with his family for the next week and I'm hoping to get a few Halloween projects completed while he's away.  (I've had them planned for a while now.) In the meantime, I wanted to share another Fun Find Friday with you!  Before I left for my trip to Walt Disney World, I stumbled across some videos on YouTube.

I was looking for piano versions of "Let It Go" when I came across pianist Kyle Landry.  I immediately stopped everything and watched at least five of his Disney videos.  He's very talented and he composes his own versions of the songs!

I absolutely love his version of "Part of Your World" from the Little Mermaid.  I've listened to it at least 10 times since I discovered his Youtube channel.

His version of "I Can Go the Distance" gives me chills every time I hear it.  

Kyle even has a whole playlist of his Disney songs!

These compositions are not only beautiful, but there's something relaxing about listening to the piano versions of my favorite Disney songs.  They're perfect to listen to in the background while I'm working on some of my projects!

Enjoy!!!  °o°

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Results- WDW October 2014 Bucket List

As most of you know, I just got back from a trip to Walt Disney World.  This was my first time traveling alone.  Before I left, I thought it would be fun to make a Disney Trip Bucket list with 15 things to do while I was there.  I did pretty good with it.  I wasn't alone as much as I thought I would be during the trip.  (That's a good thing; I had tons more fun!)  Once I was there, some of these things didn't seem important anymore.  Here are the results:

Melissa's October 2014 Disney Trip Bucket List:

°o° Instagram photos from the Parks
Check!  I started my Instagram account before the trip with zero photos and by the end of the trip I had over 80 photos!  It was easy to use, quick and a lot of fun!  I really enjoyed sharing quick snippets of my vacation with everyone!

°o° Eat Favorite Sweets- ice cream, candy apple, Dole Whip, Mickey Bar, etc.
I also enjoyed some of my favorite sweets.  I did not have all of them, but I did pretty well. I brought a Minnie Mouse Witch candy apple home with me.  I had two Mickey ice cream sandwiches. We had dessert snacks at our KeyCon lunch.  We also had the Fantasmic Dessert Party with tons of yummy things to eat.  I did miss out on the Dole Whip this trip. I'll have to make sure I add that to my list for January!

°o° Try some Alcoholic Drinks (at the parks, at the bars, anywhere…)
I was also successful with this!  I had a white wine sangria at our KeyCon meet and greet in Martha's Vineyard Lounge.  I had a Blue Glow-tini at 'Ohana (yum!) and then I tried the Magical Star Cocktail at Top of the World Lounge.  Yum on both accounts.  Plus, I got to keep the little glowing light cubes.  I will be back for more of those… ;-)

°o° Wear New Ear Headband Designs by Happily Ever Hatter
I wore my new ears!  I wore my Olaf outfit one day and my Frozen outfit another.  There was one pair that I didn't get to wear since Momento Mori, the new Haunted Mansion store, ran out of the shirt I planned to pair with it.  It will happen in January.  In the meantime, I'm going to be stalking the shirt on Disney Store online.

°o° Go on the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train ride for the first time
I did not get a chance to ride the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train ride.  It looked like a lot of fun, but the wait time was always 70-90 minutes.  I couldn't get my My Disney Experience app to let me set up any FastPasses, so I skipped it this trip.  I'm planning to set up FastPasses for our January trip!

°o° Go to Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party
I was really bummed out when I went to purchase tickets at the concierge counter and they were SOLD OUT!  The only time I've ever bought my MNSSHP tickets ahead of time was for Halloween night.  The other three times, I bought them the morning of the party.  Thus, I missed out on that this trip.  I'm still a little bummed, but I had an enjoyable time at Downtown Disney, and it all worked out.  Plus, I've been to the Halloween party four times, so the world didn't end.

°o° Have some quality Sketchbook and Quiet Time
I did not bring my sketchbook into the parks.  I was with my Key to the World friends more than I thought I would be, and I had a much better time hanging out with them.

°o° Eat at 'Ohana for the first time
I am so glad that I got to do this.  Our KTTW bosses had set up a dining reservation for the "KeyCon singles", basically all of us who travelled to KeyCon without our spouses or family.  I had absolutely no idea what to expect for food, but I was ready for an adventure. The food was amazing.  I'm still dreaming about it.  I'm also scheming how I can get myself back there in January.  I don't think Eliot or my brother would go for it, but I'm contemplating kidnapping my parents for a nice dinner one night.  It was that good.  The company was really great too!  Plus, we got to watch Wishes from there.  The whole 'Ohana experience was amazing!

°o° Go to Blizzard Beach
I went to Blizzard Beach twice during my WDW trip!  I wanted to make sure that I got enough of it since it's going to be closed when we go back in January.  I went around the lazy river 5 times the first time I went and 3 more the second trip.  I went on the Toboggan Racers; Eliot absolutely loves those so I had to go in his honor.  I also went in the wave pool for a bit.  It was so relaxing and so much fun!

°o° Try LeFou's Brew in New Fantasyland
I simply ran out of time to try LeFou's brew at the Magic Kingdom.  I'll add this to my list for January since I know my family was planning to try some anyways!

°o° Swim in the Pool at Pop Century Resort
I did enjoy a swim at the Pop Century pool.  I was in the pool for 45 minutes to an hour so it was plenty of time to relax and enjoy it.

°o° See the Festival of Fantasy Parade
I caught the Festival of Fantasy Parade my last day at the parks.  It was really the last thing that I did this trip.  I loved it.  The floats and costumes were absolutely beautiful.  I can't wait for my family to see it in a few months!

°o° Check out the Food and Wine Festival at Epcot
I got to check out the Food and Wine Festival at Epcot.  Unfortunately, I didn't enjoy it to it's fullest since the days were so darn hot.  I did try the Garlic Shrimp at the Australia booth.  (It was delicious.)  I also had a bit of a friend's shrimp and noodle dish from China. I'd love to do this again and to try a few more new things!

°o° Meet Anna and Elsa again in my special Frozen outfit
Again, I couldn't get FastPasses set up, and day I checked the line was 100 minutes long.  I'll set these up for our trip in January!

°o° Take as many photos with my new KTTW friends as possible!
I took a ton of photos with my new Key to the World friends!  I had such a good time with them.  We have a PhotoBucket account where everyone is adding their pictures so I'll have to go grab a bunch of them sometime this week!

During the trip, I also did a few things I did that I hadn't expected to:

°o° Friendship Boats
I took the Friendship Boats for the first time.  In order to get over to Boardwalk to meet up with my group, I took the bus to Hollywood Studios and then the Friendship Boats over to the Boardwalk Resort.  It was a great ride and I loved seeing the resorts from the water.

°o° Boardwalk
I went to the Boardwalk and the Yacht and Beach Club area for the first time.  I'd never been there before.  I absolutely loved it and told my Mom that we have to go there during our January trip.  I know my family would love it, and the boat ride would be fun too!

°o° Animation Academy
I've wanted to do this for a long time and we've never had the chance.  We're always too busy running around on the rides to stop and take the time to draw.  One of the other girls and I did this in between our KeyCon meeting and the Fantasmic Dessert Party. We drew Minnie Mouse and mine came out really good!  (More on that story in my recap!)  I can't wait to do this again.  I could sit and draw characters there all day.

°o° Waffles
I also tried the waffles at Sleepy Hollow in Magic Kingdom this trip.  This trip I discovered that we're very set in our ways and we've always walked right by it.  Little did I know the amount of wonderful that resided there.  I had the Nutella and Fruit waffle for lunch one of my last days and it was incredible.  I love waffles.  They even have waffle sandwiches. I can't wait to go there again to try more of their menu.  Yum!

°o° Top of the World Lounge
Finally, possibly the coolest experience this trip that I wasn't planning on was going to the Top of the World lounge in Bay Lake Tower.  One of the guys in our KTTW group has Disney Vacation Club and invited us to go up to the lounge with him.  We planned to do it our last night at Disney, and to watch Wishes from there since they pipe the music in.  It was amazing.  The view was a different angle that none of us had seen before and we never realized how far behind the castle the fireworks are shot off.  It was a great way to end my KeyCon experience with some of my new friends.

To recap: I didn't do all of the things I'd planned, but the extras that I hadn't expected to do were way cooler than the things I didn't accomplish.  I'm really happy with all of the new experiences I had this trip.  Most importantly, this trip has left me with a desire to branch out each time I go to Disney so I can continue to experience new things!  °o°

Thursday, October 16, 2014

KeyCon 2014

Well, I'm officially back in the "real" world.  At the moment, I much prefer the Key to the World and Disney bubble that I've been cocooned in for the past week.  It was happier there.  Don't get me wrong,  I'm glad to be home, but the house is empty and quiet with Eliot at work today.  And even though I went to KeyCon alone, I never felt alone while I was there.  This morning, I found myself keeping busy checking my 100+ Facebook notifications, most of which are from my KTTW friends and the trip.  Sitting here looking through them, I'm pretty lonely.  Not to mention the load of laundry that's piled up is pretty daunting.  Where's Mousekeeping when you need them?  :-(

I had so much fun this past week.  The trip was absolutely incredible.  I didn't do all of the things on my trip bucket list.  (More on that in a few days.)  I didn't even go on that many rides.  In fact, I can probably count the number of rides I actually rode on both hands. However, I experienced many new things that I've never done before.  The trip felt like it was a lot longer than a week.  It was amazing.

The best part of the trip was meeting all of my fellow Key to the World agents.  We got along great and had so much fun together.  It was Disney magic at its finest.  When you think about it, we all were strangers brought together by a common love of Disney and travel.  I'm so thankful that KTTW's co-owners, Heather and Jeff, chased the dream to start their own travel agency.  Otherwise, none of this would have been possible.

We created so many memories together over the past week.  We had scavenger hunts in the parks, met for drinks at some of the lounges, and watched the nighttime shows.  We went on the rides together.  We experienced new restaurants together.  We created inside jokes together and we laughed pretty much the entire trip.  The fun and memories from this trip really brought us all together.  I can't believe how much I already miss everyone.  These people are now family to me.

KeyCon 2015 is officially 345 days away… the countdown is on.  °o°

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

A Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow!

Tomorrow I leave for Walt Disney World!!!  I am so excited and I just can't hide it!  I feel like I might burst from all of the anticipation!  This time tomorrow I'll be "home" in the Magic Kingdom.  It's almost too good to be true!

Photo Source: Walt Disney World Facebook Page

Understandably, I will be away from my blog for the next week or so.  However, I will be keeping in touch via my blog's Facebook page, and on my new blog Instagram account! Feel free to follow along on my adventure!

My boss gave me today off so I'm working on a few last minute things!  I've got to get back to packing and making a few more ear headbands!  I'll see ya real soon friends!!!

There's a great big beautiful tomorrow
Shining at the end of everyday
There's a great big beautiful tomorrow
And tomorrow's just a dream away!!!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

WDW October 2014 Bucket List

It's official, in under 36 hours, I'll be going to Disney World alone for the first time!

I have to admit, I'm a bit nervous as well as incredibly excited.  I originally thought I'd be really lonely, but then I realized that I'm not going to be alone at all.  First, I'll have my Key to the World co-workers there.  I'm so excited to finally meet everyone in person!  

Second, I'm sure I'll be calling my parents and Eliot while I'm there.  I call my Mom every few days just to talk anyways, and a trip to Disney World wouldn't feel complete without my family- even if they aren't there physically.

Finally, I'm going to have my cell phone and with that- connection to the entire world.  I'll be on my blog's Facebook page, and on my new blog Instagram account!  You guys can follow along on those as well!  I'm sure you'll enjoy many photos of the food I'll be stuffing myself with.  Don't say I didn't warn you!  ;-)

As most of you know, I have an extensive Disney Bucket List.  (I'm working on getting it typed up.)  Going to Walt Disney World alone was something that I thought I'd never have on it, but now that it's happening, I'm actually pretty excited about it.  In honor of my first solo trip, I've created a Disney Trip Bucket list with 15 things to do while I'm there!

Melissa's October 2014 Disney Trip Bucket List:

  • Instagram photos from the Parks
  • Eat Favorite Sweets- ice cream, candy apple, Dole Whip, Mickey Bar, etc.
  • Try some Alcoholic Drinks (at the parks, at the bars, anywhere…)
  • Wear New Ear Headband Designs by Happily Ever Hatter
  • Go on the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train ride for the first time
  • Go to Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party
  • Have some quality Sketchbook and Quiet Time
  • Eat at 'Ohana for the first time
  • Go to Blizzard Beach
  • Try LeFou's Brew in New Fantasyland
  • Swim in the Pool at Pop Century Resort
  • See the Festival of Fantasy Parade
  • Check out the Food and Wine Festival at Epcot
  • Meet Anna and Elsa again in my special Frozen outfit
  • Take as many photos with my new KTTW friends as possible!

I'm excited to experience a lot of new things this trip!  Eliot's not the most adventurous eater, so I'm hoping to try some new things while I'm there.  I'm also excited to check out the Festival of Fantasy Parade and the Seven Dwarfs ride!  I'm planning to do a little bit of relaxing while I'm there.  I've always wanted to get a drink from the pool bar.  And I'll never say no to the lazy river at Blizzard Beach.  I also thought it might be fun to bring my sketchbook with me.  Does anyone have any other suggestions?

I'll let you guy know how my Bucket List challenge turns out was once I'm back!  °o°

Monday, October 6, 2014

Prepping for KeyCon 2014

Time is certainly flying by now!  Usually it drags when you're waiting on a Disney trip.  Of course, since I have so many things I'm trying to accomplish in this short period of time- it's flying by at lightning speed!  Not that I'm complaining!  ;-)

Eliot's been putting countdown photos on my computer in our office each morning.  Well, he puts them on the computer the night before- after I go to sleep.  It's been a nice surprise to see which photo will be on the countdown the next morning!  I'm noticing that he's using my favorite attractions, characters, and things that mean something special to me.  I can't wait to see the last few!

This weekend, I worked on a few new ear headband designs that I'm going to debut myself at the parks!  I'm so excited!  I've got three (possibly four) new designs to wear! They'll be in my Happily Ever Hatter shop shortly after I return from my trip!

Last night, I took the time to organize my clothes for the trip.  I wanted to make sure that I had plenty of clothes, my Halloween Party outfit and my conference clothes all set aside. I feel a lot better knowing that I'm less likely to forget something now.  I still have a few things to grab, but it's not as overwhelming!

This weekend, I also finally set up an Instagram account!  I've been meaning to do it forever but I'd never taken the time to set it up.  I figured this would be the perfect timing so I can share some fun Disney World photos on that.  You can follow my adventures on Instagram at mydisneylifeblog.

Finally, I'm gearing up for the actual reason I'm going on the trip: KeyCon!  There is so much to be excited about, but when it really comes down to it, there are a few things that stand out in my mind:

Top 5 KeyCon Things I'm Excited For

1. Training and Learning

2. Meet fellow agents

3. Team Building in the Theme Parks

4. VIP Fantasmic Show

5. Going to Walt Disney World!   

Obviously, I can't wait for Disney, but I'm also really excited to meet my fellow Key to the World travel agents. Today is actually my one year anniversary of joining Key to the World!  We've all talked online for what seems like forever.  It'll be really nice to meet everyone in person!  I'm looking forward to the team building activities planned in Epcot and the Magic Kingdom.  We have a VIP Fantasmic Dessert Party one night- and I plan to stuff myself silly.  I've also made plans to meet up with a lot of the other agents to hang out in the parks in our "free" time.  I really can't wait.  It's going to be a blast!!!  °o°

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Make A Wish

Hi friends!  I wanted to follow up with a story I shared with you.  Last week, I told you about a package that Eliot and I sent to a very special little girl named Scarlet.

Last Saturday, Scarlet found out she is going to Walt Disney World through Make A Wish.  Her Wish Granter ordered an Elsa ear hat from my Happily Ever Hatter store.  As I mentioned, Eliot and I wanted to spread some extra Disney magic.  We also included snowflake hair clips, bubblegum scented Mickey Mouse soaps and an Olaf soap.

A few days ago, I got a letter in the mail from Make A Wish thanking us for helping to make Scarlet's wish come true.  It was a beautiful letter and it brought tears to my eyes while reading it.  Scarlet's Wish Granter also enclosed was a Make A Wish magnet, which now proudly hangs on our refrigerator.

Last week, Scarlet's Wish Granter emailed me pictures of Scarlet at her party.  She gave me permission to share them.  Here's Scarlet opening the box with the Elsa hat. 

Her Wish Granter told me Scarlet didn't want to take her hat off after she opened it.  It's made me feel really good to know I made her something that she will cherish so much.  I absolutely love her Elsa outfit!

She also enjoyed the soaps Eliot made her from Snowblade Creations!

I'm so happy we could help make this little girl's wish come true.  I hope Scarlet has an incredible trip and that her family makes many magical memories together.  °o°

Friday, October 3, 2014

Flashback Friday- MNSSHP

This time next week, I'll be running around the Magic Kingdom at Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party!  I can't wait!  To celebrate, I thought I'd share a few memories from the other two Halloween parties I went to for Flashback Friday!

Here's a quick video of the Train Station that I took from 2012 when Eliot and I went a few days after our wedding!  I love the Haunted Mansion Music in the background!

Here's me with Duffy and Mini Halloween Duffy.  (Mini Halloween Duffy lives on the shelf next to our bed.  I love him!)

Here Eliot and I are with the Seven Dwarfs in 2010.

Here we are in front of the train station in 2010.

We finally got our pictures taken with our Winnie the Pooh friends in 2012.

Here we are in front of the castle in 2010.  Check out my awesome candy corn eyeshadow complete with a Mickey Mouse!

I can't wait to see what's in store for this year!  I'm hoping to cross a few more characters off of my photo list!  I'm still working on what I'm going to wear… I think it's time to dig out the crazy socks and to hit up JoAnn Fabrics over the weekend!  °o°

Thursday, October 2, 2014

It's the Final Countdown!

Exactly one week from now I will be Walt Disney World!!!  I'm not going to lie, it's just sinking in now.  As much as I've prepared, made lists and gotten excited, it's only now that it's finally sinking in.  And I couldn't be more excited!

Photo Source: Walt Disney World Facebook Page
Now it's time to make my packing list, prepare for my conference, get my final Happily Ever Hatter projects done and to make some trip goals!  Ahh... lots to do, lots to do!  °o°