Travel

Magic Carpet Ride Through London

What a great story!

Maredia

I hopped on the carpet at Cutter and Squidge, where myself along with my mum and sister sat down for a ‘Genies Cave’ afternoon tea. This restaurant was set just on the outskirts of Leicester Square and only a 10 minute walk from Tottenham Court Road Underground station. We were all in awe of the modern looking company, decorated with pastel colours contrasting the white furniture. It was modern but cute and all of the staff were extremely kind and helpful. We arrived half an hour early but only had to wait 10 minutes before they took us downstairs to start our afternoon tea. We followed the hostess down the stairs to find a beautiful hallway decorated with treasures along the wall, leading us to an equally stunning room where even the tables were glitter infused.

We were offered a selection of different teas, but all settled on the simple…

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Beauty, Health and Beauty

The Best LUSH Zit Combat Treatment

Now, anyone who knows me knows that I have a huge zit/acne problem. It baffles me because I take great care of my skin! Anyway, I popped into LUSH and they’ve set me up with a BLESSING of a skincare routine!

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Firstly, we have the ‘Dark Angels’ exfoliator. This retails at £7.50 for a 100g tub. It’s perfect for really scrubbing out the dirt from your pores, as it’s made with charcoal and black sugar. The great thing about this is that you really don’t need to use that much of it – so it’ll last you a while!

After the initial scrub, I use the ‘Ocean Salt’ face and body scrub. For an 100g tub you’ll be paying £8.95. I really liked this as it smells a lot like porridge! It’s full great ingredients such as salt, avocado butter, and seaweed. All to keep your skin looking beautiful. Again, this really goes a long way as you don’t need much at all to get a great scrub out of your skin.

Following that scrub, I go and use the ‘Mask of Magnaminty’ which retails at £6.95 for a 125g pot. I was a bit apprehensive about this, as it has an extremely strong smell. However, I soon found out that’s because it’s full of amazing ingredients that help combat zits! These include honey and kaolin for their antibacterial yet nourishing purposes. You’ve got to be careful with this one, as you don’t want to lather lots on – you might waste some. I found a little goes a long way with this mask. It does tingle for the entire 5-10 minutes you’ve got it on, but I soon saw it works wonders!

All of the products I just mentioned need to be washed off with warm water, as to get the best results.

After this, I go in with a natural tea tree cleanser from The Body Shop, then dive in with a beautiful smelling moisturiser called ‘Vanishing Cream’. This is a bit on the pricey side, and retails at £18.95 for a 45g tub. However, as with every other product, a little goes a long way! This one helps combat my zits with all of the essential oils such as lavender and geranium, which also balances the skin. It’s also super absorbent, which is a huge bonus!

Finally, I give my face a quick once over with a spot treatment gel called ‘Grease Lightning’, which retails at £6.95 for a 45g tub. This stuff is extremely potent, due to its medley of zit fighting ingredients such as Tea Tree and Witch Hazel. Honestly, I swear by this stuff as it’s helped calm down a lot of zits that have wanted to come up!

I love this new skincare routine LUSH have set me up with, and will definitely continue to use it!

Let me know what you guys use to fight your zits below!

-Nina

Health and Beauty

Yes To Cucumbers 2-Step Eye Kit: Buh-Bye Bags & Dark Circles!

Good evening everyone! So today I finally got a chance to try out this product, it’s been sitting in my skincare drawer for about a month. I have to say, I absolutely love this product: Yes To Cucumbers 2-Step Eye Kit: Buh-Bye Bags & Dark Circles! This particular product retails at £4.99 in Boots, but is currently on offer for £3.33 – grab it whilst you can! I know, I know, I’ve used this brand a lot, but they really do work wonders.

As always, it’s packaged very well. This time it was a lovely two-tone green packet to resemble cucumbers. It’s also worth mentioning that is uses 96% natural products! Anyway, I opened up the first bit and pulled out the green eye masks. There was a lot of moisture, which was great as they stuck to my face really well. It said to leave these on for around 10 minutes, which I did, but I was also greeted with a nice tingling sensation. I always like feeling a little tingle as I can feel that the product is actually working! After 10 minutes I took the masks off and notice an instant difference – my puffy bags had gone! Now, this was completely amazing – I’d been waking up super early every day for the past three weeks, and not getting in until late. I didn’t really expect my bags to go just like that! After, I put on the lovely cucumber eye cream, it smelled lovely and there was plenty in the packet.

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Overall, another beautiful product that definitely helped my puffy bags! Go and buy this if you’ve got some nasty bags, it’ll help! It also helps that it’s on sale right now, so it’s definitely a bargain!

What do you use to treat the bags under your eyes? Let me know below!

 

Life

Bluebird Tea – Gingerbread Chai

Hiya everyone! Today I got my first Bluebird order: Gingerbread Chai! I went for this particular tea as the blend of it sounded absolutely heavenly. I decided to order as when I was in their Tunbridge Wells shop, I purchased ‘Dozy Girl’ which was amazing! Anyway, I got a scratchcard from them, and won a free pack of tea; which is this order! This came as a 20g sample which retails at £3.00, not bad for some free tea!

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Look at my cute little package of goodies!

I’m actually so thankful it came today, as I’ve had really severe cramps all day, and needed a little pick me up! When the parcel arrived, it was quite small and compact, so perfect for going straight through the letterbox. Anyway, I only expected the tea and some tea infuser bags to be in there, but there was so much more. It was like a beautiful little gift pack, full of little treats and such! It came with a flyer for one of their other blends of tea: ‘Morning Kick’, which looks amazing. Also, it came with two free samples of ‘Morning Kick’ and ‘Earl Grey Creme’, how kind of them! Not only did it contain samples, but it also had some extremely cute recipes for my ‘Gingerbread Chai’ tea to be used in. These looked amazing, and very sleek! I’ll definitely be trying these! Finally, it also came with a lovely thank you note for ordering, honestly amazing customer service!

So, on to the tea! When I opened the packet, I was hit with the pleasant aroma of the blend; extremely refreshing! I popped some of the loose tea into the bag, and brewed it for around 3 minutes. After that, I tasted it and oh my goshhhhh, DELIGHTFUL! I can’t believe how tasty it is! It’s a little spicy at first because of the ginger, but the aftertaste is wonderful. It’s really sort of creamy and sweet! I honestly have fallen in love with this tea!

To all of my readers, definitely get yourselves down to Bluebird Tea! They take such good care of their customers, and have amazing and wonderful products!

What’re your favourite blends of tea? Let me know below!

– Nina

 

Life

Bluebird Tea – Dozy Girl

Hiya everyone! Now that I’m feeling super refreshed after a well deserved break, I’d like to share this absolute gem! I stumbled upon this company by chance when I was in Tunbridge Wells visiting a friend. It’s a specialist tea by The Bluebird Tea Company. It’s called ‘Dozy Girl’ and I got a pack of 15 tea bags for £5.20. 

The packaging is also fully biodegradable, so this company really does care about the environment. That is a huge bonus in my books! The tea bags which have been used are the fancy pyramid tea bags, so they don’t go soggy and separate in the cup. This also enhances the look of the tea overall, as it looks extremely elegant. When looking down into the mug, it looks like there’s a secret garden in your cup!

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Please excuse my spoon!

So, I’m actually not a huge fan of the regular breakfast or earl grey teas, but I LOVE floral, herbal, and speciality teas! With me being very basic, my favourite is chamomile – and ‘Dozy Girl’ is a perfectly blended version of this! It’s blended to perfection using: Chamomile, Lemon Verbena, Hibiscus, Rose petals, and Lavender. I was a bit sceptical at first as I’ve never really been a huge fan of lavender. However, it really tastes amazing, you can’t really taste the lavender. All of these wonderful ingredients truly are perfectly blended to really enhance your regular cup of chamomile tea! This tea is also very calming, it’s so soothing and it’s good before bed – it’s really helped me sleep!

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Overall, it’s a great cup of tea! I’ve already recommended this to my friends, and have gone on to purchase more teas from them. So, if you happen to stumble across one of their stores like I did, please go in! I’ve also noticed they ship worldwide, so go and look on their site!

What’s your favourite choice of hot drink? Let me know below!

– Nina

 

Life, Travel

My Amsterdam Adventure

Hiya everyone! Firstly, I’m so very sorry I haven’t been posting recently. I’ve just been super busy with stuff in my day-to-day life. Now, this post has been a long time coming, but I’m pleased to say it’s finally here!

My Amsterdam Adventure!

So, my friend and I decided to plan this way back in November. Once we had the cash, we went and booked it asap, as well as loads of excursions. It finally got to the big day, and we decided to stay at the hotel airport before our flight. This was because we’d booked our flight for 8am! We soon realised we’d made a huge mistake with that. We couldn’t sleep at all! We left the hotel at around 5am and checked in our luggage. After that, we went and had breakfast before browsing Duty Free. The time soon crept up to when it was time to board the plane. We were so so so excited! My friend actually had a nap whilst on the plane, but I couldn’t due to having my contact lenses in, and of course being super excited! I hadn’t been on a plane for about 6-7 years!

We then touched down, collected our luggage, and set off to find the hotel! We had to take the train to Amsterdam Central, as the airport was around a 20 minute journey away. It was a beautiful station, very modern and lots of gift shops! The staff were also very friendly, they all spoke English, great for tourists! Anyway, when we actually set foot in Amsterdam, we were left speechless! It was STUNNING! It’s built on marshlands, so a lot of the buildings are slanted due to rotting wood. But, this made it exceptionally scenic. The roads are separated for cars, bikes, and have tram lines! The trams were basically the equivalent of the London Underground – but much more efficient! It wasn’t a hugely busy city either, nothing like London.

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Before we got to the hotel, we actually took a detour to find the excursions ticket office. This was great as we got to see lots of the sights, like Dam Square, and we passed Madame Tussauds! Anyway, we found the hotel which was right in the centre – great for getting everywhere quickly! The staff in the hotel were super friendly, and we had a very clean and cosy room. The bathroom was very modern, as the shower had glass panels which you could move to change the size of it. With our stay, we got continental breakfast included. It was amazing! We were honestly spoiled for choice! Lots of hot food options, cold meats, breads, croissants, juices, cereals, and hot drinks! It was also cooked to perfection – honestly an amazing breakfast spread for a busy hotel.

After getting settled into the hotel, we took a wander around the beautiful city. We saw a wide array of coffee shops, which was of course to be expected. There were also lots of restaurants for tourists. Weirdly enough though, there were around 20 McDonald’s stores! We found loads of familiar shops like Primark and H&M, as well as cute little gift and dessert shops! Honestly, if you ever find yourself in Amsterdam, TRY THE WAFFLES!!

Anyway, our first day we had a load of excursions to go on. I didn’t sleep the night before, as I struggle sleeping in new places, but I had loads of fun! We boarded the tram and went to the Van Gogh Museum, which was on the outskirts of the city centre! I’m a huge art fan, and especially of the post-impressionists, and Van Gogh is my favourite artist. This was honestly a truly surreal experience. We weren’t meant to take photos, but I couldn’t resist – I was only there once! They had some of his very famous paintings, like one of his Sunflowers (he has lots of famous ones), and the Almond Blossoms! There was also an entire floor dedicated to his self-portraits, which were hung up in date order. It was remarkable, his command of colour, and his style, and how all of this impacted his work. You could really see his emotions in his work, truly inspiring. After exploring the museum thoroughly, we took a look in the gift shop. There was so much! I collect pin badges, so I bought loads of them (featured below), and a postcard of one of his landscape paintings. They weren’t cheap, but I wanted to pay the prices they charged as it was an amazing experience.

After that, we went back to Amsterdam central and went on a canal boat tour. This was amazing! It was such a nice feeling being on the canal. There were loads of houseboats, and even some restaurants and shops that were set up! Crazy! We went past many famous sites, like the Rembrandt museum and Anne Frank’s house. It was around an hour, and we had an audio guide included – which was great! It was a nice relaxing trip, as the water was very gentle and we were just taking in the amazing sites!

We then went and had dinner in McDonald’s (classy, right?) and had a nap in the hotel room. It got to around 5pm and we realised we had to quickly get ready as we had our last excursion! The Ice Bar! Okay so, honestly, it wasn’t great. I’m not going to hype it up as it was just a bit of a let down. We were hushed into a very packed lounge/bar area where we were handed two silver coins, and one gold. The gold allowed us one cocktail in the regular bar, and the silver were for any two drinks of shots or beer. When it got to our turn to go into the ice bar, we had to endure a 5 minute video that ‘set the scene’. It was about pirates and them journeying into a frozen wasteland or something – it was extremely boring. Anyway, we were then handed slimy coats that didn’t zip up, and damp gloves that had holes in. Not exactly what you want when you’re about to spend 30 minutes in -10C room! The shots were very nice, but the room was very crowded and much too small. I mean, it is a tourist attraction so I didn’t expect too much. We left after about 10 minutes and went back to the hotel.

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The second day we went to the Artis Zoo! I loved this, as I’m a huge fan of Zoo’s! I’d never been to a city zoo before so it was different for me. It was a very cold day, so a lot of the animals were sleeping. They were all very well looked after, and we came during feeding time! We actually walked into an area where a sloth was climbing a beam over our heads! It was amazing to watch! We also went into the butterfly area, where we saw them in their chrysalis’, and some had even hatched. It was so beautiful in there, and very warm so they could all thrive and fly with ease. There were lots of birds which were tagged, and could then fly around freely! I can’t express enough how much variety there was in this zoo, as it isn’t huge. They also had an Aquarium which was set in a huge historical building! I loved this as the tanks were mesmerising – exactly what you’d expect their natural homes to look like. I really did love the Zoo here, it was just beautiful and very well maintained. Definitely check it out if you’re ever in Amsterdam!

Unfortunately the next day was our last day. So, we walked around the shops and did our gift shopping! I bought myself a postcard and some Stroopwaffle from a giftshop. Their stroopwaffle is to die for, it’s so tasty! It’s crunchy on the outside, but silky smooth and sweet in the middle. I wish we had it in England! Afterwards, we waved goodbye to Amsterdam and went back to the airport, where as you’ve seen, I made a lot of purchases with my last few euros.

It was great to get back on English soil, although I did get stopped as passport control! Anyway, I’d honestly love to go back, but for longer. There was lots more I’d like to see, but didn’t have enough time. So for now it’s goodbye, Amsterdam! If any of you reading this ever get the chance to go, I implore you to do so!

I hope you all enjoyed reading this!

What are your favourite destinations? Let me know below!

– Nina

Health and Beauty

Yes To Grapefruit 2-Step Face Kit: All About Face!

Hi everyone! So today we’re taking a little break from my Amsterdam adventure, and going straight back into regular beauty reviews. I do have a huge post about my excursions in Amsterdam in the pipeline, so keep tuned!

I popped into Boots when I got back from my trip, as I stupidly forgot to take some masks and skincare products whilst I was away. My skin was definitely in need of some TLC! I decided to go for a brand you all know I love: Yes to. I picked up this Yes To Grapefruit 2-Step Face Kit: All About Face! Which retails at £4.99 in Boots. It came in a really cute pink packet, which is quite modern looking and appealing for all ages!

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As you all know, I’ve used one of their two step kits before  and was really pleased with the results! So this is a deep cleaning and nourishing scrub and mask in this kit, which I was definitely looking forward to. Firstly, as soon as I opened the ‘Step 1’ scrub, my nose was hit was the pleasant smell of grapefruit! It was honestly really nice, and I have to say it did leave me smelling of grapefruit too. It also came as to no surprise that there was plenty of scrub in this tiny packet, enough for around two washes! They really don’t skimp on their product! After massaging it into my skin and gently washing it off with warm water, I could feel my skin was a lot softer.

Then came the mask, again, there was a generous amount of mask in the packet to put on your face. This mask also had a really strong yet pleasant smell of grapefruit, which I’m actually a fan of now! Anyway, I left the mask to dry for about 20 minutes and washed off the mask. It definitely helped my pores become tighter, as promised on the packaging!

Overall, another wonderful product from the ‘Yes to’ brand. I love how they use lots of natural ingredients to make effective skincare products, without any nasty chemicals! I’m really loving this brand, and as you can all see, using it more and more often for my skincare regime!

What are your favourite skincare products? Have any suggestions? Let me know!

– Nina