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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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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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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August Faves TN

August Faves!

it’s that time again folks, here’s what i have been loving and my favorites of august!

movies/television

Ducktales

I don’t remember watching Ducktales when I was a kid, but living with three Disney-obsessed roommates screaming about David Tennant being Scrooge, I knew that it was on my list. The first episode just recently aired which I linked above and we LOVED it. The theme song is obviously the best part, but I love the animation style, and storyline. It even inspired me to watch some of the older episodes. I’m really excited for this new season to begin.

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July_Faves_TN

July Favorites

I cannot believe August is already here. I remember when Summer started and I was wishing for the Holiday season to roll around at Disney and in just 20 days we will be having our first Mickey’s Not So Scary! But even though July has come to an end, there were a lot of things that I cherished and loved last month!

movies/Television

Spiderman: Homecoming 

Spiderman: Homecoming

I was definitely in the group that collectively sighed when Marvel announced that they had acquired the rights and would be creating another Spiderman movie. I was happy to see Tom Holland in Civil War, but wasn’t sure that I wanted another full-length movie about our web-slinging friend. After going through two sets of actors and sub-par films, I didn’t think I could stand it. BUT. I was wrong.

I was really happy that this movie focused on a new and original story and connected more to the avengers and Marvel Universe. Tom Holland really shined as an actor and was certainly the best Spiderman that I had ever seen on screen. The movie was tremendously hilarious with a lot of good easter eggs from the Marvel Universe and I’m happy to see him in our next Infinity War Trailer. I went on and on about how I wanted to go watch this again in theaters before it disappears.

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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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Passion TN

Follow Your Passion?

so good they can’t ignore you

So Good They Can't Ignore You

I recently read The Productivity Project by Chris Bailey and So Good They Can’t Ignore You by Cal Newport. I did an entire post on Cal’s other book Deep Work which I really loved. When reading these last two books I decided not to write too many notes because you can visit Chris’s site HERE and and neither really had a lot of solid ideas that I haven’t really talked about before.

For Cal’s book (the title of this) it was a collection of stories based around whether people even “had” a passion and if it was worth it to really keep looking for that one “perfectly passionate” job or if putting in the hard work leads to passion. It was an interesting idea and Cal is a big advocate that following your passion is bad advice. His stories chronicle a lot of successful people who created and built the skills needed for a specific job and the passion for the job followed. He also talks a bit about some of his interviewees who actually did follow their so-believed “passion” (in a risky way) and had failed.

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Trader_Joes

When the Universe Talks

Conspiring Design

finding faith…in something

I have never regretted anything in my life. Every wrong turn, every “no”, every disappointment has brought me to where I am. It’s sometimes hard for me to say that I earned anything because while I worked day in and day out, there is always something that turns out in my favor that I had no part in. And I’m not talking about privilege (even though there is some of that).

I’m not religious…at all. And there are times I wish I was. To find comfort in someone beyond myself would be incredible. Some of the most incredible and kind people that I know, take their religion and mold in into goodness. They scream love and I love them. And of course, I also know some religious people, who do the opposite. Who judge, and hate, and are quick to think that the world owes them something because they “follow a religion of love”. But they never seem to get it right.

But even if I sometimes wish I was, I am content that I am. If anything, I think being non-religious has given me the ability to see the world at face value. I think my values align almost more to religion than a lot of people. I don’t smoke, I have never had alcohol, I’m a vegetarian, and I’m fighting my way to make a difference in the environment and my personal life. I try so hard everyday to become a better person and I don’t have a religion to attribute that to.

But that doesn’t mean I’m not spiritual. I feel like I see life in every corner. The sound the wind makes through the trees, the warm sun as I sit by the pool, all the plants filling up our balcony. Long walks through the busy shopping center or the park, the light music of a piano. Even though I don’t believe in God, I still feel the universe standing behind me. An invisible force saying “You’re doing great, you’re kind, you will succeed”.

Everytime I sit quietly during yoga, I feel it telling me that I am on my way. Everytime a child’s face lights up as I make a little bit of magic, I can see life smiling at me. And I can’t help but think the Universe was there for me at all times, but I never noticed it.

F&G

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Adulting & When Life Gets in the Way

THINGS THAT I MISS ABOUT MY OLD LIFE

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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