Friday, 28 November 2014

Paris Day Two & Three


On Tuesday evening we went to Arc de Triomphe. We didn't have the chance to go up it during our trip in summer. The photo above shows exactly how my facial expression was after climbing the 284 steps to the top! It doesn't help that it is a spiral staircase and they scare me so I was going about the speed of a snail both up and down. 


The views from the top were definitely worth the climb. It was nice to watch the hustle and bustle of Champs Elysees from above. There was also a great view of the Eiffel Tower, Sacre-Coeur and La Defense. My only complaint is that they still charge you 2 euros if you want to use the telescope even though you paid to get up there.  

We then went for dinner at Le Petit Cenre du Monde which is a delicious Asian restaurant. 


Wednesday evening we took a wander through the Christmas market at Champs Elysees. Look at these huge slabs of chocolate! They had coconut, almond, dark...everything and then it was melted over strawberries. 

We went to Kokohana for dinner. It is right next to the restaurant that we ate at on Tuesday night. Kokohana is a Japanese restaurant and the chef cooks everything in front of you. It was great fun to watch and the food was amazing. 


We didn't get to go inside Louvre in summer because the queues were crazy however on Wednesday evenings the museum is open until 10pm. There was no queues and it wasn't too busy. I even managed to get to the front of the Mona Lisa for a photo! 

Tonight is our last night in Paris and I think we are going to the Latin Quarter for dinner and then back to Champs Elysees :)
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Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Paris Day One


Dan and I arrived in Paris late afternoon on Sunday. Not many places were open so yesterday is when I really got to explore. We are staying in La Defense which is the built up business area of Paris. You can see the Skyscrapers when you are at the top of the Eiffel Tower. This location is different from Bastille, the area we were in before. It is definitely more metropolitan.  

In the morning I went and had a wander around Les Quatre Temps shopping centre which is huge. I bought a few cosmetic products from the pharmacy which I will write a separate post on! There is a Christmas market set up outside Les Quatre Temps. The smell of mulled wine fills the air and there's Christmas music playing.  


At dinner time we went into the centre of Paris. Champs Elysée looks so magical at this time of the year. There's trees with fairy lights lining the streets and about half way up a Christmas market starts. The Christmas market wasn't great though and seems more like a way of grabbing money than the traditional type. 


Tiffany's Christmas display was amazing. They had Christmas wreaths made out of their classic box and window displays set in New York. Loads of people were stopping to take photos. 


We stopped in at Laduree before dinner and grabbed some macarons. I picked gingerbread, apple crumble, pistachio, coffee, salted caramel, rose, raspberry and hazelnut. I've ate the salted caramel and rose so far and they're delicious! 

Tonight we plan to go see a film at the cinema on Champs Elysée and then go for dinner :-) 
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Saturday, 22 November 2014

Packing For Paris


Dan and I are off to Paris tomorrow so today has been a busy day. We headed out to Treehouse for brunch and then into town to buy some last minute things.

We don't have too much planned for Paris as Dan is there for business and I am there because with my new job I can work from anywhere. We were in Paris earlier this year so we have a vague idea of what we will do. I am really looking forward to seeing the Christmas lights, especially down Champs Elysée. I will probably fit in a spot of shopping and of course a night time visit to the Eiffel Tower!

I do plan to blog while away but it all depends on the wifi connection at the hotel.  Has anyone got any cosmetic recommendations to buy while in Paris?
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Friday, 21 November 2014

Eyebrow Threading


On Wednesday I got my eyebrows threaded for the first time. Usually I either pluck them or get them waxed and tinted at Benefit's Brow Bar. I had always fancied getting my eyebrows threaded but didn't know much about it so I looked into it more before going to get them done. 

What is eyebrow threading?
It is pretty basic. They use a piece of cotton thread and twist it back and forth along the skin to remove the hairs. 

My opinion
I found threading quite painful but it was over in literally about 4 minutes. My eyes watered a lot and I decided not to wear make-up next time I get it done. Panda eyes is not a good look! I think eyebrows are a really important feature and can change the way your whole face looks. Personally I like to keep my eyebrows thick. I envy Audrey Hepburn eyebrows! I've had a few nightmares before where my eyebrows have been waxed too thinly so I was a little bit nervous about the results of threading. Luckily threading gives a much more natural result than waxing does. I am really happy with the outcome of the thickness and shape.

I got my eyebrows done at Kaaya Lash N Brow and I definitely recommend them!

Have you tried threading before?
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Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Working From Home: Pros & Cons



In September I left a job that was making me really unhappy and I now have a job that I love. My new job requires me to work from home, something that I had never done before. Working from home definitely has its pros and cons so I thought I would share them with you.

Pros:

1. Listening to music: I love to listen to music while working and I find that it really helps me focus. While working from home you can listen to whatever music you want, whenever. Normally I listen to some Radio 1 in the morning and then my Spotify playlists. The best thing about using Spotify on my Chromebook is that I can Chromecast my music to the TV! I have also had Taylor Swift's album, 1989, on repeat since it came out.

2. Save money: when I used to work at my old job I would spend a ridiculous amount of money weekly on my lunch. Working from home means I can throw something together in the kitchen which is cheaper and also healthier. Another money saver is not being able to window browse after work...although there is online shopping which can sometimes be a little bit tempting.

3. Own workplace: I currently don't have an office but I have made a little work nook for myself in the living-room which is nice.

4. Mange your time: this could be a con as well as you HAVE to be able to manage your time well. I bought an academic diary which starts mid 2014 and ends mid 2015. I write everything that I have to do in my diary and tick it off once it is done. Another pro of managing time is deciding when you start work. I no longer have to get up at 5am and instead wake up around 8am, eat breakfast and get ready for the day.

5. Working from anywhere: 2014 has been the year of travel for me. I am travelling to Paris this Sunday for a week and Frankfurt in the beginning of December for a couple of days. As long as I take my laptop with me I am able to work from anywhere so travelling isn't an issue. I love not having to request time off to travel. I use both a Chromebook and Sony Vaio. The Chromebook is smaller and lighter making it easier to take places.

6. Keeping up with housework: I put the washing machine on, run the dishwasher and do a quick clean mostly every morning. It's great being able to keep on top of things and not come home to a messy house after work.

Cons

1. The social aspect: working from home can get a bit lonely sometimes. Everywhere I have worked before I have constantly been surrounded by a team of people. Occasionally I meet Dan or friends for lunch or coffee so I don't go stir-crazy!

2. Distractions: working from home is not easy if you're the type of person who gets easily distracted. It is amazing the things you will find to distract yourself with. I have started taking time out to exercise as I'm less likely to get distracted if I break up my day.

3. Being self motivated: typically I am a very self-motivated person however I have bad days and sometimes have to force myself to be motivated. When you work from home there's no one else around to encourage you so you have to do it yourself.

4. Finding time to blog:  after I have been working sometimes the last thing I want to do is write a blog post for the next day. I have learnt to start planning my blog posts in advance. I normally write up a few in one night and then schedule them for throughout the week. I also started using Buffer to schedule tweets about my new blog posts.

As you can see the pros outweigh the cons for me. If you work from home what's your favourite and least favourite things about it?

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Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Flashback

One of my favourite things to do is look back at old photographs. To me there is something special about being able to have a collection of photographs in an album to flick through. I think it is a shame that these days it is a rarity to have printed copy of photos because everything is digital.

I was home this weekend and my gran had made my mum a photo album for her birthday and I couldn't wait to look at it. There was some hilarious photos...my mum's perm and my grandad's short-shorts are just a few that come to my mind.

I thought I would share some photos from when I was little.


1. My grandad and I on my first day at school. I look super happy :-)
2. Me meeting "Santa" for the first time
3. At my gran and grandad's


1. I went to Disney World in Florida for my 7th birthday. I was in awe of Ariel from The Little Mermaid
2. My gran and I on holiday
3. Grandad and I sat on Cinderella's fountain in Disney. I was obsessed with that Mickey Mouse dress.

Looking back at the photo album brought back so many nice memories. What's some of your favourite memories from your childhood? :-)
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Thursday, 13 November 2014

The Christmas Tag



I saw this tag on Becky's blog and I love Christmas so I thought I would do it :)

1. What is your favourite Christmas movie/s?
I love The Polar Express. It was on TV the other night and I got so excited. I can't believe that it is 10 years old already! I also love Elf, The Holiday and Home Alone 2. 

2. Do you open your presents on Christmas Eve or Christmas morning?
We have a tradition of opening a small present on Christmas Eve before dinner. We open the rest of the presents on Christmas morning, normally while eating salmon blinis!

3. Do you have a favourite Christmas memory? 
When I lived at home I loved decorating the Christmas tree with my mum. We would go and collect the tree (we always have a real one), get home and put Christmas music on loud and then spend ages decorating it. We would make a whole evening of it.

4. Favourite Christmas food?
Too many. Yorkshire puddings...think I managed 6 in a row once. Stuffing. Honey roasted parsnips...yum. Salmon blinis. And all of the chocolate.

5. Favourite Christmas gift?
When I was younger I would get concert tickets for Christmas and I used to get really excited about that. A few years ago I also got a Fossil rose gold style watch which I love and still wear.

6. Favourite Christmas scent?
Pine needles on the Christmas tree, Yankee cinnamon candles and Christmas dinner cooking.

7. Do you have any Christmas traditions?
We always get changed into a new outfit/pyjamas on Christmas day. And opening a small gift on Christmas Eve.

8. What tops your Christmas tree?
I think it is a red and glittery"peace" decoration.

9. As a kid what was the one (crazy, wild, extravagant) gift you asked for but never got?
Ha, I remember after seeing Home Alone there was a craze with the TalkBoy that Kevin used in the film. Then they released TalkGirl and I remember asking for one for Christmas but they had sold out everywhere. 

10. What's the best part about Christmas for you?
Going home and spending time with my family. 

Hope you've enjoyed reading this tag :-) 

You can listen to my Christmas playlist here and my Christmas Pinterest board is here


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Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Pomegranate Strawberry Smoothie



The first smoothie recipe I posted was avocado and banana and I have another one to share!

Benefits of pomegranate seeds
Surprisingly pomegranate seeds are really high in fibre and full of vitamins. Pomegranate seeds are such a great snack and now is the perfect season to find pomegranate.

Benefit of strawberries
Strawberries are packed with antioxidants and full of vitamin c which helps keep the immune system powerful.

Benefits of bananas
Bananas are full of pectin which helps with digestion and removing toxins from the body. They also help absorb much needed nutrients.

What you will need
Seeds from 1/2 pomegranate
6 strawberries
1 banana
1/2 cup of natural yoghurt
1 cup almond milk (or soy/hazelnut/rice/ etc)


  •  Slice the pomegranate in half
  • Push out the centre of the pomegranate, turn it over and then hit it firmly with a wooden spoon and the seeds will fall out
  • You'll need 1/3 pomegranate seeds for the smoothie and a couple of extra kept to the side
  • Chop the strawberries and banana
  • Blend all ingredients together
  • Sprinkle extra pomegranate seeds on top
  • Serve and enjoy 

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Tuesday, 11 November 2014

5 Favourite Free Photo Editing Apps

Like everyone else, I have an addiction to Instagram. I check it a few times a day and normally upload to it daily.  I have picked out my 5 favourite editing apps that I use before uploading my photos to Instagram.



1. Google+ Snapseed
Dan introduced me to this app, he has an Android and I have an iPhone. Snapseed is easy to use and when you first open it a tutorial shows you the different ways you can edit your photos. I have found that this app really improves the quality of some of my images. I definitely use the filters on Snapseed more than I use the filters on Instagram.


2. Photo Collage
This app does as the title suggests. It does pretty basic collages and is easy to use.

3. BeFunky
Ha, when I was younger "funky" was one of my favourite words. BeFunky is a combined editing and collage app. The app is full of different templates, touch-up options and effects. It is bloomin' good!

4. Photogrid
Ok so what is essentially another collage app but bear with me... When you select to have a single image you can click on the "square" button and it'll refit the image into an Instagram sized square. They also have plenty of edit options such as "vintage", "selfie", "halo", "scenery" and "b&w."

5. Pixlromatic
This is quite a simple editing app. I like the interface of it though. There's three editing buttons at the bottom. The film canister is mood and vintage effects. The light bulb is full of sparkly effects...also known as lighting overlays. And the third button has border effects. I never use the borders but I definitely use the first two effects. I especially love the sparkles :)

You can follow me on Instagram @Kate_Elizabeth92
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Monday, 10 November 2014

How To Make Earl Grey Chai Tea



I think that there's nothing better than Chai tea on a cold winter day. It's so comforting. Two of my favourite teas are Earl Grey and Chai so I thought I would combine them. I hadn't made a Chai before and I was really impressed with how it turned out so I wanted to share it with you!

What you will need
6 cups of water
4 Earl Grey teabags
1/2 cup brown sugar
10 peppercorn pods
2 crushed nutmeg pods
Cloves (I just guesstimated the amount I would like ;)
2 cinnamon sticks
Milk (optional)

  • Bring the 6 cups of water to a boil in a large pan
  • Add the teabags
  • Add the brown sugar, peppercorn, nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon sticks
  • Let the tea brew for 10 minutes
  • Strain it 
  • Pour the amount you want and add the milk
  • Store the rest in a container in the fridge and heat up when needed 

I would love to hear if you try this recipe! :)





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Thursday, 6 November 2014

The Body Shop Christmas Range



I have used The Body Shop's body butters for years. In the past some of my favourites have been orange, strawberry, coconut and wild cherry. They discontinued wild cherry which makes me sad (please bring it back!) The glazed apple body butter smells so good. It is sweet but not overbearing. The scent lasts all day, something that can be rare with body butters. I have been wearing this daily since I got it and as you can see I have already used quite a lot. The body butter also sinks into the skin quickly which I really appreciate. I am sure that I will be buying a second tub of this before the Christmas season is over.


This might not be to everyone's taste but as a glitter lover it is completely on my radar. The vanilla brulee sparkler is an iridescent body and hair shimmer. The shimmer is quite light and doesn't leave you too glittery but rather with a subtle golden shimmer. I also love the vanilla scent that accompanies it. The design of the bottle looks really nice on the dresser next to my perfumes. I will definitely be using this for Christmas events and on Christmas day! This is the perfect party cosmetic. 


Body scrub is one of my necessities in winter so the frosted cranberry polish gets a warm welcome from me! The scrub is gentle on my skin and leaves it feeling smooth. I think the cranberry scent is my favourite and using the frosted cranberry body butter after the exfoliation would be amazing. I also really want to buy the frosted cranberry room spray...heck, maybe even the whole range!

If you are also into beauty advent calendars make sure you check out The Body Shop's calendar!

Have you tried any of the Christmas range yet?
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Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Places To Visit: St Andrews

A few weeks back Dan and I were planning on visiting Edinburgh for the day but decided to stop in at St Andrews as neither of us had been before.

St Andrews is perhaps most well known for being home of the university that Prince William and Kate went to. It is a beautiful, quaint town and there's a few places I want to recommend popping in to.


I love botanic gardens and St Andrews one is absolutely beautiful. The day that we went there was no admission charge because it was the last day of the summer display. The gardens are really well laid out. The glass houses are filled cacti, orchids, aloe, passion-fruit flower and other Mediterranean plants. Then there's the garden patches filled with freshly grown apples, pumpkins, herbs and sun flowers. We then took a wander into the woodland. There's signs that guide you through and they have quotes from The Gruffalo on them...a childhood favourite. The woodland takes you out to waterfalls and stepping stones down to an open space which would be perfect for picnics during the warmer weather.


The remains of St Andrews cathedral are so beautiful. At the entrance of the cathedral you read about when the cathedral was originally built and the disasters it has been through. Much of the remains of the cathedral are now home to the grave stones. There is also a museum at the cathedral but we didn't have time to go and look at it.


We wandered to the ruins of the castle about 15 minutes before the grounds closed. The castle overlooks the sea and you can look down and see the waves lapping up below. The castle also has a dungeon which I found so creepy and didn't go all of the way in! There is mines that you can explore as well, as you can see from the pic above. Dan was brave and went all the way to the end of the mine. It would be nice to go back in the future and spend some more time looking around the grounds.

If you've been to St Andrews, what was your favourite thing?

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Sunday, 2 November 2014

Hair Experience: Toni & Guy



I went to the same hairdressers for 4 years until this year when I decided to make a change and go to Toni & Guy. To me finding the perfect hairdresser was important as I am really fussy about how they colour and cut it. 

Today I had my second appointment at Toni & Guy and I am delighted with the outcome. Claire does my colour and I explained to her that I wanted it blonde but without any bleach and she managed to put together a colour that I really love. When I get my colour done I have a half head of highlights which means that the bottom layer is my natural colour, a really dark brown. 

I get my hair cut by Ross and both times have been a great experience. He is very attentive and does exactly what you want. Today he surprised me by curling my hair  - last time I mentioned I always wear my hair wavy. I absolutely loved the outcome. My hair looked so glamorous! 

Another one of my favourite things about Toni & Guy is that they use Label M hair products.  Label M are known for being the hair products used throughout London Fashion Week. 

While washing my hair they used the organic orange blossom shampoo and conditioner - it smelt so delicious! While styling a few products were used: the smoothing cream and the volume foam. The volume foam smells of rose turkish delight and I bought some because I loved it so much. 

If you are needing a good cut and colour in Aberdeen I definitely recommend going to Ross and Claire at Toni & Guy. 
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