Posts tagged Travel
When I hit my 20s I decided to create a bucket list, and though I’ve managed to tick a few things off over the last few years, my list is still growing. Quite a few of the things on my list involve travel, and though I’m not yet very well travelled, I’ve been lucky enough to tick a couple of them off fairly recently, albeit the ones that are close to home. In 2013 My fiancé and I flew to Dublin for a fun-packed mini break, and last year we went to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival – something I’d been wanting to do for years. However, I’m still saving up to go on my three big bucket list holidays, so I thought I’d share them with you today.
1. Ontario, Canada
When he was young my dad lived in Ontario in Canada, and his stories of the hot summers and snowy winters of his childhood have had me longing to visit there for years. I’m a sucker for a beautiful landscape, and from what I hear Ontario has an abundance of them, especially during Autumn, when the rust coloured trees transform the mountainsides into glowing dunes. I’m a keen photographer and hope one day to hike through Canadian woods, and take a boat trip over Ontario’s lakes, so that I can photograph the natural beauty of the land.
I’d also like to visit Toronto whilst I’m there, as I’m not averse to the bustling city vibe either. I can just picture myself grabbing some poutine from a little independent café, before wandering the streets and browsing shops full of books and trinkets, before stopping for dinner in Hogtown Vegan, a fab little vegan restaurant that I’ve heard nothing but good things about.
2. Pennsylvania, USA
California, Florida and New York tend to be the American holiday destinations of choice for most people, but I feel more drawn to Pennsylvania. As well as Ontario, my dad spent some of his childhood in Pennsylvania, so one day I want to take a trip there to see where he grew up. I’d love to stay for a while, and treat the state more as a home than a holiday spot, blending in rather than doing the tourist thing, so that I can really get a feel for what life is like for the people who live there. I want to visit all the spots that my dad has told me about, and eat the food he used to eat. I’d also like to go to some NFL games, as my fiancé is a big NFL fan. It would be great if we could see his team (Minnesota Vikings) playing my team (Philadelphia Eagles)!
3. Oslo, Norway
Last but certainly not least is my ultimate bucket list travel destination, and that’s Norway. Or any Scandinavian country for that matter. Ever since I was a toddler I’ve been fascinated by space, and one thing that’s always intrigued me is the Northern Lights. Every time I see a photograph of clear night skies lit up with smudges of green, pink, purple and blue, like an oil painting, my heart skips a beat at the sheer, phenomenal beauty of it. It’s been a dream of mine for a long time to stay in a humble log cabin, in the snow, under the stars, next to a roaring fire, under a blanket with my fiancé, eating toast and watching as the magic of the sky dances above us. It would be amazing. Truly amazing.
Visiting Norway would also be a great opportunity to pack in some action, and create lifelong memories with activities like husky sledding, snowmobiling, reindeer spotting, and trekking through vast forests. Imagine the stunning photographs that I could take!
This post is my entry into Transun‘s #TransunLights Blogger Competition, and the prize is to win a trip for two to see the Northern Lights. Winning would help me tick a trip off my bucket list, which would be incredible, so I’m keeping everything crossed!
What destinations are on your travel bucket list?
As a sufferer of dry, sensitive skin, I am always on the lookout for delicate skin care products that may be able to help me, so when I discovered miamoo via Twitter I was keen to give them a try.
miamoo is the brainchild of ‘The Apprentice’ runner-up and TV personality Saira Khan, who herself struggles with very dry and sensitive skin. After spending years trying (and failing) to find high street products to suit and soothe her skin, Saira took it upon herself to create a range that eliminated the chemicals that made her condition worse, and miamoo was born.
All miamoo products are formulated especially for those with dry, sensitive skin, and are 98% natural; only using synthetic ingredients when absolutely necessary. As such, miamoo is free from Parabens, Petrochemicals, SLS, Synthetic colours and fragrances, and PEGS, as well as other nasties that can irritate sensitive skin.
I was recently lucky enough to receive a miamoo travel goodies set to try out. The set contains miniature versions of six miamoo products, and a lovely cotton wash cloth which is kind on the skin. One thing that stood out to me about miamoo is the packaging. It’s simple and soft-looking, and also very cute with the little cow drawings, and though it looks like it’s aimed towards children, the products are suitable for any age group. Granted, the miamoo website says the travel set is ideal for mummy-to-be’s hospital bag, and can be used for both mum and baby, but that just shows how gentle the products are! If it’s good enough for baby, it’s good enough for my delicate skin too.
Together, the travel goodies form a 3 step skincare routine that not only moisturises dry skin, but also keeps it clean and clear.
Step 1 – Cleanse
Fresh Locks Shampoo
‘bursting with lavender and geranium’
My thoughts: This shampoo has a sweet, fresh scent which is nice and soothing. It’s also a pleasure to use as, unlike chemical-laden shampoos, it doesn’t cling to the hair. As such, it leaves hair feeling soft, clean and bouncy rather than heavy, and doesn’t make my head itch at all!
‘brimming with lemon oil & aloe vera’
My thoughts: The lemon oil in miamoo’s splashy wash gives it an invigorating citrus scent which is ideal for a refreshing morning wake up. It has quite a runny consistency, but it foams up incredibly well and a little goes a very long way! A lot of shower gels make my skin feel tight and dry after use, but this one does the opposite and actually leaves my skin feeling soft and moisturised.
Spritz and Wipe
‘overflowing with lime water & minerals’
My thoughts: spritz and wipe can be used to cleanse away dirt, moisturise the skin, or even just refresh and cool the skin, so it’s a fab little product to carry with you when you’re out and about as it covers all bases. I personally like to use it to remove my make up and it does a pretty good job. It doesn’t have much of a scent, but it does what it says on the bottle which is ultimately what matters.
Step 2 – Moisturise
‘crammed with sweet almond oil & marshmallow extract’
My thoughts: The huggy lotion is my favourite product from the whole set. It’s light and pretty much scentless, but it’s intensely moisturising, and also has a slight cooling effect on sore, sensitive skin. It’s non-greasy and easily absorbed, but seems to create a protective barrier which is just what I need in the harsh winter weather. This one gets five stars from me!
My thoughts: Cheeky cream is another favourite of mine. This one has a thicker consistency than the huggy lotion and perhaps doesn’t massage in as easily, but it has a lovely softening effect and is very gentle. I’m not sure I’d use it in the morning as I found it didn’t make a very good base for make up, but it’s an excellent, rich night-time moisturiser.
Spritz and Wipe
Step 3 – Massage
‘infused with lavender & sweet almond oil’
My thoughts: Baba oil is another versatile product as it can be used on the skin, but also as a hair treatment. I like to use this one at night as it has a calming lavender scent which helps me to relax before I go to sleep. The oil warms up nicely in the hands and feels amazingly silky on the skin.
This little set would be the perfect way to try out miamoo’s products and see whether they suit your skin, and it would also be great for travel – just throw it in your suitcase and off you go! I’m really impressed with the quality and effectiveness of the products, and am considering buying full-size versions of the huggy lotion and cheeky cream.
miamoo’s travel goodies set costs £15, and can be purchased here. You can also view the rest of the miamoo range here, and if you use the code ‘blog13′ at the checkout, you can get 10% off all products!
*This miamoo travel goodies set was sent to me by miamoo for review purposes. All opinions expressed are honest and my own.*
Summer is slowly coming to an end, but there’s still time to dash off into the sun for a last-minute relaxing mini break. You’ve got your clothes sorted… Bikini? Check. Sun dresses? Check. Something gorgeous for the evening? Check, and you’re almost good to go, but there’s always the question of what toiletries and cosmetics to take, and what to leave behind. If you packed all the big bottles and endless tubes of lotions and potions that you usually use then you’d need another suitcase, am I right? So, in the name of making life easier for us all, I thought I’d take the opportunity to narrow everything down and come up with ten little solutions to this bulky problem, which will leave plenty of room in your case for your beach reads and novelty souvenirs – you can thank me later!
1: Basic Make Up
Vanity cases and make up bags stuffed full of make up are impractical and unnecessary when travelling. This might sound ridiculous, but all you need to take with you for a fresh-faced summer make up look are five basic items – foundation, eyeliner, mascara, lip gloss and blush. That’s it! Don’t believe me? Check out my Top 5 Summer Make Up Essentials post for proof that that’s all you need.
2: Nail Varnish
If you can’t afford or don’t want an expensive salon manicure before you go away then it’s a good idea to pack a bottle of nail varnish. You never know when you might be invited out last-minute for a romantic meal or an evening at a bar, so choose a quick drying varnish that you can slick on in seconds before you leave.
I highly recommend Sally Hansen’s Insta-Dri Nail Colour in ‘Ruby Rush’. It’s a deep, classic shade that will go well with any outfit, it has a wide brush for quick, even coverage and it is dry to the touch in just minutes. It’s wonderfully chip resistant too, and a new favourite of mine.
3: Make Up Remover
If you’re like me, you probably have a bottle of make up remover for your eyes, one for your face, and a big bag of cotton wool balls and cotton buds that you use them with. That’s a lot of bottles and bags to take on one little trip! A great substitute to use for the few days you’re away are make up remover wipes, as they save space, are quick to use and can be thrown away once you’re done with them.
Kleenex recently brought out a range of make up remover wipes which are made of natural fibres and are gentle on the skin, yet very effective. The ones pictured are specifically for eye make up, but they also make facial cleansing wipes.
4: Sun Lotion
Ever noticed that sun lotion tends to come in huge bottles that you’ll never get through during a two-week holiday, let alone whilst on a mini break? Well, Hawaiian Tropic have solved that problem with their handy 100ml bottles of sun lotion! They still contain the gorgeously scented, high quality lotion that the big bottles do – they’re just lighter and more compact, and the perfect size to carry in even the smallest of bags.
I’ve been using the Hawaiian Tropic Protective Sun Lotion SPF30 and I adore it. The lotion not only protects your skin but softens it too, as it contains vitamins C and E, and is gorgeously light and silky. It’s also ‘very water resistant’, which is great if you fancy a swim in the sea, but it’s still a good idea to apply it regularly to stay as safe as possible. At £5.49 these mini bottles are a real steal.
5, 6 and 7: Moisturiser, Shampoo and Shower Gel
Now is a good time to raid your old beauty boxes, gift sets and collections of product samples. All those little bottles and sachets of moisturiser, shampoo and shower gel that you never thought you’d use are actually the perfect size for taking on mini breaks! Not only do they save space, but you might also discover a hidden gem amongst them which you can repurchase and carry on using when you get home.
Rather than packing chunky spray deodorants, why not take a roll-on deodorant instead? They’re much kinder on the skin, and compact enough to carry with you.
A particular favourite of mine is Vaseline Aloe Fresh 24h Protection Deodorant, as it is long-lasting, the aloe makes it extremely moisturising and refreshing, and it doesn’t leave white marks on your dark clothes!
9: Disposable Razor
You never know when you might need to neaten up whilst on holiday, but taking a bulky epilator or home waxing kit with you is far too much trouble! The solution? Take a disposable razor! Just because it’s disposable doesn’t mean it won’t do a good job, especially if you use Wilkinson Sword Extreme 3 Beauty Razors.
I’ve been using these myself and they give an amazingly smooth result at a fraction of the usual hair removal cost (you get four for £3.99). The three blade razor head is flexible so moves with the curves of your body for a close shave, and it even features a moisturising strip of aloe and jojoba to leave your skin feeling soft – not what you’d expect from a disposable razor at all! They look and feel more like luxury razors, but once you’re done with them you can just throw them away so they’re far more convenient for travelling with.
A great way to make the transition from a lazy day on the beach to a lively evening at a bar is with a beautiful fragrance, but who wants to be carrying a big glass bottle of perfume around with them? That’s where Avon’s mini fragrances come in. Avon now sell miniature versions of their best selling perfumes which are great for top ups throughout the day or, in this case, to take with you on a short trip. You will find the full range on page 206 of Brochure 16, including 15ml Purse Sprays and 30ml Travel Sprays (how apt!), ranging from £5 to £7.50 each.
Wherever you’re going this summer, I hope these tips will help you know what to pack, and I hope you will Be Spontaneous whilst on your travels! Why not do something you’ve never done before, and then share it with the Be Spontaneous crew on Facebook? You could even win some amazing prizes in the process!
Thanks for reading,
*The Hawaiian Tropic Protective Sun Lotion SPF30 and Wilkinson Sword Xtreme3 Beauty Razors featured in the post were given to me by Wilkinson Sword for review purposes. Everything else was purchased using my own money. All opinions are honest and my own. Some affiliate links have been used*
It may be dull and rainy outside but, believe it or not, it’s July, and for a lot of people July means a holiday in the sun! It’s always nice to pamper yourself whilst on holiday, but there’s not always room in your suitcase for all of your lotions and potions. That’s where Montagne Jeunesse come in with their new beauty travel product – the Travel Pamper Pack!
Montagne Jeunesse are one of my favourite skincare companies as their products are all vegetarian friendly, mostly made from natural ingredients and smell absolutely divine, so when I was asked to review the Travel Pamper Pack on my blog I jumped at the chance as I’d been eyeing it up on their website for ages!
The pack contains six lovely treats for your hair, face, feet and body, which come in a handy little folder which is the perfect size to tuck into your suitcase. The six items that you get are these…
Though I haven’t been on holiday to use this in a ‘travel’ situation, I had a serious two day pamper session last week and got through most of the pack! So, since I’ve tried almost all of the products, I will now tell you about them
As you can see, you get two sachets of the same orange body wash in the travel pack. When I first opened the sachet I found the smell to be quite overpowering, but it soon calmed down and lingered on my skin for a long time. Quite pleasantly, the orange scent smells like real oranges, and not artificial at all. There is plenty of gel in each sachet to cover your whole body, and it lathers up nicely and feels creamy and soft on the skin.
This was my favourite product in the whole pack. The foot cooler is a lovely shade of blue and quite runny. The sachet contains enough cream for both feet… When you rub it in, it turns into a silky powder which instantly cools your skin and makes your feet feel soft and tingly. The cooling sensation lasts for a long time as well, even after washing! The cooler smells amazing… It’s a mix of blueberry and mint and is so refreshing. My only complaint is that I was left with a white residue on my hands and feet after using this which didn’t wash off easily.
Passion Peel Off Masque
The Passion Peel Off Masque smells quite strongly of pomegranate and consists of a clear, pale pink gel. The gel smooths onto your face easily, but it’s a bit messy – it kept sinking between my fingers and getting everywhere! The sachet says that the mask takes 10-15 minutes to dry but it actually took a bit longer on me. After 20 minutes I started to peel it off but some of it was still wet so I had to do it in stages. The mask didn’t irritate my skin at all though and it didn’t dry my face out like a lot of masks do – it felt like a nice little treat of an evening!
I used this last night when I had a bath. It smells lovely, like apricot and mango, and it looks a little bit like apricot yoghurt, but it is full of micro beads which exfoliate the skin. As the sachet suggests, I rubbed this into my feet, elbows and knees and then washed it off. It definitely made a difference to my skin, leaving it feeling smooth, but I wouldn’t say it was much different to any other exfoliating product that I’ve used. It reminded me of St Ives Apricot Scrub.
Intensive Spa Hair Masque
I haven’t got round to using this yet, but if the rest of the pack is anything to go by then it won’t disappoint! I’ll update this post once I’ve tried it.
I think the Travel Pamper Pack is a great little product. I’d definitely invest in one if I was going on holiday, or even if I just wanted another pamper weekend! If you want your own Travel Pamper Pack, they are just £5.00 each on Montagne Jeunesse’s website.