Fun Ways to Meet, Socialise and Date in 2021

30/05/2021

3 comments
socialising

This is written in collaboration with Get Blogged

All of our lives have been brought to a halt over the past 18 months and nearly all of us have had to make changes in our lives especially when it has come to seeing friends, family and making new connections. Grandparents have had to get to grips with technology such as Facetime, Zoom and Whatsapp to stay in touch with their loved ones and for many, our work and social time have switched from in-person interactions to online video dates.

But this sudden switch in how we interact with others doesn't mean we cannot meet new people and develop new relationships or strengthen existing ones and on the plus side, the UK is currently opening back up, meaning we can now meet others for socially distanced walks or a drink in a beer garden. Of course, if anything is to go by from whats happened over the past 18 months, we cannot be sure it will stay this way as we could face another wave of infections in the future and therefore possible restrictions again but for now, things are certainly looking up. 

For those on the dating scene, things have become a bit more logistically trickier over the past year but not impossible with video dating becoming commonplace with those of all ages and one of the big pluses to online dating is that you can widen your area a little so someone in Cumbria dating could video call with a person in a different part of the UK with ease. 

 I thought I would put together a few fun ideas on socialising, no matter your age, young or old, during this rather crazy time.

1. Virtual Games night

If you are still not comfortable with meeting up in person or there are restrictions in your area than a fun games night with friends or a new flame can be great fun, just make sure you are all on the same page and agree on the game before playing. Trivia and quizzes can offer up a little more intellectual chat and with hundreds of different topics, there is sure to be one to fit your group.


hiking



2. Go cycling or hiking

Meeting up outdoors is still safer than indoors and we are lucky in the UK to have a lot of countryside to explore as well as an excellent cycling network. Whether you're hanging out with old friends or meeting someone new, exploring the local area on two wheels can be a lot of fun, or why not hike up your local mountain to take in the view? Both are easy to do socially distanced or in quiet areas.

3. Have a picnic

What is not to love about a picnic? You get to enjoy the fresh air, eat good food, spend it in nice company and it can be adapted to fit the group of people you are with so you can make it family-friendly, a few drinks with mates or a romantic al fresco meal with your date. If you're looking for a few simple foodie ideas to impress on a picnic check out this post

4. Explore your local city

Why not be a tourist in your own town or nearest city? You can explore an area you don't know very well or search out some hidden gems, maybe stopping off at some open air markets, spotting street art or street food along the way? My nearest city is Cardiff and even though I spend at least once a week there I am still discovering new places and it's always nice to do that with someone else than on my own. 


street food


If you are back on the dating scene then video calling for a first date can be a good way to test the waters as well as get to know someone in a relaxed way from the comfort of your own home. There are different apps and websites to use and if your slightly more mature then check out this Cumbria dating site. We are all at different stages of adjusting to life at the moment, some of us may. feel ready to go for a pint in a beer garden while others would prefer to stick to zoom meetings, the main thing is to go at your own pace but do make sure you are keeping in contact with others as socialising whether in person or online is really important for our mental health.
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Top Things to Do in Marvellous Miami

28/05/2021

6 comments
Miami



As the world slowly starts to open up in areas and the possibility of future travel looks more encouraging, we can start to dream more about bigger adventures and international travel. Of course, this can be subject to change at any point, that is the one thing we have learnt during this pandemic, but overall things do feel to be taking a positive turn as more people are being vaccinated daily. So I thought I would start sharing some more travel guides to get that wanderlust going and today is all about Miami.

Miami is one of the top holiday spots in the United States. Boasting incredibly warm weather, stunning beaches, cultural attractions, hip neighbourhoods and so much more, it’s really no surprise why the Magic City has become the premier travel destination in South Florida.

Whether you’re visiting Miami to soak up some sunshine by the beach, do some serious retail therapy, sample incredible local food, immerse yourself in the local culture or try a little bit of everything, there are numerous places to see and things to do in this buzzing coastal city.

To help you plan the perfect trip, we’ve done the legwork and compiled this essential list of top things to do in Miami. (Pro tip: If you have excess bags or items that you don’t want to carry around while exploring the city, look for a luggage locker where you can temporarily store your things.)

1. Visit Miami Beach


Miami Beach is perhaps the most popular attraction in all of the city and is one of the major reasons why travellers from all parts of the country and the world flock to Miami. Situated on an island that is connected to the mainland by bridges, Miami Beach has everything one needs – including entertainment establishments, an eclectic mix of neighbourhoods, and miles and miles of sandy beaches.

The crown jewel of the area is the neighbourhood of South Beach, also known as SoBe, Miami’s hottest spot that is buzzing no matter what time of the day. Apart from the world-class shoreline and crystal clear waters, SoBe also offers plenty of opportunities for water sports and outdoor activities. Additionally, the area is filled with upscale restaurants, luxury hotels, vibrant nightclubs, and prime shopping destinations.

Another Miami Beach spot that is worth exploring is the Miami Art Deco Historic District, which got its name from the over 800 Art Deco-style buildings and architecture housed within the area. To get a better understanding of the district’s history and significance, join one of the many walking tours of the Art Deco District.


Miami beach



2. Check out the best museums the city has to offer

While Miami is best known for its white-sand beaches, culture vultures need not fret; Miami is considered one of the most art-friendly cities in the United States. However, this doesn’t mean that Miami museums are limited to just art galleries.

In fact, the South Florida city is packed with museums that cater to all tastes and interests. Whether you’re a history buff, a science enthusiast, or a lover of art, you’ll find some noteworthy institutions to see. Below are our top picks for must-see museums in Miami:

HistoryMiami Museum: Housed in a Mediterranean-style building in downtown Miami, the HistoryMiami Museum gives a detailed look and rundown of how the city evolved from a mosquito-ridden swampland into one of the most vibrant and successful cities in the United States.

Perez Art Museum Miami (PAMM): The ultimate cultural destination, PAMM is a 200,000-square-foot museum that is filled with stunning modern art and architectural creations, including replica boats and kinetic sculptures.

Vizcaya Museum & Gardens: Reminiscent of grand European villas, this former private residence turned museum boasts a collection of incredible objects and pieces spanning different periods, such as Rococo furniture, Renaissance tapestries, 20th-century paintings, and Roman sculptures.

The Bass Museum of Art: Located in the heart of Miami Beach, this outdoor art museum boasts some of the finest contemporary works and installations from world-renowned artists such as Jim Drain and Sylvie Fleury.

Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science: Situated in downtown Miami, this family-friendly museum features thought-provoking exhibitions regarding different branches and aspects of science. The massive science facility is also home to an aquarium and a cutting-edge planetarium.

Vizcaya Museum
Vizcaya Museum and gardens




3. Get a taste of Cuba in Little Havana


Miami has a massive Cuban population and is heavily influenced by Cuban culture, which is why it really comes as no surprise that they have their own enclave in the city in the form of Little Havana. Nestled in the heart of Miami, Little Havana will transport you to Cuba and give you a taste of the genuine Cuban lifestyle.

One of the highlights is Calle Ocho, a major thoroughfare and is the centre of activity in the neighbourhood. Located at Calle Ocho is the district’s version of the walk of fame, which honours some of the greatest Latin figures and celebrities, such as Celia Cruz and Gloria Estefan.

While the district does not have an abundance of tourist attractions, it is definitely worth visiting if you’re looking for a change of scenery. In addition, Little Havana is known for its wealth of restaurants and speciality food stalls, most of which focus on authentic Cuban cuisine. If you happen to visit Miami in March, make sure to check out the Calle Ocho Festival, a street festival that celebrates Cuban and Latin American culture.


Little Havana



4. Catch a baseball game at the LoanDepot Park.

Sports is a major deal in Miami and baseball is arguably the biggest and most celebrated sport in the city. Whether or not you’re a baseball fan, you should definitely experience the excitement of watching baseball live at the historic LoanDepot Park. Formerly known as the Marlins Park, the stadium is the official home of the Miami Marlins, the MLB franchise of the city.

One of the most interesting features of the LoanDepot Park is the array of artwork scattered all over the area, such as images taken by the likes of Roy Lichtenstein and Joan Miro. The baseball park also has over 10 dining areas as well as an on-site sports bar – the Clevelander.


5. Explore and shop at the Bayside Marketplace.

Located on the banks of Biscayne Bay in downtown Miami, the Bayside Marketplace is a must-visit when in the city. The two-story outdoor shopping centre is Miami’s ultimate shopping destination and a commercial centre, the mall has over 150 shops, including both international brands and independently-owned boutiques. 

Additionally, the shopping centre has a range of restaurants, caf├ęs, bars, and other commercial establishments. Both locals and tourists frequent the Bayside Marketplace in order to shop, eat, drink or simply relax and people-watch.


If you have nay tips or know if any hidden gems in Miami please feel free to share in the comments below


Miami


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Micro Festivals and Weekend Gatherings 2021

13/05/2021

6 comments
family festival




I've been going to music festivals since my teens and have taken both of my boys each summer since they were babies, but of course, the past year has thrown a real spanner in the works and like everyone else in the UK we gladly stayed home last summer but as the vaccine roll-out keeps going from strength to strength and restrictions are slowly easing and as long as infection rates don't rise then there is the possibility that small weekend festivals and gatherings may go ahead this year.

All of the festivals and gatherings mentioned in this guide are running with a Covid protocol in place, with limited numbers in spacious settings, but of course, going to any sort of gathering this year may not be for you at this time and that completely understandable as we are all navigating this pandemic in a way that feels comfortable for ourselves but for those that are trying to capture that festival feeling on a much smaller scale, here are my top picks.

1. We are not a festival summer solstice, Sussex, 18-21st June

This summer weekend aims to capture the festival spirit without the crowds. There will be wellness workshops, art classes, forest walks, opportunities to dive deeper into exploring holistic & sustainable living as well as ending each day with music around The Folly Stage. Set in a beautiful site this weekend is for those whole love to be outdoors, reconnect with nature and have a moment of calm in this manic world. Prices start at £135

2. The Big Retreats Feel Good Weekends, West Wales,  18-20th June and 9th-11th July

Instead of running The Big Retreat (one of our favourite festivals in Wales), this year they are putting together two smaller retreats that offer an intimate wellbeing weekend away, with activities such as saltwater swims & cold water swimming workshops, woodland walks, foraging & cooking lessons and finishing the days with storytelling around a campfire, if your looking to step away and relax this could be the one for you. Luxury Glamping accommodation, each with its own space and bathroom and unlike other weekends this one includes food. Spaces are limited due to the intimate nature of the retreat and all lessons and workshops will be socially distanced. Prices start at £350


Big Retreat


3. The Good Life Summer Camp, Deeside - 9th July-2nd August across 4 long weekends 

The Good Life which normally hosts a larger scale festival has paired down their feel-good events into four relaxing weekend summer camp, limiting to 100 guests, which gives the opportunity to reconnect with nature in an intimate and inspiring way. Guests stay in the idyllic Walled Garden on Hawarden Estate and the weekends will offer talks, expeditions and workshops from outdoor, craft and nature experts, with the evening spent around the campfire. Activities include wild swimming, runs, paddle boarding and more. Prices are around £405 for two adults with a camping pitch (Children are welcome and can be added to your pitch)

4. Cloud Nine Glamping Weekends - 3 Locations, Dorset, Cotswolds, Norfolk 19th July-30th Aug

These luxury glamping weekends sound amazing and have created a perfect balance of those mini-festival vibes paired with family camping that ties in outdoor adventures and relaxation. From paddleboarding, kayaking, wild swimming, yoga, storytelling plus loads more within a stunning location with plenty of space for children to run free is fantastic along with gourmet street food, cocktails and alfresco dining, there is something for all ages. Prices start as low as £132 per family per night

5. Elderflower Fields Family Festival, East Sussex, 23rd-27th July

Elderflower Fields is a well-known small family festival and while it is still running as a festival this year they have reduced the capacity and will be following all Covid Government guidelines. The location also lends to plenty of outdoor space and offers a relaxed nature focussed festival. From live music to art camp, urban woods, star gazing, kayaking, workshops, activities, this is one of the more full-on lineups than the others in this list which is pretty exciting. Adult tickets start at £143 and child ticket £71


family festival


6. Camp Kin Camping, Kelmarsh 23-26 July, 30th July - 2nd Aug, 6-9 Aug

While the well known Starry Skies has been cancelled they have now created a series of creative weekend family-friendly getaways in the form of Camp Kin which will have a focus on a small intimate event that allows for one to rekindle friendships and connections with friends around the campfire. There is plenty on offer such as yoga, storytelling, paddle boarding, craft workshops, forest school and much more, as well as live music. You can bring your own tent or go for a glamping option such as a Tipi, bell tent or yurt. Prices start at £105 for adults and £36.75 for children

7. Just So Festival, Cheshire, 20-22nd Aug

We love Just So Festival, in fact, it's my children's favourite festival so it's very exciting to hear it's going ahead this year, of course within the guidelines and with restricted numbers. The location offers plenty of outdoor space to run around. The lineup is perfectly balanced without being overwhelming and offering a lot of downtime. You can enjoy things rowing boats on the lake, mindfulness workshops for kids and family yoga or step into the spellbound forest for some nature and bush crafts, campfire tells and bonfire bands. They also have a selection of glamping options (you can also take your own tent) including bell tents, vintage tents, yurts and gypsy bowtops. Prices start at £160 for adults and £53.50 for children


Weekend gatherings


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Feel good Summer Giveaway

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feel good


We all need a little pick me up after the year we have had an I am hopeful this summer will bring an element of normality, even if that doesnt mean overseas travel or big concerts, meeting friends for a bbq and some staycations are just as good right now. So I have put together a little feel good hamper for one lucky reader to win and there should be something for everyone.

If you looking to relax and slow down then Mindfulness & the Art of Drawing is a great book to help inspire you to reconnect with your creativity in a calm and peaceful way.

If music is more your jam then the super stylish House of Marley, Smile Jamaica, in-ear headphones which have been crafted from mindfully sourced materials and FSC certified wood.

For those planning on going camping this summer then the Pits & Bits Filthy Festival wash kit will come in handy esepically as no water is required and has everything you need to keep you clean. The kit includes a Shampoo, Body wash and expanding wash wipes. The kit requires no water, elimates odours, doesnt leave a stick residue and is safe for kids. 

For those who are excited about safely socialising again there is an awesome Reloaded Euphoria eye shadow palette by Revolution and you can pair it up with The Liner Revolution waterproof eye liner and best of all both products are cruelty free and vegan.

Lastly is a very cute handmade badge from Andsmile, made in London.

This little feel good hamper is worth around £45 and the giveaway will end on the 23rd May, the winner will be contacted within 24hrs. The prices cannot be exchanged or transfered and is open to UK residents only. Enter via the rafflecopter below. 


a Rafflecopter giveaway
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