Monday, January 29, 2018

Let There Be Light Photography Competition

If you've been visiting my blog for a while, you know that I absolutely love photography! When I'm out and about and having fun, I can never resist saving a bit of the experience through taking a photo.

Recently, I found out about the Urban Cottage Industries #LetThereBeLight photography competition. It's a chance for bloggers to share some of their fave photos that they've taken. To enter, bloggers must share two photos -- one taken in natural light and the other taken in artificial light. I've been going through my collection of photos over the last several days as I've been deciding which ones to enter. I've finally decided to enter these two that I took in Paris a while back.

This is my entry for natural light. The light is the most natural light of all...the sun. The sun was flooding into the Louvre as I took this picture.




And this is my artificial light entry. This was taken inside Notre-Dame Cathedral. There were candles everywhere and they created such a beautiful ambience inside that beautiful space.



Fingers crossed for the competition  :)

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Happy Sunday


I hope that you're having a great Sunday wherever you are in the world. As I'm writing this, I'm lying in bed and looking out the window before I get up. I love Sunday mornings...but I guess, who doesn't, huh? ☺

I love to read a little bit also before I get out of bed. It always gets me in the right mood to start my day.

I hope that whatever you're doing today, I hope that it brings you happiness. Have a wonderful day! 💖

Friday, January 26, 2018

Great Tips For Encouraging A Healthy Mindset

*Collaborative post

Mental health

In general, our mental health bares a pretty complicated system of how it works. It requires a certain amount of satisfaction and purpose in order for us to keep going, but achieving that can sometimes be quite difficult. Some people find it hard to figure out what gives them satisfaction, and others find it difficult to find their purpose in life. If you can’t find it, it can often lead to various issues which make life difficult. If you get to that stage, don’t let it render you helpless! Everyone has a purpose in life; you just need to find out what you can do to keep yourself going! Many different factors tend to weigh on the mind, whether it’s our physical appearance, our position in life, or even our financial situation. All of those things can affect you, along with many more, so you need to find ways to counter them!

Lifestyle changes

If you’re finding it hard to get by in your day to day life, then it’s obvious that it’s time you started to make a change! Whether you take big steps or small steps, the road to improvement is the same! If your first concern is physical appearance, you’re going to want to start out on exercise and dieting. It’s important at this stage that you find the right balance to get you going, as overestimating yourself will only make it more difficult. Doing exercise and eating healthy foods don’t just help you lose weight, but the vitamins and physical strain can also have a positive effect on your mind alone. You’re killing two birds with one stone!

If your social situation is what’s affecting you the most, you might want to look into joining new groups or activities so you can meet new people. Not only that, but it can provide you with great opportunities that you didn’t even consider before. Imagine taking part in global adventure challenges charity fundraising events, you have so much opportunity to meet great people, while at the same time going on an all-new adventure. With that in mind, you’re also helping to raise money for charity; which you’ll find is a great feeling. It can be rewarding to know that your efforts are helping those who have nothing, or are helpless without the money. So you can gain a new social standing, and you start to feel better about yourself!

Source: Pexels

Getting help

Many people see shame in getting help with their issues, but there’s no reason to! Everyone has problems of their own buried deep inside their minds, but it’s not something you should repress and let shape you. The healthiest option is to see someone about these so you can get the help you need in resolving or accepting them. There are many different treatments out there for all kinds of problems, whether it’s therapy, medicine or surgery; you can find the help you need. Not just that, but it’s all confidential if you’re worried about other people finding out about it. Mental issues are a sensitive topic, and it’s understandable that you don’t want others to be in the know.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Packing Tips For A Great Weekend Away!

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Have you booked a long weekend away for Valentine’s Day, a Spring Easter break or a few nights away in the summer? Whether you are booking a weekend in the British countryside, a city break to somewhere romantic like Rome or a luxury spa weekend, you will need to plan what to pack accordingly. This article aims to give advice on what to pack depending on your destination.

Venice image source

City break

It very much depends on the time of year you are travelling as to what to pack. For example, if you are going to Rome in the summer, temperatures could reach 26 degrees and above, whereas in Reykjavik the average summer temperature is only 11 degrees!

For trips to Rome you will want to stay cool, but stylish. Staples to your packing list should include stylish sunglasses, sundresses that will be easily glammed up for the vibrant nightlife and a floaty scarf to cover shoulders whilst visiting the Vatican and Colosseum.

As much of your time in Rome will be spent sightseeing and exploring the ancient squares,  comfortable shoes are a must, look for stylish sandals or flats that will transition easily from day to night. Try to wear them before you go away as brand new shoes may rub in the heat and no matter how expensive your shoes are, blisters are not a good look.

When choosing a handbag for a city break, consider a cross-body style, this will stop your shoulders from aching. Choose a bag with a secure zip fastening so that your money and other valuables like your phone and camera stay secure from pickpockets. 

The other items you should consider packing for a warm weekend away, are a few t-shirts, camisoles and shorts in light, breathable fabric. One or two lace tops are ideal for dressing up for evenings.  

For cooler destinations such as Reykjavik you will definitely need to pack for all eventualities. You will need to pack a bikini or swimming costume for bathing in the natural hot pools and geothermal springs, as well as warm waterproof jackets, jumpers and and woolly hats.

Iceland's blue lagoon image

Much like Rome, you will spend a lot of time on your feet, so a comfy substantial pair of walking shoes are needed. Reykjavik does have a vibrant nightlife scene, so you may want to pack an outfit suitable for partying. If you pack a pair of stylish black jeans, you will be able to dress them up on an evening with just a change of top and some sparkly accessories.

For all destinations you should consider packing everything you take into a case suitable for taking straight onto the plane as cabin baggage, this will save on flight costs as well as being more convenient when you are travelling from the airport to accomodation.

Weekend away in the country

Cotswolds image source

Countryside breaks evoke thoughts of long walks down rambling lanes followed by a cosy pub lunch, with evenings spent relaxing in front of a roaring fire. The trouble with packing for a weekend away in Britain is that the weather is so temperamental! There is also the quandary of what to wear!

In the countryside,wellingtons are a must and the type that you choose is pretty important. Brands such as Hunters and Joules have perfect wellingtons that look just as stylish walking through a muddy field as they do eating lunch. Outerwear is an important consideration too, Barbour have great wax jackets in their range, which have the benefit of being warm as well as waterproof.

For evenings out, a soft jumper made from cashmere can be dressed up for the theatre or local eatery if paired with a great pair of jeans, leather boots and some understated accessories.

Luggage should be of an understated quality and preferably leather. Buying a leather holdall is a great investment, as it will only get better with age. 
Wherever you are heading, write a list of what you are packing, streamline it to the bare minimum and most importantly stick to it! Maximise the space in your luggage by packing easy to pack items that are non-iron. Reduce the amount of toiletries you take by decanting them into travel sized bottles and streamline your makeup bag. Choosing your outfits is all about versatility, design different outfits before you travel, using a few staple items of clothing. A top can be worn casually during the day and dressed up in the evening with the addition of a skirt, scarf and accessories.  

Most importantly enjoy your weekend away! Great choices made when you pack will ensure you don’t need to fret about what to wear.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Fashion Spotlight: LOTD (Look of the Day) Review

Disclosure: I was gifted items in return for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

I was recently contacted by the lovely people at LOTD (Look of the Day) to see if I'd like to experience their website and try a few of their pieces. I said yes and I'm certainly glad that I did. The first thing that I really loved were their prices. The prices are so reasonable and the clothes are fantastic! The wide variety of clothing is amazing and so stylish, therefore it was hard to pick only a handful of my favourite pieces. I could've easily have picked dozens of other things because everything was calling my name! Here are my picks.


LOTD Tops 

LOTD has so many lovely tops. One of my favourites is this khaki oversized top with tie cuff detail. It also comes in grey and black. The sizes available are S/M and M/L. This top is generously cut, so it fits a variety of body types and is so comfortable to wear. I love it because it's amazingly comfortable and still so stylish. I really like the tie cuff detail because it adds that bit of extra flair to the look of the garment. It's perfect to wear when you're out and about running errands and you want to look pulled together while going about your day.

Above: khaki oversized top with tie cuff detail / Photo credit: LOTD site


Accessories

I adore jewelry, so I was thrilled to be able to also receive these pieces:



Brown/gold two row tassel choker necklace



Brown/gold two row tassel choker necklace

This two choker necklace has a velvet finish with a tassel detail on the bottom necklace. It's adjustable and is a great accent along the neckline. I love the simple yet elegant style of this piece.


Left to Right: Gold two row thread chain tassel necklace, Gold triangle with circle drop chain choker, Gold/turquoise disc chain necklace


Gold two row thread chain tassel necklace

This two row gold necklace with peach thread tassel detail and gold circle detail is a fun piece to add to your wardrobe. I love the two row design which makes wearing the multiple necklace style that much easier to pull off. It has a nice long length that can compliment so many outfits.

Gold triangle with circle drop chain choker

This thin choker necklace with an adjustable clasp features a triangle and circular drop down detail. I love the delicate look of this necklace.

Gold/turquoise disc chain necklace

The gold necklace with the turquoise disc and gold tassel drop is another favourite of mine. It has an adjustable back and I really like the larger open link design chain. This is a statement piece that can be worn to dress up, but it can also be worn to give a more casual look that extra bit of flair. Also I love blue or anything in that colour family, so I'll be wearing this necklace a lot.


Shoes


The last items that I received were the black side zip riding boots. I love them!





Black side zip riding boots

These knee-length riding boots have a small heel and flat sole, side zip design and are made of a mix of PU (polyurethane) and fabric materials. I adore these boots because of their sleek design and they are so comfortable to wear.

****

I love everything that I received. As I said at the beginning, it was hard to pick only a handful of favourites because there are so many fabulous items to be found at LOTD. I'll definitely be visiting this great site again in search of my next favourite piece and the next and the next...

Have a look for yourself. You'll be glad that you did!

Thursday, January 18, 2018

The Joy of Language

*Collaborative post
Image credit: Pxhere


There is something about reading that is so compelling that you can’t stop and when a book ends you have a small period of sadness that you couldn’t continue on with the characters. As human beings, we are all obsessed by stories whether they come in book form or as films or radio shows. We love to know more about each other and even invent characters to explore issues and topics too.

As social animals, language is what drives us together, keeps us happy and allows us greater access to understanding the world as we see it but also how other people see it. In short, language is a true joy that should not be underestimated.

Communication Makes Us Happy

If you have ever spent time alone then you will understand how detrimental it can be to your health. Humans are social creatures and even if you think that you like being a hermit, after a day or two in solitary confinement, you will almost certainly be going a bit stir crazy.

In fact, communication is so important that you shouldn’t limit your chatter to friends and acquaintances. Talking to strangers is a good way to boost your mood and even seems to improve our social interactions with loved ones as well. This is quite surprising given that modern society can feel so cold, especially in large cities like London.

But, try chatting to the person next to you on the bus and see what happens. Even in London, you can almost guarantee that they will respond.

We are Built to Learn Languages

Learning to speak comes naturally to the vast majority of children. The brain seems to be programmed and ready to accept the languages it is exposed to from a young age and children are definitely more adept at learning new languages than adults. Though we tend to teach languages by memory and rote, it is clear that children learn through mimicry and experimentation, learning the rules naturally rather than uniformly. Understanding this is the foundation of learning a new language and courses such as the Effortless English Club utilize this method over others.

Interestingly, people who have multiple languages tend to think differently in each language as the tone lends itself to a particular frame of mind. This is intriguing because polyglots also seem to use these different languages to hop from idea to idea, choosing the language that fits, rather than the one we have. It rather suggests that though language is what we have to arrange our thoughts, it is also affecting what those thoughts are in the first place.

Telling Stories

So what do we do with all this skill? We tell stories and we consume stories all the time.

A big part of the joy of storytelling and reading is being able to vicariously experience something completely different to what you know and understand about the world. It gives you the ability to empathise with someone you have never met and probably will never meet and the sensation of forging a connection between the two of you.

Language connects us all.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Winter Trees


I love trees in all seasons. The trees in winter especially intrigue me though. They are mysterious and beautiful. 

Friday, January 05, 2018

Love Is All Around


I saw the shape of a heart in the sunlight through the trees this morning. 

Love is all around ❤

Happy Friday 😊