Spring Favourites – Beauty and Books

Spring-favourites-2016I’m a little unsure whether I can officially call this a Spring post, considering the weather in London looks more like January than late April, but I am ever the optimist.

Here are a few of my current Spring favourites, beauty things and a couple of books that I am loving and have recently bought over the last couple of months.


I have been in a bit of a reading slump recently, as it seems every fictional book I pick up just does not catch my imagination. So in order to refresh my mind with something new I chose two autobiographical books from people I admire.

Amy Poehler’ s ‘Yes Please’ follows Amy’s journey into acting and comedy and gives us a glimse of her life. It is witty and honest and although it is a bit too heavy to carry in my handbag for the commute,  I am enjoying reading about her journey. Her take on life is so down to earth, you easily get absorbed into her world. (P.S I am a huge Amy Poehler fan since binge watching Parks and Rec! tell me if you love her as much as I do).

Chris Hadfield’s book ‘An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth’ begins by telling how Chris came to become an Astronaut describing how he juggled intensive training with family life. I dreamt of being an Astronaut when I was younger so I was interested in reading his story. I love his voice in this book because it is sincere and refreshing and I’m intrigued to see where his story goes.


I only picked up a few beauty essentials over the last few months (I’m a total beauty junkie) as I have been making an effort to not spend too much money on products I don’t really need. But when you are faced with rows upon rows of duty free beauty, as I was during my recent visit to Thailand, it can be hard to hold back.

I picked up the Complexion Rescue and the BARESKIN Complete Coverage Serum concealer from bareMinerals as they are my go to beauty brand that is both cruelty free and works with my skin. The Complexion Rescue (£26) is a tinted moisturiser/BB cream and is my favourite beauty product right now because I can use it as a base or wear it on its own for a refreshed look. It is not too heavy and sort of melts into the skin.
The BARESKIN Complete Coverage Serum concealer  (£22) is amazing and is fast becoming my favourite concealer I have ever used. The formula is smooth and it blends so well into the skin and gives coverage that lasts all day. A little really goes a long way so I am hoping that this will last me a little while, because it was a little pricey for a concealer.

The Honey Bronze Bronzing Powder  (£13) from the Body Shop is my favourite ‘go to’ bronzer which I had to  replace after using my last one up. I chose a darker shade (shade 04) this time as I picked the lightest last time as I wanted a more bronzed glow. I couldn’t be happier.

Finally the B. Confident Day Cream (top picture) has been my regular face-cream for a couple of months. I was initially sceptical because it was a highstreet buy, available exclusively from Superdrug, and so cheap – currently half price at £4.95! However the consistency is really creamy and it has not made my skin feel dry or break out. This is definitely a repeat purchase face cream! AND it’s a vegan brand! Win win! 

What are your Spring 2016 favourites? Leave me a comment below, I’d love to know.

Thanks for reading xx

Phuket Old Town Adventures

karon-beach-road I am not the type of girl who likes to sit still and being on holiday is no exception to this. From the moment the holiday is booked I am researching places to go and things to see, if I do go to the beach it is usually to swim and snorkel. I just can’t sit out sunbathing all day when I am surrounded by so many interesting places and things to do.

I had read about Phuket Old Town on another blog, written by a guy called Jamie Monk- he lives in Phuket so his blog is jammed pack with interesting and local things to do.

So after reading about Phuket Old town I was intrigued and itching to go, so we got up early, packed our rucksacks and headed to the Old Town. We of course caught a songthaew bus, having used it several times already to travel around the Karon area, we thought we had caught the hang of it, but we waited on the wrong side of the road. Oops. Oh well.

I loved riding on the songthaew as it was cheap (35 baht each way) and you were able to catch a glimpse of local life, although out of respect I didn’t steal any snaps. Just of ones of us.


Arriving at Phuket Old Town we quickly got lost, so it is worth taking a map and checking the areas you want to visit.

During the 18th century, Phuket’s main industry was tin mining carried out by the Hokkien Chinese, who largely developed the Old Town part of the city. However during the early 20th century major European mining companies came to Phuket and major public infrastructure (roads, canals, buildings) was built. As a result the old town displays many Sino-Portuguese style buildings, particularly the shop-houses on Thalang road. It was this unique architecture that I was interested in seeing.


The shop-houses were a place where families would live and run their business, using the front for trading and remainder for living. Many of  the old shop-houses still stand today including the old display cabinets which hold interesting old treasures.
old-town-phuket-shop-house phuket-old-town-shop-doors old-town-tiled-floor

It was so interesting and colourful walking along Thalang road and its branching streets. I wanted to take hundreds of pictures. The below pictures were of Soi Rommani road, just off Thalang.

thalang-road2 soi-rommani2 soi-rommani-phuket

Although due to the stifling heat, my photographer (aka Jun) wasn’t as willing to work behind or in front of the lense….


Our early eagerness meant that we arrived at the Old Town at midday, during the blistering, hottest part of the day! So we quickly looked for a place to cool off and refresh.                             This building caught our eye… B Cat Cafe


photo courtesy of phuket.com

As we approached we realised that it was a cat cafe, one side being a normal cafe and the other being a cat kingdom. I had read about these in Japan and recently London, where you can have a cup of tea or a slice of cake while petting some pretty cats. Jun is a huge cat lover (despite us owning the cutest dog, called Maple) so we had to check it out.

B Cat Cafe, had strict rules. We had to remove our shoes and put on slippers and sanitise our hands before entering the cat area. We also had to buy at least one slice of cake and a drink each. An enforced cake rule! count me in! I chose chocolate naturally.



I messed up the cat face in my eagerness to eat!

This was the greediest and cutest cat at the cafe. It immediately zoned in on my cake (cats were not allowed to share your cake) and I had to eat on my lap to stop it from sharing.

greedy-cat There were also several rules regarding the cats well-being which included not waking them up, picking them up or pulling their tails, although I had not intended to do any of these, it was good that the cat’s well-being was in mind. They were pretty well looked after and seemed to have a great time relaxing in air-con bliss.


Not feeling completely full, after only eating a slice of cake, we popped into a modern cafe on Thalang road called Eleven Two and Co and had some amazing dumplings.


too busy eating to take lots of pictures

We then had a final wander around the Old Town, where I was able to find some souvenirs, before catching the songthaew back to Karon.


There was definitely more to see in the Old Town but it was so hot, and the journey took an hour on the bus, so we headed back to the hotel to recharge.


I hope you have enjoyed reading about my adventures in Phuket, it is such a wondrous place and one day we might return to explore all the many islands.

Leave me a comment about your adventures, I’d love to hear about where you have travelled.

Thanks for reading xx

Exploring Karon’s Night Markets, Phuket

Exploring Karon’s Night Markets, Phuket

Thailand is one of those amazing places where there is something to do for everyone.

From relaxing and chilling on a beach or being pampered at a luxurious spa to having a night of non stop partying in Patong or at the infamous Full Moon Party on Koh Phangan (we did this in 2013 while staying in Koh Samui). Thailand also has many island excursions to Koh Phi Phi or Khao Phing Kan better known as James Bond island (where Tomorrow Never Dies was filmed), all accessible from Phuket.

However when we arrived in Karon we were really excited to explore the local area and visit the many beautiful beaches along the west coast of Phuket, that we didn’t have time to fit in any excursions. 


We had also chosen Karon as a location because it was in an area with enough interesting things to do,  but was more laid back and away from the bustling wild parties of Patong beach. We did however visit Patong twice during our stay to mooch around the shopping mall called Jungceylon, because sometimes you just want to go shopping in paradise, but we gave the partying a miss this time.

Do your research on the area you are visiting, especially if you are only visiting one place in Thailand, to make sure you get the experience you are looking for. For us the Karon location was perfect because it was laid back and not as bustling as Patong.

Before visiting Karon I had read about the night markets of Thailand, and Karon was known to have its very own night market by the Buddhist Temple. The Temple market was very popular but quite modest in size, it sold food to go as well as having large stalls of fruit and vegetables aimed at the locals. 

A couple of stalls did catch our eye, including the stall selling fried insects. Jun had been itching to try some and see what the fuss was about. I must admit the smell approaching the stall was not appetising at all and I would like to say I am not often put off from trying new foods, but fried crickets and worms were not top of my list.

However, when in Rome….


The stall holder was very accommodating and requested a small donation be given to him, for the Temple in exchange for a photograph which we were happy to oblige. Jun picked the coconut worm (because it sounds like it would taste nice) and the fried crickets.

I agreed to try the worm but I just couldn’t bear the thought of the cricket’s little legs and what not in my mouth….As a source of protein, I can see the appeal, but taste wise it didn’t taste great, it was mostly oil and the worm was quite chewy. Jun told me the cricket lived up more to his expectation, being crunchy, I decided to take his word on that one.

Also doted around the local area of Karon were many fruit stalls and on a few occasions we stopped to grab some fresh coconut and mangos. In Thailand they have the best soft yellow mangos that are so sweet! 


Following the Temple market in Karon we decided to try the Weekend Market in Phuket Old Town. I had been reading about this market as THE market to go to and was a large market that many locals visited. So come that Sunday we took a taxi (which took us about an hour from the Karon area and cost 600 baht each way) and explored the Weekend Market.

We arrived around 6pm as the market opens at 5pm and it was such a large vibrant place to be.

On entering the market area we were immediately enveloped by the smell of frying food and couldn’t wait to get stuck in.

Walking through the market there were rows of stalls selling interesting foods, fruits and vegetables alongside clothes, second hand shoes and more insect stalls. There were also lots of fresh curries, sushi and frying fish. 


Jun managed to find his favourite treat – Takoyaki – fried battered octopus balls, and I found my favourite treat… DONUTS AND CAKES!!! In the blistering heat there were these amazing cream cakes and donuts! HEAVEN!

phuket-cakes phuket-weekend-market phuket-brownies

This taro flavoured donut was amazing! I wish I had bought more!


I was hoping to find some unique souvenir or some local art, but again it was mostly clothing and fake designer goods. I did see some leather belts being made and there were some handmade clothing items too. It was quite pricey to get there from Karon because of the distance but you could easily make a night of it gorging on all the delicious street food on offer. 


The Weekend market is just outside Phuket Old Town and we had hoped to be able to walk there for dinner following the market. However after a chat with our taxi driver we were informed that the Old Town was too far to walk to. So we decided to save exploring the Old Town of Phuket for another day and caught a taxi back to Karon.

In my next blog post I will take you on our adventure to Phuket Old Town including an unexpected cute discovery! 

Thanks for reading.


Exploring Thailand: Mandarava Resort and Spa and Phuket beaches


In early March 2016, Jun and I took a well deserved break to Thailand and got away from the UK cold for roughly two weeks.

We had already visited Koh Samui in Thailand in 2013 and had mixed feelings about it (beautiful beaches but not a lot to do) but felt we wanted to give Thailand another go, and booked 8 nights in Karon, Phuket.

We took a private taxi transfer from the airport, which meant we went directly to the resort rather than stopping at every hotel in the area as you would on a coach, obviously this cost more but the comfort was worth it, as the journey took over an hour and the taxi had air con, which was appreciated as it was well into the 30s.

The resort

We arrived at the beautiful Mandarava Resort and Spa which was located a ten minute walk to Karon beach and boasted three pools, great views and beautiful rooms.


We had booked a Horizon room, by mistake, which meant we were on the ground floor, whereas if you book a Panoramic room you will be a little higher up, however when we arrived at our room we were more than happy. Our room had high ceilings, floor to ceiling windows which wrapped around the room and a view over the tranquil pool. Our room included an en-suite bathroom with rain shower and also a separate bath room, which also had another shower. Great when you both want to shower off when it has got too hot outside.

The pools were well spaced out and included two secluded infinity pools and one large pool that stretched through the middle of the resort and included a swim up bar.


The beaches

Karon beach was a ten minute walk from the resort, although this was quite a hilly walk, downhill if you were leaving the resort, and mostly on an unpaved road that was shared with quite large trucks and coaches. So you had to make sure you were paying attention when walking to the beach, unless you caught one of the resort’s four shuttle services. This didn’t bother us too much and we walked out to Karon most days and nights.

Karon beach itself is a long three mile stretch of beach, very beautiful and perfect for sunset watching before dinner. It was quite clean and had lots of activities such as parachute sailing, some water sports and sun umbrellas to rent – we just enjoyed having a swim and watching the sun set. It also had a healthy night life and plenty of places to eat in the streets surrounding.


While we were there we also visited the other nearby beaches, which included Kata Beach, which had a more hip and chilled out vibe and was smaller that Karon. It had a few western bars and some upmarket shops such as Rip Curl as well as some smaller shops – it however didn’t have as many restaurants in the area as Karon did.



Cocktails @Beach bar, Kata Beach


Kata Beach

and also Kata Noi beach which was smaller still than Kata beach but worth the trek it took us to get there (one bus ride and a 20 minute up hill walk). Kata Noi was much less crowded and seemed more secluded, mostly thanks to the resort which wrapped around the beach. I snorkelled around the rocks here and saw an array of tropical fish just off from the beach.


Kata Noi Beach


Getting around

To get around the area we walked where we could, but it was high heat so this made it quite difficult at times.

We caught taxis when we needed to to certain areas, such as Patong and back to the resort at night. When taking a taxi you must agree on the price before you get in and take off otherwise you could be charged more, we also always requested a private taxi as this was usually air con and the same price as the tuk tuk taxi and safer. Taxi usually cost between 100 to 300 baht depending on destination.

However the best way we found to get around was by Songthaew, which is like the local bus and for the Karon area you could catch a Songthaew to either Kata beach or Phuket Old Town. This was the cheapest way to get around costing 35 baht (less than £1) and was recommended to me by my sister (who has a travel blog called The Runaways 2015). All you had to do was wait by the road and flag it down when you saw it. It was usually blue and had the destinations on the side.


Come back tomorrow to see my next blog post on night markets, food and things we did.

Thanks for reading


Return of the Mac : 2015 Spring dressing


Sunshine!! Finally we have been blessed in the UK with sunny spring weather and although its not quite time to start shedding the layers its definitely time to start lightening up.


Here is one of my casual spring time looks, featuring my go-to Ted Baker classic beige mac and my new Nicholas Kirkwood pointed flats.

archway pic

zoom in details

I’m so excited about the weather getting warmer because it means I can wear these Nicholas Kirkwood silk printed flats that I picked up in the Net-A-Porter sale after drooling over them last summer. Aren’t they beautiful!

kirkwood close up

What is key to spring style is light layers, so I have layered a vibrant ribbed Topshop jumper over a muted grey Zoe Karssen t-shirt, with customised ripped jeans and finishing off with a classic light beige belted mac from Ted Baker. I added my Paul Costelloe pink over the shoulder bag (similar here) to add a pop of colour to clash with my Topshop knit (similar here), it is spring after all, time to say goodbye to #allblackeverything.

street 2 street pic kirkwood

What are you itching to wear this spring?

Thanks for reading x

WWYF – Wear What You Feel – New Fashion Label


Over the last few weeks I have been using my height advantage to do a spot of modelling for my friend On, for his new fashion label WWYF.

On launched his label WWYF, pronounced ‘wife’ and which stands for Wear What You Feel, back in December 2014 on ASOS Marketplace, with a menswear collection followed swiftly by the womenswear that launched in January this year.

The brand’s ethos is mirrored in the name ‘Wear What You Feel’ and is all about wearing clothes that are fun and feel right to you regardless of what everyone else is doing or wearing, WWYF is very much about dressing for yourself and having fun with it.

And working with On has definitely been fun! The clothes are laid back but carry a sense of playfulness and joy in dressing to please yourself.

The collection ranges from minimalist sportswear, including sky blue baseball jackets and luxe sweatshirts to Harajuku babe with a 90’s normcore twist – think pastel coloured maxi pleats and edgy lace midi skirts.

Here are some of my favourite pieces from the women’s collection:

Camel Wool Belted Coat – an essential for every wardrobe


Cute Fawn Sweatshirt – Eat your heart out Bambi!


Black and White Check Sweatshirt – Laid back chic

check sweatshirt

 Multi Fuzzy Jumper – This jumper is seriously soft! 9eb8e814-4c1c-4c32-bf02-764def593ed2_huge

The Little Black Asymmetric Dress – a twist on a classic


Check out the collection on ASOS Marketplace and be sure to follow WWYF to keep up to date with all the latest stock drops and let us know what you think of the collection. What is your favourite?

Nude Make-up – Urban Decay Naked 3 and OCC Lip Tar

nude make

Nude make-up is always a beauty favourite. It looks effortless, timeless and suits all complexions as it is in essence a way to emphasise your own natural beauty. For me when it comes to make-up, less is definitely more, and that isn’t to say that I don’t use minimal products, its more about creating a minimal look. There is no dramatic eye needed here. I’ve had my day with over the top eye-shadow and I’m even pulling back on my black eye-liner obsession (I’m not wearing any eye-liner in these pics! rare for me!) .looking down
Two products that I have helped me create this nude make up look are the Urban Decay Naked 3 palette and Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Matte Lip Tar, both of which were much desired Christmas presents from the hubbie. Thanks Sweetie xurban decay
I absolutely love the Naked 3 palette, which is all about rich rose golds and blush pinks. It includes a mixture of matte and shimmer shades to choose from so you can easily build up a deep and rich looking natural eye. I must admit I was dubious about the shimmer/glitter shades but when applied in small quantities to the middle of the eyelid they really add a pop of light and complement the matte colours.

urban decay3My favourites so far are the matte shades in Limit, which is a beautiful dusty pink and Nooner which is a dark blush colour, I love putting Nooner in the socket of my eye to shade and add dimension. I like to then add dabs the glitter shades in Burnout or Buzz to the centre of my lid to add a flash of light.lip tar

The lip colour I have used is from Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics, who are a 100% vegan and cruelty free company, and of which I knew little of until I opened my presents on Christmas day, the husband had been doing his homework and knowing my crusade to only use products that are cruelty free had found this beauty brand from the U.S.

The Lip Tar comes with a little applicator brush which is crucial in applying the product. The product starts off as a gloss which later dries to a long lasting matte colour. A lot of reviews I read about this product say that it can be tricky to apply the product so that it sets evenly, but I haven’t experienced this problem but I did notice that the Lip Tar is very thick and if you don’t spread it out evenly in the corners of your mouth it can clump a little.


I was given the shade Hush which is a beautiful nude shade and after it sets it looks like a natural lip colour. Like your own lips but better!

nude make up

I love that OCC is 100% vegan and has so many other exciting products, you can also purchase OCC in Selfridge’s both in store and online.

Have you have tried any of these products or like this make-up look? If so please leave me a comment below, I’d love to know what you think. x

Finding my glow – bareMinerals vs B. Foundation reviews

foundation review

Finding the right foundation is never easy, especially if you have difficult skin and are looking for something ethical. So I’m excited when I say I’ve not only found one foundation, but two! And both are cruelty free.

bareSkin Pure Brightening Serum Foundation

After having several bad experiences with liquid foundations of various brands I switched to powder foundation a few years ago and found the bareMinerals foundation to be perfect for my skin, however it never quite gave the flawless finish I wanted. So when bareMinerals released their liquid bareSkin Pure Brightening Serum Foundation I was eager to try it.

As its a serum it is light weight and has a very fluid liquid consistency, so you have to make sure you shake it well to ensure all the pigment and particles come together.  As its a mineral serum foundation you are advised not to use a primer so that the serum can soak into your skin.

I was initially really pleased with this foundation it gave light coverage and didn’t make my skin feel itchy, however on the one occasion I had forgot to moisturise beforehand I did get a tight, mask like feeling to my skin.

After using this foundation for about two months now I have found that it gives a lightweight dewy finish to the skin but not a flawless finish. I have found that it sticks to the dry areas of my skin and seems to enhance imperfections regardless of how thick or thinly it is applied and I can only use this if I’m having a good skin day. I think once my skin has calmed down I would use this foundation for days when I don’t want to look too made up, but for an everyday foundation this doesn’t work for me, at least not in winter.

B.Youthful Anti-Aging Foundation

The second foundation I have added to my beauty collection is the B.Youthful Anti-Aging Foundation from vegan make up brand B. which is exclusively stocked in Superdrug.

I found the B. Youthful foundation really easily to wear and it seems to glide on. It doesn’t irritate my skin either and feels hydrating while wearing it, thanks to the hyaluronic acid , I never experienced the ‘mask effect’ like I have in the past with other foundations. The consistency of this foundation is  also considerably thicker than the bareMinerals and is more cream like, so you can easily create that flawless finish.

B. claim that with everyday use you should be able to reduce the appearance of wrinkles by 18% percent, I’m not sure I can claim to have noticed that but I am definitely happy with the effects of this foundation and its wear-ability.

I have found that it gives great coverage and sinks into the skin. I have been using a Real Techniques make up blender to apply both foundations and I am able to create an excellent finish with this foundation. I find that I am reaching for this foundation time and again when I want to use a liquid base as it ticks all the boxes for me and doesn’t irritate my skin.

Comment below if you have tried either of these foundations and let me know what you thought of them.

Thanks x

Lunch in the Clouds – Duck and Waffle Restaurant

wino view

We may have moved into 2015, but I couldn’t leave 2014 behind without mentioning the amazing lunch me and the hubbie had at Duck and Waffle in early December.

I had been eager to go to Duck and Waffle for the whole of 2014 but due to the over whelming success and popularity of Duck and Waffle, coupled with our mis-organisation we never managed to secure a reservation. I had been practically drooling over the menu, restaurant reviews and pictures of the fantastic looking food, when Jun told me that he had booked the day off work to take me to lunch at Duck and Waffle (what a sweetie – major husband points for that!). It is an understatement to say that I was a little excited.

Duck and Waffle is located in the Heron tower in Liverpool Street, if you are scared of heights you might want to close your eyes for the glass elevator ride as you you whiz up 40 floors to reach the restaurant and spectacular views of London.

We were lucky to be seated next to the window in order to admire the sprawling views beneath us and quickly got to grips with the menu, although we already knew what we wanted.
We ordered from the all day menu as we were arrived at 3pm and kicked off lunch with the violet artichoke and parmesan focaccia, which was delicious and scoffed within minutes, washed down with a lovely glass of rose.


the yummy violet artichoke and parmesan bread is just visible

As it was lunch (ish) time we were advised to choose three small dishes and finish with a large main course dish, which we shared.

We opted for the Spicy Ox Cheek Doughnut, which I absolutely loved, the ox cheek was soft and spicy but not too hot and the doughnut was soft and chewy with a sweet paprika sugar, it came with an apricot jam which was both sweet and sour which complemented the spices wonderfully. I could have happily eaten this to myself.

ox cheek

Spicy Ox Cheek Doughnut with apricot jam

Ox cheek donut

Jun had had his eye on the Foie Gras Crème Brûlée with butter roasted lobster and toasted brioche, which was rich and creamy and very sweet when spread over the sweet brioche, Jun soon finished it this off, I think it was his favourite over the Ox Cheek.

Foie Gras Crème Brûlée – apologies for the blurry pic, I was too eager to eat it

We also chose the ‘east end eels’ which was smoked eel with horseradish and samphire, which was our favourite of the small dishes, Jun says it was his favourite dish of the meal! We should have ordered two! The eel was delicately smoked and perfectly complemented by the refreshing sharp jelly that accompanied the dish. I love fish and have eaten eel before but never had jellied eels, I imagine this is a de-constructed take on the old fashioned jellied eels, as the name suggests, I would definitely go back for this dish alone.

East End Eels

East End Eels

Of course we couldnt go to Duck and Waffle without trying the signature dish, a crispy duck leg confit over a fluffy on the inside, crispy on the outside waffle, topped with a perfectly fried duck egg accompanied by a mustard maple syrup. Among all the amazing dishes we had for lunch this was my favourite, I have dreams about this dish.

The duck leg was salty and I loved breaking the rich dug egg over it and eating forkfuls of crispy ducky yolky goodness. I love combining sweet with savoury and this was the perfect balance with the mustard maple syrup.

Duck and Waffle with duck egg and mustard maple syrup

We would have loved to stay for dessert but we were already too full, so we took the lift back down to reality. Not before taking a few snaps in the lift of that amazing view. We had been lucky to see the sunset while we were there( something the husband likely planned on) and it was beautiful to watch London slip from day to night.




lift sunset lift fun

I’ll definitely be popping back sometime in the near future as there were lots of dishes I wanted to try such as the bbq-spiced crispy pigs ears and the breakfast menu looks pretty special too.

Duck and Waffle does sit towards the top end of dining price wise but I think that the food is more than worth it, not to mention the spectacular views across London. Executive Head Chef Dan Doherty has done an amazing job and I don’t think there was a dish that we tried that we didn’t like, if you pop in be sure to go over and say hi (something I forgot to do – sorry Dan) – I’m sure he would love to hear what you think.

Waking Up in Vegas – Las Vegas Trip 2014

IMG_2120I recently celebrated my 30th birthday and did so in the wonderland that is Las Vegas! What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas as they say but I don’t mind sharing some highlights from our trip.
The hubbie and I jumped across the pond for some winter celebrations as it was also his birthday – so turned out to be a joint celebration (although he isn’t 30 yet!)


The view from our room at the Bellagio

We were lucky enough to stay in the Bellagio Hotel, famous for the large fountain outside that hosts impressive water fountain displays every 15 minutes, we know this as we had a room overlooking the fountain and the famous Las Vegas Strip.
The hotel was beautiful, as can be expected from one of Vegas’s five-star establishments and seemed to go on forever. We entered via the casino and it took us a good few minutes to trek across the casino floor and find the lobby area, which was undergoing a transformation from the Thanksgiving decorations into a sparkly Christmas winter wonderland.


The Bellagio does Christmas


The Bellagio Winter Wonderland

Our room was lovely and we had been given an upgrade to a higher room so we really could see Vegas sprawl out beneath us and gave us a moment to take it all in. Not wanting to miss a moment we quickly refreshed, shook off the jet lag and set out on our adventure.


Staying in Vegas is really is like staying in a huge adult playground with so much going on around you, you can’t be bored here!

The hotels themselves are quite fun to explore as you can pop into any hotel and explore the casino and amenities. The Bellagio is a classic institution,sitting like a palace behind a huge lake that hosts the Bellagio fountain and Caesar’s Palace sits next door equally as formidable and famous for starring in the Hangover movie.


The Bellagio hotel


Me outside Paris hotel

The Paris hotel opposite the Bellagio is pure Vegas novelty, featuring a mini Eiffel Tower, Arte De Triumph and a huge light up Hot Air Balloon, we had breakfast there one morning and even the food is French cuisine. I had blueberry waffles at Mon Ami Gabi which were lovely although the coffee was not so great….even after asking for a fresh one.



New York New York Hotel

….and then you have hotel New York New York, shaped like the New York skyline and at the south end of the strip Excalibur hotel which is in the shape of a medieval castle… it really feels like you are Alice in wonderland.

The Venetian hotel even has a canal running through the shopping mall area called Canal Shoppes with gondolas with the gondoliers singing in Italian as they row passengers up and down, I was tempted but the cheese factor was a tad too much for me.


….and that isn’t a clear blue sky you see above me, that’s the ceiling of the mall, all the shopping malls in Vegas had painted ceilings to replicate the sky and changed colour depending on the time of day, which just added to the jet lag fuelled day/night confusion.

We of course made a visit to down town Las Vegas, which is a must see and also includes all the famous wedding chapels on the way.


Fremont street in down town Las Vegas is a short taxi strip from the main strip but is definitely worth a visit. It is where Vegas all started and has the most amazing neon lit casinos that ooze old-time glamour.


We had an amazing time there although it seems like a distant memory now but the fun definitely does not stop, and we might have got up to a few unusual activities;


We also were able to catch the Cirque du Soleil performance KA at the MGM Grand which was amazing and made an excellent end to the trip. I wasn’t able to take a picture of the performance but I did take a snap of the super-size cocktail slushy we bought to drink during the show.


We had a unforgetable time in Vegas and I would love to go back again.

Here are some tips if you are going to Vegas for the first time;

Weather: when we first booked we thought – hey its the desert it will be hot hot hot! but it wasn’t. We went in early December and the weather was cool during the day but temperatures drop at night so you will need a jacket and some jumpers if travelling in winter.

Fashion: I was expecting 24/7 glitz and glamour but in reality people dressed in casual wear during the day. Of course this doesn’t mean you can’t make and effort and it depends on where you are going.
The casinos are quite casual and you can wear what you like, girlies got very dressed up for the clubs in the evening so take some glitzy dresses if you plan to go partying and of course some restaurants have dress codes. We travelled in December so I mostly wore jeans or leggings with flat boots as we did a lot of sight-seeing and a nice top or glitzy jumper with my leather jacket. I dressed up more in the evening when we went out for dinner. I didn’t go swimming, although the Bellagio pool was heated there was hardly anyone in the pool as it was outdoors, I hear the pool party game starts in the summer.

Sightseeing: If you are interested in sight-seeing there is plenty to see, I’d recommend

  • Fremont street at night for old-time glamour feel but low price dining, also check the shark tank in the Golden Nugget casino
  • Stratosphere hotel, also located near down town Vegas, offers surround views of the city from the 1149 foot observation deck
  • Catch one of the many Cirque du Soleil shows that are hosted in the hotels around the strip, we saw KA at the MGM Grand
  • Go shopping in the Forum Shops attached to Caesar’s Palace – shops range from super high-end to high street affordable
  • Shoot some targets at one of the many gun ranges, the experience is mind-blowing not literally
  • Check out the novelty hotel offerings, the Venice canal at the Venetian, the erupting Volcano outside the Mirage, ride the roller-coaster at New York New York hotel

Most importantly enjoy yourself and take time to take in the wonder of Vegas, whether you are partying in a wild group or having a romantic week away. x