Make It Pink: Sleeping Beauty Style

Make It Pink: Sleeping Beauty Style
Make It Pink: Sleeping Beauty Style

I know you I walked with you once upon a dream…

I’m so excited to bring you today’s Disney style post! When I started my blog back in 2015 it was centered around my love for all things Disney, and while that’s not the sole focus here on my site, I’m really looking forward to continuing to sprinkle in more Disney content going forward. After all, Disney is one of my greatest passions and it brings me such joy in my life! When I think about the legacy that Walt left behind I can’t help but feel so inspired to pursue my dreams and believe that anything is possible with a little bit of faith, trust and pixie dust.

Make It Pink: Sleeping Beauty Style
Make It Pink: Sleeping Beauty Style

Now as for today’s look, do you remember in Sleeping Beauty when Flora and Merryweather kept arguing about whether or not to make Aurora’s dress pink or blue? As you’ve probably figured out, I was always on Flora’s side! After all, its the last color you see her dress appear as at the end of the movie—I don’t think that’s a coincidence. I’ve worn this skirt a few times on the blog, but it felt so perfect for re-creating my version of Aurora’s pink gown that I love so much. I love this movie so much for many reasons, but watching it as a little girl I remember being so enamored with Aurora’s golden hair, alluring voice and her sense of wonder. After twirling around in this skirt I started to feel like a princess myself. Quick, someone fetch me my tiara, I’m late for the ball!

Make It Pink: Sleeping Beauty Style
Make It Pink: Sleeping Beauty Style
Make It Pink: Sleeping Beauty Style

SHOP THE STYLE

Disney Style

bb-disney-style-005 (1 of 1).jpg

If someone were to ask me what my hobbies are, one of them would have to be Disney. It seems kind of odd to say, but whenever someone brings up Disney in conversation my ears instantly perk up and it's like this fire is ignited inside me. I've loved Disney ever since I can remember--it's essentially part of my DNA! Whether it's movies, music, books or collectibles, I love them all. But if there's one thing I can never get enough of, it's Disney apparel!

bb-disney-style-001 (1 of 1).jpg
bb-disney-style-003 (1 of 1).jpg

I probably have close to 20 Disney t-shirts, most of them I wear to bed because they are more boxy and over-sized, but I spotted this one (grey version here) on our last Disneyland trip in November and just had to have it! I love the vintage style of the graphic and the classic Mickey Mouse animation; it makes me wish I was alive when Disneyland first opened to experience it and catch a glimpse of Walt Disney walking around to check on things. This is also one of my favorite Disney shirts to wear out with jeans when I'm running errands or meeting up with a friend for lunch. It's even sparked conversation with the check-out guy at Trader Joe's! We were talking about our favorite parts of the park and it totally made my day!

bb-disney-style-004 (1 of 1).jpg
bb-disney-style-006 (1 of 1).jpg

About a year ago Freddy and I went to Walt Disney World (my shirt in the WDW version here) and I never wrote a full "review" about it. I had initially planned on it, but we moved to Arizona quickly after we got back and then time just flew by so it felt weird to write a post so long after we had gone. We got to experience all 4 parks, and even though it was really fun, it fully confirmed that Disneyland is still my absolute favorite. I'm probably biased because it's the park that I grew up going to (and where Freddy proposed!), but I feel like Disneyland has this special charm that WDW didn't have for me. Disneyland will always be the original park, and whenever I'm there it's like I can feel Walt's presence, as if he's still watching over his beloved kingdom. 

bb-disney-style-002 (1 of 1).jpg

Disney is one of my favorite sources for inspiration, whether it's a song lyric or looking at different animation styles and thinking about how far the company has come since it's early days. It's amazing to see what one man started and the legacy that he left behind for generations to enjoy for years to come! If I'm ever feeling stuck or like I've hit a road block, I pop in a Disney movie and I instantly feel that spark of inspiration come back. Besides, "adults are only kids grown up, anyway!" xo 

3 Tips to Make Your Disneyland Vacation More Magical

bb-disneyland-tips.jpg

As you probably saw on my Instagram, Freddy and I spent two days at Disneyland earlier this month and had such an amazing time! We make it a point to go at least once a year, and love making new memories each time. When I was in college I had an annual pass, and after going with my hubby each year since then, we've learned some tips & tricks that make navigating the parks that much easier! The holiday season is one of the best times to make a visit to the Happiest Place on Earth, so today I'm sharing 3 ways you can make your vacation even more magical!

1. MaxPass=MaxMagic!

Disneyland recently introduced MaxPass, which is a way that you can digitally book FastPasses through the Disneyland app on your phone, as well as download your PhotoPass photos right to your phone! This was our first time using it and honestly it was so convenient and easy! It's an extra $10 per ticket per day, but so worth the added cost. While we were waiting in line for a ride or sitting down for lunch, I could hop on the Disneyland app and quickly book a FastPass for a ride, choose who would be in my FastPass Party, and boom you're done! It also tells you exactly when you can book another FastPass that day, so there's no confusion. When it's time to use your FastPass, you just pull up the bar code on your phone and scan it before you enter the line at the ride--that's it! *MaxPass is available for use at BOTH parks!* 

PhotoPass is also included with the MaxPass purchase, so when you're having your photo taken by a Disneyland photographer at one of the many locations throughout the park, they will scan the bar code on your phone and your photos will be uploaded within minutes! Then you can save all those images directly to your phone and send to friends and family to make them all jealous :) 

IMG_5257.JPG

2. 1 Park Per Day

Freddy and I are firm believers in the "1 park per day" tickets. Why you ask? For one thing, they can save you up to $50 per ticket (prices vary by date), which let's be real, every penny counts when you're at Disneyland! They also allow you to focus on one park and not feel stressed or rushed with going back and forth throughout the day. Our days are definitely more relaxed when we can enjoy being in one park and fully take in all of the food, shops and sights without having to worry about running over to the other park for a show or a FastPass arrangement. Plus, on the day we do California Adventure park, which typically closes a couple hours earlier than Disneyland, it's a great excuse to head over to the World of Disney store in Downtown Disney for some late-night shopping! 

IMG_1663.JPG

3. Choose Which Shows to See

There are so many wonderful shows and nighttime experiences to see at both parks, so it's important to decide which ones you want to see and plan accordingly. For example, the World of Color show at California Adventure (the only nighttime show at this park) is my absolute favorite, so it's a priority that we see it every time we go. This show requires a FastPass for viewing, and it's one that you can't book through the Disneyland app. The FP distribution center is located near The Little Mermaid ride, and it's wise to head over when the park opens to get your passes to ensure a good viewing area. The FP will tell you when it's time to head over before the show begins. And don't worry, this FP doesn't count against your other FP's you'll be booking for rides. 

California Adventure also has the popular Frozen show at the Hyperion Theatre in Hollywoodland. This show is a Broadway-style version of the movie and has really beautiful sets and costumes! There are multiple showtimes throughout the day, and no FP is required! Simply decide which time you want to see it (we typically go to a late afternoon showing--the perfect time to rest our feet and sit down for an hour) and show up at least 30 minutes before showtime. Everyone has to line up outside the theatre in the appropriate section you'd like to sit in: orchestra (floor level) or mezzanine (upper balcony). There are no restrooms in the theatre to my knowledge, so be sure to use them beforehand!

At Disneyland there is the nighttime fireworks spectacular, as well as the Fantasmic show in front of Tom Sawyer Island. Depending on the time of year, each show may have 1 or 2 times available for viewing, so just check the Showtimes Guide or the Disneyland app on your phone for available showtimes. You can get a FP for the Fantasmic show to receive a spot in their reserved viewing area, but it's not required. You can view the show from other areas in the park (this year Freddy and I watched it on the bridge above Pirates of the Caribbean and it was great!) so either way you have some options. One thing to keep in mind is that these shows can overlap, so depending on the time of year you may not be able to see both. Again, just check the showtimes guide or the Disneyland app and you'll be able to plan out your nighttime spectacular activities.

IMG_5211.JPG

Last but not least, when you're visiting the parks it's important to enjoy the magic in style...Disney style that is! I've linked some of my favorite fashion pieces below so that you can show your #Disneyside and rep your favorite characters. I hope these tips help ease your trip planning and help make the most of your next visit to the Happiest Place on Earth! xo

Blushfully, 

Belle

SHOP #DISNEYSTYLE

I get commission for clicks or purchases made through links in this post.

My Travel Style

bb-travel-style-001.jpg

Whenever I'm traveling, whether it's on a plane or in the car, comfort is key! There's nothing worse than being uncomfortable when you're on a really long (and cold!) flight or stuck in a car for several hours without being able to get out and stretch. No matter how I'm getting from point A to B, I typically opt for looser fitting layers so that nothing is too restrictive while sitting down for hours at a time. 

bb-travel-style-004 (1 of 1).jpg
bb-travel-style-002 (1 of 1).jpg

This Vince cardigan has become one of the most versatile pieces that I own (last seen here and here) and I absolutely love wearing it while traveling, especially on the plane! It doesn't take up a ton of room in my carry-on, and it's the perfect weight to keep me warm without being too bulky. And another bonus, the draped silhouette allows me to wrap up in it almost like a blanket--it's a win win ;)

bb-travel-style-003 (1 of 1).jpg

My footwear choice is usually determined by where I'm going. Usually if we are doing a road trip in the car I'll choose sandals or flip flops because I'll kick them off and just go barefoot. Whereas at the airport, I like to wear sneakers since my feet get cold easily. It's more of a hassle going through security, but totally worth it to stay warm! At the bottom of this post I liked some similar items that you can incorporate into your own travel style next time you're on the go.

Do you have any upcoming trips planned? I'd love to know in the comments! The next trip Freddy and I have planned is our annual Disneyland trip coming up in November. And you better believe I'll be bringing my Mickey tote with me! Although, I really want this fabulous Disney crossbody to wear at the parks--one day :) Have a great weekend!

Blushfully, 

Belle

SHOP THE POST

Packing for Disneyland

Today's the day we leave for California! It's funny when you book a vacation months and months prior and you feel like it's so far away, but once it finally arrives it's such an exciting feeling! In today's post I'm sharing what I am packing specifically for the Disneyland portion of our trip, which of course includes a lot of themed items, so read on to see what's in my bag...

This Mickey & Minnie sweatshirt is one of my tried-and-true favorites, and it's so incredibly comfy and lightweight. It's perfect for a cooler evening at the parks, and packs very well in a backpack, not taking up too much room. If you have a lightweight sweatshirt, this is ideal for a night at the parks. 

Wearing the right shoes is a very important factor in your overall experience, and everyone has different needs/preferences. I have worn a variety of shoes in the past, from flip flops, to flats, to Nike's and Toms. This year I plan to wear my Nike's on one day and Toms on the other. I love that Toms don't require socks, so my feet don't get hot, and if they get wet on a ride they dry much more quickly than if I were wearing a traditional sneaker. I've always found Toms very comfortable, even after a long day of walking!

Any outfit just wouldn't be complete without a lanyard full of pins! No shame in that whatsoever. I've been collecting pins for about 15 years now, and I love picking out new ones every time we go to Disneyland! Each one is unique and it's fun to think back to when you bought them and to see how your collections grows. Maybe one day I'll be like those intense collectors who have multiple binders filled with pins upon pins....maybe. 

Of course a variety of Disney shirts to choose from are a must. I recently bought a couple new ones from Uniqlo for the first time, and I am so impressed with how soft they are! Plus they are such a steal compared to theme park prices. My advice? Stock up on these before your trip and save some $$$! 

I also can't forget my trusty sunglasses, Minnie Mouse ear buds, and iPad stocked with plenty of Disney music and movies to get me through the plane ride. 

And I'm sure a new TsumTsum, or two or three, will find it's way into my suitcase before we head back home...

I can't wait to share our pictures with you! Follow along our California adventures (pun intended) on my Instagram and Twitter to get a taste of some Disney magic! 

Have a great Wednesday!

Blushfully, 

Belle

Disney Dreaming

In less than two weeks (eek!) we will be leaving for what is becoming our annual trip to Disneyland, and I couldn't be more excited! Really, Freddy will tell you that I bring it up everyday, and he's probably getting slightly annoyed with me (#sorrynotsorry). We went around the same time last year to celebrate our one-year wedding anniversary, as well as Disneyland's Diamond Celebration. We had such an amazing time and were pleasantly surprised at the lack of crowds, so we decided to book another trip this year to celebrate our anniversary and spend some time in Southern California! We have been going to the parks for several years, and I had an annual pass while in college, so we've learned a few tips over the years from trial and error, which is what I am sharing with you today to help you plan your next trip to the happiest place on earth!

1. Plan Ahead

As with any vacation you are taking, it's super important to plan out all the details ahead of time. For example, check the weather about 10 days in advance so you can prep your outfits and shop for any last minute essentials you might need, like a rain jacket or new walking shoes. The last thing you'll want to worry about is realizing that you forgot to pack something while you're standing in line at security and have to make a pit stop as soon as you arrive at LAX. You'll also want to bring any items that you intend to put in your backpack for the parks, like hand sanitizer (a must!), reusable water bottles (there are water fountains throughout the park, which is a great money saver), and a pair of dry socks, because Splash Mountain. 

2. Dining at the Parks

Eating your way through Disneyland can be one of the most magical experiences of your vacation. It can also be one of the most expensive. It's so easy to get carried away when walking past the countless churro carts, hot dog stands, and smelling the alluring scent of freshly-made waffle cones on Main Street. In our past experiences, we have learned to save some money by sharing a meal, or skipping one entirely, while still enjoying all the tasty treats the parks have to offer. Let me explain...

Last year we booked a character breakfast at the Storyteller's Cafe at the Grand Californian Hotel & Spa and it was one of the best decisions we had made! Not only was the "character" part of this experience just plain adorable, but we were able to fuel up on a big breakfast to get us energized for the big day ahead. This kept us full for most of the day, allowing us to skip a true lunch, but instead eat some snacks such as pineapple spears, chips, or yes, a churro. Some of the portions at certain dining locations can be rather large as well, so sharing a plate could be an option, too! 

Some of our favorite dining locations that we keep coming back to are Rancho del Zocalo (Disneyland), Hungry Bear Restaurant (Disneyland), Pacific Wharf Cafe (California Adventure), and Storyteller's Cafe.

3. Shows & FastPass

In addition to all of the amazing attractions, dining and shopping experiences at the parks, there are some wonderful shows and parades that you can enjoy as well. You can find a full list of entertainment options here, and determine the time(s) of which shows/parades you want to see so that you can plan your day accordingly. One of our favorites is World of Color at DCA, which you can reserve a "spot" for ahead of time at the FastPass distribution center located at Grizzly River Run. The earlier you get your FastPass, the more likely you are to get a better zone, which determines the view you will have during this standing room only show. Side note: They are bringing back the ORIGINAL World of Color show starting Sept. 6th, which I can hardly contain my excitement about!! There is also a new live Frozen show at the Hyperion Theatre at DCA, which we are so excited to see! They have added a FastPass feature to this as well, so that you can reserve a seat inside the theatre, rather than waiting in line prior to the show. 

FastPass is a great feature that allows you to skip the long lines on your favorite attractions, so that you can enjoy them that much sooner! Keep in mind that you can only obtain one FastPass at a time (this excludes priority seating FastPasses, such as the World of Color show), so make sure you time all of your passes accordingly. Freddy and I love Radiator Springs Racers at DCA, so we always book it over to the FastPass distribution center first thing because we know the lines can creep up to 90 min long on some days. I will also probably be booking as many FastPasses as I can for the Tower of Terror, since this will most likely be my last time riding it until it's final drop day in January (it's been really hard to come to terms with this...I'm heartbroken). 

Planning a trip to the Disneyland Resort is such an exciting process, but it can also become stressful, so don't sweat the small stuff, and have fun! At the end of the day, you're there to make magical memories and enjoy time with loved ones. Everything will work itself out. And remember, "when there's a smile in your heart, there's no better time to start!"

Have a question that I didn't answer in this post? Ask away in the comment box and I will gladly answer it! Happy planning!

Blushfully, 

Belle

NALA NEUTRALS

Even though we've lived in Austin for about 10 months now, it seems like it was just yesterday that we packed our bags and started a new life here. And there's still so much that we haven't discovered around town! So when we had the opportunity to explore more of the downtown area, we found some adorable spots, like Hotel San Jose on South Congress Ave. 

The property is nestled off of a bustling street, but once you step inside the lush landscaped doorway, it's as if you've left the city for a tranquil getaway. The hotel has been around since the 1930's, and now houses 40 urban bungalow-style hotel rooms. We decided to stop and snap some pictures while we were on our way to dinner, and I'm so glad we did! Now I know where we are hanging out during our next stay-cation. 

We haven't had a chance to go out for a date night in awhile, so we wanted to go somewhere nice, but not too formal. I decided to opt for classic neutrals in this look. I paired this Akris Punto top with a wool Milly pencil skirt (similar here), and Steve Madden heels. 

Top: Akris Punto | Skirt: Milly | Bracelet: Alexis Bittar

One of my favorite details in this look is the laser cut lace on the top. It's airy and flowy, and perfect for a summer day. I'm excited to wear this more casually with some distressed denim and lace up flats or sandals. I would also love to pair this with white denim for a crisp and clean look.

These heels are minimalistic and almost become invisible to the eye because of their neutral color and sleek design, which is what I love most about them. A great classic heel that can pair back to almost anything in your closet!

I drew inspiration for this outfit from Nala in The Lion King. Nostalgia hit me head on after reminiscing about the precious cat my friend and I rescued in high school, so I decided to create a look that I felt resembled the sassy feline from the animated classic. I am definitely a big fan of neutral tones, so I enjoyed pairing pieces together that exuded her warm coloring.

I was so tempted to drive this home... Wind in my hair, don't care. 

I was so tempted to drive this home... Wind in my hair, don't care. 

Thanks for hanging out with me today! What are your plans for the weekend? I am so anxious to check one thing off my bucket list for 2016, which is to see Zootopia! Freddy and I plan to see it on Sunday, so if you see it before me I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Have a great weekend!

Blushfully, 

Belle

GOLDEN AFTERNOON

Last weekend Freddy and I got to explore the Zilker Botanical Gardens for the very first time! This beautiful plot of land is nestled just outside of downtown Austin, yet once you walk inside, it feels like you've fallen down the rabbit hole and discovered a wonderland. 

Speaking of wonderland, I used the ever curious Alice as my inspiration for this outfit. I paired my Tibi skirt with a J. Crew striped tee for a more relaxed, yet playful look. I'm usually not one to gravitate towards fuller skirts (not to mention pops of color!), as I tend to dress in more tailored silhouettes, but I'm so glad I stepped out of my comfort zone with this purchase.  The skirt has a lot of movement, and is so much fun to twirl around in, too! I'm excited to get more use out of it this Spring by pairing it with different neutrals and a fun pair of flats.

As for the garden...this 30-acre oasis is home to a variety of plants and flowers such as herbs, roses, cacti and succulents. It also features a tranquil Japanese garden with koi ponds and beautiful bridges. You can even get a pretty decent view of downtown from one of the lookout points. Hanging out here for the afternoon was a nice little getaway from the city. We walked around and explored and just enjoyed being together. I can only imagine that in Spring there will be even more blooms to swoon over!

Have a great weekend!

Blushfully, 

Belle

Cinderella Workday Wardrobe

Cinderelly, Cinderelly, night and day it's Cinderelly....

Cinderella is one of my favorite Disney classics, and although I love her gorgeous ballgown, I also really like her work dress. I love the mix of neutrals and the pop of blue in her blouse. So, I decided to create my own work day outfit inspired by Cinderella's work attire! I found both the sweater and the pants from J. Crew. The sweater is a soft merino wool with a zipper detail in the back, and also looks great with jeans and boots for a weekend look. I'm also slightly obsessed with J. Crew's Patio pant. It's a cropped, wide-leg pant that has amazing movement on, not to mention it's super comfortable! The pant comes in an array of colors, but I particularly love this camel color as a year-round staple piece. 

In the movie, Cinderella wears black flats with her dress, because let's be real, I wouldn't want to wear heels while cleaning a stately chateau either! However, for this look, I decided to wear a pair of Badgley Mischka pumps that I found at Nordstrom Rack for under $100! When I saw them I instantly shrieked and wouldn't let go of them! To me, they are the perfect Cinderella shoe, next to a pair of glass slippers, of course. And perhaps someday, the dreams that I wish will come true...

Blushfully, 

Belle

Sweater: J. Crew | Pants: J. Crew | Shoes: Badgley Mischka | Bag: Fossil | Bracelet: Alexis Bittar

 

Belle's Enchanted Christmas

I can't believe it's already December! Christmas is my favorite time of the year. I love the decorations, the music, and most of all, the true reason for the season: the birth of our Savior! This year, I decided to get a new dress for our holiday work party, and when I saw this Tadashi Shoji dress, I instantly thought of Belle in her yellow gown! Yellow isn't a great color for me, so I never thought I would be able to replicate her look, but I felt that this gold hue was a similar option, and it's perfect for the holidays. Not to mention these shoes are so comfortable, and the deep wine color almost matches that of the enchanted rose.

I didn't stumble upon any castles while we were walking through town, but I did have my prince by my side, and it doesn't get much better than that!

What are you most looking forward to this holiday season? I'm planning to curl up by the fire with a good book and a nice spot of tea, courtesy of Mrs. Potts, of course!

Blushfully, 

Belle

Dress: Tadashi Shohi | Shoes: Vince Camuto | Lip Color: NARS "Cruella" | Nail Color: Butter London "La Moss"

Dalmatian Plantation

02.jpg

I had so much fun shooting my first fashion look with my husband! I am so excited to launch this facet of my blog, and I have many more ideas that I can't wait to share with you! I am constantly being inspired by Disney movies, characters, attractions, etc., and that's what I want to exude through these fashion posts. Today, I am using 101 Dalmatians as my inspiration. I've had this Zara blouse in my closet for a couple years, but once I found this Tibi skirt, I felt that both together reflected the era in which the movie is based. If only I was walking the streets of London...Texas will do for now :) 

Blushfully, 

Belle


Blouse: Zara | Skirt: Tibi | Heels & Clutch: Halogen | Lip Color: NARS "Cruella" (unintentional!)


thingamabobs from Disneyland

In general, one of my favorite things to do is shop, and what better place to do that than at Disneyland?! I brought home some fun treasures from our trip. Go ahead, scroll down and see for yourself! 

01.jpg
My first Tsum Tsum, Minnie Mouse! I can't wait to grow my collection. 

My first Tsum Tsum, Minnie Mouse! I can't wait to grow my collection. 

Once I had heard from the Disney Parks Blog that they were going to be selling these adorable hand sanitizers, I knew I had to get one! They had all sorts of designs, from Anna and Elsa, to Minnie and Mickey.

Once I had heard from the Disney Parks Blog that they were going to be selling these adorable hand sanitizers, I knew I had to get one! They had all sorts of designs, from Anna and Elsa, to Minnie and Mickey.

I was also super stoked to find the Starbucks 'You Are Here' Disneyland mug! A great one to add to my Disney mug collection.

I was also super stoked to find the Starbucks 'You Are Here' Disneyland mug! A great one to add to my Disney mug collection.

Of course I knew I couldn't leave without getting some new pins! And I really love the 60th Anniversary lanyard they designed. It has all of my favorite characters and attractions on it!

Of course I knew I couldn't leave without getting some new pins! And I really love the 60th Anniversary lanyard they designed. It has all of my favorite characters and attractions on it!

When we told a Cast Member at the World of Disney store that we were celebrating our 1 year anniversary, she brought out 2 of these pins for us to wear! It was so nice of her, and we loved sporting them around the parks. 

When we told a Cast Member at the World of Disney store that we were celebrating our 1 year anniversary, she brought out 2 of these pins for us to wear! It was so nice of her, and we loved sporting them around the parks. 

Thanks for stopping by today! Have a great weekend!

 

Blushfully, 

Belle

California Dreamin'

Ah, California Adventure. It's been so neat to see the evolution of this park over the years. I love the changes that have been made and what the park now represents: Walt Disney's arrival in Los Angeles and the start of it all. 

This year Freddy's family drove down from Palm Springs to hang out with us in LA which was super fun! His brother and sister ran around DCA with us, which was great so that I didn't have to go on California Screamin' alone (but if I had to, single rider line is totally worth it for that ride!). 

To start off our day, we took a tour of the Carthay Circle Restaurant. I first learned about this tour by browsing through the Disney Parks YouTube channel. I stumbled upon this video and immediately decided this was something we HAD to do on our next trip. Our cast member guided us through the restaurant, telling us about the history of the original Carthay Circle Theatre in Los Angeles where Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs first premiered, and showing us dozens of black and white photographs from Walt's early career days. The theatre was torn down in the 1960's, so it was neat hearing about how they had researched so many aspects of the theatre to ensure all the details were just right, like how the restaurant's interior was modeled after the original theatre with an Art Deco aesthetic. It amazes me how many little details Disney puts into everything that they do, making it all even more magical. This was my absolute favorite part of the day, and I highly recommend taking this tour on your next trip to California Adventure!

Photo of Walt with Shirley Temple.

Photo of Walt with Shirley Temple.

They keep lilies in the center vase to honor Walt's wife, Lillian.

They keep lilies in the center vase to honor Walt's wife, Lillian.

Once we finished that, we headed straight for Cars Land! When you walk in, it feels like you're Lightning McQueen and you've just entered Radiator Springs. Ka Chow! Freddy always has 2 motives when we are in Cars Land: 1. Go on Radiator Springs Racers (his fave ride); and 2. go to the Cozy Cone Motel to get some churro bites. If you haven't had these before, you're missing out. They are bite sized churros drizzled in a liquid chocolate sauce...aka better than a regular churro!

After our pit stop in Ornament Valley, we headed off to Paradise Pier to tackle Toy Story Mania and California Screamin' before we made our way to Goofy's Sky School and Ariel's Undersea Adventure. 

For lunch, Boudin Bakery is always on the menu. I first encountered their sourdough bread bowls in San Diego when I was young, and the rest is history! I'm overjoyed that they have a location inside DCA, and I'm obsessed with their clam chowder; I order it every single time.

When we're full from lunch and feeling a bit run down, it's usually a good time to get in line for the musical production of Aladdin! It's a tradition that we look forward to each time we go, and it's a great opportunity to sit down and relax as the talented cast takes you on a journey through Agrabah!

Another one of my favorite spots to explore is the Animation Academy and the Sorcerer's Workshop in Hollywood Land. It's a place where I find so much inspiration and joy. If you haven't checked it out, give it a shot! You can try your hand at animation, take a tour of the Beast's library, or even have a conversation with Crush! Sweeeeet. Totalllyyy. 

As evening settled on Paradise Pier, it was time for the World of Color show to begin! If you have seen this show before, you may be familiar with a pre-show game that involves guests as a way to pass the time. It's basically a game of "simon says". Here's how it works: Keep your eye on Mickey's Fun Wheel, and memorize the color sequence and match it as quickly as you can. You earn points for being speedy and memorizing the sequence correctly each round. At the end of the game, it tallies up your points and determines the winner of that game (remember: you're playing with all the other people waiting for the show to start, too). The winner gets to control the lights on the ferris wheel for 30 seconds. Pretty cool, right? Freddy and I played this game last year with our friends and none of us won. This year, Freddy and I battled each other, and guess what...I have the "fastest thumbs in the west!" I won the game! Here's the video of me controlling the lights, and believe me, it was 'wheely fun'!

World of Color is one of my favorite shows, and it's always first priority to get fast passes right when the park opens to ensure we get a good viewing section. For the Diamond Celebration, they paid a special tribute to Walt Disney and all of his accomplishments. It was a beautiful, honorary performance featuring many of his beloved characters, most importantly, Mickey Mouse!

It was a fun-filled day with family and I can't wait until our next trip to the Disneyland Resort!

Next week I'll be showing you all the merchandise I picked up on our trip. Until then, have a great weekend!

 

Blushfully, 

Belle

Vacation Rewind: Disneyland

Happy Monday morning! Although, maybe not so happy for me, as this means it’s back to work and no more vacation. My husband and I had such an amazing time at Disneyland celebrating our first anniversary, and I’m so excited to relive our trip as I share it with you!

We started our Disneyland day with a character breakfast at the Storytellers Cafe at the Grand Californian Hotel & Spa. This is by far my favorite hotel in the Disneyland Resort, and it's been my dream to stay there ever since it first opened (maybe one day we will!). I love the Northern California, lodge design aesthetics it provides, making it all feel, well, grand. Okay, back to breakfast...the buffet was probably the yummiest I’ve ever had (who can resist those perfectly sized Mickey waffles?). It was the right amount of food to fuel up on and last us until dinner--if you include some churros, popcorn and baked goods in-between. And it was fun to say “hi!” to Chip and Dale, and Koda and Kenai from Brother Bear. 

waffle.jpg

Once inside the park, we hit the Matterhorn first, since Peter Pan’s Flight was a 40 minute wait right off the bat (some guests had an Extra Magic Hour before the park opened, thus the longer wait time). I must say, the new and improved Abominable Snowman is legit! His life-like movements and features truly enhance the ride, making you feel like you’ve invaded his home and you better get the heck out of there! 

Three words: Sleeping Beauty’s Castle. I still can’t get over how dazzling it is! Disney really outdid themselves when it came to adding glitz and glitter to this iconic landmark. They gave it just the right touch with the ribbons, banners, and gemstones. If you think it’s beautiful during the day, wait until you see it at night!

I love exploring all the shops throughout the park; I could spend hours looking around and not even notice (seriously, ask my husband!). However, one of my favorite areas to hang out in is Frontierland. Maybe it's because it reminds me of home in the Southwest, or maybe it's the familiar roar of the train tracks on Big Thunder Mountain. I just love the Western-inspired architecture and merchandise inside the stores.

Here's a shot to show just how empty the park was! Glorious weather, minimal crowds, and wait times that didn't exceed 30 minutes--that's my kind of Disney day!

One of our favorite places to get treats is at 'Pooh Corner', just outside Splash Mountain in Critter Country. They have an in-house candy kitchen filled with so much deliciousness, it's hard to choose what you want. I always vote for the Hunny Pot Rice Krispy with a chocolate and peanut butter drizzle on top (*drooling*). Freddy likes to try out new things each year, and this year he got their Cookies and Cream fudge and a chocolate chip cookie.

Next stop: Mickey's Toontown! Freddy and I have never been to this area together, so I was excited to show him a special part of the park that holds many childhood memories for me. We went on Roger Rabbit's Car Toon Spin, and had fun walking around exploring this animated town.

This year, Freddy and I were very diligent about our eating habits, which was such a hard thing to do in the Magic Kingdom. But, as we have discovered, food prices add up very quickly, and the portions are so large that we usually end up feeling stuffed and lethargic after eating our own meals. Sharing meals this year was probably one of the best decisions we made. We saved money, didn't feel super full, and we had a couple snacks instead of having a full on "meal" for lunch. For dinner, we tried something new and ate at the Hungry Bear Restaurant, which sits just outside Splash Mountain and runs along the river. We shared the fried green tomato sandwich, with some sweet potato fries and onion rings (my fave!).

It was the perfect amount of food for an early dinner. We got to sit back, relax, wave to Princess Tiana as she came by on the Mark Twain River Boat singing some jazzy tunes.

At the end of the day, we were surprised at how much we didn't eat, which gave us a good laugh!

The next item on our agenda was the 'Paint the Night Parade'. We lined up a good hour and a half before it started, but I'm so glad we did because we were able to get a front row viewing spot on Main Street. Typically, parades aren't on our to-do list when we go to Disneyland, but I knew this year it was a MUST because I've heard so many wonderful things about Paint the Night, and they are all true! The music alone is fantastic (which lends a slight nod to the original Main Street Electrical Light Parade); it makes you want to dance and sing along and it's just so fun. The floats and displays are beautiful with all of their glimmering lights. It was so great to see all of the characters and performers having a great time too!  I still have the song stuck in my head, and I'm not upset about it one bit.

After the parade ended, everyone gathered on Main Street for the 'Disneyland Forever' Fireworks Show. This one definitely made me tear up a little...or maybe a lot. Hearing Walt talk about his beloved creation, seeing the shining castle, and listening to the theme song 'Live the Magic', it was all so inspiring and heartwarming, making me even more thankful for this magical place that I love so much. It was the perfect end to a perfect day, and I couldn't have asked for a better anniversary celebration! 

Do you have a favorite Disneyland memory? I'd love to hear in the comments below!

Stay tuned as I'll be sharing our day at California Adventure very soon.

Blushfully, 

Belle

 

All photos taken by me, Chantelle Ballesteros.

packing list

When packing for any trip, I like to check the weather about a 7-10 days in advance so I can gauge what I should be putting in my suitcase. Granted, Los Angeles usually has pretty consistent weather (sunny and 75), but it never hurts to double check! As of right now, we’re looking at temps in the low 80’s (PTL!) which is going to be a nice change from the hot and humid Texas summer we have been experiencing. I’m packing some jeans, since I usually prefer those to shorts, but I’m packing a couple pairs of those as well in case I change my mind. I’m also bringing a light weight Nike jacket for the evenings since it will cool down, and after growing up in Arizona, I’m a wimp when it gets below 70 degrees. Of course, you can never bring too many Disney shirts with you! We plan to do some shopping at the World of Disney store in Downtown Disney the day before we go to the parks, which means I’ll most definitely want to rock a new tee! 

I'm also bringing along my Disney lanyards! I started collecting pins on a trip to WDW when I was about 10 years old. Pin trading had just been introduced and I was so excited to build my collection. This time around I'm looking forward to snagging a few collectible pins to commemorate the 60th Anniversary!

What's your "must have" item that you bring with you on a Disney trip? Let me know in the comments! And don't forget to follow along with me on Instagram & Twitter @blushfulbelle to get an inside look at all the magic!

 

Blushfully, 

Belle

blue denim: Joe's (old style)  |  grey denim:  Joie

blue denim: Joe's (old style) grey denim: Joie

denim shorts: American Eagle (old style)  |  black shorts:  Caslon  (on sale!)

denim shorts: American Eagle (old style) | black shorts: Caslon (on sale!)

Topshop  dress I plan to wear on our beach day!

Topshop dress I plan to wear on our beach day!

can't forget the Lip Smackers collection!

can't forget the Lip Smackers collection!

pins.jpg
pl_05.jpg


gearing up for Disneyland

We’re less than a week away from our anniversary trip and I couldn’t be more excited! It seems like time moves at such a sluggish pace from the moment you book your vacation until it actually arrives, but I’m happy to say it’s finally here!

Freddy and I have been to Disneyland many times before, and for the past 3 years we have gone in December (which is such a magical time at the parks) with our 2 great friends Drew and Lindy. This year, I’m looking forward to a) being able to pack some shorts and tank tops this time around, and b) going to the parks when it’s just “Disney” and not another holiday. Don’t get me wrong; I love Christmas time at Disneyland, but for the Diamond Celebration, I’m excited to focus on just that and really take in all of the unique 60th anniversary decorations. 

Our first year going together--we did both parks in one day, and then decided we wouldn't do that again, ha!

Our first year going together--we did both parks in one day, and then decided we wouldn't do that again, ha!

Disney take two: the year Freddy proposed!

Disney take two: the year Freddy proposed!

Our 3rd year all together :)

Our 3rd year all together :)

Three weeks out from our trip, I checked Disneyland.com to view the park hours for the days we would be there, and boy am I glad I did! One of the benefits of going to the parks at Christmas time is the extended park hours (Disneyland is usually open from 8am-midnight), which is what I have come to expect every year. However, because we are going during a slower season this year (summer is over; school is back in session), the park hours are shorter, and we will be losing 5 hours of park time. Needless to say I hadn’t really thought this through and I was freaking out a little bit! But, we figured that crowds will be down more than usual since we are going during the week, and we can soak that in and just enjoy the time we have there! 

Due to the extra morning hours we will have before the park opens, we decided to do a character breakfast on the morning of our anniversary at the Storytellers Cafe inside the Grand Californian Hotel. I haven’t done a character breakfast since I was a little girl, and Freddy and I haven’t done one together, so it will be a fun experience! Let’s be honest: I’m already preparing myself to eat a couple Mickey waffles. This will allow us to fuel up #disneystyle before a magical day at Disneyland! 

After making trips to the Happiest Place on Earth over the years, we have learned the importance of having somewhat of a “game plan” for the day. I mean, when you’re in a huge crowd of people on Main Street waiting to be unleashed, you can’t just lollygag--you’ve got to be strategic and know where you’re going! That being said, I made up a little cheat sheet (I totally geeked out on this one) for us, so that we know what our priorities are. Items at the top of the list have more precedence, while the rest are key attractions or eateries that we for sure want to hit. I don’t want this to become our “itinerary” in the sense that these things have to go in order, because lets be honest, spontaneity is fun! I just want us to have the freedom to be in the moment and keep track of the things we don’t want to miss out on.

cards.jpg

Follow along with me on Instagram & Twitter @blushfulbelle to get the inside scoop on our trip! Thanks for stopping by!

 

Blushfully, 

Belle