Deciding where to go for your next holiday

For anyone who is on a budget and limited to the number of holidays they can take, it can be tricky to decide where to go next.

Personally, I try to visit places I have never been before even though I do enjoy re-visiting places where I’ve made special memories. I hope one day to go back to Rhodes where my partner and I first went on holiday together back in 2010. Yet, we have decided that we want to see as much of the world as we can. This is part of the reason we went on our first skiing holiday this year. It was great to try something new and helped inspire us to try new things and visit new places.

Millennial Natalie and Ady Skiing in La Plagne

Millennial Natalie and Ady Skiing 1

In fact, there is a story to tell about how we ended up going to Rhodes. We were joking around with a brochure and said whichever place we land on that’s where we’ll go on our first holiday together. So, Rhodes it was!

It’s good to be spontaneous sometimes but it’s probably not a destination choosing exercise we would use in the future. Although it paid off that time, I’m thinking it was a lucky stab in the dark.

Millennial Natalie and Ady in Rhodes

Millennial Natalie and Ady in Rhodes

So for our next holiday I’m planning on using some of the following techniques to find the perfect destination:

  • Check out where the best festivals or parties will be around the globe at the time you’re planning on going away. It’s a great way to absorb the local culture. Although, make sure you book in advance for this!
  • Speak to a few experienced travel reps. There’s nothing like receiving word of mouth recommendations from someone who has been there and done it. We did this when we went to Kusadasi in Turkey. The travel rep gave us lots of amazing tips about where to go in a place that isn’t rife with tourists.
  • There are plenty of quizzes out there you can take which consider your personal budget, style of holiday preferred, and the weather conditions you would like. For example, there is a quiz by My Voucher Codes to find the perfect holiday. Zig Zag on Earth has written a review of some of these tools if you wanted to check it out.
  • Take a look at travel social media pages. There are literally thousands of keen travellers online who enjoy sharing their travel experiences and giving tips about where to go.
  • Listen to what family and friends have to say. They know you and have a good idea about what you would like from a holiday, so why not seek their input? My partner’s auntie and uncle used to be travel reps and they are amazing at giving advice about where to go.

Let me know how you choose your holiday destinations!

Natalie x

World Map

Quick tips to avoid catching a cold

It’s that time of year where everyone seems to catch a cold.

It’s so frustrating! When you’re just trying to get on with your day but you constantly have to blow your nose, you have no energy and you can’t breathe properly when trying to sleep.

I rarely get ill, so when I do it really bothers me. I try to take steps to avoid picking up the latest bugs going around and as they’re usually successful, I thought I would share them:

  • I start the day off with a drink of Effervescent Vitamin C that I buy from Tesco. It’s actually quite tasty and helps to boost your immune system. Make sure you get the one that includes Zinc for the best support.
  • Then I make sure I drink plenty of water to help flush the kidneys of toxins.
  • I also like to carry a bottle of hand sanitiser. It’s a good idea to sanitise your hands after handling communal things like train handles and things in the kitchen of the workplace. You can also use it after shaking someone’s hand. I use the Carex Moisture Plus Hand Gel, it’s portable and stops your hands from getting dry in winter months.
  • If you feel a cold coming on, sleeping with the window ajar helps keep fresh air circulating in the room.
  • Each night I try and make sure I get at least 8 hours of sleep, as if you are tired your body can’t fight as hard.

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I also pay to get the flu jab. I’ve heard that if you get the flu jab every year you pick up colds less and less over time.

Other than that eating your 5 a day fruit and vege and exercising regularly helps to keep your body fighting fit.

Do you have any tips for avoiding catching a cold?

Natalie x

Why everyone should try skiing

How I learnt to ski

In March 2017 I bought a monthly pass to the Chill Factore in Manchester, ahead of my first skiing holiday. I had taken a beginner’s day lesson a year earlier than this, so was able to ski to a very basic level.

I highly recommend beginners to top up any lessons by going and practicing on their own. You kind of teach yourself and get better naturally. It also gives you that independence and confidence to know you can ski by yourself before heading out on those big mountains.

Our skiing holiday to La Plagne in France

So, once I had mastered coming down from the top of the Chill Factore slope I was pretty much ready to jet off to France. My partner and I went with a large group of skiing ‘experts’, who go skiing every year. His auntie and uncle used to be ski holiday reps, so we had lots to live up to.

Some of the Ski Group - La Plagne 2017

Some of the Ski Group – La Plagne 2017

I am happy to say we did not disappoint! Despite it being our first holiday and the snow conditions being the worst they could remember for a lack of snow, we were able to make it up to the glacier and ski all the way back to the resort before the end of our week’s holiday.

Millennial Natalie at the Top of the Glacier

Millennial Natalie at the Top of the Glacier

The whole group were impressed and we were suitably chuffed with our achievements. It made the hard work worth it and I would definitely recommend anyone considering learning to ski to do so.

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Some of the key benefits of learning to ski:

  • Skiing is a great life skill to have. Learning to ski is on many people’s bucket list and it’s great to be able to say you know how to ski.
  • It improves your fitness and you can have fun whilst you exercise.
  • Skiing makes for an active holiday combined with lots of fun and apres-ski! Definition of aprèsski: social activity after a day’s skiing.

Our next holiday

As we sacrificed our summer break to go skiing, we decided that our 2018 holiday will be in the summer. This unfortunately means we will likely not be going on a skiing holiday next year.

Although we’re not going on a holiday, we’ll be sure to make a couple of visits to the Chill Factore so we don’t become rusty for when we next decide to go on a skiing holiday. I would love to try skiing somewhere like Austria, Switzerland or even Canada in the future.

So why not give it a shot?

In the meantime, here’s a quick guide for learning to ski.

Natalie x

Getting your Makeup done by a MUA

When it comes to makeup, if I’m being honest I don’t make much of an effort. I just use moisturiser, foundation, concealer and mascara for my daily routine.

Although, if I’m feeling extra glam I will put some eyebrow gel, eye shadow, contour kit and maybe some lipstick on. This is strictly reserved for nights out otherwise I just don’t have the time. Who has an hour a day to put their makeup on anyway?!

In recent years there has been a significant rise in popularity of makeup artists, following increased use of social platforms like Instagram where images of flawless celebs dominate. Young girls and women aspire to achieve that professional makeup look.

My cousin, Kayleigh Grace, is an amazing MUA. She somehow manages to make my face look flawless – not a blemish in sight.KG Makeup LogoIn fact she is the only person I trust to do my makeup…

Millennial Natalie Kayleigh Grace MUA Before and After

Millennial Natalie – Kayleigh Grace MUA Before and After

As you can see from this before and after she really does a great job.

Having my makeup done always gives me a confidence boost and makes me feel better. I definitely recommend it when you want to treat yourself for special occasions. Plus it gives you one less thing to have to do when getting ready.

Kayleigh is based near Manchester and also does mobile appointments. Check out the Kayleigh Grace Facebook page. She has over 3,600 likes! There’s plenty of pictures to see examples of her work.

Here’s another picture of me from last year with the glam Glitter Lips look…

Millennial Natalie with makeup done for charity ball

Millennial Natalie with makeup done for charity ball

With a rise in the number of beauty salons offering makeup services, be sure to check out their work online and see what other people have to say before booking an appointment.

Take care,

Natalie x

For the love of crisps (or chips if you’re American)

Okay, so I really do have a thing for crisps. I try and limit myself to a pack a day, to keep my consumption under control (whoops!).

In general I prefer savoury snacks to sweet one’s and will opt for a starter above a dessert in a restaurant.

I genuinely could not tell you what my favourite kind of crisps are. If I were to name some that spring to mind, however, I am a big fan of:

  • Doritos;
  • Monster Munch;
  • Chipsticks;
  • Frazzles;
  • Sensations;
  • McCoys;
  • French Fries;
  • Hula Hoops;
  • …And a good old pack of traditional Walkers.

As a crisp lover, it does annoy me when I’m looking forward to tucking into a pack only to see most of it is empty. I swear it didn’t use to be like this?

I was surprised to read recently that crisp packets contain up to 72% air. I feel cheated. Is it a cost saving exercise? Is it something to do with freshness? Are they trying to make you think there are more to justify the cost? Maybe it’s to do with tougher regulations placed upon unhealthy food manufacturer’s?

Apparently, one of my guesses is correct. Appliance manufacturers CDA commissioned research which found that Nitrogen is added to crisp packets in order to keep them fresh. So the more space in the packet for Nitrogen, the longer the best before date of the crisps. Interesting!

They suggest a compromise is needed to avoid misleading consumers. So, this means there’s still some empty space to preserve freshness but not too much to cause disappointment.

crisps-main-infographic

A humorous article by The Telegraph reveals the outrage sparked by Oxford student Adam Higgins’s ‘definitive’ crisp ranking.

The five-tier ranking placed original Hula Hoops, Pom Bears and Lightly Salted Kettle Chips as the best flavours. The ‘S*** tier’ included popular classics like Walkers Salt & Vinegar, Skips, and Twiglets.

Crisp Ranking

CREDIT: ADAM HIGGINS

Thousands of people took to Twitter to debate the topic. It demonstrates just how passionate we can be as a nation about the potato based snack.

Now I must go, I have a sudden crisp craving.

Natalie x

PS. What’s your favourite packet of crisps?

Millennial’s Monthly Update – September 2017

September was a busy month for me…

University

I finished my Master’s in Digital Marketing Communications, having submitted my dissertation (woohoo).

Millennial Natalie's MSc Dissertation Hand In

Millennial Natalie’s MSc Dissertation Hand In

There’s some exciting news to follow about this, as my supervisor would like me to present what I did to people in the local digital marketing agency community.

Work social

I went on a work social to Roxy Ballroom in Manchester. It was great fun! Much prefer getting stuck into activities like table tennis, beer pong and pool on a night out than just drinking at the bar. It also ended with a merry trip to a karaoke bar, where we all suitably embarrassed ourselves – which included a spontaneous rendition of Eminem’s Without Me from myself (guilty pleasure).

Roxy Ballroom Manchester

Roxy Ballroom Manchester

An old friend

My oldest friend came back to Manchester from London for the weekend to celebrate her birthday. It was great to catch up with her!

Although, I managed to break my phone screen for the second time in one month, having never broken a phone in my life. I blame the Samsung Galaxy Edge that I bought recently – it’s so slippery and seems to damage very easily.

A trip to Alton Towers

The following Monday I went on a long overdue trip to Alton Towers theme park with my cousin. Although we got stuck in traffic on the way, the weather held out and the queues were minimal. Having grown up together, my cousin and I enjoyed reminiscing about past times at Alton Towers and other theme parks. We also enjoyed a day of cheat food, from a Mc Donald’s breakfast, to chicken wraps, pizza, donuts and a Costa Coffee. I really ought to stop eating out so much. Anyway, we managed to get on all the big rides and still make it home before rush hour, after an obligatory trip to the gift shop of course.

Other things

I bought my outfit ahead of a charity ball I am going to in October, in aid of a close friend of my partner and I who sadly lost his battle with cancer aged just 22. It’s a 1920’s Gatsby theme so should be an interesting event. More to follow on this.

I also booked tickets to Sean Paul for November (cheesy I know). Let’s hope that will live up to expectations.

To close the month, a good friend of mine arranged an evening out in Manchester, where we went bowling and grabbed some food at All Star Lanes, followed by an alcohol fuelled late night at Panacea. Needless to say, the following day was spent feeling sorry for ourselves.

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With lots to come I look forward to sharing the goings on of October with you. Let’s hope I can shake this cold off ASAP.

Until next time,

Natalie x

A piece of the blogging action

Well I have finally done it, I’ve gotten around to starting a blog. *3 cheers*

I’m very excited to start sharing my thoughts with you!

So, last month I completed a Masters in Digital Marketing Communications at Manchester Metropolitan Business School. Inspired by my course, it totally made sense for me to join the blogging world. And here I am.

Manchester Worker Bee

Manchester worker bee represents Manchester being the rebirth of the industrial revolution

I currently work part time at a digital content marketing agency in Manchester. As part of my role I work on blogger engagement campaigns with a host of clients. This has allowed me to work with some amazing bloggers and I’m keen to get a piece of the blogging action.

I can get lost reading blogs, before I know it I’m 8 pages deep exploring and generally having a great time. It’s a handy way to get things off your chest, make friends with people who you would not normally get the chance to and improve your writing skills. Not to mention, it gives me a chance to see things from a bloggers perspective and learn new things about the industry.

Top reasons to start a blog

I’m not too sure what my blog is going to focus on yet but I am looking forward to sharing with you the things that I’m getting up to and the everyday thoughts I have. Expect to hear about travel, food and lifestyle, though.

Here’s a recent picture of me on a night out with friends. Although, I’ve had my make up done here so I don’t usually look as polished…

Image of Millennial Natalie

Millennial Natalie

I’m keen to make friends in the blogging world so give me a follow and maybe even share some of your tips if you’re feeling extra kind!

You can also contact me or read a bit more about me.

Ciao for now,

Natalie x