Christmas Decorations Guide -Top Picks

So I know it’s only November but I have to drop the C word as today I’m talking about Christmas decorations. 

I personally don’t put up my Christmas decorations until 1st December but there’s no harm in getting some nice bits before then. Please be noted that items with a * are affiliate links.

  1. Llama cushion, £58 – Anthropologie*

I see this saying everywhere this year but there’s just something about this cushion that I like. I think it’s the unusual shade of green it is. It doesn’t look like a Christmas decoration – it looks like something you could have all year round. And I like that.

  1. Bauble, £5 – Debenhams

This bauble is so simple and pretty. I love the detail on it.

  1. Jumper, £15.99 – New Look

I think im going to have to do a whole separate post on Christmas jumpers. I snuck one into this post with the lame excuse of “decorating yourself” but in actual fact I see a crap load of awesome xmas jumpers this year. So yep, will have to do another post.

  1. LED marquee light, £12.50 – Paperchase*

Have absolutely no room for a Christmas tree? This marquee light is perfect for a laid back tree which doesn’t need any decoration. I may have to get one for ours as long time readers know we can’t have a traditional tree as the cats tried to eat it!

  1. Wreath, £22 – Lizard Creative @ Etsy*

I’ve always dreamed that one day I’d live somewhere nice enough where I wasn’t afraid of putting a wreath on the front door. But until then, I’ll probably just get one to hang inside where I know it won’t get nicked! This one is gorgeous. It seems to be the only one this shop does but they are open to custom orders!

  1. Light Up Snowflake, £16 – Next*

Can you tell I’ve got a thing for lights at the moment? Isn’t this snowflake pretty? Another simple way of bringing Christmas into your home.

  1. Mug, £18 – Not On The High Street*

I think decor should include things like mugs as they’re something you use every day and why shouldn’t they be Christmassy? This one is absolutely gorgeous!

  1. Pom Pom Garland, £12.57 – £39.29 depending on length – Mailbox Happiness @ Etsy*

When it comes to decor, the walls should definitely get in on the action too. I’ve been saying I’ll make a garland for years but have never gotten round to it. I should probably just buy one like this and save myself the time.

  1. 5ft Christmas Tree, £55 – Paperchase*

I couldn’t do one of these and not include a Christmas tree – how amazing is this rainbow one?

  1. Bed Set, £20 – George

And finally, Christmas should be everywhere in your home (at least I think so!) so that shouldn’t stop at your bed. I have Christmas pjs so don’t see why I shouldn’t have festive bedding too.

Also, an honourable mention has to go to Primark for their Christmas range this year.

It’s awesome and of course, super affordable. How awesome are these Disney baubles? There are so many more in the range too.

Christmas decorations - disney baubles

And I’m tempted to get this light too. Only £8!

Christmas decorations - Primark light

How do you decorate your home for Christmas?

Continue Reading

Disneyland California Resort – Honeymoon Travels

So I think it’s quite fitting that the last edition of our honeymoon travel diary was our visit to Disneyland California.

I have only been to Disneyland California once when I was about 9 I think and so had only been to the main park. California Adventure was a new one for both of us. Being a massive Disney (and Walt Disney of course) fan, I was so excited to see where it all began – at least when it comes to the theme parks.

Once again, #sorrynotsorry for the vast amount of photos!

Our Disney trip actually began the night before when we finished at Universal and drove over to Anaheim (do NOT do that during rush hour). As soon as we checked into our hotel which was just off property, we walked to Downtown Disney to get our personalised Mickey ears.

We ordered them there and then at the counter and they only took about 20 minutes despite the World of Disney shop being a mad house. It turns out that the minute we arrived, California Adventure had closed for the night so the whole park emptied and a few thousand people came straight to Downtown Disney. Anyway, lesson learned we headed back to the hotel with our ears to get some sleep. We got our initials and our wedding date embroidered on them btw!

Day 1

Hello dodgy mirror shot!
disneyland californai - outfits

And of course a Mickey ear shadow shot!

disneyland californai - shadows

We started off with California Adventure as it turned out that a few rides in the Disneyland Park were closed that day because they were having their halloween overlays added. Luckily they would be opening the next day so I’m glad I did my research! California Adventure was actually closing at 5pm that day because of a staff party but we decided we’d rather do that then miss out on the Halloween rides at Disneyland park. That make sense? Ok, let’s dive in!

disneyland californai - california adventure

Knowing that the Radiator Springs Cars ride was the most popular, we decided to grab some fast passes for that. Then we headed over to the boardwalk area below and pretty much walked onto California Screamin’ – a rollercoaster. It was awesome!

Next, I was really surprised to find a super short wait for Toy Story Midway Mania. Apparently even though it’s exactly the same ride as the one in Florida, it just isn’t that big a deal here. For those who don’t know, in Hollywood Studios in Florida, TSM is the ride you definitely need to grab a fast pass for as soon as you arrive in the morning.

disneyland californai - california screaming

We decided to get in line for the Cove Bar as we really wanted to eat here and I read that the wait times can get really long. It was like 11ish at this point but with the park closing early and us wanting to also have our dinner inside, it worked out pretty well.

disneyland californai - cove bar

It’s more like a bar than a restaurant but their food is really good too. We got two starters to share between us which may not sound like much but look at these photos! They were the perfect lunch. First was the lobster nachos which were the best. I loved these things so much and they definitely lived up to the hype.

disneyland californai - lobster nachos

Then we also had some chicken enchiladas which were pretty damn tasty!

disneyland californai - chicken enchiladas

The best part of the meal (just by a smidgen) had to be the lemonades we got each. As you can see, they are blue and then garnished with cotton candy.

disneyland californai - cotton candy lemonade

After that we used our Radiator Springs fast passes and then tried to figure out what to do next. I can see what people mean about this being a half day park but the rides that are here are very high standard. Note to people who are planning on visiting, the app is good for wait times but isn’t always accurate. After leaving Cars Land, we headed over to the Guardian’s of the Galaxy ride (formerly Tower of Terror) with the app saying that there were fast pass tickets left. Unfortunately they were long gone.

Not the end of the world, we just stood in the hour queue which isn’t bad going considering we’d practically walked on everything else all day.

disneyland californai - walt and mickey statue

Instead we grabbed a Soarin’ fast pass which was due to come into play around 4pm. So to kill time, we went to the Animation Academy and drew Jack Skeleton as well as grabbing a Starbucks and wandering around Downtown Disney for a bit.

4pm came and we went to Soarin’. I was really looking forward to this as they have the new Soarin’ round the world version (the previous was just over California). Unfortunately as we got into the line, the ride broke down and they literally sent everyone out of the building. Gutted.

We decided to go get dinner and try Soarin’ again just before closing. We got Cozy Cones from Cars Land and they were really good. They’re basically a bread cone filled with tasty stuff like mac and cheese or chilli. With cheese on top of course. Plus, while we were eating, we ended up on a table with an older couple and the lady not only had visited Disneyland in it’s opening week but she also met Walt Disney. How awesome is that? I’ll never be able to meet him myself but it’s so cool to have actually met someone who has. Disney nerd alert.

So we went back to Soarin’ to try our luck just before closing and by some miracle it had just started working again. I was so happy as that was our only chance to ride it. And it was awesome.

disneyland californai - mickey street show

On the way out of the park, we stopped at Downtown Disney again and picked up a churro ice cream sandwich. Nom is all I can say. But how awesome is this? Look at all the different flavours they have! Next time I’ll be trying those!

disneyland californai - flavoured churros

Day 2

Second day and last day. This was Disneyland Park day. I can’t do as in depth as I did for Day 1 as this park has so many damn rides that I can barely remember so I’ll just have to talk you through my photos!

disneyland californai - disneyland castle

The castle is super pretty though yes it is a great deal smaller. Not surprising really as this was the first park.

All the halloween decorations were up too which I loved.

disneyland californai - halloween decorations

I do remember that we started the day by getting a fast pass for Space Mountain. Damn that was a long line. I say line, it was more like a hoard. It was crazy but I’m so glad we got them because the queue was super long all day. This was one of the rides that had opened back up with a halloween overlay.

Then we headed to the Matterhorn which I have to say was rather disappointing. It was really rickety and jerky. Luckily this was the only bad ride we had all day!

disneyland californai - matterhorn

The It’s A Small World ride is so pretty from the outside and they even have disney characters inside which they don’t at the Florida counterpart. I also liked that this one starts outside as the other you practically have to go underground to get to it.

disneyland californai - small world

disneyland californai - train

As one of his souvenirs, Topher bought a Yoda backpack that makes it look like you’re Luke when he’s carrying him around. I’m not sure if I would have encouraged him to get it if I knew he’d be treating it like his child for the rest of the day.

disneyland californai - yoda bag

disneyland californai - new orleans square

Lunch was at Cafe Orleans and yes Topher did this and left me with him to go to the bathroom. It’s safe to say I looked pretty special dining with a bag!

disneyland californai - yoda

We had monte cristo sandwiches (classic ham for him and just cheese for me). It was really nice though the portion was a bit too large – I felt a bit ill from all the fried stuff and couldn’t finish it. Topher couldn’t even finish his.

disneyland californai - monte cristo

Jumping photos of course!

disneyland california - topher jump

disneyland californai - diane jump

And one to show off our ears!

disneyland california - looking at castle

We rode Splash Mountain and got soaked to our skin from head to toe. Brrr. You do NOT get that wet at the Florida one.

disneyland californai - splash mountain

We went to Mint Julep Bar for Mickey beignets and a Mint Julep which were both super tasty though very messy! Powdered sugar everywhere.

disneyland californai - mickey beignets

We made what turned out to be an excellent decision on getting fast passes for Haunted Mansion earlier on as the line when we got there around 4pm was insane. We even waited about 30 mins at least in the fast pass line. It was totally worth it though – the house had been given a Nightmare Before Christmas overlay which was so cool!

disneyland californai - haunted mansion

Dinner was at a Mexican place that I can’t remember the name of but it was near Frontierland. Right next to Thunder Mountain. Nom – burritos.

disneyland californai - day of the dead

Then it was time to get ready for the fireworks. I hear there is usually a parade but there wasn’t one this night. We usually go near the castle but even getting there an hour early it was all full up – at least the good spots. As it turns out, having a small castle is nice but then when you have massive trees in front of it, your options get limited fast.

We decided to head to Main Street and we sat on the side of the road where we were lucky to find a space. There was a cast member right next to us the whole time and he didn’t think to tell us what happened next. About 10 minutes I think before the fireworks started we were told to move by another cast member as they were going to fill the street up with people. I really wish we knew that as us and the rest of the people who had gotten there early thought we were sorted. I think you’re usually fine if there’s a parade but as I said there wasn’t one that night. If someone could confirm that for me? So confused.

It wasn’t the end of the world as we were lucky to end up near the front of a section that was cut off so people could cross over but it was annoying due to the many people putting their (massive) children up on their shoulders in the section in front. It wouldn’t be so much of a problem in Florida as the castle is huge but this one is tiny and easily blocked. I did manage to get a few photos of the castle though. I’m just glad we weren’t further to the left as the kid in neon yellow/green was especially big! Lesson learned, next time get there even earlier to get a better space in front of the trees.

disneyland californai - cheshire cat projection

Anyway, grumbling aside, the fireworks were awesome – I wouldn’t expect any less from Disney!

disneyland californai - lots of fireworks

On the way out, we managed to find the real bench that Walt sat on in Griffith Park so yay! Goal met.

disneyland californai - walt's bench

I really enjoyed our trip to Disneyland California overall and I just want to visit them all now! One day 🙂

So that was the last of our honeymoon – we headed back to New York the next day which is included in my New York post – see below for the other instalments if you missed them.

Part 1: New York

What we ate in New York

Part 2: San Francisco

What we ate in San Francisco

Color Factory

Madonna Inn & A Californian Roadtrip

Part 3: Los Angeles 

What we ate in Los Angeles

Universal Studios Hollywood

SaveSave

SaveSave

Continue Reading

My Week #64 – Another Adventure

*Two peas in a pod *Hello October

*Tampopo meal *My presents from Topher

So last week I started thinking about mini holidays for Topher and I to go on next year.

We’ve already got Jordan on the agenda but for way longer than 3 days! Plus Emma will be coming for her first visit so really looking forward to that. After writing about European destinations I had in mind, they were my first port of call.

My only obligations were that I have to stick to school holidays and we have to fly with EasyJet. I’ve been saving nectar points for years and found out that after the 13th October 2017, you won’t be able to spend them with EasyJet anymore. Worry not as you can still use them with other flight brands like Expedia but I had my eyes on EasyJet so I started looking.

Now I can only blame my friends Claire and Steve (and my own addiction) for what comes next but at the time, they were on a break in Disneyland Paris. So after finding holidays to my chosen destinations were more costly than I thought they were, I just thought out of curiosity to just see how much a trip to DLP would cost. And guys, it was a whole lot cheaper than I thought it would be. In fact, it was only a little bit more expensive than the other destinations I looked at. So…

Topher and I are going to Disneyland Paris in February 2018!

I am beyond excited. As much as I wanted to go somewhere new in 2018, I don’t care. This trip is actually affordable for us and we get to stay onsite for the very first time in both our lives. My Disney bug has truly reawakened and I can’t help but start researching the trip already. That and fall headfirst into Disney hauls on Youtube – don’t fall down that black hole unless you have a serious amount of time on your hands! So yeah, all pretty exciting!

In other news, not much else going on

Topher and I went to a blog dinner at Tampopo which I’ll be blogging about next month (my content calendar is chock full of honeymoon stuff!) and I now want Pad Thai. Other adventures included me getting a free half hour session at the gym with a trainer and not being able to walk for two days after. Legitimately unfit over here! Luckily when I go to the gym by myself I seem to be doing a good enough job that I have that slight sore feeling the next day so here’s hoping I can keep it up because I already got a load of gym gear.

In terms of work my schedule is pretty open so if anyone needs a VA or social media training, take a look at my hire me page and see how I can help you and your blog and/or business.

And finally, I have started collecting Tsum tsums!

Thanks to my lovely husband who got me my first two – Pascal and Carl. Topher actually told me that he bought some Magic Cards for himself and to keep an eye out for them in the post as I work from home. So when they arrived, I called him like he wanted and as it turns out, they weren’t magic cards but presents for me! The two tsum tsums and a plush of the owl from Sleeping Beauty that I picked up and put back in the Times Square Disney Store.  This was yesterday and I was having a crappy day so it was so nice and cheered me up. I knew I kept him around for a reason!

Also, finally gone through our wedding photos and just had to share this graphic combo I made of some silly photos of me taken by our photographer. Definitely not a normal bride but it made us laugh!

my week #64 diane

How was your week?

Continue Reading

San Francisco Honeymoon Travel Diary

Our flight to San Francisco landed early afternoon on Day 3 of our trip.

We hopped on the BART train into the city as the airport is no where near the city and we were met with this:

San Francisco - fog

It still the outskirts but my oh my was there a lot of fog. I was expecting fog but it doesn’t look particularly pretty does it? We also didn’t have a good time getting to our hotel. There were hills of course and hobos a plenty. It seems like San Francisco is one of those cities where you can easily walk through good and bad streets very quickly. But not letting this deter us, we checked into our hotel and headed out.

San Francisco - hotel

We figured we’d start with an uber touristy afternoon and catch a cable car on Powell Street up(or down?) to Fisherman’s Wharf. The sun had reappeared by this point and though we were tired, it was pretty exciting. We purchased a 3 day Visitors transport Pass each that would give us access to the cable cars and buses and we were off. It was a bit of a wait for a cable car but we finally got on one that had space.

San Francisco - powell street

Despite dreaming of hanging off the side of a cable car, Topher didn’t want to do it at this point so I happily obliged!

San Francisco - diane trolley

Fisherman’s Wharf was as expected, rather busy and full of tourists but we had a great time. After food we wandered around the shops and found it a whole lot more pleasant than we found Times Square in New York. At least the shops seemed a bit different than the usual chains. I’m sure these were chains too but they were a bit more out of the ordinary for us.

San Francisco - fishermans wharf

We had originally wanted to go up Coit Tower (pictured below) but decided against it due to the fog. I’m glad we did otherwise we would have been shattered!

San Francisco - coit tower

We also decided to just look at Pier 39 from afar as I’m sure you can see the big crowd there. We were just across the way and could see and hear all the sea lions! On sunny days it gets packed apparently.

San Francisco - pier 39

You may scoff but we decided not to do Alcatraz. I did ask Topher if he was interested and he wasn’t. I wasn’t really either so we went to the Disney Family Museum instead. I was happy enough to just get a photo of it. If you do plan on touring Alcatraz, be sure to book far in advance as you can’t just walk up on the day.

San Francisco - alcatraz

Our final stop of the afternoon – evening at this point was Ghirardelli Square, home of the famous chocolate headquarters (at least until the 60s when they moved and the square was made into a historical landmark). We nipped into the shop and I got myself a pumpkin spice flavour hot cocoa. Nom. It was getting quite cold at this point so the hot drink was definitely appreciated.

San Francisco - ghirardelli square

After waiting in the cold for ages for a cable car, we headed back to the hotel for some much needed rest.

Day 4

We headed out early in search of pastries on our way to the Disney Family Museum. Aren’t the houses so pretty?

San Francisco - architecture

The Walt Disney Family Museum was opened in 2009 by his daughter, Diane Disney Miller and is all about the life and legacy of Walt Disney. Being a massive Disney fan, I had to give it a visit.

San Francisco - disney family museum

I had an amazing time wandering round and reading everything. I know it’s silly but it was kind of emotional – it’s crazy to think that a man who failed so many times just kept going and achieved everything he did.

San Francisco - disneyland model

This may be a bit random but I loved it and it was new information to me. During the 30s and 40s, Walt wore hats but in the 1940s he started wearing his hats in a very careless manner. His wife Lily hated them and after a bull fight in Mexico, tried to toss his hat into the ring. Walt managed to grab it before she could and as a birthday present, he had the hat bronzed into the shape of a heart and filled with her favourite flowers!

San Francisco - walts hat

After the museum, we walked up to the Golden Gate bridge which luckily despite the fog, we could just about see.

San Francisco - golden gate bridge

San Francisco - topher & diane

Then it was a bus towards Lombard Street, the bendiest, twistiest road ever! Lombard Street is actually a super long street, the bendy part is just one small bit. We jumped off the bus as close as we could and hiked up this huge hill to get there.

San Francisco - road to lombard

Since we were so tired, we didn’t walk down Lombard Street – Topher just stood on a wall to get this shot!

San Francisco - lombard street

After lunch we walked through Chinatown which is the biggest one outside of China itself.

San Francisco - chinese lanterns

San Francisco - cable car

I especially loved all the street art we saw.

San Francisco - chinatown

San Francisco - chinatown street art

San Francisco - chinatown gate

san francisco - transamerica building

Finally, we popped back to the hotel for a much needed rest before heading out for dinner in the evening. Topher finally got the courage to hang off the side of a cable car!

san francisco - topher trolley

After dinner we walked to the Ferry Building Market Place for dessert.

San Francisco - night time

Pretty!

San Francisco - ferry building market place

Day 5

We caught a bus to the Mission District for breakfast and saw even more street art.

San Francisco - mission district

Then it was another bus to the Golden Gate Park for our Segway tour with Golden Gate Park Segway Tours!

San Francisco - japanese gardens

I was really looking forward to this as I’ve always wanted to ride a segway. I didn’t realise that it’s all quite techy and you don’t so much as drive the thing as it actually reacts to your body. You lean forward and it goes forward, you lean to the side and it goes to the side. It’s like an extension of your body. I was worried about falling off but it turns out that it’s really hard to – you only do if you bump into something so it’s very important to have your own “bubble”.

All the segways were named and this was mine!

San Francisco - segual healing

The first couple of minutes were so weird but after that it was so easy. Topher and I had a blast. He actually said he didn’t want to walk ever again!

San Francisco - segway

Our tour guide was awesome too. He was a native from the Netherlands and came over to San Francisco the year before the Summer of Love when he was 17. He played in a band which opened for the Grateful Dead one time too! On the tour we not only whizzed around but we learned a bunch of history about the place as well. Like I had no idea that the Golden Gate Park is manmade. It’s actually built on top of sand!

San Francisco - conservatory of flowers

Hippy Hill – They were having a free opera concert there that day.

San Francisco - hippy hill

Tired out and slightly sunburned from the unexpected weather, we headed for lunch and a wander around the Hippy Haight District.

San Francisco - hippy street

San Francisco - haight district

We finished off our day at the Painted Ladies as what’s a trip to San Francisco without seeing them?

San Francisco - painted ladies

Day 6 was our last morning in San Francisco and that was spent at the Color Factory which I’m doing a stand alone post on next week so stay tuned.

The next post will be what we ate in San Francisco.

Check out my other US Honeymoon Adventures:

New York City Honeymoon Travel Diary

New York Food – What We Ate on Our Honeymoon

San Francisco – What We Ate on Our Honeymoon

SaveSaveSaveSave

SaveSaveSaveSave

SaveSaveSaveSave

Continue Reading

My Week #61 – Camping & Cats

*Wifefest *Fish and Chips *Pickles *Working hard

Did not do too much at all this week

The one cool thing was that Topher and I attended the wedding of one of my Freelance Folk friends, Michelle. It was festival themed and called Wifefest. We had such a great time! It was in a barn and there were games and irish dancing and a fish and chip van. Topher and I even stayed overnight in a tent. I’m not much of a camping person (like not at all!) but we survived the night and it was actually pretty fun. Afterwards we headed to a pub near our house for a Sunday lunch and then went to the cinema in the evening. I’ve now seen The Dark Tower and Girls Trip. Both really good.

I put on another 2 pounds at Slimming World

I’ve kinda lost the plot a bit. My focus is completely gone. But I haven’t lost hope. I think I just need to take a bit of time and get the honeymoon out of the way. Once that’s done I can climb aboard the wagon again. One of the Slimming World ladies pointed out to me that once I get back it will be about 14 weeks until Christmas so if I lost a pound a week that’s a stone. Until I get back I’m not going to beat myself up over it. In other news I really seem to have gotten my shopping bug back. And I blame this bag.

my week - bag It’s from Primark and it was all sold out but I managed to find one on eBay. Of course it was more expensive but I just really wanted it! I expect I would have paid that much anyway at another high street store so it doesn’t really bother me. Can’t wait to skip down Main Street with it. Less than 2 weeks to go!

How was your week?

SaveSave

SaveSave

Continue Reading
1 2 3 5