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Lifestyle, Lists, My Life

I’m a Feminist, but…

March 12, 2018

I’ve been listening to The Guilty Feminist podcast quite a bit recently and they start each show by all sharing reasons that have made them a guilty feminist that week. For example, I’m a Feminist, but I loved the 50 Shades of Grey movie. None of us can be perfect and it’s great way of showing that as hard as you try to be a feminist, it’s not easy to always act or think in the ‘right’ way. I wanted to share some of the reasons why I’m a Feminist, but…

I’m a Feminist, but when a lecturer at uni asked the class who was, I didn’t put my hand up.

I’m a Feminist, but sometimes I let men insist I walk through a door first even when I’m holding the door open for them.

I’m a Feminist, but Love Island was probably my favourite TV show last year.

I’m a Feminist, but sometimes I find it hard to explain to my boyfriend why women don’t have equal rights.

I’m a Feminist, but I hate groups of drunk girls. Unless I’m one of them.

I’m a Feminist, but I’m more than happy for someone to carry my stuff if I’m struggling.

I’m a Feminist, but I didn’t do anything to mark International Women’s Day. Apart from one lame tweet.

I’m a Feminist, but sometimes other feminists annoy me.

I highly recommend Deborah Frances-White’s podcast, it’s absolutely hilarious so be careful when listening in public!

Have you got any I’m a Feminist, but..’s to share ?

Lifestyle, My Life

Goodbye Facebook. It’s not me, it’s you. 

February 11, 2018

This year I’m giving myself the best Valentine’s gift. I’m deleting my Facebook account.

I’ve been thinking about doing this for a while so by deleting my account for Lent, I can see how I get on without it and then make a decision in 6 weeks time about whether the deletion is a permanent one. At this point, I think it might be.

So why Facebook? In all honestly, I don’t think I get any happiness from Facebook. Yeah, I get tagged in the odd funny meme and video but most of the time I’m scrolling past a load of content that I don’t really care about. I’ve had a few culls of Facebook ‘friends’ over the years to get rid of those random people you met in Freshers week or Sophie, who you sat next to in Year 9 Maths but I still get bored by my feed. It used to be full of status updates and photos that I was interested in but now it’s just endless videos that I don’t watch.

I considered deleting all my social media accounts for Lent but I actually enjoy Twitter and Instagram. I literally LOL at a lot of things on Twitter and am regularly amazed at the beautiful photography I see on Instagram. That’s the reason that I interact on these platforms and not Facebook. I can’t remember the last time I came off Facebook feeling better than I did when I clicked on the app. I honestly just scroll through the app out of habit and I’m looking forward to not doing that anymore. Why should I spend time doing something that doesn’t make me happy?

I’ve had a think about what I might miss about Facebook and nothing immediately springs to mind which probably speaks for itself. I’ve made the decision to keep my blog’s Facebook page as I want to be able to still share my posts with the people who follow the page but my personal account is going to be deactivated and I’m actually really excited to do it!

Goodbye Facebook. It’s not me, it’s you.

Blogging, Lifestyle

My Blogging Goals for 2018

January 16, 2018

I’ve spoken already about what my plans are for 2018 but I want to talk about what my plans for this blog are.

Last year I had lots of grand plans and wrote them down in a notebook and then promptly forgot about them. I’m hoping that by making them a bit more public, I’ll be more inclined to stick to them. Fingers crossed anyway…

So, my main goal is to create regular, engaging content.

Very vague.

What I mean by this, is that I get more enjoyment from my blog when engagement is high and I find that posting more regularly leads to more engagement.

I’ve got a few tips to try and help with this.

  1. I’ve signed up to Sophie Cliff’s e-course to learn how to grow my blog with a full time job. I’m loving the course so far. It’s really inspiring and I can’t wait to put it all in to action.
  2. Make time for blogging. I quite often say that I haven’t got time to post regularly but that’s just an excuse really. I’ve found time to run every day in January so far so I’m sure I can find time to blog.
  3. Quality over quantity. I don’t want regular to mean I post some half-hearted rubbish 3 times a week. I want to make sure I only post what I’m happy with and would enjoy reading on someone else’s blog. After all, if I wouldn’t read it, why would I expect my readers to?
  4. Engage with other blogs more. I’m hoping (though I have no evidence to back this up) that engagement leads to engagement. I want to like more tweets and Instagram photos, comment on blogs and photos, take part in twitter chats and just generally share the love in the blogosphere a bit more. I know how happy it makes me feel when I get comments or someone shares my post so I want to do this more for the blogs I’m enjoying. I also find that blog comment sections are a great place to find other blogs to follow.

So, how does that sound? Achievable? I think so.

So let’s add some goals that seem less achievable to really push myself.

I want to work with 3 brands in 2018.

I want to increase my following on Twitter and Instagram by 20%.

Okay, that was scary to write down. But with this post to hold me accountable, it’s something I can work towards.

Make sure you’re following me on Twitter and Instagram to be a part of my blogging journey in 2018 (cheeky plug to help me achieve my goals…). Let’s do this!

This post is part of my entry to win a place at The Bloggers’ Retreat, wish me luck!

Lifestyle, My Life

Living Like It’s Your Last Day

January 11, 2018

I, like many other people it seems, recently read this post by Holly Butcher where she left one last message to the world before she sadly passed away. If you haven’t read it yet then I urge you to do so.

We all know that life is short but unfortunately it usually takes the loss of a loved one to make us realise just how fragile life is.

So what can we do? Is living each day as if it’s your last actually realistic?

Well I think that depends on what you would do on your ‘last day’. Would you spend all your money on a new car or would you want to spend time with your friends and family? When it comes to it, we’ve still got to work (girl got bills to pay) so most days will be normal. Average even. So here’s how I’m going to make the most of every day.

Don’t sweat the small stuff. If it won’t matter in a year, it doesn’t matter now.

Get outside more.

Appreciate the moment.

Really taste good food.

Put my phone away more on an evening.

Stop comparing myself to others.

Say yes to new experiences.

Ring my friends and family more.

Say ‘I love you’ more.

Recognise when I need to relax.

Not get obsessed with saving and stop feeling guilty when spending money on myself.

What are you planning on changing?

Oh and if you want to really make a difference, sign up to give blood and register to be an organ donor.

Enjoy life!

Lifestyle, My Life

Plans for 2018.

January 1, 2018


Hope your heads aren’t too sore and you make the most of the last day of the Christmas holidays by eating all the cheese and chocolate in sight. I’ve actually got tomorrow off work as well but we’re planning on taking the tree down which is sad. Secretly excited to dust and hoover the lounge again though. Adult life.

I was writing some events in our new calendar and it got me realising that there’s already a lot to look forward to this year. We’ve got tickets to Jake Bugg, Ed Sheeran, Wicked and the athletics in Birmingham.

This month I’ve signed up to the crazy challenge of running every day in January. Urggghh. I’ll be running a half marathon in March so I’m just thinking of it as good training. I’m putting myself through this for Mind as the January blues are a real thing for many of us and Mind offer amazing support to those suffering with their mental health. If you’d like to donate, please do so here.

I’ve mentioned on here before that I’ve been training to become a Business & Personal coach so this year will see me complete the qualification. I’m already putting my training to good use and I love coaching. I’d like to stretch myself and aim to take on some paying clients this year. Something which both scares and excites me!

Travel wise, I don’t have much planned so far. We’re in Glasgow at the moment and will be in Kent next week for a wedding. We’ve then got a family trip to Center Parcs booked for May but that’s all for now. I’m desperate for some sun so hopefully we can book a trip somewhere hot soon. We’ve  done quite a few city breaks in the last few years so hopefully we can explore some more of Europe this way.

So that’s my plans so far, what are your plans for 2018?

Lifestyle, My Life

Reflections on 2017.

December 28, 2017

How is it time to write this post already? I’ve been writing my ‘reflections’ posts since 2014 and I really enjoy looking back on the year and taking a moment to appreciate all that I’ve done.

So 2017. Full of Fake News, Brexit news, Trump news and a whole lot of worry that we’re on a brink of a nuclear war. You’ve got to look on the bright side though right? You could be that girl in Bristol who got stuck in a window trying to rescue the poo that she was trying to get rid of. Imagine.

I’ve had such a busy few years that when I was thinking about what I’ve done this year, there wasn’t anything that immediately came to mind. It’s been a fairly steady year. Same job, same house and a few more places ticked off the bucket list. Here’s a few of my highlights:

  • Celebrating various weddings with friends and family
  • Drinking beer in Bruges and actually enjoying it
  • Eating the best pasties in the world in Cornwall
  • Seeing the Northern Lights in Iceland
  • Starting my Post Grad course in Business & Personal Coaching
  • Finally decorating the living room
  • Feeling like a proud parent taking my Mum and Stepdad to the airport for their gap year
  • Seeing the Harry Potter play in London with my sister
  • Seeing Busted twice – still can’t believe that they’re back!
  • Attending numerous blog events and reviewing some of my favourite restaurants

Me and Stu are going to be in Glasgow for NYE so I’m looking forward to seeing in the year Scottish style! Hope you’ve all had a fantastic year. Thanks for staying with my blog – I’ve been blogging less recently but it’s good to see that people still read when I do occasionally post.

See you in 2018!

Health & Fitness, Travel, UK

HarSpa at Bristol Harbour Hotel

December 18, 2017

Christmas may be the time of giving but I’m a big believer in looking after yourself so when I was invited to Bristol Harbour Hotel‘s spa facilities, I made sure I could attend.

I’d had a busy day at work and then rushed to the Harbour Hotel. Recently opened, this was my first visit so I had no idea what to expect. The entrance was fairly standard of a nice hotel but the spa is the hidden gem of this building.

The building used to be a bank and the spa has been built within the original bank vaults. It’s so cool! I’m talking curved ceilings, big vault doors and lots of twists and turns. It’s worth a visit just to see the vault doors to be honest!

I was greeted by the spa manager Kayley who booked me in for my treatment later in the evening and I then got to catch up with the other Bristol bloggers with a glass of prosecco. To get us in the Christmas spirit, we were soon given Christmas pudding cocktails. I had no idea what this would taste like and it was basically very very strong. I’m still not sure what the main flavour was…

Kayley then told us more about the spa and the express spa treatments that have been introduced recently. Kayley is so passionate about the Harbour Spa and it’s clearly got a very exciting future. It’s a beautiful hotel in a great location so I’m sure the new spa will be very popular in the area.

Before long it was time for my treatment! I decided to go for a head and scalp massage. Walking to my treatment room, I got a sneak peek of the pool area and other relaxation spaces. It looked incredible and somewhere I’d love to spend a few hours. My massage was an absolute dream and I’m pretty sure I did almost start dreaming at one point… I felt so relaxed and my masseuse clearly explained all the products and what she would be doing. I love that feeling after a massage when you feel completely rejuvenated and even this little taster gave me that feeling. I can’t wait to return for a longer spa visit.

After my treatment I got to have a little look around the rest of the hotel. If you’re ever in the area then you need to check out the incredible Gold Bar. Ideal for some Christmas cocktails!

As always, I’m incredibly grateful that this blog offers me the chance to review beautiful places like this and this taster evening reminded me how much I love a spa day. You don’t always think of visiting somewhere so close to home but I’ll definitely be booking a visit in early next year!

Whether you’re after a last minute Christmas gift or want to get 2018 off to a relaxing start, make sure you check out the treatments available at the Harbour Spa!


Blogging, Lifestyle, My Life

4 Years of Blogging

November 11, 2017

Happy 4th blog birthday to me! 

I can’t believe it was four years ago that I sat at home and decided to start this blog. I’d attempted to write a blog before, it was just after graduating and I thought I’d talk about what it was like to look for a job after uni when you didn’t really know what you wanted to do. I soon decided that going travelling was much more exciting than working and once me and Stu had booked our trip, I decided to write my very first blog post.

If you’ve been reading this blog since 2013 then you’d know that is used to be called ‘Frankie goes to…’ and each blog post was called the name of the place we were visiting at the time. This was because that my blog was just a way of writing about our travels and letting everyone at home know what we were up to. I had no idea how big the blogging community was and that blogging could even be a full time job. 

It was towards the end of 2014 that I discovered Bloglovin’ and a ton of blogs that I still love to read today. It was not long after this that Stu and I came home and suddenly I didn’t know what to write about any more. How does a travel blogger keep blogging when they’re not travelling? This was a question that I struggled with for a long time. I wanted to write more but I felt like I couldn’t write about something not travel related on my blog. Eventually I decided to not worry about fitting in a blogging niche and just write about anything I wanted. 

Writing about anything I wanted soon meant that I wasn’t happy with the ‘Frankie goes to…’ brand and I decided to change my blog name to my name instead. I was writing about all aspects of my life so I wanted my blog name to reflect that.

Blogging has created so many wonderful opportunities for me and I’m incredibly proud of my little corner of my internet. I may not have the best photography and I may go weeks and weeks without a single blog post but as long as blogging continues to bring me joy, I’ll still be here. 

Happy Birthday

Lifestyle, Lists, My Life

30 before 30

September 10, 2017

Two weeks ago I turned 26 and I’ve started thinking about what I would like to achieve and do before I’m 30. I’ve spoken before about the importance of setting goals but not putting pressure on yourself so I’m hoping giving myself 4 years will be plenty of time. And if I don’t tick everything off the list then I’m sure I’ll allow myself an extension…

1. Gain a qualification.

This is a bit sneaky as I’m actually starting my Post Graduate Certificate in Business and Personal Coaching this month, but starting is no guarantee of completion! I’ve got 3 years to complete the course so hopefully I’ll be a qualified coach before I’m 30.

2. Run another marathon.

I’ve entered the ballot for the London Marathon again so fingers crossed! If I don’t get in, I’ll look for another race. Potentially one abroad!

3. Visit New Zealand.

New Zealand is the country that got away for me and Stu. We always tell ourselves that we’ll visit one day and I think we need to make it happen.

4. Go skiing again.

As we’re on the subject of travel I should mention this one as well. I went skiing with school years ago and I’d love to try it again.

5. Have a paid coaching client.

At first, I’ll be using my coaching qualification at work but I’d like to explore either consulting to a business or having individual clients. Watch this space!

6.  Volunteer.

I’d like to help out at a charity event or volunteer for a charity in another way.

7. Learn how to do a French plait.

Confession time! I’m awful with my hair and I’d love to be able to do all the pretty braid styles that I see on Pinterest. Time to watch countless YouTube tutorials…

8. Go to an outdoor cinema screening. 

These look so much fun and is one of those things I never get around to booking. Definitely one for the summer though.

9. Get a new kitchen.

Or at least give it a freshen up. New kitchens are expensive but I reeeeeeeally want one!

10. Appear on TV.

Okay, this one is completely random but I’d love to be on a game show. I applied for The Vault a few years ago and got an audition but that’s as close as I’ve got. I’ve just got to keep trying!

11. Treat myself more. 

I’ve always been good at saving and I actually struggle to spend money. Any excuse to take something out of my basket and it’s gone. I’d like to get better at buying things for myself.

12. Visit Italy.

Everything about this country looks gorgeous and it’s really not that far from the UK.

13. Start my family tree.

I love History and this would be a great project to discover more about my family.

14. Complete a triathlon.

I always like to push myself to new challenges and a triathlon would be perfect.

15.  Bake more.

I love baking and definitely don’t do it enough. I’d like to challenge myself more and I’m feeling inspired by the last couple of episodes of Bake Off.

16.  Start Yoga.

I’ve had a little taster of yoga and I’d like to give it a go properly.

17. Upcycle some furniture. 

I like the idea of giving some furniture a new lease of life instead of it going to the bin. I usually start browsing the John Lewis website for new furniture so I think it would be fun to hunt around charity shops and Gumtree instead.

18. Change my hair.

I’ve had the same hairstyle for years and I’m desperate to do something different. Shorter? New colour?

19. Display pictures from our travels.

I’ve started the mammoth task of printing all the photos from our travels but we need to start framing some or making them into a canvas.

20. Try another festival. 

I’ve only ever been to Glastonbury so not sure if other music festivals will live up to my expectations. Maybe a food festival instead?

21. Visit New York. 

Pretty much all of this list is travel related but what’s life without travel? The Big Apple has been on my bucket list for a long time so my 30th would be a perfect excuse to get it ticked off.

22. Blog more. 

I need to make more time for my blog and increase the amount of posts I publish. Even one post a week seems too much to ask at the moment.

23. Add more recipes to our repertoire. 

You know everyone has a handful of go-to meals that they can easily make in the week? I’d like to mix them up a bit more.

24. Host Christmas Day at our house.

This one scares me but I’d like to be the host for Christmas Day. It definitely won’t be this year so that leaves me with three more years to prepare myself (and Stu).

25. Start a podcast. 

I like to listen to them and I’m tempted to start my own…

26. Race more.

I run quite a lot at my local running club but I don’t enter many races. I feel more motivated to run when I have a race in the diary so I’d like to do 4 a year from now on.

27. Visit the Warner Bros studios again.

I visited the Harry Potter studio tour a few years ago and I’m desperate to visit again. There’s so much more to see there now.

28. Read 30 new books.

I tend to read my favourite books over and over again (Harry Potter – I’m looking at you) so I want to challenge myself to read something different and hopefully discover some new authors in the process.

29. Say yes more. 

It’s too easy to get into a routine in life. I’d like to say yes to more opportunities and to not be afraid to step outside of my comfort zone.

30. Be happy.

I’m very happy in my life now and I hope that I still feel the same in 4 years time.

Food, Lifestyle

Restaurant Review – The Ivy Clifton Brasserie, Bristol

August 17, 2017

Situated on the corner of Caledonia Place in Clifton, The Ivy is a beautiful restaurant that’s been open for around a year round. Stu and I finally got round to going a couple of months ago and now I’ve finally got round to writing my review. We’d both heard good things about The Ivy but I still went in with an open mind because there’s nothing worse than somewhere not meeting your expectations and letting it ruin your night.

Spoiler alert: There was *nothing* to be disappointed about.

We were booked in for a Saturday night so expected it to be busy. It was, but in a good way. We were sat in the main seating area which will leave you wishing you lived somewhere with high ceilings and huge chandeliers. Being busy, there was a constant buzz about the place which always creates a good atmosphere in a restaurant. I hate places where you feel everyone is listening to your conversation and you have to whisper. It wasn’t so loud that we had to shout across the table at each other either so win-win.

Now, The Ivy is more expensive than your standard chain restaurant but this was a treat night for us so we decided to not worry about the price and just pick what we wanted. For me, this obviously meant starting with a cocktail! I had the Lavender Lady which was a pretty, gin based drink. 

Now, the food. Our server was really attentive and explained all the specials to us and made some recommendations which is always a good sign. I like it when someone clearly knows the menu rather than just reading off the whiteboard behind them.

I started with the Tuna Carpaccio and Stu had the Crispy Duck Salad. Both came out presented beautifully and the flavours lived up to expectation. My tuna was so fresh and the miso mayonnaise it came with was phenomenal. I do love miso though. Stu’s dish was just as good (obviously I tried some) and the crispy duck contrasted wonderfully with the watermelon.

I was really torn with what to choose for a main. There was lots of choice on the menu and it took me a while to decide. Quite often, one dish will jump out at me but so many options sounded great. I eventually went for the Aromatic Duck Curry because I was intrigued as to how duck would work in a curry. The menu described it as ‘fragrant’ and that sums it up perfectly. It smelt wonderful and all the flavours really complemented each other. Any curry that uses lemongrass will always be a winner with me. The curry was served separately to the rice and although the rice looked good wrapped up in a banana leaf, it made eating it slightly difficult. I didn’t know whether to dip my forkful of rice in to the curry or to add all the rice to bowl of curry in one go… Neither seemed ideal!

Stu had the Slow Roasted Lamb Shoulder which came with creamed potato and vegetables. The lamb looked immense with a mustard and herb crust and Stu definitely enjoyed it. I didn’t try any unfortunately but we can trust his opinion!

We were both feeling pretty full by this point but there is always room for pudding. I could only manage something small and went for the Mini Chocolate Truffles. These came filled with salted caramel and were a perfect sweet treat to end the meal with. Stu had the Lemon Meringue Alaska. This was a baked meringue with lemon ice cream and was served on a lemon curd sauce. All sorts of deliciousness!

With a tip, our meal came to just over £100 which is more than what we’d usually spend but for a three course meal and drinks it was worth it. Sometimes it’s nice to really make an occasion of eating out and The Ivy in Clifton is perfect for those times. It’s so easy to grab a Nandos that it can be easily forgotten that eating out should be an event. So get dressed up and head to The Ivy, no excuses needed.