Wednesday, 29 October 2014

BEAUTY: GHOSTLY TREATS FROM YANKEE CANDLE


With Halloween creeping upon us (excuse the pun) I thought it was about time I cracked out my Ghostly Treats Yankee Candle for an evening of pampering before the big night. This Friday I'm off to a Halloween party that's being put on by Rob's tattoo studio - I'm going as a day of the dead skull and I can't wait! The next few days are quite full on so I thought I'd have a mid-week pamper session tonight consisting of a hot bubble bath/double date with this amazing candle, a little fake tan and some kind of nail polish party.

This candles scent is toasted marshmallows so it's quite a sweet smell but one that I find really relaxing all the same, a medium Yankee Candle cant last 65-90 hours which is incredible and makes this candle at £13.59 a pop so worth it! Yankee Candle offer various other Halloween treats such as Witches Brew and Candy Corn which I'm intrigued by!

Have you tried this candle before? 

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Tuesday, 28 October 2014

LIFESTYLE: TIPS ON BUDGETING


Having been a student for three years I think it's engrained in me to budget where I can (don't get me wrong, I still guilt shop and purchase unnecessary things that I may not need - I'm sure Rob can confirm this) but it's great to count the pennies where you can! I thought I'd do a post on my top tips on budgeting as It's a great time of year to start thinking about saving for Christmas...

Savvy shopping: I'm not sure if 'savvy shopping' is a thing but we'll go with that! The first key point for shopping purse friendly has to be points cards, I have a beauty card for SuperdrugDebenhams and also a Boots advantage card. It's a great way to earn money back and learn about offers and rewards the stores are offering, I always tend to do Christmas shopping in stores that I have points cards with too so I can earn something back. 

Travel: I've always been a budget traveller, from mine and Rob's six week stint in Thailand to a recent two day city break in Paris I'm always on the look out for cheap deals when it comes to flights, accommodation and travel and it free's up a bit more spending money whilst on holiday. My go-to budget airline has to be Easyjet - the flights are also incredibly cheap and I've always had a great experience with the airline. If you're not a keen flyer and are travelling within Europe then why not try the Eurostar - you can read my full review of my experience here. When it comes to booking budget accommodation my go-to's are always Booking.com and Air BnB.
Finances: This point is key as it's important to get a low rate credit card - I had a student credit card from uni but since gratuating the interest rate went up to 29% APR which was crazy so I took out a low rate loan to pay it off within the year. Credit cards aren't a bad thing if used wisely, it's good to have one to build up a credit rating which will help when it comes to getting a mortgage. If I'm going to buy something on my credit card I'll always make sure I can afford to re-pay it and set myself a payment time frame to have it paid off by. 

Out with the old in with the new: I'm quite the hoarder but every summer I have a big old clear out and often do several bootsales each year. This year I managed to fit in three and made nearly £500 which I was chuffed with. During the winter months when bootsales aren't running I usually round up a couple of bags full to pop onto Ebay or Depop.

Treat yo'self: If you're looking for a great date night activity or to treat a loved one I always scour Last Minute as they have lots of theatre, restaurant and entertainment offers - you can always take a look for flights and hotels here too! If you're looking for a spa day/treatment I always have a browse on Wahanda, they have an app too which I love to have a sneaky look at in my lunch breaks!

I hope you've found this post useful, let me know if you have any great budget tips!
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Friday, 24 October 2014

TRAVEL: STAYING AT THE HOLIDAY INN, PARIS

 Breakfast in bed!
 Having a pamper evening!

During my recent solo trip to Paris (hope you enjoyed my posts on what I got up to!) I stayed at the Holiday Inn, Montmartre. I arrived at the hotel around 3pm after getting lost slightly (stupid Google maps!), the staff at the hotel were really accommodating and helped me take my bags upstairs after checking in.

Once I had dumped everything off I headed straight back downstairs as I wanted to get out and explore Paris – when I arrived in Paris I didn’t have any plans/maps or ideas as to what I wanted to do which made me a little nervous but it was actually really fun as each morning I just sort of made a plan and went with it! I asked the hotel for some maps and they were so helpful, they gave me a detailed map of Montmartre so I could find my way to the Sacre Coeur and also where all the good restaurants where (important things first, obviously!). They also gave me a general map of Paris and were super helpful when it came to planning out my days and dishing out some advice from their experiences of exploring Paris – it was nice to know I was being looked after.

Of an evening I would make sure I was back at my hotel around half 8 – although I was travelling alone I didn’t feel comfortable wandering around in the dark (it’s so important to be aware of what time you’d like to be home so you’re not caught out late at night), once I’d be settled in my room I’d run myself a hot bubble bath, switch on the TV (there was usually some SITC re-runs involved each evenings) and settle down to relax.

I had a huge double bed with comfy pillows (there’s nothing quite like having a big bed to yourself is there?). My room was really nice but really basic, I was staying in a Holiday Inn so it wasn’t no super plush hotel but I was more than happy with it, it had everything I needed – a comfy bed, a bath tub, a huge TV and it was clean and tidy which is the main thing when you’re looking to book hotels.


I have to say the Holiday Inn is really good value for money but it’s nothing extravagant, when you’re not planning to spend a huge amount of time in your hotel then it’s perfect and definitely somewhere I would stay again. 

Have you stayed in a Holiday Inn before? Did you enjoy it?

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Tuesday, 21 October 2014

LIFESTYLE: AN OVERNIGHT STAY AT THE HYATT REGENCY HOTEL, LONDON

Hyatt Regency London - The Churchill, 30 Portman Square, London, W1H 7BH


Around a month ago during London Fashion week, I paid a visit to my favourite London hotel; Hyatt Regency London - The Churchill for an overnight stay to escape the utter craziness! I stayed at the hotel during my first week of LFW, after an early start and a jam packed day I arrived at the hotel around 6pm to find out that my room had been upgrading to a Regency Club room - I've stayed at this hotel several times now and it never fails to amaze me how incredible the service is.

The Regency Club rooms come with Molton Brown toiletries, super fast wi-fi (which was great as I had brought my laptop along so I could blog in the evening), as well as access to the Regency Club Lounge which includes complimentary breakfast and evening cocktails between 5.30-7.30pm, definitely worth paying a bit extra considering the service and amenities you have access to. 

Once I had checked into my room I run a hot bath straight away, the perfect way to de-stress after a long day. I sat in the bath and read my kindle before wrapping myself up in a huge snuggly white dressing gown and slippers (surely, the best part about staying in hotels right?!). I had an office area in my room so I flipped open my laptop and settled down to an evening of blogging about my first day of LFW whilst working along to a bit of Ed Sheeran, perfect!

I felt like I had to pinch myself every time I looked around my room as it was just so breath taking - my pictures really don't do it justice! I had a huge double bed in the bedroom with a built in wardrobe and flat screen TV, there was a bathroom with an amazing bath tub and rain shower head, I had a separate toilet, an office space complete with a desk to work from, a sofa and another TV - the office area lead onto the balcony which had the most spectacular views overlooking Portman Square!

Once I'd caught up on some blogging I settled into bed around 10pm - not too late as I had another early start and full day at fashion week. I can honestly say that I had one of the best nights sleep ever during this stay, after a lovely evening relaxing I hopped into my kingsize bed with those pillows that you sink right into and a quilt that feels like a hug -  it was bliss!

The next morning I headed down for breakfast around 8.30 on my own (I still find it a little strange eating on my own but I soon got over it and caught up on some emails and social media before starting my day). The array of breakfast in the Regency Club Lounge is really something else! I had some yoghurt with fresh fruit and museli, a pot of green tea and some pastries  which was lovely. 

I checked out from the hotel around 10 before setting off to my first show of the day 2, the staff were incredibly helpful and let me leave my suitcase in the luggage room which I later collected so I didn't have to carry around fashion week all day (anyone who has previously attended will know how much of a chore that would have been!).

I felt so relaxed and refreshed after my stay at The Churchill, I can honestly say hand on heart it's my favourite hotel in London, I have previously visited with Rob and also my family a couple of years ago and the hotel itself is just beautiful (especially around Christmas time), the staff and service is impeccable and the location is spot on - it's just a stones throw from Oxford Street so perfect if you're looking for a central location. If you're looking for a hotel in London then I can't recommend this one enough, I know that I can't wait to return that's for sure! If you'd like to visit the Hyatt Regency London - The Churchill then you can book here.

Have you ever visited the hotel before? I'd love to hear what you thought!

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*A huge thank you to the Hyatt Regency The Churchill for accommodating me during LFW, all opinions are genuine and my own.
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Friday, 17 October 2014

LIFESTYLE: EATING OUT AT MILLER & CARTER, RAYLEIGH ESSEX


Back in September (the 11th - my birthday to be precise) me and Rob took a trip to our local Miller & Carter restaurant in Leigh-On-Sea and I've been itching to share our visit with you ever since! We told the restaurant we were visiting to celebrate my birthday, when we arrived the staff showed us to our table where there was a birthday card waiting for me - I thought it was such a nice gesture and all the staff had signed my card which was such a lovely touch!

We kicked off our meal by ordering a bottle of red wine (recommended by the waitress as me and Rob are pretty useless when it comes to choosing a good bottle!). For starters I chose the Dusted Calamari with homemade garlic & chive mayonnaise, Rob chose the Duo Of Duck Parfrait which was served with spiced chutney and toasted ciabatta bread. My starter was so yummy - I never used to be a fan of seafood but I've now been converted and calamari is one of my favourites. The garlic & chive dip complimented the dish so well and it was a tasty but light starter so I was too full up by the time our mains came out.

When our dinner arrived about 20/30 minutes after our starters (which was the perfect amount of time to wait as we'd just started to get hungry again). For our main we chose the Chateaubriand 16OZ steak - a few friends had previously been to the restaurant and pretty much told us we couldn't leave until we'd tried this dish so we went for it and oh my god we weren't disappointed. It was genuinely the best steak I've ever eaten, ever! If you aren't familiar with the Chateaubriand cut (like I wasn't before I ate there) then it's cut from the beef tenderloin and it's the most tender of cuts. Our steak was served with parsley butter, seasoned fries, a slice of onion load and you also get a choice of steak sauce and lettuce wedge salad - honestly, even thinking about it now is making my eyes water - it was just incredible!

We decided against desert as our first two courses were delicious and we were so full up. So we finished off our wine and jumped in a taxi home, our bellies fully satisfied having eaten the best steak I've ever experienced! Miller & Carter have over 30 restaurants across the UK (see their full restaurant list here) - if you're a steak lover and you haven't visited then I couldn't recommend this restaurant enough! In terms of prices steaks can range up to £22 per person which isn't overly pricey but somewhere I'd head to for a special occasion such as dinners, anniversaries etc - it's great for a treat!

Have you been to Miller & Carter before? What was your experience like?


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*A huge thank you to Miller & Carter for a wonderful birthday dining experience!
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Tuesday, 14 October 2014

FASHION: JUMPSUITS AND WHITE LACE

 Jumpsuit: *F+F | Jacket: *Quiz | Heels: *Quiz | Bag: Mulberry

First things first with this outfit post... can we just discuss how beautiful these Quiz  heels are?! Who would of thought you could purchase beautiful heels like this for less than £30, not me that's for sure! I have to admit they are also really comfy despite the the thin heel - I've worn them for many nights out and they are still going strong.
Talking of amazing pieces from Quiz, I'm also slightly obsessed with this white lace jacket! I've never quite seen anything like it before but I love it! I wore it out to dinner recently and received so many compliments on it - this will have a secure place in my A/W wardrobe! 
Lastly, but definitely not least is this incredible F+F jumpsuit which fits like an absolute dream!! I'm always so wearing ordering stuff online as I worry that it won't be true to size, this jumpsuit however fits like a glove and I couldn't love it anymore. It looks great dressed up in the evening but would also work just as well on a warm summers evening paired with a messy bun and some big earrings!

What's your favourite item of this outfit?
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