Sunday, 30 April 2017

The roundup for April

At the start of the month I headed to Prague for a week with my parents, and we had a good time. You can read all about the trip away in my what I ate in Prague post and also my a city break in Prague post. It was really nice to have a break as I had two weeks annual leave from work which was great as I was able to de-stress.

I also went on a night out to Leeds with one of my best friends from uni which was great. I really like visiting Leeds, I think it is a fabulous city and the shopping is great. We went for a little catch up and we had a fabulous evening which was very much alcohol fueled. This was also a little celebration as I had actually managed to go the whole of March without drinking which I was doing as to see if it contributed to my weight loss, and it didn't have much effect at all. Although, it was nice to have a detox, but I found myself very bored on Saturday nights not being able to go out.

As I write this I am still in a little Ed Sheeran bubble, I went to see him last Sunday and he was simply spectacular. I was a little optimistic as to how he was going to engage with the audience with just him and his guitar. But that is exactly what makes him so brilliant and well loved. He is absolutely amazing live, and I will definitely be going to any future concerts which I can do.

This month also involved three, yes three trips to Ikea. Remember, at the start of the year when I set out on a mission to renovate my room and I finally made it happened. Me and my dad went on an initial trip to decide what I wanted to buy, and more importantly what would fit in the available space. I am super happy with what we decided to choose, we had to make another trip back as one of the main pieces of wood to my bookcase had snapped in two when we got it home. All the furniture is now in place, and I am currently in the stages of putting back all of my belongings. I am trying to declutter, but as a re-known hoarder it is proving difficult. I will report back in next months post is to how I have got on.

In May, I have a few exciting things happening including a trip to Nottingham with my university friends. I am also going to see Bruno Mars and Take That which I really excited about!

What did you get up to in April?


Friday, 28 April 2017

April Favourites

The end of April is upon us meaning that's a third of 2017 is over and done! It is however that time of the month where I bring you my favourite beauty products.

First up, is the Benefit cheek parade palette. I thought it was time to treat myself to a new palette and blushes is definitely a department within my collection which is lacking. As spring approaches and the bronzer comes out I was really wanting to try their new hoola lite, and so far so good as I am really enjoying using it. I have a full review post of the palette here if you fancy a read.

I have dragged my Too Faced sweet peach palette out from the depths of my beauty drawers, as I have definitely been neglecting it recently. I was smitten with this palette when I first picked it up, and I have realised this month why I loved it so much. It contains such a great range of shades, peach and golden toned shades are my go-to. This is a really versatile palette which is good for everyday and night time wear.

This is my second bottle of the Imperial Leather comforting marshmallow shower gel. The scent is sweet and a tiny bit sickly, but that is what I definitely love. It is a great shower gel which lathers really easily and leaves my skin feeling silky soft. It is really cheap to buy, and a little definitely goes a long way. There are lots of other amazing scents including in this range, and I was going to try a new one when the last bottle finished. However, as I loved this one so much I could not resist re buying it.

Charlotte Tilbury's lipstick range has been a favourite of mine ever since it launched. The shade which I have totally been loving recently is sexy sienna. This is the first colour which I bought from their matte revolution range, and it is the perfect coral. These are seriously pigmented and the colour pay off is beautiful. I have been wearing this for work, but lightly blotting it once applied as it can be quite bright and I like to make it a little less in your face.

What have you been loving this month?



Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Benefit Cheek Parade Palette

I bought the Benefit Cheek Parade Palette recently as I had been wanting to treat myself to the Galifornia blush for ages, and then Benefit go and bring out this amazing palette. I am so glad I picked this up as I have been using it on a daily basis. It includes the new Galifornia blush and the new Hoola Lite bronzer, as well as three other best-selling products.

I have been using the original Hoola to contour my face and it is a great match for my skin, it is not too dark and it buildable. I have on occasion used Hoola Lite to contour my face just to add a little dimension, but I find it is a great all over bronzer for simply adding colour and I will be getting a lot of use out of this over the upcoming summer months.

It has come to a surprise myself how much I have used Dandelion on a daily basis. It is a beautiful light pink shade which looks lovely with my complexion. I have been using this more than Galifornia which I did not expect, however Galifornia is a really gorgeous darker peachy shade with a hint of gold shimmer. The design of the sun imprinted into the blusher looks super stunning to look at. However, it can be a little bit of a pain when it comes to colour pay off on the brush, I find I have to try a little bit harder to get an equal amount on my brush.

The shade which I have not used a lot is Rockateur. I initially thought I would be able to use this as highlighter, but I have found it does not quite give me the glow which I want compared to my other highlighters. This does however work at adding a healthy glow to the apple of my cheeks.

For £49 this is such excellent value for money considering you get 5 full sizes in the palette, each costing £24.50 individually. Your basically getting 3 free (this is the reason I have no self-control when it comes to buying makeup!). I do find that most of the blushes and bronzers do have a little fall out, so I always take a little and build it up to my desired amount.

All in all, this is a great palette and if you are wanting to treat yourself, then this is the perfect option.



Sunday, 23 April 2017

30 spring blog post ideas

At points throughout the year we all face the dreaded bloggers block, and finding inspiration for new posts can be very difficult. I have brought you a selection of blog post ideas to reignite your imagination. 

Holy grail spring makeup items
Switching up your makeup bag
Top 10 lipstick choices
New releases for spring
Updated makeup collection
High end vs dupes
Going out makeup look
Everyday work essentials
Makeup must haves in your handbag

How to be productive
Juggling your life/work balance
Get to know the blogger
Favourite Instagram accounts
Fitness routines
The best apps for blogging
Updated personal blogging goals
How you take your photo blogging photos/ behind the scenes
Blogging props

Best on the high street
Your favourite current trends
High end wishlist
How to shop for less
Where to spend and where to save
Updating your wardrobe on a budget
Spring fashion tips
Must have accessories
What I wore to... (e.g. wedding/birthdays)
Reworking your own wardrobe


Friday, 21 April 2017

Sephora Haul

If you have been reading my posts lately you will know I went on a city break to Prague which you can catch up with here. Whilst I was there I obviously took a trip or two to Sephora and here is everything which I picked up. I did not have too much in my mind as to what I wanted to get so I went in with an open mind, and as always it did not disappointed.

First up, I was super impressed with all of their new skincare offerings. I was drawn to a new charcoal collection which is great for acne prone skin like mine. I picked up the cleansing and exfoliating wipes, cleansing water and 2 lots of their nose strips. I can't wait to try out this range and I will definitely report back. I also picked up a lotus face mask as I was simply drawn to the moisturising aspect as my skin can get very dry, and I love a face mask which packs moisture back into my skin.

I did not plan to buy so much from their lip range but I am really happy with my choices. I picked up the goji lip balm, simply because I am always on the hunt for a new lip balm and I have never tried any from their range. I always check out their liquid lip stain range as I already have a few and I like them a lot. I was instantly drawn to the colour of sweet raspberry. This is a purple toned shade which is not too dark and still has pink undertones. I can report that I wore this out at the weekend and I totally smitten with the shade, it is such a beautiful colour. I also picked up two of their lipsticks from their rouge creme line totally on the whim in the shades R17 and R19, and I cannot wait to try these out as I have heard excellent things about this range.

In the aisle of doom next to the till area I saw these mini antibacterial hand gels from the brand Merci Handy, and I instantly started rooting through looking at all the different colours and scents. They don't seem to be available on the Sephora site so I am guessing that they are concessions in certain countries. These are so cute and handy and are great to keep in your handbag.

What have you picked up recently from Sephora?



Wednesday, 19 April 2017

A city break in Prague

If you have been keeping up to date with my travel week posts, you will know this is my last installment. If you missed any you can catch up on my what I ate in Prague post and also my how to write travel posts as a newbie post. Today's post is all about my whole trip to Prague and what we actually got up to I went with my mum and dad.

We flew out on a Sunday evening quite late in the afternoon which was actually a great time. We got to the airport at 4pm and had some food before our flight at 7pm. The flight time from Manchester to Prague was just over the 2hr mark; there is also a one hour time difference when you arrive. We organised to be picked up from the airport by Prague airport services and I have to say they were brilliant. The service was exceptional and the driver gave us a guided tour of the city on the way to our hotel. We had booked to stay in the Jury's Inn in Florenc. This was a very last minute holiday we booked it about 10 days before flying which we have never done before. It was the first week of the Easter holidays (so it is always going to be a little more expensive than usual) it cost just over £300 each for flights and 5 nights in the hotel.

The first full day we spent looking around the Easter market located in the main square of the old town. We were those classic tourists who decided to buy tickets for the hop on/hop off bus. We often decide to go on these tour buses on the first day of our city breaks and holidays as it gives you an insight into where everything is and you are able to get your bearings. You also get some background history into where you are visiting which is great if you are only visiting for a few days. As the bus advertises the hop on/hop off aspect is a great way to see the city, we found it extremely helpful in Prague and we did get on and off throughout the day.  As part of your ticket their was a free river cruise ride included. The weather was okay this day and it was a nice extra treat to go along the river and see the sites from a different perspective.

After exploring the full city on our first day, we decided on the second day to go to Prague castle which is one of their main attractions. We got on the tram to the castle and the system is very easy to follow.  We bought a 3 day transport ticket which cost approximately £10, this was great and there was no restrictions and you could use it as many times as you wanted. We were able to buy the tram tickets from out hotel which was even more convenient. Once we got to the castle which was only about a 10 minute journey from our hotel, we had to queue for 20 minutes to go through the security system before we got into the castle to buy our tickets. Once we got into the castle grounds the process of buying the ticket was not simple in the slightest, there was no signs telling you where to buy the tickets and everything was a little bit hectic. The place where we were queuing to buy the tickets from closed then everyone manically moved into another box office where we felt as though we were in a cattle market. Throughout visiting the sites in Prague if you are a student/ have a student card take it with you as you get discount on all the main attractions. The tickets for the castle were 250 crown for adults and student tickets were 125 crown. The castle itself was such a beautiful place to visit and there is so much to see and do. They have a market within the castle grounds which had amazing food. The castle was very busy but it was half term and there were lots of tour groups. As there were lots of different parts to the castle, there was not too much queuing and we were able to see all of the sections without too much difficulty. This is a must see attraction!

We also try and always go to a city zoo on our breaks. I know that we can go to zoos in the UK but we all love family trips to the zoo and this one definitely did not disappoint. We found out that the tram ticket which we bought the day before also worked on the buses which was great as we got a quick tram ride to the closest station, and then the zoo provided regular buses which started at this tram stop to the zoo. We were not sure how the big the zoo was, and we were really surprised at just how big it actually was. It took us a good 6 hours to get around the entire zoo. They had polar bears which totally made my visit as they are just such beautiful animals. We managed to walk 15,000 steps this day and my feet were killing!

On the 5th day we took a visit around the Jewish quarter part of the city. Instead of buying tickets to go into all of the different sites we instead decided to just have a gentle wander around and see all the variety of buildings. We also managed to fit in a little bit of shopping on this day to my delight. There is a huge shopping centre called the Palladium located at Namesti Republiky. This centre has over 200 shops and the biggest Sephora, there are actually 3 Sephora's in various locations across the city (and yes I went into them all!). The shops are more high street than high end which I loved as I had some money left to spend so I had a little shop around and picked up some great things. There is also a street just off the square which hosts lots of high end designer shops.

On the last day we had an evening flight so we didn't want to waste the day, but we also did not want to venture too far. We went back into the old part of the town for a last look round. We also went to Charles Bridge which is a main tourist attraction, it is lovely and you can see some really beautiful views from standing on the bridge. The weather was awful on this day and we were not wanting to tramp around in the in the pouring rain, so we went for some lunch and then headed back to the hotel to collect our suitcases and head to the airport. 

We overall had a good time in Prague we were all impressed as to just how well priced everything was. If you read my what I ate in Prague post you will have seen that we were as surprised as to just how well affordable yet great quality the food was. As already mentioned we found that with the attractions within this post, nothing was overpriced and we really felt as though we were getting value for money. 

On the way back home me and my mum were discussing whether we would recommend to others to visit Prague or not. Since I have been back I have found myself saying the same thing numerous times to people who have asked how my holiday was. I thought it was important to mention that as soon as we got into our taxi in Prague, the driver informed us to be careful with pickpockets. He stated that unfortunately they have had an influx of people coming into the country and especially into the city who have created this kind of unfortunate pick-pocketing culture. I know you get pickpockets wherever you go, its life. I have been to Venice which is one of the most beautiful places I've ever visited and we were warned of the same the problem by the tour company. However in Prague I have never seen anything like it. 

On the first night in the supermarket 50 metres away from our hotel, a man approached me in a very strange way I instantly grabbed hold of my bag tight and I felt extremely uncomfortable as he tried to put his arm around me. Thankfully my dad was there, but he followed us outside and we were all shocked by what had happened considering it was such a public place. Unfortunately, it left a really bad taste with us and we were all constantly on edge the rest of the holiday. I saw someone get pick pocketed at the metro stop, they simple rife through wallets and purses for cash and then throw them away instantly. I would not have left the hotel or gone anywhere in fact on my own as I simply did not feel safe. I do not want to end this post on a bad note but I think it is important to inform my readers and be honest as to how I really feel about the trip. On my return home I have said to people I would suggest visiting Prague as the place overall is great and there is so much to see and do. However, I would not necessarily rush back.

Have you ever been to Prague?


Friday, 14 April 2017

How to plan travel posts as a newbie

I really wanted to try add some more posts to my travel section of my blog. This week I have already published my what I ate in Prague post, and I also have a whole summary of my Prague trip coming on Sunday. I thought that I would put together a post all about how I have found writing travel posts as a newbie, and the tips I have picked up along the way. Travel is definitely a newer category on my blog, and it can scary venturing out from the your safe place and into something new.

My first tip is probably that the notes section of your phone will become your best friend. I had a page where I wrote down all the places we ate, what we ate, prices, locations and what I loved/hated. It is so easy to forget names and places and the simplest of details when you are on to go and that can be so frustrating. I found just really simple key words helped me write my posts so much easier. I also had a page of what we did and things I don't want to forget to mention. When people read travel blog posts they want to know the little things you love that's made your trip different to everyone else's. I found writing down locations was really important as the names were very confusing in Prague, and there was no way I would of remembered them when I got home and ready to write the posts.

When your writing your post make sure you put life and personality into the post. Travel posts can be hard to write and say what you did without repeatedly saying "we went here and we did this and then that". This can get really repetitive especially if you've been on a longer trip which has been busy and a lot going on. I think splitting the trip up into smaller sections and reasonable sizable chunks to work with is much more manageable. I took each day and wrote it up with all the notes which I had made on my phone. This helped me to trigger all the extra information from the trip which I wanted to ensure I got in as I did not want to miss any important details.

I thought that writing travel posts would not be too different to my usual style of blog writing, but it was quite the opposite. I think you have to be more concise and to the point as it very easy to be rambling which is fine when you are writing a beauty post on how much you lovely a certain glitter golden eyeshadow, but on a travel review I prefer all the information to get across to me without have to scrawl for days to find the nitty gritty details. People want to read the highlights, the places you are saying people must not miss on their trips. Readers also want to know whats not worth the visit, and also the reasoning's why as you have to remember what you might not like, someone else might really enjoy. I think including prices can be really helpful, as it is so hard to know how much money to take on a weekend trip. Prague was very reasonably prices and for some that is a main factor when choosing where to go on a city break.

For me personally. I found writing up the posts within a week of coming back from the trip, with all the details fresh in my brain and still having that excitement about the trip worked really well. I think that if I had left it a while post coming back, the posts would not be as in depth and my personality regarding the highs and the lows would not have shined through the same. This may work differently for everyone, but it is definitely something to bare in mind when planning your blogging schedule. I am doing a week of travel posts, as I think its great to have a little series altogether which readers can follow. They will also therefore be in an order on your blog if people are just having a general read or are having a catch up.

What are your tips for writing travel posts?


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