10 Achievable Tasks for 2016 – Update

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At the beginning of the year myself and a group of bloggers and vloggers set ourselves 10 achievable tasks for 2016. You can read my original post here. Today at just over halfway through the year I’m bringing you an update. As you’ll see I’ve achieved some, am on my way to achieving  others, and have completely failed in at least one!

1. Contact friends and family every day – ACHIEVED! (But could do better)

In the modern age of technology there is no excuse to not keep in touch. Whether it be by phone calls, texts, WhatsApp message, Twitter, Snapchat or any other medium I am in touch with friends and family every day. So yes, I’ve achieved what I set out to (although of course will keep it up!) However, sitting to write this has enabled me to reflect and realise there are certainly people I need to make more of an effort to speak to on a regular basis so am giving myself a kick up the bum starting with calling one of my best friends for a catch up today.

2. Reach 200 followers on Bloglovin – getting there slowly

I set myself this modest target because (as you might have noticed) I am a bit of a flaky blogger. It’s a hobby and therefore I never want it to feel like a chore. This means I only post when I both have the inspiration and the time, which isn’t that often! I’m sitting at 185 followers at the moment so still have time to reach this target by the end of the year. If you don’t already follow me on Bloglovin it would be great if you click the button on my homepage to help a girl out!

3. Start a weekly make up rotation – ACHIEVED!

Every Sunday I select my makeup products for the week and place them in a basket. These are the products I use all week. It’s become such a habit that I do it without thinking. It has been a great way to discover old favourites and make the most out of my collection.

4. Renovate our bedroom – Not yet!

Eight and a half years down the line our bedroom has still barely been touched. In our defence we have had a new kitchen fitted this year (although that still hasn’t been fully completed!) What can I say, we just aren’t the home renovating kind. There always seems to be something more exciting to spend our time and money on!

5. Make time for Headspace – COMPLETE FAIL! But it’s OK

Having discovered this guided meditation app last December I was determined to use it four times a week to get some relaxing me time. Want to know how many times I’ve used it in total since writing the original post? ZERO! I even deleted the app last week to make space on my iPhone. However, I have taken up colouring as a relaxation method so although I have not technically achieved this task, I have found an alternative way to unwind so I don’t feel bad about it at all.

6. Visit a different UK city – ACHIEVED!

As I write this I am recovering from a busy but amazing hen weekend in Bath. A beautifully unique city that I will definitely return to.

7. Restart social media free nights – not quite

My aim was to have social media banned at home one evening a week and to be honest this hasn’t happened (I blame my discovery of Snapchat!) However, we are still having them occasionally and I highly recommend them – there is nothing like good old fashioned conversation to pass the time!

8. Listen to 5 albums – On track (pun intended!)

I have actually surprised myself with this one! As much as I wanted to listen to more music my lifestyle means I rarely have the time to sit and ‘just be’. But by being inspired by a friend’s passion for music, listening to an album on a long car journey and making use of Spotify I’m on my way to my target. I’ve listened to three different albums so far this year which to many of you probably doesn’t sound much but before that I can’t even remember the last time I did this. Favourite so far? We come from the same place by Allo Darlin’ – beautiful.

9. Eat less takeaways – ACHIEVED!

I’ve kicked the bad habits I slipped into at the end of last year. Takeways are now (almost) exclusively reserved for weekends and even then I’m not having them every weekend. *smug face*

10. Try a new class at the gym – ACHIEVED!

OK, the new classes I’ve tried aren’t technically at my gym but at a fitness centre but that still counts in my book. I now regularly attend a few different classes including Boogie Bounce, Weighted Hula and Anti-gravity and can honestly say they have rekindled my love for exercising. Mission accomplished!

 

 

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5 Disneyland Paris Tips – for couples

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My husband and I don’t mind admitting that we are huge Disney fans. I’d say we have visited Disneyland Paris more than your average adults and therefore have some wisdom to share! A quick internet search, and you will find plenty of advice for families visiting Disneyland Paris, which is to be expected as clearly they are Disney’s biggest customer. However, the advice I’d give to couples is very different and so for first timers or veterans alike, here are my top 5 tips.

1. Travel by Eurostar

In larger groups this is unlikely to be the most economical option, considering that if you go by car (through the tunnel or on the ferry) the price is per vehicle rather than per person like on the Eurostar. However, it is so convenient if you live within a reasonable distance from London/Kent, that when there are just two of you, I’d say it’s the only way to travel! Marne-la-Vallee station is so close to the park, it might as well be in it. You can therefore walk to the park straight off the train, but if you have heavy bags there is also a free shuttle to the onsite hotels (which brings me on to my next tip!)

Bonus tip: if you book tickets as soon as they are released (which I think is 6 months in advance) you can get them for £72 return per person.

2. Stay on site

Yes, this is a more expensive option than staying in a hotel outside of the park. However, a trip to Disneyland Paris is expensive regardless and if you have decided to splash out on the trip in the first place, in my opinion, you may as well go all out! Having said that there are 7 themed onsite hotels, with huge variability in price so there are more ‘budget friendly’ options. Why stay on site though? For me, there are two reasons. The first being practical; if you are staying for a short time (which most people do when visiting Disneyland Paris) the hotels are very close to the parks and Disney village (with restaurants and shops) so it’s nice to be able to ‘pop’ back to your hotel without wasting precious time travelling. You also get extra perks such as access to the parks an hour before the general public. The second reason comes from my general love of Disney; if you stay on site you are constantly surrounded by the Disney magic! Our favourite is Sequoia Lodge with it’s theme being inspired by America’s National Parks. It’s especially cosy in the winter as the bar area has a huge open fire, which is lit most of the day at this time of year (which again, brings me on to my next tip!)

3. Go in the Winter

As a couple if you have the flexibility of not having to travel during school holidays, and you don’t mind the cold, then winter is the time to go! You’ll find it’s much cheaper and the parks are quiet. There are still enough people around for there to be a good atmosphere, but in our experience there is barely any queuing. Most, if not all rides seem to remain open too. Wrap up though! We tend to go in February when there is often snow and/or temperatures well below freezing. I’m talking thermals, snow boots, layers, gloves and woolly hat weather!

4. Sign up to the official mailing list

This tip is actually not exclusive to couples and I would recommend this to anybody who is planning a trip to Disneyland Paris. You can sign up by visiting the website, here. You will be tipped off about upcoming special offers. Offers seem to be available at most off-peak times, but peak times too. The best value one we’ve used is the ‘Free half board menu plan’ saving us a lot of money on meals. If you are reading this when published (April 2015) they have this offer on now.

5. Use the concierge service

Another advantage of staying in an onsite hotel, is access to the concierge service. Some people may be surprised to learn that the parks have a selection of decent table service restaurants (i.e. not just the fast food counters and buffets). You can book any of these through the concierge service rather than traipsing around the parks and booking them individually. Popular favourites are the Blue Lagoon and Walt’s. So you can have ‘date night’ even when visiting Disneyland Paris!

Do you have any tips for couples travelling to Disneyland Paris? Share them below!