WanderLit is wandering to a new site!

by Angie Hilbert
( January 13th, 2016 )

WanderLit has moved. Come on along for the adventure.

Next up: Mardi Gras, literary New Orleans, and a Disney cruise! Just click The WanderLit Reader below to pick up where we left off.

the WANDERLIT reader

The next adventrueThank you Beth and Wanderlust and Lipstick for giving me and WanderLit a place to grow among delightful wander-women.

Read ~ Write ~ Wander


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Disney Bound: Storybook Fashions

by Angie Hilbert
( January 8th, 2016 )

DisneyWorldHave you heard about this “Disney Bound” thing? Instead of dressing up in costume as a Disney character, fans just make contemporary fashion choices consistent with a character’s style, personality, and color palette. If you watch Once Upon a Time on ABC, you might already be familiar with a subtle version of the concept. Costumes and hairstyles for the actors are true to their character whether they are in the land of magic or the real world. The Evil Queen’s tight gown with plunging neckline, flaring collar, and sharp shoulders in the fairy tale palace are mimicked in her sheath sexy power suit with it’s sheath skirt, wide lapels, and shoulder pads in the mayor’s office in Storyville. Perhaps the popularity of Once is what inspired the Disney Bound phenomenon as people followed the fashion trends depicted on the show. But it really took off with the founding of Leslie Kay’s Tumbler “DisneyBound.” Leslie promotes her Tumbler as “where Disney nerds and fashion geeks collide”. It’s like she’s a personal shopper for Disney characters who find themselves in our world. Not surprisingly, Most Disney Bound outfits are tween and teen oriented with trendy and youthful looks. But Leslie doesn’t believe kids should have all the fun. She helped a couple of Disney moms get the look for their visit to Walt Disney World.

Sign me up! If moms can do it, grannies can do it too. After all, some of us mature, sophisticated women still believe in magic. So for my 7-day Disney cruise in June, I decided to emulate a different character each evening for dinner.

My first challenge is not spending a fortune. I want to create my Disney Bound looks using mostly what I already own. That brings me to my second problem. My personal wardrobe is all blacks, and tans. (See my base travel wardrobe here.) I like to keep my wardrobe neutral so I can save room in my luggage by not packing accessories. Instead, I buy them on the road. I search out locally made items that reflect the local color wherever I go. Scarves, belts, bags and shawls complete my look during the trip and then they all come home with me as gifts and souvenirs. Unfortunately there aren’t many beige Disney characters and I’ll have to pack additional wardrobe items to capture the Disney style.

There are a few things working in my favor. First, I don’t mind an extra piece of luggage on this trip. My usual travel philosophy is to never pack more than you can pick up and run with (because you might have to.) But this is a big ol’ Disney family vacation. I can afford to pack like I’m going on a luxury cruise because that is exactly what I am doing. And another thing, the point of this vacation is not getting unique items, it’s having the unique Disney experience. While those experiences are not cheep, they won’t take up any space in our luggage for the trip home. I don’t have to save too much room for souvenirs. My goal is to make a few small accessory purchases before I leave to complete my Disney Bound outfits using the wardrobe I already have for most of it. After a careful review of my closets and drawers, these are the characters I have decided to emulate on my 7-day Disney cruise:

  1. Disney Bound ElsaMinnie Mouse (vintage Minnie from 1928)

  2. Maleficent, the evil fairy (because she’s my favorite)

  3. Pocahontas (Yes—my black and tan princess!)

  4. Captain Jack Sparrow (for pirate night)

  5. General Leia (STAR WARS is Disney now)

  6. Ursula, the sea witch (because she’s awesome!)

  7. Cinderella (in rags)

Let’s get started!

Click on the character outfit you want to see or go to the first one HERE (Links will go live as they are published).

Read ~ Write ~ Wander




Photo Credits: Thank You to my Daughter Madalyne Smith for the lovely pictures of my granddaughter at Walt Disney World.

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Carnival Time and the true meaning of Mardi Gras

by Angie Hilbert
( January 7th, 2016 )

St Louis CathedralNow that all those little, winter holidays are over, it’s time to focus on the real party season: CARNIVAL!

Mardi Gras is just around the corner. That means reds and greens are coming down and purples, golds, and greens are going up. King cakes are baking and parades are stepping off. While the rest of the country is hunkering down for a long bleak winter, New Orleans (my soul’s city) is coming alive with the most decadent but uncomercialized celebrations in the world.

Christmas long ago succumbed to corporate exploitation but New Orleans’ Mardi Gras holds fast to it’s community roots and its true meaning.

“Party into Lent, dawlin’ and give yoursel’ somethin’ tuh ‘member in the time o ashes.”

That’s right, if the motto of Christmas is ho ho ho, then the Mardi Gras motto is YOLO.

Carnival is a time for the “everyman”. There is no corporate sponsorship of parades. Each of New Orleans’ civic and social organizations (called krews) select a theme and put on their own parade with their own personal flair. Many of them make signature gifts to distribute to parade goers. Krew of Muses decorates ladies shoes, Krew of Chewbaccus tosses out bandoliers, Krew of Nyx tosses embellished hand purses, and Zulu hands out painted coconuts.

On Mardi Gras day, the people mask. The tradition of wearing a mask for Mardi Gras originated as a way to let people from all walks of life party together without the baggage of race and class issues getting in the way. Princes can horse around with stevedores. Modest mothers can cut loose and dance with dandies with no one being the wiser.

When the party is over, confess into the ear of your priest, receive your ashes as a reminder of how short life is, and remember. For all it’s pain and disappointments, life is full of moments of pure joy and there is great value in abandoning yourself to it. Do whatcha wanna and…  Laissez les bons temps rouler!

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