25 June 2014

The Manor Hotel

Warning this is a picture heavy post. If you follow me on twitter you will know that last week I booked a few days away in The Manor Hotel in Crickhowell as a surprise for my mums birthday.

The Manor is in a gorgeous valley and has the most amazing views. Sitting in the garden with a cold pint or glass of wine (we did both) you can look out across the mountains. The view from our room was just as spectacular as we had 2 big windows so could see across the mountains and look over the pretty garden. 

The Manor Hotel has a swimming pool, jacuzzi, steam room, sauna and gym. I found the facilities did let them down a bit as they seemed to be a bit of an after thought and they were a bit small due to limited space. They looked tired which made them look dirty but I don't think they were. 

The hotel itself is gorgeous and has tons of character. The only downside is it is not accessible at all. As it is a listed building they can't put a lift in and there are steps everywhere you look which is a shame.

Their website also has a late availability section where you can get rooms a bit cheaper, however if you want to stay on a weekend you will have to book in advance as they are very popular for weddings

Our room was the first 3 windows from the left. The only downside to this room was that it got really hot so we kinda roasted in the night. 

We had the Good Twin room and it was nice and spacious. The beds were a tad soft for my fussy spine but the rooms were nice and quiet.

As you can see the views from our window were pretty impressive and the garden was lovely to sit and relax in.

Onto the food. I was quite disappointed in the breakfast. I had a cooked breakfast the first morning and didn't really enjoy. The sausage was mushy and the scrambled egg tasted odd and was also a tad mushy. I had porridge the next morning and it was really gloopy so I had a danish instead which was pretty delicious but overall I think their breakfast needs improvement.

On the first day we had separate sandwiches and scones and these were delicious. The coleslaw was amazing and the scones were still warm and so so good.

On the second day we had a full afternoon tea and it was so good. There was beef and horseradish sandwiches carrot cake, scones, brownie and a chocolate cake I think. All of it was delicious and I was so full after.

We only had one evening meal in The Manor but it was very good. I had a tomato and mozerella salad for starter and it was okay it just needed something with a bit of crunch to go with it.

My mum had asparagus and poached egg and I tried some and oh my god this was delicious although the chef needs a little lesson on poaching eggs as the yolk was solid.

I had steak as I really can't say no to steak. It was cooked so well and tasted amazing. The onion rings were crispy and delicious and I refused to share them. I forgot to take a picture of the chips before I scoffed them but they were chunky, fluffy and heavenly.

My mum went for the pie of the day which was steak which I also tried (had to for the blog obviously) and this was also really good. We were so full after finishing we could barely move.

If you are looking for a relaxing spa break like we were then I'm not sure if this is the hotel for you as the facilities are a bit of a let down.
However if you are looking for a relaxing stay in a gorgeous hotel with picturesque surroundings, good food and a pretty town nearby then this is definitely the hotel for you.


22 June 2014

Sunday Summary

Instead of just doing a post on the things that made me happy I thought I'd do a summary of everything from the week, what Ive been listening to, reading, watching etc.

So 7 things that made me happy.

1. Went on a a little get away with my mum to a gorgeous hotel & spent the day in the jacuzzi or drinking ice cold cider/wine in the sun Working on a post for this which will be up some time next week.

2. I finally have the starts to a pretty decent tan

3. I painted my fence pale pink and white and it looks so pretty

4. I've started a new book and can't put it down. As soon as I've finished it I will write a review.

5. My Lilys finally opened.

6. Cocktails. All the cocktails

7. Spent all day today in the paddling pool with my brother being children again.

Cruel Justice

Desperately seeking Susan
The Holiday
Nims Island

Listening to:
Disappointed - Chloe Howl
Home - Naughty Boy
Human - Cher Lloyd
We Cant stop 1950's DooWop Cover
Chasing Shadows - Shakira

In Katie's Corner - Food Lifestyle and beauty, what more could you want from a blog. I really want to try the Apple & cinnamon muffins. Another food added to my to bake list

Mapped Out - Love her DIY Jewellery Hanger as well as her OOTDs and a really cool watermelon nail art

The Lovecats Inc - Gorgeous outfit posts that make me jealous of her body and her wardrobe as well as some delicious recipes that I still need to try out.

What have you bee up to this week?


18 June 2014

Umberto Giannini Salt Spray

Effortless hair is definitely my thing. I have been known to forget the last time I washed or brushed my hair (I do still shower I just dont bother washing my hair, Im not a complete minger). In fact I desperately need to wash & brush it today as I'm pretty sure there may be wildlife living up there, maybe a couple of birds or a squirrel. 

I have tried a few salt sprays but they never seemed to give me the effortless beachy waves I dreamed of, just a dry, knotty mess that I normally had to spend more time sorting out then if I'd have just blow dried and straightened it. 

Umberto Giannini Grunge Glamour Tousled Salt Spray gave me the lazy effortless beachy waves of my dreams. I tend to give it a quick blast with a hair dryer first because my hair is so thick it never dries then I just spray  it on my damp hair and wack it in a bun or just go to bed with it still down. Then when my hair finally dries ta-da wavy hair.

I've been using this a lot recently because its just too hot to faff about with hair dryers and straighteners. I have noticed it makes my hair a tad dry but I just run a small blob (technical term obviously) of Tigi Bed Head After Party through it and it looks healthy, silky & shiny again and feels really soft. 

Umberto Giannini Salt spray is £6 but boots currently has a 2 for £8 on selected UG haircare. The backcomb in a bottle is also amazing if you wanted to get something else.

I look so weird without lipstick but this is the morning after bunning my hair with my salt spray for an hour & sleeping with loose slightly damp hair

This is a few days later, can you tell I haven't brushed it? 

What is your favourite Salt Spray?


15 June 2014

Sunday Smiles

I have been loving the gorgeous weather this week and have been helping (supervising & drinking tea) my dad with some DIY at home. Hope everyone has had a good week and here's what made me smile:

1. Got a new blog design done by the awesome Aly from Aleelily. What do you think?

2. Finally have a fence around my deck and a nice table & chairs set so I can sit out there and blog

3. Got the beginnings of a sun tan and got to do a bit of sunbathing on an old travel bed mattress  (plus a very burnt back which still stings)

4. Got 2 free Nail polishes from Models Own because my friend won the facebook competition & had tagged me to win a gift card.

5. Had fish & chips in the sun by the river in Betws y coed

6. Hit 30 followers on Bloglovin which to some of you may not be a lot but to me it means the world

7. Orange is the New Black - enough said

8. I ordered Nuxe Reve de Miel Lip balm from feel unique for £6.33 plus elegant touch nails were 3 for 2 plus a free gift and 15% off site wide

9.Toasted marshmallows over a broken washing machine drum that my dad turned into a fire pit

10. Had the most delicious Roast dinner today

What made you smile this week?

11 June 2014

My Eyeliner Collection

It's only this past year that I really got into eyeliner and now I'm rarely seen without my eyeliner winged out.I don't always mean to do it, it just happens. It took me a while to master it and I still tend to rock the wonky eyeliner look but you cant tell if you don't look too closely. 

Gel Eyeliner

I'm really bad at using this for my top lid, I just cant get a smooth line, so I tend to just use this on my waterline as I find it lasts longer than pencil and doesn't smudge down my face, it also looks darker with a more intense colour than the pencils I have tried. This pot has lasted me ages and is still no where near run out which definitely makes it worth the £7.99 for the eyeliner in a nice glass pot and the brush. 

Liquid Eyeliner

I've only recently in the past few months fallen in love with liquid eyeliner and now it is always on my lids. I love the intense colour you get and the nice smooth lines. However, they take a bit of getting used to and are a bit daunting for eyeliner beginners. 
As I've only recently mastered liquid liner I haven't spent a lot of money on them with my first being from Miss Sporty for less than £3. I've just replaced this as it was running out with the Rimmel exaggerate for just over a fiver and I love it. The Rimmel one has a more solid nib which did take me a while to get used to but I love it now and it makes it easier to make thicker lines. 
They both stay put all day and I even took a nap in them and they didn't budge. There's also no transfer or fading.

Felt tip Eyeliner

The Felt tip liners are how I started to venture into the winged eyeliner look. It all started when I got an eyeko skinny liner free in a magazine. They are easy to control and give you more room for error. The Barry M one is better for thicker lines but I didn't really get on with this one. I used it more on my water line but then I tended to get stringy bits or liner in my eye which is never a good look. I loved the maybelline one and I used it most of last year. Only downside is you do get a bit of transfer to the upper lid. Felt pens also aren't as intense in colour. 

If you're looking to get into the cat eye, winged liner look but are nervous I highly suggest giving a felt tip a go and then you can progress by going over the felt tip line with liquid liner and then before you'll be an expert.

So here's some swatches. Some of my felt tip liners are a bit old so the colours not great.

1. Maybelline Eye Studio 24hr Gel Eyeliner £7.99 
(buy 1 get 2 1/2 price on maybelline in boots & superdrug at the mo)

2. Rimmel London Exaggerate Eyeliner £5.29 
(Free bronzer when you spend £9 on Rimmel in boots)

3. Miss Sporty Studio Lash Black Liquid Liner £2.79

4. Eyeko Skinny Liquid Eyeliner £12
(Free with this months Glamour Magazine £2)

5. Maybelline Eye Studio Master Precise Liner £5.99
(buy 1 get 2 1/2 price on maybelline in boots & superdrug at the mo)

6. Essence Eyeliner pen
Im not sure how much this was as I got it in Germany but I think some Wilkinsons stores have started selling essence make up.

7. Barry M Wink Marker Liquid Eyeliner £4.59

What is your favourite eye liner?


10 June 2014

Killing Memories by Tatiana Moore Review

"Estela Ramos isn’t looking for love and thinks there’s nothing wrong with that. But ask her mother or best friend and they’d tell you different. Moo says Estela fears rejection while her mother thinks she’s too gordita. Maybe they’re both right, but Estela is pretty damn happy with the status quo, well, sorta.

At 26 years old, Estela is completely inexperienced in love, and the women in her life just won’t let her die a lonely virgin spinster with donut glaze on her face. She has no time for men, but after a few matchmaking attempts, courtesy of Moo and Estela's family, men begin descending upon her with great gusto and flair. One who may be the Antichrist, or at the very least have a psycho-complex, won’t take “no thanks” for an answer. The other, with striking green eyes and gentle touch, makes her entire body pulse and buzz.

Estela is overwhelmed by both and one thing’s certain: She won’t get anywhere if she can’t learn to forget the past and really see the one who stands in front of her, eager to love her as she is."

I downloaded this on Amazon one night when I just downloaded all the free books that sounded interesting onto my kindle to try and encourage me to get back to reading because I've missed it so much. I'm so glad I did as I loved it and it's still free if you want to give it a go. You can download it here

When I started reading this book I couldn't remember why I had downloaded is at I normally go for the murder mysteries and this one just seemed to be about 2 friends but I am so glad I kept reading. 

So here's what I liked about the book

- The friendship between Moo and Estela was amazing and what most girls want from a friend. It didn't matter how much time they spent apart as soon as they were together they were having sleepovers with vodka and pizza. 

- You get to witness all the ups and downs of a friendship and see them stay together through everything that can go wrong including a stalker, drug addiction, falling out with parents, bad decisions and relationships. 

- I really struggled to put this book down. It was funny and kept me interested to the very end. When I finished at 3am because I couldn't stop. 

- I thought I knew what was going to happen and I was on edge the whole time because I didn't want it to but it wasn't as predictable as I thought.

- I loved the fact that the main character was a larger girl who was best friends with a super model and loved doughnuts and she didn't need to lose weight for her happy ending and her bloke loved her for who she was doughnuts and all.

The downside to this book is the stalker element was a tad creepy and had me looking over my shoulder but it was still so good I couldn't stop reading.

The better news is this is the first book of a series of 5 with Tatiana Moore currently working on the 6th. I read the extract of the next book and I think I'm going to have to get them.

What books are you loving at the moment?


2 June 2014

New Jewellery Additions

I am a massive jewellery addict and total magpie when it comes to anything sparkly. After I finished my exams I decided I needed a treat which is obviously the rules, Do something hard reward yourself with jewellery, shoes or make-up. Exam season makes me very poor.

I couldn't decide so I ended up buying things from Shop Dixi  which is my favourite jewellery shop, Black Tied and Luna

Im obsessed with rings at the moment and currently wear 7 daily. Midi rings means you can wear more rings without looking over loaded. I had some from somewhere else before but they weren't sterling silver so tarnished. These have been attached to my fingers ever since they arrived.
I definitely want to try more from their collection

Luna Crescent Moon Necklace £4.50

I love the moon and have been looking for a moon necklace for a while. This one is on a 24 inch chain so is nice and long and I love it.

Luna Elephant Charm Bracelet £6.50
Luna Double Feather Charm Bracelet £4
Luna Crescent Moon Charm Bracelet £6.50

I'm pretty sure I got these for £3.50 in a sale. I love them so much. They are so cute and can be worn with everything. I did have a bit of an issue with the chain breaking on one of mine but I just reattached the broken chain and bent the links back into place and was good as new. 

Kingdom Turquoise Multi Stone Amulet Bracelet 

This was a Birthday present from one of my amazing friends as he saw it on one of my wishlist posts. The stones are a gorgeous colour and it looks great on.

Sterling Silver Plain Band Thumb Ring £14

I love this ring. As I said I'm a massive fan of rings and I needed a thumb ring in my life. I have massive knuckles so was a  bit worried it wouldn't fit. It was a bit of a squeeze but it fits and looks great.

Shyla Leaf Anklet £10

I'm a massive fan of anklets and own about 5. This one is a great addition to my collection. I love the leaves and it looks amazing on. Its going to look really good on the beach in the summer.

The last addition to my jewellery collection is this absolutely gorgeous Clogau charm bracelet I got for my 21st from my family. I adore it and it hasn't left my wrist since. 

What did you treat yourself to after exams?


1 June 2014

10 Things that Made Me Happy This Week

Wow this week flew by. I didn't really get up to much and I managed to catch a cold but here are the 10 things that made me smile this week.

1. Made cookies and a Victoria sandwich and they all got eaten within a day so must have been good.

2. Made a lemon drizzle cake with homemade lemon curd and it actually worked

3. I got my eyeliner perfect 2 days in a row

4. My Ehlers Danlos Syndrome awareness posts got loads of views and you can read them here and here

5. I reached 890 followers on twitter

6. My brother found my favourite pair of sunglasses which I had lost

7. Ben & Jerrys was £2.50 in Farm foods, so obviously I stocked up

8. I ate cheese and my digestive system didn't kill me

9. I found my really comfy lounging around shorts that I lost about 2 months ago

10. I found a salt spray that actually works on my hair.

Some of these aren't very exciting but they still made me smile just as much

What made you smile this week?