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.
(source)
So strip off and get naked!! You've got no excuse not to.

August 08, 2014

A Carb Fest At Don Marco

Mum came to me in a bit of a fluster and said she needed me to book a restaurant for that same evening as a good friend was coming up from London.

I saw this as a great responsibility.

Still wanting to spread my wings in Manchester I was adamant to try somewhere new. However trying to find somewhere that fit everyones criteria was proving difficult!

Tripadvisor kindly recommended Don Marco.
I'd never heard of it, or seen it, but I was informed it was Italian, it had great reviews and was reasonably priced. I was sold.

Half of the restaurant is inside, the other half is in a pretty conservatory type building. Perfect for those long summer nights.
Dan and Dad were starving so hurried us girls along with our orders.
Not suspicious looking in the slightest..
But the tomfoolery was, rather thankfully, cut short as the starters arrived.

Dan went for seared tuna with cannelloni beans and a poached egg, which was a winner.
Dad had a chicken ceaser.
and us girls shared an Antipasto Don Marco.
The restaurant wasn't overly busy but there was still a lovely atmosphere.
From then on it was a carb fest with big bowls or pasta and huge pizzas accompanied by chilled white wine.

Dads went for Linguine Con Gamberoni, which I definitely helped him with..a lot - we basically shared it!
Meatballs.
Rigatoni Alla Siciliana. Aubergines, garlic, tomatoes & salted ricotta. Despite first impressions thinking it was a little too big...I still managed to finish it.
Pepperoni, red pepper and chilli pizza.
For me Don Marco is perfect for a bowl of pasta or a pizza and is extremely reasonably priced. The food is good, not particularly fancy, but tasty.

The atmosphere is great. Relaxed, but saying that you could quite easily don a sparkly dress and skyscraper heals. It's definitely not stuffy.

I think where Don Marco really shines is that it's excellent value for money. You can get a huge bowl of pasta or a large pizza for under a tenner.

If you fancy a carb fest of your own then check out Don Marco's website here.

August 06, 2014

Interrailing Europe: The Route

So as I mentioned before I'm going inter railing around Europe. I promised I would do a more of an in depth post, so here it is.

We have a route planned visiting specific countries. However we have no idea if we will actually stick to our plan, that's just something we will have to see. I think I'm going to have to get in touch with my spontaneous side!!!

But the plan is as follows...
We're flying to Amsterdam, so that's a definite, but from then on we'll be getting around on trains. So it's on to Berlin, Krakow, Budapest, somewhere in Croatia, not entirely sure where yet, and across Northern Italy where we're hoping to stop off somewhere like Venice or Verona, but we are completely open to suggestions for the best places to go in both Croatia and Italy. Until finally dropping down to Cannes, where we are being joined by a few more friends for a week of relaxation.

I'm unbelievably excited, scared, nervous, apprehensive, and giddy with a tummy full of butterflies.

It's going to be one big adventure!