8 things that have made my 2018 amazing


2018 is coming to an end and I don’t know about you but I feel like this year has really whizzed by. I personally have had a great year and looking back, I have achieved some amazing things which have all contributed to making it a good one. Here are 8 highlights that have made it so special.

New Car

Although I finally passed my driving test last year, this Summer my boyfriend and I finally got round to getting a car. When I lived in London, I didn’t really need one as I only really used public transport to get around but there are certain things which having a car have really helped with such as food shopping. There is nothing worse than having to juggle a load of carrier bags of food shopping on the bus.

I love how much freedom having a car has given us and we are now able to drive to visit family easily and to be able to go away for the weekend. For my birthday in October we drove up to Oxford to stay in a spa hotel which was so much fun. Next year we plan to go on many more weekend trips away and explore further areas in the UK. 

Career

In January I started my new job at Ralph Lauren. Just call me Rachel from friends! Although it has been hard work and pretty stressful at times, I was promoted in September which was a great achievement. Since then, I’ve taken on new challenges and I have been learning new things every day. I have also been loving working in the Mayfair are of London. It is a fashionista’s paradise being surrounded by the biggest names in the fashion industry. I love the window displays and if you follow me on Instagram, you’ll know that I often post pictures of these!

Amsterdam

I have wanted to go to Amsterdam for years and this year I was able to visit for a few days. I love the unique style of houses lined up along the pretty canals and we went on a canal boat trip which was so much fun. It’s a great way to get a feel for the city so I recommend booking one of these. Of course we did all of the usual tourist spots like the red light district, and various famous “coffee” shops but our favourite place that we went to was the Foodhallen which was a large indoor food market. We stayed there the whole day eating loads of gorgeous dishes! Amsterdam is quite expensive but it is definitely worth a visit. We stayed in Citizin M which is one of my favourite hotels to stay in Europe.

Summer Heat

This summer was the hottest one since, well I cant actually remember when! I haven’t been on a beach holiday this year but with weather that good it really didn’t matter. The sun always puts everyone in such a good mood and with the football world cup taking place over this Summer, it was such a fun time. The only thing that I wish I had done was to have bought a fan. Literally every local store and online had sold out and at one point it was over 34 degrees at night! I am going to buy one in the new year to avoid missing out next time.

Festivals

I love a good festival and this year I went to Made in Birmingham and Boundary in my home town Brighton. I have been to so many events in Birmingham over the years but this this was my first Made festival. The field they hosted this on was miles away from anywhere and was a bit of a mission to get to. There were around 20 of us travelling there together and it was fun going in a large group. The only downside was the weather. It literally poured with rain all day!

Boundary festival though was AMAZING. I will definitely be going again next year. It was great to have this event on my own doorstep and the music was so good. It was also packed with people all day and had an all round fab atmosphere. I had my hair done for the event by the brilliant Braid Babes in Brighton. I really recommend them as they can do literally any braid style out there and they are such lovely girls. Their website details are HERE.

Teeth

Blog & Events

Last but not least, of course I have to mention this blog! I started blogging around June and for the last 6 months I have really enjoyed posting weekly reviews and blog posts. I have been so fortunate to have been gifted some beautiful items and I have been able to try out products from new brands that I have discovered. I have also collaborated with various brands which has been so much fun.

I have also been invited to some really great events including a new launch by Lola make up, an invitation to London Fashion week and trying out local events in Brighton such as afternoon tea on a Routemaster bus which you can read all about HERE.

My blog is still in really early days and I have so many ideas and plans in the pipeline. I am really excited to continue with my blogging journey into next year and who knows where it will lead and what other opportunites will come my way.

Here’s to an amazing 2019 and wishing you all a fab New Years eve celebration! xx

A fun evening spent with Fizzbox events!

Recently I was invited by the fabulous Fizzbox team to try out two of their events in my home town in Brighton. If you haven’t already heard of Fizzbox, they are an online company where you can book fun activities and experiences in loads of locations around the UK as well as in Europe. I wish I had known about this service sooner. I have been on weekend trips away this year and this would have been the perfect way to find out about local events available nearby.

Whether you are a foodie, someone who likes a day at the spa, or even someone who is a thrill seeker that enjoys adventure – there is literally an event for everyone.

Afternoon Tea with a retro Twist

The first part of the evening was a beautiful afternoon tea on a traditional London Routemaster bus. I have seen this tour around town before so I was so excited to get to try this out. The upstairs of the bus was arranged into groups of tables to fit 4 people and the windows were all decorated with velvet curtains which really added to the luxury styling of the bus. We were greeted with a glass of prosecco and given a menu to have a look at the treats that were about to be served!

There was a lovely selection of sandwiches with fillings ranging from cream cheese to smoked salmon, as well as a huge selection of sweet treats including macaroons, a gorgeous mousse and slice of carrot cake. There were several teas to try and I went for a classic breakfast tea which came in a spill proof mug so there is no risk of burning yourself!

After the first setting, we were served gorgeous scones with pots of cream and jam – perfection!

All aboard! We were all given these cute tickets as we got onto the bus!

The tour lasted for around an hour and a half and was a fab way to view the City, covering all of the sites including the Palace Pier, Royal Pavilion, Brighton Marina and shopping heaven, the Lanes. The service was fantastic and I absolutely loved this tour. This afternoon tea would be the perfect girlie trip with friends for a hen weekend, or just as a lovely day out with your mum, sister, or nan. I really recommend it!

 A cocktail making master class

The next part of the evening was spent at  Las Iguanas in Brighton which is a restaurant with a cocktail bar area. We were greeted by our bartender for the evening and she taught us how to make a selection of cocktails. It was so much fun and it has made me want to host my own little cocktail party at home now! We covered all kinds of drinks from Pina coladas to mojitos – all of the cult classic favourites. We were also served a selection of tasty Tapas food which was a lovely little extra treat along with the drinks.

This event would be so much fun as part of a hen night again, or a girlie trip into Brighton for the weekend. We tried so many different drinks that t would be a good way to start the evening off!

Overall experience

I had such a fun night and really enjoyed both experiences. I highly recommend checking out the Fizzbox website HERE at all of the fab events that you can book through them. If you are looking for a last minute Christmas present why not book a day out that someone can look forward to in the new year. That would make such a lovely gift.

Thank you to the Fizzbox team for inviting me, I had an amazing evening and I will definitely be booking more events with you in the future. There are so many that I cannot wait to try!

Have you ever tried a cocktail making class before? What is the best afternoon tea you have ever had? Leave me a comment below! x

Christmas Gift Guide part one: Home & Lifestyle

It might not be December yet, but Christmas is definitely here. The festive Starbucks cups are out, the John Lewis advert is now on the TV…I don’t know about you, but I am feeling festive already!

So, I am starting my Christmas shopping and there are so many fab bits out there at the moment that will make gorgeous gifts. This is part one of my Christmas gift guide series and I am starting it off with gifts for the home and items that can be used every day. These are my top picks:

Goal Digger planner by MiGoals

I am a huge stationery fan and MiGoals is one of my favourite brands. They have the best planners and journals out there. What better way to start the new year with a fresh planner book. This will be a great gift for someone who has a busy, active lifestyle or for someone you know that has a goal for the new year, such as to lose weight or start a new business. It’s a well known fact that if you write down your goals you are more likely to stick to them. Plus when you start working through everything on your list, you will feel such a huge sense of achievement when you look back at your planner and see everything that you have done.

The MiGoals planner is a great way to stay organised and inspired every day as well as helping to make real progress towards goals and empowering you to dream big. I absolutely love these!! The planners come in a gorgeous box that has a positive message printed onto it in shimmery lettering. These are not your ordinary planners, these are such gorgeous quality and will make an amazing gift. The tricky part will be actually giving it to someone else and not keeping it for yourself!

You can buy these HERE – but check out the rest of the MiGoals website for the rest of their fab stationery range.

Cute and Quirky tea cups by Yvonne Ellen

I have been a huge fan of the tableware range by Yvonne Ellen for ages. Her quirky designs are so much fun and would make a fabulous gift for someone, especially these stylish little tea cups.  These vintage-style teacup and saucer sets are decorated with gilt gold detailing and of course, Yvonne Ellen’s famous bee motif. This would be such a great set for someone who likes a cheeky cocktail or two, as well as having a love for a good cup of tea!

Each tea cup is also beautifully boxed and you can purchase them from John Lewis or directly from the Yvonne Ellen website HERE.

Sassy candles by Flamingo

I love burning candles at home and the Flamingo candle range is the sassiest of them all! I love all of their cute designs and these would make such a great Secret Santa gift or stocking filler for someone. You wont be able to resist the scents of these either. From cheesecake Crunch, to Strawberries and champagne, to Parma Violets. The names and scents are all divine and are good enough to eat! The price point on the Flamingo candles is great as well. They are £12 and for a quality candle with up to 50 hours burn time, this is a really good deal.

All of their candles are free from animal testing or palm wax and are made from natural ingredients also.

You can purchase the range on Asos or directly from the flamingo candles website HERE.

Cocktail making by Oliver Bonus

For all of the mixologists and cocktail enthusiasts out there, Oliver Bonus have the most stylish equipment that would be perfect for a gorgeous Christmas gift. I have a real thing about rose gold kitchenware at the moment and I absolutely love their bar accessories range. My favourite are these pineapple themed items such as this ice bucket and cocktail shaker. Perfect for making those perfect tropical summer drinks and hosting your own cocktail party at home!

You can purchase in the Oliver Bonus stores or directly from their website HERE

I hope you enjoyed part one of my Christmas gift guide series. Up next will be my top beauty and make up products which you will not want to miss! Hit the subscribe button and you will be notified every time a new blog post is uploaded. Thanks for reading xx

How to de-clutter your wardrobe for the new Winter season

Now that we are officially in Autumn/Winter and the weather is getting colder, it’s the perfect time to de-clutter your wardrobe! Not all of us are blessed with a dressing room or rows and rows of wardrobe space. Some of us even have to share wardrobe space with our partner. So a good tip to manage the space that you have affectively is to do a seasonal clear out. Here are my top tips on how to do this.

Get started

Ok lets get going girl! You are going to feel so organised when this has been sorted. First things first, get everything out of the wardrobe and group it into sections. All knitwear into one pile, all jeans into another etc – this will make it easier to see everything that you have to go through.

Evaluate what you have

You need to be ruthless and really look at each piece with a level head. Ask yourself if you still love each item and if you will wear it again. Anything you’re not sure about, try it on. Does it still fit? If it doesn’t, there is no point hanging on to it. Does it still look as good as new or are the threads getting loose or starting to bobble? If it is, you know the drill – move it into the pile of things to be removed.

Have a look at your accessories too when making the decisions on whether to keep or remove each item. You might get inspired for a fresh new way to accessorise an outfit.

Any items that are going to be too warm or too cold to wear in the current season but you want to keep it, put these into storage bags, neatly folding everything. You can get these out next season and see if you still want to keep them or not.

If anything still has the tags on it (we are all guilty of this) then it’s likely you don’t really want the item anymore. Keep the tags on as this always helps when selling clothes online.

Organise

Now that you have decided what you are going to keep, its time to put them back into the wardrobe. A good tip is to either group the items in categories, so all of the tops together, sweaters all together etc. Alternatively hang up the clothes grouped together in outfits. This is a good idea if you have to wake up early for work and don’t want to have to think too much about what to wear – the hard work has already been done for you!
Another good tip is to hang all of your clothes with the hangers facing the same way. When you have worn something, hang it back up with the hanger facing the opposite way. This will really show you what items you have been wearing. If something is still unworn for a long period of time, ask yourself if you really still need it. It’s said that we only wear 20% of our clothes which is such a crazy figure compared to what most of us have in our wardrobe!

image: Pinterest

Keep, Sell & Donate

Work out from the pile that you don’t want, which items you can potentially sell and make some money back on. There are lots of places you can sell items, such as Ebay, Depop and Facebook local selling pages. Price them fairly – no one is going to pay full price for second hand clothes, even if they are unworn. Also, make sure anything you sell is in a decent condition and isn’t stained.
Anything else can be donated to local charity shops or to friends. Perhaps you could even organise a clothes swapping party where everyone takes a couple of items that they no longer want and you can get the chance to swap with others!

Make a list of what you need to buy

This is my favourite part! As you have now organised everything that you want to keep you can start planning new items to buy that you will need for the season. Do you need more basics to pair together the pieces you have?
Do you need a new pair of boots to replace the old ones that you removed? Write a list of the bits you can see you need and then you can get shopping!
I hope you enjoyed reading my tips on how to organise and de-clutter your wardrobe. I would love to see a photo of your wardrobe spaces and how fab they are now looking!

Elan Café: An afternoon at one of London’s most beautiful coffee destinations

If you have an account on Instagram and you haven’t heard of Elan café then where have you been?! I have wanted to visit Elan for quite a while and finally got round to it last week. It almost feels strange to call this a café as that word makes me think of greasy spoons selling ‘all you can eat’ fry up breakfasts and this couldn’t be anything further from that!

Elan is known for their stunning interiors and their success continues to grow. There is now a store in Knightsbridge, Park Lane, and a brand new location just off of Oxford Street. They are also in the process of opening as a concession in Selfridges.

The Food

Elan serves breakfasts, brunches, lunches, cakes and coffees in a beautiful pink and floral paradise. The breakfasts consist of colourful and elegant dishes such as chia porridge with almond milk, gorgeous waffles decorated with flowers and with blueberries as well as bright fruit bowls that look almost too pretty to eat!

For savoury day time options you can choose from delights such as flat breads with grilled peppers and chicken, avocado topped sourdough bread and lamb or feta Shashouka.

The cakes

The cakes are what I was most excited about though and there was a gorgeous selection as expected. The brightly coloured croissants looked amazing and really stood out on the counter. I finally decided on a pretty little cake called Pearl and Groove in the salted caramel option. It had a little piece of popcorn on the top and a rice paper disc with it’s name on which was a cute touch. All of the cakes are decorated beautifully and it was a difficult decision to make!

To go with this I ordered a Flora tea called Lily Fairy which came in a rose gold cafetiere and the flower bud sat inside. The waitress explained that once you have lowered the press, you need to wait for a few minutes so the flower bud can open and give out the flavour. I’m not sure I did it right though as it didn’t taste of anything other than hot water which was a bit disappointing. There wasn’t a fragrance to it either which I was hoping for. I wouldn’t recommend ordering this type of tea – the fruit tea option would have been much nicer.

image: Elan

Interior and ambience

This was the other main reason that I really wanted to visit an Elan café as you cannot deny how stunning they are! From pretty blush pink seating, to marble tables, Instagrammable flower walls and huge displays of blooms. They have it all and you are surrounded by such a gorgeous environment. As it was Halloween recently, they had a beautiful wreath outside which was decorated with skull heads and pink flowers. Inside there were also pumpkins with a girlie twist and cute slogans dotted about.

Final thoughts

Elan was every bit as beautiful as I had hoped and I really enjoyed visiting. It is not the cheapest of places but it was worth going for the overall experience. The cakes were delicious, I was just a bit disappointed with the hot water (tea) that I had but don’t let that put you off going as it really is a fabulous place to go to!

Have you been to one of the Elan Cafes? Let me know which one you went to and what you ordered in the comments below!

 

 

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