So You’re Going to Disneyland as a Non-Child….

MONDAYSWe’d been planning Christmas at Disney since July. As I scoured what felt like the whole World Wide Web, there was very little about a 20 something’s trip to the Happiest Place on Earth. Most tips were for families with kids…..imagine that. 😉 I thought I’d share some things that worked well for me- a full grown adult- at Disneyland

  1. Use a cross body bag. Fashionable, easily accessible, and hard to leave behind on a ride or bench. I had this one. My sister & my mom used this one.
  2. Pack snacks. This one might be a bit of a “duh,” but we didn’t pack snacks because we thought we’d just buy them. We quickly realized we wished we had little snacks to munch on between meals. While we still heavily indulged in park food (#corndogsarelyfe), we didn’t always want to spend time hunting for the nearest snack stand. Things like almonds, non-chocolate granola bars, and cheese sticks would have been good to have.
  3. Make use of the Magic Hour.                                                                           e85ad8a9-ca9c-425a-9b6f-b77001c5894aIf you stay at a Disney hotel or have an Annual Pass, you get in the park a whole hour earlier than the rest of the crazed Disney fanatics. This allowed us to walk on to rides we expected to wait hours for.  I felt like it really enhanced the value of our park admission. We got on tons of rides and were able to have a leisurely afternoon on the busiest day of the year. The best tip I read was to get in line a half hour before the Magic Hour actually starts because you have to go through security and you don’t want to eat up 30 mins being “randomly selected” for a search. (FYI- our whole family was “randomly” selected.)
  4. Make dining reservations 60 days in advance & do the World of Color Dining Package.108dedac-a36e-4923-b383-48946435ba22 We literally walked right front & center of the viewing area for World of Color because we did the dining package. While we were in the “splash zone,” we didn’t get wet at all. If you’ve never seen World of Color, it is so worth it. I am HARD to impress and I was awestruck. We did dinner at Ariel’s Grotto because the other restaurants were booked, but it ended up being great! Their dessert is delicious and (as far as a dinner at Disney goes) was fairly reasonable for a 3 course meal. You can find all of the participating restaurants here.
  5. Flo’s V8 Cafe is the perfect oasis for indoor rest. This is actually a great tip for people of any age. While we were at California Adventure, it was FREEZING. While my sisters & dad went to ride Tower of Terror, mom & I sat at a table inside Flos. It’s in a good location, you can order hot coffee, and you can sit there for as long as you’d like.
  6. Don’t buy bottled water. Any place that sells food will give you a cup of water with a lid & straw for free. It’s east to get dehydrated while you’re having the time of your life- pop in and ask any counter.
  7. Surrender to the kid inside of you. f8c96f81-467a-43c6-b563-5fc89e677e42 I don’t know about you, but Disney was a huge part of my childhood and it was so fun to revisit that. My sister and I sang our lungs out at the Frozen Sing-A-Long. I squealed when it started to snow when I was meeting Olaf. The Disney Cast members got excited along with me. I laughed, I skipped, and I screamed. Get lost in the magic of the world Walt created. It will enhance your visit- I promise!
  8. Eat a Corn Dog. 4ce63b21-a2ee-4f9d-b323-e28763ce0c87Seriously. You will never eat a more delicious food. I think they sprinkle magic in the breading. Or they fry them. Either way…..get one in your mouth as soon as possible.

That’s all I got for now! Disney really does such a superior job at creating a magical experience for every guest. You don’t need many tips to have a great time.

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Ballin’ on a Budget: Drug Store Favs

I love luxury as much as the next girl. (See my love of comfort here.) Sometimes a girl’s gotta balance that with ballin’ on a budget. While I would love to bathe in Armani Liquid Foundation a la Kim K, that’s just not in my game plan right now. I’ve found a good mix of drug store & high end make for the best beauty regime. Here are some of my fav drug store go to picks that work as well as the fancy dancy things:

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  1. Milani Baked Blush in Luminoso If you’ve ever read any beauty blog ever you know this old classic. It’s a great dupe for Orgasm by Nars and about $20 cheaper. I notice it doesn’t last quite as long as Nars and I have to make sure I use a setting spray- but it’s still a great one! I love that it’s a little shimmery but not like Limited Too sparkle spray status.
  2. Maybelline Dream Bronze BB SPF 25 You know when you have a spray tan and your normal foundation doesn’t match and it’s really frustrating? Enter this BB cream! It’s really like a slightly tinted moisturizer that gives even pale ol’ me a subtle glow. I used the Light/Medium shade and it was perfect.
  3. CeraVe Cleanser & Moisturizer As I was explaining my skin care woes to the best brow artist on the planet, she was like, “Yeah you need something that’s like…nothing.” I have crazy sensitive skin that doesn’t tend to break out. My mom’s dermatologist suggested she use CeraVe and turns out it’s perfect for me too! I’ve used Cetaphil in the past and I feel like CeraVe leaves me feeling a little cleaner.
  4. NYX Matte Lipstick in Siren I love this shade for winter! It’s like bright red’s cooler cousin. I actually love all of NYX’s lip stuff (esp the Butter Lipsticks and the Matte Lip Cremes). I like that these are so affordable that you can be as trendy as you want.

Those are my favs! For things like foundation, brows, & shadows, I like to stick to higher end items. Sometimes, I switch it up- I have an Urban Decay blush that I love. For the most part, though, there are some things I stick to. Do you have any secret drugstore favs? Those perfect little budget buys?! Let me know! I’m always looking to expand my collection.

Hot Chocolate 5k!

Last weekend was like the craziest weekend of my life. Ugly Sweater Party (so fun), Chi Alpha Christmas Party (until 2am), and then we topped it off with the Hot Chocolate 5k! Maggie and I signed up for this race a billion years ago with grand plans to train and be able to leap like gazelles through the 3.whatever miles.

Yeah……that didn’t happen. Instead I stayed out until 2am the night before. Ha. The only not positive thing I have to say about this experience was that it was FREEZING COLD that morning. Everything else was awesome- the packet pick up was well organized & they had tons of chocolate samples. There was also chocolate at the 1 mile mark of the actual race on race day. The finishers mug was surprisingly delicious- chocolate fondue & hot chocolate. The zip up is cool & I’ll wear it lots. The whole vibe was just fun. Most of all, it was really great to challenge myself with my sister. The environment at a race is always so inspiring and encouraging. I would highly recommend this as a first or 50th 5k! Or if you’re really brave- the 15k!

Here are some snaps from the day (shout out to my parents for coming & cheering us on & taking pics!):

Found these cuties at the Packet Pick Up Expo:

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The cute jacket:

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At the freezing cold starting line:

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Post Race & the Finishers Mug:

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IMG_0554Overall, it was a great experience & we’re already planning our next one: The Froyo Run in Tempe!

My Top 3 Fav Life Lessons from Yoga.

Tonight, I went to CorePower Yoga‘s free class at The Graduate Hotel. For those of you who only knew this space as the building behind IHOP, it’s totally worth a visit. They’ve transformed it into a total destination. The rooftop made for the perfect space for an evening practice.

  
It’s been a minute since I’ve taken a yoga class and I got to break in my new yoga mat that I almost got murdered over. Okay, I’m being dramatic but I bought a brand new Lulu yoga mat off of OfferUp and somehow convinced myself I was going to get murdered by picking it up solo…turns out the girl was a totally normal Scottsdale girl with purple nail polish.

Anyways, heading back to yoga reminded me of all of the things I love about it and I thought I’d share a few here.

1. To stabilize yourself , you have to have singular focus.
When you’re in a balance-y pose, if you focus on a single spot on the wall, you will have an easier time balancing. I love this. When things get hard, go back to the singular focus. It reminds me of Proverbs 4:25-27: Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you. Ponder the path of your feet; then all your ways will be sure. Do not swerve to the right or to the left; turn your foot away from evil.

2. When something feels overwhelming, don’t stuff it down. Feel it and breathe through it.
When you try a new pose or your body is freaking out, you have the power to calm your mind. I know that sounds hippy dippy- but it’s true and your breath brings you back to reality. Try it next time you’re nervous.

3. Rest is part of the practice.
The last few minutes of every yoga class when you get to just lay there are so rich. Some people say it’s the hardest pose in all of yoga because you have to completely “let go” to get the benefits. I’m not the best rest-er so ending practice and celebrating the hard work I just did reminds me that I need that in real life too.

As someone with a busy brain, I want to get more in the practice of yoga and translating the lessons to real life. Plus it feels great to strengthen my body + mind! They’re doing classes every Thursday for the next little bit- let me know if you’d like to come. 🙂
   
 

And this time, I wore a hat. 

You may recall that this summer, I had a complete bathroom melt down at Instagram Summer Camp. Read all of the grizzly details here. Last night, I had the opportunity to go to another Bloguette‘s Event: The Round Robin Mini! There were 2 rounds of discussions & you got to pick from 4 stations: Photography, Branding. Social Media, & Marketing. I got to go to Marketing & Branding.

Round 1: Marketing with Anita Walker, VP of Marketing at Fox Restaurant Concepts. Holy Wow. This was a total dream come true. Do you know how obsessed with Fox Restaurants I am? Their service, branding, and don’t even get me started on their pretzel bites… She shared openly and honestly about their creative process, the importance of mentors, and asking for outside help when necessary.

My big take away: Spend more time building trust than trying to express your creative vision. People will let you do just about any crazy idea if they trust you.

Round 2: Branding with Lorena of The Bloguettes I was really excited about this table because I’ve been thinking about branding as I start to pursue a new creative project I’ve been tossing around. It was great to hear from someone who lives & breathes branding. Everything is brand-able: from pens, to the way you answer the phone, down to who you are!

My big take away: It’s okay for brands to evolve. Select branding that is classic to you and let it grow with you. Get a moment of clarity and don’t wait to execute.

Overall, this event was fun because I could come and just be me! There were some familiar faces- which was so nice! And once again everyone was so welcoming and generous with information. Last time, I was scared of the girls in hats, and this time I was one. Oh how the tables have turned. The more I pursue creative opportunities, the more confident I feel in my vision. I’m so thankful that there is a community in Arizona that promotes creativity, girl power, and entrepreneurship. I’m excited for what’s to come! Now to bring some vision to life….stay tuned!

Halloweekend: Craziness & Costume Ideas.

I am e to the z exhausted!!! (Shout out to Xzibit on Pimp my Ride because I can never say any word that starts with “ex” with out thinking of that. Dang- that’s a good personal brand, Xzibit.) Anyways….Halloweekend was crazy town. In total, I helped put on 3 events, wore 2 costumes, and ate 1 billion pieces of candy.

Here’s how it all went down:

Continue reading “Halloweekend: Craziness & Costume Ideas.”