Pisa

On our way back from Sestre Levante we decided to pop into Pisa City Centre to check out the Leaning Tower of Pisa and the surrounding area before heading to Galileo Airport back to Edinburgh.

You can really just see Pisa in an afternoon, I’m sure they’re may be lots more to see outside the main part, but we were quite happy seeing the tower and other monuments, and finding a lovely spot for lunch and coffee.

In the heart of the city there is the Square of Miracles, or as it is formally known, Campo dei Miracoli. It is also a World Heritage Site. There are three structures found in the square, the Baptistry, the Cathedral of Santa Maria, and the graveyard. However, the famous Leaning Tower of Pisa is actually the cathedrals bell tower. The square is surrounded by a gorgeous, and well maintained lush lawn, where you could find crowds of people relaxing and taking in the sights. There is also two museums that you can visit, the Cathedral Museum and the Museum of the Synopses, to learn a bit of history.

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Around the monuments there are mazes of stalls selling souvieners. If you want to pick up a cheap magnet or key chain, then here is the perfect place. Unfortunately the majority of the stalls sell all of the same items, so it’s difficult to get something unique.

I couldn’t resist having a go at the mandatory holding the tower up pose! I’ll be honest, this was actually quite difficult and resulting in Dino yelling at me where to put my hands for a good five minutes! I think it was worth it though, what do you think?

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Disney’s Hollywood Studios

It’s a difficult choice deciding which Disney World park comes out on top, but I have to say it’s definitely a tie between the fairy tale of Magic Kingdom and glitz of Hollywood Studios… However, today I’ll be chatting all about my day trip to Hollywood Studios!

As soon as you enter the park you feel as though you are transported back into Hollywood’s golden age. Hollywood Boulevard is lined with various Disney shops, with a few classic Hollywood landmarks along the way. This first part of the park really sets the scene.

The first ride we went on was the Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, and we had to go on this more than once! It was a different story for the Tower of Terror… One ride was enough for me thanks!

We just had to go and see Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage. The broadway style musical was packed and is a must see when visiting the park. Beauty and the Beast is one of my favourite classic Disney films, I couldn’t help but sing a long!

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We decided to ditch the fast food stall for lunch and have a sit down meal in one of Disney’s many restaurants. We chose Disney’s Prime Time Cafe, and we were glad we did! Again, Disney did a fabulous job transporting you back in time. It was just as though you were in an American 50’s style home, complete with TV style dinner meat loaf!

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Star Wars has made a huge appearance throughout the park. Which I loved as a recently converted fan! You can meet all your favourite character like Chewbacca, and take a trip on their new ride Star Tours.

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Near the end of the day we ventured into Pixar Place. I loved this part of the park. It was just like you were in a movie, with hanging barrel of monkeys above you a giant etch-a-sketch! My all time favourite ride in the whole park was here… Toy Story Mania! It’s a 4D ride where you need to shoot moving targets. Perfect for big kids like me!

The only thing I was disappointed with was finding out that the Mr Golds Pawn Shop front from Once Upon a Time was gone! They had to take it down to make way for the future refurbishment of the park. Although it was such a small part of the park, as a big fan of the show I was so excited to see it. Lets hope that when the park is revamped they make Once Upon a Time a bigger part of it!

 

 

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Being a Witch for the Day

Dragons, wands, broomsticks and butter beer? There’s only one place that has all of those and that’s The Wizarding World of Harry Potter! I had the most magical and action packed day at Harry Potter World at Universal Studios’ Islands of Adventure in Orlando, and I wouldn’t have to think twice if someone asked me to go back.

As I walked into Hogsmeade I was greeting by snowcapped hatched roofs and cobbled streets that were nestled with crooked buildings, including the recognisable Three Broomsticks Pub, Honey Dukes sweet shop, and stalls offering butter beer (a must have!). It seemed almost surreal as the heat of the Florida sun baked down on me, but I couldn’t help but be whisked away into the magical universe of Harry Potter.

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We quickly jumped into the queue for Dragon Challenge before it got too busy (We went on the Blue side, AKA the Hungarian Horntail). I’ll say that all of the rides at Harry Potter World are a must do, but the Dragon Challenge is one of the best roller coasters at Universal in my opinion. We then took a tour through Hogwarts Castle, which is like an attraction in itself. The ride at the end of the queue is Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, which I believe is quite a new ride. It’s definitely not for the faint hearted, as it is so immersive you feel right at the heart of the magical world of Harry Potter. I won’t give too much away, you’ll need to experience it for yourself!

Diagon Alley is the newest addition to the Harry Potter attractions in Orlando. In order to get there from Hogsmeade you need to take a trip on the Hogwarts Express. As you hop off the train it actually feel as though you’ve arrived in London Kings Cross Station- they really have done an excellent job!

Diagon Alley really goes above and beyond. You’re instantly drawn to the eery dragon perched on top of Gringotts Bank (Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts is another ride not to be missed!) which breathes fire down on the shops below. The Leaky Cauldron, Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes and Ollivanders Wand Shop are just some of the stores you can browse while you’re making through your list for your term Hogwarts.

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is hands down a must visit on your trip to Orlando. Even if you’re not into roller coasters and rides, it’s the immersive, truly magical experience that counts.

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Toronto Blog

It’s been a few weeks since returning from the True North and I’m missing it so much! I thought I’d write up a little recap of what I got up to when I was exploring Toronto and the Niagara Region with my sisters!

 

Niagara Falls 

This was one of my many visits to Niagara Falls in my life. We had a wonder down by the falls and then went for a wonder up and around Clifton Hill. We stopped by Hershey World for a look around as well.

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BESTIVAL

My Sister was lucky enough to be working at this music festival doing photography so we got to tag along and help out. It was an amazing experience and we saw some brilliant bands like The Wombats (flash back to 2009!), Daughter, and The Cure.

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Food

Oh my how I missed the food! I may not have been the healthiest, but I was only there for a week, can you blame me? Timmies was first on my list for a food pit stop, and ice caps and the maple dip donut are my new favourites. We took a trip to Fran’s Diner, and had the most amazing diner experience! I would highly recommend the chilli!

To top everything off we went round the corner to Dutch Dreams… A family run ice cream parlour who go above and beyond your average ice cream cone. I had mint choc chip and mango ice cream and said yes to the ‘free toppings’ = cotton candy and lots of fruit!

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Macklemore & Ryan Lewis 

I have to be completely honest and say that Macklemore is the best performer I’ve ever seen live, it’s not just his music, but his personality comes out so well during the show. I had the best night down at Echo Beach- which is also a really cool venue, right on the lake front with sand by the stage- singing my heart out (and trying to rap…) to Downtown and Thrift Shop!

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Take me out to the ball game…! 

We got last minute tickets to see the Blue Jays play against Philly at the Rogers Centre. We won by a whopping 3-11! The atmosphere was crazy. It’s a must do when visiting Toronto!

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Toronto Islands 

On one of the nicest days we took a trip over Lake Ontario to Wards Islands (the Eastern End of the Centre Island). We had a little swim in the lake and had a wonder around seeing all the cute houses. You get the most amazing view of the Toronto skyline at the island as well as on the ferry.

 

Thanks for reading! XSignature

 

June Birchbox Review

Hello everyone! Long time, no post!

I’ve really been meaning to chat all about one of my most recent deliveries, my June Birchbox for some time now, so here we go…

I have to quickly say that this is probably going to be my last Birchbox post for the foreseeable future. I’ve been getting them for only about three months, and I always say to myself “maybe it will be better next month!”, but unfortunately I’ve never really been over the moon with what I have received in the boxes, and I decided to cancel my subscription.

I tried updated my profile on the website to get more tailored boxes, but I was never thrilled with the samples they supplied. I always see boxes from bloggers in North America and in my opinion, they seem to get better items, for better value of money per month.

I’m not saying I will never get Birchbox again, I may give it another chance in the future, but at the moment I’m going to do my research and try out other subscription box services. Any recommendations? Leave them in the comments please! ❤

So I’ll move on to what I received in my box this month. First off I’d like to start by saying I really do like the designs on the boxes- they are very cute-  this month was a Summer theme called “Paradise Found” and I really loved the palm trees on my box.

As usual I received 5 samples…

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Percey & Reed Reassuringly Firm Session Hold Hairspray

This is handy for travelling. From using this product it didn’t really do anything different to what any other hairspray I have used will do. The package design is lovely, however I wouldn’t go on to purchase this product in full size. 

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Whish CC Body Cream

This was an interesting find. I’ve heard all about CC creams for the face, but for the body?Totally different story! This cream smells like Summer in a bottle, with hints of coconut! It adds a shimmery bronze glow to your skin, blends away imperfections and makes it feel super soft. I would consider using this again! 

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Benefit Air Control BB Cream Eyelid Primer

I really wish this came in a bigger size! It primes and colour corrects the skin on the eyelids for smooth application of your favourite eyeshadow. It also has SPF 20 which is brilliant. 

Pure and Light Organic Essential Face Cream 

I’ll be honest, I didn’t try out this product. My skin is ridiculously sensitive that I will only ever use a moisturising cream that I know won’t cause my eczema to flare up. I donated this product to a friend as I’m sure she will benefit from it more than me! 

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Jelly Pong Pong Paradise Pigments in Cake Pop.

Now this is probably one of the only Birchbox samples that I absolutely love. I have been using this lip & cheek stain every day in my makeup routine. It is very creamy and heavily pigmented, that adds a pretty pink pop of colour. I use it mainly as a blusher, and I place a tiny dab onto each cheek and blend it out with my Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge. A perk of this product is that it smells like just like sweets! 

 

 

What do you think of Birchbox? And if there are any other subscription boxes that you love, please let me know in the comments below! 

Thanks 

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Quick Update

Hello everyone!

Just wanted to give you all a little update on what I’m up to at the moment. I’m currently in Toronto visiting my Sister, and having an amazing time exploring the city and living it up at some amazing events.

When I’m back I will be posting my regular blog posts and write a summary of my trip, but in the mean time you can keep up to date with what I’m up to on…

                             Snapchat                           Twitter                             Instagram

Speak soon! 

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Summer Body in a Bottle?

Hello everyone!

Unfortunately I’m one of those people who burn, then eventually tan.. So I’m always in need of a quick fix! I’ve tried numerous instant fake tans, and gradual tanning lotions, but there’s always something I don’t quite like about them.

One of my friends recommended I’d try the Garnier Summer Body Moisturising Lotion. It claims to deliver 12 hour moisture (just what my dry skin needs!), and gradually build a natural looking tan.

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The first thing I always notice about fake tan is the smell, you know what I’m talking about! The Garnier Summer Body Lotion has apricot extract, which gives the lotion a lovely fresh and fruity scent. It absorbs very quickly and leaves my skin feeling super soft. I used it every night for around a week to see what colour I could achieve. I quickly built up a natural looking sun kissed colour, which I loved! It’s been two weeks now and I use it every other night just to keep the tan topped up.

If you’re looking for a gradual tanning lotion that actually smells nice, moisturises and achieves a lovely looking natural tan then I’d definitely recommend that you give this one a try!

What is your favourite fake tan? Let me know in a comment below!

Thanks for reading X

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Roman Holiday

Last July my boyfriend and I jetted away to Rome for 4 days! It was my first time visiting Italy, and it hopefully won’t be my last.

We booked through Expedia online, and got a brilliant deal. The hotel we stayed in was called Rome Life Hotel and I would definitely recommend it to anyone unsure about where to stay.

I’ll just go over the highlights of the holiday… 
We pre booked some guided tours so we could see all of the main sites. We did a tour of the Roman Forum & the Colosseum, we had the most amusing and lovely American tour guide from Boston who made the tour that little bit more unique! I’d definitely recommend going on at least one guided tour if you’re really into learning the history of some of the sites. We also booked tickets in advance for the Vatican Museum and the Sistine Chapel, and then got a queu skip into the museum, the last thing you wanted to do was wait in mile long queues in 35 degree heat!!

I don’t know if it’s a good thing, but the monument that really made me in awe was the Altare della Patria, also known as the Monumento Nazionale a Vittorio Emanuele II. It is a monument built in honour of Victor Emmanuel, the first king of a unified Italy. It occupies a site between the Piazza Venezia and the Capitoline Hill. It was one of the first main building I saw as we were in the taxi coming in to the city from the airport, and you literally could not miss it! The reason I said that I don’t know if it’s a good thing that I liked the monument so much was because of the history behind it. It is the largest monument in Rome, and it is controversial as when it was being built the city destroyed a large area of Capitoline Hill along with a Medieval Neighbourhood. Some locals also regard it as being too ‘pompous and large’. I think the thing that stood out to me most was how glaringly white it is, and I found out that it was built from “corpse white marble”which was imported from Brescia, which makes it unusual and stand out from the brown buildings in Rome.

Another one of my favourite sites to visit was the Pantheon. We were lucky enough to stumble across it after having a wonder round the city after dinner in the evening. It was free entry which was good but we also gave a donation. This was another building that I was amazed by. I’ll need to go back here the next time I’m in Rome.

THE FOOD!! I think I may have OD’d on carbs while in on holiday, but it was so worth it. I think next time I’ll sample some more of the local cuisine and maybe try to be a bit healthier… But you’d be crazy to pass up some gelato in the heat that we had in July.

During the time we went the Trevi Fountain was undergoing restoration work and was covered up at the time, so we couldn’t really see it or get any photos. Instead we wondered round the shops in the area and I just had to take a nosey round Sephora and Kiko Cosmetics! (I think that’s where most of my money went..)

The people of Rome were absolutely lovely. We had some brilliant chats with some of the waiters and shop keepers. My boyfriend is
half Italian and so they had a little bit in common, haha!

Here are a few snaps of our holiday. Enjoy! Please feel free to pop any questions you may have in the comments! X

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