SLIDER

BLOGGING AS AN INCOME: THOUGHTS AND ADVICE

Wednesday, 13 December 2017


Blogging came about as a means to write about what you want for people who want to read it. Years ago when I read a lot of blogs, I was so interested in the lives of the people writing these posts. I wanted to know about them, how they did their makeup and what clothes they liked to wear. I also read blogs that posted short stories, recipes and more. Today, blogging has become a lot more about “getting paid”, SEO tactics and followers. In my opinion, it shouldn’t be this way. You shouldn’t have to monetize your blog if you don’t want to. Just stick to being you, write about what you love, and forget the rest. On the flip side, I don’t wholeheartedly agree with the idea that turning your blog into your job is a great idea if you’re not fully established. For bloggers like Helen Anderson, I can totally understand going full time, because I know that creating content takes time, and when you’ve made it big, blogging can pay well. Starting a blog one month and then demanding £200 a post the next sets a really bad example, and if your stats don’t live up to your price tag, you could be blacklisted by PRs and Blogger Outreachers like myself.

Personally, I monetize my blog, because it’s extra income and it’s nice to know that people would like to work with me. However, recently I’ve seen a large amount of bloggers talking about money, pay and PR’s not paying what they think is a good price for others. I’ve even seen bloggers judging others for accepting lower prices as it “negatively effects the blogger community” by doing so. This, on so many levels, is wrong. For one, don’t tell others what to charge, how to blog, or how to monetize their blog. Secondly, prices differ when it comes to gifting/sponsored content depending on your blog content, DA, PA, and a lot more. I’ve worked in Blogger Outreach for over a year now, and it’s getting harder to find great bloggers who want to work with clients, and it’s all because of their high expectations in terms of payment. I’ve been quoted £700 for a sponsored post just as much as I’ve been quoted £20 by similar blogs.

If you’re unsure about what to charge, ask what the brand think is relevant. A decent PR or Blogger Outreacher will be able to tell from your blog stats/ranking how much they would be willing to pay. After you’ve asked a few, take a mid point and quote that going forward. Don’t listen to others who like to shout about monetizing their blog, there is a big chance that they live off of their blog and want more money because of this. Just write about what you love, and if the chance comes to work with a brand, listen to what they have to offer. Don’t feel pressured to accept guest and sponsored posts because “everyone else does”, and definitely don’t listen to the advice of other bloggers who spit advice about low prices etc. You do you, the rest will follow. If you’re offered a gift in exchange for a review, consider the price of the product and take it from there. And, if in doubt, sit on it for a few days.

I’ve been blogging here for nearly 2 years, and hard work really does pay off. When I first started, I wasn’t happy. I thought I was writing what everyone else writes about to an audience that doesn’t particularly care. Tbh, I still feel this way sometimes. But it’s my content, and I write for me. At the end of the day, if someone else likes what I write, then I’m happy, because it shows that I’m good at what I do. Despite working at this for 2 years, I’d say that I’ve only had the chance to earn money from my site in the past 3 months. So if you’re feeling slightly disheveled with blogging, stick at it, brands will start to notice you eventually (if that’s what you want).

If you really want to get yourself out there for opportunities, my best advice is join relevant Facebook Groups, such as UK Blogger Opportunities, and follow the #bloggerswanted tag on Twitter when you can. For my BIJOU BIJOU campaign, I reached out to them after I saw a big blogger complaining about their lack of budget (even though the bracelet itself was worth a lot of money), and that paid off for me. I was chosen by the brand to style an item, and now the brand has been featured in London Fashion Week.

My point is that you can blog and not want to earn money from it, but if you do see an opportunity you would like to go for, then give it a go. Please don't feel pressured from what you see other bloggers doing or saying about prices etc, just focus on what you write and the rest should follow.

Xo

CHRISTMAS GIFT GUIDE 2017

Sunday, 10 December 2017


Okay, enough about travel. I totally have the bug but I’m finally getting into the Christmas spirit! I’ve even completed my Christmas shopping, which is totally unheard of for me. I still need to wrap, but I can finally breathe! Actually having some money to get decent presents with this year has been so nice.

Last year I tried to do blogmas and lost my shit, so this year I was kind of hoping to avoid the Christmas hype. But actually, I’m starting to get some ideas for Christmas posts, so I’m just going to embrace it! Here’s my Christmas Gift Guide for those still wondering what to get their loved ones this year…

GIFTS UNDER £20


Whether you’re looking for your sister, boyfriend, girlfriend or parent, here are some of my favourite gift ideas this year under £20.

MAKEUP BRUSHES





These Real Techniques Powder Blue brushes were gifted to me from Influenster, but goddamn they’ve changed my life. I never invest in makeup brushes, but I’ll definitely be purchasing brushes from Real Techniques from now on! These brushes are light, fluffy, super soft and worth every penny. The BO1 brush is perfect for buffing foundation into your face, and it’s even replaced my beauty blender as my go to foundation applicator. If I got these for Christmas I would be 100% CHUFFED.

LUXURY CANDLES





So when I think of luxury candles, I think Yankee, Molten Brown and Jo Malone. Yankee are my go to affordable candle, and I LOVE their Crhsitmas range and gifts this year, but I’ve recently found a brand that I really enjoy. Brinley Williams offer luxury candles that can be personalized and gift wrapped for you or a loved one. We all know I love baths, so when I ordered this candle I was actually really impressed. I ordered it in the scent “Chrismtas Spice” and it smells like cinnamon with hints of orange (I'm definitely lightng this baby when I have my Christmas Eve bath...). When buying candles with Brinley Williams, you can choose to have them sent in sleek boxes either with or without a lid – and at just under £20 it’s a bargain.

TOILETRIES


I’m talking Boots 3 for 2, Superdrug and Supermarkets. Despite what you might think, gift sets can be a great gift for a loved one, you just have to be cautious of what they like. Lynx gift sets are definitely a no go, but Ted Baker? YES. Try and figure out which brands they like and shop accordingly, any old gift set will be disappointing for anyone, so try and shop thoughtfully.

LUXURY GIFTS FOR HIM AND HER


If you're looking to go above and beyond this year, and you're struggling to find the best gift for your partner, take a look on sites such as Selfridges, you'll find designer items that they'll love no matter they're into. If you're looking for a girlfriend, you can't go wrong with a black Michael Kords Handbag, they go with everything! If you're looking for your boyfriend or husband, why not invest in a really nice watch? Personally, I love the look of this Emporio Armani Watch, it's so sleek and classy!

NOVELTY GIFTS


Novelty presents are my speciality. Imo, it looks like you've actually taken the time to look for something that will make a loved one laugh. I usually get my novelty gifts from sites like Firebox and Menkind - so definitely take a look! I love these Unicorn Slippers and this Eleven Bleeding Nose candle, creepy but cool. 

STOCKING FILLERS


My idea of stocking fillers comes from my Gran, and whilst they’re unconventional, they’re always needed! My fillers are always cotton buds, cotton wipes, face wipes and other small things like chocolate coins, selection boxes and sweets! Might sound mad, but I loved when my Gran would do this for me, so it’s only fair I carry on her tradition.

HEARTFELT GIFTS


It’s always nice to spend a bit more on the loved ones in your life, but if you can’t, there are other ways to give them amazing gifts this Christmas. My friend makes her own cards every year for Christmas, and her cards always make me smile, because the thought she put into them was so lovely. If you can’t afford much this year, why not make your own Christmas cards? Or even pull a Grinch and make a bejeweled fairy out of utensils… Okay maybe not. But still, there are ways you can embrace Christmas without spending too much, please don’t dwell on it – your loved ones will still love you! Sometimes even just showing up for Christmas day can mean a lot.

Xo

TRAVEL: LUXURY HOLIDAYS IN EASTERN AUSTRALIA


Following on from my Australia blog series, here are some luxury holidays you can take in Eastern Australia. (I promise there are some Christmas posts coming!)

 Australia is the land of wilderness and sophisticated cities. Surrounded by the Indian and Pacific Oceans, it has long been a destination for many adventurous travellers around the world. The largest country in Oceania, the tropical weather it has in certain areas is one of the reasons millions of tourists and avid explorers visit the country every year.

Whether you are looking for a city break, a beach holiday or a hiking trip, Australia has it all. Avoid tourists by going in the months from June to August, when temperatures are mild and skies sunny. If you are looking for hotter days, travel there from December to February and enjoy the outdoor life the country has to offer.

THE GOLD COAST


The Gold Coast in Queensland is the sixth largest city in the country and the second largest in the state. It has become a leading tourist destination since the mid 90s and and its subtropical climate and beautiful beaches attract thousands of surfers every year. It’s known in the country as Australia’s Hollywood and the nightlife is exquisite. With elite holiday homes for rent provided for your gold coast holidays, you are sure to have the time of your life in this beautiful region.

SYDNEY


Sydney is the capital of New South Wales and one of the country’s largest cities. Sydney is renowned for its Opera House and its beautiful harbour bridge. With excellent waves, Bondi Beach will most likely leave you breathless and might make you want to give surfing a try. It’s a good beach for beginners. Experience the city’s Asian food offering and explore its relaxing and free outdoor markets.

BLUE MOUNTAINS


This rugged terrain west of Sydney hosts rainforests and tall mountain peaks. This World Heritage region is worth a visit due to its wild nature and hundreds of species that inhabit the area. A popular destination for climbers and hikers, mountain bikers also flock to the region to admire the stunning views all around. Visit the Katoomba Scenic Railway for spectacular sightseeing atop the steepest funicular railway in the world.

WHITSUNDAY ISLANDS


Seventy four islands, mostly inhabited, comprise the Whitsunday Island region. Rainforest and white sand beaches are commonplace in the islands that are situated off Australia’s eastern coast. With the Great Barrier Reef metres away, the spectacular landscape will awe you and the region’s beautiful sunset will take your breath away. Visit the Clipper Race Carnival and enjoy yacht-watching and seafood tasting.

DAINTREE FOREST


In the north east coast of Queensland, you will find the Unesco World Heritage-listed Daintree Rainforest, the largest continuous tropical rainforest in Australia. The Kuku Yalanji people live there, next to its now protected national park, and the relaxed villages that sit in this vast rainforest are gems to be marveled at. Visit the Daintree Discovery Centre for a stroll along the attraction’s aerial walkway. Do also travel to Myall Beach for some quality quiet time along the beautiful coast.

Xo

TRAVEL: HAVE COURAGE, AND FORGET THE REST

Thursday, 7 December 2017


Just about everyone craves the excitement and wonder that comes from being able to travel as much as possible. Getting out of your little bubble and being able to see the world is something that can change people's entire perspectives on life. And yet, for so many people, they never actually do it. This can be down to so many things, but for a lot of people, it can fall down to anxiety. With the world as it is, it can be a struggle to imagine getting yourself out there. For some, it’s the anxiety of flying, for others, it’s the thought of being in a crowded space. For many, it’s about their perception of travelling, so here’s a post all about the reality of travelling, and how you can travel despite your thoughts otherwise.

THE MONEY ISSUE


We've all heard it and, to be fair, it's a pretty reasonable thing to say. Money just gets in the way of our travels. We’ve all spent time with those people who go travelling constantly without a care about money. That’s honestly great for them, slightly annoying for us...but great for them. The thing to remember is that there are plenty of ways to travel on an incredibly tight budget. Everything from choosing the simplest possible accommodation to travelling to less popular destinations can help you save a lot of money. Do your research and don’t be afraid to try new places, you might just love it!

NO ONE TO GO WITH


Sure, travelling in a group can be loads of fun, but it's far from a prerequisite to being able to travel at all. In fact, travelling on your own can be one of the most incredible things in the world…Or so I’ve heard. I’ve travelled alone in the UK, and I’ve spent days to myself, and ideally, I would love to travel somewhere abroad alone. Hopefully, someday I will!


I’LL TRAVEL WHEN…


Excuses. And I hate to say it, but I’m guilty of it too. I used to put off travelling through fear of my weight. I kept imagining people looking at my body and making fun. It’s only when you get to the beach that you realise that no one actually cares. Everyone is focusing on themselves, and frankly, if they’re looking at your body on the beach then they’re just creepy AF.

If you're suffering from any kind of ill health, then the idea of travelling can often be kind of daunting too. And that's totally reasonable. What's not reasonable is letting it stand in the way of you travelling at all. All you need to do is to make sure that you have the right provisions and things put in place to account for your health while you're travelling. Taking out travel insurance with medical conditions can often be a little bit more expensive, but it's always a good idea so that you're not left in the lurch if something happens. You should also do as much research as possible so that you always know where you can get the best possible medical treatment no matter where you are.

Xo

GAP YEAR DREAMS: WHY I WOULD HAVE CHOSEN AUSTRALIA

Friday, 1 December 2017


So after college, I really wanted to take a gap year. I just wanted to travel throughout Europe and see some amazing places. However, I ended up going to University and loving every minute – so my gap year dreams kind of fizzled out.

When I was writing my piece about Perth, I was thinking about what I would have done if I could go back and take my gap year. I think I would have loved to venture out to Australia. At that age, I wouldn’t have gone anyway, but if I could do it all again knowing what I do now and overcoming my anxieties, I like to think I would have gone.

When you’re at uni and approaching the summer holidays, you’ll find a lot of students and friends are booking their vacation. Some won’t even be coming back after the summer term is over, and with lots of different locations to choose from, do you blame them?

Don’t worry if you can’t afford to travel, you will one day, and that’s cool too! If you’re thinking about visiting Australia, here are some reasons why you should take that leap:

SO CUTE


Yes, Australia is filled to the brim with lots of cuddly animals that you won’t find anywhere else in the world. And, if you are heading out for a gap year, why wouldn’t you want to go somewhere that you can take selfies with cute, cuddly kangaroos. Or, perhaps you’ve noticed #QuokkaSelfie on your Twitter. This is my all time fave example:
This inquisitive little fellow is just one of the many adorable creatures that people can discover in Australia. And, if you’re not really the cuddly type, there’s also the wedge-tailed eagle, and, of course, plenty of alligators.

THE OUTBACK


If you want to get lost from one world and find yourself in another - pretty sure that’s a tagline from a film actually - then you should certainly think about visiting Australia. Here, there are miles stretches where you won’t meet anyone. You’ll be truly alone, and while this can be quite daunting for some people, for others, it’s exactly what they’re looking for. Escape from the stresses of urban life. Although, if you are planning on heading into the outback it’s recommended you look into Australian 4WD hire to make sure that you can handle those long stretches of road that haven’t yet been tarmacked!

THE PEOPLE


G’day. It’s a phrase that’s as stereotypical and cliche as it is warm and welcoming. Yes, Australia welcomes travellers, backpackers and tourists with open arms. Head to any bar near the coast, and you’ll see plenty of friendly smiling faces, happy to have a chat, share some stories and maybe embark on an adventure with new friends.

These are just some of the reasons why Australia is a place that people can’t resist visiting when they plan their gap year. Or even just book an extended holiday.

Xo

WHAT HAPPENED TO BODY POSITIVITY?

Thursday, 30 November 2017


“The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was snatching body positivity out of the hands of fat women and then convincing them it was never theirs in the first place.” – Bethany Rutter

I just wanted to tackle something here, because it’s actually been bothering me a lot. I’ve talked about the downfall of the body positivity movement in some past blog posts like this one, but I’m well and truly in the mindset that it has been warped into something that I don’t recognize anymore.

In hindsight, I was actually calling out fat positive bloggers who bullied people for wanting to lose weight in my last post on the matter, when I should really have focused on what the mainstream was doing to the movement itself. My point still stands though, I do whole heartedly believe that you can love your body and still want to lose weight, but right now that’s beside the point.

I want to talk about fat acceptance, body positivity, and the cis, white, able bodied mainstream commodifying and classing the body positive movement as its own. Much like the term “girl power”, the body positive movement has been bought, styled for the white thin mainstream, and used to sell notebooks, pins, badges, shirts and now diet books. I’m not saying that being white and thin is a bad thing at all in saying that, I just mean that when you’re part of a subculture that celebrates something close to you, it’s a real shame when that subculture becomes warped into something for material gain from the masses.

I really wish Louise Thompson looked into the Body Positive movement before plastering her book with the term. It also angers me is that the book will have had to have gone through multiple people before even being considered for publication. Have these people really never understood body positivity? Not even a little bit? You have bloggers like bodyposipanda, Stephanie Yeboah and models like Tess Holliday all talking about the meaning of fat acceptance and body positivity, so how can it be SO actively ignored and pushed to one side?

I guess it was easy, fat women have been ignored for years. We’re less likely to get a pay rise, more likely to be paid less than thinner women in the office (I’m most definitely paid less than other women in my office) and even less likely to be offered a promotion or a job in the first place.

Body positivity was an escape for me. Although I want to lose weight, the movement was helping me come to terms with my identity as a fat gal, and seeing women with bodies like mine made me feel less isolated, and part of something I never thought I could be. It’s been such a good space to read up on the struggles of others who have embraced themselves – because for me I never got that growing up. So many films centered themselves (and still do) around beautiful thin white women - and I couldn’t relate. It wasn’t until I saw Crystal Renn on the catwalk that I actually believed in fat women getting anywhere in this world.

To now see people like Stephanie called derogatory names on Twitter for standing up for the movement only solidifies my thoughts that the movement has been ripped away from us. A space that meant so much to so many feels tainted, and to an extent it feels as though it has been turned on its head and is being use an insult to those who began the movement in the first place.

I’m really unsure about what will happen now, but since I feel uneasy about body positivity, I’ll 100% be concerning myself with fat acceptance from now on. I won’t stand for “all bodies matter” bullshit I’m seeing on Twitter, and I will 100% not be a part of it.

Fat bodies are real bodies.

Xo

2018 NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS: TATTOO REMOVAL

Wednesday, 29 November 2017


So I’ve been having a look at my New Year goals, and one thing that I’d really love to tick off my list is my tattoos. I have a range of tattoos at the moment. Some, I really, really love. But there are two tattoos I have on my body that I’m not entirely hot about anymore. They do still mean a lot to me, but they’re badly done – and I really want to get them covered or even removed. Now, in the past, the laser tattoo removal cost really shot down any dreams of this for me. But having a job that pays well, I can’t really avoid it anymore. Plus, with deals dotted around on Groupon, I’m really tempted to book something!

We’ve all heard the nightmare stories that the removal is even worse than getting the tattoo; that you’ll cry, bleed and more. But actually, reading up on it, the process doesn’t seem that painful! If it really does just feel like hot oil splashing from a pan, I might be able to handle it….

In any case, seeing some before and after photos of those who have gone through the process has really got me thinking about going for it. My first tattoo, which I got when I was 17, is on my ribs. They’re Jimi Hendrix Lyrics from one of my favourite songs, Castles Made of Sand. They meant a lot to me at the time, and they still do – but the tattoo isn’t that great (or well done). If anything, I might even get it removed just to have it replaced with the same tattoo, but better…

My second tattoo is really dark, deep in the skin and the lines aren’t great. It’s a Buffy the Vampire Slayer inspired tattoo (don’t laugh), which thankfully isn’t that big. I’m just really over it at this point, and I’d love to get it removed just to leave the area blank. It’s on my arm and it puts me off wearing sleeveless shirts sometimes. The other tattoos on my arm I absolutely love! So I think getting rid of this one would be better all round.

Once I have those two out of the way, I think I’ll focus on finishing my sleeve. I have a few dotted on my left arm. So ideally I’ll be looking to add to these and finish it off completely. I think once I’ve done that I’ll be done with tattoos! But who knows…

Do you have any tattoos? Any you’d like to get rid of? If you’ve gone through the process yourself I’d love to know more!

Xo

TRAVEL: WHERE TO NEXT?


Have you caught the travel bug? We all do from time to time, well, all the time if you’re me. As soon as you step off that plane in the rainy UK, you instantly start regretting your choice to book a return flight home. If some of you are lucky enough to travel for a job, or travelling IS your job, then my gawd do I wanna be you.

For the less fortunate of us, we’re left here saving our asses off waiting for that next holiday to come around. But with so many great destinations around the world to visit, it can be hard to know which one to cross off your list next. So if you’re struggling, I’ve compiled some short and long distance destinations that’ll get your bank account twitching:

LONG DISTANCE


Despite the impending doom Bali is facing, the country is such an amazing place to visit. I mean, maybe wait until the volcano has calmed tf down, but if you’re looking to visit Bali, it’s just full of natural wonders and things to explore. There’s the monkey forest sanctuary which is a firm favourite with tourists, as well as the spectacular views that can be seen from Tanah Lot., an area of real beauty that holds the islands temple.

Solo holiday packages to Bali are available if you’re looking to tackle it on your own. There are plenty of things to do if you are going solo, and some really good hostels to make friends in. Bali is such a popular place for backpackers, you’ll never really feel alone.

Another fabulous long distance destination is obviously Australia, and now is pretty much the perfect time to go. As our winter is coming closer, their summer is. At the moment, temperatures are at around 33 degrees, and will only carry on to rise until the high 30’s. Plus, Australia is such a magical country to visit. There’s so many different cities boasting so many things to do. If you’re going, you have got to travel to Sydney and go to Bondi Beach (100% on my bucket list…when I have a better looking body lmao).

SHORT DISTANCE


When you just can’t be bothered for that long plane journey, short distance holidays become your best friend. First on the list is Amsterdam. The city has something for everyone, it truly is a wonderful place (having been twice I can’t recommend it enough). You’ll instantly feel relaxed into the way of life there. Everyone seems super friendly. You’ll notice pretty much everyone is biking around. There’s so much to see and do there in terms of museums, pubs, coffee shops, and just general sightseeing whilst walking down the canals.

Rome is truly incredible as well. If you haven’t already been, you definitely need to put it on your list. The city is so rich with interesting history, and providing you get a central hotel you can pretty much walk everywhere. If you love good Italian food, Rome is obviously the place to be. There’s plenty of bars of a nighttime as well, and the hotels are really cute. Be sure to walk all the way to the Vatican city, and even do a tour if it interests you. They’re long, but getting to walk around the inside is pretty cool.

Xo

STRESS: HOW TO IDENTIFY AND COPE WITH TRIGGERS


We all lead busy lives in different shapes and forms. From work, school, family, and social commitments, we all have many things that we need to be doing. When we do too much and can’t keep up with it all, it can lead to us feeling stressed, which is never a fun thing to be.

As well as the manic feeling that you can get, being stressed can lead to other physical symptoms such as muscular pain, as well as things like insomnia, depression, and lack of energy. In our daily lives it can lead to lack of productivity, which could massively impact on our personal and professional lives.

So with the festive season fast approaching, I thought I’d write a guide to indentifying stress triggers, along with how to tackle them before it affects us enough to ruin Christmas!

IDENTIFYING TRIGGERS


First things first; if you want to be able to manage your stress levels and how you react to certain situations, then you need to be able to recognise the triggers that cause the reactions in you. So think about the things that cause you stress in your life. Certain tasks at work? Certain people? Certain expectations, requirements, or simply a lack of planning? When you can identify what your top triggers are, you can deal with them head on.

If you can eliminate those things, then great. Though in many cases that will be easier said than done. But when you know what to look out for, you know that you can change how you deal with it and change your reactions. This is actually the fundamental aspect of CBT therapy. You recognize your triggers and change your thinking regarding them.


LIVE A HEALTHY LIFE


If you want to reduce stress in your life, then many studies have shown that living a healthy lifestyle can be the best way to do just that. First of all, things like going for a walk, running at the gym, a yoga class, or a boxing session are all ways to physically relieve stress. They can relieve tension, anger, aggression, and help you to feel happier. Exercise can be a great coping mechanism. It can also help you to be healthy and well. If you get sick, then it can lead to stress and there isn’t much that you can control. Sickness can put your plans out of order and then make you feel more stressed and overwhelmed with all that you have to catch up on. So staying well really is a good way to go if you want to reduce how stressed you feel.

ORGANISE YOUR SOCIAL CALENDER


There will always be things that you need to do and certain commitments will never end. You are likely to have a full schedule with all that you have going on between work and home life. But do you know what? You can edit out some of those commitments. It is OK to say no to some things if they clash or if they are simply going to make life too stressful for you. We all have the same twenty-four hours in our day. What you need to think about is how you are filling yours and if it is giving you enough to get what you need to do done, as well as having time out to rest and relax.


TAKE TIME OUT


As I said above, taking time out is something that is so important for us all. Time to just be ourselves and be with ourselves can be one of the best things that we can do. Time out can allow us to rest, sort things out in our head, as well as make plans and get organised. If things are becoming too much at work, along with your home life, then it may be worth seeing if your workplace has any employee assistance programs, or EAP services, that you could look into. Things like counseling or seeing a specialist in a variety of areas could be something that will help you to be more productive again and feel better at work and at home.

ACCEPT THE THINGS YOU CAN’T CHANGE


One of the things that can lead to our stress, or at least add to it, is when the people in our lives or things in our lives really wind us up. They are things that we can’t ever really have control over. There are sometimes nothing worse than a loud colleague or friend. But at the end of the day, they are just people or situations that you don’t have control over. So why stress yourself out over something that you can’t really do anything about? Learning to accept people and things as they are can be a revelation and help you to reduce your stress levels in a massive way. My Nan used to quote the Serenity Prayer, and it has always stuck with me: God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.

DO THINGS ONE AT A TIME


Doing more than one thing at a time, or multitasking, is what all the best people do, right? Wrong! I mean, on paper it can seem like one of the best things out there to do. But really, it can just make us even more stressed as we still have lots of things to be doing. When you multitask, just one thing can go wrong in order to ruin your plans. It can be stressful and make you less productive if this happens. So focus on one thing at a time and check those things off your to do list. The satisfaction of doing that can much needed, and help with those pesky stress levels.

APPS TO HELP


Although apps such as Headspace can really help with anxiety and stress, why not try Thrive? It’s a wellbeing app that actively helps you manage, cope and address stress in a way that I haven’t actually come across in an app before.

It works by tracking your moods, offering CBT based therapy for stress (which is designed around you) and by offering relaxation techniques such as breathing exercises, goal setting activities and wellbeing guides. It’s all in a handy little app as well (and I love the idea of having your own little island to escape to)

I’m so glad I was given the opportunity to trial this app, as it’s actually helped me with money and Christmas stress (all of my Christmas shopping is done!) and helped me set goals for the new year. I can’t recommend this app enough!


Xo

TRAVEL: HONG KONG GUIDE

Dim Sum - Hong Kong Cuisine, I'd love to try the local Dim Sum in Hong Kong itself!

As my Perth guide has done pretty well, I thought I’d do another! This time, it’s all about Hong Kong baby. It’s one place I’ve always wanted to visit, and I’m not gonna lie, I saw it on Housewives of Beverley Hills and it’s only spurred me on…

This guide is all about getting to Hong Kong, how to experience the sites and more!

GET YOUR VACCINATIONS


When you travel to a different country, there’s every chance you could get ill. This could be down to a number of things, the climate, the food, the water and the bugs. So, the best solution is to vaccinate yourself against any potential diseases that may pose a threat. There’s a lot of great information here: https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/ that explains which vaccines you should get before you go to Hong Kong. You won’t need a visa when you travel there, but you will need vaccinations!


DON'T TRAVEL WITHOUT INSURANCE 


Seeing as Hong Kong is a foreign country, and probably far away from your home, it’s unwise to go there without any insurance. The journey will likely be very long, meaning there’s every chance your luggage could get lost. Likewise, as mentioned earlier, exposure to a foreign country and foreign foods/germs could make you ill if you have a weak immune system. As outlined here:  https://www.gobear.com/ph/travel-insurance, insurance will cover you in any cases of lost luggage or illness.

STAY AROUND CENTRAL HONG KONG


Hong Kong is formed of many tiny little islands, with the main one being Hong Kong island. I suggest you stay here, and stay in the central area too. This is because there are loads of accommodation options, all in great locations close to public transport, shops, and tourist spots. Of course, as I mentioned in this post, you might want to stay in an Airbnb if you’re travelling on a budget.

BUY AN OCTOPUS CARD


What is it with prepaid cards being named after sea life? London has the Oyster card, and Hong Kong as the Octopus card. This is slightly different to the oyster card in that you can load it with money and use it to pay for multiple things, not just public transport tickets. However, it does make navigating the MTR (Hong Kong's public transport system) a heck of a lot easier. I highly recommend you get one, as you’ll find it easy to go all over Hong Kong and see all the amazing sights. Don’t worry about travelling alone on public transport, as Hong Kong is apparently the safest tourist destination in the world right now (which is ideal for my anxiety – another reason to make this my next holiday destination!)

Have you ever been to Hong Kong before? What did you think?


Xo
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