Looking at these photos it could be the middle of May, with birds tweeting outside my window and a gentle breeze blowing through my open window. Alas, they were taken on a rare sunny January morning – but we can pretend, can’t we? Anyway, the Christmas stocking is a wonderful thing because it’s the perfect destination for beauty-sized presents that you don’t want to spend the money on yourself but need oh so badly, which is precisely where I got 3/4 of the products featured here from. Continue reading
It’s officially less than a week until Christmas and so I am officially overflowing with cheer, excitement, and mulled wine… I’ve surprisingly become more excitable over Christmas as I’ve got older, but this has nothing to do with the presents that “Father Christmas” will bring me. It’s because along with the exuberant decorations and guilt-free food, Christmas brings so many different opportunities to spend time with friends and other loved ones. And that’s exactly what this post is about: a magical day with my favourite person. Continue reading
You know those ideas that you wish you’d had first, like serving afternoon tea on a Routemaster bus whilst touring around London? Well, that is exactly what I did on my birthday last Wednesday, and it is something I wish I’d thought of first! When my mum asked me how I wanted to spend my birthday I had the answer all prepared: BB Bakery’s Afternoon Tea Bus Tour. It does what it says on the tin; BB Bakery’s signature afternoon tea is served on their own Routemaster bus whilst driving through the city, allowing passengers to sample their deliciously tasty treats and take in their surroundings all at the same time. How very British. Continue reading
It’s a blessing having friends doing a year abroad because it means you have an excuse to go on holiday in January. I went to visit my friend Row last week in Paris, where she’s been living for the past 6 months! It was the best way to end a gruelling exam period; eating out for brunch and dinner everyday, seeing the sights and obviously being able to spend time with Row, my philosophy buddy! I’ve been to Paris a few times when I was little, so I’d done the Eiffel Tower and Disney Land etc before, but this was a far more sophisticated and cultural trip, and it showed me a whole new side to the city.
We spent our days walking from arrondissement to arrondissement, taking in the Parisienne architecture and overwhelming number of boulangeries and restaurants. I feel like we literally saw everything! There are probably three things I took away with me that I didn’t know before this trip. 1) there is no point trying to speak french, because you will be replied to in english and far better understood. Even Row, who is doing french at uni and sounded fluent to me, couldn’t get a french word in edgeways. 2) tea is more expensive than wine everywhere, and so you might as well have a drink with brunch and carry on that way. 3) finally, and probably most importantly, I love macaroons. I’ve always been a baking girl, but I’d never had a macaroon before this trip! I’m hooked, and I’ll definitely be asking Row to bring some home with her when she next visits. I feel truly enlightened.
Most of the first day was spent wandering aimlessly around the Louvre, saying hi to Mona (Lisa) and Venus (de Milo). The weather wasn’t great, so we thought it best to stay inside and surround ourselves in beautiful art and culture!
I fell in love with the Pompidou centre on my second day. Every room was filled with thought-provoking and eye-catching modern art, but in particular the Cafe Little Boy exhibit caught my attention. Modelled after a remaining wall of a school classroom in Hiroshima, visitors were invited to express themselves on the walls, and boy did people express themselves!
Later that day the rain stopped long enough for us to go up the Notre Dame and take in the breathtaking cityscape of Paris. The architecture of the city is like no other, with the Eiffel tower being one of the only things to stand above the rest, and it was a wonderful experience to see it.
On the final day we walked across what felt like the entirety of Paris to reach the Sacré-Coeur, situated on top of the beautiful (and incredibly French) village Montmartre. There’s something about cathedrals and incredibly large religious buildings in other countries and cities that draws me to them every time! The view of the city was spectacular too.
Later that day we explored Montmartre and tasted ice cream macaroons! We tried raspberry, filled with fresh sorbet, and pistachio, and both were divine. You should hunt these down if you’re ever in Paris. If they wouldn’t have melted, I would have brought boxes back with me.
The trip was finished in what is probably the most exciting restaurant I have ever been in, the Victoria Station Restaurant, where you are literally sitting in a 1920’s train carriage to eat. I’m talking red velvet booths, chandeliers and overhead storage for your personals! Good food too.
I had a wonderful three days, not just spending time with my incredible tour guide and translator, Row, but getting to see Paris in a way I’ve never seen it before. You may have passed through it, or been on a school trip or two when you were younger, but as a 21 year old my experience of the city was completely different, and one I will definitely remember!
I’m an incredibly late starter, but I’ve finally cottoned on and started using the coveted Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish hot cloth cleanser. I know that I’m only adding to the hundreds of reviews already out there, but as someone whose adolescence can be measured by empty bottles of skin products, antibiotics prescriptions and tried and failed ‘home remedies’ for acne I can safely say that it has been a long time since my face has felt as clean as it does now. You apply the cream to dry skin, which can at first feel unnaturally heavy for a cleanser, but rest assured once the cream has been removed with the muslin cloth you’re left feeling completely clean, soft and replenished. The cloth definitely has an impact on how you feel after cleansing because you can be sure that there is nothing left on your face to clog your pores! Just what we like.
The added steps involved with using muslin cloths to cleanse have already become part of my morning and evening skincare ritual. I’ve only been using it for a week now and I can feel that my skin is much cleaner than it has been in quite a while, which is obviously a good sign that this product suits me. It was completely accidental that the bottle also matches the rest of my skincare products! No harsh colours mean no harsh chemicals, and from years of battling bad skin I’ve definitely come to recognise the signs of a good quality and effective product. I know that what I’m putting on my face is both gentle and pure, and in all seriousness the colour of the bottle can be a good indicator, so remember that!
Clinique anti-blemish solutions oil control cleansing mask | Clinique anti-blemish solutions clinical clearing gel | Liz Earle cleanse & polish hot cloth cleanser | The Body Shop Seaweed pore cleansing facial exfoliator
First impressions are often the most reliable, and only a week later I’m incredibly pleased with my new cleanser. There are plenty of reviews out there that come from people who have never had to deal with the torment of acne, but take it from me – someone who hasn’t gone a day of her adolescent life without a spot or 10 – this product works. I would recommend Liz Earle’s Cleanse & Polish hot cloth cleanser to anyone, whether you have problem skin that you don’t want to aggravate, or you’ve just ran out and are looking for something new to try! Look no further.