Five before Twenty-Five

I spent most of my childhood dreaming about being an adult. I always just wanted to grow up, but now I’m actually an adult, I kind of can’t believe its true, especially the thought of turning 21 in less than 4 months!

And although I am an adult now, I still spend most of my time thinking about my adulthood dreams, and who and where I want to be when I grow up. Now I’m a real sucker for setting impossible targets, then putting up with the inevitable disappointment of not hitting them, and I’m really working on changing this habit, so as far as the next few years go, I’m just going to set five goals, some a little far out, but all possible if I work crazy hard to make them happen!

1. Personal: Move out

I love living at home, I really do, and I can’t imagine what it will be like not living with my parents, but I really don’t want to be 25 and still sleeping in my childhood bedroom! I never went away to university like my sister did, so I think it’ll be a huge culture shock, but I’ve always dreamed of having my own place and although I have no immediate plans to fly the nest (especially given my next point), its definitely something to look into in the next few years.

2. Professional: Open a shop

If you keep up to date with me, you might have heard me talk about my cake business, which I’m super proud of, and my ultimate goal is to open a cake shop in my hometown of Bournemouth, and be able to dance around a kitchen full-time. I’ve been playing around with this thought for the last few years, but when I come back from my Tokyo Disney trip in July, its going to become a top priority for me, and I really hope that 2015/16 is the year of Lottie’s Cupcakes!

3. Fitness: Run a marathon

If I’d had said this to myself a year ago, I would have laughed so hard at how ridiculous it sounds, but I actually like to think that it might be possible. I’m not saying this year, or even next year, and probably only just the one time, but I think by the time I turn 25 I’d like to be able to say that I’ve completed a marathon! Spoiler: it will be a Disney one.

4. Travel: Go on a solo holiday

I’m so lucky to have been able to visit all the incredible places in the world that I have done, and am eternally grateful to my parents for all of those experiences, but I have never actually travelled anywhere without them, or as part of a school group; I’ve never even been on a holiday with friends! With that in mind, single gal I am, I’m really excited to be going on a road trip in October around Europe, and although I will be meeting my family for a weekend in Disneyland Paris, I’ll be doing the rest of the two week excursion with only my thoughts for company; call me crazy!

5. Just for fun: Read at least 25 of The Guardians Top 100 Greatest Novels

This might not sound like a hoot to some, but I do love to read and I hate how little time I can find, and also that I didn’t read more classics while I was at school. I think 25 is a doable number, its about 6 books a year, so one every 2 months.. It helps that I recently discovered Penguins Clothbound Classics, which are beautiful books and I’m hoping to build up a nice little collection of them!

Five goals, four years and 3 and a bit months, can I do it?

Dream Home with HomeLife Direct

I don’t keep it much of a secret how much time I spend thinking about my dream home, and although I write a lot of wishlists about home decor dreams, I often overlook furniture!

So when I was invited to take part in HomeLife Direct’s Dream Home Competition, I jumped at the opportunity to browse their selection of beautiful, good quality furniture, and pick out a few favourites to share!

HomeLife Direct

The products on the site are categorised by room, making it super easy to browse and visualise where your picks will fit into your home!

Now quite honestly, I’ve never really pictured my dream home with a conservatory (wicker furniture is always something that reminds me of my gran’s house!), but I had a little browse of their range anyway, and was surprised to be quite taken with the Chester Banana Leaf collection:

Chester Banana Leaf Conservatory Suite Set

I definitely picture my dream home having more of a contemporary design. I love simplicity and clean lines, so the Geo Oak range of dining room and living room furniture caught my eye.

Geo Oak Dining Set

This is the extendable dining set, and I love that you can choose your own fabrics for the seat pads to make it your own style!

Geo Oak Media Unit

There’s also a selection of matching furniture, like this media unit, and sweet drawers and tables to tie everything together. I just really like the simplicity of the design; it could fit into any home!

Finally, my favourite piece, and this is a total guilty pleasure item..

Orange Faux Leather Tub Chair

I know, I know, it probably doesn’t fit in with all the other classic items I’ve already talked about, but I love tub chairs, and this orange faux leather one is so bright and beautiful. It would be perfect to curl up in with a book!

All of the materials used by HomeLife Direct are from sustainable sources, which is a big plus for me, and they offer free UK delivery and a 12 month warranty with every product!

What furniture would be in your dream home?

Dreaming of Mickey Ears

You guys, I am so excited for all my upcoming Disney trips. I say all because between now and the end of January, I’ll have visited not one, not even two or three, but FOUR different Disney parks!

If you keep fairly up to date with my plans and adventures, you’re doing the math at the moment and coming up one park short, because I’ve only talked about Japan (which is 60 days away!) and my RunDisney tour of both Disney World Florida and Disneyland California, but here’s the thing.. I’ll be turning 21 in October, and I’ll be doing that crucial bit of ageing in Disneyland Paris!

Nothing has been booked just yet, but I’m super buzzed to announce that I’ll be in Disneyland Paris from Friday 2nd October til Sunday 4th, with my birthday being the Saturday. The visit will actually be part of a whole European road trip I’ll be venturing out on, and I’ll obviously blog through the whole planning of the trip, but today I want to talk Mickey ears.

With all these majorly exciting visits to various Disney lands and worlds, I need to make sure I’m fully stocked up on these essential accessories, so I’ve spent the afternoon scrolling through my favourite shopping site, Etsy, to pick out some handmade beauties that I’d love to add to my collection.

As with all wishlists, just click on the photos, and you’ll be linked straight to the item, which will open in a new tab so you can keep reading!

Disney Dumbo Mickey Ears

These Dumbo sweeties are just one of a whole shop of incredible designs from CraftyOliviaCuties – I’d have them all if I could!

Up Inspired Mouse Ears

LeEars714 caught my attention with these colourful cuties from one of my favourite Pixar films!

Pastel Flower Crown MouseEars

Earresistible Ears makes the most beautiful floral crown ears, and you can even create your own custom ones, which I’d totally love to do, but from the looks of it they don’t ship to the UK 😦 so gorgeous though!

Baymax ears!

Adorable Baymax ears from EarsbyEvalenn are among a great range of designs!

Oh, Bother Floral Ears

Floral and lacy and Pooh = adorable ears from Shoplavenderb!

White Daisy Inspired Minnie Ears

These pretty daisy ears from LovelyLittleEarful are so sweet!

And who doesn’t love a combination of pom-poms and ombre tones?! I adore these from MouseCaEars!

All so perfect right?!

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Disney Travel Bucket List

So a little while ago I wrote my Disney Bucket List, which I’m constantly adding to and, luckily, ticking off, and it covers most things Disney, including Disney parks.

Today, however, I’m looking at the great wide world, and the many places (mainly castles!) that have inspired some of my favourite Disney movies that I’d love to check out for myself!

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°o° Mont St. Michel, France – inspiration for the beautiful kingdom of Corona

°o° Chateau de Chillon, Lake Geneva – Prince Eric’s real world palace

°o° Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany – the incredible Bavarian castle that has inspired elements of most of Walt Disney’s classics

°o° Alsace, France – Belle’s beautiful home village

°o° Notre Dame Cathedral, France – home of our favourite hunchback

°o° Dunnottar Castle, Scotland – Pixar’s inspiration for the film, Brave

°o° Machu Picchu, Peru – inspiration for Pacha’s home village in The Emperor’s New Groove

°o° New Orleans, Louisiana – the 1920’s setting of The Princess and the Frog

°o° Angel Falls, Venezuela – Carl’s dream retirement spot

°o° Route 66, USA – the real life setting of Pixar’s Cars

°o° Taj Mahal, India – Princess Jasmine’s beautiful home

°o° Forbidden City, China – inspiration for the Emperor’s palace in Mulan

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Have Courage and Be Kind

We are lucky enough to be having some totally gorgeous weather in Bournemouth this week, so today I am blogging from a picnic mat in my garden while soaking up some sun and imagining I’m in Florida!

So yesterday I went to see Cinderella in the cinema again, and second time round I was still blown away by the beauty of it, not just visually but also the messages it conveys.

“Have courage and be kind”

For so few words, this quote has so much power. You may not think that courage and kindness are really all that linked, but in life I think that kindness can sometimes take a whole lot of courage; sometimes we just don’t want to always be kind, sometimes we think we’ll feel better by belittling people whether it be in words or just in our own minds, but does that really makes us a good person, even if we temporarily feel better for it?

No, it doesn’t. Kindness is selfless, and unfortunately that is why so many people choose to ignore their kind urges, because they don’t believe it will serve any purpose to themselves, but that is where many are wrong. Kindness is not innate, we must learn how to be kind and in doing so we must discover our own way to enjoy it, whether it be that warm fuzzy feeling you get from helping another living being, or just appreciating a simple thank you.

“They treat me as best they can”

We cannot expect kindness from those we do not treat in the say way. Although Cinderella isn’t treated right by her new step-family, she can appreciate that that is simply the only way they know how to act, and does not restrict her kindness to them, as she hopes that through her kindness they may learn it too. How simple would it have been to tell Kit that she was not treated well? Perhaps she thought about saying that. But in her heart Cinderella is grateful that she is not treated worse, as she knows she could be. She has lost so much that she has learnt to appreciate what she still has, which is a purpose to keep on going.

“But kindness, kindness makes it everything”

And the Fairy Godmother was right: kindness improves everything. Its like service vs. service with a smile, there isn’t anything we do that cannot be improved with the addition of kindness. I don’t imagine anyone has ever said ‘the only thing that could have improved that would be if they hadn’t been as nice’, and if they have then I feel sorry for that person, who cannot appreciate the act of kindness that they were lucky enough to have received. Kindness is a gift we all must learn to appreciate from others, and be generous enough to share with those around us.

“Will you take me as I am?”

Acceptance of others; it is a thing that in this world I cannot imagine why it is so difficult, yet is is a thing that occurs so frequently that we believe it to be normal. In order to accept others, we must allow ourselves to see them as they truly are, see past whatever assumptions and negativity we want to put upon them and understand why they are who they are. To give someone your understanding is a great kindness, and you may find that they are kind enough to give you theirs in return. And if they don’t, you must try to understand why they cannot, and learn that this is not a reason to withhold kindness from them, as it may be that it is something they do not understand.

“I forgive you”

The power of these three little worlds is astonishing, for without forgiveness the world would be a very different place, and if more people believed in the act of forgiveness then it would also be much changed, but for the better. If Cinderella can forgive her step-mother for her poor treatment and even imprisonment, then why is it so difficult for those of us who suffer so very little to forgive those who wrong us in such minor ways. What does forgiveness cost us?

Nothing. And those who do not expect forgiveness will be more changed for knowing it; being forgiven for wrongs we have committed shows true courage and kindness from our victims, which we in turn must learn to have and appreciate.

“The fairest and kindest”

We must all endeavour to be described as such. We must compete with ourselves to constantly become a better person than who we were before, always improving with time, and learning to show kindness and forgiveness to not only those around us, but also to ourselves. If we cannot be kind and understanding of ourselves, the person we truly know best, then how can we know how it feels to do the same for others. We must look at ourselves in the mirror and see the person we are, and where we have come from to be where we stand today. We must always be the best versions of ourselves, but know that everyone is capable of mistakes, and therefore we must forgive ourselves for them.

So will you make the pledge with me: to have great courage and learn true kindness? From here on out I promise to always try to find the courage for kindness, to understand and forgive others who cannot, and accept them for who they are. I promise to try to make everything better by adding kindness, and always strive to be the fairest and kindest person I can be, and forgive myself when I struggle to be so.

Are you with me?

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Disney Art Wishlist

There is so much beautiful Disney artwork out there. My collection started when I fell in love with Thomas Kinkade paintings in Epcot last summer, and I ended up bringing home a canvas box print of his Tangled piece. Since then I added to it with a Finding Nemo World of Disney print from the Disney Store, which I got for Christmas.

So today I’m sharing a few more beauties that I’d love to have in my future home!

Honey Lemon Disney Watercolor Print, Big Hero 6 Watercolor Poster, Kids Decor, Girl Room Wall Art, Not Framed, Buy 2 Get 1 Free! [No. 46-1]

After watching Big Hero Six when it came out, I immediately fell in love with Honey Lemon as she is literally me in Disney character form; I’ve never really totally identified with a single princess, but a yellow loving chemistry nerd is me to a tee.

Free Delivery

These Art of Aurora lithographs from the Disney Store are really sweet. Sleeping Beauty was my favourite princess as a kid, so I’ve got a total soft spot for anything Aurora.

Free Delivery

Another from the World of Disney collection, this Up! print would go perfectly with my Finding Nemo one.

TachaDesigns on Redbubble has the best collection of watercolour silhouettes of Disney Parks. This is the California Disneyland print, but there is also Disneyland Paris, and all of the Disney World parks, and I’d love the full set!
Main Street U.S.A.,® Walt Disney World®
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Another few Thomas Kinkade designs from the Disney Dreams collection.. The full images are actually rectangular, but my box canvas print from Epcot was square, and I’d love a few more of those to go with my Tangled one.
I’m not sure what I’m going to do tomorrow, but it seems to be turning into a wishlist week, so I’ll come up with something!
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Disney Kitchen Wishlist

I love window shopping; its what I spend at least half of my time on the internet doing, and of all the window shopping I do, most of that is for my dream home of the future. I know that’s probably a little way off, but a girl can dream, right?

So today I’m featuring a few of my favourite goodies that add a bit of Disney magic to the kitchen!

kit

1. Mickey and Minnie Salt and Pepper Shakers from Disney Store

2. Mrs Potts hand painted teapot from Hannah’s Hut on Etsy

3. Finding Nemo Cookie Jar from Hot Topic

4. Azul Plate from Disney Store

5. Mickey Casserole Dish from Disney Store

6. Simba and Pumbaa Salt and Pepper Shakers from Hot Topic

7. Starbucks ‘you are here’ mugs exclusive to the relevant Disney Parks

For someone who doesn’t drink tea or coffee, I own a lot of mugs, pretty much all of which are Disney, so I’ve tried to avoid looking at mugs, but I’m totally in love with the Starbucks ‘you are here’ mugs. You can only get them in the park they represent, and there are six altogether as you can also get ones for the California Disneyland parks, so I’m hoping if they’re still available I’ll be able to pick up each one in January! I also dream of owning a proper Mrs Potts and Chip tea set, so when I stumbled across this beauty on Etsy, I had to add it to my favourites.

As well as great clothes, Hot Topic also has a great collection of Disney homeware. I struggle to choose favourites, but thought today I’d feature the Finding Nemo cookie jar and Lion King salt and pepper shakers.

The Disney Store obviously has a fab lot of kitchenware, and the newly released Azul Dining Collection has definitely tickled my fancy; there are dining plates, bowls, mugs etc, but they’re selling quick! I also love the casserole dish, there was a similar one in the Disney parks.

Tomorrow I’m going to do a little feature of my favourite Disney artwork 🙂

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