Friday, 16 November 2018

Disney Style with Boohoo

If you follow my Disney instagram then you'll know how much of a fan I am of wearing Disney clothes daily. Gone are the days when wearing your favourite Mouse was uncool, Disney is everywhere and all of our favourite fashion brands are embracing the trend. 

One of the fashion brands that is nailing the Disney street style trend is Boohoo who have a large range of Disney clothing to suit all shapes and sizes. They kindly sent me some items from their collection.

First up is their Mickey black denim jacket which is actually from their mens section. I got it in a size small but it's a great fit as it's large and loose so ideal for the winter. You can wear multiple layers underneath.

I was also sent this super cute Mickey icon t-shirt. I can't begin to tell you how many times I've worn it. It's so versatile. Here, I've paired it with wet look trousers, my Mickey Boohoo jacket and converse. You could wear it with a floaty midi skirt to be on trend.

Aladdin is without a doubt my favourite Disney film ever. It was actually the first film I ever watched in the cinema too. I couldn't resist this nighty. Its got my name all over it. Whenever my husband suggests a takeaway I turn into the nicest wife in the world, haha! Make sure you check out their other sleepwear as the other designs are equally as funny.

Last up is this Mickey Mouse dress. I decided to wear it with some over the knee high boots, after all, who says Disney has to just be cute!! 

I think this is my favourite look that I wore out of their collection.

They've recently released a new Disney collection and I have so much on my wishlist. Their mom Jeans look amazing.

What's your favourite item I've featured?

*Thank you to Boohoo for gifting me these items in exchange to be featured on this post*


Tuesday, 13 November 2018

Plan A Mediterranean Holiday With A Twist

There’s more to the Med than a beach holiday in Spain. Here are just a few unique ways in which you can enjoy a trip to this part of the world.

Explore the history

There are many historical escapes to be had in the Mediterranean for those that want to learn more about the past. Italy is rich from history from the Renaissance architecture of Venice to the ancient roman ruins of Pompeii. Head to Greece meanwhile and you can explore the historic monuments of Athens or visit the remains of the world’s oldest city, Knossus, in Crete. There are also less travelled historic attractions such as the medieval walled city of Dubrovnik in Croatia and the epic cathedral of Valetta in Malta.

Go golfing

Golf lovers should also consider heading to the Med for the ultimate golfing holiday. Oceanico Faldo in the Algarve, designed by six-times world champion Nick Faldo, is popular for golfers wanting a challenge and spans over 7,100 yards. Alcanada in Menorca meanwhile offers a fair but tough coast with stunning views. Both courses could allow you to experience the joy of playing golf whilst accompanied by warm Mediterranean weather.

Get on your bike

If you enjoy cycling, you could also try hiring a bicycle in the med and exploring the coastal roads. There are a number of organised bicycle trips available lasting a week that take you on the most scenic routes. On top of being able to take in the views, you’ll be certain to stay fit (why lose weight before going on holiday when you can do it on holiday?). Great cycle destinations in the Med include the Dalmatian Coast and Sardinia.

Put on your hiking books

For a similarly active Mediterranean getaway, you could also try going on a hiking trip. There are some great hikes in Spain in Italy that can take you through mountains, past old churches and over historic bridges. There are also a number of infamously tough trails in the Med including Corsica’s GR20. You can take a guided trek or you can take your own route (those daring enough can even attempt some wild camping along the way). Cities such as Barcelona meanwhile offer some great walking opportunities and are great for an urban hike.

Take a cruise

If you prefer your holidays laid back, a cruise may be a better option for those wanting something slightly different from your average beach holiday. Cruises offer the opportunity to visit multiple destinations in one trip whilst only ever having to stay in one room. Most ships have pool facilities, restaurants, bars and all manner of other entertainment options – you can relax on the deck with a cocktail in your hand and stare out over the sea. Meanwhile, for those that don’t want to spend their whole holiday on a ship, there are cruise and stay deals that can allow you to stay in a hotel on land for couple nights as well as getting to experience the cruise life. There are cruises available for all ages including family-oriented cruises.

Hire a chartered yacht

Whilst a little more expensive, it’s possible to hire your own chartered yacht and plan your own route. With this yacht you get your own crew, so you don’t have to worry about getting your sailor’s license. It could be great for planning a private getaway with friends and family or even a romantic break. You can find yachts to hire moored across the Med from Italy to Greece.

Learn to dive

You could also explore the depths of the Mediterranean Sea by learning to Scuba dive. You’ll find diving schools all across the region, but obviously certain destinations are better than others. Malta is one of the great dive sites with a variety of diving experiences from shipwrecks to cave diving, not to mention the opportunity to see marine wildlife as exotic as barracudas and octopi. Ustica in Italy offers similar diversity and the waters are very clear, making it suitable for all divers.

Volunteer on a farm

There’s a growing trend in people going abroad to work voluntarily. In the Med, vineyards are popular – you get the opportunity to stay with a local family and get free meals in exchange for helping out with the harvest. You can also do voluntary work picking olives in Greece. Working abroad can give you a deeper insight into the life of people abroad but may not be for everyone (a lot of people go abroad to get away from work).

Think outside of Europe

So far, all of the destinations mentioned have been European – for most people the Med means Europe. However, this sea also shares its coast with Northern Africa and parts of Asia. Destinations such as Turkey, Israel, Tunisia and Morocco are becoming more popular as budget Mediterranean retreats, with plenty of beach resorts to choose from. They also have their own unique attraction that you won’t find in Europe. Morocco is famous for it’s buzzing markets, it’s epic mosques and the chance to go in-land explore the Sahara desert. Israel has all manner of historic and religious monuments in its capital of Jerusalem from the Western Wall to the Dome of the Rock, plus there’s the famous Dead Sea. As for Turkey, there’s the hustle-bustle of Instanbul where European and Arabic culture mix, as well as the white terraces of Pamukkale.

*This is a collaborative post*


Friday, 9 November 2018

Nightmare Before Christmas Disneybound

As you know, I love a Disneybound, you can read about my very first one which was a Mickey Mouse bound here, Mickey Mouse Disneybound. This year is The Nightmare Before Christmas' 25th anniversary so guess what I bounded as on Halloween? Yep the legend that is Jack Skellington. 

I was kindly sent a couple of items from EMP for my bound. I received the 'Jack Cosplay' dress and the 'Jack Sally' leggings, which were perfect for a Nightmare Before Christmas Disneybound.

The dress is gorgeous and features a Jack embroidery on the Peter Pan style collar. It also has a triple layered skirt which makes it extra special. I chose to wear it with a long sleeved black top and just heels but you could pair it with the 'Jack Leggings' and the 'Jack Handbag' to really make the outfit stand out.

I was also sent the 'Jack Sally' leggings which I adored. They are literally amazing. They were very comfortable and super flattering. I wore it with a plain long sleeved top but you could wear it with the 'His Sally tee' and a bag for a full outfit.

I'll definitely be taking these with me to wear on my next trip to Disney. Have you seen any good pieces for a Nightmare Before Christmas Bound? Who's your favourite character from the film?


Monday, 5 November 2018

A Quick Guide To Building Muscle

There might be many things that you want to get out of your fitness regime, but one of the most common goals is to build plenty of muscle. If you are interested in building muscle, you will need to take a step back and make sure that you are doing whatever you need to to make that happen as easily and effectively as possible. The truth is that there are many things you can do to make sure that you build muscle much more effectively and quickly, and as long as you are aware of those things, and you make them a part of your daily workout, you can expect much greater and faster results. In this post, we will look at a number of the things that you can do if you want to be able to build muscle fast and effectively.

Understand The Science

So many people try to build muscle without even understanding how it works on a biological level. But you need to be able to grasp this if you are going to build muscle, and that is something that you need to think about first and foremost. The more you understand the process of what happens in the body, the better and more effectively you will be able to build muscle, so this is worth exploring firstly. When you undergo some kind of muscle building exercise, what you are actually doing is causing the muscle damage. In fact, you re ensuring that it tears a little, so that it has to grow back again. It is in the growing back stage that the actual growth happens, and this is why both resistance training and rest are important parts of building muscle. Understanding this will ensure that you can get the balance right, and actually build muscle as much as you hope to.

Use Resistance Training

As we have just seen, resistance training is important because it gives your muscle the chance to actually tear slightly, and this happens much more with this kind of training than it does with other kinds. You should therefore focus mostly, or even solely, on resistance training if you want to really see results. But what exactly is resistance training, and how can you make sure you are doing it in the right way? Put simply, it is any strength training where the muscle is having to counteract against some kind of external force. So holding yourself up on bars is a basic kind of resistance training, whereas the act of lifting a weight is not so much. In terms of how to make sure that you are doing it right, the best way is to use a personal trainer service which specialises in resistance training like Ultimate Performance. They will be able to guide you through the process, and ensure that you are doing what you should be doing to get the results you really want.

Get Your Diet Right

There are certain aspects to the muscle building diet that we all know, and yet it is one of those things which is often prone to people only really half-understanding it. You need to fully grasp what it is that your diet does, what role it plays, and therefore what you should be eating, in order to maximise your chances of building a lot of muscle fast. The most important thing, as we are all aware, is protein. As long as you have enough protein in your diet, you will find that you can build muscle much more effectively - but the obvious question here is: how much is enough? And is there such a thing as too much? In general, you should aim for around 2.2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight, and actually any more than that - while not necessarily causing you any harm - is unlikely to make a real difference. As for the source of that protein, you should aim primarily for red meats, eggs, lentils and other actual whole foods, with protein shakes being no more than an occasional supplement. Get this right, and you will be able to build muscle much more effectively and more quickly.

Allow Time To Rest

Earlier, we saw how rest allows the muscle to do the actual building, and as such it should be no surprise that you need to incorporate a decent amount of rest into your schedule if you expect to gain muscle. But so many people fail to do this, and it only results in a failure to grow the right amount of muscle. If you find yourself working out all the time, you might think that you are doing the right thing, but actually you might be harming your progress. More importantly, you might also be harming your body. Rest is important, and natural, and the body’s way of ensuring that you don’t take it too far. It is vital to listen to your body, and get the rest you need. If you push too far, you will only end up suffering from it, and you won’t even see the results you want to see either. Give it a try and put it to the test: if you allow some rest, you will find that you build muscle more efficiently and faster on the whole.

Buddy Up

As with any kind of exercise, you can expect to make a huge difference just by partnering up with someone and working out with them alongside you. The science shows that this really works, because you encourage each other though a kind of subtle unconscious competition, and therefore your bodies work harder to produce the required effects. Going it alone will not produce this to the same degree, so it is definitely something to consider if you want to build muscle fast and effectively. If you can’t find someone to buddy up with here, then go to the gym and make some friends. You will find that there is someone who is willing to help you and to buddy up with you, and this could make all the difference that you need to really start growing some muscle.

*This is a collaborative post*


Saturday, 3 November 2018

Making Ourselves Happier In Life: Navigating A Big Career Change Without Neglecting Our Kids 100%

You can feel that, after dedicating your life to nurturing your kids, and getting by in a part-time job that didn't fulfill you, it's now your time to shine. You're not the first, and you won't be the last; changing careers is something that is done a lot more now, but when you have children and people that depend on you to provide for them, not just in a financial sense, but how are you able to manage a career transition without your loved ones feeling neglected?

Making A Gradual Change
Because such a big change can feel like a shock, not just to your children, but to yourself, it can give way to a period of uncertainty. When you want to do something different with your life, you can either jump in with both feet and be damned with the consequences or you can make a gradual change. Because we have dependents, the latter is the more sensible option. This is incredibly beneficial because it gives you that opportunity to fine-tune the skills needed for your new career. In the business world, for example, there are so many different subcategories. And when you are setting your sights on a specific area of an industry, not only does this give you a better chance at getting the role you really want, it gives you the chance to delve deep into the learning process is behind it. You can master supply chain management online, a key component of business, and this will serve you well when it comes to those specific rules relating to supply chain management. The big mistake we can make when deciding to change careers is to pick a very general job role, but it's better to drill down into the specifics, because this gives you a solid goal to aim towards.

Not Feeling Stressed About It Yourself
Prioritizing the family is something we do automatically, but anxieties can creep, no matter how much we try our best. But if you are doing exactly the same duties as you used to do, the problem lies with yourself. The fact of the matter is that you are prioritizing your needs but if you feel guilty for doing this, there are so many ways to ensure that you don't feel the anxieties. There are numerous spiritual practices, from mindfulness to meditation, that anybody can do, and if you are still worried that you're neglecting your children in some way, you have to look at it subjectively. If you're providing for your children, and you are still helping them with their homework, but when they go to bed, you hit the books for a couple of hours, then surely you are doing a great job?

Navigating a big career change without neglecting your children is achievable. While it seems that nowadays we have to make a choice between career and children, if we've hit that point in life where our kids are self-sufficient, why shouldn't we work at making ourselves a little bit happier?

*This is a collaborative post*

Monday, 29 October 2018

What I Wore in Disney - October

We recently got back from a quick weekend trip to Disneyland Paris. As it was a last minute trip I decided not to do a Disneybound but I still wore Disney clothes. If you want to see outfits from a previous trip then read the following post, What I Wore in Disney.

We travelled up on the Eurostar on the Friday and we arrived to gorgeous sunshine. We didn't arrive at our hotel until quite late in the afternoon so I decided to wear the outfit I was travelling in and pair it with some beautiful autumnal ears from Hannah Marie Magic. I had a tan coloured jumper and wet look leggings. 

I also used my amazing travel themed cross body bag which I was kindly gifted by Yoshi*. It's such a perfect bag for me as I am travel obsessed. We had a travel themed wedding and our wedding cake looked just like this bag. It was a vintage suitcase with travel badges from our favourites places we've visited together. 

The bag is great for Disney as it's close to your body to help keep your belongings safe from pick pockets.

I was a bit of a diva on the Saturday and wore 3 outfits. Technically they were all just layers underneath each other but in photos it looked like I changed 3 times. Even though it was beautifully warm and sunny most of the day, the mornings and evenings were icy cold. 

My first layer was well suited for the halloween season at Disney. It was the 'What's up Witches' baseball t-shirt from Truffle Shuffle*. I'd hardly had any sleep the night before as my youngest daughter decided it would be a great time to party hard and kept me awake from about 12.30am-4am. Therefore, I was feeling quite witch like myself. I'll be wearing it on Halloween during the daytime. 

My next top was one of my own from Magically Jasmine which is launching very soon. It's our 'Ultimate Villains' baseball tee which can be worn all year round and not just over the Halloween season.

I wore it with my Team Villains badge from Quackers and Co.

Last up was my 'A whole new world' off the shoulder jumper, which again, is soon to be released from Magically Jasmine. I had fab character interaction with Jafar who was not very amused with my outfit in the slightest. 

To keep up the Aladdin theme I also had Princess Jasmine ears which were from Ears Ever After and the Vintage VHS clutch bag by Oh My Disney from Shop Disney UK. Jafar took pride in covering up all the other characters on the bag except himself.

I also wore my Team Agrabah badge from Quackers and Co.

I have literally waited all year for the 'Spirit Jersey's' to arrive at Disneyland Paris so all that was left to do was to decide whether I was going with the black or the pink. I obviously wanted both but I could only buy one on this trip. I went with black and I couldn't be happier. It's a lovely fit and matches pretty much everything. I teamed it with my Disney rose gold ears that were also purchased in Disneyland Paris.

*Items marked with an Asterix were Kindly gifted to me. All pictures and views are my own*


Friday, 26 October 2018

What to Pack in a Changing Bag for Disney during Winter

Packing a changing bag for Disney shouldn't be another one of those dreaded, stressful tasks on your to-do list before you leave. With planning and organisation, you can pack all the essentials for a fun-filled successful day at the parks. We've visited Disneyland Paris a few times now during various seasons and I think we've now perfected packing the essentials. One season that requires more items to pack than usual is winter and that's due to the cold weather.

Here's what we pack in our changing bag for winter:

1) A large but Comfortable Changing Bag*
I've tried various bags whilst at Disney and I've finally settled on taking a backpack by Fact + Fiction. The main reason why I love it, is simply how comfortable it is to wear. Even with the amount of items I pack in it, it never feels to heavy on my shoulders. It has multiple compartments which is great for storing/hiding things in a safe place. It's also water resistant inside and out so it's great for wet rides, rainy weather and spillages. 

2) Re-fillable Water Bottle
This is the ultimate essential no matter what time of year you visit Disney. All of the parks have water fountains so you can fill up your bottle all day for free.

3) Blanket*
The nights can get very cold and if your children are in a stroller they become even colder because they aren't moving. I always try and take a couple of blankets but as you can imagine they take up a lot of room in a bag. The blanket we have been using on our last few visits to Disney has been our Aden and Anais Winnie the Pooh blanket. It's a fab size for tucking around the girls whilst they are in the stroller. You can also pop it on the floor if you are sat waiting for any parades. It's made of 4 layers of 100% cotton muslin so it's nice and soft. 

4) Snacks

Taking plenty of snacks in your bag can not only save you money but I also call them boredom busters whilst queuing. I usually take things like crisps, popcorn, babybells, raisons, rice cakes etc. Whenever the kids are getting bored in the queues I either whip out a snack or we play a game.

5) Ponchos
After being caught out one year with heavy rain, I now always pack ponchos. We did buy ours from Disney so we take those with us but you can buy cheap ones in places like Tiger before you go.

6) Extra Layers/Clothes
I've been caught out a few times when we haven't managed to get the children to the toilet on time. Yep this can definitely happen. I think they get so distracted through excitement that they forget to say when they need to go until it's too late. I now always pack a spare outfit for these mishaps and also for any unwanted puddle jumping.
The evenings get very cold so I always pop in a few extra layers such as vests, tees and hoodies.

7) Glow-Sticks
Glow sticks are great for 2 reasons. First up they serve as great stroller locaters in the dark. If you are hiring a stroller from the parks they all look the same. If you decorate them with some cheap glow sticks you'l instantly spot yours in the dark.
By night there are lots of light up things for sale which usually cost a lot of money. Get some glow-sticks out and make them into shapes for your kids.

8) Nappy, Wipes, Nappy Bags
Kind of an obvious one but make sure you have enough nappies and wipes.

9) Muslins*
I always take a couple of muslins as they are handy for lots of things. I usually use them to place over the changing mat areas when I'm changing my little one's nappy. 
The Muslins I love are from Aden and Anais. They have adorable Disney patterns available and they wash very well.

10) Wallet, Tickets, Camera, Spare Camera Battery, Phone, Power Bank and Cable
These are fairly obvious items but sometimes when we're busy we do forget these things. Camera and phone batteries can run out quickly so I always pack a plug and power bank. I'd also advise you hide these items in your bag for safe keeping.

11) Lip Balm
The wind and chill can cause sore, chapped lips so we regularly use lip balm to keep them moist and soft.

12) Hand Warmers
Hand warmers are great for using when you're standing around waiting in a queue or when you're waiting for the fireworks at night. It can honestly get really cold.

13) Wet Bag*
I always take a wet bag with me for multiple uses. If one of the girls' end up getting their clothes wet or dirtying them I can pack them away in those. I also use them for storing snacks and for using to carry my valuables when it's raining or when on a ride. I use the Disney themed bags from Bumkins. Their patterns are super cute.

14) Autograph Book and Pen
The last thing you want after waiting in a queue to meet a character, is to get to the front and realise you don't have an autograph book and pen. You can either get these before you arrive at Disney or at the parks themselves.

15) Mouse Ears
Last but not least, you can't go to Disney without Mouse Ears.

What do you pack in a winter theme park changing bag?

*Items maked with an asterisk were gifted to me. All views and opinions are my own*

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