Travel & Leisure

I Got A New Camera!

For several years my primary method of photography was just using the camera on my phone. I’ve wanted a nice camera for a while now and I’ve finally treated myself to one.

Hello, Canon EOS M50!

 

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Canon EOS M50, image from BestBuy.com

 

The other camera I was interested in is the Sony A6000. I’ve owned multiple Sony Cybershots back in the day and I’m pretty loyal to the brand (our tv, washer, and dryer are Sony too!). I’ve always felt Sony makes high quality products and the reviews on this particular camera are pretty solid.

The Canon EOS M50 won because the Sony A6000 doesn’t have a swivel screen and it doesn’t have a microphone jack. The swivel screen on the Canon was an important feature to me because I like that I can flip the screen into the camera since I’m paranoid about scratching up the LCD screen. I’ve thought about joining the vlogging world in the future, so the microphone jack is a great feature to work with accessories.

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I’ve owned a few point & shoot cameras, but I am new to the world of mirrorless and DSLR cameras. After doing some research I opted to get a mirrorless camera because I didn’t want to carry around something bulky, especially while traveling. Sean and I went for a drive to Portage Glacier yesterday and snapped some pictures. None of these are edited and I like how they turned out.

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As an amateur, I feel that Canon has made it fairly easy for me to learn how to operate it and learn new features. I’ve found the guide through the menu settings helpful and easy to understand. I honestly can’t tell you how happy I am about having this camera. My iPhone just wasn’t cutting it anymore for the quality of pictures I’ve been yearning for. Looking forward to capturing life’s best moments with my Canon!

With Love

Home

Living Room Transformation

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We’ve reimagined our living room!

Sean and I went grocery shopping at Costco on Super Bowl Sunday. As I turned around the corner, my eyes met the couch I’ve always dreamed of having! I told Sean it was just like the feeling I got when I first laid eyes on him… My cheesy pickup line worked because he said we could get it! Hahaha. But for real – I knew it was “the one” when I saw it. I’ve always wanted a gray L shaped couch with tufted seats and this met my specifications.

We found one a couch that we liked at a local furniture store, but it was more on the pricier side. We had actually been eyeing it for almost 2 years, but we kept choosing to travel more instead of spending money on new furniture.

I love our Costco find even more and it wasn’t nearly as expensive! As the saying goes, timing is everything.

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After Valentine’s Day I also refreshed our mantel. We originally had our Thomas Kinkade canvases at the stairway, but I always felt they should have been a focal point somewhere else. I decided to put our Mickey & Minnie “Alaska Adventures” away for the season and put the Mickey & Minnie “Hawaii” art piece in its place. Then I moved all the 14 x 14 Thomas Kinkade canvases to surround it. I love how it all turned out! My favorite Instagram account, Disney_at_home, even featured it! 🙂

We moved our TV from the corner to against the wall. We eventually want to get a new TV and mount it on the wall and get a new tv stand… Maybe in the upcoming year or so.

When I’m home and not sleeping, most of my time is spent in the living room. I love how welcoming and relaxing it is. I love taking naps on the chaise!

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Thanks for reading. I hope you have a wonderful weekend!With Love

Uncategorized

Ideas for ways to deal with stress

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The next few months are going to be insane for me. I have a major training initiative at work. On top of that – live a healthier lifestyle, feed my faith, keep my household going, make time for my husband and loved ones, run my little side hustle, and find time for myself. Stress is unavoidable when there are many things going on in life. I think it’s imperative to have stress management skills.

I write these as reminders to myself, but I also hope this will be a helpful list for others too.

Go for a walk

Preferably outside to get some fresh air and to clear your mind.

Follow a routine

Every evening I:

  1. prepare my snacks and lunch
  2. make sure my purse and backpack are ready to go
  3. check that my alarms are turned on

I also keep everything in the same spot. My backpack and purse are always by the mudroom and my lunch bag is always on the kitchen island. I am not a morning person (the only time I am is when I’m on vacation, haha), so the less I have to think about where things are the better.

I know some people also plan their outfits the evening before. I might have to try doing that too.

Embrace shortcuts

My favorite recipes are easy meals. My ideal time is 30 to 45 minutes for prepping and cooking. Sometimes I am so mentally exhausted from work that I don’t even want to cook anything. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with ordering takeout from time to time. There are also rare days where I don’t even want to deal with washing dishes, so we’ll use disposable plates and utensils. Again, nothing wrong with that.

Some may think ordering takeout or using paper plates is lazy, but sometimes it’s worth having an extra hour or so that is freed up for you by not having to cook or do dishes.

Create an organization system that works for you

I used to try and organize my life with multiple resources. I would juggle between paper planners, notebooks, Post It Notes, work calendars, and regular wall calendars. My method was ineffective and I regrettably had things fall through the cracks. I’ve narrowed down my system to just using my work calendar and using my phone. I also still use regular wall calendars, however I don’t ever write in them. I just use them as a quick reference to glance at.

The great thing about a Smartphone is that it’s basically a mini laptop! I love the Notes app on my iPhone. I can easily create folders so I can organize various notes… I have folders for everything. I’m not kidding – I have a folder for my small business, a folder of things to do, a folder for wish lists, a folder for goals, etc. I especially love that I can conveniently log onto any computer with Internet access to update all of my Notes via http://www.icloud.com. In addition to Notes, you have immediate access to other apps such as Photos, Reminders, Pages, and Keynote.

Another app that I really like using is the AnyList app. Sean and I use it mostly for grocery shopping. You add items to it and it will automatically categorize your item. So for example, if you add Ranch Dressing and Soy Sauce to the list (this is literally a real life example, haha), they will go underneath the Condiments & Dressings category. If you add bottled water and soda they would go underneath the Beverages category. I also love this app because Sean gets a notification immediately if I modify a list since it updates in real time.

Plan something to look forward to

For me, planning vacations is just as fun as going on them! Planning is one of my favorite stress relievers – even if the trip is months away or if I’m even just daydreaming. Looking at food menus at Disneyland and Walt Disney World makes me happy, haha.

Make yourself a priority

You owe it to yourself to set aside some “me time.”

Sometimes my “me time” is putting on a face mask, painting my nails, and enjoying a bubble bath. Sometimes it’s blogging. Sometimes it’s crafting. Sometimes it’s taking a drive alone – I LOVE listening to loud music with the windows rolled down (during summer of course) and feeling the wind whip through my hair. Sometimes it’s sitting outside and listening to nature. Sometimes it’s shopping (okay fine, a lot of the time… Ha!).

Often times it’s sitting in front of the TV to watch reruns of I Love Lucy and Everybody Loves Raymond.

Talk to your spouse / significant other

You know the saying – communication is the foundation of a strong marriage. I gave Sean a head’s up a few months ago that life will get pretty hectic and the first thing he said was, “What can I do to help you, baby?” That sweet gesture alone meant so much to me.

I’d love to hear your ideas for handling stress. Thanks for reading!

With Love

Home

Valentine’s Decor

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We took our Christmas decor down over the first weekend of the year. During the process I decided that I wanted to decorate our mantel for the Valentine’s season. My second favorite seasonal decor to raid through at Target’s Bullseyes Playground are Valentine items (In case you were wondering what my personal ranking is – 1st is Christmas, 2nd is Valentine’s, and 3rd is Halloween). This year’s offerings did not disappoint. I love all the shades of reds and pinks together!

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  • “I Love You Like Mickey Loves Minnie” sign is by me
  • “Mickey & Minnie Kind of Love” sign is by me
  • “Forever” sign is by me, the heart is from Target
  • “So This is Love” sign is by me, the heart is from Target
  • “XOXO” sign is from Target
  • “LOVE” arrow sign is from Target
  • I think the vases are from Fred Meyers, I bought them several years ago
  • Garland is from Target
  • The first Mickey & Minnie is actually a photo holder from Aulani
  • Mickey & Minnie Alaska Adventure is painted by Noah
  • Mickey & Minnie “and they lived happily ever after” is from Hallmark

That’s about it for our Valentine’s decor aside from a heart mobile that I hung outside. As far as what are we doing for Valentine’s Day? Nothing planned because we both prefer to save up for our upcoming Disney trips! =D

With Love

Uncategorized

Hello, 2018!

 

We are 8 days into 2018 and guess what? I haven’t messed up writing or typing the year out yet. Haha.

Here are some of my goals for 2018:

  1. Continue to grow my side hustle
    I’m almost at 100 sales on Etsy! By the end of the 2018 I’d like to hit 225 Etsy sales.
  2. Continue the Keto lifestyle
    I started on my Keto journey November 6, 2017 and I couldn’t be happier! -19 pounds so far and lots of NSVs (non scale victories). I’m excited yet a little sad that my favorite pants (which I have 4 pairs of) are getting too loose to wear!
  3. Stop wasting food
    Just the other day we cleaned out our pantry and threw away so much food… It’s a big waste of money.
  4. Complete the Visual Communications Certificate from American Public University
    1 class almost done, 2 classes done,  and 3 more classes to go.

Here are some things I look forward to:

  1. MOVIES
    There are so many movies I look forward to seeing! Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, Avengers: Infinity War, The Incredibles 2, Black Panther, Fifty Shades Freed, Ant-Man and the Wasp, Ralph Breaks the Internet, A Wrinkle in Time, Solo, etc…
  2. Colorado
    We’re going down during the summer for my mother in law’s wedding. I can’t wait to spend quality time with family! I’m also excited because it’ll be my first time going to Colorado.
  3. Disney Wonder & Disneyland
    We’re going to sail from Vancouver to San Diego on the Disney Wonder. I’m so excited because we sailed on the Disney Wonder in May 2016 right before she was reimagined. I can’t wait to see what’s new! When we get to San Diego we’re going to head to Disneyland for a few days. I’m SO EXCITED because the Halloween decorations are going to be up while we’re there. Plus we’ll be able to experience the new Pixar Pier at Disney’s California Adventure.
  4. Las Vegas
    We might spend our 7th year wedding anniversary (and TEN years of togetherness!) in the city we got married! I hope we can work this trip out, but it’ll just depend on our finances as we get closer. We both play myVEGAS Slots so I’m hoping we can make it affordable by getting a few free nights at a hotel and free meals.Quick rundown of myVEGAS Slots – It’s a free app you can download on your phone or play on a computer. You get coins and can redeem them for discounted/free hotel stays, meals and entertainment. It can take a while to build up enough coins, but it’s worth the effort. We’ve been able to stay at New York New York, Excalibur and Luxor for free. We’ve also gotten free meals at the Bellagio buffet and free tickets to a few shows. Like I said, it’s worth the effort!
  5. Disney World and Disney Fantasy
    This is our big trip of the year! I can’t wait to see Disney World all decked out for Christmas for the first time. I also can’t wait to sail on the Disney Fantasy on a Very Merrytime Cruise itinerary. What makes this trip extra special is that we’ll be Gold Castaway Cay Members (finally!) and we’ll be sailing on the first ship that sparked our love for cruising.

What are you looking forward to in 2018? I pray you’ll have a fantastic year full of laughter and new memories!

With Love

Uncategorized

2017 Memories

 

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2017 – Thank you for being so good to me! Here are some of my favorite highlights:

I turned 30 in January.

Hello 30. It was my best birthday month ever!

  • I had a fun party with my closest friends and family. Everything was pink, gold, and oh so sparkly!
  • We went to Disney World. We stayed at the BoardWalk and the Wilderness Lodge. We got to ride on Soarin’ Around the World and Frozen Ever After for the first time. We went during The Festival of Arts and I got to meet my favorite artist, Noah, and Sean even got me a signed print! We also saw Ashley Brown and Josh Strickland perform.
  • We sailed on the Disney Magic and officially fulfilled one of our goals – sail on all 4 Disney Cruise Line ships. It was so MAGICal to sail on the first ever Disney ship. The shows on this ship were my favorite: Twice Charmed, Tangled, and Disney Dream – An Enchanted Classic were all so dreamy. We even got a cabana on Castaway Cay.

I opened up my Etsy shop in April.

Read more about my side hustle adventure.

I went to Seattle for the first time in May to celebrate one of my best friend’s birthday.

We did lots of touristy things and ate a lot of yummy food in the 2 nights we were there! See my recap post on my old blog here.

I went to my first Velicaria family reunion in June.

It was so cool and heartwarming to be able to attend! I got to see family that I haven’t seen in years and met lots of new faces. I look forward to going again in the future.

I went on an epic California trip in July.

  • We went to D23 for the first time! Read all about our tips, tricks, and favorite memories on this post.
  • We had a magical visit to Disneyland.
    • We got to stay in a newly renovated suite at the Grand Californian.
    • We ate at Steakhouse 55 for the first time.
    • We got to see the reimagined Fantasmic show.
    • We got to say one final goodbye to the Main Street Electrical Parade.
  • We got to spend quality time with my family in Temecula.

I resurrected http://www.disneylin.com and I started my new blog here on WordPress.

If you’d like to browse through my old blog, visit Lin Loves Disney.

I earned my associate degree in Business Administration from American Public University in September.

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I began a Visual Communications certificate from APUS.

I finally learned how to use Photoshop and Illustrator! Right now I’m taking a web development class where I’m learning how to write HTML codes manually. I just need 3 more classes to complete after the end of January.

Sean and I celebrated 6 years of marriage (and 9 years of togetherness) in November.

  • We ate dinner at Simon & Seaforts, watched Daddy’s Home 2, and stayed in Alyeska for a night.

I started the keto diet in November.

It’s been an awesome lifestyle change!

Other 2017 Highlights

  • We built a fence. It’s nice to not worry about our dog, Lucy, running off. It’s also really nice to enjoy some privacy.
  • I got to go to Juneau for a quick work trip.
  • My family bought us a new grill, a firepit, and adirondak chairs.
  • I celebrated 10 years working at my company.
  • Sean and I went on a fancy date to Seven Glaciers at Alyeska Resort.
  • I love our home so much! It’s been so much fun decorating seasonally. I love coming home to our little paradise and just relax.
  • My Instagram account exploded! I mean that in a good way. One of my Disney Cruise pictures made it to the official Disney Cruise Line Instagram account. Several of my home pictures have also made it to one of my favorite accounts, Disney_at_Home. It has been really awesome to connect with Disney fans all over the world!
  • I finally learned how to use my pressure cooker. It quickly turned into one of my favorite kitchen appliances. Another favorite kitchen gadget purchase is a mini raclette! I LOVE CHEESE. I’ve lost count how many times we’ve used in and I eventually want to get a full size version.
  • We had several houses guests! I love that we have lots of room to be able to accommodate our visitors.
  • We saw a lot of good movies this year – Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Thor: Ragnarok, Coco, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, and Jumanji were my favorites.

Again – thank you, 2017, for all the awesome memories.

With Love

Style, Uncategorized

Dear Santa…

Hello, December! The final month of 2017 is upon us. It’s been an incredible year for me and I’m already thinking about what to write for my “year in review” post. I know some of you know this about me, but if you didn’t know already I am obsessed with writing lists. I write lists for everything – things to do, meal plans, goals, movies and shows to watch, books to read, signs to make, and wants are a few examples of lists I like making. I wanted to practice using my newly acquired Photoshop skills and I decided to make a visual of my Christmas wishlist:

Final

  1. iMac. Sean bought one for me and it’s on its way! =D
  2. Garnier SkinActive Miceller Makeup Removing Towelettes. Hands down the best makeup removers I’ve ever used. I need to stock up on these.
  3. Felt board. I’d love a pink or a gray one. I have an obsession for signs… Can’t you tell? 🙂
  4. Sony A6000 digital camera.
  5. GPS Apple Watch Series 3 42mm in Pink Sand.
  6. 9 quart Instant Pot.
  7. Snow White Signature Color charm by Pandora.
  8. Pinita Colada body cream by The Body Shop and available a ULTA.
  9. Dooney & Bourke Disney Sketch Nylon Zip Satchel.
  10. Cricut Maker. To be honest – I thought it was really cool when I first saw it, but didn’t think it was something I’d use as often to be worth it. After seeing more of what it can do, I’m totally sold!
  11. Pink Starbucks tumbler. My sister brought it home today for me!
  12. Aulani bed runner. Aulani is one of my favorite Disney resorts! I love how they decorate the rooms. This bed runner is a focal point and I want one of my own.
  13. Fenty Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter in Metal Moon.

    Items I forgot to include in my visual…

  14. Violet Volt Lipsense.
  15. Rubbermaid Brilliance Food Storage Containers.
  16. The Pioneer Woman Flea Market 2-Piece Decorated Rectangular Ruffle Top Ceramic Bakeware Set.
  17. Thomas Kinkade: The Disney Dreams Collection 2018 Wall Calendar.
  18. The Disney Princess Postcard Box: 100 Collectible Postcards.
  19. Be Our Guest: Revised and Updated Edition: Perfecting the Art of Customer Service (The Disney Institute Leadership Series).
  20. The Disney Way:Harnessing the Management Secrets of Disney in Your Company, Third Edition.
  21. Beyond the Castle: A Guide to Discovering Your Happily Ever After.

What’s on your Christmas wishlist this year?

With Love

Career & Development

Shop Update

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I am completely blown away. My last blog post about my Etsy shop was in early October. At that time I had a total of 29 Etsy sales. My sales goal by the end of the year was 50… Fast forward to 11/26/2017 and I have 70! I can’t believe it! This month has been insane. ‘Tis the season! I’ve had 26 Etsy sales in November alone and the month isn’t even over yet. 4 of those sales even happened on Small Business Saturday!

I’ve gotten so busy that I’ve decided to close my shop mid-December so I can enjoy the holidays, focus on school, and focus on my career obligations. My initial plan was to reopen on New Year’s day, but with everything that is going on at work (a huge training initiative) I might postpone it a while longer.

I put countless hours of labor and love into my little side hustle. I honestly don’t even make a huge profit to justify everything that I put into it. But I continue to do it because it’s so fulfilling to have complete creative freedom and also seeing how happy my guests are. It’s so cool to connect with my guests via Instagram nationwide and cultivate new Disney friendships! My heart is filled with love and gratitude.

THANK YOU.

With Love