August Favourites!

Let’s jump right in and see what I’ve been loving in August!

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Books 

This month it’s been quite a slow reading month I just really couldn’t get into it. The silver lining though is that I’ve loved the books I have read. I finally got my copy of Our Super American Adventure by Sarah Graley which is absolutely awesome, I’ve met Sarah before and love her artwork and stories about her relationship. I also finished what I think is going to be one of my top books this year, My Shitty Twenties by Emily Morris, an honest account of being a single mother in your twenties and still being badass, you can read my review here. I also kept seeing the Andrew Morton book Diana Her True Story and decided to download it on Audible it’s a tough book and I did think it was interesting but incredibly sad on the 20th anniversary of the princess’s death. And finally Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls is just amazing, meant for children but should be read by EVERYONE! My gushing review is here.

 

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Watching 

Is there anything else to talk about this month? Of course, there’s not. Game of Thrones is over for another season and this one was everything I hoped it would be. I’m not going to post spoilers, because that just not cool. All I’ll say is the following for people who have watched the finale, they deserved that and oh lordy what a beautiful sight. Now I have to wait for the next season…my Dad has already tagged me in a countdown timer.

 

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Fashion and Beauty

I did a whooooole post about my little haul this month over here. So head over for all the info you need to know!

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Brighton Pride

I went to my first ever Pride and I can honestly say it was the best party I’ve ever been to. It was fun and flamboyant and there was glitter everywhere! I got to sit in a giant deck chair, dance in an 80s disco and I ended up sponsoring a dog…yep (wine may have been involved). I wrote a whole post about 7 reasons you should go next year!

General

This month started off on a good note with a trip to Pizza Express with my ‘spec squad’, that’s me, Abbie and Sarah to celebrate our new little group. It’s been a month of spending time with people I love. Ali went to Brighton and Scotland this month for work, and bought me home Charlie the Highland Cow from the latter, he’s adorable (the cow I mean, although Ali’s ok I suppose). It’s also had milestones with my little sister getting into college! I also went to see 80s super popstars Bros at the O2 in London, which was actually a brilliant laugh with my Mum, sister and mum’s best friend. I also may have gotten a new cauldron mug from the new Primark collection…maybe. And last but not least I’ve been spending as much time as possible with Ali, including on our 9 year anniversary, before he heads off on tour tomorrow!!

 

My favourite posts 

Feminist Friday with …. Jess Willby 

A new month, a new woman 

Nine years, new adventures 

 

What have your favourites been this month? Let me know in the comments below!

Relaxation, Sunshine and Cocktails – Welcome to Majorca

Hello, hello, hello!

On Saturday I got back from a wonderful week long stay in Alcudia, Majorca. Ali and I booked this about a year ago and seeing as we hadn’t had a holiday since 2015 (!!), so it was well deserved and well needed. We booked our holiday through TUI (Thomson) to fly from London to Palma, staying at the Platja D’Or hotel in Alcudia.

Now, this might not be your typical hotel for a twenty-something couple, as it was generally an older crowd (by about 25 years) BUT it’s exactly the kind of holiday we wanted, a chilled out all inclusive with a nice pool and a beach. We could see the beach from our room, being hotel guests meant we had a cut through to the beach itsself. We were also able to eat 3 top class meals a day, although I have to admit my favourite part was the desert, come to mama. Each night it was something different and you could watch as the chefs cooked your food, or you could simply pick something up from the buffet.

The hotel itself was pretty far out. We could walk for about 30 minutes before we were in the main area for hotels and shops a 15-minute bus ride to old Alcudia and 1 hour away from Palma. In that respect, it wasn’t the easiest place to explore if you didn’t want to have to travel, but it is wonderful for some peace and quiet.

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We did do a little bit of exploring on our travels to the main cities near us. First off was Old Alcudia (on the left). This was really strange because there are houses, shops and restaurants in the middle of Arabic ruins which you can simply walk on and look for miles out at the beautiful scenery. Around the back of these, there were also  Roman ruins, although we couldn’t go through at that time. It was incredible to walk through and just see these huge walls that protected the city and to stand at the top was magnificent.

Later in the week we also took a trip into Palma, the main city. We were able to have a guided tour of the Cathedral before having free time to explore. Ali and I decided to hit up the Hard Rock Cafe and tick another location off of our list. It was exactly the right mix of beauty and culture in the Cathedral (definitely worth a visit) and fun for us in Hard Rock. That said, it was so hot the day we went if you decide to go then make sure you take a LOT of water with you, I suffered from quite a headache after!

The other days were mainly spent with Ali and I visiting the beach or the pool and just spending time together before he has an incredibly busy summer. All in all, it was the relaxing break that I needed before starting my new job (more on that later!). Where are you all off to this summer? Let me know in the comments below!

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Sunday Seven: Tips for Flying Alone!

Last week I took my first flight alone from Palma, Majorca to London Gatwick. I had an amazing holiday (although more on that tomorrow) but on the last day I had a knot in my stomach for the afternoon. I’ve never had to fly on my own and although I’ve flow so, so many times the thought of going it alone was really nerve wracking. That said, once I’d done it I really enjoyed it and feel like I’ve opened so many more doors for myself. So, what are my tips for flying alone?

Make sure you are at the airport nice and early 

There’s nothing that stresses you out more than being late, you may be waiting around but at least you’ll be relaxed and ready to fly.

Tell family or friends important details 

Let people know what’s going on, especially when you’re travelling alone. That way other people know that you’re safe too.

If you need any assistance, book it in advance 

I’ve needed assistance in the past and it’s always fine if you book in advance. When you’re at the airport it can take longer or you might not be able to get it at the last minute.

Have a good playlist 

I don’t like landing and take off when I have to listen to the engines, this time I plugged in my headphones and had pumping music and it was awesome! Totally difference experience, make sure you’re on Airplane mode though!

Take something to do on the flight 

A book, a notebook, tablet something to keep you entertained because everyone knows that plane journeys can be so boring.

Make this your time, away from distractions 

The great thing is that there’s no internet (well not on any flight I’ve ever been on), you can take some time for yourself to just think or sleep, sleeps good.

Enjoy the views! 

I flew at 2 in the morning, seeing all the lights of the towns and cities we flew over was beautiful.

 

What are your tips for flying alone? Let me know in the comments below!

Sunday Seven: Places you should visit!

Is it summer time yet? No? I can hear the collective groan as so many of us have to wait for the summer to roll around so we can go away and have a little break. I’m very lucky that my family liked to travel when I was growing up, I’ve seen some beautiful countries and hope to add to the ever growing list. This week I wanted to share with you seven places I loved and that you should visit!

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Paphos, Cyprus 

I’ve been to Cyprus a few times with my family and I absolutely love it. We’ve been going since I was quite young and my last visit was just before I started uni. We’ve stayed at the same hotel each time, but the town itself is constantly changing. There’s also a great waterpark, great excursions you can do and a lot of history around. One day I really want to take Ali and show him one of my favourite holiday destinations.

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Sorrento, Italy 

Ali and I first went away together with his family all the way back in 2009 to Sorrento. In the picture above (excusing my awful choice in ‘fashion’) we are standing at the top of Mount Vesuvius. We’d spent the day walking around Pompeii and looking at the history of it. Aside from that Sorrento is very tourist friendly, which means it can get busy but it’s also easy to get around. Also, the food? To die for, I loved it. You can also go over to the Island of Capri which oozes glamour. I want to go to different areas in Italy but Sorrento was a good place to start.

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London, UK 

I’ve been in love with London for as long as I can remember. I was taken to Oxford Street with my Mum and Nanna more times than I can count. London to me means excitement, it’s where I see shows, meet friends, go to events, explore the rich history of a wonderful city. London will always be special to me and I couldn’t just say one place, I love it all!

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Amsterdam

I went to Amsterdam just before my 21st birthday. While we stayed closer to the Red Light District, it was on the last day we found the real beauty of Amsterdam in Vondelpark, if I were to stay again I would definitely pay the extra to stay near the park, also their Hard Rock Cafe is incredible.

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Greece

I’ve been to Greece a lot. The first holiday I  went on with my parents was to the island of Crete, we went time and time again and I fell in love with it. I wanted to use a picture from then but couldn’t find any in digital. Fast forward about 18 years and I’d gone back to Greece, this time to Athens with Ali  for a week long class, and looked at the history of one of the greatest civilizations to have ever lived. Oh and for an Ouzo or two.

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Orlando, Florida 

Anyone who knows me, knows Florida was going to be on this list. My parents have taken me to Florida at least 3 if not 4 times. I was very lucky. I like going and acting like a kid, going to Disney, Universal, shopping in the outlet malls. I can’t see myself going for a while but damn right I’m going back.

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Harry Potter Studio Tour – Watford 

A must for ANY potterhead or anyone who just liked the films. Seeing everything up close, admiring the artistry and the detail on even the smallest things. I need to go again at some point, it’s only been a few years since I went but it’s already changed so much from pictures. It really is a must.

What are some of your favourite places to visit? Let me know in the comments below!

Sunday Seven: Seven Things That 20 Somethings Are ‘Supposed’ to Do

I’ve spent a lot of time thinking this week about what is expected of 20 somethings. People have a lot of opinions about your twenties, what you should be doing, what you shouldn’t be doing, how you should feel, how you shouldn’t feel. It’s both exhausting and annoying. While some people are truly trying to help and pass on wisdom after the mistakes they made, it is SO hard not to roll my eyes most of the time. Anyway, I’m hoping that I’m not the only one who gets these!

You should travel, all the time, everywhere! 

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Now, don’t get me wrong I enjoy visiting other places, seeing other cultures and their history BUT I’m not someone who’s into travelling. The thought of just having a backpack and all that jazz doesn’t appeal to me, it never has. I have a list of places I want to go but you won’t see me heading off for weeks or months at a time to share a room and a shower.

You should get experience, lots of experience! 

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I’m lucky enough that I’ve had some great opportunities, but very early on I learnt that coming from money can really help get your career kick started. There are so many industries where you are expected to get experience by working for free or on minimum wage. I know for a fact most 20 somethings really do want to get experience but simply cannot afford it without support.

You should/shouldn’t be thinking about getting married! 

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People are obsessed with when they think you should or shouldn’t get married. There’s a total divide on what people think in my life. A lot of people are like you guys have been together forever, when are you getting married? OR they will tell you under no circumstances should you do it in your twenties, I have to say though most people who say this are divorced.

Go out! Party and make the most of it! 

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I did a year of partying at uni, sometimes it was fun but it was never my thing. I’m quite happy to go to the pub every now and again or go out for some cocktails after payday but I’d rather save my money and do exciting things that won’t make me feel awful the next day!

Don’t forget to save!

Between all the travelling, partying and unpaid experience?

You’re in the best time of your life, remember that. 

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So far my 20s have been good, but they’ve also been pretty hard. I think people forget the confusion, the stress of trying to work out who you want to be and how to make that happen and all the expectations on you. Oh and not to mention the debt if you went to uni, so much debt.

What are/were you guys told throughout your 20s? Let me know in the comments below!

 

Taking a Chance

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If I’ve learnt anything in the past year it’s that you can make all the plans you want, life has a way of making sure you do what you need to do. I’m going down a completely different path to the one that I thought I would, because I took a chance.

I’d set up this whole plan of being an academic, staying in Kingston and just seeing what happened. I realise now that that career path was partly due to fear. I thought I would stay in education forever because it was something I was good at, I was the smart girl and there was money to be won, it just seemed like a natural progression. Then this year I just kind of fell out of love with the idea slowly. I got told by my lecturers how they struggled, that they couldn’t get jobs and were in so much debt. That’s one thing I didn’t want. I hate borrowing money and I hate being in debt, I didn’t want to do all of that work and deal with all the stress and then not have a job at the end of it.

Falling into doing Marketing by accident was the best thing I ever did. It had been suggested to me that I look into it before but I thought you had to be a bigshot to do marketing, apparently not. It’s something that I’m good and similarly with my job, I just threw myself in and applied. I just thought, why not? And I got it. I think that’s what I’m going to take from the uni experience, just do things and see what happens. I know I’ve landed myself with a brilliant job, I’m learning, working with some amazing people and hopefully I’ll be travelling for work too, something I never thought I would do.

 

Image from Pinterest

Amsterdam 2015 – Laughs, Beauty and Best Friends

Hello to all my lovely followers! I’m back from Amsterdam and I’ve finally gotten enough sleep to write coherent sentences! After spending the past few days in Amsterdam I can say that not only have I had a nice break but I’ve made some incredible memories with two of my best friends Daniela and Amy. This post will have a lot of pictures and a LOT of laughs because everything just seemed to happen to us!

After setting off on Sunday night we were all excited and got our back seat on the coach, driving through the night everything seemed to be going smoothly that was until we got onto the ferry. For well after midnight it was packed with people and the only space we could find was next to a man with quite an odd smell, combine that with a very rocky ship I wasn’t feeling all too well but before too long we could get back on to the coach where I thought I’d get a few hours sleep….not so much. I finally got to a point where I was starting to doze off when I could hear shouting through my headphones and someone threatening to ‘punch someone in the nose’. While most people were a bit nervous about this I was more irritated than anything, I mean come on it was nearly 5am in France, calm yourselves! A lovely man with some seriously impressive ink managed to try and calm things down and alert the driver, who had to pull up in the middle of nowhere to call the doctor and the police. We were stuck like that for an hour and a half while two people were taken off of the coach and sorted out, delaying our arrival.

Eventually we arrived to a drizzly Amsterdam and got the tram into the city centre where we saw our first sights of the city, although I have to admit after not having slept I didn’t take much in apart from the fact someone on the coach had smeared my new bag with chewing gum. Nice. We asked for directions to our hotel and were told it was simple to find but apparently not. We must have looked a sight the three off us half awake wandering around the streets of Amsterdam with our luggage looking incresingly confused. We found it eventually but had another 2 hours until we could get into our room so we did what any other group of girls in their twenties would do…we went into the Sex Museum. Well it was certainly interesting and some of the pictures on the walls were more than a little terrifying…my innocence has forever been destroyed. 11930889_10154225071528206_8684867348378646063_o

One of our first sights of Amsterdam, although taken when it wasn’t raining! 

We wandered around taking in the city and trying to get an idea of where everything is before finally being able to take a nap (after the girls had decorated the room in balloons and banners for my birthday because they’re adorable) in the room before hitting the town in the evening. The thing you have to know about Amsterdam is there are very different parts and two main tourist areas…we unknowingly booked our hotel on the partying and red light district side rather than the cute Vondelpark side, oops. I’ve never seen anything like the red light district and if I’m honest I felt more than a little bit uncomfortable. The men didn’t only look at the women in the windows but girls like us too who were simply in jeans and jumpers. That said there was a little shock to my system as apparently geek glasses are now sexy with most of the women in shop windows wearing glasses that looked a lot like my glasses I wear to help me see, I hoped no one would get any ideas!  11930969_10154221642183206_4169589696280979323_o

It may have been a cloudy day but you couldn’t help but see Amsterdam’s beauty 

We had a pretty early night with plans for a fully packed day the next morning. We had to be up and out of the room by 8am if we wanted a chance at getting in the Anne Frank house without queueing for two hours. I’ve wanted to visit the house since I was really young and so I was more than a little bit excited to visit and standing in the slightly chilly morning air and desperately trying to connect to wifi in the queue was a small price to pay.

We got in after waiting for around an hour and a half and I’ve seen nothing like it. I’d imagined Anne and the world she paints with her diary countless times but nothing could have prepared me for it, the rooms were so small. Everyone was silent as they walked through and just tried to take it in. There were so many moments when I just felt my heart fall, seeing Anne’s pictures on the wall, the bookcase that concealed them and most of all her diary. Seeing the diary made me want to just sit and look at it for hours. I think the most heartbreaking part was watching the videos of Otto that played every now and again. His pain at what he had lost just went straight to my heart.  I couldn’t walk past the central station after that without remembering how he waited there for his daughters who never came home.

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After we purchased our tickets for the Van Gogh museum the next day before I headed back to the hotel to rest for a little bit because my back wasn’t feeling especially great. The girls knew that I was struggling a little bit and while I took a nap they walked around and bought me back a bar of chocolate. Later in the evening, Amy had a headache so Dani and I went out so she could have a sleep and we’d text her a bit later on to meet up. Well we did text her but all didn’t go as much to plan as we’d thought. Our safe in the room had gone weird and so Dani and I rushed back to the room where the staff were absolutely useless, luckily our passports weren’t left in there! Eventually we all did go out for a wander around and to buy some souvenirs.

The final day was definitely the best. The sun finally came out and the girls had booked me a surprise for my birthday we were going on a cruise of the city! Although what we didn’t know until just before is that the cruise we had been sold was a lovers cruise! So we had a bit of a lie in before walking down to get our boat. The only seats were near an old german couple, the man was hilarious talking to us about anything to do with London, telling us they lived in a town of lesbians which was good but crazy and then drawing little cartoons of us to keep…oh and telling me I had beautiful teeth, like a rabbit. We couldn’t stop laughing and it wasn’t until we got off the boat that we realised that he thought we were lesbians on the lovers cruise!

The rest of the day was spent going to the Van Gogh museum which was a dream as he is one of my all time favourite artists. I felt so emotional seeing his paintings, reading his letters and reading about his battles with mental health. He was a truly incredible man. I went a little nuts in the gift shop and was mesmerised by all the artwork on display. After we wandered to Vondel Park and was almost killed by cyclists and relaxed in the sunshine before heading to the incredible Hard Rock cafe for happy hour and dinner and we were even given a free drink for my birthday!

Even the trip back was great despite being on a coach for 12 hours, we made some wonderful friends on the way back who I hope to stay in touch with. Amsterdam was incredible and I have two amazing friends who I got to share it with who spoilt me rotten. It’s something I’m going to remember forever and I think Amsterdam is always going to have a special place in my heart.

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For all of my travel pics make sure to follow me on Instagram!

I’m off to Amsterdam!

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When you’re reading this I will be boarding a coach for an 11 hour journey to Amsterdam through the night, tomorrow morning I will be seeing the beautiful sights with two of my best friends. I’m beyond excited to finally be going on a girls holiday and also absolutely terrified after I had to miss out on the trip to Prague because of my fracture, I’ve never been out of the country without my family or Ali before.

I’m looking forward to falling in love with the beauty and culture. We have a list of museums to visit, things to see, a visit to Hard Rock Cafe and there’s a certain surprise that the girls have planned, I have no idea! It’s also going to be rather amusing to go to the sex museum that’s not far from our hotel.

Fear not my faithful followers I won’t be leaving you with nothing! I’ve got a few posts lined up for this week like this months book haul, my piece for suicide prevention day and a book review. Although if you want to see what I’m up to you can follow me on Instagram as I’m sure I’ll be posting up some of mine, Amy and Dani’s adventures follow me on @chloemetz_.

Catch you all at the end of the week! 🙂

Goodbyes

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I’m writing this post with both a heavy heart and endless excitement. In the next two days two of my best friends will be getting on a plane and heading to New Zealand for a year of exciting adventures and studying! Eleanor and Maisha have bigger lady balls than I ever will and I am so proud of both of them for not only getting on to the programme in the first place but accepting. It seems to strange that come September it will only be me, Dani and Amy heading into our third and final year of our undergrad degree.

I wanted to write this small post just to say how bloody proud I am of them, how much I am going to miss them (words can’t even describe) and that I know for a fact both of them will have the time of their lives out there. I love both of you girls so, so much. Good Luck <3

Athens Day 4: Spine Strike, Stalker Pigeons and Writing Inspiration

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Hello and thank you for understanding my late writing. Today was a very different day to what I’ve been used to in Greece. My Spine decided it had, had enough and I spent nearly all day lying in bed watching BBC World news and trying not to sulk. Yep, I over did it so for the next few days I’m going to have to go very easy until I get home. Ali and I took a short trip downstairs to grab a late lunch in the hotel bar, where we were stalked by hungry Pigeons! Despite my protests he didn’t leave me on my own, he stayed in the room with me working on his laptop and helping me any way he could.

Of course I still had class and that was something I wasn’t willing to miss, even if it took me ages to get up there. So I stocked up on my pain medication and made the trip, my walking was a little better after all the rest but like hell was I going to push it. We spoke about another student’s piece before being sent to do our assignment of the day.  I went to fit somewhere to fit and be inspired and ended up under a tree. I had this overwhelming sense of loneliness sitting there. I looked around and just missed London so much.

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I want to go and explore different cities, obviously, but none will stay in my heart like London. It’s a part of my heart and the Thames goes through my second home. Even when I was younger days to London were my favourite and I was always caught up in the city. I really did miss home, but didn’t let it show in my writing.

In the lift down after class, a woman was blunt she was older and American ‘You cracked your spine?’ she asked. I told her I had fractures, she looked at me (I sound so damn British here!) and told me she’d cracked her spine twice within 2 months of each other and wished me a speedy recovery. She was the first person while I was here to ask about it and I didn’t mind, it was better than staring.

Ali was waiting for me as usual and we decided to try and find some kind of food and returned to a restaurant we went to a few days before. They remembered us and we laughed through dinner where I finally got some traditional Greek food, Gyros Chicken with Pitta and Seasoned Chips. I’m so happy I’ve gotten to share this with my favourite person in the world, Ali’s so much more than just my partner he’s one of my oldest friends as well as my best friend.

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I don’t know what the plan for tomorrow is, it really depends on how my back is, but if I can’t explore again I’ll try and take the opportunity to write again.