Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas at Disneyland

Yesterday, my friend and I went to Disneyland!

It was a bit of a spur of the moment thing, but that's what I love about living in So-Cal! Being so close to Disneyland is the only way I can imagine living. Plus, I finally gave in and bought a season pass, so now I can go all the time! I even got to go to California Adventure for the first time.

The thing I love the most about Disneyland is their attention to detail. They don't mess around when it comes to decorating and creating the perfect atmosphere. I only snapped a few pictures, and only a couple of myself, but the park is so beautiful.

Aurora (Sleeping Beauty) is my favourite princess, so one of my favourite parts of the park is her castle (Although I'd give an arm and a leg to see Cinderella's castle in Walt Disney World) They cover Aurora's castle in snow during the day around Christmas time. After dark, they even have a special show where they light her castle up in a special way, and then make it snow. If you look closely, you can even see King Arthur's Royal Carousel all lit up through the drawbridge of the castle!
They also cover nearly every square inch of the Small World ride in lights. I thought it was beautiful before but it's absolutely stunning when it's lit up.
Main Street was decked out in lights also. They had a HUGE tree in the middle of it and it changed colours throughout the night. I lucked out this trip, because I finally got my picture with Mickey! Every Disney trip, I try to get a picture with Mickey, and I always come as soon as they don't accept photos anymore. But not this trip.
After I got my picture with Mickey, we headed over to California Adventure, which I had never been to. Our first stop was the Tower of Terror. The wait was an hour long, but the ride was so worth it. I even snapped a quick picture of our photo on the ride. (I'm near the middle to the left~)
When we left the Tower of Terror, we caught the end of the World of Color show. It was so beautiful! I only caught the end, which was a scene from the Lion King and multiple scenes of Disney famous kisses. It was really beautiful.

I bought a couple souvenirs throughout the day, and I got one of my little Christmas gifts from myself in the mail also!
My friend actually got me this little giraffe. I have a big collection of giraffes and am always excited to see ones I don't have because giraffes are a little hard to come by.
On my birthday, I bought myself this Minnie version of this mug. I saw that there was only ONE more in the Main Street shop and had to jump on it! I now have the set for me and Panda to drink out of~
For those who don't know, I'm a -bit- of a Star Wars fan. And by a bit, I mean a big one. Every time I go to Tomorrow Land, I have to hunt through the gift shop to find something absolutely perfect from Star Wars. This trip, I got this awesome Ewok shirt. (And it gave me a bit of a laugh, because TK isn't a Star Wars fan and thought it was Chewbacca, who is my favourite character...next to Boba Fett)
And, lastly, my little gift to myself! I've decided to start a new charm bracelet with Juicy Couture charms, and my first one was a sewing machine. Anyone who knows me knows that I LOVE to sew. It's probably one of the biggest parts of my life and very important to me. (Plus, it looks like my mom's machine that I someday hope to inherit~)

I hope everyone else is excited for Christmas approaching and had a lovely week!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Callooh & Callay!

So, I am ultra excited because I got a very anticipated package in the mail!
My package from Callooh & Callay! Now, for those of you who haven't heard of them, Callooh & Callay are a fantabulous jewelry making duo, composed of make up blogger Lillian Low and her girlfriend Clair. And, I have to say, their jewelry is TO DIE FOR.
I ordered from their Christmas collection, Design 2 of their snowflake stud earrings. My expectations were pretty high, and they did not disappoint. They're so intricately cut, I could never believe lines could be that straight. Oh, and did I mention it was gift wrapped and the envelope was full of snowflake confetti? AND it came with a little candy cane :]
It took 9 days to get to me, which is fast for international shipping! (from UK to US is typically 14 days). Another thing I have to say about the girls, they have awesome communication through their social networking sites. I mentioned on Twitter how excited I was to see the holiday collection premier, and they very quickly @-mentioned back at me when it had been posted and that they hoped I loved it. And after I ordered them, then reproclaimed my excitement via Twitter, they responded that they should be with me soon. I always get giddy when companies have good communication, because I know I'm not the only customer they have and that they took time out of their day to personally address me! So, I basically have nothing less that positive to say about them and their product.
And me wearing the earrings! (Sorry for the crappy webcam photo) If you haven't seen their jewelry, you should check them out! http://calloohandcallay.storenvy.com/

Saturday, December 3, 2011

O, Christmas Tree

Today while I was at work, my mum and dad assembled our Christmas tree (yes, it's fake). When I got home, they told me that they saved putting the ornaments on for me! Yaay!
Yeah, I kinda love my Instagram app. Here is our lovely tree! With present already under it, too. The majority of our ornaments are handmade or vintage, so it brings back amazing memories every year when we decorate. So I took a couple pictures of my favourite ornaments!

My mum embroidered this one when I was about 6 or 7. We have a set of four of them, each one looking slightly different than the other. We also have a set of Santa Clauses!
This is another one made my my mum, but when she was a little girl. She was a girl scout and they made these little Lifesaver rag dolls as a fundraiser. Her next door neighbor bought a bunch of them, I think maybe 15, and years later when my mum was all grown up, her neighbor gave them all back to her for Christmas! I think they're absolutely adorable and one of my favourite sets to hang up.

The last ornament I took a photo of is one that my parents bought me when I was little after we adopted my dog, Buddy. We had found him running through a parking lot, scared and emaciated. We took him home, fed him, and I begged my parents to let us keep him. We did, and had him for a good 11 or 12 years. My mum was out shopping one day and found an ornament of a black dog, bought it, took it home and told me to paint on Buddy's markings. While it's always been one of my favourites, it became bittersweet to see after we had to put him down last year due to old age. It's becoming a tradition to have him be the first ornament to hang up, and the last to take down.

How is your decorating coming along? What are some of your traditions you celebrate each year?

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Homemade Caramel Hot Cocoa Mix

Goodness, I have been so busy with work and school, and it's been show
ing! I hope everyone had a lovely Thanksgiving and an overall lovely weekend. In my free time, I've been busily working on little handmade goodies for my friends for Christmas. This year's goodie: Homemade Hot Cocoa Mix!

Earlier in the week, I looked up several recipes for cocoa mix and, upon reading reviews, was a tad disappointed. Many recipes had one star reviews and comments saying it just wasn't tasty. So I improvised a tad and made my own recipe, which I will share!

2 cups nonfat dry milk powder
1 cup powdered sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/3 cup nondairy creamer

For the nondairy creamer, you can go with any flavour you choose, depending on your taste. I was originally going to use Irish Cream (my favourite!), but the store had none in a powder. So instead, I chose Caramel Macchiato. I'm SO in love with caramel hot chocolate right now! Especially Starbuck's salted caramel hot chocolate. Upon tasting it, I was surprised that it tasted almost identical to Starbuck's! So, I admit, I am a little proud of myself!

To package, I bought a case of small mason jars and filled some up halfway with the powder, then halfway up with marshmallows. I was able to fill 7 total. To decorate them a bit for my friends, I took some of my favourite ribbon and tied little teaspoons to them. I also wrote little instructions on some festive paper and simply taped them to the outside.

I'm pretty satisfied with the final product. And I have 7 jars to give away! I hope everyone enjoyed it!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Angel Tree

I am very blessed to have the friends that I have. They're kind, good-hearted people who inspire me so much. Well, I'm feeling particularly inspired today by my wonderful friend we call Banana. Looking through tumblr today, I saw a post from her.

"Feeling really good today. Went to classes and tutoring but afterwards I noticed that our school had put up our first paper angel tree in the union. So I poked around for a few minutes to see what children were wishing for. That’s when I found one that really caught my attention. A four year old girl wanted toy horses and a baby doll. So I picked up her card, filled out a slip, and went to the store. I couldn’t find any Breyer type horses like I’d hopped but I did find this big fuzzy soft buckskin plushy. So I purchased that and a new baby doll that came with a bottle, pacifier, and two outfits. I feel bad that I couldn’t find nicer things that this little girl may have been wanting, but I really hope she loves these gifts and that it takes some of the pressure off of her parents. It feels really insignificant, but I hope it’s enough."

This made me feel so happy to read. She is such a sweet girl. Honestly, if I was a little girl, I would be SO excited for a big plush pony toy. (And, heck, I still would be!) It absolutely made my heart melt like warm butter. Since I've been in such a Christmasy mood lately, I've decided that I want to donate to the Angel Tree foundation as well!

JC Penny has a lovely collaboration with the Angel Tree foundation where you can choose a particular child to donate to based on their needs. Looking through the list, it made me so sad that the majority of needs were coats, pants, and shoes. I found one particular 7 year old girl who needed a diary. I also found a 2 and 3 year old who need teddy bears. I nearly cried imagining these little girls without teddy bears and diaries. I urge everyone to donate to all the little boys and girls out there who have nothing. Even if it's something little, make a difference in a child's life this Christmas.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

I Don't Need To Grow Up

My mum is so awsome. Every year, the school she works for has a book fair to help promote literacy in young children. And every year, my mum buys me a book about Disney Princesses haha. Last year, she bought me the complete Disney Princess Encyclopedia for my birthday. It's so thorough, too. It included Pocahontas and Mulan, who a lot of people don't count as "princesses" although they're in the cannon. It's only missing Rapunzel, but that's because she wasn't a princess yet. And this year, she bought me a book of Disney Princess themed cupcakes and desserts. So she basically bought me a book of my two favourite things. When she was looking at it, the librarian said, "Oh, I have to buy this for my three year old granddaughter!" My mum replied, "I'm getting this for my 21 year old daughter" hahaha!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

I Want To Be Forever 21

Yesterday was my twenty first birthday! And for the special occasion, my boyfriend Panda took me to Disneyland! Unfortunately, we didn't take too many pictures. And double unfortunately, a few of our favourite attractions were closed! Because my birthday is the day after Halloween, whenever we go to Disneyland, a few of the attractions are closed in order to take down some of the Halloween decorations, such as Small World and Space Mountain. The Pirates of the Caribbean and the restaurant inside of it, Blue Bayou, were also closed yesterday for refurbishment, and will be closed all Fall season. As disappointing as it was, we still had a fantastic time!

Panda looks so noble

And I look desperate haha!

I got this nifty pin that said it was my birthday, so throughout the entire day walking through the park, people would with me a happy birthday. One of the best parts of the day was when we were walking through Tomorrow Land and we noticed the wait time on the Space Mountain sign was on. Excited, we ran like crazy up to the ride to see that it was open! Their Halloween decorations for that ride mainly consist of projections, so it didn't take as long to take them down as it did for the Small World ride.
One ride we went on several times was Star Tours and it was fantastic! We went on it the first day it reopened back in the summer. Every time we go on, we discuss what planet we hope to visit. In the summer, Panda wanted to visit Hoth and that ended up being the planet we went to! Yesterday, we couldn't determine which planet we wanted to visit and decided to just let it be a surprise. Well, the first planet we went to was the Wookie planet! My favourite! Ever since I was little, Chewbaca has been my favourite character and one of my most beloved movie characters, so going to the Wookie planet was like a dream come true. We were also chased by Boba Fett, which was pretty exciting. The next time we went on, we ended up going to Naboo and through the Death Star. Vader used the force to try to take our ship down, but we got away haha
We also rode the Indiana Jones ride a lot. It's easily one of my favourite rides in the park. The group we went on with was fantastic, too! I love when people get excited about the ride's atmosphere or theme rather than just the thrill. At the beginning of the ride, you get a transmission saying not to look in an idol's eyes, and when you turn a corner, there's the idol telling you to look into its eyes. Well, the boys in our group were all shouting, "DON'T LOOK INTO ITS EYES!" and screaming. It was adorable and made the ride that much more fun.
Hopefully soon I will post a small haul of my birthday goodies!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

A Little About Me

The Basics:

My name is MZ. I'm an Irish girl living in Southern California. I am twenty-one years old. I work as a waitress at a privately owned Italian restaurant. I graduated from high school in 2008, immediately moved away to attend fashion design school, but dropped out after a year and a half to pursue a degree in Biology and Genetics. Although I no longer pursue a degree in fashion design, I still regularly freelance design just to satisfy my artistic hunger. I practically live at Disneyland. I love animals and live with my two cats, Ziggy Stardust and Vann. I am compulsively organized and have a great need to change little details in my life frequently.

My Favourites:

My favourite movies are basically anything made by Disney, especially Sleeping Beauty. I watched it so much as a child, we had to replace the VHS three times. I also love Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind, The Road, The Thing (the original), Away We Go, Lars and the Real Girl, Little Miss Sunshine and Amilie. My favourite books are It's Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizinni, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime by Mark Haddon, Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli, The Road by Cormac McCarthy, Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones, and The Perks of Being a Wall Flower by Stephen Chbosky. My favourite TV shows are The Walking Dead, Doug, the Big Bang Theory, and Seinfeld. My favourite activities are knitting, sewing, reading, shopping, video games, and illustrating. My favourite "things" are deer, makeup, sweaters, lipstick, crafting, tea, yarn, false eyelashes, octopus, grainy photographs, fashion blogs and kitties.