Tag Archives: competition

What would you pack for a weekend away? #Blog4Trek

trek

As my entry to Trek America’s incredible #Blog4Trek competition, I’d like to share with you my packing essentials for a weekend away. Anyone who knows me will know I don’t usually travel light, but after being bitten by the backpacking bug its time to start!

98 The most important things to pack when heading off on any trip is your sense of adventure and your passport – if you are surprised and have no time to pack, the only important thing is to embrace it. At the end of the day, you can (usually) buy everything you need there but you won’t have any fun without a good attitude!

98Almost as vitally important as this is remembering your camera! How else will you remember all those incredible moments in years to come? Don’t worry about these bulky professional snappers, instead, why not just use your phone? Most phones have a great camera on these days and it also means you can instantly share pics with friends back home, plus you have an alarm clock and access to live maps – always useful when exploring!

Walking in the Irish hills near Waterford

Walking in the Irish hills near Waterford

98 Don’t forget your sunglasses! No matter what your destination, these babies will always be useful for sunning yourself on the beach, skiing on sunny slopes, snoring behind on the plane or hiding a hangover on the way home.

98 A good book – no matter where you go there is bound to be some travelling or downtime and this is perfect for catching up with your fave novel.

98 When choosing your clothes – clean knickers are essential and plan your outfits ahead so you don’t over-pack. A big necklace is great for jazzing up casual outfits for an unexpected night out and a bikini is always useful.

Cruisin' in Ibiza

Cruisin’ in Ibiza

Why not create your own entry or share your packing essentials below?

Advertisements

Exploring Malta, Gozo and Comino – from hidden caves to edible delights

I’ve been reminiscing a lot lately about one of my favourite holidays ever – my 2012 trip to Malta with my boyfriend. Despite not being the most exotic, or the longest-haul journey I have ever been on, it was definitely up there as one of my favourites because there was quite simply so much to learn and explore.

We settled on Malta after realising that we could not afford to go to Italy with everything else we had planned and from our research we believed that Malta held many similarities, at least enough to keep us happy and not feel like we were sacrificing our summer holiday. Being a very inquisitive pair, we get bored easily and although we wanted to come back feeling refreshed and relaxed, we also wanted to have the opportunity to learn about a different culture by exploring the history and sights. Well, we certainly picked the right place because Malta boasts a rich heritage and culture that had us out almost every day walking across the rocky shores and through the bustling city of Valletta.

We stayed in Mellieha – an area more often chosen for holidays by Italian, Greek and German families as we found out, but which worked well to our advantage as we hate to go abroad and find ourselves surrounded by English people. It was beautiful, very hilly and incredibly traditional – the building pictured above was at the top of a steep hill leading down to the sea and the view at the top of this post is from the very top of the hill looking across the bay. Here we are enjoying a nice cold local beer (Cisk) at a tiny bar for locals we discovered after walking right to the top of the hill.

The fantastic bus services and ferry service (far superior to the UK in every way!) meant we were able to get out and about independently, even organising ourselves on to boat trips out to nearby islands Gozo and Comino. The size of the islands also meant it was very easy to travel right across the island several times during the day as you went between the sights.

I loved the boat trip over to the nearby islands – we travelled around the bay to see the caves surrounding the island and into Gozo harbour, then on to Comino where were able to get off the boat for a few hours.

This is me standing at the top of a rock looking over the Blue Lagoon on Comino – stunning clear waters between the two beaches that enticed us so much we decided to walk across the shallow bay and carry our bags above our head – it was deeper than I expected and being a shortie I did have to swim some of the way while my boyfriend laughed at me.

During the 10 days we spent in Malta we also took a trip to Valletta where we explored the cake shops hidden in the winding streets, explored the harbour and the cathedral, the Grandmaster’s Palace, museums, the forts and library. It was an incredible day packed with history and culture, but unfortunately you were not allowed to take pictured in all of the places we visited so I only have the following:

It was a great day and I would heartily recommend that anyone visiting Valletta makes sure to pop into the Grandmaster’s Palace to watch the changing of the guard, the fortifications, and St John’s Co-Cathedral is nothing else – make sure to wear clothes covering your legs and arms out of respect.

Our hotel organised an evening visit to a Festa in a nearby village – a Saturday night packed with food, live music and entertainment, and fireworks. Perfect.

We had dinner at a restaurant overlooking the harbour in the village, fresh pasta and seafood – delicious, before heading round to the festa.

It was a lovely evening and one I would really recommend – the music was great and the fireworks were VERY impressive!

Then we spent a day trekking around Gozo and visiting all of the sights, we didn’t make it to the temples unfortunately but managed to see a lot of other sights. One of my favourites was the Citadel which surrounded the town. Here I am standing at the top in the baking heat.

Then we moved on to the Azure Window – another favourite. Amazing to see the crashing waves powering through the window while we swam in a small tidal pool beneath – I loved visiting this spit and didn’t want to leave, especially when we discovered a secret beach behind it and locals sitting by their “beach huts” next to the lagoon. This was the reason we missed the temples, but it was worth it.

This was followed by a trip back across the harbour as the sun was setting.

Malta was definitely one of my favourite countries I have ever holidayed in because there is just so much to do, but it is still a spectacular place if you just want to sit by the pool and relax – we did plenty of both, but my absolutely favourite thing we did there was EAT!

The food was incredible everywhere we went, from the local bakery where they sold spinach and cheese pastries, to The Arches restaurant which sold the finest quality (expensive but worth it) venison, lamb and wine – so good we went twice! If you ever travel there, be sure to eat and drink for it will make you very merry!

Pictures are all my own.

Image

Everyone’s a winner baby!

Everyone's a winner baby!

After a lifetime of entering competitions, paying the Lottery and trying my luck at quizzes – I finally won something! I entered an online competition organised by the owners of a Cambridge-based vintage seller, called Rehab Vintage, through their Facebook page.
Never even considering for a second that I might win, I answered the question and forgot about it, until a status popped into my news feed saying that I had indeed won!

I had my choice of a selection of winter warmer vintage cardigans and jumpers with a range of designs available. So many of them were fabulous patterns and styles, but I chose this cardigan and it arrived last week. It’s absolutely lovely and snug as anything, managed to wear it on Saturday, but it was too warm on Sunday.

Getting a bit over-eager for that wintery chill now so I can really get some wear out of it. Will definitely be planning on checking out the rest of their clothes on their Asos Marketplace page.

Networking: Making new friends at the #EABloggerParty

On Friday night I headed to the beautiful city of Norwich in the rain with two photographer friends and a fellow blogger to the first East Anglia Bloggers Party, organised by the fabulous and lovely Gemma Seager – the woman behind Retrochick.

(From left, Mike Chivers of Rebel Heart Photography, myself, Victoria Arndt of Faerie Wishes and Emily Nichols, another photographer)

Gemma had organised the cocktail party as a chance for bloggers and creative types to meet in person instead of just online and it was a great way of developing a community between Norfolk writers.

Here I am hobnobbing with some of the fabulous writers I met at the party (pics courtesy of Rebel Heart Photography) over some gorgeous 241 cocktails – my favourite was the Freak Friday, although I rather enjoyed a raspberry Bellini as well!

_RHP5241_8789 _RHP5247_8795

 

_RHP5244_8792

It was a really lovely party, Gemma had gone to so much effort in organising goody bags, a raffle and tights competition, and I meet some lovely women. It was refreshing to go into a room of women with such a wonderful atmosphere, everyone just wanted to make friends and hear about your work. Talking about what I do also made me realise the value of all my work by seeing it through other people’s eyes. It is very easy to forget or underestimate yourself when you don’t take a step back to put all your work into perspective.

It was also fantastic to finally meet the woman behind Retro Chick – one of my favourite blogs and Gemma is such an inspiration for turning her passion for writing and all things vintage into a career – when she couldn’t find the job she wanted, she created it.

I’m really looking forward to the next gathering and keeping in contact with the bloggers I met.

For the tights competition, we had to choose a pair to take home and wear, then getting a picture of ourselves and posting them on our blogs to stand a chance of winning a hamper. Here’s my offering – and I love the tights I ended up with – gorgeous lace print!

The tights are by Pamela Mann – http://www.tightsplease.co.uk/brands/pamela-mann/