TOPSY TURVY

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Disney’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame is dark, enticing, and dramatic. It’s a movie that I’ve enjoyed since I was a child. It’s the only Disney film where a character and I share names. And after finding my beloved Djali bag in a box full of childhood belongings, I knew I had to incorporate it into a DisneyBound.

This birthday, I decided to DisneyBound as Esmeralda from the film. I took inspiration from current trends and made myself a purple ruffle wrap skirt with an aqua-mint waist band to mimic her corset. I borrowed my mom’s peasant blouse, threw on a pink bandana, and added jewelry for a finishing touch.

Many people recognized the bound, and it was even funnier when they would call “Esmeralda!” from across the way. After all, my name is Esmeralda.

TOP: alternative   SCARF: similar    EARRING: similar   SKIRT: Myself   BAG: old

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A DAY IN DESCANSO

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The winter storms this year finally brought relief to California and gave way to beautiful gardens all over the state. While everyone flocked to the desert and the mountains for the floral phenomenon, I chose to go local. Descanso Gardens is a large botanical garden in Los Angeles with acres of native and sourced plants.

There are various gardens with specialty plants, plenty of walking trails, and plenty of places to sit and enjoy the view. There was a slight breeze that day and it carried the beautiful fragrant blossoms and their petals throughout the park. It truly was magical.

TOP: H&M (old)  BOTTOM: similar  SHOES: Sam Edelman

SUNNY SAN DIEGO

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My boyfriend and I finally had a free weekend together, so we spent the day exploring Old Town San Diego before heading over to the Art Institute at Balboa Park in the evening. You could say it was our Valentine’s Day celebration.

Old Town is touristy and gimmicky, but you can’t help and enjoy it’s charm. We spent the majority of the visit walking along the main town strip where you can find shops, restaurants and historic museums. If you’re heading to San Diego make a stop at this historic town before heading into the main town. The train runs right next to the town as well, a good road trip don’t you think?

We had an early dinner & chose one of the many Mexican restaurants at Old Town. Not to our surprise, the food was lacked authenticity. Maybe we chose the wrong restaurant, but we had high expectations for authenticity being in a city so close to the border.

We drove on over to Balboa Park in the evening for an art gallery opening featuring a group of our friends. We didn’t spend enough time wandering through the park. We’re coming back next month for another art opening, that will be featuring my boyfriend, and on this trip, we plan to cover the grounds with enough time.

JACKET: Urban Outfitters  TOP: Zara (alternative)  Skirt: Old Navy   BOOTS: Sam Edelman

NEW INTENTIONS

I can’t help but look ahead to the new year. It’s always an exciting time, the perfect opportunity for a fresh start. I had many ups and downs this past year and I’ve made it a goal to use those moments to learn & move forward.

I hate to admit that there were times where I felt uninspired, unmotivated, and over all unproductive. I have lost the passionate drive that I once had and I even feel foreign in my own personality. I know it is cliche to set resolutions for yourself, but after a year of feeling “lost”, it is something I must do.

I want to feel and be me again. I have big plans for the new year and I’m working toward the direction I want in all areas of my life.

JACKET: Anthropologie  SKIRT: Marks & Spencer (similar)  BOOTS: Sam Edelman

SANTA BABY

Happy Christmas Eve! This holiday season has been a busy one for me. And in times of stress & difficulties, going to Disneyland has been a way for me to de-stress and leave the realities of life for a while. It is my time, my happiness.

You’re never too old to enjoy the spirit of the season either. Especially when it comes to Santa Claus. I got to meet Old St Nic and his elfs on a recent trip to Disney’s California Adventure. He asked me what I wanted for Christmas this year, so I told him. Unfortunately, he couldn’t grant my wish of traveling to all the Disney parks and resorts. He told me that I must ask “the boss” himself, meaning Mickey Mouse. Well, at least I tried.

I hope that you all have a joyous holiday season, regardless of how you celebrate it. May it be full of delicious food, lots of laughter, peace and love.

FAUX FUR  BOMBER: Anthropologie     SKIRT: Marks&Spencer (similar)                                  EARS: Disneyland      BOOTS: Sam Edelman

CHRISTMAS AT HOGWARTS & WHOVILLE

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This faux fur bomber jacket is my go to favorite for the season. I have been looking for a furry cardigan or jacket for a long time. And this cropped one from Anthropologie is exactly what I have been looking for. The cropped style fits well with my body type and doesn’t make me look like a huge marshamallow. It’s not the warmest jacket but it can turn a plain outfit into something more intersting in an instant.

On a recent trip to Universal Studios Hollywood, I wore this jacket from for a festive ‘Whoville’ inspired outfit. I included festive colors and festive prints (using the skirt that I made for last years Fall Dapper Day at Disneyland). But I can honestly say that the jacket really made my outfit. I even got compliments from the Grinch himself.

I felt even more festive while strolling through Hogsmeade. The faux snow on the rooftops of the buildings and the twinkling lights of the shops & the castle at night made for a perfect ambiance to a festive day.

FAUX FUR BOMBER: Anthropologie  SKIRT: DIY

HOLIDAYS AT THE PARK

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TOP: J.Crew (similar)  SKIRT: similar  SCARF: alternative

From the welcoming and joyous decorations on Main Street, to the seasonal foods available at the park, Disneyland is the perfect place to spend the holiday season. If you haven’t been to Disneyland during this time, then I suggest you do!

I took advantage of the beautiful holiday decor around the park to stage my own holiday photoshoot (that included my sister too!). There are many places in the park to take fantastic photos that will compliment your theme or your outfit. I chose to take my photos against the infamous Blue & White Wall just outside of It’s A Small World in Fantasy Land and at ToonTown.

These locations have some of the most playful backdrops. Everything in ToonTown is exaggerated and cartoon-like (hence the name, ToonTown) which will brighten your photos and will even make you appear like a character. At the town’s square, there is a small gazebo platform that is a perfect spot for photos. And the colorful garland adds an extra festive touch too!

Over by It’s A Small World, the Blue & White Wall will fulfill your fantasy. This is one of my favorite backdrops. It’s a bit of fantasy, a bit retro, and lots of fun. The blue and white backdrop perfectly showcases your look and makes it pop on camera. As you can see, the simple backdrop complimented the patterns in my outfit.

Whether your dress is holiday inspired or just another day-in-the-park look, there are many areas around the park to add a sparkle to your photos during the holidays.