Countdown to 100 countries

Sunday, 28 May 2017

Beret happy to be en Paris

Bonjour au Paris!

Beret happy to be here but... I have a favour to ask... do you have any tips or recommendations?

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This was taken at the Pullman btw, in case you want to stay here too.

Merci in advance,


Friday, 26 May 2017

Health kick: the spring salad edition

The other week I heard that you can't out train a bad diet. This really hit home for me so I've been making more of an effort with eating healthy because I'm trying to lose a little bit of weight at the moment (my BMI is higher than it usually is so I want to get it back in check).

This past week it's been really warm weather which has been amazing, because a) yay sun! and b)when it's warm I eat healthier food. I'm not sure why but I find that when it's hot I want juices, smoothies, sorbets and salads. This is great because I'm trying to shed my winter chub ready for summer (winter weight purely gained for heat purposes, not because of hob nobs).

I thought I'd share some of the salads I've been making.

First up: Chargrilled chicken with curried spices, chorizo and a zingy hummus-lemon dressing.

So easy. Make up a spice mix (1tsp cumin, 1/2 tsp of garam masala, 1/2 tsp of cayenne and 1/2 tsp of paprika) and coat your chicken with it. Then add to a hot pan until the chicken is cooked through. Slice your chorizo and add to the pan until it's crisped on both sides. While the chicken and chorizo cook, thinly slice carrots and arrange your salad leaves on a plate. Then combine 1 tsp of olive oil, 1/2 tbsp of hummus and the juice of half a lemon to make the dressing. Stack your chicken and chorizo on top of the salad leaves and drizzle on the dressing. Perfection.

Next up: Chicken with parma ham, crumbly cheese, orange slices and a citrus vinaigrette

Fry the chicken in a hot pan until browned. Then slice your orange and arrange on a plate with salad leaves, 2 slices of parma ham torn into strips and the chicken. Crumble over about a matchbox sized chunk of lancashire cheese/feta/crumbly cheese of choice. Combine 1tbsp of orange juice, 1 tbsp of balsamic vinegar, 1tsp of olive oil and salt and pepper to make the vinaigrette and pour on top.

Next: Chicken, crispy parma ham, parmesan shavings and grapefruit with a spicy vinaigrette

Start by frying the chicken until browned. Put the chicken to the side and then fry two slices of torn parma ham until they become crisp. Slice as much grapefruit as you like and divide into segments. Stack your salad leaves, grapefruit, chicken and parma ham on a plate. Then slice one spring onion and scatter on the top. Grate parmesan into longish strips and artfully lay on top. Then combine 1tsp of olive oil, 1 tsp of balsamic vinegar, 1/4tsp of cayenne pepper, 1/4 tsp of hot paprika, salt and pepper and then drizzle it over the salad.

Next up; chicken, avocado and goats cheese with a balsamic vinaigrette.

Fry the chicken until cooked whilst you lay out salad leaves, a diced avocado and 3 slices of goats cheese (broken up). Mix 1 tbsp of olive oil and balsamic vinegar with salt and pepper and drizzle on the top of your salad leaves. Lay the chicken on top and enjoy.


4 beautiful spring salads that are filling and nutritious.

Until next time,


Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Wedding guestlist wishlist

Can we just have a minute to consider how far away it is until payday? I spent all my money on flights, and now I'm eeking out my pennies for the rest of the month and feeling sorry for myself. Naturally not having any money means there are beautiful things in the shops at the moment. Just my luck haha. I thought I would put together a summer wedding guestlist of the things I would like to buy if I wasn't so terrible at frittering my money away in about 3 minutes haha...

1. This perfect beach-wedding guest dress; I love this and think it would be so nice for a trip I've got coming up soon. It's not too dressy but very pretty - ideal for the beach. *edit - now 14.70 in the sale and currently in my basket*
2. I think this necklace goes with every outfit here and looks quite different.
3. Bandeau bikini (so no straps show above the beach dress) *now 10 pounds but not in my size sadly*
4. Braided beauties. Although I like wedges and these are flats I think on the beach it's better to have sandals that are easy to slip on and off since sand can ruin shoes so quickly.
5. Something a little smarter, perhaps for a countryside wedding. *edit - now 38.70 and also in my basket*
6. With a colour-blocking clutch. The straps are clip on and off which I love in clutches because it means I get so much more use out of them.
7. A fancy maxi dress for a wedding reception in the evening.
8. A neutral clutch to mix and match; this one is so beautiful.
9. A dress I would wear again and again; I just think it looks effortless.
10. Chunky heels for comfort - although high heels are great I can't handle them at all. Especially for special occasions; I'd rather not have the night cut short because of painful heels. *reduced to 80.00*
11. Delicate details; again something I'd wear again and again.


Sunday, 21 May 2017


Do you remember when I was revising and super stressed about my exams?

So massively relieved to have found out I passed. I was very anxious before, during and after the test because it was really difficult and I worried I had failed. I had failed a mock exam a few weeks before which did not help my confidence at all. Waiting for results is horrendous and I'm so relieved and happy just to have the pressure off.

I'm one of those weird people that wakes up worrying and worries all day. It's actually ridiculous.

I have a short break before some more exams begin.

If you're struggling with exams as well, I am sympathising with you and wish you the best of luck.



Friday, 19 May 2017

Goodness Gracious, Liverpool

A great weekend in Liverpool.

Such a fun city with tons of secret bars, rooftop bars, museums, sights and shops - I absolutely loved it. I went with my boyfriend for a city break and I'd definitely recommended it for couples because there's so much to do. I used to live here and it honestly is one of the best cities in the UK.

We spent a long weekend there and spent a lot of that time in the local bars catching up with friends. They were visiting from Sydney so it was good to catch up before I head over there to see them! After a quick wander around Albert docks, kick-off began with drinks at the Pumphouse.

Followed by a change of scene to Kazimier Gardens. This bar is great because you just walk through an archway on a regular street and you enter this amazing lit up, beautiful beer garden. I think it's so unique and fun (as well as having a great choice of beer on tap).


Btw this photo ^^^ isn't mine and is from here

By this point we was pretty tipsy so we went for emergency burgers at Almost Famous then had a power nap (basically just a cooler way of saying we're feeling our age now isn't it?)

After the 'power' nap it was time for dinner...and more drinks. We met another group of friends and went to Bakshish to order everything. It's a Lebanese restaurant and I've never had this type of food before but it was delicious, colourful and seemed relatively healthy - although possibly not in the amount we had haha. I'm so bad for ordering loads off the menu - I just want to try it all! We ordered a lot of the smaller plates and dug in to share which is my favourite way to eat. You can find the menu here.

After that, it was time for something very different! A speakeasy bar called Berry & Rye.

I've been to a few 'secret' bars before but this was so exciting. You knock on a plain door and it opens to a blacked out curtain with a bouncer. When you say you have a reservation they sweep back the curtain revealing an amazingly themed bar; old school desks with compartments filled with handwritten notes, a menu disguised into old hard-back books and incredible drinks. We had such a great time reading through all the notes and catching up.

It's not that expensive at around 9 pounds for a cocktail - a pretty average price I think. Definitely worth it for the fun factor alone.

The next day after getting up early to fit some sightseeing in like actual troopers, our hangovers were getting the better of us. Flagging, we decided desperate times called for desperate measures and headed to an incredible rooftop bar called 'Goodness Gracious' for the hair of the dog 'cure'. The view helped...

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It's in West Africa House, opposite the three graces and above 'oh me oh my'. A chilled glass of rose and a relaxing hour sat in the sun made me feel a lot better. Hair of the dog is one of the most unpleasant ways to get over a hangover and is so unhealthy - but it does work for me at least! Still I'd much rather feed the hangover to get through it, but oh well!

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After more sightseeing; the graces, the cathedral and Liverpool one, we headed for a coffee at The Quartet on Hope Street. It's so nice there; all the houses look like they're in Notting Hill and I would love to live in them.

In the evening I didn't think I could handle another night of drinking so we opted for something a little different; a late night stroll on the beach.

Anthony Gormley's Another Place exhibition has been at Crosby beach for years now and I really enjoyed it. A beautiful art installation set alongside a warm, pink sky.

A perfect way to end a wonderful trip.

Liverpool, I'll be back.



Saturday, 6 May 2017

Travel Map

I'm on my way to reaching 100 counties, come explore with me by clicking the links below:


Friday, 5 May 2017

9 reasons why you need to go to Saint Petersburg right now

St. Petersburg is the most beautiful place. I didn't want to leave! I'm going to show you why you need to go too...

1) Saint Petersburg is beautiful in both the snow and sun.

2) Stunning architecture surrounded by yet more incredible buildings - it's endless. The city is so beautiful and is worth all the difficulty and expense of the visa application and more.

3) History at every turn. Museums are all over the city; I visited the Faberge museum and the winter palace, both of which I would recommend.

The queue was large at the Faberge museum so we got our tickets online and skipped the majority of it - definitely a good idea, especially with the wind chill outside!

4) Russians in Saint Petersburg are really friendly people. I was a little surprised at this as I thought Russians were really reserved and a bit scary haha. I could not have been more wrong. Such polite, friendly and beautiful people. We had a tour guide at one point who said it's the most European-like Russian city and it did feel like that to us.

5) A combination of architecture and nature. There is a park running right through the centre where you can warm yourself by the fire pit in the memorial.

6) It's very easy to get around. Completely flat and with the river running through the centre it makes navigation easy. I have a terrible sense of direction so that's really saying something haha. I didn't use the subway as I stayed centrally and prefer to walk.

7) So picturesque. The Narva river runs next to the saviour of the sacred blood and looks so pretty.

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8) Bridges. Okay, bear with me on this. Bridges are not my thing at all, but...they are really popular with tourists in summer. The river becomes flooded with people going to see them. Not my cup of tea but clearly someone's! So if you love's the place to be haha.

9) Somewhere completely different. I have never been to Russia before and was the first of my friends to go. I have been missing out and so have you. Go, you will not regret it.

Let me know if you end up going.

Until next time,



Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Exploring Saint Petersburg, Russia

It's crazy to be here because before I came I was actually a bit scared of Russia. The place and the people - or what I thought about the place and the people scared me; I thought it was going to be freezing, and grey and the people were going to be harsh and unfriendly.

It could not be more different. 

The place is vibrant, colourful, feels very safe and is full of the most polite and friendly people. I actually found Russians to be quite funny and the first time one cracked a joke I was genuinely shocked haha. I can't get over how wrong my perception was. It definitely taught me to not judge a book by its cover and I was a bit ashamed of myself for making assumptions; lesson learned. Having said that, it is definitely as cold as I expected haha.
If you've not been because you were feeling the same then you should go and experience it for yourself, it honestly is one of the best places I've been to.

After that little deep moment, it's time to explore!

We started our day sightseeing at St. Isaacs Church; the largest church in Russia. Full of mosaics and paintings but my favourite view was from the roof. We could see Saint Petersburg from behind the angels which was such a great experience because there are no modern buildings here so we got to see the historic city line.

So refreshing after my trip to New York last month.

We wandered around the streets getting a feel for the place and also in search of some hot chocolates. It was so cold we needed them as a matter of survival. Even the drainpipes had frozen...

...we stopped off at the fire pit in the middle of a memorial to heat up. It was actually lovely to be near an open fire and heat up our fingers a little on the way to see more buildings.

We headed on to the Kazan Cathedral. We didn't spend that long in here because even though its filled with beautiful paintings it's also full of locals praying and I didn't want to be disrespectful and in people's way.

We went to get a late lunch at Pelmenya; it's known for selling typical Russian dishes and was pretty great. It was so cheap, but it is small so be prepared to wait. Also if you go, there is a button to press for service and we didn't realise for ages which was embarassing. We tried the Russian dumplings (pelmeni) filled with potato and meat. Delicious, but not very photogenic so excuse the lack of photos.

Then we headed over to the Church of the saviour of spilled blood.

The outside was amazing but the inside was just incredible. This was definitely my favourite place in all of Saint Petersburg.

Beautiful paintings on every surface, surrounded by colourful mosaics. Malachite seems to have been a real favourite and it contrasts so well with all the gilded surfaces.

We were about ready for a nap before heading out for dinner and drinks so headed back to our hotel for a lie down. We stayed at the Dom Boutique hotel and I so want the chandelier and bath in my home.

See you next time,

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