Disney World is honestly my happy place. When I visit all of my problems seem to disappear and be replaced with pure magic and happiness… But it’s fair to say this comes at a cost. Disney World is VERY expensive!

I live in the UK, so visiting Disney World is very pricey when you also consider the cost of flights! I’ve visited Disney World 8 times now. Over the years I’ve found certain ways to save some money and today I’m going to share these tips with you.

Accommodation 

Stay offsite – As much as I would love to stay onsite we’ve never done it as it’s just too expensive. Our favourite place to stay at is The Rosen Inn at Pointe Orlando which can be found on International Drive. It’s around a 10-minute drive to Universal Studios/ Islands of Adventure and is about a 20-minute drive from the Disney Parks. International Drive is full of supermarkets and restaurants so you really have everything that you’ll need right on your doorstep.

We also always choose to stay somewhere that has a fridge in the room. This will probably seem really weird but we pack a breakfast bowl and spoon in our cases, we go to a supermarket and buy some milk and cereal and that’s your breakfast sorted for your holiday. This probably seems ridiculously stingy and cheap. But my god it saves us SO much money.

Eat cheap – You have an array of restaurants to pick from on International Drive. They don’t have to cost a fortune. Lot’s of places are buffet style and you pay a set fee and eat as much as you like. These are great as they’re often a much cheaper option. The hotel we stay at also has a shop that sells hot food. On days when we are super tired and done in after the park we will go and buy a pizza from the shop and sit in our room to eat it.

Eating on a budget at Disney World

At the parks 

Take at least 1 bottle of drink with you – I’m not going to say to carry tonnes of bottles of water around to last you for the day because A) they’ll go warm and B) they’re heavy. But taking just 1 bottle of drink with you will keep you going for a few hours and it’s a hell of a lot cheaper to buy from a supermarket than it is to buy at the parks.

Take some snacks – We always carry a bag of crisps and usually take some cookies as well as they won’t melt. Walking around all day can be really tiring and make you quite hungry. This is the perfect way to give yourself a boost and again is much cheaper than buying something in the park.

Buy kids meals/ share adults meals – I find American food portions HUGE compared to the UK and I honestly just cannot eat that much food. I find a great way to save money is to order a kids meal as they’re so much cheaper but still fill me up. We also occasionally just buy 1 adults meal and share it between 2 people as it’s plenty of food to go around.

Get your photo’s taken for free – last time I visited we actually had Disney Photopass as it came free with our tickets. However, I’ve never had this in the past. We always just speak to the Photopass Photographer nicely and they’re always willing to snap a photo of you with your own camera!

I hope you found some of these tips helpful!

Charlotte xx

Tips to save money at Disney World
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christmas tree - festive things I'm excited for

Christmas has always been my favourite time of year. I love everything about it! Crisp winter days, hot chocolate, fairy lights, Christmas decorations, lot’s of food and spending time with loved ones. What’s not to love!

I always find the build-up to Christmas the most exciting part. There’s so much to see and do. So in today’s post, I’m going to spread a little Christmas cheer!

This is what I’m most excited for:  

1- Putting up the Christmas tree – This is always my favourite thing to do. Ever since I was a child, I’ve always spent a Saturday afternoon with my Dad putting up the tree. We listen to Christmas Music and drink hot drinks and it’s super festive and fun.

2- All the twinkly lights – I’m a sucker for fairy lights, I bloody love the things. There’s always twinkly lights everywhere you go at Christmas time and it makes me so happy.

3 – Christmas shopping – Christmas shopping; you either love it or hate it! Personally, I love it, I get so excited trying to find the perfect gift for someone… and let’s not forget the tea and cake breaks as you shop!

4 – Watching Christmas movies – There’s honestly nothing better than snuggling up on the sofa with a blanket and hot chocolate and a good Christmas movie! Elf is my personal favourite.

5 – Christmas music – When we get near Christmas, my work always put the music channels on the TV’s so we can listen to some festive songs, it makes the day so much more enjoyable! I also love listening to Christmas songs when I’m at home.

6 – Festive baking – What can beat a bit of Christmas baking?! Most years I usually make Christmas shortbread, chocolate orange cheesecake and sausage pinwheels (I’m still not sure why I class pinwheels as being festive?! haha).

7 – Christmas with the family – We’re a very small family so every year we spend Christmas together. My mum cooks and all the family come over for presents and food. This year is going to be hard as my wonderful Nan is no longer with us. But we’ll still make the day as festive as possible. My Nan bloody loved Christmas so she’ll definitely want us to have lots of fun and enjoy ourselves.

8- Family games night – Around Christmas, we always have family games nights. We get out Trivial Pursuit, Monopoly etc and spend the evening playing games, listening to music and eating lots of food.

9 – Christmas Eve bowling – Ever since I was 5, every year on Christmas Eve I go bowling with my dad, brother, grandad and uncle. It’s a tradition that we’ve had for 20 years and it’s so much fun. This year Shaun is coming too, so it’ll be extra special that he gets to be part of our family tradition. As you can tell I get very much outnumbered by men! haha.

10 – Indulging in festive food – My mum does the most epic food shop near Christmas every year. It’s honestly the best thing ever. I mean it’s not healthy, but who cares?! Christmas should be a time to treat ourselves.

What are you most looking forward to during the festive season this year?! 

Charlotte xx

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Lifestyle changes I want to make

Anyone can make a lifestyle change, but it’s having the motivation to actually do it. Whenever it hits January, we all sit and write our New Years resolutions about how we’re going to change X, Y and Z and be an amazing person. Most of the time I get to the end of the year and I’ve still achieved nothing I said I would. Other people are bound to be like this too so I’m not alone.

I don’t know if there’s a thing around turning 25 – but since turning 25 this year, I have more motivation to actually try and get my shit together! I suddenly feel like more of an ‘adult’ and life suddenly seems to be a whole lot more serious. Did anyone else get this when they turned 25?! haha.

Let’s make some positive life changes 

Of course, we all want to make positive life changes and this is something I’ve really been thinking about lately. I’ve been reflecting a lot and trying to come up with ways that I can impact my life in a positive way. I’ve come up with a list of 3 things. I’m trying to start in small steps, so I’m not going to suddenly dive into 10 changes. I believe that taking small steps is always the best way to start.

1 – Go to the gym twice a week 

To some people, this probably seems like nothing. But the reality is I NEVER exercise and I know it’s not good for me. I recently joined a gym that opened around the corner from my house (what a PERFECT location! haha) and I’ve set aside 2 days a week to make sure I go. I’ve only been going for a couple of weeks, but I already feel like my sleep pattern is improving and I feel like I have more energy. I’m really hoping that going twice a week will have a positive impact on how I feel and my general wellbeing.

2 – Keep learning new things 

Being a child and learning new things was always one of my favourite things. I loved going to school, college and university. I got so much enjoyment out of learning new skills as it gave me a real sense of achievement and confidence. This definitely had a positive impact on my life. I really want to focus on keeping my brain active and learning new things. I’m always finding things on the internet and thinking ‘I want to try that’. Next on my list is to teach myself calligraphy as I love anything creative.

3 – Connect more with people 

I will openly admit that I am terrible with this. I very much like my own company and being alone (or with Shaun). I’ve always had a very small group of close friend, but that’s just the way I like it. The thing is, as we’ve all gotten older, life has got in the way. Everyone works different hours, and trying to arrange a meet up is always such a chore! I really need to start making more time and effort to see my friends and family. At the end of the day, they’re always the ones that make me feel better, keep me smiling and support me through the good and the bad. I think seeing them more regularly will definitely have a positive impact on me.

If you could make 3 lifestyle changes, what would they be? 

Charlotte xx

 

Positive lifestyle changes
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My goals for November

How is it November already? We say this every single month, but it’s honestly scary where the time goes. A new month, of course, means it’s time for another monthly goals post. My main focus this month is to have some fun and enjoy myself. I’ve been feeling totally down in the dumps recently, so I want to kick away the negativity and enjoy myself!

So here goes – my goals for the month

Date night 

I think we all get to that stage in a relationship, you’ve been together for a few years and everything gets a bit same old and boring. Well, that’s what it’s got to for me and Shaun. We spoke about it the other night and decided we need to kick start date night and start going out and doing more. We’ve reached a point where we just sit and watch Netflix. This isn’t good for us and we seriously need to get out more.

Arrange a festive gettogether with my friends 

Christmas is quickly approaching. I really want to arrange an evening to get together with my friends and have a good catch up! We’re thinking bowling and a meal out is going to be the plan as that’s always good fun and a great way to enjoy yourself.

Write my Christmas list 

I have a few ideas floating around in my head of what I would like for Christmas this year, so I need to actually write out a list to pass on to people. As we’re buying a house, we’re mainly asking for practical presents like toasters and kettles. But there’s definitely some fun bits and pieces that I’d like as well.

Join in more blogger chats on twitter 

I really enjoy it when I join in chats on Twitter, but I rarely ever do it. I always forget they’re on, or remember when they’re already halfway through. This month I definitely want to make more effort to join in some chats.

What are your goals for the month ahead? 

Charlotte

xx

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Arts and crafts picture - what I want from the future

Recently, I’ve been feeling really down and rubbish. I’ve been trying to pinpoint exactly why I’ve been feeling so rubbish and I think I’ve finally done that. The other night I sat down with Shaun and cried my eyes out about how I’m feeling. Talking about it and saying it out loud made me realise what I want.

My Background 

As every other child does, I went to school and studied for my GCSE’s. I’ve always strived on success and doing well so achieved a mixture of A and B grades. My favourite subject at school was always Graphic Design and I decided to study this at college as well.

I started college in 2008 where I studied A-Levels in Geography, Graphic Design and Photography. Being creative has always been a passion of mine since I was a young child so these lessons were perfectly suited. Once I finished my A-levels I stayed on at college and did an Art foundation in Graphic Design to prep me for my degree. In 2011 I headed off to university and studied Graphic Arts. I went to Buckinghamshire New University which is about 30 minutes away from London by train.

My degree 

Throughout university, nearly all of my projects consisted of making things by hand. I used mixed media such as paints, marbling, collage etc. Next, I scanned things onto a computer to digitally edit. Towards the end of my degree, I realised that my passion laid much more in the area of crafts rather than digital design. When I finished my degree I made the decision to move back home to Devon. Most Graphic Design jobs are in the big cities … but that wasn’t for me. I like the quieter life in Devon, so I moved home.

My job

When I moved back home, I realised that getting a design job in little old Devon is near impossible. So I decided to get a job in administration to earn some money whilst I decided what I wanted to do. Forward on to today, I’m still working the exact same administration job!! I HATE IT. Every day is such a chore, it’s so so boring and I think I feel that way because I need to be doing something creative.

happy birthday card design

So what do I want in the future? 

Whilst working my Monday – Friday office job I’ve been using my evenings and weekends to be creative. Afterall, creativity has always been where my passion lies. I started making handmade cards to sell to family and friends which is something I’ve always loved, I received a sewing machine for my birthday and I’m learning to sew. I’ve been getting back into my photography again, I’ve been crafting Christmas decorations and I’ve even started a bullet journal. I guess this blog counts as well, as it’s the perfect way to be creative. My next challenge is to learn modern calligraphy!

With so much creativity in my life, I’ve realised that that’s what I want to be doing on a permanent basis. I don’t want to just spend my evenings being creative, I want my days to be fuelled with creativity as well.

My dream is to have my own little business where I can sell handmade cards and decorations and crafty bits and pieces. I want this more than anything. I would love to open my own Etsy shop to sell my creations and spend all of my days doing what I love.

bullet journal - birthday page

My plan of action 

Well, it’s not a full-blown plan of action as it’s such a difficult thing to just do and be successful…. but this is my idea.

I’m about to buy a house, so quitting my job is an absolute no-go until my mortgage is sorted. The work on the house is going to cost an arm and a leg so this all has to be my priority for the moment. The house we’re buying has 3 bedrooms, so the plan is for the box room to become my craft room. Once I have my craft room up and running, I’ll have a lot more space. This should make creating a whole lot easier. I’ll also have a lot more time as currently, I spend half of the week at Shaun’s house, but all of my crafty stuff is at my house. Having my own house and space means I’ll have unlimited time to create.

I plan to continue to make and create, but I want to do it in a larger quantity. Once I have enough bits and pieces made I’ll take the leap and open an Etsy shop and see what happens from there.

I really hope that eventually my hard work will pay off and I can quit my job and earn a living doing what I love. I know it’ll be a lot of work but I’m determined to make it happen. Even if my hobby meant I earnt enough that I could go to part-time working, I know I’d be so much happier.

I feel like money is the main thing holding me back as unfortunately, we all need to pay the bills and live. I can’t just up and quit my job as I won’t have enough money to live from.

Has anyone else been in this situation? How did you overcome the issue of money and manage to do what you love? 

Thanks

Charlotte xx

Pinterest image - living a creative life
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