My First Trip to the D23 Expo

My first trip to the D23 expo which is held in at the Anaheim Convention center every two years was most definitely quite the learning experience. While I enjoyed myself, it was also a bit overwhelming and I now know what to expect, what to do and what not to do if I decide to attend the next one. Instead of taking the plunge and attending all three days, I went only one day (the last one). I actually almost missed attending all together because I grew ill a few days before, but luckily I started to feel better quickly enough and was able to power through and still go- albeit because of said illness I went about things at a slower pace and not at 100%, so there was definitely things I missed. But going in I had a few things I hoped to accomplish: see the show floor and attend at least one panel. And for the most part I did that.


Without a doubt my favorite thing I saw from the expo was The Art of Disney Storytelling Panel, hosted by John Stamos and his wife Caitlin and featuring Disney Legends, animators, producers and imagineers Tony Baxter, Floyd Norman, Don Hahn and Paul Briggs. They each told stories and offered insights on their experiences and different approaches to storytelling in film and in the Parks and it was funny, informative and overall a delight. Some of my favorite things including stories about Walt Disney inventing the concept of storyboards (which I was unaware of), and Howard Ashman and Alan Menken being really involved in story meetings and Ashman explaining how foreshadowing exists in the song “Part of Your World,” which for as many times as I have heard that song and seen The Little Mermaid, is something I never thought of. I also loved Tony Baxter’s story of how he received a postcard from Ray Bradbury after he rode Peter Pan’s Flight with Charles Laughton of all people. He wrote to him that he had “boarded a pirate galleon, flew out of a child’s bedroom and over London! You can’t get much better than that!” And how true is that!



The other favorite thing I saw was The ‘Heroes and Villains” Disney Archives costume exhibit. For just about anyone this display of a wide array of gorgeous and intricate costumes is amazing. But for someone like me who truly appreciates and loves what goes into filmmaking, including the aesthetics and true artistry of costumes, this exhibit was absolutely incredible. I truly lucked out with this year’s display as we got to see such a variety of yes, heroes and villains, and such a variety of films and television, from Once Upon a Time’s Cinderella and Captain Hook, to the live action remakes Cinderella, Aladdin and Beauty and the Beast, to the wonderful National Treasure and Prince of Persia, to EnchantedHocus Pocus, Alice in Wonderland and three different Mary Poppins costumes. It was a sumptuous feast for the eyes and I loved seeing each and every work of art.







As far as everything else I saw, and the overall process I can say it was a combo of fun, overwhelming, and in my particular case a little lonely and confusing. The staff was overall friendly but would sometimes give me conflicting information and finding the line for my reservation panel was quite difficult. And lines are definitely everywhere. Consequently, I missed seeing some stuff because lines were quite long, or just long enough that I skipped them as I was tired. It is also very large and, at least for me, easy to get turned around and not be sure exactly where you were and if you missed walking by/through anything on the floor. After watching some videos from the expo I discovered, there was A LOT I missed. And being by myself, I didn’t have anyone for another set of eyes and help with confusion and bearings, take pictures, and overall share the con experience with. I have been to many cons alone before, but for some reason, perhaps because it was my first one, or simply the nature of it being a Disney con, I wish I had not been alone and with a friend or group. It was a little lonely. Still there were come really cool things to be seen and I was able to enjoy myself despite everything.


Attending the D23 also gave me the opportunity for a few other things. I stayed at the Anaheim Hilton for the first time, and this is a beautiful hotel. My room offered an amazing view and Disneyland’s fireworks were visible at night. And On Monday I had the great pleasure of finally meeting Becka, aka DisneyKitee, in Disney California Adventure, along with her husband. I spoke about Becka in this article about Disney Tubers, and since have been getting to know her. Finally getting to meet was so wonderful as she is a sweet and lovely person. Disney friends really are the best!! Go watch her videos on YouTube if you don’t already!!


So all in all, while I enjoyed walking through the show area and seeing the panel, I know that if I decide to attend in 2021, there are definitely things I would do differently. I would only go if I went all 3 or at least 2 days as there is just so much to see, panels to watch and stores to shop in, and there must be sufficient time to walk around and wait in lines. I also would only attend with another person or group as it would be an easier, more relaxed, and simply more fun con experience than attending alone. That might not be an issue for some, but for me it is. Disney is my favorite thing in the world, but sharing that love with others makes it even more magical. Fingers crossed for magical D23Expo experience in 2021!!



Fashion Friday: Style Inspiration- Emma Swan

There are many things to love about Once Upon a Time’s hero Emma Swan. She is brave and fierce, while also showing moments of vulnerability. She has gone through an incredible journey over the show’s 5 seasons and is a character that is very real and relatable. She is not only a Savior and a hero, a sheriff and a princess, a mother, friend and lover. She is woman of beauty inside and out that provides a great source of inspiration. Besides these many wonderful attributes, another thing I also love is her style, which often times is a reflection and extension to what her character is feeling or represents. Her most iconic style is that of her red leather jacket, and that along with her yellow bug reflects what Emma’s character represents to the town of Storybrooke. She brought color into the gray, dreary town where every day was exactly the same. But when Emma arrived things finally begun to change and the town came alive again. Of course the style is sometimes just style and merely nice wardrobe, but they do often reflect her journey- she can wear white to reflect her goodness, or a pink dress to reflect her feeling comfortable enough with someone to show the softer side of her. Her everyday style has become pretty synonymous with her character: jeans, boots, a simple shirt or sweater, and a leather jacket. It is classic, simple and comfortable, yet very beautiful and chic. This is the style I will be highlighting in this inspiration post, with examples of some of my own pieces and ones you can look for on your own.

Emma’s most iconic look is with her red leather jacket. She does not wear it all the time, but it is an important iconographic part of her character, representing her armor, and is one she has worn the most consistently over the course of the series.

red jackets

Achieving this look is very simple to do, and affordably so. All you need is a red jacket, simple shirt, jeans or legging, or boots. She mostly wears tall riding boots, but in Season 5 wore shorter ones. This is what I put together from my own wardrobe: a faux red leather cropped jacket from Modcloth, (a second option is also pictured from Nordstrom), Merona black tank from Target, Jessica Simpson jeans from Macy’s, Clarks riding boots from QVC, and a delicate circle necklace from Charming Charlie.

red jacket outfit

There are options out there for the red leather jacket. There are two available on Amazon. One is a little pricier at $159 because it is real leather, with a more affordable faux leather option at $59.

Once Upon A Time Jacket – Emma Swan Red Leather Jacket $159

red 1

Emma Swan Red Once Upon a Time Women Jacket $59


I also found very pretty necklace options on the Etsy Store FishesGiveKisses. One has Emma’s silver circle plus signature Swan pendant which you can buy either separately or as a layered necklace ($13.95-$19.95). The same store has a hammered silver circle necklace for $14.95.

Once Upon a Time Fairy Tale Swan, Emma Necklace $13.95+


Hammered Circle Necklace $14.95+


Another beloved look of Emma’s has become known as her “Beanstalk” outfit, because she wore it when she and Killian had their adventure up the beanstalk in Season 2. But she has also worn variations of this outfit with the brown/maroon jacket in Seasons 3 and 4.

brown jackets

I achieved this outfit in much the same way. This jacket is actually from Forever 21– so very affordable- and it is almost a dead ringer for Emma’s, complete with zippers on the sleeves. The swan necklace is from Etsy and I love it. And I was having fun adding the compass (much like the enchanted one they used to return to Storybrooke). That is from a little store called Globe Imports. They have a lot of beautiful compasses available and other nautical decor.

brown jacket outfit.jpg

I found a very cute Plus size jacket option form Forever 21 for $37.90

Quilted Moto Jacket $37.90

ps jacket

My Swan necklace is from the Etsy Shop BelieveinGoodKarma and was only $9

Swan Necklace $9

swan necklace

This last look is one of my favorites. In Season 4 Emma wore a few white/cream cable knit sweaters that were definitely a reflection of her light. My favorite is the one she wore in the Season 4 finale when she became the Dark One, certainly symbolic of her heroic act being the Savior. I found a very similar pretty and comfy sweater from Old Navy that is very similar to Emma’s. This is a classic style that can always be found and is always in fashion.

white sweater

I found a very similar option from Cabela’s
Cabela’s Women’s Classic Cable-Knit Sweater $55.88


Achieving the Emma Swan look is easy, fun, and can definitely be affordable. You can be inspired by your favorite character, while still retaining your own sense of style as well as simply looking fabulous. Many will not even know that the looks are like Emma’s, and that is part of the fun. What are some of your favorite outfits of Emma’s? Any other looks you would like me to highlight? Let me know in the comments.


Fashion Friday: Black and White Classic & Chic Styles

When it comes to our fashion choices we are have our own tastes and styles. But so often we find inspiration everywhere, from perusing Pinterest (one of my favorite pastimes) to being inspired by looks on our favorite entertainers. This first edition of Fashion Friday is about Classic Black and White styles that are timeless and inspired by some favorite looks I’ve seen and have recreated- and affordably.

This first look is inspired by this one I found on Pinterest that is a classic as it gets- a Polka dot blouse, skinny jeans, and pumps. Red jeans or pants are a bold choice and very cute, but another color jean is just as pretty. For my look I went with a black jean and a pop of color in my heels as opposed to my jeans.

shirts and jeans

The entire look includes:

LC Lauren Conrad Polka Dot Blouse from Kohls 
Jessica Simpson Kiss Me Black Wash Super-Skinny Jeans from Macy’s $59.90
Merona™ Women’s Favorite Tank  from Target $9.00
Kelly & Katie Caris Mary Jane Pump from DSW

The Blouse and Pumps are no longer available but here are some similar styles:


Original Fit Polka Dot Portofino Shirt $59.90

red pump

Kelly & Katie Delany Patent Platform Pump $29.95

black pump

Kelly & Katie Helena Pump $29.94

The outfit above was also inspired by this chic look below by Jennifer Morrison by simply adding a faux leather jacket.

dots and jacket insp


This jacket was a steal! I found it at Forever 21 for $20. It is no longer available, but check back periodically. It’s a classic style and more moto jackets will no doubt be available again.Meanwhile, I found some similar styles. If you can afford a real lather jacket I say go for it. But faux leather ones can be just as nice and a fraction of the price. Mine is super soft and obviously very affordable. Here are some more Black Faux Leather Jacket Similar Styles:

levis jacket

Levi’s® Paper Pu Assym. Moto $69

jacket target.jpg

Women’s Faux Leather Moto Jacket – Black – Xhilaration $27.98

black moto target

Women’s Minimal Moto – Who What Wear ™ $44.99

boo jack


jessica jack

Classic leather-look jacket by Ellos® (Plus Size) $69.99-79.99

moto taget plus

Women’s Plus Size Minimal Moto Jacket – Who What Wear™ $49.99

Another classic black and white look that is inspired by the fair JMo is this one:

leather jacket and dress.jpg

Normally I would post the pic to compare, but I do not want to post paparazzi pics on my site. I saw this look online and you can find it if you wish to see it, but it won’t be shown here. But I can proudly say that my look is pretty close to hers. This is the same jacket from Forever 21, a black and white knit polka dot Xhileration dress from Target, Tall Black Aerosoles Boots and, blacks tights from Target. For a fun add of flair I am also wearing my Captain Hook replica necklace.


Mine was a gift which I believe was purchased from It’s Posh (aka Mr. Gold’s) in Vancouver. But you can find one just like it on Etsy: Captain Hook Pirate Necklace Once Upon A Time $15.73

Lastly, what is more timeless than the Chanel Black Quilted Flap Back. I must admire that seeing Jennifer’s love for hers recently inspired me to finally look for one myself. It truly is a beautiful purse, and this chic bag never goes out of style.

chanel purse1

chanel purse insp

The real thing is sadly out of my reach as a Chanel purse can be upwards of $6000!! I know most of us can hardly afford to splurge, but that does not mean you cannot find a similar style that is pretty and much more affordable. Here is my fabulous find!

black purse.jpg

black purse 1

This purse that is ” Channeling chic sophistication” is the Women’s Quilted Crossbody Handbag with Turn Lock Closure and Chain Strap – Merona™ from Target for $29.99.

Here are some other similar styles:

express purse

Quilted Chain Strap Shoulder Bag $49.90

dsw purse

Urban Expressions Sheena Crossbody Bag $29.95 (Available in Black)

So what are your favorite classic black and white looks? Who inspires your style? Are they any looks you all would like me to replicate? Sound off in the comments and let me know what you think of this first edition of Fashion Friday!!

New Things Coming to The Girly Nerd

Hello my Lovelies!! First of all I want to thank everyone who has ever read anything I’ve written for The Girly Nerd. You have been so wonderful and made the first 9 months of the site amazing. The kind comments and enthusiasm means the world to me. I also want to say that I am going through some changes in my life, working to makes things better and want that to reflect on the site in a positive way. Although most of you primarily visit the site because of a shared love for Once Upon a Time, and I will continue to write about our beloved show, I want to also start adding some variety to the site as often as I can. Though I cannot promise they will be something every single week, there will definitely be some new things on specific days, as well as any random fun post I want to share.

On Mondays I want to start doing “Movie Monday” where I highlight any movie I just watched that I really loved, or, and more likely, post an excerpt of a movie that will be included in a book I have been working on the past few years. “Film From the Heart” is close to completion and I will be seeking publication options very soon, but I want to share with you all some of the movies I will include in the book. Very often sharing a love for one film or show will lead to other shared tastes. Such I suspect is the case with many of you. This book will include close to 700 films, so there is definitely many to share, discuss and recommend.

On Fridays I want to do “Fashion Friday” with variety of different types of posts from “Fabulous Finds” to “Style Inspiration.” I live on a budget like many of you and believe that you can find wonderful clothes and accessories that are affordable. We all like to splurge once in a while, but reasonable prices are a must for me. Also, like anyone else, I have many different actors, musicians, and characters that I consider my style muses so those will probably be highlighted the most. Unsurprisingly I adore Jennifer Morrison in many ways, her beautiful style being one of them. Zooey Deschanel is another whose style is a constant inspiration. Others you may see as inspiration include Lauren Conrad, Ginnifer Goodwin, Audrey Hepburn, Taylor Swift, Emma Watson, Emma Stone, as well as characters from shows and films. You may or may not find lots of Disney themed fashion for instance.

These are the first of new things coming to The Girly Nerd. As always, if you can please consider making a donation to PayPal. There is a link on the homepage sidebar. This helps keeps the site running and is most appreciated.

Much Love xoxo,

jmo blow kiss

Fashion Friday: Minnie Mouse Style

When it comes to fashion, there is not much that is as girly as Minnie Mouse style. The sweet and timeless character has provided inspiration for almost 90 years. Although her true love Mickey is arguably the most popular animated character of all time, and is seen in just about everything under the sun, Minnie is just as beloved and popular especially in the fashion world. Designers are always giving us new and beautiful clothes, jewelry and accessories inspired by this colorful character, and many a style blog or fashion magazine highlight these inspired fashions from official character pieces to ones that incorporate her style, from red and black fashion, to polka dots and bows in just about every color. In this post I will be highlighting some of my own Minnie Mouse fashion pieces and places you can get them, or ones quite similar.

One of my first “Minnie” fashion purchases was this red and white polka dot purse from the World of Disney store in Downtown Disney at the Disneyland Resort.


Not only is it adorable, but was affordable at around $40, and excellent quality, especially because it is not real leather. I have had this purse for almost 4 years and it still practically looks like new.  This particular purse must be still popular because during my last trip to the park in December it was still available to purchase in the Le Bat en Rouge shop in New Orleans Square, along with an array of other delightful Minnie apparel.

dland store(X)

If you can’t make it to the park, I found multiple listings on Ebay!
Disney Parks Minnie Mouse Barrel Style Purse (Value $40)
$45 (X), $29.99 (X), $55 (money goes to charity) (X)

Around the same time, I purchased some adorable bow earrings. They are costume jewelry but good quality and nicely sized, shown here alone, and with a penny to give you an idea.


These are no longer available but the style remains popular. If you feel like treating yourself, Pandora released very similar earrings that are even more beautiful.
Pandora Minnie Bow Earrings $75



Another World of Disney purchase was this Minnie Mouse Sequin Bow Sweater $54.95

minnie sweater.jpg

It is a thin sweater, but super cozy and soft. I love the sequin bow. They are very tightly woven and intricate and sparkle beautifully. Select sizes are still available on The Disney Store and I found a listing for size small on Ebay. Keep checking. More may pop up! Disney Store, Ebay $64.95

Lastly, I adore Lauren Conrad’s fashion line for Kohls. Her pieces are beautiful, feminine and do not break the bank. I have several tops and dresses from her line, include some of her many Disney inspired ones. She has done special tributes to Cinderella, Bambi, and you guessed it, Minnie Mouse, which so far has been my personal favorite. I purchased a red dress with a hat and bow pattern, and a coral blouse with a lace and polka dot peter pan collar, and mouse ear and polka dot pattern.

minnie dress outfit


These special inspired lines have limited runs, but as always you can always find listings on Ebay. Here is all of the Lauren Conrad Minnie Apparel available on Ebay.

Do you love Minnie inspired fashion as much as I do? What are some of your favorite pieces? Would you like to see more? Sound off in the comments 🙂