Monday, June 24, 2013

What Do You Do When You Don't Know What To Do?

Let's pretend I have my life completely together and got my dream job after graduating university. What exactly would I be doing in this perfect world?

The answer: I have no freakin' clue.

When I was 8, I wanted to be a teacher. And then a teacher family friend of ours said "Don't be a teacher; do something that makes more money!" That quote has stuck with me ever since.

Then when I was 10 I wanted to be a photojournalist. That was my absolute dream job! That is, until high school when I took my first media/journalism class and decided I actually hated it.

For the rest of my high school years, I was convinced I was going to be a screen writer. Yep, I loved writing and decided I could write movies. Then I got to college and realized I was no where near competitive enough for the industry.

So all of that being said, here I am in my twenties with a degree in psychology/sociology.

Oh yes, because that makes sense!

I have a job, I'm thankful for my job, and I like having a job (read: I like having a paycheck and a Mon-Fri schedule). 

But where is that "dream job"? Actually, what is my "dream job"?

What exactly do you do when you don't know what to do? Is it doing the whole "I'm working in an office now, but I don't want to do it for the rest of my life" thing? Because if that's what you do, I'm nailing that perfectly!

Don't get me wrong, I love where I am in my life. I love living with Alex in England. I love the freedom we have now to do whatever we want. However, I'd really like to wake up 5 days a week and not go "ugh... Is it 5:30 yet?"

I know success comes from those who work hard, and I'm not asking to be handed something to make my life easier. Trust me, I'm no stranger to hard work. I'd just like to know what I'm working hard towards at this point.

Does that make sense?

Anyone else have "I'm clueless in my 20s" syndrome, or has anyone escaped this? How do/did you cope?

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Tips For Hot Running

So the title may be a bit misleading. I'm not talking about hot running as in sexy running. Did you think that?? Silly you.

I really mean hot weather running.

I like to think I'm a pro at hot weather running being from south Florida and all. And Lindsay was the one who got me thinking about running in overly hot and humid weather when she tweeted about the insane temperatures for the Princess Half. Seriously, Florida sucks sometimes.

But the weather is getting warmer (for most of the world... Not England... #expatproblems) and soon it will be summer!

So I made a list for all you runners out there! My early days of running were not pretty. It took me a couple of years to stumble upon a majority of these tips, so here you go!

Yeah? Have they tested that theory in Florida summers?

Most of these are for when your training or just out for a run, although some of them can be applied to racing as well! 

1. Stay close to home - Don't venture too far away unless you absolutely have to. That way, you don't have to carry as much with you! Keep your water bottle and a spare towel (for excess sweat) in the shade by your house and make sure your route passes your house so you can stop and cool off.

2. Stop every lap to hydrate and wipe sweat - I always found I ran better when I stopped for water instead of carrying it around with me. Also, I always felt better using a small towel every mile or so to get sweat off my face. I know it's easy to get in a groove and not want to stop; but it's worth it.

3. Avoid bulky items - Loads of people are attached to their iPhone and just strap it on to their arm. However, the best present I ever received was my iPod shuffle. It weights close to nothing and when it's hot outside, I don't have to strap anything to my arm that just makes me sweat even more!

4. Put loads of ice in your water bottle - It'll melt and keep your drink cool! But as I said in step 1, leave it by your house! Otherwise the ice makes it heavy.

5. Have distance or time goals - It's so easy to say it's way too hot and just give up. If you wanted to run 3 miles, run 3 miles. It's hot, you're sweaty, you'll live. Just remember to listen to your body and don't over do it.

6. Absolutely no cotton! - Do I really need to elaborate?

7. Try cycling or breaking up your workout - Cycling is still hard work, but is a good break from running from time to time! I always liked cycling for a bit after a shorter run (if I was still up for it). The wind in my face felt really good. It was less about the 'exercise' and more about the 'just chillin on a bike winding down' feeling.

8. Avoid 'peak heat' times - Don't go out in the middle of the day. It's a rookie mistake that I have definitely made. In summer, I normally went about an hour or 30 minutes before it got dark depending on how long my run was going to be. 

9. Have another bottle of water in the fridge - You'll be glad you did when you get home! Sometimes I've even had to run inside and replace my water bottle with the one in the fridge if it's a really hot day!

10. Keep hair out of your face and off your shoulders and back - Another rookie mistake is the ponytail. Some people with long hair don't mind it. I cannot run in a ponytail if it's hot. Messy bun all the way. I hate the way my hair will stick to my face and shoulders. I'd also recommend headbands to keep frizz away! These headbands are a lifesaver! (Seriously, I don't get paid to talk about them; they are just that awesome!)

11. Be careful - Know your limit. It's genuinely okay to slow down or walk. Another good reason to stay close to home.

12. Make sweatbands your best friend - They're amazing. And cheap! I only wear the wrist ones, but I swear by them, especially in a race when I don't have a towel!

What are your tips for running in hot weather?

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Scuba Diving In Egypt - Boat Trip Part 2

It seems like every Egypt post I have done so far I've said "this was the best" or "this was our favorite part!"

I think scuba diving in the Red Sea takes the cake though!!

What we did was called a "Discovery Dive". Basically we took a crash course on how to scuba dive properly. We had a certified diver with us at all times.

Scuba diving was both easier and harder than I thought it would be. I thought it would be really easy to get water in your mouth or in your goggles, or to forget how to breathe right into the oxygen tank, but it actually wasn't that bad!

I also thought it would be easy swimming around down there. Nope. Not for me. Alex was a natural scuba diver and was able to let go of our guides arm. Me, on the hand, well I started floating up any time the guide let go of me. So I just grabbed on to him the whole time! Oops!

(That's the "I'm Okay!" hand sign.)

Despite all of my difficulties when it came to the actual "diving" part, I'd definitely scuba dive again!

We ended up going down about 5 meters and spent a good 20-25 down there exploring the coral and seeing a ridiculous amount of fish. We even saw a sting ray!

Look at that fish trying to photo bomb me here! Rude!

(I know I know I'm making that silly hand sign in every picture. The photographer told me to!)

Alex and I decided right then and there that we want to look into getting certified! It was one of the best experiences of my life!

Have you ever been scuba diving or is it something you want to try??

Monday, June 17, 2013

Snorkeling In Egypt - Boat Trip Part 1

On our last full day in Egypt, Alex and I took a boat trip into the Red Sea to go scuba diving, which you will hear all about tomorrow! However, they also gave us the opportunity to go snorkeling!

Don't mind my 700 chins in this picture.....

(And FYI, thank heavens for my underwater camera!)

I've been snorkeling twice before, once in Mexico and once in Maui. But snorkeling in the Red Sea was amazing!

There were so many different types of fish! We even found Nemo! I didn't get a picture though...

The coral was absolutely gorgeous and just swarming with sea life!

My flippers.... How exciting....

There were also dolphins that were swimming all around and under the boat! I've never seen so many in my life! The people who worked on the boat said they've never seen that many dolphins before either!

Alex and I back on the boat looking quite squinty from the sun!

Snorkeling was definitely a fun experience. But scuba diving was way better! Tune in tomorrow for our Boat Trip Part 2!

Have you ever gone snorkeling before? Where was it? What did you see?

Friday, June 14, 2013

Owl Be Sweatin' Across the Pond

You know I love running.

You know I love owls.

Did I ever imagine that it would be possible to combine the two?! No way!

I came across the Owl Be Sweatin' Etsy shop a few weeks ago and was so excited! Not going to lie; the name is definitely what drew me to this wonderful shop, but I am so happy it did! They sell headbands specifically designed not to budge on your head while you run or exercise. Not to mention they are beyond cute!

Let me backtrack here: I'm not really a headband wearing runner. I sometimes would wear the so called 'no-slip' (lies!!) ones that I picked up at Target or a Lululemon one that collected and retained my sweat more than anything else. I was constantly having to adjust them! It just wasn't worth the hassle.

Never again will I settle for lackluster headbands. I promise these Owl Be Sweatin' ones will change your life! (I sound like one of those cheesy sales people you see on TV... I promise I'm not!)

How cute?!

All the headbands come with an adjustable strap, and when I say they do not budge, I mean they do not budge. I've ran outside in them and on a treadmill; they stayed put the entire time! No slipping whatsoever. I even tested them out around the house; it didn't move and didn't give me a headache! Quite the miracle as far as headbands go!

They have a bunch of styles to choose from! I had a hard time picking which ones I wanted to buy, but couldn't say no to the owl print! Typical Tay.

Sidenote, I don't even use those headphones for running. If Owl' Be Sweatin wants to make the perfect headphones too I'd be all over that.

I also picked out this chevron one; isn't the color just perfect for spring/summer?!

Both of mine are the 1 inch headbands, which work very well with my hair. It kept all my frizz back the entire time! They also have 1.5 inch thickness if you need a bit more coverage.

Honestly, if you are a runner or any kind of athlete, these are perfect in every way possible. I mean it!

What do you think?? Are you a headband wearing runner or a headband skeptic like I was?? Visit their shop and see for yourself!

(This is not a sponsored post. I paid for the headbands with my own money; I contacted one of the shop owners Mallory and asked if they would be kind enough to ship to England which was an amazing favor she did for me! All opinions are my own!)

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Cairo In A Day

While in Egypt, Alex and I stayed in a city called Sharm El Sheikh, which is on the Sinai Peninsula. It was only about a 45 minute plane ride to Cairo, so we decided to take a day trip!

(Side note, I would definitely recommend booking a tour with a known travel group. It may cost a bit more money, but it's way safer. Cairo is not the prettiest city...) 

It was a long day, but we got a lot done!

Mosque at the Citadel of Salah Al-Din.

Since we were in a Mosque, all the women had to cover up. AKA pay about 50p to rent this lovely get up. Alex took this as a photo opportunity. The look on my face says 'I love you, but you're super annoying.'

We then went to the Egyptian Museum which was really cool! Unfortunately, cameras aren't allowed inside so I couldn't get any pictures. But the things they had in there were beyond amazing! The most impressive bits were the mask of Tutankhamun, and (for an extra fee) the mummy room!

(Just some of our ticket stubs from the day!)

Next we drove to Giza to see the pyramids!

I couldn't believe how close you could get to the pyramids! I mean, you could just go up and touch them. You could even climb them if you wanted to!

Sphinx! (Side note, love the guy in the background.)

Seriously, how amazing does this look? So impressive! Also, do clouds exist in Egypt? I don't think I saw a cloud the entire time I was there. Just sun... and lots of it if you couldn't tell from this photo!

General Thoughts: I'm glad we went to Cairo, but I don't think I'd ever go back. (I'd go back to Sharm El Sheikh in a heartbeat though!) It's an amazing place to visit and admire once. Like I said, it's not pretty. I'd recommend taking the day trip to see the sites, and then you'll have a lifetime of memories and bragging rights! 

Have you ever been to Cairo or is it on your bucket list??

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Hotel In Egypt

Like I said yesterday, Alex and I had tons of fun during our week in Egypt!

Our favorite trips were definitely Cairo (which you'll see tomorrow!) and going scuba diving in the Red Sea.

However, I think my favorite thing about this holiday was that we spent 90% of the time relaxing in the gorgeous hotel! No obligations, no schedules, no phones. The biggest decision we had to make was which pool to lay by!

And this was by far the best one! It even had a swim up bar in it!

Plenty of chairs and space to get sun! I think during the day the temperature was usually 40 degrees Celsius!

This is the view from our balcony. Yes, we had a massive balcony! If I didn't love the water so much I could have just laid out on the balcony the entire trip.

One of the 80 million camels we saw in Egypt! Funny story actually.... When we walked by this one, my brain went "Oh that's fake." And then I was like, "Wait a minute, I'm in Egypt! That's a real camel!" It was just chilling outside our hotel. No big deal.

I was so sad to leave this amazing hotel! I'd go back tomorrow if I could!

What are some of your favorite memories from a vacation/holiday/weekend trip? Would you go back and do it all again?

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

With Love, From Egypt

I'm baaaack!

After 7 relaxing/hot/fun days in Egypt, I'm finally back home in England.

Alex and I did everything imaginable on this holiday. We went to the pool and water park everyday, we went snorkeling and scuba diving (!!!!!), and even took a day trip to Cairo.

I miss Egypt so much, but it's always good to be home!

Pics and stories to come soon, stay tuned!! xx