Travel, Uncategorized

Disney 2018: Part One

This post has been a long time in the making but it is finally here!! I decided to break it up into two posts to avoid being super drawn out so without further adieu My Disney Family Vacation 2018

Day One: Magic Kingdom

Our Disney vacations always start at Magic Kingdom, there’s no better way to be immediately immersed into Disney than where it all started. Our first stop was the Crystal Palace for lunch.

Then we went over to Big Thunder Mountain Railroad for our first FastPass of the trip. I was wearing my Magic Kingdom Hiking Club shirt from CF Designs. While we were waiting in line there was a lightning strike in the area and we had to wait for the storm to pass. We figured we should stay under the cover of the building and sat watching the empty cars run by.

One thing that seemed to be a theme for our trip this year was meeting really amazing cast members. One of the CMs we met was working the FastPass line when Big Thunder was shut down. She ended up explaining how they track lightning strikes and how that affects when rides are operating or shut down, it was so interesting to hear about how things operate. She was from Arizona (I personally LOVE that Disney puts hometowns on the name tags, it’s such a good conversation starter) so we were asking her about the weather there and she ended up telling us about the big storms over there- haboobs. She told us they’re crazy but she’s actually driven through one, if you want to learn more (I promise they’re pretty interesting!) here is some info!

We decided to go indoors for our next ride and went over to It’s a Small World. We ended up getting front row seats and our names popped up at the end! How crazy are MagicBands?! Sorry it’s little blurry the yogi in me was distracted by the namaste sign until I noticed this at the last minute.

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Our next FastPass had us back over in Frontierland for Splash Mountain. Here’s my mum in her Splash Mountain shirt from Modern Chic Threads. I personally feel that riding Splash Mountain in/after the rain is the best because you’re already past the fact “you may get wet”.

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Our last FastPass was over at Space Mountain, we had to hit all the mountains in our first day! The exit from Space Mountain was under construction during our stay so we got to see a magical sunset with the castle on our way out!

Can you go to bed in Disney without having dessert first? I don’t think so, so I got a Coco cupcake from the cafeteria in our hotel! I had just watched Coco a few weeks before coming to Disney and I am obsessed. I think it’s such a good story and I love the soundtrack. It’s definitely in my top Disney movies.

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Day Two: Epcot

The biggest decision of World Showcase always seems to be Canada or Mexico. This time we chose to start on the Mexico side and it was not a disappointment! They have redone some of the inside of the pyramid to highlight Disney’s new movie Coco and it was so cool!The best part about Epcot is that Disney creates all of these different pavilions that intrigue people no matter their age. All of the kids were so interested in all of the Coco stuff and that was tied into all of these exhibits about the Day of the Dead.

I’ve always loved the Mexico pavilion because it really feels like you are walking through Mexico (although I’ve never been so I have nothing to compare it to!). All of the stalls inside the pyramid are so cool and one of my favorite things to look at was the carved wooden animals. And of course, how could we pass up the Gran Fiesta Tour!

If you’d rather eat overlooking the lake check out La Hacienda de San Ángel.

One last Mexico fun fact before we head to Norway? IllumiNations is controlled from the top of the pyramid!

Once we got to Norway we had to stop and ride Frozen Ever After. I had very high expectations going into this ride because my whole family loved the Maelstrom ride and I have to say it did not love up to my expectations. It was the same exact ride but instead of looking like you’re in Norway, the replaced everything with Arendelle. Disney had done such a great job transforming the space to look like Norway that when they renovated it to look like Arendelle, it seemed like stuff was missing. While the technology was amazing, ice skating Olaf was too cute, I wouldn’t wait more than 20 minutes for it in the future.

The queue area was a huge upgrade though. The open room where you do most of the waiting is actually where you used to get off Maelstrom. It is decorated just like My favorite part of this ride: in the queue you get to see Oaken, yoo hoo big summer blowout anyone?

We then continued our journey through the pavilions but our next big stop wasn’t until Italy.

The three ovens at Via Napoli.

One of our dining reservations was at a new-to-us restaurant, Via Napoli. Being that two of my main food groups are pasta and pizza I’m very surprised we had never made it there before.

For lunch I got the Penne Arrabiata and it was so good! And for dessert: Zeppole di Caterina. These are deep fried ricotta cheese with whipped cream and chocolate sauce: what more could you need.

We kept walking until we hit Morocco, this is one of my favorite because the architecture is so unique and being from New England it’s truly like nothing I have ever seen before!

From the fountains to the market stalls, I think this is one of the pavilions that you truly feel like you hopped on a plane. While the theming in all of them is stunning, the stores in Morocco don’t feel like a huge place just trying to sell you things, like Mexico it feels like a ton of little shops you would see if you traveled there.

After stopping to get a macaron in France, we continued our journey all the way to Canada, and ended our day in Epcot with Martin Short singing O Canada.

This street is actually split half and half!

Paying tribute to Canada’s English and French history half of this street has English architecture and half has French! My family never really paid attention to the building until we went to Quebec City and saw the Chateau Fortenac. (It’s actually modeled after the Chateau Laurier in Ottawa!)

After stopping by to see my friend Figment and use our FastPasses for the new Soarin’ we headed back to out hotel.

Guess what was waiting for us at the hotel? Lilly ears from SouthernCoastStudio on Etsy! My mom and I ordered matching ears to go with dresses for our family photos! Stay tuned the photos are coming soon!

Day Three: Magic Kingdom

We were back in Magic Kingdom for day three of our vacation for something very exciting! We took the Keys to the Kingdom tour, which was the most amazing thing!

Unfortunately I don’t have any photos from the tour so that Disney can keep the magic but it exceeded all expectations! We had the sweetest tour guide, Kara, who loved Disney so much and her enthusiasm shone through on our tour. The Keys to the Kingdom tour took us down Main Street, on a special Jungle Cruise with Kara as our guide, through the Haunted Mansion, and even under Magic Kingdom. That’s right, I’ve been to the Utilidors. We even learned a secret about Fantasyland employees but I’ll leave that for you guys to learn, should you take the tour!

After our tour I got to meet some Disney instagrammers I’ve been following forever! I had been following Montana (@montanahatfield) since she was a skipper on the Jungle Cruise and then I saw her setting up for the parade! I didn’t really want to go up to her but then my mom made me (thanks Mum!) and I ended up talking to her and she was so sweet! And then she told me Cat (@mainstreet_mermaid) was over by Town Hall! So I went over and started talking to her and her friend Alex came out to say something to her. SO naturally now I’m following Alex too (@alex.on.mainstreet).

It was so fun meeting all of them and talking about different things we had just learned about on the Keys to the Kingdom tour. I love following Disney accounts (cast members/annual pass holders/just your average Disney lovers) because I love seeing the park at different times of year since I’ve only been there when the Halloween decorations are up. Although I used to see the Christmas lights being hung in Hollywood Studios for the Osborne Family Lights, this was still in September though!

How I felt when we decided to stay for the Festival of Fantasy! My dad isn’t a parade person!

During the parade I kept my eyes on the Swan Court because our tour guide Kara’s roommate was dancing!

I don’t think this is her roommate but I love this photo!

We ended our day riding some more attractions and stopping by the purple wall for photos! I love all of the fun walls at Disney but the Purple Wall and the You Are Most Beautiful Wall are my favorites!

The rest of my trip will be up on Monday! Can’t wait for you guys to read it! Let me know some of your favorite things about Disney in the comments!

Have a magical day!

xox,

Marissa

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Friday Faves

My Friday Faves: Vol. IX

Hello friends!

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted my Four Friday Faves but the wait is over!

The four feature photos are not mine but you can click on the links below to be brought to the sites where they came from!

Sincerely Seersucker: blog | instagram

Old Navy: Soft-brushed button front coat

Barnes and Noble: The Woman in Cabin 10

Lilly Pulitzer: Embellished Amber Lynn Sandal

Cheers to a great weekend!

xox,

Marissa

Uncategorized, What I'm Reading

What I’m Reading: Paris for One

One of the last books I read in 2018 was Paris for One and Other Stories by Jojo Moyes.  I was looking for the third book in the Me Before You series when I went to the library but I stumbled upon this instead. 

I’ll start by talking about my love of Paris for One. Moyes did it again, this was both an empowering book about finding yourself and falling in love all at once. 

This was one of those books I wished was a million times longer, even more so because it’s a novella and not a full novel. At the same time though, the story was so well done and as a firm believer in quality over quantity I’m content saying this left me wanting more. Maybe we can compromise on a sequel?

Nell was such a lovable main character and made me want to fly solo. While I’ve never been to Paris, I took five years of French in junior high/high school and it felt familiar going to all of the places I had learned so much about. In ultimate Parisian style, Nell finds herself on the back of a moped to to take in all the city has to offer and you feel like you’re right there with her. 

Nell reminded me of another lovable heroine I read recently. The way the people in Nell’s life talk about her paralleled the way Eleanor Oliphant‘s coworkers talked about her.

My favorite scenes happened along the Seine with the bateaux mouches that glide along the river. I think when my time to travel to the City of Lights I’ll be finding a locally owned boat for my tour 😉

The short stories however, weren’t as special to me. I felt like there really wasn’t enough to them that they stood out to me. My favorite short story was called The Christmas List. This story followed a woman in search of the perfect Christmas gift but has the most unexpected ending. 

I think Moyes is such an excellent romance writer because she uses strong female leads and throws in a little humor here and there. Another thing Moyes incorporates is the use of the classic plot twist, and it’s one that isn’t what you expected and comes when you least expect it.

Let me know what’s in your to be read pile!

Happy reading!

xox, 

Marissa

Lifestyle, Uncategorized, wellness

My January Challenges

On my way to go get a new read!

This January I’m participating in two fun challenges! The first is the Winter Warrior Challenge. This means that every day in the month of January I’m walking/jogging/running/hopping at least 3 miles! I’ve done this for the past three years but I’ve only done 1 mile a day. This year I have my eyes on the prize with three, although there are some people out there doing five!

The other challenge I set for myself is on Goodreads, I’ll be reading 30 books this year! I set the goal of 13 books last year and I ended up reading 15! Between incorporating reading into my everyday routine and not being in school this summer I can’t wait to achieve this goal!

So how’s it going? Four days into the New Year and I’m still in the newlywed phase. Starting the walking challenge was a little difficult and I was lacking all motivation but now that I’ve started I want to see it through. As for my reading challenge: I’ve already finished one. I’ve even found a way to tie these two things together: by walking the 2 miles to the library to pick up new books.

I know there’s a lot of stigma about creating resolutions but I personally feel like if you’re really making a resolution to better yourself and it’s something you’re passionate about, keep going! Don’t let the jokes about how full the gym is this week deter you, you deserve that elliptical as much as anyone else.

What goals and challenges have you set up for yourself this year? Let me know in the comments!

xox,

Marissa

Uncategorized, What I'm Reading

What I’m Reading: Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine

This was an exciting read for me because it was my for my first month in a book club! Not only was this the first book we read, I picked it! We pick two books, one fiction and one nonfiction, and surprisingly, no one wanted to read Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers. So, Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman it is!

I had seen this book floating around #bookstagram for a while now and I definitely was not disappointed when this was our book of the month. I looked it up and I thought it sounded extremely interesting: it’s the story of Eleanor Oliphant who can be described as the exact opposite of a social butterfly. She and the IT guy from her office end up saving a man’s life, and the story only gets more intriguing from there. The rest of the book follows Eleanor as she fan girls over a local musician, navigates her weekly chats with Mummy, and deviates from her weekly routine.

While I did start to predict some of what was in store for Eleanor, Honeyman really knows how to keep readers on their toes. There was not one, but two huge plot twists I did not see coming!

For the first 50 pages I was not as thrilled with the book as I had hoped to be. At first I found Eleanor extremely annoying but slowly and surely I fell in love with her. As I mentioned earlier, Eleanor struggles with social skills, and you don’t learn everything about her at once. It takes the entire novel to learn about Eleanor’s backstory which made it feel all the more real to me. Eleanor doesn’t open up to anyone and it felt like as you kept reading and investing your time in her you earned her trust.

I would definitely recommend this book to anyone! I fell in love with Eleanor Oliphant and she introduced me to someone else to put on my reading list: A Man Called Ove. I heard he and Eleanor have similar quirky personalities and I cannot wait to pick that one up.

Happy reading!

xox,

Marissa

College, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

What I’ve Learned in 2018

2018 has been a huge year for me and I am so thankful for all of the lessons I learned this year. I am so ready to take everything I have learned in order to make 2019 the Year of Marissa!

If you didn’t understand that reference I ask that you shut your laptop immediately and start watching reruns of The Middle on ABC. It’s one of my favorite TV shows and if you didn’t already know… I am Sue Heck.

This photo does not belong to me and comes from Trophy Central

Now that you’ve binged watched all 9 seasons of The Middle let’s get on with the lessons I’ve learned…

Lesson 1: Take time for yourself.

This is something that I have struggled with so much this year and will probably continue to struggle with it in the upcoming year. But it is so important to schedule time for yourself every day. And yes, I said schedule it or else it’s going to get pushed to the bottom of the to do list.

One of the best ways I’ve been able to incorporate this into my studying is to use the Focus Keeper app. It keeps you on task for 25 minutes and gives you a five minute break. After four rounds of staying on task it gives you a longer 25 minute break.

Another way I’ve born able to incorporate “me time” into my everyday routine is to read every morning for 10-20 minutes. Instead of getting up and scrolling through instagram, I read instead!

You also need to plan time for yourself every week in a bigger way! Whether it’s having a movie night with my roommates or going out to dinner with some of my classmates after a huge test it’s so important to have ways to reward yourself for all the hard work you’re putting in.

Lesson 2: Change your perspective.

This is something I only started doing a month before the semester ended but it has definitely changed the way I think about things. There are always things we think we should be doing to feel the most prepared and that often leaves us feeling inadequate. Now I make two lists of things for the day: things I need to get done and things that would benefit me if I could do them today. By avoiding saying I should do this and should do that ad replacing it with things I have to do today and things that would benefit me I avoid the daunting laundry list of things that if I don’t finish them I will end up feeling overwhelmed.

This next one is one I say in someone’s Instagram story that I plan on using this semester. Replace why is this happening to me with what is this trying to teach me?

I firmly believe that by changing the way you look at things, the things you look at change (Wayne Dyer) and I will share any other ways to change your internal dialogue with you as I come across them!

Lesson 3: Believe in yourself.

If I have learned one test taking strategy this semester it is to go into the exam confidently. I performed way better on the five finals I had in six days at the end of the semester than the seven exams I had in seven weeks during the school year.

During our seven weeks of exams, I constantly felt like I wasn’t prepared. I just took a test and then I only had a few days to go through it all again, it seemed never ending. I constantly felt defeated and I was not ready to take whatever test that week entailed, I was caught up in the “should have done this, should have done that” game. During finals I had to adjust my studying pattern, I knew I wouldn’t have the time I thought was adequate because we were squeezing all of these tests into a shorter amount of time. Between accepting that there wasn’t enough time in a day, and realizing I had prepared myself to the best of my ability I went into these tests much more confidently and it paid off!

Another thing is to not compare yourself to others. In an age where social media is everything this is so much easier said than done. When I was asking an upperclassman for advice we were talking about grades and she asked me if I tole people the numbers I got and I said well yeah we always talk about the numbers (pretty much down to the decimal point) when the grades are released. And she told me there’s nothing wrong with talking about how well you’re doing or if you’re struggling in a class but forget about the numbers. In 2021 it won’t matter what I got in each class (as long as it’s above an 83!) and it won’t matter what my class rank is, I’ll still be able to call myself a doctor.

I hope you enjoyed a look into my 2018 and how I’m going to carry those lessons into 2019! One way I am going to stay mindful of these things so I don’t get caught up in all of the stress is to print these three things out and keep them above my desk.

I’m also going to be doing a goal board with my mom before I head back to school so I will keep you updated on that. 2019 is going to be such a big year for me: in May I’ll be graduating and in September I’m going to be moving into an off campus house I’m renting! This next semester is going to be full of a ton of lasts but I can’t wait to see where this year takes me! Let me know what you are leaving in 2018 and what you have to look forward to in 2019!

xox,

Marissa


Style, Uncategorized

A Preppy Penny: Winter Staples

As much as I love searching through stores and picking out my favorite pieces to feature on Sunflowers and Seersucker I realized that’s just not me! In the new year I want to continue blogging and make sure what I put out is the most authentic me possible. That being said, I’m a college student so while I can dream about having a separate closet for all my shoes right now I’m finding the most versatile pieces at the best bargain.

So welcome to my newest fashion series: A Preppy Penny! This series is all about ballin’ on a budget and being fashionable frugal. One of my favorite ways to shop for clothes is by going to consignment stores, I’d like to thank my mom for introducing me to consignment stores because they’ve been a treasure hunt ever since. Since you never know what they are going to have, the trick to consignment stores is finding ones that take in your style. My favorite stores are on the Cape as you can always find Lilly there! For this series I’m going to be searching online for clothes I can share the best deals with you but I encourage you to start looking in consignment stores!

Without further ado… today’s outfit:

You’ve definitely seen this photo before but I love it! My jacket (Gap) and skirt (Loft) were from consignment stores but my sweater is from Banana Republic Factory.

I found a white sweater similar to mine from New York & Co. It’s on sale right now so it’s only $20!

While I couldn’t find a skirt exactly like mine J. Crew Factory had a similar grey and black plaid one for only $24.

Last but not least is the coat! My best suggestion for finding the best price would be to search black tweed coat on Poshmark. I found quite a few for as low as $25-30! I found a similar long coat from

. This is a little more expensive but in my opinion, but it’s important to invest in a good coat because you’ll wear it every day.

One last look at the final product!

Happy shopping! Let me know what good deals you find!

xox,

Marissa

College, College Cooking, Uncategorized

Christmas Crack

I wanted to share a super simple recipe with you guys if you need a last minute thing to bring to a New Year’s Eve party! I made Christmas Crack as a gift for my grandmothers this year but switch out the Christmas bow for silver or gold ribbon and you are all set to ring in the New Year!

Step 1:

Preheat the oven to 350 F

Step 2:

Cover your jelly roll pan (9×13) with aluminum foil. You can spray the aluminum foil with cooking spray to make your life a little easier but I’ve never had trouble peeling it off. Line the tray with saltine crackers.

Step 3:

Start with melting butter on medium heat. Once the butter is melted, mix the butter and sugar in a pot on medium heat. Boil for 3-5 minutes. Keep stirring until it has thickened. You can add 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract here!

Step 4:

Pour the mixture evenly over the saltines. Make sure it reaches the edges!

Step 5:

Bake for 5-10 minutes. Then remove from the oven.

Step 6:

Cover the crackers with chocolate chips. Give the chocolate chips a few minutes to melt and then you can spread to cover the top! Once you’ve spread the chocolate leave in the fridge for at least an hour to cool.

Step 7: Optional

Break up and serve in a mason jar with a cute bow!

Happy baking!

xox,

Marissa

Uncategorized, What I'm Reading

What I’m Reading: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

I had The Guernsey and Literary Potato Peel Pie Society in my To Be Read pile for quite some time now and I wish I had picked it up sooner!

Historical fiction is my favorite genre and one of my favorite time periods to read about is is WWII. You can see there were pretty high expectations to live up to and this book knocked it out of the park! I fell in love with each of the characters and I can say that now Guernsey is on my travel bucket list.

Just to give you a little background information: Guernsey is one of the Channel Islands. It is not part of the U.K., although they are a British Crown dependency. Guernsey was occupied by the German army from 1940 to 1945. The Germans landed there and thought they would sweep through the U.K. only to realize it would not be that simple. The army continued to inhabit Guernsey until the end of the war.

This novel by Shaffer and Barrows follows the life of a writer, Juliet, who published a series of short stories about life during WWII. She is asked to continue writing her Izzy Bickerstaff books but Juliet wants to venture out and create something new. A resident of Guernsey stumbles upon Juliet’s name in a book and suddenly she is pulled into the life of a literary society in the midst of the German occupation.

One of my favorite things about this book was that it takes the form of a series of letters. It’s a narrative you don’t see often and it was a nice change from the usual.

Another thing that I loved about this book was all of the characters. Falling in love with Juliet and all of the residents of Guernsey was so easy and I could have kept reading about them forever.

It does have a movie adaptation on Netflix but I haven’t dared to watch it, the book was that good! If you’ve watched the movie, let me know if you think I should give it a try!

Let me know what you think of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and be sure to leave any book recommendations in the comments!

xox,

Marissa

Lifestyle, Uncategorized

A Day at the Ballet

This purse is from Charming Charlie last year! I bought it right after Christmas for $10! I haven’t been able to find a similar one to link but here are Dooney & Bourke ones to drool over in the meantime.

A recent Christmas tradition my family has started is going to the Boston Ballet’s “The Nutcracker”. It’s such a fun night getting all dressed up to go see the ballet. I grew up dancing so “The Nutcracker” has a special place in my heart, just hearing the music is so exciting.

Our new tradition started my freshman year of college and I remember seeing a poster they had in the lobby showing the amount of physical therapy the dancers get in a season. I had never realized that dance companies have their own physical therapists and I remember thinking, “Only five and a half years until that can be me!” Now, I’m two semesters into physical therapy school and there’s only two and a half years until that can be me!

Outfit details are coming soon in a new blog series I have planned!

As for the ballet itself, no matter how many times I see it I am blown away by the beauty of it. From the snow falling among the dancers at the end of Act I, to the way the skirts flow in Flowers, to the jumps in Russian, and of course the Sugar Plum Fairy, the show is absolutely mesmerizing (although, after watching it for 15 years I know my grandmothers disagree!).

This was my first year getting champagne at the show and may I just say it was the biggest disappointment. I should have known, I’m not a fan of mimosas either (and it’s not the orange juice that’s the problem).

No day in Boston is complete without stopping for food! We went to Quincy Market to grab something to eat and I had to crab a piece of cookie cake from Maggie’s!

Let me know your favorite Christmas traditions in the comments!

xox,

Marissa