Lifestyle, Fashion and travel

Friday, 30 December 2016

NYE Party Styles*

New Year Styles

So tomorrow's the night! Who's ready for New Years?

Whether it's a wild night out with friends or a date night in, you'll need a great outfit and chances are a lot of people - like me usually - have left it to the last minute! Well if you have here's some recommendations for that party season...

Playsuit: Missguided (Similar)

Other places with lovely ideas this year are;

                                                            ( - 10% student discount)

Hope you all have a wonderful New Year - don't get too drunk (says the hippocrit) and make sure you've got some good resolutions to work on!

*This post was in collaboration with Coast but all opinions, products and ideas are my own.


Wednesday, 21 December 2016

LAST MINUTE Christmas Gift Guide for Men*

So it's completely dawned on me that Christmas is THIS SUNDAY! Shit! Where did December go? I had these gift guides planned and almost ready a few weeks ago but December has been so bloomin' busy that I've now realised that it's Christmas Day this Sunday! (and I still haven't got my brother anything, sorry Sean!) 

So here's one for anyone just broken/nearly broken up from work and realised they've actually not got that much time left to finish their Christmas shopping;

I for one never know what to get the men in my family but thought I'd put on a few ideas that have always been a success in the past or that I've found this year!

Decor Light - Electrical Guys - on offer for £24.30
Since my second cousin is a lover of all things superhero - having a look around this website I found a Thor decor light which I thought was absolutely perfect! There's also a whole load of Star Wars ones for all the Star Wars lovers out there (would have bought one for my dad but I've already got him something!) and currently over £10 off, they looked pretty cool for a bedroom addition!

Nike trainers - SkateHut - ranging from £30-£90ish
After checking out the heelys from SkateHut in my last post, I had a bit of a browse of their other products and found that they've got some good deals on some pretty nice Nike shoes (which I'm always a fan of!) - most of the good ones were for Men though so thought I'd let you all know!

Spice / Curry Subscription - NOTHS - £22 (3 month), £42 (6 month), £82 (12 month)
I love Not On The High Street, because it has some of the nicest, quirkiest and special gifts on there - there literally is something for everyone - cooks, gardners, his hers etc - and even though some bits are a bit on the pricey side, some of them are totally worth it! And I got this curry subscription for my dad last year and he absolutely loved it! For the number of months you pay for a little box with some pre-made spices and a specific curry recipe pop through the door and basically all you need to add are a meat/veg and rice! My dad isn't a cooking fanatic but he loves to experiment and make new things, and he loves curry so it was a win win!

12 Days of Christmas Fudge Set - Fudge Kitchen - £15
I must say I'm not a fan of fudge at all - but believe me Fudge Kitchen make the most mouth-watering, tastiest, most delicious fudge ever! I'm dribbling thinking about it! This as a gift would be amazing for anyone! They also sell massive slabs of a range of flavours for around £4 and they're absolutely amazing! This little assortment of Christmassy flavours sound incredible - particularly Christmas Cookie and Sea Salt Caramel!

What do you get males? They're so difficult to buy for!

This post is in collaboration with Electrical Guys, but all opinions and recommendations are my own.


Sunday, 18 December 2016

Christmas Gift Guide for Kiddies!*

Christmas is coming and the goose (and probably a lot of people - me included) is getting fat! Well, we can't deny it any longer (not that we'd want to - our decorations have been up since the 1st December!) IT'S CHRISTMAS! I am absolutely buzzing and although I'm a Christmas fanatic I've been a bit slow and short of ideas for present hunting this year and I know a couple of people - Hi Dad - who love(/or at least find themselves) to leave it all to the last minute so here's a few extra ideas for anyone still struggling...


Heelys - SkateHut - £25-£45
Anyone else have a pair of heelys when they were little? OMG they were the best things ever! I remember feeling like such the sassy little sass-master I was just casually walking through town and then all of sudden - off I went rolling on down the street! I felt like the bomb! However, my pair were when they weren't really a thing and I had to attach the wheels to the outside of my trainers, whereas now they're built in for the added mystery! SkateHut have also got a pretty good deal of up to 45% off at the moment so grab them quick!

Lush Bath Fun - £5.95
Lush have some of the best products right now! I love Lush anyway and at Christmas it's all the more reason to buy everything you can! Since we have a couple of littlens in the family at the mo, but their parents are requesting minimal presents (which my mum has found very hard to deal with and has therefore decided to ignore completely) and you know there's sort of that issue where I have no money and all the money I do have I'm saving for Oz next year ... so when I came across these I thought that's amazing! These are kind of like play dough I think but they double up as a bubble bath/body wash - genius! Such a great way to get kids excited for bath time and not gonna lie, some awesome creative fun for basically everyone - this isn't just limited to kids, I for one would love to play! I opted for Elf on The Shelf but there's a few good ones including Reindeer and Robin and Santa!

Underwater Disco - FireFox - £7.99
I bought this for my cousins children a few years ago when they were about 3 and 5 and they absolutely loved this. It's basically a little disco ball you can put in the bath and creates loads of lights that disperse through the water. I thought it was a perfect little toy that's a bit different and it turned out to be very popular! 

Invent-A-Scent - PrezzyBox - £12.95
I used to love making braids or bracelets and cool things with these types of kits - how cool is it that you can now make perfume?! For creative little girls (appropriate for over 8s) who are into all things beauty and makeup, I think this kind of gift would be perfect!


Baked Goods

Now I know it's not very personal but I'm fairly sure you can't go wrong with a package of fresh, homemade edible goodies for Christmas - especially for kiddies! They also make a great gift for friends or stocking fillers and are just that little bit more sentimental than say buying them from poundland!

I often make a big batch of Gingerbread Men Cookies around this festive season and for my past 5+ years of student-ing - this option has worked pretty well! The whole family - particularly the youngsters absolutely love them!

This year I've got my eye on these Festive Flapjacks so going to give them a go next week!

Any of these ideas look good? Who's absolutely buzzing for Christmas??! 

This post was in collaboration with SkateHut but all opinions and ideas are my own! And photos used are not my own - they are all from the websites linked in the post.


Wednesday, 14 December 2016

A different post

I know I’m very late on discussing this and it’s definitely not at all unique in the blogosphere since I’ve read a great deal of posts (albeit very different posts) discussing the recent political debates, but this post – yes mentioning these things – isn’t meant to be based entirely on that (or trying to shove my views down your necks – so please don’t take any of this as a dig).

Despite the odd and kind of depressing news of the world, for example the recent political outcomes, that’s been bombarding us all recently, I’ve actually found myself really inspired and happy by the support and love that is now arising between a lot of us. Sure I know it’s slightly biased because I’m friends with/follow on social media, the people that have likeminded views to me and therefore I’m only seeing part of the picture. And sure, the outcomes of the recent elections have proven that most of the world has the opposite views to me…  However, trying to stay positive, when reading tweets, blogs or Instagram posts, as well as chatting with friends and family, I find myself quite uplifted by the support that people are now displaying.

It seems to have woken us up a bit and it’s taken this to bring us all together to stand up to anyone trying to exercise their power over our rights as human beings. Maybe it’s because I’m interested in all this stuff, but I’ve been seeing a lot of campaigns and inspiration recently about all matters that are finally getting some light; whether it be speaking up about Mental Health, LGBTQ rights or even animal rights and sustainability. I just thought I’d share with you the happiness I feel to be in a world with some really inspirational and important people – these including the celebrities spreading awareness and forming charities/campaigns as well as the amazing people like you and me (bloggers or otherwise) doing what they can to really make a difference. 


Sunday, 27 November 2016

New York in 24 hours!

On my travel bucket list a few weeks ago I mentioned my eternal love for the city that never sleeps; New York. Now, (perhaps not fitting to be on my bucket list) I have actually been lucky enough to visit New York twice now! Both times I have jetted off with my mum on some last minute trips and the very first time we did, I accompanied her on a trip (she’s an air hostess) in which we were there for literally about 24 hours. Therefore, I saw it only fitting that I did a post on my experience and some of the key must-dos if you ever find yourself in NY for a day…


As the plane ride was a good 8 hours (+ the 5 hour time difference meaning we arrived 7pm NY time which was midnight UK time!) we found ourselves landing in NY pretty late in the evening, however that didn’t stop us. After the pretty long journey from JFK airport into Manhattan (about half an hour drive minimum but with the crew bus and getting through customs - always a long one in America, never underestimate it, it took us a good 1.5/2hrs to get to the hotel), we dumped our bags at the hotel and headed straight to Broadway to grab some last minute tickets for a show. At the time Sister Act was on and was featuring Raven Symone – needless to say she was pretty epic and absolutely hilarious. Such an amazing atmosphere and fab experience!


Monday, 14 November 2016

Yorkshire Wonders

I feel like I'm a bit late in posting about the gorgeous Autumnal weather, but even though the temperature has plummeted drastically and the grey clouds are looming, the coloured leaves are still falling and the gorgeous sunsets/sunrises still dazzle me every day! 

Last weekend, my family came up to York for a well needed visit and on Saturday we headed out to Harrogate to visit some family. After a lovely chat accompanied by tea and cake, we headed out for a lovely Autumnal walk at the National Trust Brimham Rocks. 

It was such a stunning walk, the views were incredible and it felt so lovely to be with my family and take a nice long walk in the fresh, crisp air with nothing to think about! 

Jumpsuit : Missguided

Trainers : Nike Air Thea

Definitely the ideal place for dog walks and since it was half term there were a lot of kids loving it (although some of them I couldn't watch because some of those rocks are pretty high and those kids were being very adventurous - I'd keep an eye on them if you visit!)

Anyone ever visited the Brimham Rocks before? 

What did you think?

Where's your favourite place for an Autumnal walk?


Monday, 7 November 2016

My First Giveaway: CaseApp*

A good while ago I entered a CaseApp giveaway and it was the first one that I actually won! I won myself a nice new case that I could personalise myself. I actually made it for my mum for Christmas and she adores it and it's still going strong a good while later!

And then not long ago, CaseApp contacted me to offer me a chance to get another case and to host my own giveaway to offer you guys a chance to have one too! With CaseApp you can make your own custom iPhone case/laptop skin. They have a variety of styles to choose from like my new one below (I was so torn between the green and a really nice pink and grey one!) or you can customise it yourself with photos like the one above. 

My new one is lovely and so pretty and marble-y and such a nice size and I love it!

Now for my first giveaway I thought I should have some sort of milestone or something, as usually bloggers tend to host giveaways to mark a certain number of followers or subscribers. But since I'm pretty small in comparison and not entirely fussed about the numbers I thought my milestone could be my sudden enthusiasm for blogging again.

I tend to go through phases where I'm really creative and absolutely love it, or get severe writers block and can't think of anything! And even though I'm insanely bogged down with work right now I've managed to clear some time to unwind and unload my thoughts into this blog and I've really enjoyed it. (Lets just see how long this productivity is maintained)

  • Giveaway will last one week, so you have until Midnight on Monday the 14th November 2016 to enter
  • The winner will win a code for £22 to spend on that is valid until the 31st of December
  • Once the winner is announced, I will contact CaseApp and get given the £20 code, please allow 48hrs for contact 
  • The winner will be announced by twitter/via email, within 48 hrs of ending, so to enter please follow josie_victoriaa and leave your twitter username or email in the comments. (If you leave your twitter username but would prefer to be contacted via email please state in the comments, thanks)
  • I will contact you via direct message on twitter/email to provide you with the code.

a Rafflecopter giveaway Disclaimer: CaseApp have provided me and the giveaway winner with a free product but all opinions are my own.

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

What is a 'Mistake'?

Lately, I've been feeling a lot of anxiety and feeling a bit down, and it was all going completely fine last week and the week before and then yesterday it hit me again. Not that I've particularly got much to feel sad about (got a lot of work on but what else is new, and I'm more on top of it than I was a few weeks ago) - which is irritating as hell! - but I'm finding myself either upset and quite anxious or just feeling nothing at all. 

A lot of my feelings or mental health triggers I think stem from safety and a lot of that is provoked when I'm at uni because I'm suddenly miles away from my family or friends and expected to get going and do all this work on my own as well as live on my own as well. 

And when I got thinking about what it was I'm really afraid of this year, I think it's a lot about screwing up. Making a mistake. 

And these 'mistakes' come in a lot of shapes and forms - which is why I think I get so overwhelmed by it all because there's too many for my brain to cope with. 

For example, a presentation (common one I know, but I get very nervous and anxious before it) or meeting with my supervisor (where I need to present to her all the things I've been researching when really I'm still very confused on it all). Coursework. Meeting new people. Blogging - I often lack a lot of confidence and am terrified that something in any of my blog posts could come across in the wrong way. Similarly, I'm always scared that I might do/say something that violates some sort of rule or regulation - I'm really not great on common sense sometimes so this scares me in all aspects of life. Living alone - the running of a house, paying bills, all these things terrify me, what if I do it wrong or don't think about things that I should and something goes wrong?

These are just some of the worries and thoughts that are circling my brain right now and make it difficult to concentrate on actually getting things done so that I can worry less about some of them. 

So what is a mistake really? 

My mum always used to say 'what's the worst that can happen?' and sometimes thinking of these can really help. For instance, if I'm worrying about a presentation or coursework, I think the worst thing that could happen would be that I don't know the answer to a question or I mess up my words or I fail. But really these things are bad but not 'end-of-the-world' bad. But on the other hand thinking like this sometimes sends me into further panic - for example the thought of getting into trouble with the police or something law related, makes me hyperventilate and panic severely, even though I know I've done nothing wrong! 

For the most part this works pretty well though, it comforts me to know that even if I met someone new and made a complete fool of myself - we'll both get up the next day and probably use it as a hilarious story to tell in the future.

I guess the point I'm trying to make is that there are no 'mistake's really. Everything we do, we do for a reason and they all happen to enable us to grow into the people we're meant to be. Some things go a bit shit, e.g. failing an exam or getting fired, but we'll get over them and they don't make us bad people. These 'mistake's aren't really mistakes at all they're just things that happen in life.

So as long as we're putting in work and being good people, everything will be fine!


Thursday, 27 October 2016

Deliciously Ella - Skin Care Range*

Anyone a massive fan of Deliciously Ella and her amazing recipes and healthy goodies!? 

I love her blog and her recipes are brilliant! So healthy and yummy and easy to make - not to mention her incredible energy balls (Hazelnut and raisin is my fave!!). 

So imagine my delight when I saw that she has been collaborating with Neals Yard Remedies to create some fresh, all natural facial goodies!!

Facial Wash:

This beauty is a lovely texture and feels so smooth and cleansing on my skin, and the smell. Oh wow! To be honest, I can only really smell the cucumber (as oppose to the rose and lime) but that doesn't bother me, as the strong cucumber scent gives it a lovely fresh and cool smell and feel, and it really helps to freshen up my face in the morning! I did find that it could be quite drying on my skin though, probably half due to this icy weather to be honest, so I did find that using a good moisturiser to accompany it is essential!


Moisturisers are often difficult for me to buy, I seem to need to stick to one that works, as whenever I try to use a new one my face seems to take a while to adjust. However, this one is really comforting on my skin and leaves it feeling really soft and healthy ... and actually oily free all day! 

The first time I used it, (firstly I used way too much since you literally need a pea size to easily cover your whole face, which wasn't the case for my other moisturiser) I thought it wouldn't work for me, but once it had all sunk in, my skin immediately felt brighter and refreshed for the day. And I've been using it constantly for the past few weeks and been absolutely loving it, the smell, the texture, the everything!

I also really loved the cute little extra touch of Ella in her Top Skincare Tips that came on a little card folded up inside the box! Such a nice little addition, love the design and also really love the tips!

Now I've only been using these products for the past few weeks as they were gifted to me to try out so I will be sure to come back and add to this post on how they feel in the future. All opinions written are my own and I can honestly say these are a great choice if you're looking for some natural, refreshing additions to your facial care routine!

If you're looking to buy these products head to the Neals Yard Remedies website here!

Anyone tried these products before? What do you think of them?


Monday, 24 October 2016

Best Fall Trends: Shoes!

So Autumn is finally upon us and I've been reading a lot of amazing Autumn fashion posts recently and got so much inspiration! So when the lovely Suzy asked if she could guest post for my blog on fashion I was all for it!

Best Fall 2016 Trends In Shoes At A Glance
Even women, who aren’t remotely interested in fashion rules, have a fetish for shoes and handbags. Unlike clothes and outfits, shoes and handbags have a repeat value, and hence, it is always wise to have some of the trending pieces in the closet. You never know when you get a chance to flaunt your collection. Here are the handpicked shoes for fall 2016 worth trying.

Passionate velvet: For 2016, the favourite fabric of fall is velvet. It has emerged in outfits, shoes and handbags, and there are endless styles and ideas that one can steal from the runways. However, velvet is also one of the tricky ideas to play with. Apart from all the luxurious elements, it is very easy to go wrong with the fabric that one has to be extra quotient. If a velvet dress seems too much for you, a pair of shoes can be safer bet. All you have to do is tone down rest of the things in the look, and you can create and amazing appeal. Make sure that you try velvet shoes with a pair of tights.

Blocked you: Block heels are back on the runway for fall 2016, and it makes perfect sense to get a paid. While block heels are amazingly stylish and trending, these are also very forgiving on the feet and don’t really hurt or offer discomfort as high heels. If you are someone who likes to be on the comfort zone, this is a great trend that would continue for years to come. The good thing is block heels can work with almost anything, right from simple trousers to skirts and dresses. Just make sure that you pick the right heel size.

Over the moon: Boots are classics for the fall, and it seems designers just cannot have enough of over-the-knee designs. One of the best ideas for the fall and beyond, over-the-knee boots is great on both comfort and functionality. If you want to wear those small short dresses and skirts in the winter, this is a must have by all means. You can either play it safe with all the darker shades of black and brown, or else, accenting pairs in red, green or blue is like a smart way of getting attention.

Bonus trend: One of the other trends of fall 2016 that surely deserves a mention is the amazing hardware use. Big buckles and other kinds of hardware were amazingly in style, and you can find something that is both aesthetic and appealing at the same time. Keep an eye on the overall elements to bring the right balance, and you are ready for the kill.
Hope you liked the list of fall 2016 trends. Until we meet again, stay stylish!  
[Images Credit:]

Author: Suzy Walsh is a fashion blogger and style expert, who works as the chief editor and curator for The House Of Elegance Fashion. Known for her amazing sense of style, she is followed by readers around the globe.

I'm not particularly a shoe-person myself but those blue velvet boots are stunning and I'm most definitely going to be saving my pennies for these gems! I also love the knee-high boot trend but not sure I can pull them off - maybe this is the year to give them a go!

I've also had a cheeky browse and found some links to where you guys can buy these/similar here;

Over the moon: ASOS (suede) or Office (more pricey)
 Bonus trend: River Island or Missguided

If you like these picks do check out Suzy's writing and tips over on The House of Elegance Fashion.

Like any of these? Which are your faves for this season?


Thursday, 20 October 2016

Life's full of Uncertainty

I've got a lot of unpublished blog posts where I've tried to get into words my feelings from the past month without sounding incredibly depressed or just genuinely not making sense.

Nothing has really happened in particular, but I've been feeling extremely anxious. A lot of nights I've found myself crying myself to sleep or having to run to the loos because I suddenly burst out crying (to be fair I think 'that time of the month' may also be looming so that could have an impact).

I think moving back to university for my final year has forced me to face a lot of familiar feelings; of being alone, home sickness, a lot of work to juggle (that I've now realised Biology really isn't my thing), pressure of recovery but the critical voice in my head etc etc.

With this new sudden surge of anxiety that I've never really felt to this extent before I have experienced sudden huge panics that leave me feeling completely hopeless and to be honest that hasn't really gone away, I just choose to think about something else but I can still feel it lingering and I feel like I'm not really dealing with it.

One of the things that leads me to panic, is thinking of the future. As a third and final year student, (on the one hand thank god, but the other hand... oh shit) everyone I meet asks me what I want to do afterwards. I do mean everyone!! And every single time (sometimes I beat them to it before they actually finish the question just to get through the horrible awkward silence that comes after) I reply with 'to be honest, I've got no idea'.

And at first I would laugh and then leave it, but now it's playing in my mind. Especially with lecturers telling me to apply to graduate schemes now, it's leading me to panic. The sense of running out of time always sends me into a huge panic. (Hell I'm the one that starts getting ready to go out for the evening at around 4 - and it really doesn't take me long to get ready, I'll most probably have mentally picked out my outfit the night before and it's not like I'm skilled with makeup and hair or anything)

I guess what I'm trying to tell myself is that it's OK not to know right now. And I'm not running out of time. In fact the way I should look at it is that I've only got a year (well less than that) until I'll finally be let loose on the world (Australia I'm coming for you... and then the rest of the planet) and finally be free to really do whatever I want. And although I don't really know what I enjoy doing and what career path I want to go into, I need to have faith that it will all work out.

Please tell me I'm not the only one that feels like this sometimes?


Monday, 17 October 2016

Travel Wishlist*

Now I don't know about you, but after seeing a lot of amazing of fabulous bloggers and friends out in fancy places like New York (everyone seems to be going to NY at the moment??) and Bali - Amy Bell why you tease me so much?? - I'm getting some real travel envy and so this got me thinking about some places I plan on visiting when I get the chance, so thought I'd share...


I know I live in the UK, but I really don't go to London as often as I would like and I keep seeing beautiful sites or gorgeous cafes and food places there on social media and what not and I feel I should really make the most of my beautiful country! I also need to branch out and visit the rest of it but that can be on the next wishlist!!


Amsterdam is a new edition to my wishlist to be honest, but since some friends have been and had a wonderful time and shown some incredible views, I've now got to experience it for myself! I would love to rent a bike and cycle round the gorgeous streets and along the river Amstel. I'm so excited that some friends and I are looking into booking a trip there either in the Christmas break or next year after we finish!!

New York

I know, okay, I have been before - but OMG how incredible is this place, I can't get enough of it and everyone going back recently has made me miss it so much - and there's still loads I need to go and do! In fact I would recommend 


Isn't it just beautiful? I think Bali is on a lot of people's wishlists but I'm just dying to go and jump into the sea, surf, relax on the beach and bask in it's beauty! I'm also dying to experience the Nalu Acai bowls, swing on 'The Swing' and watch the sunset out in the ocean and swim in a waterfall!


The ultimate wishlist location for me this is! I will visit Australia (preferably next year and for a couple of months at least!), I WILL! Of course, I wish to do all the touristy bits and bobs, but I also want to just explore. I want to get out and really experience the stunning beaches, have adventures, meet other travellers, make friends, lie out and watch the sunset, ('ave a barby!) and just have fun!

I have stated on many a social media that I am a born and bred Marriott fan, but I'm afraid that luxury can only really come when I go away with my family (who like to use their timeshare). So, since I'm on the look out for new cool places to stay, I was pleasantly surprised to be contacted by the wonderful Alexa and alerted to the brand CitizenM hotels (which actually have hotels in three of my above ideal locations!). 

After checking them out online, the rooms and hotels themselves look pretty awesome and the beds look INCREDIBLE! - I mean they're like 2 by 2 metres!! They're quite a cool, trendy hotel it seems, and include free wifi, free movies, (free bar snacks!) and 24hr food service - for those midnight feasts/the time difference is really bad kind of nights!

These are just the points that caught my eye and bits that I like the sound and look of, but head to their FAQ's page here and check them out if you're interested. Personally the ones in London and New York are probably a bit out of my price range, but Amsterdam rooms are around £70, which - albeit still a little much for me, while still a student, - I think is brilliant value for money since the look and service here sounds pretty awesome!

What are your bucket list places to visit? Anything planned for the near future? Any hotels you'd recommend?

*This post was in collaboration with CitizenM and as of yet I haven't visited a CitizenM hotel, but all thoughts and views are my own.


Monday, 10 October 2016

Listening to your body...

So I've just began my final year at uni and that's screaming alarm bells in my head. Third year = work load bigger than a mountain, not to mention the fact that I'm doing a dissertation project I have very little clue about and will have to plan and carry out my own lab project!! (This coming from a Biology student who pretty much hates labs!) 

Don't get me wrong, I'm glad I came to uni - I've met some brilliant friends, had loads of laughs and experiences and I do genuinely love my course (even if it's just the theory I find interesting not as much the practice) - and I've definitely learnt a lot about myself over the past 2 years. The thing is, I think having been home for the 3 month summer, I've gotten used to the old ways and it's made me a bit nostalgic having to leave again. Not only that but I'm terrified of being put back into the working environment where I'm not capable and I'm scared of getting things wrong. I guess I'm remembering all the less fun, lonely, cold and scary times that I've had at uni (and now associate with it) over the past 2 years and I'm wondering whether I'm strong enough to cope another year. 

As well as this big, scary 'final year' I'm starting a new part time job that is completely out of my comfort zone and to be honest I'm not sure if I'm capable. It'll be great experience (as is anything) but I'll be working closely with people and I don't want to let them down. This is also going to be alongside a very busy and stressful academic year so I'm getting a bit anxious.

So, sorry about the ramble for a bit of context, the point I wanted to write about is, that over the past two weeks I've been feeling very run down and ill. I'm constantly tired, painful throat, sneezing every 5 sec - achuuu - onds and it often takes everything I can muster to not cry. At first I thought, oh it's just a cold. But since it's lasted for a while now (usually it'll last a week tops) and I'm still feeling really rough, I'm thinking it might be linked to my mental health.

I'm getting the feeling that even though this started out as a simple cold, I'm probably making it much worse and making myself ill by continuing to feed my unhealthy thoughts and worries. And it's probably working in a huge circle so that my health is making me feel bad, therefore feeding these anxious thoughts which are making me feel worse, making my health worse etc etc.

So I guess what I'm trying to put into words is that when we feel ill or get these anxious thoughts, there may be an underlying reason and when this comes out in forms of physical illness, it's your body talking to you. I think then, it's time to take a moment to reflect and try and sort it out. 

Here's a few suggestions that I'm giving a go at the moment;

Talking about it to someone. Obvious I know, but often with anxiety/depression, talking to someone - anyone - can give you some perspective and help ease the anxious thoughts.

Meditating/Mindfulness - This is something I've always wanted to do and since I'm about to form a somewhat busy and stressful routine I'm going to include a period of destressing every day and hopefully if I implement this routine addition early I might stick to it.

Yoga - One good thing about coming back to uni is that I can start going to the yoga classes again regularly and I have found in the past that this really helps me feel both relaxed, productive, and healthy.

How are you all feeling at the moment? Do you agree with this? Let me know in the comments;


Sunday, 2 October 2016

Kauai, Hawaii

At the end of summer this year me and my family took a trip to Kauai, one of the most beautiful of the Hawaiian islands (so I've been told), and due to being very busy with third year and having other posts scheduled I've finally been able to download and edit and get this post up for you guys!

Due to flights we were travelling for a full few days, but managed to stop off in Honolulu, Oahu for a day and in this day we took a trek up Diamond Crater and had a cheeky walk down Waikiki Beach.

This walk was really nice actually - very enjoyable for myself, a little more strenuous for my less active family - and the view was incredible!

Waikiki ^:

We also went on a visit to Pearl Harbor which is the site and memorial for the Battle of Pear Harbor, 1941, which marked the entrance of America into the World War II.

In Kauai, we stayed at Marriott, Kauai Lagoons - gorgeous hotel, grounds and the loveliest people (as all Marriotts are to be honest).

The Amazing food at Duke's Kauai restaurant, with a beautiful view of Kalapaki Beach!

In Kauai we obviously had to go to a Luau! We chose The Smith's family Luau, and it certainly didn't disappoint. The food buffet was HUGE and had the most amazing pulled pork you'll ever taste, together with loads of delicious salads, vegetables and other meat dishes like spicy beef and chicken! The hula show was brilliant and very entertaining and we even got a chance to learn a few moves!

We were also incredibly lucky enough to have a helicopter ride round the island! How amazing! The views were nothing short of spectacular and due the somewhat wet-ness during the week, we got to see a lot of waterfalls! The people at Safari helicopters were also really lovely and chatty and the pilot told us a lot about the island as we went round, like how the Robinson family got to own most of the island, and why there are so many chickens running around on it?

The beautiful Napali coast was stunning to witness as well as the beautiful canyons and cliffs all over the island.

Of course we went for a cheeky little surf lesson too, would be rude not to really! I'm proud to announce that I did actually get up onto the board several times, and even made it all the way to the beach (really wasn't that far) - with a little more practice I'll be able to give those 8 year olds (who seemed to be much more talented than us) a run for their money!

If anyone's lucky enough to visit it incredible island, did you enjoy it as much as we did? What kind of things did you get up to there?

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