Friday, February 26, 2016

So you want to go to Walt Disney World... | Pack Like A Pro

A week from today I'll be standing in my closet, scratching my head over which outfits to throw in a bag for our trip to Walt Disney World. Packing for Disney can be somewhat stressful. You don't want to forget anything, you want to pack appropriately, and you want to pack efficiently. I get it! Lucky for us we only have to fit luggage for two people. I can't imagine what it must be like for those that have to pack for more! But to make it a little easier, I've created a packing guide for your (and MY) reference when the time comes.

Clothing: When picking your outfits ALWAYS remember to check the weather. Florida is fickle and you don't want to be sweltering in a sweater or freezing in your shorts. Additionally, I like to take a couple of extra outfits for dinner reservations or to change into after a break from the parks.

Light Weight Jacket: Chances are it could be cooler in the morning and at night. Stay warm by bringing a windbreaker or a light weight jacket that you can tie around your waist during the day.

Rain Jacket/Poncho: Just like temperature fluctuates, your chances for rain can change at the drop of a hat. Be prepared! These also come in handy if you're traveling with splash experience lovers. [Raise your hand if you have ever been personally victimized by the "You only get a little wet" lie. I know I'm not the only one.]

Comfy Shoes: Trust me when I say you are walking a lot. I mean, A LOT. Wear shoes that you can put a few miles on. Also, wear shoes that (in the event of a sudden rain) you can still get around in while they're wet.

Sunglasses/Hat/Visor: It's bright out there. Protect those peepers and make your vacation a little less squinty with one or all of these items. Just remember to hang onto them while enjoying the faster moving attractions!

Sunscreen: Look, they don't call it the Sunshine State for no reason. Being outside all day you're going to get sun. Stay safe and avoid looking like a lobster by bringing the 'screen.

Swimsuit: If you're staying on property you may want some time at the pools at your resort. They're all heated and each resort has a large themed pool that's fun for the kids. Not hitting the pool but love splash attractions? Bring a swimsuit to put on underneath your clothes while at the park. Kali River Rapids doesn't discriminate, folks. You're ALL getting drenched.

Toiletries: You know the drill...Shampoo, Conditioner, Soap/Shower Gel, Toothbrush, Toothpaste, Hairspray, Deodorant, Hair brush/comb, Razor, Shaving Cream/Gel

Medication: Prescribed Meds, Advil/Tylenol, Dramamine (for those who may get motion sickness from an attraction)

Bottled Water: You're allowed to take food and drink into the parks, but definitely take at least a water bottle. You're moving around in the sun for most of the day and you're going to want to stay hydrated!

Extras you may want to have: hand sanitizer, lip balm, snack foods, laundry supplies, bandaids/first aid kit, coffee, pillows, blanket, travel games, external battery charger, camera, insect repellant, wet wipes, umbrella, beach bag, mini cooler, fanny pack, stain stick/wipes/spray.

BEFORE YOU GET IN THE CAR make sure you have...

  • Your resort confirmation
  • Your ticket confirmation
  • Magic Bands (if you received them)
  • Your itinerary/magical extras pamphlet
  • CASH FOR TOLLS (I forget this one way too often).
BEFORE YOU GO TO THE PARK make sure you have...
  • Magic Bands/Key Cards/Ticket Cards
  • Photo ID
  • Credit/Debit/Cash (unless linking to your Magic Band)
  • Cell phone
So there you have it, my crash course in packing. If you thought this was helpful, have items to add to this list, or are just excited about YOUR upcoming trip, let me know in the comments! 

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

So you want to go to Walt Disney World... | Creating Your Magical Getaway

Let's set the scene: You've sat down with your family. You've discussed where you want to vacation. You've decided on Walt Disney World. Now what? Take it from a girl who has been MANY times, there's a lot more that goes into planning a Disney trip than just booking a hotel and buying tickets. Trips like this are expensive, and you want to get it right. So, I'm here to help!

No, I am certainly not claiming to be an expert. There are so many people with an immense amount of knowledge that I don't have. I do, however, know just the right amount to give you this "Disney for Dummies" rundown. Over the next couple of weeks I'll be sharing the basics. I'll be letting you in on how I plan and more importantly, WHY I plan the way I do. We'll talk resorts and tickets and fun extras, dining and events and transportation. Hopefully by the end you'll be equipped with the tools you need to plan your own magical getaway, and THAT is exactly what I'm hoping.

So, you want to go to Walt Disney what?

Now You Budget

Here's the thing about Disney, they offer just about everything and that leaves you with some decisions to make. How long should we go? Where should we stay? What ticket options do we have? What about dining? Luckily for you the Disney Website is fully equipped for you to play around with your choices. You can input various dates, choose from their 25 resort hotels, pick various ticket packages, and even add on extras then total it up without having to spend a dime. Also, if Disney is running any kind of promo or discount this will be factored into your calculations through their site. My suggestion? First decide how much you're willing to spend, then pick options based on your budget.

Resorts, for starters, are grouped by price point. You have your top tier Deluxe Villas and Resorts, then Moderate Resorts, followed by Value Resorts and even Campgrounds.  If you're looking for minimal cost, go with Value. If money is no object, shoot for Deluxe. I tend to float in the Moderate category and have been beyond pleased with everywhere I've stayed so far. Thinking of staying off-property? I won't tell you not to, but I will say there are SO many perks to staying on Disney property. Not only do you get complimentary transportation to and from the parks from any of the resorts, but you also receive customizable Magic Bands (these hold your tickets, room keys, extras you have purchased, and have the option of adding a CC for paying for things throughout the World), AND you get access to Extra Magic Hours (additional time before or after the park closes, only available to Disney resort guests). Long story short, we always stay on property. Always.

[**Side note, places we have personally stayed: Port Orleans Riverside, Coronado Springs, All-Star Music, and Animal Kingdom Lodge. Next on the list: Port Orleans French Quarter]

Next, you have your ticket options. You really get more bang for your buck with the more days you go. For example, a 1-day Magic Kingdom ticket currently runs $105 before tax for ages 10 and up. But a 2-day ticket is $96 a day, 3-day is $91 a day, 4-day is $76 a day and...well, you see where I'm going with this. When deciding on tickets ask yourself these questions: Will we want to go into the parks on Check-In day? Will we want to go into the parks on Check-OUT day? Are we going for an amount of time where we should schedule a day off? Will we want to utilize Park Hopper? Park Hopper, for those who don't know, is a handy little add-on that takes your ticket from a "One Park Per Day" ticket to an "Any Park You Want At Any Time Of The Day" ticket. For a flat rate you can basically visit all four parks in one day for your entire trip. We always get Park Hopper added on.

So, resort and tickets are decided upon. Now for the extras.

Want to have your meals taken care of during your stay? Disney offers three different dining plans to suit your needs. I enjoy getting a dining plan because it takes out the guesswork of having to budget food costs into the money we take.

Want to own ALL of the photos taken of your group by Disney photographers, PLUS ride photos and videos? All available for you to download? Add on the Memory Maker package! Now no one has to be left out of your pictures, nor do you have to awkwardly ask a stranger to take a photo for you.

You can also check for any special events that are taking place during your stay, park tours, extra experiences for the kids (Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boutique and Pirates League) and dessert parties.

Done and done.

Now we BOOK!

$200 down holds your reservation and your trip doesn't need to be fully paid for until 30 days before. Disney has even found a way to make the financial planning and saving side of things a little easier with the Disney Vacation Account. This is a Disney run Savings Account. Set your goal and it breaks down how much you need to save and deposit each week, two weeks, or month to meet your goal. You even have the option of setting up automatic deposits from a checking account!

So there you have it, the basics of planning a Disney trip. If you found this helpful, want to add your own tips, or are just excited about your own upcoming trip, let me know in the comments! I ALWAYS love hearing from you awesome readers. Thanks for joining me during this super special editorial! Stay tuned for MORE Disney related fun!

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Memoire Liquide | Fragrance of Finery

It was my great pleasure to recently be introduced to a fragrance line like none other. With scents and packaging that ooze elegance, Memoire Liquide is a hidden treasure. Established in 1984, this line began as an oil bar in Southern California where customers could come and essentially test and pair different oils to create their very own signature perfumes. Then and still located in Fred Segal, Memoire Liquide acts as a fragrance hub for the stars with celebrity clients such as Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon, Cindy Crawford, Kate Hudson, and even Oprah among many others.

In 2007 came the launch of the Reserve Edition. Five of their most loved fragrances were finally available to the public at large. I had the opportunity to test one of these signature scents for myself: "Amour Liquide." This perfume is a genius blend of Pure Madagascar Vanilla, Tonka Bean and Incense. The sweet and fresh tones make me think of romantic Old Hollywood and the glamour of a time of classic luxury. It wears well all day and I would highly recommend it for yourself AND as a gift! 

If you'd like to snag yourself a package or two, visit their site and just for YOU (my readers) receive 20% off with code: BLOG2016 at checkout. 

Other Available Fragrances:

Encens Liquide - Dry Sake, Amber Resin, Hinoki Incense, White Musk, Black Tea.
Fleur Liquide - Fresh Mimosa, Orange Blossom, Night Blooming Jasmine, Sheer Musk.
Soleil Lquide - Grapefruit, Tangerine, Blood Orange, Neroli Flowers, Sandalwood, WhiteMusk.
Vacances Liquide - Tiare Flowers, Oceanic Accords, Fresh Coconut Milk, Tahitian Vanilla.

Friday, February 19, 2016

A Darling DIY: Glitter Jars

Happy WEEKEND! I hope you all enjoyed your reds and whites for #NationalWineDay yesterday. Lord knows I needed a glass or two! We are in the last two days of being in our current apartment so I've been a busy bee. Moving can be so stressful, even if you are transferring a few hundred feet away. But hey, there's a silver lining in everything and today's post is that for me!

I love getting to start with a clean slate. A fresh palette of a room, if you will. I knew I wanted to do a more "Glam" bathroom at the new apartment but also had an itch to put my own unique signature on it. So I did what any Southern woman would do, and I crafted.

I turned to Pinterest for a little inspiration (because who doesn't?), and found the cutest little glitter makeup brush holders and vases! In a round about way I concocted a list of ingredients, how I thought it should be tackled, and here's the biggest surprise: the recipe actually worked! Even better? I created three gorgeous glasses for a grand total of $13.

Yeah, you read that right. $13. Want the insider info? Well here ya go!

You'll need:
Jars/Vases/Glasses (depending on your preference)
Vase Filler (ex: sand, rocks, your preference again)
Plastic Tupperware Container
Wax Paper

Where to find it:
I snagged each of my glass items (3) and 3 bags of vase filler (one for each container) from the Dollar Store. Spent: $6 and some change

Modpodge and glitter came from Michael's Craft Store. Spent: $6 and some change


1. To begin, grab a plastic container large enough to dip your glassware in and fill it with Modpodge

2. Dip your glassware in the container full of Modpodge. Let some of the excess run off (but not all).

3. Flip your glassware and let the Modpodge run. This will create the dripping look.

4. When you have achieved your desired pattern, GLITTER. THAT. ISH. 

5. Don't be stingy. Your world wants to sparkle. Keep glittering.

6. Okay, stop, now you're just being ridiculous. Set your glassware on a sheet of wax paper to dry. Repeat steps for each item.

7. Let dry for about 2 hours.

Note: If you notice that the Modpodge continues to run, simply keep adding glitter. This happens when there is excess wet glue. The continued glittering will eventually counteract the running.

Other Note: Also, you should do this outside. Trust me, unless you're some kind of craft goddess, because I'm still finding glitter in strange places.

Once your glassware is dry, run it under cool tap water to remove excess glitter, pat dry, then add filler and find a home for your pretty things! 

So who's down for this project? Do you love these little glitter containers? Let me know in the comments! If you make your own I would LOVE to see your finished work! Thanks for reading babes.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Pucker Up Buttercup


It's Valentine's Week and naturally, there's a V-Day inspired look coming at you! A graphic tee is one of the easiest ways to add a little sass to your wardrobe, and whether you're spending Sunday with your other half or your #SQUAD, you're going to LOVE this  top care of Feathered Nest Boutique.

This raglan tee has the prettiest little gold lips embellished with the script "Pucker Up Buttercup." I paired mine with a black skater skirt, gray leg warmers, my black riding boots, and a pop of color red coat to add to the festive look.

Side note, this is probably the SOFTEST shirt that I own.

Double side note, shooting in a snow storm isn't the easiest thing in the world.

But what do YOU think gals? Got any big Valentine's/Galentine's plans? Snag yourself one of these shirts from FNB then chat with me in the comments. And as always, wear what you love, but LOVE who you are!

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Retro Refresh

I've often said I was born in the wrong decade. My guilty pleasure is classic rock (that I collect on vinyl), I dream of cruising in a 1968 Mustang convertible, I LOVE festivals, and the soul of my personal style lives for tie dye, bell sleeves, and breezy hemlines. So, today's look is somewhat of a portrayal of that. 

It's simple really: Swing dress, vest, boots. I paired this super fun black and white tie dye dress (bell sleeves included), with the fluffiest white faux fur vest. My black suede over the knee boots gave the look an edge and a long blue beaded necklace added a little color.

But what do YOU think? Love this look? Do you feel like you're the child of a different decade as well? Let me know in the comments! And as always, wear what you love, but LOVE who you are!

Photos by Kate Davis Photo
Wardrobe care of Muse Boutique