Paris In 48 Hours | Louvre, Musee d'Orsay & Eiffel Tower

Sunday, 9 September 2018


On Thursday, we got up a little later and had a bakery breakfast of a proper French croissant which was so delicious, and then we headed straight to the Louvre (free entry with passports again) and had a good wander around. Both of us (while not the best artists - Rhiannon is much better than me) can appreciate art quite well so we gave ourselves plenty of time to explore the Louvre, and since we got there about fifteen minutes after it opened it wasn't toooo busy and we hardly had to queue to enter. Also got to see the famed Mona Lisa which was pretty cool. Definitely got chills again!!

After the Louvre we headed across the bridge to Musee d'Orsay, again hit a bit of a slump due to some rather keen protestors in the Jardin du Tuileries who started harassing us a bit because they could obviously see we were tourists - it wasn't too dramatic and we walked away with all our belongings (I 'dropped' my purse and I wonder if in the scuffle someone had plucked it out of my bag but all my money was still in it and I still had my phone and passport so I genuinely do think it fell out accidentally and to give them their due, the women did give it back to me - was still slightly scary though so if anyone walks up to you in Paris asking if you speak English, learn "I don't understand" in a very obscure language and walk quickly away!!). But we made it to Musee d'Orsay in one piece and again had a hot chocolate and a snack, had a wander round the Gaugin and Van Gogh exhibitions, as well as the amazing Impressionist exhibition and left feeling much happier.

We then hopped on the metro again and zipped up to the Eiffel Tower to see it in the daylight and oh boy - this was definitely my favourite part, it's absolutely breathtaking in real life, the sheer scale of it is just amazing. We paid €8 to go up the lift to the 2nd floor and it was just amaaaazinnggggg I have no other words!! We did some photo taking and location scouting from the top and then went back down to take photos at said locations. And then, a little wander to the Rachmaninoff Conservatoire because Rhiannon loves Rachmaninoff and wanted to take a picture of it, before hopping back on the metro and going to Champs-Elysees to complete our Paris in 48 hours!! We went to Pomme de Pain for a late lunch (kinda like Subway but French...) before heading to (you guessed it) Sephora!! We were in there for what felt like hours and yes I did come away with one Fenty product (will perhaps feature in a post sometime soon!) and I LOVE IT. Then we wandered up to Arc de Triomphe, took our last photos and headed back to the metro to the hostel.

That evening was really nice actually - we actually spoke to the other girls in our hostel room! We weren't really there that much so didn't get much chance but (typically the last night) we all chatted and got to know each other a bit more and went out for Vietnamese food which was really nice! A few of us had some face masks too which we did that evening in the room which caused much hilarity - it was my first try using a sheet mask and I have to say I didn't enjoy it that much but my skin does feel slightly smoother from it I guess!! Then we all turned in and that was about the end of our trip!! Friday morning the flight was at 8:00 and after a mad dash through the airport (give yourself more time at CDG because they have passport control in Departures as well as Arrivals which means you have to stand in more queues for longer) I made it onto the flight - Rhiannon came back separately on the train - and got back to the house at about 10am and wow. It's been an exhausting few days I have to say but I've enjoyed it immensely and it was such a good introduction into the 'travelling alone/with friends' thaaang because I've never done that before but decided I quite like it!! We're already planning our next city break...

Have you ever been to Paris? If so, what were your best bits?!

Em xx

Paris In 48 Hours | Versailles, Picasso & Notre Dame

Saturday, 8 September 2018

Hello and welcome back to another post!! It's been a while again and this time I'm not going to say this is the end of my slump and I'm back for good but we all know that's not necessarily true!!!

Anyway, as you'll know if you follow my Instagram (if you're not, you should) me and my housemate Rhiannon recently spent a bit of time in Paris and I thought I'd tell you about it because not only did we do it on a budget, but we also did it in about 48 hours, which was tough but we made sure we had a list of what we wanted to see before we went which made it easier!!

We flew in at 2:10 on Tuesday 4th and landed at about 16:35 Paris time - we had a bit of a fluster at the airport because we had no idea that a T+ ticket doesn't get you from Charles de Gaulle to the centre of Paris and instead had to spend €10 on a different type of ticket, so if you're flying into CDG and have to get public transport just be aware of that!! The queue to buy train tickets at the airport was also huuuuge so it took us about two hours to get out of the airport!! Another hour later we'd made it to the hostel - we were staying at St Christopher's Inn Canal, which was one of the cheaper ones we found through HostelWorld, at only £17 a night it was a really good bargain! Unfortunately we found out that you only get free breakfast if you book direct and not through HW but it wasn't too expensive for breakfast added on. Our first dinner in Paris was a cheeky Maccies since we just needed some food and our beds at this point, the stress of trains had really got to us!!

On Wednesday we got up suuuper early because we spotted a €20 shuttle that the hostel provided to Versailles which was really cool!! I'm interested in Versailles just because the period of history was so interesting and it also all ties into Les Mis which (as you know) is my absolute favourite musical, so the shuttle made it really easy to visit! We wouldn't have managed to fit it in/afford it if we'd taken public transport so it was really helpful for us. We got the bus at 8:30 in the morning and then arrived back at the hostel at about 1:45 so managed to explore Versailles in it's entirety (or what felt like it!) in that morning and to be fair, you do need that amount of time because it is just huge on a completely insane scale!

Wednesday afternoon we headed back out, eager to cram as much as we could in and went to Le Maison De Victor Hugo (the Victor Hugo house) which I dragged Rhiannon to because, you know, Les Miserables, and also Hunchback of Notre-Dame which I haven't read but know the story which is incredibly good. We then went to the Picasso Museum which was interesting, sure, but also we hit a rather large slump at this point during the day. The sun had seriously come out and we had to queue for agesss (just because they weren't letting people in, not for any other reason!) and then realised we didn't need to queue that much because we technically already had 'tickets' with our passports - if you're 18-25 and have an EU passport you get free entry to a lot of museums, so just so you know you don't have to go in the 'visitors without tickets' queue!!

(just a very gay bakery that we found that I loved)

But, we had a hot chocolate/coffee and felt much better after that and headed down to the Pompidou Centre. We didn't actually go in because it would have taken ages and we would've had to pay entry but it was still really cool to see the building, it's so incredibly ugly it's sort of beautiful in it's own way!! Next, we headed to Notre Dame to have a wee look at the cathedral and...just wow. Possibly up there with one of the best things we saw the entire day, it was just beautiful, and we were lucky enough to go in when a service was taking place, and trust me when I tell you you don't have to be religious to appreciate how awe-inspiring a service in a building like that is. Chills for sure.

For dinner on Wednesday we decided to splash out a little (since we only visited museums where we got free entry) and treated ourselves to a proper French steak at Le Relais de L'Entrecote. They specialise in one type of steak so it's a set menu, but for €26 you get a salad starter and two (!) portions of steak and chips and it was sooo good! I had mine cooked 'saignant' which is basically like having rare steak (sorry to any vegetarian readers!) and it was absolutely perfect! Afterwards, we hopped on the metro just up to the Eiffel Tower to see it all lit up in the dark, and then finally headed back to the hostel for some well earned rest. We clocked just under 30,000 steps on Wednesday, which was crazy but managed to see six different attractions in just one day which I'm incredibly impressed with!

For part 2 of my 48 Hours in Paris watch out over the next few days - I decided to split them up because it was literally going to be a year long blog post if I didn't!!

Em xx

These Are A Few Of My Favourite Feeds

Sunday, 12 August 2018

Hello!! Today I thought I'd do something kinda simple but also something to just spread some love in the blogging community - things have been a bit wild lately so a sprinkle of positivity is definitely what we all need!! So, in no particular order, here's a list of Instagram feeds I've been loving recently. Obviously I can't include every single feed I love because this post would never end, but these are just a few!!

Tara's feed is honestly just gorgeous - the warm brown tones in her photos give such a cosy vibe and appearance to her feed, it's so welcoming and lovely to look at!! She seriously deserves every follower she has, and her IGTV Harry Potter unboxing video was goals af, that's all I'm saying.

I love Laura so much, all I'm saying is how does this girl not have more followers?! I love her feed aesthetic so much, the sort of film-esque look all her photos have gives it such a vintage, grungy style which I just love so much. She also posts such beautiful pictures of flowers and buildings that are so interesting to look at and so nice to have popping up on the TL every now and then. And if that isn't reason enough, Laura is just genuinely such a sweet and supportive girl and I'm so glad I met her through blogging.

Sophie is just all my 90s grunge fashion goals - she has the most amazing taste and I can only hope to one day be confident to wear some of the amazing clothes she shows on her feed. It all looks so good together and I love scrolling through for fashion inspiration and just generally wondering how one person can be so gorgeous and look so good in everything she wears!

My gal Yasmin - an all round gorgeous girl, so supportive and just a good egg, again a girl I'm so glad to have met online. But her Instagram feed is equally as perfect - the bright colours and her fashion sense just gives me life, she's seriously been upping her game recently and deserves every follower she has and I hope she only continues growing because she puts so much effort into this feed and it definitely pays off.

I couldn't do this post without mentioning the queen of fashion Instagram, Jordan. Her photos are just so amazing, so creative and every single one just looks more and more amazing - these shoots must be so fun to do!! Her story vlogs are also so interesting and I love seeing the behind the scenes, she's so incredibly real. And above all, she's so supportive even of smaller bloggers like myself.

Rebecca's is a blog I've been following right from the start and I've loved it right from the start too - she was actually one of the bloggers that made me want to start blogging! Her Instagram feed is absolutely incredible too - I love how she mixes deep rich green/brown tones with bright, airy, pastel pictures too, it creates such an interesting but cohesive juxtaposition and it just looks amazing!!

What are your favourite Instagram feeds at the moment?

Em xx

So Why DO You Wear So Much Makeup?

Friday, 20 July 2018

I'm one of those people that's never really had a thing. I'm not especially, stand-out good at anything, I don't really have any talents as such and growing up I seriously felt that. I play the comparison game way too much as it is, and when I was younger it was even worse. I played the trumpet but there was someone better than me and I wasn't really that good. I was awful at sports, I couldn't understand music or sing, in art class I was consistently one of the worst and academically I was only ever mediocre and average in my classes. I wasn't particularly pretty or outgoing or confident either, I didn't have loads of friends and I wasn't part of the popular group who were friends with the boys from the school over the road. Nothing I did ever really stood out or got any attention - basically, I've been a bit average my whole life and I've always felt that. I think some of it is due to seven years at grammar schools which put a massive amount of academic pressure on you, and I'm also convinced part of it comes from being a middle child - middle child syndrome is real, don't fight me. 

Things changed a lot when I left my first secondary school and started somewhere fresh for sixth form. I'd started my blog at this point and I'd begun to feel I was quite good at writing and being a helping hand for people who needed it. But the other thing that I'd fallen in love with at that point was makeup. I started wearing makeup when I was around fourteen - at my first school we weren't allowed to wear it until Year 10 so I didn't really know much about makeup until then. But I loved watching YouTube videos and reading beauty blogs and that's where my appreciation for makeup started. I discovered facepainting and SFX when I was about sixteen and that's when I felt that makeup was really becoming my thing. I went from strength to strength when I learned how to do winged eyeliner in December 2015 (genuinely it changed my life) and this is I guess where I really fell in love with the art of makeup.

I started my Instagram account and people actually seemed to like my SFX stuff and my bodypainting, and even crappy close up pictures of my eye makeup of the day and I genuinely remember feeling so excited because I thought I'd finally found my thing. And turns out I had - I started getting more followers and my friends at school used to wait to see what makeup I'd wear that day, which glitter I'd use or if I did blue eyeliner. I remember one teacher telling me that my blue eyeliner was 'perhaps a little too bright for school' and I nearly gaped, astonished at her audacity. As I said earlier, I've never been a particularly outgoing person in terms of my demeanour or the clothes I wear and at that point makeup became the way I expressed myself - I wore glittery eyeshadow and blue eyeliner because I loved it, I loved the process of doing my makeup in the morning, half an hour of complete solidarity all to myself. I looked forward to doing it each morning and taking a picture and posting it on Instagram. I think the point where I really went makeup is MY thing was when I got voted 'best eyebrows' and 'best makeup' in my Year 13 yearbook polls last year!! The euphoria was real, kids.

University only developed my love - while I stopped bodypainting because I didn't want to be 'weird' I discovered that Manchester is much more open to crazy colourful eyeshadow and cool eyeliner than my little southern town is, and now that's my norm, it's actually rare to see me in neutral colours and no winged eyeliner now! And honestly, the online beauty community has just been wonderful - the inspiration and support I get online is madness and I feel like I'm in such a good place with my skills right now. I still have so much to learn but I'm getting better and learning more with each look I do and each look that gets more and more support just gives me even more confidence in myself and my skills and my 'thing' and the fact I have a thing - and it feels bloody brilliant.

Oh - and just to keep me humble and to remind everyone that practise is EVERYTHING (and having way too much time on my hands) here's a five year throwback.

Em xx

Does Taking A Break Make Me A Bad Blogger? | Life Update

Wednesday, 18 July 2018

You know, I've really been struggling with blogging lately. I've been struggling with things in my personal life too - relationships, moving home, my attitudes to my body and health, just a lot of things seemed to have been going south recently and as a result my blog plummeted south as well. So I took a break. And some would say that it makes me a bad blogger because at the end of the day, I've got an audience and I've got a duty (?) to keep up posting and I made myself feel like a bad blogger and like I owed something to my followers and while some would argue I do, I'd argue I don't actually 'owe' anyone anything.

I think it's important to stress that I do this as a hobby, I don't want to have the pressure on myself to constantly be posting new and exciting content, I remember the days when I literally used to just bash out a someday summary, chuck in my last selfie taken on a Samsung Galaxy Fame and publish it just like that. And honestly, I wish blogging was still as simple as that. There was no pressure to find the perfect flower wall photo location or pose perfectly or have a gorgeous flatlay or write something deep and meaningful - this platform used to be my online diary of sorts and I kind of want to take it back to that - to it's roots, you could say. So that's pretty much what this post is - just a someday summary life update kinda post because, even though it's perhaps not the sort of post people want to be reading, it's what I want to write and surely my platform means my rules?

So what have I been up to in my break, I hear you ask?! Well, honestly not much. Like I said, my big move from halls to house was done and it went very smoothly (apart from someone getting attacked right outside my house the first night, and then my housemate's key getting stolen in the post - I aged thirty years that night out of pure stress and worry but luckily there's no way of tracking the key to the house so we gooood) and honestly, I'm so ready for next year because our house is so lovely and I just wanna live there already!! If anyone wants a post on my house and the move from halls to house let me know!

Like I said, I've been getting back to my roots a bit and with that has come getting back into my makeup and my arty farty looks  which is so much fun!! I've got a post coming out in a few days about why makeup means so much to me but trust me, this got me emotional seeing how good my most recent look turned out - you'd be right in thinking I nearly cried at the amount of love I got on it but then couldn't cry because wet glitter just is not the one.

I also turned 19!! I feel like I wait ages for my birthdays to roll around for some reason haha because all my friends are older than me! This year was a little different as both my mum and dad were at work, my older sister is up in Manchester and my little sister is on NCS so I faced the prospect of a birthday alone at home - until my grandma heard and her exact words were 'well, we can't have that!! Think about what you'd like to do and you and me will go out!' so we spent a lovely day in Waterperry Gardens in Oxford (call me boring but I love public gardens) and we also had afternoon tea which was SO GOOD. This is also where all the pretty flower photos breaking up this post came from!!

I think that's about all to update on at the moment to be honest! My July vlog will be coming out in a couple of weeks if you're interested in seeing what I got up to on video - I'm also umming and aahing over whether to start doing makeup tutorials again? I'd really like to but at the same time I never feel like they're very good or helpful, YouTube is hard enough to grow on as it is so I might stick to Instagram for the time being! Let me know if you feel differently though.

What have you been up to recently?

Em xx

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