Our Perfect Stay In Dublin

Me and Danny took a trip to Dublin for 3 nights. You may have already known this if you came across this post. We stayed in a superior room at Aspect Hotel, Dublin ParkWest. See my review on TripAdvisor. We flew with RyanAir and it was short flight as you can imagine from Manchester to Dublin. It was a duration of 35 minutes, both departing from and returning to Manchester. Ever since Christmas arrived and Danny seen that we were going here, we’ve been counting down the days. A trip away is always needed and it’s nice to have something to look forward to together.

Our first day in Dublin

When we woke up on Saturday, we knew that we wanted to make the most of each day. We were going to visit Dublin Zoo but there just wasn’t enough time to do everything. This is one of my favourite trips we’ve ever shared together. From feeling sleepy on our evening flight, we were in such a happy place from the moment we landed in Dublin. So, we decided to explore as much of the city centre as we could.

Luckily, we had a bus stop and a train station just across the road from the hotel. Travelling to Heuston station reminded me so much of ‘Euston’ station in London. But eventually, you can’t start to feel the knowing that you’re definitely at the Dublin soundalike one. The journey was so quick on the train and it was simple enough to purchase tickets and find directions. Of course it was, Danny was there.

We spent the entire roaming around and enjoying sight that Dublin had to offer. Can we just take a moment to appreciate how much of a pretty city Dublin is?! The sunset views were unreal. We found a TGIs and had a pint of Guinness along with a cocktail. I can’t believe I’ve never tried their Jack Daniels chicken wings. I’ve been missing out! That was the perfect treat to the near-to-end day tip around the city.

Dublin know how to have a good night

We finished the day with a night out because who doesn’t go for a drink when you’re in Dublin?! This place has a brilliant mixture of traditional Irish music, oldies, and new songs. The place we ended up spending most of the night had 4 floors – all a different kind of atmosphere and all so fun and enjoyable.

I love all of our memories together. But this night along with the next day have been two of the best days by far. It’s those small, close moments that mean the most to us. A man actually came up to us after taking a photo of me and Danny and said, “Look at the look she’s giving you. That isn’t no one night thing.”

Danny then replied: I know. She’s my girlfriend. We’ve been together for 5 years.

…and I just stood there and smiled. In my mind I was thinking, yep he’s mine. The guy just seemed so happy for us.

Our second day in Dublin

The next morning we were so excited to head to Howth. We went on a 3-4 hour trail. First we seen the coastal view. I sat down for 5 minutes as Danny took the camera to take photos. I looked around, took a deep breath and enjoyed just how relaxing it really was. I wish I had a place like this to head to whenever I was worried or scared about something. It was absolutely breathtaking. So beautiful.

Afterwards we headed to the main Howth trail. We got muddy but we had the perfect footwear, attire, and lots of water for the journey. So all was good. Once we got to the peak, we took a longer moment than before to take it all in. What a view. It creates those kind of moments where you forget about everything else and just appreciate the scenery and each other.

From a lack of sleep due to the long night the day before, I’d say we did really well. In fact, I’m surprised we even made it. The fresh air was perfect and the breakfast in the morning stopped a hangover from coming on. It was such a special trip for the both of us.

Dublin – you’ve been one of our best trips yet

Everyone is so lovely and genuinely wants you to have a good time. It’s fair to say that we spent a fortune just as people said we would. But we enjoyed every minute of it. It really was worth all of the laughs, dancing, smiling, and exploring around.    We definitely recommend this as a city on your to-visit list. Whether you’re a couple like us or friends just looking for a trip. There’s so much to do and you’ll love every minute. See my photos on Instagram.

I wonder where we’ll head to next?

5 Things I’m Excited to Welcome into the New Year of 2018

Here we are again, another brand new year to welcome us into the unknown. Will Alicia Keys tour in the UK, who knows?! Will I stop eating pasta and all those carbs? Probably not, don’t be silly! But as I mentioned in my blog post prior to this one, I do aim to get back to being active like I was for the most of 2017. And I aim to look after myself, wanting the best health and happiness. This includes, wanting those who mean the most to me, to be happy and healthy too.

Whether you welcomed the New Year hungover, sad, relieved, partying, dancing, whatever – this year can be your year. You might think, “Oh please, it’s just another ordinary year.” Well, what hope are you giving yourself if that’s your attitude to life? Christmas does tend to feel less Christmassy for some as we get older. But if you’re lucky to have another tomorrow, then you’ve always got another day to achieve new things and do you. I spent the Christmas break catching up with friends and family and that’s the perfect way to do it in my eyes.

What’s next?

Exploring together

Dublin in February, woo! It’s part of Danny’s Christmas present from me. I know it’ll be another lovely trip together. We love exploring and doing lots of photography. Danny has never been to Ireland. We both have family from Ireland, mine being from both sides, but I’ve only ever visited Northern Ireland. Ooo I really cannot wait to have a few days away to escape and have fun! I’m sure there will be more trips and fun-packed days ahead too.

Moving forward together

Whether it actually happens this year or we just become a lot closer to moving out, we’ll be thrilled. It’s obviously going to be the best thing ever for the both of us. We’re very excited about it and we think that if we get our heads down and save more (but still try to have life) we’ll be there before we know it.

Facing new challenges

As I’ve mentioned, a new challenge is on the cards for me. Only because I want to. And it’s part of who I am. I’ve seen a few hikes already that have inspired me but it’s about choosing the right one for us. We may even do one of our very own. We’ll figure it out but as always, we’ll be fundraising for the charities close to our hearts. Throughout it all, just like any other year, time challenges us all in different ways – emotionally, physically and so on. But we’ve got this because we have each other.

A road to more happiness

Continuing on a progressive journey. There are always new things to come. Another year to show the world what you’ve got and how strong you really can be. I’m going to take chances and try to maintain the more hopeful side of me than the worry. I love those moments where you can just be carefree and not bother what anyone else thinks, because you deserve to be happy.

Seeing what else life has to offer

Being ready for whatever else is ahead. There’s always a part of life that we can’t control; we can’t force things to happen. But we can live for now and be happy in as many moments as we can. Isn’t that all that we ever wish for, to be happy? Happiness reinforces many of our actions and I’d love to se more positive things happening around those who I love.

What’s next for you?

Life Lessons Learnt in 2017

What lessons have you learnt this year? Yep, that’s another year that’s nearly over and done with again. I used to think I couldn’t quite believe it but then there comes a time when you realise how fast time can go. And you learn that time is so precious. One of my biggest goals for 2017 was a personal one – to worry less. Sounds much simpler written down, doesn’t it? I’d be lying if I said that I had fully achieved this. However, one thing is for sure, I’ve done my best to maintain a balance of positive thinking.

What I aimed for in 2017

Remember I told you that I wanted to get more active this year, as well as thinking a lot more positive? For the first part I really surprised myself. I didn’t become a fitness maniac but I conquered my gym fears and did all of the things I felt comfortable doing in order to increase my exercise activity. This hasn’t been everyday and this month it hasn’t even been at all. But I certainly do feel better once I partake in exercise. It boosts your mood and makes you feel stronger and fitter at the same time.

Taking a different perspective

As for the worry side. That’s always been a big part of me, it’s always been in my nature to worry. However, I started to learn to handle things differently. It was time to stop worrying about others so much and start to realise the impact it has on me. Especially a young woman with migraines and high blood pressure (which I’m hoping will go away in the new year).

Sometimes, I actually wonder why I’ve made myself so crazy. It’s mad. Running round in circles thinking what if, this or that… absolutely pointless. You only end up putting yourself on a downer when actually, you should be nothing but happy to move towards the future and live your life. Just the other night I was out with my two friends for Boxing Day. Truth be told we all got very merry and had a great night, especially me! I woke up thinking, oh no, me again. But then I thought, you know what when you’re out with friends, these things don’t matter. Another little thing I stopped myself from looming over.

Happiness is the most important thing

We just need to get a move on now and hope that more of our dreams start to come true in 2018. I’m sure I’ll share any new experiences that we face with you all. We really hoped to have moved out but that’s now of the things we know will be worth the wait. We’ll keep on saving and it will eventually happen. I do believe that.

Have you accomplished anything new this year?

The Power of Strengths and Weaknesses

Today I’ve been thinking about what to write. What do I want to share that’s new, something I haven’t done before? That’s when strengths and weaknesses come into my mind. We all have them so it’s a topic for anyone to discuss about how they feel about theirs. Sometimes, no matter how hard you want to try to get rid of a weakness, it isn’t always possible. But you can help yourself by working on ways to overcome particular situations or doing something less.

We all have a weak side

Take me for instance, if you didn’t know already, I’ve always been a massive worrier. That’s my biggest weakness. I’ve realised more than ever this year though just how pointless it can be to worry about things. You think you’re right to at the time then you realise it isn’t relevant or you didn’t have anything to worry about from the start.

Like I’ve said before, it can help to have someone there to show you how strong you can be.

He has given me the most amazing adventure and it’s only been a small part of the rest of our lives together. No matter how many insecurities I’ve had, no matter what weaknesses or downfalls I have, he’s there.

Other times, it’s up to you to decide how strong you can really be. Think of all of the great things you’ve accomplished. Even if it hasn’t been your day, month, or year, there’s got to be something. Earlier this year I felt like giving up. Facing unemployment or unhappiness in the workplace takes a serious toll on so many things in your life that others don’t always realise. However, once I began to believe in myself and that the right job for me would come along, it’s one of the biggest strengths I’ve ever had.

And then we have our strong side to show

March was when it all began to crumble. I began to feel worthless but ever since May this year something changed me as a person and my attitude to everything. Seven months later, I can say that I feel like I’m moving forward. All of your past experiences and choices make you who you are today and I’m proud of where I am. Securing a new permanent position was my most-needed goal for 2017. I’m happy, I’m respected, and growing up has become a whole lot more real. And it’s probably going to become surreal when more goals for the future are accomplished.

Take moving out for example, that was my most-wanted goal for 2017. Although me and Danny haven’t yet got our own place, we understand now that we are on a better path in getting there. Saving is under way and we keep imagining what our lives will be like together in our own home. We have more of an understanding of what it takes to meet that goal and are giving ourselves as much time as it needs in order to happen. That’s another key strength of mine that I like to have – patience.

It’s all down to you, just remember that we all have strengths and weaknesses

I think it can take a lot of persistence, patience, and believing in yourself to get through any kind of year. Remember that you can dream big but you can’t have it all. You might see that some people do ‘have it all’ but you start to realise what’s important in your life. And your life is what matters the most. No matter what your strengths and weaknesses are, you can make things happen.

John Legend Delivers Darkness and Light Tour at Manchester Arena

Throughout September and the next couple of months, John Legend is performing in cities across Europe for his Darkness and Light tour. Several cities in the UK are also included such as: Manchester, Liverpool, and Cardiff. The ten-time Grammy Award-winning singer took to the stage at 9.00pm on Saturday 16 September at the Manchester Arena.

The excitement to the lead-up of seeing John Legend

I remember the day I purchased the tickets via Live Nation UK for the Manchester date. I was on my lunch break at work and I went running into the office to grab my purse once it said I was through to the transaction stage. That’s it – I had a big smile on my face because me and Danny were going to see John Legend. We were lucky enough already to have seen Ed Sheeran at the O2 in June.

Supporting act, Jack Savoretti opened the evening with a range of his songs. We hadn’t heard his songs before. We were pleased to see he had a good voice and wasn’t one those supporting arts that you aren’t too keen on. But of course, we were here for the main event – the one and only, John Legend.

Everyone began to scream and that’s the moment we all knew that John was there on stage. From the first song to the last, you could see the amount of passion John put into his songs. You could see the sweat dripping from his face and his shirt. This didn’t stop him though. He carried on delivering his incredible performance.

John Legend and his piano – simply amazing
John legend Manchester arena

Have you ever known anyone to stand on the piano as they perform? Well, I don’t think I did until John Legend. His voice is so soothing and he kept everyone in a mellow loving mood all evening. He even invited a woman onto the stage and slow danced with her. Chrissy Teigen is definitely a lucky woman.

Taking us back to 2004, we listened to John singing the throwback, Used to Love U. My favourite songs of the evening were You & I (Nobody in the World), Ordinary People, I Know Better, and All of Me. Seeing him live made we listen to the meaning of the lyrics to all of the songs even more so than listening to him through my earphones through my phone or laptop.

John is so inspired by love and his family, including his daughter, Luna who featured with Chrissy in the background montage. There were many couples that came along to see him at Manchester Arena. And I think it’s fair to say that we were all feeling the love. For those who weren’t with a significant other, he said you could just turn to me, and tell me (I love you).

It’s crazy to think that some stars are in the same city as you and you’re so much closer to them in real life than a screen you watch with their music videos. I can’t believe I nearly forgot to mention that we were upgraded. The upper tier didn’t sell out so we were much closer to the stage on the left hand-side. Overall, it was such an incredible night.

An amazing night

We were so lucky to be here on this night. Thank you, John Legend, for a wonderful evening. I can’t believe that I’m only one more singer away from seeing my dream list of most-wanted-to-see singers in the world.

How Patience and Persistence Helps You

Let’s talk about how patience helps you. And how persistence can help too. In July 2015 I wrote a post about aspirations and happiness. I said it then and I still believe now it now more than ever. You may wonder what I’m referring to… and that’s patience and persistence. These are two of the things which are key to maintaining happiness. And holding onto that happiness can lead to a happy future.

Since then, I’ve been down but I got back up again. Living in a frequent shadow of fear. Not feeling my worth. Worrying what if… it was all part of the experience. I went through a stage where I felt worthless, especially when I was unemployed for longer than expected. But these things go to show us that life isn’t always what you expect it to be like.

The persistence side

I used to dread being asked the question, ‘Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ I don’t know do I?! Nevertheless I remembered the importance of persistence. Today I know where I see myself. Maybe it’s not exact but what I imagine the future to be like is close enough for now.

I (hope) to see a woman who’s more confident than she’s ever been. A woman who continues to follow everything that she believes in. She travels so far down the path, she finally can’t believe how far she’s come. I’ll see that while some fly or run, others walk. That’s exactly how I see it.

There’s nothing stopping me from flying but sometimes, no matter how hard you try, it just takes longer for you. You’ll have your time. And when it happens you’ll really know. I think I’m experiencing mine with a great organisation. I’ve embarked on a wonderful journey. New people who have opened new perceptions and new horizons. All I want to do is progress further on this journey and continue to learn new things.

Patience has helped me to see things differently

It’s helped me to find myself; a more relaxed version of me. A young woman who doesn’t worry about looking flawless for work. You know why? She wants to work. It’s more about being happy with the environment and then everything else follows.

When you’re happy, truly happy, it affects everything. The same goes for when you’re feeling down. You either send yourself into a downfall dungeon or to the highest of happy. And sometimes, you can feel like you’re in between.

Mum always tells me to walk, hold my head up high and breathe. I really do recommend this. Once you walk and look forward, you’re bettering your inner health as well as the outer perspectives of what surrounds you.

Now put persistence and patience together

The importance of keeping your persistence and patience that I mentioned last time really does pay off. Some of the best things happen when you least expect them to. Especially when you feel a lower sense of faith in yourself. Take this morning for instance, I woke up to an email to say I’m on Feedspot’s Top 100 UK Lifestyle Blogs.

It’s down to you to have more faith in yourself. Where do you want your future to take you? List 3 things and set yourself a goal. I know that you can do at least one of things. The biggest lesson that I’ve learnt in the past two years is to be myself. I wouldn’t be where I am today without it. I am comfortable within myself. I’m still working on some parts. But that’s one of the things on my list of things to achieve.

Throughout it all, no matter what challenges arise, I know what my forever is. It’s Danny. It helps me to keep believing in patience and persistence.