Exploring Crete

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I’ve recently been on holiday to Crete, and if you didn’t know that you MUST have been living under a rock, or you’re brand new to this site and to me. If it’s the latter option, welcome welcome!

Anyway, whilst we spent two beautiful weeks in Crete, we did A LOT of exploring. We visited lots of different places from waterparks to 4,000 year old palaces, and we learnt a lot on the way! Although we did not have chance to explore the whole of the beautiful island of Crete, I thought I would write this post about some of the places that we did manage to visit and loved, as we didn’t know anything about these places before our visit but now I wish we had have known just how interesting Crete is to explore!

Heraklion

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The capital of the island, and hands down my favourite place that we visited, is Heraklion (or Iraklion). This place has it all! Complete with a Starbucks and a Zara, this town really is a fusion of the old and the new. The beautiful Venetian harbour is absolutely breath taking, and there’s a little fortress which only costs 2 euros to explore! We had only an hour and a half in this town, but we really wished we had a lot more time as there was plenty left to explore! Oh, and we ate at the Hot Hot Burger Bar and we both agreed that they were the best burgers we had ever tasted! (I obviously had the veggie option and Z opted for the chicken!).

Spinalonga

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As a literature student, I am ashamed to admit that I had absolutely no idea of the history of this island before my visit. However, I soon learnt that Victoria Hilsop’s book The Island is actually based on this little island situated very close to the island of Crete, just a 20 minute boat ride away to be precise! Once a leper colony, this island is now unhabited. The influences of the Ottoman and the Venetian occupation are still prevalent, as well as the features added and modified by the lepers whom were sent here from mainland Crete. This really is a must-see if you visit Crete, it’s absolutely unbelievable and no words I could produce would do it justice!

Knossos

 

So you’ve heard of the minotaur right? The creature in Greek mythology whom was born half bull, half human and imprisoned in labyrinth by King Minos. Well, this is the palace of King Minos, Or, was. Excavated by British archaeologist Arthur Evans, this palace is beautifully restored, and I couldn’t believe how much of it is still standing from over 4,000 years ago! A tour around this palace is really interesting, particularly if you love Greek mythology, and it’s really inexpensive too!

 

Port Agios Nikolaos

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This little town is perfect for a chilled, but beautiful day out. Surrounded by restaurants and bars, the port here is perfectly instagrammable, plus there’s a cute little lake nearby and some good old tourist shops!

Cretan Night

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Now, we booked this through our Thomson hotel, but I have been informed that similar excursions run right through the beautiful island of Crete. On this excursion, we were taken to a traditional Cretan town. We first got to visit a traditional Cretan house, then we got to sample some wine. Followed by some traditional food, and then a good old song and dance, this trip was an experience that I will hold in fond memory for the rest of my life, it was just so fun!

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And, that’s the end of this blog post! As you can probably tell, we had a lovely time in Crete, and I promise that I will shut up about it soon. Most of these trips/places are concentrated around the east of the island, but we were told that the west is completely different in that it is much wetter and greener, and we would love to visit that side next time!

Thanks for reading,

H x

Our Stay At Hotel Novotel Nottingham Derby*

Hello there!

If you follow me on, well, basically any form of social media, you may know that me and Z went to Nottingham this weekend for the bank holiday. Whilst we were there, we stayed at the Novotel* and this review is all about our experience!

The Room


The room was absolutely beautiful and far surpassed my expectations. It was modern and spacious, and we had a really comfortable stay here. Something that really impressed me was how light and airy the room was! The bed was also amazingly comfortable, I didn’t want to leave in the morning!


The bathroom came complete with a bath and a ceiling shower, and if you follow me on twitter you may know how much I love baths, so I was so excited to have a long relaxing soak!


The TV was a smart TV which was a nice bonus and perfect for in the morning when we chilled out until the checkout at 12pm (amazing right?!).


Although the this hotel is situated near a road, we had the window open all night and didn’t have an issue with noise. The air con was also a nice addition and definitely helped us to sleep in the 20 degree heat!

The Location

Located just off of junction 25 of the M1, this hotel is perfectly situated for East Midlands airport. However, it is also just a short drive away from Nottingham city centre. For reference, this took around 15 minutes and cost us £13 in an uber. I liked how it’s situated away from the hustle and bustle of the city because this really helped the atmosphere to be so relaxing!


The Atmosphere

The staff were lovely and nothing was too much for them. They were welcoming and accommodating and everything you’d wish for from hotel staff. The atmosphere of the hotel was overall quite relaxed. Me and my fiancé chose to go out for the evening but, when we returned, I noted how busy the bar was, yet it still had such a relaxed vibe. Perfect for a quiet night away.


The Bar/Restaurant

Although we didn’t use the bar ourselves, it really had a lovely chilled vibe. They also had a TV here which the other guests were enjoying late into the evening!


Dining

We chose to eat out the night of our stay, as we were already out in Nottingham city centre anyway. The menu looked great though, and there was plenty on there that we fancied!


We did order breakfast in bed to be delivered by room service in the morning. We filled out a little form and hung it on our door, which ensured that the kitchen knew what we wanted and at what time. I’ll be honest, this was a little expensive in price, but you could add as much as you wanted to the breakfast, so you could definitely get the value for your money! It also felt so luxurious to have breakfast in bed and definitely added to the relaxing atmosphere. The food was also am-a-ziiiiiiiiing. I’ve never tasted a croissant so buttery!


Conveniences

  • Wi-Fi (which was actually really really good!)
  • Free parking
  • Accessible
  • Pet-friendly
  • Business centre
  • Restaurant

Overall Rating

5/5. For a little relaxing break away, this hotel is perfect! The only thing that could have improved this stay for me was the dining prices being a little lower, but after tasting the food I would definitely say it is worth it! The stay was definitely relaxed and luxurious and I would 100% recommend to anyone! I’ll definitely be back, thank you to the staff at Novotel for making this stay so perfect!

Thank you for reading, and thank you to Lee and all of the staff at Novotel for kindly allowing us to have this experience!

I also vlogged the trip, which you can watch HERE!

Love,

H x

*This stay was kindly gifted to us in exchange for this review. All opinions are my own, and this review is entirely honest about my experience. For more information, you can read my Disclaimer HERE.

Spring Bucket List

I loved creating my Winter Bucket List so much that I’ve decided to do another one for Spring! So this post is basically a list of all of the things I want to do this spring…

  • Go on more walks
  • Drink more water
  • Create another look book
  • Go on a small getaway (we’ve actually already booked centre parcs and I’m excited)
  • Spend more time with my family (whilst I’m off uni for Easter)
  • Create another photo diary
  • Read more for pleasure
  • Start making diffused water again!
  • Start a YouTube Channel (???)
  • Buy a blogging camera!
  • Do more things with Z that cost less money
  • Listen to music more often
  • Study hard for my summer exams
  • Try to be more eco-friendly
  • Produce better blog content, although I always strive to achieve this!
  • Have fun more and worry less
  • Do a shift at work that I know is going to be hard, instead of putting it off.


And that’s all for this spring!

Thanks for reading! 

Love,

H x

Hobbit Hut Experience!

Hello there!

If you follow me on twitter/Instagram, you may know that, recently, me and Z spent a few nights away in a hobbit hut. This was his Christmas present from me that I bought through BuyAGift.com and we decided to go whilst we both had time off over Easter, even though this incurred a £10 extra charge because it is classed as a peak period.

This is a style of ‘glamping’ meaning it’s just like camping, but a bit more glamorous as you sleep in a hut with more facilities.

Ok, so I’m going to split this review into a few different headings because I want to make sure I cover absolutely everything! 

The Hobbit Hut


If I’m honest, I didn’t really know what to expect. From the pictures on the website, the hobbit huts looked cute but it was more of a novelty thing with it being called a hobbit hut, I wasn’t really expecting much from them at all. However, the website does not do these justice! The hut was absolutely adorable and so homely, me and Z absolutely loved it! We even joked that we could live there if they got electricity! 


It was a little cold in the mornings and late at night, but the hot water bottles that were provided sorted that out! The futon sofa/bed wasn’t the most comfortable, but it was fine for 2 nights and a lot more comfortable than the floor. There was also plenty of light coming in from all of the windows, and when it got dark outside a little strip of lights that stretched the ceiling provided a lovely atmosphere! We chose to eat out most nights, but we did use the stoves provided for making soup and for boiling the kettle for our hot water bottles and they were perfectly fine. The couple who own the land are also so so so lovely! When we first got there, they chatted to us about the local area and things to do etc and they were always on hand if we needed anything; they even offered to charge my phone! 


Experience and atmosphere wise, I couldn’t have asked for more from the actual hut. It was perfect and we really enjoyed our stay!



The Bathroom
This is where I was really pleasantly surprised! I expected the bathrooms here to be a standard, shared block of toilets and showers, just like every other campsite I’ve ever stayed on. However, here you actually get your own little bathroom! One per hut, the bathroom included the toilet and shower and was really spacious. The shower was surprisingly lovely and definitely refreshed me after a day of walking!


The Surrounding Area


I’ll be honest, we did struggle to find the place at first, but that’s because we are millennials and chose to trust the sat nav over the instructions that the owners had provided. However, once we knew where to go it was really easy to find. 

The campsite itself is situated in a lovely woodland which has been customised by the owners, adding little stair ways etc for ease of access. 


There is also lovely land around the campsite. We walked around in the evening of our second night and we really wished we had more energy to explore! There’s a viaduct nearby which is absolutely beautiful and a lovely stream which we got some pictures of!



Overall

We absolutely loved our stay in our hobbit hut! It was definitely a once in a lifetime experience, but we would 100% do it again. I’d recommend to absolutely anyone, we couldn’t have asked for a better time away and we both left feeling refreshed and cleansed, a feeling money really can’t buy!

Thank you for reading! I hope you enjoyed this post, and let me know in the comments if you’ve ever done something similar or would consider doing something like this, in really interested to hear!

Love,

H x 

Cornwall Photo Diary

If you follow me on Instagram/Snapchat/Twitter you probably know that earlier this week me and Z took a little trip to Cornwall! We stayed in a hobbit hut, which I will be reviewing on here really soon, but we also took some pictures that I just love too much to not share! So, I thought I’d document them all here like a little diary! 

We found a little cove and spent a lovely day there! 




The Eden Project


Charlestown Harbour


Prideaux


And that’s all from me today!

Thank you for reading if you made it this far!

Love,

H x

LIFE UPDATE; I’m engaged!

Just a super quick update outside of my normal scheduling to let you know that I’m engaged! My boyfriend of 5 years asked me to marry him on Christmas Eve and I couldn’t be happier!

A lot of you who follow me on twitter will probably already know I’m engaged, but I wanted to do a more formal post about it because I’ve seen a few others do this kind of post and I love reading them. We’re planning quite a long engagement, as I want to wait until the end of uni so we are thinking around 3/4 years from now. But we will probably start planning in a few months as even that isn’t massively far away! 

The one thing I did just wanna mention is the backlash I got for my engagement. This is a happy post and I don’t want to make it anything else, but to be honest I am absolutely disgusted that I shared the news of my engagement on my twitter to be indirectly tweeted about by many many many different bloggers saying how ‘tacky’ it is because it was on Christmas Eve. I literally spent the night of Christmas Day crying because of what I was reading. I should have been happy and some certain bloggers ruined this experience for me. No matter what your opinion is, keep it to yourself. It’s unfair to upset someone anyway, never mind to try and ruin something that they have waited a long time for, are excited about and want to celebrate! I really am just so disgusted with the behaviour I saw and I will never forgive some bloggers for that. 

But other than that small negative, I’m super happy and I just wanted to share it with you all! 

Normal scheduling resumes today at 5. Hope you all had a lovely Christmas and an amazing 2017!

Love,

H x 

The Long Distance Relationship Tag

Hey there!

So as so many people really liked my first long distance relationship post, I’ve decided to do a little series. Today’s instalment is the Long Distance Relationship Tag, which I got from the lovely PeachyGem’s youtube channel, which you can check out HERE!

1. How many miles away are you from each other?

We used to be 238.6 miles away from each other (over 4 hours by car) but he has recently moved so that we are now only 77.6 miles away from each other (1 hour 37 minutes by car). Better still, when I move to university we will then only be 63.8 miles away from each other (1 hour 18 minutes by car). So I guess after 2 years long distance, we’re kind of only short distance now! But unfortunately with his job the distance can change at any time, so may get even longer in the near future!

2. What is the time difference?

We live in the same country so there isn’t one!

3. Is it hard being away from each other?

Yes. Very much so. Particularly because we used to only be a 10 minute walk away from each other (for three years of our relationship).

4. How long have you been in a LDR?

2 years long distance, 5 years altogether.

5. Insert a picture of you together

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6. How often do you see each other?

At the moment, we’re not very far away so we try to commute to see each other once a week. We have done 6 weeks apart at the longest, but again this could increase in the near future.

7. What do you use to communicate?

iMessage, Snapchat, Instagram and our favourite, FaceTime.

8. What is the best gift they sent you?

The flower delivery he sent me for our anniversary 2 years ago! He was sleeping in a field that night but still managed to make me smile, without even being able to communicate with me!

9. What’s the hardest thing about long distance?

Not being able to see him whenever I want. Sometimes, after a particularly bad day, I just want to be able to curl up and watch a good film with him.

10. Is Long Distance worth it?

Always!

 

As always,

thanks for reading!

H x

How To Beat Homesickness

If you’ve read a few of my previous posts, or even if you follow me on Twitter, you may know that I’ve recently moved to university. I wasn’t worried about feeling homesick when I left, but now I’m here it’s a lot harder than I may have realised. So, I’m writing this post for self help, but I hope it may help some of you too if you’re away from home!

1. Speak To Home Regularly

Whether it’s your family, friends or partner, make sure to speak to them regularly. It will help you and them and you’ll still be in the loop and know what’s going on at home. 

2. Take Home Comforts With You

Blankets, cushions, photographs or keepsakes, these little items might not seem much but they really help to make you feel closer to home.

3. Have A Home Box

In this, put things that remind you of home or things that make you feel better. For example, in mine I have a hot water bottle, some chocolate, a good DVD (Love Rosie) and a few other things to just cheer me up generally. 

4. Find Your Support System

Whether you’re at home or anywhere else, support systems are a must for when you’re feeling down. For example, I know I have some friends downstairs that I can go and talk to who will make me feel better, so they’re my support system. 

5. Visit Home

Whilst I know this may not be possible for everyone, the only way to truly settle home sickness is to visit home. I would recommend giving it a few weeks if you’re in a new place before you do so, because otherwise the visit could end up making your homesickness worse. 

Thanks for reading!

H X 

What To Do When You Do Not Know What To Write

In case you haven’t guessed by the title, I am really stuck for what to write about right now. So, I’ve decided that I’m going to write about how to overcome not knowing what to write about, that way it helps me, creates content and maybe even helps you, whatever it is that you’re trying to write! Ok so here goes..

  • Look For Inspiration

Always my first port-of-call, whatever you’re trying to write, coursework, essays, assignments, blog posts, someone will have written something similar and put it on the internet. Browse and read and you’ll find yourself responding to what they said in your head. You may agree with what they said, it may make you angry and want to respond, but it WILL make you think of something, even if it just helps you to create a plan but not actually write anything.

  • Have a Cup Of Tea

Or any other relaxing beverage you may desire. Forgot about the work for a little while and just let your brain rest, you’ll find that afterwards you will feel so much better and ready to write!

  • Read Something

To focus on something else entirely. If you are really stuck, you need to refocus your mind in order to be able to proceed!

  • Go For A Walk

To relax, to clear your mind, to actually get out of your room, just take a walk.

  • Leave It Until Tomorrow

If you are, ultimately, really stuck, just leave it until tomorrow. Any writing is a creative process and you cannot force it without sounding like an ape churning out cliches, just leave it until tomorrow.

As always, thanks for reading!

Lots of Love,

H x

A Level Survival Cheat Sheet

Hey! So many of you already know that I have recently finished my A Levels. To be honest, it was an exhausting time of my life and I didn’t really enjoy it, but I did find ways to enjoy it. So, I’ve decided to compile these ways into a blog post, think of it as a ‘Cheat Sheet’.

Do every single bit of work your teachers give you

This sounds like a bore, but they give you the work for a reason. A Levels are rewarding only when you get as much as you can out of them, so that includes doing as much work as possible.

Have frequent breaks- especially on free days

But don’t try to constantly work and work and work, you will tire yourself out eventually!

But don’t spend too long on your breaks!

Little and often, 10 minutes break per hour is how I like to work, some like more, some like less.

Aim to do all compulsory work in your free periods

I used free periods to do all of my compulsory homework, coursework and anything else I was told I HAD to do. This meant any free time I had at home could be spent on extra revision or reading for the topics- which meant I didn’t spend too much time out of school doing work!

Don’t put too much pressure on yourself

Don’t apply for a university who wants AAA if you’re getting DDD all year. You might do better in your real exams, but there’s always adjustment for that scenario, in the meantime you’re just putting additional pressure on yourself which you really really do not need!

Be realistic

My teachers were telling me that I should be revising for 4 hours per night. Realistically with dancing and working and chilling out, I knew this wasn’t possible for me! So I spent 4 hours on work 3 times a week, and this managed to work out really well for me!

Choose subjects you love!!!!!!!!!!!

This seems like a no-brainer, but it is honestly the most important. A Levels are a horrendous amount of work and even if you do the work, if you don’t love a subject it shows! I left my sixth form this year with A* A C, which I’m really proud of. But my C has lost me £1,000 at university (because it’s not a B) and, although I had many other problems with my psychology teacher which contributed to this grade massively, I also couldn’t get any higher than a C no matter how hard I worked because the subject just simply wasn’t for me!

Similarly, my A* was in English Language which last year I liked and got a B, but was told this year it would be unlikely I was even going to get an A because I wasn’t passionate. I found a passion for English Language and really really hoped it would gain me an A, and on results day I could not have been happier if I tried to learn that I got an A*! This is all simply from just doing extra work and, I’m not showing off here, but honestly getting an A* at A Level is incredibly difficult even with an A at AS, so the fact that I came from a B to an A* actually amazes me, I didn’t expect it whatsoever and didn’t even know it was possible!

 

And good luck!! Seriously, that common room coffee machine is gonna become your best friend.

Love,

H x