Monday, 18 September 2017

5 Reasons To Visit Bologna

Bologna is the historic capital of the Emilia-Romagna region in Northern Italy. Here are 5 reasons to visit! 

1. It is the home of original bolognese sauce. 
Do you need any more reason to visit? Spag bol, our much-loved, hearty spaghetti dish originates from Bologna (hence the name of the sauce). Bologna is great for all types of Italian food - some even consider it the food capital of Italy. But for an original, fresh spaghetti bolognese from the little city that invented the stuff, head to Bologna. We loved it!

2. Bologna is rich with history. 
I love visiting somewhere that has a lot of interesting history behind it. Originally, in the 6th century BC, Bologna was known as Felsina - until tribes invaded and renamed it Bononia. A few hundred years later the Romans took over and Bologna, as we know it today, was born. It is worth visiting the Civico Mueso Archeologico to read and hear about the history.

3. The city is full of beautiful buildings. 
Apart from bolognese, Bologna is also known for its architectural beauty. The city centre is full of incredible Renaissance and medieval buildings and just walking around will give you a glimpse of the beauty. There are lovely cobbled streets bursting with small traditional Italian restaurants and bars, and there is a beautiful fountain in the centre in which people throw coins in for good luck.

4. Forget Pisa - Bologna has two leaning towers. 
And one of the leaning towers in Bologna actually holds the record for being 'the most leaning of all'. The Torre Garisenda leans at a staggering 4 degrees.

5. Bologna homes the oldest university in the world. 
The University of Bologna was founded in 1088 - meaning it pre-dates Oxford by a decade! The university is right in the city centre. Graduates and teaching staff include famous scientists and poets Dante and Tasso.

Sunday, 17 September 2017

Win A Personalised Mug & Coaster

Today I have teamed up with FotoGifts4U - a high quality personalised gifting company that personalises mugs, coasters, bags, chopping boards, phone cases and more. FotoGifts4U is a lovely small company based in Pembrokeshire, Wales. There is nothing more special than a personalised gift, whether it is for a birthday, a wedding, Christmas, an anniversary or just because you want to surprise someone with a special gift. Personalising items is a fun way to preserve special memories in a unique way. Today I am giving you the chance to win a personalised mug and coaster - what better way to remind someone how much you love them than with a special picture on a mug or a phone case?! Although it is a little bit early to be mentioning the C word, this could be the perfect meaningful gift for someone for Christmas - or the perfect opportunity to just treat yourself! 

Simply enter via the Rafflecopter widget at the bottom of this post. Good luck! If you win, you will be contacted and asked for the photos that you would like to personalise your mug and matching coaster with. 

Friday, 15 September 2017

5 Tips Everyone Should Read Before Travelling

Travelling is one of the most beneficial and exciting things a person can do. You meet new people, you explore beautiful places, you experience different cultures and you generally have the time of your life. While travelling, you pick up and learn all sorts of little tips and tricks to enhance and better your experience - but what if you knew these tips and hacks before travelling? That would save a lot of time and a lot of trial-and-errors, right? I have compiled a list of all the things you need to know before travelling. Bear them in mind when planning your trips! 

1. Back Up Everything As You Go 

When I was in the capital of Cambodia my camera and laptop was almost robbed. We were walking down a street to our hostel after just getting off the bus and a motorbike pulled up next to me and tried to yank my bag off my shoulder. He pulled hard but somehow I pulled harder and he drove off without my belongings. If my camera and laptop were stolen I would have lost all of my photos, videos and write ups. Lesson learnt. Make sure you back everything up at all times so that if something bad does happen, you do not lose all your memories, information and important stuff. 

2. Write Down Notes/Keep a Diary

As sad as it may sound, memories do fade. Of course you will remember where you went and what you did, but what about the smaller details? When I was away I kept a diary and at the end of every day I simply jotted down notes and points from my day. Now when I look back over my diary I am so happy that I wrote it. All of the small details such as what I ate, who I spoke to, words I learnt, transport I took, the names of hostels that I stayed at, pubs that I drank at are all in a safe place that I can look back on. 

3. Step Out of Your Comfort Zone 

When travelling, breaking out of your comfort zone is a must. It is the perfect opportunity to try new things and to give different experiences a try. I am not a huge fan (actually, I really don't like) spiders and other creepy crawlies so when we were set to go on a trek through the jungle on a Cambodian island I was a little nervous. It turned out to be one of the best things I did and one of my most vivid memories from travelling. If you don't like trekking, go trekking. If you don't like swimming, go swimming. If you don't like biking, go biking! 

4. Plans Rarely Get Stuck To - So Don't Make Too Many

You never know what is going to happen, who you're going to meet and where you're going to like most. Honestly, I really wouldn't plan too much. When Lewis and I went to South East Asia we literally booked a one way ticket to Bangkok and sorted things when we got there. There were some places we loved and others we didn't like - we ended up spending way longer on some islands than others, and way longer in some countries than others. We were so glad that we didn't have hotels, flights or solid plans booked. Having the freedom to explore is the best way to travel. 

5. Sort Out Travel Insurance Beforehand 

This isn't really a tip, its common sense. And I can't stress enough how important it is - in fact, I've written a whole post on my terrible illness experience while travelling and how travel insurance saved me and my bank account (read it here). Make sure you sort out your travel insurance before you set off. Its handy to print off the documents and keep them in your bag so that you have them on you at all times should you need them. 

Planning on backpacking? Read my post on What To Pack
Want some travel inspiration? Read my post on the 5 Most Naturally Magical Places in the World

Keeping Your Skin Safe In The Sun

Summer is on its way out (if you could count that little spell of sunshine as a 'summer' here in the UK) and autumn is almost (if not already) here. Soon, winter will be on our doorstep. There are still a lot of lucky people, however, jetting off on holidays to escape the colder weather - and it is still just as important to look after your skin in the sun. Laying around the pool or sunbathing on the beach to get that sun-kissed glow is blissful - but at what risk? Today I have teamed up with Dermalogica retailer Pure Beauty who have a few tips on how to prevent premature skin aging:

This is a collaborative post with Pure Beauty.

1. Safeguard Your Eyes

“Crow’s feet” wrinkles around the eyes are the dreaded sign of growing old for many men and women. What they don’t realise is that by exposing the sensitive skin around the eyes to the sun, they are actually speeding up the premature aging process.
The skin around the eyes is one of the first to show visible signs of aging, so wearing sunglasses is a great way to shield both your eyes and skin. You may be tempted to purchase a budget pair of shades, but you’ll need to ensure they offer 99% protection against the sun’s UV rays as a minimum.

2. Always Wear Sun Protection

This is an obvious one, but wearing sun protection is vital in fighting the signs of sun aging and keeping your skin safe. Choose a sun lotion with an SPF factor of at least 15 or greater to protect against UVB rays, and look for a minimum of a four-star UVA protection rating. Apply liberally and don’t forget areas like your ears, feet or back of your neck.
Even on cloudy or overcast says, you’ll still need your SPF factor — 87% of the sun’s rays can penetrate clouds, fog and mist, explaining why we get burnt on a seemingly ‘cold’ day. In fact, when the sun is at its strongest between 11am and 3pm, the NHS recommends spending time in the shade and covering up.

3. Protect Your Lips

Lips are often forgotten about yet, with their delicate, thin skin, they can become damaged by the sun quickly. As such, it’s important to protect your lips with either a lip protectant with a built in SPF factor or at the very least a layer of your usual sun protection.
Don’t assume that your usual lip products will block the sun’s rays. One study has found that lip gloss and its high-shine effect actually magnifies and attracts the sun, potentially causing more damage. Don’t leave anything to chance and always protect your lips from the sun.

4. Wear A Hat

If your priority is protecting your face from sun aging, wearing a hat can help, especially if it has a peak or a wide-brim. However, it’s not enough to just wear a hat—light can reflect off surfaces and still hit your face, so you should always wear it alongside your SPF factor.
Naturally, wide-brim hats shade more of your face, neck and shoulders, so offer greater protection than baseball caps, for example, which only shade part of your face. Consider the material of your hat too — straw allow more rays to pass through than those with tightly woven fabrics.

Do you have any more tips on keeping safe in the sun?

Thursday, 14 September 2017

Whats In Store for Autumn/Winter Nails

As we begin to settle into autumn (I know its not quite yet - but this cold weather is making me feel extremely Autumnal) and as the winter months slowly approach us, so do new trends and fashion movements in the world of nails. Its always good to be a little step ahead of the game and to know whats in store for this autumn and winter - and I've got you covered with the latest autumn and winter nail trend predictions.


Neutrals are back (did they ever really leave?). This autumn and winter it is apparently up to your hair, makeup and clothing to do the talking as nails are set to take a natural backseat - and I'm feeling quite happy about it. Think cool greys, soft pinks and subtle khakis for easy day to night transformations. The best thing about sporting neutral nails? They go with absolutely anything - so you don't have to worry about them clashing with any outfits. If neutral nails are a little bit too boring for you, why not jazz them up and get your nails done at a salon with Ellisons Nail Art Kits? Ellisons supply nail kits to salons and beauticians - so treat yourself! Adding small doodles such as triangles and dots to your nails means they can be a little more fun while staying sophisticated and chic. 

Gold Nails

Another trend set to be big this autumn and winter? Gold. Nail and fashion experts are dubbing it as the 'Midas Touch' - and with Christmas parties and other festive dos in the pipeline, everyone is going to be jumping on board. Gold is always a great colour to wear during the holiday season - it adds a little bit of shimmer and glamour to any LBD. For extra shimmer and festiveness, add some glitter or go gold metallic. 

Which trend will you be going for this autumn/winter? 

Capturing Winter Memories

I hate to be one of those people who mentions the C word in September but... I can't wait for winter and Christmas. There. I said it. I can't wait for cosy nights, big scarves, hot chocolates, Christmas trees, carols, scented candles, crisp icy mornings - the whole shebang. To fuel my excitement even further, I've teamed up with TruPrint to reflect on some of my favourite winter memories. What better way to savour and keep my favourite winter memories than by having them printed on a canvas or into a photo book with TruPrint? Now that I am planning on moving into a new flat I would like to start collecting seasonal decorations - from warm winter throws to light summery pillows. I would love to have some of the memories below printed onto canvases to decorate with when it comes to the colder wintery months.

This picture was taken during the winter around three years ago. It is my sister, my granddad and I looking over the beautiful beach where we live - with a nice pastel sunset to really set the scene. I love this photo as it reminds me of being home with my family and it reminds me of how beautiful it is where I live! Whenever I am away from home I always miss the beaches, so this would be a lovely touch on my wall.

Don't you just love a cold winter day with a bright blue sky? This is a picture of my nan, me, my sister and my mum enjoying the crispness and briskness two Decembers ago. This is one of my favourites because its rare that we all get together for a picture! Of course, family means so much to me - so a wintery family picture is essential to put up during winter.

This is a collaborative post with TruPrint. 

This is one of my favourite ever photos - my little brother and my boyfriend Lewis. This is when we were staying in Bluestone in Pembrokeshire where I live, two winters ago. My little brother looks up to Lewis so much and they get on so well - it's so cute! And look at his little Christmas pudding hat... *love heart face*. This picture makes me feel warm and wintery just by looking at it.

What are your favourite winter memories?