MY TOP 10 TRAVEL DESTINATIONS

Friday

Since I am always thinking about travelling I thought I'd share my recommendations with you. If you're like me, and can't wait to travel again then you can use this post as travel inspiration. There are still so many places I would love to travel to so maybe I will do a part 2 one day, once I have travelled to more places! Read My Travel Bucket List to see where I'd love to go! But first, here are my favourite destinations below that you will love! 

1. Sorrento, Italy. I loved Sorrento so much! It was so beautiful and had so much to do. The food was amazing there too. It is close to other beautiful areas in Italy such as Mount Vesuvius, Pompeii, Amalfi, Capri, and Positano - which brings me to my next destination. Read more about My Trip to Sorrento.

Sorrento Italy

2. Positano, Italy. When we went to Sorrento, we went on a boat trip from Sorrento, sailed around the Island of Capri, then we got off the boat and spent part of the day in Positano. Positano is so beautiful but I believe it is quite expensive to stay there. It's also quite small so a day there was plenty as there was more to do in Sorrento anyway. I would definitely recommend visiting Positano by boat so you can see the amazing views like below!

Positano Italy

3. Amsterdam, Netherlands. This is another one of my favourite places! I have been twice now and still want to go again. Although, last time I went was just as they started locking everything down which was slightly weird and scary but we still managed to have a nice time. Everywhere you go is just so pretty and there is so much to do. Read more about My Weekend in Amsterdam.

Amsterdam Netherlands

4. New York, USA. I went to New York when I was only 11 but remember it being really nice and fun. I think I would appreciate it way more if I went now though. Especially as I can have a drink now and they have Sephora! They always have really good deals if you go there in a cold month like January or February.

5. Krakow, Poland. There are lots of reasons why you should visit Krakow. One of them is that the city is really beautiful. Another is that the value for money is insane! You can go out for food and drinks for really cheap while you're there. It's also close to Auschwitz - Birkenau Concentration Camp and Oskar Schindler's Factory which are both well worth a visit. Read more about My Experience at Auschwitz - Birkenau.

6. Playa Del Carmen, Mexico. This part of Mexico is actually on the Caribbean Sea. The beaches here are insane and it's not too far from Cancun!

Playa Del Carmen Mexico

7. Mallorca, Spain. The reason why I love Mallorca is because it's not too far and it's such a lovely place. You can get really reasonable holidays there and it's just so nice. When you get there, jugs of sangria and food out is also reasonably priced. Result.

Alcudia Mallorca


8. Corfu, Greece. I think all of the Greek Islands look so pretty, but the only one I have visited is Corfu and it was really pretty! I feel like I didn't explore it enough though as we stayed in an all inclusive resort. However, we went on a boat trip from Corfu to mainland Greece and the sea was so pretty and there were lots of caves you could go and explore.

9. Zell am See, Austria. All you have to do is look at the picture below and you will want to go! This is where we went skiing and everything about it is just breath taking. Zell am See is not too far from Salzburg.

Zell am See Austria

10. Dublin, Ireland. I have been to Dublin twice now and I loved it both times! There is so much to do and it's just such a nice city. The only thing to note is that once you get to Dublin, it is quite expensive to go out for food and drinks so be prepared for that. Read more about my time in Dublin.

Temple bar Dublin

I'd love to know where your favourite places are that you have travelled to. I can't wait to travel when we can.

Wool of the King

HOW TO SAVE MONEY AS A STUDENT

Saturday

Guest Post from A Girl with a View.

It’s probably common knowledge to think of a student and to think of someone struggling financially. Students aren’t necessarily known for being the most money-savvy of people but your university years are some of the best times to start practising good money habits that will set you up for life. It’s always nice to have money left over at the end of the month to either pop in savings or to treat yourself, and by implementing these tips at university you’ll be well on your way to having a few extra pennies in your bank account!


Piggy Bank

Photo credit: Skitterphoto on Pexels.

Meal Plan

This is something I sometimes fail to do successfully and the appeal of a takeaway or meal out when you can’t be bothered to cook is always tempting. However, meal planning is one of the biggest ways I manage to keep track of my finances and not go overboard when food shopping. If I’ve made a conscious effort to look for recipes and things to cook for the following week and then made a shopping list with only the ingredients I need I am much less likely to overspend and buy excessive amounts of food that I won’t use. Some good meals to think about making are spag bol (a student classic), a curry, pasta bake, fajitas or chilli. Most of these meals can also be made in batches that you can freeze, making them, even more, cost-effective as you can return to them weeks later and thank your meal-prepped self when you don’t feel like cooking again!


Put aside a certain amount each week

This is something I started doing more regularly and it’s made a big difference to my savings. Last year, by doing this I was able to visit Berlin, Naples, Prague and Seville by travelling cheaply and using this method! I made a separate ‘pot’ on Monzo (more on that later) called Holiday so I could start saving for a trip later in the year. Monzo automatically adds £5 every week to this pot so at the end of the year me and my boyfriend could go away somewhere nice without having to take a chunk out of my other savings. Sadly, the holiday hasn’t happened this summer due to COVID but I’ve kept adding to the pot throughout lockdown so that we can, hopefully, have a few nice holidays next year. £5 is a manageable amount, for me, to save every week. However, you can add in as much or as little as you want or make your saving bi-weekly or monthly to make it work for you. Putting just small amounts away can add up to a big amount of money by the end of the year.


Get Monzo

Monzo has been a huge help in keeping track of my finances and helping me to save money. Each time you buy something Monzo will place your purchase into a specific category which is so useful for being aware of where your money is actually going and, at the end of the month, it shows you which categories are your biggest spends. It can be quite shocking at first to realise how much you’ve spent on eating out or shopping in a month initially but the app allows you to set budgets within each category to help you cut down. You can set up a loose change pot which will round up to the nearest pound your latest transaction and put it into a savings pot. I find this feature really helpful as you don’t even realise how much money you’re putting into savings and suddenly you have a few extra pounds that you didn’t know about! I think it’s such a good bank and app that really helps you keep control of your money and where it’s going.


Use student discount and cashback

Student discount is one of my favourite things about being a student and by quickly registering to discount sites like Unidays or StudentBeans you unlock so many savings. Most retailers will offer between 10-20% off for students which is not to be sniffed at, especially when it’s something you needed or were going to buy already. Sometimes it can be worth putting the extra 10 or 20% you saved into a separate savings pot so you can rack up how much discount you received over the year and put it towards something like a holiday or into your savings account. Cashback is another great way to save a few pennies and is something I started doing fairly recently. Topcashback and Quidco are my favourite sites to use and it’s very easy to register and get going. When going to make a purchase from somewhere online, check whether these sites offer you cash back for doing so. Even if it’s only 1% it’s still worth doing as it soon adds up, and if it’s something you need to buy then you may as well make some saving on your purchase.


Buy secondhand textbooks

As an English student, I need to buy a lot of books which, if I bought them all new, would cost me an absolute fortune so I’ve learnt to shop around. Places like World of Books or Abe Books offer very cheap books with big discounts and I often get the books I need from these places. It can also be worth looking at your University’s course Facebook page as often past students will be selling their old books at a discounted price so it can be a goldmine to get the exact editions you need at cheaper prices. Another tip I would say is that although courses often recommend you pick up the latest edition of a textbook, this isn’t necessary. More often than not, the book has exactly the same content (just different page numbers) and is half the cost - it’s not worth paying so much more for the same content just for page numbers! If you really don’t want to buy anything then your University library should have all the books you need for your course, you just need to make sure that someone doesn’t borrow them before you!


Those are my top tips for being a money-savvy student and to help you start saving whilst at university. I think the key thing from this list is that you don’t need to start saving extravagant or unrealistic amounts of money, little and often is the way to go and always make sure you’re aware of what you’re spending so you’re able to cut back on areas if you need to!


About the Author:

Tash is a UK based blogger and English student who blogs all about university life, travel, books and a whole host of other topics! You can find her over on her social media:

Blog: http://www.agirlwithview.co.uk/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/tash__evans

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.co.uk/agirlwithview/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/8507134-natasha


5 PRODUCTS TO GET YOU THE SUMMER GLOW

Friday

This post is a collaboration with Luci Barker. We will be sharing with you how we get the summer glow look. Read on to see my favourite summer beauty products and make sure you check out Luci's post to see how she gets the summer look. 
I haven't actually worn makeup in a while, I've just been giving my skin a huge break since the start of the coronavirus outbreak so it's really fun to get into it again, and I would like to get some new products too! I might share a haul with you when I do, if that's something that would be of interest.

Beauty products

My Favourite Summer Products

1. One product you need to get glowing is highlighter. My favourite highlighter to use in summer is the Urban Decay Naked highlighter. I personally don't really like putting on a heavy base in the summer and this is a really light highlighter you could just apply straight to your skin if you didn't want to put foundation on. It gives you a lovely subtle glow.

2. I'm quite pale and I don't often tan very easily. So to give my face some colour, I normally use Hoola Bronzer by Benefit. This goes really nicely with highlighter and blush. It's one of those products that I just always go back to so for that reason, I haven't tried that many other bronzers, so I'm on the hunt for more!

3. My favourite makeup product to use is eyeshadow because you can just do so much with it and go for any colour you feel like. One of my go-to palette for summer is The Saharan Palette by Juvia's Place. The quality of Juvia's Place eyeshadows are so good, I also have the Magic Palette which is another amazing one. The Saharan just has some really gorgeous summer colours in, although I do love the gold in the Magic Palette and use any excuse to wear that.

Eyeshadow palette

4. OK because I love eyeshadow so much, I decided to mention another palette, which is the On the Run Palette by Urban Decay. I have only used this palette a few times as it's quite new but it has some really glowy summer colours. It's also only a small palette with 8 colours so it is easy to take on the run with you, hence the name.

5. To finish off any summer makeup look, you need a good lip gloss. The one I've been reaching for lately is the clear Filler Instinct Gloss by NYX. You can use this by itself or use it on top of your favourite lip stick.

I hope you enjoyed this post and don't forget to check out Luci's blog to see how she gets the summer glow. Let me know what your favourite summer beauty products are in the comments!


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.