Outfit Planning for Paris

30 October 2016

At the end of this month I'm lucky enough to be jetting off to Paris. We've had the trip booked for what seems like forever, so you can bet we've had a few months to get excited over our three days in the French capital city...including planning our outfits in great detail! We're flying over to Paris with Air France, and we made sure to book a flight which included hold luggage, so there's no need to scrimp on the clothing options! With that in mind, today I thought I'd share with you the style I'll be going for on the trip. 

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Day one will be an early start for me, as our flight leaves Heathrow Airport at 6.30am, so I'll be going with something comfy and perfect for walking around in, as we'll also be doing a lot of sightseeing on our first day! I live in ripped jeans, comfy jumpers and my trench coat pretty much all winter, so it seems like the perfect outfit for my first day in Paris. I'll dress the outfit up with some edgy shoes, a classic black hat and a pop of colour. 

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We've also reserved day two for sightseeing (hello top of the arch de triomph!) and shopping (visiting that Chanel is a must), so making sure my clothes are comfy enough to walk around in all day is definitely a must. Jeans and cute boots are perfect for this season, and dressing them up with a velvet clutch and stylish cape finishes off the look perfectly. 

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Day three will consist of eating, drinking and celebrating the end of our trip, so I've decided to dress up a little more, while still keeping it 'day appropriate'. A black dress and boots is my 'go-to' for autumn smart casual, and the burgundy colour of the accessories gives me all of the autumn feels. 

Autumn in London

29 October 2016

I desperately wanted to go to Vermont this year for Autumn to experience all of the changing colours and bright orange leaves, drink apple cider and of course, go pumpkin picking. Alas, life got in the way and I've ended up staying in London for the Autumn season. When you live somewhere, it's easy to forget just how beautiful it is, and I think I was starting to fall out of love with London a bit. This weekend, in an attempt to get into the Autumn spirit just in time for Halloween, we ventured all the way out of London to Crockford Bridge Farm in Surrey, to enjoy an afternoon of pumpkin picking before settling down to watch Hocus Pocus and carve our pumpkins!

Crockford Bridge Farm is located just outside of Addlestone in Surrey, and it only took 40 mins from where I live in West London so it's definitely not too far to travel for a day out. We got to the pumpkin patch the day before it closed for the season, and with it being half term here in the UK, it was packed with children and their parents. Luckily we managed to dodge the toddlers and children and get our pick of the pumpkins! 

The pumpkin patch had pumpkins of all shapes, sizes and colours, which I loved as it meant we were able to get a good selection to decorate our front porch, giving it that true rustic look instead of store bought pumpkins. 

The farm was decorated perfectly for the occasion, with a huge 'welcome to Kansas' sign, hot chocolate stands, a cute corn maze and hay bails for miles. Having never been pumpkin picking before, the farm had a lot to live up to and it definitely did! 

As well as hay bails stacked high and a field littered with pumpkins, the farm also had lots of kids activities and a photo spot amongst the hay bails, perfect for snapping family photos. The pumpkins are a little more expensive than your average shop-brought pumpkin, ranging from £1.50 for the miniatures up to £25 for some of the larger, white pumpkins. We ended up buying 4 medium sized pumpkins and two miniatures for £25 but it was definitely worth it in my opinion for the experience!

After finishing up at the farm, we returned home where we carved all of our pumpkins (which took way longer than expected!), ordered a takeaway and watched Hocus Pocus on the sofa - the perfect alternative to a Halloween night out!

The Ultimate Las Vegas Travel Guide

27 October 2016

Earlier this year I was lucky enough to jet off to fabulous Las Vegas to celebrate my Brother's 21st Birthday. It's true what they say, Las Vegas really is an adult's play ground and it's honestly been one of my favourite trips so far, despite being lucky enough to see some of the most beautiful corners of this earth. There's no place on earth like it, where else can you roll the dice until sunrise, surrounded by brides-to-be and Elvis impersonators...it's a surreal dreamland of neon lights and flashy everything,  and it's just like it seems in the movies - it may not be for everyone, but it's worth giving it a go just once in your life, you may fall in love with the place like I did!

The Basics

Currency: Needless to say, Las Vegas is located in Nevada, USA so they use the US Dollar. At the moment the exchange rate for us Brits is terrible ($1.22 for every £1), so I'd recommend waiting until you can get a better deal before jetting off, as it's not the cheapest of cities. 

Prices: Like I said, Vegas isn't the cheapest of cities. I remember one night going to a cocktail bar in the Aria and it setting us back over $100 for one cocktail and three beers. It's worth saving up if you're heading over though, as once you're there you really will want to try everything. That being said, there's plenty of smaller restaurants dotted around which won't cost the earth, so you can do Vegas a little cheaper if you'd like, you may just have to compromise on some of the activities. 

Temperature: Las Vegas is a city in the middle of the desert, but that doesn't mean it's hot all year round. I went in April and had to wear a jumper almost every night, as the wind out there really gets to you. Temperatures vary all year round but can go from as little as 14C in January, up to 41C in July - so check the weather forecast before you pack you bikini! 

Dress Code: This section almost isn't worth having, as anything goes in Las Vegas. It's worth packing a few comfy clothes as there can be a lot of walking involved, and definitely pack some more dressy outfits for the night time, depending on what you plan to get out of your time in Vegas...or if you wanted to go full on Elvis, I doubt anyone would even give you a second look! 

Getting Around

Although as a city, Vegas isn't that large, things can be quite spread out...even walking around all of the hotels can be a lot of walking if you want to see the whole strip (which I definitely recommend you do!). Before we went to Vegas, I imagined that we would just walk down the strip and it would only take an hour or two, but my gosh was I wrong. Luckily, there's a few different transport options. We actually hired a car whilst we were in Vegas so we could drive into Arizona to see the Grand Canyon and also so we could drive to some of their outlet malls, so that's something to definitely consider (it also makes getting to and from the airport a lot easier!). There are also taxis everywhere, but these can get pretty pricey, so if you're looking to keep your transport costs to a minimum, I'd definitely recommend the monorail, which goes right from the conference centre at one end of the strip down to the Luxor and New York, New York hotel on the other end, stopping off along the way. 

Where to Stay

Whilst I was in Las Vegas, we actually rented an apartment down by the conference centre as this worked out a lot cheaper for the four of us, and meant that we had somewhere to park the car overnight. However, if I was to go again (which I definitely will), then I'd consider staying in the Venetian, Bellagio or Caesars Palace, as they're located right in the centre of the strip, which makes getting from place to place really easy - plus, they are all stunning hotels. 

Top 5 Things To Do

1. Gambling - When in Vegas after all..Before I went to Vegas I wasn't too fussed about all of the gambling as in all honesty, I'm terrible at card games and my poker face needs some serious work, but after about 5 mins of being in Vegas, the gambling bug hit me hard. You can't go anywhere in Vegas without passing a slot machine (they even have them in the airport!), and they can be extremely tempting - by the end of my trip, I'd decided on my favourite games and had my theories on how to win the most money haha!

2. Hotels - This is probably something that's unique to Vegas, but it's worth blocking out a day or two just to wander round each of the hotels. Each hotel is themed and their lobbies (and casinos/shopping malls) are like mini amusement parks, some even have their own roller coasters! My favourite hotel shows were the Bellagio fountain that was playing Celine Dion's 'My Heart Will Go On' and the volcano outside the Mirage. 

3. Shopping - For me, it wouldn't be a trip to America without doing some shopping. Whilst I was there I found that the Vegas Premium Outlets North were best for grabbing a bargain. When I was there I managed to pick up a Kate Spade bag, phone case, keyring and laptop case for under $300 and there were some seriously good Banana Republic bargains to be had as well. 

4. Machine Gun Experience - On my Brother's birthday, we started the day off with a 'machine gun experience'. I actually went shooting in Miami for my own 21st, so we were kind of carrying on the tradition. This is probably more of a controversial activity, but one which I thoroughly enjoyed. While you're at the shooting range, you're given a proper lesson in how to handle the gun, then you get to try out the guns yourself on some paper targets - which was so much fun, if not a little scary! 

5. Grand Canyon - If you're travelling all the way to Las Vegas, then the Grand Canyon is not to be missed. There are hundreds of companies in Vegas offering tours to the Grand Canyon, but instead, it's best to rent a car and drive a few hours into Arizona to the Grand Canyon National Park. The canyon really opens up here so the view is so much better. Looking out over the Grand Canyon is a moment I'll never forget, so I urge you to leave a day to make the trip yourself, as the view will really take your breath away.

Where to Eat

One thing there's definitely an abundance of in Las Vegas is places to eat. There's something for every budget and every taste, so you definitely won't struggle on where to dine. These were some of my favourites:

1. The Capital Grille - This is where we went for my brother's birthday dinner, and if you're into steak then this is a must see in Vegas. With views of the strip, some of the best cocktails I've ever tasted and extraordinary service, this isn't one to be missed. 

2. Martorano's - This italian restaurant in the Paris Hotel was honestly one of the best italians I've ever had. The carbonara came complete with a fresh egg cracked on top and the iced cocktails are the perfect way to beat the heat. 

3. The Buffet at Wynn - If you want a cheap and cheerful meal that's still great quality, then head to the buffet at the Wynn. They have 120 dishes from all over the world and it's located right above the casino so it's perfect for filling a gap before a night on the slot machines.

4. In-n-Out Burger - For a cheap and speedy lunch, head to In-n-Out Burger. We don't have them here in the UK, so it's the perfect opportunity to give this popular burger joint a try!

Quick Read: How I Edit My Photos

21 October 2016


One question I get asked time and time again, is how do I edit my photos. I've always stayed away from answering this question, not because it's a big secret and I don't want to share my process, but in all honesty, I don't do too much to my photos. Before when I ran my beauty blog, I barely touched my photos because I didn't feel right advertising products when filters and alterations may have changed the appearance of the product, however now I've moved over into travel and lifestyle writing, I'm free to be a little more creative - which I love!

I tend to do most of my photography work when I'm actually shooting, to keep the photos as natural as possible and to ensure the beauty of the location is portrayed accurately. However, this did require a litre investment, both in time and money. I treated myself to the Canon 700D, an entry level DSLR camera which is perfect for me whilst I get to grips with the settings and develop my photography skills, before I consider upgrading my kit to something a little more advanced - but I'll cover that off in a separate post as I could go on for hours about compositions and camera settings!

When I shoot, I also take hundreds of very similar shots, as in some photos the sun is just right and in others things are just off. So once I've uploaded these photos to my Mac, where I can see them in finer detail, I delete about 50-60% of these before starting my editing process.

I decided that I wanted to keep my editing process as quick as possible, as I really don't have time to edit hundreds of photos in minute detail, so I invested in some pre-made Photoshop actions. For those that don't know, photoshop actions are essentially filters for photos, that you can apply with the click of one button. I buy mine off Creative Market, as I find they're a reasonable price for 5-6 actions. My favourite photoshop actions pack is called Kiss Me Softly - it's perfect for brightening and mattifying your images, which is really all I like to do to my photos before I post them.

After the editing process is complete, I'll then go through the photos once more and delete around 30% of these before arranging them within my blogpost, and then you're ready to go!

5 Cocktails to Try This Autumn

18 October 2016

The dark mornings and rainy weather can only mean one thing...Autumn has arrived in London. I love to head out to my favourite bars and clubs in the summer, but autumn just makes me want to curl up on the sofa with a snuggly blanket and a hot drink. That being said, staying in doesn't have to be boring - one of my favourite things to do on cold saturday nights is to grab a bunch of my nearest and dearest and put together a little cocktail party! So today I thought I'd share with you 5 of the cocktails I'll be whipping up this season. 

Whilst autumn may be all about the cinnamon and spice, there's definitely room for those of us with a sweet tooth. Kate's Salted Carmel White Russians are to die for, especially if you're into your sugary sweet drinks like I am. Kate describes these are dreamy and festive, something to sip on as you snuggle in your PJs, with a Christmas film playing in the background - and I couldn't agree more. They're super simple to make, which is great if you lean more to the lazy side of life like I do! Read the full recipe here

Living in the countryside for most of my life means that I know a thing or two about how to use up piles upon piles of apples - honestly, try living with 6 apple trees, there's only so much apple pie you can make before you need to turn some of them into a cocktail! This Autumn Apple Sangria recipe is perfect for whipping up when you've got a group of friends over - you can easily whip up a jug of this autumn goodness and you're good to go for a little while! Read the full recipe here

Everyone who's anyone knows that autumn is all about the pumpkin spice, and nothing screams 'autumn' more than a pumpkin spice apple cider. Creative Culinary have wiped up the perfect recipe for you this autumn - it takes around 10 mins to make, but boy are the results worth it! Read the full recipe here

Here I go again with the pumpkin, but honestly, how could I not?! These pumpkin pie shooter are seriously adorable, and the perfect way to kick off your autumn cocktail party! They can be made with or without alcohol so there's something for everyone. Read the full recipe here

Again with the apples...I know, I know, but they are a staple for the season! Other than apples, ginger just screams out 'autumn' to me, so why not incorporate it into one of your favourite cocktails? The Apple Ginger Smash is crisp, slightly sweet, with a hint of spice - complementing the season perfectly. Read the full recipe here

The Ultimate Dubai Travel Guide

4 October 2016

Often described as the 'Vegas of the Middle East', Dubai is a truly magical city. A distinct mix of old and new, this futuristic city knows how to look to the future without forgetting where it came from, which is in my opinion, what makes Dubai so special. I've been to Dubai twice now as I couldn't get enough the first time, and every time I visit I get lots of questions about the same things, so today I thought I'd share my complete travel guide with you. As always, if you have any more specific questions, don't hesitate to tweet or email me - all of my links are in the top right of this page! 

The Basics

Currency: Dubai trades in Dirhams (AED), at the moment the exchange rate is 4.67 AED for every £1. Things in Dubai can be fairly expensive though, so don't be fooled by the exchange rate, and I'd really recommend taking cash. 

Temperate: Needless to say, Dubai is hot. In the summer temperatures can reach up to 45 degrees with a sea temperature of up to 37 degrees. In the winter it's still hot, but it's a more manageable heat with temperatures of around 30 degrees. It can also be surprisingly humid, so watch out for that! 

Dress code: Dubai has really relaxed it's dress code in the past few years, so you can pretty much get away with anything in tourist areas, but it's sensible to pack a shawl to cover your shoulders and a few long skirts/trousers to cover your knees - especially if you plan on venturing out of town. 

Drinking: Dubai is a predominantly dry country, however you can now get alcohol in the tourist areas (mainly hotels), just be prepared to pay over the odds for it. 

Getting Around

Dubai is a modern city, which makes getting around really easy. The easiest way to get from a to b is by taxi. Taxis are everywhere in Dubai and for the most part, they aren't too pricey (especially if there's a few of you). The different areas of Dubai are pretty spread out, so you're getting bang for your buck in terms of mileage. If you're a female travelling alone, you can also get in one of the pink taxis, which will have female drivers, which will put you at ease if you're worried about travelling alone. 

The metro is also a really handy way of getting around - don't worry, it's way swankier than the London Underground. They do have a no drinking or eating rule on the metro though, and different cabins (female only, etc) so watch out for the signs. 

It's also worth checking whether your hotel offers a free shuttle service. I stayed at the JA Ocean View, which offered a free bus service to popular tourist destinations like the Mall or Souks, which was a great way to save money. 

Where to Stay

Where you stay really depends on what type of holiday you're after. If your a family, I'd really recommend staying somewhere like Atlantis on the Palm, as the adjoining watermarks would be perfect for kids and adults alike. 

If you're after more of a party holiday, then definitely stay in the marina or downtown areas, as whilst there are clubs and bars all over Dubai, there's definitely more nightlife in these areas. 

Both times I've been to Dubai, I've stayed in the Jumierah Beach area. It's perfect for a relaxing holiday as it's a little more 'out of town', whilst still being surrounded by things to do, and not too far from the city. If you're looking at this area, I'd definitely recommend the JA Ocean View or the Sheraton, both are perfect for a luxe holiday and the staff went above and beyond to make sure we had the perfect stay. 

Top 5 things to do 

1. Desert Safari - A desert safari is a must for any first-time travellers in Dubai. The experience allows you to get out of town, experience the desert, feast on a traditional arabic barbecue, ride a camel, and so much more. There's more info about my desert safari experience here

2. Burj Khalifa, At the Top - A trip to Dubai wouldn't be complete without a trip to the Burj Khalifa. The building itself is extremely impressive, even just standing by it you realise the sheer height of the structure, but there's honestly nothing in this world like the view. Seeing all of the buildings you were just wandering through appear so small beneath your feet is something you have to experience in Dubai. 

3. The Dubai Mall - I know, I know, what's so good about a mall? The Dubai Mall is the biggest shopping mall in the world, and it's so much more than a mall. The Dubai Mall comes complete with ski slope, ice skating rink, an impressive fountain, aquarium, and pretty much every shop in the world. 

4. The Souk - If you've travelled all the way to the middle east, I'd definitely recommend visiting a traditional souk. The alleyways of the souk are filled with so many treasures and traditional nik naks which make perfect gifts and little memories of your trip, just remember to barter! 

5. See the Dubai Fountain - The first time I went to Dubai I missed out on the fountain, and I'm so glad I made the effort to see it this time around. The fountain was designed by the same people who did the Bellagio Fountain in Vegas, so you know it's something to see. Get there early though if you want a good view, as it fills up pretty quickly! 

Where to Eat

On a Budget: There's a myth that eating out is seriously expensive in Dubai, and whilst that may not be too far from the truth, there are plenty of places to visit if you're watching the pennies. If you're on a budget theres loads of places either in the mall or along Jumierah Beach Walk. I actually had one of the best curries I've ever had along Jumierah Beach at House of Curry, and of course I had to visit the Cheesecake Factory while I was out there! 

Brunch: Weekends in the UAE start on a Friday which means one thing, boozy brunch. Most places in Dubai offer some form of bottomless brunch, but the best by far has to be Saffron at Atlantis. Saffron is an asian restaurant, but on Fridays it has over 20 live cooking stations serving dishes from across the world, and of course enough bubbles to float a boat. 

Romantic: If you're looking for a nice romantic meal, I'd definitely recommend sitting outside at Segreto, an Italian restaurant at the Madinat Jumierah. It was honestly one of the best italian meals I've ever had, the staff were doting and the view of the Burj al Arab was perfect. 

Dinner and Drinks: If you're looking for dinner and a few drinks then I'd recommend Pier 7 at the Dubai Marina. Pier 7 has a few restaurants on each floor, most of which have accompanying bars and terraces overlooking the marina (yacht spotting anyone?) which are perfect for a cocktail or two. On Tuesdays the bars in Pier 7 also have ladies night, which means ladies are given a few free drinks tokens at the bar - winning!

Cheap Drinks: If you're looking for cheaper cocktails (trust me, you'll need to seek out cheaper drinks where you can!) then I'd recommend Trader Vics at the Madinat. They offer a large range of cocktails and they have happy hour a few times a week where you can get them for 50% off. 

Bon Voyage! 

Beach Days in Dubai

2 October 2016

Ever since I was a child, the first thing I've wanted to do on a trip abroad is visit the beach. There's something about the ocean which I find so calming, just bobbing away in the surf and contemplating life...and when I'm on a relaxing beach holiday, thats the exact feeling I look for. As soon as we'd touched down in Dubai, my mind was on getting to the beach. We quickly checked into our hotel, which was located right on Jumierah Beach and headed down to the beautiful white sands, ready for a relaxing first day in the city. 

Most of the hotels in Dubai have their own private beach, if they're located in the Jumierah area and when I stayed in the Sheraton a few years ago, we were lucky enough to have our own private beach and garden area. This time round we stayed in the JA Ocean View hotel (which I was so impressed with), and whilst they didn't have their own private beach, they were located right on Jumierah public beach - which was perfect for us. After heading down to reception and grabbing our beach pack (complete with heat protectant mat to stop us burning on the scorching sand!) we headed down to the beach to soak up the sun. 

One thing I just couldn't get over was the heat. It sounds silly as I always knew Dubai was going to be scorching in September, with temperatures up to 40 degrees, but on the beach there really is no escaping it...even the sea was hot. I headed down into the surf to cool off, and instead of cool ocean waves, I was greeted with what felt like a bath...one of the strangest things! After all of the excitement to get down to the beach, we didn't actually last that long on the sand...only about half an hour, which I was pretty impressed with to be honest, I was not built to deal with temperatures that high. 

One of the great things about Jumierah beach though, is that if like me, you can't deal with the heat, there's plenty of things going on along the beach walk. Jumierah Beach Walk has changed a lot since I was last in Dubai, it's now full of exciting restaurants, bars and shops (complete with amazing air conditioning - trust me, you'll be just as excited when you get out there!) so there's plenty to keep you occupied - and cool - whilst you muster up the courage to head back out to the beach. 

One thing which is also great about Jumierah Public Beach - apart from the gloriously white sands - is the view. On a clear day you get an amazing view of the Palm, including the Atlantis resort and the Burj al Arab, so definitely worth a look. 

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