Sunday, January 29, 2023

Holiday 2022 Bucket List Results

Happy Sunday Everyone!  After a few busy days, I'm looking forward to having a lazy afternoon with Eliot watching football and relaxing on the couch.  Now that things have settled down a bit, I thought it was time to recap my 2022 Holiday Bucket List.  

As usual, things were absolutely insane for Eliot and me during most of the month of December due to our business and our busy season.  Add in lost electricity on top of Hell Week, and you've got an extra spicy mix of not to festive fun.  Add in some family stuff: Mom, Dad, and Nana were in a bad car accident, then they all got sick, Mom and Nana were in the hospital, and Nana's health was quickly declining... and you've got an extra difficult emotional holiday season on top of that.

Needless to say, this holiday season was quite a rollercoaster.  Now that it's over, I'm pretty impressed that Eliot and I still found some time to enjoy the season.  Christmas Day was not my favorite, but the rest of the season definitely made up for it.  So let's take a look at the positive parts of our 2022 holiday season!

Melissa's Holiday 2022 Bucket List


1.) Drink Hot Cocoa

I wasn't able to accomplish this... it wasn't super important in the scheme of things.

2.) Bake Cookies

I wasn't able to do this, but that's ok.  I make cookies a lot anyways!

3.) Drink a Holiday Cocktail

I'm a little bummed out about this one... but oh well.

4.) Make Peppermint Bark

I had planned to make some of this for our neighbors... 

5.) Make Treats for our Neighbors

We decided to postpone our holiday party until sometime in the new year.

6.) Decorate Gingerbread Cookies

I didn't even give this one thought.  We simply didn't have the time to do it.

7.) Peppermint Frosty from Wendy’s

I'm a little sad about this... maybe next year!

8.) Cookie Butter Donut from Dunkin Donuts

This were delicious... I really enjoyed them!

9.) Dairy Queen Peppermint Blizzard

I didn't get one of these either, although I probably would have just tried Eliot's though!

10.) Friendly’s Peppermint Ice Cream Sundae

Again, this is too much peppermint for me, but Eliot and I might have split one.


1.) Watch New Hallmark Christmas Movies

I was very careful with my wording on this one.  I wanted to watch all of the new movies, but I knew that a would never happen in the holiday rush.  I think I watched like 5 movies out of the new 30-40 movies Hallmark premiered.  Eliot and I have a lot on the DVR so I'll watch them at some point when I have time to actually enjoy them!

2.) Watch Our Favorite Hallmark Christmas Movies

Sadly, I didn't really watch many of my favorites... but we did record a bunch of them!

3.) Watch The Santa Clause

I didn't get to watch this, but I'm hoping to next year!

4.) Watch The Santa Clause 2

I didn't get to watch this, but I'm hoping to next year!

5.) Watch The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause

I didn't get to watch this, but I'm hoping to next year!

6.) Watch the New Santa Clause Series on Disney+

I did watch the new series on Disney+.  I really enjoyed it and I'm glad that they are going to be making another season of it!  I'll have to watch it and the movies next year!

7.) Watch Elf

"Santa, I know him!!!"  I love this movie and I was sure to make time to watch it!

8.) Watch Frosty the Snowman

This is a classic and I was sure to watch it.

9.) Watch Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer

This is my favorite Christmas movie... Rudolph was my childhood.

10.) Watch Noelle

I love this movie as well and I made sure to make time to watch it!

11.) Watch Same Time Next Christmas

I didn't get to watch this; I couldn't get our Hulu account to log me in.

12.) Watch The Grinch

I didn't get to watch this... although I did record it!

13.) Watch A Muppet Christmas Carol

I'm not sure if I've ever seen this before, but I watched it and really enjoyed it!

14.) Watch Midnight at the Magnolia

This is a favorite to watch between Christmas and New Years.

15.) Watch the Disney Christmas "Parade" Christmas Morning

We didn't catch the morning release, but we did watch the replay on Freeform!

16.) Watch A Christmas Prince

I didn't get to watch this, but I have seen it before.

17.) Watch A Christmas Prince: The Royal Wedding

I didn't get to watch this, but I have seen it before.

18.) Watch A Christmas Prince: The Royal Baby

I didn't get to watch this, but I have seen it before.

19.) Watch Falling for Christmas

Eliot and I did watch this together.

20.) Watch Holidate

I didn't get to watch this.

21.) Watch The Princess Switch Movies

I didn't get to watch this.

22.) Watch Beauty and the Beast Enchanted Christmas

I haven't seen this in years and I really enjoyed watching it again!

23.) Watch Mickey’s Christmas Carol

I didn't get to watch this.

24.) Watch Prep & Landing

We watched this while we were home over Thanksgiving with my family.

25.) Watch Prep & Landing: Naughty vs Nice

We also watched this while we were home over Thanksgiving with my family.

26.) Watch The Nightmare Before Christmas

I didn't get to watch this, but I'm determined for Eliot to see it sometime!

27.) Watch The Nutcracker and the Four Realms

I didn't get to watch this.


1.) Make a Hanukkah Craft

In all of the rush, I didn't have time to craft anything.

2.) Make a Christmas Craft

In all of the rush, I didn't have time to craft anything.

3.) Take Christmas Photo(s) for Our Christmas Cards

Eliot and I didn't take formal photos, but I had planned to use our photo with Slugger for our Christmas Cards.  But I never ended up sending any this year.

4.) Make Christmas Accessories

In all of the rush, I didn't have time to craft anything.

5.) Make a Wreath

In all of the rush, I didn't have time to craft anything.

6.) Make Christmas Decorations

In all of the rush, I didn't have time to craft anything.


1.) Play the Dreidel Game

We were not able to do this.

2.) Donate to Toy's for Tots

Eliot bought toys for the Holiday at Hadlock event and then we forgot to bring them with us.  Oh well, we've got a head start on next year!

3.) Read a Christmas Book

I was not able to do this.

4.) Wear Christmas Pajamas

Eliot and I did wear matching Christmas pajamas, but I didn't take any photos of us. 

5.) Send Christmas Cards

I really wanted to do this, but in the end, it just wasn't as important to me as being present in the moment with my family and trying to enjoy the holiday.

6.) Listen to Christmas Music

Eliot and I did listen to a lot of Christmas music while we worked on Etsy orders.

7.) Light all Eight Candles for Hanukkah

We weren't able to do this.  Our menorah is back in storage.

8.) Wear an Ugly Sweater

Eliot and I did wear our "ugly" sweaters to the Holiday at Hadlock event.

9.) Have a Family Game Night

Eliot and I had a game night with my cousin Luke and his wife Rachel.

10.) Hallmark Movie Writing Class

I took an online class on how to write Hallmark Christmas movies.

11.) Play Hallmark Christmas Monopoly

We weren't able to do this.

12.) See a Special Event (Theater, Show or Concert)

Eliot and I went to see Disney On Ice when it was in Portland.

13.) Watch/Attend a Christmas Tree Lighting

We weren't able to do this.

14.) Attend Holiday at Hadlock

Eliot and I had a great time at Holiday at Hadlock!  We can't wait for next year!

15.) Ring in the New Year at Walt Disney World

We ended 2022 and started 2023 off at the Magic Kingdom.

16.) Make New Year’s Disney & Blog Goals for 2023

I did make my goals for 2023!

17.) Make Personal Goals for 2023

I don't post these goals publicly, but I made 23 personal goals for 2023!


1.) Hang a Wreath on the Front Door

Eliot's Mom bought us a wreath for Christmas.

2.) Drive Around to Look at Christmas Lights

Eliot and I did this pretty much anytime we were out after dark.  I love Christmas lights!

3.) Decorate Outside with Inflatables

We got plenty of our inflatables up this year!

4.) Go See a Christmas Light Display

Eliot and I visited the L.L. Bean Northern Lights Christmas display on my birthday!

5.) Buy New Decorations for Our Collection 

Eliot and I picked up a bunch of new items this year... inflatables, door greeters, etc.

We also got to do a few things that weren't on my bucket list... 

Things Not On Our Bucket List

1.) Watched Olaf’s Frozen Adventure

I didn't have this on my Christmas list, but it's one of my favorite Disney shorts!

2.) Watched Prep & Landing- Secret Santa

This is new, and I watched it as well.

3.) Watched Winnie the Pooh A Very Merry Pooh Year

I've never seen this before, but it was really cute!

4.) Have Jelly Donuts (for Hanukkah)

Eliot bought me a few rounds of jelly donuts over Hanukkah.

5.) Watched Hometown Holiday

I watched this during the day and I watched it again with Eliot a few nights later.

And there you have it!  We were able to do 31 of my original 65 goals... and I also got those five extra things in.  So that's a grand total of 36 out of 70 things... or just over 50%.  Honestly, that's not bad considering everything that was going on.  It's also not bad considering I didn't really utilize the month of November when I usually do.

I'll definitely be ready to rock and roll once the calendar flips to November this year.  I'll have to get a head start on my holiday goals if I'm going to have so many!  °o°

Friday, January 27, 2023

Fun Find: Disney 100 Disneyland Sneak Peek Videos

The Disney 100 officially kicks off today at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, CA!!!

Eliot and I have been so excited about this celebration.  We got a few sneak peeks of what was coming while at the D23 Expo back in September.  Then, in December the first wave of merchandise was released.  We saw a bunch of the items in person at Walt Disney World and it's just as spectacular as it looks online!  I'm a huge fan of the blue, silver, purple and pink tones that they've used throughout the merchandise and the celebration.  I can't wait to see what else they have in store!

Disneyland is the first to experience the wonder of celebrating the Walt Disney Company's 100 years.  Sleeping Beauty Castle debuted her 100 Years makeover earlier this week.  I love the details on it and I think that it looks absolutely spectacular!

The other big addition are the two new nighttime shows, "Wondrous Journeys" is the fireworks show at Disneyland, and "World of Color - ONE" is the show at California Adventure.  Today, I thought I'd share a few sneak peeks at behind the scenes videos Disney released in anticipation of the grand opening of these shows tonight!

First, we have Wondrous Journeys at the Disneyland Resort.  I can't wait to see all of the spectacular projections on the castle and Main Street USA!

Next, we're taking a peek at World of Color - ONE over at California Adventure.  I've always loved how incredible the World of Color shows are... and this one looks like it'll be a wonderful addition to those.  I can't wait to see it!

These sneak peeks are really making me want to go see all of the new stuff that Disneyland has to offer for the Disney 100 celebration!  Eliot and I don't have plans to go out there as of right now, but who knows?  I guess we'll see what happens!  °o°

All photos are from the Disneyland Resort Facebook Page.

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

2023 WDW Marathon Weekend Bucket List Results

How has it already been three weeks since I was preparing for the 2023 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend by posting about my race weekend bucket list?

Time certainly flies.  Now that we're settled back in at home, I thought it was time to recap some of my bucket lists.  I figure since this is the first one that I posted, it should be the first one that I review!  So let's see how our marathon weekend turned out!

Melissa's 2023 WDW Marathon Weekend Bucket List

1.) Go to the Race Expo

We went to the race expo... I mean, you kind of have to in order to get your race packet and bibs.  The expo is always a lot of fun and we enjoy going.  Everyone is really excited for the weekend ahead.  It was pretty busy but organized this year.

2.) Buy Some Race Merchandise

Eliot and I had both seen a preview of some of the race merchandise on the Disney Parks blog.  I went to the expo knowing that I wanted the pink race weekend jacket and the Loungefly backpack.  Thankfully, Eliot was able to get into the virtual queue at a good time so everything we wanted was still there by the time we entered.  

Eliot decided to get the men's version of the jacket.  He got a Dopey shirt and I got a 10K Finisher shirt.  He picked up a few other smaller items.  We caved and bought matching 2023 Marathon Weekend Spirit Jerseys... and the general RunDisney Spirit Jerseys.  We broke the bank a bit, but Sara ended up buying both of our race jackets as our birthday and Christmas presents, so that definitely helped!  (Thanks Sara!!!)

3.) Take Advantage of the Photo Ops

I love all of the photo spots that they set up at the race expo.  We always stop to take pictures at the medal banners outside at the entrances to the ESPN Wide World of Sports.  There were also fun places to take photos inside of the different expo halls.

4.) Finish the Walt Disney World 10K

This was my biggest goal of marathon weekend.  I really wanted to finish my race.  It was an emotional few days for me with finding out that Nana had passed away the night before the races were supposed to begin.  I slept in the following morning since it was only the 5K and I didn't sleep well since I spent part of it crying myself to sleep.

Getting myself to the 10K start line the next day was already a huge accomplishment, and everyone told me that they'd be proud of me no matter what happened.  Eliot was extra attuned to me while we stood in the corrals.  I won't lie, it was weighing heavily on me, but I wanted to try my best.  I thought of Nana a lot during the actual race, and I wanted to finish it for her.  I just kept pushing ahead and I didn't want to stop other than to force myself to use the bathroom halfway through the race.

I tried to soak in the experience since I'm not sure when my next RunDisney event will be.  When Eliot and I passed the marker at mile 6, I felt a little bit of the pressure lift off of my shoulders.  Crossing the finish line was emotional.  I knew I would be in tears after everything that had transpired leading up to the race, but somehow I finished it.

5.) Take a Photo with a Character

Eliot and I didn't stop to take photos during the 10K because I was super paranoid about finishing and not getting pulled.  However, I was a little disappointed in our decision since Darkwing Duck was the last photo op.  His line was so long though... there must have been about 100 people in it when we passed.  

The universe was looking out for me though.  The following morning, I was excited to find that Darkwing Duck was one of the characters the start line photo spots before the half marathon.  While all of the runners were walking to the start line, I got in line to take a few photos.  And since I was second to last before he was leaving, I asked if I could take a photo of him by himself to send to my brother.  (I told Darkwing how much Jeremy loves him and he even posed for me!)  It was pretty magical.

6.) Watch Eliot in the Half Marathon

I was at the finish line waiting for Eliot to cross during the half.  He was texting me his location so I had an idea of when he'd be coming.  He doesn't look happy in the photos I took... but I'll give him a break; he was sore and tired after going over 13 miles!

7.) Watch Eliot in the Marathon

I missed Eliot at the finish line since he ended up getting pulled around mile 19, but I was able to see him along the way... more about that below on goal #9.

8.) Watch Runners from the Monorail

This was something that I discovered back in 2015 when Mom and I were watching Dad, Jeremy and Eliot do the half marathon.  It was so much run to watch thousands of half marathon runners from the monorail tracks.  I did it again this year and I really enjoyed it.  I even had a whole car of Monorail Lime to myself a few times!

9.) Meet Eliot in the Magic Kingdom

I had originally planned to meet up with Eliot in the Magic Kingdom for both the half marathon and marathon.  Unfortunately, I had a bit of bad timing and I just missed Eliot during the half marathon.  He was passing through the castle as I was making my way to Main Street.  However, I still thoroughly enjoyed my time at the Magic Kingdom.  

I soaked in a bit of magic while it was more quiet.  The Emporium was open so I went in there to warm up (it was freezing that morning) and I bought a Bruni magnet plush and a Rice Krispie treat while it was quiet.  I also got a ton of great photos without people in them.  I took full advantage of my time there, and it felt very therapeutic.

Obviously, since I missed Eliot at the Magic Kingdom for the half, I was determined to meet up with him on Main Street during the marathon.  Thankfully, we got there with plenty of time to spare.  Nori, Rick and I saw Sara run right by us, but she had her headphones on and didn't see us.  I texted Eliot to tell him where I was standing (right after the mile marker) so he came over to say hi.  I got a quick sweaty hug and kiss before he kept moving forward towards the castle.

10.) Take Photos of Medals in Parks Afterwards

This is one of my favorite parts of race weekend!  It's so fun to see everyone sporting their hard earned medals in the theme parks.  I didn't wear mine the entire time like I usually would have because the enamel was scratching and chipping too easily.  But I did take it out a few times for photos!  We took a few at Magic Kingdom and Epcot.

11.) Walk Enough Miles to Earn My Virtual Marathon Medal

I walked so many miles during this trip.  I didn't actually sync my Fitbit up to my cell phone until after our trip, but I was regularly getting about 16,000+ steps each day when I checked my watch.  The average woman needs to take about 62,926 steps to complete a marathon, so I definitely completed one marathon, but it probably ended up being more than that!  I'll have to go back and total everything up one of these days!

12.) Enjoy the Weekend and Have Fun!!!

Whew, this was an emotional few days for me, but I did have fun.  There were a lot of highs and lows throughout the weekend, but I'm really glad I participated in it.  

In the end, my 2023 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend was a bit of a rollercoaster, but I'm so proud of myself for getting to the 10K start line, and I'm even more proud of myself for finishing it.  I definitely earned that medal with blood, sweat and tears.  On top of that... I was also able to complete my entire Race Weekend Bucket List!

The weekend didn't go as planned for all of us, but we tried our best.  Sara was able to finish the Dopey.  Eliot did the 5K, 10K, half marathon and walked about 20 miles in the marathon before he fell behind the pace and got pulled.  Nori finished the half and walked a few miles of the half before getting on a bus.  And Rick made it 11 miles into the half before they pulled him.  Eliot and Rick were both disappointed, but I think we did great considering the only person who actively trained for the weekend was Sara.  

We're all so proud of Sara for going 48.6 miles in four days!  Congrats Sara!!!

So that's a wrap on another RunDisney race weekend.  I'm not sure when Eliot and I will be back for our next one, but I'm positive that we'll eventually find ourselves back in the corrals and on those start lines again someday!  °o°

Monday, January 23, 2023

Magical Merchandise: Minnie Baublebar Bag Charms

Happy Monday friends!  

I'm slowly getting back to the swing of things here at home.  It's been a crazy week, but Eliot and I are hanging in.  Today is actually my brother Jeremy's birthday, so I also want to take a minute to acknowledge that.  (I hope you have a wonderful day Jer!)

Since I'm trying to get back on track, I thought that I'd share a merchandise post with you.  I have the perfect fun post of something new that I'm dying to share with you.  For a while now, I've showed you Baublebar's jewelry and a few of their Mickey Mouse bag charms.  (They're so fun and sparkly!)  Well the other day, they debuted an entire new bag charm collection of our favorite stylish mouse icon, Minnie Mouse!!!

The new Minnie Mouse bag charm collection was released back on January 18th, just a few days before National Polka Dot Day yesterday.  However, there was a nod that something might be in the works since they released these coordinating Mickey and Minnie bag charms back on January 12th.  (I was like "wait, what?!? Minnie!!!")

I was 100% completely obsessed with the Mickey and Minnie charms... especially since they were in their classic outfits!  Then, I saw the hints that they were releasing more Minnie Mouse designs.  Ever since then, I've definitely kept my eyes peeled for an email in my inbox!  And they're finally here!  So let's check them out!

One of the first ones that caught my eye was the Minnie Picnic design.  This reminds me of typical Minnie Mouse, super sweet and playful.  The little basket with the fruit in it is adorable.  I have no idea what bag I'd put it on... but I might have to get this one!

The Minnie Athleisure design is perfect to add a little "charm" to your gym bag.

I love how cute this Minnie Ballerina charm is.  I really love the soft pink colors!

The Minnie Rock 'N Roll design looks like it incorporates rose gold and lots of sparkle!

Speaking of sparkle, the Minnie Black Tie charm has plenty of that!  This one would be perfect to wear to special events... and it reminds me of New Year's Eve too!

The Minnie Fashionista is dressed for a casual day filled with fun and fashion!

There's even a Spa Day design for when Minnie needs a little "me time" and relaxation.

Ok, so I am completely obsessed with the Minnie Pool Party charm.  Last summer, I bought the unicorn pool floatie Baublebar earrings and a pool party glasses topper from Pair Eyewear.  (Click this affiliate link for $25 off your first order!)  I most definitely need to get this design as well.  It's perfect for summer!!!

Another one that spoke to me was obviously the Minnie Artist design.  I think I literally gasped out loud when I first saw this one.  If I had to be one of these Minnie charms... this is me!  Covered in paint and happy as can be!  I hope they eventually make a matching Mickey Mouse... how cute would those be for the Festival of the Arts?!?

Last, but certainly not least, is the Minnie Bride charm.  It isn't available on the website yet, but Baublebar has told many people on social media that it will be soon.  I most definitely need to get this one too.  Once a Disney Bride, always a Disney Bride!!!

They are all so cute!  Baublebar definitely hit it out of the park with these.  I am so excited to see what else they come up with.  I can't even begin to tell you how excited I am to see what they come up with for the holidays now that they're also making Minnie Mouse charms!  I have a feeling that my life is about to get much more sparkly!!!  °o°