That’s it I’m 25. It’s mad to think how much my life has changed in the last year alone, never mind the last 5! This post however, isn’t about what’s going on with me over the next few months, that will come later. Rather about some of the cute birthday gifts I got and my favourite bits and pieces.
First up, my new Thomas Sabo charm club bracelets. I love jewellery to be meaningful because I like it to express my personality, like my Posh Totty pieces I got at Christmas do. When there's a reason behind a piece of jewellery it's made meaningful, and a charm bracelet can be a great way to express that. I've wanted one for a while, having had a Truth charm bracelet in college, but I didn't want to fall into the Pandora box. Instead I'm now a member of the TS charm club, the first was a quirky beaded bracelet with a hiking boot charm attached (for obvious reasons this is the perfect charm for me). Absolutely love how different this piece is and I'm obsessed with the charm. Second I have a more classic silver link charm bracelet, this one has three charms on it. The first an aeroplane (because I love to travel), next a mix tape (this reminds me of Guardians of the Galaxy) that captures my love of all things 80s and last (but not least) a lobster claw holding a pearl which reminds me of Danny (he has a pet lobster in case I haven't already mentioned that). I know what I'll be asking for this Christmas now...
I also got a Kate Spade bracelet, I already have two bangles but this understated silver piece is a completely different style. It has four gems in the band and a slider, embossed with the spade symbol. With Kate's recent passing this makes it even more special to me. I’ve forever loved her quirky fashion sense and she was the queen of statement pieces, I'm sure her brand will continue to thrive.
Now let's get to the sweet stuff, my Candy Kittens and Hotel Chocolat. These are a few of my favourite things! I love vegan sweets and a mixture of watermelon, blueberry and peach (my absolute favourite), were delicious. I got a few selectors from Hotel Chocolat mostly dark chocolate (with rum centres) and some strawberry puddle buttons. Safe to say I’ve done nothing but eat the last few weeks. Holiday and birthday calories don’t count right?
I also got a pair of gorgeous baby pink Nike suede trainers. I love my footwear and these are a perfect spring/ summer shoe. I’m running out of space in my bedroom but I’m sure I’ll find a place for them. My other trainers are more gym or outdoorsy in style, so these will be great for more formal summer days out and will look cute with a dress or denim skirt.
My vinyl collection continues to grow, with the latest addition of the Baby Driver Soundtrack. I absolutely adore this film and the music even more. I plan to have this on repeat throughout the rest of summer. Bellbottoms! If you haven’t seen it I would definitely suggest you do (I’ve been on a bit of a film binge lately both on Netflix and at the cinema), even if it’s just for the awesome music! I’ve been tempted by a lot of soundtracks lately so I’m sure soon I'll be needing a bigger bookcase for these.
Then we have the pick and mix stuff (not sweets sadly), these include a lot of little goodies I got on my birthday. We have some more Instax Mini Polaroid film (as I’ll have run out again before long), some new Topshop underwear (there was a SALE on so I got lots of pieces from there) and my first ever Tsum Tsums, a Marvel selection including Thanos, Rocket and Drax. Finally I recently sold my old Olivia Burton rose gold watch because I wanted to try a new style, I'm so glad I did because I got a silver mesh Olivia Burton with a much smaller face. It works perfectly with my new jewelry collection, so I'm sure it'll be a new permanent fixture on my wrist.
I do love birthdays because they give you an excuse to eat cake for breakfast, and drinking cocktails is a must. They also give me a time to indulge in something I love to do! Last year I was climbing Snowdon, this year I spent the night in a swanky Manchester hotel with Danny.
I love to celebrate because we’re never guaranteed the next one (as depressing as that sounds) and it’s important to enjoy these moments. Make the most of the time with people and appreciate the little things. Whether you're throwing a huge party for all your friends or just chilling with a film and your fella. I’m excited to see where my 25th year will take me, hopefully Italy, Australia and Canada (to name a few). I also would like to be halfway to buying my own house this time next year but that's for another blog post. I'm sure I'll still be writing here in my little corner of the internet, whatever happens.
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This is a hard post to write, particularly because it's emotional for me. My little trouble maker Chewie got himself into quite a bit of trouble indeed, last Thursday morning when I woke up, before going to work he seemed a little off. He wouldn't eat a treat or any scrambled eggs, he didn't go outside when I opened the back door... but my mum insisted he was probably tired and so off to work I went.
He wasn't tired, in fact he was in a lot of trouble. Over the coming hours, emailing back and forth with my parents, they decided to be safe and take Chewie the vet. His blood tests came back normal, so they decided to X-ray his stomach, this came back showing his stomach was full of something soft & spongey. The next step was an endoscopy, they didn't want to make him throw it up as they weren't sure of the substance so this was the last step to avoid theatre... Chewie inevitably ended up in theatre and the following few hours are some of the worst of my life so far.
My parents rattled their brains to try and figure out what had happened, what could he have eaten. After speaking to the vet it turns out that on Wednesday morning the dogs had been fighting over a shower scrunch (not sure where they got it from), my dad got up and took it off them after maybe a minute or two when he came out the downstairs bathroom. It was ripped up but he assumed since they were fighting over it they'd just pulled it apart. We had no idea Chewie had eaten some of it.
Accidents happen, and Chewie while I write this is over a week post op and he's eating, drinking and even tottering / bouncing around the house again. Stretching his little legs. My fur baby has six stitches on his stomach and the mixture of anger, sadness and happiness I feel has been exhausting. The last few days I barely ate, slept or even looked after myself, I couldn't leave his side because I didn't want to not be there if anything happened. I realise it sounds like he's my kid but it's not dissimilar to parenting.
It's mad to think just a couple of months ago he was coming into my life. The bond I have with him now means the world to me, and if anything happens to him (I know eventually, when he is grey and old we will part ways), especially because he is still just a baby, it would be devastating.
The whole thing has cost a small fortune (until I hear back from the insurance), which has made me a little skint this month. My plans have gone out of the window making me feel a little lost. I'm sure in another week I will have sorted everything out. With the flat move, waiting on my flat deposit money, travel plans, freelance work and then this it's been one hell of a start to the month. I'm looking forward to getting back on track next week.
I've finally moved everything back home, which means I can officially spend all my time with him outside of work, when I'm not at Danny's or in the gym. Australia looks to be on hold for now (working on new dates as we speak) so that's a bummer, but it's more important he gets better. He's sleeping 50% of the time, but I'm not surprised by that. Hopefully this time next week he will bouncing around a little more but until then, he's a very spoilt pupper.
Go follow @chewie_the_woofie on instagram for updates on how he's recovering.
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I'm a Graphic Designer by trade (for those of you who don't know), I spend a lot of my free time doodling or out with my camera, capturing anything and everything! Here are a couple of recent illustrations, my Monday motivation, all with a positive message to help get you through the
end of the week. My life has been busier than usual lately (which has resulted in only one post the last two weeks) and I'm trying to find that balance, between work, blogging and spending time
with the people I love.
My Trek America is officially 50 days away! I'm off down to London tomorrow, taking the polaroid camera, with Danny for company and there should be plenty of ace content to come on Sunday all about that! I've got 4 birthdays in the next 5 weeks, including my very best friends. While I try and plan for all of that, it can be a little overwhelming sometimes, I like to produce illustrations that remind me of the simple things. Life moves pretty fast as Bueller would say, so I try my very best to appreciate all the experiences that come my way.
If you want to see a bit more, visit my website abydesign.co.ukabydesign.co.uk
1. Bear with it, no matter what you're working on at the minute or whatever isn't quite working
out for you. Don't give up, keep pushing yourself. You'll either succeed eventually, or if you fail
then there is always a lesson to be learned.
2. This didn't need any text, its all about loving the people around you. Hold on to them and
don't let go. You have to appreciate the time you have with them and show them you care.
3. A little quote taken from Game of Thrones, 'I am a wolf and will not be afraid'. Don't let
anything or anyone scare you, fear stops you from doing what you really want. Remember
you're strong and can do anything you put your mind to.
4. We've all had those tough moments, days, weeks or even years. Whether its
financial, work related or heartbreak, don't let it define you. Come back stronger, forgive
and move on. Never forget what it taught you though, that's the important thing.
5. My favourite thing to do. Life wasn't meant to be lived in one place and I never feel
more alive than when I'm off exploring a foreign land. Whether than be travelling
abroad or climbing a mountain. Explore the unknown, 5 or 5000 miles away.
6. Be yourself. People judge me for my sense of style, my taste in music,
my tattoos and what I post online. Don't let their opinions stop you from being yourself.
7. We can all admit we spend way to much time living digitally, so put the phone away
at least once a week and just take an afternoon or even just an hour for yourself. Go without it,
trust me you'll be much happier that you did.
I hope you found one of these positive messages was helpful, or gave you that little bit of inspiration we all need on a Monday morning or a Friday afternoon. Life is short lived, don't waste it worrying about anything.
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This is a particularly personal and difficult post to write. Looking back on 18 year old me I don't feel any connection to her, she doesn't look or feel like me and I'll tell you why. In the last few years I've lost a significant amount of weight (4 and a half stone to be exact). Before I start, this isn’t to say there is anything wrong with being a bigger or curvier figure, as long as you are healthy and happy. For me that wasn’t the case. After just finishing college, one shopping trip I found myself squeezing into size 16 jeans. I broke down, cried and realised something had to change.
I wasn’t happy. I always strived to be the best in my work and succeed academically, but after leaving high school I completely lost control of my weight (puberty didn't exactly help matters either). It’s funny how it only takes one photograph, or one nasty comment, to make you suddenly miserable. I’ve spent the past few years trying to become happy with my appearance. I’ve slowly come to the realisation that it’s impossible, but that's OK.
I’m now a size 8, but to be completely honest I'm more paranoid about my weight and appearance today, than I ever was before. It doesn’t help that we live in a world where size, in the media at least, seems to be the only thing that matters. We try to promote body confidence, celebrating plus size models, but when a slimmer celebrity puts on weight we instantly bring them down for it. At my lowest point, I was working out 5 days a week and eating less than 1000 calories a day. I spent all my time being meticulous about what I was putting in my body, avoiding carbs, chocolate and anything I wanted because I assumed that if I wanted it, I probably shouldn’t have it.
At my heaviest I was around 13 stone 7 pounds (I’m about 5 foot 5 inches just so you know), at my skinniest I was approximately 8 stone 10 pounds. I’m now sitting somewhere around 9 stone 7 pounds but it goes up and down. I run a lot and workout, which can be stressful because whilst my body isn’t necessarily getting bigger, the number on the scales is (muscle weighs more than fat remember). I was always fighting myself, to improve, get healthy, get skinny (more importantly) and I did it. In the process I got comments like ‘you’re so skinny’ but people would also ask ‘Do you not think you’re taking it a bit far now?’ Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.
Now this isn’t a rant at anyone in particular, I just wanted to share a little insight into what losing a lot of weight is like and the impact it can have on you mentally more than physically. I often get told that the pictures don’t look like me; people don’t remember me that way, it's a nice sentiment. I guess. Exercise has helped me to accept myself more. When I run or workout, I feel healthier and that overshadows my need to be skinnier.
It’s funny that in losing the weight I have lost that self-confidence I used to have. I don’t ever remember thinking this much about how I looked to everyone else. When relationships have failed I often blame myself, I’m not pretty enough or skinny enough (especially that) and I punish myself after, not eating properly for days. It surprises a lot of people that I'm so insecure about my body, especially whenever I start a new relationship (even more so when its a romantic or physical one). I don’t really want people to know how I used to look, because I don’t want to remember.
I’m training myself to become stronger, putting weight on and remembering it is muscle is harder than I anticipated. In the last 2 years I don't really recognise myself, I'm not the same person and I find it hard to relate to the me, that I used to be.
I have this weird relationship with food now though that I can’t shake; for the most part it’s good. I eat a super healthy diet 90% of the time. However, the days or weeks when I eat the bare minimum and then run to burn off the guilt, still happen intermittently. ‘The Internal Struggle’ as I often call it, do I eat the dessert and have to run 6 miles? or just not indulge. Don’t get me wrong I go out for food, buy icecream, appreciate pizza as much as the next person. There was a point when I wouldn’t even touch these because in my mind it wasn’t worth it. I’ve come a long way since then. Working two jobs (3 if you count blogging), running, hiking and training as well as socialising with friends and family, I know my body needs fuel to keep me going.
'There’s this person inside my head. She’s brilliant, capable, she’s me only so much better. And I’m afraid I’ll never become this person.’ – Meredith Grey
My Instagram is full of travel, fashion and the outdoors (I always seem to be running), but social media doesn't show everything. When I have those days that I can’t bare to look at myself in the mirror, I try to remind myself how far I have come. Take a step back and appreciate what my body has done for me. Taking part in Tough Mudder, mountaineering and hiking... I am in awe of the strength I didn't think I'd ever have. A couple of years ago I couldn’t run for 5 minutes. Now I can run 5 miles without breaking (too much of) a sweat. I don’t hate my body, but I’m pretty sure I don’t love it either (most of the time).
I’m at my happiest when doing the things I love. I want to fill the next 5 years with adventures, focus on being healthy and having new experiences. I’m not looking to settle down anytime soon, why when there’s so much of the world I’ve yet to see. I’m finally in a place where it feels like I can actually do the things on my bucket list. My size doesn't hold me back anymore.
Losing the weight has made me jump out of my comfort zone, and I’m so thankful for the drive it has given me. Was it worth all the hard work? Absolutely. Nothing in life is easy but I'm writing this because without going through it I don’t know who I’d be right now. It’s shaped me (literally) into the person I am. But here is the point I want to make being skinny isn't what makes me happy. What does is travelling to new places, exploring, challenging myself and appreciating those moments with family, friends and boyfriends. If I hadn't lost the weight I wouldn't be here. While I love fitness and being healthy, no one judges me as much as I judge myself, I know that. Don't live in fear of the number on the scales or what dress size you wear, there is so much more to life.
‘People can live a hundred years without really living for a minute.’ – Logan Huntzberger
I’m beginning to accept myself and focus on filling my time with experiences rather than living in the gym. I want to start vlogging but that means getting in front of the camera, which will be nerve wracking. There are things everyone wants to change about themselves. I've learnt that the problems I see with myself, most other people don't. I'll never look the way I want to in my head, it's an impossible goal, because we tend to focus on the negative.
My career, my family, relationships are so much more important. Fitness is part of my routine now and I know that I'll never be that person again (I don't understand how I ever was). Yes, I still have days when I feel very insecure about my appearance. It's not about having a perfect body, what's perfect? Would I be happier looking like a Victoria secret model, maybe for a little while but I highly doubt it would last. It's about accepting my body now, not being too harsh on the flaws that I have and owning it. Your life is so much more than numbers.
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Here is a bit of trivia about my tattoos, I recently got my 5th one and wanted to share the experience of being tattooed as well as my reasons behind each individual one. Now, whether or not you like tattoos they have become a huge part of society. Big ones, small ones, colour, monochrome, words, pictures... they're for everyone because they can be completely personalised, you can have whatever you want inked into your skin. However, it's not a decision to be taken lightly as they are a permanent addition to your life, some people seem to forget this, just watch Tattoo Fixers. The best way I can describe it is uncomfortable, I believe my dad actually said he thought it was like being scratched with a compass (like you used to get in those school maths sets). That is the most accurate description I have found so far!
Now I am going to start with my latest tattoo, if anyone reads this blog then you'll know in the last couple of years I have become something of an outdoors enthusiast. Climbing 7 mountains in the last 12 months, not to mention the countless walks, camps and hikes I have been going on. This tattoo I've placed next to my 2nd one, combining the two together kind of. As you can see below, the latest addition to my collection is a little mountain range, this is supposed to represent both a literal and metaphorical message. I have climbed a lot of mountains but also overcome obstacles in my life, which I am sure everyone has. The physical accomplishment of climbing a mountain gives me a great sense of self worth & confidence, I intend on continuing to travel and challenge myself more as I grow, so it was a perfect choice! The little ankle swallow sat next to the mountain I got at 18. Now this one was because I wanted to travel & at the time living in a small town I felt very confined. This was an inspirational tattoo, it definitely did inspire! I've travelled to America, Germany, Dublin, Canary Islands and around the UK, but don't plan on slowing down anytime soon! Just wait for the countless trips next year I want to check out a lot more of Europe and potentially do a few weeks travelling from city to city. I promise to share those experiences on here with you.
Tattoo number 4 I had done about 6 weeks ago. This one is a combination of my love of Disney growing up and an important realisation that you can't count on many things in life, but your family are important. No matter how little or broken, family means nobody gets left behind...
Have you worked it out yet? (The pictures a big give away). It is of course stitch, my one and only colour tattoo, he is a reminder of how much my mum, dad and sister have been there for me. We don't have the largest family, but we're there for each other. I've lost friends over the years, people go but you don't really forget them. Lilo says 'If you can want to leave you can, I'll remember you though. I remember everyone that leaves.' The messages in this film really stay with me. If I had to choose a spirit animal, it'd be Stitch.
My 3rd tattoo was emotional & impulsive. It is extremely personal because it's a selection of lyrics by the favourite band of a person I used to be really close with, I'm purposely being vague in case you were wondering, I don't want to go into too much detail. This person meant a lot to me and so I got it done as a reminder of all the good times we had, its kind of bittersweet I suppose but I don't regret getting it done, I like to think i never regret any decisions I make. I actually went to see the band 'Deftones' live this year, they played Rosemary & they were awesome.
I don't actually have a good photo of my first tattoo but it is a little tribute to the Manchester band Take That. This may seem cheesy to some but I got it on my 18th birthday, at the time I was quite overweight & did it because I was trying to find a way to love my body. I didn't really like myself, but by putting a tattoo onto my skin of something I really loved, it gave me away to control how I felt. The band were also a massive part of my life growing up, they were something I shared with my mum & the first band I ever saw perform live (I will update with a picture once I take one, it's in an awkward place).
For now I don't plan on getting anymore tattoos, I have always advocated I don't want them on a lot of parts of my body, especially anywhere visible because for me they are a personal note of my life experiences. However, when I do Trek America in October it will be my first time flying solo (literally) to another country and so I would like to document it whilst in LA, with a little trip to a tattoo parlour. We shall see if I get chance to get myself a little inked memento.
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Cocktails & Carbs
As an early birthday treat, I went into Manchester after seeing on Instagram a restaurant called 'The Laundrette' with the most amazing cocktails! So, I made a reservation & dragged Danny with me to go and give it a try.
We headed into Manchester around 5pm as the booking was at 7. Walking from Piccadilly station towards the O2 Ritz, you turn left at the top of the road, just past Dog Bowl on your left, and go under the bridge to find yourself in a very modern looking built up area filled with lots of food and bar choices.
We arrived a little early but got seated straight away, it wasn't busy for a Saturday night but picked up as the night went on. Sat in a little booth, next too some girls hen or birthday party down the far end (I couldn't be sure which but they were certainly having a good time, by the number of empty cocktail glasses across the table), and what we assumed was a first date right to the left of me by the number of awkward silences, and pieces of small talk we were able to hear.
Obviously, I started with the cocktail menu as this was the main reason I booked it! Instantly I was drawn to the Raspberry Flossi, a pink creamy cocktail that came in a jam jar style glass and a massive ball of vanilla candyfloss sat precariously on top. For presentation this place gets a 10 and the service was really efficient, the first drink arrived and we then moved onto food.
We both went with pizza, avoiding starters to ensure we had room for dessert. Mine had spicy sausage, nduja, salami and mozzarella on it, (Danny went for a classic mozzarella and basil) the side of fries was perfectly sized for us to share and it arrived piping hot withing 15 minutes of us ordering. The food itself was such good quality, I love a fresh made pizza and you could really taste that. It was doughy, thin and similar to my favourite pizza place 'Pizza Pilgrims' in London, this came a pretty close second.
By this point I had finished my first cocktail and moved onto the Blueberry Gin Mojito. The colour of this was mesmerizing it looked incredible, tasted it too. A very refreshing blend, I love mojitos and will try every combination I can get my hands on. This one almost beat out the strawberry ones I had whilst on holiday in the Gran Canaria a few years ago.
Dessert next, I was determined to attempt one as I don't know when I will get to visit again. Torn, I went with the Peanut Butter Popcorn Cheesecake, over the Hot Coffee Pudding, not realizing it would be a ball of popcorn stuck on top with pure smooth peanut butter. Nonetheless, it was delicious but a little too heavy for me and the slice was way too big! As you can see Danny was sensible with his choice of vanilla ice cream and so helped me out a bit with the monster cheesecake.
Finally I wanted a surprise, so got a random third and final cocktail, this one was called the 'I Scream For Ice Cream' a smooth blend of cola and amaretto topped with salted caramel ice cream. Now I absolutely love salted caramel and ice cream floats are very strange but so satisfying. This was like another dessert and definitely a struggle to finish but that may had had something to do with all the food!
All in all I was really impressed it is somewhere I plan to take my mum and sister next. The pricing was really reasonable, cocktails being about £8 each and the pizza was only £10 so I think if you're looking for a great evening in Manchester maybe before a gig at the Apollo check it out!
I am loving this blog as an excuse to go try more food places!! Next stop Black Milk Cereal.
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Last year I spent a lot of time in Birmingham. Whilst down there I was shown around a lot of really cool, interesting places that I thought I would share with you. My visits mostly were over the weekends and included food, drink, culture and a beautiful park known as Lickey Hills.
I will start my post with a place that to me resembled the character of the Northern quarter in Manchester. With quirky pop ups shops, festivals and events - The Custard Factory is a must see. If not for the shopping definitely for the street art. The place is a canvas for colourful illustrative graffiti that brings the dull brickwork to life. I have included just a few of my favourite pieces i have found but I wouldn't want to ruin the experience so will leave you to discover them for yourselves. Inside of The Custard Factory you will find brightly coloured buildings not a million miles away from Balamory, with strings of lights flowing between them. There is also a massive looming sculpture of a tree like figure, anyone who has seen Guardians of the Galaxy might be reminded of a certain someone.
My first visit included a pop up vinyl shop, I'm an avid collector of vinyl and anything retro so I couldn't resist a little browse. The next time I went down they had left so I will note that if you see something you want get it, some of the places might not be stopping around for long. Next I discovered a craft beer shop called 'Clink' these guys have an amazing selection including limited edition bottles. Here in Knutsford we have one called 'Dexter and Jones', I am sucker for craft beer not just the flavours but the bottles.
My designer background makes me a little obsessed with packaging especially when its something so creative. I have been know to make the 200 mile round trip to pick myself up a couple of bottles! An American alternative metal band called Deftones released a beer with Belching Beaver Brewery in San Diego. I spent ages trying to get a bottle for the guy I was seeing at the time (they're his favourite band), but sourcing them in the UK was a nightmare. Then earlier this year they posted on Instagram that some had arrived in store, so I messaged them to reserve me a couple of bottles and drove over. They didn't disappoint! I drank one before seeing the band live in Manchester not long ago, it was delicious, and the other is proudly on display in my flat!
My last trip I stopped by the most recent addition was a bicycle themed cafe that I have forgotten the name of. Inside they sold tons of art and nerdy items including movie prints, mugs and other collectables. The cakes and coffees are top notch, quick service as well as a relaxed atmosphere and a pick and mix of tables and chairs gives the place a charming appearance. If you are looking for good food and drink though I would recommend 'The Mockingbird' it serves craft beers, wine, spirits and offers delightful bistro food. They hold a lot of events because it also has a 101 seat cinema. I really want to attend one of the classic film screenings, or movie marathons they have, in the past I have missed a couple of opportunities. I'm considering a trip over summer maybe early August, better keep an eye on tickets!
Our second stop is further out, Lickey Hills is one of Birmingham’s most varied and treasured parks. It covers 524 acres and is located just 10 miles south west of Birmingham. The place is perfect for an afternoon run, jog, walk with the kids, dogs or even a romantic stroll. I've been here several times and I'm such a nature lover that I could happily walk around for hours. Take a picnic with you on a summer day and just get lost, there are plenty of kids play areas but for the more adult of you I would recommend just going a little off path and heading deeper into the woodland.
Heading up these hills gives you some incredible views and a clear shot over all of Birmingham. Having been taken up here on late nights, it's a pretty beautiful sight when the city is all lit up. Very romantic and peaceful. You really can't beat hideaways like this, I love Delamere forest for the same reason and trips to the Lake District or Wales so it is amazing to find one so close to the city.
My final stop is in Birmingham city centre, now the national gallery is stunning if thats your thing, stocked full of oil canvas paintings and chocked full of history. But if a more modern style is what you're into a great little find is the IKON gallery, they change it up every so often and you don't quite know what you will get. It is set over just a few floors usually holding 2 or 3 exhibits of work. Personally, any gallery to me is interesting because you can get such weird and wonderful pieces in modern art places. As you can see in the photos its quite a cold building with stone floors and walls, giving it an industrial feel.
Now there is plenty on offer in the way of food from all your mainstream restaurant chains to pubs and bars. Walk down the canal and you will find a buzzing nightlife especially on a Saturday afternoon. Take in all the boats floating on the water, passing some delightful pubs and theres a lovely little restaurant quarter over the bridge, I really need to return here and tick a few off my list! The Bullring shopping centre is perfect if you want to do some retail therapy, its massive but I prefer to avoid the big hustle and bustle of shopping centres for a more unique experience of the city.
If you plan on going for a weekend I hope the recommendations help, it's a pretty awesome place and I find with any city I have every been too just walking around and getting lost you usually find the best places. Hopefully my next visit will include some new hotspots to show you as I am planning on going to one of The Custard Factory's record festivals very soon!
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Hey, this is my very first blog post!!! (I want to build a sort of back catalogue over the next month, of what I've been up to the last 6 months). I have had such an insane start to this year and found myself really motivated to do more with my time, be adventurous, travel and step out of my comfort zone. What better way to document it all than on my very own blog.
This is a quick little intro with ten things to know about me. Not the boring profile stuff like age, hair colour... This hopefully just will give you an insight into my life, who I am as a person & what I like to get up to. I can't wait to share some photos from the past 18 months, but also start planning more for the future to keep you guys reading! (If anyone is even there).
So lets get to this list:
ONE. I suppose I can start with the fact I have 5 tattoos, I may do a post about them later. I got my first one on my 18th Birthday and the latest just last week. Each one is very personal and they tell a part of my story which I feel is important with tattoos for me personally.
TWO. There will be a lot of running posts here but what people don't generally know is that I used to be quite overweight. About 4 to 5 years ago I decided to make a change and began working out at the gym constantly. In total I lost around 4 stone which has had a massive impact on who I am today.
THREE. I moved into my first flat at the grand old age of 23, in April this year. To say the least it was an eventful experience! I love having my own space but it has been a lot to take in lately. With working, saving for holidays and being generally a very active person, I have found the home improvement stuff takes a back seat. I really need to get stuck into putting my mark on it!
FOUR. I work for a publishing company in Knutsford, anything I do online is just because I enjoy it. The blogging is more for me to look back on rather than me pursuing it as a career. I like the idea of having an outlet to go with my Instagram and Twitter, where I can really write about my experiences rather than just post a photo.
FIVE. I am a graphic designer and although I don't actively do much freelance I also this year put together my first official website. I will link it to this blog but it is abydesign.co.uk, you can buy prints and stuff on my Society6 page but it is just a bit of fun (at least for now).
SIX. I have two sisters, they're called Hannah and Lara and I am the oldest. I am 24, Hannah is 21 and Lara is almost 19. We are all completely different and its been strange all of us living separately now after growing up together. I am sure they will feature on here at some point.
SEVEN. I would probably say my favourite city is Manchester, at least at home here in the UK. I don't live too far away and spend time there whenever I can. It's just such an exciting place and there will be plenty of posts featured around it in the future I am sure, not to mention the Northern Quarter has amazing food and drink on offer.
EIGHT. I lived in London for a while, doing a placement working in digital publishing. It was my first experience being away from home and I absolutely loved every minute! Despite moving back up north and being in a much more rural area now, I thrive in the city atmosphere. It just has this buzz about it. There are lots of little hideaways I plan on writing about and sharing with you all.
NINE. In the last year I have become a budding mountaineer! In love with nature and camping I have been climbing mountains in the UK, most recently Snowdon. I did that for my birthday just last week with Danny, in less than ideal conditions! The Lake District, Yorkshire Dales, Wales and Scotland are such beautiful places that I can just never get sick of. Sometimes you forget what is right on your doorstep.
TEN. Finally, I studied Photography and English Literature whilst at college. I always wanted to get into photojournalism and documenting things, so I suppose in a way it has come full circle. I have been so busy working in the design industry. But now I am settled in my career and adulting successfully I feel it is the perfect time to create something like this.
I promise much more of a visual post next! As I mentioned I turned 24 last week and so a lot of celebrations included visiting a new restaurant/bar in Manchester, camping in Beddgelert, climbing Snowdon, getting tattoo number 5 and doing the Manchester Color Run...
... so I am going to get stuck into writing some more blog posts now.
🍑 A B Y
Aby, 24. Northerner.