Friday, December 5

Ascot Races & Country Living Christmas Fair



A couple of weekends ago, my lovely friend Tamsin invited me up to Ascot to watch the races. It was the very first time I had visted Ascot and I loved every minute of it. So much so that you will 100% be finding me at Royal Ascot next summer. It has such a lovely vibe and we had such a great day (despite the drizzle and cold!). 

When I arrived, my first impressions were how huge the place is! I said it Tamsin that it felt like a small airport, especially with the Country Living Fair displayed inside. We grabbed a glass of wine and had a catch up, before placing our bets on our first horses. To be honest, I'm not a massive gambler but I thoroughly enjoyed the buzz of picking a horse and watching it run. We were jumping and giggling when some of our horses won, even though we didn't get a lot of winnings in return!

For lunch, we stopped for bubbles and a hot dog, it was honestly all we needed. Ascot is full of a mix of people, but the atmosphere was so enjoyable. Everyone was so well dressed (especially the guys!) and people weren't afraid to say hello when passing by.

I loved the day so much I vlogged it for my YouTube which you can watch below!



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Tuesday, December 2

Bateaux London Thames Lunch Cruise | Virgin Experience Days


With Christmas just around the corner, I've been thinking about alternative gifts for my friends and family. I've always wanted to buy an experience day voucher but often hesitate as I'd ideally like to try it myself first, so I have confidence in knowing that I'm giving a gift to remember! You just never know when you read and purchase these kind of trips online, so when I was kindly contacted by the lovely people at Virgin Experience Days, I could not pass on the opportunity for a Lunch Cruise on the Thames. It was a great chance to see what I thought, but also if we could #MakeGivingFun with an experience day, as I for sure do not like christmas crowds and the stress of what to buy!

I arrived at the Embankment Pier on Saturday 29th November, completely unaware of what to expect. I was pleasantly surprised to find the Reception floating on the water, beautifully presented like a hotel with very friendly staff. There was a short queue and waiting area, which was absolutely boiling and lacked seating for everyone to wait before boarding. I was booked onto the Harmony, a boat with an open viewing deck and picture frame windows offering fantastic views. You do however get the choice of either the Harmony or The Symphony, which has an all-glass structure and roof. If I'm honest, it sounds a little bit nicer so if I had the choice, I'd probably go for The Symphony.


I enjoyed the day with fellow blogger Sarah from Daisy Chains & Dreams. We'd never met before but have many mutual friends from back in Bournemouth, so plenty to chat about. She was super warm and friendly, so thank you so much Sarah for making the experience extra lovely! I originally thought this would suit couples and people like my parents, but after enjoying it with Sarah, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend the day with girlfriends too.

Available as a lunch, afternoon tea, sunday lunch jazz and/or dinner cruise, there's a real variety to suit everyone. I'd love to take my mum and grandma for afternoon tea one day. We were booked for a premier lunch cruise, which is £68.00 for two people and includes a three course meal, guaranteed window seat, half a bottle of house wine, a bottle of water and fairtrade tea/coffee. It lasts an hour and a half and also includes commentary as you pass the famous landmarks and sites of London. Personally, I couldn't hear the commentary clearly enough and would have prefered some background music instead, although I'm sure there were plenty of other people enjoying it.

I didn't think an hour and half would feel very long, but I can confirm that the timing was just right. Our waiter Sarah was very professional and friendly, topping up our wine and clearing our plates in a timely manor. Our food wasn't rushed either which I really enjoyed. It actually felt like we were just in a normal restaurant, but our view was constantly changing. At one point I even thought, why haven't I done this before?! I've grown up on boats so I never get seasick or anything, but was very pleased that the boat glided through the water so you could hardly feel any swaying. It was honestly lovely.

On to the food and I only have praises and good things to say! Our starter was presented on a black slate of smoked and poached salmon roulade with pickled cucumber. Absolutely delicious. The main was chicken en croute, sweet potato mash and french beans with thyme jus. It felt like a very 'safe' choice that most people would like; I managed to clear my plate and it wasn't too bland or dry. The dessert didn't disappoint either, vanilla pannacotta with almond biscuit base. Again, no surprised I finished this too, YUM. We went for white wine during the meal and a cup of tea at the end, and it felt well worth having the premier upgrade for these privileges. I would have been disappointed if anyone was sat next to us too, the window seat was perfect.

Luckily, we were blessed with the weather and as you can see from the photos, had a truly wonderful experience. I said to Sarah after that it weirdly almost felt like we weren't in London. We got to appreciate the beauty of the city, enjoy our food in peace with excellent service, but leave the hustle and bustle of tourists and crowds on the bridges. I honestly really enjoyed it and would 100% purchase this experience for my loved ones.


What do you think? Have you ever been gifted an experience day? You can view all Virgin Experience Christmas gifts & experiences here.



*I was kindly gifted this experience for free for review purposes. I'd like to take this opportunity to once again thank Virgin Experience Days, Bateaux Cruises & the lovely Sarah for a great day.
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Friday, November 28

5 Lessons I've Recently Learnt About Life.


A few weeks ago, I wrote a post called '10 Lessons I Recently Learnt In Love'. It was a lighthearted way of giving advice about love and you all loved reading, so thank you! That's why today, I thought I'd continue the theme and share a handful of lessons I've learnt about life in general over the last week or so. Some might be applicable to you too, others not so much, but either way I hope you enjoy reading the things that I am finally coming to terms with about life.

One ♡ You can't always please everyone.
It's hard making decisions in life, but even harder knowing that whichever option you choose, it's going to upset someone along the line. I faced this twice in the last week alone, once with my family (having divorced parents who don't talk to each other isn't always fun), and again when deciding if 'vlogmas' was for me. I sometimes beat myself up because I want to please everyone and never regret the decisions I make, but I know that if I follow my heart and gut instinct, it'll all be okay in the end, even if I don't end up pleasing everyone in the process.

Two ♡ Surround yourself with the right people.
I recently read a quote that I shared on my Instagram which said 'you deserve someone who would jump fences to be with you, not someone who is on the fence about being you' and it stuck with me for ages after. You see, why should I wait around for people (be it a guy or even 'friends') when they aren't willing to put in as much effort as I would back? Surround yourself with people who'd move mountains to be with you. I wish I told myself this more often.

Three ♡ Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift.
This is another quote I read and hold with me daily. I've recently started working in the offices for a company who own several residential children's care homes. It has opened my eyes to my own life and upbringing, how fortune I truly am. Life isn't tied with a bow, and is never going to be perfect all the time, but you've got a brilliant one, so live it and appreciate it.

Four ♡ Learn to be your own best friend.
This Christmas is the first time I've been single in five years. I've quickly learnt to adapt to single life (which is absolutely fine because I know it won't be forever!), but it has truly tested me to learn to love myself and my own company. It's good because it's helped me discover things I love doing but used to neglected, even if it is just a bath, netflix and a glass of rosé. As Bey says in one of my favourite songs "Me myself and I that's all I got in the end, that's what I found out, and it ain't no need to cry I took a vow that from now on I'm gonna be my own best friend."


Five ♡ Difficult times will strengthen you.
You know when life is going great and then all of sudden it feels like it's testing you? I recently had a series of events happen all within a few days which really upset me, but I now know that when you face difficult times, challenges are not sent to destroy you, they're sent to promote, increase and strengthen you. If you're reading this and having a bad week like me, remember that life has a funny way of working out, just when you start to believe it never will.

The photo of the sunset above was taken when I drove down to my favourite beach near me last weekend to clear my head, then looked up from my car and saw the sky lit with all these beautiful colours. Unreal. There's my five lessons I'm going to keep reminding myself more often, what lessons do you hold with you?



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Sunday, November 23

Colorsport UK Eyes/Brow Kit & Eyeliners Review



My favourite part of my make up routine is doing my eyes. I love defining my eyebrows, adding a winged black flick and blending pretty shadows to make my green eyes pop. I've recently been trying out these lovely products for Colorsport UK, a brand available across Boots and online at Beauty And The Bunch.

Smokey Eyes & Perfect Brows Kit*
I've tried brow kits from various brands such as HD Brows, Elf, W7 and Benefit (I even wrote about them all here!), but never really stayed loyal to one. I was using MAC's Charcoal Brown eyeshadow but have to admit, the medium brown in this is a pretty incredible dupe! In fact, I've been using this over the MAC shadow and it lasts all day on my brows with the help of some MUA clear mascara. I love it so much! I've also been really enjoying the light brown as a simple matte shade all over my lid, then used the darkest black to set my liquid liner. The little brushes pop up revealing a mini mirror underneath, so although I wouldn't use this on the go, you could definitely feel confident about chucking in your handbag for touch ups! It's £16.95 but feels like high end quality to me. Really happy and would definitely recommend.

Rapid Lash-Gro vs. 24 Hour Eyeliner*
Colorsport very kindly sent me both eyeliners to find out what I thought and I have to admit, it was a pretty tough decision! In the end, the Rapid Lash-Gro won (not by much!), purely for longer lasting wearability. I also have more of a liking to brushes rather than a 'felt tip' style liner, as it gives me the ability to wipe off any excess product. Having said that, I was really impressed with how nice both products were and although I would never wear an eyeliner for 24 hours, I can safely say that both lasted all day and evening without needing any touching up. The Rapid Lash-Gro also won a few extra brownie points for me as it contains 2.5% Capixyl, an active ingredient clinically proven for lash-enhancing. It claims that in just 4-8 weeks, you'll have thicker, fuller and longer-looking lashes, ooooh. I haven't used the product look enough to confirm this yet, but either way it's still such a beautiful product that I have really been enjoyed using. 

I've also featured both products in my recent 'Get Ready With Me' video, which you can watch here to see how they apply too. Although I was gifted the products, I can honestly hand on heart say I love them, the quality is brilliant and both the brow kit and rapid lash-grow eyeliner are essentials in my make up bag.




*These products were kindly gifted to me for review purposes, whilst this post is also sponsored by Colorsport UK and Brodie & Stone International. This does not however hinder my opinion, you can read my full disclosure policy here.
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Thursday, November 6

Dr. PAWPAW Tinted Peach Balm Review


Back in September, I discovered this little beauty in my goodie bag at the Olympia Beauty Show. I've been trying and testing recently and I'm finally ready to review it for you! I've been enjoying it so much that I featured it in my October Favourites on my YouTube, which you can watch here.

What does the Dr. PAWPAW Balm do?
You may have heard of the original Dr. PAWPAW balm (it's in yellow packaging!), which claims to be for lips, skin, hair and even nail cuticles! Within the range, there are two new tinted versions, a red and this peachy pink one. I was so intrigued to try it, especially as it's fragrance free and made in Britain using natural papaya (paw paw), olive oil and aloe vera oil. 

How does it feel?
The first thing I noticed is a little goes a really long way. A whole tube will last me ages! The product is quite thick but once blended, it almost melts into your skin. I tried this as a cheek blush a few times and I have to admit, I found it kind of sticky. I then tried it under foundation and it left a really lovely tint. However, I am completely in love with it as a lip tint. It leaves my dry, eczema prone lips feeling super soft, I've been reaching for it more than I thought. It's great on it's own however, I've been wearing it under my lipstick to help the colour pop even more.

Where can you buy it?
You can pick this up for £6.95 online at drpawpaw.com and across Harvey Nichols, Lloyd Pharmacies and Urban Outfitters stores.


Final thoughts?
I genuinely can't tell you just how soft my lips have been feeling. The Paw Paw/Papaya provides a rich source of vitamins to repair, moisturise and soothe and I love the slight peach colour. I'm now really tempted to get the original one for my collection!




*This post is sponsored and the product was gifted to me at a press event. This does not hinder my opinion.
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Wednesday, October 29

10 Lessons I've Recently Learnt In Love. ♡


It's been a few months since I broke up with my ex, and I finally wanted to share (and remind myself) of the important lessons I learnt. Sit tightly, and put yourself in the shoes of a 20 year old girl whose most recent mistake in love is wearing her heart on her sleeve...for the wrong person.

I met him on Tinder, as you do. He was everything I was looking for; smart, charming, good looking and our conversations always flowed. I instantly liked him but most importantly, he felt way too good to be true. Surely I hadn't discovered an ACTUAL gentleman on a dating app like Tinder? We had similar likes and dislikes, and I was brave enough to share that I made videos on YouTube. The day he watched them, he phoned me for the first time and said "it's only fair that if I got to hear your voice today, you should get to hear mine." Kinda cute. I guess.

One ♡ Long Distance Will Make Or Break You.
I've heard of so many stories of people falling in love and living far apart, but knew if it's meant to be, no distance will be an issue. Although this guy went to University near me, it was June and he was working in London, living in Surrey and not due to return to Bournemouth until the end of September. We therefore had two hours between us. At first, I looked at all the positives to this; when we did spend time together we actually looked forward it, and when we were apart, we got the opportunity to actually miss each other too. Flip side? The driving was long and hard, the time we had together ran out way too quickly and I spent my life working around him. Lesson one, relationships aren't meant to be too difficult...if you can't find ways to meet in the middle to make it work, it's obviously not meant to be, no matter how hard you try.

Two ♡ Don't Revolve Life Around Him.
Naturally, I wanted to spend as much time with him as possible, but I didn't see The Line. You know, the one you cross when you start revolving your life completely around him? I'd purposefully not make plans with other people, in case he mentioned about seeing each other (tragic), and I would sit and mentally work out when I was finishing work, how long it would take me to drive, and if I could get there in time for when his train got to the station. Cute, but TOO FAR. Lesson two, make him a priority but not always number one. I was so blinded and living on a cloud nine love bubble, that I didn't realise what I was doing to my own life and it wasn't healthy.

Three ♡ Take Things Slower.
He asked me to be his girlfriend and we said those three words pretty quickly. If I told you how quick, you'd really judge me (even I judge me). Why did I feel like these things were so important so quickly? Lesson three, take things more slowly and enjoy them as and when they happen naturally. Changing your relationship status on Facebook before most of your friends have even met him, whilst they ask "Who is he?" = too quick. Going on holiday after only being together for four weeks = also too quick...although to be fair, I didn't think so at the time. In my head, a whole week with him was perfect. What was I thinking?!?

Four  You're MORE Than Good Enough.
This is probably the most important lesson I took away from our relationship. Why, when he was always complimenting me and telling me I was his 'dream girl', did I not feel good enough? I still ask myself this question to this day, because I genuinely don't know why. I never have in previous relationships and it drove me insane. I was so insecure. He never did or said anything specifically but I felt like he needed someone who was thinner, smarter and had more friends. I then tried to change for him (*SCREAMS* NOOO!)  but lesson four, never ever be with someone if you don't feel good enough for them.

Five ♡ Never Change, EVER.
I wasn't interested in changing him, because I'd learnt from a previous relationship that you definitely can't change a person into someone they're not. However, I hit a low point of realisation that I was in fact trying to change myself when I packed my running trainers and gym clothes into my suitcase for our summer holiday to Lanzarote. I hate exercise, I hate the gym and I certainly wouldn't suddenly like it on our relaxing beach break. Just one example of me trying to change, for him. I would also say yes to plans with friends that I didn't really want to see. I was happy with the friends I saw before him, so why did I feel like I suddenly needed more friends now I had him? I never want to feel like I'm not worthy enough again. Lesson five, you are perfect just the way you are, and you don't need to change for a man, EVER. 

Six ♡ No Trust, No Point.
During our beautiful holiday abroad, I did the lowest girlfriend move ever and decided to check his phone whilst he was diving out at sea, oh dear. I didn't think I'd EVER be that kind of girl, but I obviously didn't trust him and I needed some peace of mind. He never wanted to talk about ex's and was on his phone A LOT. I was right to have doubts, because I found conversations of blatant lying and flirting with other girls, whilst we were on holiday together. I didn't want to ruin our break, and admitted and apologised when we returned. Lesson six, if you can't trust him and you can't rebuild that trust, then there is literally no point. It will never be the same and will eat you up all day, every day.

Seven ♡ 
Actions Speak Louder Than Words.
He seriously knew all the right things to say. His text messages and words were beautiful and when he screwed up, he promised he'd be the 'man I deserve' and would 'make it up to me'. Did he mean that? and did he REALLY make it up to me? Of course he didn't. He was so good at telling me things I wanted to hear, but lesson number seven, actions speak much louder than words. It doesn't take much either, small gestures like surprising that person, spontaneous calling to see how they are, or sending some flowers just shows that you still care or that you're sorry.

Eight ♡ 
If He Loves You, He'll Prove It.
I think this leads nicely from lesson seven, but I really had to keep reminding myself that lesson eight, if he loved and cared about me as much as he said he did, he'd prove it. At the end of the day, he'd come knocking on my door or call to see how I am. I knew I wasn't worth the fight to him. Maybe he was just too proud but I honestly felt like too much effort. When you love someone, you'll do everything in your power to be with them. Simple.


Nine ♡ 
If It's Meant To Be, It Will Be.
This lesson pretty much speaks for itself. It was actually me who ended our short, emotional, roller coaster of a relationship. I explained how I was feeling and he didn't respond in the way I'd hoped. I'm a strong believer that everything happens for a reason, people come into your life to teach you lessons and if it's meant to be, it'll be. Finding closure and learning to let go after he'd broken my heart was really hard, but it was all for the right reasons.

Ten ♡ You'll Love Again & It'll Be Amazing.
It's okay to accept that it didn't work and you weren't right for each other, as much as you believed you were. I'm almost looking forward to the day I'll meet someone new again. For now, I'm happier, finally lost that weight, focussing on my career and spending quality time with friends. All these lessons are super important and help you realise what you want in your next relationship. Nothing was ever a waste of time and therefore lesson ten, you'll love again!


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Wednesday, October 15

Sakura Bournemouth | Japanese Fashion & Cocktail Masterclass!


Last night, I was very kindly invited down to the new Japanese-style Bar on Richmond Hill in Bournemouth called Sakura. Previously known as Lola Lo, Sakura opened at the end of August and I absolutely love what they've done. With contrast dark woods, light leather seating and gorgeous Japanese inspiration flowing throughout, Sakura instantly screamed stylish to me, with lots of attention to detail too!

We started the evening by learning about Japanese fashion from personal stylish Hannah Jean, also behind the website Find My Style. We discovered everything from kimonos to harajuku fashion, it was really interesting to embrace another culture, and understand a bit more behind the inspiration for Sakura too. We were then given the challenge to make origami dresses which I was absolutely terrible at, haha!

Throughout the evening of giggling and socialising, we were given the opportunity to try lots of different flavours of cocktails and shots. It is no shadow of a doubt that the superior style extents to the drinks menu, we were completely spoilt with choice! My favourite, and the one I got the opportunity to make too, was called Cherry Blossom. Priced at £7.50, it's a super tasty blend of luxardo amaretto, cherry liqueur and cranberry juice...SO GOOD! They also sell 'sake sticks' shots, £1.50 each or 6 for £6 in a range of flavours, including butterscotch, chocolate bon bon and white chocolate, mmmm!

Sakura also have bars in Manchester and Reading, and are quickly establishing themselves as a must-visit hangout, even celebrities like Michelle Keegan visit regularly! I was really impressed with the new look, and can't wait to visit again on a night out with friends. Thanks for having us guys, I had so much fun!




Ps. Massive thank you to the Sakura team & Hannah for the entertainment & drinks. To Phil Maclean for some of these photos, and JessKatie & Sarah for being such great company. Big love!
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Sunday, October 5

Lush Christmas & Halloween 2014 | Photos & Haul ♡


I literally love Lush Halloween & Christmas. Did you know that they've released six Halloween products and a whopping thirty seven christmas products?! Amazing!

This year, we see the return of Snow Fairy and my personal favourite, Rose Jam Shower Gel. There are loads of brand new creations to get your hands on, like the giant Baked Alaska Soap, Northern Lights bath bomb and even a Snowman Fun Kit to name just a few! Inspiration for the range has come from all over the world, including food, drinks, books, clowns and stage shows.

There are so many causes for celebration with this festive range, including the fact that all the cocoa butter and cocoa powder is Fair Trade, what a brilliant achievement! Minus the shower gels, the whole range is Self-Preserving and the soaps are made with Lush's palm free soap base, with four of them being 100% palm free!

My personal favourites this year are - Lord Of Misrule, Rose Jam Shower Gel, So White Bath Bomb and Shoot For The Stars. I'm yet to also try Sparkler, Snow Angel and Fairy Ring Soap which really excite me and I'll be picking up soon too.


In my latest video, I share all the products that I picked up, along with some returning classics and a few stories from my last year at Lush. Be sure to watch below!


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