Raspberry Thumbprint Cookies

17 Feb

In honor of February, the month of Cupid and love, here is a DELICIOUS recipe for Raspberry Thumbprint Cookies.  Thank you Mom for sending it, so I could make it for my Valentine this year!

1 C. Butter, softened
2/3 C. Sugar
1/2 Tsp. Almond extract
2 C. Flour
1/3 to 1/2 C. Seedless raspberry jam

1 C. Confectioners’ sugar
2 to 3 Tsp. Water
1/2 Tsp. Almond extract

Cream butter and sugar. Beat in extract and gradually add flour until dough forms a ball. Cover and refrigerate for one hour. Roll into 1 inch balls. Place 1 inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Make an indentation in the center (I use my knuckle). Fill with jam. Bake at 350 degrees for 14-18 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Remove from cookie sheet and let cool. Drizzle glaze over cooled cookies.

If the cookies are too flat, that means you need to add a little more flour. Also, if the dough sticks to your hands when making balls, put some flour on your hands.


Cooling Off!


Fill up the cookie jar!

Optional - Present in adorable cookie jar!


Never Say Never

17 Feb

I recently renewed this blog and domain name for another year.  When I did, I promised myself I would blog more often.  What’s the point in paying for a space online if I’m not going to use it often?  Well luckily, there have been many events that have made me think “I need to blog about this.”  So I’m writing those down and beginning to tackle it now.

Most recent on my mind is Justin Bieber.  Yes, the 16-year-old teenage heart-throb.  It was probably about a year and a half ago when I started hearing about this child.  But last week I happened to catch Ellen while at the gym and he was a guest on the show.  I couldn’t help but smile throughout the entire episode watching the two interact.  (Although that does happen most of the time while watching Ellen.)  He was promoting his new movie that I hadn’t thought much about – Never Say Never.

Hmmmm maybe I’ll have to go see that.  Usher says it’s a must see too…..

Well, I asked my roommate that night if she wanted to join me when the movie came out.  She is a pop-culture genius and said, “I’ll go for the cultural experience.”  That answered worked for me!

After work, we met at the theater in Downtown Disney in Anaheim.  Having won a gift certificate when I worked at the hotel, I had to pay a four-dollar surcharge because the movie was in 3D.  Paying $13 for a movie is crazy! The 3D-ness is the only part I didn’t think was necessary, but I’m not always the biggest 3D fan unless it’s a short theme park type screening.  With that said, however, the movie made $30 million dollars in its opening weekend, so it looks like a lot of people were willing to pay the extra charge to go see JB. 

Anyway, the movie was AWESOME.  If you like documentaries, biographies, music, entertainment, stories about hope, or infectious personalities, go see it.  Or at least rent it on Red Box when it comes out if you don’t want to spend $13.  I had goosebumps 90% of the movie, cried about three different times, and was in awe listening to the story of Justin Bieber.

He’s got raw talent, and has had an amazing support system around him from a young age.    That combination has allowed him to become a sesenation…and he will not be going away anytime soon.  *Sidenote* When I’m a parent, I hope to do exactly what his mother and grandparents have done, which is allow Justin to do what he is both talented and passionate about. They’ve allowed him to flourish even if risks were involved, and now look what’s happened to him!

My favorite parts of the movie was when old photos and videos played showing Bieber as a child.  He was SO precious and there are plenty of YouTube videos in the movie that showcase his young talent (see below). 

Like The Social Network movie, which I also loved, Never Say Never shows how technology and social media have caused huge changes in our society.  Justin Bieber is the perfect example of this, because his agent discovered him while searching on YouTube.  Crazy!  Twitter, too, was vital in this star’s rise. 

That’s right, I guess you can say I now have Bieber Fever.  Never Say Never, right?

The next step… Update to family and friends!

7 Dec

Happy Holidays, all!

It is really hard to believe it’s already December.  The last few months in California have really flown by.  It is very strange to not be experiencing seasons as drastically as upstate New York.  My roommate, who is from the cold state of South Dakota, and I cannot seem to wrap our minds around time out here.  We didn’t have the changing trees in September and October, and now there is no snow in December.  No snow, with the exception of the pile of artificial snow I saw some people shoveling for “fun” at a festival down the street from our apartment.  See ironic image below:

Californians shoveling for fun!

Anyway, I wanted to write an update on my blog because it has been a while and there are some major life updates to tell family and friends about.  I haven’t had much time to write since getting out here because working in guest services at the hotel has kept me very busy since August.  I can’t describe the amount I have learned about customer service and communication in this role.  It is an experience that has helped me develop skills I will continue to use, no matter where I go in the future.

Now… to the big news!  In mid-November I interviewed for a Professional Internship (PI).  For those who don’t know what this is, here is the link to the website: http://disney.go.com/disneycareers/internships/disney_world_resort.html This was something I had set out to do since deciding to do the Disney College Program (DCP) after graduation.  My goal was to do this program and then apply for the Professional Internship Program.  About eight months ago, I thought getting into DCP and then landing a PI would be the ideal situation if it worked out, but I knew it would be a really competitive process.  Unfortunately, there are not nearly as many Professional Internships at Disneyland in Anaheim as in Disney World.  This, combined with my own specific job interests narrowed down my PI applications to just one internship.  Long story short, I applied to intern with the Cast Activities, Events, and Recognition department at Disneyland in October, completed a phone interview in early November and then had an in-person interview in mid-November.

I was getting extremely anxious waiting to hear back, because as many of you know, I tend to put all my “eggs in one basket” and in this case the basket was with Cast Activities!  Well, about six days after interviewing I received an offer for the position.  I’m SO relieved to know what I’ll be doing once my current role ends in four weeks, and SO excited to work with this particular department.  It is a pretty small department but they plan all the activities for cast members.  Since I have an interest in event planning and human resources, this will be an absolutely amazing experience!

So now that I have a job from January 4th-July 2nd, Molly and I just need to find a place to live!

Hope everyone is enjoying the holiday season… I miss and love everyone back home and can’t wait to get back for a visit in the spring.



Event Spotlight #2 – Take Back the Night

13 Oct

It’s about time I added another event spotlight to my blog!

From January – May 2010, I served as the Take Back the Night intern at the Advocacy Center in Ithaca.   The purpose of Take Back the Night is to rally against domestic violence and sexual abuse.  The event was a huge success and had the most people ever in attendance.



Patty, Liz, and I setting up for the event


This year was particularly special because Ithaca was selected to be one of the TEN POINTS OF LIGHT from the national Take Back the Night foundation.  While designing the T-Shirt for the event, I wanted to make sure these 10 locations were highlighted.  The back of every T-shirt was designed much like a typical concert tour shirt is, with a listing of all of these wonderful places.



The Clothesline Project



Some of the Ithaca Community Marchers!


Throughout the evening I served as the emcee of the event.  It was a really great feeling to look out over the crowd and help the program run smoothly after months of work.  It was also great practice for public speaking!

My favorite part of the night was right at the end during the candlelight vigil.  Premium Blend, Ithaca College’s female accappella group, sang really beautiful and touching songs and everyone in attendance stood in a large circle.  Patty, my supervisor said she had never seen a larger circle at TBTN since she had been running it.  That was an amazing feeling!

The internship and event really helped me understand the importance of using free and very reasonably priced marketing methods to let people know about an event.  While planning events for a non-profit it is important to get the most for your money.  We were definitely able to do that in 2010 and make money from our T-shirt sales to make sure 2011 is just as, if not even more successful than this year!


Patty and I speaking at Take Back the Night 2010

Premium Blend singing during the Candlelight Vigil


If you’re interested in finding out more about Take Back the Night or would like to give to this cause, go to: http://www.takebackthenight.org/

It Gets Better

13 Oct

So proud of my fellow Parkies! ❤

Business card and quick update!

9 Oct

Part of the Disney College Program is a classroom component.  This semester I am taking Marketing You and one assignment is creating a business card.  I had made a card last year that I’ve handed out once in a while, but I think this is a good opportunity to change it now that I’ve graduated.

Here is the final product!  What do you think?

I apologize for the lack of updates since arriving in California.  The program is going really well and I’ve met lots of wonderful friends living in the apartment complex here.  It has been a great stepping stone for moving across country.  Molly and I are officially going to stay in CA and plan to move into another apartment in January.  We are looking at Huntington Beach, aka Surf City USA!  We both are so thankful every day for the opportunities we are being given here.  There will definitely be a lot of other changes coming soon, as well.

I’m making myself a note to sit down and do some blogging on Tuesday because I have the day off then.  So more updates to come!

Trip of a Lifetime!

18 Aug

 Today is the most low-key day I’ve had in a while ,and although it’s a little overwhelming to attempt to recapture the last week and a half, I will try my best!  To sum everything up quickly, the cross-country road trip was everything and more than I ever dreamed it could be.  I always wanted to drive from my home state of New York all the way to California, and with my great friend Melissa, it couldn’t have been any better.


I'm going to miss you, DD!

To make this easier to read, I’ll break it down by day.  Luckily Melissa and I kept a journal throughout the trip to capture the funny moments, so it’s easier for me to remember now! 

On Monday August 9th I left at 2 am to head to Jersey to pick Melissa up.  I would definitely recommend leaving at this time if anyone plans on taking the same route.  We were able to get through NJ before traffic hit and made it all the way to Nashville, TN by 5 pm.  

  • Saw University of Tennessee (One place I wanted to go to school when I was a basketball dreamer back in jr. high)
  • Melissa’s elementary friend from school met us and we went to Applebee’s — We didn’t branch out much that night.
  • Manager’s Reception at the hotel was a fun way to kick off our trip.

Melissa was able to reunite with her childhood friend, Kevin, when we stopped in Tennessee!

On Tuesday, we left bright and early for Oklahoma City, OK.  We planned to stop in Little Rock, Arkansas for lunch!  While searching on the tourism website I found out they have a Farmer’s Market on Tuesdays and Saturdays at the River Market.  Having experienced great weather all along on our trip, it surprised us when 10 seconds after stepping out of the car, a downpour occurred.  We found this hilarious and ironic because every time we planned to do something adventurous together, something very atypical seems to happen.  A man at the market told us it doesn’t rain often at all in Little Rock!  We rolled with it and then went on to Oklahoma City! 

Storm hit as soon as we got to Little Rock... But that's okay!

Oklahoma City was such a fun place.  After a friend suggested we go to Bricktown, we decided to check out that area at nighttime.  This is the largest growing entertainment district in the midwest.  It has a bit of something for everyone…live music, cute restaurants, many different types of bars, and a cute canal with boats to transport people.  This was definitely a highlight of the trip… Anyone thinking about visiting the mid-west… make a stop at Bricktown! 

Enjoying the nightlife in Bricktown (Oklahoma City, OK)

On Wednesday, we left OKC for Alburquerque, NM.  On our way we drove through Texas!  We stopped for lunch at this really awesome Texan Ranch-themed restaurant.  We kept seeing signs for this place offering a free 72 oz. stake along I-40… Lucky for us there was a man taking on the challenge.  He finished the steak, potatoes, roll, salad, shrimp cocktail, and a couple other items in just 20 minutes, while we were eating.  Pretty crazy, but a fun stop if you’re going through Amarillo, TX anytime soon. 

Photo taken at our stop in Texas!

We were pretty exhausted but wanted to see the most of every stop along the way.  We went to Old Town which was a cute part of Albuquerque.  One would expect to eat Mexican food in NM, but we decided to try out a French restaurant.  A local was walking past us when we were looking at the menu, and she advised us “this is the best place in town.”  Apparently, not many other people know about this place because Melissa and I were the only ones in the restaurant!  It kind of seemed like a movie.  I really loved this place and without thinking I said, “I feel like I’m  in another country…maybe this is what France is like!”  That’s when I looked down at the menu and remembered it was a French restaurant!   :-p 

Great french restaurant in Old Town (Albuquerque, NM)

On Friday we drove to Phoenix to stay with an IC Alum, Aaron Bloom!  He graciously allowed us to stay at his dad’s house and the three of us went out to a restaurant called Rock Bottom.  If you haven’t noticed a theme, this trip consisted of a lot of food, laughs, and driving! 

Dinner at Rock Bottom in Phonix with Aaron and Melissa

We continued on our way Friday morning…  But not before driving out-of-the-way to Dunkin Donuts for breakfast.  In case you do not know, Dunkin Donuts is not in California and that is my favorite place.  So it was important to try to get DD until there were no more left for us to go to.   We got to Las Vegas around 4:00 p.m.  Perfect timing for our check-in to the Paris Hotel on the strip.   

Hotel Paris on the Las Vegas Strip

Although some people may have had bad luck in Vegas on Friday because it was Friday, the 13th, we had great luck.  We were able to get on a list to Pure nightclub at Caesar’s, thanks to another IC Alum’s help!  We also met Molly (my future roommate as of tomorrow morning) and her wonderful Mom.  It was definitely a fun time.  

Melissa and I finally met Molly -- My new roommate at Disney!

Well, this post is getting long enough, so  I will write about the California part of our trip later tonight.  It is hard to believe I’m back in California again… Still waiting for it to really sink in.  Maybe moving into the apartment tomorrow will make it seem more real! 

Special thanks to Melissa Rossi for joining me on this adventure of a lifetime. I will never forget it.  ❤

Final days in New York!

6 Aug

Daydreaming in my backyard!

The last few days have been quite surreal.  I’m mentally preparing for the trip that begins Sunday night.  It feels really strange because the long countdown is almost over and SO much is going to change so quickly in my life. 

The car is almost all packed.  I still have other stuff to pack, but there’s not much room left… So, I’ll just bring what I can and survive just fine without the rest (hopefully)! 

Tomorrow my mom, sister, and I are going to the Jimmy Buffet concert in Camden, NJ.  My mom has always wanted to go to one of his concerts and this was her mother’s day gift.  It will be a memorable way to spend our last night together.  Unfortunately, dad will not be joining in the fun because he’s been on his golfing vacation in his hometown… His goodbye was over a week ago and was a tear-filled event! 

"Cheeseburger in Paradise..."

 On an exciting post-grad note, I switch health insurance providers today.  I will be saving a lot of money and now get prescriptions and dental coverage, too!  Disney doesn’t provide health coverage for College Program interns.  So this is great news, because every penny is crucial these next few months in order for me to stay out in CA (which is not known as being the most affordable place to live)…

My Role at a Disneyland Hotel!

1 Aug

So what will I be doing at Disneyland from August 18th to January 3rd?!  I’ll be working as a Guest Services Hostess.  According to the Disneyland College Program website and the special purple folder packet of information, guest services is….  

Guest Services
Guest Services Cast Members assist Guests with questions, directions, event schedules and other information regarding the Hotel/Resort to help create a magical experience for our Guests. This role involves the use of computerized reservation systems and handling large amounts of money. Individuals in this role should possess a high level of integrity, must stay calm in highly stressful situations and must be able to reflect a professional image while maintaining Guest privacy. This role involves constant walking/standing, pushing/pulling and constant use of hands.  

I believe people working in guest services are in a number of areas at Disneyland.  However, when offered the guest services role over the phone, I was told I’ll be working in one of three hotels at Disneyland.  

The three hotels at Disneyland are the Grand Californian Hotel and Spa, the Disneyland Hotel, and the Paradise Pier Hotel.  

Disney Grand Californian Hotel


Disneyland Hotel


Disneyland Paradise Pier Hotel

I am so excited to start working in one of the hotels for a number of reasons:  

  1. The hotel industry is one I have definitely expressed interest in before.  This will give me an inside look for a few months with no major commitments after.  There are so many hotels in southern California, so that could be another route to take if a professional internship or job at Disney doesn’t work out in January.
  2. I would love to get into the wedding/events department at Disney…  My chances of getting experience and meeting professionals who do this is probably higher working in one of the hotels than it would be in other parts of Disneyland.  Many wedding receptions are held at the hotels!
  3. No worries as far as weather goes! 

When I stayed in Orange County last summer, I walked into the lobby of the Grand Californian. It was SO beautiful.  I’m sure the other two hotels are really amazing, too.  But I have my fingers crossed that I’ll be placed there!

Disneyland, here I come!

1 Aug


I have yet to dedicate a post to the Disney College Program and figure I should do it now, because the program is just around the corner!  Last fall I saw posters around campus for the Disney College Program and told myself I should look into the program later on if it looked like I wouldn’t be able to get a job in California.  After job searching for a few months, I realized how difficult it is to get a job in CA, especially when you’re cross country.   

In February, I still wasn’t having much luck in the job search process.  When talking with a fellow senior about future plans, she said her goal was to work for Disney.  If she didn’t get a full-time job with the company, she was going to Florida to do the Disney College Program.  I jumped on a computer that night and looked into the program and applied right away.  I filled out the application for both the Walt Disney World and Disneyland program, even though CA was where I really wanted to go! 

My first phone interview was with the Florida program.  I am so glad that interview was first, because it allowed me to be even more prepared for the California interview.  Fast forward a few weeks later and I had been offered a front gate operations position in Florida and a Guest Services position in California.  I was definitely more excited about the guest services position. It was exactly what I was hoping for!  Plus, it was a HUGE relief knowing what I was doing after graduation by the end of Spring Break, which was a personal goal I had.  

The program in Anaheim, CA is not as large as it is in Orlando, Florida.  But if anyone is interested in seeing what is involved check out the website here:  http://disney.go.com/disneycareers/disneycollegeprogram/dlr/index.html  To sum it up, there are three components: Living. Learning. Earning.  

Map of Downtown Anaheim


This means, I’ll be living with other DCP participants in an apartment complex (I’ll explain that in another post soon). Taking classes, which some participants will receive credit for.  However, I’m now graduated, so I’ll only be taking one class this fall.  I’m pretty excited about this part, because anyone who knows me could tell you I’m a  pretty big nerd!   And lastly, I’ll be earning money through my paid internship role in guest relations!   

It’s hard to believe that my DCP countdown started almost 6 months ago and now it’s almost over!