Saturday, November 28, 2015

Small Business Saturday

Hello!  I hope you're enjoying your holiday weekend!  Did you get some Black Friday deals?  Eliot and I didn't go shopping, but I did order a few Disney buttons from Etsy.

Photo Source: Small Business Saturday
As you probably know, today is Small Business Saturday!  I'm very passionate about shopping small and shopping handmade.  Both sets of my grandparents ran their own small businesses and my parents own and operate their tax business.  I've been brought up learning to work hard for what you have and it's a lesson I'm grateful for.

I just wanted to remind you to shop small if you can.  I purchase things at many "big box" stores, but it brings me great joy to purchase from other small shops on Etsy.  There's something special about receiving something from someone who took the time to hand-make it with love and care.

There are many great small Disney themed shops out there, including Eliot's and my shops Happily Ever Hatter and Snowblade Creations.  For those of you who don't know, I'm also a travel planner for Key to the World Travel and I'd love to help you plan your trips to Disney and other destinations for free.

"When you buy from a small mom or pop business, you are not helping a CEO buy a third vacation home.  You are helping a little girl get dance lessons, a little boy get his team jersey, a mom or dad put food on the table, a family pay a mortgage, or a student pay for college.  Our customers are our shareholders and they are the ones we strive to make happy.  Thank you for supporting Small Businesses!" - unknown  °o°

Thursday, November 26, 2015


Happy Thanksgiving!  I hope you've had a wonderful holiday with family, friends and good food!  This time every year, I like to reflect on everything I'm thankful for.  (Read my past posts for 2013 and 2014.)  I have a lot to be thankful for this year.

As always, I'm thankful for Eliot's job.  I'm so glad he's found a company that he loves to work for.  He enjoys his projects, his co-workers and he doesn't mind staying late to work since he's passionate about it.  I'm so thankful that it continues to provide for us. 

I'm also thankful for my job.  It's been an interesting first year with the fire and all of the projects that have come along from it, but I love my job.  I love our patients and I really enjoy going to work.  After some of my other jobs, I'm very thankful for that.  I'm thankful for a great boss and a wonderful co-worker who I also consider a great friend.

I'm thankful for my Key to the World travel agent job.  I love helping others plan their magical vacations.  Also, my fellow KTTW friends are more like family and we've had a lot of great times together at our KeyCon conferences.  I can't wait to have many more fun adventures with them!

I'm so thankful for Happily Ever Hatter, Snowblade Creations, and Eliot's and my ideas for future business endeavors.  Eliot and I are very proud of our little side businesses and how they continue to grow.  We've got a ton of ideas and I'm excited to dive in!

I'm so thankful for our friends and family.  Eliot and I are really blessed with great people in our lives.  I'm so thankful to spend time with my family at my parents' house.  Thanksgiving was really hard this year without Papa being here, but we got through it together.  We still shared many laughs and made wonderful memories.

I'm very thankful for our health and happiness.  It may sound cliché, but I really am.

Of course, I'm thankful for Disney!  I'm so glad I started this blog and that I've had a chance to make friends through it and other social media outlets.  I'm so glad to find people who also share a love for Disney and the sense of community we create.

Finally, I'm incredibly thankful for Eliot's and my new home.  It still hasn't quite set in that we're home owners and that it's really ours.  I'm really excited to get settled into it.  I can't wait to get working on projects in my new office!  This year, I'm most thankful for this new chapter in Eliot's and my life and for new beginnings!  °o°

Friday, November 20, 2015

Fun Find: Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday to me!!!  Today is my 31st birthday!  In honor of my birthday, I thought I'd share some birthday videos for Fun Find Friday!!!

Here's a Mouseketeer birthday song and video!

Here's an Ariel princess birthday video.  I thought it was appropriate since The Little Mermaid turned 26 a few days ago on November 17th. 

Here's a video from Minnie.  She and Mickey turned 87 on November 18th.  I love sharing my birthday week with some of my favorite Disney characters!  According to the info on YouTube, you can get a video like this personalized with your age, name and picture!  (I just want a customized bow from Minnie!)

Finally, this video is my favorite, but you'll probably have to click the link back to YouTube.  It has tons of Disney characters wishing the viewer a Happy Birthday!

Cheers to another great year!!!  °o°

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Happy Birthday Mickey and Minnie!

I'd like to wish a Happy 87th Birthday to my favorite mice!!!

In 2013, I wrote a blog post with some of my favorite Mickey and Minnie memories.  Of course, my all time favorite memory is when they came to our wedding reception.  I still get misty eyes whenever I open our guest book and I see their signatures in it!

Since then, we've had plenty more magical moments with Mickey and Minnie.  I don't have the PhotoPass photos from our recent Disneyland and Walt Disney World trips (yet), but one of my new favorite photos with them is from the Disneyland Diamond Celebration.  They're wearing their special 60th Anniversary outfits and Eliot and I have our matching Happily Ever Hatter Mickey and Minnie ear hats on!  I love it!!!

Happy Birthday Mickey and Minnie!  Here's to many more magical moments!!!  °o°

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Paris Love

How quickly the world can change in a few short minutes.  Within an hour (possibly even minutes) of me posting my list of 30 things to do during my 30's list last night, I learned that the world was once again shaken by an act of terrorism.  I found out while scrolling through my Facebook feed.  And the numbers in the reports only continued to rise throughout the night.  Over and over I ask myself why would someone do this.  It causes me great sadness to know deep down that we'll never really have an answer.

I have always had a great love for the city of Paris and for France.  My first exposure to it was probably through a movie with a girl who learned to love a beast.  Beauty and the Beast has always been one of my favorite Disney movies.  I go see the live stage show at Hollywood Studios whenever I can.  It's one of my all time favorites.  I also think the movie is why I decided I wanted to learn French.

In 2002, I traveled to Paris and France with my high school French club during my junior year.  It was the first time I'd ever flown in an airplane.  I fell in love with France and the whole European experience.  I practiced my French.  I loved learning more about the architecture and history.  The Notre Dame Cathedral was stunning.  I went to the top of the Eiffel Tower.  I visited the Louvre and saw the Mona Lisa.  We went on a night river cruise where we passed the Eiffel Tower and a mini version of the Statue of Liberty.  We visited the French Riviera, a perfume factory, an old aqueduct and hilltop villages.  It was an experience that I treasure and always will.

During college, our school held an annual Beaux Arts Ball at the end of the academic year.  In 2007, the ball was Paris themed.  For our table centerpieces, we had tall Eiffel Tower vases filled with gigantic red and black feathers a la Moulin Rouge.  We also had little Eiffel Tower candle holders, one of which I brought home.  The photo backdrop had a six foot tall light up Eiffel Tower display.  At the end of the night, our events club was planning to throw it out but I rescued it.  Eliot and I still have it to this day.  (It's probably going to be on display in our basement!)

In 2009, Eliot and I went to Las Vegas to celebrate his 21st birthday.  We're not big drinkers or gamblers, so we spent the entire trip sightseeing.  One of my favorite experiences was going up into the Eiffel Tower at the Paris hotel in Las Vegas.  Eliot has never been to Europe, but I really enjoyed experiencing a little slice of it with him.

I also have fond memories of Paris at the World Showcase in Epcot.  Eliot and I haven't spent too much time there in recent years, but I always admire the hand painted umbrellas when we walk by.  I love to stop and eat a crêpe as a special treat.  I always take time to admire the Eiffel Tower and to reminisce about my high school trip.

Of course, my fondest memory from World Showcase Paris was our post-wedding reception VIP viewing of IllumiNations.  We had a great time celebrating with our family and friends at the Terrace des Fleurs.  Not only was it a stunning backdrop, but it was especially meaningful to me since I'd been to Paris, France.

Which brings me back full circle.  When I posted my list yesterday, I originally included going to Disneyland Paris on it.  (I took it off because I didn't want to put too many trips in my goals and I already had the cruise and Aulani on it.)  Eliot and I do dream to go to every Disney Park someday.  We want to go to Disneyland Paris and to possibly even participate in a future Paris RunDisney half marathon.  We will go there someday.

Events like last night cement my belief that the world needs something like Disney.  It's a small world after all.  We all need a happy place in this world of uncertainty.  We all need dreams, hope, faith, trust and a little bit of pixie dust.  °o°

Friday, November 13, 2015

30 Things To Do During My 30's

It's hard to believe that my 31st birthday is one week from today!  It seems like I was just celebrating my 30th birthday!  I've noticed that a lot of people make 30 things to do before turning 30 lists.  I heard about it shortly before my 30th birthday and it didn't leave me much time to make a list, much less to complete it!  Since I missed the ship on that one, I've decided to make a 30 Things to Do During My 30's list instead!

Photo Source: Disney
You all know how much I love to make bucket lists for my trips.  It probably comes as no surprise that I'm a huge fan of lists.  (My "Notes" section on my iPhone currently has 578 notes and most of those are lists of some sort... yikes!)  This concept intrigued me and it seemed like a great idea to make a longer term bucket list of sorts.

I started off my 30th year with a Rapunzel and Tangled themed birthday party.  Instead of looking at turning 30 with dread, I chose to look at it as the next adventure.  I've always identified with Rapunzel's sense of wonder and how she always has a dream.  I think this list captures that philosophy and spirit.

I've included a few things I've wanted to do for a while now but that I haven't gotten the chance.  I've also included some of the things from my ever-growing Disney Bucket List (which I really should type up at some point).  Ok, the first two things on the list I've already completed.  But I've already been 30 for almost a year, and those two things would have definitely made the list anyways!  Without further ado, here it is:

30 Things To Do During My 30's:

  1. Visit Disneyland during the 60th Anniversary Check
  2. Buy our First House Check
  3. Go On Our First Disney Cruise
  4. Get a Puppy
  5. Have Kids
  6. Attend a D23 Convention
  7. Ride in the Lily Belle Train Car
  8. Go to Disney for Dapper Day
  9. Ride a Horse
  10. Get My Photo Taken with Every Disney Princess
  11. Visit Pixar Studios
  12. Complete a Disney Half Marathon
  13. Visit Walt Disney World during the 50th Anniversary
  14. Ride in a Hot Air Balloon
  15. Go to Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party
  16. Take a Walk in Walt's Footsteps Tour
  17. Read a Book in French
  18. Complete a Disney Race Challenge
  19. Go to Aulani
  20. Visit the Walt Disney Family Museum
  21. Swim with a Dolphin
  22. Go on all of the Opening Day Attractions at Disneyland in one day
  23. Earn a Coast to Coast Medal
  24. Visit Disney Animation Studios
  25. Travel Somewhere New
  26. Go to a Disney Christmas Parade Taping
  27. Host a Dinner Party
  28. Go to the Magic Kingdom on it's 50th Birthday (October 1st of 2021)
  29. Launch Other Business Ideas
  30. Have a 10th Anniversary Vow Renewal

This is an ambitious list, but it seems very do-able, especially since I still have nine more years to accomplish everything on it!  As I slowly check things off, I'll be sure to update it like I have the first two items on the list!  °o°

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Painting Progress

Hi Friends!  It's been another busy week here in Maine.  Eliot and I are trying to finish a few projects at our new house before we officially move into it.  We've been painting up a storm, but the first phase is almost done!  We've been so busy that I haven't taken many progress pictures, but I've got a few to share with a quick update!

Our larger guest bedroom is finally finished.  I don't have any photos of it now that the paint is done, but here's a photo when we just had a few places to touch up.  (I put different colored pieces of tape on the wall to signify places we needed to sand down versus places that needed another coat of paint.)  I'm very happy with how it turned out and I can't wait to bring the bed over so the room will be done!

Next, our smaller guest bedroom is almost done.  Eliot and I went over to the house on Tuesday to do another coat of paint on the wall.  We also touched up where the wall meets the ceiling.  Tonight, we're planning to go over to take the tape off.  Hopefully the seam will be a clean line and that room will also be done and ready for the bed!

We've been making good progress on the master bathroom as well.  We've painted two coats of yellow over the white primer and it looks so much better than before.  It probably needs one more coat of yellow paint.  Then, we need to go back and finish the turquoise walls.  This is our last big project before we move into the house!

The next item on the agenda is to (finally!) move into the house- possibly as soon as this weekend!  Then, once we're living in the house, we'll continue working on painting our master bedroom.  The room is huge and we have so little furniture in it right now; there's still plenty of room left to paint.  We also don't have the new king bed for it yet, so that gives us more time to finish painting!

Once we're settled into the house, we'll re-evaluate what's next. We're still planning to re-paint the entire house and we've only tackled a small chunk so far.  Eliot and I will probably work on the guest bathroom first, and then work our way to completing the hallway and stairs.  Over the winter, we're planning to tackle the entry way, living room, dining room and kitchen area, and then the basement.  Eventually, we'll also be re-painting all of the trim, baseboards, and doors.  It's a little bit daunting, but I'm really excited about how awesome it's going to look when we're finally done painting!!!  °o°

Friday, November 6, 2015

Fun Find: Holiday Inflatable Fun

I know we just celebrated Halloween a few days ago, but I'm getting into the holiday spirit!  Walt Disney World has already decked the halls at the Magic Kingdom and the first Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party event of the year is this Sunday, November 8th.  Eliot and I are starting to think about our Christmas decorations.  Of course, that includes our ever growing collection of inflatables!

We love our inflatables.  Some people think they're cheesy, but we love them.  They're fun, kid friendly, and easy to set up.  Plus, if you take good care of them, you'll have them to enjoy for years!  New designs are released each year, and if you have your eye on one, you better get it while you can!  For today's Fun Find Friday, I've compiled a list of Disney Inflatables currently available to purchase online.  Enjoy!

First, we'll start with Sears.  This giant 8 foot Olaf inflatable is on display at our local store.  He has a kaleidoscope built inside of him to create a sparkling effect.  Eliot and I have definitely been keeping an eye on him!

Next, Target has an assortment of Disney inflatables as well.  There seems to be a lot of new Frozen and Star Wars items this year.

I'm pretty impressed with Loews inflatable selection this year.  This Frozen snow globe is my favorite.  I'm really excited that it also includes Olaf!

I also really like the Mickey and Minnie from Lowes.  It's nice to see Minnie in her red and white polka dots dress.  I also love how Mickey and Minnie are wearing co-ordinating red and green outfits.  They're also nice and tall!

Wal-Mart always has Disney inflatables.  Our local store has tons of Mickey and Minnie inflatables on the shelves.  I really love the new one with Olaf in his palm tree hammock!  That's another one Eliot and and might have to add to our collection!

Finally, Home Depot has the best selection of inflatables.  They've got a ton of new Disney Christmas inflatables this year.  I absolutely love the Cinderella Castle inflatable!  It reminds me of Christmas at Walt Disney World and our Disney Wedding!

Another one of my favorites from Home Depot is the new Sven and Olaf Frozen inflatable!  Sven has a cute wreath around his neck and Olaf is on his back- so cute!

Home Depot has a ton of Mickey and Minnie inflatables.

Home Depot also has a few Star Wars inflatables!

These Christmas inflatables are all so much fun!  There's a great variety for Disney fans!  I hope they continue to release new designs every year!!!  °o°

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Moving to The New House

As you know, the big move to our new house was this past weekend.  And what a weekend it was!  It certainly felt like a lot more than 3 days anyways.  The weekend was productive and we're in pretty good shape!  We're not officially moved over there... but I'll get to that later.  Here's how our moving weekend went!

My parents drove down mid-day Friday to help me start getting stuff ready.  Dad and I worked on painting Friday afternoon.  Meanwhile, Mom cleaned the kitchen cupboards and organized the painting supplies on the countertop.  We met up with Eliot for dinner and then we grabbed a few more supplies at Wal-Mart before Jeremy arrived.  We went to bed early because we knew it was going to be a busy weekend.

Saturday, we went to work at the new house.  Our living room was already full since Eliot and I have been bringing stuff over whenever we go to the house.  Jeremy and Mom moved the containers to their respective rooms of the house.  (Thank goodness for labels!)  Dad, Eliot and I worked on painting more of the upstairs.  Dad tackled the small guest room, and Eliot tackled the larger one.  Both had to be primed with white since we were worried the new paint colors might not cover the old ones.  I re-prainted the detail between Eliot's office walls and the freshly painted ceiling.  (We had a few oopsies that I needed to cover.)

Since it was Halloween, we lit Mickey and Minnie up and put our porch light on.  We were really hoping the kids from our neighborhood would come over, but by 7:00 ish, we hadn't had anyone and we were done working at the house.  We turned off the lights, closed up shop and headed back to get some dinner.

Sunday morning was an early one, even with the extra hour of sleep.  Mom and Dad picked up the U-Haul.  Meanwhile, Eliot and I packed more.  Jeremy shuttled stuff to our cars.  Once one car was full, we moved it to Wal-Mart so it was out of the way of the U-Haul truck.  Around 11:00, the movers we hired arrived.  (We hired movers through U-Haul for 4 hours to get few of the heavy items.)  They had the truck filled up in no time and our caravan was on the way to the new house!

The movers made quick work of unpacking the U-Haul truck.  In fact, a lot of it was unpacked before Mom, Jeremy and I even arrived at the house.  (We were the last to get shuttled back over to our cars at Wal-Mart.  Ok... we also stopped at Wendy's to grab some lunch.  Don't worry; we shared!)  The moving guys took the furniture to each of the rooms and placed in the center so we could finish painting the walls.

After the U-Haul truck was emptied, we thanked the movers and they were on their way.  We decided to have Mom, Dad and Jeremy go back to Walmart to get the trailer we borrowed from Eliot's friend from work.  We bid Jeremy farewell and told Mom and Dad we'd see them soon.  While they were all gone, Eliot and I pulled the cars into our driveway and emptied them all out.  Then, we moved them back onto our road so the driveway was clear for the trailer.

Dad backed the trailer into the driveway out of the way and then we all took a quick break.  Afterwards, we shuffled all of the boxes Eliot and I had unpacked around the house.  It was dark outside, but we thought we could make another small trip with the U-Haul.  We returned to the other house, stopped for a dinner break, and then went back to pack up a few more things.  Dad and Eliot grabbed stuff from the basement and garage while I packed things inside the house.  Mom loaded the back of her car up with some of our breakable stuff.  Then, Dad and Eliot rode over in the U-Haul truck and Mom and I took her car.

After we unpacked the truck and car, we called it a night.  We took inventory of both houses and the majority of our stuff is now at the new house.  Unfortunately, since we hadn't finished painting the bedrooms, we didn't see the point in moving the beds because they'd be in the way.  Right now, Eliot and I are still living in the house we're renting.  Thankfully, I insisted that we keep our work clothes, toiletries and dishes here so we're all set.  We also haven't changed our cable and internet over, so the tv and computers are here with us.  Although, I'm really missing the couch.  The folding chairs we brought back from the new house just aren't the same.

We're really excited that most of our stuff is at the new house.  Our plan this week is to finish painting the guest bedrooms so we can put the dressers where they're going to go.  Then, we can put the clothes back in them.  Mom and Dad will probably come down one more time to help us move our beds and the office furniture, but we're in pretty good shape.  There's plenty of things we can start unpacking so it'll be less overwhelming when are are officially living there!  Plus, our lease doesn't end until the end of November.  We've still got plenty of time!  °o°