Tuesday, August 31, 2021

August Adventures

It's the last day of August!  Wow, this month has flown by fast.  It seems like the more I try to pin time down, the more it flies away from me.  (But I'm getting used to it now!)

The first half of August was pretty busy for Eliot and me.  The month kicked off with a birthday BBQ for my cousin's daughter at his house.  We got to catch up with a lot of family that I haven't seen in ages due to COVID.  It was nice to see the kids again too- even if we didn't get to spend much time with them all running around.  My cousin's daughter had a great 3rd birthday and Eliot and I had a lot of fun!

Then, about a week later, Eliot and I went back over to my cousin's house for dinner and a game night.  Game night was a blast!  We each made mini pizzas that were super yummy.  After the little one went to bed, the 4 of us adults played a game called Wingspan that Eliot and I had never played before.  It was pretty complicated at first, but once we caught on it was a lot of fun.  Eliot was completely obsessed and was looking it up on Amazon before we even pulled out of their driveway.  A week later, we own it and both expansion packs... I guess you could say game night was a big hit!

Eliot and I both had our teeth cleanings and Eliot's massage appointment on Thursday the 5th.  That ended up being a crazy busy day.  I left Portland a little bit annoyed and disappointed.  First, the Maine Mall closed early so I didn't get to go there at all.  (I basically wasted my entire hour that Eliot was in his massage.)  Then, we couldn't eat at Friendly's because they stopped seating people early.  (Thankfully, Eliot and I ended up having dinner at Chili's- which was 100% delicious.)  Then, when we got home, Eliot totally surprised me by purchasing the Disney+ premiere access for The Jungle Cruise!!!  It was already pretty late, but we set up the 3D printers and started the movie anyways.  It was the first movie we've paid extra for the premiere access and it was so worth it.  The movie was absolutely amazing!  In fact, I loved it so much that I watched it again a few days later.  (And I'm planning to watch it again sometime this week!)

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Eliot and I have also had a few adventures with my family over a few weekends earlier this month including a visit home in Trenton, a quick trip out to Nana and Papa's camp, spending a few hours at Water Country and enjoying an ice cream at Scoop Deck.

Our last few weeks of August have also shaped up to be busy ones.  We have been trying to soak in as much of summer as possible while simultaneously preparing for fall and spooky season.  Eliot and I have gone on a few Sunday afternoon shopping trips over the past few weeks.  We've been into Biddeford and Portland checking out the Halloween merchandise.  (More on that next month!)  We've seen stuff out in some stores, but it's still a little bit early for Halloween to be in full effect!

This past week, Eliot and I took a day off and played hooky on Thursday.  It was 92° at our house- probably the hottest day of the summer- so we decided to go back down to Water Country for the afternoon.  We wanted to use our upgraded season passes once more to get our moneys worth, and we certainly did.  We went around the lazy river about 10 times total.  We also spent at least an hour floating around in the whirlpool- a pool that pushes everyone in a giant circle.  The activity pool was closed the whole time we were there, but the whirlpool was also a great option for cooling off.  We were there just under three hours and had a blast!  Definitely worth the upgraded passes!

The plan for the rest of the day was for Eliot to go to work for a few hours in the early evening, but after driving home, we were totally exhausted.  Both of us collapsed into bed for an hour nap.  Then, we had plans to go into Old Orchard Beach to catch the last Thursday night fireworks of the season so we got up to do that.  We spent a ton on parking ($20 for two hours... ouch!) and then walked to the downtown area.  Eliot and I stopped at Dairy Queen for ice creams since it was still 80° out.  Then, we walked onto the beach and found a spot next to the pier to watch the fireworks.  After waiting about an hour or so, they started at 9:45.  They were good, but not as spectacular as Bar Harbor's 4th of July show this year... still, it was fun and nice to take a day off together!

Eliot had to make up for his lost hours on Friday, so I barely saw him.  However, I was able to get a bunch of business stuff done in the afternoon and early evening.  I also took the opportunity to watch Cruella late in the evening.  (I'd forgotten about it being added to Disney+ that day.)  Eliot didn't get home from work until about 1:00 am and I was up until 2:30 watching Cruella but it was totally worth it!  The movie was so good!

This past Saturday, Eliot and I decided to take the night off to go back into Old Orchard Beach to play mini golf at Pirates Cove.  We had a great time playing a round on the Captain Kidd course.  It was the same course we played with my Dad and Jeremy on Father's Day earlier this year.  Eliot still beat me, but I scored a lot better this time!

After, we walked into downtown OOB to get some Pier Fries for our "dinner".  The Ironman race was taking place the following day, so the race stuff was all set up on the road we were on.  Eliot and I checked it out while leisurely walking into town.  The road was already fully closed off so we could stroll right down the middle of the road.  We got a giant box of fries that were delicious and ate them on a bench right next to Pier Fries.  I didn't eat as many fries so I'd have room for my frozen banana.  Eliot laughed at my $4 chocolate covered frozen banana but it was delicious!

On Sunday, Eliot and I spent the first half of the day working on a few business things and staying put.  The Ironman race actually goes by our road, so we didn't want to get stuck in that.  (We got stuck trying to drive through it one year and that was a giant pain in the butt!)  We decided that we wanted to go out and do something.  It was 70° for the high, but since it was overcast, it still felt cooler.  I've been wanting to go to the Portland Head Light and Fort Williams Park for a while now, so we decided to do that.

We left our house and went to the Amato's over on Broadway in South Portland to pick up our lunch.  Eliot got his usual pizza and I got an Italian sub.  We also picked up drinks, desserts and some of the cheese bread stuffers we both like.  Then, we drove about 10 minutes down the road to Cape Elizabeth and the Fort Williams Park.   

We've only been there once before and that was years ago.  We had to stop there one time to meet up with the chiropractor that was helping out at my clinic.  (Eliot had some x-rays done and it was quicker for us to go there to her office to have them read.)  I think it was late fall, winter or early spring so it wasn't very lush at the time.  However, I still remember thinking that it was beautiful and I've wanted to go back since then.

As soon as we drove under the gates, I immediately wondered why we'd waited so long.  The park was alive with other visitors enjoying the beautiful summer day.  There were families playing, people having picnics, lots of happy dogs and tons of people walking around.  Eliot and I found a parking spot in the overflow parking section where it was free to park.  There was a nice picnic table under a large tree that we'd spotted nearby, so we grabbed our food and made our way there.

We both sat on the same side of the picnic table facing the ocean and enjoyed our Amato's picnic with a gorgeous view of the ocean.  The people at the picnic table next to us were also enjoying their afternoon.  There was a funny moment when one of the daughters climbed the tree we were all sitting under and two squirrels ran up it not realizing she was up there... but other than that it was blissfully uneventful.

After Eliot and I finished our lunch, we walked back up the hill to the truck and dropped off the food.  Then, we slowly wandered in the direction of the Portland Head Light lighthouse.  I've always admired how beautiful it is in photographs so I was excited to see it in person.  The park was gorgeous.  There were flowers near the lighthouse entrance.  There were plenty of grassy areas and places with trees.  It was also a good workout with all of the hills we walked up and down.

The Portland Head Light was beautiful.  We were there too late in the afternoon for the museum and the gift shop to be open, but we figure that we'll go back again to check those out.  We walked down to the lighthouse and took in the gorgeous views of the ocean.  There were plenty of other tourists there enjoying the lighthouse as well.  It's crazy sometimes how we forget how much beauty there is right in our own backyards. 

Eliot and I sat on a bench for 10-15 minutes looking back at the lighthouse and enjoying some time people watching.  Then, we slowly made our way back toward the parking lot.  We took note of the two lobster roll food trucks we passed.  There was also a gelato truck right near the lighthouse.  Along the way, I spotted a black and white woodpecker up in the trees.  You could barely hear the light banging on the branch.  Eliot had never seen one before, so we stopped for a few minutes to watch.

After getting back into the truck, we decided to take a drive around the rest of the park before leaving.  I drove over to where the other doctor's chiropractic office used to be near the play ground.  Then, we drove around the loop by the lighthouse one last time before heading out of the park.  We really enjoyed our time there and we will probably be making Fort Williams Park a regular place to visit.  Not only will it be the perfect place to take the puppies to explore, but it's also a great place to spend a relaxing day!

Speaking of relaxing... this month has definitely been a busy one, but Eliot and I have also been trying to make time to relax.  We work so hard- between his full time job, the businesses and working on the house- and sometimes we forget to chill out.  We've made time to watch a few movies together.  Of course we've caught most of the new summer movies from Hallmark.  As I mentioned above, we watched The Jungle Cruise on Disney+.  Finally, I had Eliot watch Cruella with me Saturday night after we returned from our mini golf and Pier Fries adventure.  He really enjoyed the movie too!

August has certainly been full of adventures and fun!  I'm so glad that we've made sure to take time to enjoy the summer before it goes away for another year.  I'm incredibly grateful for all of these summer moments filled with happy memories!  °o° 

Monday, August 30, 2021

Magical Merchandise: 2021 Food and Wine Festival (Part 2)

Happy Monday friends!!  As usual, I'm here for another look at some new magical merchandise.  Today, I thought I'd be writing about the rest of the Disney Parks Halloween collection, but I got a bit of a surprise at 3 am this morning when I found very few new Halloween items listed on Shop Disney.  Instead, there were many new Food and Wine items available!  (You can see the first half of the 2021 Food and Wine merchandise in my post here.)  So it's time to do a bit of a pivot!

I was actually really excited to see the two Food and Wine collections that I've been waiting for.  Both the "Be Our Guest" Beauty and the Beast Collection and the Mickey and Minnie Apple Orchard Collection were released online earlier today.  I've been anxiously awaiting their arrival and I'm actually a little surprised it's taken this long.  By now, if you're big on Disney merchandise, you've probably already seen all of this.  But if you don't follow a million Disney pages, groups, Instagram accounts and YouTubers, you're in for a sweet treat!  Let's take a peek at these two collections!

The "Be Our Guest" Beauty and the Beast Collection is adorable.  I really love the fun bright colors and how they mimic the colors of Mrs. Potts, Chip and the rest of the dishes with a pink, yellow and blue color scheme- but they used the bright aqua blue of Belle's town dress.  That shade of blue is so pretty!  (I also can't believe it took me this long to realize they made a kitchen item for each of the enchanted characters!)  Here are the items now available online for this collection!

Be Our Guest Apron- This apron is really cute!  I love the pop of color from the solid blue and how it has the pattern on the bottom part.  If you look closely at the pattern, you'll see Spaceship Earth and all of the World Showcase countries represented!

Be Our Guest Kitchen Towels- These also feature the overall pattern.  I love how they also added the graphic of Belle with the "try the gray stuff" quote!

Chip Measuring Cup- This is really cute and really creepy!  Chip is so cute but I'm not sure how I feel about him coming apart... but it's definitely a clever design!

Mrs. Potts Pot Holder- This is a cute design!  I like how she's the same style as Chip!

Cogsworth Kitchen Timer- This is perfection... Cogsworth as a kitchen timer.  Cute!!!

Lumiere Serving Dish- I also think this pieces is brilliant.  I can almost hear Lumiere singing to me.  If I had to choose one piece from this collection, this one is my favorite!

Belle Ramekin- This is small, but it's mighty!  (I think I'd actually use it as a bowl...)

Be Our Guest Serving Plate- I also really like this design.  I really love how it includes Spaceship Earth and all of the World Showcase countries across the bottom.

If all of that fun new merchandise wasn't cute enough... I've saved my favorite 2021 Food and Wine collection for last.  I absolutely adore the new Mickey and Minnie Apple Orchard Collection.  As soon as I saw this collection, I knew that I wanted it as part of our fall decor.  Eliot and I have tons of stuff for the holidays, but I wanted something fun and magical for the season of fall.  This collection checks all of the boxes!

Mickey and Minnie Apple Orchard Spirit Jersey- The first item that caught my eye from this collection was the Spirit Jersey.  When the Spirit Jersey was released a few weeks ago, I immediately bought it... and I love it.  It's so cute with the large Minnie graphic on the back.  I also love the cute detail of Mickey on the front.  This Spirit Jersey will be the perfect thing to wear on a crisp fall day while going apple picking!

Minnie "Sweet as Pie" Pie Plate- The was the other item that was a showstopper for me.  I loved the cherry pie plate Disney carried a few years ago, but I never bought it because I wasn't sure when I'd display it.  This is perfect for fall in Maine!!!

Apple Orchard Pot Holder- I couldn't pass this up either, the little graphic of Mickey and Minnie with the apples in the orchard is too cute!!!

Apple Orchard Kitchen Towels- I didn't get these kitchen towels (yet)... but they're super cute!  I like how they have the same Mickey and Minnie graphic on them.

Apple Orchard Mug- This will be perfect to display or to use for my hot apple cider!

Apple Orchard Jar Glass- This is also perfect to display or to use for apple juice!

Minnie Mouse Apple Ears- These mouse ears match the Spirit Jersey really well!

Apple Rolling Pin- I love the rolling pin and how it has Mickey, Minnie, Spaceship Earth, and apples carved into it!  It would make cute patterned cookies!  (I'm going to display mine so it doesn't get gross... maybe I'll get one to use if they go on sale!)

Mickey Orchard MagicBand- Mickey looks adorable picking apples in the orchard!

Mickey Apple Apron- Mickey is really cute on this apron too!  This entire Mickey and Minnie Apple Orchard Collection is certainly "Awesome to the Core" in my opinion!!!

And there you have it!  Aren't both of these collections fun?!?  The only 2021 Food and Wine Festival collection that hasn't made it's way online are the Remy products.  (I'm still assuming we'll see those closer to the opening of the ride on October 1st.)  What piece of Food and Wine Festival merchandise has caught your eye?  °o°

Thursday, August 26, 2021

#tbt D23 Expo 2019 Merchandise

It's time for another throwback post.  Today, I thought we'd travel back two years to the 2019 D23 Expo.  Eliot and I decided to skip it that year, and I was a little bit bummed out.  The 2019 D23 Expo looked like it was so much fun!  I didn't have a chance to explore social media much, but from the posts I did see, it looked like a blast!  There were so many announcements about new things coming to the Disney Parks too!

Even though we couldn't go, Eliot's mom Nori still went and she was able to get most of the stuff we asked her to try to get for us!  This was actually a blog post that I wrote most of... but then I didn't take photos so I never posted it!  (I should note that most of these items have been safely tucked away by my vanity while Eliot and I reorganize our bedroom.  I was so excited to take them out!)  Clearly this post is overdue, but I didn't want to skip it because I was so excited about sharing everything with you!

So without further ado, let's check out our merchandise from the 2019 D23 Expo!

Disney Dream Store

The Dream Store was the location where most of the merchandise we were interested in was being sold.  Each year, there are usually a few collections released.  There were two main collections that were released inside the Disney Dream Store this year- The Dapper Dans and Disneyland Mickey Balloons.  Of course, I fell in love with both.  

Eliot and I picked our favorite items from each collection and I held my breath that they wouldn't sell out before Nori was able to get into the store.  Honestly, I wasn't really expecting her to get most of it.  I assumed it would sell out almost instantly with people trying to sell everything on eBay.  (I was shocked when she texted to let us know that she got all but one thing!)  Here's what we got from these two collections:

Dapper Dan Dress- I love this Dapper Dan dress so much!!!  I'm so glad they made it in red because I can use it for everyday visits and as well as the holiday season!

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Dapper Dan Spirit Jersey- This has to be the cutest Spirit Jersey ever!!!

Mickey Balloon Skirt- This balloon skirt is highly sought after in the Disney Dress Shop community and it's almost impossible to find now.  I can't believe I actually have one!  (I couldn't remember what item Nori couldn't find and I was afraid it was going to be this skirt.  I was so excited when I opened it!)  I can't wait to wear it to Disneyland!

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Mickey Balloon Spirit Jersey- I think this might just be my favorite Spirit Jersey that I own.  I love the pink and blue tie dye and the balloons are so much fun!!!

D23 Adult Tee- We both got this shirt!  We love how it has Disneyland on the back!

Ladies All Over Balloon Tee- I love this fun shirt with Mickey balloons all over it!

Dapper Dans Funko Pop Vinyls- Eliot and I had Nori get two sets of the Dapper Dan Funko Pops.  I think one set will probably live with our Disneyland display in our living room and the other set can go with our Funko Pop Vinyls for now! 

Dapper Dans Mickey and Friends Plush- We also had Nori get these Dapper Dan plushes.  She used them as her carry on from CA to ME so they're definitely special!

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Balloons Collection Metal Sign- We've had this cute sign on our living room wall since she gave it to us two years ago.  It's going to live with our Disneyland display.

Trinket Tray- I also got this cute trinket tray.  I thought it would be cute on my vanity.  I love how it has little Mickey balloons representing many of the Disney Park attractions!

Disney Store

The Disney Store shop usually has more of the limited edition collectible stuff at the D23 Expo.  It's weird because some of the stuff will come online to Shop Disney and other things are expo exclusives.  (I was so overwhelmed going in there when we were at the 2017 D23 Expo.)  This year, Eliot and I didn't really have many things that we were looking for.  There weren't any Masquerade Dolls that I wanted in the shop, but Nori was able to pre-order my set of the dolls coming to Shop Disney and Disney Stores over the following few months.  I didn't get my dolls until after all of the dolls were released individually, but it was so much more relaxing knowing that I had all of them on order and didn't have to try to get each of them!  Aren't they gorgeous!?!

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This was the first year (as far as I know) that BoxLunch was at the expo with a booth of merchandise set up.  They released this Minnie and Giraffe Loungefly backpack that I fell in love with.  It was eventually sold in thstores; Eliot and I even saw one during our Six Flags trip, but I was glad I didn't have to look for it.

Happy Feet

This was silly, but Eliot and I both loved these Sorcerer Mickey Slippers.  This design was an exclusive to the D23 Expo and I have no regrets!  They're so cute!!!

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Nori happened across these cute sunglasses and she thought we'd like them.  After texting me pictures, I picked 5 that we wanted.  They had a deal where you buy so many of them for a certain price.  They're really cute.  I wanted to wear the Christmas ones on Castaway Cay during our cruises but I forgot to pack them!  Next time!!!

Disney Books

The final thing I got was the Disney Costuming Book.  I was shocked when I saw how large it was.  The pictures are beautiful.  I'm excited to read about all of the costumes, especially since I wasn't able to see them on display and in person at the expo!

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Eliot and I are both so incredibly grateful that Nori was able to get all of this for us!  

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Hopefully, Eliot and I will be able to attend the next D23 Expo.  Due to the coronavirus pandemic, they pushed this year's event to next year.  If all goes as planned, the next D23 Expo is scheduled to be in Anaheim from September 9th to the 11th of 2022.  °o°