The Blog Brew Collaboration – Christmas: Scrapbooking Gift Guide

I LOVE to scrapbook. Its one of my favourite hobbies, I’d say I’ve been doing it since 2014 and since then I’ve filled nearly 3 books. I like to call myself a memory hoarder because of this. I save everything from photobooth pictures, plane and train tickets, I might even pinch a menu from a restaurant for my scrapbook if its a memorable enough moment!

So for this months Blog Brew we are offering gift guides as its very appropriate before Christmas! (I’m hoping the girls posts will help me out as well!). I’ve decided on scrapbooking essentials you need for Christmas presents. Even if you are just starting out on your scrapbooking journey I will ensure that I cover all the bases!

Scrapbooking & Crafts to help you with your scrapbook for Christmas;

A scrapbook!

If you’re new to the scrapbooking world then of course, you need a scrapbook to start with! Now you can get some really really nice ones on Amazon but I personally feel that the best place to get scrapbooks are from Paperchase! Both places vary in prices depending on the size of the scrapbook you want but you don’t have to pay an extortionate amount. For a hardback cover you’re looking at an amount of £10-15 but these are so worth it as they last longer and are a lot more durable so they are the type of scrapbook I would recommend! Mine are all hardbacks as you can see in the photos!

Stickers

THE BEST thing to come from scrapbooking. There are stickers for quite literally everything and anything. You’ve been camping in the woods? There are stickers for it. Travelled on a train? Stickers. Been snorkelling or scuba diving? Stickers for that too. Want to give a gold star? EASY have at least 7 sheets in one packet. The list goes on and on and they can be really cheap as well! Unless you want a specific texture or size, that’s when it starts to get interesting and a little more expensive. Again Paperchase, WHSmith’s, Etsy, Amazon, all these places sell good quality stickers but make sure to check there isn’t a small sticker business out there that you know of that might need your help this Christmas!

Washi Tape

Again this is an absolute Scrapbook marvel. You can get Washi tape with basically anything on it if you search for it. My favourite one I own is a blue tape with a smiling hot dog on it. Like stickers, there is also washi tape for everything. Again definitely make sure you head to Etsy or someone with an independent craft shop or brand before you head to Amazon! I would say you can get x3 rolls of washi tap ranging from 50p to £5 depending on quality. I got a small 5 pack for £4.50 and they are brilliant and textured so I really feel it all depends on what you’re after!

A subscription to Free Prints

This for me is Hella important because you get 45 free pictures a month from this app available on android and iPhone and only have to pay for postage. You can also get a free matte finish on your pictures and a white boarder around the edges for free too (which I have been converted too and now only print my pictures with the white boarders on). For example with Lockdown 2 I knew I’d want to catch up and complete my scrapbook for everything I’ve managed to do recently so I’ve ordered some prints so they come before or just as we go into lockdown as I need pictures to go in the scrapbook! Of course though, putting the pictures in a word document and printing them also does just find and is also cheaper for you too!

Glue and Scissors

This is an essential unless you’re dealing with sticky stickers and washi tape. Glue for all your photos and tickets and everything else that belongs on those pages and scissors to cut them to shapes that you want them in! Big, small, love hearts, all of the above, To cut the washi tape from the reel, you need glue and scissors for your scrapbook. NEED. I would probably put this up there with having the scrapbook itself. These you can get from literally anywhere, supermarkets, craft shops, standard shops, literally, everywhere.

Craft papers (Inclu. Tissue Paper)

Sometimes you might want cute backgrounds for your pages so definitely get some patterned craft paper or tissue paper which you can stick on your pages first! I love all the different themed and coloured papers you can get online as well, so much to choose from! So many options! Again make sure you hit up Etsy and those independent shops before you head to Amazon as well!

Some good marker pens and pencils

If you’re going to write about your experiences instead of just putting pictures in then you definitely need a good set of marker pens or thin lined pens to write with, especially if your pages or cardboard or textured you may need something a little thicker. Normal biro is absolutely fine but you DEFINITELY wanna get some colour in there! Pencils also as well, especially if you’re artsy and want to colour on pages, do your own art in the book (which would look AMAZING). I only write in different colours. Sticking to one colour is boring for me! Again supermarkets and high street shops, independent shops and art shops can supply you with these!

Page protectors

I Don’t find these as essential, I personally have never used them but if you feel you’ve created a masterpiece and need to preserve it then these are really useful. As I’ve never had to purchase these or felt the need I’m sure independent brands and high street shops will be able to supply you with these and as a last resort, Amazon!

Paint

I’ve only ever used paint in my scrapbook once and that was for a memorial page for when we lost a family member and that was a really nice touch. It made the page really special. Of course the only downside with using paint is that you need to leave it to dry. But it is another really lovely way to express yourself and your art in your scrapbook! Doesn’t have to be just paint of course, oil colours, oil paints, paint by numbers (which is the paint I used!). I’m sure once again you can get these paints from supermarkets, art shops, high street and independent brands BEFORE you head to Amazon!

Day 1 – Lucy over at Perselem

Day 2- Beth over at thoughtsofarealredhead

Day 3- Jessie (ME) over at Wandererandtraveller

Day 4- Rhiannon over at mrssleejones

Day 5- Haley over at introvertedcreativity

Day 6- Karalee over at talesofbelle

Day 7- Kim over at chimmyville

Day 8- Kirsty over at kirstymarie

Day 9- Adebola over at mybreakingviews

SW Coastal Road Trip Day 6 – Hangloose Eden Project Zipe Wire & Bath

Leaving Newquay definitely made the two of us sad, we really didn’t want to leave so have decided we will absolutely go back again as soon as we can. Before we hit the road we headed for breakfast at Fore Café, a cute independent café in Newquay for some sausage and bacon sarnies and a cuppa tea (of course!).

Then it was off to our next stop! We were heading towards Bath for our last night but we couldn’t head that way just yet as we had one more activity planned for the day and that was the Hang Loose Eden Project zipwire! The Hang Loose zipwire is half a mile long and goes over the entirety of the Eden Project so you can have aerial views of the facilities! You are flying on the zipwire for a good 45 seconds at speeds of up to 60 mph so you’re definitely not messing about.

We arrived at the Eden Centre and got parked up before walking to Hang Loose centre! We didn’t unfortunately pay for access to the Eden Project but that means we will definitely go back which is a bonus. Once we arrived and put our bags into storage it was off to get our harnesses sorted. You book a time slot for your flight but definitely make sure you have nothing planned for afterwards or somewhere to be. The time we were waiting just to get our harnesses on and to get up to the zipwire start point was well over an hour from our allotted time. But once we were sorted and ready to go it was so exciting! I had my go pro so I could get some top notch footage so I told them I had it on me and they gave me an appropriate helmet with the correct clasp on for me as well! It was so exhilarating I was smiling the whole way down, Brad and I went side by side as we went and it really was such an awesome experience. I couldn’t recommend it more. See my footage here!

It was a really fun experience and only £35 per person, I definitely recommend this as something fun to do. There are also more activities much like the zipwire as well like huge pillow jumps and an aerial swing as well. I definitely want to go back to do more and also just to visit the Eden Project in general.

Once done here next stop was Bath!

Now as we left the Eden Project I decided I’d drive us to Bath and the regret was so real. The roads as we left the Eden project were just awful. I wouldn’t even really call them roads, maybe vehicle able one way footpaths. Honestly if you met another car coming the other way you genuinely had to wonder who was going to go where and just how far you’d have to reverse if you were the one going back. BUT after a stressful but very well handled drive we made it to Bath in time to freshen up and find some food but not before checking into the most BEAUTIFUL townhouse in the centre of Bath.

We stayed in a place called the Broad Street Townhouse. We couldn’t have been any more central if we tried and especially for such a great price, we only paid £89 for the night with breakfast included but that meant that everywhere we went for the day was in walking distance. We parked our car for 24 hours in the Charlotte Street car park which was really well priced and walked to the hotel.

Broad Street Townhouse is attached to a pub, The Pig and Fiddle, which was perfect for us, although typically in the evening we got back too late to have a drink before it closed. We did manage to have the most amazing breakfast there though as they served the breakfast in the pub and it was awesome. But before we get too carried away with breakfast… We arrived to this beautiful room with a wooden and dark green theme. It was so fancy and beautiful with a few green plants in the room and matching furniture and even matching mugs for your tea and coffee? They also had a coffee machine I the room and TV, the bedroom windows were basically floor to ceiling with lovely deep green curtains, the bathroom was out of this world, it looked brand new and sparkling clean and the décor was straight out of Pinterest. I honestly don’t think I’ve ever stayed anywhere so nice, and the bed was SO BIG and comfortable I wish we never had to leave. All in all a solid 11/10 for somewhere to stay in bath that’s worth the money 10000%.

Once we were all freshened up we decided to go for our favourite food and walked to a Thai restaurant called Salathai. The service was quick, attentive, the atmosphere was really lovely and the windows being huge it was lovely and bright, and the food was just to die for. I always overeat whenever I go out for food but with food this good? how could I not? We had duck pancakes to start and the rest is history (aka I do not remember what we both ordered because it was gone in a matter of minutes). But we could walk too and from the restaurant back to where we stayed which made it even nicer as the weather was lovely.

This was our LAST meal of our road trip and we were super sad about this, I didn’t want it to end. Tomorrow (the next post) leads to some Bath exploring, Stonehenge and unfortunately, home.

SW Coastal Road Trip Day 4 – St Ives, Lands End & Newquay

We woke up refreshed andready to go for another day of exploring the South West coast!

Waking up In the Hobbit Homes was really cool and very refreshing. You stepped straight outside into the fresh air so it was nice to have a cuppa and enjoy the fresh morning weather! Once we had walked down to the washrooms, had a shower and freshened up check out was at 10 so we got sorted and headed out to explore St Ives! The washrooms were also really clean and fresh. Although it would have been nice to see someone cleaning it straight after we had used it for other guests we also understand in todays climate that might not be possible!

So we jumped in the car and drive the 10 minute drive into the centre of St Ives. The first mistake we made was driving. Parking is really very limited so if possible park at the top of the hill on your way into St Ives. The walk back up might be painful but not as painful as trying to find parking in the centre because it isn’t really plausible on a busy summers day.

St Ives from the off was so beautiful, the blue water and the beautiful beaches and harbour. It was low tide so all the boats were resting on the sand in the harbour as we waded through the masses of people who had finally escaped after the coronavirus lockdown. Admittedly this was the only location out of the many that we visited where I didn’t feel Covid safe walking through the streets. Usually when we were outdoors I’d keep my mask off but when we were walking through I felt incredibly uncomfortable especially being basically shoulder to shoulder and popped my mask on until we had reached the other side of the harbour. All the restaurants were open and it was Ice creams galore! I love all the stone buildings and the cobbled streets. I imagine in winter its the cosiest town of them all.

We wandered across to Smeaton Pier and followed the coastal pathway along the seafront around to the piece of land known as ‘The Island’. To get there we walked past Bamaluz beach and also Porthgwidden beach to finally make our way up to St Ives head, situated on The Island, and also to take a nosey at St Nicholas Chapel too! It was a really lovely walk with beautiful views of St Ives beaches and the harbour. We then finished off with a picture overlooking Porthmeor Beach and a walk back through the cobbled streets of St Ives (trying not to buy even MORE fudge from some of the delicious shops) and up the dreaded hill to the car!

Next up on the agenda was to drive across from St Ives to Lands End! I was really excited for this as I’m from Lowestoft (although no longer residing there now) and Lowestoft holds the landmark on our coast for the Most Easterly Point of the UK! So Complete opposite sides of the country which is pretty fun. So I was very excited when we arrived.

We paid the £7 parking fee which is basically your entry fee and then headed down to the entrance! When you arrive there are so many facilities I really didn’t expect. I was expecting to arrive to the lands end landmark post, the flag and that was really about it. I was shocked to find children’s amusements and also multiple food stalls and places for drinks! There is even a hotel and place for you to stay if you wanted too! It was good as I was hungry so had a portion of nachos for the price of a small London Flat. It was massively overpriced but I guess its the tourist attractions that do that to you!

We wandered past the stalls after some food and headed down to look at the actual Lands End landmark, unfortunately again you had to pay for a picture in front of it. But we didn’t do that and just took a pretty good picture from the other side of the line and our own pictures as we walked down the slope towards the first and last house! It was cool to see the first and last post box and the first and last house, the first and last flagpole and the Lands End viewpoint. I never imaged I’d be that far South West in my entire life. Now all I want to do is go to the most Northern and Southern point! It would have made sense really to go to the most Southern point whilst at Lands End as it was just an hours drive away! Highlight of Lands end was definitely the proposal we saw by the Lands End sign, so nice that even the bad weather didn’t bring the mood down for such a special occasion!

Next location on the adventure for the next two days, the longest we will have spent anywhere on the trip, was Newquay! Now I was so excited to go to Newquay so I could teach Brad how to surf! The drive from Lands End to Newquay was only an hour or so and was really easy.

We arrived at our Airbnb and it was absolutely beautifully decorated and so cosy. We had everything we needed from a coffee machine, bathroom with a shower next door to the room with towels, a TV, a place to put our sandy things from the beach, the COMFIEST double, wardrobe space, Wi-Fi and a TV to relax and watch when we weren’t out exploring. It was like an upside down house, Kylie the host lived upstairs and the room ad bathroom was downstairs. During these Covid times she kept the bathroom sparkling clean also which was amazing. The best part about this Airbnb though? I went to the toilet at 6am and was greeted in an open kitchen door to A HOUSE RABBIT. I must have missed this part on the listing as it definitely states she’s in there but I was so pleasantly surprised, what a great way to wake up! She was super cute!

As we arrived quite late in the evening we decided to walk into Newquay and find some food. Unfortunately at this point the Help out to Eat out scheme had just started and we didn’t even think to book, everywhere was SO busy. We manged to find a table on the main high street at a place called Lost Brewing Co. On a complete whim and reluctantly we went inside and I am so glad we did, it was so good we went back the following day for drinks before our meal elsewhere. Not only do they brew their own beers and sell them here but the food was amazing. I had Halloumi fries, Battered prawns, Chicken strips and some fries as well for finger food as I was just so hungry and couldn’t make my mind up but they are actually super popular for their burgers as well!

All in all another successful day, we headed back to the Airbnb shortly after so we could get some good nights sleep ready for a day full of surfing the next day!

SW Coastal Road Trip Day 2 – Durdle Door, Exeter & Torquay

After an awesome first night in Bournemouth Brad and I were up early (which makes a nice change) and ready for our next adventure to Durdle Door, Exeter and Torquay all in one day!

We decided to get some food once we had arrived at Durdle Door so skipped out on breakfast to get on the road. It took us about an hour to get to Durdle Door from Bournemouth and once we arrived it was already getting busy! We paid the £5 car parking fee for 4 hours and headed down the big cliff to see the sights! Before you make your way down the cliff there is a cute little ice cream shop and a pasty van so we made note of those to make sure we grabbed some food once we made it back up to the top again.

Fun fact: Durdle Door is part of what is known as the Jurassic Coast! What is this? 96 Miles of English Heritage Protected Coastline!

Top tip. DON’T WEAR FLIP FLOPS. The views are beautiful and its really pleasant but the pathway down in white gravel and I nearly fell down multiple times I had to hold onto Brad basically all the way because the one time I let go I fully nearly stacked it. Once we made it to the top of the cliffs overlooking the beach we were in awe. On the left was Man O War Beach and further down from that was St Oswalds Beach. The water was beautifully blue and clear we could’ve been in another country! Then to our right was the monument itself, the beautiful Durdle Door and beach! We headed down the steps to the stoney beach to get a closer look. The waves were crashing and we took a seat right on the shoreline to enjoy the sun. We then headed up the beach to enjoy and sit in the small caves in the cliffs too.

Finally we grew an appetite and it was back up the hill (which was a struggle in the heat and flip fops) and onto the next part of our journey. NOT BEFORE a pasty and a sausage roll overlooking the Jurassic Coastline.

Then it was my turn to drive the 2 hour Journey to Exeter. Unfortunately for us Exeter was not what we expected and we didn’t find all that much to do. We headed over and saw the cathedral in all its glory which was an absolutely phenomenal piece of architecture.

Once we had seen the cathedral the town centre was pretty quiet so we decided to head to a riverside pub for a light snack and a pint (or a cup of tea if you’re me). We walked towards the River Exe and walked past what is known as and what is left of the old Medieval Exe Bridge which has been around for centuries. It was really cool to see the last remains of this piece of old historic architecture! We then walked along the river until we arrived at The Mill on the Exe pub and sat by the river to enjoy our pit stop!

Then it was back to the car for the rest of the drive to Torquay to see my beautiful friend Tasmin! Tasmin lives in Torquay so it would have been SO RUDE to no pop in. To top it off she also did us a huge favour, saving us a fair whack of money on accommodation, and let us stay with her as a bonus. I’ll always be thankful as this also meant we got to spend more time together and it had already been 11 months since I last saw her at our graduation. The Journey from Exeter took us 40 minutes which was really nice and short! When we arrived in Torquay we had a dinner booked to get ready for!

Once we were ready it was into Torquay Harbour for a meal at Twenty 1! This restaurant overlooked the harbour and the 4 of us enjoyed beautiful sunset views, great food and drinks and even better company. We laughed all night and caught up with everything possible, it was such a lovely evening with friends and I was so grateful to be able to do this.

For dinner I think we ordered the whole menu. I had the Chicken and Chorizo flatbread pizza as well as the Tempura Halloumi and the Cheesy Garlic Bread (because no meal is complete without cheesy garlic bread). Another brilliantly priced meal as well with a good vibes atmosphere and great cocktails!

We walked home along the harbour back to Tas’ house well and truly full of food for a final late night cup of tea and bed ready for Tas to show us around Berry Head, Brixham, Totnes and Dartmoor the next day! Another successful travelling day completed!

South West Coastal Road Trip Day 1 – Bournemouth

Hopped on the plane at LAX…

Im joking, we got in the car in Cambridgeshire and started off on our 7 day adventure! We popped our Bournemouth Airbnb destination in on Google Maps and were off! The first half of the journey apparently only taking us 2 and a half hours. Naturally the route to Bournemouth took us down the M25. If you’re from the UK you know this instantly as the M25 Car park. You’d be spot on, after one food stop on the way post M25 we arrived in Bournemouth 4 and a half hours after we left. Just a touch longer than it should have taken but we didn’t mind.

Once we drove under the bridge that said ‘Welcome to Bournemouth’ all of our travel grumbles had well and truly gone away.

Our Airbnb was in Winton which is just outside of Bournemouth. Only a 10 minute Uber from the beach and centre of Bournemouth too which was really helpful! The Uber only cost us £8 as well which was super cheap! We had a shared bathroom but it was beautifully clean and the room was also cosy and had everything we needed I.E a double bed, bedside table and a wardrobe that we didn’t use because we didn’t even unpack really! We paid £38 for one nigh and between the two of us this was such a brilliant price. It meant we could spend more money out and about.

I’ll be posting a link to where we stayed in a later post on which Airbnb’s we stayed in on our trip so you also have the opportunity to stay in these too!

We arrived at Bournemouth beach and as soon as we got out of the taxi we whipped our masks off (as you can’t get an Uber without a mask due to Covid) and breathed in the sea air! It was absolutely rammed on the beach, luckily we hadn’t planned to go in today. Bournemouth beach is huge and beautiful. Bournemouth was actually one of my university choices when I was doing journalism. Once I decided to change my course I was sad that Tourism and Hospitality etc wasn’t an option anymore, so it was good to be able to visit a place I could’ve spent 3 years of my life!

We paid the £1.30 each for Bournemouth pier admission and made our way down to the end. There was a restaurant and the end and also a beautiful butterfly mural on the way down to the left of the pier. Of course I had to get a picture! As we got to the end of the pier it was awesome to see a zip wire that went from the end of the pier to the beach! It was £25 but because we already had the Eden Project Hangloose Zip Wire booked for later on in the week we settled for some cocktails at Key West Bar and Grill and watched everyone fly over our heads instead!

After a few cocktails and the temperature drastically cooling down we decided to walk along the promenade of the beach for a while and then head to find some food. The beach huts were all really cute and there were plenty of amusement arcades right on the seafront. There was even a boujie bar on the sand with deck chairs and seafood. It was super fancy and we were not dressed for the occasion so decided to head into Bournemouth for dinner at a recommendation called 60 Million Postcards.

Originally as we hadn’t booked we got tired away, they told us to try again later so we headed to Backyard Bar which was in the car park of a bar/hotel called 1812. We definitely weren’t dressed for this place either but they let us in for some drinks because money is money! After making some friends and drinking more cocktails we tried to head back to 60 Million Postcards and we were in luck! We got a table for 2 sat outside and the food was INCREDIBLE.

I had a couple of gin cocktails and Brad enjoyed a couple of beers, but the food was absolutely something else. The two of us were taken by the Chicken Katsu Burger so we both decided to have this. We both also ordered Skin on Fries to have with this and they didn’t do Onion Rings (my personal favourite) but they did do some Spicy Battered Onions so I absolutely got a bowl of those as well. The whole meal was out of this world delicious and the vibe here was just so relaxed and mellow. If you went into the restaurant and bar you can see on the walls why its called 60 Million Postcards, there are postcards all over the walls! I believe the building used to be an only post office and when they found all these left over postcards what better thing to do with them then place them all over the walls. Thus 60 Million Postcards was born. It was also really well priced! For a couple of roads of drinks and food for the two of us we payed £30 each which was really really good and it was all so worth the money.

We then headed back to the Airbnb in our £8 Uber to get some good sleep ready for the next day of road tripping ahead!

Next Stop? Durdle Door, Dorset!

Our South West Coast Road Trip Introduction!

With Lockdown easing in the UK and both My man and I having been at home inside doing nothing but exercising, reading books and getting a tan living that furloughed life for about 5 months, my stepmum suggested a road trip. We had money saved for a future trip that keeps being pushed back and back due to Covid, and now with more time to save EVEN MORE, why not go out and spend some of it?

So thats what we did.

We decided on a 7 day South West Road trip! So where did we start? Easy, we headed straight down to Bournemouth from Bedfordshire. From there it was 7 days of driving and exploring different cities, beaches and places we had never been!

Here is our itinerary, this absolutely 100% changed as we were going because there is just SO MUCH to see. We did so much and every day was such an adventure, so the below was our original Itinerary, below THIS is our ACTUAL itinerary;

Stop 1: Bournemouth

Stop 2: Durdle Door

Stop 3: Exeter

Stop 4: Torquay

Stop 5: Salcombe

Stop 6: St Ives

Stop 7: Lands End

Stop 8: Newquay

Stop 9: The Eden Project

Stop 10: Bath

Stop 11: Stonehenge, then Home!

All in all you are looking at a good 15-17 hours driving across 7 days in a little Renault Cleo with the two of us an our bags! We split the journey between us as we are both insured on the car and only spent a grand total of £60 in petrol! Thats it!

So below, see out ACTUAL itinerary and what we actually got up too, because there were definitely a few more stops than the above, but we also removed one stop, see if you can figure out which one it is!

Stop 1: Bournemouth

Stop 2: Durdle Door

Stop 3: Exexter

Stop 4: Torquay

Stop 5: Brixham

Stop 6: Totnes

Stop 7: Dartmoor

Stop 8: St Ives

Stop 9: Lands End

Stop 10: Newquay

Stop 11: The Eden Project Hangloose Zipwire

Stop 12: Bath

Stop 13: Stonehenge & Home

So we added another 2 stops after not going to Salcombe and exploring more of the area around Torquay, so Brixham, Totnes and then Dartmoor national park and even going to see the Dartmoor Prison! This was all with my lovely friend Tasmin who lives down this way, it was amazing to see a familiar face who I haven’t seen since September which was also a dream and could be our tour guide!

So here is the route we took below, this is a very basic look as Google maps only lets you have 8 stops and I didn’t add Home (at the start or the end) to the stops but from there to Bournemouth is 2 and a half hours (4 hours if you go along the M25 Car park which we absolutely did). Also from Stonehenge to Home is another 2.5 hours. I also missed out the small stops we did around Brixham, Totnes and Dartmoor but that added another hour and a half to the journey going between these places as you can see below! I added the map separately below.

In total driving time was 17/18 hours including the journey home from Stonehenge which I haven’t shown and from Home to Bournemouth (because as much as I love you guys I don’t want you knowing where I live, haha!).

So over the next week I’ll be sharing with you our epic adventure, I’ll also be posting all the Airbnb’s we stay in and what we got booked in!

If you don’t want too wait and read it you are also more than welcome to watch my youtube video right here!

J x

Amsterdam – New Experiences, Canal Boat Tour!

Have you ever been Canal Boating in Amsterdam? How was your experience?

This is something that I have always wanted to do and Brad and I have visited Amsterdam before but never had the chance or opportunity to do it, so when we met Mel and Stan in Amsterdam with Kaat we decided why the hell not? I don’t think Mel, Stan & Kaat had done one before either so it was a great experience!

So we headed to Amsterdam Central. A lot of the boat tours are down by Amsterdam Central Station, we paid €18 per person for a seat on the boat which I felt was really well priced all things considered! The prices of the tour can vary from €14 to €25. They last 90 minutes and you also receive a headset to hear about the history of the things you’re passing so they didn’t have a tour operator.

Our boat had all glass windows and ceiling, the windows slid open as well so you could see out of them easier. The water was calm as you make your way around the Amsterdam canals seeing all the historical points, buildings and bridges!

We saw the Skinny Bridge which has been round since 1934 and is also made of white painted wood and has pretty lights all along the sides. Not only that but you also pass a fair few popular museums and the red light district, the Opera House and also the Munttoren tower and so many more exciting sites, architecture and scenery!

Once you’re done in the canals you head out onto the main open water area between Amsterdam North and Amsterdam Central, past the A-Dam lookout and central station. Its really a great experience and totally worth the money, its a lot of fun and gives you a chance to see a lot of Amsterdam that you might not see whilst walking around!

I would absolutely recommend one of these tours, you can also get them from other locations in the city including nearby the Rjiksmuseum if you are far away from Amsterdam Central Station.

My New Domain & Instagram!

I finally have my own blog domain!

No more Wondererandtraveller.wordpress.com.

Welcome to Wandererandtraveller.com!

I have wanted to do this for so so long, I’ve been talking about it for months and it has finally happened! I decided not to move away from WordPress so have gone with the basic package offered by WordPress.com which worked out the best for me. This was because it wasn’t too expensive and I don’t currently have enough time to do a business profile but one day soon I shall upgrade again!

Not only am I happy to lose the WordPress.com from my URL but I am also SO HAPPY that it is spelt the way I’ve always wanted it to be spelt. I know that a Wonderer is a perfectly good word and it works with Traveller, but I naturally wanted Wanderer. I know what you’re thinking. Wanderer and Traveller, Traveller and Traveller. I guess thats kinda the point!

To celebrate the fact I now own Wandererandtraveller.com I also brought my travel Instagram back!

I started this Instagram about 2 years ago and fell of it and stopped posting which I highly regret. But I felt it was only appropriate to bring it back to life. This will be dedicated to all my old travel pictures FOR NOW. Obviously due to COVID-19 there isn’t much travel happening, especially with our Aus trip being rescheduled, so I will be reposting a few old pictures until we go away again in the future!

So if you fancy it head on over for more content, I’ll be sharing all the love and returning all the likes and follows so hit me up!

I am really excited for what’s to come. Now I’ve got to go and get to grips with Google Analytics and SEO, there will be more blog posts coming form me soon including a few from our Amsterdam Trip from last year, some reading round ups, some facts about myself as well. Pinterest and my Facebook page need some love and attention, gosh I have so much on my to do list!

Stay Tuned, I’m excited for the future!

The Global Quarantine Diaries – Helen

Global Quarantine Diaries

Where in the world are you located?

I live in a sleepy little town in Cheshire in the UK. It is picture perfect and we absolutely love it here. Formatively, I have lived in many counties through out the UK due to my Fathers job. In fact this is the longest I have ever stayed in one place! 9 years and counting, for the first time in my life, I have a house that feels like my forever home. 

What is lockdown regulations like there? 

As I am shielding due to an on going argument with that thing known as The Big C, my lockdown regulations have been very strict. I have been unable to leave my home for over 10 weeks. This proves interesting when trying to homeschool 3 kiddies who want nothing more than to do fun stuff and play out with their friends! It turns out I am a terrible teacher, as they are students!

How are you keeping busy?

As a Mum of 3, I never have the time to keep busy! It is constantly a mad house, full of chaos, but most importantly full of love. On the upside, when we have been attempting homeschooling, it has given me the opportunity to think, create and write for my blog and side hustles. I have also taken on an absurd amount of DIY tasks, in the genuine belief we would be bored if we hadn’t got plenty to do. The reality of it is I don’t have time to be bored nor time to get everything done! Who knew how short 10 weeks really were when there was a mountain of things to do on The List of Doom.

What do you miss doing the most?

Having coffee with my girlfriends. In all the years of friendship I have been fortunate to amass with my besties, I have never had to go so long without seeing them. I struggle with zoom/facetime interactions as I find them stunted if there are more than a couple of people on them. I can’t wait to go for a walk with my pooch and a cuppa with my besties. 

What is the first thing you’re going to do once lockdown is over?

Spend time by myself! It turns out I am a very solitary person, and I am really struggling being in a house full of lunatics 24/7. I can’t wait to drop the kiddies back to school (hopefully in September!) and enjoy the silence of the car journey home. Then I am driving straight to my aforementioned besties house for a long over due hug! Turns out for a loner, I really enjoy a cuddle.

Find me here:

https://www.instagram.com/alittlecupofhelen/

https://www.alittlecupofhelen.co.uk

The Global Quarantine Diaries – Sakshi

  • Where in the world are you located?

Hello! I’m writing to you from Delhi, India.

  • What are lockdown restrictions like there?

India has seen one of the largest lock down in the world for a little more than 2 months. The lockdown initially started for 15 days and then iterative was extended four more times – it has been named lockdown 1.0 iteratively till lockdown 4.0 jokingly. At that time, the entire country was shut down except for essential items or industries that could continue to work from home. It was not allowed to step outside unless you’re getting yourselves essentials or have an emergency. If you wanted to go out or move to a different part of the country, you had to issue yourself a pass by the government and your only bet was to drive yourself since metro, rail, air and bus transport was also shut down. 

But now since the 1st of June, the country has re-opened. The business is back to normal – restaurants, shopping malls are open, so are all modes of transportation. All of this while still maintaining social distancing, use of masks and sanitizers. People are still advised to stay at home and only go out if necessary. 

  • How are you keeping busy?

I am a software developer by profession and I’m grateful that my job allows me to work from home. It’s been 3 months and counting since I’m working from home and since it’s a full time job, it demands most of my time. In the late evenings, I tend to work on my blog and have been loving how it’s turning out.

  • What do you miss doing the most?

I miss a lot of things!

I miss working alongside my co-workers. Working remotely has been tough and skype calls constitute most of my time when it was just easier to go over someone’s desk and get the work done. Whiteboard brainstorming was easier than trying to draw on the screen – all of this was just quicker to get things done. Now in addition to that, I also feel there is a blur between the work life and personal life because we are still at home? I see myself working longer hours which isn’t good.

I miss going out for a brunch with my friends or a dinner date under the moonlight. I miss going out to have a pizza party or catch up with my friends as we dance the night away. I miss going out to get essentials without having to wait for my turn outside or wearing a mask everywhere I go. I miss going out without the fear of a deadly disease.

  • What is the first thing you’re going to do once the lockdown is over?

Technically, the lock down is over in India but I still haven’t stepped outside of my home. The cases here are increasing at an alarming rate and we are now the fourth most affected country in the whole world! But when things get alright, I would love and catch up with my friends over lunch/dinner. I haven’t seen them in months and video calls don’t do enough justice.

Head over to Sakshi’s Socials below!

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