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TRAVEL MEMORIES WITH PRINTIKI //

As Spring brings us some brighter weather, I've been reminiscing on last year's travel adventures and planning some more for Summer 2018. 

I used to keep a scrapbook including tickets, notes, wristbands and photos of great memories I've made but it's been a while since I've updated it. Printiki are a photo printing service who got in touch regarding a collaboration and it seemed like the perfect chance to start a new book of recent memories, with the help of some retro prints.

A personalised scrapbook with retro photo prints

I take a ridiculous large amount of photographs when I travel to new countries, cities or festivals because I know these are going to be times I want to have a visual memory of. It's so nice to be able to look back at pictures with friends and family in these places and be reminded, particularly when you're suffering from the post-holiday blues!

In the past twelve months I've been lucky enough to venture to places including Stockholm, Glastonbury, Leeds Festival, Lanzarote and Austria. On every one of these adventures I've got some great snaps that I wanted to print and keep as a physical memory.

Printiki offer a huge range of photo prints and styles, from small polaroid-style snaps (like those I chose!) to huge poster size images. It was so easy to upload my photographs and there's also an option to edit your photos, add a filter, customise the frame colour or add a message if you would like to.

The prints I chose are 'Retro Style M' which means they are a 10 x 10cm square frame - perfect for popping into a scrapbook page! The gorgeous book I'm using is personalised by & So They Made and was actually a gift I received last year - isn't it incredible?

A scrapbook with festival photo prints and wristbands

Overall, I'm super impressed with the quality of these and love the vintage look of them when making my new scrapbook pages. The photos also arrived within the week so with speedy delivery, it could also be a great gift for a loved one's last minute present.

Looking back on a fabulous 2017 has gotten me excited for what this Summer has to bring and I'll be sure to catch plenty of photo memories this time round, too!

Huge thanks to Printiki for helping me to make use of my photos and get them into my scrapbook.
Follow them on Instagram too for some more photo display inspiration and let me know if you keep any sort of memory book or photo albums.

leanne

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Disclaimer: This post contains gifted or subsided items or services, however, all opinions are honest and my own.

MARCH RESOLUTIONS // 2018

Snowdrops in the grass

Film my ETM class


I'm finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel with my online learning course and now I'm ready to plan my practical session. Hopefully by the end of the month I will be able to film a rough version of the final class before the big assessment date (eek!)

Spring clean the flat


I'm so ready to blitz every room in prep for (hopefully) Spring weather and start afresh. The first days off this month were spent clearing our bedroom and I'm happy to report that there really is a floor under all the clothes.

Save money


This has been an ongoing resolution and to say I'm now on two part time incomes instead of a salary, I think I'm doing okay. I have a couple of holidays booked in later in the year, so to get a head start of saving for them would be a huge help. I'm doing a lot of the money earning tips in this blog post to help with this goal.


Hope everyone has a wonderful - and very much a Spring weather filled - month of March. Let me know what your goals are for this month over on Twitter and Instagram.


leanne

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WHY WOMEN SHOULD BE SEEN AND HEARD //

It's easy to brush certain days under the carpet if it doesn't concern you, but International Women's Day should definitely concern us all. It's a wonderful time to celebrate the achievements of women (of which there are many) and those powerful females we love around us. It is also a fantastic time to continue to talk about the things that still make gender a sticky subject across the globe.

There are so many issues around the world that affect women, purely down to the fact they were born as a female. Whether this is a pay gap difference, workplace harassment or even being unable to get an education in your childhood because you are not deemed as worthy as a boy. Some awful, terrible things occur to women in patriarchal societies, and although we have made a difference in some countries in more recent years, there is so much yet to achieve.

A pink t-shirt with slogan 'Girls to the Front'

International Women's Day is a chance for us to celebrate women all over the world, those who continue to push boundaries, challenge stereotypes, keep fighting the patriarchy and those who educate and empower others. Feminism isn't a dirty word - it means we want EQUALITY for all women of any age, race or background. There is no conspiracy to take over the world or 'put men in their place' we literally just want to be taken seriously as a human, and be given the same rights as those who were born as a male.

Although tomorrow is a definitive day of the year to talk about women (and why we are just as great!) these conversations are going to be had over and over again, until we are all heard and understood.

I thought it would be nice to share some wonderful things happening, or that have happened, for women which are worth celebrating, both tomorrow and onwards. I hope you all have a fantastic day appreciating all the females in your lives!

It's the centenary of women getting the vote...

100 years ago, the Representation of the People Act was introduced which meant some women were finally allowed to vote. This was a huge stride for gender equality and one absolutely worth celebrating. However, let's remember that there were a lot of terms and conditions and not all women were enfranchised and this happened at a far later date.

Across the world, women still don't have the freedom that many of us in the UK do have, in regards to politics, money, education and opportunities. Number 5 on the Global Goals website is to aim for gender equality, have a read and see how you can help make a difference in supporting their aims.


We get beer, and it's pink?!

A little more of a light-hearted event, but still a powerful cause; BrewDog have introduced a new PINK (not punk, geddit?) IPA in order to make their customers aware of the gender pay gap which - surprise, surprise to some - still exists.

Not only is it pink (because y'know, women love that shit) 20% of the profits are going to go to different women's charities. This is causing some controversy online (because y'know, Twitter loves that shit) but I think it's a brilliant idea.

Why?

Because it's going to piss off a lot of people and get them talking about it. They have actively stated they don't agree with the usual 'only men drink beer' lark, particularly when it comes to advertising and all is clearly done in satire. Also, anyone who identifies as female can get this beer 20% cheaper than the usual over the next few weeks - see you at the bar, gals.


Girls Who Lift (and want to Eat)

Online influencers in particular are inspiring a whole new generation of women to feel comfortable in the weights space of a gym, which has usually been a male dominated environment until recently. There's now so many options for female workout classes and clubs in this country and beyond, where you can feel safe, welcome and inspired.

Despite the normal media bias, online we can be encouraged to do things like work out, eat less, eat more, sleep more, for our own health and happiness, rather than because we are told we need to meet certain beauty standards. All body shapes and sizes are being discussed and we are more open to talking about eating disorders, mental health issues and insecurities.

Here's to becoming more educated on these issues for all women (and men) in the future.
A few sites to check out include: Girl Gains, This Girl Can, BodyPosiPanda and Women's Health.


#MeToo and #TimesUp

It's not okay for anybody to be taken advantage of, or bullied, or undermined, or assaulted in their lives or career. It's certainly not okay for these things to occur because of their gender.

These two huge campaigns have been talked about globally very recently (read more about them both here - MeToo and TimesUp) and it has opened up a whole new era for women to know it's okay to speak up about abuse. There used to be, and unfortunately still is, a stigma of shame regarding those who have been abused or assaulted. No matter what happens and who is involved, it is always okay to ask for help and shame should play no part.

If you are going through a tough time, regardless of your gender, please know there is a place to speak out. Get in touch with someone - whether it be family, friends or one of the following helplines - to get some advice:




leanne

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SMALL STEPS TO ACHIEVING THAT FITNESS RESOLUTION //

Did you make some fitness orientated New Year's resolutions a couple of months back? Many of us did and unsurprisingly, a lot of us have already given up. 

Let's not forget that lifestyle changes can be made any time, any day of the year - so don't be disheartened if 2018 so far hasn't yet been what you planned it to be. Here are some simple, small steps you can apply from now onwards, if you had a fitness resolution in mind to achieve this year.  Sometimes just making these small changes to a daily routine can make a huge difference if you have a bigger goal ahead.

Hand on hip shot of half the body, with black crop top and black leggings with orange detail

Stretch daily


Don't always have the time to exercise after you roll out of bed? Take five minutes on a morning to properly stretch your muscles when you wake up. Not only will this keep you a little more nimble but it helps energise you for the day ahead.

You might even find after a small warm-up session you're a little more motivated to get to the gym, or that class, or outside for a run.


Stay hydrated


Invest in a water canteen or BPA-free plastic bottle you can take everywhere with you. Place it next to your bed on a night and have a few sips as soon as you wake up. Keeping your water intake up is vital not only to keep you from dehydrating but it's also great for your skin, mood and helps put off those pretend pangs of hunger during the day.

It's important to increase your water intake during warmer weather but a lot of people forget to drink plenty of water in the colder months. Although you might not feel thirsty, when we wrap up cosy inside with heaters blazing, our bodies still feel the heat and need that water boost in order to keep healthy and hydrated.

Work out YOUR way


Hiring a Personal Trainer won't be everyone's cup of tea green juice and that's okay. If you find exercising difficult or a chore, go to classes that make it fun. You might enjoy classes more if there is a social aspect, so join a bootcamp class or local Yoga group where you can meet new people or join up with your mates.

From aqua aerobics and Zumba, to aerial hoop or golf - there will be something out there for you to take part in. Check out some local (and sometimes free!) clubs and classes on the This Girl Can website.

Walk part of the way


Do you normally drive to work? Park a little bit further away and do an extra 100 steps towards the office, or get off the bus a stop early. Increasing your daily steps gradually is simple. Soon you'll be hitting 10,000 with ease.

If you need an extra push to move more throughout your day, check out my tips on how to use a FitBit (or similar fitness tracking gadget, for that matter!) There are lots of fitness trackers available if living a more active lifestyle is one of your 2018 goals.

Eat the right stuff


Get those fruit and veg in! In a crazy working week, we sometimes grab the quickest snack but it's not always the healthiest. I'm not saying you need to spend your Sundays meal prepping but if you find some time to - at least - plan and shop for the meals you'd like to eat for the rest of the week, it takes out a whole load of hassle. Don't be tempted to fill your basket with chocolate and crisps. If they're not in the cupboard, you won't feel the need to grab one because you're bored at home.

There's a fab recipe here (which can be subbed with Quorn for meat-free!) as well as a link to the British Military Fitness' recipe book for more inspiration.


leanne

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EXPLORING YORKSHIRE'S BOLTON ABBEY //

Sometimes you just need to take yourself away from the stresses of work and home life and have a bit of an adventure. This is certainly what we encountered when we set off to explore Bolton Abbey for the first time.

The main arch inside of Bolton Abbey

This outing is less than an hour away from Leeds making it the perfect short road trip and day out. 

Heading straight for the Abbey itself on entry, it's definitely impressive on first sight. We wandered through the ruins and although it is vast and beautiful to look at, there's not a lot to explore other than the inside of the Priory. The stained glass windows inside the old monastery are incredible and some of the architectural features are fascinating (no pictures taken in here out of respect for the Church and those inside!) but it's definitely worth a venture.

I had thought that this would be the peak of the day out however, the absolute highlights of the excursion came far later on in our walk...

A view of the Bolton Priory and Ruins with blue skies in Spring

A wooden door on the outside of the Bolton Priory

Using the stepping stones to get across the river at Bolton Abbey

Ahead of the rest of the walk is a bridge from the Abbey to the woodland, or if you're the more adventurous type, there are 57 stepping stones you can hop between to get to the other side. Of course being children at heart, we opted for the stones and I'd be lying if I said I wasn't scared of falling in! 

Some of the stones are submerged so definitely make sure you have some waterproof walking shoes to tackle them. We managed it - some shakey hands and a pair of wet Converse later - and followed the directions to Waterfall Cottage.

Close up of boots and a running water stream at Bolton Abbey

Handmade climbing routes on a tree in Yorkshire, with a bell at the top

A close up of old coins pushed into fallen trees

We came across plenty of pretty streams, lots of secluded woodland and even some climbing routes up trees that have been made by some avid, local climbers. I'm pretty sure if David knew how to harness himself up, he would have attempted to climb and ring the bell installed at the top!

One of the most interesting bits of this route section include some fallen trees. Three of them are peppered with old and new coins, all aptly named 'the money tree'. There is no explanation as to why it was decided that coins would be hammered or pushed into the wood by visitors, but the trees were originally pushed to the side of the walkway and left from the 1980's, in order to provide home for insects despite no longer standing.

A sign pointing towards the Valley of Desolation

A beautiful waterfall in secluded woodland at Bolton Abbey

A couple selfie of the waterfall

The Valley of Desolation certainly sounds desolate, but it's actually an area of the site which has been recovering completely naturally after a huge storm destroyed it in the 1800s.

The final treat on our venture was finding the waterfall in a secluded area of the woodland.
We took an unsigned route (partly because we're useless at directions, and partly because we're more kickass and daring than Dora the Explorer) after the Valley of Desolation down, down and even further down until we found the beautiful, isolated waterfall.

If you want to follow a similar but probably less risky route, check out this map from the Bolton Abbey website.

Walking over a bridge on a Yorkshire walk route

Take a look at the rest of their website for some more information, maps and suggestions on other walks to embark upon when you arrive. Hopefully you've enjoyed following our adventure and are inspired to head there soon!


leanne

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