A Letter to Bridesmaids: Be There for Her

Never have I ever felt more lost and confused as I did during the 8 months of our engagement.

And to be honest, it was kind of my fault.


I was so busy planning a wedding that I unintentionally drifted away from friends. Perhaps subconsciously I avoided interactions to protect myself from unwanted opinions from acquaintances about my wedding.  Or perhaps I was in a gloomy mindset of, “They’re probably too busy to hang out with me” or “They wont care about my stress.”

Whatever the reason, I spent most of my time with family who helped with checklists, deadlines, color swatches, invitations, etc.

While I was thrilled to have this kind of support and all the planning was going well, I was still clueless about how to handle the emotional aspect of getting married. I had little to no newly-married friends I could ask, “Are you feeling how I’m feeling?”

So I secretly begged for the comfort of a fellow bride, a bridesmaid, a friend… anyone around my age who identifies as a female who could hold my hand through some tough conversations about preparing for marriage. Not the wedding.

And while I had all the support and love in the world as far as the wedding planning goes, I still felt alone at times. 

Read More »

Disney Cruise Line: Sense Spa Review/Tips

I’m always up for some serious pampering, especially when it includes a view of the ocean. 

So even before boarding the ship, I was prepared and excited to check out Disney Magic’s spa – specially the massages.

On the first day of the cruise, Senses Spa & Salon raffled like, $200 worth of spa services (don’t quote me on that, I can’t remember the actual amount). My husband and I rushed to participate, but we were a few minutes too late. (Free tip #1: Don’t be late to the spa raffle).

A staff member gave us a great tour of the entire spa. At the end of the tour, she escorted us into a room that included a fancy villa with a whirlpool, a bed, and a verandah overlooking the ocean. It reminded me of those spa rooms you see in resort commercials where this beautiful biracial couple laugh and drink something fruity and caress each other while overlooking the ocean. The place was breathtaking.

She explained the fancy villa is where the Couple’s Choice takes place – an experience that includes whirlpool time, couples massage, tea, and fruit.

“Wow, that sounds really nice,” my husband said, mesmerized by idea of being pampered.

While delighted that my husband seemed enthusiastic about the Couples’s Choice, it was more than I wanted to spend at the spa. Still interested in other treatments, I asked about massages, and she gave us both a mini sample of various types of massages.  That’s when I fell in love with the hot stone massage – and booked it immediately.

The next morning, I returned to the spa for my hot stone massage – which was excellent. Perfect temperature, pressure, etc. Highly recommend it. Afterwards, the friendly massage therapist gave feedback to help treat my shoulder and back pains. I left practically bouncing with joy around the ship – feeling happier and more relaxed than I had in a long time.


After hearing about my massage and seeing how thrilled I was with the experience overall, my husband reflected on the tour and remained very impressed with the couple’s villa and the professional/friendly spa staff.

To my surprise, he suggested we splurge and try Couple’s Choice. Excited, we ran back to the spa and booked the villa to enjoy during one of the mornings at sea.

Couple’s Choice is a 130-minute experience, which includes:
Spa treatment rooms (the massage area and the verandah)
Couples massage (75 minutes)
Private verandah
Personal whirlpool
Open air shower
Roman bed with canopy
Tea Ceremony
Foot Cleansing Ceremony
Fruit plate (including chocolate-covered strawberries)

DSCN2569.jpg

The morning of our treatment, a staff member escorted us to the changing rooms where we were provided with robes and sandals. Massage therapists led us to the Couple’s villa and did an individual consultation as well as recommended/personalized different treatments – Swedish, bamboo, hot stone massage, or you can simply pick from a list of whatever sounds nice to you. Since I had such an amazing experience with my previous massage, I picked the hot stone massage – as did my husband.

Our treatment began with a foot scrub and 40 minutes in the whirlpool.  During this time, the massage therapist prepares for the massages while we relaxed. After our heavenly hot stone massages, we returned to the verandah where we ate chocolate-covered fruit, drank tea, and shared how wonderful our massage was with each other.

We absolutely loved our experience at the spa – especially Couple’s Choice.


Here are the 10 SENSES SPA TIPS:

1. Book in advanced
If you can, book your spa treatments before boarding the ship. This definitely applies to those who have previous experience at the Senses Spa. If you are still uncertain about different treatments (like we were), then don’t miss the Senses Spa Open House the first day of your cruise so you can book your appointments ASAP.

2. Take the tour

Unless you are certain you are NOT going to have spa treatments in the budget or itinerary, take the tour of the entire facility.  You will be impressed with the services they offer, and the staff was very friendly and professional.

Read More »

Travel Diary: Disney Cruise

My husband and I enjoyed our first Disney Cruise!

(Saying “first” because we plan on going again – it was so marvelous).

If you know me, you know I hate cold weather. I can’t stand it.

So being on a Disney cruise in the middle of January was a dream come true.

The 5-night Western Caribbean cruise (Ship : Magic) was a perfect Christmas gift from my husband. I had never experienced a Disney cruise before, and we (mostly just me) were excited to escape the gray, cold winter and bask in the sun in the middle of the glistening ocean!

We traveled to Cozumel Mexico then sailed away to Castaway Cay (Disney’s private island). We also spent two fun-filled days at sea enjoying shows, musicals, trivia, bingo, movie theatre, spa, adult-only pool, and nightclubs.

We were thrilled to find plenty of activities for adults-only, (especially for Disney-lovers traveling without children!) To be quite honest, I’m convinced adults have more fun than the kids on a Disney cruise!

disneycruiseOther than a few nights of rocky waters (which resulted in a little bit of sea sickness), everything was perfect – including the weather, food, and even Disney Cruise Line (DCL) cast members.

One of our favorite aspects of the cruise was meeting DCL cast members from around the world. Each one we met was friendly, energetic, and happy to answer any questions we had about cruise activities or port excursions.

cruise

While we loved so many experiences on our cruise, the highlights were:

– Watching fireworks at sea on Pirate Night
– Relaxing at the spa’s Couple Villa
– Snorkeling in Cozumel
– Eating (pretty much all the time)
– Irish dancing at the ship’s pub
– Seeing the shows (specifically the magic/comedy shows)
– Laying out by Quiet Cove (adult-only pool)

More specific blog posts coming soon (spa, pirate night, adult activities, etc.) But for now… here are some photos and a fun video of our wonderful cruise! Enjoy!

16265175_1189193194509429_2905707159243267418_n

cozumel

dscn2565

img_8368

img_8463mickey-minnie-2-1

“Look Mom, I’m on ‘Walt Disney World Jobs’!”

First of all, Happy (belated) New Year!

The first fews weeks of 2017 has been pretty exciting for me.

Last week, one of my Instagram posts ended up on Walt Disney World Jobs AND Walt Disney World – LinkedIn.

(Truly a dream come true).

It has inspired me to write a blog post about Disney Traditions Tips… coming soon.

But for now, I’m going to enjoy this:

“Traditions, our cast member orientation, is where your Disney journey starts!”

Screen Shot 2017-01-02 at 1.13.00 PM.png


Screen Shot 2017-01-04 at 4.09.43 PM.png
Photography: Ashlyn Lillibridge

Disney Doodle: Up “You are my Greatest Adventure”

Disney’s Up is one of my favorite movies of all time.

I saw this movie in theaters in high school with a bunch of friends.  My friend Jacob, who is normally a pretty cranky person, cried from laughing so hard at Doug the dog. We were the loudest group of people in the movie theater. Russel, Dug, and Kevin (Kevin’s a girl??) were all so adorable, funny, and magical.

But nothing is as adorable, sweet, and wonderful as Carl and Ellie. #truelove  What a beautiful story of the adventures and joys of married life.

I painted this 12×12 acrylic piece for a friend who loves the movie Up and all the characters in it just as much as I do! She just got engaged to the love of her life. May they always be each other’s greatest adventure!

For more Disney doodles, check here!

❤ catie bee art

(Dug ^)

10 Tips for Disney Meet-and-Greets: What the Characters Want You to Know

The Disney parks have this beautiful thing called character meet-and-greets.

(aka the incredible opportunity to visit with your favorite characters).

How COOL is that??

After performing in the parks, I not only gained a deep appreciation for the characters, but I also learned that there is a very specific layout of meet-and-greets.

The typical layout of a meet-and-greet is:
catiebee.jpg

Character meet-and-greets include the princesses, Pixar characters, and more.

Each meet-and-greet has a character or two, a character attendant (basically a body guard for the character), and a Photopass photographer who takes photos of the fun interaction.

While the characters are spread out all over the four main Disney parks, most meet-and-greets are approximately 60 seconds (sometimes less, sometimes more).

Even if you have been coming to the parks for years, you may not know that there are definitely ways in which to make your meet-and-greet a more memorable, special, and positive experience for both you and the character.

Here are 10 tips for how to properly experience meet-and-greets at the Disney parks (and to avoid characters from secretly hating you):

Read More »

“it was like a dream, better than a dream.”

The day before my wedding, I received a call from Disney Resorts line.

The gentleman said he heard my wedding was the next day & invited my family to stay at the Grand Floridian Theme Park View Room – Club Level.

You see, that room is normally $900/night, but he offered us a complimentary stay.

Last night, I had a dream I was standing on the balcony of that hotel room again- watching the sunrise and watching the lights change from blue to purple at Cinderella’s castle.  I dreamt I was alone again, listening to the waves of the lagoon as I anxiously waited for the upcoming wedding festivities.

When I woke up, I realized I will probably never get that view again, but it felt so real in my dream.  While it was bittersweet, I knew 5-year-old me would be dancing in circles if my fairy godmother had whispered how my wedding day would begin. This wasn’t just a dream.  It was real.  How could I possibly be sad?

Thank you kind sir & Disney resorts for an enchanting start of happily ever after. As Cinderella would say, “it was like a dream, better than a dream.”

Catie and Wes - 0046.JPG

catie-and-wes-0055Catie and Wes - 0045.JPG


catie-and-wes-0032catie-and-wes-0085

Disney Doodle: Monster’s Inc. Wall Art

Weee!! Enjoyed painting this Monster’s Inc. wall art piece for my friend, Haley! 

I met Haley and her husband Tyler while working at Walt Disney World, and they kindly let me stay at their house as I traveled from Nashville to Orlando to perform at the parks! They were my “home away from home” and introduced to the Bachelorette and Nordy.

A few weeks ago, Haley gave birth to a BABY BOY! They designed a Monster’s Inc nursery for Callahan.  I was thrilled to paint this for them!!

Read More »

“Adventure is Out There!” – Fun Things to Do on Your Dream Disney Honeymoon

After months of planning our dream wedding at Walt Disney World, our big day FINALLY arrived.

And while the wedding was wonderful in every way, my husband and I were ready and excited to relax on our honeymoon at Walt Disney World.

Having our honeymoon at WDW was the perfect choice for us.

A major perk of having a wedding at WDW is that Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings sends the bride and groom complimentary annual passes!  As a cast member, I used discounts on our Disney resort, food, and merchandise.  We also love being at WDW and knew it would be a fun place to run around as newlyweds and HAVE FUN!

For you fellow Disney-lovers, I have shared a few “Disney-moon” ideas and tips!  If you have any questions about our Disney-moon or Disney travel in general, feel free to contact me.  Enjoy! ♥

View More: http://photos.pass.us/magicalsession


Wilderness Lodge
WHERE WE STAYED:

The Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
Oh, Disney’s Wilderness Lodge…. such a beautiful place. One of Disney’s deluxe resorts, the Wilderness Lodge is known for its elegant yet rustic flair and being just a boat ride away from Magic Kingdom. Since my husband proposed while on a camping trip, we agreed that this would be a fitting resort to stay at during our honeymoon.

Why it’s a great honeymoon resort:
It’s a perfect place to relax – rocking chairs, cozy fireplaces, nature trails, a murmuring creek inside the hotel…  This place was everything I dreamed it would be and more.  I wish we had spent more time exploring this incredible resort instead of running around the parks. I would HIGHLY recommend spending a peaceful day at the resort.

Read More »