Happy 15th Birthday Jazmin!

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Happy 15th Birthday to my ‘twin’ Jaz! You are one of the most stunning, lovely, friendly, honest and trustworthy people I have ever met!

We’ve grown so much closer in the past year, and in spite of our relatively short friendship, (well, in comparison to that of me and Sanjana anyway) I honestly cannot imagine my life without you as a best friend 😘💖 I trust you with my everything, there’s honestly no-one I can talk as openly with as I can with you! You have always always always been there for me; I have not hesitated once to call you up in tears and vent my frustrations, to which you offer the best advice 😝😘😉

Now to the twin part 👭 apart from age, as I’m over 6 months older than you, we are more alike than many others may think. We are of similar height; we share the same music taste (remember the time that we were both listening to Wildest Dreams at the same time?); we still don’t know what we’re going to do in life (in spite of loving our work experiences); we chose the exact same quote out of 30 in that presentation, which was “People think it is holding on that makes you stronger, but sometimes it’s letting go …” 💬💭. In fact, we even have the same condition, Raynaud’s! 😂

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3 Day Fun Trip Experience: Day 3

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On the third and final day of the trip, we went to UCZ Paintball. I must admit that before this experience I was quite afraid of what pain might occur in going paintballing. Nonetheless, I was excited to go out there and try something new!

The journey was about 20/30 minutes, as it was on the outskirts of the next town over. I sat with Mollie on the coach (because Maddie and Sanjana didn’t come) and I pointed out my house as we passed it, on the journey to and from.

Once we arrived, we were briefly introduced to the activity, and then were given numbers on our right hands. My number was ’22’ (my lucky number, coincidently!). I then went to go and get my protective vest, camouflage overalls, my utility belt, snood, and mask.

The first item I put on was my protective vest (only the girls had these, for reasons you might imagine); followed by my overalls, which buttoned up; then I put on my utility belt, which held my second container of 100 paintballs (the first hundred were preloaded in the guns). We were all given 400 paintballs in total as part of the deals, but many of the boys purchased more later on in the day (don’t ask me why!).

We were then given a safety talk about all the rules of paintballing, such as:

  • Do not aim for the face or hands.
  • Wear masks at all time unless you are told to take them off by a marshal.
  • Turn on the safety button on the guns until just before gameplay.
  • Do not shoot within 15ft – shout ‘Surrender!’ to your enemy instead and let them walk free.
  • Don’t shoot people as they leave the game with their guns above their heads. And if you do, don’t be surprised if you get shot in return.
  • It is okay to get the paint in your mouth if it splashes on the mask as the paintballs are made of vegetable oil, and are non-toxic, although they supposedly taste gross (the head marshal there then proceeded to eat a paintball to prove its food safety and bio-degradable features).
  • If you get shot directly, you are out of the game.

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Ten Travel Tips #1

SavedPicture-2016723202344.jpgHey!

I’m currently on holiday in the Philippines! I have published this using the scheduling feature in WordPress. Nifty, eh? 😉

I have travelled quite a lot in my life, I have visited over 20 countries in 15 years, some multiple times. All I can say is that I’m an extremely lucky girl and that I really value and appreciate the knowledge and culture I have been exposed to in these experiences that my parents gave to me.

I’d like to pass on some of my favourite little travelling tips to you so that you can plan ahead for your holiday too! 🙂

  1. Bring entertainment for the flight – we’re talking books, games, music, tv shows or whatever keeps you entertained, especially for long haul flights. Never rely on the plane entertainment, they tend to repeat the same films and shows several times, and it may well be something you hate. A really excellent traveller would be super savvy with their packing and bring along a kindle, phone or tablet just loaded up with their favourite show, movies, music and books galore. It’s cheaper than physical copies, and also much lighter on your luggage! You’ll soon find the flight is almost over after the first series of your favourite show.
  2. Invest in a power bank – you never really know when your phone battery is going to die, and it’s tough to plan your life around getting to the mains. Bringing this will mean that you don’t have to worry about your battery dying before you check your bank account, emails or take photos on your trip! I would suggest doing some research for this one and reading articles/shopping around to get the best quality banks at a decent price.
  3. Use money belts and neck pouches – this year for our trip, my dad purchased two money bags and two neck pouches, so that we have ways of keeping our important possessions on our person at all times. Trust me, the experience of being robbed is not pleasant; the last time I went to the Philippines, we had the contents of my mum’s bag stolen after the robber had cut through the mosquito net on the window! Luckily all the very important things (passports etc.) were locked away safely. Take advantage of safes in hotels if they have them! You can buy the money belts here and the neck pouches here.
  4. Travel guides – To keep it light, photocopy and print important sections of travel guides or download digital travel guides to your devices. Alternatively, purchase a pocket travel guide if you feel the need to take it all with you. Always take a look at the contents of the travel guide before you leave, and check you have had the necessary vaccinations, medication etc. before you go.
  5. Roll your clothes – this tip is simple, prevents wrinkles, creates space and costs nothing. In order to create more space, gently massage any creases out of the item of clothing, then roll up before packing into the suitcase. Simple!
  6. Download apps that contain your vital info in case of an emergency – when things do go wrong, this could really make all the difference. These apps contain your medical and personal information; your main point of contact in case of emergency; an image of you and various other features, depending on what app you use. This is especially important for people with medical conditions/allergies. For my Windows Phone, my go-to app for this is Emergency Kit. Everyone should get this app, it is simply amazing! For Android and iOS, I’m afraid you’ll have to shop around! If you find any good ones, let me know in the comments 🙂
  7. Bring (noise cancelling) headphones or ear plugs – travelling can be a long and tiresome process, so you should try and get yourself some sleep. Unfortunately, in noisy places, like the airport and on long haul public transport, this can seem impossible with the constant noise and bustle. Ear plugs/noise-cancelling headphones can be an absolute life-saver when you really just need a little time to rest in the middle of the chaos that travelling can be.  Eye masks can be helpful too!
  8. Don’t be too full on with sightseeing etc. – take some time to recharge as said in a recent blog post of my German friend, Frederike. You can find that excellent blog post here. Remember that whilst taking in culture and visiting people is good whilst you’re travelling, you also need some time to rest yourself; holidays are meant to be about taking that step away from the busy, working part of life, so reward yourself with a few days off here and there to relax! You’ll feel much more energised for the rest of your travels, and it will make you happier and healthier when you return to your day to day life. To make a further point, don’t book too many attractions/activities, as you then feel obligated to do particular things on certain days. Instead, only book in advance for the really big tourist attractions, and save other days for a little of your own exploration time, to find things in places you never expected.
  9. Pack a pillow case – this is useful for separating your dirty laundry from your clean clothes, and also so you can get those clothes cleaned whilst you’re away without any suspicious looks from people. Simply put all the dirty stuff inside the pillow case. Furthermore, take a scarf with you and stuff (another) pillow case with it to fashion a makeshift pillow for long and uncomfortable journeys!
  10. Travel Diary – Make a little bit of time every evening or so just to jot down the highlights of your day, so you can remember your travels as they happen. This one is really invaluable. I think other than photos, there is no better way to record your holiday, and remember all of the special and funny memories you make, that you may forget amidst all your travelling. Some really good travel diaries also have sections for emergency details, booking information etc. There’s also a pretty good website called Travel Diaries (probably only good for if you have constant or pretty regular wifi connection whilst you’re away). If you wanted to, you could simply type it up in a word processor and put it into something like this when you get back. This website even can get your diaries printed in a proper book if you wanted to document a really important holiday! I think I’m going to make a travel diary as I travel as notes on my phone, then make it a new feature of my blog. Comment below if you’d like to see that!

And that is my first instalment of Ten Travel Tips! I hope you found this useful, enjoyed reading, and I will have another auto-publish blog post up soon!

Hope you’re having lovely holidays!

xoxo

Hannah

Summer Days and Nights | Part 2

Hey!

It’s time for my second installment of Summer Days and Nights! My second idea is a scavenger hunt!

This was inspired by several videos, firstly, Joe Sugg and Jim Chapman’s collection of London Scavenger Hunts for Daily Mix on YouTube, and also the music video for Bridget Mendler’s ‘Ready or Not’. I especially love Jim and Joe’s Scavenger Hunt Videos, as they are hilarious, interesting and just seem very fun! I really recommend checking the videos out, either for fun or for inspiration! In case you do, I’ve linked the playlist of the videos below; there are five, each in different areas or with different themes!

Idea Number 2: Scavenger Hunt

What you will need:

  • 4+ friends to split off into multiple teams
  • A checklist of items to buy/take pictures of (get someone who isn’t involved to sort this one out!)
  • Pens to check off items
  • A location in which to carry out the Scavenger Hunt
  • Timers (on phones or stopwatches – ensure that all the timers are synchronised for fair play)
  • Emergency Number (in case something goes wrong)
  • Cameras/receipts as evidence
  • Basket/box to carry collected items
  • Budget (optional, according to how many items, and how much they roughly cost if you doing a ‘buying challenge’)
  • A base (meeting point for the start and finish)
  • Prizes for the winning team (optional)
  • Theme, eg. beach, ‘food and drink’ (optional)

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3 Day Fun Trip Experience: Day 2

 

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From left to right: Me, Mollie, Sanjana, Finley and Maddie (c) Niko James

 

The second trip was the trip to Woodlands! I think everyone who went (or my friends at least) would agree that it was the very best day. It was also Sanjana’s Birthday, so I’m going to put a special little slideshow at the end of this especially for her!

Day 2: Woodlands, Dartmouth

I had done a lot of preparation for this day – I brought balloons and ribbon for us to celebrate Sanjana’s birthday, as well as her card and her presents – but we’ll get onto what they were later on!

Sanjana arrived the latest, so before she arrived Mollie, Maddie and I blew up 5 balloons and tied them to the green ribbon for Sanjana. When she arrived she was wearing a ‘Birthday Princess’ Sash which triggered my use of the phrase ‘birthday entourage’ to refer to myself and the others when we accompanied Sanjana.

Before we boarded the bus, our head supervisor for the trip, Miss Milner, announced that she had made several slices of rainbow cake. She said that as it was Sanjana’s birthday, she had to give us the slices as we were (evidently) celebrating! It was so lovely of her, and the cake tasted and looked amazing!

 

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Slices of Miss Milner’s Rainbow Cake

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3 Day Fun Trip Experience: Day 1

 

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A view of the slides at Splashdown (c) Hannah Galvin

Over the past three days, I have been on 3 different trips in a group of around 40 students from Year 9 and 10. I was with my best friends, Mollie, Maddie, Chloe, Jazmin, Sanjana and Ruby; and a couple of my other mates. It was such a fun experience to end the school year, so I’m just going to go into a bit of depth about what we did on each of these days.

Day 1: Splashdown, Quaywest

Splashdown is a local waterpark, so it took about 20/30 minutes to drive down there. There are quite a few water slides, as you can see in the photo, as well as a swimming pool, a shop and various little places to eat. For the majority of the day, I was with Chloe, Jaz ,and Sanjana, as we had lunch together, and hung out for the two hours or so of the trip, by the picnic benches, trying not to die in the heat. The first thing I did was warm up in the swimming pool, with Maddie. Then Maddie and I went to queue for the rubber rings to the rapids, where we were met by Chloe and Jaz. As a group we headed up together – at that point we decided to take advantage of the fact that the queues were relatively short.

 

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Me and the girls at Splashdown! (c) Finley Carney

 

Two rapid rides later, I decided to try and find Mollie and Sanjana. I find Mollie in the swimming pool with her boyfriend and some of his mates. I am quickly joined by Maddie. I am asked to go on the drop but decline (I’m afraid!). Soon all of us girls (bar Mollie and Ruby who have gone off with Finley and Lauchie) are just hanging out in the pool for a bit. There comes a point when Finley and Mollie call me over from the middle level of one of the stairs- Sanjana is has come off her ring and can’t get back on. Immediately Maddie and I set out on a mission to rescue her, and about 10 minutes later I am able to help her back on her way.

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Soundtracked Books (Reading Music): Bringing Books Alive Through Song

 

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A picture of my CD collection, headphones and my (then) current read, Me Before You | Taken from my Instagram Page

 

Anyone who knows me knows that I have two main obsessions in life: books and music ❤ 🎶 📚 From a very early age, I was reading everything I could find, and I took keyboard lessons. My present for my sixth birthday was my own keyboard, that I have now, nine and a half years later. I have always been in love with music, and I now take singing lessons instead of the keyboard, to aide my Music GCSE. But I am self-taught at keyboard instead 😊

A few months ago, I really focussed in on the fact that music can really enhance my reading experience, especially if the perfect song is playing. And so I started to make ‘Soundtracked Books’ playlists on Spotify for all of my favourite books so that I (when re-reading them) and others could enjoy the music whilst they read. I’ve made these collaborative, so anyone who has any good song suggestions can add to my playlists as well!

Leave a comment about what style of music you like to listen to, and what genre of books you read. Mine tend to be YA/Contemporary Fiction and Alternative/Pop Rock!

I’ve included Spotify section links to them below, and I hope you enjoy! I will update as I create more playlists for more books. I have also included links to the Goodreads pages of the books just in case you want to find out a little more about them! Happy reading!

xoxo

Hannah

Soundtracked Books (SB): Me Before You by JoJo Moyes

Me Before You – Goodreads

Soundtracked Books: Lying Out Loud by Kody Keplinger

Lying Out Loud – Goodreads

Soundtracked Books: Swapped by a Kiss by Luisa Plaja

Swapped by a Kiss – Goodreads

Soundtracked Books: The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith

TSPOLAFS – Goodreads

Soundtracked Books: My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick

My Life Next Door – Goodreads

PS. Follow me on Goodreads! Let me know you came through my blog!  Hannah Galvin – Goodreads Account