15 Jul 2018

Our Stay At Rixos Bab al-Bahr, Ras al Khaimah



As you may know, myself and my husband recently returned from a two week holiday spread across the UAE and Singapore. The first part of our trip was a honeymoon part two and we decided to spend a few nights in Ras al Khaimah, an emirate in the UAE. It is not as advanced as Dubai or Abu Dhabi but is mostly known for its resorts and beaches.

We decided to stay at the five-star Rixos Bar al-Bahr and I thought I'd share a review in case you are deciding to visit too.



FIRST IMPRESSIONS

I hate to start on such a downer but my first impressions of the hotel was rather disappointing. We asked to see our room before checking in and noticing the broken picture frames, torn wallpaper and our what was supposedly 'sea view' room overlooking the noisy pool area, I was very unhappy. We then saw four or five (I lost count!) more rooms and was still very disappointed as none of them were finished to a five-star standard and all didn't have the peaceful, romantic honeymoon vibe as they faced the pool.

We spoke to the manager, who was far from understanding and didn't even bother to apologise at my disappointment, and after much back and fourth, he decided to upgrade us to a 'better' room. Upon looking at the room, there were some snags I had and it still did overlook the pool deck but I decided to go with it as after a long 10+ hour journey, all I wanted to do was shower and eat!

Upon booking just note that the sea view room is also a pool view room (which they cleverly leave out!). The hotel is split into a few of buildings which are pyramid shaped and only reach about 7 floors high. You can still hear the noise from the pool area when
on the 5th floor.



OUR ROOM

We had a really nice spacious room with a balcony and sea/pool view. Just have a scroll through the pictures as it will give you a better overview of the room.








If you book this hotel just be wary of which room you book - I would have loved it more if the room wasn't near the pool but then I would miss out on the sea view and instead just have desert views. 



THE POOL & BEACH

I found the main pool was rather crowded and noisy. There are lots of kids at this hotel as it is very child-friendly (which is great, if you have a family!) so just be mindful as we were imagining peaceful and relaxing vibes throughout. We found the adult pool on the other side of the resort which also had a private beach section and separate bar. The pool was an infinity pool, which was just the ultimate dream!







We went all-inclusive at the hotel so mojitos and soft drinks were on tap and it was amazing! The private beach section was also very nice. The hotel also offers water sports, if you are into that, but as usual be prepared to pay a lot of £££ as it is pricey.



FOOD, SHOPPING AND AMENITIES

As mentioned previously, we went all-inclusive which meant all of our meals, drinks and snacks were free. This also included the mini fridge in our room! Anyway, the hotel had a main buffet restaurant where we would eat breakfast and lunch (it was also open for dinner). Breakfasts and lunches were pretty good, a variety of different cuisines and lots of options for all. For dinner, you could book into any of the eight restaurants at the hotel and it was included in the all-inclusive package! We decided to try a different one each night. There are several options from Italian, Turkish, Steak and Asian. Very worth it in my opinion!




The hotel also had a market for guests to do all their holiday / gift / tourist shopping. We didn't buy anything but it was a nice area to potter around. There is also a gym, spa and tennis courts, if you fancy. We booked in for the spa on our last night and it was a-ma-zing!



So there's my review of the Rixos Bab al-Bahr hotel in Ras al Khaimah, UAE. No doubt it is a beautiful hotel and a lovely place to sit back, relax and do absolutely nothing, which is just what we were looking for. The hiccups with the rooms and manager experience was rather disappointing as they seem to lack in customer care. I've visited the Rixos The Palm in Dubai and that hotel was the best hotel experience I've had in my life so to see the difference between the two, was quite sad.

If you have a family with children, I think this hotel if exactly what you need. It offers something for everyone whether it be entertainment or food.

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8 Jul 2018

When Life Gives You Lemons...



It's been a week since I've been home and I already have major holiday blues! My husband and I went on part two of our honeymoon and spent a few days in sunny Ras al Khaimah, UAE. We also took the opportunity to visit Abu Dhabi and Singapore which was truly amazing and beautiful! All the travel guides will be coming very soon but for now, I thought I'd share one of my favourite outfits I wore in Ras al Khaimah.



This stunning yellow maxi dress caught my attention whilst I was shopping in New Look. The colour is just beautiful and screamed holiday to me! I am often drawn to yellow pieces of clothing but often find it hard to pull off as it is a bold colour. I have a couple of yellow pieces in my wardrobe but this has got to be my favourite now!




I like how flexible the style of the dress is as it can easily be worn on or off-the-shoulder, depending on whether you are going for a more daytime or evening look. I opted for on-the-shoulder for this day as I was wearing it around the hotel in between dips in the pool (hence the untamed hair).





The maxi dress features a simple tie waist with some tassels, which really pulls it all together and adds a little something. There is also a drop hem / asymmetric feature which mades the dress slightly shorter in the front and longer in the back. As I am on the shorter side, the drop at the back actually drags on the floor slightly, which I don't mind. If I chose to wear the dress with heels, the length would've have probably been what it was supposed to be on a normal height person!





As the dress is the focus and main component of the look and also since I was on holiday and feeling rather lazy, I decided to wear a simple pair of brown sandals. As mentioned previous, the dress can easily be adapted to be worn for day or night so a pair of black, or even something bold like red, heels would immediately amp up the look for an evening outfit.



Have you purchased any yellow clothing pieces lately?
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1 Jul 2018

Five Uses For Essential Oils



I love multipurpose products because it makes your purchase way more worthwhile, especially if the item is quite expensive. I kindly got sent the Hallelujah Hair Oil from Forest and Shore, which is actually completely organic, natural and made up from 100% essential oils. Although it is meant for hair, it made me realise how many different uses the product could have as it is purely a blend of essential oils.

Here are five uses for essential oils that you can use in your daily routine.



Hair Treatment
Obviously this product is marketed as a hair treatment, but in general if you happen to have some essential oils around the house, it could be used for your hair. I either apply it as a light treatment in damp hair after a shower or before showering as a mask. It is really affective and keeps my hair healthy looking and also smelling very nice!


Sleep
Certain essential oils, such as lavender and camomile, are very calming and ideal for helping with your sleep. There are products that are specifically formulated as a spray to put on your pillow to help you sleep at night but I actually popped a few drops of this oil (as it contains lavender oil in it) on my pillow case and it smells so calm and relaxing.



Fragrance
You can definitely use essential oils as a body, clothes, laundry and home fragrance! It is so simple to add it in a spray bottle with some water to make it easy to use around the home as well as a body fragrance.

Cuticle Oil
You can pop some of the oil on your cuticles as a hydrating treatment if they are looking and feeling a bit dry. Whether it is your hands or your feet, you can enjoy a mini pamper session at home with your essential oils doubling up as a manicure and pedicure treatment.

Lip Care
Last but not least, the oil can also be used as a lip treatment. Add some essential oil with some sugar for a nourishing scrub or use on its own as a hydrating lip balm / mask. It is so simple and easy to quickly make up and use.




Have you ever used essential oils? What do you use it for?
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24 Jun 2018

2018 Mid-Year Beauty Favourites



I know you've all probably heard this 100 many times, but how fast is the year going?! We are already halfway through - it's crazy! Anyway, to celebrate getting through half of 2018, I thought I'd share my mid-year beauty favourites that I've discovered so far.

The past few months have consisted of many skincare discoveries. I've been meaning to get into skincare a little more, take care of my skin and learn more about different products and ingredients, hence the increase in skincare favourites. I also have a few make up bits, which I will of course share with you too.

So settle down with a cup of tea, get comfortable as this post is rather long and chatty!

The Favourites 



Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish
I've always wanted to try Liz Earle products and early this year I finally bought some! The range was actually recommended to me by my wedding make up artist and I am so glad she did! The products were truly life-changing but the Cleanse and Polish was by far my favourite! I highly recommend if you are looking for a new cleanser.

Muslin Cloths
Swiftly moving on from the Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish, we have muslin cloths. I previously used a standard face towel for washing my face with but after discovering the muslin cloth, which came with the Cleanse and Polish, I will never go back! It is so gentle yet effective, I'm pretty sure it has magical powers.



No7 Stay Perfect Foundation
I went through / am still kind of going through a bit of a make up funk. As my skin got rather bad and I was focusing on skincare, make up became non-existent in my daily routine - which is a big change. However, on my good skin days, I really wanted to wear make up because I enjoy it from time to time. The No7 foundation helped give me a natural coverage and as it was so lightweight, it didn't feel like I had much on, which was perfect after not wearing make up for so long!

CYO Blush
I believe this brand is new to Boots and when I saw the products, I was intrigued. The are inexpensive yet the packaging is nice and sleek. I was drawn to this blusher in the shade XXXX straightaway and knew I would love it. It is a beautiful natural pinky berry shade which works so well for everyday looks.



Yes To Blueberries Body Wash
If you read this blog post, you'd know I really enjoy this product. The range is fab, but this body wash is amazing. The scent is heavenly and I highly recommend if you are after a new body wash because this one has it all - natural, smells fab and isn't so expensive!

Botanics Hydration Burst Day Cream
I came across this brand and was pleasantly surprised by the range of products they had available. As you can probably tell, I've been trying more natural products and this brand is no exception. I thought I'd start simple and purchase a day cream, which I really enjoy. I definitely want to try more products from the brand, which I'll introduce slowly into my routine.



Simple Eye Cream
I remember I never used to see the point in eye cream but since having a skin flare up with extremely dry flaky skin everywhere on my face, including around my eyes, I realised the important of applying something more targeted in that area. This one is cheap, cheerful and does the job - when something ticks those boxes, I don't see the point in looking elsewhere.

Mario Badescu Enzyme Revitalising Face Mask
I remember seeing so much about this brand a few years ago - there was a huuuuge craze. I now see the point! I was after a mask that was good for dry skin but wasn't going to be too harsh and at first, the sound of this mask was a bit intimidating (the enzyme element scared me a little!) but I actually really enjoy it. it eats away at dead skin and does not dry it out at all.



Milani Lash Trifecta Mascara
Mascara's are something that I change out very often and don't really repurchase because good ones are really easy to come by. I like to try different ones each time and I picked up this one by chance when I was shopping one day and I'm actually considering repurchasing since I loved it so much. It lengthens and thickens and again, is inexpensive.

The Ordinary 100% Plant Derived Squalane 
Think I was saving my best beauty discoveries till last - The Ordinary is a brand that took the beauty world by storm and very rightly so. I actually popped into The Ordinary store a few months back and I felt like I was in heaven. This product is basically a non-greasy oil that sorted my skin out and helped calm all the chaos that was happening.

The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5
This product is a cult beauty product because I know so many people enjoy it, including my sister. It is basically a like pre-moisturiser. I put this on after cleansing but before moisturiser as it is meant to help more of the product soak into your skin, maximising hydration.



And those are my mid-year beauty favourites - Congratulations on making it this far, I know this was a rather rambley post (hence the pre-warning!



____________________________________________

Have you tried any of these products?

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17 Jun 2018

Packing Tips: Travel Make Up & Skincare



I'm off on my travels today (you can follow what I'm up to on my Instagram!) so I thought it would be appropriate to share how I pack my travel beauty bags for make up and skincare. I find that packing for travelling can be difficult - however long you are going for, wherever you are going, even if it is just a weekend away!

Anyway, I thought I'd share my thought process for organising yourself when it comes to packing skincare and make up for holidays.



Carry-on or check-in luggage?

Knowing which of these options you are taking helps manage the rest of the organising for packing. It's quite simple actually, if you are only taking hand luggage you require less make up and beauty wise due to airplane restrictions. If you are allowed check-in luggage, you can take however much you like, really.



The length of your trip

The longer you travel for, you essentially need more products. Shorter periods of time mean that you can get away with not bringing a bits and only having the bare essentials on you. Make sure you prepare for however long you will be travelling for. Bigger luggage, more storage bags, whatever you need to accommodate your beauty bits!



Make lists

I love making lists, especially when it comes to travelling. I'd suggest making a list on a piece of paper or on your phone (the iPhone notes feature is fab). Go through your make up and skincare routine step-by-step, decide what you will be taking and pop it on the list. This will help you not miss anything out.



Travel minis and decanting

If you are travelling for a few days, it's always best to buy minis of the products you will be taking - I prefer this for shampoo and conditioner! Or if a mini is unavailable, and most of the time too expensive, just decant the product into a separate tub. You get travel kits in Primark, Boots and Superdrug so it's easy to pop some skincare into a mini tub or even your foundation and primer.



Live out of your travel bags for a few days

I always worry that I've forgotten something important when it comes to travelling. To avoid this, I think you should pack your skincare or makeup bag a few days before and use it as you would on holiday, but at home. This way when you are going about your daily routine, you can easily pick up on whether you have missed something out.


There you have it - a few tips and tricks for packing make up and skincare for your travel. Are you off anywhere exciting soon?
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10 Jun 2018

100 Blog Post Ideas For The 'Little Bit Of Everything' Blogger



I often find myself going through phases of lacking inspiration and motivation for my blog. Coming up with fresh new ideas is hard sometimes. I've listed 100 (yes a whole one hundred!) blog post ideas for the blogger who is like me and writes about a bit of everything. I hope these inspire and motivate you for your blog!

  1. Why you started blogging
  2. What you love/hate about blogging
  3. Blogging tips
  4. Photography tips
  5. Finding your blogging voice
  6. Planning for your blog
  7. Social media tips for bloggers
  8. Blogging process
  9. Favourite blogs
  10. How to start a blog
  11. A guide to affiliate programmes
  12. Tips and advice for a sponsored blog post 
  13. X years of blogging
  14. Where you've travelled to
  15. Bucket list
  16. Travel guide
  17. Staycation
  18. A day trip to...
  19. Travel guide to your hometown
  20. How to plan the ultimate holiday
  21. Travel essentials
  22. Finding holidays on a budget
  23. Saving money for travelling
  24. Travel beauty
  25. Travel skincare
  26. Packing tips
  27. Packing for a weekend away
  28. Everyday beauty essentials (makeup, skincare or haircare)
  29. Current beauty favourites
  30. What your everyday face is worth
  31. Favourite makeup palettes
  32. Beauty wish list
  33. Hairstyles for short / medium / long hair
  34. Foundations for dry/oily/combination skin
  35. Hits and misses
  36. Product review (hyped up or new launch)
  37. Fragrance collection
  38. Subscription box review
  39. How to clean your makeup brushes
  40. Makeup brush collection
  41. Makeup storage and collection
  42. Evening skincare routine
  43. Morning skincare routine
  44. Budget beauty tips
  45. High-end beauty favourites
  46. Spotlight on a brand
  47. Your style story
  48. Trying out a trend
  49. 3 ways to style (i.e.: converse, grey tee, black jeans)
  50. Favourite accessories
  51. Wardrobe tour
  52. What's in my bag
  53. Shoe collection
  54. Special occasion outfit (i.e.: wedding, birthday, party)
  55. Recent purchases haul
  56. Saving money on fashion
  57. Capsule wardrobe
  58. Workwear inspiration 
  59. Finding your personal style
  60. Style look book
  61. Summer style
  62. Winter wardrobe essentials
  63. Jewellery collection
  64. Favourite jewellery pieces
  65. Styling your jewellery
  66. How to get organised
  67. Productivity tips
  68. How to get motivated
  69. Body confidence
  70. Self-care tips
  71. Motivation advice
  72. University/college advice
  73. About your job
  74. How to save money
  75. Wish list
  76. Interior moodboard
  77. How to style a shelf
  78. A peek inside your home
  79. Organising your wardrobe
  80. A look at your beauty set up
  81. Home renovation talk through
  82. Desk tour
  83. A letter to your younger self
  84. DIY (Instagram DIYS, homeware, beauty)
  85. Favourite TV shows/movies/books
  86. Film review
  87. A day in the life
  88. Dessert recipe
  89. Food recipe
  90. Drinks recipe
  91. Advice for hosting a dinner party
  92. Book review
  93. How to plan a birthday party/ wedding/ bridal shower
  94. A gift guide
  95. Goals for the month/year
  96. Reviewing a monthly box (beauty, food, fashion etc)
  97. A beginners guide to...
  98. Talk about a significant life experience
  99. Birthday blog post
  100. Your own 100 blog post ideas

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3 Jun 2018

Travel Guide: New York City



For our honeymoon, the Mr and I went to the big apple! New York is a city I've visited before and I absolutely loved. There is just SO much to see and do and eat! We both really enjoyed the trip and are glad that we decided to do something a little bit unconventional - compared to the Maldives or Bora Bora.

I thought I'd share what we got up to, where we ate, where we stayed and everything else!





HOTEL

We wanted to stay somewhere central so we could easily get to all the places we wanted to go. We were only in New York for 4 days so every minute was crucial! My husband and I booked the Hyatt Centric Hotel which is in Times Square. Despite being in the busiest part of the city, it wasn't loud or too small - the room was a decent size and was very nicely decorated. I definitely recommend if you are looking for a hotel in the heart of NYC.





EAT

There were so many yummy places we ate at during our trip. We particularly enjoyed the street carts that were basically on every corner. I really loved the falafel gyros - if you love falafels then I highly recommend trying them from the food carts in NYC because they are cheap but so incredibly delicious.

When we weren't trying all of the food carts, we actually ate in restaurants...

We tried the ever so famous Salt Bae's restaurant, Nusr-Et Steakhouse - which I actually didn't take any pictures of as we went on our last night and wanted to enjoy the experience! I must say the experience is phenomenal. The atmosphere is just something else and really made our trip!

We tried the place the apparently sells the number 1 pizzas in the USA, Juliana's. The half an hour long line was definitely worth the wait.We shared a mozzarella and tomato pizza and it was heavenly. I'm going to admit, I never used to like pizza until we tried this place (that is how good it was!).



We had more pizza and Italian deliciousness when we visited Eataly. As the portions are rather large, myself and my husband shared a stone baked pizza which had roasted vegetables and a lot of cheese - mmmm. I definitely recommend this place if you are after something with more of a restaurant vibe, similar to our Zizzi and Pizza Express.



If you fancy some really delicious thai food, One Thai Chef is the place to go. It's literally just a ten minute walk from Times Square, so easily walkable from our hotel. Dishes we recommend: chicken pad thai, golden coconut fried shrimps and chicken satay.


SIGHTSEEING





Helicopter Tour
As we were only in New York for a short space of time, we decided it would be best to go on a helicopter tour so we can see everything in a speedy 30 minutes. A helicopter tour has always been on my bucket list and honestly, it didn't disappoint. It was the most amazing experience and by far my favourite part of the honeymoon. We booked the tour with HeliNY, if you are looking to book too!



Staten Island Ferry
We wanted to see the Statue of Liberty from a closer view and instead of booking a really expensive tour, we decided to hop on the free Staten Island Ferry, especially since we were close by to the helicopter port anyway. I highly recommend going on this instead of paying £££ for a Statue of Liberty tour.





Central Park
You obviously have to go to Central Park if you are visiting New York. We took a little stroll around a portion of the park and engaged some fresh roasted cashews - yum! Unfortunately the lake and boating area wasn't open when we visited as it was rather cold but that is next on my to-do list if we visit in the summer!





Times Square
The atmosphere at Times Square is just something else. The iconic screens and huge Mcdonalds is literally as you see in the movies. There are plenty of shops and places to go whilst you are in Times Square so shopping and entertainment won't be of a shortage!





Brooklyn Bridge
If you have a good 45 minutes to spare, take a walk on the Brooklyn Bridge. We decided to go from Manhattan to Brooklyn so we could stop by Juliana's for pizza at the end! The walk across the bridge is filled with amazing views and even more amazing photos!

Woodbury Common Shopping Outlet
For shopping, we took a day trip to Woodbury Common Shopping Outlet. We booked a bus directly from the concierge at the hotel and it took about an hour and thirty minutes to get there. The shopping outlet is insane! Think of Bicester Village and think 10 times larger than that. There was a huge food court and every shop imaginable. It's definitely a spot where you must visit if you are looking to shop.



Friends Apartment Building
If you are a Friend's fan, you have to go to the iconic building. It is literally just a building but it's a new area to walk around in too. Here is the address if you are looking to go the corner of Bedford Street and Grove Street.







Other spots to visit: 5th Avenue, Top of the Rock, Flat iron Building, Ground Zero, The Oculus, Grand Central Station and Madison Square Gardens.


TRAVEL

Travel wise, we bought Metro cards from the nearest subway station and travelled around like the locals do. Using the subway was rather easy except when every sub station looks the same and you keep going round in circles! There is also a subway app that you can download if you need a little help with stations.





And there you have it, my NYC travel guide! Have you been to New York? What are your favourite spots that I've missed?
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