24.2.16

I'M MOVING TO CARDIFF | THOUGHTS


N.B- This photo has absolutely nothing to do with my moving to Cardiff, however I have spent the past few days channelling a drowned rat trying to get my affairs in order and basically pack up my current life in Cambridge to drive it all to Cardiff in a few days. It literally seems like last week I moved into my lovely house in Cambridge, however I knew it would only be short term until I would have to adapt and live my life in a completely different city once again for the next 4 months. I love moving, living and experiencing different cities so I absolutely cannot wait to start another exciting chapter of my life and career, however I so easily get attached to people and places, I wonder the more I live, is the list of things I feel nostalgic over just going to get longer? 

Sometimes I can sit for hours and just think of all the happy times in the past, so much that I wish I could relive huge chunks of my life again, however my Cambridge chunk of life feels so little and I feel like I haven't really had time to appreciate life here yet. Don't get me wrong, Cambridge is a beautiful city, however living here as a 22 year old has completely aged me. I definitely feel like I am ready to be in the heart of a lively, bubbly city where I can have my own apartment (of course there will be an apartment tour on here) having friends round, tour the cocktail bars on the weekend and really just be young. I'm going to miss my new friends, the beautiful scenery down here and the general politeness I have received from every Cambridge citizen! Sorry this was rambly, but I literally just kept pressing buttons as the disjointed thoughts were spilling out my head! So, cheers to the final goodbye and see you soon Cardiff. 

Also, if anyone has any recommendations about ANYTHING in Cardiff e.g gyms, bars, restaurants, exhibitions please let me know in the comments!
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17.2.16

OOTD // IN THE NAVY


culottes - zara
boots - zara

FINALLY have an outfit post up! Its taken me so long to do this, mainly because I'm a complete tech failure and managed to break my SD card so my poor laptop couldn't read it whatsoever. I'm also still have blurry photo problems on the highest quality setting which is really starting to unmotivate me to put up photos.. wah. These photos were taken in Amsterdam a few weeks ago and was definitely an out-of-character co ordination by me as I am typically only ever wearing monochrome. However, when I saw this beautiful bomber and those culottes, I just got all the feelings and had to team them together!

I am also loving this beautiful crochet top from missguided, which can be teamed with a skirt or trousers also for a night time look!

Love,

Rachel x
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15.2.16

MY SCAR STORY


It has been 9 months ago to the day. I was completely and utterly just not going to write this post.. however I put myself in the shoes of someone who is maybe starting to undergo what I went through last year (see post here) and will wake up with some hideous scar scaling a large area of a part of their body which they used to be confident about and I knew I had to write this post, just to say it will be ok.

When I first woke up and looked under the sheets to be greeted with this.. i just didn't react. It felt like a dream. So much so that I didn't look again for the following 4 days afterward, as I was in complete denial that my stomach now looked like something out of Texas chain saw massacre. I was confident with my stomach. I did ab work outs nearly every single day to keep it flat and toned and had just purchased some bikinis to show off all the hard work on my upcoming holiday to Thailand. 

Consequently when I did go to Thailand a few months later, I felt so ashamed and self- conscious of my scar, that I hid it with every single item of clothing, including bikinis for the whole trip. 

It has definitely taken so so long for the scar to heal, and even now my doctor says theres still over a year to go for it to fully heal. If you have had to go through this recently and have no idea how you're going to cope, everything will be ok! Probably one of the weirdest things is, sometimes i'll forgot that I have the scar and graze my hand over my stomach to scratch it, and the completely numb and non-sensation will happen and will completely give me the creeps. Even now I still don't know if I've properly come to terms with it, however this newly added permanent feature will always be completely worth just being alive, after being days away from dying. Having this, and the experience that has come with it has completely taught me to live life to the full everyday, don't take life for granted and spend as much time as you can with loved ones, as you never know what is round the corner. Scars will heal in time, and the people who matter in your life will not even blink an eye at the sight of it and you will soon learn that it becomes a part of you, and carries round those experiences with you.

Remember you are beautiful and all your scars make you who you are.

Love,

Rachel x
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11.2.16

VALENTINES GIFT IDEAS // HIM


I'm not a romantic. To be fair, I do think Valentines is ridiculously hyped up just a little bit too corny for my liking! However due to suffering from major FOMO I thought i'd compile a little list of small, interesting, less-romantic items that you can gift someone special this weekend that doesn't have to over-the-top and expensive.

1. Humans of New York Stories
The humans of new york is an insanely popular, yet touching facebook/instagram page full of inspiring stories of people in and around New York, which has more recently branched out into other countries also. Sometimes I find myself lost in flicking through each photo and reading about how different everyone's lives are and the hardship some people go through. Whats great about this book is you wouldn't need to definitely start at START and finish at FINISH, as it could be one of those you can pick up and start reading ANYWHERE, which I definitely need as I have the attention span of a goldfish.

2. Ted Baker Wash Bag
Always love a good wash bag! With just spending that little bit extra you get the luxury which comes with the Ted baker brand, and then the bag can be used forever to your man's hearts content!

3. Item Tracker
I think this would definitely be useful to a hella lotta men out there! Just attach to your phone and whenever you lose it behind couch/in the car/in the dogs bed you'll always find it in a tic!

4. Remote Control Video Drone
The most expensive item on the list, however most men do love their toys and this would be an entertaining little gadget to practice which is miles cheaper then the real drones out there.

5. Laptop Case
I don't know about you but my boyfriend loves to take care of all this technology and is very careful with his phone/laptop/speakers etc. This minimalistic, yet still masculine laptop case is definitely a winner in my eyes in the laptop case category!

6. Date Jar
Even though I've linked where to buy one of these from, you certainly do not need to spend any more than £1 on an idea like this. Even I thought it was a pretty sweet idea to write abstract and wild ideas for different dates you can go on and try for the rest of the year in a jar, and then pick them out randomly throughout the year! Lovely way to keep spontaneity in the relationship if you have busy working lives. 

I hope this may have helped a few of you!

Love,

Rachel x
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9.2.16

FEBRUARY WISHLIST


These are just a few things on my current wishlist which I am lusting over. I definitely cannot wait until the weather gets warmer and I can start shopping for spring clothes. I currently have just had the chance to sit down after visiting 10 different cities in 2 & 1/2 weeks! Can you believe that?! I don't even think tired cuts it. I've tried to take it upon myself, since starting a job and working mon-fri, weekends are where I want to completely make the most of having no constraints to where I venture off to, and to who I see. So thats why I'm making the extra effort to see friends/family/boyfriend and go out and explore more than I would've done last year! Due to this, my blog has definitely taken a step back, however I so so hope I can get back into the swing of things again!

Love,

Rachel
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5.2.16

THE WESTCORD FASHION HOTEL // AMSTERDAM



During my recent stay in Amsterdam i was lucky enough to spend my slumber time in this beautiful hotel, the Westcord Fashion Hotel. We stayed here for 3 nights and those 3 nights were spent in absolute optimum comfort and luxury, enough that i didn't want to go back to my own bed!

When we arrived, due to catching such an early flight, we arrived at the hotel 6hrs early (?!?!?) for check-in, competely not expecting them to have anything ready for us, as check in was 3pm. However, they said we looked tired after our flight and had a ready room given to us which was an ABSOLUTE godsend to us after waking up at 3am that day. Little things like that from the staff can go such a long way. This definitely allowed for a power nap, freshen up and for us to tackle Amsterdam with less dreary eyes. 

The hotel room is stunning and modern, which I definitely wish I had taken more photos of, but to be honest we didn't spend much time here, and everytime I was here was in the morning getting ready in my mess of clothes, or in the evening coming back when it was too dark for photos! Bonus (or maybe not) point of the room is the see through door from the bathroom (with no toilet obviously) to the bedroom. So be weary if you like your privacy when showering or bathing! The toilet is in a separate room. The bed itself was so big I actually felt like I slept alone the whole time i was there and it was one of those- get in it and can't seem to get out!

Due to the hotel being a fashion hotel, the lobby and bar area are decorated with the coolest looking mannequins in the most extravagant outfits. Everything about the hotel feels classy, upmarket, yet still somewhere you don't feel uncomfortable to relax.

To get into the centre of Amsterdam, there is a tram stop around a 1min walk away from the hotel, and then the tram journey is around 15mins depending on which part of the centre you're travelling to. For us, this wasn't a huge problem, as we got to see a larger area of Amsterdam, however due to the trams not running past 12:30am, you need to be mindful of how long you stay out and whether its worth paying the 20euros for the taxi back from the centre. The general area where the hotel is set doesn't have too much going on- mainly residential but also slightly business-y however it is set a 3min walk to the famously beautiful Vondelpark, where you can ride bikes round rented from the hotel. The hotel even provides you massively discounted all day tram tickets, which I would definitely recommend buying as hopping around on trams can be a lifesaver when you're lost and its raining! The train station is a 10min walk away, with direct trains to and from the main airport also, with single tickets costing 4euros.

The hotel also has spa facilities and a bloody amazing pool, which unfortunately we just didn't have time to try out! However we had a sneak peak and it looked incredibly high fashion and abstract!

Overall I am super impressed with this hotel and I would definitely recommend staying if you are on a couples holiday and don't mind the short trip into the centre. The benefits of this hotel definitely outweight the cost, as for the price of one night in this beauty wouldn't get you anywhere near the quality of this place closer to the centre! I've linked their website here if you fancy a peak at more photos!

Love,

Rachel x
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3.2.16

5 THINGS TO DO IN AMSTERDAM


I am so glad I have finally found a few hours since returning from holiday to write this over due post on my recent trip to Amsterdam! I went for a little jolly last Wednesday to Saturday and it was a well needed break.. after the whole 3 weeks back at work since Christmas! I definitely had a whole whirlwind whistlestop tour and I definitely felt like even though it was supposed to be a relaxing time away, most of it was spent completely on the go. I went with my boyfriend for his birthday and stayed in the most beautiful hotel which I will definitely write a separate review on in a later post. I had such an amazing time and could not recommend Amsterdam enough for a short getaway so I decided to write a short list of the things i enjoyed the most out of all the things I crammed in and what I'd definitely recommend.

1. Anne Frank House
This is a definite must for me. I read the diary of Anne Frank when I was 13 and have been itching to visit where her and her family hid during WW2 and it definitely didn't disappoint. It was amazing to just soak up all the history within that building and even see copies of the original diary. One thing I would recommend is to buy tickets online before visiting. If you don't buy tickets, you'll find yourself hanging out in the HUGE queue in the cold and rain for the afternoon waiting to get in.

2. The canal boat tour
What better way to see a city centre mostly built on water then to take a canal boat tour? I had no idea before visiting Amsterdam that its mostly built on water and you can get around via canal boat. It was such an easy, cheap and fuss free way to get a feel for the whole city from the comfort of your seat. As a bonus, theres the option to listen to the history of Amsterdam on the way round.

3. Body Worlds
If you're a bit weird like me and you love science and the human body, this may be the attraction for you. Its basically a museum full of real bodies of people who have donated their bodies to science after their death. The exhibition goes into tonnes of detail on how the body works and demonstrates everything via the weird contortions they have made the bodies into. It sounds very gruesome, but if you like that kinda thing then you'll love this.

4. Get lost in Jordaan
Jordaan is a beautiful part of Amsterdam and in my opinion, holds the first place price for architecture in Amsterdam. On my first day I spent 3 hours looking for a place which was 12mins away on Google maps and we just couldn't get to it. This is because there are countless canals, bridges and houses which all look fabulous, but can all merge into a sort of maze which I absolutely loved. Within Jordaan are cute boutiques and cafes which I wish I had more time to explore.

5. Go for a bike ride in the Vondelpark
This activity is probably something i haven't seen anyone write about before and I have absolutely no idea why. Every local in Amsterdam will tell you to rent a bike, but believe me, if you value your life, you will definitely not ride a bike in the centre of Amsterdam. I could barely stay alive as a pedestrian! However, still not wanting to miss out on a bike ride in Amsterdam, we rented some and went for a ride in the Vondelpark, which is probably the most grand and beautiful park I have ever visited. It even has an open air theatre! The houses surrounding the park are stunning and the park is so well looked after and is full of people enjoying time with friends and family. I would also definitely take your phone for maps as this park is HUGE. 

I hope some of these gave you ideas if you are currently planning a city break in Amsterdam! Of course there were so many things I missed off such as: Red light district, Dam square, Rijksmuseum etc. but I thought these top 5 were a bit less obvious and were also things to do additional from the usual touristy activities. Please let me know if you've been and you did anything else amazing that I missed so I can add it to my list for when i revisit!

Love,

Rachel x

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