SLIDER

SPAIN: TOP 5 CITIES TO VISIT

Friday, 20 October 2017


For so many people, Spain is a place to visit when you just want to lie on the beach and sip cocktails. But there is so much more beauty to Spain that so many people miss out on. Spanish cities are vibrant and beautiful, I can’t recommend visiting them enough. And accommodation doesn’t have to be an issue, Interhome offers some cheaper choices if you’re looking to visit any Spanish Cities on a budget!


BARCELONA



As one of the most-visited cities on the planet, I had to begin with Barcelona. In many ways, this is the city that has it all. A wonderful seaside location and climate that means it escapes from the scorching summers of the south and centre. The nightlife complete with world-class nightclubs, bars and restaurants serving local and international cuisine is amazing. But words can’t really do it justice. I’ve visited this city twice and I still haven’t seen it all. If you’re put off from the latest political developments going on in Barcelona, understand the people who live in this iconic place are strong and are so friendly – please don’t be deterred.


MADRID



The capital of Spain may not be blessed with the ocean on its doorstep, but there is still plenty to fall in love with if you pay it a visit. First of all, for culture lovers, there are countless museums, landmarks and attractions, led by the world-famous Prado art museum. And then there is the sense of life that you get from wandering around the city, from the 400-year old Plaza Mayor to the Bernabeu stadium, home of Real Madrid FC.


VALENCIA



Spain's Third City gets somewhat overlooked compared to Barcelona and Madrid. But in some ways, this is what makes a visit here so appealing. Home of the paella, you shouldn’t leave before you have sampled this quintessential Spanish dish from its source. As well as the cuisine, the city is a dizzying mix of beaches, music, history and culture. I visited Valencia a few years ago with my sister, and it’s one of my favourite holidays to date. Don’t miss out on the Turia gardens, which laps the city and is host to so many attractions, such as the giant aquarium (which is definitely NOT to be missed if you visit!).


SEVILLE



Down in Spain’s southern Andalusian region, there is a host of sights to explore. But you should not miss out on a trip to Seville, which has a little bit of everything. Pretty much every bar you enter will serve some variety of tapas, so you have endless choices when it comes to food. The lifestyle is ideal, and the street-side bars and restaurants are full-up into the early hours of the morning. And then there is the fact that Seville is a simply beautiful city.

In the heart of the town, you have the world-famous cathedral and the Alcazar palace, a place so stunning that it was used as one of the locations in Game of Thrones.

So, if a trip to a Spanish city is on the cards for you, these are just four excellent choices. If you get the chance, all four are more than worth a visit and will give you a flavour of just how diverse a country Spain really is.

Xo

TOP 3 CITY BREAKS FOR FOOD LOVERS

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Trying new cuisines is one of the most exciting things about travelling and for a lot of people, it’s the main reason that they go. You can try exotic food from restaurants at home but nothing quite compares to the real thing. Here are some amazing places I’d love to travel to in order to eat their cuisine! Some I’ve been to before but some are total dream goals.


TOKYO, JAPAN



Japan is becoming an incredibly popular tourist destination for so many different reasons, not least it’s amazing food. Tokyo is the city with more Michelin stars than any other, even though people don’t always consider Japan top of the list when it comes to famous cuisine. Lots of people are put off because they think it’s just going to be loads of sushi and nothing else, but that’s not what Japanese food is about at all. They specialize in all sorts of seafood dishes and they’re big into their tofu. They have a huge focus on locally sourced ingredients which means their food is always fresh. I’m all about that, wish is why it’s at the top of my wishlist!


BARCELONA, SPAIN



When you say Spain, people immediately think tapas and paella. While it is a part of their culinary culture, they have so much more to offer than that. I’ve been to Barcelona before and I still don’t think I’ve fully experience their food culture.

If you’re heading out there, read some Spain travel blogs to get a better idea of what’s on offer. There is a load of great Michelin star restaurants that you can visit as well as some more affordable places.

Tapas is an iconic part of Spanish cooking, so you should try it while you’re in Barcelona, just don’t limit yourself when it comes to trying new things! Get out there, away from Las Ramblas and really enter the world of Spanish cuisine.


MARRAKECH, MOROCCO



The buzzing markets are one of the most iconic things about Morocco, and they are at the heart of the food culture over there. When my parents visited a few years ago, they raved about the food and even sought out local Morrocon restaurants for us to eat in!

The markets are packed with huge piles of fresh ingredients and spices, some of them aren’t for the faint-hearted though… I’m talking hooves, brains, the lot. It’s all about the street food so if that’s what you like, this is the place for you. However, one of the best things about being in Morocco is that there are loads of great cooking classes on offer. You can try using recipes when you get home, but if you really want to master their cuisine, what better way to do it than learn from locals using authentic ingredients?

Xo

LUSH SPA LIVERPOOL: NEW CHRISTMAS RANGE, NEW STORE!



This Monday I was lucky enough to be invited to Lush Store in Liverpool to see the launch of the new Christmas range and to find out a little more about their new store, which will be located in the old Dorothy Perkins location (Church Street).

FIRST THINGS FIRST


Let me start this post off by talking about their Halloween range. In case you didn't know, the Lush Halloween range is now available to buy online and in store, and there are so many cute little items you can buy to pamper yourself with. The Bewitched Gift Set is the ideal gift if you know someone who gets way into the idea of Halloween. The set is wrapped in a cat print scarf, and inside the packaging is the Lord of Misrule Shower Gel, along with the Secret Arts Jelly Bomb and the Bewitched Bubble Bar.

THE CHRISTMAS RANGE 


It seems this year that Lush are bringing out more and more gifts and Christmas themed items in their stores. I love going in and looking at all the gift sets, they're so pretty and well wrapped - I always buy myself one as a treat before Christmas, and I can't wait to get my hands on one this year. With so many to choose from, I might end up buying more than one...


Twilight is the massage bar version of the sleepy cream that everyone is talking about - it feels great on the skin and doesn't leave a residue.

You can see the whole Christmas range on the Lush website, or by visiting the store. It's unclear when the new store will be opening, but until it does, the Whitechapel store will remain open for customers. 

NEW RANGE 


Along with the Christmas range, there are so many new items popping up in store and online. At the event, I was given some items to try out, and I'm actually really impressed.


Meet the Naked Shower Gel. Legit, this is shower gel without the bottle. You might be thinking, oh it's soap! Nope, the new Naked Shower Gels from Lush have the same formula as Shower Gel, and you can really tell. I don't use soap, as it tends to dry my skin out. To use this, you can lather up some product on your hands and rub it all over - or rub your loofah onto the base to work up a lather. A little of the product goes a long way and the smell is amazing! It also leaves you with beautiful soft skin. You can find out more about the Lush naked range here, along with information on how going bottle-less can help the environment and our oceans. 


The Black Rose Naked Lip Scrub is another item you can find without its little tub. Encased in a dainty little bar, rub this product directly onto your lips for a soft exfoliation and amazing smell. I'm really enjoying this right now, as my lips are super dry from the weather!


Say hello to your new travel companion, the Butterbear Wash Card. This product lacks palm oil, and is so small it can fit easily in a travel case. This is such a good replacement for soap as well. All you have to do is rip a small amount away from the bear and use the card as a hand wash, or if you're in a jam, as a body wash in the shower if you're staying away for the night.

THE NEW STORE


I'm so happy that the Liverpool Lush store is doing so well! I love visiting, but I find that it can sooo busy. With the announcement of the new store, I'm hoping this will manage the sheer amount of people who shop there every day. The new store will have five floors, a hair salon, make-up stations and more. I can't wait for the opening, it might even rival the London Oxford Street store...

What are your favourite Lush items this season?

Xo

ROMANTIC WINTER DATE IDEAS

Tuesday, 17 October 2017


Okay, so I may be getting a few Christmas feels. I feel like I'm cheating on Halloween when I say that, but I am. I love Christmas, and when you're in a relationship it can be such a lovely time of year. I know that seasonal difficulties can affect relationships around this time, and it can be tough on a partner when that happens to you. Luckily, I get depressed in the Summer (idk why) so I think me and Kyle will be okay... But yeah! With that in mind, I thought I'd write a little post about romance in the winter and the amazing things you can do together as the weather gets little colder in Liverpool (UK).

GO OUTSIDE


The obvious downsides to winter are what keeps us from putting our shoes on and going out. With freezing temperatures and rainy conditions in the North West, we tend to stay in and binge watch the recent shows on Netflix. But this is one of the best times to get out and see the world! An hour outside of Liverpool is Delamere forest. It's perfect for a walk as the leaves change colour and crisp under your feet. It's also a great spot for some photography, or for just a stroll with your partner. 

Or, maybe be a bit more adventurous and go on holiday together! Maybe one of those ski holidays to Andorra? Not Liverpool, I know, but beautiful in the winter time. Travelling as a couple can be so beautiful, I'd love to travel with Kyle in the winter one day!

SPA DAYS 


In Winter our skin can become dry and cracked. Suffering from ezcema, I always have to take the time to look after my skin with a seriously good body moisturizer. But why not take it a step further? There are some amazing spas in Liverpool, and having a pamper session with your partner after a day of Christmas shopping would be so, so lovely. Altneratively, have a night in and take a nice relaxing bath together, you can also don face masks and even give each other massages.

WORKOUT 


I really am on the exercise hype at the moment. I mean, I'm still fat, but I like working out. It makes me feel good about myself. I really don't want winter to mess up my flow, which is why I'm going to drag Kyle into few hours of exercise together as it gets colder... I might bring him into my personal training sessions, but I'm not ready for him to see me jiggle yet.



TRY NEW FOOD

 

There are so many great restaurants popping up in Liverpool at the moment, nearly all of them would be great for a romantic winter date! I recommend Down the Hatch and a trip to the newly opened Baltic Market. Alternatively, why not visit the Liverpool and Manchester Christmas markets, where you'll find sweet treats and more!

Xo

COPING WITH STRESS

Monday, 16 October 2017



Stress comes with a lot of things in life. Your job, your family, your friends, even our partners can stress us out from time to time. Sometimes, it can become your life. You go about your day stressed, come home stressed and living your life is just an afterthought. For others, stress is always in the background, creeping up when something big happens in their lives. It’s like the small print in the a contract, you’re bound to encounter stress in your life, it just comes with the territory. I know that when I get stressed it can be catastrophic. I lash out, cry and everything and it’s just really, really grim. Following on from my Fatigue Post, here are some ways I deal with stress. I hope they help!


STOP IGNORING THE SITUATION


Trust me, ignoring the source of your stress will not help. It aint a good strategy to use, and it lets the stress control you instead of the other way around. One of the best things you can do is face your stress head on. It’s scary, but doing so can help you address the situation, figure out what’s causing you the stress, and taking steps to changing the underlying issues.

STEP BACK


Literally, check yourself before you wreck yourself. If I find that my family are stressing me out, I’ll take myself out of the equation. I’ll either go upstairs, or I’ll really think about what I’m saying before I say it. Reacting quickly can make a situation worse, and there’s nothing worse than upsetting someone without really thinking of what you’re saying. Mentally try and step away from a situation, assess how you feel and take it from there. Mindfulness pracitse can help. You might think it’s cliché, but really taking a step back from yourself can do wonders for stress in your everyday life.

CONSIDER HELP


When you work in a stressful environment, or you’re self employed, little things can really stress you out. A close friend of mine is starting her own agency that specializes in SEO services, and finding the time to sort out her IT is stressing her out out to the max. There are places you can hire like that, such as Level 5 Management or a UK equivalent.

If you’re a blogger, stress an affect your writing, the quality of your posts and more. Last year I became really stressed and disillusioned with blogging, which is why I took a step away. However, if you earn money from your blog, or you just want to keep your readers happy, you could consider a Copywriting service such as Gen Y Copy, who can provide you with content whilst you take a well earned break.

EXERCISE


I know I mention this a lot, but exercise can really help with a lot of things. When I’m stressed at work, I take it out on my Personal Trainer & I request boxing-heavy classes. I’ll also go for a run and listen to my Nu-Metal playlist (you know how it is). Honestly, getting your body moving can really help you with any stress you might have.


Xo

COPING WITH FATIGUE

Friday, 13 October 2017


As time goes by, our bodies can encounter some pretty annoying issues. Fatigue is a problem that can affect anyone, and it’s also a rather confusing condition. Many people mistake symptoms for other issues with those of fatigue, so the lines can get rather blurry.

Since the age of 16 I've had to deal with fatigue. It doesn’t stay for long, but it can be debilitating to a point where it really affects my social life. Luckily, I’ve found some of the causes of my fatigue, and I can tackle them head-on whenever I can. For example, if I’m not sleeping very well, I’ll take one day and go to bed around 8pm. It can really help with getting my body back on track.

Most people that suffer from fatigue will notice that their body feels slow, sluggish and difficult to move around. They might attribute it to a bad night of sleep or maybe blame their desk job. Whatever the case may be, it can really help if you find out what causes your fatigue. Once you’ve done so, you can take steps in order to resolve it.

The following can really impact and heighten your fatigue, which is why it’s important to tackle them as soon as possible.

JOINT PAINS



If you feel slow and sluggish, then it could be a physical issue. Wearing the right running shoes can help with a calf strain and shin splints (something I only found out recently…)

If you work in an office, or you sit down for the majority of the day, it can result in some of your muscles becoming too slack, which makes them easier to tear. I see a Personal Trainer every week and I’ve still managed to slip a disc this week! If you think that your joints or muscles are a bit stiff due to your lifestyle, then you may want to consider visiting a local chiropractor to help loosen up your body. If you have never been to a chiropractor before, I highly recommend it. I saw one a few years ago and you’ll walk out feeling taller and more relaxed.

NOT ENOUGH SLEEP



Just because you’re waking up at the same time every morning, it doesn’t mean your body is getting enough sleep. The average amount of sleep we need is 8 hours a night. Make sure you try and sleep a little more each night so that your body has time to recharge. And, if you’re not sleeping well, then it’s probably one of the main causes for why you feel slow and sluggish.

It’s important to remember that many things you do in life can cause stress. Whether it’s physical stress due to exercise, or mental stress due to your work. It puts a toll on our bodies and the only way to clear it up is to sleep. Personally, I sleep for 9 hours because I love getting a full night. I find if I’m getting any less than that, I become tired quickly and need to nap throughout the day.

LACK OF EXERCISE



Exercise will help you keep fit, work your joints and burn calories. A bit of exercise should ideally be done every morning to warm up your body and stretch your muscles. This is especially important if you sit down for long periods of time. It’s a grim thought, but if we don’t push ourselves to be active, we’re prone to getting heart disease.

I try and exercise every day, even if it’s just a brisk walk. It doesn’t have to be 100% sweat inducing gym sessions, but a 20-minute walk a day can clear your head and get your heart pumping, which is ideal.

Fatigue can be managed, you just need to look out for the warning signs and causes. If you’re still struggling with fatigue, your doctor will be able to help you! Do you suffer from fatigue? How do you combat the symptoms?

Xo


MY TOP 5 90's CULT HALLOWEEN FILMS

Thursday, 12 October 2017


I really enjoy cult films. They’re defined by their following away from the mainstream media, and initially, they’re films that didn’t do so well at the box office upon their first release. There are so many cult films I’d love to include in a Halloween Movie Night post, but I’ve whittled it down to just 5. These would be great to include in a themed movie night with your partner, or just for you to watch throughout October.

HOCUS POCUS (1993)


I effin love this film. It’s for kids, but I watched it as a kid - so it’s no surprise that I love it. I watch this on Halloween every year with some popcorn and some scented candles on the go!

THE CROW (1994)


In uni I had a slight obsession with this film. I had never heard of it before, and when I watched it I really enjoyed it. My lecturer told me about how Brandon Lee died during filming, and about the general spooky shit that went down on set. I even bought the graphic novel afterwards. It’s worth a watch 100%.

Sequels were made for this film, but I wouldn’t recommend actually watching them…

THE CRAFT (1996)


The Craft follows four high school girls as they discover they’re witches. A bit dark in places, but mostly a load of fun. Definitely add this to your Halloween watch list if you haven’t already.

PRACTICAL MAGIC (1998)

I watch this film like 3 times a month lmao. The house where the Owens family live is my dream home, it's so cute and the decor is amazing. I always wanted to be Sandra Bullock from this film when I was younger (I couldn’t tell you why…I actually think because she’s thin and I like her clothes…)

But anyway. The film is about a family of witches in a small American town, it’s a really good spooky movie to watch on Halloween.

SCREAM (1996)


My sister showed me this when I was 7 because she’s a terrible person.

But also it made the list because I was genuinely terrified watching it. I had nightmares for weeks and the beginning scene with Drew Barrymore still gives me the chills. Watching it now, I can’t imagine people being scared of Scream, but it’s a staple scary movie in my opinion.


Xo

THE BEST HALLOWEEN COSTUMES FOR YOUR PET

Monday, 9 October 2017


I know some people are against the idea of dressing up their dog or cat on Halloween. But those people are wrong. My Goldendoodle has a collection of Christmas jumpers, and this year I've added to it with some Halloween costumes.... He may look unhappy, but what you don't see is his smiley little face when I bring home outfits for him, or his insane tail wagging after I dress him up! With that in mind, I thought I'd help out some other dog owners find some cheap and wonderful costumes for their furry mates this Halloween!

B&M 


The costume I bought for Dexter (my pooch) this year was from B&M, and it was under £10! They also sell jumpers, hats, collars and other cute costumes for your pets. All of the pet items in B&M for Halloween are under £10 and are 100% worth it for the lols and the photos. 

FEEDEM


Feedem is a brand that's totally new to me, but I'm really impressed with how cheap their Halloween range is for doggos. Everything is under £10, and you can even buy Halloween themed toys for your pets. If you're a giant emo and you actually celebrate Halloween on Christmas, you could create a little gift basket for your pet! Cute af. 

EBAY 


If you order in time for Halloween, eBay offers some amazing Halloween costumes, toys and treats for your pets from a multitude of sellers. You can even buy Halloween themed dog socks. For real. 

PETS AT HOME


Ever wanted to buy your dog actual Scooby Snacks? I have. You can find Halloween themed versions of the treat both online and in store. You can also find a range of costumes and other Halloween themed goodies on their website. 

Where do you buy your Halloween themed pet items?

Xo

MY ISSUE WITH THE FAT ACCEPTANCE COMMUNITY

Tuesday, 3 October 2017


I’m a complete believer in loving yourself to the max. Yes, I struggle with my body, but who doesn’t. I’ve always been plus size, and I don’t think I’ll ever be super slim (I’m not sure I even want to be). But right now I’m trying to lose a few stone (I gained weight this year thanks to steroids and other medication). I’ll be writing a post about all of that soon, but I wanted to address something before I did.

I follow a lot of body positivity bloggers, and I’ve always found them to be so supportive of other large women. This, for the most part, is amazing. What I don’t appreciate is their complete and utter disregard for bigger women who would also like to lose weight, and even women who are slender. It’s starting to feel like I’m in Mean Girls because of it. Not all body positive bloggers and accounts are like this, but I’m finding that more and more of them are.

Today, I came across this tweet. Along with the comments from other plus size women, I’m disgusted. How dare people comment on the mental health of those on diets, or those who want to lose weight. Has it not occurred to these people that you can love your body, but also want to lose weight and live a healthy lifestyle? Apparently not.

I started Slimming World a few weeks ago and I have nothing but high praises, I lost 9lbs in two weeks and I was never once hungry. It’s not a “diet” either, it helps you swap things in your diet for healthier options, and it’s where you can go and talk about your issues. I suffer from BED, and some of the people in my group have been lovely to me when I’ve spoken about it. To hear larger women disgrace Slimming World with such dismissal has shocked me. What shocks me more is that these women are “body positive activists”. Really boo? You can’t preach fat acceptance without accepting people who want to lose weight too. You can be against diets, and you can be against the diet industry, but don’t shame others for wanting to lose weight and for finding a plan that works.

If you’re a body positive advocate, please consider what you’re writing on your blog/social media. It’s upsetting as a bigger woman to find women degrading others like this, and it’s completely unnecessary. Not only are you announcing that women trying to lose weight disgust you, you’re outing them for something they believe is the right thing to do. Support your sisters.

Xo

GIVEAWAY: CHARLOTTE TILBURY BUNDLE AUTUMN 2017

Sunday, 1 October 2017


It's officially been one year since I started blogging! To celebrate, I'm hosting a HUGE giveaway for those who encouraged me, helped me, and believed I could stick to this blogging malarky...*

I've always written about my life online. whether through MySpace, Tumblr, or secret blogs that I've created over the years, I love writing about my experiences - it's inherent to who I am, I think. I'm so proud of sticking to this blog, despite the anxiety it gave me in the early days. But I digress, lets get on with it! Here's what you could win....

CHARLOTTE TILBURY: THE PERFECT NUDE KISS GIFT SET







The Perfect Nude Kiss Gift Set does exactly what it says on the label. Create a structured nude lip this Autumn with the Lip Cheat Lip Liner in Pillow Talk, Lip Lustre Lip Gloss in Seduction and K.I.S.S.I.N.G Lipstick in Penelope Pink. I would have swatched these for you, but I want the winner to recieve an untouched prize! You can find tonnes of swatches online though!

The set comes in a luxury deep purple gift box, seen in the image above. 


CHARLOTTLE TILBURY MINI SAMPLES




I've also thrown in some sample size products from Charlotte Tilbury, in case you've been thinking of buying full sized products without trying them! The samples are: Magic Eye Rescue, Magic Night Cream and the renowned Legendary Lashes Mascara. 

HOW TO ENTER 


You can enter this giveaway as many times as you like! Everyone who enters the giveaway via the following methods will be added to a spreadsheet before a random winner is picked. If you enter more than once, your name will be entered more than once, simple!

FACEBOOK 


To enter on Facebook, simply like my page and share the Giveaway Post to your wall. The Giveaway Post is pinned to the top of the page. 

TWITTER


To enter on Twitter, all you have to do is follow me and retweet this post

INSTAGRAM 


If you would like to apply on Instagram, follow me & tag a friend in the comments on this post.


And that's it! Good luck!

* Open to UK residents only - Competition ends 1/11/2017


Xo

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