Turning 30 & Barcelona Photo Diary

The end of May saw my 30th Birthday. I decided rather than staying at home and crying into my Macbook, that I would go away instead to take the edge off! I had heard many good things about Barcelona before but had never been, so when it came to booking a sunny city break, Barcelona was at the top of my list. What better way to celebrate than with some sun and a few drinks? The big 3-0 didn’t seem so bad after all.

When I think back to my twenties I always thought I would have everything figured out by now. I thought I would be further along in my career, be a home owner and have this adult thing down to a T.

Things might not have happened as I thought, but that’s okay.

I don’t know why I had high expectations and needed to accomplish so much by 30. It really is just a number. So many unexpected, great things have happened over the last ten years that might not have happened if I had been completely focused on ‘life goals’ so this is a reminder to hold my plans much more loosely because there’s a whole lot of life still to come and who knows what twists and turns are up ahead.

I hope you enjoy my photos of my Birthday trip, I loved Barcelona! Have you ever been?

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Chök | Brunch & Cake | Margarita Blues | Vioko | Bar Lobo

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SS17 Inspiration

It’s been forever since I’ve done one of these type of posts! I don’t really know why I haven’t as I spend hours online and scrolling through instagram! Anyway, this is what has caught my eye lately. As you can probably tell I’m dreaming about warmer days and can’t wait for some REAL sun. After the last couple of months, I really feel like I need a week by a pool somewhere to just relax with a mojito in hand. As always, comfort is key for me –  I like to keep it casual. You will most likely find me wearing a mixture of classic sports and streetwear brands or a pair of ripped blue jeans with a classic white t-shirt.

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Disclaimer | The above images have been sourced from various platforms. I do not claim to own the right to any of the images featured.

Hand Luggage Only

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When going away on a city break, travelling with just hand luggage can save time and money. Not only does having no hold luggage help keep your costs to a minimum, there’s no need to check in baggage or wait for it on the other side either, taking out some of the stress which is associated with travelling.

I’m heading to Paris this week for a couple of days and have hand luggage only so thought I would share with you the essentials that are coming along for the ride.

With carry on luggage its important to be organised. Before you start to pack you should know your restrictions, have a list of what you will need during your stay and be prepared to be ruthless. As I’m only there for a couple of days Im planning on taking the minimum.

When it comes to clothes it’s hard to decide what to take and what to leave behind. With the risk of over packing I’m going to try and pack a capsule wardrobe – things that can be co-ordinated to produce numerous outfits. I’ve being waiting for the right time to break out both my new A.P.C ‘Oh L’amour’ shirt and Common Projects so Paris seems like the perfect opportunity to wear them. The Common Projects are great for that smart-casual look. With the heavier items such as coats and jackets, I will be travelling in them to save space. The pockets can also be used to store items such as your documents and devices in so that they are on hand and don’t take up any extra space or weight in your case either.

With toiletries it’s important to stick to the 100ml rule whilst travelling or risk these being disposed of at security. All toilettires should fit in one plastic pouch so its important to take only what you need. There a number of good quality travel kits out there, the ones from Aēsop are always my go to’s, but you can also pick a few bits up in the airport should you not want to pack anything.

Other things I don’t travel without are my Mulberry passport holder wallet. This has multiple pockets and a zipped back to keep all my documents and tickets safe and finally a good guide book.  Flying can provide a good time to plan your trip and what you want to get out of it and these Cereal Guides are a great source of inspiration.

I don’t have massive plans for my short trip yet but I’m quite excited to just take to as it comes.

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Do you have any recommendations for Paris?

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2017 New Year Same Me

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Happy New Year! Before I start, I would just like to say a huge thank you to anyone who has taken the time to read or support my blog over the past 12 months, it’s really appreciated!

The end of December saw this page turn two which is crazy. Time really does flyWith a name change mid-year I was interested to see how it would effect my audience for the last few months but luckily things have been great and I definitely feel it was the right decision in respect to the direction of my blog. In terms of statistics, year on year I have seen a 400% increase in visitors which is a huge ego boost, and that’s all thanks to you guys! I know 2016 has had a lot of stick, but I have genuinely had an amazing year!

Over this past year I have met some great people and had the chance to work with some of my favourite brands all because of this blog. I feel like I’m finally finding my feet in terms of blogging even though it’s not always been that easy. As with a lot of other bloggers, my main constraint is time but I’m more motivated than ever to keep going and will continue to post as and when I can. Working a full time job, blogging and having a social life is hard!

I don’t really make personal resolutions for the New Year as I never stick to them. I’m just going to be the best I can be! However, I’ve set myself a few blog goals to keep me motivated going into 2017. So here they are:

– In terms of content I’m going to continue posting about things I like and that I’m genuinely interested in – male grooming, travel and style, and in particular street wear.

– Say YES to more opportunities. Despite being invited to various events, I never go! this year will be the year!

– Commit more time to my blog and in particular creating original content. I hope to travel more and bring you more reviews of the latest grooming products as well as style and outfit posts.

– Improve my blog photography and Instagram feed.

– Create a custom site. If anyone knows anyone who can help me with this or has recommendations, send them my way!

As always I’m open to suggestions so If there’s anything you would like to see on the blog, let me know in the comments!

How was your New Years Eve, Have you made any resolutions?

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Getting Tattooed in Thailand

If you follow me on instagram you may have noticed I have spent the last couple of weeks travelling around Thailand with Contiki. Whilst I was away I had a bamboo tattoo in Koh Phangan which resulted in loads of questions when i returned about the process and my experience so thought I would put it into writing for anyone else who is interested in having a bamboo tattoo.

Ever since I had my first bit of ink over 12 years ago, I have slowly been adding to my collection of tattoos over the years. Although a lot of thought has gone into some of my tattoo designs and placements, I am also quite partial to the odd spontaneous tattoo. You’re only young once, hey!

Although most of my tattoos don’t have particular meaning, certain pieces remind me of  points in my life, experiences with friends or particular times and places. Tattoos mean different things to different people but for me, if I like the design then that’s a good enough reason to get it tattooed on my body.

Having a tattoo whilst travelling is a permanent reminder of that trip. I have tattoos from my year out in the USA which constantly bring back great memories. So when I booked my most recent trip to Thailand, getting a bamboo tattoo was one of the key things I wanted to experience whilst I was there having always been intrigued by the process. I wasn’t really sure what I wanted or where, just that I wanted one.

So, what is a bamboo tattoo and how does it differ to a regular tattoo?

Bamboo tattoos initially originated among tribes some 2,000 years. Tattoos believed to offer protection and other benefits for the bearer and closely became tied to the Hindu-Buddhist concept of Yantra. Yantra refers to mystical diagrams which are used as an aid during meditation. Buddhist monks would traditionally tattoo these designs to offer power, protection, fortune, charisma and other fortunes for the bearer. Although not carried out by monks today, the practise of bamboo or Yantra tattooing is still widely available throughout Thailand.

The process involves attaching a fine needle to the end of a thin piece of bamboo and tightly wrapping a length of cotton around the two to hold it in place. The needle is then dipped into the ink and gently tapped into the skin.

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Unlike machine tattoos, with bamboo tattooing, the skin is punctured and not torn. This means there is a lot less blood. As the tattoo doesn’t scab, the healing process is a lot faster – usually 3 to 4 days.  Also, as there is little bleeding the ink settles quite deeply and very little colour is lost. resulting in a bright, strong tattoo.

One of the first questions I get asked is ‘what does it mean?’

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The Hah Taew (5 sacred lines) is one of the most popular Sak Yant Thai tattoos with each line having a different sacred blessings for success and good luck. Although the Yants have taken on different meanings over the years, typically the five lines represent:

  1. The first row prevents unjust punishment and leans in your favour when the area is grey, cleans out unwanted spirits and protects the place you live in.
  2. The second row reverses and protects against bad horoscope constellations and bad fortune.
  3. The third row protects you from the use of black magic and anyone who tries to put a curse on you.
  4. The fourth row energizes your good luck, success and fortune in your future ambitions and life style.
  5. The fifth row is to gain charisma and attraction to the opposite sex. It also is a boost to the fourth row.

The next question I get asked is ‘did it hurt?’ or ‘how does it compare to a normal tattoo?’

Having a fair bit of ink work I can honestly say I found the experience to be quite enjoyable. The tattoo itself was just as painful as having a normal tattoo – but tattoos hurt, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise! Bamboo tattoos take longer than machine tattoos and tend to be quite expensive because of this, but you are left with an intricate design which has been created by hand with a needle and some ink, and that’s quite impressive.

You also don’t have to worry about the aftercare as much either as explained above, which is perfect if you’re travelling around.

If you are thinking of getting some work done during your travels in Asia I wouldn’t blame you. As with all tattoos there are various things to consider beforehand to make sure you get exactly what you want. You don’t want to regret a poor decision so take the time to

  • Decide on a design
  • Decide on the placement of the tattoo
  • Shop around for price, don’t be scared to barter. I got mine 1000THB cheaper than originally quoted.
  • Pay attention to portfolios and previous designs.
  • Make sure everything is sanitary.

and…

Be prepared to want more. Tattoos are addictive.

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