Yays and Nays #12 

Yays

Trip to Croatia

I finally went to Croatia with one of my besties! Safe to say it was lovely actually getting to spend some decent time with her what with our conflicting shift patterns getting in the way. Yeah OK it may have been even better had we gone more in season, say September, but apart from not being able to go to Hvar island, we still did everything else we had set out to do and allowed us to take it more chilled as opposed to ramming as much in as possible. There’s always a positive to failed plans..!

Read all about what we got up to in Dubrovnik and Split.


  

Work
Not only am I feeling a lot more settled in my job now (finally!) I have also been put onto an APLS (advanced paediatric life support) course in January. I was feeling a bit bummed about not getting on A&E course this year, however this will tide me over for now.

Also in relation to work (I’m going to probably horrendously jinx this now as its only provisional), but not only have I been given Christmas Day off as requested, but I’m also down to finish nights 24th and not be back until 31st. Result..!

Blend Active
I bought a blender! (Is that sad to be excited about? Probably).
I’d been debating getting the Blend Active for a while now, but I’m glad I held off as I saw it reduced right down to £15 in Sainsburys! It was a no brainer at that point really.

So far I’ve only taken blended smoothies in for my night shifts when it’s usually too busy or late to have proper meal and does the job pretty well avoiding the snaking on rubbish. I’m pretty poor at getting all my fruit and veggies in (particularly on night mode!) so this has solved that problem (although do snack still, just not as much).
It’s so easy to use, easy to clean after and has so far blended everything I’ve put in it really well! Some fruits take a bit longer, same goes for putting ice in, but still gets there eventually! I particularly like how the bottle you blend it in is the bottle you take it away in! You literally unscrew it from the blender base, pop your drinking cap on top and you’e ready to go!

I’ve only tried fruit ones at the moment… I will slowly start introducing the veggies soon once I work out tastes and what go together well. Any suggestions, feel free to leave a comment or a link below!


Blogger Event
Last Friday I went to my 4th (yes, 4th!) blogging event this year which was the Haunted Pub tour hosted by Lantern Ghost Tours and arranged by Lauren of LDNmeetup. Expect to see a review of the tour soon, but I will say that it was awesome meeting more new bloggers and getting away with being a total tourist in your own city! Thanks again Lauren for organising such well organised and enjoyable events!



  

Sleep!
My sleep is finally improving! After having a frustrating sleep pattern for the last 2-3 years, where I get up every 3-4 hours in the night and pretty much always feel groggy for hours in the mornings, I actually had enough the other week and made a GP appointment to see what else he suggested I could do.

I had literally tried everything from lavender sprays, reading before bed, taking Sominex, stopping caffeine after 6pm, shutting off my phone/laptop at 9pm, taking baths and even tried listening mediation music through the night.
The only real cause the GP could think of, as I’m otherwise pretty good in terms of my diet/ exercise and lifestyle habits, was my shift patterns I do and just getting myself into that pattern over the years.
As a solution to try and stop this, he asked me to try taking Chlorphenamine (Piriton) before bed time. I know other colleagues of mine that take this for the same effect, but didn’t want to just start taking different meds without seeking other possible solutions with another healthcare professional.
So far, after taking it just over a week, I’m still getting up in the night, usually after 4-5 hours, but I definitely feel that I don’t fidget half as much as I did and generally feel more rested when I get up in the mornings. It’s still not perfect by any means… but give it time.


I’m not saying rush out and buy some of your having sleeping difficulties – you should always try other ways such as those listed above and always seek medical advice before taking anything regularly, even if you can buy it over the counter.

Nays

The only thing I can really say in terms of Nays is that my shifts have been a bit all over the place recently making it difficult to see friends, but it’s all part of the job and I am trying to make the most of my days off by seeing who I can in between.

Also with the shift patterns, I’m really missing doing Zumba. Poor rxcuse really, but a totally valid one! Really need to get back on that… or at least go back to YouTube workouts and/or Blogilates. Yes Gemma, sort it out.

Anyhoo

Till next time!
Gem x

Advertisements

Visit to Split (including a day at Krka National Park)

So after spending 3 days in Dubrovnik, we took a 4 hour bus ride over to Split.

We had booked our apartment through Airbnb and we had arranged to meet our host Marin to come collect us from the bus station (his offer!) back to one of his many cute little apartments along the promenade. The location of the apartment could not be faulted, it was right by the promenade, within walking distance to all the Split attractions. The furthest thing away was the port, but we weren’t going on a boat anywhere, so not an issue and would still have only been a 20-30 minute walk at a push. The only downside to the apartment was the 3 flights of stairs to get there, but the apartment itself was very clean and quiet, perfect to relax in after exploring what Split has to offer. We even arranged for an airport transfer for our flight home and he himself took us there. He runs a fair few B&Bs around Split and bends over backwards for his visitors when he can. Also helps keep his costs down! It really added a personal and friendly touch to our stay in Split and would definitely recommend using Airbnb for future trips.

We hadn’t really planned much ahead for our time in Split, apart from our trip on the last day to Krka National Park, but more on that later.

Our first day we pretty much exploring by ourselves what Split had to offer.
We came across the Bell Tower first so decided to climb it, had to be done really. I’m not fussed about heights usually, but climbing this sure made my feet a tad wobbly, especially with the shaking metal frame and the howling winds! It was worth it for the view though and once I’d stopped shaking so much, pulled out my camera for a few quick snaps!


  

Next was the Cathedral, which we couldn’t take photos in (although this didn’t stop most) followed by the Crypt underneath. The crypt was pretty small and there was a man praying in there, so again, didn’t feel it would be right to take photos, especially considering I would definitely have needed the flash on..!

Across from the Cathedral of St Dominus and the Bell Tower is The Temple of Jupiter (named after the father of Diocletian). He was highly worshipped until the Roman Empire came under Christian rule and when Diocletian’s mausoleum became a cathedral, the temple was converted into a baptistery housing a huge 12th-century baptismal font large enough to immerse someone. The Temple of Jupiter is now considered to be one of the best-preserved Roman temples still left standing.

I found the temple itself to be pretty small and had a pretty creepy interior, but once we found out more about it and its history on our walking tour it seemed less creepy, but still. It was the face tiles in the ceiling staring down at you and the statue of St John the Baptiste which seemed to be looking at you wherever you stood in there. Eeek!



Our second day in split consisted of doing a 90 minute walking tour with Lucia, a very knowledgeable and humorous guide and generally spoke with real passion about the history of Split. You can see from the photos that different styles of architecture were used in different ages. The Romans having the more neater architecture and design as opposed to the middle ages seen with flat brick slabs and concrete filler as opposed to solid limestone rock. We were taught that a lot of the buildings date back to 305ad (which I thought was pretty darn impressive) and all due to the materials used to make them. A lot of them do have signs of renovation and you can see that from the different styles used through the ages.


  
At the end of the tour we asked about Croatian delicacy (besides seafood) and was told to try the Lamb Pašticada(?).
I was pretty hesitant about trying it out at first as I’m not the biggest meat eater, but was pleasantly surprised by how succulent it was, literally so tender it just came undone in your mouth and the juice with it just complimented it really well and was served with fresh gnocchi. Nom nom indeed! The most lamb I’ve ever eaten.


On our last day before coming home, we had booked to go Krka National Park famous for its spectacular waterfalls.


  
Well they were pretty spectacular alright! It had rained heavily two days prior and this had a massive knock on so much so that a lot of the bridges and walkways around the park had to be closed off due to safety and also meant that we couldn’t go swimming either. Poop! The photos however will showcase why we weren’t allowed to… pretty good chance we would have got swept away!

The tour we booked also included a stop off at the small town of Sibenik. Here we explored the Cathedral, checked out the monastery garden and had a well earned cider by the seafront. A perfect end to an awesome day out.


  
So that’s pretty much what we got up to in Split (along with eating one or ten gelatos in between… they’re just too good!)


We couldn’t do the day trip over to the island of Hvar either due to weather, but we didn’t let this put a downer on our trip and pretty much get everything else we could have anyway.
Word of advice, don’t go in October! Just a little out of season – it was still warm mind, but just a tad wet and windy at times with a few thunderstorms thrown in! September would have been slightly better but we weren’t to know when booking it in the first place. Lesson learnt! However, if you’re like me and can’t handle the heat either, then best to avoid June – August too as temperatures have reached up to mid-forties this summer!

Have you ever been to Split? What did you think of it? 
Or if there’s anything you’d like to ask about Split itself, let me know in the comments below!

Till next time!
Gem x