Friday, 29 March 2019

*Honeymoon Road trip - UK

uk honeymoon road trip itinerary


When it comes to wedding planning, it’s not all wedding dresses and decorations, there’s the ever important, slightly fancier than usual trip that comes after you say ‘I do’. From tin cans tied to the back of the car to those cheesy matching Mr and Mrs passport covers that we all secretly love, the honeymoon from start to finish really should be a trip to remember. It’s not just a holiday, it’s the adventure that starts the adventure of your lives together. 

Let’s come away from the traditional adults only Sandals resorts and island hopping in far off lands for a minute and talk about a magical memory making trip we can take right here, on our own Great British Isle. Before you go spraying just married across the back windscreen, you’re going to want to check your tyres at kwik-fit because we’re off on the Great British Honeymoon road trip!

Road trip safety first!

As excited as you might be about your Honeymoon road trip around the UK, there’s a few things to bare in mind before you put the key in the ignition. Think of this as the inflight safety instructions before your plane takes off. 

One of the biggest things to cause an accident on UK roads and motorways is people not being aware of stopping distances. The average speed limit in the UK is 30mph. If you have to make a sudden, emergency stop, it takes 23m for the car to come to a standstill - and if it’s raining? It can take twice the distance to stop. If you’re driving in the winter, it can take up to ten times the distance to stop on an icy road. That’s just at 30mph - think about what that all means if you’re travelling at 40mph? 60mph? 70mph? 

Our country is a beautiful one, take time getting to every destination on your road trip - it’s not a road race! Drive slowly - drive safely! There’s no point racing ahead to each destination on your itinerary, not if it ends up cutting your trip short or worse

Honeymoon road trip stops to make!

I’m no map reader, even Google Maps confuses me sometimes but if I were to take a road trip honeymoon, I would love to head towards and explore Scotland a lot. There are some amazing itineraries out there showcasing the best of the highlands, quintessential villages and all the rolling green hills your literary heart could wish for. With the Mr being a bit of a golfer, there are also some amazing golf and spa resorts along the way that I think we’d both enjoy stopping at!

We’d grab the train up to Edinburgh, and go from there, jumping in our rental car and heading towards Cairngorms National Park - they have free roaming reindeer! It would then be onto Loch Ness because can you ever say you’ve been to Scotland if you haven’t gone hunting for Nessie? Heading toward Mallaig means we can then hop the ferry over to Isle of Skye - I mean if this isn’t the most picturesque spot on the trip I don’t know what would be!

Glencoe would be our next stop - there’s a lot of links back to our family history in Glencoe so I think it would be a really interesting place to stop! Last but not least, we would find our way down to Glasgow - fun fact, I’ve spent about 2 hours in Glasgow, one was in the Asda, the other was being very lost trying to get out of Glasgow, so it would be nice to what else Glasgow has to offer!

If you were to take a road trip honeymoon somewhere in the UK, where would you go?

Until next time, 

Header image: @michaeljosully

*This post is a collaboration, all thoughts, opinions and dreams of Scotland are my own. For more information please see my disclaimer policy.

Monday, 25 March 2019

*To thine own self be true - discovering your creative self with Viking

how to discover your creative self

Sometimes we all get a little lost. We get wrapped up in what everyone else is thinking, saying, doing, the places they’re going, that we forget what it is that we want and instead, we do the things that others want. How do you hit the reset button and get back to your own, true self?

Sometimes, the things that we want won’t be the things that others want, and when that difference becomes apparant, sometimes people will get upset. As hard as it is to see those closest to us hurt, we’re not doing right by them or ourselves just going along with what everybody else wants. It’s not always easy to stick to your guns and do things your way (as long as it’s not flat out hurting anyone) but we have to protect who we are, and live a life we love, not the life others want for us. With National Poetry week just behind us, this is a great time to use words and creativity to express our true self. I teamed up with Viking this past poetry week to see how words, expression and creativity could help us overcome obstacles and problems and to express our true, inner self. 

how to discover your creative self

Get creative with your journey

For me, nothing helps me find myself more than through creativity. Collaging is something I’ve done since I was a kid, but isn’t something I always make time for as an adult these days. I used to spend hours as a kid with my Crayola safety scissors and the latest Index or Grattan catalogue, cutting out clothes, decor and accessories that sparked pure joy within me. Damn, how I wish I still had some of those old collages! There’s something about just aimlessly flipping through magazines and seeing what images or words jump out at you.

I decided to pull out the not-so-safety scissors and glue stick one chilled afternoon at home and see what direction the collage took me in. The self that I am growing into is focused on 3 things right now; creativity, mindfulness and memories. As I was clipping from a few magazines things that summed these 3 thing up, I remembered I had some old photo prints from my last trip to Walt Disney World rolling around my desk drawer. So I grabbed a couple of those too and got cutting and pasting.

What I found I was drawn to was things that represented what I feel like I am made from. Things that bring me joy. Things that ground me and make me me. It’s so important to remember to take a step back and remind yourself sometimes what it is that makes you you in order to figure out where you want to go next. 

I swear, the best way to find your self is to let your inner child take control. 

how to discover your creative self

The inner child and the self

Remember when we were kids? And we would just play in worlds of our own creation for hours upon end? We’d be an astronaut, a nurse, a teacher and an explorer all before lunch. Before bed we would drift off dreaming of far off lands and the space amongst the stars. 

As a child we loved to play. To roll up our sleeves and get our hands dirty - or at least I did! I was always happiest when I was creating. Be it cutting and collaging or colouring and playing make-believe. Our inner child knows our true self with no holds barred

FFS saloca, this sounds like a bunch of millennial mumbo jumbo

What I’m trying to say, is try spending some time now, exactly like you did back then. Remember what gave you pure joy as a kid, it might not have been colouring, it might have been bike riding or rock climbing, collecting seashells on the beach or making a daisy chain in the garden. Let your inner child out to play for a while and see how much more like yourself you start to feel.

how to discover your creative self

Write it out

If nothing else, put pen to paper or fingers to keys and write it out. Back in my university days, we used to spend the first 20 minutes of a session free writing. I still have some of these, most of which start with ‘I have no idea what I’m supposed to be writing but everyone else's pen is moving across the page so I feel like mine should be too…’ but somehow, somewhere in the mindless word dumping, something would start to appear on the page. Sometimes it would be part of a story or a poem, sometimes it would be something much more personal. Whatever it is that is stopping you from being yourself, start there, write that down, then see where the pen takes you. It might not be obvious at first, but try this exercise.

For a week, write the problem (if you can pin point it) at the top of the page. Then, free write for 5 - 20 minutes. You might address the issues, you might not, but don’t read back over what you’ve read. Just write.

Do this every night for a week, same question, same time frame, same rule, do not read back over what you have written. 

how to discover your creative self

At the end of the week, find some quiet time and go over the weeks worth of free writing, start highlighting any repetitions you find. Any similar themes or ideas, Highlight them. Chances are, the answer to your problem is trying to get out, and it will repeat itself across the pages, shouting like a neon sign to be noticed. We all have the answers to any and all problems and road blocks inside us, we just need to give them an exit route!

To thine own self be true

Until next time, 

Friday, 22 March 2019

How to feel productive after a TV-show binge session

how to be productive after you've been binging on the latest netflix show for hours on end!

We’ve all fallen into that trap, when new seasons, talked about documentaries, and 4 part intense dramas just play episode after episode, after episode..after episode. Before you know it you’ve been binge watching the tv for hours and the tv is asking if you’re still watching. As much as you might have enjoyed your binge session, you now feel like you’ve lost an entire day and are wracked with binge watching guilt. What are some quick and easy ways to feel productive after binge watching a tv-show?

Get up!

Chances are, you’ve been sat on your backside for a good few hours! So get up! Now! Even as you’re reading this, stand up. Ok, you’re up! Now move. Swing your arms, stretch your legs, wander around the warm, wiggle your toes - get the blood moving around your body! If you can motivate yourself enough, get your trainers on and take a walk, even if it’s just to the end of the road! Who know’s, by time you get there you might even fancy going a bit further!

Clean up the crumbs!

I’m a serial snacker! Every new episode requires a fresh brew and a fresh snack. Pretzels, biscuits, popcorn, a few grapes to balance it out. Those sweet wrappers, used plates and crumbs really start to pile up around you the longer your curled up on the couch. Get the dishes in the sink, the wrappers in the bin and go over the room quickly with the hoover! Chances are there’ll be a few dishes in the sink now, so fill that bowl and get them washed, wipe down the counter tops, dry the plates and put them away. No dilly-dallying! If I end up doing a bit of a deep clean, I might reward myself with just one more episode hehe!

how to be productive after you've been binging on the latest netflix show for hours on end!

Clear something out!

I live in one of those kinda homes where there is always something to clear out. If ever I want to feel just the tiniest bit productive at the end of a pretty lazy day, I’ll pull out a drawer, or open a cupboard, grab a bin bag and see what I can throw away. There’s always something! Clearing out just one desk drawer instantly makes me feel like I’ve done at least a little something with my day! When I binge watched Marie Kondo Tidying Up I went on a massive cleaning spree - some bing watching sessions can be really inspiring!

Stare at something else for a while!

Have a staring contest with your cat, pick up a book, day dream out the window. Stare at something that is not the television and/or laptop screen! Even if it’s just for 20 minutes, just cast your eyes elsewhere! (This doesn’t mean you can pick up your phone either!). Look at something that isn’t a screen for as long as you can! I tend to find myself reaching for books, colouring books, or my calligraphy practice books after spending a little too long infant of the TV. It helps relax my eyes, especially if I’m wanting to get to bed pretty soon, and calm my mind too. 

Write it out!

Write about the show you just watched. Review it. Did it inspire you to think about something differently? Did it open your eyes to something new? Did it make you think? However it inspired you, get writing about it. If you’re a blogger, there’s an instant piece of content right there, maybe even more than one post? Who knows, you could even write about the things you did after binge watching TV to make you feel like you got something done today…..

how to be productive after you've been binging on the latest netflix show for hours on end!

What do you do to feel a little more productive after a good tv-show binging session? Speaking of which, what shows have you binged on recently? Anything to recommend?

Until next time, 

Netflix image : @freestocks
Popcorn eating image: @jeshoots