The Scotland Photo Post

I’ve been home for almost two weeks now and I’m only just finding the time to put up some of the photos from my holiday to Scotland with Bob. I haven’t got as far as getting any words to go with the post, life has been going 100mph since my return, but take a moment to sit back and take in the beautiful scenery of the North West Highlands alongside a few gratuitous selfies of the boy and I.
In a way this is a bit of a filler post, as mentioned up-post there just hasn’t been much time for anything but work and living my life in a way it hasn’t been lived in many a year. Fingers crossed I’m getting myself more organised from now and there will be some more quality and consistent content coming your way- bet you’re all on the edge of your seats with excitement!

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Bering at watchshop.com

I’ve been back from my trip to Scotland for just over a week now, and whilst it’s nice to be back in the world of wifi, phone signal and being within walking distance of a local shop I am seriously missing the isolation, quietness and natural beauty of the North West highlands.

We spent most of our trip in a static caravan on a site in Gairloch but made a trip over to the town of Ullapool where Bob lived and worked in a hotel for some time a few years ago. We booked a room in the hotel, caught up with some of his friends and family and found it to be the perfect environment to photograph my new watch by Bering at watchshop.com*.

The Bering Ladies’ Classic watch is hands down the classiest watch I own. The strap is a gorgeous khaki green and the dial is rose gold simplicity- perfect for wearing day and night. Since I’ve been home I’ve been wearing it daily for work, but whilst I was away I used it as a glam accessory for our night out in the hotel.

I wish I’d taken more photos at The Ceilidh Place as it’s hands down the nicest hotel I’ve stayed in to date. There are no televisions to be found, instead the rooms have a selection of books (and there’s a book shop attached to the hotel too) and a digital radio should you need more than the silence and enjoyment of a classic novel.
The rooms are cosy, clean and the bathroom was gorgeous. We ate at the hotel restaurant and I can happily confirm the food is delicious- I highly recommend the dressed crab. We stayed on for drinks too (a great array of gin!) and of course breakfast the next day…the perfect remedy for a sore head from the night before.
There’s a lovely vibe about the place and should you find yourself in Ullapool then I do recommend a stay here, or even just booking a table for dinner in the evening. I’ll do a photo re-cap post of my Scotland trip soon, life’s been absolute chaos since I’ve been back and I’m working pretty much full time again for the first time in ages but blog posts are brewing.

In the mean time, sit back, enjoy the pictures and let me know how you’d style this watch.

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DLM – Instagram stores for your last-minute holiday buys*

You can’t beat online shopping for last-minute holiday purchases with offers, next-day deliveries and easy free returns it’s the most varied way to get our wardrobes ready without spending hours upon hour trawling the shops.
With the rise of social media we now have more options than ever. Have you ever considered making your purchases through Instagram? It opens up a whole new avenue of browsing and buying- here are our top five Instagram stores to get you started.
Pool Party UK

For Pool Party UK it’s all about swimwear (clue is in the name!) There are super-cute slogan swimsuits to suit any mood and any holiday destination. Our faves? ‘I’d rather be a mermaid’, ‘Heart breaker’ and of course ‘Cocktails’. If you can’t find the slogan you want then there is also the option to custom design one for you and your squad.

On Instagram

KJ Style Boutique

Up the holiday glam stakes with KJ Style boutique. Their clothes are all about flaunting your curves…with body-cons, cut-out maxis and co-ords galore, their collection will help you to show off the summer bod you worked so hard for in the glammest possible way!

On Instagram

Motel Swim

A sub-brand of cult label Motel Rocks, Motel Swim has some of the best bikinis on the market and there’s something to suit every girl’s shape and style. From daring cut-outs to retro style one pieces (and just about everything in between) you’ll be spoilt for choice on your holiday swimwear.

On Instagram

Sonya Bee Boutique

Sonya Bee’s Boutique will help you keep your holiday look stylish and on-trend whilst staying on budget. You’ll find tailored pants, draped maxis and cropped sweatshirts (for cool summer nights). They only have a few key pieces on sale but trust us, you will want them all…

On Instagram

Lemon Lunar

Lemon Lunar is the right place for your holiday party wardrobe. They specialise in glam body-con dresses of all types including slinky camis, cut-out bandeaus and amazing draped maxis. You can choose dusky shades of gold and burgundy
or go bright with juicy orange and yellow bandage dresses. Whatever your party style you’ll find the perfect outfit here!

On Instagram

Research provided by DLM, letterbox distribution company. All images taken from the brand Instagram accounts.

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A miniature London city guide*

Don’t get me wrong, I love living near Bristol but sometimes the bright lights of a bigger city come calling. London is one of those places that always makes an impression no matter how many times I visit – it really does live up to the hype. Whether you’re planning your own trip to the capital this summer or just want to know what the city has to offer I’ve put together a miniature travel guide to get you started!
Where to stay

London is crammed with amazing hotels and staying in them doesn’t need to cost a fortune. Z Hotels are awesome for those wanting to stay close to the city centre on a budget with branches in Soho, Piccadilly and Shoreditch to name just a few. They may not be the most luxurious accommodation but they’ll definitely do for anyone looking to spend a few nights here.
If you don’t fancy staying in a hotel there’s always the option of an Airbnb. There are some amazing looking rooms and apartments close to the city centre with additional perks such as being able to cook your own food and save money on eating out all the time.

Places to eat

Although pricey dining out has to be one of the biggest perks of London. There’s a little bit of everything here- from traditional British dishes to something more exotic like Lebanese or Mongolian cuisine.

I love to eat healthily as much as possible but visiting the capital is as good an excuse as any to treat yourself. The Breakfast Club is a must-visit, and once again you can find branches all over London, including Canary Wharf and London Bridge. The breakfasts here are legendary with a menu that includes all American pancake options for both veggies and meat-eaters, yum!

In the evening I’d recommend Ping Pong Dim Sum. This is a favourite amongst bloggers for good reason as they serve some of the best Asian dishes that you’ll find in London – with amazing cocktails to boot! Try the Hong Kong Colada served in a bamboo cup for a touch of something special.

Things to do

With so much to do there’s very little opportunity to get bored in London. Whether you’re planning on heading off the beaten track or seeing all the usual sights the entire city is your oyster.

The National Gallery is one of the most spectacular buildings in London and is home to some truly amazing collections. Even if you’re not an art lover it’s great to experience a little of London’s cultural side and free entry is an added bonus too.

For Harry Potter fans like me the Warner Bros Studio Tour is a must-visit. Located just outside of Watford it’s well worth venturing to especially now that the Forbidden Forest has been officially unveiled.

Lastly no London city guide would be complete without mentioning the amazing Madame Tussauds. Fancy rubbing shoulders with Kim Kardashian, David Beckham or Lady Gaga? Madame Tussauds is your chance to do it! There’s even a new Fashion Week experience to explore where you can hang out with the likes of Cara Delevigne and Kendall Jenner behind the runway.

Where are your favourite spots in London? I’d love to hear your recommendations!

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Holiday Hazards (and how to avoid them)*

Over the years I’ve managed to get myself a bit of a reputation for being accident prone, even from a young age I was always the one to come home from a school trip battered and bruised (or once, covered in cow pat) and I’m yet to be forgiven for breaking my foot on my long weekend to visit family in Holland. I’m the kind of person who managed to slip two discs in my back just getting out of a chair and the look on people’s faces when I mentioned wanting to go trampolining was priceless. It kind of made sense to team up with Jefferies Solicitors to write a post about common holiday hazards and how to avoid them if for no other reason than to prove to my nearest and dearest that I don’t actively seek out these situations- and to be honest I’d do anything to avoid another trip to an A&E department abroad!

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Obviously nobody sets out on holiday aiming to become ill or injured but please don’t get complacent about arranging travel insurance. I stupidly didn’t have any when I had my accident in Holland and was lucky that I only got billed for my X-Ray. A more serious injury or an illness that required medical attention could see you with hefty bills to pay and no provision to get you home safe and sound.

Another hazard that you might not think about is the risk of sunburn. We’re all guilty of not slapping on the suncream as often as we should and I doubt there is anyone who hasn’t felt that all too familiar sting but it really does pay to keep on top of your SPF protection- sunburn can be so much worse than pink shoulders and a peeling nose. When severe it can cause blisters that run the risk of infection, sun stroke or even just discomfort that no amount of aftersun is going to soothe. I’m well aware of how pale my skin is and how quickly I burn so I never leave the country without factor 50 (and never go below factor 30 in the UK) and try to make a point of regular application- I’ve found setting reminders on my phone can be a real saviour!

Before you travel it’s wise to check up on the laws in the country you’re visiting. Landing a stint behind bars is more common than you’d think and often it’s down to simple ignorance and poor judgement. A few minutes research can save you a LOT of bother (thankfully arrest is one thing I have managed to avoid!)

If you’re tempted by water sports or other extreme activity do spend some time reading reviews of the companies you’re booking with and make sure they are a) qualified and reputable and b) insured. Paragliding was one of the greatest things I’ve done on holiday BUT I wouldn’t have felt at ease getting on to a boat, let alone up in the air with a company I hadn’t researched first.

If you’ve gone away with a group of friends, especially on a alcohol driven break PLEASE be sensible and don’t let anyone in your party wander off alone and be sensible when finding your way back to base. It’s all too easy to get carried away under the influence but it also makes you a very easy and vulnerable target.

One last common cause of illness and upset is food poisoning- the effects of which can last long after your plane has touched down on home turf. It’s so easy to get carried away, especially when food is cheap and the booze is flowing. Some simple things to keep in mind is to avoid buffets as a rule of thumb (especially in hot countries), stick to bottled water and order freshly prepared foods from menus where possible.

This post really is only the tip of the holiday hazard iceberg and I probably have missed many more obvious ones out as I’m mostly going from personal experience…feel free to add to the list in the comments, or regale me with tales of your holiday mishaps…

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