Summer Planning // 5 Things to Know for Disney World

Disney Magic Kingdom - Cinderella's Castle

Happy Memorial Day Monday! I’ve been away for a bit facing some unexpected challenges that life decided to throw my way. I’ll share more soon, but right now all I can think about is getting ready for summer and enjoying time away with my family! Summer planning is always fun, and awhile back we were able to take a little “pre-summer break” vacay and escape to sunny Florida! One of my favorite places to enjoy for a short getaway is Disney World. It’s one of my earliest travel memories and to this very day, I cannot get enough of the excitement I feel from planning a visit and getting up extra early just to get there. I remember not being able to wait to take my son when he was born. We’ve been several times now, and yet there is always something new to discover and enjoy when we arrive. (P.S. If you’re trying to figure out the best time to go during the year, check out this “crowd calendar“)

Disney World Magic Kingdom Entrance

Disney Magic Kingdom Rollercoaster Big Thunder Mountain Coincidently, this trip to Disney also happened to fall on Mr. E’s birthday, and I think I was more excited than he was. Ha! It was a last minute trip (reducing our hotel options), and while we had a place to stay with family, we booked a one night stay at Disney’s Pop Century Resort. The basic rooms are relatively small, but were perfect enough for a one night stay. And one of the bonuses of staying on the property was the extra two hours of Disney magic we got to enjoy as part of their weekly Magic Hours for guests of any of the Disney properties. (Just do some research as to which park-Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Animal Kingdom or Hollywood Studios- are holding the extra hours in advance as they change weekly.)

Pop Century Resort - Disney World

Disney Resort Pop Century Pool

This Season's Gold - Disney Pop Century Resort

Family Fun at Disney World with Minnie

  1. 180 Days – That’s how early in advance you should (and can!) book a breakfast, lunch or dinner at any of the upscale places to eat on the property (Cinderella’s Castle, Be Our Guest,and one of the best places to watch the fireworks, Wishes Dessert Party) And if you book breakfast at Cinderella’s Castle, you might even get in to the park earlier than everyone else! 
  2. Magic Bands – The key to pretty much everything! It’s your hotel room key, your wallet (holds credit card info), your tickets to enter the park, your FastPass (get the APP!) to 3 rides in advance BEFORE arriving, your pictures with all the characters…even your meal plan. It’s kept secure and has a unique ID chip that you use your thumbprint to identify you to the band. You can order these ahead of time and get them personalized with your name as well! 
  3. Early Birds get the worms – Yup! If you’re only going to spend a day at Magic Kingdom (we did this time around), you might as well plan to sacrifice the early wake up to enjoy the character greetings and pictures that look like you’re the only ones at the happiest place on Earth!
  4. Ways to Save – Your everyday dollar store is a great place for some of the basic things you should take in with you into the parks at Disney so you don’t have to worry about spending for the unexpected while you’re there.
    1. Ponchos for Florida’s intermittent rain showers
    2. Glow in the dark glow sticks/bracelets so you don’t feel guilty when the overpriced glowing sparkly cart comes around right before Electric Parade. 
    3. Have the kids were their swim shorts (for whatever reason you can possibly think of!)
    4. Make a trail mix ahead of time and pack into small snack baggies. 
  5. Have Fun – You might not make it to every ride you want in just one day, but here are a few options for making it to as many as possible, and which we think (as my 6 year old suggests) are the best in order (in other words, get FastPass for the first 3):
    1. Mining Train (recently newer rollercoaster)
    2. Peter Pan’s Flight (colorful, glow in the dark)
    3. Splash Mountain (this is where you use your ponchos.)
    4. Thunder Mountain (fake TNT!-he wrote this as a precaution to all my readers)

Cinderella's Castle in color at night

Wishing you a wonderful Memorial Day! I’m happy to be back sharing with you! Thank you so much for reading and sticking with me! 

What are some of your top Disney tips for traveling to Disney World or Disneyland? 

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Petite in Layers // Crop Top and Bell Sleeves

This Season's Gold // Petite in Layers

SHOP THE POST // Black crop top | Bell sleeve top (under $25!) | High-waisted jeans | Strappy sandals  (similar)| Fringe clutch (old, similar here and here) | Sunglasses (similar)

Happy Friday! I swear every time I think I have all my ducks in a row, something happens to derail even the most well-made plans. Does that ever happen to you? I’d like to think I’m not the only one. This week has been filled with layers of challenges that only compounded as the week went by. But you know the most important part of dealing with those challenges? It’s finding a way to deal with them and face them head on so that they do not stop you from moving forward. So, that’s exactly what I did. How do you deal with challenges when you least expect them? I’d love to know!

Alright, let’s talk fashion and travel! I have been working on plans to return to Cape Cod this summer, and it’s always makes for an exciting time when making travel plans. Cape Cod is such a quaint and beautiful part of Massachusetts, and every year we enjoy finding new parts of the Cape to explore. Check out my post  here and here from our visit last year! And while I am still trying to find some spring weather to dress for outside my door (Mr. E jokes the poles have shifted!), I’ve been exploring wearing layers on my petite 5′ frame.

This Season's Gold // Petite Layers - crop top

Now, I don’t think I’ve worn a crop top since the 90’s (I’ll have to double check on that!), but the only way I’m comfortable wearing them at this point is in layers! Ha!

This Season's Gold // Petite Layers - Ombre

This Season's Gold // Petite Layers - Crop top and button down

I enjoyed finding this black cropped shell top because it is a great basic piece to have for all seasons. I can layer this over a button down as I did here for work,  or over a turtleneck in the winter, or even on a longer tank top in the summer. So it’s definitely an investment piece (this one was under $30!) to have in your closet.

This Season's Gold // Petite in Layers - Bell sleeve top

This Season's Gold // Petite in Layers - Striped bell sleeve top

The funny part of the layering the black crop with the bell sleeve top is that it was also a cropped top. However, when I put them together, it gave me a bit of length in my torso, and the striped bell sleeves gave me length in the arms!

It does help that I am wearing high waisted jeans (a shape I’m currently loving!). It’s something about that extra cinch! Ha!

This Season's Gold // Petite in Layers - Zara crop top

I wanted to play with structure of the lines  in the look, and so the layers of fringe on the clutch reflected the stripes in the blouse to give the outfit some edge.  Wearing open sandals was my way of defying the cool spring weather and keep it basic.

This Season's Gold // Petite in Layers - Fringe clutch

This Season's Gold // Petite in Layers - Lace-up Sandals

SHOP THE POST // Black crop top Bell sleeve top (under $25!) | High-waisted jeans | Strappy sandals  (similar)| Fringe clutch (old, similar here and here) | Sunglasses (similar)

Thank you for stopping by! And if you haven’t seen my new Currently Shopping For page, I’d love for you to stop by and check it out. In a hurry? I’ve posted my favorite spring finds right in the side bar! Enjoy! Stay golden!

Jessica TSG Signature

Travel Bug // Family Trip to Montreal

This Season's Gold // Old Montreal Streets

Shop the Feature // Loft coat (on sale!) | Ann Taylor sweater (on sale!)  | J.Crew toothpick jeans | J.Crew hat (similar) | Joie boots (on sale!) | Ralph Lauren Satchel (on sale!)| Keychain (similar) |

Here we are 2016! Happy to share my first post of the year  (I needed a few days to take it all in!) and talking about one of my loves…travel! Outside of the summer drive down to Florida as a kid, I didn’t do too much traveling until I was able to buy myself my own plane tickets! Soon after college, I started to travel more often, happily exploring places like Brussels and Paris on my own. A good part of my travels began when I became a personal assistant to Marc Anthony where we often jetted everywhere for concerts, video shoots, award shows, and charity functions.  I was on a plane almost every weekend, and I began to enjoy the craziness of it all. Of course, as in all things, life happens (happily!) but that didn’t stop my desire to travel. I feel so lucky to have been able to visit so many parts of the world, and still have a desire to visit many more! That’s why I chose to make travel (see Buenos Aires, Greece, Hawaii, Cape Cod) a part of what I share here on This Season’s Gold!

One of our most recent trips was a bit closer to home, but felt like an ocean away at a much needed time. Montreal is such a lovely city to visit. Right now they are experiencing some gorgeous snowfall, but our little family trip to Montreal for Thanksgiving 2015 (I shared some sneak peeks on my Instagram) was so lovely, and warm enough to walk around to shop (major bonus)! Hope you enjoy the photo journal!

Old Montreal horse carriage

Old Port of Montreal

3 Fat Ladies, Old Montreal

Espace Pepin Montreal shop

Montreal shop

Rue St. Catherine Montreal Shop

Street Art in Montreal

Walking through Rue St. Catherine (all the great shops!) and the streets of Old Montreal (more shops and gorgeous architecture!),  I was surprised how much it felt like walking around Tribeca or Soho in New York City. There was always something interesting to see and capture from different angles, which made taking photos for this trip such a joy.

Notre Dame Montreal

Inside Notre Dame Cathedral Montreal

Statue in Notre Dame Cathedral

Notre Dame Cathedral

One place that felt beyond beautiful for words was the Notre Dame Basilica of Montreal. Honestly, I wasn’t taking too much into account other than just appreciating the beauty of the interior of the church mostly because it was my daughter’s birthday, and I simply wanted to feel peaceful there.

Old Montreal street

Solmar Montreal

McGill University Montreal

La Baie Montreal

Pretty buildings and French speaking locals made me feel like I was a world away from home, even though the drive up North was only 7 hours from New York City. From large shops to the architecture of McGill University to quaint and interesting places off the main streets, one of the best parts traveling with Mr. E and my son is that they both like to explore as much as I do. We can’t wait until our next adventure!

Old Montreal Gate

Camel Coat

Shop the Feature // Loft coat (on sale!) | Ann Taylor sweater (on sale!)  | J.Crew toothpick jeans | J.Crew hat (similar) | Joie boots (on sale!) | Ralph Lauren Satchel (on sale!)| Keychain (similar) |

Our family trip to Montreal was definitely a highlight for us as we took time to reflect, enjoy the holiday, and most importantly each other. I will be sharing a Montreal guide to some of the best restaurants (my husband is a major foodie and is a top Yelp restuarant contributor!) and shops (I’m the fashion-obsessed one in the family as you can tell!) we enjoyed most in our next newsletter! We’d love if you would join!

Thank you for reading! Stay gold!
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Time Away :: Links and a Sneak Peek!

Canadian flag

Happy Saturday! This Thanksgiving weekend, Mr. E and I decided we needed to spend time away with our son as we prepare to honor our daughter’s first birthday not with us. I wanted to find a way to honor her, but also celebrate her so that my son could understand that while grief makes you very sad and can make you cry, it can also strengthen you and give you reason to appreciate life and the people around you. We are away in Montréal for a bit, first for me and my son. It is a stunning city full of life and culture, and gorgeous architecture. I look forward to sharing our travel experience with you soon!

Here’s a sneak peek!

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In the meantime, I’m happy to have IFB share such a special post of mine on their Links a la Mode this past week again! I love sharing and supporting other bloggers! Have a wonderful weekend!

Jessica TSG Signature
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Links a la Mode Weekly Roundup: June 25, 2015

SPONSOR: Shopbop sale, Narciso Rodriguez,Nili Lotan, iphoria, Striped & Solid, Raye shoes, Private Party clothing, Madeworn Rock, Boera, Jenny Packham, Hook & Albert, OP Jewellery, Blonde Salad

Closing out Summer:: Colorful Poncho & Red Kimono Dress

Anthropologie Poncho

Hello everyone! It’s the weekend! I have missed out on posting and sharing lately since I have been preparing for the start of the new school year. It’s slowly coming together and getting into the new rhythm of it all has had its ups and downs. The newsletter and  new site are almost ready for a big reveal (it involves so much more than I ever thought, and I want it to be amazing for you all!), and I can’t wait! So, I figured what better way to share how I am closing out summer than with a little look back at my time spent on Cape Cod!

One element of fashion that I love most is playing with color.  And while a great black and white outfit can make you look sleek and defined, there’s just something about wearing color that brings out your personality (See what I mean?). And when I was packing for my vacation a month ago, I wanted  to be comfortable, but also wanted to dress up to have fun in the evenings out on the town. Cape Cod is beautifully colorful during the summer. From the deep hues of the hydrangeas to the blue waters and bright colorful doors, you can’t help but want to play a part of the scenery.

Stripe Sweater Poncho

One thing to love about evenings on the Cape are the cool breezes that come after a long hot day out in the sun. I loved this poncho, not only for the color but for the lightweight and airy feeling when wearing it. I can easily see this being the perfect transitional piece from summer to fall.

Metallic clutch

Being summer, I decided to style the look with a mix of ripped denim and white heels to keep it a bit more casual for the night while out for dinner and a little shopping.

Shopping in cape cod

red kimono print dress

Mr. E and I had the lucky opportunity to go out to the Ocean House for a date night (grandparents are awesome!), and I was so happy to wear this red kimono dress. What makes this dress even more special is that it represents an amazing fashion label that promotes one of a kind textiles made from women artisans around the world. Its mission speaks to my personal interest in supporting and inspiring other women through fashion. Marissa Heyl, the founder of Symbology is a creative force that I hope to have the pleasure of meeting one day. I look forward to seeing and wearing many more of her designs in the future in support of her mission. More about Symbology here.

clare v leopard clutch

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red kimono print dress

Outfit #1: Anthropologie Poncho (love this as well!) | Loft jeans (old, other great boyfriend style here) | Vince Camuto slingback heels | Marc Jacobs clutch (also love these here and here!) | Loft sunglasses | Banana Republic bracelets | Ann Taylor pearl ring

Outfit #2: c/o Symbology Kimono dress |Vince Camuto sandals | Clare V. clutch | J. Crew necklace (old, similar here) | Earrings (old, lovely silver half-moon pair here) | Rings (Bauble Bar has some beautiful rings here)

Thank you for reading!

xoxo, Jessica
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