A Fresh Start

Hi Guys!

I have been thinking for a while about changing the format of my blog and a few other bits and pieces…..

My blog first started about my bucket list and crossing off 30 things to do before I am 30, for anyone that knows me will know that I love a list and it has felt great to cross my achievements off as I have gone along & I have done somethings in the past couple of years that I would never have done before!

However, I have found something in this blog that I really enjoy & always have done, writing. I am not great at accepting compliments – ever – but when someone says that they enjoy my blogs and like my writing smile I just get a really warm feeling. Its a compliment I will never tire of hearing! Over the last couple of months, I have been looking at my bucket list and thinking either “yeah I would love to do that, but I just don’t have the time/money at the moment” or “do I really want to that?” I admit it, I am just not feeling it any more….so I think I might just stop.

Don’t worry, I am not going to stop blogging. If anything my bucket list and this blog has made me see that life can be so positive and kind and fun if you let it. You don’t need to plan your fun or write a list to make it happen, you can just go out there and enjoy it and let life happen. So I am going to stop focusing on ticking off things to achieve in my life & just enjoy it!

So as part of the fresh start, I am looking at doing some visual changes on my blog and also looking at changing the name from Learning To Fly. I have no clue what to change it to, so I am hoping you all can help me? Please post your comments below with any idea’s for a new blog name!

Although I may not be focusing on my bucket list anymore, I will still be sharing stories of my life with you. I hope you all stay reading and enjoy the changes to come!

Love

Emma xxx

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VEGAS BABY!!!

Hello All!

I have managed to cross another something off my list…..VEGAS! we came back a few days ago now, returning back to work and getting into a “normal” routine has been hard work. Vegas is one of the most surreal place I have ever been too, there is just so much to do and so much to see its crazy! I have honestly never been so unhappy to return to the UK, I can well and truly say I have post-holiday blues! So I thought what a better way to get over it than by sharing some of my tips with you all. I am going to start off with Vegas and San Francisco will follow over the next few days!

Shopping

Best place on the strip to shop is Fashion Show Mall, there is everything you want there from Bath & Body Works, Macy’s, Victoria’s Secret to Nordstrom. Although if you don’t fancy walking that far, the shops at Caesars Palace are brilliant and make you feel like you are outside when you are undercover!

If you fancy a bit of discount shopping there are 2 premium outlets close by one North and one South of the strip. North outlet is the larger one with a lot more shops and I managed to come back a bargain from Kate Spade! If you fancy getting a really good bargain, you can pick up a VIP Discount Booklet from the Information kiosk at either local for $10. We did and we definitely saved quite a bit.

Don’t worry, I will be sharing my purchases with you all soon enough!

Food

Best place to eat on the strip in my personal opinion was TAO in The Venetian. The food was superb, service was impeccable and the atmosphere was brilliant. My favourite dish was the Crispy Coconut Shrimp with Spicy Thai Peanut Sauce it was beautiful, the mix of Coconut and Peanut Sauce was lovely!

The Yummiest Asian Food I have Ever Had!

The Yummiest Asian Food I have Ever Had!

We Had A Great Evening

We Had A Great Evening

I also really enjoyed eating at Guy Fieri’s Vegas Kitchen & Bar, we love watching Diners, Drive – In’s  & Dives on the TV, so when we heard that he had a restaurant in Vegas we wanted to make sure we went in there. The drinks and food were amazing, I couldn’t eat all of my food but you could tell it was cooked to perfection.

My Yummy Sandwich

My Yummy Sandwich

Matt's Yummy Burger

Matt’s Yummy Burger

Nightlife

Initially when you are looking at how much it costs to get in clubs before you go it’s mad, it’s on average $70-80 per couple just to get in – DON’T pay it! Keep your eyes peeled for people offering the chance to get on the Guest List. We managed to with every club we went into, we saw Scott Disick at 1OAK, a DJ at Light and David Guetta at XS.

XS was just brilliant; we had such a good night as a group as a whole and seeing David Guetta was once in a lifetime! The club was mad, there was several “tables” that you could hire, a room with the DJ’s in AND a pool – which I can honestly say was very warm! Don’t worry, I didn’t go for a swim, just dipped my feet in!

Attractions

There aren’t many typical attractions to talk about with Vegas, but here is just a few things that I think you might fancy doing:

Gondola Ride at The Venetian – the indoor one is a must!

NY NY Rollercoaster – it’s only about 2 minutes long, but is brilliant

The Mirage Volcano – if it’s a bit nippy out, this will definitely warm you up

The Bellagio Fountains – a spectacular show

Cirque Du Soleil – we saw Mystere at Treasure Island and it was brilliant, you just don’t know where to look!

High Roller – the best view of the strip, it’s quite expensive, but I wish we could have done it during the day as well as the evening.

Finally, it’s not on the strip but if you ever get the chance to do Vegas then you have to book a trip to the Grand Canyon. We did a helicopter tour at sunset and it was one of the most amazing experiences I have ever had. It is simply stunning and so peaceful; it was lovely to share it with my partner, my best friend and her partner.

If you have any questions about Vegas feel free to drop me a comment and I will make sure I get back to you with any suggestions or recommendations!

Love

Emma xxx

Summer Wishes!

Sat at work the other day, my thoughts turned to summer and what mischief I can get myself into! I am a big winter lover, but there is something about clear blue skies and the sun shining that just puts a smile on my face!

So I got my thinking cap on and browsed through Pinterest of some Summer Bucket List’s and got some ideas together!

Have A Picnic

I am a big foodie as you all well know and I am quite lucky to live near the beach, a national forest and lots of lovely open space so why not pack up some food and head out for the day! So what do you pack for a picnic? What are your favourite things? For me, its tuna mayo & cucumber sandwiches or maybe some cheese and pickle sandwiches. Mix it up with some vegetable sticks and dips, even some humus might do the trick! You can’t beat some marshmallow & strawberry kebabs either, oooh or even some chocolate dipped strawberries! Play a few games of Frisbee or maybe just laze about and catch some rays, definitely a picnic on the cards for the summer!

Picnic-Grass-Blanket

Strawberry Picking

When I was younger I knew summer had arrived when my mum and dad would take me to the strawberry fields and we would pick a couple of punnets and come home and me and dad would always have them with condensed milk! Last year, I didn’t get round to picking any strawberries as we were away for 2 weeks and I had broken my foot! This year however, I will definitely be going to pick some strawberries, maybe even take our nieces!

strawberries

Enjoy An Evening Drinking In The Sun

For those of you that don’t know, our house has always been an open house and quite often will hold impromptu evenings in front of the fire in the summer drinking and snacking and just having a laugh. They are my favourite evenings, when it’s just random and chucked together and they often tend to be the best evenings too, so although it’s on my idea list, I know it will happen at some point anyway!

Of course, those are just little ideas of things that I would like to do, there are loads of other things you can get up to. You could visit the zoo, have a water fight, host a BBQ, play rounder’s, go crabbing! The list is just endless, why not tell me what some of your favourite things to do in the summer are, you might even inspire me to do something different!

Pro Vs Con – MOA

I really want to go to the Mall of America…….like REALLY want to go! It is like the biggest shopping mall EVER, it is so big that it has a theme park in there!

Now, I love to shop, like love it! I am an old school shopper, I prefer to go in to a clothes shop take 100 things into the fitting room and try stuff on, I cant be doing with all this online shopping, sending it back business. If I am shopping I want to see and feel what I am buying, a picture on a screen just doesn’t do anything justice. I will be honest with you, Mall of America wasn’t on my radar until about 2 years ago, when my godparents mentioned it, thinking it could be somewhere we could have visited whilst we were over last year. I looked online and straight away I knew I had to go there one day!

It may be sad, but I pretty much even know where I want to stay if I was to eventually get my butt there! It’s the cost that scares me slightly, I decided earlier this week that I wanted to go around my birthday next year and maybe team it up with a quick visit to my godparents in Indiana.

I had a look online and for a 3night stay at Radisson Blu Hotel and flights (including an internal one to IN) would cost approx. £937 (based on 2 people sharing) and when you are trying to save for a mortgage deposit, that is just over 1 months’ worth of saving……can I really give up potentially 2 months’ worth of savings (you can’t forget spending money!). So I did what all sensible people do and did a Pro Vs Con list!

PRO CON
Get to see another state in USA Looking at spending at least £2k
Potentially won’t be able to afford  to travel a lot when I move out Who will come with me? It’s a lot of money to ask someone to spend
Get to see my godparents Cost implement!
I have wanted to go to MOA for a while It’s just a shopping mall and a theme park!
Something else off my bucket list Can I really justify spending £2k of a holiday and not in my savings???

So as you can see the biggest con is the money aspect, I am really torn on this one right now and not too sure what the outcome will be.

Emma xxx

What If I Don’t Achieve All 30??

Yesterday, I decided I wanted to go to The Mall Of America next year just after my birthday…..I looked into it and realised that it would be approx £950 to get there & stay there (including a trip to my Godparents). Then I realised that I would have to add at least another £750 minimum for spending money, I then did what every good person does and made a Pro Vs Con list……more on that later!

It did make me realise that actually I might not be able to do everything on my list, I want to move out and save for my deposit more than anything & I am almost 30% there – but this does mean that other things might just have fall by the way side! Thing is, I am quite ambitious and I hate letting people down most of all I hate not achieving goals that I set myself! So for me to accept that I might not actually be able to cross all 30 things off my list has only just occured to me!

What does it mean if I dont do it all, what happens? do I still have to try to cross these off after I am 30? Or do I just quit and if I do quit, what happens to my blog? I figure they are all questions only I can answer and only I can work out myself. This is one the things I hate about being a grown up…..you have to make your own decisions, no one can do it for you AND it comes down to you if you muck up!

One thing I am positive I am going to do is at least ATTEMPT to cross all 30 things off my list and have a bloody good time doing it!

Here Is What I Have Achieved So Far!

Here Is What I Have Achieved So Far!

Made Up To The Nines

One of the things on my bucket list is to have my make up done at a make up counter and learn what is the right make up for me. Just before Christmas I was doing a bit of research and asking friends and girls at work what make up counter they have found is best, it was a toss up between Benefit and MAC.

I decided to go with MAC, they are expensive, but I felt it was well worth the money. I booked myself in for a 90 minute make-up lesson. I was really overwhelmed when I booked myself in, all the girls that work on the counter were very “made up” and I felt really out of place, so to say I had nerves when I went set off in the car last weekend is an under statement.

When I arrived at the local shopping centre, I decided to take a before shot…..no make up!

look at my bare face!

look at my bare face!

I headed into the department store where the MAC counter is and spoke to one of the lovely assistants who advised Libby would be with me shortly and to browse around, now as someone who has no real clue about make up, I was looking aimlessly. Thankfully Libby came and introduced herself shortly afterwards and completely put me at ease, we spoke about what I would like to learn and what I already know and I explained that this is all part of my blog and things I want to do before I turn 30!

I am not sure if they do this all the time, but Libby explained that she would do half of my face and I would do the other. As soon as she said that my face must have dropped as inside I was thinking ‘nooooo’, but straight away Libby said she would help me and that it isn’t as hard as I think!

So we spoke through foundation and worked out the best one for me, initially I said I didn’t want anything that was too obvious, but the mineral foundation they didn’t have in my shade, so we tried studio sculpt to see if the shading matched and actually it matched my skin really well!

My Shade Is NW15

My Shade Is NW15

I was then shown how to use concealer and eye primer and a prep and prime powder to put on top of my face, which I have learnt will stop my make up moving! Favourite thing about this is the glittery lid it comes with!

20150310_201559

Then we moved onto eyes, probably the one part of my face that always has make up on, either mascara or some eye liner. The 2 things I wanted to take away from my session was what colour suits me the most and also how to apply liquid eyeliner! Libby recommended purple to bring out my green eyes and she asked if I would prefer a palette or seperate eye shadows. I definitely love a palette and already have one from Barry M, so I was recommended one from their new range by Isabel and Ruben Toledo. The palette is called Violetwink and has 6 colours in there, they also have 2 others Moodyblu & Bellgreens. The colours are lovely & the 1 thing I have taken away is that MAC products are so highly pigmented you don’t need to use as much of it, so it lasts longer. Which is great especially considering the products aren’t cheap.

I Love The Design

I Love The Design

Perfect For Day Time Or A Night Out

Perfect For Day Time Or A Night Out

Finally it was eyeliner and then mascara and I am a sucker for small brushes to make my lashes more defined, so we picked out Studio Sculpt! Learning my eye liner wasn’t as hard as I imagined it would be and I think  know that I would be comfortable in applying it myself now.

I am not sure if you have seen, but MAC do face charts and I have since become quite obsessed with them especially as I now have my own!

 

Left Is Day Eye & Right Is Night Eye!

Left Is Day Eye & Right Is Night Eye!

Here is the finished product! For anyone that is going to do this, please remember that you will look different when you leave the department store & if your like me and don’t wear a lot of make up it will be a shock to the system but worth it!

Before I Left The MAC Counter

Before I Left The MAC Counter

Before & After

Before & After

Watching Those Whales

The first time I watched Free Willy my heart melted and since that day I have always had a soft spot for Whales, specifically Orcas! I think I remember even adopting one when I was a youngster and telling my mum and dad that I wanted to go and see the whales when I was older.

It was only natural that whale watching was on my bucket list, I just never realised the cost of it especially if you want to look for Orcas and the locations are really limited! Also, reading reviews and reports, you cant always guarntee a sighting either, so I could fly all that way spend 2 days on a boat looking for whales and not see a sausage! Saving for a home is one of the most expensive things you will ever do, so realistically spending £1k on a holiday to see whales that you might not actually see is probably not the best idea.

The only thing is what replaces it? Its going to have to be something good and that I want to do and maybe takes me out of my comfort zone and something that I learn from……but what that thing is I have no idea?! I have a big love to travel, but it costs money and I want to save! So it has to be something free and something exciting. I have a few idea’s:

– Donate My Hair To A Children’s Cancer Charity

– Climb A Mountain

– Become Involved In A PCOS Charity

– Drive A Sports Car

– Learn a new language

I am going to think about it for a while, if you have any ideas or suggestions please help me out!

Love

Emma xx