Friday, April 30, 2021

Disneyland is Open!

After 412 days, the magic has finally returned to Disneyland!

As of the moment this post went live, both Disneyland Resort theme parks have finally reopened to guests after an extended closure due to the coronavirus.  When the closure started back on March 14th of 2020, it seemed unfathomable that this would last as long as it did.  Before this, Disneyland and Walt Disney World had both only been closed for a handful of days... always due to extenuating circumstances such as extreme weather conditions or potential terrorist threats.  Never in a million years did I ever think the Disney parks would be closed for an extended period of time.

Although Eliot and I weren't planning on going to Disneyland at all during the closures, it's still hurt knowing that other people weren't enjoying the magic.  I enjoy seeing my friends post their park photos and I've missed seeing Disneyland in my feed.

Eliot's Mom lives about an hour from Disneyland and she was an annual pass holder before they halted the pass holder program.  She used to go to the parks pretty often after work since her office was only about 20 minutes away.  After one of those trips, we'd sometimes get a package in the mail of Disneyland merchandise... or she'd send us treats from the confectionary.  What I wouldn't give for a Disney candy apple... 

Obviously, the magic is a bit different right now.  Like Walt Disney World, Disneyland isn't having character meet and greets, parades, shows or fireworks.  It doesn't seem like the full magical experience to me, but something is far better than nothing.

I'm so excited for all of the cast members who have been able to return to work after the extended closure.  I'm sure they're happy to finally be back.  They are the ones who truly make the magic come to life!  I'm so relieved there's a vaccine available at this point.  I hope all of the cast members and guests have a fun and safe reopening!

Welcome back Disneyland!  I can't wait to see pictures of your magical glory!!!  °o°

Thursday, April 29, 2021

Once Upon a Disney Wish

Earlier today, Disney released a virtual video presentation of the newest ship in the Disney Cruise Line fleet, the Disney Wish.  Yesterday, I wrote a post about all we knew about the Wish so far.  I just finished watching the presentation and my mind is blown!

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There was so much to unpack that I'm sure it'll miss things.  You really have to watch the entire video to fully appreciate how amazing this is.  I can't wait to watch it with Eliot once he's home from work!  It's going to be ready once he walks through the door!

One of my favorite parts of the Wish is the AquaMouse- the first ever Disney attraction at sea.  It will take you through a story much like an actual theme park ride!  Eliot and I love water rides so I'm sure this will be a major highlight for us!

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The first thing that made my eyes really well up was seeing the drawing of the splash zone for the little ones.  I love Toy Story so much and this cute drawing of the area really moved me for some reason.  I can't wait to see it in person!

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For dining, there will be three new themed family dining experiences including Marvel, Walt Disney Studios and Frozen.  (Wait what?!?!?)  I am so excited.  I cannot wait to dine in Arendelle.  Not only is it Frozen themed, but there will also be theatrical dining to make the world come to life with our favorite Frozen characters!  Ahh!!!  In Worlds of Marvel, you'll be in an interactive role.  Finally 1923 will bring the elegance of old Hollywood at the time when Walt Disney Studios was founded.  It looks like a really classy version of Animator's Palette and I'm here for it.

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Disney is staying pretty tight-lipped about the Broadway style shows on board, but they did announce that Aladdin would be one of the featured presentations.  There will also be two new shows that we'll learn more about soon!  The shows will take place in a reimagined Walt Disney Theater that's themed like an enchanted forest.

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There are also many more wonderful things onboard.  There will be an actual stage in the Grand Hall (atrium) for special shows throughout the day!  They have a new secret slide entrance to the kids club.  There will be new adult dining experiences including Enchant√©, The Rose and even a Star Wars themed bar and lounge.  Kids will have an area to learn all about Imagineering and they will also be able to learn to paint from Rapunzel!  Is it too late to sign up for kids club?

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The guest staterooms have also gotten an new look with gorgeous fairytale themes.  In the video, I saw Cinderella, Ariel and Tangled themed rooms... so naturally I want to stay in all three versions now!  The Wish will also feature Disney Cruise Line's first-ever two-story royal suites... and they're beautifully stunning!

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I am over the moon about this new addition to the Disney Cruise Line!  The Wish will be available for booking in late May of 2021 with it's maiden voyage taking place on Eliot's birthday- June 9th of 2022.  I personally can't wait to board the newest addition and embark on another adventure on the high seas!  If anyone needs me I'll be busy calling everyone I know to convince them to cruise on the Wish with me!  °o°

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

A "Dream" is a "Wish"

One of the most memorable things I've ever done was taking a Disney Cruise.  They have all left a lasting impression on me.  Before when I was having a bad day, I used to close my eyes and picture myself at the Magic Kingdom.  However, ever since my first cruise back in 2016, if I'm ever needing a mental break, it's the white sandy beaches and crystal blue waters of Castaway Cay that seems to conjure itself in my mind.  Right now, if I could have any wish, I'd hop abroad the Disney Cruise Line and sail away.

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I've missed cruising so much even though we haven't had trips planned.  It's been hard just knowing that the ships aren't currently taking passengers on adventures.  I often think about going on our back-to-back Christmas cruises right before the world turned upside down.  I'm so grateful we were able to take them.  Since then, I've found myself counting down to taking another cruise even though we don't have any booked.

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Thus far, the only Disney Cruise Line ship that I have sailed on has been the Disney Dream.  I've always wanted to go on all of the ships and as soon as I heard that Disney was expanding their fleet (from 4 to 7) I knew that I had to go on those someday too.

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I've been looking forward to the Disney Wish joining the fleet.  There isn't much news so far, but we do know that it will be powered by liquefied natural gas which is more environmentally friendly.  The Wish will be the first of three new ships built for Disney, and will be it's first in the "Triton Class" of their fleet.  The Wish will accommodate 4,000 passengers in 1,250 staterooms and it will be a little bit larger than the Dream and Fantasy.  It was originally supposed to take it's maiden voyage in January of 2022 but after delays from coronavirus shut downs, it will be taking it sometime during the summer of 2022 instead.  Honestly, all I needed to hear was that my girl Rapzunel was the character "painting" the name on the stern (back of the ship) and I was sold.

Since the initial news, more has slowly been released the past few months.  During the Disney Parks Magical Christmas Celebration, Disney released a video of Fairy Godmother Bibbibi-Bobbidi-Boo-ing a statue of Cinderella for the atrium or "Grand Hall".  Before then, no one knew which character would be the bronze statue sitting at the base of the grand staircase.  (All Disney ships have this feature.)  Cinderella is the perfect fit as the theme of the atrium is an enchanted fairytale.  I was so overwhelmed by the beauty of the Grand Hall as well... isn't it gorgeous?!? 

Earlier this month, the Disney Wish reached a construction milestone with the keel laying ceremony.  During the ceremony, the art on the bow of the ship was revealed with Captain Minnie at it's center!  (Each of the Disney Cruise Line ships feature a character in the elegant filigree design.)

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Captain Minnie was also the guest of honor at the keel laying ceremony.  During the construction of a "ship's construction, when the first block, or section of a ship, is lowered into the building dock, a newly minted coin is placed under the keel for good fortune." (source) The coin created for the Disney Wish was Captain Minnie!

Another thing that I love about the Disney Wish is the amount of Girl Power.  Between having Rapunzel on the stern and Captain Minnie on the bow, this ship is packed with it!  I was excited when Disney had Minnie Mouse become a captain so she could inspire the next generation of female leaders in the cruise industry.  (I absolutely love Captain Minnie and was thrilled when I got to take a photo with her on our cruises in December of 2020!)  They also practice what they preach as Disney has women in some of the leadership roles on the ship's design team.

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More design details of the Grand Hall of the Disney Wish were revealed in a short video last week.  It is absolutely stunning.  I mean look at that chandelier... the shape, the concept, the design and the "wish" crystal... it's perfection.  The columns look like they'll have lights shimmering in them that flow right into the ceiling.  And if you look closely, there were design boards that look like a Tangled mosaic!

I am so excited!  It's more than I could have ever hoped for!  It's so beautiful.  One thing is for sure, boarding the Wish for the first time is going to put me in tears.

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Something else that will probably put me in tears is the sneak peek Disney is doing tomorrow, April 29th at 11AM Eastern.  If you'd like to be one of the first to hear more information about Disney's newest ship, you can sign up here to be a part of the virtual event!  This 30 minute virtual presentation will reveal more details about the ship, new spaces and new guest experiences!  It will also include character appearances and surprise performances!!!  I suspect that they'll also use renderings to make us feel like we're walking through the ship... and I personally can't wait to tune in tomorrow!

A Dream is a Wish my heart makes... and that Wish will soon come true!!!  °o°

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Spring 2021 Sewing Recap

As of this morning, we had our last sewing class of the spring session.  These eight classes (9 weeks including spring vacation week) have flown by so fast.  I'm always left amazed at how quickly it's over.  Thankfully, I had a productive spring session.  I learned a lot and I started a project I've been hoping to make for a while now!

I spent the first 6 classes cutting out, working on and stuffing my plush dolphin.  As I mentioned at the start of class, it was a beginner level pattern.  It ended up being really easy, but there was definitely a learning curve.  The pattern was so easy for me to follow though!  I'm definitely going to try to make more plush from the same designer.

I was so happy when I finished my dolphin a few weeks ago!  He still has a bit of a weird section on his tummy but considering that he's the first plush I have ever made, I think he came out pretty good!  All along I've been joking with my instructor and all of the girls in class that my only goal was to have him look like a dolphin.  He looks like a dolphin so I met my goal!  But seriously, I'm so proud of him and he's adorable!  He is going to look cute displayed on one of my shelves in my office!  And he matches it!

I had thought about making some pillowcases in class, but I couldn't find a fabric that made sense.  I really want to make some decorative pillow cases for our master bedroom, but I haven't found fabric that spoke to me.  However, a few days ago, one of my custom fabric groups online released the perfect fabric in their pre-orders!  I won't have it for a few months, but it will give me something to make in class this fall!

Instead, during my 7th class, I decided to cut the valances for our living room, dining room and kitchen.  I'd found a video on YouTube of how to make some simple curtains so I used that for inspiration.  The calculations were honestly the hardest part.  I used the full width of the fabric (60") to start.  Then, I cut the first valance to 22" before I realized that I wasn't going to have enough fabric.  I cut that down to 19" and from there I cut out all five pieces of fabric that will become the valances.  Our windows are only 42" to the trim so I should have plenty of fabric to create gathered valances!

Today, for our final class I decided to continue working on my tote bags.  They're all so close to being completed!  I was able to cross a few more steps off today.  I probably could have finished one of the totes, but instead I opted to make progress on all four bags.  I'm hoping to finish them later this spring or summer at home.

Speaking of which, after every class, I swear that I'm going to sew between classes and then I never do it.  Our dining room table is perpetually being used to create mouse ears and desk accessories for our businesses.  No matter how much I want to sew, it never seems to happen.  However, my Nana insists that I take her sewing table (and her machine at some point) so I'm thinking that might be the solution.  I've decided to try to get the table from my parents house sooner than later so I can set it up in my office.  I'm more apt to sit down and sew if everything is set up already. 

Hopefully I can get my sewing machine all set up so I can finish my valences over the summer!  I'd like to make another version of them that I can switch to during the winter months.  Plus, I have a few other projects up my sleeve that I'd like to try out!

I'm already looking forward to going back to class in the fall.  I haven't quite decided what I want to do for the fall session, but I'm thinking about trying to make a skirt.  I found an easy tutorial for a gathered wrap skirt from the same custom fabric group that I want to order the pillowcase material from.  Maybe I'll learn to make a skirt and try another plush?  Or I might attempt another pattern I found of a stretchy skirt or a spirit jersey.  One thing I know for sure... I've got a few months to figure it out!  °o°

Monday, April 26, 2021

New Product Alert: Individual Desk Accessories

There's no rest for these creators.  Eliot and I have been busy working behind the scenes to make new designs for Snowblade Creations.  The past few months, we've finished a bunch of desk accessory samples and we've slowly been working on getting them photographed, editing the photos and listing them over in our shop.  Now that we've got the most recent round of new designs listed, I wanted to share a few of my favorite individual desk items that we've recently released!

Glittered Business Card Holder- This was the first glittered design that we added to our shop.  It's been in there a little while, but I haven't featured it over here yet so I had to share it.  I love being able to make different colored glittered desk accessories.  So far, we've sold a purple, rose gold and I'm currently working on a sky blue version.

Glittered Pen Holder- As you can see, I love this shade of glitter and I want to put it on everything.  This pen holder has been done forever but it accidentally got put in a container with designs I'd already photographed so it's still newer in the shop.

Mickey Partners Statue Pen Holder- Eliot surprised me with this design.  It's our normal Mickey pen holder with a copper Partners Statue over it.  The Walt and Mickey Partners Statue design is one of our more popular Happily Ever Hatter mouse ears so it makes sense to have a version of it over here too!

Oogie Boogie Pen Holder- Eliot also surprised me with this design.  Neither one of us are big Nightmare Before Christmas fans, but we know a lot of people are.  The coolest part of this design is that it glows in the dark!  Isn't that fun?!?

Glittered Minnie Business Card Holder- Of course, shortly after we made a glittered Mickey card holder, I wanted to make a Minnie Mouse version.  I decided to make this one Tiffany's inspired with a glittered mint base and a solid white glittered bow.

Medium and Large Mickey Pen Holders- Our Mickey Mouse pen holders have been so popular that we've gotten a few requests to make larger versions.  Eliot actually designed the large one first but I thought that was too big.  So he went back and made a medium one that was between the small and large.  The large one is pretty big when you compare all of them.  Although, the pen chamber isn't much bigger each time you go larger.  I might use one of the large ones on my vanity to hold my hair combs and brushes or in my office for a small silk bouquet.  That would be so cute!!!

Medium and Large Minnie Pen Holders- Of course, after we finished all of the larger Mickey Mouse pen holder versions, we needed to make larger bows for Minnie Mouse.

Love Sticky Note Holder- This design has been in the works for a while now.  Eliot and I made a few versions before we were happy with it.  The sample was accidently hidden away with the Glitter Teal Mickey pen holder so it's finally joining the club too.

Fun Wheel Pen Holder- This is another one of my favorites.  I love Mickey's Fun Wheel (now the "Pixar-Pal-Around") and I'm obsessed with our mouse ears of this same design.  The only thing that would make this pen holder better was if it were a rainbow version.  If only I knew someone who could make me one... wait a minute... 

Small Mickey and Minnie Sticky Note Holders- These were another special request that we've gotten recently.  We've had two people ask us for a version that will hold the smaller 1.5" x 2" sticky notes so Eliot came up with these.  They're so tiny and cute!

And that's all I've got to share for now!  These are most of the new products we have added to our Snowblade Creations shop.  There are a few others, but I'll be featuring those in another post a few weeks from now.  I didn't want to overdo it this round!

As you can see, we're having a lot of fun making designs- particularly pen holders.  I love how versatile they are since I can use them to hold my pens, pencils, markers, highlighters, paint brushes or even for my makeup or hair brushes!

Eliot and I are both working on a few more samples right now.  Hopefully we'll have a few more designs that we can finish and photograph next month.  There are a few really fun ones that I can't wait to debut in our shop and share here!  °o°

Thursday, April 22, 2021

Earth Day 2021

Happy Earth Day and Happy 23rd Birthday Animal Kingdom!!!

I don't have much time to hop over here, but I really wanted to mark the occasion today.  Earlier while I was taking a break and scrolling on Facebook, I saw that the Disney Parks Blog Facebook page posted an ASMR (autonomous sensory meridian response) video with images and the sounds of nature at Animal Kingdom.

I always enjoy these videos as they give me a few minutes to stop, take a break and relax.  I love the part with the waterfalls... I've always been obsessed with them!  Plus, I thought the video was appropriate for today.  Not only does it celebrate nature, but it features Animal Kingdom which opened on this day back in 1998!

I hope you enjoy this video as much as I did!  Have a Happy Earth Day!  °o°

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

A Historic Day

April 20th means a lot of things to different people.  For me, April 20th is first and foremost my Mom's birthday.  It's a day I celebrate the birth of a woman who loves fiercely, is one of the strongest people I know, and who puts everyone else's needs before her own.  For others, 4/20 is a giggle of a reference to smoking marijuana.  But upon further investigation, the 20th of April also has a dark and deadly history.

I was only in 8th grade when the Columbine High School shooting happened back on April 20, 1999.  I remember my family was vacationing in Washington DC while we watched the news in complete horror that this could happen.  I was afraid and alarmed as I myself was getting ready to enter high school later that year.  I recall watching President Bill Clinton's motorcade pass by as we stood outside the White House.  At the time we didn't know where he was going, but we later saw that he went to a high school in Alexandria, Virginia to speak with the students there about what happened.

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It wasn't until a few years later that I learned April 20th was the day Adolf Hitler was born back in 1889.  There was a report about something on the news and speculation that it might be part of the reason April 20th was always such a deadly day.

I remember my Mom talking about how so many horrific events always seemed to happen on, or a few days before, her birthday.  April 15th of 2013- I watched in horror as the city I called home for 5 years experienced the Boston Marathon Bombing.  I had friends not far from the finish line where it happened.  April 16th of 2007- the Virginia Tech Shooting.  April 19th of 1995- the Oklahoma City bombing.  As I've grown older, a small part of me has always held my breath in the days leading up to April 20th... 

Today, I found myself holding my breath again.  Except today, I released that breath as an overwhelming sigh of relief.  Today, there was good news.  Today, there was justice.

Like much of the country, Eliot and I have been watching the trial to see justice for George Floyd.  I admit, I've only been able to watch it in small doses.  It's made me sick.  Although the video was all over social media last year, I never actually watched the video until the trial.  I couldn't even bring myself to.  I haven't been able to wrap my head around the fact that someone could do that to another human being.

I started my day watching a little bit of the news coverage before I once again became overwhelmed with fear that the jury would somehow come to a verdict of not guilty.  I quickly switched the channel to Hallmark and attempted to go about my day.  After all, it could still be a few more days before the verdict was finalized.  However, a few short hours later, I found myself on Facebook seeing that the verdict was going to be read.

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I immediately switched the channel back.  Then, just like the rest of America, and the world, I sat with bated breath for court to resume.  I found myself glued to the couch with my eyes locked on the television in tears, praying that we'd see justice.  Surely, if they only deliberated for 10 hours, they saw the same thing the rest of us saw, right?

I was overcome with emotion while the judge read the verdicts.  Guilty on all three charges.  I felt a buzz of relief flow throughout my body.  I watched as people in the streets cheered, embraced and sobbed with relief.  I watched as they revoked bail and he was put into handcuffs and taken out of the courtroom on his way to jail.

Today we celebrate but tomorrow, we go back to work.  We can and we must be better than this.  We must hold ourselves and each other accountable for our actions.  We must push for true equality, liberty and justice for all.  We must rid hate and racism from our society.  We must all learn to be kind to each other.  

This April 20th is a day to celebrate justice.  After all of the hate that's been spewed in this country the past few years, today I feel a renewed sense of hope.  We still have a very long way to go... but today was a small step in the right direction.  °o°

Monday, April 12, 2021

Springing Forward

We've all heard the sayings "fall back" and "spring forward" or "spring ahead" when referring to Daylight Savings Time.  Well, talk about springing forward.  I looked up at the calendar and it's almost mid-April... Where on Earth has this month gone?  Things have continued to be super busy here.  I also realized that I haven't posted much this month compared to the rest of 2021 so I thought I'd pop in for a quick update.

After Jeremy's visit and Easter weekend, this past week has continued to be both busy and productive.  It hasn't been all work and no play though.  Eliot and I have watched a few Hallmark movies that we haven't seen before and we've still been following the San Jose Sharks hockey season.  We were also able to register for the Run Disney Lion King virtual races this summer so we're looking forward to doing that!  But overall, we have been focused on getting things accomplished.

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I finally had my appointment with the ear, nose, throat specialist on Tuesday right after my sewing class.  I got answers to a few questions and found out that there's nothing wrong with my ears and hearing- even though I've had crackling noises in my ears for the past year.  My doctor also prescribed a special ointment to help with the ongoing problems I've had with my nose being so dry.  Hopefully, this will help!  

Thursday morning, Eliot had a double tooth extraction.  This was originally scheduled at the end of April, but he's been in a lot of pain for the past month.  He finally called the doctor and asked if he could get the appointment pushed up, and they were able to fit him in on Thursday.  The procedure itself went well, but Eliot had a few moments of dizziness, overheating and feeling nauseous while we were sitting in the recovery room.  I was so relieved to get him home safely where he slept most of the afternoon.  

Since then, Eliot's been sore but he's been ok for the most part.  We've laid pretty low at the house even though it was almost 80° on Saturday.  I had a thought to pack up and go into town for a picnic on the beach, but since Eliot couldn't eat anything other than Jello, that idea didn't really make sense.  I felt silly spending such a beautiful day inside, but there will be more warm days in the coming months...

Instead, we had a super productive weekend at home.  On Saturday, we got a bunch of cleaning done.  Eliot replaced the dryer hose that the squirrel destroyed.  While he was doing that, he also cleaned out the entire dryer vent all the way to the outside.  As he did that, I started to organize a few things in my office. 

Eliot and I spent a lot of the weekend working on Happily Ever Hatter and Snowblade Creations orders.  Orders for our 3D printed mouse ears have picked up a lot with spring break trips and Disneyland opening soon.  We've also had a few rush orders for Walt Disney World trips that we've been working on over the last week.

This afternoon, Eliot took 22 packages to the post office- 6 for Happily Ever Hatter and 16 for Snowblade Creations.  It feels so good to get all of those out in the mail and crossed off of our to do list!  All of our hard work this weekend leaves us way ahead of schedule!  It's funny how we can feel behind one day and then after two days of hard work we're shipping orders out that are more than a week or two ahead of schedule.

Plus, because we're now ahead on orders, there aren't any super pressing business things that I need to get done this week.  I don't have many things to do on the personal side of things either.  Other than a quick follow up with the guy who sealed our house and my sewing class, I don't have any plans.  

I'm hoping this week I'll be able to work on some of my blog updates, and to work on cleaning and organizing the house.  Eliot and I are still up to our eyeballs in house projects we'd like to finish before getting our puppies.  As of late, we've been full steam ahead on the house so I'm hoping that I can cross a few more things off of the list this week!  I'd also like to get a bunch of this stuff done before it gets really warm out.  We have about one more month before we'll need to put the air conditioner in and I don't want to be worrying about painting walls once we reach that point!

Of course, Eliot and I will still be working on orders.  But I'm hoping we can continue to stay ahead of schedule so I'll be able to keep working on my blog and the house for the rest of the month.  The rest of April will probably be a light month for blog posts because most of the blog stuff will be going on behind the scenes.  But once I get some of these projects finished, I'll have plenty of stuff to share on here!  

In the meantime, I'll be springing into action to get more stuff done!  °o°

Sunday, April 4, 2021

Easter Weekend 2021

Happy Easter!  I can't believe Easter is already here and that spring weather is finally on it's way!  We've still had a few cold days here in Maine, but the warmer ones are coming more often.  Today it's actually close to 60° here, so that's nice!  Eliot and I aren't going too far today though.  We've had an eventful holiday weekend, so we're spending today having a quiet day at home working on orders. 

Our holiday weekend actually started a little early.  Eliot took Thursday off so we could work on some stuff around the house.  We'd always planned on doing this, but after our recent squirrel adventures, we needed to clean my office.  Thursday afternoon, we spent a few hours vacuuming and wiping stuff down.  I disinfected my stuffed animals with Lysol spray.  Thankfully, we're fully stocked up on the Clorox wipes and sprays!

Eliot had Friday off since it was Good Friday.  We had made plans with my brother Jeremy to goto Massachusetts to get stuff at IKEA.  Jeremy was able to take the day off from work too, so we made a list Thursday night and planned to meet the next day.

Friday morning, Eliot and I got up early.  We made a few quick stops on our way- the post office, McDonald's for breakfast, to gas up the truck and to drop a few things off at our new storage unit.  Then, we hopped on the highway and drove down to MA and the Burlington Mall where we met Jeremy.  We had decided to make a quick stop at the mall to stretch our legs, use the restrooms and to check out the Disney Store.

First, we went to the Disney Store where I had barely walked through the doors before I found the red, white and blue stars and stripes Loungefly bag that I'd wanted to get.  I also found the Carl (from Pixar's Up) plush that I needed for my Up display.  Both items had sold out online and I haven't been able to get them.  Finally, Eliot grabbed a small Pluto hand sanitizer holder.  It was nice to take a quick peek there, especially since I hadn't been there since we went in January.  After that, we made a quick stop at Newbury Comics before the three of us hopped into the truck to continue our journey.

At that point, I was thirsty and I kind of wanted a milkshake.  After accidentally missing the turn I was supposed to take, we ended up turning around in a McDonald's.  It was a happy accident since I got my chocolate milkshake, Eliot got a vanilla and Jeremy got an Oreo McFlurry.  We enjoyed them while we talked and rode down the highway.

I was so into the conversation that I completely forgot what exit I needed to take, we took another detour and passed by the exit for Gillette Stadium.  Then, we got off the highway a few exits down the road and took the back roads to IKEA.  It ended up taking us right there, but we definitely took the long way.

Once at IKEA, we made our way through the furniture displays.  We stopped at the couches so Jeremy could pick one out for his condo.  (He hasn't had one since he moved... so it was time.)  We weren't able to bring it home with us since one part was out of stock, but we were able to set up delivery for next week.  As we made our way through the store, I photographed the locations of the furniture we had on our list.

I was very excited to see that they had the food area open.  When Eliot and I went to IKEA last June, the cafeteria area was closed due to COVID.  (It was a lot different; now they seat you and the food area is marked off in 6 foot increments.)  Jeremy and I decided to get food while Eliot sat at our table.  We both got salads and I got a side of meatballs since I wasn't too hungry.  (If I was hungry, I would have gone all out with my usual meal.)  After a few minutes of watching us eat, Eliot decided he wanted food too so he got himself a salad.  We enjoyed the break to sit and take our masks off safely.

Once we finished our food, we continued downstairs to the Marketplace.  We went through this part of the store pretty quickly since it's easy to get sucked into all the cool gadgets.  Thankfully, this time Eliot was able to find the lazy Susans I'd wanted but couldn't find last time.  We also stopped to get the bath mats I wanted.  I had a few other things I needed to take a quick peek at, then we entered the warehouse are

It took us a few minutes to find and gather all of the furniture boxes.  I was excited to get a 4x4 Kallax storage cube unit for my office.  We also got the remaining pieces we needed for the vanity mirrors that they didn't have when we went last trip.  Ironically, they had the pieces of the display bookcase that "weren't in stock" but they didn't have the bookcase which had shown online that it was in stock.  However, we bought the doors and the extra shelves anyways so we have them.

Once we had everything we needed, we made our way to the registers where we picked up the last things on my list, cinnamon buns and chocolates.  I was pleasantly surprised to have our order come out to only $41 and change over the loose budget that I'd set for us- and I hadn't accounted for taxes either.  Eliot and I only grabbed two things that weren't on my list- an extra set of storage containers (that I use all the time and love) and another pencil light for my office.  It was definitely a successful trip!

Before heading back out, Eliot and Jeremy got a few snacks for the road.  We walked out to our parking spot and loaded everything up in the truck.  Thankfully, nothing was too heavy so we didn't even bother with the loading area.  (I had dreaded backing the F-150 up into it.)  Eliot secured the items with some straps and we were on our way! 

I drove back to the mall where we stopped so Jeremy could get his car.  Then, he headed for his condo to grab his weekend bags while Eliot and I went to the Nashua Hobby Lobby.  We picked up a few paints for our business as well as some things for Eliot's soap making.  Next, we went to Jeremy's condo for a short minute before I decided I was hungry enough to get food.  Jeremy was still packing a few things so I ran through the McDonald's drive through to get my dinner (the boys had eaten their IKEA food) and I started to eat while we waited for Jeremy to arrive.  (Yes, we went to McDonald's three times that day... and I didn't even realize it until the following day.)  

After Jeremy pulled into the parking spot next to us, he followed us up to Maine to spend the weekend with us.  We drove from New Hampshire to Maine, made a quick stop to drop some of the IKEA stuff off at our storage unit and then arrived home around 10 pm.  At that point, we were all exhausted, but somehow Eliot and I made it through the San Jose Sharks hockey game before going to bed around 1:00 am.

Saturday morning, we all slept in since we'd stayed up so late.  After having a quick breakfast of IKEA cinnamon buns, bacon and eggs, the three of us brought all of the IKEA stuff still in the truck inside.  I put away and organized the smaller stuff while Eliot and Jeremy put my new 4x4 Kallax storage unit together in my office.  After they finished, they even put all of the new storage bins into it too!  I'm excited to have so much more space to organize my crafting supplies now!

Our big plan for the day was to go up to Portland shopping since we knew everything would be closed on Sunday.  We all took showers and got ready and on the way up, we dropped a few more things off at the storage unit.  

First we headed to Joann's so I could get something I needed for my sewing class.  I'm so glad we went there when we did.  While I was wandering around the aisles, Eliot came into the store (after checking out Lowes) and there was small black lab puppy near the entrance.  I could hear someone ask another person if they were ok with dogs and when I heard the "absolutely" I knew it was Eliot.  I turned the corner and saw him petting the cutest little puppy.  My heart immediately melted.

Her owners were taking her out to stores to socialize her, and they wanted strangers to pet her so she'd get used to it.  We spent the next ten minutes or so petting the 10 week old ball of energy and talking to her owners.  She was precious.  We were in the store for a few more minutes and she seemed to keep finding us throughout it.  After petting her a few more times, we finally made our way to the register and out of the store.  Jeremy had stayed in the car and thankfully the puppy came out a few minutes later so he could at least see her before we left.

Next, we went to the Portland Mall.  The boys wanted to check out Newbury Comics so we did that and then went to Hot Topic.  At both stores, Eliot and I found a few Funko pop vinyls we'd been looking for so we got those.  After that, we stopped at Mrs. Fields to get a few cookies and we each ate one before we went back to the truck.

Our final destination was Target.  We checked a few things out before picking up soda to have with dinner, a few snacks and some food for Sunday.  Then, I drove over to Texas Roadhouse to pick up Eliot's and my dinner.  Of course, Jeremy had to get his Pat's Pizza so we stopped there on the way back home.

Once we returned home, we watched a few Inside Pixar shorts on Disney+ while we ate dinner.  Then, we switched it over to the San Jose Sharks game once that started. Jeremy watched the first period with us before calling it a night.  Somehow, Eliot and I made it through that entire game too.  Afterwards, I was definitely ready for bed!

This morning, we all slept in again.  Eliot and I were actually woken up when Jeremy accidentally locked himself out of the house.  (He had gone to grab the stuff he had for me and didn't realize the door was still locked; we got a good chuckle out of it.)  I joked that the Easter Bunny still brought me something while I admired the garden statues, faux succulents and the Harvey's Up bag Jeremy helped me get on release day.  Then, Eliot and I made bacon and eggs for the three of us to eat for brunch.

After we were all done eating, Jeremy helped Eliot move our washer and drier so we could check behind it for a potential squirrel entrance.  I was pretty sure he got in on that end of the house, and sure enough, Eliot found the clawed out drier hose.  At least now we know how he got into the house.  (The vent was literally a squirrel gate.)

Before Jeremy left, Eliot wanted to show him the Glowforge so we all watched it make a few cuts.  Then, Jeremy packed up and we said goodbye.  I did notice that it was really nice outside.  After Jeremy pulled out of the driveway, Eliot and I went to the backyard to tend to the drier vent.  Thankfully, it was a quick fix and Eliot thinks it'll be squirrel proof now.  But we are going to continue to keep checking it... just in case.

Eliot and I spent the remainder of the afternoon working on desk accessories and mouse ear orders.  (We have a ton of orders to mail out this week.)  Tonight, we'll probably take a break to watch a Hallmark movie or some shows and then we'll be rested and ready to tackle another week!  It wasn't a super festive Easter holiday weekend, but we certainly had a very productive one and it feels good!!!  °o°