The Disney World Tag

Fireworks

I’ve mentioned this in all my tag posts recently but due to the COVID-19 lockdown I don’t have much new to write about so I’ve been investing my time in tags at the moment – I like an opportunity to answer questions, I think it’s fun! And I love an opportunity to talk about my trip to Florida so please enjoy!

1. First time you went to Disney World?

February 2020 so only a few months ago. It feels like a dream come true to be honest because I’d been wanting to go for ages. I kept popping up to my friends with offers I’d found but they were still quite expensive and my friends were very sensible and kept saying we’d go ‘someday’ but not yet. But when I had a big tax return in the middle of last year I couldn’t resist anymore and booked myself a solo trip.

It was meant to be for ten nights but unfortunately due to Storm Ciara it got reduced to eight nights but it didn’t matter too much as I managed to do everything at the top of my list and it was one of the best holidays I’ve been on.

2. Favourite park?

Before I went I was absolutely certain that Magic Kingdom would be my favourite park so I planned two full days out to visit but I surprised myself by loving Hollywood Studios. My trip hadn’t gotten off to the best start, I go into more detail in my travel fails blog post but my full first park day was at Hollywood Studios and I don’t think I could’ve asked for a better first day. All the staff were so lovely and I loved everything. I’m also not really a big thrill ride kind of girl so I preferred watching the many shows that Hollywood Studios has to offer.

Hollywood Studios

When planning my itinerary I’d left my final morning free so I could revisit anything I hadn’t done or wanted to experience again and I spent it rewatching my favourite shows at Hollywood Studios. I just wish I’d been able to watch Fantasmic again as unfortunately when I saw it there was some kind of emergency and the show had to be cut short – if I ever go back watching Fantasmic in full is top of my list.

3. Favourite land in Magic Kingdom?

Probably Fantasyland because it feels truly magical but Tomorrowland surprised me as I was able to go on more there than I thought I’d be able to – so I did spend more time at Tomorrowland than I thought I would.

4. Favourite Disney resort hotel?

I’ve only stayed at one and that was ‘Disney’s All Star Sports Resort’ – I was meant to stay at Music but you’ll know the story of that if you read my travel fails blog post. Of the three All Star resorts I really hadn’t wanted to stay at Sports because I’m not a sports fan but I really liked it. The staff were lovely, I liked the food court and the pool was nice to chill in on my day off from the parks.

All Star Sports

I’ll be honest, I would’ve liked to have stayed at a more expensive resort but ultimately the hotel for me is just somewhere to sleep before I get up and have a full day out in the parks. I knew I wanted to stay in a Disney hotel for the free transport to and from the parks and ‘All Star Sports’ was fine. I wouldn’t be put off staying in an ‘All Star’ hotel again.

5. Favourite snack?

I actually didn’t eat many, if any, snacks. I thought I would but most of the snack carts I found were either for popcorn or for cinnamon related snacks of which I’m a fan of neither. I did have some snacks in my hotel though, I liked the Goofy gummy sweets I bought – they also had tubs of cookie dough of which I was definitely a fan.

6. Favourite table service and counter service?

I only booked two restaurants as I was worried it would get a bit expensive but upon reflection I probably would’ve booked more. My first was Nine Dragons Restaurant at Epcot and honestly if I could go back and eat that exact meal all over again then I would in a heartbeat, it was probably the tastiest Chinese I’ve ever had. My other was at Crystal Palace so it wasn’t table service but I do like a good buffet and I liked meeting the Winnie-the-Pooh characters.

Crystal Palace

My favourite counter service was probably the canteen at my hotel to be honest, those chocolate chip pancakes in the morning were lush and one night I came back to have dinner at the hotel and that chicken avocado burger really hit the spot. My mouths watering thinking about it to be honest.

Normally by the end of my previous trips to America I feel a bit sick eating their food and crave ‘British’ food but that wasn’t the case in Florida, it didn’t feel sickly, it was just perfect.

7. Favourite ride?

As I mentioned earlier I don’t love big thrill rides so I tend to stick to the smaller ones. I have a soft spot for ‘It’s a Small World’, I love riding that at the parks I’ve visited across the world, it’s definitely a classic favourite. At Disneyworld specifically I liked ‘Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin’ in Magic Kingdom.

Small World

If we’re taking parks from around the world into account then I think my favourite Disney ride ever is ‘Mystic Manor’ in the Hong Kong park – if you get the opportunity to go then I definitely recommend giving it a ride. I went on it three times and probably could’ve happily gone on more to be honest, I loved it. I also have a soft spot for ‘Pooh’s Hunny Hunt’ in the Tokyo park but the queue for that was very long so I only rode it once but I love a good trackless ride.

8. Favourite show?

See, if Fantasmic hadn’t unfortunately been cut short for me then it definitely would’ve been my favourite as I absolutely loved it – in fact it still might be regardless. I don’t think I missed much, I overheard a guy when we were leaving explaining to his friend who’d never seen it before what we would’ve missed and apparently it wasn’t long.

Fantasmic

Anyway! I loved the shows at Animal Kingdom more than I thought I would, I don’t really like the ‘Finding Nemo’ movie but the stage version was really good and I also loved ‘The Lion King’ one. I also love ‘Beauty and the Beast’ at Hollywood Studios.

9. Favourite parade or fireworks?

The fireworks at Magic Kingdom were amazing, I honestly cried because they were just perfect. So they’re probably my favourite although I absolutely loved the Electric Parade at the Tokyo park, all the lit-up floats at night-time were magical.

Disneyland 4

10. Favourite pavilion in Epcot?

Before I visited I had a feeling that ‘Animal Kingdom’ would be my least favourite park but it actually turned out to be ‘Epcot’ – I’m not sure why. I liked England just because it was interesting to see what American’s thought that England was like. I also liked going into the store where there were a bunch of ridiculously overpriced British snacks. Before I visited my colleague Kaye told me the best fish and chips she’d ever had were in the England Pavilion at Epcot so I had some and they were nice to be fair, reminded me of home.

11. What colour is your magic band?

Pink – I thought about buying or ordering a custom one but it’s probably just as well I didn’t with all the faff I had with my hotel when I arrived. The lady who checked me in was so lovely, she was like ‘do you want a specific colour? Here are the ones we have’ and I sniffled ‘pink please’ so she went and dug me one out.

12. Favourite character to meet?

My favourite character meet will probably forever be Buzz Lightyear – I’d wanted to meet him in the Hong Kong park but unfortunately his queue was cut so I was over the moon when I got to the Orlando park and his queue wasn’t cut. I told him he was my favourite character and he was so lovely, it really made my day.

Me + Buzz

I prefer meeting the characters that can’t speak because I often find it a bit awkward as I’m not really sure what to say. Another one of my favourites were the Winnie-the-Pooh characters, I met Winnie, Eeyore, Tigger and Piglet in Orlando and just Winnie in Hong Kong and I loved both just as much. Buzz Lightyear and Winnie-the-Pooh are probably my two favourite Disney characters.

13. A character you haven’t met but really want to?

I want to meet more of the characters who speak but I’d prefer to do this with my friends so that we all feel equally awkward. I wanted to meet Gaston in Orlando but I wasn’t gonna do that by myself, I’d have just embarrassed myself somehow. I’d like to meet more of the princesses, I wish I’d met Mulan in Epcot but again just didn’t have the balls really.

14. Your best Disney memory?

My favourite Orlando Disney memory is definitely dancing with Buzz Lightyear after I told him he was my favourite character but I have a lot of fond memories of my trip to Disneyland Paris. It was my first time at any Disney park and I was there with my three best friends. We went on the ‘Armageddon Special Effects’ attraction (which I don’t think is there anymore) and I think that whole thing was absolutely hilarious. I also loved meeting Mickey Mouse – my friend Hirst hates people in costume but she braved it and we got a cute photo with him.

Meeting Mickey Mouse

So there we have it, The Disney World Tag. Feel free to drop a link to your tag in the comments, I’d love to read your answers!

The Musical Theatre Tag

Theatre 2

Guess who’s back with a brand new tag? I’m seriously missing my theatre trips so please enjoy my rendition of ‘The Musical Theatre Tag’. I may change some of the questions slightly as I don’t just love musicals but we’ll see.

1. What was the first musical you ever saw?

Wicked

I can’t remember my first time at the theatre, in primary school we went to the theatre several times a year on school trips. The first musical I begged to see was ‘Wicked’ and my Mum took me to London for my 16th birthday and treated me to tickets for the show. I imagine that was my first proper musical and it was definitely my first West End experience.

2. What was your favourite musical growing up?

Hairspray

Although I’ve always loved the theatre I didn’t go much for leisure as a child or during my teenage years so I saw most musicals on DVD. If I had to guess I’d say ‘Hairspray’, I loved them from the first watch and loved all the songs.

3. Were you ever in a musical?

When I was a child yes. The first one I remember is when a drama teacher from a secondary school came to our primary to put on a play (the secondary school I ended up going to weirdly enough) and we put on a performance of ‘Oliver!’ This teacher was a bit weird because she added her own parts and also there wasn’t a script, we basically just improvised the whole thing. I was desperate for the part of Dodgess (she had a Dodger and a Dodgess lmao) but the part went to my friend and I was in chorus (I was so upset that she offered me a small speaking part and then the next week conveniently ‘forgot’ about it). In the end it didn’t matter because the guy playing Dodger did all the lines himself and left Dodgess with nothing anyway.

In secondary school I was also in ‘A Little Slice of Wicked/The Wizard of Oz’ by the same teacher who did ‘Oliver!’ so again there was no script and since she was merging ‘Wicked’ and ‘The Wizard of Oz’ it was really weird anyway. I tried out for a main part but again got banished to chorus. If I’m being honest the show was a bit crap anyway, she wasn’t the best director.

Our schools music teacher also put on a musical every year and her shows were known for being good which they were so I did ‘Beauty and the Beast’ and ‘Little Shop of Horrors’ both times in chorus. Just never destined for a main part I suppose – but at least I was proud of these shows, they were genuinely good.

4. What was the first musical you saw on Broadway?

Anastasia

I’ve only been to New York once but I knew I couldn’t leave without seeing a Broadway show and luckily my Mum knows how much I love theatre so she quickly agreed and let me pick the show. In the end I settled on ‘Anastasia’ because I loved the film and it’s not a show that was available in the UK at the time (or now despite promises of coming to the UK at some point!)

‘Anastasia’ was the perfect choice and honestly I couldn’t have asked for a better first Broadway experience. We were given a box and boxes in the UK can be a bit of a miss as they obscure part of the stage but this was a more modern theatre so the view was perfect and the show itself was just amazing. I’d definitely love to see ‘Anastasia’ again one day – and return to New York!

5. If you could be any female character in any musical who would you be and why?

Six the Musical 2

I’d love to be in a production of ‘Six’ but I have no idea which Queen I’d prefer to be. I’m leaning towards Catherine of Aragon because I think my favourite song is ‘No Way’ but her song comes up first. Anne Boleyn has a fun song, I love Jane Seymour’s song and Catherine Parr ties it altogether so well. I would be happy to play any of them to be honest, if only I could sing!

6. Which male character?

Probably Seymour from ‘Little Shop of Horrors’ – it’s the one that comes immediately to mind.

7. Favourite musical song to sing in the shower?

I saw ‘Six’ right before lockdown so I’ve literally had that on repeat for the past two months and I do play it on my phone whilst I’m in the shower (much to my Mum’s annoyance). I love singing ‘Haus of Holbein’ probably the best and as already mentioned my favourite solo song is probably ‘No Way’ although I do love warbling ‘Heart of Stone’ as well. Pre-lockdown it was probably the iconic but obvious ‘Defying Gravity’ from Wicked.

8. Who is your favourite theatre actress?

If I’m being truthful the only theatre company I keep up with and love is ‘Mischief Theatre’ so my favourite theatre actress is probably Bryony Corrigan, she was so funny in ‘Magic Goes Wrong’ and I loved her improv ‘Mischief Movie Night’.

9. Actor?

Again, I only know the ‘Mischief Theatre’ actors so probably Henry Shields – when I saw ‘Magic Goes Wrong’ for the first time we had to leave the theatre due to a bomb scare and when I returned a few weeks later to watch it he wasn’t there and it was his understudy – Bryony wasn’t there either actually come to think of it. Their understudy’s did an amazing job but I still wanted to see them both in their roles so I went to watch it again at the end of February when they were both back and loved it all over again.

10. Favourite film adaptation of a musical?

I’m not keen on modern adaptations of stage musicals, like I’m not thrilled that they’re turning ‘Wicked’ into a film to be honest – although that may be some selfishness on my part because not everyone can afford to go to the theatre. However, my two picks would be ‘Annie’ or ‘Mamma Mia’. I’ve seen the stage version of ‘Annie’ twice and to be honest I wasn’t overly impressed – I absolutely love the film though having grown up with it.

The first time I saw ‘Mamma Mia’ on stage I wasn’t a big fan of the film but I went back after I fell in love with the film and now I love the stage version. I nearly didn’t go because I was absolutely exhausted and had nearly fallen asleep watching a matinee performance of a different show but I’m so glad I went, it was so energetic and it turned out to be the final night for a lot of the cast and it was an amazing experience. I’d watch that show again in a heartbeat.

11. What do you think is the most underrated musical?

Ever since I watched the Disney film and fell in love with it I’ve wanted to see ‘Into the Woods’ on stage. My friend Hirst treated me and Jess to tickets to ‘Into the Hoods’ which was really good but I’d still love to see a production of ‘Into the Woods’. The fact that it hasn’t toured or had a proper stage production in the UK for bloody ages makes it underrated.

12. Overrated musical?

Controversial but for me, personally, Les Misérables – I’ve never seen the stage version and also have no interest to. I watched the film with my Mum and although I love a handful of the songs I definitely think it went on forever. As I was interested to see how the stage version was done I borrowed a DVD of one of the recordings from my brother but I really didn’t like it. To me, it just seemed like a lot of standing still and singing which is fine but really not my cup of tea at all.

Les Miserables

13. What musical made you cry?

It’s not hard to make me cry, I nearly had a little weep during ‘Heart of Stone’ from Six but managed to keep it in. Although not a musical I’ve cried at ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’ (Spoiler alert: At the part where Harry and his friends are watching his parents die – I think this moment is very emotional but when I watched it with Hirst she burst into helpless laughter because she thought the way Harry ‘wailed’ was funny. Typical, can’t take her anywhere). I sometimes cry during ‘Matilda’ when Miss Honey sings ‘My House’ and during ‘When I Grow Up’. I’m sure I’ve cried at tons of shows but I can’t remember them off the top of my head – I’m a massive cry-baby!

14. What musical made you laugh?

I’m more of an upbeat show lover so the majority of ones I watch make me laugh. Not a musical but anything by Mischief Theatre is guaranteed to make me laugh – I think the most I’ve laughed is ‘Mischief Movie Night’, I’d love to see them do some more improv in the future because I think that’s when they’re funniest. Similarly my favourite scenes in ‘Magic Goes Wrong’ were whenever the Mind Mangler was on, especially when he ‘predicted’ people’s jobs.

Magic Goes Wrong

I was also lucky enough to see a performance of ‘Beach Blanket Babylon’ in San Francisco before it finished and I thought that was hilarious, me and my Mum absolutely loved it. Definitely worth hanging around the theatre for over an hour in the hopes we’d get second-hand tickets.

Beach Blanket Babylon

15. Are there any musicals you saw and hated?

Again, controversial, but I bought a ticket for ‘The Phantom of the Opera’ when I was at university and really didn’t like it. I’m not overly keen when a musical is all singing and no talking and I found this one difficult to follow. I don’t know if all performances are subtitled or if this one was specifically but I found myself reading the subtitles more than I watched the show. The singing was beautiful but it’s not a show I’d watch again, it really wasn’t my cup of tea.

16. What musical do you want to see as a film?

The majority of my favourite musicals are already films or were films before they were shows. I’d really like it if Mischief Theatre released a film one day, I’m loving ‘The Goes Wrong Show’ at the moment so would leave a full film!

17. What musicals are you dying to see?

Book of Mormon

As mentioned, I’d love to see ‘Into the Woods’ on stage one day. I was meant to see ‘Friends – The Musical Parody’ in April but unfortunately it was cancelled due to COVID-19 – not even postponed so I won’t be seeing that. I wouldn’t mind watching ‘Book of Mormon’ one day.

I really hope the ‘Mean Girls’ musical comes to the UK one day, I’d have tickets for that within a heartbeat. I wanted to see it when I went to New York but my Mum hasn’t seen the film and I’m not sure if it was on? I’ve just googled and apparently it’s coming to the West End in Spring 2021 (not sure if it’ll be delayed due to COVID) and I am GETTING TICKETS AS SOON AS POSSIBLE, I’m so excited.

Mean Girls

I’m also keen to see ‘Frozen’ which either just opened in the West End or was meant to open in the West End but got delayed. I’m due to go to Disneyland Paris in November (COVID permitting) and I’m going via the Eurotunnel so my plan was to watch ‘Frozen’ the night before I travel to get myself hyped for the trip but obviously we’ll have to see what happens now. I haven’t booked my ticket yet so we’ll see.

18. Any book or movie that you think should be turned into a musical?

Perhaps not a musical but I absolutely love horror theatre, I really enjoyed ‘The Woman in Black’, ‘The Exorcist’ and ‘Ghost Stories’ on stage so it’d be cool to see more horror films on stage (I’m pretty sure all of those I just listed were plays or books first but you know what I mean). I think ‘The Boy’ could be done well on stage or something like ‘The Conjuring’ which would be really creepy. Basically any horror movie turned into a stage show and I would be there.

19. What is your all-time favourite musical?

My favourite show/musical always changes and it’s usually dependent on the one I’ve seen most recently. So my favourite musical at the moment is ‘Six’ whilst my favourite show is ‘Magic Goes Wrong’. However I have a soft spot for ‘Little Shop of Horrors’ and would really love to watch that again. And as mentioned in the question just gone I love horror theatre, my favourite probably being ‘The Woman in Black’ because I think it was very cleverly done.

So there we have it, there’s the Musical Theatre tag – feel free to link me to yours if you decide to complete it, I’d love to read your answers.

Brahms: The Boy 2 – Review

The Boy 2

This review will contain spoilers because boy do I have some thoughts about this film. It came out months ago but I just need to get this off my chest.

I wrote a review about the original film ‘The Boy’ here and I really enjoyed it. I’d seen the trailer on Facebook a few months before the film actually came out and was immediately hyped to see it. It looked interesting and although I was worried it wouldn’t live up to my expectations I was happy to say that it did. Arguably my favourite thing about it was the plot twist.

For those unfamiliar with the original film a nanny named Greta moves into a large British house to look after a child only to discover the child is actually a doll. Through a series of unexplainable events Greta begins to think the doll is possessed by the spirit of Brahms, a child who passed away in a fire years ago. After her abusive ex-boyfriend breaks the doll it’s revealed that the doll was never possessed, the real Brahms (now an adult) has been living within the walls of the house and making it seem like the doll was alive.

The Boy

That’s a quick overview anyway.

What I enjoyed is that we have a number of creepy doll films and this was one of the most original and well thought out, compared to the likes of films like Annabelle and it was actually genuinely scary. A grown man pretending to be a child scuttling around the walls of an old abandoned house is 100% scarier than a small possessed doll.

When this trailer was released I was instantly worried because it looked like they’d gone back on everything the first film had shown us and I saw many other comments from equally worried people. The trailer made it look like a supernatural horror in which the doll genuinely was possessed but some people advised that the trailer for the original film had looked this way – maybe it was to mask the original plot twist for people who hadn’t seen the first film? I kept an open mind and went to see this film with my friends Becca and Jess a couple of days after it was released.

The Boy 2 still

Jesus. The only good thing I can say for it is that it was short. We went to the 6:45PM showing and we were out by 8:30PM. None of us enjoyed it or could find anything positive to say about the film. A lot of time with horror films we have quite differing opinions – for example Becca loved ‘Hereditary’ whereas Jess and I weren’t that keen. This film was unanimous – we all agreed it was dreadful.

It was like they took everything that I’d enjoyed about the first film and crapped on it. Brahms, the actual child/adult from the first film had supposedly been acting under the influence of the possessed doll which makes literally zero sense. The doll was made to look like the Heelshire’s ‘dead’ child and that was the reason he was called Brahms in the first place. To suddenly decide the doll actually dated back thousands of years before ‘The Boy’ even took place was a weird decision.

My main issue is that we’ve seen this film. A family suffer something traumatic together, decide to move somewhere secluded, child finds ‘possessed’ object, creepy things start to occur. My favourite thing about ‘The Boy’ was that it brought something different to the table whereas this took a decent plot and turned it into ‘Generic Horror Movie #58271’. There was nothing new, nothing interesting, it was a film I’ve seen 100 times before. Which for a standalone film would maybe be forgiven but for a sequel to a good film? Unacceptable. I’m shocked to see it’s written and directed by the same people – absolute sell-outs, clearly more interested with a profit for this movie rather than creating something decent.

The Boy 2 still 2

I read a couple of fan plots on iMDB that would’ve literally been a million times more interesting than this generic mess of a film so you’re honestly telling me that this was the best the professionals could come up with? It also sort of ruined the ending of ‘The Boy’ as in this it looks like Brahms has somehow survived and put the smashed doll back together to continue living alone in the house through the doll which was eerie and worked well. Whereas in ‘The Boy 2’ they’re like ‘nah he died, some creepy random old man found the little pieces of the doll and put him back together – and now he’s gonna spend the rest of the film uselessly hanging around, being a little bit creepy but overall not adding much to the plot.’

Parts of it also just made zero sense compared to the first film. The reason adult Brahms reveals himself is because Greta’s abusive ex-boyfriend smashed the doll which just went into pieces (as it would) whereas in this film the Dad smashes the doll to reveal some burnt up little, I don’t even know, demon I guess sitting inside the doll. I just… What was the point in that, huh? What did that even mean, what did that represent?

And then the ending. I’m gonna spoil it for you. The son chucks the doll into the fire, they all leave, go to a new house, it looks like they’ve had a happy ending and then the son gets up, puts the Brahms mask on and says “I think we’ll be happy here.” Does this mean Brahms won? Because throughout the film Brahms wanted the son to go to the mansion and to live with him there alone so I’m not… How did Brahms win? How is he with the son? It made literally zero sense and it wasn’t even scary. Big deal.

I genuinely don’t have a single good thing to say about ‘Brahms the Boy 2’. I will forever love the first film but this… I can’t accept this, it was just plain awful. I’ve never been so disappointed by a film in my entire life.

So overall, I definitely don’t recommend this film for anyone – if you enjoyed the first film you will hate this film, if you didn’t like the first film you will also hate this film, if you haven’t watched either films then definitely watch ‘The Boy’ ‘cos I really recommend it but don’t watch this. It’s an absolute disgrace, honestly.

Top 10 Places I Want to Visit: Updated 2020

Hong Kong 2

This list is ever-changing, so much so that I’ve already written this list twice for this blog – the first one is here and the second one’s here. However I wanted to rewrite it again because I’m really missing my travelling now we’re in lockdown. Luckily I didn’t have too much booked for this year. I managed to go to Florida in February, unfortunately I had to miss my trip to Sweden last month and I have four nights in Disneyland Paris booked for November which I’ll keep my fingers crossed for but I’m not entirely hopeful (I’m hoping that since I booked a package holiday they can just help me rebook for a later week or something).

But yeah, the lockdown’s got me thinking about where I want to go once this is over. This list will probably change by this time next year and is in no particular order.

Bangkok, Thailand

Bangkok 2

Me, Becca and Jess wanted to go on another trip like our big trip to Asia back in 2018 and we all agreed we wanted to go to Bangkok. We decided to also slot in a week in Vietnam and then maybe a few days in Cambodia. Before we even had chance to plan properly everything went into lockdown but I suppose at least we hadn’t booked anything as the chances of us getting our money back would’ve been slim.

I’d say I’ve been interested in Thailand ever since we got back from Japan and I know how much my friends want to go too so it’s not somewhere I’d go on my own. But it’s definitely towards the top of my list.

Los Angeles, USA

Los Angeles

The two major places I wanted to visit in America were New York & Florida and I’ve been lucky enough to visit both. Next on my list is Los Angeles because think of how iconic it would be. It’s also my mission to visit all the Disney parks across the world and the only ones I’m missing now are California and Shanghai and I don’t think it’s too difficult to visit the California park from Los Angeles. And they also have a Universal Studios which is really cool.

I do like America because it’s nice to visit a foreign country without worrying about the language barrier and I just know there’d be a ton of stuff to see in Los Angeles. It’s the next place in America that I want to tick off my list.

Oslo, Norway

Oslo

I’m a nervous flyer and after my flight back from Orlando earlier this year my confidence is at an all time low so instead of hopping straight onto a long-haul flight to a different continent I might be better building up my confidence again by having a few short trips to countries within Europe. When booking my trip to Sweden I did nearly settle on Norway but Becca once pointed out that the more places we see alone for the first time the less places we have to experience together (if that makes sense) so I settled on Stockholm as Becca had already been there and my friends would no doubt come to Norway with me.

I’m pretty sure two girls I went to university with were from Norway and I thought they were lovely, and the country just looks interesting. I’d definitely love to go one day – unfortunately at the moment there aren’t any direct flights from my local airport so I may have to look at going from a different one.

Hiroshima, Japan

Hiroshima

To be honest, I think I’m just desperate to return to Japan. Me and my friends had a full week in Tokyo in 2018, then a few nights in Kyoto, then a few more nights in Osaka before heading to South Korea and honestly Japan was just amazing. My Dad, who has no interest in visiting anywhere in Asia, did once say that if he ever visited Japan he’d want to visit Hiroshima.

It’s on my bucket list to return to Tokyo one day and I’d love to explore some other parts of Japan as well at the same time – Hiroshima would definitely be included on my list of destinations.

Nairobi, Kenya

Kenya

I really want to visit Africa some day as it’s on my bucket list to visit every continent but the thought does make me nervous as I feel whenever I check the ‘gov.uk’ website almost everywhere in Africa comes with a few travel warnings. I suppose there are risks with anywhere you visit but I think this is somewhere I’d have to visit with friends – I think my Dad would probably have a heart attack if I told him I was going to Kenya solo, he panicked enough when I went to Poland.

At the moment me and my friends are happy to continue ticking off countries in Asia but Becca did joke that we will eventually need to pick a different continent and I’d love for us to plan a trip to Africa – hopefully specifically Kenya. We’ll have to see!

Prague, Czech Republic

Prague

I’ve wanted to go to Prague for quite a while now but for whatever reason just haven’t got round to it yet (and obviously won’t at the moment due to the virus) but I would love to visit one day. I really want to take my Mum on a trip abroad that I’ve entirely paid for and although I know she’d love to visit Chicago one day I’m thinking Prague will be more affordable and she has mentioned she’d like to go.

When I was a teenager the thought of travelling appealed to me but I wasn’t too interested in Europe, I was more interested in visiting further places like Asia or America but through travelling with my friends I’ve begun to appreciate our continent a lot more. Europe is so pretty and I want to see as much of it as possible.

Beijing, China

Beijing

I’d also love to visit Shanghai but going to China does worry me. Not only does the visa process look extremely difficult but I’ve heard from people that visiting China is difficult as not many people speak English and no signs are translated to English. Which is fine, I think it’s kind of bullshit that countries like Japan & Hong Kong have English translations on their public transport systems whereas here in the UK we don’t offer the luxury of a translation to any tourists. But it does worry me.

Therefore I wouldn’t go to China alone but would prefer to go with friends. A guided tour might be an option but I don’t like being limited – I don’t mind daytrips for example my trip in Romania to Dracula’s castle or our day trip in Japan to Mt Fuji but for the entire holiday it seems a bit much. It’s probably easier yeah but my favourite part of travelling is being able to take my time to do the things I care about whilst spending minimal times on the things I’m not enjoying. I’d have to speak to my friends I guess because I know they wanna go too – if you’ve been to China then let me know how you got on, the best way to do it etc. There’s just so much there that I want to see and do!

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Dubai

To be honest I’d never really considered visiting Dubai but my manager at work has been a few times as her sister is living over there for a limited amount of time. So now actually it’s grown on me and I think it would be interesting to visit. From photos I’ve seen Dubai looks absolutely incredible and it looks like there’s a lot to do. Apparently they’re quite strict in terms of unmarried couples or drinking alcohol but I’m most likely to go with my friends anyway and we don’t really drink on our holidays – we’re too busy sightseeing from the moment we wake up to the moment we go to bed.

My friend Hirst really wants to visit Australia (it’s her number one destination and has been for years) so me, Becca and Jess had a look at doing stopovers on the way there and on the way back and we had originally settled on Dubai and Singapore – however Becca and Jess have since visited Singapore and Hirst said she didn’t to visit Dubai so I guess that’s thrown a spanner in the works. But I would really like to visit someday – preferably not in their summer though because I can barely handle the UK version of summer let alone the Dubai version.

Moscow, Russia

Moscow

I’d love to visit Russia one day and I know my friend Becca would love to visit as well. The only thing putting me off is the visa process – visa’s really stress me out, I’m so sad Brexit went ahead, it’d better not make travelling more complicated. I’d also be a little worried as Russia are another quite strict country but I don’t think we’d be too at risk.

Russia looks like an absolutely fascinating country and to visit Moscow would be an honest dream come true. I’m sure Becca will eventually put her foot down and decide to go in which case I’m tagging along, whether she likes it or not.

Hanoi, Vietnam

Hanoi

On New Year’s Eve me, Becca and Jess were talking about our trip to Thailand and how we wanted to visit another country while we were over there when I suggested we each put three countries in Asia into a bowl and then pick one out. There was a discussion on which countries we’d put in the bowl and we realised that each of us would put Vietnam in there so we decided we might as well skip the bowl and just visit Vietnam as we all wanted to go.

When planning my 2019 birthday trip I had considered Vietnam but it put me off that they don’t have much public transport so I settled on Hong Kong instead. However, Becca and Jess managed to navigate Indonesia together last year where there was little to no public transport so if we all went to Vietnam together I’m sure we’d do fine. I’m hoping this crisis doesn’t last too long and that travel goes back to normal before we know it so we can have another out-of-continent trip together.

So there we have it, my top ten countries at the moment which will probably change by this time next year. Honourable mentions go to Krakow in Poland, Taipei in Taiwan, Rome in Italy and anywhere in Egypt as I would love to visit those as well. Although there aren’t many places I wouldn’t want to visit at this point.

Let me know where you’re most desperate to travel!

My Life in 20 Questions – Tag

Me + Buzz

Back at it with the tags but like I mentioned in a previous blog post, it’s not like anything exciting is happening to me recently. So you’re going to have to put up with a few tags from me. Please enjoy!

1. Favourite colour?

Pink although if you knew me you probably wouldn’t guess that since I don’t own much in pink but it is my favourite colour. A lot of people guess purple is my favourite colour because of my hair and it is a close second.

2. Lucky number?

21 because for some reason I just love that it can be divided by 7 and 3 even though I don’t particularly like those numbers? It stems from a weird thing I do where I’ll count the letters in words and try to divide them and to make ‘pleasing numbers’ I’ll count punctuation and the dots on letters etc. as one of the numbers. I can’t explain properly but that’s where my love for the number 21 stems from.

3. Dream job?

My realistic dream job is to be a writer – I’m learning towards writing a YA novel. My unrealistic dream job would be to get paid to travel the world with my best friends.

Cocktails

4. Where do you see yourself living on your own?

It was always my dream to live in London and if I had unlimited money I don’t think I’d say no. I’d love to live in Tokyo one day (not gonna happen) but if I went alone I might struggle to make friends and it may get lonely considering I can’t speak the language. But I do love Tokyo. If I had to pick somewhere in Europe that excluded the UK I think I’d pick Amsterdam.

Tokyo 2

5. Favourite way to travel?

By train I think, you can’t get stuck in a traffic jam and I’m scared of planes whereas on the train I can chill out more easily and just stick my headphones in. And unlike a car at least you can get up and stretch out if needed. Obviously the train isn’t perfect as sometimes it’s overcrowded or dirty etc. but if given the choice I’d mostly pick the train.

6. What do you like to do in your free time?

Um pre-lockdown I loved going to the cinema, going out for meals and hanging out with my friends. Now that we’re in lockdown my new favourite thing to do is online shop for clothes (it’s becoming a bit of a problem actually). I also love the games nights I’m having with my friends, playing wordscapes on my phone, playing Animal Crossing on my Nintendo Switch Lite, reading and eating haha.

New Horizons Marina

7. Favourite clothing store?

If I’m buying clothes online my favourite place to start is Killstar, their clothes are a bit expensive but they’re worth it. I’ve ordered a few things and have always been thrilled with them. In real-life it’s a toss-up between Yours and PRIMARK. PRIMARK obviously because there’s a lot of choice and the prices are fair. I love the way the majority of my Yours clothes look (it’s a plus size store) but I’m not thrilled with the price on most of their stuff. I have managed to get some bargains from them in their sales though.

8. From what band would you like to attend a concert?

Although I’ve already seen them at the top of my list at the moment is My Chemical Romance. I had tickets for their June show which got postponed to next June and although it’ll be painful waiting over a year I’m so grateful it was postponed and not cancelled because getting those tickets was an absolute nightmare. Not a band but I’d low-key love to go to a Lizzo concert, I bet she’d put on an amazing show.

Lizzo

9. Favourite tea?

Presumably the drink and not my favourite evening meal? I don’t actually like tea unfortunately.

10. Do you collect something?

I collect snow globes from all the different countries I’ve visited – the only one I’m missing is Amsterdam. My Mom was due to go in April so I asked her to pick me one up but obviously her trip has been postponed but I’ll remind her to get one for me so that my collection will be complete until I go to the next place!

11. I can’t sleep without…

My doors, windows and wardrobe all need to be closed – those are really the only circumstances in which I wouldn’t be able to sleep, I’d be so uncomfortable if I knew they were open. I prefer two pillows but can sleep with one. I also prefer lights off but can sleep with the lights on. When I last looked after my brother he kept getting out of bed and I had to keep going in to resettle him so in the end I just slept with the lights on for convenience.

12. If you got 1 million all to yourself, what would you spend it on?

Me and my friends would be on a plane within minutes. Fly first class over to America, road trip through there before moving onto the next continent. We wouldn’t come back until the million was gone.

Crete

13. Favourite make-up brand?

At the moment I don’t really wear make-up – on the odd occasions that I do I get my friends or Mom to apply it for me so they just use whatever they have. I do want to start using it just so I can do it myself on our nights out without inconveniencing my friends to do it for me but we’ll see. I don’t have much patience.

14. Favourite snack?

Mine changes all the time, I’m such a snack girl. I like the Dairy Milk trifle pots (layers of joy I think they’re called?) at the moment, I can’t get enough of them. I’m also having a lot of Ben & Jerry’s but I’m not sure they’re really a snack, I only have them at the weekend whereas I have the trifle pot when I’m taking a break from work.

15. Favourite season?

Autumn without a doubt. You still get the odd sunny day but it’s not boiling anymore but it’s not as cold as winter. I do like winter but once Christmas is gone it’s a bit depressing.

Autumn

16. Do you sleep with your door closed or open?

I already answered this one whoops! I don’t know how people sleep with their doors open, anyone or anything could sneak in. A couple of times someone’s come into my room in the middle of the night (not in a creepy way luckily) and it sort of comforts me to know that it does wake me up so I’d be prepared. I don’t need anyone sneaking up on me when I’m vulnerable and asleep.

17. Why did you start blogging?

I wanted to review the books I was reading and now suddenly my blogs become a bit of an ‘everything’ blog. Now I’ve been blogging for years and I continue because I like reading back my posts, I like that my friends read them and I just enjoy writing them. I’m not too fussed about how many people are reading, because I like reading them.

18. Do you have a subscription to a magazine?

No, I like reading the true life magazines but they’re only like 80p each and I don’t think they have subscriptions. I’ve been asking my Mom what she wants for her birthday and the only thing she could come up with was a ‘Woman & Home’ subscription for crying out loud.

19. What did you do last night at 0:00?

When I originally wrote this it was a Friday morning so it was a Thursday night so I was asleep. And actually managed to stay asleep until 4:25AM which actually was a miracle within itself. Today it’s Sunday and last at midnight I was just getting into bed – I played games with my friends until about 11PM (via social media before anyone assumes we broke the social distancing rules) and then browsed shein before finally going to bed.

20. Favourite perfume?

Whatever I can afford and smells nice when I pop into Boot’s before a night out.

There we have it, my life in 20 questions! I hope you enjoyed this tag, feel free to answer and send me a link to your blog!

What I Miss About ‘Normal’ Life

Shelley's Party

I know I was aiming for more ‘light-hearted’ content but I wanted to write a quick post about the things I’m missing today. Although overall I’m doing okay I am having moments or days where I’m completely fed-up and instead of focusing on what I can do I’m focusing on what I can’t do. I don’t want to take that attitude ‘cos that’ll just make things more difficult but maybe writing a list will help as it’ll show me what I have to look forward to when we eventually get out of lockdown (and I think it’ll be a while before we’re completely out of it). But here we go, some things that in no particular order, I miss about ‘normal life’.

Nights Out

50th Birthday

I literally only went clubbing once for the entirety of last year (although I did go to a few parties) but I weirdly miss it now that I can’t do it. I went earlier this year with my friend Sorcha and we had a good time and we had been planning to go again the week the country went into proper lockdown. I was looking forward to it but if I’d been asked to compile a list of my favourite things to do clubbing wouldn’t have been very high. I prefer parties and getting drunk whilst dancing to cheesy music with friends and their family (who I trust) rather than being surrounded by strangers listening to tunes that I don’t know.

And yet, here I am, wanting to get dressed up and go for a night out on the town with my best friends. When the clubs open up again I think it’ll be one of the first things I do, I already have my outfit picked out so I’m bloody ready for a night out.

Drunk Conversations with my Friends

Girls

After Hirst’s Halloween party last year me, Jess and Becca stumbled back to my house, ordered takeout and just talked until stupid o’clock in the morning. On New Year’s Eve we met up again to get drunk and although we mostly played games my favourite moments were our drunken conversations about life, politics and everything in between. One of my favourite parts of being drunk is the stupid conversations me and my friends have.

Okay, so I could get drunk and FaceTime my friends but God it’s not the same. Alcohol goes one of two ways for me, I’ll either be super happy or super sad so if I end up super sad I don’t think it’ll help my lockdown life at all. So I’d rather wait until I can see them in person. I want a night in at one of their houses playing stupid drinking games or something, or maybe just a drunk conversation and takeout session after our night out at the club. I just miss them so much!

Long Car Rides

Weirdly specific but obviously I haven’t left my hometown since this all kicked off. Once a week me, my Mum and brother would drive to visit my Nan in West Bromwich and the journey would take about 40 minutes in the car to get there and then another 40 minutes to get home and I loved sitting back and listening to music whilst staring out the window. My Mum’s still driving over to my Nan’s, not for a visit but to drop off supplies and I did think about volunteering to go with her as company for the car ride but she generally pops over before work and also maybe she appreciates just having some alone time in the car.

In fact, this doesn’t just apply to cars. I also miss long train journeys. I’m used to visiting London quite regularly and I appreciate the long train journey. It’s just a nice bit of time to sit and relax. Obviously I’m still listening to music and chilling at home but it’s not the same.

Meals Out

Me + Ian

I’ve been lucky enough to not have any specific cravings for fast food or my favourite foods from particular restaurants but that doesn’t mean that I don’t miss them. Having to think what to make myself for dinner every single bloody night is grating on me, I don’t like spending too much time in ASDA anymore so I feel like I can’t go up and down looking for ingredients so I’m grabbing whatever’s convenient. I can’t wait to go back to a restaurant, have someone cook my food for me and then do the washing up for me like yes please.

The places I miss the most are probably Wetherspoons (controversial but it’s cheap and quick) and TGI Friday’s (which is weird ‘cos I never even ate there that often). I’ve not had many cravings for fast food like McDonalds or KFC but no doubt once those open I’ll go and grab some. Weirdly I’m also missing my Boots meal deals that I’d grab at lunchtime which is very irritating as I was getting bored of them when I was still working in the office.

I know we can still get takeout from certain places but my parents are being absolute snakes and keep ordering it without telling me so I haven’t even been able to enjoy that at the moment, I just keep having to cook for myself and it’s stressful. Every time I go to the shop I forget every food I’ve ever enjoyed so I’m finding myself eating a lot of the same lately.

Cinema

Cineworld

I love going to the cinema. I love going to my local Cineworld, ordering myself a large milkshake and then settling into my seat to pay attention to a film for a couple of hours. I can watch films at home but my attention wavers a lot at home whereas at the cinema I’m able to focus solely on the film even if I’m not 100% enjoying it. I’m way fussier about films at home, I don’t know why, I think it’s because I’m surrounded by too much temptation. Plus I’m one of those people who won’t even take their phone out for a split second to check the time in the cinema ‘cos I think it’s really rude so it’s almost impossible to get distracted.

There were some cracking films coming out this year as well that have been pushed back, the one I was looking forward to most was definitely ‘A Quiet Place 2’. I can’t wait for the cinemas to be open again, honestly.

Browsing in Stores

I’ve managed to perfect my food shop so that I only need to go to ASDA once every two weeks now and whilst I used to really enjoy shopping I actually low-key dread it now. Okay, that’s not entirely true – I like getting out of the house to actually do something but God being in the store stresses me out. I feel the first few aisles are okay, everyone’s respectful and I wonder why I got so worried. Then the middle and end aisles are horrendous, people just don’t give a damn about social distancing and can’t follow the arrows on the floor. By the time I’m done I’m absolutely exhausted from shoving round my full trolley whilst trying to avoid getting too close to anybody else.

Before lockdown I was a ‘shop as and when’ girl so I’d put enough food for the next couple of days into a basket and then just go out when I needed. I also liked to take my time, weigh up my options in my mind, did I really fancy that etc. Now it’s basically grab and go. Nowadays I sort out a mental list of everything I need a couple of days before I go and try my best to stick to that. It’s also more annoying now if I forget anything non-essential. Last Monday I forgot to grab custard but obviously won’t be popping out to buy any. I miss being able to take my time and also not worrying that all the other shoppers were gonna infect me with a deadly disease because they don’t understand the concept of bloody social distancing.

It’s not just grocery stores either, I used to pop to my local shopping centre every lunchtime at work and I’d love to have a browse in PRIMARK and other stores but that’s obviously not an option at the moment.

Visiting Family and Friends

Me + Little Nan

This is obvious and I’d imagine probably applies to most people. Obviously I’m still talking to my friends but it’s not the same as when we’re all sat in a room together chatting shit. Or out and about doing something. My Dad’s phoning me once a week but it’s not the same as going to his house for dinner. I used to see my Nan weekly which I obviously can’t anymore so I’ve been writing her letters and putting them in with the food deliveries my Mum takes. But it’s obviously never going to be the same as seeing your loved ones in person.

Unfortunately I think my grandparents will be some of the last people I see because even once the restrictions are lifted we’re still going to be a risk to our elderly relatives. I know my brother’s missing my Nan (he keeps throwing tantrums whenever I look after him the little shit) so it’s a shame it’s going to take so long to get back to ‘normal’. But we’ll all have to be patient.

Having the House to Myself

I love having the house to myself. As many of you may know I really don’t get on well with my step-dad and even if I did I’d still appreciate having some alone time to roam around the house. Sometimes it’s just for an evening or sometimes it’s for a bit longer if my parents are on holiday. I like it because I have full access to the kitchen to make whatever I want without worrying I’m taking too long and I can also sit in the living room which apparently is a privilege in our house.

To be fair I imagined we’d have all reached boiling point by now since none of us can go anywhere but we’re ticking by okay. But I’m still looking forward to when they can go out again so I can have the house to myself again. At the moment I’m sort of just stuck in my room and although it could be worse it could also be better.

Travelling

Tokyo 2

I was due to go to Sweden over the Easter Bank Holiday Weekend but that obviously didn’t go ahead. To be fair I already knew before we went into full lockdown that I wouldn’t be able to go but in the grand scheme of things it wasn’t the end of the world. As I’ve pointed out a couple of times I managed to have my big trip to Florida in February so I could give up my weekend in Sweden. I’m due to go to Disneyland Paris for four nights in November but obviously that’s not a certainty anymore but I’ll keep my fingers crossed. I think that since I’ve booked it all through a travel company they’ll be able to rebook for me so it wouldn’t be the end of the world.

Last year I did tons of travelling, probably the most I’ve ever done in a year (6 countries) and I really miss it. I think it’s hard not being able to book anything to look forward to because we don’t know when everything’s going to be back to normal. Yeah, I am struggling with the lack of travel. I can’t even explore the UK at the moment let alone other countries.

Theatre

Me + Hirst

I bloody love going to the theatre and to be fair, before we went into lockdown I’d already been a fair few times. Shortly beforehand I managed to see Six two nights in a row, the first with my Mum and then the second time with Hirst. I’d also had a few weekends in London watching various different shows. I am missing it though. In April I was meant to see ‘Friends – The Musical Parody’ which unfortunately was cancelled. Me and Mum were due to see ‘Mary Poppins’ for the first weekend in June but I’m certain that will be postponed which is a shame as it was my Christmas present. I’m definitely missing my theatre trips.

I’m sure there are plenty of other things that I miss if I thought about it for a while longer but these are the main ones. Feel free to let me know what you guys are missing but for now stay home and stay safe.

Animal Crossing New Horizons: Tag

New Horizons

It’s safe to say that I’ve played an awful lot of Animal Crossing ever since the game was released. I received my Nintendo Switch Lite and the game on the same day and although I have another Switch game I haven’t even opened it yet because I’ve been so busy playing Animal Crossing. My last couple of posts were about social distancing and this lockdown so I wanted something more light-hearted and decided to look for an Animal Crossing tag. I couldn’t find one so decided to make my own. Feel free to borrow if you want to give it a go, I’d love to read your answers!

Who were you starter villagers?

As I’ve only played ‘Wild World’ I didn’t really have any favourite islanders (I’m not sure if my favourite from back then are even still around) so I didn’t go into this game with any hopes for who my villagers would be. As luck would have it I think I got two pretty decent ones because I got Poncho and Agnes. Although Agnes is probably my least favourite villager so far I still like her, as I like all my residents. And I actually love Poncho.

New Horizons Bridge

I’ve just Googled it and apparently my old favourite villager is part of New Horizons. For some reason I really loved Opal even though she was a ‘snooty’ villager so if she came to my island I’d ask her to stay.

Which other villagers have joined your island?

Sherb, Marina and Peanut. My favourite is definitely Marina, I think she’s so cute and I’m so glad I’ve got her on my island. I asked them all very quickly to move in not realising there was going to be a limit, I did say no to one villager but I can’t remember who it was. I’ve only recently got the campsite up and running and Huck is in there at the moment and the game forced me to ask him to move in but I really don’t want him to ‘cos he’ll spoil my aesthetic haha. Luckily I don’t think he will because he asked me to ask Tom Nook if it was okay and I haven’t asked because I don’t want him. I didn’t realise if I talked to him the game would force me to invite him to my island! Hopefully tomorrow he’ll buggar off and I can pick someone else.

New Horizons Resident Services

What is your island fruit and are you happy with it?

Mine’s apples and I was thrilled because someone on Twitter did a poll to see what fruit people wanted and I did choose apples. I know everyone likes the peaches but I’m not as keen. The only fruit I would’ve been annoyed with is the pears. I do have pear (and cherry) trees on my island now but for it to be the resident fruit would’ve been so annoying. The ones in Wild World made me feel a bit sick because they reminded me of a horrible jellybean I ate as a kid that made me feel sick. Eugh!

What did you name your island and does it have a meaning?

The one thing that I suck at is naming my island. I was looking at what other people were calling theirs but it had meaning to them so I didn’t want to steal them. I can’t remember what site I ended up on but it showed me what small words meant (I’m not explaining this right but I can’t remember how I found this site) and so I strung two together and came up with the island name of ‘Redfae’. I’m actually not mad keen on it now but there’s no going back. I wish I’d spent a bit longer thinking of a name but I don’t think I’d have come up with much to be honest.

New Horizons Marina

Do you time skip?

I used to when I played it on the Nintendo DS because I’d do all the cheats of how to get thousands of bells of interest from the bank but that came with consequences (the amount of bloody weeds that would appear over town). I also skipped to my birthday a couple of times to see what would happen. But in New Horizons I’m enjoying taking it day by day so I don’t think I’ll time skip. I’m finding it much easier to get bells in this game than I did in Wild World so I don’t really see the need. I’m not too impatient whilst waiting for stuff to be built; I just get on with other things that need doing on the island.

Did you stick with your first island or did you reset?

I stuck with my first island because like I said, I didn’t really have any expectations. I was also happy with my starter fruit and my villagers seemed okay. Maybe if I’d got pears and an ugly villager I’d have felt differently though haha! I used to reset all the time when I played Wild World but I don’t particularly want to reset all my hard work.

New Horizons Aquarium

Do you have a favourite K. K. Slider song?

When I was a kid I ended up having Antonio as one of my villagers in one town I had and I loved the song he played in his house which was ‘K. K. Faire’ and I found it on YouTube and although the ‘live’ version of K. K. singing it is good the song that played in his house sounds so weird. I still think it’s my favourite for nostalgia purposes though.

New Horizons Sherb

Those are all the questions I have for now! Please send me a link if you complete this tag, I’d love to read your answers. Stay safe!

Quarantine Tag Game

Social Distancing

So I found this tag on Tumblr and although no one tagged me in it I’m gonna give it a go. There’s not many questions but I have little else to write about in this lockdown so please enjoy!

Are you staying home from work/school?

Yes, we were all moved to work from home. When this originally started we were going to move onto a rota so half the team would be in the office whilst the other half worked from home and we’d keep alternating but it reached a point where they couldn’t open the office full stop. I last went in for half a day and we couldn’t leave until we’d sorted an automated voice for the phones and since I was in the office I got nominated by my colleagues to record the voice because I have a ‘posh voice’ apparently. It’s a bit cringe but my friends rang the number and said I sounded very professional so there’s that!

I’m low-key enjoying working from home whilst also missing my colleagues and being out and about. I miss walking over town during my lunch break whilst listening to music. I am saving money on Boots meal deals though.

If you’re staying home, who is there with you?

My Mum and Step-Dad. At first my step-dad still had to go to work whilst me and my Mum worked from home and that worked well but now my step-dad is home fulltime and it’s uh… Not perfect but working better than I thought. Luckily I think my Mum knows he’d drive us insane so she told him to keep himself busy whilst we’re working and he has been so far. We’ll see what it’s like in a few weeks I guess.

Me + Mum 3

Are you a homebody?

Uh yes and no. Whilst I always enjoyed having the odd day in the house I was generally out most nights of the week. I’d go out for meals, go to the cinema, meet my friends, go to the theatre etc. I also travel a lot. So whilst I can manage staying inside there are a lot of things I do miss.

Has an event that you were looking forward to been cancelled?

The first one isn’t an event but I was due to go to Sweden over the bank holiday weekend which obviously isn’t happening now. I am gutted because I wanted to see Sweden but after my horrible flight back from Orlando I was really dreading getting on a plane again. Also at the moment I’m just counting my blessings that I managed my big trip to Florida in February, I’d have been more devastated to miss that one so I can let go of Sweden.

Stockholm

I was due to go to the theatre to see ‘Friends – The Musical Parody’ which is now cancelled. I am disappointed but I got to see ‘Six – The Musical’ just before all this kicked off and that was fantastic.

Then I have nothing until June when I have a ticket to see Mary Poppins and a ticket to see My Chemical Romance and to be honest I’d be most gutted if those two were cancelled or I couldn’t go. I have a horrible feeling they will be but for now I’ll just cross my fingers.

What movies have you watched recently?

Me and my friends have discovered and are utilizing Netflix Party. We recently re-watched the Twilight series which I’d hated as a teenager but must confess I really enjoyed watching with my friends. Now we’ve moved onto The Hunger Games – we originally couldn’t watch it because it’s not available on the UK Netflix but Jess managed to find a way around the system and now we only have Mockingjay Part Two left.

Mockingjay Still

By myself I re-watched ‘The Little Mermaid’ and ‘Brave’ on Disney+ and I have much more in my watch list to get through. I also have a few films on Netflix that I want to watch.

What shows are you watching?

At the moment I’m working my way through ‘The Simpsons’ on Disney+ because it’s comforting and familiar, like I don’t have to think too much and it’s just light-hearted. I want to start a series but my attention span is so low that I’m not sure what I’m feeling. I want to rewatch all the old Disney shows, maybe that’s what I need during these trying times – old and familiar lmao.

The Simpsons

What music are you listening to?

I’ve literally had the ‘Six’ soundtrack on repeat ever since I saw the show, I immediately loved every song and I can’t stop listening to it. Between that I’m also listening to my usual K-Pop mixed with some My Chemical Romance and other various bands. Right this second I’m listening to Hands Up by Cherry Bullet (which you should definitely check out, it’s their best song yet). I’m also listening to the ‘Birds of Prey’ soundtrack fairly regularly.

Six The Musical

What are you reading?

After watching the ‘Twilight’ saga with my friends I decided to give the book a try because I really didn’t get to grips with it when I was a teenager, I tried and just really couldn’t get into it. So I ordered the first book and have finally managed to read it – so I’ve ordered the rest of the series to give a try.

Twilight 2

I am reading a fair amount; this is the perfect time to up my total for my reading challenge. I recently read ‘The Love Hypothesis’ by Laura Steven who is quickly turning into one of my favourite authors. I’ve also read ‘A Dark Secret’ by Casey Watson, she’s a foster carer who writes books about the children she’s looked after – I personally prefer Cathy Glass but I’m up to date with all of Cathy’s so decided to read more by Casey. Then I read ‘Are You Watching’ by Vincent Ralph which wasn’t incredible but did keep my attention sufficiently I suppose.

I’ve got a good amount of books to keep me going for the foreseeable future I think!

What are you doing for self-care?

Not a lot because I’ve actually been weirdly busy to be honest. I’m playing a lot of Animal Crossing which I think is good because it’s calm and is a good bit of escapism. I’m also trying to go for more walks as I’ve found I’m struggling to sleep at night recently and I think it’s because I’m obviously moving around far less than I normally would if I was still going out to work. Unfortunately though the walks aren’t that calming as I’m doing my best to social distance from everyone and some people just honestly don’t care and it really stresses me out but I think they do help with my sleep pattern so I’ll have to carry on.

There we have it, my quarantine tag! I hope you enjoyed, feel free to link me to your own answers.

My Social Distancing Plans

Social Distancing

Within the past couple of weeks the world has changed quite a lot. It seems crazy that just two weeks ago I was able to visit the theatre with my friend Hirst and my Mum and now everything’s closed – including the office I work in! I am taking the social distancing measures seriously but haven’t got cabin fever yet because I’ve actually been quite busy for the past week or so. Therefore I’ve decided to share my social distancing plans and what I’ll be up to during this isolation.

Working From Home

Social Distancing Work

I am extremely fortunate to have a job that 1) accepted that we will all need to adapt to home-working and 2) have a manager who is determined that none of us will be left without work and go on sick or no pay. It took a bit of time and we haven’t ironed out every bump yet but our entire team is now working from home and it’s going okay. I’m in a work group chat with the other admin and we finally managed to have a successful video chat so although it’ll be weird not to see them properly I shouldn’t have time to miss them.

One of the benefits of working from home is that for the foreseeable future we don’t have to answer phones, we’re taking any queries as emails and answering the phones was my least favourite part of my job so I’m ecstatic about that. The only downside is that I’ve been added to a volunteer list to potentially help out in the community as we’re not going to get be getting tons of work coming our way – a nice idea in theory but I’m not sure I get paid enough to put myself at risk. But we’ll see. Either way, I’m glad I still have a job during these times as I know many people weren’t as fortunate and one that will keep me relatively busy.

Movie Nights with my Girls

Netflix

Somebody on Twitter very helpfully tweeted about how Netflix Party might be a saviour during the next few weeks so me and my best friends Becca, Hirst and Jess decided to put the system to the test. We normally spend forever picking a film but to be fair we settled on ‘Twilight’ very quickly on our first Netflix Party night and then over the course of a week we completed the entire series. The system wasn’t flawless, one night I’d estimate it took us about 40 – 45 minutes to all successfully get into the party and then during Breaking Dawn Part Two it kept saying people had left even though they hadn’t? But although the system isn’t perfect it’s nice to still be able to watch a film with my favourite people.

Twilight

Now that we’ve finished the Twilight saga we’re going to need something else to watch but I’m sure we’ll find something – if anyone has any suggestions then please feel free to leave them! The trouble we have is that our tastes are all quite different, I’m surprised we settled on the Twilight films so quickly.

Playing Animal Crossing

Animal Crossing

I’d been moaning about wanting a Nintendo Switch for a while but couldn’t really afford it until eventually I decided to settle for a Nintendo Switch Lite which I actually kind of prefer – I don’t have a TV in my room so wouldn’t really get the most out of a proper Switch and I think my Switch Lite is cute. I’ve bought two games, a Mario Game and Animal Crossing. And so far, the only game I’ve played is Animal Crossing.

The only Animal Crossing game I’ve played is ‘Wild World’ on my Nintendo DS which I’ve had since I was in primary school but I loved it and never really grew out of it. The games have obviously come on a long way since then and I love it. Being able to pick where I wanted my house to be in ‘New Horizons’ was such a treat. I always wanted a house near the beach in ‘Wild World’ but even if you selected ‘beach’ you were bloody miles away from it so I plopped my house is ‘New Horizons’ right next to the beach (as you can see from my screensheet). I can never go back to ‘Wild World’ after this, I’m enjoying ‘New Horizons’ too much. I definitely made the right decision to buy it on release day, I think it’ll keep me entertained throughout this disaster.

Disney+

Disney+

The second Disney+ was launched in the UK I signed up, I’d been absolutely counting down the days until it’s release. I bloody love Disney and since my trip to Florida I’ve wanted to re-watch a lot of the films. I have a few DVD’s but as mentioned I don’t own a TV and unfortunately my laptop won’t let me play DVD’s so they were no use and I didn’t mind buying digital copies but they were quite expensive for just one movie. But finally, they’re all in one place and I only have to pay like £5 a month to watch them. Absolute bargain.

I haven’t even had time to properly dive into it but I’m sure I’ll set aside a day to binge all of my old favourite Disney movies and shows – so far all I’ve watched is ‘The Little Mermaid’ and several episodes of ‘The Simpsons’. I’m honestly so excited!

Playing The Sims

The Sims 3

I’ve recently re-found my love for the Sims (although truthfully I have abandoned it recently to play Animal Crossing) which couldn’t have come at a better time to be honest. I’m a sucker for the Sims 3 (I never really got on with Sims 4) and recently downloaded a couple more of my expansion packs and honestly I’m at a stage where I could play all day and probably not get bored. I bloody love the Sims. So I’ll definitely be occupying some of my time with that.

Games with my Friends

On Thursday night me and the girls took part in a Virtual Pub Quiz and although it was absolutely chaotic it was a lot of fun. Then we did a YouTube Disney quiz, answered some riddles and then a Twilight quiz. So we’ve decided that some evenings we’ll also play games somehow so that we’re not always just watching movies. It’s going to be a lot of fun!

Reading

Just before everything went pear-shaped I ordered three new books in case we had to fully isolate and since then I’ve finished two of them and am halfway through the third. I have a couple more that have been floating round my ‘to be read’ shelf for a while so I should probably get started on them but if possible I’m also gonna order a few more. My reading goal for this year was 30 books and this lockdown will be a great excuse to get through as many as possible. If anyone has any book recommendations please leave them in the comments and I might give them a go!

Writing

We’ll see if I actually do this because unfortunately although I was doing okay with this at the start of the year it seems to have gone down the pan. But I want to get back into writing and now seems like a perfect opportunity to do so. So I will try harder! It might also give me an opportunity to write some more blog posts although I’m not sure what about considering I won’t be able to go anywhere or do anything but I might think of something. We’ll soon see!

For now those are the only plans I have and to be honest I’ve been quite busy for the week or so… So hopefully I’ll get through these difficult times. Let me know your social distancing plans and how you’re finding it. Stay safe everyone!

Orlando Haul

Fireworks

Honestly, I feel like I didn’t buy enough in Orlando but due to the length of time I was there I had limited room in my suitcase. So when it came to pack my stuff up and go home I was actually lucky it all fit to be honest. I did buy a fair amount so I’m going to show you. Here goes nothing!

Disney Cup

Disney Cup

My first night was a bit of a disaster so the lovely lady who checked me in gave me a free dinner voucher. Unfortunately I was too tired to use it on my first night so I used it a few days later – the meal voucher came with a free meal, a snack and a cup that entitled you to free refills throughout your stay at the resort. This was my cup! I don’t know how it works but they’re scanned and when you put it under the machine it registers your cup and how long you have left for refills. Most of the refills were for hot drinks or fizzy drinks but I found some pomegranate juice that was actually super tasty so I drank that for the rest of my trip. And I got to bring the cup home which is cool!

Toy Story Necklace

Toy Story Necklace

The Toy Story films are probably my favourite Disney films so when I spotted this necklace in the massive Disney store at Disney Springs I had to buy it. This was on day five of my trip and I had quite a bit of money so although I couldn’t see a price on the box I decided to chance it. I can’t remember how much it cost but it wasn’t as much as I was expecting. It’s super cute and I love it!

Castle Magnet

Castle Magnet

This is for my friend Jess – even though she was the only one of my friends to tell me her favourite characters in advance for my trip she was the most difficult to buy for. I settled on this as she collects buildings from the different places she’s visited so I usually get her something like that – therefore if she doesn’t want to use it as a magnet she can add it to her little village. Hopefully she likes it!

Moana Pin

Moana Pin

Another gift for Jess – she’d told me her favourite character was Moana and I actually really struggled to find much Moana related gifts for her. In the end I found this pin and decided I thought it was cute so now Jess owns it!

Mickey Doughnut Magnet

Mickey Doughnut Magnet

Just before my trip to Florida I went to my friend Emma’s house and commented on her lack of fridge magnets and promised I’d bring her one back from Florida. I can’t remember all the characters she said she liked but she mentioned that her favourite was Hercules which basically left me with nothing to go off (I don’t think there was any Hercules merchandise at all). I settled on this one for her as I think it’s cute!

Hollywood Studios Magnet

Hollywood Studios Magnet

I wanted a cute fridge magnet but couldn’t really find a cute one for the whole of Disneyworld if you know what I mean? This was originally bought for my brother Ian – he’s autistic and his ‘thing’ growing up was Toy Story. He loved Woody and had tons of merchandise for it. Unfortunately we lost all of his merchandise (Mum suspects my step-dad threw it away which is a dick move) but although he still likes it he prefers Scooby-Doo now. I was going to give the magnet to Ian but decided that actually I like it and Ian probably wouldn’t give a shit anyway so now it’s on my fridge.

Walt Disneyworld Magnet

Disney Magnet

I actually thought the majority of magnets were kinda ugly and that included this one but I wanted something that showed I’d been to the Florida park so I ended up bringing this one home for me. Well, I’m not actually sure if it’s for me or my Mom but it’s on our fridge – presumably if I ever move house the magnet will come with me ‘cos my Mom doesn’t care about Disney.

Mickey Mouse Key Ring

Mickey Mouse Keyring

I’ve got way too many key rings at the moment – the trouble I have is that I bought them on trips so I don’t want to take any of them off because they have a nice memory attached to them. My Step-Mum has this in a fridge magnet format from their trip to Disneyworld years ago and I wanted a key ring version to show that I’d been. And I love it so no regrets I guess. Except I’m finding it harder to shove my house key into its little pouch with all the bloody key rings I’ve got now.

1st Visit Badge

1st Visit Badge

I mentioned this in my ‘Travel Fails’ blog post but my first night was an absolute disaster and I sobbed to the woman on reception that it was my first visit and it had been a disaster so far and she gave me this badge. I wore it most days of my trip. It was nice actually because most staff would wish me a happy first visit (I even got some free food in Hollywood Studios) and even other guests would wish me a happy first visit too. So if it’s your first time at Disneyworld definitely ask for one of these badges!

Beauty and the Beast Key Ring

Beauty and the Beast Keyring

This is for my friend Hirst – every time I’ve been somewhere Disney related I always buy her something Beauty and the Beast related even though I’m not actually 100% sure if it’s her favourite Disney film anymore. I’m pretty sure Belle was her favourite princess, I have no idea if it’s changed or not but for the foreseeable future she’ll probably keep getting Beauty and the Beast merchandise!

Disney Postcards

Disney Postcards

Although I’m extremely behind on it I keep scrapbooks of my adventures and I find it’s helpful to have a postcard or two to add. This pack includes ten postcards, here’s what they have if you can see them:

Postcards 2

They’re really cute and I’m looking forward to putting them in my scrapbook!

Toy Story Notebook

Toy Story Notebook

I think this is so cute, it’s a notebook made to look like the Toy Story VHS. I love buying new notebooks. I’m not sure whether I’ll actually use this one because it’s so cute that I worry nothing I write in it will actually be worthy. But I knew I had to have it so maybe I will write something in it one day.

Coco Notebook

Coco Notebook

I bought this for my friend Becca because she watched the Coco movie last year and has probably seen it 100 times since then because she instantly loved it. When I gave this to her she instantly went “I can never write anything in this, it’s too nice!” So I think it was well received. I do think it’s cute actually, she’s lucky I gave it to her instead of keeping it for myself haha!

Disney Snow Globe

Snowglobe

Whenever I go abroad I bring back a snow globe to mark where I’ve been. The literal only one I’m missing is Amsterdam so I’m hoping my Mom will get me one when she goes in April. I hadn’t really spotted any snow globes in the parks so I bought one from Universal which I will show you all later in this post but then I spotted this one in the gift store of my hotel. It’s bigger than all my other snow globes, even my Japan one, but since I’d wanted to visit for so long it’s nice to have the snow globe as like… An achievement if that makes sense? I genuinely thought I’d never be able to afford to go and I’m so happy that I did. Now I have this on my ‘travel shelf’ to prove that I did.

Chocolate Frog

Chocolate Frog

In Japan me, Becca and Jess each bought one of these and even brought one back to the UK for Hirst – mostly so we could see who’s card we got but also the Chocolate Frogs themselves had been worth the money as they’re quite heavy, even I couldn’t finish the whole thing in one sitting. I didn’t open it until I got back to the UK and saw that I’d got Gilderoy Lockhart’s card:

Chocolate Frog Card

Not my favourite character but at least I didn’t get another Dumbledore! If ever I went back to Universal Studios I think I’d buy another one, I love getting the cards.

Universal Studios Shot Glass

Universal Shot Glass

As you can see the shot glass says ‘Jessica’ at the top so it was a gift for my friend Hirst. Most of my gifts from abroad for Hirst are a shot glass and Becca & Jess usually get her one too so she has quite a good collection of them now.

Hermione Key Ring

Hermione Key Ring

To be honest I really struggled to know what to buy for my friends in Universal Studios but I knew I should probably get them something. I spotted this and it instantly reminded me of Becca as she loves Harry Potter and she had told me that in primary school she used to play Harry Potter with a couple of friends and she was always Hermione. So I brought it home for her.

Cauldron Key Ring

Cauldron Key Ring

I’m in danger now but I think I gave this one to Hirst. Hirst isn’t actually the biggest Harry Potter on the planet, she didn’t watch the films until she was in her late teens and I don’t think she’s read the books but she sort of likes it now and enjoyed ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’ when I took her to see it last August. So she ended up with a cauldron key ring!

Chocolate Frog Key Ring

Chocolate Frog Key Ring

Pretty sure I gave this one to Jess. I had wanted to get us each something from our houses as we all have a different one – I’m Hufflepuff, Jess is Gryffindor, Becca is Slytherin and Hirst is Ravenclaw. But everything was so expensive and the house related stuff wasn’t actually that cute so I settled on getting them different key rings instead.

Tinkerbell Pin

Tinkerbell Pin

This was for my friend Sorcha, I’d gotten her an Ariel key ring in Hong Kong as I’d thought that was her favourite character but it turned out although she loved Ariel her actual favourite character was Tinkerbell (she didn’t tell me that when I gave her the key ring, she was grateful, it just came up in conversation before I went away lmao). I made it my mission to get her something Tinkerbell related this time and came across this pin which I thought was cute so I decided to get it for her.

Bead Necklaces

Bead Necklaces

At Universal Studios there’d been a parade where the people on the floats tossed these bead necklaces out into the crowd. The girl next to me caught tons and saw I was getting a bit frustrated that I hadn’t managed to catch any yet so she kindly gave me two of hers and then as the parade went on I managed to build it up to nine necklaces. I wore them for the rest of the visit and I thought it was a cute idea. Some people literally must’ve managed to collect almost a hundred of them which I thought was a bit crazy considering they’re probably worth about 10p each but if it made them happy then crack on I guess!

Minnie Mouse Plushie

Minnie Mouse Plushie

I told myself not to buy anymore plushies because although I love all the ones I have they’re in a bin bag because I have nowhere to store them (I’m not throwing them out although I’m sure my Mother would love that, I’m just keeping hold of them) but when I saw this Minnie Mouse I couldn’t resist. She’s holding a candyfloss and her dress is covered in different things from the parks like rides or iconic buildings from each park. Minnie Mouse had been one of my favourite character meets as she was so lovely so I just couldn’t help myself! She’s on my bed for now but unfortunately I imagine she’ll be destined for the bin bag until I move out and hopefully get some space to showcase my cute plushies.

Tinkerbell Decoration

Tinkerbell Decoration

I spotted this in a Christmas shop and knew it would be perfect for Sorcha so I got it for her. She was delighted with it and I’m really happy I grabbed it for her; I do think it’s so cute.

Buzz Lightyear Decoration

Buzz Lightyear Decoration

And this is the one I bought for myself. I’ve been buying more Disney decorations over the past couple of years (much to my Mum’s disappointment as she’s not really a Disney fan but she can’t stop me spending my own money lmao) but when I got this home I’ve decided not to save it for Christmas and now he’s on the knob for one of my drawers. I don’t think he’ll go on the tree this year because I bought some other decorations for myself too…

Toy Story Decorations

Toy Story Decorations

These ones! They were the first things I spent money on in the parks. My original plan had been to give the Woody one to my brother for his tree and we’d have the Buzz one on ours but like with the magnet I think he’s going to be left short again because I want them both on our tree. So they’re going to take pride and place on ours instead.

Seuss Snow Globe

Seuss Snow Globe

This is the snow globe I mentioned earlier and to be fair I do really like it. I went to Seuss land first at Universal Studios and ended up loving the Cat in the Hat ride more than I thought I would. I had more fun in Universal than I thought I would actually, there were more rides that I could handle than I’d originally thought and it was lots of fun. I’d definitely go back one day.

Hello Kitty Notebooks

Hello Kitty Notebooks

My love for cute notebooks got the better of me again but I couldn’t resist these when I saw them! I mean, look at them! I’d nearly chickened out of the ET ride at the last minute but didn’t and was so proud of myself for going on it, plus it was lots of fun so I decided I wanted the ET version but I thought the Jaws version was so cute too. I just had to get both. Again, not sure if I’ll write anything in them because they’re just too cute!

And there we have it, my Florida haul! Let me know your favourite thing you bought from Orlando.