Sunday, October 23

Hub Hotel by Premier Inn | Westminster, London

HOORAYYY! I've officially found a hotel which is super modern and my kind of affordable. I first heard about Hub Hotels via Twitter, having discovered the first one opened in Covent Garden in November 2014. There are now five in London and Edinburgh, with 10 further sites secured due to the success of the concept so far. The aim is to provide stylish and affordable accommodation, in great locations, with seamless use of technology throughout. I'm not going to lie, the tech controls in the rooms sold it to me, but I quickly discovered there is much more to a Hub Hotel than just the technology...

The room is quite small but it's perfect for central London. The first thing I noticed was the duvet rolled up on mattress with a note explaining it was a 13.5 tog, wool filled duvet, cleverly designed to regulate your body temperature. It keeps you cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Clever. The pillows are 'deep-sided', designed to give the best neck support for the ideal sleeping position. Finally, the mattress is Hypnos sprung, with over 1000 pocket springs. It's what dreams are made of. I slept like a baby.

The shower was a winner. It had two heads, one was more of a 'normal' style shower, and the other was a big 'rainfall' style. The bin was neatly tucked away under the sink, and the hand and body wash smelt of tea tree oil. Gorgeous.

On each side of the bed are the controls. But you can also link the control to an app on your phone, whichever you prefer. It took a few minutes to get the hang of it however, I was able to customise the heating and lighting. The 40" Smart TV was amazing. It said "Hey Brogan" when I came in, let me sink my Spotify AND had MOVIES! Recent ones too! I watched Zoolander 2 before falling off to sleep. Final bonus point goes to the wifi. Free and connected straight away. You don't have to sign up with your email address etc. There's plugs for phones with little shelves right next to the bed too. Win.

Other points worth noting include the under bed storage for a suitcase, and a big floor length mirror. Yes! There's a choice between a standard or bigger room, and I believe I had the opportunity to stay in a bigger. The only downfalls I found were that they don't provide shampoo & conditioner, so bring your own. It also appeared difficult to call to reception. There wasn't a phone or button to press. However, there is a touch screen doorbell on the outside of rooms! So people can press it rather than knocking.

Check-in, Lounge & Breakfast
I loved checking in. There's large iPad-style screens where you enter your Surname, and it brings up your booking. It asks you to tap a room key against the side (kinda like contactless), and activates it for you. Super high tech. Super easy. No need for a receptionist. The Lounge area was small but had everything we needed. The furniture was really cosy and I loved the lights. It was perfect for a glass of wine in the evening, and breakfast in the morning. Breakfast was actually only £4, and includes fresh pastries, juices, yoghurt, hot porridge (perfect in winter!) and best of all...UNLIMITED COSTA COFFEE...which we could access 24/7 too! I was a very happy girly.

Starting from just £69 a night (and averaging around £100 for weekends), I honestly cannot recommend Hub Hotel enough. It had everything I needed and for the price, I can stay super central London too. I was so impressed and would like to return in the future. Huge thanks to Premier Inn for having me, until next time! Book your stay here -

*This post is not sponsored. I was kindly invited to stay for the press night launch, in return for a blog post.

Sunday, October 16

The Body Shop Face Mask | Himalayan Charcoal Purifying Glow Mask

It's been a long time since I've been MEGA impressed with a face mask. With my dry, sensitive, eczema-prone skin, I hate stripping back and exfoliating too much, in fear or a huge break out or flare up. I'm normally quite loyal to Lush or First Aid Beauty, and I recently dipped my toes into the craze of the bubble mask (which was purely for entertainment purposes) however, I can't say I've really, truly loved a mask for a long time.

Long and behold The Body Shop Himalayan Charcoal Purifying Glow Mask* (That's a mouthful). At £15 it's definitely at the pricier end for a high street mask, but it's completely worth it. To apply, I used the Facial Mask Brush, which made it feel much more like an 'at home spa' experience and was easier than using my fingers. It dries pretty quickly within about 5 minutes, and turns from a muddy brown to a murky green colour.

It sets pretty hard, creating cracks if you move your face. A little certainly goes a long way, you don't need a super thick layer for this to do it's magic, but it washes off pretty easily regardless. It smells of a spa. So gorgeous. Inspired by Ayurvedic traditions, it's 100% vegan, infused with bamboo charcoal 
from the Himalayan Foothillsgreen tea leaves from Japan and organic Community Trade tea tree oil from Kenya. Incredible. There's no parabens, paraffin, silicone or mineral oil. 

It's created for skin that needs extra purification and to help remove excess oil. It left my skin feeling so smooth, my moisturiser basically melted into my face after. I like this product so much, I can't wait to use it again next week. 100% recommend!

*PR Sample.

Saturday, October 15

5 Things I've Learnt Living Alone

I bloomin' love living on my own. It's honestly the best thing that has happened to me this year. However, I have learnt some real home truths about what it actually means to be by myself. So, here goes!

1) Fearing the post.
When I lived at home, I had this weird excited buzz whenever I had post or letters addressed to me. It was always likely to be a nice card of some description, a PR gift/package or some coupons for shops (my favourite, no shame). Now, it's bills, reminders for upcoming bills, credit card statements and well, more bills. NO. I almost fear opening the door when I get home. If there is post, I scan the outside as quickly as possible to pre-empt which company or what type of letter it might be. Ah, adult life. Please someone tell me I'm not alone here.

2) Who needs heating?
Although I think I'm fairly good with my finances, I'm the first to admit that my priorities aren't straight when it comes to WHERE I'm investing my dollar. I'm happy to spend £20 on Disney Christmas Baubles for my Christmas tree (EEEKKKKK!!) but £20 on heating? Nahh mate. I want to keep those bills LOW. I just can't justify heating when I can wrap up in a onesie and blankets. Since living alone, I've discovered a few tricks of the trade. I cook dinner, and then I LEAVE THE OVEN OPEN. Win. Or, I blast my hairdryer down my hoodie. Once again, please say I'm not alone here!

3) Two words: messy slob.
I'm sure not everyone becomes a messy slob when they live on their own however, I'm guilty of being a bit lazy now no one is nagging me. I'm a pretty clean person generally; I like having things in order, and I like living in a tidy environment however, life gets in the way sometimes and well...NOPE, no excuse, I just leave my clothes on the floor sometimes and let the dishes and washing pile up. Because I can. And no one is moaning at me to do it anymore. So I am taking full advantage of doing what I want, when I want. Which also means deciding when I clean. (Probably should be better)

4) Waitrose = no way.
I try and keep my spending and bills low where I can (says the girl who is planning a drunken night out in London next weekend...once again, priorities), but one thing I really dislike spending my money on, is food...unless I'm going out for a meal or ordering Deliveroo. Obviously I can't avoid buying food, so my go-to supermarket is now Lidl or Aldi. I am honestly still so surprised how much cheaper I can eat for, in comparison to somewhere like Waitrose. My family might still shop there but gone are the days my dinner is M&S finest. Na ah.

5) Neighbours are...nice?
I had this really odd perception that my neighbours would be a nightmare. I was expecting to hear voices, music and banging of beds against the wall (eurgh), but I got really lucky and I haven't had any of that. I can't hear anyone. Ever. I have neighbours next to both sides of me, above and below, yet I am probably the noisiest with vlogging and blasting Beyoncé at 7am. One even bought me a bottle of wine when I moved in, and another gifted a punnet of fresh strawberries in the summer. Super welcoming, and makes me feel a bit safer.

Let me know if any of these sound like you too!


Tuesday, October 11

All The Bright Places | Jennifer Niven

I haven't read a good book for a really long time. In fact, I haven't read a full book for a while. All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven is a 'story of a girl who learns to live from a boy who wants to die'.

It's very raw and feels very real. It wasn't until I read the credits bit at the end that I discovered Jennifer has suffered loss in her own life, and her writing therefore makes the book really powerful.

It covers topics on mental health, with a focus on suicide and thoughts from a young person's perspective. The chapters change between the male and female character, which I really enjoyed. 

The ending made me cry. Like, ugly cry. (You've been warned!)

Here's the synopsis:

"Theodore Finch is fascinated by death, and he constantly thinks of ways he might kill himself. But each time, something good, no matter how small, stops him.

Violet Markey lives for the future, counting the days until graduation, when she can escape her Indiana town and her aching grief in the wake of her sister's recent death.

When Finch and Violet meet on the ledge of the bell tower at school, it's unclear who saves whom. And when they pair up on a project to discover the 'natural wonders' of their state, both Finch and Violet make more important discoveries: It's only with Violet that Finch can be himself - a weird, funny, live-out-loud guy who's not such a freak after all. And it's only with Finch that Violet can forget to count away the days and start living them. But as Violet's world grows, Finch's begins to shrink. How far will Violet go to save the boy she has come to love?

An intense, gripping novel, perfect for fans of John Green, Jay Asher, Rainbow Rowell, Gayle Forman and Jenny Downham."

Pick it up. Highly recommend. I can't wait to buy her next book called Holding Up The Universe. Let me know if you've read it!


Sunday, October 9

There's No Place Like Home

Jumper & Bomber Jacket - Primark | Jeans - New Look | Shoes - Converse

I don't know what it is about the beach, but it is so calming. Especially at this time of year. I love seeing the sea completely flat and calm, no sudden movements, only the seagulls swimming. But I also love when the sea is really rough, with rolling waves crashing into shore. I love that sound too. Waves crashing. Although the sand sticks everywhere and spends a large (unwanted) portion of time in my bed, there is nothing quite like the feeling of walking with between your toes. The beach is one of my happy places, and I live within two minutes walking distance to one. It's so damn special, no words or photos will do justice. 

But Bournemouth doesn't just have a bloody brilliant beach, we're a short distance from the New Forest National Park. Apparently, William the Conqueror set aside the Forest for hunting more than 900 years ago as his 'Nova Foresta'. It's now full of ponies, forestry and long windy roads. It's perfect for picnics and fresh air. I went to college here because I like it so much. Not only that, Bournemouth is just two hours from London. It's a super easy direct train going via Southampton, Winchester, Basingstoke and straight up to Waterloo. Easy.

I never went to Uni but Bournemouth has two pretty awesome ones, which also means our nightlife isn't too bad either. For a small town, our AFC Bournemouth football team are in the Premier League too. Not bad boys, not bad.

On my way to work earlier this week, I saw a guy in a wetsuit running down the hill carrying his surfboard, California style. It was then I thought "I love where I live", not just because of the hot surfers (bonus!), but because it's cool. It has everything I could want and need and for that, I'm really grateful. Will I ever move away from Bournemouth? Probably not. There's really no place like home.

ps. Huge thanks to my mum for being my photographer. Who knew she could take photos?!
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