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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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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Valley of Mo'ara

Exploring the World of Pandora

Valley of Mo’Ara

I realized this morning that I’ve never posted anything about Pandora either here or on my youtube channel since the land opened at Animal Kingdom. Mostly because everytime I’ve been it’s either incredibly crowded or too rainy to bring my camera. But I’ve come to change all that because I do have a few pictures from this beautiful land that I would love to show you! First of all make sure you guys check out my flickr HERE to see all these beautiful photos in hi-res!

I’d like to give a shoutout to my beautiful friend and roommate Celine who helped open this incredible world to Animal Kingdom. She’s a complete boss and I’m so proud of her. Therefore a lot of these photos are of her in and her homeland.

Valley of Mo'ara 8

 Valley of Mo'ara 7

Valley of Mo'ara 6

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4th Cover

4th of July – Disney Style

photography vs vlogging

I have to say that between the two I’m not sure which I enjoy more. If you guys didn’t know I still run my youtube channel HERE which you can check out if you’d like. I have a few vlogs up from Disney but recently most of them have been about BOOKS! And when my entire apartment had off for 4th of July I couldn’t decide whether I wanted to take photos, film, or both.

I ended up having to choose just because it was such a hot day filled with shenanigans that I really didn’t want to have to keep switching my lenses. If you didn’t know I only own my kit lens + a 50mm portrait lens and switching them back and forth is a pain and not something I’d like to subject my camera to all day long.

As per usual, I opted for photos! So if you’d like to check out our vlog from that day, make sure to keep an eye on HILLARY’S channel for that video soon.

Getting patriotic

Kayla in front of Spaceship Earth

Hillary Vlogging

CJ & Kayla Spaceship Earth

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Adulting & When Life Gets in the Way


I know it’s been about a month and a half since I’ve written on this blog. I’ve had two posts hanging out, waiting to be posted, but in all honesty the longer they sit there the more I don’t feel like putting them out into the world. One was simply about kindness, but it felt too dramatic, the other about books, but now that I have a youtube channel my blog is in the background.

And with the holidays going on and a list of things getting in the way of being productive, I have been thinking about how different my life is from back home. In both good and bad terms. And by far what I miss the most about working at the library is my ability to preplan my day and the lack of physical exhaustion. It’s true, working on the front line at Disney puts your body to the test and it has made me have to give up some of my favorite activities in order to reserve my energy for work.

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Visiting Disneyland + I have a Youtube Channel!

The happiest place on earth

California Adventure


Back in July my roommates and I made a joke about flying to California and going to Disneyland together. The joke turned into more of a reality when we started looking at flights and hotels in the area. We found a great rate on a Marriott nearby, and flights were high, but doable. And so in August we booked our trip for late October, excited to be there during the Halloween season. This personally would be my 3rd time to Disneyland, but my roommates first (though Hillary has been to Disneyalnd park before).

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Adulthood and the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad paycheck


Whether you’re fresh out of college, well into your first year as an adult, living at home with your parents, or finally out on your own the one thing we all struggle with is our personal finances. There are about a million different tv shows,  books, and websites out there all giving you different advice on what to do with your money. But which one is actually right?

I don’t know the answer to that one either, but as a post-grad myself I thought I’d share a few of my favorite sites and tips for saving money now that you’re paying (most) of your own bills and (unfortunately) student loans. First thing is first: nothing in this is definitive nor is it going to make sense for everyone. You can never look at David Ramsey or Suze Orman and take their advice religiously because everyone’s experiences and situations are different. That goes for anything in this post or any of these sites that I’m going to list. Find what is easiest for you and make it work for your situation.

Where I Came From (College) & Where I’m Going

To add some background to this post, I’m about 7 months out of college. I moved from my home in Kansas all the way down to Sunny Orlando and currently work at Walt Disney World Parks and Resorts Part-Time. I live in a 3 bedroom apartment with 4 of my friends just a couple miles outside of property and suffice to say, pay all of my own bills and expenses. Before I lived at home and commuted to my University and worked as a Part-Time Librarian. Right now I’m mostly living the Full-Time (despite being PT) life, so most days just consists of work. I also have zero debt, which I will discuss below. However, that means I won’t be discussing paying off debt because my experience is limited.

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Life is not the mountain tops, it’s the walking in between

As much as I love my job and working for Disney, the most fun that I’ve had since moving to Orlando has always been when I’m on break talking with my coworkers, the nights when I come home at 10pm and my roommates and I gather in the living room to spend time together, or my full days off. Sometimes that means just  sleeping in and reading my books, or it means going out all day to Universal, Celebration, or a new area and exploring with my friends. I did quite a bit of that as of late as I was finishing up my CP at Hollywood Studios.


Make sure to subscribe to my roommate, Hillary’s youtube channel, she’s super cute and I pop up quite a bit. Celine, Hillary, and I were all off and decided to head to Universal for a girls day, but from the title you can see that we didn’t exactly bring enough umbrellas. We ended up stopping at Florean Fortescue’s Ice Cream Parlor and I tried Earl Grey Lavender Ice Cream and it really does taste like tea. It’s definitely not sweet like vanilla, but I really loved it and you don’t feel so bad for eating ice cream when it tastes like tea. We planned on hitting up the water rides, but by the time the rain passed, we were already soaked. ALSO, if you stop by Madam Malkins, they carry Hermione’s Yule Ball dress, except it’s only in kids sizes…for now.

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Looking Forward

Big news

Shoutout to my beautiful roommate and friend, Celine for the cover photo for this post.

There are a few things that I don’t really post in my blogs immediately about my life. Usually it’s career related, but it is mostly because I am not even sure how things are going to play out. At one point in the Spring I wasn’t even sure if I was going to be staying here at Disney. I don’t want people to think that I absolutely 100% know what I’m going to do all the time, because I don’t. I post the good stuff because me posting about how I’m just waiting to hear is rather useless. That’s boring, nobody cares, everyone has to make those adult decisions.

The good news is, I did decide to stay at Disney. I did end up loving my roommates, I did end up finding an apartment almost immediately with 3 of my best friends (whom last minute even decided to join) and I did end up getting an extension in Photopass. At one point, I thought I was stuck and yet here I am with exactly what I wanted. What a dream!

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Universal June

When New Becomes Normal

When New Becomes Normal

When visiting the most magical place on earth every day becomes normal. And driving to my Orlando apartment becomes normal. And paying my bills every month becomes normal. When waking up without having to go to college becomes normal. When standing out in the sun for 8 hours in 100* heat index becomes normal. When smiling at every guest and waving to every princess and prince becomes normal. And only needing to make plans based around what I want to do becomes normal. When magical becomes normal.

It’s a weird experience to have been here in Orlando for almost 5 months because it feels so much longer than that. I never knew if living here for real would ever feel “normal” or if I’d always have that uneasiness about living 1200 miles from where I grew up. And when I say normal, I don’t mean to say that it becomes boring. It becomes familiar, and fun, and I feel like I’m apart of it.

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