Reminiscing about my travels- USA

Reminiscing about my travels- USA

Spoiler: I saw Spongebob…

Boston, New Hampshire and NYC 2012

The second school trip took place two years later across the pond, landing in Boston, skiing on Loon Mountain in Lincoln, NH, to a couple of days pretending to live my Gossip Girl and Friends dreams in New York.

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Rebelling in the Big Apple before the new World Trade Centre was completed.

Boston is my favourite city in the world, so although we were only passing through to get to our hotel in New Hampshire, I was still loving life watching the city go by from my window. Once we got to Lincoln, we unfortunately found that the snow had basically melted from the mountains due to warm weather and that we’d be mostly skiing on snow made by a machine, which in turn meant that skiing with all the jackets and thermals like we were forced to wear for ‘healthy and safety reasons’ meant that it was boiling for the entire week. Plus, midweek I skied off the track right and landed in a ditch right at the top of the mountain. Then despite hardly being able to stand, got made to ski all the way down because they ‘weren’t going to unnecessarily’  get the ski medics out, which resulted with my knees severely swelling. I’ve never felt pain like it, let alone the rage I had when someone else from school had fallen over and had the medics out to take her down all 100 feet to the bottom!!!! My injury meant that I had to sit out for a day, but don’t get me wrong though, skiing was amazing and I’ve been pining to go again ever since! My friends and I aren’t particularly big people, but omg we lost so much weight on that holiday it was ridiculous. So my recommendation, if you can, go skiing for a week. It’ll cost you, but its more fun with better scenery than the gym, just sayin’.

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When in New York, the Friends theme tune was sung and generally there was a pretty good vibe going on. There’s something magical about NY, and you won’t experience anything like it unless you’re there. Time was limited so we only got to visit a couple of the city’s main attractions including Central Park, Rockefeller Centre and Ground Zero. I ♥ NY, xoxo.

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Only in NY.

Reminiscing about my travels- Paris

The nostalgia continues…

Paris, France 2010

My first school trip abroad was to Paris when I was 15. Travelling from the Midlands to France’s capital on a coach with over 30 other students was an experience to say the least. Although one that I recommend anyone. It may stink and people will become v territorial over their seats, but the jokes and touring with your whole friendship group and having sassy conversations with your teachers is ace.

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I’d say the only real downside to going on a school trip is that often the tourist side can be slightly lost. Of course you get to go to and see all these amazing places, but appreciating them fully can be difficult when your best friend comes out with hilarious boarder-line-offensive comparisons like “you know, I bet Jesus to God is like Solange to Beyoncé. Forever spending your life overshadowed” in the Notre Dame and being scolded by random French women. Although you’ll never forget Disneyland and going up the Eiffel!

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Reminiscing about my travels- Barcelona

Reminiscing about my travels- Barcelona

Post number two coming up! Barcelonaaaa. Writing about this trip seriously made me want to go explore further. Barcelona 2016 anyone?

Barcelona, Spain 2014

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After the end of first year at uni, my flat decided to go global! Having spent many hours and debates deciding where we wanted to go (for as cheaply as possible) we settled on Barcelona, with a trip for 6, dwindling down to just 3. The action-packed weekend turned out to be one of the best holidays I’ve ever been on, with stories ranging from dodgy hotel rooms with gunshot walls, standing next to a famous South Korean boyband without realising and being shoved by their bodyguards and Irish pub trips with new American friends.

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Since going to Barcelona, I have a new appreciation for the genius that was Gaudí and his impressive architecture and designs. The Basilica of the Sagrada Família is jaw-dropping. It’s attention to detail both inside and out is brilliant and you can’t help but get lost in its magnitude! Later we visited Park Guell, to get even more immersed  in Gaudí’s legacy. The hills toward Park Guell are pretty spectacular in themselves, so thank God they installed some escalators in the streets to get you up there too. The Rambla, its markets and nightclub Razzamatazz are all places to put on your visit list too should you find yourself in Barcelona!

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Hannah and I walking along the Rambla

Reminiscing about my travels- Canada

Reminiscing about my travels- Canada

I’ve had to start the new term running. Especially as the end of last term was overshadowed with uni survival evacuations and a Christmas break spent working full-time. This has meant that the majority of my days (and all-nighters) for the past two weeks have been spent attempting to doggy paddling through a tidal wave of essays. Those who may have seen me in the library, or my Twitter feed for that matter, will be aware of my many mini breakdowns over misguided deadlines,  unforeseen  computer crashes and finding vomit-scented library books. Among this work, my flatmate Emma and I were sat in our kitchen when we started to long for some adventures, starting with updating our neglected blogs. This subsequent post about previous travels is the outcome.

After spending New Years in London, I realised it had been months since I had last been a tourist and well over a year since I’ve been abroad (although not from a lack of trying). Since uni will be prohibiting me from going anywhere exciting for a few months, I thought I’d spend the evening and this blog post reminiscing about past excursions. (Although I actually drafted this post and ultimately decided to stagger it, starting with Canada- may as well make the most of ☺️)


Ottawa, Quebec and Montréal, Canada (2014)

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Ever since I studied at Carleton University in Ottawa, I now have a lifelong love with Canada. It’s an amazing and beautiful country where the seasons are truly spectacular. My only regret is that I didn’t get to explore Toronto further than the airport. For an advertising assignment, I got to learn all about- albeit mainly political- history of Ottawa and experienced their capital city for myself! Byward Market is host to the best café I have ever eaten in (Barack Obama’s also been there, his picture’s on the wall) and some fantastic pubs!

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Frosh week (kind of like Freshers) and me clearly not doing my work and taking random pictures of a lecture

While I came to learn that Hull in Quebec isn’t particularly the most high society place to travel, many of my Canadian friends weren’t yet 19, therefore we had to travel to the French Province in order to enjoy some nights out. While most nights there went well and were really enjoyable, I will never forget the time myself, friend and 3 of his friends from home had to walk in below minus temperatures because no one had a phone or internet to look up a taxi service. Luckily a taxi driver took pity on us!

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Roadtripping in Ottawa

Montréal was a fun road trip! Exploring both the city and getting to see the open Canadian roads with a book and well put together Spotify playlist meant the travelling side was perfect. My roommates and I started our day trip by simply walking around for a few hours, taking in the city. We then got a taxi to Old Montreal and witnessed the Notre-Dame Basilica which has as impressive an impression as the Notre Dame de Paris does! We ventured further on the Metro and visited the Botanical Gardens. Despite the gardens not being in full bloom as we went in the depths of winter, areas of the gardens were still incredible to be in!

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montreal tigers


It’s University Time!

With it being early September and University calling, I thought I’d write a little post.

While I’m entering my third year being at university, this will be the first year that I’ll be a fresher rep, meaning I have somewhat, some, responsibility over the newcomers and their first week! I’m quite looking forward to it, but nonetheless hoping that my freshers will be nice, chill people who are easy to get on with. Personally, my freshers week was awesome. I had excellent reps who later became mine and my flat’s friends (I’m actually living with one this year!), and my flat were ace. While I made a couple of friends outside of my flat, it was really them that I stuck with throughout my first year.

I can’t remember the exact timetable of my freshers week, however I remember the first night was a slow introduction, where after we moved in, all the freshers in my college took a photo, and then later that night, we went to our college bar. A nice chilled night, where we could chat to one another, without immediately being thrust into the heavy drinking traditions that are expected of Fresher’s week. The best night of my freshers was (appropriately titled) Big Night Out. While I wouldn’t say that the only way for people to have fun is to get drunk… this night was by far our most drunk night out. The night started with a chilly bar crawl, ending in our university nightclub. The night involved, sharpieing over each others shirts, some shocking moves being made to our own non-rhythm and declaring our love for our new friendships over snapchat in the kitchen at ridic’ o’clock in the morning.

I think if I was to give any advice to any 2015 freshers, I’d say its fine to feel anxious and apprehensive, but still join in with the activities, even if they’re not 100% your thing. It’s important to socialise with your new flatmates. Even if you don’t become best friends at the end of it, you’ll still hopefully be on good terms, which means when you have to ask for them for favours, or nag at them for doing something annoying/unhygienic, it’s much easier for you to communicate with them! Also, if you’re not much of a drinker, don’t worry, most people won’t pressure you into it anyway, but drinking games are a big part of freshers, so I’d stock up on some Coca-Cola or Lemonade (a white lie never hurt anybody…).

Enjoy your freshers! I’m looking forward to reliving mine!

Garnier aka the Dry Skin Saviour

I know I know. Its taken me ages to actually post something! With the general busyness of end of uni and summer I seem to have lost track of time. I’ve had quite a few half-written posts in drafts but I’m finally publishing!

So around a month ago, I was in Boots and they had a 3 for 2 on the skincare ranges. I can’t remember what I was initially looking to buy, but I know that in a need to make up the third product, I decided to go for Garnier’s Softening Toner which was apart of their Goodbye Dry range. According to the bottle it will tone and soften my skin, leaving “the skin toned, perfectly cleansed and feeling soft” also leaving me with a ‘beautiful complexion’. It contains extracts from Cherry trees and Morigna (which I’m assuming is some kind of plant?) which apparently also have purifying qualities.

After using it a couple of times, I did start to notice that my skin had a much softer feel with a little less dryness, although hadn’t stopped my skin from drying and flaking completely. But even so, I was pretty impressed. In terms of removing any remaining make-up, I’ve found that it’s pretty ace at that. I finish off my cleansing routine with this toner and it definitely removes the sneaky bits that either refuse to leave or I’ve simply missed. It also smells amaaaaaazing!

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After being left pretty impressed with the toner, I went onto purchase their make-up wipes too. While these aren’t specifically made with the aim of battling dry skin, I did buy their wipes for sensitive skin and eyes and I have to admit, they are some of the softest wipes I’ve ever used. While I can’t necessarily say that they’re particularly better at removing my make up than any other wipe or host any special property other than their softness, I still quite like them.

Carrying on my Garnier streak, I also bought their Moisture + Nourish Daily Rich Moisturiser which I would probably say was the best buy from the three. While it says it’s a rich moisturiser, when I first squeezed the bottle to find it actually retaining the shape of the hole, I didn’t realise it’d be quick so rich, however it’s done more for my skin than I expected it to! I use it two (sometimes three) times a day- when I wake up, just before bed and whenever I’ve left the shower/washed my face, and for the first time in a long time, I’ve gone longer than a couple of hours without seeing my skin begin to flake and feel rough and dry. According the Garnier, the moisturiser goes beyond being a moisturiser and ‘provides optimal hydration and also the specific care your skin needs’. You know, I’d probably say I agree with this. While I can’t guarantee that it will work for everyone with dry skin like it has for mine, and that it provides everyone with ‘specific care’, I feel like I’ve personally found a good match. My skin looks vibrant rather than dull!

However I would make a note for anyone thinking of using this moisturiser, while it says its quick absorbing and non-greasy- which it is- if you apply before using your makeup as a alternative to primer, I’d definately leave it a few mins, as I’ve found that if you apply foundation straight after applying it, your foundation won’t go on quite so well, also making your skin look slightly oily which is going off onto the other side of the skin spectrum…

Estée Lauder Review

After months and months of watching YouTube reviews and finding every possible blog post on Estée Lauder’s Double Wear Foundation, a couple of weeks ago I decided to invest my cash into it. While there are thousands of reviews out there on Estée products, particularly their foundation, I decided to try one out for myself.

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First of all, I love the fact that there is such a wide variety of shades and tones that are available with this foundation. As someone who is of mixed ethnicity, this was a huge positive for me. It’s almost impossible for me to find a true match to my skin tone, usually either too light or too dark, or the undertones are completely off, but this was not the case when buying Double Wear. I’m pretty confident that anyone could locate a shade that if not a true colour match, a pretty damn close one. After some testing I settled on Toasty Toffee.

One awkward conversation with a fellow customer later, I bought the foundation, of which they told me I could bring it back if it wasn’t a good colour match and also the lady gave me some free samples to try. These included Perfectly Clear Multi-Action Foam Cleanser/Purifying Mask and Clear Difference Advanced Blemish Serum. Starting with the cleanser/purifying mask, I much preferred this over the blemish serum. I love the fact that you can use this product in two different ways, which gives enables you to use it in a way that best suits your routine. You can use this on wet skin, where it will foam up and you can gently massage it on your face, and then rinse off for a quick cleanse, in the morning and evening. You can also use it as a mask two or three times a week where you massage into damp or dry skin and leave the product on for a few minutes before rinsing. Personally, I used this as a mask twice a week however my best friend also got a sample and uses it as a daily cleanser so I feel pretty confident in saying that it can work either way. After using the purifying cleanser just once, I felt like my skin had become silky smooth and healthy. As someone with horrific dry skin, it’s such a nice and amazing change to run my hand over my cheek and it feel smooth rather than dry and bumpy. Although its effect doesn’t last forever and it does actually say on the bottle that it’s best for normal to combination skin, so that’s something to keep in mind.

While the first couple of times I used the Clear Difference serum, I could have sworn that it was a miracle worker, but I’m starting to believe that it was maybe a placebo effect or me just desperately wanting to to be as amazing as the other Estée Lauder products I’ve used. However sadly, after using it for a round a month, I don’t think it’s really anything too special. I feel like I could get the same results as something from like Clean and Clear. Maybe it’s just not for my skin, as everyone is different, but I personally wouldn’t think to buy this, especially at £44 for the smallest bottle!

Okay so to the main part. The foundation. I’m going to be pretty quick the the chase. It’s pretty damn amazing. I think my favourite thing about it, is that a little really does go a long way. One little small amount can even out the appearance of your skin and complexion and does an amazing job of concealing any blemishes, scars and anything you may want to conceal. While I’ve found that on some of the tougher more annoying blemishes, you may need to use concealer too, as a general rule, you can get away without. It’s buildable too so I’d definitely see what concealing you can do before you try it with concealer.

The great thing about Double Wear is that it works for pretty much all skin types so whatever you’ve got, be it dry, oily or combination, chances are you’ll look pretty spectacular and radiant with this foundation. What makes it even better is that it doesn’t smear, smudge or rub off throughout the day so chances are, you’ll actually look as good as you did when you applied and left the house.

I’ve found only two negatives to this foundation, maybe even three, but one of these is very much personal and specific to my skin. So the first thing I noticed is that, as flawless and Kardashian-like you may look, it can very easily look like you have a full face of makeup so to speak. If you want to just pop to the shop or something, but want quite a subtle foundation on just to even things out, this is not the foundation to do so. While it feels incredibly lightweight, it definitely looks heavier than it feels. Second, I did buy this foundation mainly because I’d been given some birthday money to do so. It cost me £29, which while isn’t too much money in the grand scheme of things, it can feel like a lot to pay for foundation, so if you’re a little short on cash or just generally a student, it seems like quite a big commitment to pay for. The third and final issue is, I did not research the foundation as thoroughly as I should have done as I, am actually allergic to it. After using it for about a month I realised that I had this weird breakout-like, reddining reaction happening on my face, and I couldn’t understand why. My diet was exactly the same, and I hadn’t really used any new products on my face, with the exception of the foundation. It wasn’t until my mum suggested I check the ingredients that I realised it had silicone in it, which I am indeed allergic to. The irony of this being, none of my other foundations worked as well at concealing my allergic reaction than Double Wear did. However, my symptoms only became so bad as I was repeatedly using the foundation, so I’ve now decided that I will only wear it on days that are super hectic and full on, or if I just need to look flawless for a few hours, of which I shouldn’t really get any visible symptoms, and the time using the foundation will be few and far between.

We were excited about it…

Overall, I’m quite impressed with the Estée Lauder products I’ve used, and I really appreciate the sales assistant that gave me two extra samples, she was a babe. The cleanser/mask I found worked quite well, and leaves your skin feeling good, and the foundation is excellent, maybe even a holy grail. I suffer from really dry skin and I’ve had my fair share of blemishes and breakouts throughout the years, so I don’t feel ashamed to say that after using these products, and having such confidence in how well they work and perform, left me feeling slightly more confident when using and wearing them, which is a big bonus in my opinion. But, let my tale be a lesson, always check and research cosmetics thoroughly, including the ingredients, even if you don’t understand what the hell half of them are! It’s better to be safe than sorry!