Travel With Me: Cologne, Germany

At the end of June, me and my boyfriend went to explore the city of Cologne. It’s actually taken me this long to write this post because I am still in denial about being home and back to reality.

I’ve been to Berlin but Cologne was never really a place that jumped out at me but oh my god I am so glad we decided to go as I have fallen in love. As I said, I have been to Berlin and I loved it but Cologne was extra special, from the little cobbled streets surrounded by bars to the padlock bridge stretching across the river, everywhere you turned there was something more to love.

36745292_10156633734749244_5859222680447746048_n

We arrived and went straight to the hotel to dump our luggage so we were free to explore. Obviously the first spot on our agenda was the cathedral which was so breath taking; I actually forgot the amount of times Jack and I said ‘It’s so big’, but it really was. We then had a little stroll towards the river and luckily found ourselves at the Lindt chocolate museum which was like stepping into Willy Wonker’s chocolate factory.

Day 2 was zoo day! Cologne is quite famous for its zoo so we couldn’t miss giving it a visit. After getting a little confused with the trains and contemplating a 50 minute walk, we soon arrived and I was like a child at Christmas. The whole day was perfect including the weather and the top highlight was seeing a racoon as I think they are adorable and one of my favourites. We finished the day off perfectly with dinner and a few drinks before an early night to recoup for the next day which was visiting the city of Bonn.

Like with Cologne, I didn’t have much expectations when it came to Bonn, but again I was very surprised with how beautiful it is. A city that was once the capital and the birthplace of Beethoven now holds a place in my heart. Bonn is full of little cobbled twists and turns and quirky bars and bistros and a Sephora that I had been excited for ever since we booked the trip.

Our last day was bittersweet; our flight wasn’t until 10pm so we had a full day but I couldn’t shake the feeling of dread and sadness knowing we were heading back to reality and eventually back to work. We did however make our last day the best it could be so we headed back to some of our favourite spots and visited a house that belonged to the Gestapo in WWII which had been covered into a museum – that was such an eye opening experience and I’m so glad we did it.

36723862_10156633734559244_4870184217184567296_n

I already can’t wait to go back to Cologne and the whole trip is definitely up there with one of my favourites.

– Hannah Xx

Advertisements

Do You Need To Post On Social Media Daily To Keep Your Blog ‘Relevant’

Do You Need To Post On Social Media Daily To Keep Your Blog ‘Relevant’

Usually when I post a new blog, I always share it to my social media channels but as soon as it’s been shared once, I typically forget to advertise it again and then wonder why my DA gently drops. This got me thinking about the correlation between posting on social media everyday and the amount of views your blog posts get. Sometimes life gets in the way and it’s heartbreaking that it affects engagement levels and the way our blogs ‘succeed’.

IMG_E1424.JPG

Seeing that I sometimes go for spats of not posting (I’m trying to work on it, promise!), I have been trying to get some kind of content out on my socials and I definitely find that it has been driving views to my blog for the days that I don’t have a post to share.

Instagram can always be a little hit and miss, especially with the ever changing algorithm that makes it impossible for people to engage with your snaps; but it is great for quickly getting something online. I have been obsessed with Instagram stories lately and I use a few apps to change the layout of mine so that they stand out a bit more. I try to post something on there everyday and always make sure that I spread the love with comments and likes. The best thing about instagram is the fact you can add links so that people can click straight through to your blog without having to search for it, definitely something I love because let’s face it, I’m waaaaaay to lazy to be googling. Of course the odd few hashtags always helps too!

Screen Shot 2018-06-10 at 20.05.12.png

Scheduling tweets is definitely something that I need to do more, I always forget and then suddenly remember and go into over-drive of posting a tweet about every blog post and scheduling them for multiple times a day. I do however, find this to be a lifesaver if I am travelling, have a really busy week or when I am feeling a bit down as I don’t have to be clued to my laptop or phone for my content to be shared. It’s great because you can chose the days and times which you can match up to your blog stats to select the best time to post and having something posted on Twitter definitely keeps those views up.

Screen Shot 2018-06-10 at 20.03.36.png

To be completely honest, I don’t care how ‘successful’ my blog is and I try not to get caught up in the number game of how many followers do I have vs how many people am I following. I blog because it’s something I love and am proud of and if people read it and enjoy it, than that is an added bonus but it seems that without continously sharing and updating it, it can get lost in the big blogosphere.

-Hannah X

Falling Back In Love With Blogging

For months, I have been falling in and out of love with blogging; always wanting to post something and stay active, but never knowing what to write. Well I have recently fallen back in love with blogging for the first time in so long; and boy have I missed it.

I think one of the main reasons that I stopped blogging regularly was because of my blog layout, I really wasn’t happy with it and felt that it was boring and plain. It didn’t draw in people’s attention so I knew the only way to change this would be to have a complete blog revamp. I browsed so many themes online and finally decided on one that suited my blog style and that would help show off my posts in the best way. Once I had installed it, I made sure that all of my social media links connected to the correct pages and I also added a ‘featured’ banner to showcase some of my favourite posts that I have written. Every time we buy something new and shiny, we become obsessed with it and my blog is a strong example of this, I am now so in love with it and every time I look at it, I am so proud of how it looks.

daan-stevens-404247-unsplash

I’ve heard from a few people about how toxic and unpleasant the blogging community can be; but, honestly, everyone that I have ever spoken to and met have been so lovely and supportive. Getting involved with such a creative community of people really helped re-fuel my love for blogging and everything that it stands for. I love getting involved in blogger chats on twitter and commenting on other peoples content whether that just be a tweet or an Instagram pic.

jess-watters-665172-unsplash

I’m so happy I have re found my passion for blogging and can’t believe I let it go for so long. I have so many new post ideas that I can’t wait to share.

-Hannah X

Makeup Revolution Birthday Party

Every year Makeup Revolution host an amazing birthday party tha is probably my favourite event of the year and this years didn’t disappoint. Held at the beautiful venue of One in Marlybone, the party was everything I could have dreamed of and more.

29527450_10156367590374244_80255103_o

29391395_10156367589634244_1266926123_o

Upon arrival, after we were met with cocktails and prosecco, me and my sister, Holly, scoped out the room to see excatly what was going on. Surrounding the bar in the middle of the room was a space where you could have your makeup done, check out makeup revolution products and as always make your own gif; oh, and how could I forget to mention the wall of doughnuts that you could have your picture taken in front of.

It was so lovely to spend some time with my sister dancing and drinking endless Cosmopolitans and seeing so many familiar faces including the lovely Vixie from http://vixiebeauty.blogspot.co.uk

Makeup Revolution and the whole team know exactly how to host a party and make everyone feel welcome and I’m already looking forward to the next one.

29633423_10156367590369244_642114973_o

Happy 4th Birthday Makeup Revolution and for the invite!

-Hannah X

Christmas Traditions

I love this time of year, every cliché aspect of it; from cosy nights in with blankets, films and hot chocolate to wandering around Winter Wonderland in the freezing cold drinking copious amounts of mulled wine.

I was talking to my friends about the little things we do every Christmas time and it got me thinking about all of the traditions that I have.

Decorating The Tree

I’m a bit sad about this one this year because it’s now 9th December and I still haven’t put mine up yet but…

Decorating the tree is one of my favourite things to do; nothing beats having it lit up in the corner of the lounge while you sit watching ‘Elf’ for the gazillionth time. Our tree is alway full of different decorations which including little hand made ones me and my sister made and 4 snowflakes that represent the 4 of us. We never really have a colour scheme but I wouldn’t change it. Usually, mum and I will put on a Christmas film and get to work. Well I say work; mum puts the tree together and adds the lights; I just stand there and wait to unleash the decorations.

b71f974fcb630f5b46f09509f1027dd0--winter-things-all-things-christmas

 

Winter Wonderland

You know it’s Christmas time when Winter Wonderland opens in Hyde Park. I try to go at least once every year as it really gets me in the festive mood and it’s so much fun. I love looking around the market stalls at peoples hand made crafts, eating an unreal amount of food, drinking all the mulled wine and hot chocolate and going on the rides. It never fails to disappoint and I’m so excited to go next weekend with all of my favourite people.

images

 

Christmas Eve

We have so many things that we do on Christmas Eve, which we have been doing since I was little. One of them is brand new pyjamas! Mum and Dad would always treat me and my sister to a new pair of holiday pjs and still to this day, it’s one of the things that I look forward to the most.

Usually, once I have had a Lush bath and go into said new pyjamas, it’s then time to get into bed and watch all the Christmas movies. Well, I say all the movies, it’s more like 1 before I fall asleep.

 

1000+ Images About Christmas Wallpaper On Pinterest | Iphone intended for Best Tumblr Iphone Wallpapers Christmas Quotes And Sayings Gallery

 

 

Have you got any Christmas traditions?

– Hannah X

 

South East Bloggers Club Event

I absolutely looooove going to blogger events, probably because making new blogger friends is one of my favourite things to do. Last Thursday, I was kindly invited down to spend the evening at Layer Marney Tower to celebrate the launch of the South East Bloggers Club.

IMG_8808

The minute I arrived, I was blown away with the venue, a historic tower situated in the Essex countryside; it was perfect! At the door, we were greeted by the lovely girls behind the SEBC along with various drinks from prosecco to milkshakes and a lovely goodie bag filled with information about all the local brands that were at the event.

IMG_8812

Each brand had their own space so it meant you could spend ages chatting and getting to know them and it was great to see how interested they were in our blogs and how much they valued building a relationship. The range of businesses there was amazing too including Betty Booths photo booths, Perrywood Garden Centre and Secret Hamper so there was a real mixture of people to talk to, which was great.

I loved chatting to and networking with local businesses including some local charities like Brainwave; I even had my first bit of Christmas pudding; thanks to Lillypuds. It was so great to be surrounded by so many positive, creative people and to finally celebrate the launch of the SEBC. I can’t wait to see what you girls have up your sleeve, but I’m so glad to be a part it; thanks for the best evening.

IMG_8810

-Hannah X

Lush Spa

To say I love Lush is the biggest understatement; as I’m sure you know from the amount of Lush themed posts I have. The other weekend me and mum went to the Oxford St. store to have a treatment called ‘The Good Hour’. I don’t want to give anything away but let me just say, it definitely lived up to it’s name.

IMG_8753

Our treatment was a themed, 70 minute full body massage and it was the most amazing experience of my life. We arrived at the Spa and was greeted by the lovely Frankie and Emma who sat us down and told us all about the treatment and the products that would be used. It was great because we were able to say if there were any specific areas that we wanted them to focus on; to which I said the top of my back because I’ve been quite tense/stressed lately. We were then led down a cosy, dimly lit hallway to the different treatment rooms.

Once inside we were given a moment to get undressed and ready under the towel before ringing a bell to allow the treatment to begin. Now, as I said, I’m not going to ruin it by going in to a lot of details (although I’m sure you all know how a full body massage works) but the next 70 minutes were pure heaven. I completely zoned out and forgot that I was in a store on Oxford Street. It was so peaceful and tranquil and I didn’t want it to end. From the minute me and mum got up, I’m pretty sure the only thing we managed to say was ‘Oh my god’ because we were so relaxed!

Once we got dressed, we made our way back out into the kitchen area where there was a giant wooden table full of flowers and products and a little lounge area where there was a table with two cups of tea waiting for us. We sat there for a while basking in the atmosphere while talking to a lady who had just come out of a facial (which I think is going to be my next treatment)

IMG_8758

IMG_8765Honestly, I couldn’t recommend the Lush spa enough, I came way feeling so happy and relaxed. I’m already planning my next trip. Also a huge thank you to Frankie and Emma for making me and mum feel so comfortable and welcome.

-Hannah X

2017 Goals

tumblr_inline_nhf9wnjypk1qcxdfm

The classic saying goes; new year, new me; and usually I internally cringe when I hear this particular phrase being said, however, I can’t help but think about what I want to achieve from 2017. Normally people always set themselves massive goals, but this year, instead of setting myself an unrealistic resolution, like going to the gym, (which I’m only going to abandon by mid May) I have decided to set myself mini, more attainable goals that I know I will succeed at.

  1. Early Mornings

I’m usually the worst for waking up early when I don’t have anything going on and when I do eventually get out of my bed, I always feel like I have wasted a part of the day. I’m determined to get up early and make the most out of my days, especially on days off or when I don’t start work until later. Although, that being said, the cold, dark mornings are making this quite difficult already.

2. Career Change

Sticking on the theme of work, (bore, I know) I want 2017 to be the year that I finally say goodbye to retail. I actually love where I work and all of the people I work with but I want a Monday- Friday routine and my weekends back, so I can finally have that ‘Friday feeling’.

3. Travel

Bit of a cliche one here, but I’m determined to make 2017 the year of holidays, exploring and mini adventures. I want to go abroad to new places and also explore some of the hidden gems England has to offer. Considering I spent New Years in Scotland, I’d say this one if off to a good start.

4. Blogging

It happens to the best of us but towards the end of 2016 I really lost my blogging mojo, but I have a feeling 2017 is going to be my blogs year and I am planning on getting frequent posts up every week.

5. Be Happy

I have decided that 2017 is the year that I step out of my comfort zone more and care less about what others think. This time next year I want to look back and know that I did everything I possibly wanted to do and more and that I was happy. I have so many great people in my life so I’m pretty sure this is going to be an easy one!

What are your goals for 2017?

-Hannah X

 

Christmas in London

Christmas is my favourite time of the year and I Love nothing more than going into London to see all the decorations and pretty lights. My top places to go are Oxford Street and Winter Wonderland as they always make me feel the most festive through there decorations, music and complete ambiance.

During the week I went to Oxford Street while one of my best friends was over from Spain. We decided to have the ultimate Christmas day in the city so of course we started off with a trip to Costa to try some of their winter drinks; I opted for the Gingerbread latte as it is my favourite and Alex went for the Honeycomb latte. It was the perfect way to warm up on a brisk Wintery afternoon. We then continued the rest of the day wondering around Oxford street looking at all the lights and decorations that cover the streets.

 

Every year I try and make it to Winter Wonderland at least once. This year, I went with some of my cousins, mum and one of my aunts. It was such a lovely day browsing the market stalls, listening to Christmas music and drinking lots of mulled wine. I love going during the afternoon and staying till it gets dark so that you can see everything lit up; its so pretty. Working in the dreaded world of retail means that it can be difficult to get into the Christmas spirit but this definitely helped. It was so great to just sit and catch up with my family as we don’t often get to all see each other as much as we’d like. I loved it so much, I’m determined to make it an annual tradition.

 

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

-Hannah X

Perfect Stocking Fillers for £10

Can you believe that Christmas is only 2 weeks away! It’s coming around so quickly. If you’re anything like me, then you still haven’t finished your shopping so to make things a bit easier, I have searched the internet for some great stocking fillers for £10 or under. These also work great for secret santa presents too!

 

 

 

 

  1. Zoella ‘Deck the Baubles’ shower gel  – £5
  2. Grey Snowflake Bow Side Hot Water Bottle – £7.49
  3. Soap and Glory ‘Take Your Pink’ gift set – £10
  4. Zoella ‘Gingerbread Village’ scented candle – £10
  5. 365 Days Colouring Book – £6.99

 

Happy shopping!

-Hannah X