Monday, February 1, 2016

A Disney Keepsake Box

Speaking of where to keep all that ephemera... have you seen these keepsake boxes? I'm not sure how long they've been around, but I first saw them last month at Disney's Boardwalk Inn. There were two styles- a medium size featuring Wishes, and this larger version- Once Upon a Time.  

Designed to look like a book and fit nicely on a shelf, the cover features a slot to slip a photo in (though I really like the look of the default picture of Sleeping Beauty Castle). The inside features a spot for writing down dates, info, or special memories  from your visit. There's plenty of room for holding a variety of items, ephemera and souvenirs alike. The magic band in the photo below will give you a size reference.  

The spine is nicely designed, with faux leather and goldtone detailing. 

Have you seen these keepsake boxes? 
Which style is your favorite? 
Tell us about it in the comments. 

Saturday, January 23, 2016


Ephemera: (n)-

n pl -eras-erae [-əˌriː]
1. (Life Sciences & Allied Applications / Animals) a mayfly, esp one of the genus Ephemera
2. something transitory or short-lived
3. (Fine Arts & Visual Arts / Antiques) (functioning as plural) a class of collectible items not originally intended to last for more than a short time, such as tickets, posters, postcards, or labels

What is it about these bits of paper, these flyers, tickets, maps, schedules, and assorted brochures that I just can't get enough of? I think people who frequent the Walt Disney World Parks & Resorts might just have a higher rate of ephemeraphilia than the general population. Admit it- don't you always go home with these little treasures tucked inside various pockets, purses, and bags? My favorite souvenirs have always been the bits of ephemera I've collected along the way. They are tangible reminders for me, much more so than articles of clothing, pieces of jewelry, or household items.
For those of us fortunate enough to make frequent visits, these collections can get a bit out of hand. Where to store or display ephemera is a never-ending struggle.

How much is too much? I ask myself every time, "Do you really need another full set of park maps?"
The answer is usually YES. Yes I do.

And no matter where I am, even though paper FastPasses have long been gone from WDW circulation, it's a very good bet that there's at least one FastPass in my wallet or purse....

Do you collect ephemera? Do you revisit your stash to remember special visits? How do you store or display it? Tell us about it in the comments...

Monday, January 11, 2016

Mission Accomplished: How channeling Hayley Mills helped me complete my first runDisney half marathon

I achieved a major goal this past weekend- I completed my first half marathon, during runDisney's Walt Disney World Marathon weekend.

I feel really great about this.

I was never a runner, never an athlete, and I was well over 40 when I ran my first steps a few years ago. The idea of running a 5K was a big challenge. And then... I did it. And I trained for the next challenge. I did a few 5Ks. Could I do a 10K? I went for it, with the help and encouragement of a handful of people. Then I did another 10K. Could I do a Half? No, that'd be crazy. I couldn't do a Half. Could I?

I could.  I did.

In the spirit of runDisney, costumes make things festive. I was running with my sister, so I wanted to come up with a costume idea that 1) would work for us both, 2) was a little off the beaten path, and most importantly, 3) would be comfortable and efficient for running.

I turned to our favorite childhood Disney movie for inspiration: The Parent Trap. Dressing as long-lost sisters Susan and Sharon was just the ticket. My sister and I both LOVED this movie as kids, and we still do. Who's better than Hayley Mills?  I felt great running in this costume, even though I was pretty certain that nobody would even know what we were going for. But I was wrong! There were Hayley Mills fans out there on the course! Just a few, but that was more than I thought I'd find. I think I made one woman's day when I ran past her. She completely lit up when she saw me running towards her, and she jumped up and shouted really excitedly, "YES!! Go, Parent Trap!"

Channeling Hayley Mills helped get me through my very first Half Marathon. 

It was really hard, and there were several points that had me questioning my sanity and wondering what I thought I was trying to do. There was some significant pain, there were blisters and foot problems, there was a chafing spot on my back from my sports bra that may very well have left a permanent scar. But there was also a whole lot of fun, a camaraderie like no other, and a sense of accomplishment that I can't even try to put into words. 

I'm sad that it's over. As is the case with most things that you plan and prepare a very long time for, there's a sense of a letdown when it's all over. I'm already planning when I can register for another race. (But what could possibly follow up this costume? Time will tell...)

Have you participated in a runDisney event? Do you have a favorite costume? Are you a Hayley Mills fan? Tell us about it in the comments... 

Monday, January 4, 2016

WDW Half Marathon- costume sneak peek

I'm getting ready to tackle a major goal- the next big step in my runDisney experience. I'm headed to Orlando this weekend to run my first half marathon. I can hardly believe I even typed that. I'm trained. I'm ready. I'm nervous.

Race prep always includes not only physical training, but also the all-important costume prep!
This always involves a little DIY- sometimes some cutting, sometimes some sewing, sometimes some iron-on skills.

Deciding on a theme is always harder than actually pulling it together. I'm running with my sister, and we decided to put together outfits that paid homage to one of our very favorite Disney movies from childhood. 

When my daughter heard what costume I was going with, she said, "Uh... is everyone going to know what that is?"

My reply: "I'm pretty sure NOBODY is going to know what this is. But we'll know."

So, here's a sneak peek. If you see us on the course, say hello!

Interested is some past race costume sneak peeks? Here are my  Jingle Jungle 5K (2013), WDW 10K (2015), and Expedition Everest Challenge (2015) peeks. 

Are you running any races during runDisney's Marathon Weekend? Do you recognize my costume? Tell us about it in the comments...

Friday, December 25, 2015

Farewell, beautiful lights

I bid a fond farewell to the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights this year.

When I first heard about this over-the-top display at Hollywood Studios, I thought it wouldn't be my cup of tea. I love the holidays, but tend to prefer understated lights and decor. I thought the whole thing sounded a bit...tacky.

Then I visited and saw it in person for the first time last year. I was a convert.

There's something about the abundance of color, the powerful music, the synchronized light choreography- it's tremendously exciting and festive, in a very fantastic way. It's hard for me to describe the feeling of being right in the middle of these lights, but it brings a smile to my face whenever I think about it. I'm glad I got the chance to visit them one last time this year, before their final run is over.

Enjoy your festivities, wherever you may be this holiday season!