Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Christmas Day

Happy Christmas Everyone! 
Hope you all had the most wonderful holiday season. 
I had the best day ever yesterday just chilling out on the sofa and eating everything in sight, but I did manage to get dressed and leave the house for a little while in the morning so I thought I would share my look with you!

Plaid Jumpsuit - Zara
Black Poloneck - Sequin Cinderella Boutique
Handbag - YSL
Bracelet - Moschino
Heels - Topshop

Enjoy the rest of the festivities guys and have an amazing Christmas break 
Nicola x

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Spray Tan at The Seagrass Spa

I was recently invited down to the Seagrass Spa at the Inishowen Gateway Hotel (Buncrana) to try out their St Tropez spray tan so I decided that last week was the perfect time as I had a big night out along with some fellow fashion bloggers and I wanted to look my best.
I haven't got a spray tan since I was in secondary school and I have to say I was a little nervous. I'm a tad shy about my body and the thought of standing topless and getting sprayed kind of freaked me out a little but I gave it a go and it actually wasn't as scary as I thought.
Joanne the Spa therapist is so nice and put me at ease straight away! She gave me the disposable underwear (so attractive...lol) and let me get ready then once she started spraying, it was over before I knew it.
I had to let the tan dry for about ten minutes before putting my clothes on again and had been advised by Joanne before I even went down that it was best to wear loose clothing. 
My memory in the past of getting a spray tan was looking about 60 shades darker for the first evening then having to shower the next day and it all disappearing, but with this tan, it developed gradually throughout the night and by the time I showered it off the next day I was left with a perfectly even, natural glow.
I absolutely loved the St Tropez tan and couldn't recommend it enough. It didn't look fake in any way, just as if I had been for a week in the sun.
Joanne did suggest that I come down a day earlier and that she would top it up if I wanted it a little darker, so I would perhaps do that next time if I was planning for a big occasion such as a wedding, but for a night out, one coat was perfect.
I think a lot of people believe that the Spa at the Inishowen Gateway is for residents only, but it is in fact open to the public and the spray tans are available all over the Christmas period. Priced at just €25 it is so affordable and they really last. I had mine done last Thursday and I still look nice and bronzed almost a week later.
As well as being a fab spa therapist, Joanne is also a hairdresser and is unreal at curly blowdries. I popped a picture at the end of this post of the last time that Joanne did my hair. It was probably my favourite style that I ever had!
For more info on the Seagrass Spa you can check out their Facebook page - here and you can also find them on instagram!
Nicola x

Christmas Gift Ideas

With only 6 shopping days left until Christmas, how many of us can say we are finished with all of our spending sprees? I for one know that I am most definitely not, but then it wouldn't be me without a crazy panic around the shops on Christmas week...
Nowadays, with so many of us working extra hours and late nights, it is an absolute nightmare to try and get into the shops ourselves hence the beauty of online shopping. We can get anything online, from technology to fashion and beauty and trips away to staycations.
The internet has opened up an entire new world to us and at times like Christmas when we are struggling to find a special gift for a special someone, that is when we truly appreciate what we have at our fingertips.

Below, I have gathered together a few gift ideas from Groupon's newly revamped gift pages. Groupon offers a large variety of special offers, discounts and amazing ideas all under one site, so why not get more for your money and find the perfect present.
 I have picked out some last minute gifts 'for her' and 'for him' so hopefully it will help some of you last minute shoppers who are stuck for ideas!
And remember, if you don't find what you are looking for below, then click HERE and you can browse the entire "gift page" selection for yourself!


Three Hour Make Up Lesson With Ciara Daly
All of us ladies are obsessed with makeup these days and whilst we don't all want to be MUA's, we would definitely like to have their skills. This fab gift entitles the receiver to a three hour master class at Ciara Daly Makeup in Belfast with one of Northern Irelands top makeup artists, bubbly and snacks. What more could a lady ask for? Prices start from £29 and you can find the offer by clicking - HERE.

Night at Solis Lough Eske Resort
What about a night away to the stunning 5* Solis Lough Eske resort in Harveys Point, Co. Donegal? 
A gift for her but also for you to enjoy. With breakfast, dinner, a castle tour and leisure access included, this is a stunning gift to be enjoyed long after the Christmas festivities have ended. 
Find it HERE.

Vera Wang Perfume
When in doubt, buy perfume. That theory has often worked for many, so why change it now?
You can find some of the most popular Vera Wang scents HERE with up to 71% off the usual price. Starting from £19.99, there are lots to choose from with even more brands on the main Groupon gift pages.

Afternoon Tea and Spa day at The Shandon Hotel
What nicer way to spend an afternoon than chilling out at Donegal's newest Spa resort, the Shandon Hotel? This special offer includes afternoon tea and spa access for the day. Ideal for those busy mums to escape for an afternoon and totally chill out. Check it out 

London Trip - Hotel Rafayel 
If you fancy taking your loved one a little further afield, then how about a little trip to London? this offer includes a one night stay with process and spa access in a stunning hotel located on the banks of the River Thames. Prices on Groupon start from £169 which is a 41% saving on booking direct. Check it out - HERE.

Swarovski Inscription Necklace
Can you ever go wrong with jewellery? A lasting gift that your loved one can keep close to them at all times. These beautiful inscription necklaces with swarovski stones can make the perfect gift as well as passing on a message of love to the receiver. The ideal gift for your mum, sister, girlfriend, teacher etc. Check out the different designs HERE - usually priced at £42 and just £8.99 on Groupon.

Swarovski Climber Earrings
And last but not least, another gorgeous piece of statement jewellery from Swarovski. These fab climber earnings start at just £5.99 and make the perfect choice for a lady who likes to stand out from the crowd. Check them out HERE for 84% discount from the high street price 


Double Breasted Coat
Im in love with this fab tailored coat. The perfect way for a man to go from smart to casual this Christmas and with 63% off the original price, it is an amazing bargain. Available in a variety of colours, you can check them out HERE. Starting at just £29.99, you couldn't go wrong.

Hugo Boss Aftershave 100ml
Would it be a Christmas for a man without receiving a bottle of aftershave? Definitely not! This gorgeous Hugo Boss one (one of my all time faves) is on Groupon for 37% less than what you would pay downtown. I always think that aftershave is not only a gift for your man but for you as well, so best make it a good one! Check it out HERE.

Days of the Week Boxer Shorts
Have a man in your life who "forgets" to do his laundry? What better present to get him than a gentle reminder with these "days of the week" boxer shorts. From just £10 you can pick up this fab set of seven by clicking HERE

Beer Socks
Socks, the gift that every man loves to hate but secretly loves, and I'm pretty sure these are the ideal pair for any man who wants to put his feet up this Christmas. At just £2.99 these would make the perfect stocking filler for that special man in your life - check them out HERE.

*All offers and images are from the Groupon gift ideas page 

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Oxygenetix Foundation

How many of us have ever fallen asleep in our makeup and seriously regretted it the next morning when your skin looks and feels like crap?
Well this new Oxygenating foundation may just take that guilt away... and even better, its actually really nice too!
With a patented Ceravitae complex this makeup not only makes your skin look flawless but it actually promotes new skin cell production and is totally breathable hence not clogging your pores or tightening your skin but actually improving it as you sleep 
(I still don't recommend doing this by the way but its nice to know that if you do then your skin won't suffer).

A makeup range sworn by, by many a celebrity including the Kardashians, its new advanced technology is a step forward in makeup production and whilst I won't bore you with the science behind it, its actually a really interesting concept and was such a cool product to try out.

The makeup applied beautifully to the skin and most definitely gave a flawless finish.
My only criticism of it is that I am used to a much fuller coverage so I did use a little more concealer than normal but for me that is down to years of self consciousness with my skin rather than the quality of the makeup.
To be honest, when wearing it, I didn't even feel like I had foundation on which was such a nice, fresh feeling when you are used to wearing it every single day. I actually had to keep looking in the mirror to make sure I still had some on and was pleasantly surprised each time to see it was sitting perfectly.

Oxygenetix is so light and kind to the skin that it is safe to apply, even after cosmetic procedures such as micro needling, chemical peels etc. and it also contains an SPF which is a vital ingredient for us all in our day to day routines.
There are 14 shades available so hopefully there is one to suit everyone.  Mine was the colour "beige" but I did bronze it up a little so I probably could have gone a shade darker, especially when wearing fake tan.

For more information you can check out their website HERE or you can pick one up for yourself in the UK's recommended supplier https://www.effortlessskin.com/ 

Nicola x

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Orlando Florida

They say when you go to Disneyworld that no other holiday will ever feel the same again... You become the child within and you never ever want to return to adulthood. Lifes responsibilities feel a million miles away and you aren't even embarrassed to act like a 5 year old because everyone around you is doing the exact same thing.
I was never into Disney when I was young, but I most definitely grew into a wannabe Disney princess... you just need to look at the name of my business to see that but I think regardless of whether you are into it or not, visiting the parks should most definitely be on everyones bucket list.

Whilst I was away I posted a lot on snapchat and I had so many of you asking me to write a blog when I got home with my tips and recommendations for visiting.
This is going to be a long post so brace yourselves but hopefully, if you are planning a trip soon (I hate you if you are 'cause I wanna go back so badly) you will get all of the info that you need.

So firstly, we booked our trip through Expedia, we flew direct from Dublin to Orlando and we stayed at the Hardrock Hotel, Universal, for 12nights.

Tip number one is, if you are booking on Expedia, don't pick a date and stick to it. From one night to the next, the prices could be very different so try to be flexible and you may just save a fortune.

We bought our park tickets on orlandoattractiontickets.com and whilst they are probably the most expensive part of the holiday next to the hotel/flights, they are definitely the most rewarding and we found this site to be the cheapest to get everything included in our packages.

Obviously spending money is up to you, but if you like shopping then try to save as much as you can because the shops and the outlets are UNREAL! I talk a bit about my fave places further into the post so keep reading! 
Eating and drinking isn't overly expensive depending on where you go but most definitely save that bit extra money (and suitcase room) for shopping.

Below I have compiled some of my fave pics from the trip and under each section I will talk a bit about each park and what I loved and didn't love - So keep scrolling and I hope you enjoy the post!
Nicola x

Magic Kingdom
Magic Kingdom is by far the happiest and most magical place on earth. Leave your inhibitions at the gate, buy a pair of Minnie Mouse ears and enjoy the journey.
Nothing will ever compare to that feeling of walking up Main Street Disney and seeing Cinderella's castle for the first time... I swear I almost cried - truly the most magical sight.

One of the coolest things that came with our tickets was the Memory Maker... basically you connect your tickets to an app on your phone and then any time you see a park photographer and get your pic taken, they scan your ticket and within half an hour the pics are on your app! It was great, especially when there are only two of you and you can't get pics together very often.
With the "Disney World App" you can also secure your fast passes for any of the Disney rides which is super important as queuing for all of them will drive you insane!

Of course I had to queue to get a picture with Cinderella aptly captioned "When the Sequin one meets the Real one" and although I was a little mortified when I saw the five year old girls in the queue beside me, I honestly didn't care too much and it was worth it in the end.
There aren't too many rides in Magic Kingdom for Adults but be sure to meet all of the characters you like, soak up the atmosphere and enjoy!

Hollywood Studios
We did Magic Kingdom and Hollywood studios in one day and we still got everything done. My greatest recommendation for HS is to do Terror Tower. It is the most frightening but amazing ride that I was on! I also highly recommend the Aerosmith ride which is very cool!
I definitely wouldn't dedicate a full day of your Holiday to hollywood studios as there isn't an awful lot to do there so do it on a half day along with another park.

Hard Rock Hotel 

We stayed at the Hardrock Hotel which is in the grounds of Universal Studios. It was unreal and I could not recommend it enough. I know that a lot of people stay on International drive which is perfect but as we planned to have a few lazy days by the pool it was important to have a really nice hotel that was near to everything.
We could walk out the front of the hotel and jump on a water taxi over to Universal Studios or City Walk which comes to life at night.
The hotel had everything we could have needed from a market to buy Starbucks coffee and takeaway pizza to a high end steak and lobster restaurant. It had the most stunning pool and the breakfasts were amazing. We took full advantage of the Hotels facilities on our down days and it made it so worth the little extra money that we paid to stay there as we got to relax among the Disney madness.
Be sure to bring your american adapters for your plugs but they don't work for everything. I brought my own hairdryer and straighteners with me but they wouldn't work properly so the best tip that I picked up was to go to Walmart and buy straighteners (mine were Remington and only cost $19) If I hadn't done this, I would have looked like Monica from Friends (you know the episode) for the entire 12 days. The hotel had a hairdryer so I didn't have to buy that but check your hotel first before you go.

As I said above, the shopping is amazing! We went to all of the Malls and all of the outlets and I loved everyone of them... my bank account however, did not!
My favourites were Mall of the Millenia and the Florida mall and we did both of the main outlets - Vinelands and Premium, which were fab! I spent 3hrs in Zara alone one night and I am surprised I still had a boyfriend by the end of it... but hey... I got some great stuff haha!

Universal Studios
Due to staying in one of the Universal hotels, our room keys acted as our fast passes for Universal so we were able to come and go as we please and get onto all of the rides and attractions very quickly.
We went to Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure a few times and made sure to do all of the rides, some even two or three times. 
Harry Potter World was unreal, you really felt like you were in the movies or the books. I was so excited to try butter beer and was actually surprised at how nice it was.
Universal is very different to Disney World and would probably appeal more to "adults" if there is such a word in Orlando but I definitely loved them both.
Citywalk is also a part of Universal and it was very cool to wander at night, get some food and have a drink.
If you aren't staying in a Universal hotel then I definitely recommend paying the extra for the fast passes! You won't regret it! 
Oh and I passed out on the Hulk ride... legit blacked out... so be careful... but I did it again then and was fine haha! 

Getting from A to B
Taxis are definitely a little on the expensive side and I most definitely would not recommend renting a car. You don't get value for money at all as you have to pay for the car, pay to park at the hotels (approx $25 a night) pay to park at the different parks (approx $40 a day) and also fuel the car. So we got around by using the app "Lyft" similar to Uber but a little cheaper. You just connect your bank card and it uses your location on your phone to set pickup point... it shows you your price and your driver/type of car beforehand and it was definitely the easiest and cheapest way to get around!

Volcano Bay Water Park 
This was probably one of my least favourite days in Orlando. I usually love waterparks but this one was new and was still quite busy so the queues were annoying. 
You did get a wristband called a Tapu Tapu which you could tap to the rides and get a time to return for fast past but you could only do one at a time... so if your wait time was long for one... you just had to stand in the long queue for the rest of the rides whilst you waited. 
I didn't do the biggest ride but Kevin did and after waiting over 2hrs on the tapu tapu he still had another hour or so to wait when he got there.
Definitely not high on my list of recommendations.

Discovery Cove
This was one that I fought with myself over. I hate seeing animals like Dolphins in captivity but I also wanted more than anything to see them up close.
They are the most beautiful creatures and I absolutely loved seeing them but it did break my heart to see them in the pools as opposed to the open sea. 
We did the underwater walk which was incredible. You wear a helmet and go 14ft below the surface with the most beautiful fish swimming around you. We also visited the aviaries which were incredible as there are stunning tropical birds flying free around you and landing on your arm for food.
For the most part Discovery Cove is a beautiful place and an amazing day out but I definitely feel guilty for supporting a place that keeps Dolphins in captivity, even if they are really well looked after.

Animal Kingdom
On the opposite end of the scale to Discovery cove, Animal Kingdom was incredible and all of the animals, whilst still being in captivity, were allowed to roam in areas that were designed to look like their natural habitats. It had more of a feel of us being the ones in cages... they weren't forced to be  seen or to perform, they just did as they pleased and if we were lucky enough to see them then great and if not hen that was their choice.
We did the Kilimanjaro safari ride which was amazing and really gave the feel of being on a real safari in Africa and also the Expedition to Everest ride was pretty cool.
The best of all was the Avatar ride but that was so good I had to write about it separately below!

Avatar Flight of Passage
This is the newest ride in Animal Kingdom and the queues for it are crazy. The fast passes were booked up 60 days in advance so we decided to wait and we were so glad we did.. We queued for 105mins which felt like forever at the start but passed surprisingly quick and the ride was so good that I nearly would have queued the same time again. Its a virtual reality ride but on a totally different level to any of the rest that I experienced. You genuinely believe that you are in the movie Avatar and flying on the back of a Banshee, you fly through forests and you smell the trees, you fly through a waterfall and get sprayed with water... Honestly I can't even do it justice by describing it but if you get the chance to do it, queue for however long it takes. You won't regret it.

Happily Ever After Fireworks
As if there isn't enough amazement in Orlando, there is nothing more stunning than the happily ever after fireworks at Magic Kingdom.
It is truthfully the closest I have ever felt to believing that magic is real...
We left this to closer to the end of our holiday and it was an incredible way to finish an already unreal time. There are thousands upon thousands of people standing around and the second the first firework starts, everyone becomes silent... its both eerie and incredible because you know that each person is experiencing the same magic as you are... if you do nothing else when you are there, then be sure to see these fireworks. I promise you it is something that you will never ever forget!