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My Poland Adventure!

Hey guys! I’m back from my week long blogging break (I have to admit, I did miss writing!) and feeling a little chilly in England again.  This is going to be photo heavy – most are my own, any others are from somebody I went with.

It was surprisingly warmer than you’d expect when you think of Poland – luckily as we did a lot of walking! Never seen so many churches in my life, there was one wherever you looked! It was amazingly cheap at the same time as seeming expensive (if that makes sense at all). The UK exchange worked out around 4.5 zlotti to a pound, so a bill for an entire meal at 200zl worked out at about £7 each! Needless to say, we drank and ate a ridiculous amount…

There was some beautiful bars, and I definitely found ‘my drink’ in one that did a cocktail called the ‘Gryffindor’. The Harry Potter nerd in me will never die!

As well as looking around the old town and market square and visiting a shopping centre, we were lucky enough to visit Aushwitz, Birkenau and the Wieliczka Salt Mine. It was a ridiculously sunny day when we visited Aushwitz and Birkenau, which felt wrong considering the atrocities which had taken place there. Even when I was there, it was unimaginable that I was standing in the actual place that so many people had died, particularly when we went into the gas chamber bunker. Almost everything there was original, not a reconstruction. I didn’t get many pictures inside out of respect, but here are some;

After this, we needed some severe cheering up so went onto some beautiful little bars around the city. We had to drag ourselves to the Salt Mine the next day, and personally I wasn’t expecting much. But I have eaten my words – it’s incredible! The amount of sculptures made of salt and the detail in them is just amazing, as well as a chapel hundreds of feet underground that you can actually get married in. If you follow my instagram, you’ll probably find a lot more pictures of that (@lauragois!)

So yeah, overall I had an amazing time – it was much prettier than I ever expected! I’ve wanted to go for a couple of years now, and am really glad I got to go with some of my good friends! 

Love Bites: The Travel Bug

Lately I’m feeling the urge to just get away. Unusually much. I’m normally a homebody – I like my comfort and stress free routine, without worrying about being broke and missing people that I love lots. So I’m going to have to take them with me (kicking and screaming? Hopefully not with the places on my list!). I’ve already been to several places I love, and feel lucky to have been to: particularly Madeira as it is so familiar to me now, surrounded by family there.

It’s my third year of uni now; while that means work is getting a lot more serious and maximum concentration is really needed, I’ve found myself thinking a lot about what’s next for me. I don’t want to rush into a career when I still feel like a baby. I haven’t experienced the world, and inside me there’s this weird feeling that thinks maybe if I do explore, I’ll find stuff about myself I didn’t know, and consequently what I want to do with my life.

I LOVE London. First on my agenda, is to go back again. And again. And again. I love the rush, buzz, the immense amount of things to do and places to explore. Planning a shopping trip with my favourites is making me want to jump up and down in happiness! 

Poland next week will be entirely different from anywhere else; I’m imagining it to have a relaxed vibe like Amsterdam, but the history of the place is going to add another layer of depth to it; particularly our planned visit to Auschwitz – but more on that when I return next week I’m sure!

Planning a trip after exams is keeping me sane this year I think! It’s come down to a frenzied desire to go to Bali/Hawaii/Fiji that’s going to have to be fulfilled very shortly. But I think after reading blog posts about her time in Japan, we’re pretty much decided that Lauren will be showing me around for two weeks in June! And I’m mega excited to go somewhere that frankly, I never thought I’d want to go.

Last but not least. My boyfriend and I already had an idyllic holiday in Lanzarote in June. Instead of Christmas presents (as we both usually ask for completely random/useless things, if anything at all), we are booking ourselves a mini break in January! A city, or somewhere snowy and pretty. Then onto planning another blissful summer holiday.

Then it’s time for reality, and real life to kick in….

So guys, if you’ve stuck with this spontaneous (and rather rambling) post for this long, this is where I need you. I need recommendations, and places from your wishlists to make myself a bucket list of locations, if you will. (NYC is already up there, and any opportunity I take to go there, I will snatch with both hands and be at the airport before you can blink an eye). So hit me up, inspire me…..

A/W Jewellery Rave!

At some point last year, I realised I owned basically no jewellery. This had to change.

Me on the London Eye wearing The Apple (Topshop)

I’ve been accessorizing with one key necklace – favourites of the past year include the Apple (Topshop), Leaf (Accessorize), Rings (Topshop) and Cuckoo Clock (available here). They’re all gold and make a simple outfit a little more noticeable. People have stopped me upon occasion and asked where they’re from (which I found very flustering!) 

With a new season, comes new trends, and unless you haven’t been to the shops/opened a magazine for the last few months, you’ll know that the two key pieces for this season are crosses and spikes.

I’m going to say it now. I don’t like the crosses and don’t think I’ll be purchasing any pieces with it on. Not that they’re horrible or anything (!) but just that…I’m not religious, and I know it doesn’t have to mean you are, but for me it’s not very appealing. 

But I will be embracing the studded/spiked trend in jewellery. I try to buy clothes that I’ll be able to wear for a long time, so probably won’t be investing in much studded clothing (if anybody knows where to get a biker jacket without studs, I’m all ears!), but will be bringing my clothes up to date with jewellery.


Set of 9 Earrings – Freedom at Topshop, £8.50


Necklace – Freedom at Topshop, £12.50


Bracelet – New Look, £6.99

These are my three most recent purchases and I’ve already worn the necklace loads! I love Topshop necklaces, however after lots of wear, the gold does start to rub off the chain leaving it half silver 😦 but it’s so pretty I can’t help myself!

What jewellery are you going to be wearing this winter?

What Music Means to Me.

There aren’t too many people around that don’t love music. No matter the genre or popularity, it appeals to almost every single person in one way or another. In societies where people are incredibly poor, they sing and make music to bring their communities together. Some people make incredible amounts of money from making music. It’s a shared love and everybody has their own individual take on it.

I listen to different types of music. I’ll listen to the chart, rock, classical, ‘indie’ and enjoy it all. Getting laughed at for having Classic FM tuned on my car radio to getting startled looks when guitar and drums blast out from it; it’s typical and you can’t escape the preconceptions of what people expect of you. But challenging them is something that I find fun and if something makes you happy, it shouldn’t matter what it is. I suppose this kind of applies to most other areas of life too.

Music at gigs should be loud, hot and as long as you have enough space to bounce up and down, a good time is pretty much guaranteed. I’ve been to concerts of massive artists in seated areas, and while they put on an amazing show, it’s not the same as being down in the crowd. It’s a feeling of anonymity and freedom to scream, dance, sing, jump. And you come out so filled with happiness and adrenaline, you feel like you’re floating on air. Especially when you meet the lead singer of your favourite band….ahhhh. Love you Josh.

Music in headphones is private. You can go loud and blot out the world, or give it a gentle soundtrack on a long journey. Slow and sad for when you’re chilled and calm. So bouncy that it makes you smile, tap your feet and want to sing along (usually in my head). Attracting strange looks from people when you laugh to yourself at a happy memory associated with the song. You walk a little bit lighter and happier with music playing in your ears.

When a song I really love comes on – especially when you aren’t expecting it, like on the radio or a TV show – I get really, really happy. A lightness inside. Usually, I’ll close my eyes and just listen, not think. Examples of these songs for me are :-

I Giorni – Ludovico Einaudi
Welcome to the Black Parade
 – My Chemical Romance
Young Blood – The Naked and Famous
Many of Horror – Biffy Clyro
The Great Escape – Boys Like Girls
Say You Don’t Want It – One Night Only
El Tango de Roxanne – Moulin Rouge Version
Liquid Confidence – You Me at Six
Brat Pack – The Rocket Summer
We Found Love – Rihanna and Calvin Harris
Swan Lake Soundtrack

Does anybody else have songs that make them feel this way?

A thing that people find unique is relating to songs. Lyrics posted on MSN, Twitter, Facebook status’s with a situation that seems to relate exactly to how we are thinking and feeling. And the beauty of that is it touches people differently. But the fact that it can touch so many people means that it’s universal. Being able to write a song and affect so many people with it must be incredible.

For me, it is a way to remember good times. Use it to get you through bad times Associate emotions with songs, happy or sad. And it will be a part of me for my whole life.

Term Time Resolutions.

I’ve been lacking inspiration for my lifestyle posts recently, despite having a pretty exciting week. I started a new job, on Thursday, my old job had an amazing staff day out: Go Ape in Delamere Forest, Sapporo, and Alma de Cuba. Go Ape is kind of like an assault course but up in the trees (ending with amazing zip wires!): the meal in Sapporo Teriyaki was incredible and anybody in Liverpool that hasn’t been to Alma de Cuba (and has a decent size budget) I would advise you to get down now! Saturday was a friends 21st in a new 24 hour casino that opened. So, pretty good all in all.

1. Go Ape Treetop Adventure. 2. Sapporo Teriyaki. 3. Cocktails.

But now it’s that time where I have to settle down, do some work, and try to be a responsible student for my last (eep!) year of education. I got the inspiration for this from Hannah’s wonderful blog. Like she says, I’ve made these resolutions every year since I started my GCSE’s, but this year it really counts. Uni couldn’t have made it any easier for me to laze around with my 4 hours a week timetable (full time, yeah right!). These are my aspirations for the year:

1. Get most of my project done in Semester 1.
Due to my lack of actual lectures in this term, I have plenty of time on my hands. Instead of using it to stay in bed, shop, go for lunch with friends (as I spent the entire of my second year doing), I will go to uni, and work hard at getting my work done. One year of hard work – maybe I’ll miss it when it’s gone so why not do something productive, instead of doing nothing (*cough* playing on The Sims). 

2. Get fit.
I never appreciated the effect 13 years of ballet had on my body, until I quit two years ago. Now my confidence is low and I need an overhaul that doesn’t feel like a chore. Joining the uni gym sounds like a good idea – having Lauren as a gym buddy will make me more likely to go! And I want to get back into swimming. Also, eat more healthily.

3. Spend my money wisely.
Getting into the habit of buying things out of boredom is never good…also, find cheaper alternatives to going to Topshop all the time. Forever 21 cannot open in Liverpool fast enough.

4Travel.
This relates to after I finish really, but starting now! I go to Poland for a few days next week (history, water park and vodka), and am planning a shopping trip to London soon too as I am completely in love with the place. Instead of Christmas presents, my boyfriend and I are looking at going on a short break somewhere which would be lovely.
But the big one is my plans for after exams/graduation. I’m not ready for a serious career; I haven’t lived and found what I really want to do. Me and Lauren are planning to go somewhere after exams for a couple of weeks (tropical and beautiful!), then Glastonbury with a few others, then Crete for her 21st. Feel like it would be scary, but I think would make a huge difference to how negative I’ve felt for the last few years.

5. Write a lot.
This has already started here, and I’m also writing for a new student website/magazine in my uni, as well as a creative writing module at uni. With experience, comes interest and hope, and I always have hope that one day something brilliant will come to me. And I’ll get a job on Cosmo magazine and everything will be amazing. (maybe). 

Do any of you guys make resolutions at the start of uni/school/college as well as new year? Also, how do you like these kind of posts compared to my beauty posts? Let me know, opinions welcome and appreciated!

The Positives of Winter.

love summer. I love it being light late into the evenings. I love not having to worry about taking a jacket out. I love getting to lie in the sun. I love driving with my windows down and not having to worry about ice on the roads. I love going on walks through the woods.

If you’re in the North West (and maybe the rest of the country too?), you’ll have noticed that summer has disappeared and autumn has come in with a (freezing cold) vengeance in the last couple of days. My mood has been somewhat dampened by this, being a full time sun/heat worshiper. Given the slump in my mood, I thought I would write down some positives about winter that will make me feel better about the upcoming months! Disclaimer: all photos are my own.

1. Everywhere looks pretty.

I’m unhappy to admit that I’ve started waking up, and groaning when I see the snow. For someone who has to drive to work/uni pretty much every day, snow is a nightmare. Especially around where I live where it’s full of little country roads that turn into cunning death traps. But it makes it worth being cold when everywhere looks this pretty, and I’m going to try my best to appreciate that instead of complaining about it!

2. My Birthday/Christmas

                             

 

My birthday is November, which makes a usually dull month have something to look forward to! This year I’m 21, so hopefully am going to be planning something exciting and a little bit different! Christmas is also exciting, and buying gifts for people is one of my favourite things. TV is awesome, you get a holiday from work/uni, and you get to give and receive lovely things (can you tell I’m not religious?!)

3. Clothes and shopping

          

As much as I love summer, I have one gripe: I’m not a huge fan of summer clothes. I don’t really go for loads of floral prints and candy colours that are typically in. Winter clothes are much more my forte – dark reds are my favourite – and September/October is my favourite time to shop. Plus you can cuddle up in massive jumpers and woolly hats/scarves. Ohhh, the shops are calling! Even better when they all have their Christmas offers and displays up – perfect. Boots gift sets? Hell yes.

4. Christmas Songs/themes.

Cliche maybe? But who doesn’t love it when a bit of Slade comes on the radio? I know for a fact, when we play the Christmas CD in work, we all get much happier than usual! Ditto shops playing festive tunes. By ‘Christmas themes’, I mean little markets and stalls that spring up. Every year in Liverpool, they have a market along Church Street, and a Christmas style fair in Chavasse Park (on top of Liverpool ONE). The smell of gorgeous food wafting over while you shop – heaven.

5. Food

Continuing with this theme, winter means the arrival of Mr Kipling’s seasonal cakes: mince pies, festive chocolate cakes mmmm. Yule Log, Christmas Pudding. Special edition hot chocolates and gingerbread latte’s in Starbucks and Costa. Having a steaming hot cup with you on your walk to lectures makes you forget about the cold, just a tiny bit. And you can eat all you want because you’ll be hidden in jumpers until at least March. See below for the amount of chocolate they already have in the shops….

 

 

 

There’s quite a lot to look forward to really. It’s much more satisfying to come home to a warm house when it’s been freezing outside, and watch a Christmas special with a hot chocolate. While going dark early is a pain, it just means that the Christmas lights around town can shine for a little bit longer. And writing this has actually made me quite excited!

Do you love/hate the winter? What are your favourite parts of it?