Life Lately

It’s been a while…

Hi, hello there!

Thank you for reading this. I know that I’ve been gone a long time. I can’t tell you how often I stared at a blank WordPress template wanting to write, but nothing would result in a complete post. My last blog on here was back in December and so much has happened since then!

  • I started a YouTube channel. This has been something I’ve thought about for at least 3 years and I finally started in January! I’ve been posting on there about once a week. I have 243 subscribers right now and I’m eternally grateful for each one.
  • I can now play Canon in D by Pachelbel on the piano. This is a big deal to me since its been something I’ve tried on and off the past 10 or so years.
  • I made a new Instagram account dedicated to my shopping hauls.
  • Things I’ve planted are surviving! Hahaha. It all started when I went to a hanging basket class at the end of April and that basket is still alive. I’ve been growing herbs (cilantro, rosemary, and thyme), taking care of fuchsia, and just planted a lilac shrub.
  • We’ve done a few home improvement projects. We added ceiling fans to the living room and master bedroom and we upgraded our decks.

At this time I can’t commit to writing blog posts more regularly, but I’d love to keep in touch on Instagram or on YouTube.

With love and gratitude,

-Lin

Travel & Leisure

Palo Be Our Chef Cooking Class on the Disney Fantasy

One of the onboard activities Sean and I did on the Disney Fantasy was the Palo Be Our Chef Cooking Class. This unique culinary experience is one of the highlights of our trip.

At a Glance

  • $279 per person
  • Max of 8 participants
  • Only available on the Disney Fantasy
  • 11 am – 2 pm (For our cruise, it was when the ship docked at Falmouth, Jamaica)
  • Must wear closed-toe shoes, long pants, and long hair must be pulled back

Whoa, $279 per person?! Was it worth it?! Read on to see why we loved it.

To be honest, we rarely do any Port Adventures (aka excursions). We love staying onboard to enjoy the ship while everyone is on shore. There’s still a lot to see and do on the ship. Port days are my favorite because the spa is empty, all the common areas are nice and quiet (perfect for photo ops), and you don’t have to wait in a long line for the AquaDuck (haha). Okay, back on track. I mention this because since we didn’t spend money on port adventures, we decided to YOLO and splurge on taking this class.

We found these packages on our bed the day before class. I am a sucker for nice packaging, and these were presented nicely. Included were our invitations, our name tags, and our costumes (chef’s jacket, apron, hat). We tried them on to make sure they fit properly. They were a little big and we probably could have sized down a size, but we decided to just keep them.

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Our Palo Be Our Chef invitations, costumes, and name tags

The next day we put on our costumes and headed to Palo. Our room was located forward and the restaurant is located aft (aka the back). Since it was windy outside we decided to walk through below deck. It was very interesting walking through wearing our costumes… Everyone thought we worked for Disney Cruise Line, even a few cast members. Cast members typically acknowledge you quickly when you make eye contact and they say, “hello” or some other pleasantry with a smile. When cast members saw us it was a quick nod instead.

We got to Palo about 15 minutes before our class started and filled out a health form. We sat and waited in the Meridian Lounge. There were 3 other attendees and 1 was actually a cast member that normally floated between Disney Wonder and Disney Dream. She was there to experience activities that those ships don’t offer. Wait, what?! I want a job that’ll let me do “travel homework!” Hahaha.

We were then escorted into Palo. It was really awesome to see the restaurant “show ready” without any guests inside. I took this rare opportunity to snap a few pictures. I love this restaurant with all of my heart on all 4 of the ships, especially when I dine there for brunch. Quick Disney Cruise history – Palo specializes in Italian fare. The classic ships (Disney Magic and Disney Wonder) were built in Italy. All 4 ships have this restaurant as a nod to Italy. Palo means “pole” as in the pole that gondoliers use in Venice. You can see glimpses of the theme in the pictures below.

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Palo on the Disney Fantasy
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Look at that beautiful view. I love the floor to ceiling windows.
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Do you notice the gondolas in the artwork?
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Palo is so beautiful

We met our chef, Chef Davide. A special guest swung by for pictures, can you guess who it was? None other than Mickey Mouse himself adorned in a chef uniform! We took pictures with Mickey Mouse and also with Chef Davide. I thought it was really cool that the pictures showed up in our photo package folio that we pre-purchased.

Chef Davide led us into Palo’s kitchen. It was really neat to go “backstage!” I have never seen a kitchen cleaner than Palo. The ship is 6 years old now and everything looked brand new! I am sure all of the galleys are just as clean. After a brief tour of the galley we all meticulously washed our hands and slipped on gloves.

Chef Davide demonstrated how to make Margherita Pizza and then we practiced at our stations. All the ingredients were pre-measured and ready to go. The dough was already premixed for us so all we had to do was flatten it and put the toppings on. There were other chefs there to help us along the way.

Chef Davide snapped a few pictures of our cooking class.

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Me making Margherita Pizza
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We look like official cast members, huh?!

After we were done with the Margherita Pizza we washed our hands again and slipped on new gloves. He demonstrated how to make Butternut Agnolotti Ravioli. Again, all the ingredients were pre-measured and ready to go and the noodles were already made. I’ve never used molds before so using them for the first time was kind of cool.

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I laugh at this picture because my raviolis aren’t placed perfectly, but Sean’s are (he’s the analytical one in the relationship. Can you tell?)!

After we were done with the Butternut Agnolotti Ravioli, we washed our hands again and put on new gloves. Chef Carmine, the executive pastry chef, took over and demonstrated how to make Limoncello Tart. There was a lot of “Disney magic” for this dessert. We practiced putting the pastry for the crust into the mold. After the chef reviewed our work, a baked crust “magically appeared.” Haha. Then we added the filling on top.

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Chef Carmine is the executive pastry chef on the Disney Fantasy

I know some may be a little disappointed that they don’t get to actually make the dough, noodles, or pastry. The group I was with didn’t seem to mind. I for one liked that those were already pre-made and that everything else was already pre-measured. Not only due to time constraints, but because it also helps non chefs (like myself) feel like I conquered the kitchen. Hahaha.

We went back to the restaurant and sat at a big table. We took off our costumes and got to keep our name tags. We were then presented with “goody bags.” Included was a brand new costume (chef’s jacket, apron, and hat), a packet with recipe cards (full instructions too! So even though we didn’t get to make the doughs, noodles, or pastry – all the information is provided on the recipe cards), and a sweet folder that had our pictures.

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Chef Lin & Chef Mickey!
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Chef Davide & Chef Lin
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Our lunch menu and recipe cards

We had a glass of bubbly and dined on delicious food. It was the perfect ending to our culinary adventure. Yay for good food and good conversations!

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Our appetizer
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Margherita Pizza
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I love my name tag!
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Butternut Agnolotti Ravioli
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Limoncello Tart
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Gelato Trio

Sean and I thoroughly enjoyed the food adventure. It would be really awesome if the other ships offered something similar OR if Remy had a version of this class. We’d be so down to sign up! To sum it up all up, YES – the $279 per person fee was worth it to us. We got to go behind the scenes, we got to learn how to make something new, we got to talk with cast members, we got to take pictures with Mickey, we got to eat good food, and we got to take home some cool swag.

With Love

Life Lately

Thanksgiving 2018

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

My heart overflows with gratitude daily. I want to say a special thank you for visiting my little space on the Internet.

I posted this on my Instagram and on my Facebook, but the experience was so meaningful to me that I also wanted it published here.

November 20, 2018

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It’s crazy how a little sprinkle of Disney magic happens in the middle of an ordinary day. To be honest, I’ve been feeling a little stressed these past few weeks.

Last night I randomly got to meet Irene Bedard, the voice of Pocahontas, at the premier showing of Ralph Breaks the Internet! I bought our movie tickets 🎫 the first day they were sold. When Sean, Keith, and I walked into the theater we thought we walked into the wrong one because all of the lights were on. We got to our assigned seats and found cards and goody bags and then I started checking our tickets again to make sure we were in the right spot. Irene came to introduce herself and told us she bought the whole theater! She wanted us to feel included in her party! 🎉 Irene has such a kind and beautiful soul. 🥰

This little dose of Disney magic happened right when I needed it most. I’m so grateful! These little autographed Pocahontas cards were like stepping into my childhood – I remember collecting them! Lastly, Ralph Breaks the Internet was AMAZING! As someone that works in the telecommunications industry, it made me geek out hard. 😂 It’s one of my favorite movies of 2018. 🎥🍿Let me know what you think when you go see it! 🤗

With Love

Life Lately, Shopping & Style

My Current Obsessions List (November 2018)

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Apple iPhone XS 256 GB in a shell Mous case

Apple iPhone XS 256 GB

I recently upgraded from an Apple iPhone 7 to a XS! I LOVE IT! At first I was concerned that I wouldn’t like the fact that there is no longer a “home button,” but I got used to it quickly. I love how much larger the screen seems since there is no button at the bottom anymore. It was a breeze configuring everything from my old phone to my new phone. The only thing I don’t like about the XS is that the battery percentage isn’t viewable on the top right corner anymore. You have to swipe down to see the percentage. It’s a minor annoyance, really.

My brother got me this awesome shell case by Mous. If you haven’t seen this phone case in action, check out this YouTube review.

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NARS Powermatte Lip Pigment in Warm Leatherette

NARS Powermatte Lip Pigment in Warm Leatherette & Starwoman, $26, Sephora

2018 is the year of lipstick obsession for me. Warm Leatherette is described as a rich berry pink and Starwoman is described as a vivid blue red. The formula is liquidy, but it dries quickly. I had to get used to the applicator because it’s small, but now that I’m used to it and I love it because I can apply it with precision.

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NARS Blush in Super Orgasm

NARS Blush in Super Orgasm, $30, Sephora

Super Orgasm is described as peachy pink with gold glitter… I freakin’ love it! I also have Orgasm. It’s a peachy pink with shimmer. I am more of a glitter kind of gal so Super Orgasm is my favorite of the two!

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Kylie Lip Kit in Head Over Heels

Kylie Lip Kit in Head Over Heels, $29, Ulta or KylieCosmetics.com

Ulta recently started selling Kylie Cosmetics. The cool thing is that Kylie’s lip kits and other select lip products are at EVERY SINGLE ULTA! So even our stores in Anchorage, Alaska got them! It feels good to feel included because we generally don’t get those products. For example, our stores up here don’t have a ColourPop section.

I’ve been curious about Kylie’s lip products, but I assumed that they’d be the exact same as ColourPop (since their parent company is the same). I decided to give it a shot and bought Head Over Heels. It’s described on her website as a deep plum, but on me it looks like the perfect dark mauve. I LOVE HOW IT SMELLS! Kylie lip products smell like the 90s to me. They smell like strawberry or cherry Lipsmackers – yum! I’m also really impressed with the longevity and array of color options. I’m officially hooked!

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Micro Backpack by Cotton On

Red Micro Backpack, $29.99, Cotton On

I freaked out when I saw these mini backpacks on Typo Shop’s Instagram account! I ordered this in both red and black. I also got the crossbody purse versions. A year ago, Disney and Coach had a collaboration. I was bummed that I missed out on it, but then these came out! I love them. Perfect way to add Disney to my everyday style.

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Nike Epic React Flyknit in Pearl Pink

Nike Epic React Flyknit in Pearl Pink, $150, Finish Line

I unfortunately have flat feet, and these are hands down the most comfortable sneakers I’ve ever owned. I especially love the pearl pink color. I can’t wait to see how they’ll fare next month at Walt Disney World!

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Bed Head Curling Wand 1″

Bed Head Curlipops Curling Wand 1″, $15.99, Amazon

I am blessed with straight Asian hair… AKA I let my hair air dry and it dries stick straight. It’s both a blessing and a curse. I made a mini goal a few weeks ago to try to style my hair more often. I used to curl my hair from time to time using a regular curling iron, but the curls never lasted and it would take me forever to curl. I’ve seen curling wands before, but I didn’t think they would be any different than a regular curling iron. Boy, was I wrong! It’s so easy to do my hair with my Bed Head curling wand and the curls last all day. It only takes about 12 minutes to do my hair.

With Love

Our Home

2018 Disney Halloween Decor

Hello, blog world!

I know that I’ve been MIA these past few weeks… I’ve been really busy at work. I also went on vacation last month (Disney Cruise and Disneyland) and I’m so excited to blog about that trip at a later time.

For now, I’m excited to share with you how I decorated my home for Halloween this year.

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My fireplace mantel

I’ve seen a lot of people do a Disney pumpkin project on Instagram and I finally gave it a shot! All you need for this project is:

  • One large pumpkin
  • Two small pumpkins
  • Hot glue

All you do is hot glue the small pumpkins to the corners of the large pumpkin. Ta-da! Now you’ve got a Mickey head pumpkin.

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My Haunted Mansion / Evil Queen Mantel

I am so in love with how my fireplace mantel turned out!

  • Madame Leota Tombstone – I got this from ShopDisney.com
  • Monster Wreath – I also go this piece from ShopDisney.com (Yes, I know it’s not centered… I was initially annoyed with myself over it… but who really gives a shit?)
  • Welcome to the Haunted Mansion – I made this sign last year
  • Tomb Sweet Tomb – I made this sign in honor of Haunted Mansion
  • Snow White / Evil Queen – I love Snow White, so I wanted to somehow find a way to incorporate my love for her and the Evil Queen
  • Poison Apple Stein – My girlfriend gave this to me last year from Disneyland
  • Haunted House – I got this several years ago from Hallmark
  • Bats – I cut all of these with my Cricut machine
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Room for one more… I love this Haunted Mansion sign!

This is how I styled my coffee table.

  • Room for One More Haunted Mansion Plate – I got this on clearance at one of the Disney Character Outlets in Orlando
  • Spiderweb Table Cloth – This is from the Target Bullseye’s Playground. I got it this year for $3
  • Pumpkins – These are also from the Target Bullseye’s Playground (2017)
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Monster Weath (Nightmare Before Christmas)

I was originally going to put the Monster Wreath outside on the front porch, but I ultimately decided against it. I was worried that Alaska’s crazy weather might ruin it.

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My Halloween front porch decor for 2018!

I’m very pleased with how my front porch came together. It wasn’t what I originally envisioned, but I think it turned out fine.

  • The Paraoans sign – I made it. I was inspired by my little pumpkin project so made a sign version of it with our last name
  • Tombstones – I got these last year at Fred Meyer. I originally had 3, but 1 was ruined last winter
  • Purple lantern – I got this from Fred Meyer last year
  • Happy Halloween doormat – I got this from Joann’s Fabrics. I really wanted to find a purple doormat because Disney villains always have some sort of purple in their style
  • Caged raven – I think I got this from Target several years ago
  • Trick or Treat sign – I got this from Target this year. I was immediately sold because it’s versatile. The back side says “Give Thanks” so I can’t wait to flip it around after Halloween
  • Mickey & Minnie pumpkin – I got this from Walgreens several years ago

There you have it! Are you done decorating for Halloween and/or Fall? I look forward to decorating for my MOST favorite holiday, Christmas! =)

With Love