Lockdown | A Day In My Life In 10 photos

As we each learn to adapt to our “new normal”, I thought I’d share with you my newest day to day routine that I have adopted over the last 8 weeks. Although life has become a lot more remote, in many ways I am a lot more connected to my friends and family; something so important to keep us going and staying positive during lockdown. Today I am sharing with you just some of the things that I get up to in a “typical” day in just 10 photos.

1. Morning Routine

I am lucky that my job allows me to continue to work from home.  I still “begin” my work day at 8:00 AM, but take advantage of the extra sleep, waking up between 7:00 – 7:45 AM (typically the latter), rather than my usual 6:30 AM wake-up call. After this extra lie in, I often shower first thing in the morning to help get my day started.

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2. I always make sure I change into clothes that aren’t pyjamas, particularly as a lot of my day is spent on video calls. Some days I choose jeans so that I am more in “work mode” (or just sensor checking these still fit),  but I mostly like to keep it comfy with either a pair of joggers or some activewear.

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3. A staple in my morning routine is to keep my skin moisturized, even on make-up free days. Here are some of my most used products with those extra items that help give me a glow!

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4. Working Hours

Fortunately I have a desk in my room which looks out onto a window, meaning I get a lot of natural daylight helping keep the blues at bay.  This is where you would find me and my typical WFH set up!

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4. Next of course, tea – and lots of it!

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5.  Daily walks; I go for a walk every day for around 30 – 60 minutes either on my lunch break or after work. If I don’t have any company I love to walk around my local village listening to a podcast or video calling my boyfriend.

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6. Post Work

Exercise! I began a workout series in the new year and somehow have stuck to it. The first 4-6 weeks, I exercised 3 times a week. Today marks my 16th week and I’m so happy to say I’ve been managing exercising 5 days a week, on top of the walks. These exercises consists of a mixture of Pilates, HIIT, weights and the occasional run here and there.

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7. One thing that I always vowed to do more of when I was commuting to work, was making the conscious effort to be creative. Now that I have those 2 hours a day back in my life, I am utilizing them. Whether it’s editing videos or writing, I am really enjoying having the creative buzz back in my life! However some days, I use this allotted time to video call either my family, friends or boyfriend (as we don’t live together so are separately self-isolating). Oh and I keep a bottle of water to hand so I don’t forget to hydrate during these hours where time seems to disappear!

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8. Cleanse & Night Time Routine 

Just as we have our morning rituals, I make sure I stick to an evening routine to help me wind down. Removing my make-up properly and changing into pyjamas an hour or two before I go to bed, helps me mentally unwind from the day and prepare for sleep. Plus, it’s important to continue some of those good habits you formed pre-quarantine life!

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9. Herbal Teas – I also like to have a hot drink before bed to enjoy with my number 10…

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10. Watching one of my favourite series! Recently I finished watching This Is Us, which is available on Amazon Prime video. It will have you crying one minute and laughing the next!

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I hope you enjoyed this blog post! Let me know what your working from home/ self-isolation routine looks like in 10 photos and make sure to tag me in it!

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20 Things That Made Me Smile In March

Touching the Surface of Amsterdam

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Travel Vlog | LA Part 1

Travel Vlog | LA Part 2

Travel Vlog | Palm Springs

Travel Vlog | San Diego!

Dear 2010’s

Dear 2010’s,

We’ve had many fun memories along the way,
Ones that have really shaped me to be who am I today,

2010 – you were great,
I celebrated my sweet 16 with all of my mates,

2011 – The year of the rave,
But oh – how we misbehaved!

2012 – The Olympics came to town,
Although my studies, made me frown,

2013 – University, moving out,
All of a sudden how grown up I felt,

But it was not so simple, to make friends like me,
It was tough to do so, being sure of myself, whilst getting a degree,

2014 – You taught me to be careful with my money,
As some may try to trick you and think that it’s funny!

2015 – I continued to work hard and studied,
Along the way I made some close buddies,

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2016 – Ready and willing to try and stand on my own 2 feet,
The job market was tough, how could I compete?

2017 – I felt more adult, a job in hand,
Yet it felt like I needed more planned,

2018 – I travelled and saw some of the USA,
I soon landed a new job in the city, yay!

2019 – I was hopeful, but soon you knocked me for six,
A turn of events meant loved ones were sick,

Through these challenges, I grew and learned to rise,
Learning it’s not all written in the skies,

Oh 2010’s how much you gave,
It really was an interesting decade,

From bad fashion trends, thin eyebrows and bouffant quiffs,
To school exams, house parties and friendship tiffs,

Enjoying sleepovers pulling all nighters,
As I grew older, my hair got lighter,

Relating to the cliché of what it means to be me,
Alongside climbing the career tree,

Some friendships have gone and others have stood the test of time,
I found my best friend in the first love of mine,

Now 2020 is here and what can I say?
I don’t know who you are, or what you will you bring me today,

I’ve learned to be stronger, believe and aim high,
It may not all be smooth sailing, I’m sure there will be a few sighs,

Dear 2010’s – I bid you Adieu,
– Excited and inspired –

2020’s, I’m ready for you.

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California Travel Diaries |A Weekend in San Diego

California Travel Diaries | Palm Springs

In a town not so far away from Los Angeles, there is a place that exudes relaxation. Looking for a couple night’s romantic getaway? Look no further…from hot springs, stylish hotels, golf courses and spas, Palm Springs is the place to rid you from all of your worries.

The Basics

When: July 2018
Where: Palm Springs
What : San Jacindo Mountains, Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, Tahquitz Creek Golf Resort, Indian Canyons, Villagefest every Thursday evening,  Moorton Botanical Garden, Palm Desert, Joshua Tree, Coachella Valley for hiking, biking and horseback riding trails or the festival in the Spring!

Thursday 12th July – Day 32

I had an ‘A-ha’ moment when we began driving through Palm Springs. Aesthetically somewhere along the line, this is how I imagined Los Angeles to look like in my head. No traffic, palm tree after palm tree with the San Jacinto Mountains complimenting this already beautiful backdrop. Palm Springs also encompasses the magic of added Hollywood star dust sprinkled throughout the streets on the homes that once belong to the likes of Sinatra, Bob Hope and even Elvis. However in 108 Degrees Farenheit, one thing was for sure, we were definitely in the desert. I was really excited for a change of scenery and although Palm Springs is known for it’s spas, our budget friendly pockets swapped this luxury for a hot tub and pool in our next Airbnb.

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A snap captured on my iPhone driving in the car through Palm Springs

Our next host was an eccentric guy who proudly displayed his Christmas tree (in July), as well as a disco ball hanging from the ceiling. Chatty and welcoming, we learned that he was a chef to the stars, who kindly gave us a long list of recommendations of places to eat during out short stay. It seemed our luck had changed as soon as we left LA as it was restaurant week in Palm Springs. This is a clever incentive to persuade customers to venture outdoors into the heat, aided by some excellent deals; perfect timing for our short visit. For dinner we ate at Ac3 Restaurant and Bar where we had 3 courses for only $90 between two including wine.

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Ac3 Restaurant and Bar

We were keen to also experience Villagefest, the weekly Downtown Farmer’s Market having enjoyed it so much in SLO. However after driving around for a while we were unable to find it, so settled on a quick trip to Vons for some wine and sweet treats instead.

Tip: Villagefest is located here: P: 760-320-3781 – Palm Canyon Dr., Palm Springs, CA, 92262

When we got back from our meal, we were about to crack open the wine when our host tapped on the door, “Room service!”. Feeling somewhat confused for a moment, I cautiously opened the door and there he stood with home baked cookies for us, “Something to satisfy that sweet craving before bed”, he said with a smile. It seemed our host already knew us all too well and the Universe was repaying us. Although this also sounds like it could be the start to a thriller movie, it was very thoughtful and the chocolate cookies he baked for us were delicious; we could see why the guy was a chef to the stars! Although it was still humid outside, we wanted to make the most of the novelty of the hot tub on a Summer’s night, so decanted our wine into some tumblers and sipped it in the hot tub under the stars. I could have definitely got used to weekend breaks like this.

Friday 13th July – Day 33
Our host who at this point you can already tell had a quirky side, was keen to point out a similarly quirky feature – the outdoor shower. He stated that although it was a space to cool off/shower before heading into the pool and hot tub outside, we could use it as our regular shower if we wanted. Of course we still had access to the indoor bathroom, but there was something quite freeing about the option of showering outside, particularly as most of the houses in Palm Springs are bungalows, so there was the comfort knowing there would be no peering eyes. That morning I embraced mother nature before having a quick morning dip in the pool.

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Cacti, Palm Springs

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Palm Springs, July 2018

For brunch we visited a good old fashioned American Diner – Elmers. This was one of the second times we experienced the huge portion sizes that the States is famous for and we were so very grateful for every mouth and plateful! Although it was 42 Degrees Celsius at this point, I needed an excuse to walk off the huge amount of food we had consumed, so took a small stroll (mostly drive) to Downtown Palm Canyon Drive. This is known for it’s string of vintage boutique shops and there are some great finds particularly at “The Shops at Thirteen Forty Five”. Here I am 18 months later, still kicking myself that I didn’t buy the perfect pair of vintage Levi shorts that fitted me so well!  Later that day we went for a drive around the cool streets of Palm Springs and found some Insta-famous spots such as The Pink Door.

During our visit we also wanted to go to the Moorten Botanical Garden but to our dismay it was closed. Instead we drove to the Ace Hotel for a swim and enjoyed a couple of frozen cocktails. These weren’t half bad priced either, as we paid about 50 dollars (including tip) for 4 drinks. During this trip, I could see why Palm Springs is so appealing to escape to. With it’s laid back attitude, Palm Springs is the perfect reset for a day or two.

Later on that evening we had one of the best meals we had out of our whole Californian road trip at another Restaurant Week showcaser… Spencer’s. If you fancy something a bit more elegant with some piano music but comfortable informality this is the place to go! Spencer’s is also dog friendly, very romantic and has won many awards, such as Best Wine List, Best Chef, Best Sunday Brunch and even Best Gluten Free. This meal was an absolute steal of a deal during Restaurant Week!

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Saturday 14th July – Day 34
The following morning we planned to experience the Aerial Tramway, but the 44 degree heat in combination with my potential freakout from the heights, we ultimately gave it a miss. Therefore we enjoyed one last chilled swim in the pool before making the 2 hour drive to our last Californian stop… San Diego!

If you liked this blog post remember to subscribe and check out the below:

The California Travel Diaries | Los Angeles (Part 1)

California Travel Diairies | Los Angeles (Part 2)

California Travel Diaries | Exploring Orange County

California Travel Diaries | A Whistle-Stop Tour of LA (Again)

Dublin | Travel Vlog!

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California Travel Diaries | Exploring Orange County

With 40 miles of coastline, it’s no wonder that many TV series have been set in this county. For me, the OC area has the right balance of a hustle and bustle with chilled beach vibes. It’s made up of 34 cities whilst also including the famous Disneyland and Knott’s Berry Farm along with stylish boutiques, stunning beaches where you can dig your feet into the sand whilst admiring incredible sunsets. Arriving in our new Airbnb ahead of 4th July, upon first glances, we were impressed. A big empty and quiet house, with a pool and even an ensuite! My boyfriend and I were relieved as we were tired of the element of surprise we had experienced with the gamble of Airbnb’s so far. Arriving Monday evening after a day out in Universal Studios, we picked up some dinner and drinks at the Californian supermarket store, Vons, to kickback and relax for our fist evening in The OC.

The Basics

Where: Orange County

When: July 2018

Do: Disneyland, California Adventure Park, Beaches, Surfing, Knott’s Berry Farm, Hot Air Balloon rides in Santa Ana, Fashion Island, The LOT (with trivia nights every Monday, Taco Tuesday’s and  3AM films), Laguna Beach Wilderness Park, South Coast Plaza Boutiques, Balboa Fun Zone, Atomic Ballroom which hosts different dances every night of the week (Ballroom, Salsa, Western, Viennese Waltz to even Rock’n’Roll!)

See: Downtown Anaheim Market, Environmental Nature Centre for walking and exploring the famous California redwood forests, Sherman Library and Gardens, Whale Watching at Newport Beach, The Art Walk at Laguna Beach (happens on the first Thursday of every month between 6 PM and 9 PM)

Eat: Amazing Cakes – This bakery is meant to be a hidden gem. With so much fresh seafood in the area, it it also a great opportunity to support local fisherman. There is also a big Middle Eastern community in Anaheim, so a visit to Little Arabia is supposedly great for food, although I didn’t have time to visit. If you fancy living the high life visit Casa Laguna Hotel & Pacific Edge Hotel on Laguna Beach

Tuesday 2nd July – Day 24
It seems we were lulled into a sense of false security as the next day our suspicions were confirmed. We woke up to a strange atmosphere in the Airbnb. With lots of other guests in the house that we hadn’t met the night before and our host nowhere to be seen, we were unsure if these people were other renters or perhaps family members visiting our hosts for 4th July. Being British and not wanting to offend, we made some small talk. However, as I searched the kitchen for some cutlery to use for breakfast, I was quite distressed to discover dirty dishes with food still on them stored in a cupboard drawer. Mortified but not wanting to draw too much attention, we decided to eat out and kept ourselves to ourselves. We were luckily distracted by the Football World Cup where England were playing and excitingly made it through to the next round!

Shortly after, we went to the local mall for a wander before driving to Newport Beach to relax with an ice cream.  We happily explored the main beach and found a local Aldi to get some food and drinks ready for 4th July.

Tip: If you’re looking for a relaxed and more private beach to enjoy some sunny rays, head on over to Corona Del Mar for a more quiet and romantic getaway spot. We missed out on this which was a shame, as there is meant to be a fantastic view from the staircase at the end of the coastline of the bay with some terrific homes to marvel at.

Wednesday 4th July – Day 25
I had always wanted to experience 4th July in the States. In the UK we celebrate Bonfire Night on 5th November, but there has always been something quite magical about the idea of seeing fireworks light up the sky on a warm Summer’s night. Dressed with a hint of red and blue, we decided to spend the afternoon at Huntington Beach. Sprawled with couples and families eating and celebrating, with a few food stalls along the beach, we joined in on the festivities. After a while, the beach became a bit overwhelming with the amount of people flocking in. However we held out as we assumed there would be a great spectacle unfolding soon, having previously witnessed the entertainment at baseball games. Sadly, we were disappointed by the lack of atmosphere, busy crowds and no music; the fireworks in comparison to the UK seemed mediocre. However, we trie to remain positive and enjoyed some wine and were happy that we could experience 4th July in California. As we walked back to try and order an Uber home, we walked through the local neighbourhood and noticed many jovial house parties and late night BBQ’s being hosted in front gardens. Should I ever visit the States for this holiday again I’ll ensure I have an invite to a party like this. Since this visit, my brother has moved to America so I expect that this will definitely be on the cards!


Huntington Beach, July 2018

Thursday 5th July – Day 26
The next day I found my own Heaven on Earth in a little place called Laguna beach. With 30 coves and beaches to discover, if you like a bit of luxury with access to the outdoors, Laguna Beach is the place to be. With paddle boarding, snorkeling, surfing, hiking in Laguna Coast Wilderness Park, beachfront lodging and a large range of one-of-a-kind boutiques all on offer, this is every beach bum’s dream. Laguna Beach is also known as an artist’s colony with a range of at least 12 festivals occurring annually with more than 80 art galleries and 400 working artists in the area.

Fun Fact: Did you know that all of Laguna’s marine refuge system is a fully protected marine reserve, meaning that nothing can be fished for, touched, or removed from this area. It also has a Sister City Partnership with St. Ives in England!

We browsed the boutiques and I was so tempted to buy everything in sight, particularly from the home store Tuvalu! For lunch we headed to Tommy’s Bahama for a bit of Mexican food, followed by checking out Main Beach by Crystal Cove State Park to admire some waves. Later on that afternoon we took a short 15 minute drive to Fashion Island. As suggested by the name this massive mall is very impressive. From shopping, restaurants and bars to even a cinema, there is so much to do here and is a step up from the UK’s equivalent of Westfield. We decided to go to catch a movie at The LOT which was well worth the money. With reclining armchairs and service to your seat so you don’t miss one moment of your film, we couldn’t miss the opportunity. We decided to watch The Antman and the Wasp and it’s safe to say that every cinema experience sice this just hasn’t compared! Tip: Fashion Island is closest to Corona Del Mar Beach (approx. 4 min drive).

Friday 6th July – Day 26

We had initially planned and budgeted to go to Disneyland this day but the whole time we were in OC, a massive heatwave hit. On this day it was 43 degrees Celsius, a temperature I have only experienced in Turkey whilst having the ocean breeze to cool me down and nothing to do but relax and take shelter in the shade. Weighing up our options, my boyfriend downloaded the Disneyland app to check queue waiting times for rides. It seemed Californian’s and holidaymakers were taking on the weather, as the ride wait times were still chocablocked. Therefore we made the heart wrenching decision to give the theme park a miss. To cheer ourselves up, we grabbed some beers, fruit and snacks and decided to keep cool instead. With our Airbnb being more quiet, we took full advantage and had a dip in the pool.

Saturday 7th July – Day 27
Although it was getting cooler, it was still a boiling 38 degrees. This was our last morning in The OC before heading back to LA for the weekend. As we had missed the majority of the Football World Cup we decided to head to a pub and catch the Croatia vs Russia game. We luckily found The Olde Ship –  a British pub which after nearly a month away, we were very happy to be reacquainted with! I was planning to take a trip around Melrose once we arrived back in LA, but convincing my boyfriend that it was a great idea to trapse around the shops and get some pictures in the heat, didn’t go down as I planned.

Sunset on 4th July at Huntington Beach

There is so much to see in the OC and if it hadn’t been for the heatwave and different time of year, we would have definitely done more on my list! Have you ever been to the OC? If so, what recommendations do you have? I definitely see myself returning here one day so I would love to know!

If you liked this blog post remember to subscribe and check out the below:

The California Travel Diaries | Los Angeles (Part 1)

California Travel Diairies | Los Angeles (Part 2)

Dublin | Travel Vlog!

Summer Recap 2019 | Love Island, Vlogging & Goodbye’s

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Summer Recap 2019 | Love Island, Vlogging & Goodbye’s

With chillier mornings and shorter days now upon us, waking up to the sound of birds at 5am seems a distant memory. Welcome back to those of you who have followed me for a while and hello to any new readers! I am so glad you’ve stumbled upon my blog. I hope you all have had a lovely last few months (eek has it really been that long), with many a Prosecco or Pimm’s sipped throughout the British heatwave. What a Summer we have had, eh!

I thought I would take this first post back on the blog, to catch you up on what I got up to throughout my Summer 2019 as I’ve been pretty absent in the bloggersphere. I also thought this would be a great opportunity to recap and get back on track as my last few posts have been quite reflective or travel orientated, and with Autumn being the season of change, it seemed apt to sign off the Summer season before we head into knitwear weather!

Usually when I have a break from writing it’s a sign of me taking time to recuperate or focusing my time and energy on one area of my life at a time. However, the last 4 months since blogging I’ve quite honestly just been busy. Busy due to some (self-inflicted) distractions, busy with holidaying (bank holidaying and abroad), busy with my job (longer hours), and just generally being out of my routine as I tried to make the most of being in the now, enjoying every moment that I could with family and friends. All in all, this made up for a very busy, but very memorable Summer- one that I’d love to capture on this blog.

Let’s start at the beginning. Love Island. Having missed most of the series last year and now currently working in a very young office, I knew that I would be involved in the conversations about it at work one way or another. I had a feeling that there would be no escaping, whether it was memes flooding my social media or daily conversations over my morning cuppa as I checked my emails at work. I was right! So I committed myself to watching it for one hour a day, five days a week and quite honestly, that was my June and July in a nutshell. But wait, let me justify why absorbing my time into Love Island was so satisfying. My current workplace is very fast-paced and the Summer months saw my team understaffed, meaning more pressure to hit the same deadlines and meet expectations, but with the added challenge of Summer hours. Although early Friday finishes are a great perk and motivation, (something that I would love to instill all year round should I ever run a business), this meant that a lot of my energy was concentrated on my “9 – 5” self. By the time I came home after a tiring day at work, all I really wanted to do was eat, watch Love Island and find out which couple would survive Caroline Flack’s twists and turns, and get a good night sleep. By the end of June, one month into Love Island, I treated myself to a much needed break to Cyprus with my boyfriend!

Throughout my nine days on holiday in the Cypriot heat, I soaked in the familiar and comforting beaches I now know so well. After a few days of R&R, I ventured into my next project that I had been procrastinating for months. The world of vlogging and editing. At last, I finally began focusing on editing footage that I captured from the California Travel Diaries in action along with a few trips I had taken around Europe in the late Spring! However, as soon as I returned back home, I quickly learned that balancing working full time with blogging, editing videos and sleeping enough is a challenge and a half… and I haven’t even published anything yet! So in July, I decided I could no longer let Love Island rule my life, and wanted to get back into the swing of things and invest time in my new hobby. So I turned to my favourite online creators, and eagerly tried to discover their secret to my question, Can Millennials Have It All  and how do they seemingly do it all? Their answer – not so glamorous. In short, achieving anything worthwhile involves: being consistent, showing up, putting the effort in, making sacrifices and lastly, holding yourself accountable. Whatever your dream, side hustle or passion that you may desire to make your full time job, unfortunately it won’t be a reality if you wait for the day until “you have time” to come. You have to make the time. Something I allowed Love Island among other things to take away from me!

Soon enough, August snuck up on me. With further British heatwaves, bank holidays, Summer book reading lists, an even busier work schedule compensated by lots of Summer work socials, I found myself quite literally “living for the weekend”- a mentality I once swore never to have.

August was also filled with a theme of goodbye’s. Any spare evenings I had coming back from work were spent with family, as one of my brothers was preparing to make the move to the States ahead of his upcoming wedding. I chose to make memories with my family and be well rested rather than tucked away in my room writing and editing – a decision I am very happy about. I captured some home videos with family, my future sister-in-law’s hen do, my brother’s and his fiancé’s leaving party and a family outing to to Wales. Although I may not be sharing them across my social media, I am so glad I have those short videos to look back on. At the end of the month, I was also spoiled with a fantastic reunion with two of my best friends who have been living abroad over the last two years! I may not haven been as present online as I would have liked to have been, however offline my heart has been full and those around me hopefully know just how much I have valued their time, friendship and the memories we have made.

September has continued with the theme of change as I gradually have said goodbye to my “#summervibes” hashtag; enjoying final picnics of the season, a late Summer Festival at Gunnersville, days spent at theme parks screaming and laughing on roller-coasters at the top of my lungs; September has so far been a great month. Autumn has also brought with it an unexpected job opportunity for me. As a creature of habit by nature, I am quite nervous to embark upon a new adventure. Nonetheless this is a great incentive to get myself back into a routine and present myself with an exciting challenge. So as we move into this new season, expect (long overdue) fun travel blog posts and vlogs to come! I can’t wait to share more with you all and I hope you’ll join me for the ride!

Natalia x

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