What MyHeritage DNA Results Have Taught Me!

When I was kindly contacted by the team at MyHeritage to do a MyHeritage DNA test, I jumped at the chance! I had a very vague idea of my heritage, I thought it was mostly going to be Irish, English and Scottish; I had wondered if there was a tiny bit of southern European in me, as many people often ask me if I had any Spanish or Italian origins. I received my kit through MyHeritage, which involved a very simple task of swirling the swab around your cheek (one swab per cheek), snapping off the end into the little pot of liquid and sending it abroad.


It states that it takes upto 4 weeks to get your results, because of travelling time but mine came through quicker. I had been incredibly excited because it really does give you a true sense of belonging, as well as excitement into where your ancestors came from and some of your traits, characteristics that may come from other parts of the world. Once you have sent your kit off, it's vital to activate it online, that way you can make your own family tree if you wish and you can have email reminders sent when your DNA is in the lab and when you get your results! It is super easy and really fun to set up all your details and await the results!



The Results! 


I received an email over the weekend from MyHeritage to let me know that my DNA results had come back. I anxiously clicked onto the results to see what my heritage would be and it's safe to say I had some serious surprises...and surprises that truly made me see the world and the way we look at our culture much differently. As you can see from my results below, it came back as 0% English. Being born and raised in England, and nearly all my family members being born and raised here in England, it came as a huge shock to see that there was no English ancestry. 51.6% of my DNA was as expected, Irish, Scottish and Welsh. Coming from a predominantly Irish background from my maternal side, I had a feeling this would probably be a higher percentage, but just a little over half of me is from the British isles.



However, I was also nearly just as shocked to find out that just about a whole other half of me is Western European. Although the results are rather broad, it takes into consideration a lot of the western countries, I did believe that it could be mostly French ancestry with my surname being of French origin, but I did not realise it would be such a high percentage!

Thirdly, the tiny little bit of DNA left in me, is from the Middle East! That I did NOT expect but that is the one that excited me the most. I have been racking my brains wondering how and where this may have come from, such a teeny percentage of me, but still, a part of me. Perhaps this is where my love for hot weather has come from! Or my love of more exotic foods! The possibilities are endless, and truthfully, it has made me want to visit the Middle East even more now. The other thing that MyHeritage DNA test has given me, is an even bigger insight into the world. It certainly should make everyone a little more sensitive to immigration and other races. You never know what DNA is within you, or even who you may be a distant relative of. The possibilities are endless and it's been a fantastic learning curve!

If you wish to grab a DNA kit today, then click here and start uncovering your past today! £75 for the kit...but well worth it if you would like to find distant relatives! I did uncover quite a few fourth and fifth cousins in the USA which is very exciting and have already got into contact with them to see how we may be related and who we may be related to! The opportunities are endless!  

Don't forget for FREE SHIPPING use my coupon THEELEGANTLIFE at checkout! 

Let’s Talk Breasts! Brassybra Review

Finding the ultimate adhesive bra for those fashion statements is not an easy task. Only recently have I been on the sesarch for a good adhesive bra that stays on and is comfortable, without compromising on style or support. That is why I have teamed up with the incredible team over at Brassybra, who aren't just a bra company, but promote and work alongside some incredible people and charities. Their adhesive bras have been dubbed 'the invisible bra that actually works'. That is something I can vouch for. Having tried many in the past few months, I have realised that most do not support in the way I'd want and aren't easy to travel with. Brassybra ticks all the boxes!
  • Comfortable 
  • Easy to travel with
  • Come with additional sticky pads for extra support
  • Are for all women of all sizes
  • Bras can be shaped to your body and cut easily to be hidden if needed 
  • Safe and certified adhesive - although you shouldn't wear your bra overnight! 
  • Waterproof - so it gives you that support you need when you're at the pool! 
  • Can move easily without worry of it working off - brilliant for dancing! 






How does it work? 

Brassybra comes in a multitude of colours and sizes, for everyone. It is especially brilliant for the bigger chested ladies, who need a little more support. You can find the right colour for you, these are, vanilla, caramel, chocolate, cocoa and licorice which will go with any outfit. The 'little extra' strips are available in these colours for additional support that you can stick around the edges of your Brassyabra. Although the diagram of how to fit and remove your Brassybra is seen on the packaging, I am going to take you through it too, to show you just how easy it is and how simple they are to fit, giving such a lovely uplift and good support. Take out your Brassybra, let's take a black Brassybra. My Brassybra is a C-D cup. Use your little flower pads to cover your nipple area. This will protect them, and of course they look super cute!  Reveal the sticky side of the bra, lift up your breast, attach the bra to the bottom of the breast and pull it upwards, until it feels comfortable and looks right to you. *TIP* Don't take the paper sheild off first, as it takes time to get the hang of how to use your bra, keep the paper on and lift upwards, that is what works best for me and I can get a brilliant shape and lift.

Once it's in the right position, get dressed! If your bra overlaps and can be seen through your clothing, you can easily cut it to change the shape. Then, you're ready to go and you will see how perfectly it supports your bosom area. It's comfortable and very supportive; the material is light and uninvasive, truly is a really easy and practical bra to use for those tops and fashion items that are just that extra bit difficult to style! 





How Do I Remove It?

The Brassybra do come with little wipes that you can use to gently remove your bra. However, it is vital that you remove it gently, coconut oil or any kind of body oil can be a brilliant way to slowly and safely remove your bra without aggravating the skin in any way! Remember, your Brassybra will stay on during swimming, it will give that extra support to you in your swimming outfit, which is such a brilliant perk!


To shop this amazing bra, you can click here and order your first one today, to make wearing halter tops, sleeveless tops and crop tops much easier to wear! The team over on their Instagram @brassybra are helpful and ready to answer any questions you should have! Start enjoying fashion again...I know I have!!


Thessaloniki, Greece

Thessaloniki, in northern Greece is the country's second largest city. In the far north, not too far from teh Macedonian border lies this lovely artistic and incredibly vibrant city. A relaxed way of life, where coffee and cigarettes in the sun is practically their religion, it is a brilliant place for young people or groups of friends. Seeped in history, with remnants of WW2 everywhere and of course the iconic White Tower, it is full of cafes, bars, lots of shops and a very bright cheerful atmosphere. It may be a small city but it is mighty and there are plenty of ruins and historical sites to see. The sightseeing bus is €10 per person and takes you to the big sights but possibly isn't the best value, as it seems to miss out some huge churches and monuments but you could pick the nearest bus stop and explore fully on foot; although my tired body did not allow it.



What To See

The White Tower is a historical point in the city and is beautiful. You can enter the tower and climb the stairs to the top to see the view of the sea and the city. Castro is also a brilliant place to see for views, you can hop on the city tour bus (€10 for the day) to see the sights, although it doesn't stop at many great places, it is a good way to get around if your time is limited there. At Castro there are little neigbourhoods to explore and a few ruins, including cafes and taverns with great views. The shopping area is huge in Thessaloniki. It is one long main street with boutiques and high street names, that make it a great stop off for shopping and treating yourself. I saw quite a few beautiful bag shops, good quality at good prices, it really was impressive for shoppers and can see its attraction for that alone. The main shopping street is on Tsmiski. If you take a walk along the waterfront, there are little gardens and artwork dotted around. It is very interesting for those who enjoy a little bit of culture and art. The city is famous for its students, so it's lively and always something going on!

















The history of Thessaloniki is very fascinating and you will notice the architecture is slightly different to the south and the islands. It is stone mostly and has a definite influence from it's Macedonian roots. Of course, there was a large Jewish community and there is one lasting synagogue in the city from WW2 when sadly most of the Jews were exterminated by the Nazis. The holocaust memorial is not too far from Aristotelous Square on the main road.

Where To Stay 

I stayed at the Electra Palace Hotel. It was my second stay at an Electra hotel, as I have been to the one in Athens before and loved it. The location was perfect in Aristotelous Square, near to all the shops, all the cafes and within walking distance of the sea edge and the White Tower. There are lots of affordable hotels in Thessaloniki, many are based right in the city centre, but beware, it is a very LOUD city!! There are bikes, street noise, workers noises right through until about 4am and then it seemed to settle a little until about 7am but it's such a vibrant city, I found it to be even more noisy than Athens, but perhaps that was partly bad luck! There are some other 4 star alternatives for people who like a nice home away from home with all the comforts, including the City Hotel which is artistic and I passed it on my walk and it is stylish and very boutique feeling (would be good for couples!)

I took this photo from the breakfast suite of the Electra Palace - those skies! So moody yet so beautiful!



My ultimate travel companion was this amazing heavy duty yet still soft bag from Rox and Ann
What Is Accessible From Thessaloniki

The answer is quite a lot! Down the coast, you have the beautiful resorts in Halkidiki, around an hour or so away, with beautiful hotels and stunning beaches, which are becoming very popular with holidaymakers in recent months. Also, there are plenty of your companies in the city which can take you to the nearby Mount Olympus and Meteora (I was highly impressed) which are all magical wonders of this fantastic country!

So why not make this charming, small and friendly little city your next city break!





Mycanae & Epidaurus With Key Tours

After two previous wonderful trips with Key Tours, I had the opportunity to work with them again, this time going on a bigger trip, a full day trip to Mycanae and Epidaurus in mainland Greece! It was an incredible trip from start to finish, the staff and guides are always informative, friendly, and our guide Katia was very good, telling us about the history of the city and information about the areas we passed. Our itinerary was jampacked, with a stop off at the Corinth Canal on the way and it was a fantastic sight to say the least! Here is a breakdown from start to finish of my amazing trip, including lots of photos which are guaranteed to give you Greek wanderlust!

Dress: Klass Collection 
8:15am - pick up from hotel and head out to the Peloponnese to our first stop at Mycanae. We have a short coffee break at Corinth Canal which is a 4 mile canal which is an absolutely wonderful sight, from the bridge above, looking down into the unforgiving waters! See below how huge the drop is!



Mycanae

Next it is onto Mycanae, an archeological site with fantastic ruins and a beehive monastary which is shaped like a dome and hive, where dead bodies were stored...it was truly fascinating and definitely a little creepy! Mycanae is also home to ruins on the top of the hill where their Acropolis was situated. It was interesting to know that many cities have an Acropolis, meaning the highest point in the city but of course the Acropolis in Athens is the most famous. There is a walk upto the ruins but with the bad wind and rain on the day, we were unable to climb to the top, but even just going half way gives you the opportunity to see the most wonderful views of the surrounding countryside. It is wonderful to hear about the mythology of the area and the site has a museum which is also incredibly informative. There is plenty to see and learn about!









After this, we moved forwards onto a pottery shop in the area to have a little chat about how the famous pottery is made, including the famous justice cup which spills out if you fill it too much, which holds a moral message that we should never be greedy. It was great time to look at the amazing shop and I picked up two little pots that were just €2!! The shop was fascinating, there is something very beautiful about the Greek styles, they are timeless and even today they are copied by some of the biggest brands in the world. Before our stop off for lunch in Nafplio (Greece's first capital before Athens took the throne), we had a small walking tour through the old town. It is an incredible place and truly would be a brilliant place to stop for a weekend, if you are in a car. There are boutique hotels, plenty of trendy restaurants, beautiful streets and shops and at the top there is the Fortress of Palamidi at the top boasting beautiful views. We were shown down to the harbour where we had a lunch waiting for us!





The town of Nafplio is used on the weekends mostly by Athenians who escape the heat and the hustle and bustle, for the quiet streets and relaxing waters in the area. It is also home to Greece's first ever pharmacy, which is incredible. Scroll down to see this gorgeous little town and why it was one of my highlights, I am sure you'll be able to see why!







Epidaurus

Epidaurus is a popular and stunning ampitheatre and the best preserved in the world. It's not as big as I expected but it is majestic and certainly humbling. Every year, festivals are performed here, available in English also so all can enjoy! The area is surrounded by parkland, cafes and is a hotspot for tourists. Also, there is a museum with in depth details about the history and Greek mythology. The whole area is dripping in history and it is a very inspirational place to visit. The area of Epidaurus is also popular with its town on the coastline, which also makes this a fantastic place to visit if you have time. I was impressed with our tour guide for her consistency and knowledge of the history, it was so fascinating to hear about so much, there was too much to take in, but it was definitely worth it!





The drive back to Athens was also a magical experience. Driving down the coast all the way across back to Athens, you have stunning views high up of the Saronic gulf, and all its luscious villages and landscapes on the way back. The rain had held off, the sun was beaming and bright beautiful rainbows hung in the sky so perfectly. It had been a dreamy trip and I was certainly ready to look back at all my photos!

Key Tours are consistent with performance and prices, they are undoubtedly my go to when in Greece and they also offer airport transfers at competitive prices. If you would lke to see more or are thinking of booking some tours whilst you're in this stunning country, then click here! Thank you for an unforgettable day!!









5 Cultured Museums & Galleries

Travelling is one of life's biggest adventures. Waking up in a new city, dipping your feet into the new culture, perhaps new language and of course making the memories and building up a large collection of Instagram worthy photos. Travel is good for the mind and the body, but also spiritually and I find that this is the biggest benefit of travelling. The outlook it gives you on life, the positivity that seeps into your mind, then creating a strong mindset is priceless. Mixing a little bit of art into your trip is also beneficial. Art galleries are such quiet peaceful places and often very inspirational. One of my favourite hobbies is to play with watercolours, so clearly Monet paintings are beautiful and subtle and it is definitely a goal of mine to see one in person. However, this blog is going to be for those who love that artistic culture of other countries nad so I'm pointing out five of the best museums worldwide that you must see if and when you're on the road.

Photo Courtesy: wien.info
The Louvre, Paris 

Paris is the city of love, culture, beauty and art. The Louvre is home to the ever so famous Mona Lisa painting of course, and it is a museum that is jam packed full of incredible pieces of art so luscious and magical that you will leave feeling so inspired and probably incredibly fulfilled. From modern art to the renaissance period, The Louvre has it all, and the entrance fee is €9 which is, considering its fame is a good price for a museum entry. It is the world's most visited museum and this is incredibly pleasing for a culture lover like myself, because Paris is certainly holding the crown in the art world and it is a brilliant way to also appreciate history. The museum itself does become busy, so getting an early start may be a good bet if you do not want long queues and busy halls inside. Website here.

Photo Courtesy: Nomadic Matt
Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam 

Amsterdam, as you probably know is the home of Van Gogh and a well known city for its art culture and its artistic flair; from galleries to shops and artwork in the streets, Holland is truly a place of art. At its core, it represents beauty, culture and freedom. The Van Gogh museum is a brilliant place to start if this is your type of art, however the Rijksmuseum has a much broader spectrum of artwork that would be better suited to art lovers. It focuses on Dutch art and history from the middle ages and some of the work includes Rembrandt and Van Gogh so this may be a good alternative to save money! The price of entry is €17.50 for adults, a little higher than Paris but there is a very good selection of famous artists and paintings. Website here.

Photo Courtesy: Rijksmuseum
Vatican Museums, Rome

Rome is the city of ancient history. Ever inch of Rome is seeped in history and therefore its Vatican Museums follow suit and home some incredible pieces of art. This gallery is not just paintings but is famous for its sculptures, including Renassiance art and of course paying homage to Pablo Picasso. The interior of the museum itself is well worth a visit, with stunning architecture. Its entry is €5 per ticket, which is well worth it for the art is houses and also for the building itself. This price also includes a visit to the Sistine Chapel and should be a brilliant tourist spot if you're in the city and wanting to take in as many sights as you can. Website here. If you're wanting a spot of luxury whilst staying in Italy then look for luxury villas from A&K.

Photo Courtesy: Secret Italy 
Tate Modern

My first visit to Tate Modern was in high school, when I felt that I did not fully aprpeciate it. I did not fully understand the history and significance of art as much as I do now. This is a brilliant museum for modern art lovers, with all its simplicity and bold colours, bright beautiful pieces of art that inspire and are so full of creation you could burst! Based in the heart of London, you can visit Tate Modern at a price of £25.00 (at its highest price, they vary). Inside you will find some pieces from Andy Warhol and more recent artists who have created and brought to life modern art in a way we did not think possible. Impressionism is also a big hit in London, so you will see many unusual and creative pieces. Website here.



Acropolis Museum, Athens

Athens is a very underrated city; beauty and culture all in one with history around every corner and the Acropolis Museum is a must see for those in the city.  The museum focuses heavily on science, with sculptures, findings from the city including rock formations and much more that is integral to the history of the city. Entry is €20 euros and €10 during winter. To experience the true history of Athens and what it represents, this museum is a must see. For more information on Athens and a comprehensive guide to the city, click here!



Happy travelling!

Bottomless Brunch At Issho

Issho is the new "in place", oodles of style and the ultimate in chic. Issho is a Japanese restaurant, which has a huge range of sushi and traditional Japanese dishes, served beautifully, artistically and in the most gorgeous rooftop setting in the new Victoria Gate. The restaurant has a rooftop terrace, which is divine and so comfy, on a beautiful day the blue skies and the tops of the buildings in Leeds really made you see the city in a way you haven't before; especially for a native who, after twenty nine years of living here, is a little sick of the sight of it. Issho is one of the reasons why I'm falling back in love with Leeds again. It's trendy and above all, it's top notch food and service.




They recently launched their bottomless buffet which is a buffet of carefully crafted sushi rolls, salads and a choice of warm food. It is £35 per person and if you should wish, you can add a glass of prosecco to your lunch, but the best part is, that is bottomless too! You can eat as much sushi as you wish which includes Robatayki, Bao buns, Maki, Nigiri and Sashimi, available from 12-3pm on Sundays! The whole experience was lovely, and it was definitely worth a try for me. Very laidback atmosphere and no rush at all. The sushi rolls included spicy tuna and salmon, nothing too difficult for the palate so if you're a newbie, this is a great place to come. They offered a beautiful tomato salad in a whipped tofu sauce, which was so delicate and cleansing. Also they had plenty of meat options which were being served by the waiters, so there was always something new to try if you fancied! There were chicken skewers and pork which looked lovely although I stuck to my regular veggies. If you're a vegan, you do not need to worry, there are vegan options too, I was enticed by the gorgeous looking veg rolls, which were just so delicious. I spoke to the head chef who was a delight and she told me that they are the only place in Leeds to offer this kind of buffet which is freshly made sushi prepared in an authentic way. The staff were attentive and friendly, willing to help, discuss the food options in detail; there to make your experience really good and I have always found them to be of a high standard. Some of the dishes I opted for were: chargrilled asparagus, edamame beans, tomato salad, california rolls, veggie rolls, and a type of veg dumpling to start with which was mildly spicy but delicious!






For dessert there was a mix of fresh fruit and caramel sauces, which were a lovely sweet addition to the fruit. Everything was very fresh and the fruit was a beautiful way to refresh after the sushi. You can request your hot food at the table and it will be made to order. It's a brilliant way to finish a day of shopping or even just for that girly trip you've been meaning to take forever. Or impress on a business date, or even show your friends from out of town what Leeds really has to offer at Issho! It's even a brilliant place to pop in for a drink, on the terrace, after work or for a relaxing pitstop.

For more information on Issho and their menus, including the bottomless brunch, then click here. I would suggest booking for your bottomless brunch as it is likely to get busy and this way you can ensure you have a guaranteed table.

*My visit was provided complimentary in exchange for a review but all thoughts and views are my own. 

Beginner's Guide To Palma De Majorca



Palma De Majorca (Mallorca) was on my travel bucket list specifically because of the majestic Cathedral that is the staple of Spanish beauty and the fact that I had never explored the Spanish islands. Majorca seemed the best place to start. It's relatively large and is also relatively easy going, unlike its sister island, Ibiza. I booked a hotel outside of the city (by complete mistake, but worked out for the better), in the area of Playa De Palma. Admittedly, I had no idea that this area catered mostly for German tourists, nevertheless, it was a lovely spot, there were some Brits and of course many people speak English. Before I talk about Palma and share with you some of my favourite photos, I'll chat to you a little bit about the area I stayed in with is south of Palma, and around 25 minutes out of the city. Palma in April through to October is usually good sunny warm weather. The temperature reached 28 degrees whilst I was there. Taxi fares to and from the airport are usually around 20-30 euros depending upon the time of day. Most taxi drivers are English speaking to some extent but they can drive a little erratically but this is the same for a lot of taxi drivers worldwide! It is a safe city, streetsellers are prevalant but I do not see why this would not be suitable for a lone traveller, even a lone female traveller. Let's take a little look at some of the attractions you should have a peruse at whilst you're staying in the magical Palma De Majorca! Firstly I want to point out that I had been insanely obsessed with this little playsuit from ChiChi London, shop here! It was the perfect fashion accompaniment and just perfect for that glorious weather!





Playa De Palma

This area itself is laid back, very 'German-oriantated' (some say the Magaluf of Germany) however I did not see any rowdy tourists at all, and most of the tourists seemed to be 40 years+. I was happy with the area, clean, a lovely long beach with an abundence of shops, restaurants and the most lavish chic modern hotels you will ever see. I was highly impressed with the choice of gorgeous hotels in the area. I was staying at the HM Hotel Balangeura Beach which was insanely amazing! White, stylish, chic and they had a brilliant choice for food. Getting into Palma from this area was easy, two regular buses and they stop near the Cathedral. Here are some of my photos from the hotel, and I would definitely recommend this hotel if you would like to spend some time away from the city and get the best of both worlds (beach and city!)



Swimsuit available at www.ukswimwear.com
Palma City

Palma City itself is absolutely stunning! I was so pleasently surprised but I had heard very good things about it. The Cathedral, an old Catholic Cathedral is the main attraction and point in the city, with lots going on and the architecture is inspired by the gothic era. Palma is also home to a large marina and lots of lovely parkland that is small, quaint and picturesque which is perfect for sitting down and enjoying an ice-cream. Here are some of the main attractions that you must see:

  • Bellver Castle - This is a beautiful castle up on a hill, buried deep within a beautiful dense area of woodland. It can be seen from the city and it boasts panoramic views of the city. It can be accessed by foot, but there are around 500 steps. You can also access it on the Hop On Hop Off Tourist bus.
  • Royal Palace of La Almudaina - This can't be missed as it is right next to the Cathedral and the gardens and areas surrounding it are incredibly beautiful. Although they do get busy, the earlier you go the better, you can grab your photos without a mass of tourists also trying to get shots.
  • Shop til You Drop - There is a huge amount of designer shops and it is easy to overspend! You will also find so many highstreet shops as well as Spanish boutiques and much more! It's a brilliant place to go with your girls, for shopping, good lunch dates and plenty of sun! 
  • Llotja - This was found by chance whilst walking back from a stroll along the marina. The museum's interior architecture was fabulous! Would make a beautiful wedding venue. This was once a Merchant's School and to enter it is completely free which is always a bonus! 
Like I state in every single city Blog, the best thing you can ever do is explore on foot! Grab yourself a map, or make sure your sat nav on your phone is working and get walking! Sometimes you find little gems away from the hustle and bustle! Scroll down for a little photo diary of my short and sweet trip to Palma and why you should make it your next weekend city break location! 

Who did I fly with: Ryanair from Leeds Bradford airport. I always book dates that match cheap airflights, because this makes sense to really get the most of the good deals and that way, travel more and often!