First-Timer Disney Tips

After helping my family-in-law (Joe’s mom and sister) plan what was essentially their first trip to Disney World (they hadn’t been for about 10 years, and were taking our niece for the first time,) it got me thinking about all sorts of things that first-timers should probably know about going to Disney. Sure these things can be found scattered throughout the internet, but I’m going to try to compile some of the biggies in this post, woo!

disney-pic-01

  1. Get active! A normal day in Disney for my family/me and Joe adds up to usually at least 12 miles of walking. Yep, 12 miles a day. The walking doesn’t even phase me; if anything I’ve gotten to the point of “Oh man, we only walked 12 miles today? Let’s aim for 15 tomorrow!” I’m weird. Really though, if your body isn’t used to that much activity, it may hit you like a freight train after your first day…so just prepare! Whatever that means for you 🙂
  2. Make lists. I’m an overplanner when it comes to trips, but there’s only so much planning you can do for a Disney Vacation. My dad always used to have us name the top 3-5 things we wanted to do or places we wanted to eat, and we would get fastpasses/make reservations based on how all of our choices matched up. Since you can’t guarantee how long lines will be for different attractions, making a list of ‘must dos’ for each park gives everyone a general idea of your plan of attack, filtering in ‘would like to dos’ as the day goes on. I’ve begun doing this when planning trips with my friends and Joe, and it works out quite nicely.
  3. Splurge for the ParkHopper ticket. When Joe and I did our whirlwind 2 day Disney weekend back in December we started Sunday morning in Magic Kingdom for breakfast, then went to Epcot and Hollywood Studios before ending our night (and trip!) back in MK, since it didn’t close til midnight. We were able to fit in everything we wanted to do, despite only having 2 days in the park. Totally worth it.
  4. Take advantage of Disney Transportation…but make sure you leave ample time for travel. In this case, ample means at least an hour. You might see 3 Animal Kingdom buses, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and another Epcot bus before seeing one for MK – and when you’ve got reservations for Cinderella’s Castle, you don’t want to chance missing them! Leave lots of time – and worst case scenario? You get to your location early. Quelle horreur! (This happened to us, and we had enough time to ride the carousel AND meet Anna and Elsa before breakfast at Be Our Guest.)
  5. No naps! I suppose this depends on a lot of different things, but I am a huge proponent of going 110% when in Disney. Everyone I’ve gone with can attest to this…and they may hate me a little because of it. Something I’m definitely going to have to work on once Joe and I bring our future children. Anyway. If you’re only in Disney for a short amount of time, make the most of it! If you need a break, hit up one of the dark, air conditioned shows throughout the parks.
    • Magic Kingdom: Carousel of Progress, Country Bear Jamboree, or the Laugh Floor
    • Hollywood Studios: the Little Mermaid Show or Great Movie Ride
    • Epcot: Disney/Pixar Short Film Festival, Club Cool, O Canada, or Living with the Land
    • Animal Kingdom: the Nemo show, Lion King show, or It’s Tough to be a Bug.
  6. Buttons! Whether it’s your first visit, your birthday, or you’re celebrating an anniversary/marriage – make sure you ask for the corresponding button when you’re checking in! It may provide you with a ‘magical moment’ or two (free dessert or fastpasses – not guaranteed, but it’s been known to happen!) Even if you don’t get anything for free, you’ll constantly be congratulated or told ‘happy birthday’ by both Cast Members and guests alike! If you didn’t already have the warm fuzzies from being in Disney World – this’ll do it 😉
  7. Rides can, and probably will break down. It happens, but it’s no ones fault, sooo don’t let it ruin your trip! Do I need to say ‘don’t take it out on the Cast Members’ ? I’d hope that’s an obvious suggestion, but there are plenty of people that could use that reminder.
  8. As nice as sleeping in or enjoying a late breakfast is while you’re on vacation…getting to the parks at rope drop (opening) is totally worth it. Lines are either non-existent or much, much shorter, allowing you to get a few of those ‘must dos’ with longer wait times in before the park fills up. Plus, pro-tip: the animals on Kilamanjaro Safari are much more active first thing in the morning, before it gets too hot! 🙂
  9. Speaking of the heat. Florida gets hot in the summer. Stay hydrated, wear a hat, put on sunscreen religiously. Take advantage of those cool-down spots I mentioned. If you’re in MK – get a Dole Whip and/or Le Fou’s Brew! Yum-o.
  10. Don’t let others ruin your trip. You’ll see families fighting, and encounter more than your fair share of rude, grumpy people that think since they paid a lot of money, they’re entitled to everything and anything their hearts desire. Don’t let these things take away from the Disney Magic! To make up for these people, try to say please and thank you to the Cast Members – they’ll appreciate it! Oh also…promise me you’ll look out for strollers and scooters. Your toes will thank you.

Other important things if you’re staying on property: you can start making dining reservations 90 days out. So if you neeeeeed to eat dinner at Be Our Guest (which is highly, highly recommended over breakfast) do yourself a favor and jump on the Disney app at midnight to get that taken care of. Similarly, Fastpass selection opens up 60 days in advance. The earlier you can make your choices, the more likely it’ll be that you get fastpasses for the rides you want. And it should go without saying, but yes – fastpasses are free. Oh, and did I mention Dole Whips? Get one – you won’t regret it.

Holy moley I could go on and on and on about planning a Disney trip, so real talk: if you have questions, hit me up!

Did I miss anything major? Let me know in the comments!

Signature

It’s Monday, Be Happy!

Well, I’ve mostly recovered from our crazy Saturday (10am-11:30 – climbing, 12-1 – Flex 2.0, and 3:30-7:30 – skiing,) primarily thanks to 13 hours of sleep, Zootopia, and falling into a Pretty Little Liars show hole last night. Still feeling a bit wiped out today, but I’ve just gotta keep on truckin’ and make it to the Bachelor Women Tell All episode tonight 😉

  1. I learned how to ski on Saturday, and didn’t fall at all! I’m still not 100% on board with the whole skiing thing…I’m not a fan of being cold, and I really like being in control – which as a newbie, I definitely am not. I did cry at the beginning, just out of frustration, but by the end of the evening I gotta say I was doing pretty well! And hey, I didn’t fall down on the magic carpet like a dad did in front of me. I hope once I inevitably get back into the swing of things next winter I’ll be more comfortable with the whole thing – skiing is a big part of Joe’s life, and I’d like to avoid being the mom in Uggs at the bottom of each hill recording their kids learning to ski if I can help it!
  2. It’s supposed to be in the upper 50s and mid 60s this week which I am absolutely positively beyond excited about. Sure it’ll be rainy for the majority of the week, but hopefully that means I can hang my giant poofy winter coat in the closet for good! Well, at least for the next 8 or so months 🙂
  3. I started a handful of different veggies and flowers in a mini greenhouse at the end of last week – many of which are supposed to just be planted in the ground after the last frost, but I was impatient and wanted to get things started…plus I may have been avoiding doing laundry. I’m not sure anything will be as successful as the 70+ cucumbers we got off of our cucumber plant last summer, but hopefully a few of these plants at least sprout!
  4. We had some friends over on Friday night for drinking and driving (beer + mario kart….and wii canoeing, wakeboarding, etc.) which is always fun! Barb met lots of new people and handled it quite well – hooray for having a social kitty 🙂 She did stick two claws into my butt while I was canoeing though, thinking the Wiimote handle was a string/toy. That hurt.
  5. Joe’s mom, sister, cousin, and our niece are on their way to Disney World today! They’re going for our niece’s birthday, and I helped plan as much as I could – I wish I could have taken off a couple of days to tag along (realistically I probably could have, but that’s alright.) I can’t wait to get pictures of their trip and live vicariously through them – Joe and I are already daydreaming about bringing our future kids to Disney for the first time 😛

Hope everyone’s Monday is off to a great start! 🙂

Signature

Bibbidi Bobbidi Birthday!

A few days ago I learned that Joe’s mom and sister are taking our niece to Disney World for her birthday, which of course resulted in me bombarding them with info, info, and more info. I’m so excited for them, and wish I was able to take a couple days off of work to tag along! I may or may not have basically planned their entire trip in 30 minutes. I really would make an excellent Disney Vacation Planner, just sayin’.

Anyway! As soon as the big details were determined (hotel, which parks which days, etc.) Joe and I decided we would gift our pink loving, princess loving niece a princess-y experience at Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique! What better way to remember your first trip to Disney World, right? 🙂

Unfortunately there were no available spots at Magic Kingdom for they day they’ll be in that park, but I’ll be calling errrrrrr’day to see if anyone has cancelled…avoiding the 3 hour detour that comes with traveling to and from Disney Springs.) Sigh.

Of course I also had to make a special certificate/invitation type thing to send in preparation for their trip, and I’m quite happy with how it turned out, so I’m sharing it with all of you in case you want one for the princess in your life…and if you need help changing out information – I could probably have that arranged 😉

Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique Invitation - with information blocked out:)
Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique Invitation – with information blocked out:)

Eep! I’m seriously so excited for them. I can’t wait to be able to bring our children for the first time – it’ll be so great. But in the meantime, Joe and I will just have to keep going on our own…no complaints there!

Signature

Disney World Trip Report

Joe and I have juuuust about recuperated from our whirlwind Disney adventure – which means it’s time to go back, right?! Really though – I thought my previous two 2 day trips were insanely packed…but this time I made sure we squeezed in absolutely everything we possibly could. (And thankfully Joe was able to keep up. I knew I married the right guy!) We weren’t asleep til 2am both nights we were in the park, and were literally hobbling to our hotel room from the bus stop at the end of each night. (Next time we’ll make sure we have adequately supported footwear. Getting old stinks.)

12374976_10205496533513457_7382311020728001164_o

 

Rather than doing a day-by-day recap of our trip, I’m just going to list out everything we did at each park. I think it’ll be a bit more….appropriately overwhelming that way? But in case you were wondering….Friday morning: Extra Magic Hours at Animal Kingdom, then to Magic Kingdom by 1:30pm. Saturday morning: Magic Kingdom for breakfast, then to Epcot, then Hollywood Studios, then back to Magic Kingdom (we didn’t like any of the photos in front of the castle from the previous night, so of course we had to redo them.) Sunday: Disney Springs. Thank goodness for Disney transportation, it’s the best.

Animal Kingdom:

  • Photos in front of the Tree of Life
  • Kilimanjaro Safari (we saw so many animals. Huge benefit to going on the safari @ park open.)
  • Dinosaur
  • Everest
  • It’s Tough to be a Bug
  • Festival of the Lion King
  • Pizzafari for lunch (we got a “magical moment” cupcake here – hooray “…happily ever after!” buttons!)

Magic Kingdom:

  • Splash Mountain
  • Space Mountain
  • Big Thunder Mountain
  • Buzz Lightyear (x2)
  • Stitch’s Great Escape
  • Monster’s Inc Laugh Floor
  • Tomorrowland People Mover
  • It’s a Small World
  • Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
  • Peter Pan’s Flight
  • Jingle Cruise (full of terribly bad but amazing jokes, of course.)
  • Pirates of the Caribbean
  • The Enchanted Tiki Room
  • Dole Whip
  • Le Fou’s Brew (if you haven’t had this, you absolutely must.)
  • Turkey Leg and Mickey Pretzel
  • Be Our Guest (Breakfast. Disappointing. Lunch or Dinner next time for sure.)
  • Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party
  • Met Anna and Elsa (only a 15 minute wait! Couldn’t pass that up.)
  • Met Rapunzel and Cinderella (gotta meet my girl Punz any time the opportunity arises!)
  • Met Jack Skellington (SO GOOD.)
  • Met Santa Goofy
  • Met Tiana and Naveen
  • Royal Carousel
  • Christmas Parade
  • Christmas Fireworks
  • Christmas Castle show
  • Under the Sea (Ariel ride.)
  • Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
  • The Haunted Mansion

EPCOT:

  • Journey into Imagination with Figment
  • Mission: SPACE
  • Spaceship Earth
  • Test Track
  • Livin’ with the Land
  • Mexico: Gran Fiesta Tour
  • The Seas with Nemo and Friends
  • Lunch in Germany

Hollywood Studios:

  • Fantasmic!
  • Brown Derby (Cobb salad. So good.)
  • Toy Story: Midway Mania
  • Rock ‘n’ Rollercoaster
  • Tower of Terror
  • Beauty and the Beast show
  • Star Tours (which reminds me. Don’t wear a Star Wars shirt unless you’re ready to talk alllllll sorts of specifics with cast members and other park-goers. Oopsies. We’re re-watching the movies now if that counts…)

I might be forgetting a couple, but we definitely wore ourselves out! The best part? Joe texted me while at work this afternoon saying he’s ready to go back <3 I’ve got the best hubby. Speaking of which, we decided to treat this trip as a sort of extended honeymoon, with the buttons to prove it! It was so nice hearing so many “congratulations” and excitement over our wedding from cast members and park-goers alike. Anna and Elsa even declared us ‘love experts’ – that’s an impressive title, no?!

Now other than cleaning up in preparation for Joe’s mom’s visit, our biggest task is picking out 3 or 4 of our favorite Photopass pictures (there are almost 400, so far narrowed down to 60) to buy and get printed! We seriously had the best time, and are already missing the magic….and the 83 degree weather! We also enjoyed our hotel – Coronado Springs Resort – but next time we’ll probably be at Beach Club or Boardwalk, assuming we save enough of our pennies! Walking distance from EPCOT and Hollywood Studios is a major plus 😉

Picture time:

Is it bad that I’m already dreaming about our next trip? Really though, if you need any planning suggestions, drop me a line – I’d love to help plan your trip (Disney or otherwise….) I always joke that if I hadn’t become a graphic designer, I’d’ve become a travel agent! Happy Star Wars-eve!

Signature

Happy Monday!

Holy moley! It’s already past 10pm and I have yet to make my usual Happy Monday blog post! I’ll blame it on Joe’s birthday (wrapping presents, a loooong birthday dinner, etc.) I’m also trying out a slightly different format for my Monday posts – some pictures at the beginning, then the wordy part.

  1. New pens! I know I wrote about this last week, but while I was writing Christmas cards my last fine point pen from Mochi Things died which was super sad. Luckily 6 new pens were delivered today, so I am quite happy!
  2. On a whim yesterday afternoon I decided to check Disney’s website for Be Our Guest reservations, and while we now have to adjust our schedule a teeeeny bit (aka make our way to Magic Kingdom on a day we didn’t plan on going there) – I managed to get us BOG breakfast reservations! So excited.
  3.  On a related note: Disney World is so soon! In addition to lots of cleaning up tomorrow (our house is sooo messy, in part due to putting up Christmas decorations) I’m going to start packing, woohoo!
  4. On another related note (because everything in life is good when you’re going to Disney World in 3 days) – we’re putting my credit card points toward a Disney gift card that we’ll use for snacks, souvenirs, maybe even a meal or two! Yay for making this trip as affordable as possible! Kaitlyn also gave us a few coupons for free snacks in the parks – Mickey ice cream and delicious popcorn, here we come!
  5. Other than 2 more things of garland and all of our tinsel, our tree is decorated, and our outside lights are up 😀 This is my first Christmas not spent at my parents’ house, which has required both me and Joe to make a couple of (really pretty inconsequential) compromises, mainly I have to deal with a tree skirt, and Joe has to deal with tinsel. It all works out.

Welp, considering it is now almost 11pm, I hope y’all had a lovely start to your week – happy almost Tuesday! 🙂

Signature

DIY: Winter Mickey Wreath

Welp, my Fall Mickey Wreath went over so well, that I decided that (obviously) one was necessary for winter as well! I started with the same base form as the fall one – 3 grapevine wreaths: two 12″ and one 18″, connected by wrapping lots and lots and lots of raffia ribbon around each piece. There’s probably a better way to go about that – maybe I’ll tackle that come spring. For now though, raffia works, just make sure you get the ears super secure! (Or, if you’re a savage and don’t particularly want a giant Mickey head hanging on your front door, you can forgo the ears and just make yourself a pretty winter wreath!)diy mickey wreath

diy mickey wreath
I tried working on a large piece of paper to keep the mess to a minimum….it wasn’t particularly successful, but it’s the attempt that counts, right?

Parts and Pieces:

After having a lot of extra materials after making the fall wreath, I tried to keep the over-buying to a minimum. Joe and I went to JoAnn’s on Black Friday, and in addition to the 3 wreaths, we bought:

  • 2 (large) sprigs of “snow dusted” (aka glittery) pine (spruce…fur…whatever) needles
  • a (large) sprig of red berries
  • a (small) sprig of white berries
  • 2 sprigs of pinecones

And honestly, even that was too much. We still have 3/4 of a sprig of pine needles left, I only used one extra pinecone, and have some red and white berries left over. Oh well – luckily it was all 70% off. diy mickey wreath

We also bought some battery operated lights at IKEA a while ago…in an ideal world we would have had more lights on the wreath, but I’d say it’s pretty good for an initial attempt. We’ll add more lights next year.

Making friends with the glue gun:

I mean really, how you glue (and/or shove) the pieces on to the wreath part is up to you! You can cover more of the wreath than I did – making it look more “evergreen-y” – or leave it more bare, put some greenery on the ears, or don’t! Whatevs.diy mickey wreathdiy mickey wreath

Oh. I should also mention that you might want to get some wire cutters, in case you want to trim up your branches. The individual bits also pop off if you give them a little tug (…that’s what she said?) so that’s up to you.

If you’re adding lights (battery operated or not) add them once everything is glued and ready to hang! I twisted mine around, but also considered just poking them through the grapevine. mickey wreath

And with that, your wreath is fini! This wreath actually only ended up costing us $18, which is amazing compared to the $50+ we paid for the fall one (still not quite sure how that happened.)

If you decide to make a wreath of your own, don’t hesitate to share a photo! I’d love to see them 🙂 

Happy December!

Signature

 

Happy Monday!

Can we just talk about how fantastic the weather is for a quick second? Mid 60s in mid-November?! Sometimes I don’t think I’d miss the snow if we moved to Florida.

Anyway, it’s Monday, so here we go!

1. After Joe and I got home last night, I made a paper chain counting down to our Disney trip. 24 days and counting, woooo! My parents just got home from their annual Food and Wine Festival trip, so talking to them about their trip while we were home this weekend made us even more excited! Hopefully with everything coming up (mainly Thanksgiving and birthday celebration) time will fly and we’ll be there before we know it 🙂IMG_4030

 

2. Today I’m going to sign up for the monthly unlimited class package at Bent 9. I took class at Pure Barre this past Saturday and still miss it (and the people) like crazy, but I think hot barre/flex/flex 2.0 will work quite well for me when I can’t LTB in GP 🙂

3. We finally found some artwork to hang in our bedroom! Thank you, IKEA, for having Picasso’s animal sketches mounted and framed. We also found an inexpensive frame for Joe’s Focus RS poster – the one we had fell and cracked 🙁 24×36 frames are expensive in the non-IKEA world!IMG_4032

 

4. This weekend my mom jokingly mentioned the fact that Trader Joe’s had stuffing flavored kettle chips. Welp, I had planned on going to Loft to get a shawl/poncho/giant scarf (whatever you want to call it) – and Trader Joe’s happens to validate parking for the garage behind Loft…so of course we had to pop in and buy a couple bags of chips. Holy moley. They are amazing, and actually taste like stuffing. Two thumbs up. Oh, we also picked up two chocolate advent calendars. Yay Christmas!IMG_4031

 

5. When Joe came home for lunch today, he discovered that my keys were still in the door (from when we got back last night). Thank goodness we live in a safe neighborhood, otherwise we could have been without my car, and everything in our house would have been free for the taking. Yikes.

Hope everyone has an amazing week!

Signature

Weekend Goodness

I’m writing this at 1am (with plans to be up until around 2:30) thanks to a slight crockpot mishap – Joe has a chili/etc cook-off at work tomorrow, and we started prepping for his mac and cheese…when I poured the milk in without realizing that if we let it sit overnight, the noodles would get extra soggy. So now I’m letting Joe sleep (letting him? That’s weird. He’s sleeping.) since he has to be up for work at 6 and I can sleep in basically as late as I want tomorrow. I’m currently not convinced our mac and cheese will turn out – we might have let our love of cheese get the best of us (there might actually be such thing as ‘too much cheese’) but hopefully the crockpot works its magic! Meanwhile, I’m writing this post and watching old school Disney Channel Halloween movies – no complaints! 

Anyway, potential mac and cheese disaster of 2015 aside, our weekend back at home was lovely! After I did some freelance work on Friday morning, my dad and I went to the range – I shot a .22, since any other (larger) gun still gives me the willies. At some point I decided that shooting at the dude on the target was too easy (my first shot was right to the center of his head. Doesn’t get much better than that,) so I started aiming for the barrel of his gun. It took a while, but I eventually got it! I was proud 😉

Joe got into town Friday evening, and after a couple of rounds of Scrabble and catching up with my parents, we called it a night, in preparation for a busy busy busy Saturday!

Went back to my second home – Pure Barre! And I’m still sore.

After a wonderfully grueling Pure Barre class, my mom and I went to a yearly shopping event benefitting Planned Parenthood. We’ve gone together (sometimes with my sister, sometimes without) for about as long as I can remember, and the main reason for my trip home was so that tradition could continue. Note: the tradition also includes chuckling at the dirty stares given to us by the numerous anti-abortion protesters. 

Next up was a quick stop by my seamstress to get a rip in my wedding dress repaired before taking it to the cleaners – she was amazed by the (good) shape it was in, especially considering we wandered through the Farmer’s Market and a couple of alleys in Detroit. I also shared our wedding album with her…I’m pretty sure I’ll never get sick of looking at our photos <3

We watched the UofM/MSU game for a bit before heading downtown for dinner (HopCat – so delicious!!) and our Houdini bus tour, when we learned of Michigan’s super depressing (read: embarrassing?) loss…thanks to a group of rambunctious, drunk 30somethings sitting at the back of the bus for the duration of our tour.

We got to see the location of the hotel (now a parking lot) Houdini stayed at after arriving from Montreal (where his impending demise began – thanks to a few quick punches to the stomach area), followed by the theater he performed in with a 104 (?) degree temperature (now a parking garage), followed by the hospital he spent his last days in (now a parking lot). Finally we visited the morgue Houdini’s body was brought to after his death – a building that was still standing! With ‘No Trespassing’ signs pasted up, but a real building, nonetheless. Lastly we visited Michigan Central Station, where his coffin (with a glass top, used in his ‘buried alive’ trick) was transported from Detroit back to NYC. I’d still love to go into the train station some day before it (hopefully) is all redone.

The morgue where Harry Houdini was embalmed.

Sunday we went to church, finally meeting the new pastor that was installed the week after we got married! Our church’s website….leaves something to be desired…so I’m going to offer to either take some nice, high-res photos of our church, or assist in redoing the website. We’ll see what happens.

I rushed to my friend Liz’s house straight from church to meet up and carpool to Disney on Ice! We might have been the oldest people there without children, but it was still fantastic, and I loved listening to how the kids around us were reacting. A personal favorite: “OH. MOMMY!!! IT’S ARIEL! TAKE A PICTURE TAKE A PICTURE TAKE A PICTURE PLEAAAASE! Did you get it? I need a picture of Ariel mommy, she’s SO PRETTY!”

a 6ish year old sitting in front of us turned around at one point, judging us for singing along loudly (and enthusiastically!) throughout the show. Oops.
I left my ears in Kzoo 🙁

I feel like we’re always talking about how busy we pack our “free time” – but really I don’t think we’d have it any other way! We do enough sitting/veg-ing during the week, it would seem a little wasteful doing the same on weekends.

In other news, Bonnie (maybe Agnes, I’m not sure which of the two is still alive) the frog has successfully made the trip to Kalamazoo! I’d post a picture, but it’s dark and they all turned out terribly horrible.

Now to continue tending to the disaster that is our crock pot mac and cheese. Hope everyone else had a lovely weekend as well!

Signature

PS: Self-hosting is hard to figure out. Hopefully the weird numbers in my URL will be gone soon, and I’ll be back to normal!

nightmare fuel…

It’s Halloween-time! That means I should have nightmares of ghosts, goblins, and maybe everything that happened on this week’s episode of American Horror Story, right?

Not quite.

“Nothing is more wonderful than the imagination, for in a moment, you can experience a beautiful fantasy or an exciting adventure. But beware, nothing is more powerful than the imagination, for it can also expand your greatest fears into an overwhelming nightmare. Are the powers of Mickey’s incredible imagination strong enough and bright enough to withstand the evil forces that invade Mickey’s dream?”

Oh, Fantasmic. It’s like you know me.

In case you hadn’t caught on by now, I love Disney World. So when I started having (essentially) nightmares about what could go wrong with our December trip, I was caught a little off guard! Who’d’ve thought that Disney trip excitement would manifest itself so negatively?! Sigh. Over the past few weeks I’ve found myself waking up after Joe has left for work, super anxious/upset/worried because I had just woken up from a dream where:

  1. It’s the end of our second day in the parks and I realize we have yet to ride ANY rides for some reason (I’ve had this dream 3 times now…)
  2. We forgot to get our ‘just married’ buttons (okay so this one wouldn’t be the end of the world)
  3. Terrorists of some sort have taken over Cinderella’s castle – while we were eating dinner there
  4. Fantasmic was cancelled (we have reservations for the VIP dinner experience at Brown Derby)
  5. We were trapped on Aladdin’s Flying Carpets and had to stay in our carpet overnight
  6. Dole Whips no longer existed

Our trip is on my mind pretty much 24/7, so I guess it makes sense that it also infiltrates my dreams, and the likelihood of any of the dreams coming true is slim to none…but goodness, brain – enough is enough! 😛

Despite these ridiculous dreams, I get butterflies in my stomach pretty much any time I think about going to Disney with Joe, and then giddy about the impending birthday surprises I have up my sleeve (bwahaha) — I can’t explain it, I get excited about going with my friends and family, but nothing like how I’m feeling about going with Joe. Maybe it just means I married the right person 😉  – but for now Disney on Ice will have to fill the Disney void in my life, while we anxiously wait for the next two months to go by!

Signature

DIY – Fall Mickey Wreath!

Since the moment I realized there was a hole in our front door just asking for a wreath to be hung, I’ve been wanting to make a fall wreath…and after a somewhat overwhelming trip to Michael’s and a very messy ordeal in our living room, we now have the absolute best fall wreath hanging on our door!

After looking around online for some inspiration, I saw a picture of a Mickey shaped wreath and immediately knew that was what needed to happen – but there weren’t any directions – sooo I had to wing it, and I gotta say, I think it turned out even better than the picture I initially saw 🙂

I posted a picture of the finished product on Facebook last night and a handful of people asked how to make the wreath, so here it goes!


Craft stores (should) sell the base of each of the 3 wreaths (1 large, 2 smaller), which by the way will not only stick to/catch on each other and pretty much everything else, but create a giant mess of your work space. I struggled to find 3 wreaths that worked well with each other and had the right proportions (so many of the larger wreaths were oval shaped due to shipping, probably) – but after going through pretty much every single option, we found the perfect set!

I also bought 2 “vines” of fall leaves with small pumpkins hanging off of them (could have definitely gotten away with one vine, but I wanted multiple colors of leaves!) a stem of black eyed susans, a stem with fall berries on it, a pack of smaller pumpkins, a small pack of wooden discs that matched well with the size of the pumpkin (mickey ears!), 2 shades of orange paint (one would have been fine, but try to match it to the pumpkin color), and raffia to secure the ears to the head!

Now for the directions!

  1. Paint the wooden discs orange, one side and the edges is really all that’s necessary. Two per pumpkin, if that clarification needs to be made, since they will turn into pumpkin Mickey ears 🙂
  2. While the painted ears are drying, secure the wreath ears to the head using raffia. The more wraps the better – you don’t want Mickey’s ears to droop! Make sure to secure the ears in multiple places, especially closer to the top of the head. Try to get raffia that matches the color of your wreath, so it blends in relatively well.
  3. Once the paint on the ears has dried, use an exacto knife cut into your pumpkins – a cut just deep/long enough to shove your painted orange ears in – make sure your cuts result in the ears being in generally the right place – they should stay in without a problem (all of the pumpkins I ended up with are foam, which definitely helped things.) I made the ears a little more permanent by then hot gluing the seam between the backs of the ears and the pumpkin.
  4. At this point you’ll have all of your parts generally ready. Cut off leaves from your vine(s) as you need them, and just start placing, shoving, and gluing everything onto your base wreath as you see fit! You’ve got all sorts of creative freedom here to make your wreath how you’d like – so go crazy 🙂
  5. Once you’re happy with your wreath (remember, sometimes less is more. I think I went a teensy bit overboard with my leaves, but oh well) use your raffia to make a hook for your wreath and hang your lovely new creation for the world to see! 
  6. I ended up with a lot of extra materials, so I used them to decorate our newly assembled shelf for Fall – but keep that in mind as you make your way through the black hole that is Michael’s/JoAnn’s/Hobby Lobby. You probably don’t need as many materials as you think. Also, Michael’s and Joann’s coupons are interchangeable – so make use of them! Lots of Fall stuff is on sale right now too (the vines were 60% off, for example) so that helps with keeping the cost down.pumpkins

We may not be able to be in Disney World for Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, but at least now Joe and I have a little bit of Disney Halloween to enjoy up in Michigan until we get down there for Christmas, woohoo!

If you make your own wreath, let me know – I’d love to see them 🙂