Monday, 12 November 2018

Disneyland Paris - Money saving, travel friendly snacks!

save money on snacks disneyland paris

With a Merry Magical Christmas trip to Disneyland Paris just days away, it’s time to start making a Disney packing list, getting my toiletries together and getting it all in the suitcase! During my last trip out to Disneyland Paris, one thing that saved us money whilst in the Disneyland parks, was by taking a lot of our own snacks! Don’t get me wrong, I love my Mickey shaped treats and Main Street USA popcorn, but I also love getting a little bang for my buck - and if bringing my own snacks means I can buy another spirit jersey, well, I know what I’d rather be spending my euros on!

I’m a bit of a snack fiend that’s for sure, and have found that some snacks travel better than others. It’s also worth bearing in mind that just because you’re in holiday mode, doesn’t mean every snack has to be sugary and chocolate covered - I can’t exactly pack a bunch of bananas in my suitcase, I’m pretty sure there’s rules around that, but there are a few choices that are better than others meaning you don’t have to feel quite as guilty

One of the biggest money saving tips for Disneyland Paris is to take your own tea, coffee, hot chocolate sachets, or water flavourings. Any stall or food outlet that sells drinks will give you a FREE cup of hot or cold water if you ask! To this, you just add whatever drink you’re in the mood for! I love herbal and green teas, so any that don’t require milk or milk substitute, and you can get 3 in 1 coffee sachets which come with dried milk in, so you can get all the caffeine you need for less than half the price of buying one in the parks! When you can pick up 40 green tea bags in Home Bargains for 79p - you’ll never find a brew that cheap in the parks and of course, they take up zero weight in your suitcase or carry on! Travelling to Disneyland Paris for Christmas means I am going to want all the hot drinks and I get my hands on!

I’d also highly recommend you take a travel mug and/or a reusable water bottle! Not only will it keep your hot drinks warmer, for longer, but there are drinking fountains located across the parks, meaning you can just fill up from there and avoid spending €4 every time you want a bottle of water. I’m really thinking about picking up a Chilly bottle before I go as it will double up for both hot and cold drinks!

For healthier snack options, fruit and nut mixes, or trail mixes are my go to! Not only do they taste great, but they will fill you up more than a bag of crisp. Nuts are full of healthy fats and will slowly release energy, meaning you’re less likely to reach for another nutella stuffed Mickey cookie. I tend to buy a bigger, pre mixed bag for around £3 in Tesco, and take a small tupperware pot with me for popping a handful in before heading out into the parks! It’s the perfect ‘this queue is longer than expected’ snack! 

save money on snacks disneyland paris

As much as I love my Main Street Popcorn, if you’re really watching those euros, then it’s probably worth picking up a multipack of popcorn before you go! Tescos 6 pack sweet and salty mix is only £1! I mean really, is it even a parade if you’re not munching popcorn whilst watching it? 

I’m a huge fan of raw food bars, especially Nakd bars. They really hit my sweet tooth spot, and with only all natural ingredients, they’re a fair bit better for your waistline than reaching for a chocolate bar! I’ve found these knock off Nakd bars in Home Bargains lately that have become a firm favourite in my snack selection and I’ll be taking a couple of bars along to Disney with me! Tasty, filling and very purse friendly! I can usually pick a 4 pack up for less than £1.30. 

save money on snacks disneyland paris

If raw food bars are not your jam, then look at picking up some cereal biscuits/bars, or some yoghurt coated fruit filled bars. Multi-packs are the key here to saving more euros! As most people tend to travel to Disneyland Paris for less than 4 days, you’re only going to need a couple of multipacks for the duration of your stay! 

Trust me, I’m the last person who will tell you to step away from the candy floss and that you don’t need a rice krispy Mickey Head in your life - but taking a couple of drinks and snacks that won’t get all smashed up or weight down your luggage will save you a fair few euros, meaning another Disney mug or pair of Mouse Ears might be coming home with you! 

What are you’re favourite snacks to bring from home for the Disneyland Parks?

Until next time, 

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Wednesday, 7 November 2018

Garnier Rose Water Toner and the 7 Skin Method

garnier rose water toner review

Toner has fast become an essential part of my skincare routine over the last couple of months since I discovered the 7 skin method. One toner that I have been putting through some serious paces is Garnier’s Skin Active Rose Water Toner, for dry and sensitive skin. I’ve always had a love - hate relationship with toners, but, dare I say it, I think I’m more in love with using toner than ever before!

The 7 skin method is a Korean skincare not-so beauty secret that is the key to ultimate hydration. This time of year, when our skin is exposed to the elements; frosty mornings at the bus stop, central heating blasting, air conditioning still hanging on in there, I end up looking like a lizard. What the 7 skin method does, is it locks in hydration, putting a shield between your delicate skin and the harsh winter. In Korean beauty, a toner is called a skin. So, the 7 skin method is 7 layers of toner i.e 7 layers of skin. That is literally what you’re supposed to apply to your face. Pop a few drops of toner in your hand, pat gently on your face, then repeat until you hit the magic 7. I know, I know it sounds like a lot, but trust me - 1, it doesn’t take as long as you’d think and 2, I haven’t actually used as much product as you’d think! 

I’ve always thought of toner as another cleansing step, you know, removing any grime or dirt the cleanser might have missed. This is where I’ve been going wrong all these years. My cleanser should be cleansing my skin, it shouldn’t leave anything behind. If it is, it’s not the cleanser for me. Toners, especially 0% alcohol toners, are ideal for adding extra moisture to your skin without having to use heavy duty lotions and potions. 

I picked up the Garnier Skin Active Rose Toner for 3 reasons;

  • It was on offer in Boots at the time for under £2
  • 96% natural origin ingredients and 0% alcohol
  • It was easier than making my own rose water

I’ve been playing around with homemade toners for a while now, but that’s another post - but originally, I wanted to make my own rose water. Have you seen the price of roses?? I’ll be damned if I’m paying £5+ for a 6 stem bunch when I’m only going to lob the heads off and boil them down. It didn’t seem very cost effective to me, especially when I’m trying to watch the purse strings. 

No parabens, no silicones, no artificial colourants, and 100% recyclable packaging, it’s about as close to making my own as I can get right now! Rose water is amazing for your skin, especially when you’re trying to lock in the hydration. Naturally rich in vitamins A, C and E, it also boosts circulation to the skin which in turn helps repair and regenerate your skins cells. It’s super moisturising, antibacterial, and also helps to heal and fade acne scars. It’s also hella refreshing!

I used to use Jurliques rose water as a skin pick me up, especially if I was dashing off after a day at work, it gave my skin a quick drink, a much needed boost and a subtle glow that at least gave the illusion I’d spent the day as a lady at leisure, not slaving away at the 9-5! But that 100ml bottle comes in at £24!  The 200ml Garnier usually retails for £3.49 but is more often than not on sale or in Boots’ 3 for 2 skincare offer - making it hella more affordable. I did originally look on Etsy for a handmade one but the prices plus postage were coming out at close to that of the Jurlique 100ml. 

Let’s rewind a bit back to the beginning of this post - the 7 skin method requires you to apply the toner to your face 7 times. For the first couple of weeks I did stick to this. 7 times in the morning, 7 times in the evening. At times it felt like the biggest dose of indulgent self care, but at times it felt like a massive chore too. So I took a few liberties with it, experimented with fewer applications. For me, 3 layers does exactly the same job as 7! 3 in the morning, 3 in the evening, always after cleansing when your skin is still a touch damp. I actually think I use less toner than back in the day when I used to pop it on a cotton pad and swipe it across my face. I’ve easily gotten just over 3 months worth of applications out of the 200ml bottle, which even if I paid full price for, is about 0.006p per application! 

garnier rose water toner review

I can’t see myself turning my back on rose water toner or the 7 (ok 3 for me!) skin method either! Winter is here and my skin is still looking and feeling all the levels of hydrated. It still might sound a little excessive for a skincare routine, but I can’t recommend giving this method, and Garniers rose water a go, even if you just trial it for the winter - you and your skin will thank me come Spring, I have no doubts!

How do you use your toner?

Until next time, 

Monday, 5 November 2018

October 2018 - Moments and Highlights

monthly highlights

For the first time in what feels like the entire year, a month didn’t actually fly by like a bat out of hell. October seemed to take it’s time, and for that I am grateful! Here’s hoping the rest the year decides to take an autumnal leaf out of Octobers book!

October saw me step right into my thirties, turning 31! I don’t like the sound of 31, I have a weird thing about odd numbers unless they end in 5. I know, it’s weird, I’m ok with that. There’s just something about odd numbers that I find really unsettling, I can’t even bare to look at my bank balance if it ends in an odd number - I will move pennies into my savings account just so my current account looks even! So, hello 31

turning 31

I took the day off work and spent it with my parents, treating myself to a few new bits, too many boxes of Lindt chocolates and indulging in some really good food. And just because I can, I managed to squeeze a few more days of celebrating, having a cinema and Pieminister date with the Mr, and an Italian carb fest with besties! As much as I hate the sound of 31, so far it’s been pretty kind to me, so long may it continue!

I found myself feeling all things festive part way through the month too, having been invited to the launch of Owen Drew’s Christmas candle line - and chatting with the great great grandson of Charles Dickens! I read A Christmas Carol every December, so it was amazing to speak to an actual relative and hear some really interesting family stories and tidbits! Gerald had come along to the launch as the star of the show was Eighteen Forty Three, a Dickension inspired candle that takes its heady notes from roasted chestnuts, coal fires, dark rum and exotic spices - it’s a bold Christmas scent, indulgent, and heart warming. 

The launch took place in Smugglers Cove on the Albert Dock, with festive decor, themed cocktails and nibbles, it was a brilliant launch night! A huge shout out goes to the server who brought me a plate of hummus, breads, halloumi fries and salad when he realised there was no vegetarian food on offer that night, it was delicious and really hit the spot!

pieminister liverpool review

Most of my memories from this past month are with friends. From foodie catch ups to coffees and a stunning wedding right at the end of the month. It’s been so lovely to just step away from the laptop, from social media, from the day job and just hang out with people I love. I’ve made a point of trying to take more pictures of the people and places and not just the cute coffee’s we’re sipping on. I’m hoping to get some physical pictures printed this side of the New Year too and get into the habit of keeping some old-school albums!

Halloween came and went, no decor, no dressing up, no extra sweets. I just honestly wasn’t feeling it this year at all. The spookiest I got was watching a couple of Hill House episodes - well, when I say watching it was from behind a pillow fort with my hands over my face! 

improve blogger outreach

This month, you guys have been showing all the love to my Improving Blogger Outreach post! With regards to a couple of the goals I set myself in that post, I have been doing a lot of blogger-style homework and research over on my Pinterest boards, and have taken some time off the day job in order to spend more time working on the blog! 

What was the highlight of your October?

Until next time, 

Header Image: @melipoole