Sunday, 15 January 2017

Long Haul Flights - My Top Tips

I thought in light of my upcoming trip to Canada on the 25th, I thought I would take the time to write up my top tips for travelling long haul from experience, trust me once you make a mistake once, you learn not to make it again!
This will be my first trip of 2017 with lots more lined up so I cannot wait to share the experiences with you. I have been going to Canada for a long time ever since I was young, I have always gone skiing with my Dad and its become a sort of tradition of ours, so I am more than used to it. My journey will consist of a flight from Manchester to Heathrow, then a 9 hour flight to Calgary and about a 3 hour travel to Banff, where I will be staying for two weeks. So, all in all, most likely about just under 20 hours of travel door to door. I know right.

Now, I am not exactly expecting you all to be embarking on such travel time, but anything over 6 hours requires a little bit more preparation and TLC. So, I wanted to give you some live by tips I have learnt over my times of long haul travel. 

First off PLEASE invest in a cabin case, I cannot explain to you how much easier this made my life when travelling, not just long haul but any flight at all. It means I can throw things that make my handbag heavy in there for short haul flights, or more meticulously pack it for long haul. They are easy to carry through the airport, and easily accessible for a flight. 

Over the times I have flown, I have definitely come to understand the essentials of long haul;

- Electrical Goods
(I would suggest anything that brings you any form of entertainment, your phone, laptop, iPad, portable games console. Pre-downloading TV shows is always a good one, but there will most likely be movies on the plane)
- Portable Charger
(This is definitely something I learnt the hard way... try going 20 hours on one phone charge.)
- Reading Materials
(For when you're sick of staring at a screen and want something more 'normal')
- Headphones
(Both in ear and over ear, trust me the in ear ones hurt after a few hours...)
- SNACKS!!!!
(There is NOTHING worse than going hungry on a flight, especially a long one. I recently made this mistake on my way to Atlanta, thinking I could buy snacks on the plane. In short, big mistake. Also helps for if the food on the plane isn't for you.)
- A Jumper
(Nothing worse than being cold, absolutely nothing.)

Now, those are the basic things I couldn't fly without, and form a pretty basic check list for me when I travel. However, if you do choose to travel with a carry on case, you are able to pack in a lot more things for your flight. Call them little luxuries if you will. I have found a few things that really help me almost enjoy long haul travel. Well, as best I can anyway... 

- Skincare and Makeup
(Before you roll your eyes, all I am meaning is some makeup wipes to be bare faced for the whole journey, some moisturiser or a face mask & lip balm. Then simply some concealer and mascara, or your super basic face, just so you can walk off the plane feeling a tad more put together.)
- A Change of Clothes
(Again, all I mean is a change of top, or leggings, just so if you're feeling a bit groggy in what you've travelled in then you can again, make yourself feel a bit more together before you head onwards from the flight.)
- Anything You Truly Value
(No matter what flight you're on, there is always a small risk your bag may be misplaced, so, for your own peace of mind, keep anything really valuable to you on your persons, either in your handbag or carry on, so you know you are the one responsible for it in transit.)
- Bring Work!
(I fell short of this one many times, especially when I would fly away skiing when I was still at school and had exams or holiday work to do. Now, its my emails or stocking up on blog posts or editing photos. You're pretty much stuck in one place for hours, you may as well make an hour or so productive...)
- Try and Help Your Sleep
(If you're on overnight, I would try a travel pillow - Ive never been a huge fan, but at least its something. An eye mask and earplugs are strangely useful, just to mostly block out the constant engine noises while in flight). 

 Now, I am in no means an expert, but these are genuinely some things I find REALLY help me with my flying and travelling, especially longer journeys. I hope these may be of some use to you, I will be adding some little shoppable images for you if you're wanting to stock up on some in flight essentials!


H x


Sunday, 8 January 2017

So, I've fallen in love with funky shirts. Its Plain and Simple. You should too.

Its odd, I feel like I've fallen back in love with my own personal style again over the past few months. I don't think thats a bad way to start the year out. As most of you know, I have always been the one to preach wearing more slouchy casual looks and bringing everything together with the accessories you choose. For some reason I've always tended to stray away from any major patterns, but I have genuinely fallen in love with them recently. I make FAR too many trips to the Charity shops to find some good ol' shirts. 

I think it probably has something to do with the fact I just dyed my hair back dark, its always been a hair colour that makes me feel most myself. Alongside my father always commenting on it saying its so much more 'me' alongside making me always stand out, something that is never as bad as you may think. Patterns just never seemed to look right when my hair was lighter, I think it probably has something to do with the fact that nothing doesn't go with black... 

On a really quick side note, I really do urge you to throw out any predispositions about charity shops, or proper (not overpriced) vintage shops and thrift stores, they are where I have found some of my absolute favourites for absolute bargains. I mean it. I've picked up coats for £3, shirts for £1 and vans for $10... 

This shirt I bought coincidentally while I was in Atlanta, in a very much all American thrift store, it was an experience I felt I needed to have while out in the States. It was $7.99 if I remember correctly, and its gorgeous. 

Patterns can seem a little daunting at times, and don't get me wrong I have felt the same way for a long time. I just never really knew what was flattering and what wasn't. What goes with what, and how much is too much. I guess the easiest thing to do is maybe not jump into colour straight away, I have done exactly this and I like the way its working for me. Or, if I have gone for colours, its not been anything too in your face, just more muted colour palettes focusing on the pattern not the colours. 

Its not the same for everyone, but I find it easiest to wear my patterns via dresses and tops, I just find its easier to style these around a more simplistic outfit, than say trousers or a skirt. Its much easier to have the main focus of an outfit on a top or a dress in my experience, so its a good place to start. 

Going for everything all black around something with a more bold pattern, just keeps its easy and you're almost guaranteed it won't go horribly wrong... Almost. Thats what I do anyway, its simple and quick and easy to throw together without too much thought. Black jeans and ankle boots have and always will be a marriage made in utter heaven, and are guaranteed to just look fab all the time. 

(also wearing a smile always makes you look better, I think I do it too much...)

I have attached some funky ass shirts below for you all to have a scroll through, alongside some other bits that may help you broaden your pattern surroundings in 2017, I know thats what I'm doing. I want patterns, I was frills, ties, the lot. Come at me. 


H x

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

2017 - I'm Not Sure Where You're Going, But I Know You'll Be Good

Well, Happy New Year lovelies. Anyone else feel like they are drowning in other peoples resolutions? Anyone else wanting to pull the plug on Facebook status's and la dee dah paragraphs?
If you already have everything pre-planned for 2017, then I bow down to you, all the power to you, you're incredible. I just know I don't. 

This is not me saying I have absolutely no idea where my 2017 is going, its just I am not quantifying exactly what it is I want to achieve. Half of me honestly cannot be bothered, but the other half of me is, honestly, is scared of setting myself up for failure. If I am going to be completely realistic with you all, I am of course very excited for what this year has to bring, but I am also terrified that it won't meet my inner expectations. I have no doubt that no matter where it goes, I will make it work out for the best, but the not knowing is the hard part.  

Don't get me wrong I have some resolutions, like get fit before I go skiing, try and post more blog posts every week, shoot more, and hopefully move out as soon as I am able and start my own little life. But I don't have some grand vision for how my 2017 will play out, I just hope its a successful one, that gets me to a position I am comfortable in. 

Its a little bit scary speaking your dreams and goals out loud, because it makes them tangible, and real, especially if you tell someone else, you cant go back. Scary huh. I would love my blog to properly take off, after all the hard work I put in and hope to continue to put in, I would love for it to turn into something long term, I am determined to try my best to make this happen. I just don't feel like your resolutions have to be so bold and grand they can be broad and less specific. Like, bringing yourself more success, or happiness or peace. Or little things like visiting Grandparents more (this is one I am very guilty of), or shopping less god knows, whatever it is you want. But make it something you really WANT, not something you feel you should want. 

I would hope I am not alone of being scared to make true resolutions for the fear of failure. I don't mean ones like giving up drinking, or eating healthier, you and only you are in control of the fate of those resolutions so you truly choose to stick to them or stray. I mean the ones that are out of our full control. Perhaps the resolution I need, is accepting that a lot of things I truly care about, are out of my control, and to stop worrying over it all. I am going to make sure what I am in control of is heading in the direction I want, and hope for the best with everything I have no control over and stop bloody worrying about it. Sometimes you're ahead, sometimes you're behind, the race is long and in the end its only with yourself. So, calm. 

I think you should do the same, I think thats not a bad universal resolution. Accept what you have no control over, and damn well make sure you do what you can to get where you want without other people dictating it for you, that you do have a choice over. Making decisions for the betterment of yourself more than those for the betterment of others. 

I didn't fancy making up some sugar coated resolutions to make myself sound very well thought out or seemingly having everything together, I wanted to just say, you can forge your own path for 2017 if you allow yourself to, but its okay to just hope for the best. You'll be in good company, its what everyone else is doing. 

2017, the year when Hayleigh Jade McCullough continues to ramble and thanks her lucky stars you're here to listen. 


H x

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