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Pack with Me: Summer Holiday Edition*

holiday packing guide checklist essentials summer travel

Who's off on holiday this summer? I sure am and I can't wait! As I mentioned in my recent Looking Forward to Summer post, I'm heading off to Sorrento on vacation with my mum and my sister. Sun, sand, and.. uh.. cocktails here we come! But before we board the plane with thoughts of hitting the beach, the all important job of packing must be completed. Nobody wants to get to the airport and realise they've forgotten their underwear (definitely hasn't happened to me before) so today's post is all about those holiday essentials that you really won't want to leave behind. From fragrances to flip-flops and books to beachwear, here's what I'll be taking on holiday with me. And because I love you guys, I've also put together an exhaustive holiday packing checklist at the end of the post, which you'll be able to print and use for your own travels. Don't say I'm not good to you!

A Weekend in Waterstones

waterstones book review shopping

"Come on now, if we dawdle any longer, we're going to miss the bus! I *know* Waterstones will be open for another five hours yet but I want to get there ASAP! There's something just lovely about browsing through a bookshop on a Saturday morning, isn't there? It doesn't matter if the British weather has failed to deliver more than 30 seconds of sunshine in the past month beacause there are so many books just waiting to whisk you off into sunnier climes, realms of the past, and new worlds you couldn't even imagine! I just love the escape that reading provides, so that's exactly why I wanted to take you along with me to Waterstones this weekend. There are sooo many books that I've read recently and can recommend to you, so be prepared to hear about them all. Oh! Here's the bus, let's flag it down! The bookshop awaits!"

PhD Update: My First Year*

PhD student first year experience museum studies leicester

Although the end of 2018 is still a long way off, my first academic year as a PhD student is now drawing to a close. The approach of the end of the year also meant that last week, it was time for my probation review. Each year, every PhD student here at the University of Leicester undergoes a review process where their work is assessed through written submissions and an oral examination. Success in the annual review means that your research is deemed to be making an original contribution to scholarship and you're given the green light to continue with your research. Failing the review means it's back to the drawing board! So, how did I get on? Spoiler alert - I passed my review! I had some great feedback from my review panel which I'm very happy (not to mention very relieved!) about. To celebrate, today I thought I'd give an update on the progress I've made so far, as well as sharing what's in store for my next academic year! You ready?

Looking forward to Summer

"Don't spend all your time looking forward, you'll wish your life away!" Sure, I've been told this plenty of times but in all honesty, I don't think there's anything wrong with having a few things lined up in the near future that you're really looking forward to. Summer is definitely the season for excitement in my book. Warm weather will always be my favourite so any chance to embrace that puts a spring in my step. I've got plenty of the conventional summery activities to look forward to this year (think holidays, sunbathing, and good food) but there are a few slightly more unconventional things about the summer season that I'm psyched about too. Ready to discover the full list? Here's what I'm looking forward to over the next few months...

A day out: Edinburgh

edinburgh day out tourist sightseeing visit

As a born and bred southerner, having been raised in the East Anglian countryside, I'm pretty ashamed to say that prior to May 2018, the furthest north I'd ever travelled was to Newcastle. I know, I know, I was majorly missing out. However, at the end of last month I was lucky enough to spend a few days in Edinburgh, Scotland's capital city. I spent four action-packed days in the home of bagpipes, haggis, and whiskey, meeting up with a couple of my wonderful blogging friends along the way. I completely fell in love with Edinburgh, walking out of Edinburgh Waverly train station and taking in the amazing landscape and stunning architecture was a "WOW" moment that I'll never forget. I certainly didn't manage to visit everything on my hit-list in the city, but I did cram quite a lot into a very short space of time. In the past I've really enjoyed writing posts about my days out in Oxford, Salisbury, and Norwich, so I couldn't resist putting together a sightseeing guide to Edinburgh as well. Keep reading to find out where my travels took me!