Top Tips for Passing Your Driving Test

I recently passed my driving test and have bought my first car – hooray!!! It did take me a couple of attempts to pass but it was mainly down to anxiety and not knowing what to expect – so I have given you my top tips to make sure you are feeling well prepared and ready to get on the road!

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Make sure you are ready…

I’m 27 so I definitely left it a while to learn to drive but I certainly chose the right time for me. Everyone is different and you may not necessarily feel ready to get behind the wheel at 17 – that’s fine! Everyone learns in their own ways and at their own times so do not feel pressured into driving if you do not yet feel confident and comfortable to do so.

Learn Your Manouveres…

During your test you will be required to complete a couple of manouveres. These include reverse round a corner, turn in the road, parallel parking and bay parking. All of these need practice both with your instructor and privately but you’ll soon get them!

Revise Your Theory…

I passed my theory approximately a year before passing my practical but this meant that I could continue to use my theory more and more whilst I was out on the road. It’s great to keep up on everything that you have learnt in your theory, especially in regard to road markings, signs and the various hazards. Now that I’m driving everyday I’m certainly improving on my hazard perception and learning new things every time I am out on the road!

Keep Practicing…

I often had long gaps between my lessons but it is so much better to be driving on a regular basis when you are learning. This keeps things fresh in your mind in terms of what you are learning and ultimately aids you to becoming a better and safer driver. By building up confidence through regular lessons and practice in a parent/guardians car you are able to cover a full range of skills used in daily driving.

Revise the Show and Tell Questions…

These are so important and you will be asked two totally random questions. Make sure you know all the various buttons and where everything is located under the bonnet. Usually you will receive a book when you start learning to keep track of your lessons, and if you go with a company like the AA they will provide you with a book that contains these questions – make sure you take a read over them and jot down any notes to help you remember as these are great for revising on just before you take your test.

Keep Calm and Positive…

One of the main things that affected me in my driving test was panic and anxiety. This was particularly when I stalled and this was the reason I failed my first test. I made a common mistake of trying to set off in 3rd gear and thought it was in 1st! This panic and frustration is what caused me to fail. If you get in this situation, stop – making sure the car is secure, and think through your steps that you have been taught. Even now I still stall occasionally as I get used to driving regularly but it does start to get more natural! Remember – everyone was a learner once! If you’re like me and have learnt in London, you may well be used to those who are a little more impatient. The trick is not to panic and not to let them fluster you – in the end they are just making it more dangerous for themselves through rushing. Keep calm and have a positive mindset throughout!

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Didn’t pass this time – Don’t worry!

It took me a couple of attempts to pass but in turn this has made me a safer driver. I now feel much more confident when I’m out on the road and those extra few practices were worth everything to be able to drive now.

Your Driving Test is just the start!

It’s a daunting experience driving out and about on your own for the first time. I remember being so nervous and excited to get behind the wheel. You’re bound to face lots of challenges. With my new job I have to travel a lot and rely on maps and sat nav – I have lots of stories of ending up in residential car parks and down one way roads but all is excellent practice to make you a better driver.

Good Luck! – Send me a tweet to let me know how you get on @prettyandpetit

Becky at Pretty & Petit

 

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#apovgiftswap

So here I am – back with a bang! (or for those who know me well, a crash, bang, wallop! Either way, I have left you all for so long and I am terribly sorry to have left you in a lurch wondering if I would ever return but more on my little life update soon enough!

Today I want to let you know about a fabulous initiative I’m getting involved in after stepping back into the beautiful world of blogging. This fun opportunity involves swapping Christmas gifts with fellow bloggers whilst being able to network with one another, sharing ideas, happy thoughts and general positive vibes!

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This was something that I got involved with last year and I found it so much fun! It also enabled me to find out more about different blogs and writing styles which was so inspiring.

You’ll be able to see what I received closer to Christmas and I can’t wait to share my favourite Christmas gift ideas!

This year the gift swap is being organised by A Piece of Viola who has a fabulous Travel, Lifestyle and Fashion blog! Take a read by clicking here and if you fancy reading and discovering the blogs of those involved make sure you follow #apovgiftswap on Twitter.

Becky at Pretty & Petit

The Importance of Friendship with Huggle

Friendship is one of the most important things in our lives and  Huggle  has asked me to make a list/write about what I think makes a good friend. Huggle is a social app which helps you to discover and connect with people who go to the places you go. It’s a wonderful app for making friends and meeting like-minded people. You can download it here.

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I have summed up what I think makes a good friend in a series of quotes below! See if you can spot the Winnie the Pooh inspired one! (Tip: You can find the answer on my Instagram @Prettyandpetit!)

Friends come and go like walks of the ocean but the true ones stick, like an octopus on your face.

Remember you don’t need a certain number of friends, just a number of friends you can be certain of.

It’s not what we have in life, but who we have in our life that matters.

Everyone needs a friend that will call and say, “Get dressed , we are going on an adventure!”

No one will ever be as entertained by us as us.

Distance means so little when someone means so much.

Someone to share the happiest of memories and the deepest of secrets.

How lucky am I to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.

In life have a friend that is like a mirror and shadow; A mirror doesn’t lie and a shadow never leaves.

Promise me, you won’t forget our laughs, our jokes, our smiles, our conversations, our plans, our tears, our memories, our experiences, our friendship.

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Becky at Pretty & Petit

New Year, New You – New Year, New Mindset!

As part of my ‘New Year, New You’ series this month I’m asking bloggers to share their plans, tips and resolutions for 2016! 

Today is the turn of Amy from Under the Surface who will be discussing New Year Resolutions, how to decide what they should be and how to have a happy and healthy 2016!

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I’m here to talk to everyone about New Year Resolutions. Resolutions are goals that people set themselves to complete in the course of a year and they are usually set on the 1st January. A lot of people set themselves relatively healthy and vague goals such as ‘this year I will be healthier’ or ‘this year I will get fit’. Those goals sound great and I want, with this post, to ensure that everyone is setting themselves achievable and healthy goals that will benefit your life in some way.

Firstly, when thinking about New Year Resolutions try to think of what is currently negatively impacting your life and set a goal to change that before adding in another aspect of your life. For example, if you are turning up late to work repeatedly or spending too much money then set yourself goals to fix those aspects of your life before incorporating healthy food and workouts as well  which are unlikely to help what is already negatively happening on a daily basis.

Please note that eating healthy, working out and all the other goals you may have set yourself are great and should be worked towards also. However, to feel the true benefits of a new year then focus on ridding yourself of the negative in your life and that alone will make you feel better. It may not be 100% where you want to be but it is a step in the right direction and after achieving these goals then you can incorporate eating less chocolate, going for more walks or anything else you may fancy.

The 1st of January has gone by so if you are setting yourself resolutions then it is likely you have done so by now. Take this time to look back on those resolutions and ensure they are achievable and that they truly will make you happy. If not, ask yourself what is truly making you unhappy and focus on changing that instead. You don’t have to set yourself a hundred goals or resolutions if you don’t want to. Just one achievable goal will have a tremendous impact.

Tweet me your goals at @Hadh0peAmyBlogs and let me know how your goals will change your life for the better!

Amy is an 18-year-old lifestyle blogger from Scotland, UK. She enjoys writing about various topics that she is passionate about including mental health. Other topics include book reviews, product reviews, personal posts and opinionated posts.

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You can read her blog over at: https://hadh0peamy.wordpress.com/ or give her a tweet @Hadh0peAmyBlogs

Dreams of Dubai

“Dubai, with all of its glitz and glamour rose in the heart of the desert.”

Soroosh Shahrivar, The Rise of Shams

Personally, I find the city of Dubai one of the most fascinating destinations in the world. With its contrast of old and new, historical and modern and it’s merging of a variety of cultures that use the destination as a gateway to the rest of the world, it is the ultimate city of dreams. When I was a little girl I first discovered the city of Dubai in an encyclopaedia (with the rise of the internet I’m not even sure they still exist!) At school I would create collage after collage of research in the form of images of future designs of architectural magnificence that Dubai was looking forward to, in any other city these would have stayed pipe dreams. Not in Dubai.  Most of these mesmerizing structures have now come into fruition or are certainly under development.

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The city of Dubai. Image from Tumblr

When the opportunity arose to take part in Travelbag’s blogger competition with a prize of a trip to Dubai came up I was beyond ecstatic. It took me back to those school days where I would be cutting and sticking images of a destination I could only ever dream of visiting and I had to get involved.

There are two sides to Dubai, and it is these contrasting sides that I would absolutely have the pleasure in exploring. The history of Dubai as a small fishing village; growing, developing and expanding into the metropolis it has become, a symbol of the modern UAE. A symbol of a prosperous future for not only the city but the country as a whole.

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History of Dubai. Image from Viralnova.com

On the first day we would start with a day of visiting historical Dubai. We would enjoy a historical tour, savouring the cultural aspect of Dubai, marvelling at the fashions, savouring the tastes and smells of the souks. We would visit the food souk, the spice souk and the gold souk exploring what each of these had to offer. This would be followed by a visit to the Jumeirah Mosque. I find mosques absolutely beautiful and fascinating. They are such a peaceful environment as well which provides a calmness and sense of wellbeing.

Jumeirah Mosque. From Flickr.com

Jumeirah Mosque. Image from Flickr.com

In the evening we would escape the hustle and bustle of the city to the desert on a Desert Safari. Enjoying the surroundings of the bedouin camp we would enjoy belly dancers and arabic henna painting into the night.

The desert of Dubai. Image from 99traveltips.com

The desert of Dubai. Image from 99traveltips.com

Rising early, the second day would take an intense look at the architecture of Dubai. This is a city which has a landscape that looks like something out of this world. We would start the day by taking a visit to the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world, standing at 829.8m tall, venturing to the dizzying heights of the 125th floor to view the landscape around us. We would marvel at the World’s largest the fountains of the Burj Khalifa lake as they perform their daily shows, at night sending beams of light into space!

The Burj Khalifa - Image from Harpers Bazaar.

The Burj Khalifa – Image from Harpers Bazaar.

After coming back down to Earth we would visit the Dubai Mall. We would have some retail therapy, before exploring the other attractions the Mall has to offer, such as visiting the DubaiDino, a dinosaur that has been transported all the way from the USA and Sega Republic for some video gaming fun! No doubt we would also end up in the candy heaven that is Candylicious!

The most beautiful candy in the world! Image found on valentinadepertis.blogspot.se

The most beautiful candy in the world! Image found on valentinadepertis.blogspot.se

We would take in the beautiful city scape, including the many towers that dominate the skyline. My favourite would have to be the Twisted Tower, the Cayan Tower standing at 306m high.

Cayan Tower. Image found on skyscrapercity.com

Cayan Tower. Image found on skyscrapercity.com

Ending our exploration would be a visit to the manmade islands of the Palm and The World. These fascinated me as I was growing up, a playground for the rich and famous, these are located in the waters of the Persian Gulf and as the name suggests are in the shape of a Palm Tree and all the countries of the World. 

The second day would end with a trip to Burj Al Arab, the most luxurious hotel in the world. It was this architecture that first drew me into want to learn more about Dubai. This is the ultimate icon of Dubai and an architectural wonder. We would enjoy cocktails in the sky bar looking over the beautiful coastline and city of Dubai as the sun sets.

Burj Al Arab - Image found on homedit.com

Burj Al Arab – Image found on homedit.com

After two days of absorbing the architecture and the cultural aspects of Dubai Day three would be time for some fun in the sun! Ironically, the first activity of the day would not be in the sun and would involve a visit to Dubai’s Indoor Ski Park located in the Dubai Mall. A faux winter wonderland, this ski park is 22,500 square meters with a variety of activities available including skiing and snowboarding.

The Dubai Ski Park. Image  found on thechive.com

The Dubai Ski Park. Image found on thechive.com

After a couple of hours skiing we would head to Dubai’s Miracle Garden, the world’s largest natural garden full of the most colourful displays and breathtaking landscaping I have ever seen! When I was researching more about these gardens I was absolutely convinced to put them on my bucket list and I’m sure after seeing the images below you will too!

Dubai Miracle Garden - Image found on travel.cnn.com

Dubai Miracle Garden – Image found on travel.cnn.com

Dubai Miracle Garden. Image found on icosnap.com

Dubai Miracle Garden. Image found on icosnap.com

Our final day would end with a trip to the Atlantis resort. Located on The Palm, this breathtaking hotel is a reflection of the Atlantis in the Bahamas and plays host to rooms surrounded by an aquarium so you can literally spot stingrays and beautifully coloured tropical fish from the comfort of your own bed! Aquaventure Water Park is also part of the resort with some of the best water rides in the world and we would spend the afternoon zipping down water slides and relaxing in the sun. After enjoying a fun filled afternoon of meeting sea lions, visiting Dolphin Bay and enjoying the sights of the Aquarium we would visit one of the 23 fantastic restaurants to choose from for the most delicious meal before sorrowfully heading back to the UK.

The Atlantis Dubai. Image found on telegraph.co.uk

The Atlantis Dubai. Image found on telegraph.co.uk

“Pilgrims from all over the world were making their way to the place deemed the pearl of the Middle East. The city was reminiscent of a modern-day Persepolis. Its buildings, like towering pillars, tested the sky’s limit. The evenly paved roads belched with the smell of new tarmac, as if a million masons woke up every morning and by hand lay asphalt one grain at a time. People of all colors, ethnicities, creed and social statuses came bearing money, knowledge or experience in order to build their legacies in the new kingdom, sprouting out of the desert.
Dubai had arrived.”
Soroosh Shahrivar, The Rise of Shams

Becky at Pretty & Petit

#LoveMe Challenge – Day 20

Prompts

Something you love to wear

I love to experiment with different styles and colours. I absolutely love patterns whether that be a simple floral pattern or a unique printed pattern. I love to dress up in different items and definitely have a bit of a shopping addiction with the amount of clothes I own in my wardrobe!!!

My favourite international clothing brand has to be Black Milk clothing. Based in Australia, they offer an amazing range of unique printed items. Over the years I have collected Disney princess leggings, snowflake leggings, a Christmas ribbon printed dress, a pumpkin printed dress and a spiderweb skirt. I absolutely love how each item is handmade and is made with such care. I always feel like every item I receive from them is of the highest quality.

My favourite type of clothing has to be the A-line skirt which I often wear with bardot tops for a cute, girly outfit. I often wear a black striped skirt with a black bardot top which has a particularly Parisian feel!

My favourite A-Line skirts..

Warehouse Metallic Paisley Print Skirt - £38

Warehouse Metallic Paisley Print Skirt – £38

Monki A-line 70'S Suede Skirt - £60

Monki A-line 70’S Suede Skirt – £60

River Island 70'S Geo Zip Front Mini Skirt - £30

River Island 70’S Geo Zip Front Mini Skirt – £30

Embroidered Jacquard A Line Mini Skirt in Black - £25

Embroidered Jacquard A Line Mini Skirt in Black – £25

Red Abstract Jacquard Woven A-Line Skirt - £10

Red Abstract Jacquard Woven A-Line Skirt – £10

Do you have any particular favourite items of clothing?

Becky at Pretty & Petit

#LoveMe Challenge – Day 17

Prompts

Something that feeds your soul

Acts of kindness, sharing and giving are all definite things that feed my soul. I like to motivate and inspire people. Through my current job I feel I inspire young people into looking into different career paths through different areas of study. I try and encourage them to think outside of the box by thinking about their skills and then associate them to different careers. I really like to motivate and inspire particularly those who feel as though they may have lost their way slightly or are unsure of what they would like to do in the future.

For special occasions I enjoy creating gift hampers for people. I recently created a wedding hamper filled with treats for a friend of mine. For my sisters birthday I created a hamper full of her favourite things decorating the top with a chalkboard as she has just started a new job in a primary school. I really enjoy personalising gifts and to show that I have put some thought into them.

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Do you create your own gifts? I’d love to hear some of your ideas for personalising your gifts.

Becky at Pretty & Petit