Passion Obsession
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Sunday, 29 November 2015

I spend hours on Instagram. It's an addiction. But my latest obsession is travel pictures. Long winding country roads, beach landscapes and cosy cabins in the woods are my favourite images to look at, screenshot and repost. However, as much as I love these images, they make my wanderlust grow and my need to travel is becoming unbearable. In order to document - and share - some of my favourite landscapes and locations I want to travel, I'm starting a new series on my blog called Travel Bucket List, and here is the first edition. 

Chefchaouen, Morocco

This one became top of my travel bucket list when I was having a conversation with somebody on Tinder (weird confession, I know) and a guy told me it was the best place he has travelled so far. Deep in the Rif mountains in northwest Morocco lies a town painted entirely blue and the scenery looks absolutely stunning. 

The Castle Hotel, Dalian, China

A new-found favourite of mine, this hotel is everything. A five-star luxury hotel designed to look like a Bavarian Castle and set in Dalian, China, this building is a work of art both inside and out and I really want to see it for myself. 

The Northern Lights

Perhaps one of the most cliched on my bucket list - I want to see the Northern Lights. The phantasmagorical phenomenon has been high on my list to see for a long time, but where to go? Norway, Sweden or Iceland? There are pros and cons for each Northern location, but these glass igloos in the Kakslauttanen Artic Resort are what dreams are made of. 

Have you been to any of these places? Where's top on your travel bucket list?
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Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Nails can say so much about a person, so I'm at my happiest when I have clean, perfectly manicured nails in a shade to match my mood. I must admit, I've always been a neutral/pastel fan for my finger nails and brighter, wilder colours for my toes (apart from in Fall/Winter when I wear plum shades on my fingers all season long!) So when I saw that OPI had a new 'Hawaii'* collection on Just My Look, I couldn't be happier to see the shades that were included. 

Suzi Shops & Island Hops is the most perfect pastel pink. When I have a work meeting or want to wear something that looks elegant and put-together, this is my new go-to shade. That's Hula-rious! is a gorgeous pastel green that at first, I wasn't sure about, but when I put it on my nails I instantly fell in love. This shade is perfect for grasping onto those last few weeks of Summer. Aloha from OPI is a bright creamy coral shade I would be wearing on a night out when I'm feeling more glamorous - also perfect for the toes on a Summer holiday! Finally, Lost My Bikini in Molokini is a reef-inspired purple that just adds a bit of sass to the collection. Not too dark to be confused with a winter shade, this purple is a great addition to anybodies collection. As with all OPI nail polishes, they glide on well and don't chip easily. As you can see in the above image, the one-coat isn't that different to the two-coat so with these rich shades, less can definitely mean more. Which of these colours are your favourite? What are your favourite nail polishes?
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Saturday, 22 August 2015

A couple of weeks ago I was scrolling past endless rants and adorable-but-slightly-weird baby photos on Facebook when I came across an article on The Huffington Post that made me sit up and take notice. The title read "Yes I'm Pretty and I'm Travelling Alone" followed by a listed article detailing Alyssa Ramos' solo travels. Whilst the article was mainly written to point out that yes, it is possible to be pretty and travel using money from actual work (not prostitution/sugar daddies/sponsors), it opened up so many doors in my mind. 

I've always loved the idea of travelling and this year, my trips to Egypt and Italy left me with a stronger urge to travel than I have ever felt. My problem is that I have nobody to travel with. Time/money/effort is always an issue with those around me, so I've always felt rooted in my hometown, unable to explore the edges of the world that I really want to explore. Sure, I've visited my fair share of foreign countries but family holidays haven't even scratched the surface of the places I want to see. So when I stumbled upon Alyssa's Huff Post article, I became inspired, excited and a little bit scared about what this could mean for my future. 

"I travel alone because I can; I don't really like waiting around for other people to go with me." - Alyysa Ramos

I'll admit, travelling alone never really entered my psyche. Personal safety and lack of confidence in this country - never mind a foreign one - are massive alarm bells for me, but then I think of all the positives. Being able to do whatever I want without taking into account somebody else's plans, complete freedom and all of the confidence and independence I will gain along the way. So I added Alyssa's blog My Life's A Movie to my favourites and began reading. Very quickly, I fell in love with Alyssa, her outlook on life and most importantly, travelling. Her blog showcases the best places to travel, tips and tricks for travelling alone and insights into her life at home in LA. 

So now that my love affair with travelling has begun, it's just a matter of making plans and setting the wheels in motion. I have so many ideas and goals and I can't wait to take you along on my journey. 
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As the Summer months fade away and the colder days and darker nights start to make an appearance, I can't help but reach for fuzzy blankets and scented candles to make the transition into fall that much smoother. I've got to admit, Fall and Winter are my favourite seasons. There's just something about the darker, colder months that makes my soul happy and I long for bonfire night and Christmas more than you could imagine. 

During Fall and Winter, there's nothing better than snuggling up with a warm drink under a freshly cleaned duvet with a good book. To get me in the mood for the colder nights, I've been obsessed with flavoured coffees at the moment. But there's one brand in particular that I've been loving because their Hazelnut flavour coffee is like the ultimate hug in a mug and their other flavours are just as heavenly. Beanies Flavour Co. offer a range of coffees in gorgeous flavours and I can't wait to try more. 

Currently, I've only tried the 'Nutty Hazelnut', the 'Very Vanilla' and the 'Double Chocolate' flavours, but they have already taken over my usual brand of coffee for my everyday beverage. I love all three of these equally, as they deliver the kick of a cup of coffee, with a strong flavour to add an additional comfort factor. When it comes to plain, unflavoured coffee, I prefer it sweet and black but these variations taste better with a splash of milk as it just gives them a creamier, more comforting taste that is perfect for cold weather. Next on my list to try is the 'Chocolate Orange', 'Winter Warmer' and 'Mint Chocolate' - which flavour would you pick?
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Sunday, 31 May 2015

So up until the beginning of this year, I never really considered myself a busy person. If I'm being completely honest with myself, I used to do the bare minimum to get along, whether it was work-related or uni-related, I wasn't a fan of working hard. 2015 came along and something just changed. I took on many projects and organised myself so that I knew exactly what I needed to do and now a typical day for me consists of around 13-17 hours of work and I often work six or seven days a week. When people learn that I've got a full-time job, doing a degree at University, run a blog and a youtube channel, do freelance copywriting as well as own, manage and edit an online magazine I frequently get asked how I manage to get everything done. 

1) Prioritise
When you're managing different projects, you need to prioritise which are most important to you. So for me, my full-time job is my number 1 priority as that's how I make the majority of my income. Secondly, my degree takes priority as I'm almost finished and education is very important to me. Everything else is ordered according to the importance so I know how much of my time to dedicate to each project. 

2) Learn time management
Managing so many projects means your time management must be on point. After you've worked out your priorities, time management will become easier. You'll know which projects you need to spend more time on and deciding how much time per day/per week you can spend on each will help you in the long run. Remember, it's not set in stone. If you decide you need to spend more/less time on something, you can always change it later. 

3) Become a master of lists
I use a life planner and two notebooks to plan everything I need. My planner contains dated daily pages and weekly view plans as well as monthly view plans that help me plan out deadlines and editorial schedules. These also help me work out how much time I need to be spending on each project. I then use two notebooks to plan out my to-do lists, as well as lists of books I need to review, posts I need to write and people I need to contact. My lists are endless and having them all in one place is the perfect way to make sure I get everything done. 

4) Use Evernote
When I decided to get Evernote, it was the best decision I ever made. I have the free version, although there is one you can buy - I'm not at the stage where I need to make a purchase yet. I have Evernote on my laptop, iPad and iPhone and it contains everything I may need wherever I am. So along with my physical notebooks that contain my lists, I also have some lists on Evernote, such as contact details of the contributors of my magazine. I also keep all of my passwords and account details on Evernote so if I'm ever out and about and need to access it, it's right there. 

5) Remember it can be hard, but it will be worth it
Whilst I used to be a bit of a slacker, I now thrive on being so busy. I spend a lot of time fantasising about the way I hope my life will be and I believe on manifesting your own dreams so long days and hard work doesn't scare me anymore because I know it will all be worth it. 
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