Thursday, 28 March 2019

DUBLIN DAY 1 | GUINNESS STOREHOUSE AND TEMPLE BAR

francisca rockey, lifestyle blogger, fitness blogger, beauty blogger, fashion blogger, small blogger, travel blogger
We landed in Dublin at 10am after nearly 3 hours of delays with our flight. After checking into our hotel and freshen up, we hopped on a bus to the city centre and boarded the Laus from Abbey Street to the Guinness Storehouse for €4.80. A piece of advice to anyone planning a trip to Dublin, make sure to get lots of change if you're planning on using public transport as drivers only accept exact change. Tickets are roughly €2.15-3.30 each way. 

While I'm not the biggest fan of alcohol, you can't visit Dublin without visiting the Guinness Storehouse and Temple Bar. We booked our tickets for the storehouse online for roughly €50, a drink voucher is included with your ticket. I was expecting the Guinness Storehouse to be floor upon floors of Guinness but it was so much more than that. There was music, interactive stations, video explanations of the history behind the famous beer, artwork and so much more to see and get involved with. At the top floor, there was a rooftop bar overlooking the city and this is where you can claim your drink voucher. This was my first time trying Guinness and I can confirm, it was disgusting. Sorry if I have offended any avid Guinness drinkers. 
francisca rockey, lifestyle blogger, fitness blogger, beauty blogger, fashion blogger, small blogger, travel blogger
francisca rockey, lifestyle blogger, fitness blogger, beauty blogger, fashion blogger, small blogger, travel blogger
Our next stop, Temple Bar. Again, I wasn't sure what to expect but I wasn't expecting for Temple Bar to be more than just one bar. It's actually an area bursting with pubs, restaurants and galleries. If you're looking for somewhere with a proper Irish feel, this is the place to go. Please note, it can get very crowded so if you want to get good photos, I'd suggest going earlier in the day. 
francisca rockey, lifestyle blogger, fitness blogger, beauty blogger, fashion blogger, small blogger, travel blogger
francisca rockey, lifestyle blogger, fitness blogger, beauty blogger, fashion blogger, small blogger, travel bloggerYou could easily visit Dublin and spend a whole day exploring just this area alone. I will definitely be going back in the future and taking my girl gang for a girls weekend. 

Fran
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Monday, 25 March 2019 / Hinton Airfield, Steane, Brackley NN13 5NS, UK

WHAT SKYDIVING TAUGHT ME ABOUT FEAR

francisca rockey, lifestyle blogger, fitness blogger, beauty blogger, fashion blogger, small blogger, travel blogger
“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself” - Franklin D. Roosevelt.

I remember watching Will Smith’s video on what skydiving taught me about fear and I was left feeling inspired. Will said, “God placed the best things in life on the other side of fear” and now I can confirm, he’s not wrong. Think of all the things you want to achieve in life but your fears are holding you back. the things that would leave you feeling more fulfilled are on the otherside of your fear filled thoughts. This video is how I came to say yes to doing a charity skydive.

Back in September, my friend Ibraheem asked me if I would do a sponsored Skydive for charity, I said yes despite being petrified of heights. On Saturday, I jumped out of a plane from 13,000 feet to raise over £3,000 for British Blind Sport.

I may come across as being brave and fearless on my socials but I actually have a lot of fears, I’m just good at masking them. The art of faking it until you make it has got me this far in life but there are still so many things that I want to achieve that my fears are likely to get the better of and stop me from doing. One of those fears is heights, don’t take it lightly when I saw I am petrified of heights, those who know me in real life will tell you that I am the biggest wuss, I don’t do rides or anything more than a few cms off the ground.

You don’t register what you’re about to do when they’re strapping you up, taking you through safety procedures and you board that plane. The shutter goes down and that’s it, the plane is getting ready to take off and before you know it, you’re 13,000 feet in the air, above the clouds and the only way down is by jumping out. Your instructor goes through the safety procedures with you again, the shutter goes up, the light turns green, you slide forward, hang your feet over the edge of the plane and it's your turn to jump. For about 45 seconds, you’re freefalling with no parachute at 220 mph through the sky. I can’t describe the feeling, it doesn’t feel like the way falling feels in a dream or that feeling you get in your stomach on rides. The best way to describe it is a euphoric sense of freedom, at this moment, I burst into tears and said “Keith, I just jumped out a fucking plane, I can’t believe it” and he replied with “You did it Fran, you’re amazing”. 
francisca rockey, lifestyle blogger, fitness blogger, beauty blogger, fashion blogger, small blogger, travel blogger
My nerves started to kick in as we got closer to the ground because you realise just how fast you’re going and the fear of dying starts to kick in, “what if we don’t slow down enough to land”, “what if Keith accidentally steers us into a building” and then you land and you’re overcome by a feeling of relief, happiness, tears - a real mix of every emotion. 
francisca rockey, lifestyle blogger, fitness blogger, beauty blogger, fashion blogger, small blogger, travel blogger
From a girl who had a panic attack at the top of the Manchester eye to jumping out of a plane at 13,000 feet. I couldn’t have done it without the encouragement of Keith and Simon, even if they were taking the piss that I was going to slip out the harness.
francisca rockey, lifestyle blogger, fitness blogger, beauty blogger, fashion blogger, small blogger, travel blogger
I hope my story encourages one, if not all of you to push yourself and conquer your fears. Now I’ve conquered my fear of heights, what should I do next? I’m thinking a bungee jump.

Fran
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Thursday, 21 March 2019

DUBLIN | WHERE TO STAY, THINGS TO DO AND PLACES TO EAT

francisca rockey, lifestyle blogger, fitness blogger, beauty blogger, fashion blogger, small blogger, travel blogger
Last weekend my friend Sian and I hopped on a plane to the capital of Ireland, Dublin. We were there for a total of 3 days, 2 nights and managed to cram in a lot, including a coach tour to Northern Ireland.

This is my favourite part about going away, coming home and going through all my pictures and putting together a travel guide. I will be splitting this guide into 4 posts so I can give more detail into what we got up to on each day. 

WHERE TO STAY:
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We booked our trip back in October last year and a lot of the city centre hostels and Airbnb's had been taken for St Patrick's weekend. Our choices were very limited but I found a good deal on Premier Inn for €171.50 roughly £151.81 (£75 each). The hotel is a 5-minute journey from the airport and there's a shuttle for €2 roughly £1.73 that will take you directly from the airport to the hotel and back. 

THINGS TO DO:
francisca rockey, lifestyle blogger, fitness blogger, beauty blogger, fashion blogger, small blogger, travel blogger
There is a lot to do in Dublin and here's a list of a few of the things we discovered:
Guinness Storehouse, 
Trinity college, 
River Liffey, 
St Stephen's shopping centre,
National botanical gardens 
Dublin Castle 
Oscar Wilde's house (Merrion square)
National Gallery 
Temple Bar
Henrietta Street
Fitzwilliam Square
Abandoned prison of Kilmainham Gaol 
Dublin Zoo 

There is such a large variety of things to do in Dublin and probably a lot more than I've mentioned. Unfortunately, we didn't manage to do them all but that's an excuse to go back right?

PLACES TO EAT: 
francisca rockey, lifestyle blogger, fitness blogger, beauty blogger, fashion blogger, small blogger, travel blogger
For just under €13 you can eat at Jimmy Chung's Chinese Buffet. I'm very picky when it comes to Chinese restaurants but this place has gained a spot on my list of one of the best Chinese I've ever eaten. 

If you're after a sweet treat while wandering around the city, The Rolling Donut and The Hot Donut have got you covered. I had the kinder bueno donut at the rolling donut and the raspberry jam donut at the hot donut, solid 10/10.

Here are a few other places to eat in the city centre that were recommended to us:
Takara
Gelato d natura
Laudree
Yamanori Tengu
Banyi
Cookes restaurant 
Saba 
Eat Yard
Fire restaurant and lounge 
Clever East
Vintage cocktail club
Elephant and castle
House Dublin
NoLlta
Blushing healthy food coffee
Esquires Coffee
The Hungry Mexican
Bakehouse 
Thunderroad Cafe
Pitt Bros
The Merchants Arch 
POQ Cafe
Umi Falafel 
Kimchi Hophouse
Eat Okyo
Yamamori noodles
Brother Hubbard 
The Happy Pear

We had the best time in Dublin and it is definitely on the list of places to revisit. There is so much to see and do, you can find something for everyone to enjoy. 

Have you ever visited Dublin before?

Fran
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Monday, 11 March 2019 / Farringdon, London

CELEBRATING MOTHER'S DAY WITH MOONPIG | AD

francisca rockey, lifestyle blogger, fitness blogger, beauty blogger, fashion blogger, small blogger
Last Sunday, my mum and I were invited to the Moonpig HQ for an event to celebrate Mother's Day. Hands up how many of you saw the words Mother's Day and panicked because you thought you had forgotten the day and haven't bought your Mother or Mother figure anything yet? You've got time, the actual day isn't until Sunday 31st March, panic over.

The event started with a talk about the history of Moonpig and who they are and what they do. Did you know that Moonpig is the number one online card and gift retailer? We've all bought a personalised card for someone from Moonpig at some point in our lives but did you also know that they do a range of gifts and flowers too?
francisca rockey, lifestyle blogger, fitness blogger, beauty blogger, fashion blogger, small blogger
francisca rockey, lifestyle blogger, fitness blogger, beauty blogger, fashion blogger, small blogger
We were split into groups of 15 and rotated around 3 different activities followed by afternoon tea. Our first activity was flower arranging. Moonpig offers a range of flowers and plants starting from as little as £19 and if you forget a birthday and need a last minute gift, they deliver flowers the next day. Not going to be in? They also do a range of letterbox flowers.
francisca rockey, lifestyle blogger, fitness blogger, beauty blogger, fashion blogger, small blogger
francisca rockey, lifestyle blogger, fitness blogger, beauty blogger, fashion blogger, small blogger
Before moving onto our second activity, we sat down for a spot of afternoon tea. Neither I nor my mum had been to an afternoon tea before so we were both very excited. Let's settle a debate, cream or jam first? I cut through the middle of the scone, put cream on one half, jam on the other and put both halves together. 
francisca rockey, lifestyle blogger, fitness blogger, beauty blogger, fashion blogger, small blogger
francisca rockey, lifestyle blogger, fitness blogger, beauty blogger, fashion blogger, small blogger
Our penultimate activity was cocktail making with Mr Flavour. Fun fact, I work at a bar and my favourite thing to do is to make cocktails. We made a cocktail called Electricity and here is the recipe for it if any of you want to try it at home:

Electricity
40ml of lemon vodka
25ml of violet and lavender gomme 
25ml of lime juice 
75ml of cranberry juice 

francisca rockey, lifestyle blogger, fitness blogger, beauty blogger, fashion blogger, small blogger
Our final activity for the day involved taking photos in a photo booth and creating our own Mother's Day card from Moonpig's Mother's Day card collection - My mum will probably kill me for sharing this but here is one of the photos we took in the photo booth:
francisca rockey, lifestyle blogger, fitness blogger, beauty blogger, fashion blogger, small blogger
francisca rockey, lifestyle blogger, fitness blogger, beauty blogger, fashion blogger, small blogger
francisca rockey, lifestyle blogger, fitness blogger, beauty blogger, fashion blogger, small blogger
As we were leaving, we were each given a goody bag and here is a peek at what was inside:
francisca rockey, lifestyle blogger, fitness blogger, beauty blogger, fashion blogger, small blogger
Photographer - Elouisa

If you would like to see more coverage from our day at the Moonpig HQ, head over to my Instagram and watch my 'EVENTS' story highlight. 

How are you celebrating Mother's Day this year?

 Fran
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Monday, 4 March 2019

MARCH TO DO LIST

francisca rockey, lifestyle blogger, fitness blogger, beauty blogger, fashion blogger, small blogger
January lasted 365 days, February was a blur and now its March, how are we already 3 months into 2019? I've got so many exciting things happening this month from blogging events, a city break to a sponsored skydive. 

01. Plan an itinerary for Dublin 
I'm off to Dublin next weekend and life has got in the way meaning I haven't had much time to plan for our trip. If any of you have been to Dublin or live in Dublin and have any suggestions for things to do and places to eat, please leave your suggestions in the comments or DM me via Twitter @franciscarockey 

02. Pack for Dublin
As you're reading this, I'm probably stressing about what outfits to pack and panic ordering everything on ASOS new in. I'm hoping to shoot some content while I'm out there so, I need some decent looks for the gram. 

03. Start looking for a flat
In 5 months time, my gap year will be coming to an end and I'll be heading to uni. As you're reading this, I may know which uni I'm going to but as I'm writing this, I'm still waiting for a response from what is my dream uni. I'm undecided as to whether I should live in student accommodation or find a flat or house share but I do need to start looking and at least get a deposit down. 

04. Book a shoot with a blog photographer 
This is something that I have wanted to do for a while. I'm not the most confident person in front of the camera but I would love some good quality shoots to use both on my blog and Instagram. I have a few ideas on the location and shots I would like and I'm already in talks with the photographer that I would like to shoot with, so keep your eyes peeled for that!

05. Book a summer holiday/staycation 
Summer is slowly creeping up on us and I don't want to do what I did last year and wait until last minute to book a trip. I'm not too sure where I'd like to go this summer but I've seen a few gorgeous photos of Cornwall floating around on Twitter and it looks like the perfect destination to just switch off and relax. 

What's on your March to do list?

Fran
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