Monday, January 31, 2022

Magical Merchandise: Valentine's Day Outfits

It's the last day of January, and that's got me looking ahead to next month.  When I think of February, the first thing I always think of is Valentine's Day.  Love, reds, pinks, purples, hearts and little conversation heart candies immediately fill my mind.

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I used to dress up for Valentine's Day all the time in high school and college.  Pink is one of my favorite colors, so it's not really a huge jump for me.  Lately, I haven't gotten into it as much.  However, I have wanted to start dressing up for it more, so I've picked up a few pieces the past few years.  I was really excited when I saw a new Disney Valentine's Day collection by Hot Topic and Her Universe released a few days ago.

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Today, I thought that I'd share my favorite items from the collection!  The first thing that caught my eye was this super cute Minnie Mouse Strawberry Gingham Top.  This seems to be the most popular item in the collection as I can't even find it on Hot Topic's website.  (Not gonna lie, I just abandoned writing my post for a few minutes so I could go buy one of the last three of these shirts still available on Her Universe's website!)  

The other item that caught my eye was the Minnie Striped Strawberry Sweater.  It's a crop top sweater, which I'm unsure about.  But I love the cute design other than that!

I also thought this Minnie Cherry and Strawberry Sweater Vest was really cute.  I like sweater vests so I hope they make more of these in the future!

This Minnie Strawberry Dress is absolutely adorable.  I'm already picturing myself wearing this while running around the strawberry fields picking berries this summer! 

These Mickey Cherry Overalls are really cute too.  I have a Mickey cherry handbag that I've had for years... and it would look really cute with these!

This Minnie Polka Dot Shirt is giving me Valentine's Day Cruella de Vil vibes.

This Mickey and Minnie Shirt is cute... but it doesn't scream Valentines day to me.

They also made a few items that match each other.  First there's this cute Winnie the Pooh Mini Backpack with Pooh, Tigger, Eeyore and Piglet.

Then, this Winnie the Pooh Tank Top matches the backpack.  Super cute!!! 

I've also seen this adorable Mickey and Minnie Mini Backpack online.  I thought it was cute but I didn't think that I needed it... until I saw the final item in this post.

I'm ending my post with my other favorite item from the collection.  I really love this Mickey and Minnie Skirtall.  I've bought a lot of these lately, and they're really cute.  I love how this one has the little heart buttons!  It also matches the backpack!  This design is fun, a little flirty and perfect for Valentine's Day!

I think these outfits and accessories are super sweet, and not just because a lot of them have strawberries and cherries all over them!  These pieces are sure to add a little bit of magic to your February.  Plus, they're all perfect for Valentine's Day!  °o°

Sunday, January 30, 2022

Stepping Into My Power

It's been one year since I stepped into my power and declared myself a Magic Maker.

I haven't forgotten that day, one year ago, when I released what at the time felt like a giant truth bomb.  Today, feels like a big anniversary that should be celebrated, so I'm leaning into that.  (It's also my father-in-laws birthday today.  Happy Birthday Rick!)

Admitting publicly that I've had some mental health struggles wasn't easy for me.  It was this big scary topic that didn't feel like it was supposed to be talked about.  I wasn't "supposed" to feel the way I felt because I was living a life that most people could only dream of.  Yet, I still felt inadequate, useless, lonely and hopeless.

I've always been the type of person to see the bright side of things.  So going down that dark and winding spiral was not something I was prepared for.  That long internal mental battle was a lonely and isolating place, one that feeds on fear and anxiety.

Depression was a scary place to be in, but I somehow got out of it.  Talking about it on here was terrifying, but after I released the post, I felt a weight come off my shoulders that I didn't even know was there to begin with.  I'm so proud of that post.  I come back to it sometimes when I need a little boost of self-encouragement.  To this day, it's the piece of writing that I'm most proud of.  And I'm so proud of myself for writing it, and more importantly for releasing it out into the world.

Now, it's a year later.  I'm happy to report that this has been a good year.  I feel like I'm in an even better place mentally.  So today, I wanted to celebrate how far I've come over the past few years with my mental health.  

Over the past year, I've made a lot of progress with stopping myself from engaging in negative self-talk.  Sure, we all do it at times, but I've become more mindful of it.  Now, I try to stop myself in my tracks when I start walking down that pathway.  It's made me feel empowered to stop allowing myself to feed into that.

I've also stayed off of social media a lot more.  Similarly to how over-watching the news wasn't helping me at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, I've realized being on social media isn't always the best.  It's too easy to compare yourself to others and it's not healthy.  The past few months, I've been back on Instagram a lot more, but I'm keeping things were they need to be kept.  No one lives their lives through squares of perfection- with flattering photo angles, perfect makeup and hair, and through filters.

This past year, I faced people who have hurt me with their words.  I honestly had a lot of anxieties about it, but it ended up not being the big thing I was building it up to be.  I was kind of expecting one particular person to apologize for their hurtful words about me, but that never came.  However, it was at that moment that I realized I didn't need an apology.  They knew what they said was wrong and uncalled for.  And it surprised the crap out of me when I realized that I didn't want one.  I didn't need their apology anymore, because I was happy with who I am and the life I'm living.

I've also come more to terms with most people not understanding my choice of career path.  What I do is not a traditional job, and I'm trying to meet questions with a more open mind.  Instead of immediately putting up walls, I try to look at questions coming from a place of not understanding instead of a place of unkindness and malice. 

There have been wonderful moments where I get to celebrate how much success Eliot and I have had with our businesses.  I post updates on my personal Facebook page occasionally.  It's wonderful to feel the love and support from our friends and family.  

Recently, I also experienced the thrill of reporting back to people about how well we're doing.  I mentioned back in December that I'd gone in to cover at my old job at the chiropractic office for a few days.  I've also gone back in four more times the past two weeks while my replacement has been out sick.  I've seen so many wonderful patients over these visits and I've had so many people ask how Eliot and I are doing and how Happily Ever Hatter is.  I've had a lot of people concerned about how we managed with the business through COVID and with Disney parks being closed.  

It's been a thrill for me to let them know that while things were a little iffy during the extended park closures, we were able to pivot with Snowblade Creations and the desk accessories.  And it's been amazing to let them know both businesses already crushed this month's sales goal not even halfway through the month!  (January is usually a slow month for us!)  I'm so proud of everything we've accomplished with both businesses.  

This past year, I've really stepped into my power.  While Eliot and I haven't been able to make many new products for either of our shops the past few months, that hasn't stopped me from brainstorming, researching and scheming.  In fact, I've been more inspired the past few weeks than I have been in a while, which is saying something considering that I'm always coming up with ideas.  Lately, the ideas are spilling over and it feels like I'lll never have enough time in the day to make all the things I want to.

I'm also trying to take time to myself to be creative in a non-business capacity.  Santa brought me a few crafting supplies that I wanted for Christmas.  I'm really looking forward to breaking into my new UV resin jewelry supplies.  I also have a bunch of alphabet beads that I can't wait to play around with.  I was a bit surprised when I got the jewelry stamping kit, but now that I have it, I can't stop looking for stamps online.

I've decided to allow myself the space to grow and learn new things... maybe even opening two more businesses that I've held back on.  Opening another business is a big step for me.  (You've probably figured that out since I've been saying we want to open the home decor and clothing stores for years now.)  I always overthink it. What if we fail? What if we succeed and get too big too fast?  Will we be able to keep up with this along with our other businesses?  They're all good questions, but sometimes you just don't know what will happen until you actually try it.  And I'm trying to give myself the room to succeed with a new business idea, but I'm also working on allowing myself the grace to potentially fail at it.  Failure terrifies me, but without trying, I'll never know.

Most importantly, I'm taking time for myself and being mindful of my mental health.  I know that I need time to decompress.  I need time to create and craft without feeling like I have to be doing it for the businesses.  I need to take time to zone out and scroll through Pinterest as it helps me get inspired and come up with new ideas.  I need to keep social media in check and sometimes at a distance.  Social media breaks are totally ok.  I also need to rid my vocabulary of any potential negative self-talk.  Finally, I know I need some furry four-legged friends in my life... hopefully soon.

One year later, I'm happy to have grown into my purpose even more.  I am a Magic Maker.  I've embraced it with every fiber of my being and I've done everything in my power to live it on my terms.  I feel creative, I feel powerful, I feel strong, I feel happy.  

And I glow 'cause I know what my worth is.  °o°

Saturday, January 29, 2022

Disney Princess- The Concert

Hi friends!  It's been a busy week and it's also shaping up to be a busy weekend.  Eliot and I are crazy busy with the businesses and working on the house.  But I wanted to pop in for a few minutes to share a little more about our upcoming California trip!  In my post announcing the trip,  I alluded to a few other fun activities that we'd be doing and I thought today was the perfect time to tell you more about one of them!

Exactly four weeks from today, Eliot and I are finally going to see the show that I have been looking forward to for months now... Disney Princess- The Concert!!!

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I am so excited!  Eliot and I were going to see it in Massachusetts, but when we got looking into it further, we realized that the San Jose dates lined up perfectly with the San Jose Sharks games we wanted to attend!  It worked out perfectly.  We'll be seeing the Disney Princess concert in the afternoon, and then we'll be attending the Sharks game that night.  This princess wears dresses and hockey jerseys... on the same day!

As most of you probably know, I love Disney music.  The songs are my childhood and the soundtrack to most of my life.  I'm always singing some princess tune.  This show is going to be incredible!  While you aren't sure which princess performers will be at your show in advance, there are four women who will be singing in the show.  And a quick peek at the cast lined up shows that many of them played Disney Princesses on Broadway!  In fact, a few of these women originated the roles!  It's so cool! 

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I already know that this concert is going to be amazing.  Eliot is really looking forward to it too.  We're also going with his Dad and Elissa!  We were originally just going with Rick, but now that Elissa will also be back in California during our trip, she's joining us too!  Rick was able to get one more ticket, so I'm assuming that Elissa will sit with Eliot and me and Rick will take the other ticket.  I'm sure they'll both love it too!

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Finally, I'm really excited that our tour date is in the middle of the tour.  When we went to the Gold Over America Tour, it was the last night and most of the merchandise was sold out.  I'm really hoping they'll have t-shirts or other products available at this one!  

One thing is certain, this California trip is going to be packed full of magic!!!  °o°

Sunday, January 23, 2022

Happy Birthday Jeremy

Happy 35th Birthday to my (not so) little brother Jeremy!!!

As I mentioned yesterday, Jeremy was up this weekend visiting Eliot and me for his birthday weekend.  We've been keeping an eye on the weather, and luckily the storm we've been watching went in another direction!  Jeremy was able to drive up yesterday afternoon as we originally planned.  Then this afternoon, Mom, Dad and Nana were able to drive down to meet up with us for an early dinner.

Yesterday, Jeremy arrived at our house later in the afternoon.  After getting settled, we drove up to Portland to do a little bit of shopping.  The guys wanted to check Target, so we went there first.  Then, we went to Walmart and picked up a few groceries.  Jeremy called Pat's Pizza to order the food when we got back in the truck.  While we waited for it to get cooked, Eliot ran into Michael's to get some paint that we'd run out of.  Then, we got the pizza, and McDonald's for Eliot, on the ride home.

We decided to spend the evening watching a movie on Disney+.  Jeremy and I both still hadn't seen Raya and the Last Dragon so Jeremy picked that one.  (Eliot and I were supposed to watch it together, but he watched it a few weeks ago.)  Jeremy and I settled in on the couch with our pizzas and the movie.  Eliot sat on the chair and dozed during part of the movie, but caught most of it.  It was a great movie and we all really enjoyed it.  After that, the Sharks game was just about to start.  Jeremy went up to bed and Eliot and I watched most of the game before calling it a night.

This morning, we slept in and had a lazy Sunday.  I wished Jeremy a Happy Birthday when I got out of bed.  Eliot decided to go to our town hall to get some free dirt and salt for our driveway and Jeremy went with him.  They returned with dirt and breakfast from Dunkin Donuts.  Eliot went to work putting dirt and salt on the driveway while Jeremy and I took turns showering.  Then, the three of us hung out for a little bit until we had to leave to meet up with Mom, Dad and Nana.

We met them at Friendly's at 4:00 and enjoyed an early dinner.  It was good to catch up with everyone.  We also had a few good laughs.  (Nana unknowingly put two pairs of glasses on and couldn't figure out why she was having such a hard time reading the menu.)  Nana complemented my polka dot outfit and Mom pointed out the belt that they had gotten me to Dad.  After dinner, all of us enjoyed some ice cream (except the birthday boy who had a slice of cake I'd given him to take home).  Eliot got the last of the peppermint ice cream and he was happy as a clam that they still had some.  While I enjoyed a cookie dough sundae that was really good!

After we left the restaurant, we had a mini party for Jeremy in the parking lot.  Dad pulled their car over to ours and Jeremy opened his presents there.  (I kept joking that we were having a party under the Party City sign.)  We were all planning to leave from there, but Dad asked if we wanted to go to Home Depot for N95 face masks.  We all paraded over there in three cars.  The guys went inside while I sat in the car with Mom and Nana.  Before we knew it, they were back with three packs of face masks and a giant packages of Bounty paper towels.  After distributing the paper towels and face masks to Jeremy and Eliot, we all said goodbye to each other and parted ways.

Eliot and I headed out to do a little bit of shopping before going home.  Ironically, we got behind a car at the traffic light that was red with white polka dots and had a Minnie Mouse inspired license plate.  There were Disney stickers on the back and the license plate cover said "if I get a ticket, I hope it's to Disney World!"  Eliot and I both got a chuckle out of it since it was National Polka Dot Day Saturday and I was currently wearing my polka dot Minnie Mouse outfit!

We continued driving towards Michael's.  When Eliot was there last night, he saw that they'd just gotten a bunch of pallets of new Christmas stuff.  It was all on sale since the holiday is over and it arrived late.  Eliot really wanted me to see everything.  We poked around for a bit and bought a few treasures for the house.  I also got a few flowers for the business and supplies for some crafts!  Then, we made a few quick stops at Lowes and Walmart for containers before finally heading home.

It was a pretty low-key weekend, but it was a nice one.  Jeremy enjoyed his birthday and getting away for an overnight visit.  It was also nice to see Mom, Dad and Nana before the craziness of tax season begins.  We're not sure when we'll see them again, so this was a nice chance to get together before then!  Most importantly, it was nice to be able to get everyone together for Jeremy's birthday!

Happy Birthday Jeremy!!!  I'm glad we were able to get together to celebrate you!  °o°

Saturday, January 22, 2022

National Polka Dot Day 2022

Happy National Polka Dot Day!!!  Every January 22nd, Disney fashionistas celebrate our favorite polka dot loving style icon, Minnie Mouse!!!

January 22nd has pretty much become the day to celebrate Minnie Mouse.  Disney goes above and beyond for Mickey Mouse on his birthday.  But since he and Minnie both debuted in Steamboat Willie, they technically share a "birthday" on November 18th.  That doesn't help sell extra merchandise though, so in recent years, Disney has split their special days to November 18th for Mickey and January 22nd for Minnie.

The past few years, I haven't really gone anywhere on National Polka Dot Day so I haven't even bothered to dress up for it.  This year, I told myself I was going to dress up this weekend whether I had plans to go out or not!  Luckily for me, Jeremy is visiting Eliot and me this weekend since his birthday is tomorrow.  

The other day, I decided to break out a few of the polka dot cardigan tops that I bought last year.  They are called cardigans, but they're actually made out of t-shirt like, jersey knit material.  I thought they'd be perfect to wear over tank tops in the spring and summer.  I have them in four different color ways, but since I wanted to channel Minnie Mouse, I decided to pick from the black/white, white/black or red/white versions.

I really wanted to wear my new cinch belt (from Santa this past Christmas!) and my new Femme de Bloom Minnie Mouse polka dot earrings that literally came in the mail this morning.  I decided to go with the white/black polka dot version, with a red tank top and black leggings and I accessorized with the red belt and earrings!  This was an easy, cute and comfortable outfit to wear this weekend for National Polka Dot Day and to wear in honor of the polka dot fashionista herself, Minnie Mouse!

Finally, I thought that I'd share this cute video that Disney emailed me earlier today.  I thought it was a cute way to celebrate Minnie Mouse, her positivity and her affinity for bright and fun polka dots!  May we all have a little more Minnie in us! 

I hope you all have a fun filled weekend just like our favorite polka dotted mouse friend!

Rock thDots!!!  °o°

Thursday, January 20, 2022

We're Going to the 2022 D23 Expo!

Earlier today, tickets for the 2022 D23 Expo went on sale to D23 members and the general public.  And this time around, I will be where the people are.  After missing out on the 2019 D23 Expo, and watching the 2021 event being pushed back to this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, Eliot and I are finally making our return!  It will be my second D23 Expo and Eliot's third.  (He also went with his family back in 2015.)  

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The best part of this year's expo is that my brother Jeremy and Dad will also be coming with us!  Eliot and I have asked Jeremy if he'd want to go in the past and he's always considered it.  (Jeremy and my Dad have gone to a few Comic Cons years ago.)  Now that it's almost impossible to get Comic Con tickets, this is a good alternative.  Plus, they both love Star Wars and Jeremy is really into Marvel and the Muppets.

Eliot's family is taking a step back this year.  His mom bought a three day ticket, but she isn't sure if she'll be able to go all three days.  It is a lot of walking and standing around.  If Elissa is able to go, she might go for a day if tickets are still available.

Regardless of whether they attend the expo or not, we'll probably see Eliot's family as his parents booked us a stay at their timeshare hotel.  Eliot and I are staying near the Anaheim GardenWalk at the same hotel we're staying at in a few weeks.  The hotel we were going to book for Dad and Jeremy sold out, but it all worked out for the best!  Eliot was able to get them a room at the hotel that's literally next door to ours!

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As of right now, we aren't sure if we're going to add a few days at Disneyland on to our trip or not.  Eliot has limited days off, but since it's Labor Day week, we might be able to work something out.  Dad also has a pretty big tax deadline on September 15th, so if we do anything, it will probably be at the beginning of the trip.  I'd love to take him to Disneyland since he's never been.  (Jeremy went once with me back in 2017 during my travel agent conference.)  We'll probably have to make some decisions about this in the next few weeks since the window to book flights opens up in early March!

Eliot and I are really excited about attending the expo this year.  We have been going back and forth about attending it for months now.  But the other day, we looked at our calendar and decided that we were going to make it happen.  I was really bummed out that we missed the event in 2019.  While it was great to have Eliot's mom there getting us some of the exclusive merchandise available, I was sad that we missed out on the fun atmosphere and the exhibits.  I would have loved to see the costuming one, and I definitely didn't want to miss out on this year's theme!

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Honestly, once I saw the photo of Mickey on the website, I knew we were going.  I couldn't miss it.  Disney is using this event as the official kick off to the "100 Years of Disney" celebration.  Usually, D23 Expos take place in the US on the odd years.  I assume that the 100 Years theme was supposed to be used for the 2023 event, but when they postponed the 2021 event to this year, they pushed that theme ahead.

There aren't many details about the event available yet, but they are having the large exhibit themed to celebrating the 100 Years of Magic that Disney has created.  Walt's plane is being restored and will be on display.  The merchandise features Mickey with the magical swirls around him.  I can only imagine the amazing products that will be available to purchase and the Disney history that will on display at the exhibit.

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Eliot and I are already planning our outfits.  I'm making a list of things that I want to do and see this year.  Most notably, I'd love to get in to see the Mousequerade fashion show.  I love to see the creativity of other people, and this event is always top notch!

There are so many things to look forward to about the D23 Expo.  I'm so thankful that this year, I won't want to be where the people are; I will be where the people are!!!  °o°

Monday, January 17, 2022

It's Timo Time!!!

This afternoon, Eliot and I were treated to a historic and spectacular display of talent by one of our beloved San Jose Sharks.  Normally, I don't post about specific games, but this particular game was one that we won't soon forget.

At 4:00 pm, we stopped working on mouse ear orders and tuned in via our ESPN+ account to watch the San Jose Sharks take on their rival the LA Kings.  There isn't any love loss between the Sharks and Kings, so their games are usually pretty testy.  As a newer Sharks fan, I haven't really seen as much of the rivalry through the years.  But as a Boston fan, I understand it to be like the Red Sox and the Yankees.

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The game started like any other game.  Three minutes into it, Timo Meier scored on a power play to make it 1-0.  A few minutes later, Rudolfs Balcers scored making the score 2-0.  Nothing was out of the ordinary... yet.  I could tell that their line (Tomas Hertl, Meier and Balcers) was hungry and working really hard.  In fact, I commented about how good they looked a few times to Eliot.  

The last few minutes of the first period, Timo really turned on the heat.  He scored another goal with 1:12 left in the period and then he completed a first period hat trick 21 seconds later.  At this point, Eliot and I were both screaming like idiots.  Hats rained down on the ice as fans threw them for the hat trick.  (It was amazing!)  Then, then Sharks ended the first period with a quick LA Kings goal to make it 4-1 going into intermission, but we were so impressed with Timo that it didn't really phase us much.

The second period started, and in the first minute and 24 seconds, Meier scored again during another power play!  The number of San Jose Sharks who have scored 4 goals in a game is five.  I wasn't a fan back when Owen Nolan did it in 1995, but I did see the games where Tomas Hertl, Patrick Marleau and Evander Kane scored four goals.  I remember those games and how exciting it was to watch them.  But the way Timo was playing was electric, and you could just feel that this was something extra special.

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At the end of the second period, history was made with 28 seconds left.  (Appropriate because 28 is his number.)  Timo shot another goal with a toe drag snap shot right in front of the net and it went in.  Randy Hahn, the Sharks announcer went crazy, the fans in the stands went crazy and the guys on the ice were all grins- including Timo.  I was going absolutely nuts and so was Eliot.  It was incredible!

The best part, was that Timo had a few other chances to score and get a second hat trick.  He almost did it multiple times.  The entire third period, the Sharks fans in the stands cheered whenever he got the puck.  He almost scored on a breakaway and everyone went nuts.  There were a lot of "Timo! Timo!" chants that erupted.  And a few times, fans playfully booed when he had to get off of the ice to change lines.  This was the most animated the Shark Tank has been in a while, and it was so wonderful to witness it- even if it was only on television.  (I only wish we had been there in person!)

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In the end, the Sharks beat the Kings 6-2, with five of our goals from one guy.  They beat their rival team, and their former coach, Todd McLellan.  Los Angeles outshot the Sharks 41-17, which is really impressive for the Sharks.  (Not so much for LA.)

History was made and Timo Meier became the first Sharks player ever to score five goals in one game.  It's a pretty rare accomplishment, as only 56 players in the NHL have ever done it.  Meier is only the 5th player in the NHL to score five goals in a game since 2000.  Timo was actually named as the Sharks selection for the 2022 All Star game four days ago.  (Clearly, he was a great choice!)  I had a feeling it might be him as he has scored 20 goals in 35 games this season and was one of our points leaders.

Plus, a few of our other guys had a great game this afternoon too.  Erik Karlsson got his 500th NHL assist on Meier's fifth goal.  (Unfortunately for him, Timo's incredible goal scoring overshadowed that, but it was an important day for him too!)  During the game, Tomas Hertl had four assists and Karlsson had three assists.

This was an incredible game for Sharks fans and it was so much fun to watch history happening right before our eyes.  It just makes me that much more excited to go watch the Sharks games at the Tank next month during our California trip!

Congratulations to Timo on your amazing accomplishment!  It's Timo Time!!!  °o°

Sunday, January 16, 2022

Only 45 Days...

It's been 730 days since I last stepped into a Disney theme park.  If you had told me back on January 18th of 2020, that Eliot and I would be away from the magic for over two years, through a worldwide pandemic, and that we'd miss Walt Disney World's 50th birthday on October 1st, I never would have believed you.  Yet, here we are. 

It's been one year, 11 months and 30 days.  Or 104 weeks and 2 days.  Or 17,520 hours.  Or 1,051,200 minutes.  Or 63,072,000 seconds.  No matter how you slice it, it's been a long time since I smelled the popcorn on Main Street USA.  Eons since I last walked under the "Here You Leave Today" sign under the train tracks.  So long since I waved to my favorite characters.  It's been too long since I saw the castle.

I'm 100% ok with our decision to wait.  Up until now, it's felt right waiting.  Even now, we're still in the middle of the pandemic, and numbers are still rising at an alarming rate.  However, I have to admit that I'm also getting a bit stir crazy.  I've had both of my vaccines.  Eliot and I are all boostered up as well.  We've both been doing everything that we are "supposed" to be doing according to the experts.

The past few weeks, I've finally come to accept that the coronavirus pandemic isn't going anywhere anytime soon.  I'm tired of it.  Eliot's tired of it.  All of us are tired of it.

I'm ready to move forward with my life, while continuing to do what we're "supposed" to.  But I'm not going to sit in my house forever and watch life pass me by.  I've done that, and frankly I'm tired of watching many people who aren't doing what they are "supposed" to do have all the fun.  And that ends now.

I'm friends with so many travel agents through my company.  My friends have all been continuing to travel around the world safely and responsibly.  They are living proof that it is possible.  Plus, now that Eliot and I have gone on our road trip to Virginia with my family and flew down to Pittsburg to visit his family, I'm ready to get out there again.  I had been worried about flying, but it ended up not being a big deal.

My wings are ready to spread once again.  I'm ready to leave the nest and get back to whatever the new normal is going to be in regards to traveling.  And I'm doing it.

Now, all that separates me from Mickey Mouse is 45 days.  

That's right; Eliot and I are officially booked, scheduled and reserved to visit our main mouse on March 1st.  And in a surprise twist of fate, our first trip back will not be to Walt Disney World to celebrate it's 50th Anniversary.  It will be to the place that the magic started... walking in Walt's footsteps at the Disneyland Resort. 

I'm so thrilled to go back to Disneyland.  I mean, at this point I'm excited in general to go to any Disney theme park, but I'm really looking forward to seeing Disneyland.  The last time Eliot and I were there, we had absolutely no idea when we'd be going back.

I want to add that this is actually a multi-faceted trip.  The original reason Eliot and I will be in California is that we're going to the San Jose Sharks home games on February 26th and 27th.  These were some of the only Saturday and Sunday back-to-back home games in the season, and we have had these on our radar since last summer.  Plus, there's another fun event that we have tickets to that Eliot and I have been wanting to go see.  It lined up perfectly like it was meant to be!  (More about that soon!)

Eliot's and my plan is to fly into San Jose Friday night, then go to the Sharks hockey games and the other event that weekend.  Then, on Monday February 28th, Rick, Elissa, Eliot and I will all drive down to Southern California to meet up with Nori.  We'll be staying at a hotel about a mile from Disneyland while we're there.

Eliot's family will be going a few of the days, but they haven't worked out all of the details.  However, we did get Eliot's and my Disneyland tickets and we are both officially booked as of last night.  (Hence, why I've started my countdown!)  We've had the San Jose Sharks hockey tickets, other event tickets and our flights booked for a while now, but I didn't want to say anything until everything was all set!

Eliot and I will be at the Disneyland Resort Tuesday, March 1st through Friday, March 4th.  Since you still have to book your park reservations in advance, we've selected to do Disneyland, CA Adventure, CA Adventure and then Disneyland on the final day.  We don't fly out of the Southern California area until Sunday night, but we've also got a few other plans.  Plus, we'll be going back to Disneyland sometime Saturday or Sunday to explore Downtown Disney and do some shopping.  (World of Disney anyone?)

In the meantime, I'll be eagerly counting down the next 45 days.  Only 6 weeks and 3 days.  Or 1080 hours.  Or 64,800 minutes.  Or 3,888,000 seconds.  Because that's all that separates me from finally stepping back into the magic.  °o°

Saturday, January 15, 2022

Happily Ever Hatter's 8th Birthday

Happy 8th Birthday to Happily Ever Hatter!!!

I can't believe that it's already been eight years since I took the plunge of starting my own business.  It's certainly been a ride and I've learned a lot!

This year, my main focus for Happily Ever Hatter is to get some new products in our shop.  Last year, Eliot didn't have much time to work on new 3D printed mouse ear designs.  I'm hoping we can get more designs done this year.  We also have 30-40 samples we're working on that we haven't gotten finished.  I have so many ideas for our 3D ears, including a few that are unlike anything anyone else is making.

I also have some completely new products that I'd like to bring to the shop.  One of them I've wanted to make for a few years now.  The other was a new idea last year, but I'm really excited about it.  I'm hoping to dive into that when we have some extra money to buy supplies... probably when we get our tax refund!

Hopefully, there will be a lot of fun, new designs coming to our shop this year!  I'll be sure to share our new creations with you here as well.

As always, thank you to everyone who has supported me and my dream over the past eight years.  I would never be where I am today without all of you!

Happy Birthday Happily Ever Hatter!!!  Cheers to many more years and ears!!!  °o°