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

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

Christmas at the Paraoan Residence

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Woohoo, we are officially in the Christmas season! I hope you all had a lovely Thanksgiving surrounded with family and friends. Sean & I spent our Thanksgiving at my aunt & uncle’s house. We enjoyed the typical Thanksgiving meal fare – turkey, ham, green bean casserole, stuffing, and cranberry sauce. We also had pancit and lumpia (I mean really, what’s a Filipino get-together without those dishes?!). Sean and I have been on the keto diet for the past few weeks, but we decided to let loose yesterday and be in carb heaven. I lost count how many pieces of lumpia I ate, haha!

We started our Black Friday shopping adventure this morning at 8:30 am. We didn’t do too much damage. I got makeup from Ulta and Sephora, clothes from Old Navy, Wallflowers from Bath & Body Works, and a new pan from JCPenney. I did order a bunch of stuff online – our Christmas cards from TinyPrints.com, gifts from ShopDisney, and gifts from Kate Spade. I can’t wait to see what kind of deals Cyber Monday will bring. And remember, Small Business Saturday is tomorrow!

Anyways, moving on… I wanted to share how I’ve decorated our home for my favorite holiday!

Let’s start with the front of our house, shall we? I saw a cool “letter to Santa” sign on Pinterest a few weeks ago. I thought it would be fun to make similar to use as a prop for our Christmas card photoshoot. I “Disney-fied” it to make it more “us.” I hot glued a ribbon to the back of it and hung it outside. That’s about as far as I got for our outside. I think next year we’ll go “all out!”

Is anyone else obsessed with Bullseye’s Playground (formally known as One Spot) at Target like I am?! 80% of my new Christmas decor came from there. I went to Target nearly everyday just to raid through Bullseye’s Playground. I was going nuts looking for the red sleigh! My good friend and fellow blogger, Kathy, gave me the heads up that it was finally in our local store. I don’t know why, but I’ve been really into sleighs lately!

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I put our Disney Christmas village on our entryway table. I actually found 2 of the buildings randomly at Value Village a few years ago! I remember feeling like I found gold when they caught my eye there. The other 2 came from Sears and Lowes. We added Tsums Tsums and laid down lights for an added effect. I’d like to add more to our collection, but we’re out of room on the table! Haha.

And on to the living room! It’s my favorite space. I made the “I use antlers in all of my decorating” (in reference to Gaston from Beauty & the Beast) and the “Merry everything and a happy always” signs. The Mickey & Minnie Alaska Adventures painting is by Noah. All the other signs came from Bullseye’s Playground. I was initially concerned about how small they were, but they fit nicely in this space.

I put our singing Disney train that I got from Hallmark last year on our coffee table.

I absolutely adore our tree! Sean and I are very specific when it comes to lights. We only wanted “cool white” lights and it was a pain in the butt to find a pre-lit tree that fit our wants. So we bought an unlit tree and strung it with tons of lights. Our tree is so bright! I LOVE IT. This year I bought a complete set of new ornaments from Michaels. We were using the same ornaments since 2011 and I felt like it was time for a change. I chose pink, pearl, and gray ornaments since it’s my favorite color combination. I bought all the ornaments and trimmed the tree before I went on a Bullseye’s Playground shopping craze… It didn’t even occur to me that it wasn’t all going to match (since the mantel is reds and greens). Oh well! =)

I put a mini tree on the landing of our stairway.

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Elsewhere around the house: We changed our placemats to the paper Disney Christmas themed ones I got from ShopDisney.com last year. Sean put a mini tree on the table as decor and it looks really cute. I’ll have to take a picture and update this post with it once I do.

Sean’s sister is staying with us next month when she comes and visits from college. I need to decorate the guestroom! 🙂

With Love

Decorating for Fall

Decorating for Fall

Sean and I got to celebrate Halloween in our home for the first time! Last year we were in Las Vegas for our anniversary, so my parents came over to pass out candy while we were gone. We were so excited to pass out candy this year since it was our first time doing it together. The condo we lived in was a secured access apartment style building, so we never had any trick or treaters. There wasn’t snow on the ground and it wasn’t incredibly cold, so it was cool to be able to see their costumes. When you live in Alaska, sometimes you don’t know what kids wear as costumes since they’re bundled up to beat the cold. Haha!

We put away our Halloween decorations a few days ago. I know you may not like what you’re about to read, but I am one of those people that decorates for Christmas before Thanksgiving. *GASPS* I usually start decorating mid-November. What can I say? I LOVE Christmas, I am Catholic, and I am Filipino (About 80% of Filipinos in Philippines are Catholic and actually start celebrating as early as September). Haha. I decided to attempt to decorate for Fall before I start decorating for Christmas. I don’t really have any fall type decorations and I didn’t want to spend money on new decor. Fall comes and goes in the blink of an eye here in Anchorage, Alaska which is also why I never really bothered in the past.

I left some of my Halloween pumpkins on the front porch. All I did was hot glue flowers onto the pumpkins. I got all of my supplies from Michaels.

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The other place I decorated was the mantel. Fun fact – I am obsessed with banners! I made these with my Cricut. I also used it to make the “Grateful hearts gather here” sign. I felt that the gray and brown colors were earthy. I like orange, but there’s nothing orange in the living room. The fireplace is one of my favorite areas in our home. We didn’t have one at our condo and it was one of my wish list items when we were shopping for a house. I always longed to get cozy around the fireplace with hot cocoa or coffee in hand.

  • Cogsworth, $80, ShopDisney.com
  • Beauty & the Beast art, $14.99, Box Lunch
  • Lumiere, $55, ShopDisney.com 
  • Mickey Mouse & Minnie Mouse Alaska Adventure by Noah, $650, ShopDisney.com
  • Vintage Mickey & Minnie Mouse by Jim Shore, $40, available on Amazon
  • “Grateful hearts gather here” sign made by me
  • Banners made by me

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I know it’s not a lot… Basically all I have are the pumpkins, my sign, and the banners. Haha. This is as “Fall-like” as it’s going to get this year. Maybe next year I’ll do more!

With Love

Easy ways to add a Disney touch in your everyday style

Disney Touch

I don’t know about you, but I would wear my Minnie Mouse hoody to work everyday if I could! I unfortunately can’t in my profession. Even though I can’t wear my awesome LulaRoe Disney prints during the workweek, I am able to share my “Disney Side” in other ways.

Accessorize

PANDORA and Alex & Ani make amazing Disney inspired pieces. You’re bound to find something you’ll love from their collections and they’re always coming out with new designs. My favorite Alex & Ani bangle is Snow White inspired and says, “Whistle While You Work.” It’s definitely a nice reminder to look at, especially during a rough work day.

Another way to add a Disney touch to your style is by using a Disney purse, wallet, or wristlet. So many designers have launched Disney collections – Kate Spade, Dooney & Bourke, LeSportsac, Coach, and Loungefly are just a few examples.

Disney Style

  1. Snow White “Whistle While You Work” bangle by Alex & Ani, $44.95 on ShopDisney.
  2. Red Hair Bow. I love big bows! Find them on Etsy or even on eBay.
  3. Snow White & The Seven Dwarfs 80th Anniversary Charm by PANDORA, $80 on ShopDisney.
  4. Disney Coach Wristlet. They are no longer available at the Coach Outlet, unfortunately. I have seen them on eBay.

DisneyBounding

Another way to add a Disney touch to your style is by “DisneyBounding.” You wear an outfit that is influenced by a Disney character, but it’s not necessarily a “costume.” An easy way to Disneybound is to wear colors and use accessories that your chosen character wears. For example, I absolutely adore Snow White. Snow White’s color palette consists of yellow, blue, and red. This is what I came up with at Disneyland:

Disney Bound - Snow White

Snow White herself even noticed me during Main Street Electrical Parade! It was such a sweet and magical moment.

Old Navy is a great place to find basic shirts and cardigans in an array of colors. I found both the yellow shirt and cardigan during the same shopping trip.

Here’s another example of DisneyBounding. I wanted to partake in Star Wars Day this year (May the Fourth be With You!), but since it fell on a work day I couldn’t wear any of my Star Wars branded shirts. I wore R2D2 colors that day – white, gray, and blue.

R2D2

A great way to find character or color palette ideas is to look up #DisneyBound or #DisneyBounding on Instagram.

What are some ways you add Disney to your style? I’d love to hear your ideas!

With Love

How To Officially Make Disney Your 2nd Home

What is Disney Vacation Club?

The best explanation of DVC (Disney Vacation Club) is that it’s a vacation ownership program. Dare we say it – yes, it’s Disney’s version of a timeshare. You’ll never hear themselves promote it as a timeshare though. Many timeshares have a poor reputation and people often dismiss the idea once that dreaded word is mentioned. While that feeling is understandable, if you love vacations – especially vacationing at Disney destinations, you may fall in love with Disney Vacation Club like we did. They call it DVC for a reason – you really feel like you’re part of a club!

How many DVC resorts are there?

There are 16, most of which are located on Walt Disney World’s property.

Hawaii
Aulani, Disney Vacation Club Villas

California
The Villas at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa

Florida
Disney’s Vero Beach Resort

Florida – Walt Disney World
The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian
Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa
Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows
Disney’s Old Key West Resort
Disney’s BoardWalk Villas
Disney’s Beach Club Villas
Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas – Jambo House
Disney’s Animal Kingdo Villas – Kidani Village
Copper Creek Villas & Cabins at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
Boulder Ridge Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort

South Carolina
Disney’s Hilton Head Island Resort

Each are uniquely themed and immerse you into the stories they represent.Check out Disney Vacation Club’s official site to see more details about each individual resort.

How does it work?

You purchase a set number of “vacation points” that are allocated each year until the contract expires. The expiration date depends on your home resort. Some contracts end as early as 2042 and some end 2062. You use your allotment vacation points to “spend” on accommodations. The number of points per night will vary based on what resort you stay at, the kind of room you want (studio villa, 1 bedroom villa, 2 bedroom villa, etc.) and when you decide to go. Disney Vacation Club has 5 distinct seasons – Adventure Season, Choice Season, Dream Season, Magic Season, and Premier Season. We kind of like to equate the Adventure Season as the “value” season whereas the Premier Season is “peak” season.

Here is an example of a Lake View at Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows for a Deluxe Studio:

Adventure Season (Jan 1 – 31, Sep 1 – 30, Dec 1 – 14) 20 points
Choice Season (Oct 1 – Nov 20, Nov 24 – 30, Dec 15 – 23) 21 points
Dream Season (Feb 1 – 15, May 1 – June 10, Aug 16 – 31) 25 points
Magic Season (Feb 16 – Mar 24, April 8 – 30, June 11 – Aug 15, Nov 21 – 23) 27 points
Premier Season (Mar 25 – April 7, Dec 24 – 31) 37 points

As you can see, there is a big difference between the Adventure and the Premier Seasons. We like to maximize our points by staying in a Studio Villa and going during the Adventure Season.

An important choice to make is where you want your home resort to be (aka where you buy your contract). It is important because you can book to stay at your home resort 11 months in advance. You can book 7 months in advance for the other resorts.

You can also exchange DVC points to use at RCI accommodations! RCI is another well known timeshare company that has hundreds of resorts around the world. We personally haven’t used our membership to stay at non-Disney properties, but it’s cool that we have that ability to do so in the future.

If you don’t use all of your points in the current year, you can “Bank” them into the next year. It’s a nice perk since some timeshares have a “use it or lose it” mentality! Another neat feature of DVC is that you can borrow points from the following year.

What are the rooms like?

Studio villas are a little bigger than regular hotel rooms and feature a balcony and a well-equipped kitchenette (microwave, fridge, coffee maker, sink, paper plates, utensils). The larger villas have a fully-equipped kitchen (stove, oven, real plates and utensils, etc.) and an in suite washer and dryer.

What are the pros and cons?

Pros

  • Membership benefits! You shouldn’t buy into DVC for the perks, but they sure are nice. Some perks include discounts and member only events. There are discounts on tours, merchandise, special ticketed events, and occasionally even offer specials for theme park tickets.
  • Flexibility and lots of choices.
  • Even if you are staying in a Studio Villa, you can get tokens to use the common area washers and dryers at no extra fee.
  • You don’t have to pay for parking.
  • All of the perks of staying on property – Magic Mornings, included transportation, the “Disney touch,” etc.
  • Vacations and new memories year after year.
Cons
  • Cost. We’re not going to sugar coat it, it is expensive. But what you are getting are countless memories to last a lifetime – and that to us is worth justifying the costs!
  • This doesn’t bother us much, but it may bother other people… Since DVC is meant to be a “home away from home,” you don’t get daily mousekeeping service.
  • YOU MUST BE A PLANNER. Again, this doesn’t bother us much since we love planning ahead. We suggest booking right at the opening window for your best chances at getting what you want. Unfortunately, resorts like the Grand Californian are always difficult to secure since there are only 48 villas total.
  • Possibilities of annual dues increasing. Yes, there are annual dues.

Why did you join Disney Vacation Club?

We’ve always been a Disney couple. When we learned about Disney Vacation Club, we knew it was something that we wanted to be apart of. We love vacationing, especially on Disney trips. We love the perks of staying on property. We love the immersive theming and the impeccable customer service. We love the perks. We love taking our family and friends along. We don’t have kids yet, but when that time comes we want them to love Disney just as much as we do!
We’ve been members since 2013 and we’ve already made countless memories. We’re staying at all the resorts we used to dream about staying at! Disney has always been our second home, and Disney Vacation Club makes that official! =)

Where can I get more information?

We suggest checking out Disney Vacation Club’s official site! You can also order a free DVD guide.
We hope that this gave you a better insight of what DVC is. Feel free to ask us any questions!
With Love

6 Months Side Hustlin’

There are 2 kinds of people. Natural Leaders and Natural Followers. I fall into the latter category. I love my career as a corporate trainer. I love to create lesson plans, to design collateral, and to collaborate with my costars. I love to lead my classes and inspire my participants, but I don’t see myself progressing to become a boss in my professional career. I never had the urge to become one either.

On the other hand, I did always crave to be a boss for myself. I’ve always thought it would be cool to make extra money doing something that I am wholeheartedly passionate about. I pondered on ways to bring in additional income, but nothing set my heart ablaze. I wanted to be able to freely express my creativity and put in hours when it worked with my schedule. You know how the best ideas come when you stop thinking about it? Well, that is exactly what happened to me 6 months ago.

I began making Disney inspired signs for our home in March. I suddenly became obsessed with doing it. Ideas kept flooding my mind and I couldn’t wait to design and make them come to life. It finally hit me that I found a way I could share my love for Disney with the world. I made the decision to enter the realm of side hustlin’ on the 1st of April.

This post is dedicated to share my experience with you!


Patience is a virtue. I read several articles about how long people waited to make their first on Etsy. Some ranged from a few days, to a few weeks, to a few months. Even though I knew it would be silly to expect sales quickly, self-doubt slowly crept in as each day passed without a sale. It took me 20 days. I’ll never forget my first sale – and I didn’t just have 1 or 2 orders that day, I had 3!

I had several dry periods. For the first few months I would get 2-4 orders per month (on Etsy) and it honestly made me wonder if what I was doing was worth the time and energy.


Revise, revise, revise. If something is not working, be bold enough to change it. The whole experience has forced me to think outside of the box and to keep the creative juices flowing.

When I first opened my shop, I only offered 8 x 8 canvases. I researched similar Etsy shops that are successful and one of the things I noticed was that they offered larger sizes. I switched to 9 x 12 (my best sellers!) and 11 x 14. I immediately noticed an increase in sales.

I went through several shop name changes. I started off with madebyadventureLin, then changed to HustleHeartHappiness, then changed to DisneyPassionista and then I changed to HappyDisneyThoughts. I finally found the perfect name that reflected what I aim to deliver. I was honestly surprised that I was able to secure the username on Etsy and on Instagram! No one was using it as a hashtag on Instagram either. I thought someone would have thought of the name already, but I like to think that it was just waiting for me to think of it. =)

Old Signs

A few of my old signs

I removed all of my old signs and restocked my shop with new designs in late August. I decided to stick with just white canvases with black vinyl or black canvases with white vinyl. It cuts down on my operating costs since I only have to focus on getting a few supplies. I added Halloween and Fall inspired signs. I also added vinyl decals. I had 8 Etsy sales in September, compared to just 4 in August. We are only a few days into October and I’ve already fulfilled 3 orders. I can’t wait to start making Christmas inspired signs!

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Use social media. I especially love when my guests share pictures of their new signs and tag my business Instagram in them! It’s such an awesome feeling to see something I worked so hard to design in someone’s decor. Plus it’s free advertising for you. Most of my business Instagram are announcements of my new signs, but I also post Disney pictures too. I think it helps others relate and realize that I don’t do what I do just to make a few bucks, but because I truly love Disney.


Don’t just stick to one platform. Most of my sales come from Etsy, but I have also done handfuls of custom orders from friends and coworkers.

 

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I took this screen shot yesterday… I have 29 as of 10/04/17!

 

Fast forward to today and I have 29 Etsy sales! My goal before the end of the year is to have 50 sales just on Etsy. I’m forever grateful for everyone’s support and for my guests that have taken a chance on me.

With Love

Disney’s Castaway Cay Cabanas

Castaway Cay is pure paradise. If heaven was a place on earth, we are sure that it is Castaway Cay! It’s Disney Cruise Line’s private island and all of the Bahamian and Caribbean sailings include it as a stop on the itinerary. Some sailings even make 2 stops there. We haven’t enjoyed that type of itinerary… yet. 🙂

We’ll write another post about Castaway Cay itself later, but our very first post for our blog is dedicated to the highly coveted cabanas. Castaway Cay is an amazing experience on its own, but having a cabana elevates your experience to a completely different level.

Castaway 7

The Cabanas can be very hard to get… There are only 25 cabanas on the island. 21 are on the Family Beach and 4 are on the Serenity Bay Beach (adults only). Often times they are snatched up by Platinum Castaway Club or Concierge tiers before they are available to other cruisers. This table indicates when you’re eligible for Activity Planning Access:

First Time Cruisers Silver Castaway Club Gold Castaway Club Platinum Castaway Club & Concierge
Begins after your 1st completed cruise Begins after your 5th  completed cruise Begins after your 10th completed cruise
75 Days
prior to sailing
90 Days
prior to sailing
105 Days
prior to sailing
120 Days
prior to sailing

See Disney Cruise Line to view all the benefits of the Castaway Club.

We are currently Silver members, so we can book online activities/port adventures (aka excursions) 90 days prior to sailing. We were always curious about the cabanas, but we were put off by the high prices, which does not include taxes:

 

Family Beach Cabana Grand Family
Beach Cabana
Serenity Bay
Beach Cabana
(Adults Only)
$549 $899 $399
Includes 6 Guests Includes 10 Guests Includes 4 Guests
Additional Guest $50
per person
Additional Guest $50
per person
Additional Guest $50
per person
10 Guests maximum
per Cabana
16 Guests maximum
per  Grand Cabana
10 Guests maximum
per Cabana

We wanted to make our January 2017 trip extra memorable – I was turning 30 years old and we were about to fulfill our Disney Goal of sailing on all 4 DCL ships. We also wanted to see if it was worth the hype and premium price.

So 91 days prior to our sailing, we logged into the Disney Cruise Line portal at 7:55 pm (Alaska is 4 hours behind Eastern time, which is the timezone the website operates on) and I kept refreshing the Internet page like a maniac. THEN IT HAPPENED. OMG – CABANA #9 IS AVAILABLE! I didn’t even waste any extra brain power to see if other cabanas were open – I don’t think I ever clicked so quickly in my life to secure something. I felt so relieved and incredibly lucky that we got one! I imagine that this is the feeling shoe collectors get when they get to buy the design and size they want, haha.

I was stoked about having a cabana on the Family Beach, even though we weren’t traveling with any kids. You get a lovely view of the ship (you can’t see it from Serenity Bay) and it’s near the hustle and bustle of everything.

There are 3 reasons why we think we were able to get the cabana:

1. Our sail date was in January, aka an off-peak season.

2. We sailed on a smaller ship, the Disney Magic. It’s smaller than the Disney Fantasy and the Disney Dream ships, so we had less people to compete with.

3. We have incredible planning skills! We logged in RIGHT when our booking window opened.

If getting a cabana is high on your priority list and you’re not sailing Concierge or a Platinum Castaway Club member, our best advice is to follow the 3 steps above. If you aren’t able to get one, we suggest to check from time to time since people change plans. If you still can’t get one, don’t fret – you’ll still have a great time on Castaway Cay!

What is Included?

  • Private Beach Retreat – you have your own strip of the beach!
  • Comfortable and ample seating
  • Fresh water shower
  • Towels – you don’t have to grab one as you disembark the ship, there are plenty in your cabana
  • Chilled towels – so refreshing to use on a hot day
  • Hammock
  • Unlimited bottled water and soda
  • Fresh fruit and snacks
  • Coppertone SPF products
  • Snorkel Equipment (Family Beach)
  • Floats and Tubes
  • Bike Rental (1 hour) – 1 hour seems short, but it was plenty of time for us to ride around and bike to the lookout tower
  • Sand Toys (Family Beach)
  • Safe – an extra level of security to store important belongings
  • Power outlet – so convenient to be able to recharge your camera and other electronic devices
  • Fan inside the cabana – perfect when it’s too toasty
  • Privacy – the cabanas may look like they’re close together, however they are angled perfectly so you feel like you’re there by yourself

 

Castaway Cay
This was hanging on our stateroom door the evening before Castaway Cay. Inside was a pamphlet about what was included with the Cabana as well as information about the island. The envelope also enclosed our wristbands.
On the morning of our big day, we ate breakfast and then disembarked the Disney Magic. We walked to the Cabana check in kiosk and a golf cart whisked us away to our sanctuary. Our cabana hosts were warm and welcoming and gave us a tour of our little slice of paradise.
Our view was so magical! I was stunned by how post card perfect our view of the ship was. It felt unreal to be able to experience it. Our time spent there is definitely one of our most cherished memories together.

Was it Worth it?

From a value standpoint, no. $549 for just the 3 of us, not including taxes, was a hard bullet to bite. The cabana rental was incredibly convenient, but it isn’t necessary to have a great time at Castaway Cay.

From a WORK HARD, PLAY HARD, RELAX HARD standpoint, we scream that it’s ABSOLUTELY WORTH IT!

With Love

“Welcome to the Haunted Mansion”

Living Room

“When hinges creak in door-less chambers, and strange and frightening sounds echo through the halls. Whenever candle lights flicker where the air is deathly still. That is the time when ghosts are present, practicing their terror with ghoulish delight!” – HAUNTED MANSION

We moved into our new house last year in September. As much as I wanted to decorate for Halloween last year, the spooktacular holiday came and went in the blink of an eye. We were understandably busy getting settled in to our new abode. I made sure that we weren’t going to miss enjoying the season again this year. >:) 

I actually started decorating mid-September. Fall starts early here in Alaska, so it just felt seasonally right to me. I like to joke that my decorating schedule follows Disneyland and Disney World’s schedules. I wanted a fresh new beginning so I gave away most of my previous Halloween decor. I decided on a Haunted Mansion-esque theme, which calls for lots of black and purple.

I always aim to decorate without breaking the bank. I put in some DIY effort to create signs and banners. I was able to find a lot of cute items that fit the theme from Target’s Bullseye’s Playground (bka the dollar spot). My focus for decorating was the entrance and the living room. Maybe next year I’ll expand to other areas like the dining room or the kitchen (I can’t wait to do after season clearance raids!). Overall I just wanted my design to be simple, easy, inexpensive, and fun.


Entrance

Front Door 1

Front Door

  1. Banner made by me
  2. Hello decal made by AllThingsCuteDecals
  3. Welcome to the Haunted Mansion sign made by me
  4. Doormat from Fred Meyer, $10
  5. Tombstones from Fred Meyer, $12
  6. Lantern from Fred Meyer, $6

Coffee Table

Coffee Table 1

Coffee Table

  1. Black and purple candles from Target (Bullseye’s Playground), $3 each
  2. Room for one more Haunted Mansion sign from Character Outlet in Orlando
  3. Mini glitter pumpkins from Target (Bullseye’s Playground), $3 for the set of 4
  4. Table runner from Target (Bullseye’s Playground)
    Not Halloween related, but figured I’d add the details…
  5. Pillows and covers from IKEA, $5.99 pillows & $7 covers
  6. Faux orchid from Costco, $25
  7. Lamp from Fred Meyer

Fireplace

Fireplace 1

Fireplace

  1. Welcome Foolish Mortals sign made by me (and available on HappyDisneyThoughts!)
  2. Haunted Mansion sign made by me (also available on HappyDisneyThoughts)
  3. Purple and black banner made by me
  4. Small pumpkins from Target (Bullseye’s Playground), $3 each
  5. I’m Here for the Boos sign from Michaels, $5
  6. Happy Halloween sign from Target (Bullseye’s Playground), $3
  7. Mickey & Minnie pumpkin from Walgreens
  8. Crow animatronic from Target
  9. Mickey & Minnie decal by me (also available on HappyDisneyThoughts)
  10. Haunted house from Hallmark
  11. Spooky sign from Fred Meyer

I am very happy with how it all came together! I made a few projects, used items that I already had, and I spent $54 on new items. That’s a little more than I thought I would spend… but on the upside it’s a theme I foresee myself doing for years to come since it’s one of my favorite attractions!
With Love

Favorite Makeup Products

My daily makeup routine changed significantly in the past year. I thought it would be fun to start off my new blog with a few of my favorite beauty products!

My usual routine consists of filling in my eyebrows, wearing black eyeliner, putting on highlighter and blush, applying LipSense, and spritzing setting spray.

Face

I didn’t start using Highlighters until earlier this year. Boy, I was missing out! These 2 colors make me feel like I’m a mermaid, a fairy, or a unicorn. Haha! I always get compliments when I use these babies.

ColourPop Super Shock Highlighter, Monster , $8

monster_a_1024x1024

NYX Duo Chromatic Illuminating Powder, Lavender Steel, $8

Lavender Steel

I like using this bareMinerals color as blush.

bareMinerals All-Over Face Color, Pure Radiance, $21

BareMinerals

My makeup stays put with this makeup setting spray! Tested at Disneyland from park opening to park closing.

Urban Decay De-Slick Oil-Control Makeup Setting Spray, $32

Urban Decay


Eyes

This brow color is amazing. It doesn’t budge, even in 115 degree weather!

ColourPop Precision Brow Color, Bangin’ Brunette, $6

Bangin' Brunette

Kat Von D Tattoo Liner, Trooper, $20

Kat Von D Tattoo Liner

IT Cosmetics Superhero Elastic Stretch Volumizing Mascara, $24

It


Lips

I believe that LipSense is the holy grail of everlasting lip color. I used to be a Chapstick and lip stick only kind of gal until I tried this stuff. I was always so self conscious when I wore makeup because I get it everywhere. No matter how careful I was, I would always get it in my teeth or smudged onto my face. I don’t have to worry about that with LipSense.

LipSense Color, $25

Some of my favorite colors – Plumeria, Blu Red, Red Cherry, Strawberry Shortcake, Kiss For a Cause, and Berry.

lipsense

There are several types of glosses, but Glossy Gloss is my favorite.

LipSense Gloss, $20

lipsensegloss_revisedzoom

On days I don’t feel like using LipSense, I use ChapStick DUO. The pineapple and coconut flavors are my favorite!

ChapStick DUO, Tropical Pineapple & Fresh Coconut, $4.99

Chapstick


What are your beauty and skincare favorites?

With Love