Friday, 26 June 2015

Longleat Safari Park

If you read my last post about Centerparcs, then you will know that I headed to Longleat Safari Park with Kirsty, Abi and Bella and a great day it was!

When we got to the zoo, we all piled into my car to go through the Safari. If you’ve never been to Longleat before then before you drive through the Safari, you get the chance to park up and get our of your car to see the giraffes and a few other animals. When I went last year, I didn’t get the chance to feed them but this time we rolled up right on time to feed them breakfast which was amazing. I managed to get a cheeky little video of me feeding one! Giraffes are such beautiful animals!

[video width="720" height="1280" m4v="http://adelesmith.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/IMG_1309.m4v"][/video]

IMG_1317Next we went to see some goats and then we walked with the lemurs. Check our this little guy posing and having the time of his life.

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#justchilling


We then jumped back in the car to go around the Safari, I didn’t that many great photos as I was driving.

We drove past the giraffes and zebras first, then past the stunning flamingoes (which I have a slight obsession with right now), before we entered the monkey enclosure.

I stupidly forgot to take the aerial off of my car which the monkeys had so much fun with!

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Next up were the rhinos which were insane and ostriches, camels and two different types of deer.

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The best bit was next, all of the big cats! We saw tigers, lions and cheetahs. They are all so beautiful and they all looked so peaceful as we drove post!

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The last part of the Safari were the wolves which again were so beautiful, we managed to get a close look at one of them before it lay back down again.

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We got back to the zoo area and headed straight to get some lunch as we were starving! We took a wander and walked with the meerkats who were so cute! After we headed over to the cruise boat and took a tour round the lake. This is one of my favourite parts of the zoo. You get to see the sea lions, which are bigger than me!, two hippos lying at the edge of the lake, one of the world oldest gorillas who loves to watch Spongebob Squarepants and a few younger gorillas. You also get the chance to throw fish to sea lions but I passed on this one!

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Also at the moment, there are dinosaur models that move every so often with sound effects, they were installed last month to go with the release of the Jurassic World movie. I’m a bit of a nerd and love all of this dinosaur stuff and I desperately want to see the film!

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Luckily, walking through the dinosaurs led to Penguin Island and we were able to walk through part of their enclosure but we had to keep our distance as they can bite, which is more difficult than it sounds when they have backed you into a corner!

IMG_1516Unfortunately, after that we had to head home as the others had trains to catch and we all had long journeys ahead of us! It was the perfect end to the weekend and I’m so glad to have spent an extra few hours with these 3!

Adele's Journey
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Wednesday, 24 June 2015

#BloggersInvadeCenterparcs

A week or so ago I was getting ready to go to Centerparcs in Longleat for a weekend with other bloggers to do a whole bunch of fun activities.

Now I know that you are probably thinking “why would you got to a forest in the middle of no where, where there is no signal, to stay in a lodge with bloggers you have never met? you must be crazy.” Well when you put it like that, I’m probably asking for something to go wrong. Fortunately I had met most of the group before so I wasn’t too nervous.

I met Kirsty in London the day before and we went to Lush on Oxford Street and Primark too, oops. We also met Vicky at Five Guys in Kingston for dinner which was lovely and we laughed way too much.

On the Friday, me and Kirsty made the drive down to Centerparcs and we were the first to arrive and Bella and Abi weren’t far behind. Soon enough Jess and Vicky arrived and Lodge 2 was complete!

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Jess and I cooked up a storm and made fajitas for dinner and we all bonded over our love for cheesestrings and blogging!

It is so very strange how you can put 6 girls together for a weekend and not have any awkwardness or bitchiness, except a mutual love for our favourite blogger…We all got on so well from the word go.

After dinner we headed to Lodge 1 to have a drink with Lauren, Rachel and the 3 Laura’s and yes, it got incredibly confusing sometimes! However, we were so exhausted we headed to bed around midnight which is past my bed time anyway!

#bloggersinvadecenterparcs

On the Saturday we had a very chilled out morning and we were made a lovely breakfast by Abi and Jess of croissants and fruit and a few other bits, very Instagram worthy of course, #bloggerproblems.

Whilst everyone else headed off for some Canoeing, Kirsty, Vicky and myself headed down to Jardin des Sport for a Starbucks and a game or five of badminton. I was crowned champion of course!

#bloggersinvadecenterparcs

#bloggersinvadecenterparcs

After we headed to the Sports Cafe for a spot of lunch as we were absolutely starving after so much running around. Then we play Adventure Golf which I may have won again! I’m just a pro…

Back at the lodge we started getting ready for our night on the town, so to speak and we stuck on a couple of films while we got ready. We ventured over to the Plaza to go to Hucks American Diner, which is definitely one of my favourite places to eat at Centerparcs. I had a burger and this amazing jam cocktail, don’t knock it till you try it!

#bloggersinvadecenterparcs

#bloggersinvadecenterparcs

#bloggersinvadecenterparcs

#bloggersinvadecenterparcs

We passed on dessert and went bowling, which is one of my favourite things to do as well. I may have won again, but it’s all about taking part obviously ;).

#bloggersinvadecenterparcs

You could say I was on a winning streak that day as I also got a call about a job interview. But all that excitement left me exhausted and I crashed at 11pm!

The Sunday was crazy relaxed, I made brunch for all of Lodge 2 which was our last meal together and I then drove Vicky to the train station. I came back to the 4 others tucked under duvets watching movies on the sofa. Obviously I joined them and we spent the afternoon snacking and chatting. Whilst they went swimming that evening, I had a bit of down time and did some writing. They bought back some takeaway with them which I’ve never had before but it was really good so I’ll definitely try to have it again! We then curled up on the sofa again for one last movie which happened to be Sex and the City and it the perfect ending to out weekend.

On the Monday, we all said goodbye, which was so horrible! Kirsty, Abi, Bella and I headed off to Longleat Safari Park which I’ll share a little photo diary of soon!

#bloggersinvadecenterparcs

#bloggersinvadecenterparcs

Like I said earlier it is so odd how you can just click and get on so well with strangers. We’ve already exchanged 1000s of messages since we got back and we are already planning our reunion and next blogger holiday.

It was amazing meeting so many great people and thank you so much Lauren for organising such a great weekend.

Adele's Journey
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Monday, 22 June 2015

Adele's Journey #8 | The Realisation of What You Actually Look Like

adelesjourney1

I’m back with another part in Adele’s Journey! And this time we’re on a big positive, kind of.

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about how I was struggling with body confidence and how I felt with my body.

I have now come to the realisation of what I actually look like, how I look when I eat and what I must look like when I wear clothes that don’t suit my body shape. Fortunately, I feel like I have mastered that for the best part and I am so careful about what I wear so that I don’t have anything hanging out or look like I think I’m skinner than I am. Because, quite frankly, I know I’m not.

I think I’m lucky to be moving back home for a while, I will be more conscious of what I eat but more so, how much I eat. I’ve now seen what it must look like when I’m constantly grabbing more food, and not even the healthy stuff, the really unhealthy stuff and it’s quite disturbing.

I can’t believe how it looks when I’m constantly grabbing food, not just slowly picking, but literally stuffing my face. I guess it’s something that I’ve never thought about it before but I think it’s something I will be more thoughtful of and think about what I’m buying.

Luckily, I have noticed a difference, apart from my weekend in Centerparcs when all went out of the window, I have seen little changes in what I pick up when I’m shopping. I avoid the aisles with biscuits and crisps down them as that’s when I go seriously wrong.

a sign this is it

I’ve been waiting for that sign (I know, I know, I should just get off my ass and get down the gym and start eating healthier), however battling with things mentally can really mess you up, all that comfort food that you feel like you need, but really don’t, is just sitting there waiting to be eating.

There are countless times I’ve picked up packets of crisps and bars of chocolate when I’m having a bad or weak moment, then gotten home and thought “get a grip, you don’t need this” and thrown these unopened packets in the bin just so that I don’t eat it is unbelievable. It’s a waste of money and I know that I don’t need it, I just need to get in to the thought process of not buying them in the first place, which is evidently getting there.

For now, if I can get in to the thought process of not buying junk food to comfort myself in a bad moment then this will be an amazing start, even if this means that I don’t lose weight, this will come with time. The moment I start looking after what I put into my body, the sooner I can start losing weight and I will feel so much better in myself. My skin will look so much better and I will have loads more energy than I did before. I have already started seeing small changes as I am more conscious about what I am eating.

Sure, there are a fair few times that I have slipped up but this is to be expected. I’m addicted to something in them or there is something that is drawing me back in to eating it constantly. It’s a mystery to me!

I don’t expect things to happen overnight, despite how great that would be. I look forward to the moment when I feel satisfied to what I’ve achieved and managed to accomplish when sometimes it has looked like it will never happen. I get this feeling a lot of work, working to complete a task in a small space of time, it feels like it won’t come together in time but it does and the feeling is great!

It did really help that I had a week of good luck, everything went right and the feeling of that is so satisfying that I got the good karma I finally deserved. It felt like all of that hard work I had been doing for months and months had finally paid off and it was a great motivation to keep on going and keep on working hard and fighting for what I wanted. Which is exactly what I carried on doing and I’ve got a few exciting things happening in the next few weeks.

Adele's Journey
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Friday, 19 June 2015

Day Zero Challenge Update #2


The past few weeks I’ve realised just HOW LONG it’s been since I’ve done a little Day Zero Challenge update. My bad.

It’s been 4 and a half months since my last update and I’m now 6 and a half months into my challenge that I’ve set myself. So since my last update I have completed these:

  • Throw away all my makeup brushes and buy new ones

  • Buy completely new bed sheets

  • Save £100 in 1 month (this is hard for me)

  • Get a hair cut (I NEVER ever get my hair cut)

  • Go to at least 2 blogger events (#myChocBloggers 26th April, #ShropshireBloggerMeet 2nd May, Centerparcs 12th June - 15th June)

  • Visit a Zoo

  • Make a playlist of my favourite songs

And I’m working my way through these:

  • Find a skincare regime that works for me

  • Create an inspiration book

  • Keep my car cleaner (it’s white so it gets dirty so quickly)

  • Read a book my mum or dad recommends to me – Gone Girl

I’ve actually completely 29 out of 101. TWENTY NINE! This is pretty good going for being 6 and a half months in. I’m looking into doing other things on my list that are perhaps more expensive than others and I’m moving back home and hopefully into a new job which will definitely help these! Number 1 is definitely getting out of debt and I’m almost at a point where I cant start thinking about it. Little and often is my aim!

I’d absolutely love to just take myself on a few days away and enjoy somewhere I’d never been before!

I also want to dedicate a bit more time to being creative, like finishing my inspiration book and doing a scrapbook of University. And on that note, I’m going to order some photos!

Catch up on my other posts here:

Original Post

Update #1



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Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Williamson Tea

williamsontea

It’s been a long while since I’ve shared anything about tea on here but it is back! And I’ve been dying to share with you these amazing Williamson Tea* teabags that I’ve been enjoying recently.

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I got 3 flavours in Ginger Grove, Lemon Sunshine and Mint Garden. I think these names are great! Not your bog standard names like Lemon or Mint tea. These are two black teas and a green tea respectively, I mean hello, green tea?! My favourite thing ever.

There are 20 teabags per box and these are nylon teabags which make you feel all fancy, I mean who wants paper tea bags anyway?

One of the things I love about Williamson Tea is that they are a family owned business with over 140 years of experience in the art of growing, selecting and blending fine teas. They are tea farmers so all of their teas are grown on their farms in Kenya so they can constantly control the quality of the product (which is great fyi). They only use sustainable farming methods, and they ensure all their people work in good conditions and earn a decent living. I knew there was a reason I loved this tea so much.

Lemon Sunshine:

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This was the first tea that I tried, lemon green tea is my absolute favourite and I have boxes of the stuff everywhere! This is a lemon black tea so a bit different to anything I’ve tried before. I will admit the first couple of times I tried these teas, I didn’t read the instructions and I normally have the teabag in until I remember to take it out. Definitely do not so this with these teas as it leaves and awful taste and it is basically undrinkable. My bad. I’d say leaving the teabag in for 1 minute is optimum for me! It had a very strong flavour and the lemon wasn’t as powerful as I expected it to be so that was a little bit disappointing but that’s just my opinion on how I like my tea and I am very particular! I have enjoyed drinking it and I would definitely drink it again.

Mint Garden:

I have never had mint tea before but I know it’s a very popular tea so I was looking forward to it! I really enjoyed it but I think because it is mixed with green tea this takes away some of the mint flavour which is a shame. I’ve found that you have to carefully time how long the teabag is in the mug to get the right taste! I’m yet to find the right amount of time for this one!

williamson tea

Ginger Grove:

I have literally only just tried this one as I was really not sure how much I would enjoy as I’m not overly keen on strong tastes of ginger. However, this one was delicious. I did only let the teabag sit in the water for less than a minute but that was absolutely perfect for me! This is definitely my go to tea now, although I am finding it a little bit weird drinking black tea without milk, but it is surprisingly good! Also, milk would make these teas really awful, so there’s no chance I’m even trying it!

I’ve really enjoyed these teas, I wouldn’t have ever tried mint tea otherwise and certainly not ginger! So I’m so glad that I had the opportunity to try these! Also, can we just appreciate how amazing these tins are? I want elephant tins like this all over my house!

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[Photo from Williamson Tea]

*I was sent this product for review purposes and as always my views are my own.

Adele's Journey
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Friday, 5 June 2015

The Blogging Community


I’ve been meaning to write about this for a while, I think the blogging community is one of the best communities in the world, I may be a little bit biased of course.

What I love about the blogging community is that it is filled with like minded people so there is always something to talk about (how do you think I talk to Kirsty every waking moment of the day!). I love taking part in twitter chats, we’re all discussing topics we’re passionate about. It means meeting new people who could end up being your friends, finding some amazing new blogs and most of the time learning about a new topic which is a bonus.

I’ve met a fair few people at blogger events so be sure to read my post on the top 10 reasons to attend a blogger event. You won’t regret it.

I want to share with you some of my favourite blogs recently:

Writing Essays with Wine

If you read my post last Monday, you will know that I’m struggling a bit. Emma has opened up about being at her heaviest weight yet and I can really relate to her posts. Girls unite!

Kirsty Leanne

Obviously I love Kirsty’s blog, if there’s a makeup product I’m looking for then I’ll always check her blog first then go shopping! I’ve never been this into makeup but I’ve gained way too much since I met her, she’s an awful influence!

Hannah Gale

Oh c’mon who doesn’t love her blog?! I can relate to everything she's writes and I love finding that in a blog! She is an inspiration to all bloggers out there and I love that she still interacts with her followers. I find a lot of “bigger” bloggers don’t do this anymore.

Vix Meldrew

What a babe! Another very relatable blog, I love reading all about her home updates and I am unbelievably goals of her holidays to Vegas! Take me with you next time please!

Write Like No One’s Watching

I love Charlotte’s blog and her youtube channel too! It is clear she’s been through a lot in her time but she’s taken it all in her stride and for that she’s an inspiration to any girl out there. Oh, and her little boy is adorable.

Love From, Florence Grace

This girls blog is just beaut. She should be an inspiration to everyone out there. She has more passion and more ambition than anyone I know. I love reading her blog and I can’t wait to see her future projects!

Just reading these blogs help to motivate me and they are a great read! As I said before I love reading a blog that I can relate to and that’s definitely something that draws me in to regularly reading it. I can’t wait to find plenty of new blogs through future twitter chats!


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Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Keeping Up With The Brands and #lbloggers chat


Last week I shared a post with you about my tips for contacting companies and I ended up with so many comments and emails that I couldn’t keep up. However it seems many of these were people looking for free things. In no case do I think that this is the reason to contact companies. Being gifted items is a perk, absolutely, and it sometimes feels like you’ve won the lottery when you get to find a product that really works for you. However, this is not always the case and I take no joy in writing a review that does not show the product in a positive light.

Obviously I shared what I did when I initially contacted companies to see if they wanted to collaborate for a blog post. This is not the end of the road. So here is what I do once I have initially contacted them:

  1. I let the contact know that I have received the product and when to expect the review.

  2. I like to do a bit of research about the brand so I know what I want to talk about when I actually write my blog post.

  3. Once I receive my products I will normally Instagram and Tweet the product to show the brand that I have the product and I have started using them.

  4. When I’m writing the most I make sure I link out to their website and social media accounts. How else would you go to buy your own products?!

  5. Once the post has gone live, I will post it on social media (like with any other post). I will tag them in it in the hope of a few RTs to reach a larger audience.

  6. I will contact the company or brand with a link to the blog post which includes their product.

I cannot stress enough how important it is to stay in contact with companies. They might love your post and want to collaborate with you more in the future.

As well as this it is also respectful to keep in contact with the brands as they might not see it on social media!

Here are some of my recent reviews:

If you want any advice I am more than happy to answer any questions or queries.


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Monday, 1 June 2015

Prairie Pizzazz Unboxing

Hello you wonderful people, I missed Fridays post (soz not soz) because I was so unwell. I didn’t move for Thursday and Friday and I couldn’t possibly bear to type up a blog post.

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Anyway, I’M BACK. And I’ve got something completely different to anything I normally do. So here it is, my first ever video. I wanted to change it up and I thought the perfect start would be to unbox my Prairie Pizzazz box from Prairie Charms! I've never been so nervous in my life to share this with people.

[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wu-VRlK8VGY[/embed]

The total of the box came to £77.10 but seeing as I paid £20 this is absolutely incredible value! I also got a pink ticket for one of their Crowns which RRPs at roughly £50. I feel like I've won a golden (pink) ticket and I'm like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Is there going to be chocolate involved?

To order your own Deluxe box at a discounted rate of £25 or a smaller version for £15, pop on over to Twitter and tweet @Prairie_Charms using the hashtag #ADELEPIZZAZZ and ask to order one of these boxes. I cannot tell you more how much of an amazing company they are and how great these boxes are. So much thought has gone into them and it shows.

I hope you loved my first video, any tips would be so welcome! (keep it nice please!). And if there is anything you would like to see, do let me know!

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