Tag Archives: travel

My New York Diary: Coney Island #30PlusNYC

Posted on September 13, 2016

Hi Guys!

Following on from my original New York Diary post, today I want to tell you all about Coney Island!

So Coney Island is basically like a massive fairground at the seaside, and it’s also where the show Mr Robot was filmed (if you haven’t heard of it, you need to watch it – I binge watched it when it first came out!) It was Hayley’s idea to visit for the afternoon, and it was only a 45 min subway journey for us, so really not that far at all. It was one of my favourite afternoons of the trip!

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When we arrived at Coney Island the first thing we decided to do was to stop for food and drink and recharge for a while – it was a really hot day so we sat in the shade, and I decided to go for the lobster roll – well we were at the seaside so it would be rude not to! And oh my gosh it was amazing! It was easily the best lobster I’ve ever had – ok so I’ve literally had it twice in my life but this really was superb!

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We headed down the boardwalk and took a look around. There was food and drink, ice creams, music, rides and so much more. This was definitely my idea of a great day out!

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Hayely and I decided we wanted to have a go on the Wonder Wheel – it looked like so much fun! There was an option of either spinning cars (no thank you) or static ones. We took the safe option and used it as a great opportunity to take some photos!

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Then, look what we spotted when we came off the Wonder Wheel! I was beyond excited! And if you don’t know what a Zoltar Machine is – you really need to google it!

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Ahh, I got my fortune!! Here’s what it said…

Are you tired, are you weary? Does life feel drab and dreary? Despair not of this my friend, I see happiness around the bend. Say farewell to those blues you have been nursing. Get in the habit of looking on the brighter side of life. You have a temperamental nature. You lose your temper easily, but regret it just as fast. You have a brilliant mind and enjoy reading and the fine arts. Your friends appreciate your intelligence and like to come to you with their problems. You have a very sympathetic nature. A dark haired person who is trying to harm you will soon disappear from your life and you will be extremely happy.

So clearly this is all true… 😀 I have been feeling a bit stressed and down recently, so let’s hops happiness is around the bend for me!

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So basically we had a fantastic day out! Coney Island just had the most wonderful atmosphere about it – the sunshine, the music, the sea air – it’s definitely a special place. I’m hoping to go back there in the future when Freddy’s older for a family holiday 🙂

And I also have a couple more NYC posts coming up! Keep an eye out for my Sephora haul, and of course all the goss on Michael Buble and his fantastic new fragrance.

I hope you enjoyed my post xxx

My New York Diary: #30PlusNYC

Posted on September 7, 2016

Hi Guys!

It’s been a good week since I got back from my whirlwind of a New York trip, so I thought I’d put together a little diary of highlights for you and share a few snaps too!

In case you didn’t know, I jetted off to NYC with some lovely bloggers from the 30 Plus Bloggers group on the press trip of a lifetime! We went for the launch of Michael Buble’s new fragrance, By Invitation – and of course made the most of it while we were there by doing a spot of sightseeing and shopping. So let’s start from the top…

Sunday – Ok so I was super nervous about the whole thing. I’d never done anything like this before, let alone spend pretty much a week with people I didn’t really know. I had thoughts of ‘what if they don’t like me’, ‘what if something goes wrong’ racing round and round my head – but it turns out I had nothing to worry about. We met at Heathrow – and by we I mean Hayley, Paula and Briony – and Debs met us at JFK in NYC – and we gone on amazingly well!

The flight really was fantastic too. Now I must admit I’m not a frequent flyer, so just getting on a plane was a pretty exciting experience for me! We flew Virgin Premuim Economy, and if I think I ever go long haul anywhere in the future, I’ll definitely try to fly premium economy again. The seats were spacious, the food was ‘premium’ – plus there were unlimited treats at the ‘Wonder Wall’ at the head of the plane, you could just rock up and help yourself to sweets and drinks – nice!

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After about 7.5 hours of flying we arrived in a very humid NYC. We then took a taxi journey to the Eddison Hotel where we were staying, right in the centre of Times Square.

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And WOW Times square really is amazing. Yes it is just like the films, it’s a complete feast for the senses. Bright lights, noise, colour, hustle and bustle – I loved it!

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Monday was all about exploring the city – I was so excited! We started off by heading to Juniors for breakfast – as recommended by Hayley who’d been there before. I thought I’d go for something all American, so I went for the pancakes – and they were AMAZING!

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After brekkie we headed off to explore and have a look around the shops. We strolled down 5th Avenue, had a look in Saks at all the gorgeous expensive things, popped in Furla where Hayley and Debs treated themselves to a couple of gorgeous bags, and we couldn’t resist stopping by the Kate Spade store too 🙂

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I may have popped in Sephora for an hour or two also – this was my first ever Sephora experience (except popping in a small one in Belgium about 10 years ago, but that doesn’t count!) I was literally in heaven, and spent a bit to much – oops! Look out for my haul post coming up soon!

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We also had a lovely stroll round Central Park, which was beautiful – and unlike the films, I didn’t actually see anyone jogging! 😀

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To top off the day we stopped by the cupcake ATM! Oh my gosh, this literally made my day! You should have seen us, five grown women giggling and screaming at the cupcake appearing in the box in the wall – we actually gathered a crowd! It was so worth it though, only $4.50 for the tastiest cupcake I think I’ve ever had.

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Tuesday was a bit of a mad rush all day really. We got off to a slow start by getting stuck in traffic on our way to our morning fragrance workshop. When we finally arrived we sat down with the fabulous perfumers who developed the fragrance with Michael Buble, to hear all about the process, the fragrance notes, and the work that went into making By Invitation.

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After the workshop, we hopped on the subway and took a 45min journey to Coney Island, which was easily another highlight of the trip. We then ended the day in a bit of a rush by being locked out of our rooms (long story) then dashing off for dinner at a lovely Italian.

I have SO much to tell you about the fragrance workshop and launch, as well as Coney Island – I’m going to put together separate posts for each of these over the next few days – so keep your eyes peeled!

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Wednesday – after a crazy few days where we literally didnt stop except to eat and sleep, I decided to take Wednesday as a chill out day, I wanted to rest, relax, and prepare in good time for the Michael Buble Fragrance Launch in the evening.

A couple of the group decided to check out Brooklyn Bridge, whereas myself and Debs had a mooch around Times Square, where I picked up some classy souvenirs in the form of key rings, and a neon pink I Love NY mug (for myself) oh and not forgetting a hunky fireman magnet for my mum to put on her fridge 😀

We then stopped at the nearest Hard Rock Cafe and met up with Paula for the biggest lunch I’ve ever seen. Hard Rock was loud, cheesy, touristy and I loved it!

Then by mid afternoon we headed back to the hotel to preen and beautify in preparation for the evening event. I went with one of my fabulous HotHair wigs, a pretty blue lace and satin dress from ASOS, and some comfy shoes.

When we were all ready, we then headed next door to the Eddison Ballroom where the event was taking place. The Ballroom was beautiful, and Michael Buble was just dreamy… I was a bit gutted that I didn’t get to meet him but I still had a fantastic time! And we ended the evening at the Buble after party at a lovely rooftop bar. (Again further details and pictures to come!)

Thursday was our last day in NYC. The week had flown by and we thought we’d take this day to visit the beautiful West Village. For those not in the know (I had no idea before we got there) the West Village is where alllll the films and TV shows are filmed – and I could easily tell why, it was so pretty!

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For those of you that know what this is, you’ll know! And for those that don’t, this is Carrie from Sex and the City’s stoop! (Thanks for posing Deb!)

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The buildings and streets in the west village were just so pretty – if I was to live in NYC, this would definitely be my home.

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And breakfast! I quicky came to realise that breakfast was my favourite meal of the day whilst in the US, and this French toast at a sweet little cafe in the West Village was simply awesome. Going back to bran flakes when I got home was incredibly disappointing!!

So the week was basically a fantastic whirlwind of sightseeing, shopping, eating and drinking, and of course Buble! It was so much fun though, and I just wanted to say a massive thank you to Hayley and the team for inviting me along for this once in a lifetime opportunity 🙂

Keep an eye out for a few more posts coming up, including one on my Sephora haul, one on Coney Island and of course one on the beautiful Michael Buble By Invitation Fragrance.

I hope you enjoyed my post xxx

A Little Life Update…

Posted on July 6, 2015

Hi Guys!

Now I’m back into my normal routine and into the swing of blogging again, I thought I’d give you all a bit of an update so you know what’s been going on with me!

If you’re a regular reader you’ll know I was recently made redundant from my long-term job. I’d been there nearly 7 years, and though I’d started to fall out of love with the job, it was still a shock to the system and I found it pretty hard to deal with at first. After a couple of weeks off, hanging around the house, trying to tidy up after the boys and blogging, I happened to notice a Twitter friend tweeted about a beauty based social media vacancy. I clicked on the link, not really expecting it to be suitable as I live in the middle of nowhere, and lo and behold the job sounded perfect and involved working remotely from home. I messaged my friend and asked her if she thought I’d be any good for it as I don’t have any formal qualifications in the field, and she told me to go for it! I had to dig out and update my very old CV, and sent it over to the company, and I was really shocked when they contacted me asking for an interview. I had the interview over the phone – which was really handy as the company was based in London and it would have cost me a fortune to travel at short notice. Though I was nervous, I thought the interview went well, but I was still surprised when they said I’d got to the next stage and had two tests to take. I took the tests online a few days later, and kept telling myself I wouldn’t get the job as I didn’t want to get my hopes up and be let down. I mean, this was a desirable job from a big London company – what chance would I have really? Then, at the end of the week I received a voicemail letting me know I’d been chosen for the job, I literally couldn’t believe it! I then went to London for a three day induction, which was super exciting for a country gal like me!

I headed off into the big smoke, nervous about getting lost and arriving late, but all was fine thanks to trusty old Google maps! I stayed at Travelodge Covent Garden for two nights, and it couldn’t have been a nicer hotel. Firstly it was massive – with 13 floors! When I arrived the receptionist offered to put me on the thirteenth floor as they had a couple of large groups in and she wanted me to get a good night’s sleep, which was really nice of her.

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You can see the room was set out in standard Travelodge style, it was clean and really quite spacious. As I was high up the window was only able to open a fraction, but they had kindly left a fan in my room too as it was quite muggy. The Travelodge staff were super friendly and helpful – even when I went to the wrong hotel! Yes I trustingly followed my Google maps back to the hotel one evening, I thought the entrance looked different but just assumed it was a second entrance and reception as it was a bit hotel. It was only when I reached the lift and saw there were only nine floors that I was like ‘Yep, I’m in the wrong hotel’ a kind member of staff made me feel slightly less stupid by letting me know my hotel was literally across the road – there were two Travelodges next to each other!

The room had all the basic necessities – an en-suite, tea and coffee-making facilities and a TV – what more do you need when you’re right next to Covent Garden!? I should also point out that the king sized bed was really comfy, and I had a fantastic nights’ sleep!

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On the first evening after freshening up at the hotel, I headed off to Covent Garden, which was only a 10 minute walk away. I’ve never been to Covent Garden before (and I’ve only been to London a handful of times in my life) so I was basically like a super excited tourist! When I arrived to be greeted by the Dior, Chanel and Burberry beauty stores I was actually in heaven! Where I come from we have a small Boots and Superdrug and that’s it, so this was majorly exciting to me!!

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I thought I’d take advantage of my time in London and arranged to meet up with a couple of Twitter chums – first was Rachel from Beauty Queen UK who gave me a quick tour of Covent Garden on Monday evening and totally made me go into Burberry and buy something… 😉 I’ll have a post on my gorgeous purchase coming up soon!

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We then headed to Bill’s restaurant for dinner, and my review will be hopefully coming up on the blog tomorrow.

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And on the second evening, after more browsing round Covent Garden my dinner date was Lex from Talonted Lex, we went to Mabel’s Bar & Kitchen for dinner and cocktails and had such a fun time! I’m also hoping to have this review ready tomorrow so keep your eyes peeled!

I absolutely loved being in London, coming from the countryside I just can’t get enough of the busy city! Hopefully I’ll get to go back soon. I’m also beyond happy with my new job! Life is good 🙂

I hope you enjoyed my post xxx

Travelodge kindly offered me a complimentary stay return for my review

A Weekend In Cambridge

Posted on June 27, 2015

Hi Guys!

You might have noticed things have been a bit quite on the blog this week, and I’ve not been so active on social media. Well I decided to have some ‘time off’ and went with my family for a long weekend in Cambridge! (Before then heading off to London for a few days, but I’ll save that for a separate post) Before we went I decided I wouldn’t take the laptop – it’s always good to have a break I think, and when I’ve taken time off before it’s great to come back to blogging feeling refreshed and invigorated!

Luckily, Cambridge is only about an hours’ drive for us, and we planned a couple of things to do before leaving. So on our way to checking into the Cambridge Central Travelodge, we thought it would be a good idea to stop off at Funky Funhouse. This is a massive soft play centre set away from the town on an industrial estate. Fred had the best time romping around with the other children there and after a couple of hours we headed off to check in at the Travelodge.

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Cambridge Central Travelode is conveniently located within a reasonable walking distance of the town centre. The staff were super friendly and helpful, and our room, was clean and spacious and had everything we needed – there was a TV, coffee and tea making facilities and an en-suite bathroom.

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We unpacked our bags and headed off for a quick look around Cambridge – unfortunately we didn’t quite make it into the centre as Fred was pretty tired from all the running around, so we stopped in a pub for a snack then went back to the hotel for the evening. I should also mention that the hotel is also handily located at the leisure centre complex, so there’s a mini Sainsbury’s and Tesco on hand next door if you need to stoke up on supplies. There’a also a cinema, gym, and loads of restaurants including Frankie and Benny’s, Chiquito’s and Bella Italia if you’re looking for something to eat but don’t want to travel into Cambridge centre.

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On the Saturday we woke up after a good night’s sleep – our room had air con, YES!! We headed into Cambridge for a look round the shops – I made a beeline for Kiko, John Lewis and Space NK (I’ll be showing you my purchases soon!) and we stopped for lunch at Zizi’s. We then took a pretty long walk to the Fitzwilliam Museum, and got soaked in the rain!

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After catching the bus back – my legs were tired so Fred’s poor little legs must have been knackered! We went back to our room for a brew and a rest and headed out to Chiquito’s for our evening meal. We left early on Sunday, stopping at Funky Funhouse again before hitting the road home.

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Travelodge good points: Our room was clean and spacious. It was in a great location with all the leisure park facilities at hand. The staff were friendly and helpful, and our room was easily accessible and easy to find. Breakfast was also an all you can eat buffet – one day Freddy had Cocopops as a treat then two helpings of sausages and beans! He was very happy!

Travelodge points worth mentioning: When we arrived we found out this Travelodge doesn’t have it’s own car park. There *is* a car park but it’s for the Leiseure Centre, and costs £12 every 24 hours. Alternatively you can park at the nearby multi-story for a reduced rate of £7 per day. This isn’t the end of the world by any means but I thought it was worth mentioning.

Cambridge good points: Cambridge has a fantastic selection of shops, I wish we had longer to explore! (and more money!) For the beauty lovers like me there’s stand alone stores for Penhalligons, MAC, Clarins, L’Occitane, Molton Brown, Jo Malone, Kiko, Space NK… and these are just the ones I happened to walk past! As Cambridge really isn’t that far away for me, I’ll definitely be heading back soon for a proper shopping spree! I’d really like to go punting on the river too!

Cambridge points worth mentioning: As much as I loved Cambridge, it’s quite ‘touristy’ and clearly we stood out as tourists because the amount of times we got collared by student-type street sellers asking us to go on a tour, or punting (when it was raining) was quite ridiculous. This was literally my only complaint though, Cambridge really is a lovely place!

It was so lovely to have a weekend away with my family, massive thanks to Talented Talkers and Travelodge for putting us up for the weekend xxx