Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Portugal Whirlwind part 2

So following on from where we left off, we had a couple of slow days in Portugal while Rhys rested up. It's never fun being ill on holiday so i really did feel for him. Once he was feeling slightly better, Fifi the Fiat was back in business again and we were off to a different town and place. Portimao was our next stop. Slightly more lively then Ferragudo and definitely a lot bigger, we decided to explore the town a little then head to the beach. It also had a beautiful marina which was stunning and very picturesque. I think if you were going away with friends, then this would be the place to go. 

* Top - H&M ,Shorts - Topshop (Not on the website any more), Sandals - NewLook *

* Portimao Beach *

Our last day we decided to head back to Lagos, explore a little more and also check out the beach and see how it compared to Portimao. It was definitely a case of leaving the best to last, as Lagos was without a doubt my favourite place we visited. The beach was a lot calmer, and the town was just beautiful. Our first stop was one of the restaurants on the seafront, for a good old English breakfast, which was very scrummy and kept our stomachs happy. Thankfully this time Rhys felt a lot better and was finally back to his normal self, chirpy and cheeky.  Be prepared for photo overload as I definitely got snap happy at this point.

* Lagos town, marina and beach *

Once we had relaxed to the max for the rest of the day, we decided to head back to the hotel, to get ready for our last evening. We decided it would be nice to go back to the resturant we went to on our first evening in ferragudo as it was by far our favourite of the bunch. The little resturant was called O Canto and it didnt disappoint. The manager was so welcoming and friendly and the food was divine. I tried both the tuna and the fillet steak over the the times we visited and they were so beautifully cooked. It was a lovely way to end the holiday with a glass of sangria by my side. 

* O Canto Restaurant in Ferragudo *

I would highly recommend Portugal for a nice relaxing holiday. Ferragudo was perfect for a nice relaxing break, or if you fancied something a little more lively, or a younger vibe I would look into either Portimao or Lagos. 

Hope you enjoyed my little insight to our trip away. Thank you for reading my lovelies x  


Sunday, 26 June 2016

Our crazy whirlwind in Portugal

Myself and Rhys booked our week off in June a while back and we decided it would be nice to go away for a small break. We managed to book a rather last minute deal to Portugal for 5 nights. The plan was to relax, chill, explore and eat and drink to our hearts content. We decided to hire a little car so we were free to wander new towns and beaches. It also meant no pesky coach transfers, which let's be honest, no one really enjoys. 

We flew out on Monday from Southend airport, a first for both of us, but it was the simplest airport you can find and super quick and easy. For an uneasy flyer like myself it was great. We had a rather early flight so we landed in Portugal around 9am, we were taken to get our little hire car and little she was indeed. We had a cream Fiat 500 lounge, and she was eventually named 'Fifi'. Rhys and i got very attached to this little car as you can see. 

From the hire car office it took us around a good hour to get to our final destination, which was a little fishing village called Ferragudo. It was quiet, quaint and picturesque. we stayed at the 'Vitors village' which i would highly recommend. We only went self catering as we like to try new restaurants for food and are both never good at sticking to those strict breakfast time slots, so we only needed a pool and a bed, and this did just the job. It also had a lovely snack bar and skyline bar at night which was perfect to watch the stars and sip on cocktails. 

* The beautiful town 'Silves' *

Our first couple of days we kind of just chilled and recovered from the stress of flying and the stress of Rhys driving on the other side of the road. My life definitely flashed before my eyes a couple of times on the way to the hotel. We explored our little village, ate at some beautiful restaurants in Ferragudo, and took a little stroll round a little town called Silves. 

* Ferragudo, the quaint fishing village we stayed in, it was adorable! *

* Me awkwardly trying to pose for a picture, still haven't got the hang of it so bear with me. My top and trousers are both Topshop and my shoes are Vince Camuto *

* The Second night we had gorgeously cooked Seabass, cooked and grilled right in front of us beside the sea, it was so interesting to watch and the view wasn't bad either. *

Unfortunately by the third day Rhys came over very ill and we had to take a step back with the exploring. We tried to head to Lagos and explore the beach a bit more, but had to turn back so Rhys could recuperate and rest up for the rest of the break. However do stay tuned, as we made sure to return to Lagos before the holiday was up so keep the look out for 'Portugal Part 2.'

This meant lots of chill out time for me though which was much needed and enjoyed. I spent my day laying by the pool and getting my teeth into my holiday read, 'After you' the sequel to the book 'Me before you' which is currently on the big screens at the cinema at the moment. It's a great easy read, and if you have read the first book i would definitely suggest checking this second one out. 

If you want to check out any other photos or sneak peaks, head over to my Instagram @amyrowleyy to see more. The next Part of this blog will be up later on this week, with more pictures and stories. 

Thanks for reading my lovelies x


Thursday, 23 June 2016

Packing Hand luggage, tips, tricks and a sneak peak into my suitcase

As your reading this hopefully i will be sunning it up in Portugal. My first holiday of the year, 5 nights away in the beautiful sunny Portugal. Sounds bliss. But the worst part of any holiday or weekend away, is the packing. I dread packing and always think i'm going to forget something, which sounds about right for me. Having only hand luggage is a girls nightmare, but its becoming more and more popular these days as airlines like easy-jet are quite generous with there sizes and weights. So i thought i would share some little tips with you that make my task of packing that little bit easier.

   My First tip is too write lists. I am a huge list writer anyway on a daily basis. They keep me organised and i can check things off when i have done or completed something. I always like to make a list of all the things i will need to take, and if there is anything i need to get i can always make an extra list for that too. You can use any old notebook to do this, but i got this 'List Book' from Paperchase. I love it, one side is normal lined paper and the other half is a mixture of sticky notes, all different shapes and sizes. Perfect for the queen of lists like me *chuckles*.

My next little tip is too put outfits together and plan the outfits your gonna wear. This way you can mix and match with different pieces in your wardrobe. When your going out in the evening and you change into something nice you tend to only have this on for a couple of hours. There is nothing to say you cant wear the same top or trousers with something different on another night. For instance the outfit above is what i will probably fly in. But i could then wear the jeans with another top on a cooler evening with some little heeled sandals.

The biggest issue with flying with hand luggage for me and most girls i can imagine, is the liquid limits. You can only have one 20x20 clear plastic bag with a maximum of 1000ml. Each item can be no larger then 100ml too. 
Now this is fine for the boys with there one bottle of deodorant and one bottle of aftershave but for us girls this is a struggle. I already have about 6 liquids in my skincare routine, then another couple in my haircare, that is without even thinking about makeup. Aahhhh the stress. 

So Rhys (my boyfriend) came home the other day with this wonderful invention, a travel organiser. Its the correct size and comes with a number of bottles for you to decanter your products into smaller sizes. It also came with a funnel and a little spatula to help do this without things getting messy. And just so things don't get confusing it also contained some little stickers with product names on them to help label them when your finished. Perfect! Rhys said it was around five pounds so you really cant go wrong.  

I scooped my moisturisers and cleanser out of their current pots and put them into there mini versions, insuring i labeled them up correctly so i knew which was which. I then did the same with my silver shampoo and voila i was on the way to a drama free liquids bag. In terms of sun cream lotion and after sun Rhys and I both decided it would just be much easier if we just purchased it when we got to Portugal. We are both very careful in the sun, so don't worry that will be our first pit stop. 

In terms of makeup any kind of mini versions are perfect just to keep things tidy and compact. I picked this Benefit They're Real mascara up from boots the other day. How cute!

Once i had filled my liquids bag up to the maximum with all my lotions and potions there is only the powder products and extras like hair bobbles and paracetamol to worry about. I popped them all in my Cath Kidston wash bag to keep them safe and this way its easy to fold round all the other bits in my suitcase. 

So there you have it, i might still need to sit on my suitcase to close it, but everything is in and i'm airport ready. Its just the getting home to worry about. But now i'm going to enjoy my holiday and get to that when it comes. 

keep tabs on my Instagram for any holiday pictures and blog post sneak peaks: @amyrowleyy

Thanks for reading my lovelies x


Tuesday, 21 June 2016

My 5 Favourite summer MAC lipsticks

I do love a good Mac lipstick. The shades are endless and your always guaranteed to find the perfect colour you want.  with that in mind it always makes it hard to pick one, or even a couple. I have managed to whittle it down into my 5 favourite summer shades. Not all of them are bright and summery but for everyday wear i like to wear something neutral. Sometimes its down to the outfit to give that pop of colour. 

 My first choice is a new addition to my lipstick collection and its 'creme in your coffee', This has already become a firm favourite of mine, I had seen it on a friend at work and knew I had to have it, It's a cremesheen formula which again is a favourite of mine, Super hydrating and dosen't dry my lips out which is always good. In terms of the colour, its a dark deep brown nude with rose tints to it and a little bit of shimmer. Super pretty and a good every day colour.

 My next pick is 'Morange'. My particular one is a special edition from one of the summer collections last year. I got it at the airport on the way to the crete on a girls holiday which it was perfect for. Its a bright orange colour. Very bright indeed, Which is why it looks perfect with a tan. Pair this with a little white dress and some sparkly sandals and you have the perfect holiday look. 
This formula is an amplified creme, very similar to the cremeshene but the colour pay off is alot stronger and pigmented. It is a beautiful shade, especially when you want something fun and bright to freshen up an outfit.

My third pick is a much loved colour and a super cult shade when it comes to Mac thanks to the Kardashians, 'Velvet Teddy' the perfect brown nude with hints of orange and beige tones. Its beautiful.  This is a matte formula. I love the look of matte lipsticks but sometimes i find them a little drying. This shade however is lovely and still moisturising with that matte finish, I like to wear this colour when i'm doing a smokey makeup eye look, together your ready to face anything.

My next shade i picked up on my way to Edinburgh, again it is part of a summer collection so i'm not sure its available anymore, but i'm sure there are similar colours around. The name is beautiful too 'painted sunset.' Its a beautiful orangey red, again super bright and even neon like  but gorgeous on the lips, and even better with a tan. It looks very similar to 'Lady Danger' another Mac lipstick I have my eye on. This again is an amplified creme, so its very pigmented and gives a real pop to the lips. 

Last but not least we have the shade 'Twig', another brown nude colour and very much Kendal Jenner inspired but beautiful all the same. It's more rose toned then 'Creme In Your Coffee' and not as dark but still lovely and i can imagine it would suit a range of skin tones. It is a satin finish lipstick, so in between a matte and a cremesheen, I do find this a little drying on my lips for all day, but on a night out this little gem is lovely.

So there you have it my five Mac summer lipsticks and what a line up we have. I would love to know your recommendations or picks, as I am always on the hunt for a new lipstick. Hope you enjoyed reading this and keep a look out on my Instagram to see these lipsticks in action while i'm on my holiday; @amyrowleyy

Thanks for reading my lovelies x 

Sunday, 19 June 2016

Our Favourite Family Dessert

This weekend me and my boyfriend went home to see my mum and family, before we go on holiday. We originally planned on having a barbecue but the typical English weather did not allow that, so we went for a nice spaghetti bolognese instead. Proper home comfort food. My mum also decided that we should have one of our absolute favourite deserts which i was more then happy to help her make. This desert is a firm favourite with all our family and friends, and whats better is it is the easiest thing to prepare and pop in the oven too. The dessert in question, is waffleberry pie. Its super scrummy and super quick. I believe its a pampered chef recipe from years ago, and over the years we have passed it on  to everyone i know so i thought why not give it some love and share it on here too.

The ingredients you will need are:
- Can of custard x 2
- punnet of raspberries 150g
- white chocolate chips 100g  
- 2 Packets of Mcvitites sweet waffles

First take a large dish to put your ingredients into, and start by cutting the waffles into quarters. Continue to do this with all the waffles, and once they are all done place them into the dish making sure you cover the base of the dish.

Next take the raspberries and simply scatter them over the waffles, spreading them out as evenly as possible. Then do the same with the white chocolate chips until all the ingredients are in the dish. A sneaky snack on the chocolate chips along the way is of course allowed (when mum isn't looking) *laughs*.

Now to finish the process off, take both cans of custard and cover the waffle and rasperry goodness, in custard, once again making sure you cover it as evenly as posssible. 

Once all the ingredients are in the dish and your pie is looking something like the picture above, its time to cook! Place the dish in the centre of the oven for around 20 minutes, at 180 degrees. 
We may have been chatting away, and kept it in the oven for a little bit longer, but no worries the crispier the waffle, the better.

VOILA! Your Waffleberry pie is complete. How super easy is that!? And i promise you, you will not be disappointed. 
Let me know if you give it a try, i would love to know how yours turned out! 
Thanks for reading my lovelies x


Thursday, 16 June 2016

My New Hair. The experience and updated haircare

So I've been thinking about changing my hair and giving it some dimension for what feels like forever. I am one hundred percent one of those people that have an idea and then wait years and months until they make that change. Silly i know, but us girls have to be sure.

In terms of dying my hair i have only ever done a home kit from either boots or super drug and that was at least a couple of years ago. So my hair hasn't been professionally dyed before. 
I had been looking at the technique 'Balayage' for a while and decided to take the plunge once and for all. Balayage is the french word for sweep, it's supposed to give you a sun-kissed look, with soft highlights and tones added to your hair. It gives you dimension and is meant to lift your hair and enhance any natural highlights you may already have.
This sounded perfect and after trawling the internet, saving pictures of all the famous stars and bloggers that had already perfected there hair, i was ready.

I asked a colleague at work to recommend me a good hair dressers, and she suggested Regis. Its a well known name and salon and a couple of my work colleagues already used them and really rated them. I went in on my lunch break to have a consultation and a girl called Izzie sat down with me and talked me through the process, and what colours i wanted to go for. I went with caramel highlights and slightly blonder shades. She explained to me how it was a process and we would be able to start off with lighter browns and caramel colours and after a couple of times of having the process done i could implement the lightest blonde tones into my hair. She did a skin test on me to make sure i didn't have any allergic reactions to the dye and then took sample hair pieces to see how well my hair would lift to the colours. I then booked in my appointment to come back in about 10 days.

My appointment was on Monday and when i got there, Izzie once again went over all of the details she had done at my consultation and also showed me the samples of my hair and how much they had taken to the dye. It all looked good to me so in we went with the colour. Each step of the way Izzie was asking me questions and making sure i was happy with lighter bits at the front and how she was applying the dye. This was great as it kept me involved, I knew what she was doing and what bits we were focusing on next. 

Once all the dye was applied and my hair had lifted to the correct amount we washed it all out and were on to the next part, the cut. I wanted to get a good three inches cut off the ends of my hair, and some layers put in too. While Izzie was doing this she talked me through the process of looking after my new coloured hair. We talked about using an argan oil through my hair to keep it soft and healthy. As well as this she told me to use a silver shampoo on my hair to keep the colour looking fresh and to take the brassy tones out. 

She blow dried my hair and from this point on i could really start to see the new colours and tones. I absolutely loved it, and was so happy. She then very kindly curled my hair for me to compliment my new look. Once this was done she took a picture of the back and let me have a real close look to make sure i was happy. I definitely was. It was just what i had been after and i don't know why i had put it off for so long.

After having my new hair for a couple of days, I've styled it both curly and straight and invested in some new products to keep my hair looking fresh. So far i'm loving it.

Argan oil - Fudge silver Shampoo 

I can't wait to go back again and have some lighter tones put in next time. No wonder people always say dying your hair can get addictive. Your hair can really change your confidence and your overall look and style. I would definitely recommend Regis hair salon and if your one of those people that keep debating whether to get it done or not...Just go for it. 

Thanks for reading my lovelies x


Monday, 13 June 2016

Mad Hatters Afternoon Tea, at the Sanderson Hotel

Me and my best friend turned 22 this year, and we decided that for our birthday treat to each other, we wanted to do something special. We both absolutely love anything Disney themed, and anything that involves a good piece of cake, so put the two together and the afternoon tea at the Sanderson Hotel in london was perfect. It is really easy to find being just behind oxford street, and the hotel itself was beautiful. As we walked towards the restaurant reception, your were able to see the lovely outside courtyard, which on a lovely summers day would have been great. On the day we went it was pouring with rain so we were sat in the main restaurant but this was just as nice.

Now to start off your experience there is a jewellery box and little Alice in wonderland story book left on the table. Inside the book you open it up to see your menu for the day. The jewellery box was full of sugar cubes and sang a little tune everytime it was opened which definitley startled me the first time we opened it. 

Next up were the tea choices. This was definitely one of my favourite parts of the experience. You were given the choice of five types of tea, each one in a gorgeous glass bottle and each one came with a card which told you the name of the tea and the key flavours to it. The choices were; Queen of hearts, Mad hatter, White Rabbit, Fearlessly Alice and Cheshire Cat. The best part to this was that the afternoon tea came with unlimited tea, which meant if you wanted to you could try each individual flavour. Between us we tried each type, but my personal favourite was the 'White Rabbit'.

Queen of hearts - Red rose congu infused with red rose petals. Hint of vanilla and chocolate.

On to the food. To start you are given a plate of savouries to share. This plate was a great mixture of flavours and what was even better is the waiter gave you the choice to have seconds if the first plate wasn't quite enough. Our favourite from the savories was by far the ham and smoked apple-wood croque-monsieur. It was delicious. 

Other choices on the plate were made up of a scotch egg with smoked salmon and quail egg. A scrummy crab and herb eclair, and a refreshing cucumber and cream cheese sandwich on lime bread. All in all it was very much enjoyed by the both of us.

Now for the piece de resistance of the entire experience. The tiered plate of sweet choices on the menu. The choice was incredible and the attention to detail just blew me away. You were given warm scones with clotted cream and jam, red velvet cake, banana bread, marshmallow. You name it, it was on this plate of goodness. 


The top tier of the cake stand was full of fun and light sweets. There was the carrot meringue poking its way through the grass on the teacup top. The magic mushroom strawberry marshmallows that were delicious, and the chocolate caterpillar truffles that i wish you could purchase in box form. 

Moving down to the second tier of sweets, these were slighly more heavy and filling. The white rabbits pocket watch coffee flavoured macaroon, and red velvet ladybirds which were definitely a favourite of mine. A queen of hearts soldier in oreo cookie form and banana bread finished with a butterfly. 

By this point we were definitely starting to get full but we soldiered on determined to finish the last couple of sweets.

The last tier, was piled with beautiful warm scones, accompanied by clotted cream and strawberry jam, because what else?! Last but not least we finished with a 'drink me' potion. A passion fruit cream and coulis drink, which was really refreshing and light. Just what we needed.

After all the food and countless cups of tea, we left feeling rather full and content, with great big smiles on our faces and a great memory to share with friends and family. The Experience as a whole was wonderful and something that i really am so glad we both did together. It was pricey and not an everyday activity, but for a special occasion, it really was something i will treasure forever.

Thanks for reading my lovelies x

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