Sunday, 28 May 2017

Walt Disney World Planning | ADR's

If I was more organised, there would be a "booking my holiday" sort of post, but there isn't, so we're going to jump straight in to dining reservations.

In February, I made my advance dining reservations (ADR's) for my trip to Disney World this summer.  It's my first time doing this as the last two trips we took food into the parks, ate quick service, and ate outside the parks, so onside dining isn't something I have done or have much knowledge about.  As it's just my mum and I going, there's only two people to please which made this whole process a lot easier.

After watching countless vlogs, reviews and reading up on various restaurants months before we could even do our ADR's, we both wrote a list of "must do's".  So basically, just where we absolutely had to go.  My top pics were Be Our Guest so I could meet Beast, the Hoop Dee Doo, 50's Prime Time, and Trattoria Al Forno for the new character breakfast.   Mums's were "wherever I can meet Donald Duck".  Thanks mum, that was more helpful than you knew!

Okay, so I'm going to be completely honest here.  I had every single one of our days planned for at least 2 months before our ADR day and from that decided on where to eat depending on what park we were in.   Every time i'd suggest somewhere mum would respond "whatever, yeah that sounds good".  Not so helpful, but none the less we got there in the end.

So, our reservations are:

  1. Crystal Palace -  breakfast
  2. 50's Prime Time Cafe - lunch
  3. Hoop Dee Doo - dinner
  4. Rose & Crown - dinner
  5. T-Rex - dinner
  6. Garden Grill - breakfast
  7. 1900 Park Fare - breakfast
  8. Be Our Guest - dinner
  9. Tusker House - lunch
  10. Beaches & Cream - lunch
  11. Trattoria Al Forno - breakfast
  12. Garden Grill - dinner

We still have one credit left to use (Hoop Dee Do uses 2 each) so we'll have to have a think about where to use that.  As you can see we have a lot of character dining, which is such a great way to meet characters, without the long wait in line.  I'm most looking forward to the Hoop Dee Doo.  It's something i've wanted to do for a couple of years so I'm over the moon I finally get to experience it for myself instead of vicariously through other people on youtube!

I'm more excited about this trip than words could ever describe.  More planning posts will be coming over the next few months, including some of the ways I have made money to pay for this, our fastpass+ choices, what non-Disney activities we are planning as well as my WDW 2017 bucket list and our must do's (yes, that is different than a bucket list!).

Thursday, 2 March 2017

Starting Over And Letting Go

For the past year or two I've felt that life has kept throwing me curve balls.  It's almost been suffocating.  There have been moments where I've managed to catch my breath for just a quick second, before something else comes to knock the wind out of me.  As a result of this, my mental health has suffered.  But, what if it is all my fault?  

Once upon a time, I was a happy, positive person.  Everything was sunshine and rainbows.  But  as I grew older and started dealing with more grown up, adult things, that all changed.   I let things get me down.  I allowed life and other people to have an impact on my mood, on how I felt.  I imagine it is probably normal, but that doesn't make it okay in my opinion.

Work has been a massive issue for me for almost a year.  So I've decided to quit in a few months time.  I don't have anything to go to nor am I going to look for another job.  Getting on top of my mental health and taking care of myself is more important to me than any permanent employment.  Instead I'm going to save for the next few months, and work hard to become self employed.  If other people make it work, so can I.  And I will. 

Today, March 1st 2017, I am making a huge change in my life.  And, if you know me, you'll know that any "huge change" always starts with cleaning the house, changing the beds and opening every single window in the house!  I'm letting go of the negative energy that I have been clutching so hard to.  I'm no longer going to say "I can't".  I can do anything I put my mind to and I will.  I'm a very sensitive soul, but have so much love and happiness inside that I have been suppressed for so long.  It's time to get myself back out there and be the Meg that I really am!  I'll finally go on that date with that boy that has been asking me out for a couple of years, rekindle friendships with old friends that have started inviting me out places and actually make an effort with my hair and make up so I'm selfie ready at any given moment.  I'm also going to make more of an effort with the new friends I have made, some of who might be reading this.  This is just the start for me and I've never felt so positive about anything before. 

I'd like to start blogging frequently so if you have any requests for any posts you'd like to see, then please let me know.  

Sunday, 1 January 2017

Happy New Year | Looking Back At 2016

Goodness, 2017 already.  I could swear it was only January 2016 five minutes ago.  To be perfectly honest, I’m glad to see the back of 2016.  It wasn’t the greatest year, was it? However, in saying that, there were plenty of highlights.  For me anyway.  So naturally i thought I would take this opportunity to look back at my top 3 highlights 2016. 

  1.  My dog.  Daisy has without a doubt been my favourite thing about last year.  She just keeps on getting funnier the older she gets!  Recently she’s started doing this very quiet, constant whine.  I compare it to the sound that a horcrux makes in Harry Potter, it’s hilarious. 
  1. I passed my first year of university.  Considering it took me a long time to get to university for various reasons, I’m pleased I passed first year! 
  1. Walt Disney World happened (again).  There are no words for how much I love that place, it really is my happy place.  So many things happened whilst we were there that still make me laugh so hard when I think about them.  Some are far too embarrassing to share, not only for me, but mum too.  I need to respect her privacy and all!  But honestly, we had a great time. 

I have massive plans for this year, I can’t begin to explain how excited I am!  For instance, I will start weekly vlogging, I’m going on my first girls holiday, I turn 25, I go back to Walt Disney World and get to spend my birthday there.  There are also plenty of other exciting things, but for now they will stay under wraps.  Not everything goes to plan and for that reason I’d like to save myself the embarrassment.  

From the bottom of my heart, I truly hope 2017 brings amazing things your way.  Not only that, but I hope that you are proactive in making things happen for yourself!  If you would like to follow me on my journey through life this year then please subscribe to my youtube channel here.  My first weekly vlog will be up next Monday, so the 9th.  I would appreciate the support, and if Disney blogs are your thing then they will be coming your way in September. 

Monday, 10 October 2016

Truffle Shuffle Wish List #1

Hi guys, I hope you are well.  I thought I'd share my current wish list for one of my favourite online shops, Truffle Shuffle.  I can sit for ages scrolling through the pages saying "I want it" or "I need it" laughing at myself because I sound ridiculous half the time.  I was born in the early 90's and as I have older cousins I am still a huge fan of 80's cult TV shows and movies, He-Man being a particular favourite.  There are so many things I want to buy but as I can't have it all, here are a few things that I currently need in my life.  Yes, need.

Friday, 30 September 2016

Top 5 Tips on Surviving Disney With Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

As everyone knows, Disney World is an amazing, magical place.  But it's massive.  Like, really massive.  A combination of size, distance between attractions and wait times are a bit of a problem, especially for those who are unlucky enough to have CFS.  I am one of those people, so I have come up with my top 5 tips that helped me survive two weeks in the happiest place on earth.

  1. Utilise the Disability Access Service (DAS).  This was an absolute godsend to me this year.   Basically, after getting DAS added on to your Magic Band, you go to any attraction with a fast pass and ask a cast member for a return time.  The return time is usually the same as the standby line (essentially you're in a virtual que), which means you can either find another attraction to go on in the mean time, get something to eat, or have a sit down which is what I did.  You use it in conjunction with your Fast Pass but can only have one return time at a time.
  2.  Take plenty of rest breaks.  I can't walk long or far and am mostly in a lot of pain most of the time.  It really helped to take a seat somewhere frequently.  I recommend an indoor attraction like the Pixar Short Film Festival where you get to sit in air conditioning, but are still getting entertained.  There are also benches absolutely everywhere, so it would be rude not to try every one of them out!
  3. Have rest days (inside).  I struggled with this one, I was so scared of wasting my holiday by spending too much time at the hotel.  Thankfully I really only was suffering from fatigue and a manageable amount of pain while I was away, but a lie down inside helped a lot.
  4. Rent a wheelchair.  It was $12 per day (i think) and I gave in and rented one twice.  My poor mum was left to push me around those 2 days, but I wasn't as miserable and it meant we could still do a park without me feeling like I was wasting days.
  5. Go early in the morning, or later in the day.  Basically, avoid the hottest parts of the day.  The middle of the day is hotter (and potentially busier) than the mornings and evenings.  Heat always makes things worse for me, so I found avoiding the hottest times made it easier for me to get round the parks.
I hope this is helpful to at least one person.  Living with a disability is hard,  but I lived by these tips for 2 weeks and they made my life a lot easier.

Monday, 26 September 2016

How I Made £1000 Extra In One Month

As a student, I’m always looking for ways to make extra cash.  Money is often tight because there’s really only so many hours you can work when you’re a full time university student.  Over a year ago I heard about matched betting and thought it was a scam and far too good to be true.  How wrong was I?!

There are quite a few websites designed to help you on your matched betting journey, but I signed up to Profit Accumulator for £22.99 a month or £150 for the year and it has been an amazing, highly valuable tool and I won’t be cancelling my membership any time soon.  I never thought I would see the day where I could say that I managed to make £1000 extra in one month. Well, £1183 to be exact.
It should also be noted that this is completely TAX FREE!!!  Sorry Mr. Tax Man, you ain’t getting any of this money!  

I’m really not the person to explain matched betting and how it works, because I have a way of over complicating things. The profit accumulator website has handy helpful videos and a great, simple explanation to help you there if you are interested! 

I have big, big plans for what I plan on doing with the money I make such as paying for my Disney World holiday in August next year and attraction tickets to go along with that, as well as buying myself a new car.  

I feel like my life has been changed.  It means I can afford to work less, save more and get more out of life.  If you want to give it a try Profit Accumulator give you your first couple of offers as a free trial and you can upgrade after that if you so desire!   

Do you have ways that you make extra money?  If so, let me know :) 

Monday, 29 August 2016

She Writes Like No One's Watching

Tonight I felt compelled to write a short little paragraph about a handful of my favourite bloggers.  I often feel that bloggers don't get a whole lot of recognition for the amount of work they put in.  However, once I began writing it became apparent that there is only one blogger I should be writing about.

Charlotte from Write Like No One's Watching is the only blogger I've been a loyal reader to for longer than two years.   I first found Charlotte in late 2011, and I think that was the year she began her blog if I recall correctly.  She has a beautiful style of writing and it always feels like she's talking to me personally as opposed to reading a highly impersonal post.  I was 18 when I found her blog and it was essentially love at first sight (or site .. depends if you're looking for a good pun or not.  I love puns), lets be real here.  I'm 24 now and I feel like i've grown up with Charlotte, and I feel like I know her.  Yes, I know, that's strange.  How can I possibly know someone I've never met or even had a conversation with?

I remember her before she was a mum, before William and certainly before Daisy.  I loved reading anything about her very handsome dog, Max.  I remember when she used a Billy Joel lyric for a blog title and I probably lost my shit a little.  If you don't know, I'm a ginormous Billy Joel fan.  Any slight reference to him will probably make me like you a whole lot more.

Oh holy Jesus.  I wanted to double check that she did actually use a lyric in a post and I found a guest post I wrote in 2011.  The embarrassment is real, I'll tell you that now.  But it proves I have been reading her blog since forever, okay?!

Embarrassment aside, Charlottes blog is an absolute pleasure to read.  She has come such a long way and I feel privileged that I've been around to read anything and everything she has written. It feels like I've been there through it all with her; new homes, babies, break ups, new relationships, new adventures, we should really be besties if I'm being brutally honest with you.  Char, can I call you Char?  I crochet.  Please let me crochet cute things for your children?  Jings, I sound like a creep.  I'm not a creep, honest.

I was over the moon for Charlotte, Mark and William when Daisy was born.  Holy moly, Daisy is the most beautiful little girl I ever did see.  She will be just like her brother when she's bigger - a heartbreaker.  They are so unbelievably sweet and funny.  I just know she is proud of them both, and proud to be their Mama.

As great a writer as she is, that's not why I continue to follow her.  She is honest, genuine and relatable.  You know she only writes about what she wants to write about.  I like that she'll post a video on YouTube bare faced, hair not done and possibly in her pyjamas.  Or she'll post about her fears of passing on her syndrome to her children.  That's real life.  She also engages with her readers and is ever so kind.  I love that she isn't the sort of person that ignores comments or questions.

I guess in a lot of ways Charlottes blog, more so than her YouTube channel, is a virtual comfort blanket for me.  My life hasn't gone as I had planned it would, and I'm only now, at 24 years old, starting to do the things to get me where I want to be.  Write Like No One's Watching has been constant.  It's never been neglected, it's never forgotten about, it's always there.  I fully appreciate the amount of work Charlotte has put into her blog, she really has created a beautiful, well written, engaging blog.

So, Charlotte, if you ever read this thank you for being you.  Thank you for giving me something to read over the past 5 years.  Thank you for sharing your life and having, what I think, the best blog I've read.  You deserve all the awards!!

I suggest you head over to her blog right now and give her blog a good read.  You wont regret it.  And if my memory is correct she's a bit of a musical theatre buff like me so not only is she a good egg, she's a cool kid too.  Just sayin'.