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Posted in Disney, family, Holiday

Why Disney is always a good idea! 

1. Because there is no where else in the world quite so Magical

Disney has an undeniable magic about it. If you’ve never been it’s hard to explain. As soon as you enter the magic kingdom you feel it… this is really the happiest place on earth. Your worries will literally lift off your shoulders. Stroll down Mainsteet USA past the barbers, boutiques, bakery amongst the old cars tooting and horse-drawn carriages. Can you smell the freshly baked cookies? It’s not just coming from the bakery. Imagineers figured out how to pump a potpourri of chocolate chip cookies into the air which put an all-out assault on your sense of smell. Cast yours eyes to the end of the street and there is the iconic Disney castle. It doesn’t matter how many times I see it… every time is just like the first time – simply magical.

2. You can Embrace your Inner Child

I have been to Disney both with my son and without (he was away with dad, I’m not a cruel mother ha ha!) and whilst it can be argued there’s something even more special and magical about seeing your child enjoy it, it’s still fun as an adult too! After all as Walt said ‘adults are only grown up kids anyway’ Whether you’ve got kids with you or not you can still do all the things kids do! Queue for autographs, hug Mickey, wear Disney merchandise, collect pins, ride Dumbo the flying elephant. Nobody cares… it’s not weird, it’s Disney…

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3. The Parades are Amazing

Lining up along Main Street USA or by the castle waiting for the parade is all part of the experience. There is a buzz in the air as cast members organise the area for the impending celebration. I like to arrive early and soak up the atmosphere with some popcorn or a hot dog. The parade itself is like a carnival of colour, singing, dancing, stunning Disney themed floats & of course all your favourite characters . I doubt you will be able to leave the park without humming the infectious parade song.

4. Rides aplenty

With four separate lands there are so many rides… it’s hard to pick what to do first! Their really is something for everyone. If you have younger children they may enjoy Fantasyland the most. Peter Pans flight & the teacups being popular choices. A great family choice is Pirates of the Caribbean. For the adults space mountain is not to be missed! But I’m not gonna lie… even without my son in tow I check them all out.

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5. Yummy food galore

Everywhere you turn in Disney you can buy something to eat! Ice cream, popcorn, hot dogs, pretzels, Disney’s famous dole whips. Obviously a lot of food is mickey shaped and just how cool is that?! Not into food on the go? Disney does provide some table service pricey options. If you want to get away from the hustle and bustle book a table and dine in style. Personally I’ve only checked out Walt’s as I’m more of a ‘don’t want to miss anything kinda gal’ and don’t have time to stop long to eat ha ha! That said I found Walt’s really good and loved the theming with photos of him everywhere. If you want to dine properly lots of options are available so be sure to book well in advance so you don’t miss out. I always leave Disney with my taste buds satisfied but also probably a few pounds heavier ha ha! But ohhh it’s so worth it.

6. You can dine with the Characters

Want to hang out with your favourite characters but avoid the queuing? Book some character dining. I have always been a fan of Mickey and friends but you can also dine with the princesses. The all you can eat buffets provide plenty of choice and whilst you tuck in the characters come round to each table and you can get an autograph, hug and that ever so special photo. Not got kids with you? No problem! I guarantee you wont be the only adults in there just as excited as the kids!

7. Fireworks & shows

Disney is full of shows… on my recent trip to the Paris one I watched the 25th anniversary celebration which was fabulous. But I’ve watched many over the years… Finding Nemo, Fantasmic, Wishes… the list goes on and they are all amazing. For me fireworks are always the pinnacle of my trip. Nobody does fireworks quite like Disney. Throw in the iconic castle back drop and Disney music to set the fireworks too and it really is something special. In recent years they have also added effects where they project images onto the castle and water fountains either side. I don’t want to even try to explain further… just be sure to go so see it… it’s will send tingles down your spine.

8. You can shop till you drop all things Disney

In Disney you can shop till your heart’s content! Disney have merchandise nailed. Often you come off a ride and straight into a store… if your with kids you would be wise to give them a spending limit. Buying Mickey ears or a hat of some description should not be missed! It makes you feel involved and makes for great photos. For little girls being made into a princess is somewhat pricey but they look simply adorable walking round the park with beaming smiles. There are plenty of clothing options too. I love a good Disney t-shirt, sweatshirt or pyjamas. Plush toys, home ware, stationary, key rings, toys, swords, wands, you get the picture… but why would you not want to buy a piece of the magic to remember your trip!

Bonus – You can shop for Christmas decorations all year! 

If your into Disney it’s highly likely your into Christmas and guess what? Disney has a Christmas shop and it’s open all year! With twinkley Christmas lights and tree decorations you should stop by to pick up a Disney themed decoration to remember you trip. Or if your like me and you’ve been several times perhaps you can aim for a fully Disney tree.

9. It Brings Families Together

Disney is a great place to bond with your family. Disney in my eyes is the ultimate family holiday. You will not be bored, there really is something to entertain everyone, even stroppy teenagers. It is non stop and exhausting though if you want to do everything… many come away feeling they need a holiday to recover! But is it worth it? absolutely… it really is the holiday of a lifetime.

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10. On a final note if your child does drive you mad some days you can buy beer! 😉 hahaha!

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I am an avid Disney fan… 10 trips over the years to both Paris & Florida and a Disney cruise. Hoping to do California in a few years. This post is based on the main Disney park the Magic Kingdom but there is so much more still. I wrote this post whilst in Paris but casting my mind back to Florida too. Do you think I have missed anything out? What are your favourite things about Disney? X

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Posted in Crafts

Easy Boiled egg Decorating this Easter!

Whatever happened to decorating a boiled egg? It seems to be way less popular these days. You can buy polystyrene eggs and plastic ones but do these really compare to the real deal?! Not in my book. One of the highlights of Easter for me was decorating a boiled egg…  the excitement of what to turn it into. Since growing up (or pretending to!) I’m still partial to this activity. So much so I do it with the children from my dance school every year on our Easter fun day. Take a little look at my tips below for a super fun easy egg decorating experience.

Place the eggs in a pan and cover with an inch of water (don’t put too many in! Or double layer as they will crack, I was doing 24 and used 3 pans) bring to the boil and then remove them from the heat. Cover the pan with its lid and let them sit for 10 minutes.

Then remove the lid and cool them off with cold running water. You can also let them sit in the water instead (if you don’t want to waste water) this will take at least 5 minutes. Once cooled pop them in the fridge until your ready to decorate, or let’s get going!

Tip: To stop the egg rolling about and so you don’t have to hold it, use a blob of play-doh. Squash it down with your thumb and create a crevasse. Stand your egg in it.

You will also need paints, brushes and water.

Younger children love paint don’t they? Eager to get going paints are usually mixed into some yucky brown colour and before you know it the vision you had is gone! But don’t let this bother you. It’s their creation.

Now here’s the secret to making it look cool! Using PVA glue stick two feathers either side, two googly eyes, cut a beak out of felt… we have a bird! This is great for younger children.

Or you can paint your egg white, use white felt to cut out two ears, googly eyes and paint a face to make an Easter bunny! You can even add a little pom-pom tail.

For older children still you can give them more of a free rein. I find felt is a great addition to boiled eggs to cut out and add detail. Animals are fairly easy to create, but how about a princess or a pirate? A dinosaur? Or why not use glitter or sequins for a more sparkly design?

Here you can see a penguin… plus a few others in the background. We had great fun creating these. I always think the beauty is in that they did it mostly by themselves.

I envisaged something like this… but theirs were even more awesome!

Why not decorate some boiled eggs with your children this Easter weekend? I hope this has inspired you a little. Have fun! x

Posted in family

Don’t dash your Child’s dreams…

Times have changed… of course they are bound to… the world is evolving. Technology is constantly propelling us forward. People are no longer just happy and accept what they have, everyone is striving for more – me included. The world isn’t such a big place anymore. Opportunities are plentiful. People often say my son Lex doesn’t know he’s born.

Both I and his dad (although not together) have made sure he’s missed out on nothing. The kids well-travelled in general (He’s on a two-week road trip around America with his dad as I type this!) he’s been to Disneyland several times, Lapland, had big birthday parties, fabulous Christmases, days out most weekends. I like to think he’s not spoiled in general but is he spoiled in experiences? – probably. But who wouldn’t do that for their child if they have the means to?

I have come under fire from parents and friends at times for the sheer amount of things I do with him. His expectations are high… I know I’ve created this. But I’ve also created a kid with drive, ambitions and goals. Sometimes I do wonder have I set him up to fail? He thinks he’s going to live in a mansion in Hawaii (inspired by his favourite movie Lilo and Stitch) drive a Lamborghini and be a youTuber. They are pretty big aspirations to have. But who am I to dash his dreams?

I myself am I dreamer, a go getter, however my plans at his age were somewhat smaller. All I wanted to do was teach dance, have a dance school. Did I achieve that? Yes I did and my parents supported me. Had they not supported me would I have achieved my dream? Probably not. I’m grateful to them for this. I am grateful they didn’t undermine my dream and try to pigeon-hole me into another career. As a parent now I want to give my son the same liberty.

I am proud of my son and how he doesn’t see any limitations but I will also do what I can to make sure he passes his exams – the safety net. Do I want him to have a conventional career? If that’s what he wants, absolutely, but so far he doesn’t. I am pleased he wants more for himself.  I am pleased I have created a situation where he believes he can achieve so much. I am his biggest cheerleader and I will support him however I can to achieve his dreams no matter what they are.

Remember children are always watching you. You are their superheroes. Vision, success and wealth anyone can achieve. If a child grows up in a successful family that will become their standard. You are setting the standard. If you bring them up in a love filled, happy, optimistic, positive home that to will be their general outlook. They won’t believe the world is against them. But if you’re all ‘poor me’ with a negative vibe they will pick up on this too. My son (whist he has his moments) is positive and happy because that’s how I believe our home is.

Some would say I’m setting him up to fail by letting him believe there are no limitations… But I believe I’m setting him up to succeed. With my support the world is his oyster. I want him to wake up every day with a smile. I want him to have a zest for life, love the world he’s in and be happy with the choices he’s made. I don’t want him to ever look back and think my mum didn’t believe in me. Cos I do son… I’m not saying it will be easy but I will always be by your side. Go chase your dreams…

Posted in relationships

Loving a Strong Minded Women 

Recently my boyfriend and I started house hunting. No let me rephrase that… I woke up one day and decided that I wanted to move. My boyfriend as usual just agreed whilst probably secretly not expecting me to do much about it. Fast forward one week and I have found what I am now labelling our perfect house. It ticked all the boxes.

My poor unsuspecting boyfriend found himself 10 days after my initial announcement signing up for a 25 year mortgage with me. But he knew it was coming… almost 3 years in and talk of babies its naturally the next step. But it coming that fast he did not see… but to be fair we’ve been saving the deposit for a few years (whilst naughty me dipped in it for several holidays!) and little known to him I looked at rightmove as much as Facebook. This is the house for us!

But it got me thinking about how strong-minded I am and when I decide something it’s happening. Ste (my boyfriend) is somewhat used to me now but I still think I manage to floor him occasionally! I am lucky in the sense he’s very laid back and trusts my judgement on most things. I thought it would make for a good blog post to look at what to expect when falling for a strong-minded women…

She is a relentless dream pursuer

Strong minded women are relentless is pursuing their dreams. Nothing is out of reach for a women like this. She whole heartedly believes if she wants to achieve something or desires something nothing will stand in her way. Why? This is because she’s proved this to herself time and time again. A wise man will not dismiss her latest crazy idea she expresses to him. He will support her. As once she decides something it’s happening!

She makes her man feel needed

A strong-minded women doesn’t need a man but she knows a man needs to feel needed. She will fulfill his needs by asking for just enough to make to make him feel important and dependable on. But she’s got this…

She is a seed planter

They have a usual knack for making you think something was your idea – strong-minded women know this is the key to getting what you want. Don’t ask how they do it… they just do! It’s a skill! Leaving her man telling his friends & family about his latest holiday plan or decorating like he’s had all the ideas… when really a strong-minded women has planted the seed.

She is a planner

You will need to be held accountable. You say you will stay in and have a movie night, this is as important to her as if you have booked a 5* restaurant. Strong minded women are planners and plans need to be kept… don’t let her down.

She will speak her mind

She will speak her mind. If she’s not happy about something you will know about it! But equally if you are not she will see your point of view & try to understand. She doesn’t like conflict, she likes talking things through.

She has zest for life

A strong-minded women has a zest for life. An unshakeable vision for her future, a dream, vision, goals. You will need to be ready to support these but equally she will support yours. She will be like your own personal cheerleader. Her zest for life should also be infectious and fire you up!

She has an endless bucket list

She’s all about doing things, experiences, adventures and making the most of life. Get ready for a fast paced ride! Her bucket list is so long and ambitious it makes your eyes water! But she believes it’s doable and more so with you by her side.

She is never bored

Boredom is not a concept she can grasp. She is never bored and you will not have time to be bored dating her – trust me!

She will provide for herself

She wants for the nice things in life but she is happy to provide them for herself. That said she does love being surprised and spoiled like any women. But she doesn’t expect you to keep her. She’s happy to have you by her side to build a lovely home and future together.

To conclude…

For all her strong-minded ways she wants to feel loved, protected & appreciated by her man. In a lot of ways he is her rock even though she may not always show it he further empowers her by being by her side.

Loving a strong-minded women can be draining at times, its life in the fast lane, but it’s worth it. This type of women does everything whole heartedly and that includes loving you.

Posted in family

Make time for your Grandparents…

Hey guys,

I set up the blog about 2 months ago. You see I always have so much to say, I am a little miss chatterbox and my friend once referred to me as a social butterfly – I quite like that! My life is chaotic so I thought I know why not write a blog?! something else I can try fit in my  already full days, ha ha! I’m hoping it might be a nice outlet for me and you guys might just enjoy reading it. But then I got like blog phobia… I suddenly had this silly anxiety over writing my first post. All of a sudden it seemed a big deal… So I shut down the page and here I am now 2 months later… today the sun is shinning, I’m off work, I’ve been on holiday last week, the house is tidy, I am refreshed! so here goes….

Like many adults my age (33! eek!) I’m grateful to still have a Grandparent around. My Grandad aka Dada has always been a big presence in my life. He is the kind of Grandad every kid deserves. I have many happy memories from being younger and playing at my grandparents house, sleepovers occasionally, holidays and lots of days out with them. Unfortunately we lost my Grandma 5 years ago and devastation hit my family like it would any. But its not my Grandma I want to talk about today I will save that for another post. 

See since I got older and my busy adult life has consumed me I have sadly seen less of my Dada. Don’t get me wrong I still see him but not as much as I would like ideally. Today I was child free and stress free! So I called him up for a lunch date just me and him. He was made up to say the least. Knowing he likes me dressed girly I put a summery dress and sandals on. When I arrived to pick him up he instantly commented on my dress, but I was touched to see he was wearing a shirt and tie for the occasion.

I drove him to a nice local pub with benches out the front as the sun was shinning for once. It was lovely to just sit outside with him watching the world go by. He told me how when he was younger that you would be lucky to see one car go past this location let alone several per minute. When he tells me how things have changed I am still fascinated to hear. He reminisces about how things were but marvel’s at the wonder of the world today. He is 88 years old – hes seen a lot of changes in his lifetime. I watched as he squinted his wrinkly eyes in the sun searching back for his memories of times gone by.

He told me about Burtonwood airbase that was once in our town… full of Americans that my Grandma and all the young girls were in awe of. He said they thought of them like movie stars! the airbase has obviously long since gone. He told me many stories that he’s told me a million times… with a cheeky glint in his eye and a chuckle in his voice. I sit there patiently listening and nodding although I know where the story is going. I ask questions and smile at his memories. It makes me sad that he’s lost my grandma and all his friends slowly , I cant comprehend what that must be like. I know he loves sharing these memories still …that’s what makes him happy… remembering the good times. I like listening… I like that he tells me them again and again probably unknowingly that he’s told me before. Old age will come to us all if we are lucky enough. One day I hope my grandchildren (If I’m lucky enough to have them) will be patient with me and listen to my stories again and again… I hope they will let me relive my favourite memories – just like I let my Dada.

We spent almost 3 hours sitting in the sunshine eating, drinking and chatting. Like a true gentleman should he paid.. no matter how much I protest he never lets me pay still. I drove him home to his house that he and my Grandma shared pretty much all their lives. I helped him in and made sure he took his tablets. I still love his house… it smells a bit old, not in a bad way but just like it should. The dated carpets and wallpaper are endearing. He has photos up everywhere of family, especially of us grandchildren. Nothing much has changed since we were kids. But I like this… this is his house full of his lifetime of memories and some of mine. He still watches the traffic for me as I move away from his house and turn the car round… just like he did when I was seventeen. As I drive off he makes my heart smile shuffling back to his door waving.

I have had a wonderful afternoon today and I know I’ve brought a little more fulfilment to his otherwise quiet week, this makes me happy. You should always try and make time for your Grandparents… you never know when it may be the last time you listen to their stories… cherish them. I’m grateful to still have my Dada here to spend time with… hes a legend 🙂

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Me and my Grandad… he’s a legend!