Sunday, 23 April 2017

10 Reasons That I'm Really Looking Forward To My NYC Trip

Solo Travel To New York Tips

Following on from last year's 10 reasons that I'm really looking forward to my holiday to Orlando, Florida blog post, I thought that I would make one for this year's holiday; my solo trip to New York.

I feel like most of my meticulous planning (I've already got a daily itinerary ready to go) has been going on behind the scenes and I really wanted to share some of it with you on here, especially as I'll be reporting back after my trip to let you know what I got up to. But until then, here are the 10 things that I'm most excited about;

1. Being a tourist - From walking through Grand Central, paying my respects at the 9/11 memorial and museum, taking in the spectacular views from the Empire State building and Top Of The Rock, sauntering through Central Park and spending hours, if not days, in the many museums, it's all on my list. I also can't wait to visit Ellis Island. As someone with an unusual name, knowing that there was a whole island, in New York of all places, that shared my namesake was always something that made me smile growing up. I've always said, one day I'll visit it, so to make that happen will be such a special moment for me. And to see the Statue of Liberty close up (I've only ever seen her in the distance on a short layover via Newark about 10 years ago) is something I can't wait to do.

2. Pretending I'm in one of my favourite movies or TV shows - I think the main reason that I've always wanted to visit New York was the fact that I grew up watching it feature in so many of my favourite movies and TV shows. Friends, Gossip Girl, Sex and the City, The Devil Wears Prada, You've Got Mail, Girls, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. Home Alone 2. Queue me running around the city like Carrie Bradshaw and hopefully not Kevin McAllister.

3. Staying at CitizenM - There are so many options when it comes to where to stay in NYC but for me, there was only one place that I wanted to stay; CitizenM. I absolutely adored my stay at their Glasgow hotel and for that reason, every other comparable or cheaper hotel room in the Big Apple just didn't have the wow factor that CitizenM has. It was well worth spending that little bit extra for what I'm getting as part of my room, plus there's no resort fees to pay when you get there, unlike many others and I also got 10% off as a Citizen. You can also sign up to get 10% off too and the best price guaranteed.

4. Walking across the Brooklyn Bridge - I know that most people visiting New York for the first time will probably have this on their 'to do' list and there's good reason why. It just looks absolutely breathtaking. From the bridge itself to the views of Manhattan as you make your way across, it's something that takes my breath away in photographs, so to actually experience it for myself will be a little mind blowing, I can imagine. I also intend on spending at least one full day in Brooklyn exploring DUMBO, Brooklyn Bridge Park and the surrounding areas and if the weather is particularly nice that day, I'd love to make the trip to Coney Island. I don't know the last time that I saw an actual beach and it might be a nice break from the hustle and bustle of the city, for a couple of hours anyway.

5. Spending a small fortune at Glossier - Normally when I visit the States, Sephora and Bath & Body Works are what I look forward to the most, when it comes to shopping but as I'm travelling with hand luggage only, I can't go too crazy with my buying, especially when it comes to liquids not being over 100ml. So this trip I'm saving all my pennies to make a trip to the Glossier showroom. I've wanted to try a few of their products, namely Boy Brow, the Perfecting Skin Tint and Balm Dotcom, for so long and have heard amazing things. Who'd be interested in a Glossier haul when I get back?

6. All the sweet treats - Doughnuts, cronuts, cookie dough, cupcakes, ice cream; I have a list as long as my arm of the sweet treats that I want to try, with Magnolia Bakery, Dough and Milk Bar all high up on my list.

7. Shopping at Woodbury Commons - Having found many a bargain on my trips to the outlet malls in Orlando, Woodbury Commons was always going to be on my list of places to visit when I went to New York. The fact that there's a Kate Spade outlet pretty much sold me on the idea really and I'll definitely be leaving space in my suitcase for something Kate Spade related, no matter what.

8. Hopefully seeing a show of some sort - The one thing that I've not booked in advance, unlike my attraction tickets and New York CityPASS, is a show of some sort. I'm hoping to bag a bargain and pick up a ticket to one of the incredible shows or musicals on the day from the TKTS booth and I'm even more hopeful that I can secure tickets to see a late night show taping. They do run a lottery system for these tickets so it might not be possible but I'd love to see Jimmy Fallon or Seth Myers or even one of the summer concerts that they often hold in the park. Wish me luck!

9. Spending the 4th of July in the US - Now this is something that has always been on my bucket list of sorts. Americans really go all out when it comes to the holidays. Having visited Florida both in the run up to Easter and Halloween, I can certainly attest to that. So to spend the day in the US watching the fireworks and having a little party, definitely influenced what month to visit.

10. Travelling on my own - For some this might be their idea of hell or something that they'd worry about but I am so excited to go solo. I can take things at my own pace and go where I want when I want. I will be meeting up with friends and hopefully a blogger or two throughout my visit but other than that I'm in charge of my itinerary and I cannot wait.

Have you got any holidays planned for this year or the next? If so, what are you looking forward to most about it? And have any of you visited New York before? And have I missed anything out that you would recommend doing/eating/exploring?


Sunday, 16 April 2017

The Love Me Beauty #InFullBloom Edit

Love Me Beauty Edit 2017

As you will remember if you saw my first Love Me Beauty edit blog post, the whole Love Me Beauty concept was one that I enjoyed trying out and as a result, I'm back with another one this month. For more information on how the Love Me Beauty box/edit works, in terms of redeeming points and choosing what makes it into your box/bag each month, be sure to check out that original post for all the details.

But let's get onto this month's aptly named #InFullBloom edit and what I received in the mail this month. As with every Love Me Beauty post of mine, you can get 20% off your first edit simply by using the code ellis20. With subscriptions starting at just £8, it makes sense to have a little look, now doesn't it? Especially when just one of the products included in this edit is £9.99 alone!

Love Me Beauty ecotools

Even though the #InFullBloom edit name correlates nicely with the time of year and the beautiful makeup bag that you receive with this month's delivery, I think this edit could quite easily have been named the ecoTools edit and I was absolutely over the moon to see the brand new releases from ecoTools appear this month, especially as they are that new that I haven't even seen them in the shops yet.

ecoTools are one of those brands that I've been meaning to try for years now but for some reason or another just hadn't, until now.

I'm really in love with the eye duo and they have everything I could ever want when it comes to eyeshadow application, in two handy brushes. The powder brush is also insanely soft and applies makeup beautifully. And then look at these sponges! The contour perfecting sponge is perfect for sculpting and I really like using the other light green sponge to get right in under my eyes when applying my concealer. And then you have the darker green sponge which is ideal for applying foundation. How had I not tried ecoTools until now?!

Love Me Beauty Box Review

The following products were nice extra additions to the edit, since, for me, this was really all about ecoTools but I was happy to receive them and to try them too.

Living Proof are another one of those brands that I've had my eye on from afar but never actually tried so I was ecstatic to receive the Prime Style Extender Spray aka. the one product that I was most interested in trying. And as a result of using it in the past week or so, I'll certainly be grabbing a bigger size of this at some point. Do I really need another addition to my haircare routine, which you will have seen a few days ago? No, not really but when I'm next in the market for some new haircare bits, I'll be heading straight in the direction of Living Proof. Maybe I'll treat myself to a couple of trial sizes when I'm next at Sephora in the Summer.

One of my favourite kinds of products to receive in a beauty box has to be skincare, especially as I never just pick up a new skincare product, on a whim, when I'm out shopping. You get to try lots of different products from different brands without having to part with a lot of money and it opens your eyes to new brands and ranges too, which is what I really like. The Amie Naturally Kind face wash and moisturiser feel so nice on the skin and I can completely understand why they're award winners. If you've got sensitive or irritable skin, I would definitely recommend checking the Amie brand out. I think I might need to treat myself to the full size of the moisturiser in particular. They're also Vegan, if that's something of particular interest to you, as are ecoTools, which I forgot to mention earlier. And the Dr Bragi mask is coming with me on my next flight. Rejuvenating, hydrating, smoothing and plumping; it sounds like this mask ticks all the boxes of what my skin will be crying out for after a 7 hour flight.

What do you think of the #InFullBloom edit? Are you a fan of ecoTools? Or who are your favourite when it comes to makeup brushes and sponges? And have you tried any of the brands or products in today's post? If so, what did you think?


Friday, 14 April 2017

What's New In My Haircare Routine

Haircare Routine Beauty Blogger

As much as I love shopping for makeup and even skincare, something I tend to neglect is my haircare routine. For years now I've used the same two shampoos and a can of hairspray that kind of leaves my hair feeling a bit crispy and crunchy. And for some reason or another I've not actively sought out anything else so when I received a couple of emails this month asking if I'd like to try out this haircare range or this haircare product, I jumped at the opportunity to add to and switch up my routine and to say it's changed significantly since then would be an understatement. I even took a trip down the haircare aisle, something I never do and picked up a couple of products from Boots and Superdrug on a recent trips, which have quickly become daily beauty essentials for me.

So here's what I'm currently using, in rotation of course, when it comes to my haircare routine;

New Haircare Releases 2017

When I'm looking for my hair to be smooth and sleek I reach for the Toni & Guy Smooth Definition shampoo and conditioner. I particularly like the fact that this is designed for dry hair, which I often feel like my hair can be. Using these in combination with the Moroccanoil Blow Dry Concentrate* is now my go-to when it comes to those days when I'd like to wear my hair straight. I tend to wear my hair curly or wavy so it's a nice change to switch it up and wear it straight.

And when I'm looking to wear it curly or wavy, which my hair naturally is, despite years of over-straightening, both the Moroccanoil Curl Defining Cream* and Show Curl Enhancing Lotion* make such a big difference. Without them my hair can often look limp and curls and waves can drop in a matter of minutes. These both ensure that curls look defined and almost spring-like, which I very much appreciate. I feel like I've been looking for products to help my curls and waves remain curly and wavy for years, only to have two arrive at once.

Hair Finishing Products Review

Despite spending as much time as I do on my hair, whether I'm blow drying it, straightening it or curling it, I often just leave it after doing so and then wonder why it doesn't look as good, a matter of minutes later. I've recently started to integrate more finishing products into my routine and I can't believe I didn't do it sooner.

Something as simple as a good hairspray, one that doesn't make your hair feel crispy or crunchy thereafter, really does help to keep styles in better shape. I have a little sneak peek for you when it comes to this Rare Oil Perfecting Hairspray* from Paul Mitchell, which is brilliant. It also smells absolutely amazing! The entire Marula Oil range is out in May so I would definitely keep an eye out for that if you're a fan of Paul Mitchell or new beauty releases.

The next two additions to my haircare routine were ones which were made on a bit of whim on a recent trip to Boots. I might have/was certainly swayed by the packaging and sound of these two products but thankfully the inside lived up to the outside. I'd never even heard of hair perfume before but I was totally up for trying it after giving it a spray in the shop. I know some people might spray perfume onto their hair or swish their hair around in a mist of it but it's not something that I normally do but saying that, I have been reaching for this every time I leave the house. It smells incredible and doesn't leave the hair looking like it's laden with product either.

And when it comes to keeping frizz (aka. my hair nemesis) at bay during the day, the Umberto Giannini Weather Proof Curls is an absolute godsend. I hadn't really tried anything from the brand before but the new packaging really did it for me and anything to help me combat frizz was well worth a try. This is great for flyaways too and leaves my hair feeling so soft. I think I might need to try some more of the Umberto Giannini range as quite a few products, like the 60 Second Smooth Pre-Shampoo Treatment and Over Indulge Nourishing Hair Mask look really interesting.

Tangle Angel Review

Last but not least we have the Tangle Angel*. Having tried both Tangle Teezers and the Wet Brush in the past, I wasn't sure if this would impress me as much but it sure did. I would say that this is better for those of us with thick and unruly hair as the handle really gives you that bit of extra grip to deal with that kind of hair type. It also looks lovely sitting on my shelf/dressing table.

What are your current haircare essentials? Have you tried any of the products in today's post? If so, what do you think of them? And would you like to see similar blog posts on my skincare and bodycare routine?


Sunday, 9 April 2017

Build Your Own Beauty Box With Latest In Beauty

Latest In Beauty Box

As you will have seen if you saw my first Love Me Beauty edit blog post, (with an exclusive 20% off discount code for you to use, just in case you missed it), I definitely preferred being able to pick the products that made up my beauty box as opposed to having them selected for me. As someone who previously enjoyed receiving the Look Fantastic, Look Incredible and Birchbox beauty boxes but ultimately cancelled them, this whole notion of me having the choice, has sold me on beauty boxes once again.

When I saw the Latest In Beauty Beauty & The Beast box doing the rounds on social media, I thought to myself, 'now there's a beauty box that I would actually use every product from'. Something that couldn't have been said for every beauty box I've received up until this point. After doing a little bit of investigating, I saw that Latest In Beauty also offered up a 'build your own box' option and was immediately intrigued.

Unlike traditional beauty boxes, you are in complete control of what makes up your beauty box and how many products you'd like to receive each month. You can also decide whether or not you'd like to receive the boxes monthly or as a one off treat, which I think is great idea. And each and every day they add a new skincare, makeup, haircare or bath and body product to the site for selection and there really are some incredible brands and products to choose from.

So let's see what I picked out as my first Latest In Beauty box, or should I say, bag;

Latest In Beauty Review

Straight away I was blown away by the amount of products and brands available to choose from. I picked several products that I'd been wanting to try for ages such as the Nip + Fab Glycolic Fix Exfoliating Pads, the Bumble & bumble Invisible Oil Primer and the Hydraluron Moisture Boosting Mask. I was also over the moon to see a brand like Oskia, who I've heard many an individual rave about for years. And I couldn't resist adding a Nails Inc polish to my bag, especially when you take into consideration the fact that they now come in at £15 a bottle! As I went for a one off bag, when it came to my first Latest In Beauty box, it was £25 or £18 if you're a subscriber, so to have one product worth £15 alone and then eight in addition to this, really impressed me.

I wrapped up my order with a full size bottle of the Leighton Denny Miracle Mist Spray. The very one that I'd been eyeing up every time I walked through the M&S beauty hall in recent months. Again, this is £12 on it's own so basically those two products alone paid for my box, which certainly blew my mind a little.

You can also add a makeup bag to your order, like I did, for a couple more pounds and I loved the fact that it was a really generous size and had a lovely little slogan on it.

I really love the way that Latest In Beauty has approached the notion of beauty boxes by offering up both build your own and curated boxes. It's such a great way to amass some travel sized beauty products before your next trip or holiday or to try out products that you've had your eye on but haven't fancied committing to the full size.

In addition to the Beauty & The Beast boxes (they've got one for us beauty's and another for the beasts/men in our life too), they also currently have a Good Housekeeping edit, a Harper's Bazaar beauty box and a whole lot more.

What do you think of my handpicked edit? Do you like the idea of being able to pick out your own products to create your own personally curated box? And would you, like I did, use this to try new products and to stock up on some travel sizes?


Sunday, 2 April 2017

5 Of My Recent Favourites On YouTube

It's pretty rare that I stumble upon a YouTuber or YouTube channel that makes me instantly want to hit the subscribe button. I feel like I've been watching the same set of YouTubers, give or take a few, for years now, so to discover one is a bit of a feat, nonetheless five, but that's exactly what happened with these five YouTubers/channels and I have a feeling that at least one, if not most of them, will be ones you'll enjoy watching too. So, without hesitation, here they are;

Ashley Brooke YouTube

Ashley Brooke

As someone who's always wanted to move to New York (brb just searching for apartments in Manhattan that I'll never be able to afford), I'm definitely guilty of living my NYC dreams vicariously through Ash and her boyfriend Ryan. It was a packing for Florida video that initially drew me in but her vlogs and how to style videos are what have made me stay/binge watch for hours on end without even realising.

Her NYC apartment hunt series is brilliant and was what really cemented how much I love Ash and Ryan, who are honestly the most adorable couple and again, it's got me searching for jobs in NYC. I think in life you need to live somewhere different to where you grew up, even if only for a few months/years and wouldn't New York be the place to do just that?

Start with: Sunday errands in NYC

Anti Haul

Kimberly Clark

One of my very favourite YouTubers is Anna from The Anna Edit (formerly Vivianna Does Makeup), so when Anna recommends something, you know it's gotta be something good and that's exactly what happened with Kimberly and her anti-haul videos.

Now any time that I'm out shopping or scrolling through ASOS and the like, I stop and actually think 'do I really need it?' and instantly hear 'don't need it! Not gonna buy it!' resounding in my head. As someone who's trying to save/stop frivolously spending, this kind of mantra and Kimberly's anti-haul videos are exactly what I needed to find. And the fact that Kimberly never fails to put a smile on my face at the end of a crappy day, is just an added bonus.

Start with: Anti-haul #9

Safiya Nygaard YouTube

Safiya Nygaard

Having first seen Saf appear in some of Buzzfeed's videos, I was over the moon when YouTube recommended one of her videos and that's where my love-affair with her channel began. I don't think I even made it half way through that first video before I had 'smash'ed that subscribe button.

Some of my favourite videos have to be her product and trend reviews and girl knows how to take on a trend to see if it's really as good/bad as it sounds. From the infamous Topshop clear knee Mom jeans to a period beauty box and Kylie Jenner's makeup range, Saf puts the kind of content that you stumble across when you're scrolling through social media to the test in the wittiest and best way possible.

Start with: Creating a custom lipstick at the Bite beauty lab

Amber Scholl YouTube

Amber Scholl

I like to think of Amber as the queen of DIY's. Basically any trend that you've seen doing the rounds on Instagram from those boxes/barrels of roses to faux fur chairs and all things embroidered, Amber's got a video to show you how to recreate it on a budget.

The girl also loves crystals and rhinestones and my inner magpie feels so much joy at this. And it's also great to follow her along on her trips to the fashion district (hello heart eyed emojis at basically everything) and stores like Sephora and Forever 21. Her London shopping vlog is also well worth a watch. And again, much like all of the channels on this list to be honest, if I'm feeling crappy, watching one of Amber's videos cheers me up in a matter of seconds.

Start with: How to shop at Sephora

YouTubers To Watch

Bright Sun Films

You know when you watch one video about Walt Disney World, for example, like I did before my trip to Orlando last year and then the recommended videos are all theme park related. Well that's exactly how I stumbled across/became a little obsessed with Bright Sun Film's Abandoned series. I've found myself watching videos on places and topics that wouldn't usually interest me but I end up utterly fascinated and engrossed.

It all started with the abandoned Nickelodeon Studios video, which was very near and dear to my heart as I used to love all things Nickelodeon growing up and visited those exact studios on several trips to Orlando, Florida in the early 2000's when I would have been about 9 or 10 years old. If you're someone that's interested in WDW and theme parks, for example, or even if you're not, add these videos to your watch later list and if you're anything like me you'll have watched the entire abandoned series in a matter of hours/days.

Start with: Abandoned - Nickelodeon Studios

I'm hoping to get back into regularly uploading on my channel this year too. I'll be vlogging my trip to New York this Summer, which I already can't wait for.

What are your favourite YouTube channels to watch? Have you discovered any recently that you'd like to share? And have you seen any of the ones featured in today's post?


Wednesday, 22 March 2017

My First Love Me Beauty Edit (With Exclusive 20% Discount Code)

Love Me Beauty Discount Code 2017

Over the past couple of years I've tried many a beauty box. From Birchbox to the Look Fantastic and Look Incredible beauty boxes, there have been some major triumphs and more than a few disappointments. It now takes something pretty special to pique my interest when it comes to beauty boxes, which is exactly what happened when I stumbled across Love Me Beauty.

When I did a little more research into Love Me Beauty, I soon discovered that there was an element of choice, something sorely missing from other beauty boxes and with that, my first Love Me Beauty box or edit, as I will soon explain, was winging it's way to me.

What really intrigued me was the whole notion of picking and choosing what you wanted and didn't want in each month's box. I think anyone who's ever received a monthly beauty box will agree with me that there was at least one item, or several, that you didn't get around to using or that there's a shade or type of product that doesn't work for you. Being able to pick and choose is such a game changer in my opinion!

Love Me Beauty Discount Code

How it works is that you get 60 credits each month to make up your edit. You can choose from a range of haircare, makeup, skincare, bodycare and nails, And your chosen items will arrive in a fun makeup bag, as it has with this month's, or something that ties in with that specific edit's theme. And in addition to that, you can top up your credits, for a few more pounds, to add even more to your monthly edit, if you so wish.

I was blown away with the products that I could choose from for this month's edit and as I'm going to New York later in the year, it was great to stock up on some travel sized items for me to use when away.

Love Me Beauty Box

I've been wanting to try the Omorovicza cleanser for months now, after seeing basically every YouTuber that I watch rave about it. The same can be said for the Perricone MD Blue Plasma Cleansing Treatment. I was also so happy to see Caudalie's Vine[activ] skincare products feature this month as both the eye cream and moisturiser are designed specifically to be used in urban areas such as big cities (hello NYC!) due to it's anti-pollution technology. And again, the same can be said for the Ultrasun Glimmer, which will certainly come in handy when I'm away in the Summer.

Love Me Beauty Edit

It's always great to try out a new face mask so I can't wait to put this one from Korebeauty to the test! And I'm already a big fan of Ellis Faas, not just because it shares my name. This is a nice way to try out the brand without shelling out over £20 a shade. I also felt a bit like a makeup artist when dispensing each of these out to use, which was pretty fun.

If the idea of Love Me Beauty's monthly edits sound like something you'd also like to try out too, I have an exclusive discount code for you to use to take 20% off your first edit. Just enter the code ellis20 when signing up and you'll get your first one for just £8 (+ £3.95 delivery)!

Do you like the idea of having a choice when it comes to what you receive each month? What do you think of this particular edit?  And have you tried any of the products in this month's edit? If so, what do you think of them?


Sunday, 19 March 2017

How To Spring Clean Your Home/Bedroom

How to spring clean your room

As tomorrow marks the official start of Spring, today I've decided to dedicate the full day to Spring cleaning. And as I do just that, I thought that I would share my top tips with you and here they are;

Pick up everything

If you're anything like me, you'll most probably have quite a few things on the floor of your bedroom, bathroom, living room, kitchen; basically any room in your house. There's at least one dirty sock under my bed, bags and boxes of online shopping that I haven't put away yet and plenty of cardboard boxes ready to be recycled. It's crazy how much of a difference having a floor free from clutter makes.

Get dusting

Is it bad to admit that I very rarely dust my DVD player, Sky box and TV? Therefore when I do it's normally coated in so much dust. The same can be said for the tops of high shelves and my intricate metal headboard. Please remind me to start dusting more frequently.

Flip your mattress

Every couple of months I like to flip my mattress. It helps to prevent one side of the mattress from sagging. It also gives me a chance to see what I've hidden under my bed in the vast array of bags and boxes under there. I'm always a little bit jealous of my parents who have a built in storage system under their bed. Bed Guru, who I'm collaborating with on this blog post, are currently running a giveaway, as part of their #SpringCleanGuru campaign, to win such a bed, one with four drawers built in. How convenient would that be? If you feel like entering, just head over to their social channels.

Spring Cleaning Tips

Put on fresh bedding

Again, the difference that this makes is truly unbelievable. Not only will your bedroom look so much more put together but nothing beats getting into fresh bedding at the end of a long day!

Donate/sell unwanted clothes and clutter

H&M are currently running a great scheme where you receive a £5 off voucher every time you donate clothes or fabric in-store. That way you're de-cluttering, doing good and getting a little treat in return.

And if the item still has tags on it, why not list it on eBay or Depop? If you want rid of it quick, start with a low starting price or put it on for a couple of quid. I've recently made a couple of hundred pounds solely from listing on both platforms. Let me know if you'd like me to dedicate an entire blog post to my eBay/Depop tips?

Will you be Spring cleaning? What are your Spring clean tips and tricks? What do you think of mine? And would you like to see an updated room tour?


Sunday, 12 March 2017

How To Budget For/Save When It Comes To Your Next Holiday

How to save money on holidays abroad

As you may already know, if you follow me on social media or read this specific blog post, I'm planning my first trip to the Big Apple, New York City, this Summer and as New York is one of the most expensive cities to visit, I've definitely been honing my money saving tips, which is what inspired today's post. That and the fact that Saga asked me to share some of my advice on the topic, to coincide with their #SagaTravelBudgeting campaign, regarding equity release being used to fund holidays and trips abroad.

You can save yourself quite a bit of money before you've even jetted off just by following a few simple tips.

Utilise comparison sites

Comparison sites aren't just for home insurance and reducing your energy/electricity bills. You can compare everything from flights, hotels, car hire and even train tickets on these sites and it's definitely worthwhile to have a few of them open at the same time as you can often find different prices on different comparison sites. Some of my favourites have to be Skyscanner and Momondo for flights and Expedia and Kayak for hotels and more.

Be flexible with your dates

Obviously if you're travelling for a specific event or have set dates that you need to work around, this might not always be possible but something as silly as travelling one day earlier or one day later can knock hundreds of pounds off the price. Travelling outwith the peak season, such as the school holidays, if you can, will also result in a substantial saving.

Consider an indirect flight

If you don't mind spending a few more hours sitting in an airport, flying indirect can, again, save you hundreds of pounds/dollars/euros. You could even work a short visit or overnight stay into your holiday when flying indirect, such as spending some time in Reykjavik when flying via Iceland with Icelandair or enjoying a few hours outside the airport in many a great city, one you might not have thought about visiting otherwise.

Book an Airbnb or villa

It can often be much cheaper to stay at an apartment, villa or house rather than staying at a hotel. This is especially true if you're travelling in a large group or with all the family. You can often rent an entire villa, house or apartment for the same price as a hotel room, if not much cheaper. Airbnb, and Clickstay are some of my favourite sites to use to do just that. And we've always saved quite a bit of money by staying at a villa, when visiting Orlando, rather than staying on Disney or Universal property or at one of the big chain hotels.

When you get to your desired destination it can be easy to get a little bit spendy and there's nothing wrong with that, especially if you're planning on bringing back some souvenirs or products that you can't easily get at home *cough, most of Sephora and basically the entire Wal-Mart/Target snack food/candy aisle*. But I'd much rather have my spending money for fun things such as excursions, attractions and shopping, of course, than to spend it on things that don't really add anything to my holiday, such as these;

How to save money during holidays

Don't buy at the airport

And what I mean by this is don't buy something that you could have easily bought and brought through security with you. You can get a 6 pack of crisps for the price of one pack at the airport! And even if your airport has an M&S food (sadly Glasgow International doesn't), why pay more for Percy Pigs simply because you're at the airport? Bring them with you! The same can be said for other snacks such as sandwiches, sweets and chocolate. Pack your own mini toiletries or even decant your current haircare, skincare and bodycare bits into travel-size bottles and tubs instead of spending a fortune at Boots before your flight. And don't end up having to buy something that you could have got at the pound shop or Primark such as luggage scales, a neck pillow or eye masks, for the extortionate airport prices.

Take public transport

On my trip to NYC I will definitely be taking advantage of the Subway system instead of splashing out on yellow cabs, even if it would be nice to fling my hand in the air and hail a cab. For 7 days you can get a Metrocard for around $30, which will allow you to use the Subway and buses as many times as you want/need to that week. Definitely look out for passes like this if you are staying for a number of days.

Take a dedicated travel money card with you

Last year, when travelling to Orlando, I did a lot of research into the best cards to use when travelling and eventually went for the Halifax Clarity card. There's no fees on spending abroad, unlike many other debit and credit cards and you don't need to worry about the latest exchange rate or carrying lots of cash on you either. There are several other cards, depending on how you're going to be spending your money abroad, that may be worth looking into before you go as well, so I'd definitely do a bit of research into this before your next holiday.

Money saving tips holidays

Use WiFi/check your data roaming policy

Most hotels and public places such as restaurants and shopping malls will have free wifi and I would certainly recommend using this to its fullest. Whether it's to Insta that amazing snap you took, check your emails or to reconnect with friends and family via Whatsapp, for example, do this when you're connected to WiFi. Double check what kind of data roaming policy you have, as well, as this can lead to you losing quite a bit of money unnecessarily. Three, for example, have their Feel At Home policy which allows you to use your data in 42 countries at no extra cost. If you are planning on using your data, looking into such policies before jetting off makes sense.

So there are my tips for budgeting for/saving when you get there, when it comes to your next holiday. I've also got another blog post dedicated to saving for the holiday itself (here) if you're in the process of planning where to visit next and how to save for it.

Do you have any money saving tips when it comes to traveling? If so, which ones work best for you? And what do you think of my budgeting ideas?

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Holiday money saving tips


Sunday, 5 March 2017

The Lowdown On The Latest Lip Releases

Latest Lipstick Shades

Over the past couple of weeks a number of really exciting lip products have been released and I'm here to share my thoughts on just some of the ones to hit drugstores, department stores and online.

Bareminerals GEN NUDE Review

left to right: Bareminerals GEN NUDE Matte Liquid Lipcolour in Kissyface*- Bareminerals GEN NUDE Radiant Lipstick in Kitty* - Bareminerals GEN NUDE Matte Liquid Lipcolour in Cookie- Bareminerals GEN NUDE Under Over Liner in Borderline*

If a nude lip is your thing or even if it isn't, you simply have to check out Bareminerals brand new GEN NUDE range! Comprising of every type of finish you could ever possibly want when it comes to your lips (lip liner, lipgloss, lipstick and matte liquid lipstick), you'll find 40 (yes 4-0!) shades, taking you from the palest of pale shades to beautiful berry hues. I'm such a big fan of the Radiant Lipstick and the Under Over Liner. It's definitely pushed me out of my comfort zone when it comes to trying out lighter shades.

Benefit They're Real Lip Review


When I first saw Benefit's brand new lip products, the They're Real! Double The Lip launch, I was immediately intrigued. I mean, anything that knocks off a couple of minutes from my makeup routine each morning is a big benefit (I promise that wasn't a pun) to me. So having the convenience of a lip liner and a lipstick in one handy bullet is such a smart idea. There's a fantastic range of colours but this one, Criminally Coral, really stood out to me. I can't wait to try out more of the shades the next time I'm at the Benefit counter.

Too Faced Sweet Peach Lip Oil Review

left to right: Too Faced Sweet Peach Lip Oil in Peach Please* - Too Faced Sweet Peach Lip Oil in Peach Fuzz* - Too Faced Sweet Peach Lip Oil in Tickle Me Peach*

And who can resist Too Faced's Sweet Peach range? The creamy peach lip oils feel SO good on the lips! They're silky and smooth and every one of them smell absolutely dreamy. And how adorable is the little Peach that sits atop each of the wands? If, like me, you're based in UK, you'll find the whole Sweet Peach range at Debenhams and Selfridges. International readers will find them at Sephora and Ulta, as well as on Too Faced's own website.

GOSH Liquid Matte Lips Review


If you've been reading Ellis Tuesday for a number of years now or if you've had a quick look through my Product Directory, you'll know how much I adore the drugstore beauty brand GOSH. If you've not paid their stand a visit when in Superdrug, you're seriously missing out! Their latest release, the liquid matte lips*, might just be my favourite release from them in a long time and that's really something. The pigmentation is unreal and they feel so comfortable on the lips. These aren't your typical drying matte liquid lipsticks! They also last basically a full day, so around 6-ish hours, as well, which saves me having to worry about any touch ups throughout the day too.

L'Oreal Lip Paint Review


To me, these are great, budget-friendly dupes for the Too Faced melted lipsticks, even if they come with a wand inside them instead. Basically, if you've been lusting after Too Faced's for quite some time now or weren't sure whether or not they were for you, I would definitely urge you to try the L'Oreal's option first. L'Oreal have both normal and matte options out there and a nice range of shades too, with plenty of bold shades which certainly impress as well.

So there's my rundown of the latest lip releases to hit the market.

Which one looks like it could be your favourite? Have you tried any of the products in today's post? If so, what do you think of them? Would you like to see more blog posts like these, where I dedicate it to a specific product? And which beauty releases have impressed you recently?


Sunday, 26 February 2017

Writers Block, Quality Over Quantity & Where Ellis Tuesday Is Going Next

Blogger Desk Tour Peonies

Over the past couple of weeks/months I've found myself battling some serious writer's block. For some reason or another I just haven't had the motivation to sit down and blog like I used to. As someone who used to blog three times a week, on dedicated days, it has left me feeling like a bit a failure, as I struggle to get even one blog post up a week. I was a little worried that I'd fallen out of love with blogging and with my blog's third birthday occuring in December, I had a feeling that I'd burnt myself out after three years of non-stop blogging.

I have, however, been spending all of my free time pricing up my Summer holiday to New York and seeking out solo travel, packing and city guide style blog posts and it got me thinking. Why am I not producing content that's truly helpful to anyone other than myself?

I felt like I was on the right track with blog posts like 'How to feel comfortable in swimwear' and 'Blogging, taxes & registering as self employed' but I soon returned to stand alone beauty product reviews and wishlists. Don't get me wrong, it's not that I don't like writing those types of blog posts but I'm not sure how helpful they are. Do you find them helpful or enjoy reading them?

I've currently got a little poll running on my Twitter (here) with a couple of suggestions (travel related advice, Uni/blogging advice, how to style trends and adulting/dating posts) for future blog posts and it would mean the world if you placed your vote, as to what you'd like to see more of on Ellis Tuesday. Or, if you have any specific topics or blog posts that you'd like to see, please leave me a comment below.

In addition to producing hopefully somewhat helpful content, I'm also going to be focusing on quality over quantity.

What would you like to see more of on Ellis Tuesday? What in particular keeps you coming back to my blog? Do you have any suggestions when it comes to new content/topics? And what are your favourite blog posts to read in general?


Sunday, 19 February 2017

30 before 30

30 before 30 list ideas

Last weekend I turned 25 and it really cemented just how quickly time is flying by. I honestly don't feel like I'm 25 nor do I feel like I'm a lot younger either. It's quite a strange one. However, when I turned 24 I put together a similar blog post with 25 realistic things that I wanted to do/achieve before I turned 25 and was pleasantly surprised with how many I managed to tick off my list. Having your goals written down like that makes it much easier to keep a track of how you're doing and it actually motivated me to do a lot of new things and things I'd been meaning to do for a while, as a result. Even though my 30th birthday feels like it's a long way away, here are the 30 goals that I'd like to achieve/accomplish before I turn 30;

New York - New York has been on my 'to visit' list for as long as I can remember. This year, to celebrate turning 25, I've decided to treat myself to a trip to the Big Apple. I've just booked my hotel (I'm staying at the CitizenM Times Square, which I am SO excited about!) and will be planning out my itinerary over the next couple of months. As I go this Summer, this should be one of the goals that I can tick off my list almost straight away.

Hawaii - My real dream would be to honeymoon in Hawaii but that is rather conditional on me meeting the one and getting married in the first place. Even if that doesn't happen, I'd love to enjoy my first really relaxing and laidback holiday, one where I'm not dashing around a city or meticulously planning what to do each day, like I do in Orlando.

Japan - When I was about 15 years old I saw Lost In Translation and it was one of those movies that had a massive impact on me. I could easily identify with Scarlett Johansson's Charlotte and Sofia Coppola's cinematography instantly made Japan a dream destination for me. Visiting the iconic Park Hyatt hotel, where most of the movie is set and getting a feel for the city would be incredible.

Edinburgh - This one should be the one of the easier travel related goals to accomplish, especially as I only live about an hour away from the Scottish capital. Despite visiting a number of times in my life I still haven't truly experienced the Fringe (I don't think a trip through during the Fringe to get school shoes when I was about 14 years old really counts) or spent New Year's Eve in the city, both of which I'd love to do at some stage.

Wimbledon - What I would have given to see Rafael Nadal play (my absolute favourite tennis player of all time), when he was still on the top of his game... I count down the days to Wimbledon starting every year and it's one of the only sports that I get excited about so one year I'd love to head down, even if only for a day or two, to catch a couple of matches and enjoy the infamous strawberries and cream.

American road trip - This is something I've always wanted to do too, so why not aim to get it done before I turn 30. States that I'd really love to see would be Los Angeles, Nevada, Texas and Arizona and to do it in a vintage car would be the cherry on the top.

London - Throughout the year I have to turn down many an invite to a press show, party, launch or event down in London, simply because of the time and money that I would need to put in to do so. I often feel like I'm missing out as a result. I'm now going to make a real effort to head down to London and RSVP yes to one, or a few, of those invites.

Move out of the family home - It's got to the stage where I really need my own space so this definitely needs to happen before I turn 30.

Have my own office - And when I do move out, I'll be dedicating an area or potentially a room to having a real office. I have a feeling that it will make working from home that bit easier and stop me from procrastinating as much as I do now.

A dog - I simply need a dog in my life. This is another goal that very well could be a reality as soon as I move out.

Fall in love - Sad but true; I've just turned 25 and I've yet to fall in love. People say it will happen when I least expect it and I'm hoping that that is true but I do know that I also need to make the effort to find that person too. But what do I do if the notion of Tinder and dating apps totally scares the life out of me? Any suggestions?

Do a walk for charity - After struggling to walk even a couple of feet last year due to issues with my legs and feet, I'd love to prove to myself how much I've improved and how much stronger me and my legs have become. To do it for charity would make this goal even more fulfilling.

Write for Stylist - If I could write for any publication it would be Stylist. It's time to hustle hard and work towards this goal.

Invest in the comfiest of mattresses - I know I just turned 25, not 85 but a good night's sleep and somewhere to relax/recover from another IBS flare up is a big essential for me. My current mattress certainly needs replacing so it might be time to cross this one off my list ASAP.

Spend a day at a spa - As I mentioned above, I rarely relax when on holiday so it would be nice to spend a day or an overnight stay away from home at a spa and completely switch off.

Get a massage - And whilst at said spa, I finally need to treat myself to a massage. Suffering from trapped wind in my back as a result of my IBS can feel totally debilitating and I have a feeling that a massage would just release some of that tension and soreness.

Read at least 6 books a year - For some this might sound like nothing at all but for some reason or another I buy/receive books with the greatest of intentions only for them to lay unopened and unread. As someone who studied English at University, I do miss getting completely lost in a book, so my aim is to read one every 2 months/6 a year. Now that sounds like a rather achievable goal now doesn't it?

Take a photography course - Despite taking photographs on an almost daily basis for this here blog, I really have no idea what I'm doing when it comes to aperture, lenses and all that jazz. It's time to finally make the switch from automatic mode and learn how to actually use my camera to it's full potential.

Make more videos and get better at editing - On a similar note, I'd love to get back into YouTube. I finally bit the bullet and started my YouTube channel last year but it didn't last too long. Watching videos by Anna and Alix in particular, make me want to learn how to really film and edit to the extent where I'm proud of my videos.

Start vlogging - Even though I may not lead the most interesting of lives, documenting the little things as well as the big things, would be amazing to look back on. From trips abroad to trips to the local supermarket, I enjoy watching other bloggers and YouTubers do just that and that way I'll be able to look back on some of the moments as the years presumably fly by. Would you be interested in watching?

Finally start that novel I've had in my head for years - I used to write short stories all the time when I was younger but once life got a little more hectic (Uni/work/blogging/life in general) I completely abandoned any writing. I've had an idea for a Lindsey Kelk/Sophie Kinsella style novel in my head since about the age of 18 and I'd love to actually write it down. Nothing has to even happen with it/from it but just to have done it would be an accomplishment in itself.

Go to a movie premiere/the BAFTAs - Whilst some of these are certainly more achievable and realistic than others, this one is one of those ones that might never happen but how amazing would it be if it did?

Spend the 4th of July in America - This has been on my to-do list ever since I first visited the US at the age of 11. As I've only been on family holidays, up until this point, we've never visited in the Summer months but my trip to New York this years falls precisely during this time. I'm really looking forward to seeing all of the 4th of July fireworks in the city that never sleeps.

Take a photograph every day for a year - A few years ago I used to post a photo on Instagram every single day without fail. That doesn't happen anymore but it was lovely to look back at the year that was through it. Even if I don't post the photos online, it would be great to document an entire year. Maybe this is one to do in the last year of my twenties... What do we think?

Take my parents out for a fancy dinner - Even though we're the type of family who far prefer something simple like fish n' chips or a curry from our favourite Indian takeaway, I'd really like to treat my parents to a fancy dinner to say thanks to them for everything they've done for me over the years. I don't think I could ever repay them but a nice meal should go down well. I could maybe even do this when we're next all in the States in 2018 and go somewhere like Wolfgang Puck's Grand Cafe at Disney.

Massively streamline my wardrobe - Now I'm not talking about creating a capsule wardrobe or anything like that here but rather making smarter choices when it comes to buying, getting rid of anything I've not worn in the past year or season and drastically reducing the amount of clothes I hoard. I currently have two wardrobes and two large six drawer units jam packed full of clothes and nobody needs that amount of clothes. Nobody.

Learn to drive - It's been on every single New Year's resolution list/to-do list that I've ever written and yet I still haven't got around to it. I started learning at the age of 16 but got spooked one day on a main road and never got back in the driver's seat again. Having just turned 25, it's almost been 10 years(!!) since. I'm really keen to learn in an automatic but the prices for lessons are a little bit unreal and not in a good way. I think I might just need to put some money aside for it and that way it won't feel like such a massive amount coming out of my bank account. Does anyone have any tips for getting back into driving in their twenties?

Back up my computer on the regular - Even though I'm pretty much constantly glued to my laptop and rely on it for my work and blog, I never back it up, which I think we can all agree is rather silly. I also just watched that episode of Sex and the City, you know the one, where Carrie's laptop dies on her, which always gives me the fear of the same thing happening to me. By having this as one of my goals, hopefully it will give me the kick up the backside that I need to buy an external hard drive and save regularly.

Have a proper skincare routine - Whilst I always remove my makeup at the end of the day, it's normally in a rush and I only exfoliate once in a blue moon. After giving myself a DIY facial at a recent blog event (see more here) and being blown away by the results, now is good a time as any to put together a proper skincare routine. To have one that includes a proper cleanser (not just makeup wipes), toner, exfoliator, moisturiser, eye cream and serum is a goal that I know will pay off in the long term, even if I need to start investing in it and myself more.

Love what I'm doing/where I am - Last but not least a bit of a vague one. I've always liked the adage; 'if you love what you do, you'll never work a day in your life' and it's one that I hope to have realised by the age of 30. Instead of taking a job solely for the money, working towards my goal of one day writing for a magazine/working at one and feeling settled in what I'm doing/where I'm living would be the dream.

Have you got a list of goals that you'd like to achieve before reaching a certain age or by a certain point in your life? If so, do we have any goals in common? And how many do you think I will accomplish?


Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Spa-ing with Boohoo and Village Hotels

Village Spa Deals

It's not every night that you get invited along to a spa to enjoy some relaxation, fizz and facials but that's exactly what happened when Boohoo got in touch. Myself and a couple of other Scottish bloggers, some of whom I'd met many times before and some that I was meeting for the first time, were treated to a night at Village Hotel, which is located at Pacific Quay in Glasgow, just across the water from the SSE Hydro and SECC, comprising of a gym, spa, restaurant and bar.

Boohoo very kindly allowed us to each pick something from their swimwear range to change into when we arrived at the spa and I was really surprised by the amount and variety when it came to their swimming costumes and bikinis. I don't know about you but I find it incredibly difficult to find swimwear outwith the Summer months. For some reason most shops, both online and in-store, only tend to stock really basic options, which isn't ideal if you're jetting off somewhere warm and sunny or popping down to the local pool in February, for example but I instantly had about five different options that I was obsessed with.

Boohoo Swimwear Review

I eventually opted for the Algarve Contrast Binding Underwired Swimsuit*, which also comes in a beautiful baby pink and was overjoyed with the fit. It flattered my curves in all the right places and gave my bust real support. This was particularly impressive considering the fact that I never, ever buy swimwear online. I'm always worried that it will be a waste of time either because of the fit or quality but Boohoo certainly proved me and my fellow bloggers wrong.

When we all got changed into our new swimwear not one of us had picked the same piece, which just goes to show how much there is to choose from on Boohoo. And as we all have our own style and prints/colours that we gravitate towards, it was great to see that reflected in each of our picks.

Once changed we popped on our robes and slippers and headed to the pool. It was so lovely and warm. It almost felt like getting into a bath. It was great to catch up with my fellow bloggers and even though I used to feel my most vulnerable and horrible in anything that didn't cover me up fully, I felt confident and even a little bit sexy in my new swimsuit. There was a really relaxed vibe around the pool, hot tub and sauna and that made me feel at ease too. To say that it was worlds away from my local sports centre would be a massive understatement!

Once our fingers were suitably wrinkly, we headed back through to the spa where we originally met up, for drinks and nibbles and what I was most excited for; the facial.

Village Spa Glasgow

Despite blogging pretty regularly about beauty, I rarely treat myself when it comes to my skin. At the end of the day I rush to take my makeup off and scarcely ever indulge in a spot of pampering. But after my brilliant facial, I think I'll need to seriously rethink this as my skin has never felt better!

We were taught how to do a DIY facial with some of ESPA's most indulgent products and I really loved the whole feel of the brand and the products. As it's a sensory experience, we were given two scents, both on cotton pads, to choose from and were told that from our sense of smell alone, we would pick the one that our skin needed most. I went for the hydrating scent, so obviously it worked as my skin is dry/dehydrated and we did a full facial; cleansing, toning, exfoliating and moisturising.

I cannot thank Boohoo and Village enough for the experience! Me and my Mum are already planning a little day to celebrate me turning 25 last week.

Are you someone who visits spas on a regular basis? Or even just as a treat every so often? And what do you think of the range of swimwear that Boohoo has to offer

This event was part of the Boohoo ‘Treat Yourself’ Spa Tour
For an exclusive 10% discount off treatments or food and drink at Village use voucher BOOHOO10 – For 20% off Everything at Boohoo use voucher BOOHOOXVILLAGESPA20


Sunday, 5 February 2017

Charlotte Tilbury Quick 'N' Easy 5 Minute Makeup (The Natural Glowing Look)

Charlotte Tilbury Natural Glowing Look Review

As you will have seen from the amount of times that I've raved about Charlotte Tilbury and her incredible products, both on here and on social media, you will know just how much I love CT! And she's only gone and released another gem of a product, or should I say products. Charlotte has created four different grab and go kits; the Quick 'N' Easy kits, to enhance your natural beauty in a matter of minutes. Four to be precise.

There's the Daytime Chic Look kit for instant polish, the Smokey Evening Eye kit for instant cool, the Red Carpet Party kit for instant glamour and last but not least, the set that I've gone for, the Natural Glowing Look kit.

Each kit comes with a mini tube of Wonderglow, a stunning little makeup bag, one that is exclusive to the Quick 'N' Easy sets and is priced at £55.

The Natural Glowing Look kit in particular comes with 5 of Charlotte's best-selling products. In addition to the 15ml tube of Wonderglow, this kit also comes with a full size Matte Revolution lipstick in Very Victoria, a full size Beach Stick in Moon Beach, a full size Colour Chameleon in Amber Haze and a mini Legendary Lashes mascara.

Charlotte Tilbury Quick And Easy Review

If you've wanted to try Charlotte's products for some time and haven't known where to start, I honestly couldn't recommend picking up one or more of these Quick 'N' Easy kits more to you. It's such a great way to try out some of her bestselling products with an unbelievable discount. When you consider the fact that the Beach Stick and Matte Revolution lipstick equal £53 alone, to receive another full size product, two luxury minis and a stunning makeup bag for one or two pounds more is insane! And you'll rarely see Charlotte's products discounted, which is why the savings in the Quick 'N' Easy kits are simply unbelievable and such great value for money.

All I can say is if you buy one thing from Charlotte Tilbury this year make it one of these kits!

Which of the four Quick 'N' Easy kits looks like the one for you? Have you tried Charlotte Tilbury before? If so, what are your go-to products? And if you haven't yet tried her range, do you think this could be the perfect way to do so?


Friday, 3 February 2017

My 25th Birthday Wishlist

Blogger Birthday Wishlist 2017

Next weekend I turn 25. It still feels a little surreal to utter those words and the fact that I'll be a quarter of a century old is a little mad, especially as I certainly don't feel like I'm going to be 25 by any means. But here are some of the things that I'd absolutely love to receive this year;

Every year, I always ask for a couple of new DVDs for my birthday, especially as it falls a few days before Valentine's Day, meaning there's normally some pretty good releases to choose from. This year I'd be over the moon to receive Bridget Jones Baby and Girl On The Train, both of which I missed out on when they were in the cinema. I've also been meaning to pick up How To Be Single and a couple of horror movies, namely Lights Out and Don't Breathe, on DVD too.

When it comes to all things beauty related, there are a couple of new releases which have quickly made their way onto my wishlist. Who else has Charlotte Tilbury's newly released Pillow Talk lipstick, Caroline Hirons' collaboration with Pixi; the Double Cleanse or something from Too Faced's Peach collection on their current wishlist?

And in keeping with previous birthday wishlists (see 2015 and 2016), Lush's Unicorn Horn Bubble Bar, which is only available in the run up to Valentine's Day, is a bit of a yearly tradition now when it comes to my birthday presents. I'm also in dire need of a new phone case. How amazing is this sprinkle encrusted one from Topshop?

As I'm heading to New York in a few months time (July to be precise!!), I've asked for a couple of travel related goodies this year. This Paperchase travel wallet looks ideal for keeping me and my important documents organised and this lovely little passport holder from New Look is amazing. It's rose gold and holographic! I mean, how dreamy? I'm also a big fan of taking a book with me on holiday so I'd love to receive Anna Kendrick's first memoir this year, especially as I'm such a big fan of hers. And I've been meaning to invest in a foldable/roll up water bottle to take with me when I'm out and about for a while now and this one from Accessorize looks perfect! My parents are also putting a bit of money towards my trip, which I'm incredibly grateful for and it means that I can stay at CitizenM Times Square on this trip, which I am SO excited about!

I also can't get enough of the little Malteaser Malteaster bunnies at the moment (is it bad to eat an entire pack in one sitting?) so it would be amazing to receive a pack/several on the big day itself.

I'm also tempted to treat myself to this month's Look Fantastic beauty box. I haven't been receiving them in the past couple of months and I have to admit it, I do kinda miss them.

There we have it. What do you think of my birthday wishlist? Have you seen any of the movies that I've featured in today's wishlist? What are you lusting after at the moment? And do we share any similar picks?


Friday, 27 January 2017

Tracking My Fitness & A Giveaway

MISFIT Shine 2 Activity Tracker Review

I have a feeling that most of us, whether we actually made it one of our New Year's resolutions or not, will have vowed to get a little bit fitter this year or to eat slightly better and after consuming more food than humanly possible over the festive period, I'm definitely one of those people. But as someone with a real fear of the gym (the last two times I went, I fainted), I've been looking at making a few realistic changes to what I already do everyday. So instead of taking a lift up a couple of flights, I take the stairs. I've gotten off the bus or Subway a couple of stops earlier than I normally would and have been making a real effort to reach at least, or as close to, 10.000 steps a day as I can. I even walked nearly 16,000 one day!

I had been relying on using my iPhone to track such activity but as I don't always have my phone on me this doesn't quite accurately reflect what I'm doing on a daily basis, so I'd been looking into investing in an activity tracker to do just that. You might even remember that I had a Fitbit on my US wishlist but I ended up buying a Kate Spade bag instead, so that didn't happen.

Just when I was doing a little research into which one to go for, Fenetic Wellbeing got in touch to ask if I'd like to get involved in their #FeneticFitness campaign and if I'd like to receive a MISFIT Shine 2 Activity Tracker* to help me track my fitness levels and sleep quality. It really was perfect timing! And the fact that it's rose gold didn't hurt either, of course.

For those of us who find it more difficult to exercise, either because of low levels of fitness (this is basically me) or because of health issues, Fenetic Wellbeing have lots of options to ease you into exercising. They even do electric bikes which work to give you a helping hand and make exercise a reality for those who think it might be too big a leap for them.

MISFIT Shine 2 Activity Tracker

If like me, you've been looking to invest in an activity tracker, you'll be happy to know that today I'm giving one away. All you have to do to be in with a chance of winning this rose gold MISFIT Shine 2 Activity Tracker is to fill out the Rafflecopter form below;

a Rafflecopter giveaway And here are the rules:
This giveaway is UK only (I'm hoping to do more international giveaways as the year progresses).
There will be one winner.

The giveaway will run until Friday 10th of February at midnight.
The winner will be picked at random by Rafflecopter. The winner will then have 48 hours to send me over their details or I will pick another winner. The prize will then be sent by Fenetic Wellbeing.

Best of luck!

Do you use an activity tracker? If so, how do you find it? Do you have any tips for getting back into fitness and exercising? And how are you getting on with your New Year's resolutions so far?

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