Saturday, April 25, 2015

The Day Trip Series #1 - Holker Hall and Gardens

I was recently browsing Trip Advisor for days out around where I live and was shocked by how many actually looked fun/ interesting. I'm a city girl at heart but I live surrounded by countryside :(
My mum seems to be very into me actually leaving the house so she jumped right on board when I suggested a trip to Holker Hall. It's a place I've driven past often but never actually been to. I'm a sucker for old buildings so when I was making a day trip list, this went straight to the top.

Dating back to the early 1600s, Holker Hall as been home to the Preston, Lowther and Cavendish famililes. It has never been bought or sold, but has passed by inheritance through the family line. As it is a privately owned home (Lucy Cavensish is the current occupier) we weren't allowed to take photos inside the house but I made up for it with the amount I took of the gardens.
Sorry in advance for the photo heavy post.

The labyrinth is inspired by a design from a Hindi temple and influenced by the tradition of Cumbrian stone circles (I didn't know that was one of our traditions but I'll take the leaflets word for it)

This slate sundial is five feet in diameter and weighs nearly a tonne(!)

As if the acres of land wasn't enough walking to kill me off, there were stairs! The steps led the way to a statue of Neptune, created in the 17th century by Italian craftsmen. Neptune seems to have made friends with the local birds in his time at Holker.

The Courtyard Cafe is pretty cute as well. I don't know if the fact that wild boar and venison was on the menu highlights the type of customers they get. Mainly white, mainly middle class and mainly retired. Other than my mum and two kids, I was the youngest there by about 40 years!

I didn't manage to get around everything there was to see as it was a pretty hot day and I'm ginger. 'Nuff said.

Have you visited Holker Hall and Gardens?
Nikki x


Monday, April 20, 2015

My Ultimate 5 Eurovision Entries 2005-

Eurovision is a massive love of mine-  I have a playlist on my ipod. I'm not one these people who worry about what act we send because I take it for what it is....A lot of fun! Unpopular opinion but Daz Sampson is one of my favourite acts we've sent. If I was looking for a serious music competition then I'd watch X factor. The more theatrical a performance, the better as far as I'm concerned. I love the dramatic power ballads as well as the insanely catchy upbeat tunes.

I struggled to narrow this down to just 5 and it's taken me about a fortnight to finish because I kept getting distracted. I had a rough idea of my top 5 but it would have been rude to not listen to the lot to make sure. That's a hell of a lot of songs (I'm calling it research). What I did discover is that some years have  handful of brilliant songs and other years I struggle to find even one that I like. 

What you will gather from this list is that I'm generally almost alone in liking these songs because they don't do well, at all.

County: Estonia
Act: Getter Jaani
Song: Rockefeller Street
Year: 2011
Place: 24th with 44 points

Country: Hungary
Act: Kati Wolf
Song: What About My Dreams
Year: 2011
Place: 22nd with 53 points

Country: Bosnia & Herzegovina
Act: Feminnem
Song: Call Me
Year: 2005
Place: 14th with 79 points

Country: Sweden
Act: The Ark
Song: The Worrying Kind
Year: 2007

Place: 18th with 51 points

The first four have no order but this fifth one is my absolute favourite! 

Country: France
Act: Les Fatals Picards
Song: L’Amour a la Française
Year: 2007
Place: 22nd with 19 points

Any other Eurovision fans out there?
Nikki x


Monday, April 6, 2015

The Only Blushes You Need For Spring/Summer

My personal options when it comes to blush aren't particularly seasonal as I tend to look like it's halloween if I try and do anything other than baby pinks and peaches. 
My current favourites are perfect through spring and summer.

Max Factor Creme Puff Blush in Seductive Pink
I can't count the amount of times I've mentioned this on my blog since I bought it but it's that good. It's a buildable pink with a subtle shimmer. I never use a highlight with this as I personally am not a fan of a lot of shine. I also can't get over how pretty this is. I hope the swirled effect runs the whole through the blush and isn't just a gimmick.

Rimmel - Santa Rose
This was my first 'non matte' blush and whilst it looks hardly used, it's actually really well loved. I'd describe the colour as a nude peach and the shimmer is really slight. I've also dropped this a few times and, as you can see, it's remained intact. 

Sleek - Pixie Pink
I'm aware this looks fairly scary in the pan but I promise it blends out to a super natural shade. This has been a staple in my collection for (probably) almost two years now and I've hardly used any product. Obviously people with a deeper skin tone will be able to be heavy handed but I find the tiniest amount creates a perfect flushed look.

What are you favourite blushes for the warmer seasons?
Nikki x

Saturday, April 4, 2015

The Ultimate Journal!

Two things you should know about me.....

1) I have never been good at keeping a diary because I tend to forget to actually write one
2) I lose 90% of my belongings
Obviously when I saw this on Instagram it made sense for me to buy this 5 Year Journal. Not! But I did it anyway.
5 years is a bloody long time! If I can keep up to date with the whereabouts of this thing for five weeks I'll be impressed and if I fill it in everyday during that time, I'll fall off whatever I'm situated on. By the time I finish this journal (let's be real! That isn't happening) I'll be 28. 

The layout of this book is day to page. Each page contains a question and then room for five answers underneath meaning that every year you can look back at the previous years answer to see what, if anything, has changed. 
I really like the idea of this as sometimes it's easy to forget how much we change and to give ourselves credit for things we overcome. 

Some questions are fairly trivial such as current favourite songs and last film watched.
Other questions are more deep and try to get you looking at life goals and influences. They may be harder to answer.

I can tell you here and now that the answer to May 8 will always be Prince Harry, August 8 is no and October 13 is slow walking people. 

Are you the sort of person who keeps a diary? Have you tried anything like this?
Nikki x

Thursday, April 2, 2015

March Favourites

I actually cannot get over how fast March flew by. 
I'm a creature of habit so I find myself struggling not to repeat products on favourites posts, especially when it feels like I wrote the last one a week ago, but I've managed to get together some highlights. 

Wet Brush
I received a travel sized brush in this month's Look Fantastic Beauty Box and haven't reached for my beloved tangle teezer since. The bristles on this are super long and fairly spaced out which means it easily tackles even the most unruly hair (perfect for my mane).

Benefit's Roller Lash
This has been my go to mascara this month. I never thought I'd say this but I'm seriously considering taking out a loan for the full size when my sample runs out. I still curl my lashes but the curl holds all day. It makes my eyes look a lot larger than they normally do.

Primark Sunglasses
It isn't necessarily warmer but it's 'squinting' weather. I don't care how cold it is, I'm wearing sunglasses. Primark sunglasses are my favourites. They always look a lot more expensive than they are. I picked up this pair for £2!

The Glam Guide
Fleur was one of the first gurus I discovered on Youtube and she has stayed one of my absolute favourites. I've been reluctant to buy youtubers books for the fear that they would all be very similar but when I heard Fleur was releasing one, I knew I had to have it! I love the mix of beauty, fashion and recipes. It's a great read.

Dainty Necklaces
I've been really loving smaller necklaces recently. They are super subtle and go with absolutely anything. My two favourites are from LVNDR and Warehouse.

Max Factor Creme Puff Blush in Seductive Pink
I've been really surprised by just how much I love this. I normally prefer a matte cheek but I've been suffering from dry skin so I've been avoiding matte products like the plague. This blush has been my go to everyday since I bought it and I really love the subtle shimmer it gives. I'm definitely thinking of buying the other colours in the range.

NYX Eyebrow Powder in Auburn/Red
The reddish colour of this is the perfect shade for my current hair. It's fairly dark against my skin tone but I'm loving a strong brow at the moment. I apply the powder with an angled brush and then go over them with the clear gel to set them in place.
My sister actually asked me yesterday whether my brows were ginger and that is exactly what I've been aiming for so I can definitely see myself repurchasing this.

I've met someone (thing). They're called Netflix. I think it's love. They're a super cheap date (only £5.99 a month) and they don't mind that I'm super clingy. I'm really happy but if I could change one thing it would be that they don't let me watch Parks and Recreation. I'm hoping they'll work on that.

What products have you been loving this month?
Nikki x
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