Thursday, 9 February 2017

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Is Amsterdam only for stag do's and erm, herb smokers?

Amsterdam has long been a choice destination for groups of young lads - wether it's for a birthday, a stag do or just a hedonistic weekend away to forget about the real world - but is it a suitable city break destination for the rest of us?

I know that my boyfriend was quite apprehensive about visiting Amsterdam with me as he didn't really see the appeal in going. The two main selling points of Amsterdam are the coffeeshops and the red light district and as neither of us smoke weed nor do we require the services of a prostitute, he felt it would be lost on us and we would hate it.

Turns out Amsterdam was nothing like either of us imagined and we both fell in love with the city (if you can't tell by the abundance of posts I created) - We're already planning to go back in the summer to experience another side of it so watch this space.

So what is it that makes Amsterdam so great?

1. Well it's super cheap, something that appeals to all.
Flights from Leeds airport are around 80 quid plus but to fly from Manchester it's £60 for a return. It's only a hour flight so you don't even need to book that much time off work to go. If you're willing to slum it in a hostel you can expect to pay £20 a night each in a mixed dorm but you can find budget double room's for £35 a night. Basically there's a huge range of accommodation for your budget, all really close to where the action is. If you're willing to sacrifice your diet you can probably eat for 20 euros a day too - I recommend chips and mayo in a cone, pastries from Rene's Croissants and noodles from Wok to Go.

2. There are heaps of cosy pubs, cafes and restaurants for you to get snuggly in and watch the world go by.
A lot of our trip was spent in drinking establishments with my favourite being the smallest pub in Amsterdam, Cafe De Dam. We sat in the window, nursed our drinks and watched the world go by. It was great. Another fave of mine was a yellow pub on the corner of one of the 'naughty alleys' - Such fun watching all the lads nudging each other as they debated going for a nosey!

3. And there is a shit tonne of stuff to do.
You can go sit in a coffeeshop or look through some red windows if that's your thang but don't forget that Amsterdam is full of history. Obviously there is a lot of heritage relating to WWII - the Anne Frank House (make sure to pre book online), the holocaust museum & memorial and the Verzetsmuseum - but there is also a load of other interesting museums to visit as well  - The Rijksmuseum, the Sex Museum, the Van Gogh Museum, the Tulip museum, the CHEESE museum...I could go on and on and on as there are loads of random little museums dotted all over the place.

If you feel like you have the time you can hop on a coach and head to the tulip fields, to Rotterdam or to Bruges. There's the Heineken Experience and the Xtracold Ice Bar. If you're feeling brave you could even rent a bike and explore Amsterdam on two wheels. The possibilities are endless.

4. It's easy on the eyes and has quite a romantic kinda vibe going on. 
Even though it was really, really cold, walking around Amsterdam was just delightful. The architecture is stunning and the canals are beautiful to walk along. Hop on a boat to see the city from the water or as previously mentioned, rent a bike and explore some lesser known areas but do so at your own risk because the local cyclists are speed demons.

5. The people are lovely.
Wether it's the local people or the tourists, everyone is super helpful and kind. You would think with the abundance of sex/drugs tourism that Amsterdam receives it would have a wild, lairy atmosphere but the whole city has a super chilled out vibe that makes for a highly enjoyable weekend for all, wether you're single, in a relationship, a man or a woman.

Hopefully I've sold you on Amsterdam 'cos it's now in my top five all time favourite destinations and I can't sing it's praises enough. Have you everb een to Amsterdam or has it's reputation put you off?

Sunday, 5 February 2017

My first Lush haul - Am I a proper blogger now?

lush haul

I bet you're all sick of seeing Lush hauls by now aren't you? Wellll here's another one to add to the ever growing pile. (Title's a joke by the way, I love Lush as much as the next person).

I'm a fan of Lush but I don't often go in and purchase anything because A) I find the staff a little bit too smiley and helpful (God I'm such a grinch) and B) Jody always starts complaing about the smell after being in store a millisecond so I can't have a proper browse without him moaning.

I wouldn't normally order online because I despise paying delivery charges but this month I'm trying to save money so I'm avoiding shops - My reasoning is that if I pay the £3.95 delivery charge it's probably saved me £50 because I won't be popping into Primark or Topshop afterwards...That makes sense doesn't it? Sort of?

Anyways, here's what I bought.

lush lover lamp bath bomb

'Lover Lamp' bath bomb - £4.25
Ingredients - Cocoa Butter, Vanilla Absolute, Brazillian Orange Oil

I actually wanted to buy this last year but as I'd only been back in the country a few weeks I couldn't really afford to be splurging on fancy bath bombs. At £4.25 it isn't exactly cheap and I won't lie, I felt a little bit sick paying for it but I'm glad I bought it because it smells heavenly. I haven't used it yet as I feel that as it was so expensive it should be saved for a special occasion (i.e. when Jody goes out for the night and I can have a bath in peace and read a book).

lush the kiss lip scrub

'The Kiss' lip scrub - £5.75
Ingredients - Sicillian Mandarin Oil, Cocoa Butter, Fine Sea Salt

I'm constantly chewing on my lip and this nasty little habit has left my lips feeling a little bit gross so I decided it was time to invest in some of Lush's lip scrub. The little hearts on top are a little bit annoying and I wouldn't advise that you eat them as they are rancid but I do really like the scrub itself. It's really sweet and sugary but unlike the bubblegum one it isn't sickly so you'll probably find yourself using a touch more than necessary. The scrub really does the job and I can't wait to see some real results after a bit more use.

lush butterball bath bomb

'Butterball' bath bomb - £2.75
Ingredients - Cocoa Butter, Ylang Ylang Oil

This is actually a repurchase as I first received a butterball in my sister's baby shower gift bag last year and fell in love with it. It's a really non offensive, gentle scent and the cocoa butter leaves your skin feeling super soft. At £2.75 it's one of Lush's cheaper, smaller offerings but don't be fooled by it's size as it's really good.

lush elbow grease

'Elbow Grease' moisturising bar - £5.95
Ingredients - Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, Cupuacu, Orange Flower Absolute, Ylang Ylang Oil

Jody and I have both recently been tattooed and after reading some glowing reviews of the Elbow Grease bar I decided to invest in it. I've kept it in the wrapper and just apply it to my tattoo like you would a roll on deodorant and I can really tell the difference before and after using it. It'll be interesting to see what it looks like after continuous use over time.

Lush products are lovely but they're definitely more of a payday treat but now that I've made one order I'm a bit worried that I've opened Pandora's box and I'm gunna be buying stuff left, right and centre but oh well. Do you have any recommendations for me?

Thursday, 2 February 2017

Life Lately: The dreaded sick bug attacks

alright blondie

Oh hey there.

I recently stopped creating weekly catch up posts because honestly, I was a bit bored of doing them. I was having to rack my brains to come up with things that I'd loved throughout the week and I was really struggling to find photographs to accompany my drivel. Plus they weren't performing very well, with very few page views and little engagement -So I said goodbye to them.

Instead I'll be creating spontaneous catch up posts when the mood strikes. Like right now. Hi!

So I spent the first few days of this week incapacitated with a stinker of a cold - I honestly though I had avoided it as EVERYONE I know has had it but nope, turns out it was just waiting for me to think I was in the clear to pounce. I don't know what it is about colds but they are the one thing that completly knock me for six and leave me bed bound until I'm feeling better.

(Bit over dramatic I know).

Anyways that meant my cold meant that the weekend was a complete blur and I had to call in sick to work on Monday, something I absolutely despise doing as I'm not someone who takes many sick days. I finally started to feel better around 4pm (although that might have had something to do with my boyfriend/hero bringing me home a box of 20 McDonalds chicken nuggets) and come Tuesday all that was left of my cold was a few tissues in my coat pocket and some sexy dragon scales on my nose.

After spending last weekend confined to my bed I'm really looking forward to a weekend where I can get out and about (honestly the way I'm carrying on you would think I'd died and come back to life wouldn't you?). Plans include a cheeky shopping trip (not my idea, Jody wants some trackies and who am I to say no?!), a coffee with an old friend, a family meal for my Grandparent's 50th wedding anniversary and hopefully a trip to the cinema to see T2!

Have you got any big plans for this weekend? Whatever you're doing I hope it's lovely!

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Here's what I'm looking forward to in 2017

paper chase llama pen

I think the title of this post is quite explanatory so I won't bore on for too long. I was going to post this list at the beginning of 2017 but life got in the way and I totally forgot. Oh well better late than never right?

So what are my grand plans for the rest of the year?

Seeing The View in Glasgow in February
I'm going to see The View again! This will be the fourth time in a year and I swear, they get better and better every time I see them. We're heading to Glasgow to see them at King Tuts which holds 300 people so it's gunna be a pretty intimate gig - I can't wait!

The arrival of my nephew
In March we will be welcoming another bambino into the family, only this time it's going to be a little boy! I'm completely in love with my niece so can't wait for another little one to join the crew. I'm not a baby person but when they're related to you it makes them a hell of a lot cuter.

Spending Easter weekend in Oban
Jody and I have been umming and aahing over taking advantage of the long bank holiday and going abroad but sadly our bank accounts aren't quite as keen on the idea. Instead we are going to head back up to Scotland (can you tell we love it up there?) - this time we are going to Oban!

Getting another tattoo done by Sam Whitehead
I received a tattoo from Sam in December - a mountain scene in a heart on my right thigh - and the first weekend of May I will be visiting her again for an ocean sunset on the opposite leg. I love Sam's work and she is so lovely compared to some of the other tattoo artist's I've had the displeasure of meeting.

Spending a weekend in Liverpool
In May, Jody and I will be heading to Liverpool to see The View (yes again) as it was their only Saturday date on the ten year anniversary tour. I don't recall ever visiting Liverpool but Jody's been heaps to see Everton play so he's going to take me to see Goodison Park, the Cavern Club and the Cathedrel.

The BIG holiday for 2017! Jody's always wanted to go to Vegas and I've always wanted to go to NYC so we decided to combine the two into one bumper trip. We are hoping that Vegas is going to be the more chilled out part of the holiday (think lazy pool days and plenty of cocktails) whereas NYC is going to be a bit more action packed and touristy.

Blink 182 at Leeds Arena
This will be the fourth time I've seen Blink 182 but this time it will be a whole new experience without Tom. Matt Skiba was the perfect choice to replace him though and I'm looking forward to seeing what they do with the old material, aswell as hearing the new.

Three days in Berlin
Another city that we have always wanted to go to but have never got around to visiting. We leave for Berlin in October and hopefully our trip will coincide with Oktoberfest! There's not much on the itinerary as of yet but any suggestions are very welcome.

Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi
I know, I'm such a nerd, but I am really, REALLY excited about the 8th Star Wars installment. I really liked Rey and Finn so I'm hoping we find out a little more about the pair of them aswell as Mark Hamill getting some more screen time. I really hope that Leia isn't written out of the 8th part due to Carrie Fisher's untimely death but I guess we shall see.

Is there anything that you are looking forward to in 2017?