Countdown to Disney: Week 25| Resturant Week!|

Hello interwebs! Welcome back it’s your friendly neighborhood redhead here and today we are going to be talking Resturants, Disney Dining Plan, and Vacation Planning.

 

Week 25 of Disney Planning means that you are quickly approaching the 180-day mark. For those of you that are planning your first Disney trip that means planning and reserving the restaurants for your trip. Now, this is specifically talking about Table Service restaurants. Since the Disney Dining Plan has changed for this year I am going to go into that in a little bit of detail.

Now first off, what is a Disney Dining Plan? A Disney Dining Plan is something that you can purchase for your stay if you are planning on staying at any of the on-property hotels. This plan comes with, snacks, quick service, and table service meals per person, per day of your stay. This can make budgeting for meals a lot easier and in the end, you do actually save a bit of money doing it this way. Now, here is some break down of the lingo:

Snack Credit: fairly self-explanatory, the usual popcorn and churros and so much more.

Quick Service Credit: This is the easier, faster option of a table service; a quick service restaurant is one of the ones where you go up and order and get your food on a tray.These will usually be the places you eat at for lunch.

Table Service Credit: This is a sit-down, usually nicer restaurant. Be careful, some of the places that you will book a table service credit will cost TWO credits. Make sure you are being mindful of this when you book reservations. These will usually be the places you eat for dinner, or a nicer lunch or breakfast.

Now that you know the lingo I’m going to go into the new dining plan and how many credits you get depending on what tier of the dining plan you choose. I will also offer my recommendations for the best deals and what my family is planning on doing for our upcoming trip.

The New Dining Plan has three new tiers that you can choose depending on your family and circumstances these tiers include: The Disney Quick Service Dining Plan, The “Original” Disney Dining Plan, and lastly The Disney Delux Dining Plan. As you can imagine, each of these gets incrementally more expensive and you get a bigger number of credits as you move up as well. All of these Plans are listed on the Disney website, so I am going to skip the specific details and give a little overview of what my family is doing for our upcoming trip. Since we are a family of three, staying for 7 days in a Vacation Club villa ( with a kitchen and access to groceries) we decided to pick The “Original” Disney Dining Plan. I added the word ” original” because this is the basic plan that most people go with. This plan includes 2 Snack Credits, 1 Quick Service Credit, and 1 Table Service credit, per-person per-day of your stay. This made the most sense to us because we aren’t super heavy eaters so we can either use our snack credits for breakfast or make them in our kitchen. Using this plan we decided that it would be most economical to use the Quick Service credits for lunch and then use our Table Service Credits for dinner.

This is where that note of checking credit uses comes in handy. For example, our favorite restaurant Cape May Cafe at the Yacht Club and Beach Resort used to cost 2 Table service credits per person while it was the signature restaurant in that area. This means that we used to plan to eat out one night ( meaning out of pocket) in order to go to that restaurant. When you are planning your stay make sure you add up all of the credits for the places you are using and see if it all adds up. Also, make sure to scour the web to see if there are any places that are more bang for your credits. For instance, Be Our Guest, the Beauty and the Beast themed restaurant in the Magic Kingdom is a Table Service Credit for dinner but, it is a Quick Service Credit for breakfast and lunch if you make a reservation ahead of time, as it fills up quickly.

 

Overall, my main point is to make sure you plan ahead. If you don’t plan ahead when it comes to restaurants, oftentimes you won’t be able to eat where you want to and get some of those great meal experiences. I reccomend searching through youtube and finding some videos on resturaunt reviews so you can get an idea of places that you cannot miss while on your stay.

Well that’s all I have time for! Make sure to watch my youtube video on this topic coming out on friday as well!

Have fun and happy planning,

Lia

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Countdown To Disney: Week 26

Hello interwebs! Welcome back to The Neighborhood Redhead! Today, I will be talking about my favorite places for getting Disney clothes to prepare for Disneybounds!

As I talked about in my last post, Disneybounding is the fashion art of finding regular everyday clothes to embody a Disney character, food, park or attraction. For my upcoming Disney World trip, I am planning for all of my outfits to be Disneybounds! That means I am creating a total of 13 Disneybounds! I am really excited and this will definitely be a challenge to my Disneybounding skills. Since I have started gathering clothes for these bounds already, I wanted to make a post talking about my favorite places to get those special pieces to make your Disneybound sing!

1. Target

Target is my favorite store in general, so of course, it was apart of this list. I just went to Target yesterday and while I was waiting for the Pharmacy I looked around and found lots of cute things for my upcoming Disneybounds. The thing I love about Target is that they have a perfect mix of basic and more eclectic pieces that will help make a good Disneybound in a snap! For example, I found these grey jeans that have this interesting paneling on the thighs for my Kylo Ren Disneybound. The other thing that is great about Target is the accessories. I can always find the perfect necklaces or rings that go well with any bound I am putting together.

2. Forever 21

For me, forever 21 is the perfect place for finding those weird pieces that you can’t find anywhere else. This place is for those statement pieces that add to the overall aesthetic of your bound. I also love forever 21 not only for their cheap prices but their HUGE accessory section. I love browsing through all of their hats, socks, and jewelry in order to add those small details to any outfit I am creating. For my upcoming Disneybound of the Epcot Ball, I found this silver holographic skirt that will give the outfit that perfect futuristic feel.

3. Hobby Lobby

Hobby Lobby is the mecca for all of us DIY-ers. I love making my own (usually floral) Disney ears. For this particular trip, I am making 13 sets of Minnie ears in order to make my bounds easier to recognize. To me, making parts of the outfit is the best part, allowing you to really customize the outfit and show off some of your own talents and skills. I also love this part because it allows you to stand out from all of the other Disneybounders’ in a way that is uniquely you! For example, I am doing a secret Disneybound that involves some Led light strips! ( More hints as to that one is in future posts.)

 

And that’s it! I think Disneybounding gets easier the more you see creative and interesting uses for not only new clothes but clothes you already have. As I have mentioned before, I think that Disneybounding can really change and Hype up an experience as well as keep you busy and entertained for the long wait until the day of the trip!

I will be posting a video showing my Disneybound Haul as well as some other tips regarding Disneybounds and I’ll share my 13 Disneybounds that I will be wearing on my upcoming Disney trip!

And as always, Stay magical!

Love and best wishes,

Lia

 

 

Countdown to Disney: Week 27

Hello, interwebs! Since I am slightly behind on these ” Countdown to Disney’s” I am going to give you two this week to catch up! ( Blame my college schedule). Next week, accompanying this series I am going to start posting videos! I wanted to vlog my entire Disney trip this time around so I wanted to Video the lead up as well! Basically, these new videos are going to accompany and or replace blog posts. However, in most cases, I will try to make a post going more in-depth into the topic than the video

So… without delay lets get into today’s topic!

Today I am going to be talking about Disneybounding and why I think it’s become an essential part of being truly apart of the Disney community.

For those of you that don’t know, Disneybounding is the act of making a Disnecharacter’s’s outfit out of normal clothes that you would wear every day. This involves a lot of color blocking as well as some creativity when it comes to accessories. I’ve done another post about this explaining it more in detail, but I have noticed recently that a lot of the “popular Disney people” in the community have been getting significantly more press for Disneybounds as well as the Disney Style Blog implementing this into their own format on a regular basis.

I think Disneybounding adds a certain level of fan interaction that we haven’t had before. Sure, you can wear your favorite Disney shirt or get those cute family group ones, but it doesn’t have the same effect. Oftentimes, people plan Disneybounds’ far in advance and it takes a certain level of fan dedication and DIY skills in order to make these perfectly crafted custom outfits. I believe that this can enhance your experience in the parks by not only getting some sweet pictures and some compliments from strangers, but interesting character interactions as well. Usually, if a character recognizes that you are dressed like them ( or you mention it) they totally freak out. Especially with the little kids, they go nuts over that stuff.

So I recommend heading over to Pinterest ( I’ll have my link at the bottom of this post, you guys should follow me for some awesome pin boards) and give a Disneybound a try the next time you head to the parks! ( or even just around town to have a fun time )

Well, that’s it for today! Make sure to stay tuned for the rest of the series as well as the videos that will be coming up once a week!

And as always, Be true to your heart,

Lia

( bonus points if you can comment with that hidden song lyric)

Pinterest Link

 

Countdown to Disney: Week 29

Hello, interwebs! Continuing with my ” Countdown to Disney series” I am going to be talking about my top 10 favorite Disney snacks of all time! I am a firm believer that something tastes better because it’s Mickey Shaped! Most of these are snacks but I wanted to include one or two of my favorite lunch foods as well.So without further Delay.. let’s get started.

Side note: These can come from all of the parks I have been to! So that includes Disneyland, Disney World, Tokyo Disney and Disney Paris.

 

10: Main Street Popcorn

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Main street popcorn had to make the list of favorite Disney foods. It’s a classic salty and crunchy treat that everyone loves! ( Unless you are like my boyfriend who hates popcorn)

9: Mango Green Tea Slushie

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I absolutely love this drink on a humid Florida afternoon. This frozen delight can be found at the Joy of Tea in the China Pavillion at Epcot’s World Showcase in Walt Disney World. This drink is sweet with a punch of delicious mango flavor with a little hint of green tea. I know that Joy of Tea is usually mentioned for the Curry Rolls but sometimes you have to show the love for the drinks too.

8: Curry Popcorn

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Tokyo Disneyland is OBSESSED with popcorn. They sell hundreds of different types of popcorn cases and another hundred different types of popcorn. Lots of them were catered more toward the Japanese pallet, ie, Soy sauce and butter, cocoa powder, seaweed and butter and salt and pepper. However, my favorite was this delicious Curry popcorn. It’s sold over by the Sinbad area and the whole place just smells of this aromatic, delicious curry. The popcorn itself has a perfectly spiced curry flavor and was a fun change from the normal popcorn.

 

7: The Lobster Roll

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You might think that this is a weird thing to be in a Disney food list but oh no, this thing is amazing. Over at the Harbor Galley directly across from Haunted Mansion at Disneyland sits this cute quiet place that you can get some amazing soups, loaded baked potatoes, and the lobster roll. This lobster roll is one of my favorite things to get at Disneyland for lunch. It’s perfectly seasoned, not too much mayo and has the perfect hint of lemon and green onion. The bun is almost like a brioche that has been toasted and made crispy and the chips that come with it have this old bay like seasoning that is the perfect pairing to the roll.

6: Tiramisu Ice Cream Bar

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This was my favorite snack I had at Tokyo Disneyland. I am a HUGE Tiramisu nerd and this was the best thing for someone like me, on a super hot Japanese summer day. Honestly, it tastes exactly like you are eating regular old Tiramisu which was pretty mindblowing. If you ever go to the Japanese parks I highly recommend this snack.

5: Mint Julep

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As someone who loves mint and lemonade, this is the best combo of the two. Originally this would be Alcoholic but since it’s Disney, it’s made for everyone. I always love getting this with my Lobster roll for lunch or with Beignets that I will mention later down on the list. Perfect drink for a hot day!

4: Dole Whip

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This couldn’t be a Disney list without mentioning the cult classic, Dole Whip. It’s a dairy-free Pineapple soft serve that can be enjoyed by itself or in a float. This is the perfect Disney snack. It is sweet, tart and creamy. I can’t have a trip to Disneyland without getting one!

3: Jalapeno Cheese Pretzel

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This pretzel was an odd find that I never knew that I would fall in love with. It was on one of my family Christmas trips to Disneyland and we had just got out of cars land semi-late at night so we decided to stop and get a pretzel. The nice lady selling the pretzels after seeing us contemplating our options let us know that the Jalapeno cheese was her favorite. Now, as some background information, my mom HATES spicy food and after mentioning that the lady mentioned ” no guys, seriously, this is amazing you have to try it” she pauses for a moment before adding ” ya know what? it’s on the house you guys need to try this”. So she gave us the pretzel and we have been addicted ever since!

2: Classic Churro

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I couldn’t leave my list without this classic. The picture featured is actually from Tokyo Disneyland and I think that these ones are better than the ones in the American parks. Besides the Mickey shape for cute decoration purposes, it adds a delicious extra crunch that I think adds to the overall experience. They are also smaller and cheaper which means less money but also less sugary guilt!

1: Mickey Beignets

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Of course, my favorite treat has to be the beignets. Like I mentioned earlier I have a little routine with this snacks and it’s certainly something I can’t leave the park without getting. They are perfect and delicious and pillowy and I can’t wait to have them again when I come back home from college in December.

Countdown to Disney: Week 30

Hello interwebs! I’ve been into starting new things as of late so I decided I’d start a new Disney-centered series, Countdown to Disney! My family and I have planned a Disney World Vacation for the end of my school year in May. As a lead up to that, I am going to be blogging every week as a countdown to my trip while providing some information about planning a Disney Vacation, my favorite rides, favorite parks and hotels and much more.

For this first post, I wanted to the Disney tag! This is basically a series of questions so that you guys that are also huge Disney nerds can get an idea of what I like etc.

Without further ado… let’s begin!

    • 1. Favorite Disney movie? Favorite Classic Movie: Peter Pan. I’ve always loved Tinkerbell and Peter Pan so I have to include it. Favorite New(ish) Movie: Wreck it Ralph/ Tangled. I can never choose between the two!

 

    • 2. Walt Disney World or Disneyland? I have to go with Disney World. As much as I have a soft spot for my own backyard of Disneyland, I also have a soft spot for WDW as my family used to go every year for Thanksgiving.

 

    • 3. Favorite Disney character?  Donald Duck or Tinkerbell. Each person in my family has ” their character” that is closest to their personality and is the character they always have on our Cruise Ship door. So that one for me is Tink, but I love seeing Donald in the parks and I always get more Donald merch than Tink.
    • 4. The first Disney movie you remember seeing in the theatres? I wanna say like… Finding Nemo or Cars for some reason… I honestly don’t remember since I’ve seen them all!

 

    • 5. What type of Disney item do you collect the most? (Pins, Vinylmation, dolls, etc.) I am a HUGE pin nerd. If you have been reading my blog for some time you remember seeing the pictures of all of my pins. I have an obsession…

 

    • 6. Your favorite Disney song? ” At last I see the Light” from Tangled. I love it so much because that’s “our song” for my boyfriend and I. Super cute I just love it.
    • 7. Favorite attraction/ride at the parks? Indiana Jones. Ever since I rode that for the first time I cant go to Disneyland without it. A close second is the Haunted Mansion Halloween layover.
    • 8. What is your dream job at Disney? Being a Plaid. For those of you that don’t know a “Plaid” is basically a cast member that gives the guided tours and what not. I know so much random Disney History and what not that being a Plaid would be the coolest thing ever.

 

    • 9. Who’s the park character you never want to miss meeting at the parks? Either Donald or Merida. Merida is really hard to find sometimes so I miss her a lot but she is my favorite so if I see her it just makes my day.
    • 10. What’s your most treasured Disney item? I just recently got this Merida themed Archery Team letterman jacket from Etsy and I am obsessed with it. I did competitive archery for 4 years so having the Disney+Merida+Archery is the coolest thing ever ( plus it’s really soft)

 

    • 11. Which Disney voice actor would you most like to meet? Idina Menzel hands down. My favorite musical of all time is Wicked and I love Frozen as well so getting to meet her would be such a dream.

 

    • 12. Favorite Disney movie that’s not a classic/famous? (ex. Black Cauldron) I think I’m going to go with Black Cauldron. I love how much it reminds me of a game of Dungeons and Dragons.

 

    • 13. If you could say anything to Walt Disney right now, what would it be? I think just how insanely much I admire him. For anyone who has read his biography, he worked so hard and got pushed down so many times but he just kept on going. Also, it was never about the money; he just wanted to do what he loved and I really respect that.

 

    • 14. Your favorite snack to get at the parks? (Churros, Mickey’s Ice Cream Bars, etc.) I recently went to Tokyo Disneyland and they have a Tiramisu Ice Cream Bar which was honestly the best thing ever. But as for a regular thing, I can’t leave the parks without getting my Mickey beignets and a Mint Julep.

 

    • 15. Your favorite parade/show at the parks? Probably the new Mickey’s not so Scary “Boo to you” parade. It’s very entertaining. I normally don’t stay for parade and fireworks so I’d have to get back to you on that.
    • 16. Flounder, Sebastian, or Scuttle? Sebastian! He is so sassy haha

 

    • 17. Your favorite Disney memory? My first time at Walt Disney World walking into the Boardwalk hotel for the first time. I just remember the sheer wonder of the whole place that blew me away.
    • 18. Do you have a favorite pair of Mickey ears? I got a giant Minnie bow from Tokyo Disneyland and I LOVE them.

 

    • 19. If you could, what “forgotten princess” would you add to the official lineup? Kira from Journey to Atlantis. She is SO badass

 

    • 20. Your favorite princes’s dress/outfit? Merida. She is and will always be my favorite princess.

 

    • 21. Your favorite Disney soundtrack? Tangled. I know all of the songs for that ( well I know every Disney song haha) but that is one I always catch myself singing.

 

    • 22. Genie, Abu, Carpet, Iago, or Rajah? Rajah. Who doesn’t love a tiger that acts like a dog?

 

    • 23. Favorite restaurant at the parks? Cape May Cafe at the Boardwalk Resort in Walt Disney World. It is a New England style seafood buffet and it is so amazing it’s making my mouth water just thinking about it.

 

    • 24. How did you first discover the “magic” of Disney? My first time on a Disney Cruise. I just remember walking onto the ship and when they announce your party they say, ” ___ Family Welcome Home” and at that moment my tiny little mind was like ” oh yeah this is home”.

 

    • 25. What attraction are you most likely to go to first when you’re at the parks? Cars. We always love to ride that first thing in the morning its always so crisp and lovely outside it’s just great.
    • 26. Your favorite “iconic” moment? (ex. Ariel on the rock, Aladdin finding the lamp, Rafiki lifting Simba, etc.) ” Pull the lever Kronk” *pulls lever* “WRONG LEVEEERRRR!!!”

 

    • 27. What’s the saddest moment for you in any Disney film? UP. Enough said.
    • 28. Best Disney kiss? Tangled when Eugene is about to die. SO cute~

 

    • 29. If you could live in any world from a Disney movie, which would you choose? Neverland. Come on people: Never grow up, fairies, magic, and FLYING! Sign me up!

 

    • 30. Favorite Disney musical sequence based on spectacle/animation? Never actually seen a Live Disney musical!

 

    • 31. Which Disney princess has the best sidekicks? Mulan for freaking MUSHU. Who wouldn’t want Will Smith as a sassy dragon sidekick?

 

    • 32. If you could have a party themed around any Disney movie, which one would you pick? hmmm. Probably Tangled because that’s the theme I want for my future Disney Wedding…
    • 33. Are you the only one obsessed with Disney in your family? Or does it run in the family? No all of my immediate family is obsessed with Disney. It started with my Dad and eventually went to me.
    • 34. Lumiere, Mrs. Potts, Cogsworth, or Chip? Chip! Such a cute little English gent.

 

    • 35. What are your top five favorite Disney blogs on Tumblr? None

 

    • 36. If you could choose the plot/adaptation for the next Disney movie, what would it be? I’d like to see the universe that all of the movies live in. I know they interact in the parks universe so maybe something about how the Princesses and such get along at the parks when people aren’t there and or when they travel away from the parks what they do.

 

    • 37. Favorite hotel at the parks? The Boardwalk Hotel. I have so many good memories there it is an obvious choice.

 

    • 38. Which Disney movie do you turn to when you’re sad/upset? Brave. It always makes me laugh and I love the whole story and what not.

 

    • 39. The Aladdin show or The Little Mermaid show? Aladdin. I really don’t like The Little Mermaid.

 

    • 40. Do you plan to have/have you had your honeymoon at a Disney park? I will have my Disney wedding so for sure Disney Honeymoon too.

 

    • 41. Favorite piece of Disney clothing/accessory to wear? Again my Merida Jacket I love it so much.

 

    • 42. Post a picture of yourself that’s Disney-related.
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This is a picture from when I went to the parks with my boyfriend for my 18th birthday. I love this picture because it was such an amazing day and this embodies everything I love about going to the parks; being at the happiest place on earth with the people that make me the happiest.

    • 43. Mickey Mouse or Donald Duck? Donald. My phone case right now is a little Donald butt

 

    • 44. What Disney movies/worlds would you like to see in the next Kingdom Hearts game? I never was a big Kingdom Hearts fan

 

  • 45. Which Disney movie, even if it’s not your favorite, will always have a special place in your heart and for what reason? Dumbo. I love the movie but the song always makes me cry uncontrollably so I don’t like it for that reason.

 

Sorry about the long post but I hope everyone liked all of the questions! I tag anyone who wants to do this! Please tag me if you do this because I would LOVE to see your responses!

A Month in Review: September 2017

Hello interwebs! I am back with my usual and beloved ” Month in review series”. So without further delay, let’s get into it.

 

September is always a month of stress. It’s the first month of school which means the first few tests and quizzes and getting into the groove of the new school year. For those of us in college, we are getting used to living in a new place, being an adult, and adjusting to college life in general. With this stress also comes lots of self-discovery, new beginnings, and new adventures for us to explore in the coming months.

If you continually read my blog, you know that for me, September was a month of anxiety. Being in a new place and away from home made me come to terms with new anxiety problems. However, that being said it also lead me to understand the main focus of my anxiety and insecurities and introduced me to new things that I can do to combat those. Along with this, like I mentioned previously, there was a lot of self-discovery. I realized how much I missed doing art and that Japanese wasn’t something that I wanted to spend the rest of my life doing. This gave me not only a calming feeling that I’ve made a good choice but also that my future is more certain and more organized.

As for new beginnings, I am starting a new small business/ artistic venture in creating my own pins. I have loved and collected Disney Pins since I was a small child so when this new craze of Enamel Pins and or Lapel pins I thought it was the perfect way to make those pin creating dreams come true. As of right now, I am only selling them to the students at my college but I will expand if it comes to that. If you want to check them out I will be uploading my designs on the ” Paper Airplane Co.” Facebook page. I am super excited about it and I am interested to see how they all turn out!

For my advice this month, I want to tell you to give yourself time and care. Sometimes it will take you a little longer to do things, a little longer to understand things, and a little longer to figure things out; and that’s okay. We need to realize that everyone does things differently and we shouldn’t compare ourselves to others or put ourselves down because we can’t-do something the same way as someone else. Keep taking care of yourself, keep loving yourself and keep moving forward.

Love and hugs,

Lia

Beauty Review: BH Cosmetics

Hello interwebs! After being sick for the past week I am back with a review of BH cosmetics. If this post is well liked I might go on to do more posts! Without further adieu let’s get into this.

 

BH Cosmetics is a severely underappreciated brand.  For those of you that have never heard of the brand, it is a solely online makeup brand that offers professional quality makeup for extremely low prices. I’ve actually been a long time customer of BHC, their 88 Color Palette is one of the first makeup palettes I ever bought. That being said, they have come a long way from the products and quality that they sold all the way back in 2010. I recently purchased their 120 Color Palette generation 3. It is a mix of vivid brights, neutrals, smokey colors, and shimmers. As always, I was impressed with the color selection. Compared to my old and beloved 88 color palette, this was the queen of BH ( in my experience) the 88 didn’t have as many neutral blending colors as I would have liked and lots of the bright colors weren’t pigmented at all. However, in this new pallet, there was a wide range of colors and most of the ones that I have used thus far were extremely buttery and pigmented.

I actually use this pallet for a daily makeup instead of grabbing my new favorite Urban Decay Naked Heat palette. I can use this for basically any makeup look I want and I can also use it for LARP, Cosplay, and SFX makeup; as I had used the 88 color palette in the past. Recently I used the palette in a look for an Alternative photo shoot that I did with my friend ( all photos are posted on the new facebook page if you would like to see them). I loved the way the look turned out and was really impressed with the shoot. The colors blended perfectly allowing me to create the perfect maroon smokey eye look.

Overall I am very impressed with the growth of this brand. Of course, they will always have a soft spot in my heart but I wouldn’t keep repurchasing if I didn’t think the products were worth the money. Not to mention, they are always having sales on top of their rock bottom prices. I paid $17 for the 120 color palette on sale, which is pretty darn ridiculous ( cheap that is).

That’s all for today hope you guys liked this new post format!

Stay beautiful,

Lia

 

Long Distance Relationships: Living Without Your Personal Therapist

Hello, interwebs! Today I am going to be talking about my experience thus far with my long distance relationship and the struggles we’ve both had along the way. Particularly, I wanted to touch upon the idea of mental illness and how you are deeply affected by the lack of your significant other.

They never said that this was going to be easy. I knew that the moment I left home we would be in an uphill battle that most people had deemed we would lose. We both were very fervent about staying together and we knew that if we worked hard that we would make it out okay. That being said, we underestimated just how difficult it would be not seeing each other every day. In High School, we were around each other constantly with allowed us to share our struggles in school with the other person as well as our mental struggles.  He was always there to stand there and hug me and tell me that everything was going to be okay.

As I’ve started the new school year in college, I was optimistic that my issues with my Anxiety wouldn’t return. I was in a place I loved, surrounded by new friends that truly care about me as well as teachers that were looking out for my well-being and the state of my mental health. At first, I was great. I was going through school like a piece of cake, everything was soaking in; until recently. School started getting tougher and I could feel my anxiety making it more difficult to learn things. Like any dedicated student, I sought out tutors and increased and diversified my studying habits. Even though I did all of these things, I wasn’t getting the results I had hoped for, which of course, allowed my Anxiety to come back in.

Besides school, I’ve always been someone who has been very conscious of my diet. Not in a way that I limit what I eat ( besides the normal trying not to drink soda and what not) I am just conscious of what I eat and try to eat the healthiest I can while still enjoying the food. Now that I am in college, I am very aware of the “freshman 15” which basically stands for Freshman gaining 15 pounds by the end of the first semester because they don’t know how to eat properly. While I was at home if I wanted something I could make it. I cooked all the time, making salads, rice bowls, fish, chicken; anything I wanted to make my body and me feel better. In college, you no longer have that luxury. I have a kitchen downstairs, but that being said, Gordon Ramsey would pass out looking at it ( not exactly built for actually making good food). Therein lies the dilemma, trying to scrounge for healthy foods inside the dining hall, or eating salads for every meal ( not fun). My point being, the lack of healthy foods leads to an anxiousness about the look of my body which in turn makes me want to go to the gym more as well as allowing that not so body positive side of my anxiety to come back.

While I was at home if I wanted something I could make it. I cooked all the time, making salads, rice bowls, fish, chicken; anything I wanted to make my body and me feel better. In college, you no longer have that luxury. I have a kitchen downstairs, but that being said, Gordon Ramsey would pass out looking at it ( not exactly built for actually making good food). Therein lies the dilemma, trying to scrounge for healthy foods inside the dining hall, or eating salads for every meal ( not fun). My point being, the lack of healthy foods leads to an anxiousness about the look of my body which in turn makes me want to go to the gym more as well as allowing that not so body positive side of my anxiety to come back.

After living through this for about a week and a half now, I’ve made some conclusions. One, even without my boyfriend to help me be less anxious and body positive I have some amazing friends that have reached out and cheered me up to make sure that I’m doing okay ( which is really refreshing). Two, I am not perfect nor am I meant to be. I think as a person with an Anxiety disorder, we want ourselves to be perfect in order to make up for the fact that we have a mental illness. However, that’s the point right there – we don’t have to make up for the fact that we have a mental illness- It’s something that is apart of us and we have to accept it and learn to love it like the rest of ourselves. We also have to remind ourselves that we are human and we are not meant to be perfect, it’s just not how we were made. Lastly, the fact that I am communicating with my boyfriend about these struggles and he is too only makes the idea that we really do need each other to survive more prevalent. I know most people would say that is a bad thing but, I’d have to disagree.

I don’t mean to say that I am completely dependent on my boyfriend for emotional support. That being said, it is more of an interdependence. I need him to help with my anxiety and he needs me for his own set of issues and struggles. It allows us to communicate more as a couple and also allows us to remember to open up about our struggles so that your partner can share and help in times of need. As my advice for this post, if you have a significant other or not, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Your friends, family and trusted others are there to help you get through rough times and surmount them with power and confidence, so that you can be the person you want to be. Never be afraid to fail, never be afraid to struggle.

As always with love,

Lia

College Life: Getting used to being yourself

Hello interwebs! I haven’t done a post where I’m just casually talking about things for a while so I thought I’d bring that back today. I wanted to talk about something that has been on my mind lately as I am settling into the routine of college, becoming comfortable with being yourself.

 

For some people, this might have always been easy. For others, it takes us a while to fully be comfortable with showing people who we really are. Whether it is because of insecurities or lack of trust it all comes back to not wanting to share your actual self with the world. I always thought of this as putting on different masks. I’ve grown up being a people pleaser, as most people ( I think) who have had issues with this. We want to please everyone around us so depending on our situations we act and dress in different ways in order to please those people. On top of that, the people who have mental illnesses also create another mask in order to hide symptoms or to seem normal.

All through high school, I wore masks, and I became very good at hiding them. I had a mask for my friends, a mask for my family ( who didn’t yet know of my anxiety issues), a mask for people who didn’t know me, a mask for my teachers and fellow classmates. Every day I would flip through these different personas that I had created in order to somewhat please everyone around me. Toward the end of my senior year, and after I was dating Ian for quite some time, I had become tired of pleasing everyone. I had become tired of faking who I actually was so that my extremely fake friends would kinda tolerate my existence. So I stopped. I stopped pretending to be someone I wasn’t. I started calling people out for not treating me right ( as a friend) and demanded that I had people around me who gave me the same time of day as I did them.

That summer, I felt like I gained a sort of independence. Not so much a physical one, that being a free to be the person I wanted to be, but a mental independence; where I gained the courage and audacity to live life as my genuine self, regardless of who liked me or not.  That is when I left for college. Of course, leaving for college was a nerve wracking experience ( as I have previously mentioned) and that dwindled my new found confidence. However, as I have also mentioned, my campus is a place where people from many different backgrounds reside, leaving a hodgepodge of different interests and fashion styles. Getting to the whole point of why I am writing this, college is a time where you are supposed to be yourself or for that matter, try to figure out who that person is supposed to be. In finding that person, you gain a comfort of being in your own skin which for someone who hasn’t ever had that feeling, it’s utterly exhilarating.

For those people out there who are still struggling with this ( trust me I still am battling with my own self-image every day), I offer some advice. The best thing I can tell you is to fundamentally look at who you are, what you believe in, what you want to become, and who you want to be like. This allows you to figure out who you are as a person as well as looking into some of the things that you want to emulate in your daily life. The next thing I suggest is to stop caring. I mean this in the most genuine and nice way. If you stop caring what other people think about you ( which in college they really don’t care) you start living not for other people, but for yourself. You build a reputation off of the person that you’d want to be friends with and when you are truly yourself like that, the right kinds of people will flock to you.

Of course, there will be bad days, I still question my boyfriend all the time about what he thinks of me. I think it’s almost normal to question the relationships around us. Not because we will know they secretly hate us, rather, because we wish that they will tell us how much they need us. Everyone deserves to be needed, and if you aren’t needed right now, someone will come along who needs you like they need oxygen to breathe. And that will change everything.

Best of luck to everyone out there. Stay kind, stay truthful, stay humble, stay you.

Love and best wishes,

Lia

” You have been worth every letter typed on my keyboard, every breath I take for words. You are the first thing I think of in the morning and the last thing I think of before I fall asleep. You are worth more to me than you will ever understand”

 

 

 

 

 

A Month in review: August 2017

Hello, interwebs! Sorry about this post being late ( college am I right?) I wanted to continue this series as I go on to college so that I can reflect on my goals as a college student as well as sharing some advice that I learn along the way.

August was a crazy month. Leaving home, leaving my boyfriend ( shortly after our one year anniversary), and starting college in a new place far from home. At this point in time, I thought that I would have been emotionally and physically exhausted. However, much to my own pessimistic surprise I am loving life here in college. Like I mentioned in my other post, the first week was this weird time of getting used to campus, getting my routine down and facing some of my anxious fears. The idea of living with another person, having to eat in a hall with lots of other people, and showering in the same room as six other girls terrified me. I was so scared about what people would think about me, if I looked weird or didn’t dress correctly, and if I would make any friends.

The one thing I’ve come to adore about UPS is that everyone here is so nice. Back in High School, there were lots of people I didn’t like ( I mean I’m a pessimist who thinks most humans are scum, which they usually so don’t blame me) and there were lots of people who thought I was weird. Here, everyone is so accepting of everyone’s own uniqueness that well, to be frank, nobody really cares. However, it is in the way that by them not really caring, that they are actually caring. You see it’s not an ” I don’t care about you or your personality/life choices” it’s an ” I care enough to be chill and not make you feel weird about something you might really enjoy”. This idea I think is what makes this campus so much like a large family. We all find the people that like the same things as us and if we find someone who likes something different, we are usually fairly enthusiastic and supportive ( of constructive things of course).

Besides settling into classes and new home life, it was time to settle into college classes. Now, this isn’t my first time attending a college class. In High School, I actually took a dual enrollment Psychology course for Psych 101 and 114 ( for those of you that don’t speak college numbers yet, it means Beginning Psych and Abnormal Psychology) so settling into my classes here wasn’t too much of a challenge. Getting used to getting up and eating breakfast in a new place took some practice but after almost two weeks I’m starting to get the hang of it.

As for settling into a life without Ian, that was really hard. As I’ve mentioned numerous times before; my boyfriend Ian is one of the backbones to my happy existence. I say this in a way that we have come to rely on each other on a deep emotional level that leaving each other felt like a plug being pulled out of a socket. He was excited for me to be going to my dream school, exactly where I wanted to be, with friends he liked and could trust, and in a town where he knew I would be safe. Nevertheless, the whole thing was extremely melancholy. At first, I thought that I would be extremely anxious without being able to see him every day. But as I grew closer to my friends on campus, while still keeping in touch with him constantly, I found a perfect balance where I still felt like he was with me ( just on a more emotional level rather than a physical one).

As for my advice for this month, stay true to yourself. If I have learned nothing else in college it’s that if you are the person you actually are on the inside, the right people will flock toward you. Trying to pretend someone you are not for the sake of pleasing the people around you is bad for your health. Leading a life where you flip from mask to mask just to make people happy is no way to live your life. I am happy being the person I actually am and reveling in the things that I get to do because of that. Never feel pressured to do things that you don’t want to do because of social or parental pressures. Of course, that being said, if it’s something you really have to do then there is always more than one way to solve a problem. In the end, if you aren’t happy, there is something you can do to fix that.

Stay lovely, Stay Kind,

Lia