2019

It’s remarkable what a common cold can do to one’s brain after having lots of sleep and drowning in scrunched up used bog roll. (Gross I know)

New Year’s Day. Always a funny one in my eyes. I always imagine the nation in complete zombie mode after the festive season has put them through, some people might say, a ravenous period of indulgence.

Nevertheless, our poor souls have sat slumped in front of the telly watching shit films and compiling a productive New Years resolution list together. Which looks something like this:

1. Join gym

2. Eat healthily

3.Dry January (attempt)

4. Drink lots of water

5. Save save save …

6. Self-love

Yeh I know right? January has always been a bit of a dull month, not to mention half my family has their birthdays in January so number 5 can come off my list for another month.

It’s crazy to think that this time last year I was in Australia with my boyfriend and his family. I was a little worse for wear but that hangover definitely beats the cold and chest infection I currently have this year. I saw 2019 in stone cold sober which was a surreal moment for me seeing as the last few years I’ve woken up not remembering a thing. But hey, at least I didn’t have my head in a bin this year regretting the percentage of alcohol consumed.

The reason I thought I’d write this is that I’ve noticed a lot of us speaking about self-love. Whether you found it last year or you’re only just putting it into action for 2019, I too am on the path to find self-love.
2018 has been an insane year for me. I’ve learned a lot. Gained some lifelong friends via the out favorite and most loved social media platform… Guessed it? Oh, you’re too clever! Of course, Instagram has become a portal for many opportunities for me. I’ve gained a part-time job as well as some people I’d call some of my best friends, I’ve found that I have a niche for creating Lightroom presets and I bloody love taking photos and creating content.

One thing I never found really was self love. I mean, I am happy. I am very happy and I have never been in a place before within myself to say that I am fully content. However, I also seem to have got so warped in this little app that I have forgotten to look after my physical and mental health.

Self-love isn’t about looking in the mirror at the vanity. To me, it’s working out who you really are and where you see yourself in 5 years time.
This year I am looking forward to reading a good book and putting my phone down after 9 pm without fail.

This year I am looking forward to heading down to the gym after work and at the weekends and looking after my body.

This year is the year I will travel. I want to look up from my phone and see the world more.

This year I will fill my bullet journal up and educate myself.

This year I will find self-love before anything.

I wrote a blog post this time last year about social media and how our generation has become so involved in these tiny little squares. A parallel universe between expectation and reality. I am smacking myself for almost forgetting my own words I wrote!

2018:

Upon reflection, 2018 has been a rather eventful one to the day the least. I moved in with my two best friends, boogied at festivals, I started earning money through my blogging and even switched jobs.

It’s been a crazy year for every one of us.

Brexit has swamped news headlines, whilst we had the beast from the East back in March and thank fuck he left! Will we experience the beast from the east part 2 March 2019? In Summer we encountered quite the sweatiest heatwave in recorded history. We even saw 12 boys rescued from a cave back in June… I bet you forgot that one didn’t you!

We almost made football history since 1966 as we played Croatia in the Semifinals…

We had ANOTHER Royal wedding, which made most watched tv history. Although it didn’t quite grip me, I think I was preoccupied with a glass of Prosecco at Pergola on the roof in Paddington.

Turning 25:

2017 seems so very far in the past yet it seems that only yesterday myself and my best friend Zoe said that turning 25 would be our year. A year to remember and a year of big things.

So I sit here this evening writing for the first time in just over a month (bad me) thinking about what 2019 will bring.

Note to self:

I want you to read this back at the end of the year (set reminder on mobile for a years time with funky alarm tune) and write a list of everything you have achieved just like the below list for 2018 and give yourself a round of applause.

I’d like to hope that you’re reading this in the same spot that you wrote this – In the comforts of your bed. Here are a few of your achievements:

You started earning money through your passion

You moved in with your two best friends

You hit 10K then 15K by your birthday

You’ve started a new job in social media marketing which you love

You didn’t learn Spanish like you said you would in 2017 but you gave it a good go! You can order 5 beers and that’s okay!

You’ve learned to keep organized

Thank goodness, that little savings bank has finally started to fill up!

Through blogging you’ve made some lifelong friends

It’s the first year you haven’t struggled for money or been in debt

You’ve found a new hobby keeping a bullet journal and have got back into art.

Finally got to go to Reading Festival

So what will 2019 bring?

As 2018 free to an end I’ve learned one huge thing. Self-love. I sometimes forget to love myself. A lot of the time I’m hard on myself and forget about all the things I have achieved and all the things I am working towards.

Health:

Join the gym

Eat more greens

Drink more water

Meditate

Social:

Head off to more events

Spend more time with loved ones and friends

Switch off from Social media at 9 pm

Career:

Be blogging part-time

Get to 50K by the summer

Find your niche – Could it be editing and inspo? Could it be happiness and self-love?

Pre plan more flat lays for lifestyle work
Expand my preset catalog

Monetary:

Save £10,000 by the summer

Utilise more vouchers

Travel funds?

– Set to separate savings account for that future mortgage

Life:

Take every day as it comes

Count your blessings

Be positive

A problem shared is a problem halved

Material:

Not important.

Work and blogging are great and has helped with a lot of things but I always need to remind myself why I started in the first place.

To spread positivity and happiness but to also share real experiences and stories and to create a bank full of memories.

So really this message is a reminder to myself but also to everyone and anyone.

Don’t forget to love yourself first and the rest will follow.

Right, so I am off!

Time to unblock my nose and take some of that awful night nurse and hit the hay…

Sweet dreams and here’s to 2019! X

Being a tourist at home with Stranded international Hair extensions {AD}

I don’t know about you but I have never been one to explore my own home. I’ve been very quick and lucky enough to be able to jump on a plane and travel to some amazing places of the world.

However, it struck me the other day that I hadn’t seen Buckingham palace since I was 4 years old. Wow. I mean that’s a poor show from me. Not very patriotic at all if I say so myself!

So off I went with and a friend. We headed early on Sunday, It was her idea to get up at the crack of dawn not mine (cry face), we got the tube up to the Buckingham palace. It was the perfect day for shooting photos and having an explore around the city. My advice is listen to your friend when they say travel up early to see the palace because you’ll beat the main bulk of the crowds and queues. What a postcard picture we saw.

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It was all the day I tried out hair extensions for the very first time. I’ve been trying out Stranded International hair extensions for a few weeks now and I must say, they have lasted so well.

When I received them, I thought the colour matching prices would be quite tough because my hair colour has a fair few different tones. I was so surprised and impressed when the beautifully paid large box arrived at my door and the hair was perfectly colour matched. Not to mention the swanky name of my hair colour… Vanilla Bomb.

They sustained a whole day of touring around London. I was able to style them in the morning, tie my hair up without them falling out all throughout the day, by the end of the day they kept their exact appearance as they looked when I took them out the box.

Everything I’d expect from purchasing hair extensions.

Not only that, their site was quick and easy to choose from with long/ short styles that cater for different hair types.

A huge thing for me was being able to shoot in them. As you know I love a hair swish, needless to say they passed the test!

My top tips for touring your home town:

  • Make a plan: before you set off on your day write an itinerary. It doesn’t have to be details but remember, you’ll be walking a lot so it’s good to have a route planned.
  • Search for events/ tourist attractions and coupons. See if there are any current deals on for tourist attractions you want to see! Like 2 for 1 deals or a free coffee to energise your day!
  • Start early or go during the week… Beat the crowd if you want to get some smashing shots of landmarks and historical architecture. I’ve arrived at both St Paul’s and Buckingham palace early on a Sunday morning and was able to take it in properly without all the front way wearing backpackers and tourists queueing and overcrowding the front.
  • Take a camera – Don’t miss those shots!
  • Pack a bottle of water as you’ll get bloody thirsty.
    Oh and don’t wear impractical footwear. 😂

The hair extensions I am wearing in my photos around London is the 18 inch three-piece flicks clip set in vanilla bomb.

Link here: Click here

Which I actually couldn’t believe were only £21.99?!?

I can’t even begin to tell you how soft and sustainable quality and finish is.

I’ve added their fall site for you here: Click here

My final honest review:

I never thought that having hair extensions could make me feel more confident within myself. I know we should all be happy with who we are but having long hair has been something which isn’t easy for me. My hair takes years to grow and Stranded International, although an ad, I’ve been wearing the now for a few weeks and will definitely continue to purchase from them when I need to renew my currently set. If you’ve seen my Instagram feed you’ll see they’ve made a few appearances already, including Halloween!

I’d love to hear your thoughts and if you end up purchasing one of these sets! Please do drop me any questions if you have any 🙂

Seeing as Christmas and new year is coming Stranded International have issued me a discount code for anyone who wants 20% off until December 31st so use:

LAUREN20 at the checkout 🙂

Have a lovely rest of your Sunday!

Love 

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Why a small town Called Jávea / Xavier could be your next holiday

I’d never even heard of Jávea until my boyfriends parents rented an apartment here for 6 months. If you’re looking for, instagrammable pink sunsets, divine food, boutique shisha spots, picturesque beaches and tat markets, Jávea has it all for you.

We left rainy, England, snowy England, everything but nice England and headed to Jávea just south of Valencia for a week. I under packed but that’s okay, the weather permitted me to stay in my bikini for the duration luckily!

Day 1. Beach day: It was a simple day, picnic cold pizza pre made by myself, fresh OJ and watermelon all packed and cool boxed. We sunbathed and relaxed all day and enjoyed cold pizza by the ocean.

Day 2. Market day: The market was filled with typical tat stools. Fruit and veggies to wicker bags, flamenco dresses and ornaments you only buy if you’re typically a parent. You know those metal colourful lizards you see which hang up on the outside wall on the porch at home? Yep them. We sipped wine and fluffed beer at a family run winery where we promptly left after two wasps 🐝 decided to start buzzing around our glasses. Teasing us with their terrifying buzzing noises, although pretty sure they were more scared of us… A couple of yards down an old winding pathway we found a beautiful church. We found out records date it back to 1244 and it comes by the name of Saint Bartolome the ancient Church Javea. It was truly magnificent. We sat and ate lunch just by it so we could admire the architecture and our surroundings. If your looking to grab a lovely lunch after exploring the markets, I’d highly recommend here. The food is great and the scenery is very instagrammable (come on guys you know that’s what your after anyway.. Right?) • The markets run every Thursday 9am-2pm.

Day 3. We climbed to the light house and the views were sensational: Yep we did it! I can’t say I wore the most appropriate of attires. Converse, a skirt and swimsuit completed with a small handbag…. Not the best mountain hiking wear. The walk took about 55 minutes in total. And that was just upwards. The views at the top were breath taking. The world below us looked like a little paper town. So small and perfectly pieced together. We took in our surroundings and glugged the remainder of water we had with us and stopped for some quick snaps. Perfect memories captured. Where to go: To get to the entrance, walk straight past Javea port until you get to a sign pointing up (duh). There are two routes. We took the long one which is less steep and was not knowingly more tailored to my choice of outfit. There’s another route which takes 15 minutes but, unless you don’t get vertigo, I’d take the longer route!

Sunsets in Jávea: They’re certainly not to miss. If you sit my the port, it’s as if you’re in LA. Pink fluffy clouds and pale yellow hues fill the sky with unicorn colours. Dreamy right?

Day 4. Easter Brekky, Rocky beaches, Sushi and Camembert: We started the day off right. Easter breakfast. A full English, fresh paste dies, strawberries, ON freshly squeezed and chocolate Easter eggs. The day is off to s good start.

There’s something I’ve figured about the people of Jávea love. The first thing is everyone seems to have a bloody tea cup Yorkshire terrier… The second thing is they LOVE fried Camembert. Good news is so do I. I’ve eaten it every day this week. Guilty. But that’s fine, I’m on holiday. Another beautiful thing about Javea is the rocky beaches. Waves splash gently against them and what’s magical is you can sit close to the shore line without getting wet. The black rocks have indents, perfect to sit and lie in, from the waves hitting the outer layers and creating rock crevasses. Perfect wind blocks! If you’re ever in Jávea, head to the bottom of the Arenel where you’ll find the most divine restaurant. They serve a variety of Mediterranean dishes alongside sushi and of course Camembert! The restaurant is named La Bambula click here to get more information.

Ps. This is the real me, sulking because the wind was blowing too much for a photo. Courtesy of the Boyf.

Day 5. Lake Guadalest: Id never heard of this place before. I didn’t even know places like this could exist in countries like Spain! About 1 hour 20 away from Jávea, through winding roads, a shed load of roundabouts and narrow village streets, Lake Guadalest took our breath away. Right in the middle of the mountains this turquoise lake sits alone. It gets it turquoise colouring from the salt rock. I haven’t felt that relaxed in a long time. Birds, bees, the sound of trickling water running through the aqua coloured stream. Literally heaven on earth. I can’t quite express how beautiful it is without telling you go physically go there and see for yourself.

Home time: Has come so soon for us, I’m super sad. But we’re coming back in June for round two! Jávea, you’ve been a blast! I’d love to answer any questions you might have if you’re thinking of travelling to this beautiful town. There will also be a YouTube video up in the next few days about our stay, so make sure you’re subscribed to my CHANNEL and be the first to see! ⚓️🍏🌊

Lots of love!

The Methuen Arms an award winning Great British inn where hospitality meets fabulous food and drink

What did Lauren do next?

Being part of the Luxuria Lifestyle VIP ambassadors team has given me many amazing privileges including our stay in the charming village of Corsham this weekend at The Methuen Arms. And what a treat it was.

The Methuen Arms first opened as a public house in 1608 ( initially known as the Red Lion Inn) and is set in an idyllic chocolate box town just eight miles from the postcode picture worthy city of Bath.

The grounds are somewhat historical and, with a famous past, is well-known for it previous owners. The Methuen Arms finally got its name in 1799 after the Methuen family took it over. The full history of the building can be found online when booking. Home to beautifully designed Georgian architecture, cobbled streets and parkland. The hotel is just one of Corsham’s hidden gems.

With it being my first weekend in Corsham, ever, the Methuen Arms staff and hospitality made us feel right at home.

The Georgian style conversion has a mature garden surrounding its beautiful architecture. Lit with fairy lights at nighttime, it’s cobbled pathway leads you to a very welcoming entrance where you are greeted by staff and handed your individual room key and given a mini tour of the grounds.

The room it’s self was so quaint. Farrow and Ball paint complimented original and exposed wooden beams on the walls. Softly lit, the room had a wholly calm and relaxing atmosphere. The room is equipped with a King Sized bed, comfy arm-chair, a retro Roberts DAB radio, flat screen television, mini fridge and a selection of tea, coffee and scrumptious ginger biscuits if you got a bit peckish. Have I even mentioned the en-suit yet? That was best part! His and hers wash basins, a waterfall shower and a stunning roll top bath centred the room as the main masterpiece. And yes I did opt for both a bath then followed by a shower straight afterwards.

Once exploring the grounds was ticked off our list, we made our way to our dinner reservation. It was an extremely delightful experience. The Methuen Arms’s head Chef, Leigh Evans, is an award-winning cook formerly known from Coombe Grove Manor, The Chequers and The Royal Crescent Hotel in Bath. Knowledge is that he built a team of dedicated individuals. I found the food unique, British but with a personalised twist as each dish catered for all. Whether you fancied pub grub or something more formal it’s all there to choose from. It was superb to have local food prepared and cooked with such care. The staff tastefully picked both of my starter and main course. To start: Seared Scallops – Crispy ham hock, black treacle, lime, cauliflower, granny smith, curry powder (gfo) For my main: Venison Haunch – Smoked garlic dauphinoise, red cabbage, blackberry, onion ash (gf) I must say both dishes were driven with sublime taste and both were presented with such detail.

The ethos of the room was relaxed, modern art and music juxtaposed old tapestries and original features which filled the room with the right ambiance. A very enjoyable mood floated over the guests keeping it civilised throughout the night.

Night time. We slept like babies. 100% Egyptian cotton linen between our toes, deluxe blankets and luxurious feather pillows to rest your head after a long week of work meant I dreamt all through the night. 100 Acre Bath products, and fluffy towels made the morning all the more easier to bath and shower and get ready for breakfast.

Breakfast included the option for a full English, and a selection of homemade granola, cereal, fruits & pastries, juices, jams, yoghurts… and much more.

What could have topped off our stay more than what we had received already? Yep you guessed it! A visit to the Bath Christmas Market. Half an hour out of Corsham is the enchanting City of Bath. The beautiful limestone architecture is topped off with its German style Christmas markets. Churros covered in melted chocolate, hot dogs, pulled pork buns and freshly made waffles filled the air with original Christmas aromas. Mini boutique stalls perfect for Christmas shopping, Carol singers and fake snow only make it more idilic for a pre -Christmas getaway.

If you would like more hotel reviews or have any more questions about The Methuen Arms please leave a comment below or contact The Methuen Arms directly from their site. You can find more reviews on travel, food, fashion and beauty on Luxuria Lifestyles website. Link below.

http://themethuenarms.com

https://www.luxurialifestyle.co.uk

And one last thing… I can’t believe it’s almost Christmas! Trying to cram in all my winter antics now as in 17 days time I’ll be going somewhere hot! Any guesses where?

Thank you so much for taking your time out to have a quick read. Now off you pop and enjoy the rest of your day, wherever you may be!

P. S. Here’s a photo of me trying to tackle some Churros at the Christmas market… Photo captured right before chocolate sauce dropped all down my face… I’m a child at heart🤫😜💫

Sometimes all you need is a breath of fresh air

After a year of hard grafting, it’s always a good idea to get yourself on a mini weekend break for some quality me-time and relaxation.

So where did Lauren go next? 

 

I haven’t done something like this for a long time. Country walks, hot chocolates, afternoon tea, a cottage in the middle of nowhere. It felt like a scene out of the movie The Holiday. Well and truly needed. I set off on my travels Friday evening by train, away from the hustle and bustle of London, 2 hours north, to a small town called Eccleshall. I took the train to visit my godmother Lucy and can I just say that we had the perfect weekend together.

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Giving myself a change from the usual urban scenery has been a breath of fresh air. Literally. The rural life has always been something I’ve favored. I mean, who doesn’t like a bit of greenery and the smell of freshly made coffee in the morning?

We started it off right with cups of coffee in iconic Emma Bridgewater half pint mugs. The factory in which they’re created is located just 12 miles away in Stoke in Trent. I definitely recommend visiting here if you ever get the chance. We fueled ourselves with free range organic farm eggs, scrambled, on wholemeal granary.

You can shop her collection by clicking here

Once our tummies were full we suited up in glamorous heels… Sorry, wellies and headed out around Copmere for a 2 hour walk in the countryside. Fresh air, autumn colours, and hundreds of cows made the walk all the more scenic. Although, I can’t say I was at one with nature when the cows almost came charging toward us 🐮

Two hours later we switched our wellies for something more appropriate and headed to the nearest town for the perfect mug of Hot chocolate and of course some scones, jam and clotted cream was needed. Like a child, I was thrilled that marshmallows and white chocolate sprinkles covered the top of my hot drink.

 

Eccleshall village x If you’re ever visiting 🙂

Saturday afternoon was spent well. We snuggled up on the sofa watching a chic flick with a bottle of prosecco. My choice was, ‘13 going on 30’ which my godmother had never watched before and I hadn’t seen in what felt like forever so it was the perfect choice. We clinked our glasses together to cheers our reunion and sipped bubbles in front of the cutest little log burner. To accompany our prosecco Camembert and Humous also made a welcoming appearance much to my delight. What a perfect afternoon. I mean what more could a female want? Prosecco AND food. Spoilt rotten.

Tips to maximise a weekend of relaxation:

1. Switch off social media: A tough one and I can’t say I’m great at sticking to it but shutting off from the virtual world can really lift a weight off your shoulders. Whilst your on your weekend getaway switch off your phone or leave it at home.

2. Go somewhere that comforts you: Whether that’s your parents house for the weekend or a trip to the countryside. Visiting a place that brings you pure comfort can be the best therapy. I mean, it could even be your favourite restaurant or your own bed! It doesn’t have to be far away or exspensive . Just comforting. Ahhh.

3. Drink lots of water: Studies state that water is not only good for your physical health but also for your mental health and if you don’t drink enough your brain feels shrivelled which, in-turn, creates stress. Drink your water kids!

4. Do something you love: A hobby? My go to therapy is photography. Another great escape can be drawing, painting, gardening, baking or maybe even is a good bit of sport. Not into sport? Then long walks are great and refreshing.

5. Listen to feel good music: Yep! I always find the feel good Friday playlist on Spotify is always a good shout. Even if you don’t have time for a weekend away, a bit off uplifting music can always change the way one feels.

So there you have it. My escape to the country along with my top five ways too my, ‘feel good about yourself weekend’. I would absolutely love for you to share your own in the comments below! I hope you enjoyed my little post. If you are looking for a little getaway, I can certainly recommend this quaint little village. It couldn’t have been made more special by my godmother. So, hoping that she’s giving this a read, thank you for giving me such a wonderful weekend filled with peace, laughs and a whole lots of bubbles 🥂

In two weeks I will be escaping back out to the countryside with Luxuria Lifestyle to the lovely Corsham be sure to keep an eye out for my next blog post!

P. S. And of course how can I forget this bundle of joy. Meet Pina. 21 in doggy years but a bounding 3 year old puppy at heart. Pina (Pineapple) was named after my godmothers Italian made bike a, Pinarello. Isn’t she just adorable? She made the trip even more enjoyable.

If you liked me babbling on about country walks and cows, please subscribe to my blog by just simply entering your email address below x I’d love for you to follow me on my journeys!

Crazy Bear Hotel

So where did Lauren go next?

 

Oh my goodness this place is truly remarkable. From the moment you walk in until the second you leave every part is a beautiful experience. Picture a Moroccan dinner crossed with a party scene out of The Great Gatsby. It’s a definite yes when it comes to a couple’s getaway. Had a row? Valentines? Or even just a pleasant weekend away. This place is worth a booking.

We checked in around 3:30pm on Friday, greeted by two glasses of bubbles and in cute crystal flutes. Our bags were taken directly to our room prior to a mini tour of each restaurant and the pool side for some more alcoholic beverages. Cocktails anyone?

The room:

Well where do I begin? Covered floor to ceiling in cushioned velvet, soft and dim lighting, royal red curtain drapes and a four poster bed complemented by a goose feather down duvet (King-size). My partner and I’s facial expression must have been shockingly diverting for the porter and I can imagine we may have looked a little embarrassed by the leather stairs which lead up into the ceiling. What were they for? The porter presented us our room he then advanced to pull back the thick curtain of which behind was the most spectacular waterfall shower. Golden bathroom fittings with black and gold marble across the wall, floor and ceiling. Wow. It was a little Christian Grey. I loved it.

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We popped open the bottle of champagne, which was very kindly left in our room, filing two champagne flutes with well-deserved bubbles. When I say well deserved we were stuck in traffic up the M25 for about an hour. Shock. So yes well deserved. We promenaded down the stairs to be seated by the bar, pool side, before getting ready for our 7:30pm sitting at The Crazy Bears own Thai restaurant.

Getting ready in the room was extraordinary. Waterfall shower, champagne, music, funky spot lights; obviously I had to get a photo of myself in the moment or did it really happen? Just look at that room!

Here comes my forever favourite writing topic…

The food:

I was very content at this point. The boyfriend did good. A hotel on my wish list ticked off joined by one of my favourite meals. Thai. So we both settled for something different. Seeing as he doesn’t eat fish, he went for a chicken satay starter. I opted for tempura prawns with a sweet ‘n’ sticky sauce. Mouth wateringly yummy. The mains were just as good. Green Thai curry, steak and pad Thai on attractive plates covered our table and finally complimented by a bottle of French White wine.

Now, I have to tell you an amusing story. I hope this sounds as funny as when it actually happened. Colin and Julie sat to the table on our left and introduced themselves. We started engaging in conversation and discussions of travels, food and other classical couple talk materialised throughout our meal.

My boyfriend (Harry) and Colin, for some outstanding reason, thought each other were named… Gary. Gary? Surely I couldn’t let this go on all night. They spoke in confidence to one and other replying to each other as Gary. The other couple to our right clearly clocked the mistake at the beginning along with myself. I proceeded to send Harry a text under the table to make him aware of his slipup.

Harry:“Is your name Gary?”

Colin: “No? It’s Colin!”

Harry:“I am so sorry I thought your name was Gary! I’m so embarrassed”

Colin:“I thought your name was Gary!”

It was quite clear after this that we spent the whole night laughing away and exchanging stories.

The next morning, we awoke in a pitch black room, the soft lighting naturally woke us up. We did have to rush down to breakfast as it finished at 11am. It was 10:30am! Whoops.

Breakfast was wonderfully pleasant. Very simple. Continental. Which I hadn’t had in yonks so it was lovely to just have the basics; Cereal, eggs, ham, cheese, fruit and fresh filter coffee, all of which set us up for our journey home.

Home time…I want to go back so much! Writing this a week later really makes me blue. We have both agreed we are going to go again next summer and I’m so excited! I 1 million percent recommend The Crazy Bear. I cannot fault it. The service standards are impeccable, the room cleanliness is immaculate, the food is scrumptious and the atmosphere is dazzling.

You can purchase a deal at the moment on Groupon. You can find this deal by clicking here where you can pick your room and price plan.

I hope you enjoyed this read as much as I enjoyed writing it! I certainly enjoyed visiting The Crazy Bear. A huge thank you to the bf for spoiling me rotten on my Birthday. He ceases to surprise me everyday.

Lots of love Sheps x

(This post is not affiliated with any companies or collaborations)

How to Thailand in two weeks

I’ve wanted to share with you my trip to Thailand for a while now and how we managed to Island hop in just two weeks but I’ve only had until now to type it all up. So here we go…

Not everyone gets to go travelling for 6 months or even a year, so a short trip had to make do and this holiday was just incredible. Although It was only two weeks we managed to visit quite a few places. We made sure we really made the most of exploring this beautiful country.

We decided to go on a budget but only with our hotels. The first night we made sure we had booked a hotel. We stayed right in the center of Koh San Road. Once we arrived, we literally chucked our stuff into our room and dashed out the door. Very over whelmed, we headed to The Beach. A bar at the end of Koh San Road. It was lively, there were loads of travelers, great music and yummy food. Just what we needed after a 15 hour flight. Once our tummies were full we headed out onto the main road and purchased our first bucket! Two buckets later… We ended up in a club dancing to EDM, then in Seven Eleven.

Following on from this, I managed to burn myself on a ham and cheese toasties…. I cried.  Waking up was painful.We got up at 13:00, severely jet lagged from our flight the day before. We ventured out and literally, ‘shopped until we dropped’. I’d definitely say Bangkok is the place to go in Thailand if you want to fill up your backpack with obligatory Thai pants. I think I purchased three pairs.

OFF TO Ko Pha-Ngan

One tip I would say to anybody flying to Thailand for just two weeks is: DON’T GET THE NIGHT BUS. We learnt that Thai people work on what travelers call, “Thai Time”. So when they say the journey is 8 hours, add on an extra 10 hours and a sore back. The bus was pretty painful but we got there in the end!

 

Finally we arrived. We stayed at a fab Hostel called Echo Beach. The rooms weren’t great and we had bunk beds but we met two amazing girls who we stayed with for most of our time with on the island.

 

FULL MOON

Of course, you have to go here if you’re in Ko Pha-Ngan. Covering ourselves head to toe in glitter, we started at Echo Beach pre-drinking. The hostel was brilliant. There were deals on buckets, UV paint, music and games. I’m pretty sure that by the time we left for the actual full moon party, we were already a little merry.

The full moon was unbelievable. Full of color, lights, music, topped with 10,000 travelers all in high spirits and under the full moon. I one thousand percent recommend this. Especially if you enjoy the party scene. It was my second time and both times have been an experience I will never forget! Definitely a memory I will keep forever.

OFF TO KOH TAO

This island is breathtakingly beautiful. We spent our time here relaxing. We ate copious amounts of food, mountain and jungle trekked, snorkelled, watched fire dancers and the sunset every night … Then we ended up at a bar crawl. We won’t talk about that!

If you aren’t scuba diving in Koh Tao, this is my list of things to do and places to visit:

 

Mango Bay view point:

 

We did this on a rainy day because I think if we climbed 210 meters into the sky in the blistering heat, I would have died. To get to this view point, you have to go past the Fitness gym near Sairee Village and just keep going up. It’s steep. And the bugs up there are monstrous. But my goodness is the view worth it. There’s a mini Village at the top and they do charge you 100 baht so make sure you bring some cash and a water bottle so you don’t pass out.

Snorkelling day trip:

We ended our holiday on a high with this trip. The service was great, we visited four colourful reefs which we were able to snorkel around. The best part was that we saw so much sea life! Sharks, turtles and millions of tropical fish. Nang Yuang is another island we visited and it’s just so picturesque. When you’re here, make sure you climb the mountain for the view point! This was by far the best snorkelling spot as well. The short clip above just shows some of the fish we saw.

Barracuda:

I think we ate at this restaurant five times? But there was a reason for it! The food is to die for and for only £5?! After a full day of snorkeling, jungle trekking or even if we were hungover, this place invited us in with warm and welcome arms. By the time our holiday had finished we had pretty much tried the whole menu. My personal favorite was the sausage and mash. Smooth and creamy mash with rich beef gravy and a side of buttered spinach. It also would have been rude if we didn’t try the Barracuda. One of the best fish dishes I have ever tasted. Very light and fluffy, slightly sweet but ‘oh so’ fresh. Tempting you? Who says you lose weight when visiting Thailand?

Hippo Burger Bistro:

My goodness these were burgers I can only fantasise about back at home. They had a menu of about eight to nine burgers all filled with fresh and juicy ingredients. I opted for the Dirty Harry which was filled with blue cheese, medium rare beef, tomatoes, caramelised onions, potato shredding and fresh salad, side of fries and sauce. OH EM GEE!!! Located just off Sairee main road. Getting hungry reading this yet?

 

Fizz Bar:

The perfect spot for an early dinner before heading off to the famous bar crawl. Here, we watched the sun set and dug into fresh Caesar salads, Nachos, morning- caught prawns on sourdough bread and freshly squeezed fruit juices. Nothing beats yummy food and a pretty views. OK, I’ll stop with the food posts now.

Fire dancing:

This seemed to be the early evening entertainment which everyone watches. Set right on the beach, the sea washing up to shore, Thai men show off their talents with fire breathing and throwing flames into the air.

Koh Tao Bar crawl:

We weren’t going to do this and in fact we didn’t end up getting tickets (450 baht) but we did end up going and joining in. It starts off pretty civilised but give it an hour and welcome to, BRITS ABROAD… I make it sound horrendous. It wasn’t. It was HILARIOUS. A definite must do if you are on Sariee Beach. At the end of the night we ended up playing beer pong in Fishbowl – A bar at the end of the beach filled with travellers. Considering I’d had a fair bit to drink, I amazed myself and won!

 

 

Pamper yourself:

Yes ladies, the spas here are lovely and it doesn’t burn a hole in your pocket! We spent our rainy days mooching around here. We had manicures and pedicures. We even had time for a Thai massage. A definite trip worth making after all the travelling around. Rest those little paws of yours.

 

 

 

FLYING HOME

A little bit of a soppy end.

If you ever read this George, I had the best time with you and I know we had to put up with the horrendous night buses and long journeys but I wouldn’t have done it with anyone different! Love you tonnes!

Being able to write about my trip and share with you so many memories has made me realise, even more, how much of an amazing time I had. I wish In could do it all over again. For now, it’s onto my next adventure!

December, I will be spending just under a month in Australia with my boyfriend and his family and I cannot wait! Blog post to follow.

 

Lots of love Sheps xxx

Spontaneous day trips are always the best! 

So I thought I would tell y’all about my fab day I had with one of my good friends Shannon. We spent the day exploring Shoreditch and pretty much ate our body weight in food. I’m now In bed with a belly full of cookie dough!

Our first trip was to The Blues Kitchen. Basic, but a must when visiting East London. We started off with cocktails – A Bloody Mary and a Mojito. The Mojito was fresh, not too much ice and tasted how I’d like it. The Bloody Mary was a recommendation however, we each reluctantly  sipped the infused tomatoe juice and had no more… It was over done with too much pepper.


We both ordered a selection of appetisiers. Chicken Wings in Blue cheese Sauce, Tortilla Chips with Spinach, Artichoke and Parmesan dip, Sweet Potatoe fries and Calimari. The service was speedy and the food was hot. My personal favourite was the Tortilla chips. The sauce was hot and had a slight pesto twang to it. I love Pesto- Shannon enjoyed tucking into the calimari.

The only down fall was that there was a hair in the spinach and Parmesan sauce so I couldn’t finish my favourite dish! Yuck yuck yuck… I was deeply sad. The Waitress was very professional and took money off our bill. Thank goodness!

I’d say 7 stars out of 10 for this place!

Our next trip was to Naked Dough. A pop up bar purley for somebody with a sweet tooth. The concept was diverse and brought out my inner child. The pop-up literally just serve cookie dough with different flavoured toppings. I believe they had milkshakes too but I don’t think my teeth could have handled the sugar intake for one day.

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https://www.naked-dough.co.uk/

  •    Unicorn Food
  •    Emoji Poos
  •    Nak- Ed Sheeran
  •    Mud bath
  •    Nuttin better
  •    Hazels nuts

I opted for Unicorn food, Shannon went for ‘Nuttin’ Better. I could only have a few bites until the pudding got quite sickly but lids are conveniently provided so you can tuck back into it later.

 

Lastly, we ended up at the Magic Rounda

bout. It took me a while to realize that we were literally on the roundabout of Old Street station to understand that was why it had its name. Very swanky, the music has a chilled vibe and a very lovely bunch of people to surround yourself with. The alcohol was reasonable – £20 for a jug of Pims’ had me at hello so I couldn’t complain.

The pop-up venue has a sort of Balearic/ edgy vibe with upside down umbrellas, disco balls and water foundations- accompanied by fake grass. Overall I love themed bars but it could have done with another seating area.

There were also a series of pop up food stools which I quickly made friends with. I headed straight over to the burger stand “burger bears” and opted for the

“grizzly bear” – Fresh burger, bacon, cheese, bacon jam in a bun and lettuce. There was also a potatoes skin pop-up.

9 out of 10 – I give this place an extra point for the array of vintage/floral/s**** shirts I saw. And there we have it! So our spontaneous day turned into our very own food festival. Three places I would for sure go back too. I have even come up with an idea for my Birthday which involves everyone purchasing a funky shirt. So be prepared if ya know me!

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Love Shep’s!

Buying a property or Travel the world you asked.

Is buying a property worth it?

So being a young person myself, I always question is it really worth buying my own place at such a young age? I have worked in the business for 6 years now so answering the question myself has been a hard one to answer. Being young you have so many plans and ambitions and you feel almost nerve rockingly anxious to compete all your goals by the time you hit the big “Three Ohh” and most certainly buying is one of them.

But should stepping onto the property ladder be one of them? Everyone will most certainly have their own answer to this and I can most certainly vouch for most of your parents saying YES buy as soon as you get the chance.

The longer you wait to buy a property, the more costly it will get in the long run. The market has almost doubled every ten years since WWII. Wow… that’s a lot! And population grew by 5.7% between 2011-2015 (The Guardian) so the government needed and still need to build a lot more housing for us all but of course not enough supply means more £££.

But don’t forget about that bucket list you’ve got scribbled down in an old 2015 journal with endless cut outs of Peru and Machu pichu. Forbes posted an article stating that 20% of international travelling is done by young people. They call our generation the Millennials and it is becoming one of the most popular thrilling adventures that any young person can go on.

I plan to go travelling in 2020. A long time away but it will certainly creep up on me soon enough. I’ve worked out I can save just £250 per month and save just under £10,000 for a 6 month travel sensation.

£10,000… that’s a lot of money in the scheme of things and my parents will probably beg me to put that into property.

When buying a property in our generation, most of the young generation can’t afford to purchase a property in this day and age without having a little help from family or the help to buy scheme where you can put down as little as a 5% deposit.

That gets me too my conclusion. We all live one life. That one life we spend going to work and saving our money but for what? To take a loan from the bank for some bricks and mortar? So I can by that groovy wallpaper and call it a home.

Yes! Buy a property but complete your goals which won’t tie you down first. If you want to travel around the world do it young. Work abroad, meet new people and explore new places. Buying a property will come but don’t tie yourself into a thick career until it’s all out of your system.

At the end of the day, if your careful and clever with your money saving skills, you’ll most definitely be able to complete anything and everything if you put your mind to it!

I started work at 17 and I’m 24 this year. My career is heading upwards but there’s one problem. I want to travel. So I urge you to all do it now and before you knuckle down. You have your whole life ahead of you so make every moment count.