Monday, October 26, 2020

Magical Merchandise: Wishes Come True Blue Collection

I'm seeing stars!  Last Thursday, Disney released a brand new collection of Wishes Come True Blue merchandise.  Eliot and I were surprised by the Thursday drop, since most new items are released to the website on Monday.  Nevertheless, I was excited to see the new merchandise in my email and I jumped right over to the Shop Disney app.

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What I found took my breath away.  There was a new color collection of 20 clothing and accessory items in a beautiful shade of crisp, bright blue.  I'd actually seen a sneak peek of the Loungefly backpack online and everyone assumed that it was just a new Sorcerer Mickey collection.  While the current items don't scream Sorcerer Mickey, it's definitely a subtle nod to our favorite sorcerer's apprentice and his hat.  I am in love with the bright blue, silvery sparkles and the stars and moon design.

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This new collection was made to honor the 40 year partnership of Disney and Make-a-Wish.  For all items purchased in the Wishes Come True Blue collection between now and World Wish Day (April 29, 2021) in the US, Canada and Europe, Disney will donate 25% of the profits (up to $500,000) to Make-A-Wish.  According to Disney, there will be three merchandise drops so it appears as if there is more to come!

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Make-a-Wish has always been important to me.  In the past, we've participated in the Share Your Ears event, a Walk for Wishes fundraiser and Eliot and I have donated a few pairs of mouse ears to a few Wish Kids going to Disney.  I've also done many virtual races to benefit Give Kids the World Village, which is where the Wish Kids and their families stay while visiting Walt Disney World.  It's so important to me that these kids have their wishes fulfilled.  We've been blessed to go on many trips to Disney.  It brings me joy to know that these kids will get to experience the magic too.

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So not only is it stunning, but this collection is extra special to me.  Today, I wanted to share a few of my favorite pieces from the collection.  Unfortunately, a lot of it is already sold out online.  (It's unclear if Disney will be restocking those items or if they'll return in one of the future merchandise drops.)

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The thing I was most excited about were the Spirit Jerseys for both Walt Disney World and Disneyland.  They had them in adult sizes, as well as a style for children and for your pets!  There are also Face Masks to match the Spirit Jerseys.  Of course, there are also mouse ears that match the collection.  However, this time, Disney has also made their first ever adjustable mouse ears (with a chin strap) for people who might need something a little more comfortable.

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My other favorites from the collection were the leggings, super sparkly Crocs, Alex and Ani bracelet and the sequined Loungefly Mini Backpack.  I love how the Crocs and the leggings both had the moon incorporated into them too.  They'll be perfect additions to a Sorcerer Mickey outfit!  Just look at that sparkle!!!

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I am absolutely in love with this collection!  Thankfully, I knew enough to purchase my favorites when I saw them as I was worried these items would sell out quickly.  (And they did.)  I'm happy to report that the WDW Spirit Jersey, Leggings, Loungefly Mini Backpack and Crocs jumped into my cart and will be on their way to me soon.  (Even while checking out, I had problems with the Spirit Jersey jumping in and out of stock.)

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If you have your eye on something that's still in stock online, don't wait too long to order!  And you can feel good about it, since not only is the collection beautiful, but 25% of the sales are going to a great cause.  "Starlight, star bright, first start I see tonight.  I wish I may, I wish I might, have the wish I wish tonight.  Make a wish, and do as dreamers do.  And all our wishes, will come true."  °o°

Saturday, October 17, 2020

Small Shop Saturday: Headbands (Part 2)

You might recall that back in July I finally got my hair cut and got rid of my quarantine hairdo.  It's now a little shorter than shoulder length which is pretty short for me.  I haven't had it this short since Eliot's and my honeymoon in March of 2013!  Back then, I got it cut before we left for Walt Disney World and it was so short that I couldn't even pull it back in a ponytail.  (I had pig tails our entire honeymoon.)  This time, I was sure to tell the hair stylist that I needed to be able to pull it into a ponytail for working out, cleaning the house and working on projects and mouse ear orders.

Part of the reason that I wanted my hair cut was so that I could start to wear it down more often when the weather cools off.  I'm notorious for putting it back in a bun and calling it good.  I used to actually take the time to do my hair, but staying at home all the time has made me lazy.  I'm hoping to start wearing it down more now that the fall is here... which means I need options to keep my wild red curls tamed.

Enter the headband.  Back when I cut my hair short in the summer of 2011, I went and bought a bunch of headbands from Claire's.  This time around, I've been obsessed with handmade designs found over on Etsy.  I already bought a bunch of them prior to my haircut.  (You can read about those here in Part 1.)  After I got my hair cut, I bought a bunch more and I thought I'd share those too!

I can't seem to keep myself away from Sew Tangled.  I've placed most of my orders from Tammy as she offers both knot headbands and stretchy knotted headbands.  I've received five more orders since the first one and I absolutely love them.  I've found tons of fun designs- from Disney Dooney inspired patterns, to monorails, to Mickey colors to the Bubblegum Wall and of course a few Harry Potter designs!  In fact, my most recent order arrived on Thursday- just in time to make it into this post!

I bought a lot of Halloween and fall headbands from Sew Tangled.  The candy corn designs are a personal favorite.  I'm pretty obsessed with candy corn and they'll match my Walt Disney World Candy Corn Spirit Jersey and my Loungefly bag from last year!

Sew Tangled also had Haunted Mansion patterns like the cast member maid costume and the tightrope walker's skirt.  I had to get the Mickey wallpaper design!  Of course, I also couldn't say no to the Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party cast member costume prints.  I love the Halloween Party and these headbands are so cute!!!

This time around, I also bought a few headbands from Custom Threadss.  I've been admiring a few for awhile now, and I finally purchased my favorites!  I absolutely love the Cinderella pink dress headband and how the knot bow is a tape measure!  I've bought a few Loungefly bags and dresses that match this theme so it's perfect!

I couldn't help myself; I had to have the Wilderness Explorer headband.  I'm also loving how the bow is fabric with all of Russell's patches!

I also bought this stretchy Rapunzel headband from Custom Threadss.  I love it!

A few years ago, I introduced you to my friend Maggie and her shop Elephant and Mouse.  She still makes mouse ears, but she's also branched out to making knotted headbands!  She's had so many fun designs so of course I had to get a few.  So far, I've bought one for fall and one for Christmas, but I've got my eye on a few more of her new plaid Christmas designs... and they've already found their way into my shopping cart!  (You'll probably see another post with those down the line...)

As you can see, my headband addiction has grown into a full blown obsession.  (Send help!)  Seriously, I love them.  I'm hoping to behave myself between now and when the rest of the Christmas designs start to show up... I guess we'll see how that turns out.  

In the meantime, Eliot and I are in the process of collecting supplies to make a display for my growing collection.  Then, it will be easy to find what I'm looking for each day.  I'll be sure to update you once the headband display project is completed, as well an update on how my collection looks a few more months from now.  °o°

Monday, October 5, 2020

Magical Merchandise: 2020 Holiday Decor from Lowes

Happy Magical Merchandise Monday!  It's been a while since I posted about new merchandise so I thought it was high time for another one.  I mentioned in my latest update post about how Eliot and I have been checking out the holiday merchandise at Lowes.  They always have fun Disney Halloween and Christmas decorations and this year's collection certainly did not disappoint!

Today, I thought I'd do a post about some of the merchandise that we've found for both holidays.  Many stores are already pretty picked over- especially for Halloween.  But, after going to three different stores, we can safely say that you never really know what you'll find at each of them as the selection did vary quite a bit! 


We've been to both of our local Lowes stores twice on two different weekends, and then we also went to the August Lowes when we had to make the hour and a half trek go pick Eliot's car up from being serviced.  One of our local stores has absolutely no Disney Christmas merchandise out so far, while the other was preparing for the set up the first time we went, and had the display fully out the following weekend!  (We were also a little naughty and took a peek at the display plans sitting on the empty shelf...)

Seeing the Halloween and Christmas displays brought me so much joy.  2020 has been really rough and I find myself craving the holiday season and my favorite time of year.  I love the fall and celebrating Halloween, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, New Years and my birthday also falls right in the middle.  It always goes by fast, but I really cherish this season and the decor and fun that comes along with it!

For Halloween, there was a lot of the stuff that Eliot and I have grown to expect- lots of Nightmare Before Christmas inflatables, and a few Mickey and Minnie items.  This year, we were really excited about the new Mickey Bat inflatables.  Last year, Eliot bought two of the Mickey Ghosts, so this year we added two bats to complete our front porch set up!  We were excited to see the hanging ghosts return as well!

We were also pretty excited to see Zero in addition to all of the Jack Skellington inflatables we usually see!  There was also a big Jack Skellington inflatables with him on top of the hill surrounded by lots of lighted pumpkins at the base.  We're not huge Nightmare Before Christmas fans, but even I liked how festive that one was.

I really liked this year's Mickey and Minnie inflatables in the tonal gray.  We have so many different Mickey and Minnie Halloween inflatables, but I think we might still grab a pair of these.  I'm actually thinking about putting them in our master bedroom.  Our bedroom is mint with gray tones, and these would fit right in perfectly!

Finally, the last Disney Halloween inflatable, and the hardest to find, was the giant Mickey Mouse Pumpkin inflatable!  I first saw him on Instagram when a ton of Disney fans were posting pictures of him in their yards.  Right then, I knew Eliot and I had to get one.  Mickey wasn't available in any of our local stores, but we were able to order one online and to have my brother Jeremy pick it up in New Hampshire on his way home for Labor Day weekend!  (It ended up being quite a little saga, but thankfully, Mickey arrived safely and he's absolutely perfect!)  We haven't set him up yet, but he'll be joining the rest of our decor soon!

As for Christmas, I'm always so excited to see what Lowes has in their Disney Magic Holiday Christmas collection!  They've had this exclusive merchandise line since 2016 and every year for the past 5 years, Eliot and I make the trek to Lowes around our wedding anniversary to see what new additions they have for that year.

This year, my absolute favorite thing from the collection is hands down the Mickey Snowman Blow Mold... and I haven't been the only one.  If you actually can find one of these at this point, count yourself as very lucky.  Ever since news of him broke on Instagram, Disney fans have been looking high and low for him.

Eliot and I saw his box during our first trip to our local Portland Lowes.  We went back the following weekend and thankfully, there were still two of them there!  Although, Eliot got to the aisle way before me, had them both in a shopping cart and then stood in front of it so I wouldn't see them.  I was completely crushed when I turned the corner and their spot was empty... but then I was so excited when he stepped aside to reveal them!  (I literally squealed out loud.)  Two of them still there- exactly what we wanted!

This year, they've also added a few other new items.  Another one that I loved was the new wreath made with pinecones.  It's a fun alternative to the usual Mickey wreath.

I'm in love with the Santa Mickey rainbow lights.  I think we might get a few of these for our living room.  Eliot and I both love the little Santa hats on them!

Another new item I love is the Mickey and Minnie Lighted Tinsel Yard Sculpture.  I love how Mickey is inside of the chimney.  The only thing that would make it cuter was if Mickey popped up and down out of the chimney!

A sculpture that does move is the new Mickey mailbox!  It's so cute but it's hard to see in pictures!  (It's at the top right of the Disney Magic Holiday display.)

We also love the Mickey and Minnie blow molds.  I sent a picture of them to my Dad who texted me back that he wanted a Mickey.  (Blow molds are really special to me since we have a few that Mom and Dad had ever since I can remember.  Dad's big Santa and Snowman blow molds always make me smile.)  After a few more texts back and forth, both Mickey and Minnie joined our snowmen to come home with us for my Dad.  They've been sitting in our living room since then.  At this point, Eliot and I are probably going to get a set for ourselves as they've grown on me even more!

Of course, there are a few Mickey and Minnie inflatables.

Finally, we did find Mickey and Minnie porch greeters at the Lowes that didn't have a full Disney display.  It's a bummer that they don't have the full collection out (yet... possibly at all?) but they did at least have these cuties along with the inflatables.

We're really excited for all of these fun holiday decorations.  I can't wait to get a little spooky and then to deck the halls.  2020 may have sucked the souls out of most of us... but it can't take away all of my holiday cheer!  

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

September Days

Wow; it's already been an entire month since I last visited my blog.  September came and went faster than any month this year.  To say that Eliot and I been busy might be the understatement of the year, but then again, this is 2020 we're talking about.  We've had a lot of ups and downs this month.  At the beginning of the month, I was ready to shed the negativity and prepared to focus on ending 2020 on a good note.  But of course, 2020 had other plans in mind.

The first few days into the month, Eliot and I lost water at our house.  We've had problems on and off for over a year, but we hadn't had any problems lately so it took us off guard.  Usually, Eliot was able to fix it, but this time it was a larger problem.  After a lot of phone calls, two different companies fixing things, and about a week of having to patch ourselves by, we finally got our water back.  Although, it was murky on and off for quite a few days.  Ugh.  I'm just thankful to have water and be able to shower again!

Thankfully, the rest of the month passed by pretty smoothly.  Eliot and I continued to work on new designs for both Happily Ever Hatter and Snowblade Creations.  We'll be debuting a lot of the things we've been working on behind the scenes soon!  We've also kept busy working on and completing orders.

Over Labor Day Weekend, we took time off to go visit my parents in Bar Harbor.  It was a relaxing weekend spending time with my parents, Nana and bother Jeremy.  (It was also the first time we'd all been together since Mother's Day.)  We went into town to get ice cream and lunch.  Eliot and I also had dinner with my best friend Katie- who we hadn't seen in forever.  It was a great weekend and it was good for my mental health.

Throughout the month of September, Eliot and I continued to watch hockey and the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs.  It was pretty crazy, but the team I was rooting for all along kept winning series after series in incredible and sometimes pretty improbable ways.  Before I knew it, former Sharks captain Joe Pavelski and the Dallas Stars were going to the Stanley Cup Finals!

We had so much fun watching Joe Pavelski and his new team.  Eliot and I had a soft spot for the Stars all playoffs; it was so much fun to see them continue to advance to the next round.  During the playoffs, Pavelski also crept up to, tied and took over the top spot of most playoff goals by an American-born NHL player.  In the end, Dallas ended up losing the cup to the Tampa Bay Lightning, but it was a great series and a great playoffs.  We don't know when hockey will be back for the 2020-2021 season, but I know we will miss it until it starts again.

Fortunately, football is now back as well.  I had a hard time watching the first game with Cam Newton as our New England Patriots quarter back.  It was even worse watching Tom Brady in a Buccaneers uniform.  But, I'm excited for football season and I'm still cheering for my Patriots... even if it's weird to not have Brady there.  Eliot hasn't been able to watch an Eagles game yet, but he's looking forward to that too.

September was also full of other small celebrations.  We've really been enjoying the little things.  Our backyard has had the most stunning changing leaves.  We were sure to take a few minutes to go out back, take pictures and soak in their beauty.  

September 14th was the five year anniversary of us buying our house.  In honor of it, I bought us a new kitchen cart and it's changed my life.  I've wanted to get a kitchen cart that we could use for an island and I finally pulled the trigger and bought one.  Eliot put it together last weekend and I really don't know how we lived here for five years without it.  It's been so helpful to have the extra counter space and to have something closer to the refrigerator.  I can't wait to rearrange the kitchen drawers.  I might finally get everything put where I want it to be!

September 20th was Eliot's and my 8th wedding anniversary.  We didn't do too much to celebrate, but we did go out to eat for the first time since COVID started.  We went to IHOP for a really late breakfast (around 2:00 pm in the afternoon) on our wedding anniversary and the restaurant was almost empty.  It was so nice to have IHOP again!  

After eating at IHOP, we went to Walmart and picked up a few things we needed since it had been awhile since my last supply run.  Then, we drove down to Wells to go to the ice cream place I love before they closed for the season.  I was able to get my favorite- Lemon Meringue Pie and Eliot got Peppermint Stick.  It was so yummy and it was a nice, simple way to celebrate our anniversary.

The past few weekends, Eliot and I have also went on a few shopping trips to look at the Halloween and Christmas decor.  I'm so ready for the holiday season this year.  I look forward to it every year, but after this depressing year, I'm really ready for some holiday cheer!  The Disney Magic Holiday Christmas collection at Lowes is usually out on display every year around our wedding anniversary, so we were sure to check out the options and new additions for this season.  (We've already bought a few items that have been popular and selling out!)

As the calendar flips from September to October, Eliot and I are looking forward to the upcoming holidays, to getting more house projects done and to finishing some more business designs.  The month may have passed by me in a daze, but I'm thankful that overall we had some pretty good September days. °o°

Monday, August 31, 2020

Simple Summer Days

How is it already the end of August?  As much as this year has stunk, at least it's flying by.  Summer is winding down and I'm finding myself longing for crisp autumn mornings, beautiful changing leaves and pumpkin everything.  It's already been over a month since the last time I checked in on our day to day lives.  After Eliot's sisters left on their road trip back to Colorado, Eliot and I basically went back to our boring and quiet lifestyle for the most part.  There have been a few highlights though! 

Most importantly, my Mom had her surgery about 2.5 weeks ago and she's home and slowly recovering.  After a long summer of uncertainties and rescheduling things, she's finally done with all of the procedures she was supposed to have.  I've been doing a lot of traveling back and forth between our house and my parents' house, but it was all worth it to have her home safe.  I'm hoping that this is the end of the procedures and that she can take time to fully heal and recover this fall.

As for our businesses, Eliot and I have gotten a lot busier this past month.  Part of it is that I haven't been home much, but it's mostly because we've gotten re-motivated.  It's been really hard to get excited about mouse ears when the parks have closed and business has been down.  But orders have slowly picked up, and with that so has our desire to make new designs.  As you know, last month we were really busy working on our Christmas in July mouse ears.  That kind of kick started both Eliot and I to begin working on new mouse ear designs.

Since then, we've gone through all of our mouse ears.  We started with the incomplete samples that we're working on.  (We've got about 40 of them that are in various stages of completion!)  Some of them are completely new designs; while others are new variations of current designs.  Eliot and I have also spent some time on the weekends organizing our mouse ear samples.  Our current storage solution wasn't working, so we got some new storage containers and we separated them into categories.  Now, it'll be much easier to grab the ones we need for our trips and to take social media photos.

I've also taken some time to work on our Happily Ever Hatter Etsy shop.  I haven't spent too much time working on it the past few months while the parks have been closed.  But now that things are slowly picking back up, I felt like it was time to give Happily Ever Hatter a little love.  I've been working on organizing our existing listings in order to make room for new ideas we're working on behind the scenes.  I've also been taking photos of our new designs and adding those new items to our listings.

As for Snowblade Creations, that has been pretty steady.  Eliot and I have kept busy fulfilling desk accessory orders and working on samples behind the scenes.  However, we've been slacking a little bit.  We've got two desk sets and a few new accessories that need to be photographed, edited and listed.  Truthfully, they should have made their debut last month.  As long as Mother Nature cooperates, we're planning to get that done sometime this week so I can finally get them added to our collection!

I'm really excited about a few new products that we're working on behind the scenes for both businesses.  I ordered a few more supplies the other day for a new Happily Ever Hatter product that I've been dreaming of making for a while now.  Plus, Eliot's been working behind the scenes on a new product that we'll be debuting soon!  He's got a bunch of the samples completed and I'm so excited to add this new product to our collection!  We're going to launch a bunch of the designs for it all at once!

Eliot and I have also taken time to enjoy our summer.  After a few summers of barely getting any summer fun in, we've been sure to take some time for ourselves.  We've continued to go swimming in Eric and Heather's pool whenever we've had a chance and the weather has cooperated.  Eliot finished the Lego car he'd been working on since the end of July.  We've continued to check Hallmark movies off our list- including a few more Christmas movies that we recorded during the Christmas in July week.

The most exciting thing for Eliot and me is that as of August 1st, hockey is back!  The San Jose Sharks aren't in the playoffs this year, but that hasn't stopped us.  In fact, it's been nice to watch without being completely 100% invested.  The first week hockey was back, we literally watched nothing but hockey for a week straight.  There were so many games to determine playoff standings and who would make it into the playoffs because the regular season got cut short.  It's been a lot of fun and we're still very much interested in the playoffs.  We watched most of the 1st round games.  Now that we're into the second round and there are only 8 teams left, we're watching pretty much all of the games.  It's been fun to cheer on past Sharks players!  (Go Stars!!!)

We've actually had a little bit of a social life these past few weeks.  One Saturday night, we went over to the pool and Eric and Heather were already in it.  We spent about an hour and a half talking with them while floating around in the pool.  Eliot works with both of them, so I wasn't worried about them giving anything to us or us spreading germs to them.  For that hour and half, things actually felt normal.

On Sunday August 2nd, we had a BBQ Block Party with our neighborhood.  Eliot and I live on a small private road with only 4 houses.  Our new neighbors wanted to meet us, so we took our own food and had a social distanced gathering.  We gathered at the end of the dead end road and talked for a few hours while the kids played.  Towards the end, everyone went back to get their dogs and I got to love on the dogs.  Two of the dogs loved me and they were pushing each other out of the way to get next to me for back scratches.  I kept telling them that I had enough love for both of them.  (Eliot and I really need to get a dog... I absolutely love them.)

Finally, Eliot and I have gone out shopping a few times.  Going up to Portland to visit Joann Fabrics and Michael's has been a big highlight for me.  I love going to the craft stores; it's really therapeutic to me to browse and get inspired.  Plus, it's been fun to picnic in our car outside of Chipotle after picking up our to-go order.  It's been nice to get out of the house occasionally.  Other than that, it's been a lot of the same.  

Now that the seasons are starting to change, I suspect we'll start spending more time inside as it cools.  Eliot and I still need to get back to finishing Once Upon a Time after taking a break between seasons 6 & 7.  We've got a few more Hallmark movies to watch on the DVR.  Plus, once it's cooler, I'm planning to finish organizing our master bedroom, my vanity and my clothes.  I also want to get the master bathroom finished.  I suspect that things will be getting a lot busier with working around the house!  In the meantime, we're going to try to enjoy the last of our simple summer days.  °o°