Saturday, April 1, 2017

April 2017 Calendar

Happy April friends!  How is 2017 already 1/4 over?!?  (It really is!  No April Fools jokes here.)  It's hard to believe how incredibly fast this year is flying by.  To kick off the new month, here's my free April 2017 Mickey and Minnie printable calendar!!!

Like last year, I've also made a blank version of the 2017 calendar without the holidays to make them more versatile.  Over the past 4 years, my calendars have been used for lots of things 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 April 2017 PDF version of the printable.

Here's the link to download the Blank April 2017 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!  :-)

Friday, March 31, 2017

Fun Find: The Dress Shop

Hi friends!  I'm sorry I haven't been around.  Eliot and I been so busy lately!  (I'll fill you in soon!)  I've had at least 5 posts planned since my last one and I never ended up having time to start and/or finish any of them.  I'm trying to get back into the flow... hopefully I'll be able to post more often next month!

I have something I wanted to share with you for Fun Find Friday.  If you follow the Disney Parks Blog, you've probably heard the news, but if not then I've got a treat for you!  As of this morning, the newest store opened at Disney Springs.  Disney parks favorites meet Disney style in the newest merchandise addition: The Dress Shop.

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The Dress Shop is a new collection of apparel and accessories, mainly vintage and retro inspired dresses.  The cool part is that they're all designed around a Disney character, movie or attraction.  It's a great way to add a little bit of Disney style to your everyday life, or to dress up in something a little bit more stylish at the parks.

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Honestly, I'm surprised that it took Disney this long to come out with their own line of dresses.  With events like Dapper Day, and the popularity of Disneybounding, it was only a matter of time.  (I'm really glad that time is now!  Finally!!!)  I'm so excited for this new addition to official Disney parks merchandise. 

From what I've seen of the collection, it's perfection.  The dresses currently range in prices from about $98-$119 and sizes are from XS-3X.  You can see more photos from the collection on DisneyLifeStylers Facebook page here.

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I think my favorite dresses are the Orange Bird, Small World and Tiki Room.  Although, I really love the Minnie Mouse, Tea Cups and Tower of Terror dresses too.  Plus, the matching handbags are super cute!  I hope this collection does well and that they release more designs!  I can't wait to get my hands on one (or more!) of these dresses!

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The collection is currently on sale at the Marketplace Co-Op in Disney Springs and a few of the items are also available at Vault 28 in Disneyland.

So, which one is your favorite?  Will you be adding any of these to your closet?  °o°

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Happy 50th Pirates of the Caribbean!!!

Today, one of my all time favorite rides, Pirates of the Caribbean, turns 50!!!

Fifty years ago today, Pirates of the Caribbean set sail at Disneyland.  Of course, over the years it's become a fan favorite and a classic.  It's so popular that there are currently pirate attractions in five Disney parks: Disneyland, Walt Disney World, Disneyland Paris, Tokyo Disneyland, and the newest ride at Shanghai Disney Resort.

The iconic attraction inspired the Pirates of the Caribbean movies staring Johnny Depp.  There are four movies with the 5th being released this May.  (I can't wait!)

Then, the movies inspired the ride.  Captain Jack Sparrow and Captain Barbosa were both added to the attraction after the popularity of the movie franchise.  Other changes have included adding images of Davy Jones, Captain Blackbeard and mermaids.

Meeting the pirates characters is a rare experience, but one that I've fortunately been able to do a few times now!  Eliot and I first met Captain Jack Sparrow at Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party in 2015.  He commented on our outfits from the "spooky house."  Then, we met him again this past year at the Halloween party.

During the Princess Half marathon a few weeks ago, I also stopped to take a picture with Captain Jack Sparrow and Captain Barbosa!  I figure that you don't see them together often, my foot was killing me and needed a break, so I went for it!  (Then, Captain Barbosa gave me a hard time about not liking his beard.)

Of course, there are many more pirate experiences at Disney: from the Halloween parade floats, to dressing up like one at the Pirates League, to themed resort rooms, and to Disney Cruise Line's Pirate Night adventures on the high seas.

I have many memories of Pirates of the Caribbean: riding the attractions at both Walt Disney World and Disneyland, of going to see the movies and now from Pirates in the Caribbean during our first Disney Cruise last fall.  It's safe to say this attraction will always hold a special place in my heart.  It was also the last ride Walt Disney oversaw the construction of- which makes it even more special to me.

Happy 50th Anniversary Pirates of the Caribbean!  May you sail on voyages and delight park guests for many more years.  Drink up me hearties, yo ho! °o°

Friday, March 17, 2017

Today's the Day!!!

It's finally here!!!  Today is the day Beauty and the Beast is released in theaters!!!  Or, more likely for most of you, last night was the night to go see it!  Unfortunately, here in southern Maine, our local theater did not have any midnight showings.  Boo!!!

However, I've decided that's ok with me.  I'm practicing an incredible amount of self-restraint, and going to see it tomorrow with Eliot and my brother Jeremy.  I have today off, so if I really wanted to, I could take myself, but I would rather see it for the first time with both of them.  Thus, the wait continues for me... 

Have you seen it?  What did you think?  (No spoilers!)  My friends who have seen it say that it's amazing, and it's so good it's like seeing the original all over again.  I have to admit, I've been pretty excited for other movies in the past- Cinderella, Harry Potter, Hunger Games, etc.- but I've never been this excited to go see a movie.  In fact, I'm planning how I'm going to get myself there to see it multiple times.  (Sorry Eliot...)

For now, I wait a little bit longer.  I'll figure out what I'm going to wear and then set out my Beauty and the Beast themed outfit for tomorrow.  Today is a also good day to finish a few projects I've been working on.  So, I wait... but I know it'll be worth it!  °o°

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

WDW February 2017 Bucket List Results

I can't believe it's already been two weeks since we returned from our trip to Walt Disney World!  Eliot and I have been super busy, but it means we're that much closer to spring!  (She said as the worst storm of the winter bears down on Maine bringing about two feet of snow...)  As promised, here is a recap of our bucket list from our trip!

Melissa's WDW February 2017 Bucket List:

°o°  1.) Buy a Mickey Mouse Balloon
This is one of those goals that I can't seem to shake.  I was going to do it at the beginning of our trip, but Eliot and I weren't at the Magic Kingdom (during the day) early in our trip.  I wanted to take pictures with it at the castle.  It wasn't worth it to buy a balloon only to pop it mere hours later.  I'll get one... eventually.

°o°  2.) Take a picture at the "purple wall”
We passed the purple wall, but it was night time and it didn't look very purple.  Plus, with our limited schedule, it wasn't that important to us.

°o°  3.) Participate in the Enchanted 10K and Princess Half
I did participate in the Enchanted 10K and the Princess Half!  I also finished my first runDisney race!  I'm very proud of that.  I didn't finish the half, but I finally listened to my body and I don't think my flat feet and bad knees are cut out for longer races.  I'm still doing Tink in May, but after that, I'm sticking to 5K and 10K races!

°o°  4.) Go on the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train Ride
Next trip, we are signing up for FastPasses for this!  I think this is the 5th time we've been since it opened and we STILL haven't been on it!

°o°  5.) See Rivers of Light
Eliot and I were able to see this on the night we went to Animal Kingdom.  I really enjoyed the show and the message.  I'm really looking forward to seeing it again!

°o°  6.) Take Photos at the Hubgrass
I should have done this Thursday afternoon while I was at the Magic Kingdom by myself.  However, I didn't bring the ears I wanted photos of with me.  We walked past the hubgrass a second time at dusk on our last night.  But, it wasn't that important and I wanted daytime pictures.  Next time!

°o°  7.) See Wishes One Last Time
Eliot and I actually saw Wishes twice during our trip.  We went Thursday night after he arrived, and we went again on our last night.  Goodbye Wishes!!!  :-(

°o°  8.) Take a picture at the “bubble gum wall"
I got a photo at the bubble gum wall in Epcot!

°o° 10.) Buy Haunted Mansion shoes at Expo
bought my Haunted Mansion wallpaper shoes from the expo.  Eliot and I also both got the wallpaper and hitchhiking ghost shoe charms.

°o° 11.) See Mickey's Friendship Faire Castle Show
I watched this on Thursday while I was at Magic Kingdom by myself.  I really enjoyed the show and it was cute.  It's not Dream Along with Mickey, but it was fun.

°o° 15.) Buy Rivers of Light Merchandise
Eliot and I behaved ourselves with the merchandise this trip, especially since a lot of it is available on the Shop Disney Parks App.  However, I did scope out the Rivers of Light merchandise, and I brought home a magnet!

°o° 16.) See the Tree of Life Light Up
Eliot and I saw a few versions of the Tree of Life coming to life.  We didn't realize that there were different versions!  Animal Kingdom at night is fun!

°o° 17.) Visit Disney Springs
Eliot and I went to Disney Springs after we rested up from the 10K.  We didn't do too much walking because we were a little sore, but I did see the tsum tsum dress, get some treats and do a little bit of shopping!

°o° 18.) Take a Tangled Magic Shot
I'm so happy to got my Tangled Magic shot!  I really wish that I'd smiled for the photo though.  They told me to look at the lantern and I was so serious.  Plus, I wish that Eliot and I had gotten one looking at each other.  Thankfully, it was just announced that they're extending the photo op!  I really hope we get the chance to do it again!

°o° 19.) Go Swimming
I don't know if we offiicially went swimming, but we went to the pool after the 10K.  The water was really cold, so we mostly just soaked our legs in it.  We were planning to go to Blizzard Beach, but after seeing how cold the Hippy Dippy Pool was, we decided we'd skip it this trip!  No biggie, it gave us more time to do other things!

°o° 20.) Meet Moana
When we walked through One Man's Dream, the line to meet Moana was over an hour long.  We had other things we were trying to get done, so we skipped it for now.  Plus, I wanted to wear a Moana inspired outfit.  I'm hoping next time the line won't be as long, or that we'll be able to meet her at Disneyland in May!

In addition to these, we also did a few other things we weren't expecting:

°o° Pop Century Pool Bar
This has been on my bucket list forever.  I didn't even put it on the list this time because I figured there was no way it would happen.  But, the timing and meaning behind it was very significant, and I really wanted to make sure it happened this time.

°o° Meet one of my Happily Ever Hatter Customers
Ok, we had planned to try to meet up, so it wasn't unexpected.  However, I wasn't sure how the timing would work.  I'm really happy it worked out so Eliot and I could spend a little bit of time talking with Corey!

°o° Hand Out a Ton of Business Cards
This was so exciting to me.  I've never handed out many, and this trip, Eliot and I handed out a ton.  We got a ton of compliments on our ears.  It really made me smile!

°o° Take Product Photos
Eliot and I brought over 20 sets of mouse ears with us.  While we didn't take photos of all of them, we took really good photos of a lot of our popular designs!

°o° See the Tsum Tsum Dress
This was originally on my bucket list, but I took it off.  I'm still really happy that I was able to see it live in person though!

°o° See All of the Night Time Shows
This probably puzzles you, but when you're going to Walt Disney World for a 5 day trip, that's also a race trip so you're going to bed early and getting up at 3 am two mornings in a row, this is a huge accomplishment!  But we did it!!!

°o° Take Pictures with the Enchanted Rose
This completely surprised me!  There was an enchanted rose set up at the Expo that you were able to take pictures with!  I did it both times Eliot and I went to the Expo!!!

°o° See the Flower and Garden Festival Topiaries
This was the greatest surprise of this trip... so much so, that I almost cried.  I was crushed when I found out our trip was directly in between the Festival of the Arts and the Flower and Garden Festival.  When I saw the topiaries out in the World Showcase, I literally almost started to cry out of happiness!

Looking back, our 5 day trip was pretty awesome.  All in all, I'd say 15 out of 20 isn't bad at all for a 5 day Walt Disney World trip!  Plus, the things we weren't expecting to do really made this trip special!  And there's so much more that happened too!  I'll make sure to tell you all about them in my trip recaps!  °o°

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Fun Find: Beauty and the Beast Soundtrack

I promised I'd check back in with the release of the soundtrack!  (Unfortunately, I had a crazy busy Friday and I wasn't able to write this post for yesterday!)  We are less than a week away from the release of Beauty and the Beast!  I can't wait!!!  Eliot and I have been crazy busy the past few weeks... more on that later, but all good things!  It seems like this movie will be here before we know it.  (Not that I'm complaining!)

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I haven't had a chance to actually buy the soundtrack, even though I swore I would the day it was released.  In my scurry of errands yesterday, it didn't even don on me to buy it while I was in Walmart.  I could get it on iTunes, but I tend to buy the physical CD of soundtracks, especially when I know I'm going to be listening to them in the car.  

Instead, I've decided to wait a few more days to get my copy.  However, I only have so much restraint and I have checked it out on iTunes.  Here's what I think so far:

Belle- I love this.  The preview of this scene gave me chills with how perfect it was.

Belle (Reprise)- Gives me goosebumps every single time I hear it.  It makes me want to sing at the top of a grassy hill, "I was so much more than they've got planned..."

Gaston- I love this.  Josh Gad is my hero.  I can't wait to see him as LeFou!!!

Be Our Guest- Still just as upbeat and catchy as the original.  I can't wait to see the visual of this.  It's one of my favorite scenes in the animated movie!

Days in the Sun- I'm excited to hear the rest of this original and to see it in the movie!

Something There- I love this scene in the animated movie and I'm really excited to see this. I still think Emma Watson is the perfect Belle.

How Does a Moment Last Forever (Montmartre)- This snippet is so short!  I want to hear more of it.  I can't wait to see it in the film too!

Beauty and the Beast- I think I'm going to love Mrs. Potts.  I loved this song in the original and I sang it all the time.  And this scene, it will be perfection.  I can feel it!

Evermore- I'm so excited to hear from the Beast!  I wish that he sang more in the original.  I'm so glad that they included this in the movie and soundtrack!

The Mob Song- So upbeat and catchy like the original.  I know it's the villain's song, but this is always the one that I end up singing after watching Beauty and the Beast at Hollywood Studios.  It's just so catchy!

Beauty and the Beast- I love this updated version from Ariana Grande and John Legend and I've been listening to it for weeks now.  Perfection!!!

Have you bought the soundtrack yet?  What do you think?  I can't wait to get my hands on my copy!  I'm sure I'm going to be singing this all. the. time. in my car.  Move over Moana, I've got another playlist to add to the collection!!!  °o°

Friday, March 3, 2017

Fun Find Friday: Beauty and the Beast Final Trailer

Only two more weeks until Beauty and the Beast is released!  I can hardly wait!!!

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I've been super excited for this movie ever since the teaser trailer came out.  Now, we've come full circle, to the final trailer released for the movie.  This last one gave me chills.  All of them have been spectacular, but the addition of the song "Beauty and the Beast" from the soundtrack made it so much more powerful.

In fact, I had to rush over to iTunes to download the title song by Ariana Grande and John Legend as soon as I heard it.  I've been listening to it for the past month!  The full soundtrack will be released a week from today on March 10th.  I'm not sure I could possibly get more excited for this movie, but I'll check back in a week from now with the release of the soundtrack!  °o°

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

March 2017 Calendar

Hello March!  Now that we're back from our Walt Disney World trip, I'm looking forward to spring time here in Maine!  We've still got quite a ways to go, and March sometimes has a tendency to drag.  Thankfully, there are plenty of things to keep us busy.  This month, I'm really looking forward to St. Patrick's Day, which is also the day the live action Beauty and the Beast is released!  Here's a calendar to help you count down!

Like last year, I've also made a blank version of the 2017 calendar without the holidays to make them more versatile.  Over the past 4 years, my calendars have been used for lots of things 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 March 2017 PDF version of the printable.

Here's the link to download the Blank March 2017 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!  :-)

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Back from Walt Disney World

Hey Everyone!  Eliot and I are back from Walt Disney World!!!  I must admit, I have mixed feelings about this whole thing.  While it's great to be back home, I'm definitely missing the sunshine, warm weather, t-shirts, green grass and bright flowers.

We had a great time!  Both Eliot and I are pretty sore at the moment, but that was expected.  We got a lot accomplished this trip, even though we spent a good portion of it running, sore, or sleeping.  I'll be posting our trip bucket list in the next few days!

For now, I'm going to try to get caught up with a few things!  Then, it's early to bed so we can finish the work week strong!  Although, I'm definitely daydreaming about having Friday, Saturday and Sunday to unpack, get settled in, make more mouse ears and to work on our house some more!  It's good to be home!!!  °o°

Sunday, February 26, 2017

It's Princess Half Marathon Day

It's time for part 2 of our Glass Slipper Challenge!!!  I've wanted to participate in this race for years now, and it's crazy to think that it's all accumulated to this very moment.

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I'd be lying if I didn't admit to being somewhat terrified.  I feel like I could have trained more.  I should have trained more.  If I wasn't so busy, I would have trained more.  But, here we are!  As nervous as I am, I'm also excited.  I know I can do this.

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By the time you're reading this, hopefully Eliot and I will have completed the half.  We should have three shiny medals from this weekend in our possession.  And I'm hoping that my dream to complete the Glass Slipper Challenge will have come true!  

This is the end of this particular runDisney chapter, but it's only the first half of our mission to get the pink Coast to Coast medal.  More runDisney adventures await!  °o°

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Enchanted 10K Day!!!

Here we go!!!  Today, the next chapter of our runDisney adventures begins!!!  I'm really nervous-excited for the races this weekend!  But I'm feeling pretty good about the 10K.

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By the time you're reading this, hopefully Eliot and I will have completed the 10k!  (I have this scheduled to post after we should have crossed the finish line.  Check my Facebook page for more up-to-date info!)  Today's Enchanted 10K is the first step to completing our Glass Slipper Challenge.  Tomorrow, the real fun begins... I'm hoping that I'll come out of today with confidence about tomorrow's Princesss Half Marathon!

No matter how it went, I think we can all agree that this medal is gorgeous!  °o°


Friday, February 24, 2017

Fun Find Friday: Beauty and the Beast "Belle" Clip

Only 3 more weeks until Beauty and the Beast hits theaters!!!  I'm so excited!  In honor of that, I wanted to share a super quick fun find that was released earlier this week!

Here we see a small snippet from one of the musical numbers in the film.  For those of you questioning Emma Watson and the soundtrack, this is a great glimpse into one of my favorite songs from the movie, "Belle."  I think she sounds great, although I've heard a few people who didn't like it.

This small snippet is definitely getting me ready to see the film!  If all goes as planned, we'll be seeing the sneak peek today while at Hollywood Studios!  And I'm dying to see the ballgown in real life!!!  Three more weeks!!!  °o°

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!

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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!

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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.

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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°