Lifestyle, Travel

Hello 2017

It’s rather delayed (in fact, we’re nearly at the end of January), but it’s never too late to make a few resolutions!

Entering into 2017 was lovely. I spent it with some of my best friends eating loads of cheese and drinking all the champagne… always a good start. After midnight, we all sat round and decided to write down our resolutions and then share them with each-other. It was really motivating to see what others were going to try and be pro-active about and what they were going to make more time for in the year ahead.

I thought I’d share the ones that I made because not only is it a useful thing for me to be able to look back on, but it might motivate you as well!

1. Stop being so hard on yourself!

This is something that I’m really awful at doing. I over-think and over-analyse a lot of aspects of myself, which can mean that sometimes it really gets me down. Being in my third year at Uni, I knew it would be difficult and so before I had even started to get stuck in, I had that voice in the back of my head telling me to try harder and what I was doing wasn’t good enough. We’re told throughout our academic lives that we need to be the best and compete with loads of other people for what we want; whether that’s a job, a place at university or anything else we’re passionate about. It’s amazing to try your best, but it’s also vital to remember that you’re human and you’ll be faced with things that you find a bit difficult. Finding things difficult is NORMAL, it doesn’t take away from your intelligence or your worth so give yourself some credit.

2. Read more!

In this case, I don’t mean Uni readings… although, I guess that’s important too; I’m however referring to more recreational reading and reading for fun. I absolutely love the feeling of finding a book that you have to tear yourself away from. I’ve always loved reading and would make sure that I made time for taking that down time and getting stuck in. As of recent, I have definitely been slacking on that and so I’m going to invest some more time into reading books that I really enjoy.

3. Strong, not skinny

Over Summer 2016, I joined a gym at home and was absolutely loving the routine and the aspect of challenging myself. I liked to see the progress, not only in terms of my body changing but also how it mentally benefited me. Taking the time out of the day to just go to the gym, have my music on and focus on myself for an hour or so was really refreshing. I also started to become more familiar with equipment other than the treadmill – although it took time for me to pluck up the courage and just get stuck in with it. When I first walked in and saw all of the machines I felt so overwhelmed… but it’s okay to ask what’s what because everyone there has had that feeling before; ‘what the hell does that do?!’. Keeping the gym up was something I doubted when I came back to Uni, but I have joined a gym and have been loving it – so I need to keep this up!

4. Save money but don’t neglect yourself

This is a big one for me. I feel as if I have really up and down relationship with saving money. In Summer, I had two jobs and was saving the money really well, because I needed it for a trip to Canada. I would tell myself that I could treat myself whilst I was there and so to step back from the make-up and clothes. I was really happy because I managed, and I didn’t go mental buying everything in sight – this means it is possible. Despite this, I’m still a firm of believer of being able to treat yourself and this doesn’t mean splashing the cash on something massive, but instead allowing yourself some little treats such as a nice bath bomb from Lush when you’re feeling a bit down or going to eat at your favorite restaurant. Be mindful of money but don’t disregard the little things in life that you enjoy.

5. Be more consistent with my blog posts

Easier said than done when I often feel as if I’m drowning in work but, like the ‘read more’ point, I want to do it because I enjoy it. I absolutely love writing and always have done but all that I was really writing before were essays and other assignments and I mean, they’re not that enjoyable to write because they are structured and are marked against a strict mark-scheme. I thought I’d start writing a blog because it allows for that creative output and I find nothing more enjoyable than jotting down all of the ideas that I have. I also love photography and the photo side of blogs is essentially what people look at first before they get down to reading a post and so I’d love to practice my photo taking and perfect the art of flat-lay. Anyway, I’m going to try my best to make more time for writing as life ain’t all about essays.

6. Travel

In 2016, I was lucky enough to be able to visit two countries that I’ve always wanted to – The USA and Canada. In April, I went and met my dad out in New-York and had the most amazing time (Travel: New York Part 1. & Travel: New York Part 2.). I would love to go back some time in the near future because it’s such a beautiful, vibrant and lively city with so much more to experience. I went to Montreal in August and had the best time venturing around and meeting new people; it was so lovely to be shown around by someone who had experienced actually living in the city and by the end I really didn’t want to leave because I felt so at home. I’d love to see more of both of those countries, Inter-rail around Europe and also visit the beautiful white sand beaches of Bali, Thailand and Cambodia. We shall see.

So, these are the main things that I want to try and focus on and strive for in the new year. January is nearly at an end which is absolute madness and I end University in May so I’m praying it doesn’t go too fast! In the mean time, I’ve got lots of goals to focus on.

L x

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Lifestyle, Style, Travel

The Leeds Edit: Anthropologie

Something that I really love about Leeds is that it literally has every shop that you could ever want. Topshop, Zara, Harvey Nichols etc… and even the Victoria Quarter (renamed ‘The posh bit’ by me and my mum), which has loads of higher end shops, where I’ve been tempted to blow my entire student loan in one go, but thankfully that hasn’t happened yet.

There is a new addition to the plethora of places to shop and that is in the form of Victoria Gate. Inside, there are lots of new, lovely shops including & Other Stories, COS, T2 and to add to the madness, a giant John Lewis (madness in a good way).

However, my favourite addition is the new Anthropologie store, literally every homeware lovers dream come true. Every single thing I am convinced that I need; whether it’s one of their gorgeous candles or if it’s a pretty ceramic kitchen utensil that you’d probably never have a use for, but still confidently place in your basket whilst convincing yourself that it’s essential.

It’s spread across two floors and doesn’t follow any particular order in terms of clothes on one floor and homeware another, it’s kind of all just mixed up nicely which makes it interesting when you’re wandering around.

It’s also a fab place to go and look for Christmas presents, and so what better time to go and have an explore than now!

L x

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Lifestyle, Travel

The Leeds Edit: Ragdoll Nails

I first came to Leeds back in 2014 when I started University and I can honestly say it took me no time at all to feel at home. It’s the perfect transition for me; coming from a small town, I’ve never felt overwhelmed, it’s a beautiful and vibrant city. I’m now in my third year and so I’ve had an opportunity to scope out places that I like to shop, eat and treat myself. As a result, I’ve decided to begin a blog series ‘The Leeds edit’ where I can tell you about my favourite places and where I would recommend to anybody that was thinking of visiting.

I’m going to kick off the series with one of the best places I’ve discovered (modest), Ragdoll Nails. It was about this time last year that I was swamped with work and felt like I needed a little pick-me-up and so I booked in with Laura to get a Shellac manicure. I’d never really had my nails done before and as mentioned in my Summer Nails post (where I also rave about Ragdoll…surprise surprise), I hate painting my nails myself and I can never file them equally. This is when my obsession for Shellac started. The polish lasts for so much longer than a standard one and they’re so low maintenance, which is ideal for me. Since coming here, I’ve left other salons and felt quite disappointed with the results, because I feel like the time and precision that Laura gives, just isn’t met. I believe that you get what you pay for; not only do the polishes last for ages, but there’s such a high level of perfection that’s given with every manicure I’ve had.

Laura runs an amazing Instagram page for Ragdoll packed with inspiration of different designs that are really on-trend and unique. I’ve never been to another salon and had such a wide choice of colours, designs and finishes. What I’d never seen before coming to Ragdoll was metallic foil, which is pressed onto the nail for a sort of gold-leaf effect, it’s beautiful, I’d definitely recommend visiting the website and viewing the gallery and treatment menu to get an idea of the colour/design possibilities. You also get a little ‘rewards’ card, so after receiving 7 treatments, you get 20% off your next! I’ve just filled mine so I’m looking forward to using my discount in the near future!

I would 100% recommend Ragdoll Nails for an amazing manicure and if I could insert the *hands up emoji* after everything I’ve written I would, and obviously the sassy painted nails emoji also.

You can find out more about Ragdoll Nails on their:

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Treat yourself!

L x

Bloglovin’ Instagram | Twitter

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Lifestyle, Travel

Montreal Diaries

Summer is over and by the time that this post goes up, I’ll be all moved in to my new University house for third year. Terrifying… but I’m excited. However, I’m not quite ready to forget about my trip to Canada just yet. Two weeks honestly just flew by and we managed to fit in lots of exploring and spend lots of time outside enjoying the weather (loved the sun… humidity not so much).

First of all, on our first day we decided to wander around and walk from Saint Laurent down to Old Port. It was a really interesting walk and there were plenty of murals to take in and to take photos of which we all really enjoyed doing. As we got further down we stopped in a vintage store called EvaB which was absolutely huge and filled with such a variety which made it just so fun to walk around. They also had a little cafe at the front of the store which I thought was really quirky.

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After we finally dragged ourselves away from EvaB, with less money than we’d entered with we carried on our walk to Old Port. We stopped at a coffee shop called Tommy which had the most beautiful interior I had ever seen. Definitely an Instagram opportunity. I got a Nutella Cronetto and fell in love. I then got my heart broken because the nutella went all down my white playsuit but you can’t win everything. This area was so nice to look around and we even got to see Notre Dame which was where Celine Dion got married, cute.

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Moving away from the first day we then went to the Biodome, Planetarium and Botanical gardens which was amazing. My favourite part was the Planetarium because I’ve never been to one before. It was really surreal but so beautiful and the Northern lights show almost made me cry, so there you go. Typical.

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Something that just has to be mentioned is food. It wouldn’t be me unless I had something to say about what I ate whilst I was away. A favourite was Fabergé for brunch, I had the most wonderful, calorific cinnamon french toast with caramelised pecans which left me in a food coma for the entire day, but the cinnamon sweats were worth it. La Diperie is a place that we all fell in love with. You get plain soft serve ice-cream, dip it into whichever hot dip that you want and then it’s rolled in a topping. I got the hot hazelnut praline dip, dipped in crushed oreo and it was as good as it sounds. The portions are also really generous; the one in the picture is a medium and it was giant, but on another day I got a mini (the smallest one) and it still had so much ice-cream. Another worthy mention is Ch’Chocolat which has the largest menu all full of amazing chocolate *cries*. It took us a good half an hour or more to decide, but in the end I went for ‘Nutella sushi’ which is banana wrapped in a crepe like little sushi rolls with dark melted chocolate. SOS. Me and my friend Rosie also got a smoothie to share and added some tequila shots in there, beautiful. O’Noir restaurant was also such an amazing experience. It’s basically a blind restaurant where your waiters are blind and you are sat in the pitch black darkness so you can’t see who’s around you and most interestingly can’t see your food. You get to choose what you’d like to eat in a posh little seating area before you go into the dark and the food was really fancy and gourmet. Juxtaposed with me sat there eating it with my hands because nobody could see me. It was around $45 dollars for me to have a starter and main, so it is quite expensive but definitely an experience that I would recommend.

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Finally, one of the best places for shopping was in Mile End. I mean, I enjoyed the other shops as well such as Urban Outfitters and Sephora but these shopping experiences can sometimes feel really samey. Mile End had loads of little independent boutiques that were so lovely to look around and one in particular called Vestibule was full of amazing interior pieces, cute clothing items and an adorable dog, a winner all round.

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I really hoped that you enjoy reading through some of my favourite things that I did whilst I was away, and I’m definitely going to take a trip back whenever I can because I’m definitely going to be needing some of that ice-cream again.

L x

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Lifestyle, Travel

Montreal Loving

So, I’ve been pretty bad at blogging over the past month or so. This is partly because I went away to Montreal  to stay with my best friend who goes to McGill (a University in the city) and didn’t have my laptop with me! However, that didn’t stop me from jotting down the places I felt were worth mentioning, and so on Wednesday a post will be going up on some of my favourite places… my own little Montreal guide if you will.

For now, here are some photos that I took on the trip. I took so many and I’m pretty chuffed with how they came out so have a lil’ gander if you’d like!

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Ok. So trying to pick photos for this post was a lot harder than I thought. There will be a lot more included in Wednesday’s post which will also be more wordy/informational/me rambling on about how much I love Montreal and all of it’s incredible food offerings. I hope you’re looking forward to that.

L x

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Travel

Travel: New York Part 1.

Firstly I would like to thank whoever has taken the time to read my first blog post! I’ve wanted to start a blog for quite a while now and I thought telling you about my recent trip to New York would be a good place to start.

Anyone that knows me will know that I have always wanted to visit America; especially the bright lights of New York, so when my Dad mentioned the possibility of taking a trip I was obviously thrilled! The countdown started as soon as I found out and being the avid list writer that I am, I started to plan essential places to visit. A month or so passed and it was timIMG_1006e for me to jet off by myself to meet my Dad at JFK. I’d never been on a long-haul flight nor had I ever flown anywhere on my own but the excitement enveloped me so much that it wasn’t a problem at all.

We stayed in Brooklyn at the Marriott Brooklyn Bridge hotel and I’m so glad that I got to experience Brooklyn as well as Manhattan. Staying outside of Manhattan may seem intimidating due to the travelling involved but the subways are relatively cheap for a weeks unlimited pass (I think it was about 30 dollars) and luckily there was also a free shuttle bus in the morning that stopped outside of the hotel and went all the way into Times Square.

We managed to get all of the tourist things ticked off of my list including Top of the Rock at the Rockefeller centre (amazing views over the city & great for pictures of the empire state), the High Line, Broadway (we went to see Chicago; amazing production) and a walk over Brooklyn Bridge. Shopping was also out of this world and just around the corner from our hotel was a Sephora so I was able to pick up brands that aren’t available in the UK such as Kat-Von-D (would 100% recommend the tattoo liquid liner and everlasting liquid lipsticks). Obviously I couldn’t be in New York and just visit one Sephora, so I visited a few more, much to my Dad’s enjoyment i’m sure. I also picked up some things from Zara, Urban Outfitters and Brandy Melville as it worked out being cheaper than UK prices.

I’m so happy I finally got to visit and it definitely lived up to all my expectations! If anyone has been wanting to go definitely do it, you won’t regret it. I would love to hear anyone else’s experiences of New York and any recommendations for the future so please comment below!

Thank you for reading – make sure to check back for Part 2 on Sunday (5pm) which will be centred around what I ate when I was there (spoiler alert: lots of french toast).

L x

 

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