London and afternoon tea with the hen

I was recently appointed Chief hen and bridesmaid to my longest childhood friend. I was over the moon that she asked me but I was also terrified that I wouldn’t be able to deliver a fitting hen doo for my best girl. I am one of the most disorganized people in the world. My mate is classy, Chic and chilled, I wanted a celebration that reflected that. All I know is that I wanted something a little different from willy straws or L plates.

I booked afternoon tea at the Celtic Manor, The setting was elegant and relaxed.

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I found a ‘posh’ black hen sash from Chaplins in Bristol and snapped up a gorgeous classy boho style embellished veil in Ann Summers, I found some of the cutest mini tiara slides in Wilkinson’s that everyone adored!

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The summer berry afternoon tea was superb. The cakes were delicious and afterwards we had a whole second course of melt in the mouth scones with jam and clotted cream. It was excellent value for money.

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Shoes – New look

Skirt – New Look

Embelleshed top – Miss Selfridge

Loose blazer – Zara



 

Some London pics from the weekend..

Eyeing up the pretty pastries in lauderee..

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Laduree breakfast feast.

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We then went onto Harrods where we spent the rest of the day…Really. I’ve never spent that long in any store before (not even Ikea). I went into a trance and could no longer think for myself as I was seduced by the stunning interiors, brands and mouth-watering food at the food hall.

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Zara floral jacket

Unnecessary lighting – want!

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I am in awe of this decadent packaging. Has anyone purchased these lipsticks? The design is incredible but the shape and size is a little impractical. More of a dressing table trinket than an on the go lip colour.

Becca Champagne pop

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So I finally cracked. I bought what seems the most raved about highlighter in the world. BECCA’s Shimmering Skin Perfector. A beautiful apricot-gold pressed powder that when applied actually looks like a cream. This product is loved so much, it started off as a limited edition but now has a permanent place in the Becca collection.

The rose gold Packaging is quite minimal and luxurious but what you’d expect from a luxury product. The compact features the brushed silver branding with Becca engraving.

This powder is so finely milled it has an almost buttery, creamy consistency, in one sweep my cheekbones are left with a peachy/golden sheen. Perfect if you want to achieve that ‘Instagram glow’ in seconds. I feel like champagne pop will definitely better suit darker and olive skin toned ladies but with the right foundation and primer this suits us alabaster skinned girls just as well. My only qualm with this product is that it enlarges my already prominent pores but then all highlighters do. If I didn’t have oily skin and enlarged pores then this would be a dream product for me.

Because this product goes on quite heavy, I would recommend using a fan tail brush to lightly dust above your cheekbones for the day time. I’ve seen a few reviews stating this powder shows up as orange or yellow. I definitely don’t see that. For me it changes depending on the lighting. In the sun it shows up a deep golden, in regular daylight it gives me a lovely dewy glow. The first picture (above) was taken in regular light and the last (below) was taken in direct sunlight. Let me just add that I am VERY impressed with this product. The price is something that originally deterred me from purchasing this product but now that I own a compact of my own, I don’t regret it one bit. 🙂

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Regular sunlight..

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Direct sunlight…

Places | Lemonfest

Processed with VSCO with f1 preset It’s a rare thing to find a small festival these days. I’m not so much of a fan of the biggies like Glastonbury. Boom Town, Snowbombing and Love saves the day are more my kind of festival. I went to Lemonfest on a whim, A good friend of mine mentioned she was going so I couldn’t not go! (The very friend that took this delightful photograph) I’d never heard of this festival before but that made me want to go more. When I checked the line-up, which included the Hot 8 brass band, Cyantific, Beardy man and Kiko Bun I couldn’t let this one pass me.

Screenshot_20160726-125703Arriving at this festival was 100% stress free, there was hardly any traffic, we even got ushered into a parking space by a polite young fellow. My mind was firmly set on the alcohol tent where a small stage stood hosting lively folk and country music, I had to refrain myself from line dancing! They had a great affordable deal on their official Lemonfest cider which unfortunately didn’t hit the spot for me but a few members of our crew thoroughly enjoyed! I stuck with my classy gin and tonics 😉 Drinks prices were what you’d expect from any music festival.

From the tent we saw some commotion brewing so headed towards the main stage where what I originally thought was a Christian band preaching the love of the lord. Oh geez I thought…(no offence to Christians..). That was until they burst in song and dance. These guys seriously know how to put on a show, I have so much respect for artists who go all out and put their everything into a show, these guys are high energy, theatrical and guaranteed to get the party going with their dramatic renditions of classic, yet surprising track list. We had a chat to them after their set and they were so lovely.

IMG_20160726_124643Half of the Church crew

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Kiko bun

I got to feel like a Pirate (the storybook kind) for an hour while kinda line dancing along to the violins of Mad Dog Mcrea

Beardyman was hilarious as usual with his witty lyrics. By this point of the eve, we were a tad tipsy so found everything OTT funny! Check out his Ted talks here

Food wise I was impressed. We had some african comfort food before moving onto the best Mac and cheese I’ve had this far into my life. It was divine. It tasted like I’d just been handed a home cooked meal in a carton. Me and my guy just mmm-ed and oooh-ed in approval at one another until we’d devoured it. Definitely not what I expected at a music festival.

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The evening was a bit of a different vibe but still a good atmosphere, the drum and bass tent was filled to the brim with kids aimlessly jumping around so we swifty moved on to the house tent.We went as a group of 8, 4 of which were my friends family members, they were over 50 years old and had a great time. The toilets were a dream (almost) compared to the usual festival toilets, This is probably due to the festival capacity being a lot smaller. There was hand sanitizer people…Yes you heard correct! I also enjoyed that it was a one day festival Highlights – The talented Beardyman was hilarious with his clever lyrics, The hot 8 brass band got us all dancing, the hedonistic Legs akimbo – the church mesmerised! I’ve now discovered some new artists who I wouldn’t have necessarily seen before. I can see Lemonfest getting bigger and being one of the ones to watch out for.

Beauty | Philosophy the great mystery

You know when your face is looking pretty good but not feeling so good to touch. I’ve been masking my minor issues with foundation, powder and concealer – Lord knows I can’t live without these things! I would like to get to the point where I can wear my face out proud with little or no skin makeup so I’ve began choosing products that improve my skin texture rather than hiding it.

The great mystery is an every day, less abrasive exfoliator that contains sea salt but I certainly couldn’t feel any exfoliate. The consistency is that of a clear gel/paste that doesn’t contain any scrubby bits which was unexpected and left me feeling a little disappointed at first…

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This cleanser has a slight lavender spa scent that has a calming effect on me. It doesn’t smell like it’s been loaded with chemicals as some cleansers often do. As it’s quite salty, this doesn’t taste the best but then you’re not meant to eat it…

Now I almost didn’t review this product because I thought it was a bit rubbish, when in fact I was using this all wrong..doh! I was splashing water on my face then rubbing it in with water, wondering why it didn’t lather up at all. I thought I’d been scammed. That was until I actually read online how to use it. So now I splash my face with warm water, use a makeup wipe or micellar water and a cotton pad to remove my makeup. After letting my skin dry, I smooth on the gel and gently massage in circular motions until my face turns white, leave to sit for 1 minute (or more if you want to be a rebel). Rinse off with warm water and you’re good to go.

From the first use I’m left with that incredible clean feeling. I feel like I’ve taken off the “layer of the day” which paves a clean canvas for my serums/gels/moisturisers. If you’re looking for that scrubbed clean sensation then this may not be the product for you. I would recommend this if you have combination skin like myself (Oily and dry in patches). Although I feel it is gentle enough for everyday use. The main change I’ve noticed is – the more I’m using it, the brighter my skin is looking. This product is simply a no fuss, one minute facial that left my skin feeling soft, refreshed, brightened and above all else – Clean.

Bambalan

Cocktails are always more fun when sipped on a rooftop. If you’re a fan of ping pong, good music and even better food then you will love Bambalan. A cool new bar/restaurant hangout. We liked it so much we went twice last weekend. Sitting opposite Colston tower, this place is hard to miss. Good news if you’re fairly new to Bristol like myself.

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This feature wall is simply stunning

Fresh décor and an abundance of plants – Can I please live here?

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I went with something I don’t usually go for, I highly recommend the tuna steak with quinoa. It was truly delicious and fitted nicely into my healthy-ish weekend. Bambalan’s menu is teaming with healthy dishes, there’s loads of veggie options too. No detail has gone amiss here, The pinch pots, the napkins, the patterned side plates, even the cutlery is pretty. The staff were friendly and welcoming.

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That’s a fake seagull hovering above the rooftop bar to scare the real ones away, A genius idea! As any Bristol resident knows, our seagulls are fearless and VERY rude indeed!

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I just wish I lived a little closer so I could spend my evenings perfecting my table tennis skills 🙂

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Places | Snowbombing 2016 – A survival Guide

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I had one of the most enjoyable and exhilarating weeks of my life back in April. I’ve never had that much fun at a festival or on holiday before. Snowbombing: a place where the Friendliest, happiest, most bonkers group of people congregate each year for a week of top music, snow sports and all round silliness. Take a festival with the likes of Fatboy Slim, Craig David. Throw in some of the most beautiful surroundings you’ve ever seen, add A LOT of jaegermeister, zillertal and snow sports..

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I partied high in the mountains of Mayrhofen with hot since 82 and idris elba and after a long morning of snowboarding, Worshipped at the church of lycra with Mr Motivator. Snowbombing is a place where burning the candle at both ends is inevitable.. I got by on three hours of sleep most nights which I don’t recommend… I left Austria with a killer cold, I needed a holiday to get over my holiday. Though I can honestly say, it was one of the best weeks of my life….The music, the people, the scenery, food, our hotel was even top-notch!

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If you have never been snowboarding, I would highly recommend taking a snowboarding lesson or two. The day before I flew out, I took a trip to Mendip Outdoor pursuits where I spent 2 hours covering the basics of snowboarding. I was actually learning with a group of boys under 11 which was quite funny, especially as I was the only one falling on my ass 🙂 You can always get snowboarding/ski lessons at Mayhofren though.

I forgot to take so much shit its unreal. It’s like I forgot I was going on a snowboarding holiday! I did a bit of research before I went and had no luck in finding much advice as a snowboarding festival newbie; I’ve compiled a list so you can get your life together and do this properly!  You may need more than this or less but these are some of the things I recommend packing.

Checklist

  • Plug converter – You’d be surprised how many people forget this.
  • Vitamins – This is something I will take with next time. Staying awake for long periods of time, Going from snowy mountains to sweaty clubs surrounded by equally sweaty people – Trust me you’ll want to take your vitamins.

Clothing

  • Sallopettes – Those unflattering trousers skiers and snowboarders wear to protect themselves from the thing they love..snow.
  • big chunky socks – These keep your toes cushty inside your snowboots.
  • Lightweight thermal long sleeve tops. Although you’re high up a snowy mountain, you will get really warm. I bought mine from good ol M&S
  • Snow jacket – I bought a high quality one from Ebay but wore it open most of the time as I was boiling.
  • Snowboarding gloves and helmet. If you’re a face planter like myself then you will want to make sure your gloves are completely waterproof.
  • Fancy dress – Snowbombing goers take this very seriously. I witnessed all manner of dress up. Oompa Lumpers, A group of 5 huntsmen and a fox skiing past me, power rangers, Mad Max inspired gangs of snowboarders. Next year I will be sure to take pretty much just fancy dress…
  • Trainers  – High heels have no place at Snowbombing. I didn’t see one person wearing them in the evenings and personally, I wouldn’t wear them due to the fact I was walking/dancing a lot.

Things for ladies

  • clear non snag elastic bands – To save you brushing dreadlocks out of the back of your hair each evening – Fishtail braids to the rescue!
  • High factor face protection – I used this beauty
  • Lip balm – I used this
  • Handcream – I’ve been using this for years and it’s fantastic!

We went with a package deal, that meant our flights, transfers, hotel and snowboarding gear was all included.

When you arrive at your hotel and have dropped off your bags, the first thing I would do differently is go get the hire gear. This will be your snowboard and snow boots or ski gear. That way you’ve got it and can be up and out early the next morning. You’re going to want your snowbombing wrist band too. This wristband ensures you get into the venues, it’s just like any other festival wrist band except you can load this up with credit. Some of the venues only accept wristband credit for payment, there are a few top up stations dotted around usually in venues or the main Snowbombing hub.  This credit goes quickly…especially when the drinks are expensive and constantly flowing! It’s worth popping into the local SPAR and grabbing some alcohol and fizz for pre drinks before heading out 😉

The venues are pretty cool, Raquet club is the biggest venue that headlines the biggest acts, this place gets sweaty beyond belief after 10pm so make sure you don’t wear snow gear here.  The most I wore was a thin sports jacket and thin vest and jeans – I was still melting!

The smaller venue where all of the after parties seem to happen is the Arena, we often found ourselves in here. Food reccomendations? every place ate at was exceddingly good considering this was a festival. be sure to check out Hans the baker for a delicious, high quality Schnitzel.

The people of snowbombing all have one thing in common – They want fun! I met so many like minded people and even made some friends I’ve since visited. I was apprehensive before going, I thought there was going to be all of these snow sport pro’s wizzing past me judging, I was wrong, I wasn’t at all disheartened by my rubbish snowboarding! I retired (for 3 hours!) each day feeling accomplished but aching – it was a really good satisfying ache. Next year I will be making sure I arrive at Mayhofren having somewhat improved my snowboarding skills so I can challenge myself to more daring trails. Of all the holidays I’ve been on, I can say that this was my favourite of all!

Highlights for me? My nu leng, Giving Idris Elba a cheeky hug, Wilkinson, shy FX, Craig David’s free styling, Hot since 82 in the mountain, Pizza, Racquet club, dancing in the snow, Zillertal Pill.

Am I going next year? of course I’m going next year and I will be armed and ready. Is anyone else still in mourning of snowbombing? and will you be attending next year?

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Game of Jaen-ga?

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Pizzaria with a view: This restaurant was a little out of the way from the centre but it was the best. Unfortunately the Pizza was in my stomach before I had a chance to take a picture. The lady who runs it is welcoming and lovely. It’s quieter than everybody’s favourite pizzeria (Funkies) but for me these pizzas cannot be beaten. I keep thinking back to the time I went in for a pizza, I asked for pretty much everything…it was delicious and huge. the problem is..I had a hangover so couldn’t finish it… I still dream about the what if’s today! I should have forced myself to eat that beautiful pizza.. Regrets 🙁

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Life | Learning to say NO..

 

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When you get asked to do something, Possibly a meal or night out, Do you ever find yourself saying yes before you’ve even checked your bank balance to see if you can even afford this? Maybe you go ahead anyway because you don’t want to appear flaky or unreliable. no one likes a flake off. While you’re at the meal you can’t stop thinking about how you shouldn’t be spending what you can’t afford because you’ve already made another promise to someone else. The rest of the month you wish you had just checked your bank balance before agreeing to something. I hate to say it but You only have yourself to blame for this…

You will tend to find yourself in situations you feel forced into, giving up your free time to fit into other people’s plans, you will often find that some people take advantage of this and the minute you tell them you have something else planned, that’s when they put the guilt trip on to you. Because you are the person who goes along with everything – they don’t understand what could be more important than their plans right?

This is something I’ve been guilty of, Finding myself in situations I’ve felt trapped in. Trying to people please all of the time and agreeing to other people’s plans means you’re only doing yourself harm so adopting a more choosy approach isn’t a bad thing.

Why do some of us find using the word ‘No’ so damn awkward? Well, No, is a pretty powerful word and when used constructively, can free you of a lot of the BS. I tend to say yes too many things and feel almost guilty if I can’t cater to something when asked. I triple booked one day and ended up rushing from one appointment to the other feeling deflated and annoyed which meant I must have been rubbish company anyway. I came to the conclusion that I’d be more content if I stop trying to subconsciously people please and just start saying no. Not to everything of course, just being a bit more choosy.

What can you do to take action?

Think about it – Just take a step back so you can think a little first. Next time you’re being asked something, Ask yourself…Can I afford this? Do I want to spend my time doing that? Is this productive, Will this make me happy? Let that person know you will need to check your schedule/bank account first before making plans.

Make your own plans – this can be anything from joining a dance class/painting class to volunteering. This will give you more control over how you spend your time.

Make plans with your friends –
Take the reigns once in a while and plan something epic with your friends. This will prove to them and yourself that you’re not just a pretty face, taking the lead role in the group and carrying out a successful plan will give them more confidence in you.

Spend time alone – Alone time is a huge thing for me. Although I love spending time with my boyfriend/friends, I adore my alone time and find that this is my most productive time. I used to be almost fearful to be alone but now I’m comfortable with myself and look forward to these rare moments I spend alone.

Switch off – This can also disturb your alone time too. You get those people who simply cannot stop messaging friends, if you are the easy going one in the group then you may find yourself frequently being on the other end of endless messaging. Make a point of ditching the tech after a certain point in the evening.

Test out your magic word – This one may sound silly but it actually works. Start using the word NO. When you’re at work for, instance if someone is asking more of you than you feel you can take on (probably because you keep saying yes) then use this situation to politely decline. You won’t look heartless or terrible, if fact you will probably earn yourself some respect and in future, that person will be more thoughtful when asking you. Use this technique in everyday situations. I had the issue of taking on tasks at work even though I clearly couldn’t manage my workload and I would agree to these things in an all too happy manor. When you’re not able to follow through on promises then people start to tire of it , You will end up losing people’s trust and confidence in you. Being honest let’s others know you are in control and set’s their expectations for what you can manage/produce.

Don’t say no to everything of course. Just take back a little bit more control and I promise you’ll feel a ton better 😀