Joining the Anthony Nolan Register

Anthony Nolan is a charity that saves the lives of people with blood cancer by matching the bone marrow (or stem cells) of their donors to patients who are in need of a transplant. As well as this, they also partake in essential research to make stem cell transplants as successful as possible.

For me, it didn’t even seem like a question whether or not I should become part of the register, and they make it so easy to become a donor as well.

If you are aged 16-30 you can become a donor. Simply answer a few questions and fill in your details online, and in a few days you will receive a saliva sampling kit, that once you complete you send back to them free of charge.

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If you can’t become a donor, you can always donate!

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Thanks for reading. X

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Praia da Rocha

 

Praia da Rocha, AKA ‘The beach of rocks’, is a popular, yet peaceful, holiday resort just south of the town of Portimão, on the Algarve. I travelled here for a mini break in October with my family, for some last minute sun before the Winter set in.

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We stayed at the Hotel da Rocha. A 4 star hotel overlooking the beach front. I couldn’t recommend this hotel more; all of the staff were very friendly & helpful, the food was spot on with a brilliant selection of local cuisine (which includes a lot of fresh fish!) and the rooms were modern, spacious and very comfortable! Facilities included a good sized pool, good for a refreshing dip in the mornings and a fully equipped gym which I tested out a couple of times.

Praia da Rocha has one of the largest beaches on the Portimão coastline. The golden sand is marked with large rocks and boulders wth hidden caves and that is why it is known as ‘the beach of rocks’. Even in October I managed to take a brisk  dip in the Atlantic Ocean! But, if you don’t want too sandy, then you can take a stroll along the wooden boardwalk which stretches along the majority of the beach.

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My family loves keeping active on holidays so we didn’t just spend our days sun seeking on the beach! Praia da Rocha and the surrounding areas are perfect for shorts strolls, hikes among the dusty paths and slightly longer walks to stretch your legs. The larger town of Portimão is just over 3km away and is full of local shops, cafes, and lovely architecture.

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We decided to check out the neighbouring fishing village of Alvor one morning, so we followed the costal path along the beach, which eventually took us up along the cliffs which provided breathtaking views! When we got to Alvor we wondered along the river front lined with bars and seafood restaurants. We then wondered up the narrow cobbled lanes which led us into the old town and onto the 16th century Igreja Matriz church (fun fact: I love seeing churches while on holiday, I just enjoy the atmosphere and design of them!) which sits proudly above the village. In the evenings we would usually take short strolls along the boardwalk, or down the street to the Fort of Santa Catarina, a medieval fort which is lit up at night and gives stunning views to the coastline.

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Praia da Rocha is a gorgeous resort for little breaks and longer holidays. I enjoyed every minute of my time here and would visit again to explore in a heart beat!

Thanks for reading!

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2017

Happy New Year everyone! This is probably one of the first years when I have felt happy to of left the previous year in the past- not that 2016 was particularly bad- it’s just that I am feeling very optimistic and positive about what 2017 has in store.

I have lots of brilliant things planned, and I can’t wait to share them all with you.

I have a few goals that I wish to achieve in 2017, it just wouldn’t feel right without a few obligatory resolutions!

  1. Work on fitness and feeling good about myself. Towards the end of the year I was regularly going to the gym, and beginning to get somewhere on the fitness front. But as we all know all to well, December comes and my routine started to fall apart a little bit. 2017 is all about getting back on track and finally beginning to feel positive about myself.
  2. Learn French. Yes, this is a very big goal to have, and no, I doubt that I’m going to be 100% fluent in Français come 2018. But what I do want to achieve is to overall be more confident in speaking French a have a better grasp on grammar etc. I have a little bit of background with French as I attended Elementary School for a few years in Canada, but all I seem to remember is what I was taught at that time. Oh how I wish I stuck at it!
  3. Move out! After I finished Uni in 2015 I moved back home to save money. It’s only been about a year and a half, and I love staying at home and being close with my parents, but I feel it’s the right time to become established in my own home with the Boyf!

Those are the main things that I wish to achieve in 2017. I also hope to have a happy year, become better and more confident in my job and blog more regularly!

What are your New Years resolutions?

Thanks for reading!

Lots of love,
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Boo Tea 14 Day ‘Teatox’ Review

I love a good cup of tea, and when I heard rave reviews about Boo Tea, I had to give it a go. I’ve been getting really into fitness lately, and I really felt like I needed to ‘detox’ to help clear out my system after a few over indulgent holidays!

I ordered the Day Time and Bed Time tea. You are supposed to have a cup of the day time tea in the morning, and a cup of the night time blend every second day in the evening. I received 14 Day Time tea bags, and 7 Night Time tea bags in the order. Enough for the 2 week cleanse. The tea is loose leaf and comes in good quality tea bags in a resealable pouch to keep them fresh.

Day Time Tea 

I loved the taste of this tea. It was very refreshing and actually enjoyable to drink. I think if you’re used to herbal teas then this will be no problem at all to sip on. I found it had a lemon taste to it, and was brilliant for making you feel awake and refreshed in the mornings.

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Bed Time Tea 

On the other hand, I honestly struggled to drink the night time blend after a few days. I couldn’t really pin point the flavour of this tea, but it definitely wasn’t as nice as the day time one- I got to the point I was gulping the cup down to finish it- so it was definitely not as enjoyable! I felt as though the Bed Time tea was the one that really ‘flushed’ your system out, as you felt the effects the next morning after drinking it. So be prepared to go to the bathroom a few times the next day… It’s called a cleanse for a reason!

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Experience 

During the experience I was trying not to weigh myself, and based the effectiveness on how I felt. After completing the 2 week course, I definitely felt as though my body had gone through a good detox, and I did feel a bit healthier! My stomach, which is usually bloated by the end of the day,  felt & looked slimmer.

So, if you want to try Boo Tea, don’t expect any miracles or quick fixes in regards to weight loss. It may aid your fitness journey, however you need to combine it with a healthy balanced diet and a regular exercise routine.

Have you tried BooTea? What did you think of it?

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Disney’s Hollywood Studios

It’s a difficult choice deciding which Disney World park comes out on top, but I have to say it’s definitely a tie between the fairy tale of Magic Kingdom and glitz of Hollywood Studios… However, today I’ll be chatting all about my day trip to Hollywood Studios!

As soon as you enter the park you feel as though you are transported back into Hollywood’s golden age. Hollywood Boulevard is lined with various Disney shops, with a few classic Hollywood landmarks along the way. This first part of the park really sets the scene.

The first ride we went on was the Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, and we had to go on this more than once! It was a different story for the Tower of Terror… One ride was enough for me thanks!

We just had to go and see Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage. The broadway style musical was packed and is a must see when visiting the park. Beauty and the Beast is one of my favourite classic Disney films, I couldn’t help but sing a long!

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We decided to ditch the fast food stall for lunch and have a sit down meal in one of Disney’s many restaurants. We chose Disney’s Prime Time Cafe, and we were glad we did! Again, Disney did a fabulous job transporting you back in time. It was just as though you were in an American 50’s style home, complete with TV style dinner meat loaf!

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Star Wars has made a huge appearance throughout the park. Which I loved as a recently converted fan! You can meet all your favourite character like Chewbacca, and take a trip on their new ride Star Tours.

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Near the end of the day we ventured into Pixar Place. I loved this part of the park. It was just like you were in a movie, with hanging barrel of monkeys above you a giant etch-a-sketch! My all time favourite ride in the whole park was here… Toy Story Mania! It’s a 4D ride where you need to shoot moving targets. Perfect for big kids like me!

The only thing I was disappointed with was finding out that the Mr Golds Pawn Shop front from Once Upon a Time was gone! They had to take it down to make way for the future refurbishment of the park. Although it was such a small part of the park, as a big fan of the show I was so excited to see it. Lets hope that when the park is revamped they make Once Upon a Time a bigger part of it!

 

 

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Top 3 Tips for Keeping Organised

I feel like I’ve always been a pretty organised person. Yeah sure there have been times that I’ve been a little bit all over the place, but give me a little while, and I’ll be back on track. Having gotten through tough Uni exams and nearly a year into graduate working life, I think I’ve gotten into the swing of day to day life. So I thought I’d share with you my 3 top tips for keeping organised day to day!

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Keep a diary/ calendar to keep track of events and give yourself reminders…

I’ve always kept a diary, and I recently bought this gorgeous new one while I was in Florida. It’s by the brand Sugar Paper, and was about $10 from Target. I’ll also use it to keep a note of my work hours, deadlines and little reminders.

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I love this wall calendar from Primark which helps to keep myself right on what I’m doing each day. I’ve got it hanging in my bedroom just now as I still live at home.

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Pack your bag the night before and plan your outfit…

I admit I don’t do this every day as I wear pyjamas (aka scrubs) to work everyday, but on my days off and if I have a day out planned the next day I love laying out my outfit for the next day the night before. That way I’m not running around like crazy the next morning deciding what to wear, and have more time to spend on the importance things like breakfast and catching up on Instagram! I usually have everything I need in my handbag, but sometimes I’ll go through it and pop in anything that I’ll specifically need for the next day.

And Finally, Lists…

Yes, I’m one of those sad people who just love lists. Wether it’s for shopping, or things to do, I have to make one to ensure I’m not going to forget anything! I love using the ‘notes’ app on my iPhone for this as I always have it on hand. I feel like if I have 101 things to do, it sets it out clearer for me and keeps me right.

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Being a Witch for the Day

Dragons, wands, broomsticks and butter beer? There’s only one place that has all of those and that’s The Wizarding World of Harry Potter! I had the most magical and action packed day at Harry Potter World at Universal Studios’ Islands of Adventure in Orlando, and I wouldn’t have to think twice if someone asked me to go back.

As I walked into Hogsmeade I was greeting by snowcapped hatched roofs and cobbled streets that were nestled with crooked buildings, including the recognisable Three Broomsticks Pub, Honey Dukes sweet shop, and stalls offering butter beer (a must have!). It seemed almost surreal as the heat of the Florida sun baked down on me, but I couldn’t help but be whisked away into the magical universe of Harry Potter.

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We quickly jumped into the queue for Dragon Challenge before it got too busy (We went on the Blue side, AKA the Hungarian Horntail). I’ll say that all of the rides at Harry Potter World are a must do, but the Dragon Challenge is one of the best roller coasters at Universal in my opinion. We then took a tour through Hogwarts Castle, which is like an attraction in itself. The ride at the end of the queue is Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, which I believe is quite a new ride. It’s definitely not for the faint hearted, as it is so immersive you feel right at the heart of the magical world of Harry Potter. I won’t give too much away, you’ll need to experience it for yourself!

Diagon Alley is the newest addition to the Harry Potter attractions in Orlando. In order to get there from Hogsmeade you need to take a trip on the Hogwarts Express. As you hop off the train it actually feel as though you’ve arrived in London Kings Cross Station- they really have done an excellent job!

Diagon Alley really goes above and beyond. You’re instantly drawn to the eery dragon perched on top of Gringotts Bank (Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts is another ride not to be missed!) which breathes fire down on the shops below. The Leaky Cauldron, Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes and Ollivanders Wand Shop are just some of the stores you can browse while you’re making through your list for your term Hogwarts.

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is hands down a must visit on your trip to Orlando. Even if you’re not into roller coasters and rides, it’s the immersive, truly magical experience that counts.

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Toronto Blog

It’s been a few weeks since returning from the True North and I’m missing it so much! I thought I’d write up a little recap of what I got up to when I was exploring Toronto and the Niagara Region with my sisters!

 

Niagara Falls 

This was one of my many visits to Niagara Falls in my life. We had a wonder down by the falls and then went for a wonder up and around Clifton Hill. We stopped by Hershey World for a look around as well.

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My Sister was lucky enough to be working at this music festival doing photography so we got to tag along and help out. It was an amazing experience and we saw some brilliant bands like The Wombats (flash back to 2009!), Daughter, and The Cure.

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Food

Oh my how I missed the food! I may not have been the healthiest, but I was only there for a week, can you blame me? Timmies was first on my list for a food pit stop, and ice caps and the maple dip donut are my new favourites. We took a trip to Fran’s Diner, and had the most amazing diner experience! I would highly recommend the chilli!

To top everything off we went round the corner to Dutch Dreams… A family run ice cream parlour who go above and beyond your average ice cream cone. I had mint choc chip and mango ice cream and said yes to the ‘free toppings’ = cotton candy and lots of fruit!

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Macklemore & Ryan Lewis 

I have to be completely honest and say that Macklemore is the best performer I’ve ever seen live, it’s not just his music, but his personality comes out so well during the show. I had the best night down at Echo Beach- which is also a really cool venue, right on the lake front with sand by the stage- singing my heart out (and trying to rap…) to Downtown and Thrift Shop!

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Take me out to the ball game…! 

We got last minute tickets to see the Blue Jays play against Philly at the Rogers Centre. We won by a whopping 3-11! The atmosphere was crazy. It’s a must do when visiting Toronto!

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Toronto Islands 

On one of the nicest days we took a trip over Lake Ontario to Wards Islands (the Eastern End of the Centre Island). We had a little swim in the lake and had a wonder around seeing all the cute houses. You get the most amazing view of the Toronto skyline at the island as well as on the ferry.

 

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Tea & Cake at Eteaket

What’s better than a cuppa and a piece of cake on a Saturday afternoon? I can’t think of many things to be honest!

Last weekend my Sister, Fiona, and I were browsing the shops in Edinburgh, and decided to stop for a little break, but we didn’t want to go to your usual chain coffee shop (as much as I like them) so we decided to head just off of George Street to Frederick Street to Eteaket, the ‘leaf tea experts’! I had never been there before, but Fiona had heard really good things about them.

They offer more than just hand crafted leaf teas, you could have a spot of lunch, tea infused cocktails, which I am definitely going to try next time I’m not driving! As well as a selection of home made cakes (they also have gluten free and vegan cake options).

We decided to go for a classic option of English Breakfast tea, and since we were so indecisive we ordered a scone with fresh clotted cream & raspberry jam, and a slice of lemon sponge to share. For the tea they gave you an egg timer that timed how long to brew your tea for. They recommended that after the 2 minutes were up, you’d have the perfect brew! (and it really was!)

 

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The staff were so friendly and welcoming, despite them being ran off their feet because it was so busy. I will definitely be going back to try the rest of their menu, and I can see it becoming a favourite!

For more info visit  Eteaket‘s website. 

 

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April Favourites

Hello everyone! I’m sorry this post is a little bit late… But here it is!

April was a busy month for me. It started off quiet and chilled as I was on a family holiday, but by the time I got back I had started working full time, which I know the majority of people do, but I am shattered! 😅 So I was definitely in need of the Monday bank holiday!

Now on to what I’ve been loving this month…

Adidas Los Angeles Grey Trainers 

These little beauties were on my ASOS wish list for a while, and when I saw that they were on sale, I had to pop them into my shopping basket. They’re unbelievably comfy and go with lots of outfits.


NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream

I wanted to try NYX products for a while. I believe they now stock their products in Boots, however I ordered a selection from ASOS. I got two of their Lip Cremes, in the shades Athens and Milan.

I find it leaves a gorgeous matte finish, that lists for ages! But I always make sure to moisturise my lips with my fave lip balm (Carmex) before application!

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Wash That Man Right Out of My Hair – Lush Shower Gel 

I’ll be honest, the name of this product may have influenced my decision to buy it just slightly 🎤… It’s a song from one of my favourite musicals, South Pacific! It smells very fresh and leaves you feeling super clean.

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Sephora Vitamin C Booster Serum 

As mentioned in my Prague Sephora Haul… I’ve been using this almost every morning. I just pop two to three drops into my palms and massage into my face. I find it leaves my skin dewy and glowing.


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