Sunday, 11 August 2019

Plaza Beach Marbella

We had decided that at some point during our girl's holiday to Marbella we would attend a pool or beach party. On Instagram and through some research we had seen that there was a large range of pool and beach parties within Marbella available. I discussed in my first post which detailed our entire holiday to Marbella that Puerto Banus is the higher end part of the town where the majority of these events are held. After a lot of research and calculations we decided that Plaza Beach was not only the best value for money, but also looked the best for us.


We went on a Tuesday which turned out to be a great decision. If you go between Friday-Sunday the price doubles if not triples. We bought a package which in total costs 230 euros. There were four of us and we split the price between us. With our package we got a jacuzzi which was much much bigger than we had anticipated, they fit 12 people and it was fabulous. We also had a big day bed with towels and a magnum of prosecco included in the price. This was our big treat of the holiday and it was worth it for sure. Plaza Beach opens at 1.30pm and finishes at 7pm.


We anticipated that the drinks were going to be expensive and we had looked at the price list online when we booked it. The drinks were very widely priced depending on what you wanted. The magnum of prosecco that we got included with our package was 75 euros to buy individually. We did the maths and for just under 19 euros each we got another bottle as we got 8 full glasses of prosecco out of it. My friend bought a large jug of strawberry daiquri which in hindsight was probably not worth it as it did not go very far and cost 60 euros. We then moved on to bottles of rose which the cheapest was 26 euros. We thought this was a pretty decent price. If you want individual cocktails they were 15 euros or more each. Spirits and mixer varied from 15-17 euros each depending on which spirit you choose. Some of the prices were laughable as there was a bottle of champagne available for over 1000 euros. Thank the lord we didn't get too merry and pop that on the credit card!


We were a little bit unsure as to what the vibe was going to be like. We wore heels there but took them off and wore our sandals for the rest of the day. There was music playing and we were actually all relieved that everyone was just chilling and enjoying themselves. We had seen pictures from places like Ocean Beach and Nikki Beach which seemed to be a little too wild. At the weekend I expect that there is much more of a party vibe but I think you can make it what you want it to be. The jacuzzi 100% made this afternoon the best it could be. In all honesty we were definitely living our best lives. It is a little more money to spend and all though the jacuzzi fits 12 I think that would probably be too many people as the day bed would fit 6 comfortably.

All in all, we had a fabulous time at Plaza Beach and if I was ever to visit Marbella again I would definitely go back.

Lucy
xoxo
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Sunday, 4 August 2019

A Girls Trip to Marbella

This holiday with my friends was just what the doctor ordered. Going on holiday with three of my best friends what more could I ask for? I had briefly been to Marbella a few years ago on a day trip when we stayed in a resort a little further along the beach called Benalmadena. I was so excited to go back and explore further with my friends. Marbella over the last few years has become well known for its party scenes and beach clubs. We wanted it to have a holiday where we could go to the beach and pool during the day, and then be able to go out and enjoy ourselves at night.



We booked the trip for 4 nights and we flew out on a 9am flight from Manchester. From the airport we got on the bus to the centre of Marbella which only costs 8.50 euros each. We then got a taxi from the centre to our hotel which was 7 euros. Our hotel was located on the beach front it was called Skol Apartments. We booked this trip only three months before we went and we were struggling to find somewhere to accommodate four adults. We were impressed with the location of the apartments and the accommodation itself. We were staying on the seventh floor and the apartments are two tiered. We had a lovely view from our balcony overlooking the town and across into the sea. We decided to stay in Marbella rather than Puerto Banus which is where we thought the majority of the nightlife would happen. To our surprise Marbella itself had a large range of bars and places to drink. We all agreed if we were to visit again we would make the same decision. Marbella had much more of a chilled vibe and we liked that we had the option of going to Puerto Banus if we wanted to rather than the other way around. To get a taxi into Puerto Banus it costs approximately 12 euros.



The night we arrived we went to explore Marbella and try and get our bearings. We decided to head for some tapas and a few drinks. It was lovely and we found so many little bars to drink at. Our first Tapas experience of the holiday was at La Bodega Del Mar which was located on the sea front in Marbella. The food was lush and it got the holiday started in the perfect way.

We spent the next day on the beach front relaxing and taking in the sun. We hired beach chairs which were 6 euros and came with a thick mattress which were heavenly to lie on. That night we headed in to Puerto Banus for the first time and we went for a walk along the harbour which was very impressive and had some pretty hefty sized boats. We had pre-booked a table at La Sala which is a well known high end restaurant. We had decided it was our fancy dressing up and going out night which did not disappoint. The food was incredible in La Sala and after 9.30pm they have a live singer on who was fabulous. After we finished our food we headed inside to the bar area to listen to the music and have a little a dance. We then headed out to the main part of Puerto Banus and well let's just say we got home at 4am.



After surviving a mild hangover from the night before, another day at the beach was calling us. After the heavy night before we decided to stay around Marbella and we ate in a lovely Italian restaurant called La Tagliatella. The concept was great - there were 10 pasta choices and over 15 sauce options. You mixed and matched to your choice so you created your own perfect dish. The portions were huge when they arrived, we definitely could have shared. I had rigatoni ragu and it was really tasty. All the girls said that their food was lovely, just that the portions were a little too large.



Before the holiday we decided we wanted to attend one of the bigger pool or beach parties. We decided on Plaza Beach. We had had some friends recommend it and also it seemed the best value for money. We did quite a lot of research into which one to choose as some of them are really expensive. We booked before we went and there are a lot of different price options depending on what package you choose. We splashed out a little bit and chose a day bed with a jacuzzi which costs 230 euros in total. When we got there we were really surprised at just how big the jacuzzi was as it fitted 12 people. We had a big day bed and for the price we also got a magnum of prosecco included. I am going to write a separate post detailing more in depth information about our experience at Plaza Beach, so keep your eyes peeled. After the party had finished at 7pm we headed back to our apartments and headed out for some dinner. We headed into Marbella's Old Town and stumbled across a lovely Pizzeria. We drank sangria and ate pizza until we couldn't fit anything else in.

On the last day we headed to the pool area of our apartments. We were really impressed by the size of the pool area, it was two tiered with two massive swimming pools. We took in the last of the rays and then headed out for some final tapas tasting. We felt as though we hadn't quite taken in all of Marbella's Old Town (mainly due to the ample of wine consumption the night before!), so we headed there to explore a little further. We wanted some final tapas and we found a little restaurant and ordered a large variety of the menu. We weren't that impressed with the food in all honesty. It was average and everything was extra salty. After this we headed back to the hotel and waited for the bus to take us to the airport.

Overall, I think I can speak for all the girls when I say this was one of my favourite holidays that we have ever taken together. A lot of memories were made and we all enjoyed exploring both Marbella and Puerto Banus.

Lucy
xoxo
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Wednesday, 17 July 2019

Current Travel Plans


So I am very lucky to say that I have quite a few holidays in the pipeline. At the start of the year I had plans to try and save and put any holidays on the back burner. However, lots of exciting opportunities have come up.

First up, I am off to Marbella in Spain with three of my best pals. We still love our girls holidays and I am excited to get away with the girl's and forget about normal life for a few days. We have a few beach parties and trips planned which will hopefully be fantastic. This is only two weeks again now so it is getting very close.

I get home from Marbella and then I head to Santa Ponsa in Majorca for 2 weeks. This holiday is a family trip with my parents and sister. Everyone always say they think it's lovely that we all still go on holiday together and I don't get why we wouldn't. We are staying on a golf complex which is private and is just luxury and pleasant. You can do what you want and when you want. We can walk into the town centre at the night time. It's lovely and will be the break we all need.

Earlier this year in February my sister and I went on out first trip together to Disneyland Paris. It is all we have talked about since we got back and we knew we needed another trip in the pipeline in order to dust away our Disney blues. We originally wanted to go in October but it was really expensive. We then decided to look at the prices to go the weekend before Christmas, and by some miracle it was cheaper than any other time that we were looking at. It is sooo exciting and we are staying in a Disney hotel again. This time we have chose to stay in the Hotel Cheyenne which is toy story themed.

The most exciting trip which I have lined up is my sister and I have also booked to finally go to Walt Disney World in Florida. Once again after going to Disneyland Paris this year, it set us into overdrive about finally getting to go to Florida. We have booked to go at the end of May 2020. We have booked it so far in advance just for the simple reason that we have longer to pay it off. This is going to be a once in a life time trip as boy it has cost a lot but we are already soooo excited. We have booked a package holiday so we are staying at a Disney hotel called Colorado Springs, and we have access to the Disney parks for the 11 days which we are there. We are hoping to also do some more exploring outside of Disney and also head to Universal Studios.

One of my close friends from university is taking the dive and moving to Canada. I had the original plan to go out and travel with her for around three weeks when she first moves out there next February. We had booked onto a travelling tour for 10 days but it has since been cancelled. We have struggled to find another tour which we want to go on as February is not the best time to travel around Canada due to the weather at that time of year. Therefore, we have made alternative plans that I am going to head out there around September/October time when the weather is better and there are plenty of tours available. The plan is pretty much the same to go out for about 3 weeks and travel around Canada.

For now they are all of my travel plans which I currently have in the pipeline. My ultimate travel goal is to at some point head to Australia and New Zealand. Realistically I think that is going to have to happen in 2021 as there is only so much that I can realistically afford.

Do you have any travel plans?

Lucy
xoxo

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Wednesday, 10 July 2019

Turning 25


I don't know what it is about turning 25 but it is scaring the life out me. I mean I know birthdays come around every year but after you get to 21 I feel like birthdays aren't quite as exciting. As a July birthday when I was younger I used to hate being the young one. I did not go out for any of my friends 18th birthday and then when I turned 18 everyone else's excitement at now being 18 had worn off. 25 is the age you've entered mid 20's territory well and truly. I feel like it is the age when you need to have your shit together, whatever that means.

It is so easy in life to compare yourselves to others. No matter how hard you try, it is normal to think I want what they have. This can be in many different forms. I often like to have these chats with others and see what they think. I recently discussed it with one of my friends and my interpretation of her having everything she wants, was actually very different to her perception. I have asked pretty much all of my friends recently about getting older and what they want to achieve. I quickly concluded I have definitely been putting a lot of pressure on myself. As I get older I often think about meeting someone stable and being happy. To have someone to buy a house with and build something together. When you have been independent for many years it would take someone very special for me to allow someone to come and change that. I think this is why my brain has been in overdrive, just constantly over thinking everything and feeling a little lost for a while.

I am so grateful for everything I have in my life and honestly I am content but I just don't know why turning 25 is freaking me out so much. All my friends are like Lucy it is not a special birthday pull yourself together. Life flies by and before you know it you are another year older, and the process of reflection as to what you have achieved over the last year can be the biggest sense of achievement. Being 24 was not the easiest year for me, it was challenging and testing at points but its how we overcome and learn from these things which are the most important. I see a new birthday year just like a new calendar year. People make pledges and promises to change and make adjustments to better their selves. This is how I see this year of turning 25. A year to do things I have wanted to do for ages, take the plunge and be more spontaneous. Not constantly worry (hence this post) about getting older. I met a friend recently who I hadn't seen in over three years and she asked me about my love life and said I bet you're too busy for it with work. I do make work a priority, but I do think I have managed to get a good work / life balance. I just want to be more open and willing to do new things and be more spontaneous.

Here's to 25 and it being the best one yet!

Lucy
xoxo
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Wednesday, 26 June 2019

Sephora Glow Perfection Foundation


On my last few trips abroad during my visits to Sephora I had been wanting to try their glow perfection foundation. I had not read any reviews or heard much about it and when I went to Italy is was about 18/19 Euros which is a lot of money if I am not sure if I am going to like it or not. I was also not impressed with the foundation shade range which they had. They was either way too light or too dark. When my mum recently went on her holidays to Poland, she popped into a Sephora to get me my trusty high coverage concealer (post here), and she me asked if there was another else that I wanted. I asked her to see if they had this foundation. She found it and got it in the same shade of the concealer which is 22 natural. She was surprised at the prices as they were much cheaper than other Sephoras in Europe. The concealer was only 7 Euros and the foundation was about 11 Euros.

I have been using this on a daily basis and putting it to the test. It is frustrating that the concealer and foundation shades do not match up, the foundation is much darker. When I have looked online there is about 20 shades available which is much better than the selection which I have seen in stores. Even though it is a little too dark, I can just about make it work at the moment. I am hoping it will be a great match when I have a bit of a summer tan. I have mixed this with my L'Oreal true match foundation to make it slightly lighter, and they have been a great combination together.

The foundation is advertised as being hydrating which is something I always look for as my skin is always dry. Matte foundations just do not work for me. It does provide a glow to my skin and gives an overall radiance. It it not too shiny and I think it works well on with my skin type. In saying that, I think it would work well with many skin types whether dry or oily. I also moisturise my skin well using a hydrating moisturiser and primer before I apply any base makeup. It does not feel heavy on the skin and has a light creamy texture which is great. There is nothing worse than the feeling of heavy makeup on my skin. I wear my makeup for long periods of time at work meaning that I want something that feels just like my natural skin.

Overall, I have really enjoyed using this foundation. The texture is great and one of its best features is that it allows you to build it to a coverage of your choice. These days I much prefer a light to medium coverage and this allows me to build up to exactly what I want. In terms of getting a full coverage which covers acne or scarring I am not sure it would achieve that as the consistency is light. If someone was to say whether I would recommend it or not - I would. I have been really enjoying using it and will definitely continue to use it. When I next go to Sephora I would like to pick this up in my everyday shade.

Lucy
xoxo



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Wednesday, 19 June 2019

Drunk Elephant and Aromatherapy Associates Cleansers


About six months ago I stumbled into TKMaxx and ended up head deep in their skincare section. I had heard so many good things about Drunk Elephant. However the price tag had been an instant turn off. I found their jelly cleanser which I had read a review about by a beauty blogger a few days before this trip. This has a retail price of £34.99 which I wound never, ever pay. I bought if for £19.99 which I thought was still expensive, but I was on the market for some new skincare as my skin had been through a lot after the roaccutane process and I needed some gentle products. My eyes were then drawn to this Aromatherapy Associates inner strength cleansing balm which I paid £15 for. This was the biggest bargain of all as to buy from their site it costs £40!

The Aromatherapy Associates inner strength cleansing balm is formulated for sensitive skin. It is marketed to gently remove impurities and makeup which helps to restore the moisturise levels. It is exactly what it advertises - a balm which is gentle and non-abrasive. It has an emollient base which contains primrose oil and I like the scent as it's quite relaxing. It comes out as emollient which is soft to touch and quickly melts into the touch of your fingers. I have used this in two ways straight onto my face to dissolve my makeup at night which I think does the job really well. The other way is to wet my face and then apply it in the morning for a thorough wake up cleanse. I have absolutely loved using this and it is one of my favourite cleansers which I have ever used. One of the best features of it is it doesn't leave a greasy residue on my face which you would expect with it's oily texture. It leaves a nice smooth and moisturising feel which is refreshing. If I could find this again for £15 I would definitely snap it up in an instance, but for £40 I just could not justify it.

The Drunk Elephant jelly cleanser differs a lot in terms of formulation and its use. It is a mild cleanser which contains glycerine which is an active ingredient to maintain high levels of hydration. It also contains oils to help with the cleansing process. First up I do not like the screw top to the bottle. You turn it one way and a small amount comes out, however when you close it more comes out meaning no matter what you do you end up wasting product. In my case I end up applying double the amount I actually need in order to not end up just wasting it. I like the texture of this it is soft and light and is nice when applied to the skin. This is a really good first cleanser in the morning and it instantly feels refreshing. I have noticed that is does sting my eyes a little bit which isn't great. You can apply this onto wet or dry skin, I massage a small amount of the gel into my skin, when water is added is creates a light lather which is easy to rinse away. It is a great no-fuss product. It is a great product, but for the price tag it is doesn't have a particular wow factor which blows me away. In comparison to other high street cleansers which do the same job equally as well for a fraction of the price. If the price tag of this was £10 or even £15 I would consider repurchasing it, as overall I have enjoying using it and my skin has felt soft and hydrated.

Lucy
xoxo







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Sunday, 16 June 2019

The Roman Colosseum

If you want to find out all about my recent travels to Rome you can read all about it here. I had such a fantastic time, and Rome is definitely a must visit place. One of the must visit attractions is the Colosseum and I thought I would dedicate a post to it.



Before the trip my family and I had done some research into whether we needed to pre-book to go to the Colosseum or not. My friend had not long been herself and said there is ample of opportunities to buy tickets on the day. She was not joking, when you arrive there are hundreds of people selling tickets but I am always a bit unsure about whether they are all official or just a scam. We had bought a 48 hour hop on hop off bus ticket, and with the same company you were able to buy off them tickets for the Colosseum. We pre-booked a slot of 2pm to go the next day. The tickets were around 30 euros each, which I think is the standard price from wherever you decide to buy your tickets from. 



If possible I would definitely try and pre-book tickets, or if that is not viable then I would recommend at least booking a time slot. We went in April and the queue was pretty big. If you have a slot booked you will stay have to queue. We queued for about 40 minutes, but the other queue was easily 2 hours as it snaked all around the outside of the Colosseum. We found it all a little bit unorganised as there was three separate queues and there was only one person who worked there trying to organise hundreds of people. Once in the correct queue, there was a tight security process which I am always happy to see. You can pay for a guided tour with a tour guide, an audio tour or you can just stroll round at your leisure. We opted for the audio tour which I would recommend. There wasn't much to read inside to find out about its history, whereas the audio tour was split up into sections and you go can round slowly at your pace and listen to the relevant information at each point. For the extra few pounds it definitely brought the place to life.


It was really interesting to find out in much more depth about the Colosseum and its use. It used to hold 50,000+ people at one time. Its main use was for gladiator contests and public spectacles. We have all heard of gladiators but it really brought to life seeing exactly how it was viewed. It's quite barbaric to find out that they use to let prisoners have second chances by competing in the tournaments in order to have freedom known as people vs beast games. It used to be the main source of entertainment and tourists would travel from far and wide to come to events. You are able to see the underground area which is called the hypogeum which is thought to have been where they held the gladiators, prisoners and animals.

Despite it being so grand and such a big piece of history for Rome it was not actually in use for its purpose for that long. It unfortunately became damaged quite significantly from an earthquake in 1349 and has been restored to be a tourist attraction over the years. In 2018 it was actually the most visited tourist attraction in the world with over 7 million tourists visiting it.

As well as the Colosseum you can visit to more sites called Palatine Hill and The Roman Forum. The Forum houses ruins showing different eras from the city of Rome. Palatine Hill is one of the oldest parts of ancient Rome left and was once the home of many emperors.


Overall, we are all had a fantastic day at the Colosseum and if you visit Rome no matter if you are into history or not you have to go. Rome has to keep so much of its history alive and this is a perfect example of how they have done this.

Lucy
xoxo


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