Saturday, January 31, 2015

Scrapbook Swap: Disney Christmas Layout

A few months ago, I joined another swap for my Disney Scrapbook Facebook group. As you may recall, I also did the Christmas in July Card swap last summer.  I had a blast and I wanted to participate in another swap during the holiday season!  I was lucky enough to sign up in time to participate in the Disney Christmas Layout Swap!

This was was for a two page Disney Christmas layout.  You had to sign up in the event in our Facebook group.  Next, you had to select which design you wanted to do.  There were 20 design choices, one for each member of the swap, and each member had to make a total of 20 cuts.  Once you finished your cuts, you had to place them each in a Ziplock bag.  Then you put all 20 baggies in one larger Ziploc bag and mailed the entire package to the swap organizer.  (We paid her $5.95 for postage to receive our package with all of the other members' cuts in return.)

Some of the choices to pick from included: Santa & Mrs. Claus, Christmas tree, Candy canes, Gingerbread, Stockings, Presents, Elf, Snowman, Wreath, Snowflakes, Ribbon, Title or a Border.  I chose frames since that choice seemed like it would be pretty easy. (I still don't know how to work my Cricut so I wanted to stay away from things I couldn't cut by another method!)  I had to make two frames per person- or 40 total.  I decided to make glitter backgrounds to "frame" photos with.  Who doesn't love glitter right?  

Frozen is really popular (obviously) so I made a winter snowflake themed frame.

For my second design, I made a Christmas frame with Mickey Mouse ornaments!  I love how cute the Mickey ornaments came out!  (My Mickey paper punch is my hero!!!)

I've been anxiously waiting for my package so I could show you the items I received from the swap!  The package finally came in the mail yesterday and I'm so happy with everything!!!  I love all of the designs.  These ladies are so creative!  This is a great way to get ideas for new designs to use in my own scrapbook designs!  I really need to get working on that Cricut.  I can see myself having way too much fun with that!

Here are a few of my favorites from the swap!  I love the little Mickey parts on the Christmas tree!  That's such a great idea!  The stockings and wreath are also adorable. My favorite is the Mickey Christmas light border.  (You know I'm a sucker for Christmas lights!)  These are going to look great with my new Disney holiday papers!  I can't wait to join more layout and die cut swaps!!!  My Disney scrapbooks are going to rock!  °o°

Friday, January 30, 2015

Fun Find: Disneyland 60th Anniversary Diamond Celebration

Hey guys!  It's been another busy week around here.  We've been getting pummeled by snow up here in the Northeast.  We had another storm today and more snow is on the way next week!  (Alright... who upset Elsa this time?)  It's been a good week to cozy up inside and to surf the internet!  Thus, I have another fun find for you- the big announcement for Disneyland's 60th Anniversary Diamond Celebration!

Photo Source: Disney Parks Blog
This year Disneyland is pulling out all of the stops for it's diamond anniversary.  You could actually follow along via their Twitter account Wednesday night to hear about the new experiences that will start May 22nd!  However, if you weren't able to follow along, fear not, I've gathered up some photos to share with you!

Photo Source: Disney Parks Blog
The first thing that stuck me was the renderings of the decorations on Sleeping Beauty Castle and Carthay Circle.  I'm a sucker for renderings and I'm pretty excited about what I see!  Both buildings will be encased in diamond decor and festive banners in blue.  This will surely be a sight to see!

Photo Source: Disney Parks Blog
Along with decorations around both parks, Disneyland will also be adding a few new shows to celebrate their diamond anniversary.  Starting May 22nd, World of Color will have a special edition called "World of Color- Celebrate!  The Wonderful World of Walt Disney."  Mickey Mouse hosts the show and it will feature Walt's dream of creating Disneyland.  I'm sure that this will not not be beautiful, but a powerful and emotional experience for Disney fans.

Photo Source: Disney Parks Blog
Another new addition to the celebration is the new "Paint the Night" parade.  The parade will feature innovative floats, special effects, new music and over 1.5 billion LED lights!  Disney fans will get to see familiar characters from The Little Mermaid, Cars, Monsters Inc, Toy Story, Beauty and the Beast, Frozen and more!  I am so excited for this!  I've been wanting to see a new nighttime parade ever since Walt Disney World retired the SpectroMagic parade!

Photo Source: Disney Parks Blog
I've saved the best new entertainment for last- the "Disneyland Forever" fireworks display.  They've definitely done it again with this piece of perfection that only Disney could create.  "Disneyland Forever" not only features fireworks, but it will transform Sleeping Beauty Castle, Main Street, the Matterhorn and other locations into a canvas. Through projection mapping, guests will literally be immersed in their favorite Disney movies.  (This is the largest projection mapping installation in a Disney park thus far.  I hope that means more is to come in the future!!!  Projection mapping is my hero.)

Photo Source: Disney Parks Blog
"Disneyland Forever" also features two new original songs: "Live the Magic" and "Kiss Goodnight" which was written by Richard Sherman.  I watched a media video from the event that featured a snippet of the show with "I See The Light" from Tangled and I was already tearing up.  This show is sure to be spectacular!

Photo Source: Disney Parks Blog
Finally, you can't have a Disney anniversary celebration without merchandise to commemorate the occasion!  Disneyland is going to have over 500 new items from a few new collections to celebrate it's 60th anniversary.  The first collection is the "Character" collection which will feature our favorite Disney characters and the iconic Disneyland attractions.  The coolest part of this design is that each of the four "sections" of the design feature a 15 year timespan in the parks history.  (You'll note that it starts out in black and white and moves to bright vivid colors.  Cool!!!)

Photo Source: Disney Parks Blog
Next is the "Castle" collection which will include the silvers and blues the park will be decorated with for the celebration.  Of course, Mickey and Minnie are in the design!  I love blue and silver together and I can't wait to see what this collection looks like!

Photo Source: Disney Parks Blog
Last, the "Diamond" collection is a stunning nod to the 60th anniversary.  The design of these products will feature simple black, gray and silver tones.  I love how Sleeping Beauty Castle is encased in the diamond design.

Photo Source: Disney Parks Blog
Disneyland has also released a few new designs as a preview of their anniversary merchandise.  These pins will be released each month from January to July.

Photo Source: Disney Parks Blog
I've saved my personal favorite for last... the Mickey balloon popcorn bucket!  I haven't ever collected popcorn buckets, but I think this is a must have!  It comes in red, purple and blue, and they would look lovely on top of my desk!  I've always wanted an actual Mickey balloon.  Now I can have one that will never deflate!

Photo Source: Disney Parks Blog
Finally, here's a quick video to recap the big Diamond Anniversary announcement!

And there you have it!  Disneyland's 60th Anniversary Diamond Celebration looks like it's going to be absolutely amazing.  (I can already picture myself as a sobbing mess of emotions.)  I wasn't planning on going back to Disneyland until May of 2016 for the Tinker Bell race weekend, but I really have to see those new shows and there isn't a date for when the anniversary celebration ends.  Eliot and I are already looking into a few possibilities for a visit... stay tuned!!!  °o°

Thursday, January 22, 2015

I've Got The Blues

There's no denying it; I've got the post Walt Disney World trip blues!

We've been back a little over a week and I'm still adjusting back to the "real" world after another magical Disney trip.  It's always a bit of a let down.  The cold Maine weather certainly isn't helping things!  I'm getting back into a normal sleeping pattern after that crazy race schedule.  Things are settling down.  But I'm looking forward to our next trip! I've decided that the best cure for what ails me is to keep the Disney magic alive!

The first Disney thing I did upon our return was to eat the Minnie Mouse candy apple we bought on our last day.  I've brought home an apple a few times now, and I think it's something I'm going to continue to do.  It's nice to have a little piece of Disney World magic to enjoy at home!  Plus, they're delicious!!!

I've been learning a lot at my new chiropractic job.  I have training this weekend and I'm excited to learn more!  I think I'll feel more confident once I learn more terminology. Walt Disney loved to move forward, pave new paths and to learn new things.  I'm definitely stepping out of my design oriented comfort zone, but I'm enjoying it!

Speaking of jobs, my travel agent job is going really well too!  With all of the excitement for our trip I haven't had a chance to make the big announcement: I am excited to announce that Key to the World Travel is now An Authorized Disney Vacation Planner! We were given this special designation by Disney Destinations as a result of our ongoing commitment to planning customized, magical trips to Walt Disney World Resort, Disneyland Resort and Aulani, a Disney Resort and Spa, vacations on board Disney Cruise Line and incredible journeys with Adventures by Disney.  This is so exciting for our company and I'm really looking forward to what's in store for us in 2015!

When I haven't been working, I've been going to the craft stores to get supplies for Happily Ever Hatter.  (I've had to get supplies for current orders and new designs.)  If there's anything I can count on, it's that I'm going to come back from Walt Disney World with more design ideas.  I sense a lot of design work in my future!

One perk of going to all of the craft stores is that I can also check out the Disney stuff. We've had a few finds over the past few days!  I found a Disney Guess Who Game on sale at ACMoore.  It was on sale for $4.99 (from $6.99).  Then, we had a coupon and we got it for another 20% off!  Woo!!!  

The other night, I found a Thomas Kinkade Disney Calendar while Eliot was at Staples printing something for his Etsy business- Snowblade Creations.  I've been looking for the perfect 2015 calendar and I finally found one!

My favorite find was the Disney Holiday Scrapbook Paper Stacks I found at JoAnn Fabric and Crafts.  I'd heard about these paper stacks though my Disney Scrapbook group on Facebook but I haven't been able to find them.  Our store finally got their shipment!  I found them this week and luckily all scrapbook papers are currently 40% off!  I threw my willpower out the window and completely caved getting the 12" x 12" and 8" x 8" paper stacks.  (My Disney holiday addiction is in a happy place right now.)

Finally, I can't forget the news that's rocking all of New England!  Our beloved Patriots are going to the SuperBowl again!  Yay!  I've always been a huge Pats fan.  I follow football more closely than the Celtics playing basketball or the Red Sox with baseball. The only reason I'm somewhat up on the Bruins is because Eliot's a huge hockey fan. (Even then I know more about his team- the San Jose Sharks.)  The Pats and football are my territory.  I'm pretty excited for the big game in a week!  That'll definitely give me something else to look forward to.

Things are really looking up!  I think I'll be able to rid myself of the post Walt Disney World trip blues.  All it takes is a little bit of faith, trust and pixie dust!!!  °o°

Monday, January 19, 2015

Results- WDW January 2015 Bucket List

I'm home!!!  Ok, so we've actually been home since late Tuesday night.  (More like super early Wednesday morning!)  These past few days have flown right by!  If we haven't been at work, we've been sleeping.  I think I need a vacation from my vacation! This weekend we're finally getting back into the flow.  I confess that I'm still unpacking my luggage as we speak. Hopefully that will be taken care of before the day is over!

We had a great trip to Walt Disney World!  It was a lot of fun, but it was so exhausting. I really don't know how those Dopey runners survive running all of the races AND getting so little sleep the entire week!  I'm exhausted just thinking about it!

Anyways, you probably remember my trip bucket list that I posted before we left!  I love making these and it's a fun way to branch out and try new things.  It's also a good way to make sure I experience my Disney favorites!  (As you may recall, I also made a trip bucket list for my October 2014 KeyCon trip to WDW.) Here's how we did this trip! 

Melissa's January 2015 Disney Trip Bucket List:

°o° Finish the Walt Disney World Minnie 10K
This was my biggest personal goal of the trip.  However, this was not something I accomplished.  I'm not going to go into great depth in this post- I'll save it for the trip recaps.  Long story short: I did not train as much as I should have and one should not be stubborn about going to see the doctor when they have a foot injury.  Someday I'll cross the finish line.  This year just wasn't the year.

Watch Eliot, Jeremy and Dad cross the finish line at the Half Marathon
This was definitely a lot of fun.  My Mom and I saw the guys at the Transportation and Ticket Center, at Main Street and Cinderella Castle inside the Magic Kingdom AND at the 13 mile marker in Epcot just before the finish line.  I'm so glad we went to cheer them on.  I think it was uplifting for them to see us while on the course!

°o° Watch Eliot during the full marathon
I did not get to see Eliot during the full marathon.  We changed hotels Sunday morning so I was packing up all of our luggage and checking out while he was running.  I was planning to go over to Epcot to cheer him on but by the time we were ready to go, he was calling us to come pick him up!

°o° Try LeFou's Brew in New Fantasyland
I did get to do this!  My Mom, Dad, Eliot and I went into the Magic Kingdom Saturday night.  Eliot went home to get sleep before the marathon but Mom and Dad stayed with me.  They ended up taking me for a snack at Gaston's Tavern.  I got to try LeFou's Brew, a cinnamon bun and they even bought me the souvenir glass!

°o° Eat Favorite Sweets- ice cream, candy apple, Dole Whip, Mickey Bar, etc.
I ate a few of my favorite Disney sweets and treats!  I brought a candy apple home with me.  I had a Mickey ice cream sandwich.  I tried a cinnamon bun- yum.  I didn't get ice cream or Dole Whip this trip.  It was pretty cold outside so I wasn't craving them. Next trip, Eliot and I plan to get those.  I'd love to try an Olaf cake pop... and an Olaf candy apple... and a marshmallow pop...

°o° Go to Chef Mickey's for Breakfast
Done!  Eliot and I ate with Jeremy while Mom, Dad, Nana and Papa had a reservation a little later than us.  We all had a ton of fun!  My Mom said Nana and Papa really enjoyed it.  I'm glad we got to share this experience with my family!

°o° Have More Waffles from Sleepy Hollow
I got my Nutella and fruit waffle from Sleepy Hollow.  I didn't convince everyone to eat there, but Eliot did get a fried dough.  He loved it and wants another.  I'm planning another visit in October!

°o° Get drinks at the Contemporary Hotel (must have another glowy drink!!!)
We didn't have time to get drinks at the Contemporary!  This is something I really want to do though.  I'll get there.  Eliot and I are adding this to our October list too!

°o° Go on the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train ride for the first time
Another thing we ran out of time for.  The line was so long that it wasn't worth waiting. We're planning to set up FastPasses next trip so Eliot and I can do this together.

°o° See the Frozen Sing Along
I'm SO glad we went to see this!  Eliot and Jeremy went with me and we all agreed that it was a lot better than we expected it to be!  The show was funny for adults and kids. Of course, I loved the sing along part.  The ending was really cute with the snow during Let It Go.  I give it two thumbs up!!!

°o° See the Festival of Fantasy Parade with my Family
My family did this as our first attraction of the Magic Kingdom.  I wouldn't even let them walk down Main Street.  We grabbed our seats so we'd be able to see the parade well. I'm glad we got front row seats because everyone thought it was amazing.  They've heard me rave about the costumes and the float designs from my trip last October.  It was well worth the hour plus wait for the parade!

°o° Watch A Frozen Holiday Wish and See the Cinderella Castle Ice Lights
We did see this the night before my race.  I wanted to see it again with better viewing, but we never got a chance.  At least I got to see it!  It was pretty cool watching Elsa light up the castle.  And I got to see Olaf!!!  (Who still really needs to become a meet and greet character at WDW!!!)

°o° Go back to the Animation Academy
Eliot and I planned to do this our last day but we literally ran out of time.  I made him swear that we'd go to it twice during our next trip.  We're also going to try to go first thing when they open!  Maybe we'll get to suggest a character to draw?

°o° Go on the Characters In Flight hot air balloon ride in Downtown Disney
Another thing we really didn't have time for this trip.  Next time!

°o° Go to the Pool Bar at our Resort
We did not go to the Pool Bar.  We were only at Pop Century for one night!

°o° Go to Typhoon Lagoon
We did not even think about going to Typhoon Lagoon while we were there.  Florida was actually cold during most of our trip.  It got into the 40's and 50's and that's cold for Florida.  (My friends in Maine will tell you that was nothing compared to the frigid 0-5 degrees they were experiencing at home!)

°o° Swim in the Pool at Pop Century Resort
Again, way too cold.  I didn't even put my bathing suit on the entire trip.  Eliot went into the hot tub after this half marathon to soak his muscles but that was it.

°o° Wear New Ear Headband and Ear Hat Designs by Happily Ever Hatter
I wore my Haunted Mansion Maid headband the last day of our trip!  I finally found the Maid shirt in my size at Momento Mori- the new Haunted Mansion store.  I was so excited!  Only a few guests "got" my outfit though.  (Boo on them!)  The cast members recognized it though.  One of the Main Street actors told me to get back to work and that break was over!  He he!  I also sported my new Olaf headband design that's not even online (yet)!  It's so cute!!!

°o° Get Photos of Happily Ever Hatter Designs in Park
I had a personal photoshoot at the Haunted Mansion.  There was a PhotoPass photographer there.  Eliot also took a few photos for me.  And I took a few photos with my ears and the mansion in the background!  I can't wait to see how they turned out!

°o° Take my Family to Boardwalk area
We didn't have time to go to Boardwalk either.  If I'd been able to finish my race I would have seen it, but it wasn't in the cards this particular trip!

We did do a few things we hadn't originally planned on though:

°o° Lights, Motors, Action
Eliot really wanted to go see this and we've never made the time to do it!  I mentioned it to my Mom and we decided it would be fun to show Nana and Papa.  I didn't realize how educational it was.  We learned a lot about the stunt cars that I never would have known.  I'm really glad we did this.  Totally worth seeing!!!

°o° Planet Hollywood
We actually did this by fluke.  My parents, Jeremy, Eliot and I went to Downtown Disney to poke around and once everything closed, this was the only place still open to eat!  We decided to go since we were pretty hungry.  Eliot had never been to a Planet Hollywood so he really enjoyed it.  They also had Hunger Games memorabilia there!  I had so much fun looking at the costumes!

°o° Wal-Mart Shopping
This probably sounds ridiculous, but I really love going to the Wal-Marts outside of Disney.  We had to go anyways to get race food, snacks and breakfast.  But I LOVE seeing all of the Disney merchandise.  They have a huge section up front of Disney clothes that are really cute.  I picked up some new pjs- a few Mickey night gowns and some cute Minnie shorts for next summer!  We also got some Olaf keychains and a few gifts for friends.  In fact, Eliot and I might even rent a car during our October trip just so we can go shopping here and at the Disney outlet stores.

°o° Hunt for Hidden Pascals
On our first Disney day, Eliot and I stopped at the Tangled restroom area to look for hidden Pascals!  I found out about them during my KeyCon trip and I really wanted to find more.  I found a few that I hadn't seen before.  Eliot also spotted one!  I'm determined to find them all eventually!!!

°o° See the Dapper Dans Perform
On our way out of the Magic Kingdom, Eliot and I spotted the Dapper Dans coming out onto Main Street through a door in the Emporium.  I went into spy mode, grabbed Eliot's shirt and gently pulled him in their direction.  We got front row seats to see them perform!  They were even still in their Christmas outfits!

°o° See the Sorcerer Hat One Last Time
I had heard reports online that the Sorcerer Hat was going to start coming down the day before our trip.  I wasn't sure how much of it would be left by the time we got there. Fortunately, we had one more chance to see it before it was no longer a hat.  We got one last family PhotoPass photo with it.  A few days later, the top of the hat had been sawed off and the PhotoPass photographers weren't allowed to take photos in that direction.  At least we got a chance to see it one last time... 

°o° Get Front Row Seats at Beauty and the Beast Live
Ha, that last sentence ties nicely into this point: we got to see Beauty and the Beast from the front row!  I've seen the show many times on my Disney trips, but I was really excited to see it from the front.  Nana and Papa's wheelchair section was to the front left of the stage.  I was mesmerized by seeing all of the costumes up close.  Gaston even looked at me a few times.  Hehe.

°o° See the Christmas Decorations at the Magic Kingdom
Finally, the thing I expected the least during this trip, was to see the Magic Kingdom Christmas decorations.  In fact, all of the parks had their Christmas decorations up. But there's something about walking down Main Street with the decorations and Christmas music playing in the background.  I literally started crying when Eliot and I first walked into the square and the tree was up.  I've really missed seeing the decorations during our most recent trips.  (I don't think I've seen them since 2009.)  This was truly magical and I'm so glad I got to experience it this trip.

And there you have it!  We had a great time.  And really, there's only so much time when you're main focus is to do the RunDisney events.  When you're up at 3:00 to race, taking mid-afternoon naps because you're exhausted and going to bed early, it definitely cuts into your trip time!  I think we did pretty good!  Eliot and I are planning to make another Trip Bucket List for our trip to Walt Disney World and Universal for KeyCon in September/October!!!  I seriously can't wait!!!  °o°

Monday, January 5, 2015

I'm Leaving On A Jet Plane

We're leaving for Walt Disney World TOMORROW!!!  Woo-hoo!!!  

I really can't believe it.  This trip definitely snuck up on me between attempting to decorate the house, the holiday rush making all of my Happily Ever Hatter orders and then celebrating the holidays themselves!  I'm so excited to be going "home" again!!!

Photo Source: Pinterest
If you see me in Florida- say hi!  If you see me running the 10K- say hi!  But please don't be offended if I don't say much back during the race.  (I'm sure I'll be in deep concentration those 6 miles... repeating "I Can Go The Distance" from Hercules!!!)

Photo Source: Walt Disney World Facebook Page

For those of you who aren't going to be visiting Mickey Mouse with me, you can always virtually visit and follow along with the fun from the comfort of your own home! I'll be posting updates on my Facebook page as well as my Instagram account.  Stay tuned for many Walt Disney World photos... See ya real soon friends!!!  °o°

Sunday, January 4, 2015

WDW January 2015 Bucket List

I can't believe we're leaving for Disney World in two days!  This trip crept up on Eliot and me!  I think it's going to hit me when we're on the plane.  In the meantime, I've been trying to get a lot of stuff done last minute: making a packing list, finishing some new Happily Ever Hatter designs, and trying to tie up loose ends around the house.

Photo Source: Walt Disney World Facebook Page

As you may recall, I made a trip bucket list for my October 2014 KeyCon trip to Walt Disney World.  I really enjoyed having goals for my trip.  Not only did it help me branch out to try some new things, but it also was a good way to make sure I experienced some of my favorite Disney things as well!  So, without further ado, here's my Walt Disney World January 2015 Trip Bucket List for this upcoming trip!!!

Melissa's January 2015 Disney Trip Bucket List:

°o°  1.) Finish the Walt Disney World Minnie 10K
°o°  2.) Watch Eliot, Jeremy and Dad cross the finish line at the Half Marathon
°o°  3.) Watch Eliot during the full marathon
°o°  4.) Try LeFou's Brew in New Fantasyland
°o°  5.) Eat Favorite Sweets- ice cream, candy apple, Dole Whip, Mickey Bar, etc.
°o°  6.) Go to Chef Mickey's for Breakfast
°o°  7.) Have More Waffles from Sleepy Hollow
°o°  8.) Get drinks at the Contemporary Hotel (must have another glowy drink!!!)
°o°  9.) Go on the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train ride for the first time
°o° 10.) See the Frozen Sing Along
°o° 11.) See the Festival of Fantasy Parade with my Family
°o° 12.) Watch A Frozen Holiday Wish and See the Cinderella Castle Ice Lights
°o° 13.) Go back to the Animation Academy
°o° 14.) Go on the Characters In Flight hot air balloon ride in Downtown Disney
°o° 15.) Go to the Pool Bar at our Resort
°o° 16.) Go to Typhoon Lagoon
°o° 17.) Swim in the Pool at Pop Century Resort
°o° 18.) Wear New Ear Headband and Ear Hat Designs by Happily Ever Hatter
°o° 19.) Get Photos of Happily Ever Hatter Designs in Park
°o° 20.) Take my Family to Boardwalk area

Of course, the main purpose of this trip is to participate in the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend events so those goals are my top priority.  I also see this trip as a way to share some new experiences with Eliot and my family.  I did some of these on my trip in October, so now it's their turn to experience them!  I've also added a few things that I didn't get to try.  I still want to continue to experience new things!  

I'll check back after our trip to let you know how I did this time around!!!  °o°