Visiting London has been on my bucket list for a long time, and I finally got the chance to visit back in September. For a history fan like me, it was a dream come true. You can sense it in the air, everything this city has seen and been through in its 2,000 years.
My family and I had eight days in the city, a few were spent relaxing but the rest were spent wandering the streets, and seeing the sights.

Our first day in town we stayed in a hotel by the ExCel and didn’t get up to too much.

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On day 2 headed into Covent Garden where we had rented a flat for the rest of the week. Once we had settled in we went out to explore our new surroundings, Seven Dials, and Leicester Square, then had dinner at the Lamb & Flag.
The Lamb & Flag acquired a reputation in the early nineteenth century for staging bare-knuckle prize fights, earning the name ‘The Bucket of Blood,’ the alleyway next to the pub was the scene of an attack on the poet John Dryden in 1679 by thugs hired by the 2nd Earl of Rochester, with whom he had a long-standing dispute. It is also known as Charles Dickens’s favorite pub.
Besides having an interesting history, the food was amazing. We eat there twice and both times we were all very impressed.

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The third day, was just me and my mum, so we chose to stay within walking distance to the flat. We found coffee near the Seven Dials and popped into a few shops. Then Found Neal’s Yard, which is quite a sweet little hidden gem, and then had lunch at the sweetest little French cafe called Chez Antoinette in the Covent Garden Piazza.

 

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The next day my brother, mother and I roamed a bit further, to Trafalgar Square, Westminster Abbey, Big Ben, St James Park, White Hall and the Palace of The Guards. By the end of all that, our feet were a bit tired so we Ubered back to the flat.

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Off to Hyde Park! We biked what we could, and walked the rest. Visited Kensington Palace, I loved learning more about Queen Victoria in her youth and seeing where she grew up was fascinating to me. We also stopped and took way to many pictures of The Albert Memorial. The rose gardens, and of course Buckingham Palace. DSC_0007DSC_0003DSC_0382

Friday was just mum and me, we were both feeling a little under the weather and not too adventurist. we made our way to the Covent Garden Piazza, had a late breakfast at Creme De La Crape which was delicious. I just had to check out what London Beauty Week had to offer, I wanted to make it to some the evening events but they had all sold out. We got hand massages from Weleda, and I won a free makeup session at Charlotte Tillbury which was so much fun.
We had sushi delivered to the flat, and spend a relaxing evening in.

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Off to the Tower of London!
What an interesting place! A little dark but historically fascinating, one of our relatives is buried in the chapel there. We spent pretty much the whole day visiting the Tower and of course the Crown Jewels. After that, we had to visit Tower Bridge which is even more fabulous in person.

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Our last full day in London we visited Madame Tussauds which was a blast! I had been to the one in D.C. and enjoyed it so I had to check out the one in London, It was so interesting to see all the historical figures there. We also briefly visited 221 B Baker Street, thought of going to the museum but it was too crowded so we just checked out the gift shop .
And of course, no visit to London would be complete without going to the British Museum!
With limited time, we had to just visit the sections that were of particular interest. For me, it was the Greek and Roman history. Egyptian was also very important, along with the Rosetta Stone, and a few other items that we couldn’t miss.

That brings a close to our London adventures!
This is just a brief overview of everything we did, the highlights, there was so much more we would have loved to see and do but we will have to save it for next time.

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When I discovered that there was a Pusheen cafe I thought it was the cutest thing, and when I discovered that it was right down the street from our hotel in Brighton I know I had to go! I have been a Pusheen fan for quite some time now, the whole idea is simple, sweet, and absolutely precious, just like the cafe.

DSC_0079When I discovered that there was a Pusheen cafe I thought it was the cutest thing, and when I discovered that it was right down the street from our hotel in Brighton I know I had to go! I have been a Pusheen fan for quite some time now, the whole idea is simple, sweet, and absolutely precious, just like the cafe.

DSC_0076DSC_0068DSC_0073DSC_0070The shop was two stories, downstairs was the shop, where they sell everything Pusheen themed you can think of, as well as, gelato. Upstairs is where the cafe is, they serve you ice cream sundaes, waffles, cream tea, coffee, and mocktails.
As soon I stepped in the door, I was met with the cutest little shop I’d ever seen.
My little fangirl heart was fluttering, I had officially found my happy place. Now, I’m not the most excitable of people, but I think if you asked my travel buddies, they would tell you that I was definitely in a rare mood.

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I had their specialty sundae, which is a gray vanilla ice cream in honor of Pusheen herself, and honeycomb ice cream, and a light strawberry sorbet. Topped with a vanilla macaron and little tiny white chocolate ice cream cones. To drink I had the Raspberry Sparkler, which has sparkling elderflower, raspberry, and lemon.DSC_0082DSC_0081DSC_0106DSC_0107

Everything was delicious! The honeycomb ice cream and the Sparkler were definitely highlights though.

This is probably the cutest cafe ever, the treats were marvelous, the staff was loving and welcoming. One of the girls had the cutest watermelon skirt, and one of the others had the best holo sequin sneakers, which instantly caught my attention.
In short, if you get the chance you definitely need to check it out, if Brighton is a little far for you to travel for an ice cream sundae, then you can live vicariously through my photos.

 

Hey everyone!
This has been a long time coming, but I’m finally getting to sharing my photo journal from my family vacation back in June. I have been wanting to write this up from the moment I got home, but somehow it got put on the back burner.

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We arrive in Surry on a Saturday afternoon, about four, explored our rental house, and figured out which rooms would be whose.
The house was so pretty, and couldn’t have been in a more excellent location, right on Union River Bay with its own little stone beach. There were thirteen of us taking up the house for the week, and we were fairly comfortably divided between six bedrooms and five bathrooms.DSC_0006

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Sunday was a very carefree day, with no real plans, just to enjoy each others company and the serene surroundings. We tried to go out on the paddleboard and kayaks, but the wind was too strong so we ended just paddling in place until arms were too tired to do it anymore. So we spent the rest of the day playing ping-pong and reading. Later going out to PugNuts Ice Cream in before dinner.IMG_3570DSC_0029IMG_3567

Monday was less windy so we headed out in on our various flotation devices, (I choose a kayak) and slowly paddled our way up the river into Surry. When we arrived, we docked our boats, and walked up to the street to PugNuts, for round two. Then it was back the house for a relaxing afternoon.

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We took it slow Tuesday morning, some of us when out paddling, and others just hang out at the house reading. later in the afternoon, the whole gang headed out and hiked Blue Hill Mountain, then out to dinner for lobster rolls and fried chicken.

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Wednesday was a peaceful day, we played Monopoly and Toss Up, and just relaxed. Later in the afternoon, we took a tour of Woodlawn House( post coming soon) and went into Elseworth to check out Rooster Bothers. That night my brother and I made dinner for everyone which was very fun! We have never cooked together before and I think we make a great team.

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Thursday was our last full day, so we drove to Deer Isle, and wondered Stoning ton, which may be one of my new favorite coastal towns. We visited Nervous Nellies Jams and Jellies which was definitely an experience.

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We spent must of Friday morning packing up and getting ready to head our separate ways. We meandered our way through Blue Hill, and found some lunch, then made a fairly direct trip towards home.
Our trip went out with a bang, as we ended it with a Gaelic Storm concert.

It was so wonderful to spend some quality time with the family, and I didn’t think I could love Maine anymore, but sure enough, I love even more than before. Getting to meet Gaelic Storm again was so nice, they are the greatest group, they care so much about their fans, and took the time to sign our stuff, and take pictures with us.

I’m not much of a hiker, I will usually try my best to avoid a mountain whenever faced with one, but on my recent family vacation to Surry, we got to wander several of the surrounding towns and sights. One of which was Blue Hill, and Blue Hill Mountain, which of course you have to see.

 

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On the way down we came into the most beautiful lupine field. With a view of the mountains and the bay, it was a breathtaking sight. I could have happily stayed there forever but the clouds were starting to threaten rain.

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Yes, I hiked a mountain!

I was very pleased with myself, but honestly, I only did it because I wanted pictures for the blog, shocking I know. I was talking to someone about this and we agreed that if it wasn’t for our blogs and Instagram we would probably never go outside. Hey, I guess social media is good for something after all!

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Self-care, maybe you’ve heard of it? It’s super on-trend right now, but what exactly is it? If you are anything like me you are probably picturing something involving baths, face masks, candles, and a fancy bath bomb, or maybe that’s just me. For the sake of this post, I actually Googled the technical definition so I could sound like I know what I’m talking about.

Self-Care: “The practice of taking an active role in protecting one’s own well-being and happiness, in particular during periods of stress.

We all have demands on our time, whether it’s work, kids,  family, or pets, there is always someone or something that we need to care for and that takes precedence over ourselves. Okay, so maybe an at-home spa day isn’t very practical, and honestly, I usually only take baths when I’m not feeling well. That being said, I’m a firm believer that everyone needs to make a little time for “self-care” in their everyday lives. Today I wanted to share some of the simple little things that I do regularly that add a little extra happiness, with taking up more them a few minutes.DSC_0039

Skincare.

Be as simple or as complicated as you want! Whether it’s just cleansing and moisturizing, or a seven-step routine, take good care of your face because you’ve only got the one.

Pillow Spray.

I keep a calming pillow spray on my nightstand, and use it every night, about ten minutes before I go to bet. Eucalyptus is my scent of choice, but I also love lavender and mint. Sleep Sounds kinda silly, but the majority of people don’t get enough sleep, or the quality of sleep isn’t what it could be. As with everything, there are times when you can’t manage how much sleep you are getting, but whenever you can, make sure you get a good nights sleep.

Clean Sleep Space.

The rest of the world could be falling apart and I would be fairly unbothered, but if I wake up to a pile of clothes in the corner, and makeup, and camera gear all over my dresser, then it stresses me out.
A big part of my evening routine is making sure things are fairly tidy, I have been having a little trouble with it for the last couple of weeks and I’ve noticed the difference in my morning mood.

Water.

Here is another no brainer, but it’s so important! For the most part, I only drink the amount of water I need to survive, not the amount I need to function on full capacity.

I would highly recommend trying to get as much water as you possibly can. My rule is to have two glasses of water for every cup of coffee, plus one in the morning before I even think about coffee. Then whatever I can get after that is a victory.

Nail Care. 

Whether I’m painting them or not, taking care of my nails is very important to me. My nails are fairly brittle, so I keep them short so they don’t break, but I try to keep them well-shaped, clean and buffed.

Exercise.

I never thought I would see the day when I would be an advocate for exercise, but here I am.
As someone who has dealt with chronic pain for a number of years, exercise has always been a very unpleasant experience, but for the last couple of months I have been trying out lower impact things like yoga, weights, and general strength improving stuff and I have definitely noticed a difference.
So, find something that works for you, it can be as much or as little as you want.

 

What do you regularly to treat yourself?