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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Wednesday, 5 June 2019

Rome

We booked a 5 day trip to Rome in April and it was a fantastic trip away. My family and I have always been lovers of Italy and after having such an amazing time in Florence (post) last October we decided to book another Italian city break. Rome has been on the top of my travel to visit list for years.

We stayed in the Best Western Piccadilly hotel which was an excellent location on Via Magna Carta.  It is easy to get around on public transport on the trams which are frequent, it was around £3 for all day ticket. Once in the city we could walk everywhere as it was a very pleasant stroll around.

On the first day we decided to explore and see all of the attractions which are easy to get to. We ended up in Piazza de Spagna which is one the piazzas where you will find lots of shops and little cafes and restaurants. We ended up finding the Spanish Steps which is a popular attraction around this area. It is a steep set of steps which at the top has a church which makes the view beautiful. It is gorgeous to look at and makes the whole square come together. Not too far from these steps is the Trevi Fountain. My sister and I are huge Lizzie McGuire fans so we were really excited to go. It was ridiculously busy and unless you are dedicated to push your way through the crowds you aren't going to be able to get your Instagram shot. We made our way slowly to the front and waited for a little slot and then snuck in. It is a beautiful fountain which has been well maintained and it is lovely and clean. It is actually patrolled by police officers to stop people acting like hooligans and to ensure the safety of all tourists. Around this area is lots of little streets and we got our first ice cream of the holiday which as always was delicious. Another bustling area to visit is Via del Corso which is a main street which has narrow alleys and different small piazzas. It also links to Piazza Venezia which a part of the city where lots of tourists gather due to its variety of shops and malls.



If you have read any of my previous travel guides, you will know that when I go on city breaks I love getting on a hop on/ hop off tour buses. We decided to do this on the second day and it once again turned out to be an excellent idea. On the bus we realised that you could hop off at the Vatican and as the sun was shining we decided it was the perfect opportunity. As I am not catholic I didn't really know too much about the Vatican, but from what I had seen and heard it was a must visit place. The Vatican and its surrounding is actually an independent city-state ran by the Pope called Vatican City. As soon as we stepped off the bus we were met with a beautiful site. You have to walk over a bridge to get to the start of the City and the sight was incredible. You enter a big area called St Peter's Square. As well as the main attraction - St Peters Basilica, there are lots of other museums and buildings. The fast track queue to get into St Peters Basilica was approximately two hours and we all decided that we would rather wander round at our pace taking in the outside and its beauty. It is considered one of the greatest and largest pieces of architecture across the globe. Many tourists take pilgrimages to see it and on religious days throughout the year the Pope himself will do a number of speeches and readings. You can also go into inside if you want to see Sistine Chapel which is said to be also stunning. We spent a good few hours wandering around and eating pizza and wine in the sunshine.




Also on the bus tour we got to see the roman forum which is huge. It was once a plaza surrounded by ancient government buildings and now its remains are still there to walk around. We took the entire tour which discussed all of the different areas of Rome and it gave us a good basis of where everything was within the city.

There is no denying my family loves visiting a Zoo. We wanted to take a bit of time out of the city and decided to visit Bioparco di Roma which is the oldest and largest zoological gardens in Italy. It was a fantastic day out, and unlike English zoos it was not busy at all. It was so pleasant to walk round and we spent the entire day there. It had such a wide array of animals and we overall had a really fantastic day.


Before I went to Rome one of my friend's recommended to go into the Trastevere area. It has a variety of bars and restaurants and is lovely at night if you just want a leisurely stroll and to stop for a few drinks and to relax. I don't have any particular restaurant recommendations as everywhere we ate was amazing.

We went to the Coliseum on the last day and it was great. My family and I are all history geeks and it was fabulous to go to.  I am going to write a separate dedicated post to it as there is a lot of information to discuss. My advice is that you can get your tickets on the day if you want to as there are literally hundreds of people selling tickets. We bought fast pass tickets for a specific time which was great as it saved time queuing which was great as it started to rain. Once inside we decided to get the tour which I would definitely recommend. Overall, it was fantastic and is a must see attraction for anyone visiting Rome.

We all had an incredible time eating, drink and exploring in Rome and I love anywhere in Italy for this reason. I feel like we managed to do all the sites as well as take some time to stroll and not be stuck to a strict schedule. I would definitely recommend visiting if it's only for the pizza and pasta!

Lucy
xoxo
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Wednesday, 22 May 2019

Paris in a day











Whilst on my grand adventures to Disneyland Paris, me and my sister decided to take a day trip to Paris as I had never been before. We had one day and one day only to try to see and do as much as possible. We set off early and got the train from Chessy to Paris. The train took about 45 minutes and it was direct. We decided in order to see the city in all of its glory we would get on a hop on hop off bus around to see as many sites as possible.

I had always wanted to go to the Eiffel Tower so we decided to go and do it at the start of the day. The queue was about an hour long in the end from buying tickets to getting up to the tower. You can choose whether you want to go up to the middle tier of the tower, or right up to the top. We decided to just go up to the middle tier which was definitely enough for me as it very much confirmed my fear of heights. I am so glad that we did this and the view from the top was pretty spectacular.

We then jumped onto the hop on hop off bus. On any city breaks I always think these buses are a great way to see the main sites which you might not want to necessary get off and look around. As we were time permitted to less than 12 hours it was definitely the right decision. We decided to get off in the very city centre to look around the shops and go to my sisters must visit macaroon shop called La Duree, which is very expensive but is great if you fancy a little treat. We got then got some dinner in a local cafe and then continued with our shopping spree.

We jumped back onto the bus and continued the tour. I was excited to see the Moulin Rouge, Notre Dame and The Louvre. There are so many amazing sites to see. We then stopped for a cup of tea and a cake and took in the views and the sunshine, as even though it was February the weather was beautiful.

We continued to explore on foot strolling around the city. We were really surprised at just how pretty the city is. We had quite a tight schedule as we wanted to get back to Disney (which you can read about here). We had planned to see the fireworks this night which start at 7.30pm so we got the train back about 6.30pm in order to make it in time.

Overall, we both had an absolutely fantastic day in Paris. We didn't see half of the city that we wanted to, it was very much just a snapshot. We are definitely going to go back to Paris and spend a few days properly exploring and seeing everything that we want to. It was great to be able to see everything but it would be great to have the opportunity to actually go into the sites themselves.

Lucy
xoxo











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Wednesday, 1 May 2019

Pinch Punch First of the Month

 

In 2019 on the 1st of every month I have pledged something which is I want to achieve within the month. I think I went all out in January, and as the months have gone on I have learnt to set a more manageable and smaller goal.

The goals so far have been relating to money, home life, exercise and healthier eating. I am very task orientated and I know I love to have something to focus on, even if I don't particularly achieve it. As always I have got one of my best friends on board and I text her asking what her pledge is. I think it is good for both of us as you can check in and see how we are getting on. I think it is also great for me to have a friend doing it alongside me as she can reign me in when I am being a little too ambitious. 

I feel like I have a lot of goals and ideas floating around my little brain at the moment, and I feel like each month is drifting by and I have not achieved any of them. I thought it would be a great idea to break things down into months and it would therefore be more management. This means that each month I only have one thing to focus on. This month is about saving for a large holiday. I do this a few times a year e.g. I did no spend Jan this year which you can read all about here. I am hoping to travel to Canada next February and I need to save a few thousand to be able to go and have a once in a life time trip. Therefore, this month I have pledged to save a particular amount in order to get the ball rolling with booking the first installments. 

I very much live by the rule that you only live once. I think everyone goes through phases in life of saving for things for one minute and then splurging the next. That is life and you do what you want. I think about the future a lot, probably a little too much. However, I know that I don't want to get later on in life and look back on my 20's thinking I could have done so much more. Within my job we are told about the importance of reflection, and I have definitely started to incorporate this into my everyday life. I often look back at situations and think about what I loved and hated and how in the future I could improve it. 

At the end of 2018 I had big expectations as to what I wanted 2019 to be for me. I am always one for new year's resolutions and I like to have something to try and achieve. We can go all guns blazing into the new year and be a little disappointed when things don't happen as quickly as we would like them to. I know for sure this is me. Once I have an idea I want to achieve it, no matter how big or small. Take buying a house, it is probably one of the biggest things I will ever do for myself. I knew this wouldn't happen in 2019, but I have a goal for it to be accomplished by 2021. These goals don't always have to be achieved straight away, in the next year or even five years. However, having an end sight of particular goal/s is such a fab way to get motivated and go out and get something. 

For the past five months I have made these monthly pledges to try and make small but positive changes. If you are like me and like goals and aims then I say to try making one pledge a month and see how you get on. You can always review it mid-way into the month to see what you have done already, and what you can now do to ensure you achieve it. If it is a much bigger goal which needs more time in order to complete it, continue it into the next month and make a new pledge as to how you are going to do it. 

Lucy
xoxo


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Sunday, 21 April 2019

Testing Huda Beauty's Liquid Lipstick Formula





I bought this Huda Beauty liquid lipstick at Christmas and I have been getting a great amount on wear out of it. The shade is Jetsetter and it was part of last years summer line. It is however still available now.

Before this purchase I had wanted to try the liquid lipsticks from Huda since their launch. They seemed to be the stand out product from the brand, and all the reviews were positive. I would class Huda Beauty as a high end beauty brand due their pricing. I have tested a lot of liquid lipsticks on this blog over the years. You can read reviews here of - Kat Von DJeffree StarKylie Cosmetics and Colourpop.

The liquid lipstick has a thin, fluid like consistency which I love. The colour is super pigmented which is what I find is often a major downfall with some liquid lipsticks, and they can look patchy once applied to the lips. I like the shape of the doe foot applicator as the flatter side helps to get around the curves of my lips and helps avoid smudges. One thing I did find though is that you need to work fast as this dries pretty quick, as I struggled to rectify a small smudge without ruining my entire makeup. This did mean on this occasion that I managed to test out applying a second coat. I found that it dried down equally and evenly which is also a big tick in my eyes.

This liquid lipstick has a matte finish. I struggle with matte finishes to lip products as my lips are naturally very dry. I always apply a good amount of lip balm, but I usually go for more of  a semi - matte finish. I love Colourpop for that exact reason, they offer a wide range of finishes to their liquid lipstick range and their ultra satin finish is my favourite. With matte finishes I know that they are always going to be drying on my lips, but I did find this dried downed particularly dry. It wasn't uncomfortable but I put a gloss over the top to make it feel a little bit better.

Overall, I am pretty impressed with this formula from Huda and felt as though it last well on my lips throughout the day and wasn't transferable. I have worn this multiple times, and I have had compliments regarding the colour. It dries down to a nude pink which has a hint of purple running throughout it. I like that it is not too bright. On a daily basis I am not one to wear a very vibrant colour or tone of lipstick. This is a great bridge between a day to night shade, and it can pull an everyday makeup look together. I would definitely buy other liquid lipsticks from Huda Beauty, and I want to try the demi-matte version from her line as it might solve the drying aspect.

Lucy
xoxo


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Wednesday, 17 April 2019

Netflix Picks #3


Looking back on my list of Netflix picks over the last few months they could not have been more polar opposite if I tried.

Before watching Fyre Festival I don't really know how I missed this fiasco happening. It's an hour and a half documentary which followers the organisation of this luxury festival which is going to cost hundreds to attend, but it is going to be 'the' festival of the year. It is interesting as it follows them in the here and now and the organisation behind the scenes. It unravels how from the start it was never going to work and how the main guy organising it doesn't really have a clue or handle on anything which is actually going on from day dot. He has all of these brilliant ideas but doesn't think about the implication of them. I won't ruin it but the whole thing turns into a catastrophe, and worse of all it has devastated effects on the little island of the Bahamas where it is being held.

Abducted in Plain Sight is one of the strangest programmes I have ever watched in my life. This was another one which was not only the topic of conversation at work but also within my group texts. Something strikes you and you think okay now that has to be the extent of this, and then bam within the next few minutes a bigger hurdle spirals out of control. The storyline itself is strange. It follows a family from America who attend church and life seems to be as happy as larry. A new pastor arrives in town and starts to create close connections with the family especially with the daughter called Jan who at the time is 8 or 9. Things develop and the pastor starts to grow closer to Jan and when she is 12 she gets abducted by him. There are lots of other aspects which go on within the family and it's all very eye-opening. My reaction to it is how can you be living with your eyes so shut that you literally cannot see what is going on in front of you.

So it is no secret that I am a very messy person, so I thought Marie Kondo being on Netflix would be inspire me. I have read her books and I did take some ideas with folding and doing one big clear out on board. Marie is a breath of fresh air and I really enjoyed watching this and how she is able to change people's lives just with a clear out.

Dirty John is a little freakish as John basically stalks a new love interest and everything turns bad very quickly. The one thing I love about this show is it moves a long at a fair pace and you aren't waiting for three episodes to find out an answer. It follows a rich independent woman and how easy it can be to fall in love. It also highlights how easy it is to fall out of love when you really get to know the ins and outs of someone you think you know. I feel like the ending was definitely shocking, but I love the twist it was great.

You is one of those programmes that everyone was talking about at work. Everyone knows I am a Netflix lover and was like Lucy you need to watch it. True to their words I dived straight in. There are lots of different elements which I liked about this. It definitely drags you in and captures the audience. First of all it has Penn Badgeley (Dan from Gossip Girl) as the main character and he owns a book shop. He meets this girl who he falls for but she has quite a complex history. It shows flashbacks to his previous relationships and how obsessive he can become. These things start the shine through and he is very territorial. It once again moves on at a good pace and I think there will definitely be a series 2 of this on the way.

Yummy Mummies is an Australian reality show which is a little bit like Real Housewives. It follows four soon to be mums who all have rich husbands, and their journeys to birth. It is classic easy watch TV with the extravagant baby showers and push presents. The mums are all different and it's interesting to follow throughout their pregnancy to birth.

Back with the Ex is another Australian reality style show. Basically a person nominates an ex who they believe is the one who got away. It follows them over a few months and they have a few challenges to complete to see if they are able to rebuild their relationship. It is easy going, with a few twists and turns in the works. Overall, this is a classic binge-worthy programme which is an easy watch.

Sex education is a programme I nearly forgot to write about. It's a bit strange the way it is set in modern times but it definitely has a 90's theme with the styling of the show. It is based on a group of high school friends. Otis is a typical experimental teenager who is lacking in the love department. His mum is a sex therapist and basically embarrasses him at every opportunity. He meets Maeve, a cool badass girl who is very attractive but also has a very difficult home setup. They set up a sex clinic with advice from what Otis has learnt from his mum and Maeve being the organiser and money collector. They are many other characters which all have their own troubling teenage worries which are very relatable. The mix of the characters and the great story line makes this a smash hit.

Flint is different to anything else I have mentioned in this post. It is a documentary which follows the Flint policing department in America. Flint as a city is known for having high crime and violence rates. The programme follows through the time of the city getting a new mayor, and how the community have lost faith in the justice and police system entirely. They face a water crisis where all connections have been contaminated. It also delves deep into the chief's position, and  the implementation of new strategies to try and tackle just some of the major issues like gun and knife crime. I think this is a very honest and open documentary and it really does highlight current affairs.

Sunset Selling is a last minute addition to the line up. After binge-watching 5 episodes in one night. I sent a text to my best pals saying "girls you need to watch this, it is like the hills all over again". This time round instead of the girls working at fashion houses, they work in high end real estate in LA. This estate agents sells million pound houses to the elite, but as always with a group of girls there is the bitchy and catty dramas alongside. It's great as you have the inside knowledge, and you also get to look into some of the most fabulous houses out there on the market. In particularly they have a house worth $40,000,000 which is the biggest house which they have ever had the opportunity to sell. It is all about who can make the most commission between the girls to earn the most.

If you enjoyed reading this I have done two previous Netflix picks posts which you can read here and here.

Lucy
xoxo
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Sunday, 7 April 2019

Centerparcs Whinfell Forest



Before this visit I had never really thought about going to Centerparcs. Whilst studying at university in Cumbria, I had heard many people mention going to Centerparcs at Penrith. In my third year of university one of my friends who worked at Centerparcs managed to wangle us some free passes to the pools. It was a lovely day and we always said we would come back. Nearly three years later my friends and I from university finally booked it.

I wasn't sure how much it was going to cost, but I had heard it was pretty expensive. There are set times that you can book to go either Monday-Monday, Monday-Friday or Friday-Monday. We opted for the Friday to Monday slot as it fitted in best with all of us. For a 6 bedded two storey lodge it was £589. For us paying on an individual basis we thought it was good value for money. It worked out just over £30 each per night. However, I am fully aware that for a family they could go somewhere more luxurious for the same price. It definitely depends on the type of holiday which you are looking for.

From sunny Bolton to Penrith with no stops it took an hour and 40 mins to get there. We weren't able to check into our lodge until 2pm. You are able to make full use of the facilities from 10am on the day you arrive. We decided we would book to go into the spa on the first afternoon. The spa was £33 per person and we spent about 4 hours in there. It was lovely and a perfect way to catch up. Considering it was early March we got lucky with the weather and we were able to take advantage of the outdoor pools. Although, if they weather wasn't as good there are also different indoor pools which were great and very relaxing. Within the spa they have a range of saunas and steam rooms which has different scents and themes to them. I think we were lucky with the timing of when we went to the spa as there were only a handful of people there, and it made it a much more relaxed experience. 

After finishing up in the spa we headed back to our cars. Centerparcs have a strict policy that you can only drive your car from the car park to your lodge after 4pm. Once at our lodge you can unpack your car and leave you car outside your lodge until I think 10pm. You have to take your car back to the car park, you cannot leave it outside your lodge. I think this is mainly due to safety as the roads are quite windy and thin. We decided to take our cars straight back to the car park rather than having to do it later when it was dark.

When you arrive you get a wrist band which is the key to your lodge and also has it uses throughout the activities and facilities. You can also pay for things on your wristband which if you were there for longer it could be a great option. We had been to the local Morrisons before checking in and bought food and drink for the entire weekend to keep the costs down. On the first night it was great as we just chilled and drank some wine and had a thorough catch up.

When had quite a full on day planned on the Saturday. It started out with having sausage and bacon butties. 


We had pre-booked our activities all in advance which I would highly recommend doing. We booked the lodge quite a while ago and each month we booked an activity to do to break up the cost. We decided to be all adventurous and book to do a tree top challenge. Well all I can say is that if you ever need to confirm your fear of heights, this will either make or break you. I come ultimately say this soul-destroyingly broke me completely. I had a breakdown when I got to the top of the first tree as the wind was blowing and I felt as though the tree was going to snap in two. Once I managed to just about stop crying the first obstacle was to step out into swinging tyres. I managed with a big queue following me to make it to the end. I hated every minute except the zip wires. Overall, I will never be doing anything like this again, and would much rather of spent the time in the spa.




After my hell of a time on the treetop challenge, I decided I literally needed a glass of wine. We didn't have anything else booked in until the evening so we decided to go for a walk around the grounds and into the village. Within the village there is a supermarket and four or five gift shops. There are also some restaurants and this is where the swimming pools are. 

In the evening we had booked to have a meal at Bella Italia which was lovely as always. We had then booked for a 2 hour session of bowling. This was great fun and we thoroughly had a fabulous time. The only thing which I said would be nice for groups like mine would be if there was a bar, as there is nowhere to really go except back to your lodge. I totally understand the reasoning for this as it is very family orientated, but I think it would nice to have a more adult only area. We went back to our lodge for some drinks and played some games. 

In the morning we had booked to go to the Pancake House which is overlooking the lake where you can hire pedlos and boats. The menu is great and offers a wide range of both pancakes and waffles. As you can see I had this delightful strawberries and cream waffle which set me up for the day and it tasted delicious.




We had planned to spend all of this day in the swimming pools and that is exactly what we did. As guests of Centerparcs you have unlimited free use of the swimming pool area. It is much bigger than you expect. It had an indoor area which is very child friendly as it is much shallower. There are also three different adult slides which you can use. We made the most use of the outdoor area as there are two heated outdoor pools which were incredibly relaxing. There is also a large jacuzzi area and a small lazy river. We spent a good three hours within the pool areas.


Due to family and work commitments everyone decided to not stay the last night. We left late on the Sunday afternoon and I had thoroughly had a great time. There is an extensive list of activities available so if I was to go back I definitely wouldn't be worried that there is nothing else to do. Like I said at the start of the post, it is not particularly cheap especially after you start to add on the cost of activities. However, it was a lovely weekend and as we broke the cost up over several months we didn't have a massive payout to pay as soon as we arrived. There are a few different Centerparcs locations dotted around the UK which I would love to visit. I think I will definitely be booking another weekend away as soon as I can fit one it.

Lucy
xoxo
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