Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Spring 2023 Bucket List

The First Day of Spring was last week, so it's definitely time for me to get cracking on my spring goals.  I have to be honest, Eliot and I have been so busy lately that I've barely even given much thought to my Spring 2023 Bucket List.  But after a little bit of reflection, I finally worked out a list of goals that I'm happy with.

This year, I'm scaling the list back a little bit.  Last year, I had 20 goals on my spring list... and by the time I did my recap, I had only accomplished 5 of those goals.  I'm feeling like I need to put my focus elsewhere at the present moment, so I've decided to worry less about my goals and more about getting what I need to get done finished.

But, I've still got 15 goals... so let's check out my Spring 2023 Bucket List!

Melissa's Spring 2023 Bucket List

  1. Spring Cleaning
  2. Read a Book
  3. Fly a Kite
  4. Make an Easter Craft
  5. Have a Picnic
  6. Go to a Mariners Hockey Game
  7. Make Chocolate Covered Strawberries
  8. Visit the Beach
  9. Have a Game Night with Eliot
  10. Spring Manicure
  11. Make a Wreath
  12. Go on a Walk or Hike
  13. Weekend Getaway
  14. Enjoy Watching Nature
  15. Go to a Portland Sea Dogs Game

While this list of spring goals is small, it is also mighty.  And my biggest goal right now is to get some work done on our house, so the rest of this seems manageable.

Let's do this Spring of 2023!!! °o°

Sunday, March 26, 2023

Winter 2023 Bucket List Results

Well, this didn't go as planned... not one bit; but, that's life.  I'm going to make this Bucket List recap short and painless.  Usually, I like to write something about each goal.  This time around, I'm not going to waste my time with that.

Winter of 2023 kind of sucked.  When I wrote out my bucket list, I was still filled with the hope and promise of a new year and beginning.  Eliot and I started the year off on the right foot at Walt Disney World, and then Nana died.  Then, I basically lost all of my motivation at that point, and I spent most of winter trying to dig myself out of grief.

I didn't even think about most of these goals.  They just weren't important anymore, but I'll recap the ones that I was able to accomplish.  Here's how Winter 2023 turned out:

Melissa's Winter 2023 Bucket List


1.) Make Waffles

2.) Drink a Special Winter Hot Cocoa

3.) Make Heart Shaped Pizza (February 9th is National Pizza Day)

4.) Bake Something

5.) Make Chocolate Covered Strawberries

6.) Make Hot Cocoa Bombs

7.) Make S’Mores

8.) Learn How to Make a Charcuterie Board

9.) Make Snow Cones with Real Snow

10.) Make Cotton Candy


1.) Watch New Winter Hallmark Movies

2.) Watch New Valentine’s Day Hallmark Movies

3.) Watch Favorite Winter Hallmark Movies

4.) Watch Favorite Valentine’s Day Hallmark Movies

5.) Watch Irish Hallmark Movies for St. Patrick’s Day


1.) Make a Winter Craft

2.) Paint on my Easel

3.) Make a Valentine's Day Craft

4.) Make a Seasonal Wreath

5.) Make a St. Patrick’s Day Craft


1.) Do A Puzzle

2.) Go Sledding

3.) Send Valentine's Day Cards

I didn't send physical cards like I originally wanted to, but I was still able to post a few things online and send friends and family gifs through text messages.

4.) Read a Winter Book

5.) Take a Bubble Bath

6.) Have a Game Night with Eliot

7.) Build a Snowman

8.) Go to a Sharks Hockey Game

Eliot and I were able to attend a San Jose Sharks game out in San Jose on February 25th for Patrick Marleau's jersey retirement ceremony.

9.) Celebrate Happily Ever Hatter's 9th Birthday

I was able to take a little bit of time to celebrate nine years of my business!

10.) Watch the Super Bowl

Eliot and I tuned in to watch his Philadelphia Eagles lose to the Kansas City Chiefs.

11.) Go Ice Skating 

12.) Do Something Special for Valentine’s Day

Eliot and I didn't go out to do anything special, but he did bring me home some Russell Stover chocolates, Nerds Ropes and Cadbury Eggs... all some of my favorites.

13.) Have a Winter Carnival with Our Neighborhood

14.) Have a Snowball Fight

We had a very impromptu snow fight (started by Eliot) outside of our dentist office after we had our teeth cleaning in February.  

15.) Make Snow Angels

16.) Go to Ice Castles in New Hampshire

17.) Celebrate Our Dating Anniversary on February 28th

We didn't do anything special, but Eliot did stay home from work since it was the day we got home from our trip to California.  It was nice just to have him home with me.

18.) Go to a Mariners Hockey Game

We went to tons of Mariners hockey games this year and had a blast!

19.) Blow Bubbles (Will they turn into ice?)

20.) Go Somewhere with a Warmer Climate

We went to FL for the first half of January and CA for a few days in February.

21.) Do a Winter Nature Walk

22.) Have a Spa Day

23.) Start Using a Planner

24.) Do Something Fun on St. Patrick’s Day

We went to a Maine Mariners game on St. Patrick's Day!

25.) Clean the House During our Quiet Months

I didn't get as much done as I wanted to, but I was able to make a little bit of progress!

And there you have it... Winter of 2023.  I'm ready to move past this and bring on the spring, flowers, warm weather and new beginnings!  Until next year winter!  °

Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Spring 2023 Sewing Class So Far

Well, we're already three weeks into the spring session of sewing class, but there's plenty more to come.  This is usually when I start to panic that it's going by much too fast, but thankfully this session isn't racing by.  So far, we've only had four classes!

Last week was cancelled due to the massive snowstorm we got on Tuesday the 14th.

Usually, I'd be pretty crushed to miss a week of class, but this time, I was thrilled.  I won't lie, I was like a kid checking to see if we had "school".  In fact, I spent most of Monday evening refreshing the local news websites to see if our district had cancelled school yet.  Around 8:00 PM, I checked one last time and I saw that the kids were having a remote learning day.  A minute later, I checked my email and I had received two emails at 7:40 from the adult education office stating that both my morning and our evening class were cancelled and that they'd be rescheduled.

I was relieved since last week was a hot mess.  It's just as well that we didn't have class.  Eliot's had some "big wigs" at work last week and part of this week.  (It's been a huge deal since some are from Japan and Europe.)  He's been stuck in meetings all day, and a few days he's had to work late.  I was really worried about him being able to leave work in time to get to class.  This took the stress out of it.  Plus, he ended up having to stay over two hours extra Tuesday night, so it worked out for the best!

Another great thing about missing last week's classes was that I have had more time to figure out what projects I want to work on.  Instead of being in class last week, I took some time to look at Pinterest and go through some old notes on my computer.  I have a bunch of things that I've wanted to work on, so I went through everything and made a detailed list so I have a path forward!  And that's definitely helped!

Our first few classes have been good.  I spent most of my first morning sewing class working on my Ariel, Steamboat Willie and Princess Sketch tote bags.  I put the liners in all of them and got those all sewed together.  Then, my plan was to spend the evening class turning them out through the tiny openings that I left in the lining.

We only had one sewing machine for Eliot's first evening class.  Lori had an extra one for him to use, but I realized it didn't make sense for him to start on a machine that might be overwhelming.  My little Singer Simple machine is all he really needed.  So I helped him get all set up and started with working it.

It ended up working really well.  The evening class is full, and many of the people in class have never sewn before.  I was able to help Eliot and that meant Lori could move between the other students.  I ended up helping out where I could.  I didn't want to work on any machines, but I was able to help show the others how to put their "ugly potholders" together and assemble them.  And everyone made great progress!

I think Eliot's potholder turned out pretty good.  He was critical of himself, but I told him that he did a really good job for his first time.  Most importantly, he seemed to enjoy himself.  He was the only man in the entire class, but it didn't phase him.  On the ride home, he was talking about his project and asking me questions.  He also mentioned the fall class, so I took that as a good sign if he's already planning to join me again!

After that first class, I knew that I needed a few supplies.  I also made a list of things that we'd have to get another set of if both Eliot and I were going to be sewing at the same time.  It made sense to get more pins, another pin cushion, scissors and stuff like that so we'd both have them available to us.  I was also anxious to start looking at pillow fabrics.  We don't even do pillowcases until the last two sessions of the first class, but I was too excited to go with Eliot to pick something out! 

We went shopping at Joann for fabrics before we went to one of our Maine Mariners games.  I wanted Eliot to get an idea what they had for fabrics.  Then, if he didn't see anything that he liked, we would have plenty of time to order some online.  He ended up picking out the Sesame Street print that I had been looking at a few trips ago.  I bought Pixar Up fabric to make a pillow case.  I figured that I might as well make one too since we can use them on our pillows at Mom and Dad's house... that way we'll know which ones are ours!  Eliot and I still need to get the accent colors for the trim and cuff, but since we don't actually need the fabric until the last two sewing classes, we're well ahead of schedule!  (Which is good because I'm usually scrambling!)

Unfortunately, I hit a bit of a roadblock during both of my classes this week.  First, registration for the Wine and Dine RunDisney event was yesterday at 10:00 am... right as class was starting.  You can read all about that here, but the short story is that I stayed home to make sure Eliot was registered, so I missed the first hour and 15 minutes of class.  I did finally go, but I left all of my stuff in my car and visited more than did anything... so it was kind of a wasted class.

Then, Eliot's new sewing machine, that he ordered over a week ago, was mailed out on Monday, and it's supposed to arrive today.  So he had to use my machine again... which meant another class of no sewing for me.  I was able to get a bit of cutting done, but I literally only cut the black strap fabric for my Halloween tote, and a small section off of Eliot's Sesame Street fabric to use for a tote bag.  

In the end, I guess it didn't really matter too much though.  My sewing machine was being a butt and Eliot barely got his box made.  The stitches were all off, and no matter how many times we threaded the machine, it didn't want to cooperate.  I'll have to play around with it next class and see if I can get it all figured out.  Hopefully, I'll be able get it working properly again, and Eliot will have his machine so he can start getting used to that.  Then, we'll also both be able to sew during the evening class!

I have plenty of things that I want to get finished and work on this session.  We are already 1/4 of the way through our spring classes, so I want to start making progress!  

As you can see, our spring 2023 sewing classes are going well so far!  Eliot's learning how to use a machine.  I'm well on my way to actually finishing projects that I've spent years working on.  And we have an "extra" (make up) class in May... yay!!!  °o°

Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Springing Ahead

I think it's no secret that I feel like I've been in a rut lately.  Our 2023 has already held a myriad of ups and downs.  Most recently, Eliot and I have spent most of March sick with upper respiratory infections.  Eliot has had almost two straight weeks of all-day meetings at work.  We've gotten behind in a few of our orders, behind in normal life stuff and we're barely getting any sleep.  I've also been battling some grief and gloom. 

However, today suddenly feels like a giant breath of fresh air.  The First Day of Spring was yesterday, and it's like it shook the cobwebs out of me a bit.  It almost feels like I'm springing ahead into a new season and a better place... and I hope that feeling stays.

And this probably sounds super lame, but I feel really accomplished over a few small things that Eliot and I have been putting off.  We've both been so busy that gotten behind in normal house maintenance stuff.  Our guest sink has been mildly clogged and our kitchen sink also has a clog... although it's a bit more serious.  And every time we take a shower, we're standing in a few inches of water.

Over the weekend, we bought vinegar and baking soda.  I decided that I was going to try to tackle the clogs without using Drano unless it was absolutely necessary.  So I went to work.  The guest sink was fine after one round.  The shower was not working... and I was resigned that it would probably need Drano or to be manually unclogged.

The kitchen sink is another story.  I used way too much baking soda, so instead of bubbling and cleaning the blockage, it got even more clogged.  I ended up using a straw to try to pull out and remove as much of the baking soda as possible.  It worked, but the clog still there.  Then, somewhere in the depths of my memory, I recalled myself having a plunger in the sink a few years ago when we had another clog.

I set to work looking under the sink, which is a mess right now.  (Dad and Eliot repaired the dishwasher and when they reconnected the drainage pipe, Dad didn't snake it through the back like it was originally.  So now it's in the way and everything is just shoved in there instead of being organized.  Another project for another day... but I digress.)  Thankfully, I was able to locate the toilet plunger that we bought specifically for, and dedicated to, only using in the sinks.

After about a minute or two, I got the drain fully cleared and the water disappeared!

Feeling good about getting that fixed, I decided to try the same method for the shower before resorting to the Drano.  This morning, while I was showering, I used the plunger and it was obvious after only a few seconds that it was doing something.  I kept at it a few times, and before I knew it, I could hear the water draining!  Success!

Again, totally lame, but we've all been there.  Home ownership has many situations, and sometimes you just don't have time or feel like dealing with them.  But after the success of these few small projects, I'm feeling pretty accomplished.

I also checked another thing off of my to do list this morning.  Earlier today, I missed the first half of sewing class so I could help with Eliot's race registration for the 2023 Wine and Dine race this November.  I'll save all of the details for another post, but it felt good to know that he got into his challenge, especially since he was supposed to be in a meeting during registration so he couldn't sign himself up like he usually would.

Most importantly, it feels like my motivation is back.  I haven't felt much like cleaning and organizing the past few months.  And earlier this month when I was really sick, I didn't feel like doing much of anything.  I was getting into a funk where I felt like I was wasting my days, even though I was still finishing plenty of things.  I just wasn't making much forward progress on the big picture items.  But any progress is still progress...  

However, now that I'm feeling accomplished and a sense of actual motivation, it feels like I might finally be moving forward.  After feeling like I haven't gotten much done the past few weeks, it suddenly feels like I'm making a bit of progress... no matter how big or how small.  And that feels really good after the cloud that's been looming over me.  

Maybe the Spring will be a time for renewal and refocusing for me, and I'm certainly ready to spring ahead into that new chapter.  °o°

Monday, March 20, 2023

Magical Merchandise: Bradford Exchange Disney 100 Collection

Happy Monday!!!  Whew this month is flying right by isn't it?  It's hard to believe that it is already time for another Magical Merchandise Monday!  Today, I'm continuing my Disney 100 theme for the month of March.  Last week I focused on clothing, so we are switching back to focusing on home decor and something new for our latest edition!

In this post, I'm highlighting one collection like I did for my Hallmark collection entry a couple of weeks ago.  The Bradford Exchange is known for their quality collectibles and they usually make products for major events like the Super Bowl.  I don't know why I didn't expect them to make a Disney 100 collection, but when I discovered it a few weeks ago (while mindlessly scrolling online) I was surprised and couldn't wait to see what they made.  So let's check everything out!

Coin collecting has been popular forever, so naturally they have a special Disney 100 Years of Wonder Coin that you can display for the celebration.

I really love this Disney 100 Years of Wonder Commemorative Clock.  The details on it are amazing and I love all of the characters in it.  Plus it looks shiny and sparkly!

Another shiny thing that caught my eye was the Disney 100 Laser-Etched Globe with Color-Changing Lights.  The LED lights change and it looks like it's so much fun!

If you're looking for something to tuck in with your other treasures, this Disney 100 Years of Wonder Hand-Painted Sculpture would be perfect.  I love the 3D Mickey, Minnie and Pluto with the silhouettes of other Disney characters across the bottom.  

Speaking of characters, we're going to be switching gears a little bit to something else with a lot of character!  One of my favorite things that the Bradford Exchange makes is their jewelry.  They have quite a large selection of it, and I was pleased that they have some for the Disney 100.  First, we have this Disney 100 Bangle Bracelet with Stamp Art From Movie Scenes.  I love how there are so many movies represented on it!

The Disney 100 Platinum Celebration Crystal Heart Necklace reminds me of the Disney Crystal Heart necklace my parents bought me from the Bradford Exchange a few years ago as a birthday gift.  I love how it has all of the characters on it!

If you like that design, you'll also like the Disney 100 Platinum Celebration Cuff Bracelet with Crystals.  This also has a ton of Disney characters on it!

As you guys know, I love anything sparkly or shiny and this Disney 100 Celebration Ring Featuring a 100 Facet Crystal looks like it definitely fits that description!  Wow!

But I think my favorite jewelry piece from the collection is actually the Disney 100 Mickey Mouse Infinity Pendant Necklace.  I absolutely love how it has Mickey on it!

The Disney 100 Mickey Mouse Ring with Over 20 Crystal Accents matches the necklace perfectly and it also caught my eye.  (Mentally taking notes down for Santa!) 

I have to switch back to home decor for our last item in today's post since I saved the best for last!  The Disney 100 Celebration Glitter Globe With Color Changing LEDs is my favorite piece in the entire collection.  I am obsessed with how the bottom part looks like it's made of a faceted crystal.  I also love the swirl around it and how Mickey is inside the snow globe part.  I feel like this needs to live on my desk as a reminder of the 100th anniversary of my favorite company!

I hope you enjoyed this collection of merchandise from the Bradford Exchange!  I am interested in seeing if they'll add anything else since many retailers are adding more items as the celebration continues throughout the year!  But in the meantime, check back next week for my last Disney 100 merchandise post of March!  °o°

Friday, March 17, 2023

St. Patrick's Day 2023

Top o' the morning to ya!  It's St. Patrick's Day!!!

Eliot and I usually don't do too much for the holiday, but since it fell on a Friday this year, I knew we had to do something.  Neither of us are big drinkers, so that wasn't even something that crossed my mind.  I like corned beef, but I didn't think ahead and I'm sure the grocery stores are out of it now.  Thankfully, the Maine Mariners have a home hockey game tonight, so that's what we're going to do!

They are giving out t-shirts and having a "green out" so Eliot and I will be wearing our green.  I'm excited to see what the shirts look like.  We're assuming that they'll be the logo with the "a" in Mariners as a shamrock like the advertising for the game has been.

So those are our "big" plans for tonight.  It's not too much out of the ordinary for us... but definitely more our speed.  And I'm really excited!  Hopefully, the Mariners will bring the luck of the Irish and have a good game!

Happy St. Patrick's Day!!!  °o°

Monday, March 13, 2023

Magical Merchandise: Disney 100 Clothing and Apparel

Happy Monday Friends!  Today, I'm continuing my Disney 100 merchandise posts with another installment.  Last week, I focused on the Hallmark home decor collection... so this week, we're switching gears over to clothing and apparel!

I've seen a few clothing companies release items for the Disney 100 celebration.  Most of them have been really popular... and some of them have sold out already.  But, I still wanted to include them in today's post!  Let's check them all out!

Her Universe and Hot Topic

I should have known that Her Universe and Hot Topic would have a collaboration for the Disney 100 celebration.  What I wasn't expecting was for it to be all in on the Mickey Mouse Club and vintage nostalgia.  But I love how the collection came out!

First, there's this Steamboat Willie Athletic Jersey.  I love it and I know Eliot would too!

Eliot would also like this Mickey Mouse and Friends Vintage Woven Button Up Shirt.

I love the simple design on this Sensational Six Vintage Tie-Front Ringer T-Shirt.

The Mickey Mouse And Friends Reel Satchel Bag matches the collection perfectly.

The Mickey Mouse Club Vintage Mini Backpack definitely caught my eye!

They also made a matching Mickey Mouse Club Vintage Mini Flap Wallet.

There's also a matching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Keychain... 

... as well as a Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Lanyard!

Finally, my absolute favorite part of this collection was the Mickey Mouse Club Vintage Varsity Cardigan.  Both the front and back are adorable.

This sweater would look great with my Disney outfits.  I just wish they had made a dress to match the collection.  But there's still plenty of time!  I'll keep my eyes peeled!


Another collection heavy on the vintage Disney nostalgia was the Cakeworthy Disney 100 release.  These products would also coordinate really well with the pieces above!

Photo Source by @magicwithjen

First, we're starting off with this Steamboat Willie Flannel since Cakeworthy is known for their flannel shirt designs.  I love how they included the graphic on the back!

They also made a Mickey Mouse Club Crop T-Shirt that's perfect for Mouseketeers!

The Mickey Mouse Print Denim Shorts are designed for both men and women.  I really love the gray color with the black and white Mickey heads printed all over them!

I'm not sure if I could pull off this Mickey Mouse Tie Up Jumpsuit, but it's really cute!

I really love this Vintage Mickey Button Up Dress.

The Mickey Mouse Club Crossbody Bag would look great with any of these outfits.

Finally, my favorite piece in this collection was definitely a quick seller.  The Mickey Mouse Club Bucket Hat is so cute and it would be perfect to wear at the parks!


RSVLTS (pronounced "rose-uh-velts") is a company that's more new to Eliot's and my radar.  I was probably originally introduced to them when looking for shirts for Eliot to wear that would coordinate with my Disney dresses.  They had a booth at the D23 Expo last year and I definitely took a peek.  I've been really impressed with them!

I'm starting off with something a little different first.  This Disney 100 Hiya Pal Short Sleeve Shirt definitely screams "Mickey" but it makes me feel like there's a subtle nod to Sorcerer Mickey with the blue color, moons and stars printed on it!

Next, this Disney 100 Steamboat Mickey Short Sleeve Shirt definitely fits the theme of Disney 100 and starting off with the cartoon short staring our favorite mouse.  I really wish that I'd gotten one of these for Eliot to match a few of my outfits!

But my absolute favorite is this Disney 100 Sketches to Screen Short Sleeve Shirt.  I am obsessed with sketches... the designer in me can't help myself.  This shirt would go perfectly with one of my Disney Dress Shop dresses so hopefully they will restock it!

Rock 'Em Socks

Rock 'Em Socks is another company that's a bit newer on our radar.  They also had a booth at the D23 Expo and I spent quite a few minutes drooling over all of the sock designs.  (They have everything... and plenty of holiday designs... but I'll save that for another day!)  They have a nice selection of Disney 100 items as well.

First, we have these really cute D100 Mickey 100 socks.  I really like this design!

We have the OG Mickey with these D100 Steamboat Willie Showtime Socks.

I'm a big fan of these D100 Steamboat Willie All Over Socks.  I really love this print!

If you enjoy Disney music, the D100 Musical 3 Pack of socks is perfect for you!

The D100 Music and Wonder All Over socks are also sold separately.  I love these too!

Finally, my favorite was this Mickey D100 3 Pack of socks.  I might have to get them!

Love Your Melon

Finally, I've told you about some of my other Love Your Melon finds.  Eliot and I both have an obsession with these hats.  They're not cheap, but they are so warm and such high quality.  For the Disney 100 celebration, they released eight new designs inspired by Steamboat Willie and vintage Mickey and Minnie designs.  All of the new designs included a special "button" on them that say "Disney 100" on it.

They had a pom pom version and a non-pom version.  I'm a sucker for the pom poms, especially the double poms.  Eliot actually prepares the non-pom hats because they cover his ears better.  But both are good options and all of these are really cute.  I've defiantly got my eye on that speckled Steamboat Willie double pom design!

Whew!  That was a lot of fun nostalgia... I love all of the Steamboat Willie stuff.  This definitely makes me want to go big on my black, white, gray and red outfits.  

What do you think of the Disney 100 stuff so far?  I'm a big fan and I can't wait to see what else is coming... there are plenty more collections and products to see!  I'll be back next week with some more merchandise finds!  °o°