When your life is going to change in a big way, I guess it’s only natural to start thinking about past experiences and how things are going to change for the future. Obviously, I’m over the moon that baby peaches is on the way, but sometimes I can’t help but think about how one of my biggest passions is going to change in a big way. That passion is, adventure travel! Travel has always been something deeply etched into my being, I travelled as a baby, a child and a teenager and continued to travel into my adult life. I then turned my passion into a career as I worked as cabin crew for 2 years, then as a travel agent for 8 years. So, my passion for travelling the world really has been with me a long time.  I’m sure we will travel with baby peaches, however, I know from experience of booking family holidays that things will change as a party of 3! My love for travelling doesn’t have to stop, it’s just going to be different that’s all. Instead of trekking in South America, I’ll be going on a luxury Iglu Cruise or booking an all-inclusive beach holiday – however, I know it’ll still be amazing and I can’t wait to show our little girl the world. So, while I’m reminiscing, I thought I’d share some of my favourite travel destinations, some funny stories and a few dodgy old holiday snaps. Here are my best bits:

INDIA

india

I was lucky enough to visit Delhi in India in 2007 for a work trip. Yes, that’s me with the brown hair (not sure what I was thinking there!) I remember it was an amazingly overwhelming culture shock, the sights, the smells, the endless heat, but I loved every moment of it. India will always be one of my favourite places in the world, it is absolutely crazy, busy and smelly at times but it’s so beautiful. We were lucky enough to visit places like the Taj Mahal, although I remember being torn by the fact there was a 5 star hotel (in the bottom right picture) that was right next to a slum. As well as visiting the posh hotel we also played with the children of the slums, and as I was so young, this gave me so much to think about to see such poverty. This was one of my big life lessons that totally put my life into perspective and made me realise how lucky I am. The heat was also incredible, it reached 46 degrees during our trip, crazy! I think if I went back, I’d be a little older and wiser now and I’d be a little more prepared!

RIO DE JANEIRO

rio

In 2008, I was lucky enough to travel for work to Rio De Janeiro. The trip feels like an utter blur, I remember being so tired from the flight I can barely remember half of it! We were lucky enough to see some of the top sights, like Copacabana Beach and the Corcovado. After seeing Rio in so many pictures I had to pinch myself I was actually there! We then went into the Amazon where we got to meet a tribe that still live within the rainforest, I remember being horrified when a man just wearing nothing but a very skimpy leaf pulled me up to dance with him. I flew all over the dance floor to the sound of their panpipes and drums as he spun me round!

AUSTRALIA

australia

My next adventure was to Australia. Look how young I look in these pictures! It was a whirlwind tour, visiting 3 different places, Melbourne, Ayers Rock (Uluru) and Sydney, all within the space of 10 days. I’m not sure I’d have coped with that sort of itinerary these days, but back then I was in my element! (Remember those days when we didn’t need sleep!?). I remember worrying about all the creepy crawlies and checking my shoes/bedding/toilet seat for spiders at every opportunity. We slept one night under the stars by Ayers Rock and I was such I was going to be eaten by something! My favourite memory was watching the sunrise come up over Ayers Rock, as the light changed, so did the colour of the rock, it was magical!

BORNEO

borneo

A couple of years later, I travelled to Borneo and got the once in a lifetime change to meet the orangutans of Sepilok Rescue Centre, which was an absolute dream! We also stayed in a really lovely hotel and somehow I managed to get upgraded into a room with a huge jacuzzi on the balcony, which I had all to myself, I couldn’t believe it! My favourite moment from Borneo was getting up in the middle of the night to watch a turtle laying her eggs on the beach, I can still remember our guide running through the ‘hotel’ (which was just basic beach huts to be honest) shouting ‘it’s turtle time!!‘ to wake everyone up for the moment.

PERU

screen-shot-2016-09-28-at-14-33-47

My most recent adventure and if you’ve been reading my blog for a few years, you’ll have read all about this already! Both V and I travelled to Peru a couple of years ago and it was one of the most amazing but hardest trips I’ve ever done. I was really affected by the altitude, but we managed to do the Inca Trail, even though my lips went blue and I was out of breath with every step. It really was a spiritual, life changing experience, with a lot of funny moments along the way, such as when V drunk a frog milkshake (that literally had a frog blended into it) and don’t even get me started on the quest for a clean toilet on the Inca Trail (spoiler: it doesn’t exist). Peru was just so amazing, I’d go back again in a second!

 

Ahh, so many amazing memories. I hope you enjoyed this trip down memory lane with me! I’d love to hear some of your travel stories, either before or after babies, please do tweet me, or share them in the comments below! 

 

Post contains some collaborative links, however all words, opinions and travel stories are my own

 

Sometimes it's okay to ask for help

I didn’t actually realise how much of a ‘perfectionist of life’ I was until my body forced me to slow down the pace. I’ve always been a super busy person and that’s just the way I am. I find it really hard to say no to things, ask for help from others, or to just sit down and do nothing, it feels so alien to me. Although just recently, I’ve realised sometimes my body just needs to rest.

So, What keeps me so busy?

There is my full time job, then of course my blog which I run as both a hobby and a business now. That comes hand-in-hand with the torrents of blog content and social media posts that I need to keep on top of, not to mention my overflowing email inbox too. I always try to make time to see my friends in between work and my blog and lastly, as if I didn’t do enough…. I’m a bit of a clean freak when it comes to my home and I find it hard to relax if things aren’t the way I like them at home. PHEW, that is a lot.

Basically, I just never sit still. Every moment in my day is taken up, right up until the last minute when I fall into bed exhausted, ready to wake up the next day and do it all again.

I’ve found as over the years, living this kind of ‘full on’ lifestyle has lead to a few burn outs along the way, but me being me, I can’t just switch off and think ‘Screw it, I’m just going to watch Netflix‘, usually it takes me to leave the country and get totally away from my surroundings to unwind and leave my fast paced life behind.

Sometimes it's okay to ask for help

The classic ‘Sausage Legs’ holiday snap, but being on the beach is great thinking time 🙂

Learning to change

This was all until this year when we began the IVF process I suddenly realised that IVF/Pregnancy doesn’t go hand-in -hand with life in the fast lane – something is going to have to give. As we investigated the IVF process I realised I was going to need to rest and look after my body and with this V began to worry about me burning out, so we talked about what areas of my life I could slow down.

Obviously my blog is my pride and joy, so that had to stay – it makes me happy and is my creative outlet. I couldn’t give up my full time job (I wish! 😉 ) so the area I had to sacrifice first was looking after my home. I’m not sure why, but this realisation of letting go of responsibility of something was quite hard for me, maybe I’m just super house-proud, or a bit of a control freak, but it felt weird to hand over the reigns to someone else and stop doing the tasks I have done for my whole adult life.

My initial thoughts were ‘what if they do everything differently to me?’ or ‘What if they move all my things into different places‘, it sort of felt like it wouldn’t be my home anymore. I also felt strange having someone else run around after me and clean up my mess and I felt guilty by not doing it myself.

Trust

Ultimately, I had to listen to my body and put my trust in someone else, sometimes thats the hardest thing to do. Luckily, V knew a lovely lady called Cath. She chatted to her about coming over to help us with some of the bits around the house and since then she’s been coming over weekly to help us. It’s removed so much pressure of keeping on top of household bits and she is brilliant – I don’t know why I had doubts about asking for help from someone else. I can’t thank her enough.

So, I guess where I’m going with this is that sometimes you just can’t manage everything, and it really doesn’t mean you are failing at life, it just means that your priorities are different at the moment. Maybe your house is a mess, but your blog photography rules. Or you are growing a human but fell asleep in a meeting. These things happen, trust me – I’ve learned if you spread yourself too thinly, then something has to give.

To Summarise….

  • It’s TOTALLY ok to ask other people for support if you need to, you haven’t failed in life – just because one area is slipping, it is probably because one area is growing.
  • Don’t feel embarrassed to reach out to people,  usually we’ve all been there at some point and good friends/family will understand where you are coming from.
  • Ask someone you trust to help you – I’m so glad we found Cath as I trust her in our home and she does a fab job, so I feel totally comfortable handing things over to her. Trust is a really important thing when you are feeling vulnerable, so speak to someone you can trust, and if it’s cleaning help you need, try this.
  • Don’t try and spread yourself to thinly – focus on the one/few things you can do, and do it really well. Forget about the rest.
  • Fall back on the blogging community – I know each of our blogs are our little babies, but we are all in the same boat and feeling the pressure. Usually bloggers are more than happy to help each other out, you just have to ask.

Basically:

Sometimes it's okay to ask for help

Post written in collaboration with Hassle.com, however all words, opinions and control freak tendencies are my own

Pupdate: Robbie gets protective

They say that dogs can sense when you are pregnant or poorly, so naturally, I was really interested to see how Robbie would react to me and our big news. Robbie is a super intuitive dog, he picks up on the smallest thing – he can tell when you are in a bad mood (usually hiding under the dining room table for cover) or when you are feeling when you are feeling sad he’ll kindly offer a comforting soft ear to cry on. Since finding out I was pregnant in June, his behaviour changed towards me almost overnight, so I’m 100% sure he knows whats going on. I’m sure the new addition to the family will not be too much of a surprise to him, although I do wonder if he’s starting to feel a bit worried about being pushed out (which of course, won’t happen) or jealous as he’s a very needy dog.  Here is how he’s been over the last few months:

Pupdate: Robbie gets protective

ROBBIE AT HOME:

When I am in the house he will not leave my side, he will literally sit as close to me as he possibly can, snuggling right into my lap. Often if I’m on my laptop, he’ll place his head on my lap meaning I have to drape my arms over him to type, plus he has an annoying habit of letting his ears flop over the keyboard, every time I move them he plops them back down again, so usually half my blog time is taken up my constant ear-scooping. If I go into a different room, he’ll follow me. He’s just by my side 24/7, sleeping on our bed and sitting on the sofa when we are. If I cook, he’ll sit in the kitchen. He’s literally watching my every move and is by my side full time. Oh and I never get to use the toilet in private anymore, so that’s great practice for having a child.

 

Pupdate: Robbie gets protective

ROBBIE ON WALKS:

Robbie is usually a really friendly dog whilst out on walks, always playing with other dogs and sniffing their bums, as dogs do. However just recently on walks with me (and only if I’m alone with him) he’s become a bit aggressive towards other dogs, which is a bit embarrassing. Usually when I take him off the lead he will run off into the countryside for a good snorkel around, but now he will only go a few steps from my side, he won’t ever run off and if another dog runs by he’ll usually growl at them and be a bit snappy, although as he’s such a soft dog deep inside it sounds a bit pathetic! I’m sure if the other dog snapped back he’d just cower as he’s a timid little thing really, but kudos to him for trying! 🙂 I keep having to apologise to people and tell them he’s just being like that because I’m pregnant. Hopefully he’ll snap out of it when the baby is born, or maybe he’ll be double protective of our littlest member of the family – who knows!

Robbie just has the sweetest personality of any dogs I’ve ever met. I know I’m biased but he really is a little character and so unique. He is a member of the family in every way and I don’t know what I’d do without him, so I ensure he’s looked after in every way. I am sure we won’t push him aside when the baby comes, we’ve already been talking about presents to buy him so he feels included in all the changes, when they happen! Pets truly are family and he means the world to me!

Pupdate: Robbie gets protective

Post written in collaboration with RSPCA

A Foodies Guide to New York

Everyone is talking about one place at the moment, The Big Apple. It seems  like every blogger I follow has visited New York over the last couple of months (Lady Writes, Devoted to Pink, London Beauty Queen to name a few) and I have serious travel blogger envy! I absolutely love reading their posts; lusting after their amazing photographs of panoramic city skylines and piles of pancakes as taller than your head. Plus of course, eagerly awaiting to see their ‘New York Haul‘ as everyone knows when you visit New York, you’ll need an extra case to get home. However, it wasn’t until I recently watched The Elle Next Door’s Travel Vlog from her recent trip to New York, I realised we had one thing in common – EATING ALL OF THE FOOD. New York really is the city for eating and has got to be one of the only places in the world where every single cuisine is available – whether you are fancy a plate of Mexican Street Food at 9am or a slab of cheesecake at 4am, New York will have you covered. And being the foodie I am (well, thats the posh name for a little piglet) thats why, deep down, I really can’t wait to visit.

 

A Foodies Guide to New York

So, while scouring the Internet to plan my (imaginary) trip (that will take a while to happen with little on on the way) I saw the perfect guide for all foodies alike – The Sunday Times has created this amazingly handy New York Food Map, with all the best places to eat highlighted by local bloggers and foodies with all the insider tips of the best places to eat. The map is also totally interactive and gives connects straight to Google Maps to direct you straight to your food. This is just a dream to me – all the foodie places in one place, you could literally start from the top and try them all…….

A Foodies Guide to New York

A Foodies Guide to New York

So, I thought I’d share this little gem with you, as this has now been safely bookmarked, pinned and stored ready for some serious travel planning when the time comes for my visit. I’ll also keep my maternity jeans once I’ve had the baby, as I think I’m going to need them!

 

Have you visited New York? Where was your favourite place to eat? 

Pin for later:

A Foodies Guide to New York

Post written in collaboration with The Sunday Times, however all words, opinions and food cravings are my own

I can’t believe I’m actually mentioning the ‘C’ word,  it doesn’t seem right but I’m going to do it. Ok, here goes – CHRISTMAS. There. I did it, the seal is officially broken for this year. So, it’s time to start talking about Christmas Party dresses. I am still in denial that it is still summer, but I know the big C-word will creep up on us and before we know it, so I may as well start preparing now.  I recently noticed when I popped to the shops that all of the new AW16 ranges are out and the most eye catching pieces are the dresses. Everyone loves a spangly dress at Christmas, right?  So I thought this year I’d get ahead of the game and have a flick round all the Christmas Party dresses ahead of time to pick out my favourites of the new collections this year and pop them all in one handy post!

Plus, if choosing a dress wasn’t hard enough, this year I have the added joy of trying to find a pretty maternity dress too! By Christmas time  I’ll be 7 months, so I imagine I’ll have quite a large bump – finding the perfect dress is going to be tricky. As well as a few Christmas parties this year, I also need a spangly dress for my birthday in November as we are heading back to Paris to re-do my 30th birthday again. You might have read that last year we were caught up in the terrorist attacks on my 30th birthday (so this year technically I’m turning 30 again, not 31 🙂 ) so we are going back to have the weekend that we missed last year. I need to get on it with the dress buying ASAP!

CHRISTMAS PARTY DRESSES

The first collection of dresses are my non-maternity favourites. I’m not sure I’ll be wearing any of these this year but there will be plenty of occasions in the future I’m sure I will….  I especially love the red lace dress,  gorgeous! Goals for next year when I get my waistline back, it’s beautiful!

Christmas Party Dress Inspiration (with maternity options too!)

 

Dress 1 | Dress 3 | Dress 3

MATERNITY DRESSES

My first impressions of maternity clothes have been that of plain, frumpy stripy tops and jeans or giant maxi dress tents (she says, wearing a stripy t-shirt and maternity jeans…..) however with the change of the season it seems the maternity ranges have really picked up in style and I’ve noticed some lovely items to choose from. I thought evening wear would be hard to find, but sites like Tiffany Rose have such a huge range of beautiful classy evening maternity dresses, there is bound to be something for everyone and every shape. House of Fraser is a good call too with plenty of choice in their going out dresses range, plus loads of other lovely maternity wear too.

Christmas Party Dress Inspiration (with maternity options too!)

 

Dress 1 | Dress 2 | Dress 3

ACCESSORIES

Of course, no going out (out) outfit is complete without accessories, so I’ve picked out a few of my favourites to add a touch of glamour to any of the dresses I’ve chosen. Footwear-wise, I’ve erred on the side of caution, with a huge bump I doubt I’ll want to wear anything too high so these gorgeous navy ankle boots should do the trick.  I also love the Michael Kors bag (who doesn’t) and its perfect for any outfit, as it comes in a range of colours – I could choose a colour to go with my dress. A girl can dream!

Christmas Party Dress Inspiration (with maternity options too!)

 

Ankle Boots | Necklace | Handbag | Smokey Eye Palette

So, these are my choices for this year – stay tuned for a few posts in Nov/Dec featuring the full outfits!

Have you picked up your Christmas Party dress yet? I’d love to see your choices! 

This post contains some collaborative links, however all words/opinions are my own