Disney Souvenirs

I have a fairly practical approach when it comes to spending money. There are some areas that this could improve (my husband is thinking of the gazillion pairs of heels I own but do not wear)… but doesn’t everyone need improvement? (Also, who can resist a beautiful pair of shoes on super clearance at Target?) Ok I think I’m getting a little far away from the point of this post, which is souvenirs, not my obscenely large shoe collection.

I hate junk. I hate things kicking around. I hate it when things don’t have a purpose. Hence, I have a very practical approach to souvenirs. I try to think “will this be cool when I’m at HOME, instead of ____?” If the answer is no, then I really don’t need to spend the money… no matter how many people I see wearing Minnie Mouse ears I will not spend money on them because there is literally no where else (except maybe a Halloween costume party) that I would wear them.
These have been my go-to shopping items at places like Disney World.

1) T-shirts.
Not just any t-shirt, but one that I will actually wear. I look for ones that are unique, and have made my own twice (there’s a great place in Downtown Disney). If I don’t love it, I don’t buy it, because if I don’t love it I won’t wear it. And, this is a fairly Disney-specific item for me. I know that I will love Beauty and the Beast for many years to come.
I ended up making a Cinderella tshirt, and buying a Frozen tshirt.

2) Jewelry.
I always look at jewelry… it often gets more wear, in my experience, than a t-shirt because you can wear jewelry anywhere – including work. For some reason, I think my boss would frown upon me wearing my Anna and Elsa t-shirt with dress pants.

3) Mugs.
I found THE MOST adorable mug… Chip! I use travel mugs daily (#coffeeaddict), so I kept my eyes peeled for one and ended up finding one at Universal. It is a Dr. Seuss Tervis! (I also got a Frozen mug that I probably didn’t need… but OLAF.)


4) Notebooks/Notepads.
This is my husband’s go-to. He is a constantly filling up note books, especially with sermon notes, and has adopted my practical approach to souvenirs. He picked up some notebooks at Harry Potter World, which he will use, and will also serve as a souvenir.

5) Pictures.
We have pictures from our vacations together all over the house. It costs almost nothing to print them, and we have a lot of fun taking them.

6) Toys.
Maybe this isn’t practical for everyone, and maybe you think it’s weird that it is on my list. However, Josh and I grew up playing with Disney play figurines. My mom used to buy them as motivation (potty training, etc) and also as little things to decorate our birthday cakes. Josh and I hope to have children one day, and want our children to use their imaginations… and also to love Disney movies as much as we do. 😀 For us, buying play sets at Disney was practical- since they were cheaper there than online.

6) Other…
Other things I have looked at are computer cases, hats, beach towels… if I needed any of these things, they would have been very practical souvenirs!

It’s Time for Veggie Tales!

Well friends, I have returned. I managed to leave Florida with minimal sunburns, less blisters than expected, and not wanting to see another steak for a while (weird, right?). I walked around 7 miles a day (around 17,000 steps)… which means-annoyingly- that I didn’t lose any weight, I just didn’t gain any… I blame the steak, fries, burgers, ice cream… ok it all makes sense now.

Seriously though it was a lot of fun. At the end of the week, it did not matter that my feet were blistered and sore, my shoulders burned, or that we had slept on a pull out sofa all week. I got to spend time with family, make memories, and thoroughly enjoyed the adventure.

I have been buried at work, and have not even begun to catch up on my work. It’s been encouraging, as well as overwhelming, because I have been able to recognize my role and value here. I do a LOT of tasks to keep the office running smoothly, and when I’m not here it matters.

Since we were gone for over a week there is just too much to tell you in one post! So instead, I’ve decided to break it down… over the next few days I’ll be talking about all things Disney, including food/restaurants, road trip meal planning, “must pack” items, souvenirs, and rides. I’ll probably do one about Universal as well… but that will be a small post, as the parks were likewise small. 🙂

So what are we eating after a vacation at Disney? Lettuce. Lots of lettuce. I’m not even kidding. Fruits and veggies, you are the best friends! We are making burrito bowls for dinner tonight… come to mama beans, corn, tomato, avocado, lettuce, cilantro, rice, and chicken! COME TO ME. [Official end of the ode to the veggies.]


Dear Josh,

I am so thankful we had the opportunity to go to Florida for a week. I’m thankful I have a job that paid me to take time off. I’m thankful we slept on a pull out sofa instead of the floor (which still would have been fine!). And I’m SUPER stoked about our fresh healthy dinner. Days at work feel super long and I’m glad we got to spend every day last week together. You’re my favorite.



Merry Christmas & Happy New Year

Life has been so good, and busy, lately and there just hasn’t been time to blog. So a quick recap.

We have moved into our house. We love our house. Our clothes are not in boxes, but in dressers. Our books are on shelves. Our dishes are in cabinets. Our pantry still needs to be put in order… but everything else is good!

I left work early on December 23, and we took off to Virginia Beach. After a 3 hour frantic search in the greater area of Virginia Beach for a specific toy, on behalf of Josh’s uncle, we got to the Sims house. True story: I almost punched a grown man, with a beard, employed by Toys R Us who informed us that they did have the specific toy we were looking for… but HE PURCHASED THE LAST ONE. This entire experience was new for me. I’ve been one to have my Christmas shopping done in advance, and have never been out at the last second looking for ONE specific thing. I feel like Josh and I have learned a valuable lesson… keep doing things ahead of time. Hehe. No, we didn’t find the toy… but I feel like the toy that ended up being purchased was even cooler. And yes, I referred to the Arnold Schwarzenegger movie about a million times during our search.

Christmas Eve, I experienced my first Sims Christmas ever. It was SO fun. Huge breakfast, lots of presents, lots of laughter. Christmas was so exciting. My family doesn’t have the excitement over toys, and bubbling about what Santa (or Tinsel) brought them. Josh’s family does.
Going into Christmas this year was difficult because I have been feeling the stress of work, rather than the magic of the holiday… and the excitement of the little girls was not overwhelming, but refreshing. (Except for the fact that they woke us up before 6:30 on Christmas… that was exhausting.) I got things that I wanted, and things that I needed… a crock pot, a book of sewing patterns, a rain coat, sweater, jewelry, pictures, etc… honestly, what meant the most is realizing-again- that they really are my family. I’m so thankful for the way they have all loved and accepted me. This was probably the weirdest, but most wonderful part: it was strange not being with my family, but I didn’t miss it too much… because I felt like I WAS with family.

We went to the Christmas Eve service, went to the house in NC, and ended up exchanging gifts between siblings. My favorite thing was from Kaity– she gave each of her sisters a framed picture with a quote from Little Women: “I could never love anyone as much as I love my sisters.” – Jo March
Well, basically I wanted to burst into tears because it meant so much to me. I’m so very thankful for such wonderful sisters.

Christmas Day was spent at my in-laws house. We got up super early, and waited for Grandma and Grandpa Sims to get there. We sang happy birthday to Jesus, and got to see the tree. Again, I got so many things I’ve wanted/needed, including a dress, sweater, gifts cards for date nights, jewelry, and movies (Frozen, and Christmas movies!). It was just perfect. I did have to take a nap, since we had some sleep deprivation over the last couple of days, and talked to my family. Lunch was nothing less than a feast… London broil, ham, potatoes, fruit salad… heavenly. We spent the evening watching Frozen, to my delight and my father in law’s pain. 🙂 Unlike all the parents in the entire world, I have not been “Frozen-ed out.”


The day after Christmas, Josh and I headed to the Outer banks for our Anniversary trip. We checked into our hotel, got pizza, and enjoyed doing nothing.
The trip was perfect… just perfect. We slept in, laid around because we could, walked on the beach, had a poor breakfast experience-which we will not go into because it was very frustrating but the food was free, went to the Wright Brothers memorial, went to see Into the Woods (and got crazy— we got popcorn), went out for Mexican and reflected on the year, watched the sun rise, walked on the beach, had a wonderful breakfast on the 2nd day, went to a lighthouse, went to the aquarium, and I had the first big mac of my life (I am a little irritated that they taste so good).

Josh wrote out questions on index cards that we went through all weekend… “Favorite meal of this year? Favorite inside joke? Something you’d like me to work on?” etc. It was such a good time to escape together, reflect on the first year, make goals and plans for the second, and to enjoy being together.
No, we didn’t save the top layer of our wedding cake. But I’m glad… because eating old, stale cake doesn’t sound like much of a celebration of a momentous year of trusting God together, becoming unified in a budget, and of making two lives one. This year has been anything but stale… so we baked a fresh cake and ate that in celebration instead.

Beach. Wright Brothers Memorial. Sunrise. Bodie Lighthouse.


Since vacation, life at work has been very busy- hence the lack of blogging. My family came to visit last weekend– they actually surprised me with an early birthday party! We had too much fun with them- shopping, exploring a museum, walking, cooking, laughing, playing games… I’m always so happy to have them here, and always cry my eyes out when they leave.

Part of my Christmas/Birthday money was spent on a Fitbit, which tracks all sorts of nifty stuff, including my steps. It may seem like a typical New Years resolution, but my decision actually doesn’t have to do with that at all… I’m finally healthy, after Mono. I have some energy, and I want to get back into exercising regularly. So far- the Fitbit has been extremely helpful in motivating me, and I’m excited as Josh and I are taking this on together (plus I am finally realizing I am extremely competitive…. so that helps since Josh and I compare how many steps we’ve gotten).


Dear Josh,
I am so glad I finally got to participate in the legendary Corneli-Sims Christmas. Although it was new, it was wonderful and I’m so very thankful for your family. It’s the second year of marriage, and it’s only more fun. Thanks for loving me so well, and for keeping laughter as a staple in our relationship.

I’m looking forward to spending this weekend with you… and the rest of my life. I’m so proud of you, and it has been awesome reflecting on our growth as individuals and a couple. I’ll always be your bluebird, sweet frog. 🙂

Love, Mrs. Cornelissen