Monday, 11 February 2019

A Cosy Valentines Night in

A Valentines Night In
I could have sworn Christmas was yesterday and I was eating my way through a tub of Quality Streets whilst watching a classic festive film. Time really does run away from you. January was a blip. Now here we are in February - chapter 2 out of 12 and Valentine's Day is literally only days away, which means cutesy heart-shaped chocolate will be on offer a day later - silver linings and all that.

I've never really been that into Valentine's Day personally, my boyfriend and I usually buy each other a cheesy pun-related card and cook some sort of concoction involving spaghetti and meatballs and re-enact the iconic Lady & the Tramp scene. I'm kidding, although spaghetti is involved - in a none intimate sort of way.

Valentine's Day is supposedly a day of love so whether you are single or just fancy a cosy night in, having some 'me time' is an important thing to do every now and then, so why not do it on Valentine's Day?

I have put together a little light-hearted post on how to create the perfect galantines night in and have a night of relaxation. P's buy a bath tray from Amazon; it has literally changed my life and increased me to drink in the bath, oops.
♥ Step 1: Set the scene
First things first you got to prepare the bath, so light some candles and sprinkle them all around your bathroom and then dim the light. You then want to pop some sort of bath product in the tub, I like to add some bubbles and some Himalayan bath salts and create a bath-cocktail. You could even go the extra mile and buy a boat and be Chandler from Friends.

♥ Step 2: Grab the goods
So now your bath is ready you then want to grab some skin pampering treats, so a face mask, body scrubs, cleansers etc. When I want to treat my skin I like to use the Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser to start off with, as it's so soft and kind to my skin. I then pop on some of the Herbivore Blue Clay Face Mask - perfect for oily spot prone skin. I also like to bring some other essentials like a cup of herbal tea or pink gin if I really want to push the boat out. At the moment, I am enjoying reading in the bath - it's my therapy. The book I am enjoying at the moment is Ice Cream for Breakfast by Laura Jane Williams, which is such a witty, humorous and inspiring book that is so easy to dip in and out of.

My top 5 favourite pamper treatments ATM:
1. Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser
2. Herbivore Blue Clay Face Mask
3. Dermalogica Clay Cleanser
4. Origins Clear Improvements Mask
5. The Body Shop Strawberry Body Scrub

♥ Step 3: One hour later...
As I previously mentioned time does run away from me, perhaps my excessively long baths are the reason? Anyway's, once fully pampered and cleansed I then go onto either cooking or ordering something yummy to eat. If I really want to treat myself I will order a Chinese or a Wagamama's *thank you Deliveroo for delivering this into my life*. Or I will cook something really tasty, but 9 times out of 10 if I want to treat myself it's usually takeout.

♥ Step 4: Netflix & Chill
So you're in your cosy pyjamas and stuffed with food, now's the time to do you. Whatever it is you enjoy doing to relax whether that's watching a good Netflix series, in my case; it's been a not-so-relaxing True Crime series. Read a book, play a game, whatever it is try and spend more time in-the-moment and less time on your phone scrolling Instagram. Phones are so distracting nowadays, I've spoken about this in my How To Digital Detox post here if you are interested.

My Top 5 Things To Watch on Netflix ATM:
1. YOU
2. Conversation With A Killer The Ted Bundy's Tapes
3. American Horror Story
4. Abducted in Plain Site
5. Bird Box

♥ Step 5: Get an early night
I find it so bizarre that 10 years ago I would be staying up past midnight, trying to make the most of time, whereas now I am usually in bed around 10 and asleep by 11 at the latest. Oh, how things have changed. I love my bed and I love early nights, I am one of these people who if I don't get 8 or more hours sleep I will probably be running on coffee and attitude for the next day. Not to sound like your doctor, but sleep is so important it helps reset your brain and relaxes your body, which is what you need to complete a cosy Valentines or any sort of pampering evening night in.

What are your Valentines/Galantines plans??

Monday, 21 January 2019

My Best Discoveries in Beauty Advent Calendars

Best Beauty Discoveries in My Advent Calendar

Whoever thought of the brilliant idea to put together a 24-day advent calendar full with beauty goodness deserves a pat on the back and a years supply of chocolate chip cookies. Beauty advent calendars are amazing for us blogging chums who just love discovering new and exciting beauty products or in my case finding a few new bathroom shelf favs.

For the last 3 years, I have treated myself to a beauty advent calendar with a variety of skincare and makeup brands. The ASOS Beauty Advent Calendar has been a favourite of mine for the past two years and every beauty discovery I chat about in this post is in fact out of their last two calendars. They always include iconic brands we have all heard or loved and everything you receive gets put to good use.

Although beauty advent calendars can cost up to a month's worth of rent or in my case eating cuppa soup's for lunch until next payday. They are worth it if you are interested in trying new products out or just have a substantial slight addiction to beauty.


I have always been a fanatic of the brand Alpha-H especially their Liquid Gold that has saved my skin over the years from uninvited face spots. So I was thrilled to open a door and discover the Alpha-H Clear Skin Daily Facial Wash. At the age of 25, you'd think my skin would be through with hormonal spots, right? Well, no but this stuff does help maintain the unfriendly beasts by reducing the redness and drying those suckers out. This facial gel cleanser contains tea tree which is, of course, amazing for spots. I have rapidly become a fan of this product and will definitely be purchasing the full size and adding it to my skincare shelf.

...Whilst we are on the topic of cleansing I might as well kill two birds with one stone and mention my Foreo Luna Play Cleansing Brush that I use to buff the cleanser in with. Firstly let us just address the fact I received a pink mini Foreo Luna Cleansing Brush in one of my ASOS calendars! And secondly, this is such a sweet little brush perfect for travelling with and so easy to use. I don't use this every day, but when I do my skin feels so soft and luminous. Cleansing brushes tend to be quite abrasive on my sensitive skin, but this little Luna is just so relaxing and gentle on my skin I can see what the fuss is about now.

The Clinique Moisture Surge Gel couldn't have come at a better time as I was on the hunt for a new moisturiser. Finding the perfect moisturiser is like finding the invisibility cloak in Harry Potter - rare and only a few have found it. My skin is a combination of everything so you can imagine the struggles I have to deal with. This moisturiser is great when my skin is going through a bit of everything, this restores balance to my skin and the gel texture helps keep my skin feeling refreshed.

If you've been reading my blog for a while you will know it's very rare I mention makeup brushes, purely because I'm a Beauty Blender kind of gal and loyal to my Real Technique brushes. However the past two advent calendars ASOS have included the Contour and Tapered Blending Brushes by Luxie. I like to use the blending brush for my eyeshadow crease and the contour brush for mostly bronzing my cheeks. These brushes are cruelty-free which is always a good thing and they're so soft and easy to blend makeup on the skin.

I did a little in the head squeal to myself when I opened a door to discover a mini-sized bottle of the Iconic London Drops. After seeing these drops posted all over social media the easily-influenced beauty fanatic that I am wanted to buy these, but I knew if I did I would never finish the bottle, as it's very rare I complete a liquid highlighter. So this was perfect to receive! If you are a swot for highlighting you will know how amazing these liquid drops are. It can be added to a foundation, primer or moisturiser for super-versatile glow, but even on its own you only need the tiniest amount and your face is instantly glowing like Edward Cullen, but in a lot less subtle way.


Overall, I am so happy that I have managed to discover some amazing products in my beauty advent calendars, not only because it would be a waste of money otherwise, but because I have found some keepers that are now apart of my skin and makeup routine that has made a difference. Definitely would recommend beauty advent calendars or even beauty subscription boxes if you want to expand your love for beauty.

What has been your favourite product in a beauty calendar/sub-box??

Wednesday, 9 January 2019

A Foodies Guide to Amsterdam

A Foodies Guide to Amsterdam
Amsterdam is the perfect city to just chill the hell out by cycling around the canals or getting lost around the centre. All the exploring and site seeing is amazing, but it really does give you a huge appetite.

One of my favourite things to do before I visit a city is research all the amazing local cuisines and explore the quirky hidden foodie spots.

Here I have put together a guide on all the snacky-foods I was able to try during my time in Amsterdam or spots I would recommend that isn't on a typical Dutch food guide.

Caution sugar overload
A Foodies Guide to Amsterdam
A Foodies Guide to Amsterdam
Try Homemade Stroopwafel
A stroopwafel is a waffle made from two thin layers of baked dough with a caramel syrup filling in the middle. These are very popular in the Netherlands and almost every street corner in the centre sells them either made from scratch or in mini packets to take away. The smell of these delicious sweet treats instantly draws you in and the taste of these is amazing and so moreish! You can easily eat a whole bag of the minis in one go, not that I did of course...

Van Wonderen Stroopwafels - A very Instagrammable cafe to try that makes Stroopwafels in giant form and you can add any sweet toppings on top.
A Foodies Guide to Amsterdam
Fast Food Vending Machine
I didn't try this myself personally, but I witnessed so many others do so and I kinda wish I did as it is such a quick and easy thing to have. Perhaps on a lunch break or if you don't fancy waiting in queues for food just pop a euro or two in a machine and grab a burger. Such a cool thing to have and definitely something worth checking out on your travels.
A Foodies Guide to Amsterdam
A Foodies Guide to Amsterdam
Pluk Amsterdam Cafe
Something I saw quite frequently on Instagram was this quirky, chic cafe and its amazing picture-esc smoothie bowls. Obviously, I was sold to try the unicorn bowl and I can confirm it was amazing and so healthy. They also sell delicious pancakes, salad bowls and the cutest little snacks at the counter. It is definitely a good spot to come for brunch or even just to take out a scrumptious unicorn doughnut. As well as selling delicious, photo-worthy foods, they also sell cute home decor and accessories, which I believe you can buy off their website. 

This cafe was probably a highlight for me and somewhere I would definitely visit again.
A Foodies Guide to Amsterdam
A Foodies Guide to Amsterdam
The Corner Bakery
If you are into freakshakes or just want a sugar-overload which we clearly did, definitely check Corner Bakery out. They do of course other breakfast foods, but I think the milkshakes are what draws a lot of attention. I mean why would you not want to eat your weight in cream and all sweet things as well as devouring a delicious milkshake at the end? I personally could not eat all mine I had to scoop the cream off and my boyfriend finished the drink. It tasted amazing and definitely something you have to try at least once.
A Foodies Guide to Amsterdam
Tony's Chocolonely
When visiting local supermarkets my boyfriend and I were constantly coming across this chocolate brand. It reminds me of Wonka chocolate bars from the packaging, so we decided to try a few flavours. I went for milk chocolate caramel with sea salt and my boyfriend went for white chocolate raspberry sugar crack. Both of which tasted absolutely amazing! I loved the chocolate so much I grabbed some through the airport on my way home. Definitely try this chocolate they do so many amazing flavours.
A Foodies Guide to Amsterdam
Thrill Grill
One place we visited for dinner was Thrill Grill, a restaurant that sells amazing burgers with delicious sides. This place was recommended when we looked up top burger places to try in Amsterdam and it did not let us down. The atmosphere was very chilled and the food was so cheap and tasted so good. For a burger and two sides, it cost 15 euros. I went for the chicken burger with wasabi sauce and a side of fries and onion rings. My boyfriend went for a classic burger with fries and seasonal veggies. My burger came with a drip of soy sauce you squeeze into the bun for extra flavour, which was pretty cool! Definitely check this place out if you love burgers, they also sell organic black buns and vegan options too!

We tried so much food in Amsterdam that I am recovering from withdrawal symptoms from those waffles. We didn't always try your typical Dutch foods as we wanted to give hidden gems a try as well. But other Dutch foods that are recommended to try are Herring, Poffertjes (baby pancakes), croquettes and Heineken Beer.

Similar Posts...
4 Days in Amsterdam Guide | Link

What food do you recommend in Amsterdam??

Friday, 30 November 2018

Skincare Lessons I've Learnt in my Early 20s

Skincare Lessons I've Learnt in my Early 20s
It's no secret that skincare is a huge passion of mine, I mean, the clue is in the name of my blog. Throughout my teenage years, my skin has gone through it all with hormonal acne, inflammation, scarring, dark circles, name it it's probably been there. I have always been quite cautious and mindful about what products benefit my skin or what are a complete waste of money, especially now that I am in my early twenties.

Since I am almost 25, *sobs to self uncontrollably* the year of being stuck in the middle of not being close to 20 anymore, but also edging that little bit closer to hitting that 30 milestone. I figured now is a good time to share what skincare lessons I have learnt so far.

Even though there have been no signs of grey hairs or wrinkles yet, touch wood, I have started incorporating things into my beauty regime to help postpone ageing and read up on what I should be doing now for my skin.

A lot of people don't believe that creams and gels, impact your skin from ageing, which is fair enough. But if my dad who's in his 50s has no sign of wrinkles and his reasoning is down to moisturizing every day, then I'm going to think there is some truth behind it. 

"Even though your skin's appearance likely won't change much in your 20s, you're essentially living on credit until your 30s, 40s, and 50s."

1. Start Eye Creams When You're Young
I've used eye creams ever since I turned 21 and it has 100% improved the appearance of my under eyes. They're not for everyone, but for someone who unfortunately looks like death if I'd had less than 8 hours sleep or wakes up with puffy eyes, they're really good. My eyes feel really hydrated even after a night out of dehydration with alcohol. I definitely think they work for keeping your under eyes in good condition.

A few favourites:
Origins Ginzing Eye Cream
Kiehl's Creamy Eye Treatment

2. SPF is SO Important
Unfortunately, growing up I was one of those people who thought 'you only need SPF when it's hot outside' and I was so wrong! SPF is so important to help with not only shielding your skin from ageing (fine lines and wrinkles) but, reduces the risks of skin cancer. I am starting to sound like a doctor, but I want to look as young as possible for as long as possible!

3. Retinoids Are Your Best Friend
Truthfully, I never even heard of retinoid until The Ordinary came around and I researched the science behind these miracle workers. Retinoids stimulate the production of new skin cells, they help with fading dark spots, hyperpigmentation and acne scarring. They renew the skin and treat acne, reduce the appearance of fine lines and help with skin discolouration. I try to use this ingredient in my skincare at least once a week and I can say it does help with reducing dark spot scars, but I imagine these sorts of products won't show results they will just help prevent future fine lines etc.

A few favourites:
The Ordinary Retinoid 2%

4. Face Wipes, Cleanse
Although it may seem like the perfect thing to use when you can't be bothered to take your makeup off, face wipes do more harm than good for your skin. If I ever use them, it's to remove harsh eye makeup, but I won't ever use them for my skin purely because of how bad they can be. A lot of face wipes contain alcohol or fragrances which can strip the natural oils from your skin's barrier and dehydrate your skin. They also don't remove all layers of makeup, even though they may seem like they do, this can make your skin breakout. I like to remove my makeup with a micellar water and then go in with either my Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish or the Glosser Milk Jelly Cleanser and my skin feels 1000% clean compared to face wipes.

5. Some Products Do More Harm Than Good
I am not going to throw brands under the bus, but during my teenage days especially, I was so desperate and unmindful on what will treat my spots that I would buy into those overpriced skincare advertisements and only see temporary changes. What I've learnt from this apart from buying expensive products doesn't always mean miracles are going to happen, but also to be aware of what ingredients are actually in the products. A lot of products can contain ingredients that can worsen your skin, so be mindful of that. I always like to use a cosmetic ingredient site to tell me what ingredients are inside products and the harm they can cause before I consider trying them.

Similar Posts...
101 Skincare Mistakes | Link
101 Skincare Ingredients | Link

What skincare lessons have you learnt??

Monday, 26 November 2018

4 Days in Amsterdam | Guide

Four Days in Amsterdam | Guide
Four Days in Amsterdam | Guide
Four Days in Amsterdam | Guide
What's that Katie, you've gone away again? Yes, I know I've had a serious case of the travel bug this year, I need help. 

No more this year I promise...

Once you've had a taste of what the world has to offer you sort of become addicted to exploring different cities, learning about the cultures and trying the local cuisines. It was my boyfriends birthday recently and what better excuse than to go away, right?

This time we decided to take a long weekend break to the staggering city of Amsterdam. We didn't fancy the 12 or so hour journey on the ferry, so we hopped on a plane that took just over an hour to get there. We had 3 full days to explore this beautiful city which was more than enough time to get a taste of the Dam.

Here are a few things we got up to during our stay.
4 Days in Amsterdam | Guide
4 Days in Amsterdam | Guide
The Sex Museum
Everything in Amsterdam is relatively close by and you can cycle your way around the city or get a tram, which is what we did 99% of the time with our 3-day tram pass. We were tempted to rent a bike, but my god I wouldn't be here writing this post if I had rented one, they are crazy! One of the first things we did was took a tram to the centre and visit the Sex Museum. This is one of the most visited museums in Amsterdam and is quite interesting and...peculiar. This museum mostly contains pornagraphic imagery and sexual objects. Definitely somewhere to visit with your partner if you are curious or just fancy a giggle like we did.
4 Days in Amsterdam | Guide
4 Days in Amsterdam | Guide
Anne Franks House
This was something I wanted to explore, but because of the extortionate pricing and the fact it was so busy, we decided to just visit the place from the outside instead. If you are into your history and don't mind the waiting line to go in, definitely would recommend coming here. Apparently, the home is meant to be very moving and not a lot has been changed, so it very much feels like you are a part of that era.
4 Days in Amsterdam | Guide
4 Days in Amsterdam | Guide

4 Days in Amsterdam | Guide
4 Days in Amsterdam | Guide
4 Days in Amsterdam | Guide
Artis Zoo
Probably my favourite part of Amsterdam and not something I would have expected was definitely the zoo. I would go far enough as to say this is the best zoo I've ever been to because it's so engaging with the animals and at times it didn't feel like it was a zoo. There were lemurs running freely around your feet, monkeys within touching distance and elephants splashing the crowd. I felt like a big kid at this zoo I was forever running off from my boyfriend to see the animals. We spent a good 3 and a half hours in here, it is huge and definitely takes up most of your time. Would highly recommend coming here if you have a spare day to see the animals.

Tip: Try and come around lunch time when the elephants get fed, it is amazing!
4 Days in Amsterdam | Guide
4 Days in Amsterdam | Guide
Canal Tour
As there are over 165 canals in Amsterdam there are dozens of companies offering canal cruises or tours of the city. I wanted to book the evening tour where you could dine with pizza, but we opted for a daytime cruise around the city. I really enjoyed this tour it took the weight off my feet for an hour or so and we got to learn historical facts about Amsterdam, as well as capture beautiful photos of buildings. I think what made this canal tour so good was the crispy autumnal weather. Definitely check out these tours there are so many options to choose from throughout day and evening.
4 Days in Amsterdam | Guide
The Red Light District
Typically what Amsterdam is known for and something you HAVE to experience in my opinion is the Red Light District. It was an experience for sure and the atmosphere in the evenings is what makes the RLD so captivating. If you don't do crowds, but want to check the area out, go during the day as it is a lot less crazy. I found it really fascinating to take a peek into other peoples lifestyles.
4 days in amsterdam
I personally loved Amsterdam it was so interesting to experience the atmosphere and what this beautiful city has to offer. We would definitely go back as there is just so much more to do and see! 

I have a food guide post going up soon as well if you wondered where all the snaps of the food were, don't you worry it deserved a whole post to itself!

1. Watch out for bikes! Literally almost got killed a million times
2. Don't take or buy any drugs from dealers in the streets
3. Watch for pickpockets around the District
4. Try stroopwafels they are amazing!

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