Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Walt Disney World Bound

Today's the day!!!  I'm so excited to leave for Walt Disney World this afternoon!!!  I'm happy to finally say that I'm looking forward to this trip.  For the first time in history, I've been looking forward to, yet dreading, a trip to Disney.  My countdown has been both a blessing and a curse.  Everyday is a day closer to Disney, yet it's also a day closer to our half marathon!  But, I've done all that I can do; now I just have to go try my best!


As always, if you see Eliot and me, please don't be afraid to say hello!  We love to meet fellow Disney fans!  I promise we don't bite!  (Unless you happen to be a candy apple.  Then, I make no promises!)  However, if you're running by us in the race, I probably won't be very sociable.  I apologize in advance if I seem stand offish.  These races are going to take a lot of mental strength.  I'll be keeping my eye on the prize!

Even if you aren't visiting the mouse this week, you can still virtually follow along with the fun from the comfort of your own home.


If you aren't already, you can follow My Disney Life on Facebook for pictures, posts and updates.  I'm also on Instagram as @MyDisneyLifeBlog if you want to follow the photo fun there!  In the past, I tend to be more active on Instagram during our Disney trips.  I like to post photos "live" from the parks.  Don't have an Instagram account?  If you follow this link, you should be able to see all of my photos online!


Like I said before, I've given up on using Periscope and Snapchat, but I'm still on board with Facebook's "live" feature.  I love how the videos don't go away so more of my followers have access!  I did live videos from Disneyland last year, and I'm planning to post a few more videos this trip!  If you are following me on Facebook, you should get an alert when I'm live.  If you can't tune in to the live feed, you should be able to watch the videos at your own convenience if you go to my Facebook page.  Hopefully, this will allow more people to see my videos!

In the meantime, I'm going to go double (and triple) check my packing list while I try to contain myself!  Stay tuned for Disney photo and video spam... See ya real soon!  °o°

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

WDW February 2017 Bucket List

Ahh!  I can't believe that I leave for Walt Disney World tomorrow!  Eliot and I have been super busy the past few weeks.  We've been cranking out mouse ears like crazy... but that means we'll have plenty of fun designs to debut at Disney!  In fact, we've been so busy that I almost forgot to post my bucket list here on my blog!


It's become a tradition for me to post a bucket list for each trip to Disney.  I've found them to be helpful in planning our trip, prioritizing things, and to make sure that we keep experiencing new things at Disney!  So without further ado, here's my list!

Melissa's WDW February 2017 Bucket List:
°o°  1.) Buy a Mickey Mouse Balloon
°o°  2.) Take a picture at the "purple wall”
°o°  3.) Participate in the Enchanted 10K and Princess Half
°o°  4.) Go on the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train Ride
°o°  5.) See Rivers of Light
°o°  6.) Take Photos at the Hubgrass
°o°  7.) See Wishes One Last Time
°o°  8.) Take a picture at the “bubble gum wall"
°o° 10.) Buy Haunted Mansion shoes at Expo
°o° 11.) See Mickey's Friendship Faire Castle Show
°o° 15.) Buy Rivers of Light Merchandise
°o° 16.) See the Tree of Life Light Up
°o° 17.) Visit Disney Springs
°o° 18.) Take a Tangled Magic Shot
°o° 19.) Go Swimming
°o° 20.) Meet Moana

This list seems pretty attainable.  Of course, I say that now.  In reality, it's a quick 5 day trip with races, a crowded expo, super early (3:00 am) mornings and early bedtimes scattered throughout.  So, if I get any part of this list accomplished, I'll be happy!


I'll check back in after our trip to let you know how our bucket list made out!  °o°

Friday, February 17, 2017

Fun Find: Beauty and the Beast Trailers

Woo-hoo!  We only have one more month until the live action Beauty and the Beast movie premieres!!!  I don't know about you, but the more I see of this movie, the more excited I get.  From the trailers to the merchandise, I'm so excited!!!  I can't wait!

Photo Source
A few weeks ago, I found this compilation of the trailers released for the movie.  (It has all of them except for the final trailer.)  I thought I'd share it for today's Fun Find Friday so you can share my excitement!  I think it's going to be phenomenal; I'm already begging Eliot to go see it at least twice.  We saw the live action Cinderella twice in theaters when it was released, but this one might get me there three (or more) times!



What you do think?  What are you most excited to see?  I'm really looking forward to seeing both the ballroom scene and "Be Our Guest" brought to life.  I'm also excited to see all of the costumes!  They look incredible so far!  Only one more month!!!  We can make it!  (Mutters to self: "I think I can, I think I can...") °o°

Friday, February 10, 2017

Fun Find: Beauty and Lord Voldemort

Hey friends!  Eliot and I are gearing up for a really busy weekend- filled with lots of ear making, San Jose Sharks hockey, training for our races and snow.  But before I get hunkered down to work, I wanted to stop by and share a quick fun find!

Photo Source
Of course, we all know that the new live action Beauty and the Beast movie is just over a month away... exactly 5 weeks to be exact!  But who's counting?  (Me! Me! I am!!!)  I saw this video earlier today on Facebook, and it seems to be the latest thing traveling around the internet.  I had to swing by long enough to share it.


Those of you who follow along, know that I am also a huge Harry Potter fan.  I thought this mash up trailer of Beauty and Lord Voldemort, was pretty funny.  It actually looks pretty realistic too!  Anyways, just a little bit of fun!  I hope you enjoy it!!!  °o°

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Super Bowl 51

These past few days have been some I won't soon forget.  Monday morning I woke up feeling like I'd had the most bizarre (yet incredible) dream.  I don't even know where to begin.  Even after I've had time to let it all sink in, I'm still rendered speechless: The New England Patriots are Super Bowl Champions once again!!!

And what a game it was... I've talked about how much I love the Patriots.  I grew up watching them every Sunday when I was in high school.  I begged my parents for my Tom Brady jersey; the jersey that I faithfully wear to this day.  I'm a born and raised Patriots fan.  And my whole family is.  Where I'm from, it's a way of life.


We weren't always this good.  I was a fan back when we didn't make it to Super Bowls, when we lost in the playoffs (when we made it to them) and when we weren't expected to do anything big.  I was a fan when I'd get the paper copy of the JCPenney catalog (remember those?) and the Patriots would never have any merchandise in it.  I would search high and low, and always come up with nothing.  We weren't good enough.  I was a fan and was devastated when we made it to Super Bowl 31 and lost to the Packers (1996), dreaming of the day we'd finally win a Lombardi trophy of our own.

But things change.  I was a fan when a young Tom Brady took over for Drew Bledsoe when he was injured.  I was a fan when we finally made it back to Super Bowl 36 (2001).  I was a fan when Tom Brady led us down the field and when Adam Vinatieri made that field goal as the game clock ran out.  I was a fan when we finally did it: we won our first Super Bowl.  Everyone rejoiced.  I even made myself a custom pillow to commemorate it.  My parents bought Jeremy and me Super Bowl 36 throw blankets.  I cut out tons of newspaper clippings- photos that are still on the wall of my bedroom at my parents' house to this day.  They still make me smile.


And I was a fan for all the other ones: Super Bowl 38, 39, 49 and now.  Through the wins, and the losses, the highs and the lows.  From the agony of defeat, to the celebration.  To attending the Patriots victory parade and rally on a cold January day in 2004.  To going to my first ever game at Gillette Stadium on a really cold December day in 2012.  To finally having merchandise available for us to purchase.  To my team becoming a football dynasty.  I've been a true fan throughout it all.

On Sunday, I had a pit in my stomach all day.  I was excited, but nervous excited.  I had a bad feeling about this one.  On top of that, I'm incredibly superstitious when it comes to the Patriots.  I've had my Tom Brady jersey laid out, neatly folded in the same location since the AFC Championship game.  That was National Polka Dot day, and I wore my Minnie Mouse brooch.  Do I take it off?  Leave it on?  I hate to admit this, but I've been debating it for the past two weeks since the AFC Championship game.

About an hour before the game, I went upstairs to change into my outfit- the same red pants, a white undershirt and my Tom Brady jersey (still with the Minnie brooch).  I found Duffy's little football costume that I made him years ago.  Since it's delicate and handmade, he only wears it during big games.  I dressed him up in it, and made sure Eeyore and Brother were all set with their jerseys.


I knew it was going to be a long night long before the game even began.  I was super emotional watching the promos before the game.  Then, when President Bush and Barbara Bush came out from behind the flags, I started to cry a little.  I laughed it off, but I knew it was going to be a long, emotional night no matter the outcome.

The first half wasn't pretty.  I'm not going to relive it.  It's not something I want to talk about.  Missed opportunities, bad plays and a series of awful took us into the half with a score of 3-21.  I'm not going to lie, it looked pretty bad.  These were not my Patriots.

I went into overtime feeling a bit dejected.  I perked up at the beginning of the Pepsi Halftime Show; Lady Gaga was a fun choice and I hoped she'd sing some of her older songs.  I've always thought she was an awesome performer.  And she absolutely killed it.  Diving into the stadium, drones, flying, flips, dancing, cool lighting effects, stellar vocals and some poignant subliminal messages.  I loved the show, as did many of my friends judging from their Facebook posts.  (Note to self: add Lady Gaga songs to current playlists.)  This was probably my favorite half time show thus far.

Photo Source
After that awesome performance, I put my game face on.  "We can do this!"  I went upstairs and the Minnie Mouse brooch came off and was safely tucked back into it's drawer.  I came back downstairs and rearranged our plushies into the order they usually sit on the couch.  (I should have known to put them in their normal order.)  It sounds crazy, but superstitions Melissa won out.  And I felt a lot better afterwards.

The third quarter didn't start how I'd hoped.  The more I saw, the more disappointed, disgusted and deflated (haha, pun totally intended) I got.  This one meant something to us.  It was a chance to prove something.  I'm so sick of all the hate against us.  No, we haven't always played fair, and I'll own that.  The past few years haven't been the easiest with the whole Deflategate and witch hunt nonsense.  (Don't even get me started on that...)  This year was the Revenge Tour.  A lot was at stake, including Tom Brady's place in history as the best quarterback ever.

I started losing a bit of hope.  One by one, I watched my friends Facebook status messages as they went from pre-game elation, to misery.  I know plenty of people who wrote them off and went to bed.  Or they changed the channel.  They couldn't stomach it any longer.  This was supposed to cement our place in history, and it looked like we weren't going to get the outcome we'd hoped for all season.  That golden moment.


A lot of New England fans wrote them off.  Heck, I was tempted a few times.  But I hung on.  I held out hope, even if it was just a small shimmer.  I kept telling myself that they've done crazy things in the past, why should this game be any different?  Still, it seemed impossible and the NFL announcers kept reminding us that it was definitely improbable.  Over and over I told myself that if anyone could do it, it was the Patriots.

And they came back.  The New England Patriots did something that was supposed to be impossible.  They came back and they won.  They scored 31 unanswered points to win Super Bowl 51.  When they tied it to go into overtime, I shed a few tears.  This was impossible wasn't it?  I'm pretty sure I held my breath the entire overtime.  When we got the final touchdown in overtime, I literally didn't believe it.  I waited with baited breath for the call that the ball was over the line.  Then, I promptly burst into tears.

Emotions overcame me as I sat on the couch and sobbed happy tears.  I had just witnessed the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history.  Heck, I think we all witnessed the greatest Super Bowl in history.  In 50 years, it has never gone into overtime.  In 50 years, no one has come back from a deficit that big.  It was one for the history books.


In the end, Super Bowl 51 had 37 records that were broken, set, or tied.  And there were so many firsts: 9 Super Bowl appearances, 4 MVP titles, 5 wins by a coach, 5 wins by a quarterback and so many more.  After this, I think we can all officially agree that Bill Belichick and Tom Brady are the best coach/QB duo ever.  Although, we Patriots fans have known it for awhile.

New England might be the most hated team in the NFL, but they're my team and I'll cheer them on no matter what.  And this one, it really meant something.  This one was a season's worth of work, a whole lot of heart, a task that sometimes seemed impossible, and to be honest, it was a little bit spiteful.  And I'm 100% ok admitting it.


If the Patriots never win another Super Bowl while I'm alive to see it, at least we won this one.  (Although, it should be noted that I'm perfectly ok winning many more...)  The 2016-2017 Revenge Tour is complete.  History has been made.  Tom Brady and Bill Belichick are officially the best this league has ever seen.  The Drive for Five was successful.  We got "One More" and we're bringing another title home to Boston.  And most importantly, my beloved New England Patriots are Champions once again.

Thank you 2016-2017 Patriots for one heck of a ride this season.  I'm thankful to be a part of Patriot Nation.  And as I look back on this game, I'm always going to remember something my Mom taught me growing up: it's never over until it's over.  °o°

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

My 32nd Birthday Outfit

Happy Tangled Tuesday!!!  I'm really trying to get caught up on some of my blog posts, and this is one that I've been dying to write up for months now!  My 32nd birthday was a ton of fun.  One of the aspects that made it extra fun was my Rapunzel/Tangled themed outfit.  I showed you a few pictures back in November, but I wanted to share where I got everything!  It was definitely a day filled with small shop love!


I purchased my "I'm So Glad I Left My Tower" Rapunzel Raglan by Happily Ever Tees a few months before my birthday.  This particular color scheme was a limited edition, and I knew it would be perfect!  It definitely brought my whole outfit together!

I treated myself to my Rapunzel Tiara by Fairytale Wigs.  It was half off, and I literally ordered it for myself as a birthday present.  It's so sparkly!

I've had this Rapunzel Bow by Mad Hatter Bows for a few years now.  Since Elissa braided my hair, I didn't end up wearing it or the tiara on my birthday.  But, I'm definitely going to wear it with my other Tangled accessories in the future!


I've been waiting for the perfect occasion to debut my super cute Pascal Brooch by Hungry Designs!  Now I can't wait to wear it again!

I love my Rapunzel Necklace by Le Petit Mouse.  Not only is the Mickey Mouse charm with her tiara really cute, but the Tangled sun was a great addition to my outfit!



Of course, I had to wear my "Best Day Ever" Rapunzel Button by Parkbound Buttons!

I've also been waiting for the perfect occasion to debut my rose gold Rapunzel Tiara ring by AOS Design.  I had it since last Valentine's Day, and I wanted to wear it sometime special.  I absolutely love the rose gold limited edition version of it!


Of course, this was also the perfect day to wear some of my charms on my arms!  Eliot got me the Rapunzel Charm from Pandora whole ago, and it's adorable.  I'm a sucker for the princess dress charms!  I added my Rapunzel bracelet from Alex and Ani as an afterthought (it's not pictured in the top photo) to create this super cute look!

I absolutely love how my Rapunzel/Tangled inspired outfit came out!  I had so much fun wearing it.  I definitely want to try to do more Disney looks at home!  I am so happy with all of these purchases from small shops!  They really made my outfit unique! °o°

Saturday, February 4, 2017

An Excused Absence

Hey everyone.  Yesterday, I briefly touched upon my absence from my blog.  Eliot and I have been insanely busy.  If I thought we were busy before, I didn't truly know what busy was.  I've been burning the candle at every end possible, but it's all good.  I've been so busy the past few days, that I haven't even had time to work out.  And since that's one of my main goals right now, that's really saying something!

They say that absence makes the heart grow fonder... hopefully you will all look past my unplanned extended absences of late.  I really do miss blogging.  Unfortunately, with the half marathon creeping up on us, I'm going to be training more than ever... possibly daily.  (The 10K is 3 weeks from today... yikes!)  Since showing you photos of me training or hunched over the table working on ears would be pathetically boring, I'll give you an overview of what else has been happening the past few weeks!


A few days after my National Hat Day post, Elissa returned to Maine for her second semester at UNE.  Eliot and I were glad to see her.  We had a night to catch up before she had to return to school.  She even came with a few Disneyland goodies!  Yum!!!

The following weekend, my parents, Nana, Jeremy, Elissa, Eliot and I all got together in Portland to celebrate Jeremy's birthday weekend.  Jer turned 30 last month.  My "little" brother isn't so little anymore!  We went out to dinner at Friendly's, then went to the movie theater.  Dad, Jeremy, Elissa, Eliot and I went to see Passengers and Mom and Nana went to see Hidden Figures.  I really enjoyed the movie, and taking a break!


The next morning, Eliot, Elissa and I went to breakfast, also at Friendly's, before having a quick birthday celebration at the hotel, and then saying goodbye to everyone around noon.  (We all wanted to get home long before the Pats game started.)  I made sure to wear my Minnie polka dot bow brooch, since it was National Polka Dot day!!!


Speaking of the Pats... I'm so incredibly excited that my boys made it to the Super Bowl again!!!  I've watched the New England Patriots since I was little.  I won't lie, this year is especially sweet after everything that's happened.  We're the most hated team in football, and I couldn't care less.  They're my team; I'm so excited for the big game!!!

Of course, Eliot and I have been super busy with ears.  Eliot's designed tons of new IllusionEars.  We've listed a ton of new designs in my shop.  I've been cranking out new headband and ear hat designs.  There are a ton, but I'll try to share those soon!


In the few times I have allowed myself a break, I've either been watching the San Jose Sharks, playing Emoji Blitz, using the new Disney Coloring app, or attempting to relax and watch one of the few television shows I still keep up with.  I've really enjoyed those short breaks, especially since they've been few and far between.


Surprisingly, we haven't had tons of snow.  We were expecting to have a really bad winter and I was gearing up for a snow storm a week.  But, it hasn't been that bad.  We had one storm last week that caused me to have a snow day home from work, but that's been it.  That day, it wasn't really snowing so much as it was icy and hailing.  The roads were horrendous.  I had little tiny balls of ice all over my car the next day!


Finally, we've been gearing up for our trip to Walt Disney World at the end of the month.  It's quickly approaching.  As excited as I am, this is probably the first time I haven't been counting the days down to our trip, mostly because it means the race is coming too!  I'm feeling a little bit better about it though.  Plus, it's hard not to get excited when you open up a package with the brand new Magicband 2.0.


So, there you have it!  We haven't been doing anything out of the ordinary- just working really hard and getting things done!  Like I said before, this month is probably going to be sporadic with the blog posts, but I'm going to cut myself some slack.  There's only one of me and I'm doing all that I can.  I'm calling it my excused absence.  Between work, ears and training, I often don't have time to do anything else.  However, I've got tons of posts that I'm mentally preparing.  I might be here less often right now, but I'll definitely be back full force as soon as I'm able to be!!!  °o°