Christmas Markets – Frankfurt

Christmas Markets – Frankfurt

Last weekend we visited Frankfurt and its Christmas markets. We packed jumpers, coats, hats and scarves but the weather was just the same as the UK.

My aim was to have a Baileys hot chocolate, come back with a mug and have a pretzel the size of my face – which I did.

We arrived really late on Friday night and stayed at the Bristol Hotel next to the train station. After someone (Oliver’s dad) forgot the directions, we eventually made it to the hotel after 45 minutes but it should have taken 5 😂

We woke up, had breakfast and walked to where the Christmas markets are. We stopped in a store that reminded me of Flying Tiger before heading into the markets to grab hot chocolate with amaretto.

We stayed out for a few hours to take pictures, buy drinks and get some food. There were so many stalls, from food, drinks to hardware and Christmas ornaments. I’ve never seen a market so big. We also walked over a bridge the other side of the river where there were a few flea markets and we also went into a large church with a choir performing.

We went back to the room for a while and caught up on I’m a Celeb before going out again at 7pm to see the markets in the dark.

We ended up having a Maccy D’s. We always like to see the difference in food choices when we go away. You can make your own mcflurrys and get different types of burgers. In France you can even get seafood.

On Sunday we got up, had breakfast at the Bristol Hotel and headed off to the markets again. This is when I bought my pretzel (it only cost €3.50). I also managed to get myself a Baileys hot chocolate! First time I’ve ever tried Baileys and I definitely approve.

Overall, I’ve really enjoyed attending my first European Christmas Market. It was so festive and I can’t wait to go to a new Christmas Market again.

A few tips for anyone thinking of going to a Christmas market:

  • If you buy a mulled wine or hot chocolate, you’ll pay more for the mug and get a token. If you take the mug back, you’ll get some money back. If you decide to keep it, just swap it for a clean mug.
  • Bring warm clothes such as a coat and hat but don’t worry about bringing gloves and scarves as it’s currently the same temperature as it is in the UK.
  • Check times of when markets open and close before you go and see if you can find any secret markets or indoor stalls.

V-Eco Food Wrap Review

V-Eco Food Wrap Review

I was kindly gifted some amazing eco friendly and vegan wraps which can be used for packed lunches as an alternative to cling film and plastic bags.

I was so excited to receive these since I want to try and be more sustainable and watch how much plastic I use.

I was gifted some Butty Wraps, food wraps and a soapsaver which are super handy for work or travelling. These all come in different designs but I was gifted the food wraps in the butterfly print, the butty wrap in the unicorn print (which is the best, don’t argue with me) and the soap saver in cherry blossom print.

These can all be reused by just washing them under cold water with a little bit of soap after use. Don’t put anything hot in or near these as they are made from tree resin and will therefore melt because they are a type of wax!

The soapsaver will come in really handy when I go on holiday to put my soaps and toiletries in instead of buying those plastic freezer bags that I chuck away after use.

I am really looking forward to making wraps and sandwiches in these so I don’t have to buy those meal deals and chuck all the plastic and clingfilm away afterwards.

If you are interested in trying to become more sustainable and want to use these vegan alternatives for your every day use then check out V-Eco’s website!

What are you doing/buying to be more eco friendly and sustainable? Have you got any suggestions for me? Let me know in the comments!

Anxiety: A Poem

Anxiety: A Poem

Hey guys! This week I’m going to be sharing a poem about what anxiety feels like for me. I hope this can help make others feel a little less alone and maybe create a tiny bit more awareness for mental health in general.

Anxiety is more than just being shy around strangers and having panic attacks in shopping malls;
It’s looking up what you want online before you go to a restaurant
It’s having meltdowns in the middle of the night
It’s struggling to stand when you need to keep going
It’s feeling so alone even when you’re surrounded by people.

Late night panic attacks and crying fits are just the tip of the iceburg
You know nothing until you look into my dark, twisted mind.
The lies I tell myself creep in through the window
Consuming every waking moment.
Am I a failure?
Am I going to survive this episode?
You may think I’m a social butterfly
But wait until you see what’s really inside
There are thousands of butterflies screaming to be let out
There are times when the pain is too much to bare.
But you know what they don’t tell you about anxiety?
“You’ll survive.”

Let me know in the comments your thoughts and whether you have experienced similar feelings. This poem is quite raw and unpolished so I’d appreciate the feedback ❤ Until next time, love, Vee.

12 Bookish Facts

12 Bookish Facts

Hey guys! In this week’s blog I’m going to be talking about bookish facts. If there are any facts that I haven’t listed but you think are interesting, then please comment them below!

Bookish Facts

1. Abibliophobia is the fear of running out of reading material.

2. Dr. Seuss wrote his first book in 1936 on a luxury liner called the Kungholm. As he crossed the Atlantic the sound the engines made annoyed him so much that his wife proposed he use the repetitive rhythm to help him write the book.

3. Goodreads was established in 2007 and in July 2013 it was reported that they had attracted 55 million members.

4. In Kansas City there is a parking lot for the public library designed to look like a huge bookshelf.

5. There are over 8.2 million copies of all three of The Hunger Games books published in the U.S.

6. The Winnie the Pooh books have been translated into 50 other languages including Yiddish and Esperanto.

7. Beatrix Potter wrote The Fairy Caravan in 1926 which was only published in America because Potter thought it was too autobiographical to be brought out in England in her lifetime. The book was released in the UK nine years after her death in 1943.

8. Jacqueline Wilson’s first book for children was called Nobody’s Perfect.

9. When Roald Dahl was at school he was a taste tester for Cadbury. This is probably what inspired him to write Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

10. Books used to be chained to bookshelves in public libraries.

11. Alice in Wonderland used to be banned in China because General Ho Chien believed it was an insult to the human race that animals should be given speech in books.

12. About £2.2 billion in the UK is spent on books a year and a fifth of this is spent on children’s books.

I hope you enjoyed these! Until next time, Vee x

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.)

Glamping In A Plane

Glamping In A Plane

You heard that right! Oliver and I went Glamping, and not just any old Glamping; we did it in style. We stayed on a Jetstar in the South of Wales.

First off, I’ll tell you how I found the plane ‘Hotel.’ I was looking for planes to stay in because Oliver is obsessed with flying and planes. I searched for ages, all around the world. But I really wanted to find one in the UK. That’s when I came across Apple Camping on Airbnb which has the most wackiest places to stay, including the plane, a UFO, a witches hat and more.

I ended up booking one night (it was obviously expensive) in Wales for Oliver’s Christmas present. He was so happy when I told him and we’ve been waiting so long for this mini break.

So on Saturday morning we packed up the car and off we went for our three and a half hour drive. The weather coming out of Surrey started to hail which made me worry about what the weather must be like in Wales.

However, when we got to Swansea it was rather hot (silly me wore black jeans). We made our way to the campsite via Google maps because the sat nav lost signal when we stopped at a services. Apple Camping is located next to a farm about ten minutes away from Tenby. It’s nice and quiet and we met Wolf the campsite owner on arrival.

As we walked across the field Wolf told us they are building a church for weddings and we saw the UFO in the middle of the campsite. We walked all the way past the showers and kitchen to our home for the night: the Jetstar.

Wolf showed us our little outdoor kitchen area before taking us up the steps into the plane. First we saw the cockpit with all the original seating and equipment. Then we walked along to see where the pilot would sleep. Wolf told us that the plane originally crash landed in Gloucestershire somewhere and was then used for movies such as Diehard and Goldfinger until the campite bought it.

The seating in the plane is all original as well as the tray tables that pop out of the wall. There’s all the original strobe lighting as well as where the air stewards would make drinks. There’s also a little toilet with the original sink and taps. The bedroom has been built on to the end of the plane to give you space for all your things and a nice comfy bed.

Once settled and once I’d taken a few photos and videos, we set off to Tenby where we had dinner at Yeah Buoy, a wonderful and cheap little burger place in the centre by the sea.

Oliver wanted to show me the life boat house that was featured on grand designs and we had a nice walk around and on the beach. Once we had had dinner we loaded up with alcohol from Tescos and headed back to our camp (not before panicking because we thought the car needed oil).

Once back to the plane we played around in the cockpit (it has an Xbox but it didn’t really work) for a bit until retiring (yes, I’m trying to sound posh) to the seating area to play scrabble (I don’t think we really know the rules of scrabble but I did find out that Duffin is actually a word.)

We had a good night’s sleep with bedding provided but we did forget to take our own towels!

Checkout was at 12pm that morning so we got up at about 10am to pack up our overnight things. After taking more selfies and checking out (which consisted of shutting the doors) we headed off to Barry Island to see where all the Gavin and Stacey scenes were filmed. We played crazy golf and took photos of Gavin’s house and Stacey’s. I didn’t know this but Marco’s actually exists!

After having a look around we walked back to the car and made our long way home. But we did get back for 7pm when we had dinner and a fire at home with the family.

Have you ever been to a unique hotel or Airbnb? Let me know in the comments!

Review: Seeing Ricky Gervais Live

Review: Seeing Ricky Gervais Live

So yesterday Oliver and I saw Ricky Gervais live in Guildford for his warm up show.

We got last minute tickets with only two seats left but we managed to get aisel seats so win win. The warm up act was Sean McLoughlin, a London based comedian. He was quite funny, telling jokes about his fiance and millennials. I really enjoyed some of his stuff and hopefully he may be at the comedy store at some point.

Ricky, as always, was hilarious. Of course there’s the usual jokes that will part the audience but most of them I find funny because, like Ricky says, what you don’t find funny, someone else will. There’s always a demand for comedy. And for lots of different types.

This is one of Ricky’s first warm up shows for his new tour, SuperNature. As we know, Ricky is passionate about animal welfare so expect a lot of hysterical animal jokes!

It was nice to see Ricky laugh at his own jokes and be real, not just scripted like he seems to be with the odd laugh here and there. I’d much rather go and see a warm up show rather than the real thing because of how genuine he was.

I enjoy Ricky’s comedy because he’s so honest about everything and he lays it all out on the table. He doesn’t believe in God, he believes we are worm food. I agree with him and while death scares me, for a moment Ricky made it funny. That’s what life’s about: seeing the humour in every day.

I can’t wait to watch the SuperNature show on Netflix when it comes out and I was so privileged to go and see him on stage before his big tour! I hope everyone has an amazing time going to see him perform.

Book Review: Attachments

Book Review: Attachments

Hi guys! This week’s blog is a review of Rainbow Rowell’s book, Attachments.

Blurb

It’s 1999 and for the staff of one newspaper office, the internet is still a novelty. By day, two young women, Beth and Jennifer, spend their hours emailing each other, discussing in hilarious detail every aspect of their lives, from love troubles to family dramas. And by night, Lincoln, a shy, lonely IT guy spends his hours reading every exchange.

At first their emails offer a welcome diversion, but as Lincoln unwittingly becomes drawn into their lives, the more he reads, the more he finds himself falling for one of them. By the time Lincoln realizes just how head-over-heels he really is, it’s way too late to introduce himself. What would he say to her? ‘Hi, I’m the guy who reads your e-mails – and also, I think I love you’.

After a series of close encounters, Lincoln decides it’s time to muster the courage to follow his heart, and find out whether there really is such a thing as love before first-sight.

Review

I was really excited about reading more of Rainbow Rowell’s work because I loved Fangirl and Carry On. I didn’t know what to expect with this book because it’s more of an adult fiction book rather than YA which is what I’m used to. But I actually loved this sweet story.

I think Rowell was clever in her way of writing Lincoln as someone who doesn’t know what they want in life and they feel stuck. It’s not just about him finding the girl of his dreams but it’s about him moving on from Sam, moving out of his mother’s home and finding the job that he wants.

Rowell’s idea for this book is quite unique and set in a time where the internet was just booming. The use of emails in the story was clever and having Lincoln fall for Beth before he even met her was so romantic.

I loved Beth’s personality and I enjoyed listening to Jennifer’s rants. All the characters were so well developed and we slowly see all of these people come together into Lincoln’s story as his friends. Even though what Lincoln did is wrong, it’s understandable under the circumstances and we forgive him because of Rowell’s incredible writing.

The whole way through the book I was rooting for Lincoln to win Beth over and to be the person she needs in her life. But he did the gentlemanly thing and left her be and let her find out what her boyfriend was really like on her own.

Overall, I loved the character development in the story and how the book ended. It was truly a wonderful and unique read and I recommend it to anyone who loves romance and fiction.

Until next time, love Vee x

A Trip to Nice

A Trip to Nice

For Oliver’s 21st, Oliver’s parents took us to Nice in France for the weekend.

Day One

We took off to Gatwick at 3am for our flight at 6am. We arrived in Nice around 9am and made our way on the tram to Hotel Brice.

For a while we pottered around the town and had pain au chocolates. It was rainy but it was lovely to explore.

We had some lunch in McDonald’s while it poured down and went back to the hotel for a nap before going out to pizza.

Day Two

Oliver’s birthday! For his birthday I got him basketball tickets for London and his parents got him a lamborghini experience in Monaco.

We went into the Monte Carlo casino and had some lunch in Cafe De Paris before getting the bus back to Nice. We had some delicious hot chocolate and an ice cream to share.

We all got a gift from Oliver’s parents saying we were going to Frankfurt in December to see the Christmas markets!

Until next time, love, Vee x

Book Review: Bookshop Girl

Book Review: Bookshop Girl

This week I’ll be reviewing Bookshop Girl by Chloe Coles.

Blurb

Bennett’s Bookshop has always been a haven for sixteen-year-old Paige Turner. It’s a place where she can escape from her sleepy hometown, hang out with her best friend, Holly, and also earn some money.

But, like so many bookshops, Bennett’s has become a ‘casualty of the high street’ – it’s strapped for cash and going to be torn down. Paige is determined to save it but mobilising a small town like Greysworth is no mean feat.

Time is ticking – but that’s not the only problem Paige has. How is she going to fend off the attractions of beautiful fellow artist, Blaine? And, more importantly, will his anarchist ways make or break her bookshop campaign?

Review

I picked this book up on a whim in my local library because of its title. I love anything bookshop so this felt ideal.

I was right to love it! It’s full of books, quirky personalities and friendship. It’s a heartwarming read about the things that matter in life. Paige wants to study art and the only thing keeping her going in the town is Bennetts Bookshop which she adores working at with her bestie Holly.

This book is full of laughs and I loved every second of it. Paige reminded me of me, but so did Holly. They’re both bookworms who are weird but wonderful. I found myself wishing I knew these girls because they would probably be my best friends in real life.

I can’t wait to read the next installment of Paige’s adventures!

Until next time, love, Vee x