Are We The Next Generation of ‘I Remember When..’?

Last Saturday I walked into the Apple Store in Southampton’s West Quay shopping centre to pick up my iPad Pro. Said iPad Pro had been ordered online the day before, and courtesy of a Black Friday deal I had been emailed an £80 gift card which I was going to use to buy an accompanying Apple Pencil.

Upon entering the store, I approached a staff member with an iPhone, who simply entered my order number and within minutes another staff member appeared from a back room with my iPad (pre-paid) and an Apple pencil. He scanned the barcode for my gift card straight from my email using his phone, and I paid the remainder by putting my card into a device attached to said phone. I entered my email address on the screen, my receipt was sent to that email address, and I was free to leave the store.

During my entire time in the store I did not have to go to a single desk. There was no collection point or checkout, no lines or waiting areas, but also no chaos, and I couldn’t help but think, is this the future of retail? Will shopping become as simple as walking up to someone with a handheld device and getting an email confirmation of payment before I’ve even walked away?

Naturally, my brain went to all sorts of extremes, and I started to think about all the other things that have changed in my relatively short lifetime. As a young child I had cassette tapes and experienced the struggle of going to watch a movie only to find that no one had re-wound it back to the start after the last time it was watched. Now, I have DVDs and Blurays that I’ll often ignore if I can watch the same movie on Netflix.

We spend our childhoods listening to our parents and grandparents telling us to be grateful for x, y and z because they didn’t have that back in their day, yet already we’re saying the same thing to those who are as little as 5-10 years our junior.

Now don’t get me wrong, there’s always going to be things that don’t translate across age groups. There will always be TV shows that only aired for a few years, or crazes and fashions that died out as quickly as they appeared, but think of the enormous lifestyle changes that technology has brought us – I’m talking going from brick-phones to flip-phones to smart-phones, from the days where you could probably only pay by cash or cheque to now not even having to carry your purse because you’ve got ApplePay..

Things are moving so quickly that I can’t even fathom how things will work in even just another 10 years time. Will we even have to consciously pay for things or will technology become so advanced that you can just pick something up from a shelf and walk out and be charged automatically? We’re moving so far past what we’ve known so far, I don’t think we can even try to predict the future anymore..

Sorry for the ramble but does anyone else ever think about these things?

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Bringing the Movies Home*

We all know that going to the cinema these days is not exactly cheap. Chances are, you’re paying about £10 for your ticket alone, and then comes the popcorn craving, which of course means you’re gonna need the biggest drink they’ve got going, and suddenly you’re £20+ down. Ouch.

And sure, going to the cinema is the only way (legally!) to see the latest and greatest movies making their way to the screen, but personally I much prefer to be curled up on my own sofa when it comes to enjoying cinematic greatness. Luckily for us, technology is moving forward every day, and our TV screens are only getting bigger and better; first it was HD, now it’s 4K and OLED, and as I’m just about old enough to remember TVs being as deep as they were wide, screens like this Panasonic 4K Oled TV just blow my mind with how thin they are now, while still being packed with all these amazing features!

As a fan of a good movie marathon, over the years I’ve learned a lot about how you can make home seem like the cinema, just without saying goodbye to your bank balance in the process..

Get yourself cosy

I’ve always wondered why cinemas aren’t a lot more comfortable. For me, a blanket is a must, and I’ll probably be in my pyjamas, but you can do whatever you like – you could even build a movie den with duvets and cushions!

Have all your snacks at the ready

Cinema popcorn might cost a small fortune but at home you can make it for a fraction of the price, plus you can get more creative! Whatever snacks you get, be sure to have everything sorted before you hit play so you don’t have to pause the movie magic when you get peckish.

Limit the tech

There’s nothing worse than that person in the row in front at the movies who checks their Snapchat midway through the film, so if you can turn off your tech at the cinema, why not at home too?

Consider having a break

If you’re running a back to back marathon, don’t forget to allow time for toilet breaks or meals between films, especially if you’re trying to squeeze in a lot of films!

Set the mood

Turn the lights down, pull the curtains and shut out any distractions; this is your movie time.

Make the most of new technology

As I mentioned earlier, the tech behind making and watching movies has improved dramatically over even just the last few years, and if you have the tech, use it! I’m talking surround sound/sound bars for the ultimate sound experience, HD and Bluray for the ultimate visual experience, even 3D in some cases!

What do you do to have the ultimate movie night?

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*This post is a paid collaboration. All views are my own

The My Disney Experience Mobile App*

It’s magic at your fingertips! Plan, capture, and share your Walt Disney World vacation using this official app from Disney!

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If you like visiting Disney as much as I do, this will definitely come in handy. Let’s take a closer look at My Disney Experience’s features:

Explore the resort with ease

The My Disney Experience Mobile App allows users to explore the Walt Disney World Resort using the interactive, GPS-enabled map. The map isn’t just a plain one that points users from point A to B; it’s fun to use as it’s filled with cute designs that shows guests where they can find certain attractions and restaurants.

In addition to its awesome directional features, the interactive map allows users to find Disney characters’ greeting locations and times. It also shows the time for fireworks and parades. How awesome is that?

Plan your vacation

The app allows users to buy theme park tickets with ease. Bought tickets are stored in the My Plans section where information can be shared with friends and family. An alert will go off when your trip to Disney is getting close.

Make your trip memorable

This is where the app truly shines. Users of My Disney Experience can preview, purchase, and share Disney PhotoPass photos and videos. To the uninitiated, PhotoPass is a tool that allows guests to view and purchase photos taken by Disney photographers online and at theme parks. Whenever visitors have their photos taken, they’re issued a PhotoPass, which has the web address and a 16-digit ID number printed on it.

Apart from PhotoPass, users will be able to shop for authentic Disney merchandise with quick links to the all-new Shop Disney Parks app.

Thanks to technology, Disney is able to reach out to more people. With this app, first-time guests of Walt Disney World will have a convenient and magical stay.  

Apart from making apps, Disney seems to be quite active in the creation of new games as well.  Aside from its Disney Channel that has integrated games, Disney also partnered up with Yepi and the Club Penguin page — sites where the latest Disney games are now hosted. In the past, Marvel, which is now owned by Disney, used to have games hosted on the Pocketfruity site but that came to a halt when Disney decided to adhere to its family-friendly policies and pull all games from gaming sites. All of Disney’s games are now suitable for players of all-ages both online and offline.

Give the app a go by downloading it either on iTunes or the Google Play Store!

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*This post contains guest content.

What I’m Wearing – The Main Mouse

So I had a little rethink on my last Shanghai outfit.. I couldn’t decide on a final princess to Disneybound as, so I thought, given that its a brand new park full of fresh Disney magic, I should really do a little something to honour the boss mouse himself!

Mickey Mouse Dress

Mickey Mouse Dress# Tokyo Disney ears

Mickey Mouse Dress

Once again, self timer and auto-focus aren’t always my friends..

This outfit is entirely from my trip to Tokyo Disneyland. I couldn’t resist buying the dress, and although its a tad short for climbing on and off rides, that’s what shorts are for, right? Plus I think it was under £20! The ears are also from Tokyo, and have fast become one of my favourite pairs of ears because they go with everything and they’re sparkly without being too out-there!

By this time next week we should have just about arrived in Hong Kong (I think!) before we get the train to Beijing, but don’t worry, I’ll be sharing our full itinerary with you guys on Sunday! I am literally so excited for this trip, you wouldn’t believe it!

Are you excited to read about my Shanghai and Hong Kong Disneyland adventures?

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So today I Tsum-Tsum’d my car..

If you don’t know what a Tsum Tsum is, google it now, thank me later. If you have an iPhone, download the game and see how quickly you get addicted (took me about a minute).

So my Tsum Tsum addiction is fairly deep set now, so when I was browsing Etsy for Disney goodies I instantly fell in love with these vinyl decals from SkinDR:

Tsum Tsum Minis Inspired Vinyl Decal Laptop Wall & Vehicle Art : Japanese Skin Sticker Stack Stack + Free Shipping!

I’ve been looking for a way to Disney-fy my car some more for ages; I have a Mickey aerial topper, but you can never have too much Disney, so these were perfect!

I ordered the mini-sized decals. You can buy them in black or white and individually, 5, 10 or all of the designs, but for me there was only one real choice: ALL. After arriving well within the estimated time, I set about applying them. They come individually so you can choose your own layout, which was perfect because it meant I could fit them around the shape of my rear window, like so!

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The application was so easy, and there’s a helpful video tutorial if you need extra guidance, but really it was as simple as peel, stick, scrape, peel!

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Ta-dah! I’m actually missing Pluto here, a small error, but really quickly resolved with great service from the shop owner, so he’ll soon be added to my little stack 🙂

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I can feel a fresh addiction forming..

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And Mickey and Chip love them too!

These sweet stickers would brighten up anything from tech to appliances to furniture; I challenge you to find something they wouldn’t look totally adorable on, so really you’ve got no excuse not to buy some!

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Disney Packing Must-Have #4

Spare memory cards

You’re about to make some magical memories, the last thing you need is the dreaded ‘MEMORY FULL’ flashing across your screen as you’re about to capture them.

And although memory cards these days have incredible capacities (my dad just bought an 128GB card for his high-quality camera that will hold 19,000 hi-def images), you can never be too prepared. It may seem a little excessive, but I would recommend bringing 3: one in the camera, one spare in your bag (in a ziploc/waterproof bag) and one in your hotel to trade in if any get too full.

Say cheese..!