My life

Tenerife day 3 – Stepping Out Of My Comfort Zone

Yes, there’s still more to tell you. In fact, the most exciting parts of our holiday happened on day 3. I definitely stepped out of my comfort zone that day and it was amazing!

Saturday 10th of June

It was an early start for us on Saturday as we were going to be picked up to go on a sailing trip first thing in the morning. Quite uncharacteristically I hadn’t actually planned this weeks ahead. Instead, the day before our flight (on Wednesday) I sent an email asking if there’s any availability to go sailing on Friday or Saturday that week. And yay for us there was! It was only a small yacht to make it more personal (maximum 8 people) so we were actually very lucky. In fact, there was only one other couple on the boat in addition to us so it felt like we pretty much owned the thing. Can’t get much more VIP than that.

Anyway, I’m rushing ahead a bit there.

We were picked up by Ivan – our skipper – even though our apartment was outside of his usual pick up range and taken to the port where we got settled down in his yacht Vertigo. The other couple made their own way there and when all five of us were on board we set off.

Due to the light breeze we could actually kill the engine soon and get a proper sailing experience! It was amazing. My sister and I were sat at the front, enjoying it to the fullest.

Just when we thought this couldn’t get any better we spotted a large family of pilot whales. We got quite close to them, turned our engine off and the baby whales were just playing and having fun around our boat. It felt so unreal.

After that we spotted some dolphins! Now they were cheeky little things, getting SO close to our boat and just swimming along with us. I couldn’t stop smiling and giggling to myself stupidly. I could’ve touched them if I’d just leaned out a little bit. Amazing! Later on we spotted another species of dolphins as well but they were a bit more reserved and kept their distance.

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We then went snorkelling for a little bit. I’d never done that before so I was a bit apprehensive, but I had the time of my life. I must admit I kept getting ocean water in my mouth, but I just couldn’t stop smiling and laughing (apparently that’s a nono when snorkelling unless you want to be swallowing some water). Snorkelling was followed by a little picnic provided by our lovely skipper Ivan. All in all it was perfect. I couldn’t have asked for a better sailing and sea life experience.

Usually I’d have called it a day there as it had already been very adventurous, but the day before I’d done something I’ve NEVER done before. You may remember I said we went to a beach near our apartment. Well, what I left out was that on our way to that said beach we went past a diving centre. (I think I didn’t tell you about this yet anyway.) If you know me then you know I can never just walk up to someone or walk in somewhere without doing a lot of research and planning what I’m going to say and all that. This time however I saw a poster outside and I just walked in (I still don’t know where I got the courage for it). I walked in and asked if me and my sister could go diving. They said yes. Holy fudge!!!

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So after sailing we had a bit of time to grab a bite to eat and then we walked to the diving centre to go scuba diving for the first time in our lives! Our lovely instructor Anna went through some basics with us to begin with and then prepared our gear. I felt very safe and excited throughout the whole thing.

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As the weather conditions were really poor for diving where we were, Anna and Pawel (me and my sis had an instructor each) drove us to a beach about 30 minutes away, to make sure that we get the best possible first experience with diving.

And we did. It was so exhilarating and I felt really comfortable throughout the whole experience. Anna and Pawel were amazing with us!

One of the most difficult parts was getting into the wet suit haha! And when they helped me get my air reserves on my back I felt like a horse being saddled up, but it just made me laugh and enjoy the whole thing even more. The second most difficult part for me was actually stepping into the water (we had to take a long step off the pier straight into deep water). My heart was racing and my thoughts kept going ‘But your gear is so heavy! There’s no way you’re not going to drown! And what if you swallow sea water again and drown!’ That’s just me though and this was way out of my comfort zone but I did it! And I needn’t have worried about any of those things as everything went perfectly. I managed to adjust my pressure, breathe absolutely fine and even let water out of my goggles without a hitch.

To be honest I can’t even remember what we did after that. These two experiences were so brilliant and I felt SO proud of myself for going ahead and doing them. Thank you Ivan, Anna and Pawel for making our holiday unforgettable!

To be continued…

G.

Beauty, Reviews, Unboxing

What a Fantastic June

Helloooooo. I’ve had a bit of a down day and it’s really warm so I’m about to go to bed, but I wanted to share my Lookfantastic June box with you first. Writing sometimes works as an odd pick-me-up for me and I hope this is one of those times. Plus this month’s box is so beautiful it’s difficult not to feel like there are better things waiting ahead just around the corner!

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Hailey Baldwin For ModelCo, Super Lips Lipgloss in Beige. This is a hydrating lip gloss as you may have guessed from the name. Well, the lip gloss part anyway. I absolutely love the smell of it, it smells like some kind of sweets – I have no idea what sweets exactly but I like it. I also like how it applies and even the texture and finish. It’s weird because it feels like it should be sticky but it’s not. The only issue I have with it and why it doesn’t get full marks from me is that I don’t think I suit nude colours much – they seem to wash me out a little and I was unfortunate enough to get my sample in beige. It looks alright when I only put on a tiny bit of it, but any more and I look a bit scary haha. I’d love to check out what other colours they’ve got though.

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Bellapierre, Shimmer Highlighter in Exite. It’s very shimmery. Also I’ve only just read the product description for the first time and found out that it’s a highlighter for cheekbones, Cupid’s Bow, inner corners of the eyes and other features. I thought it was an eye shadow. Teaches me to actually read what I’ve got, I guess! In any case it’s sure to highlight what ever it is you need highlighting as it’s sooooooo shimmery. Not too overpowering though. I mean, it’s buildable but … I’ll just shut up now. It’s nice.

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Balance Me, Balancing Face Moisturiser. It’s a hydrating face cream enriched with neroli oil, spruce knit and bergamot oil. It’s supposed to give a naturally beautiful glow to skin. I haven’t actually used it on my face yet, just sampled it on the back of my hand, but it absorbed nicely and didn’t feel greasy which is great especially in the summer when you usually need something a bit lighter for the day.

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Monu, Rosewood Reviving Mist. I can DEFINITELY get behind this hydrating facial mist at the moment. With it being so warm outside, it’s brilliant to cool down a little with a nice refreshing spritz in the face. It contains a blend of lemon, rosewood and sandalwood. I approve!

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First Aid Beauty, Facial Radiance Pads. From what I can gather these are like wet wipes but in cotton pad form. Quite cool actually. They contain a blend of lactic and glycolic acids to ‘refresh and revitalise tired complexions’. I haven’t tried them on my face yet, but I’ve poked them with my finger and they look like they’d do it promises on the box. I mean, they’re wet cotton pads so I think we can all agree that we’re not setting them expectations that they couldn’t fulfil.

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Kerastase, Shampoo. I got the ‘exceptional nutrition shampoo for normal to slightly dry hair’. I haven’t tried it yet but it’s a cute little travel size bottle so perfect to pop in your suitcase for a long weekend away!

That’s it my dears. I’ve covered everything in my box and even though what wowed me most about this box was the actual box itself (it’s sooooo preeeeetty!), it was still full of great additions to my makeup and skin care collection šŸ™‚

I’ll spritz some of that face mist now to hopefully cool down enough to get to sleep!

G.

Books, Reviews

May Books

Hi all! I still have two more posts to write about my holiday, but I thought I’d mix it up a little and write about what I read in May instead for a change. To be honest I thought I’d get more writing done over the weekend but poor time planning… Ok, that wasn’t honest, here’s honest – I was knackered and the weather was gorgeous. Although, I guess that’s still poor time planning as well. Well what do you know, eh? Anyway…

I only read two books in May. That brings me to a total of 15/30. Half way there! Wooohoooooo! One of them I’ve already written about a little and the other won’t come as a surprise to any of you, if you’ve read my previous book posts.

The first book I read was PS, I Love You by Cecelia Ahern. What an emotional roller coaster! I kept crying when reading it and then laughing on the next page – I was all over the place. (You can read my thoughts from when I was about 12 pages into the book here from my previous post.) I watched the film based on this book first and was therefore a bit apprehensive about how similar or different the book would be, but I found a pleasant mix of familiarity and new bits. It was a great (albeit emotionally wrecking) read.

The second book I read was Shadows of Self (Mistborn – Alloy Era #2) by Brandon Sanderson. Quite a few AMAZING twists in the story as is common for Mr Sanderson. Although I haven’t gotten quite into this series like I was into the original Mistborn books, I still absolutely loved it. I thought the story was great, the characters were built well and the magic was brilliant.

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I was very happy with my choice of reading material in May, but I think I need to start writing my thoughts down as soon I’ve finished with a book. I find that I’m struggling a bit when I write after a month has passed and I’ve already read a few books afterwards. Hmm… Something to consider!

G.

 

My life

Tenerife day 2 – Soooooo Relaxed

As promised, here’s what happened on day 2. Also, believe it or not I’ve been writing this post for 3 days now. So I hadn’t forgotten, just struggling to find the energy and time to write. 

Friday 9th of June

The day started with me and my sister still finding it hard to believe where we were. It felt too good to be true. Once we’d established that we haven’t gone collectively mad and that we are indeed on a holiday, we went out to get breakfast. We found this cute little pub next to where we were staying and we both had full English breakfasts with fresh orange juice. Yes, we were in Tenerife having a full English. How boring! (It was lovely though so no regrets)

After breakfast we took a stroll down to the beach – it was only a few minute walk and it was soooooo beautiful. We both went for a dip in the ocean. I’d forgotten how salty ocean water is compared to the sea water! (I know it depends on the sea and stuff but I grew up near the Baltic sea which is nowhere near as salty)

Then I decided I wanted more pictures from this holiday. If you know me then you know I absolutely haaaaaaate having my picture taken, but recently with everything that’s been going on I think I’ve lost my mind a little and it’s like I’ve got at least a couple of personalities in me, giving me different thoughts and feelings. (I’m not crazy though, honest!) The part of me that said ‘You’re going to want to remember this!’ won that time and we had a little photo shoot by the hill. The wall I’m sat on was very knobbly and painful but you’d never guess that from the picture would you?

When we got back to our apartment we thought that we may as well make the most of the sunshine and spent a good few hours by the pool and in it. There was nobody else there so we felt like we owned the place and I can definitely see the perks of having a ton of money and a big house with a pool now. I think I’ll do that soon. I mean, if you set yourself a goal and then make every decision about getting closer to that goal – that’s how it works, right? Making dreams come true and all that? 

Afterwards we went for a meal at this little restaurant near our apartment. I think it was called El Botijo? I’m sorry if that’s not what it’s called and I wrote something rude there instead. They had the nicest cocktails and gorgeous food. I got a couple of cocktail ideas for my wedding and it was just so nice and relaxed.

When we got back to the apartment I realised (to my horror) that I’d missed a few spots when putting sun cream on. As a result I had burnt patches. Like… even now I have tanned spots and pale areas around them. My sister actually said that my back looks like world map. Exactly the look I was going for! My sister was a lovely cooked lobster shade herself though so she couldn’t really laugh at me too much.

After that it was late so we just chilled on the balcony, enjoying the view and the weather before calling it a day.

To be continued

G.

My life

Tenerife day 1 – All The Travelling

Soooooo I’ve got a LOT of catching up to do with my posts. I’ve been dealing with some stuff during the past couple of weeks (I’m sure I could be more vague if I tried… well, if I tried REALLY hard) and now I’ve been on a bit of a long weekend holiday thing. To Tenerife. Yeah, apparently you can just go there for a few days, enjoy it to the fullest and poof you’ve been on a holiday! Who knew?

Thursday 8th of June

My sister flew in for a week long holiday on Thursday. She landed in Manchester just after noon and then it was up to me to get there as soon as my legs would carry me. Well,  as soon as I finished work actually. I had to go to work still because apparently you can only take as many holiday days as you’re given. Like, what’s up with that? I reckon they should change the system so you can take as many holiday days as you need. Anyway, I needed to finish work for the day, then I whooshed home, got my bag, did some last minute panicking (as you do) and then left for the train station. I was early as always and got to wait a little but then I got on the train and met my sister at the airport.

The security check was surprisingly quick and once we were through we killed some time shopping (I got a couple of puzzle books! I love them. Some of the puzzles there have already made me feel all smart. We also managed to find a bottle of coke with our destination on it. So, naturally, we had to get it.) and then we got ready to board. Only to be told that there’s a ‘technical fault’ with our plane and that the flight’s been delayed.

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I was preparing for the worst, but after only about an hour they’d added all the extra phalanges to the plane and we were off! This meant that our flight which was already due in the middle of the night, only got to Tenerife at about 2.30am or so. Needless to say we were both shattered.

At Tenerife  airport we were met by our Airbnb host who gave us some information about where we’re staying and what’s around the area, etc (I even remembered some of it the next day so he must’ve done something right to get it through to me).

Once we got to our apartment, we were in awe of our surroundings. Holy smokes. The apartment itself was beaaauuuuuutiful plus there was a gorgeous outdoor pool and it was just amazing (I’ve added a photo from one of our balconies from when we arrived).

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After admiring it all for a little while we got some sleep. (By this point my sister had been travelling for just over 24h by the way so a big shout out to her for still being mostly coherent and humanoid).

To be continued…

G.

 

Books, My life

Work it!

I keep writing and then deleting everything and starting all over again. It’s like I can’t even decide what is going on in my head so how on earth am I supposed to decide what goes on here? I think I’ll just do a quick ‘Hi, that’s what I’ve been up to lately!’ post. Just catching up, you know.

I finished reading a book – Cry Baby by David Jackson. That’s 16/30 now. Reading seems to be the only thing that I always really want to do, no matter what’s going on in my life or head (yes, I do realise I’m talking about my head like it’s a whole other world and you know what? It really is. Half the time even I can’t find my way around there). It was the first book in a while that I wasn’t actually that keen on, but I’m glad I read it. I’ll tell you more about it in my next month’s book post.

I also finished watching a Netflix original series 13 Reasons Why. Another thing that I wasn’t actually keen on. It’s not even that it made me uncomfortable or anything, in fact it didn’t at all – should I be worried? – I just felt really, really annoyed throughout watching it. I felt that the main character was entitled, demanding and just really annoying and … well, a typical teenager, I guess? I know because I’ve been there, seen it and done that. So yeah, didn’t like it.

On a more positive note, I talked to someone recently about some things that are going on – I could probably be even more cryptic if I REALLY tried, right? – and for the first time in about a month or so I feel like there’s change for the better again. I have some realistic plans in place again and it’s helped me a lot. So yes, talking helps. Talk to people. Talk to your friends, your family, your doctor, your cat or pet rock. It really does help. Don’t keep it bottled up.

What else? Oh, yes, I’ve been doing my interior design course work. I’m over half way through and have really enjoyed my studies so far, but this unit is really threatening to do me in. It’s twice as long and requires twice as many reports and assignments. That’s where you picture me sliding off my chair into a puddle and just melt out of existence. I still think I should do a little series on it all. What do you think?

To keep on track with my positive life changes and everything, I’ve also been doing my little 30 day fitness challenge. It’s a free app, called just that – 30 days fitness challenge – every day it reminds me to do my little exercises and yes, sometimes I skip a day and do two days worth the next day and yes, there are official rest days in there, too. It’s nice and simple little things like some jumping jacks, planks, mountain climbers, etc. Starts off quite easy, too, and then gets gradually harder. It’s a good way to keep me a bit more active though. Oh, I’m on day 21/30. Can’t believe I’ve actually managed to keep it going for so long. Quite proud of myself actually.

Anyway, I think that’s us caught up, yeah? Great, I’ll see you next time! Time to go to bed and get all rested and stuff. I think that’s how it’s supposed to go. I still haven’t worked out all the finer details – like, sometimes I seem to wake up and still be tired. What’s up with that? Hmpfh.

G.

Food, Recipes

Coconut + Cranberry Cookies

It’s been aaaaages since I last shared any of my recipes with you, so I thought it’s about time I do just that. Last night I baked some cookies and just on the off chance that they mayĀ turn out delicious, I did my best to document the process. It wasn’t without a few bumps alongĀ the road though. The recipe that I used as a base to change to suit my taste had all the measurements in cups, but I’ve never been very good at following said measurements, so I wanted to convert it to grams. Which I did. With some ingredients… And completely forgot to weigh the others. Sooooo yeah. I did manage to get all the measurements in grams by the end, and even though it was quite a lot of hassle, I’d say it was worth it. I have a recipe! Woohooo!

Coconut + Cranberry Cookies

  • 100g of coconut oil (it should be soft, but ideally not quite liquid)
  • 100g of brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 100g of flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 100-150g of coconut flakes (depending on how coconutty you want it)
  • 50g of dried cranberries

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Step 1 – Mix the soft coconut oil and sugar together.Ā It shouldn’t take any real effort to be honest. It should feel like they’re long lost lovers who have just been reunited, know that they belong togetherĀ and then they merge toĀ form a blob. Hmm, I need to work on this particular story I think. In any case, in a perfect world the ‘blob’ should be nice and smooth but as I’m not always the brightest of bakers, my sugar had quite a few lumps in it and I couldn’t really get to all of them so I decided to just go with it. It worked out in the end so I wouldn’t worry too much about lumps.

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Step 2 – Add the egg and vanilla and just keep on mixing. You can see my mixture still has quite a few sugar lumpsĀ here but hey, there are worse things in the world so once again I just let it go (although I did manage to crush a few more of them at this stage – as they were more visible, it was a bit easier).

Step 3 – Add the flour andĀ baking powder and just keep mixing, just keep mixing, mixing, mixing. Also, you’re ‘supposed to’ add the flour gradually, but I just went for it and added all of it in one go. Now, there’s one occasion where I’d advise against adding it all at once, and that’s if you want your cookies to be chewier. If you add the flour gradually you can stop if it looks too dry for your liking. If you’re a bit of a devil-may-care baker like me, thenĀ at this stage it may start to feel a bit too dry, but it’s not. It’ll all work out in the end, I promise.

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Step 4 – Add the coconut and cranberries. You probably already know what else to do at this stage without me having to repeat it. To be on the safe side though – just keep mixing, mixing, mixing. It’ll look and feel drier still, but it’s fine. You’ll soon find out how it’s going to work out and what kind of sorcery it is.

Step 4.1Ā – Chill the mixture for about 30 minutes. Also, turn your oven on. I had mine at gas mark 5/375Ā°f/191Ā°C, but if your oven is not an uncooperative maniac, you could probably get away with it being at gas mark 4/350Ā°f/177Ā°C, to make sure they don’t over bake.

Step 5 – That’s where the magic happens. As the coconut oil in the dough is now chilled and quite solid, the dough will be pretty hard. However, as the melting point for coconut oil is super low, once you’ve spooned out a seemingly crumbly and dry piece of dough, just place it on your hand and quickly press it together to form a flat ball shaped dough blob. The heat from your hands will melt the oil on the surface of the ball and help it stick together. To not letĀ all the hard work of chilling the dough go to waste though, try to make the actual human contact with them as brief as possible and if you do need more time to form the balls, you can just pop them back in the fridge for a bit.

Step 5.1 – Pop them in the oven for 10-15 minutes. This step actually makes me quite frustrated. My oven is really old and I never know what temperature it actually is in different parts of the oven, so my first lot were in for 20 minutes, but second lot only for 15 minutes. So I think with a normal oven it should take around 10-15 minutes to bakeĀ them enough that they’re still a bit soft and chewy. It will also depend on how flat you make them. The thinner they are the quicker they bake.

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Step 6 – Enjoy your freshly baked coconut and cranberry cookies!

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Quick steps:

  1. Combine coconut oil and sugar
  2. Add egg and vanilla. Mix until smooth and fluffy.
  3. Add flour and baking powder (gradually if looking for chewier result)
  4. Add coconut and cranberries
  5. Chill dough for 30 minutes
  6. Preheat oven toĀ gas mark 4/350Ā°f/177Ā°C (or equivalent,Ā if you have a pain in the neck oven that’s never the right temperature)
  7. Form flat balls from the dough
  8. Bake for 10-15 minutes

That was my last night’s impromptu baking extravaganza. My SO said he thinks they’re the best cookies I’ve ever baked. I mean, he says it almost every time I bake/cook something, but I do believe him still. I think I just get better with practice, like we all do. Right? Right?! Well, that’s what I choose to believe anyway.

They’re all gone now by the way. To the last crumb. Omnomnom.

G.