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Thursday, 11 January 2018

Why I Hate Clutches (+ Great Alternatives)

I hate clutches. There, I said it. They are impractical, stupid and always end up left somewhere. They cannot class as a bag, surely, as they completely defy the whole reason of having a bag: to carry numerous items from point A to point B. What's the point when you can only fit your phone and a pack of chewing gums in there? Scroll down to read the 7 reasons why I hate clutches, and then scroll a little further to see some great alternatives - ones that you won't actually lose every time you leave the house. 


7 Reasons Clutches Suck

1. If you take a clutch on a night out, you just awkwardly have to hold it - or, even worse, awkwardly slip it under one arm. 

2. And then it just ruins your dance moves... 

3. You can't have a cocktail in one hand and a canape in the other when holding a clutch bag.

4. You can never really fit everything you need inside it, anyway. It has just about enough room for a phone, lipstick and (small) purse. 

5. There's not enough room to put it on the table - meaning it awkwardly sits like a big envelope at your feet (and it can get dirty).

6. They are incredibly easy to leave in a taxi or at the bar. 

7. They are a dressy bag choice and are pretty impractical for daytime use (if you're like me and carry half your belongings round with you). 

Alternatives 



What's your opinion on clutches? 

Tuesday, 9 January 2018

4 Common Travel Mistakes To Avoid

Travelling is one of the best and most beneficial experienced that a person can do - you don't need me to tell you that. If you are thinking of going travelling or have already booked those tickets (lucky you...), then below are a few common mistakes to avoid.


Insufficient research

There are only a handful of journeys in the world that won't benefit from research. You could say that a beach holiday is one of them, but even this would be improved by knowing where the best beaches are. Overall, no matter where you're going, your trip will be significantly improved if you have that need to know information at your disposal. Before travelling, take a read of the best guidebooks for your destination, read up on the best times to visit, and make sure that you are aware of the best practices to follow when you are there. Of course everyone wants to just book a one way ticket somewhere and explore when they are there, but having some background knowledge and a small list of the best things to do/places to see can be very beneficial.

Doing everything yourself 

Although planning every detail of your travels yourself is fun and rewarding, there is a chance that you may miss out some important things - especially if you are travelling to a destination that is 'off the beaten path'. Talking to others who have been to similar places or getting in contact with experts to organise certain aspects of your trip can be super helpful. Take a look at https://www.travelsphere.co.uk/ if you are looking for some extra help. When there is help readily available, you don't always need to plan everything yourself and risk missing out on some memorable experiences.

Cramming in too much

You may not have too much time to travel and so, of course, you want to see as much of the world as possible in the time that you do have to travel. However, it is possible to cram too much into one trip. You may return home with lots of different stamps in your passport however you may not have really experienced any of the countries that you have passed through. It can be far better to spend a more leisurely time in one country rather than rush your way through three.

Following the crowd

There are certain things that every traveller must do, but this list is pretty short. Before some of the world's highlights, it's more than permissible to skip a few of the most-visited attractions - in fact, it is recommended if you don't have a genuine interest in that attraction in the first place. Do your own thing and don't just travel to a destination because Google suggests it. You will have a far more memorable travel experience.

Do you have any tips? 

Monday, 8 January 2018

Why You Need To Visit Bristol


Bristol: home to the world famous Clifton Suspension Bridge and the annual Hot Air Balloon Fiesta. The place where impressive graffiti art meets elegant Georgian terraces. Where green rural stretches of beauty meet edgy urban city streets. A city that gave us Massive Attack, Wallace and Gromit and the celebrated artwork of Banksy. Home to the longest stretch of independent shops in Britain. The best place to live in the UK (2017). Here are a few reasons why you need to visit Bristol this year:

Food

Bristol is not short of food options and actually holds a big reputation when it comes down to the diverse range of vibrant and tasty foods on offer in the city. The city centre boasts top-end restaurants that are sure to satisfy your taste buds, whereas if you step just a little bit outside of the centre you can find some glorious and diverse options. Head to St. Pauls (made famous for previously being home to one of the biggest and best street parties in Europe) to try out some of the best Caribbean restaurants in Bristol - all independent and authentic, of course. For a true tasty Bristol experience head to Bearritos in the Bear Pit to enjoy some Mexican food (be sure to try the burrito) in a vintage double decker bus. Bristol is big on street food and there is no better place to go than St. Nicks Market - a colourful and vibrant indoor market set in a Georgian arcade that offers food stalls and independent stalls and shops. On the weekends, stalls spread out onto the streets to offer a range of delicious foods and items. If a coffee in a cosy snug cafe is all that you are after, then Clifton is the place to go - Bristol's most quaint and architecturally beautiful area. Whatever you're after, you won't be stuck for choice.

[Picture source: 365 Bristol]

Independent shopping

Bristol is big on vintage apparel and probably one of the best places to pick up some real second-hand gems. As mentioned above, Bristol's Gloucester Road is home to the UK's largest stretch of independent shops - ranging from small bohemian shops to charity and nutrition shops. This is one of the best places to go charity shopping in Bristol as the long Gloucester Road is packed full of them. Clifton Village is a great place to go if you want to pick up some unique antiques and you can find the infamous Bristol vintage shops dotted pretty much all around the city - selling old designer items, records, fur coats and the vintage shell and track jackets that you see most uni girls wearing in the city.

Banksy spotting

World-famous artist Banksy was once just a kid in Bristol who (like all the other kids in Bristol) enjoyed spraying art onto the many walls of the city. Now, many people flock to Bristol to see his earliest pieces of work that are hidden and dotted around the city. Walking around the city and spotting Banksy's work makes for a great day out - particularly as there are many food and drink stops along the way. Some good ones to look out for are: The Girl With The Pierced Eardrum (central Bristol - near Bristol marina), Well Hung Lover (Frogmore Street - on the side of a clinic) and The Mild Mild West (situated next to The Canteen in Stokes Croft). For a longer list of his work around Bristol, click here.

[Image source: Fatcap]

Nightlife

Bristol is notorious for its vibrant music scene - and there really is something for everyone. Underground live gigs, open mic nights, speakeasies, bustling bars, gritty nightclubs, comedy nights, drunk bowling, theatres, intimate music sessions, spoken word, poppy clubs and karaoke bars... consider yourself catered for. Popular venues that are worth a visit to include: Motion (voted the 19th best nightclub in the world and set in a matrix of old warehouse spaces), The Apple (a bar on a boat that spreads out onto the ground - try Bristol's best ciders here) and The Full Moon (the building itself is painted like a starry galaxy - it's quite something to see! The Full Moon is also home to one of Bristol's best beer gardens). For more nightlife click here.

The country in a city

One thing that Bristol is particularly popular for is the beautiful countryside - and you really don't have to stray too far to reach it. The Downs, situated in Clifton and on the edge of the city, is a huge protected parkland full of green grass and trees for as far as the eye can see. It is the perfect place to take a picnic, to walk your dog on, to kick a football around on or to just have a walk around and get some fresh air. Walk to the edge and you can you can see beautiful views of Bristol, including the Clifton Suspension Bridge. Alternatively, you can stray a little bit further out of the city and head to Ashton Court Estate - a beautiful stretch of woodland (850 acres to be exact) that features a beautiful mansion too (the perfect place to pick up a coffee before setting off on your walk). You can often watch deer roaming the fields.

Image result for the downs bristol
[Image source: Bristol 247]

Other reasons to visit Bristol: 

  • Bristol was the first ever city in the UK to win the European Green Capital award. The city as a whole is super passionate and enthusiastic for all things green and sustainable and aim to look after their environment. Bristol was one of the first cycling cities in the UK! 
  • It is a small city. Pretty much everywhere in Bristol is within walking distance (and if not, there are busses all the time). It's not like London where it can take up to an hour to get somewhere very close. The population of Bristol is around 449, 300 people. 
  • Bristol has a harbour side and it is right in the city centre, with lots of bustling restaurants and bars dotted down the sides of it - it's pretty, atmospheric and makes a lovely walking break from shopping in the centre.
Have you ever visited Bristol? 


Friday, 5 January 2018

3 Ways To Beat Post-Christmas Blues


With the huge buzz of Christmas now over and the new year looming ahead, early January is a common time to feel a bit rubbish. Christmas is over, normal diets have resumed, everybody has to go back to work and the 'oh stuff it, it's Christmas' mentality is shut away for another year. The weather is still rubbish, any chance of snow is just a bit of a pain in the arse now rather than the 'magical white Christmas' we all hoped for and the shopping sales are coming to a close. It is no longer acceptable to spend your entire day sat on the sofa cocooned in a blanket sipping on mulled wine watching movie after movie. BUT do not fear - there are many reasons to get excited right now for the year ahead, and there are certain things that you can do to avoid letting the post-Christmas period get you down.

1. It's a brand new year! Make a plan and set some goals. 

I'm not talking about the 'new year new me' attitude that many people adopt when a new year graces us, but I am talking about treating this as, well, a new year. A brand new chapter with hundreds of blank pages ahead that are waiting to be filled. Get excited! In order to boost your motivation and personal morale, write down some personal goals for the year ahead. What do you want to get out of this year? And how are you going to do this? Perhaps you want to go travelling this year for the first time - if so, make a plan to start saving now so that you have some money behind you for when summer arrives. Whatever it is, get organised and get motivated. 2018 is something to be excited about!



2. Now is the time to get active and eat well. 

Assuming we all over-indulged over Christmas, there is no better time to start getting active and eating a bit healthier than now. You might not exactly be in the mood to exercise right now but it really is the best time to start (and we should start the year as we mean to go on, right?). Exercising and getting active not only gets you out of the house and moving, it also releases endorphins that boost your mood and make you feel good. Blow away those cobwebs by going for a run in the fresh air or taking up some yoga. Now that Christmas is over, try to watch what you eat a little bit more. Remember that foods containing vitamin B (such as wholegrains and nuts) and foods containing Omega-3 fatty acids are vital for mood boosting.


3. Be creative and stimulate your mind. 

As well as being physically active, try to do some things that will get your mind feeling more active and stimulated. Activities like writing (whether it be a short poem, a blog post or a letter that doesn't have to be sent), painting or drawing and listening to music will all get your mind moving. If the post-Christmas blues are really getting to you one day, get out your old paints and do some painting. It can be therapeutic for the mind. Make your new years resolution to read more - and stick to it. There is no better time than now to delve into a good new book!


How have you been beating the post-Christmas blues? 

Thursday, 4 January 2018

Take a Chance with Bingo Kings


Online bingo can be a fun and simple way to pass time - and a great way to pocket a bit of extra cash if you are lucky. As far as gambling, casino and bingo games go, I have had a few good experiences, however I am yet to 'win big'. I tried my luck on a lottery website once, however after losing several lotteries I decided to give up. Lotteries don't appeal to me that much (apparently we have more chance of being struck by lightning than winning?!) but online bingo definitely sounds like something that I can have a bit more fun with. In fact, online bingo cAN be a great source of entertainment and a fun way to safely experience some light risk and thrill in your life. Will you win? Who knows!

If you're looking to spice up your free time a little bit with some online bingo gaming, Bingo Kings is a fab place to start. Bingo Kings essentially gives you a huge list of different websites that you can play online bingo on, including useful information such as the minimum deposits for different sites and reviews of various games/sites. This can be really helpful and save you lots of time - there is nothing worse than spending time signing up to a site only to realise that you have to spend a minimum of £25 to play! Basically, Bingo Kings cuts out the sign-up time and helps you to find which sites are perfect for you. 



Of course, if you are trying out online bingo for the first time, you must remember that games that involve potentially winning money can sometimes be addictive. Follow these simple tips and you will be able to enjoy Bingo Kings' sites stress-free:

  • Set yourself some time limits when playing. Do not allow yourself to play for longer than 15 or 20 minutes at a time to avoid spending too much time on online games. 
  • Set yourself a strict budget too, and do not go over it. It is best to decide how much you are willing to spend and play within the game before starting. 
  • Treat the game as a fun way to entertain yourself, and not solely as a way to make money - you may lose and that's ok, it's all part of the fun! 
  • Drink water regularly to keep hydrated and healthy. Spending too long on the computer can be bad for your eyes! 
Good luck! Have you played online bingo before? 

3 Highlights of 2017

Happy New Year! 

Now that 2018 is fully underway, I thought I would take a moment to look back on a few of my highlights of 2017. When reflecting on the year it is always easy to think of the worst moments - however there were many beautiful moments too: huge achievements, amazing experiences and wonderful learning curves. Here are my highlights!

1. I graduated! 


My three year course at the University of the West of England came to an end and I graduated with a 2:1 (Upper Division). I am really happy with my result as I did struggle mentally at the beginning of 2017 (something that I am yet to speak about) and at some points I really thought that I was going to have to defer for the year. But, I pushed through and came out with a 2:1 - something that I am proud of. I did not attend my graduation because I was travelling Thailand at the time (it seemed like a no-brainer to me at the time) - if you want to know how life is after graduating, read my post-grad life post.

Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, people sitting, drink and indoor
[Me on my graduation day - slightly different to the usual graduation pics!]

2. I travelled Laos, Cambodia and Thailand. 

2017 is a year I will never forget because I managed to make it to South East Asia for the first time and I had an incredible travelling experience there. Getting on a plane for the first time by myself was a pretty big achievement (and it wasn't just a short flight either - rather, a sixteen hour flight with a stop-over in India too). I learnt so much not only about myself but about life and other cultures too. I crashed a moped, got severe food poisoning, visited the most beautiful places and was hosted in the most incredible hotel (another huge achievement for me). The airline lost my baggage so I learnt how to live on the absolute basics. I met some amazing people, I helped my boyfriend run a bar for a bit, I was almost robbed. It was a life-changing experience.


[Maya Bay, Ko Phi Phi, Thailand]

3. I turned 21.

Another milestone in my life: I turned 21. I actually spent my 21st in Ko Tao in Thailand which was amazing - my day was filled with delicious food and cocktails. When I returned home my mum organised a pizza and prosecco party for me and invited all of my family which was lovely!

Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, people standing, grass, tree, outdoor and nature
[At my pizza and prosecco party]

This is just a quick post to reflect on some real positives from 2017 - perhaps more for myself than my readers!

What were your biggest highlights of 2017?