Friday, December 9, 2016

Fun Find: Disney Magic Holiday

Hi friends!  It's been a busy week, and going to be another busy weekend here in the Cady household.  But, before I enter the zone of ear making, I wanted to share a quick Fun Find Friday with you!  I've been waiting to share this for a few weeks, and now it finally feels like it's an appropriate time!  This year, Lowe's is carrying a special Disney Christmas lights collection called Disney Magic Holiday!

I'd heard about them online, and of course Eliot and I were anxious to see them in person.  We went to our Lowe's store back in mid-October to find this stunning display.

I absolutely love this entire collection and am hoping we'll be able to add some items to our Christmas Light collection for next year!  Here are a few of my personal favorites:

I love this Countdown to Christmas.  It would be perfect to project on our garage!

I absolutely love this Neon Mickey Mouse Sculpture!

And of course, I love the Neon Minnie Mouse Sculpture!

This little Olaf Sculpture is really cute too!

I totally have a thing about street lamps, so I was really excited when the collection included this Pre-Lit Lamp Post Sculpture.  It projects little Mickeys inside the top!

This Pre-Lit Tree Sculpture is really cute too!  However, I wish the Mickey lights were on the outside of the Christmas tree instead of the inside!

I love these pastel colored LED Mickey Lights

Lowe's also has these bright colored Mickey LED Lights!

There are also icicle lights, regular Christmas lights and light nets in the collection.  (I'm obviously more partial to the Mickey shaped stuff though!)  In addition to those, there are a few more designs that are sold in stores, but appear to be sold out online.  My favorite of those designs was the swirling Mickey Mouse protections!  (You can see the video I took of these lights in action here.)

I don't know about you, but Eliot and I are always looking to add a little bit of Disney magic to our Christmas light display.  These are on our Christmas wish list, and I'm sure we'll be going to Lowe's right after Christmas to see if they're on sale!  °o°

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Moana Movie Review

It's time for me to ask the million dollar question: Have you seen Moana yet?!?!?!  Eliot and I went to see it with his sisters on Thanksgiving.  And it feels like I should have posted this the second after the movie ended.  I've been writing it in my head for a week and a half.  The movie was amazing.  I can't say enough good things about it.  If you haven't seen it, stop what you're doing and get yourself to a movie theater stat!

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Just when I thought Disney couldn't impress me anymore than they already have, they pulled another one out of the hat.  The storyline to Moana was beautiful.  And I can honestly say that I didn't see the ending coming.  I thought it was a beautiful mix of Disney storytelling with the Polynesian culture.  I was completely captivated the entire movie and I didn't check my phone for the time once.  And at the end, I wanted more.

Of course, the animation was impeccable as always.  (I can never say enough wonderful things about the Disney and Pixar animators!)  The scenery in this movie was just as stunning as the other movies I've seen.  However, there was another fun element that we haven't ever seen this much of before- the top of the ocean.  In Moana, the ocean was like another character itself.

There's a scene in the beginning of the movie with Moana as a toddler.  She goes into the ocean and it pulls up around her as if she's viewing the ocean life through an aquarium tank.  The sea turtle swims by and it's just breathtaking.  The white foam, sparkles on the water and countless shades of turquoise and blue are so lifelike; it's incredible.  (I love this scene!  I found the international trailer so you can see it too!)

It's not a Disney movie unless there are a few Easter eggs hidden throughout.  I figured there would be a few placed in the film so I made sure to pay attention.  While watching it, we saw Sven, Wreck-It-Ralph, and I think I even saw Rapunzel's magic flower at the end of the movie!  There was also a reference to Sebastian from The Little Mermaid if you stayed to watch the end of the credits!

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Finally, my favorite part of the entire movie was the music.  Before seeing it, I already had small snippets of "We Know The Way" stuck in my head.  Watching the trailer was all I needed to keeping humming along.  It was catchy, upbeat and fun.  I didn't buy the soundtrack before I saw the movie because I didn't want to ruin the movie, but as soon as I saw it, I wanted the soundtrack.  (Elissa and I both bought it on Black Friday.)

My absolute favorite song on the soundtrack is "How Far I'll Go" which is a song that Moana sings at the beginning of the movie.  (It's a beautiful song that is reminiscent of "Let It Go.")  Throughout the movie, there are a few rephrases, each more empowering than the last.  I've had it stuck in my head for days... and I'm very ok with that!  (Here's a music video of the version of "How Far I'll Go" sung at the end during the credits!)

Overall, the movie is beautiful, stunning, and pure Disney magic.  I love most Disney movies I see, but not all of them stir deep feelings within me.  I teared up a few times during the movie, which is normal for me.  (Toy Story 3 anyone?)  But, I've also teared up a few times simply by listening to the soundtrack.  Not every movie evokes that much emotion from me, so I know this one is a winner based on that fact alone.

In fact, Eliot and I are planning to go see it again tonight!  (I've literally been waiting all week for this; I wanted to see it again earlier this week but we've been too busy!)  I'm also contemplating how we might be able to get my parents, Jeremy and Nana to go see it while we're home for Christmas or over New Year's Eve weekend...

I welcome Moana to the Disney movie family with open arms.  I know it will become a classic and people will enjoy hearing her story for years to come.  °o°

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Disney Pixar Blog Hop December 2016

Welcome to the Disney Pixar Blog Hop!

Disney and crafting are a magical combination, and we are so happy you joined us to day for this blog hop.  Some of the crafters participating in this event have been doing this together since 2011!  Over the years the hop has grown but one thing has always stayed the same . . . amazing crafting projects that feature your favorite characters from Disney and Pixar movies.

For 2016 we are going to have a hop every other month for the entire year!  If you missed one of the hops we already had this year, you can still go back and see the projects.  For February click HERE, for April click HERE, for June click HERE, for August click HERE and for October click HERE.  If you are on Facebook you can like the group page so that you can be the first to learn about each upcoming event.  Just click HERE to go the the Facebook page.

To make sure you don't miss any of the fun, be sure to start at Shawn's blog to see all of the projects.  Just click HERE to head over to Shawn's blog and then follow the hop line up at the bottom of the post to see everyone's projects.

Olaf's Winter Snow Sign

For my project, I wanted to make something I could use to decorate our house.  Eliot and I are still getting settled, so we've decided to leave a lot of our decorations in storage this year.  Instead of making something just for Christmas, I decided to make it winter themed!  Now, we can enjoy it from now through February/March!!!

Of course, when I think of winter, I think of my favorite snowman Olaf!  I've had the idea to make a sign with a fishbowl as the "O" for a while now, and this was the perfect opportunity to finally bring it to life!  I love how it came out!

Want to make your own Olaf's Winter Snow Sign decoration?  Here's how I made it:

Wooden Sign Base (I used one that was about 23" long)
"S", "N", and "W" Wood Letters
Wooden Circle Base
Fish Bowl (make sure it's about the same size as your wooden letters)
Acrylic Paints (shades of blue and turquoise, white)
Fake Textured Snow Paint
White Glitter
Olaf and Snowflake Buttons (I used the Disney Mickey snowflakes)
Newspaper (to cover your work area)
Black Craft Foam (I used thicker 1/4" foam that I found at Michael's)
Paint Brushes
Hot Glue Gun

1.) Select Your Materials
This project requires selecting the correct proportion of materials.  First, you need a wooden base that will fit all of your wooden letters and the fish bowl.  Then, you also need to find a wooden circle base that covers the top of your fishbowl without falling into it.  Here's an example of how I checked my materials in my local craft store.

2.) Paint Your Bases and Letters
Paint your wooden base and the letters in your chosen color.  I decided to paint mine turquoise since it matches so much of the decor in our house.  For the base, I stuck with a dark blue color that would pop a little more against the snow.  I painted two coats on the top and one coat on the back.  Let the pieces dry completely.

3.) Glue Your Letters and Fish Bowl to Base
Once your paint is completely dry, use your hot glue gun to attach the letters to the base.  I laid them on the base where I wanted them positioned before putting glue on the letters and firmly pressing them into the base.  Once the letters are in their position, put some glue on your fish bowl and attach that.

Note: If your letters aren't flat, like mine, you might need something else to "prop" them up.  My "S" wasn't going to sit flat so I took a small piece of black craft foam and used it to hold the rest of the "S" up.  I cut out a random peanut shaped piece, painted it white, then glued it to the S before gluing both pieces to my wooden base.

4.) Add Extra Glue
After attaching the letters, I was worried that they might fall over.  I wanted to give the illusion of snow at the base, so I decided to cover the bottom front of the letters with a little more hot glue.  I used about 2 small sticks just making "snow" piles.  This also helped cover the foam I had to add to my "S" making the snow pile look more natural.

5.) Add Snow and Glitter
When the hot glue was finally dry, I used the textured snow paint to create the illusion of snow piles.  It has a consistency similar to a frosting so I carefully spread it over the little mounds using my paint brush.  This was the perfect way to cover the hot glue from attaching the letters.  I also added some to my circle base using a circular swirl motion to create a fun texture for the top of the fish bowl.  Once I was finished with the snow, I sprinkled a tiny bit of white glitter over all of the snow.  (Pay attention to the drying instructions: my snow takes about 24 hours to fully harden!)

6.) Attach Buttons
I used my Olaf buttons to decorate the letters a little.  I had a few places on my sign where it conveniently looked like Olaf was standing in the snow so I went with it.  Then, I added a few Mickey Mouse snowflake buttons for some extra Disney magic!

7.) Decorate Your Fish Bowl
Finally, the last part is to decorate your fish bowl.  I originally wanted to put an Olaf figure inside mine, but I couldn't find him.  You could put a figure, tsum tsum, candle, small plush, miniature scene, basically anything inside of the fish bowl.  The sky's the limit!  And, since it has a top, you could place something on top of it!  I played around with a snowflake ornament inside and then my Olaf plush on top!  But, I might change it around every few weeks.  Or, as a variation, you could replace the "O" fish bowl with a snow globe.  (You can usually find plastic ones at the craft store this time of year.)

Once you're settled on how to decorate it, you're done!  Find a place to show off your creation and enjoy Olaf's Winter Snow Sign!!!  °o°

Before you go, make sure to enter to win our prize for this hop . . .

We have a prize from!  This prize pack includes a die set and 5 packages of sequins of the winners choice!  Choices must be from the current inventory.  Winners must be in the continental United States.

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a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Good luck, and enjoy the rest of the hop!

The full blog hop line up is below.  


Thursday, December 1, 2016

December 2016 Calendar

It's the first of December and now I can officially start my countdown to Christmas!!!  I love counting down, and this year, I have three advent calendars to help!  I haven't done an advent calendar in years... the last time I actually remember doing one was when I was still living at home with my family.  For my birthday, I got the Tsum Tsum advent calendar.  Then, I bought myself both versions of the vinyl Tsum Tsum advent calendars with some of my birthday money!  Let the countdown begin!  Here's my December 2016 printable calendar to help you with your countdown!!!

This year, I've also made a blank version (without the holidays) to make them more versatile.  My calendars have been used for many things over the past few years including: Disney trip countdowns, teachers' Disney themed classrooms, training calendars for runDisney events and to surprise kids with a Disney vacation!

Here's the link to download the December 2016 PDF version of the printable.

Here's the link to download the Blank December 2016 PDF version of the printable.

Feel free to link this post up to Pinterest or Facebook so your friends and family can have a fun Mickey and Minnie calendar too!  Let's spread the Disney Magic!!!  °o°

Note: I've made calendars through 2017.  I don't post the PDF links on my blog until the beginning of each month.  If you're looking for a particular month and would like me to email it to you ahead of my post going live, you can send my blog an email at mydisneylifeblog[at]  I'll send you the PDFs directly as soon as I can!  :-)

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

My 32nd Birthday

I can't believe it's already been 10 days since my 32nd birthday!  We've been so busy since then; it's like it passed in the blink of an eye!  Eliot and I had a wonderful time with his sisters last week.  I'll be posting more about their visit, but for now, I thought I'd do a quick recap of the celebrations on my actual birthday!

As you may recall from my birthday post, Eliot and I had a lazy morning watching Netflix with his sisters before we all got ready.  My Mom, Dad and Nana were traveling down to meet us for lunch!  It took us a little longer than expected to get ready, but I had a special birthday outfit I wanted to wear, and I also had asked Elissa to braid my hair!  Two dutch braids and a whole lot of Rapunzel later... and I was ready to party!

We met them at the South Portland Chili's restaurant.  (I absolutely love their mex bowls so that's why I picked Chili's!)  What I wasn't expecting was my brother Jeremy to surprise me!  My Mom hadn't told me in case the weather wasn't good, but he had been planning to come the entire time we were making plans!  I'm so glad he joined us!

We had a wonderful meal filled with laughter.  It was nice to have Sara and Elissa with us as well.  The girls told my family how the school year was going so far.  I enjoyed my mex bowl, and I had plenty of leftovers!  The waitresses even sang me a birthday song and brought over a small bowl of vanilla ice cream with chocolate sauce.  Yum!

After our meal, my parents went out to the car to get my cards and present!   It was wrapped in Frozen gift wrap!  When I saw the package, I already knew what it was since I had only asked for one thing.  You can see how excited I am!  Haha! 

Of course, it was my Tsum Tsum Advent Calendar!  I'm so glad my parents were able to get it.  It didn't sell out instantly, but it did sell out on the Disney Store website!  I can't wait to open the windows each day in December.  I've already seen sneak peeks online, so I decided to open it daily instead of all at once!  Then, I can enjoy it longer!

Before leaving Chili's, Jeremy brought over my gift from him.  I had asked him to see if his local Disney Store had a Pua (the pig from Moana) plush, but I wasn't expecting him to purchase one for me!  He gave me a Pua and Hei Hei set of plush!  He told me he'd return it if that wasn't what I was looking for, but one glance of Pua's little ears moving back and forth while he oinked and I was completely in love!  In fact, I think everyone was after we showed my parents and Nana.  Then, we had a lot of laughs about the 32 year old who got a bunch of plushies for her birthday and was in heaven.

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Finally, it was time to say goodbye.  It was pretty cold outside and the girls were half frozen. We bid my parents and Nana farewell and decided we were going to stay in Portland for a little bit to go shopping.

First, we went to ToysRUs and Jeremy joined us since he also wanted to go there.  We spent quite a bit of time poking through all the stuff.  They had a ton of fun Christmas stuff in the front.  I found the Tsum Tsum stocking I'd been looking for.  Then, I caved and spent a little of my birthday money on the Vinyl Tsum Tsum Advent Calendar, a small game, the Tigger Lip Smacker and a Tsum Tsum reusable bag.

After, we said goodbye to Jeremy and headed over to the Portland Mall.  We got sidetracked by the signs all over FYE and realized it was going out of business.  We found quite a bit of good deals there!  And, after a few minutes, we ran into my brother who had also gone over to the mall!  We each bought a few things at the store since everything was on sale.  I got three Moana Pop Vinyl figures and Eliot and I got a Finding Dory Christmas stocking.

We went around to a few other stores in the mall.  The girls made purchases at Build-A-Bear and American Eagle.  Eliot and I bought our donkeys Hanukkah shirts.  Then, we called it a night as the mall was closing at 6:00.  Plus, we'd decided to go see the 7:00 ish showing of the movie "The Edge of Seventeen."  Elissa and Sara really wanted to see it and it was actually pretty good!  Before the movie, we even got a chance to take pictures with the Moana sign!

When we got outside the theater, I thought it was raining, but after a minute, I realized it was snowing.  It started to come down faster as we drove home.  By the time we got home, it was sticking to the ground and we were having our first snow of the year!  It's the first time it's ever been on my birthday!  It was a great way to end the day!

I had a wonderful 32nd birthday and I'm very blessed to have spent it with my family and Eliot's sisters.  I think 32 is going to be a great year!  °o°

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Shop Small

Hi friends!  I just wanted to pop in quickly to remind you that today is Small Business Saturday!!!  As a small shop owner, it's really important to remind people to support their local business owners, as well as us handmade makers who sell online!

I make a lot of purchase at "big box" stores, but I always look for more unique items from handmade sellers.  There's something special about opening something from those people. I really love receiving an item from someone who put their heart and soul into it.  It makes the item more special, and certainly more unique!

Of course, Eliot and I have our own small shops: my shop Happily Ever Hatter and his shop Snowblade Creations.  And for those of you who don't know, I'm also a travel planner for Key to the World Travel.  If you're planning a trip to Disney, I'd love to help!

However, this year I wanted to highlight a few of my favorite small shops.  There are so many, and I've discovered and followed a ton of them through Instagram!  These are a few small shops that I've personally purchased from over the past year!  (You've probably seen a few of these, but a lot of them I haven't shared on here before!)

Recently, I've started purchasing a few ear headbands from other sellers.  I wanted to support my fellow ear makers!  My favorite shop that I've purchased from is Elephant and Mouse.  Maggie makes great designs and I already own 4 of her creations!!!

Earlier this year, I was able to purchase a hand painted pendant necklace by Savanna Rodriguez.  I've admired her work via Instagram for awhile.  I was fortunate to grab one during a recent shop opening.  It's absolutely stunning!

I love these postcards that I got from Artist Marnie.  She paints beautiful paintings and I had to get some of her postcards for my art wall that I'm dreaming of!  These are stunning and I hope to purchase some prints from her soon!

Earlier this year, I got some accessories from Le Petit Mouse.  I ordered a Rapunzel Pendant Necklace and a Starbucks Necklace/Brooch.  I love them!  I'm sure I'll be ordering more items from her soon!

I also got these custom dresses from Shadows13Bows.  They're awesome!

For Valentine's Day, I bought this limited edition Rapunzel ring from AOS Design.  I've been admiring these from afar and my only regret is that I didn't order one sooner!  I just wore it for the first time the other day and it's perfection.

I also had to get something special for our house.  I finally worked out a theme and design for our open concept kitchen,dining room and living room.  I found these pillows from Carlson Quilt Fabrics.  I love them!

As you've probably gathered, I'm really into scarves.  They're the perfect accessory in the winter.  At this point, I have a giant Disney scarf collection!  I absolutely love my Mickey and Friends Cupcake scarf from PlayItByEars!  My Tsum Tsum scarf is from MadeByMelephant.  I love it.  It's so soft!

I ordered my first fascinator this year for Spring Dapper Day at Disneyland.  I decided to dress up as Diamond Celebration Minnie so I had to get this from Hat and Mouse.  I also got this cute brooch from LilSweetumsBowtique.

Speaking of brooches, I've also ordered a ton of them from LilSweetumsBowtique on her Instagram page.  She does sales about once a month on ready to ship items and my brooch collection is huge.  Here's a small sample of the ones I now have from her!

My favorite Disney jewelry sweet shop is Enchanted Candy Carousel.  April makes amazing designs and my collection of her handmade items is also growing!  I have a few new designs for Christmas on their way soon, including my second fascinator!

I purchased my first order from Pretty Little Monograms earlier this year when they had an awesome sale!  I had been wanting a nameplate necklace in the Disney font for a while and this was the perfect opportunity.  I also caved and bought myself a hot pink monogramed shirt!  I love it and will probably be ordering more next year!

Finally, I'm absolutely loving my clothing from OhSewMagical.  Linsay makes awesome adult leggings and skirts.  I have one pair of her leggings, a few skirts, (a few more on order...) and an autograph shirt!  I love them and know I will be ordering more!

I love all of these small shops and hope that you will consider supporting one this holiday season!  We all love and appreciate each and every one of our customers!  

"When you buy from a small mom or pop business, you are not helping a CEO buy a third vacation home.  You are helping a little girl get dance lessons, a little boy get his team jersey, a mom or dad put food on the table, a family pay a mortgage, or a student pay for college.  Our customers are our shareholders and they are the ones we strive to make happy.  Thank you for supporting Small Businesses!" - unknown  °o°