Tuesday, 28 February 2017
Monday, 27 February 2017
Friday, 24 February 2017
After a couple of truly early starts, we decided to take it easy today, well as easy as you do in Florida! We had a late night ahead of us so we all grabbed some extra zzz’s in the morning. We had breakfast in the food court then headed out on a mini golf adventure.
The deal when you buy a UK Park Hopper ticket is that you get a free round of mini golf at any of the Walt Disney World courses. What we didn’t realise was that actually entitles you to a free game every single day of your trip! I wish we had known this sooner as I freakin love mini golf and being on holiday seems to be the only way I can get the Mr to play!
We picked the Fantasia Gardens course over at Disneys Swan and Dolphin hotel. It’s a little more challenging! Each hole is a scene from Fantasia so there are dancing hippos and water throwing brooms to dodge as you putt! These kinds of days are the most relaxed fun, everyone takes the mickey out of each other and has a good laugh. The course was busier than usual, so it took us a couple of hours to get round but we enjoyed ourselves. I’m pretty sure either Dad or Mr won!
It was by far the hottest day of the trip and we were all dying a sweaty death by the end of our round. Attractive. We grabbed some much-needed ice cream and made plans for the rest of the afternoon. Disneys Swan and Dolphin is on the Boardwalk. So you’ve got bars, restaurants, shops and two parks within walking distance (well ok, the parks are more than a walk but its a really nice walk I promise you!). The Mr and I jumped on the boat over to the Boardwalk (the walk would have been nice but I’m not stupid, it was hot!) whilst the family headed back to the resort to chill. We timed it so well, nearly all the food places were closed for the afternoon. Oh, and grey skies had decided to roll on in too. We hopped back on the good ship Friendship (I’m not even joking) and sailed over the Epcot.
We headed straight for Morocco! The Tangierine Cafe had appealed to us a few nights ago so it was about time we checked it out. It serves healthy Mediterranean inspired dishes including shawarma and falafel! A great change if you're fed up of the more American style fare! I grabbed the falafel wrap which came with mountains of hummus and a couscous salad. And of course, the biggest slice of baklava I’ve ever seen!
With the rain threatening to ruin our al fresco fries-less lunch, we headed back to the resort. The sun was, of course, shining, by the time we got back. We hit the Muddy Rivers pool bar for a couple of hours, whiling away the time with cocktails and chilling. This started to turn into our afternoon ritual and was a fantastic way to break up the days.
And then came the costumes. Yes. We had tickets to Mickeys Not So Scary Halloween Party that night! I had the bright idea to make my whole family dress up as pirates. I’m not going to lie, I bought the cheapest pirate costumes on Amazon but they were perfect for the night! We donned our stripy tops and headbands, cut off shorts and sunnies and headed into the Magic Kingdom. We spent the night with sugar, fireworks, headless horseman, more sugar, rides in the dark, and more sugar. Trick or treat stations are set up across the park. They are all throwing candies at you, our bags were bursting even after everything we had eaten to make more room!
I love the MNSSHP nights! Dressing up made it all the more fun and we got some fabulous group shots too! The Hallo-Wishes fireworks are one of my favourite displays! The Boo to You parade has the most stuck in your head theme song that you’re left singing it for the rest of the trip! The best thing though is after around 10 pm, everyone starts to leave. Now, the park is open until about 1 am and you feel like you’ve got the place to yourself! It’s almost creepy, walking through Adventureland with nothing but your churros for company!
We stayed till around midnight before calling it a night. Lugging our tired pirate asses back to the resort with a treasure trove of sweets and treats in hand.
Have you ever attended an after hours event in Disney?
You can find the rest of the Florida trip report series here!
Until next time,
Wednesday, 22 February 2017
I have a love/hate relationship with favourite round-up. Seen as though I’m in a love em zone right now, I figured I would throw together all the things I’ve been loving this past month!
Sensodyne Pro Namel toothpaste and mouthwash. If you know me, you know I’m a bit obsessed when it comes to my teeth. It all started when I had braces and had to take extra care. That mindset has never left me. I am on the lookout for teeth-loving products to keep my smile bright. I am in love with the Sensodyne (though I keep thinking Cyberdyne!) Pro Namel range. There is a load of acid and enamel-eroding properties in all the healthy stuff I consume. The Pro Namel range combats this by removing the acid build-up. It puts a protective barrier across teeth and gums too, limiting the amount of acid getting in! Pair the toothpaste with the mouthwash and my teeth feel like they’ve had a dentist clean every day, twice a day!
Ole Henriksen truth serum collagen booster. This is the first Ole Henriksen product I have tried and I am in love. It is by far one of the nicest and most effective serums I have used for a long time. From the get go, my skin looked brighter and even a little plumper too. It smells amazing, is easily absorbed and is giving me a glow that could be mistaken for a good nights sleep!
Clarins Gentle Foaming Cleanser. After the most amazing facial at the Clarins spa, my therapist said my skin was crying for moisture. She suggested this gentle foam cleanser which has been divine this past couple of weeks! I don’t want to sing its praises too soon but in a fortnight it has helped to combat the dry patches. It leaves my skin feeling fresh, soft and supple after each wash. So far so good!
Clarins Toning Lotion with camomile. Toner. You either love it or hate it. Usually, I hate it. Again, my therapist recommended I give it another bash in a bid to rebalance the pH of my skin after cleansing. It doesn’t leave me skin feeling tight or dry. I can already see a difference in the usually too-obvious pores on my nose. Here’s hoping this relationship lasts!
Multivitamins with Iron. With the plan to go vegetarian next month I figured it was a good idea to start getting some extra iron in my diet. I used to take multivitamins religiously but it was one of those things that fell by the wayside. I’m picking it back up again, making sure to take one every morning. I can’t tell a difference yet, I’m hoping it pays off in the long run!
Fasting. I’ve been having a go at intermittent fasting this past month and I’ve got to say I’m loving it. Weight loss is minimal. My general appetite and attitude to food are starting to change for the better. I can tell the difference between actually needing to eat and wanting to eat. I’m also sleeping amazingly well, especially on fast days! I’m going to carry on through March and see how it goes!
Marks and Spencers Balanced for You range. The hardest part of my fast days so far has been my evening meal. I’m no good at portion control. When it comes to cooking I can’t for the life of me, figure out how many calories are in what I’m eating before my food goes cold! The balanced for you range has been a fasting lifesaver! I usually save around 300 calories for my evening meal and the total is right there on the packaging. So far there are around 9 meals in the range that are close to 300 calories or less. This gives me tonnes of variety and takes all the hard work and over thinking out of it!
Gilmore Girls. I finally finished watching all seven series and then the 10 years special. Finally. It took me long enough. Don’t hate me for it, but I could have done without the 10-year revival. It didn’t do it for me, But I did start it 2 hours after the series finished. It felt like it was missing something the whole way through and it was trying to be something it wasn’t. I’m hoping they pick it back up and carry on, though. There was a lot to work with, but it felt like they tried to tie up too many loose ends. Some of which that weren’t all the loose, to begin with! They have set a fair few new story lines up so hopefully, they’ll run with them and take it back to how it used to be!
What have you been loving this month?
Until next time,
Monday, 20 February 2017
Wahaca has been on my to-eat list since it opened and I can’t believe how long it has taken me to get here! But I did! I made it! Totally unplanned and by accident in the end, but isn’t that how some of the best things happen? I’d heard so many wonderful things about what Wahaca had to offer so you could say I went in with a big empty belly and big hopes!
Wahaca offers an extensive Mexican street food menu, filled with tacos, tostadas, taquitos and quesadillas served tapas style. There are a few bigger meals on offer if you're not feeling in the mood for picky picnic style but I love being able to have a bit of everything, it’s not greedy at all! Ha! I’ve got to shout out to their drinks menu too which is pretty extensive with some amazing cocktails, beers and of course, tequila! As it was a Sunday afternoon I left the tequila well enough alone but that didn’t stop me picking out and partaking in a cocktail or…two. I grabbed an Earl of Mexico whilst we eyeballed the menu which was delicious - I mean it involved gin so of course, it was going to be good!
Eventually, we picked out a couple of plates and put our order in. The food comes out as and when it’s ready but we must have picked well because everything came out at once! I dug into the smoked chipotle chicken quesadillas first and they were delicious and way bigger than I expected! I devoured one and moved straight onto the chorizo and potato quesadillas which, hands down, might have been my favourite thing of the whole afternoon, the potato made all the difference and with a cheeky dollop of their own in-house chipotle chilli sauce, MMMMM yes!
Next up, the Grilled British steak with cheese tacos which were moorish little mouthfuls that went down a treat, I just wish they would give you an even number - 3 between two people leads to fork fights people!
The marinated chicken taquitos were so different and delicious! Rolled tortillas filled and deep fried to a crisp served with salad, cheese and salsa. These were a little meal in themselves and so nice!
Last but not least, we finished our mains with the Ancho Chicken Baja tacos; grilled chicken thighs marinated in sweet and smokey ancho chilli, topped with habanero mayo and jalapeño picked carrots. I expected these to be really spicy but they were surprisingly mild! They had a warm kick to them but nothing that would blow your socks off!
We purposefully only ordered a couple of plates as we really wanted to save room for dessert, and this is where things got interesting. The Mr got himself some churros with a warm chocolate sauce that was delicious and almost better than the churros I had in Florida last year. Then, came my desert of choice…cricket brownie! An actual brownie made with actual crickets! The crickets are ground and used as flour, making this a gluten-free indulgent option too! I couldn’t believe how amazing this was, so moist and topped with lots of walnuts and vanilla ice cream.
I finished with a Tamarind Margarita as we paid the bill which was delicious and a perfect end to what had been a fantastic meal. The whole vibe in Wahaca is so chilled and laid back and it’s one of the most photo-worthy restaurants I’ve been to in a while! It was a great place to dine out as a couple but would be perfect to catch up with a bigger group. Price wise, it was about average for tapas in the city centre and the cocktails were bang on what we’d expect to pay. I seriously can’t fault anything, I feel like I’m almost jinxing us now, will it be this good when we go back? Because I can honestly see that happening sometime real soon!
Are you a tapas lover or prefer just one big plate of food in front of you?
Until next time,
Wednesday, 15 February 2017
Sometimes you really do have to make the extra time for things, but the payoff is well worth it. This past week I have been making a point of making more time for the things I love, the people I love, and reaping all the good vibes and smiles that it brings. Here's a few of the little pockets of time I've been carving out and the lovely things I've filled them with.
Time off. I’m in the middle of an entire week off work and it is blissful. I have purposefully not created a to-do list (shock horror) and am just winging it each day. So far this had led to meals, midday wine, a ridiculous amount of reading, Pop Tarts, catch up with friends and family and sleep. Lots of it.
Me time. I had the most amazing Tri-Active facial at Clarins the other night, leaving me looking and feeling like a baby-faced queen! My skin was in need of some serious TLC and my soul needed some quiet time. Maybe it’s an age thing but I am defiantly seeing the benefits of making more me time, from longer baths to treats like this facial. I’ve got my eye on a massage if I can get one booked in before the week is out!
People time. The Mr is off this week too so we’ve spent a couple of lazy mornings on the couch and gone for a few wanderings around town, just going wherever our feet take us and it has been lovely. I was all for planning big grand adventures for the week but have found more joy in just plodding along with the unplanned and seeing where we end up! Meeting up with friends and family, just generally chilling and take it a step at a time. This is slow-paced for me and I am seriously loving the spontaneity and chill of it all.
A little extra time. Getting up when I want. Going to bed when I want. Heck, taking a nap in the middle of the day. There is much to be said for having that extra time. I can give myself a right ol’ pamper every morning, and again every night and I swear it just makes everything better by far! I’m sleeping like a log and I’ve even been able to paint my nails for the first time in months! Also, having the extra time means extra cooking time! There's nothing worse than wanting to try something new but trying to put it together after a day at work! I did the most amazing (if I do say so myself) baked apple and pork for Valentines day!
Curled up with a book time. So I sat there the other day with Abaddons Gate - James S A Corey and before I knew it…3 hours had gone by. 3. 3 HOURS! The last time I did that was on our trip to Fuerteventura and i had to take an unplanned social media detox. I forgot how good it was to just switch everything off and curl up with a book.
What have you made extra time for this week?
Until next time,
Monday, 13 February 2017
One of the biggest issues with renting is that we rent a furnished place which means it’s pretty damn hard to put our own stamp on the place. Sure I throw pillows around like confetti, we hang prints and put down rugs, but not being able to change the biggest pieces really leaves a void in the personalisation of our home. With the prospect of moving out this year possibly on the cards, I can’t stop looking at furniture and planning what our dream home could one day look like.
Lately, I’ve been all about the living rooms and spending more time than I should admit on sites such as FishPools, lusting after their living room decor in particular. With that in mind, here’s a glimpse into what I think my dream living room will one day look like.
Let’s start with the big one, the focal point, the make or break point of your living room, the couch! I’ve grown up with both fabric and leather sofas but for me, fabric is by far the cosiest. This Phoenix collection is right up my alley; comfy, cosy and laid back, exactly what I want from my living room. I want it to feel inviting, I want it to wrap guests and myself in a hug and say ‘hey, a cup of tea curled up on here can solve everything’. I love the soft grey colour and with a lemon and blue layer over the top, it will look like a cover of Good Housekeeping. Or so I tell myself!
Keeping that lemon and blue in mind, This Embroidered Eden Floral is a gorgeous one off with the prettiest of shades. I love miss-matched cushions, that are so alike but so different at the same time, and I could easily pair this with the Retro Bird Cushion because who doesn’t need more bird prints in their life? Throw about these Teal Boucle Cushions to fill the gaps and bring the blues into the palette and jobs a good’un!
I’m not a fan of carpet, but I do love a luxurious fluffy rug. I currently own something super similar to this Luxurious Cosy Rug and it is such a divine feeling to sink your toes deep into the fluffy threads and just bask in it’s cosiness. It really does bring what would otherwise be a cold room into a warmer embrace.
Next, to the sofa selection, the biggest (literally) that comes next is the furniture, I’m talking coffee tables, television stands, bookcases, side tables, places to hide store my crap! I am in love with this Henley Cream Living Room collection. Everything about it is just me! It’s got a real country kitchen vibe but with a teeny modern twist with the handles. It’s pine and oak top is a neutral colour that goes with everything and it’s designed with wipe clean in mind.
Then, come the knick knacks. Because I do love my knick knacks! I’ve picked up most of our current ones in TK Maxx, from throws to coasters. They don’t always have what I’m looking for but if you go back often enough (Legit, I am in there on a weekly basis, I think I have a problem) you’ll usually find something you didn’t even know you were looking for!
I have an obsession with bringing the outdoors in, I think it comes from having lived in the city for close to 3 years with no garden to call my own. But I love it, so little things like this Grey Cement Leaf bird house would just look too cute up on a shelf. And of course, candles everywhere! This Stoneglow candle in verbena and spiced wood is such a heady, warm scent, remember that hug feeling I was talking about? Yup! I am in love with this Antique Brass Lamp as it’s a subtle nod to the colour of the handles on the Henley furniture. I always have fresh flowers on display so this Aqua Blue Ceramic Vase would be the perfect way to display them whilst bringing back some of those cool blue tones I love so much.
What does your dream living room look like?
Until next time,
Friday, 10 February 2017
Another day, another early start! I don’t know what it is about these Disney holidays but you’re up until all hours, you fall into bed and bounce back out at sunrise like you’ve had 10 hours sleep…and you do it all again, every single day of the trip. It never phases me, I don’t know how I do it, must be the pixie dust
So with that in mind, up we got and out we went to Disney's Animal Kingdom! I’m not going to lie, I wasn’t totally thrilled when Starbucks popped up in the parks but their breakfast sandwiches and iced green teas are to die for so we made a beeline for a sausage and egg muffin before we did anything else.
The Animal Kingdom is one of my favorite parks to just wander around. The shops have some really cute knick knacks and trinkets and there are so many animal exhibits, you could fill up your day without doing any rides. Well, there’s always rides with me, and the more times I can throw myself down on Expedition Everest the better in my books! I also spent an annoying to everyone else amount of time cooing over the Meerkats - fun fact, my favorite animal ever! We went on Expedition Everest a few more times, took a tour on the Kilimanjaro Safari, found out it’s Tough to be a Bug then headed out just after lunch time!
Animal Kingdom is great but it’s not really an all day park for us. I love heading back to the resort in the middle of the day, getting away from the hustle and bustle and just chilling for a few hours. We hopped the resort bus back to Port Orleans Riverside and took up residence at the Muddy Rivers pool bar for a couple of hours!
After much R&R around the pool with a couple of cocktails and then some we did a quick costume change and headed back out in the evening to Epcot for a full on Food and Wine Festival night! The plan was literally to eat and drink our way around the World Showcase and finish with the fireworks…and that’s exactly what we did!
- Beef Brisket
- Prosecco (because the Scouse girl will always find the Prosecco!)
- Minted Lamb
- Chocolate creme brûlée
- and a few more cocktails!
We also sweet talked a Ghiradelli rep into giving us a sweet deal on a huge box of chocolates - which are hands down better than Cadburys, no doubt about it!
And that was pretty much that! We took our time wandering out of the park as it closed, again another thing I love to do (then again what don’t I love to do here?) is just wandering around the park when everything is closed, there’s a totally different atmosphere, it’s so chilled and eerily calm - if you can keep away from the broken down parents and too tired kids!
Are you up all hours when you’re on holiday or do you take the opportunity for a few lay-ins?
You can find the rest of the Florida trip report series here!
You can find the rest of the Florida trip report series here!
Until next time,