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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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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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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