Somehow, I managed to guess both the names of the Disney Dream and the Disney Fantasy before they were announced. The Disney Magic is the quintessential name for a cruise ship run by a company that makes magic, and all the other names have been along the same theme. But now it seems like the most likely names for ships have been used, but there are three new Disney Cruise Line ships on the horizon. So what could they be called?

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Reading books on the tube is the only thing that makes commuting bearable. Whenever someone else decides to squash themselves into zero space, I concentrate on the plot and characters in the book I’m reading to avoid thinking about where I am. It works surprisingly well and makes the time I spend on trains seem a lot shorter.

In 2018, I set myself the challenge to read 15 books through the course of the year. I rarely read when I’m not on a tube, so I thought that was reasonable considering that’s about 30 minutes of reading per day, five days a week. Part way through the year, I upped that target to 20 books, and yesterday I hit that yearly target.

If I start a book and don’t like it, I rarely go on to finish, so I’m sure there are at least another 10 books that I started this year that aren’t part of my 20 completed books list. That’s the great thing about using a library – I don’t pay for them so I don’t need to worry about ‘wasting my money’. Instead, I can just return them and pick a different book for free.

So, here are the highs and lows of my reading life this year.

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I was so tempted to do vlogmas last year but didn’t end up getting myself organised enough to push through. Instead, I watched a lot of my favourite YouTubers do their vlogmases and gathered some ideas. I realised it’s not crucial to do something super fun and exciting every day (which is pretty impossible when you work from 9-5.30 all week), and it made me want to give it a try in 2018.

I’ve got about seven weeks left of my Disney World and Disney Cruise Line series – catch up here if you aren’t up to date – so I thought vlogmas would be a great chance to show a side of me that isn’t on holiday. I hope you like it!

There will be a few days where I can’t film, like where I go to work events or parties in the evening, so I might not make it to all 24 days, but I’ll definitely try. Planning will be key to get me through all the days where I’m not really doing much. Here are some of my ideas so far – let me know what you think and please leave a comment with anything else you’d like to see on my YouTube channel!

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If you live in the UK in 2018, you’ve probably noticed the recent attacks on plastics. Last year it was the plastic bags that were targeted, and now we’re all a lot better at remembering to bring reusable bags to the supermarket to avoid the 5p charge. Now straws have had the most attention.

Don’t get me wrong – I am completely for the move away from plastics. They’re devastating the oceans in an irrevocable way and everyone can do their bit to help. I don’t agree with consumers being victimised for the planet’s downfall when companies are the ones deciding how much plastic they use and industry uses way too many non-renewables. While we can all do a little bit, big industry can all do a big bit and really make a difference.

What’s the plastic problem?

My main issue now is that I can’t get a straw with a drink. If there’s one thing I hate in this world, it’s drinking a beverage with ice without a straw. I end up with ice bobbing around, stopping me from getting any liquid out. A straw solves the problem completely – and stops my teeth chattering from the ice. Why, then, has every bar and pub stopped freely giving out plastic straws without an alternative?

Not only this, but some people with disabilities need straws to be able to drink easily. Is it fair that their favourite places to eat and drink don’t offer a viable option for them any more?

What could replace plastic?

I know paper straws can get soggy, but they’re still a much better option than no straw at all! I’ve told people I want to start carrying around a reusable metal straw . Most people react to this with a raised eyebrow and disbelief.

So what are we meant to do as consumers? Become barbaric no-straw drinking, ice clinking bar-goers? Or innovate and find a solution to the problem that doesn’t cost loads and doesn’t harm the planet? I know which one I’d prefer. I’ll probably have a reusable straw on my Christmas list at this rate and ignore the chuckles of my friends.

Now where did I put that metal straw…

 

Here are some of the best alternative straws that I’ve spotted:

 

Do you think you’ll make the move to alternative straws any time soon? Or, like me, will you start refusing to have ice in your drinks at every turn for now?

Faraway Lisa Mae sign off

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but over the last few weeks, my YouTube channel has ‘taken off’ a little bit. The Disney vlogs that I worked hard to film and edit have got a lot of attention, which is pretty unusual for me. I’ve had 16,000 views on a travel vlog in two weeks. I’ve had over 1,000 new subscribers in two weeks (which is loads when you only had 2,000 to begin with) and the comments have been flooding in.

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