Pro Vs Con – MOA

I really want to go to the Mall of America…….like REALLY want to go! It is like the biggest shopping mall EVER, it is so big that it has a theme park in there!

Now, I love to shop, like love it! I am an old school shopper, I prefer to go in to a clothes shop take 100 things into the fitting room and try stuff on, I cant be doing with all this online shopping, sending it back business. If I am shopping I want to see and feel what I am buying, a picture on a screen just doesn’t do anything justice. I will be honest with you, Mall of America wasn’t on my radar until about 2 years ago, when my godparents mentioned it, thinking it could be somewhere we could have visited whilst we were over last year. I looked online and straight away I knew I had to go there one day!

It may be sad, but I pretty much even know where I want to stay if I was to eventually get my butt there! It’s the cost that scares me slightly, I decided earlier this week that I wanted to go around my birthday next year and maybe team it up with a quick visit to my godparents in Indiana.

I had a look online and for a 3night stay at Radisson Blu Hotel and flights (including an internal one to IN) would cost approx. £937 (based on 2 people sharing) and when you are trying to save for a mortgage deposit, that is just over 1 months’ worth of saving……can I really give up potentially 2 months’ worth of savings (you can’t forget spending money!). So I did what all sensible people do and did a Pro Vs Con list!

PRO CON
Get to see another state in USA Looking at spending at least £2k
Potentially won’t be able to afford  to travel a lot when I move out Who will come with me? It’s a lot of money to ask someone to spend
Get to see my godparents Cost implement!
I have wanted to go to MOA for a while It’s just a shopping mall and a theme park!
Something else off my bucket list Can I really justify spending £2k of a holiday and not in my savings???

So as you can see the biggest con is the money aspect, I am really torn on this one right now and not too sure what the outcome will be.

Emma xxx

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Get It All Off My Chest!

Hello All!

I seem to have been neglecting you all for a while and I am sorry for that! My brain has been going into over drive recently with lots of things whizzing around that I am trying to make sense of! I won’t bore you with the details, actually I think I will!

As you have probably guessed I LOVE to do my nails and whilst I was hunting round various Sephora stores in Rome, I thought to myself “oooh I want to get a home gel kit” which then turned into “oooh maybe I go back to college and learn how to do nails and maybe do it as a side business”. I have researched various different course and companies and looked at all the start-up costs, but realistically I would be spending out approx £1000 until I have either fully trained myself up and got all my equipment and then is it really worth it? Would I get the business? Would I still love doing nails if I did it up to 10 times a week? At the moment, it’s a no; I have managed to talk myself out of it. It’s still very much in the back of mind and maybe something that I do look at in the new year – I think I need to stop being so negative about it and just actually do something for me once in a while!

I have closed a door in my life that I was keeping ajar as a “just in case”, that clearly wasn’t worth leaving open. The only thing about that is that I am going to have to amend my bucket list – what with I’m not sure – but I will keep you updated!

I have also been looking into my finances and trying to make sure that I can actually start saving for a mortgage, I started doing really well, then I brought Little Dot and went on holiday, but I have started again and I have been looking into fixed savings accounts where I can’t touch the money for 2 years. I am pretty jam packed for the next couple of weekends so on my next free Saturday I am going to go into all the banks and see what they can offer me so I can start properly getting my finances in order!

I have been thinking about my bucket list and some of the things I have left, mainly learning Yoga or Pilates/reach size 12/run the race for life. As I broke my foot I haven’t been to the gym for some time and I was planning to go back this week but I recently got an email from my gym to say they were closing the gym for 10 days due to an upgrade! So I am going back 1st September and I am going to GO FOR IT. We have 8 months till Vegas, so 8 months to lost about 1/1.5 stone and tone up. I can do it!

Phew that felt good to get things off my chest!

Italia Romance

Last year me & Matt were looking at going to Rome…..but unfortunately he had his skiing accident which wrote off any foreign travel idea’s we had! I ended up booking my holiday to America with my family for this summer & we just decided to save and save for Vegas in 2015 with our friends.

I have been on countdown for America now for a couple of months and I am getting a list together of things I need to take and things I want to buy….its starting to get a bit long! We also have all our money ready for Vegas and San Fran next year & just need to get it booked – which we are doing probably before I go away in June!

I have had a few days off from work this week and we went for a look around the shops, just for something to do and for me to have a look at some shoes suitable for doing walking in on holiday (I have narrowed it down to converse, Birkenstock’s or just plain pumps!). We walked past Thomas Cook and they had an amazing deal on for Thailand for 14 nights, just £599 (flights + hotel) unfortunately it was for 1st May & there was no way we could do that trip, but it got us thinking maybe Asia isn’t that expensive?! We grabbed some lunch and then walked past Thomson and I jokingly said

Let’s Book A Holiday!

I wasn’t expecting Matt to say yes – his standard response is

No, We Are Going To Vegas & San Fran Next Year & You Want To Move Out

So I was surprised when he said “Ok – But Where?!” as a spur of the moment, he came up with Rome – we decided it would have to be a long weekend we both have planned off over our anniversary in August (this decision making was literally done in about 30 seconds). We agreed we would see how much it is first and if it wasn’t expensive then we would go ahead and book it. Thomson quoted us the cheapest £859 for flights, hotel & transfers – that included 1 night free, I had no idea what Matt’s budget was, but I knew I really couldn’t justify anything more than £400. So I asked the agent to print off the quote and that we would grab a coffee and talk it over (thinking, I can probably find it cheaper online!). As we walked out Matt said we should go to Thomas Cook and see what they can do for us. So we went in and somehow managed to get 4 nights B&B, flights, transfers (including 1 free night) for £795, so it worked out at about £99 each per night, which came in under my budget – we thanked her and said we needed to make some calls and would be in touch. I called my boss, Matt called his and thankfully we both definitely had the time off given to us and we marched straight back in, transferred the money from the Vegas & San Fran pot and paid for it….so we are off to Rome in August!

I literally land in the UK from America on 7th July and Fly out to Rome 1 month later! Its all a bit mad and unexpected – but I am so excited to celebrate our 5th anniversary together in Rome!

So, if you have any recommendations of restaurants or places we should definitely visit (apart from the obvious) please send me your suggestions!

xxx

What’s Next?!

Hey Everyone!

I posted a status on my facebook last week due asking if anyone would like to come to NYC with me in December to experience Christmas in New York……My cousin text me instantly and said even though she is moving out soon and saving for a wedding she will go – I was soo pleased!

I have been thinking and people often say to me how many times have you been to NYC don’t you want to see somewhere different? What is so special about NYC?? I feel a bond with NYC, I feel safe there – it was my first holiday abroad without my parents, I have been with so many different people and each time I have been it has been different, I always experience something different when I am there….but this time I get it, if I went again it would be my 5th visit in 9 years and twice in 1 year.

So I am just hoping for some advice from anyone – do you go back to the same place more than once? do you want to explore anywhere else?

I posted a tweet last night So this June will be my 4th visit to NYC……..do I really need to go back at Christmas?! #toomuch #overkill #advice #travel #NYC and Las (an Irish ex-pat currently living in TX) was one of the first people to tweet me back and suggested Texas and bless her soul even offered me her spare room if her and Col were still living there! I was beyond bowled over by her generosity!

I texted my cousin and ask her realistically if she can see herself going to NYC this December…..we have decided to postpone our trip to NYC for another time….So this leaves me to look for a December trip.

I am looking to go to America, for a maximum of 5 days here are my possibilities so far:

Texas
Boston
Tennesse (Memphis & Nashville)
Seattle

Sooo I am on the hunt for possibilities!

Wish me luck

xxx

Family & Friends

‘The most important thing in life is your family. There are days you love them, and others you don’t. But, in the end, they’re the people you always come home to. Sometimes it’s the family you’re born into and sometimes it’s the one you make for yourself.’

When I first heard this quote in Sex And The City it really hit me and has stayed with me ever since. I have a lovely, if not crazy family that I was born into. Of course we fight, bicker and moan about each other but there is a deep connection that binds all of us together and without each other then the we wouldn’t be a family. There have been events happen within my family recently which have filled me with pride and happiness and others that have filled me with sadness and embarrassment. No matter what happens at the end of the day we are family and things will be resolved over time and wounds will heal and scars will fade.

Although I have a great family that I was born into, I like to think I have got a lovely little family of friends. One of whom dropped a big bombshell on me over the weekend, unfortunately at this stage I cant go into details (I know that’s unfair on you all!). She has been on a bit of a rollercoaster in the time that I have known her and this is another corkscrew on the ride! BUT even though she doesn’t know it and doesn’t see it in herself, she is strong and providing she believes in herself she can overcome any obstacle put in her way! This new path that fate has laid out for her wasn’t expected but as I reminded her, it has been done for a reason and whilst she might not see it at first, it will all be ok!

A week today we will all be stuffed full of turkey and all the trimmings, probably in a drunken mess and eaten all your selection boxes watching a comedy or a film on tv! Finally me and Matt have got some solid plans for Christmas Day and Boxing Day and I am looking forward to splitting our festive period between our 2 families. As I am now 25 and my kid brother is 16 our Christmas isn’t really too exciting as we have no little ones around to still believe and leave a tray out for Santa and get excited that he came when we were sleeping. Those days in this house are truly gone, however, if you come to my house – it really does look like Santa’s Grotto! As Matt has 2 nieces who are VERY excited about Santa it is lovely to see them over Christmas opening their presents and getting excited, playing with their new toys. Unfortunately Matt’s house isn’t like Santa’s grotto (unlike ours) but the spirit in the girls makes up for that!

Even though I never intentionally think about it, Christmas really does remind me of the importance of your family and friends. Without your family you would not be here today and without your friends you would not have had the laughs and experiences you have enjoyed, but without either of them you wouldn’t be the person that you have become and will continue to grow into. So whilst people focus on giving gifts and exchanging cards, take the time to just really appreciate those around you and really make the most of every moment you can. Take photo’s, write a diary or a blog and just spend more TIME with people, don’t chuck money at a problem, it wont create a solution!

Enjoy the last weekend Christmas Shopping!

Love

Emma xxx

Thoughts Have Turned To The New Year

Tonight, whilst watching Miracle On 34th Street (the ’94 version!) my thoughts have turned to what events I have planned in 2014!

I have a big holiday planned with my family in the Summer to stay with my godparents for 2 weeks, I am also booking our Vegas trip next year, so money is going to be a little bit tight! So next year will be more about cheaper things to cross off the list! So my plans for next year, as well as anything else that comes along……

1) Girly Spa Break
2) Milk A Cow
3) Make My Own Christmas Cards
4) Stay Up All Night Watching Movies
5) Run The Race For Life

Ok, so Girly Spa Break…..I need to do some research and find somewhere that me and a friend can really go to town have some lovely treatments and some even better food! Milking A Cow…..I can do this at a local farm and the experience runs daily and I only need to pay to get in (so any friends reading this that would like to join me, please feel free!). Make My Own Christmas Cards…..I wanted to do that this year, but left it a little late, so I am going to raid the craft shops in the January sales and get some bits throughout the year! Stay Up All Night Watching Movies…..I need to put a movie set list together and put one Saturday night aside with my man and have popcorn, pick n mix and yummy drinks and go through a Harry Potter Marathon or Hangover Marathon or maybe even Avengers Marathon! Run The Race For Life……this requires ALOT of motivation from me! I can currently run half a mile and the race for life is 5k which is approx 3.1miles, so I have a bit of work to do, but I am confident I can do it! The Race for life is taking place in my local town in July….so I have approx 7 months to be able to run and be confident in running it without stopping!

Over the past few weeks, my thoughts have really turned to moving out and getting myself a little house, so I really need to start saving and stop splurging! So I have tried to be a bit more inventive with my Bucket List. Whilst I would LOVE to jet off to Africa and go on a real Safari, the cost is just insane and it isn’t always guaranteed you will see all the animals. So I have googled Longleat Safari Park tonight, as I have been before but remember seeing something about a VIP experience and they do have VIP Safari Tours ranging from Bronze to Platinum and prices start from £85pp. Now, I know I am meant to be saving money, but if I cant do the real thing (unless any travel agents want to send me on holiday and I can review it for them!) I am going to have to settle for 2nd best. So I have my eyes set on the Gold VIP Safari Tour, which is approx 6-7 hours and includes Tiger Feeding, Lion and Cheetah experience, Behind the scenes tour, Giraffe feeding – it looks rather cool! So that is definitely an option for me to save a few grand for the house pot! That just leaves Vegas, Boston and New York as the most expensive costs!

Well I am starting to look forward to 2014 and all that it has in store! Do you have anything exciting planned for 2014?

Eat, Drink & Be Merry!

Emma xxx

East Coast or West Coast???

Good Morning (just!),

I have realised I have been AWOL for a while, I just haven’t had much to report on or write about….

I haven’t really been on “track” either, slimming world has kinda fallen by the way side and the gym has definitely been forgotten about! I can sense you all shaking your heads…..

I feel your disappointment seeping through the screen, don’t be. I am ok with it. I am back on track, slowly, with slimming world and I am going back to they gym tomorrow AM. I am also joining a beginners pilates class on Monday! I have 8 months to shrink back to size 12 ready for holiday time…..I can do that, no sweat!

Did you see the documentary on BBC 2 last night about Killer Whales? I have always had a fascination with them from the first time I saw Free Willy. They are such large animals but i couldn’t believe last night that it has been shown that they have social circles and can feel emotion. They are beautifully creatures, if just a little bit violent about how they catch their food! It got me thinking about doing Whale Watching whilst in Boston. I have done some research and you don’t see any Orca’s in that area, its normally humpback whales, which would be lovely to see. So I looked a bit more and the best place to watch Orca’s are Seattle/Vancouver. So I have been thinking, which is more important? Boston or seeing Orca’s?

I would love to do both, but financially that is not possible. I can honestly say, I have never been drawn to Seattle/Vancouver – whereas Boston has always interested me and whale watching (even if it isn’t Orca’s) has played a big part of that. I think I am going to do a bit more research into Seattle and Vancouver first before I make any big decisions.

Somehow, without realising I have managed to already do quite a bit of my Christmas Shopping. I have everything planned as to what I am going to get people, the only ones I am stuck on is my in-laws. What are you getting yours??

Things will be back to normal come Monday and I will be back to blogging at least twice a week and planning the next thing I can get ticked off the list!

Have a lovely weekend

Em xxx

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