For as long as I can remember I've had a pretty poor relationship with my teeth. You know how we all have that one thing about our appearance or about our bodies that we absolutely hate and get really hung up on, even when we know that literally no one else sees it in the same way that we do? Well, for me that's always been my teeth. If you've followed me on social media for a long time, you may have noticed that for the first time ever, over the past few months I've been actually, genuinely REAL smiling in photos and for me that is huge. And it's all down to one thing - adult braces. Now, there's quite a lot to say about them and I know that a lot of people are interested in them so I thought I'd do a little blog post about my experience and my results.

I can only apologise for the lack of good photos of my teeth before and during my brace journey. I wish I had proper before and after photos to show you guys but I was so self-conscious of my teeth that I couldn't bring myself to do it. I've done my best to compile some photos to give you an idea of what they were like and I'll hopefully be able to explain the process of it all to you - any questions please do feel free to get in touch with me!

THE HISTORY

So from when I was an itty bitty Salt and Chic I've had problems with my teeth. As my dentist once said "you have a very tiny mouth and very large teeth." Yup, I am cursed with the wide teeth gene.  My dentist started work on my teeth from when I was very, very young and I had eight baby teeth removed so I could get my first brace. Yes, you read that right. EIGHT BABY TEETH REMOVED FROM MY MOUTH. It's a good job I was a tough as shit child wasn't it as this was at the age of 9 or 10. I then had a removable brace for my top teeth for around 8 months which was bloody horrible. I couldn't speak properly for whole time I had it, wasn't allowed to take it out to eat and instead I had to brush chewed up food pieces from it after every meal (sorry for the graphic detail) and it was on a palette that make it look like I had dentures (bear in mind this was way back in the early 2000s and I'm sure orthodontistry has come a long way since then). I then was referred to an orthodontist when I was 12 who removed four of my adult teeth (yep, MORE teeth wrenched out) and fitted me with a fixed brace on my top and bottom teeth.

At this age, I didn't care about braces. Sure, I was self-conscious but my teeth were a right state, with a huge gap between my front teeth, huge overcrowding on both top and bottom rows and obviously massive gaps in my gums where various teeth had been removed. I got to choose bright pink bands to go around the metal squares (obviously, as a 13 year old chav) and was extremely excited to be getting them sorted out after years of already having major dentist work done. However, they were painful and there were days that I couldn't chew properly because they ached so much and to add to this, they absolutely shredded the inside of my mouth. I had sores and cuts and ulcers everywhere for months and although the dentists had given me some special gel to put over the corners of my braces, this did little to stop this happening.

I was told I'd need the braces on for two years but my orthodontist decided to take them off after just 10 months, something I was ecstatic with at the time as I couldn't wait to get the metal out of my mouth. However, in hindsight, my teeth definitely weren't ready for this and I think this is one of the reasons I've needed adult braces - they were straighter but definitely not completely straight. I was given a retainer and told to wear it full time for a year. Over time, the retainer became misshapen (I think my top one even cracked) and after about 6 months, daft 14 year old Amy stopped wearing them completely, not thinking that in ten years time I'd be cursing myself for being so naive and thinking that they'd be okay.


Let’s talk about bedrooms because, well they’re pretty important aren’t they? We begin and end
every single day in our bedrooms, whether those days are happy, sad, stressed, relaxed, short or
long and that’s why I’ve always put a lot of thought and effort into decorating my bedrooms. We’re
all too aware of how sleep (or lack of) can affect our mood and our day to day life right? Yet it’s far
too easy to overlook how much our bedroom can link to our quality of sleep and therefore, how we
feel.

Imagine two scenarios. One, you wake up in a cluttered room with mismatched furniture and old,
ugly bedding, dark and dingy decor and piles of unwanted nick nacks lying around the room. Two,
you wake up in a bright, well decorated room that has your personality showing everywhere, in
freshly washed bedding and a lovely fresh scent in the air. You can already feel the difference in
your head right?! I was challenged to decorate my bedroom for a good night's sleep using the House of Fraser homeware range, and the challenge seemed to be surprisingly easy. You don't have to re-decorate your entire room and there's just a few simple changes you can make to ensure you sleep well.




City breaks can be a pain in the arse to dress for as it is. They don't have the easy luxury of a beach holiday where you just have to chuck in a few bikinis, some playsuits and a pair of basic bitch sunglasses and you're good to go. You'll be doing a lot of walking, exploring, eating and of course, sweating and your outfits have got to reflect that because after all, we're all looking for that balance between comfort and style for these kinds of trips. I consider myself quite experienced in this area of travel fashion, mainly due to the fact that I've made some absolutely terrible fashion choices for city breaks over the years (which I'll get into later!) just so you don't have to; here are my top tips for packing wisely for a summer city break.


It's no secret that I bloody love a city break and my recent adventure involved me and my best friend Jess jetting off to the beautiful city of Madrid in June. Admittedly, Madrid wasn't somewhere that was at the top of my travel bucket list and when we were booking, the decision on the destination came about mainly because of the price. Four nights in a 3* hotel with direct flights from Manchester for under £200? Just take my money already! On a side note, I think city breaks have a reputation of being ridiculously expensive and sometimes, they can be. That's why it's so important to shop around. We put in a lot of different dates, airports and destinations to work out the best deal and when you put your mind to it, they can actually be very affordable! When we got there, I instantly fell in love with the busy streets, the beautiful architecture and the amazing culture and it's a place that should be higher on any city lover's bucket list. Spanish cities are just absolutely bloody gorgeous and Madrid is no exception so here are my reasons why you should think about making it your next city break. 








THE FOOD

Obviously I'll start with one of the most important parts of a city break. The food. I honestly cannot describe in words I know how amazing the food was in Madrid. The streets were absolutely lined with amazing tapas bars and restaurants, Instagrammable desserts that actually tasted as good as they looked and the best part? It was all super affordable, even in the restaurants that were more expensive. 

Starting with breakfast, there were a number of places that we tried out but my favourite had to be FEDERAL CAFE, which is where we ate the divine French toast you can see in the first photo. It's a very modern and reminded me a lot of the breakfast places that you'll find in London, slightly different to what I was expecting from cafes in Madrid but I could have eaten there every morning without complaint. Jess and I both went for the same (as we always do!) - French toast with mascarpone, cornflakes and berry compote teamed with a classic iced coffee. Gotta get that caffeine fix before exploring right?! Anyway it was absolutely divine as you can probably tell by the photo and I would have loved nothing more than to be able to try everything on their menu (they had some pancakes on there that sounded laaavley!). It's really central and I'd definitely recommend it for breakfast or brunch. 

When it came to evening meals, when I say it was tapas and sangria every night, I mean it was tapas and sangria every night. You could eat at a different tapas bar every night for a year and not even scratch the surface of what Madrid has to offer. Our favourite one had to be LATERAL, a tapas bar that was just across the street from our hotel. They have a number of these dotted around the city and for good reason! The menu is huge with tapas ranging from classic patatas bravas to cheeses and meats and fish and all kinds of wonderful creations. I'd recommend the Brie and Sirloin and the Barbecue Spare Rib with Yam - we went back twice and I loved these so much that I ordered them both times. They also do absolutely banging cocktails - get the Fruta de la Pasion mojito! 

You've also got the SAN MIGUEL FOOD MARKET which you cannot miss. We accidentally stumbled across this right at lunch time one day and it was like falling into food heaven. You can buy little plates and small portions of cheeses, olives, paella, seafood, meats and every other variation of food you can think of. We tried a whole host of things and the stalls seem to go on forever and with sangria on tap, you could spend a long time here trying everything. Prices range from €2 right up to €10 for plates so there's something for every budget; we shared little plates of things so we could try more which seemed to be the best idea. They have endless bars and drinks, including an Aperol Spritz stand which Jess got very excited about! 

Finally, you've got the desserts. Make sure you go to MAD WAFFLE for the cutest, biggest and tastiest waffles you'll ever see. I got a banana and caramel one with homemade banana ice cream, toffee sauce and chocolate crispy balls and I don't think I've ever had anything like it before so although they are a little bit on the pricey side, they're 100% worth it, especially considering they make your waffle right there in front of you! We also ate churros at SAN GINES CHOCOLATERIA which has been serving desserts in Madrid since the late 1800s and it was honestly like taking a step back in time with it's wood panels, green seats and walls lined with photos of all of the famous people who've eaten there. The hot chocolate is like drinking an actual pot of melted chocolate - it's an absolute must! 

First things first, let me just say that I absolutely love Instagram. I love taking and editing photos for the grid, scrolling down my feed and swooning over all of the absolute babes that I follow and in general, I really do still enjoy using Instagram and all forms of social media. However, recently I've realised something. I've realised that although I love the posting, the liking and the following, I've stopped caring about social media and it got me thinking; what happened to the gal who absolutely obsessed over the 'gram a couple of years ago and what made her stop giving a shit about it?


Now then chaps and welcome to my first fashion blog post in a while. If you read my latest 5 ways to make the most of your time in Ibiza or follow me on any social media, you'll be well aware that at the beginning of May, my boyfriend Andy and I jetted off for a weekend in Ibiza thanks to Jet2. Obviously, being the extra little Instagrammer that I am, I crammed about 50 different outfit changes into the trip and with summer holiday season reeeet around the corner, I thought I'd share a little lookbook of my outfits with links to what I'm wearing or links to similar pieces, because we all know too well how stressful planning holiday outfits can be. I'll be honest, normally I just cram an absolute boat load of clothes into my too small suitcase and hope for the best but actually, I'm pretty darn please with how my Ibiza looks turned out. 




striped playsuit: c/o urban outfitters / boyfriend t-shirt: asos / black backpack: asos / sunglasses: c/o burberry / necklace: c/o daisy jewellery

My trips are normally all about adventure. I'm not the type of holidayer who lies by the pool or sunbathes all day; I like to get out there and explore. That means that when I'm deciding what to wear, comfort and ease is probably the number one priority for during the day because after all, imagine trying to clamber across a huge cliff of rocks wearing your best heeled sandals and a maxi dress. For the first day, I went for an old favourite combination of mine in the form of this adorable Urban Outfitters playsuit. I've had this a while now (I'm talking a good two years) but I've linked some very similar, almost identical ones for you all. When it's really warm, I just wear it with nothing underneath or a black bandeau top but as Ibiza wasn't at it's hottest, I layered it with an oversized boyfriend t-shirt that cost around 9 quid from ASOS. For me, this is my ideal holiday outfit with the casual stripes, the comfort and ease of it and of course, the playsuit only has bloody pockets doesn't it and we all know how much of a difference that makes for us.






jumpsuit: asos / black chunky sliders: schuh / studded bag: zara / choker: c/o thomas sabo

On the first night, it was time for the Cafe Mambo opening party. I always think that dressing for a night out on holiday is a bit of an odd one. You've got some people who are covered from head to toe in glitter, sequins and the biggest heels you could imagine, you've got some people wearing trainers and denim shorts and then you've got some people wearing a teeny tiny bikini and what I gather from this is that you can wear whatever the bloody hell you want and no one will bat an eyelid. I went for what I would consider to be "laid-back holiday glam" (yes that is cheesy as f and yes I still said it). The playsuit is a recent buy from ASOS and I can just tell it's going to be my most worn piece of clothing this summer because it's something I'll wear as an everyday outfit and not just a holiday piece. Of course, jumpsuits are all fun and games until someone nearly walks in on you in the toilet and your just sitting there naked (please tell me I'm not the only person this has happened to.)





white smock dress: asos / black backpack: asos / espadrilles: c/o urban outfitters / wooden choker: c/o wolf and moon

This was one of those dresses that I had to ban myself from wearing before holiday because (a) I really wanted to save it to wear the first time on holiday (everyone understands that right?) and (b) because I'm ridiculously clumsy and would undoubtedly ruin it within 5 minutes with tea splattered all down the front obvs. I'm always a bit wary of smock dresses because as a very small framed, petite gal who will tower over you at a massive 5"2 , they can swamp me if they don't fit me properly. I got this one from ASOS petite section which is probably my favourite petite range on the market and the dress fits me perfectly and is for once the exact right length (they also have it in regular fit if you're not petite!) 






striped jumpsuit: topshop / white chuck taylor trainers: c/o converse 

There are three options of what look I was going for here: (a) where's wally (b) a candy cane (c) the cat in the hat (which my friend kindly pointed out that I looked like on Instagram). Whichever option you go for, I'm absolutely loving this playsuit. I picked it up from Topshop and admittedly it was a real impulse buy but the kind that you absolutely do not regret. Stripes is my go-to style, regardless of whether I'm at home or travelling, and I just love how summery and bright the Wally-esque red and white is. I definitely wish I had a little cute bum bag to wrap around it while I was away! Also isn't it bloody great when you find really nice back drops for you photos in your hotel?! Hotel Anfora had them everywhere and I absolutely wish that I could have trees and plants like this in my little countryside house. Lottery win where are you, a gal's gotta Instagram to run!?







metallic palm tree midi dress and star print bag: zara 

Finally (I told you I fit a ridiculous amount of outfits in!), I went for an old favourite in my wardrobe that has come on every summer holiday with me for the last 2 and a half years. This metallic palm tree midi dress is probably one of my favourite summer pieces ever, just for how unique it is. Metallic pleats on the bottom contrasted with a bright and summer palm tree print on top. I normally wear it with some dainty lace up sandals but this time I went for my chunky sliders and I think I prefer the dainty shoes, just to match the floaty bottom half but hey ho, there's only so much you can justify taking for a three day trip right? I can't for the life of me find anything similar with the palm print so I've linked a couple of the most similar ones I can find on it. The actual dress is from Zara though and was actually pretty cheap at around £25 which I think is a banging price because in real life it actually looks quite high end!



What will all of you be taking on holiday? Do you plan outfits or just whack a whole load of stuff in the case and hope for the best?

Amy x


I was just a wee little nipper at the age of 13 when I first visited Ibiza and it was one of those places I'd always wanted to go back to. Obviously, as a tween I didn't get to experience the full island and all of it's craziness, it's beauty and everything it has to offer and it kind of became one of those places I'd been to, but hadn't really been to if you get what I mean. A place that you've been but it's sort of faded into the background of your memories that you can't really remember because it was that long ago. When Jet2 Holidays asked me and Andy to jet off to the famous Mediterranean Island, I could barely hold my excitement in. We explored Ibiza for a weekend at the beginning of May and perhaps surprisingly, it has so much more to offer than partying so here's a little round up of how to make the most of your time in Ibiza, no matter how long you have there.






1. CHOOSE THE RIGHT PLACE TO STAY: HOTEL AND LOCATION

Choosing the right holiday or package for you and your own trip is crucial to making the most of your time, regardless of where you're headed. We flew from Newcastle with Jet2 and if I'm being honest they're probably the airline I've flown most with. The fares are cheap, the luggage allowance is massive and the hand luggage allowance also allows for a little extra case. I always find them so easy to fly with and our holiday being booked as a package was a new experience for me. With Jet2 Holidays, we got flights, accommodation and transfers booked all in one place and it was so easy I can't even describe it. We stayed in the absolutely beautiful Hotel Anfora in Playa Es Canar on the East side of the Island and the hotel was absolutely lovely. The pool area was gorgeous as you can see by the photos, with palm trees and plants giving us privacy, lovely little sunbeds and loungers dotted all around and a jacuzzi area and second pool at the back of the hotel. The rooms were really big and spacious and with the huge glass windows and balcony, the sunlight streamed in making the rooms really bright and airy. I loved the layout of the double room too as it was kind of open plan with the shower in the room, separated by only a glass door and the balcony caught all of the sun in the morning, it was such a nice place to have as our base. We went for breakfast one morning in the hotel too and it is definitely worth adding onto your room, with a huge buffet (yep, it had me at the word buffet too) with pancakes, omelettes, cheeses, cooked breakfast, champagne, teas and so many other little bits that just made it a little bit more special than your average hotel breakfast.

As for the location, Es Canar is on the west side of the island and was the perfect base for us as we had plans to explore the island. It's a quieter part of Ibiza with clean beaches and clear seas so if you want a pretty, serene place that's still within reach of clubs (about a 30 minute drive), then Es Canar is a good shout. San Antonio is obviously where all the nightlife happens and is always buzzing with energy, full of bars and clubs, a busy beach and obviously the famous sunset. Ibiza Town is full of history with a lot of luxury hotels around this part and Portinax is at the very north of the island, with lot's of beautiful landscapes, family resorts and plenty of wild nature. 





2. EXPERIENCE IBIZA'S FAMOUS NIGHT LIFE

If there's one thing that Ibiza is ultimately famous for worldwide, it's the nightlife so obviously we had to sample at least a few nights of partying! We were lucky enough to catch some of the island's biggest opening nights for it's clubs and bars, including the Cafe Mambo opening party and the Amnesia opening party and neither disappointed. Cafe Mambo was probably my favourite party place we visited, with a really chilled out, laidback vibe and obviously, the sunset was absolutely unbelievable, so much so that the photos just cannot do it justice and it's one of those things you've got to see in reality to appreciate it's beauty. I think I could have probably sat on the beach with one of Cafe Mambo's pina coladas for the rest of my life if I could have. Obviously it does get quite busy so get there early if you want to get a good spot for the sunset. 

On Saturday night it was time to experience Amnesia, arguably the club that is at the very heart of Ibiza's party reputation. I don't know about you but when I think of Ibiza's clubbing scene, the first place that comes to mind is Amnesia. We went to the opening party which boasted an incredible line up with DJ EZ, Hannah Wants, Disciples and more and it really is an indescribable experience, packed shoulder to shoulder as the night goes on. It really is an all night party and I won't get into how wasted I got (I definitely was not sick in the car park) and if I were to go back during peak season, elrow is an event that I would have loved to go to. These nights can be pretty pricey though which is something to bear in mind - one drink in here will set you back around €18. 






3. EXPLORE IBIZA OLD TOWN

A UNESCO World Heritage site, Ibiza Town is the place to go if you're a little bit of an adventurer who likes to experience history and culture. The Old Town is simply beautiful with a bright and colourful harbour, winding cobbled streets lined with shops, cafes and restaurants and absolutely beautiful scenery (obviously an Instagrammers dream). The streets boast market stalls, full of homemade honey, handmade pottery, jewellery and so much more and the bustling atmosphere made it a perfect place to sit outside of a coffee shop with a slice of cake. There were also various mini parades that seemed to happen throughout the day, with actors and musicians acting and dancing around the town and I literally could have spent all day here just wandering around. You'd never be stuck for things to do or see here, with museums and galleries, boutiques and adventures - it was my favourite part of the entire trip. 








 


4. EXPLORE IBIZA'S HIDDEN BEACHES

I'm definitely a little sea baby and I just love to be at the beach. I love the salty air, the ocean breeze and just the smell of the beach but most of all, I just love how serene and calm I feel when I'm by the ocean. I automatically feel relaxed and at ease as soon as I see the blue water, even if I'm somewhere much less glamorous than Ibiza like my local beach that only offers up seagulls and a chippy. We knew we wanted to explore so we hired a car before we flew so we didn't miss anything out and I would highly recommend doing this if you're planning to venture out of where you're staying. Taxis can be very pricey whereas you can get a car from around €15 per day plus insurance so it works out ,much cheaper and not to mention easier. We got this lil Fiat 500 which I christened Felix and oh my god I just fell in love with him, I was so sad when we had to hand him back! 

Anyway, we spent a day cruising around in our little Fiat 500 and found some absolutely stunning beaches across the island. Our first stop was Cala Mastella on the east side of the island. This one was my favourite out of all of the beaches we saw thanks to it's crystal clear waters, absolutely stunning pine scenery, hammocks and tables hiding in the shade and a little beach hut where you could buy fresh fish, handmade burgers and homemade crisps. The beach was really quiet with only a few locals dotted around and is well worth a visit if you can make the trip! Second was Cala Xucla which right at the very north of the island. This one is a really tiny, wild beach that lies down a really rocky, steep hill, surrounded by forests and trees. There are pretty fisherman's huts with crashing waves on the rocks and we spent a while here, climbing along the rock front to reach a really high peak with glorious views; this one is a beach for explorers. Third was S'illot des renli, another wild, rocky beach at the north of the island. This one was full of families flying kites by the water with a popular restaurant right by the sea. The scenery was really beautiful here and this was another one that we went exploring and climbing around, finding tall rocks to climb and collecting shells. Finally, we went to one of the more popular beaches on the island at Ibiza Town. This isn't really a hidden beach as it was quite busy even on a windy day in May but it was full of locals walking their dogs, jet skis and beautiful views of the city so it's still worth a visit. 










5. SHOP AT IBIZA'S FAMOUS MARKETS

Finally, we spent a bit of time exploring Ibiza's markets, starting with the Old Market in Dalt Vila in the Old Town. I'll admit it was a total accident we stumbled across this as we were exploring the Old Town but through the medieval gates into the walls of the city, we found a huge amount of market stalls, food stalls and creative shows that kept us entertained for ages. Each section of the market was themed differently (I nearly died of a heart attack when a jester in the medieval section creeped up on me and hit me from behind with a brush) and it was so much fun just wandering around each stall, buying candy apples, souvenirs and more. Because this was an accidental find I'm afraid I have no idea when the market is on or what times but if you can find out it's well worth a visit! 

Ibiza is also home to hippy markets, something that I hadn't even heard of before our trip here. There are quite a few of these treasure troves spread across the island and we headed to the Las Dalias hippy market in San Carlos, a market with over 200 stalls, a restaurant and cafe and loads of little treasures. I picked up a little handmade purse and me and Andy got our photo taken by a real vintage camera that they printed out and developed in front of you. It's on every Saturday and they had little workshops and demonstrations on too which was really cool. They were actually filming one of the stalls for a TV show so who knows, tune into Spanish TV and you may see ya gal in the background for a promo!

So as you can see, although Ibiza is undoubtedly most famous for it's party lifestyle and clubs, there's a lot more to the island and you don't have to be a party animal to completely adore your time here. The island has so much to offer, with it's culture and history, the beautiful scenery and beaches, the food and the activities. You can check out the packages Jet2 Holidays has to offer for Ibiza on their website and really experience the island for yourself, no matter what kind of holiday and travel you are looking for.

Amy x

THIS POST IS IN COLLABORATION WITH JET2 AND JET2 HOLIDAYS. AS ALWAYS, ALL WORDS AND OPINIONS REMAIN MY OWN 




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