Guide to female solo backpacking

What a daunting thought? Even writing it now I have to ask myself ‘was I mad?’ but of course we all know that I wasn’t mad at all, in fact I was mad to have not done it sooner!

Being a female solo backpacker has its many perks as well as raising a lot of issues you would never have thought about otherwise!

IMG_3183Firstly, you have to think about yourself! Sounds obvious right? I find that when you are alone for an extended period of time you get used to meeting new people and you just kind of go along with whatever they want to do for the company. Make sure you do what you want as well! I can’t stress enough how much stronger and confident you will become whilst backpacking solo, so instead of being that person that just goes with the flow, make the flow follow you!

Don’t forget you might have better ideas than everyone else and then the people you meet will want to come along with you because most the time, no one actually knows what they’re doing!

IMG_4212
Hostels. A massive hurdle for any first time backpacker to overcome (unless you have heaps of money that is, but then are you really backpacking in 5* resorts, I think not). Now the question your faced with, do you spend that extra few pounds, dollar, baht or rupee to get that female dorm? Most of the time it’s not needed although it is a bit strange if the hostel is like the above photo and you wake up facing some big hairy Fijian man! Before I left I was freaking about staying in a dorm with strange smelly men that I’ve never met before but in all  honestly, you get used to it! Don’t forget if it is that bad then you can just change rooms or leave the next day? Not a problem at all! Oh and lets not forget, girls can be weird and smelly too!

IMG_5107Further on hostels, you are more than likely going to stay in a few places that are not what you call, how do I say this? Fit for human life to live in? Okay that’s a joke, but they are going to be pretty dire. Just laugh about it! What more can you do? It is all part of the experience! This bathroom, WOW. That bucket you see, yeah that is how you flush the toilet and worms would come out the tiles on the floor when you showered. It was a delight!

Going back to that a previous paragraph and the part about freaking out, that happens. Just keep your whits about you, try and keep a level head and your be fine! Just be aware of your surroundings, if something seems odd, chances are it is! Your a smart, independent woman at this stage you will be able to get yourself out of that situation, just be confident!

IMG_5034Last but not least, have fun! Don’t spend your time worrying about what other people are doing or thinking, don’t worry if your hair is turning to dreadlocks (although the whole world does have coconut oil pretty much and that will sort it out) Hey, don’t even worry if something gets lost or stolen, I mean it’s a pain but there is not one thing that can’t be solved! You will learn to overcome any problems that arise and by the end of it you will look back and those things won’t matter as long as you have had the best time possible!

So if your at that place where your thinking about going, your thinking about travel and worried about doing it yourself, just do it. Worst comes to worst and you really hate it, you can just go home! Your never know if you like it unless you try!
IMG_4498

Top 7 tips on surviving Trek America

Venturing out into the big wide world for the first time is daunting. I’m not going to say it might be, because there is no ‘might be’ about it, it is. Anyone that says otherwise is a liar, without meaning to sound too harsh. When I went on my first Trek America trip I had all the what I’m assuming is normal thoughts of going it alone in such a vast, yet incredible country. This is my top tips on how to survive Trek America and make it the best trip OF.YOUR.LIFE.

14883449_10154162152528915_3587992739466433919_o
1. Be open minded 
Yep, sounds like an obvious one right? Your going to be meeting up with a group of people you have never met and going to be spending a lot of time with them and I mean, A LOT of time with them and sometimes (most of the time) in a very small space. These people aren’t going to be who you ‘usually’ socialise with and they’re not going to look like/act or even talk how your used to. Is this a bad thing? No, infact this is the best thing about Trek America, the people. These people are all in the same boat as you because lets not forget, your strange to them too! Accept everyone for who they are because if you can do that, you can concur the world and it’s going to be brilliant! Food for thought – Good time to learn some foreign phrases and words?

2. Your going to be tired
The trip I went on, Western 2, is involving a lot of camping. This is therefore not going to provide the best night sleep ever but you do get used to it! You will survive! Being tired sucks, but it is all part of the experience! There is also going to be a lot of early morning where you have to pack away the campsite super early and get on the road again. Alarms are going to be going off left right and centre. It is worth it, trust me. Those early morning are going to take you to the next destination of your trip and there is no doubt in my mind, that 5:30am alarm is going to sound like a good thing by the end of the trip!

14720601_10157700438535160_4576871598584801580_n

14642292_10154337385693891_3244172900531588161_n3. Tents
Yep, like my last point, your going to be sleeping in tents. Now you might be an expert camper and you might know your stuff, which is great, but the majority of us don’t. LISTEN TO YOUR LEADER regarding how to put up your tent. Your going to be doing it a lot. You think your listening the first time but really, chances are, your not. Your thinking ‘I can’t believe I’m going to be sleeping in a tent with someone who I have only just met’ or ‘OMG I’m putting up a tent’. Yep simple things, but really, it will benefit you to listen because when it comes to the next 27 gazillion times of putting it up and down it will help to know your stuff!

4. Food
I personally, am the fussiest person ever and also a vegetarian so one of my worries when going was what was I going to eat? You do not need to worry! I was in a group of amazing people who really thought about what I was going to eat as well as themselves and the chances are, you will be too! Don’t be afraid to say if you don’t like something and also don’t be afraid to try new things (this is rich coming from me but honestly, it really will be fine). Maybe even make a suggestion of a meal you like and volunteer to make it for the group!

img_35015. The cold
This is obviously weather dependent and also trip dependent. My trip started on the 2nd October and was 15 days around California. California and cold in the same paragraph I hear you say? Yes, that is correct. Camping in the Grand Canyon was possibly the coldest night I have experience ever,ever,ever! Be prepared for all weather. Take that extra fluffy pair of socks, take that extra jumper, even chuck in a hat! If the Trek America team recommend to take it, TAKE IT. Or if you don’t there is always going to be a stop at a K-Mart and you can purchase that extra blanket there!

6. The Van
Your going to be spending a lot of time in the van travelling from one place to the next and when a 10 hour drive doesn’t sound that long when you read it, it really is. Prepare a playlist! The Leader will most probably have an aux lead in the van so you can be the DJ for the day! Just make sure it’s music you think the whole group will like not just yourself.

7. Experience 
Be ready to experience thing you have never experienced before! I sound like a new block buster movie right there, but seriously. The Trek America trips are arranged so that you can see the most amazing parts of America and you really are going to so I’m warning you, life is never going to be the same again. Your going to see the most beautiful landmarks, your going to have the hardest, stomach hurting laughs and your going to meet the most incredible people! Would I recommend a Trek America trip? YES! Even if your slightly thinking about it, just do it. I can promise you if your trip is anything like mine, you are not going to regret it and hey, you never know, you might get the chance to get married in Vegas!

img_3361
img_3197img_3359img_3481img_3740

img_3458

For the love of lace

49a9c36176204754f2b91c29ac333902_best f50f5366c4e7eb4b4ff50be6522188c0_xlarge bf8a49a1dd8dee90194e57df8177b55a_xlarge d1f35b0b22f59b5aa9fb4314209e69df_xlarge 0d16d81d01a01bfed79511d0047c33b4_xlarge fc3d5c2a1c28bdd9cc0b95bf9957803a_xlarge eea7dee87c6a9d1b0957822c8a378cb1_xlarge da686dc4e7c6c748ad45e8168ac835ef_xlarge  2f84084d491eed665552ff126821abf9_xlarge 561875ad327f555b25ea16cf819fca94_xlarge 8fb7d7da89fafb573df35ccda4d0cb69_xlarge 299804d54fa5b66e49422316bd086494_xlarge

What is more feminine than lace? This beautiful fabric is sexy, elegant and perfect for all seasons of the year. With bralettes at flying of the shelves of every shop and lace up heels at every corner this style is here to stay for the summer. Shops from Burberry to Boohoo stocking up on everything lace this is perfect time to get yourself something to bring the outfit together adding a bit of glam!

Like any of these items? Click the pictures and it will take you straight to the website! 

Eyes like a mermaid

Okay so I don’t know any mermaids or if they wear their make up like this but I imagine they do! So this is my eye tutorial and I hope you like it.

For this look I use the Estee Lauder Steel orchid palette, so firstly I apply the shade ‘Waves’ all over the lip which is just a base colour. I feel this is the perfect shade for a base colour it is a natural colour. I then apply the shade ‘Peacock blue’ to the inner corner of the eye going outwards toward the edge of the eyes.

 

Then using the Mac brush 219SE I then apply a pink shade to the crease of the eyes. This is in the shade ‘Candy Crave’. This is very different to the blue colour but I love it! It has an amazing shimmer to it and the difference in colours is perfect of this look.
IMG_3409I then apply a darker blue in the shade ‘Nocturnal Blue’ to the outer corners of the eye and into towards the crease. Then using a bleeding brush I blended the colours together. These colours together create an amazing shimmer and colour together.

I then use the Rimmel black liquid eyeliner and crease a gentle flick in the eyes and apply some false eyelashes. These are the Eylure party eyelashes with some diamonte along the line of the lashes. To apply these, I place the glue along the edge of the eyelashes and leave to dry for about 20-30 seconds and then apply to the top of the eyelid.

I then apply the Benefit Bad gal lashes to the make my eyelashes blend into the false ones and make them look darker and longer! I love this final look and I hope you do too! (p.s as this went on my hair got more and more frizzy for some reason, so please excuse that!)
IMG_3419IMG_3421

Failing can be a good thing

Not everything in life goes to plan we should all know this and sometimes this can really get us down but everyone needs to remember that it is not always a bad thing to fail or for things to not be exact.

I am someone who has a life plan and really focus and strive for what I want, people that know me will hopefully be nodding their heads in agreement at this statement (possibly laughing). I am so hard on myself and when things don’t go to plan I get SO frustrated and am always having that thought of ‘I give up’ or ‘there is no point anymore in trying’ but recently I have started to realise actually, things happen for a reason. Maybe things havnt gone exactly as I had planned because thats not meant to be my plan!

I am a strong believer that everything happens for a reason and sometimes if things fail on me then I find it really helpful to stop and think, this is just a hiccup in the road and we live in an amazing world with so many opportunities for each and every one of us and actually, we are all capable of what we wish for if we put our mind to it.

So if you are going through something at the moment, that could be anything from a change to the norm to something more drastic just remember that everything will always work its self out in the end and actually I think everything will work out better because the fall back in the first place will make you reivaluate and work even harder the next time!

P.S these photos have nothing to do with this but I love them and they are from my recent trip to the Ideal home show in London for christmas.

IMG_3221.JPG
IMG_8999

Finale di Roma

This is the final instalment of my long weekend in Rome which is actually rather upsetting, not only is it the holiday over and I am officially back to work and back to day to day life but I am also finishing writing about my time too!

IMG_2230On our final day in Rome we did quite a few things! Back when it was my birthday Danny, my boyfriend had arranged for us to go Segway. In England it isn’t that common to be able to do and there isn’t many places to be able to try this so it was really exciting, so while in Rome we spotted an opportunity and jumped at the chance!
We went Segway around the main park in Rome called Villa Borghese. This was brilliant, it was such a beautiful park full of tall trees and ancient statues, as just like every part of Rome.

IMG_2241
We then went on to the Vatican to experience the rumours for ourselves. The building is extreme. It is humongous! It has statues along the whole outside of the walls and fountains in the middle. Once inside the painted ceilings are incredible and they’re so high it is breath taking.
IMG_2193 IMG_2194
PicMonkey Collage5
IMG_2199After spending hours walking around and admiring everything there was to offer we went off and found a small restaurant down a side street and had the most delicious food to end our trip, although half way through the meal the heavens decided to open and it started to rain which was not planned but it didn’t put a damper on our weekend away.

IMG_2257IMG_2200IMG_2206
I hope you have enjoyed my Rome trip posts and I hope I will be able to take you with me for lots more of my future trips!

Spa day in the city

I am definitely a city gal I jump at the opportunity to got into the city, that being any city. I love the fast moving pace and the whole atmosphere so for my boyfriends birthday I got him a VIP spa day as I feel like it is so nice to get away from every day life and just relax.

IMG_2332I found the most amazing spa day in the centre of London and it was so lovely to just spend the day together and leave all the stress of real life behind. The spa day was in a hotel called The Atheneum which overlooks St James Park. The hotel was stunning from the outside as the whole side corner of the building was covered in flowers and greenery which was amazing and  really made the hotel blend in with the park. We got the train to London Victoria so it was a short but sweet walk past Buckingham Palace and through the park to the hotel.
IMG_2280IMG_2286
Once inside we went straight into the restaurant for a 2 course lunch which we managed to turn into four courses!

IMG_2315We were straight away served a bottle of champagne and we accompanied that with some delicious bread and oil, which didn’t really go but that doesn’t matter does it! Danny then went on to have a steak and I have spinach and ricotta ravioli. For desert I don’t even know what these where, I had a berry mousse and Danny had a pineapple and ice cream pudding, although the pineapple was cooked some how!
PicMonkey Collage3
IMG_2309IMG_2310IMG_2321

W
e then went down into the spa and it was amazing. We were treated to an hour massage in a joint room which was so romantic, although I did think Danny was snoring at one point! I actually had a half hour massage and then a half hour facial and they used all Ren products which I love and was a real treat to be able to get to use these as they are real luxury products. The spa was so beautiful and smelt amazing. It has a sauna, steam room and hot tubs. The day was perfect and I cannot wait to be able to get away again.
PicMonkey Collage4
IMG_2331I hope you liked my post and leave your comments below.

Chocolate waffles

Last time I blogged about my waffle machine it went down really well so I thought I would share another recipe with you so I hope you enjoy it!

You will need:

250g pain flour

35g cocoa powder

2 eggs

20g caster sugar

270ml milk

2 tea spoons of vanilla essence.

First you will need to turn the waffle machine on so its warm for when you are ready to put the mixture in. This is my waffle machine which I got last Christmas as a present. This is from gourmet gadgets.

Then you need to put all the dry ingredients into a bowl and mix together getting rid of all the lumps.

In a seperate bowl mix together the wet ingredients and mix together so that it is a smooth liquid. There will still be bits of egg but this is okay as it doesn’t need to be fully mixed at this stage.

Once the two bowls are ready mix together so that it is a smooth brown mixture. This needs to be in a medium thickness and consistent the whole way through.

Add a large tablespoon of the mixture into the waffle machine it won’t look like it it’s enough but when the lid is closed it will spread out.

Leave the mixture to cook for about 5 minutes untill it is golden brown. It is harder to tell if it is cooked when they are chocolate flavour as they will already be a brownie colour but if you touch them they should feel harder and they will be able to get removed form the machine easily.

Once removed from the waffle machine you are then able to add whatever topping your fancy! I have sprinkled some cocoa powder and added ice cream as I love mixing hot and cold together in a desert!

I hope you have liked my post and leave your comments 🙂

Sunday Picnics

Ok so I know its not Sunday when your reading this but I love a picnic especially on a Sunday summer afternoon!

I just put together a quick lunch for my picnic and thought I would share my simple ideas with you (plus it’s a good excuse to use my picnic basket!)

IMG_1494

I took some fruit with me as Im trying to make healthier choices (ignore the maltesers) and I took some carrot sticks and salsa to dip the carrot into. You can get salsa from a brand or you can easily make your own with tomatoes, peppers, onions and herbs which is also great and really easy to make. Ive then taken some juice and some small yogurts as on a hot day you don’t want anything too filling, and then a cheese sandwich (simple but delicious). Then of corse maltesers as a small treat to finish off!

IMG_1491

Of corse my dogs came as well and they were able to sit in the shade! I hope you like my post and leave your comments.
IMG_1495

Street art

I LOVE STREET ART.

I love how its all over the world and how it’s a secret as to whom has created it and how it just seems to appear over night. Some of the people who create it are so talented and I think it is a shame they don’t get more credit for their work (although it obviously has to be in the right places and not being an eye sore)

If you have read my ‘about me’ you will know I live in Hastings which is in on the south east coast of England, it is such a beautiful little town but it is up and coming with lots of quirky people who are bringing and great vibe to the town. This also means lots more little vintage shops and shabby chic places and cafes to visit which are also bringing lots more street art for us to enjoy! I hope you like my photos some from Hastings and some from New York!

IMG_1430 IMG_1431

IMG_0150IMG_0452IMG_0786

IMG_0448