Friday 30 May 2014

Travel: Central Paris

If you read my Disneyland blog post a few days ago you will know that I took a trip to Paris a couple of weeks ago.

On the second day of our trip we took a ride into central Paris. Normally I do heaps of research before I travel, however this time I went in pretty much blind. I had no itinerary,  and had no idea how to get to certain attractions.

We left the train station and came out at this huge grand building that everyone seemed to be taking pictures of. I still to this day have no idea what building it was, some form of gallery possibly, but I took a photo anyway! It has got a name of the front of the building if you look closely...

If any of you know what is inside here let me know!
 After this we bought a map, stopped in a Parisian bakery shop for a pastry (its gotta be done when you're in Paris!) and Mike studied the map and got his bearings on where we had to head.

Our next stop was the Arc de Truimph. It wasn't as big as I'd imagined from photos, plus it had an unsightly bit of scaffolding on it so it wasnt fantastic for photos.  By this point it was so warm and my feet were hurting so we had yet another sit down!

We trekked some more and came across the eiffel tower. We didn't go up it because of time restraints but we got some lunch and found a bench in a pretty green park, shaded with trees overhead. Peeking through the trees stood the eiffel tower so it was a pretty good place to sit! I could have sat there all day...

We grabbed a pistachio and chocolate ice cream (yum!) before we headed on our way again to The Louvre. More walking and bench stops and we finally made it. The grounds were gorgeous. A lake with people sat around the edge on hired wooden deck chairs, with books in hand enjoying the sun.  Large grass areas with pretty flowers, it was nice.

Through a few arches came The Louvre. This wasn't how I imagined.  There were 2 glass pyramids, one a lot larger than the other. You could walk between the two and they wrere surrounded by boundaries that were full of flowing water and fountains. I dipped my hands in a few times, just to cool down!

We went inside the louvre and as you can imagine with any glass building, it was pretty hot. Luckily that was the top of the building, so you go down the escalators were all the art galleries are, including the Mona Lisa. Thankfully it was a lot cooler down here! We stopped for a drink but by the time we went to view the Mona Lisa, the gallery had shut because it was tea time. I was secretly thankful because my feet were in absolute agony and nothing else mattered except getting back to the hotel. I actually just wanted to cry (Note to self - I really need to get to a chiropodist to sort my foot arches out!). After this Mike wanted to see the Notre Damn but he showed me how far we'd have to walk on the map and I knew I wouldn't make it, so he felt a bit let down. Shortly after this we took a walk back to a (closer!) train station and got a train back to the hotel. I had a rest (I actually did not want to move but was hungry) so we took a short 2 minute train ride back to the Disney Village and ate at Planet Hollywood.

My overall impression of Paris? It was good - next time I'd stay in central Paris so I could spend more time there and not have to worry about getting back to the hotel. I'd also advise more than 1 day is needed for sight-seeing! It's unfortunate that my feet prevented me from seeing more, but whatever will be will be! I didn't even get chance to sample some proper Parisian cuisine in one of the many on street cafes there. We ate in Disney Village each night we were there so this would be another thing on my to do list should I visit again!

Have you ever been to Paris? What did you think of it?


Wednesday 28 May 2014

Review: Viking Stationery

Some of you may (or may not) know, I'm a little obsessed with stationery. This goes right back to when I was a kid on my way to my first trip into town with a friend without adults at 11 years old. What did I come back with? A pencil sharpener and a rubber. Random but true. Then, each trip after that, I came back with pretty much the same things, until I got a little more adventurous with my money and began purchasing pens and notebooks. I was the one at school with the fluffy pencil cases and huge Minnie mouse pens that I'd buy when I went to Florida. All my friends were envious, obviously, wouldn't you be?

This passion still lives on today, however with a little more money to play with than when I was 11 (although not much..). The shops have obviously improved their stock massively from all those years ago, so there's much more pretty things for me to ooo and arrr over. Last year on another trip to Florida I walked into a tourist shop. What did I come out with? 8 Disney pens. Yep, not 1 or 2, 8! All different colours and designs. As for my notebooks, jeez.. I have 12 hardback notebooks, cute ones at that.. all still waiting to be used. So like I said, the stationery thing hasn't disappeared...

So when the lovely people at Viking Direct let me loose on their website I couldn't say no, obviously. I have to admit, when I fancy some stationery, the internet isn't the first place I think to go.

Viking Direct is part of Office Depot, and is the biggest selling company for office products in the world.

It sells a huge variety of well-priced items from your typical stationery to office furniture for homes and business', to office essentials such as coffee machines and biscuits! (Unfortunately we don't have biscuits on tap in our office, although its probably more 'fortunately' for me!). My first impressions of the website were that they were aimed purely for businesses so that must mean their stationery is pretty 'professional' and probably wouldn't cater for me and my 'pretty stationery' needs, however I was wrong!

I was immediately drawn to these stabilo fibre tip neon pens, just look at the colours! I could write with them all day! (Although maybe my manger wouldn't be too happy..)

I chose this acrylic pen pot to pop all my pens in as I thought it'd be helpful to see which pens you're choosing. Plus, with all the pretty pens I have, I thought it'd be nice to have them on show instead of hidden away! There's quite a few acrylic items to choose from that could be used for other items besides stationary! (I know acrylic storage is pretty popular with girls and their make-up!).

These post-it notes are fab. The amount of times I've bought post-it notes and the stickiness of them is poor. I bought these large ones as I'm forever leaving notes for Mike around the house (mainly to remind him to do errands!) so with how bright and sticky these are, he definitely wont miss them from now on! They're also good memos for me in my study area.

There's times in your life when you need a highlighter. I don't use them as much as I did when I was at university, but they are still nice to have 'just in case'. These highlighters were a steal at just 99p! They're really good quality too!

These border rolls were my strangest buy. I actually thought they were going to be sticky (a bit like washi tape, but on a larger scale). I was wrong. They are just reels of coloured paper, however I'm sure I'll be able to make some sort of ceiling decoration out of these for in the conservatory and fill it with pastel goodness when we have BBQ's in the summer. I already have a few ideas up my sleeve.

Mandatory item on a stationary shopping list - A notebook! This pretty butterfly notebook is perfect - the design is cute and it has a plastic wipe-down casing on it which helps it from getting grubby in your bag! It can also be used as a diary as there is a space at the top for a date.

Every household needs at least one of these expanding files to add organization to all their bills and bank info. We slowly fill more and more of these up as the years go on. However I might keep this for more personal use and maybe use it for blogging in some way? Who knows.

I was really impressed with Viking's customer service and delivery. I ordered my items one evening and they arrived less than 48hrs later. Delivery is free on orders over £30 which is pretty easy to achieve on that site!

Keep your eyes peeled for my next home interior blog post where you can see all these items in their new home in my new shabby chic study area!

N.B - For those that have been asleep for the past week, I have a giveaway open on my blog to win a bottle of Bioderma (the stuff that all beauty bloggers have raved about!). Its come all the way from Paris (where it originates) and I have 2 up for grabs, so go and enter here!


Monday 26 May 2014

Travel: Disneyland, Paris

Last weekend me and my boyfriend took a long weekend break to Paris as part of my birthday celebrations. I chose Paris mainly because I wanted to sample Disneyland. Having done Disney in Florida last year, I knew that my expectations were already high, so was prepared!

On our first full day here we had breakfast in Annettes diner in Disney village before entering the park. I'd read reviews on this place when researching and it had pretty good reviews, however I thought our breakfast was a little disappointing. I then realised I didnt read any breakfast reviews, and that they were all based on main meals, so I didnt make too much of a judgement! The queues in the evening were huge so they can't be that bad!

For those that have never been to Disneyland in Paris, id advise you to go to Walt Disney Studios first as this park shuts a few hours earlier to Disneyland. The studios isnt huge, I think we completed what we wanted to go on within 4 - 5 hours. You can make a full day of this if you stop for lunch and watch a few shows etc, but being conscious of the time (we only had a day ticket) I wanted to head across to the other park as I knew this was bigger and would take us longer to get round.

Disney Studios is Hollywood Studios (FL) replica,  but on a smaller scale. They have the well loved rides here such as Areosmith's rock n roller coaster (one of my faves!), as well as The Tower of Terror (hate this but got dragged on it yet again!). They also had a few rides that FL hasn't got, such as RC Racer (which was a little scary for me!) and Armageddon.

Disneyland is probably twice, if not 3 times the size of Disney studios. This has a lot more of the gentler rides, with a few 'adult' ones mixed in there (Space Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain etc). We managed to experience a lot of rides that we otherwise wouldn't have bothered with unless we had children, but because we were almost 'time killing', I didnt want to waste our money and go home, so we went on the teacups, carousel and Peter Pans flight, like the big kids we are! Again, we didnt see any shows here, neither did we watch the disney parade, simply because id seen it in florida last year, so took this opportunity to go on more rides whilst others were pre occupied with that = less queue time! I remember spending half an hr or so getting lost in the labyrinth,  which again, is probably something we wouldnt have done otherwise.

Unfortunately my feet let me down towards the end of the day (my foot arches are ready to drop :-( ) so I couldn't hold out to see the fireworks. My pain and tiredness took over so all I cared about was getting back to the hotel to rest/sleep! Although I was a little disappointed,  knowing I'd seen all the displays in FL helped make it a little less painful!

Honestly? If you've never done Florida before, then you'll love the Paris version. However if you have, you'll see a massive difference. In Florida, every single aspect of the park has attention to detail like you would not believe, from the flower displays to the organization of the customers getting on and off rides, to litter being picked up within seconds, to stand-by cleaners in every toilet that you visited. There was such a nice flow to everything which is how i believe Disney want it to be for their customers. However I noticed quite a lot of flaws with Paris, which although didn't make it unpleasant for us, certainly made us aware of improvements that could be made. Lets not turn this into a Florida v Paris though!

Here are a few photos from our trip...

NB - For those that may have missed it, I have a giveaway open to win a bottle of bioderma (yes, the stuff beauty bloggers raved about!). Theres 2 bottles up for grabs so get entering!
Bioderma Giveaway

I'm well aware I have a strange concoction of colours going on right now... I wasn't expecting it to be so warm so had to do a last minute cardy change!

This castle is so small compared to Florida!


Thursday 22 May 2014

M&Co Holiday Wardrobe Capsule

M&Co recently contacted me to inform me that they were holding a competition to win your ultimate holiday wardrobe. As you all know I LOVE holidays and travel of any kind, so put that alongside the word 'competition' and you'll be guaranteed I'm on it.

To enter, M&Co have set bloggers a challenge to create their own holiday wardrobe capsule, stating why you've chosen your specific items and why it has to be in your suitcase! The challenge being you are only allowed to 'spend' £100 or less!

I thought hard about this - The last 3 holidays I've been on have been action packed to the point where I've needed another holiday to get over the first! They've consisted of early mornings, late nights and being on my feet all day in the heat. For those that don't know, the arches in my feet are about to 'drop' so being on my feet for long periods is really hard for me now. I've either been in that much pain or that tired that we have often missed eating out in the evening, which is unfortunate because for me, a part of going on holiday is to sample new foods and restaurants.

With that being said, I hope my next holiday in an ideal world is going to be a relaxing slow-paced one, full of days around the pool/beach with a good book and a cocktail. I'd be refreshed and pain-free, therefore actually wanting to dress up in the evening for a meal.

I browsed M&Co's holiday shop and spotted quite a few things I wouldn't mind sticking in my suitcase! I will admit I fell in love with a few of their dresses and kimono's! However knowing I was on a spending limit, I had to pack wisely!

Hol Wardrobe
#1 I spotted this gorgeous mint green tankini top which would be perfect for lounging round the pool or on the beach. I've put weight on and I'm extremely conscious so not only does this have extra coverage, but the layered frills will hide any lumps and bumps on my stomach that maybe a 'normal' tankini wouldn't. I'm a lover of all things pastel as well so this mint green colour is perfect, as is the polka dot print. Because of how self conscious I am, swimwear shopping is a little daunting for me as I struggle to find something to suit my figure, however this would definitely be on my wishlist this year should I be able to persuade my boyfriend to go on yet another holiday with me!

#2 I've been attracted to these high-waisted bikini bottoms ever since they came out in the shops. They're very 50's but are very flattering on the more curvaceous figure! I can imagine them being much more comfier than thong style bottoms too! (Oh dear, I'm showing my age now aren't I?!). As I previously stated, I intend my next holiday to be relaxing, so I need something comfy if I'm going to be in swimwear a lot!

#3 This floppy sun hat is a must for me as I'm a natural red-head, so I'm prone to burning, especially on my scalp! I think floppy sun hat's not only help protect your head against the suns rays, but teamed with a pair of large sunglasses, this will help create a stylish retro look.

#4 I remember the days when I used to pack about 6 pairs of shoes when I used to go away. Unfortunately now, me and heels aren't friends for very long anymore, so when I pack for a holiday, I'm looking for versatile sandals that I can team up with a variety of outfits, both day and night. This helps me to save a few kg on the luggage allowance too! I spotted these white cut-out sandals which can be worn both in the day and at night. They have an ankle strap which means no annoying 'flip-flopping' sound when you walk, or gripping them on your feet! (Who else hates that?!) They're flat as well, which means I may just be able to walk a little further ;-) The cute cut-out detail makes them just that little bit more pretty which makes them versatile for the evening too.

#5 When I saw this grecian mesh dress I just knew it'd be the perfect style for me. The gathering at the waist tucks in at the right place, the high neckline adds structure and almost creates an illusion that you're just that little bit slimmer! The material of this I can imagine to be light and floaty, which would be perfect for evenings when its cooling down. The elegance of this dress is timeless. I'd even pair it with the cut-out sandals, pop a silver clutch bag with it and some long drop silver earrings and I'd be good to go!

Total spent - £100 exactly. I don't mess around when someone gives me a budget!

I now want to go on a beach holiday with these clothes in my suitcase!

Which is your favourite items?

If you would like to enter this blogger challenge feel free! I'd love to see what you'd pack!

 NB - I am running a giveaway on my blog to win a 250ml bottle of bioderma (the eye make-up remover every has raved about!). I have 2 up for grabs so enter now to be in with a chance of winning!

Wednesday 21 May 2014

Home Decor: Project Hallway #3 - Before & After!

I've been waiting to write this post for a couple of weeks now but I've been hanging on because our hallway isn't quite finished. I'm waiting for Mike to put some cubing shelving up, but because he's lacking in the DIY department, I think the sight of the drill is scaring him, so he's procrastinating (he does this an awful lot let me tell you!). So I figured I may be waiting a while, so I'll show you what its looking like now, 99% complete!

As you can see before we had laminate flooring which was down when we bought the property almost 3 years ago. Some may say carpet isn't practical for the hallway as that's the main thoroughfare, however I love carpets and think they're so cosy, and a lot warmer, especially in the winter, so the laminate had to go! The roman blinds which you can just see in the before picture were also here when we moved in. I'd never dealt with these kind of blinds before but soon took a liking to them and actually wanted them in the new hallway, but obviously in a different colour. I accidentally ordered venetian but I couldn't be happier. As I stated in #2, I got them fitted in the recess which adds a lot more privacy. As you can see, we have an ugly electric meter box in our hallway. I was hoping that my new table would cover this but unfortunately there's still a bit peeking! The canvas that you can see in the photo I purchased from Asda for approx. £8.

Lets take a closer look....

I had been lusting after this Parisian nightstand from Dunelm Mill ever since I moved in, but it was never the right time to buy it. I was also hoping it would go down in the sale, but it never did, and for the £129 price tag, I wasn't sure if I could splurge on something that was technically just going to sit in my hallway and look pretty. Almost 3 years later and I bit the bullet and bought it. I was still in love with it so knew it wasn't just a 'phase' I was going through! Being completely mirrored, it does gather dust pretty quickly, but I keep a special cloth in the drawer (that came with the item) so it takes me a matter of seconds to dust it and maintain it.

You may spot a little bit of a difference between the first table photo and this one.. the date gives it away! It also highlights how I've already changed my accessories around! Haha. I've been wanting one of these wooden block calendars for so long, so when I began searching, I was amazed at the variation in price in different shops for the same quality! This wooden calendar I also picked up from Dunelm Mill for a mere £3.99. I think the font style and colouring couldn't match any better if you tried! The glass lidded trinket jar was again, from Dunelm and was so inexpensive at £2.99. I bought this with the intention of putting keys in as they always get thrown on the kitchen sides. It's been used a few times for keys but I actually think I prefer it empty! It actually came with a pale pink ribbon round the lid, but I took this off. The glass perfume bottle was also £2.99, again, from Dunelm! This came with a lemon ribbon but I took this off and tied my own round it that match my colour scheme a little more!

I often have a candle burning on here as well, which makes everywhere look really snug and homely at night.

Hanging above all this is the Fawsley Foile Pendant chandelier which is from, yup, you've guessed it.. Dunelm! It was £24.99 but unfortunately I can no longer find it on the website. I wanted a little bit of a statement lampshade but nothing too 'in your face', and I think this is perfect. I love the fact that it has both material and 'crystals'/gems. There are quite a few cheap looking chandeliers about now, so I was warey about falling into this trap, but I don't think this looks tacky at all. Even though I haven't changed my lightbulb, it adds so much more light to my hallway at night as well!

On the windowsill by the side of the table I've been getting into the habit of displaying fresh flowers. I've been buying a cheap bunch of flowers every 1-2 weeks and splitting them in half, displaying them on each windowsill both here and at the top of the stairs. I love having fresh flowers around the house, especially in the spring/summer. This is a DIY vase that I made myself out of a glass jar. You can probably tell how I made it just by looking but if you'd like a tutorial then comment below!

I'm aware that this is quite a bad angle for a comparison photo, but you get the picture! The stair post (with the beaded heart on) quickly became a place where we would just hang our coats on when we came in. The coats got layered up until there was a mass of unsightly mess that would be left for me to tidy up and put back in the correct place. Since decorating, I've deliberately put this heart here, not only because I think its a nice simple decoration for the stairs, but to also stop my boyfriend from hanging his many coats! I tell him that doing this could result in the heart scratching the paintwork.. so far so good!

This mirror I've had for a while. I purchased it from B&M, however I know they still have a load in store. Mine was originally white but I spray painted it silver and hung these rose beaded garlands on for a little more glamour. These were £2.99 from the wedding section in erm.. Dunelm Mill?

This wall I'm not too sure about. I've tried to create a collage of photos in a quirky way (i.e. I didn't want all perfectly sized/equal positioning). The silver frames I purchased from B&M. They were originally rose gold but I spray painted them. I think I may get 2 more black ones to place in with them because I'm still not 100% happy with this arrangement.

Apart from the vase of flowers on the top windowsill, the landing is still bare with nothing on the walls so I may showcase this at a later stage once Mike is brave enough to try his drilling skills!

What do you think? In you in the process of decorating? Next task for me.. the bedroom!

If you haven't yet read #1 and #2 on my 'Project Hallway' then feel free to do so here and here.

PS - On a different note, I am holding a giveaway on my blog to win a 250ml bottle of Bioderma (the eye make-up remover that EVERYONE raves about!). I have 2 up for grabs. To find out more, click here.


Monday 19 May 2014

Bioderma Giveaway!

I'm back from Paris! And out the kindness of my own heart (and pocket!) I picked up probably THE most raved about eye make-up remover in the last 10 years to give away to you guys!

About a year ago you could only get your hands on this if you visited France (that's if it wasn't sold out!) or ordered over the internet and waited an age for it to arrive. Now I believe it is a little more accessible than that, but I still don't think it has hit the shops yet.

If you have never tried this, now is your chance, because I have 2 x 250ml bottles to giveaway to 2 lucky winners!

Enter via the Rafflecopter widget below.

Worldwide entries welcome.

Closing Date is 19th June 2014 at 7pm (GMT)
Winners will be chosen at random by rafflecopter. I will contact the winner within 24hrs. If the winner does not respond within 7 days, an alternative winner will be chosen.

Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday 14 May 2014

Book Review: The Beach, Alex Garland

At the start of this year I made a deal with myself, and that was to step away from chick lits and start sampling other genres. I spent time walking up and down the aisles in Waterstones and finally settled on 'The Beach' ( I wish that was literally but unfortunately not!). The synopsis sounded right up my street, it was based around travelling which is something I love to do. Anything remotely linked with holidays and travel and I'm there. I didnt realise it was based on the actual film till my boyfriend said.  Gladly I haven't seen The Beach so im looking forward to putting everything into visual action soon!

I remember getting home and was completely sucked in with this book. I remember reading it for 2 hours straight and then was really reluctant to put it down in between errands I had to do! I loved the authors description of everything, it completely set the scene to the point where you could imagine yourself there. The author was also fantastic at describing emotions or perceptions that we would struggle to put into words ourselves. I could completely relate and was loving everything about this book.

Then I felt it started to go downhill, fast. Too many characters were being introduced,  which is something I've always struggled with.  I like to know in my head who is related to who in order to set the scene in my mind. The story began to lack climax and suspense, and was merely plodding along I felt. It got a little exciting towards the end but then went back down to the repetitive plot line.

The ending was a disappointment. In fact I haven't read a fantastic ending in a long time.

Have you ever read this book? What did you think?

Monday 12 May 2014

May's Birchbox: Outdoor Adventures

I was pleasantly surprised when I found this months birchbox waiting on my desk for me when I came home from work today (I actually thought I'd miss it arriving what with going away). What's even better, my boyfriend didn't tell me I had received it till I wandered into my room some hours later, so a surprise in a surprise!

First of all, what a lovely box! It reminds me of a little oriental with the lotus flowers (err, correct me if I'm wrong, I'm no flower expert) and the peacock feathers. It makes a change from the boring plain boxes.


Benefit 'They're Real'! Mascara. I've never actually tried this before and I know its on peoples hit list when it comes to mascara so I'm rather excited!

Imedeen Derma One (Lifestyle extra) - These are anti-ageing vitamins. I'm not a fan when they include tablets as their lifestyle extra, one because I am reluctant to put tablets in my body un-necessarily, and two.. do I really look that old?

Laura Mercier Face Polish - Another high quality brand that I'm excited to try. There's something about the word 'face polish' that makes it sound so luxurious, don't you think?!

Soigne Nail Lacquer. Mines in the shade 'Persimmon' and reminds me very much like Ciate's 'The Glossip' but a touch more orange. (I've just rummaged my nail polish collection and found an even better replica - if anyone has the No 7 'Tangy' - its pretty much identical to that). Unfortunately I'm not a massive orange polish wearer. Also this came in very swish packaging - boxed (which was very Chanel-esque!) and it was also surrounded in hard padding. I pretty much destroyed the box when I was trying to take it out though which was unfortunate!

Phillip Kingsley One More Day Dry Shampoo. This claims to be refreshing on your scalp and I do actually use dry shampoo fairly often. This is the perfect size if you are going away for a night and don't want to wash your hair!

Aromatherapy Bath & Shower Oil. This comes in a cute little glass jar. It recommends you lather it on BEFORE jumping in the shower, or use it as an oil in your bath. Its scent is Pink Grapefruit, rosemary and juniper berry. I'm not a fan of grapefruits, in any form, so I was a bit apprehensive about this smell, however it doesn't smell too bad - it has an almost spicy scent to it, which isn't high on my list but good for travel, nonetheless!

Are you happy with this month's Birchbox?


Saturday 10 May 2014

What's in my travel beauty bag?

So a few days ago I mentioned I was going to Paris next week (Whoop!), and I blogged about what cosmetics I will be taking with me (taking into account light packing!).

This time I'm showing you my other beauty essentials that come hand-in-hand with my cosmetics.

I've raided my miniature-sized boxes yet again and pulled out a few things that I know I'm going to use. As I previously mentioned, I've tried to be strict with myself due to sharing 1 suitcase between 2 of us, with only our 10kg of hand luggage as back-up each. I'm not quite sure how much I could cram into 10kg worth, but we'll soon see!

The first thing is these 'Yes to Cucumbers' facial 'towelettes' - that sounds rather posh right? I received these last month in my Birchbox, and I immediately thought 'Paris!'. You get 10 in the pack, and I have no clue how big these are but I'm hoping they'll suffice for 3 nights!

Next is the Anatomicals Puffy the Eye Bag Slayer wake-up under eye patches (wow, what a mouthful!). This is probably the only item that I could actually leave at home if I really wanted, but products like these I will probably never use at home, so I've decided to try and use these the morning after Disneyland, cos I know I'll be tired but we'll be getting up early to go sightseeing, so these may come in handy!

My ickle bockles toothbrush (and holder) - I think this is so compact and cute, and perfect for travelling - I hate taking my toothbrush places because I don't have a cap for it and end up wrapping it in toilet roll so it doesn't get dirty! So this is much more practical and hygienic! I'm also packing a colgate sensitive pro-relief toothpaste. This is 22ml so I'm hoping this will accommodate 2 people for a few nights!

English Laundry No 7 Perfume - This smells SO good! The name reminds me of something an old lady would smell like, but I promise you it doesn't! I may invest in the full size of this cos I like it that much! I'm just hoping this tiny bottle will be enough because I can be a little greedy with my perfume at times but I refuse to bring a full one. I really need to invest in one of those travello's! (Or however you spell it!).

Body Lotion - Lait Corps - Ohhh, body lotion.. I have enough miniatures to last me the next few years, and they just keep on coming! I get excited knowing I'm going away, just because I know I can use a mini body lotion up! It's my birthday next week and I hope to God no one buys me any more.. ungrateful but true!

Urban Veda Radiance Exrfoliating Facial Polish - Never used this and its the perfect size for a few days away so makes sense to bring it!

Beauty Protector Oil for my hair - This little glass jar is cute and the oil smells divine.

Gilchrist & Soames Shower Gel - Another one I received in a beauty box.. This is a little citrus-y smelling for me, and although I'm not a fan of shower gels (I prefer shower creams) I thought its the perfect size to travel, and I need rid so it makes sense!

Simple moisturizer and Bioderma, self explanatory! (P.S How cute is this tiny bioderma bottle?!) I'm going to keep it for future re-fills.

I've been loving Barry M's nail polish in 'Birthday' just lately, so I think I'm going to bring it with me for 'top-ups' whilst we're away. I'm not bringing nail polish remover so chips... you're gonna have to just get covered up I'm afraid!

Wednesday 7 May 2014

What's in my travel make-up bag?

I'm not sure if I've mentioned it yet but I'm going to Paris next week for my birthday, so excited!

We're flying with Jet2 and I've only paid for 1 suitcase between 2 of us. Thankfully we're still allowed to bring 10kg of hand luggage each but just in case I want to purchase anything whilst I'm over there, I'm packing wisely so I don't have to pay more when I come back!

We're going for 3 nights/4 days, so I've tried to be really practical with what I take. Luckily I've had my fair share of experience packing lightly the last few years so I like to think I'm getting a bit of a pro at it now!

Foundation is a must of mine. I love the Rimmel Lasting Finish Foundation; it offers the perfect coverage for me and I've been a dedicated fan of this for over a year now. With that is the very popular Collection Lasting Finish Concealer (please tell me its not just my concealers that the writing rubs off? It's done it to every one I own now, so annoying!). I've also been enjoying this Me Me Me Beat the Blues highlighter just lately. I love how it brightens up my eye area on tired mornings, so I'm sure I'll definitely be needing this over there because no lay-ins for us!

The NYX HD eyeshadow primer is a must when applying eyeshadow. I was hoping to take my Urban Decay mini primer potion but I appear to have misplaced that, so NYX it is!

Daniel Sandler Jumbo Jet mascara will be seeing me through Paris, as well as my Wet n Wild lipstick in 'Breeze'. I love the shade of this, the perfect tone to go with any outfit. I do want to take a brighter lipstick but I'm refraining!
Maybelline's color tattoo cream eyeshadow in Eternal Gold I love. It really brightens my eye area up and if careful enough, I occasionally use this as a highlighter, so I may leave the other behind, I'm not sure yet! I love the sun-kissed look this gives.

My Sleek face contour kit will give me the bronzer I need on my cheeks. Unfortunately the highlighter in this ran out about a year ago (yes, it's that old!).

The Lord & Berry kohl eyeliner I'm still a little undecided on. I recently received this in a Birchbox, and the size is perfect for travelling, however on the odd times that I've used it, it hasn't met my expectations. I'm going to try this out a few times before I go and if it fails to impress, then I'll be replacing this with my trusty Rimmel kohl eyeliner.

Dr Lipp lip balm - I chose this not only because of the perfect size (a tiny 3ml!) but I do get sore lips if I don't have anything on them after a while, so lip balm is a must!

The best item by far for travelling is my Blink & Go compact. I received this in a glossy box a long time ago, and it has got to be the perfect travel companion when packing light. Not only does it have all colours to create a smokey grey or brown eye, BUT it has 2 blusher shades underneath, with a mirror too! What more could you ask for? The quality of this is perfect, really pigmented and long lasting. This comes with me every time I travel and saves me from bringing individual eyeshadows and blushers.

I'm now working on downsizing my other beauty products!


Friday 2 May 2014

Home Decor: Project Hallway #2

Way back in February I did a post on my (then) hallway before I began 'playing'. You can read this post here.

In this post you will begin to see the colour scheme that I've chosen. I ideally wanted a light grey gloss but being female, after browsing B&Qs paint aisles and them not having the shade I wanted, I settled for 2nd best. It didnt enter my head to try another DIY shop in our town! Doh! (For those that are interested, the gloss I used was Crown's non-drip gloss in 'Steel Drum').
Painting the hallway was a pretty long and tedious process. I work 9-5 and I began painting before the clocks went back, so the nights were still dark, so I was having to paint on my weekends off in order to get natural lighting. I got bored really easily and things started to go wrong so I was so glad when it was all over!

Excuse the washing in this picture!

Once we had glossed the door frames and stairs/bannister, we began painting the cream walls white. The whole painting process took approx 10 weeks which was far too long for my liking! The paintwork still isnt perfect and there's still a few touch ups Ive got to do but for now it can wait!

The first thing that was fitted after the painting was done were the blinds. I went for a light grey/silver venetian blind in the recess of our window. I feel this offers a bit more privacy than if it was out of the recess. I originally wanted to stick to Roman blinds as I felt they might look a little cosier, however I'm pleased with the venetian ones, it meant we could get rid of our nets which I think makes everywhere look a lot brighter and cleaner. If I had it my way, I wouldn't have nets up at any window, but I'm too much of a private person not to have nets. I hate people looking in, and I think it adds a bit more security.

Keep your eyes peeled for the next post in this 'Project Hallway' series - its the big reveal!

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