48 hours in Paris.


Okay, so more like 37 hours.

The (one) good thing about living just outside London is that it’s quick and easy to get to mainland Europe. With the Eurostar taking less time than it takes to get to Northern England (there’s a 5 minute difference). I thought it would be silly if I didn't take advantage of it. One of my friends is currently on her erasmus study abroad period in Nancy, France. With Nancy not being too far away from the French Capital, we thought it would be the perfect halfway point to catch up and do a bit of sightseeing. I’ve visited a lot of mainland Europe but not Paris, so it was an opportunity I couldn't let slip.

The only time I wake up before 6am in a good mood is if I'm going on holiday. So my friend who I was travelling with, was in luck. Although at one point, I did get a bit of a stress on as I thought we were going to miss the 08:24 train(not my fault) - but we were on our way to France! The journey takes around 2 hours 10 minutes, so we arrived into Gare Du Nord station just before midday, with the hour time difference.







Every time I write a travel post, I feel like I’m advertising City Sightseeing Bus Tours. I’m not, I just think they're really great and could go on about their greatness for hours. Plus, the 360 degree view from the top deck allows you to take great pictures, weather permitting. We bought a two day pass for around €30 and it picked us up at the train station, basically taking us to our hotel. We were staying in the Novotel Paris Centre Eiffel Tower right by the Eiffel Tower. I would honestly go back and recommend anyone visiting Paris to stay at this hotel. We were on the top floor(31st floor I think) so the views looking out onto the River Seine were INSANE. Like the City Sightseeing Bus Tours, I can’t fault the Novotel Hotel. All the staff were lovely, the facilities were good and the location was amazing. 

I’m a really organised traveller so I had our itinerary put together about 2 weeks before the trip. After dropping of our bags, and taking a few obligatory snaps on the Champ de Mars, we hopped on the red line City Sightseeing bus and did the full tour of the city. Even though I made a promise to myself not to sit at the top of an open air bus between the months of January - June and October - January during my Dublin post. I fully enjoyed listening to the commentary and taking in the sights with the wind blowing in my face. It was practically a picture out of French Vogue. 






Paris and its cobbled streets are the most beautiful and elegant in the world. And the Hop on, Hop off bus is the best way to explore them. So first things first, we headed to the Champ de Mars - a grassy garden area with wide walking paths across the lawns. And of course, visited the most famous feature in the Champ de Mars garden - the Eiffel Tower. On the second day, we journeyed up to the top floor of the Tower, and the views were incredible! Even though the queues sometimes go on for days, I would recommend a trip up the Eiffel tower to anyone. The full loop of the bus tour took us about 2 hours in total and thanks to this scenic route, we nearly missed last entry to the Musee du Louvre. I’ve been told you can spend hours exploring the 35,000 works of art in the Lourve. But we had 15 minutes. Which wasn't bad considering we didn't pay any entry fee. Turns out being under 25 and part of the European Union is beneficial. 





With so much to see, a ticket for a City Sightseeing Paris bus tour offers great value with 2 days of sightseeing! It goes to the Notre Dame, a Gothic cathedral built in 12th century. Famous from that film, the Hunchback of Notre Dame. If you're really fit you can climb the spiral staircase where the views of the city are stunning.






One thing I’m really gutted we didn't do was visit Galaries Lafayette. Probably one of the worlds' and Paris’ best department stores. The detail of the domed ceiling is just one of the reasons to visit(I’m told). And if that didn't convince you, there’s a Topshop inside!

Of course, I had to get my shopping fix somehow. So in the early evening, we ventured to the Avenue des Champs-Elysees. Despite the avenue being one of the most expensive streets in the world, I still managed to get a few things. I went into Sephora and was like a child in a sweet shop. It really is makeup heaven. So after it became clear I couldn't leave with the whole shop, I settled for ‘Better than Sex’ mascara by Too faced . I've heard so many rave reviews about it, I thought I’d try it for myself. The end of the street features the Arc de Triomph, a historic symbol of victory for French troops returning home from fighting. After this, we realised we’d done the whole day sightseeing and hadn't stopped to eat so we went to a cute little restaurant named Cafe Victoria, just off the Champs-Elysees, where I tried and loved snails for the first time. 






  






I’ve always heard the Eiffel tower is at its best at night and if you go on the hour it twinkles up. I thought I planned every second of our trip but somehow we ended up at the tower at 10:15pm. 45 minutes before the next light show at the eiffel. So as we were stood in the cold for 45 minutes, I had the feeling my friend actually wanted to kill me for begging her to go to the Eiffel to stare at it. BUT as soon as the clock hit 11, this happened. I was feeling so smug at this moment and knew it was worth the wait in the cold. I’m now one of those eiffel tower enthusiasts. I know its tourist central but why would you go to Paris without seeing the beast that is the eiffel tower, built in 1889 by Gustave Eiffel and at 324 metres tall.



 

Although I didn't get to go to see a show at the Moulin Rouge, go inside Notre Dame Cathedral and conquer those 387 steps, go to Angelica cafe, shop at Galleries Lafyette or go to Disneyland, it was really nice to get out the country for a few days. AND i will go back and do all the things left on my to do list.



Jusqu'à la prochaine fois.
Mx



Dublin in a day!

To kick off my 2016 travels, I took a 50 minute flight over the Irish sea to the beautiful city of Dublin, Republic of Ireland. I went during that funny week between Christmas and New Year when you don't really remember what day of the week it is and you don't really know what to do with your life. Fortunately, I live quite close to 2 major airports so we booked a cheap Ryanair ticket, packed a small bag and hopped on a extremely turbulent plane to Dublin.

I was technically in the country for 2 days but only had one day in the actual city centre.  To get the best out of our 12 hours in the city centre, we bought a Hop on, Hop off bus ticket to see all the sites.  If you want a tour of a cities best parts with the opportunity to explore more of sights that interest you, then City Sightseeing is the thing for you. 

8am - We left the hotel we were staying at in Tallaght on the outskirts of the city and took the Luas(the tram) into Dublin city centre, where I had my first Irish breakfast.

9am- Looking like the eager beaver I am, we hopped on the first city sightseeing bus. I wanted to absorb all of city sites so from 9am until around 10:30am we sat on the bus taking pictures and taking in history and being 'cultured'. Note to self: Never sit on the top deck of an open air bus in just a leather jacket in the month of December EVER again.





Apparently this is a stainless steel, pin-like monument standing at 121.2 metres tall. It's located on the site of the former Nelson's Pillar on O'Connell Street and nicknamed The Monument of Light.
 

 
 
 
And of course, who can forget the Temple Bar district. This is the part of Dublin occupied by loads of Bars, Pubs and Restaurants; it is so nice at night, the people are lovely and the atmosphere is great.
 


We had planned to go to the Kilmainham Gaol where Irish revolutionaries and the leaders of the 1916 Easter Rising, were imprisoned and executed but it sold out for the day within an hour of opening. I would recommend getting here super early i.e. 9.01am if you want to take a tour around the Goal.
By 11am we had visited Trinity College and the Book of Kells, walked around the grounds of Dublin castle and visited Phoenix park.  I would've loved to go to Dublin Zoo but time was limited so that calls for another trip to Dublin!




Slainte (That means 'Cheers')
 

 


 


 


The shopping is unbeatable in Dublin. Grafton street is the main shopping area in the city centre where you'll find all the high street shops such as River Island, Zara etc. But wandering down the side streets and finding little unique shops is another great thing about Dublin. I probably spent way more Euros than I should have done but got some great buys whilst I was over there.





It would make no sense visiting Ireland without visiting the number one tourist attraction in the country. The Guinness Storehouse is a Guinness-themed tourist attraction at St. James's Gate Brewery. I can completely understand how four million visitors have been to the brewery site since it opened as it is absolutely packed.  The Storehouse covers seven floors surrounding a glass atrium shaped in the form of a pint of Guinness. You have the opportunity to take part in a tasting session AND you get a free pint of Guinness to drink on their viewing deck whilst looking out onto the city skyline.






Although I had a great 12 hours in Dublin city centre, I am eager to go back again for longer and visit other parts of Ireland.

And yes, I drank excessive amounts of Irish coffee. 

Mx



Hello 2016...

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

2015 was such a good year for me; I travelled to new places, met new people and did some things I shouldn't have done. But life is about living and learning, right? I'm hoping 2016 is even better despite welcoming in the year at work, having a essay and 5 exams to complete.

But looking forward, I have made a LONG list of resolutions this year. 8 days into the New Year and I've stuck to them all. Let's hope I can keep them for the next 358 days.




Pass my driving test!- I haven't failed(yet) but I've passed my theory test and have had some lessons so I'm hoping 2016 will be the year I pass.

Not worry about what others think- I spent most of the end of 2015 worrying about what people thought about me and being really self conscious. I have no idea where it came from but I didn't do certain things or go to certain places as I always thought how other people would perceive it. So this year, I'm going to care less.

Blog More- Last year I always said 'I'm going to do 3 posts a week' at least 3 times during the year. Not trying to sound like a broken record but I am going to try and blog as much as I physically can! Juggling a part time job, brand ambassador for a law firm, being on the committee for 2 societies, trying to maintain a balanced life and a first class degree at Uni does get a bit stressful at times. But as blogging is something I love doing in my spare time, I have set myself the target of doing a post at least once a week. I also love taking photos and would love to get better at it, so a better camera and a couple of photography lessons are needed in 2016. I also want to get a Instax Mini 8, just because.

Stress Less-  This is probably the only one I haven't stuck to thanks to the essay I had due in on January 4th and the five exams I have coming up. But life is just too short to be stressed out all the time. 





 Work out at least twice a week- I'm going to keep this one as realistic as possible. I play Netball every week at Uni so by work out I mean go to the gym. I even bought a new workout outfit, so if that doesn't motivate me. I don't know what will.

Travel to new places -  I have such a long list of places I want to see this year. Last year wasn't too bad; I managed to do China, Morocco, The Netherlands, Belgium, France, The Canary Islands and Ireland. But this year the destinations on the top of my list are Trinidad(I'll be ticking that off the list, along with Jamaica in July), Iceland, St Tropez, Italy and the US.


Mx

November Favourites.

 
 
I've been waiting for November to end for two reasons: 
 
1) November is over which means December has begun which means it's CHRISTMAS.

2) It's also the first time I'll be doing a favourites post. I've literally been dying to write this post for the past 3 weeks.
 
I'm still a newbie to this favourites thing so bear with me. This months post is only going to be short and sweet, including 7 products that I've been absolutely loving.
 
 

 

So first up is (drumroll please)... Garnier fresh radiance boosting scrub. This is probably one of the best facial scrubs I've ever tried. It's not gritty and harsh but has more of a creamy texture, so gently cleans, purifies and exfoliates the skin without leaving it feeling rough or drying the skin. If your skin is a bit dull or clammy, this does a great job refreshing and hydrating.It contains elements of citrus so smells amazing!



 
Next we have the Drops of Youth concentrate and the Drops of Youth eye serum. I told you I'd write about them in my last post and for once I've kept my promise. The drops of youth collection by The Body Shop works wonders at restoring the life into your skin, removing creases and helping to get rid of those dark circles.The edelweiss plant stem cells in the serum leave the skin looking smoother and fresher. I started using the face serum and the eye roll on when I went a bit crazy in the first couple of months at Uni. The alcohol, late nights and junk food all took toll on my skin. The thing I love most about The Body Shop is that they invest so much time and money into their products and now we have miracle workers such as the Drops of Youth collection. 


 
I've been going through one of those bad skin phases for what feels like forever.  It feels like I've constantly had endless spots and uneven patches. I noticed that the Warming Detox Charcoal Wash by Sanctuary Spa was on a special deal at Boots, so I decided to go for it. I know charcoal works really well with the reduction of pores and for the price of £5.52, I couldn't really say no. Although it says to use the product once a week, I use it on alternate days. The charcoal helps to draw out impurities from the skin and well as reduce pores, shine and remove excess oil. After 2 minutes, it turns from a gel to a warm silky oil(which feels so nice on the skin). Straight after washing it off with warm water, it leaves my skin smoother and clearer.




Anyone who knows me knows that I love a good cup of tea. I really like herbal teas and I like trying something different so when I saw the new Tesco Finest products, they immediately went in my basket. Each box contains 50 teabags and is priced at £1.49 per box. I tried the Vanilla Chai flavour(which is my favourite) and the Chocolate tea. The Vanilla Chai one has a really creamy taste and has a blend of ginger and cinnamon spices - perfect for Christmas.


Apologies for the damaged condition of the box.


The chocolate tea one is a bit different and might not be suited to everyone's taste. But I never thought of the concept of putting chocolate and tea together, so I gave it a try. And it tastes amazing! It's not too rich but not too watery. The perfect blend of black tea and chocolate flavouring.


And I couldn't mention tea without mentioning my favourite mug. I came across the alphabet cup range whilst having a browse in Matalan and just had to buy one with an M on. The best thing is that it was only £2. 
 





The final item is an last minute addition as I just bought them as a Christmas present for a family member(so I'm praying they don't read my blog). These lovely shoes are £30 and from Missguided. I bought them at the Selfridges & Co concession at the Trafford Centre. The girls were so lovely when it came to deciding which shoes to buy and these shoes are absolutely amazing. They're so sassy with the feather detail and have the lace/tie up detail which is very in trend this season.

Sassy AF


 


Until Next month

Mx