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



When I'm not living in Bournemouth for university, I live in Wiltshire, UK. I will always say that there is nothing to do in Wiltshire, so this list as well as for my readers, is for me, to remind me of what there is to do when I'm at home. If you live in Wiltshire or want to visit after the lockdown, then here are some ideas of what to do while you're there.

Things to do in Wiltshire

1. Caen Hill Locks

Caen Hill Locks is placed on the Kennet and Avon canal near Devizes. It's a really nice place to go for a walk or picnic. Wiltshire has a lot of countryside walks but this one is different because you get to see the canal and the boats on it.

Caen Hill Locks

2. Longleat

Longleat and Center Parcs are very well known in Wiltshire. Longleat is a safari where you can drive through or go on a bus and see the animals from your window. There is also a zoo and lots more things to do when you've finished driving around. Just try not to drive through the monkey enclosure, they can be pretty ruthless with your car. It's a great day out for families.

3. Cholderton Farm Shop.

I really love the farm shop in Cholderton. It's only a small shop but they serve great breakfast and lunch, you can sit outside too to appropriately social distance. My favourite thing to go for is the brie and bacon panini. They have chickens walking around outside as well which is a bit more exciting than your normal breakfast or lunch out. Proper countryside.

Cholderton Farm Shop

4. Rosebourne

I mentioned Rosebourne in my Top Places to Eat Out in and around Salisbury post. OK, this one is actually in Hampshire but not by much. I'd describe Rosebourne as a shop / restaurant / garden centre / farm shop. It has it all. I love going there for lunch and then wandering around the shop after and recently they've had their Christmas decorations out which definitely makes the shopping more exciting. A lot of their food in the shop is quite high end and some of it can be a little pricey but good for a treat.

5. Stonehenge

This is a pretty obvious one as Stonehenge is world famous. If you are visiting Wiltshire, Stonehenge is a must! You can visit Stonehenge through the visitor's centre and hear all about the World Heritage Site. Or, if you just want to see Stonehenge briefly, you can drive past on the A303. However, I would recommend walking so you don't potentially cause a car accident. You can walk up past Woodhenge in Amesbury and you will be able to see it from a little further away.


Have you ever been to Wiltshire?

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*This post contains PR samples for review and affiliate links meaning I may earn a small commission when you buy through my links at no extra cost to you. All opinions are my own and I would never recommend any products that I don't deem of benefit to my audience. For more information, please see my disclaimer.

I am so excited to be sharing my first proper Christmas gift guide post. A couple of years ago I wrote a post on buying gender neutral Christmas gifts, but it was mainly just ideas and not really a full comprehensive list. After the year we've had with the pandemic, it is increasingly important to support small businesses. Therefore, I will be sharing some of my favourite small businesses which I think sell products that would make great Christmas gifts.


Inside the Fragrance

Alisha from Inside the Voyage blog has started selling the most amazing smelling wax melts. They are such good value for money and I can't recommend these enough! Perfect for a relaxing, self-care evening. 

Inside the Fragrance wax melts

Needle & Stitch

Paulina has very recently started Needle & Stitch. She is making really cute felt keyrings at the moment that would make great stocking fillers!

Melissa Mary Creates

Melissa sells homemade crafts on her Etsy page. These include conker wreaths and really pretty candle jars.

Asia Jade Beauty

Over on Asia's Instagram page, she sells dupes of designer perfumes and aftershaves such as Dior Sauvage that smell exactly like the real thing for such a good price. I have tried the 449 which is a dupe of Jimmy Choo Fever and it smells the same. I would definitely recommend these as Christmas gifts.

Asia Jade Beauty perfume

Simply Katy

Katy has an Etsy shop where she sells prints of locations and cities that she designs herself. Some of the locations include Amsterdam, Lincoln and Venice. I just really love the prints she creates and they would look great on someone's wall. They are well priced for the quality.

The Artist's Lab

Lauren from the Artist's Lab sells embroidery kits for beginners. This would be a great gift for someone creative. It would also be a good present to get someone in case of another lockdown or self-isolation. It's something to do while at home and could be a great way to unwind and get away from a screen for a while.


Jess Adams

Jess sells really cool statement earrings over on her Etsy. I have been loving statement earrings from small businesses at the moment, they are all just so unique.

Art by Kateh

Kate makes the most beautiful resin earrings with pressed flowers. These would make great gifts for people who love earrings like this.

Alice Lizzy

I haven't seen any earrings like the one Alice makes before. They are so unique and look so cool! Again, they are statement earrings so would be great for people who wear earrings. Alice has made a Christmas gift box containing 4 pairs of polyclay earrings for the value of £17, saving you £7! You can add an optional personal message with this gift box and the packaging is 100% recyclable.

Use the code GIFTGUIDE20 for 20% off when buying any product from Alice Lizzy.

Alice Lizzy Earrings



Amanthis is a black-owned small stationary shop with a great range of helpful products. My go-to product from Amanthis is the Master Mindset Diary. I couldn't live without it at uni. For more information, read my review of the Master Mindset Diary by Amanthis.

Amanthis Master Mindset Diary

Robin and Thorn

Robin and Thorn is a small lifestyle shop. They have all sorts of products including stationary. I use their list pads for my to-do lists and I find it really helpful.

Gifts for bloggers

Jordanne Lee Creative on Gumroad

Jordanne from Of a Glasgow Girl has some really helpful products on her Gumroad including Instagram highlight covers and blogging planners.

Use code LAUREN20 for 20% off your order.

Jenny in Neverland on Gumroad

Again, Jenny has some really helpful products on her Gumroad. Her products are particularly helpful for blogging beginners.

Stocking fillers


Carfume is a luxury car scent business. These would make great stocking fillers for drivers as we all love to have nice smelling cars.


Children's gifts

Abi from The Peg Place, makes really sweet peg dolls for children. She has made Disney princess dolls, Frozen dolls and Toy Story dolls too so far, among others. These would make lovely Christmas gifts for little ones and they are even more special because they are hand-made and eco friendly.

What are some of your favourite small businesses to shop from?

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Related Read: Christmas Activities to do at Home

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Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, and the introduction of a lot of travel restrictions, I have been much more appreciative of seeing different parts of the UK. In summer, I spent 48 hours in Lincoln and 48 hours in Hastings.

Before the second lockdown, I was able to get away to Suffolk and stay in a lovely house there with my friend Maddie. It was a really old, beautiful house in the middle of the countryside. The house was a short drive away from some pretty beaches and seaside towns so we were able to explore them.

Wroxham Norfolk Broads

Day 1

On the first day, we wandered round a town called Aldeburgh and walked along the beach. There were quite a few independent shops there and lots of really cute dogs! We had an ice cream there and then went back to the house. I did some uni work in the house too - the grind never stops in third year.

After going back to the house, we decided to go out for dinner. We went to this Italian / pub called The Angel which I thought was a little strange but the food was delicious. I tried scallops for the first time in my seafood linguine.

Southwold Sea

Day 2

Similar to day 1, we walked around another little town and beach in Southwold. Again, they had lots of little shops and really cute dogs! Not far from Southwold, we went to this hidden away fish and chip shop called Sole Bay Fish Company. I might even go as far as to say it was the best chippy I've been to. You could get alcoholic drinks there, and you could sit in too. They didn't just have your classic cod, chips and mushy peas. They also had muscles, lobster, crab, you name it. I had muscles and chips and they were amazing!

After that, we went back to the house and played some board games and had an amazing cheese board. I have to shout out to Maddie for this, she really put on an amazing spread!

Sole Bay Fish Company

Cheese board platter

Day 3

I think Day 3 was my favourite day. We took a trip up to the Norfolk Broads and went on a boat around the broads. I really love going on boat trips, we went on one in Amsterdam around the canals too and that was really fun. It's probably just a novelty for me because it's something I only do when I go away.

There were some amazing holiday homes on the Broads, it was just so relaxing and fun on the boat. It did get really cold really quickly though.

Norfolk Broads

Where is your favourite place to visit in the UK?

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Related Read: 5 Things to do in Wiltshire UK

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Since I have been studying in Bournemouth for the last couple of years, I've visited a lot of nice places in Dorset. We are lucky here to be surrounded by lots of beautiful places, and to be right by the sea. I've put together a list of all of my favourite places in Dorset that I have visited so far. There's still some places I haven't been to and things I haven't done, so I'm going to be making a bucket list for my final year of university. I may post it on my blog and tick it off as the year goes by so keep a look out for that.

Places you need to visit in Dorset after lockdown

Bournemouth Beach

Obviously, I have to put Bournemouth Beach as the first destination on the list as I live in Bournemouth. It's one of my favourite places to go in the country. It's such a lovely beach to visit all year round, that's why it's so popular. There's also lots of things to do nearby like the Oceanarium and the arcade.



Only 3 miles from Bournemouth Beach, Sandbanks is one of the most expensive places to live in the UK. Sometimes, I like to go there just to drive past the huge houses there. It's half beach, half harbour at sandbanks and it's just an all round nice area.

Hengistbury Head

Still on the beach, Hengistbury head is a great place to go for a walk and you will usually see lots of cute dogs. It's basically just a big hill on the beach and once you get to the top, you can see amazing views of the sea and you can see all the way to Christchurch and Mudeford too.

Poole Harbour

I really love going to Poole harbour and pretending I'm rich and deciding what boat I'd have if I was. Maybe one day, I can dream! They usually run cool boat trips from Poole harbour too, with some going to Swanage and Brownsea Island. I would check that though because of Covid.

Corfe Castle

corfe castle

Corfe Castle had been on my list of places to visit for a while and it's such a lovely village. The actual castle is really high up so has great views of the rest of the village.


Swanage is just your typical seaside town which I love. There are lots of little independent shops there and it's just a really pretty place. The arcade there is really fun too!

Sculpture by the Lakes

Sculpture by the lakes Dorset

Earlier this year I was lucky enough to visit Sculpture by the Lakes near Dorchester on a PR trip. It's such a tranquil place and a really great day out. Read all about my trip to Sculpture by the Lakes.

Tyneham Abandoned Village

Tyneham is a village that was abandoned during World War II and no one ever returned. It's an interesting visit but is a very little place so it doesn't take very long to look around. I believe it is only open to the public for visiting on Saturdays but it's really interesting to see.

Durdle Door

durdle door

Durdle door is one of the most beautiful places in the whole of England in my opinion. I don't feel like I need to explain this one - the picture says it all.

Do you live near any nice places to visit? Until the lockdown is over, stay safe x

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Related Read: 48 Hours in Hastings

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 *This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase a product through this link, I will receive a small commission that is no extra cost to you. For more information, see my disclaimer.

I recently asked on my Instagram for questions that could form a Q&A blog post and I was pleasantly surprised with the amount of questions I received.

I was asked all sorts of questions about blogging and just about life in general, so without further a do I will start answering them!

Lauren Kenny Wool of the King

Get to know me!

1. How did you get into blogging?

I started my blog in 2016 while I was in college. Back then, it was just a way of me writing my thoughts and I didn't know how long I'd actually stick to writing. It wasn't until this year that I've started keeping up with regular posting and this year has been my best year stats and opportunities for things like reviews and press events.

2. What are your tips for coping mentally at uni?

This is a hard one because university can be really draining sometimes. My advice would just be to force yourself to stay motivated and on top of everything. A lot of the time I won't feel motivated, but as soon as I get the tiniest bit of motivation to do work, I will force myself to try and do as much work as possible, just to make the most out of feeling motivated.

It can be so hard to balance everything so I would recommend keeping a diary and staying really organised. If you feel like you have your life together, you will feel better about university. And if you don't, then it's a fake it til you make it kind of situation. Read my tips on how to stay organised at university for more information.

3. What is your favourite trip away that you have been on?

Definitely either my trip to Sorrento, my trip to Amsterdam, or the Christmas markets in Germany. I find it so hard to pick a favourite because then were all so different. I hope to go on many more trips away but then it would make it even harder to pick a favourite!

4. What's the best food you've had abroad?

I have had some really good food abroad but I'd have to say the pizza in Sorrento was the best. You just can't beat Italian pizza!

5. Who is your favourite blogger?

Again, so hard to pick a favourite but I can give you my top 5 in no particular order:

6. What do you enjoy writing about most?

My favourite thing to write about is Travel. I just love going on trips away, writing about it and taking lovely pictures. I wish I could travel more so I could write about travelling more. For now, I will just try to do what I can in terms of Covid and my student budget.

Lauren Kenny on Stonehenge Chair Salisbury

7. What is the best way to increase traffic to your blog?

Basically just promote, promote promote. Twitter is the best source of traffic for me at the moment. I have dabbled with Pinterest because I know some people get millions of clicks form that, but I haven't gotten on with it just yet. Generally, the more effort I put into promoting my blog, the better results I get. If you want to learn more about how I promote my blog, you can read how I got 10k blog views in one month.

8. What is the most difficult thing about uni life?

For the most part I love uni life. It can get really tough at times though. The hardest thing is probably that you can feel quite lonely at times but you are surrounded with lots of people who are going through the same thing so that's comforting. Also, I was not ready for the third year workload and I can't cook very well so it's difficult when I don't have my mum to cook for me anymore. Joking aside, I do like uni life and everyone is probably feeling the same as you if you are finding it tough.

9. What's the best piece of advice you've ever been given?

This is a hard one because I am always trying to be the one who's always in a good mood and I normally find myself giving the advice rather than someone giving me advice. There's currently nothing that stands out to me apart from obvious things like don't compare yourself to others. If I think of anything that stands out, I'll add it to the post.

10. What's your favourite animal?


11. What is your favourite memory from your first year of uni?

Probably when me and Joe got dumped in the same week, then our flatmate Kitty, got us a cake that said "Dumped and Dumpeder" and now me and Joe have almost been together for 2 and a half years!

12. Greatest blogging achievement?

Reaching 11k monthly views in August! I used to have such Impostor's Syndrome with my blog and that nobody read it, so to see so many people actually reading it makes the time and effort I put into blogging worth it.

13. How do you keep the motivation to write?

Honestly, with some difficulty. Sometimes when posts don't do as well as you'd like them to it can be hard. However, even though it feels good to reach goals and get good stats, stats aren't everything. I really enjoy getting positive comments mainly. Blogging is also just something I enjoy doing anyway, even if no one reads my posts.

I mostly find that keeping organised helps me with motivation too. Using a blog planner definitely helps! Here is The ULTIMATE Blog planner from Of a Glasgow Girl that has everything you need to stay on top of blogging.

14. How are you feeling about final year of uni?

Truly terrified. I am excited to be living with my friends but I know how quickly time goes and I really don't want to finish uni. I'm also just not feeling too positive about online uni and the workload but I'm going to try my best. I'm definitely more confident after having a year's marketing internship though.

15. What do you enjoy most about blogging?

I love writing and I love going out and taking pictures for my blog. It's also made me connect with a lot more people to. There are so many great bloggers out there that have so much in common with me. I would have never connected with them if I wasn't blogging.

16. If you could have 3 people round for dinner, who would it be?

Hm so the first person would have to be Gordon Ramsay so he can make the food because I can't cook. Clever! I've also always wanted to try Michelin Star level food. Secondly, I'd invite Lana Del Rey because she's my favourite. And the final person would have to be David Attenborough because I just find him so interesting and cool.

That's the end of my questions. I really enjoyed answering these so if you have any more questions for me, feel free to leave them in the comments.

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Related Read: 20 Facts About Me.

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What is the Golden Bloggerz Award?

It’s an award made by Golden Bloggerz to motivate and reward all these amazing bloggers that work daily to serve their audience and they worth more recognition. Their priority is to do their best to help their readers solve their problems & reach their goals!

Golden Bloggerz Award


1. Place the award logo on your blog. 
2. Mention the rules. 
3. Thank whoever nominated you and place a link to their website. 
4. Mention the awards creator and add a link to that too. 
5. Tell your audience three things about you. 
6. Answer your nominator’s questions. 
7. Nominate 10-20 people who deserve this award. 
8. Let the nominees know by messaging/commenting on their social media or their blog. 
9. Ask your, nominees, any five questions that you want. 
10. Share 2-3 links to your best posts. 

Thank you to Nic's Adventures for the nomination. Be sure to check out her Golden Bloggerz nomination post. Also a big thank you to Chris from Golden Bloggerz for initiating the award.

Three Things You May Not Know About Me

1. I have been blogging since 2016.
2. I can't ride a bike.
3. I am a really fussy eater.

Visit my 20 Facts About Me post for more.

Nic's Questions

What are your favourite seasons of the year?

My favourite season has always been and will always be summer I think. It just brings me so much happiness. I feel like there's so much more to do and the sun just brings everyone's mood up. I love everything associated with summer too like the fashion, travel and of course Pimms and Sangria.

Dark or Milk Chocolate? 

Definitely milk chocolate. I could eat dark chocolate, but it really wouldn't be my first choice. My favourite chocolate is Cadbury's giant buttons. When it's ladies week, nothing else will suffice.

What does blogging do for you in terms of happiness?

Blogging in general makes me really happy, especially when I receive positive comments on my blog. It's just so nice to know that people read what I have to say. Even if no one read my posts, I still really like writing about what I've been up to and to share my advice. It's a nice thing for me to have to keep all of my memories in one place if nothing else. Sometimes, I will get stressed about what to write, as everyone does but overall, I really love blogging.

What are your favourite desserts to make? 

I am not really a baker and I don't eat dessert that often, so I would have to say cheese and charcuterie. I know that's technically not made and isn't a dessert but it's something people often eat in the evening. I would just love to choose all my favourite cheeses and put on a spread. 

Tea or coffee?

I don't drink either and this is something I have to explain to people a lot. I just don't like tea or coffee. The only hot drinks I'll have are hot chocolates or chai lattes in the winter.

My Nominees

8. Becc4 

My Questions 

1. Why did you start blogging?
2. What is one piece of advice you would give to your younger self?
3. What's your favourite way to spend a self care day?
4. Dogs or cats?
5. If you knew you would have your last meal tomorrow, what would you choose to have?

Some of my favourite posts

Sculpture by the lakes

I wrote this blog about my first ever blogger press event and I had so much fun there. I loved taking pictures of all the sculptures and was so glad I had the opportunity to go.

Auschwitz Birkenau

This is one of my older blog posts from 2017. I had such a moving trip to the Auschwitz in Poland and I really enjoyed writing about my experience.

Homemade Bramble Cocktail

The cocktails post was a lockdown project for my mum and me. We had so much fun making the cocktails and getting pictures of them. I am hoping to do a part 2 soon with some more easy to make cocktails so keep a look out.

Join my mailing list for exclusive content and resources here.

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 This is my first ever tag blog post so I was super excited to try it out! Thank you to Laureny Loves, Liz Loves and Nic's Adventures for the tag. You can see their posts here:

Laureny Loves - The Hallotober Tag

Liz Loves - The Hallotober Tag

Nic's Adventures - The Hallotober Tag

The Rules

  • Thank the person who tagged you and link to their post 
  • Put the rules at the beginning or after introduction
  • Answer the 13 questions 
  • Tag 13 people to do the tag 
  • Delete Question 13, add a new number one question of your own
  • You are free to use the tag image somewhere in the post 
Hallotober Tag

1. Halloween or Christmas?

Definitely Christmas! I just love everything about it so much. I only really dress up for Halloween if I have somewhere to go. Some years, I haven't even celebrated Halloween. I do like celebrating Halloween but sometimes I completely forget about it, whereas I will always celebrate Christmas.

2. What's your favourite thing about October?

I am more of a summer person, I just love summer and always feel like I have more fun in summer. I like Autumn colours though and being able to wrap up warm, and drink hot chocolates. My favourite thing about October is probably that it means it's only 2 months to go until Christmas.

3. Are you a big celebrator of Halloween?

Again, only sometimes. I will dress up to go to a Halloween party but on years were I haven't had plans, I won't do anything for Halloween.

4. What's your favourite horror movie?

I really don't like horror movies, I hate feeling scared. My favourite Halloween movie though would probably be The Addams Family.

5. Would you rather a cosy night in watching horrors of a big night out in a costume?

I would rather a big night out in a costume. I don't really like horror films but I do like an excuse for a celebration. Most of the time, I just find it so hard to think of something to dress as for Halloween though, but it is fun to be able to celebrate with your friends.

6. Which has been your favourite costume to date?

When I do dress up, I normally decide what I'm going to wear pretty last minute so I'll end up going as something basic like a devil or a dead something. My favourite costume someone else has worn would be when my nieces used to dress as pumpkins when they were babies. It was so cute!

7. Bobbing for apples of pin the hat on the witch?

I'm not really sure what pin the hat on the witch is but I'm going to choose that one, just because getting my face and hair wet would probably ruin my Halloween makeup.

8. How do you celebrate Halloween?

Sometimes I will dress up and go to Halloween parties, some years I have handed out sweets to trick or treaters and other years, I haven't celebrated at all. I'm quite chilled about Halloween, I will usually just go with the flow.

9. What's your least favourite horror?

Anything scary or gory, I'll just go with the Saw films.

10. Do you have a favourite trick or treating memory?

My favourite memory from trick or treating makes me laugh so much but looking back it was kind of bad. I can't remember what costume I had on but my mum made me put a jumper on underneath it because it was October and cold. The jumper puffed me out a bit and when I went to one house and said trick or treat, a man opened the door and was like "hmm... do you need anymore sweets?" He obviously thought I was fat because of the jumper. I can say I was a really skinny child so the fact that happened really makes me laugh even though he was rude.

11. What's your favourite thing about Halloween?

Probably Halloween parties, just because I always love to see what people are dressed as. I love looking at beauty gurus pictures on Instagram too because people get so creative around Halloween!

12. Scary costume or silly costume?

Definitely silly costume! I have seen so many funny ones lately. People have dressed up as characters from Gavin and Stacy and Eastenders on TikTok. I just think people putting effort to be funny gets a better reaction than people trying to be scary.

13. What's your favourite Halloween candy?

When you get the mixed packs of Halloween sweets, I love picking all of the parma violets out and saving those for myself.


My questions

1. Halloween or Christmas?
2. What's your favourite thing about October?
3. Are you a big celebrator of Halloween?
4. What's your favourite horror movie?
5. Would you rather a cosy night in watching horrors or a big night out in a costume?
6. Which has been your favourite costume to date?
7. Bobbing for apples or pin the hat on the witch?
8. How do you celebrate Halloween?
9. What's your least favourite horror?
10. Do you have a favourite trick or treating memory?
11. What's your favourite thing about Halloween?
12. Scary costume or silly costume?
13. What's your favourite Halloween decoration?

Join my mailing list for exclusive content and resources here.

Looking for more autumn posts? Check out my top eyeshadows for autumn.

Wool of the King


Cheese is one of my favourite things ever and I would literally have a cheese night every night if I could. But as I want my jeans to still fit me, I will have a cheese night every so often as a treat. Because it's one of my favourite things to do, I will share with you my favourite cheeses to have on a cheese board. I will admit, I am not a huge wine connoisseur but I will work on it.

Disclaimer: I am not working with the companies mentioned, I just really love their products.

cheese board inspiration

High end soft cheeses to include on your board

Brillat Savarin - I only discovered this cheese last year. We had it at Maul's cheese and wine bar in Salisbury and bought one from there as it was so amazing. It was pretty expensive, it was a wheel smaller than a camembert but I think it was around £8. However, if you love brie-like cheeses it is definitely worth it as a treat. It's similar to a brie, but instead of being made with milk it's made with full fat cream, so you will only need to eat a little bit at a time anyway. It tastes amazing with honey!

Tunworth - Tunworth is basically the British version of a camembert. We had it cold and it seemed to me creamier and a little softer than a camembert so I'm not sure how it would work if you wanted to melt it. However, I believe this is £8 again in Waitrose so I'd recommend using a camembert to melt as it's a lot cheaper and you don't want to ruin this cheese. Again, great for a treat if you want a high end cheese and tastes amazing if you like brie and camembert.

Lyburn Garlic and Nettle - A flavoured cheese is a must for a cheese board and this one tastes amazing. You can buy this one from Lyburn Farm in the New Forest, so it is pretty local for me. Definitely use your favourite flavoured cheese on your board, they have some in supermarkets, I've had the chive one from Tesco before which is nice.

Budget friendly soft cheeses to include

Brie - Obviously! My favourite is the round Castello brie that they have in Tesco for about £2 but I do love any brie, use your favourite.

Camembert - I feel like a melted camembert is a centrepiece and if you are having a cheese board with lots of other cheeses you might not need it. It's good to have as the main even though, with a couple other bits to go with.

melted camembert

Port Salut - This is good for anyone who doesn't really like strong cheeses, it kind of reminds me of a babybel. This is around £2 I believe, depending on which supermarket you go to.

Smoked Mozzarella - You should definitely choose a smoked cheese to go on your board and this is definitely a good one. It's quite mild so will be good for anyone who doesn't like their cheese too strong.

Boursin - amazing soft garlic cheese to put on bread or biscuits. Always a staple for me!

High end hard cheeses to include

Kirkham's Lancashire - This is a bit like a cheddar but obviously it's made in Lancashire. You can get this from The Fine Cheese Co for £5.80. It's a little more tangy and earthy than a cheddar so it's good if you like cheddar but want to try something with a more unique taste.

Stoney Cross - This is from Lyburn Farm again. It's a little softer than a cheddar and tastes a little more earthy and tangy. Definitely a good one to try if you want to support a local New Forest farm shop.

Budget friendly hard cheeses to include

Cheddar - Everyone's favourite, every cheese board needs a cheddar and you can get lots of different kinds so it's whatever suits you. I do like a classic cathedral city but a lot of local cheese companies will have some form of cheddar if you wanted to support a local supplier.

Red Leicester - I have to admit, I always forget about Red Leicester cheese, but it tastes amazing and is good if you like mild cheese again.

Stilton - You either love it or hate it but every cheese board needs a blue cheese. I haven't really found the right blue cheese for me yet and I don't really like stilton too much, but it's just the easiest option for a budget blue cheese. Replace this with your favourite blue cheese if it's another. I am still on the hunt to find a blue cheese that I like the taste of.

Manchego - I only tried this for the first time recently and really enjoyed it even though it is quite hard an crumbly and I'm more of a soft cheese girl. It's a bit like parmesan but not as strong and you can eat it on it's own easily. I find parmesan too much to eat by itself but I love it on top of pasta!

Pair your cheeses with your favourite wine and charcuterie. I mainly drink prosecco or rose wine but there are lots of reds that go really well with cheese. I like to put different breads, biscuits and meat with my cheese, so just pick your favourite. The best thing about doing your own cheese board is that you can make it personal to you with all of your favourite things on there.

What's your favourite cheese? Let me know in the comments.

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Related Read: 5 Cocktails to Try at Home

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Since I have finished my internship in August, I have had some time to myself over the summer. In that time, I spent 48 hours in Lincoln, and I have also recently been to Hastings in East Sussex.

My boyfriend, Joe, is from Hastings when we aren't at uni together so I go there to visit him from time to time when he's at home and I really like it there.

It's right on the sea and Joe's house is walking distance to everything so I got a lot of steps in. When I drive into Hastings I get to drive along the sea front which is so pretty and it always seems to be nice weather when I go there.

beach huts in Hastings

When I arrived in Hastings, we did our usual walk around by the beach and through the town. We have a little tradition of going to this little local seafood shop by the beach and getting some food so we did that on the first day and sat on the beach for a little while.

I also love to get an ice cream when I'm near the sea so we did that too, after eating our seafood. Hastings has so many local seafood restaurants and fish and chip shops, you really can taste the difference in freshness with it being a seaside town.

In the evening, we went for a few drinks but didn't stay out too late.

The next day, we went to the seafront again and played some minigolf. Joe won, I am still yet to beat him but it's going to happen one day!

After spending the day out again, we went to a seafood restaurant in the old town called Whites. The old town in Hastings, is more individual restaurants, shops and pubs as opposed to the new town with things like Primark and Pizza Express. I really like that they have both options.

Seafood platter in Hastings

We had a huge seafood platter which is unlike me because I'm really fussy with food. I just wanted to try it because we were right by the sea and I thought I'd like most of it. All of it was so nice apart from oysters, I don't think I'll eat one of them again in a hurry. 

After we ate so much food, we went for a few drinks on the pier. Hastings pier is quite big and since the social distancing rules have come into place, they put a DJ set on the pier with a bar and tables for drinks. I have never had drinks on a pier before so it was something new for me.

Just before leaving on my last day there, we went on a dog walk at a really pretty country park called Fairlight, it had such amazing views to the sea.

I quite like writing about places that I visit in the UK, so I will definitely be doing more 48 hour style blog posts whenever I go anywhere now.

Where's your favourite place to visit for a weekend away?

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Related Read: 3 Days in Suffolk

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 *AD - PR sample. I have received this product for review but all opinions are my own. For more information, see my disclaimer.

I recently received the Master Mindset Diary starter kit from Amanthis. Amanthis is a small stationary business that aims to create affordable stationary.

Master Mindset Diary starter kit

The diary runs from August 2020 until August 2021, so it's perfect for studying. When I first flicked through the diary, I noticed that each month has a calendar view of the month for you to write things in if you just wanted to see what you had on in the month. There are also weekly pages for planning your availability week by week. 

Each page has a positive quote on the top, which I really love and before each month there is a quote to keep you going. My favourite thing about the Master Mindset Diary, is that it isn't just a space where you can plan your time, it also has positive affirmations, space to write goals, productivity levels, moods and achievements. 

I'm going to be using my Master Mindset Diary for university, blogging and just life in general because it has already started helping me to plan for the new academic year.

Positive quote in mindset diary

In the starter kit, I also got some Goal Getter pencils, a couple of pens, a list pad and a finance tracker. I will definitely be using the finance tracker while at university this year. 

I do really like a diary and most of the time, I prefer a January - January one but this mid year diary is going to help me so much in my final year of uni. 

Do you like using diaries to keep organised? 

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Related Read: 5 Steps to Becoming More Organised at University

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It's almost time for university to start again, and a lot of you may be starting for the first time. I am going into my final year this month and I wanted to share with you some of my the things you should know before starting university. Everyone has different experiences with uni, but I will be basing my advice off of the experiences I've had.

Graduates throwing caps

Tip 1: Before moving into your new place, see if there are any groups or group chats you can join beforehand for your halls or course or just uni in general. You might be able to get to know some people before meeting them and this can take so much pressure off if you have already kind of spoken to them online.

I joined chats when I was about to be a fresher and I actually met up with some of the people from the chat before starting uni. I wasn't going to live with them but this was so helpful because if I didn't make friends with my flatmates, I knew I had other friends to do stuff with. Ultimately, I got on so well with the majority of my flat.

Tip 2: Don't panic buy - Before starting uni, I did the classic Ikea trip and bought all sorts of stuff that I have never used, like a potato peeler. Have I ever peeled potatoes? No. That's just an example, you may well use a potato peeler but just think carefully about what you will actually use so you don't waste money. 

If you don't have something, you can always go and buy it. If you do have the opportunity to talk to your flatmates before moving in, it might be worth seeing what people can bring so you can share stuff. You will need to save all the money you can!

Tip 3: Buy some sliders! I tweet this one a lot because I wish I knew it before uni. Your kitchen floor probably will get messy quite quickly due to the amount of people living in your flat if you're in halls. The last thing you want to do is go into the kitchen barefoot or in socks and get something gross stuck to your foot. 

Also, fire alarms tend to go off pretty regularly so it's easier to just slip a pair of sliders on instead of spending ages putting shoes on. You will not regret investing in a pair for uni, and they have plenty in Primark to choose from if you're on a budget.

Tip 4: Forget about college - College is a pretty stressful time and uni can be stressful too, but it's so different to college so try not to compare the two. Use uni as a fresh start for yourself and just try to have the best time while you're there.

Tip 5: Try and be as organised as possible - There is a lot of stuff to do at uni and if you're moving away from home, there may be lots of things you want to get out of your new city. Just make sure you plan out your time for everything so you can work hard and play hard. Yes, you are there to get a degree but you may as well make the most out of where you're living and make the most out of uni life. Read more here about staying organised at university.

Are you starting university this year, or do you have any more tips for uni students? As I said, I am going into third year so if you have any tips for that, I will need all the help I can get.

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This post contains affiliate links so I will earn a small commission when you buy through these links. Please see my disclaimer for more information. 

As a lot of you may know, I have been blogging on and off for over 4 years. It was kind of just a hobby for me as and when I felt like it, and it wasn't until the coronavirus lockdown until I started blogging regularly. After regular blogging since April 2020 and putting in more hard work, I am proud to announce that I received 10,700 blog views for July 2020. This is a massive success for me since in April, I had just over 1000 blog views for the month. Thank you so much to everyone who has been reading and supporting my blog over the last few months.

Celebration balloons

How did I achieve this?

I still wouldn't call myself an expert when it comes to blogging and I know that there are people out there with a lot more views than this. I am still always trying to learn more about it, but I'd just like to share with you how I got to 10k monthly views in the hope that I could help some current or aspiring bloggers. 

It's also important to keep organised and you can do this by using The ULTIMATE yearly blog planner from Of a Glasgow Girl.

Sharing my blog everywhere

After writing and publishing a blog post, I would promote it over every social media channel. I will create an Instagram story of the post, prompting people to click the link in my bio to see my blog. I will also share the blog on my Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and sometimes LinkedIn if it's relevant to my audience on there.


The main source of my blog traffic comes from Twitter. I will share 3 blog posts a day on Twitter, including new ones and old ones. I schedule these posts using Buffer. Make sure to tag in retweet accounts when tweeting blog posts as the blogs will be retweeted and will reach more people.

Here are some of the blog post retweet accounts I tag:

  • @bournemouthbloggers and @sotonbloggers - make sure you use your local equivalent of this if there is an account for it. 
  • @bloggerstribe
  • @cosyblogclub
  • @BloggersHut
  • @theclique_uk

On Twitter, there are also daily blog post engagement threads that you can add your blog posts to. Post your blog on these threads and be sure to interact with other creators and comment on other blogs. I use threads from the following Twitter accounts:
  • @GoldenBloggerz
  • @unpredictedpage
  • @_kayleighzara
  • @cosyblogclub
  • @theclique_uk
  • @BloggerDreamsRT
  • @TRJForBloggers
  • @BloggersHut
  • @LaurenyLoves


I only started using Pinterest a few months ago and I am still learning lots about it, so I am by no means an expert. I managed to get my monthly unique viewers on there up quite rapidly but the clicks through to your blog is the main thing. Some people get most of their blog traffic from Pinterest so it's worth using for your blog.

Basically, you just need to create lots of pins for each of your blog posts to promote it on there. There are lots of useful guides out there about using Pinterest to attract traffic to your blog, I am still getting to grips with it at the moment but I managed to get over 100 views from Pinterest in July so it was a good addition.

Advice if you are starting a blog

If you are new to blogging, I would just say set aside some time to promote your blog as well as writing it. Consistency was the key to reaching my goals for me so just try and give yourself a routine.

I haven't spent lots of money on my blog and don't think you need to in order to be successful, it's just your personal preference in how you'd like to invest in it. Also, spend time trying to grow your social media too as the more followers you have on there, the more members of the potential audience you will reach by sharing it on there.

Once again, I'd like to say I'm not an expert and I am still learning about blogging every day. Let me know if you have any blogging tips that I've missed out, I'd love to know how you promote your blog!

Some extra blogging resources

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