Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Disneyland: A To Do List

On Sunday, I am off to Disneyland Paris and if you didn't know that, you know now! When I was younger, we used to go as a family pretty much every year till I was about 14. I am so excited to be going back, especially as I am going with Phil and he has never been before, so it's going to be a really special trip. We're going for 5 days so we do want to do pretty much everything. However, here are a few things in particular:

1. Get that Iconic Photo in front of the Castle
I reckon this is top of everyone's list when they go to Disneyland, get that photo in front of the Castle. Having been to Florida and seeing pictures of the other Castles, this one has to be my favourite, plus it's pink! I love the walk up to it and the fact that the whole park leads to the Castle! I can't remember walking around inside either so it's definitely something I would like to do.

2. Go to the Rainforest Cafe 
I have many fond memories of eating here. I love the atmosphere, it is pretty much like a rainforest, with animals that move mechanically, and make noises, the massive elephants have to be my favourite. They have massive fish tanks in the entrance too, which are pretty epic. As well as noises every half an hour to an hour to make it sound like a storm in the Rainforest, a personal favourite of mine too. I had pretty much one request for when we are there and that is to go to the Rainforest Cafe on my birthday which Phil agreed to, isn't he a babe?! I have also managed to start a collection of stuffed animals, with a Giraffe from Marwell Zoo and a Lion from Longleat, that I have also decided to get an elephant to remember our visit to the Rainforest Cafe. My not so lame collection didn't happen intentionally!! So, if you didn't guess they have a huge shop there too which I am excited to explore.

3. Parades
To my knowledge, there are a lot of parades at the moment. They are truly magical and they are a must see. The most incredible floats and music blaring throughout the park, it is an experience like no other! Even if you just see it once, you'll be hooked.

4. Fireworks - Illuminations
I can't believe this only came in at number 4. All of these are an absolute priority but I can't number them all 1! Much like the parade but a must see on a greater scale. If you have to sleep all day to stay up to see this. It will be so worth it. Think of the most incredible fireworks you've ever seen, add magic, Disney music, Video Projection onto the Castle, times by 100 and you have Illuminations.

5. Shopping/Food
Oh my goodness, all of the shopping. We have already agreed that the first thing we are doing is heading to get some Mickey and Minnie ears. I may have seen that they have done amazing 25th Anniversary Glitter ones. So I am after those. Plus all the other shopping, but I think I will save my thoughts until my haul post.
The food isn't really anything special, except they do a lot of themed foods which I am excited for. There is one thing that is one of the best things ever and I can remember the smell so well, the popcorn. It is better than any other popcorn you will ever taste. Rumour has it that they've turned it blue for the 25th Anniversary.

6. Pin Trading
Now I don't want to trade in particular, but I do want to collect them. I know they do hotel exclusives so I will be picking up one of those and no doubt some 25th Anniversary exclusives.

I had a genius idea last week, that I wanted to get some personalised t-shirts made, perhaps with our favourite Disney quotes, or something for the memory of going. All about the memories over here. Printsome* do amazing quality t-shirts that can be printed with any design or logo you wish to promote your brand or perhaps a group trip coming up. Not only can you get t-shirts, but also hoodies, vests or tote bags. It is a much more cost effective way of doing it. I know next time I need something personalised, I will be heading to Printsome.

I am oh so damn excited for Disneyland on Sunday.

* This post was sponsored by Printsome

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Sunday, 26 March 2017

Giggling Squid, Salisbury

I recently went to Giggling Squid* in Salisbury to try out their brand new Evening Tapas Menu and check the place out! I took Phil with me, not that he put up much of a fight though..! Neither would I knowing the incredible menu we were about to enjoy. When we arrived we were greeted by two of he staff who were so friendly when we arrived. As we both work in retail, I've said it before and I will say it again, customer service is so important and they did not disappoint!

We took a while to look at their menu, to take everything in as there was so much! We started with some prawn crackers and wine, despite both having work the next day (fortunately no hangovers!). These are not just any prawn crackers, they were so tasty, and they came with a sweet chilli dipping sauce, which made them oh so much better! As they are Thai ones, they aren't as greasy as your Chinese takeaway and also have a hint of spice to them which makes them have a it of a kick which is really tasty. 

Next we ordered two of their Tapas Set Menus, we went for Let's Giggle, the one I chose and then Phil decided on Let's Have A Treat but we both shared them! I think since you get 3 main dishes and a rice, you would definitely only need one of their set menus for two people and possibly an extra rice if you think you would need it, we would and we have already planned this for a future date night! 

In our set menus, for the Let's Giggle we had:
Duck canapé on lettuce leaves
Chicken Massaman Curry
Grilled crying beef

For the Let's Have A Treat we had:
Tom Yum Chicken
Seafood 'Fishing Village' in red curry
Roast duck in Tamarind Sauce

We basically shared all the dishes, so we got to try a bit of everything! The Duck Canapé was delicious, it came with some lettuce and tomato and a little bit of salsa, the duck was a bit chewy but was still delicious. I would never have thought to put that combination together, but I am so glad I got to try it. The Chicken Massaman Curry was tasty, the chicken was moist and perfectly cooked in the curry. I would say the sauce was a little thick and I didn't quite expect it to be the way it was for Thai food! However, I did very much enjoy it. The Grilled Crying Beef was honestly incredible, this had to be one of my most favourite dishes of all the tapas dishes, the Roast Duck was a very strong contender too! I wasn't too sure what to expect but the Grilled Crying Beef had a sweet sauce on it, not too much, the perfect amount and was served with some peppers and salad.

The Tom Yum Chicken was one of Phil's favourites, Chicken with mushrooms and other veg in a broth/soup liquid that tasted amazing, I personally would have liked a bit more flavour but for someone who prefers mild food, this is perfect. We both really enjoyed the Seafood 'Fishing Village' in red curry, Phil ate both the prawns so we obviously need to go back so I can try the prawns in it. I enjoyed it and would really like to try it again when we next go. Lastly, the Roast Duck in Tamarind Sauce is possibly one of the best dishes I have ever eaten. Very similar to the Crying Beef, it had a sweet sauce on it, not too much, and was served with cashew nuts, which I didn't eat with it, so simply had it with rice. I could definitely eat these as a main rather than just a tapas dish.

When we go back, I would definitely like to have the Let's Have A Treat tapas set again. Or even try something completely different! 

We also opted for dessert. I know, I know, how on earth did we put a dessert away after all that?! I personally didn't finish mine. I had the Chocolate Feullantine, a chocolate mousse with a dark chocolate disc on top. Served with a fruit coulis and a strawberry. Phil went for Sesame Seed ice cream and Brighton Rose Yoghurt Ice Cream, which he spoke about below.

Phil says, "I have always been a very fussy eater, some kids grow out of it, I didn't. I have recently made a conscious effort to be more adventurous with the food that I'm eating and the Giggling Squid's Tapas menu was certainly a little ways out of my comfort zone. I thoroughly enjoyed every dish on my "Let's have a treat" set menu with my favourite dish being the Tom Yum chicken, which I could eat every day of my life from here on out. All of the dishes were spectacular on both set menu's (as I sampled everything on Adele's too) and my tastebuds and tummy were very happy when I left. For dessert, everyone needs to try their Black Sesame ice cream, which is exclusive to the Giggling Squid in Salisbury and was the perfect way to end the night! I would like to thank the Giggling Squid for having us and helping my broadening my horizons with their beautiful food."

Both were truly incredible, everything was cooked to perfection and I honestly could not fault it. Obviously there were some dishes that were more to our tastes than others and often we do like similar dishes which would make it easy to go back and choose one of the set menus. 

For all my wonderful Salisbury friends and readers, if you head down to Giggling Squid in Salisbury, which you so totally should, on Tuesday 28th March, after 5:30pm, the first 50 people through the door will receive a free tapas set each. They are delicious, you should go!

*This Meal was complimentary from Giggling Squid, but as always, all views and opinions are my own.

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Saturday, 18 March 2017

What's In My Bag: Travel Essentials

If you weren't aware, I'm off to Disneyland Paris in a couple of weeks! I also tend to take a lot of day trips with my Boyfriend, so what I put in my bag is extremely important. Especially for somewhere like Disneyland Paris, there is simply nothing worse than trekking to and from your hotel, ours is one of the ones that is about a 20 minute walk away, so it would take a big chunk out of our day should we forget anything. We are also travelling by Eurostar, so we need lots to keep us occupied, as well as snacks of course!

I've compiled a cheeky list of my travel essentials, so I've got a check list of what I need to take, and of course, some suggestions for you as well!

To start with, I always have a pouch of some form. This one is from Alphabet Bags and I must say I have at least 3 pouches in 3 different sizes and also a Wash Bag of theirs. It is safe to say that I love their products, which I very much do. I find uses for all of the sizes I have. I will be taking two to Disneyland, my largest one will fit pens, a notebook, my bullet journal and all of our documents that we need to take with us, and then this small Diamond one which will fit pretty much all of the below in it.

I will be taking hand sanitiser, as you never know what the queues will be like or say you get some ice cream on your hands, you don't want them sticky! So I will have a good selection of hand sanitiser with me. I will also take hand cream and this one from Trifle Cosmetics smells like Buttercream (good enough to eat!). I don't know about anyone else but depending on the weather, my skin can get so dry, so it's not too much to pack this in my bag. Of course, dry shampoo and hair ties like the invisibobble are very important and for the obvious reasons too! I cannot leave the house without any form of lip balm, I don't go overboard with it, but when I need lip balm, I really need it. I love the EOS ones, plus they last like forever, so I can't really go wrong. I do also make sure I have some form of tissues/wet wipes, you honestly never know when you may need it on a day trip.

These amazing PNY* Accessories will be coming with me on my travels all the time now! I am loving having these Portable Chargers, and the extra long iPhone cable too. Plus, these are Rose Gold which is pretty much my life now. The two Portable Chargers are very similar but they have one major difference, the larger one holds 3 full charges and the smaller 1 holds 1 full charge. I think this helps when choosing which one to take, if I know I'm going to be on my phone a lot or I am out for a really long period of the day, most likely the case for my entire Disneyland trip, then I will take the larger Portable Charger. Whereas if I know my phone battery will last most of the day and I only want it as back up then I will take the smaller one. The quality of these products is amazing, they live up to all my expectations and even exceed them. As I know often the case some portable chargers can be bad quality, these have worked wonders over the past few weeks and I have no doubt they will continue to help when I need to charge my phone!

So, to summarise, here are my travel essentials (plus a few extras):
  • Portable Charger
  • USB Phone Cable
  • Phone Charger (and Adaptors if needed)
  • Headphones
  • Notebook
  • Pens
  • Tissues
  • Hand Sanitiser
  • Hair Ties
  • Dry Shampoo
  • Water
  • Snacks
  • Mints/Gum
  • Paracetamol/Ibuprofen
  • Travel Documents and Passport!
What are your must haves when travelling?

*These products were kindly gifted by PNY, but as always, all views and opinions are my own.

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Wednesday, 8 March 2017

The Geekiest Haul Ever.

At the beginning of this week, Phil & I took our monthly trip to Southampton to go shopping. Plus we needed some new things for Disneyland Paris next month (or I did anyway), I ended up buying some pretty cool Disney clothes from Primark, some Comic Books (woah did not see that one coming) and some collectible figures. I simply had to share my good finds!

First stop was Lush, controversial opinion but I was not impressed this time. I honestly could not find anything that took my fancy, there is normally a lot of new things but since they are yet to release their Easter range there wasn't very much there, so I was disappointed on this visit. Instead we bought Phil some Dirty Springwash shower gel which has now become a favourite of his and we got him a small bottle to take to Disneyland with us.

Second stop was Forbidden Planet, twice, the first time I went in, I picked up a Beauty and the Beast Mystery Mini and I was so proud of myself to only pick up one! They are the cheapest I have found in Forbidden Planet and I could easily have gone for two, but you know, money and all. If you follow me on Instagram then you will know that I got Mrs. Potts which I was over the moon with! I also picked up a Disney Mystery Keyring, I went for the range that had the Disney Princesses and Mickey and Minnie. I got Cinderella and I was so happy about this! 

I then wandered off to Primark to let Phil have a proper look, but I was done before he was, not something I saw coming that's for sure. So I went back in while he finished looking, and to my surprise I found a Riverdale comic. I had never ruled out getting a comic completely but I didn't expect to find this. The first Riverdale comic is a one off and apparently once they are gone, that's it. Ok, sold. Turns out there is a Graphic Novel too. At this point, I was sold on that too. So here I am, having bought my first Comic and Graphic Novel. About Riverdale. Best thing ever.

Now for the moment you have been waiting for, Primark Disney clothes! I am sure that you have seen all the Beauty and the Beast Primark Clothing floating around. I was desperate for the PJs and Socks. It was pretty much the only thing I wanted but much to my disappointment and not at all surprising, it had completely sold out in Southampton. I am totally ok with that (I'm not), I wanted new PJs as I have just had a clear out, so I went for these Princess Brunch ones. I like how simple they are and that they are very plain, unlike the Mickey and Minnie ones I found! It didn't actually have a matching top, so I just got a plain pink one from the T-shirt range. 

Instead of Beauty and the Beast socks, I found Toy Story ones. We are staying in the Hotel Cheyenne which is the Toy Story themed hotel, plus we are looking forward to the Buzz Lightyear ride, so it was a no brainer. 

I was then dead set on getting a Disney top to wear during the day, I honestly did not have any idea what I wanted to get, I just knew they did some. I picked up this classic Mickey Mouse one. I knew I would get tempted in Disneyland and they would not be so kind to my back account, so if I already have one then hopefully I can avoid the massive costs! 

On a not so Disney note, I also picked up this seriously cute long sleeve purple Peplum Top, I loved it as soon as I saw it! I also got a grey sweatshirt as it will probably get really cold in the evenings watching fireworks and we do not have time for that! 

I also picked up these hair ties. I am obsessed with these and I tend to grab some every time I got in Primark as they are so cheap. I find that they are not nearly as harsh on my hair as regular hair ties, and they don't snap every time I use them. Lastly, I found this cute Cinderella Tote Bag, again I really wanted the Belle one, but I love how this one has two different sides to it!

Have you found any good shopping finds recently?

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Tuesday, 7 March 2017

A Sticker Haul!

If you follow me on Social Media (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, ya know in case you were wondering #shamelessplug), you will probably know I am Sticker obsessed! I mean it, I have so many now that I have to have them in a folder but I am potentially looking at changing up this storage! If you didn't realise, I use these stickers in my Bullet Journal to decorate and highlight plans. The reason I use stickers is because I am not very creative. You may think it is lazy but I love putting them on the page, as not only is my Bullet Journal a diary, it is also a keepsake that I will keep for years to come. I love how clean stickers look on the page compared to my odd doodles!

From Bits of Stationery I got the Social Sticker Sheet which can be seen above and the name label you can see below. I do not have any stickers like these Social Stickers whatsoever! I would have to put parts of stickers together or draw them out myself, which as I mentioned doesn't always go to plan! I thought I would see how I get on and obviously reorder should I need to. I particularly love the Date Day sticker and also the Coffee Date, both of which Phil and I do regularly so it will be nice to show this in my Bullet Journal. I had been lusting after the personalised foil sticker for a long time and I finally got it when Bits of Stationery was last open. It has pride of place in the front of my Journal and I must say it looks so good. I also want to quickly mention how cute the sample sticker sheet is! It is personalised and comes with stickers I will use, I have so many sample sheets from my orders now that I am trying to use them all up before I order more next month.

My most recent purchases from Ickle & Co are the ones above. The minute I saw the Beauty and the Beast stickers, they went in my basket on Etsy, I am completely in love, I have already booked the cinema tickets for next Friday which means I have some space in my journal to use these stickers! I also got the Finding Dory Tsum Tsum stickers as it was the last sheet at 60p, bargain or what?! I then grabbed the flags as I have recently started using these and I like how it works in my Bullet Journal. The little sheet in the corner is the sample sheet I received and I believe this is the one for the whole of March, it is Easter themed which is super cute and I would never have thought to put the Spring Forward sticker in but I definitely will now!

These last two pictures show the stickers from two other purchases I made from Ickle & Co. They include some regular purchases such as the Inside Out Tsum Tsum characters and the checklist flags. I use both of these on a regular basis, with the checklist every day when I can! I then also got some more of the glitter stickers she does, such as the coffee cups and the laptops. I use the Laptop stickers every time that I blog, so I know how often (or little...) I do blog. And I am yet to use the coffee cups but I thought it was cute for when I got out for coffee with friends! I cannot justify the Frozen Tsum Tsum stickers, but just look at how cute they are!? And lastly, I got the old style Movie Sign Stickers, there are lots of movies Phil & I want to see this year so I thought it would be a nice way to document that in my Bullet Journal, the stickers are much bigger than I thought though! This little cutie in the bottom corner is the sample sheet for Ickle & Co (was The Ickle Blogger) for February I believe! I have just dug this out again and I will definitely be using them as I love the colours on the sheet.

I came across these Pokemon stickers from Sticker Sunshine in the "Etsy recommends" part of Etsy, I can't say I have ever used them but eventually I may do a Pokemon themed spread so that I can actually use them!

My favourite Etsy Shops:
Ickle & Co - As you can see from the stickers above, I am a bit obsessed, they meet my every need and I love her glitter functional and decorative stickers, which are mostly the ones I own!
Bits of Stationery - This lovely girl has incredible foil stickers, like the Rose Gold name sticker I had wanted for ages. You will have to turn notifications on as she gets so many orders she can only open for a short while at a time. I was lucky enough to get some last time!
Dook Plook Designs - I have several sticker sheets from Dook Plook Designs and I have a couple saved on Etsy, in particular a birthday themed sheet!, that I plan to buy before the end of the month. If you want bright stickers that will stand out, this is your go to!
Panda Planning - I cannot recommend on the quality of Panda Planning as I am yet to place an order, but I do love her stickers, she has rose gold ones! Again, I have several saved and while I think these are affordable, I can't quite justify more this month, however they are 100% on my list next month!

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