Monday, June 29, 2020

Magical Merchandise: 2020 Disney Rainbow Collection

Today, I'm kicking off the first post in another new blog segment.  In the past, I have shared Disney merchandise under my Fun Find Fridays.  Instead, I've decided to make a separate section for new merchandise called Magical Merchandise Monday.  There's so many new Disney products with many companies partnering with Disney over the past few years.  I thought it made more sense to make a new themed segment so it would be easier to share new items.  And we're starting off with a colorful collection!

As I've mentioned before, I love bright colors and I love rainbows.  The past few years, Disney has been coming out with a Rainbow Collection in early summer... usually so that it coincides with Pride Month in June.  Of course, as someone who loves Disney, rainbows and bright colors, this is something that I always look forward to.  Thankfully, I wasn't disappointed as they have added a few new items to this year's collection in addition to last year's products!  (Read about the 2019 Rainbow Collection here.)

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In the past, Disney hasn't specifically stated that their rainbow products were for Pride Month or Disneyland's Gay Days in October, but they always release rainbow themed items around the same time as these events.  This year Disney made their position loud and proud.  In addition to announcing the release of their 2020 Disney Rainbow Collection, Disney also announced they donated $100,000 to GLSEN, "an organization working to create safe and inclusive K-12 schools for LGBTQ+ students."  It makes me proud to support a company that is inclusive to everyone.

Here are my top ten favorites from this year's collection- in no particular order:

Minnie Plush- Last year we got Mickey, so this year Minnie joined him.

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Rainbow Mickey Tank- I love this sequined rainbow Mickey tank top!

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Rainbow Mickey Beach Towel- It's jumbo sized and has bright Mickeys all over it!!!

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Mickey Spirit Jersey T-Shirt- I love the Rainbow Mickeys all over this.  Must get!

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Rainbow Disney Parks Jacket- I love the little parks icons all over this jacket.

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Rainbow Mickey Button Down Shirt- This shirt is awesome!  Eliot might need one... 

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Castle Blanket- I love how the castle is a rainbow!!!  More rainbow castles please!!!

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Alex and Ani Bracelet- I have the two bracelets from last year- time to add this one! 

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Rainbow Mickey Backpack- I love how the bag matches the rain jacket pattern!

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Castle Ear Hat Ornament- This castle reminds me of bright Crayola crayons!

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I love this collection so much!!!  I'm sure we'll add a few more items to our Disney collection over the next few months!  I could always use more rainbows in my life!!!

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I hope you enjoyed this pop of fun, bright colors and seeing some of the merchandise available from the 2020 Disney Rainbow Collection!  I love these additions to their rainbow line and I'm even more excited that it seems to be here year-round.  I hope Disney continues to step up their game and has a great selection of magical rainbow merchandise available next year too!  Bring on all of the bright colors!!!  °o°

Saturday, June 27, 2020

When Life Hands You Lemons

Hi friends!  It's been a few weeks since I last stopped by for an update on our day-to-day life.  Things have gotten a lot busier and time seems to be flying by.  Honestly, it's been a bit of a mixed bag as of late, but I'm hanging in.

Thankfully, for the most part, I've felt good.  The headaches and migraines I suffered with earlier this year seem to have subsided with my diligence.  I've continued to get more restful sleep, even though I seem to need less of it lately.  I've been more awake and alert throughout the day too though, so that's good!

On the business front, Eliot and I have been busy with a lot of desk accessory orders for Snowblade Creations and a few mouse ear orders for Happily Ever Hatter.  Things are still slower than we'd like, but with the parks opening up in a few weeks, I'm hoping mouse ear orders will pick up!  We're continuing to work on new samples and new products.  Eliot's got a lot of new designs that he's working on so hopefully we can debut those sometime next month!  (I have big hopes for Christmas in July week!)

I've left the house a lot more lately.  It's been weird.  I'm simultaneously excited to be out and about and slightly terrified.  I won't lie, I am legitimately scared to go outside... but it's not because I'm one of "those" people.  I have a very valid reason for my fear.

My family's private lives are not something to publicly share on my blog, but I feel it's necessary to divulge a small tidbit.  My Mom's had some stuff going on with her health over the past 8 months or so.  (Rest assured... she's going to be ok!)  She's had to have 4 surgeries since the beginning of this year.  It's been a lot, and it would be a lot anyways... but with COVID-19 also happening, it's been really rough.

I've really struggled with not being able to see my family while all of this coronavirus stuff is going on.  There have been a lot of tears.  I used to call my Mom daily and now we talk only 2-3 times a week.  Honestly, there was a period a few months ago when I couldn't call her without sobbing.  I really missed her and knowing that she was going through all of this and I couldn't see her was killing me inside.

However, all that pretty much changed a few weeks ago.  I've been up to my Mom and Dad's house twice in the past few weeks.  Mom needed to go in for another operation and they needed an extra set of hands to help out with their accounting business and with keeping my Nana company.  Having Nana go into a nursing home temporarily wasn't an option we wanted to entertain, and she couldn't go anywhere else.  So, I found myself packing my stuff up to spend a few days up in Trenton.

I was terrified of possibly infecting them, but it was what it was.  I was extra careful... bordering paranoid, with disinfecting everything on the way up.  But after driving the first hour or so, I found myself enjoying being in the car, listening to my music, singing with the radio, enjoying the lupines growing along the sides of the highway and being somewhere different.  I found myself appreciating all of the small things.

I don't feel that I did anything out of the ordinary while home, but I know Dad and Nana appreciated me and enjoyed me being there.  Mom ended up in the hospital a lot longer than she was supposed to be... for over a week.  I know she felt better knowing that Dad, Nana and I were all set and had everything under control back at home.  

And we had fun too.  Nana and I spent hours curled up in the living room reading our books.  Nana played Solitaire on her tablet while I worked on my laptop.  Nana and I got a chance to visit and talk.  Dad, Nana and I watched Wheel of Fortune, Jeopardy and a few movies together... including a few different Hallmark movies.  

On Wednesday, we watched "The Wonderful World of Disney" on ABC and caught Toy Story 3.  Both Dad and Nana had never seen it and they really enjoyed it.  Nana had never seen any of the Toy Story movies and she kept saying how much she liked it and wanted to see the first two.  (I made sure that Dad knew how to get into our Disney+ account... so hopefully she'll get to see them soon.) 

Nana even told my Mom how much she enjoyed watching it with us when Mom finally got home from the hospital.  That's what I want to remember from the past few weeks- not the stress and fear of Mom's surgery and her being stuck for over a week in the hospital, not the judgement that I wasn't doing what I should be to help out, not the helplessness, loneliness and frustration.  Honestly, there have been some moments that have really sucked- but watching Toy Story 3 was a glorious highlight.

I'm back down at our house now.  Mom needs to go back for another surgery in mid-July.  The timing isn't great with the extension of the income tax deadline, but it is what it is.  Thankfully, my brother Jeremy will be home that week helping with the end of tax season.  He has a lot of vacation time for this year that he obviously won't be using to travel, so he decided to go home to help out for the week.  He'll be able to stay with Nana while Dad's with Mom on the day of her operation.  I'm not sure when I'll be able to go up again, but I'm hoping I'll get to see my Mom between now and then.

The rest of our time has pretty much been the same as the past few months.  Eliot and I finished Once Upon a Time through Season 6.  We just have the time jump in the final season to watch.  I'm hoping we can finish that in the next few weeks.  Eliot and I have also continued to watch Hallmark movies.  I've recorded a ton of movies that we've never seen.  Thus, I've checked a ton off of our Hallmark movie app.  I even completed two of the sections this past week!  It was a small thing, but it brought me joy.

Like I said before, I've really tried to soak in the little moments.  The people at the rest stop probably thought I was insane when I stopped and leaned over to take pictures of the lupines... but they were beautiful.  Mom and Dad have a beautiful rhododendron bush (that's more of a tree) in front of their house.  The flowers were the most beautiful shade of pink during both of my visits.  I got there right at the perfect time because they were just starting to fall off when I left this most recent time.

Back home, I enjoyed eating a chocolate wand that Eliot's Mom bought us as part of his birthday gift.  I took pictures of the violets that recently sprung up in our wildflower planter in front of our house.  Eliot found one of our Dory Build-A-Bear outfits so one of our donkeys has been wearing it all week.  Eliot and I spent part of last weekend putting furniture together in the basement so we could start to set up our new toy and business tool.  We've had all sorts of critters in our backyard the past few weeks including a cardinal, wild turkey, groundhog and porcupine.  And the other day we had a double rainbow over our backyard after a torrential downpour and lightning storm.  It was so beautiful that I went outside for a few minutes to take pictures and enjoy it.

The most exciting thing that's been going on is the progress that we're making on our house.  Eliot dove in on cleaning our master bedroom while I was up at my parents' house.  He cleaned a section that I've been struggling with.  Now, I've spent two days this week working on organizing it more.  We ordered a few more cube organizers from Target and they arrived in the mail yesterday.  Eliot's going to put them together this weekend so I can finally start to organize my jewelry and accessories!

As you can see, it's truly been a mixed bag these past few weeks, but I'm hanging in there.  When life hands you lemons, you make lemonade... right?  

Thankfully, aside from my Mom's upcoming surgery, things seem to be looking up for the most part.  (Hopefully, this will be her last operation!)  I'm hoping things continue to get better- even if we're all still spending a lot of time at home.  Maybe by the end of this year our house will finally be mostly finished.  And if that's all that I get out of this year, I'll consider it some pretty good lemonade.  °o°

Friday, June 26, 2020

Fun Find: Magical Quarantine Memes (Part 14)

Happy Stitch 6/26 day!!!  It's also Friday once again so it's time for another round of Magical Quarantine Memes!  If you haven't been following along with my weekly posts, you can still catch up: Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4Part 5Part 6 , Part 7Part 8Part 9Part 10Part 11Part 12 and Part 13.

Ok... did anyone get Hercules Titans on their 2020 Bingo card?

Unfortunately, we can still spend plenty of money on Shop Disney... 

Before this week started... 

The official load page of 2020, and of this week if you're a travel planner.

This week's current status:

Does anyone else feel like this is true?

Pretty much everyone in the Disney Facebook groups right now.

Sorry but not sorry.  I'm team wear a freaking mask or don't go.

I'm glad we're not going to Disney for a bit.  It won't be the same.

No parades, no shows, no fireworks... it just won't be the same.

My current status.  I'll be sipping out of my resort mug and sobbing.

Here's a little Dad joke humor to cheer us all up after this long week.

Baby Yoda... stop trying to get the weekend to be longer.  It's been three months.

No judgement here Princesses.  Let me pull up a chair! 

I've saved another song reference for last.  I swear, the next time I'm at Disney I'll be going around singing "Bonjour! Bonjour!  Bonjour, bonjour, bonjour!" to everyone.

I hope you liked this batch of magical memes.  I still have quite a few more so Part 15 of my Magical Quarantine Memes series will be coming next Friday!  In the meantime, take care and enjoy your weekend!!!  °o°

Please Note: I did not make any of these memes and I don't claim ownership of the photos or the jokes.  Most of them I've seen uncredited on Facebook from other people who have shared them.  I just wanted to put them all in one spot so we might try to find some humor in a dark time when we could use a smile.

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Show Yourself, I'm Ready to Learn

Exactly one month ago, the world shifted.  On May 25, 2020, George Floyd was killed while under arrest in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  The weeks following have been filled with unrest, worldwide protests, marches, and declarations of support.  I have been following the news, doing my own research and have done a lot of thinking this past month... Mostly, it all came down to "do I say something or do I keep my mouth shut?"

A few weeks ago, I wrote a quick post on here for Blackout Tuesday on June 2nd.  I also joined in by posting a black box on my personal page and our business social media pages.  It was something that I believed was important, and it was something small I could do to show my support to people of color.  However, I never felt like that was enough.  This post has always been inside of me... and it's time to let it all out.

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I've never been very vocal about my personal beliefs here on my blog.  Last year, when I wrote about the 2019 Disney Rainbow Collection, I stated that "to put it simply, I believe that the world needs more love and less hate.  Love is love."  It's almost a year later, and it's painfully clear the world needs more love.  The world also needs more allies who are willing to stand up with people of color and the LGBTQIA+ community.

Like many of you, Eliot and I have been incredibly disturbed by everything happening in our country.  I've been at a loss for words... and after about a week of self-reflection, I realized that I have stayed silent for too long- mostly for fear of saying the wrong thing.  But I've grown as a person and I've learned a lot in the past few weeks.  

We must speak out.  We must not stay silent any longer.  Silence is not going to make a difference. We must raise our voices and fight for what's right.  We'll never know the pain, suffering and fear people of color and LGBTQIA+ individuals experience; we understand that we'll never understand.  But we can learn, we can listen and we can stand up and fight alongside you.  Black Lives Matter.  LGBTQIA+ Lives Matter.

I know this isn't the usual, happy-go-lucky, magical content my regular blog readers have grown accustomed to... but this is really important to me, and it's important to Eliot.  While we love Disney and everything magical, we can't just turn a blind eye to the serious issues we face as a society.  There are days when I'd love nothing more than to be in Disney where the realities of the "real world" disappear... to escape into that "Disney bubble" that I love.  But, I've realized taking a break from reality is a luxury that people of color and LGBTQIA+ individuals can never afford- even while at Disney parks.  They just can't disappear from the unjust society they have to live in everyday.  

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Acknowledging that racism, homophobia, discrimination and white supremacy exist in our society is an uncomfortable topic; however, it's an important one as it effects us all.

The past few weeks, I've been focusing my energy on becoming comfortable with being uncomfortable.  It started with all of the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19, being at home under quarantine and not knowing what would unfold over the upcoming months.  Then, in early June my discomfort expanded when I took the time to do some self-reflecting regarding racism.  While it might be uncomfortable, I think it's necessary.

I wanted to take a good look at how I could be a better ally.  I feel like I've been pretty clear about my personal beliefs of the LGBTQIA+ community, but I haven't spent as much time focusing on people of color and how I can be an ally to them.

I used to be one of those people who said that they "didn't see color".  It was well-intended and I didn't mean it as in insult; I simply meant that my parents raised me to be kind to everyone.  To judge someone, or their abilities, based on the color of their skin, or who they love, is so foreign of a concept to me that I couldn't even fully wrap my head around it.  But hanging onto that statement is not helping us move forward.  

I've grown as an individual and learned that isn't the correct way to think about this.  If you are capable of visually seeing, you can clearly "see" different skin colors and skin tones.  The goal is to see it, acknowledge it and make sure that you aren't partaking in preconceived expectations based on that.  It also means you see and acknowledge that a person's skin color is part of who they are as a person- not something to ignore.

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It can be uncomfortable to talk about, but I'm ok with things being uncomfortable.  My comfort is not more important than someone else's basic human rights.  Everyone should have the right to sleep in their bed without fear of being shot and killed.  People should be able to interact with police officers without fear of being killed.  You should be able to go to the park without a lady falsely accusing you of harassment when you ask her to follow the park rules.  These are all things that should be, but as the past few weeks have proved- what "should be" and what "is" are two totally different things.

I can only imagine how infuriating this is for people of color.  This has all gone on for generations, for decades... and here we are in 2020.  Of course, I'll never truly know because I'll never experience it.  But I can tell from my own personal experiences than being judged unfairly is infuriating.  I can tell you that feeling like you are being silenced and no one is listening is absolutely infuriating.

Right now, going online is infuriating for me.  I've been online less and less because I can't handle it.  (And I also acknowledge that avoiding it is in fact, using my white privilege.)  I fully support the protests and marches happening across the country and across the world.  No, I don't condone looting, but I don't even know who is actually doing it.  I don't think it's the peaceful protestors... we're all too quick to judge.  

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If it is the protestors, then can you blame them?  I'd be mad that no one was listening to me too.  And you can bet that if someone was threatening my family, I'd burn the whole place down... so I'm not going to be a hypocrite.  Plus, isn't this what Colin Kaepernick was trying to do years ago?  It was never about disrespecting the anthem, the flag or our veterans.  He was trying to make a statement about police brutality.  And here we are years later... wishing it could be done "peacefully" without riots and looting.
Some of the comments I've seen online are horrific and I wonder who raised these people.  It also seems like a lot of people are trying to make this a political debate.  I don't feel like this is political, it's about human rights and doing what's right.

Until we can all stop arguing and start listening to each other, I'm afraid things aren't going to change.  But, for the first time in a while, I do see hope for progress.  Many allies are becoming more vocal, and maybe this will finally be the time where we see changes and move forward into progress.  I think we can all agree that it's obvious what we're doing, what we have been doing, is not working.

Over the past few weeks, I keep finding myself going back to one of my all time favorite Disney songs, "Show Yourself" from Frozen 2.  The song has meant a great deal to me personally, but there's one line of the lyrics that keep ringing in my head.  At the end of the first chorus, the lyrics are "Show yourself.  I'm ready to learn."  It really speaks to me regarding all of this.  It not only encourages someone to show their true, authentic self, but it also lets them know that you're ready to sit back to listen and learn.

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It's become crystal clear to me that we've (individually and collectively as a society) got a lot to learn- and acknowledging it is only the first step.  I'm sure we're all going to make mistakes along the journey, but the important thing is that we learn from them and don't keep making the same mistakes over and over again.

Eliot and I both agree that we need to learn more and to be more aware as allies.  I'm looking into books that I can read, articles online, and doing more research.  I'm going to be more aware of where we spend our money.  I've supported small businesses run by people of color and LGBTQIA+ individuals, and I want to do that more.  We're going to vote.  And Eliot and I are going to continue to focus on spreading love and kindness.

If you take anything away from this post, I hope it's that Eliot and I believe in love and in treating everyone with kindness.  It's as simple as that.  And to the people of color and LGBTQIA+ community- I see you, I stand with you, and I'll fight alongside you until there really is justice for all.  Show Yourself, I'm Ready to Learn.  °o°

Saturday, June 20, 2020

Small Shop Saturday: Disney Face Masks

We're less than month out from when Walt Disney World is officially re-opening.  (Ok, so it's exactly three weeks, but who's counting?)  While Eliot and I have no plans to go to Walt Disney World for the remainder of 2020, I'm excited to see the parks open once again.  Of course, there are a lot of new safely requirements for the re-opening.  The most talked about change seems to be that face masks will now be required.

I'm not going to get into if face mask are really required, if people will be able to stand the heat in them or any of the other debates currently going on.  I'm sure I'd be hot in one in the Florida humidity and I'm not going to find out.  For me, it's as simple as that.

However, I'm still wearing one while out and about here in Maine.  Eliot and I decided that we'd invest in some fun masks since it looks like we'll be wearing them for the foreseeable future.  Plus, even when this is all over, we still plan to wear them while flying.  Truthfully, we should have probably been wearing them all along.  We always seem to be "those people" who have a terrible cough while flying.  Anyways... 

I've been on the look out for fun masks since this all started.  As I mentioned over on my Facebook account, we bought some when the Disney Store first made their face masks available.  We aren't expecting to get them for another month or so, but we did purchase the Mickey & Minnie, Princess, Pixar and Marvel designs for ourselves and some for my parents, my Nana and my brother Jeremy.

However, if you want something a little less mainstream and want to shop small and support small businesses, I've got a few more fun face masks to share today!

A few weeks ago, I mentioned that I ordered two Tangled masks and one Frozen mask from Attractioneering Trading Company.  (They haven't arrived quite yet, but they're scheduled to arrive on Monday!)  I also wanted to share a few other fun face mask designs that they've released over the past few weeks:

Journey Into Isolation

Spaceship Earth

Spaceship Earth Rainbow

Foolish Mortal


Golden Afternoon

Please Stand Clear of Me

Wonderland Teacups Set

They have so many more fun designs too!  I'd like to get a few more of their designs but I'm waiting to get my other masks in the mail first.  If they're comfortable, I'm planning to get the Figment and Spaceship Earth designs for Eliot and me as well!

Another fun option are the face masks by one of my favorite artists, Marnie.  I've shared before how Eliot and I own three of her original paintings.  She also sells other items over on Fine Art America.  They make tote bags, home decor and art prints of her artwork.  Recently, they added an option to purchase Marnie's art on 
face masks:

Castles All Day

Ride to Paradise

Happy Place

Another fun option are the designs from my friend (and my KTTW travel agent boss) Jeff.  Along with running Key to the World Travel, he also runs a shirt company called Enchanted Tiki Tees.  He's got over 300 different designs in his t-shirt shop, and you can also get all of those designs on face masks!  Here are a few of my favorites:

Bubblegum Wall

Galactic Purple Wall

Rainbow Passholder


Orange Bird Passholder

Finally, I am obsessed with the face mask designs from FigmentWDW1982 over on Redbubble.  I follow the artist on Instagram and I've always loved her designs.  She has so many fun retro Epcot, Figment and Orange Bird designs.  I love all of them so it's hard to pick a few, but here are a few of my favorites: 

Figment Big Face Mask

Orange Bird Face Mask

Watercolor Figment

Hello Epcot

EPCOT Center

Journey into Imagination

Epcot Center Minnie Mouse

And there are so many more fun Disney face mask designs out there!  In fact, if you search on Teepublic or Redbubble, you'll find a ton of Disney designs.  Of course, there are also so many small shops on Etsy making Disney fabric masks.  A quick search of "Disney face mask" will give you a ton of results.  If you have to wear one, it might as well be a fun one, right?

I hope you enjoyed these fun Disney inspired face masks!  Stay safe out there!!!  °o°