101 in 1001 XXXIX

What a couple of months I've had! From finally attending Eurovision, to jetting off to Aruba for my first press trip, I've had the perfect opportunity to tick off lots of goals. I've definitely found that my third set of my goals are much more achievable than the first two, and it's making me feel really positive about getting at least 75% of them completed before the 1001 days are up in 2020. 

#2 Visit 10 new-to-me foreign cities 3/10

Lisbon rooftops

Technically, Lisbon isn't new to me. I visited when I was a child but I was very young and my only memories are seeing the black-and-white tiled floor, and a very vague memory about a big glass building that may not even be in Portugal after all. For the purposes of my goals, I count a new city as anywhere I haven't been as an adult, so I'm including it. Oranjestad in Aruba, however, is absolutely a new-to-me location. Two new cities in one month, taking my total up to three- what a great few weeks!


A month of Instagram strategies

Oh, Instagram. Is there any social media platform that makes you feel more frustrated, and less accomplished, than Insta-bloody-gram? As soon as you gain a follower, you lose five, and it seems like no matter how much you work on it, no matter how much you love your photos, no matter what strategies you put in place, it just doesn't make a difference. Of course we can all sit here and say 'it's not about the followers' but let's face it, most bloggers want to gain an audience, and with Instagram becoming more and more important for securing opportunities, the majority of us would like a boost. As I was slowly crawling towards my next milestone of 4000 followers, I decided to set myself a challenge: Throughout June, I'd spend a week dedicated to one of four different growth strategies, and see if I could secure that number. 

Best strategies for gaining Instagram followers


5 Reasons to Stay at Manchebo Beach Resort Aruba

While I was in Aruba, I had the pleasure of staying at Manchebo Beach Resort on Eagle Beach. Every traveller will know that choosing your hotel is one of the most important decisions you can make for a holiday- after all, it can be the difference between wanting to go home straight away or never, ever wanting to leave. Luckily for me, Manchebo falls into the latter category. It was such a lovely, friendly place to stay and really helped make my visit amazing.

Manchebo Beach Resort Aruba review


OOTD // Candy Striped Dress

Do you ever do that thing where you find something nice in the sale, buy it even though it's definitely not weather-appropriate, and then completely forget about it by the time the relevant season comes round? That's exactly what I did with this dress! I bought it from Sainsbury's in the winter of 2016, intending to save it for the summer. Only by the time summer emerged, it was buried in the bottom of my wardrobe. Earlier this year, I cleared out most of my clothes and came across it again. This time, I made sure not to forget it and it finally got its chance to shine, 18 months after purchase.

Sainsbury's TU rainbow stripe dress

Dress: Sainsbury's (similar here)
Leggings: Evans
Shoes: Primark (similar here)


7 Activities to Try in Aruba

We've already established why you should visit Aruba, but what should you do when you get there? I was very grateful to be given the opportunity to try a huge host of varied activities, and I've chosen my seven favourites to create a list of must-do adventures. As I've said before, this happy island really gave me a sense of empowerment, so I tried a lot of things that I never would have considered before. It's amazing how much you can achieve when you push yourself beyond your comfort zone! 


Twenty Things I Learned in my Twenties

Tomorrow, I turn 30... and I cannot wait. Looking back over the past ten years, I can see the growth and evolution I've made as a person and I feel ready to start a whole new chapter. In June 2008, I was a first-year teaching student, in a two-month strong relationship with some guy called Rich, and I was making the most of university life. I had a lot of fun but I was unsure of myself, a little timid and a lot insecure. Now I finally feel like I've found my feet and it's got me reflecting on the lessons I've learned throughout my twenties.


Five Reasons to Visit Aruba

At the end of May, I was lucky enough to spend a week on the Dutch Caribbean island of Aruba, invited to encounter its beautiful beaches and renowned friendliness for myself. If you follow me on social media, you may have seen me talking about this gorgeous country a lot lately. It was just such a wonderful experience that I couldn't help but share it, and now I want to give five reasons why you should also visit Aruba.

Five reasons to visit Aruba


Nails // DND Shimmer Sky

Over the past few weeks, I've had bright pink nails, bright yellow nails, coral nails... With so many bright colours lately, I felt like going back to something a little more muted, and settled on Shimmer Sky by DND.

DND Shimmer Sky swatch


72 Hours in Lisbon (Solo)

A very long time ago, I visited Lisbon with my grandparents. My only strong memory was looking down at the trippy black & white floor, so I really wanted to revisit the Portuguese capital as an adult (and hopefully remember more than just the ground). As luck would have it, the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest was hosted by Lisbon and, as I'd already promised myself I'd attend, I managed to tick both goals off at once. My Eurovision experience was great (read all about it here), but I gave myself an extra day either side so I could explore the city too. My third solo adventure was quite the experience!

Travelling solo as a woman in Lisbon


May Reading Round Up

With a total of almost 30 hours spent on planes in May, I thought I would get a lot of reading done. Unfortunately, flying makes me sleepy at the best of times, and my brain decides that reading is the perfect way to fall asleep when I'm in the air, so I actually didn't get much done at all. In fact, I think I would have read more if I'd been at home the whole month. Oh, well!

Stack of books


OOTD // Fun House with TruffleShuffle

What an absolute dream Fun House was! Running home from school on a Friday afternoon so you could admire Pat Sharp's mullet and dream that you were a cute cheerleading twin shaking pom poms. Or, of course, that you had the opportunity to race those go karts. The ultimate goal. Unfortunately, I never got the chance to enter the Fun House myself but, over 20 years later, I can finally throw on that yellow t-shirt (we can all agree Team Yellow was the best, right?) thanks to TruffleShuffle. Better yet, you can join me- or be my Red Team rival- with your own top, using the discount code at the bottom of this post. 

Fun House top TruffleShuffle

Fun House top: TruffleShuffle
Skirt: New Look
Leggings: Evans
Shoes: Converse


June Wishlist

It's my birthday month!! I'm turning 30 in less than two weeks and I'm honestly so excited. My twenties definitely felt like a time for experimentation and making mistakes, but from my 29th birthday until now, this has been the absolute best year of my life. I feel like I've truly brought this chapter of my life to a close and now I can move on, looking ahead to an even brighter future. With this bright future theme in mind, I'm planning a silver-and-gold look for my party (I'm having a party, for Christ's sake! I'm a whole new person!) and thought it would be cute to carry along in this vein for my June wishlist. Sequins at the ready!

June gold and silver wishlist
Silver trousers (also in plus size) // Gold bikini top and bottoms // Silver trainers
Rose gold bag // Silver mini skirt // Gold sequin dress
Silver glitter heels // Olivia Burton rose gold watch // Silver fringe bag
I can't wait to show you my outfit! Raise a glass to me turning thirty ;)

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