31 July 2016

After coming back from a holiday of partying and not much sleep, my skin, hair and body were (perhaps understandably) not really in the best shape. Luckily, a couple of parcels through the mail later I had the remedies to my SOS situation, and got to trialling them as quickly as possible. A good pamper session later and I'm already feeling almost back to normal.

'The most powerful facemask you will ever use', the 7 day Facetox system has definitely lived up to its name for me. Made with Rose Water and the Facetox clay this mask is extremely intense but heals breakouts like nothing else and adds a beautiful radiant glow back into your skin. It does feel slightly drying, think Lush Magnaminty if you've tried it, so a good moisturiser is needed afterwards, but it does really feel like it is healing and preventing any imperfections on my face - I just wish I had tried it sooner. For £24.99 it is pretty pricey, but the pack is going to last me much longer than the stated 7 days - I just wish I had tried it sooner!

I'm kind of obsessive about keeping my teeth white, but having fairly sensitive teeth, it can sometimes be a bit of a mission to find products that work whilst avoiding irritation. Enter Mr Blanc, whitening strips that are coated in 'enamel-safe' ingredients to lift off stains and lighten teeth over a 14 day period. All it takes is 30 mins a day with the plastic strips placed on your teeth but their peroxide free nature, unlike other traditional methods, means that sensitivity and gum irritation is minimal. LOVE!

Have you tried either of these products? What did you think of them?


28 July 2016

Ello, ello! As if it wasn't enough to have me back on your screens, you now get the extra special present of my awkward posing as well. Here I am wearing yet another variation of white and denim - it's just one that can never go wrong. These American Apparel skirts have been everywhere recently so I feel like the most basic of them all wearing it, but they're popular for a reason and so easy to throw on with a plain tee for a simple summer look. I pretty much live in tops like this at the moment. I'm wearing my current favourite sunglasses with it, the rose gold Ray Bans, which I'm a little obsessed with. In my eyes, they're sunglass perfection and help jazz up an otherwise quite boring outfit.

Let me know what you think of these outfit posts, and whether I should attempt more!

Eurotour: 32 hours in Budapest

26 July 2016

Until last month, if you'd have asked me what to expect from Budapest, I wouldn't really have had a clue. But boy did it surprise me. Perhaps it was the beautiful architecture, the fact that we stayed in the coolest hostel ever, or the nights out that we had - but this city is one that I'm so glad we made the effort to visit, and probably ended up being my favourite of them all. In fact, we're already planning our return! Unfortunately, due to bad planning on our behalf/searching for the cheapest flights, their timings meant that we only got one full day in this amazing place - we managed to cram a lot in though and I'm already dreaming about next time. For now though, I thought I'd sum up our whistle stop tour for anyone else on a first time visit, and briefly mention the places that we plan on visiting next. As always, let me know if there's anywhere that I should add to our list!

- We had one day to cover as many sights as humanly possible, and whilst we didn't end up covering that much, it was a nice introduction to the city. The castle is worth a trip up to for the beautiful views across the river (and are currently holding a Picasso exhibition up there), but you can soak in a lot from a general wander up and down and around the pretty winding streets. Bikes are also available to hire, which would have been a lovely experience if not for our inability to work the machines in Hungarian. After a healthy lunch onlooking the river, we finished the day by relaxing in the baths - a well earned break after the endless walking and dancing over the previous days. We were planning, but didn't quite get time, to also visit the memorial, so that will definitely have to be on the list for next time.

- Travel was fairly easy and we managed to do nearly every trip on a mixture of buses and trains. Travel cards were available in the airports, so we stocked up on those, and the only near miss was the night bus on our return. In hindsight, catching it at 3 in the morning after a night out maybe wasn't the best idea. One thing that I would recommend though is to avoid taking taxis wherever possible. We were given a £24 fee for what would have been far less than a 10 minute walk - but being a group of young girls it may just have been us that faced the problem of being ripped off wherever we went.

- Surprisingly, Budapest was the city that offered the most vegan options, which I was pleasantly surprised about. There were a ton of middle eastern shops called Hummus around where we were staying, I'm assuming it must be a chain which was the perfect fuel for the start of our day, even though pita, vegetables, humous and falafel aren't maybe your typical breakfast. For the equivalent of 80p, you really can't beat the quality. For our final meal out, we found an almost market/restaurant type area where we could dine under fairy lights and reminisce about the good times we had had.

- As Budapest was our last city, we tried to get in as much partying as possible before heading home. Starting with the hostel, the Hive Party Hostel, which was probably the nicest that we stayed in of all three locations. The rooms were clean, the design was cool, the location was amazing, so was the price ... I could go on and on about the perks for a long time, it was even nicer than some hotels that I've stayed in. The bar downstairs was also a big plus point and a nice place to meet some other people. The first night we arrived quite late so decided to head straight for the clubs instead of the pubs. Armed with the recommendations from many friends, we set off to Club Instant, which was quite possibly one of the best and weirdest nights out of my whole life, but definitely a place that I would recommend. The ruin bars are also worth a visit for their cool decorations and we'll be trying to get some spaces on the party boats and bath parties next time we visit.

Have you ever been to Budapest? What did you think of the city? 

Eurotour: Barcelona

21 July 2016

I've visited Barcelona once before, a couple of years ago, but that didn't stop my excitement for my return visit. We managed to cram a lot into our three days there, but the city is so beautiful that even walking around the rambling streets is an activity in itself. Whether you're planning a trip to this amazing city or not, I hope you enjoy the photos and some of my tips for getting the most out of your time there if a visit is on the cards. 

Travel: We got a taxi to our hostel the night we arrived, as it was late and splitting the cost between several of us meant it wasn't too pricey. For a cheaper option though, there are aerobuses situated right outside the airport, which you can hop onto for a mere 6 euros each. From then on we used a mixture of the metro and taxis to get back when it was late at night. Metro cards are easy to pick-up in the station for specified time periods and they run nearly everywhere. 

Hostel: Our first port of call was to check into our hostel, the Kabul Backpackers Hostel. We were moved into a dorm of 22 beds, which was a bit daunting at first, but actually ended up working out really well. Each bed had curtains round it, so there was enough privacy, and massive lockers as well to keep all your belongings safe. Sharing rooms not only made the experience cheaper, but was also a good way to meet other similar people and have proper conversations with them, if you're up for the experience, I'd definitely recommend it! Location was also amazing, right in the Placa Reial, just off Las Ramblas we were surrounded by a lot of restaurants, clubs and bars, perfect for the evening time - and the rooftop terrace and bar was bliss in the sun. 

Clubs: There are plenty of clubs in the Placa Reial, but the one that we decided to go to was Otto Zutz, a little further out. Tickets are available for all the clubs in the Night Tourist Information Centre which get you in quicker and entitle you to a free drink and shot inside. I think Barcelona night-life was probably my least favourite of all the cities in terms of clubbing, but the bars looked really nice for a more chilled evening. You have to be prepared for constant harassment by reps trying to get you into their places and it's all just a bit more overwhelming. Saying that though, we did have some really great nights out and crashing a party is a story I won't forget.

Sights: One could easily spend a couple of days exploring Las Ramblas alone, but we decided to try and explore further afield to get the most out of our stay. Extremely kindly, a school friend of ours from the city offered to take us round for one of the days so we ventured out to Tibidabo, the big hill with Jesus on top which overlooks the city. The view was breathtaking and well worth the travel if you're thinking about doing it. If the weather is good, we also enjoyed our trip to the beach, however, it isn't the most relaxing place as you are constantly being asked to buy things. 

Other places to visit: Picasso exhibition, Sagrada Familia, Park Guell, Fountain Show on Catalunya Square

Food: If you're looking for the authentic spanish experience in terms of food, Tapas is probably the way to go. I'd recommend trying to pick restaurants a bit off the beaten track though, because the food seemed to be a lot better in these places. For the evening, we loved Ocana (found in the Placa Reial) which mainly did a mixture of meat and seafood plus amazing cocktails. Unfortunately for me, I did have to break my veganism in Barcelona as there weren't really any vegetarian options without dairy. Being intolerant I didn't want to risk it so opted for the fish. Despite the fact I wouldn't have ordered it given other choices, the scallops and jewelled couscous was delicious, and I'd definitely recommend it to anybody that does eat fish. If you're still a bit peckish after that, one of the many gelato shops in the area is sure to have the answer. 

Do you want to visit Barcelona? Any things you would have done differently? 

Eurotour: Amster-dayum

17 July 2016

After the most stressful year of my life, I've finished school forever!! (well hopefully, assuming I haven't failed). To celebrate, a group of 9 of me and my friends decided that travelling around Europe would be a nice way to 'relax' - didn't end up quite like that but nevertheless it was one of the best holidays of my life with endless nights, banter and fun. Out first stop was Amsterdam, we were only there for three days so had to pack in as much as possible, but we managed to do everything we wanted and more! 

In short, here's a few things that we did and recommendations .... 

- Although battling impressive hangovers nearly every morning, we managed to get out and about and see quite a lot of the city. There are quite a few paid for attractions like Van Gogh and the Anne Frank House, which we didn't end going to, but you can pick up so much even from just wondering around the city like visiting the flower market and all the cheese shops - I'd also recommend Dam Square, Rembrant Square, Vondel Park, the canal belt and getting a free ferry across the river if you get the time. Of museums that we did end up going to, I'd recommend all of them, and if you're a student, don't forget you can claim a discount in most places! (Jewish Memorial, Kindermuseum, Jewish Synagogue, Sex Museum - be warned, it's graphic!). The Botanical Gardens are also worth a visit for the butterflies and tropical gardens.

- In terms of travel, the trams make everything super easy, although the lines can be a little confusing to work out to start with. There are self-service machines in the airport that allow you to buy a travel card that you can then use during the week. Although it's a small city and you could probably walk everywhere, public transport makes it just that little bit easier.

- In a group of 9 girls with gluten allergies, dairy allergies, veggies and vegans, finding places to eat wasn't the simplest of tasks. Bagel and Beans seemed to be their equivalent of a Starbucks and catered to all of us with a variety of allergy free options. Top recommendations for toppings from me would have to be the banana, cinnamon and maple syrup and the humous and sun dried tomato. I can't lie, A LOT, of chips were consumed on the holiday and Amsterdam did them particularly well. I can't eat it myself but my friends raved about the Frite Sauce so make sure you don't forget your topping of that! The nicest dinner that we had in Amsterdam was from deItalienne, a cute restaurant just off Dam Square which did really lovely pizza and pasta suitable for everyone to enjoy.

- We had a little bit of trouble finding the clubs on the first night to say the least - at one point I even started leading us out of the city of Amsterdam, convinced (with the confidence of one too many pre drinks) that it was the right way to go. Thankfully, Facebook messenger exists so we contacted a school friend who lives in the city and she was able to guide us to her top picks. We ended up at Club Up and Sugar Factory which were both great (although you may want to avoid the latter on a Tuesday if techno isn't your thing!). There are plenty of cute little pubs around for earlier in the evening, especially in the Red Light District, which although uncomfortable, is probably a sight worth seeing if you're in the area.

- We stayed in the Inner City Hostel, which wasn't the best and I'd probably recommend seeking out somewhere else. The rooms were a little run down, it didn't have the vibrant atmosphere of some of the others that we stayed in later in the trip. It was also a little overpriced for what it was - make sure you watch out for the extra 5% city tax that they add on, although Amsterdam was probably the most expensive city to stay in anyway! Saying that though, although a little far out from the clubs, the location was really nice and it was situated right next to beautiful Vondelpark. 

Have you ever visited Amsterdam? Where are your favourite places?