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6 January 2017

The Perfect Winter Sun Destination

Now that Christmas has been and gone, I can't help but day dream about basking in the warm glow of the summer sun. Why wait until summer though (unless, like me, your bank account is crying right now), there are some amazing winter sun destinations. Escape the frost, and the endless mornings of de-icing the car, grab a mojito, and get some much needed vitamin sea.

Some of you that follow me on social media, or have read my blog, will know that I recently got married. We researched for a while about where we wanted to spend our honeymoon, and with us getting married in winter it made looking for the sun even harder. That's when we were recommended The Dominican Republic.

It was an easy 8 hour flight there, which we spent watching films and being spoiled by Thomas Cook in the food department! We even has a mini ice cream, which seriously made my flight.

We stayed at the Grand Palladium Hotel, in a Junior Suite. On arrival we were given a fruity cocktail, and taken to our room where we received a lovely gift of fresh fruit. I was even surprised to find that the mini bar was part of the All Inclusive, and was re-stocked daily! Hello Champagne!

Our Room was bright and spacious, with crisp white wash walls, and shiny tiled floors, it oozed luxury. There was an impressive Four Poster Bed that took centre stage of the room, which was complete with an array of tropical inspired pillows.

We had the luxury of a deep Jacuzzi style bath, as well as a separate bathroom complete with shower. The room also came with a pretty patio area over looking the pool.

From our door there was a path that lead straight to the beach, where you could hear the soft hum of the waves, gently swashing in and out. It was so refreshing to roll out of bed in the morning, and head for a long walk on the soft white sand, before breakfast.

The hotel complex itself was vast, we probably didn't even cover a quarter of it in the week that we were there. It has an impressive 22 bars, 8 a la carte restaurants, 5 pools, a spa, and a casino! There's definitely plenty to keep you busy with just the hotel itself.

We spent most of our time relaxing in each other's company, only moving from the sun lounger for a dip in the sea, or another cocktail. However, our restless feet couldn't relax all week and we were itching to do some exploring. We decided to book ourselves on to two excursions, the first one being a Mega Truck Safari.

We were picked up from our hotel in this vibrant, beast of a vehicle! Once every one had been picked up we set off on the first part of the trip, to the sugar cane fields. We learnt about how it is harvested and the sheer hard work that goes into each working day. It was an eye opening experience, which lead us on to travelling to Higuey. Higuey is the 8th largest city in Dominican Republic, we drove through the main centre, passing schools, shops, brightly coloured houses and more. Our destination was the Basilica of La Altagracia.

We had some free time to explore the Basilica of La Altagracia and had a cheeky rum tipple, before carrying on with our tour. Our next stop was a local coffee and cocoa plantation, where we were going to be given the opportunity to try some real Dominican chocolate & coffee. Two of my favourite things.

We got to experience the whole process of making coffee and chocolate. It was so interesting, and the work that goes into making them is unbelievable.

We were treated to a buffet style dinner, with the most breath-taking view.

After filling up on rice and beans and taking in that view, we headed back to the truck for a quick stop at a stunning river, and then on to the local beach for a little R&R before heading back to our hotel.

For our second trip of the honeymoon, we booked a catamaran trip to Saona Island. Saona is the most stunning island I have ever seen, it has even been used for the Bounty Chocolate Bar Advert. The white sand is so soft, it's like walking on a cloud, and the crystal blue sea is a dream to swim in.

We frolicked in the sea, lapped up the sun and treated ourselves to a cheeky Pina Colada. This excursion is a seriously relaxing one, from lazing on the catamaran, to floating around in the sea, expect to return to your hotel feeling revitalised.

Dominican Republic is the perfect place for a winter sun escape, it has the enticing white sand, sparkling blue sea, and plenty of adventure too. It was an idyllic place to spend our honeymoon and we have so many special memories to take away with us from it.

What are your 2017 travel plans?

1 January 2017

Top Ten Moments of 2016 & My 2017 Goals

As 2016 is now coming to an end, I like to look back at the year and reminisce about some of my favourite moments. 2016 has been one of the best years of my life, so much has happened and I can't believe that as I leave 2016 I'm now a home owner and a wife! Two of my favourite moments this year, and probably two of my biggest life milestones too. I'm not too sure how 2017 is going to top this, but it sure will be fun trying.

I thought I would compile a list of my favourite moments, and then also share my goals for 2017. The perfect post for the end of the year.

My Top Ten Moments of 2016

1. Getting Married.
Not much can top this one, so it had to be my number one favourite moment of 2016. I am actually a wife!

2. Our Honeymoon.
We went to the Caribbean for our honeymoon, a place which we've never been to before and I've got to say, it was breath-taking.
3. My Hen Party.
I already knew I had the best friends, but the hen party they threw for me was out of this world. It was better than anything I could have put together, and shows that they know me so well.
4. Buying Our First House.
This was a long time in the making, we had started looking for a house about a year ago, but a job change and being picky buyers it took us a long time to find somewhere we wanted to call home. Eventually though we came across a beautiful 3 bed semi and fell in love. Our first home together.
5. Incredible Opportunities.
2016 has saw me receive some incredible opportunities blog wise. I have attended blogger events with Intu Victoria Centre, Nottingham. I have been able to work with some amazing brands. I was even invited to stay at Ox Pasture Hall in Scarborough, a beautiful country hotel. I am so grateful for all of these opportunities and have enjoyed blogging so much this year.
6. Spending my Birthday in Harrogate.
I was thoroughly spoilt with a weekend away to a cosy b&b in Harrogate, complete with a spot of shopping and afternoon tea. What more could a girl ask for!
7. Enjoying Our Spare Time.
This year I wanted to make the most of our spare time, our days off and our annual leave. Boy did we manage this, we went on day trips, out for nice meals, saw our friends. It was so nice to not waste a moment of it.
8. Spending More Time with my Family.
Since moving out, I make a conscious effort to spend time with my family. I look forward to our weekly catch up, hear what they've been up to and just bask in their company.
9.Making some amazing new friendships.
I have made a lovely group of friends through blogging this year and I look forward to all our future meet ups in 2017.
10. Our First Christmas as Mr & Mrs.
It was our first Christmas in our own house, the excitement of decorating it exactly how I wanted, buy all the food I wanted and host Christmas dinner for all our family was wonderful. I loved hosting parties, games nights and dinners at our house and being able to spend time with our family.
 2016 for me has been one of my most memorable years, and I'm excited to see what 2017 has in store. I've already got some plans in the pipeline and I look forward to cementing them and creating more. It wouldn't be a New Year without writing down a few of the things I'd like to do this year would it? So here it goes!
My 10 Goals For 2017.
1. Travel to More New Destinations.
2. Start To Research More into My Career.
3. Try Something New.
4. Focus More On My Health.
5. Try Not To Worry So Much.
6. Re-Start My Driving Lessons.
7. Continue to Improve My Blog.
8. Reach 1000 Twitter Followers.
9. Take More Time For Myself.
10. Focus on The Now, Rather Than The Future.
I hope you've enjoyed reading my top moments of 2016, and hearing what my goals for 2017 are. I would love to find out what your goals for this new year are so please feel free to leave your links in the comment box!
Happy New Year to you all!

29 December 2016

A Golden New Years Eve Make-Up Look

Now that the excitement of Christmas is over, the prospect of the new year ahead hits us. A whole new year is laid out in front of us, but not before we give it the welcome it deserves of course! New Years Eve, the biggest party of the year.

Family & Friends gather to say goodbye to this year, and Hello to the new. Undoubtedly you want to look your best for the occasion, so I thought I would share with you a show stopping, golden, make-up look to make sure you shine this New Years Eve.

I first applied my absolute go to foundation, Estee Lauder Double Wear in the shade cool bone. I used my fingers to blend it in, as I find the warmth of them helps to apply it seamlessly.

Once I have applied my foundation all over my face I use Collection's Illuminating Concealer under my eyes, along my nose and over my chin. This really helps to open up my face and make me look more fresh faced and awake, which after all those festivities is definitely needed! Again I use my fingers to gently pat this into my skin.

After applying all my liquid face products, it was time to use my powders. I first used the Sleek contour palette in the hollows of my cheeks, under my chin and on my temples. I did this to give my face a more defined look, and add a subtle warm glow.

After contouring, I took my Freedom Pro Blush & Highlight Palette and used the bottom rose toned shade blusher in the first column. I love this colour as it gives a really natural 'pinched' look to your cheeks.

No golden make-up look would be complete without some stand out highlight, to make your face gleam. This Sleek 'Solstice' highlight palette is new to my collection and I am in love with it! The bottom gold shimmer is my new 'go to' highlight. I carefully apply this to the tops of my cheek bones.

 I also can't wait to use the first golden, cream based highlight in a spring/summer look that I have planned (organised for a change, I know!)

2016 has definitely been the year of the Brow. Thanks to Benefit, I managed to get a sneaky peek at their entire new brow collection, and take home some of my favourite pieces!

 There are two stand out products in the collection for me, that I cannot live without now. The first being Ka-Brow in shade 1, this a brow pomade that can be built up from a natural tidy look to stand out wow brows.

The second is Gimme Brow, which creates fibres on your own brows, a bit like gel brow extensions if you will! I love this product as it gives my brows texture, and also keeps them set in place and looking great all day.

Onto the main part of this New Year's Eve party look, the eyes!

I chose my Sephora 'It' Palette to create this look. First I applied the second shade, on the top row.  A warm glistening gold, all over the lid using a flat eyeshadow brush. I really packed this on to make it super golden and sparkly, because if you can't have glitter eyes on New Year's Eve, when can you?!

I then took the fourth shade, on the top row, a dark matte chocolate brown, and applied the to the crease of my lid using a fluffy eyeshadow brush. I blended this in to the outer section of my lid, so that it wasn't too harsh.

I used my Rimmel Scandaleyes black liquid liner on my top lash line, and added a small flick on the outer corners to create a cat-eye effect. On my lower lash line I used a brown pencil liner and filled in the outer edge of my water line. This gave the look a nice sultry smoky appearance.

For Mascara I used Soap & Glory's Thick & Fast High Definition Mascara, which really helps to thicken and add volume to your lashes. If this wasn't thick enough, I also added some false lashes. These are the Eylure Naturals. I love using these as they're really light-weight, you can't tell you've got them on!

To complete this glam golden make-up look I used Nyx's Liquid Suede in the shade 'Soft Spoken'. These Nyx Liquid Lipsticks are amazing, they're so easy to apply and they give a really bold, opaque, flash of colour to your lips.

The Completed look:

New Years Eve make-up

This look is bound to make you stand out this New Year's Eve, with a sultry golden eye and knock out highlight, it really is the perfect glitzy glam go to look for the party season. I will definitely be re-creating this look again!

What are your plans this New Year's Eve?
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