5th Blog Birthday and Lush bundle giveaway

Well hello to you my reader chums! I can't believe my blog is turning 5 today and blogging has been part of my life for half a decade. Blogging will always be my favourite hobby and I'm thrilled to have reached this significant milestone with 'Della Love Nutella'.

Della Loves Nutella 5th blog birthday and giveaway

5 years of typing away about my monthly favourites, rambling about my adventures, sharing my advice, tips and obsessing over beauty products; it's been a fabulous ride. Ever since I was little, I always wanted to be a writer and having this online space for the past 5 years has given me the opportunity to be creative with my words and share my thoughts with the world.

Whether you've read my blog from the beginning or have clicked on this post for the first time, thank you. Thank you to every single person who has read my blog, left positive feedback, shared my articles and supported me in every way possible, I couldn't be more thankful. I've made so many blogging friends over the years and I'd just want to say a massive thank you to them for the continued support. 'Della Loves Nutella' isn't just an online blog, it's a big part of my life. I love nothing more than planning new ideas, snapping photographs, writing up a post and setting it live for the world to see; I can't even express how much happiness it has brought me over these past few years. I'm also thankful to all the brands who have reached out and sent products to try. It's crazy to think a company would want to work with me when doing something I love.

Della LovesNutella

Over these few years, I've also learnt a lot about the blogging world and digital marketing which has helped immensely with my job. Everything I have taught myself, I'm able to apply it to day to day work tasks and that couldn't make me more proud. Not only have I been working at a hobby for these past few years, I've gained skills which will always benefit me in my career.

As a thank you, I wanted to give away a bundle of all my favourite Lush Cosmetics products. I'm a big Lush fan so I thought this will be the perfect giveaway to commemorate 5 years. The giveaway will be opened to UK residents only and end on the 13th May 2018.

You can enter via the form below:

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Thank you, thank you, thank you to all my fellow readers and blogging chums! Here's to the next 5 years of 'Della Loves Nutella' and all the adventures it may bring.

I hope you enjoyed this post. Which blog posts do you like to read the most?

Thank you for reading <3

Tips for anxious flyers

Well hello to you my reader chums! Travel is one of my favourite hobbies, however a couple of years ago the thought of getting on a plane, absolutely terrified me. Over the past few years I've battled my anxiety in many different forms including tackling my plane fears. Today, I wanted to share my best tips on how I overcame this and general advice on what to do on a flight to keep the anxiety at bay.

Here are my tips for anxious flyers...

tips for anxious flyers

Bring things to do on the flight

Whether a short or long flight, keeping your mind occupied is always a good idea if you're an anxious flyer. This could be anything from delving into a new book, writing a journal, colouring in, playing a card game or putting on your makeup whilst you fly, ready for arrival. There are plenty of activities to get stuck into on board and ultimately distract the mind. Also, if you are flying long haul, there are always films or TV episodes to watch on the plane and even certain short flight airlines offer this feature. If travelling with someone else, you can play a question game to get you thinking, pamper yourself with a sheet face mask or even make a plan of what to do on arrival. Doing things will keep your mind off the flying fear.

Listen to your favourite sound track on top volume

I often find music is something that can drown out my anxious thoughts over a period of time - and what helps is playing the volume quite loud. Obviously be wary of those around you and don't disturb fellow flyers. However nothing can really be better than flicking on your favourite album and getting in the music zone. Purchasing a pair of noise cancelling headphones can also help with drowning out noise and help you focus only on the music, rather than the sounds around you.

Listen to podcasts 

Podcasts have become a recent favourite of mine and I wish I knew more about them a few years back. Personally when I'm anxious, I need something to focus on so something like a podcast, would be very beneficial. Whichever topic you're interested in, there's hundreds of different podcasts available on the Apple podcast app. I'd recommend downloading a couple for your trip to last you the course of the flight and give you a choice to listen to.

Download calming apps

Keeping calm is key if you're anxious about a flight, otherwise you'll panic more thinking about it. Calming apps are my favourite things to listen to for breathing exercises and unwinding. The few I'd recommend are Calm.com (my absolute favourite), Relax Lite and Headspace. They're all fab for different things and I'd advise downloading a couple of apps to see which works best for you.

Keep hydrated

When you're feeling anxious, you often forget to look after yourself as panic takes over. Buy a bottle of water after you head through security at the airport and pick up some snacks to keep you both hydrated and nourished throughout the flight.

Fly more

There's always that phrase along the lines of 'if you don't try you'll never know', and with anxiety the thought of giving new things a go is terrifying, especially travelling if you're an anxious flyer. However booking more flights, practising calming techniques and eventually getting used to the whole flow of the travelling process, will put your mind at ease when you book the next flight. As I've been flying more over time, I know what to expect that I no longer find a flight the most scary thing ever and genuinely enjoy flying to a new destination.

I hope you enjoyed this post and it has given you a couple of flying tips. What is your best advice for anxious flyers?

Thank you for reading <3

March favourites

Well hello to you my reader chums! March somehow managed to fly past and we can all finally say that spring has finally sprung. I'm getting excited for spring season with the warmer weather and cooler fashion choices ahead. Over the past few weeks, I've been enjoying a few new products that I couldn't wait to share.

Here are my March favourites...

March favourites

T Zone 'Black peel off mask'

If you read my last blog post about the T Zone range, then you'd know how much I loved their peel off mask. It's one of those products that are truly good value for money. At £4.99, the mask works a treat, drawing out all the impurities and leaving your skin feeling completely refreshed. I'd recommend using it once a week to drag out all the impurities and feel like brand new. It's the perfect mask for a pamper night in or to bring to a sleepover with your best pals. If you have oily and spot-prone skin, you need to give this a go! Check out the full review here.

Sleek's 'Distorted Dreams' highlighting palette

There's no better way to finish a makeup look than with a beautiful bit of shimmer. The palette I've been obsessing over lately is Sleek's 'Distorted Dreams'. This iridescent palette has a range of translucent shades with a mixture of both cream-based and powder-based. I haven't given them all a go however, I've mainly been using the champagne shade and pink shimmer together for an everyday highlight which works like a dream. This palette has strong pigmentation, blends easily onto the skin and can be built up for a bolder highlight. I love the iridescent effect and how this palette is a sparkly fun product! The shades are also versatile enough for both everyday wear and an evening look.

Natural extracts shower gels

I'm a bit of a travel addict and always on the move, that travel sized products are my go to. The shower gel range I've been loving lately are Natural Extracts. Each shower is in a squeezable tube and travel size, making it easy to pack for a weekend away. The scents are strong and linger on the skin when you wash, lather up well and the product seem to last for ages.

March favourites

Too Faced 'sweet peach' palette

I'm a big fan of Too Faced eye shadows as every one of their palettes has the best pigmentation, colour selection and scents. Over the past few weeks, I've been reaching for the 'sweet peach' palette a lot more because I love the champagne shades and the red tones for the crease. The versatile palette has something for every look, the shadows blend with ease, last all day long and have strong pigmentation. If you're on the hunt for a new palette, this is the perfect spring choice.

Maybelline's 'Falsies' mascara

I'm a massive fan of Maybelline mascaras. The 'Falsies' used to be my holy grail years and years go, that I decided to pick it up again a while back and have been using it again this month. I can see why I used to be so obsessed. It's one of those mascaras that give you the perfect natural curl, feel light on the lashes and doesn't clump at all. The brush is curved slightly which helps with covering the shape of the lashes. I'm not sure I prefer it to the 'Lash sensational', however I love it for an everyday use.

Dan and I's anniversary 

My favourite life moment in March was celebrating Dan and I's first anniversary together. I'm very lucky to have a supportive, loving and caring boyfriend who shares my big love of travel. We celebrated in style with some truly memorable experiences which you can read all about here. Here's to many more adventures, memories and our future together.

I hope you enjoyed my March favourites post. Which products have you been loving this past month?

Thank you for reading <3

T-Zone skincare's 'Charcoal and Bamboo' range review

Well hello to you my reader chums! With skincare, I tend to stick to an everyday routine but love getting the chance to try new products and see how they work with my skin. When the brand, T-Zone skincare got in touch asking if they could send me their 'Charcoal and Bamboo' range, I couldn't jump at the chance quick enough. I've heard many great things about charcoal products and couldn't wait to see how they would work with my combination skin type.

Here's a full review of T-Zone skincare's 'Charcoal and Bamboo' range...

T-Zone Charcoal and Bambo skincare range review

I'm very lucky in the fact that I've never had problematic skin. All through my teenage years, I had clear skin and it was only going on for the age of 18, I started getting spots, mainly on the forehead/chin area. Even so, it was never cause for concern; a facemask, sudocrem, regular skincare routine and good diet would always put my skin back on track. However, from time to time I do get the odd breakout and love nothing more than trying products to draw these impurities out - and that's the whole reason why I've been loving this range. 

Black Peel Off Mask - £4.99

If you've been on any social media platform lately, you would have seen the videos of people pulling off charcoal masks. Imagine that and then imagine me having the same reaction. Despite the slight pain of peeling off the mask, this product does absolute wonders for my skin. It takes around half an hour to fully set and then you're able to peel it off. The consistency is quite gooey, similar to a glue material but a lot less sticky. This mask clings to the skin easily and after the half hour is ready to peel off with ease. When applying, I mainly focused on the forehead, chin, nose and lower section of my cheeks. It's advised to avoid the eye area as the skin is a lot more sensitive, and the same with eyebrows because you can easily pull out a few hairs.

After I pulled off the mask, my skin felt lighter, refreshed and insanely soft, like all the impurities had been dragged out. I genuinely felt as if I had a fresh layer of skin! My boyfriend also tried this out a few times and he absolutely loved it, leaving his skin feeling the same has mine; he wanted to keep on using it again and again. I would highly recommend this product. Not only does it leave the skin looking fab but it's always funny doing it with a partner because you can watch each other peel off the mask.

Black Cleansing Wipes - £2.99

A lot of beauty gurus shy away from wipes as they're not meant to be best for the skin, however I was super intrigued by these cleansing wipes. The wipes are black in colour (which surprised me at first) and are slightly rougher than your typical makeup wipe. As they have that rough edge, it helped wipe away the makeup easier but also felt as it was doing a deeper clean. With these cleansing wipes, I think it's best to wipe over once to remove the makeup and use another one to go over for a quick cleanse.

Nose Pore Strips - £4.99

I've always wanted to try out nose pore strips, however I never got round to buying some that I couldn't wait to give these a go when they arrived. These strips are easy to apply; first you cleanse the skin, then wet the nose and stick it on. It says leave for 5-10 minutes but I always left it a bit longer so it can draw out as many impurities as possible. My friends and I all tried these on a girls night in and were thoroughly impressed. The strips stuck on and peeled off with ease, taking away all the pores and impurities in the nose area. It's such a satisfying sensation and I love how they really do the job - I can't wait to repurchase.

T-Zone Charcoal and Bambo skincare range review

No Shine Papers - £2.99

I've seen this sort of 'No Shine Paper' product before but never actually gave it a go. The papers claim to remove excess oil without taking off makeup and I can honestly say, they did just that. I've given them a try after a day at work, where I simply dab it on my t-zone area and it takes away all the oil. Apart from the fact the oily part of the skin is now gone, my makeup remained exactly as it was prior and looked better for it. The 'No Shine Papers' are incredibly thin, almost like tissue paper and can easily be carried on the go. If you have an oily t-zone like me, these are a life saver to use during a long day or on a night out, instead of topping up your makeup.

I'm seriously impressed with T-Zone skincare's 'Charcoal and Bamboo'  range. Every product I've tried is of top quality and leaves the skin feeling insanely good. Also, the cost is so affordable, you won't need to buy any overpriced charcoal products again. T-Zone's skincare ranges from £2.50-£5 and you can buy it at Superdrug, online and in store.

I hope you enjoyed this post. Have you tried T-Zone skincare's 'Charcoal and Bamboo' range?

Thank you for reading <3

5 things to do when you're feeling anxious

Well hello to you my reader chums! Anxiety affects everyone in different ways. Whether it's general worrying or an anxiety disorder, awareness of this mental health condition has grown more in recent years. I struggle with anxiety and in the moments where there are no triggers and I wake up anxious, these can be the hardest mental health days to get through. With this post I wanted to share my best advice on what to do when you're feeling anxious.

5 things to do when you're feeling anxious

Here's 5 things to do when you're feeling anxious...

Distract  yourself

Anxiety can leave you not wanting to do anything or wanting to do everything at once; it comes in different waves. The number 1 thing I've always been taught and practised is to distract yourself when feeling anxious. This can be one of the trickiest things to do in the moment where anxiety is at its peak. However, this makes it the perfect moment to switch on a TV programme, listen to a podcast or your favourite album as it'll give you that quick 'thing' to focus on. Over the course of watching the programme or listening to songs, your mind will slowly come out of that state as its concentrating on something else. You could also read a book, watch your favourite vloggers, test out new makeup looks or any activity that will move your focus.

Go on a long walk with blaring music

A little bit of exercise and fresh air can never hurt anyone. Getting out of the house and walking through your local park, beach or tucked away country lanes can be a blessing when you're feeling anxious. It allows you to soak in the natural surroundings and feel that bit calmer. I always put on a super upbeat album like 'The Greatest Showman' or sassy Demi Lovato at top volume on to block out all the bad thoughts and enjoy the walk.

Focus on something you love

We all have hobbies and when you're feeling anxious, getting stuck into something you love to do can always make you feel a little bit better. My favourite things to do are writing, reading and researching holidays. Whether yours is taking part in a sport, painting, shopping, cooking or like me writing, try your best to get stuck in.

Make new plans

With my anxiety, having things to look forward to or knowing plans are set in stone will always ease things. Having uncertainty can sometimes trigger my anxiety and this is why I love making plans. Whether it's planning your next holiday (pretty much what I spend half my life doing), arranging your next gal meet up, thinking about your other halves birthday celebration or crafting Christmas presents, there's plenty of different ways to both tick things off your to do list and feel a little bit better.

Get your emotions down on paper

Talking is one type a therapy, but there are other ways to get your emotions out. This can be writing them down on a piece of paper to get the weight off your shoulders, writing a daily journal or even drawing. Try out a variety of different methods and see which works best for you. Then, when the anxious day hits, you can put it into practise.

I hope you enjoyed this post! What are your best things to do when you're feeling anxious?

Thank you for reading <3

Beauty and the Beast afternoon tea, Shard dining and a spa day

Well hello to you my reader chums! Last week, Dan and I celebrated a year of being together. 365 days of adventures, days out, funny moments, 1000s of cuddles, plenty of drives and falling in love with each other over and over again. I'm incredibly lucky to have found a boyfriend like him and cherish our relationship even more as the days go by.

With today's post, I'm going to share all the fun we had and our surprises we got for each other.

Beauty and the Beast afternoon tea

Beauty and the Beast afternoon tea at the Kensington hotel

On our actual anniversary (13th March), Dan had already booked the Beauty and the Beast afternoon tea as one of my Christmas presents, something I've been wanting to do for ages. We both love afternoon teas and as Beauty and the Beast is my favourite ever Disney film, I was ecstatic to find out we'd be going. 

Beauty and the Beast afternoon tea at the Kensington hotel

The afternoon tea was held at the Kensington Hotel, located only a 7 minute walk from South Kensington tube station. The hotel itself was like walking into a princess dream, very fancy and typically British; I loved it. We were taken into the dining area for the tea ( again the interior was something else) and seated in the perfect corner, away from the rest of the dinner guests. The chairs were super comfy and everything was laid out perfectly.

The tea began with a selection of teas to choose from, I picked a fruity option and Dan went for green tea. They then served up starters, a couple of delicious French inspired pastries which went down a treat with both of us. We got even more excited when they brought out the main food served on a typical 'afternoon tea' stand with all the characters at its side. There was Mrs Potts, Lumiere and of course Cogsworth alongside the baked goods.

Beauty and the Beast afternoon tea at the Kensington hotel

Just like the starters, the whole menu of goodies were French inspired and had elements of the film shining through. The bottom layer had typical mini French baguettes with a couple of condiments, there were a layer of assorted sandwiches and then the dessert plate to top it off. On the top layer, we had coconut macaroons, a vanilla jelly (which you then poured cream on out of Mrs Potts teapot), a Cogsworth inspired chocolate biscuit and the classic 'Grey stuff' served up in a chip mug. The tea really brought the whole magic of the Beauty and the Beast film to life and we loved every minute. The food was of top quality and we truly had the best experience. I'd love to go back and 'Be our guest' all over again! And, to take away every guest received their own Belle inspired cookie. If you'd like to experience this tea, book a table here.

Beauty and the Beast afternoon tea at the Kensington hotel

After dining it up in style, we walked through Hyde Park, had a mooch around Camden Town as I love their markets and then headed on a tube to London Bridge.

Dining in the Shard

Dining in Aqua Shard

As my anniversary surprise, Dan kindly booked a table up the Shard in the Aqua Shard restaurant. The Shard is actually located right next to London Bridge tube station which surprised me as I thought it would be somewhere else. We were given a window seat and had the most incredible view of London, lit up in the night sky. I'm super lucky to have been given the opportunity for such a luxury experience. For food, we both picked mains, I chose pork belly and joint and Dan went for a steak. The meat was some of the best I've ever tried - super tender and delicious. I chose a cheesecake for dessert and like the meat, couldn't fault it in the slightest. 

Dining in Aqua Shard

Being someone who is afraid of heights, I'm surprised seating up so high didn't effect me at all. I was more mesmerised about how amazing London looked. Even the toilets had windows all around that the Shard really shows the best of London from every angle.

Dining in Aqua Shard

Toasted with a glass of wine, the experience was romantic and the most thoughtful thing ever. I'm ever so lucky - I'd love to go up there and do it all over again!

Dining in Aqua Shard

Dan really went the extra mile for treating me like a queen on our special day. I couldn't be more thankful of every single thought he put into it all.

Spa day at the Tudor House Marriott Hotel in Bearsted

On the Wednesday, I surprised Dan with a spa day as I thought there's nothing better than having a day of being pampered together. I booked the day at Tudor House Marriott Hotel in Bearsted, Maidstone as it's quite local. We had never been to a Marriott Hotel before so didn't really know what to expect but as you can imagine, the hotel was everything and more. It felt like luxury as soon as you walked through the door. 

There was a pool area that at the time didn't have many people in, a steam room, sauna, gym facilities if you wanted to use them and the onsite treatments. We spend a good part of the early afternoon taking advantage of swimming in the pool, heating ourselves up in the sauna and relaxing on the loungers. Our treatments were booked for 2.15pm. I chose a full body massage for us both, as I've never had a full body and Dan had never had a professional massage so I thought it would be a great option. The treatment was 55 minutes long and was the best ever. Afterwards we both came out feeling super relaxed and dazed - we didn't want the massages to end. The only downside is, they only have single massage rooms which I didn't realise at the time as would have preferred us to be in together. However, we both enjoyed our treatments and loved all the facilities on offer.

Spa day at Tudor Park Marriott Hotel Bearsted

The spa day at Tudor House Marriott Hotel was a fabulous experience and the perfect way to spend our year together.

Dinner at White Horse Bearsted, Maidstone

White Horse Pub Bearsted Maidstone

After a fun day at the spa, it was only right to finish the day off with dinner out. We headed to the White Horse in Bearsted, a pub and restaurant located on the main green. We've been here multiple times for family events and had nibbles but never really sat down for a dinner. As the nibbles were always top quality, I knew the food would be exactly the same. Dan got a steak and I had roast chicken followed by a brownie each for us both. It was a delightful way to toast the end to our celebrations.

White Horse Pub Bearsted Maidstone

White Horse Pub Bearsted Maidstone

If you're ever in Bearsted or Maidstone, I'd highly recommend popping down to the White Horse!

What a brilliant two days! I can't express how lucky and loved I feel. Being with someone who makes you always feel on top of the world is the best ever and I'm super lucky to have that in Dan.

Dan, thank you for our first year together; all the adventures we've had, exciting moments, the best hugs, continued love and support and always being my biggest cheerleader. Here's to many more!

I hope you enjoyed this post! Have you ever been for the Beauty and the Beast afternoon tea?

Thank you for reading <3

10 top tips for planning the best European city break

Well hello to you my reader chums! It's safe to say I'm a massive travel addict and when I'm not on holiday, I will be planning my next trip away. One of my favourite 'holidays' is venturing on a city break to some of Europe's most beloved cities. Over the past 2 years, I've seen quite a few from Rome, Paris, Amsterdam to Barcelona, Milan and Cologne plus a couple more. As planning city breaks has become a good hobby of mine, I'd thought I would share my best insider tips.

Here are my top tips for planning the best European city break...

5 tips for planning the best European city break

Search for cheap flights - City breaks can come at a cost, depending on which country you're visiting, that it's handy to find a cheap flight. With websites like Skyscanner (my favourite ever), you're able to search for the cheapest flights across all airlines and dates, even comparing month by month of which would be the cheapest. It's a very handy tool and also offers plenty of last minute deals to take advantage of. The cheapest times to fly are generally during the week, outside of school holidays and low season dates. Booking around the 8 week barrier before, will give you the most affordable flight prices.

Only bring cabin size luggage - If you're going away on a city break, you usually don't need longer than a couple of days to soak up the best sights and city vibe that a cabin size suitcase will fit perfectly. By travelling light, you won't need to queue up at the airport to load luggage, pay for additional bags and can easily go straight through security. Plus - you can get those super cute Instagram snaps as you stroll through the airport with your stylish 4-wheeler cabin suitcase. Tripp ones are my favourite!  

Take advantage of public transport - In cities, one of the easiest ways to get around is by public transport, whether it's the metro system, buses or trams, all are convenient to travel to the best sights. Certain city main sights are located far away from each other, whereas others are in walking distance. If you're visiting a city like Paris or Amsterdam, consider buying yourself a tube pass, or for the Dam, a tram pass as it'll make getting from the tourist attractions much easier. A lot of passes can range from day options to weekly passes and cover a lot of different zones or areas. By using public transport also, you'll get a feel about what city life is all about in that particular area and how the locals commute everyday.

Dine away from top attractions - A big tip has to be about one of life's greatest pleasure, food. When it comes to dining, try to avoid searching for restaurants around tourist attractions because 1, they'll be overpriced and 2, you generally won't get the most authentic dishes. If you really want to delve into a country's delicacies, venture into the tucked away lanes or quieter neighbourhoods and you'll find some hidden gems serving up top-notch grub.

Research into the best area to stay - Every person wants a different city break experience to the next. Whether you want to be a major tourist, go on a foodie break, explore the nightlife or hit the shops, finding a convenient place to stay is key. I'm a massive researcher that when I head off to a new place, I look up what the best areas of that city are in terms of what I want to do and accommodation which fits in with my price range. Cities vary in size and the closest you get to a tourist attraction can typically mean a higher cost hotel or apartment. However with Airbnb, I always find much cheaper self catering options and Booking.com always offer deals of the day, that you're bound to find something in your chosen area.

Bring along a Polaroid - Ever since I received a Polaroid for Christmas, I've loved snapping away at some of life's best bits, especially on holiday. This will give you the chance to have some instant pictures to hang up in your bedroom or put in your travel scrapbook.

Write a rough agenda - I'm a big planner and when you're heading on a city break, whether it's long or short, you always want to make sure to fit in all the best bits. I like to figure out where everything is in the city and plan a rough agenda around that, to bullet point what I'll be doing each day. That way, you'll have a bit of an idea of what's expected, where you're exploring and how to get around before you've even arrived. Research is always key.

Learn common phrases - Even though English is a common language and in Europe a lot of residents understand it, speaking the language of the country you're visiting is very useful. It will come in handy when you greet people, ask about the area or order at a restaurant. Brush up on the common phrases before you head off or bring along a phrase book to help you out.

Read up on the city's tourist traps and etiquette - Each city is different from the next in its own way. However, they'll all have some sort of scams/tourist traps to look out for and things like tipping etiquette to be aware of. Depending on where you're going, it's always best to have a quick research on both of these before you go so you're not caught out on the trip. For instance in Paris, there's plenty of people around the main tourist areas who come up and ask you to sign a petition to help a cause. Then, they'll demand you give them some money. It's scams like this to keep your head low and turn a blind eye. 

Enjoy the city life - Last but not least, enjoy everything the city has in store. Whether it's visiting Rome's Colosseum, shopping till you drop in Milan, walking the canals in Amsterdam or admiring the art scene in Paris, Europe is full of plenty of treasures to set your eyes on. Roam around, eat the best delicacies and soak every bit of European culture on your city break.

I hope you enjoyed this city break tips post. What are your best tips for visiting a European city?

Thank you for reading <3