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Lottery win trip wishlist

I was asked what I would spend the money on if I won the lottery… And the first thing that comes to mind for me is the places I want to see, rather than the things I want to buy and for this reason I’m going to share my ideal trip with you if money were no object. One of the lottery options I have here in the UK, and is super easy to play online is Lottoland. 

I’ve played the lottery on and off over the years but it’s never been consistent, I’ve never won anything but I still sometimes get the urge to play when I’m feeling lucky.

It’s funny that it takes writing a blog post to make me sit and think about all the places I would love to visit but realistically a lot of the places I want to go are financially out of reach.

There isn’t really one destination that I want to go to more of a trip with a few stops along the way. My all time most longed for destination was Las Vegas and I did that a year and a half ago!

My ideal trip (not the only, but definitely the one I would do first) goes a little something like this…

My sister and I want to fly to Miami FL and hire a car and drive to a few of the southern states. I have always wanted to experience the music and food in New Orleans and just the overall culture so that is a state that was an absolute must and is the main event of the trip.

Once we arrive in Miami we would only stay there a couple of days as we have both been there before, and it’s the only lying destination on the trip that is ‘beachy’.miami

From Miami we will drive to Atlanta, Georgia.. This isn’t a destination that was ever a must see place for me but definitely someplace that is worth visiting as we pass by and the shopping experience is meant to be amazing!

From Atlanta we will drive on to New Orleans! I would love to stay in New Orleans for no less than 5 days, there are so many amazing things to eat and so many authentic NOLA places to visit to immerse yourself in theor amazing culture. I want to drown in Creole culture while I’m there. My parents used to speak the language when I was growing up so it would be lovely to hear all the broken French that someone of the NOLA people speak.Royal-Street-Corner-in-French-Quarter-1023x685

From New Orleans we would drive down to Mississippi and then to Alabama, just to see what things are like way down south. This will definitely be a foodie road trip because again  that is something that draws me to that side of the country, the promise of gumbo and jambalaya, collard greens, grits, peach cobbler… Omg the list could go on! After a few days in each of these places we would head back to Miami to fly home.

These parts of America are rarely talked about as dream destinations but they are places that I would love to see and experience soon. I don’t know how long we would spend in each place or what attractions will be in the list but I am sure we will do this trip!

If money was no object, where would you go?

Valentine’s with Love Layla

Happy new year!

With Christmas and new year finally out of the way and resolutions (if you had any) firmly underway or already totally forgotten, Valentine’s Day is now just around the corner.

This valentines day I am single but last valentines day I got my boyfriend a very fun and naughty card, I’m not really one for the traditional sop that comes with valentines day and I like that about myself. The card I purchased last year was very cheeky and perfect for the relationship I was in, so when the opportunity presented itself to get together with the company I bought that card from to share some of their products with you from their  valentines range I was over the moon… And the pickings are great!!

The cards I have from LovelaylaDesigns20180118_105207

A better look at the Valentines Day cards I have from the website, all these cards are priced at £3.75IMG_20180118_104348 IMG_20180118_104333

They have a huge selection of cards available on the site and they have something for everyone, even if you don’t want something naughty.

The Valentines Collection has a whole host of items besides the cards. They have wine labels,  badges and wrapping paper , so if your’e a fan of the cards there is plenty more to complete your valentine’s day prep. Below is some of the items I got from the Valentine’s range. “I fucking love you” wrapping paper (which I can’t wait to use) and wine bottle label, a “Valentine Wanker”badge and a 2018 calendar which has something funny printed for each month. The calendar is actually in the sale at the moment so you can grab one for a bargain price.

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What I like the most about their selection of cards is that they have some that would be suitable to send to your friends, which is exactly what I will be doing. The blanket stealer especially and they have a couple others on the site that are suitable too.

Its such a nice take on an otherwise overly sappy day and I love what they have done and  am happy to say that I am definitely someone that prefers a naughty Valentine’s over a soppy one lol.

The Stresses and Pressures of Moving Somewhere New

A house move is never easy to go through, and it’s always best to be aware of the things that you’re going to be up against before you actually get started. The stresses and pressures that we’re going to list below aren’t there to scare you. Instead, they’re there to encourage you to get prepared and be aware of what lies ahead of you as you begin the process of moving house. Read on to start learning more.

 

The Worry of the Whole Thing Falling Through

 

Home sales do fall through sometimes, and it’s not easy to deal with that reality. Therefore, it’s only natural that people should worry about this problem striking them as they move house. No one wants that to happen because it destroys all their plans and sends them right back to square one with the house hunt. It’s not as common as many people assume though, so don’t spend too much time fretting over it.

 

Dealing With the Logistics of Your Move

 

The basic logistics of making this kind of move are enough to cause most people to feel daunted. Good movers can stop you from experiencing those kinds of difficulties though, and that’s what you should be aware of. Don’t try to do everything yourself because this will almost certainly result in disaster for you, but if you get the logistical things in line with the help of professionals, everything will be fine.

 

Helping Each Person in Your Family Settle Properly

 

When you’ve actually made the move itself, you’ll need to think about how everyone will settle into the new area. If you’ve moved a long way, it will take time for everyone to feel at home in the new location. Your kids might have to go to new schools and you and your partner might be starting new jobs. It’s hard not to worry about those kinds of things because they represent huge life changes.

 

Gaining Your Bearings in Your New Location

 

There’s also the worry of finding your way around a new community and a new town. If you can’t find your bearings straight away, it’s easy to feel lost in the place that’s supposed to be your home, and that’s never a nice feeling. It’s up to you to find your way around and become more comfortable in your new location as soon as you possibly can.

 

Finding Nasty Surprises

 

No one wants to move into the home they’ve just paid a lot of money for only to find that there are nasty surprised waiting for them. This is why it’s so important to have a full survey carried out so that you can uncover all of those problems before you actually complete the purchase of the home.

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Image Source

 

Moving into a new home in a new location is undeniably stressful, but that doesn’t have to mean that you will have to call the whole thing off. With the right preparation and the right help, any home move can be survived, so focus on getting that right.

 

2018 Destination wishlist

With 2018 just around the corner I have realised that I haven’t been overseas this year. My last holiday was last summer in July 2016 when I went to Las Vegas for a fortnight.

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Whenever I go on holiday I always opt for the United States as I’m more interested in shopping and being in a place that is similar to the UK, than I am about beaches and sight seeing. I have been to Florida a few times, France a few times and Vegas once. The next time I go away, I definitely want to go somewhere that is new to me.

As I get older I have been more interested in seeing more of the world, especially seeing the parts of the world my parents are from and less interest in seeing the same places I have been before. Watching travel shows and reading travel blogs has made me realise there is so much more of the world that I would enjoy seeing.

Both of my parents are St Lucian. My mum was born here to two St Lucian parents and my dad is St Lucia born. My dad regularly visits St.Lucia for business and to see family and in recent years my siblings have been accompanying him and spending time there getting to know family and the overall culture of the place.

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I have never wanted to visit as I always figured it wasn’t my scene.  Now age 33 I really really want to go and she where my family is from and St Lucia is number one on my Places to visit list.

My destination bucket list;

1. St Lucia

2. New Orleans

3. New York

4. Dominican Republic

5. Dubai

Most of the places on my bucket list are destinations covered by Destination2.co.uk who offer all inclusive holiday packages that take most of the hard work out of booking a holiday. They currently have a sale offering great prices for 2018 holiday packages. “We impartially compare major airlines, hotels and resorts to bring our customers the best deals for their desired destination. Destination2.co.uk is an Inspirational Luxury Operator which allows our customers freedom to explore the greatest and most luxurious destinations throughout the world for incredible value for money.”

Where is your next holiday destination?

Keeping your home warm this winter.

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There’s nothing worse than a cold home. Where just putting your leg out of bed in the morning is unbearable, and you simply don’t want to get out of the shower. A cold home can lead to coughs and colds, as well as issues with damp and condensation which can lead to the growth of black mould and further respiratory problems. It’s also uncomfortable. You don’t want to be sitting at home, cold and unable to relax, on top of health issues, this can lead to stress and depression.

 

Don’t make the mistake of thinking your only option is having your heating on full blast all winter long. This can cost a fortune, and if your home isn’t properly cared for and insulated, you may find all the heat is lost anyway. Here’s what you need to do to make sure your home is warm and you do not have to run around your living room to warm up first thing in the morning.

 

Underlay

 

Underlay is something few people consider when it comes to keeping their home warm. They see it as an unnecessary addition that simply adds comfort to the floors. But, it’s much more than this, great underlay can not only add comfort, it can also stop heat escaping and protect your flooring.

 

Another mistake people make is assuming that laminate flooring is colder than carpet. With the right underlay, this doesn’t have to be the case. The best laminate underlay can ensure that your floor is warm and well protected as well as stylish and trendy.

 

Heating

 

Obviously, your heating warms your home. But, is it working at its best? Your boiler works very hard every year, so don’t just expect it to be at its best all of the time. Have it serviced every year, upgrade to smart systems and check your radiators for damage.

 

If you notice that your radiators aren’t warm all the way through, the first thing to do is bleed them. Look online for advice on how to do this; it’s an easy job that you can do yourself without spending money on an engineer.

 

Insulation

 

If your heating is working well, and your house still isn’t warm, it’s probably not retaining its heat. Most of your home’s heat is lost through the roof, windows, walls and floor. If you’ve already got underlay, look at the other areas. Window seals deteriorate over time, so you may be able to fix these without replacing the windows themselves.

 

Loft and cavity wall insulation can make a huge difference, but installing it depends on your home. Wall insulation isn’t always possible so check first. If your loft is accessible by a fixed staircase, and not just a ladder, you could be eligible for a loft insulation grant, so that’s another thing that is worth checking.

 

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It’s amazing how much difference atmosphere can make to the warmth of your home. Look at a room with lots of white space and minimal designs, and you may feel cold. On the other hand, a room full of warm colours, soft furnishings and accessories can make you feel warm and cosy.

Women empowerment and the self-love ring

The idea of self-loving and self-empowerment is on the up — especially amongst women who are standing up for themselves more than ever before. This has given rise to the self-love ring, a gift that women buy for themselves as a treat and token of self-appreciation. Some women are taking it as far as marrying themselves and others are in a relationship referred to as ‘sologamy’. Together with Angelic Diamonds, retailers of halo engagement rings, we take a closer look at the trend and how women are showing off their independence.

Where did the self-love ring begin?

The trend of self-love rings began to take hold in 2016. It’s not known exactly what drove the trend, as women have been preaching self-appreciation for many years! But it could be down to a combination of these things:

  • The rise of social media platforms like Snapchat and Instagram has encouraged women to love themselves. Although seeing filtered beach bodies on our news feed isn’t always great, there have been many women who have posted photos of their natural selves too and persuaded others to do the same. For example, there was a trend which involved ‘No Make-up Selfies’ — a photo of yourself without make-up. Many celebrities participated in this and told women to love their natural selves! The selfie culture in general pushes women to appreciate their bodies, as they post photos of themselves and receive ‘likes’ and comments from their friends and family.
  • The influence of celebrities has encouraged women to love themselves too. Many famous figures have talked about their tough times growing up and how they’ve learnt to appreciate themselves. Others have encouraged magazines and photographers to not edit their photos so that women can see that their bodies are not in fact flawless.
  • There has also been a rise in participants of meditation and mindfulness — taking time out of the day to be present within yourself. Research has shown that it can reduce stress, depression and anxiety and experts encourage people to take time out of their day to focus on meditation interlinks with self-love as it focuses on taking time out of the day to concentrate on yourself.

The jewellery behind it all

They are being called anti-engagement rings, but that’s not what self-love rings define. They are meant to represent one’s commitment to oneself and a dedication that you’ll put yourself first and look after your own well-being. They are meant to be worn on your little finger — to represent a ‘pinky promise’ to yourself. Some jewellers offered specific ‘pinky’ rings but they can be bought as a smaller regular engagement ring.

Quotes from those who are all about self-love have said that a lot of things change when you begin to love yourself. You change the way that you act and this can positively affect your relationship as you no longer rely on your partner to make you happy.

Some girls have been making it into a friendship activity too. This brings the focus of friendship to the forefront as they focus on one another and make a pledge to both love yourselves.

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Some women are taking the whole idea further through organising themselves a big day. The first sologamous wedding was thought to be in 1993, when an American woman called Linda Barker married herself in front of her close friends.

The ceremony is not currently a legal process. You can’t divorce yourself, claim legal fees and your marital status won’t change, instead it is simply a celebration, although vows can be made. It appears as though it is more women who are taking part in this than men, possibly as a protest against the pressures that they often feel to be in a relationship.

When asked why women chose to organise themselves a self-love ceremony, they said:

  • The ceremony was a deep act of self-acceptance, saying your commitments out loud in front of friends and family solidified them.
  • It was a celebration of the commitment to the health, well-being, and happiness of oneself.

Some may think that this is only for single people, but it’s not! Some women who have gone through the ceremony have partners and husbands, but this day was all about them! A company has been created on the back of these ceremonies called I Married Me — it offers wedding supplies to one-person ceremonies.

It doesn’t have to be all about the ring though, there are plenty of ways to give yourself some self-affection. Treat yourself to some clothing that you’ve been wanting for a while, have a spa day or just invest some time into you!

 

5 Things To Consider Gifting This Holiday

The holiday season is fast approaching and it is about time you decided on your gifts. Of course, selecting gifts for your near and dear ones is not an easy task. Let´s be honest here—we have all been guilty of investing a great deal of energy, time, and money in purchasing gifts for our loved ones.

If you can’t decide on what to gift, you should consider the gifts we have mentioned below. Without straying away from the topic any further, here are 5 things to consider gifting this holiday!

 

  • LEVLhome

 

If you want to gift something meaningful to a fitness enthusiast, you should consider gifting him/her LEVLhome. So, what is LEVLhome exactly? Well, in the simplest of terms, it is simply a Bluetooth speaker that does an exceptional task of tracking your level of ketosis. The product simply uses your breath to determine how much fat you are burning during or after your workout. So, if you know someone who loves burning saturated fat, you should definitely get him/her LEVLhome.

 

  • Commodity ¨Whiskey¨ eau de parfum

 

Of course, it is risky to gift someone a perfume. However, although it is a high-risk, the rewards are also high. Fortunately, we have already done the research, smelled a handful of perfumes to de-risk scent-gifting for you. And, we can bet your bottom dollar that the man in your life will love the Commodity “Whiskey” eau de parfum. Commodity´s “Whiskey” perfume boasts of a perfect blend of oak, mahogany, cinnamon, and sage.

 

  • Snow Mountain Ring Holder

 

Does the lady in your life have plenty of rings? Is she in dire need of a ring holder? Does she dream about the slopes every now and then? If so, you should definitely consider gifting her the Snow Mountain Ring Holder. The product resembles the slopes of a mountain and serves as a chic place to stack rings.

 

  • Actual Handwriting Bracelet

 

If you are planning to gift your better half a gift with a personal touch, you should probably get him/her an actual handwriting bracelet. Basically, all you will need to do is to send a close-up snap of your handwritten message to the owner of the shop. The shop owner then emblazons your message on a bracelet. Your better half can then enjoy wearing the bracelet all year round.

 

  • Teeth Whitening Kit

 

The most popular cosmetic procedure performed in America is teeth whitening. Therefore, we are certain that you wouldn´t go amiss with gifting a teeth whitening kit. Surely, you would want your loved one to maintain his/her pearly whites, right? You can also add other dental-related products with the kit. A good electric toothbrush can also prove to be a wonderful addition to the kit. How about gifting your loved one a toothbrush sanitizer too? As its name suggests, a toothbrush sanitizer performs a fantastic job of eliminating all the debris and bacteria left behind in toothbrushes.  

Decluttering Doesn’t Have To Mean Saying Goodbye

Most of us have heard about the benefits of clearing clutter in our homes. Books like ‘The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up’ by Marie Kondo have bought decluttering into the mainstream. That, and the fact that we’re all jumping on the minimalist wagon. Less is more, and if you want a clear mind, you better have a clean home.

But, it’s possible these methods aren’t all they’re cracked up to be. Namely, they focus on giving up the things you love. Call us crazy, but that doesn’t seem like a sure way to a better life. In fact, it seems just the opposite.

That said, the reasoning behind these points is hard to argue with. Too much clutter can get you down. We’ve all walked into a messy room or two and walked straight back out again. We are clean creatures, and we all hate the chaotic feeling of a mess. That’s true whether we admit, or even realise it.

But, instead of focusing on what you can take away from your home, it’s worth considering how to keep the space clear, without getting rid of anything. That way, you achieve the same impact, without having to suffer. For proof it’s possible, we’re going to look at a few of the ways to clear clutter by finding new places for everything you need.

Your television

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Pixabay Image

 

In modern homes, television is the focal point of the living room. Though bulkier than in their younger days, most television sets can take up a decent amount of space. Television units are often cumbersome, and we lose a shocking amount of floor space to them. And, lost floor space usually increases feelings of claustrophobia and clutter. That said, if you use your cabinet for storage, this may be the best of two evils.

But, if like most of us your unit is for television wires and box sets only, then it’s time to reconsider. This unit is invading your living room, and it isn’t even serving any practical purpose. So, do away with it. Then, consider investing in a wall bracket on which to display your television. This way, you can keep it as the focal point in your room, while not losing any floor space to the cause. You’d be amazed what a difference this can make.

Your fireplace

Your fireplace is another thing which likely takes up a fair amount of room. If you have an authentic fire, there isn’t much you can do about this. The chances are that the feature is an integral part of your structure. Not to mention that you wouldn’t want to do away with something as stunning as that. But, if you use a gas fireplace instead, you may be wasting much more space than necessary. Old designs were bulky and invasive. The chances are that your fire is either a box design or comes out reasonably far from the wall.

 

Do away with this issue by investing in one of the inbuilt gas log fires offered by companies like Illusion Fires. These options involve building a fireplace into your wall. Thus, you can free up the floor space that would have been used by a freestanding option. Again, the difference will be much more substantial than you might expect. Plus, this way, you’ll have a sleek and stylish design which is about as far from clutter as it’s possible to get.

Your accessories

Many of us enjoy an accessory or two in the home. These are, after all, how we add character and make our mark. But, they’re also the main culprit when it comes to clutter. If you get carried away here, the situation can soon get out of control. But, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to get rid of pieces you love. It just means you have to find better places to keep them.

House plants are a prime example. While big business at the moment, a large vase can also take up too much floor space. A few of these in one room, and you’ll soon find yourself struggling for space. For one, it’s worth placing these around the house, instead of having them all in one room. It’s also worth putting them above the floor if you can, to reduce the space wasted. You may have realised that there’s a theme here. High up is usually better. So, think about placing your plants on a shelf, or table instead.

Ornaments are another thing worth considering. Again, opt for high up storage solutions. You can put in new shelving units for the purpose if you need. As they’re above floor level, this shouldn’t make any real difference to the feel of the room. Within reason, of course.

The other clutter

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Big stuff aside, there’s usually plenty of other clutter on the floor, including shoes and slippers. The good news is, the high up theory works here, too. Instead of kicking them off and leaving them behind the sofa, why not incorporate a hanging shoe rack on the back of your door? This is a neat way to store something which could otherwise become clutter. It also ensures your floor is as clear and clutter free as possible. Out of sight really can mean out of mind.

And, let’s not forget that many of us clutter our floors in the name of style. Rugs are a prime example of this. Though they look nice, they can make a room appear drastically smaller. So, think twice before leaving a rug in the middle of your floor. Instead, why not find another use for it, which doesn’t compromise your space? Some rugs make fantastic wall hangings, for example. Or, you may just need to reconsider the room in which you display them. A rug in the landing can lead into the larger part of your home, so won’t look so much like clutter. But, a rug in the living room won’t have the same positive impact. Rearrange to make this work for you.

 

 

An Exercise In Decluttering – Clearing Out Your Wardrobe In The New Year

When your wardrobe is bursting at the seams, it’s time to do something about it. When better to enjoy a wardrobe clearout than the New Year? A good decluttering is therapeutic, freeing and could even help you rediscover some old wardrobe favourites. A newly-organised wardrobe is the perfect way to start off the New Year, so take a look at the following tips to see how it’s done.

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Image: Pxhere

Get it all out

You’re never going to get full site of all your clothes if you don’t get every single item out. Yes, it’s going to be a mess – but think of the light at the end of the tunnel. Go through all your drawers as well; this isn’t the time to leave any stone unturned. Dump it on your bed, your chairs and even create ‘zones’ for different items of clothing to help make it easier for you to categorise things and rebuild your wardrobe.

Be brutal

It can be tough to decide to get rid of your clothes. Clothing can hold a lot of sentimental value, as well as be a bit of a memory box. However, if things are just rotting away in the back of your wardrobe going unworn, it’s time to get rid of them. Take a look at each item of clothing and ask yourself:

 

  • Have I worn this in the last 12 months?
  • Is it still wearable?
  • Does it fit me?
  • Can I honestly see myself wearing this again?

 

If you’ve answered no to one or more of these questions, it’s time to let it go. You’ll feel much better for it, knowing your wardrobe is actually full of things you want to wear.

Sell what you can

Everyone finds January a tough time money-wise, so a cash boost could be just what you need at the beginning of the year. You’ll probably find that there are more items in your wardrobe to sell than you realise, especially those one-off items like occasion dresses or shoes that have barely been worn. It’s easy to get started on eBay or Depop, and Shiply makes it so much easier to get your items posted out to buyers. Remember to take some good photos to help give the best impression of your products.

Recycle or donate the rest

Anything you don’t want to sell can find a good home somewhere else. Zara and H&M are among the stores who will recycle your clothes for you, no matter what condition they’re in. If you want to donate other clothing to good causes, someone else will be sure to appreciate your treasures.

Keep seasonal clothing together

To help you plan better outfits, it makes sense to keep your seasonal clothing together. You’ll be much better able to see what you have for each season, making it easy to coordinate items when you’re getting dressed. If you’ve got other storage space, you could pack away next season’s clothes so that all that’s left in your wardrobe is relevant for now.

 

With all that new space in your wardrobe, you’ve got an excuse to treat yourself to some new things. Why not take a look at these great plus-sized influencers who are killing it in the style stakes – the perfect inspiration! Start your new off with a fresh new wardrobe and enjoy being able to put together some fierce and fabulous looks.

 

My plan for my body in 2018

With the New year fast approaching, the weight loss resolutions are already starting. I feel very lucky that I am able to ignore the social pressures to be in the mindset that my value as a person is connected to a number on a scale. I do however realise I am getting older and I want to keep my body active. I go through phases of wanting to exercise more and increase my fitness but like with anything, it can be difficult to stick to.

I have been over weight since I was around 8 years old so I don’t really know anything else. As a fat child and a fat adolescent I was always very active but then came to a halt when I entered into adulthood. As a child I think it it a lot easier to find activities that you enjoy that count as exercise, I just remember always loving swimming. I know for me as an adult the only form of exercise that I genuinely enjoy and don’t ever tire of is aqua aerobics. I absolutely love swimming and just being in the water in general and will take any opportunity to go for a swim. For this reason it is always the first thing that springs to mind when I decide that I need to increase the amount of exercise in my routine.

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I hadn’t been swimming in over a year but during a trip to the coast last month I was able to spend a few hours in a beautiful pool and it reminded me just how much I miss being in the water and because of that I want to incorporate swimming and/or aqua aerobics into some form of exercise plan for the coming year. Because I don’t want to wait for January 1st to be proactive I have already started to add some moderate exercise into my routine an already feel much better for it.

My plan is a simple one… do the things that make you feel good. Going out for long walks isn’t something I enjoy while I’m doing it but I love the sense of pride and achievement that I get from doing something that is good for me. Getting off the bus a stop early every time I take a ride so I get a few extra steps in. Basically the little things, the things that aren’t too strenuous and should in turn be easier to keep going. Swimming… lots and lots of swimming, everyone who knows me, knows how much I love being in water so of course in 2018 I will be in water as much as possible . Being a plus size blogger and having plus size blogger friends, between us all we know all the places to get plus size clothing and accessories. Lots of swimming will require… you guessed it… plus size swimwear. I have a lot of great swimwear from 2 piece sets to sarongs. A nice swimsuit is great for having confidence and good support at the pool too.

More important than the physical things I want to do for my body, is the love I show my body. I have great respect for my body and the things it has helped me to do in life. I think it is very easy to think about all the things about your body you would like to change but I think it is so much more important to appreciate the body you have. in 2018 I want to continue to love my body, practice self care and swim much more.

What goals do you have for your body in the coming year?

 

Plus size fashion and beauty blog.