Ochos Rios, Jamaica 2016

Well two of the places I fell in love with during the holiday I went on in December 2016 (see post “My Year of Travel 2016“) was Ochos Rios (Spanish for ‘Eight Rivers’) in Jamaica and Grand Cayman Island, the largest of the three Cayman Islands. In addition to the fact they are both beautiful places, the adventures I experienced were incredible plus it was my first time in either of these places. Definitely on my bucket list to return to both and create further memorable experiences. Check out my Grand Cayman 2016 blog post here.

Ochos Rios, Jamaica

Jamaica has always been a place I have wanted to visit but to be honest I didn’t know what to expect. All I knew about Jamaica was:

  • The sporting legends that come from the place including Usain Bolt, Asafa Powell, Veronica Campbell- Brown, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and the Jamaican Netball Team who I have seen play.
  • The Jamaican National Bobsleigh team who made their debut in the 1988 Winter Olympics…. go and check out the movie “Cool Runnings”!
  • The Top Models Naomi Campbell, Tyson Beckford and Grace Jones.
  • The music…so obviously Bob Marley.

So lets just say my knowledge of Jamaica as far as what the country was li15542323_898454456958832_4471334978583323673_n_fotorke is fairly limited. Unfortunately my GoPro wasn’t charged when I visited this place (Gutted!!!) but I was able to take some photos with my phone during my visit but these don’t really capture what it was like….especially going up the Mystic Mountain.

1. River Dunns Waterfalls

First stop was the River Dunns Waterfalls (Dunns River) which was so fun to do! We had our own small group, our water shoes on and our friendly leader who took us up the water falls….we were ready to go! The leaders were so good, they really made the experience by helping us out and having a good laugh. As we went up the water falls we could look out to the incredible beach behind us looking over the clear, blue water…and it was extremely clear blue! The whole experience probably took just an hour, maybe slightly over so it wasn’t too long but I wouldn’t recommend if you have any injuries as sometimes it was a steep climb with high pressured water coming at you…you could easily lose your balance but you was in safe hands. Even though it is a waterfall I am pretty sure as a tourist attraction some of it has been man-made to avoid being too unsafe. Below is a video that the leader took when going up the waterfall to show you what it was like. Hope you enjoy!

Or click here…Dunns River Falls

2. Mystic Mountain

Next stop was the Mystic Mountain Rainforest (Mystic Mountain) and this was the place to come to get awesome views. The way you get up the mountain is by the Sky Explorer which is a state-of-the-art chairlift…not any kind of chair lift though, one that goes through and above the tree tops of the rainforest at 700 feet. You can see views for miles including the ships that are docked…a peaceful, relaxing ride hearing the nature around.

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Once you reach the top there are some small stalls and a place for food and drink. It is a small village at the top of rainforest! Crazy! The activities you can do include:

  • Bobsled: This is a ride that uses gravity to go through the rainforest on a bobsled!!
  • Zip-line: You can take a zip-line to different platforms through the rainforest.

All I did was the Bobsled and I did not know what to expect as when people go from the top you can’t see them. Well….as a person who hates rides with a massive fear….it was freaking fast!!! You can slow the bobsleigh down with a break but the gravity was so strong I couldn’t slow it down. Despite being so scared going down it was awesome! So exhilarating and I would definitely do it again!!! That is something I never normally say about rides. Despite not being able to film it, I did get a video off youtube below showing another persons’ experience where you can check out to see what it was like.

Mystic Mountain Rainforest & Bobsleigh Ride

 

Remember to check out my Grand Cayman 2016 post!!!!

 

Also here is the video I put together about the whole trip with my family going on the NCL Epic in December 2016 to Great Stirrup Cay, Ochos Rios, Grand Cayman and Cozumel Mexico.

NCL Epic December 2016

Speak Soon x

Live Free…Live a Journey 

 

Happy New Year 2017

Happy New Year Everyone! I hope everyone had a great night with family and friends reflecting on the year of 2016!

I have always had a love/hate relationship with New Year…yes it is a great way to set yourself goals, have a fresh start, everyone is in the same boat and positive motivation is everywhere. However, I used to hate the pressure that comes with a New year, the pressure from the media/social media, the pressure you put on yourself to change and the unrealistic goals set once that clock hits midnight. This is why a lot of people feel like they have “failed” as soon as they fall off the bandwagon which could be as early as January and totally give up during February …….but this is totally NONSENSE…YOU HAVEN’T FAILED!!!!!!! No way have you failed…you are just living!!! There is no need to punish yourself as you can have your ‘new start’ and get right back on the bandwagon whatever time and day it is in the year….it is all about your choices to get the balance right.

My resolutions? Well I have decided not to make one big goal for the year. I am going to set myself small goals throughout the year of 2017. I just want to maintain living a positive lifestyle, I want to keep learning and making changes to better my personal life and career. By setting myself small goals throughout the year I am more likely to successfully complete them as I have a bad habit of starting things and not finishing them. To help with this I am going to continue reading motivational content and mindfulness books to ensure positive changes are continuously being made by learning more about self-worth and being mindful in daily tasks. Some examples include  Light is the New Black by Rebecca Campbell and 52 Small changes for the Mind by Brett Blumenthal. To help with this it is important to track my progress so I did purchase The Happiness Planner (The Happiness Planner) last year and surprise, surprise I got to February and didn’t continue. This year I will begin to use it but I am not going to put any pressure on myself to complete everyday as it begins to become a chore rather than ‘me time’ plus there are a lot of different sections that need to be completed and it can take time. I need to want to do it and enjoy it.

A long with this and what I am actually committing to everyday (can I stress….for the next 5 YEARS!) is my small Q&A book (Q&A) . I think it is the perfect size, nice and compact to keep with me when travelling around and basically it is a question given to you everyday. The same ones each day for the next 5 years. I find this really interesting to see how my answers change across the 5 years and how my outlook on such things change over time, plus it is very simple with not much thinking needed!!! It is an easy task out of your day to complete and gives you some time to just sit and think about one simple topic. Also, it is important I have a notebook around to just jot down anything I want, from ideas, how I feel, lists, inspiration etc.

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Despite scrolling through my newsfeed on my social media and finding out it hasn’t been a good year for many people makes me sad. I have had one of the best years of my life in 2016 and hoping 2017 is even better. However, I know 2016 has been a year of great losses, political crisis, wars and distress etc. which is all heart-breaking. This is why with all the negativity happening in the world it is important to maintain a positive mind and look after your self-worth.

How did I celebrate New Years Eve 2016?

Obviously with my family! I have never been the person to go out on New Years Eve…it doesn’t appeal to me at all going out to over-priced places, everyone being too drunk to function, long lines, expensive taxis etc etc. I think it would be good if it was more like a private function with family and friends but to be honest I enjoy staying in. This is because for a good 5+ years I was working in a pub environment on NYE ,which was good as at least it had some atmosphere and I would always come out with some decent tips, but I was always so glad to get straight to bed after that brutal shift!

So on NYE my parents and I decided to go on a long walk. The weather was perfect…..it is surprisingly not that cold in England for this time of year. It was a crisp, frosty, dry day with no wind or rain in sight. We ended up walking in total of 10 miles! With a pit stop in the middle for some snacks and a drink at Worsley Old Hall which I LOVE as they had music playing, everyone was dressed down and relaxed but most of all they allow dogs inside! I was in my element. It was relaxing to walk through my home town appreciating the beauty and nature around and just chatting with the parents.

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Once it got to the evening it was nice to just relax. My parents, my nan and I sat around the table having a Chinese (which I haven’t had enjoyably for years) and drinks, but most of all we just appreciated each others company. Once it reached midnight my parents and I stood outside the house and watched the fireworks going off from other peoples houses then not long after we all went to bed. Haha! Not the most eventful NYE but it was perfect!

I wish everyone a happy, healthy and positive year of 2017.

Speak Soon x

Live Free…Live a Journey

 

Home Life: Rivington, Lancashire, England

When you return from travelling it really opens your eyes about what is actually around you in your home town. About a 15 minute drive away this amazing place is on my doorstep. I have never appreciated before as much as I do now, I was always the one complaining about where I live but I guess it isn’t all that bad!!! The beauty, the nature, the wildlife, the scenery is so calming, peaceful and relaxing so during the hike I took some pictures of our walking adventure. At these times I wish my dog, Shady, who was part of my life for 14 years was still alive but seeing all the lovely dogs running around happy and free made the experience even more enjoyable.

Hope you like these pictures! Now go out to somewhere different where you live and explore the different sceneries in your town! Be grateful of how lucky we are in this world.

“Always take the scenic route”

 

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Speak Soon x

Live Free…Live a Journey

Get ready with me on Christmas Eve 2016

Here is just a quick overview of what products I used to get ready for my meet up with friends at the local pub on Christmas Eve evening ….

After having a pretty lazy day Christmas Eve I decided to start getting ready for my night out super early. I enjoy taking my time and being relaxed whilst getting ready. So I started off my pamper routine after having a shower with The Body Shop Tea Tree skin clearing clay mask (The Body Shop). I don’t use face masks much but recently I have decided incorporating them more into my beauty routine as it does help bring the impurities out of my skin. Whilst this is on my face, I next put some tinted moisturiser on my body as I am feeling really pale since being back in freezing cold Manchester, England! The one I had in my cupboard was the Garnier Summer Body moisturised lotion light sun kissed look (Garnier Summer). I put a light layer on as I haven’t used any sort of tan in ages and I know I can be prone to getting streaks…not a good look so I played it safe. Once this has dried and soaked into my skin I put on my all time favourite tanning product, Sally Hansen Airbush legs I get in light or medium glow (Sally Hansen) and this product is a life saver! It makes your skin look so even it looks like you are wearing tan tights, super even across my skin and makes sure I am all one colour. It is amazing! I recommend highly. It is the one product I have used for years!

Time to take my face mask off and my skin isn’t has angry and the spots I have have become less red and dried out. Perfect! Next step is to cleanse and tone my face. I have recently purchased a new 3-step cleansing kit which had amazing reviews online and I understand why. It is the La Roche-Posay Effaciar Kit (La Roche-Posay) that includes a cleanser, toner and a anti-imperfections correcteur that is great for us girls who are prone to acne and have them dreaded acne scares.

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Here are the products I used for my night out make-up routine. Super simple and all high street products…. cheap and cheerful 🙂

  • Nivea Tinted Moisturising Day Cream Natural – Nivea Day Cream
  • Balance Active Formula Snake Venom Eye Cream – Eye cream
  • Bagsy wonder wand concealing and illuminating duo – Concealer and Highlighter
  • Maybelline Dream Matte Mouse 008 Light Beige – Matte Mouse Foundation
  • Collection Bronze Blow Matt Powder 1 Terracotta – Bronzer
  • Collection Blush 3 Cheeky – Blusher
  • Maybelline Master strobing stick illuminating highlighter – Highlighter
  • Rimmel London Special Eyes Precision eye liner pencil 114 Rich Brown (Also use as an eyebrow pencil) – Eyeliner and Eyebrow Pencil
  • Maybelline The Nudes eyeshadow palette – Eyeshadow Palette
  • MUA Makeup Academy eyeshadow palette Undress Me Too – Eyeshadow Palette
  • Max Factor False Lash Effect Black mascara – Mascara
  • Max Factor False Lash Epic Black mascara – Mascara
  • Wilkinsons Grape Lip Balm
  • MUA Make up Academy Lip liner Red drama – Lip Liner
  • Rimmel The Only 1 Matte lipstick 810 – Matte Lipstick
  • Loreal Paris Red Color Riche lipstick 461 – Lipstick
  • Balance me Rose Otto Hand Cream – Hand Cream
  • Urban Decay Naked 3 (Bought in China- fake brand but decent quality)

I had some huggies baby wipes (as they do as much as a good job as make-up wipes) on hand just in case any mistakes happened. The essential Sure deodorant bright bouquet (Sure Deodorant). Then I just used the Babyliss Boutique Salon Soft Waves Hair Wand (Babyliss) to create loose curls in my head and held with the V05 ultimate hold hairspray (V05).

To have a glimpse of my look go over to my ‘At home at Christmas 2016’  blog post. I didn’t have chance to take a decent close up photograph as I was rushing at the end of getting ready. Always the case I leave plenty of time to get ready but it takes me twice as long as usual and I am late…. typical!! Why does this happen!

Hope you all had a lovely evening Christmas Eve! I did spending time with some of my friends and it really helped getting me in the Christmas Spirit!

Speak soon x

Live Free..Live a Journey

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At Home at Christmas 2016

Merry Christmas to you all!! I hope everyone had a lovely day with friends and family, enjoyed some nice food and drink and obviously did the present exchanges. I do love Christmas and this year especially I really tried to get into the Christmas spirit and enjoy my christmas at home as I don’t know when my next one will be due to travelling. In this blog post I am going to just let you know what I did this Christmas…nothing over exciting but it was nice to enjoy time with my family and friends.

Christmas Eve 

Christmas Eve was a bit of a lazy one. It’s Christmas why not?! I had a bit of movie day..obviously watching Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone as it was the beginning of the Harry Potter movie marathon that is happening over Christmas (ITV if you didn’t know- finishes Saturday 31st December for people in the UK). The weird thing is I was watching the movie but looking at bikinis for my next travels! Never thought I would be searching for bikinis in the winter!

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It is weird I don’t really like watching Christmas movies at Christmas, I normally hunt out old movies that I watched when I was younger…normally light-hearted easy watching films like the Parent Trap, Mrs Doubtfire, Matilda, Madeline, but most of all (despite being a slight christmas film)…I LOVE The Holiday with Jude Law, Cameron Diaz, Kate Winslet and Jack Black. Am I the only girl who wishes this kind of thing would happen to them? I mustn’t be the only girl who has actually looked at this house swap thing (even though I don’t have my own house) to stay in a cottage or enormous house in LA and hopefully meet a nice gentleman a long the way………oooookkk just me then. Awkward!

Christmas Eve Night out

Moving on! After having a pretty lazy day I decided to start getting ready for my night out super early.  You can check my ‘Get ready with me‘ blog post where I talk about my step-by-step beauty routine. This night was just a casual meet up at the local pub with a few of my friends, some of them I haven’t seen in over a year so it was nice to have a massive catch-up, have some drinks and enjoy each others company. I started off the evening with my parents to have a quick drink and to basically get out of the house. It was a very nice evening which soon escalated so I knew the next day was going to be a slight struggle…but who cares it is CHRISTMAS!

 

Christmas Day

IT IS CHRISTMAS! The day everyone has been waiting for. Not to be morbid or the grinch but it is so overrated and such a hype, but I woke up looking forward to the day. The first stop was church! I used to go to church on a regular basis growing up but I soon drifted away naturally but it is so nice when I am home to go, especially at christmas time as it really gets you in a good mood. After this it was present time!!!! I much prefer giving presents than receiving presents, plus I really wasn’t expecting anything this year as I have been treated enough throughout the year.

Here is a quick timelapse of me, my parents and my nan opening some presents christmas day morning….however if you are thinking where is our christmas tree. This year we opened them in the conservatory rather than the living room where the christmas tree is…don’t ask me why. Its my parents favourite room.

 

After we had finished opening our presents we had a few hours to kill before we went for our Christmas Day Meal. Here is what I got for my presents this year….I am so grateful.

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It includes: lounge wear, underwear, bikini, earrings, fairy lights, decorative light, wireless headphones and lipsticks. So happy with it all!!! Obviously I have got things bought for me previously in the year too!

Next stop was the family meal! We went to Casa Nostra Italian Restaurant (Casa Nostra)  which is the restaurant of my cousins husband and this isn’t the first year we have been! It is becoming a regular thing at christmas time because it is delicious! Don’t be put off that is it Italian as it did do the traditional turkey dinner.

What did I have:

Starter- ANTIPASTO CARNIVORO Selection of Italian cured meats, pickles, sundried tomatoes and mixed grilled vegetables

Main Course – TRADITIONAL ROAST TURKEY Served with all the trimmings

Desert- FRESH FRUIT SALAD

It was delicious and a lovely meal with family and friends!

Well that is Christmas over with for another year. After the meal I crashed and had a relaxing evening. It was a great day and a day to think about all those people who unfortunately cannot celebrate with us anymore but are looking down from above and always in our thoughts, hearts and forever missed.

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Speak Soon x

Live Free…Live a Journey