New York Diaries – Day One

I have so many amazing photos and things I want to share about our trip to New York that I had to write about it. We booked our trip to the Big Apple almost exactly a year ago and I am still dreaming about walking the streets of Fifth Ave pretending to be in Gossip Girl.

I am going to do a series of posts about our time in NYC – a bit like a New York City Guide, but I have SO many photos and we actually managed to squeeze a lot in, that one blog post just wouldn’t cut it.

SO.

I had been putting off booking our trip to New York for so long. I am the worst flyer and even the thought of getting on a plane was enough to put me off altogether. But last November, I eventually booked it for January – I thought that booking it so close to going would help me get over the nerves of flying but I was wrong. But somehow, I did it. I still had a huge panic attack while we were waiting to board and I still cried as we were taking off – but after that, I was fine. I managed to relax and I even watched a film. I felt anxious during some turbulence but I was so much better than I used to be when flying. I have never been so relieved to have spent an entire flight in my seat watching back to back episodes of Friends than in the toilet having a panic attack. And on the flight back, there were no panic attacks and no tears – don’t get me wrong, I am still terrified but to not have to spend my whole holiday dreading the flight back was amazing. I actually managed to enjoy the entire week without even thinking about flying home.

Okay, on to the good stuff.

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We landed at Newark airport at around 12 noon on the 12th of January (we stayed for 5 nights), and we got an Uber to our hotel. We stayed in the Paramount Hotel and we were pretty much in the centre of Times Square – I don’t think we could have tried to get a more perfect location. The hotel was a beautiful, contemporary hotel with the most stunning lobby. The staff were incredibly friendly and were always so helpful. We stayed in the Broadway Classic room – it was quite small, but it is a boutique hotel and when you’re staying in somewhere like New York, you never really spend much time in your hotel room anyway. We were super pleased with it.

The decor of the hotel was gorgeous – the perfect combination of minimalism and contemporary.

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We were so hungry by the time we had arrived and checked into the hotel. There was a Shake Shack opposite our hotel so as soon as we had checked in, we headed to get some food. After waking up at 3am to go to the airport and not being able to eat because I was so nervous about flying – oh my goodness, food had never tasted so good! Shake Shack was on my list of foods to try and I was SO impressed.

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We didn’t do too much after we’d landed, we wandered around Times Square for a bit, had a mooch in some of the shops and wandered around the area we were staying. We got to grips with the area and came up with a plan of action for the following day. I also didn’t want to do too much on day one and wear myself out for the rest of the trip – I have with Arthritis and Fibromyalgia, so the eight hour flight on its own was more than enough to do me in. That being said, I also wasn’t going to let that get in the way of me doing what I wanted while in NYC.

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We went back to the hotel for a little bit to warm up as it was SO cold. It was -4 pretty much the whole time we were there and it was impossible to stay warm! After we’d finally warmed up, we went back out to see Times Square at night and it was just amazing.

Despite how cold it was, seeing New York in Winter was one of the most magical things to experience. I would recommend everybody visiting at this time of year – it truly is incredible.

The perfect way to end our first day in New York.

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Where Have I Been?

Happy Monday!

I have done this kind of post before but I keep talking myself out of trying to blog again – it just feels like so long since I was last in the blogging space and to be honest, I feel SO out of the loop.

I write for a living which is all I have ever wanted to do, and I kept telling myself that after spending all day writing, I’m not going to want to spend my evenings and weekends doing the same.

But, I miss writing as me, taking photographs and having fun with my blog.

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So, for today’s post, I thought I would do a little catch up, tell you what I have been up to so far this year and what the rest of the year looks like for me and my blog.

In January, me and Jake went to New York and we had the best time. I haven’t stopped thinking about it since we got back and we are most definitely planning on visiting again – maybe even next year. I have some incredible photos from our trip and we did some amazing things, but some of our favourite days were spent doing things that were much less touristy, so I might put it all together and create a NYC travel guide – where to eat, where to shop, what we should/shouldn’t have done, etc. I have quite bad travel anxiety too, so this is something else I would love to discuss.

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I started a new job. I am now a Digital Copywriter and I am loving it – to write for a living is all I have ever wanted to do, so I couldn’t be happier right now.

Jake is in his final year of uni, so we are in the process of saving for a house – and I am most definitely a spender so trying to save money is something I am struggling with! I might also create a blog post about this – how we are saving for a deposit, mortgages, budgeting, and what we are cutting down on to try and save as much as possible by this time next year (hopefully).

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In July, we went on holiday. There were 16 of us in total – Jake, my Dad, step-mum, four of my sisters, three cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents, the lot – and we had an absolute blast. We went to Costa Adeje in Tenerife for two weeks and it was a much needed break that we all needed. It was the perfect combination of relaxation and exploring – we went on the most insane boat trip, saw Whales and Dolphins, had the best day at Siam Park and myself and Jake spent a day exploring Mount Teide and spent the evening stargazing – which is a whole other post in itself, but if you’re ever in Tenerife, I would highly recommended doing it! I might even do a ‘things to do in Costa Adeje’ style post, as there is so much to see and do!

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Now, I am getting ready for the best time of the year – Autumn and Winter. I have put my summer clothes into storage and the chunky knits, turtle necks and boots are out in full force. I have really gotten into fashion a lot more lately and although I love shopping and buying new pieces, I am more conscious about the effects of fast fashion and I am trying to buy things that are much more versatile, that I can mix up and that I can wear again and again. Is a capsule wardrobe style post something you’d be interested in seeing on my blog?

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Oh, and I joined a gym – something I never thought would happen. I suffer quite badly with Arthritis and Fibromyalgia, so I have found it difficult to find a form of exercise that doesn’t feel like it’s doing more harm than good. But, through a complete change in diet and incorporating gentle exercise into my life, I have lost over a stone and dropped two dress sizes in a little over six months! I don’t know many people my age with the same illnesses, so this is a topic I’d love to speak more about and make people realise that you can still do everything you want to – exercise, eat well, socialise, have a full-time job, etc – you will be knackered, but you can do it!

That’s all for now, but let me know what kind of content you’d like to see on the blog!

My Skincare Favourites

Well, it’s been a while since I did an updated skincare routine – there are some oldies but goodies and there are a few new things I am testing out.

I love trying out new products but my skin knows exactly what it wants, so whenever I do try to change things up a little, it can take a while for my skin to get used to it.

There are some brands that I know my skin loves and will always love; Kiehl’s, Clinique, Liz Earle, Pixi Beauty and The Body Shop, to name a few.

There are a few cleansers I am enjoying using at the minute. In the morning, I use Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser – it’s a really gentle cleanser and is perfect for a morning cleanse or even a second cleanse. I am also using the Caroline Hirons X Pixi Beauty Double Cleanse which is an absolute dream to use, as well as The Body Shop Camomile Cleansing Oil. I picked up the Glossy Box X Sunday Riley beauty box, and I have been loving the Blue Moon Tranquility Cleansing Balm. It leaves your skin feeling super clean and it completely melts away all traces of makeup.

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For toners, I am pretty faithful to what I know and love. The Pixi Glow Tonic is a firm favourite and is something I have repurchased for many years and will continue to do so – my skin is oh-so-thankful for this product. It is the most amazing, gentle exfoliant and has been a complete game-changer for me. If my skin is being particularly sensitive, then the Liz Earle Instant Boost Skin Tonic is perfect. TIP: decant this into a spray bottle and you will have the most refreshing facial spritz!

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There are only two products that I will let near my eyes – the Clinique All About Eyes and the Kiehl’s Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado. Both of these are super hydrating and extremely gentle. I use the Clinique in the morning, and Kiehl’s at night.

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Serums and Oils. This is the part of my skincare routine that I have been experimenting with. I find that my skin lacks radiance and is very dehydrated. I also have quite a lot of redness, so trying to find something that will target all of my problem areas is rather difficult.

I am currently testing out The Body Shop Vitamin E Serum-In-Oil and so far, I am really enjoying it. It’s really hydrating and not greasy at all, and I wake up in the morning with my skin looking much more radiant and refreshed.

An oldie but a goodie, that I always seem to go back to is the Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate. This product always seems to find its way back into my skincare rotation and it makes my skin feel a-maz-ing.

Another oil that I have bought time and time again, is the Clarions Blue Orchid Face Treatment Oil – yes, I love it that much that I bought the salon size. Whenever my skin isn’t quite its best and nothing seems to be working for me, I use this and it always does the trick.

Also in the Glossybox X Sunday Riley beauty box was the much-loved Luna Sleeping Night Oil. This stuff is mega £££, but is definitely worth it. I have been using it every now and then as it is a Retinol and I have very sensitive skin and don’t want to use anything too harsh that may make my skin react. It has worked brilliantly on my skin and I will most definitely be buying the full-size product when I have used this one up.

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So, those are the skincare bits that I have been loving and testing out lately.

What are your favourite skincare products?

I’m back – kind of.

Almost one year since my last blog post went live and here I am once again. To be honest, I’m not quite sure why – I just keep getting the urge to pick up my MacBook and open WordPress.

I love blogging, taking photographs and just typing out all of my thoughts and ideas, but third year at university took up every second of everyday and since then, I got myself my first full time job, so I’ve been pretty busy getting used to being a fully fledged adult – lol.

I graduated from the University of Derby last Summer with a first class honours degree in journalism. I had (and still have) so much going on personally throughout my whole uni experience that I never even dreamt of getting a first – but somehow I did it. All of the tears and late nights were so worth it and honestly, I loved every minute of university.

Since finishing uni, I’ve missed writing and creating some form of content. Writing has always been my passion and I’ve missed it, so I thought why not give blogging another go? This may be the only blog post I do, so don’t hold me to that!

I’ve decided I’m not going to put too much pressure on myself, and I’m not going to give myself deadlines – at least not to start with anyway. I’m going to post what I want, when I want and try to get back into the swing of things. A lot has changed with blogging since the last time I was here.

So, what kind of content am I going to produce?I got back from a trip to New York a few weeks ago, so maybe I’ll start with some New York diary/travel style posts? We took some incredible photographs and we did so many amazing things while we were there.

We’ve also moved house (again), so I’m hoping to do some before and afters, and some lifestyle and interior style posts.

Maybe some posts about health, too?

Who knows.

Top High Street Face Masks

Face masks are a huge part of my skincare routine. I try and do a face mask twice a week, or whenever my skin is particularly bad.

Here are some of my top high-street face masks.

The L’Oreal Blemish Rescue Mask is one of my faves for when my skin just feels a bit meh. If I’m a bit spotty, hormonal, my skin is just a bit uneven and doesn’t look too great, this does the job. It’s soothing and really helps calm my skin down. I love the rest of the L’Oreal face mask range too, but this is my absolute favourite.

The Soap and Glory Radiance Boosting Sheet Mask is THE BEST face mask if your skin is looking a bit dull and lack lustre and you’re after a bit of a glow. I am really into sheet masks at the minute and the whole Soap and Glory range is fab. This is my go-to if my skin is crying out for some radiance and glow. Origins also so amazing sheet masks – highly recommend.

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The Ordinary Peeling Solution is quite a harsh face mask and it does tingle quite a bit, but that means it’s working, right? It’s a really deep exfoliation treatment and is perfect if my skin is a bit uneven, feels a bit rough and just needs a bit a lot of TLC. I do have sensitive skin, and it leaves my skin a little red afterwards, but my skin is really, really thankful for this product once a week. I really notice a different when I use this.

If you suffer from large or clogged pores like I do, then charcoal masks are great. I love the Origins Active Charcoal mask, but a cheaper alternative for this is the Yes to Tomatoes Detoxifying Charcoal Mud Mask. This is great for giving your skin a really thorough detox, and leaves it feel super clean and refreshed afterwards.

These are the four high-street face masks I go to when my skin needs a bit of looking after.

What are your high-street recommendations? Let me know!

Spring Makeup Look

I love Spring makeup. I love having a lighter base, I love looking more glowy and radiant.

BUT, skincare is just as important when trying to achieve a dewy, glowy makeup look.

And, as much as I love A/W makeup, by the time Spring comes around, I am SO ready for a switch up of my makeup bag.

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The primer I am using at the minute is the Barry M Flawless Correcting Primer. This is super hydrating, hides any redness and really evens my skin tone. My skin is left feeling dry and dull after the colder months, so I am up for anything that will help hydrate and make it so much easier to apply my makeup.

The foundation that I am obsessing over right now and is perfect for this time of year, is the NARS Natural Radiant Longwear foundation and it goes beautifully with the L’Oreal primer! I am also loving the It Cosmetics CC Cream – it is so god damn good. Super hydrating, glowy, and insane coverage, what more do you want?

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To cover any blemishes,  I use the NARS Soft Matte Concealer. This is nowhere near as matte as it sounds, and I am so glad I decided to give this a try. It has the perfect formula and the right amount of coverage to cover blemishes or any redness that I’ve got going on (most of the time). And again, not too heavy on the skin. I use this with a damp beauty blender so that it doesn’t cling to any dry areas, or I find it blends really well with fingers.

Under my eyes, I use the Maybelline Eraser Eye Brightener. This is super light on the skin, and is the only product I have found that doesn’t crease under my eyes! It has a very sheer amount of coverage but really does brighten. It’s very similar to the YSL Touché Eclat, so if you’re looking for a good dupe for that…

I have a new favourite bronzer. I put down my beloved Benefit Hoola, and I picked up the NARS Laguna Bronzer in Rome in January and I have used it everyday since. It blends like an absolute dream and is the perfect shade for me. It doesn’t look muddy or too warm toned. I LOVE IT. I wish I had gotten this sooner.

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For blush and highlight, I have been using the Tanya Burr Cosmetics Peonies Please Blush/Highlighter. This is the perfect product for Spring and is crazyyyy pigmented – you need to try it!

For brows, I use my trusty Fleur De Force x Eylure Brow Define Pencil in the shade medium. This is all I use on my brows these days. Doesn’t smudge, and stays in place all day!

For eyeshadow, I have been using the Urban Decay Naked Heat Palette. You can create so many different looks with this palette. You honestly can’t go wrong.

Tanya Burr Selfie Lash is my new favourite mascara. I am so fussy with mascara’s, but I’d heard so many great things about it and I saw it was on offer in Superdrug so I had to give it ago. Let’s just say, I’m going back to buy a load more while they’re on offer. It is insanely good – very similar to the YSL Babydoll mascara.

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The cold Winter months have absolutely ruined my lips. They are so dry and cracked that all I have been putting on them at the minute is Carmex (preferably the Mint one) and it seems to be working a treat. I can’t wait to be able to wear lipstick again!

Anybody else completely ready for Spring and Summer? Winter is my absolute FAVE, but I am so ready for a bit of sunshine.

What your go-to Spring makeup picks?

NARS Natural Radiant Longwear Foundation

Throw the words natural, radiant, and longwear together for a foundation and I will be alllllll over it.

When I saw that NARS had released they’re new foundation, I just couldn’t wait to get my hands on it.

I like to give foundations a proper road test before reviewing them and completely making my mind up on them, so that I get a chance to use them on good-skin days, bad-skin days, put a paper-bag over my head kinda days. I have such complex skin that I never know what I’m going to wake up with. Some days I’m super oily and other days my skin is flaky dry? I know, nightmare.

Anyway. I got this when I was in Brighton for the day, so I headed straight to Space NK to pick one up. I’m usually the shade Deauville in NARS foundations, unless I have a bit of a tan.

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Packaging. I just love NARS packaging. They look so classic and chic, and feel really luxurious without completely breaking the bank. I love how all of their foundations have completely different bottles and packaging. The natural radiant longwear foundation is in a very sleek, tall glass bottle (super pretty) and it comes with a pump – yaaaaasssss.

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The formula. When I first think of ‘radiant’, I initially think of super dewy, glowy finishes, however this one was slightly different. I imagined it to be quite oily, and that I would probably have to powder in my t-zone, but it absorbs into the skin straight away. It doesn’t look or feel heavy on the skin at all. It has more of a satin finish on the skin and gives a very natural, radiant, lit-from-within look. This is definitely a full-coverage foundation. I was so surprised at how small the pumps of product are, but one or two pumps is more than enough – a little goes a very long way.

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It does exactly as it promises. It gives natural, radiant looking skin and it lasts all day!

This works wonderfully on my skin, no matter how oily or dry it is!

This is the perfect foundation to transition you from Winter to Spring.

I would definitely recommend this!

Buy it here!