Photos to Take With your RunDisney Medals

Maintaining your fitness, a sense of achievement, or pushing your limits; anyone might think these are the reasons to participate in a RunDisney event. Sure, there’s an aspect of this in every race, but really its all about the medal at the finish line, and I’m definitely not the only Disney runner who thinks this.

If you’ve never seen a RunDisney medal before, let me tell you they are every bit as awesome as you’d expect them to be and more. For starters, they’re huge, and weigh a fair bit, but as well as they’re they are always so detailed and well themed, and well worth however miles you just sweated for.

For many, the completion of the race might be the end of the event in your eyes, but you’re gonna want to document everything perfectly, and in the hours and days after your race, medal photos suddenly become a priority. With 5 RunDisney weekends under my belt, I have perfected the art of the medal photos, and if anyone’s about to take part in their first event, here’s the definitive list of photos that you’re gonna want to take.

1. A finish line medal selfie

A volunteer has just hung that glorious medal around your neck and you’re stumbling towards the water table but what you really need to do is document that finishing moment with a good ol’ sweaty selfie!

2. A photo with the finishing board

Once you’ve picked up your free bottles of water and Powerade and grabbed your food box, the next stop before reuniting with your friends and family at the end of the race is to get that official RunDisney board photo.

3. A photo of your weekend medal collection

If you’ve run more than one race, or completed a challenge, be sure to get a photo wearing all of those medals at the same time, even if its too heavy for you to wear them all all day!

4. A photo in front of the castle

Sometimes this shot needs a helping hand of someone to hold the medal while you get the position of the photo just right, but its a classic!

5. A photo with the character on the medal

If you’re medal is themed based on a certain character, as so many are, be sure to go and see them to show off! They absolutely love seeing medals!

6. A photo in a themed location

If you’re in a park that has an area theme that matches your medal, grab a photo there too!

7. Your medal display at home

However you hang your medals at home, take a photo after every new medal has been added!

My next RunDisney event will be Paris in September when I’ll be running the 10K and half marathon for the inaugural Bibbidi Bobbidi Challenge and also getting my second Castle to Chateau challenge medal! Who will I be seeing there?

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The £5 Clinique Highlighter Dupe

I never have and never will claim to be a real beauty blogger. When I do write about makeup, I write as a girl who just likes wearing it (and buying way too much of it), so while I might not have the expertise of most, I still like to give it a good go every now and then. The discovery of today’s dupe was purely accidental, and I actually owned and used the dupe before I came across the high-end equivalent.

I’m the first to admit that I have a problem when it comes to highlighters. I’d say they’re my weakness when it comes to makeup but I have many other weaknesses too so I’m not sure if it counts, but it was due to this weakness that I made this discovery. You see, when I wracked up enough points on my Sephora card back in February to claim some free gifts, when I was offered a free Clinique chubby stick highlighter, I snapped that badboy up without a second thought, but with so many highlighters in my collection, it was only recently that I actually thought I’d give it a go.

So there I am, sat in front of my mirror with that new product buzz going on, when I was struck with deja vu – have I used this before? I was questioning my sanity when I realised where I’d seen the same results before: from my Barry M Strobe Cream, shade Frosty Pink, which I’d bought months before for a mere £4.49. Now I know my chubby stick was a free gift, but it retails for £19.50 so that’s quite a difference..

Wanna see?

Left: Barry M, Right: Clinique

Top: Clinique, Bottom: Barry M

As you can see from the swatches, there’s hardly any difference in shade between the two. The Clinique does have a creamier formula, and possibly gives a little more shine than Barry’s, but I actually prefer the lightweight feel of the BM strobe cream, and its just as long-lasting.

If a £15 difference in price isn’t enough of a selling point, let’s not forget that Barry M is cruelty free and vegan friendly, and if Frosty Pink isn’t your jam, this is just one of four shades that its available in!

I know which one I use more often..

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A Bloody Shame

Normally I would start a post like this apologising for the content. I’m not going to do that today because this is something that I don’t think I should be sorry for talking about. PS I will apologise for the awful pun of a title.

Two hours into my shift on Saturday, I realised that despite being fully prepared given the situation, I had bled through my pants and my trousers. I realised this while I was stood at the desk of one of my team leaders asking for advice on a situation with a customer, and I was mortified. I quickly adjusted how I was stood, rushed the conversation and dashed to the toilets, where I promptly burst into tears in a cubicle.

Two minutes of hormone and embarrassment fuelled sobbing later, I pulled myself together enough to attempt to think clearly. Despite all the team leaders in being women, which is a wonderfully rare occurrence, I couldn’t bring myself to tell anyone what had happened. I wanted to go home, but there was no way I was going to admit the reason for needing to leave, so instead I cleaned myself up as best I could, and thanked my lucky stars that I was wearing loose trousers with a fairly jazzy pattern so the patch of red on my crotch wasn’t visible unless someone was paying close attention to it. I wrapped my big cardigan around myself and went on with the rest of my day.

As the day went on, and with every time I had to leave my desk for whatever reason, only to be very careful of how my cardigan was hanging and if I was walking quick enough that no one would be able to focus on me long enough to potentially spot my red spot, I couldn’t help feeling ashamed on more than one level.

Why could I not just admit to someone at work what was going on? I could have gone home, changed and been back within 15 minutes, but the fear of having someone that I work with know about my little ‘accident’ meant I sat and spent my day on edge. But on the other side I couldn’t stop thinking: why should I be ashamed?

Periods are a natural and normal part of life for women, yet for as long as I can remember, I’ve been made to feel embarrassed by them. It was embarrassing learning about them at school, and embarrassing when you had to miss swimming because of them, or when you had to ask around to see if anyone had a spare pad or tampon when you got caught out.

And don’t get me wrong, I’m not really ever embarrassed to be on my period. I’ll tell my friends if I’m having really bad cramps, and have no issue asking for supplies from people in the office these days, but that’s not what this is about. Its not to do with how we see our own periods, but how other people do. While no one at work seemed to notice my stain today, I would have almost liked to see how different people reacted. Would I be met with pity and support, or would there be whispers when I walk away? I shouldn’t have to question this. I was too ashamed to share my problem with someone else, and that’s not ok.

No its not ideal having a patch of blood on your trousers but also why should it be a problem if you do? Its not your fault if Mother Nature calls early, or you’ve sat awkwardly and therefore a leak has occurred. Its not by choice, its just life and I’m so done with people being judgemental about it.

Let’s end this stigma.

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Things That Are Worth Paying For as a Blogger

While we may make a little bit of money from sponsored posts, advert space and affiliate links, for the majority of bloggers, a blog is a labour of love, and I know that I for one definitely don’t make as much money out of blogging as I put into it.

As a result of this, over the years I’ve learnt all the classic money-saving tips for blogging: hitting up Primark and Asda for blog props rather than Zara Home, robbing B&Q for wallpaper samples to use as backdrops for photos and finding as many high street dupes for our favourite beauty products as possible. The list goes on.

I’m a firm believer that you don’t need to pour money into your blog to make it successful, but with that said, there are a few things that I am more than happy to pay out for in order to keep my blog running as smoothly as possible.

A domain

Whether you’re self-hosted or not, buying your own domain as opposed to being a .blogspot or .wordpress address is 100% worth it. I pay about £18 a year for mine, and not only does it help my blog look more professional, it all counts towards that all important (though also thoroughly pointless in my eyes) DA score.

Buffer Awesome Plan

I’ve been with Buffer since I started scheduling tweets, but there are a whole bunch of other sites available. When I first started out I stuck to the free plan, meaning I could schedule 10 tweets in advance at a time. Now I schedule 5 tweets a day, so it doesn’t take a genius to work out that I could only ever schedule two days at a time, which was a nightmare when half the time I would forget, or if I was away I’d face days of no tweets at all, so before my trip to Florida back in February I decided to upgrade so that I could schedule the whole two weeks I was going to be away, and since then I’d never go back. Its $10 a month, which depending on exchange rate is £7-8, but it makes me so much happier knowing at the start of each week that I’m all set until Sunday night, when I’ll top them up again.

ASOS Premier

I’ve been paying for Asos Premier for 3 years now, and trust me its worth it. £9.95 for the year to get free next day delivery on all orders, meaning I never have to worry about knowing if my items are gonna show up on time. Its kinda like Amazon Prime for my wardrobe, and yes I did once just order a pair of gloves for £5 two days before going to France because I knew they’d get to me on time and I couldn’t be bothered to schlep into town to dig through Primark for a pair.. PS. If you ever return and item for an exchange, the replacement item is also sent next day.

Upgrading your iCloud storage

If you’re forever snapping away for those all too Instagram-worthy shots, paying to upgrade your iCloud storage so you never run out of space on your phone is a lifesaver! I think I pay 99p a month and not once I have I had the dreaded ‘your storage is almost full’ pop up. In fact, I have photos back to December 2015 on my phone and I’m at no risk of running out of room any time soon.

Do you have any services that you swear by?

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Improving My Sleep Habits

Sleep and I are fickle friends; its a love/hate relationship really. The fact is, I really cannot function without it, and while everyone says this, I am the kind of person that can rarely make it to midnight, and more often than not is in bed by 10pm, if not earlier. I am also a napper, and if I am tired and need sleep, it doesn’t matter where I am or what I’m doing, if my body decides its time to sleep, I probably will – I think my finest moment was falling asleep while standing on a train in Japan. Oh yes.

The hate part of my relationship is that sometimes sleep doesn’t like me. I can be a fairly vivid dreamer, and while some nights I’ll sleep like an absolute baby, other nights I’ll be awake on the hour every hour. I’m not an insomniac, I’m just fairly restless, and some nights actually feel more draining than they do refreshing and restful.

So I’m in the market for anything I can do to improve my shut-eye, and I’ve already identified a few changes that need to be made in the hopes that I can see some real progression, and from here on out, I’ll be doing my best to stick to these new habits.

Clearing the clutter

I have this awful habit of leaving things in my bed when I’m about to go to sleep. Chances are my laptop will be on there somewhere, and probably a notepad or two, plus my iPad and maybe even some clothes that I haven’t got round to putting away yet – no more! From here on out my bed will be a place for me to sleep and just me.

Not getting into bed until I’m ready

I also have this horrible habit of getting into bed as soon as I get in from work, fully dressed with a full face of makeup, grabbing my laptop and getting a bit of writing done before I go to sleep, or putting on Netflix for a bit. The problem with this is that I then rarely want to get back out, so sometimes I’ll end up going to sleep without taking of my makeup and sometimes even sleeping in whatever shirt I was wearing that day so I don’t have to get up and change. Yikes, right?

Now, while I still have no issue with getting straight into bed when I finish my day at work (so much more common now I’m working 12 hour shifts), I won’t do it until I’ve eaten dinner, brushed my teeth, getting fully changed and all makeup off. I’m even making more of an effort during this time to get everything for the next day out and ready for the morning!

Having actual pyjamas

As I mentioned above, pyjamas are a bit of a fluid concept for me. I do have them, but sometimes I’ve been known to just grab whatever comfy top I can find rather than using actual pyjama options. Yes, I do have a few t-shirts and tops that I still have designated as pj options rather than day-to-day wear, but I’m training myself to remember to reach for these instead of any old shirt I can find.

Setting a pre-sleep skincare routine

More than just remembering to take off my makeup before bed, I’m actually working on sticking to a proper skincare routine before bed: makeup off, cleanse and tone face, moisturise etc. As well as being so much better for my skin, its actually a great way to wind down before getting into bed, and a little bit of self-care goes a long way!

Reducing the number of screens I’m on

I can be that person who is on my phone checking Instagram while trying to write a blog post on my laptop and also Netflixing on my iPad in the background. I like to consider myself a multi-tasker but really I’m just overstimulating myself. Now I’m on 12 hour shifts, I’ve found that I’m not reaching for my laptop anymore as soon as I get home, so I’m trying to make it more of a habit to leave my laptop for my days off, and instead just watch a movie or plan blog stuff in my notebook in the evenings after work – which also helps towards not sleeping with a laptop in my bed!

Doing distracting jobs

I’ve written before about the strange things that are the only things that I can stay awake doing, so rather than being on my many screens right before bed, I like to mix things up a few nights a week by getting other things done, like cleaning my makeup brushes, sewing or writing to-do lists for the coming days.

I’ve been trying to do all these for about 2 weeks now and I feel like I’m already seeing small improvements, so here’s hoping for the best!

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How to Create a Disney Inspired Desk Space

In reality, my desk is a very fluid space. It goes from my creative space, complete with sewing machine, a million pins and strewn with fabric off-cuts, to my blog photo studio, to the place I pile up rubbish I need to get off the floor, all in the space of a few hours at times.

Every now and then, however, I can bring order to my little desk, and last weekend was one of those occasions. With the help of my recent Disney Store purchases, I was inspired to create a magical little work space, perfect for any dreamer and doer.

Want to create your own? Here’s what you’ll need!

The desk lamp

Proper lighting is super important when it comes to an area that you’ll be working in – eye strain is not cool. My desk is a subtle nod to the classic Pixar lamp, but there are a tonne of cool Disney themed lights out there to match the look you want.

Adorable stationery

Can anyone honestly say that they don’t have a weakness for cute stationery? Notepads, pens, sticky notes, you name it, I’m all about it. Right now, Disney Store are absolutely killing it with some of their stationery, but there are so many places you can buy Disney inspired products on the high street and online.

My Mickey Mouse highlighters were from John Lewis a few months back, but there are similar ones now available on the Disney Store website!

All the mugs

I’m all about any excuse to buy a new Disney mug, but they’re so multi-functional! Sure, you’re gonna need a lot of mugs for drinking from while you’re busy at work, but they also make for excellent pen pots, or storage for push pins, paperclips.

Practical decorations

I’m obsessed with my new Mickey and Minnie washi tape dispenser and Mickey glove business card holder from the Disney Store, they make for great desk centrepieces but are also actually useful. You can also find practical uses for some of your favourite Disney items; how about using a Funko Pop as a paperweight?

Magical artwork

Now your desk is kitted out, bring a little magic to your walls! My desk is surrounded by Polaroid style prints of my favourite Disney trip photos from Sticky9 (who also do cute little magnets!), but there are also so many amazing Disney artists out there – try Etsy and Redbubble!

How do you bring magic to your workspace?

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My Favourite Lower Body Exercises

So despite starting the year with a promise of monthly fitness update posts, that literally only happened in January. Oops, my bad.

I’m a little bit ashamed to say I’ve yo-yo’d a bit this year. I started the year on a high, but various aspects of life have been challenging my fitness journey and this has led to inconsistencies and going backwards at times, and while I’m a little bit annoyed about this, there’s nothing I can do looking back on it so all I can do is move forward.

My gym recently went through a big refurb, and while it never looked back in the first place, it looks so much better now! We have new equipment, new areas and a new pink wall that I’m particularly fond of, and the update has done wonders for my motivation.

If you read my new fitness plan back in May, you might have seen that summer is the time when I tend to focus more on my legs as I’m not running as much (and hate running during summer heat), and these are some of my favourite workouts for my lower body at the moment:

Plyo Box Jumps

The most popular new piece of kit in the gym is our new PlyoSoft boxes, and while I’d always considered them to be torture before I’d actually used them, but now I’m obsessed! I start off on a 45cm, the quickly moved up to 60cm and now I’m on 75cm and I’m aiming for 90cm by the end of August. Its a great bodyweight-only workout and I’m already seeing results!

Bosu ball squats

Because squatting isn’t tricky enough at the best of times, I’ve now taken to doing them on top of a bosu ball.. While this might not seem too different to squatting on solid ground, you’ll be amazed at how many more muscles you get working while you’re trying to maintain your stability!

Donkey kicks

While it may seem very cliche gym-girl, I love donkey kicks, and all the different variations of them. I have a little donkey kick routine that’s my go-to on days when I’m focusing on lower body, and I will do it over and over until the backs of my legs are screaming just cos for some reason I really seem to enjoy it..

Wall sits

Wall sits are probably the easiest possible exercise for your legs ever, and its amazing how much you feel the burn afterwards. If my legs aren’t already knackered, I’ll try and get in a few minutes of a wall sit at the end of a workout just to push myself right to the end – and then probably fall down the stairs out of the gym.

Swiss ball leg raises

These are killer for both abs and legs! Gripping a Swiss ball between your knees/calves, then raising your legs straight up and down while lying on the floor; I’ll tell you now its a killer!

What are your go-to leg moves in the gym?

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