Things I Am When I’m Not A Disney Fan

Because its what I talk about 90% of the time, you’d be forgiven for thinking that Disney is all I really care about. Truth is, though, there are actually a lot of other fandoms that I belong to, and while I might not always talk about them as much, many of them mean as much to me as Disney does.

I have loved Lord of the Rings since the first film came out. I was only 7 when the first movie came out (2001), so no, I hadn’t read all the books before seeing the films, but I have read them all now. The movies were a HUGE part of my childhood, and once we had them on DVD, me and my sister would watch them at least once a month, if not most weekends – all extended versions, for any other fans who care about these things. As well as the story itself, we became obsessed with all of the behind the scenes features on the DVDs (there are two discs worth for each film), which we’ve watched way more times than is probably considered normal.

The last Lord of the Rings film, Return of the King, was actually the first film I ever cried at. I was 9 years old at the time, and I wasn’t crying because the end of the film was sad, I was crying because I was sad that it was the last Lord of the Rings film, and there wouldn’t be any more movies; this was way before any of The Hobbit films had been announced.

I also LOVE musicals. Its probably the only thing that makes me wish I lived in London because I could quite easily go to a show every night. I saw a lot of musicals as a young kid because my parents have always been musical fans, but it wasn’t until I was about 11/12 that I really got into them. I’m super lucky to have seen a lot of musicals on West End, and even a handful on Broadway, and my all time favourite musical is Rent, with other favourites including Avenue Q (which is actually the musical I’ve seen the most times), Wicked and Spamalot. I’ve also seen a lot of the classics, like Phantom of the Opera, Les Mis, and I even saw Cats when I was very young.

And even though I’ve actually seen more musicals than I can even remember sometimes, I’ve still got a list as long as my arm of more shows that I would love to see, with the top of the list being Legally Blonde and Hamilton.

I’m also a Potterhead, I love building Lego and doing sudokus and I’m a sucker for a crime/detective show on TV (I’m patiently awaiting the return of Death in Paradise). Disney is a huge part of my life, but I am more than just a Disney fan.

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A Timeless Gift*

Despite everything having been a total whirlwind over the last few months, Matthew and I have had a lot to celebrate lately. We bought our first house and became homeowners in May, celebrated our two year anniversary in June, and Matthew finally started his new job at the end of July, so its been exciting times all round.

Of course we celebrated all of these wonderful moments at the times they occurred, but with all the craziness going on, I felt they were a little rushed, and I wanted to commemorate them with the right gift, which I was really struggling to find. Matthew has always supported me in everything I’ve done, and he’s worked so hard over the last few years to get his dream job, I wanted something that wasn’t just an every day sort of present, I wanted to get him something that was special. So when I was contacted by the wonderful team at Jord Watches, I instantly knew that this was an opportunity I wanted to share with him.

A watch makes an amazing gift for a special occasion, but these watches are in a world of their own. This stunning Hyde watch is just one of the wonderfully unique wooden watches that Jord have to offer – and no, you read that right, its actually wooden!

Matthew chose the Ebony & Iron finish, which is beautifully subtle but every time I see it I’m absolutely amazed at how intricate the design is. The darker colour makes styling the watch effortless, and it goes well with everything in his wardrobe. It was custom sized to his wrist measurement, and came in this incredible presentation box, which just added to the whole unboxing experience.

And while I did let Matthew choose the watch itself, I did surprise him by opting to have the back of the watch engraved with our anniversary date to add that extra personal touch to commemorate the last two years we’ve spent together.

This watch just made all my gift choosing worries disappear. Being able to have it engraved meant I could use it as a way of celebrating our special day, but also what’s wonderful about giving a watch is that in Matthew’s new job as a pilot, he’s actually required to wear a watch at all times, so I could also use this opportunity to gift him something that he’ll wear and use all the time, but that’s more than just practical, its stylish.

Jord make these incredible wooden watches in both men’s and women’s styles, plus they also do amazing wooden straps for Apple watches, so there’s really something for everyone, and with that in mind, how do you fancy winning $100 credit towards a watch of your own, or so that you too can give someone a truly timeless gift? Simply fill out the giveaway form here – plus you’ll get a 10% off code just for entering! Giveaway closes September 9th at 11:59pm.

Wooden Wrist Watch

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*This post contains gifted items. All views are my own.

How Relateable Do Bloggers Actually Have To Be?

I’ve been thinking a lot about bloggers and relate-ability lately. Let’s face it, the aim of the game for most bloggers is to create content that people are going to want to read, right? But do readers always want to see something that they can relate to?

I recently read a really interesting post by Hannah from The Giraffe’s Life about why Zoella is considered by many to be unrelateable, and I agreed with many of the points put forward; personally I’ve never really been that bothered by Zoella anyway. But regardless of whether or not her millions of fans actually relate to her life of million pound mansions, jetting off to 5 star hotels and being on the cover of every magazine under the sun, they still want to watch her videos and read her posts, which got me thinking about whether or not bloggers do actually need to be relateable?

I don’t know about anyone else, but I kinda like reading about things that I would never actually be able to do myself. Clickbait-y titles like ‘I spent £700 in Primark’ are intriguing, and I can’t help but want to see what on earth was purchased to rack up that receipt total.

From my own stats, I know that my most popular posts are my holiday diaries, especially when I’m in Disney parks, and while I’d love to live in a world where being in Disney parks is considered everyday, I know that it isn’t.

And yes, on the flipside I do love a high end makeup dupe, a budget city break and quick, easy recipe posts, but I’m also super nosey and would love to see what it was like at the latest Spectrum release party, because it’s something that I’d never get to experience myself.

I think also that there’s a huge difference between the relate-ability of a blogger and the relate-ability of their content. A relateable blogger could do the most unrelateable activities, and I’d still read what crazy stuff they’d be up to, but an unrelateable blogger could buy five things under £5 from Primark and I’d have that little meh feeling when I read it, so I guess in that respect relate-ability is kinda important.

These are just my own personal musings on the subject, I’d love to hear your thoughts so drop me a comment!

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Things To Remember During The Heatwave

I don’t think anyone in the UK expected these temperatures to last as long as they have done, and they’re not predicted to be dropping soon either. Yes, its summer and its supposed to be better warmer, but this constant period is not what a classic Great British summer is normally like, and I’m sure we’ve all been feeling the heat.

I, for one, have found that this heatwave has also brought a wave of sleepless nights, a lack of any sort of motivation and a need for at least two cold showers a day just to make it through, but I’ve been thinking about other things that we should all remember while temperatures are high.

People need to dress cool, don’t make them feel uncomfortable

Short shorts, summer dresses, loose tops, one of the most important ways to survive the heat is to dress cool. What is not cool, however, is to stare at people, or make them feel uncomfortable in any way because of how they’re dressed. I wore denim shorts and a t-shirt to the supermarket on Wednesday, and was made to feel so super uncomfortable by a middle aged man who was so blatantly staring at my legs as I walked past him that I actually went straight to the checkout so I could leave, rather than picking up the last few things on my shopping list.

No one is to blame for the heat, so don’t take out your frustration on them

Anyone who can maintain a constant happy mood in this heat is a hero, but its ok if you’re feeling a little fed up. That said, taking out your frustration on anyone, from family and friends to customer service workers, is not ok.

Always carry water in the car

Whether you’re going on a 10 minute journey or a 3 hour trip, chuck a couple of bottles of water in the car. All it takes is a nasty traffic jam or a breakdown for you to be stuck in a rolling sauna for longer than you anticipated with no way of re-hydrating. And on that note, make sure your screen wash is topped up!

Sun burn is not cool or funny

I personally don’t understand why anyone thinks they don’t need to bother putting on sun cream. You might be one of those people who never burns, and that’s great, but you still need to protect your skin from the sun regardless, and if you do burn, then you shouldn’t even question using it.

Think of the animals

If you have pets, its so important to make sure they’re cool and hydrated. Try to avoid walking dogs on hot tarmac or sand, brush out long haired pets regularly and you can even go as far as setting up little paddling pools or making ice lollies for them. Do what you can for the wildlife too, put out water for birds and critters and try to create some shady spaces in your garden.

Regular water and shade breaks are super important

Indoors or outdoors, make sure you’re drinking plenty of water, and if you are soaking up the sun, make sure you’re spending some time in the shade as well!

Enjoy it while it lasts folks, I’m sure autumn will hit us like a brick!

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The Test of Time

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I’ve been thinking a lot about friendship lately. This is mainly because I’m leaving the town I grew up in, and am faced daily with the question of ‘aren’t you gonna miss things?’. If I’m being honest, leaving Bournemouth has always been a fairly easy decision for me because other than my family, I haven’t felt like I have that many other ties to this place. I’ve quite honestly felt like I’ve had no friends in Bournemouth for quite some time now.

I was one of the only people in my group of friends who didn’t go to university after sixth form, and I maintain to this day that that was the right decision for me, but it did mean I isolated myself quite early on. Even before we left school, I was getting a bit sick of hearing everyone talk non-stop about what uni they were going to, sorting things out etc, and although they’d probably never admit it, I know that my friends judged the decision that I made in choosing not to go.

So I left them drift away. I kept in touch with a few, and there would be the occasional gathering when people were back at Christmas or in the summer, but again I tended to steer clear for fear of that inferiority feeling I would get around them. Just over two years ago was the last time I went to a party with these friends, and to be honest, it was great, and I was starting to feel a little more confident about being around people again, but then a personal situation messed everything up, and I pulled myself away again because there were two people in the group that I couldn’t face seeing again. I’m still in a group chat with all these people, but I stay silent, and I can’t bring myself to show up to any of these gatherings.

But that’s just back story, and not what this post is really about.

Yesterday I ran into an old friend in the supermarket. He was one of my best friends during my last few years of school, but he went off to uni and although we’d occasionally chat on Facebook, it’s been about 2-3 years since I saw him last, and even those times would have been fairly brief.

So when I saw him in the supermarket my head went two ways. The first was ‘oh my gosh I need to go and talk to him’, and the other was ‘he probably really doesn’t care about seeing me’. Luckily, the first won out. We stood and caught up right in the middle of an aisle in Sainsbury’s, and d’you know what? It was so good to talk to him again.

We talked like old friends, which is exactly what we are, but it wasn’t one of those conversations you have with someone you used to know, where you just blurt out whatever’s happening in your own life and don’t really pay attention to what they’re saying back, it was a proper conversation. Old jokes from years ago were being thrown about, nothing was fake or forced and I walked away at the end of it with the biggest smile on my face.

I guess through all the recent years where I haven’t felt like I had that many friends, I forgot about the friends that are still there even when you can’t see them. The true friends that no matter how many miles are between you or how many months or years go by will still always consider you to be a friend, and treat you like a friend, and sometimes it just takes an unexpected moment to remind you of those things.

Another Mid Year Review

And just like that, half of 2018 has been and gone.. What?

This has honestly been the craziest year of my life, the last few months especially, and I’ve definitely been swept up in all of the goings on which has probably caused the year to fly by so much, but I can quite confidently say that its been a great year so far.

How am I doing with my blog targets?

  • Bloglovin followers – 1500 – I must admit that I have been super rubbish with Bloglovin lately, so I definitely haven’t seen the same growth that I achieved last year, but I’m on 1179 right now, and I think if I kick myself back into gear for the next 6 months, this is still reachable!
  • Twitter followers – 3500 – I can’t remember what I was on at the start of the year, but I’m just over 3200 at the moment so I feel like this is going to be doable!
  • Instagram followers – 2500 – after a measly 2017 where I didn’t hit my target at all, I feel like I have really smashed Instagram this year, and now have over 3300 followers, having only hit 2000 sometime in January! I’m setting myself a new possible target of 4000 for before the year is out, but I’m not putting too much pressure on myself because we all know what it can be like!
  • Page views – 100,000 – well I’m just coming up to 85,000 now, so this is definitely in sight so long as I manage to keep up my content!

I’ve felt myself slip a lot with my blog this year, which I’ve hated but its been somewhat necessary with everything that’s gone on this year. I’ve been posting a lot less than I have done over previous years, but what is good is that I’ve learnt that this is totally ok.

There’s a lot more exciting things coming to the blog over the rest of the year, including lots more house related posts, my 1000th blog post will be coming in July, and in October my blog turns 5, so stay tuned!

Resolutions, goals and life

Looking back on my 2018 resolutions post, I feel quite happy in knowing that I’ve achieved a lot of these things. Despite occasional dips, I’ve been looking after myself a lot better and putting myself out there more, and I’ve surrounded myself with wonderful people who make me so happy. My love of photography has definitely come back, and my sewing has gone to new levels I couldn’t even have imagined back in January.

The only thing that’s really hit a major roadblock this year has been my marathon training, after breaking my ankle back in April, but I’m seeing definite improvements in physiotherapy, and I’ve even taken part in my first fun run since the accident recently, which makes me confident that I’ll be back out there very soon, and if you want to sponsor me for my marathon, you can do that here!

I’ve learned a lot in the last few months about so many things, but the rest of the year will be focusing on putting so many of these things into practice. My whole life is changing as of the end of the week when I officially become a Northerner, and I’m seeing this as an amazing opportunity to create and live my best life and become even happier.

I hope 2018 is treating everyone well, and the rest of it only gets better!

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What I’m Doing With My Time Off

Next Friday is my last day at work before I officially make the big move up north. I could have left at the end of this week, which is what Matthew is doing, but because I work in finance I decided to do the nice thing and hang around to sort out June’s month end accounts instead of leaving my team before the busiest week of the month, so I’ve got just over a week still to go!

July is going to be the biggest month of my life; the month I officially fly not only the nest, but the town I grew up in and have lived in my whole life up til now, and there’s going to be so much to get used to, along with getting properly settled into the new house, unpacking and decorating etc, so I decided a little while ago that I wasn’t going to rush into finding a new job immediately, and instead take July off for a bit of me time, but also a bit of ‘getting stuff done’ time.

Enjoy summer

I haven’t got to just enjoy a summer off since I was at school. I’ve taken some annual leave at work, but only ever for trips abroad, so its been ages since I’ve been able to just laze about in the sun, sit out in the garden and have endless bbqs.

Vamping up old blog posts

For the longest time now I’ve been meaning to go back over some of my old blog posts from before I edited photos or made pretty flatlays and spruce them up with new photos and a little bit of editing because there are so many posts that I loved writing and would love to share more, but feel a little embarrassed when I see dull or rushed photos.

Life admin

Moving comes with so much work you don’t even think about, like updating address on everything from bank accounts and credit cards to electoral rolls, and I just know that its not going to be straightforward given that our address still doesn’t exist on most systems..

Explore my new home

Although I’ve been to Manchester more in the last few months than I had done in my whole life beforehand, I still don’t know much of the city passed the Trafford Centre, not to mention the towns surrounding Winsford and the rest of the North West region.

Starting matched betting

I’ve been thinking about trying matched betting for a little while now, but I’ll actually have some time to put into it and hopefully I’ll be able to reap the rewards if I don’t mess it up too much! Luckily I have some excellent guides who are well experienced in it to help me along the way, so I’m really hoping for good results..

Working for little old me

While I’m calling July my ‘time off’, I will still be busting my butt for my small businesses, and July will give me the opportunity to see if I can do well enough to take what I do full time, so I’ll appreciate any orders that come my way through the month!

Working ON little old me

I’m really just looking forward to having some time for myself, and being able to take the time to get my life on track. I’ll have time to cook proper meals, get back into marathon training and work on feeling better about myself.

I’m not counting down the days, promise..

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