A Not So Blue Monday

Monday, 22 August 2016

I've been away enjoying the rest of my summer, saying goodbye to people and doing all I can to not say hello to this terrifying year of Uni. I feel over whelmed at the moment which is the complete opposite I felt last year, although as I've said before on here I am really excited for autumn, just not all that comes with it. I'll be reet' though once I get into my routine and get my head back in the game (reference to Zac Efron there). Here are the things that have made me particularly happy this week:

Vegan potato salad - Before the torrential downpour that arrived through the week, we had a whole day of sun and scorching hot weather. After eating fruit all day because when it's that hot outside that's all I can stomach, I wanted something more substantial but cooling still, I opted for potato salad and it was a big hit, even with my meat eating father. I just boiled some potatoes and waited for them to cool, then added some white onion, pickled beetroot (yes beetroot, it makes it taste nice and turns it pink, what more do you want than pick potato salad?!) and lots of vegan mayo, add seasoning and then mix and wola! A lovely summery vegan tattie salad, delish!

The Olympics - I missed a lot of it, but what I did see looked so positive and I love seeing countries coming together and good team playing and all the rest of it. I know that holding the Olympics in Brazil was controversial but I think if you can look past that you see a positive celebration of sport and coming together and that. Also I like watching sports that aren't normally on the telly such as kayaking and water polo, you know the weird ones that everyone forgets about until 4 years later your sat on the sofa staring at a game of water polo thinking that it's fabulous!

Glitter Party - At the castle on Saturday we held a leaving party for Gareth because he's going back to uni soon. We sat and drank and talked into the early hours of the morning and now the whole castle is covered in glitter, I wonder what the ghosties' think of that!

What I have been listening to:

Nothing new yet because I am still waiting with baited breathe for Frank Ocean to crawl back out of his cave, we've been told it might be pretty soon, even tonight maybe, omg I'm so, so excited, hurry Frank my heart can't take it anymore!


A Not So Blue Monday

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

I was going to write this post on time I promise, but I was struck down by a horrid cold and fell asleep watching Amy Schumer videos with Gareth instead, soz. This week has been filled with getting the last of the summer sun because, dare I say it I'm ready for autumn. I know for all you summer lovers out there it's whey,whey too early but I've already seen a few posts and tweets about it already, so I know my fellow autumn hopefuls are out there. Here are the things that have made me particularly happy this week:

A new family member - No, I'm not pregnant, ew. As you can probably guess from the photo we have taken in a new cat, well to be fair she decided to take us on by walking into the house one day. But don't worry we haven't stolen her, she definitely didn't have a home before hand. For a few months now we have seen this cat wandering around and my softy mum started feeding her. We made found posters and put them up all around the village and even the next town but we heard nothing back and after mum took her to the vets to find no microchip we decided she had been abandoned. She was still hanging around the house and on a rainy day we made the executive decision to let her in. We introduced her to my other two cats 2 weeks ago and after a lot of displays of hissing and handbags at dawn everyone did calm down. Because she's female my two know not to mess with her because (cat fact for you) in all cat breeds females are always dominant, girl power and that. I had the privelage of naming her and because she looks to me like a painting and she kind of has a mono-brow on her head although it's high up and she is also a strong independent, powerful woman I thought Frida was a fetching name, named after Frida Kahlo of course. So yeah, we have a new member of the house hold and she even has her own place on the sofa already, my little precious Frida. 

Pinterest - I caved, I finally got it and I haven't turned back. I'm in love. Emily told me to get it to get some inspiration for the portfolio I'm making and yes it is helping me with that but, there's just so much else, I've made so many boards and I now have a list of things that I want which I didn't even know I wanted, like a mermaid blanket oh my god I need a mermaid blanket in my life, where have I been? If you want to follow me and look at my boards and that (the autumn board's the best at the moment) here is the link, but please don't judge me, I am very new to this thing!

Girl on the Train - I started reading it 2 nights ago and I'm already hooked, I love the way it's written and I'm already really invested in the characters. I've been reading it on the bus to work which is weird because you know I'm on a bus, reading a book about a girl on a train and I'm a girl on a bus you know? weird? right? yeah? I'm so relatable. 

What I have been listening to:

Dermot O'Leary Saturday Sessions - My mum bought the Cd a few days ago and some of the covers, oh my. I love stripped back acoustic sometimes, my favourite track is Rudimental's version of Thinking Out Loud but it's all reggae and it fits the beat so well.

How was your Monday?

Treasure Hunt | July

Sunday, 7 August 2016

July has been a packed month and I've mostly been picking up beauty things on the way, this is probably due to a one hour wait in my local town before work and filling in that time with lots of shopping oopsy! What a better way to pass the time though eh? Let's crack on:

1. Original Source Shower Gel - Watermelon & Jojoba Oil

I love Original Source and I love watermelon, so when I saw this new shower gel in superdrug it had to come with me. It's such a fresh scent and I've been using it in the morning to add some extra zing to my day. 

2. New Look Dungarees in Light Denim 

I found these in New Look's big summer sale after trying on so many dungarees that just weren't right, they were so skinny at the leg and I hate that. Then I found these at the back, they were cut into a different shape and much more like 'mom' jeans which I loved. Yes they were a size 14 and I'm an 8-10, 12 sometimes. But once I tried them on I fell in love and because they were dungarees and fastened at the top, it  didn't matter that they were a larger size on me. Big and baggy always wins! I have recently taken these babies to a music festival, paired with a Stone Roses tshirt and my docs, my dad told me I look like a Dexy's Midnight Runner, that's the look I was going for Father dear how did you know ?! 

Because these were in the sale I can't find them online anywhere but there are loads of dungarees in New Look at the moment, they will definitely be the perfect staple for autumn and winter. 

3. Superdrug Solait Factor 50+ Enhanced Sun Lotion 

If you've seen a photo of me or know me in person, you will know that I am so pale I am almost see through. In summer this kind of skin requires special care and I've been using factor 50+ since I was little. Even when it's a dull, stormy day in summer I will have sun cream on! But alas the suncream I was buying was from companies that test on animals, this is because 50+ is rare in organic and vegan stores and I was at my wits end knowing I was forced to buy cruelly because of my see through skin. But when I ran out of my horrendous Nivea kids sun lotion I went to Superdrug in search of that leaping bunny logo, I found it and was over the moon. This sun lotion is really impressive and I haven't been burnt since, I apply it twice a day and it stays on all day and it's also really mattifying so no shiny suncream face for me! 

4. Palmers Coconut Oil Conditioning Shampoo 

After my Lush shampoo bar ran out I was at a loss. I decided I wanted to try a liquid shampoo again and found this one where I work (wooo discount!) I already owned the Palmers coconut oil conditioner and putting the two together has really done my hair so much good. I love the smell of this stuff and it lasts in your hair for a long time and it also leaves my hair really sleek and soft, my hair! And the best thing about Palmers is that all their products are cruelty free and most (like this one) are vegan, who said us vegans cant have smooth, scented hair?!


5. New Look Wrist Watch 

I've wanted a watch for a while because when I'm at work I'm not always near a clock and accidentally sometimes do a little bit of overtime without being payed. I found this watch, again in the New Look summer sale (that sale was great) for only £5! I love the pattern on the inside which looks like a mandala and I like the rose gold  outer edge and black straps, very classy. Why do you need a Michael Corrs when you can have a nicer version for a fiver! 

6. Incense in Jasmine 

This month I went to Kendal Calling a large music festival, whilst there, there were loads of lovely stalls dotted about the place and I picked up a few things. When deathly hungover and slightly stoned I stumbled upon this little tent that had loads of incense, I ratched' around the stall for a while smelling all the incense and handing each one to Emily so she could smell it equally (stoned people do funny things) until I found this gorgeous scent and immediately bought it. It's quite a fresh smell for incense which is really unusual because most of them are really musky and I think that's why I like it so much. I love burning incense it instantly relaxes me and I have to say I have been sleeping better after burning this in my room everyday, best stoned decision ever!

7. The Bodyshop Shade Adjusting Drops - Lightening 

We have already established that I have pale skin. And having pale skin finds it hard to find a perfect shade of foundation or bb cream. I've been using the same bb cream for 2 years now and all though it does its job wonderfully I do find that sometimes when I catch myself in the light I am still a tad orange, especially now I'm using bronzer. When I saw these new lightening drops floating around the blogoshpere I knew I had to check it out. Now I have to say that I think the bottle is pretty small for the price and it is running out rather quickly but it's really done its job and brightened my face up, I put one drop on my foundation brush and blend both liquids in and you can really see the difference. I think I might even buy some proper foundation for the winter now I know I wont have an orange neck!

8. Stranger Things 

I'm sure you've heard about it from the hype by now but honestly it's worth everyone telling you to watch it, just watch it, it's the best small Tv series I've watched since Peaky Blinders and people who know my love for Peakys know I wouldn't say that lightly. Everything about this series works so well, the characters, the soundtrack, the storyline, everything. I love the 80's American vibe which is done so well it really transports you to that time, the child actors are phenomenal and their relationships are so thoughtful and complex. Winona Ryder is sensational actually when I think about it, all the acting is sensational, not one actor or one scene lets it down it's just the whole package and I need a second season in my life like right now! If you haven't watched it, watch it. If you're a film buff that gets off on perfect cinematography like me watch it, you won't be disappointed!

To be honest this month has made me feel a little materialistic, I have bought a lot but why not? I'm earning the money and I'm spending some of it on things that make me a little happier, whats wrong with that eh.

 What was your favourite treasure?

By The Book Tag

I don't tend to be one for a tag, but there's something about this one that interests me and I've seen a lot of people doing it recently and I thought I would share my reading material in tag form. I'm not the fastest of readers which means it takes me a pretty long time to get through a book but I will make sure that I enjoy every minute, taking in the whole plot and living through the characters. The way I read is like a form of method acting only less physically straining and you know being able to act and that, anyhoo' lets get cracking:

What book is next to your bed right now?

I am currently reading On the Other Side which is Carrie Fletcher's new and very first novel. I've found it so far to be quite strange, although the concept is really unique and clever and the way Carrie writes is really visual and I can easily imagine the characters, there's almost an un-realistic layer to it and yes it is meant to be un-realistic it's about the afterlife for feck' sake, but I just can't get my head around some of the scenes and ideas that she writes about. For a first novel though it is really good and a lot more 'adult' than I was expecting seems as she has a pretty youngish youtube audience.   

What was the last truly great book you read?

The Girl with all the Gifts by M. R. Carey hands down, the visuals were amazing in it and I could imagine all the events from chapter to chapter. The characters were all really strong especially the female ones; it's very female led and I thought the concept of the book really did wonders for the 'zombie genre' per say. I'm also extremely excited about the film coming out and I just hope they do this wonderful book justice.  

If you could meet any writer -dead or alive- who would it be? And what would you want to know?

Ooo this is hard. I think I would say Harper Lee because I would like to hear why she took such a drastic turn to the To Kill a Mockingbird  follow up Go Set a Watchmen. Why she completely changed round Atticus's temperament and kind personality, I couldn't finish the book because it was such a shock to the system to read that he'd changed into a bitter racist seems as he's my favourite character ever in a book! I'd also like to know her side about the controversial release of her book after her death because I have heard that she didn't want it published and they still went ahead and released it. She also seemed like a very interesting character. 

On a lighter note I would also love to have a cuppa' and a natter to either JK Rowling (obviously) or Michael Morpurgo and thank them for making my childhood so great and full of wonder.

What books might people be surprised to find on your shelves?

This question was pretty hard to answer because I'm very open with my book choices. I'm no book snob or anything, I do have a 2000 word encyclopdia on every breed of cat in the world but that's not surprising for anybody who knows me. 

I do have a lot of John Green which I'm not saying there is anything wrong with, but some people would definitely be surprised seems as I don't conform to teenage gender stereotypes and manic pixi dream girls, whoopsy!

How do you organise your personal library?

I don't, my aesthetic is a messy book shelf. Or as you can see from the image above non-existent bookshelf. My dream is to have a house with a full floor to ceiling bookshelf with a ladder and that, but that probably wont be organised either!   

What book have you always meant to read and haven't gotten around to yet? Anything you feel embarrassed never to have read?

I've never really gone back to reading 'the classics' like Austen and Dickens because they were both forced upon us at school, but I would like to really appreciate them. Also I do have a lifetime reading list as big as my arm, which contains Hemingway, Wilde, Poe, Stephen King and loads of writers that my mum recommended because she reads so much and I trust her judgement. But this list keeps getting overshadowed by newer books I see reviewed and then I immediately buy them on Amazon. I really need to get back to crossing off that lifetime list. 

There's nothing I feel embarrassed about because reading is there to be enjoyed for yourself, it shouldn't be a snobbish activity. I think I would feel a little embarassed if I didn't read at all, but I know it's not everybody's cup of tea and it doesn't make you any more un-intelligent or clever if you do or don't. 

Disappointing, overrated, just not good: what book did you feel you are supposed to like but didn't? Do you remember the last book you put down without finishing?

I hate to say it but I really didn't like Zoe Sugg's novel Girl Online I thought the plot line was poor and the characters were so stereotyped. Also the book does not help with mental health stigma and conquering anxiety through self care because the main character is basically 'saved' by her boy crush ugh. To be fair though I don't know how the plot follows after that but after reading the first one I certainly wont be thinking of adding the other two to my reading list. Sorry Zoe, I love you in all other aspects!

I also was very disappointed with The Handmaids Tale so many people told me to read this because I'm a feminist, but I just wasn't impressed with the plot line and the character affirmation. I wrote a lengthy blog post a few months ago about my disappointment in this book and why I disliked it so much, but I would have to say that although I completed it, it was hard and not very enjoyable.

What kind of stories are you drawn to? Any you stay clear of?

I much prefer a realistic storyline. Something when I can relate to the characters and even maybe relate to some of the plot. Because I study psychology at Uni I'm really interested in either psychological thrillers or quiet YA's about battling mental illness, I also sometimes like constructed realism, stories that are based on real storylines or real people. And I am an absolute sucker for a dystopian, futuristic novel. 

I am partial though, to a little bit of magic such as Harry Potter, Tolkien or The Night Circus but I don't like the magic to dominate the storyline, the characters have to always be the most important. 

I think the one genre of book I stay clear of are those awful 'mum' books about child abuse such as Don't tell mummy or, A child called It or, I was hidden in a cupboard for 3 years please help. I think it's just a little strange of a concept to enjoy reading about this kind of abuse and from what I've heard (I could be wrong) a little glorifying and romanticised, I don't know though each to their own.

If you could require the current Prime minister to read one book, what would it be?

Oh god this is a hard question. I don't actually know what I'd make lizard face read, probably something about how the British class system doesn't work anymore or something about animal rights or gay rights or every other person she has voted against's rights. But to be honest if I had a chance to give Teresa May a book I would hit her over the head with it, so I wont be doing that no thank you. 

What do you plan to read next?

I finished my spring reading list  not so long ago so I'm currently making a new one. I am just about to begin Girl on the Train I've wanted to read it for a while and the film comes out in October so I'm wanting to read it before that. I've heard there's some problematic things about it especially the woman characters but I am intending to hold back my judgement and immerse myself into the story. 

I hope you've enjoyed my whittling on about books through an overused, popular tag. Aw well I had fun. Be free to join in or whatever this tag does help you think about your reading style. If you do do it I would love you to link it bellow so I can be nosey and read your answers!



Our Favourite Place

Thursday, 28 July 2016

I haven't done a Monday post this week. Just because I've literally been doing the same things, working and socialising and there's only so many times you can talk about those things without sounding so mundane. Instead I thought I would share some photos from a glorious, spontaneous day on the shore with some of my favourite people. It was a wonderful day and, apart from one of my friends getting stung by a jelly fish! Kind of perfect:

Where's your favourite place?

5 Days in Amsterdam

Saturday, 23 July 2016

Last month my two friends and I set off on a little jaunt to The Netherlands for 5 days. I have always wanted to travel to Amsterdam, the city has always interested me, especially the difference in culture and the architecture. We began to plan this trip in March and when we were finally on the plane that's when the excitement  kicked in. I was so glad that we planned 5 days in the end because I have heard about people just going for a weekend but as soon as we landed in the city we found out that there was so much to do and we wanted to do it all! We decided to make a vague itinerary but nothing too strict so we could work around it if we wanted to, this allowed us to choose a place we wanted to go each and made it fair for everybody and apart from 2 places, we completed our itinerary to a tee'. We decided to stay in a hostel in the end and although to was pretty basic it contained everything we needed and the staff were so lovely, we felt safe in the city and our experience was incredibly positive. I took so many photos so I'm going to pop them all into this post in diary form, I hope you enjoy:

Day 1____________________________________________________________________________

After landing (and dealing with the plane exceptionally well Ciara 1 anxiety 0) we took a train/tram journey into the centre of the city and found our hostel pretty easily. And after the initial shock of our tiny room we soon found that the bunk beds were pretty comfy and everyone was really nice. We took our map and planned our locations and itinerary and then headed out to explore. 

Vegan restaurants were pretty easy to find because they were literally on every street! We found a gorgeous restaurant and bar called Zest I had a plate of triple salad which was potato, sezska and a homemade hummus which was to die for. It was the loveliest meal and a delicious and friendly introduction to Amsterdam. 

After our meal we decided to explore Vondel park which is apparently the largest park in Amsterdam. We bought a bottle of white wine and sat next to the huge pond, taking in the atmosphere and admiring the scenery. There were so many herons just wandering around looking for food, I have never seen a heron that close. The park was beautiful and we met a lot of interesting characters while we were there. After finishing our wine, we decided to turn in, plane journeys and travel caught up with us and we all went back to our surprisingly comfortable bunk beds. 

Day 2____________________________________________________________________________

We decided to hire bikes because when in Amsterdam you must ride at least one bike. I hadn't ridden a bike in around 3 years so I was a little wobbly, much to the preferred entertainment of the locals. We also rode on the wrong side of the bike lane for about half an hour before being informed and I think sworn at in Dutch! After getting lost many a time we finally found our first location;

We parked our bikes on the corner of a canal and set off to find the market we were looking for, on the way we met a cat in a window, a cat outside and some lovely photo opportunities. The market we found was the largest street market in The Netherlands and it really lived up to its name. The atmosphere was really welcoming and the stalls were very intriguing, we met some lovely people including a photographer from New York who wanted to take our photo because I quote we look 'incredibly English'. Alas most of the items we loved were too big and bulky to bring back with us, like the quality cheap vinyls one stall was selling which I couldn't take my eyes off. After looking around the market we sat down by the canal and had our lunch, it was a lovely and calming place to sit and a van nearby added to the atmosphere by playing The Madness full blast, it was such a buzzing friendly atmosphere and we felt so chilled out. 

After the market we travelled to our next port of call, Papa Bubble a candy shop that we'd heard a lot about. This candy shop was different because you could watch them actually make the candy, it was amazing and the people working there were so lovely. I was so enthralled with the making of the sweets that I forgot to take any photos, but I did buy a packet of watermelon sweets that had been made that day and they were honestly the most authentic tasting watermelon sweets I had ever eaten and I just wish I bought two packets!

Next we rode to The Anne Frank House but once we parked up we realised that the queue was just too big to even try and get in. It was such a shame because that location was on our list and we couldn't complete it, but we just couldn't wait for that long and take up almost a whole day probably waiting to enter when we could be ticking more things off our list. After scoping the queue we turned our bikes around for home and it was then we realised that it was now rush hour in Amsterdam! There were bikes and cars flying everywhere and so much traffic, it was genuinely scary and at some stages I did think one of us was going to get injured, but we got back all in one piece, had a group hug and a selfie or two and popped our bikes back into the hire shop, phew!

   We ended the night with a lovely meal at a really nice facilitating restaurant, the waitress was super nice and even though they had nothing vegan on the menu she supplied me with a gorgeous warm cooked salad which was so filling. I love it when restaurants actually make an effort to a vegan's needs, there's nothing worse than being starving and being given a lettuce leaf. I also tried my first Liefmans beer and was completely sold I love the taste, it's so unusual and sweet for a beer and so refreshing. We ended the night with a trip to the famous Bulldog Coffee Shop (tee hee) and a few more drinks.   

Day 3 ____________________________________________________________________________

We headed to The Museum Quarter and planned on hitting them all in one go, well the ones we wanted to visit (no interest in Van Gogh here sorry) but when we entered our first museum The Stedelijk Museum of Contemporary and Moder Art, we found out it was pretty expensive and there was a student discount choice so we decided to bring our student Id's back and come back another day which was a little disappointing but there was still so much to explore. 

We headed to a small museum where they were holding a Banksy and Warhol exhibition, it was strange to see Banksy work in a museum environment and even though it was a great experience to see it, I couldn't help but think that the work just didn't belong there, Banksy made them to be on the streets, to make their mark as graffitti and taking them away from that environment in my opinion removes its meaning of being there in the first place. I don't know it did make me feel a little un-comfortable and the gift shop made me feel even more strange because it was so commercialised, every Banksy piece was on a Tshirt or a tote bag and they were even selling DIY Banksy masks and gift packed heart shaped red balloons, ugh it was just too much!

The Warhol section was much better, I was able to see a lot of his most famous pieces although it did focus more on his pop art instead of his earlier Polaroids or darker pieces. The little GCSE art student inside me was fangirling so hard at his famous Liz Taylor piece!  

After leaving the odd exhibitions we had another little wander around The Museum Quarter, but found out everything was pretty expensive. So we just gazed upon the free exhibition pieces in the entrance hall instead! 

Because it was absolutely pouring down outside, we decided to do something incredibly touristy, because we hadn't done a lot of that yet. We purchased discount tickets to The Heineken Museum from some lovely men in a small store that sold rain ponchos. The Heineken experience was quite an experience! It was very commercial and very well thought out so when you leave the building you are left with an endless want and need for Heineken beer, brain washing in a sense. But brain washing aside, it was fun. It was very interactive and also surprisingly quite creative, you also got two free beers! I'm quite glad that we went here in the end, if ever you're having a rainy day in Amsterdam go and experience the experience and drink a beer, a Heineken beer, that's all.   

We ended the night with more coffee shops and more beer and much more sleep because walking around a rainy Amsterdam was proved to be tiring. 

Day 4____________________________________________________________________________

We headed back to The Museum Quarter, student Id's in hand. We entered The Stedelijk Museum where we saw so much inspiring work including interactive exhibitions and more traditional ones such as Riechenbach's chair which was also the face of my GCSE graphic design module. We also had the absolute pleasure of seeing Damien Hirst work, he's not my favourite of modern artists but his work still is striking when you're inches from it. And then it was time, Tracey Emin, she's one of mine and Ems all time favourite artists and her neon lights were right in front of us! I was aw struck, they were so beautiful and so full of meaning, if you want to see them check out my instagram

After being aw struck for hours we decided to get some lunch at Bagels and Beans, the best franchise cafe in Amsterdam it was lush. 

After the museum we headed to one of Amsterdam's famous flower markets. It was such a great photo opportunity because there were just bunches of flowers everywhere. There were also so many tulips, like too many tulips I'm not the biggest fan as you can probably tell. The flower market was an interesting splash of Dutch culture, it was so colourful and so bustling and I don't think my photos did it a lot of justice because I was just trying to take it all in, I also wanted to buy so many plants but alas, with the plane home they wouldn't have gotten back in one piece. But it was so lovely to take in all the culture and the array of flowers and bulbs sold there, so many bulbs man.

We then headed to another exhibition which was situated in a large house. It was a comparison exhibition so there was some older works and modern work compared next to them. The older work tended to be portraits of grand looking people who I'm guessing lived in the big house (you can tell we didn't really do any research for this) but next to the portraits there would be a modern piece by a photographer and even though they were modern and much more colourful, the comparisons were un-canny and the photographer or whoever set up the exhibition definitely thought about the room and not only the portraits because the colours were so similar.

After looking at more things we had another break and then headed to The Happiness Project. Now The Happiness Project was on all of our lists and all though it's not always situated in Amsterdam we thought that because it was in the city we would go and see it while we can. The Happiness Project is a very famous exhibition piece which looks intimately into the physical human body and also the psyche of a human to gather what makes us happy. The twist is that the exhibition pieces per say are actual dead bodies, stripped of their skin so everything is exposed. This exhibition is indeed incredibly controversial but so, so interesting. I loved it and found it so fascinating, but I kept having to step back and remind myself that these people once were actually alive like you and I and that thought did make me go a little weak at the knees. It's all consentual and everything and you can actually sign up to be in the exhibitions when you die (shivers). Because they were real (gulp) dead people I obviously didn't take any photos, you could but I thought it would be disrespectful. It was quite an experience and incredibly interesting but I wouldn't say it was for the faint hearted, we definitely needed a stiff drink afterwards!

That night we also visited The Red Light district, that too was an interesting and slightly un-settling experience which I wont go into but I will just say seeing women in glass cases displayed like that did leave a bad taste in my mouth, although I did do my research and found that they are basically business women who had the power and all that jazz. But still seeing them in that environment was shocking, all I could think of was what would happen to them if they didn't pull that night and where would they go and so many questions were in my head. The red light district as a whole though is actually quite beautiful and the image of the red lights reflected in the canal will always be in my mind from our trip to Amsterdam.

We ended our last night in Amsterdam with Tapas. Sangria and more coffee shops. We went to see a very talented jazz band and drank the best vodka, lime and lemonades ever, it was such an amazing night and the best way to remember Amsterdam as this bustling city full of music, laughter and love. I fell in love with the city that night.

Day 5   ___________________________________________________________________________

We didn't have much time before our flight so after checking out of the hostel, we bought some bread and some of that gorgeous tahini hummus and sat and ate it all in the park. It was a great end to a great holiday although I did feel like I was about to explode after all the bread!  I will definitely be coming back, I've even thought about studying there so we'll have to see. Gareth and I are already planning on coming back really soon so he can see it for himself and I can't wait to be back here!

Have you been to Amsterdam?
What did you do?