Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Farewell Happily Ever After

"... And they all lived happily ever after.  Each of us has a dream, a heart's desire.  It calls to us.  And when we're brave enough to listen, and bold enough to pursue, that dream will lead us on a journey to discover who we're meant to be.  All we have to do is look inside our hearts and unlock the magic within."

Today is a very sad Disney day.  Tonight, the Magic Kingdom's current fireworks show, Happily Ever After, will take it's final curtain call.  I really didn't think the last time I saw it would be for the last time ever.  Oh how I wish I could see it live just one more time.

Happily Ever After debuted on May 12, 2017 when it replaced Wishes.  At the time, I was really upset that Wishes was leaving.  It was the fireworks show that Eliot and I watched during our wedding week and during our honeymoon.  It was the fireworks show running on Eliot's first trip to Walt Disney World in 2009, during our family reunion and it was also the last fireworks show that my Papa ever saw.  However, as upset as I was at the time, it only took one look at the projection mapping the first time I saw Happily Ever After, and I was completely in love with it.

Each time Eliot and I have watched the show, I've been completely dazzled by the projection mapping on Cinderella castle, the lasers, searchlights, and of course the fireworks.  The show had a wonderful mix of new and classic Disney songs, and I always caught myself singing along.  I loved the stained glass projections of all the characters on the castle.  The storyline of the show and song always resonated with me.  And no matter how many times I saw Tinker Bell fly across the hub, I always got a little choked up whenever I heard "You Can Fly".  For me, the show was perfection.

I'm so sad that they aren't bringing Happily Ever After back after the 50th Anniversary celebration ends.  I really thought they would since this show isn't that old.  I'm still holding out hope that Disney will use the same music and update the show with the projections on Main Street, so it wouldn't be the "same" Happily Ever After but maybe a newer version?  But I don't know if Disney would do that.  I guess time will tell.

It's depressing to me that the last time I saw the show was in January of 2020 after I'd spent hours in the first aid station at the Magic Kingdom.  I wasn't feeling well at all, but since it was the last night of our trip, I wanted to push myself.  I did enjoy the show, even though I felt like crap.  I knew that I wouldn't be back to Disney for a while so I wanted to enjoy it... of course, I didn't know how much we'd all soon endure with the pandemic- or that the show would have to go dark during an extended closure.

I wish that Eliot and I had been able to get back one last time to see it in person.  Still, I'm incredibly grateful that I was able to see it the last night of our January 2020 trip.  I would really be upset with myself if I hadn't pushed myself to go see it that last night.

I'm sure the new Disney Enchantment fireworks show for Walt Disney World's 50th Anniversary Celebration will be spectacular in it's own way, and I'll probably love that show too.  But, I'm still a little sad that Happily Ever After has to end.  

"And so, our journey comes to an end.  But yours continues on.  Grab ahold of your dreams and make them come true.  For you are the key to unlocking your own magic. Now go.  Let your dreams guide you.  Reach out and find your Happily Ever After."

Farewell Happily Ever After.  Thank you for all of the memories.  "It's just beginning, feel your heart beat faster.  Reach out and find your happily ever after..."   °o°

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Back from Virginia

Hello friends!  We are home from our road trip down to Virginia!

Eliot and I actually got back yesterday afternoon, but I was so tired from the trip and driving that I pretty much crashed.  After mindlessly watching a few tv shows on the DVR, I took a nap for a 2-3 hours.  Then, I got up and watched more tv, Eliot got home from work, I ate something for dinner, we watched one more show and we went to bed.

Today, I'm trying to get caught up on everything that I didn't have to do while we were gone on vacation.  We have tons of laundry from our trip to do.  I'd like to get a little bit of cleaning done around the house.  And there's a mountain of things to unpack.

Most importantly, we're trying to get on track with our businesses.  We got a bunch of sales while were were gone, so I've been busy updating my print list and our white boards.  Eliot's already started printing a few of the orders.  Once he's home from work later on tonight, we'll go over our game plan for the rest of the week!

While we have a lot of stuff to get done this week, our vacation was totally worth it!  I'm so glad we got away with my family and took a break.  It's been so long since Eliot and I took one; I didn't realize how much I really needed it!  I had plans to work on my blog and make regular social media posts; but other than our wedding anniversary social media posts, I don't think I did any others.  I found myself completely forgetting about anything that had to do with work, our businesses, or any of our day-to-day activities.

Clearly, I really needed this break to rest, recuperate and to recharge.  Now that Eliot and I are back home in Maine, I feel refreshed and renewed.  

Plus, we had an amazing time at Virginia Beach, in Williamsburg and on the road trip down and back!  We got to do a bunch of fun things along with resting.  Our vacation was the perfect mix of exploring and relaxing- truly the best of both worlds!

I will write more about our trip soon, but for now I'm getting back in the groove!  °o°

Monday, September 27, 2021

Magical Merchandise: Local Halloween Finds

Fall has barely started, yet Halloween season is already in full effect.  As you probably know, Disney starts Halloween celebrations at the Magic Kingdom early so Eliot and I always start thinking about it around the 4th of July.  (Perks of running small shops and being ahead on all of the seasons and holidays.)  Throughout August and September, Halloween merchandise starts to show up in retail stores.  Eliot and I have kept our eyes peeled over the past two months and we've found quite a few fun items!  Today, I thought that I'd share some of our Disney Halloween finds from our local stores.

Full confession, Eliot and I started our Halloween hunt early.  I had seen reports of items showing up at TJ Maxx in early August, so Eliot and I started stalking the stores as early as Sunday, August 15th.  In fact, we've taken a few quick Sunday shopping trips.  On Sunday August 22nd, Eliot and I took the afternoon off to go shopping up in Portland.  We haven't really had a chance to browse a lot of the stores since everything closes early due to COVID hours and being understaffed.  By going out on Sunday afternoons, we've been able to visit many stores!  Here's what we've found!

TJ Maxx

TJ Maxx has been our top location to hunt for treasures.  We have one in Biddeford and there's also one in Portland.  We also stopped at the store in Ellsworth while we were visiting my parents, and another one in Manchester on our way through earlier today!  Here are some of the things that we've found there!

My favorite thing that we've found is this Halloween shower curtain.  Eliot and I have a Mickey and Minnie themed master bathroom, and we already have bath items for Christmas.  I was so excited when Eliot showed me this shower curtain!  Now, we can decorate our bathroom for Halloween.  If only I could find the matching hand towels... 

Eliot and I both fell for this Stitch mug and plush set.  He came home with us!

This year, they have Mickey and Minnie Halloween door greeters and little plush!

I love this little Minnie Witch coffee mug.  We found this one at the store in Augusta.

The thing that surprised me the most was this Mickey Wreath that we saw at the store in Manchester earlier today.  (I'd seen it online, but I thought it was handmade.)  It was cute, but Eliot and I decided that I could make something like it, so we didn't get it.

Homegoods (our local store is also connected to a Marshall's)

This has been the other store that I've gone to a few times.  TJ Maxx, Marshalls and Homegoods are all owned by the same company.  This year, they had Mickey pumpkin coffee mugs, votive candle holders and cookie jars that I've been searching for since we started looking mid-August.  Unfortunately, we haven't found any of those things at our stores.  But they have been so popular that the company who makes them started making coordinating Minnie Mouse designs.  (I'm really hoping that they will bring both Mickey and Minnie back again next year!)  However, during our searches, Eliot and I did find some other treasures.

I've found a lot of Halloween kitchen items at Homegoods.  There are plates, cups, bowls, and more.  Unfortunately, my photo of the large display didn't come out, but I can show you the cute Mickey bowls we bought!  Eliot and I also raided the display of socks and went home with a few packs of them.  Our feet are all set for Halloween!


I stumbled across this blanket when Eliot and I went into Kohl's looking for a sweatshirt for me.  It was the weekend that hurricane Henrie was coming through and it was pretty warm out, but I'd completely spaced about the rain.  It started pouring when we arrived in Portland and I was afraid I'd freeze in the air conditioning after I was wet.  It worked out though- I left Kohl's with a sweatshirt, this blanket and a Hedwig owl plush!


Eliot and I went into Joann so I could look at the fabrics.  I was sidetracked when I saw this display right near the entrance though.  They had spatulas, cookie cutters and candy molds for Hocus Pocus, Harry Potter, Nightmare Before Christmas, and more!

Spirit Halloween

Eliot and I have only been to the Spirit Halloween in Augusta, but they always have a bunch of Disney stuff.  It was pretty picked over both times we went, but they had displays for Hocus Pocus, Haunted Mansion and Nightmare Before Christmas.  They also have a wide variety of children and adult Disney Halloween costumes!


Walmart usually has a few things, but I haven't been there that much this year.  Eliot and Jeremy have been on the lookout for the Hocus Pocus porch greeters and the inflatable, but we've only found the Winnie porch greeter so far.

They also usually have a few Disney inflatables, but I keep missing most of them on the shelves.  (I think we keep going before they display them, or after they've already sold.)  Eliot and I did find this cute Mickey Mouse in Portland the night before our trip though.  He came home with us, but they hadn't stocked Minnie yet, so hopefully we can go up and grab her sometime this week! 


Finally, the place with the most Halloween merchandise that we've seen this year is definitely Lowes.  Eliot and I have been checking out the Halloween stuff for weeks now.  (Another confession: Christmas stuff is what we've been stalking there as of late!)  First, Eliot and I always check to see what inflatables they have for Halloween.

Eliot and I had to grab two Mickey Spider inflatables to join our Mickey Ghosts (from two years ago) and our Mickey Bats (from last year).

If you like the Nightmare Before Christmas, you're in luck!  They have a lot of stuff!

There were also Nightmare Before Christmas inflatables.

They also had some porch greeters.

They even made some small blow molds this year!

Finally, my favorite items from this year were the new little Airdorables inflatables!

And there you have it!  This is most of what Eliot and I have found at our local retail stores over the past 2 months.  Unfortunately, after going through my photos, I realized that I accidentally made a few of them really blurry so there was actually more than this!  (I'll have to start checking my photos when I take them!)  

I hope you enjoyed reading about our finds and that you'll discover some magical Halloween treasures of your own if you go out hunting for them!  °o°

Saturday, September 25, 2021

Small Shop Saturday: Fall Finds

Today, I wanted to share some fun fall finds from small shops.  I love autumn and it's often looked over on the march to spooky season.  In Maine, September and October are a few of my favorite months because the weather is so perfect.  It's usually warm enough to wear a t-shirt or light sweater during the day.  Then you can get into a warm sweater or sweatshirt at night.  Plus, the colors are spectacular.  Not everyone in the country gets to experience the gorgeous colors of the leaves changing.

I wanted to celebrate that cozy fall feeling, so I hopped over to Etsy to find some fall inspired Disney items that felt warm, cozy and autumnal.  I love what I found!

Disney Fall Vibes Shirt- This t-shirt by Savage Love Design is simple and adorable.  I love how you could also wear it through to Thanksgiving since it has a turkey on it.

Mickey Fall Vibes Shirt- This shirt by Kiki Shop Gifts is a cute alternative.  I love shirts that have a Mickey outline and a bunch of fun things in a collage inside of it.  This one also has a Minnie Ghost for Halloween and a Mickey turkey for Thanksgiving!

Autumn Leaves and Disney Please Shirt- This simple graphic shirt by Create and Ship is another great design.  I love shirts with fun text graphics!

Mickey Castle Sign Decor- If you're looking for Disney farmhouse decor, look no further!  This sign by Main Street Sawdust is perfect for fall.  And I love the little leaves!

Hidden Mickey Pumpkin Sign Decor- If you're like me and you to make things, this unfinished sign by Grandpa T's Woodworking is perfect for you!  There are so many possibilities; I think I'd paint mine orange and green and make it into some sort of wreath decor for our front door... or maybe hang it on the wall?  Oh, the possibilities... 

Mickey Pumpkin Pie Decor- I really love this cute decor by Mikey Hearts It.  It would be perfect for a fall or Thanksgiving tiered tray display in the kitchen!

Autumn Leaves and Disney Please Sign- This adorable sign by Janell's Treasures is perfect for fall.  I love the simple Mickey pumpkins and the leaves on it.  It also has that farmhouse feel that's very on trend in home decor right now!

Mickey Pumpkin Spice Latte Banner- I love this Mickey and Minnie pumpkin spice banner by Brandalyn's Paperie.  This one would be perfect over a coffee bar area!

Chip and Dale Fall Banner- If coffee isn't your thing, this cute fall banner by Magically By Molly is a great alternative.  I really love this and it would look great in our living room!  Eliot loves Chip and Dale; plus this has apples, leaves, pumpkins and acorns!

Mrs. Mouse Fall Coffee Cozy-  I love coffee cozies and this fall design by Once Upon a Cozy is super adorable!  The colors are perfect and I can picture myself walking outside admiring the changing leaves while sipping a drink with this cozy.

Mickey Pumpkin Pie Brooch or Necklace- I love this mini Mickey pumpkin pie by Le Petit Mouse!  I don't think I've ever posted photos (on my blog anyways), but I actually own this!  I bought the brooch version of it a few years ago and I absolutely love it!  I wear it every Thanksgiving!  I know that it's one of the shops most popular designs, so if you want one to wear for this Thanksgiving, order it soon!

Mickey Pumpkin Necklace- I discovered this necklace by Making It Magical Store on my autumn hunt and I'm so glad I did!  I love how it's a subtle nod to both fall and Mickey.  And it comes in silver and rose gold... I might need both.  And at less than $20 each, that's totally doable!  A girl needs options!

Mickey Pumpkin Spice Earrings- These little earrings by V Loved Jewelry are really cute!  If Disney and pumpkin spice is your life, these are a must have!

Mickey Clay Pumpkin Earrings- Clay earrings are super trendy right now and these adorable earrings by Lindsay's Ear Shop are top notch!  There are even multiple sizes of Mickey pumpkins to pick from depending on your style!

Mickey Pumpkin Statement Necklace- Finally, if you're a "little bit extra" like me, this large statement necklace by We Are Disco Yeti might be more your style.  While I love subtle jewelry, sometimes I want something that's a showstopper and this is it!  I love how bright and fun the Mickey pumpkin is.  It would be perfect with a simple fall colored shirt, a denim jacket and jeans!  Ka-pow!  Instant Disney and fall awesomeness!!! 

And there you have it!  I hope you enjoyed this curated list of magical autumn finds!  All of these shops have great sales records and reviews.  While I often post about items from "big box" stores, I think it's really important to remember us small shop folk too!  I love to support my fellow small shops and I love posting finds!  These are definitely getting me into the fall spirit!  Once we're home from Virginia, I'll definitely have to switch over to my fall wardrobe!  Bring on the sweaters and pumpkin spice!!!  °o°

Please Note: Eliot and I are not affiliated with any of these shops and we won't earn anything if you purchase something from this post.  I just wanted to spread a little bit of magical good will by sharing some stuff that I love from Etsy!  I know how much it means to small shops for their stuff to be shared.  All of these items are literally things that I picked off of my own Etsy favorites list!  

All of these photos belong to the shop in which I've shared them from.  If you link them from this post, please attach them to their corresponding Etsy shop!