“Look Mom, I’m on ‘Walt Disney World Jobs’!”

First of all, Happy (belated) New Year!

The first fews weeks of 2017 has been pretty exciting for me.

Last week, one of my Instagram posts ended up on Walt Disney World Jobs AND Walt Disney World – LinkedIn.

(Truly a dream come true).

It has inspired me to write a blog post about Disney Traditions Tips… coming soon.

But for now, I’m going to enjoy this:

“Traditions, our cast member orientation, is where your Disney journey starts!”

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Photography: Ashlyn Lillibridge

Happy Holidays from Catie Bee

Happy Holidays to YOU!

My husband Wes and I are thrilled to be celebrating Christmas and Chanukah with loved ones.

Last week, Wes found a Groupon for a holiday family/pet photoshoot.  Our cat Abu was a little scared of the whole thing, but we love our photos + our little family. What a precious gift.

For the past few days we have been visiting my husband’s family in West Virginia. Today we travel to Nashville where my siblings and parents are baking Chanukah cookies and belting Christmas jams with the karaoke machine. We look forward to opening gifts from Santa and lighting the menorah!

Wishing you a peaceful and joyous holiday! May your days be filled with yummy food, fuzzy socks, and good people.

Catie, Wes, and Abu

Dirt Figure Skating: A Memory

In third grade I spent most of my recess time alone, dizzy and sweaty from spinning on the tire swing that hung from a giant tree on the playground.

“Dirt Figure Skating” is what I called it, as I pretended to be a champion figure skater like Michelle Kwan or Sasha Cohen with my own peculiar versions of axel-jumps and carry lifts above the dirt. My teachers observed from a distance, chuckling and shaking their heads, “There goes Catie…”

I coughed as my lungs filled with the cloud of dust and dirt that enveloped me, but I continued to make up new moves and turns. My stomach against the core of the tire, I felt the delicate touch of the warm sun on my neck while humming tunes from The Little Mermaid II.

Closing my eyes and then opening them again quickly, I wished my fairy god-mother would show up on the playground and change my black Mary Janes into beautiful white skates. I had this idea she would only grant my wish when I wasn’t looking, and so I kept my eyes closed hoping I’d have something to brag about when I returned to class.

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150 Happy Things

People say:

“Do what makes you happy”

*Sigh*  If only it was that simple.

I have a hard time making decisions because I always try to do “what makes me happy.”

For years, I believed that whenever I had a string of bad days (or months, or years…), I needed some big change: career switch, new wardrobe, do-over of friends, move to a new city.

And after making these big changes hoping that life would be perfect, exciting, and wonderful all the time, I slowly realized that everything has its pros and cons, and no path is going to be perfect all the time.  That’s still very hard for me to accept.

I shouldn’t be paralzed by fear when choosing a “right” path because no matter what there will be bad days.  And good days in between.  That’s just how the world works.

Focusing on the little things that make me happy and giving myself the time to enjoy them is something I want to practice.

Since I’ve been so busy complaining and whinning about all sorts of things, I figured it was about time to write a list of all the things that make me happy – no mattter how silly or stupid they may sound to other people.

When I first sat down to write 150 things that make me happy, I thought it was going to be difficult:

“But I don’t have this career
But I haven’t learned these skills
But I don’t have that waistline
But I haven’t traveled to those places
But I haven’t been recognized for this…”

So how could I possibly have 150 things that make me happy??

However, I was shocked by how easily I came up with the little things that put a smile on my face.

But even more shocking to me was the realization that most things on my list are simple and can happen anywhere. I don’t need to live in a particular city or have a speficic kind of house, big career, or large amount of money.

If I ever get stressed or fall into the idea that “x, y, z” will make me happy, I can turn to this list and remember that the simple things will be enough for me. Even on the bad days.

Because as my mother says, “Wherever you go, there you are – so you might as well have a good attitude about it.”

Today I challenge you to make a list of 100 things (or more!) that make you happy, smile, laugh, or put you in a good mood – even for just a few seconds.

Feel free to share a few of them in the comments below! I’d love to read what makes you happy!

Here are 150 things that make me happy/bring joy in my life (in no particlar order):

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Disney Doodle: Up “You are my Greatest Adventure”

Disney’s Up is one of my favorite movies of all time.

I saw this movie in theaters in high school with a bunch of friends.  My friend Jacob, who is normally a pretty cranky person, cried from laughing so hard at Doug the dog. We were the loudest group of people in the movie theater. Russel, Dug, and Kevin (Kevin’s a girl??) were all so adorable, funny, and magical.

But nothing is as adorable, sweet, and wonderful as Carl and Ellie. #truelove  What a beautiful story of the adventures and joys of married life.

I painted this 12×12 acrylic piece for a friend who loves the movie Up and all the characters in it just as much as I do! She just got engaged to the love of her life. May they always be each other’s greatest adventure!

For more Disney doodles, check here!

❤ catie bee art

(Dug ^)

10 Tips for Disney Meet-and-Greets: What the Characters Want You to Know

The Disney parks have this beautiful thing called character meet-and-greets.

(aka the incredible opportunity to visit with your favorite characters).

How COOL is that??

After performing in the parks, I not only gained a deep appreciation for the characters, but I also learned that there is a very specific layout of meet-and-greets.

The typical layout of a meet-and-greet is:

Character meet-and-greets include the princesses, Pixar characters, and more.

Each meet-and-greet has a character or two, a character attendant (basically a body guard for the character), and a Photopass photographer who takes photos of the fun interaction.

While the characters are spread out all over the four main Disney parks, most meet-and-greets are approximately 60 seconds (sometimes less, sometimes more).

Even if you have been coming to the parks for years, you may not know that there are definitely ways in which to make your meet-and-greet a more memorable, special, and positive experience for both you and the character.

Here are 10 tips for how to properly experience meet-and-greets at the Disney parks (and to avoid characters from secretly hating you):

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“Think of the Happiest Things”

Most nights at 1am, I’m painting and relatively happy about it.

But for some reason tonight, I’m just completely frustrated with this particular art piece – so much so that it is bringing me to tears.  I find myself spitting out all sorts of swear words, and I’m running on about four hours of sleep (which probably explains my minor emotional breakdown).

I figured I would just take a break, get my heart rate down, and turn to my blog instead.

So here is what I’m thinking about…

Last night, my husband told me we can train our minds to think positive thoughts. And the more we train our brain to think “on the bright side,” the easier it becomes*.

I used to do that all the time as a kid.  I kept a journal and wrote about all the happy things in my life.   I was never jealous.  Or bitter.  Or sad.  I enjoyed everything (with the exception of math class). Nothing was a competition, and I embraced being different.

But recently, I feel like I’ve done the opposite.

By allowing my mind to stay in a constant state of insecurity, self-doubt, and negativity, I’ve been putting a lot of pressure on myself:

Pressure to do well, have a steady job, keep in contact with a million people.

Pressure to make a lot of money, travel to new places, paint better things, be thinner.

Pressure to be more educated, keep up with social media, possess more stuff, discover new talents.

Pressure to be happy and in motion … all the time.

And it’s exhausting. I don’t want to feel that way.

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Catie Bee Art: Wedding Art

Lately I’ve been working on a lot of custom orders for weddings and bridal showers!

Picture frames, guest books, wooden things, calligraphy for wedding signs, etc.

One of my favorite parts of working as a wedding assistant is seeing how the bride and groom bring personal touches to their wedding design! What better way to add a personal touch on your big day than with art?

While planning for my own wedding, I knew I wanted to do something creative with a personal touch. Being that we had our wedding at Disney World, I painted the seating chart – with each table inspired by a different fairytale land.  It took a lot of paint and patience to get it just the way I wanted.

While working on my own wedding art, I discovered how much fun it is to create unique pieces displayed at meaningful and important events.  I have loved working on custom orders for brides & grooms!

Here are some more fun wedding projects I’ve worked on …

More artwork here.

❤ catie bee art

Catie and Wes - 0726


Photos by A Lovely Photo

First Journal Post | “Remind You”

One of my goals for my blog is to be more transparent.

I am working on revealing more of my heart through blogging, which is something I don’t do very well or very often.

But I figured I would just write what comes to mind.

Not sure who will read this – but if you are, thank you.

Last night, I went to the Andy Grammer/Gavin DeGraw concert with my husband as sort of a last minute date idea.  We had a really great time, but it was unexpectedly an emotional experience for me.

Let’s back track: I saw Andy Grammer in concert for the first time during my freshman year of college with my best friend from high school/college roommate.  At that time, I was going through some rough times – heartbreak, loneliness, maybe even depression.

During one of the darkest, most confusing times in my life, I remember my best friend and I sang (belted) Andy Grammer’s “Keep Your Head Up” over and over again as we rode around town in her little green car.

To my surprise – when I heard that song at the concert last night, I didn’t think about the bad stuff I was dealing with at that time.  In fact, no specific tough memory came to mind, but I sure as hell smiled as I thought of old college friends, no curfews, 3am coffee runs, random dance outbursts, designed tattoos, and failed vlog attempts. I could only remember the joys.

Isn’t it amazing that music can bring us back to struggles we overcame, relationships we developed, and laughter we shared with those we continue to love and trust?

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