Perusing Paris:

I cannot believe it’s been over a week since my impromptu weekend away in (insert French accent)… Paris!

A girly trip away is sometimes, in fact always needed, and who better else to spend it with than the blogging gal pals… if you don’t know who I’m talking about check this post. I mean who else truly understands the art, and struggle, of capturing the perfect Instagram post? Only the blogging queens, that’s who! 😂

Our trip was short and sweet, but definitely a barrel of laughs. We fit so much in (thanks Chrissy) that I feel like I actually saw Paris and experienced a little bit of culture – although now that I think of it I didn’t try a croissant – major faux pas! 😱

Whether you’ve been to Paris once ,like me or more there’s so much to do and see. So if you’re planning a romantic trip to France with bae or simply want a have a girly weekend away with your besties, here are some places you should definitely and visit…

Louvre
We visited the Louvre on our first night and it was everything! I’ve always seen so many pictures of people doing the whole pinching the tip thing (lol) but to actually be there and take in the view was something else. We didn’t actually go inside, but just seeing the beauty of the architecture and surrounding buildings was enough, plus, guess I can explore further next time 👍🏾

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Eiffel Tower
Who goes to Paris and doesn’t see the Eiffel Tour?! Like, seriously it is amazing and steeped in history. Did you know it’s re-painted every 7 years and it takes 60 tonnes of paint to cover it? Absolutely crazy! It is recommended that you see at least once in daylight and again at night because it’s truly spectacular, and you really get to see its personality and detail in different light.

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Notre Dame
I can’t believe I got to visit the backdrop to one of my favourite Disney films 🐵. To be honest I was left a little disappointed. I don’t know what it was but I thought there would be more. Nevertheless, the cathedral is beautiful and there are plenty of places to eat nearby.

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Sidenote: If you have the chance to visit don’t let any of the artists outside draw a caricature of you, absolute waste of time and money – if you saw my instastory you know what I’m on about 👀

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Champs de Elysee
There are no words to describe how charming and beautiful this avenue is. I felt so Parisian just walking up to the Arc de Triomphe. There’s only one way to see the Champs de Elysee and it’s at night – definitely the perfect destination for a romantic late night stroll.

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River Cruise and River Seine
If you love to immerse yourself in local history, I would really recommend taking a cruise down River Seine, which is practically next to Notre Dame, so not far to walk. The hour long trip was only €12 and it took us past really cool landmarks  It’s so picturesque and definitely worth the trip if you want to see a lot in one go. Before you take a boat trip, don’t forget to visit one of the many love lock bridges and attach a lock that’ll be there forever… or at least until they take it down – One bridge has collapsed 11 times due to the weight of locks.

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Places to Eat

When you go to France it’s only right that you eat right too so hit up these places.

Street Vendor Crepes 

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La Pere Claude 

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PaperBoy Paris 

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Paris was such a dream. So multicultural and historical. Exploring in -4 degree temperatures is not exactly my ideal holiday, but definitely a trip to remember. I can only imagine just how much the beauty of the city shines through in the summer months.

Paris seems like a distant memory but, 2017 is all about new adventures and travels so I can’t wait to share where I’m off to next…

Have you been to Paris, what was your favourite thing to do? Also, what’s your favourite French word?

Pretty in Paris: My In-Flight Essentials

Happy New year guys!

It’s been a minute since my last blog, and so much has happened – Christmas, NYE antics (not so much in my case), plus going back to work – it’s definitely been a whirlwind. But as it’s the New Year, I’ve promised myself to have a fresh, new outlook on life and set myself a few resolutions too!

One major  resolution of mine is to travel even more than I did last year… and im off to a nice start, even if I do say so myself, as I’ll be jetting off to Paris tomorrow (yay me!).

As a result I teamed up with Tripping.com – a comparison site that help you find the perfect home/villa rentals abroad – to tell you all about what my-flight essential are, so keep reading to find out…

Mints – Currently in my handbag there are three different types of mints to choose from lol. I love having them handy as they’re just nice sweets to suck on, but they especially come in handy for on the plan as  I hate my ears popping 😖

Snacks– food is always an essential! When flying short haul flights food isn’t always available, so having something to munch on is a must, no-one wants to start their trip off #hangry do they. Pass me a bag of salt and vinegar crisps and I’ll be fine 😭

Hand sanitinser – I’m a city gal and hand santinzer is a must. I’ve literally just recovered from the norovirus, so I am not messing around with any germs coming into the New Year. When travelling abroad and even on public transport around London you just never know what you’ll have to encounter, so hand sanitiser is definitely an essential. Better to be safe than germy! 😂

Hand Moisturiser – in- flight air con is a MF so, i’ve packed my Kiehl’s Richly Hydrating Hand Cream in grapefruit- smells so lush! And it keeps my hands beautifully moisturised it’s defo a contender to my beloved – Lush Helping Hand 

A Blanket Scarf – as its bitterly cold here in London and I’m sure it will be in Paris a blanket scarf just makes sense. I’ve had mine in tow since last October! I love a quick nap in-flight too (much to the annoyancenof my bf🙈) so a cosy scarf helps me wrap up and keep warm, plus you never know the air-con situ. Plus, if too hot in-flight it can double as a neck pillow!

Laura Mercier Setting Powder – Whenever I go on holiday I never usually wear much makeup in-flight, but as I’m off to Paris which is a very short haul flight I’ll be packing all my usual makeup essentials plus my new Laura Mercier translucent powder. This product is the bomb.com, it really helps my makeup stay in place and keeps the shine at bay after only one use. To be honest, I doubt I’ll actually use it as it’s THAT good but I like to keep it handy. 👸🏾💅🏾

Cards/ Netflix – I’ve got a thing with collecting playing cards from destinations I’ve visited. I love playing cards, as it was past time that still happens in my house. No matter who I’m travelling with, I make sure I have a pack handy. Plus it makes the flight go faster.  If I’m not playing cards I’m probably watching something I downloaded prior. Sidenote: Did you know you can now download shows on Netflix?! I’m loving Power at the moment!

Comfy Clothes – Going to the airport is an occasion in itself, but for me its all about being comfy, no matter how long the flight is. However, being the blogging queen I am, I love accessorising which can easily vamp up a really simple outfit.  I love to transform my jeans and jumper with a choker and covetable ring stack. Add some lippie and I’m good to go and looking like I was made for this jet-setting lifestyle 😜

Do you have any inflight essentials? Also if you plan on travelling throughout 2017 do check out Tripping.com for accommodation made a little easier x

How to Travel the World and Work Full Time

If you follow me on any other social media platforms you’ll know that I’ve been suffering with some serious wanderlust. Like why can’t my full time job not be blogging, travelling and blogging about my travels?

I just know that I’m not meant to work (don’t we all lol) which is why I thought it’s about time I do a post on how to travel when you work full time, because somehow, I manage to.

I consider myself pretty lucky to have been able to travel to two beautiful destinations (Thailand & Dubai)  already this year and hopefully (god-willing) I’ll have another trip sorted before Christmas, but, I have to say, I haven’t spent my work holiday allowance wisely this year, and I know I’m not alone.

What I do know is that wanting to travel while holding down a full time job is definitely possible, although very inconvenient.

So, although I haven’t followed these rules as strictly as I’d have liked to this year due to my personal life, here’s a few tips for those of you who want to make the most out of your holiday and travel the world, one destination at a time, while also keeping a full time job…

Use Bank Holidays & Weekends to your advantage. This has to be the golden rule. If you haven’t tried this trick, where have you been?! To get more days off for less, it’s smart to plan your travels around major UK holidays, Bank Holidays and weekends. For example a great month to try this is May as we get two bank holidays plus weekends!

Prioritise, Prioritise, Prioritise. Once you’ve booked your holiday, it’s easy to get carried with how many days you need after to ‘recover’ from jet lag. I am so guilty of this, but it’s really so unnecessary, especially if you’ve only taken a trip Barcelona where there’s only like 1 hour time difference. To save days it may be worth taking a half day. This really comes in handy when your days start to run low. Plus, it means of you have a weekend getaway planned with an evening flight, you can leave a little earlier on a Friday, just bring your suitcase to the office! If you’re lucky enough to have an amazing manager, they may even let you off officially taking a half day which means you can save it for another time!

Work overtime. If you’re unfortunate enough to work full time with very limited holiday, maybe having a word with your manager or HR officer will allow you to get a few extra days holiday, by working overtime. It’s a great way to accumulate extra days and you’ll be getting paid that little bit extra which can only mean one think = more holidays!

Be Kind to your colleagues. This doesn’t happen in every company, but it’s common that department members who are not allowed to go on holiday at the same time as each other.  If you’re lucky enough to have a cool relationship with your fellow colleague who wants to take the same time off as you do, it wouldn’t harm asking if they could maybe rearrange their time off, it’s all about negotiation. After all, if you don’t ask, you don’t get.

So, these are a few tips that have helped me travel when I desire, do you have any tips/tricks?

 

 

Living the Dubai Life

I’ve been procrastinating on this post for the last two weeks, for two reasons.
1. I cannot believe I’m back to reality.
2. It was the most surreal holiday experiences I’ve ever had.

So let me start from the beginning.

As a birthday treat my parents paid for my holiday to Dubai – I know right, so lucky!

My family and I went for 5 days (which in my opinion, is a great amount of time to do everything) and stayed at the Movenpick JLT hotel – a beautiful hotel with an infinity pool and around 30 mins from Dubai Mall.

I really don’t know where to start, so I thought I’d dedicate this post to answering some the most common questions I’ve had from friends:

How hot was it?

Let me start by telling you it was HOT! I don’t know why I was so surprised as we did actually go in August – one of the hottest months in Dubai with temperatures reaching over 50 degrees – so yes, it was very hot.

However, it wasn’t unbearable. On the day we landed, I didn’t think I’d be able to survive. As soon as you go outside from the air conditioned airport the heat hits you right in the face. It’s a very dry, thick heat but you do acclimatise to it pretty quickly, plus everywhere has air con 😖

After 2 days feeling the heat was glorious, had me feeling like some melanin goddess all day every day… just call me the bronzed goddess!

What was it like?

Dubai is undeniably beautiful. Everything is so big and futuristic. The technology is so ahead of the ‘western world’ that its skyline looks like something out of a sci-fi movie… an urban metropolis.

The traditional food is tha bomb and the people are so friendly. I cannot wait to plan another trip to be honest!

Was it expensive?

Hell yes! I wouldn’t advise anyone going to Dubai, especially for 5 days without money, not that you would go away without any funds, but you get what I mean, it was expensive, and while we were over there, we learned that the Brexit results had made currency exchange worse.

In saying that, Dubai has such an allure and charm, that you don’t even mind spending and splurging that little bit extra, because everything is so magnificent. The Emerati people know how to do it BIG.

What’s there to do apart from shop?

First of all the malls are insane, and I wouldn’t blame anyone who just goes there to shop, because it’s LIT.

The malls over there are 1000x better than UK’s Westfields, during our time there, we visited twice and we didn’t even cover half of the mall.

Other than shopping though, there’s so much else to do, like visiting one the world’s biggest water theme parks, driving through the crazy sand dunes and exploring the views from the highest point in the world -The Burj Khalifa.

BUT, I’ll go into that on my next post, so stay tuned!

Is the culture strict?

I was so nervous to go to Dubai, because of what I had heard about it’s strict rules on how females should dress etc, but honestly I had nothing to worry about.

I would say as long as you are in the city and in areas where there are other tourists, you can dress very laid back, and could to the mall in shorts and a cami. But, I think it just comes down to showing respect and not showing too much skin.

If you decide to go out of the tourist areas, carrying a light scarf to throw around your shoulders is fine too. It’s all about being respectful.

Would I go back?

Errrrrm. YES! Visiting Dubai has been nothing but a dream.

I’m sure I’ve left loads out, so check out a few of my pics from this vacay and stay tuned for my next post all about the top 5 things you should do in Dubai!

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My Beauty Travel Essentials

Hey Lovelies,

With summer teasing us here in the UK, I’ve booked my next holiday to Dubai!

As a semi-seasoned jet setter (lol I wish!) I’ve teamed up with my blogger babe – Lani Rae all the way from New Zealand to bring you a fashion and beauty series to help you prepare for your summer travels – so make sure you head over to her blog for the fashion segment!

As I have just come back from Thailand, I thought I’d let you in on my top holiday beauty essentials, as I’m sure all you girlies can appreciate how hard it is to decide what beauty faves we should pop in our suitcase, while taking into account that we may get a tan – I mean, do we really need a brand new powder from duty free 3 shades darker? Yes, I hold my hands up, I am guilty of this – never again!

I love the countdown to a holiday for two reasons; it’s a chance for me to escape to an idyllic location, away from the hustle and bustle of London and the stresses of work so I can relax, but, also because I know it’s a great chance to treat my skin to plenty of Vitamin D as well as calm down on the makeup so my skin can breathe and repair itself.

It’s good to note that while on the plane, it’s wise to take off any makeup. Air con on the plane is a MF and completely dries out the skin. So pack makeup wipes and a great moisturiser – I quite like Nuit Polaire, although a night cream, it’s very moisturising without being heavy, and really sinks into the skin – great for a long haul flight.

For the most part of any holiday I go on, I rarely wear much makeup, however, I do have a few beauty essentials I need to let you all in on, so keep reading!

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Now I always over pack, no matter where I am going – is this just me?

An absolute essential for me is sun protection. Many people think that black people don’t need sun protection but everyone should protect themselves against UV rays, which is why I love Ultrasun.

Ultrasun have a massive range of sun protection – which I get for the face as well as the body. The formulas are not too heavy either, which is great as no one wants to feel like a grease ball in the sun.

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Next up is a CC Cream. Before I went to Thailand I was on a mission to achieve golden shimmery sun kissed skin. It didn’t really work out as planned but on my hunt, I did manage to bag The Body Shop’s new Instaglow CC cream.

I’m surprised at how much I actually loved using this as I’ve never believed in CC creams. However, I found it worked well to give me a more even skin tone, while looking quite natural, perfect for when you plan on lounging around the pool, but don’t want to go completely commando on the face.

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In the evening, I mixed the the CC cream with a dot of my usual foundation for fuller coverage, and set with my Bare Minerals powder.

When on holiday a highlight needed to accentuate your sun kissed glow! And it’s easily achieved with the perfect products and the right brush.

I hadn’t found the perfect highlight, before going to Thailand so I used a bunch of products to give me a nice shimmery glow anyway, which became my go to beauty finish.

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Fan brush and Makeup Bag gifted by Spectrum Brushes

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Just look at that highlight! I used a combination of Lush’s Feeling Younger Golden Highlight on my cheekbones, followed by Bobbi Browns golden shimmery eyeshadows.

My next beauty essential has to be a brow pencil. I was talking to one of my blogger compadres, Shannon Kara, and we both agreed that while foundation isn’t a must on holiday, having well-groomed fleeky eyebrows and a nice lip colour is an absolute must. While I was using my MAC eyebrow pencil, during my next getaway I will definitely be packing my magical Benefit brow productshave you read my review?

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I normally tidy up my eyebrows with my foundation, instead of concealer as it makes for less packing and I hate the halo effect round eyebrows.

As I previously said, I like to keep my makeup to minimum and being away in a hot country is the perfect opportunity to show you skin some TLC, so cleansing and moisturising products are much needed essentials. I always pack a charcoal face scrub by Garnier, as the fine exfoliants really get every inch of dirt off my face. I then moisturise my face with a light moisturiser – Drops of Youth from The Body Shop so my skin has a clean base for any products to go on if I choose to put on any makeup.

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When on holiday there’s no doubt you’ll probably go out on the town at least once, which is why a nice lippie and an eye shadow palette suitable for every occasion should be part of your beauty essentials. Keep things simple as no one has time to sweat off their whole face  – it’s really not a good look, but make it effective. I love packing my Ruby Woo as it screams sophistication and let’s be honest, who doesn’t love a red lip?

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So there you have it – my holiday essentials. Simple yet effective. What are you beauty essentials? Leave a comment and let me know x

Don’t forget to check my girl – Lani Rae’s collab post all about fashion essentials too!

10 Things To Expect When You Travel

Hi again lovelies,

Can you believe we’ve started the second half of the year already? FFS… and still no sun – drop me out and take me on holiday already! 😖 😫

It’s already been over 2 weeks since I landed back in the UK after my lovely little getaway to Thailand and to celebrate / mourn a wonderful time away in the sun, I thought I’d do a ‘fun’ post about what 10 things I experienced as a tourist and world traveller.

  1. STARING – This has got to be one of my biggest pet peeves. Just so rude, yet so inevitable, especially when you travel anywhere outside of London. Whenever I travel abroad I get look, whether it be because of my black skin or my ‘unusual’ hair, I’ll get the polite stare – the one where they smile and stop one I’ve acknowledged it, or the more annoyingly – yes, I am staring at you because you are hella different and I don’t know how to take you -stare. Either way it grinds my gears.
  2. PAPARAZZI– Yes, I’ve been stalked my paparazzi… and by paparazzi I mean Chinese tourists following me to get the perfect shot. To be fair this has only happened to me in Thailand, but, it was very weird, to say the least. I’m almost positive you’ll see a meme of me on Instagram soon with a couple of Chinese people.
  3. BONJOUR – Is it me, or can a black person on holiday not be British?! No one ever thinks my boyfriend and I are British. We, do however, get spoken to in French or more understandably – American accents. Very bizarre.
  4. THE DREADED CHAT UP– I’ve travelled alone before, which has just given men the reason to try and woo me. How lucky am I 😒? Yeah I know I have nice lips thanks, anything else?

    What has been the worst chat up line you’ve received on holiday?

  5. OVER PACKING – Ughh can us ladies ever get it right? For some reason, every time I go away, I have the most bags and the biggest suitcase, yet never wear more than half of what I pack. Nothing seems too short when you’re modelling it in front of the mirror #firstworldproblems
  6. MAKEUP – After deciding what the best CC, BB or DD cream to pack you’ll need another holiday. As much as I hate to admit it, is there any point of makeup on holiday?
  7. ‘TAXI?’ –  If you’ve been to Thailand then you must’ve experienced getting this question on every corner. When I travel, I love to explore and just submerge myself in the whole experience. I know this isn’t how everyone likes to do things, but I’ve got two legs for a reason – ditch the taxi, let’s walk!
  8. The Sh@!*– Never have I ever caught the shits like when I went to Thailand. If you’re going abroad this summer, make sure you take a pack of Imodium and paracetamol, you won’t regret it.
  9. ‘YOUR SKIN IS SO BEAUTIFUL!’ – It may sound big headed but I get this a LOT – kinda like my hair. Followed by a soft stroke of my skin. It’s quite flattering to be honest.
  10. THE OTHER COUPLE – I havent quite decided if I like making couple friends abroad or not, it’s quite a commitment, to make, what happens if you want to break free? Too much hassle, I’ll just stick to the boyf.

This post brought back way too many memories lol. There’s so many more experiences that I haven’t even touched on, but you get the idea. Have you experienced any of these, or any others, I would love to know your travel experiences, so let me know!

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I hope you enjoyed, and don’t forget, follow me on Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat (RiRi9316) x

Thailand Adventures: 5 things you need to do in Phuket

For 10 beautiful days, I was living a life of luxury in Phuket, Thailand ‘The Land of Smiles’ and I loved every minute of it. The weather, the people, the culture and of course the food (ugghhh guys you need to try Tom Yum Goong) gave me a life refresh I was in dire need for.

If you’re planning or have already planned your summer getaway and Phuket is on your brain you won’t regret it.

Phuket is a popular destination in Thailand and there really is so much to do, perfect for every type of personality, so I thought I’d fill you in on 5 things you NEED to do during your time there.

A Day Tour
After arriving at your hotel, it can be a bit daunting to actually go out and explore, as you have no idea where to go. A day tour can be the perfect remedy to familiarise yourself with your new surroundings and see the real Thailand, not just the atmosphere in your hotel. Depending on who you book with, they’ll show you landmarks, beaches, and places to shop, and should stop off at certain points for you to enjoy and explore for yourself. On my day tour, the most memorable locations were a view point where could see the coast and visiting the beautiful temples in Chalong.

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Elephant Trek
Going on an Elephant trekking experience is a MUST! It truly was a life changing experience, I can’t really explain my own feelings as the whole day was unbelievable, but it was amazing to be able to touch, feed and ride such a majestic creature. SIDENOTE: Find a reputable company that properly cares for its animals.

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Thai Massage
You cannot go to Thailand and not get a massage – there’s a massage parlour on EVERY road! However, if you want to spoil yourself, there are more romantic massage experiences where you can go on another island and spend the day. Whether you opt for an actual Thai massage or not is up to you. It’s a relaxing experience that’s really nice to do with your other half or your bestie, and is a treat that nicely ends your thai holiday with a bit of pampering and relaxation.

Island Tour
Thailand is surrounded by picturesque islands. Take a speedboat tour to Phi Phi or James Bond Island and go snorkelling – it’s absolutely amazing how many fish surround you, an underwater camera won’t do it justice! Picking a good all round tour is vital though, so try and find one that stops off at different islands along the way, giving you plenty of snorkelling opportunities and gives you a chance to explore the little islands, to get the perfect pic or just lay on the beach, until it’s time to go to the next one.

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Street Food
Do I really need to say any more. The local food is tastes amazing and is super cheap.  Opposite our hotel we had scoped a family run open ‘restaurant’ (it wasn’t really a restaurant) and the food was delicious, I fell in love with their Tom Yum Goong soup which is meant to be a Thai favourite. If you love seafood you won’t be at a loss either, as many places have fresh sea food that’s delivered every day, so you can pick what seafood you want before you sit down and they cook whatever you choose. Phuket also has a great nightlife and they definitely know how to party, so if you like to let loose on holiday and have a little drink, Thai’s pull no punches when it comes to alcohol and they are known for a strong mojito – does it get any better?!

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My time in Phuket was a dream (I’ll be sharing more about what I got up to in my travel series) and there’s so much more to do than my list of 5, but I was so glad I did them. Of course there’s more options like hiring a motorcycle (if you decide to brave the Thai roads I applaud you) or visiting a tiger sanctuary, and just taking time out to visit Patong beach.

Time flies when you’re having fun, so if you can, plan a few excursions before you arrive in as it’s definitely worthwhile, and you may also find cheaper deals which is always a great thing!

Have you visited Thailand, what was your favourite thing to do?

 

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