Ibiza Hen Do – Out of Season but Totally IN

Why consider Ibiza out of season. Girls’ weekend or hen do – there’s more to Ibiza than clubbing.

Hen do in Ibiza in October

OK, so for most people the thought of doing an Ibiza hen do when the clubs are all closed probably sounds like a fatal error (fatal for maid of honour, most likely). But for me it was awesome! I used to love clubbing when I was younger but it’s just not my scene any more. Ibiza is still one of the most beautiful, hedonistic and stylish places in the world, with an incredible food and drink scene, aside from the nightclubs. 

I was pretty lucky to get a very early mini hen do with my uni friends. Holly and I are both getting married next year and Sarah and Hannah spend half the year living in Ibiza – so they kindly invited us to join them for a long weekend catching up on the White Isle.  

What we got up to in Ibiza

Weather – for the Brits Abroad

In typical Brit style I think I checked the weather every day in the week leading up – as October can be a little colder and you should expect the occasional rain shower. However, we were really lucky (warning: smug pants are officially on throughout this post). It was hot and sunny every day. Weirdly warm for October, averaging about 26 degrees. Although, there was one freakish wind storm that lasted all of about 5 minutes but managed to devastate Sarah’s outdoor terrace – still, it provides a memorable moment!

What to wear – for the fashionable

We mostly wore jeans, cami tops and cardigans; so not the normal hot season look. I also had a dress, trainers and leather jacket as a dressier nighttime option (so no heels). It can get a bit cold at night but it’s still fine to sit out if you have a jumper / jacket. Day time was – bikinis! Ibizan style is pretty relaxed; think hippy chic, so printed flowing fabrics, jewellery and body paint or glitter tattoos. And real tattoos, of course. 

ibiza hen do

Staying and getting around

We rented a car, which worked out crazy-cheap (€40 for the long weekend – that’s €10 each). I’m thinking this was because it was out of season, but I’m sure it would still be worth it even at the height of season, especially for day time trips to quieter, picturesque beaches. 

We stayed at Hannah’s flat in Playa d’en Bossa, as she shared with five other people but most had either gone home for the season or were moving into different accommodation for the winter.If you’re going out of season it’s worth checking Air BnB! The first night we sat out on the balcony looking down the busy street towards the sea having a few drinks. Before we knew it, it was morning, which always happens with good friends you rarely see! 

Tapas Time

Tapas and cocktails is my ultimate food-drink power-combo and La Taberna del Parque was the boy. Even the most basic of tapas still taste incredible in Spain; potato croquettes literally rule my life on holiday. Do not underestimate the Spanish croquette. Meatballs, tuna tartare and chicken gyozas were on the table amongst many other tapas. Sarah was able to stomach a mojito picante – I had a sip and it’s pretty hardcore, and I normally like spicy stuff. Ibiza town is a great night out as you can wander from bar to bar enjoying wine, cocktails, bar snacks and tapas right into the early hours of the morning.

hen do ibiza

La Taberna del Parque

Bitchin’ Beaches

We spent most days sunbathing at beautiful beaches with little beach cafes and clear blue waters. My favourite was the small and rustic cove Cala Gracioneta. We picked up sandwiches made fresh to order at the local supermarket on the way and met up with some of Sarah and Hannah’s friends from Ibiza and chatted, sunbathed and snacked all day. So basically, yeh, it was bliss. 

hen do ibiza

Cala Gracioneta

Ibiza Sunsets

Watching the sunset is part of Ibiza culture; it’s about welcoming the night time and getting excited for the night life about to begin. We headed to Hostal La Torre after one of our beach days in San Antonio, which is incredible. The views are out of this WORLD and it’s styled in typical contemporary Ibizan restaurant/bar – i.e. white, chic and awesome. We ordered a bottle of wine and some bar snacks. Unfortunately the sky was a little hazy, so we saw the sunlight fade away behind the mist, which was still atmospheric but you can get better Ibiza sunset pictures on a really clear day. 

 

Hostal La Torre, San Antonio

More Food, Por Favor

Another amazing place to eat was Can Bass in San Josep. We drove here as it was a bit out of the way to where we were staying. The restaurant decor is incredible with giant hanging lampshades, cosy cushioned seating areas and an alfresco cocktail bar. We chose to sit outside even though the evenings do get a bit nippy in October, just because the style of the restaurant simply called for it! 

ibiza hen do

Can Bass, Sant Josep

Ibiza Hen DO IT!

Keeping a hen theme we played ‘Mr and Mrs’ one night, which I was reeeally bad at considering Pete and I have been together for 11 or so years :/ Luckily, being with people in the know we were able to see some beautiful parts of Ibiza and for me it was one of the best experiences I’ve had there. And we didn’t go clubbing! My phone memory was full whilst I was there so I could only use Snapchat so this video below is all I have to show – but it’s a pretty good summary of our trip.

My Next Ibiza Trip

I’ve decided to have my official hen do at home in Newcastle in June next year because (I think/hope) I will have quite a lot of people and I don’t want people to spend a lot; I just want them to have a really good time! But if you are planning a Ibiza hen do late in the season, definitely still consider October as you still get some sun, it will be cheaper and you can experience the more chilled side of Ibiza. 

I’ve still never watched the sun set at Es Vedra, which is one of the most iconic spots. It’s considered a very spiritual place, just off the coast of the island. 

ibiza hen do

Finally, I also saw this on my Instagram feed and this is somewhere I would like to stay when I go back to Ibiza. Because I’ll always return to Ibiza, even when I’m a Nana; because Ibiza never gets old, even if I do. 

ibiza hen do

Tropicana Ibiza Coast Suites, Playa d’en Bossa

January Ibiza Deals

After the high of Christmas and New Year comes dismal January, which is why lots of people like to plan their holidays now, but that means there are also a lot of deals to be had! Expedia currently has a trip from Friday 13th October for two nights at £164pp including return flights to London and a suite at the Tropicana. 

January Gym Style – A Monochrome Wish List

Happy New Year! January is the time to get fit, healthy and make some changes for the better. So starting with getting fit, it’s always good to have a new gym outfit to motivate you to make that first step into the sweaty place of doom. 

January Gym Style

I love wearing black (anywhere and everywhere) so I’ve picked a monochrome gym wear wish list, which I feel is a suitable first step towards getting back into a gym frame of mind – getting back into an actual gym will come in good time. Don’t rush me. 

Gym Wear Wish List

puma sports bra

Puma

The latest women’s sportswear range from Puma has helped put the brand back on the map. Their ‘Do You’ campaign focused on inspiring ‘confidence in women everywhere’ with powerful images of brand ambassador Cara Delevingne. This simple black Puma Pwrshape Forever Bra (£20) is designed for everyday running and training. I like this because often high impact bras are just plain ugly. This one however is definitely stylish. 

gym shark leggings

Gym Shark

My biggest gym clothing bug bear? Leggings. I am forever looking for good quality gym leggings at an affordable price. However I am starting to think that these two factors cannot coexist for some unfathomable reason. Having tried every high street retailer (don’t bother) and several sports brands (expensive), the next brand I am going to try is Gym Shark’s Dry Sculpture Leggings. This is a fitness brand that was started by a group of teenagers in 2012. Gym Shark says it’s leggings are designed for running, squatting and lunging. OK, sounds promising so far. I would need to see these in real life to check how thick they are, (you do not want to discover they go see-through mid-squat – that’s too late) but they certainly look good and worth checking out at £36. Watch this space. 

nike white tank top

Nike at ASOS

Nike always does stylish tops and I like this Nike International Women’s Sleeveless Top especially because you could wear it in the gym or out and about. ASOS currently has the white version on sale for £21 – one of the rare reasons to love January; the sales. 

nike womens lunarcharge

Nike at size?

Finally, where would we be without a decent pair of trainers? Not in gym, that’s for sure! Nike’s Lunarcharge launched in December 2016 and this monochrome style is lush. I found these on size? for Women, which is a store I love and their editorial and social media is also worth following. Check out #ladiesthatlace for decent footwear inspiration on Instagram. 

All the Gear, No Idea?

If you feel ready to face the actual gym now and are looking for workout inspiration, then Instagram is perfect for finding new ideas. Doing the same workout again and again is counterproductive and just plain boring. Irish model Vogue Williams (@voguewilliams), who is soon to be appearing on Channel4’s The Jump (let us pray for those celebrities) works out wherever she goes and regularly shares short video clips. Watch a few videos, pull on your new gym gear and then GO TO THE GYM. (Tells self). 

Three New Lady Adverts – Two Epic Fails & One Winner

When brands try to be ‘down with women’.

Back in the day it used to be cringe-worthy when brands tried to be down with the kids, but today I feel like we are in for an onslaught of brands trying to be down with women. Brace yourselves; this could get uncomfortable.

I saw three different brand adverts in the last couple of weeks that are getting in on the issue of the misrepresentation of women in the media. On a positive note, two thumbs go way up to big brands stepping out of their comfort zone and raising this subject. However, it also shows some brands haven’t quite got their heads around this utterly mind-boggling issue of the diversity of women yet.

 

Wrangler – More than a Bum

Yes, that’s the strapline; ‘more than a bum’. So many times in my life I have looked at my pair of jeans and said “you know what? I am more than my butt!” Finally, Wrangler has come along and addressed this burning issue that’s been affecting women globally for decades. OK, so you may detect a hint of sarcasm.

I actually watched this advert twice in a row the first time, because I couldn’t quite believe this was what a world leading brand, a group of professionals at the top of their game and what I would imagine would have required a lot of time and money, had produced. I started out with mild interest – a brand trying to talk to women – cool. Then the confusion quickly set in. The advert shows women in varied job roles and lifestyles – good, but then the background song is lots of women saying ‘bum’ repeatedly. And then they show close ups of women’s bums. I’m actually giggling a bit as I write this because I envision someone in a boardroom pitching this idea and somehow everyone looking at each other and nodding, ‘yes, this is it’, ‘this is the winner’. REALLY?!

I do feel bad for Wrangler as well though because people really went to town on them for this. Wrangler has tried to make a change, take a stance on a hot issue and unfortunately mixed its messaging in the process. It got so bad they have actually been accused of being sexist – the complete opposite of what they were aiming to achieve.

Having read their media statements (they had to issue statements because everyone was so ‘WTF?!’) I can at least see how their thinking started out. They wanted to move away from traditional jeans industry advertising approach, which for many years has focused on women’s figures, and so that’s how they arrived at ‘more than a bum’. However maybe they shouldn’t have actually used this SO LITERALLY in the advert, and continuously zoomed in on bums, and said bum. A lot. Bum, bum, bum, you’re more than a bum, here’s a bum, bum, there’s a bum. Bum.

Fingers crossed they get it right next time. Don’t give up Wrangler, you can do it!

Or Click Here to watch it on YouTube. 

Always – Rewrite the Rules

Next, here comes Always. Now this may be because it’s the advert that I see most frequently, quite regularly in fact, but I REALLY dislike this advert. At least Wrangler’s was laughable. There are two versions I have seen for this campaign now, one features a goalkeeper and another features a DJ – the premise being that having your period shouldn’t hold you back from doing the things you love. OK so far; you can see how having excellent sanitary products would be beneficial in either of these situations. But it’s what is said in the advert.

Goalkeeper Stephanie Labbe says: “Because I’m a woman, do you think I’m going to crack under pressure or conquer the field?”

Well, personally Stephanie I wouldn’t think either of those things based on you being a woman.

DJ Pheobe D’Abo says: “As a woman, I can either step aside or step up the game.”

No Pheobe, you don’t even have to consider stepping aside just because you’re a woman, who told you that? Always, probably…

And then there’s the strapline: “Defy expectations. Rewrite the rules.” So, Always is suggesting that people expect women to crack under pressure and then probably just step aside. But with the right sanitary product you might just surprise people! *Facepalm*.

I’m surprised there hasn’t been more said about this one to be honest…? It’s also such a shame as their previous ‘Like a Girl’ campaign hit all the right notes. 

 

H&M – She’s a Lady

Finally is the advert for H&M’s Autumn Collection 2016, which has actually received really positive feedback. Phew! The advert challenges society’s depiction of what makes ‘a lady’ and ‘ladylike’ behaviour.

The advert features lesbians, armpit hair, a trans woman, a muscular woman and lots more people and actions not normally associated with advertising, but very much associated with normal, everyday life.

Using this kind of imagery in a major ad campaign makes women feel proud and free, and for many women it’s the first time they have actually been able to identify with someone featured in a media campaign. Personally, I actually feel relaxed watching this advert, whereas with the Always and Wrangler adverts I feel my hands creeping up over my eyes!

Unfortunately H&M still has a long way to go with being completely sincere promoting an issue like this, especially considering the recent reports of exploitation of their factory workers.

 

Real Women For Reals

As brands try and find their feet in this scary new world of real women that don’t all look the same, think the same or want the same things in life, let’s hope it is a change that is here to stay. I hope it’s not just a fashionable topic that will also go out of fashion, because for women it’s real life. Dove made a bold statement in its advertising and hasn’t looked back. Other brands probably look at Dove as owning that conversation, but there are many different ways of taking steps forward. Brands: just be clear on the messaging, practice the ethics as a company as well as in advertising and hopefully you won’t hit a ‘bum’ note. WAHEY!

INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S FIGHT CLUB

First rule of fight club? Everyone talks about fight club, especially when it plays out on social media.

It’s International Women’s Day and today of all days has seen several celebrity women get into a scathing Twitter spat. Whyyyyyyy????

This combined with other stories recently in the media has meant I have come to the conclusion that society just can’t get its head around a woman being openly sexual whilst also being smart and someone who should be taken seriously in their chosen profession. To me, this sounds like a joke when you say it out loud, but you can find examples of it occurring daily.

What’s more disappointing is seeing women make cutting remarks about other women publicly. In my opinion a woman should be free to do what she wants with her life and her career, as long as it makes her happy. However the constant sideways remarks will only promote that there must be an ideal woman, an accepted woman that we should all strive to be. But who is she? And isn’t that confusing to young girls still trying to work out who they are?

I particularly dislike the attitude that one woman’s success is seen as less admirable than another’s, which can only be based on subjective opinion and for some reason its acceptable to then tear this woman down – even if she’s at the top of her game.

Case in point: Kim Kardashian West tweets a nude photo – and two well-known female celebrities tweet disparaging comments. Kim is famous for her body; she has made a lot of money being positioned as one of the sexiest women in the world – this is her brand. However, Kim has also made even more money with her recent app developments. This move has made her a leading entrepreneur in the technology industry. Her endorsements, her products and her businesses are all based around beauty and sexiness – it would be bad business if the woman decided to not show her body. So why not just say ‘good for her’ and let her get on with it? If you don’t like it, don’t follow her social media accounts. But let’s not forget she is an incredibly successful woman who works hard every day for her success, and is also a wife and mother – and in my opinion that is something to be admired, not belittled.

OK so Kim Kardashian West may not be everyone’s ideal role model – but that’s just the point – there is no ideal role model. Whoever said we had to subscribe to being one type of woman is stuck in the past.   If you want to read some positive, business related press on Kim Kardashian West, then take a look at the below links. Then get over her nude selfie and get on with pursuing your own goals in life.

The most important point is to communicate that a woman can be who she wants to be, and we should applaud one another for our diversity – where one woman can be an astronaut another can be nude model – and that’s OK! The model doesn’t need to throw shade at the astronaut and the astronaut doesn’t need to put down the model – they can even be friends! What’s more, the astronaut could also be a model in her down time. Even though the media and society is obsessed with putting people in boxes, you shouldn’t have to hide femininity and sexuality to be seen as a serious or smart, and vice versa.

PEACE! Happy International Women’s Day.

  • Kim Kardashian West is interviewed at Re/code’s Code Mobile. Click to watch.
  • Article showing two different perspectives on Kim Kardashian West as a business leader. Click to read.

YOU’RE FULLY ENGAGED, WEDDING TARGET IS LOCKED IN

I am engaged. It’s a wonderful, yet strange feeling. One I haven’t quite fully comprehended yet. I have a fiancé!! (I haven’t quite managed to say that word yet without sounding like Del Boy attempting a French accent).

I feel a bit guilty though because I’m sure you are supposed to feel completely elated to the point of skipping and singing everywhere you go, and don’t get me wrong, I’m incredibly happy and lucky to be Peter’s wife one day, but my issue is solely to do with… “The Wedding”.

Getting engaged is the fun part; you have a movie-perfect, surprising and romantic moment with someone you adore, you get a serious bit of jewelry, and everyone is really nice to you for at least a couple of weeks with cards and gifts etc – it’s like a really good birthday.

But then come the questions; “when are you planning the wedding for?” “What sort of venue do you think you’ll pick?” “Are you getting married here or abroad?” “Thinking summer or winter wedding?”

I’m told many people – women in particular – have a vision of their wedding right from being a child. I have not. I think I’ve probably imagined a wedding several times throughout my life, particularly after meeting Peter, but the vision is forever changing, much like Madonna’s style, if you please. So now that it is here and it’s a reality I feel lost as to what to do or even where to start.

I also get anxiety when I think about the number of people attending, seating arrangements, who comes to the day event or the night event and even who will be part of our actual wedding party.

I’m renowned for struggling to make a decision; even choosing which flavor packet of crisps I want can be a laborious task (one of the many reasons I’m thankful for Peter; his patience). I also worry a lot about what other people will think, which is why the thought of letting anyone down with my wedding is terrible.

Maybe I just need to think of a wedding as not such a bit deal; its just one day – sign some papers, get pissed, go home. Then it won’t stress me so much. But it is a big deal, isn’t it? Possibly one of the most important days of your life…?!

Luckily, I’m marrying someone who is very grounded and rational. Peter doesn’t worry about what others think and wouldn’t let something so personal stress him out.

In fact, I think I’ll just let him plan it. Ooh maybe we can do it through ‘Don’t Tell the Bride?!’

Problem solved.

anna sheffield engagement ring

Anna Sheffield ‘Bea’ engagement ring suite