Twenty Four

A few days ago I turned 24. Like most years my birthday arrived quicker than expected. It's true what they say about time speeding up as you get older. Your concept of time changes every year. When you're 6 years old, a year feels like forever compared to when you're 24 years old. Lately I've been thinking about all those things I want to do in the next year and I have to reign it in a little and be realistic. I don't want to feel disappointed in a years time because I was being too ambitious but at the same time I have to remember that no matter what I achieve in the next year I should be proud of myself.

Last year I didn't really think about what I wanted to do while being 23. I had just started a new job and I felt like I was making progress in my life. So I looked forward to the future and welcomed each day as a new possibility. My life changed quite a bit at 23. It started very differently to how it ended. I didn't know what to expect. I had no idea what my next goal to reach for was going to be. For me, it was a year of discovering what I wanted in my life, thinking about lots of dreams and making plans for the future. And, well.. living.

This year I want to work on achieving those dreams and plans. Most of them are in the 'big picture' stage in my mind but you've got to start somewhere. Life is an ongoing project, it's never done until the end. I'll always be working on the small things to make the big things happen. While I'm doing that I want to focus on looking after myself in every way. Mentally, physically and spiritually. I've not been as happy in my own skin as I have been and I know I can be. By giving myself some extra attention and focusing on doing good things I know it will make the world of difference. This year I'm keeping things simple and enjoying my days.

Here are a few things that I want to do when I'm 24..

  • Visit and explore new places
  • Make and bake new recipe dishes 
  • Save more money to buy a house
  • Blog a little more (I truly love blogging but I can be so rubbish at it sometimes)
  • Take a mini/online course to learn more about my career field 
  • Practice yoga more often
  • Go for long walks
  • Spend time with my loved ones as much as possible 
  • Keep organised 
  • Focus on the good

Is there anything you're doing this year to make yourself feel better and happier?


My Weekday Evening

Getting home in the weekday after being out at work for the day always feels so good. I have a couple of hours to do what I want, it's my 'me time'. I believe it's so important to start the day off well but it's also important to unwind and reflect on the day that is close to ending. My bedroom is one of my favourite places, it's where I feel most relaxed and it's where I spend the last few hours awake each day. Some days feel extra long if I have chores or errands to do after work but I still make sure I get a chance to chill out and get ready for another day. I thought I would share a few things that I do on my weekday evenings, maybe you will get some new ideas for your evening routine.  

What do you wear to bed?
A pair of cute pyjamas, almost every night I'm wearing bottoms or a top that has a bunny, Eeyore, birds or flowers. Something cotton soft and loose is what I feel most comfortable in.

Time you go to sleep?
It varies, mostly between 10.30 to 11.30. Lately as the evenings are lighter I'm up a little later and I have been trying to do more and get outside in the evenings. I like to get a good few hours of sleep every night, I'm always aiming for 8 hours a night.

Beauty regime and products?
I'm a shower in the evening kind of girl, it feels so good getting into bed all fresh and clean after a long day. The evenings are when I spend a little extra time on my skincare routine. I start by cleansing my face, most evenings I use the Superfacialist cleansing oil and the Hydraluron serum to hydrate my dry skin. Some nights I put on a mask, I like the Aesop parsley seed mask when my skin is feeling oily and needs a good cleanse or the Origins drink up 10 minute mask, an all rounder to clear my skin and hydrate. And I always use the Nuxe lip balm.

What do you eat in the evenings?
Most evenings I make dinner at home, usually something quick and simple. Baked potatoes, pasta salads, veggies and sweet potato fries are my go-to things to make. I also like to make enough for lunch the next day, saves time and I'm less likely to waste food.

What position do you sleep in?
Ever since I was a baby I have always been more comfortable sleeping on my front and occasionally my side. I like two pillows but typically end up sleeping with one and I'm the little spoon.

How do you spend your last hour awake?
It's not the best for you but I often watch something like YouTube videos or a series I'm liking. Made in Chelsea is one of my favourites, I can't wait until the next season starts. Sometimes I also like to read a book, blogs or a magazine. I like to do something easy going until my eyes get tired and I turn everything off or put it away and fall asleep.


A break away in Portugal

Last week my sister and I went to Portugal for a few days, a well needed break for us both. Summer hasn't quite arrived in England yet so it felt so good to get some sun and warmth.

We had a relaxed few days by the beach and the pool. Unfortunately for both of us we got a little burnt on the first day but we didn't let that ruin our time away. Cocktails were on the menu every day, they taste so much better when you're in the sun or on warm evenings. Out there they are a lot stronger than at home, two cocktails got me a little bit tipsy one night.

One day we went on a boat trip along the Algarve coast, explored some caves and a private beach that you can only get to by boat. Then had a walk around Vilamoura marina. We treated ourselves to ice cream, crepes and pastel de natas during our break away, they were delicious.

Spending a whole day on the beach on a Monday beats any other Monday, I read my book, soaked up the sun and had another cocktail. The sea was not exactly my friend on the last day, it was very windy and the waves were strong and as I tried to edge myself in to meet my sister, a big wave came and completely knocked me to the ground. I literally went straight to horizontal in a second, not my finest moment.

I do miss waking up every morning and looking out of our balcony and seeing the pool, palm trees and the sea. I'm now even more excited for the rest of the trips I have planned for the rest of the year.

I'll see you again Portugal.


Travelling Light Packing Tips

In a few days I will be will be on holiday in Portugal, getting a break away from work and life in England. The older I get the more I realise how good it is for you to go away and travel as much as you can. If I could, I would go away all the time, I love going to new places and exploring. In the last few months I have been on a few trips around England and have become a lover of weekend trips away from home and it feels so good to be heading to a warmer country with sunshine every day.

I've learnt more every time about how to travel light, I know I need to be organised about what I will use and wear instead of bringing absolutely everything and how to maximise my space. I'm only taking hand luggage for a 5 night holiday so I used all of the packing skills I have to make sure I have everything I need, a few 'good to have' bits and all within the cabin baggage allowance.

Tips for travelling light 

The bag
It's simple really, if you can't have a heavy bag as some airlines have a weight limit, use a lightweight bag. My bag is not the most stylish but it's does not weigh much, it has wheels, doubles as a back pack, pockets, several handles and is a soft material so you can squeeze it into small places. It's very practical, is within the size restriction of most airlines and easy for me to carry. 

Roll don't fold
One of the most useful tips I've discovered is rolling my clothes, you can fit a lot more in your bag that way and I find that it keeps them from being creased. I also put my heavier items at the bottom like shoes and jeans. And the things I will need at the airport or first thing when I get to my destination at the top. 

Collect free samples 
I love travel minis, they are so cute and great because they're all under 100ml and can take them in my hand luggage. Whenever I find samples inside a magazine or after buying lots of beauty products in one go I collect them all and put them in a draw ready for when I go on holiday. I've done exactly that and I've picked the few samples I think I'll use or want to try. 

Make lists
I do it for everything. Making lists is my way of staying organised and a place to put everything I need to remember into one place. A few weeks ago I made a master list of everything I need and then when I start packing I know what I need and it's a matter of choosing which tops and shoes I want. Staying as organised as you can will save you rushing and forgetting anything essential. 

Be realistic & don't overpack
We've all done it, taken more than we need because of the fear of thinking you'll need this or that. In the end if you only have what you've got, you will make do and the world won't end. You don't need 6 bikinis for a 4 day holiday. If you're staying with family or your hotel has a laundry service you can get things cleaned. Split what you're bringing with the people you're travelling with, you don't all need to bring a tube of toothpaste each. Try to think about exactly what you will wear each day and if you can mix and match your clothes. Wearing the clothes that take up the most room like jackets while travelling will give you more space in your bag.

If you're going away this summer, I hope you've found these tips useful and I'd love to know yours. Travel safe and have fun this summer.