Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Back to School in Style Sweepstakes! 10 Winners!

Welcome to the Back to School in Style Sweepstakes

It's that time of year! I don't have kids, but I love that Back to School time means great giveaways! In this one, you can be one of ten gift card winners! Mom Powered Media wants to show you how much education means to us and the future of our wee ones and are personally sponsoring a Target and American Eagle Gift Card!

12 Unusual Disney World Photos

As someone who has spent more time at Walt Disney World than most people, I'm now much less likely to snap the "classic" photos and more likely to capture pictures of the unusual little details that you probably woulndn't recognize as being Disney at first (or even second) glance. I thought I'd share a few of my favorite unusual Disney photos from over the years!

Disney's Hollywood Studios Streets of America

San Francisco Street - DHS

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Ten Things on Tuesday - Volume 18

1. Just when I have approximately zero spare dollars to spend on anything non-essential, Bath and Body Works has a new candle that I need in my life immediately.

Plus all of the pumpkiny fall scents are back, AND there's a sea salt caramel popcorn candle that I'm pretty sure will change my life. I am sooooo wishing that I was one of those people with disposable income right now.

2. You know that I'm a nerd because I refuse to leave for my upcoming road trip until after the date of Missouri's primary elections. Not gonna miss voting!

3. Took my car to the mechanic this week to get the wipers fixed. As luck would have it, he couldn't get them to NOT work to figure out what was wrong. Arrgh!

4. I can't remember if I've mentioned it here, but @_FloridaMan is one of my favorite Twitters. It's filled with the kind of nutty news stories that Florida is famous for, but it's most amusing when you read it as if it's talking about a terrible superhero called Florida Man. Example:

That third one, ohhhhh man. I saw that on the Rachel Maddow show last week, and... wow. Just wow. Embarrassed for my state.

5. Judging by Twitter tonight, there's a possibility of Arie being the next Bachelor! Now THAT would be a season I'd enjoy watching!

6. This is my current favorite gif:

7. You can't stop watching that, can you? It's ok, neither can I.

8. Speaking of adorable cats, this isnt' the best quality of video, but this is my Bear Cat freaking out because I am holding his toy under the glass of the coffee table and he can't get to it:

9. I got sucked into playing Guess the Emoji on Facebook. Most are super easy, but every now and then one totally stumps me. (I totally had to cheat to get the Gangnam Style one!)

10. In anticipation of my upcoming road trip, I'm thinking about great driving music. What makes up your perfect road trip playlist? Classic rock or energetic pop or country ballads to match the rural scenery? Share your favorite driving tunes in the comments!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

DCP Vloggers

I have an odd hobby - I love Disney College Program vlogs. (If you're unfamiliar, college students can spend a semester living and working at Disney in a paid internship, often for credit! We get a TON of DCPs each year who work at Disney World or Disneyland for around 4-6 months. I never did the program, just went straight into full time.) They used to be fairly rare, but now that everyone has video and easy uploading on their phones (and almost everyone has a camera that shoots video), they've become abundant. It's so much fun to watch people get all excited about going to work for Disney, hearing about which job they get, how they like their roommates, etc. )

There are SO many vloggers who make a dozen pre-program vlogs about how excited they are but then totally fizzle out once they're there. It's actually kind of funny to watch it follow the pattern - a ton of videos before they leave, a video about check-in and getting their apartment, usually an apartment tour, a video about training, and then.... almost without fail, a video that's like "OMG, I can't believe I haven't made a video in 6 weeks!" And quite often nothing else until they're back home at the end of the program, sharing their reflections. And even worse are the ones who totally disappear after their first few videos! It's sad to get invested in someone's story and then never get to hear what happened, like an interesting TV show getting canceled after the first month.

The people I'm listing below make this list of links because they stuck with it and took us along on their journeys from start to finish, and are fun to watch! 

Angelina worked Merchandise at Epcot in Fall 2013.

Amy's DCP is one of my favorites because she made fun videos and there were a ton of them! (Also merchandise, but at Downtown Disney.)

Roxanne is nearing the end of her program in lifeguarding, but will be staying in Orlando doing something else!

Kelsie Doing Disney has a ton of videos that are a mix of vlogs and informative videos. (Photopass Fall 2011)

AmyPuddlesDCP is super fun to watch (another merch person!)

You have to scroll down a bit to get to the DCP videos since it's been a while, but Raisa did the Disneyland program in Spring 2012 and WDW in Spring 2013.

And Chelseacoe has a huge personality, and did merchandise at Port Orleans back in 2011!

There are a zillion others out there, these are just a few that I've enjoyed recently! If you know of another awesome DCP (or Disney cast in general) vlogger I should be watching, let me know! I will definitely be vlogging my whole moving and work experience when I move back. (Hopefully soon? C'mon, winning the lottery!)

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Fan Shirt Fail

Have you ever had a DIY project that turned into a total disaster?

I found this purple top among the random thrifted clothes that I've picked up for various projects and thought it might be fun to turn it into something to wear to an Orlando City Soccer game, since purple is our color. This was supposed to be a super simple project (especially compared to what I tend to get into!) to do in a couple of hours one evening. Basically all I wanted to do was take the shirt in a bit since it was a little large, and then use a bleach pen to write "Orlando City" across the front. I figured that I'd figure out some other kind of embellishment after that to make it less boring.

Did a super quick alteration to make the shape a little more flattering...

And then used a white eyeliner to mark little dots approximately where I wanted the lettering to start and end. (Probably not the best tool for the job, but these are like $1, so whatever.)

You can probably guess from the title of this post that things did not go as planned. First, I thought that the bleach pen I picked up was the felt tip kind like the Tide ones, but LOL NOPE. This one squirts out a messy gel, and the second I managed to pry the lid off, a blob of said bleach gel flew all over the place, including on my shirt that I was wearing. Noooooooooo!

Not awful, but definitely some little white dots! Arrgh!

The gel was pretty impossible to write with, so my O came out looking like this. I decided to see how it would look after the bleach did its thing before trying any more letters. Good thing, because...

Yup, that's one splotchy, neon pink O. This was not working at all, so I went BACK to the store and got a different bleach pen, in hopes that the felt tip kind would be much easier.

This, if you can even see it, is how the R turned out. Not exactly what I was going for here. You guys, I had ten times better results the time I made a design on a shirt using regular old bleach on a q-tip! Do NOT listen to Pinterest when it tells you to use bleach pens! PINTEREST LIES!

So, now I have this purple tank top with one weird pink O on it. What do I do now?? Go back to the good old regular bleach method? Give up on bleach and use glittery gold t-shirt paint or something? Buy an Orlando City sticker and just slap it on the shirt over the funky O? There has to be some kind of solution to this. If you have one, let me know!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

10 Things on Tuesday - Volume 17

1. I finally had a doctor's appointment today that I scheduled back in early June! It was originally about a month before they could get me in, but then the doctor's schedule kept changing and they kept having to reschedule me, so I've now been waiting a month and a half. Oh, health care, you're such a blast. Anyway, that's why this post isn't going up until so late in the day - I've been all over the place today!

2. Google Maps cracks me up sometimes. I like that it's all "Now, if you really want to drive to Nashville, that's fine, but for a ton of money you could get there an hour slower by flying!" (I don't think I'm going to Nashville, btw. Unless I change my mind? I was mostly trying to figure out a route to Florida that involved a lot less time in Arkansas.)

3. I got paid to eat fast food yesterday, and was again astounded by how expensive it has gotten. I won't name the establishment since it was a mystery shopper job, but let's just say that my six nuggets of chicken (ambiguous enough?), medium fries and medium drink came to almost $7. Isn't the entire point of fast food supposed to be that it's cheap? When did this happen? Other than the occasional Taco Bell craving every few months, I don't really eat fast food unless I'm getting paid to do so, so I'm really not accustomed to spending more than $3. Why wouldn't you go somewhere with real food if you're going to spend seven dollars?! You could totally get unlimited soup and breadsticks at Olive Garden for the same price. (Okay, that probably still doesn't qualify as "real food" but you get the idea.)

4. Okay, fine, I confess that I'm considering a road trip. Oh, how quickly I seem to have forgotten the nightmare that was my drive down to New Orleans, and the sleeping at a truck stop that followed. Road trips must be like giving birth - you know that whole thing where apparently mothers forget that it hurt like a mofo and just decide they want another baby? Apparently I forget that my ass was numb for several days after I made it home and all of the vows I made about never driving that kind of distance again, even if you paid me, and only remember how nice it is to go somewhere cool. (To be fair, I probably wouldn't be driving 15 straight hours or sleeping with truckers this time. Probably.)

5. All of my Orlando friends keep posting Diagon Alley pics on FB and Twitter, and it's killing me! Gotta get back to Hogwarts! (You get bonus points if that sentence made you break into song.)

6. This is a slightly lame thing to report, but I just replaced the blog idea notebook that Jasper spilled an entire cup of tea on a few weeks ago. I had put so much effort into picking out the perfect legal pad, outlined everything in sections, and then barely got to use it! I know it's nerdy, but I'm looking forward to doing my best to make out the blurry pages of the tea stained old one and copy things into the fresh, pretty new notebook.

7. Are any of you guys watching The Bachelorette? I haven't blogged about it much this season, but it's almost finale time! I don't really see the appeal of either of the final two but I'm hoping that she picks Josh. The letter from one of the final two that they showed on last night's Men Tell All special was intriguing! Also, I am really, really looking forward to hate watching Bachelor in Paradise. It's going to be so terrible, but Marcus is going to be half naked, so that's ok.

8. You know that doctor appointment today? The clinic hat I go to is awesome in that they try to give you free samples of your medication if possible to save you some $. That happened to me today, but rather than little sample packs, they handed me two ziplock baggies full of pills. I wish I could explain why I found this so hilarious, but you'll just have to trust me. I enjoyed texting people "I have been given baggies of drugs!" I possibly need to get out more.

9. This is my current nail color, in case you are super curious. I wanted something that kind of screamed bright summery colorfulness. Yes, I just painted them last night and it's already chipped. It's from the OPI James Bond collection, but I'm not sure which color this is!

10. I think I've apologized for my lack of blogging recently, but here's another apology! I really do have about three posts that are nearly complete, and if my plans for next month fall into place the way I'm hoping, there are going to be a LOT of fun posts to follow! (Oooh, intrigue!) Basically, this is a thanks for sticking with me this month even though these Tuesday posts are pretty much all I've been managing!

Don't forget that you can follow me on Instagram and Twitter, too! 

I'm skipping the linky since only a couple of people have been linking up each week, but if you do a 10 things post be sure to leave me a link in the comments and I'll go check it out! If I get back to where more than a couple of people are participating, I'll bring the linky tool back!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

10 Things on Tuesday - Volume 16

1. It feels so weird not to have more World Cup games to watch! I'm so used to checking the schedule each morning to see what's up for the day! Germany played really well and deserved their win, though! And the US did way better than I originally expected, so that's pretty cool, too.

2. I need a trip home so much! I'm still trying to figure out if there's a way I could swing a quick one next month to see my friend's band play. Money is so tight and there are several things that need it more urgently than this, but omg would it be good for my spirit right now.

3. Okay, question for you guys! I've been looking into replacing my desktop computer. It finally died this winter after about 10 years of good service. Several people have encouraged me to just replace my (totally falling apart) laptop instead, but I keep hesitating. Have you guys gone totally desktop free yet? Am I totally just old and set in my ways?

Struggle isn't fun, but it's an opportunity to be brave

4. Quote for this week. It's been a rough one, and I can use the reminder that choosing to be brave, choosing love over fear, all of those really hard choices? They're worth it. 

5. This week marks three whole years since I ran around Canada with about 20 friends, following U2 on tour! That was such a great week, so full of good people and great music and amazing adventures. Can't wait to do it again! (Please announce a new album and tour already, boys!)

6. I hate to confess to being an occasional reader of GOMI, but if you missed this thread where a blogger started a thread bashing herself to get attention, created several extra accounts to defend herself, and then faked her own death... you seriously missed out. It's the most amazing trainwreck EVER. It's huge now, so go make yourself a snack and set aside a couple of hours. It will make you feel so much better about your own life.

7. You know what? I'm going to do a very weird thing and just stop here at 7 today. It's been a crazy week and I don't have that many fun random things to share, so rather than spending another hour trying to come up with three more, let's just make it seven. Seven is a magical number after all, maybe it will be good luck.

Hope you're all having a fantastic start to your week! Be sure to link up below if you've done a 10 things list, too!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Fall Couture Fashion Week!

Now that the World Cup is over, I can catch up on drooling over (and occasionally shaking my head at) everything that came out of Fall 2014 couture fashion week! Here are a few highs and lows:

I'm not a huge wearer of polka dots, but I think Armani Prive rocked this one! I'd swap out the shorts for a black skirt of a similar length or slim fitting black pants. I get the theory of mixing in those larger scale dots, but I'm not a fan of it visually. Plus, there were so many unflattering pleated shorts in this collection. Bleh.

How is this even from the same collection? You know how you tend to get brilliant ideas in the shower? If one of those ideas is "I should make a dress that looks like this thing I'm washing myself with!" you should possibly reconsider.

So here's the thing... I don't usually like Dior much. And I don't usually like primarily white/black/neutral collections much. But I liked a lot of this collection. Not necessarily in an "I want to wear that!" way, but in an "I see what you did there, and I appreciate it." way.

This Alexis Mabille dress, you guys. This is pretty much perfection, other than the fact that my boobs would never fit in it. 

I want to walk in a Schiaparelli show. Someone please make this happen for me.

This Alexandre Vauthier creation falls into that category of things that I wouldn't necessarily say that I like, but that are so visually itnerresting that I want to spend a while staring at them. It reminds me a little bit of the era of cyberpunk! Dying to know what the texture of that dress feels like.

I started to pick a couple of looks from this Viktor & Rolf collection to discuss, but seriously all I could do was shake my head at the screen while saying out loud, "I fucking love fashion." So here's a screencap of a bunch of them. Hopefully you'll have the same reaction. This is only about half of the collection, but I think you get the idea.

Loved this Valentino dress, and the shoe choice is spot on.

More Valentino couture - I can't explain why, but I'ma little obsessed with this look. I think it's mostly because that's a really amazing green, but a few other looks in the collection use the same fabric and I'm not that into them - there's something else that I can't pinpoint. It's just great. 

I wish that technology would advance to the point that we could start illegally downloading clothes already.

all images via

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

10 Things On Tuesday - Volume 15

Note: Super sorry if this is appearing in your feed again! This is July 8th's post, which I somehow managed to totally delete by hitting something weird on the blogger app on my phone! Thank goodness for Google's cached copy! Whew!


1. Did you all survive the 4th of July? (If you have crazy "I nearly did NOT survive, dude!" stories to tell, I want to hear them!) I am somehow still alive despite the following factors:

a) 5 days of family
b) The multi-day headache of doom that resulted from letter a.
c) Every dog in my neighborhood barking for three solid nights, due to the fact that they thought the world was ending. (Goes well with b.)
d) Did I mention family? It was the kind of weekend that resulted in messages to my hetero-lifemate Katie of the "You would totally help me hide a body, right?" variety.
e) Neighbors down the street who I assume either exploded themselves or something fairly important, given the number of sirens that zoomed their way.
f) The fact that I had to brave Wal-Mart on July 3rd. Plus the fact that I live on a lake and it's a summer holiday.

2. That was a lot of ranting. And I don't think my 10 Things has ever had a sub-list before! Neat. Anyway, the highlight of the 4th weekend silliness (for me, at least, probably not for others involved) was when my middle sister brought back a pretty large (like hand-sized) piece of meat from a meal out with other family people and was not smart enough to hide it somewhere safe from cats (aka on the moon, because nowhere closer than that IS cat safe.) At one point I walked into the kitchen and saw my kitten Tennyson playing with something. Yep, he stole her leftover steak thingy. The thing about Ten is that if you give him something like a piece of meat (super rare for him to get), he won't just eat it... he wants to hunt and kill it. You guys, that little kitten spent a solid hour with this thing, throwing it up in the air and across the room, running after it, attacking, etc. It was basically the best thing I've seen in ages.

A video of Tennyson with a little piece of chicken a few months ago, to give you an idea.

3. Can we talk about Tim Howard for a second? If you follow me on Twitter, you know I've probably already said most of what can be said about his awesome record setting goal blocking in the World Cup game against Belgium. Seriously though, that was super rad. If only that game had gone to penalty kicks instead of being settled in overtime, we would have totally won.

This was probably the best thing I saw on Twitter that day:

And "Tim Howard saving things" has basically become my new favorite meme. 

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4. One of my favorite old Orlando bands (and favorite bands in general, really) is reuniting for one show at House of Blues next month, and I really want to go. Life was so much easier when I lived practically across the street from Downtown Disney! Seriously though, if I can find a cheap enough flight, I am seriously considering it. Haven't gotten to see them play since 2010! (You can see a video I shot at Hard Rock Live of my favorite song from their CD here!)

5. I spent a few really enjoyable hours this weekend reading through the archives of 27 Months Without Peanut Butter, the blog of a woman who spent two years in Jordan with the Peace Corps. Reading about cultural differences is always fun. It's filled with both moments of humor and moments of heartbreak. One quote that amused me, about the animals at the school where she's teaching:
"There are four rabbits, and their names are Barack Obama, Hilary Clinton, Falafel, and Hummus. The teachers named them."
6. I had nearly as much fun reading through the similarly named A Year Without Peanut Butter, written by a woman volunteering in Colombia. Apparently expat bloggers take their protein seriously!

7. Given that the vast majority of my friends are in Orlando, my Facebook and Twitter feeds have been flooded with pics of the new Diagon Alley area at Universal these past few days! I do wish that Universal could find a way to make these parts of the parks more interactive, though. Hogsmeade is super pretty and cool to look at, but there's not all that much to actually do. I want to be able to actually interact with the environment, not just snap cool photos of it, you know?

8. Just in case you're keeping track, I have yet to wear anything from that box of jewelry I posted about two weeks ago.

9. These 10 Things posts seem to be the only blogging I've been doing lately! As soon as I recover from the nuttiness of having family around all weekend, I resolve to do better. (I know, the whole "Sorry I've been a bad blogger!" apology is the ultimate blogging cliche.) I actually just went to finish up a skirt I've been working on so that I could post the before and after (and also you know, wear it...) and I found that someone moved it from my sewing machine. I spent over half an hour searching everywhere and still haven't tracked it down! Not delighted.

10. Pretty much my only plans for today are to go to the library, buy green tea and water, and watch the Brazil/Germany World Cup game. It's exactly the kind of day I need to get my head on straight again before going back to being productive tomorrow.

That's it for this week! If you wrote a 10 Things post too, link up below!

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

10 Things on Tuesday - Volume 14

1. I just filled up the kiddie pool in my back yard (Yeah, I'm awesome. Deal with it.) and slathered on sunscreen so I could go sit in the water and read in between World Cup games. Instead, the Switzerland/Argentina game ran an entire half hour longer than it should have, and now the sun is totally gone. I am all sunscreened up to scroll through Tumblr. (The sun came back as I was still working on this post and I managed about 15 minutes outside with by book, and still had enough time left over to make lunch before the game! YAY!)

2. My poor car, y'all. Last month I had the issue with the brake light switch, now my windshield wipers have stopped working. After a grocery trip last week, I hopped in the car to head home and they would NOT come on. At first I was like well, maybe I can just drive slowly and carefully (It's only like 6 miles home), surely I'll be able to see well enough to make it? LOL NOPE. I couldn't even get out of the parking lot.

What I expected driving with no wipers to look like.

What it actually looks like.

I just kinda sat there in my car for close to an hour until the rain let up enough for me to get to the auto parts store across the street. The fuses that control my wiper relay are black plastic boxes where you can't easily see if they're blown or not, so I couldn't tell if it was a fuse, the wiper motor, or something else. I ended up following the suggestion of the guy at the store and buying some Rain-X to at least make it where I could see to get home. 

3. I was so sad to hear about what seems to have been open gunfire in the French Quarter on Sunday. Nine people were shot on Bourbon Street. I have a special affection for New Orleans and can't wait to go back. I know there's quite a bit of crime in the city at large, but most of the worst of that crime seems to stay out of the Quarter. Sure, there are pickpockets and scam artists and such about, but you generally don't have to worry TOO much about violent crime in the most touristy areas.

It reminds me a little bit of Orlando - Disney World is generally super safe, but if you drive 5-10 minutes outside the gates, you can find yourself in a pretty bad neighborhood. Orlando has no shortage of crime, but like NOLA the serious stuff tends to be away from the tourist areas. I think that the main difference is in scale - the French Quarter has an area of less than one square mile while Disney World is 47 square miles. As a result, the more dangerous areas are a matter of crossing a couple of streets vs driving a few miles - it's much easier to stumble out of the "safe" area, or for others to stumble into the bubble. I don't know, I guess that so many years in the hospitality industry have made me appreciate how much people look forward to their vacations, how much planning and saving and dreaming goes in, so it really breaks my heart when things like this happen.

4. Speaking of total bummers, the whole Hobby Lobby ruling yesterday totally ruined my day. I mostly managed to stay out of arguments, but a few people said things so dumb that I couldn't resist comment. (I literally heard a "If you can't afford to have a baby, you shouldn't have sex.") There was also an overwhelming amount of frustration over a surprising number of people not understanding the absolute basics of how various kinds of birth control work. I seriously don't think I can read any more or my head will legit explode.

5. Okay, on a slightly less serious topic... There's a consignment store not far from me where I occasionally take clothes to sell. (Being stood up after trying to sell things in Facebook yard sale groups got old really quickly.) I stopped by today to drop a few things off and obviously couldn't resist browsing to see if there was anything awesome. I spotted a cute blue dress and was like "Wow! I used to have one just like that!" But then I spotted another dress that I used to have... and another... and a top, and a pair of boots and yet another dress... And then I realized that they were ALL things that I sold in a yard sale earlier this year. Tons of items that I sold for 50 cents or a dollar now bearing $8-10 price tags. All I could do was laugh.

6. Spicy black bean veggie burgers from Morning Star, you guys. Trust me on this one. I just kind of ate 4 over the course of 2 days.

7. Since we're all pretty soccer obsessed right now, I have to mention that my beloved (soon to be MLS!) Orlando City Soccer acquired the superstar Brazillian player Kaka yesterday!

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8. This is the yoga pose I am currently working towards:

Another article on working towards Kurmasana.

My shoulders are possibly my least flexible area, so this is HARD. Loving the challenge, though.


9. Favorite quote this week.

10. I have a reality TV rant. Last night on The Bachelorette, one of the dudes went down to the hotel front desk claiming that he lost his room key and couldn't remember his room number. He gave the desk clerk the Bachelorette's name, claiming the room was under "his wife's name". And the lady at the desk is all "Oh, your room is 602!" There's so much wrong with the whole thing that I CANT EVEN. Ignoring the fact that given that there's a TV show going on, the staff would obviously know who Andi was and that this guy is not "her husband" (and that due to privacy for filming the room probably wouldn't even BE under her name)... THIS WOULD NEVER HAPPEN. When the front desk woman looked up the room, she would have clearly seen that Andi was the only name listed for it. You would never give someone info for a room that doesn't have THEIR name listed. Plus, she said the room number out loud, which is also a big no-no. (Although I have seen poorly trained front desk people do that a lot.) I know that a lot of this show is staged for the camera, but things like this totally ruin any suspension of disbelief I had going.

Okay, peeps! I have a US/Belgium game to watch!

Is anyone interested in 10 Things being a linkup again? If so, let me know! (And if you did it this week, leave your link in the comments so I can check it out!)