A Recipe for The Perfect Pamper Session | Beauty

Pamper SessionA Recipe for The Perfect Pamper Session

Whether it’s by yourself or with friends, everyone needs a pamper session every now and again. But I’m not just talking about lighting some candles, putting on some music, and chilling out. Although those are all pretty great for relaxing and taking care of ‘moi’. However I’ve got some of my own tips, and I’ve decided to share some of my favourites with you here.

Get your Nails did

I can’t get enough of doing my nails. In fact I love it so much you’ll find it hard to catch me without a pristine manicure. So it’s only natural that it’s my number one go-to when pampering myself. But not everyone shares my love – point in fact: my best friend VA (chopstickpanorama).  So my tactic is to do her nails for her. And it’s actually pretty relaxing whether you’re the one painting nails, or having them painted.

Recommendation: Nails Inc Mindful Manicure* – each polish is infused with real gemstones, which is said to intensify one’s aura, channel energy, clarify thoughts, and heal. Whether you’re a believer or not, these shades are on point right now.

Snacks, and lots of ’em!

It just wouldn’t be right to not include snacks in this list. Although when I’m having a pamper session, I do like to go the extra mile. For me that means splurging a little on food I wouldn’t usually buy. Such as nice cheeses, cured meats, high quality chocolate, and some prosecco (of course). After all, you’re pampering your body on the outside, so why not inside as well?

Recommendation: Ocelot Chocolate – not only is this chocolate ridiculously stylish, it comes in some amazing flavours too. Where else would you find Bee Pollen & Mango, or Fig & Orange? Delicious!

Face masks are the one

I have been swearing by sheet masks for years, and I can’t sing their praises enough. They’re a fun, and effective way of treating your skin to a little extra care. Whether it’s extra hydration, brightening or anti-ageing – there’s a sheet mask for everything! I normally buy in bulk when I’m in Japan, or my sister and friends send me them from overseas. However a lot of UK brands have cottoned on to their fantastic abilities, and I’ve started dabbling in the options available here too.

Recommendation: Nails Inc Sheet Masks* – I chose these because I love that they have kept their sheet masks fun! A lot of the brands selling them in the UK have chosen to go with plain designs. But let’s be serious, we’d all much rather use skincare that is effective and cute. Also, who needs a Snapchat filter when you got these?

Feel The Good Vibes

Whether it’s watching your favourite movie/tv show, listening to music, or just having a chat. All of these can help keep the atmosphere chilled yet lively. Have a laugh, and if you’re with friends, chat until you’ve run out of things to say!

Recommendation: Netflix – there’s a variety of awesome shows on there, with some of my personal favourites being John Mulaney, What We Do in The Shadows, and Archer.

Pamper Session Pamper Session Pamper Session Pamper Session

A Year of Legends & Epic Retreats | Wales Travel Guide

epic retreatsA Year of Legends & Epic Retreats | Wales Travel Guide

I just want to put this out there – this is not a sponsored post. It may seem like one, because it’s oddly specific, and a little promo-y. However being an honorary Welsh(wo)man, I’m pretty proud of the country that birthed my fiancé. So it’s only natural that I would want to share and promote the country in the travel section of my blog. Read: Emma had some leftover photos of Wales on her desktop. Joking…kinda. But seriously, I have written this post entirely off my own back, purely because of my love for Wales.

Yes, I love Wales so much that I wanted to share some pretty cool things going on in 2017, and I think you’re going to be surprised…

Epic Retreats

Architecture, design and Instagram geeks alike will love this. 2017 is going to see Wales host something pretty spectacular – Epic Retreats. Wales will play host to a legendary and exclusive pop-up boutique hotel experience for just 200 lucky people. Now this is a luxury experience, so it does come with a price tag. But if you’re looking for something that is one-of-a-kind and will take your breath away, this is it. My personal choice would be the Slate Cabin or Arthur’s Cave. The combination of stunning Welsh backdrops, and modern architecture has put this on my to-travel list.

Here’s hoping I get lucky!

Year of Legends

Wales is a country full of stories and legends. Dramatic scenery and good people. Adventure and relaxation. And I think the new Year of Legends campaign by the Welsh tourist board really packs a punch in delivering this message. I mean c’mon, how can you not fall in love after seeing this?

So how will I be experiencing the Year of Legends? Well I already have plans to climb Snowdon (Cat boots ready!), and then maybe head back to Pembrokeshire for a spa weekend. I mean, I’m going to need some rest and relaxation after battling Wales’s highest mountain, right? But really, I just love exploring Wales with my family, because I never know what we’ll discover. One thing I do know though, is that it will always be memorable.

You can read more of my Wales travel posts here.

epic retreats epic retreats

epic retreats epic retreats epic retreats

 

A Self Help Guide for Taking Better Care of You

self help guideA Self Help Guide for Taking Better Care of You

Things are changing. We’re only two months into 2017, and I’ve already come across a pretty big road block. And at a time when there’s lots for me to think about, I’m being extra mindful of my mental and physical health. This means thinking about myself for once – something most of us neglect – and it isn’t easy. For me that might mean shutting myself away for a few hours to watch my favourite Let’s Plays on YouTube, or spending an afternoon in my favourite cafe with friends. Truth be told there are many ways to take better care of yourself, and that’s why I wanted to write up a mini self help guide for those who might also be in need.

A Self Help Guide

Now I’m not a doctor, and of course I’m not about to start sprouting silly advice left right and centre. Instead I’m going to offer up a few tips and tricks that I’ve tried and tested myself. My aim here is to help people take some time out of their busy schedule and take a moment to relax. This isn’t anything life changing. However if done often, it really can make a difference. Life can be stressful, and sometimes being able to take the time to look after YOU can really help.

Relax Yourself

  • Treat yourself to some good food
  • Take some time out with a friend to talk about how you’re doing
  • Read a book and transport yourself into another world
  • Have a hot drink (they’re scientifically proven to reduce stress)
  • Get outside and go for a walk
  • Meditate (if you can/enjoy it)
  • Exercise
  • Take a day off

Have some ‘Me Time’

  • Have some ‘me time’
    • Spend some time by yourself, doing what you love
  • Sit down and watch a silly movie
    • Laughing is good for the soul, and your body
  • Listen to your favourite music
  • On that note, listen to some natural sounds
  • Allow yourself a guilty pleasure every now and again
    • For me it’s a square (or two) of chocolate in the evening

Please note that you don’t have to do all of these at once (or at all if you don’t fancy it). Just doing one or two can often help bring your stress levels down. Remember, what de-stresses one person may not work for another. It’s all about finding what fits into your lifestyle, and makes you happy. Because at the end of the day, what’s most important is your health and happiness.

Check out more of my self help articles.

self help guide self help guide self help guide

Living Like a Local | Slovenia Travel Diary

slovenia travelHello & Hvala – Slovenia Travel Diary

Whether it’s foregoing a rain coat, or getting rid of a gigantic backpack, we all try to avoid looking like a tourist when we travel. Not only for safety, but because we want to experience a country like a local. Well, at least I do anyway. I don’t mind doing all the usual tourist sights when I visit a new city. But I also want to eat where the locals eat, visit the galleries hidden down side streets, and while away my day in the little coffee shop that only the coolest “millennials” know about.

It was this – among other things – that led me to me saying yes, when my friend invited me to join him for his birthday party in Slovenia.

Living Like a Local – Slovenia Travel Diary

I was lucky enough to travel with a big group of friends this time, which meant plenty of laughs, and some new travel companions. We all hopped on a plane from London, and in less than 2 hours we were in Trieste, Italy. Wait, what? Well my friend’s hometown is actually right by the border of Italy. The neighbouring villages/towns in Slovenia reminded me of a mix of Italy and the region around the French Alps. Lots of cute cafes, local food, mountains, sun and sea. The perfect combination!

I’ve not travelled to Eastern Europe, so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect of Slovenia. I really enjoyed my trip though. Maybe it was because I got to spend time with my friends and with my Slovenian friend’s families. It felt comfortable, and casual. With no pressure to “make the most of the holiday” or anything like that. Highlights included: home-cooked meals, as well as trying local delicacies in some well-loved restaurants. Tip: be prepared to eat a ton of meat! We were chauffeured around some of the prettiest sights I’ve ever seen. I tried a lot of homemade alcohol (…yeah). And we partied. What better way is there to spend a holiday with friends?

In a way it felt like Slovenia was a home-away-from-home. I’ll definitely be going back, and I’ll be taking my thanksgiving eating pants with me!

Don’t forget to check out more of my travel posts.

slovenia travel slovenia travel slovenia travel slovenia travel slovenia travelslovenia travel

Old Friends & New Beginnings | Cyprus Travel Diary

cyprus travelOld Friends & New Beginnings – Cyprus Travel Diary

Friendship is a funny thing. There are the acquaintances you meet once a year, the work colleagues, close friends, uni friends, best friends… The list goes on.

My recent trip to Cyprus was for a university friend’s wedding. This urged me to get in touch with some old friends who were also invited. You see even though we all live in London – albeit it opposite ends – we hadn’t seen each other since we graduated. I believe that friendships last the test of time, and that you don’t need to see someone everyday in order to stay friends. If you can meet someone once in a while, but it feels like nothing has changed, and you pick up exactly where you left off…well that’s ‘real friendship’. Still, part of me wondered whether the “banter” would be the same. Would we still get each other, especially with us all being at different stages in our life?

Old Friends – Cyprus Travel Diary

Weddings are always emotionally charged, but this one was different. We laughed, we even shed a few tears (read: I shed a few tears) – thanks to a beautiful ceremony/reception, and the father of the Bride’s speech. But more than that, it felt good to be amongst people I’d spent 3 days a week with for almost 4 years. It was as though things had never changed, although in actuality things had changed a lot.

New Beginnings – Cyprus Travel Diary

Seeing old friends made me realise just how far I’ve come in the past few years. I’ve moved to a new city, had some wonderful experiences, and created some awesome memories with the people closest to me.

It also got me thinking about where I’ll go next. What’s in store for little ol’ me? Maybe I’ll finally get round to planning my own wedding (I know, I’ve been lazy). Perhaps I’ll do that whilst flying around the world and creating some new memories. Whatever happens, I know that I’ll be doing it with some of the best friends anyone could ask for.

Don’t forget that you can also check out my Cyprus Travel Guide.

cyprus travel cyprus travel cyprus travel cyprus travel cyprus travel cyprus travel

24 Hours in Limassol | A Cyprus Travel Guide

cyprus travel guide

I always have so much fun when writing my ’24 Hours In…’ posts. Of course most of us choose to spend slightly more than one day in a city, when travelling. However I like the idea of compressing everything into such a short amount of time. After all, if it doesn’t make it into my 24 Hour guide, is it even worth doing at all? So here is my Cyprus travel guide, and my recommendations for spending 24 hours in the city of Limassol!

cyprus travel guide

24 Hours in Limassol: A Cyprus Travel Guide

  1. Grab breakfast from a kiosk
    • The streets of Cyprus are lined with kiosks (mini supermarkets), that sell anything and everything. My go-to is a can of iced coffee & a doughnut for breakfast. The doughnuts in Cyprus are some of the best you’ll ever have!
  2. Walk along the beach
    • The promenade in Limassol is very people-friendly. Long stretches of footpath take you along the sea front, which is lined with cafes and the chance to dive into the crystal clear water whenever you fancy it.
  3. If you get tired, hop in a taxi
    • It shouldn’t cost more than €10 to get around the city, and it’s much easier to flag down a taxi than navigate the complicated bus system.
  4. Walk around Limassol Marina
  5. Have lunch at Pixida 
    • Fresh seafood…by the sea. What more could you ask for?
  6. Check out the modern architecture at Limassol Marina
    • Form meets function in the city’s newest development. It will certainly please your inner minimalist.
  7. Walk back through the old town
    • The old buildings are a stark contrast to the modern architecture of LM, but equally as beautiful (and with a history to match).
  8. Do dinner at a local taverna
    • You can’t come all this way without having a mezze!
  9. Finish the night at a local bar with drinks & shisha 
    • I’d suggest the Amathus hotel or Coya, but there are many accommodating bars & hotels along the strip.

cyprus travel guide

Cyprus Travel Guide – Helpful Tips

  • Hire a car or take a shuttle from Paphos/Larnaca airport – You’ll find the usual hire car companies, but if you don’t drive I’d suggest Shuttle Direct. SD is an affordable taxi service that makes you feel at ease.
  • There are LOTS of friendly stray cats, and they’re all fed well by the local residents. As adorable as they are, some of them are sick/carry fleas, so if you do touch them, make sure you wash your hands afterwards.
  • Toilet roll doesn’t go down the toilet in Cyprus. The pipes can’t handle toilet roll, and so you need to put it in the bins located next to the toilets. It might seem gross, but it’s really not that bad.
  • Drinking water from the tap isn’t really encouraged, and tap water isn’t a thing in restaurants here. Just make sure you have a bottle on hand (it’s super cheap at around €0.50).

Well there you have it, my Cyprus travel guide to 24 Hours in Limassol!
Don’t forget to check out the my other 24 Hours In… guides.

cyprus travel guide cyprus travel guide cyprus travel guide cyprus travel guide cyprus travel guide cyprus travel guide cyprus travel guide cyprus travel guide

Is This The Death of Instagram & Can We Save It?

death of instagramIs This The Death of Instagram & Can We Save It?

Instagram is going through a bit a shit storm as of late, and that’s putting it nicely (sorry for the expletives). First it started with people liking old photos, then the confusing off topic comments came along, and suddenly a new algorithm. And now, well now we’ve got the constant following and unfollowing. And it’s left a lot of us feeling pretty jaded. Am I right, or am I right?

How & Why is it happening?

I’ve seen a lot of confusion on social, and people aren’t entirely certain what is going on. They’re seeing their follower numbers increase and decrease daily, whilst not actually moving at all. Big accounts have seen engagement drop (in fact we all have), and it’s left everyone asking why and how.

  • The New Algorithm Ever since Facebook bought out Instagram, they’ve constantly been adding and taking away features. The latest big addition was the new FB-feed style algorithm. Meaning we don’t get to see a chronological feed anymore. Instead we see the people Instagram thinks we want to see.
  • Follow, Unfollow Tools Yes, those people are not manually following and unfollowing 100 people a day. Well not the savvy ones anyway. For those of you that are up to date on your social tools, you’ll already know all about this. There are tons of sites and apps out there offering free or paid services that will automatically follow, unfollow, like, comment or send DMs for you via Instagram.
  • People Buying Followers This has become all too common. You’d be surprised at how many of the 10K+ crowd have actually earned their followers naturally and organically. The tell-tale sign is when someone has a lot of ‘ghost followers’. A ghost follower is an account that doesn’t have many photos, isn’t very active, but follows an awful lot of people. You can usually spot them by the lack of profile photo.
  • It’s Become Saturated There are just too many accounts now (over 600 million), which means it’s harder than ever to get yourself noticed.
  • But It’s Still a Big Accounts Game Even if people did want to get themselves noticed, it’s still pretty difficult when the big accounts are the ones being featured and mentioned.

Is This The Death of Instagram & Can We Save It?

Well this may not be the official death of Instagram, but it has definitely taken a fair few blows. It’s not safe to say yet whether it will come out of this whole, but with over 300 million daily users* it seems as though people aren’t completely tired of Instagram just yet.

Keep an eye out for my post on how you can save your Instagram account!

death of instagram