#MustSeeMenorca - A day to relax

Cova d'en Xoroi review

I'm now 3 days into a press trip to Menorca, and I'm definitely becoming an expert in Menorcan wine! I took a day off from all of the group activities, and treated myself to some 'holiday time'. I decided to treat myself to a massage, because that's what I do on holiday (remember my 3 days/4 massages post from Bali?)

menorca massage review

Once my massage was completed, they informed me that if you had a treatment of an hour or more, you also get access to the spa area. Jacuzzi here I come! I was lucky enough to have been sent a swimsuit to review from UKSwimwear so here I am, attempting to see if paying £150 for a swimsuit would ever be worth it. I picked a brand called Miracle Suit, because I figured it would cope with my silly boobs. I think it's meant to slim you a dress size smaller, but generally I just like how its supportive. Full review to follow.

minorca review ocean

I went for a solo wander, and it was just glorious. I kept noticing that my face was smiling, even though no one was around to see it. The sun is shining, the roads are peaceful, and Menorca is stunning. We're not staying near the beaches (we will be visiting some) but the rock cliffs are pretty awesome too. Just don't fall over, bet they sting like a bitch.

Menorca views

It's fascinating to hear from the mixture of people that I'm travelling with, some are vloggers, some are instagrammers and some are bloggers. Some are full time travel bloggers, and they're managing to pay all of their bills while travelling the world. It's great seeing how everyone creates content, we all do it in different ways. We all have different audiences and different voices.

cave bar menorca

If you ever wondered if I was capable of finishing 3 glasses of cava in 20 minutes before our bus leaves.....the answer is yes. Just.

#MustSeeMenorca - Traverse Conference Day 1

menorca blog review

After arriving in Menorca the day before, we were raring to get going with our mini Traverse Events conference, where we would hear sessions about the industry of influence (it wasn't called that, but imagine me saying it with a deep action-movie tone for effect). The sun was glorious, and there is something soothing about all of the white Spanish buildings onthe backdrop of the ocean.

port blue hotel menorca

Did you know, a recent YouGov study foundthat in the UK, 43 percent of people would invest their money in a holiday if they were given £1000 to spend? This is above home improvements cars or shopping. What is it that makes holidays so appealing, even during economic downtimes?

minorca review

We all know the answer of course. Escapism and experience. We want to buy experiences more than stuff, once we realise that stuff is just stuff. We also love how uplifted we feel in the sunshine don't we? How everything just feels a little easier when it's bright and sunny.

minorca blog review

I've been surprised at how peaceful Menorca is so far, I think my expectations of the island were tarnished by the idea of 'Brits Abroad'. It's funny how much it reminds me of the Spain I used to visit as a child, the quiet streets, the white buildings and palm trees. It hasn't changed. I haven't been to the main city yet, so I'm sure that's a little busier, but here in San Luis it's sleepy and sedate. Good for the soul.

The myth of the blogger clique

blogger cliques

There is a lot of moaning in the blogger-sphere about cliques. That when you go to events there are groups of influencers with secret code words and dangerous initiations, who are gossiping behind their hands about your face not fitting.

But there really aren't. What the fuck is a clique anyway? 

"a small group of people who spend theirtime together and do not welcome other people into that group:"

It's particularly used against females....in addition to words like bitchy, catty, feisty, airhead...I've never heard the word clique used in reference to men.

So what is happening when you walk into an influencer event, and you end up standing alone by the bar watching groups of people laughing and having a great time. The thoughts run through your mind, that they are a closed group of friends, only interested in each other. That they're probably sneering at your outfit choice.

These thoughts grow from our inherient belief that the world revolves around us. We are the starring actor of our feature films. But we're mere bit parts in other people's films. So what is happening?

We're all vulnerable, and scared. Even the most confident of people. We're all a little scared. So those groups of people are just people grateful to be with people, and relieved they don't need to stand alone at the bar. They're relieved to have already met these people at another event, that they can relax. They're not mean, they're just relieved. 

I find this mind shift helps, when I'm nervous and feeling left out. Those groups of people all laughing and giggling aren't forming a clique. They're friends having a nice time, relieved that they have someone to stand with.

Can I have pastel hair?

can i have pastel hair

We enjoy a lot of ice-cream inspired hair, and we get more requests for it than we actually create. So who gets to have pastel hair, and why has my hairdresser said I'm not allowed to have the pastel hair of my dreams?

Just because you've seen a person with dark hair go pastel pink, doesn't mean that your dark hair can go pink too. All of our hair has a journey, and it never forgets anything. That hair dye you tried 3 years ago? No? Your hair does. The fact that you've been using GHDs years is a daily punishment that your hair does not forget unfortunately. 

pastel purple hair

Pastels colours need a very VERY light base, and although your roots may well lift light enough, your ends will lift much darker, often that gross burnt orange shade. That won't go pastel pink no matter how much Olaplex you chuck at it.

Pastel colours are also very transient. If you're not the type of person who is willing to give your hair a lot of attention, and you want to visit the salon once every 6 months, pastels are not for you. Part of a stylist's job is to make sure you have the hair that suits your lifestyle, and if you're very low-key then pastels may make you sad as they wash down the plug-hole.

We do turn some pastel clients away, as we feel like the money won't be a value-purchase. We don't want to rip anyone off! It's expensive, and we'd usually prefer to take you a little deeper in tone, so that you get more colour for your money. It feels more worth it. 

A happy pastel client understands that the shade will need regular topping up at home. Whether they add direct dyes into their conditioner, whether they buy a specfic colour-topping-up product, or make sure that they manage their hair correctly. This means that they use cooler water to wash their hair, use shampoos and conditioners that protect the colour or use products that maintain the quality of their hair (like Olaplex) as damaged hair isn't strong enough to hold colour (often why your ends fade fastest as they're damaged and the colour drops out).

lilac pastel hair

The happy pastel client also understands that the tone isn't a fixed colour. When people try and book in and are very very specific about the pastel green that they want.....we turn them away. The shade will change with every wash, and they'll be quickly disappointed. We don't like disappointed clients. You need to be the kind of person who is a little more free and easy with their happiness. Happy to go along for the ride.

Pastel colours also need regular bleach root appointments - (Why you can't leave your bleached roots appointment longer than 6 weeks) and this is an expense and routine that isn't for everyone. A smart hairdresser should manage these expectations so that you can be happy with your hair in the long term.

#MustSeeMenorca - no dinner and all the wine

#mustseemenorca

So, after my pretty miserable trip here, I'm getting settled into Menorca. First things first, it's much prettier than I'd imagined. Actually I'm not sure what I expected, but it seems deliciously un-touristy, and very 'Spanish'. White buildings, green trees and rocky waters. Very serene. My soul is definitely going to get a good reset I think.

Menorca traverse events

We're staying at Hotel San Luis which has so far exceeded my expectations. I haven't stayed in a large hotel for many years, and my memories are off out-of-date rooms with large dusty tvs. I was proved wrong - thankfully! It's modern and fresh, and clean. Just what you want in the heat.

san luis hotel menorca

You may be wondering why I'm here....who on earth would pay to send crazy ol' me on a holiday? Great question, and I don't blame you. So I'm here via a few people, the tourism board for Menorca, the Spanish tourist board in the UK, Jet 2 and Traverse Events. They've got together to send 50 influencers; instagrammers, vloggers, bloggers, and content creators, to get the joys of Menorca out to the world. Of course I leapt at the chance. You would too right?

menorca hotel review

So, back to my trip. Day 1. We had lunch at the hotel, and went for a wander. The wander ended up in my purchase of my icecream lilo! The best 10 euros I've ever spent for sure. It made me giggle like a child, and I was quick to get into my swimsuit to try it out. We all need more joy.

Time to change for dinner. We went to an old hospital, where people in the 18th century were held with contagious diseases. As expected, being a vegetarian abroad is often a challenge, so there were zero canapes for me. I was hilariously offered an option, "There is only a small amount of salmon in it," so I had a very empty stomach. But do you know what there was....wine. Lots of delicious wine. Which led to a very drunken Instagram live. Ha.

I'm now surrounded by 50 people who are creating content constantly. We have drones, 360 cameras, and cameras and phones galore. I'm using this to try and get inspired to be less shy about taking photos in public. I'm embracing more 'lives' (Instagram and facebook). So come join me.

The week my new chapter begins

A disclaimer. I've had two hours sleep. Its 4am. I'm in a cold airport. I may not make the best of sense. But here I am. Sharing my life with the internet.

mustseemenorca

On Thursday evening I got the keys to my new flat. Don't get too excited; I rent, but after two years of sharing, I'm flying solo again. Which is brill. So I moved 80% of my belongings on Thursday night, and at 4:45am on Friday morning I awoke to get an taxi to an old school friend's wedding in the country. The wedding was in a large country manor type house, and I had a room upstairs. At about midnight I crawled into bed, for 2 hours of precious sleep, before I was up for my cab at 3am.

So here I am, cold and more tired than I've been in a very very long time in the airport. I guess I must still be a little drunk. I'm feeling a little odd. But excited. Because I'm off on holiday. This holiday is special for a couple of reasons. Firstly, although I haven't blogged about it yet, I'm newly single (I have shared on social media), and moving house and a holiday feel like a great start to a new chapter. Secondly, I'm off on my first (and perhaps only!) influencer holiday. My trip is being sponsored (paid for) by the Spanish Tourist Board in the UK, the tourist office of Menorca, and Traverse Events, as a fully disclosure. There is no directive, or requirement for what I post when I'm there, so no weird salesly messages coming your way! Just me, on an awesome experience, starting my new chapter. 

I've not been to Spain as an adult, it was a childhood holiday destination of mine, but I've oddly never considered it as a place to travel myself, perhaps it suffers from a bad reputation. I've been told Menorca is delightful, so I'm really looking forward to discovering what the island has to offer.

I'm travelling with a lot of travel bloggers, who no doubt will take tons of fabulous photos with professional cameras. But that's not really how I roll, so I'll be sharing some Spanish selfies with my camera phone. Lifestyle blogging for the win hey?

My breakup....I'm not really going to share too much on it really. It turns out we're just not right for each other. I'm sad, but breakups happen, and I know my next chapter will be glorious. Focusing on the future, all my tears are done. The wedding was a little odd, as we should have been there together, but the world just keeps turning doesn't it. So.....I'll be moving into my new flat, decorating it and settling in, right after my holiday in Menorca!

The diary of my Diva Cup.

diva cup review

So, despite being a 34 year old woman, who has been having periods for 20 years, I've recently reconsidered how I deal with my menstrual cycle. It started as a response to being on the contraceptive implant, which I've been on for about a year and a half I think. It meant I was having some periods that were slightly longer but lighter, and I found I was starting to feel uncomfortable wearing panty liners for 2 weeks. Like it all felt a little 'off'. You know what I mean, I know you do. So I investigated cotton panty liners.

cotton panty liners review

I ordered a few online, some are small and thin like a panty liner, and some are thicker and longer like a santitary pad. Don't ask what happened to the leopard print one......ha ha....it's gone missing, and I fear it fell down my trouser leg!!! Such lols.

Then I discovered that you weren't meant to flush tampons down the toilet. Literally my mind was blown. Twitter seemed pretty split 50/50....half as in shock as me, and half surprised I'd never heard how bad it was. I asked my best mates, and they all flush too....so maybe we all skipped the same class at school?! The Guardian confirms that half of women flush their tampons but it apparently costs us all £88 million a year to unclog our sewage systems with them all! So I knew it was time to investigate a menstrual cup!

Oh, and the the environment aside, the main reason I want to try a cup is that you can wear them for 12 hours (some people even do more!) with zero fear of TSS (Toxic Shock Syndrome) and no leaking. That just seems bliss to me. It's also cheaper and better for your body.

So here is my diary of a menstrual cup (I'll update it as I go, as I'll forget otherwise!)

Day 1

I've read the instruction leaflet, I've watched some youtube videos and I'm good to go. Just a heads up, I've had a lot of medical issues in my vagina region, some of which may well be making the cup more challenging for me than most, but I figure if I'm having sex and using tampons, I can master the cup too. Attempt 1. I fold the cup as instructed, but blimey it's a little intimidating to insert. First attempt aborted. I research a second fold method and try again. I get it half in, it pings open and ouch I retreat with speed. Ok, third time is a charm. I get it in. Ok. The leaflet says to turn it 360 degrees and I'm definitely not able to do so. 

I wear it for about an hour, when I realise that it's leaked everywhere. This most probably means it stayed folded up, and didn't open fully inside me. I need to get to the gym, so I take it out for now, wear a tampon and vow to try it again after. Getting it out hurt a little when it pinged back into shape, so I plan to google that. Attempt 2. I watch some more videos, and hear a tip to use some lube when inserting if you're having issues getting it in. I also hear about putting it in upside down, and tilting it in different directions, so I feel a little more ready to try a different insertion method. I also watch videos specifically about ensuring it pops open inside, and feel more prepared this time. Definitely much better, and get it open fully.

I'm now noticing that although I don't feel it stood up (and still), I feel it when I'm sat down, and walking. I realise that the tail is too long for me (some women cut it all off, some women trim, and some leave, it depends how far your cervix is away from your vaginal opening). So I vow to trim one nodule off it when I take it out. Removal this time is still a challenge, but I know not to panic, and to just keep trying a few different methods. I know it will get easier! Thank the lord for youtube videos. However, this attempt, although I could feel it when sat down (a little sore) it didn't leak at all, so I definitely got the insertion right.

Attempt 3. I rather hilariously put the cup on the side, and blood flipped all over the floor. Whoops. So, insertion number 3 was pretty seamless. A smidge of lube, a well angled fold, and double checking that it opened fully. Trimming one nib off the tail so far seems to have solved the problem of feeling sore when I sat too. Winning! Removal is still a little more challenging, but I feel confident each time that I will manage it, so I go slow and squat low! Ha.

Attempt 4. I'm not inserting or removing in the bathroom yet, for some reason I think I'm more relaxed in the bedroom, but I feel like insertion I've got nailed. I found it easy this time. I wore it all night, zero leaks, and no pants. 

Day 2

It was a real novelty to wake up this morning, leak free, and go to the gym without emptying/changing. I figured it was in the right place, so why chance it at the gym for the first time? All good. All good.

Attempt 5, rather uneventful but I did feel it a little walking around today. I have an odd feeling it may have been to do with having a full bowel/bladder, as it disappeared after a toilet break. I left it in all day. I decided to try removal over the toilet for the first time, rather than in the apparent safety of my bedroom. OMG - the revelation. Attempt 6. I'd been anxious about trying the cup while sat on the toilet, but blimey the difference in angle was brilliant. Who knows, maybe I needed the safety of my room to get me used to what I was doing (more space!), but removal and insertion sat down was brilliant. The only challenge I had was having to get up to get to the sink, as I find there is a lot of 'fall out' when you take the cup out. I didn't use lube to reinsert this time, and it was super duper easy. I don't want to get cocky but I think I've nailed it.

Day 4 

Yep, I skipped a day. Nothing to report! I'm basically wearing it all day, so I'm switching morning and night. Definitely finding it easy to change while sat on the toilet, and the amount of blood in one day is teeny for me. I've been to the gym twice and it's been great. No spills or leaks. I already know I won't go back to tampons, but I may explore a smaller cup now that I know what I'm doing and less nervous of it getting 'lost'. Or I may trim another nodule off the tail. But generally I'm winning. It's a big thumbs up. It feels cleaner, its obviously better for the environment, it's cheaper, and its just bloody better to not have to deal with my period all day. It's like forgetting about it, and it's a joy.