Tips For Working From Home

Tips For Working From Home

Whether you’re new to remote working or you’ve been working from home for a while, you may find these tips useful for when you have little motivation or feel overwhelmed.

Take Breaks

When it comes to working from home, one of my biggest tips for you is to take breaks. I sometimes find that I will get up and work for hours at a time without taking a bathroom break or even grabbing a glass of water. I used to do this when I worked 9-5 as well. However, it’s not healthy. Take regular breaks. Don’t do what I have done and work from 8am-2pm without a single break.

I know you want to get that work done and it may be important, but so is your health. Go out for a walk on your lunch break, watch an episode of Riverdale on Netflix. Anything to take a short break and then you can continue with your work. Remember to drink!

Tips for Working From Home

Work When It Suits You

Just because you used to work 9-5 doesn’t mean you have to do the same from home. Some people are more motivated in the morning, some have more energy in the evenings or at night.

Some freelancers will tell you it’s not healthy to work at night but if that’s when it suits you and you feel ready to work at that time, go for it! Everyone has different preferences. Anyway, you’re freelance, you can work whenever you want!

Just remember to set aside time for friends, family or to do your own thing. It could be during the week, weekends or any time that suits around your schedule.

Set Boundaries

Some clients can be very demanding and they can ring you up at 9pm on a Wednesday and ask you to do something. Make sure you set boundaries from the beginning of your contract.

The likelihood is you don’t need to do that task right away, it can wait until the next day. However, when I’m asked to do something immediately, I can’t stop thinking about it until it’s done.

Setting boundaries can be difficult if you work from home because clients can contact you any time. I have a few tips on how to set boundaries with clients when it comes to working from home:

  • Get a work phone that you can turn off (this can be used as one of your expenses)
  • Uninstall Gmail, Zoom, Skype etc from your phone when you’re not working
  • Send a polite email stating your working hours if asked to do something “out of hours”
  • Have an out of office email for the days/hours you don’t work

Eat Healthy

This is one I still struggle with myself. But another tip I have if you’re working from home is to cook meals and make packed lunches as you would if you were commuting to work. You need to make sure you eat properly and don’t go without. BBC Good Food has a few easy recipes you can use!

Tips for Working From Home

Have A To Do List

I find that having a to do list of all the tasks I have to complete that day super helpful. I have a long term to do list of things I need to continue doing every week/month and a to do list for the day ahead. This could just be in your notes on your phone but it may be helpful to write it down on paper!

Don’t Cut Yourself Off

It can be so easy to stay in the house and get completely isolated when working from home, so make sure you take regular walks, even if it’s just twenty minutes. Schedule in dates to see friends, go out for dinner, spend time with family. I find that if I have no travel plans or plans to meet up with people, I can fall into a pit of depression and so I need to make sure I do something once a week to get out of my head – and the house.

Take Up A Hobby

Taking up a hobby, whether it’s drawing, writing, knitting or dancing is good for you, whether you work from home or not. However, I find that because I work from home during the day there’s a lot of classes and groups on. You could go to your local library for a reading group, start pole fitness, learn street dancing or take up an activity at home.

Tips for Working From Home

Exercise

By exercise, I don’t mean having to go to the gym and working out on a treadmill for an hour. You could do some yoga at home or go for a run or just a long walk. Staying at home all the time can be negative not only for your mental but also your physical health so you need to make sure you’re regularly moving about.

And don’t forget to have fun! Working from home can have its downsides but I wouldn’t change what I do for the world.

Guest Post: Surviving Winter

Guest Post: Surviving Winter

This week’s guest poster is Jo who writes at her own blog, My Anxious Life. All her links will be put down below. Happy reading!

The weather has turned, Autumn is upon is. It gets lighter later, darker earlier, everything is a dreadful shade of worn concrete – and let’s not even mention the rain. Even if you don’t suffer with SAD, there’s no doubting that the Autumn and Winter months can have a negative affect on our mental health.

Personally, this time of year leaves me in a near constant state of exhaustion. I struggle to get out of bed at the best of times but in winter, when it’s still so dark in the mornings, it feels like a crime to leave the warmth and safety of my bed – and once I’m up, I begin the bedtime countdown almost immediately. I strongly believe that I’m some kind of evolutionary throwback with my intense desire to hibernate come winter!

I become sluggish, start comfort eating and claiming that red wine is medicinal. I get grumpy and, because I do like to get out and about, being cooped up indoors means I start to ruminate and overthink (even more than usual). If you’re like me and aren’t careful, these are all things that can lead you right into the hungry jaws of depression.

So I’ve put together some ideas to help you avoid the winter mental health slump and stay sane until spring.

Don’t Let Your House Be a Prison

If you’re going to be spending a lot more time indoors because of bad weather, cancelled activities or general winter malaise, avoid feeling anxious and trapped by making sure your home is a lovely place to be. You could do a bit of spring (winter?!) cleaning but personally, I’d rather stick to the fun stuff. Try experimenting with some seasonal accessories to liven up the place or buying extra blankets and cushions to make your pad super snuggly. If you have children, you could even invest in a teepee so nestling inside on a rainy day can be a fun game instead of a depressing bore.

Take Up a Hobby

Keep your mind active and avoid letting it wander by taking up a hobby – preferably an indoor one! It doesn’t have to be anything expensive or complicated, it could be as simple as experimenting with pencil sketching or trying crochet (you can now buy starter kits with everything you need in one box and it’s supposed to be an excellent pursuit to aid mental health).

There are loads of great YouTube channels to help guide you in activities like yoga or meditation – you could even do an online course.

Or, if you’re like my husband and have a garage full of equipment from a variety of abandoned hobbies, try getting back into something you already started. Your other half will thank you for finally getting some use out of that glue gun.

Get Out When You Can!

When the crisp, sunny winter days do make an appearance, get out and enjoy them! Walking in the forest is one of my absolute favourite things to do at any time of year – it’s great for grounding, which can help reduce stress, improve circulation and inspire calm and tranquility. And the fresh air, Vitamin D and feeling of being surrounded by nature works wonders.

They might end up being a washout, but also look out for local outdoor events like apple harvests, scarecrow festivals, guided foraging or star gazing. Sometimes getting out with a group can do you the world of good and help you make it through the particularly dreary days.

winter self care anxiety

Create a Self-care Box

Through the winter months, the chances are there will be fewer social engagements and trips out, so it’s the perfect opportunity to take care of yourself and get into good habits so that your self-care routine continues to stay on point well into the new year. Get a nice box or basket and fill it with everything that makes a special evening for you. It doesn’t matter what it is, and it’s not for anyone else to judge. All that matters is that when you come in from work, soaking wet, after a particularly bad day, your personalised kit is ready to take the edge off. Just make sure you have a Do Not Disturb sign for your door…

Self care

Experiment with Some of Those Wellness Techniques You’ve Been Reading About

You’ve spent most of the year reading blogs and magazine articles about all these things you should be doing to aid your mental health and overall well-being, but you’ve been so busy you’ve barely had a chance to scratch the surface with any of them. Well now’s the time.

Get stuck in with anything that might have caught your fancy. Try creating your own personal affirmations, starting a diary, or practicing meditation. Do some research into any holistic therapies that you’ve found interesting, like essential oils, crystals or CBD. Start a gratitude journal, set personal goals or just explore the benefits of taking a nap.

By using this time to experiment, you’ll figure out exactly what works for you – and what doesn’t – by the time spring starts to bloom.

Get into Reading

I love a Netflix binge as much as the next person, but it’s probably not the best thing for our mental health to just take shelter in a box set until next April. Reading can help reduce stress, improve our memory and inspire relaxation. But perhaps most importantly, it gets us away from the pull of our phones and TV’s and the blue light they emit, which can have a negative effect on our sleep and circadian rhythms.

If you’re not sure you can commit to a novel, you could always try magazines like Happiful, In the Moment or The Happy Newspaper to bring some much-needed sunshine and mindfulness into those dark winter days.

Get Creative in the Kitchen

If you’re anything like me, the onset of Autumn leads to insatiable hunger and major carb loading. But whilst it might be comforting, acting like we’re storing nuts for the winter isn’t good for our mental (or physical) health.

winter food surviving self care anxiety

You might associate all the most colourful and delicious foods with spring and summer, but loads of gorgeous and nutritionally rich fruit and veg come into season September-December. And because of the season, they tend to be nice and hefty..! So whether it’s apples and pears, or beetroot, cabbage, kale and swede, you’ll be able to create a variety of soups, stews and pies that will fill you up and warm the cockles without the junk food comedown afterwards. Whether you’re a seasoned cook or struggle not to burn cereal, the winter months are a perfect time to start experimenting.

What are your top tips to surviving the winter slump?

Jo writes the blog My Anxious Life, where she talks with honesty and humour about her personal experiences with mental ill health, and her journey towards self-development, wellness and happiness.

Her Links:

Twitter

Facebook

Instagram

Unique Things To Do In London

Unique Things To Do In London

If you’ve been to London before, you’ll obviously be going to all the touristy places such as the London Eye, Tower Bridge etc etc. But what about unique and quirky things to do in London as a tourist? Or even as a Londoner? Here’s my ultimate list of unique things to do in London.

Lady Dinah’s Cat Cafe

Oliver and I went to Lady Dinah’s earlier in the year and we fell in love with all the cats. You can read about our experience here.

The cats are all rescue and sometimes they’re put up for adoption. Entry and a cuppa is only £10 per person so well worth it! You can read more about their prices and rules here.

The Cereal Killer Cafe

The Cereal Killer Cafe has become a really popular unique London experience with hundreds of people queuing to get inside. They have tons of stuff on their menu, from milkshakes to american cereal and more! It’s the perfect breakfast date for any tourist.

You can read more about the Cereal Killer Cafe here.

cereal
Picture from Cereal Killer Cafe’s Instagram

The Underground Supper Club

The Underground Supper Club is a unique experience to do in London, with talented chefs cooking delicious courses. Be part of a relaxed and quirky atmosphere here.

yes-3
Photo from the Basement’s gallery.

The Dinosaur Park at Crystal Palace

Oliver and I went to basketball ages ago and he said he wanted to go to the Dinosaur Park in Crystal Palace. Although it’s really run down, it’s a creepy and unique thing to do in London that you would never ever think of.

Dino

Word On The Water

Word On The Water is a river boat that is also a bookstore. How cool is that?! You can look around downstairs (although mind your head) and take amazing Insta worthy photos (if no one gets in the way).

Swingers

Swingers is a unique golf experience in London where you can chill with your friends, have some drinks and snacks and have a game of golf. You can read more about the 9 hole course here.

Swingers-9
Photo from Secret London’s website.

I hope you enjoyed this list! Tell me below some unique places you’ve found.

Vee x

How to Stay Cool in the Heatwave

How to Stay Cool in the Heatwave

I know we all feel like we’re melting and all we want to do is cool off and for it to be Winter again but slow down peeps. I love Summer and I found a few “hacks” on how we can enjoy the heat without looking like a melted snowman.

151999

  • This may be a simple one but stay hydrated – if you don’t enjoy gulping down plain old water all day then buy some of your favourite squash to add some flavour
  • Make sure to buy yourself a fan – you can’t survive a heatwave without one
  • When you’re working in a sweaty office with no air con (like I was last year) make sure you bring your own little desk fan and some ice packs with your packed lunch – you never know when you might need them
  • Make sure you always have sun cream with you – you can get pocket sun cream to make it even easier to fit into your bag or glove compartment
  • Swap your duvet for a sheet: it’s way too hot for duvets so if you still feel like monsters are out to get you in the night, take the sheet off the duvet and sleep in that. Better yet, get yourself a fan and make a little wind tent

tent fan

  • Make sure you’ve got ice in the freezer!
  • Keep the house/flat cool by shutting all curtains and blinds so the sun doesn’t get in
  • Stay outside at night when it’s cooled down
  • Go swimming to cool off
  • Make sure you always have a water bottle handy when out and about – you don’t want to waste money or plastic
  • If you work from home or use a laptop at work then buy a fan for your laptop as well so it doesn’t overheat
  • Try to avoid hot or spicy food – now might be the time to start that salad diet!
  • It’s not just us humans that are getting hot though; think of your pets, they can’t tell you they’re too hot. Make sure not to walk your dogs in this heat, not to leave them in a car or in the garden. You can also put ice in their water bowl to cool down, dogs love licking ice. Make sure to leave water bowls outside for your dog/cat and maybe out the front of your house in case an animal needs it
  • It may sound awful but take a cold shower and let your hair dry on its own
  • It’s always time for ice lollies!
  • Make sure to wear sandals and flip flops as much as possible as well as having an umbrella or parasol because your feet and head are where all the heat gets trapped in
  • Don’t leave doors and windows open as once the warmth gets in your house will become a suntrap
  • Make sure to eat lots of fruit in order to keep hydrated e.g. watermelons, nectarines, grapes and peaches

That’s all for now folks! What are some tips/hacks you know of to keep cool in this heat? Let me know in the comments!

 

 

 

 

The Boyfriend Tag

The Boyfriend Tag

So I’ve wanted to do the boyfriend tag for a while and I finally made Oliver answer some questions about me.

I’ll be writing his answer down first and then I’ll respond to whether it’s right or not!

1. Where did we meet?

Virtual: On MeetMe
Physical: At Norwich Train station

✔️

2. Where was our first date?

Nandos and cinema to watch Jurrasic World

✔️

3. What was your first impression of me?

I thought you were cute

I don’t know if this is true but I hope it is 😂

4. When did you meet my family?

First time I came to Norwich

✔️

5. Do I have any weird obsessions? If so, what…

Yeah, Taylor Swift.

Not weird, just a fangirl.

6. How long have we been together?

4 and a half years

✔️

7. Do we have any ‘traditions’?

We have had some that go on for a month or so and then they stop. We tend to go to TGI Fridays when we celebrate something.

✔️

8. Where was our first holiday?

Portugal.

✔️

9. What was the first thing you noticed about me?

I thought you had big eyes.

I did have huge eyes but he says they’ve shrunk 😂😭

10. What is my favourite restaurant?

TGI Fridays

✔️

11. What do we argue about the most?

Before we moved in we argued about moving in together.

Yup. ✔️

12. Who wears the trousers in the relationship?

Me.

✔️

13. If I am watching tv, what am I watching?

Friends, Gilmore Girls, Jane The Virgin, Love Island.

I also have a bit of an obsession with Greys Anatomy now.

14. What is one food I do not like?

Vanilla ice cream.

I also hate soup and jacket potatoes.

15. What drink do I order if we go out for a meal?

Water but now you’re not such a tight arse you now order diet coke.

True. What can I say? I’m earning now😂

16. What size are my feet?

5

❌ Size 6 actually

17. What is my favourite kind of sandwich?

Ploughman’s

I don’t really have a favourite but I do eat a lot of ploughman’s and ham and mustard sandwiches.

18. What is one talent I have?

Your ability to creep around undetected.

This is true. I scare everyone ✔️

19. What would I eat everyday if I could?

Pizza 🍕

✔️

20. What is my favourite Cereal?

Choc pillows

YASSS ✔️

21. Where was our first kiss?

On your bed.

It sounds dirty but it’s not. We had been dating online for a few months and the first time I met him we were at home with my family because I was too anxious to go out😂

22. What colour are my eyes?

Green

❌ Blue!

23. Who is my best friend?

Angie.

✔️ And you.

24. What is something you do that I wish you wouldn’t do?

Put my clothes on the floor instead of the wash basket.

Yup. Bingo ✔️

25. What kind of cake would you bake me on my birthday?

Chocolate cake.

Half true. My favourite cake is coffee and walnut.

26. What can I spend hours doing?

Moaning

Urm no. ❌

27. If I could live anywhere where would it be?

NYC

✔️

So there you have it! He can be a tit sometimes but he’s my tit. How about you all try this tag, I’d love to see the answers😂

Why I Want To Move To New York

Why I Want To Move To New York

So since it’s #TravelTuesday I wanted to share my reasons of why I want to live in New York, the city that never sleeps.

If you have moved from the UK to the US I would also love to speak to you so do get in touch!

Endless possibilities

Even though I now live very close to London, it is so difficult to find work and get to London on time for events. I don’t think London even compares to NYC at all, but there is a lot that goes on here.

Despite that, New York is the city that never sleeps and it has so many opportunities. There are countless things to discover within the city and outside of it. There are lots more publishing jobs in New York than London and if I actually lived within New York it wouldn’t cost me as much to get to work as it would to get to London every morning. Plus, who doesn’t want to be walking the streets of New York with a Dunkin Donuts in hand?

It’s Busy

You’d think, as someone with social anxiety, I would hate the fact there are so many people. But I actually become more anxious when there are fewer people around because I feel as if they’re judging me.

Whereas in New York because it’s heaving, I can just blend in. Everyone is so busy caring about their own lives that they don’t even notice you.

Sense Of Belonging

Whenever I go to New York I feel like I belong there. It ticks every box on my list and I can’t imagine living anywhere else. I feel at home walking the streets. I don’t feel this way in the UK and I don’t think I ever will.

Now I just have to let fate decide. Because it’s so difficult getting a visa, I have to pray one day I’ll find a job that enables me to work there. But that’s very hard to do when you’re a freelancer!

Have you ever moved abroad? And if so, where did you come from and where did you go? (I now have the Cotton Eye Joe song in my head.)

Our Anniversary

Our Anniversary

It’s mine and Oli’s 4th anniversary and to celebrate I wanted to document it on the blog.

Amsterdam, the Adam lookout swing August 2018

We’ve been through so much together, from travelling to our favourite places, to going through major life events. Oli has been there through thick and thin. We’ve been long distance for three years, now we live together. We’ve had family problems, work issues and more.

Croatia August 2018

When we first met, I was an anxious mess. I didn’t even leave the house. But when I met Oli that all changed. He pushed me out of my comfort zone and made me do the things I was scared of doing, and I did them because I knew he would be there to guide me and hold my hand.

Now I’m able to get on planes, travel into London alone and so much more. I have my independence back with confidence this time.

Our first photo together 2015

Last year I went through an ordeal with my family, meaning I had no where to go. Oli and his family took me in, which I’ll forever me grateful for. Oli is one of the best people I know. He’s always looking out for others before himself and can always make me laugh (even when I’m mad at him.)

Oliver’s 21st, spent in Monte Carlo, 3rd Feb 2019

We are not pretending to be perfect, no one is. We love each other, we have our tiffs but every couple does.

My birthday, going out for dinner

When I met Oli, I found my other half, as cliche as that sounds. I’d been searching for it, only to find it in somebody else. I’ll forever be grateful for him coming into my life and changing it around.

New York, outside the Friends apartment

There’s so much to look forward to in the future as well. We are saving up for our own place and for travelling.

Here’s to many more anniversaries 💋 Love, Vee x

Shibui Tea Review

Shibui Tea Review

Recently Shibui, a company that creates pyramid and loose tea, sent me some products to try out. Some of their teas included the original English Breakfast tea and a tropical green tea. Other, more festive favourites included Gingerbread and Mulled Spice.

The Gingerbread was lovely and spicy with a strong aftertaste and it tasted just like Christmas and coziness.

I also tried the ginger and orange tea which tasted more like ginger than chocolate but smelt so heavenly of thick chocolates. I would recommend leaving the tea bags in because the longer you do, the better the taste is.

I’m not a huge fan of Earl Grey and Roobois but I love the way these teas are made. So for those of you who don’t know, Shibui makes biodegradable tea bags and also have plastic free bags for these pyramid tea bags to be stored in. It’s a great way to start reducing our waste on the planet and I highly recommend Shibui, not only for the tea but for the fact it’s environmentally friendly. To find out more about Shibui, visit their website:

https://www.shibui-tea.co.uk/

Until next time, love, Vee x

Our Trip to Amsterdam

h1 {font-family: times new roman; font-size: 20pt;} h2 {font-family: times new roman; font-size: 18pt;} body {font-family: times new roman; font-size: 15pt;} Hey guys! Last week, Oliver and I were on our way to Amsterdam! We had such an amazing time and I wanted to share where we went and what we did with you. I hope you enjoy this post and let me know in the comments if you have been or are planning to go to Amsterdam.

Day One

I booked our holiday for three days and we stayed at the Ramada Airport Schiphol hotel which was a ten minute drive from the hotel and we had a free shuttle service to and from. It was a little way out of the centre of Amsterdam but there was a supermarket close by which meant we could buy all our drinks and some food at cheaper prices. You can get the train from the airport directly to the city centre and it takes around 20 minutes.

Our flight landed at around 8am so we had a whole day and checked in to our hotel to drop off our bags. We then headed back to the airport and caught the train into the centre. On our first day, we went to the sex museum, which was funny and interesting and maybe a little embarrassing! It’s only five euros each. After that we took a wander around and had some lunch at McDonald’s before making our way to Jordaan and the flower markets. We did a lot of walking so I recommend catching the tram or Metro! We also purchased a three day travel card from the airport which was around twenty-eight euros each and covered us for all trains, trams, metro and ferries.

We had a look at The Cat Boat, a little boat full of stray cats and then we walked all the way back to Dam Square and went to Ripley’s Believe it or Not. I recommend looking at offers before going because we made the mistake of buying a full ticket when we could have had another tour for the same price. Ripley’s was quite fun and we were there for Pride week and they were allowing people to marry for one day only so it was lovely seeing all the couples getting married!

We then walked all the way back to the Anne Frank House and had dinner at Pancakes Amsterdam, which is just across from Anne Frank. We recommend using your card more than bringing cash as we ate there three times and they don’t accept cash but give you the option to pay in pounds so you don’t have to pay an exchange rate. The pancakes are delicious and you get a little key ring souvenir each time you go.

We booked the 6pm slot to visit the Anne Frank House and it was the most inspiring experience; you can’t go to Amsterdam without visiting. There was a screaming baby which ruined the experience slightly, but seeing the attic, where she lived, was insane. The experience made me quite emotional and we must have been there for over an hour. You get to use headsets which tell you more in detail about the way the Franks lived and what happened to them.

Day Two

On day two, all rested from the day before, we made our way out into the city early and visited Noord on the ferry. We saw online that there was a place called A’dam Lookout. It’s a tall building which has a swing that swings you over the edge, so of course Oliver wanted to try it. We booked our slot and for around forty euros we went upstairs and looked around as the sights from up there were incredible. We should have bought the ticket that included lunch though as we both had paninis.

The swing, Over the Edge, was scary but an experience I’m glad I didn’t miss. We made our way back downstairs and onto the ferry which departs around every six minutes and it’s also free.

We then made our way to the smallest pub in Amsterdam (from the TV advert), the smallest house and the smallest cafe, where we went to have a drink.

In the evening we headed over to the Red Light District and visited the Erotic Museum which was about seven euros each. It has some of John Lennon’s drawings, a weird cartoon program and lots of sex toys. We also visited the Prostitution Museum which is a few buildings down and that was around eleven euros each. You get a headset to listen to a prostitute’s story and you get to visit the brothel. The end was the best part because everyone writes their sex confessions and sticks them on the wall! 
We went to the Pancake place again to kill time so it would get dark so we could see the Red Light District at night. It was weird seeing prostitutes in the windows and seeing all the guilty men coming out at only 9pm. It was interesting to see and I definitely recommend going at night when it’s so busy.

Day Three

We had pretty much done everything we wanted to do and see so we headed off to the airport to drop off our luggage (only six euros each on card if you’re taking hand luggage). We wanted to visit Artis Zoo so we took the Metro. It was around fifty euros for both of us to get in and it was quite a large zoo. They have everything from elephants to insects, reptiles to penguins and wolves. I definitely recommend a visit if you have time and it only takes a few hours to go around, depending on what you want to see.

We then made our way to the pancake place again where I had american pancakes with bacon and maple syrup (oh my God it was so good). By the time we had finished, it was already time to go!

I think three days was enough for Oliver and I, but it depends on what you like to do. If you’re an art freak or museum nut, then you might need longer, but if you’re like us and want to do little museums and attractions, then you won’t need long at all.

Until next time, love Vee x

New York

For our anniversary, Oliver took us to New York on a big adventure…

For someone who has only been on a two and a half hour plane journey to Portugal, going on an eight hour flight to New York was more than daunting. Turbulence scares the hell out of me and being in a big machine catapulting across the sky obviously brought out my anxiety.

However, our journey there and back with Norwegian was fairly smooth – even though take off is always the worst! For me, I like to grip on to Oli so hard he has to pull my claws off him!

When we landed it took us over an hour to get through the border and we went on the sky train and subway.

Once we got to Hotel Pennsylvania and checked in to our room, our smoke alarm wouldn’t stop beeping, there was mold on the walls and plug sockets hanging askew off the wall. We requested a change of rooms, exhausted (it was nearly 4am UK time). We were so happy with our new room – you wouldn’t think it was the same hotel!

Day One

On our first proper day we headed to Dunkin’ Donuts for the best hot chocolate ever(!!!) and croissants. After that we went on the subway to Tribeca, where Taylor Swift’s apartment is located. Being a Swiftie, this moment was precious to me. I had stood where she stood, walked where she walked. I just wish she had been there!

After seeing Taylor’s apartment we walked to the Brooklyn Bridge, crossed it and had pizza which was only $7! We came back and walked a very long way to the ferry. We thought it would be cheaper to see the Statue of Liberty from the Staten Island ferry than it would be to go and see it close up! (It’s worth it to just go on the ferry unless you’re desperate to get a close up for those Insta posts! 😉)

After walking from the ferry, we went to Ground Zero. It is such a surreal place. You don’t realise how big and wide the towers were. We went to Times Square to get McDonald’s and went back to the hotel.

Once back at the hotel we relaxed, watching Friends in America(!!!), before going out to Times Square for something to eat. We went to Applebee’s but we were so stuffed from croissants, pizza and McDonald’s that we barely ate. We ended up having giant pretzels afterwards though…

Day 2

On day two we went to the Friends Building and fangirled. Then we walked up to the High Line and along it and saw some good art pieces, including this hilarious piece…

While we were walking across the High Line we saw the Patrouille de France who were doing their first tour of the US. We then walked back to Times Square and saw the Rockefeller Centre. Strolling along at this point, our legs killing us, we went to the Gossip Girl Hotel and Grand Central. I pretty much risked my life to take a photo in the middle of the road of Grand Central.

We then went and saw the Chrysler building and the Empire State building and walked back through 5th Avenue to our hotel. And, of course, like the Instagram oriented person that I am, I decided I wanted a photo of the aesthetic brown Starbucks up several blocks from us. At this point I had already gone past a shop full of puppies in the window (cruel, I know. I wanted to take them all home!) and was eagerly trying to catch a look before Oliver pulled me away.

Once I had taken a photo of Starbucks, I was determined to set foot in Barnes and Noble and to take a picture of it. It is every book worm’s dream! It was at least three floors of beautiful bounded books: contemporary, fiction, non-fiction and the classics where I dragged Oli around looking at all the huge books that couldn’t possibly fit in my suitcase. We then went to TGI Fridays for the first time ever – I hadn’t even eaten anything there in the UK.

Day 3

So, after attempting to go to Ellen’s Stardust Dinner for ice cream several times, we decided to wait again on our last day. We waited before and they told us the electric had cut out when we had been waiting half an hour and the queue was stretching further and further down the block. We were told this even though we could clearly see there were people still in the dinner. So on our last day we queued for about forty-five minutes before they told us they were changing the menu from breakfast to lunch and then they told us half an hour later that a group of school children would be taking up the whole dinner – bear in mind the queue was now stretching around the block. We eventually entered after freezing to death for two hours and sat down to order ice cream, just to be told we couldn’t order it as it was melting. I would not recommend this place at all.

After wasting two precious hours in the city that never sleeps, we were starved and started walking to Columbus Circle and to the mall which had the most expensive cafes inside. So eventually we went to Starbucks and walked through Central Park with a pretzel in hand. This was the coldest day we had had and we walked to Belvedere Castle and then hobbled to the MET (aka Gossip Girl steps). Oliver found it hard to walk after the past few days’ adventures. And then we finally went to another Gossip Girl location – the Museum of the City of New York.

Finally, we took the tube and walked past the New York Public Library to TGI Fridays once again for lunch. This time I had a burger instead of salad and it was honestly the best burger I have ever eaten. After lunch we headed to the Flat Iron building and then made our way back home after grabbing more Dunkin’ Donuts!

Remember to follow my Instagram: @readycupcake