Saturday, May 19, 2012

Mickey Hunt!

Alright, so this is kind of a strange post. 

Are any of you in Anaheim? While I was down there I found something I REALLY wanted. 
It was a Mickey Mouse doll made to look very old. He was sewn from cloth and did not look like modern-day Mickey does.  He wasn't exactly like the old style Mickey dolls from Disneyland, but very similar. I was going to get him but decided to pick him up after my last night in the park so I wouldn't have to carry him around all night. 

Welp. Guess what I forgot. :(

It was in the gift shop attached to the Anaheim Plaza Hotel, on the corner of Harbor and Disney Way.
It's basically right across from the entrance!
 If anyone reads this and happens to be there, or ever see him please let me know, and I will paypal you the money for him and shipping to send him! He was only 20 dollars!
I really, REALLY want him!  

This is the closest match to him I can find. 
For all I know he may be long gone by now. 
But if you should ever see him or one like him/this for cheap, PLEASE let me know! :D

More Scheming and Planning!

Had another good day, today! Before I left for L.A, I packed up our entire place in boxes, and during the process, I purged more than half of my belongings! I had boxes and boxes and boxes of stuff to get rid of. Since I did not have time to have a yardsale before leaving, my mom was going to do it for me. But since I came home, guess what we did today?! 

It was a yardsale of epic proportions. Art/craft supplies galore, Halloween goodies everywhere, plush, toys, clothing, furniture, rugs, dishes- you name it, I had it! I ended up making a good amount of money on it, and it felt awesome getting rid of so much stuff! I will be able to move into out new place with a clean slate. I kept very little of anything, and now I can move in with a very small amount of stuff, and have it 100% organized.

In other news, I was up ALL NIGHT planning my new place. Seeing the apartment yesterday just made me so happy and excited. I genuinely love decorating and arranging spaces and I get to start all over! 

I am on the prowl for a cool china closet or entertainment center with shelving and storage. I found an awesome one here in town but its huge so I need to wait until I get my other furniture in the living room to see how and if it will fit. I want one to display all my cool collectibles and gifts and art on top of the shelves, and use the bottom for craft and art supply storage. 
I like this exact green too! I think I will try to paint whatever I find a similar color. 

I can't paint the walls and I will be a little bit limited in how much I can hang up on them, but I still plan to blast the living room with color. 
I want a bohemian vibe with mixed colors everywhere with no rhyme or reason. 
I am going to use some of my yardsale earnings from today to go buy fabric to make pillow-cases for my existing pillows. I am thinking I will go with the jewel-tone inspired values I posted here-
purple, orange, yellow, turquoise, green, etc.
I have my black candle chandelier and my mom's vintage hippy bohemian rug from her teenage/20s years that will be perfect to really set the tone!

As for the kitchen, I came up with a new idea last night. I still may change my mind on this, but I think I will go with a vintage Disneyland theme as opposed to just classic Mickey. Vintage Disney opens up A LOT more possibilities, and a limitless color palette. I want to do washed out tones- not pastels! Yuck! 
I actually took a picture of a pin I have made to look like the original Disneyland sign and color-matched all the colors on it.
I think this photo capture the colors well too!
I definitely want to make a cool bunting with ribbon, fabric, paper, and pictures to run over the entire top space between the cabinets and ceiling- 
a combination of these:
I plan to put some of my Disney books up on that cabinet space, along with teacups and saucers (Mad Tea Party ride), vintage birdcages, candlesticks, doorknobs, etc (Haunted Mansion, Mainstreet), some cute bird figures I have (Tiki Room) and a bunch of other stuff. 

I would really like the large versions of both these prints for it someday!
I thought a vintage suit case would be cute with old style Disneyland tickets and a retro Mickey doll would be really cool if I can find the right pieces! 

 Speaking of which! Are any of you in Anaheim? While I was down there I found something I REALLY wanted. It was a Mickey Mouse doll made to look very old. He was sewn from cloth and did not look like modern-day Mickey does.  He wasn't exactly like the old style Mickey dolls from Disneyland, but very similar. I was going to get him but decided to pick him up after my last night in the park so I wouldn't have to carry him around all night. 

Welp. Guess what I forgot. :(

It was in the gift shop attached to the Anaheim Plaza Hotel, on the corner of Harbor and Disney Way.
It's basically right across from the entrance!
 If anyone reads this and happens to be there, or ever see him please let me know, and I will paypal you the money for him and shipping to send him! He was only 20 dollars!
I really, REALLY want him!  

Anyway, that was a random tangent, wasn't it! 
Sorry. Naturally, I have Mickey and all things Disney heavy on the brain so it's hard for me not to just blurt things out (or type them I guess!).

No plans for the bedroom yet, really! I do know that I want to make some sort of makeshift headboard but I have not decided what yet, or picked a color scheme. 

I do have plans for my porch, but nothing to show you my line of thinking, really. I want it to be inspired by Alice in Wonderland! 

Well, I really need some sleep and I won't get any if I don't just shut my laptop and go to bed!

Friday, May 18, 2012


Hello friends! 

I thought I would do a quick update on the state of things since my last post was such a downer. While I a still totally sad about everything that happened, things are definitely looking up.

Kevin and I have an apartment in Boise that we will be moving in a week from tomorrow! Woo! 

It's totally cute and nice. It's about double the size of what we live in now- maybe even more! The living room is huge and has the cutest fireplace ever which I am just itching to get in to decorate and arrange. We have two large bedrooms; the master bedroom will be used for Kevin's man-cave and the tv room (I am taking over the living room for my studio since it's huge and I am in love with the fireplace). The other bedroom is still huge and we have room for a dresser! I know that sounds silly to be excited over a dresser, but our bedroom now fits our bed and nothing else. So a dresser with storage is going to be such a luxury! No more living out of baskets on the floor! Speaking of storage, the place has a huge coat closet, a linen closet and a storage closet- again, living in a place with no closets or storage, this is totally exciting for me! The kitchen is not too much bigger that what we have now, but the cabinets are doubled and we have a dining room! No more eating from tv trays in the living room in our office chairs! The dining room leads to a porch outside that is adorable so I am on the hunt for a patio set. Finally, we now have a bathroom that is about 3 times bigger than ours now, WITH A WASHER AND DRYER. This is was sold us on the place! Our bathroom now is the size of a cracker-jack box...okay, maybe a tiny bit bigger but it's tiny. And we do not have a washer and dryer...if you have lived in a place without these you know how much of pain it can be. I am so excited to do laundry. Yes. I said it. 

When we move in next Saturday I will take real pictures to show the place off and then I can document the whole transformation to making it our own place. own. We all know Kevin has no say in how I decorate. :p

Love this fireplace! It's hard to tell with nothing in there, but the living room is pretty large. This will be my studio but there is plenty of room to make a little sitting area! 
I am planning on a Bohemian/Shabby Chic/Spooky Pooky theme. Which just means a hodge-podge of junk all things I love!

Bathroom counter-space and drawers! 
Our current bathroom does not have a counter top that goes beyond an inch or two from the sink and it doesn't not have any drawers. 
Am I excited? Heck yes, I am! 
I can put my makeup and hair stuff away instead of baskets on the floor and other rooms.

The washer and dryer are in a closet right across for the counter here. 
Not sure how I will decorate it yet, but Amy offered to make me Mickey and Minnie Mouse tissue and toilet paper covers so I guess maybe we might just have to have two Disney rooms! 

I cannot begin to express my excitement over having room for a dining room table. 
Eating at tv trays can get so old! It's messy and uncomfortable.
I think I will do the kitchen in a vintage disney theme since all my dishes are Classic Mickey! 

I didn't take many pictures and I doubt you all care to see a million pictures anyway! :D
I am just so excited to start decorating and to just get a new start. This isn't an apartment in California and I do not live down the street from Disneyland but this is the start to getting back to Anaheim. 

We are paying less than half for this place than we would be paying for a teeny-tiny studio in Cali. 
Nuts, right?!

This was our first priority in my "Disney Comeback Plan." 
Finding a place in Boise is perfect for us right now, because it gets us out of our tiny town and will allow me, both of us really, to get a fresh, new start. 
There are hundreds more job opportunities over here, so we can start saving and get our income bracket up to what it needs to be when we apply for places in California. 
Kevin already got a full-time job- today actually! 
I have not found one yet, but I have not looked too hard. I am waiting until we get moved in there so I can just take a day to drop off resumes everywhere I go.

On top of this, its just a lot more fun and entertaining in Boise.
We have grown up going there all our lives so we know the place well, but there is still a ton of new stuff to us.
We have friends here, and there are always concerts and shows to go to. 

I think with this move I will come out of my funk right away!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Craft Therapy: Disney Style

Is it ironic that I make Disney things while watching the Disney channel to get my mind off of Disneyland? Maybe...maybe not. Even though just the first millisecond of a Disney vacation commercial sets off a crying spree for hours, it still makes me feel good to think about Disneyland. It's my happy place - always has been and always will be. Mickey Mouse is my worry stone, and while it hurts to think about anything having to with the parks or products, Disney is still ultimately always going to make me happy.

So today when I woke up and saw on Facebook that a bunch of my new Disney friends I met in my Traditions class had started their jobs today, I needed something to make me happy IMMEDIATELY. I wanted some craft therapy but since our place is completely packed up, I don't have anything out to make stuff. So that meant I needed something easy and that required minimal supplies, time and money. 

Ta-da!!! Mickey Shoes!

I need to clean them up a little bit, but it was only 5 bucks for the shoes and the paints and Mickey buttons I had on hand. Cute results for such a quick and fun project! 

(Also, one more resounding, huge thank you to all the words of encouragement and support! I cannot believe how many wonderful people I have in my life! Thank you so much!!! <3 )

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Picking Up the Pieces

Well. What a week. What a month. I just really quite honestly am at a loss for words. I wanted to write this post to clarify and explain everything that has and is happening. I have thought about what I should say and how I should start this post for days on end. Mulling over it for hours, I have gone over a million opening lines in my head. But the truth is, I simply do not know what to say. I have a million things to say all at once, yet nothing to say at all. After being emotionally shut down all week and unable to respond to anything, I finally decided the easiest way to start healing and to start answering questions is to just sit down and write this. 

My heart hurts. It just hurts. So badly. It's funny how the term heartbreak is mostly metaphorical, but when you are hurting enough it really is physically painful. 

As most of you know, I landed my lifelong dream job of working for Disney. I think it is safe to say that working at Disney goes beyond lifelong dream and you could say it was my obsession. Anyways, my whole apartment at home in Ontario is packed up in boxes and was waiting to come down to Anaheim with Kevin and Kitty. I had gone a few weeks prior to us both moving over to do my paperwork early and then I was to start my job on May 5th. In between that first paperwork date and waiting to actually start my job, our plan was for me to find a place and get everything in order for Kevin and Kitty to come down and then we would be set to kick off our dream life. But those boxes shall remain in Ontario along with Kevin and my beloved cat. They are not coming to L.A. I am not working for Disney. I am not even in L.A./Anaheim anymore- I am back in Ontario.

But my heart is still there in Anaheim. It's still in Disneyland. In a million pieces.

Let's start at the beginning. When I first got the interview for this job I had a million and one doubts. I doubted that I would ever make it down to Anaheim for the interview to even happen- but I made it! I doubted that the interview would go well- but it did! I got a second interview and I doubted that I could make it work and be able to attend it- but I made it happen! Finally, I doubted that I would land the job- but I did. 

I landed a job with Disney. 
My lifelong dream was in my hands and about to all come true. 
I was about to work for the happiest place on Earth and in turn I was the happiest girl on Earth.

Make no mistake. The doubt and fear had not subsided. Not by a long shot. There were many worries, stresses, questions and much despair in making our agonizing decision on whether I could truly accept the job and come down here. I mean, I had accepted it on the spot but I had to truly ask myself if going down to L.A. with just barely over a week's notice to get down there was the right decision. Kevin and I discussed it for hours on end and while I still had an insurmountable amount of apprehension, in the end we decided I had to go and try. Within a week, I had our place disassembled and packed up in boxes, a couple of suitcase for myself and a one-way plane ticket to L.A.

I arrived in California with a plan in my head and hope in my heart. So much hope, so much excitement! When my plane landed I really thought that since I had made it there everything else would fall into place. But I guess that is just how a small town girl with ever-present optimism and a whole lot of naivety thinks. But I learned some things real quick. L.A. isn't like Ontario. California isn't like Oregon. Of course that is obvious, but Kevin and I didn't see the whole picture at that point. I arrived the day before my appointment and our angle was plain and simple. Attend the paperwork appointment and get that out of the way. Then I had plenty of time to kill before I actually started my training and in that time I would find us an apartment, get the keys and be ready for the husband and cat to arrive with all our stuff. It was fail-proof in our minds- a challenge, yes. But still possible!

But what I was so blissfully unaware of is the harsh truth of L.A. living. We knew it would be expensive here and we knew we would struggle in the beginning. But we had no idea, not even the slightest clue, of just how expensive and how hard it is to get a place to live down there. What I have come to realize is that Californians who have lived here for years even struggle. So when two young,  impulsive and incredulous kids come down here without any idea of what they are getting into and hardly a penny to their names, the reality of it all hits hard. It crushed me. 

We believed it was doable. And a lot of people believed in us. 

I began our apartment search the day of my paperwork appointment; my first day there. It was immediately a little shocking from the get-go. I was appalled by the prices. Just as shocked as I was by how much apartments cost there, people there had the same feeling on how much we pay for ours in Ontario. Let's just say the difference was astonishing! But again, I believe anything is possible which can be simultaneously be my greatest asset and my biggest downfall. I hold fast to dreams and become blind to reality. As the days wore on though, that reality was pushing itself directly in my face more and more with each passing day. With each passing minute. 

Reality first slapped us in the face when we found a dream apartment that was "affordable" (for California at least) and beautiful. Just minutes from the park, across the street from a library, and above all else they were gorgeous and safe. We ignorantly submitted our application believing we would have the keys in a few days. And then the calls started coming in. Because I am only listed as part time I did not make enough on paper to qualify. Because Kevin had JUST quit his job in Ontario that day of applying he was technically unemployed and didn't qualify. After that my heart sunk. 

Our other option was to send in 6 months worth of bank statements to prove we have enough income to be able to live. Our income needed to be 2.5 times the amount of rent. Well in Ontario, it is that and more. But in L.A. it just didn't cut it. Even though we had the money there in our account to be able to cover all the move-in costs it didn't matter because it had to be there for six months. By 6:00 p.m. that day, we were given the news that we would not be approved for the apartment. Mind you, we went through hell getting this all sorted out. Kevin and my mom were at the bank all day getting our statements printed, Kevin spent two hours finding a place and way to get them faxed over, his parents drove into town and transferred money, I spent hours on the phone here getting it worked out and changing our applications per her advice- it was a lot of work. We are talking 8 hours straight of Kevin, both our parents and me trouble shooting.

Honestly, I am still a little bit bitter about the situation. We spent a lot of money, even more time, and above all else invested all of our hearts in the application process. We were so excited and just knew everything was coming together just as we had envisioned. But we were never told about any of the requirements or stipulations to qualify for it beforehand. None of it was mentioned. In fact, the first day I met her my cousin had asked if he could co-sign for us since we were just getting started. When I brought that up the day of all our troubles, she informed me one of us needed to be enrolled in school. That was never mentioned that first day. In the end, it is what it is. What a cliche, right? But cliches exist for a reason I guess. I am still fighting to get our money back from the application fees. I don't think it's fair since we were not informed before we applied. Maybe that is standard affair in California and everybody just knows it- but we didn't know. She knew we were a couple of young kids from Oregon and it should have been all laid out for us before taking our money.

You can take it from here now. That is basically where the rest of our apartment searching went. Now smarter and wiser as what to ask and look for before even asking for an application, I quickly learned that almost all places had the exact same requirements. No matter what, in every place we looked at, there was some strange loop-hole that worked against me and Kevin and made it impossible for us to qualify. This happened over and over and over. In the end it just came down to cold hard facts: Kevin and I will not ever qualify for any apartments. Now I know there has to be apartments out there that do not have such outrageous prices and qualifications. There is no way everybody in Anaheim is making that kind of money and paying those kinds of prices for places to live. But I had no car to just go out and look around and no resources to help me out. B

But then an even more heartbreaking reality began to sink in for me and Kevin.

California is expensive. So, so expensive. We come from a town where we pay NOTHING for rent and living costs are even less. Yet, here we were trying to move to one of the most expensive places in the world. At that point we sat down and began adding up all the costs it was going to take to make this move happen.

Problem #1. Just getting to California, with all of our needs, (moving truck, gas, food, etc) it would have basically wiped out all of our savings we had for our move-in costs. It's a LONG drive from our hometown and gas prices are insane. 

Problem #2. Problem number two is a direct result from problem number one. Say by some miracle we did find a place that would accept us; we would have hardly anything left to even pretend that we could cover first month's rent plus deposits and fees and everything else included in that. And I hear food is important. We wouldn't have any money for that or gas or ANYTHING. I cannot express enough how little we would be left with if anything at all. I honestly doubt we would have enough to even cover the cheapest of rental costs.

Problem #3. Okay, we will continue on the whole scenario game, I guess. Even if we had figured out a way to cover the moving costs along with the apartment and total move-in costs for our first month by winning the lottery or something, June would be here in no time. I am only a part-time employee. I was told that getting 40 hours a week would be no problem at all but it's not a guarantee. So even if I got lucky and I worked 40 hours a week from the get-go and let's say Kevin found a job the day he got there (which is unlikely) and worked 40+ hours a week. It would be two weeks before we got our first paychecks and it would it still would not cover rent cost. Then we get late fees for every day we are late. Then we finally get it paid when we have the total. So what do we use to buy our gas and food and laundry and anything else that should come up? 

Problem #4. Add all of this up and you have a continuous conundrum. Let's keep in mind that the first two problems haven't been solved and would never be solved in our current financial situation. Moving would cost us everything we had and we would not be able to afford an apartment. Not to mention the other problem- we couldn't even get into an apartment. No matter what short-term solutions we found, we would end up in the same situation. We would be in a continuous cycle of barely making rent and it would never balance out in a feasible amount of time that we could finally catch up and make our rent and live comfortably. 

Heck! Not live comfortably...just live!

We literally would not have ever been making enough money to even buy food. 

You might be reading this and think it may still seem plenty possible and that we didn't look into enough places or go over some other choices but I can assure and promise you that we went over every possible answer and it really and truly is not feasible. It's not a matter of us not wanting to make sacrifices. We were 100% ready and willing to give up all of our comforts to make this happen. I did give up everything and hopped on a plane and went down there alone to make it happen. We didn't need or plan to find something awesome and perfect right away and we didn't expect to. We thought we could find something for a month-to-month or 3 month lease and then use that time to find a more permanent place. But it's just not that simple. Finding a temporary place is not possible with most leasing options. If we could get a shorter lease it cost a significant amount of more money.

~It's a sad, awful truth. But it is undeniable. We just don't have the money to live in California at this point in our lives.~

We looked into roommate situations, Kevin staying in Oregon longer while I worked and lived with my relatives, living further out, extended motels, co-signers- EVERYTHING. No matter what, there was a loophole or problem that just kept falling out. Renting just a room was still insanely expensive and I not only would barely make enough just for that, it would be throwing our money away. And let's not forget, if I am paying 650-800 dollars in rent for just a room, I still would have utilities to pay AND Kevin would be back in Ontario paying for rent and bills here so we would not be saving any money whatsoever. We might be paying more in the long run with that idea. We would not be working towards our future of getting our income up to the needed criteria to qualify for apartments. We would not be solving anything. In the end...

We just need more time. 

For this to be manageable we would need to be making enough to pay rent and live not comfortably but  just reasonably. We have to be able to eat, drive do our laundry and complete other necessities but no matter what, that would unfortunately be a problem. would be more than a problem- it would be impossible. And even if we had managed to find a short-term solution we would need to be working towards our long-term solution and start making the apartment requirement income of 2.5 times greater than rent costs immediately and we wouldn't be for a long while. We would be going in an endless circle and just getting more and more in debt.

I cannot thank my friends enough who were and have still been sending me links and tips and trying to find every possible route. But please know we went over every single option and it just would never ever work in our financial situation. It just couldn't. We had no idea what we were getting ourselves into and the money is just not there. But I am so incredibly grateful to everybody that pulled for us and helped and offered us money, a couch to stay on, links to apartments, money, or just simple moral support. A thoughtful word and a shoulder to cry on. Texts and messages with amazing heart-felt words. You are the ones who got me through this whole mess and are still getting me through it as I write this. I cannot ever thank you enough, and I love you all so much.

And now this all brings me to now. I am back in Ontario. I came home to an apartment completely packed up in boxes, all waiting to be hauled to California. 

I am not going to lie- I cry a lot right now. 

I know my life is wonderful and this is not the end of the world. I know I have such a wonderful life and so much to be thankful for. And I am. I really am. But I just have wanted to work at Disney for so long and I wanted this to work out so badly. I wanted to prove to everybody that I could rise above it all and figure it out. I wanted this to be the start to my artistic career with Disney. I love Disney with all my heart and I want nothing more in life to work for them. I thought this was my start. But sometimes no matter how hard you try and no matter how much you give, external factors really do just get in the way. And sometimes no matter how strong you try to be, it just hurts. Life can just hurt. You heart can hurt. 

Everything just hurts.

I have a tendency to blame myself for things gone wrong. I can't help but feel like I failed in this journey, but in the end, I know in my heart that this is not a failure. It will take some time for me to convince myself of that, but I do know it deep down and that is what is important. The seedling thoughts of my shortcomings and wrong-doings continuously sprout up in my mind, and I tell myself what I should have done differently or what I could have done to change things. But I just have to fight it and realize that this was out of my control. I did everything I could.  It just wasn't meant to be- this time.

But my chance WILL come again.

Now I do believe in fate and destiny and I do believe Disney is in mine. But that is not why I will be back at Disney soon. I will be back because I am going to do everything it takes to get back. I am going  to work as hard as I can to make my dreams come true. I have never wanted anything more in my life and I will never give up to get it. This journey was not a failure- it was a life lesson. I was ready to work for Disney and invest in my future, but for reasons I will never understand, it didn't work this time. But now Kevin and I are 100 percent more prepared for when I make my comeback. We now know what the cost is going to be to live down there, what we need to do and have ready to be qualified for apartments. We know where to look and how to get started. 

And I know for a fact I have what it takes. I know for a fact that I will be back. 

Now, all that is left is to immediately begin our plan for my Disney comeback. It is going to take some time for me to heal. I cry all day, but I know I will start to smile soon. I am going to be feeling like me again in no time. Kevin and I have already out our plan in motion, looking for apartments and applying for jobs in Boise. Because our apartment is ready to be moved, we decided a new start in Boise, Idaho is our best option right now. Not only will it be a fresh start for us, there are a million more options for us there job-wise. Not only more choices, but better paying jobs too. We have many friends there and there is a lot more entertainment and things to do- which is exactly what I need in order to start picking up the pieces of my broken heart and pulling myself back together. The sooner we can do this all, the sooner I can start to mend and the sooner I can get back to the Mouse. 

To everybody who has been there for me, again, THANK YOU SO MUCH. I cannot express enough how much you are helping me get through this. I love you all, and I will keep you informed on this continuing journey. Because the ride is not over! I am still in this and Mickey and I will be reunited in no time at all. <3