instagram | twitter | pinterest My bullet journal is my life bible. My dad is surprised every time he sees it because he doesn’t understand how, a) I have time for it and b) that… More
Music can take you back to fond memories, help you create new ones and comfort you in hard times. Everyone’s music tastes are different but sometimes it can bring people together. My boyfriend and I have quite different tastes in music; I, personally mainly enjoy country music, whilst he mainly listens to dance music. He prefers a beat, I prefer meaningful lyrics. But on occasion those two, the beat and lyrics, can come together and my boyfriend and I enjoy the same music.
Recently my boyfriend showed me a band called Wildwood Kin. They are a family band who create chilled out yet upbeat music, with meaningful lyrics and whose harmonies are always perfection. Let’s just say that their songs have been on repeat on both of our phones.
Their self-titled album, and second album release, Wildwood Kin only came out this month and I recommend giving it a listen. Bold titles are my personal favourite.
Time Has Come
Beauty in Your Brokenness
Wake Up Sleeper
Headed For The Water
All On Me
How I Feel
What have you been listening to recently? Anything you think I should listen to? Let me know.
More content from me? Life After Graduation | Rachel Cerys
As the darker nights roll in there is nothing better to do than cosy up with a warm cup of tea, a blanket and a good book. I’ve been guilty of not prioritising reading at the minute but I’m happy to announce my seven month reading slump has gone and I’ve already read three books in October. But this still leaves me behind my Goodreads reading challenge of the year and I want to get back on track. With that being said, here are the books I want to read before the end of the year.
📚 The Bone Season – Samatha Shannon
📚 The Mime Order – Samatha Shannon
📚 The Song Rising – Samatha Shannon
I first read The Bone Season back in 2015 and quickly fell in love with the series. So with the fourth book finally having a release date in 2020 a readathon has been set up by A Frolic Through Fiction called #theboneathon where we read a book a month. October is The Bone Season, November is The Mime Order and December is The Song Rising. I’m currently reading The Bone Season and I love being back in the world and following Paige along as she discovers everything for the first time again.
I picked up Dress Codes for Small Towns and We Are Okay at the beginning of the year, after hearing some good things about them, and I have yet to pick them up. Plus Dress Codes is Booksandlala’s favourite book, so of course I had to read it.
Scar is the last book in a trilogy by Alice Broadway. I picked up the first book on a whim after loving the cover and I’ve adored the series since. I can’t wait to see how it all wraps up.
I think everyone is highly anticipating The Toll by Neal Shusterman. It’s the third and final book in the Arc of Scythe series, the first book being Scythe. I might need a recap on how the second book finished but nevertheless I’m very excited to get my hands on the last book.
Of Blood and Bone is the sequel to Year One by Nora Roberts. On New Years Eve 2018 my boyfriend and I went into Waterstones and for once I wasn’t looking for anything in particular. Instead I was just having a browse and I stumbled across Year One, a book I’d never heard of before but intrigued me. I picked it up, brought it home and read it in three days. It was my first read book of 2019. I now can’t wait to carry on with the series. I want the series to match so I’ve been holding off until I could get my hands on the paperback version of book two. I now can, so there’s no excuse.
I loved reading the Christmasaurus by Tom Fletcher when it came out in 2016; the writing was funny, the songs were fabulous and I just loved the whole story. I didn’t think it needed a sequel but here we are. So with it being a Christmas read, with, I’m hoping, more songs to fall in love with, I can’t wait to read what Tom Fletcher has up his sleeve for the sequel. Maybe a reread of the first one is in order.
If I manage to read those nine books I still won’t have completed my Goodreads goal. But with that being said, I do hope I read more than the books I mentioned. I hope I get my reading habit back and I start to fly through some of the books I’m really excited about, here’s to hoping. And to be honest writing this blog post as got me really motivated to just spend all day reading, but I have a boyfriend to entertain so we’ll see how much I actually get read, ha!
What books are on your autumn/winter reading list? I would love to know.
More content from me? Saying Good-Bye to the Magic | Rachel Cerys
Disney is this magical place people dream of going to. It’s renown for the happiness and magic it brings its guests. Everyone asked me before I started my program, “won’t working there ruin the magic” or “surely you’ll get bored after a while”. But I’m not naive, I know every company has its kinks. But no, it didn’t ruin the magic for me. In fact, it only made me believe stronger and harder. I now understand how hard every single cast member works to bring magic to guests everyday and how important it is to do so. I’ve got to witness, hear and give out magical moments. I now understand the company on a whole new level and it makes me love the place and the company so much more. So yes, my five lessons are five great lessons I’ve learnt during my short but precious time working for the most famous mouse in the world.
1/ “Whistle While You Work”
Make the most out of your time working in whichever location you’ve been allocated. When I told people I was going to be working in Walt Disney World for the summer most people jumped to the conclusion that I was going to be a princess, when actually I was working “off-stage” in one of the Quick Service Food & Beverage locations. I wasn’t even in a guest-facing role. And in fact, I made some of the best memories with the best people at my work location. I wouldn’t want to change my role for the world. Just enjoy every second of your shift and soak up the laughs and memories you make along the way because it will be over before you know it. And you wish you had one more shift with you best friend closing those damn fryers. Live your best life in whatever crazy Disney costume you get given, you’re going to end up falling in love with those outrageous shirts by the end of it.
P.S Those classic black cast members shoes are actually really comfy.
2/ “Try Everything”
From signing up to a 5am sunrise yoga class in front of the Tree of Life or stuffing your face and sharing the Kitchen Sink with your flatmates, try everything and say yes to new adventures. Unfortunately my program was only nine weeks and although I wrote a (very long) bucket list before flying out, I still didn’t achieve everything I wanted to do. I wish I had tried more new things but I can’t regret my time on the program as I was the happiest I’ve ever been within myself.
3/ “When We’re Human”
During your program don’t live in the past or overthink the future. Instead live in the present and enjoy every moment. Be that big-kid running to meet your favourite character, getting up early for rope drop and staying late to watch the fireworks once again. Live off the energy and excitement that Disney gives you, you can sleep when you’re home. Who needs eight hours of sleep when you have caffeine?
4/ “Strangers Like Me”
You meet some of your best friends during your program because everyone has one thing in common, their love of Disney. One day they are strangers and the next day you couldn’t imagine life without them (You’ve Got A Friend In Me). So talk to everyone, your flatmates, your interview buddies, your work colleges, even the guests you are serving; who knows, they may be undercover cast members, because you never know you will be become your best friend. But also because working in Disneyworld is a great networking tool and conversation starter. Never be afraid to put yourself out there to make contacts. And remember to always be yourself.
5/ “Hydrate & Ohana”
Not a current Disney song, but who knows, it may become one eventually, but I had to include this one. For me, drinking enough water is essential for my well-being (Celebrating Life) and at home in the UK I drink between 3-4 litres a day anyway. So imagine being out in the Florida heat and doing manual labour, I was trying to drink 4-5 litres a day. What I didn’t know before working in Walt Disney World is that all cast members get given a water bottle that becomes part of who you are during those shifts. You if are rota’d for a shift outside in the heat, you’ll more than likely be switched out more often compared to a cast member working indoors.
Although I realised some interesting things about the Disney company during my time working in Walt Disney World, one thing Disney will always constantly excel in is how they treat their cast members. I was only a part-time international program participate who could have been easily replaced. But the minute I stepped into Flame Tree Barbecue I was welcomed with open arms and immediately became part of the Flame Tree family.
I learned so much during my time working at Walt Disney World; how miles don’t matter in the friendships you make, saying goodbye is hard and having a down day is okay. That sharing a room is hard, grocery shopping is flipping expensive, Florida water is not all that great, and eating 25 Oreos after a closing shift is an amazing treat. But the main thing it taught me is to have fun and never grow up, believe in your dreams because one day they will come true.
More content from me? Life After Graduation
Life after graduation can leave you in a bit of a limbo. You finally have to adult, making choices for yourself and living off your own timetable. Your free time, no longer consumed by essays, is officially your free time again. But before you have even graduated you are forced by society to find a conventional job. But as our society evolves non-conventional ways of living are rising and a lot post-graduates opt out of the so called “9-5 job”. Because of these choices and how competitive job hunting has become many of us leave university without a job.
However I’m one of the lucky ones. Without realising it I started my career young. At the age of seventeen I did two weeks of work experience in a design studio where I discovered, not only my love of Graphic Design but finally a skillset I excelled in. I continued to work for the same company through-out my university career, enabling me to automatically have a job straight out of education.
However four years later, having learnt all I can from the same company, it’s time to officially adult and earn something for myself, meaning it was time to go down the black hole of finding a job. I need a new challenge, something new to stimulate me, which my current job is no longer doing.
With four years of industry experience on my CV and a BA under my belt I started to apply for junior graphic design roles. Within Graphic Design you can either take the route of internship, hopefully paid but not always, junior graphic designer or taking a leap of faith with freelancing.
Over the past month it has been a waiting game while I waited to hear back from some of the companies I’ve applied for. I sorted out my CV and Portfolio; design jobs require a portfolio of your best work, and batch applied to as many jobs that matched my skillset and were close to where I lived. After two weeks of not hearing anything I was getting very disheartened, feeling like I wasn’t good enough and that I wouldn’t be getting anywhere anytime soon. But finally, this past week, almost three weeks from when I first started to apply, I started to hear back from some amazing companies.
I’m now in the process of doing some interviews and I hoping a new job is on the horizon for me. It was always my goal to find myself a new job before Christmas/the new year, not only for a fresh start but a new challenge to take on, so its really exciting that it could happen sooner than my initial plan.
I’m keeping my fingers crossed for one job in particular as it would be a perfect fit for me. I’ll be sure to keep you guys posted.
More content from me? I Have A Degree In Making Magic
Quotes are something I love to read, I relate to them and love to implement them into my life. I never try to overthink them and let them control my life, but sometimes they are a way of understanding the world around me and the life I’ve been given. One of my favourite quotes of all time is…
“Life is not the way it should be. It is the way that it is. It’s how we cope with it that makes the difference.”
It was, and still continues to be a solid reminder to never take things too seriously and that everything always happen for a reason. You have to look for a positive outlook to make the most out of everything.
This past week I got to celebrate a pretty amazing milestone in my life. It hasn’t been easy to get where I am today but I’m grateful for the journey it’s taken me on. It’s been a constant reminder to live everyday as though it’s your last. Do things that make you happy and live life to the full. I’m saying all this because four years ago I had a life-saving operation to allow me to be where I am today.
Four years ago, on the 8th of October 2015, I underwent a kidney transplant. I have, and still do, suffer from Chronic Kidney Disease. I was diagnosed at the age of seven and since then it was a waiting game for the day I would need a transplant. Unfortunately that meant I had to undergo major surgery at the age of eighteen. Like I said, you have to look at the positive of all situations. Yes I was young, but if my kidneys had failed when I was older, going to university, working in Walt Disney World and just being able to live a normal life for a 20-something year old would not have been possible.
Both my parents went through the testing stages to see if they would be a match for me, I think any parent would in their situation. In the end my dad was the better match, his kidney being the age of a 25 year old, hopefully allowing my time with the kidney to last longer.
Every year now, calling it my kidney anniversary, we celebrate. Today I am happy and healthy but transplants are a treatment, not a cure. It’s sad to think about, but my dad’s kidney could fail me at any point in life. It could last two more years or forty. I’m like a walking time bomb, but I try not to think about that. I buy those concert tickets, say yes to new adventures and eat that chocolate.
I’m grateful for the life I’ve been given and the support system I have. I’m grateful that I was able to get a live donor and avoid dialysis and I know I’ve had it easier than most. But it was the life I was given and I honestly wouldn’t change it. It’s made me who I am, and moulded me into a stronger human being.
This year we celebrated with a firm favourite of mine, afternoon tea at The Crazy Bear. I swear I dream about those sandwiches. A chit chat over a good cup of tea and delicious desserts, I couldn’t ask for more. Every year I write a post, usually on Facebook, that celebrates my dad, because without him, I wouldn’t of been able to live the life I do.
It’s easy to get stuck in a routine, I’m guilty of it myself. You may be having a bad day, but that’s one day out of 365 a year. Life may not be going to plan for you right now, trust me, I’m in that boat right now. But if the universe didn’t think you were strong enough to handle it, it would have directed you down a different path. Remember no-ones life is perfect, we all have our own problems we are trying to overcome, you are never alone.
“Life is not the way it should be. It’s the way that is it. It’s how we cope with it that makes the difference.”
Smile and have fun,
More content from me? Finishing University | Rachel Cerys
After 11 weeks in Walt Disney World my magical summer was coming to a close. With one last week left in my favourite, and most happy place, I made sure to make the most of it. My last week was bitter sweet; I didn’t want to leave the place I had called home for 2 months, but I was ready to go home and get started on my future. But for now, let’s reminisce over yet another week in Walt Disney World.
If you haven’t read the first part, aka week one of the Disney holiday, be sure to check it out: The Disney Gang Arrived | Week One
Park: Hollywood Studios/Disney Springs
Dining: Sci-Fi Diner
Day eight, aka Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge Opening Day. Our alarms were set for 3.30am, making sure we left our resort by 4.30am to get an Uber over to Hollywood Studios. It was busy but not as hectic as I was imagining it would be. By the time we got there we were queueing from the “Crossroads” kiosk with a sea of people ahead of us. We had started to slowly move towards the entrance of Galaxy’s Edge, and by 5.00am we were walking inside. It was such an exciting buzz to be in the midst of the crowds on opening day but as we learnt later on, it was not necessary.
Marc had been feeling unwell for most of the holiday so after the initial opening Marc and I headed back to the resort to get more sleep. We left the rest of the family to joy the wonders of Batuu and watch the sunrise over the Millennium Falcon. Although the land was a lot busier than Cast Member Previews, Marc and I were still able to visit and immerse ourselves into Galaxy’s Edge later that day before our dining reservations at Sci-Fi Diner.
Park: Magic Kingdom
Dining: Be Our Guest/Flying Fish
I’ve lost count how many times my sister has celebrated her birthday in the Magic Kingdom and this year was no exception. We had the ultimate Disney day in the parks, dining at Be Our Guest for breakfast, riding the classic rides; Carousel and It’s a Small World included, before having a laugh with Goofy and the gang.
We spent the evening at Disney’s Boardwalk Resort having dinner at The Flying Fish. It was a beautiful sunset that night so of course we had a mini photoshoot.
Park: Magic Kingdom, Hollywood Studios & Epcot
Dining: Storybrook Dining
It felt like we were trying to do 4 Parks 1 Day all over again on this day. We started off in Magic Kingdom. We watched the Trolley Show and visited Winnie the Pooh before hopping over to Hollywood Studios and riding Smuggler’s Run. We had yet to see Festival of Fantasy so back to Magic Kingdom we went to watch the parade and express my love to Flynn Rider. A little trip on the monorail led us to Epcot to grab a bite to eat at Epcot’s Food & Wine Festival. And just in case our belly’s weren’t full enough we ended the night having dinner at Storybrook Dining. This is one of the newer character dining experiences in Walt Disney World with Snow White, Grumpy, Dopey and the Evil Queen. No matter how cool the theming and characters sound, the food was a major let down.
Park: Animal Kingdom
Dining: Yak & Yeti
This trip really made me fall in love with Animal Kingdom. Growing up it was one of my least favourite parks, but it is now up there in my top two, with Magic Kingdom of course. We spent the morning learning how to draw Scar in the newly refurbished Animation Class, now located at Rafiki’s Planet Watch. We also stopped by UPs Great Bird Adventure and visited some of the animals of the safari. Yak & Yeti lived up to the hype I gave it and it’s now become a firm favourite in the Butcher household.
Park: Hollywood Studios & Epcot
You would think after almost two weeks in Walt Disney World you would be doing the same things over again, and of course that happens. You go to the parks to do your favourite rides and attractions once or even twice over. But we had yet to experience the new Lighting McQueen show in Hollywood Studios. Keeping with tradition, we made it over to Toy Story Mania to battle it out once more this holiday, rode Smugglers Run and went to meet Mike and Sully, which we had a great interaction with.
Back with went to Epcot to experience a bit more of the Food & Wine Festival. Although we have been to Walt Disney World countless times over the years our trips have never collided with this festival, so we tried to make the most of it. In Epcot we wandered around World Showcase even stopping off in the UK Pavailion; a pavilion we tend to ignore as it’s our hometown. However, this time we decided to tried the Fish & Chips for the first ever time, before having to shelter in the Rose & Crown pub from a heavy downpour of rain. It was like being back home.
Park: Magic Kingdom
Our final day. Just like it’s tradition to start all our Disney holidays in Magic Kingdom, its also tradition to end them there. Unfortunately this day didn’t go quite as planned. Having sat down for a Starbucks and ice-cream sundae break, Marc and I found out our flight had been cancelled “due to the hurricane”. There were tears, by me, and for an hour or so I wasn’t in the most magical place on earth anymore. After a lot of stress and with Marc being amazing we managed to get ourselves a flight out five days later; there were no earlier flights we could get together. It was an added, unforeseen cost to the trip, but we ended up loving those extra five days to chill out and relax.
Once the tears had been wiped away, I got my graduation ears from my college program painted at the Christmas shop. We went on more rides and truly made the most out of our last day, especially since the park was so quiet due to the impending storm.
The rest of my family ended their holiday and flew out on the original planned day. So on the 4th of September Marc and I waved them good-bye as they got on the Magical Express to head to the airport. As soon as their bus departed, we hopped on a Disney bus and spent our last night, meeting up with my friend, in Magic Kingdom.
Additional Five Days
These five days were on a budget. We no longer had access to the parks and having spent more money than originally planned to stay the extra nights in our Disney resort room, we were pretty tight on cash. We spent most days chilling by the pool, soaking up the last of the sun and spent evening wandering around Disney Springs. We listened to the live music and ate at some of our favourite cheap and easy quick service location; Blaze, D-Luxe Burger and Chicken Guy. However being the ex Cast Member I was, my friend I had met during my program and fellow Cast Member kindly got Marc and I into Animal Kingdom one last time. Here is a quick snapshot of our last five days, ending the ultimate Disney summer.
And that my friends wrap up Walt Disney World 2019. It was an unbelievable experience. Not only getting to work in my favourite place; a dream I’ve had since I was a little girl, but having Marc experience it for the first ever time. Which he loved and he can’t wait to return. I will never forgot this summer. I’ve dreamed about it for years, imaging what it would be like, but it was more than I could have ever hoped for. The people I’ve met, the memories I’ve made and the experiences I got to have has made this summer unforgettable. And one day when I’m old and grey, reminiscing about my life, I’ll look back on 2019 with a massive grin, grateful for the time I got to have in my home away from home.
Thank you so much for reading and following along on my Disney journey. I hoped you’ve enjoyed all the magic filled posts and weren’t getting too sick of them.
Until next time,
P.S. Thank you Walt Disney World for making my Instagram feed actually good for once, ha!
Want to check out more of my posts, click here.
My love of Disney all started because of my mum and dad. My first trip to Walt Disney World was in 2000 when I was just three years old, and we’ve pretty much gone annually since, falling in love with the Disney magic over and over again. So when we found out I had landed myself my dream job of working in Walt Disney World, my family couldn’t resist booking tickets so we could all experience the Disney magic together once again, making this trip our 15th time. As my sister and I have grown up we both somehow managed to get ourselves boyfriends who hadn’t had the chance to experience the wonders of Disney. So a family trip for 4 has now become the Disney gang’s ultimate holiday.
Having been away from them for nine weeks the excitement of seeing them was real. I checked out of my Disney housing accommodation on the 21st of August, getting a ride over to Port Orlean’s French Quarter; where we would be staying for our two week vacation, a few hours prior to my family arriving. I was able to check us all in and settle down in our room; picking up our resort mugs and unpacking a little. As you can see I was very excited to lie down on a resort bed, having slept on a $15 mattress topper for nine weeks prior.
Around 10pm everyone had arrived, grabbing ourselves a quick bite to eat before sleeping off the travel day and getting ready to conquer the two-week action packed holiday which laid ahead of us.
Park: Magic Kingdom
It’s tradition for my family to start every Disney holiday in the Magic Kingdom. It’s magical every time I walk down the middle of Main Street USA, but being able to witness Marc’s first ever reaction to seeing the castle, experiencing the theming and the magic that spans the entire park was something else.
Of course we stopped to take a picture in front of the castle; the family had reunited after nine weeks, it was a big moment, not forgetting to pick up a “first visit” badge for Marc on the way. We hit all of the big rides, including the three mountains and Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, before heading back to the resort to chill out and get ready for an evening in Disney Springs.
Park: Epcot/Hollywood Studios
Dining: Coral Reef
Day Two started off by Marc and I waking up in Disney’s Wilderness Lodge. During my time as a cast member I was able to get a room in the resort as a surprise for Marc during his stay. We took a chilled approach and spent the morning hunting down Hidden Mickey’s and exploring.
My favourite hidden Mickey I found during this trip. See if you can try and find it.
We met up with the rest of the gang before heading to Epcot for an afternoon of fun and eating one of my favourite meals of the holiday at Coral Reef.
The evening ended in Hollywood Studios, making time for a ride on Toy Story Mania, where of course I beat everyone after weeks of practice and watching the Star Wars fireworks.
Park: Animal Kingdom/Epcot
Dining: La Hagienda de San Angel
Finally! Back to my home, Animal Kingdom. I was so excited to show Marc around the park that had been my home for two months, and for my family to experience Pandora for the first time. Of course I was wearing my Animal Kingdom Mickey ears.
We all become Banshee flying experts, immersed ourselves in The Festival of The Lion King, fuelled ourselves up on BBQ food, the best food in my opinion and become honorary Dinos with Chip ‘n’ Dale.
The evening was spent saying goodbye to Illuminations, the only Epcot firework show my family has known, while eating at our favourite Mexican around the World Showcase Lagoon.
Park: Hollywood Studios/Animal Kingdom
Dining: Tuska House
Day four started out in Hollywood Studios where I was surprised by my family’s reaction to Toy Story Land; they preferred Alien Swirling Saucers over Slinky Dog, hmm! We got our fix of Star Wars by riding Star Tours, rode Rock ‘n’ Rollercoaster, finding Hidden Mickeys as we went, before trying the famous Grilled Cheese’s from Woody’s Lunchbox.
Our dining reservation for the day was at Tusker House where we dined with Donald, Daisy, Goofy and Mickey.
I do love a character dining but as we’ve grown up we’ve settled with one character dining option per holiday. My family love the food at Tusker House, making it one of our favourite character dining experiences. Besides, who wouldn’t want to meet Mickey in his safari gear.
We ended the night by watching Rivers of Light from the dining package exclusive seating, which I would highly recommend to get the most out of Animal Kingdom’s nighttime show.
Time to get out of the Disney bubble and experience the Wizarding World of Harry Potter for the first time this trip. I was also so excited for everyone to ride Hagrid’s Magical Motorbike Adventure.
Hadgird’s was a success and we only ended up waiting about an hour and a half having got there for park open. Marc brought Dumbledore’s wand, meaning I have to keep him now? ha! And we tried to act cool with Optimus Prime. I love Universal but I only visit now because of Harry Potter, and I don’t think I’m alone in that.
Park: Typhoon Lagoon/Hollywood Studios
Dining: Morimoto Asia
We took the morning to chill out and relax at Typhoon Lagoon which was lovely and in the end was our only day at a water park due to the hurricane. We went back to the resort to shower and sort ourselves out ready for our dining reservation at Morimoto Asia. Unfortunately we got caught in a Florida down pour so recently washed and dried hair instantly got wet again.
We spent the evening in Hollywood Studios to watch Fantasmic! and luckily the rain held off for us. Of course we went on Toy Story Mania, it’s a fan favourite in the group, before waiting way too long for some Starbucks drinks to enjoy while watching the show. I also managed to pick up some new Mickey ears, because what’s new.
Dining: Teppan Edo
When we visit Universal we always get a 2 Day-2 Park ticket as we feel like it’s the best value for money and we are able to do everything we want to in those two days. Therefore on our second and last day at Universal we rode Hagrid’s again, ate at Cowfish and took a trip down memory lane with a ride on Cat in the Hat.
Florida in August is always extremely hot and walking around theme parks in that heat can get pretty tiring. We headed back to the resort for a little chill out session before hopping over to Epcot for dinner at Teppan Edo.
We are half way through our holiday and also half way through this blog post so congratulations if you’ve gotten this far. However, the fun hasn’t stop yet as Day Eight includes the opening day of Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge. And because I’m such a tease you’ll have to wait until tomorrow for the Disney adventures to continue.
Thank you for reading and stayed tuned for tomorrow’s blog post all about week two of the Disney gang’s adventures.