Beauty | Glossier

I don’t know what it is but buying cosmetics online just doesn’t seem right without having an idea of what it’s like. I don’t know why I feel like this. When I knew I was in New York I had to stop by Glossier, UK shopping started a while ago but I knew very little about the products so I had to get a feel for them in store. I really want to buy into this brand, I love the concept, branding and the packaging, plus the idea of minimalist make up is right up my street but can I make it work in theory. I do love a good bit of slap, perhaps it’s a subconscious thing, I hate my freckles and dryness so I want to just cover them up.

When you head to Lafayette Street, NY, you’ll see the Glossier signs, they stand it most on the street. As you walk into the building, there is a hanger of bags with a load of pink bubble wrap bags and a staff member telling you to go into the elevator and take it to the penthouse, why yes I will. We arrived in to everything light pink, even more yes! We walked around for a few minutes tested a few products, my favourite thing is that they have sample brushes for boy brow and also make up remover when you’ve covered your hand in lipstick. I quickly decided what I wanted (I already had an idea before I came) and asked someone how I got he products to go to the wee till (or pay for anyone outside of Northern Ireland) she looked at me like I was crazy, “you can order & pay with me” she said while in a pale pink boiler suit and converses. Once I was over the outfit, I began to understand that this was the apple of cosmetics. I ordered on her iPad then stood to the side and waited for them to call my name. A very different experience.

With bushy brow dreams, boy brow was exactly what I had set my sights on. It has a small fine brush which picks up a good amount of product. My favourite thing is that it doesn’t leave your brows crispy like hairspray has been added to them. I got brown and but it doesn’t add too much colour. The price point does make me a little nervous. I think it’s a mid brand but with a high end price point. Once I’m finished this one I do think I will be making a repeat purchase even though the price does put me off, it delivers against my expectation so it’s a yes from me.

I’d seen the boy brow in the phase 2 make up set so thought why not try out the other products as well. It come with the generation g lipstick. A sheer lipstick which is perfect for work or a light make up day. I got zip, if you know me at all, I’m a big fan of a red, easily over 20 different reds from various brands and shades. This red is beautiful, it has a cool tone to it and because it’s sheer means that it’s not too much for work. It is buildable so you can get a good amount of colour on. It’s not that long lasting but what I do like is that it wears off evenly not leaving a outer line. I loved the consistency of this lipstick while I was there so much that I added another one to my basket and got generation g in like as well, it’s a cool pink tone which I’ve got for everyday wear. I previously had been wearing MAC lipstick everyday but what I love about Glossier is that it’s not tested on animals and vegan friendly, so they’re kinda talking my language. The lipsticks are matte but also really moisturising which is a win win for me, that really does out way the long lasting factor.

Lastly the third item in the phase 2 make up set was the stretch concealer. It’s an oily consistency which as they say is flexible. I’ve been applying it with my ring finger under my eye and the blending with a beauty blender. I need to build on that. It’s just not enough coverage for my bags, life I work full time and lash in the evenings so my bags are the size of a 2.55 Chanel so I need all I can get to cover them. It’s just not enough on its own. It also feels oily as well and for me with very dry skin this does help but I also powder up once it’s applied as I think it moves around. I like make up to stay and at least look human after the end of a 9 hour day. If you want a dewy finish, this is the one for you. Out of all the things I bought, honestly, this is my least favourite, but I don’t hate it. I’ve concluded that I need ALL of the make up on my face so sheer concealer isn’t for me, not a repurchase but perfect for holiday or a weekend light make up application.

Outside of the phase 2 make up I also bought two of the balm dot com lip balms. I do love a lip balm. I got coconut and cherry. The cherry has a little bit of colour to it but doesn’t leave too much on your lips, just enough. This is without a doubt my favourite lip balm ever. It’s super moisturising and long lasting, well worth the investment.

I’d like to try out the cream blush they have and I’m crying out for a bronzer. I know they have a skincare range which some people just love but I’m dubious about bloggers who have been sent these items and are raving about them. I have heard it’s great for dry skin but with my skin changing like the weather here in Northern Ireland, I currently have a skincare routine that is working for me so I’m not willing to take the chance on any changes. I also seen the body wash and at £15, no thanks, that’s just ridiculous, but hell yeah it would look nice in a bathroom, speaking of which I’m hoping to renovate ours this year so maybe I’ll treat myself when that happens.

With shipments of over £25 for free, I think I could easily rack up that spend, we all know the shipping fee is what puts us off at the checkout so free shipping is a dream. It’s worth a try and there are so star products here.

Lashings of Love,

K xo

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Travel | New York City Take 2

This year Santa Claus (aka mum) bought me a trip to New York City with mum. I bought mum this trip last year so who know who will be buying a travel gift next year. Last year I had never been to New York, but mum had lived there for a short time. If you wanted to know what we got up to last time, you can read all about it here. This year, I feel more Carrie Bradshaw than carrying my head in the sand, honestly I didn’t have a clue, I hadn’t really done my research because I thought I’d seen enough movies.

*Beware this blog post is picture heavy

I started by making a list of all the things I wanted to do before we went, then on one piece of paper, wrote down all the days we were there and started looking at a map, what made sense and when. I should note at this stage we have 4 days in New York, but storm Emma had other ideas and we had to leave the next day on a much later flight that was also delayed for hours, not to worry, perfect time for mum and I to have a good catch. Plan in place, we used the delayed time to make some changes and also to note the things we wouldn’t be annoyed if we didn’t get to go.

Book before you go

This year by being more organised we were able to book things before we went. I booked the NYC Airporter bus from JFK Airport to Port Authority (it also makes a stop at Grand Central), this was $70 for two people return on a coach, depending on traffic its about an hour into Port Authority and honestly the cheapest (we paid $100 for one way trip to and easiest way to get from the airport to your hotel. We walked to our hotel (it was 5 blocks up, so super close) but you could get a taxi, it’s fairly easy to hail a cab.

Once we arrived it was late at night so we checked in and straight to bed. Annoyingly if we had got our original early morning flight we would have arrived at lunch and had the rest of the day but oh well nothing we can do about delays and a storm.

Sunday

I woke up so early on the Sunday morning, like 4am, what is there to do in New York at that time! I tossed and turned for a while and then got up about 6:30am, mum and I got ready at our leisure and got breakfast from Starbucks. When they say New York is the city that never sleeps I can’t say that’s right for Time Square at 8am, it was so quiet.

We grabbed our coffee to go and got the Subway from Time Square down to South Ferry. This is the closest subway stop to the Staten Island Ferry. We walked over and into the terminal. Last year we arrived in the afternoon and there were so many tour sales people there and they told us that the ferry was booked up, this is a load of rubbish and probably the one thing I’ve learned from my trip is don’t believe everything that they tell you there. The Staten Island Ferry is a free service run by the New York department of transport. It runs every 30 minutes to and from Staten Island and provides you with a great view of the Statue of Liberty and Manhattan. When you arrive at the terminal, walk in, past all the tour sales people and straight up the escalator and you will see the glass doors which open when the boat is ready to board. Simple. It does feel like a bit of a cattle market getting on to the boat. The temptation is to walk the whole way to the back on the boat as your heading over to Staten Island but don’t, stay at the back as this is the perfect place to get a view of Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty. You will also be able to go outside and take it all in, you are not able to go outside the boat in the direction that it is heading for safety reasons so be sure that you get outside on the way over to Staten Island as you won’t be able to get that gorgeous Manhattan skyline view on the way back as well. Once we arrived in Staten Island we walked off the boat, downstairs and straight back on to head back to Manhattan.

Once we arrived back in Manhattan we walked up to the Brooklyn Bridge walkway. This is the most delightful walk over to Brooklyn. I wanted to walk round to the pier when you can take a picture of the Manhattan but we ended up walking around an area called Dumbo.

Dumbo is an uber hipster place to go shopping and grab a coffee. We walked to the Brooklyn Park. If I had to move to New York this is exactly where I would love, lots of coffee shops, restaurant and the streets are really clean. There is a sense of tranquility here that was difficult to leave.

Then of course I had to go to West Elm, one of my favourite interior shops. We grabbed a coffee and planned our next stop.

We decided to walk back over the Manhattan Bridge, it is not as busy as the Brookly Bridge but there is a reason for that. One of the trains goes over the Manhattan Bridge so it is very noisy and a little wobbly at times, which to say the least made me feel nervous.

One the walk over we seen Chinatown. It looked amazing to see this community that was set in the middle of New York. The signs are all in English and Chinese and one Sunday they had fresh fruit and vegetables on sale on the streets.

We walked through Chinatown as I wanted to go to Glossier (I’ll write a little bit more about my purchases soon).

One thing about heading away with mum is she loves clocking up the miles when we go away, crazily this means we decided to walk to the Meat Packing District. I use the term crazy as mum was on the navigation with a paper map and we ended up walking about 10 blocks in the wrong direction. Luckily we walked around the Financial District, we seen the Federal Building, Wall Street and September 11th Memorial. Once I got Google maps on the go we started walking in the right direction. The weather was so beautiful it was a lovely walk to the Meat Packing District. We went to the Chelsea market and then walked the High Line. Once we finished the High Line we walked back to Time Square.

We wanted to see if we could see a show with some last minute tickets but unfortunately there wasn’t anything of interest so we headed to dinner. I got a recommendation to try the Burger Joint, a secret burger bar in the lobby of the Parker Meridian Hotel. You wouldn’t know it was there, in fact we walked past it in the beginning only the burger light indicated where we needed to go.

It’s behind a curtain and you walk along the curtain into a small room. When you initially walk in you wouldn’t know what to make of it, The menu is written on cardboard, there are random posters over the walls and the walls are written over. Its simple, just burgers and chips, you decide what you want on the burger, cheese, bacon, salad or sauce and how you want it cooked. There are 3 beers on tap so the choices are limited but that is what makes this place so good. We grabbed a table and waited for our food. It was a quick wait and it was so worth it! Easily the best burger I have ever had and I don’t say that lightly.

The atmosphere is amazing, it was surreal that this is in the lobby of a hotel. This is definitely one thing I would say you have to do if you head to New York. After walking 15 miles that day and an early start at 8.30pm, I was ready to head back to the hotel. We walked through Time Square and took in the sights but headed for an early night ready for the next day.

Monday

Monday we went to Woodbury Common Premium Outlet. Again we bought the tickets before we went on groupon. Shortline Coaches is the service that runs from Port Authority to Woodbury Common which is about 1 hour 15 minutes away. With this groupon deal you pay $25 dollars instead of the $42 you would pay if you just arrived at Port Authority, plus you will be able to redeem a saving passport when you arrive at Woodbury Common. As you can imagine, Port Authority is massive, so head up the escalator and round to the left and you will see the Shortline Coach desk where you redeem you groupon vouchers. Then walk to 110 depot and you can board the bus. The coaches are regular with the first one leaving at 8:30am. This is about perfect timing to get there on time for the shops opening. We grabbed breakfast and made a list of the places we wanted to go. I’ll bore you with everything I bought but this place is good for casual clothes and gym wear. I actually ended up buying more things for Chris as it’s great for mens clothes. There are also a number of designer shops, they don’t keep any core lines and usually the colours are quite elaborate so no bag purchases for me this time. We walked around all, stopped in a few shops before we took the plunge to buy anything then there was a shopping frenzy. Mum wanted to stop in Levis to see about a pair of jeans, an hour and $300 later we left the shop heavy ladened with bags. My one tip for outlet shopping is bring a 4-wheel suitcase. Its easy to pack everything in and also lots of the shops use paper bags and when you have so many they easily rip. Its also much easier to get back to your hotel without forgetting any bags if it’s all in the case. We got back pretty late, when to Walgreens for some sweets and a quick bite to eat then went to Sephora to pick up a few things and then back to the hotel. Another day of walking over 8 miles so its bed for us.

Tuesday

Last day and we have ticked off everything that we set out to do on this trip so this day is much more relaxed. We start the day with a run round Central Park, we ran over 3 miles and mum has run in years so it was amazing that she ran the whole way with me.

We went back to the hotel got shower, changed and packed up and checked out leaving our bags there for the day. By this stage we had done enough walking so today was definitely a little slower after the run. We walked to Anthropology then Rockafeller Centre and people watched really.

We then began to get peckish so we walked to Levain Bakery on the Upper West Side. A small little bakery with the freshest cookies you will ever have. They are a small shop packed full of people. There cookies are made fresh and hot in the middle with the chocolate, plus they had Earl Grey Tea so I was happy. They have a lovely little bench outside where we enjoyed baguette with butter and jam (yeah!) and then our cookies! They are so rich, one between two is more than enough.

We walked back to Central Park for a walk around then back to Sephora for another quick purchase (I wouldn’t want shoppers regret) then back to the hotel to go to the airport.

So another trip to New York ticked off the list. I just love that city so much and could go back again but after I have a big long nap to recover from the lack of sleep from this trip. I enjoyed doing a few more of the non-tourist things attractions and there is so much more of New York that I still need to see.

Lashings of Love,

K xo

Home | Buying our first house

As we now are celebrating being in our home two years (where did that time go!) it got me thinking about the whole buying process. It all seemed so stressful at the time but now that I look back here is the advice I would give my younger self. 

Be prepared to sacrifice 

If you’re starting to save for your first home, like we did, I took a long hard look at my monthly income and outgoings, and this was the daunting start to our process. This allowed me to calculate my bills and my disposal income, shockingly I had more disposable income than I thought, by no means a millionaire, but multiple trips to the shops and online orders seemed to take a large proportion of my salary. That’s the first thing I cut back on, not completely but sacrifices had to be made. 

Save, save and save some more

Although I’ve just said I didn’t completely cut back I was very concise of what I bought, I became more aware of disposable fashion and make up and things had only to be bought for a purpose. There is much more than a deposit, there is solicitors fees, furniture and installation charges. It really racks up so be realistic with the money you can save keep that in mind for your mortgage payments. I went to a mortgage advisor to workout our budget and what were affordable monthly payments. One thing I will say was that with our salaries they were willing to give us more than we originally thought, we could have gone for a higher mortgage with higher monthly payments and probably a bigger house but really we wanted to make it manageable. Only do want you can afford, it’s important to be able to live and enjoy your new home. 

Compromise is key

Whether you’re buying on your own, with your partner or with a friend. Once you have an idea of budget, make a list of things that are ideal. Now go through this list and look through the things that you would compromise on. For us location, south facing garden and car parking were essential. It would have been ideal to have a semi detached, separate dining room, downstairs toilet but unfortunately this was not possible so we had to compromise and what’s important is, for us this is our first home, it’s unlikely we or you will stay there forever and the next house, once you get some time under your belt and maybe a little more saving, you will be able to incorporate these desirable into your essential list. 

Don’t let looks get the better of you

If you walked into a shop that is beautifully decorated and tidy you’re more likely to buy right…it’s the same with houses. The difference is there is only 1 house and lots of buyers. If an estate agent thinks a house has potential they will do an open day. That’s what happened with the first house we bid on. If a house is well decorated, you can see yourself living there. That’s exactly what we thought and although we set a budget there were multiple bidders and we seen ourselves go £12,000 above our budget and £16,000 over the asking price. What were we thinking, we got carried away and I just hope that the other buyers could afford. No matter what, when the furniture is removed and the rooms are bare, it looks completely different and then you will want to reprint walls and change things around. Interiors are not worth blowing your budget, you can and will make improvements as you go along. 

Try not to get emotionally invested 

My dream home is a old house which we can renovate. We viewed multiple houses and fell in love with this one which looking back now was completely impractical, particularly for our first home. We were sale agreed but knew it needed a lot of work and a couple weeks later we got a complete building survey, our dreams were shattered. The house was in such bad disrepair beyond our naive eyes. It need completely rewired, the chimney was about to fall in, repointing on the outside, wood root, a second damp course and to top it all off asbestos. Our surveyor (who was lovely) and we met him at the house while he was doing the survey gave us some pretty good advice. Without £40,000 before we moved in, it would be impossible for us to make the house liveable, all before we even lifted a paintbrush for the internal. This was a tough blow, we were devastated, because we were emotional involved in the house. We were annoyed that we paid £800 for a survey that proved this wasn’t our dream home, really we should have been happy, we identified the problem and saved ourselves a painful and stressful journey but at the time it was difficult not to think that we had wasted that money for a survey. That’s the trick the survey was vital for us to know that was not a sensible investment. 

Don’t be afraid of professional advice

We took advice from anyone who would help and not my mum or dad but professional advice. We went to a mortgage advisor, who proved to give us a better rate on our mortgage than going directly to the banks. We also took advice from our building surveyor on that and the house we eventually bought. Our solicitor who helped us along the way, I called a lot and I’m sure he screened some of our calls but he knows this process inside and out. Other than signing a few documents and giving them a read (I’m probably doing them no justice) but he gave us so much help. Your solicitor works for you and in this case represents you so use their knowledge and expertise. Remember the estate works for the seller of the property so if you have any problems, get advice and help from your solicitor, they are the best person to represent you. 

Be patient

This process takes time. Finding the right house takes time then conveyancing takes even more time. It’s so easy to say this once it’s complete but it’s so important to be patient, you can rush people along, and be sure to keep them on there toes chasing but there will be a lot of back and forth so don’t let that get you down. Once you get the keys and unlock the door of your new home for the first time that feeling is amazing and no one can take that achievement away from you then. 

Lashings of Love, 

K xo

Travel | More Strand & More Stripes

Spending time away from home can be nice. After a week of living with no living room or dinning room, it was a welcome relief to put the house back together on Friday and head away from the ever mounting dust to the fresh countryside air. Getting away from it all really is the best way to relax.


Last year Chris and I headed to Malin in Donegal for a weekend away with our friends and their children, we enjoyed it so much last year we had to do it again this year. I have to say I was really looking forward to the break, feeling completely remote. Chris luckily had the day off on Friday so he packed the car, did a shop to bring up some food and then came to collect me from work so we were straight on the road. From Belfast, Malin is quiet far and the house we were staying in doesn’t allow dogs, so Piper heading to mums for a holiday, treated like a princess no doubt. We arrived to the house at 8pm, the kids headed to bed, time for a glass of wine and dinner, it’s the weekend so lets unwind.

The house we stay in has more than enough room for 6 adults and 5 kids, with everything you could need, including a hot tub. After a long week, a dip in the hot tub is perfect. The run into the hot tub on a cold October night really is bracing, no more so than when you have to get out and dry off. Luckily there is an aga in the house (the dream) so once your back in the house, its nice to warm up by the aga before heading to bed.

Saturday morning, Chris and I lay in, no help to our friends who were up with their kids. You can tell neither Chris or I are parents, we didn’t even wake up to the sound of the kids in the morning, we were in a deep sleep. After a good nights sleep it was time to brace the great outdoors. Driving through country roads where you barely meet another car and there is no traffic lights, parking is at the side of the street, free from traffic wardens and an jams are from meeting a tractor on a windy road. It’s refreshing.

We made our way to Genevan Waterfall for a walk but unfortunately due to the adverse weather we have been having recently it was closed as bridges have been destroyed and the trail isn’t safe. Thankfully the guys found that out before we all started to trek up. We then made our way to Pollan Bay for a walk on the beach, it was brisk, but I loved seeing our friends kids play in the sand, despite the fact I was standing around freezing, running around playing with kids sure does get the temperature up. Then time to head back to the house for a leisurely lunch.

After lunch we drove to Malin Head for a walk, the most northernly point in Ireland, now here was where you really needed your coat, the winds were so strong. It was amazing to go for a walk along the edge of the island, at the point where lots of families said good bye to their relatives as they made there way to the US, somewhere I have been back and forth to lots, this was the last time these people seen the Emerald Isle. On our way back, we spotted a heart made of stone with C&K, no no, don’t get carried away, Chris isn’t some kind of romantic, nor would I want him to be, but some other couple must have made it when we were on our walk!

After a fast paced walk back to warm up, we drove back to Malin and we enjoyed a Guiness (with a dash of blackcurrant, the only way I can enjoy a Guiness) and games with the kids, its unbelieveabe how competitive we can all be. New favourite game dobble, well lets just say the kids showed me up, and I wasn’t even trying to let them win, more practice needed. We made our way back to the house for the evening.

Saturday night, Chris made chilli for burritos and tacos, not your typical Irish dinner. Storm Brian had descended to Donegal so there was no way I was journeying out into the windy night to get into the hot tub. Wine by the aga is much nicer, not to mention the chat all night was so good. I went to bed on Saturday night and realised I had hardly looked at my phone, now that is detox, not only when you know you shouldn’t look at your phone but you don’t even want to because you’re having such a great time.
We woke up on Sunday morning had breakfast, tidied the house ad although the others made their way to the beach we went to mummy’s house for Sunday lunch, there is no greater treat than someone cooking for you, especially on a lazy Sunday. We popped Piper into the car and drove home for a relaxing afternoon in the house. I started writing this blog post while Chris unpacked the car, I think I played a good card there. This really was weekend bliss, fresh air really is good for the soul. Until next year Donegal!
Lashing of Love,
K xo

Travel | 48 hours in Barcelona 

Barcelona has a rich cultural heritage and is today an important cultural centre and a major tourist destination for people across the world. Particularly it is renowned for the architectural works of Antoni Gaudí, honestly I didn’t have a clue who he was before we went, time to Google.

Situated in the Catalonia area in Spain, it’s easy to get to Barcelona. We flew there a few days before, spent 5 days in France and got the train back to Barcelona again for a 2 day visit. We have exactly 48 hours there. Time to get planning. We made a list of a few things we wanted to see and started a plan.

When we arrived at the train station, I opened Uber to find that it’s not available in Barcelona. What no Uber, how would we get round. Straight out to queue for a taxi and with more than 100 people waiting I. The blistering heat we knew it would be a long wait. I spotted an information desk and walked over, there was a bus tour which went straight past our hotel. Why not, find out more about the city for the same price as a taxi over the 2 days we were there. €39 each, sign me up. I always go away and do a bus tour, I’ve turned into my granny it would seem. But a few years ago Chris and I were travelling to Oxford, a city steeped in historical landmarks so a bus tour became the easiest way to get around and find out more. Since then, we’ve just always done it. For a city like Barcelona, a bus tour is essential just because it’s so big and taking taxis everywhere really wouldn’t be that cost effective. There are 3 different routes of the city so it well worth the money with buses coming to stops every few minutes. This way you get to take in the most of Barcelona and hop on and off for the spots you really want to see. We started sightseeing before we had even arrived at the hotel – result!


We got off at the end of Las Ramblas and made our way to our hotel. Las Ramblas is a long meandering street with connects the port with the city centre. We got checked in, checked out the room, freshened up and then began to walk further up Las Ramblas to get on the next stop in the tour. It was extremely unfortunate that just over one week before we arrived a terrible terrorist attack happened on that very street with people killed and injured. I don’t really know what we expected, less people, quieter streets but it was the exact opposite, it was hard to believe such a horrible act had happened. There was hustle and bustle and the sellers on that street kept their shop doors open with many giving away free candles to add the the memorial which continued to grow at pace every day. We stopped at each of the memorial sites on our way to the Plaça de Catalunya to get on the next stop and travel around some more.


As you travel around the city on the bus you will hear Gaudi mention a lot as his works become very familiar after a while, like mosaic tiles. We then journeyed to Park Guerl another one of Gaudis works to be told we couldn’t get in until 6pm. We spent a while walking around the Park Guell and think goodness for the people selling iced water, after walking up a fairly steep hill, to find out we were going in the wrong direction and then having to walk up another steep hill to get to the park we were exhausted by the time we got there. We had a beautiful walk about the part of the park that you don’t need a ticket for. There were buskers and painters around with lots to see. Normally a walk like that wouldn’t seem at all strenuous but in the searing heat, it seemed almost impossible. We stopped for lunch just outside the park, tapas as always and a good drink of water to hydrate before heading on again. A good spray of deodorant wouldn’t have gone a miss then either!! The one stop I really wanted to make was the Sagrada Familia, we got back on the bus and made our way there to find that the next available time for 6pm, we were told to book online for the following day. Everything was booking up so fast, especially because it was the weekend. In hindsight, I wish we had booked online for Saturday but we didn’t know what time we would get there but my advice, estimate a time and work around that. We wasted most of Saturday afternoon trying to get into places which were fully booked. We got back on the bus to get back to the centre and came across Barcelona Football Club. We got off the bus to have a look and to Chris’ delight we were able to go in straight away. It would have been a waste of an afternoon if we didn’t go in and do some sightseeing so I agreed. Not footballs biggest fan I thought I would go anyway and see what it’s like. We began by walking around and reading the history of the club, honestly I was shocked how impressed I was. When they say that it is more than just a club they really mean it, it was really interesting and the stadium itself is breath taking. It’s safe to say that if I hear any news about Barcelona Football my ears may just prick up, I’m emotionally invested now, you can only imagine my interest in transfer deadline day…like what is that about! We left and missed the last bus back so we got a taxi. It’s easy to hail a cab in Barcelona, if the green light is on, just hop in.


We got as close back to our hotel as possible as there was a peaceful protest. The huge number of people who attended with flowers, candles and signs was truly astonishing. It’s amazing to see how people come together over such sadness and show such strength. They walked up and down Las Ramblas and within minutes the memorials grew phenomenally. It was amazing to see and something we will not forgot. We walked back to our hotel and watched the goings on from our balcony while we got ready for the evening and booked our tickets for the next day.


We headed to the Barcelona Square for drinks and dinner, no surprises for guessing we ordered tapas and paella from Ocaña. Truly delicious all washed down with a few glasses sangria. We walked up Las Ramblas to see what else was going on, we stopped along the way for a few glasses of wine (NOTE: why does rosè taste so much better on holiday!). We called it a night and wandered back to the hotel.

We got up on Sunday morning had breakfast and got on the road. I imagined we would have got up earlier but I think the rosé wine had taken a much greater toll. We walked around the port and then continued the bus tour to the Gothic Quarter before making our way to Sagrada Familia for the tour we booked.


We booked it for 3pm which allowed us to go up the façade 15 minutes later. We went up the Nativity Façade rather than the Passion Façade. Nativity isn’t as popular as the Passion Façade is much higher so we took what was available. The views from the bridge between the Façade is amazing, we seen the whole east side of the city. The bridge isn’t that wide and if there are a few people on it there is just about room to squeeze past them. The walk down is less than desirable. The narrow spiral staircase is one to walk slowly down, especially if you look down the middle and see just how far there is until the bottom, as you look down you’ll notice it looks like a shell, the whole way to the bottom. I’m not the greatest fan of heights and if you’re the same hang on tight to the railing. We then collected the audio guides and went around the Cathedral, to say it’s impressive would be an understatement. It’s difficult to comprehend Gaudi’s vision for this incredible building as the amount of detail couldn’t be completely covered in one tour. The pillars inside are like a forest, the stain glass windows are cooler colours on the side of sun rise as this cooler in the morning and the sun set has warmer colours. Whether you are religious or not this is definitely worth a visit, it was my favourite spot on our tour.

*insert awkward scared face


After we walked back into the town for dinner and drinks. We went to Rossini for dinner, give it a try, their tapas were much better and the paella was to die for. Earlier night for us tonight after a walk home and then off to bed to catch the early flight in the morning.

We both said that we would definitely visit again there was so much we didn’t see and only a 2 hour flight from Belfast so perfect for a weekend city break. There is an endless amount to see and just walked through the streets of Barcelona taking in the atmosphere is amazing.

So where is our next destination? Any recommendations?

Lashings of Love,

K xo

Travel | Overcoming Jet Lag

After just returning from a trip, I am beginning to feel back to normal. I spent the week on the west coast of America, 8 hours behind my normal time zone. Travelling west seems to be much easier, as I just head to bed earlier and walk up earlier but when I’m away that’s fine, I spent most early mornings out for walks or runs to prevent tossing and turning. Travelling east long haul to come back home can be tough and in the beginning I found it tough, much more difficult than my more experienced and well travelled colleagues. Honestly I found it tough to bounce back to home time without being completely exhausted but I have come up with a few tricks to shake myself out of it. 

Prepare before you go

Make sure your home is ready for your return. Clean, tidy and ready for you to relax. Coming home to a clean and tidy house makes it easier to get on with unpacking and getting the boring return home tasks done. 

Before you leave pack your flight bag to make sure you have your cleanser, moisturiser and tooth brush to run through as normal of a night time routine for you as possible. I always like to travel with no make up on so my skin is as clean and moisturised as possible with the rubbish air conditioning my skin dries out so quickly. 

Night flights are your best friend 

Use the flight to get rested as much as you can. Night time flights usually serve dinner and drinks before dimming the lights but I’m well prepared and have eaten in the airport. That means more time for shut eye. I always bring a eye mask, ear plugs and cosy clothes so I’m nice and warm and get relaxed as quick as possible. 

I don’t really enjoy flying but I’ll be the first to say that a sleeping tablet has revolutionised my long haul travel. Now I use the term sleeping tablet loosely, I use a melatonin supplement, which is the natural hormone that your body produces to make you feel tired and fall asleep. It’s great for travel to get you over to sleep on a flight. Realistically sometimes flights are full and there are no spare seats and sometimes you don’t even get a window seat. 

Drink Lots

Try and drink as much water as possible to stay hydrated throughout your travels. Ideally in the airport so your not up and down through the flight which is your vital sleeping time and if your on a window can be awkward to get in and out. I would avoid alcohol as much as possible, it often dehydrates and gives me lots of energy. 

Eat Regularly 

When it get home it’s important to eat at regular times. Get up and have breakfast, lunch and dinner. Depending on what time your flight is it’s important to eat to ensure you get back on schedule. Let’s face it though, airplane food is rubbish. The choice of chicken curry and pasta really seems to get boring. They are carbohydrate rich which I think makes me lethargic and really full.  This is perfect for breakfast but for other meals throughout the day it just doesn’t suit me. Go grab a tasty meal in the airport when you land if you have a transfer or head to a local eatery if your at home. 

Keep Busy

Once you land and arrive on home ground try and keep yourself busy. It’s easy to sit on the sofa and fall asleep quickly (I’ve honestly done this more than once) but it really makes things worse. By doing that I can’t sleep at night, then could easily sleep all day. As soon as I get in I put a wash on (or Chris is more likely to do that) and then I’ll go for a nice long shower to wash my hair and freshen up. This helps me waken up and feel ready for the rest of the day. I’ll tend to go for lunch or dinner and walk Piper getting as much fresh air as I can to stay away until it’s night time and I’m ready for bed. 

Set Alarms

If you have stayed awake your first day home, you’re winning. Now getting up at a regular time will also get you back on track. I always have a lazy day around the house in sweats the next day always give me time to catch up on how tired I am from the night before. 

Travelling is one of my favourite things so jet lag is just an uncomfortable result of travelling so far to see these amazing things in the world. I’ve seen times where I’m unreasonably grumpy as a result of having to do all these things but in the long run, I know it’s worth it. 

Lashings of Love,

K xo

Travel | In flight essentials

Today I’m off travelling again, this time with work. Travelling is one of the most rewarding things we can do, no matter where your destination is or what the purpose of the trip is there is always something to learn and pick up along the way. Not to mention, even if it is a busy work week there is always duty free to keep you motivated eh! Travelling with work is probably my favourite aspect of my job but it can really take its toil and although I don’t mind when I’m travelling by myself, but it can get lonely. Now travelling alone doesn’t really bother me at all, it’s more the flight that I’m just not fussed on and let’s face it Northern Ireland isn’t flourishing with direct flights so there is usually stop overs and that’s were it can get a little more challenging. I once had a terrible fear of flying and although not completely away, one turbulent and my knuckles begin to turn white and I start to say a prayer. All that being said, once I’ve landed and I get to finally enjoy my destination I can see that it’s all worth while. Through my travels I have found that there are a range of things which I need to not only to keep me entertained but keep me on top form to ensure when I land I am ready to roll quickly.

Cleanse & Moisturise 

As soon as the fascin seatbelt sign is turned off I skip out to the bathroom to give my face a good clean and moisturise. Before we land I love nothing more than to wash my face again to remove any dirty from the artificial air to try and prevent any break outs. I have found that a facial spray really will help to reinvigorate the skin as well as the beautiful scent which makes me feel much fresher.

Endless Entertainment 

Most long haul flights will have a tv in the head rest in front of you but it’s more for the boring lay overs and terminal hanging around. I always bring my iPad with movies and books galore and a couple of magazines so I’m well entertained while I’m waiting. Patience isn’t an attribute I possess so I really need to make this as enjoyable as possible. I make sure to pack my Belkin charge pack to be sure that I never run out of battery on my iPad or phone…now that really would be a crisis.

Home Comforts

Sitting for an extended period of time in economy can get a little uncomfortable. I always bring a pair of leggings, hoodie and some fluffy socks. Getting comfortable with a pillow and blanket makes it’s even better. If it’s an over night flight I bring along an Optrex Warming eye mask to help settle me over to sleep.

Relax & Rehydrate

Once you’re relaxed it is important to rehydrate. I wouldn’t travel without berroca. I allows find planes are really dehydrating and with the air conditioning coughs and sneezes can spread infections s quickly. I always bring a berroca and have one on the plane just before we land. Trips work or pleasure are usually hectic so I take one everyday to be sure I stay at my peak during the trip.

Travelling is amazing but most importantly, if you are travelling alone, be safe. If you don’t have a transfer organised, be sure to ask the taxi driver how far away your hotel is if you don’t already know and then call (or at least pretend to call) a loved one, then they will know that someone is waiting for you. Most importantly enjoy it, take in the new cultures, try new foods, see something you have never seen before. My philosophy on travel (if you can even call it that) is to get up early and stay up late to maximise your time there, just think about the next week you’ll be back home and there is plenty of time to catch up on Netflix when you get home.

Lashings of Love,

K xo

Hand Luggage Only  

The Little Lash Room - Hand Luggage Only

Holiday packing tips for girls heading away for a long weekend

Last weekend I headed away for my friends hen party to Portugal and it was great. Lots of the girls brought check in suitcases and couldn’t understand how I had packed so much in such a small case. With a check in bag I always over pack – I don’t wear all of the things I have packed but I still bring them, just in case. However when packing with hand luggage only the tactics change. More versatile outfits are required to make the most out of my limited space.

  1. Think Strategically

Write down every day that you are going to be there and an idea of what you will be doing.

For me I will either be by the pool, going for a walk or heading out for a night. Here’s how I do it:

Friday

Day – Pool – bikini, floral shorts, white cami

Night – Dinner & Drinks – White Lace Dress

Saturday

Day – Walk – Denim shorts, white tee, tan sandals

Night – Hen Party – Dress Up

 

  1. Only pack what’s on this list

Its tempting to want to bring more things with you, just in case, but just in case often never happens and for girls who are travelling on a budget, adding a few extra things can cost you a few extra pounds!

  1. Mix & Match

By packing shorts, skirts and tops this way you can co-ordinate these pieces to make the most of your space. Your white cami will go with denim shorts and your skirt, which means your outfits can go from day to night very easily.

  1. Only pack the essential toiletries

When I go away the only thing I really need is my make-up, moisturiser and perfume. Other than that I can buy everything else in the airport or when I get there. I highly recommend if you are heading away with friends why not all pool together and buy the necessary shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, toothpaste and sun creams once you are through security. Travel size toiletries are a rip off, this way you will all be sharing them over the weekend and very little goes to waste because everyone is using them.

  1. Handbags & Hand Luggage

It has happened to me more often than not, especially on a particular orange airline that the air stewards refuse to let you on the plane if you have hand luggage and a handbag. For me I’m always tight on space and the bag just definitely isn’t going in. Following from my last point of buying something in the airport, be sure to get a plastic bag, this way you can pop your handbag in there when you’re boarding the plane, I know it’s a bit sneaking but even if it was in my case I would have to take it out when I got on the plane anyway so really it saves time for everyone!

 

Lashings of Love

Kerrie xo