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WHAT I'VE BEEN LOVING ON TV // in collaboration with Panasonic

In Winter, I really struggle with the early, dark nights but I find it gives us all a good excuse to snuggle up with a good TV series on an evening, until the days get longer. There's something great about making a brew, getting tucked up in bed with your laptop and binge-watching something that has you hooked. 

In collaboration with Panasonic Oled Televisions, I've pulled together a list of my current favourite things to watch on the small screen.

Blogger with a TV guide on front of face

The Winter Olympics

I went skiing for the first time this year (read more about my trip here) and have absolutely a new found awe for winter sports. Figure skating always fascinated me in previous Olympics but this time I've been obsessed with the snowboarding (particularly the women's) and skiing events too. It's well known that Great Britain don't have a huge aptitude for doing massively well at the Winter Olympics but hey, we can still all appreciate how impressive the rest of the world is doing.

Everything is available on BBC iPlayer to catch up with the latest happening in South Korea, so definitely check out some of your favourite sports if you get the chance.



As I'm sure you're aware by now - if not, what have you been doing - all ten seasons of the popular American sitcom is now available to watch. Having been a solid Friends fan since watching it before and after school on E4 (absolutely the best channel to have existed, ever) I've been introducing it to my boyfriend. He's never seen it properly and only had a vague idea of which one played 'Joey' thanks to Matt Le Blanc's Top Gear stint.

The verdict so far is that he loves it and I, of course, am not in the least bit surprised. We've gasped together at The One with Ross' Wedding and cried together at The One with The Triplets and he is now well and truly invested.

Game of Thrones

Now, I admit I jumped onto the GoT bandwagon much later than everybody else. After reading the first instalment by George R.R. Martin on holiday last year, I got hooked and have since spent most evenings bingeing the TV series. I'm currently whizzing through the final season (so far) and I am  #TeamDaenerys all the way.

Will she defeat them with her dragons? Will Jon Snow survive (again)? Will the White Walkers kill everybody and we'll end up with a 'Lost' type series finale? Who knows, but roll on season 8.

America's Next Top Model

Season by season, the contestants on this programme become more absurd. I absolutely love the whole show, with the makeover week being an absolute highlight. This year's favourites include mother Erin, the 42 year old who looks like one of the youngest girls in the competition and curvy, Siberia-born Khrystyana who just oozes cute.

Tyra Banks is an absolute queen and this is one of my few trash TV shows that I love watching, when I have the odd afternoon or evening to myself. What's not to love about watching a wannabe model cry when they ask her to change her hair? Absolutely nothing.

What have you been watching recently?



Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Panasonic and all opinions are my own.


I'm trying to listen to more, new albums - new to me not in terms of release date, as will become obvious throughout the post - in order to expand my music horizons. There are lots of artists I've never listened to, or have only heard very little of that I want the opportunity to hear properly.

Hopefully, 2018 will introduce me to some new firm favourites in my record collection and I will stop listening to HAIM on repeat (just kidding, that'll never happen.)

Paramore - After Laughter


It's no new information to the people who know me that I am not a fan of Paramore. There's something about Hayley Williams as a character that I find off-putting (not helped by the haircut and eyebrows of Leeds Festival 2012) and ultimately, the songs are a bit whiney.
That being said, some friends encouraged me to listen to their latest album because it's apparently very different to their old stuff.

Verdict: I thought some songs were very average but okay, and overall I was just hugely disappointed this wasn't a pivotal moment for me and Hayley.

Biffy Clyro - Vertigo of Bliss


I am a fan of Biffy's newer music for sure. Their last three albums are, in my opinion, their best and certainly some of my favourites albums EVER. Although I've listened to all of their albums previously, I wanted to give Vertigo of Bliss another listen properly

Verdict: Great, but not my favourite. Diary of Always is a stand out track purely on the basis it is so different from anything else they'd done previously. To be honest, I appreciate anything sang in that raspy Scottish voice.

Rag'n'Bone - Human (Deluxe)


His voice is mesmerising but I've not had chance to listen to this album until now, despite the rave reviews. I could absolutely listen to his music on repeat.

Verdict: A must-listen album, in my opinion.
Definitely a songwriter/artist album in the same vein as Adele, there's so much more than just his hit singles that have been domineering the radio (although those, too, are great.)

The Greatest Showman


I saw the film a couple of weeks ago and absolutely loved it, I'm definitely a big fan of movie musicals already so add Hugh Jackman and Zac Efron and it's bound to be a favourite. So catchy and so upbeat - the soundtrack is one of the happiest musical soundtracks ever. Written and composed by the duo who wrote the music for 'Dear Evan Hansen', obviously it was going to be incredible.

Verdict: A musical I will listen to on repeat. This Is Me and The Greatest Show are of course, the most powerful and uplifting numbers but 'From Now On' is one of my favourites too.

What have you been listening to lately?




I was kindly invited to a GiffGaff Gameplan event which involved an elusive 'fitness challenge' and the chance to earn some money by working out. Intrigued?

A group of fitness bloggers warming up in a squat

Running on a treadmill, reflection in the gym mirror

The challenge took place at the impressive Firehouse Fitness gym in Leeds, where we chatted about GiffGaff Money's useful website and an upcoming new app that can help you manage your money. They offer free credit ratings (which is SO easy to use!), comparisons for credit cards and insurance providers and have a forum full of helpful tips and tricks all about getting your finances into shape.

After an introduction - and of course, a warm up - we were asked to run for 20 minutes in an attempt to burn as many calories as we possibly could. For every calorie burnt, we would receive 20p - up to the total value of £40.

I don't mind cardio, so it's safe to say I was pleased with the challenge and at a leisurely jog of 18 minutes long (phew!), I had managed to clock 200 calories resulting in my own sense of achievement, a lovely catch up with other bloggers and some money to put towards my savings. 

Afterwards, we were even treated to a smoothie (I chose aaaall the frozen berries) from the guys at Mr Flavour and a goody bag of absolute treats. If I was always paid to work out then quite frankly, I would go to the gym more often!

A group of bloggers after a fitness challenge receiving a Giff Gaff Money goody bag

Having access to your credit score with only a couple of forms to fill out is super useful. I've always understood that it's important to have a good credit rating in order to get a mortgage or a loan if ever I needed to in the future, but had no idea how to check what my score was or how to improve it without getting loads of credit cards.

After reading through the GiffGaff Gameplan web forum and entering some details, I was shown my credit score clearly and some tips on how to keep it high. It even tells you how many searches have been made on your credit rating, all the accounts you've had before and if there are any issues that have gone against your credit rating in the past.

If you struggle with keeping track of your finances or even just want a place that has some great money saving advice, head over to their website. Staying money fit is definitely something to focus on for me in 2018 as I save for lots of festivals and trips!

Thanks to GiffGaff for the brilliant event. All photography in this post is credited to Matt Chappell and Search Laboratory.

How do you manage your money?



Disclaimer: I was invited to take part in this event, all opinions are my own and unbiased.


Standing at the top of the mountain in Austria

Trying something new can be scary and little did I realise that scariest of all might be chucking myself down a mountain. Last year my two friends and I decided to book a ski holiday to Austria and at the beginning of 2018 we headed out to the tiny village of Söll.

Here are some of the things I learnt on my first skiing holiday, which may come in handy if you're thinking of booking a Winter trip too.

Skiing down a mountain in Austria

Ski Lessons

Before I left, I'd only had three beginner ski lessons (at Xscape, Castleford and Chill Factore, Manchester) therefore heading to the top of a real mountain was quite the leap. I'm very glad I'd had some previous lessons but even those didn't fully prepare me for the reality of a week of solid ski activity.

I'd absolutely recommend reaching at least Level 5 beginner's ski lessons before heading on your holiday, or spending some time at a Ski School where you are visiting on your first couple of days.

Absolutely no amount of squats can prepare you for the intensity of skiing for a full six days but I would recommend you at least be regularly active and try to do as many leg days as you can in the run up - it will definitely make a difference for your calves, glutes and quads!

Selfie at the top of a mountain, wearing goggles and skiwear accessories

What to pack

We were hugely lucky with the weather on our trip; the snow was thick, the sun was shining and on average the temperature never went below -3 degrees. Wherever you are heading, make sure you take plenty of layers.


Ski wear can be very expensive so chat to friends or family who already ski and see if they can help you out with an outfit or any accessories. This will save you having to buy everything brand new - if it turns out that you don't want to go skiing again after this holiday, you'll be stuck with a lot of expensive and useless gear!

I managed to borrow goggles, ski socks and neck-warmers from others which was a huge, huge help.

Buy staples

Certain things I wanted to treat myself to that were brand new, such as thermal base layers and some sturdy mid-layers I will be able to use in Winter anyway, not necessarily when skiing. I also got some sunglasses and a neck-warmer given to me for Christmas which came in super handy and I'll have them for my next trip. A couple of my favourite purchases were:

- this thermal layer from Sweaty Betty I found to be a dream (and there's 20% off everything Ski at the moment!)

- this bargain fleece (£8.99 at the time of purchase) from Regatta on Amazon; it definitely saved me from the chilliest days.

Buy second hand

Keep your eye on eBay and Depop for ski wear throughout the year (usually lots of bargains after March every year - once the ski season has ended)

Luckily, I managed to find an incredible Parallel jacket and salopettes combo for £17.50 on eBay (which is by far one of my greatest bargains to date!) If you are buying second hand however, please do your best to make sure the seller is knowledgable about the condition of the clothes.

A lot of vintage shops/online stores in particular sell some ski suits that are actually no longer waterproof - which no matter how great they look, will be no good to you after you're soaked to the bone on a mountain. Double check what you're buying where possible. On second hand sites I always made sure to bid on items that had been worn recently, or those with pictures of the owners actually wearing them on the slopes.

A chalet in Söll in Austria

Where to go for a first ski trip

Ultimately I had no idea where to start when it came to where to go, so we left the planning to my friend Hannah, who has boarded and skied pretty much since she could walk. There are plenty of ski resorts around the world that may suit you but for a budget friendly and memorable experience, this was perfect for us.


Söll in Austria is a small village at the bottom of SkiWelt (Austria's largest interconnected ski area) with plenty of places to eat out on an evening and maybe more importantly, lots of bars for apres ski fun. We arrived at night so after our first sleep in our lovely B&B (Haus Pirchmoos) we woke up to an incredible view of the mountains which is something I will always remember.

A Winter holiday is such a different experience and I would absolutely recommend going to Austria - whether skiing or not - at least once in your lifetime.

Söll in particular made my first visit memorable - there's a more detailed post about the fantastic places to eat and drink in the area if you're heading here this season.

Surrounding areas

Söll is actually not one of the recommended places for ski beginners when we researched it, but I, as a beginner, personally really enjoyed it. However, we did take one day out to venture somewhere with some gentler slopes, after having a slightly traumatic intermediate run experience the day before (spoiler alert, I'm not an intermediate.) 

Scheffau is a mere 15 minute taxi drive away and has some beautifully scenic bars.
This resort also has much wider, blue beginner slopes that makes it much easier to practice turning and improving your ski technique. There are lots of families and children here specifically but in January, both resorts we visited were relatively quiet which made our holiday a breeze.

There are lots of other village resorts around Söll - most within a 30 minute drive - that made it easy to vary things to do and parts of the mountain to explore, which made it a great option for us.

Skiing down a beginner slope in Austria

Things to remember when skiing

You've packed, you've done some lessons and now you're finally on holiday - so far, so good.

It's time to actually get on the skis on a real mountain for the first time - these are a couple of things that I wish I knew about skiing/snowboarding before I arrived!

Take it slow.

If you are brand new to skiing then it's easy to get carried away, hurtle down slopes and end up battered and bruised and with a sense of 'I can't do this'.

On the second day of my holiday, I was determined that Winter holidays weren't for me; it was too scary, too difficult and I was generally questioning why on earth I had agreed to this. However, after some more confidence building beginner slopes and getting the hang of it, it was much more enjoyable. If you're ever in doubt, remember that nobody else really cares how slow you ski or how many times you fall over- ultimately, it's all about progress.

By the end of the week, those slopes that had me tumbling down every day I had finally managed to conquer and I could complete an entire blue run with no falls and almost no fear. It's such a great sense of achievement. When you're feeling nervous, work towards your next goal which could be anything from being able to get your skis back on quickly after a fall, to getting to the bottom of a steep slope successfully.

Eat often and plenty

It's pretty exhausting work skiing all day, so make sure you stop for meals when you need to. We got carried away on the first day and didn't stop for lunch, which meant we were absolutely ravenous by the end of the day!

Have a hearty breakfast and take snacks with you for throughout the day. There are so many restaurants on the slopes, so it's easy to find somewhere for a break (and all the carbs.) I took a thermos flask with me for hot chocolate, pre-empting I would be freezing but surprisingly, I found myself reaching for a cold drink more often as skiing is hot and thirsty work!

As mentioned, the weather in Soll was pretty mild so it may be different circumstances and that hot drink may be your saviour. Regardless, make sure you have a bottle of water handy every day too.

Chair lifts DO get better

Sure, having to slide down a mountain on two pieces of material is scary but nothing is quite as dramatic as your first experience getting on a chair lift.

In the most elegant of ways, my first attempt ended in me crashing into some pleasant European men and shouting 'sorry', sitting in between seats rather than in a designated chair lift seat, then panicking that my skis would fall off whilst 15ft in the air.

After this disaster I got used to using the gates as a barrier, using my poles to stop myself before getting on the chair and realised that I could rest my skis on the seat barrier. If you've done some lessons on a dry slope or indoor ski centre, you may be used to button lifts. Fortunately, these aren't too common on the slopes so we only had to tackle it once and mine went without a hitch.

Feel the fear and do it anyway

Although as I've mentioned it's important to take things at your own pace, it's also important to embrace your fear. If I had let how nervous I was overcome everything else, then I would have had a pretty boring trip.

Sometimes it feels like the scariest venture ever but once you get to the bottom of a steep slope, completely unharmed and with a rush of adrenaline, it feels amazing. Falling over isn't the worst thing in the world. In fact, the more you fall over, the less scared you become as you realise you can simply get back up and try it again.

Overall, my first ski trip to Soll has completely changed my perception on Winter holidays and I can't wait to get back out there. It wasn't ever something I thought I'd be able to do but it definitely ticked off a bucket list item for me.

Let me know if you have any ski holiday recommendations or anything you're nervous about when it comes to skiing!




Multiple picture frames on a white wall

Cook more

I've made a conscious effort to eat less meat since the start of the year and actually, it's been much easier than I'd expected. I actively try not to order a meat dish when I'm out or buy any meat when I meal prep at home, but have still had the occasional dinner when other people are cooking or it is more convenient.

I want to continue with going meat-free this month and hopefully, try more vegetarian cooking and introduce some new flavours. It's so easy to replace standard meat meals with something that is veggie friendly but I don't want to fall into a rut of making the same meal over and over (I'm looking at you quinoa chilli - no matter how tasty you are!)

Be present

This month I've a lot of friend visits planned and I'm super excited about it. There'll be lots of laughs to have and catching up to do and I really, really want to do my best to be thankful for everything as it's happening and make the most of spending this time with the people I love.

I'm actually quite good at this, but I know there's often a need to document everything that happens nowadays which can detract from actually having a great time. I want to be present and enjoy the moment. That doesn't mean I won't be instagram-ing away (of course!) but I don't need to see everything as a 'photographic' or 'blog-worthy' experience.

Hustle harder

I've now got two jobs so there's no excuse to be unorganised. I'm trying to become a bit more of a morning person, so my goal this month is to use my spare time wisely. Before I start a shift, I absolutely have time for a workout and breakfast if I get up when my alarm goes off (the first time, not multiples snoozes later!)

There's a lot I want to get done this month and make big steps towards my end goals - wish me luck!

Get rid of it all

I've done a good job in the past couple of months of selling old clothes and shoes on eBay (useful money-saving tips here if you're still feeling the Christmas money crush) but I want to go even further. At the moment, my spare room is FULL of bags of clothes that is a ridiculous amount for a single person to own.

I'm going to take a couple of trips to the charity shop and get even more on Depop or eBay this month, in order to declutter before Spring.