Jetting off in a plane or heading down the motorway to a little seaside town, sometimes traveling to your chosen destination can get a bit tedious. I love traveling, I always have and long journeys don't faze me at all. I'm more than happy to relax with a glass of wine and look out the window at the clouds below, but I like flying, or at least I did till I watched too much Air Crash Investigation!

I'm absolutely in my element when I'm traveling somewhere new, but long journeys aren't for everyone so I thought I would share my tips on keeping busy when travelling!

Read - Getting lost in a good book is always a good way to kill a few hours no matter where you are. Time seems to just disappear when I'm reading so I always take a book or magazine on holiday with me. If fictions not your thing why not pick up a travel guide? Its always a good idea to do a bit of research on where you're staying and reading about it while you're on your way will only make you more excited. If you just fancy a light read I would recommend picking up a magazine to keep you busy on your travels. My local airport is quite big and has a lot of shops so I always pick up a few free magazines including the Boots mag which is usually a good read!


Pamper yourself - So your going to have a few hours where you cant do anything but sit still? Why don't you skip the early morning make up routine and do it on the plane! This tip isn't for everyone but if you don't mind spending a few hours without makeup, you can have extra time in bed and keep yourself busy for however long you want to. I've also painted my nails on the plane quite a few times. Although my nail painting skills are horrific and I always look like I've just stuck my fingers in the pot, this could work for someone who takes a little more care.

Draw - If you have a creative mind why not take a sketch book or better yet a colouring book! You might have seen my many posts on Instagram about my amazing adult colouring book, but I love it. There's so many beautiful pictures and prints to colour in, its kept me busy for hours. I'm definitely going to be taking my colouring book away with me next time I jet off and I'm sure Sean will bring his too! The only downside with this one is how much space they take up but I think they are worth taking if you can spare the room!


Listen to music - For me nothing kills time faster than a few good songs. I'm always listening to music weather I'm on a long journey or a short bus ride, it makes it just a little more pleasant. Just spend a bit of time before you go downloading all your favorite songs so you have something nice and new to listen to. Why not create a holiday playlist? Whenever you hear those songs it will instantly take you back to your holiday and all those good memories. If your going in the car you could make a few holiday themed CDs to listen to on the way down that way you wont be using all your phone battery. And if you're travelling by plane and your phone suddenly dies, don't worry, a lot of airlines have radio stations to listen to if you plug your headphones into your seat.

That's about all I cant think of for now. I'm definitely going to be using these tips just next time I jet off, and of course I'll be treating myself to a few glasses of that wine! I really hope you all found these tips helpful and I'd love to hear some of the things you do to keep busy on long journeys. If there's anything you think should have made the list leave it in the comment section below!


Thanks for reading!

xxx

How I Keep Busy on Long Journeys


Can we all take a moment to take in the absolute beauty of this little makeup Palette. Its only been in my possession a week and I already know its going to be my favorite product of 2015. I first came across this palette when I tweeted Leanne Woodfull to see what she had been wearing on her eyes as she traveled Europe. Well it turned out to be this beauty and I knew I had to have it. A little Superdrug order later and it was on its way to me.

I havent managed to test out all of the shades yet but I'm in love with the darker matte pink shades. I'm used to wearing very girly very glittery eyeshadow and using shades in this palette is  bug change for me, but one i'm very happy to acept. Unfortunately I don't really have any lipsticks that compliment these eyeshadows so until I can get my hands on a new lippy ( Velvet Teddy I'm looking at you) I have been using the eyeshadow on my lips too. I dab a bit of eyeshadow over a thin layer of Carmex which gives a surprisingly nice look, and it lasts a lot longer than I thought it would too.

I'm really looking forward to playing around with this palette as there are just so many looks you can create with it. Its a very versitile product that I could use day or night and I can easily see it becoming a staple item in my make up bag.

I'm going to me writing another post in the nest few weeks with swatches of the eyeshadows and different looks using my favorite shades!

Have you tried this palette? What did you think?


Thanks for reading!

xxx

L'Oreal Paris La Palette Nude Rose


I have never been paid to promote a brand before. Its a thing a lot of bloggers do and and its compleatly okay, they need to make money too.
A few months back I was contacted by a brand I had never heard of before to feature a paid promotion on my blog. They wanted to send me some products to write about and generally promote their brand. I thought it sounded like a good deal and decided to check them out. After a quick Google search & a few customer reviews I realized that they weren't the most honest company in the world and their customer service was terrible. I politely declined their offer and continued to blog happily.

In the months since I have had similar offers and it got me thinking about how I really wanted to run my blog. As I said before I have never been paid to promote or review products before however I am lucky enough to receive the occasional freebie. Now don't get me wrong, although free samples are a perk of being a blogger, they are few and far between and I don't blog just to get freebies. A lot of the products I receive are from PR companies trying to promote new products. I've always thought this was a great idea, the brands get free promotion and the blogger gets a gift in exchange for a fair and honest review they have spent a lot of time on.



I am always very honest with my product reviews and I would never promote a product I didn't like just because it was free. I feel like sometimes there is a lot of pressure on bloggers to review and promote things just because they are gifted. I'm also always open about if a product is a PR sample. If something was given to me it will always have an * in the review and I think its important for bloggers to be honest about free products.

Although I have never received payment to promote anything, if a brand I loved asked to work with me I would say yes. As long as it was a brand I like and trust I don't see any problems with promoting it on my blog and other social media. I write about hundreds of products I like for free so surely it wouldn't hurt to get paid for it?


Now this is a controversial topic and many of you wont agree with me but I hate to see bloggers and vloggers getting bashed for being paid to promote brands. When a blogger is honest and states that some of their content is paid for, they seem to get a lot of negative feedback about it. I don't think anyone should receive hateful comments for making a bit of money doing what they love, as long as they are open and honest about it.

So what do you think, should bloggers/ vloggers always be honest about paid for advertisements and free PR products? Would you ever promote a brand in exchange for money?


Thanks for reading!

xxx

Working With Brands : Honesty Is Always The Best Policy

For Sean's 21st Birthday a few weeks back I treated us to a night in the Radisson Blu Birmingham. We had stayed here once before a few years ago and had enjoyed our stay so much I wanted to take us back. The plan was to spend a few hours getting ready in the hotel before heading out for dinner and then back to relax and take in the views from our room.

We arrived at The Radisson at around 2pm and were told our room would be ready in another hour. This didn't bother us too much as we left our bags in reception and headed out for some lunch. When we arrived back at the hotel we were promptly checked in and headed off to unpack in our room. 
On entering our room it looked lovely, but I didn't like the view too much. After asking at reception if we could move to a room on the front of the hotel we were quickly given another room with a gorgeous view of the city. The staff at reception were very friendly and happy to help even fussy guests like us.

Our new room was perfect and had everything we needed for a relaxing evening. After unpacking our bags Sean headed straight for the teas and coffees, of which there was a nice selection. As an avid coffee drinker Sean was very pleased and I too was happy there was a packet of instant hot chocolate for me to relax with later. 



We wasted no time and started getting ready straight away. I hopped in the shower while Sean read and took in the beautiful views over Birmingham. The bathroom was very clean and there was a lovely set of 'This Works' products for us to use in the shower. I like my showers hot and powerful so I'm always a bit worried about showing in hotel rooms, but I didn't need to worry at all as everything about it was perfect. I didn't use any of the freebies but I did take them home to try out another time. 

After showering I dried and straightened my hair using the large full length mirror beside the bathroom. Having a large mirror in a hotel room is very important to me as I like to see my whole outfit as I'm getting ready. There were several large mirrors in our room making it very easy for me to get ready for the night. 

After getting ready Sean and I headed out for his Birthday meal. On our way we stopped by reception to mention that one of our lamps was broken. We were told someone would be straight up to fix it and by the time me arrived back after dinner the lamp was working. The reception staff were once again very helpful.



We returned at around 10pm to wind down and relax in our comfy hotel room. Sean cracked open a bottle of wine and I fetched some ice from the machine located in the hall way. I love cold drinks, so having an ice machine on every floor really makes my stay that little bit more comfortable. There was also a range of drinks and snacks to choose from in the fridge but we didn't take any of those.

Sean and I considered going back out for drinks but decided to spend the rest of the night watching Glastonbury from the comfort of our king sized hotel bed. There are several channels available to watch and also a few radio stations to listen to. Last time we stayed we watched a few films which you can also rent straight to your TV. 

After watching the last act of Glastonbury, we relaxed and took in the view from our temporary home. Although we were only on the 11th floor we could still see for miles even at night. The view really is the biggest selling point for this hotel, I could sit and look out the window for hours. The best views of the city can be seen from the front of the hotel so I would always consider asking for front facing room when I stay in the future.



The next morning we woke up refreshed and eager to get down to breakfast. When we arrived at the Filini Restaurant we were greeted by staff and given the choice of where to sit. We then helped ourselves to the huge buffet breakfast that offered a wide variety of food. We opted for a full English breakfast and then we picked up few sweeter treats such as Croissants and Pain au Chocolats for afterwards. If you didn't want a hot breakfast there were cereal options and also lots of fruit to choose from. Aw well as all that there was also a large selection of hot and cold drinks on offer. Sean opted for a cup of tea which he said we delicious and I chose to make my own fresh orange juice in the juicer. I thought it was a lovely touch to be able to slice your own orange and squeeze out the fresh juice to drink with your breakfast. 

After stuffing ourselves silly we headed back to the room to pack our things and wave goodbye to the view we had come to love. We handed over our room key and promptly checked out of our favorite hotel in the UK. 

We thoroughly enjoyed our stay in the Radisson Blu Birmingham and I'm sure we will be back to celebrate more special occasions in the future.

Have you every stayed in a Radisson Hotel? I'd love to hear about your favorite UK hotels!

Thanks for reading!

xxx

A Night In The Radisson Blu Birmingham

Blue Kimono from Peacocks (Here) 
Gold Jelly Shoes from Primark (Similar Here) 
Casio Style Watch from Ebay (Similar Here) 
White Playsuit from Primark (Similar Here)
White Belt from Ebay (Similar Here) 

You might remember this little kimono from an OOTD I posted a few weeks ago. It can be styled in so many different ways with so many different pieces, I cant stop wearing it. I decided to pair it up with a gorgeous playsuit I bought from Primark a few weeks ago. I originally saw it when I went shopping in Gloucester but I didn't have time to try it on so I left it and hoped it would appear in my local store. Well I finally tracked it down and I'm in love with it. The neckline is a little higher than I would like meaning I cant really wear a necklace but I don't mind too much as it has some beautiful embroidery to make up for it. I'm also wearing my new gold jelly shoes from Primark which were only £4! My beloved silver jelly shoes finally died and so I have replaced them with these. On my wrist I'm wearing a dirt cheap Casio style watch from Ebay, I also have this in silver and you can usually find me wearing one or the other. 


I'd love to know what you think of this little OOTD!

Thanks for reading!

xxx

OOTD | White Playsuit

   
A few weeks ago I was sent a sample of a new lip balm to test out, Dr PawPaw. I'd never heard of the brand before but I was intrigued as it claimed to be a multipurpose product acting as a moisturizer, hair product, and a cuticle and nail cream. 

Dr PawPaw lip balm is a British made product that uses mostly natural ingredients and doesn't test on animals. The balm has antibacterial and antimicrobial properties and includes ingredients that help repair skin, help retain moisture and have anti-inflammatory properties.




So what do I think of it? I've been using Dr PawPaw for a couple of weeks now and I've really taken a shine to it. Its a handy little product that is very easy to use and leaves my lips feeling soft and moisturized. Unlike other lip balms I have been using lately, Dr PawPaw comes in a tube not a tin so application is easy as I don't have to apply it with my fingers. I also feel that this makes the product more hygienic than lip balms in tins. Over the last few weeks I've barely left home without this lip balm as its such a good quality and I love using it on the go.

As Dr PawPaw is a multipurpose product I decided to try it out on the very ends of my hair. On the tube it claims to moisturize hair, lips, hands and heels so I thought I would put it to the test. I applied a small amount to the tips of my hair and I was very surprised just how quickly it sank in and it left my hair looking shiny, but not greasy. Although it made my hair look healthier I feel like this is more of a quick fix and there are many other products on the market that would give you better results. 
I also used this product as a hand cream and I was quite pleased with the temporary results however I wouldn't use it as a long term solution as there are more effective products available. 



The product itself is quite aesthetically pleasing, its a cute bright colored tube that would be hard to loose in your handbag. Although it comes in a very vivid shade of yellow I don't feel like there is anything tacky looking about this lip balm and I actually think it has an up market feel about it. I also think its a great size product to just keep in your handbag and they do a giant sized version you can leave at home.

All in all I've come to love the Dr PawPaw lip balm. I wouldn't use it as a hand cream, hair product or general moisturizer but as lip balm it really does the job. I do think its a little pricey considering there are similar products on the market for less, but good quality products don't come cheap and I would consider repurchasing this again. Overall its a nice little beauty product and I would give it a 8/10

Have you ever tried any of the Dr PawPaw range? What did you think?

Thanks for reading!

xxx


*This product is a press sample however this is not a sponsered post and all opinions are my own

Dr PawPaw


As a child was taken to the Nature Center as it was known ever other weekend with my family. We would always come for little days out here as I love animals and the entrance fee was dirt cheap. Last week me and Sean decided to visit the place I spent hours at when I was younger and its still pretty cheap to get into now.

We went one day after I had finished work, and it also happened to be the hottest day of the year so far which didn't really work in our favor. As it was so incredibly hot a lot of the animals were inside hiding or sleeping. It was a real shame as there were some animals like the Ocelot that I really wanted to see but never got chance to. Luckily one of my favorites, the Lemurs were out and playing in the grass. Although the heat was almost unbearable, these little cuties were running around, jumping and climbing like it wasn't 30 degrees outside. 

I never really got to photograph everything and I don't think we got to experience the Nature Center as it would be on a normal day. I'd love to go back again soon on a cooler day when the animals aren't hiding away from the heat!

Thanks for reading!

xxx

Birmingham Wildlife Conservation Park


While everyone's getting ready to survive camping at festivals this summer, I'm preparing to ruff it on a standard camping ground with my family and Sean this weekend and I couldn't be more excited. I've never been proper camping before (pretty sure glamping doesn't count) and I'm trying to fit everything I need into an averaged sized gym bag, so I'm going to have to stick to just the essentials.
When it comes to camping I'm honestly a bit clueless. As far as I'm concerned a tent, sleeping bag and what I'm going to wear should be enough but after chatting to a few veterans I was clearly going to need to take a lot more. I thought it would be a nice idea to talk about what I'll be taking and then you guys can tell me what I am definitely going to need!

Apparently there wont be anywhere to charge my phone. Now don't get me wrong, I can live without my phone, but I like to be connected and I use social media a lot. I was told there would be plug sockets in the toilet block but I'm hardly going to waste my weekend sat in there waiting for my phone to charge. My best option is purchasing a portable phone charger and hope I get a few charges out of it.


Now looking half decent on a camp site was a big concern of mine. I know no one is going to be glammed up but I still don't want to look gross. I'm not going to be taking straighteners or doing anything fancy with my hair because I don't really have the room in my bag and I don't want to waste time getting ready. Although I want my hair to look nice I think I'm just going to straighten it on the day we drive down and hope for the best. I'll be taking lots of bobbles and hair grips and I'll probably just wear it up for the next few days. I will be packing dry shampoo and hairspray to make my hair a little bit more manageable but I'd love to watch some easy to do hairstyle tutorials if you guys have any good ones!

One thing I definitely want to keep to hand this weekend is sun cream and sunglasses. I don't have any idea what the weather will be like but I want to be prepared if its sunny because I burn like mad. Although with a bit of moisturizer it usually browns up, i'm not always lucky and I don't fancy turning up to work with a red blistering nose. I've been using this Hawaiian Tropic one for a few weeks now and it seems to be quite good, it also smells amazing!


I always take photos wherever I go, especially on holidays but I don't really want to take my big expensive DSLR to a campsite where it could potentially get wet or even stolen. I've decided to take my little compact FujiFilm camera to capture every second of the weekend. The camera is waterproof, dust-proof, shockproof and even freeze-proof. I originally bought it to take photos in the sea when I'm on holiday and although I doubt I will get to test out any of its fancy features, its a lot more durable and less expensive than my good camera. 

I will also be packing a good book to read on the way down and if were stuck for things to do. I'm sure I wont have 5 minutes to relax but just in case I do I know I wont be bored. My last two essentials are my Simple moisturizer which I use on my face every night before bed and my Carmex lip balm as I'm sure the weather will only make my dry lips worse than they already are.

So that's my little camping essentials list. I'll obviously be taking a sleeping bag, comfy clothes and lots of snacks but I'd love to hear about your camping must haves! If you have any camping tips or tricks let me know in the comments or over on twitter! Like I said I'm completely clueless so any suggestions would be appreciated!


Thanks for reading!

xxx

What I Take Camping


1. The Body Shop White Musk Libertine Solid Perfume - I picked this little product up quite a few weeks ago and its been living in my handbag ever since. I'd never used solid perfume before but when I tested this out in the body shop I knew I had to give it a go. It is a very feminine scent that almost smells like talcum powder and and flowers and I love it. I pop a bit on my neck, wrists and inner elbow in the morning and the scent stays with my throughout the day. This product only costs £5 which I think is a bargain considering how long it will last!

2. Dr PawPaw Original Balm - I was sent this product to try out last month and I actually have a review ready to post in the next week so I wont go into too much detail right now. I'd never heard of Dr PawPaw before I was asked to review it but honestly I've come to love it. It has replaced my tub of Carmex as my go to product and I don't leave the house without it. Its designed to be a multipurpose product but I prefer to just use it as a lip balm as I think that's the job it does best. 

3. The Body Shop Eyeshadow in shade #002 Dazzling Sand - I'd been eyeing up the body shop eyeshadows for quite some time so Sean treated me to a couple a few weeks back. Its a really high quality, easy to use product that I wear for work or on a night out. The product was £7 which I don't think is too bad for such a good eyeshadow but The Body Shop often run a 3 for 2 deal on their makeup meaning you get your cheapest item free. I've been using this product pretty much non stop since I got it and I can see myself wearing it so much throughout summer.

4. Maybelline Lash Sensational - I'd heard so many good things about this mascara over the last few months and I really wanted to try it out. I'd heard a lot of people saying it was a good dupe for my much more expensive Roller Lash Mascara which is starting to dry up. After using it for a while I would definitely purchase this mascara again as I love the length it gives my lashes. It does give a very similar effect to the Roller Lash although I don't think it gives my lashes quite as much volume. I also love how easily this mascara washes off as I find some of them a little bit tricky to remove.

So those were my favorite beauty products from June. I'd love to hear what you've been using lately!

Thanks for reading!

xxx

June Beauty Favorites


A while back I was invited to the launch of a brand new independent Lingerie shop in Solihull. It was a beautifully glamorous event with music, champagne and a lot of photos. You can read all about the opening night here
Fast forward a few weeks and I was invited to host a bra fitting party for me and a few friends. Unfortunately for one reason or another no one could really make it and our plans fell through. Although the party didn't go ahead I was still very eager to get my hands on some of the gorgeous pieces I eyed up at the launch and took myself down to Sipsey for a fitting. 


When I arrived at the shop it looked as beautiful as before and I was greeted by Sukhy the owner. I was taken straight into the changing rooms to be properly fitted, something I hadn't done in quite some time. It had been at least 4 years since I had last been fitted and to be honest it was well overdue. I'd been putting if off for a while as I didn't really think I had the time and I guess I was also quite embarrassed. Before the fitting I was slightly nervous, I didn't remember the procedure and taking my top off in front of someone I barely know wasn't something I really do. Well I don't know what I was so worried about as Suhky was so friendly and professional and made me feel comfortable straight away. It didn't take very long either, the whole thing lasting maybe 10 minutes. As it turns out I was wearing the right size but did you know around 80% of women wear the wrong size bra?


After trying on some gorgeous bras I finally settled on a pretty little Gossard set shown in the last picture. It fits perfectly and it is unbelievably comfortable. Whilst trying it on I mentioned just how comfy it was and to my surprise I was told that was because it was a non wired bra. Never in my life have I known a bra without under wiring to hold me so securely and give me the lift of a push up bra. I also picked up a pair of matching briefs and to say I was happy with the set would be an understatement. The bra itself was £39 and the matching pants were £16 which honestly is more than I would usually pay, but I've never bought lingerie that was of such a high quality before.

I'm really glad I went to get fitted in the end as it confirmed I was wearing the right sized bra and I came away with the most beautiful lingerie set I've ever owned. If you live in or around Solihull I highly recommend a trip to Sipsey as I'm sure you will leave with some pretty little pieces. I just wanted to say that I am in no way sponsored by Sipsey, I was just really impressed by the store and I think its important to support smaller independent retailers.

Thanks for reading!

xxx

Sipsey Lingerie Bra Fitting


I want to start off by apologizing for the bad quality photos, I didn't have my usual camera with me but I still wanted to review this little pub.
A few weeks back my family and I took a little day trip our to Lichfield. Its a city just north of Birmingham and we decided to spend a few hours browsing the shops and looking around the Cathedral. There's quite a few nice pubs in the city so we had quite a few to chose from but The Crown had two meals for a tenner and who are we to turn down a deal like that? Inside the pub is nicely decorated and has a really relaxed vibe to it. There are regular tables as well as sofas and a pool table at the back which mom and dad made good use of. 

Price - As always I will start with price. I thought this pub was really good value for money. We all had meals off the two for £10 menu and they weren't little. The portions were good and the food was delicious. I hate it when I think I'm getting a good deal and then my meal comes out and its either tiny or bad quality, or both. The drinks also seemed quite reasonable, although I didn't have any alcoholic drinks a pint of coke was around £2.50 and that's pretty average for anywhere. One thing I did spot on the menu was 3 small meals for £10. We didn't order anything off this menu but I'd never seen that sort of deal before and I thought it was a good idea if a few of you are out and just fancy something lite. Overall I was very happy with the price of my meal.


Service - The service was also really good. When we arrived we seated ourselves at a table. It had clearly just been used but it was the only table suitable for 5 of us. It was no problem for a waiter to come over and clean the table for us, and quite thoroughly too. When we ordered we were told there was around a half an hour wait on food as the ingredients had just been delivered. This wasn't really a problem although we did wait quite a bit longer than the time stated but not long enough to bother complaining.  When we did receive our meals we noticed our chips weren't all that hot, we mentioned this to a waitress who quickly brought us over two huge bowls of fresh chips. All the staff were really friendly and even when we made a small complaint nothing seemed to be too much hassle for them.

Food Quality - We all really enjoyed our meals, 4 of us chose the smothered chicken and dad opted for the all day breakfast. Our smothered chicken came wrapped in bacon and covered in melted cheese, it also had a side of salad and chips, a pot of BBQ sauce and a slice of garlic bread. Usually I'm boring and chose some type of burger when eating out but I'm so glad I opted for something different this time. My meal was delicious and I wouldn't hesitate to order it again. All the ingredients used seemed fresh and the breast of chicken was good quality. Dad told me he really enjoyed this all day breakfast which was another good sized meal. The only downside was the cold chips but like I said that was soon put right by a helpful member of staff.


Cleanliness - The Crown was generally quite clean, although a few dirty cups seemed to hang around on unused tables for a while, all the used tables were cleared quickly. Pubs have a reputation for being a bit grubby but I didn't see any sign of this in The Crown, even the restrooms were kept very clean and so I have no complaints about the cleanliness.

Location - The Crown is located in the center of Lichfield next to a huge car park. For locals I imagine its very easy to get to as its just off the high street but if you are just visiting there are a couple of cheap car parks near by. It it just a few doors down from some of the major shops so it would be a nice cheap place to go for lunch after hours of shopping.

Overall I really enjoyed my meal at The Crown. I think its good value for money, the portion sizes are nice and the staff are really friendly. If I'm ever in the area I wouldn't hesitate to eat here again. 


Thanks for reading!

xxx

Review | The Crown Lichfield

Latest Instagrams

© GraceBee. Design by Fearne.