I have arrived!

I realize it’s been quite some time since my last post, but that’s only because I’ve been so busy MOVING TO ANOTHER COUNTRY! I’ve been here for about a month now, which is how long it took me to settle into my new apartment, get a job, register with a doctor, and get my national insurance number (like social security). It has been a long and hectic journey, but I’m so happy to finally be living in Newcastle, the gem of the north-east, says no one… but I love it. It has all the amenities of a big city like London, but it’s small and can easily be explored over the course of a few days. I’m just happy to be back in a place where you don’t need a car! Public transportation in San Diego is practically non-existent and here it’s just the norm! And it’s not sketchy or full of bums like San Francisco, it’s really clean and respectable! In fact, I think I’ve only ever seen one bum since I moved here and he’s very friendly. A definite improvement from my time in San Francisco…

All ready for my long flight!

All ready for my long flight!

Screen Shot 2014-04-08 at 3.56.36 PM

Advertisements

Fun Fact Friday

I have to admit that when it comes to makeup and beauty products, I’m pretty much clueless. I breeze through the drugstore straight to the products that I use, that I’ve been using for years, and I never really stop to look at anything else (which is why I have no idea what the heck BB cream is..). The only beauty product type thing that I’ve always collected is nail polish and I now have shelves and boxes full of it!

Giveaway Box

Giveaway Box

When I sat down to sort through my massive collection I realized that I have quite a few overlapping colors: 3 kinds of bright pink, 2 navy blues, 5 reds, etc. When I move to England next month, I won’t be able to bring along this collected that I’ve created , so I’ve been very gradually attempting to sift through and throw out the bad, give away the good, and keep just a small assortment of basic colors to bring with me overseas.

For Keeps

For Keeps

I’m sad to see the majority go, but I think I’ve kept a few good, basic colors to get me through this difficult time!

Screen Shot 2014-04-08 at 3.56.36 PM

Guest Blog Post: Sydney Dowson, Disneyland Expert

1601091_10202332955018611_7300431676230667828_n

There are few things I love unconditionally in this world: my family, my friends, my dog, and Disney. So, when Cathleen (my best friend and the lovely owner of this blog) asked me to guest blog for her about Disneyland, she must have known she made the right decision. A little background information on me and Cathleen, we met when we were 12 years old in middle school, and on the outside, we couldn’t be more different. However, luckily we were forced to work on a project together, realized that we were essentially one soul split into two, and the rest has just been part of our incredible best friend-ship for 11 years (wow, I feel old now).

646_54075257802_4957_n

 

Disney was one of those contributing factors that we bonded over with many late night Disney movie marathons, and biannual Disneyland trips with her parents. And then, we finally turned 16, got our drivers licenses, saved up our first few paychecks from our crappy minimum wage jobs, bought Disneyland annual passes, and spent the rest of our high school career going to Disneyland practically every week thanks to free period and a quick 50 minute drive. Then we had to go away to college in San Francisco (which I call the Disney dark ages) and it was then that I really realized what a huge part of my life Disneyland truly was. Since those dark ages I actually ended up moving to Orange County and now live ten minutes away from the Disneyland Resort and even work at the Downtown Disney District. So, it is with extreme confidence that I say I am pretty much a Disneyland expert, and am therefor am an extremely credible source for you to take this list of Disneyland Dos and Don’ts from!

DO

– Bring snacks to munch on throughout the day waiting in lines. Trust me on that one.

– Bring your own camera. PhotoPass photographers will take pictures with it as well as their own so if something happens you have double copies.

– Take advantage of the Fast Pass system. If you play it right, you’ll be able to get on everything that you really want to.

– Save Fantasyland rides for AFTER the fireworks if you don’t go straight away early in the morning. Most of the little kids are long gone and asleep by then.

– Eat breakfast in the park. There are so many incredible early morning treats you’ll miss if you don’t.

– Take advantage of the transportation on Main Street. I didn’t discover how awesome it really is until not too long ago.

 

– For the 21+ readers, take advantage of all the bars in Disney California Adventure and in the Disneyland Resort Hotels. You’re day will be much more enjoyable after a Fun Wheel or two.

– Plan your day around the parades, fireworks, and shows. Even if you don’t want to see them, there’s going to be traffic EVERYWHERE.

– Sit in the back row of Big Thunder Mountain and the front of Space Mountain. If you ask POLITELY instead of demand, they’ll move you to the side for three minutes tops and get you in the row you like.

– Go to City Hall and get pins for any occasion.

– Visit the Animation Academy in DCA, there’s so much really cool unique and fun stuff to do in there. Also a good place to take a semi-nap on a hot day.

– Use the single rider line if you don’t mind splitting up with your friends for a minute if the line is too long and/or Fast Passes are gone.

– Take pictures with the characters early in the morning; more of them are out and about then!

– Respect people’s personal bubbles. Being two inches closer isn’t going to change anything.

– DOLE WHIP FLOATS. Enough said. Oh and pickles.

– Go to Toon Town as early as possible. The lines there get really long very quickly and it closes very early as well.

DON’T

– Go with too big of a group. Eating, rides, staying together, not hating each other is all much more difficult with too many people. Especially if it’s a bunch of girls. Trust me, I know from experience.

– Wear heels. Why would you think that’s a good idea? You don’t look cute, you look ridiculous. Especially pushing around a stroller all day.

– Eat at a table service restaurant if you’re not prepared to tip. Yes, Disneyland is expensive, but there is plenty of really good and yummy quick service restaurants throughout the parks that you can eat at while avoiding having to tip anyone. I could go on about this all day, but I’ll leave it at that.

– Wear anything with spikes or studs, no matter how fashionable they are right now. They won’t let you past security. I know it’s ridiculous, but still.

– Sit in the front Big Thunder Mountain. You can’t see anything and it’s so much slower.

– Sit in the middle row of Tower of Terror. Just no.

– Take flash pictures on dark rides. It’s rude and ruins the ambiance.

– Walk around eating turkey legs. If you must indulge in that (ew), sit down and eat like a civilized person. This is not the Stone Age.

So, hopefully if you make your way to the Happiest Place on Earth anytime soon, you’ll keep these tips in mind. And if you’re a Tumblr user like myself, feel free to follow my blog at http://sydieee.tumblr.com/ where I occasionally reblog some pretty cool Disney stuff and more often post pictures including my own Disneyland adventures!

Fun Fact Friday

For the past 13 years I have been collecting pressed pennies (or squished pennies, as I call them). My first was on a trip to Disneyland when I was 10 and, since my favorite Disney movie was Mulan, I got a squished penny with Mushu the dragon. Since then, I have collected squished pennies from all around the world and have already filled up 2 and a half collection books! I’m often surprised by some of the pressed penny machines I find in very random places like the Gettysburg battlefield, the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, the 50,000 year old Meteor Crater in Arizona, San Francisco sourdough bread, and even in other countries like Le Sacre Coeur in Paris and Edinburgh Castle in Scotland.

IMG_7122

IMG_7123

Despite the fact that these pennies are worth nothing more that one cent and I have to pay 50 cents every time I make one, it is still cheaper than any other souvenir you could buy. I will never be able to walk passed a squished penny machine and not use it! Currently I have 84 is my collection which means I’ve spent $42 on this addiction. To be honest, I don’t usually have change so most of the money I’ve used to make these has been bummed off my parents, friends, or boyfriend. He knows how much pennies mean to me so last year from Valentine’s day he bought me this beautiful pressed penny bracelet from Etsy that is made from all of the Alice in Wonderland pennies from Disneyland. It is the best gift I have ever been given!

Screen Shot 2014-03-28 at 11.55.54 AM