Monday, 25 July 2016

The 3 best things to do in Cornwall

Hello there,

Long time no see! Apologies for my lack of comms over the past two weeks, as you may remember I was on holiday in the beautiful and very sunny Cornwall. I had every intention of blogging whilst I was away, but then, you know how it is, life happened and for the first time in ages I properly switched off. So coming to you, two weeks later than anticipated is my first blog about my trip away to Cornwall with JB.

For some context, JB and I visit Cornwall around twice a year as his family live there. So its a perfect excuse for seeing them, plus an awesome cheap holiday as we are saving to buy a house. 

Although i am learning, my knowledge of Cornwall is not full proof. However I still wanted to share some of the things I really love doing each and every time I'm there - plus a few new little things! 

1) Getting down to the beach
I think this is very much a given when visiting Cornwall. The South West of England boasts some of the best beaches in the UK and there is something for literally everyone. For starters, whilst we were there is was baking. Therefore the sun worshippers amongst you would have no qualms with laying out on the white sand getting a nice golden tan. For the more adventurous, Cornwall is also a perfect spot for a bit of surfing. (Or body boarding if your me!) The beaches in Cornwall are all extremely well looked after, very clean and all (of which I have seen anyway) boast beautiful sandy white beaches. Perfect for lounging on, romantic walks or building the best sandcastle ever seen! Alongside this is the chance to go swimming or for the safer amongst us paddling in the shallows. JB loves nothing more than the sea and there is no stopping him from launching in even fully clothed. The one thing about swimming though is that the water is not warm! JB normally wears a wet suit into the sea (as do most of the locals) and so we went on the hunt for a little Alissa Marie sized wet suit so i could join him. This was more of a problem than we anticipated and so I am still on the look out if anyone has any suggestions. I did however go in once - woohooo! (Pat on the back me!) It was very cold, but I enjoyed the experience all the same. Getting out however... not so much!

Some of my favourite beaches that we visited were;

- Readymoney beach - a small, quiet beach just a short walk from the beautiful little town of Fowey. Dawn French has a House there!

- Polzeath beach - perfect for catching some waves on a body board. Also you can park right on the beach, cafe's on the shore, and even hire wet suits and boards if you need to. 

- Polkerris beach - no dogs allowed at this one, but it features a beautiful large old harbour wall that is always fun to jump off of for the dare devils like me!

- Harlyn bay - on the north coast near Padstow this beautiful beach was so quiet when we were there. Perfect and tranquil but i guess you need to go outside of the school holidays!













2) Long walks across the country side or even along the coast
We did a lot of walking this holiday. It's something JB has always done with his family and this holiday was no exception. Two walks in particular really stand out. Firstly JB, his dad and I walked for miles through the countryside, in a big loop ending at the coast. This was in Boscastle. A very sweet little village that was completely destroyed a few years back by floods. The village has been rebuilt and is perfect for a long walk followed by a good old Cornish cream tea. Plus after being chased by a herd of cows I felt we thoroughly deserved it! [Note: in all seriousness - cows do not like dogs, so really be wary if you go walking in a field full of cows with a dog. Be chased was rather terrifying! The second was around Polruan a small village on the opposite side of the water to Fowey. You can walk for miles along the coast and it was particularly exciting as we saw a seal! It was so close, I had to take a picture of the end of my boots to prove it. Plus check out my picture (not great quality as it was on my phone) - it almost looks like he's waving to us! I really do recommend getting your walking boots on whilst in Cornwall. It's a great way to be outdoors in the sun, burn off the millions of pasties your likely eating and its one of the best ways to see all of that fabulous scenery.
























3) National Trust or other museums and places of interest
Cornwall has an abundance of museums and National Trust properties that a there ready to be explored. I love going to Llandydrock House and Gardens, and this holiday visited the Lost Gardens of Heligan for the first time. It was the Eden Project's pioneer Tim Smit who discovered and uncovered the gardens way before he'd even set about trying to create Eden. Well done that man! It's firstly absolutely stunning, grows it's own vegetables which are then used in the cafe to create outstanding food, it also has a few animals such as the two resident Emu's Queenie and Stuart. Plus if you like theatre, the very successful Cornish based theatre company Knee high are currently in residence at Heligan. Go on - you will not be disappointed. 





















I hope you enjoyed this snapshot of my holiday. Next post will feature some of the tasty food we had whilst there so come back to visit later this week!

Much love,
Alissa Marie 



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Friday, 8 July 2016

Review: Dr Organics Moroccan Glow Light Self Tan Mousse 150ml




 
Okay so it's July now and that means to most of us it's officially summer. The rain may still be threatening, but over the last few days I have glimpsed the sun almost three or four times! It's happening people and we must be ready for it. (*she says with clenched fists and a determined glare*).

So I have been using fake tan since I was around 11, when the first Johnson's tanning moisturiser hit the shelves. It was a good enough compromise for my mum, and excellent that I no longer had pasty white chicken legs for PE. But fake tan has grown up a lot since then and I have tried a great number of them. Solat, soltan, fake bake, Dove tinted moisturiser and most recently St Tropez in shower tanner. I have seen bad to just horrendous, orange streaks to muffin smelling creams, lotions, moose and serums. Now their is no exact science for a great fake tan. We are all different, and what works for one woman will not serve another as effectively. But when looking for a fake tan these are the top qualities that I personally look for...

- No funky smell

- Reasonably priced

- Easy and quick to use

- Quick drying 

- Natural looking streak free coverage 

So although my trusty old Dove will always have a place on my shelf as it scores pretty well against the above list, I want to introduce another serious contender to your bathroom cabinets. Ladies, meet Dr Organic Moroccan Glow Light Self Tan Mousse 150ml.

So I first heard about this stuff from another blogger. I read so many I must admit I am unsure of whom I heard it from. But this stuff I would say is still relatively unknown, and therefore not a bad price coming in at £14.99 from Holland and Barrett. Who’d think to look in there for a fake tan? I think ladies we are on to something here. Also being from Hooland in Barrett, you can hardly be surprised to find out that it is formulated using a plant based active combined with a blend of bioactive, natural and organic ingredients including organic Argan Oil. Meaning that this tanner not only looks good on your skin, but is also very good for you with a rich source of vitamins, antioxidants and essential fatty acids. For the ultimate test, lets see how it performs against my essential criteria above…

Funky smell – well I will admit, it does have an interesting smell. But not the soggy biscuit whiff of some tanners, nor a particularly floral fragrance. The smell is one that is exotic, clean and natural somehow and seems to embody the oils within it instead of being artificially fragranced. I think it smells fresh and fine and as its so subtle I am happy to give this a thumbs up.
 
Reasonably priced – at £14.99 it’s a fairly standard price. Not the cheapest, but definitely not the most expensive! So I think we are okay here.  

Easy and quick to use – you will need a mitt to apply this, as it has a moose consistency and you will need the protection for your hands. But its very very simple to use, starting from the bottom working up, and I can complete the tanning application within 3-4 minutes. So for a girl like me who cannot seem to sit still its excellent. Also I usually do about two coats but then that will last well over a week without the ugly streaking or unsightly way some tanners rub off what you sweat. I have been to the gym every day with it on, showered and gone about my usual business. They do recommend however to moisturise regularly to try and help it last longer. But this product for me has surpassed all previous expectations of tanners and to be able to exercise in it without getting myself into a streaky situation is awesome!

Quick drying – Now for me, this could be the bestseller feature for the product. It dries within minutes. I mean it! Minutes! When I have applied it, I mitt it on, and by the time I’ve reached my shoulders my legs are dry. No tacky residue, just very quick and easy. That beats walking around naked for over half an hour because your tan hasn’t dried!

Natural Looking streak free coverage – this is so natural looking! Really it is. I have the light version, and therefore cannot comment about how the other darker shades look, but the light version leaves me looking like I have spent a week in Spain. Again the depth of the tan is up to you either by how often you apply it. Or if you are naturally super pale and decide to put the darkest shade on, you may find its not all that natural. But for my bright blonde hair and blue eyes this is perfect. Again because its pretty natural and easy to put on the streaking is not really a problem either. I will admit, when I have been in a rush (like this morning) I have seen a very small line on my forearm. However it is not quite the orange streak of some of the more intense tanners, and I know this is a result of my application rather than the product so I am still very happy.

Before and after....

Overall I would say this is a great product, that is quick and easy to apply. Perfect for all of you busy ladies who have limited time for tanning. All this just in time for my holiday to Cornwall!

Let me know what you think it!

Much Love,
Alissa
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Monday, 4 July 2016

Review: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child



So yesterday, I was one of the lucky buggers who got to see a preview of the new book and play by JK Rowling. The eighth book in the Harry Potter series. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. The play is currently being shown at the Palace Theatre in the West End, an incredibly beautiful and historic theatre originally built as the home of English opera. 

Now before I go on, I can assure you there are no spoilers in this post. #keepthesecret I do not give the story away, nor will I speak explicitly about the production. I will however  speak of the bits already in the public domain and confirm that nagging voice inside of you, that this is a play you need to see. 

Badges given to us at the performance to encourage us to #keepthesecret

Firstly the characters. A whole host of the original gang are back and it's terrific. Unlike the ending of the last film where the current actors were dolled up to look like they were in their 40's, failing miserably and making us all cringe in the process. These actors are new to the roles, older, more suitable for stage than the screen and all give an excellent portrayal of the character whom they are meant to be. In particular the new and older Harry Potter is excellent. He manages to capture the short fused and brave Harry, along with the vulnerable and psychologically damaged boy who lived. Plus he looks just how I imagine Daniel Radcliffe to look at the age of 37. 

If only i could go again!!!!
Secondly I'd love to give a shout out to some new characters. Albus Severus and Scorpious Malfoy. Although we vaguely glimpse these two heading off to Hogwarts at the end of the last film, we now have the opportunity to follow them and share in their story very much like we have enjoyed their fathers. With the play giving the two boys such a central role, they have a lot of stage time, lines to learn and therefore more time for us to judge their performance. I must say, I was very impressed with both of them. Albus captured that frustrating and hard done by son of a hero, who has truly known no hardship. He is sincere but a typical sulking teenager, who makes you want to stand up and give him a slap for being so ungrateful and thoughtless. A character I am sure many parents feel they can completely relate to with their own children. Meanwhile you immediately warm to Scorpious, the son of Draco whom we all dislike, because of his innocence, vulnerability and sheer kindness. He is absolutely hilarious throughout the play, and his comic timing really sets up the shows dynamic leading the way ahead of many of the older actors. He is not what you would expect of a Malfoy which makes him all the more delicious and a pleasure to watch. 

We cannot discuss this play in particular without touching upon the magic. Did they show any? How did they show it? Did it live up to our already soaring expectations? Thankfully, I can return a triple yes. Without wishing to sound too corny, it was absolutely magical. The illusions, sound effects, lighting, stage mechanics and set were spot on. Often showing minimal sets but ones that were just as effective as convincing you that what you were watching was real. Many a time throughout the performance I could hear the audience gasp with delight at the effects before us. I would love to go into it - but I won't spoil anything for you guys!! 

Me and my girls!
Lastly I want to comment on the story line. I was concerned that it would not meet the standard of the previous 7 Harry Potter books. But again, I was not disappointed. I was pleased that it referenced the other films, brought back some of our most loved and hated characters as well as some new ones. The ending was a little fast for me, but this could be as a result of the staging and not the story. So I look forward to purchasing the book when it comes out on the 31st July - and will happily let you know! One other word of advice... I saw both part one and two on the same day. It left me exhilarated but absolutely exhausted. So bare this in mind when booking your seats. Race you to book again!!! 

Any other HP fans out there?

Much love,
Alissa Marie


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