Thursday, 18 August 2016

Turning 25 Feelz



 Last week I turned 25. Amongst the "oh my god where has my life gone" feelz was the equally as scary "how the heck do I adult" feelz, although I did spend my birthday in Disneyland Paris being the personification of "never grow up". A lot has changed in the past year, so I thought I would revisit the "25 things before 25" list I wrote a year ago on my 24th birthday. Some things I've achieved, some things I haven't, good things have happened, bad things have happened, but I've come out a stronger person with a few things i can be proud of.

1. Start a ‘big girl’ savings account.
I did actually start a savings account recently and now transfer money into it evey month. How long it's going to stay untouched is questionable, as I do have several holidays to pay for, but we shall see!

2. Get a promotion at work to become salaried staff.
Another recent step was my promotion to become a General Manager. Even though I still don't know what i want to do with my life, I have a career and options for the future.

3. Move into my own place with the boyfriend.
This one is a toghie. I did move into my own place last December, but unfortunatly me and him broke up in April. It's by far one of the hardest things I have ever had to deal with in my life. We were together for 5 1/2 years and to say it hurt is an understatement. It was nothing anyone did, these things just sometimes happen. I did have to move back in with my parents though. It's a work in progress.

4. Spend more time being creative and learning to use my sewing machine.

Learning how to use my sewing machine was a big fail, but I would like to think I have become more creative in my thinking, even though I don't have much physically to show for it.

5. Learn more about creating content on YouTube, from editing to the filming process.

Although I have come such a long way from when i first started making videos, there is still so much for me to learn and it's a constant process that I'm always improving upon. What I want to improve upon the most now days, is the visuals of my videos and am excited to develop them further.

6. Gain 3000 subscribers on my channel.
I've gone through a few bouts of "creators block" this year, and a hiatus after the breakup, which I think has affected my channel growth, however, I am close to 2000 subscribers so that is a big achievement for me! I love making videos and sharing my Disney trips, so its just mind boggling that people are actually watching!

7. Find a direction with my blog.
My blog has taken the back burner over the last few years, and to be honest, I cant see that changing. Trying to juggle working full time, putting out 2 videos a week and trying not to be a complete social recluse is tough and I just don't have much time to blog anymore. I wish I did, honestly I do, but I cant see myself being a dedicated blogger any time soon.

8. Rediscover my passion for photography, somehow its gotten lost along the way.
Photography isn't something I think about much anymore. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy it, I just don't think it's going to be something I actively pursue in the future.

9. Go to more concerts and see more shows.
I was so hyped to see Motley Crue and Alice Cooper last November, and have recently booked to see Avenged Sevenfold next year so I reckon this definitly counts as a sucess (I mean, have you see the price of gig tickets recently? Ouch!)

10. Stop comparing myself.
You know what, I don't compare myself. While there is always going to be a flicker of a thought that compares myself to others, I generally don't. I'm not going to waste my life being jealous of others and wishing I had something I'm never going to get.

11. Become more creative in the kitchen.

This was actually the year I decided to become a Vegan! I've been following a plant based diet for 8 months now and couldnt be happier. Admittidly I was alot more creative in the kitchen when I was living in the flat, as trying to cook meals at my parents house is abit of a pain, but I can now make some delicious dishes that i'm super proud of.

12. Join some sort of sports club or activity.
This totally hasn't happened, but I'm still thinking about it! Maybe this year, eh?

13. Learn a new language to a conversational level.
Again, something I'm still thinking about. Leaning more towards French or Japanese now.

14. Visit a country I’ve never been before.
Disney has too much of a hold on me and I just cant bring myself to book another location when I know I can jet over to Disneyland Paris for cheap with my Annual Pass. I am going to California in October though, and while I have been before, It's been 3 years.

15. Have a clear out – I own way too much stuff.
I still own too much stuff, but I did have a big clear out when I moved into the flat so that totally counts.

16. Connect with family. I barely talk to my extended family, that needs to change.

I'm still anti-social when it comes to my family. Im terrible at keeping in contact with people in general though.

17. Pass my driving test.
This is probably one of the things I'm proudest of so far this year. In february I passed my driving test and am now flitting around in my own little Fiat 500!

18. Get a tattoo.
Let's be honest here, I'm just too stingy to pay for a tattoo. There is also part of me that dreams of working for Disney again (who don't allow visible tattoos) so I stay clear, just incase.

19. Write an open letter to my future 35 year old self.
I haven't done this, but I probably should. What would I even say?

20. Watch every single Disney film, both classic and live action.
I rarely watch movies, even Disney ones, so this was always going to be abit of a push.

21. Book a trip to Japan.

I haven't booked anything yet, but me and some friends are seriously considering a trip in 2018. Fingers crossed!

22. Invest in a new DSLR.

I was going to buy a new DSLR, but instead decided to go for a Canon G7X Mark 2, which is pretty much the same price as a DSLR and I will use alot more. Yup, it counts.

23. Get involved with animal charities.
Something else I keep telling myself I'm going to do. I would love to volunteer at the Dog's Trust again, walking the dogs and cuddling puppies, or do one of those "work abroad volunteer programs", it's just finding the time.

24. ‘Organize’ my memories. I want to start scrapbooks or the like, to put all of my memory bits in.
Again, time is the issue, and when I am free I just don't even think about doing this.

25. Let the bad things go.

This year has been one of the hardest of my life. I always thought people were being dramatic when they went through breakups, but it sucks. It's like my whole life was turned upside down in such a short amount of time. My future was ripped from me and my best friend wasn't there anymore. I would like to say we are still friends, but we're not. He hasn't bothered so why should I? That's probably the hardest thing. After being together for so long, I'm nothing. We're nothing. Yes I'm moving on, but no I'm not fully over it and I probably won't be for a long time. I just need to focus on myself and I do realize that bad things happen, we just need to deal with them, then focus on getting over them.

Monday, 27 June 2016

Supergoop! Everyday Sunscreen SPF50 Review


As we will all know, the Florida sun can be harsh and unforgiving. One of the biggest struggles that I have had when holidaying to Orlando, where beauty is concerned, is finding a facial sunscreen that sits well under makeup. I've had many people ask, why do I even bother with makeup in such hot weather. Well, because I like wearing makeup. The Supergoop Everyday Sunscreen ($19) was recommended to me by Florida locals so I made sure to pick it up in one of my Sephora orders. 

The squeeze tube packaging is simple and contains 71ml of product, enabling you to sqeeze out every smidge of sunscreen. Don't you just hate fancy packaging that wastes half of the product? The formula is lightweight, moisturizing and fast absorbing which makes it perfect for under makeup. Is isn't greasy at all, although I would recommend using a powder to set as liquid products can slide a little after a few hours. I found that my Tarte Powder Foundation held up amazingly and I had no trouble at all with it moving around during a long day in the Disney Parks. There is a slight "suncream" smell, but it isn't too noticeable and didn't put me off at all. You are meant to reapply after a few hours, as with any sunscreen, but lets be real, with a face full of makeup that isnt going to happen. Luckily, apart from a few touch ups on my nose, this lasted the whole day, and by whole day I mean a 14 hour Magic Kingdom day, and my face didn't burn at all. I'm a very pale ginger kid who burns instantly in the sun, so the fact that this lasted all day is a complete winner in my book. However, I don't encourage you to go without reapplying, this is just my experience. The only negative is that this product is only available (to us in the UK) from Sephora. But have no fear, Sephora do now ship to the UK and there is a new store that has opened in Disney Springs!

Pros: Fast absorbing, moisturizing, none-greasy, lightweight, long lasting, cruelty free, sits well under makeup.
Cons: A slight smell, hard to get hold of in the UK (only available from Sephora).


What is your favourite "under makeup" facial sunscreen?

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

My Hogwarts Story | Tag

 
I saw this tag over on Amy's blog earlier today and just couldn't resist doing my own! I've been obsessed with Harry Potter for years, it being such a big impact of my life, notably for introducing me to reading.
 
Are you Pure Blood, Half Blood or Muggle Born?
I don't really think it matters but I always saw myself as being a Pure Blood.
 
Which wand chose you (what is is made of)?
Ash, Phoenix feather, mid length, slightly springy. Reading up on wandlore these are aspects that seem to match my personality. I'm stubborn, not easily swayed from my beliefs and independent, aspects which match the Phoenix feather core and Ash wood. The rigidity to represent my adaptable and open minded nature while still not being totally yielding, as I stay true to what I believe in.

Did you take an Owl, Cat, Toad or Rat with you?
If I could I would choose a snake as they're cunning yet I imagine them to be loyal. If not, probably a little black rat.
 
Where did the Sorting Hat place you?
Slytherin

What house did you want to be in?
I've always been a Slytherin and felt like its where I belong, ever since I first read Harry Potter. I know it has a bad reputation for hailing dark wizards but I'd still be a kind and unique presence in the house, until someone pissed me off. Then I'd plot my revenge.... ahaha!
 
Which lessons are your favourite and least favourite?
My favourite would have to be Defense against the dark arts or care of magical creatures. The first sounding fun and interesting while I have a love for animals, thus wanting to learn about them all! My least favourite is probably potions, who even wants to sit next to a sweaty pot all day, and divination as I don't believe in things like the tarot etc.
 
The form your Patronus takes is…
I reckon a wolf or wild cat of some description. I'm loyal to my "pack" (friends) and I love dogs more than anything, so a wild dog of some form would match me perfectly.
 
When confronted with a Boggart, what does it look like to you?
You know what, I don't know. I mean, I dislike things and am abit scared of some things but there's nothing that really gets my heart racing and makes me feel true fear. It would be interesting to see what a Boggart would become to me!
 
Do you partake in any school sports or magical hobbies?
I've never really been one of activities, sports, school pride and all that jazz. If anything, I would say some sort of reading or art club. Maybe I would just hang out with Hagrid and look after his array of magical creatures.
 
If you have free time, where would you be found hanging out?
In the library hunting down my next read, curled up in the common room in front of the fire or trying to sneak into the Forbidden forest to explore.
 
You are most likely to get detention for what?
I seem to attract detention like a moth to a flame. I was literally in detention every week in school. At Hogwarts I doubt it would be any different. For talking in class, answering back, arguing with other students, not caring enough to hand work in (yet I still manage to pass all my classes and be in the "top" group).
 
What career do you want after leaving Hogwarts?
I would say something to do with working with magical creatures or books of some sort. I like the idea of working with dragons or some sort of dangerous yet misunderstood creature.
(When i asked my friends what I would do they all said Death Eater! As much as the dark side is tempting I'm not prejudiced against other people. I just like my own way and think my way would make the world a better place haha ;) I don't wanna go around killing muggle-borns! Maybe I could be an anti-hero. Still a little bit bad but in the end fighting for a good cause. )
 
 
I tag everyone to do this and make sure to link me to your Hogwarts story!

xox

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Auberge de Cendrillon | Vegan in Disneyland Paris

 
 

Auberge de Cendrillion has been one of the restaurants in Disneyland Paris that I have most wanted to visit for a while. Of course, since becoming Vegan back in January I knew that it was unlikely that I was going to be eating a culinary masterpiece from there seeing as Disneyland Paris isn't as clued up about vegan eating as its American counterparts, but the food isn't all we do these expensive dinners for is it? Auberge de Cendrillion is a character dining experience in which you visit with three princesses, one prince and Cinderella's mice friends Suzie and Perla. In my opinion, these character meals are a great way to meet several characters in a short space of time without having to wait in long queues. Upon our arrival I spoke to my server informing him that I didn't eat any meat, dairy, fish or eggs and asked what they could make for me. At first he was a little confused but eventually he advised that I could have the vegetarian starter, just without the sauce. The main was a little more tricky, but seeing a spaghetti and sauce dish on the children's menu I asked if he could check if that was suitable and if I could have that in an adult portion. Luckily it was and he offered to put some vegetables on the side for me. One thing I did notice about ADC is that service seemed a little slow. We were waiting around for about 20 minuets before our order was even taken, same with ordering a pudding as well (by the time it arrived the place was empty and we had to rush to see the parade in time). Speaking of pudding, as everything on the menu contained dairy I just opted for a fruit salad. The food its self was nothing special. I really enjoyed the starter which was grilled vegetables with salad. The main was very basic as expected, but I enjoyed it none the less while the vegetables I was presented with on the side were again, pretty basic. The pudding was a standard bowl of fruit with orange juice.

 
 

As I said, I didn't expect anything amazing from the food here. It was basic, but filled a hole and I didn't dislike it. I came here for the experience, getting to meet the characters, watching the princesses dance and experiencing the beautiful dining room. One thing I noticed was that the tables were placed really close together so you were practically sitting with the party next to you. Funnily enough though, we actually started chatting to a lovely lady from the Netherlands named Paula, that was sitting on the table next to us and we discovered we actually already followed each other on Instagram and know of a few of the same people in the twitter Disneyland Paris community. Pretty small world eh?

Overall I don't think I would be rushing back to Auberge de Cendrillion any time soon as I've eaten much better food elsewhere, and for the price of 69 per person, I just wouldn't be able to justify it. If they were to add a Vegan option to the menu I would definitely consider returning (or if they could guarantee Ariel & Eric or Belle & Human Beast would be there haha)!

Have you ever been to Auberge de Cendrillion?

xox


Sunday, 24 April 2016

52 Books in 2016


 You may or may not know, but I am a huge book worm. I always have a book on the go and love nothing better than curling up and getting lost in a fictional world. Whereas I get bored with films and TV shows, books have a way of keeping me hooked in a way that no other form of entertainment can. Unfortunately last year I went through a massive reading slump and it wasn't until I started watching my friend Roisin's booktube videos, and from them the whole world of booktube, that I was really inspired to rediscover my love for reading again. To keep me on track I joined GoodReads and set myself a challenge to read 52 books in 2016, that's a book a week! Now to me, this doesn't seems like a lot as I've been known to devour 5 books in a week, but I guess it will have to make up for weeks that I'm working a lot or don't have much time to read.

As of April 24th 2016 I have read 16 books this year and have a "to read" list that is miles long! Books I have read so far include a series re-read in Garth Nix's Old Kingdom series and a part re-read in Cassandra Clare's Mortal Instruments Series (I originally read the first 4 books years ago, but never finished it, so am rectifying the situation). I have also started the Grisha Trilogy by Lee Bardugo and the Queen of the Tearling Trilogy by Erika Johansen, in which the final book is being released later this year.


My immediate "to be read" books are the final two Mortal Instruments Series books (City of Lost Souls & City of Heavenly Fire) which will then open up Lady Midnight to me, as i don't feel like I can read it until I've finished the original story. I'm also planning on finishing the Grisha Trilogy and a few other series "loose ends" such as the final book in the Sookie Stackhouse Chronicles that I still haven't read!

Do you enjoy reading? Have you set yourself a reading challenge for 2016?

xox

Sunday, 10 April 2016

Working for the Mouse | Not So Secret Cast Member Rules

 
 

If you have followed me for a while you will know that in summer 2013 I was a cast member at Walt Disney World, so today I am going to share with you some "Rules" Disney has for employees and why most of these still apply to me today. Disney provides Cast Members with world class training and some of the things I was taught will stay with me forever.

1. The Disney Point. This is absolutely a thing. During training I was taught that we must only point or gesture using 2 fingers, as pointing with 1 can be considered rude in some cultures. I will now only ever point using 2 fingers, and I'm pretty sure most former cast members will agree that it just sticks.

2. Never say I don't know. It was drilled into us that were never to say "I don't know" to a guest if asked a question. Even if it was something we had no idea about, we had to radio the coordinators to find the answer.

3. The bend and scoop. Cast Members are encouraged to feel proud of their park both when working and when visiting as a guest, that meant picking up any litter hanging around. We were taught to do this in a particular way while walking, dubbed the bend a scoop, the name being pretty self explanatory for the action. Even though I am no longer a cast member, you will sometimes find me doing the bend and scoop in the parks while tutting and muttering about litterbugs.

4. Never break character onstage. This does not only apply to entertainment cast members, but everyone. From keeping a smile on your face to telling stories, we were all in character while on stage. Why is there a wire going from Cinderella's castle you ask? Well Prince Charming needs somewhere to hang his washing, doesn't he?

5. Disney Look. Disney are very strict on Cast Member grooming, which includes not having any visible tattoos or piercings (except 1 pair of studs in ears, female only), hair colour has to be natural and cannot show a difference of more than 2 shades (meaning no highlights or dip dyes, also dyed hair cannot have roots showing), men's hair cannot go below their ears, no extreme hairstyles, no jewelry (except a plain wedding band or religious symbols) and neat looking nails are among a few of the guidelines put in place. These are enforced, especially when becoming a new Cast Member. We were all "inspected" by a manager and if anyone was found to be not sporting the Disney Look they had to change it.

6. Make Magic. We were encouraged to always make magic for our guests. People spend thousands to come to Disney, and some may not ever make it back again, so making every moment count was key. From wishing someone a "Happy Birthday" to giving a free bucket of popcorn, it's the little things that keep people smiling during a hot, busy Florida summer.

7. Getting down to their level. Children are at the heart of Disney, and Cast Members are to treat them as equals. When talking to a child we were always to get down on one knee so we were at their level, making the child not feel talked down too, but like that are equally as important in a conversation. By making that child feel special and putting a smile on their face, it gives the parents a much needed break from a possible upcoming temper tantrum. 

Being a Cast Member really was one of the most magical experiences of my whole life and really helped me develop my skills in the workplace while giving me memories that will last a lifetime. If only I could re-live that summer again and again!

Have you ever been a Cast Member?

xox


Sunday, 28 February 2016

My Disney Confessions



After seeing Sam and Sarah do posts like this, I thought I would join in and share with you some of my Disney confessions. I've really dug deep for these and have never really admitted them out loud until now. Some, I'm even ashamed at myself for. Please don't hate/disown me!

1. I don't watch Disney movies very often. When I say very often, I mean I probably watch 1 every few months. While I do love the films, I'm just not a big movie person. I get bored so quickly and most of the time end up wandering off half way though. This goes for all movies of course, not just Disney.

2. I called Walt Disney World "Disneyland Florida" up until I was 20. The shame! It's now one of my biggest pet peeves  it's so shameful to admit that i made the same blasphemous mistakes in the past. These days I even correct people when they call it Disneyland. In fact, I only really started getting into Disney when I turned 21 and visited Disneyland Paris. Before then I wasn't massively fussed. Since then, a whole new world has opened to me and I feel like I've found my 'thing' in the Disney fandom.

3. I'm not a big fan of Toy Story. I know this is technically Pixar and was first released as such, but it falls under the Disney umbrella so totally counts. Anyway, I've just never really been into the franchise. Don't get me wrong, I don't dislike it, I just wouldn't choose to watch it or buy the merchandise.

4. I never go on Soarin'. I've been on it in the past, and it just doesn't interest me. I don't want to waste a fastpass on it nor wait in a long queue for it. I will probably try it again when the refurb is over, with the new theme/scenes, but I doubt it will "wow" me.

5. I really miss 'The Sorcerer's Hat" in Hollywood Studios. Some old school Disney fans may hate on the hat, but I loved it! It means so much more to me than the Chinese Theater, as I'm not a film person at all. I feel that it really linked with Fantasmic and just brought the park together a little more, although if it was still there now I doubt it would have brought that current mess of a park together at all.

Do you have any Disney confessions?

xox


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