So on Sunday - without any sort of plan at all - me and Sean set off for Bristol. It's only an hour and a half from Birmingham, and as we'd never been before we thought we would give it a go. We're trying to see as much of the UK as we can at the moment 'cause like I said in my previous post, once we're all moved out and poor we won't be able to travel much. I also just want to apologise for the grainy iPhone photos, I was not getting my camera out in this rain!


So as we knew nothing about Bristol we found the most central car park we could find and hoped for the best. As it turned out we managed to park on the biggest most beautiful shopping centre I'd ever seen; Cabot Circus. Seriously this place knocks spots off the Bullring! We grabbed some lunch and had a nose around for a couple of hours. Cabot Circus has a few shops that we don't over here in Brum; Monki and Pull & Bear just to name a couple.

After wandering around the shops for a while we decided to try and find the harbour which was a lot closer than we realised. There were several stalls lining the harbour which we browsed before coming across a few boat trips. We love boat trips, if there's one thing I have to do whilst travelling it's go on a boat. So we waited for the next one to come along and off we went.


The trip was quite short at around 45 minutes but we learnt a lot. As first time visitors to Bristol it was great to have a little history lesson and have a few prominent places pointed out to us. Despite the rain I loved every second of touring around the canals and I'd love to come back in the summer to do the 6 hour trip to Bath!

After departing we wanted to have a look a Bristols oldest street which was pointed out to us on the boat. We started walking towards it but by this time we were absolutely soaking from the rain. Determined to not let it ruin our day we stopped off for a quick hot chocolate to warm ourselves back up. We'd unknowingly popped into a hostel which honestly looked fab. We didn't even realise it was a hostel until we spotted it marked on a map but both me and Sean agreed we would give it a go if we were ever back this way again.


Full of yummy hot chocolate and a little bit drier we carried on walking the soggy streets until we found Bristols oldest road. I'm not sure what we expected but it was just a bunch of pubs! Sounds about right for Britain though. By now it was getting on a bit and I really wanted to see the Clifton Suspension Bridge as I wasn't sure when I would get the chance again. We wandered back to the car and headed off.

The rain was still pretty torrential by the time we got up to the observatory which was conveniently closed. This didn't matter too much as our view looking over the bridge was just fantastic. I never thought I'd be into bridges but this really is one fantastic piece of construction! We snapped a few quick photos and headed down to actually walk over the bridge. After taking in the views and capturing a few more grainy images we decided to head back into the centre for tea.


We really wanted to eat at the harbour as we had enjoyed walking around there earlier and after weighing up our options we settled on a place called The Stable. It serves pizza, pie, and cider and seemed like a pretty safe choice to be honest. The wait on food was kind of annoying but once it actually arrived both me and Sean enjoyed our chosen pizzas. I opted for some strange vegan concoction while Sean chose a rabbit pizza. I actually tried the tiniest piece of rabbit and I thought I was going to be sick, I'll stick to chicken from now on. 

We headed home around 8pm but we didn't have far to drive so we didn't mind too much. All in all Bristol was fab. It actually reminded me a bit of Amsterdam and we all know how much love I have for that city. Despite the rain we had a lovely day and now I know why the locals refer to this pretty little place as Brizzle.


I'm looking for more UK cities to visit in the next couple of months, I'd love to hear about your favourite places! Let me know where you think I should go next in the comments or over on twitter!

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8 HOURS IN BRISTOL

Life lately, where do I even start? Between University, blogging and traveling around Europe everything has been a bit hectic. I'm all over the place at the moment and even though I'm just about keeping on top of things, it's all starting to catch up with me, and quite quickly too.


I'm coming to the end of my studies and I cannot wait to close that chapter believe me, but at the same time I'm a little bit scared. Do I want to get straight back into full time work? Will I have time for travel? Will I see my uni friends? I can't answer any of these question right now and its leaving my feeling a little uneasy if I'm honest. I really want to leave uni with a good grade and some job prospects but actually doing the work itself in unbelievably tiring. I love taking photographs but I'm not loving the paperwork that its coming with right now. 


As well as writing essays, or should I say avoiding writing essays, I'm trying to find time to see the world. I know this year is my last chance to take spontaneous trips abroad so I am absolutely taking advantage of that. After quitting my job (again) in January, funds are running a little dry but my student loan is keeping me afloat and I've never been more grateful of it. In the last couple of weeks, I've traveled to Disneyland, London, Warsaw, and Dublin. I'm so incredibly tired but I just know once I've moved out of my parents house my adventures will be a thing of the past.


Speaking of moving out, yeah thats something I really wanted to do this year but I'm seeing it being pushed back further and further now. Me and Sean want to move to Dublin, we want to call the Emerald Isle our home but jesus christ have you seen the price of renting over there? If we want to live in a studio apartment anywhere near the city we are going to be waving goodbye to €1000+ a month. I could almost cry at the thought. The more we look at properties, the more I feel like our little Irish life will just be another dream we could never afford. 

So with all of this going on, I'm here whinging about my worries instead of writing an essay or looking for a part time job to help fund our move. I guess I'm just another entitled millennial right? 

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LIFE LATELY

Last weekend me and Sean took advantage of cheap flights and spent the weekend in the gorgeous city of Warsaw. I'll have a vlog up soon on my channel but right now I just want to talk about the luxurious 5 star hotel we stayed in for two nights.

Location
The Sofitel Warsaw Victoria is located in the centre of Warsaw, between the Central Station and the Old Town. The hotel stands just in front of the largest square in Warsaw - PiƂsudskiego Square - and is just metres away from the presidential palace. It can be easily accessed by bus, taxi, foot, or by bike - we actually used all four modes of transport while we were there.


Check in
We were very promptly greeted, checked in, and upgraded within a few minutes of arriving. The receptionist was lovely and spoke perfect English, as did every member of staff we encountered that weekend. We were asked if we needed any help taking our bags to our room but as there were three elevators we chose to just take them up ourselves.

Our Room
I'm not really sure where to even start as our room was just so huge. We were upgraded from a Junior Suite to what I think was an Opera Suite which was twice the size of our original room. The main features of our suite were the two decent sized bathrooms, the king size bed, a living room and rather large desk area. Both the living room and bedroom had large windows which looked down onto the square and park.



Bedroom
In our massive bedroom we had an incredibly fluffy king size bed which came with a pillow menu so we could pick and choose which pillows we wanted brought up to us. The bed was one of the comfiest beds I've slept in and honestly my bed at home just doesn't feel the same since I've returned. We also had a long vanity area, tea/ coffee making facilities, a few chairs, a widescreen TV and a wardrobe. Inside the wardrobe there were two dressing gowns, two pairs of slippers, a sewing kit and other bits and bobs that we might have needed.

Living Room
It's very rare that I stay in a hotel room with a separate living area but this was easily the largest. This room featured hanging space for our coats, a wide screen TV, a two piece suite, a large desk, a coffee machine, a fully stocked mini fridge, and again some other bits and bobs for us to use. 


Bathrooms
Believe it or not we were blessed with two bathrooms; one just off the living room and one off the bedroom. The first bathroom was a decent size and had a toilet, shower, sink and lots of toiletries. The other bathroom was much larger and featured a toilet, a sink, a bath, a separate shower, a bidet, a nice vanity area and again lots of toiletries. 

Room Service
During our time in the hotel we ordered room service twice, both times our meals were delicious and brought up to our rooms very quickly. Neither me or Sean had ordered room service in any other hotel before but we found the prices to be quite reasonable here. If you are short of time, or just want to eat in the comfort of your own room, I highly recommend ordering from the room service menu.


Hotel facilities
The Victoria is a deceptively large hotel, housing a bar, two restaurants, a spa, an indoor pool, a fitness centre, several conference rooms and a casino. During our stay we only used the bar as we were quite short of time but if we were to stay again I would not hesitate to hop into the pool for a few hours.

Overall we throughly enjoyed our stay here. Our suite was easily the nicest hotel room we've ever stayed in and the hotel itself was just fantastic. The staff were all incredibly friendly and were happy to help us out with everything, they also all spoke fantastic English which really came in handy. This is probably my favourite of all the hotels I've ever stayed in and believe me I've stayed in quite a few hotels over the years! I would absolutely love to stay here again next time we visit Warsaw.

Do you have a favourite hotel? I've love to hear all about it!

Thanks for reading

x

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HOTEL REVIEW | SOFITEL WARSAW VICTORIA

I've been such a bad beauty blogger recently - I honestly have boxes and boxes of products to review but I am slowly getting around to it. Today I thought I'd talk about a Weleda Sensitive Skin Hand Cream* I was gifted quite some time ago.


About The Product
This almond scented cream is pH balanced and contains organic almond oil. It claims to be fast absorbing and can help calm and moisturise sensitive skin that is prone to irritation. As you probably all know I have really bad eczema on my hands so I'm a prime candidate for this kind of product.

Price
This product retails at around £10 for a 50ml tube. This is more than I would usually pay for a moisturiser and I'm not sure if I would pay this again, but considering the quality of the cream I don't think the price is too outrageous. 


Does It Work?
After I had been using the cream for a couple of days I did notice quite a significant improvement in the dryness of my hands. It also helped ease off the tightness my skin feels especially during the colder months when my hands are usually at their driest. I don't think the cream is particularly fast absorbing though, not that this bothers me in the slightest but it's worth knowing if you're considering using the cream in between doing things. 

Shop Weleda Hand Creams

My Verdict
So what do I think of this product? Well honestly I've been getting on really well with it. It moisturises my hands and it does leaving them feeling very soft. My favourite thing about this product though is the scent. It smells like I'm smothering Disaronno or Cherry Bakewells into my skin - that doesn't actually sound too appealing but believe me the smell is just beautiful. Even though the cream comes with quite a strong scent, I don't feel that this irritates my skin at all like some other scented products do.

Do you have a favourite hand cream? I'd love to hear about it!

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* This post contains gifted items, however all opinions are my own.

WELEDA ALMOND HAND CREAM

I've been blogging for almost four years and in that time I've been lucky enough to have worked with some fab brands. Whether it's been reviewing a new product, being featured on their site or putting together a style guide for them, I've worked with all kinds and I've learnt a lot in the process.


It's okay to say yes

There's been a lot of opinions on bloggers getting 'freebies' or being paid for sponsored content lately, but honestly who cares? If you want to try that new product out or you could do with a little bit of cash go for it! As long as you are always honest and it's relevant to your style of blog I don't see the problem. Bloggers put a hell of a lot of time into their blogs so I don't see why they shouldn't get some perks.

It's okay to say no

Sometimes a brand will get in touch and they don't quite fit in with your style. It's okay to turn down their offer. They will find another blogger and you won't feel like a sell out. On the other hand a company might ask you to work on a project you like the sound of but their budget might be a little low. As a blogger you have to understand that sometimes companies look at us as a cheap way of advertising and it's not always worth spending hours on a blog post for pennies. I've been asked to write posts for as low as £4 and honestly I think its a bit of a piss take.


Treat PR people like friends

PR people spend a lot of time looking for the right bloggers for a campaign. They might have looked at hundreds in one day and if they send a personalised email to you I think it deserves a reply. They won't expect to hear back every time if they've sent out thousands of generic emails but if they've took the time to address you specifically or even mention a particular blog post, you should take the time to email back. I also don't think it hurts to be nice and ask them how their day/weekend/ holiday has been as well. Building business relationships is important but it's just as - if not more - important to be friendly and polite.

Stick to your word
  
If you've been gifted a product to review or feature on your blog/ social media, you should do just that. PRs will be nagged by their managers if they've sent products out without results. They might send you a friendly email asking when you will feature that product and you should always be honest with them. If you can't feature it for a couple of weeks, let them know, at least then when their manager asks they can say you've been in contact. You might not be given opportunities by the same PR company in the future if you go AWOL after getting 'freebies'. Along the same lines I always drop the company a little email when a post featuring their product goes live, they might not care but it's good to keep them in the loop.



Read the small print

Lucky for me I don't have any horror stories to tell but I always think its a good idea to read the terms when working on a campaign. I'm working on something right now which, when it goes live, the company has the rights to use any photographs featuring the product. I agreed to this at the start but if you don't read through things properly when you sign up, you might have a nasty surprise later down the line.

Enjoy it

Even though us bloggers do spend a lot of time and energy on our content we are lucky to be given some opportunities. I think it's important to enjoy the experience and take pride in the work you create whether it's paid or unpaid. 



So that's about everything I can think of right now. I don't claim to be an expert blogger but I've been on the scene long enough to have picked up a few tips that you guys might find useful. Just a side note, I've put the word 'freebie' in quotations as we all know there as nothing free about products gifted to us for promotion.

I really hope you liked this post and I'd love you to get in touch if you have any tips when it comes to working with brands!

Thanks for reading

x

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THINGS I'VE LEARNED FROM WORKING WITH BRANDS

When I was growing up my parents would always take me on holidays and days out. Every chance they got, we would go and explore somewhere new and I loved every second of it. Whether we were spending a week in Butlins or going for a picnic in the countryside we were always doing something different.

My parents really liked to pack the car up with all our stuff and just drive. We'd stop at hotels, holiday parks and anywhere else that would put us up just to see what was available that week. We did this a lot and when I was around 8 we discovered a fairly well hidden holiday park just outside Bournemouth.


Sandhills was really small, a lot of the people on-site owned their caravans and there was a lovely community feel about the place. We fell in love with that park and returned year after year as we had made so many friends that we would always meet with. It got to the point that we would drive down to Sandhills up to five times a year; whenever there was a school holiday really. 

When I was 14 I was lucky enough to go on a school trip to the French and Belgian battlefields of World War One. I'd been abroad before when was I was 4 and again when I was 11 but this was really something different. My best friend at the time came too and we had such an incredible weekend. Although I was used to going on holiday, it was always to some little english seaside town, so to do something completely new was amazing.

I loved talking to foreign people, I wanted to know what their lives were like in these strange new places and I wanted to see every part of these countries we had been taken too. On the ferry home we met some German boys, the 14 year old me found them very attractive and guess what? I could just about speak German. Although the encounter was brief and I definitely butchered their language I enjoyed being able to communicate with someone who wasn't English and I guess that's where my interest in languages comes from. The weekend was soon over and I was left feeling empty.


Around the time I was finishing up with my GCSE's I was asked if I wanted to go to Greece with my Aunt, Uncle and cousin for two weeks that summer. I don't think I'd ever jumped at an opportunity so quickly. It was nearly a year since I'd last left England and I was desperate to see more of the world. Within a few weeks I had a passport and we were all booked up for the holiday of a lifetime. Although we were still visiting Sandhills every chance we got, it was starting to lose its shine as I'd gotten a taste of real adventure. 

Those two weeks were such a changing point for me. It was the first time I can ever remember getting on a plane and it was the first time I got the chance to really explore a new country. We spent the days driving around the island of Crete and swimming in the most gorgeous warm blue ocean I'd ever seen. We met people from everywhere and saw some fascinating ancient sites too. I came home feeling more determined than ever to see the world. 

We stopped going to Sandhills when I was around 17. We still have the friends and the memories but now we have the passion for seeing new things too. We even manage to get my mom on a plane once a year or so and she really isn't a fan of flying. I do spend most of my time now travelling with Sean and we get away whenever we can. The poor bugger had never even left the country before meeting me but he got himself a passport within a year of us getting together and we've never looked back.

        

Since those two trips I took in my mid teens I've tried to work my way around Europe, ticking off; Spain, Turkey, The Netherlands, Germany, Ireland and more. As I'm writing this I've actually just returned from a fab trip to Disneyland Paris, which was less of an adventure holiday than we usually take but no less fun. I'll also be jetting off to Poland in the morning for a short trip so I'll be wandering around the streets of Warsaw when this goes live on Sunday. 

If there's one thing I'm passionate about it's travel, I pour all of my money into my next getaway and I hope now you guys can understand - if only just a little - exactly where that love affair started.

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x

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WHERE MY PASSION FOR TRAVEL CAME FROM


With spring approaching fast I thought it was about time I updated my wardrobe. I've been buying baggy jumpers and cosy coats for months now and I'm done with it. I want to start stocking up on some fresh new pieces and so I've rounded up the five items I think we should all have in our wardrobe in time for spring.

Pointed Flats


Ballet flats have been a thing since forever and I can't see that changing any time soon, however plain shoes can be a little bit boring and let your whole outfit down. A pointed ballet flat can add a bit more interest to an outfit without being the main feature. I wore flat pointed Ghillie shoes for practically all of spring/ summer '16 and I plan to do just that again this year when it warms up a little.

Something with Ruffles 


Ruffles are having a bit of a moment right now and I'm loving it. Although I'm currently struggling to find pieces that flatter my body, I hope to have a wardrobe full of ruffles by the time spring rolls around. I'm especially loving pastel coloured ruffled blouses at the moment. 

Fake Band T-shirts


I jumped on this bandwagon months ago and I'm planning to ride it out until next winter. Fake band tees have been cropping up pretty much everywhere recently and I'm so glad they are a thing. I love wearing baggy band tops but I wont wear them if I don't listen to the band printed on the front. Its a personal choice but I much prefer wearing a top with a fake band logo on it, at least then I don't have to pretend like I know what I'm taking about if someone questions me about my favourite song.

Mini Bags


Teenie tiny bags that you can just abut fit a purse into? Yep, you need one. I've been seeing these baby sized bags everywhere lately and I can really get on board with them. Not only are they super cute, but they encourage you to leave the crap at home. 

Frayed hem jeans


I'm not even sure how this came to be a trend but I'm kind of in love with it. My mom and dad were absolutely disgusted the first time I came home with frayed hem jeans, how could I pay £30 for something that wasn't even finished?! To the dismay of parents everywhere I think this trend is going to be around for quite some time.

So those were the items I think you should all run out and buy right now! I've never really been one to follow trends as such but these right here are all something I'm happy to splash the cash on!

Have you already started stocking up for spring?

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5 ITEMS YOU NEED IN YOUR SPRING WARDROBE

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