Going Solo: The Adventure Awaits.

Life, Travel

Travelling

Deciding to travel on your own is a brave and bold thing to do.  Especially if you are a woman. It is, however, incredibly rewarding and is a brilliant way of exploring other cultures, getting to know the people and finding a little inner peace.

Family holidays or a trip away with your friends are great fun and give us lots of brilliant memories to take home and enjoy, but packing your bags and heading off on an adventure without having to worry about anyone other than you, is a truly great experience.  It doesn’t matter where you are heading, there is adventure out there, so let’s take a look at a couple of great destinations for one person breaks.

Grabbing yourself a little European culture is a brilliant first step for first time lone rangers.  Cities such as Paris or Venice demand more attention than a beach side resort.  With endless architecture such as the Eiffel Tower in France or the stunning galleries of Venice, you can take an easy stroll on your own time without being concerned by your travelling companions not sharing your love of a little arts and culture tourism.  Rome is another fantastically romantic city for the single traveller.  You can spend hours people watching at the gorgeous Trevi Fountain where legend has it that by throwing a coin into the water, you are insured a return trip to Rome.  It is a place that will capture your heart and inspire you regardless of your personality.  Just keep yourself up to date with safety travel advice, nothing comes for free in the tourist areas and whilst you might be showered in roses as you walk through the cobbled streets, bear in mind there is a price to pay for their affection!

If you fancy something that packs an adrenalin punch then setting off on a skiing adventure is going to tick all your boxes.  Whilst a lot of the accommodation is prepped for larger parties there are plenty of shared chalet’s for you to find yourself a spot in.  If you do a little research online, you may even be able to bag yourself something more luxurious with other solo travellers looking to meet up.  Chalet La Varappe in Meribel is a super luxurious place to find yourself in and meeting up with other, like minded, adventurers to share stories with could bring you back the warmth after a cold day.  One of the most fun things you can do at any ski resort is strap on a backpack and head off piste.  Trekking through the mountains Nordic style will blow the fuzz out of your mind and walking to the top of piste will offer you a perfect spot for a little bit of ‘on top of the world’ yoga.  Perfect for resetting your mind and finding a few answers to any questions that have been playing on you.

When travelling alone it is important to keep yourself safe.  Learn about the troublesome areas of your destination and make sure your friends and family know where you are going and that you stay in regular contact with them.  You also need to make sure you have good insurance, incase anything goes wrong.

 


*This post was contributed by Sam Watts.

Spring Lips.

Beauty, Life

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It’s HERE! Technically it’s still Winter but as soon as I noticed a little cluster of flowers that had sprouted up out of nowhere I automatically starting saying ‘it’s spring.’ Spring is one of my favourites (although, I notice I say that about every season.) But blossom is just too pretty. It’s crazy how much a blue sky, a bit of sun and a few flowers can produce so much optimism/happiness/motivation etc. It’s just crazy uplifting, don’t you think?

I’m so excited for light evenings, so it feels acceptable to go and sit in a beer garden after work. For pretty dog walks, iced coffees, mojitos (as they taste so much better when the suns shining), driving with the windows down (!!!!), butterflies (!!!!!!!), and BBQ’s (!!!!!!!!!!!!!) Ah, so much excitement.

I don’t know about you but when Spring comes I automatically start whipping out brighter colours from my wardrobe and I think the lips are begging for a brightening too. Lipstick is obviously a huge staple for most females make-up bags but I think most stick to their usual colours that they feel comfortable with. But now the suns shining and we are slowly coming out of hibernation, it’s a good opportunity to mix things up in the make-up dept.
These are a few high-street lipsticks to brighten up your pout for Spring…

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Sleek Matte Me Lip Gloss- Shabby Chic, £4.99.

You can never really go wrong with Sleek Make-up & this lipstick is perfect for Spring. It’s very mauve which is so so pretty and one of the smoothest liquid lipsticks I’ve used. This is probably the darkest I go in Spring time, otherwise I end up feeling a little too Autumnal. Ps. This is so long lasting!

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Sleek Power Pump Lip Crayon- Fully Fuschia, £5.49.

Oh another Sleek. If you’re not into Matte lips or Glossy lips, this is the one for you. It’s more like lipstick consistency but the crayon design makes it way easier to apply. I would rarely wear this colour (even though it’s super pretty) but it’s just a little too pink for me. However… it looks fabulous on other people. My sister worked it for a party and side note, it looks so good with a black dress and subtle make-up.

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KIKO Pencil Lip Gloss- Pink Glitter, £3.90.
So a KIKO store just opened where I live and lets just say Kiko will for sure be featuring in a lot more posts… the products are lush. I was pretty much testing everything in the store when I came across this gem. The best way I can describe it is a lipliner/lipstick/lip crayon/lipgloss- all into one little stick. It’s not super pigmented which I actually really like because it looks subtle and v natural- like your pout naturally sparkles. Ps. I’ve used this over the top of a bolder matte lip just to jazz it up a bit.

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NYX Professional Makeup Round Lipstick- Snow White, £4.00.

I think it’s important to always have a classic, no matter what season it is. For me, red is the go-to. This lipstick has some coral tones to it, which I think gives it that Spring vibe. NYX’s products are always super pigmented which is so appealing when looking for a bright/bold lipstick.

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Pancakes.

Food, Life

pancakes

It’s Pancake day on Tuesday and today I spent the day making a stack of fluffy American pancakes- in order to perfect it for Tuesday. I’ll be totally honest pancakes aren’t my fav, they never have been really. Maybe it’s something to do with the word ‘cake’ being involved, but I do lovvvve making them- something v satisfying about the way they look. As well as listening to ‘Send Me On My Way’ – the Matilda pancake song (if you know, you know) whilst making them. There are endless options to top your pancakes… I went for a Nutella batch, a lemon batch and my personal fav ~berries & yoghurt~.
Happy Pancake Day!
(& let me know what topping you went for.)

 

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How To Have A Productive Morning.

Life

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Having a productive morning usually = the whole day being productive or at least, getting it all out of the way. Since having a job and a blog I like to try to plan my time. I usually spend the weekday evenings in a bubble bath and weekend evenings drinking alcohol. So I ~try~ my best to have productive mornings.


Rise Early.

I know it’s easier said than done, but just try to resist the snooze button. And I know weekends were basically designed for lay-ins but I do secretly love it when I wake up at 8am on a Saturday and can’t get back to sleep. Sometimes I lay in bed and watch a film or I will get up and ready. It means the day is way longer (and you can fit a nap in later.)

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Breakfast.
If you want to be productive you need to eat- not only to be energised and all that rubbish but, because if you don’t eat you will probably spend the rest of the morning having to stop because your stomach rumbles are too distracting.

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Diary.

I could no longer live without my diary, probably because I have a v forgetful memory so I neeeeeeed to write everything down. But there’s something that makes everything feel a little more organised if it’s actually on paper. I use my diary as abit of a daily to-do list and ticking the stuff off is oddly satisfying.

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Journal.
My journal is literally my most precious possession. It’s kind of like my head on paper, where all of my crazy thoughts go. It helps sooo much with my productivity. Not only am I the biggest day dreamer but my head is also rammed with thoughts, so whenever I’m having a moment were I’m drifting or getting too stressed I open my journal and write anything that comes to mind. For me my journal is like my outlet so if you’re not the writing type pick something that fits for you e.g. drawing, dancing, running. I use the Pause journal from kikki.K that has pages and pages of thought provoking quotes and ideas. + Journals are the best to look back on!

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Music.
This may not be for everyone as sometimes music has the opposite affect on some people. For me music zones me out, so if I want to get really stuck into something listening to music helps. However, if your the type that needs silence that’s totally fine- go with what works for you.

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Environment/Atmosphere.
Make sure you’re working from somewhere that makes you ~want~ to get stuff done.
This also really depends on the type of person you are and what sense is your strongest/ the one you identify most with… So if you’re a visual person it’s unlikely that working from a dull room will increase your productivity. & the atmosphere plays a big part… natural light vs artificial light, smells, sounds, people etc.

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Valentines Cookies.

Food, Life, Valentines

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You will need:

• 1 ½ cup butter
• heart cookie cutter
• 1 cup sugar
• 3 ½ cups flour
¼ tsp salt
¼ cup strawberry jam
• 1 tsp vanilla extract
• 1 bar white chocolate
• red/pink food colouring
• pink sprinkles

 

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Instructions:

• Beat the butter and sugar until creamy. Then add the vanilla extract, flour, salt and mix.
• Shape your dough into a ball and place it in the fridge for 30 minutes to chill. Once chilled, roll out the dough- to the thickness of a £1 coin.
• Cut out your heart shapes using the cutter.
• Place the hearts onto baking paper and bake at 200 degree heat for 6-8 minutes.
• Once cooled. Turn half of  your cookies upside down and spread some jam (I used a piping bag as it’s quicker and less messy.)
• Place the other cookies on top of the jam cookies and gently press together.
• Melt the white chocolate and add a tiny tiny bit of food colouring.
• Pour the melted chocolate into a piping bag (I used a tiny nozzle- if you’re just using a bag, cut the tip very small.)
• Drizzle the chocolate over one side of the cookies and immediately top with coloured sprinkles.

 

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2017.

Life

coffee

Happy New Year! How has another year passed already? I hope you had an amazing Christmas and New Years Eve. It’s been way too long since my last post, I had the flu for a week- I’m not making excuses, I wont lie I didn’t really know what I wanted to write. I have so many ideas for this year but I didn’t want to just go straight in without a happy new year post. But then I also, didn’t want to ramble on about new years resolutions or any of the clichés so I spent a few weeks procrastinating.

Anyway…. I thought oh why not.

I think it’s good to have ~goals~. I’m not the type of person who has 1/5/10+ year plans, who sticks to it religiously- I am waaaay to indecisive for that shit. I was saying to my Mum the other day I kinda feel like I’m just blagging life, half the time I don’t know what’s going on or where I’m going (literally, I regularly get lost when I’m just trying to drive home from somewhere.) But I said I kind of like it, there’s something nice about not knowing where I will be 10 years. I have no clue what job I could be doing, I could be married, single, happy, sad…It’s so so daunting but so so exciting. (Oh so deep.) All that being said, I do have a few things floating around in my head that I am aiming for, realistic things.

-Healthy. This isn’t a cliché one of go on a major diet, loose weight, blah… It’s just to look after my body a little more. So, eat more fruit and veg, drink more water, get more fresh air, moisturise more, get better nights sleep etc.

-Save. Save money because you know… life.

-Take risks. Not quite sure what I mean by this- risks as in, something crazy like jumping out of a plane. Or risks as in just saying yes more, to anything and everything because the feeling after is so worth it.

-Music. Listen to music more because everyone should.

-Stop overthinking. This is the story of my life. Everyone overthinks but my mind just exhausts me sometimes. I always feel like I never switch off, or know how to switch off. I take hours getting to sleep as I’m laying thinking about the most pointless things, like how I need to get petrol in a weeks time or even how soft my bed sheets are. (Lol, I’m crazy.)

-Appreciate everything good, there is always something to smile about.

-Travel. (This probably contradicts the saving.) But I want to try and visit at least a few places this year, as much as I want to see the whoooole world.

-Read & write more. Both always make me feel relaxed and more open-minded if that makes sense. And both kinda go hand in hand… so if I read for a while it leaves me wanting to write and if I write for a while it leaves me wanting to read.

-Be kind, always, then even kinder.

So there’s my extremely deep post for the year. What are your short/long term goals? I hope you are as excited for this year as I am.

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DIY Christmas Gifts.

Blogmas, Christmas, Food, Home, Life

Gifts mean sooo much more if there are personal thoughts and touches that go into them. I felt like I’d gone really practical with my gifts this year, which left me thinking if I could make some of the presents a little more thoughtful. I can’t believe it’s Christmas Eve!!! Here are two very last minute DIY ideas to save you…


Cookie Mixture in a Jar.

So this one from the title sounds a little weird but trust me I think it’s wonderful. You may have seen these in the shops- they are so easy and simple to make and very cheap.

First, you need a glass jar. The size is up to you. I went for mason jar. 

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Now all you need to do is to measure out your dry cookie ingredients and layer them into the jar.

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Measurements:

(Around 4-8 cookies depending on how big you make them.)
80g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
80g soft brown sugar
30g coco powder
50g milk chocolate chips
50g white chocolate chips

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Next, decorate your jar. I then attached a gift tag and wrote the instructions- ‘Just add: 80g butter, 1 egg, and bake at 170 degrees for 6-9 minutes. They also last pretty long as it’s only the dry ingredients.

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Star Buscuits.
These are really cute edible gifts. 

First of all,  preheat your oven to 190 degrees. Next mix together 110g butter 100g soft brown sugar. Add 1/2 cup of golden syrup and mix then add 340g plain flour. Now add, 1 tsp. bicarbonate soda. Then use your hands to form a dough and refrigerate for 10 minutes.

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Now roll out the dough so it’s about 1/4 inch thick. Cut out your shapes- I used a star cutter of 3 different sizes. Place them on grease proof paper and bake them for 8-10 minutes, until their golden brown. Once they have cooled you can ice them.

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Once the icing had dried. I stacked them, wrapped them in cellophane and tied them with a ribbon.

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Merry Christmas!
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Festive Candles.

Beauty, Blogmas, Christmas, Favourites, Home, Interiors, Life

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I am without a doubt a scented candle addict, I have been burning festive candles since November but now the season is finally upon us it’s an acceptable time to share them with you!  A house isn’t a home without a few candles scattered throughout!

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I picked up 2 of the following:

Cinnamon Stick
Warm aromas of cinnamon blended with the base note scent of cloves.

Mandarin Cranberry
A fresh, tangy burst of cranberries with notes of super-sweet oranges.

Tarte Tatin
A lovely combination of apples, spices and vanilla, straight from the oven.

Spiced Orange
Zesty yet warming, citrus oranges with trails of cinnamon.

Cappuccino Truffle
Deliciously decadent, a bold pairing of fresh roasted coffee and velvety chocolate.

Pain Au Raisin
Cognac soaked raisins baked in buttery vanilla dough and sprinkled with cinnamon.

Salted Caramel
A combination of pure indulgence; burnt sugar and cracked sea salt are married with smooth vanilla caramel.

Fireside Treats
Sweet and smoky, the aroma of toasted marshmallows over an open fire.
These have to be my most favourite, so much so I burned the both in November!

Gingerbread Maple
The traditional combination of sugar and spice with maple syrup and vanilla icing on a delicious gingerbread cake.

Vanilla Bourbon
Topping a hot drink with a layer of thick vanilla cream and a generous splash of bourbon creates a wonderful winter warmer.

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Edible Christmas Trees.

Blogmas, Christmas, Food, Home, Life

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What you will need:
2/3 Sheets of paper
Sticky tape
200g white chocolate melted
Green food colouring
200g rice krispies
Icing sugar

These were SO easy and fun to make! They actually look so realistic and would be perfect for a desert table decoration (which guests can also eat!)

Method:
-Fold and tape your paper into cone shapes.
-In a bowel add your melted white chocolate, green food colouring (until the mixture is very green) and rice krispies.
-Mix until the rice krispies are covered.
-Spoon the mixture into the cone shapes.
-Refrigerate for 1 hour.
-Once refrigerated, carefully peel off the paper and stand them up.
-Next, decorate how you like. I dusted icing sugar to look like snow!

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