Travel With Me: Paris

Bonjour!

It was recently my boyfriend’s birthday and what better way to celebrate than with a trip to Paris. I mean as they say ‘Paris is always a good idea’.
I have been to Paris before but this was Jack’s first time so I was so excited for show him around.

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We took the Eurostar and arrived at around 2pm on Saturday. Luckily our hotel was only about a 15 minute walk from Gare du Nord so it didn’t take us long to get checked in and get rid of our bags. The hotel was absolutely perfect! It was decorated with monochome wallpaper with splashes of bright colours in the form of pillows and curtains.

After a quick freshen up, we took a short 20 minute metro ride to the Eiffel Tower because where else would you go to first? I forgot just how beautiful the Eiffel Tower is and I felt so happy to be back. After a good photo session, we headed to a small bistro for a spot of lunch before planning our next stop, Arc de Triomph. There was a little bit of construction work so the photos aren’t great but it was still beautiful nonetheless. The Arc is the start of Champs Elysees so we took a little wonder and did some window shopping before heading to a bar for a few drinks and then on to dinner. On the way back to the hotel, we saw the Eiffel Tour as it was all lit up and sparkly. This is one of my favourite sights in Paris and even though we only saw the top, it was still stunning.

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Day 2 started pretty early because we were heading home in the evening so we wanted to get the most out of our day. It was hard because the bed was so comfy, I had to pry myself out! We started by having a stroll towards Le Louvre where we stopped for a spot of breakfast and the most amazing hot chocolate I have ever had. Honestly, I am still thinking about it. We were going to go into Le Louvre but the queue was so long so we took a stroll along the Seine towards Notre Dame, somewhere that I had never been before. As we arrived, the bells were ringing and I instantly got all the Disney vibes and thought of Quasemodo. It was also at this point that I realised I had lost a glove which was the saddest thing because it was so cold.

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We headed back over towards Champs Elysees and stopped off at the petite palais for another hot chocolate and some macaroons and to warm ourselves up. It was so beautiful and the pieces of art they had there were incredible. Now, no trip to Paris is complete without some shopping and I took full advantage of the Sephora there, who else loves their sheet masks?!

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While making our way back to the hotel to pick up our suitcases, we stopped off for some dinner which was so bitter sweet because it was lovely to find another bistro tucked away down some quiet side road but it also meant that it was nearly time to head to the station to get home.

We arrived back in London at about 9pm on Sunday and to say I was sad to be home was definitely an understatement. We both had the most amazing time and I was so glad to celebrate Jack’s birthday in one of the prettiest cities. We are so desperate to go back and will definiely make sure we stay for longer.

Have you ever been to Paris?

– Hannah X

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Happy Lushoween

Halloween used to be my least favourite holiday; mainly because I get scared easily, but as each year passes, I try to enjoy it a little more than the last. Now while I still don’t have the guts to go to haunted houses and scary forest walks, I do like to get in the spirit by watching halloween movies and carving pumpkins. Please note that when I say ‘halloween movies’ I mean The Nightmare Before Christmas and Hocus Pocus.

As Halloween gets closer, it becomes darker earlier so another perfect way that I get myself into the spirit is by having a Halloween themed Lush bath. Every year Lush bring out the most amazing little bath bombs and bubble bars and this year I made sure I indulged. My go to combination is the magic crystals and a monster ball bath bomb; the best combo of spooky and pretty.

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The magic crystals are the most stunning purple colour and I use them to exfoliate my skin, especially if I am going to be shaving as I was my skin to stay soft and smooth. This also means that any moisturiser and body lotion that I put on after the bath stays and really hydrates my skin.

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It’s no surprise that I love a bath bomb and monster ball never disappoints. I don’t know if it’s the whole design or the deep purple it turns your bath water too but I am obsessed with. I think I am going to carry on with this combo for a long while after Halloween.

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Do you like Halloween and if you do, how do you celebrate?

– Hannah X

Memory Walk 2018

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The Alzheimers Society is a charity that is very close to mine and my families hearts so this year I decided to take park in Memory Walk; a 7km walk to help raise money for such a great charity.

I walked in memory of my nan who sadly passed away a few years ago and it was one of the most emotional things I have ever done. I arrived and walked my way down to the start line to wait for my aunt who was meeting me there so we could walk together. I hadn’t done anything like this before so didn’t really know what to expect but I was so blown away and overwhelmed by the love and strength of everyone there. I was so eye opening to see how many people this horrible disease has affected in some way or another.

The walk itself was great, people bought their dogs and it was interesting to see who people were walking for. Crossing the finish line was such an achievement and I was overcome with such a strong feeling of pride for myself and everyone else; knowing that we were working together to make a difference.

There is still time to donate if you are interested and every little does to help find a cure for this life changing illness. Also – check on the website to show your interest; I already know I will be walking it again.

Thanks to my Auntie Jemma was keeping me going throughout the walk and for trying to encourage me to do even more haha. If you would like to donate, here is a link to my JustGiving page

– Hannah X

The Perfect Night In

The Perfect Night In

After an amazing heatwave, the weather here in the UK has taken a turn for the worst as it’s starting to become colder and much more autumnal. I am still desperately trying to hold on to summer and the warmth but I need to accept the inevitable, ‘Winter Is Coming’. To get me in the mood, I have been thinking about all of the cosy nights in and what makes them so perfect.

 

Films and Netflix

What is any night in without a few films or binge watching Netflix. There have been so many good shows out at the moment, my favourites being Power and Somebody Feed Phil (don’t watch if you are hungry, you’ve been warned) and of course To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before. What better way to watch anything than on a new HD televisions from Panasonic

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Clean Pyjamas 

This is self explanatory. Honestly, is there a better feeling than getting out of the bath or shower and putting on a clean pair of pjs? It’s honestly one of my favourite things to do.

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Hot Drink and Snacks

The essentials for any night in; snacks and all the hot drinks! Popcorn or something savoury like crisps are usually my go to snacks, but if you’re also like me and have a sweet tooth, a bit of chocolate always goes down a treat too. When it comes to hot drinks, if its getting a bit miserable outside I usually go for a hot chocolate or a cup of tea. As well as being tasty, they also warm you up and make you feel so snug.

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A Bubble Bath

Usually, this goes at the start of my night but what is a night in without a bubble bath. I love nothing more than grabbing a Lush bath bomb or bubble bar, a face mask and some candles to really set a relaxing atmosphere. I could sit in the bath for hours as it’s the perfect place to destress and stay calm.

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And there you go, my ‘go-to’s for having the perfect night in, whichI probably do at least 3 times a week. What makes up your perfect night in?

-Hannah X

**Disclaimer** This is a sponsored post by Panasonic. Read my full disclaimer here

Travel With Me: Cologne, Germany

At the end of June, me and my boyfriend went to explore the city of Cologne. It’s actually taken me this long to write this post because I am still in denial about being home and back to reality.

I’ve been to Berlin but Cologne was never really a place that jumped out at me but oh my god I am so glad we decided to go as I have fallen in love. As I said, I have been to Berlin and I loved it but Cologne was extra special, from the little cobbled streets surrounded by bars to the padlock bridge stretching across the river, everywhere you turned there was something more to love.

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We arrived and went straight to the hotel to dump our luggage so we were free to explore. Obviously the first spot on our agenda was the cathedral which was so breath taking; I actually forgot the amount of times Jack and I said ‘It’s so big’, but it really was. We then had a little stroll towards the river and luckily found ourselves at the Lindt chocolate museum which was like stepping into Willy Wonker’s chocolate factory.

Day 2 was zoo day! Cologne is quite famous for its zoo so we couldn’t miss giving it a visit. After getting a little confused with the trains and contemplating a 50 minute walk, we soon arrived and I was like a child at Christmas. The whole day was perfect including the weather and the top highlight was seeing a racoon as I think they are adorable and one of my favourites. We finished the day off perfectly with dinner and a few drinks before an early night to recoup for the next day which was visiting the city of Bonn.

Like with Cologne, I didn’t have much expectations when it came to Bonn, but again I was very surprised with how beautiful it is. A city that was once the capital and the birthplace of Beethoven now holds a place in my heart. Bonn is full of little cobbled twists and turns and quirky bars and bistros and a Sephora that I had been excited for ever since we booked the trip.

Our last day was bittersweet; our flight wasn’t until 10pm so we had a full day but I couldn’t shake the feeling of dread and sadness knowing we were heading back to reality and eventually back to work. We did however make our last day the best it could be so we headed back to some of our favourite spots and visited a house that belonged to the Gestapo in WWII which had been covered into a museum – that was such an eye opening experience and I’m so glad we did it.

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I already can’t wait to go back to Cologne and the whole trip is definitely up there with one of my favourites.

– Hannah Xx

Do You Need To Post On Social Media Daily To Keep Your Blog ‘Relevant’

Do You Need To Post On Social Media Daily To Keep Your Blog ‘Relevant’

Usually when I post a new blog, I always share it to my social media channels but as soon as it’s been shared once, I typically forget to advertise it again and then wonder why my DA gently drops. This got me thinking about the correlation between posting on social media everyday and the amount of views your blog posts get. Sometimes life gets in the way and it’s heartbreaking that it affects engagement levels and the way our blogs ‘succeed’.

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Seeing that I sometimes go for spats of not posting (I’m trying to work on it, promise!), I have been trying to get some kind of content out on my socials and I definitely find that it has been driving views to my blog for the days that I don’t have a post to share.

Instagram can always be a little hit and miss, especially with the ever changing algorithm that makes it impossible for people to engage with your snaps; but it is great for quickly getting something online. I have been obsessed with Instagram stories lately and I use a few apps to change the layout of mine so that they stand out a bit more. I try to post something on there everyday and always make sure that I spread the love with comments and likes. The best thing about instagram is the fact you can add links so that people can click straight through to your blog without having to search for it, definitely something I love because let’s face it, I’m waaaaaay to lazy to be googling. Of course the odd few hashtags always helps too!

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Scheduling tweets is definitely something that I need to do more, I always forget and then suddenly remember and go into over-drive of posting a tweet about every blog post and scheduling them for multiple times a day. I do however, find this to be a lifesaver if I am travelling, have a really busy week or when I am feeling a bit down as I don’t have to be clued to my laptop or phone for my content to be shared. It’s great because you can chose the days and times which you can match up to your blog stats to select the best time to post and having something posted on Twitter definitely keeps those views up.

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To be completely honest, I don’t care how ‘successful’ my blog is and I try not to get caught up in the number game of how many followers do I have vs how many people am I following. I blog because it’s something I love and am proud of and if people read it and enjoy it, than that is an added bonus but it seems that without continously sharing and updating it, it can get lost in the big blogosphere.

-Hannah X

Falling Back In Love With Blogging

For months, I have been falling in and out of love with blogging; always wanting to post something and stay active, but never knowing what to write. Well I have recently fallen back in love with blogging for the first time in so long; and boy have I missed it.

I think one of the main reasons that I stopped blogging regularly was because of my blog layout, I really wasn’t happy with it and felt that it was boring and plain. It didn’t draw in people’s attention so I knew the only way to change this would be to have a complete blog revamp. I browsed so many themes online and finally decided on one that suited my blog style and that would help show off my posts in the best way. Once I had installed it, I made sure that all of my social media links connected to the correct pages and I also added a ‘featured’ banner to showcase some of my favourite posts that I have written. Every time we buy something new and shiny, we become obsessed with it and my blog is a strong example of this, I am now so in love with it and every time I look at it, I am so proud of how it looks.

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I’ve heard from a few people about how toxic and unpleasant the blogging community can be; but, honestly, everyone that I have ever spoken to and met have been so lovely and supportive. Getting involved with such a creative community of people really helped re-fuel my love for blogging and everything that it stands for. I love getting involved in blogger chats on twitter and commenting on other peoples content whether that just be a tweet or an Instagram pic.

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I’m so happy I have re found my passion for blogging and can’t believe I let it go for so long. I have so many new post ideas that I can’t wait to share.

-Hannah X

Makeup Revolution Birthday Party

Every year Makeup Revolution host an amazing birthday party tha is probably my favourite event of the year and this years didn’t disappoint. Held at the beautiful venue of One in Marlybone, the party was everything I could have dreamed of and more.

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Upon arrival, after we were met with cocktails and prosecco, me and my sister, Holly, scoped out the room to see excatly what was going on. Surrounding the bar in the middle of the room was a space where you could have your makeup done, check out makeup revolution products and as always make your own gif; oh, and how could I forget to mention the wall of doughnuts that you could have your picture taken in front of.

It was so lovely to spend some time with my sister dancing and drinking endless Cosmopolitans and seeing so many familiar faces including the lovely Vixie from http://vixiebeauty.blogspot.co.uk

Makeup Revolution and the whole team know exactly how to host a party and make everyone feel welcome and I’m already looking forward to the next one.

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Happy 4th Birthday Makeup Revolution and for the invite!

-Hannah X

Christmas Traditions

I love this time of year, every cliché aspect of it; from cosy nights in with blankets, films and hot chocolate to wandering around Winter Wonderland in the freezing cold drinking copious amounts of mulled wine.

I was talking to my friends about the little things we do every Christmas time and it got me thinking about all of the traditions that I have.

Decorating The Tree

I’m a bit sad about this one this year because it’s now 9th December and I still haven’t put mine up yet but…

Decorating the tree is one of my favourite things to do; nothing beats having it lit up in the corner of the lounge while you sit watching ‘Elf’ for the gazillionth time. Our tree is alway full of different decorations which including little hand made ones me and my sister made and 4 snowflakes that represent the 4 of us. We never really have a colour scheme but I wouldn’t change it. Usually, mum and I will put on a Christmas film and get to work. Well I say work; mum puts the tree together and adds the lights; I just stand there and wait to unleash the decorations.

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Winter Wonderland

You know it’s Christmas time when Winter Wonderland opens in Hyde Park. I try to go at least once every year as it really gets me in the festive mood and it’s so much fun. I love looking around the market stalls at peoples hand made crafts, eating an unreal amount of food, drinking all the mulled wine and hot chocolate and going on the rides. It never fails to disappoint and I’m so excited to go next weekend with all of my favourite people.

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Christmas Eve

We have so many things that we do on Christmas Eve, which we have been doing since I was little. One of them is brand new pyjamas! Mum and Dad would always treat me and my sister to a new pair of holiday pjs and still to this day, it’s one of the things that I look forward to the most.

Usually, once I have had a Lush bath and go into said new pyjamas, it’s then time to get into bed and watch all the Christmas movies. Well, I say all the movies, it’s more like 1 before I fall asleep.

 

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Have you got any Christmas traditions?

– Hannah X

 

South East Bloggers Club Event

I absolutely looooove going to blogger events, probably because making new blogger friends is one of my favourite things to do. Last Thursday, I was kindly invited down to spend the evening at Layer Marney Tower to celebrate the launch of the South East Bloggers Club.

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The minute I arrived, I was blown away with the venue, a historic tower situated in the Essex countryside; it was perfect! At the door, we were greeted by the lovely girls behind the SEBC along with various drinks from prosecco to milkshakes and a lovely goodie bag filled with information about all the local brands that were at the event.

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Each brand had their own space so it meant you could spend ages chatting and getting to know them and it was great to see how interested they were in our blogs and how much they valued building a relationship. The range of businesses there was amazing too including Betty Booths photo booths, Perrywood Garden Centre and Secret Hamper so there was a real mixture of people to talk to, which was great.

I loved chatting to and networking with local businesses including some local charities like Brainwave; I even had my first bit of Christmas pudding; thanks to Lillypuds. It was so great to be surrounded by so many positive, creative people and to finally celebrate the launch of the SEBC. I can’t wait to see what you girls have up your sleeve, but I’m so glad to be a part it; thanks for the best evening.

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-Hannah X