A Quarter of a Century (Wild Africa Trek)

Birthday 1

25 times around the sun

Last week I celebrated my birthday and I have to say that it was definitely the most memorable, happiest, greatest birthday that I’ve ever had. To be fair we had a lot of stuff going on, but this was the first year that I felt like time was honored. It was the first year I planned something in advance that I had been wanting to do for a long time, and the first year when I was thrown a little surprise party.

I have always found that I have loved adulthood far more than childhood. My ability to create my own life without any boundaries has created far more happiness than the past gift of zero responsibilities. I get a thrill out of paying my rent every month because I know that I get to live in a city I love, with friends I love, and get up to go to a job that I love.

My intentions this year were to make good on the past saying of: “We should do ____”. Which mostly consisted of my roommates and I talking about things we wanted to do but then never making solid plans or saving for. My birthday was the start of crossing one of those off the list which was The Wild Africa Trek at Animal Kingdom. My Mom, friends, and I all stayed at the Cabins at Fort Wilderness which we had also never done. It was absolutely gorgeous and is now one of my favorite resorts.

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Featured Photo

Happily Ever After (Celine + Brian)

somebody’s getting married!

The four people who read this blog are probably like: “Wow, Kayla. You’ve been writing a lot lately, what’s the deal?” And the real deal is that so much has happened in the past few weeks that has almost changed my entire world view and I have been feeling so lucky and happy that there is no other way for me to express myself than word vomit in the middle of the internet! With that run-on sentence, I urge you to first go HERE and watch this adorable video to preface this extremely sappy post. 

Celine and Brian

That’s right! My babies, my roommates, my best friends, are getting married!!! I’m so lucky to have been apart of this super special part of their lives and be entrusted with the incredible task of keeping the engagement ring safe. Hillary and I were given 3 weeks notice of pending engagement and thank goodness because I don’t think we could have held it in any longer. 

The constant state of stress put on our hearts was almost too much to bear, but nothing could have prepared me for how excited I would really be when the week came around. For reference, I have been in (and in turn attended) precisely 2 weddings. One in which I was a flower girl when I was probably 5, and one which I was a bridesmaid as a teenager, which was awful for various reasons. So let’s just say this is definitely one of the best experiences that I have ever had and I’m so happy to be involved in any way. 

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January Favorites: New Year, Cool Stuff

Win some, lose some, here are my favorites the past 2 months.

Movies

the last jedi

The Last Jedi

Do any other movies need to be on this list? No? Good, because this is actually the only movie I saw in theaters since Thor. There is a lot of heated debate around the Last Jedi. Some points are understandable, others, not so much. My personal thoughts on this movie were that the dialogue was lacking a bit, but I really loved Kylo and Rey’s storyline. I can understand how it could’ve been underwhelming to superfans who spent a year theorizing about the possibility of the plot-twist, but being just a general fan, I was happy.

My personal favorite part of this storyline is that it really showed the flaws and dynamic of all the male protagonists and the strength of the females. Particularly that of Poe, his rise and fall within the resistance and his relationship with Leia was fascinating and wonderful. She was his teacher and within this movie he made mistakes and learned from them.

I also have to say that I really disliked the Rose and Finn storyline. Not them as characters but their romance was odd and unneeded to prove the point of the film. HOWEVER, the cinematography was great, the throne scene was the most epic piece of film I’ve ever witnessed, and the 10 second-silent scene was incredible. We saw this on opening night and went back again Christmas Day.

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Leaders Eat Last

Leaders Eat Last: Notes on Teams

prologue

I’ve said a couple of times before that I’m really inspired by Simon Sinek’s Tedtalks and other interviews. I’ve read one of his other books titled “Start with Why”, but found it to be a little too long and repetitive for my taste. I’m happy to say that this book “Leaders Eat Last” is a little bit more enjoyable and informational than I felt his other book to be. However, if you’re not much of a reader and would prefer to watch his talks online, below is a Talk about the information within this book. I will say that I will probably forgo the rest of his books and just continue to watch his videos since they are more concise and easily digestible.

Still, I wrote a few notes down that I felt were important that I thought I would share with you all!

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November Favorites Thumbnail

November Favorites

movies

coco

Coco Poster

Before we get onto the fun and humorous movie of the month, we’ll start out with some salty tears from Coco. First off, I saw this movie at 11pm, so I was already pretty exhausted after our Thanksgiving feast. Secondly, I was really not expecting to love the Frozen short as much as I did. I knew that I was in for a long night once I started wiping tears away about a snowman.

Coco itself was absolutely astounding. It was visually gorgeous, the music was on point, the voice actor for Miguel was adorable and lovable and all the characters were intriguing and funny. Despite it being fairly obvious now, I did not see the plot twist within the movie and really loved the ending. I wasn’t sure that I was going to cry at all until the last 5 minutes, when you could hear the whole theater gasping and sniffling their noses. This was such a great movie about mexican culture and the day of the dead. I’m so happy that they’ve created such a beautiful film to help represent that culture and I definitely need to go see it again. A 5 star film and my roomates and I agreed that it was on par with Toy Story 3 and I personally felt like it was better than Inside Out!

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Impulse Buys and Moral Dilemmas

the leather DILEMMA

An interesting thing happened to me recently, that I’ve been thinking about for a few days. It led me to this question: When does your personal wants trump your ethics? I’ve been a vegetarian for the last 6 years and, as you can tell from my posts, I’ve started to delve deeper into veganism and ethical purchases on the non-consumable front. My makeup is all cruelty free, my toiletries are mostly eco-friendly, and I don’t really purchase or use items made from animals if I’m aware of it.

However, over the last week Disney announced a new Dooney and Bourke bag, inspired by Disney dogs. I didn’t really care for the color originally, but I loved the pattern and styles of bags. But, being a high-ticket item at $250 and knowing that people were waiting hours to get their hands on them, I filed it away as an item that I wanted and didn’t need.

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Confident with the Cash aka Am I an Adult Yet?

What’s changed

Hey guys! So I’m back on this blog to do a little bit of a different post, kind of based off and expanding on the one I made last year about finances. The horrible, ugly, yet fun, and exciting thing that keep us alive everyday. So, if you’d like some background for this post you can check out my long and old one HERE where I talk about how I graduated college debt-free, bought my cars outright, and basically how I was keeping myself afloat after recently moving into my own apartment. 

But now that some time has passed, I’ve experienced a bit more on the financial front (both good and bad), I thought it was time to update with some more recommendations and what I’m doing to ensure that I don’t have to sell all my belongings in order to live. And most of all because I think financial planning is FUN! There, I said it, you can all shame me for the loser that I am. But, luckily having interest and enjoying financial planning is something that helps protect me in the long run. So, let’s start out with some changes that I’ve made the last year. 

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disneyland

Annual Traditions

Fall-Filled week @ Disneyland

It may have happened over a month ago, and I may be super late, but it was still totally AWESOME!

After moving into an apartment with 3 of my friends after my CP it’s become sort of a family tradition for us to go to Disneyland every year now (apparently). It began in October 2016 with Celine and Brian’s first ever trip, and then as the Fall months came back around we started to get antsy to head back to the better Disney park, so we packed up our bags and headed back a little bit earlier in the year. 

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Oct_Faves_TN

October Faves

movies/tv

The Flash

The Flash on CW 

I’ve never been a big fan of DC in general, but one of my friends recommended this to me a few months ago and I watched the first episode but never continued. Over the past few weeks I’ve finished off Season 1 and it is really addicting. Grant Gustin is a cutie and I love all the supporting cast as well. While I don’t necessarily think the plot is that strong and the CGI can be cringey, the cast really keep this show going. It also features Carlos Valdes who was originally apart of Starkid, so I feel like I need to support it. Season 1 was wild and I haven’t started the next season but I have really enjoyed this.

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