The Versatile Blogger Award

I've never done one of these before but when Freya over at Freya's Nook tagged me I thought I'd give it a go. Just like her I love to know a little more about the blogger behind the blog. So heres the deal, write down 7 random facts about yourself then tag 10 other bloggers and challenge them to do the same. Hopefully we can all get to know a little more about each other!

So lets see if I can think of 7 things you don't know about me

1. I loved the TV show Heroes
2. I have a completely irrational fear of sharks; they seriously terrify me!
3. I moved back in with my parents 18 months ago (renting & saving is not fun)
4. I usually enjoy a night in way more than a night out
5. I lived in Europe for 4 years
6. I overthink everything
7. I can't walk around in bare feet..I must wear slippers or at least socks

So that took longer than expected! I had to try think of things you wouldn't know, so hopefully you learned something new about me, so now its time to tell me about you! I've picked out some blogs that I have only just discovered. I nominate the following people:

1. Kaitlin Louise from Kaitlin Louise
2. Zoe It's all Sunflowers, Books and Crafts
3.Lindsay Ava from Stiletto in the cloud
4. Lee from Wine & Couture
5.Peta from 24 hours in today
6. Emily from Love Emily 
7. Courtney from My life as courtney
8. Samantha from Samantha Smith
9. Sian from Sian blogs
10. Amber from Ambambe

I can't wait to read your responses!

Here are the rules of the tag:

-thank the person that nominated you (thats me!)
-share the award on your blog
-share your 7 facts
-choose 10 bloggers with less than 1000 followers (i went on twitter followers)
-notify them on social media



Current Netflix Addiction

My longest, most reliable relationship has to be the one I share with caffeine. I mean come on who can turn down a nice warm cappuccino or caramel latte? certainly not me. But lately my caffeine addiction has had a very close competitor...Netflix.

I just can't get enough, I think it started when I was struggling with jet lag after my holiday. Not being able to get to sleep till 1am meant more time for reading and working on my new relationship with Netflix.

So what have I been watching...

It was my brother who first told me about this and I do know a few others who watch it. Its not my favourite tv show but I really enjoy it every now and again. Its funny and short, ideal if you just half half an hour to fill before you head out somewhere or like me, attempt to get to sleep for the 10th time.

It seems like 90% of my twitter feed watch this but none of my real friends do...what can I say I guess I have interesting taste in tv shows. Unlike some I haven't been watching it since the beginning, I've pretty much just been binge watching this in an attempt to catch up. So thank you jet lag for letting me get right up to date with this and now I don't need to avoid spoilers! This show is something I should've watched when I was 16, I feel like it would've fit in perfectly with my love of Gossip Girl and One Tree Hill (speaking of, I wish that was on Netflix!).

After working my way through the Tudors There was a historical drama sized hole in my life, stumbling across this definitely fills that gap. Definitely not to everyones taste and by no means historically accurate but oooh the pretty dresses!

Yes I know I'm a little late to this party but you see I never watched it first time round but don't worry I'm making up for lost time. Season 1 down and a dent made in season 2. This show makes me feel like it is acceptable to eat a tonne of pizza and drink even more coffee than I already do. After all if they can do it why can we? oh yeah thats right my life is not a tv show.

What have you been watching lately? anything I need to get onto ASAP?


Paddling to Pinel

Other than our day at Loterie Farm, we spent the majority of our time lying on the beach or by the pool in a complete state of relaxation. However half way through the holiday we felt the need for a bit of adventure. We jumped in the car and drove to the other side of the Island in search of a place called Cul-De-sac and Caribbean Paddling (only took about 30 mins). We'd done a bit of research the night before and decided that instead of getting on a boat to our destination we would rent some double kayaks and paddle there instead.

Still not 100% sure that was the best idea as there were a few arguments as we started out. We paddled out for about 10 mins to a tiny little Island, Petite Clef, that was the half way point, for a short break before finishing the journey.

I know that doesn't sound like hard work but it was pretty windy so we had to paddle pretty hard (or apparently sit and do nothing so that the boys could do all the work).

We needed some time to cool off so we sat under the t-shirt tree to regain our mental strength to finish the trip.

The benefit of hind-sight....do not wear your t-shirt on the kayak; it WILL get soaked!

After we'd (read I'd) calmed down a little we could fully appreciate the view and search for fish.

Time to make our move over to our final destination for the day, Pinel Island. Once you arrive there is the choice of 2 bar/restaurants with a few rows of parasols and loungers waiting to be rented for the day; we opted for Yellow beach.

After dropping our stuff we went to find some Iguanas that the Island is famous for, along with its snorkelling of course.

We found them hiding out behind the kitchen, I believe they were eyeing up the fruit being cut up...apparently they love Mango.

Just behind the Iguanas there was a little path that we decided to follow just for the sake of adventure...hiking in flipflops and 30 degrees is not something I would recommend...but we did it anyway and boy was it worth it for these views!

 We didn't hang around long as we were in desperate need of some water; if we knew where we were going we would've taken a bottle with us! it only took us 15 mins to get back to the beach or should I say bar.

It was possibly the hottest day we'd had and most of us were actually a little pink despite constant application of sunscreen so we decided the sensible thing to do was stick to the shade for most of that day. Naturally this meant a couple of cocktails and making friends with the barman, Martin, he was really friendly and Mike's fluent French definitely was a help!

We weren't expecting much from their lunch menu after all we were on a little Island but their burgers were great! You should definitely try them, and wash them down with 3 or 4 cocktails just for good measure.

We decided it was time to cut ourselves off from the cocktails, after all we did have to paddle back to the main island, so back onto the water.

We made the most of our last hour or so, enjoying a little bit of sun and a wee snorkel for some. I went to check out some more Iguanas that had wandered down to the edge of the beach...I even touched one!

Our day on the Island was great, I'd never done anything like it before but it was so much fun. If you're planning a trip to St Maarten I highly recommend you add it to your list of things to do!


Luxury at Loterie Farm

As you may or may not know our holiday was for dads 50th birthday so of course we had to plan something special for him. Instead of buying him some random gift that he would use a couple of times and then forget about it we decided it would be much better to do something fun for the memories.

Before we headed out we did a little research and found Loterie Farm; A little paradise in the middle of nowhere; you can hike, zipline or just chill by the pool at L'eau Lounge where you can rent a bed or a cabana for the day as a base.

Thats what we did, we opted for the VIP cabana which had its own poolside deck and the bottle of champagne that was included definitely won us over. We thought it would be the perfect treat for Dad.

We headed there for it opening at 10; we wanted to make the most of it! We were shown to our Cabana and left to settle in which of course meant drop our stuff and explore by ourselves as no one else had arrived yet.

For the first half hour or so we only had the staff and a few of these guys for company!

Mike and Mum decided they wanted to go for a hike while the rest of us really just fancied a really chilled day by the pool, after all it was my first full day on holiday and I just wanted to relax.

The deck of our Cabana led out to this platform in the pool which was just perfect for lounging around without getting too hot. We read our books, went for a swim and had a chat with Rachid who was looking after us for the day.

When Mike and Mum got back from their walk Rachid brought the champagne over which was the perfect way to finish the morning...drinking at 11am is totally acceptable when you're on holiday right!

Well thats my story and I'm sticking to it!

By the time it got to the middle of the day a few more people arrived and one other cabana was rented out. I don't think there was more than 25 people there which was perfect, it was like an exclusive little resort.

July/august is not a busy time on St Maarten as rain and thunderstorms can be quite common so people tend to visit around christmas time when the weather is more consistent. We were really lucky, only had one afternoon that we had to stay inside. I highly recommend visiting in summer as it is really quiet and perfect for relaxing!

Anyway after another dip in the pool we were getting peckish so lunch and cocktails it was. The cocktail list was quite something and we couldn't decide what to order so asked Rachid to bring us over the 6 best cocktails; he did good! his suggestions were amazing!

There was a classic mojito, something with gin, a rum punch cocktail and of course I couldn't resist the Malibu option.

They were perfect to wash down what was quite possibly the best cuban sandwich I have ever had!

We had to give it a bit of time to let our food go down before we could move again; in fact I even think there were a couple of naps taken in the Cabana, but hey thats what it was for!

We spent the rest of the day reading books at the edge of the pool, jumping in and our of the jacuzzi and even made an attempt at some pretty terrible poolside yoga...well Mike was ok at it the rest of us not so much!

This was my favourite day of our trip! It was the best way to spend Dads birthday and I highly recommend it if you're looking for something different to do for the day. The staff were so friendly and accommodating, constantly checking up on you to see if they could get you anything but it wasn't too much...in fact the whole day was just perfect.


A Plane to Paradise

I did have another post planned for today but honestly it wasn't quite right; I'll share it soon, promise! It just has to been done properly....but for today you'll be pleased to hear after my interesting but not ideal start to the holiday (see here) I finally made it to St Maarten and the rest of my family.

St Maarten is a tiny Island in the caribbean, half dutch, half french. It doesn't seem to be well known from the name but most people will recognise this airport landing.

Or you can check out the video on my Instagram!

And yes this sign does warn you against injury or DEATH! (the heat is pretty intense, I definitely wouldn't want to get too close!

I jumped off the plane to glorious sunshine and a short 10 minute taxi ride to our hotel at Simpson Bay; right on the beach front. I made the most of the afternoon sunshine before we headed out to dinner and a good Family catch up.

 Jimbo's is the place to go if you're a fan of fajitas and margaritas; they have original, strawberry, passionfruit or mango. I highly recommend the Mango, they're really good! So good that we went back for a second time later on in the holiday.

Aren't my brothers and I something special?!

So glad I finally made it; the last time we were all together was probably last christmas to having 8 days together was just what we needed.

The holiday was mostly about catching up and relaxing so I'm not going to share everything with you; only some highlights to inspire your own trip to St Maarten!

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