31 January 2018

24 Hours in...Stockholm

Stockholm City Guide
Stockholm was the second part of our honeymoon, and has always been on my travel to-do list, and as I’m married to someone who doesn’t exactly like lying on a beach, it was the perfect city to hang out in. Armed with the Wallpaper Guide (I highly recommend these travel guides) and our trainers, we set off ready to explore, and so this is my next post in my travel series, 24 hours in…Stockholm City Guide
Stay
If you are looking for a chic and cool hotel you should definitely stay at the Miss Clara (read my review on it here). It’s Scandi-minimalist bedrooms will have you getting your instagram on as soon as you enter. The hotel also has a bar and restaurant where all the locals seem to hang out amongst the hotel guests. 

Miss Clara by Nobis, Sveavägen 48, 111 34 Stockholm, Sweden; missclarahotel.com

Stockholm City Guide
Eat
There are so many good places to eat, and as we were only there for a day and a half, our list doesn’t really do the city much justice! For breakfast we ate at the hotel (you would if there was a waffle maker with waffles on tap). For lunch, we went to Phil’s Burgers, a small chain with branches dotted about over the city. It got mentioned a fair few times to me on Twitter when I asked people for recommendations, and I have to say it was pretty darn tasty - the fries were some of the best I’ve had and come with the most tastiest of sauces. 

Phil’s Burger, Drottninggatan 79, 111 60 Stockholm, Sweden; www.philsburger.se

Dinner-wise, on our first night we decided to stay in and order room service. I know what you’re thinking but the pizzeria next to our hotel was booked up and they happened to be connected to the hotel and offered room service, which is a genius idea! The pizza was amazing and I would definitely recommend paying them a visit if you’re in the city. 

Giro, Sveavägen 46, 111 34 Stockholm, Sweden; www.giropizzeria.com

On our last night, we decided to ‘push the boat out’ and have dinner at Sturehof. A stockholm institution having been around for 120 years. The menu is Swedish/French with a focus on fish and seafood so this is the place to get your herring on. I’m a huge fan of Swedish food, so we had a few plates to share, including their ‘handful of prawns’ which as you can see, was more than a handful. 

Sturehof, Sturegallerian, Stureplan 2, 114 35 Stockholm, Sweden; www.sturehof.com
Stockholm City Guide
Stockholm City Guide
See
There is SO much to do and see in Stockholm, so make sure you bring comfy shoes! When we first arrived, we headed to Gamla Stan (old town) which was so beautiful to walk around and look at the old buildings and streets, some of which date back to the 13th century. It’s easy to get lost on the island as the maze of streets are so fun to explore. 

Djurgärden island is home to most of the museums in the city. It’s also home to the Botanical Gardens which are worth the walk around. The views were beautiful and even though it rained the whole time we were there, it would be my top pick of places to have a wander around.
Stockholm City Guide
Stockholm City Guide
Stockholm City Guide
Stockholm City Guide
Stockholm City Guide
Stockholm City Guide

If you’re into going for some drinks I recommend starting with cocktails at The Nobis Hotel. It's a little swanky, but it does a great Espresso Martini and is brilliant for people watching. 


29 January 2018

Nars Wanted Palette

Nars Wanted Palette review
The rose gold obsession still seems to be going strong, with Nars being the latest to jump on the shiny bandwagon with their new NARSissist Wanted Eyeshadow Palette

After seeing this pop up on their Instagram feed back in November, I’ve been waiting for launch day (January 15th) for what feels like forever. The only thing is, I’m not a huge wearer of eyeshadow, especially bold shades. However, I’ve been wanting to try something new that’s a little out of my neutral eyeshadow comfort zone and well, this totally ticks all the boxes. 
Nars Wanted Palette review
 In the past, I’ve been fairly partial to an eyeshadow palette (I mean, who hasn’t owned the Urban Decay Naked Palette!) they’re great for traveling, and they give you more choice to play around with. This Wanted Eyeshadow Palette from Nars features 12 gorgeous eyeshadow shades with matte, satin and shimmery metallic finishes, in a range of pinks, nudes and rose golds and, not only does the palette include brand-new shades, NARS have also thrown in a brand-new eyeshadow formula containing Vitamin E and pomegranate seed oil. Giving a soft, buttery application without the patchiness.

The shades are totally out of my comfort zone, but after a little play with the palette in Space NK on my lunch break, there are more than a few that I’ve already worn since purchasing it. Just FYI, the metallic/satin are extremely pigmented and a little goes a looong way with them, which I learnt when I realised my hands were covered in glitter and looked like a Christmas decoration. NOT a good look! 
Nars Wanted Palette review
Now the price is the biggest killer, coming in at £55 (thank god for Space NK vouchers!) so that may make you think twice about purchasing but I can honestly say if you love eyeshadow, or don’t have these shades in your collection then you won’t feel any purchase regret.


24 January 2018

Malibu Kitchen at The Ned, London

Malibu Kitchen at The Ned, London
You’ve probably heard of The Ned already. Based in the City, the building was once occupied by Midland Bank, but is now London’s newest hotel, member’s club and event space from the guys at Soho House.

There are no fewer than nine restaurants within the property, plus a couple of bars, 252 bedrooms, a spa, member’s club, rooftop pool and six private event spaces.

We opted for one of the restaurants to celebrate a birthday back at the end of Summer. Arriving into the vast, open spaced banking hall the place was packed for a Tuesday evening. Most of the restaurants are based around the banking hall, with a central music stage which was home to a live jazz band on the evening we visited. After spending nearly 10 minutes trying to find the restaurant we were having dinner in (this place has no signage whatsoever - a little too cool for that) we finally found it tucked away in the right-hand corner, separated from the hustle and bustle of suits and stilettos.

Malibu Kitchen offers dishes that are health-minded and in several instances vegan, raw and gluten-free. This may not sound that great for some, but the restaurant and food are great, and there is a burger on the menu for the carnivores.

The plates are small, so we ordered a few and shared, plus our own main dish - which worked out well given that there’s plenty to choose from on the menu.Malibu Kitchen at The Ned, London Rolls with raw vegetables, nuts and sauce to dip.Malibu Kitchen at The Ned, London Courgette ribbons, basil pesto, pine nuts. 
Plantain crisps and shrimp saladMalibu Kitchen at The Ned, London Sea bream taco, panko, green papaya, pico de galloMalibu Kitchen at The Ned, London Ahi tuna poke, avocado, sesame, jalapeno, brown jasmine rice
Curly kale, red pecan nuts, apple, radish, sprouts, ginger, miso Malibu Kitchen at The Ned, London
Elderberry pavlova, grapefruit curd, raspberry, pomegranate
Malibu Kitchen at The Ned, London
The dishes were full of flavour, and delicious. We went for a little explore after and couldn't believe how big the space is. I want to go back and stay for the weekend, however I may need to sell an organ or two to pay for it as it's not exactly within my budget! 

Malibu Kitchen @ The Ned
27 Poultry, London
EC2R 8AJ

17 January 2018

Miss Clara by Nobis, Stockholm

Miss Clara Stockholm
The Miss Clara Hotel was our accommodation for the second leg of our honeymoon last year. The younger sister of Stockholm’s very luxurious Nobis Hotel is one of the city’s most treasured Art Nouveau buildings. It was a former private girl’s school - the hotel is actually named after the headmistress, and many of the original features remain.

Located in the center of Stockholm, within walking distance of most major tourist sites - including the Royal Palace and Gamla Stan (Old Town). Plus there's plenty of bars and restaurants in the area should you want to eat out instead of at the hotel.
Miss Clara Stockholm
The bedrooms are true Scandi-minimilist-chic - think parquet wooden floors, white walls, marble bathrooms, and many materials used in the rooms have come from all over Sweden - the wood the beds are made from is from Gothenburg. 

If you love interior design, then this hotel will be right up your street. I found myself geeking out at some of the designs in our room - for example, at the end of the bed is a framework of a seat, which is actually fully functional and surprisingly comfortable to lean against whilst reading. The window space has been designed for storage purposes, housing the fridge and mini bar, as well as having two seating areas atop.
Miss Clara Stockholm
Each bathroom has been kitted out with toiletries by the gorgeous brand, BYREDO and has the fluffiest of dressing gowns for you to snuggle up in. 
Miss Clara Stockholm
Miss Clara Stockholm
We were in Stockholm for two nights and although we didn't spend to much time at the hotel, we did spend our first night curled up under blankets on the window seats in the bedroom, watching the world go by on the streets below whilst eating room service pizza, delivered from the pizzeria next door to the hotel. 

The Miss Clara has a restaurant and bar, which proved to be very popular on the weekend evenings we stayed there. Breakfast is served in the restaurant each morning, and had a great selection of food ready to set you up for the day, including a waffle maker and all the toppings you could think of.

Fluffy bathrobes, BYREDO toiletries, window seats and delicious pizza delivered to your room, and a waffle maker in the morning- this hotel was made for me in mind!

Sveavägen 48, Box 1616
111 34 Stockholm

Phone: +46 (0)8 - 440 67 10

10 January 2018

My Travel Bucket List 2018

2018 Travel Bucket List
Travelling the world is one of my absolute favourite things to do, and ever since I started travelling with work, I have serious wanderlust! There are so many place to explore and experience in the world, and I’ve tried to set myself the goal of visiting some of them this year.

Today, I want to share with you the 5 places that are currently top of my travel bucket list …

Grand Canyon
I’ll always remember a friend of mine visiting the Grand Canyon a few years back, and showing me their photos from the trip. Ever since then, I’ve wanted to go and explore the area maybe even swinging by Vegas for 24 hours of fun! 

Croatia
I haven’t had a beach holiday for a very long time, and Croatia has been tempting me with its beautiful beaches and gorgeous weather so I’m hoping to get over and explore its beautiful islands and mainland cities.

Williamsburg
New York is one of my favourite cities in the world, having visited a couple of times before, I am desperate to head back this year, and this time I want to explore the places I’ve not yet got a chance to see, such as Williamsburg. I’ve always stayed in Manhattan and I’m quite keen to stay across the river on my next visit, which is handy as it just so happens that one of my favourite hotels, The Hoxton are opening their first US one in that area, so I now have a very good excuse.

Lisbon
This is a recent addition to my list. After visiting Madrid with work, I was reminded how amazing the food and atmosphere is and, when I’ve mentioned this to people they’ve recommended I visit Lisbon as it’s got the same style as Madrid but way better. I’m hoping to see if they’re right this year! 

Iceland
This country has been on my list for a few years now - my husband has been a couple of times with work, and has said he’d love to go back and explore. So, hopefully we’ll get around to doing just that in 2018.  

What’s on your bucket list? Have you visited or done any of my travel plans, i’d love to hear your experience and make sure you give me some tips for things to see and do?

7 January 2018

Out with the Old, and in with the new

2018 hopes

We all know that at the end of another year, a little reflection on the past 12 months plays on our minds, and welcoming in the new year brings new expectations, goals and hopes. 

2017 seems to have flashed by in a blink of an eye yet again - I honestly don’t know how it went so fast and how much happened in a year that I thought wouldn’t be as intense as the previous one. 

Looking back it couldn’t have been further from that, from personal achievements, great moments I’ll always look back on, and some I’d like to just bury in the back of my mind and forget about, 2017 was insane. 

There are always going to be some pretty shitty lows, and the most significant for me was my mama's cancer growing and her having to go through chemo all over again, bringing some new, horrid side effects and just more cancer shite being thrown her way. My mental health took a huge hit towards the end of the year, and whilst I’m glad I’ve got the most amazing support network around me, it has made me realise that I want to make some life changes in order to reduce my anxiety and stress levels, and try and bring back some normality and positivity in my mind and body. 

More on that shortly.

As I mentioned, 2017 bought some great moments that I never thought I’d experience, let alone achieve. So, I thought I’d share a mini round-up for you, as well as some changes (see how I’m not saying goals?!) coming up in 2018.

TRAVEL
Towards the end of 2016, I started a new job - a huge step up in my career and something I have to say I’m pretty darn proud of. With the new role, came a lot of traveling, and my first trip of 2017 was to Sydney, travelling in Business Class with Emirates which was an experience in itself. Albeit I was only there for 3 nights, but I managed to see the city and have a mini-adventure before hopping on the plane home. A trip I’ll never forget. 

Next came Paris in March and April, followed by Chicago in June, which was a city I fell in love with and can’t wait to visit again this year. July saw me head back to Paris to celebrate my birthday (no work involved!) before heading to Berlin in August and Madrid in September. 

In October, I finally managed to pin my husband down and book our honeymoon! We visited Sweden and had the most amazing trip - it was the first time we had both visited the country and found it to be so beautiful. 

CAREER 
As I said earlier, I started a new job in the latter part of 2016, so 2017 was a big year for me and my career. Travelling played a huge part, but I finally felt settled and found myself really enjoying my job and feeling valued by my team and peers. 

Positivity in 2018

CH-CH-CHANGES...IN 2018
When you go through some pretty horrid shit, it really does put things into perspective. As I said earlier, I want to make some life changes in attempt to bring back some normality and positivity in my life. I’m not calling them goals, as I personally think calling them that adds a little pressure to achieving them, which I don’t need right now. I’m going to try and make one small life change each month, building up to the Summer when I have the strength and confidence to tackle the big ones I’ve got my eyes set on. 

If you’re a regular reader, you’ll have noticed I started to post less towards the end of 2017. This year I will be posting regularly, but not as often as I have done previously. I want my content to be something I love talking about, and that feels natural to me. I’m also prioritising spending time with my favourite friends and family. 

Over the last six months, I’ve really struggled with putting my wellbeing first. I’ve noticed my body has really taken a hit from it all - it’s crazy what stress can do to you and your body. So, I’m going to try and put myself first more, and look after myself by eating well and having an exercise plan in place - heck, I may even join a gym! 

I’ve started to realise that it’s ok not to be able to control everything that life throws at you, and although I’m still taking baby steps with this one, I am starting to just take these sort of situations as they come and just go with it.

Something I want to change is not taking on everything at full-speed. I have a pretty busy life and I know I need to slow down and not stress out thinking about how something could have gone, and what it could have been and also not overthink plans that are coming up in the near future. I want to try to acknowledge the present a little more, enjoy what is going on around me and think less about the ‘what ifs’. This is probably going to be the hardest change of all, but I know I need to be patient.


So, 2018 come at me! 

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