20 December 2014

TRAVEL | The Witches, the bull and the best mattress in the world

Christmas in Birmingham
2 years. Me & Justin have been together for two flippin' (and pretty awesome) years. How is that even possible that someone makes it through two years with me and doesn't go absolute bonkers?! That guy deserves a medal, let me tell ya (and so do I, just sayin'). For our first anniversary we went for a weekend away in Cumbria (ah man, real Cumbrian sausages and walks around the lakes). This year (this week that is) we're moving to a new house so we decided to go a bit less mucho grande - so we stayed in Birmingham. Less travelling, more time to have fun! So what does a romantic weekend in Birmingham look like?

We had dinner at the Red Peppers Grill & Cantina in Mailbox!
Mailbox always makes me feel rather posh - especially at Christmas everything is super blingy and lit up, even the canals look somehow a touch more festive than usual. The Red Peppers Grill & Cantina offers an eclectic menu from all over the world from Mexican buritos to pizzas and steaks. After eating too much chocolate on the train to Brum we opted for a pizza (each, ehm). The dinner was so delicious and even though we were way too full to have a dessert, we still had some (as you do when you need to casually unbutton your trousers under the table to be able to breathe without sounding like a horse after the Grand National).

...watched boats on the canal 
The good thing about eating out in Mailbox is that you can just walk down the canal and you're in Brindley Place, and from there you can walk across to Victoria Square and the shops without crossing any unlit roads or parks. There were quite a few boats on night trips and a lot of people having Saturday date nights along the canal, either eating or having a glass of Bordeaux in local restaurants and bars. Tres romantique! 


...went to the Crescent Theatre
I love, love, LOVE Crescent. I honestly think places such as the Hippodrome and the Alexandra Theatre are a tad overrated. Smaller theatres are da thing. We watched The Witches by Roald Dahl which was, well, mainly for kids but it was performed by the Crescent Theatre Company which meant some quality Black Country acting, ya barmpot! And you know what? There was an ice cream van during the break!! MUAH MUAH MUAH!  

...slept on the most comfortable mattress in the world
Going to the theatre in Birmingham whilst living in Walsall usually means there's gotta be a sleepover involved. We stayed at the ibis hotel in the city centre where we experienced not only a very warm welcome (special thanks go to Michaela and Alfie) but also the most comfortable mattress in the world. Not even joking, the bed was so comfy we slept until 11am, whuuuut! I mean they even give you a leaflet so you're mentally prepared that this is gonna be a damn comfortable mattress but then you sleep on it and it's like sleeping on a cloud made of marshmallows and care bear bum fluff.

...explored German Christmas
The German Christmas market attracts millions (5 MILLIONS in 2013!) of people to Birmingham every year and it's the largest German Christmas market outside of Germany and Austria. Pretty damn crazy, right? So we strolled around, ate a lot of pork scratchings and caramelized almonds, and bought an anniversary present from ourselves to ourselves. The naked flame. Erm, what?! It's basically a lamp - a stone ball with a little pot in the middle where you pour in this fire gel and light it up. It burns an actual flame which gives out heat like a normal bonfire but you can have it indoors without setting the whole apartment on fire. Genius. Bloody genius. My plan is to make smores on Christmas Eve, yeaaah. 


Have you been to the German Christmas markets in Birmingham?
Also, what do you normally do on anniversaries?     


Christmas in Birmingham


Christmas in Birmingham

Christmas in Birmingham

Christmas in Birmingham

Christmas in Birmingham

Christmas in Birmingham

Christmas in Birmingham

Christmas in Birmingham

Christmas in Birmingham

Christmas in Birmingham

16 December 2014

BEAUTY | 5 gift ideas from Yves Rocher

Yves Rocher reviews
Last week I spent in the Czech Republic (check out pictures from my trip here), and although I did spend most of the time with my family, I did make a cheeky trip to the city and popped to a few of my favourite shops - one of them being Yves Rocher. Just before I left for my brief adventure, I made a Christmas wishlist post (see it here) of things I really like from this brand, and as it goes - I obviously left some pennies (read Czech korunas) in the store, oops (some of them included below)! Here's a selection of 5 things I'm convinced any woman would appreciate to find in their Christmas stocking (plus they are all on offer, shhhhh)!         

Moisturising cream lipstick in Rose Alba (£15 £7.50): Yves Rocher lipstick packaging is quite neutral but not boring. The shape of the lid is characteristic to the brand, which I think is a great way to add an Yves Rocher touch to the product and the lipstick itself is a lovely quality. It's very creamy and moisturising (ideal for winter) and has got the classic lipstick scent to it which I find very pleasant. The colour is a nude-ish pink with fine shimmer which suits pretty much every skin tone.    
Grand Rouge collector lipstick in Gold (£19 £10): This is such a gorgeous lipstick - the packaging is right up my street with the golden tones and sleek design. What strikes me the most is how similar the shade is to my beloved Michael Kors lipstick in Diva. Considering that this dupe saves you almost £14 and the shade variation is so minor, this is a win from Yves Rocher for me! I might need to grab another one right after Christmas because I'm using this one and the MK one as frequently as lip balms (hides face).  
Secrets D'Essences Vanille Noire (£49 £24.50): This beautiful perfume comes in a sleek 50ml bottle and smells just like the name implies - a deep dark vanilla scent which is more suitable for evening wear or maybe even a winter day wear. It's one of those scents that goes well with a chunky knit and a mug of mulled wine, ya know.  
Flowerparty by Night (£38 £19): Another pretty scent from YR, Flowerparty is definitely  a younger scent for daily wear (although it's called 'by night', erhm) and comes in an adorable bottle with a flower for the lid. Oh how sweet!
Comme Une Evidence (£49 £26.95): A very light floral fragrance in the best bottle ever. It's only 30ml but the design definitely makes up for the size! The pear-spray bottle looks just beautiful on a dressing table! I'm already on my second bottle of this perfume, cough cough, just sayin'. 

In addition to the above a bonus gift tip is their Lash Plumping Mascara in Waterproof Black (£18.50 £9.25) which I unfortunately don't have in my mitts anymore as my mum confiscated it on grounds of its awesomness. It doesn't give you much length but in terms of volume it's great. Just make sure you have a strong oil make-up remover on hand to take it off after a long Christmas party night! 

In all honesty, I can't fault Yves Rocher products, they all have this luxurious Parisian feel to them and with the quality offers they always put on, Yves Rocher definitely won't break your bank. The only criticism I've got for the company is to finally open some high street stores in the UK, I swear to God that'd be da bomb


Have you ever got any Yves Rocher products for Christmas?

Yves Rocher reviews

Yves Rocher reviews

14 December 2014

TRAVEL | Czechstagram

Czech Republic in winter
Over the past week or so, my Instagram (@cityscapebliss) has been the social outlet to follow me on - so much has been happening on it (and in my life, obvs). First of all - I went to the Czech Republic for a quick Christmas visit. It was bloody cold there - although not as cold as I expected (only took out my Russian hat for an outing once, once!). 

In all honesty, it wasn't particularly exciting in terms of social happenings, shopping or touristy activities. I went mainly to see my mum & dad and my nan who hasn't been particularly well lately. On top of that I had a faux Christmas Eve with my family, cuddled tiny ponies and miniature goats and ate ridiculous amounts of Czech food (and yes, Czech food does come with cabbage a touch too often).


Hope you're having a lovely pre-Christmas time everyone!     

Czech Republic in winter

Czech Republic in winter

Czech Republic in winter

Czech Republic in winter

Czech Republic in winter

Czech Republic in winter

1 December 2014

GIVEAWAY | Win Pretty Honest by Sali Hughes

Pretty Honest by Sali Hughes
Another giveaway, oh ehm gee! And it's not my fault, it's all YOURS! That is - everyone was commenting on my post about beauty books (read here) that you'd like to get the book Pretty Honest by Sali Hughes. So here you go - here's your chance to win yourself a copy

To enter this giveaway, please use Rafflecopter widget below. The giveaway is open internationally. There will be 1 winner only (selected at random by Rafflecopter) and he/she will be contacted via e-mail by me. The prize is 1 copy of PRETTY HONEST; THE STRAIGHT-TALKING BEAUTY COMPANION by Sali Hughes (published by 4th Estate, £22).  

a Rafflecopter giveaway
GOOD LUCK EVERYONE!
AND MERRY DECEMBER!

Disclaimer: The prize has been provided by the publishers - thank you!
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