My tips for planning your Walt Disney World holiday

Disney vacation planning tips. How to plan your Disney vacation from scratch whether you're a first timer or repeat visitor| NotesFromTheShire.com #Disney #WaltDisneyWorld #Disneyholidayplanning #Disneymoon #Disneyhoneymoon #disneyvacationplanning

If you have never been to Walt Disney World (WDW) before but are planning your first trip or if you’ve been a few times but can never get those dinner reservations or come away and then hear people talking about “must dos” that you had never heard of then this is the blog post for you.

I love WDW and I love planning things so a Disney holiday is pretty much the perfect holiday for me. WDW has changed a lot in the last ten years and changed massively in the last 20 years so if you are thinking of going back after a hiatus you should know that there is now a lot more planning involved!  As an example there are certain restaurants that you just won’t get into if you’re not on it 6 months out to book your table – nope not kidding. And if you have never been before then you may not have thought about dining experiences as something you’d get on a “theme park” holiday.

Here are (some of) my (many) tips…  Continue reading

How to cook quinoa perfectly every time

How to cook perfect quinoa every time, ten tips for cooking quinoa | NotesFromTheShire.com #quinoa #howtocookquinoa #eatclean #healthyeating #cooking #mealprep

If you are into eating healthily, eating clean or have done any research into the two then you can’t have failed to read about quinoa. The super grain is full of protein, is very filling and has a higher nutritional value than brown rice. Where’s the but? But it is a bit of a pain to cook! When I first started eating quinoa (which I then discovered wasn’t called kin-o-ah but keen-wah) I almost gave up first time as it turned into one big mushy mess and nowhere near the fluffy grains I had seen others prepare! But I did some research, I experimented and by trial and a lot of error this is my foolproof method to cooking perfect quinoa.  Continue reading

Meal Prep 101

Food prep

If you follow me on instagram you will know that I am all about packing my own lunches and prepping my meals and snacks for the week on a Sunday so they are all done and dusted and I can just lift them out of the fridge at 6am before hitting the gym. I had always done this but since starting Kayla Itsines’ BBG programme I have been properly dedicated to the cause. I will post more about BBG soon but I’m now on week 14 of Kayla’s guides and love them. If you put in the work you can definitely see results, plus the BBG community is great, very supportive!

First of all, why is meal prep important? Well, ever heard the expression “abs are made in the kitchen”? It is true. You can work out and do all the crunches you want but if you aren’t getting your nutrition right – I definitely wasn’t before – then you’re just going to get frustrated – I did! I’m also willing to bet that very few of you have a full service kitchen at work so taking your food with you is pretty important. Not to mention that it will save you a fortune and buying processed/”ready meal” food is going to be full of hidden, abs destroying ingredients. It’s not just lunch either, offices are hot beds of unhealthy snacks so you’re going to need your own snacks to both look forward to throughout the day and help you avoid the biscuits, chocolate and sweets!  So these are my top tips for meal prepping that I have learned whilst doing BBG.  Continue reading

How to upcycle your finished Yankee Candles

How to upcycle your Yankee Candles

 

So I told you I would be back with a little craft post and here it is. I don’t know about you but we love candles in our house and I joke that our candle choice falls in to two seasons Yankee Candle (Autumn and Winter) and Jo Malone (Spring and Summer)!  This post is a tutorial on how to upcycle your Yankee Candles once the wick has burned right down but there is still a good inch and a bit of wax left.

We love the Yankee Candle jars and they last forever – these are two we actually bought in the YC outlet in Florida on our honeymoon in Sept 2014 so they have done very well.  Not only do the candles smell great but the jars are super useful too – so how to get them clean and get the remaining wax out/what to do with it?  This is a pretty much free solution too, the only thing you need are glass votives (we already had loads in the house) and some new wicks – you van get these on Amazon for a couple of pounds.  Continue reading

Updates from the Shire

NotesUpdate

I’d taken a short sabbatical from the blog but I’m back! I’ve been over on Instagram though so you can follow me there. Anyway I have quite a few updates including, a Fabletics review, an update on my bikini body mission, what I’m reading, some craft ideas that I’ve put together/done in the cottage and some recipes – just finding the time to get it all in the blog!

This is a super micro-blog but above are a few things I have been up to recently, Christmas with our families, working out, stacking logs and skiing!

 

 

Making an Autumn wreath for your home

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When the seasons change I like to alter the decor in our home a little, whether it is a different display on our hall table, different linens for our bedroom or a wreath on our front door. No, don’t worry, I’ve not dived straight into Christmas already! Autumn always puts on such a great display of colours that I wanted to reflect that. So here’s my quick how to on making your own front door wreath to cheer up those dark evenings and make your own front door even more welcoming.

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Weekend in the Shire – Wedding Anniversary!

anniversary

My husband and I have just celebrated our first wedding anniversary and we had such a lovely weekend so I thought I would share how we celebrated with you guys. Your first anniversary is paper which in terms of a gift proved more tricky than I had thought! However, even though we hadn’t collaborated our presents to each other were really complimentary which was fab. So if you are coming up on your first year of celebrating wedded bliss then here are a couple of ideas for you. Continue reading

How to Pack Hand Luggage Perfectly – Part One

I haven’t written a travel post (or any – sorry work is crazy but I have posts lined up!) in a while and as it is one of my passions I thought I had better put that right. This post is part one of two, this first post shares how easy it is to pack for a two week trip with just a trolley bag and the second post shares what to carry on for long haul flights.  I love travelling and I love being organised, I also hate losing my luggage and being bored so I have hand luggage travel down to a fine art. Maybe I should explain those last two statements, I hate losing luggage so unless it is a ski trip or trans-Atlantic I always use just carry on and I hate being bored so I always have a range of “projects” in my hand luggage to keep me amused… These are my top tips on how to pack for a two week break with just hand luggage  Continue reading

Weekend in the Shire – The importance of friends

woods image

This weekend was a brilliant weekend in the Shire! We took a break from cottage decor, cottage budgeting and minor DIY to meet up with friends, chill out and enjoy our home.

On Saturday we were off to a local loch (lake for my international readers, but not the one with the monster) and met with two friends and their dog, no this isn’t an intro to a bad joke. Whilst the boys rented a canoe and paddled off for an adventure the girls enjoyed a stroll in the beautiful Scottish scenery and found a great spot for tea and cake. It was fantastic just kicking back with one of my best friends and watching as the guys paddled up in their canoe, we had hoped for a small amusing capsize but they were far too competent for that.  Continue reading