“Samantha Has Adventures” was recently featured in the September/October issue of Lake Mary Life Magazine!
We are so excited to be able to share the full excerpt and interview!
Tell me about your blog. What’s the theme and when did you start it?
“I started my blog at the beginning of 2018 and the theme is mainly based on having an adventure wherever you are and making everyday magic! For me that place was Disney. I also share my experiences at other local attractions in central Florida.”
Tell me about your family (do they love theme parks too?)
“My family consists of myself, my husband Philip, and my two dog children (poodle bichon mixes) Rosie and Lucy! They are 8 year old sisters – We rescued them only 5 months ago, so we’re not sure whether or not they like Disney. But my husband and I LOVE it! We got married in July of 2017, and I have been going to Disney since my infancy, so the fact that my husband allowed us to have a Beauty and the Beast themed wedding- after my favorite Disney movie- was pretty great, even though he had never really been to Disney parks. So we knew one of the first things we wanted to do was get annual passes, and I got to take him to the Magic Kingdom for the first time- and then he was hooked too (he totally teared up when he saw Cinderella Castle for the first time)! We decided that year that we were going to challenge ourselves to go to Disney at least once a week, as our date night (or day) and we blogged about that journey through social media.”
A little history about you- this can be where you’re from, what your career/education/hobbies are… anything I should know.
“I grew up in Altamonte Springs, and just bought my first house in January of this year. I’m a mental health counselor working on a federal grant to offer per diem counseling services to at risk children and teens in the public school system. I received my bachelors degree in psychology from the university of central Florida and my masters degree in counseling at reformed theological seminary. I love my job as a therapist, but sometimes it can be really hard not to take the stories of trauma from my clients home with me, and having a place like Disney to be able to go to and have fun is really important for my own self care so that I never lose sight of the goodness and magic in the world, even though I spend so much time hearing and seeing the hardest parts of life. Some of my favorite hobbies are photography and journaling, so instagram naturally became the perfect outlet to share those experiences with others.”
What has been the best thing about starting this blog?
“The best part of starting my blog has been the community of friends that I have found with a mutual love for all things Disney, And it has brought my husband and I closer together, since we have a hobby that we can share together. The average career span in the mental health profession is around three years because of how draining it can be. Counselors and professionals in many careers have such high burn out rates nowadays, and I’m really thankful that having this blog has helped me incorporate more of a sense of love, joy and wonder into my life, and that’s one of the major things that can help prevent burning out, self-care is so important!”
What’s the most unexpected challenge AND unexpected joy you’ve had from blogging?
“A challenge for me has been to maintain the fun of it all, and not take myself so seriously on social media. It’s incredibly tempting to start comparing yourself to others and feeling inadequate when people are only posting a highlight reel of seemingly perfect lives – but my Instagram has given me a really cool platform to share the imperfect and messy parts of my own life. I’m sharing a highlight reel but I want people to know that isn’t all there is, and that is so important! I know if I’m feeling the temptation to compare myself to others and I cognitively know it’s not real, others must be feeling that same way too! Going into it never thought it would grow as big as it has, and 13,000 people is a lot of people that you’re letting see into your life. More often than not, those thousands of people are way more supportive than I ever imagined. Sometimes I’ll post something that makes me feel self-conscious or embarrassed, but so many people are there to relate with me and support me who also share their own experiences, and there’s real connection.”
What are the future plans for your blog?
“Right now, my husband and I have kept our tradition of going to Disney Parks at least once a week and still share that on social media and plan to continue to do so – but we also hope to share more of our life at home (which is also pretty Disney themed) and share more about local places in our community as well! We are also building a YouTube filming studio in our home and plan on branching out into YouTube as well!”
Tell me about what you collect…
“I collect too many things! All of the art in our home has come from Disney artists, mostly beauty the beast inspired! I have over 1,000 Disney pins and love trading in the parks. I also have over 50 pairs of Minnie ears, an entire section of my closet dedicated to Disney themed clothing including over 50 Disney T-shirt’s, and I love collecting Disney inspired backpacks and purses and accessories too! I have a huge Disney mug collection too – but really just love things that are functional and add a little extra magic to your day when you see them! So basically everything, mainly art, pins, clothes, accessories, and mugs!”
Thank’s for reading my interview with Lake Mary Life Magazine, I am always thankful for your continuing support! *Interview edited for length and clarity