8 Essentials That You Need In Your Travel Makeup Kit

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I am wholeheartedly guilty of wanting to bring all my makeup with me on vacation. I want to bring every lipstick, because there's always a chance that I might need that bright pink shade for a day. On my last trip to sunny Florida, I brought two whole makeup bags with foundations, concealers, multiple mascaras and powders, and then proceeded to use about three products the entire trip. The weather was too muggy for foundation, and just about any other product that I attempted to apply ran down my face in the sun. I wasted SO much space in my bag toting all the makeup in the world with me, when I couldn't even use it. That's when I realized that I needed to make a list of the essentials and stick with it. It would keep my time getting ready in the morning short and sweet, and my bag light. 

1. Waterproof Mascara - This is a product that I almost felt afraid of for a long time. I am addicted to my Urban Decay mascara and felt a little sad parting with it for this trip, but it has been so worth it. I had no smudges under my eyes and my lashes looked full for the entire day in the sun. I prefer Bella Pierre Volume Lash, which you can get for 5 dollars and some change on Amazon!

2. Neutrogena Makeup Remover Wipes - Literal godsend for me. These take all the makeup off at the end of the day, even matte lipsticks and waterproof mascara. After a day running around, this takes out the step of showering or washing your face to remove the makeup. I stash these just about everywhere, they're just that good.

3. Waterproof Eyeliner - Once again, keeps you smudge free and sharp all day. My eyeliner tends to run just like mascara, so having a product that stays put while I'm out and about is so important. I am in love with Kat Von D's Trooper liner, it stays all day long and the applicator is amazing. 

4. Oil Blotting Sheets - Another godsend. When you're traveling to warmer climates, it helps to have something to help clean up your skin midway through the day. I have combination skin, so this really helps me touch my face up without using a powder. I prefer the Clean & Clear sheets, I keep a pack in my bag for whenever I need them. 

5. Lipstick - If you aren't a lipstick person, you can leave this one out. I admittedly will pack up about ten of my favorites to take with me, but since they're smaller I can easily pack multiples. I am in love with Kat Von D's Everlasting Lipsticks. The pigmentation is incredible, it goes on smooth, and isn't over the top drying for a liquid matte lipstick. They stay all day and are my go to lipstick. 

6. Face Wash - While this may seem almost painfully obvious, a good facial wash eliminates so many problems in the future. I have been using Purity Made Simple by Philosophy for years now, and it is amazing. It's non drying, has a simple fragrance and lasts me ages. 

7. Lip Balm - After being in the sun, wearing lipsticks, and just general wear and tear, at the end of the day, you need a good balm to help bring your lips back to life. I put a balm on nightly to avoid dryness, and I love the Jack Black Balm. 

8. Moisturizer - This is an absolute must. I am in love with Cetaphil for my skin, its affordable, and you get a ton in the tub. I use the Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream for Dry/Sensitive skin and I love it. 

Whats in your makeup bag when you travel? Any essential items you can't live without? Let me know in the comment section below!



8 Travel Essentials Everyone Needs in Their Bag! - CastlesandContours.com

8 Travel Essentials Everyone Needs in Their Bag! - CastlesandContours.com

A Visit to Basin White at Disney's Grand Floridian

There is always something so special about visiting the Grand Floridian at Disney World. I guess that I personally romance it as a dream vacation that I aspire to have one day, so when I get to visit and just wander, it's always a lovely day. On my last trip, my mother and I decided to have a day just visiting the resorts, so we hopped on the monorail and ended up at Basin White, a luxury bath products store that is on the second floor of the Grand Floridian. It's pretty hard to miss, as its located directly next to the doors once you enter coming off the Grand Floridian. 

Doesn't it look perfect?!

Doesn't it look perfect?!

Lord. This store is something straight out of my dreams. I love the black and white decor, bright lights, and products displayed beautifully. I wholeheartedly went in without planning to purchase anything, and within seconds, I just realized that it wouldn't be possible for me. The smell in this shop is phenomenal, and a billion times better than Lush to me. While they don't boast as many products as Lush, this shop definitely felt way more luxe, fitting well into the Grand Floridian Resort. 

Shampoo bars! Who would've thought? 

Shampoo bars! Who would've thought? 

This place had me like a kid in a candy store. All of the products are so colorful, with some even featuring tiny Disney motifs. My mother and I were gasping at just about everything because everything was so over the top adorable. 

The amount of bath bombs in this store is insane. I'm obsessed with bath bombs like the rest of the world, but I was afraid that if I picked one up, it wouldn't survive my flight back home. However, they also offer a product that they call "Bath Bomb Marbles" which are teeny tiny bath bombs that you can mix and match for about $5. I picked out some favorite scents, as well as picked up some soap samples. 



Another incredible thing that they offer in store is a sink to test out hand scrubs. Let me tell you, once you've been in the parks for a couple days, something that pampers you a little is so welcome. We selected a scrub, and our hands felt amazing for the rest of the day.

Another super affordable option that Basin White offers is a station to make your own bath salts! The salts are all in super pretty glass containers, and you get to select different scents to mix together in a vial. I just think its really fun to get to have a little DIY moment with the bath salts and get to personalize your own product to take home. 

I'd be remiss if I failed to mention the cast members that were staffed in Basin White. The ladies that helped my mother and I were over the top sweet and helpful. We only had about eight billion questions for them, and they knew it all!

We really had a ton of fun getting to visit Basin White in Orlando. Have you stayed at the Grand Floridian and spent some time in this shop? Just visited the shop while on vacation? Let me know in the comments! 



Pin me for later - A Vist to Basin White at Disney's Grand Floridian 

Pin me for later - A Vist to Basin White at Disney's Grand Floridian 

Happily Ever After Dessert Party Review - Fireworks, Treats and More!

Once Wishes was announced to be leaving the Magic Kingdom back in May, it also took the Wishes Dessert Party with it. I never had a chance in the past to attend the party, but was always jealous of the people who got to watch the fireworks from a near perfect area, eat all the yummy desserts, and just relax while everyone else mulled around trying to find a spot for their family to watch in front of the castle. Happily Ever After began its run and brought along a new party; still with the desserts but now themed for the new show. I booked a reservation for my mother and I to celebrate Mother's Day on our June trip. 

Our reservation was at 7:45, but we were allowed onto the patio at about 7:20, where we were escorted to our table and given a wristband that would allow us in and out of the party area as needed. The patio also has its own restroom, which is awesome when all the bathrooms in the park around fireworks tend to get packed full. 

While I felt silly with so many things on one wrist, it was nice to be able to leave the area if need be and get back in with ease using the wrist bands provided. 

While I felt silly with so many things on one wrist, it was nice to be able to leave the area if need be and get back in with ease using the wrist bands provided. 

The spread of desserts at the party is unreal. They offer you a flute of sparkling apple cider once you arrive, and have loads of cupcakes, macarons, fruits, ice cream, and an assortment of drinks to try out. 

A cold flute of sparkling cider after a long day in the parks is really amazing. 

A cold flute of sparkling cider after a long day in the parks is really amazing. 

All of the dessert carts were totally rebranded for the new show, and are totally cute!


They had pre-prepared plates for the kids with brownies, rice crispies and more with melted chocolate dipping sauces, complete with Mickey straws to go with the drinks. 

They also offered trays of fruits and cheeses as some healthier choices for guests. It was nice to have some fruit with all of the cupcakes and cookies!

One of the first desserts I tried was the Oreo Mickey Treat, which is an Oreo cookie topped with a cookies and cream mouse and a few chocolate discs. These were so delicious and I wish I had snagged a few more while we were there. 

I love red velvet, and they had cupcakes themed with the colors from Happily Ever After! They were so cute and iced perfectly with yummy frosting.

They also had mini cheese cakes and strawberry tarts. I did not try either of these treats, but my mom loved them. It's nice to have some desserts that aren't just cupcakes!

They also had an assortment of macarons in all sorts of flavors. These desserts are really trendy right now, and I loved how colorful they were. 

They also had some smores inspired tarts! These were also adorable and super yummy!

The last cupcake that they offered was a classic cupcake with purple frosting and chocolate chips on top. The icing on this cupcake was a little on the heavy side and wasn't my favorite, but they were still cute and yummy.

While I'm not really one for chocolate covered fruit, the chocolate covered strawberries that they had were huge, and beautiful. My mom enjoyed a few of them since the party has a dessert buffet!

In addition to the apple cider, they also provide coffee, tea, lemonade and iced water to drink. I'm sure that if you preferred a different beverage that the cast members would be happy to get it for you. The service from the cast members at this event is unparalleled and over the top amazing. They make you feel so special as soon as you arrive and throughout the entire event as well. 

Once it was about 8:30 or so, they began to escort us over to the garden where we would be watching the fireworks from. The reserved location is to the right side of the hub with a near perfect view of the castle. Since the whole area is reserved, there is plenty of room to walk around or sit to watch the fireworks. This is such a treat because the hub is usually packed so tightly with people that you're up against total strangers.

Going to a "private event" in the Magic Kingdom felt so fancy!

Going to a "private event" in the Magic Kingdom felt so fancy!

Cast members stand near the entrance of the area in order to keep guests clear from the area who did not attend the party. While everything around us got crazy, we got to sit and relax while we waited for the fireworks. It was nice for my mother who is a photographer to have lots of space for her tripod and to not have to worry about it being knocked over by another guest not paying attention.

Overall, my experience with the Happily Ever After Dessert Party was incredible and I would totally recommend it to anyone looking for a special treat while on vacation. While it can be a bit pricey, I felt that it was totally worth the expense.

Have you tried the Happily Ever After Dessert party? Did you love it too? Let me know in the comments!





Pin me for later!

Pin me for later!

Enjoying Kakigori in Japan - Disney's Epcot Center

I love almost anything that has to do with Japan; I love the movies, culture, fashion, and the food. I love travel vlogs that people film in the Japan Disney Parks and I am just about destined to visit one in the next few years. For now, I'll just have to allow the Japan Pavilion in Epcot to tide me over.

Before I left for this last trip, I spent a while searching for the best foods to try around the countries. A desert called kakigori came up over and over in other people's favorites, and I was intrigued. I had never heard of kakigori before, but many described it as a yummy and sweet shaved ice that has syrup poured over the top. Some people opt for sweet milk on top to also add a little extra flavor. I included kakigori in my bucket list for this list, and before I knew it, we were in the parks, and passing the stand that sells kakigori.


The stand is between the American Experience and Japan Pavilion, selling drinks along with kakigori. I picked up a strawberry flavored kakigori but decided against the sweet milk for the time being. This dessert was so refreshing and cool in the sun, but you need to eat it quickly or it will melt down quickly. I think that this would be a perfect treat for everyone, including picky kids, because of how candy sweet it is. One kakigori is plenty for a few people to share and cool off with as well. I paid four dollars and some change which was a bargain for most treats in Disney, especially since a few people can share. I shared mine with my mother while we checked out the koi ponds and did some people watching on a bench. It was a perfectly refreshing treat on a beautiful day in Epcot!

Have you ever tried treats from around the world in Epcot? What's your favorite?



Meeting Star Lord and Baby Groot - Disney's Hollywood Studios

I have to admit that I was pretty upset in hearing that Moana would no longer be meeting at One Man's Dream. We all fell head over heels in love with Moana's story, but when I heard that Baby Groot and Star Lord would be making their appearance, I wasn't too sad anymore. I recently really started getting into all the Marvel movies and with the release of the second Guardians of the Galaxy movie, it was only fair that these two got their moment in the parks. 

The day that we visited was hot, humid, and without a single breeze. Being in Florida, this is expected, but with a half hour until our next Fastpass, this was a much welcomed reprieve from the sun beating down on us. One Man's Dream is interesting in its own rite, so we took a stroll through the exhibit, taking some time to learn a little about Walt himself while headed to the queue. 

I expected the line to be on the long side with the recent release of the film, but the signs said that it would just be about a half hour until we could meet and have some photos taken. Fair enough, so we got into line. The queue is decorated with images of space, with the line being guided along arrows drawn on the floor. Like almost all queues, the air conditioning was glorious. It was nice and quiet, and the line moved along quickly. We maybe waited for 15 minutes before we were taken through a doorway to wait our turn to meet the two. 

First things first, Baby Groot is so so cute. He chatters and dances while Star Lord talks to him. I loved this little interaction and it really helped to make the experience more fun. While my mother isn't too familiar with the film (she called it Masters of the Universe which killed me), she even enjoyed getting to meet cute little Groot and Star Lord. The personality of these two totally came through which was amazing. 


I have to admit though, I am a bit of a skeptic when it comes to face characters that are playing people who in live action movies. I am totally in love with Chris Pratt, so I was a bit leery of the meet and greet in general because I was worried about the authenticity to the film that the meet and greet would provide. However, I was not disappointed. Both of them were spot on!

Have you met these two in Hollywood Studios yet? Loved the experience, or were a little less pleased? Let me know in the comments below!




Parks + Anxiety - Mental Health Awareness Month

I've had full intentions on getting in a post during May about mental health. May is Mental Health Awareness month, and with about one in four people suffering from a mental illness at some point in their life, it is a super important month! As someone who was diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder at a fairly young age, I have to hold this month to heart because there is such a huge stigma associated with mental illnesses. With a little more awareness, people may begin to understand a little better. 

For the last ten years or so, my family has made frequent trips to Disney World for vacations. This was right about when all my anxiety came to the forefront, and to be honest, I was terrified of Disney for a while. The crowds, heat, and noise all left me feeling overwhelmed, cranky, and exhausted. If you know me now, then you'd be shocked to ever hear that I didn't want to go to the parks. Thankfully, I've spent a fair amount of time hashing out what helps when I'm feeling off, and I would love to share with you all of my tips and tricks!

If a trip to Disney (or any amusement park, for that matter) is on the horizon and stressing you out, fear not! There are so many ways to ease the anxiety no matter where you're traveling. One of the most important things for me when I go into the parks is that I am in open communication with my family about how I am feeling, and when things start to slide downhill. My family has been on this ride with me the whole time, and when you start to feel anxious, sometimes a hand squeeze or a hug can make all the difference. I always communicate with my mother before hand about how I expect to feel, and what I'm going to do in the event of a panic/anxiety attack. We have it down to a science almost in Disney, and knowing that I can find a quiet space if I need to is super comforting.

Another thing that is super important to me is that my phone is charged. If I have to break off from my group, I need to be able to get in contact with them later on! It also is super helpful to have guided meditation on your phone, so that when you find a quiet spot, you can calm down quickly. I also love games that can help to distract me from the commotion too. Portable chargers are available everywhere now, and I carry one everywhere in the parks, so I never have to worry about losing a charge. 

Hydration is something that people often overlook because they are so excited to see what the park has to offer. While it seems super basic, drinking water all day helps just about anyone to feel their best in warm, humid weather. Having a headache or feeling sick does nothing to ease anxiety, so I prefer to avoid it all together by staying hydrated. Water is so available, all you have to do is find the nearest stand or quick service and ask for an ice water. They'll give you a big cup for free!

Something that really gives me peace of mind is knowing little corners of the park that I can sit when I feel overwhelmed that are a bit off the beaten path and a little quieter. If you're headed to Disney World in Orlando, I love hanging out on the wall that is at the entrance to Storybook Circus, the area surrounding the Jungle Cruise in Adventure Land, and the Tangled themed area in Fantasy Land. I like to grab a water or snack, get comfortable, and watch the people and families walk by. I can do some deep breathing, post some pictures on Insta and come back to a baseline. 

Getting to the parks when they first open can help to beat some crowds. While I am absolutely not a morning person, in Disney, I have to be. The weather is a tad more mild in the morning, I feel rested and much more able to keep myself in check. Morning is my favorite time to be in Disney, because of short lines, and breakfast in Disney is always the best. Grab a coffee and donut from Joffrey's at the Ticket and Transportation Center and you'll be ready to go!

I hope that my experience within the parks can help you on your next trip, whether having anxiety or not! Downtime can help everyone on an amusement park trips.

If you know someone who suffers from chronic anxiety, just offer your love and support. It totally means the world to us!




*Free* Disney World Packing Printable Download

printable .jpg I'm a fan of anything printable, especially lists! As a seasoned Disney World traveler (and Annual Passholder), this is the list that I use when traveling and looking to bring the things that I actually need once I get to the parks.


Click Here to Download!

Is there anything that is a must have when you travel to the parks? Comment below!



My Favorite Snacks in Walt Disney World

cover.jpg If you know me at all, you know that my family and I spend an almost disgusting amount of time in Walt Disney World, and we've definitely eaten our fair share of snacks in all the parks. It's cheaper to bring food to eat for meals, but its nearly impossible to not buy some of the adorable snacks that the park has to offer. I'm a sucker for anything that is cute, packaged cute, or is Disney themed. Rest in peace bank account.


While this may not be a "snack" per say, we had a reservation for an early morning visit to Be Our Guest, a totally gorgeous newer restaurant thats tucked nicely in the back of Fantasyland. The meals are over the top expensive, so we opted to order cupcakes and enjoy the pastries that the servers brought out with our order. It may be unconventional, we saved some cash and still had some early morning magic.


Back to legitimate snacks, the trip isn't complete without Dole Whips. I know a lot of people haven't tried them, and its total insanity to my whole family. We need to pick up a couple at least once while we're in the parks, as they are only available within Adventureland and at the Polynesian Resort. We've had knock off Dole Whips at Menchie's Frozen Yogurt, but it isn't the same. If you haven't had one yet, you need to try one on your next trip.

dole whip.jpg

The Main Street Confectionary is adorable.  While we don't always buy snack here, I couldn't help but look at all the cute snacks that they had to offer there on my last trip. We've had the Mickey Mouse Candy Apples in the past and they were too cute and yummy. It's a great little spot to cool off during the day, and you can watch the cast members make cotton candy and the sweets!


There are a bunch of little Joffrey's coffee stands through out the parks and right by the monorail at the Ticket and Transportation Center. This was my first trip picking up one of Joffrey's donuts. They're around the size of my head, and totally yummy.


I'm not going to lie, these were my breakfast on more than one occasion because they're pretty cheap, and super yummy. The youngest with us is OBSESSED with these donuts, and had us tracking them down for snacks.


While the parks do pump in scents near the food stands to make you want to buy snacks, I'm a sucker for the popcorn buckets. The buckets are always adorable, and are refillable for your entire stay for only $1.50, which makes for almost endless snacking for me. I picked up my Christmas bucket in Epcot, and got my refills in the parks the rest of my stay. Well worth the money.


On the last day of our trip, we picked up some frozen treats to cool off in the sun. Another must have, my mother had a Mickey Premium Ice Cream Bar and the youngest had a frozen lemonade. I had a bite of both, and it was a great end to our trip.

ice cream.jpg

I hope these are some affordable and yummy options to try on your next trip back to WDW!  If you've tried these before, feel free to leave a comment, or let me know what your favorite treat is in the parks!



Emily's Travel Diary - Disney World Day 1

Over the holidays, my family and myself made our way back to our favorite place on earth. After fighting through the traffic and towing a camper for about 22 hours, we had finally made it to the park to leave the camper, and then made our way into the parks. img_3446

We had some fast passes already lined up for us, and headed to the parks to purchase my annual pass (best gift ever!).


We enjoyed some perks before getting into the parks (free parking for pass holders is always nice) and headed into the parks. We were all exhausted but really anxious to make our way to the Magic Kingdom.

I was out of my tickets, and was gifted my annual pass that we needed to purchase, so my mother stayed behind to take photos outside the parks while my step dad and I headed in. We arrived right around the Holiday Wishes fireworks, and were able to step right onto Buzz Lightyear's ride (one of my absolute favorites) which is an interactive shooter type of ride. The lines are usually pretty long, so it was a treat to be able to walk on to the first ride of the trip.



We both ended up maxing out the score for the ride (maybe we had a ride stop, maybe we didn't) and picked up some buttons at the end of the ride to celebrate the first happy moment of our vacation.

Once my mother made her way into the park, we headed to the back of the park to take advantage of our fastpass that we had that night at the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train.  The lines at this ride are insane, sometimes topping over two hours easily during the day. We don't partake in lines that long, and don't understand how people do, so we were excited to have a chance to ride. I hadn't ever been on it, can't say that I'll be running back to it soon. I'm not a roller coaster person, and it wasn't for me.


By this point, it was getting late because we arrived in the parks later in the evening. We were out of fastpasses, so we headed up to the front of the park to get our first photos in.

Overall, while we were super exhausted, our first day in the parks was a definite success for everyone.

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Have a great week!