How He Asked – Raffles Hotel – The Seychelles


It’s not often that a hotel takes my breath away or makes me feel so unsettled when I leave, but Raffles Praslin outdid everything I ever expected of a hotel and customer service. Our 3 day stay topped any other hotel stay to date. (and there has been a lot).

After a few hours at Raffles Praslin I was already completely and utterly in love, we arrived early in the morning wide eyed and excited after a short boat journey from La Digue. We’d planned to drop our bags off until check-in, in the afternoon and jump into a taxi to what is often labelled as ‘the most beautiful beach in the world’ until we could check in (it’s a hard life in the Seychelles). Instead we were seated in the open air reception, presented with a delicious juice & actually apologised to because our room wasn’t ready, and to compensate us for this our Butler would drive us to a hospitality villa until our normal villa was ready later. We were also told to let our Butler know as soon as we were ready to be whisked down to Breakfast….once I had picked my jaw off the floor we hopped onto the golf buggy and moved into our beautiful hospitality villa for the morning!


Then our ‘upgraded’ (my favourite word when on holiday) Villa was ready. I had another jaw dropping moment when we entered our Panaormanic Ocean View Villa. At this point I wanted to cancel our other hotel on Mahe and stay at Raffles for the rest of the holiday!

Our Villa had an amazing view of the Ocean from the terrace, private pool, bedroom and bath. Tropical flowers decorated the bedroom table, a covered platter with a rose lay on the terrace, our bath was filled, decorated with candles and petals and beside it sat a bottle of Champagne on ice. As I had emailed ahead to explain this was a special stay to celebrate my partners very recent 30th birthday this was pleasant but not to unexpected surprise.

I guess there is only one other way to make an aready amazing place and hotel even more spectacular, and that’s to have your partner of 4 years get down on one knee and ask the question that most girls dream of.

So my sneaky partner stole my trip thunder and arranged with the hotel to for a completely unexpected and wonderfully romantic proposal on our terrace in paradise. It did explain why we were driven to our villa by our Butler and one of the hotel hospitality managers and why they very quickly left us with larger than normal smiles on their faces!

Once they had left we explored the Villa together, taking it all in as we usually do,  once on our terrace my partner told me to lift the cover to what I had assumed was a fruit platter. That ‘fruit platter’ changed my life forever, because underneath the cover was the cutest proposal I have ever seen. A lot of tears were shed (by me), an amazing ring was presented and my dreams really came true.


Raffles helped make a life changing moment even more special, I don’t think there is anywhere more perfect that that for him to have pooped the question.


I’m can’t wait to go back. Truly the trip of a lifetime.

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Commuter Woes

Whether it’s part of your daily participation in the rat race or just an occasional jaunt you’ve probably all jumped on the tube (aka the Underground) at rush hour.

If I didn’t have to travel at rush hour I wouldn’t, I would avoid the hoards of 9-5ers, tourists and the other poor souls subjected to stuffy, smelly and squashed carriages.

It is at rush hour where I turn into a slightly different person, it seems it’s all for one and one for all here, manners suddenly cease to exist once some people enter a tube station. Pushing, shoving and a complete lack of personal space apparently become the norm (though I don’t push or shove and i like my personal space), with people elbowing you, reading your iPhone over your shoulder and breathing heavily on your neck, a real delight…

Here are my top tips to keep you sane on the tube:

  1. Don’t wear nice shoes you care about, even my smallish size 4 feet are constantly trampled on, no matter where or how neatly I place them. Wear flip flops at your own risk.
  2. Someone will fight you for a seat, and then they will get off at the next station. It happens a lot, don’t stress about it.
  3. People do fight for the arm rests, this is a war i don’t even bother to participate in. It is not worth it, unless they encroach further than the armrest and into your seat – if they do, fiddling with your hair, in pockets or handbag tend to gently nudge people enough to get the hint.
  4. That brightly colored pole isn’t for leaning it, it’s for holding onto so that passengers don’t end up on a strangers lap or thrown across the carriage if the train has to stop sharply. Please don’t lean on it (especially if my hand is holding it – that can’t be comfortable!)
  5. Stand in the aisle between the seats (on tubes where you can) you end up with more space than near the doors, and are more likely to get a seat.
  6. Carry an iPod or headphones for your phone so you can block out listening to other commuters ‘music’,  just don’t be one of those people that shares it with everyone by turning the volume up super loud.
  7. People will read their Newspaper on you, I find shuffling around in my bag or playing with my hair a few times annoys them enough to stop sharing their paper with me and my personal space.
  8. Enjoy your personal space while it lasts, some commuters have no issues with standing on you, over you or just stabbing you with their handbag, shopping, elbow and even knees. Stand firm, especially if you were there first and they decide to stand on you when you aren’t doing anything wrong.
  9. People will attempt to hold your hand or your fingers if you are holding a pole. Some people don’t find touching a complete strangers hand weird….FYI IT IS WEIRD!
  10. When a dog gets on everyone smiles, unless it’s a Rottweiler or a Doberman….that’s another way to create a lot more personal space.
  11. Take off your huge rucksack, and stop knocking out everyone within a metre radius. If you’re standing in the aisle please stop draping your handbag, shopping, gym kit, scarf, jacket or whatever additional luggage you have on the person sat down in front of you. They don’t need your personal items in their face or on their knees.
  12. If you’re waiting on the platform, and you’ve just seen someone step off the train and stand to the side (in front of you) to let other passengers off don’t try to jump on the train before then, they were already on the train, let them get on first. 
  13. When a train comes into the station the doors will open, this is where the current passengers get off before you get on, people that understand this simple concept stand to each side and let them get off….those who don’t attempt to push their way through those trying to get off, it’s amusing.
  14. Many tourists have no idea how the tube works, but give them a bit of a break, we’ve all been there. Guide books tend to forget the important things about the Tube so they will hold you up at the ticket barrier, they won’t stand on the right of the escalator, they will stand in the middle of the station for no real reason and they won’t move down the middle of the train so everyone can get on. However, the worst offenders are those large groups that swing around the carriage arrogantly, while shouting across the train at each other…headphones are again useful!
  15. Avoid rush hour (if you can), travelling after 10am, before 4pm and after 7pm is a lot more peaceful, well during the week anyway.
  16. Download CityMapper, it’s the perfect London routing app to help you get from A to B, you can even select a ‘rain safe’ journey which in London is a real gem.
  17. If God had wanted us to make eye contact on the Tube, then why did he give us the Evening Standard?– A writer for the Evening Standard.

Good luck out there, may the odds be forever in your favour! 

So, I’m getting married…

So, I’m getting married in a few weeks and planning a wedding has certainly been a bit of a learning curve. So far I haven’t been called Bridezilla, but there are still a few weeks to go, I still have time.  

Along the way we/I have learnt a few things, i possibly should have bought a dummies guide to wedding planning before starting. They must do those right? 

Here what I have learnt so far;

Spending Spreadsheet

No matter where you get married it will cost you more than you expect, be it the stamps for your invites, the printing of everything, spending extras on little things you fall in love with along the way. It adds up. It can spiral out of control if you aren’t careful. If you are on a budget remember to take a moment to decide if those expensive extras will really make a big impact on your wedding, or will they be lost with everything else. We found that having the main large payments set out in a list with the total cost kept us up to date with the final price. I also found that buying things each month along the way helped spread out the cost too.

Wedding Location

For as long as I can remember we’ve always talked about a destination wedding, I don’t think either of us could ever imagine getting married in the Uk now. Travel is a such a important aspect of our lives so, we’re having a destination wedding in Mexico. I knew that whatever happened, I couldn’t get married here, even if it meant that only our closest family was there, it felt like the right thing to do for us. If all goes to plan, we’re having a wedding we have always dreamed of. I can’t wait to feel the sand on my toes, the sound of the ocean and our closest friends and family who also share the travel bug sharing in a day that is us through and through.

Weddings aren’t just about the girl 

My fiancé is fully involved in the planning, I’m a very visual person so with every Pinterest photo I find, I make sure I run it past him to see if we’re on the same page. So far so good. He’s even caught the Pinterest bug. We’ve both discarded certain colours that the other would have liked but in the end we’ve both decided on a happy medium. He’s been fully involved, throwing great (and not so great) ideas into the mix, which surprised me but also made me love him even more. As much as people may think it’s all me, I will be so happy knowing it’s both of our visions coming to life for our dream wedding. 

You can’t please everyone 

We both prefer a more laid back atmosphere, we aren’t big on being the centre of attention, preferring the quieter, more laid back side of things. Which is why we decided to have an intimate wedding with just our nearest and dearest.

The one thing we knew from the moment we got Engadget was that we weren’t going to follow every tradition, we wanted something that was true to us and we weren’t going to just follow something because people say you should, and there isn’t anything wrong with that.    

No matter what you do people will disagree with your choice or tell you they would have done it differently. It’s impossible to please everyone. A wedding is about the bride and groom, not anyone else. We wanted something intimate, and by inviting those we are close to, those that we talk to and see regularly, we aren’t trying to hurt anyone’s feelings but we also aren’t letting other people’s expectations dictate our guest list. And, If someone says ‘sorry, we can’t come guys’, then that’s okay. We’ve chosen to fly 4,000+ miles away, we get it.

If we invited every family member, every friend and their plus one then it would end up spiralling out of control, and we’d lose the laid back intimate atmosphere we both want.


Confirm confirm and re confirm with your venue, vendors, everyone. Here or abroad this applies, just confirm everything. A good wedding coordinator is key. I work in a very professional environment which is fast pasted. It took me a lot of time to adjust to the slower more laid back pace of the Carribbean. A huge wedding issue to us was nothing to our wedding coordinator. We’ve sorted out some bumps along the way and hopefully our wedding will be everything we want it to be for us and our guests.  

Social Media 

Most of my job is on online marketing so I’m pretty active on social media. I made our save the date video, I designed our wedding invites and all our stationary, and I pulled together the wedding website with my fiancé. We’re proud of the hard work we put into them so I am happy to share them on my social media. (With some details removed). If you don’t want your wedding mentioned on social media tell your friends/guests, and if you’re a guest follow the couple or bridal parties lead. Before we had sent out all the invites we didn’t mention it as we wanted our guests to see them first. 

This also applies to the big day, we’re asking our guests not to share any photos until after we do. We don’t want an unplugged wedding as we can’t wait to see our friends and families snaps, and we have a wedding hashtag. But as we’re having a wedding abroad where many of our close friends and family can’t make it we want the chance to put it out there first.


I am forever reading about stag and hens that cost a fortune, and that attending a wedding (even in the uk) costs guests hundreds of pounds. We are incorporating our hen/stag within the time we are away so those guests who arrive in time (there’s no pressure) can attend. Rather than have people shell out even more to attend another event. Neither of us want a big affair. But let’s see what the Best man plans.   

A wedding email address

The thing I found most helpful is having a wedding email address that all wedding correspondence is done through, it means that both of us can reply to things, that everything is in one place and easy to find, it also means that post wedding I’m not bombarding with wedding spam emails.

Google Docs

Google sheets were a gem, not only can we access them on the go but we know they’re up to date. I use this a lot with our guest list, decoration options, menu choices, pricing and wedding options. 

Have non-wedding time

Take time off from wedding planning, I find after a long day I don’t want to come home and discuss favours or decoration or the pro’s and cons of a £800 plain white basic dance floor anymore. So we make sure to have some days off from any wedding talk here and there.

Plan Ahead

I wish I hadn’t done this, but as our venue was only finalised in May/June and a lack of photos or CGI’s I had to leave a fair amount of planning until the last few months in case we needed to change it. If I could go back I would do as much as possible in advance, and even starting to pack those things that aren’t needed before. Even things like designing the stationary ready to have the final details added in once they’re known, or ordering welcome bags when we had an approximate number of guests. (Order too many and you’ll be fine)

With just a few weeks left, I am so excited.  We’ve been engaged 3 years next month, so the wedding has been long anticipated.  

Are you planning a wedding? Or have you planned a wedding? I’d love to hear your tips and tricks too?  I’m hoping not to have post wedding blues, we’ve got lots of exciting things happening post wedding and a honeymoon to plan so hopefully that will keep me busy. 

My 30 before 30 – Update

So, I’m well into my 30th year now, when I turned 30 a colleague told he seriously thought I was around 22, and I’m going to hang onto that, for as long as possible!

Friends told me it was nothing, that turning 30 doesn’t change anything, but obviously I am still sitting here worrying about wrinkles and cellulite. After over 6 months of woes I’ve finally found time to evaluate the last few years, and how I got on with my 30 before 30.

In 2013 I set myself a list of things that I wanted to accomplish by the time the dreaded three-zero came around. So how did I do…

30 before 30

1. Snorkel the Great Barrier Reef.
In December 2014 we finally made the 24 hour journey to Sydney and then onto the Queensland coast and all the way out to the Great Barrier Reef. I have the most amazing memories from this trip, not only did I spend a day snorkelling the reef with my partner and my parents but I was treated to an amazing flight over the reef, the famous (and beautiful) Heart Reef and the Whitsunday Islands. To date this was the best flight of my life, I also got to sit upfront as co-pilot! The photos speak for themselves.

2. Buy a house.
Good things come to those who wait, hopefully.

3. Revisit the Indian Ocean.
In September 2013 I made it back to paradise after our first trip to the Maldives in 2009. This time it was the wonderful Seychelles for another 30th birthday celebration. I won’t ever forget it for so many reasons, the main being that my soon to be husband asked me to marry him midway through our trip.

4. Own a designer handbag
It may not be the Prada I spent years coveting but for me it’s about moments not things right now, so my bargain Osprey and MK bags are adequate.

5. Own a pair of designer shoes.
I’m going to say that the Vivienne Westwood shoes my cousins just bought me count in this. They were a complete and utter bargain.

6. Buy my own car.
I’m pretty lucky, my fiance and I share the same taste in cars, so when it came to choosing our first car together we had no issues, we fell in love instantly. I barely drive her, but she’s a beauty and she’s all ours.

7. Own something from Tiffany’s.
I coveted a beautiful Tiffany bracelet for years and at Christmas it became mine.

8. Get a pay rise.
Over the last few years I have progressed my career, because I enjoy what I do I’m continually looking to further my career and improve my knowledge with courses, webinars and self teaching.

9. Stay at a Mandarin Oriental/Raffles hotel.
We stayed at Raffles hotel on Praslin Island in the Seychelles. It’s my number one hotel. It’s worth every single penny. It was an incredible experience, from the wonderful villa we stayed in to the epic service we received.

10. Stroke a Safari Animal.
It may not have been on Safari in Africa (one day) but when a Giraffe stuck its head into the jeep during our tour at Longleat Safari I was beaming. And then in Queensland, Australia I got to cuddle a cute, cuddly and sleepy koala and stroke and feed a couple of kangaroos and Wallabies. My dream would to be to visit the Black Jaguar and Lions in Mexico City. Check them out.

11. Start and maintain a gym routine again.
I’ve rejoined the gym, and am trying to get back into a routine [so that’s this one half ticked!] This morning I read that we need to just take 1% of our day to get a good work out in, that’s nothing when you look at the bigger picture.

12. Perfect my Make Up routine
I wish I could afford to have my lashes, eyebrows and my nails done every few weeks, but I can’t, so instead I have finally worked out what basics suit me. I dabbled into the world of HD Brows and left happy. Over the years I’ve gone through phases of a make up bag stuffed with everything from Channel, Armani and Dior, to all the usual high street brands. Now I’m really happy sticking to the high street until my priorities of travel and house saving change. The contents of my make up bag doesn’t cost a fortune but everything works for me.

I am still on the hunt for a long-lasting and non smudge liquid liner though, for now Mac and Stila are keeping me happy, but the best of the best is yet to be found.

13. Visit the Cotswolds.
A close friend had the most beautiful countryside wedding in the heart of the Cotswolds, to this day it’s been one of my favourite weddings that I’ve attended. We barely spend anytime exploring our own country, instead opting to see as much of the world as we can before we settle down.

14. Go on a Hen do.
Since I added this, there have been a few, they are as fun as you can imagine, they’ve ranged from phallic straws to sophisticated Gin afternoon tea.

15. Buy a MacBook.
I took the plunge, and took advantage of my current student discount and bought myself the MacBook Pro of my dreams after years and years of coveting.

16. Visit Dubai.
As we flew with Emirates to Australia, it seemed very fitting to stop in Dubai for a few days on the way, and what a wonderful whirlwind three days they were. Dubai surprised me, I thought I would hate it…but I loved it and can’t wait to return again soon.

Dubai .jpg

17. Save up a deposit
This should have come above ‘Buying a House’ but nevermind. Saving is hard and I’ve had to give up frivolous things and be really strict, but it’s worth it, otherwise buying a house would never become a reality. I have a spreadsheet, I allocate spending for travel each year to make sure we still have the balance in our life. I’d happily forgo eating out, takeaways, trips to the cinema, clothes, alcohol, day trips or uk trips to make sure we can buy the house we love and see as much of the world as we can while we can. I’m pretty good at sourcing a bargain so it helps.

18. Own the 10 key wardrobe pieces/staples.
Because of the above, this is still something that’s ongoing, I am still coverting the perfect thigh high suede flat boots but just can’t part with the £500 that the dream Stuart Wiseman boots cost. Instead I make do with the odd Primark trip, a bargain sales buy (hello Zara) and selling on eBay.

19. Start and maintain a travel/lifestlye blog.
I’m here trying my hardest to push past my self doubt, to ignore the pressure I put on myself and finish the dozen half written posts I’m too scared to publish.

20. Learn how to decorate cakes.
On a drizzly Sunday afternoon in a Hampstead pub we were taught how to decorate cupcakes, I wasn’t too bad at all and surprisingly nor was my fiance!

21. Learn more about Photography and InDesign/Photoshop
A while back I did a 2 days introduction course to InDesign, it made me realise I’ve self-taught myself pretty well as I was already doing everything we covered and found the course too easy. Of course there is always more to learn, but I’m incredibly happy with all that I’ve achieved so far. I am currently doing a Photography diploma online. Online learning is hard work, trying to get that motivation to sit down and turn off Netflix is pretty hard. But I am persisting and practising by making various friends wedding stationary, artwork for prints and now my own wedding stationary.

22. Learn to cook something new every month.
The internet is an amazing place for amazing recipes. Although we might not cook something new every month we try as much as we can, i love trying something new, so this is something i love working on.

23. Eat at a 3 Michelin Star Restaurant
My amazing cousins treated me to a pretty spectacular lunch at Alan Ducasse at The Dorchester. We were spoiled with three courses of some of the tastiest food I’ve ever had and sent home with a super cute goody bag. Couldn’t recommend it enough.

24. Watch a west-end show.
The Lion King blew me away, The Woman In Black terrified me and Kim Cattrall in Sweet Bird Of Love left me in awe.

25. Get Contact Lenses.
They may cost me a fortune but contact lenses are my preferred option. I love my tortoiseshell frames but for comfort and ease , it’s contacts all the way now.

26. Read 12 books in 12 months.
I have trashy taste in books, don’t judge me. It allows me to escape the real world. I accomplished this quite easily with the help of the Twighlight saga, 50 Shades of Grey, The Hunger Games trilogy and various other non fiction reads.

27. Get Engaged.
I added this to my list in the vague hope it would happen one day, a girl can dream right? We had always talked of our future but an engagement wasn’t really on the cards for a few years and until we’d bought our first home. So when it did happen, it wasn’t expected and it was to me, the most perfect proposal that I could have ever imagined (other than he didn’t film it).

28. DeClutter my Wardrobe
In the last 2-3 years I have emptied my wardrobe of a number of black sacks of clothes, shoes and accessories. They went to friends, family and charity. However until we buy a house with a walk in wardrobe this will have to keep happening, along side a shopping ban.

29. Fix my smile.
This was one of the best decisions I have ever made, spurred on by a beautiful proposal, the support of my family and fiancé, and the threat of wedding photos I plucked up the courage to visit a Dentist (for the first time in 10+years). It was worth every appointment, all the discomfort and every single penny. Read here for my experience.

30. Get a professional Massage.
Where else is better than Thailand to get your first professional Massage. After a not so great experience (arriving to find the whole hotel rented out for a 4 day wedding for the 3 days we were there and our room faced it all) we were compensated with a wonderful 1 hour full body Thai Massage. It was heaven, and helped me feel less anxious about the fact my 60-year-old father had to endure constant noise and loud music for the 3 days that we had set aside for ‘pure relaxation’ during our three weeks in Asia.

I honestly loved writing my list and setting myself these ideal goals. I found it gave me things to strive to, to aim for. It isn’t about ticking off experiences like they are meaningless, but prioritising and listing the things i want to experience the most. It gives me focus to achieve everything I want to achieve. My twenties were so full of so many other amazing things, so many spectacular moments and accomplishments. Here is to my thirties, and the next chapter of adventures.

40 before 40? Wow, things just got really real!


It seems that life got in the way, doubt seeped in and I never quite fell into a content routine for #SnapTravelShop. I think I’m ready now to make time for this, to take some more risks and write about something I love – sharing the adventures I live for.

I have many posts in my drafts, I haven’t quite had the confidence to post them, to put my words, feelings and opinions out there. But if something doesn’t scare you, it’s no longer a challenge, and challenging yourself is the best thing you can do to succeed, well that’s how I feel anyway.

In my everyday life I love a challenge. ‘Can we create this?’ Or ‘Can we make Videos?’ …as soon as someone poses a questions like this I want to know how, I want to gain that knowledge. So i find tutorials and teach myself how. It happens a lot, but over the years it’s easy to forget how much you teach yourself, and how much you’ve accomplished.

Sometimes you need to look back and see how far you’ve come, assess yourself, like a personal 121. Congratulate yourself on your successes and remind yourself of the goals you have for the next month, year or even 5 years. I always crave a new adventure, a project, something to look forward to, something to work towards.

The next 12 months should be pretty crazy, I’m getting married and buying a house and trying to progress and push myself further career wise, I want to learn more and more. So really what I want to say is, I really hope you’ll join me for the ride. No doubt it’s going to be a little bumpy but hopefully they’ll be some pretty amazing adventures too!

A Leap Of Faith

“If you are not willing to risk the unusual, you will have to settle for the ordinary.’ – Jim Rohn

For years I have always talked myself out of thingsbe it purchases, relationships, holidays, job opportunities, courses, driving  or buying that limited edition pair of shoes that have never been available since (yes, it still haunts me). You name it and I have probably told myself that I couldn’t do it, shouldn’t buy it or it wouldn’t work out. I have opened countless emails, seen something amazing that I want, over thought it and then deleted the email or walked away.

Then something changed, I realised talking myself out of amazing opportunities wasn’t helping me, it wasn’t making my life any better, and I wasn’t protecting myself from anything. I decided maybe it was time to take a leap of faith.

I’m surrounded by ambitious people, and people who take risks and are living their dreams. I’m an ambitious person, but not a risk taker; always scared of making the wrong decision, always visualising the worst case scenario and expecting the worst. I realised that I needed to say ‘yes’ more, take a few more risks and live more of the life I really wanted to live. Time to follow my heart and stop my head doing all the talking. After all, if you don’t try something you won’t actually know if it’s the right thing to do. So I decided to start doing all the things I’ve always wanted to do, and take a few more (calculated) risks.


Me taking The leap of faith @ Aquaventure – Atlantis The Palm

I started with something small, I booked a Cruise around the Caribbean, I took a risk as it wasn’t planned for, but it was a ridiculously good deal. Guess what? Everything that needed to fall into place to make it happen, did. It all worked itself out perfectly, and in the end it was an amazingly unforgettable 2 weeks.  Since then I have tried as much as possible to say yes to things. To not over think the my purchases, to take that leap of faith (be it the Waterpark ride or in life), even if it’s just saying yes to things I wouldn’t normally. Slowly but surely taking small leaps and putting myself out there a little more, and since then I’ve noticed a such a great difference.

I also learnt that shying away from the things you’re worried about or scared of won’t help you progress, saying no, whether it to yourself or others can hold you back. I realised the only person losing out was me. Saying yes a lot more means I am living a life I love and still getting to where I want to be, but this way I’m enjoy the journey a hell of a lot more!

So, stop worrying so much, trust your intuition and take that little leap of faith.



My Experience of 6 Month Smiles – Adult Braces

For years and years I was petrified of the Dentist, I avoided visiting for over 10 years. At 16 I didn’t need Braces, I had straight teeth, however when my wisdom teeth came through and my mouth became overcrowded my front teeth looked bucked. For years I hated my smile, I hated every photo of myself, after getting engaged in late 2013 I decided it was time to stop wallowing, stop being scared of the unknown and do something about it. I wanted a smile I was proud of and a smile I wouldn’t hate in all our wedding photos.

I bit the bullet (no pun intended) and did a lot of Googling, a lot of research and asked for recommendations. A close friend recommended her Dentist, a close friend of hers. After a couple of calls to practices and a little more research I was ready to book a consultation with the recommended Broadway Dental practice in North London.

IMG_2351At my free consultation my dentist was friendly, calming and entirely knowledgeable. Going in I was filled with anxiety, I was scared and nervous of what they would say about my horrible teeth and how much all the work I thought I would need after all these years would cost. I left feeling happy, relaxed and ready to start the process, not once did I feel pressured either.

I went for 6 Month Smiles, they’re ceramic white Braces that are much less noticeable than traditional silver Braces, plus the process only takes between 4-9 months. Next I was scheduled in for my 1st proper appointment, there I was given my first ever filling, molds were taken of my teeth and some before photos were taken. I then went from being someone that spent 10 years avoiding the dentist to a 1.5 hour appointment and signing up to months and months of ongoing appointments.

It’s a real commitment. You have to be serious about the results and making time to attend the appointments and looking after your Braces/teeth, otherwise it’s not worth the investment (both time and money). Once my Braces were attached I had a week of mouth ache, my teeth hurt, but I consoled myself with a few paracetamol and told myself they should hurt, they’re being moved after all! The wires/brackets did rub my mouth and it did feel weird, after a lot of talking the inside of my mouth would be sore, and sometimes I’d feel really self conscious. Most people didn’t even notice the Braces, and in most photos you can barely see them. My fiancé did however lovingly liken me to a camel moving its mouth/lips for my time with them (that’s love right there). I struggled with any solid food for about a week, I missed being able to eat Baguettes, hard crusted bread and popcorn. I also missed that extra 10 minutes sleep in the morning and not having to brush my teeth after every single meal without feeling gross. However it was all worth it, the weirdness, the pain, the ulcers, and the rushing to appointments from work.

After around the 6 months I had the Ceramic Braces removed (it feels very strange and the sound during removal is an interesting one, thankfully my dentist warned me about the noise before – sounds worse than it is). With my previous research and after speaking to my dentist I was aware that sometimes you can have discoloration from the Braces. As a big coffee drinker I was worried, so made sure I changed to always drinking through straws, I was happy to find I had no discoloration at all. I was also told to change from whiting toothpaste to a combination of Colgate Total and a high fluoride prescription toothpaste. I am likely to continue with drinking through straws to stop my teeth staining.

After having the brackets removed it was onto the final tweaking with Trays/Clear orthodontic aligners, what most people would think of/know as InvisalignHalf way through my experience I wondered if I should have gone with clear aligners, but now I’ve tried the method I am 100% happy with my decision. Personally I think clear aligners are great if you are flexible enough to visit the dentist every 7-12 days, are ok with having to take the trays out (it’s not always simple, the first few times were hard) for every single meal and snack for at least 12-24 months. I can see the attractions – they can barely be seen, and they don’t rub the inside of your mouth. Personally they felt more inconvenient and intrusive, but that said they have completely stopped my snacking and I have lost my sweet tooth. For me the annoyance and the fact they take a lot longer than fixed braces to move your teeth reaffirmed my decision. I’d rather 9 months than 12-24!

I’m 2 trays away from my final smile and I can’t wait to compare the before and after. Once I am done I will have a permanent small retainer fitted behind my teeth and also wear a clear aligner at night. After the time and money spent on perfecting my smile I don’t want it going anywhere. My journey wasn’t pain free but it was completely bearable and my dentist and the staff at Broadway Dental were always helpful, friendly and approachable. I have gone from completely dreading the dentist to feeling completely comfortable with my visits. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them, and already have to a couple of very close friends! The decision to actually do it was the best thing I ever did. I haven’t regretted my decision, my dentist or 6 Month Smiles for a second. I haven’t been paid for this review and I paid in full for my treatment. I wanted to give a truthful and informative view of my experience because if anyone is thinking about getting adult Braces, do it, if your smile is making you unhappy it will change your life positively, it certainly has mine.

Inspiration Quote #2

“Travel has a way of stretching the mind. The stretch comes not from travel’s immediate rewards, the inevitable myriad new sights, smells and sounds, but with experiencing firsthand how others do differently what we believed to be the right and only way.”

Ralph Crawshaw

30 Before 30

Around 18 months ago I decided I needed a 30 before 30 list, my Bucket List was and still is growing so much. So, I wanted a list of achievable, exciting and challenging things to accomplish in the few years before I hit the big three-zero. I wanted things that weren’t too ostentatious, and importantly things I wanted/want to achieve now rather than later.

In the past 18 months I have managed to tick off a few, and it’s hit me that with just 11 months to accomplish the rest I need to up my game.

Many things can sit on someone’s Bucket List and never get accomplished, the push to do them isn’t there, the sense of a life time to complete them can mean it’s easy to leave joining the gym until tomorrow or signing up for that cake class until next time it’s on Groupon. (tick and tick!)

So, here goes! Plus, once they’re here it feels like there’s no going back!

30 before 30

[ ] 1. Snorkel the Great Barrier Reef.
[ ] 2. Buy a house.
[X] 3. Revisit the Indian Ocean.
[X] 4. Own a designer handbag.
[ ] 5. Own a pair of designer shoes.
[X] 6. Buy my own car.
[ ] 7. Own something from Tiffany’s.
[X] 8. Get a pay rise.
[X] 9. Stay at a Mandarin Oriental/Raffles hotel.
[X] 10. Stroke a Safari Animal.
[ ] 11. Start and maintain a gym routine again.
[ ] 12. Perfect my Make Up routine
[X] 13. Visit the Cotswolds.
[X] 14. Go on a Hen do.
[ ] 15. Buy a Mac.
[ ] 16. Visit Dubai.
[X] 17. Save up a deposit (ongoing)
[ ] 18. Own the 10 key wardrobe pieces/staples
[] 19. Start and maintain a travel/lifestlye blog.
[X] 20. Learn how to decorate cakes.
[ ] 21. Learn more about Photography and InDesign/Photoshop
[ ] 22. Learn to cook something new every month.
[X] 23. Eat at a 3 Michelin Star Restaurant
[X] 24. Watch a west-end show.
[X] 25. Get Contact Lenses.
[ ] 26. Read 12 books in 12 months.
[X] 27. Get Engaged.
[ ] 28. DeClutter my Wardrobe
[ ] 29. Fix my smile.
[X] 30. Get a professional massage.

I want to document the next 11 months, the final months of life as a twenty-something. I’m excited yet apprehensive. Here goes nothing!

I’d love to hear about your Bucket-list or your ’30 before 30′ so please share yours with me!