Friday, 23 February 2018

Exploring my hometown and surrounding areas

When I finished uni back in 2015, I dreaded the thought of moving back home. Every corner would be a reminder of something I didn't want to think about, and moving away made me feel like I'd just rather not return. How wrong I was, I loved being back home but almost three years on, I'm finally starting to truly appreciate my hometown. It's small, but incredibly pretty. It may not have the best shops, but it does have friends and family.

A few weeks ago, I headed into town with Georgia to take some outfit pictures. We wandered the pretty streets, and headed to a playing fields a mere walk from the town centre. A lot of time was spent there in our teens; playing games, drinking lambrini and building on our friendships that are still going strong ten years later.

Then, at the weekend my Mum and I took a trip to Wandlebury, a place we visited on occasion when we were younger. It is such a lovely country park, and it made me so grateful to live in such a gorgeous place in England. We have everything; from cities like Cambridge, to beautiful country parks and small market towns full of lovely memories. I'm so lucky to have grown up in such an idyllic place.

I've made a vow to explore more of my hometown and surrounding areas. Rather than spend my weekends snuggled up on the sofa, I want to get outside and explore more of my home town and the surrounding areas. My hometown is so gorgeous, and I should be making the most of the wonderful place I am lucky enough to live in!

Do you appreciate your hometown?

Friday, 16 February 2018

4 things to do on your first ski trip

Whilst it may have been seven years since my last (and first) ski trip, heading back to the mountains has been on my mind recently. My friend Georgia (from Mapped Out) and I went to Falcade in the Dolomite mountains in Italy for a week in February 2011 with our school, and we had the best time. Despite it being so long ago, my memories of that trip are so good and there are four things I'd recommend you need to do on your first ski trip!

Have a good breakfast
It's day one, and we've just arrived at the top of the mountain after a hilarious introduction to the ski lift (we were both so nervous about not being able to get on or off). The scenery is beautiful, and we're part way into our ski lesson when I begin to feel really rather ill. After a quick lay down on the snow to recover from the altitude sickness, I vowed to make sure I ate a good breakfast every morning because I knew that skipping breakfast had not helped my situation, rookie error.

Embrace the Apres Ski
The evenings were such good fun! As we were sixth formers, we all had drinks in the evenings whilst on the trip. Every evening was hilarious (with the added bonus that we didn't get hangovers yet - score!). I'm pretty sure one of our faves was La Stua where we would drink and dance the night away before heading back to our chalet style hotel.

Layer up
I made the mistake of not wearing layers one day, and because you are actually working pretty hard by lunchtime I was roasting but had to keep my long-sleeved thermals off because it's not hugely appropriate to sit and eat in your bra! I made sure to wear layers the next day so I could swiftly remove my thermals at lunch and cool down.

Take in the views
When I think back to our trip, one of my favourite memories is how stunning the mountains were. Travelling up and down in the ski lift gave us 5-10 minutes a day to just relax and take it all in.

Skiing was such a fun, and different, holiday. It was so unlike anything I'd ever done before and I was so glad I went. The dolomite mountains were truly stunning, and I'd love to go back to ski again one day.

Have you ever been skiing before?

Friday, 9 February 2018

3 ways to fight against period poverty

 One of the best things about social media, is the ability for people to share their ideas on a much bigger platform. I was recently scrolling through my feed when I found a post about a girl named Amika George who has started a petition for girls who have free school meals to get free sanitary products. It really struck a chord with me, and I was so pleased to see someone so young campaigning for something SO important.

Growing up, I always felt incredibly self conscious whenever I was on my period. I was lucky enough to grow up in a family who could afford these products, but imagine if you had to go through a period every month without access to sanitary products. Reading more about what Amika was campaigning for made the campaign make even more sense to me, and what a brilliant idea I think it is. If the government could provide free sanitary products for girls who have free school meals, many young girls might stop missing school, or using unhygienic methods when their periods come around every month.

After some further research, I also came across Bloody Good Period, which is a charity that aims to provide sanitary products for those who can't afford them. Gabby Edlin, the brains behind Bloody Good Period, noticed that food banks and asylum seeker drop in centres were not providing sanitary products to women. Women who cannot afford sanitary products are forced to use toilet paper, or not to use anything at all which is bound to make that time of the  month even worse.

So, here are three things you can do to help stop period poverty.

1. Sign Amika's #FreePeriods petition, which you can do here. She's so close to 150,000 signatures!

2. Donate money to, or volunteer for, Bloody Good Period.

3. Write to your local MP about the petition. Here's a template of what I sent to my local MP!

Dear X,

I am local resident and wanted to email you about a campaign I think you might be interested in.

Recently, I came across the #FreePeriods campaign which aims to get free menstrual products for all children on free school meals. Please see below for a link to the petition.

I think this is a fantastic petition, and wondered if there was something you could do about this - perhaps there is a local school that might be able to trial this campaign. As a young woman, I feel very strongly about the importance of this campaign. Whilst I recognise that it might take some years for this scheme to come into practice, it would be great to know that my local MP is aware of the petition.

Periods are bad enough without having to worry about whether you have access to sanitary products.

Please let me know your thoughts.

Thank you in advance.


Whilst this is a brief template, and you may want to send something entirely your own, I've had a response from one of the MP's I contacted who is now aware of the campaign which is progress in itself. Hopefully the more people that email their local MP's, the more people who learn more about tackling the issue of period poverty.

If you have any ideas on how I can fight against period poverty, I'd love to know what else I could be doing!

Friday, 2 February 2018

January 2018 in Numbers

 January is never the quickest month, but luckily this one hasn't dragged TOO much! There are some exciting things ahead and it's been a good start to 2018. Having said that I'm grateful that the evenings are slowly beginning to lighten up. Let's get to it, shall we?

1 trip to the spa with my mum - we spent the day relaxing, catching up and reading. I had such a lovely facial and back massage, it was exactly what we needed for the first weekend in January

books read - It's a good start to my 60 books in 2018 challenge. I've read books by Marian Keyes, Rupi Kaur, Ali McNamara, Lauren Juliff and Scarlett Moffatt

2 new restaurants explored. Dan and I visited a local pub, and I also headed to Carluccio's for the first time ever - both were great, and it was nice to do something a little different

1 visit back to Canterbury to see my friend Mary. As always, we had a lovely time and it was exactly what I needed halfway through January

1 trip abroad booked! In August, I'll be heading to Budapest. It will be my first time in Hungary, and I'm so excited to explore somewhere new

How has January been for you?

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