Posted in Disney, Holiday Happiness

What to Wear to Disney!

If you’ve booked a trip to see the worlds most famous mouse I bet you’ve googled what to wear to Disney?! Planning and packing outfits is almost as much fun as going. With several trips to both Paris and Florida under my belt as well as a Disney cruise I am a real Disney kid… if I’ve not got a trip booked I’m planning one in my head. I simply can not resist the magic of it all and embracing my inner child… after all I am a pretend grown up ha ha!

What I wear to Disney!

I love fashion, I love Disney and as I’m heading there tomorrow I thought what a great time to share Disney outfits with you guys… so if you’ve been wondering what to wear on your trip of a lifetime perhaps I can be a of a little help. Now my looks here are ones I am considering for Disneyland Paris. Warmer climates may require less clothes, shorts instead of jeans or joggers, ditch the jackets! Just to mention as well Mickey is my favourite so my looks are inspired by him. Anyway I hope I provide you with some inspiration…

Outfit 1.

What to wear to Disney

ALWAYS choose comfy footwear for Disney… trainers or converse rule! Classic Minnie ears will forever be a firm favourite of mine. Teamed with a cute Mickey Crop top and ripped jeans. The shirt can be worn open or tied round my waist when too hot, win win!

Outfit 2.

Disney outfit and Nike air

How cute is this t-shirt dress? (It’s folded under for the photo, it’s not that short in real life, thankfully) Throw on a cute denim jacket and why not add some Disney badges? team with some high top trainers and your good to go! I will totally be wearing frilly socks with this too,  yep… you are never too old for those! 😉

Outfit 3.

Dressing for Disney

You can’t beat a simple joggers and hoodie combo… I will be wearing a tee under this too incase I get warm. A small backpack is perfect to carry a few belongings round with you, keep those hands free! Note the cap too… not a Disney one unfortunately as I might pick one up in the park. Caps are great when you’ve had a few days there and you can’t be bothered washing your hair! Rock that cap girl!

Outfit 4.

Disney vans

A sweatshirt and joggers combo… had to get the ears in again ha ha! Check out the trainers, they are my favourite EVER… covered in Disney princesses from Vans (some time ago now) A princess tee with these trainers would have been perfect… Etsy have loads of cool ones but I left it too late to order, boooo! Order at least a month prior to leaving.

Outfit 5.

Disney wear

What to wear to Disney? Leggings… seriously though in my opinion there is nothing comfier than leggings! These Mickey face leggings are a few years old now but I still adore them. A little too loud you may think but trust me that’s not a thing in Disney. Be confident and go for bold prints but keep the other half of your outfit plain. What’s round the neck? A Disney pin trading lanyard of course!

Outfit 6.

Mickey ears and Disney converse

Ohhh I LOVE this one! I already had these converse so finding Mickey ears to match was perfect. There are literally hundreds of them to choose from online… it’s totally a booming business. It’s a good job I already had the shoes or I would have struggled to pick! Look on Etsy and choose some ears first to work your outfit around. Denim skirts are super trendy and comfy for a girly Disney look.

Outfit 7.

Disney outfit inspo

Want to do Disney but more subtly why not accessorise with a simple Mickey scarf? I picked this up in the Disney Village and I love wearing it at home too. The uber cute purse is from Cath Kidston, they are constantly releasing Disney themed items these days. Boots instead of trainers here but they are comfy, well worn ones… NEVER do new shoes to Disney. I would probably wear a leather jacket with this too.

Outfit 8.

Chic Disney looks

A more sophisticated Disney look that I love! Isn’t this the most adorable Mickey shirt ever?! Best worn with jeans and the red bag ties in nicely with Mickeys shorts! Sunglasses are always a good idea… sunglasses make you look fabulous! Hide those Disney bags with them… What bags? Trust me… if you do Disney properly you come back shattered.

Where to shop for Disney! (UK)

Seriously there is no shortage of Disney apparel on the high street and online these days. You will be spoilt for choice! Here’s some of my favourite shopping spots for it…

Primark – The super value high street store is full of Disney stuff these days. Definitely your first port of call. You will be sure to find lots of clothing relating to the latest film release as well as other bits and stuff for the home too.

Forever 21 – One of my favourite stores ever! There’s always some Disney stuff lurking in here. Last year I got a fabulous Mickey swimsuit ever from this store! Be sure to check it out online too as there’s often more on offer.

Zara – Quite often do Disney pieces. The denim Minnie skirt above I picked up in Zara a few years ago now. I have also seen them do jeans and denim shorts with Mickey on.

Cath Kidston – The latest collection is Bambi inspired. But previous ones have featured the likes of Mickey, Snow White and Alice in Wonderland. We all know Cath Kidstons style and collaborated with Disney it’s uber cute!

Boohoo – There’s always Disney things lurking on online at Boohoo and great value too! Both the t-shirt dress above and the red hoodie came from there. I love a bit of Boohoo and Disney!

ASOS – Another online winner! Plenty of Disney style on here, sometimes pricey for more designer items. Obviously ASOS features other brands so it a great all round one to look at. Disney vans can be bought on here… quite often they go in the sale too. I’ve totally got my eye on some more!

So there we have it… what to wear to Disney! Were there any looks you loved? Now it’s time to get back to packing my case but what will I wear in the end? Make sure you stick around to see what I get up to in Disney and my what made it to my final wardrobe!

Rachael 🙂 x

Posted in Take time for you

Ageing Gracefully

At the minute I’m literally at war with myself over ageing gracefully. This wasn’t really something that has bothered me properly until the last 6-12m. It seems I hit 36 and wham every photo I took close up I just didn’t like. I’ve always had compliments on my smile but now it would seem my smile is producing a look I don’t like around my eyes… crows feet. Sometimes I also notice the slight onset of what I now know are called the 11 lines between my eyebrows. Ageing is inevitable but how well we will deal with it is up to us.

Ageing gracefully so far

Skincare…

I have always been fairly good with skincare but admittedly not so great with sunscreen… favouring a tan for vanity reasons (come on everyone looks better with a tan!) which I now am wondering if I had been more vigilant applying protection would some of my lines have been less, Who knows? But what I do know is I’m now faced with a choice moving forward and a tough one it is.

To Age Gracefully or Succumb to Aesthetically Changing my Face?

I am a fan of trying to look my best. I have an active job, I go to the gym, yoga and in the warmer months I love bike riding. I want to be physically be fit and healthy for the rest of my life. My face is no different, I want to feel confident and look good. But like a lot of people as I’m getting older I’m starting to feel more conscious about myself.

It’s no secret stars like Kyle Minogue, Lindsay Lohan and Cameron Diaz have dabbled down the botox and fillers route but have seemingly switched back to a more natural approach and quite rightly so… they just looked kinda weird! It would seem botox and fillers are falling out of fashion in the celeb world and ageing more gracefully is in or have they just found better aesthetic physicians helping them to maintain a more natural look? Hmmm. Back to real life though and I know many people who have turned to these to turn back the clock. How do I know? because it’s obvious… shiny foreheads, eyes that hardly move at the edges when they smile and in some cases their faces look… well, just different.

Cameron Diaz before and after filler

Confession…

I’m to am no stranger…. I’ve had lip fillers, in fact I’ve been having them for about 5 years. Just 1ml once a year and do you know what… I love them! They have given me a top lip that I basically didn’t have. I’m told you can’t tell by most people which is how I think it should be. A little enhancement is not necessarily always a bad thing in my opinion. Sometimes I think would a little botox too really be such a bad thing?

Alternative Ageing Solutions I’m Trying…

Okay so this is where I’m at… I’ve tried PRP, aka the vampire facial, which I loved. I have regular Caci hydrotone facials which uses micro current rollers and a collagen infused mask. Finally the latest one I’ve indulged in is a Comit facial, which uses microdermabrasion, oxygen and a microchannelling (needle) roller. Right now I’ve decided to alternate between the Caci and the Comcit every 3 weeks. Let me tell you this looking good malarkey is all adding up.

At Home…

After reading rave reviews about drops of youth from the Body Shop and a few personal recommendations I’ve recently added them and the sleep mask to my routine (I will report back.) You will also be glad to know I’ve purchased some sunscreen to use every single day. Yep! I can’t moan about ageing if I’m not doing one of the most fundamental things in preventing it. I drink plenty water most days and my diet is good 80% of the time.

Natural products to age gracefully

Conclusion…

I might have some wrinkles round my eyes when I smile but is it really the end of the world? hey, at least I’m always smiling! I’m healthy, I have a roof over my head, food in my tummy and a loving family and friends. We all have days when we don’t feel we look our best. Maybe when you snapped that selfie the lighting was bad, maybe your skin didn’t look plump because you were a bit dehydrated. So what? You never ultimately look as bad as you imagine you do. Be such a good soul that people crave your vibe and don’t even notice the imperfections you see on your face!

Ageing is a Journey

Everyone’s on their own ageing journey and some deal with it better than others. It’s hardly surprising when we live in this seemingly insta perfect, red carpet, filtered world that’s giving us unattainable ideas of beauty. Am I going to wake up tomorrow completely not worried about ageing? No… but I will keep working on that. I will inevitably remain curious and open minded to the latest treatments in my quest to age gracefully. But do I want to look completely ageless? Absolutely not. For me it’s about finding that fine line of looking good for your age and not crossing it.

I once saw the following quote…

True quote It’s a great one to remember…

How are you feeling about ageing? Will you do so gracefully or are you open minded to what’s out there? I would love to hear your thoughts.

Rachael 🙂 x

Posted in Holiday Happiness

Digital Detox Weekend: Time to Unplug!

iPhones and androids… remember the days we didn’t have these? Do you remember a time before mobile phones even? leaving home and not being contactable? I do! Those were the days… ha ha! Having to be on time or literally leaving someone stood waiting for you. None of this last minute changing arrangements or running late texting. Was being uncontactable really such a bad thing? surely we were more efficient and organised?! Now in our fast paced world a digital detox is totally a thing.

Digital Detox… Back to the Days When we Were Unplugged!

I have a love hate relationship with my phone… I can’t imagine trying to live without it now but I look back to the days when I didn’t have one as simpler. Waiting for someone to call the house phone… or calling them hoping you catched them in. Knocking on for your friends… kids these days make all there arrangements via WhatsApp, snapchat or text first.

No Headspace…

I accept technology is a wonderful thing… but when I’m swamped with emails, texts, WhatsApp’s in several groups, even the pressure of social media presence (necessary I think if you have a business) it’s all pretty exhausting. Like most people these days I am never completely uncontactable. If I try to be I suddenly remember something I’ve not replied to or worry I’ve missed something important. Definitely time to unplug.

Digital Detox: Time to unplug

Digital Detox Weekend

Unplugging on a weekend away with my son in a waterfront lodge was the answer… a digital detox weekend. The game Fortnite is life it would seem for a ten year old these days so I knew he wouldn’t be happy . I let him know prior that we would be  ‘unplugging!’ No Nintendo switch for him, no going on the phone for me! He accepted it pretty easily to be fair. If I had taken it off him there we would have had serious issues but because I set my stall prior he knew where he was at.

The Perfect Setting

The Waterfront Lodge in Nuneaton turned out to be a little hidden gem. A newly built luxury Bed and Breakfast, over looking to the lake and countryside at the heart of the Midlands.

Waterside lodge

A warm welcome was granted us on our arrival late in the afternoon. I instantly loved what they had done with the lodge; beautifully finished and equipped with all the mod cons. Lights on sensors, a button to switch to bath or shower and much to my sons delight… Alexa. Neither of us had used one before so our unplugged weekend could be about to go down the plug hole ha ha!

But no… I’m pleased to report I stood my ground (mostly) he talked to Alexa only why I indulged in a bath. He quickly learned he could get on YouTube (this Alexa had a screen!) to watch lasarbeam (I so don’t understand the mentality of watching other people play games… Or watching other people watch funny videos, I must be getting old!) but bath done I told Alexa to shut up and she did!

Wine with a view

Ahhh peace… Almost!

Outside on the veranda it was lovely and tranquil drinking my wine. That was except for his protests that it was boring – another reminder of how technology has ruined kids these days… they crave that constant stimulation.  I’m well aware he’s no different to most kids his age though in this sense. As dusk descended to the song of birds it was pretty peaceful watching the fish jumping out of the water and I eventually distracted him with chat about friends and school.

You Can’t Beat Board Games!

Born in the 80’s I am a lover of board games… I do wonder how many households still indulge in the pleasure of a Saturday night family board game session? Old fashioned my son may call them but once we actually play he is engrossed. The Game Of Life will forever be a favourite of mine.. I find it engaging all the way round and not never ending like monopoly can be. This was the game of choice for our screen free Saturday evening.

Digital Detox playing board games instead

See this is what I wanted… quality time. Yes he won! But not because I let him… we are both very competitive.

After a lovely sleep I woke really early on account of light flooding in the room but as we went to bed at a decent hour I wasn’t too bothered. Confession… I then started writing this blog post your reading right now! Technically not unplugged completely but whilst my son was snoozing away and I was feeling inspired it was a good opportunity to blog – something I love and don’t have enough time for lately.

Finally Feels Like Spring

Although it’s only March the sun was shining… it was not that warm but I quickly regretted not bringing my yoga mat. Yoga on the private veranda overlooking the lake would have been the perfect start to Sunday! At 9:30 breakfast was served and eating outside for the first time this year made it finally feel like spring (except when I was stressing because the napkins blew in the water!)

Waking up fresh

Checking out mid morning we headed to a surprise go karting session I had booked. I actually realised I had never done it before?! How can this be? Super exciting. I will save the details for another blog post as we had so much fun! It was great to find something we both equally loved… go karting is definitely on the future activity list.

To finish the day we went to the skatepark now I have to confess this would usually be somewhere I take the opportunity to sit off and catch up on whatever stuff I think I’m missing on my phone whilst momentarily glancing at my son with a smile. Not today… I had bought him a new scooter (early birthday present) and he proudly showed off his stunts. Then tried to teach me! We had a real good laugh together.

Outdoor fun instead

Digital Detox Accomplished

My digital detox weekend complete, I was feeling revived by Sunday evening. It really got me thinking about how much I feel harassed by my phone and being socially present. It’s no secret but sometimes you are definitely missing the true magic of a moment through trying to share it with the world. Digitally detoxing has really opened my eyes… moving forward I am definitely going to be more conscious of how much I’m using my phone and when.

Have you ever tried a digital detox? I would love to hear how it went… if not you should definitely try unplugging for a while and connect with the real world.

Rachael 🙂 x

If you are liking the sound of the waterfront lodges you can check them out here – https://www.thewaterfrontlodges.co.uk

Posted in Holiday Happiness

20 Reasons You Should Book a Disney Cruise


Here I share 20 reasons why you should book a Disney cruise but really there are too many to truly mention… I mean anything Disney is always a good idea! In 2015 I was lucky enough to go on a Disney cruise. It was some time ago now but it is still embedded in my mind as one of my best trips ever. Disney cruise ships really are something special.

Disney Cruise Line We cruised on the Disney Fantasy for a week around the western Caribbean; stopping off in Grand Cayman, Jamaica, Cozumel and Disney’s private island in the Bahamas – Castaway Cay. This is based on my experience on the Fantasy but I hear all the ships are out of this world.

1. You Will Feel Like Royalty on a Disney Cruise

From the moment you get on the ship you are treated like royalty. Waltzing down the red carpet to board whilst they announce you by name to a round of applause may not be everyone’s cup of tea but lets just say you definitely feel special. Your waiters get to know you and your preferences personally as they rotate restaurants with you each night. Your stateroom host quickly learns your names and greets you with a smile always asking if there is any more they can do for you.

2. The Interior is a Work of Art

I don’t even know where to start here but the attention to detail on a Disney cruise is something else. Right from when you step into the ship’s stunning three-story atrium, decked in regal shades of gold and blue with fine details adorning every element inside your know no expense has been spared. It’s an entrance one might expect in a grand hotel… as a first time cruiser I was in awe. From the intricate mosaics around the ship, the themed restaurants, to the beautiful theatre. There is too much to mention… its simply grand and exquisite through out.

Disney Cruise Interior

3. Door Decorating Fun

Yes this is a thing! Be sure to decorate your stateroom door Disney style. I read this before going so I was prepared. Disney don’t like you to use tape so be sure to use magnets, the doors are metal. You can make life easy by purchasing pre made designs on Etsy (just search Disney cruise door magnets) but I’ve always loved crafting so I had a go myself. It’s fun to explore the ship and look at all the designs.

4. Magic Portholes

So we had an interior stateroom but it was suffice. I mean are you really going to sit in your room on a Disney Cruise? It was a little tricky getting ready some nights with a hyperactive 7 year old though ha ha! I must mention here the magic porthole… a “window” to the world with a real-time view outside the ship. But that’s not all… Disney characters appear in the porthole too! Yes you might just see Tinkerbell fly across… I was freaking out spotting them all. Well done Disney, a great addition for those who can’t stretch the budget to an outside cabin ha ha! I would totally book an interior room again.

Disney Cruise Stateroom

5. Delicious Dining Experiences

Ohhh the restaurants… guests have many options to choose from when it comes to dining. You are given a dining rotation and depending on the length of your cruise you may visit some restaurants more than once. You can opt out on some nights like we did if you would prefer a more casual affair like Cabanas. It was nice to have a break from dressing for dinner plus whilst all the guests were dining we enjoyed numerous goes on the aquaduck without queuing. All the restaurants were amazing, not just the food but the decor too. None were quite as delightful as Animators palate though – you get to draw your own character and watch in delight as it comes alive as part of the show.

Disney Cruise Dining

6. Adult Only Dining

If you want to experience fine dining (I should say even finer dining really) head to one of the adult only restaurants – Palo or Remy. We dined in Palo on our last night and the food was divine… the service again was impeccable. The waiter was very patient explaining things on the menu to us. The setting was very serene and had we of made a reservation prior to getting on the cruise we could have enjoyed a view of the sunset out of the wall of windows (book in advance!) but none the less I fully recommend it anyway.

7. Deck 11 For Sun & Fun

I have to confess I had a slight love hate relationship with deck 11, ha ha! It’s mayhem for parents, heaven for kids! This is where to pool is, the aqua duck (water coaster) can be ridden, back to back Disney movies play on a huge screen. Little ones can splash about in Nemo’s reef and you can if your kid will let you… try and relax on the sunbeds. Also it is home to some of the more fast food options you may want in the day available from the likes of Flo’s cafe and Luigi’s pizza. Deck 11 is super fun but a few hours and you need some headspace! The aqua duck is awesome… be sure to ride it in the dark too as it is all lit up!

Disney Cruise Deck 11

8. Characters Galore on a Disney Cruise!

Love your Disney characters? (of course you do!) well I think I interacted more with characters on the cruise than I ever have. You never know when you might bump into them… which is super exciting! also there are plenty of opportunities for character meet and greets. My son met stitch his all time favourite on pirate night, he was so playful and funny, he still talks about it now. I was over the moon to have my photo with Mickey in his captains outfit too!

9. Pirate Night & Fireworks

Who doesn’t want to dress as a pirate really?! Well if you don’t you will stand out! Bandannas were even provided in our stateroom to wear for the occasion. We had taken our own costumes anyway as I am not one to miss out on a dressing up opportunity. As well as pirate themed dining that night there was a stage show where all your favourite Disney characters perform in a ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ production. Not forgetting the spectacular fireworks as well! Followed by dancing the night away as a DJ blasted popular dance songs. Pirate night was a blast!

Disney Cruise Pirate Night

10. Disney Merchandise

Be sure to check out the Disney merchandise whilst on the ship… they are pros at making you get rid of your money and the cruise is no exception. Official cruise line clothes, souvenirs, pins, plush toys and more are on display in the stores. I bought a few things to remind me of my trip (yeah like I will ever forget!)

11. West End Worthy Shows

Disney doesn’t mess about when it comes to entertainment we all know that… It’s what Disney does best! But oh my gosh the shows… I LOVED Disney wishes… its encompasses everything Disney is about growing up but staying connected with your inner child. We also saw Aladdin and Disney dreams which were both fantastic.

Disney Cruise Stage Shows

12. You Can Chill Out

You may be reading all this thinking I don’t know if it’s too much! But fear not… you can escape the mayhem on the adults only deck and it was like a sun trap. I soaked up the rays with a cocktail whilst looking at the ocean. When I was too hot I took a dip in the Quiet Cove pool – pure bliss! where are the kids (if you have them) at this point? In kids club of course. Just to mention as well I met loads of adults on the cruise with no kids too!

13. Kids Club Heaven

I don’t think I have ever wished I was still a kid as much as when I clapped eyes on the Oceaneer club and lab aboard the Fantasy . I swear you will never get your child in a kids club on holiday again after experiencing this… it’s in a league of its own. Children 3-12yrs can immerse in a multi themed activity centre – there’s Andy’s Room, Pixie Hollow and Monsters Academy to name a few. A light up dance floor, computers, reading areas, televisions, video games, dressing up, a sound studio to create music, a craft area… the list goes on. Your favourite characters might just make an appearance too. Got a baby or a teen no problem… no one is left out on a Disney cruise, they cater for all.

Disney Cruise Oceaneer Club and Lab

14. Indulge in Pin Trading

If your a pin trading fan then you will be pleased to know this is a thing on the cruise to. For those who are unfamiliar with pin trading is buying, selling and trading collectable Disney pins that can be worn on a lanyard. You can trade pins with cast members (which is super fun) as well as other guests. On the last night of your cruise as well a pin trading event is held where you might just find some rare pins so be sure to check that out. Oh and pin trading is totally for adults as well as kids! I literally had as much fun as my son.

15. Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique

Yes the royal salon where young guests can be magically transformed into princesses or knights is aboard the cruise too. You hear about the princess make overs lots but not as much the ones for boys. My son was seven at the time and loved the experience. They gelled his hair and put little silver Mickey confetti in it, he was given a sword and shield and declared a knight… we proceeded to then do the ships treasure hunt. This is where you look for clues around the ship (you realise its enormity at this point) and it’s simply magical… you will need a few hours but it’s good exercise and fun!

Disney Cruise Bibbidi Bobbdi Boutique

16. Rejuvenate in Senses Spa

I indulged in a massage and facial at the spa despite it being pretty pricey and it was worth every penny. I didn’t pre book this as the whole holiday was getting ridiculously expensive (did I tell you prior to this cruise I spent a week in Disney too?!) but as luck would have it they do offers once you are on the ship so that twisted my arm (like it was hard!) and I’m glad I treated myself. My advice would definitely wait till your onboard to book this… I can’t remember the price but it was quite a bit cheaper.

17. Visiting Castaway Cay

This deserves a post of its own really but Disney’s private island Castaway Cay is really something special. A tropical paradise in the Bahamas where the fun really doesn’t stop! Pristine beaches to soak up the rays, incredible snorkelling, slides in the sea, delicious barbecue food, bike rentals… just to name a few! You are not going to be bored on this island. Sadly a day there just didn’t feel enough but what an experience.

Disney Cruise Castaway Cay

18. Themed Sailings

Now I can only properly comment on the Halloween themed sailing really as that is what I was on. But if that is anything to go by then taking a Disney cruise over Thanksgiving, Christmas time and New Years Eve should only add to the experience. Halloween on the Fantasy was great, everyone dressed up, the ship was decked out – including the pumpkin tree and even the characters dressed up for Mickey’s Mouse-querade party. Who else can say they been in a dance freestyle circle with Goofy?!

19. Exciting Shore Excursions

If you do decide to get off the ship you can indulge in some shore excursions. Disney makes this super easy for you. You can browse the itineraries before you go and add them to your never ending bill ha ha! You could indeed arrange your own but I like the guarantee that I am not going to miss the boat (honestly my anxiety couldn’t take it!) My experience of shore excursions was unforgettable. In Grand Cayman we swam with sting rays (my son bailed much to my dismay) Jamaica we headed up Dunn River Falls, Mystic mountain and even on a bobsleigh tour (Cool Running’s eat your heart out!) In Cozumel we went on a submarine. Shore excursions enhance your visit when you dock so check out if any take your fancy but don’t be surprised if you struggle to choose!

Disney Cruise Jamaica

20. It’s the Holiday of a Lifetime

I hope you are reading this and have already drawn this conclusion… this is one trip you will never forget. Disney always provides ultimate in entertainment and the cruises are no exception. Word of warning though… you will come back slightly exhausted from the non stop fun and excitement but it was oh so worth it.

Disney Cruise Memories

Have you been on a Disney cruise? I would love to hear anything you would add to this list?

Oh yeah and guys… due to writing this blog post I’m now looking to book another Disney Cruise next year. I am dying to make some more magical memories with Mickey and friends on the high seas. Watch this space!

Rachael 🙂 x

Here’s the link if I have convinced you to take a look – https://disneycruise.disney.go.com

Posted in Personal Development

Checking in With my Goals

Spring is fast approaching… seriously though where did January and February go?!! I swear as I get older time is moving faster or maybe I’m just busier than ever… now were officially in March I will be checking in with my goals for the first time this year!

Checking in with my goals

Checking in With my Goals: March 2019

So like many at the very beginning of the year I zealously compiled a list of goals I hope to achieve this year. I sectioned my goals into eight categories (see below). You can also check out my original post here.

But there is no point making these goals if we don’t check in! For me when something goes down on paper it makes it more official, it has to happen. This is why you should always write your goals down. I think looking at your goals around about quarterly is where it’s at… monthly is just too much for me – hell, give me time to breath!!

So let’s look at some things I have achieved or scheduled so far off my goal list…

1. Fun & Adventure

Skydive – holy crap, I actually booked a sky dive!! Let me tell you I am terrified but it is something I always wanted to do… as I’m getting older I’m kinda going off the idea a bit so what must I do?! Get it locked down. Yup… I’m going to throw myself out of a plane for charity – yikes!! This is happening in April. I’ve booked with the company www.skydivenorthwest.co.uk

Under this section also was go to three places I’ve never visited before… this is totally getting smashed. With four trips impending it’s safe to say I will go to way more than three! How exciting?! Watch this space to hear about my upcoming trips!

2. Career

Firstly let me just tell you what I do… I have a dance school; I teach dance. On my list was start a YouTube channel… this was also on it last year. Has progress been made? Hmmm not exactly. Maybe this goal was too much to chew… I’m a busy girl and that’s going to take commitment.

What I have done is upped my game on Instagram. Remember goals are totally adaptable… I’m now posting every day to my dance insta and I’ve braved doing videos on there. This is a big step for me! Remember to celebrate the smaller achievements too. Will this lead to YouTube… maybe! It’s a step in the right direction!

3. Friends & Family

A simple goal – to spend more time with them. Am I achieving it? Very debatable… am I making it a priority? Definitely not… I’m so absorbed in my dance business that I don’t spend enough time with loved ones. Let’s see if I can change this for my next goal review!

4. Financial

Stay out of debt – I paid off what I had last year and so far I’ve not took out anymore – go me! However with said 4 trips impending this is going to be tricky… I will remain optimistic but we will see.

Another financial goal I have FINALLY achieved is starting to save a pension… I left it way too long but better late than never!

5. Spiritual

Definitely time to check in with this goal, I can’t lie… it’s not going great. I’ve managed to write in my gratitude journal a handful of times only… I just forget!! Meditation is definitely lacking… I’m also having trouble sleeping of late. I think I am being more mindful though so that’s something I guess. Spiritual goals definitely need more work.

6. Fitness

Yoga every day? Erm not quite ha ha! Oh my… I definitely over committed on this one. It’s not going to happen. I’m soooo active in general with my job, I also go the gym too. I’m managing yoga 3x a week and loving it! You know what, I’m okay with this.

7. Personal enrichment

Okay so a big goal here was to learn more about blogging and develop mine. I have definitely committed to this… it’s a big blogging world and there is so much to learn! But I’m enjoying this journey so far. Since January I have done a few free courses, made upgrades to my blog, dipped my toe into SEO (what a mind field)  and committed to a posting schedule – every Sunday.

Read every day? If that includes internet research and blogs absolutely… books… no. Perhaps I can improve my sleep by reading more again… food for thought.

8. Self Care

As far as self care goes I’m pretty good… as in I have a facial a month, a massage, nails maintained and my hair. But self care is so much more. How about taking time out, knowing when your over working and learning to say no. I’m not great at this… I’m still trying to take on the world, this needs to change.

Smoothie a day? I’ve managed maybe 4 a week… not a bad start. What I’ve learned with smoothies is simple is better. Don’t over complicate them and I’m more likely to make them.

Body brush 3 x a week, no problem! This I can proudly say I’ve achieved. Small victory but none the less important… have you read about the benefits of body brushing?! Hmmm maybe to share in another post.

Yeah so that’s it guys… I’ve checked in on my goals for the first time this year. There are some I don’t mention as this post would be way to long… but point is I’m reviewing them!

Checking in with my goals, sky diving

Are you checking in with your goals? I would love to hear how your doing… let’s celebrate our achievements as we go.

Rachael x

Posted in Holiday Happiness

One day in Capri (Italy)

One day on the island of Capri in Italy

The last part of our Italy adventure was to be one day on the beautiful island of Capri. We were up early, the birds were singing, the sun was shining… what could possible go wrong?! Let’s just say the day didn’t get off to such an easy start… my son was not in the best of moods as I had bollocked him for losing his new trainers! But as he sulkily wandered down the jete to board the boat I took what would become one of my favourites shots of the holiday. It’s funny how the images we share, seemingly perfect do not always portray what’s really going on in the moment. A photo can say a thousand words but it can also hide them…

Vico Equense Harbour

Getting to Capri

As mentioned on a previous post we were staying right by the harbour in Vico Equense so this was ideal for reaching our destination. It took around 40 minutes to reach Marina Grande, the busy main port where our day in Capri would begin!

Marina Grande Capri

Here there are lots of souvenir shops, cafes and restaurants to choose from. We had a wander about and then decided it was probably best to take a boat tour of the island. It was soon easy to see why Capri is said to be home to some of the worlds most amazing natural scenery…

Island of Capri

The islands majestic peaks and rocky terrain contrast with the most turquoise blue waters. Sat peacefully on that boat with the wind blowing through my hair and the smell of salty sea air I was in heaven (Note to self: must buy add buy a yacht to bucket list!!)

One day in Capri? Start with a boat tour!

Our boat tour was about an 90 minutes and had the waves not have been so choppy it included a trip into the blue grotto. This is the famous sea cave where the sunlight reflects off the amazingly blue water illuminating the cave. It can be entered only via rowing boats and is suppose to be spectacular… I was really gutted to not go inside. However the water around the island did not disappoint in general… this photo below was taken at the Emerald grotto.

Blue Grotto

The Faraglioni rock formation is probably one of the first images that springs to mind when you think of Capri. The rocks jutting out of the sea range from 80-150 meters high. The middle one has an arch which legend says that if couples kiss as they sail through they will forever stay together. The rocks jutting out of the sea are really quite something…

Faraglioni rocks Capri

Other sites included Marina Piccolo and Punta Carina lighthouse that’s been there since 1866. If you only have one day in Capri be sure to take boat tour, it really is a must… it’s a fantastic way to appreciate the Island.

Anacapri

We docked back in Marina Grande keen to explore further. Anacapri located on the higher west side of the island was to be our next stop. Catching a bus seemed the easiest way to get there. But let me tell you it was crowded!! They literally stuff the bus but thankfully it was only a short ride.

From the centre of Anacapri you can catch the chair lift up Monte Solaro to the highest point on the island. I was excited but my son decided to sit this one out staying at the bottom with a gelato. Honestly he missed out, it’s not scary!

Monte Solaro chair lift

It was amazing going up, at first you could see people’s gardens below, little vegetable patches, I even spotted some bird of paradise flowers growing. As you get higher the only thing you can hear is the birds singing beautifully then silence… just total peace and quiet. The views you are treated to on the way up are spectacular…

Mont Solaro view

The ride is about 15 minutes long and upon reaching the top you must get off. There is a cafe if you want refreshments or simply take in the views… I didn’t stay up there long at all given my son was waiting at the bottom but my head was literally in the clouds.

Top of Mount Solaro

Once my feet were back on the ground it was time to explore Anacapri. Said to be much smaller, quaint and authentic than Capri town itself it did not disappoint. We meandered around it’s little streets, browsed some of the boutique shops and stopped for some baked goods and a cocktail (for me only obviously!) by the beautiful church of San Michele.

San Michele church Anacapri

Capri town

Conscious of the time we caught the bus back to Capri town. It was much busier, but no less charming to explore. Designer stores and expensive boutiques were plentiful, catering to the rich and famous the island attracts. We stopped off for Pizza where my son actually fell asleep with his head on the table… could I finally have burnt him out? Ha ha!

Time to head back to our ferry. Many use the funicular to transport them between Marina Grande and Capri town but the queue was too long so we braved the descent walking instead… not too challenging but probably not recommended if you have bad knees. Just before heading down one last look at the view…

View from Capri town

Stay in Capri!

We were ready to leave Capri as a full day exploring left us hot and tired. But honestly it was a mistake not to stay on the island. I suspect once the day trips depart much like Positano a different more relaxed Capri emerges. I would have liked to have sampled some cuisine, fine wine, done some walking and just soaked up all it has to offer. However if you do only have one day in Capri the above could be the perfect itinerary. We really felt we got a good first taste of the island.

Will I return to Capri? For sure… along with Positano it was definitely the place I loved most on my Italy Adventure. I feel I have only just brushed the surface of this amazing country so guess what?! I return in May but to a different region… stay tuned!

Rachael x

P.S If your looking for a more private experience check out Gianna’s boat tours. I would love to use him next time – https://www.giannisboat.com/

Posted in Holiday Happiness

Italy Adventuring… Visiting Pompeii and Sorrento

Leaving behind Positano for the third part of our adventure was exciting. It was an hours drive to get to our destination, a little town just outside Sorrento called Vico Equense.

Where we stayed

Hotel Le Axidie was situated by the harbour and had it’s own beach, a swimming pool (my son was over the moon!) and was far enough from the crowds of tourists that flock to Sorrento. On arrival the reception staff were most welcoming and helpful. The hotel also offered a free shuttle to the train station and into the centre of Vico Equense which was perfect.

The first day there was spent relaxing on the beach and my son made an English speaking friend (always a bonus!) playing in the pool which meant I could wile away my day with a good book and a few cocktails. From the beach you could see mount Vesuvius… if you look to the left of this photo it can just be seen.

After a good nights sleep we were up and ready to go to Pompeii. My son was so excited for this trip… he had learned quite a bit about Pompeii at school and had been sharing all the facts ever since we got on the plane. First though we fuelled up with a good breakfast… a great continental selection and views of Napoli bay, the harbour and mount Vesuvius made it extra special.

Pompeii

We took the hotel shuttle to the train station and easily bought a ticket to head to Pompeii. On arrival it was pretty confusing… there were lots of options of tours, I decided we should take a guided one after regretting having no guide at the Coliseum. This was definitely a wise move, aside from the museum part I would literally of had no idea what I was looking at other than a bunch of ruins! Also it quickly became apparent you could easily get lost in there… it’s huge!!

Get a guide if it’s your first time!

The guide very informative about the ancient Roman city and the catastrophic eruption of mount Vesuvius in 79AD. She pointed out all the different areas of Pompeii – former streets, tracks of the chariots, and the stepping stones in the street – so you didn’t have to walk in the actual street if it was flooded -, to water “fountains”, to uncovered ovens for baking bread, the baths, the amphitheater and of course the brothel!

Please note: don’t let your kid climb on the ruins… you will get told off! Which thinking about it makes sense… they need to preserve the area. This photo was taken before we got a royal telling off, whoops!

Wandering around Pompeii is very hot… there is not much shade so be sure to take some water in. I think our tour was two hours and it was enough, my son was getting bored towards the end. Definitely not ideal for children younger in my opinion. It is really a fascinating place and must be seen to be fully appreciated. Remains of mosaics and paintings can be seen through out the site – it amazing how well preserved they have remained.

Where’s all the bodies?

Like many visitors we were intrigued to see the bodies. Excavators who uncovered the human remains noticed that the skeletons were surrounded by voids in the compacted ash. By carefully pouring plaster of Paris into the spaces, the final poses and faces of the last residents of Pompeii were revealed and can be seen today.

A little research would have told us that the bodies are not just strewn all over the site and that many have been moved to a museum in Naples. Apparently a few can be seen on the southern western side of Pompeii but on our two hour tour we didn’t see any whilst walking around. However we did see them close to the entrance in a little museum.

It was originally assumed that most of the victims were asphyxiated by volcanic ash and gas but further studies have shown there was no time to suffocate. The contorted postures were not the effects of a long agony but were the result of spasming due to heat shock. So devastating and pretty eerie to look at.

I know we only brushed the surface of Pompeii but I was happy with what I saw and learnt. I have to confess I’m not massively in to history but it held my interest and was definitely worth the trip.

Sorrento

We hopped back on the train foot weary and hot and guess what? Accidentally got one that went straight to Sorrento. Much to my sons dismay I decided we may as well get off and explore it. We had planned this for another day but no time like the present!

A short walk from the train station is Piazza Tasso, the bustling centre of Sorrento. From here you can catch the land train for a tour, begin your walk down the alleyways and main shopping street or eat and drink in the bars that are located on this square. 

We meandered down the little cobbled streets where lemon themed goods are the name of the day. Be sure to try some lemoncello – after all it is here that is originated. Shops selling gelato, clothing, leather goods and ceramics are plentiful.

Sorrento is a lovely town to wander about. We reached Marina Piccola and could see down below the little spots for sun bathing by the sea on little piers that jutted out. I would have liked to spend some time down there but we didn’t have swimwear with us. Soon after we headed back to the hotel after our busy day.

Sorrento is very charming but not a patch on Positano in my opinion… definitely worth a visit though. Have you been to Sorrento and Positano? Did you prefer one over the other? Let me know!

Rachael x

P.S Don’t miss my next post all about the beautiful island of Capri!

Hotel Le Axidie – http://www.booking.com/Share-d2D5VQ

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Posted in Holiday Happiness

Italy Adventuring… Perfect Positano

If you had asked me a few years ago where Positano is I would have had no clue. I’d never heard of it or the Amalfi coast for that matter if I’m honest. Instagram has a lot to answer for when it comes to travel. You see I know it’s a big wide world out there but Instagram has really opened my eyes. So many beautiful places and I want to visit them all. When I first clapped eyes on Positano I knew I had to go… that cliff side village cascading down to the pebble beach is the epitome of the Amalfi coast.

Following on from my last blog post we left Rome for part two of our adventure. The thought of driving the narrow winding roads through Italy made me feel anxious so we travelled on the train from Rome to a place called Salerno south east of Naples. The trains are really easy to navigate in Italy, they were clean, efficient and station staff were very helpful. The journey took about 2 hours.

Salerno looked a lovely little place but we were to head straight to the ferry port and onwards to Positano. Ferry’s to the Amalfi coast only run in summer and this essentially was the start of the season being the end of May. Tripadvisor had warned me that if it’s even slightly choppy they don’t run but we were lucky, the ferry was set to go shortly, yay!

Sat on the top of the open top ferry was the best place to be… a little breezy but let me tell you it was well worth it for the views. The Amalfi coast is beautiful… lush green rugged cliff sides dotted with white washed buildings, the odd church steeple, villas and small pebble beaches. I literally sat on top of that ferry breathing in the sea air and pinching myself… it was indescribably magical. We stopped off at Amalfi first, time for a quick selfie!

As we approached Positano I recognised it instantly… you know when you see things on Instagram and think is it really that nice? With all the filters and editing these days you could be disappointed. It’s safe to say I wasn’t, it was everything the picture perfect images promised. Even my 10 year old son was impressed. I don’t actually have a photo of when we docked… I was far too excited and taking it all in.

We were staying at Casa Teresa situated 100 meters above sea level! Paying for our luggage to be taken up by porters on a golf buggy was definitely a smart move. We wandered through the town resisting the temptation to stop at any of it’s boutique shops and up the steep winding hill. The views were spectacular…

Casa Teresa was the perfect base… if your fit, healthy and don’t mind walking. It may have been a climb but the views from up there are totally worth it. The rooms were antique style and charmingly Italian. Breakfast was plentiful and served on the sea view terrace. But what I remember the most is the birds… throwing open those wooden shutters and standing on the balcony with the sun streaming on my face to the beautiful songs of those birds is a moment that will stay with me forever.

We had scheduled only two nights in Positano which would be plenty if I hadn’t fallen in love with the place but I challenge anyone not to. Our days were spent meandering down the 300 hundred steps to spend time on the Arienzo beach.

Marina Grande beach is where the ferry’s come in and much busier than Arienzo. We spent time on both but favoured the smaller quieter one. The beaches on Amalfi are made up of pebbles which I wasn’t sure I would like but honestly it made it all the more charming. I loved sitting there watching my son play in the water and the world go by. Reading my book, paddling and having some lunch in the beachside cafe.

Positano is a lovely place to wander around. Littered with boutiques selling handmade goods, chic linen clothing, ceramics and what they are particularly know for is sandals. Of course I had to indulge. Just a little further up the hill out of the main shopping area (if you can even call it that?!) I found Mastro Positano to make the most exquisite handmade Italian sandals. Honestly it’s so hard to choose… they make and fit your shoes right away. Not cheap at over €100 but well worth the little indulgence.

You are spoilt for choice when it comes to eating in Positano. Locally sourced ingredients, fresh fish, seafood and homemade pasta make it hard to choose. The area is known for its lemons so be sure to make sure you try something lemon infused whilst there. The lemon sorbet is served in an actual lemon by Marina Grande and is so refreshing. I didn’t pay massive attention to where I dined (being pre blog attention to detail is lacking here) but I can tell you to wander about as restaurants are in the town and scattered up the hill. We didn’t have trouble getting in anywhere but we did dine rather late one night waiting for a table at restaurant with a spectacular view… so worth it!

I spent 2 nights and 3 days in Positano… and that is a good amount of time to absorb its charm. Day ferry’s are in and out of the port through out the day and honestly if I had come for the day I would have felt completely robbed. When the day guests depart and the sun sets a different Positano emerges, a more relaxed vibe.

We were really sad to leave Positano, although I know I will return one day. It stole a little piece of my heart… it definitely earns the title of this post… it’s simply perfect.

Have you been to Positano? Or the Amalfi Coast? I would love to hear what you thought…

Rachael x

P.S Keep an eye out for Part 3 of our Italy Adventure – Sorrento and Pompeii.

Casa Teresa link – http://www.booking.com/Share-Ji5hC4J
Posted in Holiday Happiness

Italy Adventuring… Two Days in Rome

Italy has long been on my bucket list… my Grandma was a real lover of Italy and the Italians, when she talked about her eyes would sparkle. With my son getting a little older (he’s now ten) I decided last year it was time to break away from your typical European holiday destinations (we’ve pretty much done them all and more than once) and go and see for ourselves what this wonderful city had to offer.

When you start looking into Italy you realise that it is indeed going to take several trips so we had to choose carefully where to go. Now I have to confess here travelling around Italy via train, boat and taxis was very daunting. I’m the girl who won’t even get the train alone at home. This was a self planned trip, it was all on me. We planned 10 days at the end of May/beginning of June.

No trip to Italy would be complete without Rome I don’t think so that was our starting point. I’m not a great city lover… I can appreciate them but show me the beach or rolling green hills any day over the hum drum of a busy city. But let me tell you there was a lot to love about Rome. Every corner you turned was steeped in amazing architecture.

We stayed in B&B Roman Rooms which was chosen based on location. It’s was only 3 blocks away from the Termini train station and next to the metro. The apartment was good for a budget stay close to everything. Worth a mention here is the manager who met us there was so helpful in advising us about sightseeing. He gave us a map and carefully pointed everything out.

Day One

Our first stop was the Vatican. We had pre booked our tickets through viatour thankfully as the queues outside were huge. We stopped for gelato right outside the Vatican and as expected it was not cheap. I took this photo of my son and right after he realised there was some slight toffee sauce on it and refused to eat it – bloody kids!!

The Vatican felt huge… the museums displays are endless and it was VERY busy. In fact it was a little overwhelming. We wandered around and tried to take it all in. They reckon you can do it in half a day and that is correct, but if you want to absorb every bit of information I guess it would take weeks! Luckily I’m more of a admire it and tick it off kind of girl so I was happy browsing for the afternoon. The Sistine Chapel designed by Michelangelo is absolutely incredible… not to be missed it! That was by far my favourite part. They don’t allow photos or filming but just to give you a slight idea… here’s just one of the ceilings in the corridors leading up to it.

We spent the rest of the day into the evening just wandering about taking Rome in. A bit of shopping, pasta, pizza and of course red wine was consumed. It’s a lovely city to wander around. It felt like every corner we turned there was another amazing building, we stumbled across many.

Day 2

Day two’s adventuring started at the Coliseum. We had pre booked tickets and got there early, it was busy but not as bad as the Vatican. Now the day before we didn’t end up using the audio guides we had booked… so we opted for a tour without them this time. Admiring the coliseum from outside was magical… the sun was shining gloriously through arches. Time for a quick selfie!

From both outside and in it’s easy to understand why it’s considered one of the greatest wonders of the world. It stands 48 meters high and covers a total area of 6 square meters. We wandered round taking in the information boards and just marvelling at the thought of the entertainment that it once housed.

I kept hearing other snippets of information from other people’s private guides. I quickly regretted not getting one myself… as it sounded very interesting. I would advise a private guide so you can ask questions and really take it all in. We stopped at the gift shop and bought a book – which was great as we did learn more from this when we walked around again.

Afterwards we checked out the arch of Constantine, Palatine hill and the Roman forum. All worth a look round and probably better without a bored hot 10 year old… he loved the coliseum but tired soon after. It is a lot to take in and makes you foot weary. I loved just looking around it all but by mid afternoon I was done with looking at ruins too.

We still had a few other sites to catch so after some lunch in a cafe, the Spanish steps was next on the list. I can’t lie we were a bit underwhelmed, but your probably bound to be after seeing the worlds largest amphitheatre! The area was busy, we hung around for a while people watching but being the animal lover I am I enjoyed stroking the horses, ha ha!

Next it was off to Trevi Fountain – one of the oldest water sources in Rome. It is simply stunning but it was absolutely heaving. It was near impossible to get some nice photos. Whilst there we witnessed 2 proposals which would have been so lovely and romantic of it wasn’t for the sheer amount of people!! Still we spent a bit of time around it and threw in a coin each. I would have loved to have gone back at night to see it lit up but we were pretty exhausted by dark.

I think Trevi fountain was my favourite sight I saw in Rome, closely followed by the Coliseum. My advice for the fountain would be to get to and go super early – in the hope everyone’s not had the same thought! We would have done this the next day but it was time to move along in our Italy adventure.

Rome is a fascinating city and it is indeed one of the rare ones that I would definitely revisit. I enjoyed my time there but I definitely need to return to fully absorb the wonders of it. Have you visited Rome? How many days do you think would be perfect?

Keep an eye out for part 2 of my Italy adventure… all about the beautiful Positano.

Rachael 🙂 x

Link to B&B Roman Rooms – http://www.booking.com/Share-JGXGEL

Posted in Personal Development

36 Things I’ve Learned in 36 Years…

I’ve had a blogging break. Not intentionally but life has been so busy as usual! I’m feeling slightly inspired this morning so here I am. This Saturday just gone I turned 36 years old, happy birthday to meee! The past few years I use to dread being another year older. I’m so over that now… a quote I read had a really profound effect on me…

I am fortunate enough not to have lost anyone my age that I’m close to. But I know of people I went to school with, friends of friends my age who didn’t make it to the age I am now. Sure when I take a selfie I might try a million angels so the light hits right and round my eyes look better! But who doesn’t?! It is an absolute privilege to grow older and we should never forget that. Cliche it may sound but every day is a gift and you never know what tomorrow may bring. I am grateful for every one of my thirty six years. My life has been the winding road that it’s meant to be… lessons have been learned but memories have been made.

I feel like it’s only in the last two years I have really become comfortable with being me. I was far too worried about what others think and afraid of looking bad. Whilst this does still bother me occasionally I’m so glad most the time I’m confident enough stay true to myself. This is my life and I realise I must do what’s right for me… I value others opinion but I’m the one holding the pen to my story. You will never keep everyone happy. So here’s 36 things I’ve learned in my 36 years so far…

1. One of the best things that can happen to you in life is to have a happy childhood

2. If you know what you want to do when you leave school then you are lucky, I’m still doing now what I did at seventeen and I love it just as much now as I did then

3. Do something you love and you will never work a day in your life… so true… when the thing that you do to get money doesn’t feel like work you are living your best life

4. Child birth was the most excruciating pain ever and maybe you will forget but I certainly haven’t

5. Being a parent is the hardest job you will ever do. It’s basically giving up the life you know for a completely new one

6. There is no love quite like being somebody’s mummy

7. You will discover your parents were always right even though you probably still won’t admit it to them

8. Don’t strive for perfection in everything you do, it’s just an illusion. Striving for perfection will leave you in a constant state of frustration

9. Travel will make your soul soar, money spent on holidays is never money wasted

10. A few good genuine friends are better than many. As you grow older you will learn which ones are in it for the long haul with you. Cherish them

11. Not everyone has the same heart as you but don’t let that change yours

12. Know what you need and be unapologetic about caring for yourself. Self care is not selfish it’s necessary to your wellbeing

13. Gratitude is the way forward. Wake up every day thankful for all the amazing things in your life. Remember there’s always something to be thankful for

14. Forgiveness is a super power. Forgive others not because they deserve it but because you deserve peace. This is one of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned

15. Learn the art of growing without loosing your inner child… some of my favourite days now are still spent colouring, going to the zoo, building sandcastles or playing on swings

16. Never ignore the feeling in your gut… trust your vibes… energy doesn’t lie. I have learnt to listen to my intuition more as I have got older

17. What you say about other people says more about you than it does about them. Be kind with your words, never gossip

18. Protect your energy… surround yourself with positive people who lift you higher

19. It’s never too late to start over in any area of life. Don’t let anyone tell you you can’t do something. Yes you can! You can do anything you put your mind to!

20. It’s free to dream but dreams only come into reality with hard work. When you look at people who seemingly have it all, respect the hustle they went through to get there

21. Your reality really is a projection of your thoughts. Keep them good, positive and inspiring.

22. Good manners will take you far in life

23. Always Smile… smile when you wake up, smile to yourself, smile at strangers – better to be the one who smiled than the one who didn’t smile back. Smiling makes your eyes sparkle…

24. Having love in your life is everything… family, friends, relationships. Without love… there is nothing

25. Look after your body… it’s the only place you have to live. Nourish it with good food but don’t deny yourself treats. Keep it moving… remember your only as young as your spine is flexible

26. Read… the more you read the more things you will know. A good book is a wonderful way of escapism

27. You can never take too many photos! Snapshots of moments gone by will make you smile in your future, even when you ‘weren’t looking your best that day’

28. Practice mindfulness, savour the moment you are in. We live in a fast paced world… remember to pause and smell the sea air, the cut grass, savour the taste of the food you eat, hug someone a little longer

29. You get what you pay for. Quality over quantity every time

30. You can’t change other people… you can only change your reactions to them. Walk away from people and situations that no longer serve you

31. Keep an open mind… it takes all kinds of people to make a world and what a wonderful thing that is

32. Never make a promise you can’t keep

33. Disappointments are part of life but never loose hope… keep pushing forward

34. Mistakes are our greatest teachers. Don’t linger in regret about them, acknowledge them and move on

35. Not everybody will like you or understand you and that’s okay… they are not your people

36. Happiness is an inside job. It’s letting go of what you think your life should look like and embracing every moment. Always strive to find joy in the day to day.

So that’s it! Cheers to me and my 36 years… let’s see what lessons my next 36 will bring me – I hope I’m blessed enough to see them.

Rachael 🙂 x