Adventures Lately #1

Happy Monday Dreamers!  Anyone else in denial that it's already May?? Things have been very busy over here, both for business and life, so I thought it'd be fun to share some of my recent adventures with you all!Las Vegas Excalibur Castle Weekend Adventure You can take the girl away from Disneyland, but you can't take the fantasy out of the girl. I tagged along with my husband, who had a tech conference in Vegas, for a mini-escape last week. What did we do while we were there? Attend the Tournament of Kings at Excalibur. Knights, horses, fair maidens and merriment? That's our kind of Vegas.

Art Journaling the Magic watercolor creative

If you follow me on Instagram, you've probably heard about my latest creative adventure, Art Journaling the Magic. I haven't even gotten to the actual park tutorials and I already LOVE. THIS. CLASS. This was the perfect way to finally dive into the world of watercolors because I love to learn in a semi-structured environment. You can follow along live as the classes are posted, or like me, work at your own pace. No pressure to be perfect, and lots of room to let your creativity flow. I love it! I'm looking forward to diving in to the Disneyland Park tutorials.

On Saturday we drove down to the Del Mar Fairgrounds for the 24th Annual Pug Party hosted by the Pug Rescue of San Diego County. While we are very sad to be missing the Pug Crawl and Doggie Dash hosted by the Oregon Humane Society this year, we were excited to meet some new pug-lovin' friends.

Just like pugs know when they meet other pugs, I feel a certain unspoken camaraderie with other pug owners. We briefly ran into Chloe Bisou, who I later found out has her own blog and is an Instagram star! Something my own Chloe & Maisy strive for with their daily post updates. Now we are obsessed with her adorable outfits and exciting social calendar.

Adventure Club Members: Know a dog mama who deserves recognition in your life? Download the free Mother's Day card from the Clubhouse! Check your inbox for a link to the Clubhouse from the May newsletter.

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Celebrating Easter at Disneyland

Disneyland is great at ever-changing their experiences for attendees with the passing of the seasons and the years. In the past few weeks, I explored the amazing selection of activities available to celebrate Easter and springtime at Disneyland. Besides the fact that I have a bias towards springtime, I was overwhelmed with everything Disneyland had to offer for this time of year. Celebrating Easter at Disneyland

Our Easter day started off with a very special character brunch at Storytellers Cafe in the Grand Californian Hotel (which you can read all about here). This was my first time eating at Storytellers Cafe, so it's hard to say what was different for Easter, but it was delightful nonetheless and a great way to start our day.

Disneyland Easter Egg Hunt 2Disneyland Easter Egg Hunt 3Disneyland Easter Egg Hunt 1

We then moved on to conquer the Disney Egg-stravaganza 2015 scavenger hunt. Disneyland created two egg hunts for each park in California (one at Epcot in Florida). Maps were sold beginning the end of March and ended on Easter day. I completed both egg hunts on two separate days. The hunts involve visiting every corner of the parks, so I definitely recommend doing one hunt per day! Of course Disney being the nice people they are, let you redeem your prize whether or not you finish or get the answers right.

The prizes are a randomly chosen Easter egg decorated to resemble a Disney character (adorable!). I redeemed the second prize before completing the map due to the recommendation of a cast member. Supplies are limited (they had run out of maps by Easter day), so purchase your map as soon as possible if you are interested in participating in this adventurous activity.


Another wonderful addition for the season is the Big Thunder Ranch Springtime Roundup located behind the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. The ranch is transformed with floral decorations, springtime activities (ear decorating of course) and special Disney characters. It was amazing to see all the Disney bunnies out for meet-and-greets (with very small lines!). My personal favorites are Thumper (Bambi), Rabbit (Winnie the Pooh), and Briar Rabbit (Splash Mountain/ Song of the South). They rotate with other characters including Roger Rabbit, The White Rabbit (Alice in Wonderland), Pluto in bunny ears and Mickey & Minnie in their springtime best. You can join them on the dance floor every hour to do the bunny hop!

A personal favorite part of the Springtime Roundup is the Egg Decorators. It was such a pleasure to talk with some of the creative minds that work for Disney, including Ray Brown (a sculptor of many talents!) and Lacey who created many of the amazing 3D eggs. I shared some pictures of their creations on Easter (that you can find here), but here are more of their beautiful eggs from the last day of the season!

Click to view the incredible details!

Although the Egg Decorators are gone for the season (so sad...), you can still catch most of the Springtime Roundup festivities through June on weekends only. And if you find yourself planning a trip to Disneyland in the springtime, make sure to watch for these special activities!

How to Meet Rare Disney Critters at Disneyland

From the day I found out that Meeko is a regular guest at the Critter Breakfast, I knew I would soon be able to fulfill a lifelong wish of meeting my favorite Disney character. The character breakfast at Storytellers Cafe in the Grand Californian Hotel features the critters of Disney, including several rare Disney characters. How to Meet Rare Disney Critters at Disneyland

For proof of my love & devotion to Meeko, here is a photo of my brother and I in our handmade costumes on Halloween (thanks Mom!). I am also now the proud owner of two pugs (which is the breed of Meeko's foe-turned-friend, for those of you not up on your Disney trivia). Coincidence? I think not.

We made reservations at Storytellers Cafe for a special Easter brunch, featuring egg-shaped desserts and a savory eggs benedict with corned beef, however the Chip n' Dale Critter Breakfast is available year-round. The food is served buffet style, aka all you can eat breakfast! If you are an animal lover like myself, you will love the group of characters that visit your table during your meal. We were entertained by Chip & Dale, both the Brother Bears, Briar Fox & Briar Bear (who was so tall!) and, my spirit animal, Meeko.

Despite the fact that it was just my husband and I at our table, each character spent lots of time with us posing for pictures and giving great big bear hugs. Briar Fox & Bear were very excited when I mentioned their names (because I obviously knew who each of them were) and talked about riding Splash Mountain later that day. As they circled the room, Briar Fox picked a fight with Chip (or Dale?) and started rubbing his tummy. Chip fought back by launching into a karate pose. It was magical.

Disneyland Critter Character Breakfast 5

Just when I was starting to get really worried that "Meeko was hibernating for the day", I spotted his unmistakable grey back and striped tail. I'm sure he could see how crazily eagerly I had anticipated his arrival by the time he got to our table. I let him know about my costume, my pugs, and that we had come just to see him, to which he gave me the biggest hug and an Eskimo kiss. Dreams do come true.

Meeko Mashup from Pocahontas

The more you talk to the characters about the special memories you have of them, the more time they spend with you, making your visit extra special. Make sure to do your research before you arrive to find out which characters may be visiting your table, but remember, the line-ups are always subject to change. There are several different character breakfasts at Disneyland and Disney World, featuring all sorts of Disney characters. Find the breakfast with your favorites, and let the magic begin.

A special thank you to my husband for putting up with my crazed energy and extensive criticisms on picture taking. And thank you for taking several dozen pictures of me with Meeko.

Happy Easter from Elaina Lynn Design!

Happy Easter Friends!

I LOVE Easter, from the pastel colors to the egg decorating. I was also born on Easter Sunday, way back on April 3 in '88, so this holiday will always have a special place in my heart.

Happy Easter from Elaina Lynn Design

Adventure Club Members: Make sure to check your email for a link to download a desktop/mobile background featuring Maisy the Easter Pug!

Today I'll be celebrating in the most spectacular way, starting with a special Easter/Birthday Brunch at Storytellers Cafe at the Grand Californian Hotel. I really really hope that Meeko makes an appearance, since it's the Critter Character Breakfast. I'll make sure to report later this week.

We'll also be completing the Disney California Adventure Easter Egg Hunt before "hopping" over to Critter Country in Disneyland (it's been too long Winnie the Pooh!). I made a quick trip to Disneyland on my actual birthday to finish the Disneyland Easter Egg Hunt, as well as check out the Springtime Roundup at the Big Thunder Ranch.

The egg decorators are amazing, and Lacey the Disney Cast Member Egg Decorator Egg-staordinaire was super kind in explaining what materials she was using to create a 3D Squirt egg (craft materials nerd alert). Make sure to hop by if you are visiting Disneyland the next few weeks!

Check back later today to hear about Elaina Lynn Design will also be celebrating its one year birthday here on the blog (and about my first giveaway!). Hope you all have a hoppy Easter!!