If you haven't already been bored to tears with my latest holiday photos on Instagram then I'm sure you will be soon. For anyone who missed it, back in January I spent 3 amazing days in the beautiful city of Belfast all on my own. It was amazing and little bit scary at the same time but I am SO glad I did it


Belfast Town Hall

I got the chance to walk around most of the city, and I ticked a fair few things off my list. Three days however is not a massive amount of time to really see the guts of a city so there were also quite a few things I didn't get chance to do.

But before we talk about that, what are the top 5 things I think you should do in Belfast?

- Free walking tour - If you know me you will know this is the first thing I usually check myself onto in a new city. Virtually all small cities will run a free walking tour and in my opinion they are the best way to not only get your bearings in a new place, but to also meet people from absolutely everywhere!
They are also super budget friendly which is always a bonus in my book, just tip the tour guide what you think the experience was worth at the end!

- Drink at the crown - So this is probably one of the most beautiful pubs I've ever seen, honestly it's unreal. I won't go into too much detail as I think this is one of those things you need to see with your own eyes, but believe me when I say this is worth stopping for. Another bar I would highly recommend is the 5 points. It's slightly out of the city centre but there is live music on every night and the atmosphere is fantastic!


The Giants Causeway

- Tour of Falls Road - Whether you walk it alone or with an organised group, a wander around this residential area is a must. The history here is unreal and it will likely shock you, especially if you've grown up in mainland Britain as it's not really talked about at all. Brits, take note of what happened here because you won't be taught about it at school. There are multiple memorials in this area so please think about that and be respectful whilst touring the Falls.

- The Giants Causeway - Okay so not technically in Belfast but it's just too close to miss! The Causeway will probably be like nothing else you have ever seen before and it is well worth a trip in my opinion. It's so beautiful I actually teared up a bit whilst I was there and I'm not even ashamed to say that. Yes it's touristy but who cares? It's amazing.

- Carrick-A-Rede Rope Bridge - Again not in Belfast but virtually down the road from The Giants Causeway so you might as well do them both. This creeky little bridge is suspended around 100 ft above sea level and is owned by the National Trust. Whilst you'll likely have to queue to cross, no trip to this area of Ireland is complete without tiptoeing over to Carrick-A-Rede Island.

- Wander around the cathedral district - Filled with bustling pubs and bars, a quick trip to the cathedral district is a must. Here you will find the most famous pub in Belfast - The Duke Of York. It will probably be busy but it has everything you could want from a little Irish pub.


Carrick-A-Rede Rope Bridge

As I said, I didn't really have time see everything I planned to. This usually happens when I go travelling to be honest, I always find more and more things I want to do whilst I'm out there and no amount of planning would help me fit it all in. So what do I do when I fall in love with a place and still have half an unchecked to do list? I go back. And that is exactly what I'll be doing this Wednesday!

So what am I going to make sure I see this time?

- Crumlin Road Gaol - A must for any history geek, Crumlin Road Gaol was in operation for 150 years. In this time it had housed over 25,000 prisoners which included men, women, and even children.   

- Titanic Museum - I actually missed this museum off on purpose whilst I was in Belfast last month as I had heard nothing but bad reviews. That being said they were mostly from Belfast residents who had likely been a thousand times before on school trips and such, so I'm going to give it a go and see what it's all about. 


Bobby Sands Mural Falls Road

- Political Tour - Whilst on my free walking tour I was told about the Political Tour which can also be taken. The tour is lead for the first half by an ex IRA member and in the second half it is lead by an ex Loyalist. I would really like to make time for this next week as it would be very interesting to hear about The Troubles from people on both sides who were actively involved in it. 

- Kelley's Cellars - This was firmly at the top of my to do list in January so I'm not really sure how I missed it but this time I am going to prioritise a trip to this 250 year old pub. 

As always I would love to hear what you would recommend I see whilst in Belfast. What did I miss from this list? Let me know in the comments or over on Twitter!

Thanks for reading!


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TOP 5 THINGS TO DO IN BELFAST & 5 I WISH I DID

Well I've been single for quite a few months now. It's not something I really expected to happen but I think it's safe to say I have been absolutely loving single life! The shake up over the summer was a bit dramatic to say the least but I'm here, I'm fine, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

So in celebration of my first valentines day out of a relationship I thought I would talk about my favorite things about being a single pringle (shoot me for using that phrase please).


I can starfish to my heart's content - There really is something beautiful about waking up on a saturday morning in a big cosy double bed and not having to share a single inch of it with anyone else.

My $$$ is my own - I am saving money like an absolute trooper. Okay that's a bit of a lie because I'm actually spending a fortune on travel (see here for details) but I don't have to fork out for dinners, presents, or anything else that comes with being in a relationship. I'm still saving for a mortgage but when the time does finally come to buy a house it will be mine and mine alone.

I can start and actually finish a whole series - There are so many TV shows I've watched in the last few months that I know I just wouldn't have had chance to watch all the way through If I had a boyfriend.

Absolute freedom - There's something terrifyingly amazing about having the freedom to do whatever you want. Do I want to go to the shops on my own? Yes? Great, off I go! Do I want to take a little city break on my own? Yep? Fucking go for it! For someone who could barely get on public transport of their own last year I have come a bloody long way.

I can sleep with who I want, when I want - This doesn't always mean sex. I can spend endless nights awake putting the world to rights with friends, family, and people I've only just met. The best conversations happen when you're eyes are full of sleep and your body is crying out for rest. Also the one penis for life club rejected me so there is that...

I've been given the chance to rediscover who I really am - And I'm now planning out who I want to be. It's very easy to give all of yourself to someone else and lose who you really are when you're in a relationship. I will never again lose the beautiful brave girl I've become.

Getting those qualifications - Somehow I manage to have time to go to college. I know I moan like hell about my college course and believe me I can not wait until it's over, but by the summer I will have a qualification in marketing and I will be one step closer to having my dream job. I'm going to be a rich lady one day. 

It's been a crazy time but it's been amazing. I've bloomed into a happy, independent, confident person, and whilst my life isn't always smooth sailing I can honestly say that losing a partner and finding myself has been the best thing that's ever happened to me.

Happy valentines day to every loved up couple out there, and also to every single person falling in love with themselves 

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HAPPY VALENTINES TO ME - 7 THINGS I LOVE ABOUT BEING SINGLE

A year or so ago I stopped exfoliating my face. I didn't stop completely but I reduced the amount I exfoliated my face massively. I used to give my chops a good scrub once a day, sometimes even twice if I felt a little bit meh. Initially my face felt amazing, it was just so smooth, but I soon realised that this hard treatment was actually drying my skin out and making my breakouts worse too. So I said 'no more!' and cut down my exfoliating to just once a week.

Now don't get me wrong, I do still get dry skin occasionally, and I don't think I will ever be blemish free but for me limiting the amount I exfoliate works a hell of a lot more than scrubbing away ever did! There's a thousand and one opinions on exfoliating so feel free to do your own research but today I'm going to spill the beans on what I love using on my mush.


So what do I use now?

Simple Kind To Skin Refreshing Facial Wash Gel - Me and Simple skincare go back as far as I can remember. Their products saved me through my teen years and even now in my 20s (cry) they're still a firm favourite with myself and all my other lady friends. This facial wash in particular is a prized product of mine as it contains good vitamins, is soap free, and it's super gentle too. It leaves my face feeling squeeky clean and is pretty purse friendly coming in at just under £4 for a 150ml bottle. It is also fragrance fee which doesn't bother me as I love a good scent, but I know for a lot of people with sensitive skin this is a must!


Neutrogena Visibly Clear Pink Grapefruit Facial Wash - Another budget friendly product is this little Neutrogena beauty. It was a complete impulse buy to be honest but the cute colour caught my eye and the amazing scent sealed the deal. I love anything grapefruit scented and whilst I can see this being a bit too overpowering for some, I'm smitten. It promises to cleanse, purify, and invigorate which I would generally agree it does, all whilst sitting pretty in my bathroom. You can pick this up in most stores for between £4 - £5 although I swear I paid about £3 for my 200ml bottle in Savers!

So those little gems are my current favourite facial washes. As always I am open to any face wash recommendations you guys might have as I am forever trying out new products. What's your go to facial wash? Let me know in the comments or over on twitter!

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WHY I NO LONGER EXFOLIATE MY FACE & WHAT I USE INSTEAD

Of all the fancy little handbags I own, nothing makes me happier than chucking on my battered and bruised backpack ready for my next adventure. I don't think I will ever bin that little beauty, after all its visited more countries than the average person has! But I'm not going to talk about that beat up rucksack today, nope, I'm going to share exactly what I fill it with!



So what is in my travel bag?

Camera - I would honestly rather leave my purse at home than leave my camera. For me a big part of travelling is capturing my memories and I know a lot of people say you 'should live in the moment' but I'm a firm believer that you can do both. Now there are so many different cameras on the market so it's important to do your research before making any purchases. One camera that recently came to my attention is the fairly new Lumix mirrorless camera from Panasonic. It features the best image quality of all the Lumix cameras, the ability to capture slow motion video, and can record 4k video too making it ideal for vloggers. It also has Wifi which is something I think we can all agree modern cameras should have.

Spare SD card & Tripod - So what's the use in having a banging camera if you don't have the necessary accessories? I will always take at least one spare memory card away with me just incase I fill the first one or, worst comes to worst, I somehow break it. I wouldn't purchase anything less than a 16gb memory card if I'm honest, that way you can snap away without worry.

I've also been using my baby tripod a lot more recently. I have a full sized tripod but it's no good for travelling. When I'm out and about I like to take my minature one which can quite comfortably fit in the bottom of my rucksack. This teenie tripod came in especially handy last week while on my solo trip as it meant I could easily take full length photographs of myself and even use it as a more sturdy selfie stick - would recommend!



Headphones - Does this even need an explanation? Bored? Pop your headphones in and listen to the sweet music you likely downloaded in a hurry the night before. Worried that strangers might talk to you? - Pop your headphones in. Desperately need to watch cat videos? Headphones in!

Plasters - Again an obvious one but one everyone seems to forget? I am the blister queen which means I'm a plaster hoarder. I'll take about 7 different types away with me just incase!

Portable Phone charger - Live on instagram like me? For Christs sake invest in a portable phone charger. That way you can scroll to your heart's content and still have enough battery to load up your boarding pass at the gate!



Lip Balm - Okay so I'll likely take a minimized version of my make up kit but I could go without all of that as long as I had a decent lip balm. It doesn't matter where in the world you're going, you need to keep them lips looking lush. No-one wants dry cracked lips in their holiday photos, am I right girls? I would strongly recommend picking up a lip balm with SPF in it, even if you're going on a staycation in the UK, we do occasionally get sunlight too!

Document wallet - I have a little A6 sized document wallet that comes on all of my travels with me. It just makes it easy to have everything I need in one place and I'll always check its firmly inside my bag before heading off. What do I keep inside you ask? Well I'll pop in my passport, travel insurance certificate, hotel details, flight details, any tickets I've purchased, and the life saving EHIC card. For anyone unsure an EHIC is a European Health Insurance Card which entitles you to free healthcare in Europe, for now...

Sanitary towels - Better to be safe than sorry!



Medication - Boring I know but I will always have a stash of medical goodies. You can guarantee I'll have a selection of paracetamol, diarrhea tablets, heartburn tablets, and maybe more depending on which mystery illness I'm suffering from at that time.

A pair of pants and socks - You know the 'take enough pairs to piss yourself twice a day' rule? Well I take it very seriously. Not only will I have 17 pairs of pants in my case for a 3 days break, I will also keep another spare pair in my hand luggage. Honestly I'm probably not going to have an accidental wee, but there's every chance my suitcase could get lost and I would like to have some clean undies for the next day.

So that's what I cram into my very worn, slightly falling apart, hand luggage bag. What do you always take on your adventures with you? Let me know in the comments or over on Twitter!

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WHAT'S IN MY BAG - TRAVEL/ HAND LUGGAGE EDITION

Where the fuck did 2018 go? Considering last year was an absolute bag of shite it flew by! To put it mildly last year wasn't the best, but I did visit some incredible places.

From the Battlefields of Belgium, to the largest brick castle in the world, and even Ben Nevis, I saw a lot. I ticked off three new Hard Rock Cafes and I met up for real life drinks with friends I'd only ever spoken to online before. I left the UK 4 times last year and went camping a hell of a lot too, but I want to smash that this year.

Chanonry Point, Scotland 

In 2019 I plan to go on weekend break every single month of the year. Yep you heard right. I have no idea how I'm going to physically do it or finance it but I'm determined. I've not got a massive amount planned yet but there are a few places I know I want to tick off the list.

So where shall I go in 2019?

Belfast, Ireland - This one is planned, actually it's more than planned, its booked. And I leave in 7(!!!) days. But that's not all. I'm going alone. "Why?!" I hear you cry! Well I haven't got a fucking clue if I'm honest but it's happening. All I've ever wanted to do is see the world and if I have to do it alone, well I guess that's better than not going at all.
But in all seriousness I'm shitting it and I would really appreciate your Belfast travel tips and moral support at this point.

Things I want to see while in Belfast: Titanic Museum, Giants Causeway, Crumlin Road Gaol.

Falls of Dochart, Scotland

Bruges, Belgium - Lovely little Belgium, it's one of those countries you can't help but fall in love with. The history, the architecture, and the people, Belgium has it all (especially the people though, Belgians are ridiculously friendly).

A few days ago I booked a trip to Bruges with my Mom and Sister and I AM SO EXCITED. I've wanted to visit this fairytale town since forever and now I'm finally going! 

Things I want to do while in Bruges: The Belfry of Bruges, eat 500 merveilleux cakes, visit some of the many museums.

Prague, Czech Republic - Prague is another place that has been on my list for ages. Anyone I've ever spoken to about this pretty city only has good things to say about it and just from looking at photos I can tell it's a beautiful place. Maybe 2019 is the year I drown my sorrows in cheap Czech beer?

Things I would do in Prague: Explore the old town and see the astronomical clock, visit Terezin Concentration Camp, Prague Castle.

Loch Lomond, Scotland

Sheffield & Durham UK - Not as exotic as some of the other places on this list but still places I hope to see. I figured I could probably visit both of these northern towns in one long weekend if I tried hard enough.

I spent my childhood exploring the southern coast of the UK and I very rarely travel any further North than Birmingham city centre so it will be nice to see a different part of the UK.

Things I would do in Sheffield: The Winter Garden, Millennium Gallery.
Things I would do in Durham: Durham Castle, Museum of Archeology

Lisbon, Portugal - Teenage Grace was a complete beach bum. A holiday to me back then meant endless hours lounging on the sand and splashing about in the sea and, whilst I still enjoy that today, I'm much more of a city girl. That's probably why Portugal is the only 'hot' country to make the list. Even though its surrounded by water I doubt I would have much time to nip down to the shore if I did visit Lisbon. 

Things I would do in Lisbon: Wander around the Alfama district, Castelo de S Jorge, Torre De Belem.

Ben Nevis, Scotland

And that's it! My travel list is forever expanding and I have no doubt that I will be adding to this list as the months go by. I need to pick at least 7 more places to visit if I'm going to have a little break every month.

As always your tips and recommendations for places to see/ things to do/ things to eat are always welcome. This year is going to be a year of adventure and I am so ready for it!

Where are you planning to visit in 2019?


Thanks for reading!


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THE 2019 TRAVEL LIST


Hi I’m Grace, a born and bred Brummy, but I’m sure you already knew that. I love my home city and even the strange accent it gave me, but now days I spend most of my time planning to escape this town. So much so that when asked where I like to eat and drink I could real off a list bars in Amsterdam, and I could tell you exactly where to get the best grub in Disneyland Paris, but Birmingham? I’m not so sure.

I’m forever jetting off to new and exciting places when I have a whole host of great things on my doorstep. There are so many fun and interesting things to do here, from the fantastic IKON Gallery, to the Botanical Gardens, and a huge range of fab bars, pubs, and hotels in Birmingham that I am yet to try. Not forgetting that we have more canals here than Venice! Oh you knew that one already? Well it's true and since the massive redevelopment a few years back Brindley Place and similar areas have become pretty popular sites to grab some grub and a few bevies. 


So where would I recommend for a couple of drinks? A few weeks ago I wouldn’t have been able to tell you, that was until I challenged myself to a Brummy Bar crawl to discover some fab new places in the city centre. And I didn’t even touch Broad Street once, I actually stayed on the same road for most of the night!

So where did I go?

Bodega Bar and Cantina
12 Bennets Hill, Birmingham, B2 5RS

Bodega is a fun little eatery where you can get some fab Mexican food and drinks. Tori (my drinking partner for the night) and I both ordered Burritos which were much too spicy for our tastes and I ordered a Mojito because I’m boring and basic.

I’m not going to lie the service was pretty bad that night, several tables who were seated long after us were served before so that wasn’t fab. That being said the atmosphere is pretty cool and there is a Mexican Stir Fry on the menu that I really fancy. 6/10 - would return on a school night.


The Cosy Club
33 Bennetts Hill, Birmingham, B2 5SN


After slurping down our drinks we nipped over the road to The Cosy Club. This fancy little bar is a firm favourite with lots of locals and I’ve been once before myself. It's not the cheapest place in the world but it isn’t extortionate considering the banging city centre location and pretty interiors. 

Here I ordered a Grapefruit Gin and Lemonade which was surprisingly tasty and Tori went for a Cherry Bakewell cocktail which she said was amazing. 8/10


Dirty Martini
7 Bennetts Hill, Birmingham, B2 5ST

If you’ve been here a while you will know I’m a big fan of the fairly new Dirty Martini. The decor here is amazing and I couldn’t think of a more Instagram worthy bar in all of Birmingham. I’ve had several little drinkies in here before and I have no doubt I will be back again.

Expect to pay between £9 - £10 for a Martini here unless you manage to visit at happy hour which runs A LOT and then you can pick one up half price. Tori and I both ordered the Poppy Blush Martini which was on special for a fiver and tasted delicious! 9/10


Lost and Found
8 Bennetts Hill, Birmingham, B2 5RS

Lost and Found is one of those bars I’ve been meaning to visit for ages, I’ve heard nothing but good reviews and I can kind of see why. Like the others it was completely rammed and hard to get served at the fairly small bar, but what can you expect on a Friday night really?

Similar to others along Bennetts Hill, the interiors are fantastic and almost mimic a victorian pub, or at least what I expect a Victorian pub would look like. We even spotted a secret room that seemed to have an event on at the time, but it looked amazing. 7/10


The Botanist
14 Temple Street, Birmingham, B2 5BG

Another bar I have visited before and the only one from the night not on Bennetts Hill, it's actually situated on the next road over. The Botanist is a gorgeously decorated bar that serves all sorts of weird and wonderful beverages, which is why I’m very sad to say I only ordered a diet coke this time. Tory was a little more fun an opted for a Mocktail but its safe to say we were done with alcohol by the time we arrived here. Even if you go for nothing more than a coke I would say the Botanist is still well worth a visit! 7/10


There are so many lovely little bars and restaurants in Birmingham City Centre and I'm always looking for more recommendations so please feel free to leave them below or send me a tweet!


Thanks for reading!



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* The spending money was gifted by Hotels.com, however all views are my own.

MARTINIS AND MOJITOS - A FANCY BAR CRAWL IN BIRMINGHAM CITY CENTRE

And just like that it's December. I cannot even begin to explain how busy the last few weeks have been for me. I would say I'm not coping well but, I'm still here and just about keeping on top of everything. 

So as its a new month its time to pop down my three keys to happiness. Like I said, I haven't really had time to even breathe these last few weeks so there is a hell of a lot to write...


Something to look forward to...

Well the biggest thing I have coming up at the moment is Disneyland Paris! I am beyond excited for this trip. It's the first time I have been during the Christmas Season so I know it's going to be magical. There was a bit of drama around this trip (isn't there always?!) but that's thankfully resolved now. On Friday morning my lovely friend Zoe text me to say she had noticed that the return flight she booked for us was actually in June and not this Sunday. Fast forward a lot of stress and a few hundred pounds and we now have brand new flights. We also still have a return flight from Paris in June so I guess we will just have to go again right? RIGHT?!!

I am also very excited for Christmas and a few family birthdays dotted throughout December. I'm just really looking forward to spending good quality chill time with the people I like the most.

Something to be proud of...

Well not losing my shit (too much) the last few weeks is one. I have honestly had a lot of crap to deal with and even though I cried a lot, and even once at work, I'm still milling along. Life has a funny way of throwing pretty much everything it can at you in one go but what can you do really? Sometimes you just have to get on with it even if you really can't see the point.

I'm also really proud of all of the fun blog collaborations I've had in the last few weeks and are continuing to plan even now. I've worked with a lot of great brands recently and even managed to get a paid opportunity which was fab. My platforms seem to have really taken off lately and honesty I'm just so excited to see where my little blog takes me in the future!

Something to do...

I spent the start of the month in London. You might have noticed from the distinct lack of pretty much any content anywhere that it was hectic. My sister and I went down for the Vuelio blog awards (which was amazing by the way) but stayed and made a girly weekend of it. 

I've also spent today at the Good Food Show at the NEC. I'd not been before so I was very excited to see what that was all about. We had a live cooking lesson with James Martin and ate hundreds of testers, most of which were booze. I came away with two massive bottles of Amarula and tonnes of other goodies. 

As I said previously I'm also going to be spending a good few days running around Disney and I have lots of other bits and bobs to keep me busy. I also have a marketing exam this Tuesday that I have had hardly any time to revise for so I'm not sure how well that's going to go down. If there's one thing I'm definitely not lacking this month is things to do!

So those are this months keys. I think this is going to be the last one I do of these, I'm probably not as happy as I should be still but my god am I trying. I know that sooner or later I am going to be completely content and I am so excited for that. Until then I will plod along doing whatever I can to build myself up into the woman I want to be!

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MY KEYS TO HAPPINESS - DECEMBER

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