The Lifestyle Ladies Collaboration: Becoming a Plant Mum

For this month, our theme is Spring!

Not only is our theme spring but we’ve also had a little revamp! We are no longer The Blog brew, we are The Lifestyle Ladies Collaboration!

This month I am writing about my plant babies I have! Recently moving house I wanted more plants knocking around my house so decided to get some, little did I know I got quite lucky in this department, my mum got me a beautiful plant for when we moved in, as well as a birthday orchid! I also picked up an Ivy as well and when its big enough is going to sit nicely on our shelves in our kitchen!

So this plant above, the Maranta Leuconeura, was one that my mum bought we when we moved into the house! The SIZE of this plant when we moved in was TINY, Like it didn’t even go over the edges of the beautiful pot she’s in. I like to name my plants I don’t know about you guys, so this lovely lady is Mary the Maranta! The joys of the Maranta is that its very low maintenance, I water her maybe once a week, once every two weeks. Once every two weeks is the instructed amount. She is also due to sit in indirect sunlight, but she seems pretty happy where she is and it isn’t direct sunlight all day. As you can see, she needs repotting ASAP! I already have a pot ready to go (unfortunately, I bought an outdoor pot for an indoor plant, doh).

She sits quite happily in my lounge on the windowsill, but she also has a neighbour! Ollie the Orchid!

Ollie the Orchid was my birthday present (yet again from my wonderful Mumma, she does well). Wherever I live I always have an Orchid (apart from uni because that just wasn’t feasible for my lifestyle). When I lived in Watford I had a huge beautiful purple Orchid the lived on my windowsill all year and it was beautiful, I’ve wanted one for the house since we moved in so when I received this in the post I was so happy! Once again Ollie sits on the windowsill and gets watered once a week, some of the blooms have already opened so I’m excited to see the rest!

Finally, we have Ivy the Ivy. I KNOW, So creative right? Ivy is a new one for my kitchen, She’s quite happy just sat by my lamp at the moment, I have just moved her to my windowsill for more light as she needs it! But once she gets a bit bigger she’s going to live on top of my kitchen units and hang down over my sink! I promise its more aesthetically pleasing than it sounds, haha! She gets watered maybe once or twice a week and I can’t wait for her to grow bigger.

I don’t have a good track record when it comes to keeping plants, so if anyone has any more advice I will gladly receive it in the comments! My last plant I had at uni was de-potted after the curtain it was behind caught on the leaves (it was spiky), and when the curtain was pulled back the entire plant was pulled out of the pot which made me very sad. So I’m trying to not let that happen again!

Here is to hopeful success as a plant mum! I’ll let you all know how I’m getting on on Instagram! I’m currently on a social media break right now, so I promise there will be more to update when the time comes.

Don’t forget to check out the lovely ladies blogs below!;

The 12 Day Countdown to 24; What I’ve Learnt, Day 9

So day 9 is upon us, what do I have to say to that? You can’t please everyone. Thats the lesson learnt for day 9.

What does this mean?

For me being the anxious person I am I find I focus a lot on making other people happy, and when this doesn’t happen or I feel like this hasn’t happened, I worry I’ve upset someone/said something wrong and I honestly fester on it for days and days worrying about it. The thought of even making someone feel this way makes me feel so defeated in everything I want to stand for.

BUT, I also realised that this really wasn’t healthy for me to obsess about it the way that I do. It actually really became an issue for me.

At the end of the day. I am going to do things in my life that not everyone might agree on. Whether it be decisions made for work, for going back to university, where I live, the way I live my life, my small habits etc. Realistically, it’s my life. I can live it any way I choose, and although I love to have other people in mind when I do things. I can’t always please everyone or make everyone happy because everyone has such different standards and expectations to mine.

And this is okay.

It’s just really nice to remind myself that every now and then I might piss someone off, but I’m okay with it because as long as I’m happy, its their problem not mine.

You cant please everyone.

The 12 Day Countdown to 24; What I’ve Learnt, Day 6

So we have reached the halfway point, only 6 days until I am 24! So here is day 6 of Lessons I’ve Learnt before turning 24. You do not need to justify your actions and your choices to ANYONE.

What does this mean?

Your life is your life. You make your own decisions because of how they impact you and no one should question your decisions otherwise. They don’t know you or your situation, what you’re going through and possible repercussions. No one else can dictate the choices you make in life other than yourself and not only that, you do not need to explain these choices to anyone.

For example like Day 5, the post was on saying yes, but also saying no. AND YOU DO NOT NEED TO JUSTIFY WHY YOU SAY EITHER. Especially no. People always need a reason as to why the word NO has come out from your lips. Why? Again I can understand this experience is fully situational. If you feel your friends and family warrant an explanation then give it to them in a way you feel fit. If you want to say no to something and not have to explain the causes because it’s personal, then thats that. No one should force you to speak out otherwise about things you don’t want too, just to justify to them why you said no to seeing them or doing something with them. And as your friends or family they should understand that anyway.

You do not need to justify your actions.

If you are doing something because it is right for you. Get out there and do it. People keep telling me I’m wasting my time looking at going back to university to study Crisis and Disaster Management as a masters. But I feel it is right for me. I don’t need to say anything more than that because I do not need to justify to anyone why I feel it is the right path for me. I am doing it for me. Not for anyone else.

I don’t need to justify why, and neither do you.

The 12 Day Countdown to 24; What I’ve Learnt, Day 4

Day 4 of Lessons I’ve Learnt before turning 24 is to pursue your passions and wants, try new things, even if the passion and want only lasts for a day.

What does this mean?

If you want to do something, do it. You feel like starting a bullet journal? Do it, and if you start doing it and decide it isn’t for you, at least you tried hey? I think thats the most important thing, you don’t know until you try. I decided I wanted to learn French again and I’ve been at it ever since lockdown one and I was really passionate about it from the start. I’m very lucky that I’ve continued this passion and worked to learn more french!

BUT It doesn’t always work out that way and thats absolutely fine, life is all about trial and error. If you want to try and write a book with your passion of writing but you get started and you aren’t enjoying yourself or the process, at least you sat down and gave it a damn good shot.

You never know what you could get from your passions and wants, if could really turn out for the best. Take blogging and myself for example. I wanted to write and I never thought I’d ever get this far or have been blogging for this long. Try these things. Introduce something new into your life that you’re unsure about until you do it.

It could bring you on such an adventure you never even knew you wanted or needed to go on.

The 12 Day Countdown to 24; What I’ve Learnt, Day 3

Day 3 really closely coincides with Day 2. Day 2 was that everyone is on their own journey in life, including yourself, and not to be so hard on yourself and where you’re at . Day 3 resonates closely with day 2 because the lesson I’ve learnt in partner with this is that where you are at in life does NOT define who you are.

So what does this mean?

For me, the fact I am not currently in a career I want to be in doesn’t make me lazy, demotivated or not driven. People will try to judge you based on where you’re at in your life and might even compare you to where they’re at. I hate the elitism that comes with this. Friends saying they’ve got more money than me because they work harder and earn more. Good for you for starters, thats amazing. But so what? Because I earn less than you or am working less hours doesn’t mean I’m anything less of a person with goals and aspirations.

Im currently sat in my hotel job and I can only imagine people think I’m still in it because I want a cushty life. For starters, there nothing cushty about working in hotels and I’m sure everyone who’s done it will tell you. Customer service is a BITCH. But, I’m also a bad bitch. I’m still in this job because it works for me right now. It doesn’t define me as a person who’s settles for the sake of it. In fact, it doesn’t define me at all.

Just because you want what you want doesn’t define you. Just like what others want doesn’t define them.

Another one of my personal favourites is, “So you still haven’t made it to Australia then?,” Uh, there is currently a global pandemic happening, so if you could tell me how you expect me to be there right now I’d appreciate that a lot. What I don’t appreciate is the judgement that comes with it. I’m a bum who doesn’t want to work and that BAFFLES ME. I want to EXPLORE, there is SO MUCH MORE to life than sitting at a desk every day, and yeah it might make you happy but it won’t make me happy! And that DOESN’T DEFINE ME AS A PERSON.

I can be hardworking without the aspiration goals of working 70+ hour weeks or the typical norm of what is seen to be right. I feel this lesson can be very person specific and situational, and I feel that it is not my aspirations in life an my goals that define me as a person because My personality does that for me. And when you meet me you can take from that what you will. But don’t ever judge me based on what I want in life, and don’t let anyone ever do the same to you.

KNOW YOUR WORTH.

The 12 Day Countdown to 24; What I’ve Learnt, Day 2

On day 2 of Lessons Learnt before turning 24, Everyone does life at their own pace, you don’t need to go any faster or slower. You are your own person.

What does this mean?

I know for a lot of people my age when you look around you all of your friends are at different stages in their life. Some have started a full time career in their dream jobs, others have jobs that are seeing them through for now, some have hopped on a plane never to return, or maybe to return but no idea when, some have houses, a mortgage, nice cars, even nicer lifestyles you could only dream about, and some even have children. I found this whole thing really, really intimidating. It made me wonder if I am at a successful place in my life. But so many people have also said to me that your story is your own, and

right now you’re exactly where you’re supposed to be.

It doesn’t matter about anyone else and what or how they’re doing in their journey. You’re on a different path, and that is SO important to keep in mind.

I want a career in Crisis & Disaster management or Hotel Management, I want to travel the world, come back and get a house and get my career going, get a dog and worry about children later. Thats ME. I shouldn’t need to look at others and look at my life and compare because it isn’t healthy. I didn’t want to start my career before I left for Australia because I was afraid I’d never go if I did. AND THAT IS OKAY. That’s okay if i’m behind my friends in kicking off my career. At the end of the day I’m totally happy where I am in my life and with what I’m doing. I know what I want, and I’ll go for it when I’m ready or it will come to me when the time is right.

And thats something I believe is important for everyone to remember. Don’t compare your life to others, you’re on your own journey figuring out your life in your own way, on your own path and ON YOUR TERMS. Don’t let anyone dictate you or tell you where you need to be. They’re not in control of your life. You are.

So embrace where you are now. Things can change so quickly, especially with how the world is right now. So just enjoy where you’re at, in the words of Zayn Malik’s twitter bio;

Just close your eyes and enjoy the rollercoaster that is life.

Book Review: 20 Travel Tales in 200 Words by D. Marino & J. Malley

Blurb: “20 Travel Tales in 200 Words, is a collection of true short stories of misadventure, humour and heart, while travelling the world. The authours have had a number of awkward, challenging and astounding experiences over the years. These tales (all told in exactly 200 words) will (hopefully) make you laugh, smile and see travel through their eyes.

Each tale is accompanied by their unique photography, taken while vacationing in the area featured in the travel tale. You will not find these specific photographs anywhere else.”

Genre: Travel, Travel Biography

Goodreads Rating: 4.83/5

My Rating: 5/5

THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS


I feel incredibly lucky and privileged to have been able to access, read and review this book from the authors directly! So a huge thank you to them, of course they appreciate and respect that my review will be totally honest and my views only. So lets get into this!

You can find a copy of the book to purchase here and their website!

https://www.makethemalltripsofalifetime.com/product-page/20-travel-tales-in-200-words-pdf

https://www.makethemalltripsofalifetime.com

And you can find the authors on social media here!

Https://twitter.com/ThemTrips

https://instagram.com/Makethemalltripsofalifetime

https://www.facebook.com/makethemalltripsofalifetime

As an avid traveller and with Covid being pretty prominent at the moment, there isn’t much travel happening. So to be able to read 20 Travel Tales in 200 words was exciting for me because It definitely filled a travel hole that was huge in my heart. I really enjoyed reading each story and I’ll be writing a little bit about my top 8 from the book also further down in the review! I just wanted to cover some basics first!

The book itself is really well written and right from the heart, it feels so personal and I really felt like I could picture the experiences almost like I was there. Also it can’t be easy writing a travel story in only 200 words but the authors have done a really good job in doing so and making it an immersive and enjoyable read.

The photographs that separate the stories are all so beautiful and topical to the stories as well, not only is the photography brilliant but they also do a really good job of painting the picture of the adventure itself. It gives the stories more context and also gives the reader the beautiful imagery that goes with the story and I just thought that was brilliant because the story leaves you to your imagination and then you see the photos and it makes it even better!

So let’s have a look at my favourite 8 stories from the book! (although they were all great).

Rough Seas and Big Fish.

This one made me so excited, minus the sea sickness which I felt so sorry for them but I would totally be the same in that situation! Swimming with Whales sharks is absolutely a bucket list dream of mine, so to see the photos and hear the story was so great and inspiring. I was massively impressed they pushed through the sickness to swim with these magnificent creatures!

Murder House.

This one was plain creepy but I enjoyed that aspect, it was an experience that wasn’t as advertised and was unexpected and that added to my curiosity! Plus its nice to hear a different experience like this! I was left with so many questions, Why was there a for sale sign outside? Were the Anne dolls watching them through the night? Why were they not given the experience they bought or told beforehand it wouldn’t be as expected? and most importantly, WERE they fed the previous guests?? WILD.

The Case of the Missing (Water) Shoe.

This made me laugh out loud but also in a sympathetic way. Especially because this is something I would do. The best part was the ‘How could they not know?’ question, and then the sudden realisation when it was needed that the shoe was theirs! I was sad the rain washed it away, it belongs to the fishes now.

What Happens in the Clouds, Stays in the Clouds.

A zip-line experience is also on the bucket list and in a beautiful tropical place like Costa Rica, what a dream! I was so jealous of such an awesome experience but the zero visibility made me nervous and that nervousness was enhanced by her husband explaining that he had been pushed by the wind out of control but landed safely, biggest PHEW moment of the book! An amazing experience in a beautiful place.

A Hike of Spirituality.

This story was really great, an awesome experience, beautiful hike with the history explained as they went. A really great and spiritual adventure to connect with the history of Mauritius. But, it also really highlights others disregard for places with so much history and that deserve respect. It’s astounding that people were unable to “genuinely appreciate where they were” and that makes me so sad, as well as the authors who expressed their sadness of the situation too which I could fully relate too.

(Not) A Bag in the Water.

I love the ocean so I loved this story but this also hinged on another fear of mine. I am so very happy no one was hurt in the process of saving the planet! Which is always the right thing to do! But then the pain that came afterwards of moving to safety and being pushed back into the ocean made me go ‘Ouch!’, definitely a memorable experience for sure!

It’s Not Moving on, Its Moving Forward.

This was a beautiful and moving story. A trip of healing and relaxing through sorrow and sadness even though it provided no escape as the authors wrote. The tradition of planting a tree really brought a tear to my eye. The last line of this story was something that I felt so so necessary to share with everyone as it was beautifully written;

“You do not move on after the passing of a loved one, you move forward, carrying them with you”

The True Test of Love.

This is my favourite one, absolutely 10000% this is the true test of love. I’ve already explained to my man that when we go travelling this is to be expected and if he can’t handle it get out of the kitchen, wait, Bathroom. Im so happy the trip continued and so did their love! It did make me laugh how Burger King was a no go zone, so the family run Bistro where you wouldn’t expect the toilet troubles, was where the trouble started! But you don’t know until you try!

I gave 20 Travel Tales in 200 Words a 5/5 review because for me it was everything I needed and more through Covid-19, the stories were great fun and inspiring and the photographs were also phenomenal. This book is absolutely worth the read to fill that travel gap!

Let It Snow, Lockdown Edition

With Lockdown being in full swing here in the UK there really isn’t too much to do outside of the house other than to walk and exercise! So when we were forecast snow I was so excited as I am very furloughed and very bored! Usually wherever I am, it doesn’t snow. So when it started snowing here in Cambridgeshire I was so, so excited.

I Love the snow. Its so exciting! So when it started snowing BIG flakes and SETTING on the ground as well I was straight out for a walk looking at the park and the river, it looked absolutely beautiful! Although I love a warm trip away I also love the cold, so I had my coat on, my timberlands, my white fluffy ear warmer, fully kitted out! Especially because I had really lost all my mojo being in the house alone whilst Brad was at work, so when it started snowing I was so pleased. Such a nice break in the monotonous weeks I had been having.

It had stopped snowing after the first day of it pouring down and the next day Brad had a day off work. So we went to the park where all the snow had set and there was also some ice puddles and like the big kids at 23 we are, we of course were crushing the ice, throwing snowballs, seeing how deep the puddles were and Brad was trying to piggy back me across the deep puddles in his boots.

It was a great laugh and I just feel where there is snow there is positivity.

On the third day of having the snow around I met up for a socially distanced walk with one of my friends at a beautiful nature reserve in walking distance of home for us both! The snow across the fields looked stunning and we even saw a baby deer! Although the walk we usually took had been closed off, so with no idea where to go next we walked an extra 3 miles on accident! But that meant we got to spend some time in some proper crunchy snow and enjoy the nature reserve in all its snowy glory!

With there being snow over a majority of the UK, and also worldwide as well! I reached out to my Twitter followers to send me their snowy shots! And they absolutely did not disappoint, here are some of the shots I received from my lovely followers!

This stunning photograph was taken by Nat at NatPackerTravel! You can find more from Nat at these links below!

Instagram.com/Natpackertravel

Twitter.com/Natpackertravel

NatPackerTravel Blog!


This snowy Shot was taken by Miamii Mansour, you can see more from Miamii on her twitter link below!

Twitter.com/Explorewithmii


The photos above are from ‘Make Them All Trips of a Lifetime’ and you can see more at the links below!

Twitter.com/ThemTrips

http://instagram.com/makethemalltripsofalifetime


These beautiful and playful shots above are from Kazans Derbyshire! So Much colour and fun, so much happiness and positivity in these shots!

You can find more from Kaz here: The3amDiary.com & instagram.com/snowkazadventures

twitter.com/snowkaz84


These stunning shots below were taken by Jupiter Hadley! My favourite is definitely the horse in the snow! You can find more from Jupiter at her blog here Jupiterhadley.com and her twitter here, twitter.com/Jupiter_Hadley


A beautiful snowy car shot from Anisa & Russell at twitter.com/norfolklocal and norfolklocalguide.co.uk

#Throwback: My Top Amsterdam Pictures

So Me and Brad went to the Netherlands in June 2019 to meet up with some of our closest friends Mel and Stan! Stan actually lives in the Netherlands too, so it was a pleasure to be hosted by him in his home country! We also met out friend Kaat from Belgium, she came across and stayed a few days with us.

We had an awesome few days and did some amazing things together. These photos below don’t actually do it any justice and it was so hard to find my favourites! We did a boat tour, went to the beach in Zandvoort, the A-dam look out and Swing, so many coffee shop and also a night out on the town! So these are only a quarter of my favourite shots I took in the Netherlands because If I had a choice I would have chosen all of them.

Enjoy and let me know which ones your favourite & if you’ve been to these places below!

The Peak District – Bakewell

With our check out of our little cottage in Eyam being at 11am we decided we weren’t quite ready to go yet and wanted to go and get some food together before going our separate ways. We were in just the right spot to go exploring somewhere else so we decided to head to the infamous Bakewell!

Bakewell is known for it’s world famous Bakewell tarts. And they really are top notch if you haven’t had a Bakewell tart before I definitely recommend it. For those who aren’t aware a Bakewell tart is pastry with jam inside and a layer of frangipane with a cherry on top! topped with some almonds traditionally. I think the cherry was a recent one. So of course being in Bakewell we headed straight to the Famous Shop and Cafe!

I didn’t buy a Bakewell tart from the shop itself but now I’m looking back at it I regret it massively because I could really eat one of them right about now.

Once we were done in the shop we next walked through the high streets because me being the moany cow I am I needed new shoes. I had a massive hole in my shoes because they were at least two year old Vans and unfortunately discovered with very wet toes that they had this hole in.

Bakewell itself was really lovely with stone buildings and architecture all through the streets, as you walk into Bakewell you walk over a stone bridge with the river running underneath. Its such a pretty old town and I understand why its so popular! (Not just for the Bakewell tarts).

We had lunch booked at Piedaniels just of the high street in Bakewell (Pronounced Pee-eh-daniels, the best description I could use). It was such a beautiful restaurant I can’t say I felt dressed for the occasion especially in my broken Vans. I absolutely sat at the dinner table with one shoe on and the other on the radiator (the shoe shop was not successful).

We had 3 courses and it was so tasty, for starter I had French Onion soup which was delicious, followed by Duck Breast for main and a lovely fruity sponge pudding for dessert with a tonne of custard all whilst in amazing company. It was a little more on the expensive side but the food was definitely worth the money, the service was fantastic and the atmosphere was pleasant. I’d definitely go again if we had the chance!

Couldn’t have asked for a better trip with better people and a glorious few days off work walking and catching up. It was sad to say goodbye to everyone and it’s probably going to be a while until we see everyone again with lockdown happening again, but I’m glad we managed a trip and can’t wait to do it again when we can!