Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Favorite Videos from 2016

When taking a look at my YouTube analytics the other day, I discovered that my channel just recently reached a cumulative 1 million views - say what! 😄 Looking back over the BookishPrincess videos from 2016, I was reminiscing about some of my favorite uploads...

I finally got around to making an "intro" for my Disney videos this year...and in the process ended up with a whole compilation of clips from trips to Disneyland, Disney World, and aboard the Disney Cruise!

It's so hard to pick a favorite Disney upload because there were so many!  From reliving princess lunch at Akershus, a fabulous cast member tour of the Early Morning Magic breakfast at the Magic Kingdom, sharing Epcot's Flower & Garden Festival from my perspective and Athos's perspective, weathering Hurricane Matthew at the Contemporary.

To celebrate Walt's birthday I had an upload from Marceline, Missouri, Walt's boyhood hometown. Athos and I recreated the Magic Kingdom Welcome Show in his honor. It was pretty hilarious.

In our 2016 bookish travels we journeyed to Orchard House in Massachusetts which was SO magical and inspiring for this Louisa May Alcott fan! We stayed at a charming hotel, the Inn at Hastings, and visited some revolutionary war sites as well.

Possibly my favorite video OF ALL from 2016 was Star Wars IRL - exploring on Skellig Michael the "jedi island" in Ireland.  There were so many other memorable moments from the Europe trip, Wordsworthian wanderings, British bookshops - and I still have many videos to share, stay tuned for those in 2017!

Raise your hand if you jumped on the POKEMON GO bandwagon this year. I know my family did. 😉

This was the first full year when I regularly made videos about books (there's a new one every Thursday!). Of course that meant plenty of Jane Austen, including a bookshelf tour and quote collection. I also made my first original tag, sharing five "Never Before Seen on Booktube" books that deserve some more internet hype!

Whether you're a new follower or an old friend, thank you all so much for reading and watching along this year! Here's sending you best wishes for a wonderful 2017. 💕

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Christmas Pixie Dust

People, look east. The time is near
Of the crowning of the year.
Make your house fair as you are able,
Trim the hearth and set the table.
People, look east and sing today:
Love, the guest, is on the way.

I absolutely love Christmas and Advent music, so to celebrate the festive season this year I thought I'd talk my little brother Dart into being my guitarist and share some of my favorites!  People Look East by Eleanor Farjeon is just like poetry.  Each verse seems more beautiful than the last:

Stars, keep the watch. When night is dim
One more light the bowl shall brim,
Shining beyond the frosty weather,
Bright as sun and moon together.
People, look east and sing today:
Love, the star, is on the way.

The second song Dart and I did is something sweet. ;) How is that Christmas Cookies by George Strait doesn't get played more on the radio?  It's SO PERFECT.  And making the video gave me the perfect excuse for plenty of baking!

One last video in case you missed it...I shared a "haul" of beautiful Christmas Children's picture books: click above to watch!

Wishing everyone a blessed and joyful holiday!

Monday, December 12, 2016

Top 20 Disney World Secrets

I know I've said it before, but when people ask me why I love Disney World so much, the answer is always: it's in the little things.

Disney magic is in the details - I love the fact that everything you walk by in the parks and at the resorts has so much thought put into it.  Nothing is accidental.  Half the time you can't even take it all in.  There are Disney Secrets hidden in plain sight all around you.

My brother Athos and I have been doing a new video series on my YouTube channel, sitting down talk-show style to boil down our top 5 favorite secrets at each park.  From pro tips to hidden details, dinosaurs, throwbacks, pixie dust, princesses, and plenty of hilarity!

I've shared a lot of Disney tips here on the blog and in my videos over the years...if you've ever wondered what my very top tips are, just watch below...

We start things off - where else? - at the Magic Kingdom!

Epcot secrets with a special performance of "Celebrate the Future...hand in hand..."

Pulling out the shades for some Hollywood Studios secrets and Star Wars favorites.

Finally, a mix of secrets and SCIENCE from the Animal Kingdom!

Let use know YOUR favorite Disney secrets down in the comments. :)

Monday, December 5, 2016

Favorite Books and Series for Young Readers

A really good children's book is something you can always come back to, no matter what age you are.

I was an avid reader growing up, and when I got a request awhile ago for reading recommendations for young readers and young girls, I realized I had so many favorite series and books to share!

From Anne of Green Gables to All of a Kind Family - some of my best friends growing up were Laura Ingalls and Besty, Tacy, and Tib!  Watch here to see more and be sure to let me know your childhood favorites in the comments. :)

Monday, November 21, 2016

Walt Disney World Fashion Diary: Fall 2016

I'm going to fill you guys in on our fall trip to WDW last month with a new Disney Fashion Diary!  It was super fun to put together a spring fashion diary from our March trip earlier this year, so here's a rundown of what I wore in October...

-----DAY ONE-----

Many of our Disney trips seem start out at the Magic Kingdom...because when you've just arrived, you can't wait to see that castle!!


Since the spooky season was in full swing, I wore an autumnal colored skirt I found at the Polo Ralph Lauren outlet along with a black boatneck shirt.  The bright orangey-pink shoes are Crocs!


From visiting princesses to heading into uncharted territories!  Aurora and Cinderella both admired my skirt and agreed to set me up with their fairy and mouse seamstresses. ;)

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Quote Collection: November 2016

"It seems to me there is something beyond words - any words - all words - something that always escapes you when you try to grasp it - and yet leaves you with something in your hand which you wouldn't have had if you hadn't reached for it."

Emily Climbs by L.M. Montgomery

As you'll know if you watched my new bookish video, November has been such a good reading month so far!  I thought I would collect a few favorite quotations that I've discovered in a blog post!. :)

"You cannot judge the importance of things by the noise they make. Oh dear me, no....And these things that have mattered for thousands of years are not going to be snuffed out because some stink merchant in his laboratory invents a new kind of mischief."

Goodbye, Mr. Chips by James Hilton

(this is such a short read by so SO good!)


"[She had] the skill of remembering at all times who one was and where one came from rather than bothering, as modern people did, with trying to guess where one was headed."

"It isn't always easy to know what one feels, Horacio. There are submerged currents colliding, then combining and merging."

The Awakening of Miss Prim by Natalia Sanmartin Fenollera

(go watch the video to hear more about this book - I loved it so much!)


"You remember 'rent'? It was one of father's words - rent to the ideal, to his own faith in human nature. You remember how he would trust strangers, and if they fooled him he would say, 'It's better to be fooled than to be suspicious' - that the confidence trick is the work of man, but the want-of-confidence trick is the work of the devil."

"It is the starved imagination, not the well-nourished, that is afraid."

"Her mind trembled towards a conclusion which only the unwise would have put into words."

"Never heard of an aura? Oh, happy, happy man! I scrub at mind for hours. Nor of an astral plane?"

Howards End by E.M. Forster

(that last one just makes me laugh!)

Friday, November 11, 2016

Epcot Food & Wine Festival 2016

I hope you aren't hungry, because we're about to go on a culinary world-wide adventure...

I'm talking about Epcot's FOOD & WINE FESTIVAL of course!

This year they had the coolest poster art showcasing the different eats lining the entrance to the park - I would totally have bought these on a shirt, a postcard - but they didn't use the designs in any of the merch. Such a bummer!


The real food, luckily, was not a bummer! Yes, those are potato chips on that lamb chop from Australia.  And yes, it was delicious!

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Currently Reading: Fall Favorites

"Books were Emily's friends wherever she found them." -Emily of New Moon by L.M. Montgomery

As the weather gets colder and the leaves fall from the trees, all I want to do is stay inside with a hot beverage and a good book!

Luckily I've been reading quite a few of them this autumn - from discovering more Dorothy Sayers (I think Have His Carcase is the fifth or sixth Lord Peter book I've read this year) to Halloween reads (if you haven't heard of The Witch Family by Eleanor Estes you need to go look it up right now) to a new Elizabeth Goudge favorite in The Scent of Water (although let's be real: every Elizabeth Goudge book I read seems to be my favorite!).

Get some new reading recommendations over on my YouTube channel and make sure you're subscribed for more bookish videos to come!

Monday, October 31, 2016

Mary Poppins & Scary Poppins at MNSSHP!

Who's ready for a HALLOWEEN PARTY??

You know we are!

Happy Halloween, everybody!  If you've been following me on social media, you'll know Athos and I were Mary Poppins and Bert again at Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party this year.

So supercalifragilisticexpialadocious that once wasn't enough!

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Hurricane Matthew at Walt Disney World

If you've been following me on social media or on YouTube you'll know that my family was staying at Walt Disney World during Hurricane Matthew earlier this month.

We arrived to dramatic but ominous Florida skies!  There had been lots of chatter about the hurricane that was coming and what was going to happen...

We were staying at the Contemporary, which, as I heard one lady describe it to her worried family on the phone, is "a concrete block with generators."  Not a bad place to ride out a hurricane!

Friday, September 30, 2016

New Classics Book Haul!

Being a part of the "booktube" community on YouTube has definitely affected my book buying habits.  There are so many pretty editions of my favorite books that I had no idea existed!

I just posted a new book haul featuring one of my favorite editions: the Penguin English Library classics.  I love the paperbacks and unfortunately you don't see them very much in bookstores in the states...luckily Book Depository has free shipping from the UK. #majorwin

I'm also in love with the Vintage Classics editions of Jane Austen with the colorful covers!  A girl can never have too many copies of Pride & Prejudice on her shelf, right?  Just the other day I discovered that Vintage Classics does gorgeous editions of Virgina Woolf as well.  I think I'm in trouble... ;)

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Throwback Thursday: Halloween Pixie Dust at the Magic Kingdom

October and the not-so-scariest season of the year are almost here, so naturally I've been dreaming about Halloween pixie dust at Walt Disney World recently and thinking back on fun fall trips!

While Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party is fabulous, there's also something to be said for just spending a non-party day at the Magic Kingdom soaking in all the spooks.

Last year, early in the trip, my family visited the park on a party day - but not our party day - and it was really fun to watch guests in costumes arriving, see preparations for Not So Scary in progress, enjoy all the fall decor (which my Minnie Mouse Witch Hat matched perfectly!)...but it was actually relaxing knowing we didn't have to rush to get our costumes on or get in lines for characters  - we knew the magic of our night at MNSSHP was still ahead!

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Disney's Saratoga Springs 2-Bedroom Villa Tour

One of the most magical moments of a Walt Disney World vacation is when you're pulling up to one of the resort hotels in your car, you roll down the window to show the security guard your photo id, and he says those two wonderful words:


You may hear this greeting just about anywhere on property, but you'll definitely hear it at the Disney Vacation Club resorts.  So Welcome Home, my friends, because today we're checking into what I always think of as the DVC flagship, SARATOGA SPRINGS, to take a tour of a two bedroom villa!

When taking photos of a Disney resort room, there should always be a mirror selfie involved. Fact. ;)

You can catch a glimpse of the Carriage House (where you check in) in the vlog!  I just love the buildings and the entire atmosphere at Saratoga Springs.

It's elegant yet relaxed and so vacation-y - the gardens everywhere are gorgeous.

As Saratoga Springs is a DVC resort the room categories are going to be a little different from those at standard Disney resorts.  You start with the studio and work your way up through the 1-bedroom villa, the 2-bedroom villa, and the 3-bedroom (or grand!) villa.  I honestly can't imagine what a grand villa would feel like, because just the 2-bedroom villa (what we're looking at today!) feels like a mini apartment - you get so much space!  Seriously, there's a kitchen, dining area, living room, two bedrooms, and two bathrooms (one with a jacuzzi tub!)...

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Rey's Guide to Skellig Michael (aka Star Wars Jedi Island)

When you look to the horizon from certain cliffs of County Kerry, you'll see two peaks jutting up from the sea.  On a stormy day (there are plenty of those in Ireland), they'll constantly be disappearing in the rain and mist, and you'll wonder if you just imagined the sight.

Oh, they're real - and they've obviously been capturing the imagination of humans throughout history.  Over a thousand years ago the first band of intrepid monks grew tired of just looking from the shore and established a remote monastery here which endured for centuries.  So when a new Star Wars film arrived in the world and Luke needed a jedi island to hide on, there's really only one place in the entire galaxy he'd escape to: SKELLIG MICHAEL.

Today's post is a review of our trip to Skellig Michael!  It will be a mix of tips and memories and Star Wars references. ;) As the one and only Poe Dameron said to Finn, "WE'RE GONNA DO THIS."

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Skipper Canteen | Restaurant Review

HELLO!  My name is Emma, and I'll be your skipper, chef, alligator wrestler, smoothie taster, and swimming instructor...you know, if you don't laugh at my jokes...

What's that? You've heard that one before?  Oh no you haven't...

Because we're not just talking about the Jungle Cruise RIDE - today we're talking about the Jungle Cruise RESTAURANT, the Skipper Canteen at the Magic Kingdom!

Everybody on board for a review of world famous jungle cuisine?  Then off we go for a two week cruise...

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Checking In: Back from Europe!

AGH!  Where has the summer been going, guys?  I've been just a little bit busy lately...

...searching for Luke Skywalker, learning to be a jedi, defeating Kylo Ren...you know...the ushe!

June seemed to fly by because I spent two weeks of it adventuring in England & Ireland!  Skellig Michael aka the Jedi Island was one of many incredible stops.

The tongs are my favorite part of this video.  LOL.


A few highlights from Instagram...Kensington Palace, Oxford, Kylemore Abbey...I can't wait to share more...


...especially all the cake and tea!

There were many delicious snacks...

...and some fun bookish finds as well.

Stay tuned for more!

Monday, May 23, 2016

Early Morning Magic at the Magic Kingdom & Pinocchio Village Haus Breakfast

Any early morning spent at the Magic Kingdom park is always going to be pretty magical, but there's a new experience actually called Early Morning Magic that gives you an extra dose of the pixie dust.

Today's new video over on my YouTube channel is all about it!  The two nicest and cutest cast members EVER - Victor and Claire - give us a tour of the breakfast buffet at Pinocchio Village Haus...

Pinocchio Village Haus serves breakfast, you say??  There's a buffet laid out for the Early Morning Magic guests, but you probably won't want to to stop and eat right away...

When you do Early Morning Magic, you check in at the Magic Kingdom turnstiles at 7:30, and at 7:45 you're in the park.  It's like having an early ADR at Crystal Palace or Be Our Guest or Cinderella's Royal Table - you get that lovely empty Main Street to enjoy.  Only with Early Morning Magic, some of the rides are actually running for you...

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

A Visit with Lady Liberty | NYC Trip Report

I have one last installment to close out the New York City trip report I've been slowly posting!  My cousin Becky and I spent the last few hours of our trip paying a visit to a certain lady...

The Statue of Liberty!

What better way to bid Manhattan adieu than with a trip to Liberty Island?

Monday, May 16, 2016

Disney's Coronado Springs Resort | Room Tour

Of the many Walt Disney World resort room tours I've shared here on A Pinch of Pixie Dust, I don't think we've done one yet for the moderate resort Coronado Springs.

That changes today!

I know I've shared lots of other things I love about Coronado on the blog...like the colors of the resort, or colorful outfits to wear at the resort, or fun details at the Conference Center, or the Christmas decorations...

There's plenty of magic at Coronado Springs...

... like colorful coral corridors that captivate... #alliterationwin

...poolside Mayan temples await...

...you may run into three amigos...

So what are we waiting for?  Let's step inside - we're arrived!

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

BEST OF Star Wars Launch Bay | Walt Disney World

Today is MAY the FOURTH, my friends.

May the Fourth Be with You.
(Raise your hand if that makes you want to say "And also with you." or alternately "And with your spirit." #starwarscatholics)

In other words, it's STAR WARS Day so I'll give you one guess what this post is about...

We're talking all things STAR WARS LAUNCH BAY at Walt Disney World in Disney's Hollywood Studios Park.  I am pretty extremely bummed that Star Wars Weekends are gone, but I can't wait for the new Star Wars Land to open, and in the meantime, I have to say...the Launch Bay is a pretty awesome stand-in.


Staring contests with Kylo Ren, hanging with the jawas, sampling some dark side chicken and waffles...

In the words of Poe Dameron, "WE'RE GONNA DO THIS."

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Currently: 05.01.2016

Happy May, everyone!  I hope it's been a lovely spring for you all so far.  It's been awhile since I last did a currently post, so I thought it'd be fun to share some recent favorites...

currently listening to...Brand New by Ben Rector

currently reading...Their Wedding Journey by William Dean Howells. He was friends with Henry James and Mark Twain...nuff said.

currently royal watching...SO much fun stuff from the Royal Family lately...the Duchess of Cambridge's gorgeous wardrobe from her India trip...Prince George meeting the Obamas in his jammies...and now the photos of Princess Charlotte...love.

currently cupcake dreaming...they've got a cupcake ATM coming to Disney Springs. Yes, you read that right.  A cupcake ATM.  How cool will that be?

currently Star Wars dreaming...have you seen the new Rogue One trailer with Felicity Jones Catherine Morland? Can't wait!

currently trip planning...because I'm going to England and Ireland with my cousin Becky this summer!!  We'll be seeing the Taming of the Shrew at the GLOBE, visiting the Lake District, and so much more.  I'm basically absurdly excited.

currently booktubing...there are lots of new bookish videos on my YouTube channel including...

25 Bookish Facts about Me (such a fun tag!)

Classics Haul with Penguin English Library editions and, of course, Jane Austen.

speaking of Jane Austen...

Last month I went to a Jane Austen Day event hosted by JASNA celebrating the novel Emma with scholarly talks and a Jane Austen marketplace. I met up with my friend Kate from booktube - it was so much fun!

still speaking of Jane Austen...there's a new adaptation of one of my favorite and one of the most under-rated Jane Austen works, the short novel Lady Susan, that looks like it's going to be really fun.  For no discernible reason (unless to confuse Jane Austen fans) they renamed it Love and Friendship (which is the name of one of Jane Austen's very early works that is not at all related to Lady Susan). ANYway, here's the trailer.  Fingers crossed it'll be good.

some fun new Disney videos...

I posted an updated version of the "What's in my Disney Bag" video this spring.

Also had so much fun making a "Top 5 Disney Secrets" video with Athos...we're planning to do one for each of the parks!

Other recent pixie dust...

Lunch at Teppan Edo
Epcot Flower & Garden Festival
Visiting Mark Twain's Hannibal
Visiting Louisa May Alcott's Orchard House