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Sunday, 23 October 2016

Why I Love Big Cities | Lifestyle

New York

I think I'm writing this post because I've recently come back from being in New York and I just realised I missed that city life! 

Having worked and lived in Florence for nearly a year (don't even get me started how quickly this has gone) I've started to notice how much I miss the eternal buzz of a city! I used to work in London and genuinely I loved every second! The trains were priced too high, the commute took hours, the underground in the summer was hotter than Lucifer's breath but I didn't care about any of it because London was where I wanted to be! I loved the chaos of the commuters trying to get from a to b, learning brand new short cuts that might get you into work quicker and the overall pace that kept my heart beating! I remember growing up, I wanted to be so many different things but there came a point that I didn't know what I wanted to do, I just wanted to work in London! 

The thing I love about these cities is that everything is available immediately, you want your coffee in the morning or you need food stupidly late because you're drunk from drinks with your work pals, or maybe you snagged your tights on something but don't worry there's a Boots at the station to help sort your life out before you even get to work. It's all there, places like New York and London rarely sleep and that's what makes them appealing! Not only this but I love the influence of different culture by way of food, the different foods you can get in random places, whether it's street food you're after or a vegan restaurant or a restaurant that only serves champagne and hotdogs (no seriously go an check out Bubble Dogs in London, what more can a gal want) It's the variety that I love in any big city! 

I was speaking to my best dear Vernia about life in general and she was like "Toni, you're a big city girl, London is in your veins" and it's true, I feel like there is something just magical about it! However, would I ever want to live in London? No way, never! Because I need that buzz and chaos but I also need the peace that green parks bring to life! Even if I moved back to England I wouldn't live in London but 100% without a doubt you know I'd be working there! It balances me out.

Don't get me wrong, Florence is beautiful and it's my home for now but I'd be lying if I said I didn't miss London/my London lifestyle. 

Are you a big city type of person?

Sunday, 16 October 2016

Mental health | Lifestyle

I know, different topics on Honeypot Blogs lately! Recently it was #WorldMentalHealthDay and in all honesty I get a little bored with these types of days national this day or national that week however I think mental health needs to be discussed!

This year a girl who was my friend growing up killed herself, a girl who I used to be such good friends with but lost touch over the years and it hit me harder than I thought possible. This girl has been battling mental health problems ever since I have known her and been hospitalised on several occasions! When I found out it was actually through social media, everyone who ever had but a mere day with this girl poured their hearts out because it was devastating. One part of me wondered if she knew just how many people actually cared could it have helped? We'll never know and I think in some cases it gets to a stage where it wouldn't but that doesn't mean we should stop trying.

I guess I just wanted speak about some ways you might be able to help someone struggling with mental health problems or issues...

Tell people you love them...
Seriously, everyone! This year has made me realise life is so crazy and so hard sometimes that you get wrapped up in your world and forget what someone else may be going through. So send them a message and tell them you love them, friends, parents, grandparents, boyfriends, girlfriends, bloody work pals who ever, what ever make sure they know you give a fuck.

Just listen...
Sometimes people need to vent, they just need to scream every irrational thought down the phone just to know someone is on the other line. Also it may even take a little reading between the lines to hear what they are really trying to say.

Always try to understand...
Which is way harder than it seems because I mean really, you have to see it from their perspective to get it. If you are a rational person it can be hard to understand someone's irrational fears or thoughts causing anxiety so don't try to dismiss their feelings with rationality. You have to try and see why they could feel that way and it helps with them to realise that you are trying to help and may feel more secure with your advice.

Some times it won't be enough...
But that doesn't mean you should ever stop trying. Because mental health is so personal and different for everyone other people cannot fix these problems alone, it starts the individual. If someone has made the decision that they can no longer be on this earth that is their heartbreaking choice, some times words of support aren't enough but we are human and you can never regret at least trying to keep them here with you. 

Not everyone wants to talk about it...
And that's OK, but making yourself available when you know someone is struggling sometimes is all anyone needs. Some people simply won't want to talk about these things, some times you'll have no idea about the past or current situation of someone so don't be a dick with your actions be nice, it literally costs nothing.

A kind of deep post for me, but it just seemed like the right thing to do! I want to end it on a positive note though so tell me how many people you have made smile recently from a random act of kindness? Or how many people have you told you love them today?

Sunday, 9 October 2016

Longchamp Travel Luggage | Travel

So today I am talking all about this classic but gorgeous Longchamp travel bag. Obviously as you guys know I travel a lot for work and I've had a lot of little breaks away this year so I thought now was a good time to invest in a Longchamp bag.

I think there are two types of people when it comes to weekend trips away, those who need a travel suitcase on wheels, plus like another hand bag filled with stuff or there are the people who have one big bag and their little handbag as well to travel with. I am the latter, always. I don't know why, but I have a thing against those little suitcase trolleys, they just get in everyone's way and there always is a fuss with them at the airports when the airline makes sure it fits into that stupid little grid, it's just a hassle to me. In the past I have always travelled with a large black handbag, you'd be surprised at how much I can fit in there. However my good ol' Warehouse bag I've had for about 6 years is looking rough, it's tired and it needed to go so it was time for an upgrade.

I have seen Longchamp everywhere, it's one of those brands you do see around a lot and think they kind of fit into the high end high street bracket because their stuff is super affordable if you go for their classic design like the one pictured. Personally, I never liked the Longchamp shoulder bag, I think it's just because I have seen it too much and in so many different colours. This being said, I decided to take a look in the store in Florence. They literally had every colour in every size available, but the thing I really liked was that there was one on display in every size so I could get a proper idea of what they look like. I had to consider that this bag should be "airplane approved" because you know what Ryanair can be like *rolls eyes dramatically*

I picked up this Longchamp travel bag and immediately I just liked the feel of it, super lightweight but the material appears quite durable. We all know which colour I picked, it obviously had to be the black one, though I kind of wish there was an option for the black leather as well but I'm still super happy about this bag regardless. It cost me like 75€ which I think is a bloody good price, for the quality and the look of this bag. I can fit a lot in it, way more than my previous bag and I'm seriously in love. When I bought it in literally had to wait months before I could use it as I was taking more than just hand luggage but boy was it worth the wait. If you'd like me to do a post on what's inside my hand luggage bag, just let me know. In all honesty, I think if you're like me and prefer a handbag to travel with then Longchamp will definitely have something for you.

Are you a suitcase trolley kind of gal or do you prefer to travel with a big ol' handbag

Sunday, 2 October 2016

Moving to another country | Lifestyle

This post is gonna be quite a honest post about what it is really like to move to another country alone, I have been in Florence for 9 months now and it's gone so quick but I just wanted to share with you some of my thoughts.

It's different...
I know, it sounds obvious doesn't it, it's a different country so of course it's different but I'm talking about the smaller cultural quirks. In italy, if you are in a shop it's very common to have a little dish where you can can give your money to the cashier and where you change will be placed. Sometimes there isn't a dish and it's expected that you place it on the counter. Don't feel offended if your change isn't placed in your hand, it's cultural and it's a quirk you'll grow to understand and accept

Somethings don't translate...
I'm not just talking about literal word translations I'm also talking about things about your personality or humour that might not be that amusing in another country. Literally happened to me all the time, I'd be on a call with another brit we'd laugh about some comment and my colleague would stare blankly, it's fine though again don't feel offended. There will be things that someone else may say that you may not understand but always try because it might actually be very funny.

You will get homesick... 
My homesickness didn't start until I was 8 months into my stay, 8 months...how crazy is that? To be honest, I don't think there is much you can do about this one, other than speak to your family and pals, go out for walks around the country you are calling home and just ride it out because in time you will remember why you are here.

It will change you ...
For me, it totally changed me for the best. Back when I was working in London, I was so tightly wound with my routine and my life, I would have a breakdown about at least once every 2 weeks about "what I am doing with my life" or "I need to achieve XYZ by the time I'm XX or I will have failed at life" moving to another Country will grow you in ways your couldn't imagine, it will make you appreciate things on a different level and it will change your perception on things forever

It will be the best thing you'll ever do...
Bold I know, but let's say it doesn't work out and you end up moving back home, to have the opportunity to live somewhere else and live will you can never regret. All the things you will have learned from moving abroad is something they cannot teach you in school and something that will stay with you forever. You also have to remember that you may never ever get the opportunity to do this again so take every moment and run with it.

So there are my thoughts on moving to another country. Would ever just up and leave and go somewhere else?

Sunday, 25 September 2016

5 things to do in La Spezia | Travel

You guys know I love going on my little trips and last month I decided to stay local and go somewhere different in Italy. This year I have done a lot of travelling but actually haven't been to that many places on Italy so it was about time really.

We decided to go to La Spezia because it was close to the ocean as it's more a of a port town and only like a two and a half hour train ride from Florence so really handy.

Here are my top 5 things to do in La Spezia...

Eat seafood
As La Spezia is obviously a port town, you all know that the best seafood you can get is by the port because it's so fresh. In all honesty there are a lot of places you can go but I would say if you can visit Dai Pescatori because the reviews are great and the food was yummy, we totally should have got more. It's such a popular place that there is a queue but I'm telling you the calamari and whitebait alone is worth it, but they also do a lot of other seafood dishes as well. However it's not a very formal place it, you won't be waiter on, you get your food and drink first and then sit down but it's perfect for lunch or a light dinner for the price! 

Get a boat to Cinque Terre
Before I even get started, if you have never heard of Cinque Terre then stop reading this post and just do a quick Google image search and then come back and finish reading...obvs! Cinque Terre is essentially 5 little towns along the coast that a built on the cliffs and are just so beautiful. To get to any of the towns from La Spezia is so easy, you can actually get trains cheaply or you can get a boat that drops you off at each one and takes you back to La Spezia! We definitely opted for the boat even though it was a bit more expensive 30 euros but I love boat rides and being on the ocean. I would definitely recommend visiting Manarola because it's just so pretty.

Walk to the port
Well obviously!!! I know that's what you guys are thinking but the reality is La Spezia has a very relaxed vibe about it and I feel that sometimes it's just really nice to grab a drink and just watch the boats come and go. The port is pretty big and I probably only wandered just half of it but definitely made sure I stopped as some of the seafront bars along the way.

Aperitivo at Kadinsky 900
I've told you guys before about Italy and their aperitivo, food when ever you order drinks, I'm a massive fan! We stumbled on this really cool bar called Kadinsky 900 just to stop for a drink and the aperitivo that was served with it was by far one of the best I have had in Italy and they didn't even increase the price of the drinks to include the food like some places do!  There was two of us and we go these amazing little foccia sandwiches, 3 different fillings, crisps, nuts and beans! So yummy! The bar staff were so lovely and welcoming! On a side note the foccia in La Spezia is beyond amazing!

Drink prosecco
Seriously guys, it's like 3€ for a glass that would be considered a large glass of wine! The thing I noticed was that La Spezia is way cheaper than the likes of Florence, Pisa or even Bologna! I've always been a fan of prosecco but even more so now in Italy, not only does it taste even better but when the sun is setting on the port after a long hot day, there is literally nothing better. If prosecco isn't your thang, don't worry they do lots of beer which are around 4€ so you can't go wrong really.

There we have it, I would say that La Spezia probably has a slightly older demographic but if you're looking for a little weekend away somewhere then you should really check it out! We spent 3 nights and rented an airbnb apartment and had a great time!

What sea side towns do you love?
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