The Year Ahead.

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So the sun has well and truely set on the last day of the year. This post was supposed to go live on January 1st, but there have been some internet issues that go beyond my control. But enough with the excuses – for New Years I was in Wales with my boyfriend and his family and friends, as they celebrate with a little trip away every year. As I’m not one to go all out at New Year, it’s always seems slightly anti-climatic to me, so something a bit more casual is right up my street.

I thought rather than look back on the year, I would again look forward to the next year and things to come. I am trying to avoid the whole ‘lose weight, keep fit’ resolution type post so hopefully things won’t stray into that territory.

  1. Blogging

2015 has been the year I have really committed to my little blog. Girlglobalising has become a proper hobby for me and something I really really enjoy working on. WordPress tells me I’ve posted 53 posts this year, so just over one per week, which I think is something to be both proud of and improve on. Next year will be focused on increasing that to a couple of regular posts per week, definitely a redesign and possibly a look at some self-hosting options.

2. Photography

Kinda linked to point número uno, but this year I’m going to try really hard at getting to grips with my camera. And to start with I will be reading the whole manual! I was lucky enough to receive a snazzy new lens for Christmas so I’m hoping to take a few half decent photos with it.

3. Zen

This is a more personal point but 2016 will be the year I transform, Buddha-style into someone completely at peace. I may be going slightly to far with that statement but what I’m focussing on are the little things – stupid little things that normally make my mood take a fast downturn when really they can’t be helped. I’m talking about late trains, time keeping, comments for people who don’t really matter, just dealing when the best laid plans still don’t work out. I’m going to close my eyes, count to ten, slap a smile on and carry on with my day.

4. Travel

I mean, if it wasn’t already pretty obvious, to me the world is an oyster that I really want to explore. I’ve already curated a little post on my wishlist for this year and actually I have already booked some tickets for a little adventure in February! This year I’m hoping to explore the world and my own country more and more.

5. Consciousness

One final point that I’m going to focus on in the upcoming year is to be more conscious. That’s not to say I would walk past my Mum in the street becuase I’m so busy away with the fairies, but I mean the amount of times I walk back to check if I locked the car door (yes, every time!). Focus is key and I’m going to make sure I’m conscious of everything that’s going on. This will also come into some more personal goals of mine. There’s no more time for losing track of how many biscuits you’ve had – it’s time to be conscious of all sourrounding as well as your own body and mind.

Lets hope 2016 brings some wonderfulness to every single person this year.

 

 

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Perfect Post Christmas Lips

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I thought about writing this post before Christmas because I was all ‘Oh ma gawwd I own a piece of Chanel!’ excited, but it then crossed my mind that it would get lost amongst all the festive red lip offerings from multiple other bloggers at this time of year. So instead I offer you the perfect post Christmas lipstick. The kind you can pop on after all the pillar box matte reds from the office parties and Christmas Day.

I picked up this handy little beauty in Duty Free on my way back from Prague and it has to be one of the nicest lipsticks I’ve ever used. I picked the colour Boheme as it seemed fitting having just visiting a place with a certain amount of Bohemian history and it’s the perfect light red-almost pink colour. It’s part of the Rouge Coco Shine range and is so light and moisturising – perfect if you’ve been hitting the all drying matte liquid lipsticks and stains to hard. It will definitely be a firm favourite of mine well into the new year.

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2016’s Travel Wishlist

It’s that time of year when my Bloglovin’ feed is full of roundups and what-I’ve-Learnt and lookbacks and while I will probably do one of these posts myself (it’s a blogger obligatory, right?) I thought I would jump the gun slightly and look to 2016. I know Christmas is only just over and New Year is fast approaching, but I’ve never been a huge fan of the midnight celebrations, so I’m looking towards the next year instead.

2015 took me to some incredible places and I loved every one of my little adventures this year, but I can’t help but constantly look for the next place to visit. So I’ve curated a small list of the top places I’m dreaming of going in the next year. Let’s get this travel ball rolling…

NYC

  1. New York City

Let’s start with the biggun’. I visited NYC in 2008 with my family and while we had a look around and got a feel for the place, but my Brother had a big thing for Abercrombie and Fitch at this time. I definitely know the inside of that shop well now. There’s so many places left to visit, like Brooklyn, and Bleaker Street and Central Park which I am dying to go and look around. Hopefully sometime this year will be the year.

BRL

2. Berlin

This is a bit of a cop out because, fingers crossed, I will be going to Berlin in February. A little Christmas present from me to my Boyfriend was a pair of gig tickets to see Foals and you know, maybe he’ll take me along too! Again I have been to Berlin before but I feel like it’s one of those places that you could visit many many times and never quite get to the bottom of it. My favourite kinda place.

MLT

3. Malta

I’m determined to make Malta my summer destination this year. I think it’s the influence of the sassy Amy Bell, behind The Little Magpie blog and her recent holiday to Malta. It’s not somewhere I’ve every really considered but looks absolutely beautiful – with lots of little winding streets, like an older and more historic Rome which was my summer adventure this year.

STOCKHOLM

4. Stockholm

Pretty much anywhere in Scandinavia has been on my travel wishlist for as long as I can remember, but in particular Stockholm. From what I’ve heard it’s stunning but more than that I just want to immerse myself in Scandi style and interiors and roll around in it until every part of my life is as cool as it gets. The only problem is the general cost of going, but I reckon it’s more than doable with a little look around Airbnb.

All photos sourced from Pinterest.

 

 

 

 

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My Year in Books

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At the start of the year I made what I thought was a fairly realistic resolution – to read one book a month for the whole year. One year, twelve books, it seemed perfectly doable and I was so up for it. As a child I always, always had my nose in a book and most of the time I didn’t leave the house without one under my arm. I loved a journey somewhere that gave me enough time to get through a few chapters. And then something happened, I guess it just comes down to life, exams, uni, friends came up over the top of sitting down with a good read and like exercise it’s so much harder to start again once you’ve stopped.

So actually I have a rather measly pile of books to share with you here, but in the spirit of rounding things up at the end of the year I thought I would go through them – and then probably start again in the New Year!

  1. The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald

I fully intended on reading this book before I went to see the film. That came out in 2013, so already do you see where I’m coming from? Nevertheless I finally got around to reading it and it was worth the effort of picking it up and down for the first couple of months of the year.

  1.  Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? – Mindy Kaling

This is Mindy’s first book offering and it was a treat! First of all, I just love her and The Mindy Project and so was bound to read her book as soon as I could. It is of course, fabulous and if you’re not already a fan of the sassy lady then you will be by the final page.

  1. The Life Changing Magic of Tidying – Marie Kondo

I have a confession. I did not finish this book. I gave it a good go and it definitely spurred me on to throw out/tidy my flat. This may have also been a coincidence of my impending move but plenty of bin bags have been filled.

  1. When we Were Bad – Charlotte Mendelson

This was the book that was going to get me back on track. I took it on holiday with me and planned on finishing it within the week. It didn’t happen but it fully reminded me of why I to loved reading so much, when you can get so lost in a story that you suddenly look up and hours have flown by. If you like more contemporary novels about modern day families and all the trouble they go through, then this is definitely one to get your hands on.

  1. Get The Glow – Madeleine Shaw

I’m mean, come on. This isn’t even a reading book! I had to include it here, not only because the pile looked so small without it, but because I did actually read it. I fully bought into the hype around Madeleine Shaw and getting ‘The glow’ but I have to say, out of all the new health books released in 2015 this is one of the best. It’s gluten, sugar and dairy free but the recipes look (and taste) so good that you suddenly realise what’s possible without those ingredients. I’ll definitely be using this book A LOT in 2016.

  1. The Decision – Penny Vincenzi

This. This monster of a book was actually last year’s Christmas present. It was gifted to me from my Mum, at my request of ‘a really good book to get me back into reading’. I think she took that to mean the biggest book you can find. I’m still making my way through it, it’s eight hundred-odd pages!

All in all my resolution went out the window in about February when I was still on my first book. I thought I could pick things up when Mindy’s hilarious offering but nope, it slowed right down again. I will without a doubt start this resolution again in 2016, especially as I plan on reading three books from three awesome ladies first – here, here and here. Let’s see if the reading bug will truly bite back next year…

Ps. I hope you liked my cheeky little Santa at the top!

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The Inbetween Coat

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Originally this post was supposed to feature my big fluffy winter coat. It’s furry and yellow (in a good way) and I lovingly refer to it as my Honey Monster coat. I look slightly like Big Bird in it, but I kinda really like that. But as you can see that did not happen, as despite it looking rather gloomy in these photos it’s only a tad bit chillier than it was a few weeks ago and just didn’t warrant such a large and warm coat.

Instead I bring you my ‘inbetween’ coat. This is a fairly recent purchase, spurred on by the fact that from my leather jacket and honey moster coat I had nothing, well inbetween. My saviour of this ‘it’s December, why is it so warm’ weather is this slightly military inspired number from New Look. A few years ago I had such a big thing about military inspired clothing and I guess it hasn’t completely left me as I have not taken this off since buying it. The fit is right, the colour is right, it goes with my bobble hat and makes my tartan scarf pop – not to mention it’s the perfect weight. Not heavy and thick, but more substancial than a jacket. On top of all that my Dad referred to it as ‘very smart’ which is about as big a compliment as you get from my Papa.

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Thanks to Dom John for the photos.

 

 

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Where, What, When: Prague

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As I promised back here, I’ve put together a mini guide for Prague, even though the thought of it is making me want to hop back on the plane for a little bit of extra exploring time. As I vaguely mentioned before it’s a very walkable city and not only that but I would fully recommend walking just to take in all the sights and sounds. Prague is definaitely the place for any architecture fans out there, with each building offering a different visual delight.

So first things first, where to stay. I can only offer one or two suggestions here as we only stayed in the one hotel during our short trip. Hotel Elysee is very central, right on Wenceslas Square and the room was HUGE. Because this was  gals trip with my Mum and my Gran we opted for a triple room and it came supersize with a little hallway, huge room and bathroom. For the price we paid it was certainly value for money and of course there was a breakfast buffet every morning. The other option that I would whole heartedly suggest is looking around on Airbnb for accommodation. I’ve spoken before about how much I love this company and I’m sure Prague has some very cool apartments to offer.

As for things to do, Prague definitely offers enough to fill more than the two days we were there. A few places to note are the Castle, which sells handy tickets for either the whole thing or just certain parts; perfect if you fancy just the afternoon as there’s enough to fill a whole day here.

The Charles Bridge is your ultimate route to get there and another must see. It is lined with many statues, each with there own story and history and a number of which you should definitely stroke for good luck/ make a wish. Or maybe that’s just my superstitions kicking in.

There’s no way I could leave out the Astronomical Clock in the Old Town Square. Coincidently this is where the Christmas Market is also based should you be there in the festive season. But make sure to take a look out of the top of the tower – as you know I have a big thing about a good high-up view and this is not one to miss. The lift itself is also pretty incredible, so you don’t even have to take the stairs.

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I always make a point of finding out what the local cusine is and giving it a go, as what’s the point of going abroad just to eat chips, eh? For Prague it was Goulash  and boy was it everywhere. I will admit it was far tastier than I expected, with huge chunks of meat and a nice thick gravy; it even came served in a bread bowl.

For a little sweet treat I would recommend a Trdelnik and likewise with the Goulash, you cannot escape them in the city. I spent most of the weekend walking past each stall with longing eyes and claiming to be back for one later. I eventually had one on the very last night of the trip, basically refusing to leave without trying one. They’re almost pretzel-like, only cooked over hot coals and coated with cinnamon sugar and almonds. They’re basically Christmas wrapped in some dough.

Municipal House is worth checking out if you fancy a mid-morning coffee break. Don’t get your hopes up about the coffee (I’m pretty sure it came for a Nescafe machine) but if anyone is into interiors then get yo butt down there. It’s a completely beautiful Art Nouveau house with both the outside and inside decorated to a very fine standard. Those chandeliers? I would have put one in my carry-on if it had fit.

For those that have more time in the city then I would head to the John Lennon wall, the Jewish Quarter and the Jewish Cemetery, definitely some places I would have visited if I had a little extra time. This has turned into possibly the wordiest post of all, but I think my thoughts on the city have been truly shared.

I’m most definitely planning  second trip so if there’s any places slightly off the radar then please share too!

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The Freshest Chai Tea

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It was around this time last year that I truly discovered chai tea. I’d heard of it of course, seen it on many a coffee shop menu but it just never appealed to me so much that I actually ordered one. And I honestly can’t say what changed my mind one day, perhaps I’d already had one too many coffee’s and needed something different. But so started my love of the cinnamon-y, spicey drink that brings the festive feeling like no other can – except perhaps the ol’ mulled wine!

Although day to day I get my fix from a box of Pukka Vanilla Chai tea, sometimes it’s nice to get back to basics and make it yourself. And it really couldn’t be easier with just a few store cupboard ingredients needed. I got this recipe from a video by the fab Estee Lalonde, you can watch it here, but I’ve simplified it right down to the basics here:

  1. Grab one/two cups of water, depending on how much tea you can drink, and add a teaspoon of both Nutmeg and Ginger. Throw in a cinnamon stick and boil for around five minutes.
  2. Add a small cap of vanilla essence and two normal everyday tea bags. Brew for a few more minutes and then strain into your favourite mug.
  3. Add some milk and maybe some sugar if you like things a little bit sweeter, and then enjoy!

It’s really that simple. Obviously it takes slightly longer and it’s not really an everyday kinda thing, but it’s nearly Christmas so treat yourself!

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Mini Visual Diary: Prague

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A few weeks back I headed off to Prague for a few days of sightseeing and festivities. I mentioned a while ago that I was going with my Mum and my Gran as a sort of tradition we’ve started and to look around the Christmas Market.

As usual and as with most old European cities, I loved it. There’s something about the history, the architecture and the general vibe of these kind of old cities that really appeals to me more than places like London, which are still old but sometimes just don’t have the same atmosphere. There is so much to see in Prague, definitely more than the two days we were there for and with the added bonus of the Christmas Market there couldn’t be a better time to visit. It was cold, but not unbearably so, and in some ways I prefer a winter break for taking in the sights, rather than sweating my way around in the height of summer, especially with a place as walkable as Prague. The architecture is beautiful and I fully recommend getting yourself up high – first for getting your bearings and second beacuse there’s no other way to fully appreciate the amount of red roof’s there are in the city!

I’ve put together a little post now to give a feel for the place, but I’m planning a proper ‘what to see and where to go’ post for the near future, so keep yo’ eyes peeled for that.

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Artel: Small Coffee Heaven

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How many times have I spoken about coffee on here? Probably far too many already, but I will whole heartedly admit that I’ve fully jumped on the artisan, flashy, hipster coffee scene despite being none of those things myself. Let’s just call it one of the simple pleasures that help my week run smoothly.

For a fairly small city Norwich sure has an abundance of independent coffee shops to choose from. I mentioned that Strangers Coffee House was a good place to head to, but the newest of the scene is Artel. Not only is it the newest, it’s also the smallest – possibly ever! With room enough for about four/five/six people and serving only the freshest roasts from Nude Espresso, Artel know they’re coffee craft. It’s quite a treat of a coffee shop, offering a cosy spot, a friendly barista and even  a selection of pastries and donut’s to choose from. I know my boyf would fully recommend the salted caramel.

A friend of mine actually helped out with the branding which is just as much of a treat to look at – note the stamp card featuring hanging plants, just like the ones hanging from the ceiling. Genius! If you’re in the area, pop in for a little caffeinated beverage, squeeze on into the little bench seat and make some new friends. It’s worth it.

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A Low-key Evening Make up Look

Base

This seems to be the make up look of doubles – double foundation, double mascara… But anyway, no matter how many products I have doubled up on this is my guide to a low key evening look that ensures you look like you’ve gone to some effort but your face isn’t going to wipe off on somebody when you go in for a hug.

Let’s kick it all off with the base and my new favourite product, the Soap and Glory One Heck of a Blot primer. I’ve been noticing recently that during the day, maybe an hour or so after lunch I get a few shiny patches appearing. This is all very new and exciting having had the driest skin for my entire life. I think it might have something to do with looking at a computer screen all day, but nevertheless it’s led me to this wonder product. It smooths on and keeps everything looking semi-matt for the rest of the day. Following that the only reason I have doubled up on foundations is because my Bourjois CC cream doesn’t have quite enough coverage when I want a really flawless base.

Cheeks

For cheeks I went for a super pretty flush of pink, nothing too bright as I’m well aware of what the effect a glass of wine does to my face (oh hello bright red wine face!). Then I focussed mainly on slapping the highlighter in all the right places. This Collection highlighter is my go-to at the moment and super easy to use in it’s handy cream stick form.

Eyes

Now we’ve got to the eye section we hit the doubling up big time. This Maybelline cream shadow gives a really nice base colour to add on to. From there I added a bit of sparkle with my Topshop gold shadow stick which is perfect at distributing a nice layer over the eyelid. To finish the look I like to add a nice simple cat flick with the Soap and Glory Supercat liner. For mascara we’ve got one more double up of products. The Too Faced Better Than Sex mascara is perfect at beefing up the lashes, but I like to add a layer of L’oreal Telescopic to lengthen as well.

Lips

And finally… the lips! I have to admit I did not go for a bright red lip when I wore this look, but that’s because there was dinner involved and I didn’t want to run in to that ‘really dark line around the outside, and nothing on the inside’ look. So the option is to go for a nice postbox red like this Avon number which will look fab with the slightly brown-y/gold eye, or pair it with a nude if you plan on eating in peace. Voilà!

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