Full of Yuletide Cheer

While millions were out searching for deals on Black Friday, Patrick and I went to Disneyland to get into the Christmas spirit, do a bit of gift shopping, and say “Hi” to a few characters.

As for our place, it’s all decorated for the holidays, have been for about a week or so. Took about a week to get up actually. I used to wait until after Thanksgiving, but I simply can’t anymore! How about you? Are you the type who decorates for the holidays before or after Thanksgiving?

Sweater: Antique Alley, Portland, Oregon
Skirt & Penny Loafers: Buffalo Exchange
Belt: Nordstorm
Bangles: Here and there…
49’er & Scarf: Don’t remember…
Pin: Disneyland’s Holiday Time Tour, 2014
Purse: Christmas gift from Patrick last year

Thanksgiving at Clifton’s

When Patrick and I heard that Clifton’s was doing a special Thanksgiving meal we instantly decided that is what we were going to do for the holiday. I’m not a huge Thanksgiving person, but that could be a post in itself, so I’ll spare you, and let’s move onto what I wore, and more gorgeous details that can be found inside this historic restaurant.


This last photo is actually a miniature of what the very first Clifton’s, known as Clifton’s Pacific Seas, looked like on the outside. Yes, it had an insane cascading waterfall (take a peek at this vintage photo). And inside it was gorgeously themed to the Pacific Islands with lush tropical plants and more water features!

I hope my fellow American readers had a lovely Thanksgiving, if you chose to celebrate, and to my non-American readers, I hope you had a lovely Thursday!

Dress & Purse: Red Light, Portland, Oregon
Corn Necklace, Jacket, & Algernon the Fox: Antique Alley, Portland, Oregon
Bangles: Buffalo Exchange
Fox Brooch: Gift
Hat: Portland Expo
Shoes: Thrifted

Tune In to Yankee Sweetheart

Recently Lexi of Yankee Sweetheart contacted me asking if I would be interested in reviewing one of her brooches from her jewelry collection. Lexi is a woman with a passion for retro and vintage fashion, and it is visible through both her adorable salon in Victoria, Australia, where she specializes in vintage hair and make-up and in her darling jewelry collection. I selected her “Topping the Charts” radio brooch in mint and pink and wore it out to lunch the other day while running a few errands.

When my brooch arrived, I instantly noticed how adorable and well packaged it was. Inside a bubble envelope was this super cute box that slid to reveal the brooch.

Measuring at two inches long, the brooch is made of smooth, lightweight, but hardy (seriously, there is hardly any give to the antenna portion) acrylic, and the front image is printed right on the acrylic. The backing is applied with a super smooth glue that is invisible, and the brooch is secured with the locking style back.

The design of the radio is fun, and looks almost like it was hand-painted, which I love. Also the little radio feels so animated to me, like I could imagine it bouncing along to my music while we were driving today.

The little radio comes in either a mint body with pink accents, or a pink body with mint accents. She also has a darling flamingo brooch, as well as a flamingo necklace with little palm tree charms. But here’s the awesome part, if you feel like you need to get one of your very own, Lexi is offering a 25% off coupon code for readers, through the end of the year that is! Just use “ATOMIC” to receive the 25% discount!! So check them out now!

Thanks again, Lexi for this opportunity! I hope to see more designs from you in the future!

Blouse: La Bomba, Long Beach, California
Shorts: Buffalo Exchange
Purse: Lux De Ville
Bangles: Here and there…
Brooch: Courtesy of Yankee Sweetheart. Thank you!

Disclaimer: I was offered this brooch in exchange for a fair and honest review. Everything above is my own personal opinion from my experience with Lexi and Yankee Sweetheart.

Season of the Force

As Disney prepares for its upcoming release of the seventh Star Wars film and the development of the new land inspired by the franchise, the Disneyland Resort kicked off “Season of the Force” Monday in Tomorrowland, which involved some heavy changes to the area. Since moving, I am more eager than ever to visit the park on the first day of things, so that way I don’t have to see it on the internet before experiencing it in person, which is what always occurred when we lived in Portland, so Patrick and I were among hundreds of other Star Wars fans who descended on Disneyland bright and early Monday morning.

Just a few weeks prior to the kick off of the Season of the Force, Star Trader, one of the shops in Tomorrowland, began to stock even more Star Wars merchandise, including many items from the Her Universe Star Wars collection. I snagged two of her “costume” dresses, one Han Solo, the other Boba Fett, which I wore for the occasion.

The Boba Fett dress is made sleeveless out of t-shirt material, but, as the day called for wind (so, pardon the hair), and cooler temperatures, I got a little creative and wore a sweater under the dress, giving the illusion of long sleeves. The costume dresses are super cute, and comfy, but I ran into the problem I do with so many garments, both new and vintage, where the waist is too high. I have a lower than average waist, and this is a struggle I am constantly battling, but these two dresses were just too cute, I had to have them.

Love Star Wars and want to know what has changed at the Disneyland Resort? Keep reading for more info and loads of pictures from the Star Wars Launch Bay.

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Fallin’ for Fall

Last year, at Tiki Day, I met a woman through our mutual love of Carmen Miranda, as she was wearing a Carmen Miranda inspired fruit hat, but with Mickey ears attached. I freaked out, and we soon sat down together and chatted the night away at Trader Sam’s. She told me of a meet-up that was happening soon, and basically explained it as a get-together of people who liked dressing vintage and hanging out at Disneyland, and that hopefully it would turn into a monthly thing, a mini Dapper Day of sorts. And one year later, she and I are still friends, the group, simply titled Vintage Visitors, boasts over 900 members, and there are indeed monthly meet-ups, all with themes. I’ve written about a few of them over the last year, the few I was able to attend that is, as work often prevented me from attending, but, now that I have left, I can attend them all! Well, if nothing bigger comes along on the same day that is.

While the first event was holiday themed, this year, as it is still technically fall, we went with a autumn theme, and everyone showed up in beautiful hues of caramel, mustard and crimson. The highlight of the day though was when Dale offered to dance with me. I was so ecstatic! Seriously, it’s not every day you get to dance with a chipmunk in a Christmas hat and sweater!

In the meantime I have hauled out our Christmas boxes, yeah, I decorate early, and begun decorating our place, and I look forward to sharing my decorations with you all in the near future.

Sweater Set: Buffalo Exchange
Jacket: The Clothes Horse, Eugene, Oregon
Nude Fishnets: Oroblu, Nordstorm
Shoes: Miz Mooz
Scarf: Knitted by Carla of Tiny Angry Crafter, and she does commissions!
Chip and Dale Pin: Was a trade
Dooney and Burke Disneyland Purse: Christmas gift from Patrick

Bond…James Bond.

I was first introduced to James Bond at the age of nine. It was 1998, and my dad and I were about to head to Las Vegas for a NASCAR race and he figured I should watch something with Las Vegas in it (this started a life long pattern of watching movies and television that featured locations I would soon be visiting), and he popped in Diamonds are Forever. While hardly the best Bond film out there, I thoroughly enjoyed it (and still do), and it made me look forward to the lights of Las Vegas, and simultaneously got me hooked on James Bond. Fast forward to 2009, where I first saw actor Christoph Waltz in Inglourious Bastards, and I thought “My goodness, wouldn’t he make a great Bond villain?” And just a few years later, Waltz creeps onto the screen as James Bond’s latest nemesis! I was pretty excited, and Bond films always make me want to get gussied up, so may have overdressed for the occasion, but I didn’t care.

This brings me to the notion of being “overdressed”. Which, I honestly never feel is a bad thing. I was brought up in a household where you wore velvet dresses on Christmas morning, never pajamas, and dresses to the theatre (stage productions, that is), and athletic shoes were never worn at restaurants. While I do believe in wearing what you want, I also believe that certain places and certain people deserve a manner of dress. While I will fully admit that what I wore for Spectre falls into the category of being overdressed, I honestly didn’t care. Look, life is a runway, and for most of us, it is the only runway, so don’t ever fear being overdressed.

Coat & Dress: I don’t remember.
Purse: Red Light, Portland, Oregon
Necklace: Made by a friend
Shoes: Farylrobin

Changing Dreams

While I like to shy away from the heavier posts here, there are often some things that alter how I live my life, and therefore how I blog. This week I left my job at Disneyland. This decision is one that I have thought about for a long time, and with my Guest Relations disaster, the decision became easier, because my intended career dreams could not be achieved. Some of you may be wondering why, and some of the reasons I am more than willing to share, especially since I love Disneyland.

Firstly, I want to say it was not the work itself that has prompted this. While I previously mentioned I simply worked in stores, I actually worked a specialized area of stores, the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, where I was a Fairy Godmother-in-Training, transforming children into princesses and knights. This role is extremely unique, involves a lot of Guest interaction, and is super magical, and I really, really enjoyed it. I loved telling stories, sharing knowledge of the Disneyland Resort, and I loved seeing the faces of children and parents light up when the magic mirror was revealed at the end of their transformations. I received a lot of gratitude from families, many saying “You’ve made our day” and that meant a lot to me.

Now, onto the reasons behind my departure. While having a career with the Walt Disney Company was part of the reason we made the move to California, the other part was the fact I was bored in Portland, and California offered a wide range of activity. I severely underestimated that amount of activity. I have never been bored since moving, as every time I turn around there is something to go see or do, and the list of things continues to grow, rather than shrink, which is great! In addition to the long list of places to visit, such as historical sites, filming locations, museums, national parks, and restaurants, there are constantly unique events going on. Take the Halloween season for example. Disneyland, Knott’s Berry Farm, and Universal Studios all offer Halloween events. There is also the Los Angeles Haunted Hayride, ScareLA, the Anaheim Halloween Parade, and Stan Lee’s Comikaze took place Halloween weekend, Hocus Pocus played at the El Capitan in early October, and then Danny Elfman performed his parts of Nightmare Before Christmas live at the Hollywood Bowl, and I am so sad I missed out, as I adore Danny Elfman and Nightmare. Additionally, I really wanted to go with a macabre theme for October for the blog, by visiting local cemeteries, the LA Coroner’s office gift shop, and doing one of the Dearly Departed tours in LA. And when October 31 arrived, I had have done very, very little of this list, in addition to not making a costume for Halloween for the first time in five years. As I look to the new year there are already five, many multi-day, events, that I am already aware of, that I am planning on attending between the beginning of the year and April, some of which are annual events, others are unique, one-time offerings.

As I began missing out on events, both ones I planned on attending, or ones that cropped up at the last minute, I felt crushed at my inability to go. Going to work, while still fun and magical, felt suffocating, and I felt like I had very little control over my life. Part of this is my own fault, as I have had the luxury of either working for myself, or someone I knew very well, and taking time off was easy to arrange, for most of my adult life. I am not used to this situation. Furthermore, the Walt Disney Company is a very large company and does their scheduling based on seniority, and I was still the low man on the totem pole, resulting in being given evening and weekend shifts. The problem is, Patrick works a regular Monday through Friday, nine to five job. Sure, Patrick works from home, but he is contractually obligated to be available during regular work hours, and if he wants to be away for a significant period of time during those hours, that is considered taking time off. However, I am in the unique and rare position that is that I do not need to work for us to make ends meet. So, when I applied to work at Disneyland, it was because I wanted to, not because I needed a job. The job became an unnecessary hoop I have to jump through to do other things, often missing out. This situation limited our time to go out and explore, to attend events, and so on, which is pretty much what our hobbies are. Seriously, take me to a museum or filming location before a bar or club anytime.

I know what some of you are thinking, “Ask for time off, trade shifts, call out sick.” It’s really not that simple. Disney’s scheduling, including requests for time off, is a complex system that I won’t bore you with, but the truth is, often you wouldn’t know if you received time off until the schedule is released. The schedule is always changing as well. Rarely do people work the same exact days and shifts week in and week out. As for trading shifts, as I worked in a specialized area, the pool of people I had to trade from was very small, and not once did anyone trade with me when I asked if anyone was able to. Additionally, trades must be submitted and approved. And calling out has a range of consequences.

While the outcome of my time as a Cast Member is not what I thought it would be, I am so glad I went through this experience. I made so many great friends, and it was nothing short of amazing to make magic. My curiosity of working at Disneyland has been satisfied, and I am happy with that, no matter how brief the experience. Additionally, having been behind the scenes, I feel I can better appreciate and understand Cast Members when I am a Guest; for example, there is a lot of information that Cast Members do not have access to, or are informed of, so when they say they don’t know the answer, I am a little more understanding.

I still love Disneyland, and, yes, I will miss working there, but I can’t put into words the frantic need I have to visit and go do everything I want to do. I have witnessed events that happen yearly suddenly stop happening. I have seen filming locations demolished (for example, the iconic Los Angeles Sixth Street bridge is set to be demolished in January) and museums close. I do not want miss out on something forever over something I do not need to be doing.

What does this mean for the blog? Well, hopefully it means more blogging. With more time I can visit unique locations, learn more things, and then share them with you all. California is literally a playground, especially for the history and movie geek, and I am excited to be able to explore it more.