Sunday, January 31, 2016

DIY: Mickey Candy Heart Valentine's Day Sign

Hello friends!  I'm sorry I've been away the past few days.  Eliot and I have resumed working on projects around the house!  I decided to take a break from unpacking and painting for a little bit to work on a Valentine's Day craft.  Most of my crafting supplies are still packed away while we're getting settled, so I opted for a simple project with minimal supplies, space and time necessary to complete it.

The result was this really cute Mickey Mouse Candy Heart Valentine's Day Sign!  I love how it came out.  It was easy to make and only took me about 2 hours to complete (not including drying time).  Plus, my work space only took up a small section of the dining room table, so that's definitely a win in my book.  Would you like to make one for yourself?  Here's how I made my Mickey Candy Heart Sign!

Wood Heart Shapes (I bought mine at my local craft store)
Acrylic Paints and Brushes
Red Sharpie Marker or a Pencil
Hot Glue Gun
Mod Podge or Acrylic Sealant (optional- but recommended)
Glitter (optional)

Steps to Make Mickey Candy Heart Valentine's Day Sign:

1.) Paint Candy Hearts
First, paint your wooden "candy hearts" in your selected paint colors.  You'll probably have to do a few coats depending on the colors you select.  If you'd like, you can paint the backs of the hearts as well.  (I painted two coats of each color on the front and only one coat on the back and edges of my candy hearts.)

2.) Write Candy Heart Phrases
Next, use the red Sharpie or pencil to write out your candy heart phrases.  I used a pencil to outline some Mickey themed phrases including: "I luv Mickey", "you're swell" and "oh boy!"  Fill the text in with a dark pink or red paint.

3.) Seal Your Paint (optional but recommended)
Seal the paint with acrylic sealant so your sign won't get damaged if it gets wet.  (Make sure you're in a well ventilated area if you're using a spray.)  I used Mod Podge mixed with a little bit of extra fine glitter to give my candy hearts a little bit of sparkle!

4.) Cut Ribbon and Assemble Sign
Once your candy hearts are dry, arrange them so they're stacked vertically with a little bit of space between each heart.  Cut a piece of ribbon a few inches longer than your stack from top to bottom.  (In other words, make sure you have enough room at the top to hang your sign with a push pin, screw or wreath hook!)  Glue the back center of the hearts to the front of the ribbon once you're happy with your layout.

5.) Make a Hook and a Bow
At the top of your hanging sign, make a loop with the ribbon.  (I made a loop and then glued it to the back of the ribbon.)  Finally, I made my sign more decorative by making a bow with my left over ribbon.  I made six loops and then glued them together to form my bow.  Attach the bow to the top of your ribbon and you're done!  Hang it up and enjoy your Mickey Mouse Candy Heart Valentine's Day sign!  °o°

Monday, January 25, 2016

Blog Hop Announcement

Hi friends!  I've got some great news for you!  I'm officially gearing up for my first blog hop of 2016!  It's going to be a few weeks from now on Saturday, February 6th!

I've done one other blog hop back in June of 2014 and I had a blast!  It was a little bit of a learning curve for me, but I'm so glad I participated in it!  

I'm hoping this will be the first of many more blog hops in 2016!  If you're interested in attending and getting more information, you can join our event Facebook page here.  I hope you'll join us for some fun with Disney Pixar crafting!  °o°

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Go Patriots!

Well, that was certainly a nail biter of a football game.  Or, in my case, an "I can't breathe; I can't watch" game towards the last few minutes.  It was definitely intense.

I have to admit, I didn't have a good feeling going into today's game.  The New England Patriots lost to the Denver Broncos in the regular season.  Sure, we had a bunch of our injured players back on the field that hadn't played in that game, but they also had Manning back on the field.  (I'm so sick of the Brady/Manning hype...)

I could get on my soapbox about the Broncos ticket sales and how much I think their location policy is crap, but I'll spare you.  And at this point, what I think about it doesn't matter anyways.  Both teams looked pretty sloppy, but in the end, the Patriots couldn't defend our quarter back.  Brady can't perform if he's got people coming at him all night.

Regardless of the final score, I'm still proud of the Pats.  Last year, we were the Super Bowl Champs and I knew it was going to be hard to defend the title.  At least we made it as far in the playoffs as we did.  (Now, I'm rooting for the Panthers.)  We might not be in the running anymore this year, but we put up one heck of a fight.  And I know we'll come back swinging again next year.  GPats!!!  °o°

Friday, January 22, 2016

Minnie Rocks the Dots

Today is National Polka Dot Day!!!  What better way to celebrate than to channel our favorite polka dot style icon: Minnie Mouse!  I've always loved polka dot patterns- probably because some part of my subconscious always associated them with Minnie.

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Minnie has been a fashion icon for decades, and her polka dots are becoming a style movement of their own.  Minnie's style has an Instagram page for all things Minnie inspired.  The page has a collection of images from polka dot dresses, to teacups, mouse ears, finger nails, handbags and images of Minnie Mouse herself!  Users are encouraged to use #MinnieStyle in their own Instagram photos!

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In addition to that, there is going to be a Minnie Mouse inspired art installation in Los Angeles.  Disney and Refinery29 have partnered up to bring a "Minnie Rocks the Dots" exhibit complete with her outfits around the world, a photo gallery, color-by-number art and a shop with limited edition Minnie merchandise.

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Of course, you can always "rock the dots" when you're at the Disney parks.  There are numerous Minnie Mouse inspired items on sale at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World.  I've always been a huge fan of the Minnie items.  Some of my favorites are the scarves, jewelry, handbags, t-shirts and the Pandora bracelets!  I love being able to incorporate a little bit of Disney into my everyday wardrobe!

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Finally, if a trip to the Disney parks isn't in your future, you can still rock some Minnie inspired style a little closer to home.  Kohl's and Lauren Conrad have released another Minnie Mouse inspired collection for Minnie Rocks the Dots.  This time, there are some designs for children along with the juniors sizes.  I was pleasantly surprised to see a lot of the collection available at our local Kohl's store!  (Don't worry, I behaved... for now.)

Wherever you are today, don't be afraid to channel your inner Minnie and proudly wear your polka dots!  I'm off to see what I can come up with to rock the dots!  °o°

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

High School Musical- 10 Years Later

You know you're old when it's the 10 Year Anniversary of High School Musical.  Has it really been ten years?!?  The first High School Musical premiered on the Disney Channel on January 20, 2006.  I don't remember if I saw the premiere of the movie, but being the Disney fan I am, I definitely saw it quite a few times shortly thereafter.

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I enjoyed the movie and the music.  It came out after I'd graduated from high school and I remember laughing about how it wasn't like my experience at all.  Still, it was a fun movie with a good message.  I admit I was surprised about how huge it got.  The merchandise, chart topping CDs, a concert tour, sequels- it was everywhere.

I remember going to Walt Disney World where there was a High School Musical dance party at Hollywood Studios for the longest time.  Each new movie brought new songs to sing.  It was also at California Adventure when I went to Disneyland in 2009.

Tonight, Disney Channel will celebrate the movie's milestone by having a 10 Year Anniversary Reunion Special hosted by most of the cast.  (Zac Efron- Get cha head in the game!)  Happy Birthday High School Musical.  We're all in this together.  °o°

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Find The Fun

This has certainly been a rough week.  What started out for me as a bit of sadness from Disney attractions closing (including Aladdin- a personal favorite of mine), turned into a wave before the week was over.  It seems like loss is everywhere I look at the moment.  This past week alone, we have lost so many to cancer: David Bowie, Alan Rickman, René Angélil (Céline Dion's husband and manager) and Brian Bedford (the voice of Robin Hood in the Disney movie).  It's really depressing.

Alan Rickman is the one that hurts the most for me personally.  And I don't think it's even fully hit me yet.  I heard his voice during the "Alice Through the Looking Glass" preview Thursday night and it was like a punch in the gut.  For me, Alan will always be Professor Snape.  He was an amazing actor and he brought Snape to life for me.  It's hard to think about seeing him in the Harry Potter movies.  And I don't think I'll ever be able to watch that one scene in the boathouse again without tearing up.

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One of my favorite Harry Potter book quotes is "Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light." said by headmaster Albus Dumbledore in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.  In other words, you may be going through a rough time, but you should still try to "find the fun" and look for the positives like Joy from Inside Out would.

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As long as this week has felt, there have definitely been some positives over the past few days.  While I was home for Christmas, I discovered that Burlington Coat Factory had the Cinderella bracelet I'd been looking for forever.  I ordered it and long story short, they didn't have it in stock.  I finally ordered the necklace instead, with the intention of making one into a bracelet.  They came in the mail this week!  I'm so happy I found it.  My Grammie loved butterflies and I thought of her as soon as I saw it.  I also love the "never underestimate magic" quote on the back.  It's perfect!

About a week ago, I discovered tsum tsums on JCPenney's website.  I finally was able to get a few of the original ones that haven't been sold in a while.  They came the other day and I'm excited to add Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Pluto and friends to my growing tsum family.  They also had a few exclusive pink Valentine tsums!

Speaking of tsum tsums, my Disney Store package arrived the other day.  I opened it yesterday and it's always like opening a little bit a of magic.  I love the ShellieMay plush!  The Valentine's Day chocolate set and Dumbo are cute too!

I had a little bit of birthday money left over, and I was excited to find a few holiday Hallmark itty bittys on sale.  The Star Wars holiday plush were 50% off!  I ended up getting three of them along with Ariel.  It was a great deal!

Work has kept been keeping both Eliot and me busy lately.  I enjoy my job and talking with our patients.  Another perk of work is playing with Bear.  Lisa works down the hall in our office (we share a space) and she brings her black lab dog, Bear, to work.  On Thursday, I watched him for about an hour and I loved every minute of it.  I pet him and he brought me his toys.  We played with "Hedgie" his plush hedgehog and I rolled his ball back and forth with him.  I admit, I really miss having a dog to play with.

I've also been busy with a few Happily Ever Hatter orders.  Yesterday was National Hat Day and I worked more to get my shop name out there.  I'm hoping to set my sights on getting new designs together once I get my office organized!  Hopefully Eliot and I will be able to tackle it this weekend!  I need to re-arrange some furniture!

Speaking of Eliot, he's a sweetheart.  Last week, he showed up to my work with a Wal-Mart bag and insisted that I open it.  He'd found some Disney slipper socks and bought them for me as a surprise.  I have a weird obsession with socks!  They're awesome!

Then, this week, Eliot came home from work on Tuesday with another surprise.  He'd seen a tsum tsum poster posted online and went to the store to investigate.  He came home with the poster, along with Inside Out stickers, and two door greeters!!!  We love door greeters and we've never seen Valentine's Day ones!  Now, we have Minnie and Elsa- who I think also works for Easter/spring!  Yay!  (We later went back to the store to buy Mickey.  Minnie needed Mickey.  It is for Valentine's Day after all!)  He's the best!

After this long week, I'm looking forward to spending today and tomorrow home with my husband.  We don't have any huge plans, other that watching the Patriots play off game later on this afternoon.  At some point, we'll have to clean off the driveway since we're having another winter storm today.  There's something peaceful and serene about it though, so I don't mind.  I'm excited to spend time together working on our house.  Eliot started putting his Vinylmation away and he's going to have me help him arrange them.  Hopefully we can work on my office a little bit too!

This was a long week, and I'm relieved that another new week is just around the corner.  Sometimes you just have to be wiling to find the good things in life in order to be truly happy.  I'm thankful that I've always been able to find the fun.  °o°

Friday, January 15, 2016

Fun Find: Aladdin- A Musical Spectacular

As you know from last week's Fun Find Friday, Aladdin: A Musical Spectacular took the stage one final time this past Sunday.  The show was a personal favorite of mine, and I'm sad to see it leave California Adventure.

Growing up, Aladdin was my favorite Disney movie.  Jeremy and I loved it and would watch it, and the television series, all the time.  He loved the Genie.  I wanted to be princess Jasmine for the longest time.  In fact, when our elementary school did a Disney themed spring concert, Nana made me a purple Jasmine dress to wear!

I remember getting together with my cousins on my Mom's side and we would do skits and plays for our family.  Aladdin was favorite and I remember three different times we "performed" it for them.  I was always Jasmine.  Jeremy was always Genie.  Come to think of it, Aladdin is probably the reason tigers were my favorite animal growing up.

I think it's safe to say that Aladdin had a big impact on my childhood.  Maybe that's why I'm having a hard time saying goodbye to the musical theater show.  I've only seen it live three times, but I really enjoyed it.  The costumes, set design and music was all amazing, but it was the cast that made it memorable.  Genie's jokes, their passion.  It made the show what it was.  It was special.  If you were not able to see it in person, here's the final performance as today's Fun Find Friday.

I'm very sad that it's over, but I'm thankful I was able to see the last half of the second to last performance via Periscope on Sunday.  Since then, Eliot found this video of the final performance and he sent it to me.  Those of you who haven't seen it wouldn't know, but they changed a few of the lines.  One that really stuck out to me was Genie on the stairway yelling "one last time!"  (He usually throws out a joke at that point.)

However, it's the ending that really got me.  Genie changed his lines a little to say, "I'm free!  Thank you Al.  Thank you everybody.  Come on Carpet, let's go home."

Thank you to the entire cast and crew of Disney's Aladdin: A Musical Spectacular for making it a magical experience.  I'm so thankful I was able to see the show a few times in person.  It was truly memorable.  I hope that Frozen can live up to the hype.  Queen Elsa certainly has some big shoes to fill!  In the meantime, I guess this gives Eliot and I an excuse to go to New York City to see Aladdin on Broadway!  °o°

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Depressing Disney Week

Well, this has certainly been a depressing Disney week.  Within the past week, Disney theme park fans have had to say goodbye to numerous theme park favorites- some temporarily and some which are now gone forever.

I have to admit that it leaves me feeling a little bit glum.  There were closures at both theme parks, most notably this past weekend at Disneyland.  With the Star Wars section of the park set to start construction anytime now some attractions were forced to close for the next year or so.  Unfortunately, it's probably only a matter of time before the same thing happens to Hollywood Studios.

Speaking of Hollywood Studios, the first victim of future expansions happened last Wednesday when we said goodbye to the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights.  I've been lucky enough to see the lights multiple times during our trips over New Years.  (The lights have been a part of Disney World since 1995.)

The Osborne lights were the only closing attraction that I grew up with.  However, as sad as I am that they've "been retired", I'm not upset about it... yet.  Some part of me feels like the lights will find a new home.  Disney has spent so much time updating them to LEDs, and creating the dancing programming.  Something in my gut says it's not over yet.  And I really hope my gut feeling is right.

Disneyland had a lot of changes over last weekend.  In fact, some park guests were dubbing their weekend the "Goodbye Tour" in which they went from attraction to attraction saying goodbye to their favorites.  One of the biggest casualties of adding a Star Wars section was Big Thunder Ranch.

Big Thunder Ranch consisted of a petting zoo including goats, donkeys, a horse and more.  There was also a barbecue restaurant and a jamboree.  The ranch section of the park was tucked behind Big Thunder Mountain Raildroad and it was a nice place to unwind and catch your breath.  In fact, I didn't even know it existed until my most recent trip to Disneyland.  (I don't think we even went over there my first time!)

I enjoyed seeing the animals and I'm sure I would have loved the food offerings at the restaurant.  They used to have egg decorating and pumpkin carving over there during the Easter and Halloween holidays.  That would have been cool to see.  Elissa is devastated about Big Thunder Ranch closing.  I'm not devastated, but it is sad to see another small part of what makes Disneyland Disneyland go.  And I do wish I'd seen the "goat run" at least once.  Thankfully, the animals all have nice homes to move to!

Another casualty of building Star Wars land, is the temporary closure of the Rivers of America.  Translated, that means the Disneyland Railroad, canoes, Mark Twain Riverboat, Sailing Ship Columbia, Tom Sawyer's Island, and Fantasmic will all be gone to accommodate construction.  I have to admit, I'm a big fan of the train so this is a bit depressing for me.  I also love Fantasmic and it's sad it'll be gone for a year or more.

Plus, this leaves Disneyland with less space per person in the park.  Disneyland is already very crowded on a good day.  Eliot's so annoyed about all the construction and the closures that he's vowed not to go there again until it's all over- except for the pre-determined trips we've planned and are hoping to go on over the next two years.

However, there are a few pluses.  The new construction on the Rivers of America looks gorgeous.  Disney released a rendered image of concept art yesterday.  It appears that when the train returns, the waterfront will have new waterfalls with an elevated train track.  I love waterfalls!  Also, during the construction, Disneyland plans to have two of the trains stopped at stations so guests can see the trains up close and learn more about how they run.  My Papa loved trains so much.  I'm excited to experience this and to take a picture with one of the trains.

The saddest goodbye for me was the ending of Aladdin: A Musical Spectacular.  I posted a fun find with Genie's jokes last Friday.  Even a few days later, I have to admit that I'm still sad when I think about it.  (More on that soon...)  But, Walt Disney himself said that "Disneyland will never be completed. It will continue to grow as long as there is imagination left in the world."  And while we are all sad to say goodbye to some fan favorites, building Star Wars themed lands definitely fits into that philosophy.

"We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we're curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths." ~Walt Disney  °o°

Monday, January 11, 2016

Hanukkah 2015

Ok, here's the last of my 2015 holiday posts!  (I'm finally caught up... yay!)  As I had mentioned in my Chicago post, Eliot's family spoiled us with Hanukkah gifts.  We got wonderful gifts and I wanted to make sure everything arrived home safely.  Eliot and I took two extra suitcases with us to make sure everything was packed safely and securely so things wouldn't get broken in transit.  Thank goodness for Southwest allowing two checked bags per person!  All of our gifts arrived home in one piece!

It was nice to spend time with Eliot's family on a few nights of Hanukkah.  It's the first time I've ever celebrated it with them.  During our gift exchange at the hotel, we lit a menorah.  The girls sang a bit of the Hanukkah prayers.  Then, we exchanged gifts.

Sara wanted everyone to open her gifts first.  She pampered me with Disney princess presents.  First, I got a Cinderella winter scarf, adorable gloves and a small wall art print.  They're all so cute!  Next, I opened some Disney princess bubble bath!  I can't wait to use it!  I also got a pack of Disney princess bowls.  The little containers are charming!  Finally, she got me a large princess coloring sheet pack!  I love to color!

Elissa gave Eliot and me our gifts next.  She had a shared theme with both of our presents.  She gave me an Olaf infinity scarf that I absolutely love!  It's perfection!

Elissa got Eliot a plush Olaf holding a San Jose Sharks blanket.  The Sharks and Olaf are definitely two of his most favorite things.  He loved it!

Eliot wanted to give me one of his gifts for Hanukkah and he insisted he bring it with him to Chicago.  I was thrilled when I opened a Hawaiian Minnie Mouse tsum tsum!

Rick and Nori got us each eight gifts, one for each night of Hanukkah.  I wasn't able to take pictures of everything, but I tried to get most of the gifts!  (Some of them, like my nutcracker Mickey, are breakable so I kept them packaged for Christmas storage.)  All four of us kids each got a fleece blanket.  I got Ariel and Eliot got Olaf!  Eliot and I got lots of holiday goodies including Mickey and Minnie Santa hats and plush.

Eliot got a Mickey snow globe and I got the matching Minnie globe.  We also got a few Christmas ornaments for our tree.  We definitely need a separate Disney tree now.  In fact, we might even need two to hold all of our Disney ornaments!

I got an awesome (not officially licensed) San Jose Sharks shirt that says "Sharks Fan By Day, Disney Princess By Night."  I love it and I'm sure Eliot does too!

Speaking of Eliot, he also got some Disney apparel in the form of two new Vans hats.

He also got an Olaf night light.  It'll go perfectly in our basement bathroom!

Can you tell we really love Olaf?  Haha.  Rick and Nori also got me these awesome Olaf earrings!  I've actually been admiring them online for a while now but I never ended up getting them!  They'll go perfectly with my new Olaf scarf from Elissa!

They also got me a Disneyland 60th anniversary photo album and a Winnie the Pooh Christmas Frame.  I love them!  We took so many photos at Disneyland!  And I love the picture frame.  I'll have to find a special Christmas photo of Eliot and me for it.

Eliot and I loved the Main Street Electrical Parade Mickey and Minnie shirts!

Finally, each of us kids received a Mickey Mouse blanket from the Disney Store while we were in Chicago.  It was on a special sale that weekend and it's so soft.  We definitely won't get cold during the long Maine winter with all of our new blankets!

Lastly, it wasn't a Hanukkah gift, but Nori was able to purchase the Disneyland Paint the Night parade ornaments that Eliot and I had really wanted.  I've always loved the ear hat ornaments and I wanted to put this set in a display case in my new office.  I figured it was a long shot since they were so popular, but she found them!  Yay!!!

Eliot and I are so thankful for all of our new gifts.  However, just like with Christmas, we're glad we had the chance to spend time with his family during the holidays.  We don't usually see them this time of year, so it was nice to have a few days together!  °o°