Latte Art

January has, and will always be, a loooong month. And that’s mainly due to desperately waiting for the first payday in what feels like forever. It’s safe to say that after all the festive excitement it’s not surprising that more often than not we all get a little case of the January blues. It’s just inevitable that everything seems a little sadder, a little colder and a little duller and then with the shorter month of February and the approach of Spring things start to perk up again.

For the most part January has been great. For starters I moved into a new flat, meaning the first few weeks were pretty much taken up with unpacking, finding new homes for things and figuring out my new living arrangements. There’s still things to do, I am in desperate need of a desk and somewhere to put all my ‘important’ files. There are a lot of boxes everywhere, either packed or unpacked, that I’m not quite sure what to do with them all. I’m super excited to get things all sorted, gets some pictures on the walls and some plants around the place. There might even be a few interiors based post coming up.

January is also my birthday month, as nice little event to break up the cold, cold weeks. You can read all about it here, but it was a lovely low key affair, which I’m totally cool with as the more birthday’s that go by the more I realise that’s one of the best ways to celebrate. It was also great to spend sometime with one of my oldest friends – it really made me focus on all the amazing people that are in my life. It’s definitely something I’m going to think about on the days when I feel slightly too far away from everyone. The same can be said about the flying visit I made to my family home the other week. It’s one of my favourite things to do when I feel ever so slightly panicked about the distance. Ain’t nothing like a trip back to the ‘rents to bring you right back down to earth!

That’s about it for January, I hope you’ve enjoyed this months posts. As a side note the Weekly Thoughts feature is currently in transition stage to becoming… A Month in Review feature! Surprise, this is the first of twelve for 2016. It just didn’t seem right to only have one post in between a weekly thought – nobody needs to know every scrap of detail in my brain and this way I’m focussing more on some super cool, interesting posts that I hope you’ll love!

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Originally this post was supposed to feature my big fluffy winter coat. It’s furry and yellow (in a good way) and I lovingly refer to it as my Honey Monster coat. I look slightly like Big Bird in it, but I kinda really like that. But as you can see that did not happen, as despite it looking rather gloomy in these photos it’s only a tad bit chillier than it was a few weeks ago and just didn’t warrant such a large and warm coat.

Instead I bring you my ‘inbetween’ coat. This is a fairly recent purchase, spurred on by the fact that from my leather jacket and honey moster coat I had nothing, well inbetween. My saviour of this ‘it’s December, why is it so warm’ weather is this slightly military inspired number from New Look. A few years ago I had such a big thing about military inspired clothing and I guess it hasn’t completely left me as I have not taken this off since buying it. The fit is right, the colour is right, it goes with my bobble hat and makes my tartan scarf pop – not to mention it’s the perfect weight. Not heavy and thick, but more substancial than a jacket. On top of all that my Dad referred to it as ‘very smart’ which is about as big a compliment as you get from my Papa.

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Thanks to Dom John for the photos.

 

 

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As I promised back here, I’ve put together a mini guide for Prague, even though the thought of it is making me want to hop back on the plane for a little bit of extra exploring time. As I vaguely mentioned before it’s a very walkable city and not only that but I would fully recommend walking just to take in all the sights and sounds. Prague is definaitely the place for any architecture fans out there, with each building offering a different visual delight.

So first things first, where to stay. I can only offer one or two suggestions here as we only stayed in the one hotel during our short trip. Hotel Elysee is very central, right on Wenceslas Square and the room was HUGE. Because this was  gals trip with my Mum and my Gran we opted for a triple room and it came supersize with a little hallway, huge room and bathroom. For the price we paid it was certainly value for money and of course there was a breakfast buffet every morning. The other option that I would whole heartedly suggest is looking around on Airbnb for accommodation. I’ve spoken before about how much I love this company and I’m sure Prague has some very cool apartments to offer.

As for things to do, Prague definitely offers enough to fill more than the two days we were there. A few places to note are the Castle, which sells handy tickets for either the whole thing or just certain parts; perfect if you fancy just the afternoon as there’s enough to fill a whole day here.

The Charles Bridge is your ultimate route to get there and another must see. It is lined with many statues, each with there own story and history and a number of which you should definitely stroke for good luck/ make a wish. Or maybe that’s just my superstitions kicking in.

There’s no way I could leave out the Astronomical Clock in the Old Town Square. Coincidently this is where the Christmas Market is also based should you be there in the festive season. But make sure to take a look out of the top of the tower – as you know I have a big thing about a good high-up view and this is not one to miss. The lift itself is also pretty incredible, so you don’t even have to take the stairs.

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I always make a point of finding out what the local cusine is and giving it a go, as what’s the point of going abroad just to eat chips, eh? For Prague it was Goulash  and boy was it everywhere. I will admit it was far tastier than I expected, with huge chunks of meat and a nice thick gravy; it even came served in a bread bowl.

For a little sweet treat I would recommend a Trdelnik and likewise with the Goulash, you cannot escape them in the city. I spent most of the weekend walking past each stall with longing eyes and claiming to be back for one later. I eventually had one on the very last night of the trip, basically refusing to leave without trying one. They’re almost pretzel-like, only cooked over hot coals and coated with cinnamon sugar and almonds. They’re basically Christmas wrapped in some dough.

Municipal House is worth checking out if you fancy a mid-morning coffee break. Don’t get your hopes up about the coffee (I’m pretty sure it came for a Nescafe machine) but if anyone is into interiors then get yo butt down there. It’s a completely beautiful Art Nouveau house with both the outside and inside decorated to a very fine standard. Those chandeliers? I would have put one in my carry-on if it had fit.

For those that have more time in the city then I would head to the John Lennon wall, the Jewish Quarter and the Jewish Cemetery, definitely some places I would have visited if I had a little extra time. This has turned into possibly the wordiest post of all, but I think my thoughts on the city have been truly shared.

I’m most definitely planning  second trip so if there’s any places slightly off the radar then please share too!

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I feel like we’ve hit the time of year, between the end of autumn and the start of proper winter, when you’ve lost the joy and nostalgia of autumn but not yet in full festive swing of December. It’s a tough time of year. Maybe you’re saving all your pennies for Christmas, or maybe you’re trying to dodge the never ending rain that we seem to get this time every year. Whatever the case may be, it can be hard to ‘keep your chin up’, to coin my Mum’s favourite phrase. Here are a few ideas that I like to make sure I do each week, or whenever I feel I need a little cheering up and setting back upright.

  1. Fresh Air

Fresh air can really do wonders for you. It clears your head, helps you feel freer and if it’s particularly windy it can give you some nice rose-y cheeks that make you look like the picture of health even if you’re feeling the opposite. Whatever it is that’s worrying you, just leave it where it is and go for a brisk walk. When you get back you’ll have a clearer mind, a new perspective and things won’t seem so bad.

  1. Get Active, Stay Healthy

Similar to getting some fresh air a little bit of exercise can really help when you’re feeling less than energised. Going for a run or trying out a new gym class can really take your mind off what’s bothering you and by the end you’ll be left feeling ten times better for it. Likewise with staying healthy – I will admit that I sometimes don’t practise what I’m preaching here. For me when I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed/stressed/sad, whatever the feeling, I have a really bad habit of thinking the answer is in the bottom of an ice cream tub. IT’S NOT and I guarantee I always feel worse after. It’s time to learn my lesson and go for a banana instead.

  1. Treat Yo’ Self

This may sound like I’m contradicting myself here but the key is to find other things to treat yourself with. There’s no sense in pushing yourself more and more when your unhappy – it’s time to take a step back, have a bath, buy that new bag you’ve been looking at for months or go to the cinema. Whatever you think you would make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside is exactly what you should do right now. Treat yo’ self!

  1. Friends

I don’t mean the TV show here, although that is also a sure-fire way of creating a happy atmosphere too. The worst thing you can do when you’re feeling sad is make yourself sad and alone. Invite some friends round, have a catchup, have some wine and maybe even a cry. By the end of the evening you’ll be really glad you did and you’ll probably have laughed more than you ever thought you would at this point.

  1. Set a Goal

This is not something that I do on a weekly basis, but have a think about something you really want to achieve and work out the steps to get you there. Maybe it’s a career goal, a personal goal, a fitness goal, or maybe you really want to go travelling in the near future. Break it down into small small steps and complete them every week, until you get to the end goal. You might learn something along the way, or the goal might even change. But change can definitely be a good thing, you just gotta get going!

These are just a few little ideas that I like to think about occasionally. My favourites are #1 and #4, possibly even #5 too. What are your tips and tricks to keeping a smile on your face? Let me know if there are any other points I should include!

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Central Perk

While I was in Chester and had my own personal tour around the city, my tour guide friend let me in on a little local gem; Chester’s very own Central Perk! I’m a big lover of Friends (along with most of the world) so I practically threw myself in the door and into one of the squishy sofas.

There’s something about the 90’s, early 00’s nostalgia that will always be comforting and funny. The Chester replica of Central Perk was just what we needed after the chilly morning and if I was ever a character of Friends (I was obviously Jenifer Aniston in a former life) I would probably have spent the majority of my time in there sipping a cappuccino too. I wouldn’t recommend having any deep, meaningful conversations in there though; the TV’s replaying old episodes were a massive distraction!

A nice cup of coffee was much needed after our brisk and chilly walk around the old Roman city walls (read: it’s ALWAYS needed). Although if I thought it was a bit frosty in Chester, then the wind in Liverpool nearly created an icicle out of me, but there’ll be more on that soon!

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