Thursday, February 28, 2019

Back From Visiting the Mouse

Hey guys!  Eliot and I are back from our visit with Mickey.  Ok, so we actually got home Tuesday night (aka Wednesday morning) at about 1:30 am.  Yesterday, I literally sat on the couch all day except to use the bathroom and eat.  I'm sick with a head cold/sinus infection and I've got a terrible cough.  I'm feeling a little better today, but my right ear is still clogged; I'm still stuffed up and my cough has only gotten worse.  Ugh.

We had an amazing trip but I definitely Disney-ed myself out this time.  We were gone for 10 days including our travel day down.  Add three 3:00 am mornings and a ton of races and walking to the mix and you have a recipe for disaster.  Our last day there, I was so tired and weak that I could barely get out of bed.  I got up to shower, got dressed and crawled back into bed.  It was all I could do to get myself to the Magic Kingdom for a few hours before we had to catch our Magical Express.  On the way home, I was out cold on both flights.  Eliot drove home because he didn't think I should, and I fell asleep in the car.  Then, I went to bed as soon as we got home.  I can safely say that I've never done that before!  I couldn't keep my eyes open!

But my complete exhaustion proves it was a great trip.  We had fun visiting with Eliot's family.  His sisters were there less than 3 days, but we were able to spend one day at Magic Kingdom together.  Eliot and I spent a lot of time with his parents which we don't usually get to do.  We also did more runDisney events than we ever have in one trip- and now we know more of what to expect when and if Eliot ever does Dopey.  (Hint:  I'll be sleeping in during some of his races.  Clearly, this girl needs her beauty sleep!)

I'll be filling you in on our trip more over the next week or so.  I'll probably do another quick recap like I did last trip!  Also, stay tuned for our trip bucket list results!  We got a lot done this trip despite how busy we were with runDisney events!

For now, I'm going to go back to my couch to rest a little more.  Just keep resting, just keep resting, just keep resting, napping, resting.  °o°

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Back to the Mouse

Woo-hoo!!!  Eliot and I are heading back to visit our main mouse this afternoon!  I'm so excited.  It didn't really sink in until last Sunday.  Even then, this past week has been a hot mess of trying to finish customer orders, making a few more mouse ear samples to photograph and attempting to pack and actually prepare for our trip.

The excitement has fully sunk in.  I've even made two bucket lists for this trip!  I had the first one written down and realized how much food I'd added to it, so I made a separate list just for the treats I'd like to try at the Epcot Festival of the Arts.

Of course, we're there for the Princess Half Marathon weekend, so it's not all fun and games.  Honestly, I'm a little nervous about the races.  As I mentioned yesterday, Eliot and I haven't trained.  And we haven't done a runDisney event since 2017 Tinker Bell.

I'm not sure what I expect to get out of this.  Eliot and I tracked steps at Walt Disney World last month and we walked 25 miles in two days.  So it's possible to put that much mileage on my feet... it's just a matter of if they'll be able to keep pace for 13 miles all in one outing.  I guess we'll see!  At this point, I'm really just focused on doing my best.  But, if you can, send positive vibes my way next Sunday!

I'm going to try to post on social media more this trip.  Last time, I didn't post anything because we were bouncing around so much.  This trip I'll try to post more often.  If you aren't already, you can follow me on Facebook and on Instagram.  You can also follow our Happily Ever Hatter accounts (on Facebook and Instagram) for more photos.

Hopefully, we'll do well and have a good time at the races and get to cross things off my bucket lists!  But, I'm sure it'll be a great trip no matter what!  Most importantly, I'm looking forward to soaking up some Disney magic!  °o°

Saturday, February 16, 2019

WDW February 2019 Bucket List

The past few trips to Disney, I've barely had time to tell you we're going, let alone write a bucket list of goals for the trip.  But since I'm in a blogging groove at the moment, I thought I'd pop in to share a few goals of this trip.  This trip is primarily for Princess Half Marathon Weekend, so that's our main focus.  (In other words, we'll be structuring the trip around the races, getting up at 3 am and saving our feet.)  Regardless of that, I still thought it would be fun to accomplish a few goals along the way!

Therefore, it's time for my trip bucket list!  Here are my goals for the next few days:

°o°  1.) Meet Mickey and Minnie in their Celebration Outfits

°o°  2.) Figment's Brush with the Masters Scavenger Hunt
°o°  3.) Paint a Square at the Festival of the Arts Wall Mural
°o°  4.) Finally go on one of the Avatar Rides in Pandora
°o°  5.) Animation Academy at Festival of the Arts
°o°  6.) Attend the Princess Half Marathon Expo
°o°  7.) Make a Silk Scarf at the Festival of the Arts
°o°  8.) See Pandora at Night for the First Time
°o°  9.) Do the Festival of the Arts Photo Ops (Italy, USA, Mexico, France, UK)
°o°  10.) Do my best in the Princess Half Marathon Events

Despite having more time available now that I'm working from home, Eliot and I haven't trained for the races at all.  We've still been incredibly busy and we're trying to adjust to this new lifestyle.  Pair that up with San Jose Sharks games (that usually start at 10:30 pm east coast time) and you've got yourself a recipe for chaos.  Therefore, I'm going into this with an open mind to simply do my best in the events.

What I'm most looking forward to is exploring the Festival of the Arts more.  We got a good taste during our last trip to Walt Disney World, but this trip, I'd like to taste more of it- quite literally.  Aside from the scavenger hunt, photo ops, painting a square, the Animation Academy, making a silk scarf and enjoying all of the artwork, there are a ton of yummy treats that I'd like to try.  I got one of the paint palette cookies last trip and it was delicious and adorable.  I've done some pre-trip research and I've narrowed in on seven more Festival of the Arts treats I'd like to try:

°o°  1.) Pop Art Tart (I showed these to Eliot last trip and he's game)
°o°  2.) Festival of the Arts Cupcake (at Sunshine Seasons)
°o°  3.) Lobster Bacon Macaroni and Cheese in a Cone (at Taste Track)
°o°  4.) Paint Brush Churros (at Taste Track)
°o°  5.) White Chocolate Painting w/Chocolate Easel (in Canada)
°o°  6.) Musical Float (at Fife and Drum)
°o°  7.) Frosé (at L’Art de la Cuisine Française)

So, there you have it!  These look attainable (and delicious!) to me.  We're planning to go into the parks a lot earlier in the week so we can save our feet for the weekend's events.  After the races are over next Sunday, we'll rest and then hopefully get to go back into the parks on Monday and Tuesday before we fly home late Tuesday!

I'll be sure to post the bucket list results once we're back home in Maine!  °o°

Friday, February 15, 2019

Getting into the Creative Flow

Guys... don't look now, but I've dropped in here two days in a row and I've written 4 posts in the past week!  It's almost like I'm getting into the flow or something!  Speaking of getting into the flow, I've also been getting into the creative flow recently.  Not only am I feeling inspired to write, but I've branched out to learn new art techniques!

Learning new crafts and art techniques is something that I really enjoy.  I'm always on Pinterest or Instagram looking for new projects, artwork styles and techniques.  When I lived alone in my first apartment (Eliot was still finishing college), I loved taking adult education classes at night after work.  I took classes for jewelry making and polymer clay at a school near work.  I also took classes at the local school in my town.  I did cake decorating, soap making, homemade spa night, make up, making chocolate and even writing and publishing your own book.  (I've probably forgotten a few too.)  It was a really important part of my life.  I needed to have some time for myself to explore and learn.  I've really missed that since we left Massachusetts and moved to Maine.

A close up of my acrylic pour painting.
I probably mentioned that I started taking a sewing class in the fall of 2017.  It was time that I learned how to use the machine my parents bought me for my birthday.  (It had just been sitting there collecting dust.)  My Nana told me the best way to learn was to take a class, so when I found out that there was one during the day that worked with my all night work schedule, I immediately signed up.  And I've been taking it in the fall and spring ever since.  (Our instructor says she's running out of stuff to teach us!)

I've really enjoyed those few hours in sewing class on Tuesdays.  It's time for me to learn, be creative and spend some time laughing with the other girls in my class.  That class doesn't start back up until early March, and I already can't wait.  We're making pajama pants and aprons this semester!  Which reminds me; I need to go find some Disney flannel fabric at JoAnn's...

My painting from Beginner Acrylic Pour Painting.
In addition to sewing, this semester I've taken a few classes to learn techniques that I've been itching to learn from my time spent on Pinterest and Instagram.  I've been obsessed with abstract art and acrylic pour paintings for a while now.  (I can't tell you the number of pins I've saved of fluid acrylic artwork, techniques and videos.)  I was so excited to find an instructor who teaches classes for it at a few of the local schools!  So far, I've taken three of her classes and I'm already signed up for two more!

The first class I took was Beginner Acrylic Pour Painting.  This was everything that I've wanted to learn for so long.  We used the flip cup technique where you put all the paints in a cup and turn it over on the canvas.  It's easy and anyone can do it.  Our instructor taught us how to mix the paints and then we got to make our own pour painting!  All of our paintings came out incredible.  I used white, pink, teal, blue, and purple for mine because I wanted it to match the colors in my office.  I can't get over how awesome it looks and how easy it was.  (Fun fact, I just stopped typing long enough to admire it again.  It's here on my desk since I haven't hung it up yet!)  I absolutely love how it turned out!  And now all I want to do is make more of them.

A close up of my artwork from Resin Ink Frames.
The second class I took was Resin Ink Frames.  I hadn't really heard of this technique before I signed up for this class.  But I had heard of alcohol inks, and seen them on Pinterest.  I've also never worked with resin, and it's been an interest of mine for a long time as well.  This class combined both of those!  To describe it simply, you put resin in a sealed off frame, and then you add the alcohol inks.  The inks interact in the resin and you have no idea how it'll turn out until the resin cures.  I used blue, teal, pink, purple and white in my piece but the only colors that seeped into the resin were the blues, teals and white.  I still love how it turned out!  I think it'll look great in our master bedroom!  I'm thinking about taking this class again and trying it with pinks, purples and white to see how that turns out!

My wave painting from Acrylic Pour Painting 2.
This past Wednesday, I took Acrylic Pour Painting Part 2.  In this class, we learned how to create paintings using swipes instead of a flip cup pour.  Our instructor taught us about the different methods and then we each got to choose a few to try.  First, I tried the wave technique.  My wave looks a little like a blob wave, but I'm happy with how the colors finally blended.  (It took me a while to get it!)  Plus, the cells look awesome!  It'll probably live in our Nemo bathroom once it's done.  The second time, I tried a paper towel swipe where you drag a damp paper towel over the paints. I used pink, purple, blue, and mint with a base of black.  The black covered most of the canvas, but I liked how the colors poked out behind it.  After using the torch on it, I got some cool little cell spots that popped out.  One of the girls in my class said it reminded her of how fireworks look when they're falling in the sky.  I can definitely see that!  This one is also going to go in my office!  I love it!

My swipe painting from Acrylic Pour Painting 2.
I've had so much fun so far.  I really have; I can't wait to learn more!  I've got a few other classes that I've marked down on my calendar and I've already signed up for one more- in two different locations!  I've wanted to learn how to make resin geode paintings for a while too.  So when I found out it was also offered, I signed up at my local school and convinced Eliot to take it with me in Biddeford.  (It's right around the corner from where he works.)  My parents wanted to get us something for Valentine's Day so I asked my Mom to pay for a class that we could take together.  (She thought it was a great idea and she and Dad graciously paid for it yesterday afternoon!)  I'll check in again once I've taken those classes!  Yay for sparkly geode paintings!!!

I'm hoping to get a space set up at home so I can start making acrylic pour paintings and experimenting with resin.  I'm seriously dying to make more flip cup pours.  And I have a feeling that I'm going to be addicted to the geode painting too.  I'm sure we're going to have so much artwork it's not even going to be funny.  Who knows... maybe we'll have another new business to open up at some point in the future!  °o°

Thursday, February 14, 2019

A Simple Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day!  I hope that you're having a wonderful day filled with love!  

Eliot and I don't have any big plans today.  He's busy with an important project at work, so it'll probably be a late night for him.  Meanwhile, I'm at home working on customer orders and mouse ear samples for our trip in a few days!  I think Eliot is going to bring home some take out from Applebee's for us to enjoy when he finally gets home.

We didn't really discuss getting each other gifts, but I got him a really cute Disney card a few weeks ago that I'll give him later.  Apparently, he got me something during our All-Star Vacation, because he wouldn't let me unpack his carry-on until he grabbed my gift from it.  I'm really intrigued because it could be something from Walt Disney World, or it could be something from NHL All-Star Weekend.  I'm so excited to see what it is!

It'll be a late night as the Sharks have a home game against the reigning Stanley Cup Champion Washington Capitals.  When we played the Capitals during our trip to WDW, Eliot and I huddled over his phone to watch when it went into overtime.  (Most of the game took place while we were watching Fantasmic.)  The Sharks won and I'm pretty sure our entire Friendship Boat wondered why on earth we started cheering.  (Which also reminds me that we went to Epcot for a little bit after seeing Fantasmic.  I totally missed that in my recap.)  The game tonight doesn't start until 10:30 pm, and probably won't be over until about 2 am, but I can't think of a better way to spend Valentine's Day then relaxing at home together and cheering on our boys!

Photo Source
And that's our plans for a simple Valentine's Day!  I can't complain at all.  Our dating anniversary is February 28th and it'll be 11 years this year.  We're going to be at Walt Disney World in between Valentine's Day and our anniversary and I can't think of any better way to celebrate!  I'm sure we'll try to do something special together while we're there.  Valentine's Day isn't the only day to celebrate with the people you love!!!  °o°

Monday, February 11, 2019

An All-Star Vacation

Hello again friends!  The past few days have been a bit brighter around here.  Not only has the sun been shining, but it's been a little warmer outside.  (I'll take mid-30s over the single digits and freezing cold wind I've been out in recently.)  I've also had a bit more of my usual cheerful disposition.  Once again, I want to thank you for allowing me a safe space to unload the other day.  I really needed to let that out and I've been feeling much better afterwards.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

As I mentioned in that post, Eliot and I did just get back from Walt Disney World a few weeks ago.  I don't have time to tell you about the entire trip, but I thought I'd do a quick recap with some highlights for now.  (We had so much fun and I'd love to delve in deeper when I have time to.)  We were only gone for 11 days- not counting our travel days.  But because we did so many new and different things, and also flew out to California at the end of the trip, it felt like we were away for weeks, not days.  It was truly glorious.  Here's a quick review of our All-Star Vacation.

Wednesday, January 16th: Traveling Down to Orlando
After a whirlwind day finishing mouse ears and packing, Eliot and I left Maine around 4:30 during a beautiful sunset.  I enjoyed watching the sunset above the clouds for most of our flight to Baltimore.  We had a short layover but it was long enough to stretch and get something to eat before our second flight to Orlando.  We arrived at MCO, got on our Magical Express and were riding under the giant welcome sign and onto property at 11:44 pm.  We checked into All-Star Sports Resort and went to bed so we could be ready for our first day at Walt Disney World!

Thursday, January 17th: Settling In, Magic Kingdom
While we had plans to get up early, we ended up sleeping in.  We eventually made our way over to the Magic Kingdom where we purchased our new Annual Passes.  We went into the Magic Kingdom and hit up our favorites: waffles and fried dough at Sleepy Hollow, Haunted Mansion and Pirates of the Caribbean.  We wandered around though the stores, caught the Festival of Fantasy Parade (which Eliot hadn't seen in ages) and finished the evening watching Happily Ever After.  It wasn't a crazy busy day, but we were in our happy place and enjoyed easing into our vacation.

Friday, January 18th: Surprise Celebration, Festival of the Arts
Friday was all about new experiences.  We woke up to teams of college cheerleaders practicing on the field at our resort.  After watching them for a few minutes, we went to the Magic Kingdom to see the new version of the street party: Move It, Shake It, Mousekedance It!  It was adorable.  The music was catchy, the costumes were fun, bright and beautiful!  I thought Mickey and Minnie's party outfits stole the show.  I loved it!  We spent the later part of afternoon and evening over at Epcot checking out the Festival of the Arts.  I was obsessed with all of the art in the tents.  Eliot and I fell in love with a bunch of pieces.  We went on Frozen Ever After and ended the evening watching IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth.  Then, we returned to the resort and waited in the lobby for Eliot's dad Rick to arrive with the rental car.

Saturday, January 19th: Tampa Bay vs San Jose Sharks 
We checked out of All-Star Sports and rode over to the McDonalds next to the All-Star Resorts for breakfast.  Then, we hopped in the rental car and checked into our next hotel, the Marriott right off property.  Next, Rick, Eliot and I went over to the Walmart next door to buy some snacks.  After dropping them off at the hotel, we got dressed in our Sharks gear and got on the road to Tampa.  We arrived early so we walked around the new restaurant area near the arena.  Then, we went to the Sharks vs Lightning game.  Our boys lost the game, but the highlight of the entire day was when my favorite player tossed Eliot a puck over the glass- which he promptly handed over to me!  I was SO excited!!!  (Eliot had taken his jersey off and held it up to the glass while they were warming up so it caught his eye.)  Rick, aka Captain Half-Beard, had so many Tampa Bay fans ask him to take pictures with them.  It was a ton of fun!

Sunday, January 20th: Festival of the Arts, Toy Story Land, Patriots Game
The three of us decided to hop around parks on Sunday.  We parked the rental car at the Ticket and Transportation and hopped on the monorail to Epcot.  We showed Rick some of the art booths before hopping on a boat over to Hollywood Studios.  None of us had seen Toy Story Land yet, so we headed in that direction.  We loved it.  After exploring and taking a few photos, we had an impromptu lunch at the new lunchbox restaurant.  Then, we headed back over towards the Boardwalk to try to get into the ESPN Zone to watch the Patriots game.  After freezing our butts off (it was COLD!) outside for over an hour, we gave up and left after the first quarter.  We went back towards the car, but decided to make a quick stop over at the Magic Kingdom to catch the fireworks.  Then, we went back to the car and headed off property to get food.  We ended up catching the last quarter of the game at a Texas Roadhouse.  We sat at the bar while I picked at my food watching the game.  Finally, after the tumultuous game was over, I was able to eat before we went home for the night.

Monday, January 21st: Travel South, Florida Panthers vs San Jose Sharks
Monday morning, we checked out of our hotel and headed for Vero Beach where our next hotel was.  (It was about halfway between Disney and Miami.)  After relaxing at the hotel for a little bit, we got into our Sharks gear and headed south for the Florida Panthers game.  We got there right on time and went straight into the arena to watch warm ups.  Once again, the Sharks didn't fare so well with the game results- but we still had a blast following them on their Florida road trip!  Eliot's sister Elissa informed us that Rick even made the highlight video back on the California broadcast!

Tuesday, January 22nd: Travel Back to Disney, Outlet Store, Fantasmic
We got up and left Vero Beach the next day.  Rick was flying out later in the afternoon so we needed to get back to Disney and checked in.  Eliot and I checked back into All-Star Sports, dropped off our stuff and jumped back into the car with Rick.  He dropped us off at the outlet mall since it was on the way to the airport.  Eliot and I really wanted to check out the Character Warehouse, a Disney outlet store that sells merchandise from the parks.  Luckily, we found both of the things I was looking for- my Christmas Dress Shop dress and the matching ornament handbag.  (And both were deeply discounted!)  Unfortunately, the dress was two sizes too big, but there were only two of them left so I grabbed it to get altered.  We took an Uber back to the resort to drop off our stuff, then headed over to Hollywood Studios to see Fantasmic.

Wednesday, January 23rd: Animal Kingdom, Magic Kingdom
We spent most of Wednesday at Animal Kingdom which usually gets overlooked on our Walt Disney World trips.  We did quite a bit this time.  Eliot got to go on Everest twice.  We saw the Nemo musical.  We had pizza at Pizzafari.  We watched the UP bird show for the first time.  We killed a little bit of time exploring more of Pandora than we ever have.  Then, we went on a dusk safari ride for the first time.  (We usually do the safari early in the day.)  We headed over to the Magic Kingdom for the evening since it was open later that night and was closing early on Thursday.  We went on a few rides while it was quiet and then we left after closing.

Thursday, January 24th: Epcot Merchandise, Ear Pictures, Magic Kingdom
Thursday was our last day at Disney for this trip so we had to take pictures of all the ears we brought with us.  (Eliot and I had plans to take pictures earlier in the trip, but we never did it.)  We went to Epcot to purchase the artwork we'd picked out.  After getting all of those, we bought the Aurora doll that matches my Disneyland Diamond Anniversary doll and had her shipped home with all of our artwork.  We took a ton of photos of my new Festival of the Arts flower crown.  I bought a paint palette cookie and loved it!  We eventually left Epcot and split up.  Eliot took the Epcot ears back to our room so we could switch for the Magic Kingdom ears.  I headed over to the Magic Kingdom and took the ferry boat to do something different.  I eventually met up with him out front by the train station.  Then, we took a ton of product photos in front of the castle.  After spending about 45 minutes doing that, we were hungry so we headed over to Sleepy Hollow for one more waffle and fried dough.  We took more photos, caught the end of Move It, Shake It, Mousekedance It and headed back to All-Star Sports to drop off the ears.  We finished the evening at Epcot seeing IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth and going on Frozen Ever After.  We went to Disney Springs to pick up a few last minute souvenirs before returning to our resort.  Then, we stayed up late packing our stuff before going to bed to get a few hours of sleep.

Friday, January 25th: Traveling to San Jose, and All-Star Skills Competition
Eliot and I got up early to shower and finish packing.  (It was an early morning... to the tune of 4:30 to be exact.)  Then, we got on our 5:45 am not-so Magical Express to the airport.  We got all checked in, had breakfast at the food court McDonalds and headed though security in record time.  Then, we took off on our direct flight to San Jose, California!  Before landing, I took a bunch of photos of the landscape from the plane.  I even caught a glimpse of SAP Center (aka the Shark Tank or "tank") where the Sharks play!  Rick and Elissa picked us up from the airport.  (She had flown home the day before.)  We stopped at Eliot and Elissa's high school to visit a few friends, ate at Taco Bell and headed back into the city for the All-Star Skills Competition.  It was so much fun to see all of the athletes and their hockey skills.  (I can't possibly describe all of it in quick detail here.)  After, we went to Eliot's parent's house and to bed.

Saturday, January 26th: NHL Fan Fair and the 2019 NHL All-Star Game
We got up and got ready to head back into the city.  We parked and walked over to the NHL Fan Fair, stopping to take pictures with all of the NHL All-Star player hockey pucks along the way.  (They were all over the place.)  We had fun at Fan Fair, even though we were only there for about 2 hours.  We took so many pictures there.  Then, we left and walked over to the tank for the 2019 NHL All-Star Game.  We got there as soon as the doors opened and headed right in.  We had a lot of fun even though the Sharks and Pacific Division didn't make it past the first round.  It was so much fun to cheer on our three guys though!  Afterwards, we all went out to dinner at the Old Spaghetti Factory right in downtown San Jose.  I'd never spent so much time in San Jose and it was fun to see so much of the downtown this trip.

Sunday, January 27th: NHL Fan Fair, Mascot Showdown, Stanley Cup
Eliot and I wanted to go back to Fan Fair since we didn't get to do everything we had wanted to on Saturday so Rick came with us while Elissa and Eliot's Mom Nori stayed at home.  On the way, we signed up for the virtual queue to take pictures with the Stanley Cup.  We got there and took more pictures, checked out a few booths, and went to the store one last time.  We checked out the trophies.  Eliot and I watched the final Mascot Showdown, a relay race.  (It was the funniest thing I have ever seen.  Eliot and I both laughed so hard.)  After, we headed right over to the Stanley Cup since we'd gotten our text message that they were ready for us.  Then, we got to touch and take pictures with the greatest trophy in all of sports!  It was so cool!  After, Eliot and I got in line to make our own personal trading cards.  Then, we stopped at the art booth to pick up a few prints and we headed home.  After carefully packing everything back up in our suitcases, we headed out to the airport so Eliot, Elissa and I could return to Maine.  We ate at In-and-Out Burger before checking in at the airport and boarding our flight home.

Monday, January 28th: Returning Home to Maine
Eliot, Elissa and I landed in New York early the next day.  Eliot and Elissa went to find us breakfast while I sat at our gate with the luggage.  After a long lay over (about 4 hours) we finally got on our last flight.  We landed in Portland a little after noon and drove home.  We returned completely exhausted, but it was definitely worth it!

There you have it!  That's just scratching the surface of our trip.  As you can see, it truly was an All-Star Vacation.  Between staying at All-Star Sports Resort, to seeing the Sharks play on the road at new arenas, to seeing actual NHL All-Stars at the Shark Tank, to feeling like All-Stars at Fan Fair to having once in a lifetime experiences like touching the Stanley Cup, it was definitely a trip that I'll never forget!  °o°

Friday, February 8, 2019

Single Digits Until Our Return to WDW

Well guys, it's the final countdown.  We leave for Walt Disney World in 9 days and start our races two weeks from today.  To answer the unasked questions you're all probably thinking: Yes, we did just return from Disney.  And yes, we're going again.

The magical Disney gods are shining down upon us.  Practically back-to-back trips were not at all what we were trying to do... it was more like sheer, dumb luck.

Eliot and I had set out to go to the Festival of the Arts right from the get-go, even if it was only for an extended weekend trip.  After deciding to delay our Disney Cruise last December- to this December instead- we decided to extend our Walt Disney World vacation in January with the vacation days we would have used to take the cruise.

Then, his sister Sara had told us that this was the last chance she was able to do a run Disney event for a while (she's currently in veterinary school) so Eliot's family decided we would all do Princess 2019.  We all signed up back in August and that was that.

So, here Eliot and I are... leaving for Walt Disney World a mere 23 days since we last stood there on the morning of January 25th.

The gravity of this is not at all lost on me.  My parents raised my brother Jeremy and I to be incredibly grateful for the sheer opportunity to even go to the Magic Kingdom and to Walt Disney World.  Most kids in my class in elementary school had never even left the state of Maine let alone travelled to visit Mickey Mouse and his magical land.

Those lessons still resonate deeply within me and every time we drive under the giant welcome sign, onto those hallowed grounds, I silently reflect upon those teachings and thank God that I've been as blessed as I am.

What's sad is that I've found myself uncharacteristically angry the past few days.  Not that I'm going back to my happy place, but that I'm feeling the way I am about it.  Like there's something wrong with me and Eliot for doing it.  Everybody makes their own decisions in life.  Some people go to tropical places. Others go to Europe.  Others can't afford to travel.  Some choose not to travel at all.  These are our decisions and what's right for us right now.  Yet, I can't help but feel defensive when I talk about it.  Like the entire world is silently judging us for it.  And that's really been bothering me.

I had a great conversation with my Mom the other night.  She told me not to worry about what anyone else was thinking, just as she's said my entire life.  She reminded me that it's none of anyone else's business.  And she's right, it's not.  I make a choice to share what's going on in our lives, and I guess it's foolish of me to expect that people would be happy for us.  (This is why I didn't post anything on my personal Facebook page for so long.)  Thank you to the people who are genuinely happy for us.

Eliot and I both work really hard.  My husband works a normal 40+ (usually 50) hour a week job as a mechanical engineer.  On top of that, he also makes new 3D mouse ear designs, prints them, and helps me assemble them.  He packages up most of our orders.  (Eliot's more quick and efficient at it than I am so he usually takes it upon himself to do it.)  He works his butt off.  And I love him for it.

But I'm no slacker.  I write, edit and list all of our 300+ listings on Etsy.  I answer customer messages, probably spending more time on them than I should.  (I like to be treated as an actual human being and I treat our customers the same way.)  I also design most of our new products, glitter everything that needs it and take all of our product photos.  And I'm also trying to set us up to open two more shops in the next few months.  Don't get me wrong, I love every minute of it.  (Most of the time.)  I'm so blessed to be able to work at home.  But it's still work.  It's not sitting around watching television and eating bonbons.  (Shout out to my Mom for this inside joke.)

Yes, we're going to Walt Disney World again.  Yes, we were just there last month.  Yes, we still live in Maine.  Yes, we are Annual Pass Holders... again.  Yes, we work our butts off.  No, we aren't paying for the entire trip ourselves for those of you wondering how we can afford it.  Eliot's parents have a timeshare and we're staying with them except for the night we fly in before everyone and the extra day we're staying at the end of the trip.  Yes, none of this is anyone else's business.  I just thought I'd add that we're not rolling around in our own personal version of Uncle Scrooge's vault.

So, there you have it.  I'm now going to rid myself of the negative energy that I've felt about these back-to-back trips over the past few months.  Thank you all for allowing me the space to get this off my chest.  And if you are a friend or family member reading this, it isn't directed towards anyone in particular.  It's a culmination of many different things that have happened the past few months.  And like I said, it was time to let it go.

As a great woman once said, "the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate."  So I'm gonna just "shake it off" and start counting the next 9 days down to Disney.  °o°

Friday, February 1, 2019

February 2019 Calendar

Happy February!  January went by so fast for Eliot and me since we were away for most of the month!  Now, we're back in Maine and missing the Florida and California sunshine... but we've still got a lot of things to look forward to later this year!  Right now, we're gearing up for another month of cold and snow!  (Hopefully there won't be too much snow!)  In the meantime, here's my monthly calendar for February!

I'm so humbled and honored to continue the tradition of posting my free printable calendars for other Disney fans to enjoy.  This is my 5th year!!!  I started making these back when I started my blog in 2014.  I first designed them as a way to track Eliot's and my RunDisney training and it's come so far!  I was so happy with how they turned out that I had to share them with everyone else.  To date, my printable calendars have been used for Disney trip countdowns, Disney themed classrooms, training calendars for runDisney events and to surprise kids with a Disney vacation!

Here's the link to download the February 2019 PDF version of the printable.

Here's the link to download the Blank February 2019 PDF version of the printable.

Feel free to link this post up to Pinterest or Facebook so your friends and family can have a fun Mickey and Minnie calendar too!  Let's spread the Disney Magic!!!  °o°

Note: I've made calendars through 2019.  I don't post the PDF links on my blog until the beginning of each month.  If you're looking for a particular month and would like me to email it to you ahead of my post going live, you can send my blog an email at mydisneylifeblog[at]  I'll send you the PDFs directly as soon as I can!  :-)