7 Things I Learned In Budapest

Budapest they say, is the Paris of the east. Stunningly gothic and quirky, with tradition and a lot of history seeped truly into its core. It has been subject to stern conditions, through World War 2 especially, it was the home of brutal Nazi takeover, with thousands of Jews being lined up along the Danube and shot, falling into the river. The country has been battered and bruised, but their unwavering love for their country has kept them alive and thriving. I visited Budapest in 2011, although it doesn't feel like that long ago, in a chilly October, where I stayed at the Zara Contintental Hotel 4****, modern, stylish and highly recommended. All photos are slightly retro in my hairstyle, fashion sense and poses, but this was me as a much more energized and healthier feeling self.

Flashback 2011 (Budapest)

I spent four glorious days in the city, and I've put together a list for any newbie travellers to the city, that may be of some use, and things that I learned from being there, whether it's inspirationally, or physically, and even spiritually.

1. Speaking Hungarian Often Falls On Deaf Ears

If you want to practice your Hungarian, then it is of course worth a try, although having practised my Hungarian choice phrases to perfection, I decided to speak a few, in cafes, to taxi drivers. There really is no need. I had a few blank faces and then replies in English! Do not worry about the language barrier, as with all top European cities, English is widely spoken and they are a very pleasent race.

2. Drinking Water With Everything

In every restuarant or cafe I visited, a glass of water came along with it. Firstly this happened when we ordered coffee, and this was the first time I had realised why exactly the Hungarians did this. In the UK, we order coffee, and that is it, even if you're drinking an espresso. In Hungary, they take health a little more serious perhaps, and ensure that you stay hydrated whilst you dose up on those caffeine laced drinks.

3. St Margarets Island Holds Many Secrets

St Margarets island is a small island in the middle of the Danube, which is popular with tourists. It seems to attract many joggers, and bikers. However, the island itself had a particularly eerie feel to it. During the autumn months, it perhaps was a little more lonely than during its peak in summer, but there were many small abandoned buildings, lots of untouched places that seemed very primitive, such as old play areas for children. After researching it, I came to realise that it was used by German soliders in the war and a lot of unpleasent things occured during this time. The island is large, would be great for picnics in summer, but it isn't really worth a visit unless you would like to explore it's abandoned little pathways and buildings.

4. Live Slower And Be More In The Moment

This is something I've experienced throughout most of Europe and why I'm so heavily connected to it. Budapest has such a slow pace of living. People don't rush, there is no hustle and bustle in the way that we experience in the UK. The train station was particularly incredible, when I popped inside to take a look at the architecture, I noticed that at 9am in the middle of rush hour, the whole area was incredibly quiet, a very low hum and even barely. People are quiet, they go placidly with their business and it perplexed me at first, yet it also made me very aware of how important a calm, slow pace of life is. I try and adopt it now, yet it is not as easy in the middle of multi-cultural Leeds.

5. Taxis Are Very Plush

If you want to get into a taxi in Budapest, then you can flag them down on the street if they appear empty. All drivers were incredibly smart, with ties, and some taxis were Mercedes or BMWs. This didn't affect their price however, although taxis aren't really needed, everything is within walking distance. I would recommend the standard cliched city tourbus, just because it will take you to everywhere you need to go. If however you do need a taxi, get a quote first, it's a known fact that taxi drivers tend to pile on the costs if you're a tourist.

6. There Are So Many Incredible Hotels

If you are a hotel junkie and love fine hotels, then Budapest is the place. It has a long stretch along the river of incredible hotels, from the Four Seasons and Sofitel. The Marriott was especially nice with beautiful crystal chandeliers and a real modern but homely feel. I would love to go back to Budapest for the hotels alone.

7. It Is Geographically Desirable

If you're in town for a week in Budapest, then there are many reasons that this is the city to be in! In around 4 days you can comfortably take in all the large sights of interest, if you wish to. Budapest sits in the heart of Europe, so many nearby cities and countries are accessible by coach or train. You can easily take day trips to Vienna and Bratislava.

It is well worth a visit, perhaps a weekend trip if you're wanting to check out the sights and have a quick passing trip, it should be at the top of your city break list!

Scroll down for some retro flashback photos from this beautiful city in my mini photo diary.

Current Favourites with Noleti

What I'm loving right now...

1. Alaia Clutchbag - elegant, feels like soft buttery leather and goes with so much.

2. Dior Lipstick - Dior lipsticks are soft, creamy and long-lasting. In love with this one!

3. Bronze Goddess bronzer (Estee Lauder) - perfect to slip in the handbag for a little bronze pick-me-up.

4. Chanel Compact - I take this everywhere, and comes with powder which is important in these summer months!

5. Dior Miss Cherie - this mini bottle has lasted ages and smells divine and is the perfect travel size!

However, my real favourite of the moment is this beautiful tote bag from www.noleti.ch made with cowhide and in this jet black colour, it's soft and this Swiss brand is dedicated entirely to making and creating works of art with their handbags. By clicking here and using the code: jenniferdurrans/16/noleti and receive 40% off your order! I love using this for sunny days or rainy days and it is such a classic old school style with so much love and creativity.

Wine On Vacation With Lazenne

Making the most of the British summer is so important. More often than not we're doomed to spend most of our summers indoors, slowly fading away into autumn and then the only thing to look forward to is Christmas. Spending time outdoors is such a brilliant way to socialise, and whether it's a picnic, or an evening drive, you can be sure that you don't have to be too far away from a beloved glass of vino!

Pack up your wine in one of these Lazenne bottle protector pouches, and take it anywhere on the go. It won't leak, it's secure and keeps the alcohol cool. They even have specialised cases, to ensure you can take a large batch of your alcohol abroad, from different coloured and styled cases. Perhaps you're wanting to take some wine home, or take some alcohol overseas as gifts for friends, or it even may be for a wedding or event abroad, Lazenne cases are tailor made to transport bottles. They have every accessory you could wish for when it comes to travelling with bottles of wine! A friendly team and very passionate about food, wine and travel, they provide the perfect service for these easy summer months, when wine and good food is on everyone's lips!

Traveling With Your Wine

These travel friendly, approved by airlines cases and sleeves from Lazenne allow you to travel with your wine or alcohol bottles, in safe and protected pouches. So when you arrive at your destination in the most stunning location, you know your wine evening, sat overlooking the sea is taken care of, and it's perfect if you're wanting to socialise. A lot of holiday destinations don't have convenience stores just around the corner, and if they do, you're likely to pay a pretty penny for the luxury.

Lazenne Wine Pouch

With a warehouse based in France they ship to almost all of Europe and internationally, and there are plenty of styles to choose from for your needs, including long strapped pouches, so you can look ultra stylish heading to the beach! Settling with your wine, and your nibbles whilst on holiday should be an easy delightful task and using your Lazenne means your wine will not get too hot whilst it sits in the sun, and you can be sure there'll be no spillages in your summer beach bag on the way home! Their styrofoam wine shippers, fit many different types of bottles, from beer, to olive oil, there's a secure way to travel with your liquids. Enjoy travelling all over the world, and bring your wine too!

Courtesy of Lazenne.com

Follow them on Instagram - @lazenne
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*This post was in collaboration with Lazenne. All views are my own. Please drink responsibly.

The Beauty Of The Lake District: Why You Should Live There

The Lake District, is one of Britain's most beautiful regions. In the heart of Cumbria, The Lake District is home to 16 incredible bodies of water, that thousands of tourists flock to each year. It offers serenity away from the busy cities. Penrith is the largest city to the Lakes, which has all the big ammenities of any city. The Lake District is dripping with beauty, endless trails and walks, the prettiest tearooms and quaint gift shops. There is also no lack of stunning hotels in the best locations you can think of. Along the lakes, just waiting to be explored! It has oodles of charm and here are some top reasons why it is also high up on the best places to live in the UK.

With its clean, crisp fresh air, it isn't subject to the pollution in the cities. For your health, the peace, quiet and clear oxygen is brilliant for those suffering with any longterm health conditions; and it is a great place to keep active. So many walks, bike treks and even water sports, there is never a lack of things to do. Ullswater is famous for it's boating and camping grounds along the lake and it is the epitome of the area.

It has booming tourism. Although this may not be as prevalent during the winter months, it still attracts walkers and groups throughout all seasons, which means it is a wealthy area, good for businesses, new and old; perfect if you are wanting to try something new and create a new lifestyle for yourself. There are so many shops to browse in, either in shop and online, becuase some of the cutest gifts are made up in the lakes. Take a look at address verification if you're looking to start a new venture in this beautiful location.

The Lake District is in a surprisingly good location, it is not too far from three major cities, Liverpool, Manchester and Leeds; and a few miles north, you can drive upto into beautiful Scotland and to the west, you have the Isle of Man.  There are plenty of places to holiday inn, especially if you are not bothered about traveling outside of the UK. You could holiday in The Lake District, even if you lived there, with a new location around every corner and something exciting to see, you will never get bored.

There are some stunning properties in the Lake District. From all price ranges, from flats, to houses, to caravans, to mansions! There is something for everyone and a style to suit each taste; every house has a different style, charm and there is a definite individuality. Imagine opening your curtains up onto the beautiful waters of the Lakes.

Where is your favourite place in the Lake District?

Summer BBQ and DIY Candy Buffet

Is there anything more fun than a summer barbecue? Yes! A summer barbecue with a DIY candy buffet! Candy buffets make any event special. Let’s explore a few ideas to make your next BBQ a big hit!
Photo Courtesy of: Pixabay
Choose your color
Your candy will be various colors, but you need a color theme. Summer barbecues are the time for red checked tablecloths, wicker baskets, and lemonade. But, you can get creative and use denim cloth or even your favorite floral print, purchased at your fabric store. Remember the tablecloth should accent the event, but not distract from the table.
DIY candy table
In keeping with the summer BBQ theme, use SOLO cups with the “chalkboard label”. These cups come in a variety of colors and are available at most stores. You simply peel the label off and it reveals a small chalkboard. You can use your finger to scratch the names of your candies on the cups. Using a retracted ink pen does the trick as well. It is a really cute and fun look. Note; use SOLO “kids on the go” cups and glue dots to raise some of the cups for extra height. Use a contrasting color. They are very sturdy.
Another fun idea is to buy plastic buckets and shovels. The buckets look great and the shovels are your candy scoops. But don’t forget your little guests. Take a couple of buckets and fill them with mini chocolate chips. Through out the bucket hide gummy worms. The kids can use the shovel to dig their worms. Give them a small SOLO cup to take their prize. Gummy worms are easily added to the chocolate chips to keep the game going. Some people use crushed chocolate cookies to make their “dirt”, but the chocolate chips stay with the candy theme,
You can fill in empty spots on the table with colorful and inexpensive paper hot dog holders. You can buy them in red gingham design. They make a cute addition to your BBQ candy buffet theme. Candy Ice Cream cones. Fill the bottom of ice cream cones with the candy of your choice. Stand the cones on a tray and place cotton candy on top to mimic the look of ice cream. Use a spoon to round it and press it into your cones. “Lemonade” Fill a tall glass picture with lemons. In front of the lemon picture, place small paper cups of lemon drops and other sour/sweet candy. Use peppermint sticks to mimic the look of straws. If your barbecue features ice cream for your guest, stage an ice cream topping station with all types of candies. Set the candy toppings in front of the ice cream and add teaspoons for easier use.
Buying Candy
Because our DIY candy buffet, is a casual and fun tone, specialty candies are not required. You will order your candy in bulk from a bulk candy store. My favorite is Sweet Services. Estimate 4 - 8 ounces of candy per guest. Most candy is sold in 5-pound bags.
The theme of our DIY candy buffet was Summer BBQ. The supplies we used were inexpensive and clean up is very easy as many containers are disposable. The fun thing about DIY candy buffets is “anything goes”. So incorporate your own ideas and create your masterpiece. Take lots of pictures!

5 Ways To Make Your House A Home

It doesn't matter if the house you bought was in great condition when you bought it: to make it truly feel like your own home, you're going to need to put your own stamp on it. The good news is this part of the fun! You'll be taking the four walls and roof you own and creating a space that is no longer just a house, but a home. These things don't just happen, though! To get the perfect home, you're going to have to follow a few simple setps, outlined below.

Photo Courtesy of: Pexels

Have A Plan

Above all, it's importnat that you go into the process of transforming you home with a plan. Ask yourself what you want your home to be, how it should be themed and so on. Each room should have its own style, but there should be an overall "theme" to your home. Take a look at some of the best interior design blogs that are out there and wait for inspiration to strike. Then, see how you'll incorporate your ideas into the shape, size, and style of your house.

Create A Budget

How, it would be lovely if we were one of those famous millions and we could design our homes exactly as we wanted, without giving how much everything costs a second thought. Alas, we're not. But that doesn't meant we have to settle for less than what we're happy with! Figuring out a budget for your decor will let you understand what can be done; if something is over budget, refigure plans and go down a different route. Whatever you decide to do, you'll need to have some cash to play with, so look at secure loans or dip into the savings. And make sure you're keeping a space open in the budget to add the fun factor to your home, too!

Think Long Term

It's easy to get carried away with what's in style right now, but it's also important to remember that you'll want to live in this home for the foreseeable future and you won't be able to consider it "perfect"if it doesn't age well. Be wary of following those designs that look too modern; you want to be sure that your home won't look oddly outdated in the blink of an eye.

Extra Attention To Key Areas

You won't get everyting about your home exactly right. If you're going to make mistakes, make sure that they're not in one of the key areas in the home. These places -the living room, bedrom, bathroom and kitchen - should be given extra attention and allocated a greater share of the budget.

Don't Forget The Fun 

Finally, don't forget to add the fun! Having a home that looks great will be a start, but this is the modern age and modern homes should have an element of the fun factor in them. Adding things like a surround system, cool reading nooks, or even a man cave or similarly entertaining room will make sure you're never bored in your perfect home.

Vape Away From Cigarettes

Quitting smoking is no easy task. Having had many friends and relatives trying to curb their bad habit, it is vital that you do all the necessary things to ease your way from cigarettes to a healthier physical state. We live in such busy lives that sometimes, a cigarette break can be an easy way to relieve a little bit of stress and tension that we all develop through day to day trials and tribulations. We have very little time on our hands to stop and take a minute. Smoking is one of those habits that really affect your life in a negative way. Cigarettes are not cheap, they affect your health, from breathlessness, to bad coughs, and can also cause long-term health conditions.

Photo Courtesy of: Pixabay
Easing your way from smoking is no easy task. However, let's take a little look at the long-term benefits of ditching that cig, and moving into a healthier, happier state of mind. Your skin will become firmer, as your skin cells will not be deprived as oxygen as much as before, and this also applies to skin redness. It allows your skin to naturally heal when before it was subject to vascular distress.  Your teeth will restore and become whiter again and this applies to your nails. You can finally start to enjoy healthier, less damaged nails. Your breath will feel fresher, and you will no longer have to worry about expelling the smell of stale smoke on your clothes!

It is no easy task to stop smoking cold turkey but there are a variation of options available to make the transition a little easier. Vaping is one way to stop your large dose of nicotine. Vape AYR offer a range of stylish e-cigarettes, that will allow you to move away from that unhealthy smoking habit.

You can also couple this with other options, such as chewing fresh mint gum, drinking peppermint tea which gives you a fresh taste and less of an urge for cigarettes. Or take up a new hobby to counteract the urges to smoke and there are a plethora of online groups to join that will aid you in your journey to health. Summertime is the perfect time for a change. It is the time to change your diet for the better, get out and exercise more in the summer sun and lead a healthier, happier lifestyle. Your body is better geared up for change during these months, so take the time to realise that you can stop smoking and that there are many ways you can do this, and you are never alone. It's do-able and you can do it now.

*Take a little read about the benefits of stopping smoking on my blog post here.

Get That Junk Out of Your House!

Over the years, we tend to acquire way too many possessions. Things we don’t need. Things we don’t even necessarily love. A lot of people know this, and have had ‘declutter’ on their to-do list for quite some time; others really don’t think all that much about it because they can still make their homes look really tidy.
Having all this junk in your home doesn’t really do a great deal for your comfort. So perhaps it’s time that you actually make the time to declutter your household. It doesn’t matter what the reason is. Whether you’re looking for a way to make your home less stressful, or you’re moving home and want to reduce your packing needs, or even if you’re simply looking to buy more stuff and don’t have any room for it, this guide is for you!
schedule is pretty much key to anything you want to accomplish in life, and decluttering is no exception. Make sure you have the time to do this; book time off of work if you have to. Pick a day, pick a time, pick a room. Get to work. Even if you dedicate an hour a day to a room and complete the task over the course of a week, you’re still making progress.

Start with the big stuff
If you’re looking to really make some space in your home, then it’s best to deal with the big stuff first. Do you have too many chairs? A spare spare bed? A bookshelf that doesn’t actually contain any books? A sofa bigger than you require? Then start with those. Move them into the attic, or hire a van to get it out of your sight for good.
Defeat sentimentality
Now we move onto the small things. The problem with these smaller objects is the root cause of a vast amount of home clutter: sentimentality. It doesn’t matter if you don’t need the item; if it brings back memories when you look at it, it can be hard to throw it away. (Unless the memories are, y’know, awful. In which case, what are you doing keeping it!?) You should look into strategies for throwing sentimentality to the wind if you’re really serious about getting rid of the clutter in your home.

Donating and selling
When you’re sorting out all this junk, it’s best to sort things into piles (or, better yet, put them into appropriate boxes or bags). The things that you’re selling belong in one category. Things you’re donating to charities belong to another. But within those categories are other categories! For example, the donation pile may consist of clothes, books, electronics, etc - some charity organizations will take all of them, but some will only take specific items. The same goes for any outlet that’s willing to buy this sort of stuff from you.
If you know that you can’t sell or donate something, and it inspires no positive feelings within you, then you need to get rid of it responsibly. If you’ve collected a lot of this sort of thing, then get someone round with a van who can either dispose of it or recycle it. 
You should be left with a much clearer home, as well as a clearer mind. Try not to let it get cluttered again!

LIFESTYLE: How To Prepare Mentally and Physically For Your Dream Wedding

Your wedding day is approaching and you have dreams of the grand event in your mind. However, making a dream into a reality takes a lot of work and planning. Yes, it is worth every moment of it, but if you are not prepared for the task at hand, your dream wedding can make you one tired and not so fun bride on your honeymoon. 
Fear not. There are plenty of couples who have managed to create their dream wedding without wearing themselves out. We will share some of their proven tips with you.

First things first

When you prepare for a marathon, you begin with your body and mind. You make sure you are operating at your full potential before you strap on your running shoes. Preparing for a dream wedding is much like that. There are a million details to attend to. From the venue to the bridal gown, to the menu, there are endless decisions to make. 
Your mind must be sharp. Your memory must be clear. You must have high energy levels and you need plenty of restful sleep. Nootropics can help. Corpina is the industry leader in the manufacturing of proven, all natural supplements that improve all of these areas. Everyone from college students to CEOs is using them and they will help you too.
During your prep time, stay away from sugar, caffeine, and other unhealthy foods. Take time to exercise, even if it is just a 10-minute walk daily. You will feel better and function at 100%.

Dream Big

When you think about your dream wedding, think big. This is the platform from which you will build your design. Do you see yourself in a chapel or make on a beach in Hawaii? Do you picture all the glam and glitz or a more casual affair? Do you see your groom in a tux with tails or jeans and a jacket? 
Get online, buy bridal magazines go to bridal shows and get inspired. Get the idea of what you want before you begin the plans of how to make it happen. 

There’s an app for that!

Visit your app store for apps that will help you keep up with, track, and plan the details of your event. Look for apps by The Knot which will help with guests lists, wedding website management and a lot more. If you are working with a wedding planner (and you should be) make sure they are using the apps too so everyone is in sync. 

Narrow The Playing Field

Of course, you want your wedding to be your brand. You want it to reflect you as a person and as a couple. But, do not make the mistake of trying to combine things to make your statement that is not really wedding material.  You may love the old style southern look. You may envision a grand house with Magnolia blooms lining the stairwell. Your future husband may be into horses. A horse and buggy would be a perfect addition to your fantasy wedding. But if he is really into motorcycles and the James Dean look, it will be a strange to arrive in a white tee shirt on a motorcycle. The groom's cake can reflect his hobby but you need to agree on wedding decor that fits the mood and era you want to present.

Your dream wedding can be anything you want it to be. As long as you plan carefully, budget properly and prioritize, there is no limit placed on you. So get started, stay healthy, and stay focused!  You can do this.

Author Bio
Wendy Dessler
Wendy is a super-connector with Outreachmama who helps businesses find their audience online through outreach, partnerships, and networking. She frequently writes about the latest advancements in digital marketing and focuses her efforts on developing customized blogger outreach plans depending on the industry and competition.

Victoria Gate Casino On Fathers Day

Victoria Gate Casino has been the hot topic of conversation since it opened in the fabulous Victoria Gate. I visited their Curve Bar for a cocktail masterclass, which you can read about here. When I realised they were offering something exciting for Father's Day, I really wanted to be a part of it.

The Father's Day Deal included 2 or 3 course meal, FREE £10 electonic gaming ticket, Dad's eat free and get a free selected drink, and all other diners receive a £5 promo ticket. The casino restaurant is affordable anyway, and is chic and stylish, it's grand and beautiful. For all those who are nervous about stepping into a casino, it really truly is the Las Vegas experience in Leeds. ul of slot machines, big screen TV's and lots of areas to have a drink and you do not need to be tied to any membership.

We started out in the restaurant and had I decided on having a delicious falafel burger and we also ordered the Hunter's Chicken. The staff in the restaurant are incredibly friendly and accomodating and nothing was too much trouble. Food is available 24 hours in the casino.


For more information on the casino and what other offers they have during the year then click here to go straight to their website. *Always gamble responsibly*

CHARITY: Giving Something Back To The World

Do you ever feel like you want to give something back to the world that has provided you with so much? Perhaps, your life has been going rather well lately, and you want to show the love to other people. This is totally understandable, and it is basic human nature to want to do something positive and give something back without expecting anything in return. But this can also be quite difficult. 
You might want to give to charity, but how do you fit that into your budget. It can be hard, particularly if you just about have enough money to get by yourself. So maybe you want to dedicate time rather than money, but again it can be tricky to fit this into a busy lifestyle. You might soon realise that if you search long enough, you will always find issues that will stop you from giving back to the world. But, if you keep looking, you’ll also discover the solutions. Here are a few of the best ways you can bring some positive energy back to the world and in doing so feel better about yourself. 

Holidays That Mean More

Photo Courtesy of: Flickr
We’ve just entered June and that means that a lot of people are probably looking forward to their summer vacations. Where are you off too this year? Perhaps you’re taking the kids to Disney World or maybe you’re exploring a beautiful paradise. But why not instead try and make your holiday mean a little more. 
When you’re a student, you’re always looking for ways to fill your summer vacation on a limited budget. You might come across the idea of volunteering abroad. Packages like this are often around four weeks long. You’ll spend two weeks doing volunteer work such as teaching English or building houses in Fiji. On the second two weeks, you get to explore this new location, appreciate it and have some fun. So, essentially, you get the best of both worlds, and you’ll love every minute of it. 
These types of vacation volunteer packages are available for people other than students too. So, you can easily fill a few months of your summer with a spot of relaxation and a good load of charity work. All that’s usually required is for you to pay your own way and this tends to be a lot cheaper compared to your typical vacation. 

Or, you can just organise a full three months of volunteering in a place that needs help. While this certainly won’t feel like a holiday, it can be an incredibly rewarding experience that gives you a brand new perspective of the world and the challenges that people face every day of their lives. 

Giving To Charity

Photo Courtesy of: Flickr
You might decide that rather than spending your summer helping people you just want to give some money to charity. But, as we have already discussed, you might find it difficult to fit this into your monthly budget. Particularly, if every so often you want to treat yourself. The best idea is to not to give any of your hard earned money away. Instead, you should raise other sums of capital for the charity that you want to support. Your first step should be finding the charity that you want to donate money too. This could be anything From Shelter to Save The Children to a charity that support veterans. However, you should look at the charities carefully. It’s fair to say that they do differ on how they handle money. Some only give a percentage of their donations to the actual cause because they have to pay their workers, marketers and other bills. 

You might be wondering about the type of ways you can raise money for charity. Well, there are options, and companies such as Cashfloat certainly provide some brilliant ideas. But some examples would be using your skill, hobby or passion. For instance, you might love baking. If that’s the case, you can make some lovely cakes and sell them for a profit. Any money you raised can then be donated to a charity. 
Alternatively, you can get sponsored to complete an activity such as running a marathon. You set yourself a big enough challenge you will discover that people are eager to get involved and support you in your endeavours. 

Helping The Planet

Photo Courtesy of: Public Domain
Of course, it is worth pointing out that it’s not just people who need your help. The planet does too, and with a reduced support from America to help protect it, you should certainly consider providing more of your support. The best option here is to make your daily life a little more green. For instance, you might not live too far away from your place of work. If that’s the case, rather than getting in the car, get your bike instead. Or, head out for a brisk walk. Not only will this do you a world of good, it will reduce your personal CO2 emissions.
You can also think about changing your home to make it more green. If you invest in new tech, you’ll find that it uses less power than your typical technology. As such, you can lower the amount of energy that you use on a daily basis. You could also think about introducing renewable sources of power into your home. For instance, you should think about getting solar panels for the roof of your home. With solar panels, you can make sure that you use less energy at home without changing the way you live in the house or altering your family's lifestyle. 

The biggest issue here is probably the expense. But you can get help with this from environmental agencies and the government. It doesn’t have to cost a fortune, and that’s why these days you see so many homes with those futuristic panels on the roof. 

I hope you see now that there are lots of different ways you can give back and make a difference to the world. Even if you are strapped for cash or running low on time, there is always ways to fit this into your lifestyle and feel a little better about yourself.

TRAVEL: Make the Most of a Trip to Venice

Ask someone what the most romantic city in the world is. A lot of people - most, in fact - will probably tell you that it’s Paris. (Of course, most of the people who answer in this way have probably never been on a romantic vacation in Paris! Spoiler alert: it’s overrated.) The rest will probably tell you that the most romantic city in the world is the Italian city of Venice. (You may get the occasional oddball who tries to tell you that the correct answer is New York City. As great as the Big Apple is, this is incorrect on many, many levels.)
Talks of Venice conjure up images of unique alleyways, world-class art museums, extraordinary palaces, clean and calm canals - it’s an absolutely beautiful city, one that is, in itself, something of a masterpiece. And if you’re going, you’ll want to experience the city to its fullest. While you may not be the kind of person who likes to travel somewhere and do the obvious, tourist-y things, the obvious, tourist-y things in Venice are genuinely some of the best things about the city, and you’ll be missing out if you decline them!
So here’s a quick guide to making the most out of your time in Venice.

First off: learn some Italian
Yes, it’s true that you can get by in Italy without learning any Italian. You’ll do fine at most hotels and restaurants, and a lot of the cities that are really heavy on tourists, like Naples and Rome, shouldn’t present you with much trouble, either. But the fact is that Italy isn’t a great place in which to be ignorant of the native tongue. 
Some of you may have experience of traveling to a few places in Europe already. Maybe you’ve been to Germany or Denmark. In such places, it’s easy to get the impression that most Europeans are pretty proficient when it comes to English; it’s really easy to get by in these places without knowing a single word of their language (although they’d certainly prefer it if you gave it a try). But as the Education First website shows, Italy only has a moderate average proficiency in the English language. This actually makes it one of the least proficient places for English-speaking in the entire continent. If you want to fully experience the magic of Venice, then it’s better to have a little bit of Italian under your belt.

Photo Courtesy of: Good Free Photos
Get on a gondola
When people imagine Venice in the context of romance, they’re usually imagining couples on a gondola ride. And if you were planning on going to Venice without going for a gondola ride, then you may need to seek help. The beautiful waterways of Venice deserve to be seen and experienced from the comfort of a gondola, rowed by a gondolier (who may or may not sing to you as they row. That’s mostly a romance movie myth, I’m afraid, though some will do it if you pay them enough euros.)
Gondola rides are beautiful whenever you want to ride, though a lot of people underestimate the thrill of a night ride. If you don’t want a gondolier, then you can actually hire a private gondola for you and your friends. Be careful, though - they expect those gondolas back in one piece, probably more than they expect you back in one piece. And gondolas are expensive beasts, so do take care!

Photo Courtesy of: Wikimedia
Experience the food!
There’s an exclamation point at the end of that sub-heading, and for very good reason. It’s difficult to exaggerate just how good the food in Venice is - in much of Italy, in fact - and going out of your way to ensure that you try the best food you can is definitely worth it. Italy houses many of the world’s finest cooks, and its food is known worldwide for its quality. However, you should know that “Italian food” isn’t that helpful a category. The food in Italy is perhaps more regionalized than in any country in the world.
That means that the food you get in Venice can be worlds apart from what you’d get in Milan, Rome, or Naples. So people here don’t talk so much of Italian food as they do Milanian food, or Neapolitan food, or Venetian food. Thankfully, as a cicchetti tour in Venice (which combines the previous section with this one!) will quickly reveal to you, Venetian food is perhaps the most famed and delicious food in all of Italy. You’ve picked the right place!

Photo Courtesy of: Wikimedia
See amazing art
A few centuries ago or so, there was this little thing called the Italian Renaissance, though it wasn’t really acknowledged as such until around the 19th century. It was one of the most glorious and creative artistic periods in all of human history, a surge of incredible achievement in the arts and intellectual pursuits that still grips and astonishes people to this day. Leonardo, Michelangelo, Raphael, and Donatello - all their works can be found in Venice. (And if you immediately thought of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles instead of the classic painters, sculptors, and writers, then get thee to Venice asap! Or, y’know, Wikipedia.)
If you’re not too big on all the classical art, then there’s no need to worry. Venice also has a bunch of world-class contemporary artists, and there are museums dedicated to their work. Unfortunately, if you’re looking to see Leonardo da Vinci’s masterpiece Last Supper, it’s not in Venice. You’ll have to go to Milan (and book a 15-minute viewing!) in order to see it.
Off the beaten path
Of course, there are loads of great things to do in Venice that are difficult to find in any tourist guidebook. This is why you should take the time to get to grips with a little Italian (the language, not a small Italian person). When you know some of the native tongue, it’s easier to ask the locals for suggestions and directions to restaurants, museums, bars, and amenities with which they’re more familiar. These places have plenty to offer, and they also tend to be much cheaper - as well as not so filled with fellow tourists!

TRAVEL: The London District You Need To Check Out

We all get those feelings of wonderlust, scrolling through an unprecedented amount of glossy Instagram posts about all the beautiful destinations in the world. London, with its style, charm and charisma is the perfect dreamy location for all travellers; but sometimes finding a specific area of London to choose can be tricky. Each area of London is crafted perfectly to appeal to different people with different tastes, but rest assured that there is always something for everyone. One area that is worth a visit, is Shepherds Bush, in the West of London. Class, charm, style, and culture, it is one area of London that has so much to offer without the chaos of navigating Central London. Taking a trip there in summer is vibrant and thrilling, or come visit in winter, with the excitement and magic of Christmas making an appearance!

Photo Courtesy of: Pixabay
The West of London has always been an attractive area for many, with the prettiness and quirkiness still remaining, yet appealing to a more wider audience, with a little bit of everything. It's easily accessible, being on five of the London Underground services, including Central line and Hammersmith and City line. Westfield shopping centre in Shepherds Bush is by far one of the most incredible centres in Europe; it is large, yet inviting and with every shop you could possibly want, it is out of the way from the hustle and bustle of Central London's traffic and tourism. Be sure to look at Shepherds Bush market, for food, bric-a-brac and lots of little goodies that you can keep as posterity of your travels. There is also Shepherd's Bush Green, a stunning triangular area of parkland, perfect for those summer picnics we all love, without the crowds that gather in the larger parks such as Hyde Park. It also offers a large range of restaurants, for all palettes; and it has been highly acclaimed as one of the top areas of London to eat in, hailed as the "shining star" for all foodies!

Photo Courtesy of: Pixabay
With an eclectic mix of races, it is a great location for a touch of culture and the strong sense of community shows just how multi-cultural London on the whole has become. The surrounding areas of Shepherds Bush are well within walking distance, Notting Hill, a pretty location famous for its quaint winding streets and Instagrammable doors, and Holland park to the east, with plenty of high class shops and restaurants. Exploring the area on foot is always a way to make the most of where you're staying, you can explore little backstreets and truly feel the essence of this incredible city. If you take a taxi, be sure to get recommendations from your driver, who will know little pubs and cafes you may not ever think to try!

There are a number of hotels in Shepherd's Bush, that offer lovely accomodation with K West Hotel & Spa providing stylish, clean and contemporary rooms, with all the amenities you need to make the most of your stay in the area. In the perfect location for the west of London, it offers a chic style that you will fall in love with. Fill up on a good hearty English breakfast, spend the day wondering the beautiful streets and return to treat your feet in the spa, and indulge in some delicious food.

Photo Courtesy of: K West Hotels
Photo Courtesy of: K West Hotels
Photo Courtesy of: K West Hotels
Photo Courtesy of: K West Hotels
There is nothing more fulfilling than a day trekking the streets of a beautiful city, then retreating back to your hotel room for a cosy evening and looking back over the photos you've taken on your travels. You can really make the most of your trip to London, with a welcoming and warm stay at a luxurious hotel. Take some time to plan your journey, go see a show, or taste a little bit of luxury on a river cruise for the day. The possibilities are endless. Where are your favourite places to visit in Shepherds Bush?