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TRAVEL LESSONS FOR THE BEST ADVENTURES!

27 February 2017
Do you have a dream? I used to dream all the time as a little girl, my imagination was off the scale and nothing ever seemed too far fetched from reality for me! As I grew into a young adult, I experienced all the emotions from happy love to tearful heartbreak and my big dreams diminished into life goals instead. Teenage years consisted of trying to complete the next stage of my life and so I never was that person who looked ahead in their life, waiting for that day to come when your dream was a reality.

2011
It wasn't until I had my heart broken for the first time when I needed to start focusing on my future and what I wanted for myself. My first dream was to be a designer, making it in London and living a life full of creativity and inspiration. I'm happy to say with a LOT of hard work and determination I made it through college and university into a company that ticks all those boxes and boy does it feel good. It's funny though, reaching and grabbing hold of what you thought was your life's dream sometimes makes you realise it's not, it actually just turned out to be a career goal of mine. 


During the years of reaching my "dream" me and my boyfriend (now fiancĂ©...WIN!!) went to Paris when I was 21 years old. It was our first trip together and what better than spending your birthday weekend with the love of your life in one of the most romantic cities in the world?? wrong! 
It was actually really stressful and tiring and we ended up spending most of our time oversleeping at the hotel as it had the comfiest bed I have ever slept in, still to this day! Don't get me wrong, it could have been everything I wish for but I didn't plan anything, I was moody for it and I felt we never got out of it what we were hoping. What it did do was unleash that dream of travel from inside me...that feeling of pure freedom where I was in a place where no one knew who I was or what I was about and I could just be me. Thing is, what I also learnt is that if I was truely going to create the dream I wanted then I needed to plan, gain knowledge and do all the leg work before hand so I could just go and soak it all in. 

So here are my top 3 tips that I now swear by every time I travel: 

1) Print out a map of the area you are going
Using letters or numbers, mark out places you want to visit on the map. I would recommend you categorise them by food, cool places, buildings, art, culture etc so you know exactly what they are (great time to whip out all that stationary you are holding). Mark them down and only write in vital information like times they are open, kind of food etc then on your travels you can wake up knowing there is plenty to do but without the fixated plans. This is the perfect way to travel organised but spontaneous at the same time! I have found that if everything is too planned it can be really stressful. You end up trying to hard to be here there and everywhere at certain dates and times which stops you from enjoying what is around you and at the very worst, from making your own discoveries. 

2) Use a BnB (now Air BnB)
This is the best way to experience life like a local. You will be in an area where they hangout and eat (always the best restaurants) plus staying in a house/apartment that oozes culture. When in Paris for the second time we were lucky to find a little apartment set into a French courtyard with French windows and beautul art on the walls. Also the host will give you all the local knowledge which is sometimes better than your own research! And you never know, you may make a friend or two.

3) Stray away from the tourist areas
I know it good to see all the main sites of a place but for me that's what I am least interested in as I have already seen it a hundred times over online, in magazines and through art. This is also a good tip for places to stay, plus it's cheaper too! Go for a walk or get on a train outside of the city centre and see what is around. Of course do a little research too but this is when you will really start having little adventures of your own. Speak to a blogger that lives in the area or find places for yourself, any way you like just do it! Trust me, these will be the memories you remember. 

2014 
The 'Love Lock' bridge has now been pulled down!



So thank you to my 21 year old moody unappreciative self and partner for taking me on this trip, because if I never had that first experience then I would have never enjoyed the amazing trips I did afterwards. I did actually end up going back a couple of years ago with my mum and with those tips we ended up having the most fun filled adventure ever and discovered some great local eats! I fell in love with the city after that and I can't wait to back again sometime.

For now though I need to start fulfilling that travel dream of mine by visiting as many new places as I can in my lifetime! I haven't been to many yet but I'm going to start with Europe as there is a lot of amazing places that I am yet to discover! Id advice giving GoEuro a look when booking your trip as they are great at finding the best prices and ways to travel, plus you can add in if you have a travel card and there is also an option to select Air BnB in the area your looking, which makes the hassle of booking a trip much easier!

Let me know if you have any travel tips that I can add onto my list as I'm sure there are lots I haven't discovered yet. Live the adventure! 

Khrissie x

New Eatery: MOD Pizza

15 January 2017
I was kindly invited to test out a new artisan pizza restaurant that has popped up in Leicester Square, London. As soon as I saw it was a new pizza joint I knew I had to give it a go, they must have known my addiction for pizza plus seeing that it was in a central location, I knew I had to go just to be able to share it among my pizza loving followers and friends. I went with my partner Nick as he is the fussiest pizza eater going. He is so stuck in his ways with his BBQ style base from Dominos that I have been determined to find somewhere else that will please his particular needs. 

I see MOD as Subways much cooler cousin with painted type on walls, options on flavours of lemonade and hipster styling. As you walk in you will see a convayor belt of ingredients, ready to be mounted onto your choice of pizza base or salad. You can either pick a pre-selected style pizza which are all named after people and sound delicious or you can make your own. I see no option in picking a pre made pizza when the selling point of MOD is that you can have as many toppings as you want at a fixed price of £7.87. There are smaller pizzas for £4.87 or if your feeling really hungry you can get a mega pizza for £10.87. 




 We both chose to make our own and went to town on all the toppings we could get, asking for extras on ingredients we are particularly fond of. Nick tried to capture his favourite dominos pizza with his choice and done a pretty good job. I went with chicken but added all my favourite vegetables on top, including olives and garlic. There is also a gluten free option on the base, annoyingly for an extra £2.00 but the option is there for those who need it.

Once our topping choice were made and we had paid, we were given a wifi device which let the staff know where we were sitting so they could bring our pizza to us once it was ready. The restaurant bares a chilled and relaxed vibe where seating is selected at your choice and drinks served by you. We chose to sit upstairs away from the bustle of downstairs so we could enjoy each others company and use this time as a mini date night for ourselves. Drinks wise I went for a glass of wine as fridays are for winding down from the week where as Nick headed straight for the lemonade. I had a little sip and it was delicious, you could tell it was homemade as it had a strong lemon flavour.

Our pizzas arrived within 15 minutes at our table ready for us to enjoy and they did not disappoint. Fresh ingredients, lovingly prepared and perfectly cooked. Nick throughly enjoyed his and said it was actually on par with Dominos so that was a massive win on my behalf as we now have somewhere else we can go! Yay! Mine was also delicious but they did miss off the pesto drizzle which I was a little disappointed about, it weren't enough to detract me from ever going back but just a little detail I will remember to check for in future when I do.

All in all I think its great restaurant! Perfect for a catch up with friends or a stop off if your visiting London and you happen to be in Leicester Square when you get hungry. They have other locations across the country so check out their website for more info if your keen on giving this restaurant a go. Its definitely a good contender with the other pizza restaurants out there and one i'll be going back to in the future.






Creamy Vanilla Porridge with Spiced Pear Compote

13 November 2016

The chilly weather of Autumn isn't my favourite but there are many things about this season that I absolutely love! The layered fashion, the cosy nights in and most of all the warming comfort food and drinks that come with the colder months.

I am currently trying to make healthier decision with what I eat as I haven't been feeling 100% lately and I wanted to see if it was anything to do with the food I am eating. Some of my favourite foods at the moment are pears, anything lightly spiced and avocados (even though they aren't Autumnal). For breakfast this weekend I decided to try and make my own porridge with a pear compote and it turned out so well I wanted to share the recipe with you.

INGREDIENTS
Porridge
2 cups Scottish Oats / 150ml of Whole Milk (or dairy free alternative) / 3 drops of Vanilla Extract

Pear Compote
3 Ripe Pears / Handful of Raisins / Handful of Walnuts / 2 Teaspoons of Cinnamon & Nutmeg
/ Tablespoon Coconut Oil / 2 Tablespoons of Maple Syrup

METHOD
Peel, core and chop your pears and add them to a non-stick pan. Turn up the heat and add in all the rest of
your ingredients. Cook this mixture for about 10 minutes or until your pears are soft, stirring occasionally.

While your compote cooks, add your oats to a small pan and add in your choice of milk. Stir
continuously until the porridge is at the consistency you like it. Add in your vanilla
half way through cooking and stir for a few more minutes and then your ready to serve!

Add in your porridge to the bowl and top with the chunky compote. There will be enough
for another serving so put it in tupperware for your next breakfast.

Enjoy
Love Khrissie







Cleansers that have improved my skin

4 September 2016
Its been a while since I posted about anything beauty related, or posted anything at all in fact. Its been a rocky road for the past few months and I haven't been feeling it so I gave my personal hobbies a break so I could concentrate on looking after myself a bit more. My skin was looking drab and lifeless with more breakouts than I have ever experienced and it was really getting me down. What you learn through your 20s is that having good skincare is a much better life decision than having the best makeup on the market. So here are my top 4 picks that I have been loving the past few months.
Chidem Vitamin Cream Cleanser / For radiance, firmness & sensitive skin

I found this in a my draw as I was having a sort out and have been addicted to it ever since. Vitamin based skincare has always been a hit with my face, it really does take to it like a duck to water. Vitamin C is especially a firm favourite with my 26 yr old skin. Its really helped with minimising my spots and imperfections, with my skin feeling freshly clean and radiant after every wash. This was actually gifted to me at a Blogger event and I'm so grateful as this is always the best way to discover new brands. Its not the cheapest in the cleansing world but at £36.50 I personally feel like it is totally worth it, plus the packaging is something you can proudly keep on your bathroom sink.

I massage 2 pumps of this into my face with a dab of water and wipe it away with a muslin cloth, first with warm water and second with cold to close those pores. The smell isn't going to wow you but it has a naturalness to it which is bearable once you get used to it. Great for sensitive skin and perfect for a wiping away all the dirt from the day without feeling dried out .

Biore Deep Pore Charcoal Cleanser / For clearing pores and dirt

I happened to pick this up when I was buying some Biore nose strips at Boots. It was on offer at the time, costing only £3.75 (originally £5.24) so I thought it was a good one to try considering it was quite cheap and stated it was great for pores. Charcoal based products are proving quite popular at the moment, especially when its in its natural form as it can transform your skin by drawing out dirt from deep down or whitening that smile. Since using this is have noticed a difference, my skin feels so much cleaner after each use and my pores have minimised in size.

I use this in the same was as all my cleansers, as this is my favourite way to clean my face. The gel consistency feels soft on the skin and I love the minty fresh feeling of this on my face once I have washed this off, although it can give quite a tight feeling after use so make sure you give it a moisturise. It states to use this everyday but I have oily/normal skin so I only use this a couple times a week to make sure this doesn't dry me out. 


La Roche-Posay purifying gel / For a excess sebum & acne prone skin

I use this cleanser on days when I need a thorough clean. You know those days where your face feels gross and you want to get every ounce of make up off and feel fresh. This foams up really well so it does just what I need. With added thermal spring water this makes a great cleanser for sensitive skin. This active water helps to soothe the skin and acts as an anti-irrirant so there should be no cause for concern on this reacting with your delicate skin. 

As I have normal cheeks I tend to concentrate this on my t-zone where I get the biggest build up of sebum on my face. I add product to my hands and add a little water, foam it up in my hands before I apply it to my face. This helps with the control of the foam so you can concentrate it on the areas you need it the most. You can either splash your face with water afterwards or use a muslin cloth to wipe it away. This retails at £11 in Boots, which is mid-range for a cleanser but you can find it on offer for around £7 most of the time so keep an eye out on the skincare deals. 

InsitU cosmetics face scrub / Made for you (personalised)

I came across this brand at a blogger event and what attracted me to it first of all was that I could get it personalised with my name and product based on my personal preferences. Now I have one of those names that is spelt differently from what you find in the shops, Im sure you can guess I got a little bit over excited at this prospect. InsitU is on the pricer side of skincare but I think its totally worth getting if you have the budget, even if its one thing. This particular one retails at £31 and I have since noticed they have improved the formula and it now comes with a natural loofa to help those pesky dry patches.

When choosing your skincare you have a few options to choose from. Picking if you want a moisturiser, cleanser etc is your first call but then you get to make it your own. Adding in your name to get written on the bottle is the first thing, you then decide what mood boost you want added to the product, you then tick what kind of skin you have before finally telling then your biggest skin concern. This then gets made and delivered to your house for you to use. 

I love to use this with my cleansers for an added boost of exfoliation. As I have sensitive skin Im always aware about being careful with exfoliators as I tend to react to them. This is an exception so I have been sticking with this for a long time. My skin feels so smooth afterwards, giving my skin a dry free complexion. 



I hope this has been helpful to some of you with your with skincare problems. Just know that one cleanser/toner doesn't fit all and mix it up and I have found using the same one day in day out doesn't always benefit you. Especially being a girl with ever changing hormones with my acne prone skin. I'm still on my way to achieving the skin of my dreams but just making sure you wash every night before you go to bed and give your face a cleanse in the morning, you will quickly notice a difference if you don't do this already.

Enjoy your week!

Gin Festival London

29 August 2016

Gin Festival London is a once per year event. Filled to the brim with hundreds brands that bring in the crowds like a magpie to shiny things. This is a gin festival so if this drink isn't your cup of tea, then your probably not going to like it, but if your open to trying something new, I would definitely give this a go. I am a newbie to the gin crowd, so for me this was a perfect way to get stuck in.


When you first get to the festival you are given a booklet, a little bag which I found really useful to carry my glass in (if it wasn't in my hand which was 90% of the time), a pen and a sheet too add your details too if you wanted to purchase a bottle of your favourite after but not want to carry it home. We then headed to the tills where we each brought a card for £20 which gave us enough tokens for four drinks each. Off to the bar we went...


We were guided to a large room where four bars awaited us, each labelled from A-D. We found that each one had a rough theme to us based on the flavour notes given to us in the book, but it could have just been a coincidence. I personally found bar B was full of the strongest percentage ones and C full of spiced gins.  Deciding it would be a good strategy to try a drink from each bar we looked through our books to find one that took our fancy. The key flavours I was looking for were fruit and citrus as I find this helps to freshen the drink making it easier to consume. I already knew spiced gins weren't my thing so I stayed clear of those from the offset.


My first taste was from a brand called Brockmans, it was deliciously fruity with notes of blackberries, perfect with your standard tonic water. This was actually my favourite from the whole day and I will be purchasing a full bottle of it in the future. Now with each gin it tells you which tonic compliments it the best but after trying a few variations I noticed that the lemon and elderflower tonics overpower the gin flavour. If you were there to try the real flavours of the gin I would keep to standard tonic for this purpose. I personally LOVE elderflower in my gin so I was all over that and the lemon tonic made one of mine taste just like lemonade which was delicious and very easy to consume.


The are also food stands, (I tried an a-maz-ing nacho veggie burger with halloumi in - ugh dreamy) Live bands were playing in the bar, there was an outside area filled with deck chairs to sit with your favourites and enjoy the day. During the day I ended up consuming about six drinks and got quite merry from it. It was nice to forget the world and laugh at stupid things such as when I was explaining how people sniff their gins first for flavour and somehow managed to get a straw wedged up my nose.

It was a really lovely start to my bank holiday weekend and would highly recommend giving it a go next year. Are there any festivals you've been loving this year? Please let me know as I want to make a conscious effort to go to more in 2017.




Lets get personal : Grief

30 April 2016

Oh how life can change in an instant! That moment where your breath is taken away from you and you forget how to breathe. A feeling of deep emotion so numbing your not sure if your dreaming or still awake. That was yesterday...

I came home to the beats of Beyonce on my new Skinnydip cat headphones, looking forward to a good takeaway and a catchup of The Island with the boyfriend but to walk around the corner of the doorway to see my mum. I imstantly stopped in my tracks and fired out the questions that came flying through my mind. 'Grandad?' 'Cancers back?' 'Terminal?'... All answered with a softly spoken and sad toned 'yes'. That's when that moment hit me.... As we chatted and spoke through the days events I couldn't help but think how lucky I am to have the family I do! No matter what life throws at us, we always pull together and stick by each other no matter what. That's what life is all about.

It's now the next day and I sit here in the car, whizzing by everyone else living their daily lives feeling as if the world is going in slow motion as we creep towards the hospital. The fear of the unknown and the memories of a healthy grandad who's smile and personality could light up the darkest of tunnels. A man who has been the only father figure I have known who I want to walk me down the isle, hold my first baby and travel to New Zealand with to live out our travelling dreams.

This is a new chapter in my life and one I could have never written myself but as I live this new chapter I will share it with you. I think it's important to support each other whether you are going through a traumatic time or not and for some I hope you can find comfort that you are not alone. This journey is going to be incredibly sad but I am going to do what I always do and be positive, think forwards and make the most of every moment because every second of every day really does matter

................................
I wrote this back in April, a few days after my birthday with the notion of posting diary like entries of my experiences with loosing a loved one, but it just became too hard. It felt insensitive and wrong and so I had to take it down. Enough time has now gone past that I can now share my experience with you, in the hope I can help someone who might be going through the same experience. More soon....
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'When life gives you lemons, make lemonade'
Love Khrissie X

Ladies Day Outfit 2016

28 March 2016

Sometimes you just want to throw on some jeans and a t-shirt and be done with the day (me everyday) but there are others where you want to make a real effort and feel like a grown woman. I find it difficult to reach maximum confidence with an outfit but I do have a few tips.

- Be comfortable in someway. This could be through the material of your outfit or the shoes you wear. If you choose something you are constantly adjusting then there is no winning.

- Choose colours you love and compliment your complexion. It difficult to get out of wearing monochrome as it goes with everything, right? but colour can really do wonders for you if worn in the right way. So use the races as an opportunity to show your personality and Sasha Fierce confidence.

This is my ultra feminine outfit which incorporates the S/S trends of this year but still keeping it sophisticated for the day. I have brought in a lot of tones of colour to avoid black and so with neutral makeup I think this could look fab!

Pinks and florals are one of my favourite looks for S/S as they can really bring some sunshine and happiness to an outfit, which in turn makes me feel confident on the inside.

Dress: ASOS / Bag: Accessorise / Shoes: ASOS

What will you be wearing on your trip to the races this year?

Love Khrissie x

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