A Week in Krakow | Poland

Firstly, I hope you've had a wonderful Easter full of relaxation and chocolate consumption! Secondly, hello yet again from another long blogging break... university has been very very busy (and I've been on holiday) so my time has been stretched, to say the least. But I wanted to make time to post about Krakow because I had such an amazing time there. I've never read a post about Poland before so feel the need to spread the word on what a great holiday destination it is and all the stuff there is to do there!! 

I stayed with my beautiful friend Ania for the week I spent in Krakow. Having a local show you round is definitley one of the best ways to really get to know a new place so I was very lucky to have her! My favourite part of the trip and one of the biggest attractions is definitely the main square and old town, we spent hours wandering around the area, chatting and catching up which was lovely. I don't have many photos (useless blogger) because we were chatting so much so google Krakow for more if you fancy! We ate twice near the main square in a very chic little restaurant/cafe/breakfast bar called Charlotte which I'd 100% recommend... it isn't traditional Polish by any stretch but was really yummy and had a nice atmosphere. For traditional Polish, again near the main square is a place called Pierogarnia Krakowiacy which specialised in dumplings! It was so cute and folky and insanely cheap, like everything in Krakow!

Another place I visited was the Nowa Huta district, which was built by the Soviets as a separate town for industrial workers. Block after block of identical flats laid out symmetrically around grass squares which did have statues of Lenin standing in them but have now been pulled down! It was really interesting for me to walk around these areas though they had quite a hard and intimidating atmosphere. 

While Ania was at university I ventured out on my own to a nearby salt mine which was pretty impressive. Miners have carved huge cathedral chapels underground into the salt which are lit by salt chandeliers... it was very lord of the rings! We also visited the Jewish quarter together which was very beautiful, especially the graveyard. We didn't get around to doing/seeing everything Krakow had to offer so I'm hoping to go back soon! I think Poland is really underrated as a holiday destination. There is so much culture, history and beautiful scenery to experience plus at 5 Zloty to the pound, it is incredibly cheap...

Definitely recommend visiting! 

H&M Home Inspiration

Super super short post today because I haven't been active on here in ages... literally, I know I'm such a broken record. But in under two months I'll have graduated (asdhjba;skjc!) which means potentially more time to post! It could also mean a flat of my own to decorate, which uncertain as it may be, hasn't stopped me spending every bus journey to uni on pinterest/browsing online for interior decoration inspiration! But anyway, isn't this living room set up beautiful! I'm especially in love with the sofa which ironically isn't H&M Home... but the bits and bobs that are pull the scheme together really well. The rich blue velvety fabric of the sofa contrasted against the mustard colour pillow is amazing. I'd definitely love to recreate this colour combination in my future home somehow. I've seen quite a few pictures of dark blue feature walls recently so that could be another way of doing it. All the things from this collection are on the H&M website at the moment if you spot anything you like! And yeah... that's about it really. Hope you all have lovely weeks! x

How I Travel on a Student Budget

A lot of people (namely my parents..) wonder how I manage to travel so much with only a student loan and summer job to support me which is actually ridiculous because it's really easy! I'm just a bloody good saver. No cheeky Starbucks on my way home from uni, controlling myself as much as possible in Topshop. Falmouth actually has neither a Starbucks or Topshop so that does probably help but you catch my drift... I thought I'd share with you in a little more detail some of the other things I make a point of doing to ensure I have enough left over to explore and have fun every chance I get!

I budget when my student loan arrives. Firstly working out how much money I'll have left over after paying rent and bills and then dividing it between the weeks of the year. Then I work out how much from that can be put aside each week and transfer that lump sum into another account. Preferably one without a debit card. Same principle if you receive a salary. As a student to travel I'd say a part time job is essential. We all know student loans are crap and no one really gets enough to live on. Even if it's just eight hours a week, as a 21 year old on minimum wage (£7.05 per hour) that's £2932.80 per year... loads of travelling! 

Christmas and birthday money... I save it in the bank account with no debit card. Gifted money is the fastest money you'll ever make in your life and I'm sure whoever gave it to you would love it to be spent on experiencing new places/cultures etc. 

Skyscanner is a godsend... you can compare a whole months worth of flights and choose the cheapest time to go. If you're not set on a certain location to travel you can also use the website to 'search anywhere' and they'll show you a mixture of low cost flights to a mixture of places. Generally flights are cheaper when you book in advance too. Also if you have a clubcard you can use your points on flights. Booking.com and Airbnb are great for finding really nice places to stay for decent prices. Surprisingly Airbnb isn't always cheaper and staying in a hotel is always fun so I check both. Of course if you are really budgeting, like I did on my backpacking trip from New York to Montreal, Couchsurfing is great as long as you are sensible!

While on holiday I tend to be less careful with budgeting as my main priority is having a good time (/Instagram). However there are a few things I do to help. I find withdrawing money while abroad rather than exchanging at home gets be a better deal, however this may vary bank to bank and some may have different charges so definitley check that. Another simple thing I do is use the public transport rather than taxis. I think you see more/take more in on a bus anyway. Lastly if there is a kitchen wherever I'm staying I'll make use of it for breakfasts unless there is a particular dish I want to try that the place is famous for.  

And that's about it to be honest. I hope some of that was a little helpful and not entirely pointless and obvious to everyone! Let me know if you have any tips/tricks as well. Hope you've had a great week x

January Favourites

This hedgehog is cheering for you because you can do anything!

Motivational hedgehog to begin a post nothing to do with motivation? Personally I appreciate all the inspiration this hedgehog gives me so early on in the week (please weekend, come quickly). 

Back on topic though, January Favourites. January is my least favourite month of the year, post Christmas blues, shitty weather, unrealistic resolutions being broken and people feeling rubbish as a result... so I've been filling January with lovely things in an effort to counteract its negative effects on my mood/life! So here goes, my first favourites post I think ever!! 

The Crown
If you haven't seen The Crown yet, go now. Don't finish reading, just go watch. No need to thank me. Those who have seen it, isn't it great!! I literally love Philip and I don't know why because he can be a bit of a twat, right? I also love Stranger Things but not as much as The Crown. My next binge will be The Man in the High Castle, an Amazon Prime series based on a book by Philip K. Dick which I have just started reading.

Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer
I'm on to my third pot/tube... very unlike me to stick with a product so long as usually I want to try something new! But this is hands down best concealer ever. Apart from the doe-foot applicator which I refuse to use because the idea of bacteria build up inside the tube scares me haha. But it conceals without being cakey, is just extremely pigmented. You can get it on ASOS with free delivery and student discount. 

Desert Island Discs & PanDolly Podcasts
My two favourite podcasts. Desert Island Discs, I think most will have heard of but if not 'Desert Island Discs was created by Roy Plomley in 1942, and the format is simple: a guest is invited by Kirsty Young to choose the eight records they would take with them to a desert island' (thankyou Google). I particularly liked Tom Hanks, Emma Thompson, Caitlin Moran, Bruce Springsteen and Dustin Hoffmans interviews to name a few. PanDolly is a pop culture podcast hosted by two lovely, hilarious and relatable gals from the Sunday Times. I genuinely look forward to this one every week. 

New Topshop Cain Jeans
Cain jeans?! What is Cain... I don't know, they're new but I love the fit!! They are highwaisted (obvs) and cropped at the ankle. I will probably review them at some point. 

Couchsurfing Guests
This month has been a month for Couchsurfing guests! Two lovely Argentinians stayed with my auntie for just over a week and I got to hang out with them loads which was so much fun. They're backpacking around Europe, couchsurfing and house sitting as they go to save money on accommodation, just like I did in the summer. I then had a lovely Frenchman to stay. He is doing the coastal walk around Britain and his company was also really enjoyable! These guys make me want to travel and couchsurf again because I love meeting new people, in my experience they've all been so blinking lovely!!

And that is it!! Hope you've all had a decent January... bring on Feb!! 

High End Makeup Haul

A haul!! Haven't hauled in ages. Have not been on a spending ban so not sure why. I could do a catch up haul I suppose? Am obviously having haul withdrawal but didn't realise. But anyway... today I have a high(ish) end beauty haul to share with you. Some bits I got for myself, some for Christmas but all have been tried and tested over the last few weeks so I'll tell you what I think about them!

Firstly the powders, The Body Shop Honey Bronze Bronzer in 03, Mac Mineralize Skinfinish Natural in Medium and Urban Decay Naked Skin Finishing Powder in Naked Light. I have heard/read endless good reviews about this Body Shop bronzer, I'm sure you have too. So I decided to try it out as my beloved Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Bronze and Glow is now all glow and no bronze. Honey Bronze had big shoes to fill and surprisingly it kind of has. Considering the price this is the best bronzer I have ever used. It isn't too dark for me or too warm toned and goes on really smoothly. The packaging is practical, has a big mirror and doesn't feel like it is going to fall apart. So big thumbs up and deffo recommend. 

The Mac Skinfinish was a present from Silv (mentioned many a time but here is a link to her blog if you're new!) for Christmas so thanks!! I've wanted to try this ever since Sharon Farrell (youtube/blog) started using it to set her foundation. Being a mineral powder it is super glowy and skin perfecting, it makes my skin look fresh and awake if that makes sense! Very different to my usual studio fix powder. Lastly the Urban Decay powder. I haven't heard a lot about this powder but thought I'd give it a go as I quite liked the concealer from the same collection. But I'm not a massive fan, I find the shade too yellow... I realise I picked the shade so that could be entirely my fault! However, it is finely milled and sits really lightly on the skin.

Now for the lip products! Firstly, the Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Lip Pencil in Manic. I blinking love this lip pencil. It actually does just glide on, 10x smoother than the Mac lip pencils. I love the colour as it is very similar to my natural lip colour so great for over lining slightly without it looking ridiculous and it stays put for a good five-six hours. I also have the matching lipstick in Manic, this is also really nice in terms of texture, wear etc. but I prefer the pencil on its own with some lip balm. It looks natural and is more wearable in the day time. 

Lastly I have a Dior Addict Fluid Stick. I'm not a huge fan of the packaging, much prefer something a little more slick but of course it's what's inside that counts! As as you'd expect from the pricetag ut us pretty amazing! It's not sticky, lasts ages and wears off evenly. Beautiful colour payoff and feels moisturising and creamy on the lips. My friends Grace and Rose got this for me so thanks gals, I lovee! And that's it, hope you enjoyed this haul! x

Self Love

We all have a little Samantha, Miranda, Charlotte and Carrie in us. And I don't think that was a mistake on Candace Bushnell's part (such a clever clogs) because it makes all of Sex and the City so bloody relatable! And for this post, Samantha's 'Hello my name is Fabulous' quote is particularly appropriate because I'm going to be talking about self appreciation and self love! I recently made a decision which resulted in someone important to me being cut out of my life because, well... I wasn't getting enough from our relationship and it was getting me down. Potentially I am a little hard to please, I don't know... but there's nothing wrong with that! And there is nothing wrong with prioritising yourself. If you don't, who will?

I'm not claiming to have all the answers or even the slightest bit of wisdom (at the grand old age of 21 haha). However as it is generally recognised that showing yourself some love is beneficial, I wanted to reiterate and emphasise how important I think it is! We should spend more time on ourselves, on self development! Even if that just means mentally acknowledging how great you are. Or realising you deserve to take an hour a week to have a proper bath bomb bath! If you're putting more into a relationship (friendly or romantic) than you're getting back, fix it because you deserve better! Respect yourself, hold yourself in high esteem and others will do the same. Confidence, self appreciation and self love are important. I love Samanthas unabashed confidence, it makes for cracking nineties/noughties TV.