Showing posts with label lifestyle. Show all posts
Showing posts with label lifestyle. Show all posts

FRIENDSHIPS: THE LOW DOWN

Tuesday

This week, I just wanted to talk about friendships because I have seen a lot of people posting about friendships. As the lockdown restrictions ease in the UK and other countries, we are able to see our friends more.

Group of girls on Amsterdam canal boat

Advice on friendships

Lately, I have seen a few people on Twitter saying that they don't have friends which saddens me. I don't know these people, so I'm not sure that's actually the case, but sometimes you can feel like you have no friends, or that you have no one in your corner.

My advice for these people would be to value the people that you actually have in your life, whether that be family or colleagues that you like. I would also say it is never too late to try and make friends! It is a common misconception that you can't make friends as an adult, as it isn't as easy as when you're in school, but this is not the case! If anything, making friends later on is actually easier.

Since I have started blogging regularly, I have interacted with other bloggers online who have similar interests to me. Making online friends is also a good way to connect with people if you are shy in person. Of course, you do need to be careful when making online friends - we have all seen the TV show Catfish.

I also think it is important to remember that you different things out of friendships with different people. For example, you may have a friend that you have a good time with but you can't trust them. If you have friends like this, it's important to know where you stand. If you know they aren't the most trustworthy, then you shouldn't expect them to be trustworthy. There are also the friends that you have a good time with, and you could trust them with your life. I tend to find myself gravitating towards these people and wanting to spend less time with the people who are only fun for a short time.

Group of friends in Leicester Square

Friends getting ready for night out

My friendships

As I get older, I tend to be pickier with who I call my friend. Just because I really believe that no company is better than bad company. I have individual friends who I will meet up with as well as groups of friends and the majority of my friends now are from university. I do still have some amazing friends from home but as I left school and college, I seemed to leave friendships behind there. The same thing could happen after uni too, but I do think most of them will become my friends for life.

One of the main qualities I look for in friendships is when they are happy for my successes and when they build me up. I am always reading posts about how women should empower women and this is definitely true! I'm always looking out for those who do that for me. 

I am really grateful for the friendships I have at the moment. For the friends I see often and the friends who I don't see as much.

What sort of friendships do you have? Mainly close individual friends or do you have a friendship group? Let me know in the comments.

Friends in Dublin

Two friends at a party

Wool of the King

5 BOOKS I WISH I'D READ SOONER

Saturday

Guest post from Liz Loves
Hi, my name is Liz and I am the blogger behind Liz Loves Blog! I am so excited to be writing for Lauren’s blog. I wanted to share a post on books I wish I read sooner. These are the books that I have read and immediately told my friends they NEED to read them, books I will read over and over and books that really have changed my outlook on life. 

Why I'm no longer talking to white people about race, Reni Eddo-Lodge

Why I'm no longer talking to white people about race

This book is becoming more and more important with the current political climate. I think it’s important that we all educate ourselves as much as possible and I really wish I read this book sooner, mainly so I have more points to argue when discussing this topic. It really breaks down a lot of issues about racism in a really simple way, and there was a lot of history in the UK that I wasn’t aware of when it comes to racism. It really brings home what a huge issue we are still facing.

Women don't owe you pretty, Florence Given 

Women Don't owe you pretty by Florence Given

I pre-ordered this book nearly a year ago because I am obsessed with Florence. If you don’t already, I would highly recommend following her on Instagram. She is so empowering and inspiring and her book talks about how a lot of society is often designed for the benefit and gain of men. She explains how women are often criticised for their behaviour and actions in a way that men aren’t, and essentially, we can’t win, therefore we should do whatever we want and whatever makes us happy regardless of what other people say. There are also lots of reminders to support each other as women and to build each other up so we can all be the best that we can be. 

How to break up with fast fashion, Lauren Bravo

This book has really spurred me on to my decision to stop purchasing clothes from fast fashion brands. I have talked about it in my blog post about sustainable fashion, but she essentially explains the negative effects of the fashion industry without making you feel bad about it, and also provides options to limit your own fast fashion purchases. The environment is something I am really passionate about and I am always looking to learn more about what I can do to help, and the fashion industry has a huge impact on the environment. 

Notes on a nervous planet, Matt Haig

Everything Matt Haig writes is amazing, his book The Humans is one of my favourite novels, and Reasons to Stay Alive has been talked about for changing people’s lives and helping cope with mental health and depression. For me personally, Notes on a Nervous planet really explains the disparities between our human nature and the world we now live in filled with social media and technology. It really helped me deal with obsessing over my phone and after reading this it was the first time I put in place some boundaries with my phone and social media use. 

The humans by Matt Haig

Everything you need to know about love, Dolly Alderton

I read this book on holiday last year, my friend actually let me borrow it and I read it in a few days. This is like a laugh out loud book, there were so many relatable stories in there and I think it is just really nice to hear about other people’s experiences and relationships to know that we are not alone in the things we experience or the feelings we have at certain times in our lives. I do think most people have already read or at least heard of this book, but it’s definitely worth the read if not. 

Follow the author

 

Website - Liz Loves Blog

 

Instagram - @lizhartley04

 

Twitter - @lizziejhartley


Liz Loves Blog Logo


 


HOW TO SAVE MONEY AS A STUDENT

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.

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.

Self Care Isn't Selfish

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

Vinyl


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.

iPhone apps
*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!

Girl sat on Stonehenge chair

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!

Girl in festival outfit

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
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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.

Pink headphones on pink and blue background

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! 

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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.

Mars bar rice crispy squares

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!

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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!

Harbour in Alcudia Mallorca

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!


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Wool of the King