SLIDER

THE BEST DESTINATIONS FOR WATER LOVERS

Tuesday, 20 February 2018


Whether it's by the pool or the sea, some people just can't get enough of the water on holiday!

FOR SEA LOVERS


The beach of Tikehau Island is perfect for those that love to see a sea that's crystal clear and lined with pink sands. Or, for those of you that prefer your beaches a bit less relaxing and a bit more adventurous, then why not head to any one of the great surfing spots found here, including the infamous ‘surfer’s paradise’ that is the Superbank on the Gold Coast of Australia.

FOR RIVER CRUISERS


In recent times, the world’s rivers have gotten quite the name for themselves in regards to being travelling hotspots. They have done so because of the scenic river cruises that, well, cruise down them and offer people the chance to take in everything they see surrounding the river without disruption.

There are host of destinations that make essential viewing and experiencing for river lovers. These destinations include: the cities that make up the Mekong, (including Ho Chi Minh City and Tan Chau),Yanon and Mandalay, Amsterdam, Arnhem and Antwerp.

FOR THE WATERPARK GOERS


One of the best waterparks in the world is Siam Park. Regularly rated as being the very best, this water park, that can be found on the island of Tenerife, is infused with a host of different pieces of Thai architecture and plays host to a number of water rides that, quite simply, defy logic when you look at them.

Xo

BIRTHSTONES AND THEIR MEANINGS

Monday, 19 February 2018


Ever since I was little I was fascinated by birth stones and their meanings. I like having something that’s dedicated to my birthday, whether it be a star sign or colour or stone. Here is a list of birthstones and their meanings, for anyone else who’s interested!

JANUARY – GARNET


Garnet is commonly red in colour, however, it can come in a range of other hues such as greens and yellows. This little gem resembles a seed in shape, and symbolizes truth and faith in a handful of cultures. In crystal healing, it’s used to purify and cleanse a space or aura, and can help you gain mental focus when used in meditation. It’s also thought that Garnet can encourage mental growth and wealth.

FEBRUARY – AMETHYST



My birthday month! I love Amethyst in colour, texture and meaning. It’s one of the more uniquie gems throughout the birthstones, and looks beautiful in jewellery, homeware and more. Recently, I was gifted this gemstone candle from Gemporia as a birthday present. It smells like nothing I’ve ever smelt before, and has actual gemstones in the wax, which float when you burn the candle. This is lovely to burn during yoga practice or meditation, especially if you’re a Piscean like myself.


MARCH – AQUAMARINE


A beautiful pale blue in colour, Aquamarine is said to hold spiritual properties (and was once thought to be the treasure of mermaids). The stone is also connected to both the moon and the sea, making it the perfect birthstone for a dreamy Pisces. If this is your birthstone, it’s a really good idea to wear jewellery with this stone present. It’s said to improve clarity, relationships and peace within yourself.

APRIL – DIAMOND


Diamond has long been associated with love, and this is because of its longevity. The diamond is strong, and is often used as a crown chakra as well as in thoughtful meditation.

In meditation, it’s thought that Diamonds can assist in clearing mental fog when it comes to matters of the heart, and provide help with finding the right person in your life. If you’re thinking of using Diamond during meditation, keep it close to your body (this can include within jewellery) and light white candles in the room. Using a floral smudge stick may also aid in unblocking thoughts and processes in the mind.

MAY – EMERALD


Emerald comes in bright green tones, making it common in jewellery. But this stone is anything but common. When it comes to chakras, it represents mercy, compassion and universal love. This usually places the Emerald as a heart stone, and can be placed on your chest during meditation to cultivate your compassion and love for others.

If you’re looking for some insight into yourself, this is a great gemstone to meditate with, as it is said to ease blockages and promote ease within yourself.

JUNE – PEARL


Pearls are found in mollusks, and are formed from layers of sand or small parasites. It may sound off putting, but pearls are considered great treasures, which is why they’re found in jewellery. Pearls come in all colours, and their shade is dependent on their environment.

When it comes to meaning, it’s thought Pearls signify wisdom and strength, which is why they’re great to wear on you during your day to day life.

JULY – RUBY


Rubies are considered highly precious, and are one of the most sought after stones in the world. Their associated with life and death as well as passion, which is why they’re perfect to have in meditation if you’re looking for motivation or a way out of mental fog. I find that Rubies help when taking part in mindful meditation. Simply place a Ruby near you, light Lotus incense and settle your mind.

AUGUST  - PERIDOT


In Egyptian tradition, Peridot was called the gem of the sun. One of the only gems to be defined by its distinct colour, Peridot is bright green and is striking to the eye. It’s said that Peridot helps to aid optimism and positive attitude, as well as mental strength.


SEPTEMBER – SAPPHIRE


Sapphire can come in a range of colours, however it is most noted in history for being a deep hue of blue. Used in protection spells, Sapphire is said to protect the wearer from spiritual attacks and help with confidence.

OCTOBER – OPAL


Opal is a delicate stone, and can be characterized by its dreamy looking exterior. Opal stones can be found in a range of colours, however its most associated colour is white/translucent. This stone, when used in spellcasting or meditation, is said to help with creativity and self confidence. However, it has been said that Opal stones will take your negative thoughts, magnify them, and send them back your way. This isn’t malicious, but it’s intended to teach you not to dwell on bad thoughts – and that the good thoughts you put into the universe will find their way back to you down the line.


NOVEMBER – TOPAZ


Topaz is mostly colourless, however you can find Topaz stones in a range of colours, with Imperial Topaz (orange in colour) being the most sought after Topaz stone today. It has long been thought that Topaz soothes and heals when used in spell casting, and that it can promote clarity in the mind. It’s also common practice to have Topaz present when self reflecting on your self confidence.  

DECEMBER – TURQUOISE


Ancient cultures considered this stone highly valuable and sacred. This was due to its protection properties. In rituals, it’s used to purify the spirit and dispel negative energies that surround the spell caster. It’s also thought that this stone balances negative energies in your chakra.

Xo


HOW TO SUCCEED WHEN OTHERS WANT YOU TO FAIL

Thursday, 15 February 2018


Sometimes, it feels like the whole world is against you. Whether you want to lose weight, stop eating meat, cut down on your spends, or you just want to make a simple change in your life. It can feel as though everyone is pulling against you. Friends want you to come out and drink, family want you to eat dinner with them (and eat exactly what they’re eating)…

For me, it’s a mixture of things. I’m trying to cut some things from my diet. I know it’s going to be hard, and it will take a long time, but I’m committed to doing it. I want to cut out red meat, and I want to cut out alcohol. Both for different reasons.

I want to cut red meat from my diet because I’ve researched the meat industry and I know the truth of it. Eventually, I want to become vegan, but with wanting to lose weight as well I just want to cut things out slowly in order to follow Slimming World with little as hassle as possible.

When it comes to alcohol, it’s a love-hate relationship. Heck yes I love drinking Goldschlager straight, and I could do so until I vom, but I need to start putting myself first. When I drink, I eat. I’ll order shit food and blame it on the booze. I also smoke like a chimney. Up until last weekend, I was smoke-free this year. However, 2 drinks changed that. I just become pliable when I’m drunk and it makes me feel really uneasy. Once I pass the threshold and I can’t implement my self-control, it lasts for weeks. I’ll wake up the next day hungover, wanting greasy food. I’ll then think “well it’s the weekend I’ll get back on it on Monday.” It’s not the mentality I want, and I really want to change this. When I don’t drink, I’m focused, I plan my meals, and my relationship with food is calm.

When I told my friends and family I was doing this, I got “why would you want to stop eating bacon?” and “but you’re coming out this weekend right?”. I just don’t appreciate shit like this, and neither should you. At heart, of course, they will want what’s best for you. But comments like these insinuate failure. They want you to fail, on some level, so that you can keep them satiated. See, when you fail, others win. That's how I see it, anyway.

The important thing to remember is that you’re strong. If you’re strong enough to start, you’re strong enough to finish. I decided to sit my family and friends down and explained why I needed guidance and help. I live at home, so it’s hard to eat differently sometimes, but when I asked for some encouragement from my parents they gave it to me. Sometimes this slips, but it’s a learning process for me and them.

If you find that people are egging you on for failure, please try and stay strong. Sit them down, explain why you’re doing what you’re doing, and urge them to understand and encourage you.


“What if they reject me?”


Toxicity at its finest. You do you and forget the rest. If someone in your life can’t support you in the way you need them to, they’re not worthy of your time.

SOMETIMES, THE PERSON WHO WANTS YOU TO FAIL IS YOURSELF



This is a big thing for me. A lot of the time, it’s me standing in the way of my goals. I believe it’s the duality of the Pisces in me. One fish swimming one way, the other fish swimming in the opposite direction. But I digress, this is the hardest thing to overcome, and one thing I’ll probably face for the rest of my life.

I’ll sometimes find myself sabotaging my diet for no real reason, or stopping myself working out despite my plan to do so.

If you face something similar, it’s important to understand that sometimes you have to give in. Let yourself fall and let yourself get back up. We’re not perfect at the end of the day, we’ll always have our off days, but our darkness is a part of us and if we don’t embrace it from time to time, it’ll only end up worse for ourselves.

Xo

PLANNING THE ULTIMATE AMERICAN GIRLS ROAD TRIP

Wednesday, 14 February 2018


It’s part of every girl’s bucket list. It’s clichéd, overdone and stereotypical, but that doesn’t stop us wanting a piece of the action. I’d love to go on a girls road trip throughout the states, so I thought I’d write up my dream American roadtrips!

COLUMBIA RIVER SCENIC HIGHWAY


What makes this so special is its heritage. This century-old highway was built with one thing in mind: mind-blowing scenery, and in that sense it delivers big time.

Every stretch of road you hit could belong in a Hollywood movie, the view in the rearview mirror made up of dust and magic. Open plains, mountain views, waterfalls and Timberline Lodge, a classic mountain park hotel that fits so well with the trip.

THE TURQUOISE TRAIL


This is for those that are looking for something different, something that can be done in a day but lasts a lifetime. On paper, it’s nothing more than fifty miles of highway from point A to point B. But in reality, waking up at the Albuquerque Marriott, stepping into your classic car and heading to Santa Fe on the Turquoise Trail will see you fly through 15,000 square miles of natural beauty, unique attractions and quirky little towns…

ROUTE 66


Trucking from Illinois to California is the Godmother of road trips. It’s the classic. It’s the one road trip that is wired into every free-spirit’s psyche; the road trip that every girl who’s ever read a Kerouac book or watched Thelma and Louise will always imagine.

The scenery is inspiring. Of course, your foot will be desperate to get to the Southwest, but don’t neglect the first part of the journey. There are some amazing stops to be had in Illinois too.

OVERSEAS HIGHWAY


It’s only 120-miles between Miami and Key West, but there is something magical about roaring across this stretch of tarmac. It’s almost as if you’re hovering over the ocean, each bridge and causeway tampering with how you perceive reality. Sure, you could eat this piece of road up in a few hours. But don’t. Enjoy the stops along the way.

Anywhere you would love to travel to across America?

Xo

WHY I’M DROPPING THE LABELS & THE FUTURE OF MY BLOG


If you follow me on Twitter, you might have seen my pinned tweet about dropping the labels. I’m done with them. No more feminist. No more straight. No more cis. I unsubscribe. And here’s why…

I’m tired of being called something I’m not, compared to people I don’t know, and treated differently for my views on certain subjects. I’m done with the prejudice that comes with being a feminist, and I’m done with being told I have to be a certain way.

I cut dairy and red meat from my diet, but I’m still considered scum because I’ll add it into my diet on occasion. I’m body positive, but I can’t be if I want to lose weight. I support women, but I’m a white feminist (even though I believe in intersectionality). I’m done with being perceived in certain ways, so I’m done with the labels.

I don’t want you to call me anything other than my name, and if you call me anything else, I won’t respond. I’m not straight, and I’m not gay, and I’m not bi. I’m a person called Gina, and I’d like to be known as a person who loves food, taking photos, reading books, someone learning to understand her body and its needs, learning her own place in this fucked up world, and so much more. I’m complex, as we all are, and I won’t be constrained by labels any more.

What that means for my blog, I don’t know. I began this blog as a means to talk about feminism. I wanted to express my own views and have a place where I was allowed to be angry at the world. I wanted to explore feminist theory, review feminist films/novels and more. Instead, it’s evolved into a story about my life and my loves.

There’s nothing wrong with that I guess, I like talking about myself. I’m sometimes vain and that’s okay. But right now, the future of this blog seems really uncertain to me. A part of me wants to escape. Live my own life away from social media and take beautiful photographs along the way. But another part of me feels this weird pull to having my life online. I think it’s natural in a way, we see bloggers and influencers praised and gifted items just for being popular, and deep down everyone wants to be popular. But do I? I really don’t know at this point.

I would really like to focus on myself for a bit, figure out who I am away from everything and explore my opinions a little more. It’s a weird feeling to drop the labels, but in a way it’s quite freeing. If I think a certain way, I don’t have to compare it to feminism, I can just have that view point and think it through & actually embrace it. I 100% believe that this is the best move for me at the moment. I won’t judge others for labeling themselves, I think it’s a good way to meet similar minded people, especially online, but yeah, I’m out.

Xo

GALENTINES GIFT GUIDE

Monday, 5 February 2018

Socks: £3.50 ASOS
Sometimes, you just wanna spend Valentines day with your best mate, in bed, watching Bring It On or Mean Girls. In uni me and my best mate Bryony would literally spend all our time together haha, we were practically in a relationship. So this gift guide is for all those bezzies out there who would love to treat their gal mates this Valentines day! 

PAMPER SESH



If you're spending Valentines day in duvet day mode this year, why not treat your gal mate to a little pamper sesh. The Cream mask smells amazing, and the moisture bomb mask if perfect for my fellow eczema babes. 


The Garnier Rose Water range is also fab if you have problem skin! I start my routine by taking my make-up off with the cleansing milk. After exfoliating and cleansing, I'll finish my routine by toning and moisturising. Pro-tip: pop these babies in the fridge before use, feels amazing after a long day. 

COSMETIC TREATS


Why not treat your mate to some cocktails and a night out? Here are some perfect gift ideas for gals who wanna bevvie!

Eyelashes and a bold nail - a must for a night on the vodka...
This Sleek Mini-Palette is perfect to pop in a clutch or small bag
A bold red lip is perf. Why not try the Collection Exclusive with L'Oreal? I got mine from Wow Free Stuff


NOVELTY CARDS


Left: £3 from ASOS 
One thing I love about Valentine's Day is the novelty cards! None of this cheesey stuff you see, I mean proper funny cards that make people laugh. The card on the right above is from You Said It and you can get 15% off Valentines Day cards with the code "bloggerv18"!

This is a collaborative post.

Xo





WHAT I READ: JANUARY 2018

Thursday, 1 February 2018

One of my new years resolutions was to read more, so here's what I read in January! Bit of a mix, but loved every single one...

ROXANE GAY - HUNGER 



I think I read this at the right time in my life. I really struggle with my body and to read that one of my favourite authors has some of the same issues as me gave me a boost. Don't get me wrong, this isn't a happy memoir, it's far from it, but it was nice to read about some of the struggles I face in someone else. The book chronicles Roxane's relationship with her body after trauma, her relationship with her family as they struggle with her appearance, and about her relationships/sexuality. 

ASTRID CARVEL - THE LITTLE BOOK OF WITHCRAFT



I received this as a Christmas present from my sister, and it's such a nice little read. There's a mix of history, helpful self affirmation spells and some insights into witchcraft that I wasn't aware of. If you'd like to read up on witchcraft, or you'd like a succinct guide to the history, give this book a go!

NAGATA KABI - MY LESBIAN EXPERIENCE WITH LONELINESS



I haven't read manga in so long, so I was quite excited to get stuck into this. At first, I was drawn in by the pink pages, but I really like the story behind this. If you struggle with your sexuality, this is definitely something you should get your hands on. The manga is about Nagata's experience with her depression and sexuality. 


JOSS WHEDON - BUFFY SEASON 8 



Ever since I stopped watching the show, I've always wanted to get stuck into the comics. I think I put it off for so long because I was worried about where they would take the story line. I'm always a bit dubious when something changes (from book to film, film to book etc) but I quite enjoyed the first half of Season 8. It's totally different, but if you take the story with a pinch of salt it's really good. Once I've figured out the timeline, I'll write up a guide about how to read them all in order.


J.K. ROWLING - HARRY POTTER AND THE PHILOSOPHER'S STONE 



Don't get mad, but I've never read Harry Potter. When I was younger I was more interested in seeing the films. However, last week I was at my boyfriends house, and found all of his Harry Potter books. So I got a bath and read the first one, and hooooly shit. So okay I've missed out for sure. I'll be reading the rest soon.

What have you been reading this month?

Xo


HOW TO STAND OUT IN YOUR OWN WAY

Monday, 29 January 2018


The last thing anyone wants to do is follow the crowd and wear the same items as everyone else. With that in mind, I thought I’d write a post about you can stand out in your own way! It’s not a complete guide, and there are lots of other ways you could achieve your goals, but here’s how I like to do it…

GO BIG


Your hair is often the first thing people notice when you meet them. So, it stands to reason that you’ll want it to look as memorable and funky as possible. Don’t make the mistake of going to see your hairdresser and showing her a photo of Kim Kardashian if you want to look unique.

Instead, you should ask the professional to come up with something original when you next pay for their services( according to HairStyle Connections ). If I had the lady balls, I’d dye my hair peach or pink, I’d love to stand out like that but I just don’t have the guts!

GO UNIQUE


There are lots of places where you can purchase one-of-a-kind jewellery items these days, and so there is no excuse for visiting stores like Primark for your jewellery. Firstly, there is a decent chance you will encounter other people wearing the same items when you go for a night out on the town. That’s embarrassing, and it also makes you look like you don’t have any individual style. Instead, you should buy unique items or design them yourself. The new Jaubalet Paris guide to custom made jewellery is an excellent place to begin your research if you’ve never done that before. Just make sure you think outside of the box if you want to look your best. Etsy is also a great place for jewellery shopping!

DON’T SHOP ON THE HIGH STREET


It’s tempting to purchase your outfits from high street stores because the prices are always affordable. However, people who do that all end up looking the same when they wear their new clothing. So, you just need to become innovative and seek out small-time fashion designers that don’t get a lot of attention. All you need is some inspiration, a dash of imagination, and lots of motivation to succeed. You’ll pull off whatever you put your mind to, I promise.

Xo

LET'S TALK ABOUT SEX BABY FEATURING LOVE DROP


There's definitely one subject I haven't yet talked about on my blog...And there are many reasons why (family, if you're reading this, just close the tab and walk away). Sex is an important issue that I've wanted to talk about for a while on this blog, so I'm finally biting the bullet so to speak...

I'm sex positive, and I support safe consensual sex. I also support sex workers, and think it's important to highlight their rights. In this post, I want to talk about spicing things up, how to do it and where you can find the "tools" to help you. Hopefully this will be the first in a line of sex positive posts...

When you've been in a relationship for a while, you can sometimes find that you want to spice things up a little. You can try acting out some fantasies, or you can dress up/role play etc. One way you can change things up in the bedroom is by exploring each other's bodies. Love Drop is the perfect gift for this, and with Valentine's day around the corner, I can't recommend this subscription box enough. The box comes (excuse the pun) once every two months, and contains some amazing new products for you to try out with your partner.


The box costs £45, but the contents exceed this in price and quality. This month, I received items that totaled well over £90. You can also skip a month if you find that you're loving your current box, which is pretty cool (especially if you find that money is a bit tight too). 



This month, I got so many cool things! You receive tips and tricks to help you up your sex life, such as positions and games to play, as well as toys and condoms. The prompt cards are great for exploring each other's fantasies, likes and dislikes, and are great when paired with the Lelo "Hex" Condoms and Lubricants. I'm a Durex girl usually, but I could just be a convert...



This candle smells great (citrus with a musk base), and could be great to use as a way to tease your partner. Light the wick and let the wax drip onto their chest whilst they're tied up. It can be quite stimulating...


The best thing in this box is the Lelo Nea. It's RRP is £69, and my god you can tell. I'm not joking when I say that this is my new best mate haha. Although it's small, it's really powerful, quiet and discreet. I love the pattern and it fits perfectly you know where...

This little box is the perfect treat for this Valentine's day, and if you order now, you can get £5 off your first box with the code VDAY18. 

This is a collaborative post.

Xo

HOW TO OVERCOME YOUR FEAR OF DRIVING

Friday, 26 January 2018


Not many people know this, but I failed my driving test when I was 18. I wasn’t used to the idea of failing, I hadn’t failed anything before in my life, and it really hit me hard. I only received 2 minors, and the major I did receive was unfounded, but that’s beside the point. I still failed. 

Ever since, I’ve really struggled to come to terms with driving again. I really hate failing, and since I failed my driving test it’s made me terrified of getting behind the wheel again. I mean, there are other factors of course, I was nearly in a car accident the day my nephew was born, and it’s made me jittery on fast roads. But recently, something has changed. I’m managing to learn again. Slowly, of course, but I’m doing it.

It took me a long way to get here, which is why I thought I’d write up a post for those in a similar situation. It can be really daunting thinking about getting back in the learner seat, but hopefully I can help…

WEIGH UP THE PROS AND CONS


I’ve been earning money steadily now for the past two years, and I have more than enough in order to learn how to drive. I still get the bus to and from work, and up until recently I didn’t think anything of it. However, I finally wondered one day how easy it would be if I just had a car. I could visit my boyfriend whenever I wanted. I could take us camping/travel more and just have my own freedom. But then, of course, came the anxiety that comes with driving.

So, I sat down and I weighed up my options. I wrote down exactly what bothered me (stress, crashing, inadequacy). I then wrote down the pros (freedom, travel, independence). Looking at my list, it made me realise that the positives outweight the negatives.


TALK TO FRIENDS AND FAMILY


After I made my list, I talked to my parents. They agreed that it was time I tried again, and since I’ve been seeing a therapist about my anxiety, that it would be good to help me move forward. If you have close friends, why not ask them how they feel about it? More often than not, you’ll find that they will egg you on and keep you motivated.


THE HARD PART


After I did this, I saw with myself for a bit and hashed it out. I figured that I wouldn’t let my anxiety keep me from doing things in life. So, I went on Facebook and asked friends for recommendations on driving instructors in my local area. A few friends linked me to someone friendly and great, so I reached out.

Three weeks later I’m 3 lessons in! I was shakey at first, and I’m still stupidly light on the accelerator, but I know that it will take time to get back to normal, and I know that no-one is judging me. If you have an instructor who’s friendly, it can really help. If you don’t, please don’t let this dissuade you. Keep looking until you find one that you’re comfortable with. You’ll get the hang of it, I promise!

This is a collaborative post.

Xo



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