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May the Fourth Be With You

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Hello! After a long hiatus, I’m ready to jump back into this blog. School is almost over and CJ’s 2nd birthday party went off without a hitch (more on that later this week). A lot has happened in the past few months. My family was supposed to move to Orlando because my husband got a job for Disney! However, we decided (very regrettably) that it was not the right move for us at this time. So, needless to say,it’s been intense!

We are huge Star Wars fans, so we decided to get to our local Disney Store to celebrate since we could not be in Hollywood Studios to celebrate this year. It was a pretty exciting morning for CJ (ok she was happy to be in the “Minnie Mouse store” and I was beyond thrilled). We were the first people at the store and she got to open it with the magic key. To commemorate the event, CJ was given a special miniature key ornament. I purchased a pretty cute Storm Troopers watch to match my Vans and I got a free May the 4th pin. So basically, it was the best day ever.




Faith, Trust, and Pixie Dust

Today marks the 62nd anniversary of the film release of Disney’s Peter Pan. The 14th Walt Disney Animated Classic film was based on the book of the same name written by J.M. Barrie. Peter Pan is one of Disney’s most beloved characters; maybe it is because everyone can relate to not wanting to grow up.


While I love Peter Pan, for me, Tinkerbell is the best. She is rebellious, and although she is bratty and jealous, she is feisty and fights for what matters to her. When Kid Congeniality told me that he was  Peter Pan for Halloween, I knew CJ needed a Tink costume, so we could have fun taking photos. CJ and Kid C are the best of friends, and just like Tinkerbell, CJ follows Kid C around on all of his adventures.



Just yesterday, a new interactive queue was unveiled at Peter Pan’s Flight. Now, while waiting in line for the ride, you can walk into the Darling’s house, thru the nursery and see Peter’s shadow flying around the room. Peter Pan’s Flight is one of  Walt Disney World’s original and most popular attractions and with its new update, it is bound to stay that way.  Happy Birthday, Peter Pan!

The Art of Playing Dress Up

I truly believe that every little girl loves to dress up and pretend to be a princess. Some adults do, too! Sophie Arroyo is one of the luckiest girls in the world.  Sophie’s Grandmother and a friend of the family make the most exquisite child-size replica costumes of all the Disney characters for her to wear to the parks. Sophie’s closet looks like a magical dressing room fit for a princess! How lucky is she? Most adults don’t even have a closet as amazing as Sophie’s.

Sophie’s mom, Vel, is a fellow Disney addict. As premier Disney passholders, Vel and her family visit both Disney parks as much as possible. Vel was born and raised in Southern California and living only 20 minutes away from Disneyland, she visited all the time growing up. Vel continues that tradition with her husband and children, visiting at least three times a week. I can’t help but be extremely envious about that!


Sophie and her brother, Mikey in their Toy Story finest!

Sunday’s are their favorite day to visit Disneyland. Sophie, or Mary Poppins as she likes to call herself, is always dressed in costume and  gets tons of compliments and attention – as every little princess deserves. A few weeks ago, Sophie was dressed as the Candy Bakers from the Disneyland Fantasy Christmas parade and her own meet and greet with them. Vel’s husband and son sometimes join in on the action and dress up along with Sophie, but most of the time the focus is on adorable Sophie and her amazing costumes.

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I know I will be contacting Sophie’s grandmother on her Facebook page to have some dresses made for CJ when we go back to Disneyland for the diamond anniversary!  Vel also recommended her friend’s Sharan’s Etsy shop for costumes and I KNOW which one we are getting for Halloween this year. Hopefully, CJ can amass a closet like Sophie’s.

20150130-090850.jpgSophie with her favorite character, Drizella

Happy New Year

The beginning of the year is normally a time for resolutions. It is a time to reflect on the mishaps you may have had last year and figure out how to fix them or not make them again. It is a time to “change” into the person you want to become. For the last 20 years, I have had the same resolution – learn how to drive. Last year, I got one step closer, I got a learner’s permit. This year, it could happen, but I am not making it my resolution.

Instead of making resolutions this year, I am making goals. A resolution is simply a decision to do something or the act of solving a problem. A goal is something you want so bad and have to work to achieve. I don’t want to resolve to do something or change into someone. I want to accomplish my goals. I once read that defining goals will help you achieve the life you want for yourself because setting goals gives your life direction.

2015 is a big year for me. I will finally be graduating in May from the Fashion Institute of Technology’s Art Market graduate program. I have been a part of this program for almost five years. While most students are full time and graduate after two years, between working full time and having CJ, I attended part time. It has been been bittersweet to see my classmates graduate and go on to work in such wonderful environments. Every September, I find myself missing my former classmates and getting to know new ones. I am finally at the end and can hopefully, move on to my dream job (more about this another time).

My goals for this year are simple.
1- Graduate
2- Grow this blog’s readership
3- Turn my photography into a profitable business
4- Apply for and attain dream job

These goals are my motivation to work harder prioritize my life. They will not fall into my lap, but because I want them so bad, I will work my butt off to get them. Goal achievement requires commitment, which is something I often find myself lacking, but with the clock ticking, I just don’t feel like I have anymore time to waste. So, here is to 2015 and achieving my goals.

Friday Five: Handmade Christmas

This Christmas, I decided to buy as many handmade presents as possible. I am always in awe of the talent that people possess. Etsy and Instagram are full of super talented people who make the most amazing things. While it might be too late to order some handmade gifts for this Christmas, it is never too early to think about next year! Here is today’s Friday Five.

1. Minnie & Mickey wooden bracelet –  Two of CJ’s favorite things are “Ninnie” and jewelry, so these bracelets were a no brainer! The Plum Pickle makes the most adorable wooden bracelets for boys and girls (and adults, too).



Available on Etsy 

2. Lilo Watercolor –  Art is extremely important to me. I love collecting art for myself and hope that CJ will love to as well. I started a small collection for her based off of things she loves and what is happening in her life. Currently, her favorite movie is Lilo and Stitch and since she was Lilo for Halloween, I wanted to get her something to remember this stage. Original art can be quite expensive, even on Etsy and instagram. AnnaMarie Teresa’s shop has the most gorgeous small watercolor paintings. They are postcard sized, have amazing attention to detail, and are extremely affordable. I cannot say enough good things about this talented woman. Her work speaks for itself!!! Check out her instagram account that is full of beautiful art.




3. Sweet Littles Handmade Custom Doll –  This is my favorite purchase ever. I am head over heels in love with her. I have ordered from Sweet Littles Handmade before and have never been disappointed. I am particularly fond of the tiny dolls because they are so easy to stash in my jacket pocket or diaper bag and always keep CJ happy. This doll was custom made with CJ’s “coming home” plaid dress and her newborn heart pajamas.

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4. Ha’Andah Products Men’s Grooming Kit – 


A good beard requires grooming and maintenance, just like a good haircut. I know I wouldn’t go out without fixing my hair, so I assume most bearded men feel the same way.This is the perfect gift for any men in your life that are serious about their facial hair.For only $25, you get the beard oil, mustache wax and balm (which is much more affordable than the big name shaving/grooming stores).



Available here

5. Going To Disney Luggage Tag – 

This adorable luggage tag 

is perfect for anyone in your life that loves to visit Disney. While, I did not buy this, I have to confess that I put it on the list in hopes that someone buys it for me! It’s adorable and will definitely make finding your bag at the airport a little easier.


Available on Etsy 

There is less than a week until Christmas and I could not be more excited to celebrate with my loved ones. I hope you are enjoying a wonderful holiday season.

Beware of Hitchhiking Ghosts

We love the Haunted Mansion in Disney World. You might even say that we are slightly obsessed with it. It is a ride that we must go on numerous times each trip to MK. In fact, one of the reasons that I bought a sewing machine and want to learn to sew is so that I can make the most fabulous tightrope walker costume ever! CJ has been on the ride several times and we are pretty proud that she likes it so much and is not afraid.


We were excited to have our photos taken with the Hitchhiking Ghosts at MNSSHP in September. This was one of our “must-dos” of the party, along with meeting Jack and Sally. The line was very short, so I assume that a lot of people did not know about this feature offered by the photo pass photographers. The photographer was located on the walkway in front of Rapunzel’s bathroom (across from Peter Pan’s Flight) right before the Haunted Mansion. I did not see a photographer in this location during any of our other Days in the Magic Kingdom, so I assume this is a Halloween Party exclusive.

Unfortunately, we missed the opening of the Haunted Mansion shop, Memento Mori, by a week. You can check out some photos of the new store here. The merchandise looks great and it is definitely an incentive for us to book our next trip!  The Disney Store has a pretty good collection of Haunted Mansion items for those of us who cannot get to Memento Mori.


Friday Five: Disney World Vacation Highlights

After 9 awesome days in Disney World , we came home Tuesday a little sad that it ended, but filled with some great memories. Here are the top five highlights from our trip.

1: Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party – MNSSHP is by far my favorite thing to do at Disney. If you can schedule your vacation around one of the nights of this annual fall event, do it. It is so much fun. Disney goes all out for Halloween. Gorgeous decorations are put up throughout the park and on party nights there are extra special touches, like Halloween themed balloons (Jack Skellington), characters in costumes and special character appearances. Meeting Jack Skellington and Sally was awesome. My husband and I dressed up like young Carl and Ellie and CJ was Kevin ( I told you we were Up obsessed). We got to trick or treat around the park and we saw so many cool costumes. MNSSHP is a ticketed event. It is approximately $60 to attend the event, but it is well worth it.




2: Dapper Day – Although not run by Disney, Dapper Day is a fashionable event that takes place twice a year at three Disney Parks – Disneyland, Disney World and Paris. Dapper Day aims to get people to dress in their fashionable best and head out to the parks in style. There were so many gorgeous outfits and hairstyles in Hollywood Studios that day. I had as much fun being dressed up as watching all of the stylish participants. We Disneybounded as Wall-E, Eve and the stars. It was a fun way to incorporate some Disney into our Dapper Day outfits.



3: Memory Maker – At $149, The Memory Maker  was the best money we spent the entire trip. We have hundreds of photos from our vacation that were taken by the talented photo pass photographers. Even with having my own camera, I would have never been able to capture all of the moments without the memory maker. I was able to be in the photos and we now have the digital copies of them to use anyway we want. The money is well worth it for the peace of mind and ease of not having to take my own camera.



4: Puerto Rico Marketplace Booth at Epcot’s Food & Wine Festival – Everything at Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival was delicious. I love the idea of bite size food. You can have a little bit of everything without overdoing it.  The Carne guisada con arroz blanco (Slow-braised beef with Puerto Rican-grown rice) was my absolute favorite. The portion was generous and the flavors were fantastic. I will think about this meal for a long time. Hopefully, the Disney Dining blog will post a recipe!




5: Baby’s First Haircut – CJ doesn’t have a lot of hair. Up until a few weeks ago, I would consider her to be close to bald.  This has been extremely upsetting to me. I am not a huge fan of those giant baby headbands. Small ones are fine, but I long to put her hair in pigtails. She did have this fabulous mullet, though. Bald on top, long in the back. Ever since I was pregnant, I knew her first haircut would be in Disney. There was no hair to work with the first two times we visited with her, but this time we had something! I loved everything about the Harmony Barber Shop on Main Street. They clearly cater to kids. CJ got the first haircut package, which included personalized Mickey ears, a first haircut certificate and a sample of her hair with some confetti to take home. Her hairdresser, Diane, was a lot of fun and made CJ feel comfortable, which made us feel great. Harmony Barber Shop is small – three chairs for haircuts and a small corner to wait, but it is a great experience. Harmony doesn’t only cater to kids. CJ’s Uncle Chris got his haircut that day, too!