Fact: Social media is a lot prettier than real life and this goes for allll of us. I like to keep this space my virtual happy place, but I also like to keep it real. So, on that note, let’s talk about what four full days in Disney does to a person (6 visits in total).

First off, how are my feet still attached to my legs?

Second off, why does everyone and their mom, dad, sister, grandmother, second cousin, uncle and each of their prized mouse ears show up at Disneyland the weekend before Thanksgiving?

Third, nothing makes you more insecure about your intelligence than navigating a theme park in a “parental brain fog.”

And fourth, what day is it right now and what am I supposed to be doing?

If you’re getting my drift, we need a vacation from our vacation. That being said, we are blessed to have access to unlimited Disney + have a daddy who gets unlimited vacation time to do fun stuff like this as a family. And God bless the folks who installed the hot tub at our hotel, because holy crap. The kids swam in the pool while Zac and I tried to bring ourselves back to life in this warm dream machine.

 

The highlight of the trip was watching Breckin scream with excitement + throw his hands in the air (like all the bigger people) as we zipped around on the Thunder Mountain Railroad rollercoaster. He’s a 4 year old party animal. It was also adorable to watch him make heart eyes at Minnie Mouse + Elsa, as he met them for the first time. He watched Minnie walk by several times before meeting and taking a picture with her and each time he would say, “I want to hug her and give her a big kiss!”

 

Addison continues to amaze/confuse us, as she loves the big, thrilling rides. Her favorite is still the Matterhorn (the “Snow monster” ride, as she calls it). I guess there’s something about being chased by a demonized snow monster that really lights her up. It’s nice that she can scale from the Matterhorn + Hyperspace Mountain down to frolicking in Goofy’s rubber playhouse and remain content. We’ll be back to do it all again next year.

 

Here’s some insider info (but not an overload) that will help you if you’re planning a visit to the park!

 

Tips for doing Disney with l̶u̶n̶a̶t̶i̶c̶s kids:

•When to go if you want to experience the holiday feel: This year the holiday season started 11/10. This means Christmas music, seasonal parades and events, cool decorations + holiday versions of all their swag. Plan to hit the park during the week right when this season kicks off or the week to follow Thanksgiving to avoid insane crowds. We put in full days 11/15-11/18 (Wed-Sat) and those first three days were not overly crowded. It got nuts after that. You will spend *all of your time* waiting in lines + fighting crowds over the weekends (and eventually everyday) as the holidays get closer. Don’t do it.

•What to wear: Comfort is key. I sported my Free Runs with everything. Judge away, judge mcjudgersons. Ha. Throw in some black details if you want to coordinate more than you clash. Beyond shoes, think high-waisted shorts and cute yoga pants, and cozy sweatshirts to tie around your waist. I put both of our kids in bright colors so they’d be easy to spot in the crowds. I scored a hot pink Zara Minnie jacket for Addison + a bright green sweatshirt for Breckin at our kids consignment store right before we left and they were perfect.

•What to pack into the parks: This one is easy. Stroller, backpack, phones, camera, ID/credit card, sunglasses all-around, sweatshirts all-around (I like to do one hoodie to go under one coat for the kids), full water bottles (I fill these up at breakfast and keep reusing them), suntan lotion, costumes to go over outfits for the day (I try and coordinate these details with the characters we will seek out that day), multiple snacks, germ spray for hands, I recommend diapers for kids under 5 for emergencies (I speak from experience I wish I didn’t have), brush/hair tie, lip stuff for me and a partridge in a pear tree.

Our kids are 6 and 4 and we still pack a stroller for when they get tired of walking. The stroller basket holds our overflow of stuff + we bring a backpack to hold valuables and that goes on all the rides with us.

•Where to go first: We have two favorite things, one in each park, that we always try to hit first. As it turns out, they are also everyone else’s favorite things. In California Adventure, we love the Cars ride (think joyriding, but you don’t have to drive). Head over to Radiator Springs and grab a fast pass for this one first thing. The fast pass allows you to come back during a one hour block that the pass will specify to wait in an expedited line. By about 11am you’ll be lucky to get a fast pass to ride by dinnertime. By noon they’re usually gone for the day. As for this + all the rides, grab a baby swap pass at the front of the line if you have kids too small to ride and your bigger kid can go again!
In Disneyland, we head straight to sign our kids up to be Jedi’s. Ask any employee to find out where to go for that. You basically get someone to babysit your child for a short time, well-chaperoned, so they can gear up in a robe, grab a light saber + become trained in the moves they will need to fight off Darth. They are then led to a venue where the parents/audience are waiting to participate in a show and use the force. Just like the Cars ride, you’re out of luck if you’re not signed up by late morning, but they take alternates if you want to come back before each show and wait for someone’s spot.

•Disney-inspired gear for your trip + where to stay + even more tips: Check out modernmousedesign.com! This is a fresh brand that was just rolled out with Disney gear + the founders are even available for hire to plan your dream vacation! These are some of the shirts + they are available for the whole family + one of my favorite things is the free shipping! Two of my favorites are the butter soft Meet Me on Main Street sweatshirt (it has long, cozy sleeves) + the soft grey SEA -> DSY tee (it’s available in all major cities, not just Seattle).

PS: Kid clothing is (an automatic) 20% off until Tuesday! Accessories are 20% off Wed + Thurs! Adult apparel is 20% off Fri + Sat!

 

Here are a few more vacation highlights:

Happy Holidays + go get your fill of Mickey. I can definitely say I’m all topped off. 😉

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The craziness of the holidays is comin’ in hot.. Before you’re busier than elves on Christmas Eve, let’s get your beauty routine in check!

I love a good product that’s easy to use and/or low maintenance to wear. I’ve pooled together all of my must-haves for your shopping pleasure. Once you get your life together, you can even customize a beauty basket to gift to the next hot mess in your life. 😉

Call me Oprah, because here are some of my favorite things:

 

In no particular order..

Physician’s Formula Organic Mascara | Look for the green tube! Since mascara spends a lot of time on my eyes, I like knowing that it’s natural. Usually the natural stuff sucks, but this stuff will give you some good length with an eyelash curler + about 3 coats. Use tweezers to perfect your lash sections + close your eyes and use the cool setting on your blowdryer, while directed up your face, to blow your lashes up and away. Perfection! Linked above.

Younique Precision Pencil Eyeliner | More good stuff that’s not full of junk, especially as it sits on my eyes almost 24/7. Am I sounding like a granola yet? 😉 I use this one in the color “Perfect,” which is a jet black, but it comes in lots of funky options too! You can support a small business + shop for it here. While there, check out the pretty + sparkly anniversary eyeshadow palette they just released. Love.

Chanel CC Cream | Nobody told me my 30’s would show on my face. I’m kinda oily + kinda showing wrinkles + kinda blotchy with some zits. Fun, right? This one covers it all + adds a glow. It’s thick, but not “caked.” I wear color “30 Beige” in the winter and “40 Beige” in the summer + for pictures. Grab some!! You won’t regret it. Linked above.

MAC Blot Powder | I follow-up my CC Cream with this matte powder to kill the shine. I wear the color “Medium” in the winter and the color “Medium Dark” in the summer + for pictures. If you like a dewy look, you can skip this one! Linked above.

Foundation Brush | If you’re not already using a brush to apply your foundation, you’re missing out on a must have. Application is smoother and your foundation looks 3048x better on. Wash with brush cleaner or your facial cleanser weekly to keep it in good shape. Grab my favorite through the link above!

Lipsense | I love this stuff because it doesn’t come off!! You can eat + drink + kiss your kids + nap + shower and your lip color won’t budge. Perfect for holiday parties or, let’s be honest, just plain ol’ #momlife. This comes in tons of colors + it’s a 3 coat process; Opt for a lighter shade if you’re new to applying lipstick. “Bombshell” is a lighter favorite, it makes me want to put on a LBD and Jennifer Aniston wears it, so there’s that. 😉 If you’re a pro, I love brights like “Blu-Red” + “Dark Pink” for the holidays. Some people have an adjustment period to this (mine peeled for several days), so get going on it before a big night out. Make sure you grab a gloss + color, because they won’t work without one another. You can support a small business + shop for it here or here. If it’s your first rodeo, here’s my cute friend Chelsea showing you how to apply it.

Rodan+Fields Lash Boost | Longer lashes are on my Christmas list. Everyone I know who is using this stuff has insanely long lashes! Start now for some dramatic lengths by Christmas + New Years. New foundation + a little mascara + some bright lips will brighten your whole look. Support a small business + shop it here.

Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion | Somewhere between 9am-noon, my eyeshadow all rolls into my creases and my eyeliner ends up somewhere above that. This primer actually keeps your shadow + liner exactly where you put it! I’ve linked the newest “anti-aging” version above (because that sounds like what I need), but I’m currently using the regular version. Liquid magic.

La Mer Moisturizing Soft Cream | The first thing I have to say on this one is don’t freak out! The second thing I have to say is this. stuff. is. GOLD. That’s why it’s not cheap. I said don’t freak out. The first ingredient is seaweed and something about dry skin loves that. With 2 uses, my complexion has balanced out + my skin feels a lot like my 4 year olds. You can grab the .5 ounce version for under $100, so I’ve linked that above. This moisturizer is a must, especially through a harsh winter.

Gel Polish | I can’t talk beauty without mentioning nails! Mine are finally growing out, thanks to professionally applied gel polish. If hitting your nail place isn’t doable every 2-3 weeks, you can do this long lasting polish yourself. I’ve linked a DIY kit above. 30 minutes spent + you’re chip-free for weeks! Super low maintenance.

Fake Bake Self Tanner | Get bronzed skin, but skip the damage. This set comes with a spray + mit and it’s super easy to use with the perfect color result. Make sure you exfoliate in the shower prior to applying, wear gloves when applying + quickly spray/rub in a circular motion to spread the color. Linked above.

MAC Lips | I’ve linked two glosses in my perfect pinks for winter: one bright Lipglass + one pale Cremesheen Lipglass. You probably already know if you can pull of a pale lip, but this bright pink is an every girl shade. It comes with guaranteed complements. 🙂 I’ve also included my favorite lip product – Retro Matte Liquid Lipcolour. This one is called “Personal Statement,” but if popping pink isn’t your thing, it comes in tons of other colors too. I love it because it lasts all day with minimal smudging + it feels like there’s nothing on your lips! All linked above.

MAC Blush | Light, bright cheeks are the way to go! This stuff holds its hue all day long + you can also apply it with your new brush. Wash to avoid turning your foundation pink. I’ve linked my favorite color above.

doTerra Lip Balm Trio | While we’re on the subject of lips, let me introduce you to your perfect lip conditioner. During winter especially, I find myself reaching for this stuff. These smell delish because they’re infused with essential oils + they contain zero junk! Support a small business + shop here. Feel free to grab some essential oils while you’re at it!

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This is my list of goods that I keep coming back to + I hope you love them! The holidays are looking good. 😉

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Merry Christmas Eve Eve my friends!

This year has been one for the books. And not the books you stack neatly on an ornate shelf, but more like the ones for the pile of fire starters. That being said, onward and upward.

2017 will be a good one for us and I know it will for you too!

This summer I finally grabbed that creativity-inspired thought swirling around in my pool of dreams and turned it into a pretty little corner of the internet: this blog. I’m always inspired by Cara Loren, Amber Fillerup + many more, but I don’t aspire to their liking, I aspire to their impact. I hope you’ve drawn just a little entertainment, humor and inspiration (and maybe even some giveaway swag) from this corner of mine. It never ceases to amaze me what a few kind words, a little humor and some bright lipstick can do for a person. Don’t worry, the lipstick is optional. 😉

If I haven’t already said it, thank you for following along with my c̶r̶a̶z̶y̶  life as I follow a virtual passion.

From our family to yours, Merry Christmas!

 

 

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