Visiting Toronto & Niagara Falls

I've been to Toronto with my family three times, and this is my fouth. You'd think I'd be bored of seeing the same place so many times, but it's just one of those cities I cannot get enough of.

I traveled with my family (myself, three sisters, mum, dad and 81 year old Nana who had never been before).  Nana is one of those elderly people who can't walk and talk at the same time but manages to have people on the airplane doing Thai Chi with her to loosen their legs throughout the flight. We all call her Yoda. She's small and deadly haha! #ILoveHer

We traveled from Glasgow to Toronto and then had a driver called Amin from take us to Niagara Falls.  I must say we have never experienced a more welcoming taxi driver and journey. Amin greeted us with a smile, told us about himself, the journey and offered us complimentary snacks which included water, soda, crisps (chips) and chewing gum. My mother sneezed during the journey and Amin instantly passed her a tissue. He was promptly on time and gave us information about Toronto and Niagara. We literally could not have asked for a kinder driver.

We went to the Oakes Hotel which was perfectly located and was lovely, not necessarily the luxury we expected considering the cost (no bar or restaurant, we had to go next door for breakfast which was descriibed as a 'full american breakfast of your choice' - it was a set breakfast and considering 5 of us are pescetarians, it meant we had eggs on toast every day which was disappointing.  I'm not too sure how vegans would have managed.)

negativity aside, Niagara Falls is one of the 7 wonders of the world and it was an unforgettable experience. We all went on the Maid Of The Mist tour which is basically a boat which takes you close to the falls then journeys back.  It all felt surreal. I've been to the falls three times but you genuinely never can take it all in. It's truly breathtaking.

My wee Nana had the time of her life of the maid of the mist. We all got soaked and laughed wayyyy too much over the fact that we were all wet, but it was an amazing experience. We then walked a short distance where we found a group of outdoor bars with live music and it was just incredible. We had a few glasses of wine and enjoyed the afternoon before headi!ng to clifton hill (Kelsey's is where it's at!!) where we listened to more live music and drank cocktails. We ended the day by watching fireworks over the falls. It was literally the perfect day.

The next day, we were driven back to Toronto by Amin where we stayed at the stunning Sheraton hotel.  We stayed there for a further 5 days where we went shopping in the Eaton Center, visited dundas square, had a few too many cocktails at the Hard Rock cafe and ate copious amounta of food. 

We also took a boat tour to central island where we walked between the islands. We went to one of the beaches and I held onto my Nana while she dipped her feet in lake ontario. She kept bending down to chase the green seaweed moss stuff away because in Nana land, that is possible. Haha!  I'd definitely recommend visiting center island if you get the chance.  The boat cost less than $5 and it was such a beautiful place to go.

Toronto is such a laid back city full of multi cultural activities that cater to everyone. We were so lucky that the weather was so nice (it reachded 41 degrees one day!) and we just had an amazing time.

Thanks for having us Toronto, we had a blast!

H x

Travel Preparation 101: What's In My Makeup Bag?

This is my least favourite part of packing - deciding what to take in my Makeup bag. I can never narrow it down enough. I always end up taking so much more than I really need but who cares!? I'm on holiday!

Right, so let's start with toiletries.  I will be taking:
  • Bioderma Travel pack (it includes Micellar Water, Moisturisers, Shower Gel & a handy clear case) and some cotton pads.
  • Garnier Ultimate Blends Delicate Oat Shampoo & Capasal Coal Tar shampoo (prescribed - in case my psoriasis flares up again, plus it smells AMAZING!)
  • Khiels Midnight Recovery Concentrate
  • Razor
  • Scissors
  • Eyelash Glue
  • Deodorant (roll on - mines is by Dr Organic and is the coconut one)
  • Feminine Stuff. Just in case. 
  • Tweezers
  • Plasters
  • Anti Bacterial Hand Gel
In my makeup bag... (here goes..)
  • L'oreal Nude Magique Cushion Foundation
  • Makeup Atelier HD Foundation
  • Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer
  • Rimmel Stay Matte Powder
  • Nars Multiple in shade '
  • Mac 'Center Of Attention' Skinfinish
  • Makeup Atelier Blush Quad Palette
  • Mac Burgundy x 9 Palette
  • MUA Elysium Palette
  • L'oreal False Lash Superstar Mascara
  • Kat Von D Tattoo Eyeliner
  • Nars Kohl Liner
  • Kiss Volume Eyelashes & Duo Eyelash Adhesive
  • Clinique Sun Kissed Face Bronzer
  • Too Faced Royal Oil Coconut Body Oil Bronzer
  • Smashbox Always Sharp Lip Liners in shades Pony, Sherbert, Fig & Legendary
  • Nars Lipsticks in shades Schlap & Jungle Red
  • Mac Ruby Woo
  • Clinique Lip Pop Oil in Poppy Glow
  • Essence Longlasting Lipstick in shade 13
  • 2 x Primark lip Liners
So aye, the lipsticks let me down haha! lip products are always my weakness which I'm sure you all probably know by now.

There you have what I took with me in my travel makeup bag!

What makeup do you take with you? Are you enjoying the Travel Preparation 101 series so far?

H x

Travel Preparation 101 - The Night Before..

The night before traveling is always a bit hectic for me. I have a checklist (I am preparing an online one as you're reading this, I will update soon!) that I go through and then spend the rest of the night cleaning the house like a mad woman. HOWEVER, not this time! I'm taking some time to have a full on pamper night to set the holiday off on the right tone and this is what I'll be using:

So first thing's first, I'm ordering some pizza, having a homemade Mojito and watching Pretty Little Liars. This is my time to chill the frig down.

Next, it's pamper time! I'm loving this Heart & Home Caramel Cupcake candle. It smells like caramel and is oh so lovely. I'm putting on Christmas 24 (how AMAZING is it that Movies 24 is now Christmas 24 again? Life = Complete!) and watching the cheesiest Christmas movie I can find. Even in July, there's something about a Christmas movie that soothes me.

I'm whacking on a Face Mask (I like this Pineapple one from Montagne Jeunesse - It's like £2 or less!) and whilst I'm waiting on it drying out so I can peel it off (aahhh soothing!) I will apply some fake nails (I use these plain ones from Body Care and Elegant Touch Fast Drying Brush On Glue). I have been loving this Nars 'Paradiso' Nail Polish. It's a bright orange toned red and looks amazing for Summer, so I'll be painting my nails with this (both fingers and toes!).

Next up, it's time to peel off my face mask and then I'm going to shower. Once I've showered, I will leave my hair to dry naturally in a top knot before slathering my body in this NSpa Honey Body Butter which just smells divine. It takes roughly 10 minutes to sink in, so it's time for some nude dancing with a hairbrush in my bedroom to Kiss FM.

Once my bedroom karaoke session is complete, I will relax with my feet up on the chair with my pyjamas on, cosy socks, hair up, and some Dirty Works Cucumber Eye Pads on. I will leave these chilling in the fridge throughout the entire day and by the time I use them they will be cool and de-puffing. Once I've lazed around for half an hour (maybe an hour if I'm being honest!) I'll tidy away everything I've used and head to bed at a very early time to watch some youtube videos, cuddle my cats (before sobbing about the fact I'm leaving them for a week) and fall asleep knowing I am fully organized for the day ahead.

Ahh bliss!

What is your 'night before a holiday' routine? I'd love to hear your tips!

H x

Travel Preparation 101 - What's In My Hand Luggage?

It's so easy to overpack when it comes to hand luggage and halfway through the flight you end up in the overhead bin scrambling through your unorganized hand luggage just to find your headphones whilst some poor air hostesses struggle past you with the duty free. (hands up all you guilty people. I've done it too...) So I thought I would show you all what is in my hand luggage for my trip to Toronto.

Firstly, choose your hand luggage carefully. I definitely recommend you get yourself some nifty luggage with compartments which has four wheels (it saves you from carrying it on your shoulder or dragging it behind you, which, let's face it, when you're rushing from A to B is a god send).  I bought this cabin case from 'It Luggage'.

I have the large IT Luggage suitcase with 4 wheels too which is how I know that 4 wheel luggage is a necessity. Just FYI, I'm not being sponsored nor was I sent anything from IT Luggage.

So what's in my hand luggage?

I have a whole compartment dedicated to Electricals because quite frankly, I don't want the airline to loose them, they're too important to my holiday. I pack my;-
  • Phone 
  • Phone Charger
  • Plug & Adapter
  • Portable Charger & Cable
  • Camera
  • Camera Cable & Spare Battery
  • Memory Card x 2
  • Beats Solo Headphones 
  • Kindle Fire & Charger 

I don't wear makeup when I'm travelling #BasicBitch but here are my beauty essentials for flying:-
  • Aspirin (prevents blood clots - ask your GP before consuming)
  • Hairbrush (Mini Denman), Bobbles & Kirby Grips
  • Toothbrush, Mini Toothpaste, Mini Mouthwash
  • Lip Balm (Forever Living Aloe Lips) 
  • Make Up wipes (tut tut - bad beauty blogger!)
  • Mini Face Wash (Bliss Foaming Facial Cleanser)
  • Tea Tree Eye Gel & Face Serum (Boots)
  • Anti Bacterial Hand Gel  
  • (Not Shown) Deodorising Wipes & Mini Deodorant
  • (Not Shown) Mini SPF

Snacks & Others  
Surprisingly, I'm a fussy eater. I only eat chicken and Fish in terms of meat and literally everything I eat on a plane for vegetarians is disgusting. I will never understand why they don't serve pizza on a flight but never mind! Anyhoo, I always take my own snacks on the plane and wanted to include a few other things I take too:-
  • Doritos - Droooool
  • Doublemint Individually Wrapped Mints (for take off and landing - #DemEars)
  • I also take Another bag of crisps or something else from the airport that's bad for me and does not constitute a meal. Oops.
  • Sunglasses (hides them black bags after landing)
  • Contact Lenses & Solution
  • Purse (With Foreign Currency & some cards)
  • Passport & Boarding Pass
  • Flight Socks (Prevents swelling and DVT which is super important)
  • Handbag! (I put all my necessities in it so when I'm at the duty free, I just whap out the bag instead of rummaging through the whole hand luggage)
  • Plimsoles or Slippers (not pictured, perfect for making a comfy Flight) 
  • Always take a bottle of water on (buy it after security checks!) to help hydrate you as you board your flight
  • Don't wear your Overhead headphones during take off. I always find the suction hurts my ears and makes them pop more.I just pop them on roughly 5 minutes after the seat belt light is turned off.
  • Wear fight socks! They genuinely stop swelling and of course DVT which, particularly during long haul flights, is really important.
  • Look around. If you're like me and are afraid of flying, then look around at the other passengers and flight attendants. It always soothes me seeing small children or elderly people who are laid back and relaxed, if they can get through it, so can I!
  •  Be mindful of the people behind and in front of you. Don't recline your chair unless the seat behind you is empty. It minimizes the legroom the passenger behind you has which can make their flight particularly uncomfortable,
  • Be nice to the Air Hostesses! It's a long flight for them too and they are probably jet lagged AF. If you're really nice to the hostesses/stewards then you make their job easier and it makes for an all round more pleasant flight. I flew to NYC on Thanksgiving and felt so guilty that the attendants were working. I bought them some sweets and magazines from the Duty Free to say Happy Thanksgiving. It was so gratefully received and I felt like a better person for it.
  •  ENJOY THE FLIGHT! yes, it's stressful sometimes, but it's the beginning of your holiday and you should always start as you mean to go on. Grab some sleep if you can and really energize yourself for the upcoming festivities.
 I hope this has all been useful for you! I love reading travel guides and tips so I really hope this has been interesting. Let me know in the comments below if you have any tips or essentials you think I should take with me in future! Or leave your links below too so I can check them out :)

All My Love

H x 

Travel Preparation 101: Hair Removal

Hair. We all have it.  We don't always want to discuss how we take care of unwanted hair but that's why I'm here, to break the mould and make everyone feel uncomfortable haha!

Ain't nobody got time for unwanted hair when you're heading away on holiday, which is why I thought I would tell you all about the hair removal I use.

First off, I epilate. Everywhere. Yup, everywhere. It hurts a little bit, but after one or two uses you kind of get used to it. I use the Philips Satinelle Epilator. It comes with a bunch of different tools for different types of hair and to suit your needs. I use this on the first setting which I find to be less painful.  If you're bothered about the pain then maybe take some paracetamol before you use it.

You can even use it in the shower so it's super handy for those of us who are too busy to spend a lot of time removing hair (or just can't be assed). It takes me around 20 minutes and I only ever need to do it once every few weeks which is the real perk of Epilating.

On top of that, I use hot wax for my face (top lip) because I dont like using the Epilator on my face and quite frankly Nair scares the shiz out of me. (It burned my top lip twice, queue talking like I've just had Botox for two days.)

Aside from that, I get my brows threaded every month at Superdrug's brow bar and it costs me less than £5 because I'm a beauty card holder! It's an amazing service that certainly makes your eyes water but it works and in all seriousness, to all you pain phobes out there, I promise it only nips and is no worse than tweezing.

So there you have it! I am a pretty hairy person (yeah yeah I can hear you all chanting HAIR HOLLY!) so I've tried out most things.  These methods all work pretty well for me and will keep me fuzz free over my holidays!

What hair removal techniques do you use?

H x

Travel Preparation 101: Tanning

Tanning is something I loathe.  I have extremely porous skin and even the lightest of fake tans will make me look like I've been living inside a Wotsit factory.  I know I'm not alone and so thought I would share with you all the products I use to tan and what works for me.

For me, I only tan on special occasions and even then, it's a drudge! As I mentioned before, normally any tan goes patchy and develops into a deep cheesy wotsit shade regardless of how well I exfoliate or how light a coverage I use.

With my Summer holiday right around the corner (and knowing that I burn before turning white as snow again) I was determined to find a fake tan that would give me a little glow without wotsit-esque tones. I read online that moisturisers with a gradual tan were most likely to be suited to my needs so off I went and tried the Garnier Summer one - queue orange-ness. I then scrubbed and scrubbed until it was gone before finding the holy grail of gradual tanners.

It might be an old 'un, but it's definitely a good un! The Dove Summer Glow transformed my skin from porcelain to an Ivory shade overnight.

I exfoliated my skin really well and made sure to do any hair removal a day before. (I made the mistake of tanning on the same day as epilating once before, queue polka dot skin haha!)

I then whacked on a mitt and used a small amount of the tan on my body. I just applied it like a moisturiser and was careful round my knees. ankles and elbows.

The downside to this is it takes soooo long to dry. I stand in a wide legged, wide armed, pose while I'm drying with the window open (don't go driving past my house at night time haha!) and it was quite painful standing that way for almost 30 minutes. Once I was all dry (or at least tacky) I put on a loose top and trousers (or a baggy sundress!).

I always tan right before bed so when I wake up I look like a bronzed goddess. So the next morning, the first thing I do is go for a shower. It stinks of biscuits and I still feel sticky before the shower but afterwards, I'm left with no biscuit smell whatsoever and the tackyness is all gone leaving me with a beaut of a glow.

I don't need to tan again for a good week after applying but you do start to see little patches showing after 4-5 days. I just take a bit of exfoliator over these areas and it evens out. If you're travelling then I would recommend applying the night before and then possibly re-applying whilst you're away if you have time :)

So there you go! not bad for £3.99! Have you tried this out? PLEASE leave me recommendations below! If they ever discontinue this stuff I'm literally going down the Wotsit lane.

H x