Blog| December Goals

November was as crazy as I predicted and I managed to get a little bit of relaxing time before the big rush hits. But we have a big trip planned in a week and I have a ton of presents to draw, so let’s get organized. Goals time!

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November Goals

Personal:

  • Get the house cleaned up and deep cleaned!  We got a lot of the house organized and sorted, but still need a few more areas cleaned
  • Fix the backyard fence Its a neverending battle, but most of the fence has been secured!
  • BUDGET Now just to keep to it :\
  • Use the bullet journal! Still getting the hang of it, but it’s been useful!
  • Spend more time with the animals and socialize the kittens The kittens are now out of the nursery and roaming the house like crazy. They’re cool with us, but I think we need to get them ok with being handled with strangers. Black missed out on a home because he was too skittish.

Work:

  • Get Inktober art scanned and prints made– I got everything scanned, but I need more print paper to get them all printed.
  • Wonder Woman art piece! Ended up being a Batwoman piece but I got it done!
  • Start working on Xmas gifts Most of them are written and I’ve gotten a few done already.
  • Redo the Etsy shop and get everything listed Go check out the Etsy! Everything is listed now!!
  • Work in your office! Yep and yep though I need to clean it up a bit more.
  • Start back up your IG Done! Posting regularly now!
  • Draw and post 2 times a week at least- The only thing I didn’t get done. I drew and painted semi-regularly, but not 2x a week

11/12 goals done! I think that’s a record! I was pretty productive and I’m very happy with my progress! I’m still trying to keep out of my lethargy slog, but I think getting back on meds has helped a lot.

I’m working on keeping on top of everything so I’m not mad dashing to get things done, but cross your fingers!

Now December goals!

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December Goals

Personal:

  • Finish deep cleaning the house
  • Rearrange the storage unit
  • No fast food this month
  • Budget! Save at least $100
  • Have people come and socialize kittens

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Work:

  • Get the Pre-Orders shipped out
  • Finish Christmas art
  • Work on one large painting
  • Start prepping for Lubbock-Con
  • Mark down old inventory

I get from Christmas to New Years off at work so I should have time to get a lot done. I also want to get ahead on blog posts and schedule some ahead of time. Another unofficial goal is to keep going through my clothes and getting rid of some and getting rid of more of any unwanted clutter around the house. That always helps to keep me focused.

Here’s to staying motivated and getting work done and also getting some me time!

What are your goals for the month?

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-Sam <3

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Blog| The Importance of Pixar’s Coco

Last night I finally got to see Coco with Rony after waiting what seemed like forever. Simply: it’s my new favorite Pixar film and it’s the perfect example of how I wish all cultures are treated in fiction.

(This may be a little jumbled, but my thoughts are scattered right now.)

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A little background.

I’m a woman of color. My family has lived in the south pretty much forever, mainly Texas, so we’re pretty Hispanic. That being said, I didn’t grow up heavily in my culture. When we were babies, my parents moved away to Lubbock and away from the small town they grew up in. Charlotte is tiny and mainly consists of my family from both sides. It has one grocery store (that my grandparents started), one gas station, a library, and one main road. It’s a “driving through on your way to San Antonio” town.

11807567_10203646150394808_5512592928468078294_oLubbock and Charlotte are very different. My life in Lubbock was always more modern where we played video games, went to the mall, ran around with our bikes, and watched TV on the weekends. In Charlotte, you can barely get cell phone reception.

During the summer, we’d visit my grandparents and my sister would work in their store and I’d walk down the dirt road to the library. My grandpa taught us how to catch Tarantulas for fun (you fill their hole with water until they pop up. I didn’t say it was a humane way) and we would eat Watermelons from his giant garden or run across the street to the snowcone stand my uncle started. There were always a ton of stray cats or chickens running around in the road and I would play with them all the time.

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One of my most prominent memories was playing in the kiddie pool with my cousin and sister and my family skinning rabbits on the porch. The skin comes off entirely in tact so they looked deflated. For holidays, they would make menudo and barbacoa and I would walk into the kitchen and there’d be a giant, skinless cow head with it’s tongue sticking out. They would dare me to poke it’s big creepy eye.

But we didn’t really celebrate a lot of Mexican traditions. There wasn’t a Dia de los Muertos celebration (that I knew of) and even though my older relatives like my grandmother and some of my uncles and aunts knew Spanish, no one taught us. It felt like a divide between the old and the new. The kids only cared about their friends and new games. The older we got, the more the divide grew, especially with the kids from out of town.

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I would visit as a teen and I would just sit with my laptop and edit videos and write stories. I didn’t interact much with anyone. My grandpa had passed away, who I was closest too, and my favorite Uncle that I would hang out with had moved away to be an air marshal. The disconnect grew.

I haven’t been back in years. The older I’ve gotten, the more I realize the loss of that culture. I’ve talked previously about being ashamed of being brown skin colored and how when I was younger I wanted to be lighter. That need to fit in, to be like everyone else had already started. I didn’t want to be Hispanic. I was stuck in between. I got called a “coconut” which is basically the equivalent to “Oreo” for African Americans. Basically it’s someone who doesn’t fit into the mold of how you should act. It’s a bullshit term but most people of color have heard it enough to know what it means.

Getting involved with comics and fiction and Feminism, I’ve fought for representation without realizing I’ve never really embraced my own culture. I wanted their to be Hispanic, African American, Muslim, Asian characters but I still felt like an outsider in the Hispanic community. So we started trying.

Rony’s been learning Spanish so he can talk to his Grandmother without a translator there. We’ve been trying to learn our family’s recipes and traditional food. When we lost family members and animals, we started celebrating Dia de los Meurtos to help us cope. I learned more about the women and figures in our history. I learned not to be hesitant about accepting my Latina roots and how I look.

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When the trailer came out for Coco, we got excited. A major film was featuring our Hispanic culture with a Latin cast and actual Latin music AND it looked like they were actually going to be respectful. It was amazing. Then we started hearing the complaints. It’s a rip off of Book of Life, we already had a Day of the Dead movie, etc.

We saw Book of Life. I liked it, but it didn’t give me the same feeling Coco did and honestly, they’re COMPLETELY different. Rony and I discussed it on the way back home. Yes, they both have Day of the Dead settings, but complaining they’re too similar based on just that is like saying being moves are set during Christmas or Halloween then they’re all the same. Dia de los Muertos is a holiday. Why can’t we have more than one movie set during it?

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This past October, we went to Disneyland and they turned the Plaza into a Coco themed area. They had a female mariachi band play along with dancers and they would sing songs from the film. The crowd was majority Latin of all different types. Young and old, it was amazing to see them all enjoy this at Disney of all places.

They even had an area where you could write messages to your loved ones or memories about them and hang them on a marigold chain. I was amazed at how respectful everything was of MY culture. Because it was mine. The whole area was beautiful and the food was amazing. I almost started crying because it was something I didn’t think I’d get to experience. Representation and acceptance.

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When Rony saw Coco on Sunday with his family, he told me that sitting in front of him was an older Hispanic lady watching the movie by herself. She cheered and cried and sang along. There are a lot of jokes in Spanish and nods to the little things that almost all Latin families do. Tiny little things that make a character dimensional. He said that he would catch her crying and laughing and completely enraptured by the film.

We went the following day on a Monday night so the crowd was thin (because, you know, it’s a Monday night), but I could hear everyone’s enjoyment. The characters and family felt real and whole and not like stupid stereotypes. There was no Cholo or Chola or drunk uncle or sassy aunt causing drama. Their family was hardworking and together and despite the main conflict of them not allowing musicians in the family, they all supported one another and took care of each other. The importance of family was emphasized throughout the movie.

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My great grandmother passed away last week. She held the family together and was strong, much like the women in the movie. My Grandma Romo, her daughter, is pretty similar to the abuelita in the film, but not as crazy strict. She’s strong and tough and fierce. I saw my family in these characters. I saw myself in Miguel. Different from the rest, but still loved. On a different path, but still having support.

The story takes you somewhere different than most. It’s about sacrifice and acceptance and dealing with the consequences of your actions. It doesn’t hold your hand through the cultural references, but also does a wonderful job of explaining certain things without seeming handfisted. The characters are multi-dimensional and complex. There are a few moments that are heartbreaking and some wonderful laughs.

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It was also refreshing to see side characters actually willing to help rather than showing a cynical, “you’re on your own” world. In one scene, Miguel is in a competition because the winner gets to play at De La Cruz’ party. Stuff happens and he doesn’t get to accept or win but the actual winners are more than willing to help him later because they loved his music. They easily could have done the whole, “No, you lost, go away” situation and then have him like steal a costume but I like the direction they took. You help one another.

And as an artist, this film is gorgeous. It’s saturated in blue and oranges and color because that’s what the Day of the Dead is. It’s traditional to wear a ton of colors instead of black because you’re not mourning your loved ones but celebrating. You want to be happy and joyous and remember all the wonderful things about them and the memories. They talk about death and some dark subjects, but it’s never perceived that way. Death is just a part of the circle of things. We live and we die and it’s nothing to be sad about. The only sad thing is being forgotten.

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They don’t dumb down our culture in this movie. The family loves each other even when they’re different and any disagreements are always showcased in a protective or loving way. The abuelitas in the film are strict, but loving. If you’ve ever been in a Latin household, you know that though the dad is looked up to, the families tend to be Matriarchal. My own families on both sides are run by amazing, strong women. I do wish it was explained a bit why they are as they are, but it’s a tiny tiny complaint.

The movie presents our culture in all it’s wonderful, gorgeous splendor and I’ve never been more appreciative of that. Coco is a marvel and a gift to Latin culture. The music is a love letter and the little details are icing on the cake. Please see this film. It’s a work of art and I could not stop crying at the end of it.

Also fun fact, the soundtrack has all the tracks in Spanish included on it. So you can bet your ass it’s playing on repeat in our house.

Rony and I are going to be working harder to embrace our cultures. A lot like Miguel, I ran away from it in search for my passions, but by choosing one or the other you’re always going to be missing something. You have to find the in between. I’m a Hispanic female artist from a family of strong women that’s full of love. It’s time I accepted and embraced that.

And you can bet that we’re going to be putting more love into our Day of the Dead alters next year and making sure our ancestors and loved ones are remembered properly.

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Thank you, Disney and everyone involved in Coco. I’ve never been more happy with a film.

-Sam <3

PS. I didn’t mind the Frozen short. Don’t murder me.

 

Blog| When It’s Too Much

I live a busy life. It’s a recurring theme in everything I do. If you know me as a friend, you know you need to ask me a couple weeks ahead of time if I’m free and if it’s last minute the answer is probably no.

Once upon a time, I didn’t have a social life. I’d go to work, go home, read or watch TV or play games or paint until 2am in the morning, and then go to sleep and do it all over. I’d always find a reason to cancel plans or bail out of something and stay home.

Things changed and now I’m constantly on the move. The days when there are no events or things to go to feel unreal because I feel like I forgot I’m suppose to be somewhere. After October, I realized I still had a bunch of events to do.

We had the gallery and Ladies Night and my guest speaking event and birthdays and parties and then we had to clean the house, take had Leon’s birthday, the Museum event, etc. And then I got sick on Halloween. And then I stayed sick for like a week. And then I got food poisoning.

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I also had social media I had to keep up with. Moderating groups and taking care of issues and fighting people about why no, I don’t have a lot of hope for Justice League.

Lo and behold, I got overwhelmed. I almost broke down and cried in the bathroom at work. I had a headache for two days straight before I realized I had stopped taking my medication. My voice was raw and shot for over a week and I wanted to lay down and sleep and not do anything. I had to go home early from work one day and I passed out for like 3-4 hours immediately.

I wasn’t taking care of myself and that’s a slippery slope when you have anxiety and depression. I rely on my support system and routine. It keeps me grounded and keeps me from becoming overwhelmed by all my events and to-do list.

I need to get back into it, calm myself, and focus. A relapse is a sure fire way to kill any momentum I have from Inktober and with the holiday season hitting, I need that momentum.

So what are some of my routines?


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1.  No Staying up Past Midnight

I am not someone that functions on little sleep anymore. I use to be but now I get headaches and am cranky and have an awful time getting up in the morning. Ideally I should be in bed by 11, but what can I say? When I get more sleep, I find I’m not hitting the alarm twelve times and throwing my hair in a bun in an attempt to look presentable. The more put together I look, the more focused and professional I feel at work. Fake it til you make it. I’m an adult baby in a big girl job who has a vague idea about what she’s doing but I can at least act like I know what I’m doing.

Making sure I get enough sleep also keeps me from wanting to nap and drink a ton of coffee with a lot of sugar.

2. Clean/Deep Clean the House

If the house is messy, clean laundry piled up in a basket, dog toy scraps all over the floor, and dishes are covering the counter then I get stressed and don’t want to work on anything. I also have little desire to fix it the worse it gets. See, depression is weird. By keeping up with it before it gets that bad, I keep myself from using it as an excuse to not do anything and also keep it from being an unmanageable mess.

Deep cleaning is also very very helpful. I go through these periods where I want to throw EVERYTHING away and just list a minimalist life, but that doesn’t quite work for me. I try though. Yesterday, to distract myself from working, I went through my whole closet and pulled out any ill-fitting or old clothes that I know I don’t wear. I organized my drawers and swept and hung stuff on the wall and put away ALL the laundry. The room ended up looking nicer and I felt a lot better now that there wasn’t so much clutter.

Clutter can make you feel claustrophobic and stressed so sometimes you need to do a clean sweep and toss out anything you don’t really love or use. And if you don’t think you can do that, get a giant tub and put it all there. In a couple of months, if you don’t miss it or need it then you know you can get rid of it.

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3. Eat

I don’t mean like binge but when I’m relapsing then I forget to eat or can’t bring myself to put in the effort to make myself food. Make toast for breakfast. Eat a salad for lunch. Cook pasta for dinner and eat the leftovers for the next few days. Make sure you are eating every meal.

Lethargy is a killer. It saps any will to clean, do work, or just enjoy things. If you don’t eat, it’ll just feed that lethargy by making you cranky and irritable and feeling sick. So eat!

4. Take a Time Out

A lot of the work I do is on social media. Managing the Artist Collective, events, and posting my art means I’m constantly checking notifications. Is anyone asking me a question, are people debating civilly and not name calling, is traffic to an event picking up? It’s constant. But that also means my energy gets sapped pretty quickly. I can’t tell people off because I’m irritable and they’re annoying me. If I don’t check the notifications, what if I miss something?

It’s not fun and gives me anxiety. So sometimes, I let people know I’m outty and if they need me then they can text. I read or watch TV or nap or clean. I break away from the screen and disconnect because being connected is exhausting.

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5. Write Stuff Down

When I’m overwhelmed, writing down everything I need to get done can help immensly. I’ll write down all my deadlines, figure out which ones are the most pressing, and work on those first. If there’s something that can wait, it goes on the bottom of the list. By making an action plan, things tend to look less daunting when I’m done.

Having a planner or journal also helps. I had a Life Planner but found I didn’t like how big and cumbersome it was. I read about Bullet journaling and grabbed a small notebook from Target and started using that. It takes a while to get use to, but I can take it with me and write down all my events, reminder lists, keep track of habits, and keep a budget. Being able to write stuff down and have it all in once physical place keeps me from feeling stressed about not knowing what I have coming up or if I lost my grocery list, etc. I know where to look to find the info.


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These are just a few things but it’s a start. Routine is good and healthy. And some days it’s okay to just nap on the couch and not do anything. But too much can be bad and you have to recognize the signs before it gets worse.

What do you do when you are stressed or overwhelmed or feeling depressed?

-Sam <3

Inktober 2017!

Guys, I’m really surprised with myself. Like really. I thought I wasn’t going to be able to do it but the most I was ever behind was one day and I would always make it up. I not only did all 31 days, but I did extra! Craziness!

So here’s a recap of all 31 images I did for Inktober!

 

I’m not in love with all of them, but I love most of them and I think I’ve gotten a whole lot better if you compare last year’s Inktober to this year. I will be doing pre-orders for prints, originals, and a sketchbook collection! If you’d like any of these, fill free to feel out this form! This helps me know what to order since ordering all at once would be very expensive.

Oh and those two bonus ones? Both from the Persephone prompt because I’m a nerd:

You can order them too ;)

Let me know what days are your favorite!

-Sam <3

Blog| November Goals

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Almond’s B-Day!

It has been a hella busy month, as predicted.

From galleries to Almond’s Birthday to Halloween events and Disneyland, I feel like we haven’t had time to stop or pause. Which is probably why we are sick right now but c’est la vie.

Despite all that, I actually got a lot done! Not as much as I wanted, but I’m an over achiever. So let’s recap our crazy busy October (I’ll be putting in pictures from all the different events this month as well!)

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October Goals

Personal:

  • Get Mae Mae fixed-  She’s fixed and currently resting! 
  • BUDGET- I’m gonna give this to myself even though we are super duper broke. But this was our Christmas and we’re being tight budgeted until next year!
  • Pack and plan for Disneyland–  Disneyland was amaaaaazing! 
  • Keep the house clean- I could have done better. The house isn’t a total wreck but keeping up with it fell aside for a while
  • Relax and have fun-  Definitely did that.

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Inktober!

Work:

  • Inktober-   Um excuse me, but I FINISHED INKTOBER! YAAASSS!
  • Work on Wonder Woman Piece- ……..didn’t do this. 
  • Plan out NaNoWriMo- aaaaaaaaand I scrapped this because lol yeah too busy
  • Painting for November Gallery- aaaaaaaaaannd I scrapped this too. Hey I’m learning to let go and not do all the things
  • Plan out paintings for December-  I do have ideas! I’m going to be working on them after I get a few deadlines done! 
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Mine and Rony’s designs got used in a screen printing workshop!

Projects:

  • 31 Days of Halloween Movies- We got far but nope
  • 31 Day Challenge for IG- THIS DIED SO FAST OMG

6/10 is still pretty good! And I’m not dying like last year, just tired. We had fun, we did a ton of art, we hung out with friends and enjoyed ourselves at Disney. I can’t really complain much. November is going to be all about getting things back into order after the craziness and focusing on prepping for holiday season.

I will be making a post later today about Inktober and preorders for prints, originals, and a sketchbook collection so be on the look out for that! I’m looking to get more professional prints and seeing about having a colored version of the collection.

Lots to do but I’m prepared!

And now! November!


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November Goals

Personal:

  • Get the house cleaned up and deep cleaned!
  • Fix the backyard fence
  • BUDGET
  • Use the bullet journal!
  • Spend more time with the animals and socialize the kittens
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Our Halloween party! I went as Medusa and Rony as a skeleton

Work:

  • Get Inktober art scanned and prints made
  • Wonder Woman art piece!
  • Start working on Xmas gifts
  • Redo the Etsy shop and get everything listed
  • Work in your office!
  • Start back up your IG
  • Draw and post 2 times a week at least

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Halloween night. Rony was John Zacherle and I was Jack Skellington. Shortly after this pic was taken, I went into and passed out all night. Yep, I slept through Halloween.

I want to keep the momentum of Inktober going and keep drawing. I made so much progress and I don’t want to fall into an art block slump so I think if I can keep working on things I’m not good at and just draw for arts sake then that will be amazing. I have deadlines and projects to work on and I want to get into working on my Etsy more and focusing on that.

The kittens and Mae Mae are officially out of the room and roaming the house with all the other animals so that means I can deep clean my office and actually start working in here. Stripes was adopted out last week and we have a potential adopter next week, which leaves us with Black and White and Mae Mae. So here’s to finding them all homes!

October was pretty awesome and though I didn’t hit all my goals, I hit the important ones. I’m motivated and feel excited about art again and can’t wait to see where this all goes!

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Also what content do you want to see from me? Do you miss my fashion photosets, want more art or tutorials or progress blogs, or recaps and events? Let me know!

Happy November and Feliz Dia de los muertos!

-Sam <3

Blog| Disneyland Adventures Part 3

On Sunday, we reserved the day to go to Universal. Not gonna lie, after doing Disneyland we weren’t as energetic and even tried to see if we could refund our tickets to go back to Disney. No go. So we got an Uber and drove about an hour to Universal Studios.

It’s actually in an area called Universal City where there’s a bunch of shops and restaurants since the park is only open like 9-6pm. It closed even earlier when we went for their Halls of Horror event (that was a separate purchase to attend and I was like nah)

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There were some cute shops and we got food pretty much right away and decided to wait and get Voodoo donuts for when we were headed home. I wanted one of those apples real bad tho but knew I would destroy my stomach if I got sugar that early.

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Our first stop was the Waterworld stunt show, which was pretty amazing even if it’s been the same show for years. The pre-show guys were hilarious and we did indeed get wet. There were a few actors from shows and movies we recognized and the finale was pretty darn cool. Not bad for an old movie I wasn’t aware was that popular.

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Next we went to the main event: Hogwarts!

I am not a big Harry Potter fan. And I’m going to get murdered but I’ve never been able to read or get into the books. Not sure why, but they were a struggle. I have seen all the movies though but that’s probably not that much better. But I do know enough to enjoy everything there. First stop, we got a frozen Butterbeer from the cart vendor and went exploring.

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It’s pretty amazing all the work they put into the place. Everything looks real and most of the workers stayed in character. If you got a wand from the shop, there were certain areas where you could do movement spells to make things move.

First we rode on the Flight of the Hippogriff. The biggest props I can give Universal Studios: they put misters in all the lines. The was the worst part of Disneyland is waiting in the heat in those long lines. Here, they had giant misters all over the line area so you stayed cool. It was wonderful. After a bit of a wait, we got on the ride and then 15 seconds later it was over. It was very fun but yeah, not very long.

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Next we went to Olivanders for the wand choosing experience. While we waited in line, all of us who didn’t know took our house sorting quiz. Alex’s sister was kind of over joyed to be chosen for Slytherin, Rony was proven to be a Hufflepuff, and me…okay, I got Hufflepuff which sounded really weird. We took the Buzzfeed one and some of the questions were weird so I took it again. Gryffindor. Ok. Then Slytherin. And then Ravenclaw.

Literally got all the houses.

Suffering an identity crisis, Alex made me do a percentage one. Yeah, I’m all four. Almost split evenly. Like WTF guys.

Finally, I signed up for Pottermore and took the official one. We all decided that whatever it chose, that’s what I would be. The questions were more understandable now and finally, I got my house.

Gryffindor.

So yep, that’s me. We had all 4 houses.

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Alex’s sister mentioned wanting the full wand experience. She wanted one to be chosen for her and luckily, we ran into a super sweet, helpful worker there. She asked Elizabeth a whole bunch of really random, open ended questions for a while and then said she would be right back.

She came out with 3 boxes she had picked just for her. She went over what each were “made” of and their meaning and strengths. They were Hawthorne, Elder, and Alder. And each one she presented, Elizabeth got more excited. Finally she pulled out the Alder and it had a snake head with a skeleton sculpted into the end. She was told it’s one of the strongest and is very picky and even if another wizard one it, it may not like them. Like a cat.

Elizabeth was in love. Picture above was her face when she saw it. It was super wonderful to witness.

Afterwards they tried on some robes and we went outside to practice the movement spells. They weren’t as easy as they looked but a bunch of people were super helpful in teaching us.

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Afterwards we went to Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey. The line was neat and took us all throughout the castle and had little interaction points. The ride pretty much puts you in a harnessed four seater and moves you around in the air to simulate riding a broom. It was probably easiest one of my favorite rides of the whole trip. You dipped and got lifted and the 3D effects were pretty on point. It was super immersive.

Worth it.

We decided to take a break and go see the rest of the park. We went to a Special Effects show which was pretty cool and then got some snacks in the Simpsons area.

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To get to the rest of the Universal lot you have to go to the lower level. It took 6 steep ass escalators to get there. SIX. It was ridiculous and not for people who 1) hate escalators and 2) don’t like heights.

We went to go ride Jurassic Park next and once again, bless those misters. It made the line wonderful. The whole area was just misty wonderfulness.

The ride needs updates. The animatronics are clunky and a few times we had no idea what some dinosaurs were meant to be doing. Compared to Disneyland, it’s very sad. The ride would keep taking us up these steep inclines only to do tiny small dips. It was more like the Pirates of the Caribbean ride but with less good animatronics.

Finally we got to the area where the T-Rex was broken loose and would pop up everywhere. It dropped down and yelled in our face and we started to go down a drop. So at this point, we’re pretty jaded on the drops. None of them have been that steep so we’re like, yeah whatever.

The drop is dark and we go down and we see the end light at the very bottom. Far away.

Oh shit.

It’s a steep ass drop and none of us were prepared. So we get crazy splashed and I wish we could have been able to save the picture because for the first time this whole trip, Alex doesn’t have a perfect smiling face and is screaming like the rest of us. But nope we don’t have that picture so of course there’s no proof.

22688867_10209929646227813_2153407141872550549_nWe got soaked in very cold water and then had to go walk around like that. After a quick stop by Starbucks to get more mugs, we went back to Harry Potter to quickly buy souvenirs before the place closed. There were a few other rides that we didn’t get to go on like the Mummy, Fast and Furious, and Transformers but we got to do the big famous ones so that’s all the matters.

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We head back out to Universal City and explore, stopping by the biggest Hot Topic I’ve ever seen, a comic book store (because of course), and then wait in line for Voodoo Donuts for Rony.

The line is long. Like crazy long. But we’ve been in it for too long and there’s no going back.

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Rony is obsessed with Voodoo. We go there every time we visit Austin and whenever Rony goes to Denver he visits it. He has a shirt, art, and a handmade vinyl clock I got one year for him. So we wait in line and take pictures with the giant statue and rest our feet because holy shit, three days of walking is awful.

This Voodoo Donuts layout is pretty neat and there’s some art and merch that’s not in the other ones. I’ve always been in love with their design and aesthetic so I’m perfectly okay waiting for donuts.

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45 minutes later and we have donuts and are walking to the parking lot to Uber back home. The drive home is crazy and I feel like I had a handful of near death experiences. The whole time the guy talked about how sorry he was for us because we were missing all the good LA parties.

Hint: we aren’t that sorry. We aren’t “party” people.

45 minutes after that and we have never been so happy to be out of a car. We collapse all over the living room, eat take out Thai food, and watch Nightmare Before Christmas.

We get to sleep in a tad bit the next day and take our time packing. Our plane doesn’t take off until like 2 and we saved time to get through the traffic and get to the airport on time. We eat, draw, and read while waiting for our plane and then we’re headed back home.

The trip was pretty amazing and even if we were busy the whole time, I loved the whole experience. My feet were in pain, I was broke afterwards, but we got to be kids again and eat good food, and hang out with our friends.

Now we’re back home and dealing with all the Halloween craziness. I’m booked for two weeks with events and parties and birthdays and art. Holiday season is fast approaching, but it felt amazing to not have to plan or organize or deal with anything for a few days.

I need another vacation.

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Expect a bunch of posts this week while we catch up. We had a Halloween party this past weekend, Rony’s been gone on TWO concert trips, I got to see my designs printed in a workshop, and we have a gallery and Ladies Night and I’m guest speaking at a creatives meeting Saturday.

So much craziness.

What are your Halloween plans or what is the coolest vacation you’ve been on?

Until next time ;)

-Sam <3

Blog| Disneyland Adventures Part 2

Day 2 of Disneyland was a long one. We got there at 9, took about half an hour to get through security and the front doors, and then met up with our friends to go immediately to meet Jack and Sally since the line was going to get crazy fast.

 

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We did stop first to take a picture in front of the entrance garden and I will tell you now: buy the $10 Maxpass for your ticket. Do it. It’s totally, completely worth it.

Not only do you get to do Fastpasses, which are limited passes that will hold or “reserve” your space in line for a specific ride at a specific time but you also get free Photopass downloads! All over the parks are scenic spots where people usually take pictures so Disney went ahead and put professional photographers there. You line up, take a picture, and they’ll scan the barcode in your Disney app and in about 20 minutes all the pictures they took are linked in your App and available for download.

It’s pretty damn amazing. And some of them do AR photos and will put in characters or affects. Alex got this amazing one with her family around a cauldron and they’re holding a poison apple. It’s pretty darn cool and you end up with a ton of good photos.

Moving on tho.

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Unfortunately, Sally wasn’t there when we went to see them but Jack was pretty amazing. He’s super interactive and pretty damn amazing. When Alex went to talk to him, he ended up doing a “trick” and made her scream which was hilarious. He talked to me about my Poison Apple fastener and my hair and Rony about his outfit. He was just so wonderful.

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We took individual pictures and then a group photo and then wandered around the French Quarter. One of my favorite things is that sometimes the characters just roam around outside of their picture spots and in character, may chat with you. While we were outside the restaurant we saw Dr. Facilier from Princess and the Frog and then Jack came around with Sally this time and walked around. The first day we saw Alice and the Mad Hatter which was pretty cool.

First we got some bigneits and mint juleps and then got actual food. The lines are separate so we had to order them from different spots. They had a special Halloween bigneit flavor, which we obviously got, and Alex got regular. Both were Mickey shaped but mine was Dreamsicle flavored. While delicious, it was super super sweet and I may have ate too many.

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Alex was in charge of Fastpasses so we road Pirates of the Carribean, Space Mountain, the Toy Story little mini-game ride, and Space Tours. In between we would stop for treats or shopping or what have not. It was a lot of running around.

I still got ride anxiety, especially after Guardians of the Galaxy, but it wasn’t that bad. I actually enjoyed the Halloween version of Space Mountain even if everyone didn’t really and despite my face in the picture.

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Ride pictures are the worst.

We happened to find the Coco area and caught the mariachi performers and dance they had there. It was super neat to see traditional dances, the skeleton puppeteers, and the fact they had an all female mariachi group performing. The Plaza is GORGEOUS. There’s marigolds everywhere, alters, folklore and background about the traditions, and Mexican food. I enjoyed not only seeing my culture so  respectfully displayed but celebrated and getting to see everyone else’s reaction.

Also the food was freaking delicious. Just saying.

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Inside the plaza they had a little area where you could get your face painted for free, buy a handmade flower crown, or write a memory of a loved one and add it to a chain in the memory wall. I think that part was my favorite and yes, I did get a little teary eyed. You could read other people’s memories or messages for their loved ones and it was very bittersweet.

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In the back area was actually a Tree of Life sculpture/wall with sculpted flowers, statues, and decorations. They had a very sweet photographer there who took our picture and we even did an AR photo with the grandfather from Coco. The whole thing was fun and beautiful and it’s definitely one of my top favorite spots in all of Disneyland and California Adventure.

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We went and did some more rides and then me and Rony went off on our own and explored. The sun was setting and we took advantage of a photopass spot in front of the Ferris wheel that turned out beautiful.

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I’m gonna be honest, I haven’t seen the Cars movies. I had little to no interest in the movies. BUT holy shit, did they go all out to decorate Carsland and it was pretty freaking amazing. They fully redid the area.

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All the places in Carsland were decked out in Halloween gear. The cones were turned into Jack-o-lanters, there were gas can pumpkin patches, and the pumpkins were made out of tires. It looked incredible at night! They even had a Dia de los Muertos area with an alter inside.DCA_CARSLANDROVER_20171022_811447943222728788_10209929621307190_7904866010997950271_n

And yes, that is a Vampire Mater. It drove passed us and even talked.

(Did you notice that Rony finally got his orange bat light up Mickey ears? Yep, we found them and everyone cheered)

We met back up with Alex and I found my bat sundae I had saw online. Holy shit, it was delicious but soooooooooo much chocolate. Those cookies were soft tho.

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California Adventure is pretty cool and feels kinda more like a shopping area than food and rides. I wish we had more time to explore. We didn’t quite get to do everything like the Cars rides, but we’ll save that for next time.

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Alex and her family decided to go to the fireworks and we went to World of Color. On our way into the park, two girls stopped us and gave us tickets since they were leaving early. I had no clue what it was, but she actually gave us two reserved spots along the water so we didn’t have to find a spot in general admission.

Unfortunately, no one told anyone, but since they had canceled the Halloween fireworks the night before they decided to do them on Saturday! We were already at World of Color and we missed the freaking Halloween fireworks. Later, we looked it up on Youtube and uggggggggggggggh they were amazing.

But World of Color was amazing too so we would have lost no matter what. Stupid wind.

World of Color is pretty much California Adventure’s end show. They shoot water into the air and project colors or movie scenes onto them with music. Sometimes they make giant sheets of water and it’s almost like a projection screen.

At some points they even shot fire out and we were so close that the heat was almost overwhelming.

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I’m glad we got to see the show and thanks to the girl who gave us the tickets. Even though my feet were on fire from walking two days in a way, it was an unforgettable day. I had so much fun and loved getting to spend the day with Rony and my friends.

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It took all day, but we finally got to take a picture in front of the Mickey pumpkin and it was pretty adorable and a good way to end the night. Our feet hurt, we were tired, and Rony was entirely decked out in orange light up gear, but everything was perfect.

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Sunday we would be going to Universal Studios so we walked through Downtown Disney after close and said goodbye to Disney. I think calling it the Happiest Place on Earth is pretty accurate.

Stay tuned for the last part of our vacation trip :)

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-Sam <3

 

Blog| Disneyland Adventures Part 1