A snapshot from Prague

A snapshot from Prague

Prague Castle

When I was a teenager, my favourite band was AFI (they still are one of them...) and my favourite song was Silver and Cold. Back in the day when we all used to watch music videos on the actual TV rather than YouTube, I was in love with the music video for Silver and Cold and decided after I had seen it from the very first time, that I HAD to go to Prague and stand where Davey Havok did. 15 years later, I hadn’t really changed and finally did it!!

For gifts for Gary, I try to get him more experiences, rather than just ‘stuff’. Don’t get me wrong, I still buy him geeky memorabilia because I know he’ll enjoy it, but at the same time, I want to see more of the world with him. What with him being my favourite person and everything.

For Gary’s last birthday, I got him a little weekend trip to Dublin so we could drink all the beer. For anniversary last year, I booked us a holiday to Prague, so I could be Davey Havok and we could drink all the beer. Slightly for me, and more for him.

Charles Bridge Prague

I’ve wanted to see more of Central and Eastern Europe since I went to Bucharest with the girls, but Gary has been to SOO many places on my ‘I want to go there’ list because he is of the age of all the stag do’s. It was a struggle trying to find somewhere he hadn’t been so I started dropping suggestions about Prague earlier on in the year before I finally booked it in September.

Other than the little emo in me (THERE YOU GO, GARY! I BLOODY SAID IT AND I KNOW YOU’RE READING), there was so much drawing me to Prague and not just how I’m constantly inspired by the people around me who had been before and loved it.



I love clocks, there’s a big bloody famous clock in the town square.

I love architecture (part of the reason I live in London) and the whole place is absolutely gorgeous.

I love walking and getting lost, this is very easy to do in Prague... Seriously. I lost count of the number of times we walked in completely the wrong direction.

Visit Prague

Looking back on it, it was a far cry form my trip to Cyprus the following week with more walking over three days than I generally do in a week. I already miss it. There's something magical about the city that I can't really explain. It's a far throw from London (still busy though) and for me it always felt self and welcoming. The people we met were ridiculously friendly and I have found my favourite beer in the whole world.

Our trip to Prague was short and sweet and I will be going into more detail of everything we did in the less than 36 hours we had there. For now though, just know that Gary and I loved Prague so much, we're already planning a trip back.

Prague bridges

3 ways to make a rented flat feel more like a home

3 ways to make a rented flat feel more like a home


Like most people of my age, especially in London, I have moved around A LOT since I left home for university. At one point, there were 5 moves in 5 years. 5 different times my dad had to hire a van and help me lug all my stuff up different ends of the Northern Line, 5 flats where I felt like I hadn't really settled and never felt at home, regardless of where I was or who I lived with. Everything was just temporary.

Fast forward to 2012, I found a gorgeous flat with my best friend and I haven't left yet. Although my friend has since moved out, the boyfriend has moved in and we even got a cat (like a little family!), it still felt like just a rented flat and nothing like our own.

Obviously when you rent, there is very little you can do to make your mark. I'm pretty sure I have had the same white walls and cheap beige carpet in every place I have lived to date. Gary and I decided that we're going to finally try little things to make our little place more homey. So far, I am much happier

Star Wars Canvas

Obviously, as much as I wish we could, we're not allowed to actually paint. It's sad and makes things feel a bit soul-less. We've recently got our hands on the biggest Star Wars canvas you have ever seen from Photowall (seriously, it's bigger than me) and it's already made the room feel brighter and more like ours. That with the bunting and family pictures (yes, we're those people) scattered all over the joint have added our own little touch that I'm in love. Who wouldn't want a 5ft Star Wars canvas on their wall? I know I'm not the only one who has gone down this route either; Little Miss Katy has recently moved into a new place and is planning a canvas wall.


can we please appreciate Dobby 'helping' Gary hang the canvas?

Like PROPER adults, Gary and I got a bunch of vouchers over Christmas. Normally, I'd spend these on shoes or clothes but the time has come for me to stop spending my money on general crap. Instead we invested in a shaggy pile rug for the living room. I mean, can you get more grown up?

It's absolutely massive and not only has it made a more cosy vibe but it makes the room warmer as we're covering a big match of dull and not exactly heat retaining laminate flooring. The cat bloody loves it though. Since we got the rug,. he's barely left it and has a tendency to go on one of his 'mentals' all over it, it's adorable.

Aloe house plant


As you may have seen on Instagram, I bought my own little Aloe recently and am trying to bring more nature into the home as well. I have been such a sucker for all the people on Instagram sharing pictures of daffodils in beautiful vases that I've had to go and get some myself. It was like plant and spring FOMO. Just having them there is making me smile though, even if they're not a premenant feature to my mantle.

So far, I have managed to keep my aloe alive and my flowers aren't wilting JUST yet so maybe I'll be able to make my own little jungle soon!

Sure, these aren't exactly ground-breaking interior design tips, but when you're so restricted every little step can help. I already feel so much happier and comfortable in my own little space. Who knows, I may be in that flat for another 5 years, or it could all be temporary. Either way, I've been saying 'home' more rather than 'the flat' and that's what we're aiming for.

If you're looking to add some character to your place, I have a special 20% discount on canvases from Photowall. Just use SmashleighjayneCampaign2018.




*Disclaimer: This post was in partnership with photowall in exchange for the most awesome canvas ever but all words are my own

A Villa break in Cyprus

A Villa break in Cyprus



I've said it before and I'll say it again. I really don't understand how to relax properly. Until recently, I never really took holiday from work unless I had somewhere to be, and whenever I go away I have to make sure I rush around and see all the stuff. Normally, I'm just as tired (if not more) when I get back than I was when I left, which I'm sure is not the point of taking a holiday.

Villa Holidays had never been something to consider when planning my various jaunts and trips away. I have done all-inclusive experiences before with family and found that it all started to feel restricted and confined. I would get bored just sitting by the pool for the 10th day in a row because you couldn't really leave the resort (depending on where you go). I know it's such a first world problem... but that's the way I am and I LOVE to explore, rather than just sit.. However, after the hectic couple of months I've had, a weekend in a villa with the girls is just what the doctor ordered.

James Villas Cyprus

Our gorgeous villa in Aphrodite Hills Resort was by far the best part of our holiday as I didn't feel exactly inspired by Cyrpus itself (more on that to come). When we arrived we all felt that it was very uniform and VERY Desperate Housewives and was such a massive contrast from other places we have stayed. Nothing like the Hostel from my first girls' holiday, that's for sure. A 5 bedroom temporary home with our own garden and a private pool. What more could you want?



Sadly, lounging by the pool in gorgeous sunshine wasn't exactly on the cards for us as we had planned. For a country that sees over 340 days of pure sunshine a year, we had exactly one day of it over our weekend. Although the odd blue sky could be spotted between the clouds, we mostly had to deal with wind and much greyness. However, when the sun did arrive, we got to experience much more of what the resort had to offer.

Aphrodite Hills Resort Cyprus

I am not sporty at all. My P.E. teachers at school knew I was a lost cause so eventually just gave up on me. But, when you're staying on a resort with all the facilities, it would be such a waste to not experience them for yourself. On that one Sunny Day we had, we were treated to our own Tennis and Golf lessons.



I've considered picking up a racket before, especially since we have free tennis courts around the corner from my house, and I really didn't expect it to be as much fun as it was. I was absolutely AWFUL and can't imagine myself signing up to Wimbledon in the future but I hit the ball a couple of times, giggled until my ribs hurt and had more fun 'doing a sport' than I ever had before.


To me, golf is the most boring sport in the world. I haven't changed my mind on that and the concept of a sport where the whole point is to do less of the sport than other people completely baffles me. But seeing 8 NON sporty girls on a driving range with people who actually enjoy trying to hit a ball really far, was definitely memorable. I'm sure we annoyed people.

If I thought I was bad at Tennis it was nothing compared to golf. I kept missing the ball, couldn't hold the stick (yes, I know it's not really called a stick) properly and if I did hit the ball, it rolled away very sadly and was far from souring through the skies like the other girls / the instructors. I was just useless.

See for yourself. I don't even know what's happening here:


Worn out, a tad sweaty and ravenous from all the physical activity, we got to experience more of what the resort had to offer. From exploring the full range of accommodation, trying local brews and lunch at one of the many onsite restaurants. The reward I needed for doing the stuff, I'm sure.


I have to admit, the whole experienced surprised me. It's made me realise that sometimes it's OK to just be. You don't need to run around until your feet hurt and spend endless hours researching the best places to eat and drink. Sometimes you just need some of your best girls, a card game and some prosecco. Sometimes it's OK to do nothing but eat sit and laugh at each other. And it's actually quite nice.








*Disclaimer: our stay at Aphrodite Hills Resort was free in partnership with James Villas. However, all other travel costs were our own and all words are mine.