Monday, 20 July 2015

Travel | 24 Hours In New York City | Trek America Diary #1


New York, New York; so good they named it twice!
Before I left on my adventure with Trek America I had a full 24 hours to explore the city that never sleeps and where dreams are made of.

New York has always been number one on my wanderlust list of places to go and I had never been so excited to squeeze everything I wanted to do, in just one day! A challenge I know, but one I gladly accepted. Waking up early with jet lag was a blessing, that meant an early breakfast and to meet some of my new trek buddies who also wanted to go exploring. As we were staying in Newark, New Jersey, the concierge advised us that it would be quicker to get a taxi straight into the city as there was 6 of us; instead of faffing around with trains and subways.

As the taxi got nearer to NYC, I could feel my heart racing and my eyes getting a bit watery; this is what I had been dreaming of the last 9 months! To be here in this city, to start an amazing journey and close the door finally on what had been a crazy two years.

To say we got our fill of New York would be an understatement. I still can't believe how much we managed to fit in and see, in just one day. When we arrived at Times Square around 10am it was raining (weather we soon got used to whilst on Trek) but this didn't put any dampeners on us. From what I remember everything seemed so big and overwhelming; and for me to say that coming from spending the majority of my days in London is something.

As none of us really knew our way round New York and we wanted to maximise our time, we decided to get tickets for The Big Bus Company. Yeah I know, such a cliche tourist right here; but we honestly were just standing around staring with our mouths open for around half an hour in Times Square whilst trying to decide where to go next & how to get there! All whilst it's still chucking it down, UK style!

The Big Bus worked a treat for us, we headed up to Macy's and us girls had a butchers around the handbags, make up and jewellery. I also headed for a caffeine boost by the way of Starbucks (well got to fit in round here you know!) We then wandered over to Madison Square Gardens, I wasn't really enthralled by this but the guy, Patrick, that was with us wanted to look at getting a tour of the stadium. Whilst he waited for his tour time, it was time for food!! And the first place we saw close by was a Hooters! Wings and cocktails all round to celebrate the start of the trip!
Patrick headed off for his tour and us girls went to Victoria's Secret for a wander round the flagship store! (FYI it was beautiful)

Once we had all met back up we jumped back on the bus to head towards One World Trade Center, to see the 9/11 memorial. This was such a poetic moment as we turned the corner and saw the memorial; beside us was a man dressed in his army uniform with what I assumed his wife; he was sobbing and covering his face. This began to hit home how much devastation that day has caused for so many, even till now. We all stood for what seemed a while discussing September 11th, where we were and what we remember.

We then headed towards the Staten Island Ferry, so we could get a glimpse of Lady Liberty herself. This was where I felt a little let down, maybe because it was a grey and gloomy day but I just didn't feel that impressed by her. But that was fine, because at least I saw her and she got ticked off my list.

By now it was approaching 6pm and we still had to get the bus all the way back to Times Square; which in New York rush hour traffic on a Friday. Let's just say we made it to the Rockefeller Centre for our allotted time of 8.10pm by the skin of our teeth.
The Top of the Rock experience was unforgettable, to see all the lights start to switch on across the city as well as night fall was amazing! I constantly remembering saying "This all looks fake and like a pop up book" and I think it was because I never thought I'd actually be there! We took billions of photos and selfies with the Empire State Building in the background before heading back down to the sidewalks.

It was around 9.30pm by now and safe to say our stomachs were grumbling like crazy. We headed to an Applebees for some dinner and then hunted down a taxi big enough to take us back to New Jersey. I think our heads finally hit a pillow around 12am and with jetlag I passed out straight away.

Have you been to New York? What was your favourite thing there?
Let me know in the comments.

Until Next Time...

Friday, 17 July 2015

Lifestyle | I'm Back...Now What?

So I got back from America last Friday and a lot has happened at home since I've been away. The biggest thing being is that we moved house; so I came back to a brand new bedroom last Friday morning which really freaked me out when I woke up at 6pm that evening due to jetlag!

This has meant that this last week I have been unpacking boxes and picking out furniture! Which is so exciting, but not when you have to wait a week for Ikea to deliver! I want my wardrobes now please!!! So hopefully there will be a room tour in the next month or so over on my YouTube channel once everything is all sorted.

I've also spent the week job hunting...Monday saw me sitting at my laptop and being on the phone for a good few hours to recruitment agencies trying to pimp myself out! However luck seemed to be on my side and on Wednesday afternoon I was offered a temp job at my local council starting the following Monday, working as admin support for the IT department! This is something completely different to what I was doing for the last 5 years in my previous job and really excites me; as I get to work on my PA skills that I used to have! It is also only 20 minutes away from home, no more commute into London, no more rush hour tubes and no more expensive train fares to pay out! What this also means that I'll now be home earlier meaning I have more time to focus on LLW here and over on YouTube, I really want to give the best content I can on both platforms and having more time to work on this will really help!

So what about what's going to happen on here? There's still going to be three posts as week; Monday, Wednesday and Friday. However as I have had so many requests on Twitter regarding Trek America I'm going to be making Monday's my Trek Diary Series. I'm not sure how many posts in this there is going to be but it's going to give you details on what I did, include all the amazing photos I took on my DSLR as well as my iPhone (way too many selfies with mountains and canyons)
YouTube wise, I'm planning on weekly vlogging for the next year to document from my 27th Birthday to my 28th. These will be going up on Sunday's at 6pm starting from next week the 26th July. Then there will be my Trek America Vlogs which I plan to upload on Wednesday's at 6pm also, once these are all up you will be getting regular content again (hauls, tutorials, lookbooks etc)

Everything seems to be slotting into place now for this new chapter, now I've returned from The States & this excites me so much!!!
I can't wait to share with you all that I got up to on my trip as well as all my new beauty buys and fashion finds!

Until Next Time...

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Lifestyle | How To Get Blog Organised

Image Source
Image Source
The last month or so I've had to get super organised with LLW to make sure I still had content going up whilst being in America. As much as I would have loved to blogged whilst out there, I really wanted to step away from the laptop and enjoy my time overseas.

This has meant for a month before going I've had to start planning and creating content so I wouldn't end up getting super stressed regarding posts before I go away. I thought it would be good to share some of my tips for getting blog organised so you can enjoy your holiday without thinking about your blog 24/7.

1. Create A Spreadsheet.
This has been super helpful for me in staying on top of things. A spreadsheet detailing the name of the post, date its due to go live etc. I also put columns headed photos, edited, scheduled, tweets & facebook; meaning I can tick them all off as I go along. Nothing is better than seeing all those ticks on your spreadsheet.

2. Create Content About What's Happening With You Right Now.
You may have noticed that a lot of the blog posts on LLW this last month have been very travel heavy focused, well this is due to America inspiring me. I delved into every aspect of my trip from packing tips, my in flight beauty & my wishlist of products. Creating content that gets you excited means you can express yourself fully in the post instead of it being half hearted.

3. Don't Over Work Yourself.
If you feel like your struggling with keeping up with things, take a step back. Perhaps cut down a blog post a week, or introduce a guest post once a week. For whilst I've been in the US I decided to have a guest post every Monday whilst away to keep things ticking over and meaning I wasn't glued to my laptop before I left.

4. Write A List Of Everything You Need To Photograph.
This will make photo taking days so much easier and will also ensure you get everything you need photographed. It's better to see a list of all the products etc that you need to shoot in front of you before scrambling around looking for that eyeliner you meant to include & only realising when you come to write the post.

5. Schedule Everything!
All my blog posts have been set to schedule whilst I've been away; as well as scheduling tweets through Hootsuite and scheduling Facebook posts to go up on LLW Facebook page. This takes time, but is a good way to still promote your blog posts when you haven't got any wifi or you're too busy enjoying the sunshine and cocktails.

Importantly, this post is just my opinion and what I've found to help me in the last month or so with keeping content being published on here. Remember your blog is your blog, no one elses, you make the rules. I just thought I'd share this as a few people on Twitter have asked me how I stayed so organised and on top of my blog whilst being on the other side of the world right now.

How do you stay organised with your blog?
Let me know in the comments below.

Until Next Time...

Monday, 6 July 2015

Guest Post | Barry M Nail Polish in Matte White

Today's guest post comes from Amy over at Smoothamy.

This post is going to be my favourite nail look at the moment.
As you can see it's just a plain white, glossy nail. I like to keep it simple because I'm terrible at painting my nails and I just don have the patience. Also white goes with everything! If you're like me and can't be bothered to colour coordinate your nails and outfit everyday, then this would be great for you because it matches 99% of outfits. I think it also suits spring/summer really well as its quite a bright uplifting colour.

The polish 

The nail polish I used was the Barry M nail paint in Matt White. Although don't be fooled, it's not actually matte. I think this is a really good nail polish, it's quick drying (it doesn't say it is but I think it is) and it's also long lasting. The top coat I used was collection 2 in 1 top coat with gloss enhancer. I really love this top coat, the gloss enhancer really does work. It makes my nails look so much more professional and it also makes the base last so much longer. 

The remover 

After I paint my nails I normally use a cotton bud and some nail polish remover to go around the edges of my nails to neaten it up a bit. I just used this Sally Hansen one for artificial and sensitive nails. It's pretty good and it does the job. 

That's it's from me. I hope you enjoyed this post and I'd love to see you over on my blog. I thought I'd keep it short and sweet just to give you a snippet of what I do on my blog.

Have you tried Barry M's Matte White Nail Polist? What's your favourite nail colour at the moment?
Let us know in the comments below.

Until Next Time...

Friday, 3 July 2015

Travel | Packing For 5 Weeks Away

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I can't believe by the time your reading this post I will be nearly finsihing my 5 week trip along the Sout Coast of America.

As I write this I have pretty much finished packing and I'm wishing the last few days away before boarding the plane. Let me tell you though, trying to pack for 5 weeks away covering all kinds of weather and activites is HARD!!! So I thought I would share with you all a few tips that I've discovered for packing for a trip like this or similar.

1. Only Pack As If Your Going Away For 10 Days
I know it's probably easy to think you've got enough clothes in your wardrobe to chuck in your case for the whole time; however lets be real! Your case will weigh too much for the plane limit and you will more than likely only wear what you feel comfortable in. Plan in your head that your going away for 10 days and decide on one day time/beach outfit and one evening outfit for each day. You'll more than likely be doing some washing whilst your away so don't panic that you'll run out of clean tops and that.

2. Pack As Many Knickers As You Can
This is just my personal thing but you can never pack too many pair of knickers. I've picked up around 4 packs of the 4 pack knickers from Primark just to make sure I'm taking around 30 pairs with me. I don't know why but I just think having more knickers than you need is a good thing, because you'll never know what will happen and when that extra pair will come in handy.

3. Packing Cubes Are Your Best Friend
These little packing cubes have made my life so much more organised in my case. I've got one for tops, one for shorts/jeans, one for bikinis, one for socks & one for bras. It just means that because of being on the move so much you'll be able to find that pair of shorts and top to match a lot quicker than having to throw everything out your case to find that top buried right at the bottom.

4. Write As Many Packing Lists As Possible
I love a good list & I know a lot of bloggers love a list too, I find writing down everything you need to pack makes it less stressful. You can then put this list next to you whilst you get everything out ready to pack in your case and cross it off as you go.

5. Don't Panic If You Forget Something
Chances are where you're going you'll be able to pick up what ever you've forgotten. If you keep thinking "Have I got this? Have I packed that?" you will just end up super stressed, thinking you have 99.9% left something at home. As long as you've got your passport, debit card and all those knickers you've packed you'll be fine!

What are your top tips for packing for a long holiday or travelling? Do you love or hate packing?
Let me know in the comments.

Until Next Time...

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Travel | Top Travel Size Beauty Products

When I was trying to pack for America I had in mind that it I needed to pack lightly as I knew that I would be wanting to buy things out there and presents for people. So I decided to delve into the basket of travel sized beauty products my mum & I share to see what I could take with me to leave more room in my case. I plan to pick up full size products once I'm out in the The States; because lets face it these aren't gonna last me 5 weeks! But they are perfect for a few days to a week away!

Soap & Glory Clean On Me Shower Gel.
This does what it needs to but smells great at the same time. Soap & Glory are great for travel sized products and I often find myself with quite a few of them stacking up after getting gift sets for Christmas.

Soap & Glory Scrub Of Your Life.
I love taking a body scrub away with me on holiday as I find for maintaining a great tan you should try and exfoliate every few days. It's also great if you get a little sunburnt for helping remove that flaky skin you get. This one is my personal favourite to take away, as their Sugar Crush Scrub is unfortunately too big to bring abroad sometimes.

Batise Dry Shampoo - Original.
Because let's face it sometimes two day hair is so much better than freshly washed hair; however you need to jazz up the roots to hide that tiny bit of grease that is starting to come through. This also works great for creating some volume when you need an extra boost to your hair.

Liz Earle Essentials Travel Kit.
I love this little set from Liz Earle, included in it is the Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser, Instant Boost Skin Tonic Toner, Skin Repair Moisturiser and a muslin cloth. It's all you need skin care wise for your travel needs. All the products are great at removing your make up and making your skin feel fresh and clean.

What are your favourite travel sized beauty products? Have you used any of the above products?
Let me know in the comments.

Until Next Time...
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