DIY Disneyland Maternity Photoshoot

Things have been quiet around here as we prepare for our first baby, but I wanted to pop in real quick to share our maternity photos. Once we adjust to life with a little one, I'm hoping to share even more fairytale-inspired posts and products to add magic to your everyday life!

As soon as I got pregnant, everyone predicted that we would have a Disney Baby because of my deep love for all things Disney. So when it came time to think about taking maternity photos, I knew the only place that made sense was Disneyland. We decided to save money by taking most of the photos ourselves, while enlisting the help of the Disney PhotoPass photographers. Thus, the DIY Disneyland photoshoot was born!

We were able to squeeze in a quick morning trip to the park during my 35th week of pregnancy. My husband and I had a blast arriving at rope drop and exploring all our favorite spots. He normally is not the photographer in the family, so it was a real treat to have him take the time to snap these shots of my growing belly. Then we found as many PhotoPass photographers as we could, paying the $39 flat fee for a day pass.

Afterwards I lightly edited all the photos in Lightroom (I'm no expert but know my way around). We are both so happy with how the pictures came out. It's something I know we'll treasure forever.

Thank you so much for checking out our Disneyland Maternity photos! Our Disney Baby will be here any day now, and I can't wait for many more Disney-inspired shoots in the future.

DIY Disneyland Maternity Photoshoot

A Fond Farewell to the Big Thunder Ranch

On January 11, 2016, we will forever say goodbye to the Goats of Disneyland, the other Circle D Ranch animals and the Big Thunder Ranch BBQ. When I heard that these attractions would be disappearing forever from Disneyland, I was heartbroken. The Big Thunder Ranch is my favorite place to escape the crowds and get some goat therapy, and has always added that special "Disney" touch that no other theme park can touch.

Farewell to the Big Thunder Ranch at Disneyland

During the different seasons, the back ranch area would be transformed to welcome the Easter Bunny & egg decorators for Easter, the Villains & pumpkin carvers for Halloween, and it became the place to meet Santa Claus during Christmas Time. The stage area welcomed youth performances from around the country, and the food carts offered special seasonal treats.

The Circle D Ranch has a history older than Disneyland, and a close place in Walt Disney's heart. The Big Thunder Ranch is one of those places that creates that special feeling that only Disney knows how to create.

Don't get me wrong, I'm a HUGE Star Wars fan and couldn't be more excited for the new additions. But it would make so much more sense in Tomorrowland... Don't take our goats away! Unfortunately the ranch's fate is sealed, and new homes have already been found for all the animals on the ranch. The horses will be the only animals to still be "employed" by Disneyland. They will live off-site and be transported in everyday according to the Cast Members.

Many are worried that this closure included the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. Rest assured, this popular roller coaster attraction is not going anywhere! The only area closing is behind the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. The ride will (hopefully) stay open throughout construction of Star Wars Land immediately behind it.

So to say farewell to my favorite Disneyland Cast Members, here's some of my favorite photographs I've taken at the Big Thunder Ranch.

Thank you for helping me say farewell to the Big Thunder Ranch. It's always bittersweet to close one chapter, but sometimes you must in order to welcome what's next.

Before you go, I have one last treat. At the end of every day on the ranch, there's an event known as the Running of the Goats. It's where the goats run up the hill towards the backstage area for the night. They know that dinner lies on the other side of the gate, so they're very excited! I've captured the goats running on two occasions. My favorite is the second video where one of the sheep grabs a bite of the foliage before running after his friends.

Farewell Big Thunder Ranch! You will be missed!

When Two Holidays Collide at Disneyland

The Haunted Mansion at Disneyland is taken over by Jack Skellington from The Nightmare Before Christmas between the months of October through December. His story has the unique honor of combining two seemingly separate holidays into one. Or as Jack says, this is what happens when two holidays collide!

Since we are in that wonderful inbetween time when it's too soon to start decorating for Christmas but you're still finishing up your Halloween candy, it's the perfect opportuntiy to take a visual tour through Jack's Haunted Mansion takeover.

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Adventures Found in Sunriver Oregon

Welcome to World of Color Wednesday! For those of you unfamiliar, Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color was a broadcast television series that showcased the new technology of color television. Today, Disney California Adventure plays tribute to that part of Disney history with a spectacular nighttime entertainment show featuring jets of water, lights, lasers and of course music. My own way to pay tribute to the show is by creating a color board every week, inspired by a different land from Disney Parks or character from Disney films. Join me every Wednesday in celebrating the Wonderful World of Color! My definition of adventure includes exploring new watering holes, making new furry friends and finding what's around the river bend. Sunriver near Bend, Oregon is the perfect place for a summertime adventure. It has been my other happy place from a young age.

I was lucky to spend the holiday weekend with my family in Sunriver Oregon. It was the perfect escape from our busy schedule, but we ended up staying very busy from the moment we arrived! Our vacation was filled with canoeing and biking along the Deschutes River, finding dog friendly breweries, being schooled in putt putt by my Dad and visiting my furry friends at the horse stables. We were lucky to spot several deer throughout our adventures, and the cutest family of ducks swam up to our canoe!

Inspiration board with photos from Sunriver Resort in Bend, Oregon

Watering Holes to Explore in Sunriver Oregon

We were pleasantly surprised by how many dog friendly restaurants there were in Bend, Oregon, which was named one of the most dog-friendly towns in America by Dog Fancy Magazine. We had lunch at 10 Barrel Brewing, then spent an afternoon staying cool on the large lawn area attached to GoodLife Brewing. Within the Sunriver Resort, we could take the pugs on all the patios around the lodge (and through the lobby for an AC break!).

A Sunriver vacation isn't complete without a trip to the Village. The Country Store has all your staples, and you must stop at Goody's for the sodas and delicious ice creams (I recommend the floats!). We tried two new watering holes; the Sunriver Brewing Company for a relaxing dinner to try even more beer, and Brewed Awakenings for our morning coffee (a nice stroll from our room at the Lodge).

Biking is our preferred mode of transportation around Sunriver, but this was my first time exploring with my dogs. I had seen dogs in bike trailers before, and hoped we could teach our girls to enjoy the ride. After lots of reassuring (and tightly strapping them in) the girls learned to love being transported via their own personal chariot. We also got to teach Maisy how to swim for the first time in the Deschutes River. The girls were just too much in their life vests, we couldn't stop laughing.

Summertime adventures in Sunriver Oregon, Pacific Northwest, Central Oregon

Also, if you are planning a canoe trip with your pugs (or other breathing challenged pet) bring life vests with handles for easy dunking, an umbrella for shade, a spray fan for misting (yep, it's from Disneyland) and lots of drinking water. You can see more snaps of the pugs on their PNW adventure on their Instagram.

The next time you are planning a summertime adventure, I highly recommend adding the Sunriver Resort in Bend, Oregon to your list!

What adventures do you have planned for this summer? I'd love to hear about them, past or future!

Wordless Wednesday: Meeting Minnie Mouse for the first time

I love the month of February (aka the unofficial month of love) because it's a great excuse to show everyone that's special to you how much you love them. Right now this includes my hubs, pugs and my adorable nieces. One my favorite parts of being an auntie is sharing my love of Disneyland with my nieces. There's something about seeing the park through the eyes of a child that instantly melts my heart.

Minnie Mouse is one of my niece's favorite characters on Disney Junior. We knew meeting Minnie during her first trip to Disneyland was a must. Her reaction was priceless.

Wordless Wednesday Minnie Mouse

Speechless.

Who is the character who gives you a "starstruck" moment at Disneyland?