Setting Out Our 2018 Goals

It’s been a while guys! So I took some time Setting Out Our 2018 Goals.

Sometimes the best thing you can do is step aside from something for a period of time, as you will always come back stronger, fresher and with a whole new burst of energy. Over the last few weeks I’ve been feeling a lot more positive and started planning out the year ahead as detailed as a male can. So here’s me Setting Out Our 2018 Goals.

I don’t know if the wife has been rubbing off her positivity on me, or vice versa but we even got to the stage where we wanted to pick up a vlogging camera again and had even been discussing how we missed it. I’m guessing you could say it almost becomes a routine to Vlog things on the regular and having a regular uploading schedule each week. Now I’m not going to say it’s going to be a regimented upload on a Sunday every single week by a certain time without fail, but we will try our best. You can’t ask for much more than that surely!?

Hopefully you’ve taken some time out of your day to watch the video above, and you’ll have a general understanding of where things are heading this year!

The one thing that has always been creeping up is the fact that I’m going to be 30 next year (*in theory*) and I wan’t to start Investing in our families future so to speak. With this being said, one of the key things I’m personally looking forward to a lot is buying another property to renovate and then look to either Sell or Rent-Out.

New House

I’d say that Renovating a house is very stressful when it’s for yourself, however when you can come home each night to a clean house and have a shower it certainly takes the strain off it. On top of that, when you are renovating it for an end goal as opposed to for yourselves, it certainly eases the strains of choosing kitchens, bathrooms, paints, carpets etc. I know when we were renovating our new family home, their was many an argument over furnishings but that’s simply because we both have very different tastes and it was for us. If you know that when it’s finished you will be looking to offer it to the rental market, or re-sale, it turns more into a fluid process than a battle royale.

So with that said, we have placed a few offers, it is early days, but I’ll make sure that you’ll be the first to know when we get something accepted and will be both Blogging & Vlogging the full journey from Day 1 to End.

Another Road Trip

Yes, don’t you just know it! The next big thing when we were Setting Out Our 2018 Goals. Any West Coast Americans, prepare yourself as you’ve got two northerners coming for an adventure! I’d initially planned on a trip to Asia, but according to the wife, it was a fast No! This turned quickly accross to the East Coast of America, more-so in particular Orlando, Florida. Although in the back of my mind I had a feeling this would change again, I didn’t verbalise it and so we set out to start planning our East Coast trip. A few magazines and YouTube videos later Helen started to stumble and it was at this very point she mumbled out the words I’d been waiting to hear “Lets go back to Vegas & LA”

If only I was Vlogging that very second, I’d of loved to see my face as a I secretly squirmed inside like a child, whilst trying not wanting to scream out loud. WE ARE GOING BACK TO VEGAS BABY! Yes it’s true, it’s damn true. If you are reading this how I’m typing it, you’ll probably be feeling my passion and even have some goosebumps crawling up your arms currently.

Less of the rambling, more of the trip. So we are off out to America for a full month, landing in LAX before quickly picking up our car and driving out to Vegas for 4 nights of adult fun. Helen has apparently claimed she will calm down on the Slots this year. We will find out in a few months either way. The only other things we have currently really planned out is a trip to Disneyland California. We’ve ordered a 5 day park hopper pass and that couldn’t of went any smoother. It was ordered from Attraction Tickets Direct and turned up for Valentines Day!

It was picture perfect and as they say it’s sometimes the small things in life that put a smile on your face. So without even knowing it, Attraction Tickets Direct made our Valentines Day magical.

What Else In 2018

Who knows what else 2018 will bring!? We are only around 7 weeks into a 52 week year, and I’m sure there will be many more adventures and exciting things to come over the year. But if you enjoy a dose of Travel and Property mixed in with some male rambling every now and then, you really don’t want to go anywhere else. Bookmark the page, leave a follow on BlogLovin to get the latest updates and I’ll try my best to keep you entertained in the remaining 45 weeks of 2018!

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Things to do in Walt Disney Studios at Disneyland Paris

Top 10 Things to do in Walt Disney Studios at Disneyland Paris

Following on from our #DLP25Stars video I’m going to break down our list of ten things to do in Walt Disney Studios at Disneyland Paris. This will be a useful guide for anyone that’s visiting Disneyland Paris for the first time, or even returning guests who want to explore more of what the park can offer. You’ll find below a Walt Disney Studios Park Map that has been number marked with the specific attractions detailed in this post. Feel free to download or print out the guide to take with you to ensure you don’t miss a thing!

Download Map (1199 downloads)

#1 Mickey & The Magician

The new hit theatre show that’s recently been added to Disneyland Paris. Situated in the Animagique Theater this show is breathtaking. It’s recently just won IAAPA theme park industry award for “Best Theatrical Production” which quite frankly it deserves to win several awards. It’s been put together to perfection. All the classical Disney films have features and its got a great storyline running throughout. Not only that but its bi-lingual which is always a good thing to see inside Disneyland Paris. Having both French and English narratives running side by side means that the audience can engage at all times. If you haven’t yet, this show is a must see.

#2 Studio Tram Tour

This ride reminds me of when we were in Universal Studios in LA and did the Tram ride. You are thrown into the Walt Disney studios backlot and get to see up-close movie props, cars as-well as experiencing two thrilling Studio experiences. It’s currently closed for renovation, however pre-update you were driven around a London Underground station during a dragon invasion as-well as a Movie Set that’s due to be flooded due to a 18-wheeler crash. It’s safe to say you’ll have a laugh and its one for the whole family to enjoy.

#3 Bistro Chez Rémy

Disneyland Paris trips are built upon fun character meets and very well themed dining. Therefore no Walt Disney Studios Park guide would be complete without a sit-down food establishment on the list. There’s a few available in the Walt Disney Studios Park however in my opinion by far the standout waiter service restaurant of choice if Bistro Chez Rémy. As soon as you walk through the doors into the restaurant you’re shrunk down to the size of a rat. The theming all of a sudden becomes very large. Imagine a scene from the borrowers and you’re not far off! Not only is the theming perfect, the food is simply out of this world. Our go-to option is the Steak & Fries, and believe me when I say it’s some of the nicest steak I’ve had in the world. I don’t know if its simply because you’re in Disneyland it tastes so good or what, but its great. Season with sea salt and with a choice of sauces to accompany the steak it’s well worth anyones €40.

#4 Blockbuster Cafe & The Hep Cat Corner

Following straight on from Bistro Chez Rémy is a quick service / snack option in the Walt Disney Studios Park. No trip to Disneyland Paris is complete without taking full advantage of the many quick service outlets dotted around the two parks. If it’s a savoury snack you’re after then the go-to in Walt Disney Studios Park is Blockbuster Cafe. In here you have a range of snacks available but the recommended choice is a Croque-monsieur. Known to some as a ham and cheese toastie however there’s a lot more to it than that. Its simply a french delicacy and we always ensure we grab one each trip. If it’s a sweet treat you’re in search of then swing over to the Hep Cat Corner and pick yourselves up a Bretzel Chocolat.

#5 Rock n Roller Coaster

If you’re a rollercoaster junkie then this is the go-to in the Walt Disney Studios Park. Themed around Aerosmith with great nods to the musical geniuses throughout the entrance. You are blasted into the ride at speed after a short count-down. You then have rock tunes blaring out whilst you perform several inversions and loops at high speed. It’ll certainly wake you up and it’s great that its got a Photo-pass built in for the classic souvenir ride photo at the end.

#6 Push Trash Can

This could be argued that it’s more of a hidden gem in the Walt Disney Studios park rather than an attraction itself. It’s not always out on a daily basis, however it’s frequently seen wandering around the backlot area. If you do get a chance to witness it, it’s just one of those things that’ll put a smile on your face. Some may argue it shouldn’t be on the list, but its a true Disneyland Paris gem.

#7 Crush’s Coaster

Another roller coaster aimed more towards the family environment as opposed to Rock n Rollercoaster. The theming for the ride has you sat inside a tortoise shell surfing the EAC (East Australian Current). As with the other attractions inside Walt Disney Studios park it’s theming is excellent. Throughout the queue which can at times be quite lengthy, you can connect to a local WiFi hotspot and play a simple game on your phone/tablet to pass the time with kids. When you get on the ride you’ve around 30 seconds of visual excellence with several Finding Nemo props. As soon as you pass Bruce and get hoisted up the ramp, it becomes dark and fast. It’s enough to class it as a roller-coaster, but as its lacking full loops and inversions it still holds a Family Suitable badge in my opinion.

#8 Hollywood Melodies

The Hollywood Melodies as they are famously known in Disneyland Paris. They are a brass-band that play some of the finest Disney classics inside Studio 1. You can’t miss this as you have to walk past the Gossip Column where they frequently perform outside when entering the Walt Disney Studios Park via Studio 1. Take a few minutes out of your day to appreciate the talented musicians and have a little sing-song and dance whilst taking in the atmosphere around you.

#9 Art of Animation

In the last year especially the Art of Animation building has become something of a hotspot. The reason its on the list for myself is the actual Animation tour itself where you get to pickup a set of headphones and see how the animated Disney films are created. Not only that, but at the end you get to sit down one to one with an animator and draw several classical Disney characters. They show you how using simple shapes you can re-create the characters how the animators do it themselves. On-top of that, in the last 12 months its been home to Moana as a meet and greet and most recently, after the release of the new Beauty and the Beast film it’s featured Belle. Both characters had a great backdrop with a photo-pass photographer to get some amazing memories that’ll last for life.

#10 Meeting Spider Man

The final thing in the list of 10 things to do in Walt Disney World Studios and by no means the least popular is meeting Spider Man. It’s always a great interaction with Spidey and it never feels rushed. Unlike some of the other characters you can meet in Disneyland Paris where you feel slightly on your feet to get in, get a photo and get out, its not like this at Spider Man. You are taken aside one family at a time and therefore you don’t feel like you’ve 25 eyes beaming down on you waiting for you to finish. Therefore take your time, enjoy your meet and great with the great Spider-Man. Ask him plenty of questions, it’s one of my favourite characters to meet in the Walt Disney Studios Park.


Finally, If you haven’t already. Feel free to watch the YouTube Vlog version of this post!

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House Renovation Do’s & Don’ts

Well here we are around 6 months into the Renovation and effectively 3 weeks behind schedule. I think it’s fair to say we have complied a nice list of Renovation Do’s and Don’ts in this time. Anyone that says a Renovation will run to budget and timeframe must be lying I’m telling you!

Over the last 6 months we have been on such a roller coaster of emotions and we have learnt so many lessons that can be applied going forward if we ever decide to undertake anything similar again, but most importantly they are valuable life skills we can use in the future and pass onto our Children. Here goes with our House Renovation Do’s & Don’ts list.

House Renovation Do’s & Don’ts

  1. One of the major things we have noticed along the way so far is don’t just trust and think highly of Tradesmen you employ. One of our downfalls initially was putting to much faith in tradesmen to do what was expected, on time, on budget and to our satisfaction. As much as it pains me to say it, sites like checkatrade and rated people being able to read 50+ reviews and knowing someone is genuine and not a cowboy goes a long way even if it means spending that little bit more on a quote
  2. If you don’t plan everything down to the minute, then expect things to go over timeframe. We initially started the renovation basically going with the flow of things. We have never taken anything on before renovation wise. Watching hundreds of hours of Homes under the Hammer or DIY: SOS can only prepare you for so much. Once you are thrown in the deep end and trying to project manage a full site with tradesmen its a whole new kettle of fish. The best piece of advice I can give, is draw up a Gantt chart to fully manage dates tradesmen are coming in and out. This leads straight onto the 3rd point relating to timings from Tradesmen.
  3. When obtaining a quote get everything in writing. Not only do you want a written quotation (ensure it says Quote and not Estimate) as it’ll give you a more legal foothold if anything does go wrong. Make sure you establish when they can start. Find out how long they expect the job to take. Also, one important thing we’ve came to realise now is find out will waste be removed. Apparently not all tradesmen tidy up after themselves
  4. Where possible I strongly advise not to live in the building whilst renovating. I know for quite a few people this may not be feasible, however you will not believe the amount of dust even the most simplest of tasks can produce. Anything involving bricks, plaster, wood can create an enormous mess in minutes and the last thing you want is your living quarters to be a big dust sheet. The advantage of living elsewhere is being able to lock up at night and go home to a nice clean, warm, well lit house and get a good nights sleep. I can’t even help but think if what we are currently doing would of been even possible had we moved in back when we got the keys last year. We went the whole hog of gutting the complete house to almost rebuilding it from scratch in theory. If we were living their we would of contracted numerous airborne dust related diseases thats for sure.
  5. Following on from point 4, if you aren’t living in the house whilst renovating then make sure you have at least one working plug socket and a large extension lead. A good set of heavy duty work lights for when the dark nights set in. The last thing you need is a kettle! Life is always good when you can make a nice dusty brew and sit back and plan the project with a hot cuppa nescafe.
  6. Enjoy yourself! As ironic as it seems, depending on the size of the Renovation its a once in a lifetime thing. I struggle to see us ever taking on something this big in our lifetime. Unless we stumble accross a pot of gold whilst finishing this renovation it’s going to be our forever home and we are making every last detail work exactly how we want it. Try to imagine yourself having parties, making memories in the house once its renovated. This will help get you through the dark days and keep you laughing rather than crying every week when tradesmen let you down.

We have been Weekly Vlogging our House Renovation. So we already have the best part of 6 months worth of stress and happiness spread over several videos. If you haven’t already feel free to catch up with us on YouTube below:

Even if one person stumbles across this list of House Renovation Do’s & Don’ts and it saves them either time or money then my job here is a success! One major piece of advice me and helen can give whilst doing a Renovation which may seem very cliche is basically Stay Positive. As hard as that phrase will seem when you’ve no electrics or heating and its the middle of winter, it’s for the best and the finish line is always in the distance. It will be hard trying to see light at the end of the tunnel, but stick at it and it’ll be perfect when its complete

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A look back at 2016

I don’t know about yourself, but for me, what a year its been!

Looking back it’s been one heck of a ride. We have been lucky enough to travel to Disneyland Paris more times than I can remember. Getting an Annual Pass for Disney certainly has rewarded itself with plenty of value. Another highlight of the year was our adventures around Europe. So many countries got ticked off the Bucket list and we got to stay in a whole host of amazing properties and hotels accross the continent. A special Birthday arranged by Helen in our very own Hot tub lodge. She really pulled  out all the stops to make me feel like a prince for the weekend!

Best of 2016

I really hope that everyone has an amazing 2017. If you don’t already be sure to catch up with all my daily ramblings on Twitter: @Northerncrumble and Instagram: Northerncrumble

Happy New Year!

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Disney Halloween Party

Our most recent visit to Disneyland Paris was a magical and memorable one that allowed us to meet up with some amazing Twitter friends and make memories that will last a lifetime!

It wouldn’t be a normal trip for us unless something strange was to happen. We don’t usually plan trips months in advance, usually they are hours before we leave. With this in mind, it meant that something had to go wrong right!? Well, we received delivery of our new car two days before we set off to Disneyland Paris. The lovely wife decided it’d be a good idea to reverse the new car into a Skip!? I know right, you’d think it had parking sensors. These things happen and thankfully nobody was injured, including the skip 🙂

This however meant our car had to go into the bodyshop and we were left with a replacement Corsa Van! Yes, you did hear that right, our replacement vehicle was none other than a 2 seater Van! This could only happen to the Crumbles. After all the drama we decided we would just set off the day we received the van, albeit a day earlier than we originally decided to set-off but we didn’t want to jinx the trip anymore.

The first day was magical and we met plenty of friends from Twitter including our favourite happy man Mr @MitchellDisney for his party. He had put together little party bags with sweets and a card, such a sweet touch and it meant a lot to both of us

MitchellDisney Party

We spent the rest of the night with Mitchell and his friends; @EleanorAbbey93 @beth961993 and the lovely wife @xxhrb – We watched some shows and met some characters. One of my favourite photos with this bunch was with Queen of Hearts

Queen of Hearts & Friends

Halloween Soiree Day

The event we had looked forward to for so long was eventually here. Considering we booked it months ago, it was actually quite surprising how fast it came around. One of the reasons we don’t tend to book holidays in advance is simply because we are impatient waiting for them to come around and just like to pack a suitcase and leave the next day. We pulled ourselves together and headed down to the Disney Village with @StephRosPhoto who I must say made an amazing Cinderella at the Party. We picked up our wristbands and headed back to our rooms (McDonalds in hand). Yes, we couldn’t resist a cheeky stop-off to pick up a burger or two! A few hours later and we were ready to hit the park all dressed up in costume.

The one day of the year where it is acceptable to Enter the Disneyland Paris park in full costume and boy did we enjoy it! Helen made the most beautiful Rapunzel and her Wig was just simply incredible. She had got her mum to stitch in some LEDs and Flowers and it was just out of this world! I didn’t make a bad Flynn Rider if i do say so. A huge shout-out to Disney’s answer to Peter Kay in the form of @seanyblive – Sean and Michael made our night so memorable and we can’t wait to meet back up again with Ralph and Fix-it Felix in the future

Rapunzel Wig

Disney Halloween Party

If you haven’t already you can watch all of our fun and frolics in our YouTube video below

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