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    5 Reasons To Go On A Walking Holiday

    This post has been written in collaboration with Inntravel #SEEINGSWITZERLAND, but all words and thoughts are my own.

    5 Reasons To Go On A Walking Holiday | lifeofkitty.co.uk

    In 2014 I travelled to Finland for an expedition. It was part of a university module, and our plan was to go out and photograph bears. We travelled from Kajaani to a wildlife centre near Viiksimo, then to another near Suomussalmi and then braved the train up to Rovaneimi. That was an adventure! (We also went snow shoeing – as seen below! Photo on the below right thanks to Louise Groom!) Now besides that, I haven’t really been on a specifically active walking/hiking holiday – just day/weekend trips – despite me loving the idea of this style of holiday.

    I guess part of that is laziness (isn’t it easier to just book one of those typical beach/city holidays?) but part of it is also because I’ve just never really had anyone who wanted to do the same thing. That said, I’m someone who loves nothing more than to pull on my running shoes and go explore a new town on my own and I do it every time I go on holiday, no matter what kind of trip it is!

    5 Reasons To Go On A Walking Holiday | Finland | lifeofkitty.co.uk

    #1 The Weather Is Unpredictable, But Can Be Incredible

    A normal day in Britain could see you experiencing sunshine, rain, overcast, hail and snow all in the matter of an hour. I’m sure other countries are similar, but you know, that’s the chance you take when on an outdoor trip. Don’t let that put you off.

    You can choose where you want to go, and ultimately the kind of weather you want. If you want to see snow and hike in a colder place, Austria, Switzerland, Norway or Finland may be top choices. Sun-worshipper? Then maybe Spain, India, Morocco or Cyprus would be your thing. Some countries even have a good mixture of both, so really you just need to decide what you want and check what it’s like out there at that time of year. When I visited Finland, we experienced both snow and sun, as you can tell in the two photos above, the weather differs even just a 5 hour drive away!

    #2 Muscles You Didn’t Know Existed Will Ache, But You’ll Be Fitter

    And you should sleep well afterwards! If you’re not used to being out all day in all weather, walking about, then yes you probably will be sore afterwards. You can always go at your own pace though, so don’t feel like you have to be some super fit athlete to be doing it. Most walks will have a difficulty rating, and quite often there will be a few different routes that you can take.

    The more you do it, the fitter you’ll get and soon you’ll be running up those hills! Or okay, maybe not. You’ve also got the option to cycle around these kinds of places too, which brings a whole different kind of trip.

    #3 Getting Lost Is An Adventure, You Find New Places

    Hands up, who can read a map? I dabbled a little in map reading at university. And by that I mean I tried, tried a little more and didn’t do very well. I mean technically you don’t really need a map. There are plenty of walking holidays with toured walks, or ones where you just have to follow a path and signposts. Getting off the beaten track can be fun, but only if you can get yourself back on track!

    Many a time have I gone out to explore, taken a different turning or path and discovered something new. I still do that in my local areas! Doing this, you’ll see a lot more of the natural country than a regular tourist would, and you’ll come away feeling like you’ve discovered a country’s secrets.

    #4 There May Be No Mobile Signal So Switch Off, Enjoy The Quiet

    We’re all getting a little too reliant on social media nowadays aren’t we? I mean, is it even news unless you’ve seen it on BBC Breaking’s twitter account? Nope. I am fully aware that I rely on social media far too much. Forever checking Twitter and Facebook, forever wanting to post that photo on Instagram.

    I went to Wales last year and the signal was absolutely awful. We were lucky if we managed to scrape one bar in our cottage, and wifi, well, that was expensive. So you know what we did? Enjoyed the outdoors, explored the surrounding area and yes, we played board games. It was refreshing. You can post that photo on Instagram when you get back to real life.

    #5 Go Solo And Join A Walking Tour, Make New Friends

    This is one thing I haven’t done yet, but something I aim to do. Solo travel doesn’t have to be scary or lonely. There are plenty of tours and groups out there that will guide you around a country along with other travellers.

    If, like me, you have no one to enjoy this kind of holiday with, you don’t have to swear off them. I’m planning a solo trip myself for the end of 2018. I mean, if anyone wants to join me they can – but I’ll still be going regardless! (Well hopefully, as long as the saving works out…)

    Mammut Xeron Element Bag Giveaway | lifeofkitty.co.uk

    #SEEINGSWITZERLAND with Inntravel

    Now Inntravel call themselves specials in ‘slow holidays’. Holidays that give you time to fully savour every moment of your trip: travelling through beautiful landscapes; tasting local cuisine; relaxing in family-run hotels and talking to the locals. They basically aim to get you away from that typical city break or beach holiday and experience something new.

    Trips they offer include walking holidays, cycling, snow breaks, family breaks and privately guided. Currently they are promoting their self-guided ‘From the Eiger to the Matterhorn’ trip, giving you the chance to see some of the best walking tours in all of the Alps (and the Alps are pretty special – I was lucky enough to be driven through the Swiss Alps on my way home from a college trip!)

    I received a Mammut XERON ELEMENT 30L rucksack, Sigg drinking bottle, Viktorinox hiker Swiss army knife, two pairs of walking socks and some luxury Lindt Swiss chocolates. (Oh those chocolates were definitely luxury!)

    The Mammut bag you can see in the photos above, and it is quite a big backpack – great for long days out. I found it quite comfortable to wear and didn’t have any parts rubbing on the three hour hike that I took it on. With a laptop pocket, main pocket, front organiser pocket and another small front pocket (perfect for a map I would say!) you’ll easily be able to split items apart for easy access. 30L is actually quite roomy, so it’d be great for a walking holiday.

    And hey, thanks to Inntravel, you can win your very own Mammut XERON ELEMENT rucksack. Just enter below to be in with a chance to win. All entries are optional, but obviously the more you do the better chances you have!

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    Giveaway T&C’s
    – The prize includes a Mammut XERON ELEMENT rucksack.
    – The giveaway will run from 19/05/17 until 31/05/17.
    – It will be open to UK residents only, aged 18+.
    – The winner will be chosen at random, and will be contacted by myself to request their postal address.
    – The winner will have 28 days from being notified to accept the prize. After that another winner will be chosen.
    – The prize will be provided by the company, and sent directly to the winner.
    – No data collected from Rafflecopter will be shared with the company or any other.

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    Currently Tasting

    Currently Tasting #4

    You know when you just love food and can’t stop trying new things? Yes that’s me, though I haven’t actually posted one of these since Currently Tasting #4 in January. I just got a new set of drawers – you should see my snack drawer!

    BearClaws-BlackcurrantRaw

    Natural Fruity Treats

    These blackcurrant bars, they taste exactly like Ribena. Not kidding. They’ve got that tangy, strong taste that Ribena blackcurrent has and I LOVED them. Couldn’t get enough. Where did I get them? Aldi. I’ve been super impressed with Aldi the last few times I’ve been actually because they have quite a few random healthy treats in stock now. It’s always nice to find something new to try.

    I’m also loving Bear Claws too. Yes they’re for kids but does that matter really? I don’t think so. If anything it makes me feel better because hey, they should be healthy right? It’s just a quick little snack for mid-afternoon when my eyes start closing at my desk. Had to do a little searching as I knew Lauren had posted about these kind of snacks… She was the person who had me first have a look last year!

    LentilPasta-EdamameSpaghetti

    Alternative Pastas

    Ever tried lentil or edamame pasta? Or anything other kind of pasta that isn’t normal pasta? It’s a little strange to be honest, but that’s not a bad thing. The lentil pasta is my favourite. The taste wasn’t really weird or out there, but it wasn’t quite like regular pasta obviously. It definitely felt healthier! The good thing about these kinds of pastas is that they generally have a lot more protein in them compared to normal pasta – useful as a vegetarian when sometimes you just want pasta with a bit of Philadelphia and a few vegetables in there!

    Gousto Box Meals

    I’ve heard about Gousto many times before, but if I’m honest the prices always put me off. Why spend money on food that would cost much less to go buy yourself? Chloe tweeted about getting a free box to try out and that was it, I was in the Gousto club. There was a voucher code and then I did have to pay £5.99 to get the order to go through, but thanks to the blogger incentive running, it was refunded into my paypal account within the hour. I’m not going to lie, I was a little scared about that but I figured for 5.99 it’d still be worth it!

    I chose the Veggie Lentil Pie and Mushroom Dahl and damn, they were tasty! The ingredients all arrived in a big box, with a cooler bag for the items that needed storing in a fridge. They had a date of 4 or 5 days I think and they lasted well – I cooked the pie on the second day and the dahl on the fourth. The recipes were easy to follow and it was definitely simple having all ingredients at hand with the right measurements. If you’re not a brave chef, these would be great to start you off cooking tasty meals. The lentil pie was definitely our favourite, and I’ll be using that recipe card again for sure!

    GoustoLentilPie

    GoustoMushroomDahl

    What have you been tasting recently?

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    Lifestyle

    4 Ways to Keep Yourself Feeling Fab

    Keeping healthy. It’s something that is constantly running through the media, and you either love the topic or hate it. Thing is, it’s important to look after yourself, not just physically but mentally, and I think the latter is more often forgotten about.

    4 Ways to Keep Yourself Feeling Fab

    Drinking Plenty of Water & Getting The Right Nutrition

    Isn’t this always the hardest part? Like to be honest, I’d say I do pretty well with drinking water for 75% of the week, but I’ve been relying on fizzy drinks far too much lately. I’m trying my hardest to cut down on it now. This kind of care helps your body of course, but it’s actually also really helpful for the mind too.

    I can tell when I’ve been eating badly because my body feels bloated and I’m just way more lethargic. Just bad choices (like frozen pizza and chips) instead of getting vegetables and less processed food in. That’s not to say you have to cut all sugar out, eat ‘clean’ and become a fitness guru overnight (can’t get rid of the chocolate!). Just get more water in your body as a start, and you’ll feel the benefits, honestly! My goal is to try make more meals from scratch.

    Get Moving, Get Outside, Enjoy The Fresh Air

    Now I’m not saying going for a walk, sitting outside or doing exercise outdoors will cure anything. For me personally though, being outside just helps. Last week I was feeling tired and achy, but my head was absolutely mashed from work and I knew that getting out for a run would put me in a better frame of mind. And it did.

    I also went on a little hike with my boyfriend not so long ago and we just enjoyed walking through woodland, hearing birds call and looking out to a beautiful view. It sure beat being stuck inside! Maybe this doesn’t work for everyone but if you’re just feeling like you’re overwhelmed or need some space, go for a walk. See if it clears your head. Music/podcasts can help to distract you too.

    4 Ways to Keep Yourself Feeling Fab | Corsodyl

    Look After Your Teeth & Gums*

    This is so important, and I’m sure you all brush your teeth morning and night (one would like to hope!) but is it something you focus on or just do quickly to get it out of the way? I was sent this pack from Corsodyl to try out the new Ultra Clean toothpaste. Corsodyl is known as the brand to help stop bleeding gums, right? This toothpaste promises to help your sore gums and get rid of all that plaque affecting them. My gums do bleed when brushing – not every time, but enough times a week to want to try this toothpaste to see if it helps!

    The therapeutic taste described, well I’m not so sure about that. It’s weird and not minty. Not particularly horrible, but it definitely tastes more medical. Like that mouthwash the dentist always gives you. Sticking with it, I’d say I’m seeing less bleeding but I mean I couldn’t say for sure. I already had the Corsodyl mouthwash so you know, I’m not completely new to the brand. It’s a toothpaste I would definitely think about repurchasing.

    In the pack we also received a cute notebook, luggage tag and a USB with lips on from Lulu Guiness and these were a nice touch. Stuff like this is a good reminder to look after your mouth and teeth, because we all know how horrible it is to get an ulcer or sore in there, and unhealthy gums are the first of many problems!

    Take Time Out For Yourself

    I actually wrote a post last year on 4 Ways to Pick Yourself Up – for times when you just need to feel human again. Sometimes work and life can get overwhelming and you just don’t give yourself enough time to properly rest. I’m guilty of that, and I’ve definitely felt it this past month! In the past week I’ve really taken advantage of my days off, whilst in the last month I was doing something every time I was off, leaving my body no time to recuperate!

    It’s easy to forget about yourself, but let this be a reminder to give yourself a little me time every now and then. We all need it, and we all deserve it.

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    *The Corsodyl box was sent for review purposes but as always I would not write about something I didn’t agree with.

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    Life in...

    Happy Things In April ’17

    I actually started writing this post mid-April (for once!), and yet here we are on the 4th May and I’d completely forgotten about it. May came around quite quickly didn’t it?! Probably all those pesky bank holidays…

    Cake

    I’ve actually had quite a good month it seems, with plenty happening. No wonder I’m feeling worn out!

    + Days out: Southport, Rivington Pike
    + House party with friends
    + The Wigan Good Friday & Easter Monday wins
    + Easter chocolate
    + Seeing family
    + Curry/drinks with friends
    + Pretty flowers
    + Free bowling trip (even though I only came 6th & 2nd… out of 7)
    + Guardians Double Bill
    + Hitting a new PB at the Whitley 10k
    + Getting a new wardrobe

    The best things on that list have to be the new 10km PB, which was a last minute race decision and one I’m glad I did, the Guardians Double Bill and the day trips to Southport and Rivington Pike. The latter especially – I love a good walk! We’ve got a few more places on the list to visit now so I’ll hopefully try to write a little more about these trips… (You can see photos on my instagram @katehlouise!)

    Oh and I also entered the London Virgin Marathon 2018 ballot. So there’s that. I’ll only know in October if I’ve been successful, and I’m not holding my hopes up too high. With only 18,000 ballot places or whatever and hundreds of thousands entering, it’s a very slim chance! I figured why the hell not… It takes some people years of entering before they’re lucky. We’ll see anyway. I’m sure you’ll hear about it if I’m successful.

    Blogging has taken a bit of a back seat recently, and it’s because I’m just been so busy with life that I haven’t been able to sit down and properly focus on content. I have 19 18 drafts either half written or in bullet points, but hardly any photos and the ideas are struggling to get fully from head to paper (or screen). I’m still here though, lurking. I have a few exciting things to write about in the next couple of weeks anyway so plenty to do! Time to get back on it.

    Let’s hope May is just as eventful, eh?

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    Currently Loving

    Currently Loving #7

    It’s been a while hasn’t it? I haven’t posted a Currently Loving in 5 months! These things probably won’t surprise you – they have me written all over them. My favourites never really change much do they?

    Currently Loving #7 | Netflix Xbox Candle

    Netflix Binge

    I recently rearranged my room so now I can sit in bed and enjoy Netflix from my tv instead of my laptop. It means I can be even more lazy than usual. Good thing? Still undecided. But hey, it means I’ve watched a lot more tv series/films! I’m using my brother’s old xbox and I literally just use it for Netflix and Youtube. As every other person here, I have been watching 13 Reasons Why. I read the Thirteen Reasons Why book way back in 2011 (and gave it 4* apparently!) so I was super excited for this series when I heard about it.

    I finished watching it last night and oh boy, those last few episodes are dark! If you struggle with suicide/self harm/rape or any of that kind of thing, it’s probably one to give a miss. I wasn’t expecting it to be so graphic, but honestly it does the job that it was aiming for. It shows the darker side of these things and it hits you hard! Couldn’t stop thinking about it as I was trying to get to sleep.

    Perfect Margarita Yankee Candle

    If you ever needed the perfect Spring scent, this is it. Super tangy and fresh and I’m loving the smell of lime filling my room. I never really go for the fruity candles, even though I love a good fruity scent. I have my eye on the Fresh Apple one too – definitely the next on my list.

    Currently Loving #7 | BearPaws Bugles

    Tasty Snacks

    I’m trying my best at work to take in healthier snacks for my mid-morning and afternoon slumps. Bear Claws are the current favourites. I always feel better getting the kids snack choices as I trust them a little more… Definitely filled with more natural sugars and just generally good snacks to eat. I’m a big fan of dried fruit bars/chews at the moment.

    Have you tried Bugles yet? They’re new but they’ve still been out a while now and I just never really see them about. These BBQ ones are my absolute faves. To be honest, I love BBQ anything so these were always going to be a winner for me. I think they have a cheesy flavour and possibly others but I haven’t tried any of them.

    Currently Loving #7 | Bottle Wigan

    Keeping Up Health

    I won this Brita filter bottle in a giveaway and I absolutely love it! I’ve never bought into these filter bottles because our tap water tastes fine and I can deal with it, but you can definitely taste the difference using this bottle. The filters seem to be quite expensive but I think they last 100 litres or so? I’m not fully sure… I may not have a filter in there all the time depending on this. It’s a great size though and hasn’t leaked yet – winner. I’m back to the gym (well, I’ve been twice in the past week…) so I’m really going to give my fitness a kick. That means healthier eating and just generally getting up and moving more.

    I’ve also been loving watching the rugby both at our ground and on tv. Thursday/Friday nights are for rugby league. I’m just glad we’re into Spring and heading towards the Summer months. Always good.

    What are you currently loving?

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    5 Reasons To..., Lifestyle

    5 Reasons To Love Spring

    Anyone who knows me (maybe even you guys on here) knows I hate winter. Me and cold weather do not mix. Take me to a hot country! That’s why I love Spring and what the start of it means…

    5 Reasons To Love Spring | Blossom Flowers

    #1 Love Longer Days

    The clocks going forward really sucks for the first week, but after that it is a delight. Coming home from work in the sunshine (when it appears) is one of the best feelings ever. I love the lighter evenings, I don’t feel like the day has disappeared when the sun sets at 8pm.

    #2 Love Spring Sunshine

    Yeah okay so we don’t get that much of it, but Spring signals the start of better weather. And it is better on the whole. You know when it’s sunny out, but not too humid or hot? I mean I love that too, but I do love the freshness of Spring weather. I’ve also discovered that driving down an empty motorway with the sun shining and music (mcfly) blasting is one of the better things about being able to drive. The sun is just a complete mood lifter. I need one of those SAD clocks/lights when Winter comes back around.

    #3 Love Insects

    A weird one maybe. Some people hate insects (why?!) but I love seeing butterflies floating around, bees sniffing out flowers, ladybirds and other small bugs flittering about. I love it. Also love a bit of macro photography, and Spring is the best time for that. Yes, I love all creatures great and small ;)

    #4 Love Pretty Flowers

    It seems like everyone takes a photo of blossom during Spring (that’s the best I’ve found above) but the light pink just looks so pretty against the blue sky. Also flowers seem to be everywhere in shops, there are daffodils littering any patches of grass outside and daisies will start to appear soon. Also, that embroidery fashion trend – I never thought I’d be into it but I am love all the flower embroidery I’m seeing!

    #5 Love Running In Shorts

    Running is always easier when it’s sunny outside. I mean the actual running is tougher the hotter the weather gets, but it’s a lot easier to get out there in the first place. I also prefer wearing shorts, but I’m not as brave as the crazies at Park Run who wear shorts all year round and in minus temperatures. No thank you!

    Do you love Spring? Another season your favourite?

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    Life in...

    Happy Things in March ’17

    Another month down. March DRAGGED. I don’t know why, but it just really did.

    Bunch of Spring Flowers

    Maybe it’s the 5 weeks since payday… Maybe. It really has felt like a long 31 days though! I’ve had a few ‘events’ this month, but have also spent a lot of the time lying in bed watching random youtube videos or catching up on The Originals on Netflix.

    + Those two (or three?) glorious days of sunshine that we had.
    + I ran my first ever half marathon and didn’t die.
    + Had a relaxing spa day with my mum.
    + Saw Beauty and the Beast. Twice.
    + Bittersweet, but Vampire Diaries ended and whilst I’m still kind of sad, it was nice to see everything come together.
    + Ate at a few new restaurants with Luke and had amazing Tapas. (That’s the goal – try new independent places!)
    + The clocks went forward so we finally have lighter evenings back!
    + I finally read my second book of the year… Caraval.
    + We came 3rd out of over 30 in the pub quiz.
    + Little Big Shots on TV has to be one of the cutest/funniest/greatest shows of the year so far.
    + I got to try out my brother’s Nintendo Switch and play a bit of Zelda.

    I think that just about sums up March. I feel like I need to do something a little more exciting next month. Watch this space!

    How was your March?

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