Gay Days Anaheim 2014 Recap

Gay Days Anaheim 2014 Recap

Are you familiar with Gay Days? Gay Days is an unofficial Disneyland event held every year in October which celebrates all things, well, gay. I actually remember the FIRST Gay Day in Anaheim back in 1998 (Gay Days has been celebrated at Walt Disney World since 1991). I have been a major gay rights supporter since high school, had many friends in the community, and I was excited to participate with “my people” at my favorite place. My then-boyfriend and I, plus a group of our friends, all wore red shirts (recommended Gay Days attire) to show our support. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, and was happily surprised when I saw there was A LOT of guests wearing red! To most of the guests visiting the park it was just a regular day, but I remember that day being very special.

For the next 16 years, I tried to make it out to Gay Days every year, but I admit I couldn’t always do it. Last year, we were moving into our new house (!!!) the same weekend as Gay Days, so I missed it. This year I was determined to visit, even though I came down with a cold and I probably shouldn’t have gone anywhere … still, I’m glad I did because it was so fun!

Our first stop for the day was the Gay Days welcome center and expo, set up at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel. This is the first time I’ve visited the Gay Days expo (not sure how many years they have been doing it). There were some fun merchants and vendors on hand (always nice to learn who supports the gay community), and I was especially pleased to see my friends from Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings representing with a table and a gorgeous floral arrangement with rainbow roses!

Gay Days Anaheim 2014 Recap

Gay Days Anaheim 2014 Recap

Gay Days Anaheim 2014 Recap

Right next to the DFTW booth was a table displaying all the special Gay Days goodies being sold at Disneyland. Gay Days is not an officially sanctioned Disneyland event, but it’s great to see Disneyland “coincidentally” selling some rainbow pride items that weekend. The water sipper was actually really cute and I was tempted to buy it, but I already own a million similar water bottles. I did, however, get myself a piece of that rainbow cake once I got into Disneyland. I mean, how can you resist rainbow cake?!? It’s impossible.

Gay Days Anaheim 2014 Recap

Gay Days Anaheim 2014 Recap

Fake cake … what a cruel joke.

Gay Days Anaheim 2014 Recap

Leaving the expo, my friend and I decided to eat lunch at Hungry Bear restaurant … it only seemed appropriate, since we were hanging out with our bear friends that day.

Gay Days Anaheim 2014 Recap

What bear friends did you think I meant???

After lunch we decided to visit Mickey in his movie barn. We knew he would be wearing red, too! I wanted to show him the rainbow ears I made especially for Gay Days.

Gay Days Anaheim 2014 Recap

After picking up a slice of rainbow cake to to, we headed back to Disney’s Grand Californian for a sangria, cake, and cookie break.

Gay Days Anaheim 2014 Recap

Gay Days Anaheim 2014 Recap

We also saw a wedding ceremony taking place at the Brisa Courtyard! Yeah, I was one of those creepers taking pictures through the bushes!

Gay Days Anaheim 2014 Recap

While the ceremony was starting, unfortunately there was a trio of people standing next to me who had a lot of “commentary” on the details of the wedding. Everyone was critiqued, including the poor flower girls! Jeez people, Disney already has one Grumpy, so your services are not needed, thanks bye.

Gay Days Anaheim 2014 Recap

Our last event of the day was a conversation with Bob Gurr. Bob Gurr is a retired Imagineer who worked with Walt, and actually worked on a lot of attractions at Disneyland. The saying goes something like, if it’s at Disneyland and it has wheels, it was probably designed by Bob Gurr! I knew I liked Bob right away when someone asked Bob how he stays so active and fit at age 82, and Bob replied “mountain biking, eating right, and starting each evening with a big martini.” Bob talked about being gay and working for the Disney company … he basically said, nobody really cared! He said Walt cared about two things – creativity and getting your work done. Otherwise, “no one cared who did what to whom or where.” Someone asked Bob if he could name a favorite attraction he had designed. Bob said his favorite was the Main Street Fire Engine, which made my friend excited because she made her entrance at her Disneyland Hotel wedding on the fire engine! After the talk, we had a chance to say hello to Bob and showed him a picture of his fire engine at my friend’s wedding – he said he had just recently learned couples were requesting his fire engine for weddings and he got a kick out of that. He said he thought brides only wanted the carriage! We told him lots of brides prefer the fire engine over the carriage. We thanked him for all his contributions to Disneyland, and he was very gracious and friendly. A class act guy! I can’t imagine what it must be like for someone like him, to witness the gay rights movement and see the progress that has been made since he joined the Walt Disney Company in the 1950s, a time when no one really talked about that sort of thing, to now, in 2014, where being gay is not only accepted but celebrated. I am awed by the massive progress that has been made during my short lifetime, so I can’t even imagine what it must feel like for someone like him.

All in all, it was a great Gay Days! I hope you enjoyed my recap. Mark your calendars for the next Gay Days – it’s always the first weekend in October!

Preparing for a Blogger Sick Day

Preparing for a Blogger Sick Day

Earlier in October, I got really sick. It was just a standard head & chest cold but since my sinuses are so very sensitive, standard colds always turn into a whole thing with me. My daily sinus pressure is intensified by 1000%, and head colds ALWAYS turn into a sinus infection. But it takes me a couple days to realize that’s what’s happened, then I need to make an appointment with my doctor, start antibiotics, ride the yucky antibiotic wave of nausea, take several humidifier-assisted steam baths, then finally, after a couple weeks, I wake up feeling refreshed and energized. I’m always amazed at how one simple cold can knock me down.

When my head is pounding and my stomach is churning, the last thing I want to do is sit up and look at my laptop screen. I force myself to do it, though, because I feel like I *should* be stronger than I really am. Mr. BFT always scolds me and tells me to rest, but it’s not that easy to do when you’re self employed! On one hand, it’s great to be able to set my own schedule and take time off if I need it, but on the other hand, every moment I’m not working is money slipping away. My illnesses always last way longer than they should because I don’t rest enough! I realize this, but when it’s actually happening I’m in denial about it.

Earlier this month, when I was whining to Mr. BFT about how I’m probably gonna be sick FOREVER and I’m feeling like such a slacker, he asked me what other bloggers do when they get sick. Hmmm, I really wasn’t sure how to answer that! I have discussed with my blogger friends about how they plan for their blog while they are on vacation or another planned break, but you never really plan on being sick!

I reached out to my blogger friends and posed this question to them. There were lots of great answers, and I picked up some great ideas for how to handle blogger sick days in the future!

Katie with French Pemberley: One, I always “try” to have one or two posts that are pre-written and saved for a time when I can’t write due to illness or surprise schedule mishaps. Two, If I’m not up to writing, maybe I feel up to leaving comments on blogs I regularly read who are also in my niche.

Carolyn: What I used to do (and haven’t done in a while) is have a few backup posts that are generic in terms of when they can be posted. They aren’t seasonal or anything like that. Maybe something about a book I read a long time ago that really influenced me, or maybe have a recipe post ready to go when you need to post something quickly.

Trina: I blog when I can and if family, work, illness come up, then blogging takes a back seat.

Sondra: I took a sick day recently so I can totally relate. I too schedule my posts in advance as much as possible. I try to post 4-5 times a week and have learned the hard way that being sick doesn’t often count as an excuse when you have a deadline. I promoted last week’s posts from bed in between coughing and blowing my nose.

Desiree: My posts with deadlines are done days in advance. If I can’t work through being sick for other posts, then I just don’t post. I like having at least one post up a day but if I skip one, two, or even a whole week, it doesn’t bother me. Even though I make a good income from my site I still do it just for fun.

Mike from Bemused Backpacker: I’m a nurse as well as a writer so I know the genuine importance of rest and time off to let my body recover, so that’s what I do. I take time off, a few days, a week, however long I need, and I don’t feel guilty about it. Nothing is more important than health. As for my blog, I generally have a few ‘top 5′ list posts in reserve that take very little time to write and I can throw up when I can’t write a full post. The good thing is people generally like those posts so they bring fair traffic to my site and also give my blog a bit of variety.

Caitlin: Scheduling posts ahead of time just takes like a huge weight off my shoulders “in case of emergency” but if I don’t have anything posted then I’ll do what I call “fluff posts” that I can just do from bed or the bath tub! Like a “best fonts” or an easy printable, something I can throw together on my tablet. When I’m sick, I simplify!

Jena from Lovely Lady JB: What I have done in the past is just create a quick post letting my readers know I have been feeling under the weather and may not post again until Friday (for example). I include a picture to go with it and that generally alerts the masses and lets them know I am not neglecting the blog.

Kathy: If I were really good I would have a few “evergreen” posts in the queue for emergencies like that. But I don’t, so when I’m sick the blog is on pause.

Deb: I try and have at least one round-up ready to go so if I don’t feel well or don’t have time, I still have some new content.

April: I have 3-4 unfinished drafts I call “floater posts” that I can publish any time. That way if an unexpected emergency comes up, I can go in and quickly finalize a draft to publish. Then I can rest and recuperate without the guilt of “letting the blog die!”

Cali: Dig out posts from the archives … schedule when the Nyquil kicks in. Then pass out!

Jennifer from Busy Being Jennifer: I am trying really hard to have content scheduled at least a week in advance so that when I don’t feel well, the blog is the last thing I have to worry about. If I am not that organized and do have an off day or two, I actively choose to not worry about it. The internet won’t break because I didn’t post on a Monday or Tuesday (or whatever day). If I’m gonna be “off” for more than a day or two, I’ll put out a desperate plea for a guest post.

Chelsea from Someday I’ll Learn: I ask for help! My husband and mother-in-law often [write guests posts for the blog,] so I just ask if one of them can step in with a quick post or two. If something NEEDS to be written by me, I hire someone to watch the kids and clean house for a few hours while I quickly get it done, and then rest.

Mary: I find contributors. Sometimes taking time for myself to rest is necessary because of burn out. I don’t stress when I do, because after all, I’m doing this for fun.

Bree: I try to schedule posts, BUT… I come first. My blog is my baby and my full time job and as crazy as it sounds, if I’m going through some rough times or I’m sick, my blog is not a priority. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll feel guilty 23 hours a day, but I’ve put in about 120 hours a week for 7 years on it and sometimes when I get sick it’s my body telling me to rest my brain. What I’ve learned is that nothing is more important than you. Sometimes focusing back on you is exactly what you need in order to get well again. This year I learned what self love was all about, and I guarantee that when you (or anyone) truly embraces it, your mind will be at ease and the pressure you put on yourself will magically disappear.

Rachel from Dysfunctionally Normal: I usually ask others if they want to guest post on my blog. I usually neglect my blog when I have tons of schoolwork. I was also thinking to post pictures when I do not have time to write up to show different snippets from a day in the life. And yes, I do feel guilty when I don’t write for a few days. Sometimes, I write more of a journal post that I don’t have to put too much thought into. Lastly, I do a “question of the day’ to interact with my readers when I really have no time and feeling totally under the weather.

Becky: I have a number of prewritten posts (usually!) so those at least are in reserve. Or I just pick a topic that I know won’t require too much thought or research to write about. I also try not to feel too guilty – everyone gets sick at times, so if there’s a little dip in content it won’t make too much of a difference as long as you get right back into it when you’re well!

Sue from It’s Okay to Eat the Cupcake: I usually still try to write if/when I feel up to it (ie when the medicine kicks in!). My goal is also to write and schedule posts out, and I’m working on that, but pulling something seasonally from the archives works, too!

Carly: I go through the photos on my computer and toss up a photo heavy post, like 10 photos from a vacation I took years ago or 5 photos of last year’s holiday decorations.

Cris from Kiss My Tulle: I always have “easy” posts that I can copy/paste the text then change the words to fit a new theme. I also have simple graphics with those that can easily be changed. Also, since I’m a budget site, I can always do a round up for deals from my affiliates.

Bloggers, what’s your best tip for taking a blogger sick day? Do you actually rest when you’re sick or do you power through and continue writing?

DIY Copper Vases

DIY Copper Vases

I am on a copper kick! I saw some really pretty copper decor accessories at Target the other day and decided I needed more copper in my life. I always have spare glass jars and bottles around (I hoard them for when inspiration strikes) so I just needed to pick up a bottle of copper spray paint from Michael’s.

DIY Copper Vases

This is one of my favorite crafts because it’s so easy, it’s cheap, and you’re reusing something you would have tossed out. Never throw away those glass jars, friends! They make the prettiest vases.

For this little vase trio, I wanted each one to look a little different. I used painter’s tape (blue tape) to tape off the top of one, to give it a dipped effect. For the larger vase I used the painter’s tape to make stripes. The last jar I painted the whole thing. I’m really happy with how they all turned out!

DIY Copper Vases

DIY Copper Vases

Step 1 – Remove the labels from your glass jars and bottles by soaking them in hot water for a few minutes. Use a substance like Goo Gone to remove any remaining adhesive from the jars.

Step 2 – Use blue painter’s tape to tape off any sections of the jars you want to remain unpainted. Make sure you press hard on the edges of the tape you don’t suffer any paint leakage.

Step 3 – Spray the jars with copper spray paint. Be sure to spray all sides evenly! Once they are dry, you may have to flip them over to spray any parts that still need it. Make sure you always paint in a well ventilated area and you protect your work surface.

Step 4 – When the paint is completely dry, carefully and slowly remove the painter’s tape.

DIY Copper Vases

I filled my new copper vases with some purple and white carnations I picked up from Costco. Isn’t the color combo so pretty?

DIY Copper Vases

Let me know if you try this project!

EVEN MORE Sexy Disney Halloween Costumes that Have Gone TOO FAR

We are creeping up on Halloween, so you know what that means … it’s time for my annual Sexy Disney Halloween Costumes post.

Another year, another batch of insanely inappropriate sexy Disney Halloween costumes. You know, this is my third year of doing these sexy costume round ups and every year I get a lot of virtual high fives and “lols,” which is what I’m going for. But I also get some criticism for doing them. Mostly anonymous commenters like to tell me I’m a prude and “old” (AGE IS RELATIVE, OKAY?!?), and some have told me I’m a bad representative for my gender for not supporting a woman’s right to choose whatever she wants to wear.

Sigh.

I don’t do these to be mean or to insult anyone who wears costumes like these. I do it 1) because it amuses me, 2) I stand by my beliefs that women are over-sexualized in pop culture and we should be having conversations about it, and 3) there’s just something so wrong about turning these innocent Disney characters into sexy eye candy. Some of these are just plain re.donk.u.lous. REDONKULOUS. I mean, OLAF, REALLY??? THERE’S NOTHING SEXY ABOUT OLAF. STOP MAKING OLAF SEXY.

Okay, breathe, Mindy. It’s going to be okay.

Anyway, as always, please drop me a comment and let me know what you think. Interacting with you guys makes my day. But if you’re mean just for the sake of being mean and don’t have anything constructive to share, I will delete your comment. Because this is all in good fun, okay?

So on that note, we’ll go ahead and start with the news-making ones (no seriously, I saw a story about this on my local morning news in September). These costumes aren’t listed on Yandy.com anymore, sadly probably because they are beyond sold out, but the images live on forever on Buzzfeed. Even grumpy old me will admit Anna’s costume is not so bad (at least her top is modestly covered!) but again with the Olaf bathing suit and is the up-to-there Elsa dress really necessary.

EVEN MORE Sexy Disney Halloween Costumes that Have Gone TOO FAR

This Evil Queen’s dress is a little skimpier than I remember from the animated movie … hmmm …

EVEN MORE Sexy Disney Halloween Costumes that Have Gone TOO FAR

This “Sweet Mermaid” costume isn’t too bad (at least it has a nude covering on the midrif and arms) but my big question is …. how does one walk while wearing this?

EVEN MORE Sexy Disney Halloween Costumes that Have Gone TOO FAR

This “Seashell Sweetie” costume on the other hand, or should I say fin …

EVEN MORE Sexy Disney Halloween Costumes that Have Gone TOO FAR

But this … I can’t even with this

EVEN MORE Sexy Disney Halloween Costumes that Have Gone TOO FAR

Tigger, they got to you, too?

EVEN MORE Sexy Disney Halloween Costumes that Have Gone TOO FAR

Can’t get much skimpier for a Snow White costume

EVEN MORE Sexy Disney Halloween Costumes that Have Gone TOO FAR

I stand corrected.

EVEN MORE Sexy Disney Halloween Costumes that Have Gone TOO FAR

I don’t remember Tiana wearing anything like this Sexy Frog Princess costume.

EVEN MORE Sexy Disney Halloween Costumes that Have Gone TOO FAR

This year’s Belle costume might be even skimpier than last year’s Belle Costume, if possible????

EVEN MORE Sexy Disney Halloween Costumes that Have Gone TOO FAR

This little number is called the “Cruele LaVillain” costume (the best copyright-avoidance name yet). And don’t forget your SEXY DALMATIAN costume to go with it. (Let me repeat that in case you didn’t hear me the first time … SEXY DALMATIAN.)

EVEN MORE Sexy Disney Halloween Costumes that Have Gone TOO FAR

Remember when Jessica Rabbit wore that leotard? ME NEITHER.

EVEN MORE Sexy Disney Halloween Costumes that Have Gone TOO FAR

And if Jessica isn’t showing enough skin for you, you can always be Sexy Roger Rabbit. WHY WHY WHY. WHO IS BUYING AND WEARING THIS.

EVEN MORE Sexy Disney Halloween Costumes that Have Gone TOO FAR

Ladies and gentlemen … You didn’t think it could be done, but here it is. I present to you … SEXY PLUTO.

EVEN MORE Sexy Disney Halloween Costumes that Have Gone TOO FAR

AND SEXY DONALD, WHAT. #stopthemadness

EVEN MORE Sexy Disney Halloween Costumes that Have Gone TOO FAR

(Me to Mr. BFT as I was researching for this post: “Maybe I should dress as sexy Donald this year? I know he’s your favorite.” Mr. BFT: “You do whatever you want to do.” Translation: “Please don’t ruin my childhood.”)

And finally, the inappropriate sexy Disney costume to end all inappropriate sexy Disney costumes. I’ll be real honest, this one makes me feel a little dirty. I’ll never watch Fantasia the same way again.

EVEN MORE Sexy Disney Halloween Costumes that Have Gone TOO FAR

All images from Yandy.com, ami clubwear, Spirit Halloween, and Halloween Costumes.

Sunday Seven – New Blog Header, Marriage Equality, and More!

The seven most interesting things on the internet last week:

Sunday Seven - New Blog Header, Marriage Equality, and More!

1. Do you like my new blog header designed by Pigment & Parchment? If you do, be sure to visit her website and Etsy shop!
2. Did you see this sweet Disneyland marriage proposal over on Inspired By Dis? Congrats to Courtney and Allen!
3. Two of my favorite blogger pals, together! Cris of Kiss My Tulle interviewed our friend Whitney (who I worked with at DIY Bride) about hindsight wedding advice. She has some good nuggets in here, kids.
4. It was a great week for Marriage Equality! Congrats to Arizona, Alaska, and Wyoming. Now 31 states and Washington DC currently allow same-sex marriages. Image from Human Rights Campaign.
5. My friend Megan tells a touching story on her blog History and Hockey Sticks about how Alfred Angelo (yes, the bridal gown shop that makes the Disney gowns) went above and beyond when Megan had her wedding jewelry stolen. Kudos to you, Alfred Angelo! I have a whole new respect for their company now.
6. SEO have you confuzzled? My friend Megan’s (different Megan) latest post in her “Blogology” series on her blog Adventures of Noble and Pond will help you out.
7. This dude painted a huge “Beauty and the Beast” mural to propose to his girlfriend. Seriously impressive! (She said yes, by the way.)


Have a great week!