Tuesday, August 1, 2023

Bonjour August

August 1st... wow.  Here we are welcoming the 8th month of the year and I think that I'm mentally still somewhere back in the spring.

It's officially been two and half months since I've checked in.  At some point, it probably won't look like that if I'm able to go back and write all of the posts I had planned.  But here in the present, I haven't written a blog post since May 15th.  And even then, my May posts feel like cop outs... it's been a while since I actually posted.

Eliot and I have been busy as usual... which I'm sure is no big surprise.  What's new is that we're navigating a lot of changes in our personal lives.  This past month has been a bit of a rollercoaster... and I can say that July wasn't my favorite.

I won't unpack it all right now, but let's just say that we're wading through uncharted waters.  Eliot and I have never really had health issues before, and this past month or so has brought to light a few things that we're now learning more about.  Both of us are adjusting to new medicines, new routines and new normals.

I'm not going to sugar coat it.  It's been pretty shitty... figuratively and literally.

Medications can bring on a whole new host of delightful side affects, and our bodies probably both feel like they're being metaphorically tortured.  And the fun part is that I'm not sure the worst has yet to come for me... so that's something to look forward to.

Anyways, I haven't really been in the state of mind, or body, to sit down and write.  I've spent a lot of time in bed napping... time that I had originally thought I'd be writing while trying to enjoy the nice, cool air conditioning in our living room.  The harsh reality is that I've been so busy (or not feeling well) that I haven't even missed writing.  I haven't even had the website open.  And up until this past week or so, I hadn't even checked on my blog post planning notes.  They were weeks old since I had updated anything on them... which is unheard of for me since I'm a planner and list maker.

While I haven't thought much about it the past two and a half months, I have missed my blog.  "Write Blog Posts" is on my daily to do list, but lately it's been nothing more than an item that gets deleted since I know it will be a small miracle if I can put a dent in the rest of my list of things that really need to get done.  I've slowly been making progress on that stuff, and I'm hoping that more time will miraculously find it's way to me... but there's always more stuff that needs to be added to it.  Still, I miss writing.

I'd like to say that I'm going to go back and write the 80 posts that I've missed since the beginning of the year... but the truth is that I just don't know anymore.

I knew I was behind, so I don't have much planned for August.  I'm hopeful that I'll be able to go back and write some of the things I'd planned... even if it's merchandise and holiday posts to begin with.  I never got anything done for my 10 year Blogiversary or Christmas in July.  Those both seem like huge tasks now, but I guess we'll see in time.

Right now, the most important thing is Eliot and me taking care of ourselves and each other.  And our next priorities are both businesses and trying to enjoy a bit of our summer.  Thankfully, we have been able to spend some time with friends and family when we've been feeling ok.  We have also caught a few Portland Sea Dogs games at the ballpark and some movies.  This summer hasn't been as spectacular as I had envisioned, but I'm thankful for all of the things we have been able to do.

I hope you have all been well and that you're enjoying your summer friends.  I will check back in as soon as I am able to.  °o°

Monday, May 15, 2023

Magical Merchandise: Torrid Disney Americana Collection

Happy Monday Friends!!!  I hope you all had a great weekend!  Eliot and I had a pretty busy one, but it was wonderful.  Today, I'm popping in with another new collection from Torrid.  This one snuck right by me, but thanks to my Disney Dress Shop groups on Facebook, I was made aware of this drop... and let me tell you, I was so pumped!

The past few years, they have released a few patriotic Disney pieces in May to prepare for summer.  I've bought a lot of it, but I've always hoped they would do more.  This year, Torrid completely surprised us with a full collection of Disney Americana items!  

I think the best part is that it isn't all red, white and blue, so you can wear it all summer long.  There are lots of Mickey pieces since he's an American icon himself.  Some of the patterns have stars and firework bursts so I think they could also be used for New Years Eve.  I'm so excited, but my wallet is crying.  Let's check it all out! 

This Mickey Mouse Sleeveless Halter Top is perfect for the 4th of July and for general summer wear.  I love the design with Mickey and starbursts all around him!

This Mickey & Friends Polo Shirt feels perfectly preppy with our favorite friends!

I love this fun Minnie & Daisy Stretch Button Up Shirt!  It's a great shade of red too.

This Minnie Mouse 3/4 Sleeve Sweater is subtle, but the "American Darling" Minnie Mouse embroidery on the front chest is really cute.

These Mickey and Friends Chambray Shortalls are perfect for a day at the parks!

I still haven't caved and bought a romper... but this Mickey and Friends Romper might just be the one that makes me try them out.  It's really cute and looks comfortable!

I am totally loving this Mickey Mouse Embroidery Midi Dress.  I love the pattern too!

The Mickey Mouse Chambray Bomber Jacket feels very America with a denim look.

These Mickey & Friends Shorts look comfortable... but they're also pretty short.

These Mickey Mouse Chambray Shorts have little Mickeys printed all over them.

I really love this Mickey Mouse Sweetheart Tank Blouse.  This piece in particular feels like it would work for 4th of July, watching fireworks at the parks and New Years Eve!

Finally, my absolute favorite piece from the Torrid Disney Americana Collection was this Mickey & Friends Fireworks Skater Skirt.  You all know that I'm a sucker for the holidays and this screams 4th of July.  It's red, white and blue, it has silhouettes of our favorite friends and it has fireworks... what more could you want?!?

I love so much of this collection and I definitely have my eye on a few things.  Thank goodness for my rewards points... because I think I'm gonna need them!  °o°

Sunday, May 14, 2023

Mother's Day 2023

Happy Mother's Day to all of the Moms out there!

Eliot and I are having a fairly lowkey day.  Originally, we were supposed to be meeting up with my family today, but our plans changed about a week ago.  Mom and Dad were down in Portland for a doctor's appointment that my Mom had last Monday.  So on Sunday, she and Dad came out to our house for a few hours to get an idea of some of the home projects that we needed help with.  

While they were here, Mom decided that it didn't make sense to meet up this weekend since they just saw us.  My Dad also has to have cataract surgery tomorrow, so she didn't want him to have to travel too far before that.  Plus, my brother Jeremy is home with them to help Dad after his appointment... so she still gets to spend time with one of her kids on Mother's Day!  (I'm sure they'll be watching the Celtics this afternoon!)

Instead, Eliot and I decided to catch a Portland Sea Dogs game!  It's been a few weeks since our first one of the season, and I'm sure that it will be much warmer today at 64°- and it's also an afternoon game so the sun will be out!

After the game is over, Eliot and I are going to meet up with Joan, one of my local blog followers.  She has a few things that she graciously wanted to give me so we're going to meet up at the Portland Mall.  I'm so excited to see her in person again.  

Then, Eliot and I have a few errands to run while we're in town, so we'll probably go out to dinner and do a little bit of shopping before heading home!

Our Mother's Day isn't anything too crazy, but I'm sure it will be a nice day!

I hope that all of you Moms... including the Dog Moms, Cat Moms, Plant Moms, Trying to be a Moms, Grieving Moms, and people missing your Moms, have a wonderful day filled with love- even if it's a rough one.  (It's our first Mother's Day without Nana so I'm sure it's going to be a little rough.)  I'm sending all of you hugs and my love.  °o°

Saturday, May 13, 2023

On Top of the World

It's a beautiful sunshiny day.  The weather is gorgeous.  The birds are outside chirping and singing their joyful songs.  And I'm feeling on top of the world.

I've had a spectacular week.  Sure, I haven't gotten much cleaning done around the house.  There's a giant stack of dishes in our kitchen sink and I desperately need to do laundry.  I haven't checked tons of things off of my to do list.  Heck, at this point, I'm a few weeks behind in my blogging.  (If you like to read all of my posts, expect a giant post dump here at some point with posts from March, April and May.)

But still... I'm just feeling fine and fancy free.

Eliot and I just mailed out a giant stack of orders.  (We're talking over twenty products between both shops.)  Nowadays, it's not often that we're caught up on orders, or even dare I say... ahead.  We have been printing like crazy trying to stay on top of it in case one of my Key to the World Travel agent friends placed the larger order he inquired about for a conference that he's attending in June.  I've also been 3D printing like a maniac during the day when Eliot's been at work.  

Eliot jokes that I'm a crazy tyrant, but I get things done.  And now because of my incessant need to check and update our order list about 20 times a day, we're ahead on orders.  We're in such great shape that we have also started to print more samples of new designs... and nothing excites me like making new designs for our shops!

We finished our sewing class on Tuesday and I had the most productive session that I've had in quite a while.  (I'll post more about that in one of those blog dumps.)

We also just got both our federal and State of Maine tax refunds, so we've got a giant chunk of change in our bank accounts.  We're already budgeting it out so we can get necessities like oil and a new air conditioner.  But there will be plenty of money for fun things for the house like some shelves from IKEA, picture frames for our Disney art and other small products that I've been waiting to purchase.  Plus, this means that I'll finally be able to buy a few supplies for my new product ideas!

Things with our businesses, personal lives and the house are all in great shape.  The only downside of all the forward progress we've made with these is that I'm majorly behind in my blogging.  Years from now... you won't know it because the posts will be there and dated as if they always were.  But right now, I know that I'm behind in them.

Old blogging Melissa would have been having a fit at how far behind I am.  I would be feeling guilty and awful about myself for getting behind.  But 2023 Melissa is proud of all she's accomplished, and is excited for all of the steps we have taken to get to where we currently are with everything else.  Life is a balancing act, and while it's never easy, I'm getting a lot better at it.  And I'm also a lot better about allowing myself grace.

So I just had to pop in quickly while I was experiencing this high.  Hopefully, I'll have a lot to share with you soon.  I'll definitely be back to posting regularly as soon as I can be.  Once it's really hot, I won't be able to do much other than sit in front of the air conditioner working on my laptop anyways!  I'm sure I'll be caught back up in no time!

For now, I'm going to keep working on the house and all of these new samples that are scattered around in various stages of completion.  Have a great weekend friends!!!  °o°

Thursday, May 11, 2023

Spring 2023 Sewing Recap

And just like that, another session of sewing is over.  It's hard to believe that it's already been 8 weeks of sewing class... but in reality, it's actually been ten weeks due to a snowstorm and April vacation week.  These 10 weeks have flown by.  But thankfully, since we had both a morning and evening class this time, I feel like I got a ton done.

I was worried that this session of my sewing classes would be rough knowing that Nana was gone, but most weeks I actually felt a sense of calmness and assurance that she was there with me in spirit.  I feel really good that I'm still doing it, because I know how happy it made her to know that I was learning.  I know she would be impressed with all of the projects that I finished this session... so that brings me comfort too.

This session was special because it was the first time Eliot was able to join me.  He's got a bit of a love/hate relationship with is sewing skills so far, but he's definitely been learning.  He is going to join me again this fall, and he's looking forward to learning more about sewing and how to use his embroidery machine.  He also keeps talking about how he's going to practice sewing in a straight line.  I'm so glad that he enjoyed himself in class and that he's coming back with me this fall!

I think the most exciting part for me personally was all that I was able to accomplish this class.  As I told you a few weeks ago, I finished the tote bags that I've literally been working on for years.  I've done parts of them here and there, but I never finished them.  Now that they're done, I'm more excited to slowly start working on a bunch of the other bags that I started cutting main fabrics for!

I also started and finished a Rainbow Mickey tiered skirt.  It wasn't something that I was planning to make, but when I came across my fabric, I knew that I had to!  I love how it turned out.  I was pretty picky trying to match up the colors on each tier so the whole thing would be rainbow when I turned.  It came out pretty good considering that it's only my second skirt that I've made!  (Apparently, I didn't take photos of it... oops!)

After I finished that, I decided to make a red, white and blue tiered skirt.  Joann has a star pattern fabric with those colors as the background, but the pattern is the same on all of them.  I knew it would be perfect to make a skirt since it would be cohesive.  Plus, who can resist how fun a tiered red, white and blue skirt is?!?  I literally just had time to finish it during our last evening sewing class this past Tuesday, but I did it!  Woo-hoo!

I'm super excited for what's next.  A few weeks ago, I went through all of my sewing notes and I made a master idea list.  I've already highlighted a few things that I would like to work on this fall.  Now, I feel like I'm a lot more organized so I'll know what I want to work on.  It will also be easier to find another project to work on if one of the others isn't working out or I can't find the fabric that I need for it.  I see more skirts, tote bags, valances and maybe some new things in my future... and the future is bright!  °o°

Monday, May 8, 2023

Magical Merchandise: Torrid Little Mermaid Collection

We're only a few weeks away from one of the biggest movies of this summer!  I am so excited for the new live action Little Mermaid movie!!!  A few days ago, I showed you the Shop Disney and Disney Parks collection for the new movie.  Today, I'm back with the newest merchandise from one of my favorite places to shop for clothes... Torrid.

The release of the Disney live action movies always brings out tons of merchandise from that movie... both new and old versions.  This clothing collection is based off of the original 1989 animated film... and "it's what I live for."  So let's dive in!

I love this simple Mermaid Off Duty Tank.  It would be perfect for sunny summer days and to wear to the Disney Parks.

This Ursula Fishnet Top is fun with the fishnet detail on top.

I like this Ursula Dress and how it includes Flotsam and Jetsam!

They also have this Little Mermaid Mesh T-Shirt Dress.  I love the colors in the mesh mermaid patterned overlay and it looks like it would be comfortable.

If you're looking for comfort, these Ursula Pajamas are another great option.  The top and shorts are sold separately so you can mix and match with your other loungewear.

I also really like this Flounder and Sebastian Bodysuit.  I have a few Torrid bodysuits and they're actually really comfortable.  (I wasn't sure how they'd fit.)  I like how this is simple black and white and the characters almost look sketched onto it.

These Flounder and Sebastian Denim Shorts are another way to carry your favorite sidekicks with you.  These shorter than what I usually wear, but the graphics are cute!

Finally, this Little Mermaid Chiffon Button Up Blouse was my favorite piece from the collection.  I love the blue, aqua and purple shades in it.  It's chiffon and definitely see through, so if I get it, I'll just have to figure out what to pair it with!

And that's all that they have released so far.  There might be more coming items, but I was definitely excited to see this stuff!  Now the only question is if I order anything.  As Ursula said, "Life's full of tough choices, isn't it?"  °o°

Tuesday, April 25, 2023

Registration for RunDisney Virtual Disney 100 Summer Races

Another day, another RunDisney race to sign up for!  This morning was the registration for the RunDisney Virtual Summer Series of 5K races... and since this year's medals are themed to the Disney 100 Celebration, I was certainly not missing out on those!  

I love doing the virtual races, and I've signed up for quite a few of them.  We haven't actually walked all of them, but I've set my medals aside so I can earn them before I hang them up.  Eliot doesn't see the point in signing up for the races since he likes the in person events.  But as someone who can't do more than a 10K, I find it motivating to push myself more at home.  I think virtual races are great.  Plus, by signing up for the 2023 virtual marathon, I made sure that I walked those 26.2 miles to earn it while I was at Disney World back in January.  (Compared to that, these three 5Ks are nothing!)

At about 9:45 AM, I got on the website to start waiting for registration to open.  Sign ups for virtual races usually aren't too big of a hassle.  The waiting room kept telling me that I had between 2 and 4 (and 2 and 4 and 2 and 4) minutes left as it bounced back and forth between those times.  Then, out of nowhere I was ready to enter at 9:53... but the race didn't even officially gone on sale until 10 AM.

I was puzzled, and then I promptly got kicked back to the main page.  At that point, it wouldn't let me click any of the registration links.  I opened Chrome and got into that line... that was "recalculating" forever.  After a panicked phone call to Eliot, it was 10 AM and the original webpage on my Safari opened directly to log me into my account.

Less than 4 minutes later, I was registered for the 2023 RunDisney Virtual Challenge!

It was a relief to be registered after those 10-15 minutes of confusion.  Afterwards, I gathered my stuff to go out to the truck.  On the way to class, I called Eliot to let him know that I was all set and that he could close the registration waiting room webpage he had opened.  I was a few minutes late to sewing class again, but it was worth it!

So now, Eliot and I are doing all of the Disney 100 themed Virtual RunDisney Summer 5K Races.  (I signed myself up, but we do them together and share the medals.)  The three individual themes are Sorcerer Mickey for June, Steamboat Willie for July and Runaway Railway Mickey for August.  Then, when you do the challenge and complete all three of those races, you also get a special Disney 100 medal with Mickey and Minnie in their Disney 100 Celebration outfits (if you signed up for the challenge).

We probably won't get the medals until August, but I'm still excited.  We sometimes try to dress up for these, so I might try to Disneybound as Mickey for them.  Eliot and I usually just go on a walk around Witch Hole Pond since that's about 3 miles, but maybe we'll switch it up this year.  We could go on the Eastern Trail that we haven't walked on for years now, or maybe we'll find a new place to explore!

No matter where Eliot and I do our 5Ks, I'm sure we'll have a swell time!  °o°

Monday, April 24, 2023

Magical Merchandise: Live Action Little Mermaid Collection

Happy Monday Everyone!  I hope you had a "swimmingly" wonderful weekend!

Today, I'm back with another new merchandise collection that dropped on the Shop Disney website earlier this morning.  The new live action Little Mermaid film is coming to theaters in about a month, and the first products have "fin-ally" made their way into our world!  I've been waiting to "sea" what they would make for the movie, and I think it's the bubbles!  So let's dive under the sea to explore my favorites in the collection! 

There's been a lot of adults complaining about Disney remaking their classic films into live action, but I love it.  And let's face it, they're trying to make these movies matter to today's kids.  So that spirit, we're starting off with a few products made for the target audience.  I think little girls are going to adore this Ariel Singing Doll; she's so beautiful!

If I was a little girl, I would definitely want this Ariel and Sisters Doll Set!

This Ariel Plush Doll is perfect to snuggle in bed with!

Since I'm not a little girl anymore, I'm into other things... like fashion, accessories and jewelry!  One of my favorites are bags... like this Little Mermaid Loungefly Backpack!

If you're looking for something more casual, check out this Little Mermaid Belt Bag.

There's also a clear Little Mermaid Handbag.

I love earrings, and symmetrical earrings are popular right now.  This Little Mermaid Earring Set will have you sparkling like the sea gem you are.

The Little Mermaid Necklace looks like it matches the motif of the collection.

Finally, for accessories we have the Little Mermaid Mouse Ear Headband for Adults... because what's a day at Disney parks without mouse ears?!?!

Switching gears to clothing, this Little Mermaid Denim Jacket for Women was the first thing that caught my eye.  I love the details and how some of them are embroidered!

The denim jacket would look great with this Little Mermaid Dress for Women.  This item seems to be the most popular and it's selling out fast!  (But it's also in the parks!)

If you want your own Prince Eric to match your new dress, this Little Mermaid Woven Shirt for Men would coordinate perfectly for a ride around the kingdom together.

I really like this Little Mermaid Sleep Set for Women.  It looks so comfortable!

I'm absolutely in love with this Little Mermaid Spirit Jersey for Adults.  I adore the graphic on the back, and I'm a sucker for jewel tones and glitter... just like the text!

Finally, we're rounding out our merchandise peek with this Little Mermaid T-Shirt for Women.  I also love the graphics and colors on this.  I might have to get it to wear to the movie.  I've got a few outfits in mind and this would be perfect for one of them!

What do you think?  I know there's a lot of talk about this movie online, but I'm excited for it.  I love the live action movies and I love how they always bring their own fresh take on the tales we all know and love.  (Plus, I'm not complaining about extra focus on new The Little Mermaid merchandise right now.)  I personally love this collection and I can't wait for the movie to come out next month!!!  °o°