Monday, 27 February 2017

Barefoot Day!

08:30:00 24
Hey!

It's Monday, which means a brand new week. Thank goodness! Sometimes you just know when a week is going bad. That's what last week was. Anyway, I'm hoping things will pick up this week when I can get myself back into routine!

Last Thursday marked one of the first main fundraising days for me. It was BAREFOOT DAY! I decided to go about my usual day wearing nothing on my feet thinking that it wouldn't be so bad and I could raise a little money from it. That was until Storm Doris hit. I'll admit, it hasn't been as bad as the North West (where I'm actually from) but it was icy cold and wet!

barefeet, charity, sponsor me, travel, kilimanjaro, fundraising, money, barefoot day

Normally I sleep in socks and cannot stand not wearing socks at any time so going to bed without socks on so I could wake up with bare feet was difficult. Getting ready in the morning also felt so weird as I was about the put my shoes and socks on then set off, until I remembered that I couldn't. It's such an odd feeling to go against your usual routine in such a way!

The weather seemed alright. It was quite sunny and dry so I thought the day would go ok. That was until I stepped outside the back door and nearly got blown over! I had to walk on our gravel driveway first thing, so there I was jumping straight in at the deep end. I wouldn't be too surprised if there are glass shards all over the place too. Walking to university gradually got colder and colder until I could no longer feel my feet at all. You know when your hands and arms go numb in the cold and it hurts to touch anything? Yeah, that's what it was like but of course I was walking on hard ground (pavement) and across roads, so it hurt every step.

barefoot day, fundraising, tanzania, childreach international, travel, charity, money

I could get away with doing my lesson with bare feet since it was a movement class and it was nice to get a bit of support from my classmates. It wasn't until afterwards when I went into the Student Union building to get some lunch that one guy told me to go put some shoes on. I explained I was doing it for charity but he didn't want to listen telling me that I could stand on something and hurt myself. Er, yeah that's the point, it's daring! I was a little annoyed and just went straight to my seat and had to get someone else to go up and order my food in case I got kicked out.

Sitting around wasn't as bad as walking around outside but it was still quite horrible for me. My feet were freezing and sweating at the same time making me feel extra dirty and generally clammy. I didn't know where to put my feet at all. 

barefoot day, childreach international, brazil, holiday, travel, fundraising, charity

Walking home was a little worse than the morning. I was lucky to miss out the torrential rain pour but it had left puddles everywhere and the floor was much colder. I tried walking a bit faster, almost doing a light jog, to try and keep my circulation going but my feet went very numb and painful. It's a pretty short walk home from uni so it's amazing how much the cold can really hurt! I was dared to walk on more gravel and through puddles and since it's for charity, I wasn't going to say no.

charity, childreach international, travel, kilimanjaro, sponsor me, fundraising

I still kept my feet bare at home and again the whole cold sweating thing was happening which is just not nice. There is also glass on the kitchen floor that I think has been walked on to the carpet.

It's safe to say I have never been more glad that I can wear socks and shoes. The first pair I put on were my fluffy slipper socks and I immediately felt so much better! Really makes you appreciate how important shoes and socks are to keep you healthy!

All this was, of course, for charity. If you didn't know already then I am raising money for Childreach International and have a goal of £3000 to reach before the end of June. I'm doing lots of little things to raise the money. In the end I shall be climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in August, as my final challenge. This Barefoot Day was the first of this years little challenges that I set myself in hopes of raising a bit more each time. It was a lot harder than I expected it to be but nonetheless, an interesting way of raising money and hopefully I can raise a bit more from it over the week!

If you would like to donate, which would be amazing and a massive help, then you can visit my MyDonate page and enter however much you would like, or simply text UNLOCK193351 to 70007 to donate £3! Any amount really helps, even £1 or some spare change that you have! 

Otherwise I'd be really grateful if you could spare some time if you can't donate money. It would be wonderful if some people could take in a sponsorship form to get friends, family, or work colleagues to sponsor me. Or if you could simply share this and get your followers to donate! Everything really helps me out so much!

Thank you for all the support!

- KC xx

I already have a lot of ideas of ways to raise money but do you have any more you could share?
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Friday, 24 February 2017

Golden Goodness

08:30:00 25
Good morning!

Hope your week is going well!

This week I want to review the Golden Syrup Porridge sent to me by Exante. I have a small problem though, I don't like porridge. For some reason I never had I didn't realise I would be sent some. I realised I still needed to get a review up but knew it wouldn't be true if I just said that I ate it. Instead, just this once, I gave Ed the opportunity to try out something and do a little post. This is his first time at reviewing something so I had to give him a little guidance about what sort of questions you ask yourself (How easy was it to make? What was your first impression? What did you think overall?) and I left him to it! Here's what he said:

*******************

a review by Edmond Denning

One of the items that came with the Exante Diet meal replacement products, that Kira received, was the golden syrup porridge powder sachet. I used to have porridge and syrup as a child every now and then so I thought this was a pretty neat idea and I was dead keen to try out this version of it. It was a simple little powder-based product that merely required water and a short time in the microwave. So by pouring the contents into a heat-proof jug and filling that with water, I simply mixed it together and put it in the microwave for five minutes, taking it out at half way for a second stir. 

products, review, exante, diet, fitness, food, foodie, healthy, meal replacement


Firstly, it smelt amazing in all honesty so I was very keen to see how similar this meal-replacement was to the meal itself. After the five minutes were over, I just poured the contents into a bowl. That's all I had to do. The portion size was perfect for a cereal bowl - always useful. 

            Flavour wise, I really enjoyed it. It was exactly like having a bowl of hot porridge with golden syrup even though technically it wasn't one. I have a sweet tooth and this is 'just right' for anyone with that taste pallet (even Goldilocks might enjoy it). It was filling enough to have just one portion too, and enough to keep me going throughout the day.

            I'd definitely recommend it to anyone who has thought about using meal replacement options. Overall I would give this a solid 9/10 and would be eager to try it again if the opportunity ever arose.

- Edmond

************************************

Maybe one day the opportunity might arise again for you Edmond. If you're willing to keep writing reviews for me then I shall let you try out a few more things! I'd rather have you write it and give  truthful review about how you like it compared to me not wanting to have it because I don't like it then not wanting to write the review. Always handy to have a back up! 

Well there you go... Seems like he really did like it! I will admit that it smelt really lovely and can imagine it being a perfect breakfast in the winter or fresh spring time. Compared to the photo on the Exante website, it did look a lot more runny, I don't know if it was something we did or not, but all the same, Ed still really loved it!

What would be you ideal snack as a meal replacement? Would you try the porridge? 

- KC xx

* Unfortunately for now there is no photo because I seem to have lost my SD card after I had all the photos taken! Hopefully I shall find it soon and will update this post! Sorry!
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Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Semester 2 First Impressions

08:30:00 8
Hello!

How are you all doing? It's coming to the end of February now already and I am four weeks into my second semester of my first year at Uni. At the very beginning I did a quick first impressions post about moving in and getting settled so I wanted to reflect on how this semester is going and how semester one ended.

I didn't have to go back to uni until the 9th January and luckily I didn't have any official exams. That said, I had a performance and assessment in the following week. Fortunately, they seemed to go well and then I was able to go back home for another week. It was nice to break it up before having to properly settle back in. Second semester came around and we began our new modules with all new teachers and I must say I much prefer how things are going now.

I study 4 modules which are Practical Specialism, Approaches to Theatre 2, Theatre of Movement and Gesture, and finally our one hour lecture that is Performance Contexts. The lectures haven't really got any better. For 9am, they are very boring but I have surprisingly managed to make it to every single one so far! Pat on the back for me! I have begun set design classes in Practical Specialism which have been cool. It's only 2 hours on a Monday afternoon and there's a class of 5 so it's pretty relaxed. We're basically making models which is quite therapeutic! Approaches 2 is a follow on from semester one with a different topics, however this semester is already so much more interesting. It's much more about theatre and science. I've been able to quote Brian Cox, reel off tonnes of scientific and mathematics knowledge, and do more research into the topics that I find incredibly interesting! Theatre of Movement and Gesture has been really interesting. It has taken me back to my first year in college when I was basically doing degree level dance and movement. It's not quite dance but I love being able to explore the uses of my body to create an interesting piece of drama.

childreach international, money, fundraising, charity, barefoot, dare
This Thursday (tomorrow) I shall be going barefoot all day to raise money for Childreach International. It's going to be weird walking to and from uni without any shoes or socks!

So far the course is going well. I got my marks back for the performances and assessments that I did as well and have done really well. As I mentioned in Monday's post, I got a first overall in both the modules that I finished in semester one. I'm very proud of that since I was averaged out in one at just below 70 but instead they bumped up my mark!

My house hasn't changed. It's still quite knackered but my room is fine. The kitchen, communal room and bathroom are a sight for sore eyes though. I wish people would not dump their stuff anywhere and everywhere, and I wish they would clean their pots straight away instead of leaving them for weeks. It's disgusting! Also, some of my pots and cutlery keep going missing... I can't stand it and cannot wait until I have my own place with Ed! We're having a house inspection at some point today so we'll see how that goes because I'm not putting any money on the place being clean, with or without the cleaner coming round! It frustrates me.

There seem to be a lot of things frustrating me at the moment. I really need to have some time to myself to relax and calm down. Either that or I think it's time to have a trip home to cuddle with my cat. Luckily my Mum and Dad are back off their holiday this week so I can do, although I'm supposed to be going home for a friends birthday in two weeks so I guess I'll have to wait!

I've got a lot to do over the next few weeks so let's hope it all goes well and eventually I get that time to relax. It's definitely needed!

How's the beginning of the year gone for you? Have you started something new?

- KC xx
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Monday, 20 February 2017

Rimmel Match Perfection Loose Powder Review

14:52:00 16
Good Afternoon!

Well it's been a long weekend, to say the least. I got a flat tyre on Thursday so I couldn't go shopping. Luckily I was able to change it and put my spare on to take it to the garage. All fixed now hopefully and I managed to go shopping on Friday. I spent Saturday morning stood out in the freezing cold doing a public collection for Childreach International. I raised £44.16! Not bad for about 2 hours! I had to leave early because the cold was making me ill and I had a hockey match in the afternoon. That match frustrated me slightly! Sunday was spent celebrating a friends birthday by having a Harry Potter marathon which was fun but I ate too much and as the day went on, I was feeling worse and worse. Typical, I've come down with a cold again. I think I managed about 4 days of feeling healthy!

Anyway, it's been a tiresome weekend but on the plus, I woke up this morning to my final grades for my completed modules of semester one being released! I got a first for both modules giving me a first overall! Woop!

Also, I have a Barefoot Day planned for this Thursday to raise money for Childreach! Hopefully that goes well! 

Enough updates now, today I just wanted to do a little beauty review of my new favourite powder: Rimmel Match Perfection Loose Face Powder!

rimmel, powder, beauty, cosmetics, make up, bbloggers, face, skincare



I bought this a while ago (back when I did a beauty haul) since I was getting a bit sick of using the Rimmel pressed powder. I had used it for years but you can never quite finish the edges off. I did try break it of and at it to a moisturiser but it didn't work at all. Note to self: don't try that again! When doing a bit of beauty shopping online in my lack of spare time, I decided to try a loose powder and it just so happened that it was Rimmel again that was the cheapest. And so it was ordered.

I can't remember the exact amount I paid at the time but I remember there being an offer on so it wasn't too bad, and for what I got I am still pretty impressed!

rimmel, make up, cosmetics, beauty, review, boots, sales, haul


It's a small tub with simple packaging. When you take off the lid there's a small powder sponge (not quite sure if they have an official name) and then plenty of powder. Now, somehow I've got myself into the routine of not wearing foundation very often and simply wearing BB Cream but when I do, you can guarantee I will need to top it off with some powder. Using a powder brush I got from Poundland, I put some on the end of the brush and dab it into the inside of the lid to allow anything that's too loose to fall off. This also helps me avoid putting too much on. I then use the powder that's in the lid to reduce the shine on my face.

I am very pale so the translucent has worked perfectly for me. It lightly covers my face and reduces the appearance of spots and redness that I seem to be having more of recently. Because it's so light, it's quite refreshing and there's a pleasant smell to it that reminds me of sweets, similar to refreshers! It definitely seems to keep my face oil free throughout the day too!

It has definitely become a stable in my make up bag and it lasts for ages. I still have plenty left since I first bought it! I would definitely recommend it as a budget powder! Be careful though, because sometimes it can go everywhere!

What's your go to powder? Have you tried Rimmel's Loose Powder before?

- KC xx



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Friday, 17 February 2017

Movies and Musicals

08:30:00 29
Hey!

Being at university has really made me appreciated a good night in with my TV and DVDs. I am a student so paying for a TV license seems a bit too much so instead I'll stick with re-watching all my favourite movies and boxsets over and over again. I mean, I'm not complaining at all because I absolutely love them. So what do I watch? I love all sorts of genres. When I can, I'll watch episodes of The Vampire Diaries, Shadowhunters, Pretty Little Liars (waiting on the final half of the final ever series), The Big Bang Theory, etc. Also, most recently I started watching Riverdale and both me and Ed are in love with it! But when it comes to a nice night in watching movies, I have a very specific collection. I'm not normally one for buying DVDs unless I really love the movie so here's what I have: 

Harry Potter

harry potter, movies, panasonic, first year, marathon, hogwarts, daniel radcliffe
Yes, I have them all. I plan on getting Fantastic Beasts too just complete the collection. I also have all the books so it only seems right. I was a massive fan as a kid and I even wanted a Harry Potter themed bedroom and everything! I already had the bin and bedding. Eventually I grew out of it but never stopped loving the HP franchise and after recently beginning to reread the books, I love them even more now! A Harry Potter marathon is needed very soon!

Step Up


favourite, movies, step up, dance, street dance, panasonic, ryan guzman, la, miami

Again, I have them all. Well, except number 5 which I'm in need of. I have bought them all from That's Entertainment over time to create my collection. Being a lover of dance, they have been movies that have inspired me to choreograph and continue allowing dance to influence my performances in physical theatre. I tend to look at the movies from a dramatic point of view. For example, in the final film they are able to pull off not just a phenomenal dance, but a phenomenal show overall, and I look up to people who are able to do that. Credit to all the directors, choreographers, and of course the dancers! 

Moulin Rouge

moulin rouge, favourite, panasonice, 4k hd, ewan mcgregor,

I don't know why I love this movie so much. I think it's because it's just so random but there's a cute (badly ending) plot line and Ewan McGregor's voice is just so damn, lovely! When I sing I prefer to belt so this movie gives me some perfect opportunities to sit down and belt out a good tune, usually whilst scoffing popcorn. The medleys created for the movie are, in my opinion, some of the best mash ups of classic songs, of all time. I could easily watch this movie on repeat!

Rock of Ages

musical, movies, favourite, holiday, 80s, panasonic, 4k hd, rock of ages, broadway

Got to be my favourite musical, ever! I love it just as much as I did the first time I watched it and I'm constantly encouraging others who haven't seen it to go and watch it urgently! For a lover of 80s rock, it's the perfect movie for me. I was fortunate enough to get to see the stage production of it at the Manchester Palace Theatre and I couldn't compare the two which I've never experienced before. They were both just as good as each other on different levels but with almost the same music and plot! I need to go see it again, and just writing this making me watch to put my DVD on again!

Mamma Mia


mamma mia, movies, musical, amanda seyfried, panasonic, greece


I got this as a present one year and rewatched it for the hundredth time the other night. It's such a feel good movie musical with a young Dominic Cooper singing his heart out. Amanda Seyfried is beautiful as always and from this movie became one of my role models, and I don't have many so that's saying something!

Camp Rock

disney, original movie, favourite, musical, holidays, panasonic


Sometimes I feel a little bit embarrassed to say I still own Camp Rock on DVD but I'm not going to deny it now. I have always loved Disney Channel Original Movies and this one was not an exception. I know all the songs and probably the dances. I remember sitting in my attic at home attempting to learn the guitar and write songs whilst watching this movie. It seemed to be a big inspiration towards my music as a kid. As I got older though I ended up following the path of acting, singing and dancing rather than playing an instrument. I'd still love to learn to play the guitar though!

Wild Child

wild child, movies, chick flick, panasonic, 4k tv, alex pettyfer

Alex Pettyfer though! I was a lot younger when I got this movie and he must have been one of my celebrity crushes! If I ever had a girls night (where me and my best friends would pig out watching movies), this would be one of the top movies on the list. That and all the behind the scenes features also on the DVDs. Same for the times I had to go to my Mum and Dad's work - they are self-employed property developers so their work was the house they were doing up at the time- where I'd get my McDonald's and watch it on my portable DVD player! Since then I've even managed to get my boyfriend to love the movie just as much as I do!


Seems amazing how far we've come regarding television since all these movies were released. I couldn't live without my HD TV these days and at home we're constantly upgrading the technology in our house. We've currently got a Smart TV but it won't be long before we'll be stepping up again. Panasonic are releasing a new 4K TV range this year and already have some on sale! They are all Ultra HD 4K Pro HDR with OLED displays and lots more extras, built in gadgets and additions making TVs better than they've ever been. I really don't know what more they can do but you just know there will be more! Look out for 2017's Panasonic 4K TV range!

What are you're favourite movies? How do you prefer to watch them? Eg. On the big screen, TV, laptop, etc.?

- KC xx




* This was a sponsored post but all thoughts and opinions are my own, and I definitely own all these DVDs, I couldn't live without them!







Visit my fundraising page on BT MyDonate
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Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Calorie-Controlling Cookies

08:30:00 21
Hi there!

Today is time to give you another review on a product sent to me by Exante Diet. This week I received their new white chocolate chip and raspberry meal replacement cookie. The idea is that the cookie can be used as post-workout protein or instead of a meal to aid a calorie-controlled diet. All their meal replacement bars, shakes and soups contain over 22 vitamins and minerals, and a high in protein and fibers (according to their site). So I was more than happy to try out a cookie that's my favourite flavour.

exante, diet, calories, meal replacement, review, white chocolate, healthy, fitness


First impressions: it smelt gorgeous! I absolutely love the smell of cookies, especially if it's white chocolate, so I was really looking forward to taking a bite. Now, at first I wasn't too sure. The cookie is very soft and thick and there isn't an incredibly strong flavour of white chocolate and raspberry. It wasn't what I expected at all. I continue with it and gradually I got used to it and then it became quite nice. I think I started off unsure because I wasn't expecting what I got. All the flavour wasn't overly powerful but instead a pleasant after taste and since I'm not a massive fan of raspberries, they weren't too sweet either making it a nice mix for me. 

I gave Ed a bit of a taste and he mmmmmed straight away (if you know what I mean). Because of how thick it was, it definitely left me full for the rest of the day, until tea time! I would definitely recommend you try it out if you're a fan of white chocolate chip cookies. Truthfully, I would rather try a different flavour before I come back to this but I would definitely get it again in the future, and I know Ed would choose this again within a heartbeat! The thickness and softness take a little while to get used to but overall it's a very lovely meal alternative, and a lot less cooking!

Would you choose white chocolate and raspberry? What flavour would you like to try?

- KC xx
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Monday, 13 February 2017

Fundraising Plan

08:30:00 20
Hello Everyone!

I hope you all had a lovely weekend! It was an odd one for me... I had a wonderful night with the girls on Friday (a late one though) and the was kept up by all the drunken student walking home from the club until about 5 o'clock. So basically I don't feel like I've had any sleep. Constantly making myself excuses to have a lazy day!

charity, sponsor me, brazil, india, tanzania, travel, fundraising, childreach international, kilimanjaro

On the other hand though, I'm feeling quite positive and motivated. On Friday I went to a fundraising workshop and 1-2-1 meeting with our Childreach Officer about our climb up Kilimanjaro. Although I didn't exactly get anything new from it, it left me feeling very motivated and reassured that I can raise the amount needed before the deadline (26th June). It was a time to discuss all sorts of ideas for fundraising with our team mates and then write down how to put them into action. Like I said, I didn't really get any new ideas but something clicked to make me actually want to do them and I figured out how. I've been busy this weekend so I spent most of the afternoon yesterday writing our how and roughly when I am going to do things.

So far I have raised 10% of my overall total which it quite good compared to some people, however others are fortunate enough to have some rich family members who own businesses. A while ago I did a A to Z of fundraising ideas, so now I want to let you know what I shall hopefully be up to over the coming months to perhaps add to that list or see how I'm actually using some of them!

charity, sponsor me, brazil, india, tanzania, travel, fundraising, childreach international, kilimanjaro

January

Corporate Sponsorship - Write a letter to business asking for raffle prizes or sponsorship.

February

Send out sponsorship forms - Ask family members and friends to take in a sponsorship form into their work.

Youtube video - VLOGGIN COMING SOON! I shall do a video about fundraising and the challenge!

Go barefoot for the day - It's a common known fact that many in third world countries go without suitable clothing and shoes are often forgotten so I shall will try it out for a day and see how I survive.

March

Get in touch with old schools - I shall be contacting my primary and high schools, and college to see if I am able to do something. Perhaps a non-unifrom day or asking them to simply bringing in any spare change!

April

Fitness Fun Day - Initially I wanted to do this over Easter half term but this may change to June. The idea is to get local fitness instructors to do a bunch of one hour sessions. With a tuck shop and raffle. Kids activities will be available too!

Pub Quiz - I have an Easter themed pub quiz planned at a local pub on the 11th April! There will also be a raffle!

Public Collections - When I'm at home, I will dress up and go collecting in my home town areas!

Brazilian Carnival - Since £5 pays for 145 children to attend circus workshops in Brazil, it only seems right that we put on our own sort of circus carnival around campus! I'd like to do this on my birthday if possible (27th April)!

May

DARES - You know when people say "I'd give you a fiver if you pour a bucket of water over your head", that's the idea.. What would you make me do for money? I've starting advertising this now because I can do some dares over the next few months but in May I'm going to set up a stall outside of the SU and have gunge, eggs, cream, and pies ready for people to throw at me!

Bag Pack - I will be getting in touch with some supermarkets to ask if I can do a little bag pack just to raise that little bit extra!

June

Pub Collections - Again, just to raise that little bit more, I will try and dress up and go around some pubs to collect spare change!

charity, sponsor me, brazil, india, tanzania, travel, fundraising, childreach international, kilimanjaro


If I can raise what I have estimated for each event then hopefully I will be way above what I need to raise. Now I'm feeling motivated I'm ready to make sure I get all the planning done ahead of time.

If you have any ways in which you could help me, maybe by taking in a sponsorship form into work, or hosting a little coffee morning, or even just donating, everything helps!

You can now text donate by sending UNLOCK193351 to 70007 which will donate £3!

Find out more about my challenge of climbing Mount Kilimanjaro for Childreach International!

Wish me luck!
- KC xx
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Friday, 10 February 2017

A Valentine's Day for Everyone

08:30:00 13
Hey!

It's less than a week until Valentine's Day and if you're anything like me you haven't even given it a thought yet and it's getting closer and closer. Before you know it, the 14th February is upon us! It seems like a typical man thing to do when you forget Valentine's Day but really there are millions of us girls who don't have a clue either! Is that bad? Nah!

So in the spirit of rushing to buy things, and because I'm a blogger who likes to do typical blogger things every now and again, I have compiled a few lists of some simple but lovely (or funny/daft) gifts you can get your other halves this Valentine's Day!

valentines, day, buys, shopping, fashion, holiday, lover, boyfriend, husband, girlfriend, wife


For Her

For Him

For your best friend!

Valentine's Day may be the day for couples to celebrate their love but why can't it be to celebrate a best friend's love too! Especially if they are single! Send your best friend some love too, because why not?


Remember if you're ordering online you may need to get express delivery, otherwise make up excuses! Wouldn't be the first time I've done that because a present hasn't arrived yet! Also, it's Subway Customer Appreciation day on the 14th so if you want to be even more romantic, they are offering free Subs when you buy a large drink - perfect right?!

I hope you all have a wonderful Valentine's Day whatever your plans are!

- KC xx

Are you single or taken this Valentine's Day? How do you plan on spending the day?
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Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Looking Back on Dominican Republic

08:30:00 11
Hey!

Yesterday marked 130 days until we jet off to the Dominican Republic! I already mentioned in Edmond's Returning to Kruger National Park that this will actually be my 8th time visiting the country. I can't believe it's 8 times! I was quite young most of the times I went (first time being when I was 6 months old) so a lot of the memories blur into one, I still have many that stick out. It's also where my Mum and Dad got married the year before I was born so I feel like the place has a lot of sentiment, probably why we went back so much, and why I still feel like I need to go back!

Last time I went was in 2011 with just my Mum and Dad, we made some great memories thanks to the staff and the trips (I went quad biking!) but unfortunately the hotel we stayed at was slowly going downhill. No disrespect to the locals, because I know many of them are lovely, but many were sneaking into the hotel from a hole in the fence on the beach. It made the hotel way too overcrowded and some were incredibly rude, especially when they were pushing into the queues to get food with their hands instead of using the utensils that were there for a reason. It got so out of hand so much that police had to come in to keep a watchful eye, not that it did much. Anyway, that was all 6 years ago and I think a lot has changed. That hotel is no longer classed as a hotel for starters, instead it's become the gardens and extra pool area for it's sister hotel. I've read up on loads of recent reviews and the general consensus is that the hotels have much improved since then and things are under control, much like they used to be back in 2004 and 2006.

And so I've decided to return to the place that brings back so many memories of my childhood and what the Caribbean is really like. After going to Mexico for the past 3 years, it will be nice to see a proper Caribbean country that has not been Americanised so much. That, and it's at least £300 cheaper, each!

In the spirit of my holiday countdown, I wanted to share some photos of my previous holidays to show you all luscious beaches and grounds in the Dominican Republic (near Puerta Plata)! For now these will just be some from my 2011 trip, so I was about 13/14 (I'm not too sure) but I may do some posts soon that show my 2004 and 2006 trips to the same hotel and my 2008 trip to a different hotel. Might as well have a little laugh at me as a kid!

holiday, travel, dominican republic, caribbean, hispaniola, thomsons, beaches, sun, summer

holiday, travel, dominican republic, caribbean, hispaniola, thomsons, beaches, sun, summer

holiday, travel, dominican republic, caribbean, hispaniola, thomsons, beaches, sun, summer

holiday, travel, dominican republic, caribbean, hispaniola, thomsons, beaches, sun, summer
Look at those sunglasses. And that fringe. Ok, so this picture isn't so bad but it's pre-braces! eek! I was a lot better at doing buns back then though! On to the point of the holiday, there are so many naturally grown trees sticking out in the middle of the sea and on the beach!
holiday, travel, dominican republic, caribbean, hispaniola, thomsons, beaches, sun, summer

holiday, travel, dominican republic, caribbean, hispaniola, thomsons, beaches, sun, summer
On our quad biking trip we took a well needed rest on the beach where, across the sea, you could see our hotel! I hadn't realised we had actually gone so far but what a lovely, exciting way to get to see the island/country a bit more!
holiday, travel, dominican republic, caribbean, hispaniola, thomsons, beaches, sun, summer

holiday, travel, dominican republic, caribbean, hispaniola, thomsons, beaches, sun, summer
There I am at the beach bar! It's not so clear, but you can definitely see a change in my face since then! I also got a photo at this same bar from a different angle because when I went when I was a lot younger than this, I have a picture doing the same. There is a massive height difference. I shall show you them one day, when I've got another to add to the collection this time I go!
holiday, travel, dominican republic, caribbean, hispaniola, thomsons, beaches, sun, summer
Minding where we quad bike as the cattle cross the road! 
holiday, travel, dominican republic, caribbean, hispaniola, thomsons, beaches, sun, summer
The hotel we stayed at is sisters with two other right next door (one of which we are going to this time round) and in between there is Caribbean Street. It's where you'll find the main spa, gym, doctors, and souvenir shops. The entertainment team also host a Caribbean carnival here on one of the nights which I can't wait to see again! The architecture is just so colourful and unique!
holiday, travel, dominican republic, caribbean, hispaniola, thomsons, beaches, sun, summer
I don't usually write in the sand but apparently on this holiday I though 'why not?'. I think other people were doing it so I joined in (during the quad biking trip).
Photos taken 2011 whilst staying at the Clubhotel RIU Mambo

Isn't it so beautiful?! This post has taken me hours to write as I spent most of that time looking back through all of my old photos and reminiscing with my Mum and Dad. It's been a lovely afternoon, despite not getting anything done because of it! I'll definitely share some of the photos from the earlier trips with you soon, because the place is just so gorgeous, and I pull some odd faces. Seeing all these photos again has got me so excited to go back and has reminded me how tropical the country is! As much as I love Mexico, it's not quite like Dom Rep in terms of paradise. That said, I know I'll definitely go back to Mexico a some point because there is still so much to see and learn!

Bring on Dom Rep 2017!

- KC xx

How often do you go through old photos? Do you find it embarrassing or funny when looking back at yourself?
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Monday, 6 February 2017

Berrylicious Shakes

08:30:00 23
Hey!

Over the coming weeks, I have been given the opportunity to work with The Hut Group (a company well known for Zavvi, MyProtein, and MyVitamns) in exposing their latest brand to the world. I'm currently on a mission to eat healthier, get fitter and just generally work on a healthier lifestyle overall. I have no major intentions to lose weight but I would really love to be able to finally tone up and feel fully confident in my body. I've always found it difficult to stick to it but now both Ed (my boyfriend) and I are properly working on it. We've even got a schedule to keep to and meal plans have become a regular thing. After being contacted by the Hut Group, I knew that Exante was exactly what I needed to give me that extra push to do this healthy living thing 100%.

exante, diet, fitness, healthy, lifestyle, living, exercise, food, foodie


Exante aim to help it's customers kick start their healthy living using diet plans to fit in with every lifestyle. Their plans offer continuous online support through a team of nutritionists and fellow dieters, instead of having to go to a weekly session. Their site also offers healthy recipes and meal replacement foods to give you all the nutrition you need without having to cook. I would suggest using these for breakfast or lunch and then a nice hearty meal for tea! I was sent a few of their options to try out!

meal replacement, fitness, weightloss, exercise, exante, diet

Among the items sent was a Cherries and Berries Shake. I must admit, I was a bit skeptical at first as I'm not usually a big fan of cherries but I accepted the offer in the hopes I would be pleasantly surprised, and that I was! The shake comes in powder form for you to simply add 200ml of water. I mixed it with a whisk in a measuring jug, which was bit easier than just in a glass but for those who have a protein shaker, that will do perfectly fine. I expected the shake to be quite thin, much a like a typical Nesquik milk shake, but instead it was a lot thicker immediately making it much more filling. I could definitely tell why this was a meal replacement shake. It's definitely all you need for lunch!

On to the flavour.

I actually really loved the cherry and berry flavour. It wasn't too sweet or strong that it became over powering and too much for me. Instead, it was pleasantly nice, in all ways. It reminded me of a childhood flavour that I couldn't quite put my finger on for a while, now I think that may have been a Drumstick lolly taste. I let my boyfriend have a sip to try it out and he loved it too. It was definitely 'smooth and delicious' as the website says!

Exante diet offer a very large range of flavours for you to try. Everything from Strawberry, banana, chocolate, vanilla (you know, the usual flavours), to white chocolate and raspberry, lemon cheesecake, and honeycomb. I would love to try out some of those next! Not only are they great for helping you out on your diet, but they are gluten free too making them suitable for nearly everyone! At £1.59, they really aren't a bad price, and there are always deals on to get discounts (like their current 60 meals for £60 deal). Overall, I would definitely recommend heading over to exantediet.com and checking out what they have to offer, and be sure to check out their healthy recipes for more ideas on nutritious meals!
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Friday, 3 February 2017

February Goals

08:30:00 19
Hello!

And so we begin discussing how fast the year goes by with the usual, February already?! Valentines day is on it's way, and then Easter and before we know it, I'll be listing my 2018 goals. I have my 20th birthday before that (I will officially no longer be a teen!). In my mission to be more organised this year, I wanted to set myself goals to work at each month.

- Set myself a routine  I have made myseld a daily schedule!
- Meal Plan Started off pretty well then I went home. Now I'm back at uni I will continue
- Prepare for assessments Assessments done (just waiting for results)
- Start Kilimanjaro Training Started but then had to stop because I got ill 
- Get Fundraising Yes and no, started off well and ended well, not much money raised though
- Blogging Blogs written and scheduled

Not too bad to start off the year! Time to set my February goals and see how much I can improve.

February Goals

goals, holiday, fitness, travel, february, january, yearly, lists, blogging, lifestyle


- Do things to fundraise regularly 
I have a list of ideas that I want to start working on. I also have a pub quiz to plan!

- Keep up with university reading 
Last semester I gave up with the reading, but I want to keep up with it so I'm not cramming it all in when I'm doing an essay.

- Exercise everyday 
I need to train for Kilimanjaro and I would like to tone up for Dominican Republic!

- Create healthy recipes
I shall be working with Exante doing some posts so look out for those!

- Be more active on social media
I'm forever hearting posts on Instagram and Twitter but I should comment more!

There we are. My top five goals for this month! Normally I would set myself at least 10 goals on a post like this but then I never seem to manage to complete them all. One of my main blogging goals was to make sure I set myself realistic goals, that should really have been a new year resolution, so this is what I'm trying to do now. Bring on the end of the month when I can officially say I have completed them (fingers crossed)!

What are your goals for this month?

- KC xx

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Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Making money online - for FREE

08:30:00 30
Hey!

I read a post similar to this over a year ago. I have no idea how I found it but it helped me out a lot. I actually think it was a mixture of posts but each helped me earn that little bit extra! January can be such a hard time financially, especially after Christmas, and yet it's when we want to book holidays or get out and do something so we're not just stuck inside all the time. It get difficult to save money to build up our bank accounts. I get student finance and yet, because of my rent, I often still find it difficult to budget and not over-spend. I'm not one for going out all the time so I don't spend money on the typical student life. I really don't know where the money goes sometimes! I'm sure we've all had that feeling.

In the spirit of saving and raising money, I wanted to share these easy ways to earn money online, whether it's a little or a lot!

MAKE MONEY ONLINE
EASY AND FREE!

lottery, selfie, travel, money, lifestyle, holiday, win, competition

The Selfie Lottery

As many of you will be, I was skeptical about joining the Selfie Lottery. Initially I thought that it was a scam or there would be too many people to even have the chance of winning. I joined anyway because it was free and why not eh? Little did I know that around 3 months later, I would win £125! Thanks to friends on twitter for telling me to check it otherwise I wouldn't have claimed it. The money was real! Within 3 days I had an extra £125 in my account ready to be spent!

The idea is that you simply sign up and upload a selfie and everyday one of the selfies is picked at random. Supposedly everyone has equal chance! If the winner doesn't claim it, it rolls over. Every day that you sign in to check it, a 50p loyalty bonus is added! And when a referred friend wins, you win too! So the more friends you can refer, the more chances you have at winning! It's easy to join as you simply sign in with you facebook, twitter or instagram account! Join here!
topcashback, money, saving, holiday, travel, lifestyle
New member deals - Free Elegant Touch Nails ends 12/2, £10 Cashback at Boots ends 5/2, £10 Cashback at Kiddicare ends 19/2


Top Cashback

Top Cashback has become my go-to website. Anytime I plan on buying something online, I always check if I can get cashback. In some cases you can get enough cashback to get the item for free! Around seasonal times they do little hunts across the website for you to earn a bit of extra money too! It's really simple. All you have to do is sign up and the search for the shop you want to browse and buy from, click on it and shop normally. Once you've ordered you items, Top Cashback will record the visit and then you just wait for you money! As you can see above, I have recently got £49.31 back from my holiday that I booked! However with large payments like that, it takes a little longer to go through but at least I know it's on it's way! You can get cashback on pretty much anything! Holidays and insurance included! Join to get your new member deals before the Easter Egg hunt starts!

Qmee, money, savings, holidays, travel, bank, finance

Qmee

It may not look quite as exciting based on my current saving but I cashed out my money quite recently.You may not be able to rake in the money with this one but every little helps right?! Once you've signed up, activate it and all you have to do is search online normally. It's perfect for a busy lifestyle! When you're simply browsing on Google, a little side bar will pop up with suggestions for sites (as shown above). All the sites are perfectly fine. None of them are spam, or at least not the ones I've clicked on. When there's a little '5p' next to the link, click on the link to open the page. Feel free to have a browse around, you never know, you might find what you've been looking for. If you don't want to, simple back up the page after 30 seconds and the 5p will be deposited into your Qmee account. You can cashout the money whenever you like and for every referral you make, you gain an extra 50p. It's a nice and easy way to gain a little bit extra over time! If you really want to, you can sit around for an hour simply searching things to build up your account! If no '5p' sign comes up, you'll probably get a discount code instead to help you make savings on your shopping! Sign up!

fundraising, charity, online, money, saving, kilimanjaro

Easy Fundraising

Instead of keep the money to yourself, you can also donate the money straight from you online purchases. Similarly to TopCashback, you sign up, find the shop and shop like normal. For every purchase, a small percentage is sent straight to your charity! It's a brilliantly way to help charities raise that little bit extra. You may well know by now that I shall be climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in August to raise money for Childreach International so it would be really nice of you to raise as you shop, especially since it doesn't cost you any more than what you would normally pay! Sign up here! If you wish you can also sponsor my climb by donating to my MyDonate page!

Theses are the best sites I've found so far! No surveys involved, as they never seem to work, and no hassle! Best kind of way to earn money right?

Do you use any other sites? What are your top money saving tips?

- KC xx
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