Browsing Tag


Blogging, Lifestyle

Blog Posts I’ve Enjoyed Recently #3

January 16, 2017

Happy Monday! I hope your Monday hasn’t been blue or Monday…ish in the slightest. Here’s a roundup of some blog posts I’ve enjoyed recently and there’s a bit of a theme this time around. I’ve noticed lots of positivity from bloggers to other bloggers and plenty of helpful tips and guides to help others improve their blogs or social media. These are my stand outs, hope you find them as useful as I did!

Bonjour, Blogger! – Track Your Statistics –  I find Bonjour, Blogger to be a really helpful website in general. It’s packed full of resources and advice for bloggers – something I definitely need! I’m looking forward to using this tracker to see how my blog changes over the year- mainly because I love a stat!

Jasmin Charlotte – My Top Blogging Tools – Jasmin has put together this excellent guide to all the apps and tools she uses for her blog. Half of them I’d never heard of before so I’m looking forward to trying them out this year.

Robowecop – 9 Tips For Growing Your Instagram –  I love Instagram. I lose so much time just scrolling through my feed. It doesn’t help that I follow so many travel accounts but I get serious envy at other people’s photos. Rhianna has put together her tips on how to grow your Instagram followers. Let’s hope they work! Check out my Instagram here.

There are a lot of useful resources above which I hope will help me raise my blogging game this year. Oh, and yours obviously! Happy Blogging!

Lifestyle, My Life

Reflections on 2016.

December 29, 2016

It’s been a funny old year hasn’t it? Social media has been full of negativity for 2016 and mostly because a few famous died rather than the actual atrocities that have been occurring through out the world. Globally, it’s been the year of the unexpected, whether we should have seen some events coming or not. Personally, 2016 has been a really good year. Last year was a bit all over place, trying to settle back in Bristol after a year travelling but this year has been a year of putting down roots.

Easter Weekend was spent with my Dad and Stepmum in London being tourists. We saw a play, visited a museum and experienced the London Dungeons. Nothing like being a tourist in your own country!

Back in April , Stu and I had an offer accepted on a house and we picked up the keys in July. I’m really proud of us for saving a house deposit in just over a year and I can’t thank our family and friends enough for all the help they’ve given us since we moved in. We’ve got a lot more work to do on the house so I think 2017 will be the year of DIY!

August saw a promotion at work and the realisation that I’m incredibly lucky to be in a job I enjoy. After being in a job that I hated, it’s really made me appreciate working with a supportive team who want you to succeed.

October was a month of travel. I loved discovering Amsterdam with Stu. It’s a beautiful city full of surprises and it was amazing to travel with Stu again. That was our first trip since Paris in January 2015 and we promised we wouldn’t leave it so long again. Later on in October was a surprise trip to Dublin for Stu’s Dad’s 60th. This was a jam packed 5 days full of quality family time.

To finish off the year I was nominated in two categories at the UK Blog Awards! This blog has always been a bit of fun for me, something I sometimes have loads of enthusiasm for and sometimes I can’t think of anything to write about. I was amazed to be nominated and very grateful for everyone who voted for me.

I hope 2017 is filled with just as many good times, there’s already a fair few events in the calendar so I think it’s going to be a busy one. Who needs a decorated living room anyway?


Lifestyle, Lists

10 Signs It’s That Time Between Christmas and New Year

December 27, 2016

Has this current period of time got a name? You know what I mean, that bit between Christmas and New Year which goes both really slowly and flies by. I have no idea what day of the week it is or what time it is. It’s a strange time of year which can be defined by the following facts that would not be acceptable in any other month.

  1. It’s always an appropriate time for the cheese board to come out, even if the brie is beginning to whiff a bit.
  2. You find yourself wearing pyjamas at 4pm, so you have a shower and change in to another pair of pyjamas.
  3. The only fruit that is acceptable to eat is the grapes on the cheese board or a Terry’s Chocolate Orange.
  4. You start to feel really guilty about all the rubbish food you’ve been eating so you  plan your January Health and Fitness routine… whilst you plough through another tub of Celebrations.
  5. You laugh at the idea of having an alcohol free day, your blood type is red wine now.
  6. Despite your carpet being covered in glitter from decorations and wrapping paper, the idea of doing housework is also laughable. Nobody in the family can even remember where the hoover lives.
  7. You’re getting sick of the Christmas decorations but would never admit it for fear of being branded a scrooge.
  8. Nobody has any idea what day is ‘Bin Day’ so you keep an eye on the neighbours every night to see who’s putting theirs out. This is also an ideal time to see what they got for Christmas. “Number 9 are doing well for themselves, that’s a box for a 55″ TV!”
  9. You’ve perfected the art of never getting full by alternating between savoury and sweet.
  10. You never want this period of time to end and dread the return of normality.

I hope you all had a lovely Christmas and are making the most of the festive break by eating your body weight in cheese!

Lifestyle, My Life

Christmas Planning

December 1, 2016

How is it December? How are we in the last month of 2016?! I can’t believe that another year is coming to an end. I seem to say that every year but I love December so much. December means lots of birthday celebrations for Stu and his family, getting ready for Christmas and then celebrating on New Years Eve. It’s a hectic month but I love that everyone wants to get together at this time of year. It’s a month full of food, drink and celebrations. Without getting all soppy and sentimental, Christmas really is about spending time with friends and family so there can never be too many events in my diary.

Christmas Day itself can be a logistical nightmare. It’s hard to please everyone and even harder trying to figure out how to get to each location. Everyone conveniently forgets who the driver was last year in hope that they’re allowed to keep the alcohol flowing again. Stu and I spent Christmas together last year with my family and it was a brilliant day. Everyone stayed together for the whole day so there were no comings and goings, just fun and plenty of food and drink! This year will be a little different as we’re in Bristol where we both have family and friends. It’s also the first Christmas in our own house so making a plan of where to go seemed like it was going to be a tough one.

Luckily for us we came to a decision quite easily and everyone is going to be happy (I hope!). We’re going to wake up in our house and then visit family later on. We haven’t decided on the driving situation yet though so there might be an argument on the horizon! I’ve heard of couples who really struggle to decide where to have Christmas Dinner. Everyone thinks that their family does the best Christmas and find someone else’s really weird. Every family has their own little traditions, it’s what makes them special. It may be strange spending Christmas Day with other people but if you go into the day with an open mind then you’ll probably find that you really enjoy it. Different is good!

How do you decide the plans for Christmas Day?

Blogging, Lifestyle

Blog Posts I’ve Enjoyed Recently #2

November 12, 2016

What a week it has been! In fact, what a year! I’m not sure what’s going on with 2016 but I think we all need a little reminder that love trumps hate…

Lauren Rellis – The Spring 2017 Travel Hit List – It’s never too early to start thinking about booking a 2017 trip. Lauren’s list gave me some great ideas and most of the places I had never considered. I immediately started planning a trip to Lausanne in Switzerland after seeing Lauren’s picture!

Alice Rose – Lipstick and/or Politics – I feel exactly the same as Alice about expressing your thoughts on political issues. Your thoughts are part of YOU. There’s no reason not to write about them on your blog if you want. Who cares if you lose some readers, blogs should be a space for discussion on a variety of issues.

Tink Jayne Lifestyle – I didn’t make a baby, but I did make it to Machu Picchu – A post to make you say YES!! Everyone’s life is different, we all know that. And yet, we still feel the pressure to reach certain milestones by a certain age. You mean you’re nearly 30 and haven’t had a baby?! There’s no reason for anything to happen at any time. Just do what makes you happy!

As always, I hope you enjoy reading these blog posts and maybe discover a new blogger!

Blogging, Lifestyle

Blog Posts I’ve Enjoyed Recently

October 19, 2016

It can be hard to get your voice heard in the saturated world of blogging. I know I sometimes feel like I’ve written a really good blog post that I’ve spent a lot of time on and then get down heartened when only a handful of people read it. That’s why I want to share some of the blog posts that I’ve enjoyed recently. Please leave any recommendations in the comment section – I love discovering new blogs!

Travel Your Dreams – Maaya Indian Kitchen & Bar Review – If you’re anything like me and love a good curry then Lauren’s post will make your mouth water! The restaurant she visited recently with her boyfriend looks amazing and definitely worth a visit if you’re in the Milton Keynes area. Lauren’s blog in general is one to watch. Her personality really comes through in her posts and she has some exciting travel plans coming up which I can’t wait to hear about.

Heels In My Backpack – Is it Irresponsible to Make Travel a Priority? – Kara’s blog is one of my favourites. She’s absolutely hilarious and not afraid to give her honest opinion in any reviews! Kara’s recent post about making travel a priority really hit home for me. Definitely one to read if you do a lot more travelling than your friends.

Hannah’s Beautiful Life – When Life Gives You Lemons – I could never do this blog post justice in a short summary. Just have a read of this powerful piece of writing.

I hope you enjoy reading these blog posts and that you discover some new blogs because of it!

My Life

Turning 25.

August 30, 2016

I’ve never been bothered about turning a year older (before anyone says, I know 25 isn’t old!). I think that comes from being an August baby, I was one of the youngest in my school year so I’ve always watched my friends hit the age milestones before I did. I was the last to be able to learn how to drive and the last to be able to (legally) drink so I’ve always been excited for my birthday and never gave a second thought to what age I was turning.

However, there’s something about turning 25 that feels a bit more… momentous. Does that sound weird? Maybe it’s the whole quarter of a century thing but it feels like a real landmark. I feel like I’m entering a new period of my life. I’ve graduated from uni, been a backpacker, found a job I love and bought a house, all in the last 4 years. I’m immensely proud of all that I’ve achieved but I’ve always been one to think, ‘what next?’. I like having something to aim for. So, what is next?

To be honest, I don’t really know. There’s still plenty I want to achieve at work and there’s a hell of a lot of decorating to be done in my house but you never know what’s around the corner so I’m going to concentrate on enjoying being 25. Happy Birthday to me!


Europe, UK

Afternoon Tea at Thornbury Castle

August 9, 2016

For Valentines Day, Stu bought me a voucher for Afternoon Tea at Thornbury Castle and we finally got round to going last month. Tea and cake is always worth the wait, especially when you’re sat in a castle!

Our afternoon tea was booked in on a sunny Sunday afternoon so Thornbury Castle looked stunning. If you’re travelling by car, you arrive by driving past the vine yard and then under an archway into the Tudor castle grounds to park.

Our host sat us down on the comfiest armchairs in one of the castle’s drawing rooms where our table was already prepared for us. There were a few more guests that had already been served their afternoon tea but the whole atmosphere was very quiet and relaxed. You could tell everyone was savouring the experience rather than rushing through a meal.

Shortly after sitting down we were asked to select a type of tea from a selection on a menu.  I went for a green tea (my standard choice) and Stu chose Earl Grey. Our choices were then brought over to us in little tea pots which were kept topped up throughout the experience. All the teas are served loose so you need to remember to use the tea strainer. Stu forgot once so had a couple of stray leaves lurking at the bottom of his cup!

Next up was the main event, the sandwiches, scones and cakes! When the selection was put in front of us we were sure that we could manage to eat it all but it’s surprising how quickly you fill up on cake! All of the food was lovely and was obviously freshly prepared, the scones were still warm!

I expect the menu changes season to season but ours was delicious. The sandwich fillings included, crayfish, ham, cucumber and egg (not all in one haha!). We then moved on to the scones. You’re served two enormous scones each, one plain and one fruit but both equally yummy. The cakes consisted of a berry tart, carrot cake, coffee cake and a mint and dark chocolate macaroon. Definitely too much for us to eat in one sitting and it’s not often that Stu and I can’t finish a meal!

We had a lovely afternoon at Thornbury Castle so thank you to the staff who couldn’t do enough to make us feel welcome and thank you to Stu for the present. Happy Valentines Day!


My Life

Life Lately – We bought a house!

July 19, 2016

I started this blog back in 2013 before Stu and I went on our year of travels. We’ve now been home for over a year and we’re about to embark on our biggest adventure to date because as of last Friday, we are officially home owners! It sounds strange to say that but I’m so proud of how far we’ve come since we’ve returned home.

Coming home from long term travel is hard but having a house deposit as goal to focus on has helped massively. Sure, there were times when we thought about spending our savings on a big trip again but I know we’ve made the best decision for us by buying our home. We can still travel, it will just be a different kind of travel and that’s totally fine with us.

I’m now really excited to making this house our own. We’ve both been going crazy on Pinterest the last couple of months and are full of ideas of how we want to decorate. We’re going to be pretty busy for a long time but I’m looking forward to the challenge. Hopefully I can share a few photos on here as things start to take shape.

Here’s to a bright and happy future!


My Life

Making The Most Of Each Day

July 14, 2016

A lot of people talk about the importance of living each day as if it were your last but in all honestly, it’s pretty hard to do. How many of you are amazed at how quickly the days go? One minute you’re moaning on a Monday morning and then suddenly it’s the weekend again. I’m always saying that it’s scary how quickly time goes. I remember my mum saying that time goes even faster as you get older and it’s definitely true. So as a nation of procrastinators, how can we go about changing our mind set and actually making the most of each day?

I think a scare tactic works best. I recently watched this TED Talks video by Tim Urban and he talked about putting your life in to weekly squares. This is what your life (assuming you live until 90) looks like broken down into weeks.

life in week squares


I don’t know about you, but to me, that doesn’t look like very squares at all. And that’s even if you live until 90! Seeing how far into that chart I am, it made me think about what I want to achieve in life and how long I have to do it. I definitely work best with a deadline and essentially, life does have a deadline. Just not one that we know about. I like to look at that chart when I find myself wishing the weeks away until an event. I should appreciate every week and not think of them as weeks that need to hurry up until I do something fun.

I hope that chart has made you think twice about only ‘living for the weekend’ and that you can start to make small steps towards making the most of each day.