Sunday, 28 August 2016

Lately, I've been loving...

♥ Iced mocha frappes from McDonalds, which are surprisingly absolutely wonderful

This blog

This picture from weheartit

♥ My brand new nike roches

This adorable sweater from forever 21

This writing set from paperchase

This blog post

♥ Caramel lattes... they are just life

This cute quote

♥ The money in my bank that I don't need to spend (yet)

♥ The reason by Lacey Sturm

This youtube video

♥ The band walk the moon

This magazine

♥ The Nyxx matte lip gloss, in London shade

♥ Calm by Michael Acton Smith

♥ Flipping through Label's catalogue

A day in Ustron, and a night in Topolej

We spent our first day in Poland very close to the hotel, only leaving to visit the nearby town mid-afternoon. I treated Katie to her first try of Polish food, which just so happened to be cheese. You'd understand if you knew how damn good Polish cheese is, lol.

We had a little wander around the town, and took some cute pictures of eachother- and the flowers. We then made one of the worst decisions of the week... after getting a lift to the town by a friend who worked at the hotel, we thought it would be a good idea to walk back. Wait, that doesn't give it justice.

Wearing flip flops and pumps, in 25 degree heat, we thought it would be a good idea to walk back up and down hills, on roads that didn't have pavements. We were absolute idiots, but I guess at least we know we did some exercise that week. Seriously though, I regret that walk so much.

 We probably got back from our walk around 7pm, and treated ourselves to a traditional Polish soup which I had actually never tried before, despite having been in Poland a good number of times previously. It was kinda spicy, with a lot of cabbage in it. Yeah, cabbage soup. It doesn't sound too appetising but trust me, it was good.

We then settled down and the group of Moroccans played a bit of traditional music for us, which was very quirky. It was so different from anything else I'd ever heard before, and we had a good laugh while enjoying the music. 

The menu that evening was all centred around traditional Moroccan dishes, which I'm ngl wasn't exactly ideal when I was trying to show Katie how awesome Polish food was, but the food was amazing nonetheless! 

 As the night went on, a variety of different groups performed. A belly dancer even came up at one point, which was extremely uncomfortable for my little conservative British self to watch. Later we migrated to the hotel gardens, where the cosy little bench area had been transformed into a makeshift stage. 

I stayed near the side of the stage with my new Moroccan friends, and enjoyed a bit of Polish music (and Polish cider, which fyi is not as good as Koppa). The atmosphere was incredible- I have no words to describe how amazing it felt to be standing outside under the moonlit sky, dancing along to songs I didn't understand.

As the night progressed, we returned back inside the hotel main room and I called an end to the alcohol I was drinking. I decided when I lost count of how many beers I had it was time to stop, jokes jokes. So I stood at the bar for a while, waiting for a hot chocolate to take over to the table where Katie was sat with her water like the smart, healthy, beautiful girl she is. And a young looking couple joined me at the bar, and ordered a few shots all round, which I promise I tried to refuse, but I ended up taking a half shot with the woman anyways because yolo and all that. Anyway, we got chatting (I was still waiting for my hot chocolate at this point) and got by in mainly Polish, and they seemed like really decent people.

I made my departure when I got my hot chocolate, and made a bee line over to Katie, who at the time was sitting alone reading a bit of a book that I had lent her. (Where she went, the sequel to If I stay, 10/10 would recommend). And soon after, the couple joined us at the table, which was lovely. We had a really great laugh with them, talking about all sorts of things like University, to Scotland, to Music, to Alcohol... literally, everything. And then came the dreaded question... The question that makes me feel a little bit silly; as if I'm a kid wearing her Mum's lipstick. "So, how old are you?"

Obviously I answered with the truth. 17, almost 18. And the woman looked pretty darn shocked, which at least made me feel a little bit better, lol. She told me how she thought I was in my 20's, which tbh I didn't expect. I always thought I had a baby face. So anyways, I asked her the same question, expecting her and her husband to be around 25 or so. Turns out I was in for a bit of a shock too, cos they were in their early 30's! That just goes to show that age is pretty much meaningless when it comes to friendships ect. to be honest.

Friday, 26 August 2016

A week in Poland: Overview

So as many of you already know, a week ago last Thursday I jetted off to Poland with my close friend Katie. We started our adventure at 2pm when her Mum graciously dropped us off at the airport. The goodbyes were full of emotion, excitement and anticipation as we looked forward to our week of freedom.

We spent the week in a very cultural hotel, owned by a wonderful woman who went to school with my Mum. Each room was designed to reflect a different counties culture, which was incredible. We were lucky enough to stay in the gorgeous Bulgarian room. If you check out their website, you'll be able to see a taste of what the hotel has to offer.
Packing was definitely not as hard as I thought it would be. We only took hand luggage this time since we were only staying for a week, and my bag served me well. The only problem I encountered was how full my liquids bag was... I ended up having to bin my beloved Simple moisturiser at the airport, but at least now I have an excuse to buy a new moisturiser- hello feel unique, here I come!

Our room had a balcony which overlooked the hotel gardens and the rural landscape in the distance. It really was something else; being able to wake up, and open the curtains to such a beautiful sight.

We spent the majority of our time in the hotel gardens, which were full of colour and energy. The hotel was very relaxed and had such a chill, friendly atmosphere. We had a good few meals and drinks at the hotel too, and the staff were always ready to help. There was also a group of Moroccan men staying at the hotel to work there, and they spoke brilliant English which was really lovely. We all got along really well, and had a good few games of table football, lol.

During this holiday I probably consumed more alcohol than I ever have before too, lol. We had good fun! Without going into too much detail, I genuinely had a whole bottle of this vodka drink thing to myself, as well as a good number of shots, beers and ciders. Whoops.

 Katie and I went on a fair number of trips to the different towns and cities that were nearby, and on one occasion we went to Cieszyn (I think that's how you spell it?) and had a walk across the Polish/Czech Republic border, which I'm sure I'll tell you more about soon... No spoilers. 
 We also encountered quite a few unusual looking bugs during our stay. From a huge green dragonfly which I saw in the morning hovering over the swimming pool, to this flat ladybug thing... One thing I won't be missing about Poland is the bugs. I'll stick to the flies, wasps and house spiders thank you very much.
The money... Well, that's a whole other story. Compared to the UK, Poland was cheap as balls. I spent the same amount for a full, heaped meal in Poland as I would for coffee and (maybe) a cake in Glasgow. Seriously. 

But that's not the only thing that baffled me about money in Poland. When I was in Edinburgh Airport, I grabbed the opportunity to use an ATM so that I could get some English money out to exchange in Poland rather than taking it out once we got there. So that worked absolutely fine, I got a good amount of money that I knew would last me the week. But when it got to exchanging my money for Polish zloty at the Bank, they only accepted some of my notes to exchange. I was left with four £20 notes, and was told there was nothing wrong with them- they were legitimate notes... but the bank wouldn't take them. Katie and I literally scoured every bank and exchange bureau, but we were always given the same answer; it's real money, but we can't exchange it. All I can say now is thank goodness everything was so cheap.

On the mornings where we couldn't be bothered doing much or going anywhere just yet, I flopped down on this plush little sunbed and popped on some tunes on my tablet. My goal was to get a tan, and while I am more tan than before, I didn't achieve the bronzed Goddess look that I was aiming for. Maybe next year, lol.

And least but not last, this is where we had our breakfast most mornings, and where we chilled out in the evening after travelling around. The colours were so vibrant, and it just felt like such a lovely intimate place.

Thursday, 25 August 2016

What would my perfect morning routine look like?

At the start of this month Jasmin from Little Things With Jassy uploaded a post about what she imagined her ideal morning routine would be, which you can find here. I really enjoyed reading her post, and so I decided I'd write something a bit similar.

At the moment, my mornings are pretty much nonexistant. Depending on what time I start work I'll either spend my mornings asleep and wake up around noon, or wake up and just have enough time to do my hair and makeup. I'm not a huge fan of most breakfast foods like toast and cereal, so I'll usually go through my day without having breakfast- which I know isn't healthy. 

In an ideal world, I would wake up when my first alarm goes off at 8am... but I don't. And I hit snooze on the 9am alarm. And the 10am alarm. And the 10:30 alarm. And then it'll be a mad rush for me to get my bum out the door in time for work. I've never been late for work, but I would definitely like to have a more relaxed morning. 

Any earlier than eight and I would probably be a walking zombie. Waking up at eight would be ideal as it would mean that I'd have a decent amount of sleep and I'd have plenty of time to get a really good start to my day. I'd probably spend about 10 minutes to properly wake up, so it would be good to have that much time to just lay in bed for a bit longer. When I opened my blinds the sun would be shining and the sky would be a beautiful clear blue too, obviously. 

By this time I would have fully woken up and would start running a nice hot bath. I'd pop a bath bomb from Lush in, and soak in the warm, scented water. Then when I got out I would be fresh and at ease- already a great start to the day!

At half eight I would get dressed, and do my hair and makeup. I'd have much more time to focus on my makeup, so I could spend a good wee while using products like primer and eyeliner that I usually give a miss because I'm in too much of a rush. 

Yes, I would need an hour to do my hair and makeup... although 90% of the time would be spent on makeup. At this point I would be ready to go down and make myself some breakfast. I would love to have a veggie breakfast, as it would be so nutritious- and I'd be able to take some snaps of it to share with all you lovely people! I'd also get to lounge about and pop the news on while eating my breakfast, so I would be more aware of what's going on in the world.

At this point I'd pop back upstairs to brush my teeth, and pack my bag for work. That would leave me with just enough time to work on my blog for a bit, or meet up with friends for a morning coffee. 

What would your perfect morning look like?

Sunday, 21 August 2016

20 thoughts I had this week

Ever wonders what ramblings go on in my head? Well here's a summary of my thoughts this week...

1. I really wish I could get back into reading, but I just don't have the time, and there isn't any books that look appealing enough to me. Maybe I'll read that Girl Boss book that everyone's talking about.

2. I really want to have colourful hair. It looks so fun and playful. Would blue hair suit me? Like Halsey's old hair.

3. I did it. 45 mins at the gym and 300 calories down. Yay me.

4. Well since I burnt all those calories, I'm entitled to an extra calorie allowance for lunch, right?

5. The Notebook makes me cry every single time...

6. I really want a romantic relationship with someone, but boys are idiots. Well, boy's aren't idiots like in general. I have lots of friends who are boys who aren't idiots. But all the guys I fall for? They're definitely idiots.

7. I wish my waist was smaller. Look at her. She's total goals, how does she stay so skinny?

8. I really want a change. Like a total fresh start where I don't know what to expect and nobody has assumptions made about me.

9. Oh wait crap that's exactly what University is going to be like. I wonder what kind of person I'll be like in university. It's going to be a whole new life, like a total adventure, and everyone else will be in the same boat

10. I should really start saving seriously. I need to stop with the fortnightly shopping sprees every time I get paid

11. But look at that super cute dress...

12. No. I'm going to university soon, I need to discipline myself and learn to budget.

13. I really want to go on holiday somewhere I've never been before.

14. I haven't written a '5 happy thoughts' post in a while, do you think people will have noticed? I like writing them, they're minimal effort, and always leave me feeling weirdly happy.

15. I actually really just love list posts in general. They have a nice structure, and once I start writing them, it's so easy to keep content flowing.

16. I should probably go on a diet. I read somewhere that if you cut down your calorie intake by 500 a day then you'll lose a stone by the end of the week, I wonder if that's true.

17. I'm going to make a meal plan for my school lunches. Right, for Monday I'll have chicken caesar salad, for tuesday I'll have soup...

18. Wait, I don't go to school anymore.

19. I'm a real adult now.

20. I'm going to turn 18 by the end of the year... what?! I swear I was 12 like a second ago...

Saturday, 20 August 2016

Why you should invest in a good pair of trainers, and join a fitness class

It was found by researchers at Exeter University that less than 50% of all adults take part in regular exercise- that exercise itself, is on the decrease.

Everyone these days wants perfect skin, perfect hair and a perfect body, and dieting seems to be the way to go to achieve this. However, as important as it is that you regulate what goes into your body, in order to work towards any physical goals, you need to consider what your body does. And well, if you're a bit of a couch potato, just like I was (and still am sometimes) maybe it's time for you to shake up your routine a little bit.

Regular exercise has been proven to result in the maintenance of a healthier, better looking body. By just doing half an hour to an hour of exercise every day, you will be able to benefit from a reduction in body weight, blood pressure, as well as an increase in good cholesterol. 

Let me take that one step further... Exercise protects  your body against a number of diseases. There is evidence from a number of scientific studies that show that individuals who are more fit, and exercise more often, are less likely to develop many heart related diseases, such as coronary heart disease. Your immune system will also strengthen as a result of exercise, leading to a better resistance of common bugs like colds and flues. 

It has multiple positive implications on your mental health as well. You know how I'm always banging on about how important it is to stay motivated? Well according to the body shop's book of wellbeing, "working out regularly will increase your energy levels and boost your self esteem" which will undoubtedly affect your motivation- and the higher your motivation levels are, the more driven you will be to achieve your goals. 

And as if that's not enough to make you want to run off to your nearest fitness centre, the social aspect of joining a class and participating in regular exercise is just as exciting. Keeping an open mind when joining a fitness or dance class, or maybe even picking up a team sport, can lead you to meeting new people, who are likely to have similar interests as you. I don't know about you, but while I was never a social butterfly, I do love the excitement of meeting someone new. Plus, in the long run it'll drive you to continue to go to the classes or participate in the sport, because you'll get to have a wee catch up with your new friends.

Are you part of a gym class?

Thursday, 18 August 2016

Girls can do anything

I read a quote on we heart it the other day about how a girl needed a hero, and so that's what she become. That reminded me of the much overlooked Disney movie Mulan; a  story about a young woman who impersonates a man so that she can train to be part of the Chinese military, so that her ill father doesn't have to go and fight. As a child, Mulan was always one of my favourite movies, and I am so glad that there was a movie like that for me to watch as a young girl, to teach me that I didn't need a prince to fix my life and give me my happily ever after... that I could fight for it myself.

Over the years I have grown to identify myself as a feminist. This doesn't mean that I think women should rule the world, or that men are all evil, or that I think stay at home Mums are stupid. When I label myself a feminist it means that I think girls can do anything they set their minds to, with or without a man. It means that I believe women are -and should be treated as- equals to men.

Through watching numerous TED talks, I have come across some really incredible women, who have publicly shared their stories and their beliefs. These women have inspired me to share my own story, and to stand up to injustice when I see it. They have given me an insight to the inequalities and divides that I haven't always been aware of, and they have educated me in ways that my national education system has failed to.

Below is a collection of some of the most influential TED talks that I have come across. I hope that you will watch them, and feel as empowered as I did when I watched them.

Everyday sexism: Laura Bates at TEDxCoventGardenWomen

Looks aren't everything. Believe me, I'm a model - Cameron Russell

Sheryl Sandberg: Why we have too few women leaders

3 Lessons on Success From an Arab Businesswoman | Leila Hoteit

Khadija Gbla: My mother's strange definition of empowerment

Manal Al-Sharif: A Saudi woman who Dared to Drive

Who inspires you?