Monday, 13 November 2017

Adulting continues

I recently found a photograph of the Cinderella Polly Pocket castle from when I was a child. It was my favourite toy growing up and seeing it filled me with such nostalgia. Remembering those happy afternoons by the fire at my nanny's house, playing for hours with it. I would do anything to just have that feeling back for one moment. Adulting really can be hard and sometimes I think I would honestly love to just be a child again but in reality no I would not.

As much as being an adult does suck sometimes with all the bills, worries and falling in with what you think you should be doing at your age. Being a child was not always easy, new schools, new friends, new homes, new family additions, family issues, losing loved ones. Not to mention the pressure of attempting to get good grades because apparently your life depends on it.
Then your body decides it is going to completely change and suddenly you have to try and make yourself attractive. If you think about it at a young age most people have to deal with a hell of a lot.  I think I have been a worrier since I came out of the womb. Constantly worried about hurting people's feelings, what others would think of me. Even when I was happy my brain would be like but what if....? Which it still does to a certain extent.

Although recently I have realised I am mostly happy with who I am for pretty much the first time ever. Sometimes I worry about my appearance but all in all I am more comfortable with who I am than I have ever been. I don't really worry about what people think of me anymore, Turns out I am more me than I have ever really knew before. Life never really gets easier we always will have those massive things that kick us in the face sometimes. Horrible people will always try and put you down and let you down. What I have learnt more than anything is to always do your best. Be grateful for what you have, enjoy your partners, family and friends, appreciate every single one. Enjoy the little things, surround yourself with people that make you feel good and make you laugh.
More importantly and I know everybody says it but enjoy being yourself!
Your weird, sometimes awkward self! There is only one of you after all, may as well be the best version you can be.

If only I had known this growing up. I am grateful to my mom for always trying to show me this but I do think it is something you have to learn with time.
It is the one thing I would love to tell my 14 year old self.
Stop giving a damn!
I am still learning that people won't always be around, friendships change, people change and that is ok. The ones you do end up with are definitely worth it!

In the last couple of years I have reclaimed my obsession for Disney in all forms including toys... I don't care if I was supposed to have grown out of wanting them.
I have became inspired to create art work again and improve, which I can see is already happening.
I have embraced my teenage emo and bring her out as frequently possible.
I have even started going back to the clubs that I used to go to with a reignited love.
Why the hell not?!

Being an adult can be fun, you can make all your own choices, do all the things that make you happy.
Be who you want to be and be as silly as you like.

I hope this post brings a little bit of happiness as sometimes we really do need it!

Saturday, 11 November 2017

Winter sun

My mom and I do enjoy our annual girls holiday together. This time mom decided that we should go to Benidorm. I didn't know what to expect as there is a certain picture that pops into your head when people mention Benidorm. I just thought we will have fun no matter what happens.

I have got to say I loved every minute of it! We stopped in the old town where there was plenty of places to eat, drink and shop. As well as beaches as long as the eye could see. 
I am not sure if it was the time of year, being winter but I assumed the beaches would be packed with tourists. Again my assumptions were wrong.
There was so much room for us to have our own little spot and we were pleasantly surprised by the amount of authentic Spanish eateries. There was a row of tapas one after the other and I was delighted. So affordable and we found some really gorgeous food. I ate so much Gelato, crepes tapas, cheese and all the carbs! When on holiday ay!
We napped and read, danced and laughed we also had cocktails the size of our heads. 

If you want a little fun break for a decent price I would say it is a pretty good place to go. 
I would definitely say the old town is place to stay. 
The lower starred hotels are not necessarily worth ignoring as our hotel was only a couple of stars but it was clean and modern exactly what we needed. 

We were both sad when we had to leave, I could easily take my friends there and feel that I will be returning! 

Friday, 3 November 2017

Beardy man

I have been working on my digital art this year, admittedly not as much as I would like.
I plan to start making a lot of pieces very soon.
I just wanted to introduce you to 'Beardy Man' he started off as a little doodle in my sketchbook.
Then he turned into an experiment with my IPad and Procreate which I love!
I do not have the newest fanciest version of Procreate at the moment but it really is such a great art tool.
I really enjoy the fact that I can take it anywhere and it is very easy to navigate.
I had so much fun with it during my flights to and from holiday.

Turns out I really like Beardy Man and I thought why not slap him on a few bits of merchandise and see if he looked good. I think he does! This is just the start as my brain is exploding with ideas, I do need to make sure I give myself the time as when I do create something I like it makes me so happy.

This guy can be found on lots of other cool things.
If you feel like having a look you can click here.

Monday, 21 August 2017

Anniversary trip to Chester

A year has come around so quickly. So much has changed and we have grown together in many ways. We wanted to celebrate in a relaxed and stress free way. So we opted for a weekend in Chester. 
We have been before for my birthday back in 2014. The blog post about our stay was not the best, although at least I can see improvement in my blogging skills I suppose! 

This time we stayed in the Abode Hotel which is around a ten minute walk from the town centre. 
I love Chester, the fact that it has held onto its traditional buildings and it has so much to offer. 
The hotel was lovely, a ridiculously comfortable bed, a little box of celebratory chocolates left out for us. As well as a cute balcony and every amenity we could ask for. An added bonus is that as well as the hotel bar and restaurant they have a Miller and Carter underneath which was great for us. As my husband is a complete steak fiend! We treated ourselves to dinner on the evening of our actual anniversary as it was a Sunday. 

On the Saturday we went to explore the shops. The only thing I was a little disappointed about was that we couldn't find any quirky independent shops and that is what we like to find on our weekends away. Maybe we didn't look hard enough.
Although we did have an amazing late lunch at a place called Urbano32
I can honestly say it was one of the best pizzas I have had in a very long time!  
It was beautifully crafted with such fresh toppings and the courgette fries were to die for.
As the batter was so light and flaky they just melted in your mouth. 
I must stop describing it as it is torture for me. 

We then had a lazy room service night with a Roasted pepper, buffalo mozzarella and pesto sandwich for me. With sticky toffee pudding for dessert, heaven! Jon had pastrami with sauerkraut on Rye bread and he was very happy with his choice. 

On the Sunday day time we had the best day at ChesterZoo. I am always a little wary of places where animals are kept for human entertainment but I really was impressed. They are doing so much to help endangered species and all of the animals have a vast living environment. I was a little sad that we didn't get to see much of the bears. As I am fascinated with bears, it just goes to show how large their habitat is at the zoo which is great. We walked for six miles and I definitely needed a nap afterwards. I don't know how all the children managed to last all day as I was so sleepy in the car and I am 25! We did witness a fair few tantrums around the park and a lot of threats to go home. In all honesty though I think it is a fantastic day out whatever age you are. If you have children or not. 

FYI The orangutang is the Daddy he had a little baby sitting the corner that was just the sweetest little thing you ever did see! I am absolutely gutted there was a reflection on the glass. 
As this amazing creature looked straight at me! 

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Dinner at Brown's Brasserie and Bar

Week day dinners out are my new favourite pass time. Especially with these light evenings. It just brings abit more enjoyment to the working week.

My mom and I came across Brown's Brasserie and Bar oppersite St Martin's Church in Birmingham City Centre.

Luckily the weather was glorious that afternoon and we got to sit outside.
We chose from the Lunch and Early Evening Menu. Where you can get Two courses for £10.95 and add a third for only £4. This is available 12pm to 7pm Monday to Friday which was perfect for us.

We both opted for the Smoked Salmon Linguine.
With Pea, chive, lemon & creme Fraiche.
It was heavily we didn't have to wait long at all either which is always a good thing.

They had a great choice of Mocktails which I loved as I was driving home but wanted something summery.

For dessert I got very excited about the Warm Doughnuts with Belgian chocolate dipping sauce. Popping candy and sea salted toffee sauce. Anything with popping candy and I turn into a excitable child.

Mom went for the Blueberry & white chocolate mess. Which was also delicious as I stole a bit. I feel it is a daughter's right. My mom is also one of these people that thinks it is ok to stab a fork into whatever your eating because it looks good. So I returned the favour.

We were given a loyalty card which comes with some lovely little extras. Such as a complimentary glass of processco or a cocktail. Birthday bubbles and some really good deals for August so it is worth having.

We really did enjoy our experience.
To have a look at the Lunch and Early Evening Menu click here.

Monday, 3 July 2017

Island life

I have had a serious case of the holiday blues the last couple of days.
So a bit of reminiscing is needed.

We were in desperate need of a break and I found Ocean Hill in Puerto Rico, Gran Canaria.
On Thomas cook for a really good price as the hotel has not been open long.
Apart from the hour delay with boarding it was a pretty pain free flight of just over four hours.
We had seven days of glorious sunshine and we have never been so lazy. It was just what we needed to just do hardly anything but relax.

We were pretty high up as the views were amazing and Ocean Hill was one of the most beautifully kept hotels we have ever been to.
Crisp white everything! A cute little apartment with modern furnishings and a double headed wet room style shower.
We did not realise it was an adult only hotel until we arrived but we were pretty pleased with this.

The whole hotel had a classy, upscale and sophisticated vibe to it. I was disappointed that I could not really use my pool float but it is understandable with the atmosphere they are trying to create.

The Infinity pool was absolutely gorgeous and it was never full late afternoon when we were there.
The only 'not so great' reviews we found were about the All Inclusive package food.
So we opted for self catering and it was perfect for us.
As we had a little kitchenette and surrounding food shops. We also went to the pool bar for food, a couple of times and the food was presented really well and was gloriously cheap.

There were always beds around the two pools available and they even had two person four poster loungers that you could sink into. The chill out bar was really enjoyable too, we went there most evenings as it had a real peaceful atmosphere and very friendly staff.

The surrounding areas were a little too touristy for us but we made the most.
For the price of the holiday you could not complain either.
Taxis were readily available and everything was pretty accessible.

The only things I would mention is that being so high up the 20 minute walks in the 34 degrees and upwards were extremely steep. Taxi fairs were around 3 Euros each time so we were happy to use them often.

Also we preferred the beach at Amadores and we found a lovely Italian restaurant, on the beach front called CiaoCiao. Which is rated very highly and they do the most delicious pizza! The husband had Clams in pesto pasta and he was besotted. The staff were so welcoming and they do authentic Gelato.
Always a perk for me.

It was our first real taste of more authentic food while being there, as we did find where we were was mainly catered to English food and we normally like to find non tourist eateries when we are away.

Again we could not really complain was we had a wonderful week and fully embraced the home from home life on the island.

Ocean Hill gave me a little surprise of printing my Instagram photo for me and left it in my apartment which I thought was such a lovely touch.

I would really recommend this hotel if are in need of some relaxation and some quality time together.

Click here to find out more.

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Rainbow Summer - NYX Vivid Brights

I am all about the colourful makeup at the moment. First I was afraid...
I have deeply embrassed the 90s teenager inside and decided to venture out from the traditional black cat eye. It is summer after all. I thought NYX Vivid Brights were a good place to start. I have since ventured to blue lipstick but that's a whole different story.

I was given Blossom for my birthday and in a spontaneous makeup day I thought let's give it a go. I absolutely loved it! The formula is so smooth and easy to use.
I have been putting liquid eyeliner on for many years now. Although let's face it some days one is higher up than the other right?

With these I found the application is buildable and controllable. I then expanded my colourful pursuit to Sapphire and Petal.

Both stunning although I feel the blue is for those more adventurous days. As the others are quite pastel and you can wear them without feeling too out there.

I am tempted to add more to my collection maybe Yellow? The world is my rainbow now! For £5.50 in Boots why not experiment! A perfect tool for those festival looks.

Saturday, 20 May 2017

Recent Favourites

I wanted to do something a little different for this post.
I love doing beauty posts but I have recently found lots of things. I am enjoying or that I am interested in, that do not fit this category. So here goes..

First up I know, I am late jumping on this band wagon. I recently realised that I have not properly listened to music, in a very long time. Which made me a little sad as it used to consume my daily life when I was younger. So I thought let's give Spotify a go.

I am so glad I did! Every piece of music that pops into your head. That you have not listened to in years. The music you just need to listen to because you are in the mood. All at your finger tips for a reasonable £9.99 a month.
I think for the amount of new music I have found. Classic oldies and the Disney playlist I have created. The price is pretty minimal. They are doing a 3 months of Premium for 0.99p deal at the moment, so if you are late to the party like me. Go and have a look!

Next is my boy Harry's new album 'Harry Styles'. I must admit I am slightly biased as my love for Harry is extremely deep. Although as I can be a bit of a music snob on occasion, I was so pleased with this album.
Harry has always stood out from One Direction to me. As the one with a bit of an edge and I really wanted that to come across in his solo career. Oh my! He did not disappoint. I have read reviews that the songs seem stolen from various other artists. That they want to know the real Harry.
I think this is his real personality. A mixer of heart wrenching angst filled ballads. When you have that moody, rainy day feeling. Looking out of the window and pretending you are in a music video. Don't be ashamed we all do it! Then the catchy, fun and real tributes to so many rock influences, with some really clever grown up lyrics.

I have had this album on repeat even since I was introduced to it. I even tried to force my mom to listen to it. As she says he is a very good looking boy but she can't say she is a full fan. She will change her mind! I am determined of that! My favourite songs are Carolina, Kiwi and Only Angel. These are the songs that I feel are more connected to my music taste. They are a little wild and naughty! I love it! I especially like that Only Angel starts off with angelic choirs and then suddenly completely flips itself upside down, into an upbeat rocky instant hit.
I am also a little jealous of who ever the song Carolina was written about!

I honestly feel like the true talent and utter deliciousness of his voice, has come through on this album.
I am a solid One Directioner at the age of 25 to my inner emo kid's disgust. I do honestly feel the other boys are bringing out some good music. Although I will admit that this album was the one I was most interested in. I wanted to know what Harry would come up with. I feel that he has taken a slight risk portraying more about himself than the pop culture, adored by millions of little girls, boy band member. I am so glad people have taken to it as well as I have. Apart from a few jibes in some critic reviews. Hey you can't win them all! Have a listen here

Again I know this has been out for awhile but can we just talk about the film Split, for a minute? I have been eagerly awaiting the chance to see this film for a very long time. My husband and I finally sat down to watch it and I have mixed feelings.
It basically did not have enough explosions and drama for my other half to be interested.
Although he did deeply appreciate James McAvoy's acting skills.

The film in a nut shell is about a man with a deeply dark case of multiple personalities.
Capturing three girls for a demonic purpose. The darker personalities have began to rule and have taken a personality, of a nine year old under their wing. To do some of their bidding. In actual fact the nine year old is a character that I find one of the most frightening and brilliantly acted!
As when a person with this mental health problem reaches the potential to unlock the human brain and control all these other characters. The beast is realised. What I found the most interesting about this film, was the fact that McAvoy could change the position of his eyebrows. Changing the emotion on his face with ease. Then you would instantly know another personality has taken the 'light'.

I did also enjoy the character of the psychologist as she was truly trying to help. Although the character was a little predictable and she could of easily handled the situation better. Typical thriller in that respect. The story line was little messy and my husband kept saying 'Nothing is happening.'
I do not think there was a real need for the extra two gorgeous girls, captured wearing no clothes.
As I think the main focus on the teenager with a dark past was enough to carry the film through.

It also has links to 'Unbreakable' which I actually shrieked with delight about. As I loved that film when I was younger. It brings back memories of staying up late and watching Bruce Willis movies with my dad. There was obviously room for a sequel which would be interesting. Although I do think this film could of been better. You can not diminish the pure talent of McAvoy in this film. I really think he has out done himself.  A solid 3 and half unicorns from me I'd say!

So that is my little insight into what I have been getting into lately.
I have really enjoyed writing this post. I think I will do something like this again or maybe frequently. What do you think?

Sunday, 14 May 2017

Makeup fit for a mermaid

Primark are slaying with their beauty products at the moment. I was over the moon when I found these little treasures. I got very excited with the glorious colours and glitter!
I am always on a mission to collect highlighters that make me gleam! So the Mermaid glow was an instant winner for me. If I am honest I have bought glitters in a pallet similar to the one featured above from a different retailer. Unfortunately the pigment pay off wasn't great, so I didn't want to get my hopes up. I stand corrected! They are stunning and really powerful, 18 colours for £3.00 I could not of asked for better.
The shimmer sticks are an array of beautiful pastel colours some with glitter pigments, bonus!
These have so many uses eye shadow, highlight and even lipstick. I am really impressed by all these products so far. The quality is brilliant for such a good price.  I am excited to test out the metallic pink nail varnish in Supernova. Which also comes in a variety of glam metallic colours if you are interested.

If you are going to a festival this summer or just fancy being a embracing some mermaid vibes.
I would recommend you go and explore PSbeauty at Primark. To find out more click here

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Makeup Revolution Lip Kit Review

Another ode to Makeup Revolution as I am deeply in love with their products.
I got very excited when I came across their Lip Kits, let's face it they are 'slightly' similar to the KYLIE Lip Kits. I am not complaining got to love a good dupe!

I bought the Matte Lip Kit in Echelon then I stumbled across the Metallic Lip Kit in Sovereign. "Ohhhh hey!" Extremely exciting stuff!

Echelon is a beautiful colour in a  dark dusky pink nude, I tend to collected nude lipsticks so this was a big deal. The kits come with a soft pencil lip liner and a liquid lipstick. I must say that the lip liner was a lighter colour than the lipstick but they worked well. The product is pretty heavy duty too, You really have to scrub to get the matte lipstick off which is great for lips. Swatches ,, not so much.

Sovereign is a damn queen of a gold shade. I feel this is more of a bold look and it would look great on a night out. I was a little disappointed with the lip liner as it seemed a little redundant as the liquid lipstick is such a powerful colour. Although I am very tempted to use the lip liner as an  eye shadow as it is super soft, creamy and such a nice colour on it's own.

All in all a good purchase for £6 each!
I am convincing myself that the dark vampy blue shade needs to be purchased next!

Have you tried these?

Friday, 10 February 2017

Windsor and Newton watercolour marker review

I have been determined to get a hang of painting with water colour for a long time.  So when I saw this little travel set of WindsorandNewton watercolour pens in CassArt for a quater of the price.  In their sale, I thought it was the perfect opportunity. Aswell as a bit of an easier starting point.

I was impressed by the contents of the little pouch it comes with 8 pens in a variety of colours. I would of liked some more skin tone colours in there but hey! I can always add to the set.

You get two brushes, some water colour paper. A travel mini pouch and a water bottle for painting on the go. Pretty handy.

What I really liked about these was that they are so pigmented and easy to use.
You can layer them with different textures, as when you add water it effects the marks you've made but in a very controlable way.

I enjoyed the fact that you could draw then paint add then hand drawn elements on top of that. Adding some dimension to my work.

All in all a great set. I'm just going to practice some more and explore what other techniques can be crafted by using these bad boys.

What are you product recommendations for a water colour beginner?

Tuesday, 31 January 2017

A Day & Night in Bath

I wanted to take my husband away for his birthday, somewhere special but not a million miles away.
I remember going to the City of Bath when I was a child and I loved it. My partner had never been so I thought that it would be a brilliant birthday destination. We left pretty early and it was a pain free journey. When we got there we found parking easily enough for a weekend.

Glorious blue skies and beautiful buildings where ever you looked. Apart from the heavens opening briefly leaving my fluffy white coat a soggy mess. The weather was lovely for the rest of the day.
I bought a purple poncho during the down pour. Which my husband was disgusted by, this made the poncho even better!

We happily pottered around the shops and it was nice to just have a look without really needing anything. I managed to get a beaut of a silver skirt for more than 50% off!
What I would say really stood out to me, were the authentic Victorian shop signage. The whole city had a preserved history vibe about it.

Another thing that was great for us, was that everything was a stones throw away. We did a lot of walking but the main attractions, including the Roman Baths and the Puleney bridge were all central.
I wanted to go somewhere to eat that wasn't a chain. I think it is much nicer to go to independent places. It definitely adds to the tourist feeling. 

We stopped off for a bite to eat at Thewholebagel which was a brilliant find!
They had a selection bar where you could pick your own fillings but we opted to sit, in the little kitch seating area upstairs. Where you can pick from a variety of beautifully made bagels. You can pick your own style of bread as well. Always a bonus! My husbands eyes lit up when he realised there was a bacon and bre bagel. Your lunch comes in cute little brown packaging on a board with a side of fresh potato salad. I also added a delicious chocolate milkshake. I tend to judge eateries (lunch time ones anyway.) by the standard of milkshake. This place scored highly! 

After another few shops and a visit to the park we decided, we were tired and wanted to check out the hotel. 

I booked The Combe Grove Hotel. My... was it impressive! Honestly one of the most beautiful hotels I have been to. I would thoroughly recommend it!  
It was everything I wanted out of a surprise birthday treat. Classy and well styled. 
We had a lovely little chalet room just a small walk from the main building. We liked this as it was private and very comfortable. We also got to see the stunning grounds. 

We had booked a meal in the restaurant but as we were feeling a little lazy. So we decided to take our time and go for bar food and some drinks. 
The food was incredible. My husband had steak and he stated it was the best he has had in a long time. (Strong words!) 
I had the classic fish and chips and it was divine! So fresh and not too heavy. 
The fish just crumbled it was so soft. 
I was a very happy bunny! An extensive cocktail menu also makes me very happy. 
A feature that we enjoyed was the build your own Martini part of the menu. Where you can add all the frills you like. 
The cocktails were a little unusual as well not just your standard Cosmo. 

One last element that stood out was that they have a list of little extras you can add to your room in case of a birthday or special occasion. 
I went for the sweet plate which came with brownies, meriange drops, raspberries, beautifully handmade coconut truffles and a giant macaroon... oh and fudge! We were extremely satisfied with this.
Although I could of eaten them three times over!

A pot of Mushroom and Truffle oil popcorn on the cabinet was also really cute touch.

If you would like to find out more about The Combe Grove Hotel click here

Where is your favourite place to go for a weekend away?

© As told by Emmi
Maira Gall