Things My Travel Disasters Have Taught Me

I always say I’ve had the travel bug from a young age. I was very lucky as a child that my parents took my sister and me to so many different places and I have experienced so much of the world already, and that need to see it all has never gone away.

Now in all my years of travelling, you wouldn’t expect that everything’s always gone 100% smoothly, and you’d be right, it hasn’t. There have been plenty of slight holiday malfunctions and mishaps over the years, but as a child a lot of these didn’t seem like problems – probably because my parents always did a pretty good job of covering them up – but in more recent years, my travel nightmares have led to a lot of discovery.

Even if you’re travelling hand luggage only, make sure its a suitable bag

This is a fun story from a year ago now. I went on solo trip to Disneyland Paris and after a wonderful weekend away I got to the airport to discover my flight home had been cancelled. The airline were nice enough to get my on another flight, but this was at a different airport which I had to get a coach to, and then after walking the entire length of the airport to the gate for the second flight, that one was also cancelled. Long story short, I spent the majority of my day walking back and forth through a huge airport, and the bag I had chosen for my weekend’s worth of stuff? A shopping bag, kinda like a bag-for-life/Ikea blue bag style thing with a little grab handle, so I couldn’t put it on my back or over my shoulder, and my hand hurt so much by the time I got home – 9 hours later than I should have.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help from airport staff

On a flight to Japan, my sister and I had a VERY tight transfer time in Dubai, and by very tight I mean too tight. Thanks to a delay in our first flight, we wouldn’t have had enough time to make it to our next gate, so we did the somewhat sensible, someone stressed-fuelled thing to do and ran through the airport shouting for someone to help us. Well, we ended up on one of those little golf-cart things that the airport staff use and got shuttled right to where we needed to be, just in the nick of time!

Just because trains are reliable, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t check the timetable

This is another Japan story. Japanese trains are the most reliable in the world; they so rarely run late that you actually need a note from the train company to take to work with you to prove it was actually late. Well we never experienced a single late train, but we did assume that all trains ran super regularly, when in fact the train to the airport only ran once an hour on the day we needed to take it, and we got there 5 minutes after a train had just left. Another mad run through the airport..

Set yourself a reminder alarm on any train journey

So I don’t know about anyone else, but when I’m super stressed out my body likes to shut down and make me sleep whenever the opportunity arises. Well this occurred once after I stressed about my Eurostar home from Paris being late once, and as soon as I got on the train, I fell asleep. Luckily, I kept my phone in my hand the whole time, and a friend of mine who was sat in a different part of the train had text me to ask if I was ready to run of the train at our connecting station, which woke me up, but had I not I would have missed it altogether and rode that train all the way to Brussels. Oops.

Always check the pockets of bags you haven’t used in a while

This is one of my favourite stories going back to when I was in secondary school. I was in cadets, and had used the same rucksack to take away on a cadet camp early in the summer that I used as hand luggage for a family holiday. It goes through the scanner and gets pulled for inspection, where the security guard asks if I would have anything sharp or metal to which I proclaimed that I just remembered that there were some safety pins I’d forgotten about that I would have had in there from camp. Well it turns out I also had forgotten about the pen knife that I took to camp, which the guard then pulled from my bag. Yep..

Well I certainly hope you’ve been entertained by my little cautionary tales, if you haven’t learned anything from them yourself! Have you ever had any major travel faux pas?

Twitter / Bloglovin / Instagram

Why Has ‘Fit Shaming’ Become A Thing?

No, that’s not a typo in the title.

I, for one, cannot understand the shaming culture that we have created. We’ve had ‘fat shaming’ and ‘skinny shaming’ and unfortunately we still see this unnecessary viciousness every day, but what has really shocked me in recent months is what I personally like to call ‘fit shaming’.

This is something that I have personally experienced for a little while now, but whenever a new year comes round, I see this increasing across the likes of Twitter, and this is the bizarre concept that people seem to think its okay to try and make people feed bad about trying to be healthy. Not trying to be skinny, not fad-dieting or specifically trying to lose weight, this is just the act of trying to live a vaguely healthy lifestyle by going to the gym every so often, making a healthier food choice every once in a while or just trying to be more active.

Are you as confused by this as I am?

We all know that one of the most common New Years resolutions is people aiming to be a bit healthier or get fitter. Whether you manage the whole year, or just the first day, I think its a great resolution to have, and I don’t think anyone should be made to feel bad about setting this goal, New Years or not. Despite this, though, the keyboard warriors of the world love to try and make people feel crap about it.

Me? I’ve been teased by people I work with. Yep.. Snide comments about the fact that I went to the gym that morning, laughing about the fact that I packed a salad or teasing me and other colleagues when we compared Fitbits.

WHY IS THIS A THING?

I don’t really care about people making stupid little comments, but I just cannot comprehend why anyone thinks there is anything shame-worthy about fitness. I mean, I don’t think anyone should be voicing judgement on other people’s personal choices and decisions, but of all the things I just do not understand this behaviour.

I’m just gonna say it louder for the people in the back: LET PEOPLE LIVE HOW THEY WANT TO LIVE.

Twitter / Bloglovin / Instagram

My January Sale Buys

January sales are a weird concept. We’ve just spent all our money showering our friends and relatives with gifts, and have been showered in return, yet the second we see a sale poster in a shop window, or a promotional email slides into our inbox, we suddenly forget our credit card bills and piles or presents and shop til we drop. What can I say, I’m a sucker for a bargain.

As you can see, the majority of my steals were homeware – including the gorgeous throw blanket that I’ve doubled as a backdrop here! Its the prettiest creamy-blush colour, not to mention being crazy supersoft, and d’you know where I got it from? Homesense, £16.99, boom. I’m also completely obsessed with this yellow neon ‘hello’ sign by Talking Tables which I got on ASOS. I had my eye on it before it went on sale, but as soon as I saw it was less than half price, it was in the bag!

Also from ASOS, I picked up two of these amazing pastel furry throw cushions for only £8.50 each, and also this Skinnydip ‘Time to Get Ship-Faced’ bag for future Disney cruises, which was also half price. This little plant pot is one of two which I got from Homesense for just £2 too!

Lastly, Matthew and I picked up some tealights and diffuser oil in Passionflower and Mango, which smells amazing! Both were half price and under £2 from Sainsbury’s of all places.

Have you managed to resist the sales?

Twitter / Bloglovin / Instagram

Creative-18

Have I mentioned that this year is going to be my year? Well, I’m certainly gonna try and make it that way.

One thing that will always make me happy is creating things. I’ve always loved turning my imagination into reality, and nothing makes me more proud of my creations than when I see other people loving them, but sometimes just taking time out from a busy day to sit and do something creative can make a world of difference. So I’m gonna try something a bit different this year..

I’m not calling it a challenge, because then I’ll feel under pressure, and end up feeling bad if I can’t do it, but it may just be that. I guess I could call it a goal, or an aspiration maybe. Hmm..

The aim is this: in 2018, I want to take time to do something creative every single day. 365 little moments of making. These can be however big or small, whether its spending a whole day baking a masterpiece to rival the GBBO winner, an evening spent cranking out Etsy orders or just taking 5 minutes out of my lunch break at work to do a quick little sketch or some colouring.

Its a way for me to keep my creative juices flowing, and obviously I also hope that it will benefit my small businesses, but primarily I’m doing this for me, so that I can spend more time doing the things that I love, from baking or sewing to drawing or photography, and of course I hope to share a lot of what I do on here too, so stay tuned to see what I produce!

Twitter / Bloglovin / Instagram

What I Got For Christmas

I’m kinda not over the fact that its already been a week since Christmas, but hey, that means just another 51 weeks til the next one! No? Just me..

Anyway, I know I’m a little late in posting the classic ‘what I got for Christmas’ haul, but as I was having my little Christmas break from blogging, I’m just extending the festive period so that I can share with you all the wonderful gifts I received on the big day.

Let’s start with the present that was too big to fit under the tree – say hello to my new suitcase! Bit of back story here, my current suitcase is about 15 years old and has two wheels, and all these new-fangled suitcase have four, which I’m not a huge fan of but apparently its the thing now. Well Matthew figured that the only way to get my over my dislike of four wheels was to make it Donald themed! Super excited to take this bad-boy to Hawaii in April to test it out!

Matthew also got me the Fitbit Flyer headphones, which I’m already super impressed by but I can’t wait to put them to good use when I start my marathon training, and a book on how to get the best out of my iPad Pro, plus a cute kitty mug, unicorn slippers and a onesie! I hate the phrase ‘boy did good’ but it seems fitting here..

Now I have no idea how she managed it for a second time, but after the incredible surprise of a CoachxDisney wristlet on my birthday, my mum shocked me with another item from the collection, this time a purse. I’m quite jealous as I had no luck finding any of the collection in the outlets, yet she’s done it twice – she also nabbed me this Mickey sweater!

How gorgeous is this Fiorelli gym bag? I actually picked this one out myself but I still had to wait until Christmas to get it.. I suspect my gym will be packed this month with New Years resolution-ers, but I’ll be ready to fight for all the good machines now I’ve got a bag to fit all my kit in.

Other goodies in my stocking included Eat Like a Gilmore: The Unofficial Cookbook for Fans of Gilmore Girls, a little collection of Lush products, a couple of gift cards and a pretty Beauty and the Beast bracelet from Couture Kingdom from Matthew’s mum, so it’s safe to say I’ve been incredibly lucky this year!

I hope everyone else was spoilt rotten, and if you want to share what you got for Christmas please leave me a comment so I can be nosey!

Twitter / Bloglovin / Instagram

My 2018 New Years Resolutions and Goals

And just like that, another year is upon us, and I think there’s something extra satisfying about January 1st being a Monday, anyone else? New week, new year, new set of resolutions and new goals to try and smash.

Resolutions

When it comes to resolutions, I’ve learnt that the key to success is being realistic, and being positive. This year, I’m focusing more on the things that make me happy, and continuing to become the person I really want to be. So here goes:

  • Put myself first more – I’ve always been the sort of person to put others needs first, and of course there’s nothing wrong with that, but it can mean that I end up run a little bit ragged. Well, I’m learning, and this year will be more about making sure that I don’t put too much pressure on myself.
  • Start asking for what I want – I’m often too shy or nervous to put myself out there and tell other people what I want – I won’t even ask my boyfriend to take my blog photos sometimes cos I feel like its too much to ask. Long story short, it means that sometimes I miss out on things that I want to do for no reason other than my own lack of confidence, and I’m tired of that.
  • Learn to sew more stuff – when it comes to my sewing creations, I’ve got a little comfortable with making the same kinda thing. This year, I want to branch out from skirts and teach myself some more advanced patterns like tops, dresses and shorts so I can start creating more wonderful things!
  • Wake up earlier – 2017 was the year I learnt how to have a lie-in, following years of being an early riser. Well, I could really do with that extra time in the morning again, so I’m gonna get myself back into a routine of getting up and getting stuff done.
  • Learn to love photography again – as soon as autumn/winter kicks in and the days get shorter and darker, taking photos starts to seem like such a chore, especially when it comes to blog photos and Instagram. No more! I’m saving for a new lens for my camera, and I’m gonna be bringing bright and beautiful back to your screens very soon!
  • Keep being braver with makeup – I’ve been having the most fun recently playing around eyeshadow, as well as generally improving my makeup skills, and I’ve been loving it. Here’s to a more colourful 2018!
  • Hang out with more amazing people – they say you should always surround yourself with positive people and people who support you, so I’m gonna do just that.

Blogging Goals

2017 was another incredible year for this little blog of mine. Despite a few ups and downs from my end, my blog has held fast as it hit its 4th birthday. I hit all but one of my targets for last year (stupid Instagram), so I’m hoping this year will be just as successful!

  • Targets
    • 1500 Bloglovin followers
    • 3500 Twitter followers
    • 2500 Instagram followers
    • 100,000 page views
  • To achieve
    • Improve flat-lays and product photos
    • Include more photos of myself
    • Help other bloggers by retweeting posts and commenting more
    • Try my hand at proper makeup posts
    • Remember to take more little breaks
    • Just generally chat with more lovely bloggers!

Who else is feeling like 2018 is gonna be a great year?

Twitter / Bloglovin / Instagram

Why I’m Disappearing for Christmas

I don’t imagine this is much of a surprise given that over the last week or so I haven’t been keeping up with my usual posting schedule, but I’m putting myself on a little Christmas break and there will be no new posts until the new year!

As I mentioned last week, I’ve started a new job and I’ve been concentrating on getting settled into a new role and new routine, as well as getting ready for the big day next week, so blogging has just had to take a back burner. This is a huge step for me, because as someone who religiously publishes at least 5 posts a week, I do feel a little like I’m letting my little blog down, but I’m proud of the fact that I’m not letting myself feel guilty for putting myself first.

I need a break, and this year is the first time that I have let myself really take one. If I’m not at work, I’m writing, or working on my small businesses, and I even blog daily when I’m on holiday. This Christmas, I think I’ve earned myself a little time off. I only have a few days off work over the festive period, and I want to spend that time enjoying myself, spending time with my family and just relaxing for a change.

I’m also concentrating on making sure come January I’m gonna be ready with great new content right from the get go, and using a new job and a new year as a fresh slate – and there’s going to be lots to come!

In the meantime, I wish you all the most merry of Christmasses, and if I’m not back by then, a lovely New Year!

Twitter / Bloglovin / Instagram