Backyard with Mickey

Mickey's Backyard BBQ outfit

Mickey's Backyard BBQ outfit

Mickey's Backyard BBQ outfit

One of the things I’m most excited for on my WDW trip next month is going to Mickey’s Backyard BBQ! Buffet food and dancing with Disney characters – what is there not to be excited about?!

With a slight cowboy theme in the air, putting together an outfit was pretty easy, and a combination of some of my favourite things: flannel shirts and denim shorts. Keeping with Mickey’s black, yellow and red colour scheme, it had to be a classic red shirt, paired with the Oh Boy v-neck tee from The Happiest Fitness Coand I customised my classic Levi shorts with iron-on patches that I bought from Depop. Add some Converses and my favourite black sparkly ears from Tokyo Disneyland and I’m ready to line dance with the gang!

If you’ve ever been to Mickey’s Backyard BBQ, let me know what you thought of it, I’m so excited!

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Disneyland Paris Day 2

Disneyland Paris selfie

Now I’m not normally one to toot my own horn, but I absolutely bossed extra magic hours this morning! One of the first people into the park, first in line for Chip and Dale, then got though Pluto, Goofy and Pooh within half an hour and they were all adorable.After wandering Main Street and Fantasyland for a bit, I stopped off in Market House Deli to warm back up, then as I was heading back towards the castle, I saw a lady in a Meeko hat, so obviously I had to check every shop on Main Street to see if I could find it. With no luck, I figured it would probably be in Adventureland, so I got into the queue for Meet Mickey in the run up to 10am. Well the queue said 10 mins, but it was at least half an hour waiting before I got to hang with the boss.

At that point, I ducked out of the parks for a little bit and went back to the hotel to do some work for a little project I’ve got coming up, before heading back to the Disneyland Hotel to meet up with Mitch. There were a few characters in the lobby, so we hung out there for a bit, and then went to meet Pluto and Goofy in Frontierland. Pluto was extra excited to see us which was so lovely!

Next we headed into the Studios to hunt more characters, but really just ended up people watching for a little while, then a quick photo with some Stormtroopers before we started queuing for Moana!!!

Moana

Moana was everything I wanted her to be, it was so perfect. We talked about Pua and Samoa and wayfinding and had the biggest hug and I felt so happy! We then wandered back into the Disneyland park, where I grabbed a few sweet treats before settling down for Magic On Parade.

Post-parade we stopped in Discovery Arcade for some warmth and a sit down, then I left the group and headed over to Frontierland to meet up with Nancy from Le Ears, and she managed to sneak me into her Fastpass for Big Thunder Mountain. HOLY DISNEY that ride was worth the long refurb! It was so long and so good!! It was also freezing as it was dark out and I couldn’t feel my face but the ride well and truly made up for it!

Disneyland Paris Tower of Terror

I had the tough decision between Dreams and Star Wars Galactic Celebration for the evening show I could see, but given that I’ve seen Dreams loads, I opted for Star Wars, after inhaling an Earl of Sandwich. Studios was practically empty, so I was really happy I decided to go as it was so much less stressful than trying to watch Dreams on a crowded Main Street. I loved the show – it felt a little disjointed at times but I was watching the French version so I may not have understood the flow. The graphics were awesome and I loved having the characters on stage as well for a little extra touch! It was also so much easier to extricate myself from the park at the end, rather than being herded like cattle out of DLP.

It’s been a really wonderful weekend, and I’m so happy I came out and got to see so many lovely people. Now to get another early-ish night before flying home in the morning and straight onto a late shift at work!

Disneyland Paris Day 1

Bonjour! Today has been such a long day, but it’s been worth it! I was up at 4.30am to get to the airport, and after minor delays to my flight, followed by waiting for the Magical Shuttle in -5C temperatures, I was finally on my way to the parks.

Disneyland Park Paris

Despite being early, my room was ready when I arrived at Newport Bay so I ran straight up to my room – which is beautiful and looks over the lake! – dumped my stuff and skipped into the parks, where quite promptly I bumped into Cara and the gang. They offered for me to hang out with them for a bit, but as soon as I found out that Mitch and, more importantly, Donald were in the lobby of the Disneyland Hotel, that’s exactly where I was headed.

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After some character meets and hanging out with friends, my stomach was growling due to lack of any form of lunch, so I headed back into the parks solo, got some food on Main Street and watched the Frozen Royal Welcome, before starting an epic trek of photo taking through the park.

Yes, those are icicles on Skull Rock. It is that cold.

Yes, those are icicles on Skull Rock. It is that cold.

I met back up with Mitch behind the castle for some outfit photos he promised to take for me, then we waited outside Auberge to see what princesses would come out, and hit the jackpot with Belle, Aurora and Cinderella and Charming, got photos with them and then nabbed a spot for Magic on Parade.

Parade was extra special, having not only Belle and human beast walking behind the princess float, but also Aladdin and Jasmine and Ariel and Eric! We were all totally amazed and excited and it made the whole day feel more magical. After the parade, Mitch and I run our little frozen feet over to meet Mickey before it closed.

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A quick dinner at Hakuna Matata, and my tiredness was really setting in, so I headed out of the park, and back to the hotel via World of Disney. Just gonna chill out for a little bit, then get an early night ready for a full park day tomorrow!

Balancing Blogging

Balancing Blogging and Work

Its now been almost two months since I started my new job, and being my first permanently full-time job, one of my biggest fears was being able to maintain my blogging schedule alongside my new position. Throughout 2016 I was able to consistently post 5+ times a week, and with my blog being such a big part of my life, the last thing I wanted was to have to reduce the amount of time I could put into it, so I’m really happy that I’ve managed to not only keep up with my posts, but also continue to improve and grow my blog!

With that in mind, I thought I’d share some of the things I’ve been doing in order to fit blogging around my 40 hour working week and still keep up appearances!

Bloglovin’ and the Bloglovin’ app

Bloglovin’ has really been my biggest obsession in the last few months. I worked really hard at the end of last year to improve my following on the site, and in doing so I’ve also fallen in love with it a lot more. Its such a great way to read all my favourite blogs without having to flick from website to website, and because it saves me time in reading blogs, I have more time to comment on other people’s posts and increase my interaction with other bloggers which I’ve been really enjoying.

Using work breaks

I’ve found that using my tea breaks and lunch breaks for little jobs, like replying to emails and posting on Instagram.

Keeping a notepad with me

I carry a notebook with me pretty much everywhere, so whenever I get a spark of inspiration I can get it down before I forget! It also means that while things are quiet at work, I can get some blog work done.

Planning and scheduling

I like to make sure I’m at least one week ahead on posts at any time, so that should I run out of time to write, I’ve always got a little bit of time! The same goes for scheduling tweets, it keeps everything ticking along nicely while I’m at work.

Bulk photo taking

When I know exactly what posts are going out in the following week, it means I can spend my weekend taking all my blog photos in one go. My work hours mean that during these winter months I’ve seen no daylight other than through a window from the office, so my weekends are the only time I have to take them!

Pacing myself

Whereas last year I wanted to post as many days as I possibly could, this year I’m reigning myself back a little, aiming for just 5 posts a week, with an occasional 6th when I can, which means I don’t have to stress too much about writing 6+ posts a week!

I’m so ready for another great year of blogging, and have set myself some goals and targets that I’d love to meet or maybe even surpass, so here goes!

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My 2017 Reading List

My 2017 Reading List

If you read my New Years resolutions post, you’ll know that this year I’m hoping to read more books than the atrocious total of one that I read last year. Let’s face it, one book isn’t exactly going to be difficult to beat, but in order to help myself along the way, I’ve written a little book bucket list, if you will, to keep me on track!

  • The Lord of the Rings trilogy – I’m determined to complete these books this year. I’ve started them all and never finished, and its my favourite saga of all time so if I complete nothing else this year, I want to do this.
  • Scrappy Little Nobody – a little more lighthearted, I got Anna Kendrick’s book for Christmas and I can’t wait to get stuck into her writing
  • The Great Gatsby – while many people studied this at school, I didn’t, and I’ve also never seen the movie because I want to read it first ha!
  • Who Moved My Cheese? – this was a book I’ve been interested in for a while now, and I got it for my birthday last year but still haven’t got round to so much as turning the first page!
  • The Jungle Book – I’m really interested in what this book is really like compared to the films!
  • RE-READ Harry Potter – a few years ago I read some of the books again for the first time since the films came out, and I had forgotten about so many little details that are skipped in the movies! I’m also gonna make my boyfriend read them because he never has!
  • Why Not Me? – written by Mindy Kaling, this book just seems like something I’d be able to relate to

So that’s 15 books in a year, which might be very few to some but its a starting point for me at least! If you’ve got any book recommendations then please send them my way!

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Rewarding Fitness

Rewarding Fitness

Seeing results along your fitness journey is a fantastic motivator – it shows that all that hard work you’re putting in is paying off, and who doesn’t like to know that?

Rewarding yourself for hitting little goals is great, but defining those goals can be a little tricky. If your goal is weight loss, then its fairly straightfoward, but if, like me, your fitness journey doesn’t necessarily mean that the scales will be going down at all – for example, if you’re trying to gain more lean muscle. With that in mind, I’ve been thinking about new ways in which I can define success so I can reward myself with some treats!

Personal bests

A PB is always time for celebration, so set yourself a target to work towards, like a time for a certain distance, or a weight, and use that as the goal!

Fitbit streak

Now I have a Fitbit again, I’m back on the addictive path of constantly wanting to meet my step and activity targets for each day, so I’m going to be aiming to hit those goals every day for a consecutive period (30 or maybe 50 days) and using every time I manage it, treat for me!

Measurements

While sometimes you won’t find the number on the scales dropping, you’ll often see a huge difference in your body itself. Take a few measurements – waist, hips, arms etc – and check them every so often. You can reward yourself when you see those numbers changing in the way you want them too, perhaps every inch or two!

Sticking to routine

If you’re aiming to hit the gym 5 days a week, or go for a run everyday, reward yourself every time you manage to do this successfully over a certain timeframe, a month, for example!

Getting out of the comfort zone

Instead of just treating yourself over long periods of time, try and do something different every once in a while, and treat yourself when you do. For me, these are the days were I go to the gym in a crop top or sports bra, because it always takes a lot of confidence to be able to do that.

Have a think about what might work best for you, and roll with it! Then comes the fun part: deciding on your rewards and treats! To give you some inspiration, here are some of mine for this year:

  • New yoga mat
  • A pretty new swimsuit I’ve had my eye on
  • New jeans
  • Treating myself to a nice lunch
  • Nice running headphones

Have some fun coming up with your treats – the better they are, they harder you’ll want to work towards them! Good luck!

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My DLP Weekend Bucket List

So SURPRISE! I’m going to Disneyland Paris this weekend!

Le Chateau de la Belle au Bois Dormant

It was all very spur of the moment; my friend Nancy from California is coming to Paris for a few weeks and she’ll be in the parks that weekend, so I’m so excited to get to see her as its been over a year! There’s also going to be a load of people I know in the parks over the same weekend, so it all kinda fell into place!

And while it’s just a short weekend visit, there are a few things that I’m hoping to do, and here they are:

  • Explore Newport Bay Club – I had every intention of saving money and staying at Santa Fe, but Disney couldn’t fit me in over my dates, so I sorta upgraded myself to Newport Bay.. I haven’t stayed there since I was a kid and its such a pretty hotel I can’t wait to be there!
  • Meet Moana – I just HAVE to meet this beautiful new princess!! Its no secret how much I fell in love with everything about the movie, and seeing her will be an absolute dream!
  • Enjoy Season of the Force – I’m really excited for all the Star Wars stuff that’s going on at the moment, including the Galactic Celebration show in Walt Disney Studios!
  • Outfit shoots – is it really a Disney trip if I haven’t planned outfits?! I’ve got two Disneybounds that I’m really looking forward to wearing and taking photos in the parks so I can feature them on here in the next few weeks.
  • Hanging out with beautiful people – as well as seeing Nancy, I can’t wait to hang out with some amazing people who I know will be around, like the beautiful Amy and Cara, and also the fabulous Mitch!
  • Playing with my camera and new lens – I’m using this trip as a way to test run my new telescopic lens for my Sony A5000 so I know its good enough to take to Florida with me next month!
  • Eating Mickey shaped food – cos if you don’t do that, are you even in Disney?
  • Ride Big Thunder Mountain – after its been closed FOREVVVEERRRR, BTM has finally reopened, and while I imagine the queues will be ridiculous, I’m hoping to be able to get to ride it once over the weekend!
  • Surround myself in magic – I’m just really looking forward to being back in the parks for a few days and having as much fun as I can!

Be sure to follow my Twitter and Instagram for live updates from my adventures!

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