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My Carry On Flight Essentials

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Travel: My carry-on flight essentials

With another long haul, multi city trip ahead of us, I’ve been starting to plan the things that are essential for travelling, mostly by plane but we'll also be travelling by train and grayhound too. There are things I won’t leave behind but go in my checked in luggage (no – I am not a 40 weeks in a carry on kind of girl) and there are some things that I’ll make sure I have with me on the plane (train, automobile) and in the airport.

Because the flights on this trip are with BA we get two carry on bags (for women it’s a travel bag and a handbag, for me a travel bag and laptop bag I think) which is really useful. It means I can make sure I have my essentials with me and organised. 90% of the stuff I take with me will be in my rucksack, and then I’ll keep a few of the bits I need to keep close to me in my handbag and I like to make sure that my handbag will fit in my rucksack if needs be. This also means I have bag options on holiday without having to pack loads of them.

What I keep in my handbag.

The handbag I use most often is this soft, black leather, JL handbag. It has a long strap for across body and a short one for shoulder action. It’s got a couple of zip pockets inside and a clasp on the top. It’s big enough to keep my camera in, but not huge.

Day to day at home it’s full of all sorts of rubbish. It’s a handbag. It collects crap. But at the airport it’ll be really empty. It’ll just contain:

  • Passport & tickets (if not on my phone)
  • purse,
  • phone,
  • Ipod (yes I know it’s from the dark ages but it still works) & headphones
  • flight liquids bag.

All these bits need to be easy to get to so having them here means no looking through a back pack for them.  

My flight liquids bag (you should always grab extra of these when you’re at the airport and they are free) is never very full but has all the essentials in it:

  • Moisturiser decanted into a little pot. Flights are so urg for skin aren’t they.
  • Lipbalm. I always forget to take one out of my pocket though and get beeped at security.
  • Pepstart. If you haven’t tried this yet. It feels amazing.
  • Vitamin E face spray (this is decanted from a big bottle) 
  • Under eye concealer. Just for a quick touch up at the airport at the other end so I don’t look dead.
  • Mini deodorant. Not for use of the plane, obviously. But that time waiting for luggage at the other end needs spending somehow. 
  • Rollerball perfume. No-one wants to get out of the airport smelling stuffy.
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste.
  • Hairbrush.
  • Invisibobbles.
  • Painkillers and IBS tablets. I keep them all in this little advil tube so they don’t take up much room.


What I keep in my Rucksack.
I picked up this super cute bag from a French company called G-Ride. I think it might have popped up in my pinterest feed at some point. It's probably not the most practical bag to travel with as its not go loads of pockets but I love it.  
When it comes to packing it - First up I add in my tech stuff. There are somethings I’d rather have with me than checked in.
  • Laptop and charger - I love my Surface Pro as it’s so light and small. It takes up no room what so ever.
  • SLR and lenses in a padded case - this one fits a couple of lenses and general other crap in it!
  • Phone charger & plug - Loads of places have USB points now though.
  • Kindle - I’m debating putting my books on my laptop for the trip, but  then again might just take the Kindle. It’s stocked up with some books that have a theme of the places we’re visiting. I thought that fitting.
  • Instax printer & film (I don't want to risk putting it through the big bag scanners)
Then I have a few other essentials that just get thrown in where even they will slide in. It’s like bag tetris in there.
  • Sunnies – these are a must have summer or winter. Especially long haul.
  • Scarf – weight depending on location. Whatever the weather it’ll be useful on the plane as a pillow, cover up, bib if you’re a messy eater and wearing white (never wear white on a flight!)
  • Beanie – a must have for a winter flight
  • Eye sleep mask (I forgot to photograph it but it's a freebie from a past flight)
  • Empty water bottle to fill post security / pre flight. I drink so much water I can only imagine how annoyed the plane staff would get with me binging them.
  • Notepad and pen.
  • Spare undies. 1 if you’ve got a long flight there is nothing better than fresh clothes. 2 if your bag gets lost at least you have one pair!
And written down like that it seems like a ton of stuff goes in my travelling bags but I promise you it's not that much stuff in real life.
What are your flight essentials?

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The life changing magic of not giving a f.......


Last month I picked up a new book ‘The life changing magic of not giving a f**k’ by Sarah Knight on a bit of a whim. Maybe because I thought it would be a bit of a joke book, Maybe because it has a pretty pink cover. Maybe because it’s a bit sweary and lets face it, we all know swearing is cool.
 
But then I started reading it and realised that hiding in that pink cover is a pretty amazing book.
One of the things I am terribly guilty of is trying to please people. And mostly trying to please people who I really shouldn’t be trying to please because they just aren’t worth it. And I care far too much about what people think of me. As a result of this I’m always saying yes to doing things I have zero interest in doing so as not to offend said people I’m trying to please or make them think I'm a nob.
If that sounds a bit like you then you have to read this book. Order it now. There is a link here.
The book is all about identifying what is important in your life (what you give a fuck about) and what isn’t. Then it talks you through creating a ‘fuck budget’ to determine where your fucks are best spent. There are also some great chapters on how to not be an asshole whilst putting this plan into place, and how tackle your family, how not to get fired from work and keeping your friends whilst doing it. There are paragraphs on dealing with endless and pointless conference calls, on avoiding those nights out you have no interest on going on and on getting out of those 4 day weddings abroad you just can’t afford. Oh and kids parties. I now have a personal policy to not attend kids parties. Puppy parties however feel free to invite me to!
 
For instance some of the things that feature highly on my ‘no fucks given’ list* at the moment are:
  • Going to events I have no time/money/energy for. If I say no to something you’re organising. Please don’t take offence; sometimes I just can’t justify the expense of going on a 2 day bender in London. And sometimes I’ve had a hectic week and just need a night in my PJ’s with the pups. Or it might be that I just don' like you. Jokes.
  • Judgemental people who weigh in on things they have no clue about. You don't know who you're offending or how much damage you're doing with your ridiculous opinions. It's fine to have your opinions but don't throw them about. Well, not near me.
  • Running, Actually, people who talk about it ALL THE TIME. Yes we know you ran 10 marathons this week. You never bloody shut up about it.
  • Babies. Namely pretending I like them. I have puppies. That’s plenty enough for me thanks.
  • Apologising for stuff that’s no my fault or doesn’t require an apology . I do it all the time. It’s so annoying. I’m trying to stop. I need your help with it. Slap my hand if I say sorry unnecessarily.
  • Internet Explorer.
I’ve not read a ‘self help’ book before, I haven’t even Marie Kondo’d my wardrobe or life yet, but as you can see this ‘life changing magic’ book has had a real impact on my life. I read and reread chapters. I made notes. I’ve started assessing what I should be doing with my days more rather than just blindly going along with the things I *think* I should be doing. I laughed out loud more times on the bus than a person trying to pretend they're full sane should. I’ve debated buying the digital version to have with me to refer back to because the book is currently being read by Toni, and there is a list of people wanting it after her. (Incidentally, if you’re a 3d friend of mine and receive a book shaped present……I’m not saying it’s definitely this, but it probably is).

Honestly, I can’t recommend it highly enough. Plus, it looks pretty on Instagram.

*This is not an exhaustive list because some of the items on it are a bit personal or relate to specific people so I fel they were better off my blog. You know, so I'm not a total asshole about it all!
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Storage solutions - How to store your handbags?

We’re in the middle of having our house rewired. It’s apparently taking forever. Our house is in disarray. There is crap everywhere. Which has me wanting, more than ever, to have my house in some sort of order. I’m trying to tackle it all small jobs at a time - I’m ruthlessly binning the contents of drawers I haven’t opened since we moved in, I’m sorting crafting supplies to look pretty again. I’m trying to find a home for everything.

One of the things I have a bee in my bonnet (sorry. I think I just turned into my nan with that phrase) is handbag storage. They’ve been hanging in my hallway on hooks that are being removed, or shoved out of sight since we moved to this house.
I’m not a designer handbag kind of gal. You’ll not find a Bayswater in our house (honestly £800? For a handbag? I’d be scared to take it out of the house, plus, that’d pay for a holiday – I know it’s all about priorities though.) But I do have some ‘nice’ bags (some are even ‘come in a bag of their own’ nice) that I need to keep somewhere rather than shoved in a drawer or cupboard where I forget about them. I’ve been looking on Pinterest and I’ve found these options.

 

But how do you keep your handbags? Do you have any magical tips you can share with me?
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On being a little bit jealous of your friends.

Image from We Heart It
In a month of my best friends moves even further away from me to chase a dream. Her last move was to London to chase fun. This time she is moving the Devon to open a coffee shop by the sea. And I am so incredibly proud of her, excited for her, and insanely jealous of her! 

The coffee shop has been her dream for most, maybe all, of the 12 years I've known her. We used to while about the hours at Quiksilver talking about it. But in those days it was in Leeds, and was half coffee shop, half super cool clothes store and we'd have been running it together (it was going to be awesome.) The place she's opening now though sounds so much like the coffee shop she had in those far fetched discussions and I am so proud of how much she has done to make it happen. 

I know saying I'm jealous of her makes me sound awful, like I'm not supporting her, and maybe you think I shouldn't be jealous of her  but I'm just going to put this out there - I'm jealous that she has the dream that she is following. And I'm jealous of a good few of my friends - the ones who have have the awesome dreams of how their life should look and been brave enough to chase them. I'm jealous that they are doing things they really love, or living somewhere they've dreamt of being all their lives. And the ones who get to stay at home with their dogs all day - well, lets not talk about that brand of jealousy. 

Don't get me wrong,  whilst I do love working in digital marketing (and it means that I can help said friend with a website and some social media training), and one a good day I love living in Sheffield but I remember the dreams I had as a child to be a writer, or a marine biologist (although I think this was more to do with my love of the sea than anything else!), to move to Vancouver, to live in the mountains. 

But I don't see this jealousy I have for my friends as a bad thing - I'm seeing it as an opportunity to channel a bit of this jealousy in to working on some of my dreams? What do you think? Is it wrong to be jealous of your friends sometimes?
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DIY - A Liberty Camera Strap


I’ve been thinking for a while that I wanted to up my camera game. Do something to make me want to carry it with me more – I am so guilty of leaving it at home because it’s so easy to throw my phone in my bag. Do something to make me love it more.  And so I decided I needed a new strap. I had the XX straps on my Christmas list (but I got a holiday instead so I’m not going to complain! Really. I’m not!) And as I’m saving for said holiday I figured I shouldn’t go dropping close to £70 on a new strap, no matter how pretty it is! So DIY was the way forwards.


I popped up to my craft room for a riffle around to see what I might be hoarding that would be suitable to make one with. After working my way through my scarf collection and not being able to part with any of them,  I found a meter of beautiful Liberty fabric that’s so silky smooth and has bright pink flecks and a piece of bright pink pleather (obviously) – I knew they would be perfect together! The only thing I needed was a way to attached the camera to the strap. After a little hunt on Pinterest, most of the tutorials I came across had you attached the camera with a keyring clip but that’s not what I was after – I wanted proper webbing straps to attach to the camera. Enter Ebay and some super fast shipping of these little bad boys! Once I had the bits I needed making the strap was easy. It took me about 20-25 minutes!

What you’ll need.
  • Fabric the length of your camera strap (or longer if you’re wanting to make it sit lower)
  • Leather or pleather for the ends of the strap
  • Camera attachment webbing straps. I bought these and cut the clip ends off.
  • Sewing machine.


What you need to do
  • Start by measuring your camera strap. Mine was 100cm long. I measured out my fabric to be 3 inches longer than the strap so I had some fabric to play with.
  • Now you need to decide how wide you want it. I chose to double over my fabric as the pattern was one sided. The piece I ended up with was 100cm long and 60cm wide. (If you’re using a scarf you wouldn’t need to do this)
    • If you’re using one sided fabric and want it to be a tube, fold your fabric in half, right sides together and sew along the long edge to make a tube. I left the two short ends open.
  • Make a template for the pleather ends of the straps. I drew round my camera strap ends using a flier I had lying about. Once I had the template, I cut out 4 pieces all exactly the same.
  • Sandwich the ends of the fabric between two pieces of the pleather ‘ends’ that are right side out. Pin at the top to hold it in place.
  • Insert one of the camera attachment ends into the bottom of the pleather end, and pin in place.
  • Sew around the edge of the pleather. Making sure to trap all the fabric and the webbing strap. As I was using pleather, there seems to be a bit of sticking on my sewing machine foot. If I did this again I’d pop a bit of washi tape over it to reduce the sticking.
  • Once you have sewn around the edges, sew across over the middle of the strap ends to further secure the webbing.
  • Attach to your camera and enjoy.
See – easy peasy. And it feels really lovely round my neck too. And secure. That’s the main thing here isn’t it – I’ll be honest, I tested it over the sofa in case it didn’t hold so the camera would bounce - but it seems to be pretty solid! The hardest part was choosing the fabric to use.

What do you think? Would you jazz up your camera like this?

(sorry the pictures aren't great - I've discovered the issue with having your camera in the pictures is you can't use your camera! Phone pics will have to so. Ooooops.)
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My goals for February


January was a sea of birthday celebrations, spending time with my favourites human and furfaced, starting a new job that took me away from the fur faces for far longer than I want to be away from them. There were some delicious meals, there were outings in the snow and outing to the beach. There were new routines to figure out, and healthy eating plans to implement, and a lot of cake to eat too. January was a big juxtaposition. 

And now on to February. 


We have a lot of holiday planning to do. Lots of Airbnbs to to book - there are just so many of them it's hard to choose. I want to keep up reading lots, I just need to find some more motivation. I'm working on a website for a friend that needs completing. I also need to fall back in love with using my fitbit. Give me a kick to be a little bit healthier. And we really need this puppy to crack the toilet training. He's great at going outside when you tell him but he just forgets (or likes being naughty too much) and so we really need to get him sorted on the toilet training. 

What have you got planned for the month?
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