Sunday, August 06, 2017

It's been a busy weekend, either action-packed with days out to the seaside or working your weekend job, or maybe you've been away for the weekend for a party...It's time to get back to your routine and there are certain things to help you do this.

This is the most important (and a little obvious) because it then allows you to readjust yourself back into work mode and waking up early the next morning feeling fresh and alive ready for the day ahead. Make sure you turn off all electronic devices off at least an hour before you go to sleep as this will help your brain switch off quicker and relax in bed easier. We will all benefit from a long night's sleep after a busy weekend both mentally and physically, it's best to get your eight hours of rest every night.

Sometimes you will find yourself just snacking all day if you are having a day of fun and not properly sitting down to have a proper meal. It's important to get back to your three meals a day so you don't lose your appetite and start bringing in an unhealthy lifestyle. It's fine to alter your diet/routine for a weekend but make sure you don't wonder off that track and make it a permanent change. Looking after yourself is crucial.

The last thing you want to do is get in the car and drive for a few hours, unless it is absolutely necessary. You need a rest after a manic weekend. If you do find yourself needing to drive a few hours, make sure you take regular breaks to reduce your chances of having an accident on the roads. Some people don't realise how dangerous it is driving when you're overtired.

Drink your six to eight glasses the next day and stick to it, get back on top of things. This will make you feel back to normal if you've been using a lot of energy.

Girls maybe you have been wearing lots of make up all weekend, or guys you have been running about all weekend and need a break. Take a few hours the next day to just relax; whether that is have a pamper session and using your best skin products to purify those pores, or having a well-needed nap and crashing out on the sofa with your favourite show playing on the TV.
I love the days where I actually find a few hours to have a bath, fix my skin condition with some of my favourite products and a few favourite films of mine. These days are my favourite and definitely pay off afterwards by increasing my productivity levels.

Read a book, watch a film, play an instrument, bake a cake...whatever sort of hobbies you have which don't allow much effort or take up a lot of energy then do it. Maybe even plan your week ahead and what you will wear for each day, fill in your calendar if you aren't up to date with plans you've recently made.

Take time in the evening to cook up a healthy and tasty looking dish for the family. It's a great feeling you get after you've eaten a healthy plate of food.

How do you recover after a jam-packed weekend?

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Friday, August 04, 2017

Ok they may not be very 'out of the ordinary', but it's not your typical "climb a mountain"...they are quite specific and different. Some of these I've wanted to do for a while and some are only recently new to the list.
I would love to say I've ticked all these experiences off by the time I'm 30, a little optimistic but let's see how well I get on!

Go to an outdoor cinema
I would love to spend an evening watching a film outdoors all wrapped up in blankets with friends. On a summer's evening of course and when the sky is so clear that you can see the stars. I love the idea of watching a classic film outdoors like Dirty Dancing, bringing back the good old ones.

See Fluorescent Plankton
This is the most beautiful, magical and wondrous sights I would like to witness in my life. I've heard it will make you speechless and not left disappointed. It's lime green and light blue crystal colours look so pretty and lights up the sea and beach at night. How romantic does this sound?

Skydiving in New Zealand
Being near the top of my bucket list for a few years now, I would love to go skydiving in New Zealand. I specifically say New Zealand as I've heard the views are admirable and like nothing else you'll see elsewhere. The unspoiled and fascinating surroundings are some of the most beautiful in the world.

Volunteer at an Elephant Rescue Sanctuary
After being exposed to an elephant rescue sanctuary in Laos and hearing the stories behind some of the elephant tourism in other countries, I would love to take a few months out to volunteer at a rescue sanctuary and help the elephants. They are beautiful animals and shouldn't be suffering the way some of them are around the world.

Go to Karen's Cafe in One Tree Hill (Wilmington)
Possibly my all time favourite series (apart from the obvious, Friends), One Tree Hill was a part of my life for 9 years and I will always go back to watch the series over and over again, it's that good. Sadly some of the set has been demolished, for example the riverside court was only built for the show and had to be demolished as soon as the series finished. The town Wilmington in North Carolina is still a reminder of OTH, with special features around the town, one of which is Karen's Cafe. It would be so cool to relive the series and be a part of it.

Get tickets to the Ellen Show
I've been a fan of Ellen for AGESSSS now and my best friend and I have been saying we must go to one of her shows at some point. I think it will be a while until it happens but I can keep dreaming.

Scuba Dive in Austria's Green Lake
I saw a video of this on Facebook a while back and it looks amazing. It's a nature park which is submerged in clear water from the snow melting from the nearby mountains, and people scuba dive in it when this happens!

What crazy cool thing do you want to experience in life?

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Wednesday, August 02, 2017

Can someone explain to me how it's August already? You know what that means birthday's coming up! July has been a hectic month to say the least, but it definitely went past like a rocket. Over July I returned back to the UK, went back to work, then quit work, started to properly focus on my health, caught up with all my friends and family and had zero time to change there then.
I'm so looking forward to August just because I have lots of exciting things to look forward to as well as taking some time to properly relax and enjoy some quality home time before the hustle and bustle starts again from my return to university life.

July Round Up
To be really honest, I didn't have a great end to my year abroad for many reasons. And I will go on to explain that in another post in the near future. However, the last three weeks when my sister was over to visit really helped me get out of my dorms and see more of Shanghai. I definitely could have changed the way I ended it but sadly it is all due to health reasons. 

Ever since being back home I have improved my diet so much. I am completely (well getting there) dairy free and already noticing a massive difference in my health. Obviously it won't turn around just like that, I will have to give it a few weeks, but it's going in the right direction. Keeping track of what I eat everyday and sticking to dairy free recipe books I find is very helpful and doing the trick. 

So my third July goal was sticking to a blogging schedule...ummm yeah that didn't quite go to plan. It's quite all over the place at the moment. I actually didn't realise how little time I would have at home to just get a few hours of writing, taking photos or just connecting with the community. I have been working the past three weeks which have been long days so that may have taken affect, but hopefully August will allow me to get back on track with my schedule as I have quit my job now and have a free month. I have soooo many ideas running through my brain that I'm in a little bit of a muddle but once I've re-done my blog schedule, that I keep on a spreadsheet, I'm sure you'll see more posts from me soon enough.

I'm going to be completely honest here, I have not studied one bit since being back (I actually just keep having Chinese conversations in my head to keep it going). This is so bad I know but relating back to my blogging, I have just found no time to do this. However, now it's August I will hopefully get back to it as I have so much to do (it's quite painful to think about really).

And that's it really. It has been a very busy month and has flown by. I didn't do as well as I would have liked to with my July goals so I'm promising myself to up my game and smash my August goals. One thing I'm happy with is the way I finished my job, on a high! It's been a crazy, fast three years at the college but I felt it was a good time to quit and go on to bigger and better things after I graduate.

August Goals
Having time to be a little bit more creative and active this month as I have finished work, I am starting to gather things together for my final year as I want my flat looking mega cosy (I want a really cosy bed space), putting more work and dedication into my blog, organising my 21st, and just being more productive as well as taking time out for myself to keep my head up and in a good place. 

P R E P A R E  F O R  F I N A L  Y E A R
So I'm going into my final year of university come September...yes you heard that right, my final year!! It's come round so fast; it only seems like yesterday I was taking the long drive up North for my first year of uni. I'm starting to put all my things together, buy a few extra bits and fitting in some time dedicated to studying.  
As I have my own flat next year (which I am so excited for) I am wanting to make it as homely as possible, and by homely I mean lots of cute little decorations, photos everywhere and a cosy vibe to the flat. I am thinking of making a trip to two to Primark to make a few purchases from the homeware section as there's so many nice things for such reasonable prices! Creating a productive work space is crucial so it will give me motivation to work at home instead of staying in the library for a ridiculous amount of time everyday. 

S A V E  M O N E Y
It's something which I am getting more terrible at which I didn't think was possible. Considering my rent is a little higher this year, and my student loan doesn't even cover my accommodation, I need a little money on the side to fall back on in case there is ever an emergency. Therefore I need to start seriously saving. I have a little pot on my window sill which I collect 20ps and 50ps which is such a good way to gather a good amount of money up after a long period of time. One thing I have not missed paying for since being home is petrol, ugh what a pain that is! Fingers crossed I'll be a rich girl by the end of August!! 

E X E R C I S E  A N D  S T I C K  T O  D I E T
Sticking to this theme from my July goals, I am wanting to up my exercise scheme (as it's currently non-existent) and carry on with my dairy free diet. It is so hard to suddenly change your diet completely after eating dairy your whole life. However, I'm doing well after just three weeks so I'm positive my body state will be back to normal in a few weeks time.
I have recently quit my job but my boss said I'm always welcome to use the swimming pool and I have access to the college gym as well so it's a double bonus!

B L O G  B L O G  A N D  M O R E  B L O G G I N G
Again running over from July, I am really trying to dedicate a few hours a day to get some writing done, finalise a few posts a day and take many many photos. It is a struggle to fit all these things in and get them all to a high, reasonable standard. I enjoy taking photos so much more now because I have so much to play and experiment with. I'm sure you have already seen a little improvement on my photos since the beginning of July (at least I hope you have, haha). I have lots of exciting posts to write but my organisational side to me is all over the place right now...once that's sorted itself out I will be able to focus a little better. Keep an eye on my blog over the next week or so :) 

T H I N K  M O R E  P O S I T I V E L Y
My mindset has changed immensely over the last month and I am thinking a lot more positively in general. I am trying to go everyday with a positive thought and although every morning I struggle with that, I always come out better on the other side. There are a lot of people out there who will try and put your mood down in many ways but there's no need to have that in your life. If you feel someone is having a big affect on your mood then try and distance yourself from them for some time, but that doesn't mean completely.

E N D  T H E  M O N T H  W I T H  A N  A M A Z I N G  2 1 S T
Come the end of August is the big 21, and I'm so excited, especially as plans are being made and birthday shopping has already started! The plan is to have a party at mine with all my friends and family, and also a day to go to the races at Bath with all my friends, which is a perfect day out (i'm not planning on betting on horses as my luck is not so great). I'm sure you'll hear all about it across my social media. 

Share your monthly goals posts in the comments below :) 

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Thursday, July 27, 2017

It's not often where I dedicate a time in the day just to relax and pamper myself but I realise how important this is and why you should always look after yourself, your skin, your body and keep it healthy. Everyone is different and you will find your body changing all the time so you should experiment with different products to see which feel best suited for you.
I must admit I'm terrible with sticking to a skin care routine as I will always forget to do it in the evenings, by the time I remember I'm already in bed half asleep. Since being home I've managed to find the time to properly use some of the products I've bought recently and see if they work well for me. Choosing a bath over shower sometimes is better because then you don't feel too rushed to get in and out, and you have time to do everything.
I thought I'd share with you these recent products I've been craving over, and also what things help me enjoy this time.

Face Masks
There is nothing I hate about the face masks I use. I have been testing a variety and finally found which ones feel best on my skin and are a success. I don't like using face mask sheets because I don't like the feel of them and they never fit my face. Face masks, however, are easy to apply, can smell great, and work just as well, if not, better.
I occasionally buy them in bulk because I like to have plenty of options and so they don't run out for a while.
How often I use face masks can vary; I can go from using them every other day for a few weeks to using them once or twice in a month. I find I get the best result by wearing them just after a shower/bath so you are getting the final bits of dirt cleared off and so you're feeling mega fresh before bed.

Nose Packs
Having already mentioned these in my latest beauty haul, you may know how amazing these nose packs are and the magic they do. They essentially remove all the dirt and much that has built up on your face over a period of time. (You should be washing your face everyday to prevent this build up, but I am one for always forgetting to do that, I've got better now though.) It says they are nose packs but can also be used on your forehead and chin, it even gives you little diagrams on the packs for you to use as a guide. I have used the packs on these areas before and I can say they also work but I didn't find the results were as good as they were on my nose.
They may not look great, and they do have a certain smell to them which put my sister off them right away, but they do the work they say should happen and it's only for 15-20 minutes whenever you decide to use them. My sister suggested to use them every other day otherwise you won't give your skin a chance to create that build up and you'll be wasting the packs.

Bath Salts
I am so happy I bought these bath salts from Bali, I've been so excited to used them ever since. I didn't have a bath in China so had to patiently wait until I returned home to use them.
I bought three packs, one which went to my sister so I had two for myself. The two packs I kept for myself were red/white which was strawberry flavoured and orange/white which is lavender flavoured.

The other day I used the strawberry salts which turned the bath into an amazing colour. I used up the whole pack as the colour wouldn't have been intense otherwise and I wasn't entirely sure how much I wanted until I had used it all, whoops.
Once in the bath, I felt the salts against my skin which felt so refreshing and detoxifying. I felt so relaxed, calm, and my skin felt very soft and smooth afterwards. I can't wait to use my lavender pack as I am obsessed with the smell of lavender.

Dove Body Wash
This is one of my recent favourite body washes which I have had laying round for a good while now, so thought it was about time I start using it regularly. I have already noticed a difference in the feeling of my skin, as have other people. Instantly I not my skin looking and feeling a lot more healthy and fresh. Dove definitely doesn't fail to impress so I'll be topping up on these body washes regularly.

Herbal Essences Daily Detox Shine White Tea & Mint Hair Products
I realise this isn't skincare but I had to include these and also I felt like it did fit in with the rest of the post. My mum recently bought these two for me and I can't tell you how much I adore the smell and what the condition it leaves my hair in. At the moment I am trying to improve the condition of my hair and these products are definitely contributing to that.


I love relaxing in a bath with some music playing in the background, whether that's the latest hits or even some gentle classical music (which I loooove listening to when trying to relax).

Having a nice scent around adds to the relaxing atmosphere and also just makes it that little bit easier to settle down. I love having diffusers and we have them all around our house to keep the smell fresh and appealing. I've recently added one to my room which definitely helps me get to sleep quicker and just keeps my room smelling lovely.

What are you favourite products which help keep your skin healthy? 

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Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Exploring can go beyond just finding a place, it's the whole conception of going to a new destination and finding out about it. You want to learn more about a place and to do that you need to explore around, dig deep and discover the hidden beauties. It's a new place, different sites, wonderful want to explore further into each of those to find out more.
So how do you go beyond just reviewing the same old same old?

But not so much that you are just planning on going to specific places. The whole reason for exploring is to find those hidden gems and more.
I never really do much research in advance before travelling, especially when I'm alone. I just go with the flow which seems a lot more relaxed and more exciting. If it is a short trip then I will plan to visit some of the hot spots but not cram it in that I have no time to explore further afield.

The amount of times I've ended up getting lost in the middle of a city, in the countryside, or by the coast is quite humorous to think about. There has never been a time where I have been scared of being lost. Nowadays, thanks to the technology we have and the friendly locals, we are able to always find our way onto our original path. Anyway it is fun to get lost because you discover a different part of the world which you never would have found if it wasn't for your wrong directions. Make the most of these times and keep going forward, you'll eventually get back on track.
I've begin to love getting lost and understand how it is beneficial for me because of the amount I discover. Just deciding to change direction or take a different path can be the right decision.

You can only see so much when taking public transport and it's what everyone else will see. Take the longer but more scenic route by walking or even cycling and wonder down those narrow, winding streets. You may find your ideal shop, or dream restaurant with some of the best local dishes in the area. But how will you find this all out if you're stuck on a bus driving past it all? Make the right choice, you won't regret it.
I'm all for walking (unless it's very hot and you get all sweaty, no one likes that though) and I see/experience a lot more. Don't stress yourself out and rush it by putting a time limit on your day; take it easy as there is always time for food, even if it's a local street vendor. That's the perfect way to taste the local cuisine.

Wonder off of your route and explore beyond it. Take different routes to the obvious ones, tourist ones. Walk away from the crowds and explore the quiet but more local areas.
I always find a little extra from walking down little streets and discovering local shops with some hidden gems in them. It can also lead to capturing beautiful photographs that get a lot of attention; you'll find people asking all about where it was taken, how did you find the place, etc. Show off your exploration skills by spreading the word so then other people can find this spot. However, this can be a negative because then these hidden streets can become popular from spreading the word and then part of a tourist route, so be a little careful.

The locals live there so are likely to know a lot more about the city than yourself or possibly the tour guides. Get their advice on where to explore, which hotspots are worth the visit, which places to avoid and get away from the crowds, and which hidden spots are yet to be known to the public. I'm sure many of them are happy to help you, especially if you are nice to them and show an eager interest in their culture.

Personally I love walking down narrow, winding streets and searching for the little bit extra that the city has to offer which is yet to become a tourist's favourite. I will go out of my way to make time for those extra hidden gems that are waiting to be found. Basically what I have said above is what I do to make the most out of a new destination. I always walk because you can only see so much and for such a little amount of time when you are stuck on transport.
This is how I go about travelling, exploring the unknown and making it known to myself.

How do you make the most of exploring a new place?

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Monday, July 24, 2017

No blogger is perfect, and a lot of bloggers will find a few struggles in this industry as it is so competitive. I find myself worrying about how my blog looks, whether my content is appealing enough, or if I even like my blog way too many times. Right now I can say I am happy, although I am waiting to gather enough confidence to buy a template I've found (which I am in love with) but sadly it's sooooo expensive, which I why I keep contemplating it. 

Blogging is becoming very competitive these days because it is so common and becoming so popular globally. Every blogger will have it's doubts whether they think their blog is good enough, successful enough, or even worth having a read through. There are so many aspects to think about that you need to invest so much time into them to become recognised and a success. 

For me, I am still only blogging part time and for at least a year longer this will stick to part-time and a hobby, just because of other commitments in my life at the moment. Do I see a future of full-time blogging? Perhaps, but I'm not even remotely close to being a successful blogger, especially going at this rate. 

I have found myself drifting away from the blogging scene since being home just because I have so many other things going on in my life that I have really struggled to find the time to sit down and blog, or even interact with other blogs. And this is where the topic of this blog post comes in...


Interacting through social media
Running a blog involves a lot of interaction and promoting through social media and this can be very time consuming. Ever since moving back to the UK, I really struggle to find time to sit down and dedicate some time to social media and engaging with followers and other bloggers. Hopefully once I finish work this will improve but I know for the next week I will be a little distant still.
Social media is your main platform to getting your blog known and more popular so making sure you have a few hours a day to spend uploading onto your Instagram, promoting your latest post on Twitter, or pinning some interesting and relatable posts on Pinterest is very important to stay in contact with your followers.

Remembering to comment on blog posts
This is probably my most frustrating flaw with blogging because I read so many blog posts but always forget to comment, and it's nice to leave a comment so the blogger knows how much you enjoyed reading their post and what you learnt from it. Recently though I have struggled to find time to sit down and read people's latest posts so when I get properly back into that I will make sure I remember to leave comments every time. Think of it like this; do you like reading comments other people have left on your blog? Then I'm sure they'll appreciate the same to their blog from you.

Being adventurous with my blog photography 
This is actually something I will be able to improve on when I am back home. I feel like all my photographs are similar looking and have no excitement/originality to them. Studying abroad limits you to what you can buy because you know you probably won't be able to take it back with you due to luggage allowances etc. So I have had to make do with whatever I have around my room. I can't complain too much because I could have gone out and taken photos in the city, which I did do a little of, but I am a sucker for forgetting my camera (and iPhone pictures never work for me)!

Comparing my blog to others
I am always pointing out things I want to change and comparing mine to others which is definitely something I should NOT be doing. I need to keep reminding myself that this blog is mine and it should reflect onto my personality. Just need to keep remembering your blog is YOURS and no blog is just like it.
To be honest, I have got a lot better with this in the recent weeks because I use other blogs to enjoy reading their content (which is often much better than mine and can help step mine up), to gather ideas up for a new blog content because ever so often you get bloggers block which is the worst thing, and to help you improve your blog layout - maybe a certain blog has a section which you need, or you've missed out an important aspect in your blog posts - it's always good to read/look over other blogs because it can help you discover extras which you may need for yours.

Wanting a change of layout 
I often find myself looking at blog templates on various websites and I need to stop because I've changed my blog layout one too many times. I am loving my template at the moment but I keep discovering cool layouts which I want, but they all come at a heavy cost, sad times! I think I will want to have a big relaunch in the future but I am happy with my blog look right now, and I need to keep telling myself that.

I am hoping all of these will be solved/improved over the rest of summer as I will have plenty of time to focus on blogging, finger's crossed!

Do you agree with any of these? What are your struggles with being a blogger?

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