3 reasons why cruising is the best in winter

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Raise your hand if you’ve just been day dreaming about sailing away somewhere (if you weren’t you are now right?) Unending stretches of blue sea, gentle tropical breezes, and the oh so sweet scent of sun tan lotion. Cocktails, bikinis, and deliciously hot temperatures all feature in the equation too.


What most of us don’t envisage is sailing away in winter. My family is big on cruising, mum & dad love their mini winter cruises – perfect for washing away the winter blues. Here’s just three reasons why wintertime cruising is, in my opinion, the best.


#1: You’ll Gain a More Authentic Experience of Other Cultures

 The British summertime is peak holiday season, and it’s when most tourists choose to travel abroad. A lot of countries have an economy that relies heavily on tourism, and locals tend to seize on this trend by creating exactly the experience that foreigners usually want. This means that overseas destinations can vary dramatically between summer and winter, with a far more authentic experience available for those who decide to travel later in the year. If you want to see a country or area as the locals do, then the winter months are the best time to visit.


#2: You Can See How Other Countries Celebrate Christmas

Although eastern countries tend to celebrate different religious holidays, a large portion of Europe and the western world is predominantly Christian, and other locales know how to celebrate the Christmas season in style. Much of Europe has its own unique traditions, which vary from destination to destination. Why not experience a sprinkling of snow in Sweden, the famed Chriskindlemarkt of Nuremberg, and the traditional winter cuisine of Norway? The world away from home still turns in November and December, and a cruise will help you to see the best of it.


#3: You Can Escape the Worst of the Winter Weather

 If travelling abroad when it’s cold doesn’t appeal to you, then cruises could still be the perfect choice for you. Most companies are not limited to offering European packages; they travel all over the world, with lots of exotic destinations as part of their itinerary. Spend a month or more escaping from the winter weather, enjoying the heat of South America or South Africa. When your own country is cold, what could be better than fleeing grey skies and rain, and sailing away on an unforgettable journey overseas?


It can be a bit trickier to track down off season deals but companies like Cruise Deals make it a little easier – with a fantastic selection of packages available to choose from.



Have you ever seriously thought about getting away for some winter sun? 



Feeling Autumnal


nationaltrust-4Autumn and the run up to Christmas is my favourite time of the year. I love summer but nothing makes me happier than the leaves changing, chilly mornings and the blinding sun Autumn can bring. It means Halloween, Bon Fire Night and Christmas are all just around the corner and we get festive lattes, big socks and hot water bottles back in our lives!


For me, Autumn the best time of year for exploring. You still get the occasional beautiful day but without the blistering heat of summer, meaning you’re free to wander without breaking too much of a sweat.


Last weekend we went to Tyntesfield – a big old Victorian gothic revival house just on the outskirts of Bristol. Once belonging to the Gibbs family – new money & politics – the National Trust bought it in 2001. I love National Trust properties and obviously being a History Grad I’m a little biased but there’s just something so magical about stepping back in time and viewing the world through the eyes of someone who lived hundreds of years ago. Tyntesfield is certainly no exception – a little smaller than some National Trust properties I’ve been too but full of beauty and character – and probably the most impressive ensuite I’ve ever seen.



Naturally I stopped off during our hike around the grounds to take some outfit photos in the oh so beautiful surroundings. I’m quite proud of his outfit, the dress and white top were bought for £2 each in a local charity shop! The dress is Next and the top M&S.


I’ve recently been rediscovering the joys of second hand, I feel like we throw far too much away when there are far too many people who go without. A few months ago Tara & I went to a fashion salvage event at a local warehouse run by Bristol Textile Recyclers – a company that sorts through peoples unwanted clothes and either sells them, sends them off the developing countries or recycles them. The fashion industry is responsible for so much of our waste and I think as fashion lovers we have a responsibility to ethically dispose of our unwanted items.



This day was also finally the day I got to use my much loved picnic basket (another charity shop find)! I was so excited about using it that I forgot to take pictures with it open in all it;s glory – packed full with sandwiches, iced tea and cupcakes. Never the less, the day was made entirely more perfect because of this most favourite British pastime. My only regret? That we didn’t stay for the game of croquet!
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Treating my feet with ClearZal*


Moving house is, as everyone tells me, one of the most stressful things you can do, right up there with planning a wedding and having a baby – basically, proper grown up stuff that I’m sure I’m not old enough to be handling.


Now we’re in and very-nearly-almost settled and unpacked I’ve decided to try and look after myself a little more. During the move my healthy diet, beauty regime and sleep quality all took a bashing while wallpaper stripping and packing took priority (as well as working full time, yeah I can buy a house with no holiday time left I said, it’ll be fine I said…).


First on my list is to get my feet feeling a little more loved. I don’t know about you but when my feet are looking a little worse for wear, I feel a little worse for wear. Y’know that feeling of a fresh pedi when you have a little spring in your step? That’s what I need right now!


Cue Clearzal(!) who were kind enough to send me some of their best selling products to review. Clearzal is one of the U.K.’s leading Footcare brands, with a focus on quality and effectiveness. Specifically developed for the care of your feet, legs and nails, the Clearzal range contains pharmaceutical grade ingredients and is used by Podiatrists and Foot Health Professionals all over the world!



Tea Tree Foot Soak

‘Refreshes and softend the skin. A theraputic foot soak using a blend of Tea Tree, Peppermint and Eucalyptus’

This is the kind of thing you want to use after a long week on a Friday evening. It claims to clean and revitalise tired, aching feet and eliminate germs. All while not dehydrating the skin. I really like this and was pleasantly surprised at how relaxed it made me, the blend of tea tree, peppermint & eucalyptus made me feel like I was at a spa somewhere, not surrounded by unpacked boxes. Because I wear tights a lot I find it difficult to keep my feet fresh, I’ve used this once a week for the last few weeks and I’ve really noticed a difference.



Foot Food

‘For silky smooth, hydrated, conditioned feet and legs. Enriched with Aloe, Rosemary, Lavender & Thyme.’

Probably my favourite product, Clearzal’s Foot Food is rich in Urea and Aloe Vera that together prevent moisture loss by retaining the skin’s natural hydration. I get very dry and rough skin on my feet and this stuff works wonders! Again I love the smell too, the rosemary and lavender are very relaxing, perfect just before bedtime. Use a couple of times a week, apply before bed to give it chance to work!



Exfoliating Scrub

‘All natural pumice with an aloe vera base. Conditions feet and legs with essential oils and vitamins.’

I’ve been using this in the shower, once or twice a week and it’s been really helping to keep my rough skin at bay! Not only does it make my feet feel squeaky clean, it also makes them feel super soft after use. Most scrubs make my skin feel tingly and dry after use but this one manages to do it all. No doubt because of it’s aloe vera, soy oil, jojoba oil and vitamins A, D & E!



Antimicrobial Foot Cleanser

‘Ideal for use at home, fitness centres, spas and community shower areas. Refreshes, cleans and deodorises. Soothes itching and skin irritation.’

I think this is the product I have been most impressed with – in terms of the difference it’s made! As I mentioned keeping my feet fresh can be challenging, wearing tights a lot for work and walking during the commute. I’ve been using this again, a couple times a week and oh my, what a difference! I’m no longer afraid to slip my shoes off under the desk (TMI? sorry not sorry!) This stuff contains a whole host of goodness to fight fungus and bacteria (99.9% of it in fact)


Overall I’ve been super super impressed by Clearzal products, they just work. Have you every tried any of their products? You can get them from their site here



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