Thursday, 30 August 2018

Gifts For Mum

I don't know about you guys but I bloody love my mum! Like she's amazing, shes my entire world and I wouldn't know what to do without her. I've recently moved out and I miss seeing her every day and when I do she's always got a bag of goodies shes bought because she thought I might need them and it got me thinking just how amazing she is and how in all we probably don't show our mums just how much we appreciate them. So I decided to put together a gift list of things to buy your mum just because she's your mum and bloody well deserves it
Our Life Story
Our Life Story Book - £26.99 - Find Me A Gift*
I love love love this idea for so many reasons, it's a gorgeous idea where you can document all your lovely memories, I think this is something you'd love doing together. Finding out pictures from each year since you were born, reminiscing about all the fun things you've done together and then making sure every year you keep making memories together. It's also the kind of gift that will keep on giving and can be passed down to grandchildren to continue the journey and journey your time together


Yankee Candles


Yankee Candle Elevation Collection - £23.99 - Yankee Candle*
This is such a fail safe present in our family! We all adore Yankee Candles from the big jars to the little melts to the diffusers. I'm really excited about their new elevation collection because they've changed the shape and gone with a square glass silhouette and really cleverly the lid now serves as a brushed metal platform. I've already got my eyes on some lovely autumn scents like holiday pomegranate 


Appleyard Flowers
Citrus Coulis Flowers - £34.99 - Appleyard Flowers
Who doesn't like flowers? Seriously though flowers are always a good idea, surprise flowers are even better. I adore these citrus coulis flowers from Appleyard they're so bright and summery with germini, tara roses and agapanthus. I ordered these recently for my mum and she was over the moon with them and they're still blooming now over 10 days later  


PinkClove Polka Dot Dress
Polka Dot Skater Dress - £20 - Pink Clove
Now I get this might not be for everyone buying your mum clothes, but for me I love doing it! My mum very rarely buys herself anything and even when she does she doesn't properly spoil herself so every now again I love taking her shopping and buying her the clothes she'd never spend her money on. She loves polka dots I think she'd love this plus size skater dress* and I'd be able to steal it too


Champneys Facial - £75 - Red Letter Days*
When all is said and done what better way to spoil your mum than a good old pampering sesh? I don't know what it is with mums they always seem rushed off their feet with a million  and one jobs to do - I'm certainly not looking forward to those days. Giving the opportunity to just sit and enjoy a massage and facial is a good way to show them how much you appreciate the hard work they do

What would be the ideal present for your mum?

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Tuesday, 28 August 2018

Sex Positivity and why it's important

Sex. It's a funny old thing, it's a topic that we're discouraged from discussing, especially as women. Despite the fact that the vast majority of us are doing it we're almost made to feel guilty about it, like it's something that should happen but that if we like it too much we're instantly slut shamed. The double standards of sex works both ways too. Girls are seen as promiscuous, whereas a boy choosing to remain a virgin can become a laughing stock and encouraged to 'get rid' like it's some kind of burden.

It's pretty damn ridiculous that we still allow such antiqued views be common place, sex positivity should be encouraged, this doesn't mean going out and sleeping with everyone with a pulse (equally if that's your thing as long as you're safe then go slay!). Sex is something I learnt about through very poor sex education lessons, chats with my mum and a lot of my own research, which unfortunately in this day and age leads to such terrible misconceptions about sex. 

We need a safe place we can all learn, and I don't just mean the whole where do baby's come from chat but the intricacies of sex, the safety precautions to take, the various positions, the ways to orgasm as a woman (because this is a whole topic which is COMPLETELY ignored in any sex ed lesson I ever went to) and how fun it can be. It doesn't always have to be super serious it's about exploring your likes, dislikes, finding your kinks and discovering what really pleases you

I'm a huge advocate for talking about sex, it should be commonplace amongst your close friends, exchanging tips, talking about where you're getting your sex toys such as vibrators or butt plugs* and just generally speaking more candidly, it's the easiest way to breed sex positivity and more importantly make it a normal conversation and therefore encouraging a culture of learning rather than it being all cloak and dagger 

By encouraging open and candid conversation so many other topics that really need to be discussed get coverage such as gaining consent and how that can differ for each person, staying on top of your sexual health such as regular STI checks and Smear tests. If you're not discussing sex openly you may google a problem and let me tell you when it comes to sex a personal opinion and chat with a friend is so much more valuable than a complete stranger saying you have an STD (keyboard warrior checks don't work that's a damn fact)

I think the most important lesson from being sex positive is learning that everyone is different, sexuality and gender is becoming incredibly fluid and with it our sexual experiences and kinks are changing too. It encourages body positivity, really getting in touch with yourself and understanding what makes your body tick. 


What's your view on discussing sex?


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Saturday, 25 August 2018

7 Beautiful Greek Islands You Need to Visit

The Greek Islands have long been Europe’s premier vacation destinations. Comprising over 200 islands, the Greek archipelago offers travelers plenty of choice. The islands come in all shapes and sizes, each with its own unique personality. But, one thing they all have in common is the sheer beauty they boast. From glittering coastlines to olive vineyards and craggy mountains, the landscapes are unparalleled.


Gorgeous Greek Islands


Maybe you want to find one of the most beautiful villas in Greece with a private pool* and outstanding views and spend your days chilling in the sunshine. Or, you might want to hike up a volcano or scuba dive with vibrant coral. Whatever you want, the Greek Islands have it all. The only tough choice you will be faced with is deciding which island you want to visit. To help you out, here are seven of the most beautiful Greek Islands you need to visit.


Santorini

Often considered the ultimate getaway for honeymooners, Santorini stands out for its romantic vibe. Visitors often spend their days here meandering through the narrow streets before heading to Oia to watch the sunset. When the sky is stained pink by the setting sun and the only sound is the gentle lapping of the water below, you would be forgiven for thinking you had died and gone to heaven.
Santorini

The most notable feature in Santorini is its white-washed houses with bright blue roofs that sit atop rocky cliffs. Glimmering under endless sunshine, they make for some great snapshots. If you are looking for adventure, there are day trips to the Nia Kameni crater and the Palia Kameni hot springs.


Kefalonia

This island was used as the backdrop for Louis de Bernières’ famous novel Captain Corelli’s Mandolin. If you haven’t already read the novel, take it with you and read it while you’re there. It will make you fall in love with the island even more deeply.


Kefalonia

Kefalonia, also written Cephalonia, is breath-taking in all respects. The beaches comprise white sand that runs into impossibly clear, turquoise water. There are secret, sandy coves to be found everywhere as well as plenty of hiking and exploring opportunities. Be sure to check out the magical Melissani Cave while you’re there to see Mother Nature’s work at its finest.


Zakynthos

While Zakynthos has a reputation as a party island, the bars and clubs are confined to one small part of the island: Lagana. The rest of the island comprises vivid green slopes that plunge into the twinkling blue Ionian Sea. It is an island of rugged landscapes and pine forests that invite you to hike through them.




If you’re looking for excitement, spend the day visiting the island’s eco park, wildlife sanctuary or the Venetian castle. Or, check out the bubbling hot springs at Xigia beach.


Corfu

The Old Town of Corfu is a designated UNESCO World Heritage site. This alone should entice you into visiting the island. Its cobbled streets lead visitors past quaint tavernas and colorful markets all the way down to the ocean. It is easy to while away an entire day just exploring the town and picking up souvenirs. Beauty permeates every corner of this wonderful island.
Corfu
As for the rest of the island, there is no end to the list of delights you will find in Corfu. From the five star resorts at one end of the island, to the beach clubs and parties in Kavos, every demographics is catered for. Scuba diving and snorkeling are on offer for those who want to admire the flurry of underwater activity. Otherwise, you can just don your swimwear kick back on the beach and catch some rays.


Symi

Often overlooked in favor of the bigger islands, Symi is a microscopic island in the Greek archipelago. But, don’t let its size put you off. Symi may be small but it packs a punch and is often thought of as the most beautiful of all the islands. Its main bragging point is its colorful harbor, which totes neoclassical mansions in all different colors, accompanied by the smells of freshly fried shrimp.

One benefit of the island being so small is that it is easy to get everywhere by bike. This means you don't have to squish into an overheated car to get around. You could visit the Panormitis monastery in the morning before cycling down to the calm waters of one of the many beaches in the afternoon. Or ditch the bike and climb the 500 steps to the island’s acropolis. However you choose to spend your days, you are guaranteed to be blown away.


Kos

Just a stone’s throw from the Turkish town of Bodrum, Kos is filled with both man-made and natural beauty. The island boasts ancient temples and medieval castles that will dazzle even the most cynical of history buffs. A day spent exploring the island’s Asclepeion and Neratzia Castle is one you won’t forget in a hurry. Once you’ve built up a sweat, you can fling yourself into the sparkling ocean to cool off.

If you are traveling with kids – or are a big kid yourself – the island also has water parks. While these might not be the most scenic parts of the island, they are good fun and allow you to soak up some of that golden Greek sunshine.


Naxos

Don’t worry, we hadn’t heard of Naxos either until recently. But, that’s what makes this island so beautiful. It has a distinct lack of crowds and miles of uninterrupted sandy beaches that are virtually empty. For those with a daring streak, galloping across Plaka Beach on horseback should get the adrenaline pumping. Or you could try kitesurfing or windsurfing.

When you want to get away from the water, the mysterious hills provide respite from the blazing sunshine. Sleepy villages are hidden away between the trees, many of which have their own local specialties you simply have to try. Homemade wine, cheese and lemon liqueur are just some of the treats on the menu on this island.


Have you ever visited any of the greek islands?
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Thursday, 23 August 2018

What to wear on a skiing holiday

I recently wrote a post about what to wear to the beach in preparation for all those summer holiday's but then not everyone is a sun seeker! One holiday I've always wanted to do is a colder more activity focused skiing holiday and that got me thinking all about Ski Wear* and how I have no idea where I'd even start on suitable clothing
Skiing jump


It's definitely a holiday I'm planning on doing within the next year or so, so I've put a little research in and spent lots of time on the Simplyhike* site lusting after all the different equipment and pencilling in that this is definitely a holiday for me. I decided to share my inspiration with you guys so if you're more a snow bunny than a sun worshipper this is what you need for your perfect holiday



First up is a solid jacket and trousers suitable for all weathers, I love Helly Hanson products they look super stylish, they're highly waterproof but still breathable and the thermal control keeps you warm while still allowing free movement, the coat is a steal at £88 at the minute reduced from £220. Next up is gloves, I hate feeling restricted so gloves are a real bug bear of mine but these Manbi gloves look really cool and they also have a wrist strap to keep you attached to your skis 


Because functional doesn't have to mean ugly, I'd team the gorgeous clothes with these fun accessories. A bright yellow beanie to make sure I'll definitely be seen and how high tech do these Anon goggles look? They use magnets for a perfect seal meaning you'll never lose them

There you have it. the items that after my research I think would be essentials 

Where's the best place for a skiing holiday?
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Tuesday, 21 August 2018

Should you censor your digital world?

Every little thing you do on the internet is recorded. No this isn't the start to one of those the FBI are watching you move to a cabin in the woods post (me and my FBI man are the best of friends he always gives me the best netflix recommendations)

But you do have a digital footprint, this means the trail of data you leave behind by merely using the internet whether that's visiting websites, sending emails or anything you post on social media and this can sometimes have an influence on your 'real world' 



As a millennial, it's very tricky. I'm constantly on my phone and always on some form of social media. Whether I'm tweeting or posting a picture to instagram I'm making a bigger digital story that people can access, now this could all be private of course, I could change all my social settings so only friends saw the content but then I wouldn't really be engaging all you lovely readers would I? I think our world's changing and a digital transparency is encouraged, because if embraced it can be a wonderful way of accessing advanced technology - why wouldn't we utilise the advancements we're making?

But I find my worlds conflict quite a lot, as a recruiter I know how often employers look at a candidates social media presence to help inform their decisions, as a blogger I rely heavily on digital influence and interactions, and I like to think I'm as brutally honest as I can be. With my online presence and in real life what you see is exactly what you get but I do sometimes wonder if I should censor myself or my opinions just in case someones looking

I've got ways around my digital presence, I make sure my facebook is personal and limited to only close friends and family and have it to the highest security levels, but I make sure instagram and twitter remain open. This way I have a little world I can share my personal stories to but my wider digital world and audience can engage with me on everything else, I find it strikes a really good balance - remember guys the internet is forever! Our parents were lucky in that there teenage and 20's embarrassments weren't magnified quite as much as ours so just think whether you'll be happy seeing that picture again on your 50th birthday before tweeting a drunken selfie. 

With my  digital presence being vital both to my blogging world and my job in recruitment (Linkedin is literally a lifesaver) it's crucial to me that my digital footprint and legacy is protected as much as possible, there are even digital legacy tool's now that can record your digital wishes or even just have a look at what would happen to your online accounts should you pass away. If you're interested in finding out more about a digital legacy Sunlife* has some great information on how this works

What's your thoughts on your digital footprint?



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Friday, 17 August 2018

Top 5 Beauty Products I can't live without

I haven't wrote a beauty post in literally years. Like we're talking actual years here, probably because I'm the kind of girl that uses baby wipes to take my make-up off and would rather sleep an extra 10 minutes than do a full morning beauty routine

However that does mean that when I use a product it's because it's literally amazing, if I'm losing sleep time in favour of applying a moisturiser you know it comes on good recommendation (for those that don't know me too well my favourite hobby is and will always be sleeping). So here's my top 5 can't live without products right now

Top 5 Beauty Products

Literally the only moisturiser I'll ever use now, it's the best thing on my skin. I have really dry flaky skin and occasionally suffer from eczema and can't recommend the formula of this one enough it's really luxurious but not at all greasy 

[2] Grace and Stella blackhead mask - £11.99
I adore a good face mask and this one is my go to right now. It's a peel off blackhead mask and unlike many others I've tried on the market it's not excruciatingly painful to remove! Winner. I find my skin to be really smooth after application and it really easy to peel away

A completely natural treatment for rough and dry skin. It's in such cute packaging too, it's a nice creamy balm that hydrates dry skin and leaves a barrier of protection, this is such a useful product! It can be used anywhere at all, think vaseline but better. I've been using it on my feet to get them nice and smooth for the summer holidays

[4] Garnier Skinactive BB Light - £4.89 (currently reduced from £9.99 at Superdrug)
Boots recently stopped making the 17 range which made my holy grail BB cream *sob* however that did mean I had to discover a new product, this Garnier one is really great. It looks like a lotion, mixes like a foundation and literally adapts to your existing skintone to give you a healthy glow without making you look 'made up' it's become my go to product for every day wear

[5] Bourjois Volume Glam Ultra Curl - £8.99 (Spend £12 on Bourjois get a free gift at Boots)
I naturally have quite long lashes but I do love Bourjois for mascaras, my newest edition is the glam ultra curl, I love the curled wand and how clean it comes out this literally never gathers any gunk on the wand. It curls my lashes and makes them have a false lash effect without the hassle

What's the product you can't live without?
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Tuesday, 14 August 2018

Swimwear and Body Positivity

I recently wrote a post about what to wear to the beach, within that post I wrote about how stressful it is sorting an outfit and it got me thinking about why - what is it about the beach that gets me so worked up and stressed? 

I realised - it's other damn people.

Body positivity in swimwear



It's quite simple really it all stems back to being a 'bigger girl', we naturally don't take to showing our bodies off too well, if anything I spend the vast majority of my time trying to find ways of hiding my lumps and bumps not wearing Swimwear* to show it off. It's not necessarily how I feel either it's more the shit beauty standards placed on women, if you don't have a drop dead bikini body then people look at you like you don't belong, whispering and sneering at the beach whale who dares to flaunt their curves.

I adore swimming, I always have I just feel ultra calm floating around a gorgeous pool on holiday, but that's the only place I ever wear swimwear, and even then I normally have a kaftan covering me and then slide into the pool hidden away. Normally in an ill fitting costume or bikini because lets be fair girls finding swimwear that fits your boobs and all your other jiggly bits properly can be pretty difficult.

The crux of it all is I don't swim anywhere near enough, not because I don't want to but because I think as a plus size girl I shouldn't and that's complete crap. I SHOULD be swimming, I SHOULD be enjoying myself and my size should have nothing to do with it at all. If anything I'm quite comfortable, especially wearing Plus Size Swimwear* because it just fits in the right places. Made specifically to hold you in and flatter all the right places. What holds me back is others opinions but you know what? I've had it giving complete strangers any influence over my life

I'm going to Orlando this year, and I'll be spending at least 2 days in water parks and I'm beyond excited, I'm ordering lots of different styles of swimwear and I'm going to learn to love my body and I'm going to have as much fun as I can living my life, laughing and splashing around because at the end of the day life is for living not hiding away in the shade

Tell me your body positive stories
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Friday, 10 August 2018

What to wear to the beach

Despite the fact that we've had endless sunshine for what feels like eternity, we're only just heading into prime holiday season. If you're heading away you're very likely to be visiting a beach for that ultimate relaxation (hopefully you didn't experience any airport delays but I've got destressing tips for that too) - what isn't relaxing is getting a outfit sorted for the beach.
What to wear to the beach


I always struggle putting together an outfit for a beach day while I'm away so I'm taking more time to plan, you guys can now use my wishlist to get the perfect outfit too!

Simply Be Beachwear

First up is a stylish beachwear cover up, this takes your swimsuit to a level where you can wear it all day - A kaftan that can be easily removed means you can take as many dips in the sea as you want. Next up is the swimwear itself, now this is crucial for feeling comfortable all day long, there's so many styles now from bikini's to one pieces to a range of swimdresses* all available from Simply Be. I personally feel most comfortable in a swim dress, but definitely try a few different styles and patterns out. Finally shoes! Make sure you pick open shoes like sliders so they can be easily removed to feel the sand in your toes

That's your core items, but the little accessories are what pull any outfit together
SimplyBe Accessories
A stylish beach bag with all your essentials such as a beach towel, kindle and sunglasses would make your beach trip even more relaxing. Perspex bag's are really popular at the minute and I'm loving this coral tone it's really summery. I love the idea of a huge floppy hat too, it helps protect you from the sun and keep you looking stylish

What are your beach essentials?
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Tuesday, 7 August 2018

5 ways to beat the stress of airport delays

No one likes getting stuck in an airport for extended periods when delays are caused out there on the runway, in the air above us, or behind those strange partitions from where flight attendants look out at us so disapprovingly—we get it. The question is, though, what to do to fill that time besides glaring at the departure boards willing them desperately to reveal good news. Here are some suggestions that will keep you from heading for the nearest bar or overpriced restaurant to help make the time pass by.
Beat the stress of airport delays


Be prepared
Okay, it’s annoying to be told to know in advance that the airlines have let you down, but where is the harm in having something to do ready just in case? Why not use the time to listen to a podcast you've been meaning to or catch up on that Netflix series? You know, you could even feel productive while you wait and learn something! A language would be a good start to a trip, don't you think?

Try downloading MindSnacks or Memrise; for any bored passenger, these are really neat starting points because you can play games (and learn) while you wait! Alternatively, you might even be able to schedule an impromptu online class by going to www.listenandlearn.org* and you could actually practice with a native Spanish speaking teacher before your trip to Spain!—which has now been delayed by 5 more hours. Lastly, you could even dare to speak to a real-life person, like the one sitting next to you in the waiting lounge. That or just creepily listen in on the conversations around you and get your practice time in; how amazing would it be to find you can already understand them?

Comfort eat
Come on, indulge, you're about to go off and travel anyway, why not pass the time by filling your face with something delicious that catches your eye? This could be one of those meal deals there are always on offer in the generic stores every airport in the world seems to have, so you can chew angrily in the waiting area and not miss an announcement. Or, alternatively, you could indulge in one of those cafés or restaurants that are overpriced yet always seem to be serving something appetizing. What are a few extra calories when you're already burning off more of them in fury at being delayed?

Old faithful
If spending all your money on food doesn't feel like your ticket to happiness, you could always hit the shops! Take advantage of the slightly cheaper prices on all your favorite scents and alcohol, loading up your carry-on before you even start! And why not use this time to stock up on the essentials, like that sunscreen and shower gel stolen from you at security when you forgot you can only take 100ml on board?

Reading corner
Because delays happen, isn't this the perfect opportunity to work through a chapter or two of your current book? And if you haven't one with you, those stores twinkling at you with all their offerings will have a great selection of airport reads and magazines to keep you occupied. You never know, you might lose a few hours of your holiday but gain a favorite new author at the same time!

As a last resort
Most airports have at least a few minutes of free Wi-Fi for you to use on your phones and tablets. Why not use those few minutes for last minute goodbyes, app updates, or even to complain on Twitter about your delay to get yourself some media attention?

Though if all else fails… we'll see you at the bar. Start off your holiday making new friends! Drinks are always a great bonding experience. Happy holidays wherever you are traveling!

What's your fail safe tip for coping with delays?
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