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    5 things I’ve learnt since becoming a homeowner

    We moved into our first home a year ago. I can’t believe we’ve actually been living in our own home for a year! It’s scary where the time goes. I still remember unpacking all of the boxes and putting everything into its place as if it was yesterday. Becoming a homeowner can be really daunting. A lot of the time you’ll be moving out of your parent’s house and taking on the responsibility of adulthood. It’s a massive change and takes some getting used to. These are my top 5 things I’ve learnt since becoming a homeowner.

    Something always needs doing

    I thought once we had finished all of the renovating and moved in then we could just relax and everything would be done. How wrong was I? There’s always something on the list that needs sorting whether it be ordering photos to put in frames, taking the duvet to the laundrettes or cleaning the oven. It never stops. Our latest project is to sort our garden out, we’re going to paint the fences, put some chippings down and get some flowers to add a dash of colour.

    Never just accept the renewal price for bills

    As we’ve just hit the year mark we’ve reached the point where all of our contracts for TV, internet etc are due for renewal. Never just accept the price they tell you. Virgin Media tried to put the cost of my TV, Internet and phone up by £35 a month! I called them to say I wasn’t willing to pay that much and I managed to get £25 knocked off the price. Bills are expensive and any savings you can get are a huge blessing!

    Meal planning is the way forward

    I’ve actually written a whole blog post on mealing planning and why I swear by it which you can read here. I work 10 hour days and the last thing I want to be thinking about when I get home is what to cook for tea. I write a meal plan at the weekend for the following week and then go to a supermarket to buy everything I need for the week. I always try to cook quick and easy meals for after work. Meal planning saves me time but the main thing I love is that it saves money. Instead of wandering around Tesco putting anything in the trolley; I have a list and buy what I actually need.

    Going home at the end of the day is the best feeling

    I can’t even express how amazing it is to have your own house and your own space. After a long day at work, there’s nothing I love more than going home to somewhere I can call my own. I’ve always been a home bird and home always feel like my safe place. Lighting a candle and sitting down on the sofa in the evening is such a bliss feeling. Also coming home from a holiday and being back to your own comforts is amazing.

    Having a fur baby is the best

    We adopted Pudsey December 2018 and he’s honestly one of the best things about this home. I always had cats growing up at my parent’s house and it felt really lonely when we first moved into our home. I was so used to walking through the door to my parent’s house to be greeted by a little fluffy bundle of joy and I really missed this. Pudsey brings so much life into our home. He has the most wonderful personality and is such a little darling!

    Hope you enjoyed!

    Charlotte xx

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    Disney World 2019 recap

    We’re back! After spending 2 amazing weeks in Disney World, it’s back to reality and back to work 🙁

    We flew out to Disney World on May 10th and returned May 24th 2019. It was my first time staying onsite at Disney World and it was my first time visiting and only going to the Disney Parks. Usually, we also go to Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure, Kennedy Space Centre etc.

    I thought I would do a recap post about how we found the Disney experience and how the holiday went.

    Our Resort 

    We stayed at Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside and it was absolutely stunning. We paid for a preferred room which I would definitely recommend. The resort is huge and being in a preferred room meant we were close to the food court and main bus stop which was really helpful. The room was huge, clean and tidy and perfect for what we needed. The only thing I would note is that our cleaner was rubbish and kept forgetting to leave us things like coffee cups. She would clear the old ones and then not replace them which became very frustrating! One of the main things we loved about the resort was being able to get a boat straight to Disney Springs. It took about 20 minutes and was such a relaxing way to start an evening at Springs. Overall we LOVED the resort and would happily go back.

    The Dining Plan 

    When we booked our trip we qualified for the free quick service dining plan which was an added bonus. I’ve never done the dining plan before so this was something new for me. Overall I was really pleased with it, we had plenty of food and never went hungry … In fact, if we’re being honest it was probably too much food! I read loads of posts before going about getting the most out of the plan – ie don’t use a snack credit for a drink because it’s not the best value. We used snack credits for drinks and it worked for us. There was no way that between us we were going to eat 4 snacks in a day; the snacks are huge and can easily be shared. For us, it made sense to use snack credits for drinks as it meant we weren’t constantly paying for them. Having the dining plan worked perfectly as we were only going to the Disney parks and spent the whole time on Disney property. I think it saved us a lot of money! Would I ever pay for the dining plan? No, because we aren’t big eaters and it would be a waste of money, but if it’s free then that’s a bonus! Also, can we just talk about how amazing Blaze Pizza is? Honestly the best pizza I’ve ever eaten.

    The parks 

    I mean what’s not to love about the Disney parks?! We had a blast, everything ran pretty much to plan with our Fast Passes and the wait times were never too bad. The longest wait we had the whole holiday was for Expedition Everest and that was about 45 minutes. We visited all 4 parks and the 2 water parks and we loved every second. The nighttime shows were as amazing as ever, especially Happily Ever After. That show is amazing!

    The not so good bit 

    I got food poisoning and spent 3 days in bed! Not ideal when you’ve spent near to £5000 for a holiday. I was slightly annoyed really because the food poisoning was picked up from Disney as I only ever ate at the parks/ hotel. I know these things some times can’t be helped but I would never put Disney and food poisoning together! Usually, their standards are so high. It cost me $336 in medical fees to see a doctor and get antibiotics, but I’m very thankful that the antibiotics worked! And after 3 days of rest, I was back out enjoying myself at the parks!

    Overall we had an amazing time, obviously getting ill was really frustrating but I’m determined to not let that overtake the fantastic time we had. The dining plan was amazing, we loved the hotel and being in the Disney bubble for 2 weeks was magical.

    Hope you enjoyed.

    Charlotte xx

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    Our Disney World 2019 plans

    I can’t believe how quickly our holiday is coming around. When we booked we had over a year to wait and we’re now down to 40 days which is insane! As you can probably tell if you follow me on Instagram or Twitter I’m very excited.

    This trip will actually be my 9th visit to Disney World but it’s my first time staying on Disney property. We’re going to be staying at Port Orleans Riverside and we also have the free quick service dining plan which I’ve never had before.

    When I’ve been to Florida in the past we’ve also been to Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure, Aquatica and Kennedy Space Centre. I wanted this year’s trip to be a little more relaxing so we’re only doing the Disney parks and Disney waterparks. We’re there for 2 weeks so it means we’ll have loads of time at the parks and also lots of time to relax by the pool.

    Our Plans 

    We, of course, have a daily itinerary of which parks we’ll be at when and I’ve also booked in a tonne of Fast Passes for rides such as Slinky Dog, Flight of Passage, Splash Mountain, Test Track etc. It’s my birthday whilst we’re there so I’ve decided on Magic Kingdom during the day of my birthday and then Epcot in the evening for Extra Magic Hours. I mean is there really a better way to spend a birthday?! As we’re on the quick service dining plan I don’t have many dining reservations; just a breakfast booked at Be Our Guest and we have dinner at T-Rex at Disney Springs one evening.

    Vlogging the trip

    I absolutely love watching Disney Vlogs on YouTube and I think it’s amazing to be able to come home and relive your holiday through video and not just photos. I remember my first trip to Disney when I was 9 and my dad took one of those old school massive camcorders, it’s still fun to watch the footage back now! I’ve decided that I’m definitely going to give vlogging a go on this trip and see how it goes. Sadly I can’t afford a Canon G7X Mark ii, so I’m going to be different to every other Disney Vlogger and use my Canon EOS M10 haha. The quality seems good so fingers crossed we’ll be ok. I’ve also bought lots of memory cards and batteries to keep me going.

    The countdown is definitely on and I can’t wait to get on the plane!

    Thanks

    Charlotte xx

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    Things are changing | Life Update

    I kind of vanished off the face of earth this last 6 weeks and to be honest, I’m not even sorry. So many bloggers write an opening line to a blog post and apologise for the fact they’ve been absent. Well, I’m not sorry because I’m human and I needed a break. We live in a world where we always feel the need to apologise and feel like we’re failing if we don’t show up every week. I don’t think I’ve failed. I think I’ve taken some time away for myself to have a much-needed think about what I want to do next. Various things have been going on behind the scenes which I’m very excited about and I’m excited to start making some changes.

    What’s been happening? 

    To cut a long story short I’m changing my hours at work. My work has agreed a 3 month trial of me working 5 days worth of hours over 4 days. I currently work Monday-Friday 8am-4pm. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE the hours that I work but I really wanted to be able to have a day off in the week to solely focus on my blog, myself and creating a life that I want to have. Unfortunately, I’m not in a financial situation where I can go part-time. This is the next best thing to give me the day off that I want. Starting this week I’m going to be dropping a Thursday and working Monday-Wednesday 7.30am-5.30pm and Fridays 7.30am-5.00pm. The long days will take a bit of getting used to, but I’m used to getting up really early anyway so I’m hoping it won’t be too much of a shock!

    I really want to use Thursday’s productively to focus on myself and my future. My dream is to one day open my own business and I want to use my day off to focus on that. I’m a very crafty person and I just want to enjoy myself and experiment with lots of different things to see what I want to focus on.

    Things I want to try: 

    – I’m teaching myself to sew and I’d love to spend more time doing this

    – I have a degree in Graphic design and want to create some cool motivational prints

    – I enjoy card making and want to get stuck into that some more

    – I’m thinking of starting a YouTube Channel to document what I get up to on my day off. (Sort of like a studio vlog type of thing)

    – Get back into writing weekly blog posts as I’ve really missed it

    – I also plan to vlog my Disney World trip in May and will most likely use Thursday’s to edit these videos.

    I’m excited for this next chapter in my life and really hope that everything works out and my work will let me continue on past the 3-month trial!

    Thanks,

    Charlotte xx

     

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    How I save for Disney World

    Disney World. The most magical place on earth; also one of the most expensive places on earth! Over the years I’ve learnt that Disney magic definitely comes at a price! My trip this year will be my 9th visit to Disney World. Of course, many of the trips I didn’t pay for as I was a child. However the last few I have paid for so I thought I would share my tips on how I save money to pay for Disney World.

    Have two savings accounts 

    Having two savings accounts makes it easier to distinguish what money can be used for holidays. I have one savings account that I transfer a certain amount of money to each month. This is used for general life things such as car MOT’s and buying a new hoover when one breaks. The second savings account I use as a holiday fund. Each month I’ll try and transfer some money into this account. Knowing that the account is to pay for holidays stops me from dipping into it to pay for other things.

    Get a money savings jar 

    Money saving jars that you can’t get into unless you smash it open are an amazing way to save money. Myself and Shaun have a cute Disney themed one that we put any 50p coins and £2.00 coins in. We don’t smash it open until its full and then we use the money for spending money for our holiday. Last time we smashed one open it had about £600 inside. It’s amazing how it adds up!

    Don’t make unnecessary purchases 

    A prime example of this is buying lunch at work. I NEVER buy lunch at work. Each night I make myself a packed lunch and have that as it’s much cheaper than constantly buying. An average meal deal usually costs around £3.50. If you buy that five times a week that’s £17.50 and over a month that comes to £70.00! Over a 12 month period that’s £840 that you could put towards a Disney holiday. Think before you buy!

    Use loyalty cards 

    Places such as Tesco and Sainsbury’s have points cards that you can build up points and use it to pay towards your food shopping. These points can build up pretty quickly if you’re always shopping in the same place. You’ll eventually get to the point where you have enough points to pay for half or all of your food shop for the week. The money that you save from paying for your shop via points can then be put into a savings account to go towards your holiday.

    Do you have any tips on saving to go to Disney World? If you do then leave them in the comments below. 

    Charlotte

    xx

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