The last 24 hours has been a roller coaster of emotions, from completely unpanicked to incredible excited to wishing I could stay home and a continuous jumble of all the above all at once.

Still after much packing, unpacking and repacking, a couple of hours sleep and a cold shower for the nerves I was in a car on my way to Manchester Airport.

After about 6 hours or travelling (several of which were spent driving down the wrong roads) we arrived and here I sit waiting for my flight.

Unlike my last trip to France, this time I'm accompanied by an old school friend and a return ticket that brings me home in 8 weeks.

Although we have a rough idea of where we'll end up other than our first flight to New York and the return from Los Angeles, everything that happens in-between is up for debate! All I know is we plan to spend the first few weeks together and then head of solo for the rest of our trips.

I'm hoping to spend a good portion of the trip exploring the Californian coast, and the City of Angels.

What happens while I'm there is really unknown but I'm actually really hoping to take up some classes while I'm out there, in music and drama, and...who knows what else.

Controversial as it might seem I'm hoping not to be too much of a tourist! New York is really going to be the tourist time but in California I really want to try and sink into life and get the most out of the experience.

If you have any tips for things to do, places to explore and cities to visit please let me know in the comments below and we'll see how many I can fit in during my travels.

I'm going to miss home so much, but I really can't wait to start this journey.

It's going to be a big adventure.


Hello!

An old friend of mine from University has just recently had a baby. You may remember me mentioning my trip to meet the bump - I wrote about it in my travel diaries here.

Well now the gorgeous little monster is here I have been designated the honourable duty of making him a little baby grow.

Now confessions first - I'm not making the baby grow, that has been supplied by the lovely new Mum and Dad, but the design is all mine to do.

So I had a scout about on Pinterest and Google to get some inspiration and finally come up with a simple design that I love.

I've made this stencil to look cute but still to represent the morals and ideals that I think my beautiful friends stand by.

Both Mum and Dad are Eco friendly, world conscious people. A year ago I was able to witness my friends get married, buy their first house together, let there baby grow and they finally brought their little baby boy into the world under that very roof.

So here's a photo of baby Thomas sporting his new baby grow:


The design was super simple to make, so if you'd like to give it a go all you're going to need is some freezer paper, some fabric paints or pens, a cutting board and craft knife, an iron and a towel, and a little inspiration.

You could do this without the freezer paper, but if you don't have the steadiest hand like me then this will make the job so much easier.

First you're going to want to come up with the design you like. Then with a pen or pencil you want to draw this onto the non-shiny side of your freezer paper, and cut out the pattern using your knife and cutting board. Once your ready to go simply iron (shiny side down) onto your baby grow, making sure to place a towel between the iron and your freezer paper so it doesn't burn.

This will make it stick, then all you need to do is colour in the gaps, peel it back off and hey presto one home made design.

What do you think of my design? If you'd like a copy of the stencil please let me know in the comments below and I'll try to upload a copy for your to print off.

I really enjoyed making this stencil and really hope my friends like it. If you'd like to see more stencils like this let me know in the comments below and I'll happily share some more ideas with you very soon.

Thanks for stopping by!
xxx


Hello!

My travels through France have taken me into the beautiful countryside to the small communities just outside Poitier.

Having spent the past few days in the hustle of Paris city the countryside offers a blissful contrast.

I’m so grateful for this opportunity kindly provided to me by my Uncle and Aunt who have taken my younger sister and me in for the last week.

I feel so lucky to have this time with my family, whom I rarely get to visit and to see just how much my gorgeous little cousins have grown.









My time here has been more than laid back and took a day or two to get used. I’ve spent days by the pool, taken early morning walks through pastures and forest paths to the boulangerie, and picked fruits from the sides of the road.

We enjoyed a soirée with the lovely people of the village, went canoeing down the river, and spent an afternoon playing boule in the near by village square.

I’ve loved France, and my trips to Paris and Poitier have really opened my eyes to some of the beauties of France that I hadn’t taken in as a child.

My travels this year have gone from wonder to wonder and the most exciting is still on it’s way.












Hello!

This weekend passed there was a birthday. I'm not one to say whether people should or should not celebrate their birthday, whether they should or should not receive presents and whether there is any reason to want or need them.

I realise that love should be unconditional, and we shouldn't neglect our loved ones for the remainder of the year (which if course I never do) with only a birthday gift to replace it, but I do recognise that in the fast paced lives that we lead, and the increasing distances we travel having a special day to dedicate to a single individual in your life to demonstrate your love and care for that person is a beautiful opportunity.

And for this reason my family and I always aim to gather, wherever that may be so celebrate our love and spend a rare moment together dedicate to nothing but quality time.

This weekend was one of those moments.
We travelled through Wales, enjoyed the countryside, laughed over cups of coffee, saw beautiful sites, danced with bottles of beer and made special memories for years to come.


Whether you celebrate birthdays or not, I hope that for everyone one of us we can always find a day, a time or a short moment to spend with those we love and do nothing but enjoy the company of those we treasure.

Bye for now!
xx

Hello!

Well, it’s gone too fast but my time in Paris has been and gone and as we speak I’m already set for my next adventure!

I write this sat in Montparnasse station waiting for the next train to Paris, and as you read this I’m back in the UK packing my suitcase for New York (where does the time go?!).

Paris has left me too many blisters but even more happy memories – what a beautiful place! Before I came to Paris I decided I’d be exploring the city on foot. Back home I walk everywhere and if I can walking would always be my preference come rain or shine, I just love the fresh air and the sense on exploration and sometimes belonging you can get from a stroll. Though painful on my feet i’m so glad I stuck with it, I saw so much more of the city than I could have ever seen from the windows on the Metro or Bus. Although I didn’t do it this time I would really like to try renting a bicycle on my next trip as they were just everywhere and would provide the perfect balance between the joys of walking and the benefits of a faster mode of transport.

During my adventures across the city I came across all sorts of little boutiques, fruit sellers, boulangeries and wonderful places to pick up a simple yet delicious breakfast to start my day – one of my favourite activities during my whole time in Paris.

Having arrived late in the afternoon on my first night I decided to not waste the long summer days and was straight off into Paris to find my bearings and see my first glimpses of the city. After a little bit of getting lost I quickly found my way to the Eiffel tower and after a stroll through the market and a little necklace purchase I hoped on the first batobus for a ride down the river and a relaxed introduction to this vibrant city. From Notre Dame to the Louvre Museum, I think I felt most at home on the sides of the river bank watching the Salsa dancers in the Latin Quarter. With the warmth of the sun setting behind the buildings Paris was magical, and just as we came back into the first port on came the lights of the Eiffel Tower – lovely.

As the sun had quickly gone to bed I decided to brave the walk up the stairs of the Eiffel Tower to take in the views of the city at night. It was certainly worth the wait, the views were magical, but if I’m completely honest I was in more amazement at the sheer size of the Eiffel tower. I just loved the views from the ground and could have happily parked myself on a seat and looked up at the impressive monument all day, but after a long day it was back to the hotel for a good nights rest ready to make the most of my only full day En Paris!


Despite the rain, my second day was packed full. Starting with the Catacombs, then a walk to Notre Dame passing through Jardin de Luxembourg and across the lock bridges. The child in me was giddy as anything to stand on the steps of Notre Dame. Sorry to make a Disney reference but both the book and the Disney film for the Hunchback of Notre Dame hold a fond place in my heart so I was over the moon to see this majestic building in person. I ended my day with a leisurely stroll around the Louvre Museum. I could have given a whole day to the Louvre, I can see how people can lose track of the hours in the art galleries, its one thing seeing art in books, or movies, or media forms, but to see such enormous paintings in real life was breath taking.



I couldn’t have enjoyed my trip more it was such a wonderful (if tiring!) experience. The only thing that could have made it any better would have been more time to sit back and watch the world go by (one of my favourite pass times) but I’m sure I’ll be back in no time.

But for now I’m already on my next adventure. As I write, I sit in Montparnasse station waiting for the arrival of the TGV to Poitier. I’ll be spending a week there and then heading back to Wales for a few short days before my next journey.

I hope wherever you are in the world you’re enjoying the summer and taking advantage of every opportunity that comes your way.


For now Au Revoir!
Hello!

If you don't already know I have been travelling. So in preparation for the sun and sand I've been giving my body some real TLC. The base tan is ready to go, the sun screen is packed, I've been sticking to a morning squats and sit up routine to work on those less than tones bits of my body, and every evening I've been pampering my very neglected feet.

 As honesty is the best policy i have to tell you that my feet get the absolute minimum of care and usually resemble something more suited to the stone age - lovely
I blame my years of dance school. 

So in a hopes to have something remotely acceptable to reveal in public places I've been busy with my new tootsie routine every evening. the greatest thing about it has been the minimal required effort on my part and the compulsory episode of Friends.

So if you're feet are a little worse for wear like mine and your hoping to get those sandals our for a break this summer follow this super simpler evening routine and you'll have beautiful little feet in a week.


P.s. can you spot my sandal tan lines already? haha looks like I've already being making use of my foot rescue!

Here we go!:

First things first, give your feet a good wash and a quick scrub to get rid of any dirt from the day. I use a soap with tea tree oil and I make a very simple homemade sugar scrub using granulated cane sugar and some olive oil straight from the kitchen cupboards - but any scrub you've got will do the job.

Then comes the easy bit. Fill a bowl with warm water, add two tablespoons of sea salt and a tablespoon of white vinegar (If you're worried about any sneaky bacteria roaming your feet this will be great to wipe them out), and soak for 20 minutes - just enough time for an episode of something good - friends is my current favourite.

After 20 minutes or so (I usually get caught up in a second episode!) dry your feet off and with a Ped egg or something similar give all those less smooth pats of your feet a good scrub. I know I know, I hate the idea of a Ped egg but trust me it's worth it, I don't know what I would do without it anymore.

To finish off rub a little almond oil into your toes and be sure to spend a good amount of time on your nails. This will do wonders to nourish your nails but if you don't have any olive oil can also work well.
And finally, take a generous amount of Vaseline and cover your feet from heel to toe. If you prefer a specific moisturiser you can use that instead but I can guarantee nothing does the job like Vaseline. 

Then pop your feet in a plastic bag and leave to soak in the goodness. I use those little vegetable baggies from the supermarket which are easy to come by and the perfect size.

...wait what?? Yes i know, but trust me. This was a tip I was given by a friend and I swear it's like putting your feet in a beauty cocoon. I promise if you do this for a whole week your feet will be transformed by the end.

My only warning would be to make sure your very careful if you want to walk around. I have slipped and landed on my bottom so to avoid it you can also pop your feet (already in bags) inside some comfy socks which will help with the slipping.

I've had just horrible feet as long as I can remember but I finally feel like I can get the sandals out without feeling conscious all day - just a little nail varnish and Voila.

If you have any extra tips please let me and everyone else know in the comments below.

I've been travelling for 10 days now and I have many more trips to share in the coming weeks so stay tuned, it's getting busy!

Thank you for stopping by!


xx
Bonjour!



Well I’m here – I made it. As I write this I’m sitting in Birmingham Airport departure lounge getting ready to board my flight in about… 45 minutes, just enough time for a loo stop (that’s right bodily functions update!), to grab a bite to eat and have a little chat with you.

At this point can I just raise the question of eat-in prices of food and airport cafes? Seriously?!

On only 3 hours sleep I’m surprisingly chipper so as soon as I land I’ll be hitting the streets and getting my bearings.

…Oh hold on, I’ve not told you where I’m going yet! Mind you if you’ve seen any of my last few posts, or follow me on twitter you might have already cottoned on (I haven’t stopped going on about it!)

OK start again – I’m going to Paris!

A 4am start followed by a 3 ½ hour train, and a 2 1/5 hour flight and voila, in Paris I shall be.

I’ve only got 48 hours here and then I’m off to Poitier to stay with family – more on that soon.

I’ve only ever been to Paris as a youngster so as I was in the country I decided to take advantage of the locale, and hit up Paris on the way. As I’m not going to be there for long I haven’t quite decided if I’m going to try and brave the metro in a hopes to travel further and see more of the big sites, or instead take it in my stride quite literally, and stroll the streets taking in the local vibe. I’ll definitely see less of the sites that way but I might get a much better feel for Parisian life…

…decisions, decisions…

Well anyway, so far everything has gone smoothly so fingers crossed it stays that way!.

While I’ve still got the time I think I’m going to get the phrase book out and practice my French in fear I might get lost on the way to the hotel!

By the time you read this I’ll already be on my way to my next destination, but I’ll be sure to let you know all about my Paris adventures.

Until then,

Bye for now!
xx


p.s. Have you been to Paris? What are your best (or worst!) memories? Let me know in the comments.
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