Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Disney Pin Wishlist

My Disney pin collection is perhaps my favourite collection (from my Tsum Tsum plushes, Funko Pops and Tsum Tsum Squishies) so I'm always in search of cute new pins to add to my collection. I've only being collecting since February so I don't have too many at the moment and I'm currently on a spending ban so I won't be adding any more for a little while. I don't know how I'm going to hold back from spending all my money on pins when we go to Walt Disney World next year!

I should point out that since creating the picture for this I actually managed to find the Epcot World Showcase pins on Ebay. I didn't think I'd be able to ever get these as they're actually $60 to buy at Walt Disney World but a UK listing came up for a good price so I just had to snap them up with some money I had in my Paypal account. I've decided to still include them as they were firmly at the top of my wishlist when I had the idea for this post. I'm also going to tell myself I haven't broke my spending ban as I actually haven't paid for them out of my bank account!

  1. One of my favourite Pixar movies is Up and although there's quite a few Up pins I like, the Grape Soda bottle cap is right at the top of my Up pin list.
  2. We've already covered the World Showcase pins above a little but I didn't know they existed until a few weeks ago when I saw a picture of them on Instagram so of course I headed straight over to Ebay only to be might by American listing for quite a high price. That was until recently when up popped a UK listing and I had to get them. Epcot is probably my favourite Disney park and I just love the vibe of World Showcase so these naturally had to be in my collection.
  3. Tangled is my favourite Disney Princess movie (alongside Moana, although she's technically a tribe chief so...) I love all of the glitter princess pins but seen as Rapunzel is my favourite princess, she's the one I want most in my collection.
  4. The stitched heart collection is super cute but perhaps my favourite of the five available is Mickey and Minnie. They're the original Disney characters and I love that Minnie is the vintage style one with the flower hat.
  5. Marie is one of my all time favourite Disney animals. I've loved the Aristocats from being really young and I'm hoping to eventually have quite a few Aristocat pins in my collection. The diamant√©  Marie one is just stunning.
  6. Mine and Josh's favourite Disney World ride is the Haunted Mansion. I love everything about it and there happens to be some amazing merch for it too. I recently bought the Haunted Mansion Tsum Tsum pin set and again I'd like to build up a good Haunted Mansion collection.
  7. Some of the first pins I bought were Tsum Tsum pins and they're probably my favourite style of pin, honestly I could make a wishlist of just Tsum Tsum pins but we'll just stick to this spinner one for now!
I'll probably make more of these posts in the future as there's literally hundreds of beautiful pins out there that I'd love to add to my collection. 

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

How to save for your first home

Buying a house is tough and often people of my generation have to get help to get a foot on the property ladder, I'm not ashamed to say we received help with our deposit and I will always be extremely grateful that we were given that opportunity, however we worked and saved incredibly hard for what we've got as there's so many other things to factor in such as legal fees, furniture and appliances and making sure you have a healthy bank balance to get you started with paying bills etc, all of which we did on our own.

Today I thought I'd share with you some easy and achievable ways to save for your first home.

1. Turn your holiday into a staycation rather than a vacation - I've written about the money saving benefits of a staycation before here. Everyone needs a break from work it's just about compromising a little and being savvy with your money. Previous to going to Florida in 2015 Josh and I hadn't been abroad since 2010. Staycation's allowed us to explore some beautiful parts of the UK too. It's surprising what's on your doorstep sometimes!
2. Pay money into a savings account the same day you get paid - Josh and I set up a joint account around 3 years ago specifically to save for our first home, we always made sure (and still do) to pay a set amount into the joint account the same day we are paid. This prevents you accidentally over spending throughout the month leaving you with less money to save.
3. Set a weekly budget - factor in everything you need to pay for in a week and take that amount out of the bank. Using cash rather than cards gives you more of a visual representation of what you are spending and not using cards again prevents over spending. We all like to treat ourselves now and again but try to stick to the weekly budget more than treating yourself. Any money left over at the end of the month can then be saved.
4. Leave your cards at home - when you've withdrawn your weekly budget, leave your cards at home. It's far too easy to pay with your card as it's essentially invisible money. When you pay in cash you can physically see your money going down and it prevents you from being frivolous.
5. Enjoy free activities - just because your saving doesn't mean to say you can't have fun. There's a bunch of stuff you can do for free/cheap such as going for a walk, having a movie night with a selection of films and snacks, having a picnic, baking. The list could go on.

The harsh reality of saving for your first home is there has to be some cut backs and compromises and you really do have to save, save, save but I promise you, it's completely worth it!

Monday, 10 July 2017

Book Review: The Witchfinder's Sister

'The number of women my brother Matthew killed, so far as I can reckon it, is one hundred and six...'

1645. When Alice Hopkins' husband dies in a tragic accident, she returns to the small Essex town of Manningtree, where her brother Matthew still lives.
But home is no longer a place of safety. Matthew has changed, and there are rumours spreading through the town: whispers of witchcraft, and of a great book, in which he is gathering women's names.

Based on the true story of the witch-hunter Matthew Hopkins, this novel propels you back to a time where women were hunted down and accused of witch-craft. Alice Hopkins is an entirely fictional character as there's little known about Matthew Hopkins' personal life but it provides a great perspective on history coming from a woman's point of view and I'd like to think if he'd had a sister she'd have been just like Alice.

I'll start off by saying I found this novel a slow burner, it seemed to take a while to get going and even though I was enjoying it, nothing much happened in the beginning. Please don't give up or let that put you off though because once this book gets going, it REALLY gets going. I was completely hooked and after weeks of only reading a couple of pages here and there, I eventually finished the book in just two days. And I'm a very slow reader! 

I found it so interesting to read about the kinds of things the women were accused of and how life was completely different for women then. Men like Matthew Hopkins had complete control of the lives and the fates of women and they fully played up to that. All of which is perfectly demonstrated in this book.

In all I'd highly recommend The Witchfinder's Sister. The only reason it hasn't got 5 stars is for the very slow start but otherwise this is an absolutely brilliant novel. 

Rating: ★★

Thursday, 6 July 2017

Disney Haul: June 2017

I usually include any little Disney purchases on my monthly Happy List but as I've got quite a few things to share that I bought in June I thought it would be fun to do a separate Disney Haul.
The Haunted Mansion Tsum Tsum pins (Ebay £14.95)
I love the Tsum Tsum Disney pins and The Haunted Mansion is one of my absolute favourite rides at Disney World. I was going to buy these when we go to Florida next year but when I found them on Ebay brand new, factory sealed from an English seller for about £10 cheaper than what I'd pay in America, I just had to snap them up. I absolutely love them.
 Marie Funko Pop (PopCultcha £14.75 with £8 shipping)
When it was announced that Funko were releasing a Marie Aristocats Pop I was so excited, Marie is one of my favourite characters, however it was also announced she'd be a Hot Topic exclusive and there were rumours she wouldn't be making her way to any UK sites. A few people on Instagram reccommended PopCultcha to fellow Disney lovers. PopCultcha is an Australian site hence the £8 shipping price but if you only buy one Pop there's no custom fees. She was well worth the higher shipping price. Funko need to release the rest of the Aristocats characters now.

 Rapunzel and Mother Gothel Tsum Tsum pins (Ebay)
When I first started collecting pins earlier this year, I snapped Pascal up for a really good price on Ebay without releasing he came from a limited edition box set with Rapunzel and Mother Gothel then three Monsters Inc pins and three Lion King pins. Obviously with these pins coming from a limited edition box set they don't appear on Ebay very often and hardly ever from a UK seller. I spent months searching which paid off when Mother Gothel and Rapunzel appeared together from the same seller. I now have a complete set of Tangled Tsum Tsum pins.

 Tsum Tsum Squishies (The Entertainer £3 and £5)
I've been waiting for the series 4 Tsum Tsum Squishies to come out for months. A series 4 carry case appeared in The Entertainer at the beginning of the year but no series 4 packs. Anyway they've finally made their way in store and online. I picked up a two pack and four pack of the series 2 fuzzy ones as I hardly have any of those and the same in series 4.

Boo Tsum Tsum pin (Ebay)
Much like the Tangled pins I didn't realise at first that these were from a limited edition box set (the same one as the Tangled pins) when I first bought Mike from someone on Instagram. I managed to find Sulley pretty quickly on Ebay and for really cheap but Boo was impossible to get. She hardly ever appears on Ebay and never from an English seller. I literally spent months searching and never once saw her come up from an English seller until the middle of June. I was expecting to have to bid big given how rare she seems to be but I was willing to do so to complete the collection however I snapped her up for an amazing price (£2.95 to be exact!). That's the Monsters Ince Tsum Tsum set also complete now.

 Mater and Lightening McQueen Tsum Tsums (Clintons £3.50)
When the Disney Store released the Cars 3 Tsum Tsums I wasn't really fussed about any of the collection apart from Mater because look how great he is! Anyway there isn't a Disney Store close to me and I wasn't paying £4 shipping just for one Tsum Tsum. So when I heard they'd made their way to Clintons I snapped up Mater and Lightening McQueen. I think Mater is now one of my favourite Tsums that I own.