Monday, February 19, 2018

A Perfect Weekend: It's Always Rainy in Seattle

Seattle's Space Needle

"It's always raining in Seattle, how dreary!" Well, that's what they say, right? My mom, sister, and I took a Girls' Weekend trip to Seattle a little over a week ago to visit the University of Washington's beautiful campus, and to enjoy some free time together. We had an absolute blast! 

First up on the agenda was to visit the Space Needle. I was super excited to see her in all of her vintage 60s glory. A little history for you; the Space Needle was built for the 1962 World's Fair, the theme being "The Edge of Space". When you look at it, it's totally vintage and futuristic at the same time, isn't it? Sadly, the Needle wasn't open to go up to the top until later that day when we needed to be on a campus tour. She's a beauty both inside and out, though I've heard! 

Instead of heading up inside of the Space Needle, we opted for the museum next door, the Museum of Pop Culture (MOPOP). I'm so so so glad that we did! It was full of movie history- props in horror, sci-fi, and fantasy alike-, famous singers and musicians like Jimi Hendrix and David Bowie, along with interactive exhibits like a scream booth and a sound room you could venture into to learn how to play instruments. 

My personal favorite was the "Jim Henson: Imagination Unlimited" exhibit, featuring everything from his earliest journal entries and first puppets to icons like Sesame Street's Elmo, our favorite Muppets, and the puppets of Fraggle Rock. It even featured costumes and set photos of the movie Labyrinth, starring David Bowie. It was definitely a favorite of my group! 

After viewing the Space Needle, wandering around the museum, and grabbing a much needed Starbucks coffee (Seattle is the home of Starbucks, after all), it was time to head to our campus tour at the University of Washington. I have to say, the campus was breathtaking! It was huge yet also felt incredibly safe, like you could wander without feeling nervous. This is something I'm typically prone to feeling, haha. I personally liked the Suzallo Library on campus, which seriously looks like it's directly out of a Harry Potter film. 

Our Final day in Seattle was full of fun. We were able to hit up the Pike Place Public Market where I snagged a delicious Piroshky from Piroshky Piroshky. I was even able to grab a box of macarons from Le Panier that I've been dreaming about!

The short time we spent in Seattle was extremely fun and relaxing. We had so much fun munching on good eats, drinking delicious coffee, and enjoying the great weather. As much as you hear that it's rainy in Seattle, it only rained once our whole time, and that was when we flew in! It was truly a wonderful trip! 
 coffins in the "Scared to Death" exhibit of MOPOP

Sisters in front of the "Scared to Death" exhibit

 In front of zombie heads from AMC's "The Walking Dead"

Mom and I in the Fantasy exhibit

 Putting on our own Muppet Show with Miss Piggy and Fozzie Bear

 Photo op in the "Jim Henson Imagination Unlimited" exhibit!

 Baby Muppets are to die for! 

University of Washington's stunning library! 

posing at UDub

Beautiful tulips in the market

I had to pose in front of my favorite flower!

Macarons! *heart eyes*

The sunset when flying home.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

2017 Wrap-Up and my 2018 Resolution

2017 was a YEAR, wasn't it? Full of highs and lows, I wouldn't have had the year like any other. I've grown so much over the 365 days in the year and have learned a lot of myself. This year I turned sixteen, we got a car and I got my license, my first job as a dance teacher, and I travelled to some fun places! 


It's become a sort of yearly tradition for us to visit one of our favorite vacation spots; Dauphin Island, Alabama. It's a quaint, tiny little beach town that has only a gas station and a convenience store for emergency groceries. The island stretches seventeen miles from shore to shore so it's the perfect spot to do absolutely nothing but beach all day for a week. Well, that's what my family likes to do at least. We also take a fun lunch date to LuLu's in Gulf Shores, created by Lucy Buffet herself! 

Dauphin Island is our vacation spot for many reasons. We love the laid back atmosphere and the fact that you can bike everywhere, the family time we spend together is the best! You can't beat waking up late, laying out on the beach all day, and having shaved ice for dinner. It's the epitome of summertime to me.


Anyone who knows me, knows that I love Disney.  I based my whole blog around the love, for crying out loud. We had been planning that extraordinary trip for over 600 days...that's a lot of days. This was my birthday trip, taken in September. Despite it being three months after my initial birthday month, the fall is our favorite time to spend in Disney World because of the Halloween party, Epcot's Food and Wine Festival, fall decorations, and lighter crowds. 

This trip was the best thing that 2017 had to offer! We were able to eat at all of our favorite restuarants and discover new favorites. We stayed in Disney's Beach Club resort and our room was a literal three minute walk away from Epcot, which is my favorite park. I'll never forget this trip and all of the fun times we had experiencing all of the new things the parks had to offer, as well as relishing in old favorites.


This was my studio's off year, which meant that there was no production of The Nutcracker. We did, however, put on A Merry Christmas Show which was the ride of a lifetime! I danced as a Santa Jazz dancer, sang in the Christmas Village, and partnered for the very first time as a Spanish dancer in the Nutcracker Suite. Even though I was stressed and nervous, it was so fun and fulfilling. I learned so much in this season at the studio and I'm so excited for what's to come!

We performed three shows with two dress rehearsals beforehand. I made so many friends and amazing memories with my fellow cast members that I know I'll cherish for forever. I'm also so thankful for my my partner and fellow spanish dancing lady who stuck by my side, and we became closer friends than ever before. 


It's now 2018, two days in out of three hundred and sixty five. On New Year's Eve, I made one resolution for myself to hopefully remember to practice every day this year. This year I'm sort of going to try and live by one word; brave. It probably sounds silly, but it's a word that reminds me to voice my feelings, tell people how I truly feel, and do things out of my comfort zone. I'm pretty bad at doing the opposite of this and sticking to keeping things in (despite my dramatic nature, haha!)  and staying in my comforting little bubble. This year will be different! 

I'm a believer in the law of attraction, signs, and manifesting things for yourself. At a friend's wedding, I told myself I was going to catch the bouquet and this would be my sign that 2018 would be better than ever. What did I do? I caught it! 

That's right, I caught the bouquet. 2018 is going to be our year, let's do this! 

Saturday, December 30, 2017

My Favorite Things of 2017

This year has been a whirlwind for my family, full of blissful moments and magic. From Disney trips to visiting with family, it was a year to remember for sure! In this fun little post, I've compiled a list of my favorite items from the year. These include my favorite books, clothes, makeup, and little trinkets that I've gathered throughout 2017.

Some of my favorite things to wear are sweaters. Seriously... I could live in them and never tire of it. If you saw my closet, you would be ashamed at how many I have. My new personal favorite that I snagged this year is this rainbow striped one from the Crazy Stripes line at Gap! The colors are so vibrant and fun that I never ever want to take it off. It's also incredibly soft and luxurious, so that makes the will to live in it even stronger.

Two staples in my wardrobe is a nice jacket and a pair of sunglasses, and I've found just that with my denim jacket from Old Navy and these awesome daisy sunnies from Oui Fresh. The jacket so flattering and comfortable! I can wear it everyday and it changes my outfit in some way; either dressing up a pair of leggings with booties and this jacket or dressing something down with sneakers and the denim. I love the wash and I love putting pins on it, too. It totally changes up whatever you're wearing. I keep a Spider-Man heart pin on it all year long because the love is real.

My sunglasses are a statement piece that I just love so much, they have such a cool vintage vibe and are right up my style alley right now. I have the rose colored ones which I particularly love the most as it's one of my favorite colors! This is one piece that is a new favorite that I own but I've been obsessing over them online for forever so they technically count, right? 

I am a total book nerd. I'm always reading and am always on the hunt for new books to read. I didn't quite get to my book goal this year, but I definitely have a favorite read. A book called The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary An Shaffer is my favorite this year. I love reading books set in the 40s, this era fascinates me and leaves me wanting to learn more. This book had just enough humor, history, love, and friendship in it to make me want to read it all over again.

Can I say that my Disney trip was my favorite thing this year? Because it totally was, and I snagged some awesome souvenirs. My favorite thing to bring home from every trip is a mug, I am such a mug hoarder. In fact, I need to clean them out. But I picked up two awesome mugs from this past trip that make me so happy and ease the home sickness of Disney just a little! My Food and Wine mug is from the Future World gift shop in Epcot and the Hollywood Studios mug is a You Are Here mug from Starbucks in Hollywood Studios!  

The final thing that's a recent favorite (because I got it for Christmas) but I love sooo much is this pair of unicorn house shoes. They're so comfortable and they LIGHT UP! Can you believe it? How magical can these get? These slippers scream "me" because they're magical and colorful, two things I love so much!

Wow, 2017 was a year! This year was a total whirlwind of fun, and I can't wait to see what 2018 has to offer for not only myself and my family, but for pixiedusttraveler! I hope your year was magical, here's to many more just the same! 

Saturday, September 9, 2017

What's in my Disney Carry On

That's right.... we're officially one week out from our fabulous birthday trip to Disney World! The excitement is real, guys. I've already started pulling things out to start packing! I can't believe that we've been planning this trip for over five hundred days, and now we're seven days away from taking off! I don't know about you, but I love "what's in my bag" posts and videos. It's so fun to see what other people take on trips as essentials, so I thought I would share with you what my carry on essentials are for the plane!

The number one thing that's most important is the bag. I prefer backpacks because you can stuff everything in them; they're so versatile! I'll even be using the same backpack inside the park.

Next, I'm taking my ears, wallet with license and debit card, my disney pins on my lanyard, and two lovely tsum tsums to snap photos of. I think they're just too cute and make perfect subjects for any fun pictures:). Ears travel best in a carry on that you can watch over yourself and make sure that they'll be safe.

More essentials! I'm also packing my little makeup bag that my mom bought for me while she was in Asia, my tiny and adorable tsum tsum Lipsmacker, and my sunglasses. We're going to Florida, we definitely need sunglasses. I'm also storing my jewelry in my little Alex and Ani pouch; just a couple of bangles and a necklace! Our plane ride is almost three hours long, which means we might get struck with boredom. Headphones and chargers are also a necessity, so I'm bringing these items in a small kangaroo pouch. Snacks are a must for my family, so I'm going to pack a bag of Princess Goldfish for the fam! I'm also bringing two books along with me; a library book AND a book on all of the hidden Mickeys in the park. How cool is that? It was a Christmas gift and I'm so excited to finally be able to use it.

This last item might be the most important; MagicBands! We have MagicBand 2.0 for this trip. They're SO flexible and even more comfortable than the first version of the bands. They're even incredibly easy to just throw in a bag and pack for your trip. I love MagicBands, they make everything easier with tickets and keys. 

I can't believe that I'm finally able to blog about my carry-on essentials. It's been a long journey of a Disney Countdown, and now we're almost there! 

Disney Store Ears (similar). Beautyiswithindisney Ears. Water Bottle(similar). Wallet(similar). Lanyard(similar).

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Booking Fastpasses

Hate waiting in lines? Have no fear, FastPass+ is here! Fastpasses are great for families constantly on the go-like mine- who want to get the most out of their day. You can skip the long lines for rides, shows, and even character greetings! This is a free service offered in the Walt Disney World Resort, included with your admission! What more could you ask for? Here's what you need to know! 

1. Know Before You Go

The best thing to do is to have a game plan of specific rides/other attractions that you would like fastpasses for. Even have a back-up, and a back-up for your back-up if your number one choice isn't available. I like to make a list of must-do rides for each park. For instance; a favorite ride for my family is Toy Story's Midway Mania. We try our hardest to snag a fastpass for this ride in Hollywood Studios! 

If you book with a Walt Disney World Resort Hotel, you can access fastpass options up to sixty days in advance. If you don't book a hotel, your options open up thirty days in advance. Having a list of what fastpass choices you have makes this process a lot easier.

2. In the Park

We all know that Disney's MagicBands make everything a breeze, and it's even easier with fastpass now. All you have to do is touch your band (or park ticket) to the kiosk outside of your ride that you've booked your fastpass for. After that, you're set for fun! REMEMBER: you can book up to three fastpasses per day for a single park. Once you've used those, you're free to book another, even if it's for a different park. The fun never stops!

The most popular rides with also be the ones most in demand for fastpasses, so keep this in mind when booking. If you want a fastpass for Soarin', you may have slim pickings for time. This is why it's great to have a back up for what else you'd like to have a fastpass for.

3. More Magic

One last great thing about FastPass+ is that you can always make changes. Changes can be made in the My Disney Experience app, the planning page, with concierge in your hotel, or at a kiosk in one of the four parks. Disney really tries hard to make this process as smooth and stress free as possible! 

My family is just three weeks out from our magical Disney vacation for my 16th birthday and I could not be any more excited. The stress of planning will truly melt away once we've all arrived in the magical world of Spaceship Earth and princess Castles. FastPass+ is a stress free service that helps my family get the most out of our vacation. I hope it does for your family, too!

Saturday, July 8, 2017

New Favorite Ears

If you know me; you know that I LOVE Disney ears. I love the different styles and the fact that you can add them to virtually any outfit to compliment it and add a bit of Disney flair.  From wire ears to sparkly ears, there is truly a pair for everyone!!

I have the wonderful privelege of being a brand representative for Beauty Is Within Disney's ear shop on Etsy. They're SO sweet and truly take the best care of all of their costumers. Even the ears are obviously made with lots of love and care. The styles range from Disney character inspired ears to trendy Starbucks ears, the only difficulty you might have is choosing a pair that you love the most!

These are just two of the pairs she makes in her shop, aren't they just magnificent? As of right now, Beauty is Within Disney has over forty styles in the shop with more being added all the time!

 The first pair is a fabulously sparkly rainbow pair that I've received SO many compliments on already! I love that they look just as beautiful on camera as they do in person. They're so vibrant and full of color!

My second pair I totally flipped out over, I was so excited! They're Mulan inspired! Mulan is one of my favorite princesses and I feel like you can hardly find anything Mulan related/inspired so these were absolutely perfect. I love the pattern of the fabric and the bright flowers that bring a whimsical touch.

The wonderful thing about these ears is that they're both lightweight AND durable. I recently took my Mulan inspired pair on vacation in a large plastic storage bin for pictures on the beach and they hold up both on the way and on the way home!

The headband is even comfortable! I can get headaches pretty easily from things like this (I sometimes get headaches from the sunglasses on my head!) but this feels so light and easy to wear. I haven't had a headache and I know that they'll be comfortable during a long day of picture taking at the parks.

I absolutely love all of Beauty Is Within Disney's ears and I'm so incredibly thankful to be able to represent this brand and take photos to showcase these beautiful ears. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

Beauty is Within Disney's Etsy
Beauty is Within Disney on Instagram

Monday, May 22, 2017

How to Schedule your Disney Vacation

This year will be my sister and I's sixteenth birthday (!) and we're going to Walt Disney World to celebrate! Planning a Disney trip can be hectic and stressful, and many people say that a trip to the parks isn't even a vacation because it's so crazy! This doesn't have to be the case. You can have all of the fun and pack as much as you want into one day with one simple trick, scheduling your days in advance!

You're probably sitting there like; what? why would I do that? I'll tell you! Scheduling what you're going to do on each day in advance takes the pressure off of you and your family when you get to the parks, and you can have a more successful trip! The best way that my family has figured out how to schedule is scheduling around our meal reservations and fastpasses. I did this with one simple tool, Google Calendar!

My family and I sat down about a month ago and figured out which parks we wanted to be at on certain days, and picked where we would like to eat. After setting days for where we wanted to eat, I planned our parks around this! For example; on day four we're eating in Epcot's Norway pavillion, right next to the new ride, Frozen Ever After. As soon as we are able to make fastpass reservations, we'll try our best to snag one for that ride!

In my calendar, I've made time slots for certain rides and fastpasses, along with time in each park before reservations. Another tip I have is color coding. Every different park in my calendar is a purple color, meal reservations are blue, and special events like fireworks or fastpasses are a teal color. It really is the best way to map everything out beforehand to see how your days will look before getting to Walt Disney World and feeling like you're drowning in all of the reservations for dinner and fastpass that you've made. I even downloaded the app that will send me a notification when a reservation is getting close, so I won't even forget!

You definitely don't have to use the calendar or the app, you could use whatever you'd like to schedule your days. I have to say that it's the best way to have all of your plans on hand at all times, so you can guarantee a mostly stress-free trip! Even if you're constantly go-go-go like my family, the outline of which rides and which places to eat really helps to ease everyone's anxiety.

Walt Disney World is such a magical and fun place, but there's always a bit of tension in wanting to make your trip perfect. It will be perfect, as long as you're having fun and making memories with the ones that matter most to you!