BODYSHOP HAUL

Good morning beautiful souls,

I recently purchased some new Bodyshop goods, products I haven’t tried before. I thought about doing a first impressions post, but then decided to try them out a little first before reviewing them. So without further ado, here’s what I thought:

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Waterproof Mascara –

I’m going to be blunt – I hate it and definitely will not be repurchasing this again! Saying that I like the brush, it makes for a an easy application and creates good lash length. However the product itself leaves me with dark circles under my eyes quite quickly and removing it at the end of the day is practically impossible without ripping out half of my eyelashes!

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Lipgloss –

I didn’t need a new lipgloss but this beautiful shimmery metallic rose tone just wanted to be bought haha. The application brush is a works really well and the lipgoss has a nice consistency and sparkle to it without being uber shiny and sticky which I hate.

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Vitamin E Face Cream –

I’ve been really enjoying this face cream as it is nice and light and doesn’t feel like it clogs up your skin. The reason I picked this though is because it has an SPF 30. It’s important to remember to protect our skin from the UV rays in autumn and winter too when the sun and sunburn aren’t as obvious! I use this every morning and am very likely to repurchase!

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Primer –

I’m going to admit I one of these people who doesn’t really pay much attention to primers, I mean I understand what they do, but as to whether my makeup is really smoother or stays on longer, I really couldn’t tell you. Saying that it does make the application process easier and does seem to soften and even out the skin well.

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Have you tried any of these products?! I’d love to know 🙂

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LONDON BOUND

Good evening beautiful souls,

Yesterday my dad and I were London bound to go on a coffee crawl. The aim of this trip was to do some research for dad’s coffeehouse which is currently closed for renovation.

The day didn’t start well as I left the house a little too late and then saw that as it was prime time, rush hour traffic was soo bad that I didn’t think I’d make it on time and would be faster walking. So off I set on my quickest power walk getting more and more panicky by the minute as time kept ticking on. I ran in bursts, my heart started pounding and the closer I got to the train station the more I felt like I was going to die aha. I can laugh now, but I felt terrible thinking I was going to ruin this fun day for dad and myself by not arriving on time. However I eventually did get to the station with about 6 minutes to spare; I was wheezing as I collected our tickets from the machine and when I sat down to try and catch my breath the sweat dripped down my face as the same time as relief washed over me – I had made it! I had made it! Phew!

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So after that nightmare of a start to the day we settled down into our seats and I began our journey with a much needed nap. Once feeling more recovered I got out my kindle and began reading Holding Up The Universe by Jennifer Niven until we got closer to London and we went over the plan for the day. At 11.45 we finally pulled into Kings Cross and set off to find the first cafe on our list.

Disclaimer: In the end everyone’s tastebuds are different and everyone has their own preferences – this is just my opinion of these coffee shops.

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Coffee Shop no.1 – Attendant 

I liked the decor of this cafe, especially all the greenery, and the staff were friendly enough, however I was rather disappointed with the coffee. Dad’s flat white was ok I think, but the filter coffee I had ordered was the last dregs from a batch brew. When I inquired about it not being a fresh V60 (which is what I would expect it to be at £4 a tiny cup) the waitress just told me I could have a fresh cup if it wasn’t hot enough as she was about to brew a fresh batch, so obviously I wanted the freshest coffee not the last dregs and asked to please have a fresh cup, but she just told me to try it first. I was rather annoyed at this but couldn’t be bothered to complain so just drank the coffee which tasted ok but wasn’t hot and had coffee grind left in the bottom which a filter coffee shouldn’t have either, at least not the amount that was in my cup. Later on in the day I saw numerous other coffee shops have ‘batch brew’ on their menus but they were not disguising this by naming it filter coffee and they had a far more reasonable price margin for a cup, between £2.60-£3.

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Coffee Shop no.2 – Ozone Coffee Roasters

This was my favourite coffee shop, it had a nice vibe with an open kitchen and brew bar in the centre of the cafe like an island and the scent of fresh coffee being roasted downstairs wafting across every so often. They had the biggest variety of coffees to try here from Filter and Aeropress to Siphon coffee. However when asking for more information on the coffee the waitress wasn’t overly friendly and didn’t seem to know much about the coffee they serve which was a disappointment, simply saying ‘Yeah it’s not too acidic I like this one’ isn’t very informative. In the end Dad and I chose the Aeropress coffee and the filter coffee. We preferred the flavour profile of the Areopress coffee which was a bean from Ethiopia and had flavour notes of strawberry and praline, it really did taste like strawberry chocolates! What we weren’t too keen on was the coffee being served in glass jugs with glasses to drink out of. Dad prefers a nice porcelain cup, it felt too much like we were on a coffee tasting course, which to be fair on this day I guess we kind of were.

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Coffee Shop no.3 – Fix Coffee

We didn’t stay here long. My stomach needed a coffee rest so dad just had an espresso which he described as far to acidic to be used as an espresso bean. The place seemed nice at first but wasn’t the cleanest after further inspection and again not all the staff seemed to know their coffees, which when you are serving more than your average espresso based drinks, you should really know so that you can advise and answer customers queries. This was probably my least favourite place.

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Coffee Shop no.4 – Catalyst

After a short tube ride and a bit of a detour we eventually found our next stopping point. I tried a long black/americano here which I tasted great. The flavour was good and smooth no bitterness and they also roasted they’re own coffee beans in this little corner coffee shop. The only vegan thing they had was some bread, but it did come with delicious homemade jam which I thoroughly enjoyed. This was probably my second favourite coffee shop after Ozone.

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Coffee Shop no.5 – Curators Coffee

And last but not least coffee shop no.5 where I couldn’t drink anymore coffee. So dad ordered a filter coffee which was a fresh V60 but had a steep £5 price tag on it. We could see their brewing station here and it surprised us that they as so many others have a massive gap between the filter and the jug they are filtering into as this is quickest way for coffee to loose it’s temperature when using the drip filter method. Anyway, that coffee lacked lingering taste and dad thought they might have used too little coffee for the amount of water, unless that was the taste they were going for. but the ratio for us, I tried a little sip, was too weak, so sadly a disappointing last cup of coffee.

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Leon’s @ Kings Cross

After walking half the way back to Kings Cross to avoid the ridiculously busy oxford circus tube station and getting on at Regents Park instead, we eventually collapsed in Leon for a bit of food whilst waiting for our train home. I had a yummy vegan kale and beetroot falafel salad whilst dad enjoyed some rice and meatball dish. As we ate our food it seemed like we had only arrived in London an hour ago let alone 6! Time had flown by so quickly we only got to about half of the coffee shops that were actually on our list! However it was a great and informative trip all the same. I realised that in general these supposedly more geeky coffee shops with various brewing methods on offer sadly didn’t actually seem to be that informed on coffee (at least the waitressing staff) and in general there just seemed to be a bit of coffee passion lacking which was a shame. We have some good ideas of what we want to add and alter I our own coffee menus for the reopening and are excited to share our passion for coffee with the public again very soon!

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Platform 9 3/4

Anyway all in all I had a nice time coffee crawling through central London and checking out how other cafes do their thing. To top it all off Platform 9 3/4 wasn’t busy so I could finally get a photo hehe!

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Any other coffee geeks and snobs out there?! Have you tried any of these coffee shops? I’d love to know!

Love Carina xo

BEST OF 2017

Hey there beautiful souls,

I have seen a lot of these posts circulating and really wanted to write my own. This Christmas I wrote a letter to my friends and whilst updating them on what’s been going on in my life within the last year I realise how many wonderful events actually happened in 2017. I often allow the few bad spots to overshadow the good, but reminiscing has filled me with a happiness and positivity I now want carry into this new year. So anyway here are a few of my favourite events summed up through some photographs:

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A trip to the Peak District with my German bestie
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My best friend Emily’s Hen Do
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Newcastle Pride with my work family
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Having my French friend Nadia and her fiance visit me!
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My best friends wedding ❤
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Lindisfarne Festival with Emily
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Once Upon A Time themed Halloween Party at mine
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Visiting my sister in Edinburgh
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First Christmas in my own place

Love Carina xo

STOCKING FILLERS UNDER £5

Good evening beautiful souls,

I have been spending today deep cleaning certain areas of the house such as the kitchen cupboards and throwing away anything I don’t need anymore / creating a charity pile of mugs and the likes which we don’t use anymore. It’s been quite a productive morning which makes me happy. So this afternoon I sat down for a bit of chill time. I wrapped some Christmas presents whilst watching La La Land (which I was sadly rather disappointed in) and dipped some ginger snaps into my mulled wine.

Looking at all the bits and bobs I’d bought for people I thought this was the perfect opportunity to to write a little post on stocking fillers. I love nothing more than finding a good bargain; so here are my top picks for small presents or stocking fillers that won’t cost you the world at no more than £5 each!

Handcream £5 @thebodyshop – Travel size coconut oil £1 @hollandandbarrett (currently on sale from £2.99) – Studio London eyeshadow brush set £3 @superdrug – Cute exotic nailfiles £1 @poundland

Mini bath bombs/ bath melts £1.50 each @thebodyshop and they smell amazing!

Festive colouring book £1 @poundland – Domino game £3 @tiger

Slimline 2018 diary £2.99 @thecardfactory – The little book of Hygge £5 @amazon

Beautiful notebooks / diary £3 @theworks

A selection of books 3 for £5 @theworks

Some of my favourite shops for finding a good bargain are definitely Poundland, Asda and Wilko’s for homeware, The Works for books and notebooks and Tiger for random cute stuff. I hope you enjoyed this post and will give these shops a go!

Love Carina xo