Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Hotel Review: Lindner Hotel Dom Residence - Cologne, Germany

I stayed at the Lindner Hotel in Cologne during my trip to the Summerjam Festival which was located in the central and it was a really lovely hotel! It was very very clean and I liked the modern decor.
The bathroom was also pretty much spotless with all the things you need. I also liked the collaboration with Nivea (my favourite skincare brand), but the odd thing was that the product they had available was only for men.
There were 3 of us in a room (sorry I forgot to take a photo before we settled in!) and I anticipated it to be a small room but it was huge! Again, super clean and the bed was very comfortable. One little thing that bugged me were the curtains which were quite ugly but everything else compensated for it!
The restaurant area was nice but the breakfast buffet, although delicious with a wide variety of food, was very pricey - I think it was $35! ...great for those who can eat a lot in one go and will be full for most of the day, but not for those who can't!
Overall, I would definitely stay at the Lindner Hotels again but will consider eating breakfast somewhere else - or have it as part of the room package which I'm sure would have been much cheaper!

Friday, 16 August 2013

Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Intensive Moisturizing Body Treatment.

My most favourite beauty brand for skincare is most definitely Nivea... and I am so glad it is because it is also the most affordable!
However, I do also love to experiment with other brands, especially reputable ones and Elizabeth Arden's Eight Hour Cream has been one of the products that I always hear about! 
So, when Beauty Expert had a £30 off offer (originally £65) to get a (really) huge tub (530ml) of this as a body cream, I had to try it! I had used the lipbalm version of the Eight Hour Cream so I knew that it was gentle and I was happy to take the risk of buying such a big tub of something I hadn't tried before!
I have used SO much of this since I took this photo - probably just enough left to moisturize my whole body 5 or more times. It really is an intensive moisturizer! My skin is so sensitive and prone to dry patches where clothing may rub, but this cream has kept my skin super hydrated even though I don't even use it every day! A little also goes a long way so even though it is a little pricey (I would not buy at full price), it is definitely worth it if you have dry areas that won't budge. The scent is definitely one to get used to (a little too herbal-like) - I don't love it and only like using it at home but apart from that, this is one damn good body moisturizer.

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Hotel Review: Electra Hotel - Athens, Greece

I've decided to review the hotels I have stayed at on my travels separately to the main blog post so, now that I know this is what I'm going to do, I promise to have more photos next time!!
First is Electra Hotel where I stayed at on my holiday to Athens in April.
My boyfriend and I chose this hotel because it was central to everything in Athens and was most cost effective whilst still looking 'decent'.
I think the photos we saw of the rooms on the website were a little deceiving, they had a look of luxury to them but they really weren't in person. I love both traditional and modern design ... but I felt that this was just a bad interpretation of doing both...and I hated the wooden flooring. I definitely prefer carpet!
The duvet cover was almost non-existent, it was SO thin and I really didn't like the tapestry looking cover either. So, along with the wooden floors, I just had a permanent feeling of being cold... and don't even get me started on the pillows! ... but I think I can rule this out because I do believe pillows are a very difficult thing to get right when it isn't your own!
However, the view from the very tiny balcony was good although a little annoying that it was too small for you to even sit down!
The bathroom was OK and to be fair, my photo doesn't do it any justice. If I had seen this photo of it before booking the room, I think I would have looked for something else! But again, it's all down to the decor, it was just SO old-fashioned. I hate the tan-coloured marbling, eurgh!
The shower was great but then again, my shower at home is totally rubbish so anything is better than that.
The hotel mentions 'sound-proof windows' which I'm not sure was true because I was too busy being distracted by the THINNEST WALLS IN THE WORLD. I could hear people in the room next door doing EVERYTHING. When a cupboard opens, when a toilet flushes, even ENTIRE conversations...which, I'm glad was foreign to my ears!!
WIFI usage was inexpensive and fast, the breakfast buffet was good and hotel staff were friendly and helpful. However, even though I don't necessarily see myself as a fussy person, I think the designer in me really didn't help and the ridiculously thin walls was definitely the defining point in why I won't be using this hotel again...but will consider the sister hotels.

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

MKS.

When I had discovered that the original Sugababes had regrouped, I realised I hadn't been this excited about current music news...like...ever!!  
I never go out of my way to listen to new music as I am still discovering tons of music from the past!!!
Anyway, everyone who knows me, knows this, so when I had mentioned that I was going to a Sugababes (nobody knew about MKS so I had to call it this for the time being) gig, I had the same reaction from everyone - laughter plus confusion! They obviously visioned the current line up (can't even remember their names) rather than the original line-up. So, I found myself having to explain the same thing several times!

When the Sugababes released their first single 'Overload' around 2000, I was 15 and they were honestly the most refreshing group out around that time and I remember everyone in my school loving them! I particularly loved how their music was quite eclectic and they didn't seem scared to experiment with different styles of music which I feel a lot of commercial groups lack. I never knew what to expect next from them, and I liked it! 'Overload' was such a cool song at the time with a simple video to accompany it. Also, I think the fact that they were from London made them even more like-able and how distinctive they looked as a group amongst all the other manufactured ones where it didn't seem like the music or the voice was priority. 

Over the years, of course, each of the original members - Mutya, Siobhan, Keisha - started to leave. Well, Siobhan left very early on but I continued to listen to her solo music, and loved it! The Sugababes became slightly more 'pop' than anything else, but I didn't mind it too much as it still had a bit of an edge... but when Mutya left, it was full-on 'pop' and I felt that the group had started to blend in with all the other girl groups. I eventually stopped paying attention at that point, and went back to listening to my pre-1995 music!

Then, at some point, I can't remember how, I came across MKS - Mutya Keisha Siobhan - oh my god, the originals!!! I knew this was going to be an incredible reunion so when I later found out they were having a small gig at Scala in London, I knew I wanted to check them out!! I also remember telling my sister (who is 11 years younger than me) and how she had no idea what I was talking about! Because of our age difference, this happens a lot - where we have no idea about certain things - such as when she mentioned Justin Bieber to me years ago, and I had no clue who he was!!
Anyway, because she didn't know who MKS were originally, I thought this was a good opportunity to introduce her to something new!
The venue at Scala, London is quite small, but I thought it was perfect for this as the last thing you'd want is to be miles away from the act you've paid to watch! 

They started with 'Overload' which of course was the perfect choice and the crowd went wild! See below for my recording of it! I also HAD to mention my amusement when there were literally only about 10 other women in the crowd!! There was also a super excited fan standing behind my sister and I who sang along to all the songs and I almost died with laughter when his voice broke at a very high note!

One of the most memorable moments was when they sang 'Stronger' and when Siobhan sang the part originally sung by Heidi Range (she replaced Siobhan) ... I could hardly hear her as the crowd cheered like there was no tomorrow, but from what I did hear, I preferred much more! 

Overall, the gig was amazing and I couldn't help but chuckle to myself when my sister had afterwards said to me 'wow, they sound exactly the same from when you're playing their music at home!' .... of course she would say that when she grew up in an era where there were (UK) acts such as Atomic Kitten, Steps, Liberty X, and The Spice Girls - yes, they were all very successful but they most certainly did not sound the same when they were singing live!  ...and anyway, when ridiculous songs like 'Can we fix it' by Bob the Builder become a Christmas No.1, it really makes you question UK taste in music...

Anyway, MKS got a brilliant reception,and I love their new single 'Flatline' ...super catchy! I can't wait to go and see them again!

Sunday, 4 August 2013

New spot tulle skirt!

The pieces of this skirt has been sat in my 'to be finished' drawer for months and months and I finally did it! It only required sewing about 10 seams together and inserting elastic... It is so frustrating when I procrastinate over such simple things!!! Anyway, it is available here!