The Clogs Craze and Why I'm Here For It

The Clogs Craze and Why I'm Here For It

Okay, so I can't be the only one who's seen everybody on their Instagram feed trodding about in the cutest little wooden clogs ever and been like I NEED A PAIR! If you are that person I GOTCHUUU COVERED with the latest clogs lowdown and some things you're deffo gonna need to know before you make that purchase!

If you don't already know, Scondi style is my absolute favourite thing so I JUMPED at the chance to buy myself a pair of authentic Swedish clogs, I recently ordered a pair of (wait for it) Highwood Taupe on Brown Brown Base from 'Lotta from Stockholm' (these ones) but there are so many brands about depending on your budget! Swedish Hasbeens is definitely the most popular, but Lotta's are a great lower budget alternative and just as good in quality. Now here's the three big questions. Style, Comfort, Practicality!

Style
So as you can see from the photos everywhere clogs are CUTE, and they come in a whole load of cute styles. The ones that I have are the Highwood, closed toe version but here's a selection of other ones that I like! (all from Lotta)

Fit
If you're not sure on sizing, aka like me you have size 5 1/2 (UK) feet but bordering on a 6, I can't comment on all of the different brands but Lotta's are very true to size. I got a size 6 and they fit perfectly, a 5 would definitely have been too small, but with clogs, it's really important that they fit you properly so if you're really not sure, have a look at their sizing guide and it'll put you right.

Comfort/Practicality
This is the biggy! I'm a big comfort over style person so when I buy shoes I have to be sure that they're going to be comfortable and practical for everyday use, hence why I pretty much live in trainers! Now as heels go these are super comfy and functional, I wore these all day for work and had no issues whatsoever. However, there is a dark undertone of clogs, that I found out the hard way, and that my friends, is the buckling of the ankles. I have a very quick walking pace and have notoriously bad walking posture (think pregnant woman meets mother duck) so buckle in for story time... 

I was casually (well more like briskly) walking to church on Sunday morning, the roads were quiet and there was barely anyone about (which was a good thing) when suddenly my ankle buckled and I fell flat on my ass in the middle of the street and honestly lowkey thought I was about to die but nothing was bruised except for my pride and then the same darn thing proceeds to happen just a few metres farther down, this all happened only a couple of hundred metres from my house and I'd already fallen TWICE! What did this teach me? (Clearly, nothing because I'm still wearing them and recommending them to people but just making sure you know the dangers before you go ahead unlike me). I managed to make it the whole rest of the way to church without falling and even wore them to the airport later that day, and walking around Bradford the next week. But they've actually improved my walking before I have to be so so careful and conscious about how I'm walking and where I'm placing my feet. But the main thing I've realised is that cute clogs were not built for Belfast streets, city centre streets maybe, but definitely not the inner city streets where I live with their uneven pavements. I haven't fallen (or buckled) since that time on Sunday morning but it's really shaken me so now I walk about really aware that I could fall at any minute.

IN CONCLUSION: Clogs are cute but are definitely NOT appropriate footwear for everyday wear around inner cities with uneven pavements. If you live somewhere with nice flat and even pavements (uphill is also weirdly good) then these are perfect to walk about in, literally, the difference between flat surfaces and uneven pavements is STAGGERING! Despite my injuries, I still definitely recommend getting a pair of these if you're after a new pair of cute shoes, but please please please be aware of the formidable buckling ankles!! 

How to Host the Best Eurovision Party of All Time

How to Host the Best Eurovision Party of All Time

It's my favourite day of the year again, truly, there is no day better than the final of the Eurovision Song Contest. I love Eurovision so much that my friends even threw me a Eurovision themed birthday party for my 21st. This time last year I was in Portugal sitting in the Altice Arena watching Semi Final one live in front of my very eyes and it's up there with one of the most incredible moments of my life.



I may love Eurovision a tad more than the average person but one of my favourite things to do on final day is invite all of my non-eurofan friends round to my house and force them to take the contest seriously, which is, in fact, a lot more fun than it sounds. This year's party has been months in the making but even if you've only got a day you can still host a great Eurovision Party, even if it's just you and a few friends. 

I give a lot of tips on here but I've been doing this for years so this is probably the one thing you can trust me on the most. EUROPE'S LIVING A CELEBRATION.

Food
Nothing screams a party more than food, so get yourselves some food from different countries represented in the final. Here's a checklist to get you started!

Music
Set the atmosphere, before the show kicks off you may want to play some of this year's entries which can all be found in this Spotify playlist below, or if you'd prefer to keep it a surprise Spotify also has some other playlists with some old school Eurovision Bangers sure to get the party started!

Scorecards
The biggest part of my Eurovision parties is making everyone rank their top 10 songs and then I compile the whole thing together to get our overall party leaderboard. (Last year Ireland won and it had absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with the fact that we are Irish). To make this easier for you, Here is a link where you can download the Scorecards that I've made for my Party this year and are free for you to use for your respective parties!


Sweepstakes
I personally don't like doing sweepstakes because I'd rather have people support the songs they actually like not just because they want to win but sweepstakes can be a fun way to get people to root for countries, especially if you throw in a nice prize for them.

Costume
Why not come in costume? Give each of your guests a different country and get them to dress up in suitable attire from that country or take it a step further and come in full-blown Verka Seduchka tribute wear.


Hopefully, that's given you some fun ideas of how to host the Eurovision party of dreams. If you had a party, let me know how you got on, let me know your favourites or just yell at me down below about all things Eurovision!

Finding Your Summer Hygge

Finding Your Summer Hygge

If you've been around here for any length of time you'll know that I'm a big fan of Copenhagen. I literally wrote a whole post about how I like pretending to be Scandinavian, it's a minor issue! Today I'm going to talk about one of the most well-known aspects of Danish culture, their concept of Hygge. AKA All things cosy. Hygge is so often seen as a winter thing and while winter hygge is the cosiest dang thing about, I'm also all about that Summer hygge. Now I'm not renowned hygge expert Meik Weiking (seriously check this book if you haven't already) but I have some fun tips on how to best embrace the hygge in this summery season.


Venture Outdoors
Parks in the sun are literally the greatest place to be! Everybody who's there is just so happy and enjoying the sun, it's always got such a nice vibe to it. Go for a walk, Go for a cycle (I can't ride a bike so this one I definitely won't be partaking in), grab a couple of friends and head to the park together and have a picnic or play some games together (this is one of my favourite things to do with my friends). I'm lucky enough to go to university by the beach so we love to go to the beach when it's sunny but also at night it's the best place to have a bonfire and toast marshmallows, The ultimate cosy experience!

Finish That Book You've Been Putting Off
Reading is my ultimate hygge but I haven't been reading nearly as much as I'd like to this year so I'm excited about this Summer to properly get stuck into my reading again, I have so many books I'm excited to read!

Make a New Iced Drink
Last year I mastered the raspberry lemonade and it was DELISH (although Costa probably still made it better, but it's not available in Belfast!) but I'm excited to get some more iced fruity drinks out this year!

Explore Somewhere New
Go on a walk somewhere new or take a long drive and let the wind blow through your hair, although it's more likely rain if you live in Northern Ireland! We only get a few days of sun a year so it's important to make the most of them when we do have them! Even exploring somewhere local that you've never been before can give you that same rush you get when you're on holiday discovering somewhere completely different.

Get Together
Spend time with friends! Making memories is one of the best ways to spend your summers, even if it's nothing elaborate just have some friends round and have a barbecue, have a bring and share, or a pizza night. Just enjoy the longer nights with some good company!

What is your ultimate hygge experience?

The Tales of a Wannabe Travel Blogger (aged 12-13)

The Tales of a Wannabe Travel Blogger (aged 12-13)

I just unearthed my old digital camera that I had before I got my DSLR and with that came trying to find an SD Card which led to me discovering all of my old travel pictures from back in the day so I thought I'd do the only thing I know how to do and edit them the same way I edit now and see if I can find anything fun and unearth some memories from old trips. This should be a RIDE! (All of these pictures were edited with my Scandi Collection presets which you can find here if you're interested!)

Italy 2010
I went to Italy for the first time with my family in 2010, we're actually heading there again this summer so this one will be fun to see the difference between the two almost 10 years apart!



You can't truly be a travel blogger without a view from the plane window photo now, can you?



In the words of James Acaster 'I came up with this', no but for real I was the touristyiest tourist ever to tourist. There's an even better version of this picture where I'm pushing some random guy in the background's head instead of the tower.



 When in Rome (Tuscany), Do as the Romans (Tuscans) do (Eat Gelato)



Getting those blogger poses started from an early age, still lots of work to do!



I included this picture because 12-year-old me thought it was pretty dang cool that my name was on the side of a Ferrari!


This last one is my absolute favourite from our whole trip and if I ever end up going back to Venice it's the one that I want to try and recreate.

Germany 2011
In 2011 I went on a German Exchange trip with my school, here's a collection of the photos that I took while I was there, there's not as many as in Italy because I clearly hadn't fully developed the knack of travel photography quite yet.




This is the view from a Gondola across the River Rhine in Köln before we flew over a nude swimming pool, the things that make an impact at 13 eh!



Included these because they're my favourite Haribo and they're not available here so if anyone is in Germany and wants to buy me a packet that would be greatly appreciated ;)



Also still shook about this ice-cream shaped like spaghetti, like is this not the coolest ice cream you've ever seen!

That was a fun trip down memory lane, I hope you enjoyed looking back on my travel adventures with me. If I unearth some more I may just do another of these. 

Netflix Recommendations: from my family to yours

Netflix Recommendations: from my family to yours

They say that if you really want to know someone you should take a look at their Netflix history. In my family, we love a bit of Netflix, We have a family account so we have 4 screens and each of the four screens are very very different so I'm here to bring you some recommendations for things you and your family may want to watch, based on the things that my family like to watch.



My Recommendations
I'm 21 years old and I'm pretty sure my TV and movie taste screams 21 years old but I have quite an eclectic taste in TV and Movies (eg I bladdy loved A Christmas Prince) I love anything super cheesy but also can be partial to a foreign thriller so this list perfectly sums me up I think!

TV
Sex Education, Elite, Quicksand, James Acaster's Repertoire
Movies
A Christmas Prince, The Perfect Date, Dumplin, 

My Mum
My Mum loves a bit of Netflix. Honestly, she probably watches it the most out of all four of us

TV
Designated Survivor, The Crown
Movies
To All The Boys I've Loved Before, Dumplin

My Sister
At 19, you'd think we'd have a similar taste in Netflix but you would be incorrect in that assumption (wow way to sound like those cute alien comics)

TV
Making a Murderer, Pretty Little Liars, Queer Eye, Stranger Things
Movies
TATBILB

My Dad
While he's the one who pays for the Netflix account and we all just parasite off it, my dad doesn't actually watch a lot of Netflix so I've made this list on behalf of him.

TV
The Sinner, Money Heist

Hopefully, you've been inspired by our favourites, let me know what your favourite Netflix shows/movies are so I can find some other new shows to watch. (Or just find my dad a good show to watch because he feels left out)

Your Local Average Blogger

Your Local Average Blogger

So, a few things about me, I'm 5' 6", I wear a size 8, and size 6 shoes. Literally the most mediocre measurements ever! I honestly didn't even notice until I was in my local New Look this week looking at the sale section, which is incredible btw and deffo worth checking out, seriously discounts AND buy one get one free on the entire sale section, AN ACTUAL DREAM, and I couldn't find anything in my size! Who knew that size 8s were so difficult to come across. I'm in that dreaded range were 6s are a little too snug but 10s are also a little too big but all the clothes I could find were either a 6 or a 10 and above! No 8s in sight! Like does anyone else ever have this problem? I wasn't in a rush and therefore I had plenty of time to look around and eventually found some super cute pieces that were actually in my size (I'm well aware that this is the biggest first world problem I've probably ever cared about and clothes are a luxury and blah blah blah)

That's when it struck me. 

I'm Average. 

I don't even mean that in a skills way (although I can sometimes feel a little average in that capacity too but that's a whole other post) I mean that in a physical attributes way. So many people can classify themselves as petite bloggers, mid-size bloggers, or whatever but I can't claim any of that! So I'm just a girl, sitting in front of her laptop screen pledging to be your friendly neighbourhood AVERAGE blogger. No labels, no frills just plain average, and I'm okay with that! 

(Stick around for some more average content) 


Jumpsuit from the aforementioned New Look sale! (aka the solitary size 8 jumpsuit)

Glasses are Camden from Glasses Direct (get £30 off your first order here*)

iDeal SS19 Collection

iDeal SS19 Collection

THIS POST IS IN PAID PARTNERSHIP WITH IDEAL OF SWEDEN

It's been a long winter, especially if your hometown is anything like mine, but the weather is finally starting to pick up and in order to get fully into the Spring-Summer season, iDeal of Sweden have just released their Spring/Summer collection which allows your phone accessories to match the summery mood that the rest of you is feeling and embracing!

You can check out the whole collection here* but here's a selection of my favourite products from the iDeal of SS19 Collection that you can get your hands on and you can get 20% off your order with the code ID20-AL110*

Phone Cases
If there's one thing that iDeal of Sweden are known for it's their phone cases. There are so many different fashion cases to choose from but they've just released a whole new collection of patterns in the Spring-Summer 2019 collection including this adorable little sunflower case it's definitely one of my faves!


Power Banks
The cute summer print vibes don't stop there! You can even get all the same prints from the SS19 collection in power bank and QI charger form. These power banks are perfect for travelling, whether that's for a summer holiday, just a quick Easter city break or even just a day at the coast you can be sure to keep your phone battery charged and look cute while doing it!
Saffiano Case
Maybe a fashion case is just a little bit too much for you and you'd rather keep it classic, these brand new Saffiano cases will add a certain amount of elegance and class to your Spring look while also being functional and fit for purpose.
Kensington Crossbody Clutch
Sometimes when you're out and about, you don't want to be carrying your phone around all the time but you also don't need to be carrying a bag all the time. These clutches are perfect for when you only need your phone and a few small items like your card, keys or a little cash and they're fully compatible with all iDeal of Sweden cases.
Hopefully, you've been inspired and feel ready to step into spring with iDeal of Sweden.

*Some of these links are affiliate links and so I will receive a small amount of commission from any products purchased at no extra cost to you, the same also applies for my discount code, just making sure I'm not keeping you all in the dark* 

Best Fake Scandi Life

Best Fake Scandi Life

I just finished 'Quicksand' Sweden's newest (and actually first ever!!!) release on Netflix and let me just say that it's reignited that inner Scandinavian in me (but let's be real, it never really went away). 

I'm obsessed with everything Scandinavian, I sometimes feel like I was born in the wrong country. I always tell people that the second I stepped off the plane in Copenhagen airport, something shifted and I knew that I was in my favourite place in the world, I knew that I was home. It sounds like a lie but when that fresh Danish air hit me I knew that I loved this place.



How do I embrace the Nordic life when I'm over 1000 miles away from my home away from home? Well here's a few ways to live your Best Fake Scandi Life, just like me

Music
The Scandi music scene is booming! Especially with Eurovision coming up it's the perfect time to get stuck into some sweet Swedish symphonies (100% a Zara Larsson reference). Here's a little playlist I've put together of some good Scandi pop to brighten up your day! (also Rix FM which is Sweden's top radio station play absolute bops all day every day and I highly recommend giving it a listen if you're tired of your own local stations)


Media
As I mentioned I've just finished watching Quicksand on Netflix. Nothing truly screams Sweden quite as much as Scandi-Noir series, from Wallander, to The Bridge, to The Killing there are so many Scandi-Noir dramas to choose from but moving away from the dark dramas, Norway's SKAM truly revolutionized tv as we know it and to this day is one of (if not my absolute) favourite shows of all time. (I wrote a post about that as well, you can check it here if ya wanna see what it's all about!) and there's plenty of other good Nordic tv shows that you can sink your teeth into. 

Style
I'm trying my hardest to live my best Fake Scandi Life by stealing the Scandi style, Minimalist, Basic, Black, Layers and Details that's the Scandi way. I recommend checking out brands like Arket, Samsoe Samsoe and Cos if you're after that high-class Scandi look or my absolute fave Monki if you're going more for a casual everyday look! Here are just a few of my top picks for embracing Scandi style as we come into the Spring!


Interior
IKEA IKEA IKEA, who doesn't absolutely bloody love a trip to IKEA? surrounded by Scandi design it truly is my way of escaping back to Sweden for a few hours even though I've just driven 20 minutes down the road. With a minimalist, classic design, you really can't go wrong with the flat-pack giants to add a touch of Scandinavia to your home! I'm also a huge fan of Søstrene Grene for homeware but also literally everything, I once went in to look around and came out with playing cards, scrunchies, socks and a bag of sweets, so never underestimate the sheer power that Danish things have on me.

Language
Learning a language has never been easier than now with everyone's favourite passive aggressive bird on Duolingo. I've completed the Danish course but I'm definitely far from fluent but it gives me a sense of achievement after I learn some new words I can use the next time I visit. Duolingo is currently available to learn Danish, Swedish, and Norwegian (Bokmal) as well as a whole load more.

getting fruity.

getting fruity.

I haven't written a faith post in a while so I thought I'd use today just to share a little bit about what I've been learning recently and it's a biggie. How can we live a godly life? What does that mean? How can we best portray Jesus in our daily living? SO MANY QUESTIONS but here's a simple way to make a start.

I once heard a sermon (it's this one by the way, I highly recommend checking it out, he talks about this all way better than I can) which talked about how to be most like Jesus, one time Jesus spat on people, do we do that? Jesus wore a toga, do we do that? Jesus had long hair, do we do that? We could, but it's not the best way to do it. I probably wouldn't even try to do the first one though, just to be safe. The best way to do be like Jesus is to take on the characteristics of Jesus. These are most exemplified in the Fruit of The Spirit.

Raise your hand if you were also a Sunday School kid who had the Fruit of the Spirit drilled into you from an early age, because I know I was. Ephesians 5 says that 'The Fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.' (if you sang that to the tune of the song you get bonus Sunday School points).

We all learned the Fruit of the Spirit as kids but how good are we at actually putting them int practice as adults. Notice how they are referred to as FRUIT and not GIFTS, this means that we all have the opportunity to grow them in our lives. One small way that I've been doing this recently is by finding one way that I displayed the Fruit of the Spirit each day.

Maybe it was patience when a co-worker is not co-operating, maybe it was showing love to that person who was by themselves, maybe it was showing kindness to someone when they were alone, maybe it was having peace among the stress of deadlines, maybe it was choosing joy in the times when joy didn't seem like an option.

It's a really simple thing to do, just reflecting on the ways we live a Godly life can help us grow in developing our Godly life. Some days we might not show an awful lot of patience in one area, but we found peace in another area. We're not perfect, none of us are going to be able to display all of these characteristics all the time, some of them will come more naturally to us than others but by growing them and reflecting on how we've been displaying them it really helps you to harness the things that matter enabling us to live the best possible life that God has mapped out for us.

Coat: Zara (thrifted), Sweater: M&S (old), Jeans: TK Maxx