For Christmas one of my presents was a scratch map. Basically, it’s a map of the world and you scratch off all of the places you’ve visited. As someone who loves to travel, this is the perfect present for me and left me desperate to book more holidays. It led me to thinking about the holidays I’ve been on and what I’ve loved about these locations so I thought I’d share my top three…

1 – Dominican Republic – If I’m honest, this holiday beats any that I’ve been on so far. We went for two weeks on an all inclusive basis and upgraded to VIP. The service we received as well as the food we spent 14 days indulging in was nothing short of excellent. We didn’t actually leave the beach resort over the two weeks because it had everything that we needed there. Sea canoes, plenty of pools, a stunning beach, clear water and plenty of other activities…what more could we want?

2 – Hurghada, Egypt – I’ve been to Hurghada twice now, once in January and once in June and it was the reliable weather that attracted me both times. I love love love hot weather and with hot weather guaranteed pretty much all year around, it’s the perfect location for me. Hurghada has loads of beautiful hotels to choose from at really reasonable prices, click here to find some.

3 – Dublin, Ireland – Dublin is less of a holiday location and more of a short getaway/break but there’s no way I could write a post about my top locations without including it. Dublin is the city that well and truly stole my heart. With a never-ending supply of alcohol, the friendliest locals and the best live music, Dublin is a brilliant location to get away for a celebratory weekend with friends. Whilst the food and drink in Dublin may be on the pricier side, the cheaper flights definitely make up for it.

 

holidays - Dominican Republic Sunset

*This post is in collaboration with Holiday Gems.

It’s no secret that I am openly obsessed with Gossip Girl. I tell no lie when I say that I’ve watched every episode a minimum of five times. Yup, I’ve watched at least 90 hours of the show and I have zero regrets. Whilst all of the characters hold a special place in my heart, the true queen in my eyes is Blair Waldorf and she’s taught us plenty over the years…

1. Shopping is always the answer  

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2. It’s okay not to be okay…and it’s okay to admit it too!

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3. You’re always stronger than you realise 

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4. Don’t let anyone or anything get in the way of what you want

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5. A mimosa can solve anything

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6. Know your worth

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To conclude, thank you Blair Waldorf for teaching us all that we need to know to release our inner Blair Waldorf.

January can often be tough financially. December is pretty expensive and often leaves our bank accounts looking a little bit sad. Unfortunately, bills don’t just come to a halt in January and life must go on, rich or poor. Therefore, January can often be on the quieter side when it comes to our social lives.

With everybody either on a detox or a spending ban, the month can seem a little dull and can drag. Online bingo can be an answer to these January blues as it gives you something to do without having to leave the warmth of your house. Of course, this does cost money however if you’re playing sensibly and budgeting your spend and luck is on your side then you can even make a little bit of money.

I’ve always been a fan of bingo however have only ever played at my local club so have no idea what to do or where to go when it comes to playing online. When watching telly we’re constantly bombarded with adverts from online bingo sites offering £XX amount to spend or XX free games so it can be daunting to decide which sites to actually give a go. Is the deal actually a good one? Are the prizes worth it? Is the site totally secure? With little or no experience in online gaming, it’s hard to know which site is right. Boomtown showcases a range of bingo websites and has rated these and shared the best offers so that you can find the perfect match for your budget.

Of course, as with any gambling it’s so important to ensure that you are closely monitoring your spend and time spent on the game and to spend only what you can afford. If you need any advice on this then GamCare, the UK’s national organisation for gambling, is on hand to provide support.

*This post is sponsored by Boomtown Bingo.

January is one of my favourite months. For me, it’s the time for fresh starts and is the time of year that I feel most determined and motivated. With a new year ahead of me, I love the opportunity to set myself goals and make plans for the upcoming months. These are the same reasons that I love Mondays…weird, I know.

However, I can totally understand why some people find themselves feeling low. After an exciting couple of months leading up to Christmas and then time off spent with friends and family, I get why January can be difficult. So, I’ve collated 10 ways to beat the January blues.

1. Book a holiday – I know January can be a tough month financially and your bank account might be looking a little bit sad but nowadays, you can pay as little as a £99 deposit to confirm your holiday. If you know a holiday isn’t in your 2018 budget then book something else. Whether it’s a weekend away, a day out or even just a nice meal, having something to look forward to will make January seem a lot less blue.

2. Take some me time – As much as I love Christmas, it’s a very busy and intense time. Take the time in January to do something that you love for yourself. This could be anything from a spa day or shopping trip to a quiet night in with your favourite film and your bestie. The important thing is to relax and do what you love.

3. Exercise – Now, I am not a huge fan of exercising. In fact, I actually dislike it. However, it’s a known fact that when you exercise your body releases chemicals called endorphins. And what do these endorphins do? They make us happy. So, as much as you hate the idea of going to the gym, you’ll be pleased you did afterwards.

4. Rest – With January often being a quieter month socially it’s time to embrace the chance to catch up on sleep, enjoy the nights in and fully rest…gimme’ all the bubble baths please.

January - Hit the sheets coffee scrub

January - Happiness in a bottle facial oil

Taking the time to look after my skin is one of my new year resolutions and is something that I spent the last few months of 2017 focusing on. The two things I’ve been wanting to focus on fixing is my dry skin and my breakouts. In comes the Alumier MD Glow Peel from Crystal Rose Skin Clinic. 

Based in Ipswich, the Crystal Rose Skin Clinic is tucked away in the owner Rosy’s beautiful garden and is the ultimate place to relax. In the middle of the countryside away from the noise of people and traffic, I knew I was going to enjoy my treatment…and hopefully the results too!

Rosy is a true expert when it comes to skincare and after an analysis of my skin confirmed that the Glow Peel is the treatment for me. The Glow Peel combines lactic acid, salicylic acid and resorcinol, creating a multipurpose resurfacing solution effective in minimising the appearance of skin issues like discolouration and uneven skin tone. This formula exfoliates dead skin cells and stimulates cell renewal. There’s definitely something satisfying about entering the new year with new skin (literally!). The number of layers that you have depends on your skin type and how sensitive your skin is to the treatment. It’s not exactly painful but when the liquid peel is being applied there’s definitely a stinging/burning sensation which is only temporary and lasts for about 30 seconds. About 30 minutes later, after the cleansing of the skin, the lactic acid being applied and the skin before soothed I was on my way with a home kit in hand.

Apart from my skin looking slightly flushed and shiny the results aren’t overnight. In fact, I didn’t really start to see results until a couple of days after. By day two my skin was starting to flake and was slightly painful and felt almost like sunburn. Luckily I had the cleanser and recovery balm in my home kit which soothed the skin until the dead skin had finished coming off which was by day 5-6. Since then, my skin has genuinely been glowing, which I guess is where the name Glow Peel comes from!
The Glow Peel is £120, including the home kit and is definitely something I’d try again, especially as the more you have them the better they work. I’ve also recommended the treatment to my mum as it’s brilliant for anti-ageing to reduce fine lines and wrinkles.
Glow peel 3 Glow peel 2 Glow peel 1
*This treatment was free of charge in exchange for this post however all reviews are my own.