#CityDisneyStyle: 3 Tips to Finding the Perfect Dressy Disney Bag

Disney Style, Style

With the holidays upon us, so to are the numerous dressy parties and gatherings.  And adding a touch of Disney flair to your dressier outfits is a piece of cake with a Disney bag!👜  It’s just another way to bring Disney magic out of the parks and I love how it adds that unexpected touch of magic.✨

Here are some tips on choosing the right bag to compliment your dressy, festive outfit!

Tip 1: Find a bag that can be carried as a tophandle or clutch!  These kinds of bags tend to be dressier than a backpack, fannypack, or crossbody since they don’t obstruct your beautiful outfit that you worked so hard to put together!  Conversly, if you feel like your outfit looks too fancy and needs a little edge, try adding a more casual bag!

Tip 2: Try to veer away from bags that use more casual materials, such as canvas, and go for something that looks a little luxe, like faux leather or faux fur!  Hard case bags, like this Pixar tophandle ball, also tend to look dressier because it has structure.  And nice, quality hardware also help elevate the overall look of the bag.

Tip 3: A more “basic” Disney bag can easily pair with fun prints!  Because let’s face it, you probably have some fun prints in your closet and it can be hard to find that bag pairing.  I always have difficulty mixing prints and patterns, so my default is to carry a solid bag!  Preferably in black.🖤😆

Now that you have some tips on what Disney bags can complete your dressy outfits, go out and be your fanciest, festive Disney Style self!

 

 

13 Halloween Shows & Movies that Pass the Bechdel Test

Musings, Spotlight

And the countdown begins! We’re only 13 days away from Halloween! And we all have our favorite Halloween movies on repeat, but how many of those movies can actually pass the Bechdel Test?!🤔

This Halloween season, I’ve been proactive about watching movies and shows that pass the Bechdel Test. And honestly, some of these barely pass. I used the most basic measurements which are 1. Incorporating at least two female characters, 2. Two female characters must talk to one another, 3. They must talk about something other than a male. Some uses of the Bechdel Test require the female characters to have names, but I chose not to include that as a requirement for this list.

So in no particular order, let the binging begin!

1. Maleficent: For all the misunderstood, fairy witch queens out there, Maleficent is an obvious movie choice for Halloween.  And even more exciting, the sequel is out now!🖤🧚🏼‍♀️💜👑

2. Us: One of the best horror movies from this year!✂️

3. Get Out: Everyone knows you won’t get out of your seat while watching this first Jordan Peele thriller.☕️🥄

4. Stranger Things (2 & 3): Season 1, I dump your ass!  To be inspired by determined female characters, travel to the upside down in seasons 2 & 3!🍦

5. Kiki’s Delivery Service: Studio Ghibli is known for producing movies with strong female leads.  Kiki’s Delivery Service is no exception.🐱🥖

6. Halloweentown: Because Halloween is cool and being normal is vastly overrated.Image result for halloween is cool halloweentown gif

7. Practical Magic: It’s hard to not love witchy sisters that always have each others’ backs.  And midnight margaritas.🍹

8. American Horror Story: While Ryan Murphy has given us numerous intriguing female characters, I’m especially bewitched by the witches in CovenApocalypse.🔮

9. Hocus Pocus: This classic Disney Halloween movie puts a spell on everyone.👁🕯

10. Addams Family: Because Christina Ricci as Wednesday is just to die for. *duh duh dun dun, 👌🏼👌🏼*

11. Chilling Adventures of Sabrina: I admit, I didn’t watch the series until this year.  But it’s so wickedly addicting.😈🐗

12. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban: This is one of the only HP movies that passes the Bechdel Test.  And it only passes by a werewolf’s hair!  But the shift to a darker mood in the series is…well, A MOOD.🐺

13. Ghostbusters (2016): The power of Patty compels you!…To love this witty re-make with smart female leads!👻

And that’s 13!🙌🏼 How many of these shows and movies have you seen?! To help you keep track, use the template list below to check off what you’ve binged so far this season and then share it in your stories on instagram so I can see it too!👀  If you have other movies and/or shows that you love to watch for Halloween and pass the Bechdel Test, let me know and I’ll add them to the Honorable Mention list below!🏅Halloween Watch List (1).jpg

HONORABLE MENTIONS

Freaky Friday (2003): I actually really love the songs from this movie!🤘🏼

The Labyrinth: This also barely passes the Bechdel Test, but who can deny the babe with the power?💁🏻‍♀️🔮

Twitches: Another Halloween DCOM, but vastly underrated.  This made for tv movie also deserves bonus points since it’s lead characters are WOC!✊🏾 The only reason this isn’t on the official list is because I haven’t seen it in ages.😅

The Craft: Because we’re all weirdos.😎

 

 

 

 

 

#CityDisneyStyle: NYFW

Disney Style, Style
Disney Style New York NYFW H&MxMoschino gold sequin parka Forever 21 Mickey sweater Pixar purse

Snowy hair, don’t care.

For February’s #CityDisneyStyle post, I was originally planning to share how I style a Disney sweater multiple ways.  But when I found out I was able to get small peak of NYFW during my trip to New York, I knew it was the perfect opportunity to put together a Disney Style outfit that was a little more…extra than usual.😆  And speaking of extra, can we just take a minute to appreciate the hilarity of these “smoke” photos?!☁️🤣

So let’s jump right in and break down this outfit.  And we’ll start with the most obvious piece — this crazy H&MxMoschino gold sequin parka!  I’ve been meaning to break out this bad boy for the perfect occasion.  So when I was packing for New York, I knew it would be the item that I built my outfit around.  PLUS, it’s a padded parka that was perfect for the cold weather.

But what to wear that would simultaneously compliment, but not compete with the gloriousness of the jacket? 🤔  With Ilana‘s advice to wear a Mickey sweater, I knew this cropped Forever 21 sweater featuring a dazed Mickey would be perfect. I love that the graphic stands out from the jacket, but isn’t too busy to compete with it.  And the yellow stars were such a fun way to play up the shimmer of the jacket.

Disney Style NYFW Moschino H&M gold sequin jacket parka Mickey Forever 21 F21 Pixar bagFor pants and shoes, I wanted to wear more “basic” items.  But as I mentioned in last month’s #citydisneystyle post, I like to choose interesting basics to help keep my outfits from looking too boring.  Instead of just wearing any pair of black pants and shoes, I wore these wide leg, velvet burnout pants and chunky velvet sneakers.  The patterned pants are subtle enough to not overpower the outfit, but still add texture and interest.  And the platform soles on these Supergas help give the whole outfit a more street style vibe.👟

Disney Style New York NYFW H&MxMoschino gold sequin jacket Forever21 Mickey sweater Pixar ball purseAnd of course to complete the look, I chose a fun, graphic bag!  For the shows, I actually decided to carry my Cakeworthy Mickey hand bag, but I also like how my new Pixar hard case bag looks with this outfit too!  I especially like how the star plays off of Mickey’s dazed stars.  And the tophandle came handy since the parka is so puffy.  Have you ever tried throwing a bag strap over a puffy jacket before? Not. Easy.

And as a BONUS, here’s one other way I wore this crazy sequin parka with some Disney Style flair!  After picking up this black and gold Mickey bag from the Shanghai Disney store, I knew it would look amazing with my gold parka and a sleek black outfit.  And for an extra touch of Mickey, I wore these gold Mickey stud earrings I picked up from the parks a year ago.  It was the perfect outfit for a late night dinner out in New York and SO easy to put together!

Since I didn’t get to share the original #citydisneystyle outfit I wanted to post for February, keep an eye out for it next month!  I’m going to share the different ways I like to style a Minnie sweater!🐭🎀 And since February is already over, I promise you won’t need to wait long.😉

ABW

#CityDisneyStyle: Rock The Dots!

Disney Style, Style

dsc08653Happy National Polka Dot Day!  And say hello to the first #citydisneystyle post!🙌🏼  If you follow me on instagram, then you already know that this series is an idea I’ve been toying around with for the past month.  After getting all your great feedback, I’m finally pulling the trigger!

I hope that each month I can tell you more about how to put together a Disney Style outfit that suits your city life.  Instead of following one format, I’ve decided to focus on one topic each month. I’m planning to write up step by step guides, how to style one item multiple ways, and hopefully showing you how to easily transition at-home Disney loungewear clothes into a pulled-together errand outfit!🏃🏻‍♀️

This month, I decided to provide three tips on how to wear one of the most timeless prints around — Minnie polka dots!🔴⚪️⚫️🔴⚪️⚫️

dsc08665Tip 1: Choose interesting basics to pair with your dots.

I love a good pattern mix, but for easy city dressing, I usually pair a pattern or print back to interesting basics.  What do I mean by interesting basics?🤔 It sounds like such a contradiction, Alisa. Well, I’m talking about basic pieces with an unexpected point of interest.  Basics with an intriguing detail that makes them NOT so basic.

Notice in this outfit, that the points of interest in my black coat are the longer streamlined silhouette, slim collars, and distinct pocket details.  For my bag, the mixed metal buckle feels unexpected. And blue tinted aviators actually pick up on the blue in Donald’s hat. These kind of small details help to elevate your basics from literal “basic clothes” to stylish staples that stand the test of time.

dsc08659Tip 2: Mix different styles into your outfit.

Mixing different styles is something I often think about when putting together a #citydisneystyle outfit.  As much as I prefer to have a predictable life and schedule🙄, I try to go for an unexpected mix in my outfits.  And when it comes to styling Disney pieces, mixing fun and bright with more refined items easily transforms Disney clothes into city clothes.

Since I based this outfit on my flouncy Cath Kidston dot skirt, I decided to pair it with more structured items to get that nice mix of feminine and sleek.  Again, my black jacket instantly adds polish with its sharp silhouette and my earrings are minimalistic and streamlined. Both give a nice contrast to a flowy skirt and that contrast is what taps into that “je ne sais quoi” cool city girl mood.

dsc08697.jpgTip 3: Tuck it in!

It’s such a simple styling “hack,” but it has so much pay off.  For skirts or pants that sit at your waist, try to tuck in your top.  Not only does it help keep the shape of your outfit, but doing a French or half tuck will also help you channel that cool Parisian city vibe.  I mean, it’s called a French tuck for a reason!👩🏻‍🎨  Tucking your shirt in ever so slightly will instantly read as effortless and more polished.

Minnie dots are such a playful and timeless print to wear and I hope these three tips will help you wear them with confidence around the city!  Minnie may be girlie and sweet, but she’s also strong and independent. So to style an outfit that speaks to different sides of Minnie’s character was fun and meaningful for me.  And to share this outfit and these tips on National Polka Dot Day is just the icing on the cake!🎂

How do you like to wear your Minnie dots?  Let me know here or over on instagram!

A Holiday Outfit with Disney Flair

Disney Style, Style

DSC08525We’re a week out from Christmas, so trees, lights, and festive holiday outfits are in full swing!  In past years, I would wear the usual lace or sparkles, but this year, 🎶to save me from tears, I’ll give ‘fits some Disney style!🎶

What I’m trying to say with my horribly forced Christmas pun is that this year, I thought I would add some Disney flair into some of my holiday outfits.  I figured that would be a good way to help get me into the Christmas spirit, since I’m usually more of a Halloween ghoul.👻😆 I mourn the loss of fall weather and Halloween candy for a month.

DSC08534Since most of my Disney pieces are casual, I decided to pair a casual shirt with a satin, silky skirt to dress it up.  The mix of casual and dressy gives that cool, city girl vibe that I love.  But part of the fun in dressing for the holidays is also being a little kitschy.  Enter adorable Christmas light earrings!🎄  And since I have two ear piercings, I obviously had to capitalize on the opportunity and wear two pairs.😏  For this outfit, the green and gold pairs were the perfect accent colors.  BONUS: The earrings are less than $5 on Kmart right now!

DSC08543And even though I only intended to wear one piece of Disney apparel, I ended up wearing three.😅  Since the weather was gloomy, as it usually is during this time of year in San Francisco, I threw on my favorite oversized camel coat, which conveniently, features Mickey.  And to carry my essentials, I opted for my small Minnie Coach bag; also adding that perfect dash of Minnie style.🎀🐭❤️

DSC08527All in all, this was a perfect outfit for my afternoon work holiday party last week.  Dressy enough to be party appropriate, yet still laid back, fun, and festive!  And another bonus for ya…it’s an easy, comfortable, and cute outfit to wear for a visit to the Union Square tree!🙌🏼

I love that I was able to incorporate some Disney flair into my holiday outfit this year.  My usual holiday go-to’s are red, black, lace, or a dress of some sort, so it was fun to think out the box and incorporate some of my favorite mouses.🐭🎀🐭

What do you like to wear for holiday parties? Comment below what you’re going to wear for your holiday festivities or let me know over on instagram!

ABW

There is a place in New Orleans – AHS Coven Tour

Musings, Spotlight, Travel
New Orleans walking tour american horror story coven LaLaurie Mansion American Horror Story Coven Witch

Who’s the baddest witch in town?

New Orleans.  Food, jazz music, Mardi Gras celebrations…but I came for the AHS filming locations.😆  American Horror Story: Coven, the third season from the American Horror Story franchise, was actually the first season I ever watched.  I remember seeing commercials for season one and definitely thought it was way too scary for me.  But when commercials for Season 3 started airing, I was strangely drawn to it.  Some AHS fans felt season 3 was too “housewife-y,” but I honestly thought it was great to see a story focused around women and their relationships with each other within the “horror” genre.  I especially loved the show’s focus on the temperamental mother-daughter relationship.  And THANK GOODNESS we also get to see how race, class, and age play a role in those relationships. Like…yes, Ryan Murphy, YES.👏🏼

After doing some research, I found a gem of a walking tour — the unofficial American Horror Story Tour.  Mostly in the French Quarter, the tour is the perfect mix of AHS fandom and historical facts.  Bea, the tour guide, is also just amazing.  She is super knowledgeable about what parts of the show are based on New Orleans history and what parts were embellished or fictional.  And to my surprise, she knew those prime instagram spots AND was willing to help us stop to take photos.  What more could you ask for?! Thank you, Bea!!

New Orleans French Quarter LaLaurie mansionOur first stop was the LaLaurie house.  Not only infamous for being the residence of Madame LaLaurie in the show, but a bonafide haunted mansion and the site of LaLaurie’s torture “chamber.”  In Coven, we are slowly introduced to Madame LaLaurie’s fascination with blood and the human body.  She was filled with “childlike curiosity.”  And that was not a far departure from the truth.  Bea explained how Madame LaLaurie was accused of over-punishing her slaves, but since she had friends that were city officials, she was able to escape any serious charges.  But one time, the evidence was undeniable.

While hosting a party, the kitchen, which was in a separate back annex of the house, caught fire.  After rescuers extinguished the fire, they found a 70-year-old woman chained to the stove.  She later revealed that she started the fire to escape Madame LaLaurie’s torture and then led authorities to the attic where other slaves were imprisoned and tortured.  The evidence and testimonials were overwhelming.  So much so that her and her husband fled New Orleans shortly afterwards.  However, in Coven, the family’s disappearance is due to Marie Laveau’s revenge against LaLaurie. Below is the green iron gate where Madame LaLaurie and Marie Laveau first meet and Laveau’s plan for retaliation is set into motion.  In the show, it is shown as the front gate to the LaLaurie house, but is actually part of the neighboring building.

American Horror Story Coven LaLaurie Laveau Voodoo Kathy Bates Angela Bassett

New Orleans French Quarter American Horror Story Coven Witch

Even though the two women never met IRL, they lived within walking distance of each other in the French Quarter.  Marie Laveau, aka the Voodoo Queen, was renowned in New Orleans and obviously was included as a character in Coven.  She was the first practitioner to popularize Louisiana voodoo.  And honestly, learning more about Marie Laveau was probably my favorite part about this tour.  In the show, Marie is almost positioned as a villain against not only the Coven’s Supreme, but also Madame LaLaurie.  Both white women.  But hearing about Laveau’s real story, I was amazed to learn that not only was she a healer in the community, but she was also devilishly smart.

Accurately shown in AHS, Laveau was a hairdresser.  And she would occasionally offer her healing “powers” to clients.  Afterwards, she would simply tell clients to pay what they felt her help was worth.  She knew satisfied patrons would usually overpay because they were so grateful for her services.  Slightly Godfather-ish, but so admirable for a woman of that time to be so business savvy.  And though it’s not thoroughly shown in the series, we do see glimpses of Laveau’s business acumen.

When Laveau had daughters, she would give them her name, Marie Laveau, with different middle names.  The daughters looked just like their mother, so when the daughters were out, Laveau ensured that they were in different parts of town.  When townspeople asked who they were, the daughters of course replied “Marie Laveau.”  Baffled, people began to believe that Marie Laveau was actually getting younger!  And since Laveau and her daughters were never in the same place at the same time, no one knew otherwise.  This urban myth is also written into the show as LaLaurie and the Supreme meet Laveau in the hopes of obtaining her secret to “everlasting life.”

For Marie Laveau to build such a reputation during that time in history is impressive and inspiring.  Complete #girlboss behavior.  Granted she benefited greatly from the Code Noir, Marie Laveau found a way to make herself a legend.  If I ever have to answer that icebreaker question about the one person I’d like to meet or have dinner with, Laveau would definitely be at the top of my list.

New Orleans Saint Louis cemetery Marie Laveau American Horror Story Coven

Saint Louis Cemetery

Our walking tour also took us to the Saint Louis Cemetary.  Not only the site of Nicolas Cage’s semi-outrageous pyramid-shaped tomb, it is also home to Laveua’s tomb.  Upon visiting her tomb, it’s evident how influential Laveau was.  To this day, people still visit her tomb to make a wish.  If the wish was granted, they revisit her grave and mark a triple X as proof.  And if you see a lonely hair-tie or bobby pins, do not take them.  Those are gifts left for the hairdresser, Laveau.

Our last stop was the street where the infamous witch’s walk takes place.  It definitely didn’t feel as eerie as it seemed on the show since there were tons of tourists and cars around, but I made the most of it and strutted my witchy self up and down the sidewalk a couple of times.  And now I understand why all the girls of Miss Robichaux’s Academy For Exceptional Young Ladies complained so much about the heat.  Yeah, it’s hot and humid, but wearing an all black and mostly covered ensemble IN the heat is an entirely different story.

New Orleans French Quarter walking tour American Horror Story Coven Witches walk

If you haven’t watched AHS: Coven, please set up a fort in your house and watch it ASAP.  I personally love that it’s rooted in New Orleans history and shows the relationships, successes, and struggles of powerful women and women of color.  It is a treasure trove for exploring the intersecting identities of women.  And if you ever find yourself in New Orleans, please book this tour!  You get to learn more about one of the most kickass women in New Orleans history and grab yourself a few insta worthy shots…there’s really nothing to say “no” to here, ladies and gents.😏

ABW

Styling the Target x Mickey Mouse Collection

Disney Style, Style

Disney Style Mickey Mouse True Original 90 Birthday Target DisneylandAs we all know, Target released a Mickey Mouse summer collection a couple months back and I’m sure thousands of Disney fans raced to their closest Target.  I, of course, was one of those people because I am always SO thirsty for all the cute Disney merch!😆  The one item that I absolutely needed, and prompted my last minute evening Target run, were these white Mickey Mouse sunnies!  But alas, you never visit Target and leave with only one item.

Disneyland Disney Style Mickey Mouse 90 Birthday Target CollectionThe first apparel item I  reached for at the store was these lightweight chambray embroidered Mickey pants.  Fun and “less conventional” pants have been everywhere this past year and for good reason.  I love that these pants have an elastic waist.  (Hello, Jack Jack cookie num nums!🍪)  And to maximize the comfort factor, these pants are more of a straight leg cut, which gives you a little extra wiggle room for running to that FastPass station.

Disneyland Target Collection Disney Style Mickey Mouse Cath KidstonPants, sunglasses, and handkerchief: Target, Bag and bag strap: Cath Kidston, Shirt: H&M, Shoes: Superga

I love pairing light blue chambray with white and ivory, so I dug up an old white H&M scallop edge top and tucked it in for a defined waist.  And accessorizing is a breeze when you end up buying all the coordinating accessories from the collection.😅  The white Mickey sunnies add that element of fun to an otherwise more proper-looking outfit, and the red Mickey handkerchief brings attention to my face.  The Cath Kidston bag originally came with a navy strap, but for that extra punch of fun, I switched it out for the alternate red striped one.  And to tie it all together, I wore my red Superga 2750 classics.  (Bonus: California residents can get 10% off Superga shoes with the code “abitwong10”!)

pixar California Adventure cars land radiator springs target disney style disneyland mickey mouse 90 birthdayAnother clothing item from the Target collection is this rainbow “Good Times” Mickey shirt.  I love that it’s a basic tee with a twist.  Rather than a blank white shirt, a simple rainbow graphic brings more character to an outfit.  And instead of just pairing it with my usual skinny jeans, I decided to try something more fun!  These coral linen pants are colorful and breezy, but beware… linen = wrinkles galore.😩

california adventure cars land route 66 disney style target mickey mouse 90 birthday pixarI also picked up this girls😅 straw drawstring backpack from the Target collection.  It has a frickin’ hidden mickey on it made out of pom poms.  How does one not buy it?  And this particular backpack carries so much stuff!  Aside from my denim jacket, which I brought along for the chillier pre-summer evenings, I also fit my DSLR, water bottle, and polaroid camera — and I still had room for extra souvenirs.😆

If weather permits, I also like to wear a denim jacket because it’s a great way to “tone down” an outfit.  These coral pants are definitely loud and a little different than what I’m used to wearing.  So if I ever felt self-conscious, I just threw on my denim jacket.  And being a jacket fiend, I just love the way it completes an outfit.  But we all know that the real outfit completer are shoes.  These Vans Winnie the Pooh shoes perfectly picked up colors from the rest of my outfit and it’s always fun to add a little extra whimsy to your feet!

california adventure cars land pixar disney style target mickey mouse 90 birthdayShirt and backpack: Target, Pants: Sears, Shoes: Vans, Jacket: Forever 21

Yes, I did pick up more stuff from the Target x Mickey Mouse collab, but I’ll spare you for now.😆  And even though we’re still a few months out from Mickey AND Minnie’s 90th Birthday, I’m so excited that Target and other big retailers are already releasing Disney Style pieces!  I actually heard that Forever 21 is dropping some new fall Disney Style pieces, so….I’m going to go online shopping now.🛍🙈

ABW

Growing Up Asian American

Musings

epcot disneyworld growing up asian american

For the conclusion of Asian Pacific American Heritage month, I thought I’d participate in an “Growing Up Asian American” tag.  I also feel guilty that I didn’t do more posts dedicated to this month, so hopefully this can help make up for it.😁

1. Which ethnicity are you?

100% Chinese 🤗

2. Which generation are you?

I consider myself to be a 3rd generation Chinese American, but I think according to the Webster dictionary, I’m 2nd generation.  My grandparents immigrated to the U.S. when they were young, and in fact, my great grandfather on my dad’s side was working in the U.S. and would occasionally return to China.  While in California, he found a suitable husband for my grandmother to marry.  And so my grandmother then immigrated to the U.S. essentially as a “picture bride.”  On my mother’s side, my grandparents were married and had their first child in China.  Soon after my uncle was born, they immigrated to California.

3. What is the first experience where you felt that demarcation of being a minority/different?

It’s hard to say because when using the words “minority” and “different,” this question seems to imply that learning I was Asian American was a bad experience.  But between growing up in San Francisco, which has a huge Asian American community, and my parents who were actively engaged in Asian American community organizations, knowing that I was Asian American was something to be proud of and something I learned at an early age.  Especially around Lunar New Year because I could brag about how the huge televised SF Chinese New Year Parade was an event that honored my culture.  Plus…red envelopes!😆

But it’s hard for me to pinpoint what exact experience made me realize I was a minority.  And even if I did realize that being Asian American meant I was different, being around a large community of Asian Americans reassured me that it wasn’t wrong to be one.  In grammar school (K-8th grade), the popular girls were Asian, the MVPs of our female sports teams were Asian, the girls most of the boys liked…were Asian.  I owned a hoodie that said “Generasian” on it and practically wore it everywhere I went when I was a tween.

From a young age, my parents made it a point to teach us about our ethnicity and culture and to expose us to the community.  An experience that I think is unique to cities and areas that have a dense Asian American population.

4. Were you always proud of your heritage or was there a time you rejected it?

The time in my life that I regretfully rejected being Chinese American was in high school.  To this day, I feel like I am still fighting to win back that Asian American confidence I once had in grammar school.

And maybe this pertains to the previous question, but I distinctly remember one day in high school when I was trying to get my books out of my locker.  I was in a rush because I gave a presentation in my previous class in which I had to dress up as a jazz singer.  Trying not to be tardy, I had to quickly change my clothes and head to my next class.  When I got to my locker, the guy who owned the locker above mine, was leaning against them and therefore blocking my way.  Instead of stepping to the side, he just ignored me.  And this wasn’t the beginning of the year; he knew I had the locker below his.

I finally spoke up and asked him to move.  He scoffed, turned to his friend, and said something to the effect of “She thinks she’s a Chinese princess over here.”  And those words don’t seem scarring, but for some reason, they stuck with me.  Why is it that all of the sudden I’m a demanding Chinese princess for speaking up?  But as someone who is also a major introvert, I don’t like to cause a commotion (in public at least😅).  And if speaking up prompts that kind of response, then maybe it’s better if I just held my tongue.

So throughout highschool, I tried my best to not come off as “too Asian.”  And granted there’s probably more to unpack in that one experience (me being female, him being male, him trying to be cool, me being stressed, him being a Sophomore, me being a Junior), but the overall tone of this interaction was racial.

5. What are some stereotypes that you struggle with?

Because I’m Asian American, many people assume that I’m smart and quiet.  Both which feed into the model minority stereotype – which is a larger, more general stereotype about Asian Americans.  And I agree, there are many Asian and Asian American families that have been extremely successful.  My family is probably even considered successful.  We’ve had the privilege of not having to worry about money, living in a house we owned, being able to work free of disabilities, and having English be our first language.  But there are also so many families that experience economic struggles, domestic violence, and immigration issues.  And they’re often overlooked because so many people believe the model minority stereotype.

But I like to think I have my smart days.  Ask my boyfriend about the countless million dollar ideas I’ve pitched to him.😂  And in school, I did manage to get some good grades and took a few honors and AP classes.  But don’t be fooled because I had to get good grades in those classes to offset the ones I failed in.🙈

And in general, I’m pretty quiet and keep to myself.  But that’s because I’m an introvert.  As a child, I was probably taught to be quiet rather than loud because that’s the respectable thing to be in Asian cultures, but if I was an extrovert at heart, I would probably be more outspoken.

But as an Asian American female, the expectation that I’m to be quiet and submissive is compounded.  There have been multiple times in my life where a stranger would try to dominate the situation because they figured I’d roll over and they could get away with being overly mean.  But be warned, I have held my own in a few instances!  Asian American females are also often hypersexualized.  Luckily I’ve never had to deal with those kind of encounters, but unfortunately, many Asian American females do.

6. Can you speak your language?

Sadly, no.  I can order a chicken bun and know a few baby words (milk, bad, “don’t pick your nose” is a handy one), but that’s the extent of my Cantonese.  Don’t even ask me about mandarin. >.<

7. How has being Asian American affected your relationship with your parents?

Since my parents are American-born, they were better equipped to navigate my “American” upbringing compared to my immigrant grandparents raising them.  And as I mentioned earlier, teaching us about being Asian American, and to be proud of it, was something they prioritized.   My mom made us watch Flower Drum Song, one of the first movies to feature a predominantly Asian cast.  For the release of Mulan, my family coordinated with my friend’s family, who was also Asian American, so both our families could see it together and celebrate Disney’s first animated Asian heroine.  They would even bring us along to events hosted by those Asian American non-profit orgs so we could meet their colleagues – aka social justice advocates, like themselves.  In fact, my parents’ involvement in Asian American non-profit community organizations is what inspired me to take Asian American studies and Sociology classes focused on non-profit orgs in college.

8. How do you feel about your heritage now? Do you identify with it?

Yes, I am grateful to be Asian American and identify as being Asian American.  But occasionally, I also feel hesitant to fully claim it because there is a myriad of Asian American experiences that many have experienced, but I haven’t.  I never knew what it was like to have to translate English for my parents.  I never had to feel ashamed of my “weird” Asian food at school because I was usually signed up for the school provided lunches.  I did have classmates pull their eyelids to the side and make funny faces at me and my friends, but my teachers knew to immediately educate them on why it wasn’t appropriate.  And I won’t get into being Asian v. Asian American.

9. What is your favorite thing about being Asian American/your heritage?

I think being an Asian American female gives me a unique perspective on the world.  It enables me to provide a different POV to others and hopefully encourages them to share theirs as well.

I’m also proud of the leaders in the community that fight for the social injustices that affects the Asian American community.  And I’m especially proud of those who try to further Asian American representation with more diverse and dynamic stories.  Asian American representation is something I value and the reason I started this shindig in the first place!

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If you’ve made it through this whole post, thank you so much for lending me your eeaaarrr…eye!😉  I hope telling you my story encourages you to tell yours!  And even though APAHM is coming to a close, we can still ask each other these questions and talk about our shared experiences year-round!  The more we tell our stories, the more we can learn from one another and grow together.

ABW

Rockin’ the Dots for Minnie’s Walk of Fame Star

Disney Style, Musings, Style

January is always a great month for me because…

1. BIRTHDAY MONTH! and

2. It’s a month devoted to Minnie and rockin’ the dots!

paradise pier california adventure disneyland rock the dots minnie mouse disney styledress: Realisation Par, jacket: Zara, purse: Coach, shoes: Converse

But this is post is going to be about Minnie (and some Minnie inspired outfits), not my birthday shenannigans. 😉  In fact, Minnie had a “facebook worthy” life event when she received her star on the walk of fame earlier this month!  And honestly, it’s about time!

disneyland california adventure disney style mickey mouse minnie paradise pier

Mickey got his star back in 1978, but Minnie was only nominated for her own star just a few years ago. And in the wake of the #TimesUp movement, I’m sure the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce felt pressure and saw the perfect opportunity to show support.  More about how Minnie had to wait 40 years before getting her star here!

california adventure paradise pier mouseketeer disney style minnie mouse mickey

And I’ll be honest, I tend to choose Mickey over Minnie; especially when it comes to merch and disney fashion.  And that’s usually because I find Minnie to be a little too girly for me.  Don’t get me wrong, I’ve got love for Minnie and everything she’s done.  But when it comes to girly, I’ve mentioned in previous posts how I tend to shy away from it.  When you’re a short asian and look “doll-like” in girly clothes, people tend to treat you more like a child rather than an adult.

paradise pier california adventure minnie mouse disney style mickeyjeans: Siwy, purse: Danielle Nicole, shirt: Harajuku, tank: LF, sunglasses: QUAY

Should I let the way others treat me deter me from wearing girly clothes? Absolutely not.  But the other part of wearing less girly clothes is to limit the amount of defense I have play.  If I encounter someone who starts treating me like a child, all of the sudden I have to make my case on why they should treat me like, I don’t know, a grown adult?!  Yes, I have a major sweet tooth, hate going to sleep when I’m told to, and I like Disney.  But that means I’m a child at heart, not an actual child.

paradise pier california adventure minnie mouse siwy denim mickey fun wheel disney style

But let’s get back to Minnie.  I’m so glad Minnie finally got her star!⭐️  It was long overdue and just highlights how far behind we were in recognizing the gender disparity between Minnie and Mickey.  So instead of just rockin’ the dots only in January, I’m going to try to let Minnie inspire more of my Disney outfits.  Because the only thing better than representing this iconic fashionista is to shock strangers that dare treat me like a child.

ABW

california adventure paradise pier minnie style mickey mouse disney style

5 Favorite 2017 Disney Collaborations

Disney Style, Musings, Style

san francisco golden gate bridge mickey mouse disney styleIt’s the last day of the year and instead of making a list of practical resolutions, like how I should save more money, I’m instead reminiscing on the all the ways I wanted to spend my money this past year – aka my five favorite 2017 Disney collaborations!  There were so many great Disney collaborations that debuted this year, but I’ll mostly be focusing on apparel collabs because there’s no better way to show your Disney pride than to have it plastered all over your body. 😬

Coach x Disney

Last year, Coach released a special Mickey collection that sold out INSTANTLY.  I went to a Coach store around 1pm the day it released and the store was literally down to it’s last few items for each style.  So this year, Coach released another Mickey collaboration only in their outlet stores.  The assortment was reminiscent of the original collection, but included a lot more styles and variety.  You best believe I snatched up a bunch of the bags and maybe a jacket…or two. Well, one of the jackets was gifted to me, so that doesn’t count.  But regardless, this was probably my favorite collaboration of the year.  I wear those Coach x Disney bags so often and the jackets I’ll keep forever!mickey mouse disney style coach sugar cookie disney eats food

disney style mickey mouse true original 90 birthday walt disney family museum san francisco

UNIQLO x Olympia Le-Tan “Minnie Mouse Loves Dots”

Another collection I loved was the UNIQLO x Olympia Le-Tan “Minnie Mouse Loves Dots” collection.  I’m usually more of a Mickey lover, but the Minnie graphics were too cute to pass up.  I especially loved the embroidered details that tied all of the pieces together.  I’ll admit, some of the shirts were too sweet for my taste, but I fell in love with the cropped tattoo-esque shirts with Minnie’s face and banners flanking each side of the collar.  I loved it so much, I picked up both the black and red colorways.  I also picked up a couple of the bags, but my favorite is probably the red structured Minnie bag.minnie mouse style uniqlo zara san francisco disney style

Arezzo

This one, I’m quite sad about because THEY ARE ONLY SOLD IN BRAZIL.😭😫 I was actually so close to snagging something from this collection thanks to a sweet friend that offered to pick it up for me.  But I guess it wasn’t meant to be because my size was sold out in almost everything.  Anyways, Arezzo is a Brazilian shoe brand that released a super diverse Mickey inspired collection.  The range included espadrilles, classic pumps, and trendy slides.  I especially wanted the yellow Mickey ear slides because they are perfect for a Mickey disneybound and add that great pop of color to everyday outfits.  Hopefully, someone out in the world is re-selling theirs!🙏🏻

 

Cakeworthy

Cakeworthy released it’s first official licensed Disney collection earlier this fall and it is amazing.  Cakeworthy always delivers the coolest Disney streetwear clothes around.  Compared to many other small apparel businesses that create Disney-inspired clothes, Cakeworthy items always have that unique punk edge.  I immediately loved the Neverland denim embroidered jacket and the novelty Mickey pizza bag.  Both are a little out there, but super special pieces that can’t be found anywhere else.  I’ve known the brains behind Cakeworthy for a few years now and they are amazing people.  They always find that one thing that Disney fans want but doesn’t actually exist, and then make it into a reality.  Their ability to identify the white space within the Disney apparel world is what puts them ahead of the rest.mickey mouse disney style true original 90 birthday levi's levi

cakeworthy neverland peter pan denim jacket disney style second star to the right

Photo from Cakeworthy’s Disney Lookbook!

Pendleton

I know this one isn’t necessarily clothing, but I had to add it in after my boyfriend so thoughtfully gifted me the Pendleton Mickey wool blanket for Christmas!  After seeing it as part of a Disney Style gift guide, I immediate knew I had to have it.    They also released a few kids’ throws which are adorable for families with younger children.  But for the adult that’s young at heart, the Mickey’s Salute throw is perfection.  It’s the ideal mix of Pendleton’s classic geo patterns and old school Disney charm.  And I am a total sucker for that timeless Mickey.  If I ever end up not using it (stab me if that ever does happen though because that would be a heinous crime committed against this blanket), I love the idea of framing it and making it this huge piece of artwork to hang on the wall!

pendleton mickey mouse 90 birthday true original disney style

So those are my top five favorite Disney collaborations from this year!  There definitely was a huge number of Disney collections, but these were the few that I really coveted.  And the fact that I had to narrow down my choices is exciting!  Compared to 2016, I felt 2017 was the year many designers and companies finally realized that people love Disney and Disney products!  Within the past few years, I think more people are finally comfortable showing their love for Disney in everyday life – namely in apparel!

I could be completely wrong on this, but I feel like Disney lovers would wear all their gear in the park or to some kind of Disney event, but that’s the only “acceptable” time to sport it.  But nowadays, I walk around work and see other co-workers wearing their Star Wars sweater or a Mickey shirt and I get a little excited.  I think we’re coming into an age of “Screw it.  This is something I love, so I’m going to wear it.”  And now more than ever, people are braver about showing off the things they love.  And in terms of showing off Disney Style, I’m all for it.❤️

Cheers to a great 2018!🎉  And to more Disney collaborations!🐭

ABW