Friday, 16 June 2017

Business Talk - Money Saving Storage Solutions

08:30:00 0
Hello!

Hope your summer months have started off well! I know we've had some tragic times lately but here's to a much brighter and more peaceful summer! I will admit, I can't wait to get out of the country to be able to properly relax! That said, I am still fundraising all the time. My deadline is coming up on the 26th June but despite being in the Dominican Republic, I shall be constantly posting across social media hoping to gain any extra donations. Before I head off, I plan on writing a couple of posts to give a fundraising update on how I've been doing. I will be relaxing completely on holiday so there will be no extra writing on holiday until I get back when my blogging will be full speed ahead.

I have been so busy lately, from finishing my first year at university, fundraising, and organising everything for this holiday. My last fundraising event saw me doing a treadmill hike from 9am until 9pm at my local gym last Thursday. The aim was to climb Kilimanjaro in distance, approx 40km, and by the end of the day I had completed 28km with the full intention to finish the final 12km on the next day. Things didn't go to plan when I was heavily struggling to walk in the morning. My legs were in agony and I was hobbling for the rest of the weekend. My ankle still doesn't feel back to full health but that didn't stop me from finishing the hike on Tuesday. It only took another 3 hours but I was still in a lot of pain. My energy has been drained since. So far I have managed to raise £113 from it, and that is without text donations. I still have a small chunk of £700 left to raise so I am trying to sell a whole load of things on Facebook car boot sites and on eBay! Fingers crossed I reach my target before the deadline! If you like to support me then you can donate here!

Anyway, since I have been so busy, my blog has been the last thing on my mind. It has been the one thing I have been wanting to do so I have a bunch of plans for when I am back from the Dom Rep. One of them is looking into business plans and earning a little bit more money in order to continue doing my hobby. In the meantime, following that theme, the lovely Emily has written a post for my blog to share with all small business owners, or those who would like to own their own small business, a list of storage ideas to help save you money! 

money saving, business, storage, solutions, warehouse, lifestyle, blogger

The 7 Benefits of a Proper Business Storage Mechanism

Even some of the savviest business owners don't realise the amount of money they are wasting by not improving their storage facilities. If you are making do with a stock room which is nothing more than a multi-functional floor space and some shelves – as many smaller businesses do – then take a look at what the implementation of a more professional business storage system can do for your bottom line. With only a relatively low amount of investment, you can streamline your entire logistical operation

1)      Palletised Racking for Improved Performance
So many deliveries are made by pallets these days that it makes a lot of sense to gear up your storage mechanisms to accept them. With a pallet rack, your inward bound deliveries can go into storage almost immediately they arrive, helping to keep your work space clear. Equally, items stored on their pallets are ready to go as soon as orders come in for them. Essentially: palletised racking helps to speed up your business processes.  It is best for local businesses to opt for a racking system which organizes their good properly. If you are looking for push back pallet racking, Warehouse Storage Solutions is one place you can get it from.

storage, money saving, business, shop, shopping, lifestyle

2)      Professional Racking for Ease of Picking
With better storage racks, your picking operatives will make fewer mistakes. In short, this means that they are able to see what they are trying to reach which is often not the case when conventional shelving or storage bins are used.

3)      Thin Aisle Racking for Greater Capacity
Modern racking systems allow you to build a miniature warehouse in your stockroom. They can be placed closely together without compromising on the ease of use. With more racks taking up the same amount of floor space, so you are able to maximise the efficiency of your storage room.

4)      High Racks Provide Great Stability
Need more capacity, but worried about shelves falling down when they are placed too high? If you occupy a typical business unit in the UK, then there will be plenty of stage space overhead. Modern pallet racks can help you to take advantage of this space safely and without fear of items toppling over.

storage, business, lifestyle, racking, office, shops 
5)      Cantilevered Racking for Flexibility
If you think that all racking mechanisms need to be anchored to the floor or the wall, then think again. Contemporary cantilevered racking uses the weight of items stored on it to keep it stable. If you need to reconfigure your storage facility, then you soon can with such a system.

6)      Twin-Aisle Racking for Accessibility
One of the problems of shelving is that it is usually butted up against a wall. This means reaching over some items, potentially damaging them, to reach what lies further back. With a free-standing, twin-aisle storage system, you can load and unload from either side thereby reducing wastage due to damage.

7)      Locational Storage and Automated Stock Checks

With a well thought-through storage system that has been professionally installed, you will know where everything is supposed to be. Given modern software and scanning systems are used in all sorts of SMEs these days, a good racking installation will allow you to keep tabs on stock levels and errors of placement with a much greater efficiency than ever before.

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For all business owners all potential business owners, I hope this has helped and given you a bit of advice into how to save a bit of extra money in storage and I wish you the best of luck with your money saving!

Have a fantastic summer and I will officially see you in two weeks time, but there will be the odd post being published throughout!

Please keep on donating!

- KC xx




*This was a sponsored post and I did not write the main body text, however I agree with the suggestions and fully gave my permission for post to be published. All proceeds from the post is being donated to Childreach International.

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Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Sunnies in the Sun!

14:03:00 0
Hello!

I'm finally home for the summer! I have finished all my assessments and only have two essays to complete then first year of university is done! Wow. That is it. SUMMER TIME! Then it's back to uni at the end of September. I'm looking forward to next year now. It will be more academic which I like and I'm living with Ed only, so we'll have a nice quiet house. I'm feeling positive about it. Before then I have an amazing summer to look forward to! Dominican Republic in 18 days and then, if I reach my target before the deadline, I shall be Climbing Kilimanjaro for Childreach International in August. Definitely not something I ever expected I'd been doing, although I'm sure I've said that enough on this blog!

In the meantime, when I'm not fundraising, I have got holiday shopping to do! Toiletries, clothes, sandals, sunglasses, etc. That said, I have a lot left over from previous holidays so I think a few new tops will do me, and I have a new pair of sandals I bought off eBay on their way - I hope they fit! Sunglasses, however, you can never have too many pairs. I'm usually one for buying a whole load of cheap pairs from Primark but, I suppose, as I've got older, I've come to appreciate a good quality, more expensive pair that will last me a decent amount of time. I was excited when Perfect Glasses UK got in touch to send me a pair of my choice!

sun, summer, travel, holidays, fashion, perfectglasses, uk, review

I can never say no to a new pair of sunglasses to when I spotted Opium OP1455 C03 I immediately wanted them. They are a similar style to ones I would usually choose but instead, these have a red frame. I wear a lot of maroons and being blonde, I'm forever being told that red will suit me so I thought, for the first time in my life I needed to choose a red pair of sunglasses. When they arrived, only two days later, I loved them. 

They arrived just in time for all the hot weather we had last week and although I was indoors for most of it doing rehearsals, I got a few lunch time breaks where a good ol' Mexican beer was needed, sat outside on the benches soaking up as much sun as I could get. I had my new sunnies on and life was great! They fit perfectly without any adjustments made and they look really good, if I do say so myself. I got the approving nod off my boyfriend too. They come in a lovely case with a small cloth, perfect for a gift or if you fancy spoiling yourself.

holidays, travel, fashion, sunglasses, uk, dominican republic

More about Perfectglasses.co.uk

Not only do they sell a wide range of sunglasses, in all sorts of shapes and colours, they also sell normal prescription glasses. I'm often quite picky when it comes to any type of glasses so I was very impressed by the range they offer. There is definitely something there for everyone if there is plenty that I could choose from. Each pair is of high quality and it's up to you whether you get prescription lenses put in. I know how expensive glasses can be, especially prescription sunglasses, so I was amazed at the prices. Of course there are a few at a higher price but most are completely affordable! Plus, there is often a offer on getting half price designer frames or free prescription lenses! My pair cost £79 originally but are currently £39 in their half price sale (so if you want a really good deal, go browse quickly)!

It was wonderful to be able to work with Perfect Glasses, they gave me top quality service and now I have, dare I say it, a new favourite pair of sunglasses ready to take to the Dominican Republic with me. Look out for photos across my social media sites, especially Instagram!

Until then,
- KC xx


*I was sent the sunglasses in return for a review - all opinions are my own.
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Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Happy Healthy Holidays

15:00:00 0
Hello everyone!

I hope you're getting ready for the summer! I definitely am! 25 days today until Dominican Republic and my fundraising deadline is getting closer and closer (I'll admit, I'm starting to stress a little). On the whole, I am so ready to relax and get some normality back home instead of this mad life I seem to be living at university currently! Holiday shopping needs to be done. Toiletries need to be bought. I need a visit to the doctors to check up on my vaccinations. Which has got me thinking about all the safety procedures we do for our health when on holiday.

Holidays always have memorable moments. That incredible sunset on the beach, that beautiful waterfall in the middle of nowhere, that unbelievably itchy sun burn on your back... just out of reach. Unfortunately, it's always the sunburn that has a longer lasting impact after you return. So, here's a bit of a reminder, check-list thingy of what NOT to forget to truly enjoy your vacation (without the bad bits).

holiday, travel, health, safety, fitness, well being, dom rep, independent pharmacy, travelling

1) DOCTOR DOCTOR


Before you go on holiday, get your injections checked. Do you need them? Which ones do you need? Do you need a booster?  Jabs are never fun to have, but they're important. To be fair, they don't bother me too much these days because all I do is think about the places I'm going to. Even if you're going to places that are full of insects meaning you need injections to ensure you don't come back carrying something funky in your blood stream. I'd recommend visiting your GP and asking for a list of previous injections to take away with you. It's best to look at Fit For Travel to see if there is anything extra you need. It also lets you know if there are any outbreaks you need immunisations for. Plus, it's what the doctors use!

2) MALARIA 

Carrying on from your visit to the doctors, you'll most likely be recommended Malaria tablets if you're going anywhere exotic and lesser developed. I have not been recommended them when travelling to the Playa Del Carmen area of Mexico because it is quite tourist based but every time I go to Dominican Republic I need them. So off to the pharmacy I go! You can purchase them online, however. My recommendations would be Malarone, or unbranded Malarone tablets (atrovaquone/progaunil hydrochloride) which are taken daily before, after and during the course of your holiday. I remember my mum hiding the tablets in my ice cream back when I couldn't take tablets whole. Better to get the tablet in your system through ice cream than risk getting malaria!

travel, mexico, travelling, dom rep, holiday, health, iguana, tulum

3) THE SUN IS HOT

Yes, whether you are a climate-change sceptic, we cannot deny this irrefutable fact - the sun is hot (sometimes very hot). Even a million miles and a shrinking o-zone layer away, this big hot ball of gas in the sky can still mess you up. A tan is always nice to finish the holiday with, but when your skin fades from tan to red - it's not nice. So - sun cream. Depending on where you go, the SF of this will vary. Anything from SF30 - SF50 are always worth having. Even if you're sitting in the shade, the sun can still burn you! Wear sun cream. Spend time in-doors too. As much as laying around in the sun is what some holidays are for, spend time away from the sun. Let your skin recover. It will thank you (maybe).

4) WATER IS WET

WATER. H2O. Aqua. Agua. All of these are incredible things. Why? They keep you hydrated. Enough of the condensation (condescension), it's great. Seriously, water/ keeping hydrated is really freaking important. I have experienced dehydration at completely the wrong time and it is not nice (think 10 metres up on a zip line in Mexico - Ed, or after a long night out with too many pina coladas - KC). Make sure you carry a bottle/flask/bladder filled with water. It can be cold (although more often than not it heats up in your bag throughout the day). Still, warm water is better than no water. If water is too healthy, even a fizzy drink, ice-cream or beer can be the difference between happy body or unhappy body.

holiday, travel, health, well being, pharmacy, malaria, summer, travelling, back packing

5) FOOD GLORIOUS FOOD

Of course food is good for you! As well as keeping hydrated, making sure you're eating enough food can help keep your energy up throughout a hot summery day. Seems like logic really but on holiday when it is too hot, even I often forget to eat. Or I simply snack on fruit and salad, feeling the healthiest I've ever been. Nonetheless, we still need our source of protein to balance out all the cocktails from during the day (and night). That said, watery foods, like fruits, keep us feeling fresh and even more hydrated. People often disagree, but putting salt on food does actually work. Salt actually helps food retain it's water hydrating you that little bit more, and meats often taste a lot nicer (trust me, I did research). I'm not saying put salt on everything, but I definitely put a good pinch on carved beef when the gravy isn't quite proper northern Brit gravy! 

Ok, so these seem like the simplest of points but it's always good to be reminded! It's taken for me to actually write this post before I realised I need to go and check out my vaccinations list and order some malaria tablets. Luckily, jabs wise, I think I'm up to date but there is no harm in double checking! I hope this has given you a little booster to start your holiday preparation list. No matter where you're travelling, whether it's a back packing trip around the world or a resort and spa break in Europe, it's best to check to keep your health as good as possible! If you are travelling to Europe, then remember to apply for your free NHS European Health Insurance card online!

Happy, and healthy, holidays!

- KC and Edmond!


*This post was co-written by Edmond (his photos too - I had a laptop crisis!), in collaboration with The Independent Pharmacy
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Friday, 12 May 2017

Rivington Pike, Lancashire

08:30:00 0
Hey!

How are you doing?

I'm not doing to bad myself, all things considered. I'll admit, things are getting a little hectic with university coming to a finish and my fundraising deadline getting closer and closer still with £1300 left to raise, but all in all I'm good. I can't wait for the summer. I genuinely feel like it's going to be the best yet! By now you should know that I'm heading out to the Dominican Republic in June and then I'm climbing Kilimanjaro for Childreach International in August! I'm forever saying how much I can't wait but as I mentioned in my Healey Nab post, I have quite a bit of training to do before I can even attempt to climb the world's tallest free standing mountain!

Close by to Healey Nab is a slightly larger hill. Knowing that a good hike is the best practice I can do, myself and Edmond took it upon ourselves to do two in two days, whilst I was at his house in Chorley. Day one was an impromptu trip up Healey Nab and then the day after took us to Rivington Pike, somewhere we'd been aiming to visit since we got together.

lancashire, chorley, hike, walk, trekking, holiday, kilimanjaro, childreach international

Just a short drive from Chorley town centre, basically into the countryside, there is a hidden turn off towards a car park. I almost didn't feel like I was in the right place until a few others pulled up and began making their way up the pathway. All we knew was to follow that path up. Seemed simple enough. We came to a lovely old looking brick bridge and, as you do, took plenty of photos. A guy pulled up in a jeep and handed us a leaflet for a photography competition noticing our DSLR cameras. A relief because I thought he was going to tell us to stop climbing over the bridge.

lancashire, chorley, rivington pike, kilimanjaro, hike, trekking, walking, north west, uk

lancashire, chorley, rivington pike, kilimanjaro, hike, trekking, walking, north west, uk


It definitely became a work out as we took ever diversion possible. The second we saw old looking steps, we headed straight up them. Slightly worrying considering the amount of American Horror Story we've been watching lately. I think it was the inner photography in both of us. All of Ed's photos have come out better than mine so hopefully I will get his new blog set up very soon and he can showcase them to you all. In the meantime, I wouldn't recommend taking so many diversions, even if your curiosity gets the better of you, since we did get a little lost. Luckily we found our way back on track but I was still interested to know what all the old buildings were for and why so may weren't being used anymore. (Perhaps something to research and get back to you on.)

lancashire, chorley, rivington pike, kilimanjaro, hike, trekking, walking, north west, uk

Eventually, with the top of the hill in sight, we thought we were nearly there. What didn't help was the extremely steep load of steps up to the top. A few times up and down those steps is definitely better than the gym membership I'm currently paying for. It may have been steep but the views from the top were beautiful. A lovely day it was too!

lancashire, chorley, rivington pike, kilimanjaro, hike, trekking, walking, north west, uk

lancashire, chorley, rivington pike, kilimanjaro, hike, trekking, walking, north west, uk
Views of Winter Hill, a place the Barefoot Backer recently walked to the top of!

lancashire, chorley, rivington pike, kilimanjaro, hike, trekking, walking, north west, uk

Definitely worth the mini hike up to the top of just for the views and photos. Unfortunately we went during the school holidays which meant there were a few youths messing about but other than that, it was very peaceful up there. I could quite happily walk up the with a book and chill out for a bit. I wish now that we had taken a packed lunch. Definitely something I think we'll do over summer when it is warmer.

So close to the summer holidays now and hopefully we'll get in another climb before we go to Dom Rep as we have big plans for when we get there! Look out for my Dom Rep itinerary! 

Hope you've been making the most of the sun! 

- KC xx



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Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Sicily in a box

20:25:00 0
Ciao!

What lovely weather we've been having. Definitely getting me ready for the summer months. Well, the rest of the country seem to have been getting ready for a couple of weeks now but here is Hull, the sun has only just come out! It's refreshing to get outside and not freeze to death for a change. I keep on dreaming of those days sat in a little cafe abroad, watching the sun go down, getting myself ready for some lovely traditional food from wherever it may be. The dull days at home were brightened by a parcel that arrived at my door the week of my birthday! I was lucky enough to be sent a Gousto box! 

Gousto are subscription service who send you all the ingredients you need for your chosen recipe. We all struggle to come up with new ideas for dinner and then 9 times out of ten, when you find a recipe you'd like to try out online, you just can't get all the ingredients. If you do manage to get the ingredients, then there's no guarantee you're going to like it and you could find yourself stuck with a bunch of ingredients that you'll probably never use again. Gousto are there to stop all that hassle and the package is delivered with all the ingredients readily weighed out so you only get exactly what you need. If you find you like the recipe, then you can go out and by the ingredients to have it again!

italy, recipe, food, foodie, ingredients, gousto, subscription box, chicken, linguine

I chose to try out the Sicilian Chicken Linguine. I love linguine and typical Italian food but I've never tried pea shoots or capers before so I had no idea what to expect. The only time I've ever really had leek is in soup too so I was a bit hesitant but I continued on and began to cook.

The recipe card given was very easy to follow as it gave a simple step by step guide to show the order in which things should be chopped and cooked. With no measuring out to do, it took no longer than 10 minutes to prep. Although most of the ingredients are given to you, you are still expected to have butter, olive oil, pepper, salt, and vegetable oil. I'm sure this would be fine for most but being the student that I am, I avoid getting butter because I don't use it a lot at all. I did have to improvise with a little extra vegetable oil.

olive, lemon, gousto, sicilian, italy, sicily, linguine, chicken, capers, recipe, food, foodie, ingredients

Ingredients (serves two):


  • 30g pitted black olives
  • 15g caper buds
  • 1 chicken stock cube
  • 200g British diced chicken breast
  • 1 leek
  • 1 lemon
  • 200g linguines
  • 50g pea shoots

Quick Method:

  1. Boil kettle. Wash then top and tail the leeks before slicing finely. Add diced chicken and sliced leek to bowl with a pinch of salt and crumbled stock cube. Mix.
  2. Add the chicken and leek mixture to a heated wide-based pan with vegetable oil, then cover for 10-12 mins.
  3. Cook linguine in a large pot of salted boiling water (8-10mins).
  4. Chop capers, black olives and lemon (in half).
  5. Transfer chicken and leek mixture to a plate. Add knob of butter, capers, and lemon juice to the same pan previously used. 
  6. Drain linguine and add half of the pea shoots with a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of pepper. Stir for a minute. Pea shoots will wilt.
  7. Stir everything altogether and serve up! Enjoy!

linguine, food, foodie, recipe, ingredients, gousto, lifestyle, lemon, capers, chicken, leek,

That was a very basic run down of the method and what it takes to make the recipe. I didn't want to go in to too much detail because that's what the Gousto box does. That said, they usually have a different set of recipes to choose from each month.

Verdict:
I absolutely lovely this recipe. I made it for myself and Ed and we both really enjoyed it. Granted, I didn't have olives on mine because I really don't like them (the picture above is of Ed's portion). It was full of flavour and I never thought I'd like pea shoots or capers, no matter together. I don't normally put lemon on my food as it can be a bit of an acquired taste but it was surprisingly nice. I would definitely make this again! Chicken and leek need to be a thing I have much more often. It was delicious!

linguine, chicken, gousto, italy, sicily, sicilian, recipe, lemon, ingredients, food, foodie, blogger

Pros:
  • Easy to order and choose
  • Wide variety of things on offer, including vegetarian options
  • All of the recipes are very nutritious
  • The recipes don't take long to make
  • You get just enough ingredients - no food waste!
  • You can subscribe to get a box every month or you can easily pause the subscription and not pay until you want to. 
  • Lots to choose from - 22 different recipes each month
  • Afforable (approx £5.25 per serving)
Cons:
  • There isn't an option to untick things you don't like (not that I'm aware of anyway)
  • I would like the option to choose from previous months recipes
  • No option for 1 serving or 3 servings
If you think they are already affordable, Gousto have given my readers an exclusive offer to get £20 discount on each of your first and second orders, on any sized box. Meaning you could get your 1st and 2nd box costing £7.49 each! Simply use the discount code TORNADO!

Well worth it, even if it's just to try it out!

OR

You can get up to £25 off your first box by clicking this link!

It's up to you which deal you choose!

If you choose to get yourself a box, I really do hope you enjoy your recipe and I would love to hear what you think!

Ciao!
- KC xx



*I was sent the Gousto box for free to try out, without review requirements. I choose to do a review simply because I loved the recipe.
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Monday, 8 May 2017

May Goals

08:30:00 0
Hey!

HAPPY MAY! And May the 4th be with you for the other day! I'm getting more and more excited to be done with uni now and ready to go on holiday. It's just over a month until myself and Edmond will be flying out to the Dominican Republic for a two week holiday! I'm ready to explore and relax at the same time!

As usual, at the beginning of every month I do a quick update on how things have gone and then set myself a few goals so that I have something to stick to. April felt so hectic but at the same time I had a lovely rest whilst at home. The second I came back to uni, however, made everything feel like it hadn't even happened.

- Catch up on uni work! - I'm getting there. I have a few bits of reading to do this week then I'm practically finished!

- Train Harder!  ✔ Yes and no I suppose. Myself and Edmond went on a few little hikes in the North West area but going back to uni threw me off. Time to get to the gym!

- Have a full plan for all events! - I hosted a bingo night, so I sorted that out, but I'm yet to find a venue for my fitness day. Hopefully I should have it sorted by the end of the week!

- Get outdoors everyday! - I don't even know.

- Save money! - I still have a very large chunk of my student loan left nearly a month after getting it which is really good, I've even bought myself some holiday things.

- Keep on fundraising! Reach £1500?!  ✔ I DID IT! I'm now at £1756.46! Still got a way to go to reach my overall target though!


I could have done better! This week I have an assessment and then that's one module down. Then in two weeks time I have my final assessment then I can go home! 40 days until I go on holiday! That said, it also means I only have 40 days to raise another £1300 (a little over). Oh dear. I have ideas but it's just trying to implement them.

On another update, I am now officially the new RAG (Raising and Giving) Challenges Coordinator of Hull Uni for next year! I have so many meetings coming up already but it feels good to be a part of a committee that helps to raised hundreds of thousands of pounds for charity! My main aim will be to help out next years challengers (people like me who will choose to climb Kilimanjaro) in reaching their targets.

Moving on to my actual goals of May. There are so many things that need to be done this month as everything is finishing so here goes...

goals, lifestyle, travel, holiday, fundraising, charity,

May Goals

- Have a completed fundraising plan to help me raise the rest of the money!
So my main ideas are a fitness day and a charity hockey tournament. I know where I would like to host them but so far I'm struggling to get in contact with the people who deal with it! Fingers crossed I can get it sorted this week!

- Complete all my uni work!
I have an assessment this week, then the coinciding portfolio due in next week. I then finish with another performance, portfolio and final essay. Sounds like a lot but once it's done, it's done! I will then be ready for second year!

- Prepare for my holiday!
I will happily get ready for my holiday! Holiday shopping needs to be done and I definitely need to hit the gym!

- Get a job!
There is a possibility I may have one lined up for when I get back but it's not final yet. It is about time I start looking for a flexible summer job so I can earn some money and save up for next year.

- Relax!
After all the work I've got to do, I need to remember to actually have some me time! 

Everything seems to be about reaching my fundraising total and finishing uni this month and yep, that is pretty much it! I feel like I've got a lot going on but hopefully it will be all done way before I get on that plane!

What are your plans this month? Are you getting ready for your holidays?

 - KC xx



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Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Ultimate Bucket List - What I have done so far

08:00:00 15
Hola!

From previous posts (ie. What Inspires You?) it's clear I've been thinking a lot about what I want to do and how to get there etc. Not only that but I've properly sat down and wrote out my official bucket list! I was always one to write summer bucket lists and I wrote the odd one or two life ones when I was younger, but I always lost them and never had the time to complete them. So now is the time. I have it all written down on paper and to make sure I stick to it, I'm sharing it with you! Since I'm slowly transitioning my blog into a travel blog, I shall be adding a page to my menu above listing all of my bucket list ideas. You can see me cross things out and add even more things, as I add to it every day! There is so much I want to do but in the meantime, I want to share with you a few of the amazing things I've done so far!
bucket list, travel, holiday, adventure, backpacking, lifestyle,

1. Write and direct a play
During my A levels I decided to take it upon myself to complete my EPQ (extended project qualification) and I chose to write and direct a play as a part of it. It wasn't anything I had to do and it became a lot of work but in the end I was incredibly proud. I came out with an A* and then during the summer I found myself self-publishing it in Kindle form, then later in paperback! It was something I never imagined myself to do ever. I would now like to be able to do something similar. Perhaps publish a story or a non-fictional book! (If you want to check out the script click here!)

2. Do an obstacle course race
I remember a time when these were just things you'd see on TV. Obviously nowadays they are much more popular and I was lucky enough to do my first, and definitely not last, one last year! It was only 5K (Adrenaline Rush) but I love every minute of it. If another one comes around near my area we'll definitely be signing up for the 10K this year!

adrenaline rush, 5k, running, fitness, manchester, 2016, obstacle course race

3. Raise over £1000 myself
Hopefully you've all seen my fundraising efforts recently and know that I'm now at £1420.29 thanks to raising £213.70 at my carboot last Sunday! I used to fundraising every Red Nose Day when I was a kid, each year trying to raise more than the last! I think the most I raised was just under £250 and never really imagined I would make much more. Obviously now I'm heading to Tanzania in August to climb Kilimanjaro, I've raised much more and have a higher target! I do still need to raise quite a bit so as usual, any help would be greatly appreciated!

4. Climb Coba!
To be fair, going to Mexico when I turned 18 was a major thing ticked off on my bucket list but being able to say I went there with my boyfriend and we climbed a pyramid was the best thing to come back with. So many fantastic memories have been made in Mexico. It is one of the best places to go exploring. So much so that we then went back a year later and explored Tulum! Mexico has ticked off so many things for me! Also, having Edmond there with me has made it even more special *cringgeeee*! Now we both want to travel even more together. Here's to our next trip to Dominican Republic!

coba, mexico, travel, holiday, 2015, 2016, gap year, exploring, adventure, backpacking,

5. Create a blog and keep it going!
If you had asked me a few years ago if I would ever create a blog and stick to it, I definitely wouldn't have thought so. I was blogging back then but it was once or twice every few months! It was only in my gap year that it became a proper thing in my life and only when I was heading off to uni did I realise how proud of it I was that I would openly say I am a blogger. I even changed it to say that I was a blogger/owner at kiralcurtis.com on my Facebook! It's forever changing but I finally feel like my blog is becoming the thing I want it to be. It's still going to take time and hard work, but I have never been more motivated to get there! Bring on the future!

What's on your bucket list? What have you achieved and ticked off your bucket list?

- KC xx




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Monday, 24 April 2017

Travel Items Wishlist

08:30:00 18
Howdy!

Happy Monday!

I'm now back at university after the Easter holidays and those dreaded end of year assessments, or exams for most, are looming. I would be quite happy now for it to simply be the summer holidays! I don't actually start my lessons again until Wednesday but the usual uni adulthood has once again dawned on me - time to figure out what to cook for tea. Not only that but it's my last few days of being a teenager! Thursday is my birthday and I'm still shocked at how I shall be turning 20 years old! I still feel 18! I suppose what I keep on reminding myself that it means I'm a few days closer to going on holiday and a few years closer to being able to properly travel the world. My parents let me know they would just be giving me money for my birthday since they didn't know what to get me this year. I haven't exactly been at home much for me to be able to hint at things. Originally it was supposed to be a bunch of things for climbing Kilimanjaro in August but we've decided to hold back on that just in case the trip doesn't happen (eg. I don't raise enough money - please sponsor me!). I suggested just getting me a few little bits that I would be able to use for the Kili trip but also on my planned Around the World trip few in a few years time. It will all come in handy sooner or later, probably even for our Dominican Republic holiday. Which got me thinking, what do I need? What would I actually like for my travelling? Well, that's what this post is for... It's basically a backpackers birthday wishlist!

birthday, kilimanjaro, around the world, rtw, travel, backpacking, tanzania, sponsor, fundraising, charity

(These are in no particular order.)

1. Stay Safe
It seems little and maybe daft to some but eventually at some point when you're travelling or trekking, a head torch will come in handy. It is on the list for Kilimanjaro and after watching a few 'What to pack when backpacking' videos, it seems like it's an essential piece of equipment. I've had a few before now but they've been really cheap and nasty ones from places like B&Ms or HomeBargains. Those are fine for jobs at home but if I want it to survive, a little bit more money is definitely going to need to be spent. Although, not too much! Something a bit like the Coleman CH10 Headtorch would be good as it is battery powered and has five different modes making it appropriate for camping, climbing or general outdoors use as it says online. Plus, it's on offer at the moment! If not this one, then something similar! Having a head torch can keep you safer for obvious reasons in the dark but having a card guard in countries you're not used to, and your own, would give your money that added security, as well as a combination lock to keep your things locked up when you're at a hostel.

2. Water Bladder/Bottle
Of course we all know how important it is to stay hydrated when travelling, especially in hotter countries when you're walking around exploring all day. It can get a bit annoying carrying a bottle or having to constantly get it out of your bag when you want a drink so most hikers, walkers, etc. will get a water bladder. This simply goes in your back pack and has a straw for you to drink from whenever you're thirsty. For Kili we've been advised to have 3L on us which can be split up between your main bag and your day bag. Perhaps a water bladder for the day bag so the water is easily accessible and then a bottle for the main bag. A bottle with a handle makes it easy to attach it to the outside of your bag just in case it won't fit inside. Again, making it easier to get to.

3. Easy packing
I've had a small stock of packing cubes for years and never known what to do with them so I think I began throwing them out, typical when I could do with them now! They are good to easily organise all you bits and pieces making it easier to get out exactly what you need without messing everything else up. Travel towel are essential as they save you from carrying round a large bath towel that takes forever to dry. Microfibre towels fold up into a small pouch, are quick dry, and extremely light weight. Perfect for travelling as you only need to take one! For what they are, the price isn't bad either.
backpacking, travelling, holiday, travel, camera, photography, filmography, travel documentaries, health
Coleman CH10 Headtorch - £25 £12, 2L Water Bladder - £14 £8, HiDay 7 Set Travel Cubes - £12.99, XXL Microfibre Travel Towel - £11.99, Camelbak Chute 1L bottle - £17 £16, YuHan Oxford Photography Travel Backpack - £49.99, Howard Leight Laser Lite Soft Foam Ear Plugs - £3.49 for 20 pairs, XCSOURCE 2pcs Combination Lock - £8.59, Go Travel RFID Card Guard - £5.72, 3 Way Adjustable Arm Grip Tripod/Monopod - £14.97
4. Sleep Well
Some hostels are notoriously loud and if you're sleeping outside, who knows what noises the wildlife may be making, so it's best to take some ear plugs to help you get as much as a peaceful sleep as you can. I did consider putting a travel neck pillow on the list but I'm fussy. That said, I would love one that I can just attach to the back of my backpack and use it when it's needed. I like those ones that you wear like a snood and you can rest your head in any direction but I'm not too sure just yet, we'll see. An eye mask would be good too but I need to see the light otherwise I probably would get up in the morning!

5. Camera Equipment
Edmond and I are lovers of photography and filmography so the ultimate goal is to be able to make travel documentaries and vlogs of our trips. I have a DSLR and we recently bought a Rode microphone for better quality videos and sound. I also have GoPro Hero3 and, after my selfie sticks disintegrated in the sea on our last holiday, I've just bought a Spivo Stick which I'm really excited to try out (I'll most likely do a review after Dom Rep). Between myself and Edmond, we are accumulating a pretty good collection of filming and photography equipment ready to use abroad. What we need next is a way of carrying that all round in a day bag. I have been doing some research and I found the YuHan Oxford Photography Travel Backpack which I absolutely love the look of. It's a bit on the expensive side at £49.99 but for what it is, I would say it's worth it (as long as it is actually that good in real life). It opens from the back for added security and you can rearrange all the pockets to fit your equipment in safely. There's also enough room for everything else you need in a day bag! When looking into a new monopod, I also found this 3 Way Adjustable Arm Grip Tripod/Monopod which I would love since it can be a monopod and a tripod. Handy! Some spare batteries and memory cards would help too (or a little travel size laptop that I can transfer them onto easily)!

For now that's just about it. Maybe I will get some birthday money and I can buy a few bits and pieces. However if I need to keep up the fundraising otherwise I won't be going to Tanzania at all! Can't wait to start doing my shopping for it though! Bring on summer 2017!

What's on your travel wishlist?

- KC xx

*This post contains affiliate links but I choose everything myself.




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Friday, 21 April 2017

Healey Nab, Lancashire, UK

08:30:00 28
Good morning!

I've been really needing to get into training for climbing Kilimanjaro. I've never done anything like it before and I know for a fact it is going to be extremely challenging, both mentally and physically. I'm not going to know that much about how to prepare mentally until I'm there I suppose, which is slightly worrying but at least I can train as much as I can physically in the meantime. I've done a bit of research into how to train for something like this, which I may share with you soon, and it all comes back to hiking. Most places say the best thing you can do is simply do other climbs. A bit like running where you have to keep going until eventually on one run, you reach the distance of a marathon. Not that I've ever managed 10K, let alone a marathon. Since I've been back home for Easter, I've tried to up my fitness game. That was until I went for my first run and realised I hadn't recovered from a hockey injury. I've pulled a muscle in my groin and every time I run, even for the shortest of periods, it starts to ache. Continuing running leaves me unable to walk properly for the rest of the day. I knew it would just take time and a bit of exercise to make it better so I stuck to walking. I've been trying to do good on my April Goals list and make sure that I have got outside everyday. I don't exactly know if I've managed it but I've definitely been trying. Over this past week though, my muscle seems to have mostly healed and whilst visiting Edmond at his home, we went for a couple of little hikes to start off my training.

Edmond lives in Chorley. A typical northern, not particularly nice town (in my opinion). That said, where he lives is very picturesque that some would consider to be the countryside. His house was one of the first to be built in his area, so much so that they used to get cows wondering into their back garden. Of course that's all changed now as it's a whole housing estate but a lovely one at that. Together we've already been for a lot of walks in his area and right behind him is what is known as Healey Nab. It's a large hill, part of the West Pennine Moors, making it one hell of a view for all the houses and a lovely walk for the locals. We've attempted to reach it's peak before (elevation of 208m), and although we made it, it didn't seem to take so long to get up. This time, we took the longer route.

peak, hiking, kilimanjaro, training, fitness, travel, healey nab, chorley, lancashire

Truth be told, it wasn't our initial plan to trek to the top. We were simply going for a little walk whilst the sun was still out. It wasn't until we got to a dead end of our current route and the only way to carry on was via the public foot path up. It think we did accidentally divert from the public foot path though, but we made our way back on track. 

The path is paved until that point, then it goes off onto fields and fields. You can clearly see where others have walked so it's a pretty simple route straight up. At the top you can see across most of Chorley. It's beautiful! There's a large pile of rocks at the top which have clearly been put there by mankind although I'm not so sure why. I've tried googling it but nothing seems to come up.

rivington, chorley, bolton, lancashire, north west, healey nab, the nab, hiking, walking
The little building on top of the next hill is where we walked up to the next day! 
peak, hiking, kilimanjaro, training, walking, travel, fitness, healey nab, chorley
It's known as Rivington Pike

Getting back down was a different story altogether. We thought it would be logical to come up one way and go back down the other. That was until we got lost and trapped in by a barbed wire fence. This opposite side is a largely wooded area and there's even a mountain bike track through the tree. It looks a little dangerous with all the tree trunks in the way but I'm not going to deny that if I had a decent enough bike, I would give it a go!

kilimanjaro, healey nab, hiking, chorley, lancashire, trekking, walking, fitness, travel
View of Chorley Town from the peak of Healey Nab.
healey nab, the nab, peak, lancashire, chorley, hiking, walking, fitness, travel
This is the pile of rocks I mentioned. I really am not sure what it's supposed to be there for so if anyone does know please feel free to comment!
We ended up having to climb back up, almost to the peak again and ended up finding our way back towards the fields we walked through at the very beginning. Full circle! Definitely smashed my 10,000 steps target! It was a gorgeous day though so it made it all worth it, although if we had known we would end up going on such a walk, we would have taken some water! We did also get caught up in a massive muddy area which made me regret not wearing wellies or walking boots. Instead I was wearing Converse style canvas shoes. Amazingly though, there's mud all on the maroon canvas part of my shoes but nothing on the white toe caps! Got to go clean them now...

If you're in the area and fancy a nice afternoon walk out, I'd definitely recommend a trip up "The Nab". Don't forget to take your camera! You can get some stunning photos of the views, especially if it's a sunny day!

Is there anywhere near you that's like this? Where do you go for walks out? 

- KC xx

kiralcurtis, travel, blogger, fitness, kilimanjaro, hiking

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