Thursday, 8 December 2016

Trek Thursday; Days 23-24, Nevada/CA Desert, Bodie and Lake Tahoe

Bonus Trek Thursday post!

After the lush 2 night stay in Vegas at the Golden Nugget hotel it was time to load ourselves into the van again and we headed out to the Nevada/California desert, stopping off near to where Area 51 is rumoured to be. The place we stopped off at also had the Alien Cathouse attached to it, a brothel with a sign outside saying free tours. So we did what any group of people would do, we rang the doorbell and went on a free tour. It was interesting to say the least, we definitely felt a little like Louis Theroux! After our er interesting experience, we left Area 51 and arrived in the quaint town of Beatty for the night. Where we were staying was near to some hot springs, so after dinner and when it was dark we got changed into our swim stuff and headed to the Keough Hot Springs. Our trek leader Garth had bought some glow sticks from the Walmart which was such a good idea, he threw them into the hot springs we were going in, and they lit up the springs and made it more atmospheric. The springs were lush, just like a giant hot bath, which is always welcomed. After we had gotten very pruny and shrivelled up, we headed back to camp, which was one of the brightest camp sites we stayed at. Our pitch was right under a giant lamp, and it stayed on all night, great.
After our bright night sleep we left and set off for Lake Tahoe. On the way though we stopped of at Bodie, an old deserted mining town. Whereby the residents had literally upped and left, leaving behind their homes and a lot of their belongings. With things literally just left, like bottles on counters, covers on beds etc. It was a little spooky, and there was a book int he museum with letters from people who had written to the site to say they wanted to return items such as rocks that they had taken, because they believed them to be haunted and that bad things had come to them since taking them. Creepy, but fascinating stuff. After Bodie we made it to Lake Tahoe, where we entered our last state, California! Lake Tahoe was another absolutely freezing place, so that we didn't have to sit out in the cold, we went bowling for the evening, followed by a drink in a local bar to warm us up. Obviously I came last at bowling. I do have to say that Lake Tahoe was the one night that I reckon I could've done without on the trip. Sure it was a lovely spot, but we had to drive past our turning for Yosemite, drive for hours, to then the next day have to go back on ourselves to get to Yosemite. 

So Lake Tahoe concluded the end of day 21. Just 5 days to go, emosh!

Sophie xx


Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Trek Tuesday; Days 21-24, Historic Route 66 and Las Vegas!!

After packing up our tents for the last time for two nights, HURRAH, we all happened to be piled onto the bus 35 minutes before we had planned, I wonder if we were excited for Vegas? We had a fairly long drive ahead of us, but we had some cool stops off on the way. Including stopping off at Seligman and Historic Route 66 where we perused all the touristy shops and of course the signage! We also had our first group in and out experience, and it was glorious. Oh so glorious. They know how to do a burger. After our delish burger lunch we made it to Hoover Dam, however I momentarily lost my camera for this stop (aka it fell out of its case on the bus, oops) so there are no photos of it, but it was pretty impressive and oh so hot!!
AND WE MADE IT TO VEGAS. From the start of the trip, the topic that we forever talked about was VEGAS VEGAS VEGAS. And we finally made it. Although it signalled Day 21 of our trip, meaning we were just a few days away from the end, emotional stuff. We rolled into Vegas playing appropriate Vegas tunes, checked in to our hotel, the Golden Nugget, which was situated on Fremont Street, the old school downtown area of Vegas, which was SO FUN. After enjoying a LONG bath, we all got super dolled up and headed to Garths room where enjoyed A LOT of Dominos (which we subbed from the food kitty) and it tasted so so so much better than our English Dominos. After a few pre-drinkies and carbing up, it was time to load the party bus! We had a party bus pick us up at 9pm from the hotel and it was just hilarious. We went on a tour of Vegas, stopping off at the famous sign, the chapel where we witnessed a 'wedding', and then ended at the Bellagio for the fountain display. We were all pretty drunk by this point and after we had wandered around a few casinos it was somehow 3am. So we headed to a McDonalds which naturally was inside a casino, before calling it a night. I had the best night's sleep EVER.  After we had all slept foreverrr we got up and headed out to the Fashion Show mall which was ginormous and had every shop under the sun, including a Sephora and Bath and Body Works, yaaaay. After we had shopped till we dropped and filled up in the food court on Panda Express we headed back to the hotel for a chill by the pool with a strawberry daiquiri, which was lush. Our hotel had a pool and a slide which went through a shark tank which was pretty epic!

After you've gone all out and had quite an intense trip, as soon as you stop for a moment to rest, it really hits you. And after having one chill day in Vegas it hit us all and we were all absolutely knackered so we had a fun dinner out on the strip before calling it a night and enjoying the hotel bed.

Again, I had planned to cover a few more days on this post but it got a bit photo heavy. So keep your eyes peel for Thursdays bonus post!

Sophie xx


Monday, 5 December 2016

A London Mini Break

I love a London adventure and when I was invited to the Makeup Revolution Halloween party/I Am Freedom final, it was the perfect excuse to meet up with the lovely Laura and Kirsty and make a little night stay out of it. We stayed in the Blackfriars Novotel, just a few seconds walk away from Southwark station and we had a really nice stay. Upon arrival the lovely manager Francoise welcomed us and was very accommodating and lovely during our stay. Our room was a good size, there were 3 of us staying in a superior premium so we had a lovely double bed and 2 sofa single beds, which worked our very well for us indeed. The bathroom was a good size and in particular found the novelty of a bathroom wall that could be frosted or clear glass, very entertaining. The Blackfriars Novotel also has a decent sized swimming pool, with attached jacuzzi area that is basically a small enclosed part of the pools with extra bubbles, a sauna and a gym (not that we used that lolll), but we were definitely impressed with the facilities. After we had had our little pre party pool sesh we headed up to our room to slowly get ready for the night. I love nights out where you slowly get ready with friends, drinking, chatting and dancing! We ordered food from Tinseltown on Ubereats (use my code eats-sophieb6215ue for £10 off your order) and we were a little disappointed, our food was cold and one of the garlic dips leaked everywhere but it was a good way to line our stomachs for the evening. After we had lined our stomachs we got an Uber to DSTRKT where the party was and got our party hats on.
The main reason for our London adventure was for the Makeup Revolution Revoween party. The party was super fun, we had a good drink, dance and laugh and ha a chat with a few bloggers that we kne wof beforehand, which was nice. After we were basically the last ones standing we headed back to the hotel where we ordered some late night room service, ham and cheese toasted sandwiches. YES. Except the sandwiches were literally slices of toast with a slice of ham and cheese, and by the time the sandwiches got to our room the toast was just soggy mush. Not the best, but in our drunken hungry state they did alright and weren't too badly priced for room service tbh. We all slept really well, and my bed was sooooo comfy. We then checked out breakfast. I don't know whether it was because it was half term, or because they had a weird system, but there was a MASSIVE line of people queuing for breakfast and plenty of spare tables inside the breakfast room, which was bizarre. However once we had faced the line, the breakfast was so worth it. It was a dream!! We then checked out and all headed home to Berkshire, Brighton and up North. It was a lovely chance to catch up with the girls and to meet other bloggers at the party!

Sophie xx

*I was offered to review the Novotel Blackfriars, but all opinions are my own.

Saturday, 3 December 2016

The Non Beauty Gift Guide and a Giveaway

We all have that friend/family member that a) seems to already own everything b) not have a specific hobby etc that you can buy for c) never divulges what they actually want. To help you with those hard to buy friends and family, and people who aren't into beauty, makeup and skincare, here are a few gift ideas of mine 

Scratch The World Print (£20), perfect for that friend that's been on a few fun holidays, travelled the world, or has dreams of travelling. These are so fun, and I love the detail of the map, and the different colours underneath each country etc. I can't wait to pop this bad boy in a frame, and it's also great motivation to get out and travel more. A blogger cliche that is catching on to everyone, are Light Up Message Boards (£19.99) even my local salon now has one, and they love it. I love a novelty Christmas gift, and these Colour Changing Rudolph Mugs (£9.99) are super cute, instagrammable, and the nose changed to red when it warms up, aw.
Everyone remembers Mr Men and Little Miss, and this year their amazing online shop means you can buy some gorgeous classic pieces, limited edition items and personalised products. They offer prints, cushions, mugs, water bottles, tote bags, tea towels and a few more items, however I really loved both the 20cmx20cm print (£20 unframed, £35 framed) and the coaster (£5). I decided to go for the Little Miss Hug image but personalise it to Little Miss Blogger, and I think these would make amazing presents for both the bloggers and on bloggers in your life. And are perfect for blogger secret santas! Use the code HEARTS for 10% off. 

I Just Love It is another super cute site that allows your to personalise most of the gifts on their site, making gifts that much more special. They do all sorts of items, from this personalised vodka (£29.99), where you can choose the label design, as well as adding a few personalised words, perfect for any vodka drinker. I think my sister is going to love me for this one in particular. I think that this adorable personalised tea box (£24.99) would definitely be a hit with a lot of tea lovers out there! It also comes with a selection of Pukka Teas, and has 6 lovely compartments inside to put your tea collection in. And you can personalise the initial and name on the top, as well as text inside. You can also choose between 3 very generous tea packages, I think the detox one makes a handy gift, perfect for the Christmas period eh.
And if you have someone in your life who wouldn't suit any of these ideas and enjoys a drink or two, then Spar actually sell some really affordable, award winning wines that would go down a treat. The Chablis (£11), Les Trois Couronnes Chateauneuf du Pape (£13.50) and Prosecco Speciale (£9) in particular are always guaranteed winners, and who doesn't love some bubbles over the festive period! 

To help you in your quest of finding a suitable gift, I have one super lovely scratch the world print to give away to one lucky winner. Simply follow the Rafflecopter below, UK only and ends 09/12/2016 to allow for delivery time. 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

What sort of non-beauty gifts do you like to give to the people who seem to have it all?

Sophie xx

*Contains PR samples.


Thursday, 1 December 2016

Trek Thursday; Days 19-20, The Grand Canyon (a bonus!)

Bonus Trek Thursday post!

After watching the magical sun rise over Monument Valley we were up and off to The Grand Canyon, or the GC as Hannah referred to it as. On the way we stopped off at the Cameron Trading Post for some touristy bits and nick nacks, had lunch and arrived at the Grand Canyon. Somewhere I've wanted to visit since forever. When we arrived, we blindfolded ourselves with our American Flag dust rags from Monument Valley, and Garth arranged us in a conga line, and led us to a viewing spot. We must have looked ridiculous as it took us ages to walk about 4 metres, we were giggling too much. We got to the spot, lined up next to each other, and then we all removed our blindfolds at the same time. The view. I can't even. It was really incredible, and also kinda quite emotional. After a few f*ck that's amazing comments, a tonne of incredible photos, and a look around one of the viewing platforms, we went to camp, just a few minutes outside of the park and set up our camp for 2 nights. We explored the camp, went to the liqour store and got some cans for our plastic cups and the Canyon sunset! We had dinner and then headed back into camp in the evening to get a good spot to witness the incredible sun set over the Grand Canyon, and it was amazing. After the sun set we headed back to our camp for one of our coldest nights yet. IT WAS SO COLD.
After a very chilly night, we woke up pretty early as we wanted to do a hike on one of the trails and wanted to try and miss the crowds and the heat. We chose to do the moderate hike on the South Kaibab Trail to Ooh Aah Point and we managed to get down and back up in under 2 hours. I made the mistake of saying on the way down that whoever stacked it and slipped first had to buy everyone a drink. Guess who fell flat on their backside a second later. Guilty. It was hard work, but the view was amazing and the time of day at which we went was really lovely. After we made it back up to the top without dying we got on the free shuttle bus and went to the market plaza and village, stopping off for a beer at El Tovar, one of the oldest lodges at the Grand Canyon before heading back to camp at around 3pm as some of the others were doing the helicopter ride. An option on our trek was to do the helicopter ride over the Grand Canyon for around $285, however at the time of my trek I didn't really have the funds, and that combined with the fact I'm not sure how I feel about helicopters, meant that I chose not to do it. I'm 19999% sure I'm going to be heading back to The Grand Canyon in the future, with my gal pals, a boyfriend.husband, or family, so I know i'll have the chance again some day. The people who went on it said it was incredible, so if it is something you're interested in, then do it! Whilst half the group were in the helicopter the other half of our group just chilled out, did a wash, headed to the liquor store and just relaxed a bit, which was nice after the intense few days that we had had, and stored up on some sleep before Vegas!!

We had another blimming freezing night, but it was all worth it knowing that it was our last sleep in tent for 2 nights, because up next was VEGAS BABBYYYY.

Sophie xx
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