Month: May 2017

Life Updates.

It’s been a little while since I wrote a personal blog post and today I thought I would just check in with where I’m at. I like to reflect on what I’m doing every now and then as it’s good to look back and see how far I’ve come and acknowledge what I have achieved. I don’t think I do it often enough!

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Primark Haul May 2017 | Summer Holiday Shop

I’m off on my holidays next week and as ever I pretty much left buying the essentials until the very last minute. Luckily for me Primark is full of wonderful bits and bobs at the moment and it’s all very reasonably priced. Here’s what I got:

Tropical Bikini Top: £8

Tropical High Waisted Bikini Bottoms: £5

I had managed to pick up a couple of cute bikinis/swimsuits a couple months ago but definitely didn’t have as many as I would have liked. This bikini set is super-cheap and cute with a bright tropical print. What I love most about it is that the top is under-wired and features straps (as opposed to strings) so it’s very supportive and flattering. The bottoms are high-waisted too so these are great if you’re a little self conscious about your stomach.

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Black Swimsuit £13

I knew I wanted a swimsuit for the beach, as it gives you a bit of extra coverage which I like. What I quite often find though is that one pieces look quite childish. However, this one combines both comfort and style. It’s a super-flattering piece with gold detailing for a sophisticated finish. And at just £13 it’s a total bargain.

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Flamingo Print Cover Up Dress £4

This dress features a relaxed fit and flared cut making it ideal for lounging on the beach (worn over the top of a bikini) or by the pool. I love the playful flamingo print which gives me serious tropical-vibes.

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Beach Wrap £3

This bright beach wrap can be worn in multiple ways but I think I will wear it tied around my waist. It features a tropical palm tree print and comes in one size. The fabric is super-lightweight and floaty making it ideal for covering up but allowing you to still stay cool.

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Embroidered Floral Tunic Dress £13

This lightweight tunic dress features a relaxed fit, pretty embroidery detailing on the chest and three-quarter length sleeves with frill detailing. I absolutely love the design of this dress and think the embroidery is just beautiful – but I have to admit to not being keen on the sleeves. I’m going to chop them off and hope for the best!

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Ice Cream T-Shirt £5

This tee is probably my favourite purchase. I love the mint colour and ice cream design. It’s a nice soft, knitted T-Shirt that I think is just perfect for Summer!

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Pom Pom Trim Shorts £8

Crafted from a lightweight crepe, these shorts feature a comfortable waistband, embroidery detailing and a fun pom pom trim at the hem. I love the length of these shorts as they are a little longer than most in Primark and are quite flattering.

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Bead Embellished Sandals £10

Crafted from real leather, these sandals feature a vibrant and playful beaded design that I think will be perfect for warm climes.

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Candyfloss Scrub Facemask £1 each

And last but not least I picked up two Candyfloss facemasks. These smell incredible (good enough to eat!) and will be ideal for getting my skin ready for the sun!

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What have you been loving in Primark recently?

 

 

 

Mini Lush Kitchen Haul (plus bonus bits)

I feel like it has been ages since I wrote my last Lush Kitchen Haul. In reality it was just a month ago! I have been so busy with my wonderful trip to Cornwall; time really flies!

Anyway, I haven’t actually been buying that much from the Kitchen lately. There just hasn’t been anything I’ve really fancied (sad times.) That said there were a couple of surprise releases that were particularly special that I felt were worth a mention.

Avowash Shower Gel

If you’ve read my Top Ten Lush post, you’ll know that Avobath bath bomb is one of my all time favourites. I just can’t get enough of that smell! When the Kitchen announced they would be making the shower gel version I knew I had to have it! I purchased two bottles and my boyfriend kindly bought me an extra one meaning I have three bottles of the good green stuff altogether. The scent is a gorgeous citrus, fairly true to the bath bomb. Although I can detect something else that smells a tiiiiiny bit like tea-tree to me. I took a bottle with me to Cornwall to use in the shower each morning and it definitely helped to wake me up, providing an invigorating wash that seemed to help with the muscle pains I was feeling. The next time this pops up I definitely recommend grabbing a bottle or two.

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Sweetie Pie Shower Jelly

Although I have been debating buying a shower jelly for the longest time, I have never gotten round to it. I just haven’t found a scent that I’ve been all that in to if I’m being honest. I’m a little embarrassed to admit this is the first shower jelly I’ve ever owned. At any rate, at least it’s a good place to start! I decided on the shower jelly because everyone said it smelled just like the Comforter. I am a huge fan of the Comforter. In my stash I currently have a big Comforter bubble bar, the shower cream and a solid perfume. I was definitely interested in owning the shower jelly too! When I opened the lid and took a sniff I could definitely recognise the blackberry element of the Comforter in there but somehow it smells even more fruity if possible. For me there is this gorgeous note of cherries that features quite strongly. I adore this scent! It actually smells edible and, what with the jelly-like design, reminds me quite strongly of a pudding! I haven’t used the jelly yet so I can’t say how I feel about it as a product, but it’s one I’m really excited to try.

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Space Girl Bath Bomb

Space Girl Bath Bomb wasn’t announced on the usual Friday menu so I had no idea it would be coming out at all. I had actually been requesting this bath bomb for weeks as prior to it being discontinued it was always a favourite. It’s funny though because even though I knew I loved it, where around three years had elapsed since I last tried it, I had forgotten what the scent was. Anyway, the night before it came in to the Kitchen there was a surprise announcement on Facebook. I couldn’t believe it! The next day I excitedly logged on and bought five. My boyfriend kindly topped that number up by buying another five as a surprise for me. When I found out he had done this I was incredibly grateful but also a little sceptical. Did I really need ten Space Girl bath bombs? When they arrived I opened the box to be greeted by the most magical smell of all. In that moment I knew; hell yes I needed ten! WOW. The smell of Space Girl is just like Palma Violets/sweets and is incredible. The design is also one of my favourites being a cute little planet with glitter. It turns the bath a pale lilac which is so lovely. This has to be my favourite Lush Kitchen purchase to date!

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The last two things I want to talk about are not from the Kitchen but they are exclusive bits that will only be around for a very short while. Plus I have wanted these for so long and am so incredibly excited there was no way I could leave them out!

Lush Botanical Tote Bag RRP £6.95

When I saw this announced on Instagram I lost it. I have been trying (and failing) to get this bag for months! It was originally showcased at the big Summit event which I was unable to attend due to work commitments. Then it popped up in the kitchen for a very limited time. I completely missed it. However I was so desperate for it because A. I use tote bags every single day. I don’t really like handbags and tote bags are such an easy way to carry everyday essentials. B. I love botanical prints. When Lush bought out the botanical designs it reminded me so much of all the lovely illustrations you get in vintage field guides. C. I love Lush! So why wouldn’t I want this amazing bag?! Long story short, they came out whilst I was away in Cornwall, but my lovely mother popped in to our local Lush and picked me up two! I will probably grab a couple more before these leave completely as it’s my favourite bag ever.

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Lush Botanical Knot Wrap RRP £4.50

And last but not least is this amazing knot wrap with the same botanical design! I hadn’t seen these before and didn’t know they would be bringing them out but I love them. I have already been putting mine to good use as a lovely little backdrop for all my Lush photographs! Not sure if I will use for my hair or just as a prop. Either way I’m sure I will get a lot of use out of it.

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What have you been buying in the Lush Kitchen lately?

 

 

Visiting The Eden Project PT 2

If you haven’t read it, please go back here to read the first part of our visit to the Eden Project. In part one I wrote about the rainforest biome. In part two I will be writing about the Mediterranean biome.

Entering the Mediterranean biome was certainly a different experience from the last. Light and airy it felt much more comfortable and a lot less wild. Created to emulate landscapes of the Mediterranean, South Africa, California and Western Australia and showcase the incredible plants that grow there, the Mediterranean biome is a huge and fascinating space.

Upon entering we were greeted with the strong smell of olives and wafting herbs. At the entrance is a patch where cacti and huge sprouting aloe veras grow. I adore cacti so I was particularly interested in this part of the biome.

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Much like the rainforest biome, there are winding paths that reveal secrets around every single corner. The Mediterranean biome had a huge and varied array of plants and flowers that I had never seen before but were certainly very beautiful.

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The carefully tended flower beds were a riot of colour, with each plant seeming to be in competition with the last. Vibrant petals, unique designs, flowers with fur and fluff and an array of South African proteas; every kind of flower you could think of, the Mediterranean biome had it all.

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Also much like the Rainforest biome, the Mediterranean biome had stone stairways winding up to higher levels to explore. However this biome did not have a tree-top walk or viewing platform at the very top (which suited me just fine.)

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In the vineyard was an assortment of amazing Bacchanalian sculptures and just past those was a large al fresco dining area. The food smelt absolutely delicious but we decided we would eat lunch at the pasty shop we had spotted on the way in so we gave this one a miss.

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We spent perhaps an hour in the Mediterranean biome, wandering around and pointing out the incredible plants to each other. This was a little less time than we had spent in the rainforest. The area seemed to have a little less to explore but in terms of plants and flowers it was more interesting and varied.

Outside we took a walk through the gardens, soaking up the sunshine and admiring the pretty views.

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We stopped for lunch at the pasty shop as I had been desperate to try my first Cornish pasty! My only complaint was that it was a 40 minute wait to be served (eek!) but nonetheless the pasty was delicious. Even the little robins and sparrows were flapping around the tables, eagerly awaiting a peck. For those who don’t fancy waiting though, there are lots of alternative options. The Eden Project has several restaurants serving good quality meals and snacks.

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After our late lunch we meandered through the remainder of the gardens, stopping to take photographs of the little water features and wildflowers.

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Our last port of call was the ‘The Core’ a little visitor centre of sorts with interactive displays.

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Inside was a huge wall of recycled fridge freezers and a ton of alphabet letters. This kept us entertained for a good while as we’re basically just overgrown children at heart.

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The Core is also home to the impressive seed sculpture by Peter Randall-Page. The seed is one of the biggest sculptures in history to be made out of a single rock. The huge granite sculpture started life as a 167-tonne boulder and took more than two years to create. I loved this sculpture because as I think I’ve said before, I really love novelty oversized things.

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All in all we had a wonderful time exploring the Eden Project. I would like to go back again and explore more of the surrounding areas outside of the biomes. I also think depending on what time of year you visit the experience will be completely different so I’d be interested to go back in Autumn!

Visiting the Eden Project PT 1

Visiting the Eden Project has sat gathering dust on my bucket list for years now. I adore spending my free-time in botanical gardens, wandering around and looking at all the amazing plants and flowers. I  have even been known to lurk around a garden centre or two. Luckily for me, Gareth also enjoys spending time outdoors and had also really wanted to visit The Eden Project. Anyway, when we decided to book our holiday, we definitely had it in mind.

Entrance in to The Eden Project is £27.50 per adult, but Gareth’s mum kindly donated her Tesco Clubcard points to us so we got in for free. (Yay!)
As we entered we were greeted by the sight of those iconic biome structures, looming impressively up in to the sky. Shouldered by carved out quarry, lush green trees and nestled in the midst of carefully sculpted flower beds, the Eden Project looked beautiful. Overhead was a zip wire and as we descended the hill towards the biomes we laughed at the brave people whizzing past.

There are two main biomes at The Eden Project. A rainforest biome with tropical trees and plants and the other Mediterranean. For the sake of not overwhelming my post with around 60-odd photos I’m going to split The Eden Project up over two blogs. In this one I will be talking about the rainforest biome.

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As soon as we had stepped in to the biome the the heat hit me in a wave. Unsurprisingly tropical plants require tropical climes. That translates to a very hot and damp atmosphere, one that feels slightly disorientating when stepped in to from the cold. The other thing I immediately noticed was how tall the trees were and how wild it all seemed. Great big tangles of ferns and plants thriving and spreading out creating a very real sensation of being in an actual jungle.

We noticed a small sign that described some of the wildlife that had been introduced in to The Eden Project for the purpose of controlling damaging insects. Small lizards, tree frogs and roul-roul partridges.

I was determined to seek out these unusual creatures, no doubt lurking just below the foliage. It wasn’t long before we spotted the partridges with their funny red mohawks, pecking and scratching at the soil.

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The rainforest biome is home to many exotic species of plants and covers everything from the Tropical Islands, Southeast Asia, West Africa and Tropical South America. As we walked down the damp pathways we were surprised and delighted at every corner. The Malaysian Hut with its’ vegetable plot and paddy field was particularly interesting and looked as if it had been scooped up from a real rainforest.

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I was excited to get up close to the Titan Arum which is the worlds largest perennial herb. This exotic and rare plant looks incredible and when fully open, smells of rotting flesh. Fortunately it wasn’t open when we were there although that could have been quite a unique experience!

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Eventually we came across the canopy walkway; a series of precarious looking rope bridges weaving high above the plants below.  On one of the bridges clouds of steam curled up from below creating an interesting fog effect that everyone wanted to stop and take photographs in.

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At the heart of the rainforest biome is an impressive crashing waterfall, sending spray out across the path and pooling in a little pond below. This pond contained the most enormous lily pads we had ever seen.

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For those who are very brave, there is a swaying metal staircase that leads to a suspended platform right at the very top of the biome, affording impressive views of the entire rainforest. I was not so brave so I let Gareth go ahead without me, armed with my camera whilst I sat and watched a brown lizard crawl across a canopy. Looking at the photos he took I can tell the view was beautiful but it’s definitely not for the faint-hearted.

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One of the wonderful things (and there are many wonderful things) about The Eden Project and the rainforest biome is the sheer amount of unique and interesting things there is to see. Cacoa  pods hanging from branches, bunches of green bananas growing high above, wild rubber plants and incredible pineapples springing up from the ground. The Eden Project takes the secrets and beauty of the jungle and reveals it to you bit by bit as you make your way around the 240 metre long structure.

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Of the two biomes this was my favourite but honestly I enjoyed exploring both. Keep your eyes peeled for the next post in which I will be talking about the Mediterranean biome!

Visiting Tintagel Castle

The sky was a brilliant blue and the sun shone hotly on the day we decided to visit Tintagel Castle. The perfect weather to be climbing a steep cliff!

So I will admit it. Although Tintagel Castle is surrounded in history and legend, I really wasn’t aware of its’ existence until Gareth decided we were going there. The main lure for me was that it’s an English Heritage site and we get in to those for free. I wasn’t expecting much.

Situated in the picturesque village of Tintagel, the iconic castle is famed for its’ links with King Arthur (Geoffrey Monmouth named it as the place King Arthur was conceived.) The ruins sit high up on a cliff overlooking the sea. There’s a small beach there too, with the famous Merlin’s cave tunnelling in to the rock face.

Gareth laughed at my need to stop for a cappuccino at a homely looking cafe. And for then clutching on to it for dear life as we descended an impossibly steep hill on the footpath to the castle. (Obviously London, he poked fun at me.)

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As we rounded the corner we were greeted with the welcoming site of the sea. Shouldered by rolling hills, the path down to the sea and beach was a very pleasant walk.

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As we reached the ticket office it turned out I had failed to print out the necessary coupons to gain free entry. (I didn’t know this was even a thing.) Luckily entry to the castle is very fair at just £8.50 per adult.

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We decided to explore the small, stony beach first as the tide was out and that meant we would be able to venture in to Merlin’s cave.

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In the cold, damp of Merlin’s cave we heard pigeons cooing overhead, obviously discomfited at our intrusion. We had fun clambering over rocks and stones to peer in to the small rock pool with a dark glossy surface.

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Outside on the beach I marvelled at how blue the sea was (a million miles away from Southend!) and we ambled from rock pool to rock pool. I was so desperate to find a star fish. I’m sad to say I didn’t find one. I did however, come across lots of little fish and curious jelly-like creatures.

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From the beach we began our ascent up the cliff. A winding stair case goes all the way up which makes it easy enough to get to the top. But make no mistakes, your calves will start to feel the burn once you are done with all the stairs.

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At the top, the ruins of the castle are accompanied by little plaques describing what each room is. I found the ruins to be interesting but the thing that really captured my attention was the view which was nothing short of beautiful.

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We sat for awhile just taking in the views (and catching our breaths.) It really was lovely to be up there in the sunshine. I can imagine that if it had been raining it would be quite a different experience.

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All in all we spent 3 exciting hours exploring Tintagel Castle ruins and the beach. I am so pleased we went as it was truly stunning and unlike anything else I have experienced before. I would say this is the least child-friendly of the locations we visited due to the amount of steep hills, stairs and general climbing. (So it’s a good job we don’t have children!) Just something to bear in mind if you’re looking for a family day out.