Thursday, 20 February 2020

Why I Moved Away From Courage and Kindness

Hi lovelies! It's been quite a while since I posted on here but as I'm moving away from Courage and Kindness I felt like I needed a place to explain everything in case anyone is curious where I've gone. When I started this blog 5 years ago, Courage and Kindness was created as a way to share my love of Disney. Unfortunately as time went on and I was lucky enough to be able to work with brands it morphed into this thing where I felt like I had to collect as much Disney stuff as possible, no matter whether I needed it, so I could "keep up" with other Disney instagrammers and bloggers. Posting felt like a chore, my flat was filled with stuff I didn't really want or need... I just stopped enjoying it.

Around this time two things happened - I started playing Kingdom Hearts and I also came out of a 7 year relationship and was at a bit of a rock bottom in my life. Playing Kingdom Hearts really got me through this time. It introduced me to this whole, new magical world that I loved so, so much and it reminded me how much I love gaming. Since then a lot has changed in my life but gaming has always been a constant. As cheesy as it sounds, there's nothing I love more than coming home from a stressful day at work and stepping into someone else's shoes for a little while!

Gaming has also helped teach me the value of experiences over things. I've been slowly clearing out all my excess Disney things and so moving forward if I buy merchandise it'll be something I really want not just because I want to take a picture of it for Instagram! I don't mean for this to come across as me bashing collectors or Disney influencers, because if you're enjoying yourself and approaching it in a healthy manner, then that's lovely! Do what makes you happy. But I just didn't handle it in the best way.

Thank you to everyone who's been so lovely and kind to me these past 5 years, and all the brands that reached out to work with me! I'm so grateful for all the lovely people I was able to meet from doing this and all the amazing opportunities that were offered to me. Disney will never not be a huge part of my life but it's not the only thing that I'm passionate about. I'm not sure if I'll ever come back to blogging but as for my social media I'll still be keeping my Disney Twitter open but my Courage and Kindness Instagram has become The Keyblade Princess (named after my love of Kingdom Hearts and Disney Princesses of course!) which will be a mixture of gaming, Kingdom Hearts and Disney.

"We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we're curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths" - Walt Disney

Where you can find me in future:
Disney/general Twitter - @couragekindness
Kingdom Hearts/gaming Twitter - @keybldeprincess


Wednesday, 20 February 2019

My Favourite Disney Game - Kingdom Hearts

Hello lovelies! Lize in Disney are back for another collaboration and this time we're talking about our favourite Disney games! Basically we're trying to convince each other to play our favourite game and we're hoping we can convince some of you guys to try them too!

If you've been following me for a while on Instagram or Twitter it will probably be no surprise to you that I'm going to be talking about Kingdom Hearts for my post. I started playing these games for the first time last year and I fell in love pretty much right from the start! Since then they've become a huge part of my life and I've even had to create a second Instagram account to contain all my KH fangirling!

As the Kingdom Hearts storyline isn't the easiest to get your head around, I thought I'd explain these games by splitting my explanation into questions and answers of the sorts of things I wanted to know when I started playing. I hope this helps explain this beautiful series a little!

What's Kingdom Hearts about?
Kingdom Hearts are action role-playing games which mainly involve around Sora and his two friends Riku and Kairi (the Pop figure in the photo above) as they seek out new worlds and ultimately try to keep the balance between light and darkness.

How are they Disney games?
Kingdom Hearts is a collaboration between Square Enix (who makes the Final Fantasy and new Tomb Raider games) and Disney so it's packed full of Disney characters and worlds you can explore. Most of the time you're joined on your adventures with Donald and Goofy as your sidekicks and oh my goodness, if you didn't love these two before, you will after Kingdom Hearts. I would protect grumpy ol' Donald with my life now!

What Disney movies are in the games?
There's so many Disney films that feature throughout the games - some you'll see in quite a few of the games such as Aladdin and Hercules and there's even some of the more modern classics too like Tangled, Frozen and Big Hero 6 in the latest game! You'll also see your favourite classic Disney characters too such as Mickey and Chip & Dale.

How many games are there?
There are 3 games in the main trilogy but 10 games overall and 1 movie in the storyline. Although Kingdom Hearts 1, 2 and 3 are the main games, there's important content for the overall storyline in all of the games and the movie so if you want to play Kingdom Hearts 3 (the latest game) you'll need to have played or watched the cutscene movies of all the instalments to be able to understand what the heck is going on!

Try not to worry about any of this before you play it though, once you try one of the games you'll likely find yourself desperate to find out more of the story anyway!

Which game should I play first?
Although there are games set before it, Kingdom Hearts 1 is the best one to start with because it introduces you to the main characters and setting and the gameplay is pretty easy to understand too!

I'm not really a gamer - will I be able to play Kingdom Hearts?
Yes! KH1 is totally accessible even if you're not a seasoned gamer. I hadn't played a console game in years before I picked up Kingdom Hearts and I had no trouble getting the hang of it!

I want to buy it! What should I get?
Because Kingdom Hearts 1 came out way back in 2002 it's since been remastered which is called "Kingdom Hearts Final Mix". If you have a Playstation 4 you can get the "Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 & 2.5 ReMIX" collection which has six of the games on including Final Mix or if you want to get everything in one go, the Playstation Store has the "Kingdom Hearts All-In-One Package" which has every instalment on (even the new Kingdom Hearts 3) except the mobile game.

Enough with all this text! Is there a video I can watch to get an idea of what it's like?
This trailer gives a good picture of what Kingdom Hearts 1 is like. You can also watch the cinematic opening too - this was what originally got me interested in the games!

I really hope this post convinces someone to try these games because it's the most wholesome, fun and heartbreaking series I've ever played! If there's anything you'd like to ask about Kingdom Hearts or if you'd just like to fangirl with me over these games, feel free to pop me a message on my Kingdom Hearts Instagram account.

Make sure you check out Lize's post the Disneyland Adventures game too!


Wednesday, 23 January 2019

My Ultimate Disney Bucket List

Hi lovelies! I'm back with another collaboration with the lovely Lize in Disneyland and this time we're sharing our Disney bucket lists! I've never done one of these before but as I've only been to the Disney parks for one day since childhood (Hong Kong Disneyland... two years ago!), there's loads of Disney things I'd like to check off my list!

I've divided the list into sections and as I fell in love with the Kingdom Hearts games last year there's a whole section dedicated to the series too!

Visit Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea, Walt Disney World and Disneyland California for the first time
Visit Disneyland Paris again as an adult
Stay in a Disney hotel
Visit Aulani in Hawaii
Go back to Hong Kong Disneyland after the new castle has been finished
Take the Star Ferry to Hong Kong Disneyland
Meet all of the Princesses
Meet a Princess with their Prince
Do a character dining experience
Complete a runDisney race
Watch a parade, show and fireworks (I've not seen any!)
Go on a Disney cruise
Do the Castaway Cay 5k
Eat Alien Mochi

See all of Disney's classic animation films
Watch every Marvel film
Attend a Disney movie premiere

Complete my collection of Disney O-Rings DVDs (the rainbow ones with shiny covers!)
Build up a Disney Pandora bracelet
Buy a Disney ring I can wear every day

Kingdom Hearts:
Complete all of the Kingdom Hearts games
Own a life size keyblade replica
Make sea salt ice cream
Defeat Sephiroth in KH2
Complete at least one game on the hardest mode
Get a platinum trophy for one of the games
Attend a Kingdom Hearts Orchestra concert
Get a Kingdom Hearts tattoo

Get a Disney tattoo

I've got a lot to achieve, huh?! I'm already eyeing up some of these that I can complete this year and I'm hoping I can squeeze in a trip to Disneyland Paris too to get some of the park ones checked off!

What would be the top thing on your Disney bucket list? Let me know in the comments below! Make sure you check out Lize's post and blog too. She's one of the kindest and most genuine bloggers I've ever come across and her blog is brimming with magical Disney content!


Wednesday, 9 January 2019

Kingdom Hearts Merch Available In The UK!

Hi lovelies! With the new Kingdom Hearts game due out in the UK at the end of this month, I thought I'd put together a little guide to some of the official merchandise that's available over here. Although we don't get as much merch as Japan or the US, with the the imminent arrival of KH3 there are lots of brand spankin' new pieces around at the moment so here are my favourites:
First up, EMP have a great range of Kingdom Hearts merch including some rare and exclusive Funko Pops! My favourites are the Toy Story Sora (#3 - £12.99) and the Christmas Town Sora (#5 - UPDATE: sold out). As well as the normal sized Funkos, they also have Mystery Mini Blind Boxes (#10 - £6.99). Just look at that lil' Mickey! They also have some great Kingdom Hearts apparel such as this Kingdom Hearts 3 Logo Watch (#9 - £24.99) and T-Shirt (#1 - £14.99). This would be so perfect in an oversized size for snuggling up and playing Kingdom Hearts all day long!

If you've always dreamed of having your own Keyblade, GAME sell replica Kingdom and Darkside Keyblades (#8 - £39.99 each). I don't think I've ever needed anything more! They also stock these adorable little Shadow Heartless plushes (#6 - £34.99) which would look so lovely on a Kingdom Hearts-themed shelf! These are both out of stock online but are still available in some physical stores.

Forbidden Planet also have lots of of Kingdom Hearts merchandise, such as these cute-as-heck figural keyrings (#2 - £4.49) and they also stock the graphic novels of the series and volume 1 (#7) is just £5.99! And last but not least, Edge Magazine have the stunning Kingdom Hearts 3 game artwork for the cover of their February 2019 issue (#4)! What's even better is it's a UK magazine so if you can't track one down in stores, they're only £6 delivered online!

Has anyone else got Kingdom Hearts fever at the moment? Less than three weeks to go now!


Wednesday, 2 January 2019

My Ranking of 2018's Disney Films

Hi lovelies, I'm back! While 2018 was not a good year for me (hence the blogging break!) it was a very good year for Disney with the release of 11 brand spankin' new films by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures! There was so many big, important releases in 2018 as well as a few lower-key but cute as heck films so I thought sharing a little ranking would be the perfect way to reflect. So from favourite to least-favourite, here are my thoughts on last year's Disney films:

1. Coco
Although this was a 2017 release for a lot of people, the UK didn't get Coco until 2018 but oh my goodness was it worth the wait! I just fell head over heels in love right from the opening sequence and it's one of those films that has stayed with me ever since. I don't think I can hear the words "remember me" in conversation now without wanting to burst into tears!

2. Mary Poppins Returns
Well I'm not going to lie, I spent the last 10 minutes of the film sobbing because of how magical it was! I was so nervous about seeing it but I really needn't have been! Emily Blunt and Lin-Manuel Miranda was just PRACTICALLY PERFECT in every way.

3. Black Panther
I found this one hardest to write about because where do you start with a film like Black Panther?! This film was like a bolt of lightning, it looked good from the trailer but the actual film, HOLY MOLY did it strike me back! I don't think anything I can say will do this film justice, you just need to see it for yourself!

4. Incredibles 2
For me Incredibles 2 had the exact same feel to it as the first film.It's the perfect sequel and oh so funny! Those 14 years were definitely worth the wait!

5. Solo: A Star Wars Story
This is another film I was a little apprehensive in seeing as I was a bit disappointed by the previous standalone Star Wars film, Rogue One, but I was very pleasantly surprised! I think it was such a great backstory for both Han Solo and Chewbacca and I thought Alden Ehrenreich was the perfect casting.

6. Ralph Breaks The Internet
Okay but THAT PRINCESS SCENE GUYS. Oh my goodness did Disney deliver on that! I think that single scene slayed the entire Disney fandom this year haha! Unfortunately I didn't enjoy the film as a whole as much as Wreck-It Ralph as I thought it went on a wee bit too long but it was still a very solid sequel and I had a lot of fun watching it.

7. The Nutcracker and the Four Realms
I wanted to love this film so much and while I enjoyed the imagery and character design (candy floss hair? UM YES) it seemed to get a little lost and confused at times. However I still thought it was a really cute and magical lil' watch and I can definitely see it becoming a Christmas tradition to watch this film every December!

8. Christopher Robin
What a dang wholesome film. This movie definitely had that heartwarming Winnie the Pooh feel to it - a perfect Sunday afternoon watch!

9. A Wrinkle In Time
Although this is far down on my list, I did really enjoy this film! It sadly was another one that got a little lost at times but it was filled with so much heart and adventure and there were so many great quotes in it too. Definitely worth a watch!

10. Avengers: Infinity War
I know, I KNOW. I'm sorry but I just wasn't a fan. It felt like a filler film to get the storyline from the previous films to the final film. And that ending... NOPE. I'm still very much a fan of the Avengers though so I'm looking forward to the last film this year!

You may notice that Ant-Man and the Wasp is missing from this list and that's because I'm running behind on a lot of my Marvel films I'm afraid - I've not even seen the first Ant-Man film yet! I've heard lots of good things about the both of them so I'm hoping to get to them soon.

Do you agree with my ranking? Let me know which 2018 Disney films you enjoyed the most!

GIFs 1, 2, 5 and 6 from Tenor
GIFs 3, 4, 7, 8, 9 and 10 from GIPHY

Sunday, 9 December 2018

Mary Poppins and the Return of the Merch

Hi lovelies! So it's been A MINUTE since I last posted. I'd been taking a break to just focus on Instagram as 2018 has been throwing me curveballs right, left and centre but I've decided I want to get back into blogging in 2019! Until then I've had Mary Poppins fever recently with the new film hitting cinemas in just a few weeks! As always with a Disney film release, there's lots of lovely new merchandise so I've been scouring the internet to find my favourite practically perfect pieces. Here are my top picks:

Couture Kingdom have been killing it with their new Mary Poppins collection. There's so many pieces I need in my life but my favourites have to be their Anything Can Happen Bangle (#5 - £45) and the London Skyline Necklace (#7 - £45). I'm dying over the little Mary flying into London on the necklace, what a cute lil' detail!

ShopDisney of course have lots of new Mary goodies on offer like this lovely Disney Store Umbrella Necklace (#4 - £13) and as an avid hoarder of Disney shopping bags, I've also got my eye on the Disney Store Mary Poppins Returns Resuable Shopper (#3 - £3). EMP also have a wonderful selection of merch for the upcoming film including four new Funko Pops! I love the Mary Poppins with Bag (#9 - £12.99) one especially - that cute little polka dot shirt! There's also this Umbrella T-Shirt (#6 - £16.99) which would be perfect to wear to the cinema.

Another Disney thing I can't help but collecting is mugs and this A Spoonful of Sugar one from TruffleShuffle (#1 - £9.99) is my favourite I've come across! I'm also so in love with their Practically Perfect In Every Way Umbrella (#2 - £24.99). How perfect would this look peeking out of an umbrella stand? And last but not least, I've actually never got round to reading any of the Mary Poppins books so this beautiful Book Collection from The Book People (#8 - £6.99) is exactly what I need! Those vintage-looking striped covers though.

Mary Poppins Returns releases in the UK on 21st December. We've got our tickets booked for New Year's Day and I can't think of a better way to start the year off!


Thursday, 9 August 2018

5 Books I'd Recommend To Disney Fans

Hi lovelies! The lovely Stacey from Weird and Wonderful Things and I are both huge fans of Disney and bookworms at heart so we thought we'd do a little collaboration to combine the two! Although Disney itself publishes lots of their own wonderful books, there's so many non-Disney books that also give you that magical feeling so today we're sharing a few books that we think Disney fans would love! I've linked the Goodreads page with each of my recommendations so you can find out a little more about them/see the cover etc. Also just a warning, I'm terrible at describing books but I'm trying my best! How I ever used to be a book blogger, I honestly don't know...!

1. Cinder by Marissa Meyer
This had been on my to-read list for literally years and I finally got round to reading it this year and it certainly didn't disappoint! Cinder is a young adult, futuristic re-telling of the classic Cinderella fairytale which is set in Asia. It's got to be the freshest take on Cinderella I've ever come across and it works so well! This is actually part of a series where every book is based around a fairytale story and I can't wait to read the rest.

2. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
If I could only recommend that you pick up one book from this list, it would be this one! This is another retelling, although this time it's Beauty and the Beast. ACOTAR is my favourite genre ever, high fantasy, and it's one of those books that you will just not be able to put down! If you do read this book, just a lilttle warning - it has some mature content so this would only be suitable for older readers and the start of the book is tough-going but once you've gotten through that, the book gets very good, very quickly!

3. Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones
This is definitely one of those books that has that Disney kind of magic to it! I actually found out about this book from watching the Studio Ghibli adaptation of it and it's such a lovely, whimsical story. I actually did a little review of this book a while ago so if you'd like to know a little more about it, you can find my review here.

4. Undercover Princess by Connie Glynn
I'm currently reading this one right now and while it's not the most perfect book ever, it's such an adorable story... It's like The Princess Diaries meets Harry Potter! It has a gay element to the story too and without spoiling anything, the relationship between the two characters is so dang cute! This would be the perfect light read for a summer holiday.

5. The Surface Breaks by Louise O'Neill
And last but not least is The Surface Breaks which has been described as a "feminist reimagining of The Little Mermaid" and GIRL am I here for that! I haven't had the chance to read this properly yet but this honestly sounds so wonderful and I think it's something a lot of other Disney fans will love too. Seriously, so much YES to all these young adult retellings of Disney fairytales!
I hope you've found something new to add to your reading list. If you know of any other books like these PLEASE hit me up with your recommendations. I need to add more books like these to my reading list!

Remember to check out Stacey's post to see which books she's recommended too!

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