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Wish, Want, Need: New York

If you've seen my New York Planning post you'll see shopping has been scheduled in. I'm really lucky because my boyfriend is more than happy to spend the day shopping with me and likes to get some bargains for himself. There's a few things I've got my eye on, whether it's because they're a lot cheaper over there, in the outlet mall or a bit more exclusive to America. I'm sure there will be lots of impulse buys happening tucked in with some good old touristy souvenirs



I absolutely love PINK at Victoria's Secret. Their lounge and sports stuff is so comfortable. Although you can now order online it's obviously much cheaper over in America without having to worry about postage. Their new spring stuff looks bright, girly and fun. On our last trip we didn't make it to Bloomingdales but I'm hoping we'll get there this time. I really want one of their iconic brown bags, it'll be good for shopping or for taking to work. There's a few things I'll be stocking up on in New York - Bath and Body Works hand sanitizers, EOS lip balms and Milk Duds. Three things I bought last time and love. I've spent a lot of time looking on the Sephora website and their value gift sets always stand out. I'd be happy if I can get the Glam Glow gift set as it's so much cheaper. Last up a Michael Kors Bag. Not necessarily this one. We're going to the outlets and I'm quite keen to get a brown bag and a smaller cross body would be a good addition to my collection. But who knows, I might end up with a bright blue big tote - that's the fun of an outlet. 

Easter Weekend

I'm sharing a few snaps from my Easter Weekend - a few days full of chocolate, adventures and quality time with my boyfriend, family and friends. What did you get up to over the weekend? A lovely way to spend the start of my fortnight off work.



Easter present including some dollars for our New York holiday.






An explore around a man-made set of 365 steps from the mid-18th Century. I was glad to have my Fitbit on at the time! The cliffs were 250ft high and the views were amazing.


We stopped off the cafe for a quick bite. The garlic bread was amazing and we tried the homemade lemonade to get in the mood for New York.



My parents came round for a roast dinner on Sunday night. I didn't get the chance to take a photo amongst the chaos of cooking but I did get the chance to decorate our chalkboard first. I enjoyed a glass of rose and another sweet treat after dinner.


On Monday my boyfriend and I had an Easter egg hunt. He hid little chocolate eggs while I was out for lunch with my besties. After searching the whole house for all 15 I got comfortable on the couch watching Gossip Girl and gobbling them all up. Woops.

New Look Haul

With jeans, a top and Bobs being my planned outfit for during the days in New York I needed another pair of jeans as back up. I didn't want to spend a fortune and New Look does nice soft ones for only £20. While I was browsing I accidentally managed to spend around £100. New Look does fantastic dresses for work so I'm not sure why I'm surprised. I did, however, split the order in 2 and manage to save £10 off each order with a cheeky little coupon code online. Lots of affordable stylish, basics. 






Outfits of the Week: March #4


Monday
Dress: New Look
Blazer: Quiz
Necklace: Primark
Shoes: New Look

Tuesday
T Shirt: New Look
Vest Top: Forever 21
Trousers: HM
Necklace: New Look
Shoes: Primark

Wednesday
Dress: New Look
Necklace: Primark
Shoes: Primark

Thursday
Blouse: Tesco
Skirt: Primark
Boots: New Look

Friday
Vest Top: Forever 21
Kimono: New Look
Shoes: New Look

What's in my Hand Luggage | New York



Now that I'm on holiday from work I feel like I can get properly organised for my trip to New York, no last minute packing decisions. Obviously some of my hand luggage essentials will be used up until the night before or morning of our flight but on the most part my hand luggage is ready. I've done these posts before for jetting off to Spain, and there's not many differences this time. I feel like I'm carrying the essentials and no unnecessary weight. My new hand luggage bag from Primark is a really good size. I'll be able to fit airport purchases or flight food inside comfortably and the long strap makes it easy to carry.


Essentials
Purse - with UK currency for any duty free or foodie purchases
Travel Wallet - keeps my documents organised and safe
Passport - an obvious essential
Snack - something to keep the hunger at bay

Entertainment
ipad mini - loaded up with music and films
iphone - last minute social media boasting or time passer
New York City Guide Book - last minute research and excitment level booster
Noise Cancelling Headphones - blocking out the noises of the plane and passengers
USB cable - you never know where you can charge your batteries

Beauty Products
Lip Balm - no dehydrated lips
Contact lense case and eye drops - just in case of contact lense troubles
Soap and Glory Moisturiser - a long flight skincare saviour
Eyemask - good for a long, overnight flight


Birthday Celebration Inspiration

Planning the same old birthday party each year can become boring. Not only for you, but also for your guests. Everyone chooses to have a night out or go for a meal in a fancy restaurant to celebrate. Maybe it’s time to mix things up a bit and do something completely different? There are so many cool birthday party ideas, most of which are fun and extremely memorable. Organise one of these ideas and your friends will be talking about your party for a long time to come! There might not even need to be a hangover either!

Murder Mystery Night
There are different ways to plan a murder mystery night. You can buy games that you set up at home. Each game has a story that your group will have to play out through the night to find out which character is the murderer. Alternatively, you can book places at a professionally organised murder mystery event. These are often hosted in historical buildings, such as stately homes. Throughout the night, you will get the chance to interact with actors to try and find the culprit.

Paintball
If you love being active in the outdoors, then paintballing will be right up your street! Popular Paintball Sites often get booked up well in advance, so organise your birthday party in plenty of time to guarantee a spot. When you arrive, your group will be given safety outfits to wear, and then split up into two teams. You’ll then have to go into hiding and try to hunt down the other team! Paintballing is a lot of fun and you’re guaranteed to have some laughs!



European City Trip
If you have the money, organise a weekend away for you and a couple of very close friends. European breaks are very affordable these days, thanks to budget airlines. If you want, you could turn this into a romantic birthday trip and head to Paris with your partner. Other fantastic destinations include historic Prague and chic Copenhagen. These are both popular destinations for large groups.


Spa Weekend
Birthdays are times for pampering, so what better way to celebrate than taking a trip to your local spa? If you want to keep within a budget, you can simply spend a couple of hours in the sauna. But for those who want to push the boat out, booking an entire weekend at a spa hotel is a great birthday treat. You can lounge by the pool and treat yourself to a variety of massages and beauty treatments.

Laser Tag
If you like the idea of laser tag, but don’t fancy getting covered in paint, you could try out laser tag. It is just like paintball, except it takes place indoors. Also, instead of shooting paint at each other, you have laser guns. Sci-fi fans will especially enjoy laser tag as the setting is usually very futuristic!

Make sure this year’s birthday stands out from all the rest by planning one of these unforgettable parties. Your friends may even like the idea so much; they’ll swap their birthday nights out for one of these cool activities too!

Superdrug Haul

I've been running out of a few beauty essentials so I headed over to Superdrug online to stock up. I love that you get free delivery on orders over £10 because we don't have a Superdrug in my town so it's not often that I'm able to go in. I was really surprised by how many offers they had on and I ended up saving close to £10 on things I needed to buy anyway.



£12.99
I needed to repurchase Revlon Colourstay foundation in normal/dry but the last time I checked they didn't have it in stock. Turns out it's because Revlon have changed the packaging and only gone and added a pump!! This is good news for Colourstay fans who always ended up wasting foundation with the old bottles. 

£6.99
I've never tried this concealer before but if it's coverage is anywhere near as good as the foundation I'll be happy. It ended up being quite a good price with the Buy One Get Second Half Price Offer.


It's always good when dry shampoo is on offer because it's such an essential in my hair product stash. This has gone straight in my case for New York just to make sure I don't run out when we're away.


I'm normally a spray deodorant sort of girl but I'm going to give a stick a go. Mitchum is such a good deodorant brand and this will be handy for travelling.

My skin has been crying out to be exfoliated but I was completely out of any gentle scrubs. The Save a Third on Nivea Skincare Offer was enough to convince me to try out this one. Fingers crossed it'll help with my dry skin but also my blemishes.

Keeping Belongings Safe Outside Of The House

The minute you leave your home, your personal belongings become at greater risk of theft. This goes for whether you’re in a big city like New York or the middle of Costa Rica! This might be a snatch-and-run on your handbag or the theft of your car or bicycle. Whichever it is, it is both upsetting and costly. So, read on for ideas on how to keep five common belongings safe wherever you go.


For Your Bag
Increasingly, bars and restaurants install small hooks underneath their tables. These are for putting your backpack or handbag on. It means you don’t have to put them on the floor! Check under the tables the next place you go to see if they are there. They might well be. Otherwise, keep your bag with you, either on the table or on your lap. Putting on the floor is just asking for trouble. Also, get a bag with a strong strap. Anything thin or weak can be cut with a small blade and snatched from your shoulder. This guide has more ideas to keeping your bag safe outside of the home.


For You Car
Steering wheel locks might seem old-fashioned and bulky. However, recent police reports have said they still act as a good deterrent to would-be thieves. This is because a lot of theft is opportunistic; they will go for an easy target. A steering wheel lock makes your car unappealing because it means effort. The criminal would much rather go for a car that is unlocked and unsecured that dealing with something like that.


For Your Bicycle
Bikes are far easier to steal than cars because you can quite literally carry them away! Unless you’re Hulk, you can’t do this with cars. Invest in a tough bicycle lock that can’t be easily cut through. Urban cycling insurance is a good idea as it covers both personal accident and incidents of road rage. This is an unfortunate but realistic element in a cyclist's life. Also, be sure you have a clear and up-to-date picture of your bike. That way, if it is taken, you’ll have a photo to show the police.


For Your Phone
Do this as soon as you’ve finished reading this article! Type *#06# into your phone and make a note of the number that comes up. This is your IMEI number. If you phone is stolen, you can remotely switch it off, as long as you know this number. Also make your phone more easily distinguishable by marking it with an invisible UV pen.


For You Laptop

Your first line of defence is making sure your laptop can’t get into anyone’s hands in the first place! Keep your device close to you at all times; no leaving it on the table while you go buy a coffee inside. Second is your password. It can be annoying, typing in something long and complex every time, but it’s worth it. The harder the password to crack, the harder for a thief to gain access. Also, password protect related items, like hard drives and USB sticks.

New York Planning


With just over a week to go until we head off to New York we've been busy noting down all the things we want to do and organising them into an itinerary. The thing about New York is there is so much to see and do and if you don't plan it out you can easily end up wasting time travelling from one end of Manhattan to the other and missing out on some must see sights. We've got 7 days, including travel and we've done our best to fit it all in.

We're flying with IcelandAir meaning we've got a stop over in the capital for an hour. This has worked out as one of the cheapest options and is the same duration as most other options. We're staying the Yotel Hotel on 41st Street on 10th Avenue and it looks amazing. It's quite modern and high-tec, it reminds me of Citizen M Hotels. With us getting to our hotel at 9pm after a full day of travelling we're likely to be grabbing some pizza then heading to bed. Maybe a nosey at Times Square if we're not exhausted.


Day 1 of sight-seeing is going to involve lots of walking. We've booked 3 day Hop On Hop Off bus tour passes with Greyline but don't get them until the next day. Having been to New York before we had a good idea of what we'd like to see that's close together. We're planning Central Park and hope to venture further around than last time. We'll also be heading to 5th Avenue for some shopping along with Bath and Body Works and Dylan's Candy Bar. We'll checking out Grand Central Station (for a Gossip Girl style photo)  and a look at the Rockefellar Center. We're going to Juniors Restaurant for dinner after seeing amazing reviews for their cheesecake. We might head to a comedy club at night but that'll be a last minute booking.

The first day of our bus tour is hopefully going to include the Uptown Tour, stopping off to see the Yankee Stadium. We'll also do the Midtown Tour and head up the Empire State Building. We didn't do it last time, opting for the Top of the Rock. That night we've got Knicks basketball tickets for in Madison Square Garden and I can't wait!


The next day we'll be making full use of our bus tickets and add ons by doing a Hop On Hop Off boat tour, along with a visit to Soho and the Night Tour. There's also a Giant Pillow Fight on that day so I'm hoping we manage to catch a glimpse of it. On our last visit we went to a roof top bar and it had stunning views. I think we'll do something similar this time round.

On day 4 of sight-seeing we're planning the Downtown tour including the One Observatory and 9/11 Tribute Center. We're also going to walk across Brooklyn Bridge. Last time we only went half way but this time we're going all the way in. I'm desperate to see Dumbo and Brooklyn Park. We'll also do the Brooklyn bus tour while we're there. I'm hoping to go for some rainbow bagels too. It's Wrestlemania that night so I've been informed we'll be watching it in a Sports Bar somewhere that night. 

On our last full day in New York we're heading to Woodbury Commons Outlet Mall. We went to the outlets in Vegas last time and it was amazing so hopefully the New York ones will be equally as great. I'm setting my sights on a new Michael Kors bag and some other bargains. At night, after being all shopped out, we're going to see a musical. We'll just book the tickets with Today Tix and aren't too fussed what we go to see.


Our flight home isn't until after 8pm so we'll still have the morning and most of the afternoon. I've got my eye on Tick Tock Diner next to Penn Station for breakfast. We're also going to walk the High Line. We were too busy going to Central Perk last time to do this so it's a must-do this time. I'm sure there will be some last minute shopping involved on this day too.

If you've got any restaurant recommendations let me know. Also if there's anything you think we've missed out from our plan leave a comment.

Outfits of the Week: March #3


Monday
Dress: New Look
Necklace: Primark
Shoes: Primark
Hair: Mark Hill Wand

Tuesday
Top: Primark
Skirt: Missguided
Shoes: Primark
Necklace: Primark

Wednesday
Blouse: Primark
Vest Top: Forever 21
Trousers: New Look
Boots: New Look
Necklace: Primark

Thursday
Blouse: New Look
Vest Top: Forever 21
Jeans: River Island
Shoes: Skechers Bobs

Friday
Shirt: New Look
Skirt: Primark
Bracelets: Pandora, Jomi and Annie Haak
Shoes: Primark
Watch:Michael Kors