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On Not Going Away For The Bank Holiday Weekend

Bedford embankment river ouse

For the first time in a long time, I didn't go away for the bank holiday weekend. My original plan was to go to Lisbon, which is very much still on my to-visit list, but when my friend found out she had some clashes with work, I decided to do what the majority of people do on a long weekend: nothing.

Well, 'nothing' in a sense. I nabbed some tickets in the Virgin seat sale to go back to my parents' for four days, my sofa-sitting best packed in my suitcase and my boyfriend in tow for his first induction into the clan. I have this bee in my bonnet about 'wasting' free holiday time from work but the reality of booking a trip at that time is that it's expensive and busy. That isn't really the case when visiting Milton Keynes.

Daisies in the grass

I used the weekend to do the things I'm always lamenting that I don't have time to do. I took time for myself to sleep in a little later, although only until around 9ish because I've lost that student-like ability to sleep solidly until midday and beyond. I slept like a log, I got up and ate decent breakfasts, sat at a table and not at a desk, and I wore my pyjamas until an unacceptable hour.

I spent quality time with my family; we played board games and ate dinner together. My parents wrote cryptic clues for us to find in an Easter egg hunt, despite the youngest person in the house being 21 (and obviously we relished it and ran around like lunatics!). On Saturday, we had lunch with my brother and sister-in-law, and then ran around the park with my niece and nephew, finding daisy chains, watching long boats and spotting baby ducklings.

Easter egg hunt rabbit mask

Easter egg hunt clues

There was one doozy of a hangover from a night of introductions at a local pub which turned into drinking whisky in my friend's parents' den. I fussed over my neighbour's cat and got to visit THREE puppies in total, as well as one lovely old pooch who was recovering from an operation.

Two puppies

My competitive side reared its ugly head when I lost one board game and then won another. But that was all made OK when I managed to get a hole-in-one when we went to a pirate themed mini golf course. I came last out of the five of us, obviously, but I feel I had a moral victory!

Queen of Naps jumper

I came back to London well-fed, well-rested and full of love. I have an inherent desire to travel at every opportunity, but taking the time to just slow down for four full days felt like such a luxury. I know that taking my time always helps keep my head clear and encourages me to get shit done. I need to do it more often.

I WILL do it more often.

Finding Inspiration in the Little Things

Fashion blogger in camo jacket, pink tshirt, jeans, khaki boots

I've got that feeling again where I need things to be shaken up. I fancy change, but not of the big life-changing, quit-my-job-to-travel sort like I did last year (although that is always tempting); more of the small tweaks and updates to my life to inject some newness into everyday mundanity.

Exploring the Forbidden Forest at Warner Bros. Studio Tour

Acramantula in the Forbidden Forest

Being a Harry Potter fan is the gift that keeps on giving. The magic of the books kept going through film, and even though it's been six years since the final movie there has been so much to keep us Potterheads obsessed. It doesn't have to be a brand new West End play (although I could talk about Cursed Child alllllllllll day every day), because the Warner Brothers Studio Tour evolves throughout the year. I've now visited four times and there is always something new to explore, and this time? It's the out-of-bounds Forbidden Forest.

Laters 2016, It's Been Weird

Pan Pacific glass roof elevator

I'm not the first to say that 2016 has been an odd one. Globally of course it has been a total clusterfuck, but personally it's been a totally mixed bag. I've experienced the most change since I graduated and moved to London almost seven years ago, but actually it's all ended up incredibly positive - even if it didn't necessarily feel like it at the time.

Added Extras #50

Lifestyle blog round-up

Well! I've finally hit the 50th edition of Added Extras and what a day to do so because today I fly to South Africa! Ever since I came back from The Big Trip in June, I've been saving and waiting for my next adventure and I am so excited to go to Africa for the first time.

Added Extras #49

UK lifestyle blogger montage

Tomorrow is my last day in the office until 16th January and I am ready for Christmas please and thank you. I don't know if the dark mornings, my empty bank account or the fact I haven't really eaten a vegetable in weeks, but December is taking it's toll and come Wednesday I'll be on my mum's sofa, with my baby sister (who's actually 21 this week HOW IS THAT A THING?), watching Scrooged and finally feeling festive.

Added Extras #48

It's been another couple of weeks of mayhem, with everything being stupid busy at work, my festive social life ramping up, and as a result, I've got my annual December cold. It's been here for a week now and frankly, I'm fed up of it. I spent most Friday and all of Saturday in bed trying to shift it, but it's persisting and I've got too much to do so I'm just cracking on. I've got just over a week of work left until I head home for Christmas and then I'm not back in the office until 16th January. Woohoo!

Six Reasons to Visit Bankside, London

The Shard, London

Lying on the south side of the river is many a tourist trap. The Southbank draws in the crowds for the London Eye, but it's the hidden second-hand book stalls and graffiti covered skate parks that keep locals coming back. Similarly, London Bridge has the Shard and Borough Market, but walk 10 minutes down towards Southwark and there's a new area undergoing renovation. Here's the things you should check out down at Bankside now, before the crowds sniff it out!

Added Extras #47

UK lifestyle blogger

It's only Tuesday and this week is already proving to be a giant pain in the arse. Every year when things start getting festive, I promise myself I won't book in too much but somehow it happens without me even realising. Add to that a hectic time at work, Christmas presents to be bought, the wedding of two of my favourite people and an upcoming holiday to South Africa, I don't really have time to do anything.

Added Extras #46

UK lifestyle travel blog

Hiiiiiiiii! A few Tuesdays have passed and I've fallen behind on these weekly instalments again. The main reason being that I'm trying hard to not force myself into doing things I don't want to do and just enjoy some down time. I love writing this blog, but when I'm tired from work and still maintaining an active social life, typing posts and editing photos has had to take a back seat.

How to Spend a Day in Victoria, London

Townhouse in Victoria, London

There's a whole heap of guides out there on the hidden gems of London, and I love to explore my city to find the weird and wonderful. Recently though, rather than one shop or cafe that I happened to stumble upon, I found the quirky charms of an entire area and one which I've visited numerous times in the years I've lived here.

Added Extras #45

UK lifestyle blog

Oh dear. I'm very behind. It's just that October was a bit of a weird one; it started off horribly, had a very interesting middle and ended a bit....meh.

Life Drawing Class with Nude Life (NSFW)

Life drawing class sketches

Planning a hen party is a stressful business. You suddenly question everything you know about one of your best mates because the fear of arranging something she will absolutely hate is so very real. And I've already got my bridesmaid dress sorted, so I had no intention of being kicked out of the wedding just yet.

Added Extras #44

Best lifestyle bloggers UK round-up

In the immortal words of the poet that is Ronan Keating, 'Life is a rollercoaster.' Except, the one I'm on is making me so damn exhausted. There's been a lot of changes going on and they're definitely all for the best, but please can I just skip forward to 27th December when I'm on a plane to South Africa, hurtling towards sunshine and AWAY from real life for a bit.

Added Extras #43

Weekly round-up from London lifestyle blogger

This last week I've been living the quintessential London yuppie lifestyle. Sushi and brunch and shopping and theatre - I'm basically a Kardashian. Except, all that frivolity means I'm now poor and tired but it was all worth it. I was dreading my birthday this year but my fabulous friends made sure that being away from my family wasn't as bad as I had anticipated. I'm a lucky gal.

Lumos Charity Gala at Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Lumos Charity Ambassadors with Evanna Lynch

Sometimes, something amazing will drop into my inbox. Over and above the 15% ASOS discount for my birthday (although let's not lie, I totally used that) and the general newsletter nonsense that I forget I've subscribed to, there is an email to stop me in my tracks, throw down my phone and do a happy dance in my chair. And that's how I began my journey with Lumos.

Added Extras #42

Weekly round-up by London lifestyle blogger

I have no idea how it's the 20th September AGAIN. The day just seems to roll around quicker every year and insists that I get older with it. Today I turn 28. I don't really have much to say on the subject because as much as I'm still getting my shit together as a fully fledged adult, 27 was a bloody hard year and I'm not all that sorry to say goodbye to it. Plus I have an excuse to eat cake, I get presents just for being alive, and I have a monster bottomless brunch planned in for the weekend. I'm already smashing this shiny new age of mine!

Added Extras #41

UK London lifestyle blog

I skipped this little instalment last week because the lurgy meant I basically cancelled my life and stayed in, feeling sorry for myself. I thought I was better but I went to the gym yesterday and had to leave my spin class 3/4 way through so I could cough up a lung. Aside from that, there's been some good bits in the last week or so.

Added Extras #40

Best UK lifestyle travel blogs

I am sat in Dublin airport, waiting to fly back to London. I have a horrific cold and every time I cough, the woman next to me looks at me as though I am a carrier of the Black Death. It's so bloody typical that I go away for a fun-filled Bank Holiday weekend and I end up being sick. Why can't I be ill when I have nothing fun planned?!

Added Extras #39

Weekly uk lifestyle blogger round-up

I've been saying for the last few months that I'd be feeling more myself once I got back to London and I was not wrong. This week I've been able to live life like normal: my belongings are all in one place, I'm not reliant on anybody to get me from A to B and I can socialise without having to rush off to get a train. And my commute is now 25 minutes instead of 90 and it is as close to bliss as rush hour on the northern line will allow.
As of 20th November 2014, any products marked with an asterisk (*) have been provided as a sample for unbiased review