Secrets The Vine Cancun

I have just got back off holiday!

Just thought I will start off with a hotel review of Secrets The Vine. I will be following up with other reviews, images and videos of my happenings in Mexico but I know I haven’t been around for 2 weeks so heres a quick one to get you started!

 

Overview
My partner and I stayed at Secrets The Vine for 2 weeks (25th August – 8th September).
Just to give you a bit of an overview – we booked with TUI and was only able to select the deluxe ocean view room, this is the most basic room you can get. We were able to upgrade to a Preferred Ocean view Junior Suite which was incredible. We had budgeted for this and was able to get a good deal as we left it up to the very last minute.
This was our second stay in Cancun, we previously stopped the same 2 weeks last year at the Beach Palace. I am hoping to cover everything possible and things I would have liked to know before booking this hotel. There are lots of pros and a few cons but it is dependant on what you are actually looking for in a hotel.

 

Location
First of all looking at the location of the hotel. It is located between Sandos Hotel and the Hard Rock Hotel on the Cancun hotel strip. It is set back to the road so please do be prepared that there is pretty much no curb appeal whatsoever.

In comparison to our previous hotel (Beach Palace), Secrets is in the middle of nowhere.  When you leave the hotel if you turn left (walking towards the Hard Rock) you can walk to a few restaurants including Freds House and Cancun Crab House. If you continue walking you will pass a garage and also a Mc Donald’s. Please note – we had McDonalds from here one day and we did get a upset stomach from it. Then finally if you continue to walk there is AquaWorld. This is a great place to book excursions and activities. We did the Speedboat Jungle Tour which was amazing, it included driving speedboats through the lagoon and out to the ocean where you are able to stop  and snorkel around a protected coral reef.  I will follow up with a more in-depth review of this.
If you turn right outside of the hotel  there are again some restaurants one that we went to was called Puerto Madero which was a seafood restaurant. It was nice but I am not sure if it was worth the money, again I will follow up with a more in-depth review. Further up on the right (I would suggest via bus) there is Luxury Avenue Shopping Mall which has various Designer stores. Shortly after that there is La Isla Shopping  Village which again has designer shops but also includes cheaper trinket shops (look out of Playa la Fiesta stores).  Further down there is Playa Totogas which is a ferrty port which takes you to various islands. We used this to go to Isla Mujeres (much cheaper to do on your own).  The buses in Cancun are really easy to use, the buses cost $12 Pesos per person one way. The bus stops for this hotel are located outside the Hard Rock Hotel and for the other side of the road opposite Hard Rock but slightly more to the left.

 

Hotel
Secrets The Vine can be described as a modern adult’s only all-inclusive resort. As mentioned the hotel doesn’t have much curb appeal but as soon as you walk through the doors you  will be faced with high rise ceiling and beautiful décor in the lobby. We were greeted by a member of staff with a glass of sparkling wine, we were then led to reception where we checked in and processed an upgrade for our room.

The hotel is pretty easy to navigate; there are 2 sets of elevators which take you up to your rooms.  There is a preferred Guests elevator which takes you to floors ‘Lobby, 12, 21 and above. The other elevators take you to Lobby, 12, 20 and below.
The hotel has good security, if you ever leave the hotel you will be asked for your room number on exit and entry. There are a good selection of pools, if you enjoy peace and quiet the best place for you is the preferred pool on the 21st floor. The other pools outside on lobby level are quite loud. The beach is beautiful, not as beautiful as the one at Beach Palace. There are lots of sellers on the beach which you have to continually say ‘No’ to.

Pros:
Very modern
Clean
Security

Cons:
Air Con is not very cold

 

Room
Our room was stunning we stayed in 2205 which was on the 22nd floor 3 rooms back from the beach front. We had an amazing view of the Sea as well as a clear beautiful view of the Lagoon. We were able to see the sunset from this room. We were facing the Hard Rock and there wasn’t too much noise, noise could only be heard when there was entertainment on in the pool below which usually ended before 110/11. I would advise anyone staying at Secrets to book a room on Hard Rock side. Sandos Hotel side seems to have generators and fans which are VERY loud (if you go to the preferred bar for a drink and sit on the balcony you will see what I mean).
Our room was impeccable, we had a daily clean and a daily turn down service. The room was cleaned to a very good standard – our maid was Angela. We accidentally left money and phones out one evening and nothing went missing which again is a big plus in my eyes.
We had the preffered junior suite which had 2 large spacious closets as soon as you walk in, his and hers sinks with additional amenities including toothpaste and shaving cream etc. A huge walk in shower with rainfall shower head and a secondary smaller shower head. The only downside tothis was the water pressure for the shower. It was near impossible to get the right temperature especially if you wanted to change the heat of one shower the other would also change. The shower and the WC is not see through, You can see your feet and head but you cannot see through as it is frosted glass. We had a tablet in the room which could be used to order room service, browse the net, find out about restaurants and also entertainment.
There is also a lounge chair and some seating outside on the balcony.
The Balcony was not very private – the ‘wall separating the balconys from room to room were not soild (which in a positive way made the balcony feel bigger) this means if you sit on your balcony your neighbour and see and hear everything you are doing a little awkward.
The mini bar is restocked daily with glass bottled drinks, if you are in preferred club you can ask the butler to customise your mini bar to your taste.

Pros:
Maid Service – Clean & Turn down
Preferred club – additional snacks
Glass bottles of soft drinks
Large Room with lots of storage
Safe facilities
The Mini Bar was stocked daily with bottles

Cons:
Shower pressure/heat
No IPod docking station
Not very cold air con
Open balcony
Could do with an updated hair dryer

 

Preferred Club
When we booked we questioned if preferred club was worth the extra money. We have come to the conclusion it depends on what type of holiday you are after. We loved preferred due to the higher room which means a quieter room with a better view. We also loved it because it gives you access to the 21st floor private pool which is a very quiet pool away from all the hustle and bustle of party people. We also liked that we had someone to go to if there was any problems, I found the butler service not overly helpful. It was a nice thought but it depends who is on and if you needed help enough. I didn’t really – so it felt a little waste of money. The additional amenities in the room such as soaps etc we didn’t use them but we did love the packet of Pringles and M&Ms we got on a daily basis.

Preferred guests also get access to an additional restaurant called Olio. We unfortunately didn’t get the opportunity to go here! There is a premium drinks bar on level 21 – We used to grab our premium sprits from here such as grey goose etc


Service
The service was not bad at this hotel, some areas of the hotel were exceptional and others very disappointing. After visiting Beach Palace we expected it to be at least on par possibly better but sadly we were left disappointed and this is where the hotel let us down.
Let me start with the good: at the preferred pool there is a umbrella man I believe his name is Miguel? He is absolutely lovely, really hard working, a joy to speak to and couldn’t do enough for you. The waiters/waitresses around the preffered pool were consistently good. Replenishing drinks, asking if we were OK and if there was anything we needed etc.
The receptionist who did out room upgrade was great, we were however told we would be treated to a ‘romantic breakfast’ but this never did materialise which was a shame.
Other good service includes Raoul who works on the bars. He always mad my partner and I laugh – he also does fantastic martinis which were amazing!

The restaurant staff let us down on a few occasions, especially a certain waiter in the Bluewater Grill. We were left waiting for a very long time with no drinks or anything. The problem seems to be if you do not want to order wine (which comes at an extra cost) they are not overly fussed about you. Sadly my partner and I do not drink wine, at all… So we never did experience exceptional service in any of the restaurants. We did receive decent service in Dragons the first evening we ever ate there.
I also feel that some of the staff expects to be tipped. Now I come from the UK where we don’t usually tip unless the service is exceptional. The only people I found worthy of a tip were the above and our maids.

Pros:
You can tell who loves their jobs
Some staff go over and above

Cons:
Expectation of tips
Slow service or poor service in restaurants
Push on wine
Some days felt invisible
Very robotic response to any praise – ‘It’s a pleasure’

 

 

Restaurants
There are a large selection of restaurants so there will be something at least for everyone. The biggest grip for my partner is that you must wear sleeved tops and trousers. With it being so warm it is a big pain for my partner. We had to go out to eat, go back to the room and get changed and then go back out.  Not at all convenient.

Let me cover room service first of all –
Mediocre – usually we always have at least 1 thing ordered wrong.  They use a under table oven to keep things warm but it doesn’t always work – everything is luke warm at best. One thing I do like is that all the condiments come packed up in little jars that be pull tabs (so completely fresh). The wait time for room services is always at least 60 minutes.

The restaurants – You either need to eat early if you want a decent meal with OK service.
If you arrive at 7ish – be prepared to be given a buzzer and be sent on your way for 45 minutes  to wait until the buzzer goes off. Or you can eat late and not have a very tasty meal. Bluewater Grill I believe is the busiest of all of the restaurants. You will notice that it has the most consistent food.

Just a quick run down of the resturants we visited (there are more but we didn’t go to all)

Bluewater Grill –
This is always quite busy, the cuts of meat are good but the portion sizes of the side dishes are quite small. On a few occasions my partner and I had the beef tenderloin with Potatoe croquets, mushrooms and rice. Very plan and simple, cooked well.
Out favourite desert of the whole hotel was the Orange crepes from here.
4/5 Stars

Dragons Oriental –
This was always slightly quieter they had a mixed fusion menu some Chinese, come Korean as well as sushi. From here we ordered a few different things… Chicken Rice was alright – not great. The Spring Rolls were really tasty. I had the spider roll – this was tasty but there was not much meat.
This place is hit and miss dependant on the chef. Better service in this restaurant thiough.
3/5 Stars

Market Café –
Only ever been here for breakfast – probably the best meal of the day – there is an omelette station. The lady who works on here doing eveyones eggs is lovely – does great omelettes. There is a nice selection of fruit and again the service is a little hit and miss here. Seem to always be trying to flag someone down for some coffee!
4/5 Stars

Nebillio Italian –
Not the kind of quality food I would have been expecting. Certainly, not for us. We barely ate anything here. Service was fine but food was not good enough standard.
2/5 Stars

Sea Salt Grill –
We had lunch here early on in the holiday I did not enjoy the food but my partner didn’t mind it!
3/5 Stars

Barefoot Grill –
We went to have a look what they were serving midday and looked like paella, however it was difficult to see beneth all of the crows (birds) nibbling out of the serving bowl. After seeing that I was glad I never tried anything from there.
0/5 Stars

Vine Bazzar Café –
I love love love this place. There is a lovely lady who makes my Mocha in the morning, very sweat lovely lady I wish I could remember her name! Rest of the staff are OK but not very pleasant.
They do muffins and cakes. Love a muffin in the morning or last thing at night as a treat!
4/5 Stars

Overall for the restaurants the service was poor in comparison to our previous experience at Beach Palace but the food quality was a little higher. I would not say this is gourmet dining.
We ate out on a few occasions visiting the steak house across the road as well as traveling to Bubba Gump Shrimp and Outback for a change.

 

Bars
There are a selection of bars you can visit but we didn’t go to all of them.
As mentioned the small premium bar on 21st floor has premium spirts for preffered guests.
The lobby bar can get quite busy but it’s a good place if you want a quick drink if you are waiting for a spot at one of the resturants.
Half Time sports bar – great place to go if you like sports, pool and cocktails. A cheeky tip is that this bar does food after 4/5 as its delicious. Things like burgers etc but its so much better than anywhere else!

Lobby bar

 

Entertainment
As any all-inclusive the entertainment is not our bag. Light shows and things are not for us so where ever the shows are… we are not!
The best entertainment over the whole 2 weeks was a wedding function and the DJ was playing amazing songs. We stood on the balcony and enjoyed some actual decent music!!

 

SPA:
We ended up going to the Spa for a 50minute Wine Therapy massage. The prices are absolutely extortionate. Please ensure you get yourself a deal! We went the day before we were leaving and found the whole experience amazing. It was an amazing massage and we were so relaxed we didn’t want to leave. We tried to by some of the wine therapy oil but the champagne version we wanted they had ran out of! I would suggest using the facilities maybe a day or so before the massage.

Spa Package - GET A DEAL!
Final things
While we were here on our last night there was 8.1 Magnitude earthquake and the whole building swayed. There was no evacuation, no one was advising us what to do… at gone midnight we were standing on the street outside the hotel with no idea what was going on. We were not told any more than ‘its safe to go inside’ the lack of evacuation (or lack of) was very very very poor.

 

Thanks for reading my loves!
Sorry about the short and snappy blog but thought it best to get something out there as soon as possible on this!
Is anyone going on holiday soon?

Don’t get jelly

My count down is on for my holiday to Cancun.
I will be pulling together a bit of a Vlog when I am back as well as lots of content on Cancun nightlife, food and excursions.
I will also be doing a full video and blog breakdown of the hotel.
You may know that my partner and I save all year round to afford one nice big holiday a year! I hear great things about this hotel, however when researching I felt that I couldn’t find all of the answers to my questions that is why my hotel blog/vlog and review will be quite significant – so anyone planning to visit will have all of the information they could possibly want!

This is the hotel website:
http://www.secretsresorts.com/vine-cancun

This is the current Trip advisor page:
https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Hotel_Review-g150807-d2627483-Reviews-Secrets_The_Vine_Cancun-Cancun_Yucatan_Peninsula.html

As you know I am big on Trip advisor with over 75 reviews placed I am very active and have over 50,000 readership! That is pretty awesome that I have helped so many people!

I am very excited to share hints, tips and general information with you all! Not to mention some seriously amazing pictures!

I probably won’t have the opportunity to blog before I leave so I will see you in just over 2 weeks!

Sending you all love and best wishes
K x

 

Learn a lesson from my pain!

Problems in paradise!

The past week or so I have been sick… pretty darn poorly but not ill enough to be off work. I have continued to push on through trying to get through the day to day…
Saturday comes round and I am feeling really poorly, so poorly I was going to spend the day in bed. I decided to put a face mask on to try and get rid of my illness spots (I break out when poorly).  Little did I know I was going to have my face burnt off!

I tried out Dermalogica – Charcoal rescue masque.
Rescue masque? More like burn all the skin off your face masque….

Have a sneak peak of what it did to may face. The picture doesn’t really do the burn justice.

Burnt to a crisp

Lucky for me I didn’t put it all over my face. If I had it would have been so much worse.
I didn’t do a test patch but I never do unless its recommended.
I literally had to lay in bed for 2 hours with a bag of frozen peas on my face.
What I ended up getting was a phase 1 chemical burn, so not just an allergic reaction but actual burn. Its now Monday evening and I am still sore.

Just a little warning to you all!!!! Test patch any new products first!!!
I would hate for anyone to go through what I have!

Sending love and best wishes to you all!
have a blessed week!

K x

Travel Wahhh?

Travel Wallets.
Everybody needs one.
Not any travel wallet…
An Aspinal travel wallet!

Okay maybe I am getting too excited? But my gosh I do love a bit of organisation especially when it comes to holidays.

Let me hook you up with the site:

https://www.aspinaloflondon.com/products/classic-travel-wallet-in-jet-black-lizard-and-red-suede

I ended up with the Jet Black Lizard with Red Suede. Now before you have a heart attack at the price… let me tell you I  am a thrifty son of a B…. I got my wallet for £40. Okay £40 squid is a lot of money.  But I was originally looking at travel wallets from Disaster Designs:

https://www.lisaangel.co.uk/disaster-designs-paper-plane-cream-travel-wallet

This is plastic and it is £34… for an extra £6 you are getting real leather and suede, plus something a little more classy and is going to get better with age, not worse.

Now if you are still with  me I bet you are wondering how I  got my wallet so cheap?
Well it was all down to ebay. I went onto ebay and sourced some wallets that had never been used. There are lots of faulty ones or ones which have been embossed. Forget those!
I got mine from a seller who had it all in the box it was just left on the window sill for a year and they were selling it cheap because the box had discoloration. The Wallet itself is in absolute pristine condition. If however you are going to look on ebay you need to be prepared for accepting what ever colour is available. I wanted a the blossom pink but this is not a common colour. What ever you decide I am sure it will be lovely.

Why is it so good I hear you ask!
Wellllll take a look at the pictures first!

The quality – They are handmade Italian leather and luxuriously lined in suede.
It features one large gusseted compartment for currency .
There are four tabbed sections for safe storage. These are labeled up as:
Tickets, Documents, Passports & Other
There is also an open pocket for boarding passes and a zipped compartment for coins.
If you got it from the actual website they will personalize it for you with your initials. I am sure if you took it to Timpsons or somewhere they could emboss it if wanted.

Do not be fooled by the size it is quite large which helps if you are traveling as a couple. If you are like me and my partner there is usually one organised person and a really chilled out person. I am the organised. I am able to fit in both passports, all of the flight, hotel, insurance information in here. Plenty of space. I will personally keep my foreign currency in this travel wallet and then swap over my currency into my actual purse when we get to Mexcio (or wherever in future).

For me this is piece of mind having everything in one place and not having to rummage through our bags to find out passports or papers or tickets.

I will be using this when I go Mexico in August so I will report back about how it works in action! So far its a 5/5 from me!

Lots of love

Kx

 

 

Wheres Kirstie?

I am so sorry I haven’t been keeping you up to date on my arts, crafts and juicy things I have brought! In between being a bridesmaid, trying to have a social life, earning that ca$h money, maintaining a long distance relationship and not being disowned as a member of my family… I really do not have much time!

To keep you in the loop I have done a flash post to share a few little things I have been doing, brought and even completed….

First of all today…
I found myself running though the streets of Saffron Lane Estate in my Beauty & the Beast PJ’s… First off – Saffron Lane Estate isn’t exactly the most… (how can I put this nicely?) desirable of areas. Secondly I was in a frantic panic as my dogs had seemingly got out of the house and decided to go roaming the streets!
I know it is awful to say but there are lots of not very nice people out there at the moment who snatch up dogs for breeding (sorry puppy snatchers they have no balls), as well as using them for dog fighting. Luckily they were found at the top of the street after a lovely man saw them and tried to mush them back home!
Here is a cheeky picture of the naughty boys!20170523_133530_resized


Another exciting thing was my auntie got to go on holiday (with work). When I say with work… she is a carer for my brother who is on the severe end of the autism spectrum.
My auntie and grandma look after my brother for work. Nice to know that he is in capable and caring hands.
Tracey brought me back a little treat from the airport! Paco Rabanne Olympea! How I love this smell!
A very light smell very different to the Lady Million (which I also love) but subtle and wearable for everyday!

IMG_20170618_141636


Another exciting thing was I went to my works Summer party which to be completely honest I wasn’t very hyped to go to. It ended up being a really lovely night with some amazing work friends. When I say lovely… I was on my way home at 11 as I was way to drunk to continue the night haha!

20170707_212455_resized


I posted about this little dress a while ago… It was sat in my draw unfinished and I  spend one Saturday night watching horror films and completing the final touches to my first ever pattern. I will be doing the written pattern when I get round to it but its all completed and I am pretty proud of my first creation by eye! YAY


Last but 100% not least I brought a travel wallet! I have an upcoming post and review on this as it so darn amazing! So I wont give too much away! Keep posted!

 

I am hoping you have all been well and have enjoyed the bit of warm weather we have had (UK friends)! Hope everyone else has had a lovely weekend! Back to the grind tomorrow!

Have a blessed day and lots of love !

Kx

Miss Saigon – Standing ovation

I have always been into musicals, theater and even opera…
Sadly as I have grown up I do not have as much time as I did when I was younger. The last show I went to see would have been The phantom of the opera in London. That show absolutely blew me away. The phantom of the opera soundtrack, story, production and even through to the film have been one of my many favorites of all time. The show was the icing on the cake for me.

I will start this review with – Miss Saigon shocked me.
I expected it to be good, but I never imagined it would or could be executed and performed in such an amazing way.
I will give Miss Saigon 5/5. It is #2 of my favorite shows I have ever seen.
Let me go into a bit more detail of the story and why I feel it was executed so perfectly.

 

The Storyline

Based on Madame Butterfly, the show tells the story of an American solder during the Vietnam War who falls in love and marries a Vietnamese girl. They are torn apart during the fall of Saigon and the communist take over of the country. He doesn’t know if she is dead or alive…. in turn after grieving he eventually moves on with his life in America, marrying a new woman and falling in love once again.
While he is building his new life; she is fighting her way out of the country and trying to reunite with her love as well as tell him about their young son.

 

The Cast

Each member of the cast brought something special to the stage.
I could gush about the cast for ages but a few things that really stood out for me were:

Sooha Kim – She executed her role flawlessly, not only did she portray a innocent young girl but she had passion, power and fire. Sooha Kim made her professional debut in this recent production of Miss Saigon at the Prince Edward Theatre where she covered the role of Kim before going on to play the role in the Japanese production.

Ashley Gilmour – He worked extremely well with Sooha. The emotion not only in his face and voice but also in his movements and touch had the audience convinced his loved her. Ashley Gilmour also appeared in Miss Saigon at the Prince Edward Theatre. His most recent credits include playing Link Larkin in the national tour of Hairspray.

Red Concepcion – He was the clown of the show, someone who you love to hate! His acting is second to none and the way that he conducted the audience was superb, it felt like you were the only person in the room. Red Concepcion’s many theatre credits in his native Philippines include Adam/Felicia in Priscilla Queen of the Desert for which he won the ALIW Award and Gawah Buhay Award, Tommy in TheNormal Heart and Alan Strang in Equus as well as the musicals West Side Story and Hairspray.

Ryan O’Gorman – He was a mans man, a young lad that wanted a laugh. His transition from the young naive boy to a caring, trusting man was exceptional. I felt with Ryan you could see his journey although they didn’t show ‘too much’ of it. Ryan O’Gorman is currently starring in the UK tour of Rent in the role of Tom Collins. His other theatre credits include Les Misérables, The Phantom of the Opera and Billy Elliot.

Zoë Doano – Zoe’s character all be it relatively small on the grand scheme of things; touched me. Her pain, love and uncertainty was portrayed flawlessly, so much so it had me shed a tear.  Zoë Doano’s many West End theatre credits include Cosette in Les Misérables, Johanna in Sweeney Todd and most recently Grazia in Death Takes A Holiday. She has also appeared in the national tours of The Sound of Music and High Society.

Marsha Songcome – Not only the most stunning but her power, determination and the fact she is totally disillusioned is shown perfectly. The show wouldn’t have been the same without her. Marsha Songcome returns to the musical after playing Gigi at the Prince Edward Theatre in London’s West End. Other theatre credits include Disney’s Aladdin and Mamma Mia!

Gerald Santos – I have to say I didn’t warm to Gerald immediately, I felt his performance lacked something… My first impressions were totally wrong. He owned the performance and really had me on the edge of my seat at points.  Gerald Santos was the youngest ever winner of the biggest singing contest in the Philippines, Pinoy Pop Superstar. He has released five studio albums and has won numerous awards including winning twice Best Male Concert performer at the prestigious ALIW Awards.


Who is it for?

I would definitely say don’t take young kids. I went with my partner and the copious amounts of scantily clad women dancing around and (dare I say it) recreating sexual acts was reoccurring. The positive is that he enjoyed the ladies and I enjoyed the show!
I could see some old couples shifting uncomfortable in their seats but we need to be realistic. This show portrays a brothel, prostitutes, abuse and foreign policy. It is not to be taken lightly especially when you become so engrossed in the show.
I do have to say though at some points I felt emotionally whip-lashed… There were dancing girls with Red singing making jokes but then we cut to a very serious and emotional scene which took me a little time to get used to!

The special effects

Would I call them special effects? I am not sure. There is the helicopter which was absolutely fantastic along with the dances and transitions between sets. At points I did catch myself sitting on the edge of my seat with my jaw pretty much on my lap!

Music

Flawless in every way. From the orchestra through to the vocals… I couldn’t even try to nit-pick even if I wanted too! Everything was perfect and the songs were so moving as well as some being extremely entertaining.

Overview 

Miss Saigon is a show of contrasting extremes. At one end of the spectrum is the purity of Kim’s love for Chris — with touching faith and courage, she waits three years for his return to rescue her and the son of whom he knows nothing. At the other end is the shady opportunism of ‘The Engineer,’ the Eurasian pimp who sees the half-American boy as his golden ticket to an elusive U.S. visa.
Love or hate the original version… I guarantee you will kick yourself if you don’t get a chance to see this show!

There are seats still avalible at the Curve Theatre Leicester up until 22nd July.
http://www.curveonline.co.uk/whats-on/shows/miss-saigon/

Hills & Thrills

I have been a bit quite on the blog front but sadly this is due to the copious amounts of ‘real life’ work I have to do.

I have been super active over the past week! So I am continuing to go gym, sadly the beach body I aspire to have is not working out the way I planned. Weirdly I am getting fatter!!? how does that even work?
Last weekend I went down to Bournemouth to see Adam!
Thankfull the weather was quite nice so in addition to trying out a tasty new chinese takeaway we were able to visit Hengistbury Head which is very beautiful part of Bournemouth with cliff like views.

We found out from Adams friend that it is lovely to visit in the sunny weather and although it was quite windy it was nice and warm. We happened to walk down to Southbourne beach after breakfast at Bistro on the Beach. We walked as far as the path would take us. We stared into the distance and noticed a really large hill which we were going to attempt to walk too (we thought better of it). Little did we know that it was the cliffs in Hengistbury Head!

It has magnificent views but you do need to be fit to  walk (more like hike) up the hills.
These are the pictures we took when we got to the top!

 

We walked around looking over the cliffs and reading up on the local wildlife… We headed on back and made our decent back down the hill, exploring different routes back to the car park.

On the way back we read that the cafe does amazing icecream, so we went on the hunt for said cafe, we could only find a small trinket shop and brought icecream from there… It was actually the land trains trinket shop.
The ice cream was fin but nothing special.
As we got closer to the car we stumbled upon the car park cafe and on the oposite side there was a ice cream parlor…. We had to try it so ended up sharing a double scoop cone!
My gosh were those people on Tripadvisor right!!!!
Probably the best ice cream of my life!

If you are in Bournemouth on a sunny day I would 100% recommend a visit here! We ended up spending a hour or so… you could have a whole day out here.
I will be coming back for a little ride on the land train!

Have a blessed day

Kx

Make Up Skin Care

I am no professional in make up or face care but I have spent my entire life trying to find some products which are not rocket science to apply as well as not causing breakouts or crazy skin.

I am slightly annoyed… from the age of 11 until around the age of 14 I was in that awkward make up stage where I thought blue eyeshadow and bright pink glitter lippy was cool.  Teenagers now completely skip this awkward make up stage (surely this is a right of passage!?) and go straight to absolutely flawless execution of make up making them look 20 rather than 14 in the process!

If you are a minimal make up wearer on the day to day and only go all out on that very rare occasion such as a Christmas party keep reading!

My must haves in skin care

Liz Earle 
Not only is Liz Earle free from animal testing but it is the only face care that removes my make up completely as well as ensuring I do no break out in spots. 
I use the Cleanse and Polish day and night – to use this 1 pump will suffice and I massage the cream into my face even around my eyes. I then fill the sink with hot water (as hot as I can stand) and use this with the muslin cloth the remove my make up. I then use the toner which is so gentle on your skin. I have combination skin which is oily in the T-Zone but dry on my cheeks, it is also extremely sensitive. I then finish of with the moisturiser – I use the light version as this seems to avoid any break outs. If I am having a very bad skin day I will use the Super Skin Concentrate overnight which gives me a instant pick me up. The only downside to the Liz Earle range is that the moisturiser does not include an SPF.

 

Clinque 
I do not use much of Clinques skin products as I find these extremely harsh on my skin, especially the toners – it almost feels like my skin is burning! What I will say is that I use the ‘All about eyes’ De-puffer roller. This is great if you sleep on your face rather than on your back. My eyes get puffy when I first wake up – this is a refreshing roller which goes on cold and massages your eyes. By the time I have finished my make up my eyes have returned to normal

 


Aveeno

Everyone seems to think Aveeno is a fad but I can honestly say that the Aveeno daily moisturising creamy oil works wonders for my skin. The standard lotion isn’t great but the oil is fantastic. I have very bad hormonal skin on my arms – lumps and spots under the skin. After using this over a period of 3 days the lumps were reduced significantly. All my very dry skin cleared up in the process too. I use this on holiday as my aftersun as well. It leaves me very hydrated and retains my golden tan significantly more than standard aftersuns.

 

Must haves for make up

Bare Minerals 
I have no idea where I would be without my Bare Minerals foundation. I use the original loose powder in a variety of shades. Usually I am a light but go to a medium beige while on holiday. The colours are very forgiving should you get the incorrect shade or tan slightly. 
This is a buildable foundation, it is perfect for sheer coverage (this is what I use on a daily basis) but should you wish to build the coverage you just keep adding layers. This works with the oils in your skin for a flawless finish. It’s not called minerals for nothing; this is also skin care within a foundation. Lets not also forget this has SPF 15 as standard – so even though my Liz Earle moisturiser doesn’t have it, I know my foundation has me covered.
I also use the ‘well-rested’ concealer which is also a powder this is great for additional coverage and brightening up your eye area. You can add a little bit of water to make this a creamy consistency and give further coverage.  I have tried the liquid foundation called bare skin but it doesn’t sit on my skin very well but as they say if its not broke – don’t fix it!

Benefit
Ok. I have no eyebrows. Okay that is a lie, I do have eyebrows… just not much!
I suffered the 00’s over plucking stage, so what I am left with is very sparse looking eyebrows. To fix this is have tried every single product and potion to make them look remotely decent! I found my saviours all within one brand! From Benefit I use the eyebrow primer ‘browvo’ so this is a perfect base to use your eyebrow products on, it also makes your eyebrows look slightly thicker, how it does that I have no idea! They say this helps regrowth when used on its own too.  Along side this is use the Ka Brow which is a cream style promenade which can only be compared to that of Anastasia Beverly Hills. This is a life saver – I use this as I do enjoy a dramatic brow (who doesn’t!?) but you can use this also quite subtly if you want a more natural finish. This comes with the cream gel and also a small application brush in the lid. Finally I also use the Precisely My brow, this is eyebrow pencil which is the pencil on one end and a spoolie on the other. This is great at filling in areas rather than a complete eyebrow redesign! Perfect for natural day looks! 
Other Benefit products I use are They’re Real mascara – this is great if you want impact but quickly! I also use the Porefessional Primer occasionally.

Younique 
So you have probably heard of this brand as this is a online only brand. The only product I use from this brand is the 3D fiber lash mascara. This is the only mascara that I can actually say gives you the effect of wearing false lashes. Be warned that the process is very long winded!


Urban Decay
 
I have an obsession with the Naked pallets they are so versatile. I use Naked Orginal on a daily basis, they have great impact but at the same time last all day even if you have hooded eyes like myself!

Bronzer 
Love a bit of bronzer I use a very cheap bronzing shimmer powder (I should probably invest in something a bit better). I do not have time to contour so a quick dusting of this on my forehead hollows of cheek and jaw gives me the same effect at a fraction of the time and cost!

Carmex
So I do not wear lipstick unless it’s a special occasion and when I do I wear Mac, Kat Von D or Avon! I wear Burts Bees or Carmex on a day to day basis. Burts bees just doesn’t cut it for me anymore. It is not moisturising enough, where as the Carmex (not the jelly one) but the chapstick style really is very moisturising and can last a few hours before reapplying!

 

So they are all the things I cannot live without on a daily basis!
Seems like a long list but actually its not much. Since my skin care routine I have seen a signifcant decrease in breakouts and also my skin is a lot better in terms of texture. If you have lumps and bumps on your skin another product I would recommend is the Elemis Try-Enzyme Resurfacing facial wash. I used to swear by Elemis but Liz Earle is far more accessible at a better price point. 

Are there any key products you use on a daily basis? Anything you would recommend? please let me know!

Ask Italian – Silver Street

As you are all probably aware I have a slight (not slight) obsession with food.
Wednesday last week I  was going into town after work to get a pair of silver shoes for my friends upcoming wedding. I was also planning on meeting my sister for some dinner as it felt like ages since I had last seen her.
We ended up visiting Ask Italian on Silver Street.

My sister being the savvy saver she is had a Taste card which gained us 2 for 1 on all starters and mains (cheap and tasty!).
We decided to go all out with a starter and a main but figured we would skip dessert.

First of all we were seated pretty quickly and our waiter was on his own which meant he was serving all of the tables. He came over and took out drink order and set up our table with cutlery. He was very open and friendly, I would almost say flamboyant. He was very accommodating when I wanted to personalise my order due to taste.

The food itself came out piping hot and incredibly tasty. For starter I had the cheesy garlic bread and my sister has the butterfly kind prawns. My cheesy garlic bread was about the size of a pizza but was incredibly tasty, I couldn’t eat it all but I gave it a good go. My sisters prawns were succulent and very flavorful she would have them again.

Cheesy Garlic Bread & Butterfly Kind Prawns

For mains I had the calzone pollo but opted for no olives but inclusion of chillis and ham. This is a staple favourite of mine, I am a safe option kind of girl but the ability to switch and swap your fillings ensures that you are able to update your favourite dish everytime you go. My sister had (a much more healthy option) the new salmon and mixed grain salad. She had a huge portion of salmon which she couldn’t actually finish. I am not one for eating salad on a meal out but her dish did look very tempting so it might be a choice for me when I want to step out of my comfort zone. We were very naughty and ordered some sides as well. We got a portion of chips which had the most delicious garlic mayonnaise (I was tempted to ask for a bottle to take home) and then a portion of zucchini frittes which I thought I would hate… I actually loved them!

Calzone & Salmon Salad

As mentioned we decided to skip desert due to our large portions for starter & main. We had a bill which was just over £50 but with the Taste card this was significantly reduced to £35ish. Based on the quality of food, portion size and service this was a goo £35 well spent. The only downside was that it took quite a while to get our bill so we were waiting around for a while trying to get someones attention.

If you have never been Ask I would 100% recommend going, perfect for lunch or dinner. Its also a perfect place to go before a night on the town. They do amazing mimosas and not to mention if you don’t have a Taste card they always have some sort of discount running. I think the last discount I used was 30% off mains!

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