Living in London, I can honestly say I’m never at a loss for things to do, which is why I recently found myself at the Sky Garden! I’ve heard so much about London’s highest public… More
If you follow me on any other social media platforms you’ll know that I’ve been suffering with some serious wanderlust. Like why can’t my full time job not be blogging, travelling and blogging about my travels?
I just know that I’m not meant to work (don’t we all lol) which is why I thought it’s about time I do a post on how to travel when you work full time, because somehow, I manage to.
I consider myself pretty lucky to have been able to travel to two beautiful destinations (Thailand & Dubai) already this year and hopefully (god-willing) I’ll have another trip sorted before Christmas, but, I have to say, I haven’t spent my work holiday allowance wisely this year, and I know I’m not alone.
What I do know is that wanting to travel while holding down a full time job is definitely possible, although very inconvenient.
So, although I haven’t followed these rules as strictly as I’d have liked to this year due to my personal life, here’s a few tips for those of you who want to make the most out of your holiday and travel the world, one destination at a time, while also keeping a full time job…
Use Bank Holidays & Weekends to your advantage. This has to be the golden rule. If you haven’t tried this trick, where have you been?! To get more days off for less, it’s smart to plan your travels around major UK holidays, Bank Holidays and weekends. For example a great month to try this is May as we get two bank holidays plus weekends!
Prioritise, Prioritise, Prioritise. Once you’ve booked your holiday, it’s easy to get carried with how many days you need after to ‘recover’ from jet lag. I am so guilty of this, but it’s really so unnecessary, especially if you’ve only taken a trip Barcelona where there’s only like 1 hour time difference. To save days it may be worth taking a half day. This really comes in handy when your days start to run low. Plus, it means of you have a weekend getaway planned with an evening flight, you can leave a little earlier on a Friday, just bring your suitcase to the office! If you’re lucky enough to have an amazing manager, they may even let you off officially taking a half day which means you can save it for another time!
Work overtime. If you’re unfortunate enough to work full time with very limited holiday, maybe having a word with your manager or HR officer will allow you to get a few extra days holiday, by working overtime. It’s a great way to accumulate extra days and you’ll be getting paid that little bit extra which can only mean one think = more holidays!
Be Kind to your colleagues. This doesn’t happen in every company, but it’s common that department members who are not allowed to go on holiday at the same time as each other. If you’re lucky enough to have a cool relationship with your fellow colleague who wants to take the same time off as you do, it wouldn’t harm asking if they could maybe rearrange their time off, it’s all about negotiation. After all, if you don’t ask, you don’t get.
So, these are a few tips that have helped me travel when I desire, do you have any tips/tricks?
I’m not even gonna lie, it’s been a while since me and the babes had ‘date night’.
Sure we like to chill at home, put on a movie, Netflix, order in pizza, but in terms of going out, it really hasn’t been at the top of our agenda as both of our schedules have been busy and at the end of a long day at work, we both just want to chill.
Recently, I’ve been feeling a bit stagnant. Work, my blog, my next steps in my career – nothing seems to be going the way I want, so, I thought it would be a good idea to spend some quality time together, by ourselves, outside the house and just eat and talk.
Plus as it was just payday, we thought we deserved a little treat.
My boyfriend lives a few minutes away from Wimbledon, so we headed down there. It really is a good spot for finding nice spots, I swear there’s always something new when we go.
We actually planned to go Franco Manca but EVERY time we plan to go there’s always a bloody long line outside, like, is this just me?
Anyway, we ended up finding a small Thai place called Mai Thai, which is kinda ironic as on the same day I uploaded a throwback picture to Instagram, of me drinking a cocktail on Patong Beach wishing someone, anyone, could just #takemeback
As soon as we entered Mai Thai it felt like we were back in Thailand, the decor was so oriental from the lamps, to the wooden furniture and even the waiter staff who greeted us in Thai – it was so cool because we knew how to greet them back!
The food was all kinds of yummy. and the price was even better as we paid £38 for everything, although we knew that we could have eaten the same thing in Thailand for about £10 but hey ho, it’s all about gaining new experiences and living in the moment right.
We ordered fishcakes and Prawn Tempura for starters, I had egg fried rice with prawn and cashew stir fry and Earl had Thai noodle couple with Pork. The food was nothing but amazing and so, so filling too!
I was really hoping for a Mai Thai cocktail but, unfortunately they don’t sell any, and I really didn’t want to chance it on a horrible rose so I stuck to lemonade and Earl had a Lemon Iced tea which had a cinnamon kick.
We had a good night, the food was so authentic, and I had great company, so I’ll definitely remember Mai Thai whenever I feel like escaping to Thailand again!
We’re on the hunt for some new places to visit in London, so if you have any bars, clubs, cafes etc in mind, send them over🙂
See you on my next one x
This post is as late as ever, but as promised from my last post – Living the Dubai Life, I’m filling you in on the top 5 things you absolutely HAVE to do, when you holiday in Dubai.
I’m going to do this in order of how much I enjoyed each activity, which is kinda hard as everything was just so good, but yeah…without further ado…
1.The Burj Khalifa
When I found out I was going to Dubai, I didn’t really know what touristy things they had to offer, apart from the world’s highest skyscraper – Burj Khalifa.
And after doing some research about it, it took top spot on my ‘things to do’ list.
I’ve never been to the Shard or anything like that, so I really wanted to experience something on that calibre, and why not do it from the best place in the world – the highest manmade structure?
Obviously we had to do it big, so we went to the top – you can go half way, but what’s the point?
Each tour has about 30 people so, it’s quite intimate and a more personal experience. We were first taken into a sitting room and given arabian coffee (an interesting and acquired taste) as well as some dates which is a delicacy, before being taken up.
After a short walk we all got into a lift, which had moving graphics, explaining the pivotal moments in the making of the Burj Khalifa and after shooting to the top in just over one minute we reached the 148th level!
Once out the lift, we were greeted with refreshments and the amazing view.
Seeing the view yourself and viewing pictures are two completely different things.
It actually doesn’t look that high but if you think we were hundred of metres above the Dubai’s already mesmerising skyscrapers – Trippy!
Honestly the Burj Khalifa was an experience I’ll never forget and was definitely the perfect end to the perfect trip.
2. Aquaventure Waterpark
I didn’t want to go to this as I hate any form of rides – theme parks, waterparks, the lot.
I was coerced into going by the rest of my family as I was prepared to stay at the hotel to sunbathe the day away with a cocktail in hand, but how wrong I was.
This waterpark is SICK!
Connected to Dubai’s Atlantis Palm resort (this resort is amazing btw) Aquaventure has something for everyone, I loved the River Ride, where you grab a float and start a journey through the park, while going through torrents, slide and experiencing crazy waves – not something I anticipated before getting on but it was fun… until I didn’t know where to get off and ended up on it for 2 hours lol
But, you’d be proud of me! I went on Zoomerango – the scariest 10 seconds of my life.
I didn’t catch many pictures but it was the funnies day. After losing my cousin, trying to find my family without any sandals in 50 degree heat (just picture me hot stepping please) and nearly passing out on Zoomerango it was definitely a day I’ll never forget.
3. Sand Dunes
When someone says sand dunes, what do you think of?
I literally think of sand in a desert. Nothing else. So, I really dint understand how this could be a day trip out.
So, we were driven out to the desert (obvs) and left there for about 30 minutes – so, so dodgy.
We got into these 4×4’s and off we went. At this point I had no idea where we were going as nothing could be seen in the distance.
The driver turned up his tunes and started speeding over these dunes like a mad man. I literally thought I was going to die it was crazy, but fun.
After about 10 minutes of feeling like I was an inch away from death, we got to a camp, where there were camels to ride on, quad biking, and a moroccan seating area.
Later on, once more guests arrive, a belly dancing a fire show is put on and we sat down for a meal – great for experiencing the emirate culture and food!
4. Al Karama
If you love big brands, but don’t wana pay big prices, taking a trip to Al Karama is what you need to do!
It is the most suspect looking area, because there’s nothing there apart from a few dead end shops. However, once you go inside and ask to see their high end bags etc, suddenly a wall opens up and there’s another shop beyond the shop.
If anything, the experience alone was just funny because you just wouldn’t imagine, but according to some close sources of mine (I’ve got sources honey!), apparently Serena Williams has beens potted shopping here, so if it’s good enough for this babe, it’s good enough for me.
I’m sure everyone has been to an aquarium in their life but there’s something about Dubai’s aquarium that makes everything look amazing and as if you’re experiencing seeing a fish for the first time.
There are a few aquariums dotted around, and our plan was to go to the Aquarium in Atlantis Palm Resort, however, on our first trip to Dubai Mall, we thought we’d just go to the one there.
I ended up taking my little cousin in and we had a great time. Spread across 3 floors, you really get to experience new species and humungous sharks etc and it ends with a aqua zoo, which was quite cool.
Have you been to Dubai? What other attractions would you recommend?
I’ve been procrastinating on this post for the last two weeks, for two reasons.
1. I cannot believe I’m back to reality.
2. It was the most surreal holiday experiences I’ve ever had.
So let me start from the beginning.
As a birthday treat my parents paid for my holiday to Dubai – I know right, so lucky!
My family and I went for 5 days (which in my opinion, is a great amount of time to do everything) and stayed at the Movenpick JLT hotel – a beautiful hotel with an infinity pool and around 30 mins from Dubai Mall.
I really don’t know where to start, so I thought I’d dedicate this post to answering some the most common questions I’ve had from friends:
How hot was it?
Let me start by telling you it was HOT! I don’t know why I was so surprised as we did actually go in August – one of the hottest months in Dubai with temperatures reaching over 50 degrees – so yes, it was very hot.
However, it wasn’t unbearable. On the day we landed, I didn’t think I’d be able to survive. As soon as you go outside from the air conditioned airport the heat hits you right in the face. It’s a very dry, thick heat but you do acclimatise to it pretty quickly, plus everywhere has air con 😖
After 2 days feeling the heat was glorious, had me feeling like some melanin goddess all day every day… just call me the bronzed goddess!
What was it like?
Dubai is undeniably beautiful. Everything is so big and futuristic. The technology is so ahead of the ‘western world’ that its skyline looks like something out of a sci-fi movie… an urban metropolis.
The traditional food is tha bomb and the people are so friendly. I cannot wait to plan another trip to be honest!
Was it expensive?
Hell yes! I wouldn’t advise anyone going to Dubai, especially for 5 days without money, not that you would go away without any funds, but you get what I mean, it was expensive, and while we were over there, we learned that the Brexit results had made currency exchange worse.
In saying that, Dubai has such an allure and charm, that you don’t even mind spending and splurging that little bit extra, because everything is so magnificent. The Emerati people know how to do it BIG.
What’s there to do apart from shop?
First of all the malls are insane, and I wouldn’t blame anyone who just goes there to shop, because it’s LIT.
The malls over there are 1000x better than UK’s Westfields, during our time there, we visited twice and we didn’t even cover half of the mall.
Other than shopping though, there’s so much else to do, like visiting one the world’s biggest water theme parks, driving through the crazy sand dunes and exploring the views from the highest point in the world -The Burj Khalifa.
BUT, I’ll go into that on my next post, so stay tuned!
Is the culture strict?
I was so nervous to go to Dubai, because of what I had heard about it’s strict rules on how females should dress etc, but honestly I had nothing to worry about.
I would say as long as you are in the city and in areas where there are other tourists, you can dress very laid back, and could to the mall in shorts and a cami. But, I think it just comes down to showing respect and not showing too much skin.
If you decide to go out of the tourist areas, carrying a light scarf to throw around your shoulders is fine too. It’s all about being respectful.
Would I go back?
Errrrrm. YES! Visiting Dubai has been nothing but a dream.
I’m sure I’ve left loads out, so check out a few of my pics from this vacay and stay tuned for my next post all about the top 5 things you should do in Dubai!
It’s been so, so, soooo long since I last blogged – it’s September already and there’s only 16 weeks until christmas (how crazy is that!)
Although I’ve been away for the majority of August, there has been good reason for it – It was my birthday month and boy did I enjoyyyy… I was insanely spoilt so i’ll be sure to share soon.
But, more recently I’ve been in reflective mood, enjoying the people around me, and the experiences/ lifestyle I’ve been fortunate enough to have, which is why I think actually noting down 23 life lessons – one for every year I’ve been alive – will help me remember what’s actually important in life, and perhaps help younger females out there that come across this post somehow.
23 things I’ve learned in 23 years (in no particular order):
- Failure is necessary. I think everyone says this, but no one knows why failure is actually necessary. When I was younger, I was quiet academic, always on the straight and narrow and never really felt any failure or rejection until I finished uni. I searched for nearly a year with many #FAILS in the process but it was so necessary because it made me work harder and really appreciate what I did get.
- Scrutiny is necessary. Just like failure, you need to experience scrutiny as well as constrictive criticism to move forward and better yourself.
- Learn to live below your means. This point has never been more relevant in my life, especially when things like buying my own house and getting a better car become more of a priority, it’s never been more important to save, even if it’s just a little every month, in order for me invest in things that matter in the grand scheme of things.
- Buy experiences, not things. When you work and you can afford to buy things yourself, you soon realise, experiencing things and travelling takes precedent over owning the latest pair of trainers. After all memories last a lifetime.
- Avoid trends. As far as I’m concerned trends are a waste of time and money. I have learned to invest in things that I genuinely like.
- Not everyone will be there for you. When you go through real tests in your life you realise who’s actually there for you, and who makes time to check up on you. Sometimes it’s a harsh but necessary wake up call on who you need to cut #CutIt
- Keep your head up. As a black female, especially over the last year with all the madness happening throughout the world, I’ve learned how important it is to keep my shoulders back and head up, no matter if I’ve got an unusual hairstyle, rocking an au natural face or weird ensemble.
- Do what you want. Life is way to short. Don’t worry what other people will think, as long as you’re safe and responsible, live life and do what you want #YOLO (what happened to that yolo)
- Speak up! Never shy away from voicing what you actually believe in, no matter how daunting – the feeling of keeping quiet is more disappointing when you look back.
- Never accept bad treatment.
- Love yourself.
- Consistency is key. I think I’ve mentioned this in a previous post before, but being consistent will help you get to where you want to be quicker. Whether it’s in blogging or at the gym – keep at it.
- Be a ‘Goal Digger’ – If you been on my insta, I recently posted this quote with a somewhat motivational message. Don’t rely on anyone else to gain success, be a goal digger and get’cho goals!
- You are a queen. #MelaninGoddess
- Hustle Hard. No one will hand you what you think you deserve, so hustle… HARD!
- You can always rely on family. I know this may not be completely true for everyone as every family is different, but I’m sure everyone has at least one person that’s so close they’re practically family whom you can rely on. Having a ride or die is the best.
- The world is not fair. Point blank, but what are you doing to make it better?
- Look after your relationships. Whether romantic, family or a friendship, look after the relationships that are important to you. Relationships are so fragile and it’s so common that if you get into a romantic relationship, your friendships can take a back seat, but it really doesn’t have to be either or – just be better at time management and care about those close to you.
- Parents are always right. A lot of mistakes I’ve made could have all been avoided if only I had listened to my parents. They can be annoying at times, but they are usually right – parent’s intuition and experience is a crazy thing.
- Live in the moment. (see no.8)
- Keep your circle tight. Not everyone is your friend. There have been so many people that I thought were for me, only to find them bitch about me, take ideas and pass them as their own and everything else, so keep your circle tight.
- Keep moving forward. Never become stagnant, no matter how hard life gets, as long as you’re still breathing (Have you seen the Revenant?) you can keep going.
- Life’s too short to be unhappy. Stuck in a dead end job? Have a lifelong dream of working for yourself? Want to travel the world? Whatever it is that you think will truly make you happy – do everything in your power to achieve it, even when fear tries to hold you back. You don’t want to look back and regret staying put.
So, there are my pearls of wisdom, hope you enjoyed and make sure to stay tuned for my next post all about my trip to Dubai!
It’s a new week and I’m back with a slightly different post.
With exam results day nearing in the UK for high school and college students, and many of my close friends having graduated- it got me thinking back to when I was going through it all myself.
I wanted do a post about the most important purchases and advice for prospective undergrads. I was inspired by Casper, a company that makes cool memory foam mattresses, and while I have not had to buy a new mattress, I thought this would be a fun post, as well as a great chance to reflect, so here goes…
From a young age, I was always excited to move out my parents house and start living for myself – sometimes I really have to ask myself why I was so excited to grow up so quickly smh. With this is mind, I decided to pick the furthest university I could and moved to Lincolnshire *yikes*
I was so ecstatic to have a place of my own (more like a room of my own), and dreamt of doing up my room and all that stuff, but when I actually arrived in my dorm, it was reminiscent of a prison cell (bare in mind I’ve never been to prison lol).
Looking back I would get these things for myself;
-Pillows, loads of pillows! They can transform a dreary room into a homely haven in an instant.
– Nice soft bedsheets. As they say there’s nothing more satisfying then going to bed after a hard day at uni in fresh sheets
– A rug. It’s amazing what a nice rug can do for a room
– Posters/Pictures. Banish homesickness with familiarity, seeing friendly faces, despite being miles away always helps.
– Plants! A nice way to breathe life into a small room
– Fairy Lights.
– Plates, cups and mugs. For all those cheap student meals!
– Full length mirror. For all those #OOTD selfies for Instagram
These little things really made a difference to my room, and while it may not seem like a lot, they can make your room feel like a home away from home – especially if you live in dorms! It’s horrible when your housemates destroy the kitchen, but it’s nice to know that you can always escape to a clean room.
Also, once you’ve finished, you can always take these back home with you and save for when you’re ready to move into your very own apartment!
Things I’ve Learned
After spending 3 years studying in Lincoln, I learned a few things…
– It’s OK to be yourself. As much as you may want to fit in with the cool kids in the dorm, authenticity, never goes out of style. You’ll thank yourself for remaining true to yourself later in life.
– Work hard, party harder. As much as I used to pretend that I was doing the ‘right’ thing and studying my socks off, university is a social playing ground, so play the field, just remember to pass your modules.
– Just go for it! You’re independent.
– Your housemates will get on your nerves but you WILL look back and class your university years as the ‘good old days’
– When graduation day comes, you’ll realise it was ALL worth it
Once you’ve graduated from university, you’d have learnt a lot of things you’ll carry with you forever…
– Experience is everything. After graduation, you’re officially a graduate and you’ll likely be looking for a job. Hopefully throughout university, you’d have completed placements and internships. The more experience you get in education, the more likely you’ll land your ‘dream’ job
– No one will hand you anything. Being proactive is everything. If you’ve got a passion you want to turn into a career, do everything in your power to make it happen yourself.
– Stay on track. Nothing worth having comes easy. It’s all about time and pressure (peep the shawshank reference lol) so keep doing you boo.
Do you have any undergraduate advice for yourself or others?
Why is the year moving so quickly? Am I the only one feeling that if I blink twice it’ll be Christmas?
With that being said, let’s not waste any time and jump straight into my July favourites!
Throughout the month of July, I’ve been loving a mixture of things, I didn’t really overly indulge this month but, when I find something I love, I will use it to its death, so the first thing on my list has to be…
1.Benefit Precisely My Brow Pencil
Since purchasing the Benefit brow in late June (have you read my review yet?), the Benefit Precisely My Brow Pencil, has been my go-to eyebrow pencil! I absolutely love it. I would go as far to say that’s it the best eyebrow pencil I’ve ever bought and there have been many!👀 😅
It just gives me the perfect brow every time, with its thin, precise tip and creamy formula, and I totally prefer it to Benefits Goof Proof Pencil.
The packaging is absolutely lush too. The only thing I would say, is that it needs to have more product *sobs into tissue* as mine ran out yesterday 😭
2. Spotify 🎧
I’ve been signed up to spotify for about a year now, but it’s only since I started driving to work (I spend about 10 hours a week in my car), that I’ve fully appreciated this app on my phone – it has every song possible -EXCEPT Statik Selektah Look of Love – like – where can I track down this bomb ass playlist? If you know, let me know, cos I need it my life!
These are my fave playlists at the moment.
I have to listen to something gangsta in the morning, then on the way home, maybe some chilled vibes with the soul queen – Jill Scott.
What playlists would you recommend on spotify?
3. Topshop sandals
I wasn’t meant to actually buy sandals but, as I’m such a clever clogs and decided to wear wedges into London (I mean, who actually does that) for the Blogger Hangout event my feet needed some comfort, as they were burning from all the walking, so I stopped in Topshop and found these.
No word of a lie, these are THE best sandals I have ever bought. Genuine leather sandals for £28… it’s a bloody bargain! You know when you normally get a pair of shoes and you have to break them in, yeah… I didn’t have to do that with these.
As you can see from their sorry state, I practically live in them – I really should invest in another pair, but I love the simplicity of the design and the fact that they wrap around the ankle-which is kind of ‘in’ at the moment.
4. Pandora Sykes
I read a lot of blogs but if you’ve never heard of Pandora Sykes, please get to know. Her writing style is just amazing and in all honesty she possesses a writing style I would love to have. She discusses some great topics on her blog, and her sense of style is just ugghhhh 🙌 – check out her blog!
I cannot remember the last time I bought something online, without searching for a discount code.
Call me cheap, but, there really are too many savings to be had!
Everydayisblackfriday.co.uk is a website that works slightly differently. It tracks down the best deals and discount codes for you, so all you have to do is search for the item you want and buy it at a discounted rate.
They’ve got so many brands on their website, that it’s really is worth checking here first, to see if you can get it cheaper, than buying straight from the source.
As I shop a lot at ASOS, I really loved that everydayisblackfriday.co.uk post when there are discount codes that can be used on ASOS too – so f you’re like me and always looking for a good bargain, make sure you bookmark this page!
6. Harry Potter
Eeek! This is where my inner nerd comes out! 👓 ⚡️
Harry Potter came out this month, how could this not be one of my faves?
Anyone else finished the book?
7. Tea Tree Treats
If you follow me on twitter, you may have seen me tweet about my enlarged pores -such a nuisance. But after watching Tasha Green rave about her Tea Tree oil, I thought I’d hit up The Body Shop and treat myself.
I initially only wanted the Tea Tree Oil which was £12, but I then saw a deal with a bundle of Tea Tree Oil products for £20 so obviously went for that.
I love that the products deep clean pores and leave my skin feeling squeaky clean and refreshed with a light tingle – am I the only one who likes this sensation?
I’ve always reacted well towards Tea Tree oil so, I’m exciting to start using these long term to see how my skin improves, but already, I’ve seen my pores reduce in size, which is always a good thing!
So, there you have it, my July favourites! Have you got anything you would absolutely recommend trying?
See you on my next post x