I turned 18 last month.

//Hat - Topshop//Dress - Mango//Belt - New Look//

I was flicking through my photos from my blog the other day and stumbled upon these outfit shots which happen to be from my eighteenth birthday. I forgot about them in the midst of my travels and well LIFE. I picked up this dress while in Portugal back in May, and well isn't it just the perfect summer day dress that can be easily transitioned in to autumn. I cannot wait to style this china doll style print with some more basic items to create a more layer effect. But for now I am happy wandering around in nothing but the dress and a hat, because hey it is summer and for once the UK has been blessed with sunlight!

I am glad I left this post until now, because since turning 18 years of age I have learned a lot about myself, partly because my parents have allowed me more freedom and because I have chosen to go out and do things that I may not have done before my travels. Oddly enough I was not one of those people who on the day of their 18th birthday went clubbing, in fact I still haven't entered a proper night club (I am yet to discover that "joy"). To make up for that fact I took to traveling and trying to move on from toxic relationships.

I may have mentioned this before but I use my birthday as a sort of New Years. I make resolutions that I want to do in the next year of my life, besides the usual get healthier and read more books. On my list this year:

  • Move on from friendships and other relationships that are toxic for me, even if that may affect the other persons happiness.
  • Stick to writing in my journal, keep being passionate about it.
  • Work on those sewing projects... Yep the 100 I have stored up ready to be started.
  • Trust my instincts and try my hardest not to take the opinions of people I don't know very well to heart.
  • SMILE everyday even if it is only at a silly cat video on YouTube.
Eighteen seems an awfully large number to someone who doesn't feel at all ready to venture into adult life, but I believe that a number does not define your age your mindset does. If you think you can do something and ignore the expectations of others for your age group then there is no reason why you shouldn't do that very thing!

XO, Miriam

P.S. This is the first post in a while I have written with no proof reading and without the aid of my journal or a list of ideas... so sorry for grammatical errors and general waffling!  Also this song:

A Blogger's Picnic Invitation.

I stole this from Lauren ;)
Over the past week or so Lauren from The Emerald Dove and I have been discussing and organising a blogger picnic in the South West. Having heard a few maybes we chose a date and we are now praying for sunshine! We want it to be as informal as possible but once we know numbers are happy to provide cake, strawberrys and other picnic snacks. (Oh and blankets!)

So on to the details:
It will be held most likely on the Cathedral Green in Exeter on the 30th of August, this is not set in stone but the end of August seemed like the perfect time to hold a picnic! 

If you are interested leave a comment with your email address so we can contact you with more details when we have them and people to come. You can also tweet either of us if you are interested.

XO, Miriam

The Book Club| Divergent, The Girl You Left Behind and Before I Go To Sleep.

Divergent by Veronica Roth: 8/10
I am a sucker for dystopian novels, and if I am completely honest this is better than all of the others that I have read. Yes, even The Hunger Games. For me the test of a good books it how much I read it, and therefore how fast I read it. I read this in two evenings, so this was a winner for me. As well as it being truly gripping action wise, I found that the characters were 3D and you could relate to them (I did not worry about them at all between starting and finishing the book)... I cannot wait to get my hands on the rest of the trilogy as I have heard that the other two books are just as gripping and emotional.

The Girl You Left Behind by Jojo Moyes: 6/10
During my trip to India/Nepal, my friend and I swapped books halfway though and this was hers. I wasn't really sure about the book from the blurb but I was pleasantly surpised when I found myself close to tears near the end of the book, it takes place in two time frames but both revolve around the same painting, although this wasn't one of the best books I have ever read I would recommend it for a summer holiday book/travelling book as it is easy to read with other things going on.

Before I Go To Sleep by S.J.Waston: 6/10
This is the book I took to India/Nepal. The story was brilliant and although near then end you could predict what was going to happen, I found it an easy way into understanding a little of what someone with memory loss could go though. I did find the story a little extreme in places and I think in parts it could have been worded slightly better, but overall a good read.

XO, Miriam

I'm not trying to stop a hurricane.

//T-shirt Dress - Pull and Bear//Shorts - H&M//Shoes - New Look//Jewellery - Gifted or homemade// 

I bought this dress a while ago from the sale rack and during the colder months I wore it with leggings, but the reality is that I cannot wear it as a dress due to my height. So I experimented with ways of tucking it in to give a relaxed and slouchy look and finally settled on the left pocket of these denim shorts. Not only can I maintain what little dignity I still have I can look cute doing it. I added my pendant necklace (that regular readers will have seen numerous times before) to lengthen the look, not that I need it at 5'9... To pull the look together I opted for these chunky black sandals, instead of my converse. 

My first pair of sandals since age 11...
 In other news the title of the post is from the American Authors' song Home which you should all listen to ASAP.

XO, Miriam

Pink Smoothies.

Hooray a short post, which isn't about travelling. I mean don't get me wrong I love travelling but it is nice to be home. Pink smoothies (so called because of the colour) have been a part of my life for a while, and make the perfect light breakfast before a long dog walk or some yoga. I make mine with red berries, mainly strawberries and raspberries, and almond milk. But if I want something a little more filling I will add a banana and occasionally a handful of oats. These also make you feel 100x better after a night out without much sleep.

XO, Miriam

Results Day.

Nothing is impossible, the word itself says "I'm possible" - Audrey Hepburn

I am glad to announce that I will be going to university this autumn. But this announcement was not without trial, on the 5th of July (yes it is a Saturday) I went to collect my results for the International Baccalaureate (IB) and they were not as expected. I was predicted 37 for my overall points score but I achieved a 29. A 29 that could mean that I wouldn't get into university as I was 2 points away from the offer I had been given. Fortunately Oxford Brookes still considered me and accepted me with that grade. I was not the only one from my class that didn't quite hit the mark, so after eating a large amount of pizza and drinking some strong Pimms.


The next morning my friend and I made lists about our options, and sent an email to our IB coordinator for advice. So for all you A-level students who are waiting for results here is a list of things you should/could do depending on how your results go:

1. If you did well CELEBRATE. 
2. If not find someone to talk to about the possibility of remarks and what your options are. 
3. Ring the university/email them, explaining the situation and if you are getting remarks done tell them. 
4. Go out with your friends or eat your weight in pizza/ice cream. 
5. If the case is hopeless then plan your impromptu Gap Year, it will make you feel better.
6. Hope that the university will love you anyway and sent you that letter of acceptance. 
7. Smile anyway. 

It won't be the end of the world if you don't get in, it will feel like it but it isn't. 

XO, Miriam 

Tropical Prints and Plain White Shirts.

//Jacket - H! by Henry Holland//Shirt - M&S//Necklace - Homemade//Shorts - Primark//Shoes - Toms)

Of course the day I want to shoot a really summery outfit it was grey outside, until I changed my clothes into leggings and a t-shirt ready for my afternoon out in the city. Yep you guessed it, it became warm and sunny, and I was thankful for the air conditioning in the cinema (I went to see How to Train Your Dragon 2). Anyway back to the outfit, I was flicking through my instagram feed the night before and saw Teen Vogues post of a really cute tropical inspired outfit, with the suggestion to make your own with the hashtag #TVTropical. I am a sucker for outfit challenges so of course I had to take part. I will admit I had a few options but I settled for this as it felt like something that you would see in the American High School films.

As the shorts are very bright I kept the rest of the outfit relatively subdued to highlight the tropical print. The shorts I will confess are my sisters but as we are the same size I figured I could borrow them... If you had to create an outfit with a tropical theme what would you wear?

XO, Miriam

A Day in the Capital

So I flew in from Nepal, dropped of my main rucksack at Victoria Bus station and set off to South Kensington tube station. Because I love the Albert Hall from the outside and that is the closest tube station that I know about in relation to the V&A.

I honestly regret not hopping on to a Borris bike for my explore around the capital but the tube and walking let me see a fair bit as well. Not knowing London very well meant that I chose to stick tot he areas I did know, South Kensington, and St. Pauls/Tate Modern. I wish I had, had a chance to venture into the Tate Modern once again but for a few hours I settled for the V&A and a peek outside the Tate.

I know that you shouldn't really busk outside the Tate but this guy was just the coolest. I didn't get him to write anything for me but he did look pretty cool. Once I had stopped for a light lunch in Yo! Sushi in Victoria station I headed to catch my bus, leaving our fine capital once more.

Oh hey there bridge that gets destroyed by death eaters in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

And for those that are curious these are my stamps and visas for my Indian and Nepal Adventure.

XO, Miriam

My India and Nepal Adventure| Kathmandu

How does anyone find anything on these streets?
Day 1: This was essentially a day of travelling. 10 or more hours on a coach is not exactly my idea of fun, so naturally I listened to music and slept for most of the journey. Massive shout out to our hotel which had functioning hot showers and enough room to wash some clothes ready for the next few days. Once we were all clean, off we set into the busy and highly confusing streets of Kathmandu in search of water and a restaurant called Rum Doodle. Rum Doodle is a restaurant from what I could tell for travel groups and trekking groups, who at the end of their journeys go to and create these feet:

Day 2: The last day (morning) of the tour, which was spent grabbing some breakfast and seeing the group for the last time. Which was actually quite emotional, but then again we had essentially done six months bonding in two weeks. We were to go home and as Susan said "creep on each others Facebook profiles".  The rest of the day was spent wandering the streets and getting lost multiple times on the way back to the hotel, where we just chilled out and played Jelly Splash until Becky had to leave. Then Jess and I organised all of our stuff ready to fly out the next day.

Day 3: We spent the day with Charlotte who was on the same flight as us back to our homes in the UK. But the trouble was Jess and I had the wrong flight times and accidentally missed our original flight, and spent one and a half hours waiting to see if there would be enough seats on the flight we thought we were on. There were. So off we flew.

If any of you are considering India or Nepal as places to go, do it. I could not recommend these countries enough, I would love to go back to Nepal for some trekking (maybe even to Everest Base Camp) but first I am going to visit all of my wonderful friends in their respective countries: UK, Norway, Iceland, Germany, America, and South Africa.

My India and Nepal Adventure| Pokara

Day 1: After what seemed to be the worlds longest coach ride we reach Pokara. Before we could get settled we set of on an orientation walk where we discovered that we could go out on to the lake with self row boats. Flora looked up the lake in her guide book and discovered that if you row to the middle you can swim in the lake. We knew how we were going to spend the rest of our afternoon. After a quick dash back to the hotel to change in to bikinis and other swim wear/grab the correct amount of money, six of us jumped into two boats and rowed away. Naturally we got some weird looks from some other tourists as swimming in the lake when it is raining is considered a little bit weird in most places, however the lake was really warm and despite the green tinge very clean.

After the worlds quickest shower and change we headed out into the town to find something to eat, we ended up eating pizza as it began to rain very heavily, some may even call it monsoon season. At the aptly named pizzeria "Pizzeria", they served us popcorn while we waited for our pizzas which were stone baked. Following this several of us headed to a club/bar/cafe called Busy Bees for a few drinks, that was the intention until we discovered that they had shishas on the menu. This was a first time experience for me so resulted in s few coughing fits, but I wouldn't be adverse to using them again. 

Day 2: I would like to say I went and visited many sites near Pokara on day two but alas that is not the case, instead four of us went on a hunt for a present for CP. On the way we found a German bakery where we stopped for breakfast and some chai. We also invested in a few cashmere items and a pedicure (as shown above). Yes those are all men doing the pedicures. That night we dined in a restaurant named Moondance and went back to Busy Bees yet again in monsoon rains that had created rivers in the road.

XO, Miriam

My India and Nepal Adventure| Chitwan National Park

We arrived in Chitwan during the evening so went and found a lovely spot to sit and watch the sunset over the park. We didn't expect to see anything so naturally we saw one wild elephant and a group of white spotted deer. We were up bright and early the next morning to go on safari, Susan, Becky, Jess and I chose the elephant safari. Because who doesn't want to ride and elephant?! It was something to cross off the bucket list that was for sure.

Following the elephant safari we jumped into a jeep that took us to the river where in pairs we were washed by elephants! If you ever get the chance to do this always say yes. And as you can see I got some pretty awesome photos of everyone. That evening we went out for dinner, where Stefan and I decided that talking in french would be a good move...

XO, Miriam

P.S. My journal keeping dwindled in Chitwan so I lack the ability to say what else we did besides get caught in monsoon rains for the first time.

My India and Nepal Adventure| Lumbini and Travelling Through the Mountains

Day 1: In order to get to the India/Nepal border we took a 6 hour train, and spent 6 hours in cars. Once we reached the border we were stamped out of India ready to cross the border and purchase our visas in Nepalise border control, which required some USD, a passport photo and so form filling. Then we were in, so we hopped onto a bus, which the armed police also hopped onto shortly after... and we reached the hotel. It was by far the most modern hotel we had been in for a while.

Day 2: An 8am leaving time, what is this madness. We were travelling by private bus to Chitwan National Park via Lumbini. Why Lumbini I hear you ask, well Lumbini is home to the birth place of Buddha. And as you can see from the photos there are prayer flags everywhere, the atmosphere was very peaceful and quiet which was such a contrast to all of the places we visited in India. The only other difference so far was the weather, it was inbetween weather, cloudy but the air was warm and swampy.

After an hour or so there we set off again in our bus, by the end of the journey I had a sunburnt right arm, having sweated off all of my factor 50, I had drunk some bright orange fanta and sung along to Disney songs with Jess.