September 08, 2014

#NotSoAverageEuroTrip

I'm baaacckkk. For real. Did you miss me? I missed you. It's been a while but I am so excited to share my travelling adventures with you.

I'm not entirely sure how I'm going to do it yet. With over 2000 photos and me being a bit all over the place I've got a lot of work to do!!

I thought I would simply start by showing you the actual route we took.

We actually didn't stray too far off course with the only country we missed out being Croatia as it was going to take roughly 22 hours to get there. I'm rather glad this happened though as we found ourselves in Slovenia. We stayed in Ljubljana and spent a day at Lake Bled. It was so so beautiful and ended up being one of my favourite places, but more on that later. In the mean time..

We started off in Amsterdam, as planned, travelled to Berlin and then down to Krakow, via a slight detour to Warsaw. To get to Budapest we went through Bratislava, then our biggest detour saw us going up to Salzburg in Austria to come down to Lake Bled and Ljubljana in Slovenia. Verona was pretty straight forward to get to and then we went slightly up to Milan to finally finish our journey in Cannes.

7 countries in 2 weeks complete.

September 05, 2014

Opus One

Some friends of ours have been entertaining guests from Japan and they've been making sure they've been given the full Manchester experience. Museums, shops, a tour of Old Trafford and of course the best dining that Manchester has to offer. 

On a balmy summer evening we were invited to join them and their guests for dinner at the Radisson Blu Edwardian.

We got there fashionably early and familiarised ourselves with the cocktail menu.
I went for a refreshing virgin sea breeze being the allocated driver 'n' all..oh how times have changed.
Whilst these two rascals took advantage of having a chauffeur for the evening.
The restaurant, Opus One, is beautiful.

With high ceilings, huge chandeliers and giant chess pieces which dwarf you it's immensely theatrical and overly plush, like it's fresh out of Vegas.

To whet our appetite and get things started we were presented with a spoonful of spicy potato.
I skipped first course and went straight for the second in the form of buttery soft scallops.
For mains it was seasonal market vegetables stacked neatly on a sweet potato rosti with balsamic reduction and topped with a green salad for me.
It was absolutely delicious, both light and filling. The perfect summer evening dinner.

We skipped desert, although we were very curious as to what a Taste of Manchester entailed, and retreated back to the house for post dinner drinks.
Opus One is a beautifully luxurious restaurant and definitely one for a special occasion, or if you just want to sample the cocktails then the bar is equally as beautiful.

Thank you to our hosts for a wonderful evening and I hope our guests enjoyed Manchester in all it's glory, believe it or not it's not grey and miserable all the time!

August 14, 2014

The Secret to Summer Perfect Pins

We've been thrust at full speed into August. Now although it's been a bit grey and drizzly don't be reaching for those Winter woolies just yet, I assure you summer is not over!!

Whether you're jetting off somewhere sunny or just sunbathing in the garden don't be afraid to bare all. I'll let you in on a few of the worst kept secrets which will have you slipping on a pretty summer dress and dancing out of the door in no time.

Secret number 1 - let me introduce you to frank. He's my big summer love.
He's a completely unique roasted coffee bean exfoliator and has been a complete revelation to me. You may be thinking, 'is she referring to a body scrub as a 'he'? Have she gone completely mad?'

Well for frank I have, and here's why...

It's all natural completely vegan and against animal testing. It buffs and scrubs using brown sugar and sea salt whilst sweet almond oils moisturise to leave you nourished and smooth. It's completely suitable to all skin types, dry, oily and combination. Why using coffee as an exfoliator is so darn good for your skin is due to the caffeine which acts to stimulate blood flow and circulation, helping reduce the appearance of cellulite. As with any exfoliator it naturally buffs away and dry flaky skin and the almond oils give it frank that extra somethin' somethin' as it contains linoleic and oleic acids which hydrate your skin and make it glow.
It's helped so much with cellulite and stretch marks on my legs and leaves my skin feeling amazing from head to toe!!

There are three types available to ship to the UK, as well as to many other countries all around the world; original, coconut and grapeseed and cacao, all with slight ingredient modifications.
Make sure to wash frank off, it get's everywhere, and may leave your bath water looking a slightly funny colour!! Then turn your shower onto cold and give yourself a blast with cold water at the end. It will certainly wake you up and make you more alert, as well as getting your blood pumping and being excellent for your circulation.
After you're squeaky clean, unlike your bath/shower, I like to slather myself in ESPA oils, my choice of summer skin hydration. The Energising body oil has been my favourite for a while now but I've also been loving the Detoxifying body oil recently.

If you really struggle with cellulite (you're not alone) and want to try and reduce it then body brushing every morning and evening is a must. Before you shower in the morning and last thing at night brush your body, using a brush like this one or this one, with long strokes towards your heart. Cellulite is essentially fat deposits under the surface of the skin, so brushing your body helps to break down the fat molecules, it also helps to increase blood circulation and gets rid of any dead skin.

If you can get bouncing then this will also clean out your lymphatic system, and by bouncing I mean on a rebounder/mini trampoline. It's fun exercise at its finest.
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Drink more water yo! To ensure you don't get dehydrated and to flush all the toxins out of your system set yourself a challenge to try and drink 1 - 1 1/2 litres of water a day. Buy a non harmful refillable water bottle and carry it around with you. You'll be surprised at how easy it can be.

Last but certainly not least, be confident. You are beautiful just how you are.
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So strip off and get naked!! You've got no excuse not to.