Tuesday, 20 June 2017

8 days in Malta | A group holiday

Well hello to you my reader chums! June has been a jam-packed month so far and I'm loving every second. The week just gone, I ventured out on a group trip to sunny Malta for 8 days. It was by far one of the most relaxing and fun holidays I've ever had. The bigger group meant, the laughter, fun and games never stopped; there was always something going on.

As you can imagine, we took a gazillion pictures, but I've cherry picked by favourites. Let's take a look at my trip to Malta..

Day 1 - Arriving and exploring

Malta 2017
From left to right (Jordan, Luther, Bailey, me, Dan, Lily, Danielle, Kieran, Chloe and Molly)

On the first day, we arrived too early for check in so dropped off our bags and explored the local area around the hotel. It was minutes away from clear blue waters and rock pools galore. We stayed at the St Georges Park Hotel in St Julians, located at the heart of everything including activities, restaurants, bars and more. 

Girls by the pool

Once checked in, as many of us were tired from the early flight, we chilled out by the poolside, soaking up every ounce of Malta sun we could get. The weather was a scorcher, the hottest I've experienced in a while - hello tan!

Malta Marina

After dinner, we took a stroll down to the marina area, which at night looks even more stunning than daytime. Shops and restaurants glistening in the night sky, a sight not to be missed amongst the harbour waters.

Day 2 - Beach chilling and pedal boats

Pedal boats in malta

As Malta is mainly all rocks and water, there aren't actually and proper sandy beaches. We discovered an artificial beach which was made up of tiny rocks in oppose to sands. A few of the guys went jet skiing whilst the other group of us chilled, chatted and took a paddle in the sea. Then all of us split off onto the pedal boats, pedalling out into deeper waters and snorkelling in the sea.

gelato love in malta

A long old day at the seaside for us beach babies had to end in ice cream. We found a gelato shop where you could layer as many ice creams, sauces and toppings to make the perfect sundae; dessert goals for sure.

Day 3 - Unicorn fun and cocktail dreams

unicorn pool float

It's safe to say Malta was hot, the weather ranging from late 20s until early 30s. We spent a few days soaking up the sunshine by the poolside and day 3 was one of those days. Before the trip, I bought a unicorn float from Primark and everybody named him Leeroy. We decided to blow him up and see all the fun we could have!

Cocktails in malta

It wouldn't be a group holiday in the sunshine without a few cocktails to end the night. Only a few minutes from our hotel, we had the Peppermint bar and an entire strip of nightclubs/pubs to choose from. Peppermint had to be our favourite as they made the best cocktails and the location was so convenient.

Malta nightlife
Chloe and I

Day 4 - City bus tour and the Blue Grotto

City hop on hop off bus in malta

Every trip I go on, I love to take advantage of the hop on hop off bus tours, as you can see a wide part of your new location and learn about the history that surrounds you. We chose the South route which ended in the Blue Grotto, an incredible location of sea views and hidden caves. 

Blue Grotto malta
My boyfriend Dan and I in the Blue Grotto area

Topshop black bikini

The surrounding of the sea was all rocks so we set up our towels and sunbathed on there. I was wearing my new love, this classic black Topshop bikini.

Blue grotto in malta
Chloe and I at the Blue Grotto

Blue grotto in malta

We spent a few hours there chilling and most of the guys/girls taking a swim in the clear waters. A few of our group even went cliff jumping which in itself was terrifying to watch!

 Dinner in St Julian, Malta's marina

To end the day, we took a walk down to the marina for a lovely spot of dinner as a squad.

Day 5 - An excursion to Comino Island

speed boat living in Comino Malta

Even though I was a little nervous to jump on the speed boat at first, Comino Island had to be one of my favourite days of the holiday. The speed boat in itself was such a laugh - it felt like a party water ride with waves jumps and club tunes blaring. We all had the best time singing along and absorbing the sunny environment that laid ahead.

Comino island malta

As we rode into Comino, we drove through so many caves and witnessed the beauty of Malta's natural clear water.

Comino island malta

Comino island malta#

Comino Island was just as beautiful once we set foot onto land. The crystal clear waters, rocky terraces and bustling stalls made for an epic day. Half of us swam and the other half got a boat to the other end of the island as it was a quieter location for a swim. We all loved it and I even went for a snorkel in the clear yet ultra salty waters.

Matching bikinis in Comino island malta
Molly and I with our matching bikinis on Comino Island

Three musketeers in Malta

To finish off a fabulous day, we treated ourselves to a lovely dinner out in Lore & Fitch steakhouse. If you're ever in the St Julians area, I'd highly recommend this restaurant. The food was some of the best I've ever tried and service as high in standards. We even went back there on our last night as we all loved it that much!

Day 6 - Pool day and Lads/girls night out

Girls night out in Malta

The 6th day was another ultra chill day where we had a lot of fun and games in the pool! From throwing each other in the water to British bulldog, it was a ball of laughs. Once the shenanigans were over, we spilt the group in half and us girls went on our own night out whilst the guys were free for a lads night. Filled with cocktails and chats, the Malta nightlife offers something for everyone.

Day 7 - UFO inflatables, matching swimsuits and date night

Squad goals

Popping on our matching swimsuits, us girls bought especially for the occasion, we took a stroll down to the harbour area, where you could have a swim and take a boat in deeper for some water sports. We had a little dip then took it in turns to ride the UFO which essentially is a massive inflatable sofa, attached to a boat which pulls you along. I sat between two of the boys in fear of falling off, however the experience was insane, we all had a giggle as we soared across the bumpy waves.

St Julians Malta

St Julians Malta

There was a few couples in the group, so everyone had a chance for date night and we chose that day. I picked a lovely Italian restaurant called Sardinella which served up a delicious halloumi starter and Bolognese for mains. We then took a lovely stroll down the marina for a spot of ice cream before joining the rest of the group later that night.

Day 8 - Waterpark and steakhouse

The last day, we headed down to the 'Splash and fun' waterpark. It wasn't the biggest waterpark I've been to, however it had its fair share of slides, a fab wave pool and lazy river to float down. A chilled day in the sunshine, making a splash in the water park, was the best way to bid goodbye to an incredible holiday. We finished it off with a dinner in our favourite steakhouse and the next day were up, on our flight home to cheery England.

Malta, I love you. For the water fun, endless laughs and unforgettable moments with the best group of people I could ever wish for, it's a summer holiday to remember. Some people you just click with and know they'll be with you in all life throws at you. I've found that group, I have my best gal pals, a loving boyfriend and all the other lads. Much love to all my squad. Here's to the next adventure!

I hope you enjoyed this insight into my Malta trip. Have you ever visited?

Thank you for reading <3

Sunday, 18 June 2017

London Diaries | Shawn Mendes Illuminate tour

Well hello to you my reader chums and welcome back! It feels like forever and a day since I've sat down to write a blog post. If you follow me on Instagram, then you'd have probably seen my holiday spam of photos, where I've been lucky enough to sun it up in Malta over the past week. Before the holiday excitement (there will be a post very soon), I attended Shawn Mendes worldwide tour and loved every minute of it.

Here's what happened..

Shawn Mendes Illuminate tour

On the 1st June, my twin sister and I went along to see him light up the stage at the 02 arena in London.

Lucy and Lydia

As we were lining up, I looked around and saw my favourite YouTubers, Lucy and Lydia walking towards the queue. I've been watching their channel for way over 4 years now and couldn't not say hello to them. The girls were an absolute treasure and so genuine. I didn't know what to expect but they're exactly the same in their videos to real life. They're the type of people you can chat to for hours on end about everything, I'm so thankful we finally had the chance to speak.

Shawn Mendes Illuminate tour London

Then concert time arrived! The opening act was James TW who put on a charming set before Shawn Mendes graced the stage. As he came on, the crowd went absolutely wild! The lights flashed and his voice filled the room, melting everybody's heart as he sang his favourite tunes.

Shawn Mendes Illuminate tour london

There were so many highlights of the night, however my favourite songs he performed were 'Lights on', 'Three empty words', the classic 'Stitches', 'Treat you better' and 'Life of the party'.

Shawn Mendes Illuminate tour london 02

Illuminate tour London Shawn Mendes

There's no better atmosphere than a concert, a room filled with people who share the same love of music and the artist you do. Attending concerts and hearing musicians live is one of my favourite things to do. Watching someone share their passion with such a wide audience never fails to amaze me. Shawn Mendes, thank you a phenomenal night. Your Illuminate tour was one of my highlights so far this year and I'm happy to have spent it with my twin sister. If you ever get the chance to see him live, take it as he blew me away. His voice live and stage presence is ever so heart-warming. Bring on the next concert!

I hope you enjoyed this post. Who are you next seeing in concert?

Thank you for reading <3

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

May favourites

Well hello to you my reader chums and happy June! I honestly can't believe we're half way through the year and my favourite month has arrived. May clearly swept by and was jam-packed with many exciting moments. There haven't been too many favourites over the past few weeks, however I've got a few things to share..

May favourites

Harry styles album

Harry Styles' album

I never usually mention music favourites, however I couldn't not throw this in. Harry Styles has always been my favourite One Direction member and I've been a massive fan of his from the early days of the band. When I heard that he was releasing an album, I jumped with excitement. I fell in love with the first single 'Sign of the Times', so when the whole album was played, I couldn't stop listening to it. The songs are nothing I would have expected him to do and completely different to the style he is known for. Harry's album I'd describe as slow rock with a David Bowie vibe about it. Every song shows off his vocal range in an amazing light. My favourites have to be 'Sweet Creature', 'Two Ghosts' and 'Kiwi'. If you haven't heard it, I'd definitely check it out- I'm lucky enough to have got tickets to his tour so I can see the album performed live!

Hoola bronzer

Hoola Bronzer by Benefit Cosmetics

I'm a big bronzer fan, out of all face products, it's my favourite. Having rather fair skin, it's hard to find a bronzer that contours the cheeks and doesn't look too orange upon application. Hoola bronzer however is my saviour in the bronzer world. The pigmentation is seamless, it contours your cheeks with ease whilst also warming up your complexion and has a grey undertone in oppose to bronze, giving a complete natural bronzed look. Its lasting power wears all day and holds that chisled look you desire. Not to mention, the packaging is super compact and cute; a must for any fair skinned girl like me.

Kiko lip liner in 315

Kiko's lip liner in '315'

I've raved about Kiko's lip liners over and over again in various posts, but they truly deserve the hype. They're the only base lip product I've used which cling the lipstick and hold it in place all night long, without drying out the lips. '315' in particular I've been obsessing over as it pairs amazingly with Mac's lipstick in 'Faux'. As it's that little bit darker, the outline enhances and defines the shape of the lips even more. The shade is quite a dark, dusky pink, perfect for everyday use.

Burgundy dorothy perkins dungaree dress

Dorothy Perkins burgundy pinafore dress

It's safe to say, I have a huge obsession with pinafores and dungarees; I love that cutesy style and own way too many of those pieces. One I've been lusting over this past month is my burgundy pinafore I got in Dorothy Perkins. I've been loving to wear this on warmer days paired with a stripy top and converse for the ultimate spring style look. The material is thick, and heavy so I know it'll wear for a very long time. I can't wait to style it up throughout the seasons.


New York!

Start spreading the news....

If you saw my New York guide, then you'd know I was lucky enough to visit the Big Apple in May. I'm still in awe of everything I experienced and can't come to terms with 'I've visited New York'. It was without a doubt, one of the best trips I've ever been on. The sights, the food and the general vibe, I fell in love with. It's incredible, how the city never sleeps, how something exciting is always going on and how in a city of civilians, there's an odd sense of calm. Times Square, Top of the Rock, Central Park and the New York Public Library were just a few of my highlights.

I hope you enjoyed my May favourites. Which products have you loved this month?

Thank you for reading <3

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

How to plan for a weekend getaway abroad

Well hello to my reader chums!

I'm an avid traveller, wherever it's the next city break or a 2 week holiday in the sunshine, any time I hear travel, my heart soars. I've experienced a few weekend getaways in Europe from Milan to Barcelona and over time learnt the best way to plan them. Here's a few of my tips..

How to plan a weekend getaway abroad

Go off season

Summer holidays, Easter break, Christmas time and half terms, all fit under the busy season, which is the last thing you'll want when travelling. Prices rocket during these periods and cities are much busier than usual, so if possible try avoid the higher season. Sunny and cooler weather are still all accessible during lower seasons - Late January- March (depending on when Easter break is) fall  under this category as do May and June- early July. You can experience stunning sunshine during the month of June that you wouldn't need to wait until it hots up in August time. September- October are also a lovely time to go away, with the weather getting cooler and crowds decreasing.

Search for the best flight times

Every airline has an email newsletter with their latest offers, including flights to any places in Europe from as cheap as £20! This will obviously vary throughout the year but during low seasons, these cheap prices are possible. I like to use Skyscanner to search my flights. It's a website, comparing all the best flight times and deals to in turn, offer you the cheapest option.

Use the hop on hop off bus tours

Every country I visit, whether it's a typical summer holidaymaker destination or bright-light city, there's always bus tours available. I'd 100% recommend these especially if you're visiting for a short amount of time. It allows you to see all the city's main sights and stop off wherever; the flexibility is endless. Depending on the location, there's usually a few different routes to choose from which vary on the sights they cover. Talk to a local tour vendor when arriving and book one in; they usually sell from 24-48 hour bus tickets.

Make an agenda

Organise, organise, organise! Going away for a short amount of time means you'll want to pack in as much as possible; the best way to do this is make a list of everything you'd like to see. From there, do your research and write up a rough agenda in the most logical order on seeing/doing these activities. This way you won't miss out on the main sights and assure yourself you've covered all you wanted to see.

Pack light

I may be the world's biggest over-packer, but when it comes to weekend break abroad, there's no need. As long as you bring (depending on the time of year), a few various layers aka jackets and that staples pair of jeans, you won't need much for a weekend of exploring. Miniature products from shampoos to moisturisers come in handy - you can find them at any local Boots, Superdrug or supermarkets.

I hope you enjoyed this travel advice style post. What are your best tips for planning a weekend break?

Thank you for reading <3

Saturday, 20 May 2017

5 days in New York | Travel diaries

Well hello to you my reader chums! If you've been following my Instagram, then over the past week you'd know I was lucky enough to take a trip to the dream-worthy New York City. I've wanted to visit New York for the longest time, so for an early 21st birthday present, my twin and I decided to  book a trip there. Before our break, I did so much research reading blog after blog to find the best sights, restaurants and must do things while in the city. Now, after experiencing the Big Apple in all its glory, I've put together an insight on how to spend 5 days in New York City.

Day 1 - Travelling

The time difference between here and England is 5 hours so we knew upon arrival we'd be knackered from travelling. I decided the best way around this was to get a flight that lands in the evening, so we can sleep and then wake up ready for the 5 days of our trip. On the Wednesday, we took a 4pm flight from London Heathrow and landing in New York around 7.30pm with Virgin Atlantic. Maria and I were by far impressed with their service, entertainment and not to mention all the free food we received on the flight! We went through customs and hopped in a taxi, arriving at our hotel, the Wellington around 9.30pm. Upon arrival, we unpacked and got ready for bed, in preparation for our adventure.

Virgin atlantic flight to new york

Day 2 - Central Park and Top of the Rock

The first day in New York was beyond exciting. As we opened the hotel lobby door, the electrifying vibe hits you of the city; it's a feeling you can't explain. There's always something going on with people wherever you turn, the city never sleeps as they say. We wanted to begin our American journey right with a classic breakfast of pancakes so had a brief look round and found a place called Brooklyn Diner. It's safe to say, their food servings were massive but delicious and I didn't manage to finish the pancakes!

New York pancakes

After breakfast, our first stop was the ever so charming Central Park, a place we both couldn't wait to see! It exceeded every expectation with too much natural beauty to take in. I love how in the middle of one of the world's busiest cities, there's this relaxing place of nature. Surrounding lakes, chirping sounds of wildlife and trees filled the air as you walked through the endless trails of Central Park.

Central park ootd

Central Park Bethesda Fountain

Stretched over 2 and a half miles, there's lots to see around Central Park. We focused on venturing round the bottom half of the park with all the main attractions including Bethesda Terrace, home to the Bethesda fountain and endless lake views. We we're surprised to find the charming Belvedere Castle, set in the heart of Central Park so took a look around there. With a conservatory area, Loeb Boathouse and many bow bridges, the park was full of undisturbed beauty. The Alice and Wonderland famous statue and Carousel were two hidden gems we also loved.

Our last stop at Central Park was Strawberry Fields, a small 2.5 acre area where John Lennon's memorial is placed. Many were gathered as we walked through this area, paying tribute to the famous singer.

Levain bakery cookies new york

I'm a massive foodie and after plenty of best bakery research in New York city, we had to visit Levain bakery, home to the best cookies. We finally came across the tucked away bakery and the cookies didn't disappoint. I chose double chocolate - the blend of moist cookie dough, melted chocolate and a slightly crunchy exterior was heavenly. Even describing them is making my mouth water!

West gotham market

For dinner time, we took a stroll around the Hell's Kitchen area and headed to West Gotham market, an inside market essentially with different food vendors providing dishes from a classic slice of pizza to tapas.

view from rockfeller center new york

It was then time to head up to the Top of the Rock, aka the famous Rockfeller Center. We chose to go up here instead of the Empire State because it's not as crowded and I've read you're able to get a better view of Central Park. As we got in the lift up to the 67th floor I didn't know what to expect, but once you get up there it's honestly unbelievable. The surrounding view of ongoing skyscrapers, rivers, Central Park and clear sky is something too incredible to put into words. We were both blown away and it will forever be one of my favourite moments of New York. We went up around half 7 so were able to witness the daylight, the sun setting and the scenic night view of New York City. I'd highly recommend going around this time so you're able to witness the 3 different stages. 

Day 3 -Times Square, Broadway and a bus tour

Times square

The 3rd day had to be one of my favourites in New York. Stepping into Times Square for the first time was like something out of the movies. The bright lights wherever you turn, crowds of people and lines of shops, had the atmosphere you could only dream of; I loved the busy vibe. 

Near Times Square, we were able to find the famous Carlos Bakery, a place Maria and I wanted to try out for a while! The bakery goods didn't disappoint and were certainly worth the wait after being massive fans of the show Cake Boss.

Times square

After a day time venture in Times Square, we took a city bus tour around the Uptown route of Manhattan. This drove though Harlem, passed many museums, cathedrals and buildings, offering you a little more insight/history into that area of the city. We bought the 48 hour pass for the city bus tour which gave us two days access and the option to stop off at all the main sights.

lion king minksoff theater

Lion KIng show at minksoff theater

For dinner, we found a little Greek place, tucked away a few streets over from Times Square. Then we got ready to make our way to Broadway and watch the incredible Lion King. We spend ages decided on which show to choose but settled with the Lion King as both of us adored Disney and have wanted to see it for the longest time. The show blew us both away - seeing the songs come to life with a massive production, costumes and dancing was phenomenal. On the day we went, surprisingly it was the show's 20th anniversary which again, another amazing experience.

Times square at night

As we walked out the theatre, we got to experience Times Square at night. Let me tell you, it's completely different to the daytime. The busting crowds and flashing lights were breathtaking. I've never been a fan of crowds however, the electric atmosphere is thrilling, you'll want to experience it over and over again.

Day 4 - Little Italy and Downtown exploring

Little italy in new york

After a delicious chocolate pancake breakfast at diner Lindy's, we headed back on the bus tour to see the Downtown route of Manhattan. Unfortunately, the weather got the better of us and there was torrential rain the whole day, however we tried to make the most of it. We stopped off to find Little Italy and China Town. Out of the two Little Italy was my favourite, walking around it almost felt like I was back in Rome. We had a little stroll as and came across Lombardi's, a famous pizzeria. It lived up to their name with a scrummy pizza and traditional setting, I'd recommend if you're in the area! Then, we did the rest of the tour, sheltering from the rain and went back to our hotel to get ready for dinner.

Day 5 - Grand Central Station, Ground Zero and Brooklyn Bridge

New York public library

The fifth day was a big list on the itinerary as there was many sights nearby to each other we wanted to see. It began with the New York Public Library, however as it was a Sunday it wasn't open till later and so, we went inside the next day. Then we visited the Grand Central Station, one of the grandest tube stations I've ever laid eyes on!

Grand central station new york

From here, we somewhat figured out the Subway system and headed towards the World Trade Center. I thought the Subway system in New York would be completely different to London underground, however they are practically the same, just the trains look more like metal. The vibe wasn't as busy as I'd expected either!

When we arrived at Ground Zero memorial, it was incredibly heart breaking. Reading all those names as you walked around the two memorials to all those who lost their life was horrid. My heart will forever go out to the families who lost someone during this tragedy.

Brooklyn Bridge

Brookyln Bridge was only a short walk from the Ground Zero so we made our way there afterwards. The bridge in itself was amazing, we spent a while taking the perfect picture and then took a long walk across into Brooklyn. The scenic views of the whole city were outstanding as you strolled across! As we arrived in Brookyln, I was taken back by the different vibe compared to Manhattan, the area is more residential and much quieter as you go through the streets.

Brooklyn Bridge view

We came across their main strip of restaurants, stopped off for a very late lunch and looked round the harbour area. Where we stood, there was a panoramic view of the Brooklyn Bridge and line of skyscrapers. After a big day of walking, we headed back to our hotel and got ready for dinner at an Italian place directly opposite.

Day 6 - New York Library, shopping day and home time! 
Inside new york public library

Our last day began in one of my favourite spots, New York Public Library. I'm a massive bookworm so couldn't miss out on seeing the library on my trip. It was as if all my book and library dreams came to life at once. The traditional design and old school book vibe, looked just like the movies. I wish I could study in New York just to sit and read a book in here!

With marble-washed walls and wooden banisters, every nook had an ounce of character in New York Library.

Maria and I are massive bakery fans so our breakfast stop on the last morning was at the famous Magnolia bakery. Why not have cake for breakfast when in New York City? Their cupcakes and cinnamon treats were absolutely divine!

Rockfeller plaza

We then embarked on our shopping day! Starting out at the Rockeller plaza as the bakery was near there, we made our way along Fifth Avenue and popped into a few upmarket shops. Then, the biggest Macy's in the world had to be visited - the place was around 9 floors and took a few hours to get around! From there, we found ourselves in Sephora, Forever 21 and more, gallivanting around the stores.

5th Avenue

We stopped off for dinner and then had to make our way to the airport, bidding goodbye to our New York adventure. Jaw-dropping sights, stunning shopping streets, delicious food and an electric atmosphere, New York thank you for a trip of a lifetime.

I hope you enjoyed this travel diary style post! Have you ever been to New York?

Thank you for reading <3