Wednesday, 11 September 2019

Listening to your own advice


Sometimes in life on top of the challenges which we are constantly trying to tackle and work on, other obstacles get thrown into the mix. I feel amongst my friends I dish out advice often. It can be hard to give advice on situations which you have never faced yourself. However, you are still able to give advice and I base this upon what I think I would do if I was in their shoes. The advice you give out I often don't think I will ever need to deal with myself, but then life happens and a spanner is thrown into works. This has happened to me recently. It can be crazy to think about how easy it is to dish out advice which you think is correct left, right and centre but when it's yourself everything changes. I have constantly been thinking about what I would say to others. This is so important in any decision making. Giving advice can at times be brutal, but I always want to give an honest and open opinion as that is what I would want to receive in return.

When my friends have asked for advice I like time to think about what I want to say. There are situations when advice is needed in an instance and that can be hard. I like time to process and think. I have often been in situations where I have gone back in a day or two and put in a different spin on my take. Recently I have learnt that sometimes I can beat around the bush on what I really feel in order to protect the feelings of my friends, I'm often the person who puts in an alternative opinion to try and help them see things from both points of view. I am not however a person who holds back, but I like to think I am protecting their feelings as sometimes they need a gentle approach. I listen to everyone in the discussions input as this may trigger your opinion to slightly change when you hear it from someone else's perspective.

What I have learnt is listening to your own advice can be much harder than you may think. It becomes frustrating as often you know what's right, but you are thinking of the alternatives on repeat. My friends have often said to take a few days to think about things and let it stew. I am not great at this and like to get things sorted as soon as possible, but in this scenario it worked for the better. I allowed myself to think of all the different options knowing that it's up to me to put a time limit on my decision. If you are certain of what you want I would always say go ahead and nip it in the bud. If you need time, give yourself time. These situations always seem to happen when you are at your busiest, already trying to juggle life and work and then this gets thrown in as well. I think it is often important to prioritise it when you can in order to make a decision which has been well thought through.

Depending on what you have decided it will now be the time where you actually need the most advice from those around you, whether you have made the choice to go against what they have said or not. As the person receiving the advice though you have to sometimes understand that it can be difficult for the other person to see it from your point of view. I would always hope that this would only happen because they love and care for you. I have been in situations when someone has asked me for advice which I think has been open and well-rounded. The person has then done the complete opposite. That can be hard for you to get your head around, and can be difficult to offer support but that's what friendships are about - being there in their hardest times. On top of this it can be a time where you learn who your real friends are. Who actually sends a text to ask if you're okay and who doesn't bother.

I have found in many different situations that consciously you know what to do. I often think about the bigger picture, think about in a month's time or even a year where do you see yourself. This may be that you're thinking about getting a new job, but you've been too scared to take the plunge. It could be something completely different to do with friendships or relationships. I am often a here and now person which can be great. I would say I try to be as optimistic as I can be, but I struggle at times. I do believe in having a gut feeling about something and it is a lot of the time right. Contemplating backwards and forwards can you leave yourself feeling crazy. Depending on what is going on, taking a risk can sometimes be worth taking. It is important to think about all the possible outcomes, and if it ends badly whether you are willing to take the risk and be able to deal with the consequences. Most importantly, you know some decisions are only going to end in hurt and the likelihood for a happy ending is very unlikely. Something which makes you happy for a short period of time is better to end now, rather than prolonging and ending in a much more complicated and hurtful way.

Listening to yourself and following what you know you should really be doing is the best advice which I will ever give to anyone. You have to be selfish and think about yourself and what is best for you. Taking a few days or even weeks to make a decision is fine. We often feel as though everything has to be done there and then, if it is something important to you ensure you are not going to regret your decision. You are in control of your decisions and outcomes. In months or even years you often look back and reflect on decisions you have made. In my job we are encouraged to do a lot of reflection, in order to look at the positive, negatives, barriers and improvements which can be made. This has made me an open thinker, but also an over thinker. I allow little things to build up and bug me and others probably think I am just over thinking which I know I am. I do however think I am good at listening to my own thoughts. We need to learn to all be kinder to ourselves, and this is something which I try to continuously work on and often encourage others to do as well. I am also a firm believer in what is meant to happen, will happen.

Lucy
xoxo

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Wednesday, 4 September 2019

Holiday Reads


I am sad to say I am one of those people who doesn't read on a daily basis. I am a bit of a binge reader, when I go on holiday I read consistently and then when I get home I just don't seem to find the time to pick up a book. I really want to change this habit and read on a regular basis and put it into my weekly routine. On holiday I managed to get through seven books, so I thought I would give a little run down of them all.

Lullaby was quite a short story compared to my other reads. It is a very interesting read about a young couple living the average millennial life trying to juggle work with a baby. They decide to hire a nanny, from the start you get an unnerving feeling about her and the introduction actually lets you into the nit and grit of what is the final outcome. Overall, this was a very thought-provoking and sad book which shocked me with its ending.

Who doesn't love David Attenborough really?! Adventures of a Young Naturalist is a trilogy of adventures which he went on when he first started in TV in the 60's. This was by far one of my most interesting reads in a while. I thought it was a little bit crazy to see how things have changed from then to now, as we now live in age which rightly so highlights animal conservation and welfare. This book explores how David and his team went to different countries to find a variety of exotic animals which had never been seen before all in aid of a TV programme called Zoo Quest. In the grand scheme they go and catch these animals and bring them back to the UK to then feature on the TV programme. They then take residency in London Zoo. It was interesting and laugh out loud funny at some points imagining them to trying to catch these animals especially the story about the pig!

The Sister is a thriller where Grace's best friend Charlie dies suddenly, and Charlie's wish has always been to find her biological dad. Grace sets out to find him and in the process she meets a girl named Anna who tells her she is Grace's half-sister. There are lots of twists and turns in this book, and I was definitely sucked into the story line. I really enjoyed this book and I was shocked at the ending, this has made me interested in reading Louise Jenson's other books.

As a children's nurse I am always into reading and watching films which can be very sad, but delve into the true realities of teenager illnesses and the harsh realities of their lives. If you have read or watched My Sister's Keeper or The Fault in the Stars then this will be right up your alley. Five Feet Apart follows a teenager friendship of two friends Stella and Poe who met whilst in hospital over a period of time receiving the same treatment for cystic fibrosis. Another teenage boy Will then arrives on the unit, he is not following his regime and has essentially just given up as his mum struggles to accept the reality of the situation, and she is constantly sending him for different therapies all over the world. Stella falls in love with Will and takes him under her wing. However, there is a rule in order to not spread any bacteria between them which could be life-threatening they have to officially keep six feet apart. They decide they should keep five feet apart. This is a tear-jerker and an emotional rollercoaster from start to finish. It is a book which made me think in great depth and I highly recommend it.

The Sunshine Sisters is a story around an actress called Ronnie Sunshine and her three daughters. Ronnie has always been dramatic and her daughters feel there upbringing was not the most loving. The girls grow up and all leave to lead different lives, when Ronnie asks them to all get together they are all expecting a different reveal as to what is the real problem. She tells the girls she is seriously unwell and only has a few days to live. The girls all have their own major personal life troubles and this is just a big spanner thrown into the works. It is a great book which explores the ins and outs of being in a celebrity family and the challenges along the way.

The Couple Next Door really had a great element of suspense to the story line. My dad and I sometimes have similar interests in books and I have given this to him to read. It all starts with a normal loving couple who has a 6 month old baby. The parents are left down by their babysitter last minute and their neighbours suggest leaving the baby in their house with a monitor on and to take it in turns checking every 30 minutes. However, when the mum goes to check the baby is missing. The book holds great suspense and the story line moves on at the perfect pace. I did at some points find some elements a little unrealistic, but by the end it all comes together and I was shocked to discover who and what caused the disappearance of the baby.

The F Word is a book I had wanted to read for ages. It is by Lily Pebbles who is a blogger who I have been following from day dot. She is always so down to earth and relatable and she always comes across as a strong independent feminist. This book explores female friendships and it is interesting as Lily delves into different types of friendship and puts them into categories. Whilst I was reading this I was thinking of my own friendships, and it really made me cherish the friendships that I have and realise how special they are.

Lucy
xoxo

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Sunday, 11 August 2019

Plaza Beach Marbella

We had decided that at some point during our girl's holiday to Marbella we would attend a pool or beach party. On Instagram and through some research we had seen that there was a large range of pool and beach parties within Marbella available. I discussed in my first post which detailed our entire holiday to Marbella that Puerto Banus is the higher end part of the town where the majority of these events are held. After a lot of research and calculations we decided that Plaza Beach was not only the best value for money, but also looked the best for us.


We went on a Tuesday which turned out to be a great decision. If you go between Friday-Sunday the price doubles if not triples. We bought a package which in total costs 230 euros. There were four of us and we split the price between us. With our package we got a jacuzzi which was much much bigger than we had anticipated, they fit 12 people and it was fabulous. We also had a big day bed with towels and a magnum of prosecco included in the price. This was our big treat of the holiday and it was worth it for sure. Plaza Beach opens at 1.30pm and finishes at 7pm.


We anticipated that the drinks were going to be expensive and we had looked at the price list online when we booked it. The drinks were very widely priced depending on what you wanted. The magnum of prosecco that we got included with our package was 75 euros to buy individually. We did the maths and for just under 19 euros each we got another bottle as we got 8 full glasses of prosecco out of it. My friend bought a large jug of strawberry daiquri which in hindsight was probably not worth it as it did not go very far and cost 60 euros. We then moved on to bottles of rose which the cheapest was 26 euros. We thought this was a pretty decent price. If you want individual cocktails they were 15 euros or more each. Spirits and mixer varied from 15-17 euros each depending on which spirit you choose. Some of the prices were laughable as there was a bottle of champagne available for over 1000 euros. Thank the lord we didn't get too merry and pop that on the credit card!


We were a little bit unsure as to what the vibe was going to be like. We wore heels there but took them off and wore our sandals for the rest of the day. There was music playing and we were actually all relieved that everyone was just chilling and enjoying themselves. We had seen pictures from places like Ocean Beach and Nikki Beach which seemed to be a little too wild. At the weekend I expect that there is much more of a party vibe but I think you can make it what you want it to be. The jacuzzi 100% made this afternoon the best it could be. In all honesty we were definitely living our best lives. It is a little more money to spend and all though the jacuzzi fits 12 I think that would probably be too many people as the day bed would fit 6 comfortably.

All in all, we had a fabulous time at Plaza Beach and if I was ever to visit Marbella again I would definitely go back.

Lucy
xoxo
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Sunday, 4 August 2019

A Girls Trip to Marbella

This holiday with my friends was just what the doctor ordered. Going on holiday with three of my best friends what more could I ask for? I had briefly been to Marbella a few years ago on a day trip when we stayed in a resort a little further along the beach called Benalmadena. I was so excited to go back and explore further with my friends. Marbella over the last few years has become well known for its party scenes and beach clubs. We wanted it to have a holiday where we could go to the beach and pool during the day, and then be able to go out and enjoy ourselves at night.



We booked the trip for 4 nights and we flew out on a 9am flight from Manchester. From the airport we got on the bus to the centre of Marbella which only costs 8.50 euros each. We then got a taxi from the centre to our hotel which was 7 euros. Our hotel was located on the beach front it was called Skol Apartments. We booked this trip only three months before we went and we were struggling to find somewhere to accommodate four adults. We were impressed with the location of the apartments and the accommodation itself. We were staying on the seventh floor and the apartments are two tiered. We had a lovely view from our balcony overlooking the town and across into the sea. We decided to stay in Marbella rather than Puerto Banus which is where we thought the majority of the nightlife would happen. To our surprise Marbella itself had a large range of bars and places to drink. We all agreed if we were to visit again we would make the same decision. Marbella had much more of a chilled vibe and we liked that we had the option of going to Puerto Banus if we wanted to rather than the other way around. To get a taxi into Puerto Banus it costs approximately 12 euros.



The night we arrived we went to explore Marbella and try and get our bearings. We decided to head for some tapas and a few drinks. It was lovely and we found so many little bars to drink at. Our first Tapas experience of the holiday was at La Bodega Del Mar which was located on the sea front in Marbella. The food was lush and it got the holiday started in the perfect way.

We spent the next day on the beach front relaxing and taking in the sun. We hired beach chairs which were 6 euros and came with a thick mattress which were heavenly to lie on. That night we headed in to Puerto Banus for the first time and we went for a walk along the harbour which was very impressive and had some pretty hefty sized boats. We had pre-booked a table at La Sala which is a well known high end restaurant. We had decided it was our fancy dressing up and going out night which did not disappoint. The food was incredible in La Sala and after 9.30pm they have a live singer on who was fabulous. After we finished our food we headed inside to the bar area to listen to the music and have a little a dance. We then headed out to the main part of Puerto Banus and well let's just say we got home at 4am.



After surviving a mild hangover from the night before, another day at the beach was calling us. After the heavy night before we decided to stay around Marbella and we ate in a lovely Italian restaurant called La Tagliatella. The concept was great - there were 10 pasta choices and over 15 sauce options. You mixed and matched to your choice so you created your own perfect dish. The portions were huge when they arrived, we definitely could have shared. I had rigatoni ragu and it was really tasty. All the girls said that their food was lovely, just that the portions were a little too large.



Before the holiday we decided we wanted to attend one of the bigger pool or beach parties. We decided on Plaza Beach. We had had some friends recommend it and also it seemed the best value for money. We did quite a lot of research into which one to choose as some of them are really expensive. We booked before we went and there are a lot of different price options depending on what package you choose. We splashed out a little bit and chose a day bed with a jacuzzi which costs 230 euros in total. When we got there we were really surprised at just how big the jacuzzi was as it fitted 12 people. We had a big day bed and for the price we also got a magnum of prosecco included. I am going to write a separate post detailing more in depth information about our experience at Plaza Beach, so keep your eyes peeled. After the party had finished at 7pm we headed back to our apartments and headed out for some dinner. We headed into Marbella's Old Town and stumbled across a lovely Pizzeria. We drank sangria and ate pizza until we couldn't fit anything else in.

On the last day we headed to the pool area of our apartments. We were really impressed by the size of the pool area, it was two tiered with two massive swimming pools. We took in the last of the rays and then headed out for some final tapas tasting. We felt as though we hadn't quite taken in all of Marbella's Old Town (mainly due to the ample of wine consumption the night before!), so we headed there to explore a little further. We wanted some final tapas and we found a little restaurant and ordered a large variety of the menu. We weren't that impressed with the food in all honesty. It was average and everything was extra salty. After this we headed back to the hotel and waited for the bus to take us to the airport.

Overall, I think I can speak for all the girls when I say this was one of my favourite holidays that we have ever taken together. A lot of memories were made and we all enjoyed exploring both Marbella and Puerto Banus.

Lucy
xoxo
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Wednesday, 17 July 2019

Current Travel Plans


So I am very lucky to say that I have quite a few holidays in the pipeline. At the start of the year I had plans to try and save and put any holidays on the back burner. However, lots of exciting opportunities have come up.

First up, I am off to Marbella in Spain with three of my best pals. We still love our girls holidays and I am excited to get away with the girl's and forget about normal life for a few days. We have a few beach parties and trips planned which will hopefully be fantastic. This is only two weeks again now so it is getting very close.

I get home from Marbella and then I head to Santa Ponsa in Majorca for 2 weeks. This holiday is a family trip with my parents and sister. Everyone always say they think it's lovely that we all still go on holiday together and I don't get why we wouldn't. We are staying on a golf complex which is private and is just luxury and pleasant. You can do what you want and when you want. We can walk into the town centre at the night time. It's lovely and will be the break we all need.

Earlier this year in February my sister and I went on out first trip together to Disneyland Paris. It is all we have talked about since we got back and we knew we needed another trip in the pipeline in order to dust away our Disney blues. We originally wanted to go in October but it was really expensive. We then decided to look at the prices to go the weekend before Christmas, and by some miracle it was cheaper than any other time that we were looking at. It is sooo exciting and we are staying in a Disney hotel again. This time we have chose to stay in the Hotel Cheyenne which is toy story themed.

The most exciting trip which I have lined up is my sister and I have also booked to finally go to Walt Disney World in Florida. Once again after going to Disneyland Paris this year, it set us into overdrive about finally getting to go to Florida. We have booked to go at the end of May 2020. We have booked it so far in advance just for the simple reason that we have longer to pay it off. This is going to be a once in a life time trip as boy it has cost a lot but we are already soooo excited. We have booked a package holiday so we are staying at a Disney hotel called Colorado Springs, and we have access to the Disney parks for the 11 days which we are there. We are hoping to also do some more exploring outside of Disney and also head to Universal Studios.

One of my close friends from university is taking the dive and moving to Canada. I had the original plan to go out and travel with her for around three weeks when she first moves out there next February. We had booked onto a travelling tour for 10 days but it has since been cancelled. We have struggled to find another tour which we want to go on as February is not the best time to travel around Canada due to the weather at that time of year. Therefore, we have made alternative plans that I am going to head out there around September/October time when the weather is better and there are plenty of tours available. The plan is pretty much the same to go out for about 3 weeks and travel around Canada.

For now they are all of my travel plans which I currently have in the pipeline. My ultimate travel goal is to at some point head to Australia and New Zealand. Realistically I think that is going to have to happen in 2021 as there is only so much that I can realistically afford.

Do you have any travel plans?

Lucy
xoxo

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Wednesday, 10 July 2019

Turning 25


I don't know what it is about turning 25 but it is scaring the life out me. I mean I know birthdays come around every year but after you get to 21 I feel like birthdays aren't quite as exciting. As a July birthday when I was younger I used to hate being the young one. I did not go out for any of my friends 18th birthday and then when I turned 18 everyone else's excitement at now being 18 had worn off. 25 is the age you've entered mid 20's territory well and truly. I feel like it is the age when you need to have your shit together, whatever that means.

It is so easy in life to compare yourselves to others. No matter how hard you try, it is normal to think I want what they have. This can be in many different forms. I often like to have these chats with others and see what they think. I recently discussed it with one of my friends and my interpretation of her having everything she wants, was actually very different to her perception. I have asked pretty much all of my friends recently about getting older and what they want to achieve. I quickly concluded I have definitely been putting a lot of pressure on myself. As I get older I often think about meeting someone stable and being happy. To have someone to buy a house with and build something together. When you have been independent for many years it would take someone very special for me to allow someone to come and change that. I think this is why my brain has been in overdrive, just constantly over thinking everything and feeling a little lost for a while.

I am so grateful for everything I have in my life and honestly I am content but I just don't know why turning 25 is freaking me out so much. All my friends are like Lucy it is not a special birthday pull yourself together. Life flies by and before you know it you are another year older, and the process of reflection as to what you have achieved over the last year can be the biggest sense of achievement. Being 24 was not the easiest year for me, it was challenging and testing at points but its how we overcome and learn from these things which are the most important. I see a new birthday year just like a new calendar year. People make pledges and promises to change and make adjustments to better their selves. This is how I see this year of turning 25. A year to do things I have wanted to do for ages, take the plunge and be more spontaneous. Not constantly worry (hence this post) about getting older. I met a friend recently who I hadn't seen in over three years and she asked me about my love life and said I bet you're too busy for it with work. I do make work a priority, but I do think I have managed to get a good work / life balance. I just want to be more open and willing to do new things and be more spontaneous.

Here's to 25 and it being the best one yet!

Lucy
xoxo
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Wednesday, 26 June 2019

Sephora Glow Perfection Foundation


On my last few trips abroad during my visits to Sephora I had been wanting to try their glow perfection foundation. I had not read any reviews or heard much about it and when I went to Italy is was about 18/19 Euros which is a lot of money if I am not sure if I am going to like it or not. I was also not impressed with the foundation shade range which they had. They was either way too light or too dark. When my mum recently went on her holidays to Poland, she popped into a Sephora to get me my trusty high coverage concealer (post here), and she me asked if there was another else that I wanted. I asked her to see if they had this foundation. She found it and got it in the same shade of the concealer which is 22 natural. She was surprised at the prices as they were much cheaper than other Sephoras in Europe. The concealer was only 7 Euros and the foundation was about 11 Euros.

I have been using this on a daily basis and putting it to the test. It is frustrating that the concealer and foundation shades do not match up, the foundation is much darker. When I have looked online there is about 20 shades available which is much better than the selection which I have seen in stores. Even though it is a little too dark, I can just about make it work at the moment. I am hoping it will be a great match when I have a bit of a summer tan. I have mixed this with my L'Oreal true match foundation to make it slightly lighter, and they have been a great combination together.

The foundation is advertised as being hydrating which is something I always look for as my skin is always dry. Matte foundations just do not work for me. It does provide a glow to my skin and gives an overall radiance. It it not too shiny and I think it works well on with my skin type. In saying that, I think it would work well with many skin types whether dry or oily. I also moisturise my skin well using a hydrating moisturiser and primer before I apply any base makeup. It does not feel heavy on the skin and has a light creamy texture which is great. There is nothing worse than the feeling of heavy makeup on my skin. I wear my makeup for long periods of time at work meaning that I want something that feels just like my natural skin.

Overall, I have really enjoyed using this foundation. The texture is great and one of its best features is that it allows you to build it to a coverage of your choice. These days I much prefer a light to medium coverage and this allows me to build up to exactly what I want. In terms of getting a full coverage which covers acne or scarring I am not sure it would achieve that as the consistency is light. If someone was to say whether I would recommend it or not - I would. I have been really enjoying using it and will definitely continue to use it. When I next go to Sephora I would like to pick this up in my everyday shade.

Lucy
xoxo



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