Why Destroying Mental Health Stigma Matters

In recent years, its safe to say that mental health has become a much more talked about topic. People are being more open, battling the stigma, and great change is being made.

I think its amazing. Every day I see people on Twitter talking openly about their conditions and better still, the world is accepting them for it. Because why shouldn’t we?

Cos here’s the thing about mental health: we all have it. SHOCK HORROR. You don’t have to have a heart condition to be conscious of what you do to look after it, right? So why should you be thinking any differently about your brain?

I’m lucky enough to have never been diagnosed with a mental health condition, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have bad days, in the same way that even though I don’t have a lunch problem, it doesn’t mean I never get out of breath. We need to stop thinking that just because we don’t have a problem, we aren’t at risk of bad health. I don’t suffer from an anxiety disorder, but I do often get very anxious which can lead to lack of sleep or random outbursts of sobbing.

The brain is not only an organ like the heart, lungs or stomach, but it is the control centre for our entire body. You’re damn right it needs looking after and taking care of. It might not product blood or vomit when its in a bad condition, but the effects can be incredibly harmful if not taking seriously. Take stress for example – stress on a particular body part can lead to a fracture, which is seen as bad, right? Stress can lead to the failure of the immune system. But if someone tells you they’re stressed over something, you tell them to calm down and get over it. NO.

If you have a brain in your body, then mental health should matter to you. Take it seriously.

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My Disneyland Trip Bucket List

It still hasn’t quite hit home that in a few short weeks I’ll be stepping back into what is, in my opinion, the most special of all the Disney parks. There’s just something extra magical about Disneyland, and for a lot of reasons it holds a very special place in my heart, and I’m super excited to be going back with my Disney twin, Sarah, who I know loves the park just as much as I do.

Here are a few things I’ll be looking to do this trip:

  • Sob over Mickey and the Magical Map – I’ll probably attempt to set a new record for the number of times I watch this in a single trip, and I will definitely cry every time. Plus Sarah has never seen it so its an excuse to drag her along, right?
  • Haunted Mansion – being closed on my last trip, I definitely want to take a doom-buggy to visit the 999 happy haunts after almost 7 years.
  • Frozen at Hyperion Theatre – I loved Aladdin, and was gutted to have missed the last showing by just 3 days, but I’m curious to see the show that’s replaced it.
  • Photoshoots in Toontown – we both love a good outfit shoot, and we both love Toontown, so hello new favourite place to hang out..
  • Red Rose Taverne – gotta find out if the new Beauty and the Beast themed restaurant is worth the hype, right?
  • Jungle Crusin’ – another ride that was closed on my last trip, I need to get some skipper time!
  • Main Street Electrical Parade – as much as I hate not having Paint the Night in Disneyland anymore, I really missed MSEP when I was in Florida.
  • Soarin’ Around the World – would you believe I’ve never done Soarin’ in California?
  • Meet Oswald – I’m on a mission to meet 100 different characters this year, and I’ve never met the lucky bunny before
  • Animation Academy – while I can’t draw to save my life, I still always love going to Animation Academy to attempt it!

Hopefully I’ll be able to squeeze all this in as well as everything else PLUS running the Pixie Dust Challenge in the Tinkerbell Half Marathon Weekend, wish me luck!

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A Pro/Con List for Taking a Blogging Break

When I started my new job back in November, I told myself that I’d rein it back a little and keep my blogging down to 5 posts a week, rather than the 6-7 posts a week I was publishing throughout 2016. Well.. It didn’t last very long. In fact, since then I’ve only had a 5-post week 4 times, and I quickly slipped back into my previous pattern.

I’m not gonna lie, recently I’ve been finding it a little exhausting. In fact, since getting back from my holiday at the start of March, I’ve not entirely felt properly back on my blogging game, and that combined with a slight dip in my stats over the last few weeks has led me to lose a bit of motivation, so I’m debating taking a break.

So I’ve been writing a pro/con list, and it looks a little something like this:

Pros:

  • More time for the rest of life – I can’t even hazard a guess at the number of hours that go into writing, editing, photographing and planning posts, as well as scheduling tweets, maintaining a cohesive Instagram theme. Think of all the time for other activities!
  • A chance to clear my head – taking a step away from the keyboard for a week or so would give me an opportunity to shake my constant blogger mentality, and find new inspiration and ideas. I mean, a watched kettle never boils, right?
  • Sorting priorities – my blog has been probably one of the biggest parts of my life for the last 3 years, and stepping away would give me an idea of if I still want it to be such a big part, or whether a step back would be better for me
  • No drama or competition – I don’t get involved in blogging drama, and I try extremely hard to not find myself competing with or comparing myself to other bloggers, but it would be nice to distance myself from the negative side of blogging
  • A chance to fall back in love – they say you don’t know what you’ve got til its gone, so maybe I should walk away to make myself want to come back

Cons:

  • Dropping engagement – its generally the case that the more you post, the better your stats seem to get. Regular posting has probably been the biggest influence in my blog growth over the last two years, and I’d hate to see that growth stutter.
  • One less creative outlet – blogging has always been a way of expressing myself and getting my creative juices flowing, and while I do have other hobbies that help get my creativity out, this blog has always been the place for me to word vomit everywhere and what would it be like if I didn’t force my word vomit onto others?!
  • Missing sense of pride – I have so much love for my blog, and it always amazes me how far I’ve come in my little corner of the internet, and if I take a break, I’ll miss the joy of seeing a new post get a great response, or hitting another milestone.
  • FOMO – if I’m not blogging, will I be extradited from the blogging community that I love so much? I’d hate to miss the social side of blogging, but also any blogging opportunities that might slip passed me.
  • Filling the gap – with my blog being such a big part of my life, will I find that taking a break leaves me with a sense of missing something? What if my life turns out to be even more boring than I thought if I’m not blogging?

Quite the debate, huh? It doesn’t take a mathematician to see that these lists are both equal, and the debate is still ongoing in my head so watch this space. Or, y’know, don’t..

If you’ve ever taken a blogging break, let me know your experience and drop me a comment!

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My Perfect Day in.. Hong Kong Disneyland

I’m super excited to start a new little collab series, and today I’m collaborating with the lovely Hannah from Courage and Kindness, as she shares my absolute adoration of what is possibly Disney’s most underrated park: Hong Kong Disneyland. We both visited the park last year, and I’m so happy to have found someone who I can share my gushing about how much I love this little park, despite it being often overlooked or put down in the Disney community.

The concept is basically what it says on the tin – we’ll both be writing a play by play post on what would be our perfect day in the park, and for me, it doesn’t get any better than this..

A good and bad thing about HKDL is that the park doesn’t normally open til about 10am most days, so there’s no need for a crazy early start. After getting into the park at opening and a gentle stroll down Main Street USA, I’d get a few photos in front of the pretty little pink castle while the park is still quiet, then head right into Tomorrowland and get straight into the Hyperspace Mountain queue early. In most Disney parks I’m very clockwise minded, but HK is an anti-clockwise loop for me!

From Tomorrowland, I’d cut through into Fantasyland and hop on Its a Small World, and then get in line for the first performance of Mickey and the Wondrous Book at 11.15am. After the show, it would be Teacups, then Dumbo, meeting characters in Fantasyland Gardens, and maybe even Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, then I’d head to Royal Banquet Hall for a lunch of piggy pork buns and other delicious offerings, finishing just in time to head through the castle and back to Main Street USA to nab a spot on the route for Flights of Fantasy Parade at 1pm.

After standing in the heat, a sit down in some air-con would be needed, so from Main Street I’d head round into Adventureland for the 2pm performance of Festival of the Lion King, then round to Grizzly Gulch for a wild ride on the Big Grizzly Mountain Runaway Mine Cars and a further cool off in Geyser Gulch. Onwards, I’d take a tour of HKDL’s answer to Haunted Mansion – Mystic Manor – then through the Gardens of Wonder into Toy Story Land!

I love the Toy Story Land rides; it would be Parachute Drop first, followed by RC Racer and Slinky Dog Spin, then back into Fantasyland, stopping off to explore Fairy Tale Forest and meet Tinkerbell, before going back for the 6pm Mickey and the Wondrous Book performance – can you tell I love watching shows?

After another trip into the book, it would be back to Adventureland for a Jungle River Cruise, then back to Main Street USA to sit and wait for Paint the Night parade at 7.30pm. This is definitely my favourite nighttime parade ever, and while it kills me that its left Disneyland CA, it makes me happy knowing that it still lives on in HKDL. After the parade, I’d grab dinner in Starlight Diner in Tomorrowland, then saving the galaxy in Buzz’s Astro Blasters, and back to Main Street for the closing fireworks!

Quite a lot to fit into a day in a little park! Be sure to go and check out Hannah’s perfect day here!

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Pastel Mickey Bar

Primark are constantly releasing new Disney t-shirts, but its very rare that I see a shirt on Instagram or Twitter and thing ‘OMG I NEED THAT’. Well, I had half of Twitter hunting for this t-shirt for me, because I just fell in love.

Firstly, its adorable. I mean, Mickey shaped ice-creams in pretty pastel shades are cute enough, but I knew it would go perfectly with my new pastel shorts, which you may have seen in my pastel mermaid haul last week, and with my local Primark rarely stocking anything I’m actually looking for, and just generally being a total minefield, I knew I’d stand no chance finding it, and turned to the wonderful Twitter community who took on the challenge, yay!

And what is ice-cream without toppings? I’ll be topping this look off with my favourite pastel design ears from Elephant and Mouse, and how cute is my party ring handbag?

Only 3 weeks to go!

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My First Time at Five Guys


We all love a good food hype, right?

Well I’m small-town (relatively), and with the exception of on occasional trips to London, I’ve always been miles and miles from one of the latest hypes from the last year or two: Five Guys. Yep, that’s right, I’ve only just been for the first time.

However, on our trip to Manchester last weekend, Matthew promised to take me for my first ever Five Guys at the Trafford Centre, and it went a little something like this..


First up, Matthew advised me to order the ‘little’ options on the menu, so I chose a little bacon cheeseburger and a little fries. Now I’m not a fussy eater, but I often find that in most burger places I end up picking out half of the junk they stuff into the bun, so when I realised that I got to choose exactly what went into my burger, it made my little heart so happy! There are 15 different extras available, from lettuce, onions and tomato to different sauces, so you can build the exact burger that you want without the worry of pickles hidden under the cheese or looking like a fuss-pot when you deconstruct your burger just to remove that pesky tomato. Goodbye unnecessary food waste!

Drink-wise, I had to go for the refillable Coke machine option, and I swear my mission in life from now is to try as many different combinations of fizzy drinks as I possibly can. I settled on a peach flavoured Sprite, quite honestly because I love anything peach flavoured, but it was delicious and I 100% feel like it should be offered as a standard Sprite flavour..


The wait for the food to be ready was a little longer than some fast-food places, but I’ve waited longer in McDonalds at times, and trust me when I say its well worth it. A brown paper bag and foil wrapped burger may seem humble as its passed over the counter, but don’t be fooled by a plain appearance.


It was so nice to eat a burger that not only was perfect in terms of its contents, but the bun didn’t go soggy or disintegrate in the time it took me to eat it, and the fries weren’t cold by the time I got to them. While its a little pricier than a Maccys or BK, I’ve paid more for burgers I’ve liked less, and compared to these ‘gourmet’ burger places out there, I’d say my little bacon cheeseburger shone out above these. Not a single chip was soggy, or burnt, and they too were delicious. Also, despite all my portion sizes being ‘little’, I was STUFFED at the end of it, and actually left some fries behind because I couldn’t manage them all.

I’m not gonna lie, I actually haven’t stopped thinking about Five Guys since, and now I have to wait an agonising few months because Five Guys is coming to Bournemouth, but not until the summer, waaa! However I’ve heard a rumour that they’ll be on Deliveroo when they do open, so that could get dangerous.. Also I’m dying to try one of their milkshakes!

I can’t wait for another brown bag of burger goodness, bring on the Bournemouth opening!

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10 Reasons to Love Disneyland Paris

This week Disneyland Paris officially turned 25, and while I wasn’t able to be there to celebrate, and probably won’t be going back now until September now I won’t be renewing my annual pass, I do still have a lot of love for this park.

Being one of the incredibly lucky people to have visited all 6 Disney parks, I’m often asked to rate and rank my favourites, which is something I find especially difficult, and it makes me a little bit sad that in the grand scheme of things, DLP tends to fall lower down in the rankings, but there are so many things about this park to love, and here’s just a handful!

1. It has the prettiest castle

You’d have to be blind to not appreciate how beautiful Le Chateau de la Belle au bois Dormant is. Its so unique compared to other park castles, and its just as pretty on the inside as it is on the outside!

2. It has some amazing unique rides

There’s a reason Ratatouille and Crush’s Coaster always have ridiculous queues, but even some of the more common rides have their own variations, like Phantom Manor having a different backstory to the classic Haunted Mansion, and while it may be under refurb now, even Space Mountain had its own little twist.

3. Its full of so many hidden gems

A little while back I wrote about some of the places I’d never noticed before, and that’s because the whole park is packed with little magically places that you can occasionally overlook, meaning that it always feels like you’re discovering something new!

4. The food is so good

Bistrot Chez Remy is possibly one of the best themed restaurants in any Disney park, and its not the only good place to grab a bite! I also love stopping off on Main Street to buy fudge to take home with me.

5. They do seasons so well

Spring is my all time favourite season at DLP, but any time there’s a season to be celebrated, they really go to town with the cutest outfits and park decorations and parades to make your trip even more special!

6. Extra Magic Hours are always full of magic

From my experience, I’ve always been really lucky to visit during times when EMHs are lovely and quiet, meaning the queues are short and the character experiences are always great.

7. Its never too hot

Unlike the other parks, Paris is subject to lovely reasonable summer temperatures. Yes, it means it can be a little cooler at times, but it means you don’t have to face 30C+ scorching lines

8. Its your local park

Ok so this is for my UK and European readers only I guess, but you’ve gotta take a little bit of pride in the fact that this is our ‘home’ park.

9. The characters are always so fun

I don’t think I’ve ever had anything less than a great interaction with any characters in DLP, and I love that even the characters on parade find time to interact with as many of the guests as possible.

10. Its only getting better

With the work that went into preparation for the 25th anniversary, plus upcoming changes, I think we’re only going to see the park grow in beauty and magic, and I look forward to seeing it reaching its full potential as an incredible park here in Europe.

Bonus: Its always full of amazing people

I’ve been so lucky to meet and hang out with a bunch of wonderful people and friends while in DLP, and make magical memories with them, and I can’t wait for more!

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