23 August 2017

Box Swap w/ K.F.Pestell

Welcome back, little birdies!

In the beginning of the year, my bestest blogging friend Katie from K.F. Pestell and I agreed to do a little box swap with each other. We've known each other and our blogs for a little over a year now and clicked right away. As you all know, I'm on the East Coast America (for now ;) ) and she's across the pond over in England so we figured it'd be nice to send a little each other little bits and bobs that was harder for the other to get a hold of.

She had a little bit of a hard time sending it off to me through the post office so we decided we could just wait until we met up in London to give it to me. We finally met this past July and it was the greatest thing ever! Unfortunately, because the post office wouldn't let her send the box, and she can't travel with a huge box and lug it around all day, she had to take the contents out of the box and put it in a bag. She did also buy me one of those cute London bags with a double decker on it to make up for not being in the box haha. I loved it either way. Here's what was in the box! She wrapped everything up so lovely. I don't have a picture but I did do a video on snapchat if you want to see it!

First, I'll start with a request of little goodies from Rosie for Autograph. After I saw Alys' post over at Alys George of the two lipsticks she got from the brand and I fell in love. We don't have M&S over in the States and when I tried to order online, they didn't have it available to send to the States so I thought that request would be nice. And Katie being the little angel she is, added some to my box! I got Rose Lace and Silk Rose lipsticks. Both absolutely beautiful shades - they're perfect - one for during the day and one for night. Can I just add that the rose gold packaging is blog photo worthy. She also added a liquid liner from Rosie's collection because she knows how much I love my liners. I've not had much luck with felt tip liners but this one works great! Definitely impressed.

Next up, I opened two Tanya Burr lip products. I've never had any Tanya Burr products before so I was excited to receive these. Katie bought me a bubble gum pink matte lip in the color Puppy Paws and a nude lip gloss in the shade Lunch Date. She's so silly. She told me she didn't notice that Lunch Date was a gloss instead of matte and was hoping I'd still like it. I absolutely love Lunch Date. I can put it on top of any lipstick for that extra bit of color and shine. No need to worry. :)

Before I opened up my goodies, I spent a day with Katie around London (You can read about how we met HERE ). Funny enough, we were talking about Bourjois and how we don't have that brand here in the U.S. and I saw it when I went into the stores over there. When I got back to the hotel and opened up my gifts, I saw that she added Bourjois Shiny Finish Lip Color in the shade Laque. It's a gorgeous berry color. I think it'll be perfect for Autumn coming up soon. To match, she added a Barry M Nail Varnish in Fuchsia Generation. I love it!!

I then opened up the Soap & Glory Super Cat Skinny Liner. I've heard amazing things about this liner and so far its been working out well with me. The felt tip is a bit longer than I'm used to from other felt tip liners. Actually, I feel Rosie for Autograph's liner is quite similar to this one. I'm already sure that I'll be repurchasing this once it's run out.

Katie then added a No. 7 Sea Salt & Lavender Soft & Soothing Aroma candle. I was really excited to receive this because it smells SO good! It's definitely one of those candles you turn on before bed at night to make the room comfy and relaxing just in time to sleep. I feel like it's a bit of a pamper product. Once I do my at home spa night routine I can have this on in the back while I cuddle into my bed with the fairy lights on to get ready for a great nights sleep.

Being the little investigator that she is, she knew from one of my posts that I love to sketch. I used to do it all the time and spend hours on perfecting a sketch. So my lovely Katie bought me a new sketch pad and art pencils to get back in my creative side with art. How thoughtful!?!? I'm working on something at the moment I'm hoping it turns out the way I'd like so I can send it over to her. 😚

These last two items that I opened were by far my favorite. Leaving the best for last per say. These mean so much to me because she put her time and effort and looooooove into them. The first is a bracelet she made me that has my name on it with earthy toned colors because those are my favorite type of tones and she figured that I never had my name on a key ring because my actual name is more unique. How cute?! (I won't be uploading a photo because it has my name on it. But trust me -  it's beautiful)  She also FELTED ME A SPARROW. Can you imagine the time and probably stress it takes to FELT A SPARROW!? I just can't. She knows Sparrows are my favorite animal and for her to do that for me especially during her time in uni and studying for exams. That just makes me so over the moon and appreciate her as my best friend so much. I couldn't have been so honored and blessed to have met her.

Everything I received was so well thought out and let's be real - I was very spoilt! I'm so thankful to have her in my life. I miss her so much already and can't believe it's already been a month since I've seen her! Hopefully that'll change within the next year and I'll be able to see her more often <3 I HIGHLY recommend giving her blog a follow. You can find her at K.F. Pestell . Her blog is very mindful and wholesome. It's definitely worth the read.

So to my Katie bear, I thank you SO much for the thoughtful contents in my little goodie bag and I'm even more thankful for the chance to be able to hang out with you. It was such an amazing day that (in my humble opinion) went by WAY too fast. I can't wait to see you again soon! Love you, girl!


10 August 2017

My English Adventures July 11th - 19th 2017

Welcome back, little birdies!

I know the last time I posted I was keeping you up to date with everything that's been happening and keeping me a little on the busy side and away from blogging. July was an exciting month for me as I took my first European trip across the pond to our neighbors, The U.K. I had an absolutely amazing time. This post will be a long one because I would really like to go back and read it in the future but  I would also like to share it with you. I had quite the experience so grab a "cuppa" and a snack.

I arrived on English soil after a 6 hr flight. It was a bit of a surreal feeling knowing that I wasn't at home anymore and in a completely different country and culture. It was cloudy and a little bit rainy when we arrived, just as you would imagine English weather to be but thankfully it didn't last long as the rest of the week ended up being beautifully sunny and warm.

We hired a driver who took us from Heathrow to our hotel at the Holiday Inn Regent's Park which was only a stone's throw away from the bustling Oxford Street. We arrived a couple hours before our check in time so we decided to go out for breakfast at Villandry's on Great Portland Street. First meal in England and I absolutely loved it. I had some scrambled eggs, with mushroom and toast and it was delicious. Our first day was definitely very chilled. We walked down Great Portland to see what was around before heading back to our hotel for some English "telly" and a well deserved nap. We agreed on a meeting time of 6:30pm to head out for dinner.

I researched restaurant's in the area and we decided on Tinsel Town which is an American styled diner just down Great Portland. It was packed at the time we reached the restaurant but were seated within minutes to a very attentive staff. I have to admit, I wasn't expecting the food to be as good as it was. It was beyond delicious that I'm sure my mom and friend Ann went a few more times through out the week without me.

Once we were done, we took a stroll down to Oxford Street. I was really surprised with how early everything closes daily. It was only Wednesday night and shops were closing down before 10pm. Where as back at home, everything is open pretty late and the only times it actually closes early is on Sundays. So with that, we went back to our hotel.

The next day was a very exciting day as I was meeting up with one of my bestest blogging friends, Katie, from K.F. Pestell . She and I have been separately inseparable since we found each others blogs. Never meeting never stopped us from growing closer as friends and having regular catch ups about life and not just our blogs. The morning went by fast as my mom, Ann and I were picking Katie up from Charring Station to do touristy stuff around London. Little did I know that London was busier than it's normal busy because of the Dunkirk premiere. We had gotten into a taxi that should of gotten us to the station probably within 20 minutes. Our driver was kind enough to let us know that it would be faster to get the tube to the station rather than pay a large amount of money by the time it took us to get there due to the traffic. With time to spare, we decided we'd site see London by walking to Charring Station - ahem.. stress city. I don't know what I was thinking but we definitely got lost and had Katie waiting about an hour and a half at the station... Sorry!! FINALLY, we managed to have our first ever meeting right under a giant thumb statue in front of the Natural History Museum.

It's amazing to see just how much my blog has done for me. I've (virtually) met SO many amazing people around the world through my blog and even gained best friends. So to actually meet Katie in person was more like we were having a catch up of not seeing each other in a bit rather than meeting for the first time. Can I just mention, she's just as beautiful inside and out in person as she appears on her blog. I only wish we had more time to spend together and that I wasn't an ocean away so I could see her more! 😍

That Thursday sped through quickly as we toured through London a bit, stood outside Buckingham Palace waiting for the Queen to make her appearance,  ate a delicious meal at the Hard Rock Cafe - funny enough, all four of us had the exact same meal haha - went in search of the Lego Store so I could get London stamps on my brother's lego passports, and then stood on the outskirts of the Dunkirk premiere before heading back to Charring Station so Katie could take her train back home. It was so sad to have that goodbye hug knowing it was going to be a while until I was able to hang out with her again. Although, my family loves her and my mom now feels as though she just gained a beautiful British daughter and have offered Katie a place to stay if she's ever on the East Coast. 💓

Friday was the last day I was spending in London with my mom and Ann as I was meeting up with my long time very special closest friend (Haha could I have made that any clearer that we're VERY close. :p) . Mini disclaimer - For their privacy and my own, I'll be changing their names and leaving out some details of why my time with them was beyond special to me. There's certain parts of my life I like to keep private and to myself because I cherish them so much. With all that said we'll call my friend "Nick" and his sister "Sarah". He picked me up at my hotel and met up with his sister and their friend on Oxford Street to head down to another hotel near the Tobacco Dock as we had the weekend pass to the Hyper Japan Festival. What I wasn't prepared for - and I don't know why I didn't look at google maps to see how far it was - was the walk to Wapping. We walked an hour and a half with bags and suitcases (Super thankful to Nick who was a gentlemen through and through and carried my suitcase which weighed a ton :) ) through London in the heat. You could only imagine just how worn out we were by the time we got to the hotel. We rested for a bit before we did more walking to and around Tobacco Dock for Hyper Japan 2017.

Once we got to Hyper Japan on Friday the first thing that was looked for was food. The lines for food were absolutely ridiculous and it looked like you'd be waiting for ages. We decided for some quick "fries". I'm not sure what in the world these fries were - they had like seaweed in them and some other stuff. They were good, and we all devoured them but for some reason half way through the day they ended up not sitting well with my stomach. I became very hot, and nauseous and had to sit out instead of wandering in the different areas of the place and looking around. We all went outside for some fresh air when they all started talking about food. Once I got that sick feeling just by listening to conversation about food, I knew I had to try and make it around the maze that is Tobacco Docks to the bathroom asap. Nick was a great nurse and escorted me to the toilets to throw up.. twice. I didn't get to see much that day but the toilet bowl and before I knew it we were heading back to the hotel not long after to rest up enough for the next two days.

Next day we planned on being at Hyper Japan for 10:00am so we could avoid long lines. Saturday was a lot better than the day before when it came down to how I felt. I was able to wander around the place without having to sit outside and throw up. It was really cool because Sarah and her friend both dressed in cosplay that were absolutely kick butt. Watching people come up to her and ask for a photo felt like I was with a celebrity haha. I always thought I was this huge anime nerd especially when I was a teenager. But after going to Hyper Japan and not knowing much, I realized I had a lot of anime culture to catch up on. I have no clue who Sarah was cosplaying (Sorry!) but she looked cool none the less. That day we wandered around to shops. I didn't buy much as I knew I had to carry it all back and try to lug it back to the States. What I'm glad I bought were these BEAUTIFUL digital art from this little shop. Nick said every time he'd go to HJ he'd buy a painting from the shop. The artist is beyond talented and I appreciate this type of art so much I bought myself two of the smaller sizes and one for my brother. I'll certainly be purchasing more. I love this style of art. I was going to add photos but I think it'll be better to link her website instead. I highly recommend checking it out - HERE.

 On Saturday we even watched the CosParade which is watching all the people who entered show off their amazing cosplay. I totally regret not taking any pictures of the venue and what was around as it would've been great to look back on with what we did during those days. I did manage to get a bit from Sarah so I could put a little something together. (Thank you!)

Sunday was a lot more chill. We went off to Hyper Japan around 10:00am grabbed food and wandered about for the last day. That day we spent more time chilling outside as it gets really crowded and hot inside. We didn't spend too long there and spent the rest of the day watching movies in the hotel room. It was a great end to an eventful weekend.😊 Monday was our travel day. We checked out of the hotel, and went on the two hour walk up to Hyde Park where we checked out the beautiful little garden, sat on the grass for hours and fed pretzels to pigeons before taking the long train ride from London up to Worcestershire. Nick and I got home (my home away from home) at around 7pm and our friend bought us all seafood pizza while we watched movies the rest of the night. - Can I just add that seafood pizza is now my favorite. It was absolutely delicious and now I'm making myself hungry for one. Yuuumm. -

Tuesday was one of my favorite days as I spent quality time with Nick and wandered around the town site seeing and falling in love with it and it's history. Magical. It was a very chill day as we slowly strolled around the river. I needed many breaks in between because Nick walks fast and it was hot out. Haha those are my excuses for being completely unfit. ;p We spent a few hours out before heading back home to chill out a little. Later on, I took my first trip to Asda to grab some necessities for chilling the rest of the night. It was a leisure day that I enjoyed very much. Perfect last full day in England.💓

Wednesday was the day we journeyed back home and it was probably the most heart breaking. We got up early so I can pack away my things and we could make it to the train on time. Cried a bit on the train. Got to London two hours later. Slowly made our way from Paddington to the Holiday Inn in Regent's Park near Oxford Street to meet up with my mom and Ann again and said my very sad "see you later"'s to Nick before heading off to Heathrow for our flight home.

My flight home went by pretty quickly and we landed at around 11pm on Wednesday night. It was so strange to be back home as I was getting used to life in England. - Can you imagine?! Just after a week! :) - Now that I've been back I can look back on those memories and honestly say it was the best time. I loved every moment of it. I'm SO thankful I got to see and spend quality time with my love bug Katie and my friends Nick and Sarah. They made the trip that much more amazing. Now, looking forward I'm hoping to apply to a university in England hopefully for next September to start new chapters of my life. But for now, I'm content knowing I have these wonderful memories to look back on.