Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Why I Started Suitcase and Sandals

 Back in June 2014 I began writing at Suitcase and Sandals. I had been reading blogs for a while, especially since my friend Georgia (from Mapped Out Blog) had started her own blog too. I loved reading what she had been up to, and in time I began to discover more and more blogs that I enjoyed reading. I quickly became very interested in starting my own blog, and would spend hours drafting posts that I would later publish on Suitcase and Sandals.

Starting my own blog was both extremely exciting, and nerve-wracking at the same time. I was so excited to be writing again and having somewhere to share everything I've been up to, but was apprehensive about sharing it with everyone I know. But, the excitement outweighed the nerves and on the 1st June I posted for the first time. There are two main reasons why I decided to start this blog; to have a space to write down my adventures and to have a place to write.

For as long as I can remember I have loved writing. I have a "storybook" in my room which I wrote when I was around 8 and I remember always feeling the need to have a notebook in hand. It was as if I was incapable of just sitting and watching a film, I always had to be writing something down in that notebook of mine! Over the years I also kept numerous diaries (which are HILARIOUS!) and I think that is another reason why I love blogging so much. I love it that I can read all about my trip two years ago, and I love that my family further away can keep up to date with what's been going on with me. In fact, I'd love it if all of my friends and family had blogs too so I could see what they've been up to too!

Having this blog means that I will always remember the amazing things that Dan and I got up to. I'll be transported back to the countries we visited, the food we ate and the amazing opportunities I have been given because of this blog. It's become a place to document the interesting things we have been doing, and also to share some of my tips. I've shared advice on being a student, your first job out of uni and things like combating tiredness as this is something I've really struggled with recently. I'd like to think that this blog has helped at least one person with a worry/given them a tip.

Why did you start your blog?

Sunday, 18 September 2016

If You're Heading To University in Canterbury

 A year after finishing University at Canterbury, and I am still insanely jealous of anyone starting there soon! It's the most wonderful place to go to University; not too big and not too small, and it instantly felt like home to me. There is just a really lovely feel to the city, and to the university too and I think I am forever going to mourn my time here! As I know leaving for university can be a pretty scary experience so I thought I'd sum up a few of my favourite places in Canterbury to give anyone heading there soon a helping hand...

Where to Eat

Pinocchio's is my all-time favourite restaurant for special occasions. I have an entire post dedicated to how much I love this restaurant here, but I couldn't not include this in a post about Canterbury. This is the one to go to for your birthday, or when your parents come to visit you. The food is fresh, reasonably priced and you get a really decent portion too! What a result.

The Chocolate Cafe was my sister's all-time favourite haunt for whenever she visited. If you are a chocoholic this is the place for you. It was one of the first places Dan and I went for a date, and it's just such a lovely cafe! I am a huge fan of the waffles, although you may want to share if you find that kind of thing sickly!

Kitch was somewhere I used to go with my dissertation lecturer. She was actually on her sabbatical but chose to keep me on as she knew my topic the best, which was so incredibly kind of her. This is a cafe that just oozes health and I usually opted for a healthy hot chocolate which was the best of both worlds!

Where to Party

Club Chemistry is the main club in Canterbury, and it is great! It has three floors, with a variety of different music being played and has actually had an upgrade since I left the city. The drinks are cheap, there is an incredible pole to dance on with your friends; what more could you want!

The Cuban is a bit more upmarket, but that does mean a little bit more pricey. However, the music is always spot on in this venue and I always had a great time in The Cuban. It's also a restaurant during the day, and whilst I've never been I can imagine it being one worth trying out!

The Ballroom is the place to go if you want cocktails. It's almost impossible to get a seat, but there is a bath in the bar which we danced in on many an occasion! They also serve cocktails in teapots which is just so cute, and the cocktails truly are delicious.

The Old Brewery Tavern is the house of Jaeger Rocks which I discovered one very messy night in second year with my friend Sophie. We got absolutely smashed, and I ended up queuing up at 1am for the latest fifa. The drinks are super cheap (only a couple of pounds for a double!) and the atmosphere is always good in this venue.

What to Do

Visit Westgate Gardens which is the cutest little park by the river. I spent so much time in first year reading here with my friend after our exams had finished. We also walked down here in the snow, and it was so pretty! Definitely worth a visit during your three years here.

Take a canal tour down the river. They can be pricey as students, but you have to do it at least once! We learnt so much about our city when we went one day in the summer, and it was just a lovely thing to do. The tour guides are really funny, and all of the information was very interesting - they didn't go too far into the details which is always a good thing.

Walk around the city because it is just gorgeous. If you have the luxury not to go on a Saturday morning, make the most of it because Saturday Mornings are insanely busy. One of my favourite things about the city centre is that it has all of your mainstream shops (Topshop, H&M, Primark etc) but there are also lots of lovely independent shops too - such as Siesta which is right opposite The Chocolate Cafe!

Where to Live

Lanfranc House was the place I chose to live in my first year. It is like halls, but split up into different flats and houses which I really liked as it made it a bit more personal. I miss my first year room all the time, it was a really decent size and not too expensive. Plus, it was close to both the uni, and the town centre too which was excellent. If you are looking for a good halls, I would so recommend this one!

Leydon Lettings were the Lettings Agent we chose for our third year house, and they truly were excellent. They were good at communicating with you, and from memory we didn't have to pay for a deposit at all. They have actually expanded recently I believe, and they offer such a wide range of properties all over the city; perfect for CCCU and UKC students.

Have you ever been to Canterbury? Did you go there for university?

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

12 Things I'm Lusting After This Autumn

 Autumn fashion is easily my favourite; you can get so snuggly but also enjoy some sunnier days too! ASOS always have some gorgeous pieces, and I love trawling through the website for my favourites, especially as the weather begins to cool which is obviously the perfect time to start online shopping! Here are a few pieces which caught my eye on their website at the moment; I especially love the Cat cross body bag and may have to treat myself for New York!

What pieces have you been lusting after this Autumn?