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One of the things I was most excited for on our recent trip to Disney World was FINALLY doing Wild Africa Trek. The moment I learned what it was it has been on my Disney Bucket List. I almost did it for my 30th birthday in 2018 but my friend and I decided to do character meals instead. Christian and I had booked it for our May 2020 trip that got cancelled. When we rescheduled the trip for the  May 2022 we decided to skip it that trip and plan a special Disney World vacation for our wedding anniversary. Thus, our Animal Kingdom-centric trip was born!

 

We decided to do it up big and stay at Animal Kingdom Lodge with a Savannah View room, booked through David's Vacation Club Rentals to utilize Disney Vacation Club points to stay for lower than Disney rack rates. We paid $900 for 3 nights compared to $2381 if booked directly through Disney.  We planned our meals just at the hotel and wanted to spend a bulk of our time there. Since we're Annual Passholders (well, were until September 30th) we were able to use our Passhoolder discount on Wild Africa Trek tickets and paid $360.28 vs $423.88.


This sign look familiar? See photos of our shirts below if not ;)

I'll do my best to walk you through what happens during this amazing three hour tour. If you don't want details so you can be pleasantly surprised on your own Trek feel free to just look at the images. The short description of the tour from Disney is "Encounter exotic wildlife on a guided expedition with African-inspired snacks and photo keepsakes."

 


 

On our Disney trip last month I made sure we got tickets to Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party! Tickets for the rest of the parties this month are sold out, but if you happen to be at Magic Kingdom on the night of a party you could always ask guest services if they have any day-of tickets (unlikely.)

Lots of fun new treats in this baking update! Some were easier than others but all were delicious. It was Christian's birthday last month so of course there were some extra special desserts for him!




English Muffins

I never thought making English Muffins could be so easy. They're such a tasty breakfast (or any time) treat but I never feel like paying the price for them unless they're on sale. This recipe from Preppy Kitchen was super simple and easy to follow! My only problem was I don't have a round cutter so I used my Mickey one instead. They came out pretty big, more like double the size of a normal English Muffin.  I'm not complaining, more tastiness! Will definitely be making them again, but I might try to get a smaller cutter so they're more reasonably sized.

 

Chocolate Chip Graham Cracker Cookies

This was an interesting bake because Christian wanted to test out using our induction cooktop to make cookies to see if we can do it while traveling. I made half a batch of dough and we made 4 in a dutch oven on the cooktop, 4 in a skillet on the cooktop and the remainder normally in the oven. Obviously the oven came out best, but thee other two weren't horrible. Definitely serviceable for travel cookies. They cooked in the dutch oven for about 20 minutes and on the skillet for 30. Wee probably could have cooked them longer for both methods but we were afraid to burn the bottoms. As you can see in the photo below, the non-oven ones look a lot wetter, even though they were fully cooked.



Hurry-Up Biscuits

I had some heavy cream left over from a recipe where I only used like 2 tablespoons and was originally going to make no-churn ice cream but we didn't have sweetened condensed milk - oh no! I googled recipes to use leftover heavy cream and came upon this super simple recipe. They came together in literally 5 minutes and then baked in the oven for a little over 20 (the recipe says 17-20 but I made larger biscuits). They were super delicious, will definitely be making them again next time I have leftover cream! We ate them with some wildflower honey...YUM!


Homemade Oreo Cookies

I had this recipe saved for a few weeks before I finally had time to make them. Oreos are Christian's favorite cookie so he was pretty excited when I made these large homemade ones. Maybe if we make them again I'll splurge on the black cocoa powder so they look even more real!

 

Chocolate Buttermilk Fudge Cake by Jim Dodge

Christian and I saw this cake while watching In Julia's Kitchen with Master Chefs and decided it should be his birthday cake this year. I'm not a big fan of making layer cakes or frosting but for a special occasion I'll toughen up. Unfortunately I had HUGE issues with the frosting. For some reason it split and the butter separated and wouldn't come back together. After some almost tears and over an hour I finally rescued it by adding in some warm milk. (At first I tired heating it u over the stove which seemed to work, but then if I let it sit to cool down it separated again.) Eventually I got it together and it tastes amazing even if the full cake looked like a hot mess (hence why I'm sharing a slice here instead of the full cake, ha ha!)


Healthy Birthday Cake Bread

I saw this bread on Instagram and immediately knew I wanted to surprise Christian with it for a birthday breakfast. I had my mom buy one of the ingredients because it's not something we usually buy and didn't want to tip him off. I also got very lucky and the day before his birthday he had to leave the house to film some stuff for work so I was able to bake it and hide it without him knowing! It was really tasty and something we'll probably make again. It's also sort of healthy (minus the sprinkles!)




 

Another successful month of no shopping! All I added to my closet was a pair of Aetrex clogs gifted from the brand in exchange for an Instagram post. My birthday is next month, so maybe I'll splurge on something fun. There are only a few things on my list at the moment so we'll see if I take the plunge on anything.

THE (modified) RULES

  1. Be mindful of purchases 
  2. Quality over quantity
  3. Basics are best

 

MY PROGRESS

 

Clothes:

  1. Marc by Marc Jacobs cropped sweater ($12.50, retail $298, used ad money)
  2. J Brand Maria High Rise in Purple Velvet ($7.50, retail $228, used ad money)
  3. Current/Elliott "The Muscle" leopard print tank ($8, retail $75?, used ad money)


Basics:
  1. mīere the label "Frankie" knit sweater in Faded Black ($56.92, $32.15 if we omit shipping)
  2. Madewell Whisper Cotton V-Neck Tee in Spiced Plum ($2, retail $19.50, used ad money)
  3. Madewell Whisper Cotton V-Neck Tee in Sahara Sand  ($2, retail $19.50, used ad money)

 

Shoes:

  1. Ancient Greek Sandals Kore of Berlin ($365, used Shopbop gift cards + ad money + 15% off)


Handbags:

  1. None yet

 

Accessories:
  1. None yet

 
 

Activewear/Swimwear:

  1. Ryka "Belong" Walking Shoe in Plum Red/Burgundy via DSW ($26.58, $79.99 retail)

 

Gifted from Brands:

 

Spent in September: $0

Spent in 2022: $83.50

 

Christian and I are at Disney World this weekend for our anniversary and I thought I would share outfits from our last two trips because somehow I never did blog posts after we got back... whoops! It's also because I was lazy and didn't have Christian take individual outfit photos of what I wore (although we did do videos for a Reel in May!) Shame on me! I guess that means you guys get Disney couples outfits in addition to Disney outfits for women. YAY!

I threw this on for an early morning grocery run not intending to take photos. But it was such a nice day I had us stop to take some on the way to my parents. I do love cool Summer mornings. Unfortunately this turned into a pretty hot day, luckily these pants are pretty airy.


Floral Camisole: eight sixty

Pants: G.H. Bass cargo pants (Clinton Crossing)

Sandals: Ancient Greek Sandals 'Clara' Sandal c/o Shopbop 

Italian Leather Bag: bought in Venice

Sunglasses: Chanel










 

We're getting closer to Fall, my favorite season. While I'm not ready for sweaters just yet, I can start getting into the spirit with my jewelry. Layering gold necklaces from Aurate New York is a perfect way to do that while not burning up in the end of Summer heat. After all, there's still 2 weeks until Autumn officially starts! (on my 4th wedding anniversary! Yes, we love Autumn so much we got married on the first day - although some years it's a day or two later)

 

I wore this on a warm early September day (aka this past Friday) and, since we're still experiencing Summer weather, I decided to celebrate the upcoming season with my color choices rather than pieces of clothing. These Proenza Schouler tweed colorblock shorts are quite an odd piece to style. I've worn them in warmer temperatures with tees and tanks but also wore them for Thanksgiving last year with tights underneath and a sweater on top. I could easily wear this on an early-Autumn day in a month with a sweater and no tights. The color palette is perfect for Fall, the colors remind me of falling leaves.


Sandals will remain in my outfits until it becomes too cold for my toes. They're my favorite form of footwear so it always takes a while for me to give them up for the rest of the year. These black leather ones can also be worn into Autumn & Winter with jeans, especially with tights or socks!


On to the main event - Pre-Fall layering! Since we can't layer our clothes, why not our jewelry? It's so easy to do with any necklaces you have. I make sure they're different lengths and also try to have one stand out from the rest. The buttery and bronzed tones of the semi-precious stones in this Destination Aura beaded necklace are perfect to carry me into those cooler months. The colors go perfectly with the colorblock shorts; they were meant to be worn together! I wore the beaded necklace with the clasp up front because I loved the detail of it.


If you're also an Autumn lover, how do you celebrate the coming season with your wardrobe choices? Do you ease in with colors or go all out and wear sweaters in September even if it's hot. (No judgment ;) )


Bodysuit: Who What Wear x Target

Tweed Colorblock Shorts: Proenza Schouler (Roundabout

Belt: Kenneth Cole Reaction (Marshalls)

Bag: Louis Vuitton Epi Leather Sac D'Epaule (HauteTrader)

Sandals: Lanvin studded leather 'City' sandal (The RealReal)

Sunglasses: Ray Ban 'Erika' c/o Shopbop

Necklaces: AUrate Simple Pearl Necklace, AURATE X KERRY: Lioness Pendant & Destination Aura Beaded Necklace (Marrakech)

 







 *This post was made in partnership with Responsival.  Thank you for supporting brands I feature*


 

I broke my no spending streak! But I used blog profits so technically still didn't spend "real" money.  I got a site credit/promotion for $25 off a $50 purchase at TheRealReal so I did a quick (aka all night long) browse and found a couple things to splurge on. Some new with tags jeans and a really cute Marc by Marc Jacobs sweater. After all my years of blogging still one of my favorite brands (even though it was discontinued in 2015, haha.) I also threw in an $8 tank to get me to the $50. Since that was so cheap I'm splitting the $25 between the sweater and jeans for wardrobe price purposes.

 

Upon writing this post I found out, according to WWD, that J Brand won't be selling jeans on their website and in department stores anymore. Hopefully this doesn't mean they will disappear because they're one of my favorite jean brands! (Especially the Maria high rise)


Beginning with the summer 2021 collection, J Brand will be sold via Fast Retailing’s divisions, Uniqlo and Theory stores.  The brand’s Web site will be paused in spring 2021 and will  eventually be redeveloped.  It is conceivable that J Brand would open freestanding stores in the future.

I also got a $15 credit for Madewell and was trying to resist using it but then yesterday they had extra 40% off sale and free expedited shipping. I ended up buying two v-neck tees for $4. Can't beat that! They should be here tomorrow. Apparently I had a purple theme this month.

 

I also got a few new things for a sponsored Instagram post this month. Some workout clothes from Dona Jo. And I got new pieces from Aurate for a post next month. Stay tuned!

 

THE (modified) RULES

  1. Be mindful of purchases 
  2. Quality over quantity
  3. Basics are best

 

MY PROGRESS

 

Clothes:

  1. *NEW!* Marc by Marc Jacobs cropped sweater ($12.50, retail $298, used ad money)
  2. *NEW!* J Brand Maria High Rise in Purple Velvet ($7.50, retail $228, used ad money)
  3. *NEW!* Current/Elliott "The Muscle" leopard print tank ($8, retail $75?, used ad money)


Basics:
  1. mīere the label "Frankie" knit sweater in Faded Black ($56.92, $32.15 if we omit shipping)
  2. *NEW!* Madewell Whisper Cotton V-Neck Tee in Spiced Plum ($2, retail $19.50, used ad money)
  3. *NEW!* Madewell Whisper Cotton V-Neck Tee in Sahara Sand  ($2, retail $19.50, used ad money)

 

Shoes:

  1. Ancient Greek Sandals Kore of Berlin ($365, used Shopbop gift cards + ad money + 15% off)


Handbags:

  1. None yet

 

Accessories:
  1. None yet

 
 

Activewear/Swimwear:

  1. Ryka "Belong" Walking Shoe in Plum Red/Burgundy via DSW ($26.58, $79.99 retail)

 

Gifted from Brands:

 

Spent in August: $0

Spent in 2022: $83.50


The last time I wore this jumpsuit was on our honeymoon in 2019 so it was only fitting that I would wear it with 2 pieces I bought on our honeymoon! I bought the sandals at thee Ancient Greek Sandals flagship store in Athens and the bag in a little shop in Venice. Longtime readeers will know that this used to have long sleeves which you can see in the photos from the first time I wore it in Positano in 2017. I had my mom take the sleeves off it in the Summer of 2019 because I didn't see myself wearing it again if it still had sleeves.


I should probably stop wearing these sandals, at least on outfit photo days. They've been in 3 of the last 7 outfit posts, whoops! But that shows you how comfy they are!


I wanted to take photos where we had lunch last weekend but the sun was just far too bright so the photos weren't great. Then we were going to take photos at one of our usual spots but there were too many people there so we settled on my parent's backyard, ha ha.


Rosewood Jumpsuit (MODIFIED): Twelfth Street by Cynthia Vincent  (Anthropologie)

Sandals: Ancient Greek Sandals 'Apteros' in Crosta Wine (bought in Athens)

Italian Leather Bag: bought in Venice

 



 

I wore this back in July when Christian had to do an afternoon video shoot in Newtown. I was having a slow work day and decided to tag along because it was an informal "get shots around town" kind of situation. We drove around town getting videos and drone shots of various parks and buildings. This was a fun Victory Garden at Fairfield Hills.  It is kind of hidden in the back of the park, we almost didn't find it, ha ha. There were so many cool vegetables and trees growing - even peaches! It was basically Christian's dream garden. Hopefully one day he's able to have a nice, big garden to grow everything his heart desires!


Dress: Who What Wear Floral Shirt Dress via Target

Bag: Purple Prada Cahier in Viola (Rebag via Vestiaire Collective)

Sandals: Ancient Greek Sandals 'Apteros' in Crosta Wine (bought in Athens)

Sunglasses: Gucci Aviators (bought in Rome)






They also had some really cool paintings on old doors. There are 2 of my favorites but there were a ton more!



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