3 Ways to Connect More Deeply with Nature on Your Travels

Photo Courtesy of: Pixabay
The natural world is amazing, and though many of us today live in cities and rarely ever spend much time in the deep forest, or on the top of a mountain, we still give away the game and reveal our amazement and fascination in the natural world by tuning into nature documentaries in massive numbers.
But what about if, next time you’re traveling around on an adventure, you took the time to really connect with the natural world in person, and not just through your TV?
Here are key travel experiences that have the power to dramatically deepen your connection to nature.
Go whale watching
Whales are, without a doubt, some of the most incredible creatures on the planet — mighty giants who live in the endless oceans and have complex social dynamics that we’re only just beginning to understand.Whale watching gives us a direct insight into the lives of these majestic creatures, head-on, and this in turn causes us to make the connection between all those documentaries we’ve seen, and animal conservation campaigns we’ve read about, and the real world in front of us.
Exotic animals like whales are easy to forget about in day-to-day life, because they seem like they come from some other, far away, planet. Seeing them up close and personal reminds us our place in the natural world, and can inspire us to be more conscientious about the ways we interact with the natural world in general, via the products we use, the charities we donate to, or the ways we dispose of our waste.
Hike up a tall mountain
The old story goes that the famous mountaineer, Edmund Hillary, when asked why he climbed Everest, responded “because it was there”.
Something about mountains naturally draws people in, and archaeological evidence shows that humans have been climbing up inhospitable mountainsides for about as long as we’ve existed on this planet.
Mountains almost seem like living organisms, with each having different textures, layouts, microclimates, flora and fauna. Climbing a mountain isn’t just a good way of getting some exercise, it’s a way of overcoming your own sense of struggle and strain.
And once you’re at the top of a mountain vista, you can see the world from a new perspective which you’ve earned directly through your own sweat.
Seeing the world from the top of a mountain gives us a sense of the scope and scale of the natural world, it reminds us of the intricacies and connections between things, and the struggle to reach the summit reminds us that even we humans with our advanced technologies still exist within the natural world.
Get involved in wildlife rescue programs
Many different types of animal rescue programs exist, and many of these rely on volunteers from overseas for assistance. 
These programs can include everything from helping to protect turtle nesting sites so that the eggs have the chance to hatch, to cleaning sea birds whose feathers have become contaminated as a result of oil spills.

Whatever kind of animal rescue program you get involved in, taking the time and effort to help injured creatures will serve to remind you of the ways in which humans and different lifeforms are interlinked.

Four of the Best UK Destinations For a Weekend Break

If you look for a last minute city break or a long holiday to get away from the daily grind, a lot can be said of staying closer to home. All of your needs can be met, by staying closer to home and exploring different areas in the UK. You wouldn’t need to stress about visas, passports, or getting money changed. You might not get any guaranteed sunshine. But just a break from the daily routine and getting outdoors can do anyone the world of good. Plus, as you’ve not had to travel far, you can make sure you’ve got your waterproofs and Hunter boots at the ready. Here are some of the best locations to visit in the UK, for all different experiences.

Photo Courtesy of: Pixabay

Shopping and Sightseeing in London

You can’t talk about UK travel, without mentioning London. It is a multi-cultural hub, filled with history, good food, shops and plenty to do. It might be one of the more expensive places to stay in. But with a wealth of hotels and hostels available, there will be something for every budget. You could do some shopping on Oxford Street or Bond Street, before heading out to a show in the West End. You could make a long weekend work there or even a week long trip; there is just so much to see and do.

Hiking in the Yorkshire Dales

If you prefer a bit more peace and quiet, then heading north to the Yorkshire Dales is a great option for you. You can enjoy plenty of outdoor fun, including hikes, walks, and climbing. There are plenty of watersports on offer in the area too. So it really would be something that would get you back to nature and help you to forget your normal routine. There are lots of lovely cottages that you could stay in, as well as hotels and boutique hotels. You could even stay in one of the holiday Eco-Lodges in the area. Perfect for something a little different.

Photo Courtesy of: Pixabay
Mini-Break in Edinburgh
Edinburgh is home to some amazing culture and festivals. It is also home to one of the world's’ best new year’s eve parties too. The city is divided into the old town and the more modern Georgian part of town. So amongst the fantastic shopping and nightlife, you can view some of the amazing architecture and history. There is the large castle that stands at the top of the city, along with lots of rolling hills. So a quick mini-break away would be perfect in Edinburgh. There are plenty of hotels, so there will be something for every budget.
Relax in Cornwall
If you haven’t been to the far end of the county in Cornwall, then where have you been? It is a stunning part of the country that needs to be seen to be believed. You could surf in the area, as well as walk along the high cliffS. There are fantastic beaches, as well as botanical wonders like the Eden Project. So what is stopping you from exploring?

Simple Ways To Reduce Stress During The Festive Period

Photo Courtesy: https://pxhere.com/en/photo/1233115

Christmas is a magical time of year, but it’s also one of the busiest, and all of the rushing around that you have to do is going to take its toll and is going to cause you a lot of stress. There is a lot of gifts and food to be bought, you need to figure out who you’re going to stay with, how you’re going to get there, and so much more. No one wants to be stressed when you’re supposed to be having fun, so it’s important to take action to reduce this stress. Here are some ways that you can do this.
1. Prioritize Your Needs & Wants

There is a lot to do during the festive period, so you need to some up with come sort of plan. Start by writing down everything that needs to be done during this time, including general Christmas responsibilities like buying gifts, wrapping presents, buying and cooking food, visiting family members, as well as any Christmas parties or meals that you can’t skip. Plan when you’re going to get each of these done and do them on the day. Don’t procrastinate. You should also make a list of things that you want to do but doesn’t matter as much if you can’t get it done. This includes watching your favourite Christmas film or baking a gingerbread house. Figure out which ones of these you want to do the most, and work down the list, doing one whenever you have a few spare hours. 
2. Plan Downtime

While a schedule is helpful, if you pack too much in, you’re only going to make yourself more stressed, as you’ll be trying to do everything all at once, and do nothing well. Leave spaces in your plans and schedule, to leave you some time to relax, or do whatever you feel like doing at the moment. You may even want to leave some of your “wants” off your schedule, and then do whichever you fancy when you have some time. 
3. Take Care Of Medication

With all of the craziness going on, it would be no surprise if you forgot to take important medication, or even took extra because you'd forgotten that you’d taken it earlier on. This is risky, and it’s a risk that is going to cause you a large amount of stress. Medication in blister packs can help you remember to take your medication, as can dosette boxes. These mean that you’ll know immediately whether or not you have taken your medication, and can reduce the stress of you trying to remember everything you’ve been up to.
4. Make Chores Fun

There’s a lot that needs to be done during winter that is less than enjoyable. If you’re having relatives over, then you are going to want to clean your house from top to bottom, which isn’t very fun, and certainly isn’t festive. To make this chore a little more entertaining, you could pop on a playlist of Christmas songs, and dance while you work. Wrapping all of your gifts can also get pretty tedious, especially if you’re not very good at it. Luckily, there is a lot that you can do to make this a little more fun; You could whack on your Christmas playlist, put on your favourite Christmas film, and tick off one of your “wants”, or even listen to an audiobook or a podcast. Anything that you deem boring can be made fun with a little imagination, so think outside of the box if you want to reduce your stress. 
5. Make A Travel Itinerary

If you’re travelling to visit relatives during the festive period, or even have relatives travelling to visit you, then it makes sense to make a travel itinerary. Write on this itinerary what time you/they are travelling, where exactly you/they’re travelling to, who is picking up who, and at what time. You can then send this to everyone that needs it, meaning that everyone knows where they are meant to be and at what time. This simple act of communication can help to reduce the stress and anxiety of everyone involved. If you wanted to take it a step further, you could even plan out their/your stay, and state where you’re going to go and when so that everyone knows the plan.
6. Get Plenty Of Sleep

Christmas is an incredibly busy time of year, but it’s not one that you should be losing sleep over. Avoid staying up until all hours of the morning wrapping gifts or cooking food, as this will only mean that you will be incredibly cranky and stressed the next day, which is going to make it hard for you to embrace the festive spirit. Instead, use your plan wisely, and write down a regular bedtime eat night, so that you’re getting enough sleep. Although it’s recommended for you to sleep between seven and nine hours a night, this might not always be possible, but you should try to get six hours at a minimum, even on Christmas Eve.
7. Let Go Of The Small Stuff

Unfortunately, even at Christmas, you’re not going to be able to get everything done that you want or need to. You are only one person after all. You may have said that you would bring vanilla ice cream for the Christmas dinner, but when you have one hundred and one other things on your plate, your loved ones aren’t going to mind if you forget. The easiest way to reduce stress during the festive period is to try not to let things get to you as much. Don’t set your expectations too high, and instead enjoy what you're doing right now.
Christmas is all about having fun, spending time with your loved ones, and eating ridiculous amounts of delicious food. Before you can get to this moment though, there is a lot that needs to be done, which can cause you lot’s of stress, but only if you let it. These tips should help you to reduce your stress levels, meaning that your Christmas truly is a magical one.

Finding The Perfect Online Fashion Matches

In our swirling world of e-commerce indulgence, it’s very easy to get carried away and click happy, adding item after item to our ever-growing basket. We can get just about anything online, but fashion seems to be what excites us the most. I am undoubtedly always ready to click on clothing, judging on how good it looks on the model and not myself, guessing haphazardly the sizing and hoping for the best. This is exactly the same when it comes to shoes. I am a huge lover of shopping on worldwide shops, sometimes smaller boutiques in Europe or America, and it’s easy to get a little mixed up with some of their sizing charts; but we will not be defeated! Sometimes e-commerce can beat the high street and there’s nothing more we can say!

Finding Your Style

Remember that just because the clothes look good on the model, they may not necessarily look great on you. Try to look at the colours stated in the description and not how the colour looks on the model. For example, the colour may be powder blue, but may show up a little starker than a pastel may usually look, so be sure to get the idea of colour from the description. Secondly, look at the sizing of the clothing properly also. Every body shape is different, so if you look at a model, she may have slightly longer or shorter legs, so that dress you think will look super cute with knee high boots, may end up being that little bit too long for them! Always look at the measurements, so the key point is, read well and then decide!

Shoes, Shoes, Shoes!

Looking at shoes can be the most daunting thing ever. It isn’t just the worry and fear of the shoe not being a good fit, too tight, too small or too pinchy, but there is also the worry of not ordering the correct sizing, especially if the site is out of the UK. We can be baffled by conversion sizes, and never too sure if we are ordering the correct size. If you need any help, you can refer to a size chart here, which lists not just two countries, but 11 different countries, covering pretty much everything you will ever need for the exciting and crazy world of e-commerce! Bookmark and share it, to ensure that you know exactly what you’re buying, the next time you eye up a lovely pair of black shiny boots, or perhaps those perfect dazzling pair of stilettos for those cocktail evenings!

Know Your Limits

I am one of these people who can spend a small fortune online and it’s easy for things to add up. A little trick I have is to not purchase more than one of the same thing. For example, I’ll pick up one jacket, one pair of jeans, one kimono, and this way, I have more variation and find that I can style things together much better. Pick out an entire outfit if you wish, I feel that it makes my money go further and I also get a better collection. Be sure to also follow the sale items on the online shops. Sign up for updates if they exist, and look at picking up a few added extras in the sale, you’ll find that just at the end of every season, they have the best deals, and buy ahead, buy your winter jackets and jumpers now, whilst they are cheap, ready and waiting for the next fashion season!

This Christmas Stay On Top...Of Your Finances!

Christmas is the busiest time of year, full of festive cheer, lots of excitment and happiness, yet it is very easy to also overspend. Treat your loved ones, treat yourself, but here are some tips to ensure that you stay on top of your finances and how you can budget better ahead of this busy period. Christmas is there to enjoy, but it's not always enjoyable with hefty charges and debt. Here are some quick and simple ways to plan ahead, and still enjoy a fun-filled Christmas!

1. Budget Way Ahead

Start saving for Chrismtas presents as early in the year as you can. Collect money in a little pot/fund, and let it accumulate over the months, which gives you a little bit to play around with. Look at what your bank offer in relation to offers and savings accounts which round off each penny to the nearest pound collecting it in a separate account. Over time, you could find yourself with a small amount to splash out on gifts for the people you love. It is easy to find yourself overspending and it's always best to keep on top of your finances and your debts, ensuring you have the right help and planning in advance. Click here for help.

2. Buy Designer Gifts At Cheaper Prices

If you're wanting to splash out a little on a bag you have seen, perhaps a designer, or you're looking for some good brands at good prices, then have a little look at some online stores, such as Lyst, who let you know when the deals are in, and when the price of the products you love have dropped. Keep on top of all the online sales. Take a little look at designer outlets in your area. For example McArthur Glen have a lot of designer outlets across the country. You can read more about my trip to York Designer Outlet here.

3. Give Free Gifts

The most cost-effective gift is a gift that has not cost you anything! Take a look at gifting someone something you have made, perform to them (if you enjoy singing or music), or take them out for a special day out to some free places to visit in the local area. There are probably more than you realise, and afterall, building memories with someone and giving your time, is by far the most precious gift anyone can give.

4. Get Selling

Take a little look at all the old junk or unwanted items lying around your home and get them photographed and up on eBay or Depop! This is a brilliant way to gain some extra income and allow your unwatned or unused products to go to a better home. It may be something you just forget to do, but it can be cost-effective. DVDs, CDs and books are always big sellers, but there's nothing to stop you selling higher priced products also, or whatever you wish! There is money to be made....grab it!

5. Check Up All Your Old Gift Cards/ Loyalty Cards

Take a sneak peek inside your wallet. You may have loyalty cards and gfits cards stored away that you have never used. You may have money on there that you can use for gifts. Store cards are always good, you may even have some from past Christmas, and they usually do not have any time limits on them. Take a little look there first, see what you can do, scour magazines for vouchers and coupons that you can use for added bonus gifts! Have a look in local charity shops, these are often fabulous places to find unique items at very reasonable prices.

Above all, make sure you enjoy Christmas. It is the season to be jolly, don't let financial troubles get you down. Stay on top of it all, and enjoy.

Amazon Prime Anyone?

We see Amazon Prime popping up all over. So many people seem to be taking advantage of it and I have never fully understood what it is, how to use it or the amazing benefits you can reap from signing up. Strange, for a self-proclaimed savvy shopper and blogger. I decided the best thing to do was to take up a little investigating, and work out just exactly it can offer and if it's worth the time and money to sign up.

Photo Courtesy of Pixabay

In A Nutshell

Amazon Prime offers everything from groceries, music, e-books, and on the other end of the spectrum, TV shows and films! Here are the main benefits of signing up. Most of these for me are incredibly attractive, especially for those time-lacking, sometimes unmotivated individuals (like myself some days), the unlimited one-day delivery is always a big bonus, especially during those busy times in life (birthdays...xmas...)

  • Unlimited one-day delivery on your Amazon orders in the UK
  • Unlimited video streaming of 15,000 TV shows and movies through Amazon Prime Instant Video (formerly LoveFilm)
  • Access to Amazon's music library, with unlimited downloads and streams
  • Prime Photos for unlimited photo storage on Amazon Cloud Drive. You also get 5GB of cloud storage for other types of files.
  • Access to 800,000 free e-books
  • Borrow one of over 500,000 titles per month for free on any Kindle device
  • 30-minute early access to Lightning Deals - including Prime Day

The cost of the subscription is £79 a year. Is it worth it? It probably all depends on how often you shop, what you like to shop for, and how much of a techy you are...for example, I would never choose to delve into the world of Amazon Cloud Drive, I'm still figuring out iCloud (yes hilarious I know). For avid kindle users, it may be quite beneficial but the good part is, Amazon do offer a 30 day free trial. If you feel it's for you, you don't need to do anything, they'll start your subscription after the month but if you do want to cancel, make sure you do before the 30 days to avoid being charged.

Sounds like it is the perfect subscription for you? If you need to contact them or take a look in more depth, all the information, and small print and all things Amazon Prime then click here on https://contactnumberuk.net/amazon-prime-contact-number/

Amazon's website: https://www.amazon.co.uk