A DAY AT SCULPTURE BY THE LAKES IN DORSET

Saturday

*Press Visit - all opinions are my own.
I recently went for a day out at Sculpture by the Lakes in Dorset with my friend Kitty, which was organised by Bournemouth Bloggers and Darren Northeast PR. This was actually my first event with Bournemouth Bloggers and I'm looking forward to attending more with them.

Face Sculpture

Sculpture by the Lakes is a beautiful sculpture park near Dorchester. It was really easy to find with a satnav and as we arrived we were greeted by friendly staff. They have social distancing measures in place to make sure the park is safe for everyone, tickets must also be bought in advance from their website.

It should be around a 45 minute drive from Bournemouth, however, I was travelling from my home in Wiltshire and it only took me an hour and 3 minutes to get there.

Near the entrance, there was a cafe doing takeaway food and drinks. They also had an art gallery and a little bit where they kept rescue dogs. There was a spaced out seating area to eat lunch near the entrance. However, there are lots of quiet seating areas dotted about the whole park.

Children under 14 and dogs are unfortunately not allowed to attend, due to the depth of the lakes.

Quote at Sculpture by the Lakes
Lauren at Sculpture by the lakes
Sculpture

We spent about 3 hours at Sculpture by the lakes. Any time we thought we were nearly finished walking round, we would discover a new path with more sculptures. It is such a photogenic place as you will see from my pictures.

It was so much fun looking at the sculptures and due to all the lovely seating areas, we were able to sit right by the lake and have a nice catch up as well. There were a couple of huge fish that would flop out of the lake from time to time. We also saw some sort of water snake swimming along the top of the lake, which is something I'd never seen before.

Sculpture head
Birds

There are really pretty places to hire here for parties too, for when big parties will be able to go ahead again. 

I would definitely recommend visiting Sculpture by the Lakes to see some wonderful art and nature. It is such a peaceful place and allows you to walk but also take breaks and sit down, to take in the scenery. I know lots of people have been doing a lot of walking lately, and this is the perfect chance to see something different as you can walk but also stop to look at the sculptures and take pictures.

Bird Sculpture
Lauren on swing

Where is your favourite outdoor place to go? Let me know in the comments.

If you are looking for playlist inspiration for the car journey for a a day out, check out my 20 Songs to Chill Out to post.

HOW BLOGGERS PRACTICE SELF CARE

Friday


I love to practice self care and am always interested to see how others practice self care. This week, I am sharing how some of my favourite bloggers practice self care. Make sure you check out their blogs. If you'd like to see how I like to look after myself, I have written a guide to self care over on Amber's blog at The Unpredicted Page.

Luci Barker
I’m Luci from www.lucibarker.co.uk which is a little bit of everything blog. I write about Beauty, Lifestyle, Travel, Fashion and Blogger Help posts too.

During the last few months I have been taking some time to practice self care because in my day to day life I don’t make enough time to do it. Some of the ways I practice self care is have a bit of a pamper. I have a warm bath with some ESPA Baths Oil, my favourite one is the fitness one. It relaxes the muscles and smells amazing too. Hair masks and face masks are so simple to do but make me feel a million dollars. I usually put my diffuser on with my lavender essential oil and put on of my audible books on to chill out.

Other ways I practice self care is doing a workout or some yoga, I usually have a massage at least once a month (I do work in a salon so this is very easy and also very tempting for me to have one when I’m giving them all day everyday.) I’m also trying to be a lot more positive and manifesting and I’ve noticed such a positive change in my way of thinking. Quotes are also a fab way to do this. Check out my lil bit of Monday motivation post for some ways to start the week off on the right foot.

The Black Princess Diaries
Self care is so important! I believe that people need to learn to practice it more…including myself. I’m not the best at consistently practicing self care, but I try every so often to take some time out of my day to show myself some self love. It’s especially important now with all of the chaos in the world. Here are a few of my favorite ways that I love to practice self care!

Mini Spa. I love to almost have like a mini spa. I take a nice hot shower where I’ll wash my hair if need be, shave, etc. It feels so good to when I come out the shower all smooth and with clean hair. After the shower, I’ll put on a face mask. I love to use the Aztec clay mask. It works really well for me. I also put it on my hair sometimes. While my mask is setting, I’ll moisturize my body so my skin is nice and soft. Once my mask is done, I’ll moisturize my face and put on some lip balm. Lastly, I’ll do my nails and toes. Once done, I feel so refreshed and like a new woman!

Binging YouTube and TV. Another favorite way I like to practice self care is to step away from work for a bit and to just catch up on episodes I’ve missed or YouTube videos. Right now I haven’t been at my job since Covid, but typically I’m working there as well as working on my blog. My blog alone takes most of my days, so both really keep me exhausted and busy. Planning time to just relax and binge watch shows and video really help me to calm my brain and relax for a little bit.

Hanging with friends. For me, hanging with my friends is a form of self care because it gets me out of my house and because my friends always make me laugh so hard. We’re just so silly together and I forget anything I may be dealing with for that moment. Unfortunately, because of Corona, I have been unable to hang with my friends, which is why you have to supervise. Now, we talk in group chats to check up and maybe one day we’ll even do zoom calls or Skype calls.

About the Author:
Deandra is a blogger and podcaster. She is a lifestyle blogger with topics such as beauty, poetry, open discussion, and lifestyle in general. If you’d like to keep up with Deandra and read more of her work, check out her links below!

Self-care is something that I absolutely love doing, whether it’s something super small or a full-on self-care day. If I had to choose one form of self-care as my number one, I think it would have to be listening to music. 
 
Music is such a huge part of my life and it’s something that I do every day. Usually I’ll listen to music as a background for whatever activity I’m doing, whether it’s writing a blog post, going for a run or while I’m cooking. But I think there’s something about actively listening to music (and not doing anything else at the same time) that’s so good for the soul. I love putting on a really chilled ambient playlist and listening through headphones in the evening. It’s so calming! Other times I’ll whack on an ‘old skool’ 00s hits playlist and have a dance. I just love how versatile music is, there’s something for every mood. It’s the ultimate form of self-care for me.  

Faye | Female Original



One of my favourite ways to practice self-care is to take breaks from the outside world and take time to myself. I love disconnecting from my phone and my blog every now and then and have time to myself to work on myself. This is the best way to work on your work-life balance. I take time away from work, from my blog and from social media means so that I can focus on myself. I normally do things like read my current book or go for a walk and get a bit of fresh air and just take a break from anything that would have been stressing me out. It gives me time to think things over and just breathe.


Tia’s Paige 

To some people putting on a face mask and having a bath is all the self-care they need but I believe we need to do more than this to truly take care of ourselves. Don’t get me wrong though, I do appreciate a good relaxing bath to melt away the stress of the week. Other external care that helps me feel better is my skin care routine. I have recently grown my skin care as it is something I am passionate about, and so love I researching it. Having some sort of routine in the morning and evening can be very calming whether like me it is skin care or for some working out or practising a hobby. However, more importantly, we need to take care of ourselves from the inside. Eating healthy and working out could be a start but we also need to have a positive mental attitude towards ourselves. Getting rid of any negativity in our lives is so important, including friends that drain you. I found reciting positive things about myself, to myself really helps. These little mantras, if said regularly, can really change your thought patterns. For more self-care tips that I have found helpful, look at my self-love blog.


Inside the Voyage

Self-care is vital for each and every one of us as we often need reminding how important we are. There’s a variety of ways you can focus on loving yourself however, one of my favourite ways at the moment is waking up early. When I was at University I had a tendency of going to sleep around 7am and waking up at 5pm, constantly repeating the cycle all because them £1 a drink student nights reeled me in. Therefore, changing this bad habit will allow us to become much more productive, focused and motivated in our daily routines. Currently I wake around 6/6:30am, I lay in bed for a little while and DO NOT touch my phone until at least 7:30am. It’s said that jumping straight onto your phone interferes with your ability to prioritise tasks, thus you become easily distracted throughout your day and unable to attack certain tasks with the amount of productivity we would have if we didn’t go on our phone in the morning. Waking earlier actually improves your sense of concentration, memory abilities, provides you with more energy and reduces your stress levels. See how else I practice self care.

Alisha | Inside The Voyage


Mind the Gap Graduates

My favourite way to practice self-care, especially during lockdown, is to journal. I used to be terrible at keeping a diary, and never lasted more than doing it for probably four days in a row, but I absolutely fell in love with the concept of bullet journaling. I find that being creative is a great outlet for me, so when I’m feeling overwhelmed by things it’s great to pick up a journal and draw, scribble and get things off my chest in that little book.


Since leaving university, my head is always filled with ideas of what I want my career to be, how much money I should or shouldn’t be spending and so much more. It’s great to use a journal as a way of getting lots of thoughts out of your brain at once and onto a more manageable place; on paper. During the last few months, too, I’ve had so many plans for my blog and have still been working five days a week, so it’s fair to say my brain has been in overdrive!


For anyone that needs to have a little place to vent, plan, motivate – whatever – don’t be afraid to try journaling! You don’t have to be creative at all, just make it your own and enjoy having those pages to explore your mind and life. I’ve got more self-care tips over on my blog dedicated to graduates, students and young adults trying to navigate the world!


Exquisitely

When it comes to self-care, you're doing things for your own benefit. It's not being selfish, you're ensuring your psychological wellbeing is being taken care of before going back out to the world. My favorite form of self-care involves putting my devices on do not disturb mode, and going through a list of things I've been meaning to do (for myself), but haven't. This includes doing my nails (you can also go out to the salon), organizing my things, journaling, painting, doing a face mask, etc. The most important part is to not treat self-care like a chore. It's meant to be a relaxing activity.

8 FREE APPS YOU SHOULD START USING

Saturday



I have seen lots of people writing about which apps they use for blogging, so I thought I would share my most used apps with you. I am an iPhone user so I will be talking about apps from the Apple app store. Read on to see my most used free apps, not just for blogging, but also for general life too.
*Note - I am not an affiliate for any of these apps, I just find them useful and think they would be beneficial for you.

Apps for blogging 

1.  Pinterest. I can't stress enough how much I love Pinterest! It is so important to have as a blogger because it can drive so much traffic to your blog. Even if you are not a blogger, inspiration for anything you can think of can be found on Pinterest. Follow me on Pinterest.

2. Feedr. This is a free app where you can preview the photos that you want to upload to Instagram and see how they will look on your grid. I always used to do the awkward quick post and delete, but with Feedr, you don't have to do that.

3. Buffer. I use Buffer to schedule my blog posts on Twitter. You can get paid plans for Buffer if you will be scheduling a lot of posts across social media. If you just want to schedule tweets sometimes like I do, you can use the basic version of Buffer for free.

4. Canva. This is probably my favourite of them all. It's a site/app where you can create any form of graphic. You can create so much on Canva for free, from Pinterest Pins, to CVs and infographics. This is useful to use even if you aren't a blogger because there are so many things you can create on there. 

Apps for Lifestyle

5. My Fitness Pal. On here, you can record your calorie intake for the day and your exercise. You can also put in your goal weight and it will help you with how many calories you should be eating to get to that goal. They also have recipes and workouts on there for you to try.

6. Duolingo. If you want to brush up on your language skills, then Duolingo is for you. You can choose a language on here and then do as much or as little learning as you like. Before travelling anywhere, I like to use Duolingo just so that I know some basics. By using Duolingo, I was able to order food in Germany when I went to the Christmas Markets, and I'm able to keep up the Spanish that I learnt at school.

7. Letterboxd. This is a bit of a different one. On here, you can list every film you have ever watched (or try to). You can rate films, create watchlists and follow friends too! I love following people to see what films they have seen and what's in their watchlist so let me know if you download it so we can follow each other. For watchlist inspiration, check my Netflix and Disney+ recommendations. I am currently on over 800 films! (I was on below 700 before lockdown)

8. Lucky Trip. If you love travelling but can't decide where to go then definitely download Lucky Trip! You can set your budget and then it will randomly generate a holiday for you. If you don't like the look of it, you can just keep clicking Lucky until the right one for you comes up. I just find it so fun to see what's out there! If you are looking for more travel inspo, read my Travel Bucket List.

Let me know what if you have tried any of these and what you think. I'd also love to know apps you swear by that aren't on the list. 

Wool of the King

20 FACTS ABOUT ME

Wednesday


Since I have been blogging regularly and putting a lot more effort into my blog, I have gotten a lot of new readers. A lot of these readers might not actually know a lot about me, aside from what's on my social media accounts, so I thought it would be a good idea to share some facts about me. This way, you can get to know me a little better and I would love to get to know you guys better too!

1. I am studying BA Communication and Media at Bournemouth University. I will start my third year in September (and I still have no idea what I want to do when I graduate).

2. Since last August, I have been working as a marketing intern for an organisation that provides foster care, homes for children, specialist education, therapy, and more to children. Our university course allowed for a placement year, so this is what I chose to do and I will be finishing this internship in early August.

3. I was born in Salisbury, Wiltshire. I have lived around Salisbury for all of my life, apart from when I'm living at university. Fun fact - I live within walking distance of Stonehenge. If you are ever planning to visit the Salisbury area, check out my favourite places to eat in and around Salisbury before you go.

4. This blog is actually 4 years old! Wool of the King turned 4 in May. It was mainly an on and off thing until I decided to make regular posts a few months ago.

5. I have a pet Shih Tzu called Hollie. She's 11 and is the best dog in the world, I love her the most!

6. I worked at Pret a Manger for 4 years while at college and university. I didn't have the best time working there, it was just more to get money while studying.

7. I have a boyfriend called Joe. We have been together for just over 2 years now and we will be living together in September along with some friends when we move back to university.

8. I am really interested in World War II history and the Holocaust, just because it's so shocking and so many awful things happened. I have been to Auschwitz-Birkenau and the Anne Frank House so far and both were unforgettable experiences.

9. I am also really interested in Philosophy. I studied philosophy at A level and actually wanted to do a degree in philosophy too. However, I decided to study communication and media as I saw more job opportunities at the end of it.

10. I am a huge fan of Lana Del Rey. Lana Del Rey actually means wool of the king in Spanish, hence the name of my blog. (I made it over 4 years ago and can't be bothered to change my domain name). Other artists I love include, Kehlani, Jhene Aiko, Beyonce, Arctic Monkeys, Ariana Grande ... There are too many to name!

11. I have been lucky enough to visit 17 different countries across 3 different continents. There are still so many places on my travel bucket list though.

12. Anywhere I go I always have to take lip balm with me and I can't go 20 minutes without putting it on. I am addicted!

13. RuPaul's Drag Race is my favourite thing on TV, I am obsessed and would definitely recommend watching it! Definitely season 4 onward though. Here's what else I'm watching.

14. When I was 8/9 I broke my arm so badly that I had to have a metal bar inside it for 6 months to straighten it out.

15. Last year, I adopted a panda through WWF and have been loving getting postcards of her through my letterbox.

16. A lot of people know me as quite the cheese connoisseur. I am forever getting tagged in those cheese memes on Facebook where people grate it directly into their mouth (just to confirm, I have never actually done that).

17.  I can't ride a bike. Yes, I'm 21 and can't ride a bike but I've never really had the desire to learn. Also, I can drive a car now and that is way cooler!

18. I really love Disney - all of the films are just so good and I hope I can go to Disneyworld Florida one day in the not too distant future. I have been to Disneyland Paris and loved it.

19. I am a really fussy eater.

20. My top 3 cocktails are Brambles, Aperol Spritz and Porntar Martinis. See how to make them here.

Let me know in the comments one fact about you that you think is interesting. I would love to get to know my readers more! Thank you to everyone who reads my blogs or has subscribed.

Wool of the King



THROWING A FESTIVAL LOCKDOWN PARTY

Saturday


Our Bournemouth 7s Themed Party

Last weekend, I was supposed to be at Bournemouth 7s Festival. Like all other festivals, this had been cancelled due to coronavirus. Instead of moping around and being sad that I couldn't attend, I decided to throw a festival party in my garden with just my parents. They love it when I force my party ideas upon them!

The day was filled with games, food and music, without queuing an hour for the toilet or paying £5 per pint. We were deciding for ages what sort of food to have, and in the end we decided to do homemade pizzas that we all decorated ourselves. We had prosciutto, mozzarella, and pepperoni on them - deeelish!

Homemade Pizza

In preparation for the faux festival, I made some dodgy wristbands out of card. You can actually get custom festival wristbands printed too on various websites. I will definitely be trying this for another party!

We decorated the garden with bunting and decorated our bar with signs saying "Beer and Prosecco Bar". I also made signs to go on the bar that pointed to the VIP area, sports area and toilets. 

Hollie, our gorgeous pet Shih Tzu, worked very hard being a sniffer dog. By that, I mean we hid her treats on one of us and she had to sniff out who had the treat. I think she loved the attention but probably wouldn't hire her as an actual sniffer dog unless there was food involved

One thing I always try to do is make sure I have something to look forward to, but this can get hard with all the restrictions that we have going on at the moment. Planning things to do at home is one way I'm getting round that and how I am trying to stay positive. Read how else I am keeping busy whilst there are still coronavirus restrictions.

Other ideas on planning a festival party in your garden

All festivals need some headliners so it could be lots of fun to do karaoke. Or even more fun to laugh at your family members or friends doing karaoke. It could also be fun to do cocktail making, although I've never had a cocktail at a festival before, just VK's or something that I could actually afford. This could be a fun idea if you want to be a VIP.

Something we found it hard to think of was festival themed games. I'm sure there are some you can do that are to do with finding friends or searching people but we really struggled with this at our festival party. We ended up playing beer pong and a game where you blindfold each other and make the blindfolded person guess what they're tasting - we promised not to make it too gross.

I'd love to know your lockdown party ideas or anything else you have planned whilst at home. It would be good to get some inspo!

Festival Party Pin
Social Media 

Twitter: @_laurenken
Personal Insta: @_laurenken
Blog Insta: @wooloftheking1
LinkedIn: Lauren Kenny
Pinterest: @laurenken1

Wool of the King



BEING A FUSSY EATER: THE LOW DOWN

Being a Fussy Eater

A while ago I started a series called, The Low Down, where I will just talk about certain topics, giving you 'The Low Down'.


Since I can remember, I have always been a really fussy eater. Quite a lot of kids can be but I never seemed to grow out of it. It would probably be easier to tell you the foods I do like than listing the ones I don't. I basically don't like ANYTHING spicy, I also don't like tea or coffee (big shock alert).

People regularly laugh at my 'boring' taste in food, and I do too, but it is the bane of my life. Something that stands out to me is that I used to avoid going to Nando's because I got plain when everyone else got medium and someone always had something to say about it. "Sorry guys, I can't come tonight, um, I need to wash my hair." I don't really care about things like that anymore it just seems bizarre to me that people have such opinions on food tastes. Incidentally, I have recently graduated to lemon and herb!

I really wish I liked a lot more foods than I do because then I wouldn't have to worry about what we're having for dinner if I go to someone's house, or worry that I'm being really annoying if I say I don't like something. Luckily now, everyone I know knows that I'm a fussy eater so if I go to theirs for dinner, they will make sure it's something I like (love those kinds of people). 

It wasn't always that easy when I was growing up though. It was the absolute WORST when I would go to friends houses for dinner and their mum had made something I didn't like. Because I felt so bad, I would try my hardest to eat it even if I didn't like it. But when it's spicy food, I literally can't even force myself to eat it! Once I remember going to someone's and their parents had made a chilli con carne (one of my top WORST dishes) and I did try to eat it. In the end, I just had to say I'm so sorry, this is too spicy for me. Then, I remember the parents kind of getting slightly annoyed even though they tried not to show it.

I still love food though. Even though I'm quite fussy, I do love the foods that I will eat and I do try new foods to see if I'll like them. What kind of eater are you? Are you fussy or will you eat most things? Everyone has their own preferences, I just wish I liked more things but it's probably good that I don't because I love food too much now anyway.

Social Media 

Twitter: @_laurenken
Personal Insta: @_laurenken
Blog Insta: @wooloftheking1
LinkedIn: Lauren Kenny
Pinterest: @laurenken1

Wool of the King



20 SONGS TO CHILL OUT TO



Alexa, play my Chilled Playlist.
There have been lots of new songs out that I have been loving lately so I thought I'd share my new playlist with you. I always think it is great to share artists and songs with people that they could love but they haven't heard yet. These songs are good to chill out to, especially when you might be feeling stressed by the current state of the world.

Here is my latest favourite music:

1. Every song from the new It Was Good Until It Wasn't album by Kehlani. Kehlani is one of my favourite artists and her new album is the best one yet!
2. Hello? feat. Rejjie Snow - by Clairo
3. Too Late - by the Weeknd
4. Summer 2020 (interlude) - by Jhene Aiko
5. Playing Games - by Summer Walker
6. Eleven - by Khalid
7. Dive - by Victoria Monet
8. I want war (BUT I NEED PEACE) - by Kali Uchis
9. Cancelled. - by Kiana Lede
10. Chocolate. feat. Ari Lennox - by Kiana Lede
11. CYANIDE REMIX feat. Koffee - by Daniel Caeser
12. Up All Night - by Khalid
13. Drunk Dialing...LODT - by Summer Walker
14. Session 32 - by Summer Walker
15. You Know Wassup - by Kehlani
16. Tryna Smoke - by Jhene Aiko
17. I want you around (remix) feat. 6LACK - by Snoh Aalegra
18. Norman F*****g Rockwell - by Lana Del Rey
19. Cinnamon Girl - by Lana Del Rey
20. Hourglass - Catfish and the Bottlemen

I’d love to know your favourite chilled out songs! 

Social Media 


Twitter: @_laurenken

Personal Insta: @_laurenken

Blog Insta: @wooloftheking1

LinkedIn: Lauren Kenny
Pinterest: @laurenken1

Wool of the King


MARS BAR RICE CRISPY CAKES

Wednesday



My sister-in-law, Emma, recently made some amazing Mars Bar rice crispy cakes. Me and my mum were so obsessed with them that we decided to make our own!

We used the recipe from Baking Mad. However, we missed out the step with the white chocolate as we didn't think this was needed - and we didn't have any. For the chocolate on top, we used Cadbury's chocolate just because it's our favourite.

These are so quick to make and just taste so good. If you fancy baking something easy and quick then you should definitely give these a try! 

You could use a different bar instead of Mars if you would like, I might have to try making these with different ones.

Keeping this post short and sweet as I just wanted to show off the Mars Bar Rice Crispy Cakes, they were too good not to share!

Social Media 

Twitter: @_laurenken

Personal Insta: @_laurenken

Blog Insta: @wooloftheking1

LinkedIn: Lauren Kenny

Pinterest: @laurenken1

Wool of the King

10 Destinations on my Travel Bucket List

Sunday



I'm am someone who always thinks about travelling and always has to have a trip to look forward to. I spend so much of my time looking at holidays and looking travel bloggers' Instagram accounts. So why not share my travel bucket list with you? So far this year I am lucky enough to have been to Amsterdam, before things got crazy! I have been to Amsterdam already and loved it. Some destinations will be more realistic than others due to my current student/intern income but a girl can dream!

1. Disney World, Florida - I am obsessed with all things Disney and loved Disneyland Paris but have never actually been to Disney World. This is definitely my number 1 destination that I'd like to go to!

2. Rome - I had Rome booked for my 21st birthday, but sadly it was cancelled due to coronavirus. You can read about what I did to celebrate my birthday instead here.

3. Venice - I love the look of Venice and basically just anywhere in Italy. I love Italian food and all of Italy just looks so beautiful. I have been to Sorrento and Positano and it was one of my favourite trips away.

4. Budapest - I have seen so many people go here in the last few years and it looks like so much fun!

5. Barcelona - Another beautiful place with amazing architecture.

6. Barbados - I love the Caribbean and have been lucky enough to go to Cuba and the Cancun area of Mexico that is close to the Caribbean. Barbados just looks so amazing!

7. Thailand - I have never been anywhere in Asia yet, and Thailand's beaches just look so appealing to me.

8. Brighton - I have never actually been to Brighton. Can you believe it? I just think it looks like such a nice place and would love to go there for a day/night out. This one is probably the most achievable out of them all in the near-ish future.

9. Stockholm - Purely because I am told there is an ABBA museum and I looooove ABBA.

10. Hawaii - Feel like this is definitely a winning the lottery level holiday but it just looks so beautiful and I'd love to go at some point in my life.

I'd love to know where you want to travel to when you can!


Social Media 

Twitter: @_laurenken
Personal Insta: @_laurenken
Blog Insta: @wooloftheking1
LinkedIn: Lauren Kenny
Pinterest: @laurenken1

Wool of the King

HOW TO STAY POSITIVE IN LOCKDOWN

Saturday



At the moment, with everything going on, it can sometimes be hard to think positively. This week, I am sharing with you ways that I have been trying to stay positive. Like everyone, I definitely get down days but I do think it is important to use this time to work on yourself and your mental health.

Focusing on what you can do
For me, it is thinking about the things I can't do that lowers my mood. It's better to think about the things that you can do. For example, I can write more blog posts as I have more free time and I can watch everything in my watchlist

Surrounding yourself with your favourite things
This is similar to focusing on what you can do. If you are feeling down then try and surround yourself with all of your favourite things you have around you. Try listening to your favourite artists or watching your favourite feel good movies. I have been watching a lot of Disney films lately to try and keep myself feeling happy. See my recommendations of What to Watch on Netflix and Disney+.

Knowledge is power
If the Coronavirus itself makes you feel anxious, you need to decide whether you need to know more about it to make you feel better or whether you need a detox from all things corona. Although it is important to be clued up on it so you know how it can be caught and spread, some of us don't want it to be the only thing we hear about each day. If you would like to learn more about the virus, I would recommend watching Coronavirus Explained on Netflix, it explains everything you need to know. However, make sure you don't become hyper focused on the virus. All you need to know is how to prevent it and that there will be an end to it.


It's temporary
There has been a decrease in cases in lots of countries across the globe and scientists are already looking at vaccines for the virus.

Try to keep active
If you live in the UK and can get out, then make sure you make use of your daily walks. It will make you feel slightly more free. Try and do exercise in your house too if you can. I have been doing Joe Wicks PE to try and stay active. It definitely lifts my mood.

Stay in touch
It is so easy to feel alone or isolated at this time, so make sure you catch up with family and friends! I have been facetiming family and friends to keep being sociable. Lots of people have been doing quizzes over facetime or zoom and I can confirm I have had lots of fun while doing these.

Think of things you are proud of
Now, try and think of things you or proud of or things you have achieved in lockdown that you didn't know you would achieve.

My list:
  • Creating more blog posts on a regular basis and reaching blog/social media goals
  • Engaging with more bloggers and finding more blog posts to read
  • Finishing a paint by numbers
  • Creating a new CV
  • Achieving my Google Analytics for Beginners Certificate
Social Media 


Twitter: @_laurenken

Personal Insta: @_laurenken

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5 COCKTAILS TO TRY AT HOME


One of the things I have been wanting to do during the lockdown is cocktail making so I thought I would share the ones I have been making with my mum. If you like the look of any of these then I'd love it if you had a go at making them and tagged me in photos! My social media handles are below.

Sangria - 1 Jug (4 Glasses)


This is one of my absolute faves in the summer and reminds me of holiday so have been loving it in lockdown! 

You will need:
50ml Brandy
Spoonful of sugar
A third of a bottle of red wine
Your favourite fruit
Ice
Cloudy Lemonade

How to make
1. First of all, you will need to pour 50m of brandy into the jug, followed by some sugar to keep it sweet.
2. Then add a third of a bottle of red wine to your jug. We used a Shiraz but you can use whichever wine you like.
3. Next, add your favourite fruit and some ice to the jug. We usually use strawberries and oranges but we used limes on this occasion because we didn't have oranges.
4. Finally, fill the rest of the jug with cloudy lemonade!

Strawberry Daquiri - 1 Glass



When I have asked people what their favourite cocktails are, a lot have them have said strawberry daquiri and I can see why!

You will need:
50ml rum
Spoonful of sugar
Half a lime
50g frozen strawberries
50g fresh strawberries
A blender

How to make
1. Add 50ml of rum to the blender. We used spiced rum but daquiris are usually made with white rum. You can use either or.
2. Next, add your spoonful of sugar and squeeze the juice from half a lime into the mix.
3. Add your frozen and fresh strawberries then blend! The frozen strawberries are to make it ice cold without actually using ice.
4. To make it look more insta-worthy, you wedge a strawberry onto the side of the glass too. We also used a lime here too.

Aperol Spritz - 1 Glass



This is a classic cocktail and another one of my favourites! Our holiday to Rome was cancelled due to the lockdown so I have just been pretending I'm there by drinking Aperol.

You will need:
50ml Aperol
100ml Prosecco
Ice
Soda Water
Slice of orange (optional)

How to make
1. Firstly, add 50ml of Aperol into your wine glass.
2. Then add 100ml of prosecco, followed by ice.
3. Top up the rest of the glass with soda water and then stir!
4. Add your slice of orange if you have it.

Limoncello Spritz - 1 Glass



Another Italian classic that I discovered in Sorrento, the home of Limoncello. You can read about my trip to Sorrento in my Sorrento 2018 post. Making these is very similar to how you would make the Aperol Spritz.

You will need:
50ml Limoncello
100ml Prosecco
Soda Water
Ice
Slice of Lemon (optional)

How to make
1. Add 50ml of Limoncello to your wine glass.
2. Then, add 100ml of prosecco into the mix, followed by ice and your slice of lemon if you have it.
3. Finally, fill the rest of the glass with soda water and stir!

Bramble - 1 Glass



This is one of my favourites to order when I'm out for drinks so why not recreate it in the house? It's a gin-based cocktail usually made with crème de mure (blackberry liquer) but we have used Chambord instead which is what they use in a jammy doughnut cocktail!

You will need:
50ml of gin
25ml lemon juice
Ice
25ml Chambord
Any fruit you would like to garnish the bramble with (optional)

How to make:
1. If you have a cocktail shaker, add 50ml of gin into the shaker. If not, just use your glass and add the ice first.
2. Add 25ml of Chambord to the mix, followed by 25ml of lemon juice.
3. Shake in the cocktail shaker if you have one.
4. If you used a shaker then add ice to your glass (crushed if possible, or just regular ice cubes) and pour the mix into your glass over the ice.
5. Add any fruit to the side of the glass to garnish your bramble if you wish.

If you liked the look of one of these cocktails or more and would like to recreate them then please tag me on social media! Let me know if you liked this post and I will make a part 2 with some more cocktails as I had so much fun making this one. Also, let me know what your favourite cocktails are and any you'd like to see in a possible part 2.

Also a huge shout out to my mum for helping me make and drink the cocktails!

Happy cocktail making. Cheers!

Find out what else I've been up to in What I've Been Doing During the Lockdown.

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WHAT TO WATCH ON NETFLIX AND DISNEY+

Sunday


Since I have mostly just been watching Netflix and Disney+ whilst social distancing, I thought what better time to post my recommendations of what to watch? I am a huge lover of Disney films so I would probably recommend watching all of the classics, but I will just try to pick out ones I have watched recently that are worth a watch.

Here is what I have been watching recently:

Disney+

Series

Disney's Fairytale Weddings - I have become so obsessed with this show! It's just so cute to see people get the Disney weddings that they have always wanted.

The Imagineering Story - Quite a lot of people who have Disney+ have been talking about this show so I decided to watch it and I love it. It shows you all about how they brought the Disney parks to life!

Films

Coco - This is a cute Pixar film, set in Mexico about a little boy who wants to become a musician. The colours in this film are so pretty and they have a lot of themes surrounding Dia de los Muertos.

Lady and the Tramp - This is the live action movie that came out last year. It was just so cute but I love anything with dogs so I may be biased.

Jack - This is an old film that I'm surprised I'd never seen before. The main character is Robin Williams so you know it's going to be good before you start watching it. He is supposed to be a 10 year old boy but he's in a 40 year olds body and tries to fit in at school.

Zootropolis - Another cute animated movie about a little rabbit who wants to become a police officer in the city of Zootropolis. Very much appreciate the scenery in this film too.

Princess and the Frog - A Disney Classic I can't believe I hadn't seen before. I think it might be one of my new favourites.

Pocahontas - Also can't believe I have only just watched this. Great story line.

10 Things I Hate About You - An old high school chick flick classic

There is still a lot I need to watch on Disney+, I haven't actually watched any other series on there yet. A lot of the stuff on there I have already seen but it would be interesting to watch more documentaries and other original series.


Netflix

Series

RuPaul's Drag Race: Season 12 - I love all of RuPaul's Drag Race, season 12 is the current season that is going on now. New episodes come out every Saturday.

Pandemic - This is a short series and is an interesting watch if you want to learn more about viruses and how they spread to become pandemics. It may scare some people due to the current situation but I just find it really interesting, don't know why.

The Stranger - This is a very weird series based on a book by Harlan Coben. Definitely worth a watch.

AJ and the Queen - Wholesome show starring RuPaul!

Fresh Meat - This is a good one to watch if you are missing uni, I know I am!

Bodyguard - This is a British drama that will keep you on the edge of your seat at all times.

Too hot to handle - This is a cringe Love Island-style show but it is so gripping and binge worthy. It's only 8 episodes too so I watched it in 2 days. Oops!

Self Made - This one is a story based on the life of Madam C.J. Walker. It's only 4 episodes and definitely worth a watch.

Films

Gone Girl - I watched this for the first time the other day and I got really into it. Lots of twists in the story.

Dumplin' - This is one of my favourite films on Netflix. It's about a girl who's mum is a beauty pageant leader (Jennifer Aniston) and she joins the pageant as a joke at first. It also has a Dolly Parton soundtrack. Love love love.

The Pianist - This is based on the true story of a Jewish pianist fighting for survival in World War II Poland. I am really interested in World War II and the holocaust just because I can't believe it happened because it's so horrible. This film is pretty hard to watch as it depicts some of the awful things that happened to Jews at that time but it's definitely worth watching.

Shutter Island - This is a classic film starring Leonardo DiCaprio.

Eat Pray Love - A feel good Julia Roberts chick flick about self love and self care.

A Fall from Grace - This is about the trial of a woman who confesses to killing her husband. The whole film is about finding out what happened and there is a twist at the end.

Another show I have to mention that isn't on Netflix or Disney+ but it is one of my favourites of all time. It's Gordon, Gino and Fred's American Road Trip. I would encourage everyone to watch this the 3 of them are just so funny and go so well together. It's on ITV at 9pm on Thursdays at the moment and you can find it on ITV hub as well.

This blog post was inspired by Becca's Small World's YouTube video 20 TV shows you need to watch on Netflix, Amazon and Disney+.

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Twitter: @_laurenken

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LinkedIn: Lauren Kenny

Wool of the King

WHAT I'VE BEEN DOING DURING LOCKDOWN

Wednesday


Like many other countries across the world, the UK has gone into lockdown due to the coronavirus and we have been told we shouldn't go out unless completely necessary.

Whilst staying indoors, I have been keeping track of all the things I have been up to beside working from home, so I can share it with you.

Disney+ and Netflix

A couple of weeks ago, Disney+ came out in the UK, so I decided to pre-order it so that I could watch it in isolation. I have to say, I have not been disappointed! I must have watched something from Disney+ every day since having it, as well as watching Netflix as usual.

Paint by numbers


Knowing I wouldn't be able to go anywhere for a while, I ordered myself a paint by numbers kit on Amazon. I have been working on this for a few weeks now and I have found it very therapeutic.

Home work outs

I have also being doing some exercise at home with my friends on facetime. I did try a yoga with Adriene video but I am completely useless at yoga. I am pleased I tried though.

What else?

In addition to keeping myself occupied, I am also trying to tick things off of my ongoing self admin to-do list. I got my Google Analytics for Beginners certificate. I have also been clearing out some make-up and have cleaned my make-up brushes which was long overdue.


There is a lot more I hope to complete before lockdown is over. I would like to write more blog posts for you and would also like to update my CV with all of my new internship information.

How do I stay positive?

In times like these, it can be hard to stay positive. The way I try and look at it is, every day is a day closer to being back to normal. There will be an end to this and even though it is hard to plan things at the moment, when this is all over you will be more grateful for everything that you do.

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LinkedIn: Lauren Kenny

Wool of the King

21ST BIRTHDAY IN LOCKDOWN

Tuesday


I'm 21!!! I did have a lot of plans for my 21st but sadly wasn't able to do any of them due to lockdown as they included going to Rome and going out for food and drinks in Bristol. 

However, this didn't stop me from having a good birthday on Friday. First of all, mum, dad and I had smoked salmon bagels with cream cheese and champagne for breakfast, in true Gossip Girl style. Then, mum made her famous sausage rolls in place of a birthday cake as I prefer them to cake. It's safe to say they didn't last the night!


Later on we sat down to watch Gordon, Gino and Fred's Road Trip just as a bit of downtime before our 3 person party in the evening.

The 3 of us had a fancy dress party just to make it a bit different to a normal Friday night. I have to say, I do feel like a saddo even typing this but it was funny. We also challenged the rest of our family to dress up and facetime us with their best fancy dress. We had a great turnout. 


My friends, family and Joe really did outdo themselves to help me celebrate my birthday, even if I couldn't see anyone but my mum and dad. My uni friends made a video montage of them all saying happy birthday to me. They also made a music video of my funniest moments at uni, and made up their own lyrics haha. I was shook.

Even though I didn't have the birthday I'd planned, it was still so much fun and I'm sure I will celebrate again when things are back to normal, just as an excuse to party.

Social Media

Twitter: @_laurenken
Personal Insta: @_laurenken
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LinkedIn: Lauren Kenny

Wool of the King