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Sunday, 15 October 2017

My USA Fall/Autumn Bucket List

One of the things that I was most excited for when moving to New England was fall/autumn. I'd heard that the leaves changing is so much more vibrant and that the UK just doesn't get autumn quite like the US does. So I've decided to write myself a Fall/Autumn bucket list for all the things that I want to get done whilst I'm here. I've already ticked off a few on this list and that was super fun but I'm hoping to do things like the sports game and smores over the coming weeks. I've also got a trip to DC booked for two weeks so I'm excited to do some exploring there too.




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Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Exploring Dallas

Texas is one of those places that seems like a dream, it's shown on tv and movies as wild, fun and hot. But I finally got the opportunity to go there myself. My friend Sarah was doing some work in California this summer and we wanted to take a trip together for Labour Day Weekend- the closest the US gets to a bank holiday. We eventually settled on Dallas as it's between both coasts and our wonderful friend Jessica lives there too. We both arrived at around 3pm on Saturday afternoon and headed straight to our hotel to check in. We stayed at the Downtown Dallas Crowne Plaza Hotel and I've already written a full review. It was a fantastic hotel in a great location.



We chilled in the hotel for a bit as we waited for it to get a bit cooler (Texas heat is no joke) before heading out for dinner. I'd found a place called Twisted Root on Trip Advisor that advertised great burgers and a relaxed atmosphere which was just what we were looking for. I opted for a build your own burger and got a bacon cheeseburger with peanut butter. It was absolutely delicious! The restaurant had a really cool vibe. When you ordered you'd get a card with a celebrity on it and when your order was ready they'd call out the celebrity name and make a few jokes etc. It was fun. I wish I was 21 because this is the sort of place I could see myself getting dinner at then stopping for a few drinks.
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Sunday, 8 October 2017

8 Free Resources That Will Improve Your Blog

Over the last five and half years I've tried a lot of free resources and apps that I'd hoped will improve my blogging/photography/social media game. Some have been fantastic and others have fallen a bit flat. Over the last year or so I think I've consolidated my favourites and now use the same resources time and time again. These options are all free and are a great to use to help you produce content and also to share that content with as big an audience as possible.


Grammarly
I had never used Grammarly before but had heard of it through advertising. It was actually recommended to me by the lady who runs the chemistry blog I occasionally write for and I've been using it since about October/November. It's a free spelling and grammar checker then you install onto your browser. It's really good and I couldn't quite believe how bad my grammar actually was when I started using it. Not only does this help me pick up on my mistakes but I also find that it's slowly correcting my bad habits so that I don't make the same mistakes in the first place. It's so much better than the automatic spell checkers that come on browsers and I can't recommend it enough.

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Wednesday, 4 October 2017

48 Hours in Rhode Island

Rhode Island is not at the top of everyone's US bucket list. And that's not surprising as it's the smallest of the 50 states. However, it's very easily accessible from Connecticut and therefore was a great place for me to go to with my friends from Edinburgh who are on exchange at the University of Connecticut. We stayed in a town called Warwick but spent most of our time on the island of Newport which is connected to the mainland by a toll bridge. I'm so glad that we decided to make this trip as the weather was absolutely stunning and the scenery was beautiful. It felt very 'New England' and was also a beachy paradise. Despite doing a lot of travelling and being busy, I felt so relaxed afterwards!


My friends rented a car at their university and I got the train from Stamford to New Haven where they picked me up. They were a little later than expected so I popped over to Maison Mathis - a cafe that I visited on my previous trip to New Haven. I had a quick cup of tea and a chocolate and sea salt cookie whilst I waited for them and then it was time to hit the road. 

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Sunday, 1 October 2017

September Reading Wrap Up

Another month has come and gone and it's time for another reading wrap up. I read a few good books in August but mostly I read some books I wasn't too keen on. But this means I'm super excited to read some new and exciting books in September. I need another library run soon! I'm also excited for the weather to get a bit cooler so that I can enjoy cosy evening reading. I'm not sure why but it's still extremely hot in Connecticut. I never thought I'd see 30 degrees weather at the end of September!


Drama by Raina Telgemeier
This graphic novel is about a girl who is really interested in producing the set for her school's musical. I picked this up because it looked bright and fun but when I started reading it I realised this is actually written for preteens. That's fine by me as it was fun and heartwarming. This book also introduced LGBT characters which I think is really important. I gave it 3/5 stars. It was ok.
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Tuesday, 26 September 2017

2017 Great British Bake Off Drinking Game

Two years ago I wrote my original GBBO drinking game. But as I made it for the 2015 series, it's kind of outdated. I've been using the university's VPN to watch the new Channel 4 Great British Bake Off and honestly - I'm loving it. I was worried about the takeover but it's still the same show we all know and love. But it was time for a new 2017 drinking game with some updates rules! Whether it's an alcoholic beverage or just a cup of tea - sit back, relax, and watch out for these:


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