Thursday, June 14, 2018

Getting new glasses with Glasses Direct

If you've been following my blog for a while, you may remember this post I wrote over two years ago now, about buying new glasses with Glasses Direct. I absolutely love the convenience of ordering through them, and was a big fan of the glasses I bought, so when they got in touch recently to ask if I wanted to try out their own brand range I couldn't resist.

 
Glasses Direct currently offer almost 200 glasses in their own brand range and the frame prices start as low as £20, which makes glasses incredibly affordable. As mentioned in my last post, one of my favourite parts of buying frames through Glasses Direct is the fact that they offer a home trial, meaning you can get frames delivered straight to your door for you to try on. I ordered two home trials before picking out my glasses, and I was honestly so impressed with all eight styles that I tried on. 



In my first home trial I tried on Andi, Planet 38, Solo 571 and Olivia. The frames ranged in price between £20 and £49, and they were all completely different from each other. My favourite out of the four were the Solo 571, which had the graduated colour of blue to brown. 




My second home trial conststed of Planet 51, Planet 03, Quinn and Solo 591. Again, the frames ranged between £20 and £49. My favourite pair of the four were the Solo 591. 



In the end, I was torn between the two, so I did a third home trial and ordered both pairs each in two different colours. It was really helpful, and let me see both the frames together, and the two different colour options for each that I was torn between. 

Ultimately, I went for the Solo 591 frames as I loved how they looked on me, and I really liked the blue colouring on them. I've been wearing them for the last few weeks, and I'm incredibly happy with their performance so far. Not only did they turn up within a week of the order being placed, they're also great frames and nobody can guess they cost as little as £20! 

Not only do Glasses Direct offer great frames for incredible prices, if you purchase a pair that are £49 or more, you can also make use of their 2 for 1 offer, which would mean you'd get a second pair of frames for free! 

Let me know if you end up purchasing any glasses through them, and if so, which frames!

Sophie x
Monday, June 04, 2018

Walt Disney World 2018 | Day Four

We started day four of our trip at Trattoria Al Forno at Disney Boardwalk for their Bon Voyage breakfast. I'm a massive Tangled fan, and also love The Little Mermaid, so it was a no-brainer for us. I'll be doing a post about the breakfast separately, so keep an eye out for that! After breakfast, we wandered around the Boardwalk for a bit, took a bunch of photos and then hopped on a boat to Hollywood Studios. 



This was our second visit to Hollywood Studios (we popped in for Fantasmic on day one) and it was our main visit to the park. Our first task for the day was heading to meet Olaf. I'm not the biggest fan of Frozen, but it was a meet that we just had to do, and it was even more special as it was the day that Disneyland Paris had announced that they were building Arendelle in the Walt Disney Studios Park. It made for a great interaction and both Olaf and the cast member with him were very excited. He also danced and sang with us, and it was just the cutest meet ever. 



We then headed around the corner to meet Mickey and Minnie, which was another fun meet. I love meeting the pair of them in different outfits. Minnie's dress was beautiful and it was great to finally meet Mickey in his Sorcerer costume! Next up was our fastpass for Toy Story Mania, which I loved, and we also peeked over the gates and saw bits of Toy Story Land, which I cannot wait to go back and see!



It was then time to see some shows. First up we saw Voyage of The Little Mermaid, before heading over to the Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular. Unfortunately, we had to leave just before the end of the show, as our fastpass for Tower of Terror was about to run out, and we wanted to make sure we caught it. Tower of Terror is not one that I'll willingly go on at Disneyland Paris, as I absolutely hate verticle drops, but I knew I had to ride it the once in Hollywood Studios, and I'm glad I did! 

We then picked up a Mickey pretzel for a light lunch, which was a snack credit, and tucked into it whilst watching Beauty and the Beast Live. I'm a huge Beauty and the Beast fan, and it was great to see Mrs Potts, Chip, Cogsworth and Lumiere. That was it for our trip to Hollywood Studios, and although we didn't do Rock 'n' Roller and meet the Star Wars characters or Star-Lord and Baby Groot, we pretty much did everything else on our list!

It was then time to hop on the bus back to the hotel to freshen up before heading over to Animal Kingdom for dinner at Tusker House. I absolutely loved Tusker House, and once again I'll do a separate post on it, but it was so worth doing as we booked it as part of the Rivers of Light dining package. The meal itself was great, our server was fantastic and the characters were so much fun!



We did have an Everest fastpass booked, but we decided to skip it as we were both so full up. Instead, we headed towards Pandora to get some night time shots, and I'm so glad we did as it was about ten minutes before park close, and we literally walked on Na'vi River Journey twice, without queueing! If you want to go on it but don't manage to book a fastpass, definitely head there close to park close!



We then caught Rivers of Light, which was breathtakingly beautiful, before heading out of the park and over to Disney Springs. We did a little shopping but didn't stay for long as the jet lag was catching up on us, so we headed back to Port Orleans by boat!

Sophie x
Thursday, May 31, 2018

On Sophie's Shelf | February & March



I'm back with another book post, and once again, I'm a good couple of months late on this one. I didn't read as much as I was able to in January during these two months, however I did still get three books read.

Still Me by Jojo Moyes

I first read Me Before You a good few years before the movie ever came about, and it has been one of my favourite books since. Back then, I wasn't sure what would happen when the sequel After You came about, but I adored that too. I was so excited when I heard that we'd get a third book in the series, and knowing that I'd get to revisit Louisa's life. Once again, I absolutely adored it. I laughed and I cried and I fell in love with Louisa once again. I knew that this book was going to be hit or miss, but it definitely was a hit in my opinion and I loved every second of it. Do I want a fourth book? Potentially, but I also loved how this one ended!

Flawed by Cecelia Ahern

I have had Flawed on my shelf since I went to Cecelia's book tour back in March 2016. It was definitely one of those books that I've really been meaning to read, but I just never got round to it until now. The book is about a dystopian society in which people are branded flawed if they do something wrong, and as it seems like we live in a society where there is a pressure to be perfect, it was definitely thought-provoking. It was an all-around good read, and I definitely enjoyed it, however, I'm not sure whether I'd rush to read the sequel just yet. I much prefer the other books of Cecelia's that I've read, and I definitely think I'll be sticking to those as opposed to her YA novels in future.

Turtles All The Way Down by John Green

My third book read across the two months was Turtles All The Way Down by John Green. I've read a few of his books in the past, and although I liked them, I never loved them enough to revisit. Saying that, I was pleasantly surprised with this book, and it's by far my favourite out of all I've read by him. One of the big focuses in the book was mental health, which I've since learnt was based a lot on John's own experiences. Although it's not the main plotline, the main female character Aza suffers from anxiety and O.C.D, and a lot of the story focuses on her battles. It's written in a way that really makes you understand the struggles that she's going through, and I think that's all down to the fact that John had suffered similarly himself. The entire novel was insightful, captivating and just a fantastic read. I'd definitely think about reading it again in the future.

That's all for now, but I'll be back with another book post soon!

Sophie x
Monday, May 28, 2018

Walt Disney World 2018 | Day Three

As we were staying at Port Orleans: Riverside, we wanted to spend some time exploring the resort, and so that's what we did to kick off our third day. We headed down to one of the smaller pools first thing and spent some time relaxing in the sunshine. This was our only real chance to spend time in the pool, and I'm so glad we did.








We then headed back to our room to get ready for our morning at Animal Kingdom. We took another stop before getting stuck into our park day, and walked across to French Quarter to check out that resort and to tuck into some beignets for breakfast. The beignets were incredible, and I'd definitely take a trip back there just to have some more. Sophie got some really nice shots of the two resorts for our vlog, so make sure you give it a watch after this!



After breakfast, we hopped on the resort bus and headed over to Animal Kingdom. We got some pictures out front, and then headed inside to get our Wilderness Explorer book. We didn't end up completing it, but we did get a few of the badges. We then headed over to meet Russell, which was up there as one of my favourite meets of the trip. Sophie had done an Ellie bound, and was wearing her Up ears, and Russell absolutely loved it.





We had some time before our Everest fastpass, so we went to see what Flik's queue was like, and it was extremely short so we jumped in and met him. We then went to meet Donald in his safari outfit in Dinoland. After Expedition Everest, we headed for lunch, and got the loaded pulled pork and cheese fries, which were a snack credit and were absolutely delicious.





After wandering around the park to find a frozen drink of some sort we ended up getting a Goofy's Glacier slush from the Harambe Fruit Market. We walked back over to Dinoland and had a sit down to cool off before our next fastpass.

Dinosaur was next, followed by a quick ride on TriceraTop Spin before we headed over to Pandora for our third fastpass of the day - Flight of Passage. We were so lucky to get multiple fastpasses for both Pandora rides, and I absolutely loved Flight of Passage. Truth be told, I'd only watched Avatar for the first time the week before, but I'm so glad I did as it allowed me to experience the beauty of it, and how incredible the ride was.

We headed back to the hotel to chill out for a bit and freshen up before heading over to Epcot. First up was our Soarin' fastpass, and then we headed to Sunshine Seasons for some dinner. The queues for Baymax and Joy & Sadness were super reasonable so we met them before heading to do our fastpass for Test Track.





We got our spot for Illuminations, as it was the only time in the week that we could catch it, and we enjoyed the spectacular show. Then it was back to the hotel for a good night of sleep!

If you want to see more of our trip, don't forget to subscribe and catch our weekly Sunday uploads over on YouTube!

Sophie x


Monday, May 21, 2018

Walt Disney World | Day Two

Our second day at Walt Disney World really has to be one of my favourites. This was meant to be our first day before we booked the additional night at All Star Music, so we decided to spend the entire day at Magic Kingdom.

We woke up nice and early in our Royal Guest Room at Port Orleans: Riverside, and got ready for the day. I decided to do a Peter Pan bound, and Sophie did a Cinderella bound, which was later confused as a Wendy bound.

The weekend we arrived was the same weekend as the Disney Princess Half Marathon weekend, and as the half was that morning, some of the roads were closed. We decided to hop in a Lyft instead and got dropped off at The Contemporary Hotel. As we wanted an excuse to get the monorail (and because we didn't know it'd be quicker to walk) we hopped on and did the hotel loop before ending up back at Magic Kingdom.

We realised at this point we were going to miss our first fastpass of the day - Big Thunder Mountain - and managed to switch it to a later fast pass just before it ran out. We got into the park, got some photos out front and on Main Street, and then headed to Sleepy Hollow to share a waffle for breakfast.

We stumbled upon Mary Poppins' meet, so stopped to have a catch up with her, before heading to catch Move It! Shake It! and Mickey's Royal Friendship Faire. Our second fastpass of the day also didn't go to plan, as Space Mountain was down, but we managed to go and ride Big Thunder Mountain instead, and then used our next fastpass for Splash Mountain straight after.











Next up was our lunch reservation at Cinderella's Royal Table. I'm going to be doing a separate post about lunch, but the food was lovely and it was such a fun experience. After lunch we headed into Fantasyland to meet Peter Pan, which was definitely one of my favourite meets of the trip. We headed over to Liberty Square to get a spot opposite Ye Olde Christmas Shop to watch Festival of Fantasy. I absolutely loved the parade, and I'm sad that we only managed to squeeze it in the once this trip!





We then went to use our fastpass to meet Ariel (this is what we exchanged our original BTM one too whilst on the monorail!) before heading to get a LeFou's Brew from Gaston's Tavern. As we were finishing up our drinks, we met up with my friend Emily, who I've spoken to online for a good few years. We met Gaston, and then headed over to Storybook Circus to ride The Barnstormer.



We strolled back along Main Street and headed to meet my favourite fairy Tinker Bell, which was one of my bucket list meets for the trip. It was just such an incredible experience and she loved that she'd been painted on my ears. We also met talking Mickey, which was a bizarre but super fun experience.



It was then back to Storybook Circus to ride Dumbo, before heading over to the Tangled toilets to get our photos with the lantern. We booked another Space Mountain fastpass, so ended up doing the People Mover, Monsters Inc Laugh Floor and then finishing our day on Space Mountain.

As you can tell, it was a very busy day and we were very happy to be heading to bed that night!

Sophie x
Thursday, May 17, 2018

Theatre Round Up | January

I know, I know, I'm blogging about January, and we're already in May. I'm behind. I get it.

Anyway, one of my goals for this year was to see twenty shows at the theatre. To begin with, I had decided that it wouldn't matter if there were some repeats in there, but considering I've seen fifteen shows alone this year, I definitely think I'll make it to twenty unique shows.

As this blog is as much for me, as it is for you, I thought I'd use it to keep track of what I've been to see so far this year, starting with January. January was a great month for theatre, as I went to four shows.


Mamma Mia

Even though I'm a big fan of the movie, it took me a good while to get round to seeing Mamma Mia on stage. I'm so so glad that I ended up going, as the show is phenomenal. I booked a ticket through the app TodayTix when they had an offer on towards the end of last year, and only paid £12.50 for it. I was sat in row J of the dress circle, and although there is some overhang from the grand circle, it didn't block any of the staging of the show. The show itself was like a breath of fresh air. It was nice to see a story that I loved in a slightly different way, and in fact, in the way that it originally came about. The real highlight for me was Georgina Castle. She was a phenomenal Sophie, and really made the role her own.



School of Rock

One show that I'd really contemplated seeing was School of Rock, but again, we got such a good price on the tickets, so I couldn't resist. In contrary to Mamma Mia, I went to see the show with six of my friends, and I'm pretty certain we all loved it. We were split between row A and B in the circle, and we had a side view. Although it could be distracting seeing things going on in the wing, it was still a great seat and we saw everything happening on stage. I can't talk about this show without saying how absolutely phenomenal the kids are in it. Every single one of them played their various instruments live, and they're honestly some of the most talented kids I've ever seen, especially in a show. The storyline follows the same plot as the movie, however it has an entirely original soundtrack, full of great musical numbers from an array of characters. It's definitely one I don't regret seeing, and I've caught myself singing some of the numbers in the months since I went to see it.



Hamilton

Now, if you've seen any of the hype around this show, I'm sure you don't need me to tell you how utterly brilliant it is, but my word is it just that. I actually saw Hamilton for the first time back in the previews in December, however, that was a very spontaneous booking, and I was in the second to last row of the upper circle. The tickets for this show were the ones that we'd booked back in January last year. Sophie and I paid a lot for them, but we went on my birthday, were sat second row of the stalls and it was so worth it. The show itself is incredible. I'd been obsessed with the soundtrack for about two years prior to seeing it, and it was just amazing seeing it come to life. Back in December I saw alternate Hamilton, Ash Hunter, so this was my first time seeing Jamael Westman. As somebody who couldn't imagine anyone other than Lin-Manuel Miranda playing him, Jamael was absolutely phenomenal and is the perfect Hamilton. The other stand-outs in the cast had to be Tarinn Callender, who plays Hercules Mulligan & James Madison, and Cleve September who plays John Laurens & Philip Hamilton. I've seen the show again since, and have it booked another three times this year. Obsessed? Maybe, but it's the best piece of theatre I've ever seen.



Annie

The last show of the month was Annie, which we squeezed in knowing it was ending it's run just a few weeks later. Although I would have loved to have seen Miranda playing Miss Hanigan, Meera Syal did an incredible job, and actually made the perfect Miss Hanigan. Again, just like School of Rock, the kids in the show were incredible. We were sat in the middle of the grand circle, and although we got a full view of the stage, it was, at times, difficult to really make out facial expressions. It was a shame that we weren't closer, but all in all I'm glad I actually got to see it before the run ended, and it'd be a shame if it didn't end up making a return to the West End in a few years.

That's all for January, but there's definitely more to come over the next few months whilst I catch up on these posts! Have you seen any great shows recently? I'd love to know!

Sophie x
Monday, May 14, 2018

Walt Disney World 2018 | Travel & Day One

Hi friends!

It's been a while, I know, but I've decided it's time to properly get back to blogging. I've got a lot to talk about from the last few months, but I thought the best place to start would be by kicking off my trip report from Walt Disney World.



Sophie and I went to Walt Disney World at the end of February, for 8 nights. It was my first ever trip, and I completely fell in love. I knew that I would, but the trip was honestly so much more magical than I could ever imagine.

We flew on the 23rd Febuary, with Virgin Atlantic, and had a nice and easy journey there, followed by a speedy trip through customs, and a fairly smooth trip on the magical express. We spent the first night at All-Star Music, after adding an extra night to the start of our trip, due to an issue with flights. The hotel was lovely, and the room was a perfect size for the two of us. We would have loved to have had a room in the country fair or broadway sections, but ended up in Rock Inn. We were extremely tired when we arrived, so after dropping our bags off, we took a quick walk round the hotel, and then headed back to our room and ordered pizza to our room.



The next morning, we got up bright and early and checked out, leaving our bags in our room ready to be transferred to our new hotel. We left our bags in our room to be transferred, had another quick walk around the resort to take some pictures, and then headed over to Magic Kingdom. About a week before we left for our trip, Sophie checked Be Our Guest on the off chance, and we ended up getting a reservation for breakfast on that first morning. Beauty and the Beast is one of my favourite Disney films, and although we had a dinner booking later on in the week, it was the perfect way to kick off our trip. I'll be doing a review of Be Our Guest soon, so keep an eye out for that!



As we were already in Fantasyland, and it was still quite early, we headed off to do some post-breakfast rides. First up was Peter Pan's Flight, which was my first ever ride in Disneyland Paris too! I was honestly close to tears in the queue. It's such a lovely ride experience, and I'm glad we got to do the queue the once, instead of just using a fastpass. We then went on to do Small World, Journey of the Little Mermaid, Winnie the Pooh, Haunted Mansion, Pirates of the Caribbean (which closed two days later for their refurb!) and Jungle Cruise.

After that, we headed over to Animal Kingdom, as we booked our fastpasses for the day there. We had the honey chicken at Yak and Yeti for lunch, before riding Expedition Everest, which is definitely one of my favourite Walt Disney World rides.



As we're both big musical theatre geeks, we then headed in to watch Finding Nemo The Musical, which was incredible, before exploring Pandora and riding Na'vi River Journey for the first time. It was such a beautiful ride, and (spoiler alert) I loved when you could see the creatures jumping on the leaves above your head. We couldn't visit Pandora without trying Night Blossom, which was absolutely delicious!



Our last ride in Animal Kingdom for the day was Dinosaur, which, again, I loved. It's such a fun ride, and I'm a little gutted that our photopass pictures didn't work all of the times we rid it! We then headed to Hollywood Studios for park number three of the day, as we realised that would be our only chance to see Fantasmic.



As you can see from our pictures, we were progressively getting more tired by the hour, and so we quickly headed over on the boat to Epcot, to get in our fourth park of the day. We got a fastpass for The Seas with Nemo & Friends (even though it was a 5 minute walk on) to make sure we got on at least one ride in the park, before tucking into some poutine from Canada, and heading back to our hotel.



We checked into our hotel for the rest of the trip - Port Orleans: Riverside - and after a slightly delirious hour or two, we got a good nights sleep. A hotel review will also be coming soon, so keep an eye out for that!

We vlogged the whole trip, so if you'd like to see what we did (as well as read it here) don't forget to check out our channel!

Talk to you soon!

Sophie