The High Line, New York City

Sunday, 30 July 2017
I always love meeting new blogger friends so when I heard that Ellis was coming to visit NYC we arranged to meet up. The irony is that in Scotland we lived about an hour apart but had never met each other but met for the first time in New York City, 3200 miles from home. One thing that I really wanted to do during my first trip to the city last year was to walk the High Line but I never got around to it! Luckily Ellis was also interested in doing this so we met at the closest subway station to the most northernly entrance and walked the whole way down together.

The High Line is an old, unused overground railway line that has been converted into a beautiful public park. The 1.45-mile long park stretches across the top of the city which allows you to walk around and see the beauty of New York without the same overwhelming feeling of the busy streets. We arrived around 10 am which was really nice as we managed to avoid the peak of the summer heat.


4th of July

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

When the 4th of July rolled around, I was really excited to get the opportunity to celebrate it in America. As it's a national holiday here, I even got the day off work. The other interns decided they wanted to go and watch the fireworks in New York. However, I decided to hang back. I've never been the biggest fan of huge crowds and I knew it would be packed. Plus we'd been in the city two days before and I was still absolutely knackered (we'd walked 10 miles in the one day).  Instead, I decided to take a cycle into Greenwich. 


The First NYC Day Trip

Sunday, 23 July 2017
The beauty of living in Connecticut is that New York City is under an hour away on the train. It makes for the perfect (but exhausting) day trip. On my second weekend in the US, I went into the city with some of the other interns to check out some of the sites. Our train arrives at Grand Central Terminal so we stopped to admire how beautiful a building it is. I actually watched a documentary about Grand Central once (I think it was on the BBC) and it has a fascinating history. I stopped in briefly when I was in New York last May - but as I didn't know too much about it I didn't fully appreciate it. 

From there we hopped onto subway over to Prospect Park in Brooklyn. We were visiting Smorgasburg, a street food festival that runs every Sunday in the park (and on Saturdays too in Williamsburg). It's very hipster and there are so many options to choose from! I visited a taco stall and had some fish and shrimp tacos. Fish tacos are my absolute favourite and the Mexican food in the US is just phenomenal compared to what you can get in the UK (don't worry Wahaca - I still love you). Washed down with an ice-cold lemonade which was seriously welcomed in the very intense heat. 


My Lush Spa Experience, The Comforter

Wednesday, 19 July 2017
Lush is one of my all-time favourite companies. They tick all my boxes – exciting products, great quality, cruelty-free, affordable, fun etc. I could go on about how much I love it. In fact, I already have, if you remember my post about 5 reasons why you should be shopping at Lush. But one thing that I’d never tried was one of their spa treatments. I put it on my 101 things in 1001 days list and a few days before I left the UK I finally got around to ticking it off. I booked my appointment at the Lush Spa in Edinburgh by giving them a call, it was super quick and easy. I’d ideally wanted to try The Good Hour but they didn’t have any therapists trained for that treatment on the day that I was planning on visiting so I opted instead to try The Comforter. And I’m very glad that I did because it was such a great experience!

When I arrived I was escorted down into the spa. I’ve been before when I visited for their Tales of Bath bloggers event but this was my first time going for an actual treatment. Despite being located under the busy Princes Street store, it’s a totally serene environment. The spa is designed to look like an English country kitchen, you’d never believe where you actually are! Here, my therapist explained the procedure to me whilst I filled out some paperwork (basically to displace any medical conditions they’d need to be aware of). Then I was escorted into my treatment room for it to begin.


My Favourite European Countries

Sunday, 16 July 2017
I've now travelled to 13 countries, and I'm certainly not feeling unlucky. When people ask me about my travels, the ideas of 'favourites' always comes up. I don't dislike any of the countries I've visited per se but there are some that really stand out to me. My goals at the moment are to try and visit as many countries as possible so I think that it says a lot if I plan to go back to a country any time soon - at the cost of not ticking another one off of my list. These are my top 3...

I actually only spent about 24 hours in Sweden, but it just made such an impression on me! Sweden just had such a relaxed vibe to it. We spent so much time just walking around soaking up the atmosphere. The Swedish people especially were so stylish. Sweden has lovely sunny weather in the summer and great snow in the winter so no matter what you're looking for weather wise it can provide. A lot of people say that Scandinavia is expensive and that's definitely the case unfortunately. We found Malmö to be much cheaper than Copenhagen but I've heard that Stockholm can be very expensive. But don't let that put you off visiting this beautiful country!
Read more about my trip to Sweden


Review: Dyson Supersonic Hairdryer

Wednesday, 12 July 2017
My mum's a hairdresser and as a result, I've always been a bit snobby when it comes to hair dryers. I'd rather not use one at all than use one that's not very powerful. My mum works from home and recently invested in the new Dyson Supersonic Hairdryer. I've been trying it out too and I thought it would be a great thing to review as it's very expensive and therefore you'd really want to make sure it's a great hairdryer before you invest.

The motor is connected to an air multiplier which boosts airflow. Meaning it can dry hair much faster. There are three different air speed modes and 4 different heat modes. These are really easy to switch between and are indicated my lights. The hairdryer comes with attachments like a diffuser which attach magnetically to the front of the hairdryer making them really easy to switch over. It also comes with a heat proof mat and a storage hanger.


Edinburgh Edit: Brunch

Sunday, 9 July 2017
Ah, the humble brunch. The perfect meal from when you've had a well deserved lie in on the weekend and you're looking for something that's going to set you up for the rest of the day. It's became the hip thing over the past few years and it now seems like every place has it's own brunch menu. Luckily for you, I've tried out a few brunches in Edinburgh in my day. And I'll be sharing them with you in this handy guide to the best brunch in Edinburgh. 

The Huxley
If you're a fan of breakfast smoothies then you'll need to check out the Huxley. Their fresh fruit smoothies are a great, refreshing way to start the day. They have everything from the full Scottish breakfast to sweet American pancakes with blueberry compote (with a lot of eggs in between for good measure). The Huxley is a favourite of mine for any meal of the day so you won't be disappointed, whenever you plan to visit. 
Read my full review of The Huxley.


What I Learnt From My Bullet Journal Failures

Wednesday, 5 July 2017
If you're even remotely familiar with social media, you'll have seen the bullet journal making the rounds. This extremely organised journalling system proves a great way to organise your to do list, calendar and entire life whilst giving you the flexibility and creativity that a traditional planner lacks. I do fell for the idea and quickly got obsessed with scrolling through #bulletjournal on Instagram. After starting my own over a year ago, I've really found what worked for me and what didn't. As there's no strict rules to bullet journalling, making mistakes is actually great. It allows you to identify what didn't work for you - so that you can carry this on into your future journalling. Here are the mistakes that I made and what I learnt from them.

-Using a bullet journal to track long term goals isn't for me.
When I first started my bullet journal I set up a few lists, that were of long-term goals. Countries travelled to etc. But I found that as these things weren't being updated regularly, they were really just a waste of space and I didn't every look at them or use them. Instead, I prefer to track monthly or weekly goals in my bullet journal as these are the sort of things I'll update and look at more regularly.


June Reading Wrap Up

Sunday, 2 July 2017
June was a great reading month for me as I had a lot of free time now that I'm finished with uni/holidays for the year. Plus our 7.5-hour flight to the US becoming a 9-hour flight meant I managed to read a whole book just on the plane. I've read 7 books this month and I really, really enjoyed them as I've not rated anything below 4/5 stars. July should hopefully be a good reading month for me. I've run out of paper books in the US so I'm going to spy out the local library situation, see if I can scrounge anything off my colleagues or make the most of my Kindle.

The Other Half of Happiness by Ayisha Malik
I was a big fan of Ayisha Malik's first book, Sofia Khan is Not Obliged (click for review), so I was happy to see this book in the airport bookstore when I needed something to read! This is the second diary in the Sofia Khan series - marketed as the hijabi Bridget Jones. This book was really funny and was a nice continuation of the story. I love Ayisha Malik's writing and I'm so glad I carried on with the series. I gave it 4 stars as I thought it wasn't quite as good as the original book in the series but I still really enjoyed it. 

Love & Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch*
This YA novel sees teenage Lina going to live with her father in Italy after her mother's death. The catch? She's never met her father before. Lina's not happy about the arrangement but things don't quite turn out how she expects. This is actually one of the best YA novels that I've read in a really long time. The characters were actually really well written and there was a lot of realistic character development through the book. This is her first book but she's got another scheduled for release in 2018 and I'm very excited for it. 5/5 stars. 

Truth or Dare by Non Pratt* 
I've heard many great things about Non Pratt's novels but this was my first one. I'm very glad I got around to reading one! This book is about two teens who start up a truth/dare based YouTube account to raise money for one of their brothers, who is disabled after being involved in an accident. The book is told from two different perspectives one after the other which is really interesting - especially as things aren't quite what they seem from the first perspective. I gave this 4/5 stars because whilst I enjoyed it, it didn't quite have me totally hooked.

Lonely Planet's Best Ever Photography Tips by Richard I'Anson / Loney Planet's Best Ever Travel Tips by Tom Hall
I got these little guides as a goodbye present from a friend when I was leaving. They were both fun, little reads to pass the time. I really enjoyed the photography one but found the travel one quite focused on 'less safe' countries so I didn't really feel I could apply a lot of the tips in my own travel, as I generally visit quite safe places. I gave these both 4/5 stars. They made a great present!

Nina is Not OK by Shappi Khorsandi
This YA novel is about a girl who is battling alcoholism. Think is one of the most unique YA novels I've read in a really long time and I'm so glad I did. Normally when we address addiction in literature it centres around adults, not teenage girls so I think this was a really interesting perspective. I don't want to talk too much about this because I feel like it's one of those books that you should go into not really knowing much about so I just want to say READ THIS BOOK. My favourite of the month. 5/5 stars.

Bossypants by Tina Fey
What's not to love about Tina Fey. Her autobiography is laugh out loud funny at times and has a really nice mix of stories. Sometimes when I read an autobiography there are sections that just don't interest me. But I absolutely loved this one! Plus it was given to me by the lovely Lis which makes it even better. 5/5 stars.

June Reading Wrap Up 2014 / 2015 / 2016

Did you read any good books this month? Leave me some recommendations in the comments or on GoodReads.

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