Friday, 10 June 2016

Favourites // May 2016

Well it's June, and my summer body is nowhere to be seen. I'm going for a Christmas body now! Seriously though, I am a bridesmaid in December, I must pull myself together and put down the Wotsits. Mmmm Wotsits.... Despite still not looking like Khloe Kardashian I'm going to put it out there and say that May 2016 was one of my best months EVER! I had two holidays, got back in to the swing of blogging events, went to the Royal Albert Hall and feel a bit like I'm starting to make solid plans to get my personal life back on track. YES GIRL! 

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Adventures in Chicago

My top May Favourite has to be my week long trip to Chicago at the beginning of May. It was literally the most incredible week ever and just what I needed. I stayed with two of my friends from my summers spent working at an American summer camp and two other friends also flew in from the East coast to join us, which was AMAZING! I hadn't seen them for about eight years but it felt like just yesterday we'd all been together and it was so nice to catch up on all their news. So much love for my Fleur de Lis Family! Chicago itself is also such a fantastic city. It's filled with beautiful architecture and art and is very friendly and approachable, so a great place to explore on your own. I really enjoyed travelling on my own and think it was very important for me to do so - I used to be the most independent person I knew, and thought nothing of zipping off half way round the world solo. Then spending nearly eight years in a relationship you definitely lose a little bit of your independence and sense of self, and never need to go anywhere on your own. So it was amazing to prove to myself that hell yeh I got this - and of course, I did! And travelling solo was so much fun as I got to do exactly what I wanted when I wanted during the day! Pop into Sephora for the third time in one day? Why the hell not?! I really did have the best week and will have a full post up about my adventures (and my Sephora purchases) soon, as well as a look at a gorgeous photo album I've made to commemorate my trip. Watch this space! Though you can see a couple of pics below....

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Girls' Weekend in Center Parcs

My second fabulous holiday in May was for a long girls weekend to Center Parcs in Woburn Forest. We had so much fun - riding the Rapids, enjoying the fumes, relaxing in the spa, drunk dancing at the disco and pedaloing on the lake. I had so much fun spending time with seven of my faves and was so impressed with Center Parcs. I'd never been before but thought that, whilst everything is quite expensive, it is done really well. We're already looking forward to going back next year! 

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Despite a shocker of a week weather wise last week, May was actually pretty nice and sunny in London Town huzzah! And whilst for some, sun's out may mean guns out, for me it means ciders out in the garden! I've been loving the new Waddlegoose Cyder from Aspall - they're so refreshing and the perfect treat at the end of the day. The best bit about them is that they're not too sweet, and actually taste quite fresh, rather than artificially flavoured - lovely! I took loads with me to enjoy with the girls in Center Parcs and I think they're going to become staples at all our barbecues over the summer!

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I could literally eat pizza all day every day - I just love it! So when the babes at Ristorante asked if I'd like to try out their new limited edition Salame Arrabiata pizza my answer was a resounding HELL YEH! I'd never tried Ristorante pizza before but was really impressed and I've eaten far more than is advisable for someone who's meant to be working towards that Christmas body! The Salame Arrabiata pizza has literally all my favourite toppings in one place - mozzarella, Edam, salami, yellow peppers, red onion and a spicy Arrabiata sauce. YUM! I'm addicted to spicy food and add chilli and sriracha to EVERYTHING so I was interested to see whether the Salame Arrabiata would live up to the two chilli spice icon on the front of the box - and you know what? It did! The base is nice and thin and the top is also really well filled - no sparse cheesy bits left on the plate till the end here! It's so nice to have a pizza which doesn't need me to add extra ingredients to, making it actually really quick and easy to prepare. I did find it needed a bit longer than the recommended 10-13 minutes in the oven to properly crisp up but it was totally worth the wait. I'm almost glad these bad boys are limited edition as they're so blimmin tasty I'd considered moving permanently into the freezer aisle at Tesco just to be close to my new bae! I definitely recommend running out and nabbing a few for the freezer before they disappear. 

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The Perfume Shop #TPSPerfumeBar Event 

I've been loving getting back into blogging and have been to some really lovely blogging events this month. My favourite event was a trip to Mahiki with The Perfume Shop to experience their Perfume Bar and try out the cocktails they'd designed based on some popular fragrances! I thought this was such a neat idea and so inventive! I picked the Chloe Signature Martini - "an elegant fruity floral cocktail to reflect the timeless notes of Chloe Signature. Hendricks Gin and vermouth partnered with sweet lychee liquor and the distinct elegance of rose syrup for a smooth, chic and moreish martini. Completed by the addition of fragrant grapefruit zest". It was so delicious and so cool to see what notes they had picked out of each perfume and how that had been translated into a drink. There were also heaps of perfumes dotted around for us to try and smell and I have fallen head over heels for the new Jimmy Choo Exotic which just screams summer holidays! I haven't got another holiday planned for this year so I think at the very least I need to treat myself to a bottle of this! I had such a fun night and it was so lovely to catch up with my fave PR girlies too - the Popcorn babes are always so lovely and friendly, I always enjoy events with them for a little catch up! Thanks for having me guys! It was really dark in Mahiki so I didn't get many photos but I was given a really amazing Modern Muse Le Rouge perfume bottle shaped biscuit which is what you can see here! How cool is that?! I also Snapchatted my way through the event - @pickleemsy - so come say hello there to see more blogging event fun in the future.


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Fashion Favourites time! I decided to treat myself to a backpack to take to Chicago with me to make sure I had enough space for all my hand luggage crap essentials. I was after the nude pleather one I featured in my SS16 Wishlist a few weeks ago but unfortunately I couldn't find one in store, however I fell head over heels for this white and tan one instead. I love the neutral colours of it and think it looks really cute and chic. I found the three compartments so useful for keeping everything organised, and it's quite a neat size - not so big you cant find anything, but large enough it doesn't become overstuffed and you walk around looking like one of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I've never been one to use a backpack but I loved this one and think I'll get lots of use going out and about this summer with it. 

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I was determined to pack light for Chicago and not take too much with me. Amazingly I received these gorgeous little Dalmatian print pony hair ballet pumps from Butterfly Twists just before I went away. How cute are they?! I don't own any shoes like these and love that they're a cross between ballet shoes and trainer pumps, meaning they can be dressed up or down - perfect for taking away with me as they suit every occasion! I loved slipping them on for casual evenings out when I wanted to be fancier than my New Balance trainers but more relaxed than my heeled boots. Butterfly Twists also have a really awesome story behind them - they were created by a group of guys, one of whom ended up wearing women's shoes on a night out after losing a bet. They soon discovered the pain that heels can cause us girls on an evening out, so decided to create a collection of cute flat pumps which can be folded up and slipped into a handbag, ready to be changed into when needed. Again this made them great for squeezing into my suitcase as they literally do fold in half! They come with a dust bag too to keep them, and my other items, clean and tidy. They're seriously a traveller's dream! 

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I've only got one beauty favourite this month and that is the Superdrug Weak Nails Strength Serum. I had my acrylics taken off after I got back from Chicago following three consecutive months of wearing them and my nails have been absolutely DESTROYED! They were so sore and weak when I first had them off and literally flaked and folded like paper. Not good! My nails have never been strong, which is why I started wearing acrylics in the first place, but the weakness they're at now is awful! I just want acrylics back on to give them back some structure but am trying to keep them natural for as long as possible to get them healthier. Oh it's a vicious circle! One thing which I've found has been a massive help in getting them stronger is the Superdrug Weak Nails Strength SerumI've previously used a Primark Cuticle Oil, which is great but I wanted to try something less greasy and this Superdrug number is great. My nails feel much stronger and it absorbs really quickly after being massaged into my nails and cuticles. It was also super cheap - just £3.99 - and it's a nice thin tube so great for just throwing in my handbag and taking with me to top up throughout the day. I definitely recommend giving this a go if you've got weak nails that need a healthy boost. 

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So there you go - quite a lot of faves this month and mostly all lifestyle based! I treated myself to a lot of beauty bits in Chicago, which I've finally got round to photographing though so I'm sure there'll be a good few beauty faves in June! I've got another busy month coming up too with hen dos, weddings and birthdays so it looks set to be another fun month hurrah!


What were your favourite things in May? 



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