Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Disneyland Tomorrow!

I'm so excited to leave for Disneyland tomorrow!!!  (Ok, more like in 8 hours...)

However, before I go, I've still got last minute preparations to do- I haven't even started packing!  It's been a whirlwind of a week, but that's just made the countdown go that much faster!  Thankfully, all of my projects are pretty much ready to go!

If you see me at Disneyland, please come say hi!  I'd love to meet some other Disney fans!  Even if you aren't visiting Mickey at Disneyland this weekend, you can still virtually follow along from the comfort of your own home.

If you aren't already, follow me on Facebook for pictures, posts and updates.  I'm also on Instagram as @MyDisneyLifeBlog if you want to follow the photo fun there!  In the past, I've been more active on Instagram during our Disney trips.  I like to post a lot of photos "live" from the parks.  Don't have an Instagram account?  If you follow this link, you should be able to see all of my photos online.

Photo Source
I haven't ever used my Periscope or my Snapchat accounts, but I'm thinking about attempting to use Facebook's new "live" feature.  The videos don't go away and I think more of my followers would have access to it!  So if you are following me on Facebook, you might be in for a treat!  You should get an alert when I'm live.  If you can't tune in live, you should be able to watch the videos at your own convenience if you go to my page.  I like this idea so more people can see my videos!

In the meantime, I should go get the rest of my stuff together.  My flight leaves at 7:00 am so it's going to be an early morning!  Stay tuned for lots of Disneyland, Pearls in the Park, Dapper Day and general Disney photo and video spam over the next few days... 

See ya real soon friends!  °o°

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Disneyland April 2016 Bucket List

I can't believe I'm leaving for Disneyland in two days!  It's the final countdown!!!

Since I started my blog, it's become a tradition to make a bucket list for each of my Disney trips.  Here are my bucket lists from past trips: October 2014 KeyCon trip, January 2015 WDW tripDisneyland September 2015 trip, Diamond Celebration, KeyCon Universal 2015 trip, and WDW Fall 2015 trip.

I've actually found them to be really helpful.  Instead of stressing me out, they make me more focused and I feel like I accomplished something at the end of my trip.  I've also been able to make sure that I experience a few new things each trip!

This trip will be short, but full of firsts.  Eliot's not an adventurous eater, so I'm taking advantage of going with my girlfriends.  We've got a full schedule of Disney dining experiences!  I've included the special events taking place during my trip.  I've also reviewed my results of our September Disneyland trip and my Diamond Celebration list to come up with the following bucket list for this trip:

Melissa's Disneyland April 2016 Trip Bucket List:
°o°  1.) Attend the Pearls in the Park event
°o°  2.) Eat a Tigger Tail
°o°  3.) Watch Paint the Night Parade
°o°  4.) Go to Carthay Circle Restaurant
°o°  5.) Attend Spring Dapper Day 
°o°  6.) Watch Mickey and the Magical Map
°o°  7.) Go to Trader Sam's Enchanted Tiki Bar
°o°  8.) Bring Home a few Candy Apples
°o°  9.) Go the Steakhouse 55 Restaurant
°o° 10.) Watch Disneyland Forever Fireworks
°o° 11.) Get a picture with Diamond Celebration Mickey and Minnie
°o° 12.) Explore the Disneyland Hotel
°o° 13.) Scope out Disney art work at Wonderground Gallery
°o° 14.) Go to the Blue Bayou Restaurant
°o° 15.) Check out the Dapper Day Expo
°o° 16.) Watch World of Color
°o° 17.) Check out the CA Food and Wine Festival
°o° 18.) Go on Radiator Springs Racers
°o° 19.) Scope out merchandise for our June trip
°o° 20.) Get my picture taken with Judy Hopps and Nick Wilde

I'll check back when I return from my trip to let you know how I did!!!  °o°

Sunday, April 24, 2016

18 Month Forecast

It's been a whirlwind around here lately.  I'm currently juggling about 12 ear orders, making my Pearls in the Park and Dapper Day accessories, and mentally making my Disneyland packing list- aka trying to make sure I don't forget anything important!

D23 Expo Photo Source, RunDisney Photo Source
However, I'm loving every minute of it.  I love making ears designs, whether they're for myself, Eliot, friends, family or customers.  I love making fun accessories and putting together a few special outfits for my trip.  I love the excitement that comes with having a single digit Disney trip countdown.  (Only four more days!!!)

I'm incredibly thankful that Eliot and I have been able to go to Walt Disney World and Disneyland as many times as we have over the past few years.  It's certainly taken a lot of hard work and dedication on our part, but that's afford us all of these amazing opportunities.  And we don't have any plans to pull off the gas anytime soon!

Eliot and I tend to plan our Disney vacations months (usually years) in advance of taking them.  When you're trying to figure out what time off you need, if you have enough vacation time, and deciding what ticket option makes the most sense, you basically have to.  Not to mention trying to budget out money to afford everything.  ("All magic comes with a price!")  Thus, we've been mentally "planning" our trips way out.

Right now, we're juggling a lot of them.  We've got our sights on a few RunDisney races after taking this year off from them.  I've got a few KeyCon and Key to the World Travel events on my radar.  I finally put them all down in writing.  What we're looking at is currently blowing me away.  It's insanity, exciting and expensive all rolled into one.

D23 Expo Photo SourceRunDisney Photo Sources
I'm not sure if we'll be able to pull this off, but this is what Eliot and I are currently setting as an ultimate goal.  Here's a sneak peek of what our proposed 18 month forecast looks like: very magical with a slight chance of crazy.

Our future 18 months of magic includes plans for Disneyland, Walt Disney World, a Disney Cruise, Princess Half Marathon Weekend (at Walt Disney World), Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend (at Disneyland) and the D23 Expo in Anaheim during the summer of 2017.  An exciting aspect for me is the prospect of potentially spending more time at Disneyland than Walt Disney World over the next 18 months!

No matter what, I'm going to prepare myself for a lot more hard work, focus, dedication and determination- and really, I wouldn't have it any other way.  Time to buckle myself in; these next 18 months are going to be a crazy, magical ride!  °o°

Friday, April 22, 2016

Fun Find: WDW Spring Dapper Day 2016

As you know, I'm counting down the days to my trip to Disneyland... and waiting for your Disney vacation is literally like waiting for paint to dry.  (Only 6 more days!!!)  To tide myself over, I've decided to do a fun find that fits the stylish theme of my upcoming trip!  Here are a few photos from the Walt Disney World Spring Dapper Day event!

Photo Source
I love all of the Disneybounding looks fans put together!  They've definitely channeled their favorite Disney characters, rides and attractions!  Here are a few of my favorites!

Photo Source
 Ariel and Flounder are a great combo!  I also love this Bing Bong inspired look!

Photo Source 
This Evil Queen look is complete with matching accessories!

Photo Source (Original Source: @DisneyJunkie75)
 Sally and Jack are joined by Zero.

Photo Source (Original Source: @peppermeg)
It's the first bunny cop- Judy Hopps!

Photo Source (Original Source: @the.teal.princess)
The Mickey Mouse Club enjoyed Dapper Day.

Photo Source (Original Source: @DisneyJunkie75)
 @olliemei makes a perfect Snow White!

Photo Source (Original Source: @olliemei)
 It's a Tower of Terror Bellhop and Haunted Mansion Maid!  Love it!

Photo Source (Original Source: @merricatonthemoon)
I really love this Rapunzel look, complete with the perfect background!

Photo Source (Original Source: @brianamatopoeia)
For even more WDW Spring 2016 Dapper Day looks, check out these websites:

Inside the Magic
Pop Sugar
Huffington Post
Disney Style

I admit, these photos make me really excited for Disneyland's Dapper Day!  I've put together a Disneybound look for my outfit too!  I'm very excited and I think it's definitely appropriate for the occasion!  Speaking of which, I've got to get to work on the finishing touches for my outfit and my accessories so I can step out in Disney style!  °o°

Thursday, April 21, 2016

The Cady Bunch

Whew, it's been insanely busy around here- in a good way of course.  Eliot and I have been going nonstop.  When I last left you, I was counting down to Disneyland and Pearls in the Park.  It's hard to believe that I leave for Disneyland a week from today!

I've been busy with preparations for my trip.  I've put together my Pearls in the Park and Dapper Day outfits, ordered supplies and worked on trip planning.  Most of my supplies have arrived, now I have to put together my accessories and ears!  After a few last minute pieces of my outfits arrive, I should be all set with those too!  Yay!!!

I'm also keeping myself very busy with Happily Ever Hatter.  I've had a lot of orders this past month.  In addition to Etsy orders, I've got a few ears I've been working on for my Key to the World travel agent friends for Pearls in the Park!  I'm busy, but I'm having tons of fun working on new designs!  I'll share them after the Pearls in the Park event!

This past weekend, Eliot's dad, Rick, and his sister, Elissa, visited us to look at a few colleges.  Elissa was accepted to University of New England and University of Maine Orono.  She had accepted student days at both schools.  Eliot and I joined them for the UNE tour since it's not far from us.  We had a great time touring the campus and getting more information about her program and the school.

After the UNE session, we went to see The Jungle Book.  The movie was a lot better than any of us expected it to be.  I really enjoyed it.  We arrived at the theater really early so we used the extra time to take photos with the Finding Dory photo spot.  I also had a good time looking at all of the new characters in the movie!

When Rick and Elissa weren't at college visits, we took them to some of our favorite local places.  Elissa got her fix of Longhorn Steakhouse, Amato's, Governor's and Cracker Barrel.  We also took Rick to Old Orchard Beach.  The ocean and sunshine were beautiful Sunday afternoon.  Afterwards, the three of us kids played in the arcade for a while before heading to the Portland mall.

Of course, no trip to the mall is complete without going to Hot Topic to check out the Disney items.  Eliot, Elissa and I all found quite a few goodies there.  (Yay Hot Cash coupons!)  I got a Captain Jack Sparrow Pop figure, two Once Upon a Time bows and a Hook sticker!  We also went to Newbury Comics and Hallmark.  I got a few Easter itty bitty's on sale for less than $2 each!  Rick also bought Eliot a BB-8 Pop figure!

Rick and Elissa headed back to California on Tuesday.  After a very busy Monday and Tuesday at work, I'm excited to have the rest of the week off.  I've got a ton of things to get done before the weekend is over, but I'm feeling really good about it!  I'm definitely going to be immersed in the world of Disney, crafting and ear making!  Needless to say, it's going to be a busy, but fun, few days!  °o°

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Happy Birthday Mom!

Hi friends!  It's been over a week since I last stopped by and boy has it been a busy one.  However, I wanted to stop by quickly to wish my Mom a very Happy Birthday!

Mom and Dad are recovering from tax season (finally!) ending yesterday.  Maine and Massachusetts observe a holiday called Patriot's Day in April so Maine's state and federal taxes were due last night by midnight.  They've been pretty sleep deprived over the past few weeks, so they're getting some much needed rest!

We'll probably get together to celebrate Mom's birthday later on this week.  In the meantime, I've got lots of ear orders and projects to work on for my upcoming trip to Disneyland!  I'll be back again to give you all an update as soon as I can!  °o°

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Counting the Days...

As I mentioned a few days ago, I'm gearing up for another trip to Disneyland in about two weeks for the Pearls in the Park cocktail party.  (Only 16 more days!!!)

I'm so incredibly excited to have a girls weekend with a few of my close Key to the World Travel friends!  I first met Tara and Linda at KeyCon 2014 where we became good friends.  We reconnected and hung out at Universal during KeyCon 2015 and even had a few dining reservations together at Walt Disney World afterwards.

What I didn't know when they first asked me to join them, was that neither of them had ever been to Disneyland!  (I guess that makes me the unofficial tour guide?)  Not only am I excited to go again during the Disneyland 60th celebration but I'm so excited to share this experience with them!  It's going to be awesome!!!

There's going to be a lot of "firsts" for me this trip.  I think I'm most excited to stay at the Disneyland Hotel!  I've got my own room; I can't wait to see the light up headboard.  I'm also looking forward to swimming in the pool!  We also have a few dinner reservations to places I probably wouldn't go with Eliot.  He's not very adventurous when it comes to food so I'm really excited about that!  Blue Bayou, I'm (finally) coming for you!!!

Photo Source
Finally, Spring Dapper Day and the Dapper Day Expo are taking place this same weekend.  For someone who never thought they'd ever get to go to a Dapper Day, I've hit the nail on the head two times in a row.  Eliot and I never made it to Hollywood Studios for Fall Dapper Day at WDW, so this time, I'm definitely going.  Who knows when and if I'll ever make it to Disneyland Dapper Day again.  Plus, it seems more fitting for my first Dapper Day outing to be at the place that started it all.  I can't wait!!!

Photo Source
For now, I work really hard on pre-trip prep!  I've got a few orders for Pearls in the Park themed ears as well as a few Happily Ever Hatter Etsy orders.  I'm also trying to get my Pearls in the Park, Dapper Day and park outfits put together!  I think it's going to be a stylish trip!  (If all goes as planned.)  I know it's certainly going to be a fun one!  °o°

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Disney Pixar Blog Hop- April 2016

Welcome to the Disney Pixar Blog Hop!

Disney and crafting are a magical combination, and we are so happy you joined us today for this blog hop.  Some of the crafters participating in this event have been doing this together since 2011!  Over the years the hop has grown but one thing has always stayed the same . . . amazing crafting projects that feature your favorite characters from Disney and Pixar movies.

For 2016 we are going to have a hop every other month for the entire year!  If you missed the one for February you can click HERE to go back and see all of those projects.  If you are on Facebook you can like the group page so that you can be the first to learn about each upcoming event.  Just click HERE to go the Facebook page.

To make sure you don't miss any of the fun, be sure to start at Shawn's blog to see all of the projects.  Just click HERE to head over to her blog and then follow the hop line up at the bottom of the post to see everyone's projects.

For my project, I wanted to make something for spring.  We live in Maine and this week we've seen everything- from sun, rain and snow.  I'm anxious for the return of green grass and colorful flowers!  However, that's still a few weeks away.  Instead, I decided to take matters into my own hands.  The result was this cute and colorful Mickey Button Flower Vase.  It was really easy to make and took less than an hour to complete.  Here's how I made it!

Small Vase
Thick Green Chenille Stick/Pipe Cleaner
2-3 Thin Green Chenille Stick/Pipe Cleaner
Wooden White Picket Fence
Colorful Buttons in Various Sizes
Hot Glue Gun

Steps to Make Mickey Button Flower Vase:

1.) Cut Fence and Thick Green Chenille Stick
First, take your fence and thick green chenille stick and measure enough to circle your vase.  I pulled them around the vase and then cut off the excess.  Twist the chenille stick up and around itself before cutting if off.  (This will help hide the rough edges.)

2.) Glue Fence to Vase
Next, glue the white picket fence to your vase.  Make sure there's enough room for the chenille stick "grass" underneath it before gluing.  I glued every few pieces of wood being sure to secure the ends of the fence.

3.) Select Mickey Mouse Buttons
Select which buttons you want to use to make your Mickey flowers.  I wanted mine to be the same color for his head and his ears, but you can do whatever you like.  You can also add button centers to the flowers.  Most importantly, count your Mickey flowers so you know how many stems you'll need.  (I made ten.)

4.) Cut Flower Stems and Leaves
Cut the small chenille stick into 1.5" to 2" sections for the flower stems.  Cut a few extra smaller pieces for leaves.  Fold the "leaves" in half.

5.) Glue Stems to Vase
Glue the stems to your vase.  I tried to make mine somewhat evenly space out, but not exact.  I made every other flower taller while the others were shorter so the buttons would be spaced out a little.

6.) Attach Mickey Flowers and Leaves
Glue the Mickey flowers onto the vase.  I started with his head and then added the ears.  On some of the flowers, they're attached to the fence while others are actually glued to the vase.  Work with whatever makes the most sense for that flower.  After, glue some leaves to the bottom of the stems.  I did a random pattern for this.  Some flowers had no leaves, others one and some even had two.

7.) Attach Grass to Base
Finally, glue the thick chenille stick to the base of your vase.  It should line up with the fence and the stems.  If you have to, you can "fluff" the grass so it lines up better.

And there you have it!  I love my new Mickey flower button vase!  I'm planning to use it as a centerpiece on our kitchen table.  Then, I'll be able to enjoy the bright colors while we're waiting for our actual flowers to bloom!  If you decide to make one for yourself, I'd love to see pictures!  °o°

Before you go, make sure to enter to win our prize for this hop . . .

Buttons from Button Galore and a Cricut cartridge donated by Ellen CardMonkey Jarvis

- - - 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Good luck, and enjoy the rest of the hop!

The full blog hop line up is below.  

Friday, April 8, 2016

Put On Your Sunday Best!

It's time for the BIG announcement I've been dying to share with you... put on your Sunday best because I'm coming to Disneyland in less than three weeks!!!

Confession: I've wanted to share this news with you for quite some time.  I've actually known about it since I wrote my "There is Magic" post.  I wrote most of that post after getting off the phone with my Mom.  I had called to tell her that there was a private event my travel company was putting on at Disneyland and that a few of my Key to the World girlfriends had asked me to attend with them.

I didn't plan on going.  In fact, when asked, I told people I wasn't.  It's a long way to Disneyland from Maine.  Too far to go to an event that lasts one night.  Not to mention, Eliot and I are going out to California for a week in June to celebrate Elissa's high school graduation.  We're planning to spend multiple days at Disneyland.  This was a quick weekend away and it seemed like too much for us to attempt to swing.

I told my mother about the event anyways.  I wasn't asking for anything; I just wanted to tell her about it and ask her opinion if it was worth me trying to scrape up the money to go.  Eliot and I have already got a lot going on this year travel wise, and this seemed like a pipe dream.  I have to admit that what happened next left me in a bit of shock.

My Mom told me to go, and that she and my Dad would pay for my trip.  Flights, hotel, event tickets, theme park tickets, all covered.  She told me that I've been busting my butt the past few years- from working at a job I basically despised, to moving to Maine, to starting Happily Ever Hatter, to finding my chiropractic job, passing my chiropractic assistant licensing exam, to finding, buying and moving into our new house, to all of the painting, unpacking and (never-ending) settling in and organizing.  She told me I'd earned a weekend getaway to go and have fun with some of my girlfriends.

Here I sat after that phone call... trying not to cry from happiness, scream with joy or pop like a bubble with excitement.  (Confession: I did all three.)

My parents have always gone above and beyond for Jeremy and me.  They have also continued to do whatever they can to help Eliot and me- from moving, housework, painting, etc.  They've always been proud of all of us kids, and they spoil us all rotten.  

But this meant so much more to me.  I've had a lot of ups and downs the past few years since I graduated college.  This was like a moment of clarity that everything is finally going in the direction I've wanted it to.  Now is a time for me to celebrate all of the accomplishments I've achieved, and to move forward to the next chapter!

Photo Source
So, without further ado, I'm happy to announce that I will be attending Key to the World Travel and Disneyland Prep's "Pearls in the Park" cocktail party event April 29th.  I'll be spending the weekend playing tour guide at the Disneyland Resort with a few of my Key to the World girl friends, eating good food, soaking up the Disneyland 60th celebration and making magical memories.  Finally, I was incredibly excited when I realized I will be at the Disneyland Resort during the Dapper Day events!  Put on your Sunday best, because there really is magic, and this Cinderella is going to the ball.  °o°