Sunday, 27 November 2016

New York in 24 hours!

On my travel bucket list a few weeks ago I mentioned my eternal love for the city that never sleeps; New York. Now, (perhaps not fitting to be on my bucket list) I have actually been lucky enough to visit New York twice now! Both times I have jetted off with my mum on some last minute trips and the very first time we did, I accompanied her on a trip (she’s an air hostess) in which we were there for literally about 24 hours. Therefore, I saw it only fitting that I did a post on my experience and some of the key must-dos if you ever find yourself in NY for a day…

1. BROADWAY SHOW

As the plane ride was a good 8 hours (+ the 5 hour time difference meaning we arrived 7pm NY time which was midnight UK time!) we found ourselves landing in NY pretty late in the evening, however that didn’t stop us. After the pretty long journey from JFK airport into Manhattan (about half an hour drive minimum but with the crew bus and getting through customs - always a long one in America, never underestimate it, it took us a good 1.5/2hrs to get to the hotel), we dumped our bags at the hotel and headed straight to Broadway to grab some last minute tickets for a show. At the time Sister Act was on and was featuring Raven Symone – needless to say she was pretty epic and absolutely hilarious. Such an amazing atmosphere and fab experience!





2. EMPIRE STATE BUILDING AND TIME SQUARE

Of course, you can’t quite get away with visiting New York without popping through Time Square and letting your inner tourist be revealed as your head tilts back and is overwhelmed by the incredible lights, bustling atmosphere and just pure amazement. We tottled along, knackered and hungry, but ecstatic after the show and wandered through and headed to the Empire State Building (luckily as it was late evening the queue wasn’t as bad as I expect it probably is during the day). As you can imagine the view from up there – and at night too – is simply spectacular. I was hypnotised by the beauty of it all! Some may say the view from The Top of the Rock is better (which it might well be – I still haven’t been there - that’s next on my list!) but I feel they must be pretty similar.





3. HELICOPTER RIDE

Perhaps a bit more on the pricey side (was a birthday present – and was also 4 years ago - so I’m afraid I can’t quite say how much it was), but if you’re only there for 24 hours, definitely worth it! I shotgunned the front seat (not the drivers obvs) of a helicopter and the lovely New Yorker whisked us off around the concrete jungle and took us around to see the Statue of Liberty and everything – pretty awesome if I do say so! Definitely a great chance to get a snapshot of the city and just spend half an hour- an hour just in awe! (Can you tell that NY is probably one of my favourite places on this planet?)




4. CENTRAL PARK

Absolutely stunning – in summer and winter – Central Park is so tranquil and pretty that I could walk through it for hours (1. Because it’s gorgeous, 2. Because it’s bloody huge!). In winter there’s a lovely ice rink (although expect a long queue) and in summer the trees and sun are just lovely to bask in. Due to lack of time me and mum took a nice walk and then called upon a lovely horse and carriage to take us on a quick trip and gave our feet a little, well needed rest!


Little pic of when my brother joined us just the second time we visited - just after Christmas, so it was extremely cold! If you ever go at that time (which I suggest that you do, NY at Christmas is even more magical) I suggest seriously wrapping up - like I'm talking even Northern England cold!




5. BURGERS

America are notorious for their overindulgence on food, but I feel a good way to embrace the New York experience is to of course grab yourself a good burger (hence the name) or hot dog and indulge! However I must point out that when we were there for our 24 hours, we trekked a good while looking for somewhere to grab dinner that evening and were fooled by the term 'city that never sleeps' when in fact it was more like 'the city that sleeps at around 11pm' - just to warn you!





Of course, I’ve only picked out a few of the many must-dos in NY and the bits that really stood out to me! – little bits you can probably also fit into your 24 hours are taking a yellow cab (obviously) and pop down to 5th Avenue! There are also so many more things I want to do next time I’m there (Top of the Rock, visit Greenwich Village, the zoo etc) but I could probably write forever about my love and lust for NY and that may bore you a little (though I don’t understand how!)

I wanted to do this post after seeing Amy's post over on Salt and Chic, on 24hrs in Amsterdam and hearing about the AccorHotels competition to win a stay in Paris/Amsterdam/Berlin which you can find out about here, and also to share my love and experience in this magical city!

If anyone’s ever been to NY – any more tips? Any good local places that are great to visit?


Monday, 14 November 2016

Yorkshire Wonders

I feel like I'm a bit late in posting about the gorgeous Autumnal weather, but even though the temperature has plummeted drastically and the grey clouds are looming, the coloured leaves are still falling and the gorgeous sunsets/sunrises still dazzle me every day! 

Last weekend, my family came up to York for a well needed visit and on Saturday we headed out to Harrogate to visit some family. After a lovely chat accompanied by tea and cake, we headed out for a lovely Autumnal walk at the National Trust Brimham Rocks. 









It was such a stunning walk, the views were incredible and it felt so lovely to be with my family and take a nice long walk in the fresh, crisp air with nothing to think about! 


Jumpsuit : Missguided

Trainers : Nike Air Thea



Definitely the ideal place for dog walks and since it was half term there were a lot of kids loving it (although some of them I couldn't watch because some of those rocks are pretty high and those kids were being very adventurous - I'd keep an eye on them if you visit!)


Anyone ever visited the Brimham Rocks before? 

What did you think?

Where's your favourite place for an Autumnal walk?



Monday, 7 November 2016

My First Giveaway: CaseApp*

A good while ago I entered a CaseApp giveaway and it was the first one that I actually won! I won myself a nice new case that I could personalise myself. I actually made it for my mum for Christmas and she adores it and it's still going strong a good while later!



And then not long ago, CaseApp contacted me to offer me a chance to get another case and to host my own giveaway to offer you guys a chance to have one too! With CaseApp you can make your own custom iPhone case/laptop skin. They have a variety of styles to choose from like my new one below (I was so torn between the green and a really nice pink and grey one!) or you can customise it yourself with photos like the one above. 

My new one is lovely and so pretty and marble-y and such a nice size and I love it!




Now for my first giveaway I thought I should have some sort of milestone or something, as usually bloggers tend to host giveaways to mark a certain number of followers or subscribers. But since I'm pretty small in comparison and not entirely fussed about the numbers I thought my milestone could be my sudden enthusiasm for blogging again.

I tend to go through phases where I'm really creative and absolutely love it, or get severe writers block and can't think of anything! And even though I'm insanely bogged down with work right now I've managed to clear some time to unwind and unload my thoughts into this blog and I've really enjoyed it. (Lets just see how long this productivity is maintained)


T&Cs:
  • Giveaway will last one week, so you have until Midnight on Monday the 14th November 2016 to enter
  • The winner will win a code for £22 to spend on CaseApp.co.uk that is valid until the 31st of December
  • Once the winner is announced, I will contact CaseApp and get given the £20 code, please allow 48hrs for contact 
  • The winner will be announced by twitter/via email, within 48 hrs of ending, so to enter please follow josie_victoriaa and leave your twitter username or email in the comments. (If you leave your twitter username but would prefer to be contacted via email please state in the comments, thanks)
  • I will contact you via direct message on twitter/email to provide you with the code.




a Rafflecopter giveaway Disclaimer: CaseApp have provided me and the giveaway winner with a free product but all opinions are my own.

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

What is a 'Mistake'?

Lately, I've been feeling a lot of anxiety and feeling a bit down, and it was all going completely fine last week and the week before and then yesterday it hit me again. Not that I've particularly got much to feel sad about (got a lot of work on but what else is new, and I'm more on top of it than I was a few weeks ago) - which is irritating as hell! - but I'm finding myself either upset and quite anxious or just feeling nothing at all. 



A lot of my feelings or mental health triggers I think stem from safety and a lot of that is provoked when I'm at uni because I'm suddenly miles away from my family or friends and expected to get going and do all this work on my own as well as live on my own as well. 

And when I got thinking about what it was I'm really afraid of this year, I think it's a lot about screwing up. Making a mistake. 

And these 'mistakes' come in a lot of shapes and forms - which is why I think I get so overwhelmed by it all because there's too many for my brain to cope with. 

For example, a presentation (common one I know, but I get very nervous and anxious before it) or meeting with my supervisor (where I need to present to her all the things I've been researching when really I'm still very confused on it all). Coursework. Meeting new people. Blogging - I often lack a lot of confidence and am terrified that something in any of my blog posts could come across in the wrong way. Similarly, I'm always scared that I might do/say something that violates some sort of rule or regulation - I'm really not great on common sense sometimes so this scares me in all aspects of life. Living alone - the running of a house, paying bills, all these things terrify me, what if I do it wrong or don't think about things that I should and something goes wrong?

These are just some of the worries and thoughts that are circling my brain right now and make it difficult to concentrate on actually getting things done so that I can worry less about some of them. 

So what is a mistake really? 

My mum always used to say 'what's the worst that can happen?' and sometimes thinking of these can really help. For instance, if I'm worrying about a presentation or coursework, I think the worst thing that could happen would be that I don't know the answer to a question or I mess up my words or I fail. But really these things are bad but not 'end-of-the-world' bad. But on the other hand thinking like this sometimes sends me into further panic - for example the thought of getting into trouble with the police or something law related, makes me hyperventilate and panic severely, even though I know I've done nothing wrong! 

For the most part this works pretty well though, it comforts me to know that even if I met someone new and made a complete fool of myself - we'll both get up the next day and probably use it as a hilarious story to tell in the future.

I guess the point I'm trying to make is that there are no 'mistake's really. Everything we do, we do for a reason and they all happen to enable us to grow into the people we're meant to be. Some things go a bit shit, e.g. failing an exam or getting fired, but we'll get over them and they don't make us bad people. These 'mistake's aren't really mistakes at all they're just things that happen in life.


So as long as we're putting in work and being good people, everything will be fine!




Thursday, 27 October 2016

Deliciously Ella - Skin Care Range*

Anyone a massive fan of Deliciously Ella and her amazing recipes and healthy goodies!? 

I love her blog and her recipes are brilliant! So healthy and yummy and easy to make - not to mention her incredible energy balls (Hazelnut and raisin is my fave!!). 

So imagine my delight when I saw that she has been collaborating with Neals Yard Remedies to create some fresh, all natural facial goodies!!




Facial Wash:

This beauty is a lovely texture and feels so smooth and cleansing on my skin, and the smell. Oh wow! To be honest, I can only really smell the cucumber (as oppose to the rose and lime) but that doesn't bother me, as the strong cucumber scent gives it a lovely fresh and cool smell and feel, and it really helps to freshen up my face in the morning! I did find that it could be quite drying on my skin though, probably half due to this icy weather to be honest, so I did find that using a good moisturiser to accompany it is essential!




Moisturiser: 

Moisturisers are often difficult for me to buy, I seem to need to stick to one that works, as whenever I try to use a new one my face seems to take a while to adjust. However, this one is really comforting on my skin and leaves it feeling really soft and healthy ... and actually oily free all day! 

The first time I used it, (firstly I used way too much since you literally need a pea size to easily cover your whole face, which wasn't the case for my other moisturiser) I thought it wouldn't work for me, but once it had all sunk in, my skin immediately felt brighter and refreshed for the day. And I've been using it constantly for the past few weeks and been absolutely loving it, the smell, the texture, the everything!




I also really loved the cute little extra touch of Ella in her Top Skincare Tips that came on a little card folded up inside the box! Such a nice little addition, love the design and also really love the tips!

Now I've only been using these products for the past few weeks as they were gifted to me to try out so I will be sure to come back and add to this post on how they feel in the future. All opinions written are my own and I can honestly say these are a great choice if you're looking for some natural, refreshing additions to your facial care routine!

If you're looking to buy these products head to the Neals Yard Remedies website here!


Anyone tried these products before? What do you think of them?






Monday, 24 October 2016

Best Fall Trends: Shoes!

So Autumn is finally upon us and I've been reading a lot of amazing Autumn fashion posts recently and got so much inspiration! So when the lovely Suzy asked if she could guest post for my blog on fashion I was all for it!

Best Fall 2016 Trends In Shoes At A Glance
Even women, who aren’t remotely interested in fashion rules, have a fetish for shoes and handbags. Unlike clothes and outfits, shoes and handbags have a repeat value, and hence, it is always wise to have some of the trending pieces in the closet. You never know when you get a chance to flaunt your collection. Here are the handpicked shoes for fall 2016 worth trying.



Passionate velvet: For 2016, the favourite fabric of fall is velvet. It has emerged in outfits, shoes and handbags, and there are endless styles and ideas that one can steal from the runways. However, velvet is also one of the tricky ideas to play with. Apart from all the luxurious elements, it is very easy to go wrong with the fabric that one has to be extra quotient. If a velvet dress seems too much for you, a pair of shoes can be safer bet. All you have to do is tone down rest of the things in the look, and you can create and amazing appeal. Make sure that you try velvet shoes with a pair of tights.

Blocked you: Block heels are back on the runway for fall 2016, and it makes perfect sense to get a paid. While block heels are amazingly stylish and trending, these are also very forgiving on the feet and don’t really hurt or offer discomfort as high heels. If you are someone who likes to be on the comfort zone, this is a great trend that would continue for years to come. The good thing is block heels can work with almost anything, right from simple trousers to skirts and dresses. Just make sure that you pick the right heel size.

Over the moon: Boots are classics for the fall, and it seems designers just cannot have enough of over-the-knee designs. One of the best ideas for the fall and beyond, over-the-knee boots is great on both comfort and functionality. If you want to wear those small short dresses and skirts in the winter, this is a must have by all means. You can either play it safe with all the darker shades of black and brown, or else, accenting pairs in red, green or blue is like a smart way of getting attention.

Bonus trend: One of the other trends of fall 2016 that surely deserves a mention is the amazing hardware use. Big buckles and other kinds of hardware were amazingly in style, and you can find something that is both aesthetic and appealing at the same time. Keep an eye on the overall elements to bring the right balance, and you are ready for the kill.
Hope you liked the list of fall 2016 trends. Until we meet again, stay stylish!  
[Images Credit: www.popsugar.com/fashion]


Author: Suzy Walsh is a fashion blogger and style expert, who works as the chief editor and curator for The House Of Elegance Fashion. Known for her amazing sense of style, she is followed by readers around the globe.




I'm not particularly a shoe-person myself but those blue velvet boots are stunning and I'm most definitely going to be saving my pennies for these gems! I also love the knee-high boot trend but not sure I can pull them off - maybe this is the year to give them a go!

I've also had a cheeky browse and found some links to where you guys can buy these/similar here;

Over the moon: ASOS (suede) or Office (more pricey)
 Bonus trend: River Island or Missguided

If you like these picks do check out Suzy's writing and tips over on The House of Elegance Fashion.

Like any of these? Which are your faves for this season?


Thursday, 20 October 2016

Life's full of Uncertainty

I've got a lot of unpublished blog posts where I've tried to get into words my feelings from the past month without sounding incredibly depressed or just genuinely not making sense.

Nothing has really happened in particular, but I've been feeling extremely anxious. A lot of nights I've found myself crying myself to sleep or having to run to the loos because I suddenly burst out crying (to be fair I think 'that time of the month' may also be looming so that could have an impact).

I think moving back to university for my final year has forced me to face a lot of familiar feelings; of being alone, home sickness, a lot of work to juggle (that I've now realised Biology really isn't my thing), pressure of recovery but the critical voice in my head etc etc.


With this new sudden surge of anxiety that I've never really felt to this extent before I have experienced sudden huge panics that leave me feeling completely hopeless and to be honest that hasn't really gone away, I just choose to think about something else but I can still feel it lingering and I feel like I'm not really dealing with it.

One of the things that leads me to panic, is thinking of the future. As a third and final year student, (on the one hand thank god, but the other hand... oh shit) everyone I meet asks me what I want to do afterwards. I do mean everyone!! And every single time (sometimes I beat them to it before they actually finish the question just to get through the horrible awkward silence that comes after) I reply with 'to be honest, I've got no idea'.

And at first I would laugh and then leave it, but now it's playing in my mind. Especially with lecturers telling me to apply to graduate schemes now, it's leading me to panic. The sense of running out of time always sends me into a huge panic. (Hell I'm the one that starts getting ready to go out for the evening at around 4 - and it really doesn't take me long to get ready, I'll most probably have mentally picked out my outfit the night before and it's not like I'm skilled with makeup and hair or anything)


I guess what I'm trying to tell myself is that it's OK not to know right now. And I'm not running out of time. In fact the way I should look at it is that I've only got a year (well less than that) until I'll finally be let loose on the world (Australia I'm coming for you... and then the rest of the planet) and finally be free to really do whatever I want. And although I don't really know what I enjoy doing and what career path I want to go into, I need to have faith that it will all work out.





Please tell me I'm not the only one that feels like this sometimes?