Saturday, 19 September 2015

Paris - A Whirlwind Trip!


Goooooooood morning!

It's been another crazy few weeks, things just down seem to be slowing down. I've not long got back from a trip to Paris for work - it was the perfect time for me to add on some of my annual leave from work and take advantage of the free flights.

After giving the training course I moved to a different hotel closer to the centre of Paris and made the most of my evening!

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I caught the metro to the Louvre and it was a lovely sunny evening so I just decided to wander - I walked all the way from the Louvre through the park and along the Champs Elysees to the Arc de Triomphe which if you have been you will know is a good couple of miles!

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It was so nice to not have a schedule to work to and have the time to wander around. I've been to Paris a few times before so didn't actually need to visit any of the obvious tourist attractions. But I had the evening to do what I liked and a walk around one of the most romantic capitals in the world.
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The Arc de Triomphe is a great sight in itself, but one of the things I really like about it is the crazy roundabout that surrounds it. 8 lanes or pure chaos and mayhem - no actual road markings for the lanes means that the traffic is pretty hilarious to watch. I have been on a tour bus myself that decided to take a different direct and cut across all 8 lanes of the traffic at once, and it was definitely an experience!

Along the Champs Elysee i did visit a few shops and the obvious choice was the massive Sephora - I accidentally found this of course!

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I was really excited to get there and have a good rummage and spend - however I was really disappointed with what they had on offer.
I've always thought that Sephora contained a whole load of magic products that we couldn't get our hands on in the UK, but actually everything was seemingly the same as everything I can purchase in Debenhams etc back in the UK. I did buy a few things but it came to a total of 12 euros so I really didn't spend much!

I was interested in the Make Up Forever range but at 40 euros for the foundation I wasn't convinced.
Needless to say I was disappointed but it's probably for the best as I shouldn't be spending anyway!

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I then found my way from the Arc de Triomphe to the Eiffel Tower and it was the perfect end to my evening. It was just getting to sunset so i took some photos and then the whole thing began to light up!

It was beautiful so I sat across the road at the Trocadero and people watched, there were many brides and grooms there having photos taken as newlyweds. It's such a lovely thing to have a memento of!

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This was pretty much the end of my evening in Paris itself. I had a whole day to spend there without any agenda so I'd planned to go to the Palace of Versailles on the full day I had there. It was absolutely beautiful so I will be writing a separate post on that - far too many beautiful photos for one post!

I did of course manage to eat a macaroon when I was there, the shop windows of L'Aduree are just so beautiful and the colours are so sweet!

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The macaroon I tried was a giant chocolate one - and it was a good thing i was at the airport when I tried it so I couldn't go back and eat anymore!
I'd never tried them before as I absolutely hate meringue and thought they were similar, but actually to my surprise they aren't and now I'm in love. I'd love to try the pistachio and raspberry ones, though I'll wait until my next trip abroad as they can be stupidly expensive!

Have you been to Paris? What are your favourite sights?

The only thing I feel I missed was the Pont des Arts bridge, which used to have the locks attached to it. They were removed in June due to the sheer weight of the locks and have now been replaced by clear panels, so I wanted to see the difference.


I love visiting cities like this just to soak up the atmosphere of being somewhere different!


L xxx



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Thursday, 17 September 2015

Lush Cupcake Fresh Face Mask


Hey all!

I've been super crazy busy recently so my posts have been non existent - thanks to M for filling in for me! This is exactly why we blog together - not only would we blog similar posts anyway but we can help each other out when the other doesn't have the time.
My parents are both due into hospital again and I've been to Paris for work so things have been a little all over the place but with an upcoming week off I will be catching up on everything!

A few weeks ago we both went to Lush for their latest event (you can see our post here) and I stocked up my product collection with a few new additions.

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I picked up the Yoga Bomb bath bomb, Ultrabland facial cleanser, Needles and Pine shower jelly and Cupcake Fresh Face mask as well as the infamous Porridge soap.

I've been using them all ever since and have honestly been loving them all!

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This review however is dedicated to the Cupcake Fresh Face mask. This costs £6.50 for the 75g, and the reviews show 4* out of 5.

It contains only 13 ingredients including rhassoul mud, fairtrade organic cocoa butter, fresh mint and spearmint and peppermint oils.

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The most important ingredient is rhassoul mud which works with the cocoa powder to draw all of the impurities from your skin and deeply cleanse it to remove all of the dirt.

Fresh mint can be used to stimulate and tone the skin and the linseed infusion and cocoa butter moisturise and hydrate the skin. I don't know about you but this sounds good enough to eat right??!

I was won over as soon as I saw it in store and wanted to to just dive right into a huge vat of it!

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Unfortunately it doesn't come in a pot that big so i picked up the standard size and brought it home to try. As you can see I looked a little ridiculous with it all over my face!

I left this on my face for 10/15 minutes as recommended and my skin has been helped so much. The amount of oil has been reduced and so has the redness, breakouts have also pretty much disappeared which is amazing news.

I would really recommend this to anyone who suffers with break outs and redness, and needs that extra bit of oil mopping up.
Plus who doesn't love a face mask that looks like liquid chocolate?!

What masks are your favourite from Lush? 


L xxx



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Monday, 14 September 2015

Simply Bare 1 Year Anniversary Deals

Hey All

Last year I wrote about a new salon that had opened in the arcades of Cardiff (you can read about it here!) Simply Bare is now a year old. It's such a great salon and at the moment they are running some great birthday deals. Such as if you get a bikini wax you can get half price massage or facials. What better way to get the essentials done and give yourself a treat too.



Waxing is such a great way to control hair removal. I'm not a fan of shaving as I find it needs doing too often and I just don't get on with it for the bikini area so always opt for waxing or epliating. I do find epilating such a chore though. It's so much nicer to just have someone else do it.

Simply bare is a great professional salon easily located in the city centre and it opens till 6 Mon-Sat with later night opening on a Thurs which is a great for people who work. It's a bug bear on mine when things are only 9-5


The Salon still uses Lycon waxes which is a great waxing system you can read more about in my original post. Plus who doesn't love the novelty of a great smelling product that also works really well!

So if you're looking for a great salon in Cardiff for waxing, massages or facials go check out the ladies at Simply Bare. It's also number 1 on trip adviser at the moment with some really great reviews so don't just take my word for it!

Love M

xxx



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Sunday, 13 September 2015

Lush Pumice Power

Hey All

First all apologies for the photos of this I was too excited to use it and had to take photos in my bathroom at night! Bad blogger in me. I've mentioned a lot on her the Lush Event we went to. I love going to the store after hours and can never resist buying myself some treat. I'm really bad at neglecting my feet. In all honestly I'm lazy and I have ticklish feet so don't like doing it. Foot maintance for me would usually involve me bribing my mum when I was visiting every few months to ped egg my feet. Something about a pumice stone grosses me out so when I saw pumice power I had to buy it. 

Lush Pumice Power

I'd used stepping stone a bit but didn't like how quickly it was used up and how crumbly it was. Pumice power has now replaced it but if you were a fan of stepping stone I think you'll love this even more. This is a lot harder than stepping stone so lasts a lot longer.

Lush Pumice Power

It's kind of a mix between a soap and a scrub (and contains pumice powder so you are getting a scrub like using a pumice stone). It really lathers up when wet but has enough grit to smooth out the tough skin on feet. I've been using mine everyday in the shower since I got it a few weeks ago. It's been easy to fit into my shower routine (I know clever me, look after my feet once flip flop season is coming to an end!) It has a lovely orange scent to it too. I am a fan of the minty fragrance of stepping stone but citrus scents can always win me over instead. 

Do you take care of your feet or are yours a little neglected like mine? 

Love M

xxx



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Friday, 11 September 2015

Snacking Organic

Hey All

We were recently sent some snacks to try as part of a Organic September. Both L and I try to eat healthy as much as possible and organic is something my other half and I have been recently trying to buy. We recently made the decision to start up Riverford veg boxes which is a company that delivers in season organic fruit and veg! We are loving these so far and it definitely seems to taste better.  We also had a lot of hello fresh boxes which some of the products were organic (I'm not sure if it all was or not, you can read about those here).

Organic snacking isn't something I've really thought to look into, especially not teas. I love teapigs and some of them are organic but not all. 

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As soon as the parcel arrived I couldn't wait to taste everything. I'm a fan of different teas and rooibos is a favourite. I've had the oatcakes a lot before as my mum was wheatfree for a while.

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Kromland Farm Organic Rooibos Caramel Tea* retails for £2.49 for 40. For herbal teas I think it's a pretty standard price and not much more than normal herbal teas. For me I will definitely be repurchasing this. For a while I've been trying to reduce my caffeine intake. I have one of the giant sports direct mugs (tacky I know but as a tea lover the bigger the better, size matters!!) in work and I was drinking about 5 mugs of tea , green tea or coffee and more at home. Rooibos is naturally caffeine free and the natural caramel flavours adds a touch of sweetness to a rich tea. I like to drink this without milk. I've been swapping out about 3 of my massive mugs of tea for this instead so hopefully I'll be weaned off caffeine again soon except for my morning cuppa! I'm pretty evil without that! 



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Next up is the Ombar Buttons Coco Mylk * which retail for £1.49. I was really dubious about these. I instantly assumed dairy free would then be some sort of fake chocolate and just not taste good or it would taste overly sweet. I was so pleasantly surprised by them. They get there flavour from Raw Cacao and coconut palm sugar. These are so good, they have a great natural chocolate flavour which is still creamy and not excessively sweet and a perfect taste of coconut that isn't overly fake. I also love that the ingredient list is pretty small, when I know most of the ingredients on something it does make me more intrigued to eat it. As well as being dairy free they are suitable for vegans!

Not the healthiest of snacks but both L and I would rather get out sweet treats in this way then a normal bar of chocolate.

Clearspring Snack Organic Tamari Roasted Sicilian Almonds

Clearspring Snack Organic Tamari Roasted Sicilian Almonds

Clearspring Snack Organic Tamari Roasted Sicilian Almonds* retail for £1.49. These were the clear winner in the snack we got to try. L is much better at snacking on nuts than I am. I don't tend to buy them much and I really should as they are a great source of fat and protein. To me unless I fancy it nuts seems a bit boring but these have got a great taste to them. It's hard to explain, slightly sweet, sour and just good really! (there is a reason I'll never be a food blogger I struggle beyond it tastes good, it tastes bad!!). I loved these so much I've already ordered more. They are great to keep at my desk for when I want a savoury snack.

Nairns Organic Oatcakes

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Nairns Organic Oatcakes* retail for £1.09. I've had these a lot before as I mentioned above my mum used to follow a wheatfree diet so got these instead of bread. I'll start with what annoys me with them. I wish they came in 6 packs of 4 oatcakes rather than 4 pack of 6. When there is 6 in a pack I eat them all but would have been satisfied at 4. I really like these and always have. I find them pretty tasty and snack on them dry as they are most of the time. Or if I'm having them for lunch will have something like tuna or avocado and salmon. They do seem to go with everything and are a great way to start to introduce organic foods into your diet. I would have normally picked up non organic without thinking but would always grab the organic ones instead now.

Do you purchase any organic food? Would you now consider it?

Love M

xxx


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Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Laguna Health and Spa*

Hey All

As I write this L is on her way to Paris for a work trip lucky lady! Last week we were lucky enough to be invited to the Park Plaza hotel in Cardiff for some treatments in the Laguna Health and Spa. I actually used to be a member of the gym there so have used the pool many times but never had treatments.

We were treated to a 25 minute treatment each. L chose a massage and I choose a facial! A facial is always the treatment I choose for a spa day. I find them relaxing. The reception area had a great display of Elemis products and little ornaments and candles around. It was comfortable to sit whilst waiting for treatments. For spa days there is a dining room and relaxing room so you don't have to leave the spa to eat lunch (I do prefer this for spa days as once I've got my robe on I don't want to have to get dressed mid way through!).

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The rooms we were in were clean, neutral and felt calming. There were little tealights around the sink area and a chair to put your things on. The beds were comfortable and the towels big enough to cover you. I do find sometimes It can be cold having a facial as the towel is a bit short but here it was fine and the rooms were a comfortable temperature.

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My facial was amazing!! I think I had a cleanse, exfoliation, mask, eye mask, tone and moisturise. It was so relaxing. While the mask was on the therapist gave me a head massage that was so relaxing! I also really like that the eyes were given attention as I've found usually during a facial nothing was put on the eyes except cotton pads so it was nice product was put on them. I couldn't fault the therapist. The only suggestion I would give is to give clients a sheet with the products that have been used or tell them as I like to know what's been used as sometimes like to purchase them after a treatment!

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L also liked her massage. She said it was really relaxing and a great massage.
It involved not only a full massage from neck to shoulders and lower back, but also a scrub which was lovely and unexpected. Her skin has been feeling so soft since then! 

Both treatments were great and I'll defintely look to go back when me and my mum look for our next spa day!

Park plaza also do amazing afternoon teas which L and I have been for before. I recently went for the Gin Afternoon tea with friends. Some spa packages include the afternoon teas so I thought I'd show you some photos of them. L and I went a while ago for the normal one but I think it's pretty similar offerings still.

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Love M

xxx


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Monday, 7 September 2015

Lush - The Experimenter Bath Bomb*

Hey All

A few weeks ago we popped to an event at Lush Cardiff to see some of the new products (you can read this post here!) we were given a few goodies to try and after seeing this one in action I was excited to see it in my bag! 

Lush The Experimenter Bath Bomb

You can't help but be drawn to this amazing brightly coloured bath bomb. It's got all the colours. If I'm honest I was too busy dropping it in my bath to see all the colours to sniff it. It contains tonka and vanilla though which are two fragrances I love in Lush products!

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Here you can see some of the glitter in the bath bomb. It's a subtle shimmer one so you won't step out of the bath looking like a twilight extra!

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It is one of the prettiest bath bombs to watch and leaves amazing colour swirls reminding me of some of the bright 90's tie dye! It also gives a nice little bubble when it's fizzing away so you can see all the colours!

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As it spreads out in the bath it leaves lush pastel colours and sparkly water, I couldn't get the shimmer in the water to show fully but it was gorgeous!! 

The experimenter retails for £3.95 but is a big colourful explosion! This is definitely one I'll be repurchasing!

Have you tired it yet?

Love M

xxx


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Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Tough Mudder South West 2015

Hey All

Last weekend I completed my second tough mudder. (me and L did it last year, you can see last years post here!). This year was much harder than last year due to a lot of rain. Who knew when we booked an August one it would be such crappy weather.




The before and after!






Tough mudder is an obstacle course set over 10-12 miles. The South West course when held at Cirenchester seems to be 11 miles. This year again I was wishing for 10 miles. This year we also completed the course on Sunday and although it was still full in our warm up when it was time to set up we didn't have to deal with any of the really long queues we encountered last year on the Saturday. Sunday's are also cheaper!




The guy below me gave me a boost after this photo was taken as I realised I was stuck ha!

It's not the cheapest thing to do, (if you're considering one definitely sign up sooner rather than later as it gets progressively more expensive!) the one thing that pulls me back to tough mudder as a challenge is that it's not a race and is all about team work. Everyone on the day helps everyone and all around the course it's like that!





This year some obstacles were changed to make them harder. Here is Mud Mile. Last year it was dry whilst we were running, this year between the humps was filled with water!



The favourites like Arctic Enema and Electroshock were still there as well as some new ones's to try! Round the course I struggled this year due to the amount of rain that had left almost the whole 11 miles as running though mud which meant falling over lots and more pressure on my knees!


 (clearly I'd just been hit by the electric shock here ha!!)


I'd really recommend tough mudder to anyone. Get your friends joined up as it really is great fun! And not many other races give you a pint as you cross the finish line!

I love that they mix it up each year and add to it. I definitely want to do more. Plus the motivation of a new coloured headband keeps me going!

Have you done a tough mudder before? Would you?

Love M xxx





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