Monday, January 22, 2018

Travel Decor Wall

Monday, January 22, 2018 23 Comments
Traveling is one of my favorite past times!  Don't believe me?  Check out all my travel posts!  :-)

There is a downside to epic road trips and unplanned adventures, though, and that's souvenirs.  I have a problem...I love souvenirs.  Everywhere I go, I have to get something that reminds me of the place, the time, the adventure, or whatever! 

In addition to loving the act of actually traveling, I love mail.  Every time someone goes on a trip, I ask for a postcard.  I've also had several penpals from all over the world once upon a time, and I've kept all the goodies that they had sent me through the years. 

This has led me to have quite the collection of travel related goodies.  Luckily, my new place has an actual hallway at the top of the stairs that provides plenty of room for all of this:

The Travel Wall: Part 1!  It's part 1 because I still have my keychain and postcard collection to hang up on the other wall.  So. Many. Things.

I found this cute table at Target that was just the right depth for the space.  The drawer fronts also matched my suitcase shelf, which was a huge bonus!

Underneath the table was the perfect space for my little travel pillows and my two teddy bears: one from the Statue of Liberty in 2005 and the other from the Hardrock Cafe in Washington DC in 2000, possibly my oldest travel souvenir!

This suitcase used to be a shadowbox, but when the glass broke I added shelves and turned it into a display for photos and other cool things. 

The decals came from the app Wish, and I surrounded it with pins, scrabble tiles, and other cute things I found.

My current favorite thing here is this little doll set from Momiji.  This is Tilly and Ralph!  Most likely they'll eventually move to my craft room to make room for more travel goodies, but right now they'll stay happily here!  (Not a sponsor by the way, I just love them!)

That's my collection!  My Postcards and Keychains will have a different home that I'll post pictures of when they're done.  Until then, though, how do you display all your souvenirs?  I'd love to know!

Until next time!

Friday, January 12, 2018

"Bee" Healthy First Aid Kit

Friday, January 12, 2018 2 Comments
Today's post is a little older project that I put together for my bumblebee kitchen, but it's still proven quite useful, so I wanted to write about it!

I found this cute little box on clearance at Michaels (I believe...) several years ago.  I loved that it was a little blank slate, so I bought it with no project in mind.

It wasn't until I discovered that I had nowhere to stash my medicine and bandaids that I decided what this little box's purpose would be.  My medicine and first aid has always lived in the kitchen, so I decided to decorate my box to match my bumblebee decor.

If you're wondering why my medicines live in the kitchen and not the bathroom medicine cabinet, I've heard many times that the humidity in bathrooms is very bad for most medications and that they should be stored somewhere with a more stable temperature.  I haven't found a home for them in my new place yet, but I think that they will move to the second floor closet as opposed to the kitchen, as it has the least amount of temperature fluctuation. 

I always have a nice collection of colorful paper, so finding some cute yellow ones to glue on my little box.  I also have a nice collection of buttons, which got glued to the top:

And the final result was this:

Pretty cute right?  These days it's more of a first aid kit, since my medicine collection has expanded from just a bottle of ibuprofen and anti-allergy pills and no longer fits in here.  But it's perfect for bandaids, gauze, tape, and antiseptic creams.  And it's adorable.

Where do your medicines live?  Got any good medicine storage tips?  Let me know in the comments!

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Etsy Roundup: You've Got Mail

Wednesday, January 10, 2018 0 Comments
If anyone knows me, they know one thing for sure.


I don't know if it's because my dad is a mailman or because I love how cute everything mail related can be, but I love it.  Letters, cards, stamps, packages, mailboxes, everything!

Here's a quick roundup of all the cute things I've found on Etsy recently pertaining to my favorite thing ever...MAIL!

(Update: I was just accepted to Etsy's affiliate program and I'm so excited! I love promoting other Etsy creators and their awesome goodies! Being an affiliate means that I will make a small commission if you chose to purchase something below. Thank you for your support of both me and my fellow Etsians!)

From left to right: 1) Vintage Post Office Box Door By Destinationvintage  2) Snail Mail Letter Box By Signshack  3)  Air Mail Trinket Box by KaztielKrafts  4)  Happy Mail Stickers by PlannerPixieCo  5) 9 to 5 Cute Mail Cat Pin by Ririmon  6)  Rustic Mailbox by Rustalgic  7)  Delivery Person Mug by BudderstownGifts  8)  Air Mail Stickers by Azmari

I hope all your mail today is happy mail!

Monday, January 8, 2018

Travel Tips: Disney World for Grown Ups

Monday, January 08, 2018 45 Comments
Disney World is the happiest place on Earth, and not just for kids!  Nick and I went on an amazing couple's get away a few years ago, and it was one of the most memorable, exciting, stress free trips we've gotten to take together.  The woes of the real world just melt away in the Disney Magic!

It was also one of the most fun and stress free trips to plan!  Here are some tips and tricks that I learned that will hopefully help to make your trip as magical as it can be!

(Disclaimer: This post contains some affiliate links, which means I make a small commission if you purchase something from these links.  Thank you for your support!)

Travel in the Off Season

In order to enjoy a Disney World trip without a ton of people and small children running around, you need to go in Disney's off season.  Usually, this means at a time when school is in session, so not in the summer, during a holiday, or during common spring break times.  Going in the off season means that the crowds are less, lines are shorter, and your trip will be more stress free.

We went in February, and it ended up being a great time to go.  The weather was perfect for almost all of the trip, and we never spent too much time in a single line.  It was also nice to leave the snow back in West Virginia for the week!

The Undercover Tourist has a great post about the best times to visit Disney World.  Check it out here to plan the best time for you to visit.

Get the Magic Band

The Disney Magic Band is this cute little bracelet they send you before your trip that makes your life at Disney World very convenient.  Simply scan it at the park to gain entrance, use Fast Passes, and store PhotoPass Photos.  It even serves as the door key to your room! 

You can use the ones they send to you, or buy fancy one in the parks or on Amazon and link your account to it.  I didn't do this, but here are a few I found while browsing on Amazon:

Stay in a Disney Hotel

Speaking of rooms, I highly recommend staying on the resort, especially if you're flying in.  Besides it just being a fun part of the experience, it's also keeps you from having to rent a car and worry about parking.  Disney has a bus that will pick you up from the airport when you arrive and take you back when you leave, as well as fantastic transportation within the parks.  Buses run from all the hotels regularly, are clean, and in our experience rarely late.  There's also the Monorail and ferries available if you stay in certain hotels.

Besides the convenient transportation, staying on site has another big perk.  If you make a purchase at one of the park's shops, they will send it back to your hotel's gift shop for you.  That way you can still shop to your heart's content but don't have to lug around any of the goodies you bought.  Just pick them up when you get back to your hotel!

Leave the Camera at Home

Unless you want to just take pictures and do nothing else, I wouldn't waste the time bringing a camera, especially a bulky expensive one.  I brought my little point and shoot, and I ended up not using it all that much.  It was actually more annoying than anything, and after a while, it just took up space in my bag.  That doesn't mean we didn't take pictures though!  Nick took a ton of pictures on his phone, and most of them turned out better than the ones I took with my actual camera!

One thing we did do and definitely didn't regret was purchase the Photo Pass.  It was one of the most useful extra purchases that we made and I can't recommend it enough.  If you're a couple or if you actually want to have pictures of everyone that's on the trip together, GET THE PHOTO PASS!  There are photo spots all over each of the parks in the most scenic locations with professional (and super fun!) photographers ready to take great pictures.  The photos are stored to your Disney Magic Band with a quick scan and you're back to enjoying your day stress free.

You can also load all of your photos from rides onto your magic bands and have access to them with the PhotoPass.  You can have the unedited version and put fun overlays on them as well!

Besides actually being able to take pictures with you in them, they also give you a ton of stock photos of the parks, parades, characters, and fireworks that are really difficult to get on your own when surrounded by tons of people.  The picture I used at the top of this post is one of the amazing ones they give you for purchasing the pass.  I even had a folder with pictures of cute recipes in mine!

Bring a Backpack

This was something I was on the fence about, because I wasn't sure if I was going to enjoy carrying it around all day.  I bought this cute little backpack (in a print that's not available anymore) from Amazon before we headed out anyway, and it ended up being a very good idea.

Since it was February, the weather was a bit unpredictable, and I wanted a place to stash things like jackets and umbrellas just in case we needed them.  I also ditched my purse in favor of this, since I could walk around with comfortably on my back and only had one thing to worry about.

The best part about Disney is that every single ride we went on had a place to stash bags, and mine fit perfectly with no problems.  So if you're worried about having to leave your bag somewhere in order to enjoy rides, don't!  Disney has you covered.

Things to put in your pack:
  • Wallet
    • I kept mine in the main compartment so no one could slip it out of the pockets.  No problems!
  • Water Bottle
    • Water was something I definitely didn't want to waste my trip money on, so I carried around a reusable one that we filled at water fountains. 
  • Jacket
    • If you go in February like we did, the weather can be a bit chilly in the morning, but it typically was perfect during the day.  Keeping a jacket or hoodie around makes sure you don't freeze when it gets chilly
  • Compact Umbrella
    • It rained on and off one day of our trip, so this was very important.  I got two similar to the ones below and kept them in a plastic bag in my pack.
  • Portable Phone Charger
    • I got the one below because it was shock proof and water proof, but there are tons of these out there.  Whenever our phones would need some juice, I just plugged them in the pocket with this little guy and they could charge while we walked around.
  • Medicine
    • Always good to have around.  I have a case I got at the Container Store years ago, but the one below is similar.  I always keep painkillers, anti diarrheal, antacids, any prescriptions, and a few bandaids in mine.  It's a lifesaver sometimes.


Skip the Park Hopper Pass

The Park Hopper Pass lets you jump around to each park in the same day.  If you're staying for at least four days though, then you don't really need this.  We spent one day in each park and an extra half a day in Magic Kingdom since we had time after our flight.  It was actually perfect and we didn't really feel like we missed out.  That being said though, definitely give yourself time for each park when planning your trip.  All four are worth the time!

Download the App

This App was the best.  You can schedule your Fast Passes, get a map of the park, make dinner reservations, view showtimes, and more.  It was so convenient to have everything on my phone and easily accessible.  It also reminds you of any plans you made online on Disney's main website.

Those are my Disney World Travel Tips!  If you're considering a trip of your own, go for it!  Kids or no kids, it's definitely worth the visit!

Got anymore great Disney travel tips?  I'd love to hear them!  And if you're taking a trip to the happiest place on Earth sometime soon, I hope your time is as magical as mine was!

Friday, January 5, 2018

Contacting my Kitchen Counters

Friday, January 05, 2018 36 Comments
Our new place is amazing, but it does lack a little in the personality department.  Especially the kitchen.

It's a great size and the layout is practical, but it's just a little...


One of my least favorite things about it is the countertops.  They're just soooooo borrrrrrring.  Plus, they've withstood some abuse from previous tenets, but not without some battle scars.


Interestingly enough, while searching Amazon for hole-in-countertop-fixer, I came across something way better.  Something that solved my hole problem and my boring problem.

Contact paper.

Yes, contact paper.  Something that had never occurred to me to use for countertops.  This particular paper is thicker and seems to be much more durable than normal contact paper, so I trusted the reviews and gave it a shot.

I was not disappointed at all.  As a matter of fact, I've been super impressed by how great it's been.  The seams in the paper are basically invisible thanks to the pattern and it's held up to a lot of abuse from us.

Doesn't it look great?  And the best part?  It's removable!  So when I'm ready for a change or we move out, no one will ever know it was there.  Except you guys, of course.

Ready to give it a shot yourself?

Here are some tips:
  • Buy extra.  It took about 3 and a half rolls to do my countertops, and I have a little left over in case something messes up over time.  It's always a good idea to have a little extra. :-)
  • Don't wrap it around corners.  Instead, cut a separate piece.  This makes it look more natural and keeps it from peeling off so easily
  • Use a smoother.  Just trust me on this one.  If you've ever used contact paper before, you know having something to smooth it with is a necessity. 
  • Use an Exacto knife to cut off your excess.  This is also true for any contact paper application.  It just makes it so much easier!
  • USE POTHOLDERS.  Don't sit a sizzling hot pan on this stuff.  We haven't experienced this yet since we always use pot holders out of habit, but I'm sure it will probably melt.  It is just plastic paper after all!
  • Clean it just like you would your regular counters.  It's held up to everything I've thrown at it so far!
If you're interested in giving your own counters a super simple and cheap make over, here's a list of the products I used.  (Disclaimer: These are affiliate links, but I have used these products and love them!)


There is this print as well, and I'm thinking that my bathroom might need some purple countertops:

But I haven't completely settled on that yet. ;-)

Want to Pin this for future reference?  Here's a cuter Pin!

I hope my cute "new" countertops will inspire you guys to give your tired counters a little love.  Even you renters like me!

Until next time!

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