Sunday, 26 February 2017

Five Days In Amsterdam

I love travelling, experiencing new things and seeing what the world has to offer, as although I feel a bit anxious - being in a town or city that I don't know - I also feel really relaxed and happy that I am able to get away from everything for a bit and just have fun; as if I am a little kid again. 
With travelling comes memories and my trip to Amsterdam with my boyfriend this week is full of them; some of which I managed to capture on camera and want to document here on my blog. So, if you want to hear about what we got up to on our 5-day break in this beautiful city and what my top tips would be if you are thinking of going there, then carry on reading :)

Let's start with the hotel. It was called Park Hotel and oh my gosh, I have never stayed in such a posh place! I mean, I had to pay 200€ when we checked in for what they called a 'deposit', but with a (really expensive) minibar, a wet room, a bed that you literally sunk into when you laid on it and a little pot with earbuds and shower caps in, I felt like a star from a movie or something haha. I must say, I really made use of the wet room as on the first day I had a shower and - I still don't know how - the water ran through the entire bathroom, under the door and out into the bedroom! It took hours for all of the water to completely dry up and after that I was so scared that it would happen again that I kept checking every 2 minutes whilst in the shower haha. Anyway, the room was amazing and the hotel was quite central to everywhere that we wanted to go which was a plus. 

On the first day we went to the Van Gogh museum which although was a 5 minute walk away, I still managed to make us late. Actually, I made us late to all of the places that we visited haha. So we walked round each floor, looked at the artwork and visited the gift shop to get a fridge magnet (a must), before heading back outside where we grabbed a hotdog and a crepe to satisfy our rumbling stomachs. 
We then headed to a park and nature reserve which was about a 40 minute tram and train ride away. We walked along the paths, took photos and made friends with a number of dogs along the way. It was a lovely peaceful park which I would definitely spend an afternoon at if it wasn't so cold haha. 

On Wednesday we went to a place called Sherlocked which is essentially a room escape game. We had one hour to work out all the clues and get out of the room that we were in, which we didn't manage to do, although we had fun trying. This kind of thing is something I have never tried before and I definitely want to go back and have another go at it! 
It was pouring down with rain the whole day with crazy winds due to storm Doris, so soaking wet clothes and two broken umbrellas later, we got back to the hotel and waited for the weather to settle before going out for dinner. 
The food in Amsterdam is definitely something worth raving about. We tried different restaurants and ate Chinese, Pizza, Pancakes, Hotdogs, Pasta, Ribs and Burgers; all of which were amazing! I definitely recommend Pancake Corner (the satellite sports bar) in Leidseplein. We also tried McDonalds and Burger King products that aren't available in the UK because, why not? 

On Thursday we went to the Anne Frank House because I love History and learning about things that have happened in the past and this experience and learning about what Anne and her family went through was so sad, yet so interesting. The annex that they hid in over the years seemed so tiny and cramped and the stories that we heard from the people that survived the war were so eye-opening. 
Later on in the evening we went to the Ice Bar because again it is something that I have never done before and yet have always wanted to do. So we got our drinks tokens, downed our Sex on the Beach cocktails, put our gloves and jackets on and then went into the -9.4ยบ bar where we took photos and drank from our ice glasses. It was a really good experience and it made the weather outside seem 100x better haha. 

As we had to leave on Friday, we got ready, packed up all of our things and checked out; leaving our bags in the hotel's holding room until we had to go to the airport. We spent the afternoon taking more photos, eating pancakes and hotdogs and picking up souvenirs before heading back to collect our bags to jump on the tram back to the station. 

During the week we also visited the Red Light District because I had heard about it and was obviously intrigued haha. So we went home with many memories, wishing that we could spend another 5 days there. 

Amsterdam is one of those places that you can visit over and over again as there is so much to do there, so I for one will be going back! I also picked up things throughout my time there so I thought that I would share my top 5 tips for anyone who is thinking of visiting :) 

  1. Buy any tickets to museums or canal cruises online in advance. It saves a lot of time (and your feet don't ache from waiting in endless queues).
  2. If you are about to walk on something that looks like a pavement, think twice as it is probably a road in disguise. 
  3. Look out for bikes more than you look out for anything else on the road. They are EVERYWHERE.
  4. Go to Pancake Corner and order a pancake with bacon or bananas or one of the many other choices, then smother it in syrup. You'll thank me later.
  5. Buy a 24/48/72/96 hour travel card depending on how long you are there for. Trust me, it will save you quite a bit! 
So, that was my week, I hope you all enjoyed your's as much as I did! 

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Sunday, 12 February 2017

I Have Started A YouTube Channel!

I have been watching YouTube videos for many years now. It started with channels such as Fred and now I watch all channels from Caspar Lee to Zoella. I love spending time watching vlogs, seeing the latest trends or just looking at hauls to get inspiration for birthday presents haha, and for a long time I have wanted to become a part of this online video community, which I haven't been confident enough to do until this year. 

I am 19 currently and I have a full time job, I'm studying to become an interior designer, I have trips and holidays planned throughout the year, I spend a lot of my free time with my friends or boyfriend and obviously I have this blog as well as all the other social platforms I am a part of. So as you can see I have a pretty busy schedule; yet this is something that I really want to do, so I have gone and created a channel for myself! 

My idea is to make my little space on the internet somewhere that people can come to cheer themselves up (probably by laughing at me haha), to learn something new and to get to know me. I want to make this a hobby of mine where I can just come home, film anything and everything that I want to and then hit upload. Whether that is a make-up look, a challenge, a haul or just a little chit-chat; I just basically want to have fun. I have already got a few videos up which you can go and check out by clicking on any of the photos in this post! :) 

I will be uploading once a week which I have actually managed to stick to so far, although they haven't been uploaded on the same day each week....haha. But I think that the day I will be uploading on will be Sundays from now on as then it gives me a chance to film a video at some point during the week! 

I am honestly so excited for this new journey that I have embarked on and I've even got a notebook full of ideas of videos that I want to make. I never thought that I would have the confidence to talk to a camera, edit a video and then upload it; not knowing who could come across it and what kind of reaction I would get. However, I decided that 2017 would be the year where I did something that I wanted to and not be worried about what anyone else thought, so that is exactly what I am doing! 

If anyone wants to be a part of my YouTube adventure then subscribe to my channel and wait to see a lot of weird, fun and (hopefully) entertaining content from me! :) 

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Saturday, 22 October 2016

Working For McDonald's


At the age of 16, both me and my parents decided that it was time for me to get myself a part-time job to earn myself a little extra pocket money and to start building up my CV for when I left sixth form. So, I went round all of my local stores and applied to places online but I wasn't really having any luck. That was until my boyfriend at the time suggested that he recommend me at his workplace; which was McDonald's. 
Of course I agreed and a few days later I had an email sitting in my inbox from the Business Manager, inviting me to an interview. I didn't know what to expect, so I chose my most formal clothes and tied up my hair, which I NEVER do haha, and walked - trembling - in to meet my (hopefully) new manager. I have to say, I don't know what I was worried about because he made me feel really relaxed, talking about my hobbies and asking what days I would be free to work etc. 
Anyways, I passed the interview and was offered a part-time job. Who knew that I would still be working there, full time, 3 years later! 

I started as a Crew Member on the headset on Drive-Thru. I remember my first day, watching my trainer greet the customers, take their orders and then send them to the next window. I remember being so scared to press the button when it was my turn that he had to do it a few more times before I plucked up the courage to finally do it myself; and when I did,  I remember having a little burst of confidence - something that I really lack in. 
From that day, my confidence grew and grew, to the point where I started to train new people and give other people tasks to do. This then gave me the opportunity to become a Crew Trainer. I never thought that I would get promoted as I was always quite a quiet person, however I jumped at the opportunity to help myself grow more as a person and also help myself grow in this career. Being a Crew Trainer meant that you had more responsibility in regards to training and leading areas. This forced me to become more confident around big groups of people and I can really tell the difference. Of course, I still have a way to go, but I am getting there. 
A few months ago, I was offered another promotion to Shift Manager. I was over the moon that my managers thought that I could do it, despite being more quiet than others, and I jumped at that opportunity too. The course was really interesting and gave me a much bigger insight into McDonald's, which I liked. I am also first aid trained and have level 3 qualifications now, thanks to this promotion. I was so scared on the BSM course as I didn't want to fail and despite everyone saying that I would do fine, I didn't believe in myself at all. But in the end, I came out with honours (90% or more), and had to have my picture taken haha; but I was really happy. Being a Shift Manager means having a lot more responsibility and having to lead a whole team of people on a shift, deal with complaints and make sure that your store is kept clean and safe. It has really put my confidence to the test and although I still need to be louder in terms of speaking out more on shifts, I feel like I'm doing an alright job, and I'm enjoying it, a lot. :) 

In April this year, I was given Employee of the Month. Things like this are great when you are working as you know that your work has been recognised and appreciated. So, in the little pack that they give you, you get a £10 voucher, a little certificate, a pen, a new badge, a keyring, a notebook and an eraser. I just think that it is a really nice idea, and I smiled when I was given it haha. 
Since then, I have also been nominated for Employee of the Quarter, which allowed me to meet new people who work in stores around the country - most of which I had never heard of haha. It was another nice bit of recognition and I think that McDonald's have got it right, as I'm not sure what other companies do things like this. 

At any job, you will meet people and make new friendships. At McDonald's I have formed loads of friendships with people, to the point where we even went on holiday together. It is a really nice working environment and I have met some lovely people who I can trust will be there for me, and who I can be there for as well. 
It isn't like those jobs where you only know your team and you may bump into other people at the coffee station and get to know them that way; here, you know your whole store as you work different shifts and get to know everyone. There are also crew events which allow people to mingle and get to know each other more which I think is a good idea. 

Overall, this job has allowed me to grow a lot as a person. It has brought me out of my shell a lot more than school and sixth form ever did. I was so shy when I was younger. To the point where I wouldn't even put my hand up in class to respond to a question, even when I knew the answer and no-one else did. I find it really hard to speak loudly or shout over people but at McDonald's you have to communicate loudly; you have to shout to the kitchen to ask how long your plain double cheeseburger is going to be, you have to shout to make sure that someone knows that you need shake mix. So this job has really helped me in a way that I didn't think that anything could and although I still stay quiet in meetings because I feel uncomfortable just blurting out my views in big groups, I am in charge of the welcome meetings for new crew members which puts me in a position where I have to do just that, and it is slowly helping even more. I really appreciate this job for that. 

It is a place where two days are never the same, and you are always learning new things. I like this as it means that I don't get bored or stuck in a rut where it is just the same thing, different day. You also get to work with a range of different people as McDonald's is a very diverse place to work, which I find really important and a nice aspect of working here. 

Although when I was 16, I was only looking for a part-time job, I have stayed here for 3 years now and I am planning to stay here for a lot longer to see where it can take me, as it is a job that I enjoy and I love the people that I work with. 
Even though people still have their views about working for McDonald's, they have never tried it so they don't know what it is really like and what you can really gain from it. So, hopefully I have managed to give a little more insight into it! :) 

Anyways, I have to get ready for work now haha, hope you all enjoy your weekend.

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Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Review: No7 Airbrush Away Primer

I love No7. I have been using their foundation, primer and lipsticks for a few years now, so when I saw this new Airbrush Away primer, I picked it up straight away. It definitely didn't let me down!

The tube looks really nice, but professional at the same time. It does look like something from Photoshop; the way that the blue fuses into the grey, and I think that it is a good change from just a standard block colour tube. There is also quite a lot of product, so you won't need to keep going back to pick up a new one as you only have to use the tiniest bit on your face. 

The name of the product Airbrush Away really reflects the product itself as when I think of airbrushing, I picture a photo of someone's skin being polished and smoothed out so that there are no visible pores or imperfections. When I apply this to my face, my face is left feeling so much smoother and a lot more even, so it is as if I have just been photoshopped myself! 

In comparison to the previous primers that I have used (No7 Stay Perfect and Rimmel Fix & Protect), this one is so much better. Although the stay perfect primer was my go-to for such a long time, it was quite pastey and thick, whereas this one is super lightweight and is more like a thin cream which I prefer. The Rimmel primer didn't work for me as it was quite a wet one which didn't agree with my oily skin at all. My make-up would rub off and just not have the matte effect that I am used to and like. Whereas this primer almost sinks into your face and becomes part of your skin, just perfecting it. So when I apply my foundation now, it sits perfectly all day and has the matte finish. 

The only thing that I would say is that there is no SPF in this primer which there was in the others. However this isn't that big of a deal for me as my foundation has SPF so there is enough protection there. Also, if you do have oily skin then you may not like it as this primer does feel like you are rubbing oil onto your face; however it has worked for me and I have really oily skin in places, so I guess it would be something you would just have to try and see for yourself. 

Applying this primer is so easy as it disappears into the skin as soon as you start to rub it in, to the point where you can't even feel the product beneath your fingertips. It may be hard to believe but it blew me away when I first tried it! It is as if you are just rubbing your face....I don't know how they made such a product. It leaves my face with a nice glow so my skin is lit up before putting on foundation and concealer. 

So overall this new primer is the perfect base for my make-up, allowing it to stay in place and perfect all day. For £16.50, you do get your money's worth, especially since you only need a small amount each day. It is one of those products that I don't mind spending a bit more on as it is quite an important player in my make-up routine, and this one definitely does what it says on the tin....or tube :) 

I would definitely recommend this product to anyone that is on the look out for a new primer to try! 

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Saturday, 15 October 2016

Family Break At Butlins

As my Brother had to stay in the country to enrol at his college, we had to have a split family holiday this year. So, for the second part, we decided to take a trip to Butlins. 
I have never been to any kind of holiday park or family activity place like Haven or Butlins, so I didn't really know what to expect; but I was looking forward to the new experience. We were there for about a week and there was so much to do; activities ranging from amusements to live bands! 

The one thing that I would say about Butlins is it is very much on the pricey side. We decided to go for an apartment and for the amount that it cost, it was quite basic. Nonetheless it did meet all the requirements as we were only there for a small portion of the day. It was a cute little place; kind of reminded me of the holidays where we stayed in a caravan :)

During the days we would generally go round the complex, playing games of pool or going on go-karts or dodgems. My dad also won me two teddy bears - Sooty and Sweep - in a darts game, so I was happy haha. 
Inside there were also loads of arcade games where you had the chance to collect tickets and redeem them for a prize. By the end of the week we had over 10,000 tickets! We got quite a few little gifts out of that haha :)

Once again, I definitely enjoyed the food and was back on the children's menu by the end of the week as I was so full. The cheesy garlic bread was so nice and I also tried macaroni cheese dippers for the first time and loved them too. Once again, the food was a bit pricey but definitely enjoyable! 

In the evenings, we would get dressed up, go for dinner and then go into the main room to watch the evening entertainment or enjoy the late night disco and some drinks. I do love these kinds of evenings with entertainment as it reminds me of when I was younger and I used to be one of the little kids at the front, dancing and singing the night away. 

On one of the days, we took a trip out to Bognor Regis to sit on the beach, go on the pier and check out the market and the town. It was such a lovely day, so the sun was making the sea glisten and look beautiful, the weather was perfect and it was really peaceful and not too busy, which was a bonus haha. We had ice cream, went to a little bar which had just opened up and had a drink, and also bought a few bits at the market. I did try to walk along the pier, but it was one of those ones where the wood panels have gaps in between them and it didn't feel very sturdy, so my fear kicked in and I had to turn back. 

A few of our friends from Gran Canaria came down for a day and just went round the amusements and had a drink with us which was lovely. I also spent an evening or two revising for my management exam which was coming up the week after we got back, and my boyfriend came down on the last day to see everyone and pick me up as we had a work event to go to.

Overall it was a really good week, full of activities and things to do so there was never a dull moment. It was nice experiencing Butlins and I would like to try the other holiday parks like it; however I think I would only go for a weekend because of the price haha! 

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