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Wednesday, 18 July 2018

So somehow I found myself on a post I wrote last year about how we date now, and I think all these opinions about love came to mind because I was indeed watching Love Island at the time. This year is no different, and in some ways I think some of this years cast have been a bit more muggy than last year and my amount of #LoveIsland tweets have doubled. One thing I'm taking away from the show this year is never state you love/hate someone straight away because chances are your opinion will change on them within an hour of the next episode (or in their company). Of course there are a lot of things that separate me and the people on Love Island - for one they're all flawless, with no stretch marks or flabby bits and us regular folk don't get to spend 8 weeks just faffin about in a villa passing spag bol from one sexy singleton to another. That being said, just like us they still deal with insecurities and bumps in the road that a lot of us can relate to when it comes to relationships. As narrated by Love Island, here is a look at what modern day romance is like. 

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1. We don't put all of our eggs in one basket. 

This is probably a good thing at the beginning because we know that giving your all to someone 100% in the beginning, usually means the sting is harder when the other person decides to call it quits unexpectedly. With social media and the likes of Tinder, it's easier than ever to 'date' several people at the same time. Unless you live in a small community like myself, where people will still think you're cheating/seeing someone else if you're out for a drink with your distant relative who's come to visit. 

2. We're happy, but we could be happier. 

Could this phrase be any more annoying? This mentality isn't healthy and if you're always striving for something better then you're never going to be satisfied. No one should settle for the first person that looks your way, but if you enjoy their company, have a physical attraction and they make you laugh, what else do you need really? We're spoilt for choice nowadays and that's the problem. The grass isn't always greener. 

3. It's easy to find someone who's 100% you type on and off paper. 

It is now easier than ever to find someone who you have a real connection with. Be it because you travel a lot so are constantly bumping into like minded individuals, or you live in a city filled with lots of singles from around the globe. Heck sometimes I find myself passing a hot guy and thinking to myself, 'I hope he's on tinder'. Social media and dating apps means you can find someone who also shares the same love for pottery or Star Wars roleplay. I know lots of people who have successfully found their S/O through the internet and hit it off right away. So as long as you're yourself and don't catfish anyone, there's no shame in it. 

4. We're afraid of labels. 

'We're coupled up but we're not in a relationship' is a common one thrown around the villa ei. There are two kinds of people in there at the moment - those who ask their partner to become their BF/GF after a week of canoodling, and those who hit it off perfectly well but still insist they're not in a relationship so can still look at/get with other people. I definitely see this a lot in the 'real world' where someone shows all the signs that you're mutually exclusive (going for dinner, to the cinema, staying over, telling their family about you) but then any sign of jealousy or serious talk about 'what are we' and they hit you with the old 'we're just dating not in a relationship' line. It's each one to their own with this, I don't really see the point in casually dating someone if it's not going to lead to anything (unless you're moving away/travelling/they're on holiday). Especially once you're in your mid/late twenties because you're essentially wasting your time when you could be with someone who wants to be with only you and will tell you that. 

5. Women are doing equally as many bits.

Ok so I had to throw this one in there for the lols. From what we've seen on the show this year, women are embracing their sexuality just as much as the men. Megan may have got her fair share of hate for switching up guys every couple of days and planting a kiss or two on each, but why does it make her a shlag and Adam a 'top bloke' for doing the same thing? If men can keep their options open, so can women. Leave that boy on read girls. 

6. It is possible to fall in love after spending 3 weeks with someone.

Not going to lie, I've spoken to people on trips and after a week thought to myself 'I'm in love'. When you spend a lot of time with a person everything is a lot more intense and I don't think there's a timeline of when you should/shouldn't be doing things in your relationship. One of my close friends met her now husband on a night out, she moved in with him two months later, and a year on they're married with a beautiful baby girl. On the other hand, I'd say 70% of my close friends and myself included are single. We're technically at the age where we should be looking at engagement rings but there is literally no rush and not everyone is going to be looking for the same thing at a certain point in their life. 

7. There's always going to be someone prettier, smarter or funnier than you. 

But that isn't any reason for them to jump ship! I guess this kind of carries on from the point about always looking for more but there is also the aspect of knowing your own self-worth. We saw it last year with Camilla and this year with Laura, Kendall, Rosie (and everyone else who was Adam's type).  There was nothing wrong with any of them, but sometimes people will leave you for the wrong reasons and that has nothing to do with your worth. The right person will stand by you and think you're the greatest person in the world, and if they don't see that then there's plenty more salmon in the sea. 

Have you been watching Love Island this year? Who are your favourites and what are your thoughts on them?



Sunday, 15 July 2018

For someone who travels a fair bit, it's taken me a while to get a bag that it suitable for weekends away/days out that doesn't involve wheels. I don't mean hand luggage suitcases because I just bought a gorgeous purple one that makes me feel like Daphne from Scooby Doo, but rather a bag that fits your iPad, purse, travel docs, sleeping pillow and all that stuff that you want easy access to. I came across Mia Tui and they kindly sent me over their Sydney backpack which has been very handy during my very recent trip to Portugal. Admittedly, I didn't quite check the size of the bag and was expecting a tiny backpack the size of an A4 sheet of paper, so when I opened the package and saw it basically spanned the length of my back I was like WOAH, look at all these compartments! This is everything I keep with me in my backpack when on a day trip/day at the beach/on the airplane/train and such.

1. Ipad.

If I'm on a short-haul flight and have no entertainment system then this is always good for watching Netflix (yay for downloadable shows!) and writing up blog posts or university assignments. If you're on a long-haul flight check out my blog post on how to keep yourself entertained on a flight. If you need your laptop for work, then the Sydney backpack also has a pocket for your laptop and can fit a 13 inch Macbook perfectly.

2. Portable Charger.

9/10 times I forget to charge it, so then it becomes pretty useless. This is a must when I'm travelling anywhere out of Gibraltar because the chances of me using up all my battery when listening to music or using Google Maps is high. If not, I'm then the idiot who has to sit on the floor in Gatwick Airport waiting for my phone to charge.

3. SPF face cream.

If you're gonna be walking around for a few hours, then don't neglect your skin! Nobody wants a pale face but just think of how smooth your skin will be in 10 years if you take care of it now. The one I'm currently using is....

4. A book (or two).

I actually packed two books with me on my trip because I knew I was going to be spending most of my trip poolside, and they weren't the lightest of books either! I wish my kindle still worked cause it's a lot more handy when travelling and takes up a lot less room, but alas the battery gave up on it and there is something I prefer about holding a real book. If you want to take a peak at what I've been reading you can see my 2018 reading list here

5. Magazine.

For when reading small words with no pictures starts to become a challenge. 

6. Document Wallet.

I bought one of these from Accessorize years ago and it comes with me everywhere! They're so handy for keeping all your important stuff in one place and not crumpled at the bottom of your bag (how can people do this!). If you have a friend who likes to travel, this would make a great gift as they have sections for your documents, passport, tickets etc. 

mia tui 2

7. Travel Minis

I recently bought this Clinique 3 step travel kit so that even if I'm travelling hand-luggage only I can still look after my skin. I'll be writing a summer skincare post soon so more on the products later, but a mini moisturiser like this one is always a good idea if you're flying for hours and your skin is feeling particularly meh

8. Hand Sanitiser.

For when you spill your in-flight meal and the flight attendant is on the other side on the plane. 

9. Facial Mist.

I bought mine at The Body Shop as they have quite a large range of facial sprays and they're all HL allowance friendly. I seem to find it very hard to spray things on my face so watching me spray this or setting spray or whatever is always rather entertaining. 

10. My Journal (and pen).

I usually tend to journal most when I'm flying cause I have nothing else to distract me, or use it as an opportunity to write down a random abundance of lists, like 'things to learn about when I'm bored'. I'd really like to give bullet journalling another go, and when you have free time when travelling it's always a good chance to do it. 

11. Eye mask.

I find it hard to fall asleep when I know people can see me, especially because my mouth sometimes ends up opening when I doze off. Plus if the person next to the window doesn't want to shut it, then you can block out the light this way.

The Mia Tui Sydney Backpack is currently retailing at £45 and features two pocket compartments, an insulated bottle holder, space for your phone and pens, and also comes with a clear zip bag (which I used to keep my travel minis). The thick straps means that even if you're carrying a lot on your bag throughout the day your shoulders won't be killing. 

mia tui 3

What are some of your travel essentials? Do you have any products you always carry with you?


Wednesday, 4 July 2018

Social media can be a great thing, it means I can see what my friends are up to half across the world on Instagram, interact with people on Twitter who are watching the same TV as me #LoveIsland and enter Facebook competitions to win free cinema tickets and food on Facebook. Although sometimes when I'm scrolling through Instagram at night and see that every other person is either travelling through Asia, wearing a GG belt and eating £100 sushi or partying at an exotic festival I can help thinking to myself - 'wow my life is so boring in comparison'. 

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Sunday, 1 July 2018

I feel like just yesterday I was still wearing my Primark parka jacket and Joni jeans and now here we all are (even in the UK) in sundresses and flip-flops. I stopped doing monthly updated a while ago just because some months are busier and others I just work, go to the gym, go out and blog. On a whole, the first half of 2018 has been pretty alright. I've squeezed in quite a bit of travelling - including Barcelona, Krakow and Malta. I've finally got down to my goal weight after a year and I've managed to find a balance between my work/social life. I just wanted to check-in with you guys to let you know what I've been up to and what my plans and goals are for the rest of the year.

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My accomplishments and highlights so far. 

I think it's just as important to look back at the things you've already achieved and not just what you want to do. No matter how small or insignificant they may seem. 

I've travelled to 5 new cities. 

The great thing about having paid off your overdraft and working a FT job is you actually have money to do things! Sure now I have to be a bit smarter with annual leave but thankfully we have a lot of bank holidays at the beginning of the year so it's made it possible. I've travelled to 6 different cities over 4 trips and they have all been with a different mix of people and they've all been memorable in their own way. I reunited with my best friend in Madrid to see Lana Del Rey after 4 years, went on a mini euro trip with Mariah and Joanna that was filled with constant laughs, and then pulled together my sister, Mariah and my other friend Gabriella for Malta. Funnily enough they didn't know each other that well prior to the trip but it was probably the funniest 4 days I've had in a long time. 

I've lost 14kg and managed to keep it off. 

It's exactly a year since I embarked on my 'fitness journey' and even though I could have done this in 6 months I still wanted to enjoy life so didn't want to be eating leaves every night. The best part about this is that I've actually grown an appreciation for food and what I feed my body. I haven't drastically cut down my calories, I enjoy going to the gym and I'm in a good place. There are elements I preferred when I was a bit plumper (I'm not as curvy and I could do with injecting some more fat into my face) but it's just getting used to a different kind of look. Even my fashion choices have changed because of it. I always find it funny when people make comments about your weight and that they 'preferred when you had a bit more/less lbs on you' because at the end of the day it's your body and your opinion that matters. If you're looking on a bit more info on how I lose 10kg (at the time) click the link. 

I've earned over £800 from my blog. 

This might not seem a lot to some bloggers and I won't be going full-time anytime soon, but when I started blogging 3 years ago I definitely wasn't thinking about making any money from it. I don't rely on my blog for my income so it's always a nice addition and surprise when an email lands in my inbox about a sponsored post, or somebody uses my affiliate link to make a booking (please do). It always gives you that extra bit of motivation when you're being paid for the stuff you write and feel valued. 

I've managed to read 2 books per month.

As I said on my reading list, joining the library means it's kind of forced me to do this so I can return the book in time, but I've got into the habit of reading every night before bed instead of using my phone and it's definitely help me sleep better too. 

My friend moved over to Gibraltar! 

What's better than having blogger friends? When someone who you met on Twitter/through blogging moves to the same place as you! Becca moved over here just under two months ago and it's so great having someone new/different to hang around with and of course, to go on blogger outings with and take 500 photos of our food. 

Our weekly cinema club. 

This one sounds lame, but having something to look forward to weekly brings me joy. It's funny because even though we go every week none of the staff (there's about 4 of them) have ever mentioned 'you're always here!' which kind of makes it more embarrassing for us because they probably think we don't have a life or we're not that memorable. After every film we say 1 line to sum up the movie and that line usually ends up on my one-line movie reviews post. 

My goals and plans for the rest of the year. 

Get my driving license!

Ok guys so I have been putting this off for the longest time because I don't feel the need to drive here and if I ever need to pop over to Spain for anything, there's always my mum, sister or lovely pals. That being said I know I can't rely on them forever and want to have my own independence when it comes to driving (even if I'm a little bit scared of it). Fingers crossed I can publish a post at the end of the year saying that I got my license! 

Reach 10K followers on Twitter.

I've been hanging around 7,000 followers for months now because I haven't actively been trying to grow my Twitter following. However we all know now that numbers are more important than ever in the bloggersphere so I want to dedicate more time to engaging with other people on Twitter, joining chats and finding new people to follow. 

Reach 5K followers on Instagram. 

It will be a miracle if I accomplish this because I feel like with Instagram I gain 10 followers and then lose 15. I'm going to make a real effort to grow my engagement here over the next 6 months and hope for the best, and if not pray that someone with a huge following does me a solid one and gives me a shoutout. 

Reach 1000 likes on Facebook.

I only just hit 500, so another 500 is doable right?

Read 25 books by the end of the year. 

As long as I keep on track and spend a few more hours reading on the beach in the summer this should hopefully be an easy one. I'd love to know what summer reads you recommend! 

Be up to date with all my TV shows. 

Does anyone else feel like they have their life together when they're caught up with all their TV shows? I'm dedicating this month to watch the final season of The Originals and next month to catching up with Gotham because I did quite enjoy them but Love Island has taken over my evenings. 

Visiting another 2 cities. 

Currently my only travel plans left for the year are Portugal with the family, and then I'm heading to Milan in November for a concert with Sarah-Jane (because it was cheaper to fly there than the UK) and then I'm treating my mum to a weekend in Brussels/Bruges for the Christmas markets and such! If any of you have any travel guides or tips for these places send them my way!

Get down to 20% body fat and increase my muscle mass. 

If you're not an avid gym goer then you might read this and be like eh? I'm not really focusing on losing any more weight, but I'd like to take this second half of the year to change my body composition - building muscle and losing some fat so I can look lean and mean like Mulan. 

Make £1000 from blogging. 

Probably very ambitious of me, but if I practice the law of attraction/manifestation hard enough maybe it'll happen. 

Have £5000 in savings. 

I've already cut down buying my iced skinny vanilla lattes to twice a week, so that's a start. Before buying any more clothes/make-up/materialistic things I try to ask myself 'is this going to add any value to my life?' Another Pandora ring would be nice but do I really need to add another one to my hand and then cry when it falls off on a night out because I was waving my hands too quick in the air? 


That's about all that I can think of right now guys, nothing too exciting unfortunately. All I really want for the rest of the year is a chilled, fun, memorable, easy-going, adventurous, successful and accomplished 6 months - so not a lot to ask for really. I'm off to Portugal for a week with my family this weekend and I'm looking forward to having sometime to chill, read, get a tan and play hotel bingo. As much as I love reserving my holiday leave for exploring new places sometimes you just need some time off to relax and unwind. 

How has 2018 been for you so far? What have been your highlights and what are you looking forward to for the rest of the year? 



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