Monday, July 31

The Ultimate Budapest Travel Guide

Budapest (pronounced Buda-peSHt) is fast becoming the place to be. Fancy a life of luxury without spending a fortune? Head to Hungary and you won't be disappointed. Whether your after a relaxing weekend at the spa, a weekend of shopping and fine dining, or a weekend of exploration and discovery - Budapest has all this to offer and more. In the high season prepare for sweltering temperatures and glorious sunshine whereas in the cooler months prepare for minus degrees and lots of snow. Budapest is beautiful to visit all year round so today I thought I would share with you my ultimate guide to visiting this breathtaking city. 

How to get Around
Once you arrive at the airport you have a couple of options. You can book a transfer in advance, grab a taxi or hop on the 200E airport bus which takes you to the nearest Metro station Kobanya Kispet. From there hop on the M3 (blue line) which takes you right into the centre of Budapest where you can change to the M1 (yellow line) or M2 (red line) if needed. A single use tickets costs 350 Forint which is about a £1 and you can pick these up from ticket vending machines at the airport and every metro station. Make sure you remember to validate each ticket you buy or you could face a fine if caught. Depending how much you intend to use public transport you can buy a 24 hour travel card for just under £5, a 72 hour travel card for around £15 or a block of ten single use tickets for about £10 and these can be used on all buses, trams and trains operating within the City centre. 

It is possible to walk in between everything it, just depends on your personal preference. The last time we visited we only used the tram a handful of times so we opted for the block of ten single use tickets. We ended up walking all over the city so make sure you pack comfortable shoes and stay hydrated. If you`re time in Budapest is limited and you`re new to the city one of the best options may be a hop-on hop-off tour ticket. On our first trip we opted for a 48 hour ticket which offered two bus routes, a night tour, a boat line and a walking tour for around £22 pp. This was a quick and easy way to see everything we wanted to see in the short space of time we had. If you`re on a budget opt for the cheapest option of all - walking! Just make sure you pack those shoes as we ended up walking over 10 miles everyday!

Where to sleep
Budapest is full of affordable, cheap hotels and it also hosts a wide range of hostels which offer both dorm rooms or private en-suite rooms if sharing isn’t your thing. The first time we visited we had no idea about areas or the best place to stay so we just picked one of the cheapest options we found which turned out to be ok, if quite far out from the centre. If you plan to spend the weekend partying away with friends then check out the Full Moon Design Hostel which offers free entry into the Morrisons 2 Club located in the same building throughout your stay. If you`re looking for somewhere more central try Lavender Circus which is beautifully decorated by hand and offers a quiet, more relaxed base for your trip. If you prefer something more luxurious I've heard amazing things about the Four Seasons Gresham Palace or Corinthia Hotel which both offer incredible views of the city of Budapest.

Where to eat
When it comes to food there are hundreds of incredible restaurants to try as with most cities. Head to Ráday Utca which is filled with indoor and outdoor cafes, bars, restaurants and galleries. There's something for every price range and every taste, its here we managed to pick up a two course meal and a bottle of wine for under £35. You'll also find Budapest's first restaurant to receive a Michelin star Costes on Ráday Utca so there's a whole host of places to suit all. If you`re after more casual dining head to the Great Market Hall where upstairs you'll find an array of different food stands and eateries. 

If street food is more your style head to Kazinczy Street where you'll find the first street food court Karaván Budapest. You'll find a little bit of everything including unusual pizzas and burgers to typical Hungarian treats such as lagos, goulash and Kürtóskalács (chimney cake). You can pick up a hearty meal for two here but make sure you check out all the stands before you decide otherwise you'll be left with a serious case of food envy. If you`re meeting up with a group of friends then Gozsdu Udvar is where you need to head. Described as Budapest's entertainment district, this series of inner courtyards is filled with restaurants, pubs, and bars. This place comes alive every evening filled with edgy nightlife and international cuisine. 

Where to drink 
If you`re heading to Budapest theres a high chance you've already heard of their famous romkocsma (ruin bars). Shaping the city's nightlife, you can't visit this city without experiencing a ruin bar for yourself. Szimpla Kert was one of the first and has now become one of the most well known between locals and tourists alike. Offering a whole programme of unique events including live music, exhibitions, workshops, an open air cinema, live DJ sets and even a farmer's market every Sunday. Another favourite is Fogosház which has recently merged with Impact creating an underground, techno lovers dream. There are plenty of tours you can go on around the Jewish Quarter which visit several different ruin bars but I think the best way to explore them is wander on your own and see what you stumble upon.

If you`re after a pitstop during the daytime be sure to check out one of Hungary's many coffee houses and try one of the yummy cakes. In Buda you'll find the oldest family-run cake shop in the city Ruszwurm which has been operating since 1827. During the warmer months its a fight to grab a seat outside but during Winter its a lot easier to find a table in the snug inner room. On the Pest side you'll find possibly the most beautiful coffee house to ever exist the New York Cafe. Offering a fine range of coffees, treats and Hungarian specialities, this is a must see for any coffee lover. 

Where to shop
If shopping is your vice head to Váci Utca which is Budapest's alternative to Oxford Street. This pedestrian precinct is filled with all the usual high street suspects and many many more. If you`re feeling extravagant head to Andrássy Avenue where you'll find all the designer brands and upmarket boutiques including the likes of Burberruy, Guicci and Louis Vuitton. Budapest is also home to Central Europe's largest shopping mall, WestEnd City Center. This houses over 400 shops! Make sure you pop into the roof garden for a pitstop along the way.

Shopping is usually quite far down on our list when we go away but I always like to pick up a couple of souvenirs along the way. In the Great Market Hall you'll fid an array of leather goods, lace and embroidery alongside the usual touristy tat. If you`re after something more authentic head to one of Budapest's flea markets like Ecseri Market where you can scout out a whole host of trinkets and treasures or try your hand at antiquing on Falk Milksa Street. 

What to see
On the West side of the ride you'll find the narrow, hilly streets of Buda which wind themselves up into the hills. Full of beautiful churches, monuments and old buildings, Buda also houses the Castle District which was the former Royal Palace of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Must see sites on this side of the Danube include the Matthias Church, Fisherman's Bastion and the views from Citadella. 

On the east side of the River you'll find the urban centre of the city Pest which is broken down into several districts. Home to the world's third largest Parliament Building, this neo-gothic spectacular should be at the top of everyone's list. Breathtaking both at night and day, you simply cannot visit Budapest and not see this gorgeous building. Other must see sites include the Jewish Quarter, St. Stephen's Basilica, the Chain Bridge, Hero's Square and Szechenyi Thermal Baths.

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Thursday, July 27

The Anti-Haul

Fashion blogging is something I have known about and followed for years despite not starting my blog until 2014. When I first started fashion blogging wasn't high end editorial snaps with the latest Chanel Bag or Valentino Shoes, it was snapping outfit shots in your bedroom or back garden with a tripod or a disgruntled family member. It was a place to look to for inspiration and tips on what to wear and how to style the different trends. It was relatable and most of all it was enjoyable.

Fast forward to 2017 and the blogging world has evolved and come on leaps and bounds. The content some bloggers are putting out is absolutely insane and the hard work and originality of these people has finally been recognised and rewarded. With these natural developments, Ive seen an increase in the designer hauls and luxury items being styled which quite frankly are out of my price range. I am not bitter or jealous in anyway, kudos to you if you can afford these kind of luxuries, its just that I myself prefer to splurge on experiences and travelling rather than materialistic things. That's not to say I haven't considered maxing out the credit card for a Chloe Faye because quite frankly who hasn't? It's just for me in my life right now designer gear just isn't feasible. 

In a world where some would argue fashion blogging has become saturated I am loving the influx of people sharing their outfits of the day, their adaptions of the latest trends, and their attainable personal style for the world to see. Not everyone has fancy equipment and a best friend who is also a sick photographer and so you have to make it work with what you've got and what's within your budget. In the spirit of combating consumerism today I am trialing the concept of an anti-haul. As the name suggests instead of running through a bunch of stuff that I have recently bought I am going to talk you through some of the things that I am NEVER going to buy.

Slides are like marmite you even love them or hate them and I for one absolutely detest them. If your poolside and need something that you can slip on and off quickly then fine but for ALL other occasions these are just a no. You may as well just wear your slippers outside instead of buying a new pair. Although there is one thing worse than the holographic, embellished, faux fur slides that are making the rounds at the moment...fluffy ones!

Lace Up Trousers
There's a big difference between being provocative and just being damn right distasteful and unfortunately for me these teeter on the side of the latter. If your off to a fancy dress party as a call girl then chuck on a leather pair and your good to go, but for any other occasion don't even think about it. 

Underboob Anything
Girls, girls, girls...what the fuck happened to less is more? It looks like you either had a fight with a pair of scissors and lost or bought a bikini two sizes too small. Its not sexy and its definitely not cute so please for the love of god cover yourselves up. I'm all for flaunting what you've got but not if this means your practically working around naked. 

Frill Hem Trousers
I am all for a bit of frill and I am loving the pleated, fluted and ruffled sleeves that are all over the high street at the moment. What I am not loving is the frill hem trousers which seem to be cropping up here, there and everywhere! A trend thats set to be with us through till Winter, I'd rather a straight leg cigarette trouser every day of the week. 

Kitten Heels
It is universally accepted in the fashion world that kitten heels are just not acceptable in any shape or form. They are unflattering, frumpy and completely outdated. They keep trying to make a comeback and now and then you'll see them start popping up all over the high-street, but they never catch on and I doubt they ever will. 

Monday, July 24

10 Things I've Learnt Working in an Office

From a young age I've always been taught to work for what you want and as soon as I turned 16 I was eager to start working and earning my own money. My first ever job was in a sports shop where I spent my weekends organising rails and rails of tracksuit bottoms and football shirts, only for some bratty 8 year old to pull it all off and make me start all over again. After this I flitted between various different retail jobs before settling into a pub job in my second year of university. 

I thought once I finished my degree I would have more of an idea of which direction my career was heading in but this was simply not the case. I moved back in my with my parents and stayed within the hospitality sector as this is what I knew and enjoyed. Up until very recently I thought this would be my career and my long term plan was to eventually become a GM of my own site. After completing my training and making it to assistant manager I decided that this was not for me and so I jumped ship to a simple office job. After working in hospitality for nearly 5 years a 9-5 is like a dream come true. No more evenings, no more weekends, I finally have a part of my life back that I felt had been missing for a very long time. Although I don't think I'll ever go back, I would do it all over again in a heartbeat, as long as it meant I would end up exactly where I am today. It's now been just over 3 months since I started working in my office and today I thought I would share 10 things I've learn about working in an office so far. 

1. Sitting in a chair staring at a computer all day is the least active job you can do. I've gone from walking about 5 miles a day down to about 1.5 miles a day. The recommended number of steps is around ten thousand and I use to easily hit this running around the restaurant all day. Now I try and walk as much as possible, opting for the stairs over the lift and using any excuse to get out of the office and walk around for 5 minutes. 

2. I've mastered the art of looking busy and boy am I a pro. Kind of like when you do the hazard perception part of a theory test and you click every few seconds just to make sure you don't miss anything. A click of the mouse here, a tap of a few keys there and bob's your uncle! 

3. Offices have this backwards etiquette that on your birthday you bring in cake for everyone else? I still don't understand why this is- surely everyone should be buying me cake on my birthday not vice versa? Although I don't understand this rule, I am certainly not complaining as there seems to be some kind of sugary delight every other week in my place!

4. This brings me to my next point. I spend 75% of my working day eating! I have breakfast and lunch and then spend the rest of the day snacking on various treats - whatever I can get my hands on really. We even have 4pm snack time in my office just to see you through that last hour before home time. It's all well and good on days when I'm prepared and I've taken fruit and raisins or veggies and dip, but on the off days I've forgotten, I usually end up raiding the vending machine. Although I am blessed with a high metabolism, I still try to eat healthy and reduce the amount of sugar I am eating. These vending machine days totally screw that up and mixed with how not active the job is, this can be a disastrous recipe for those not as lucky as me. 

5. As soon as I got promoted in my old job I rejoiced at no longer having to wear the awful, awful uniform. That was until I got home and realised I had absolutely diddly squat to wear. When working in the restaurant, it was more often that not I would go home with various food and drink debris all over myself but that doesn't happen in an office. In fact I would almost go as far as to say I miss having a uniform so I don't need to worry about what I am going to wear everyday. At first I just wore the same five tops on rotation to see what other people wore and get some ideas, but now I've raided my mums wardrobe and got some inspiration. My workwear wardrobe is now full of colour, prints and even a couple of summer dresses thrown in for good measure. 

6. In the office world you know shit just got real when they've removed the 'kind' from their 'kind regards'.

When you`re furious with a supplier or another employee, the best thing to do is remove the 'kind' from your 'kind regards'

7. The first time I was left on my own I was absolutely petrified I would do something wrong or completely screw something up. I successfully lasted the afternoon with the business still intact and I am now quite happy to be left on my own to get on with what I need. Especially when it's after a night of one too many cocktails and I've spent the morning trying not to spew everywhere every time I move. 

8. Your working environment can have such an impact on your mentality without you even realising. By the time I left my old job it had become such a horrible place to work with toxic people and an unpleasant environment for most. In all honesty I had been unhappy and looking for a change for a while, but one day I just had enough and within a week I'd handed in my notice ready to move onto the next chapter. Now that I am settled in my new job and my new routine, I can feel the difference in myself and I've had tons of people notice the positive change in me. 

9. You don't always have to be friends with people that you work with but it does help. I am lucky enough to share my office with one my oldest friend who actually helped me get the job, so this of course this is an added bonus. But this is often not the case. Watch who you confide in as you don't want to splurge all your personal business to the office gossip. I tend to keep myself to myself and only share very little of my personal life. There's always going to be that one co-worker who irritates the hell out of you - but just remain professional and polite and remember you only have to see these people at work and not in your own time. 

10. Don't be too hard on yourself. Everybody was new once and everybody had to learn the ropes just like you did. Don't be afraid to ask questions or ask for help, even if it may seem stupid, It's better to clarify if you're not sure than to just make it up. Starting a new job can be scary and daunting, especially if its out of your comfort zone and completely new. Be patient and stick at it and it could end up being very rewarding. 

Friday, July 21

The Addams Family at the Mayflower

From the writers of the award winning Jersey Boys with music and lyrics from Andrew Lippa comes the Addams Family* - a musical comedy. Inspired by the legendary American cartoonist Charles Addams, this spooky, kooky family favourite is brought to life on the stage with fresh musical arrangements accompanied by a live orchestra. The Mayflower sees the UK and Ireland premiere of this weirdly wonderful show with a star studded cast featuring Samatha Womack as Morticia, Les Dennis as Uncle Fester, Carrie Hope Fletcher as Wednesday and Cameron Blakely as Gomez. Joined by Pugsley, Grandma, Lurch and the rest of the family, the show opens with the insanely catchy 'When Your an Addams' showcasing the casts exceptional abilities. The story that follows is one of trials and tribulations as Wednesday is all grown up with a big secret to tell. 

This heartwarming story of love, family and friendship follows Wednesday as she invites her boyfriends family round to meet her kooky clan. After Wednesday shares a secret with her doting father, Gomez spends the whole evening in a personal battle of morality... should he keep her secret safe whilst keeping his cherished wife in the dark? It all comes to head with hilarious consequences in this wacky and wonderful stage show which will have you clicking and clapping away along all night. 

I was expecting more of a pantomime affair aiming for more of a younger audience but I was pleasantly surprised by the satirical comedy matched with the catchy musical renditions which were pulled together by this incredible cast. Each and every character in this show was exceptional and together they achieved a flawless performance. Samantha is electrifying as Morticia, gliding across the stage with an unexpected warmth to her. Having only seen her in Eastenders before I wasn't expecting much but I was blown away by her portrayal of this sultry matriarch, with a dazzling voice to match. Her chemistry with Blake is spine tingling and together they steal the show with their dynamic mix of wit and charm. 

Carrie Fletcher really raises the roof with her performance as Wednesday Addams whilst her voice will leave you with goosebumps. Throughout the show she delivered standout performances but the highlight has to be her solo 'Pulled' which was spine tingling. Les Dennis is unrecognisable as Uncle Fester with his meddling, good natured ways and his romance with the moon, I think everyone had developed a soft spot for him by the end. Dickon Gough played Lurch who was another firm favourite, he did not need to say a word to have the whole audience in fits of giggles.  

Diego Pitarch has done exceptionally when it came to the costumes and set, as they really help to pull you into their gloomy world. Each character's costume matched their eccentric personalities and the detail that had gone into every single design was clear to see even from the dress circle. The stage featured two staircases which were moved throughout the performance to create the illusion of different rooms within the Addams residence. All the elements pulled together created a faultless performance for the whole family to enjoy. So if you`re looking to relive a childhood memory or create memories with children of your own, The Addams Family is the perfect show for you.

You can see the Adams Family at the Mayflower Theatre from the 18th July - 29th July 2017. For future tour locations and dates see here

* Complimentary tickets
* Press pictures provided by Mayflower theatre 

Tuesday, July 18

The Ultimate UK Bucket List: 50 Exhilarating Experiences

The UK is one of the most underrated countries to visit in Europe I think. There is so much culture and beauty which often gets overlooked for its overseas partner. I recently posted about 50 Dreamy Destinations from my UK bucket list, so today I thought I would share the other half of my UK bucket list: 50 Exhilarating Experiences. There's a real big variety of activities and experiences I've wanted to do for a while now. I actually booked the Beauty and Beast afternoon tea for my friend's birthday next year and I cannot wait. I am not sure what the next experience will be that I tick off the list, but I am excited to go on this journey and take you guys with me. 
1. Climb up the O2 in London
2. Fly on England's longest zip line above the Eden Project
3. Ride the London Eye 
4. Go wine tasting at a British Vineyard 
5. Zoom down the ArcelorMittal Orbit Slide in London
6. Camp for the weekend at Glastonbury
7. Watch a British finalist at Wimbledon 
8. Get dressed up and spend the day at Ascot Races
9. Visit the Harry Potter Studio’s
10. Take a tour around a Gin Distillery
11. Indulge in afternoon tea on a double decker bus around London
12. Watch a Shakespeare play in Stratford 
13. Go punting in Cambridge 
14. Take a surfing lesson in Newquay
15. Attend a British Grand Prix
16. Tour the Houses of Parliament 
17. Go on the Jack the ripper walking tour in London
18. Watch a Red Arrow’s RAF Display Team 
19. Watch the boat races at Regatta 
20. Attend the Grand National 
21. Experience the Beauty and the Beast Afternoon Tea
22. Attend the Notting Hill Carnival 
23. Watch a Shakespeare play in Stratford
24. Watch the Proms at the Albert Hall
25. Watch a West End show in London
26. Go Zorbing 
27. Attempt a Live Escape Game
28. Attend a pole fitness class 
29. Go on a Canoe trip
30. Ride a Segway
31. Feed animals at the zoo
32. Go horse-riding 
33. Go to a roller disco 
34. See a ballet 
35. Watch an Opera 
36. Tour a Whisky factory in Ireland 
37. Dine at a Michelin Star Restaurant
38. Spend a day at a Go-Ape
39. Drive a sports car 
40. Do an Indoor skydive 
41. Experience Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Afternoon Tea
42. Walk across a suspension bridge
43. Milk a cow 
44. Attend a black tie event 
45. Attend Gay Pride in London  
46. Experience a murder mystery dinner 
47. Sit in a TV show audience 
48. Visit Winter Wonderland 
49. Attempt a 5k Run
50. Attempt the Liquid Leisure water assault course 
What's on your UK bucket list? 


Saturday, July 15

Batiste 2in1 Dry Shampoo & Conditioner

I absolutely hate washing my hair - in fact there is nothing I hate more. I find the whole thing such a chore and with my thick, long barnet it can take a good hour to wash, blow-dry and straighten my hair. I have quite a busy lifestyle and I just don't have the time to do this every other day, so I tend to only partake in this god awful task once a week. Yes you can call me lazy all you want but I've found that my locks can withstand a good seven days before they start looking super greasy and lifeless. Plus if you wash your hair too often you can in fact strip your hair of any natural oils which makes your hair greasier as your scalp works to produce more oil. 

Throughout the week I often find I need a little pick me up to refresh my locks and keep the grease levels under control. Does anyone else remember when talcum powder used to be the go to for this? Let's all just be thankful that those days are over. Having dark hair means I often struggle to find products that don't leave that white, chalky, residue in my hair. I've tried various different brands but I always come back to Batiste*. Their products are hands down some of the best I've tried and for such affordable prices you really can't go wrong.

Recently they launched a new 2 in 1 formula which is an invisible dry shampoo and conditioner which boasts 18 hours conditioning. You simply shake the can to activate the ingredients, hold at arms length and mist all over the hair. Afterwards you massage into the roots, working through with a brush or your fingers, to receive super soft luscious locks. Unlike most formulas which you spray directly on the roots, this new product brings with it a new way to spray. The shampoo removes excess oil while the conditioner adds nourishment and softens the hair. A quick spritz will refresh your roots without drying out your ends, leaving you with luscious locks all day long. 

The formula has been specially designed for dry, damaged, curly and coloured hair. It targets dryness, and keeping your hair smooth and hydrated all day long. Not only will your locks be looking fine but they will also be smelling fine with three gorgeous fragrances to chose from. Pick from orange and pomegranate, cocoa and cashmere and vanilla and passionflower. All the fragrances are utterly divine and linger on the hair all day long, with my personal favourite being orange and pomegranate which is so fruity and light - perfect for Summer. 

This product doesn't leave any nasty white residue or chalkiness which is my pet peeve and you can pretty much see the results almost instantly. I've been using this product pretty much daily for about two weeks now and its clear to see how much this reduces excess oil. The ends and mid length of my hair always feel so soft and luxurious after using this which I have never found with any other hair products I've used before. This adds the perfect level of shine and texture to leave my hair looking and smelling magnificent all day long. If you`re in the market for a new dry shampoo that doesn't dry out your hair then you wont be disappointed. 

What's your favourite dry shampoo?
* Gifted as part of a word of mouth trnd campaign. 

Thursday, July 13

Rogue's Cafe

In the heart of Southampton, just off of Guildhall Square, you'll find the unconventional and quirky Rogue's Cafe. Serving up a premium breakfast and brunch menu all day long, this unconventional cafe offers high quality, ethically sourced dishes. When the invitation for bloggers brunch dropped into my inbox from Soton Bloggers I couldn't be more excited to pop along and try out the brunch menu for myself. So a couple of weeks later on a sunny Saturday morning, we descended upon Rogue's to fuel up on pancakes, avocado on toast and fresh smoothies. 

The cafe is spread over two floors with a real charm and character about the place. There is art work all over the walls which was has been handmade by the staff members which really adds to the atmosphere of this quirky little cafe. If your lucky enough you may even get to meet Percy, who is Rogue's main attraction and the friendliest dog I have ever met. The eclectic decor helps highlight the welcoming and relaxed ambience this cafe has to offer with an equally eclectic menu to match. 

The brunch menu has a wide selection of choices including american pancakes, french toast, poached eggs and asparagus on sourdough toast and a hearty full English. Basically a brunch lovers heaven - in fact I dare you to find something you won't like. If you`re looking for something slightly more indulgent than be sure to check out the main menu. There's a little bit of everything from burgers and chicken wings to pie and nachos. Everything is freshly prepared with local, free range ingredients sourced wherever possible. If you're after a break from the norm then you have definitely come to the right place with quirky interiors, and friendly faces - there is little not to like. 

Overall there isn't really a better way to spend a Saturday morning than with pancakes and a fabulous group of people. A big thank you to Alice and Emily for organising such an amazing morning, to the guys at Rogue's for letting us descend upon them and everyone who contributed to help the sanitary protection collection organised by the girls for The Homeless Period- an admirable volunteer led campaign dedicated to providing vulnerable people with necessary sanitary protection. If you find yourself in or around Guildhall Square be sure to check this  place out. 

Tuesday, July 11

Garnier 96% Natural Origins - Aloe Extract

When it comes to budget skincare Garnier nail it every single time. Their micellar water is one of my holy grails which I swear by and absolutely can't live without. When I found out Garnier where replacing their Skin Active ranges with new Botanical ranges I was over the moon and could not wait to pick these up and give them a go. All the products in the collection are made from 96% natural ingredients and are all free from parabens, silicone and artificial colourants; with the remaining 4% ensuring the quality and preservation of the formulas. There is an answer for every skin type with four ranges in the botanical Skin Active Natural collection:

- Rose water to soothe sensitive and dry skin 
- Green tea leaf to hydrate and mattify combination to oily skin 
- Flower honey to nourish dry skin
- Aloe Vera to hydrate normal and combination skin

I wouldn't say I have overly sensitive skin, in fact I would probably say my skin is pretty normal verging on the dry side. I opted for the Aloe Vera range as hydration is my biggest concern with my skin at the moment. Within the range there are four products which feature fair trade Aloe vera as a key ingredient. The aloe delivers powerful hydration, recharging the skin and leaving it soft and refreshed. Now that I've had a chance to properly test out the products my skin is seriously thankful 

In the evening I prefer to use something that is going to completely cleanse my skin of the pollution and impurities of everyday life. This formula is perfect for me and leaves my skin so clean and hydrated ready for the next step in the regime. I apply one pump onto wet skin and massage gently all over the face, before rinsing off and patting dry. This is hands down my favourite product from the range. The formula is lightweight, creating just the right amount of lather to cleanse the skin and a little really goes a long way. It feels rich and luxurious on the skin and leaves you feeling nourished and refreshingly clean. 

I don't wear makeup on a daily basis and so I prefer to use a lighter cleanser in the morning. I slather this stuff onto my skin with a large cotton pad and it efficiently removes any impurities and grime. I've found some cleansers can dry out the skin and leave it feeling tight but this product leaves me feeling fresh and hydrated with plump, clean skin. Even with heavy make-up this product does not struggle to clean and cleanse the skin. There is no greasy residue like after using a make-up wipe, instead the skin feels refreshed and glowy. 

I use the toner after the cleansing milk to remove any lasting remnants of makeup and grime and to purify my skin. This formula leaves my skin feeling refreshed, clean, and ready for moisturising. It doesn't dry my skin out or cause any tightness or irritation which is exactly what I am looking for in a toner. It can be used throughout the day if your skin needs a little pick me up as well as morning and night in your standard skincare regime. My skin adores this formula and just soaks it all up ready for the moisturiser to seal the deal. 

I was expecting the moisturiser to be quite thick and creamy but I was pleasantly surprised to find this lightweight, silky formula instead. Enriched with natural antioxidants to protect the skin from the harmful effects of the environment, this moisturiser delivers intense hydration leaving your skin looking plump and refreshed. You can feel this replenishing each layer of your skin with a slight cooling sensation, which is so soothing for irritated skin. If you`re in a rush then its not a problem as this absorbs into the skin rapidly creating a dewy, lightweight base ready for your make-up. 

All in all considering you can pick the entire range up for less than £20 this is an absolute steal. The focus on natural, organic ingredients mean you can be sure your not slathering your face in harmful chemicals or artificial toxins. Each product compliments the last and they all work together to lock in the moisture and leave your skin feeling nourished and refreshed. 

Have you tried any products from the Garnier Naturals collection?

Sunday, July 9

The Ultimate UK Bucket List: 50 Dreamy Destinations

If you read my 30 before 30 post then you will know that I have recently been bitten by the travel bug. I seem to spend 90% of my time planning my next trip or seeing if I can cram in a few days away with the last of my annual leave. Due to a lack of time and funds we are unable to go away anywhere near as much as we would like so we've started planning day trips around the UK on the weekends. I think the UK is such an underrated destination and often overlooked when it comes to choosing places to visit. My bucket list for the UK is growing longer and longer and today I thought I would share with you my ultimate bucket list for all the incredible sites the UK has to offer. 

1. Eat fish and chips on Brighton Pier
2. Celebrate the Summer solstice at Stonehenge
3. Explore the world's largest indoor Rainforest at the Eden Project 
4. Spend a weekend partying in Newcastle
5. Visit the Giant's Causeway and Gobbins Coastal Path 
6. Go on safari at the Port Lympne Wildlife Park
7. Ride the Ffestiniog through Snowdonia National Park 
8. Stargaze on the Isle of Man
9. Travel on the Caledonia Sleeper 
10. Soak in Bath's thermal waters 
11. Have a picnic on the beach at Whistable and admire the colourful beach huts 
12. Complete the North Coast 500 road trip 
13. Take a bike ride around the New Forest 
14. Explore Banksy's work in Bristol and visit the Clifton Suspension Bridge 
15. Visit the York Minster, the largest Cathedral in Northern Europe
16. Explore the Yorkshire Dales and ride the Settle to Carlisle railway 
17. Follow the trail along Hadrian's Wall  
18. Take a drive through the dark hedges in Ballymoney 
19. Have a dip in the Isle of Skye's Fairy Pool's 
20. Go ski-ing in the Cairngorms 
21. See the White cliffs of Dover 
22. Stand at the edge of the country at Land's End
23. Spend a long weekend in Edinburgh 
24. Take the Woodland walk through St Nectan's Glen
25. Go hiking up Mount Snowdon 
26. Visit Blackpool during the illuminations festival 
27. Spend a romantic weekend in the Cotswolds
28. Unwind in a cabin in the Sherwood forest 
29. Roam through Lavender field's
30. Admire the white beaches of the Hebrides 
31. Search for Nessie at the Loch Ness
32. Take a cruise on Windermere in the Lake District 
33. Discover the secret caves at Cheddar Cave
34. Visit a deserted underground station 
35. Marvel at the Angel of the North 
36. Explore the Castle on St Michael's Mount 
37. Take a boat ride to Fingal's cave 
38. Spend a weekend exploring the Jurassic coast 
39. Spend a day exploring the Isle of Wight 
40. Search for the Northern Lights in the Scottish Highlands
41. See the changing of the guards at Windsor Castle
42. Tour the Oxford University grounds
43. Sunbathe on the white beaches of Scilly
44. Go camping in the Peak District
45. Stargaze in Northumberland's International Dark Sky Park
46. Discover Liverpool's Maritime History
47. Climb Ben Nevis
48. Spend a day aboard the Orient Express
49. Go on a hike around the Pennines
50. Explore the lost garden of Heligan

What places are on your bucket list?

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