29 May 2015

TRAVEL | 10 things you didn’t know about Bolton


If you are travelling to Manchester, than you can easily reach Bolton, as it is 10 miles northwest. It is a hospitable mill town, situated in the North West of England. And if at first you don’t find it interesting you will soon change your mind, as it keeps several secrets.

The early name of the city, Bolton le Moors, comes from the geographical position of the city between the low hills on the edge of the West Pennine Moors southeast of Rivington Pike. Even though Bolton is quite a small town, it is worth visiting, as you may discover a lot of amazing places, things and people. For instance, did you know that in 1929 Bolton was one of the largest centres of cotton spinning in the world? 

Here every corner breaths with history and heritage. Bolton had a lot to suffer during the English Civil war and that determined its destiny. The memory of those times is still alive in the architecture of the city.

However, the modern life actively progresses here due to the lots of students who are like a breath of fresh air for the old city. The University of Bolton has about 13,000 students and a modern, comfortable campus as well as many offers for student accommodation Bolton. The geographical position of Bolton close to Manchester and Liverpool as well as the great motorway and rail links facilitates the students’ accommodation. 

Here you will find all kinds of entertainment: the amazing countryside, important historical places and plenty of pubs, cafes, restaurants and music events. If you are fond of sports, you will be surely impressed by the fact that Reebok, famous sportswear company, was founded and based for several years in Bolton. There is the Reebok Stadium home to Bolton Wanderers Football Club.
Do you still want to discover the hidden treasures of Bolton? Then you should start with the cultural places. The first one is Bolton Steam Museum. It has the biggest collection of stationary steam engines in the whole England. Other cultural places worth visiting are: The Octagon Theatre, The Bolton Museum and Art Gallery, Hall I’ th’ Wood Museum and, of course, The Smithills Hall.
After you finish the cultural excursion, you should have a little rest enjoying the amazing nature of Bolton in such places like Jumbles Country Park, Moses Gate Country Park, Queens Park, Smithills Open Farm and The Wellbeing Farm.

They say Bolton is one of the UK’s friendliest towns. After visiting it, you will see it for yourself. There’s so much to see, to hear, to taste and to discover in Bolton. Here you are always welcome.

Have you been to Bolton before?
Did you like it?

24 May 2015

FASHION | What I wore to the Malta Fashion Week - on budget!

This is just a very brief follow up post about what I wore to the Malta Fashion Week last week when I visited Malta as a part of the Lost Luggage mission. Yes, that's right - I went abroad for a little holiday with no luggage - and was expected to attend a fashion show! Blimey! You can read more about the whole adventure here or here on the official website of the project. Now to what I actually wore.

It truly was a challenge - with my tight budget I ventured into the streets of Valletta with not overly high hopes. After all, Malta is an island and as I used to live on a Mediterranean island before I knew that retail isn't the key focus of the local economy. I couldn't find Zara, H&M, Topshop - none of my usual go to high street fashion stores. When I was about to lose all will to live and curl up in a ball on the cobbled streets of the Maltese capital, it happened. I found a little shopping centre just off the main shopping street (the main shopping street means stalls of caricature artists, little cafes with delicious cakes and tarts and about a gazillion souvenir shops with an odd jeweller's here and there). This little shopping centre had Bershka in it! I absolutely love Bershka - it's owned by the same company like Zara but the style is for slightly younger audience. Not far from Bershka was Stradivarius (also owned by the same company but this time the style is slightly more sophisticated - the current collection had a proper Bohemian vibe, I could have spent all my money there!) and Miss Selfridge (which was insanely overpriced - c'mon Malta!). 

The dress of code of the Malta Fashion Week event was smart casual - despite my limited resources (in terms of budget, time and knowledge of local shops) I think I nailed it. I went for an Eastern European chic with the most beautiful strappy heels I've seen in a while! 

For those who either live in Malta or travel there quite often:
Where would YOU go if you were to get an outfit worth a fashion show?

23 May 2015

TRAVEL | How I went to Malta (with no luggage)

As you may have noticed from the absence of blog posts and a slight hyperactivity peak in Twitter & Instagram postings, last week I went to Malta! As a part of the MoneySuperMarket Lost Luggage Challenge I was flown to Luqa to attend the amazing Malta Fashion Week. There was only one teeny weeny catch - I had no luggage with me! Do you want to see how I handled the mind-blowing prospect of attending a fashion show without anything more other than what I could squeeze into my little cross-body bag? Read on!

Did you know that 18-25% of travel insurance claims are for items of lost of damaged luggage? Well, this was my turn to live through this nightmare! All I had with me was my passport, phone, camera, some spending money and some very basic touch-up make-up bits & bobs which I managed to cram into the tiny bag! I was wearing a pair of jeans, a shirt and a pair of trainers (which turned out to be the biggest mistake ever - Malta was absolutely boiling at about 30°C). 

As soon as I arrived the trouble began - it was about 5pm and I had no toothbrush, no food, no make-up remover and no deodorant - the sheer panic! Thank God they have Lidl in Malta! Phew! The day was saved, with some Pastizzi (local Maltese pastries mmm) for good night's sleep. 

Day two was tough - Malta decided to toy with me a little and threw a bus strike my way. That ain't stopping me though - I found my way to Valletta (the capital of Malta and the most beautiful Mediterranean city I've ever been to). Since my first Malta Fashion Week event was starting at around 7pm I didn't have much time to spare. The mad rush around shops began! And it was success! See here (to be published tomorrow) what I wore to the event! 

Day three was ace - I went to Bugibba (a popular tourist resort right at the seaside) where I met my friend who moved from Birmingham to Malta a year ago. The weather was so beautiful - maybe just a little bit too beautiful since I managed to burn my bloody nose! Sigh! After some more exploring of Malta and all its gems I rushed to Valletta for one more Malta Fashion Week event. Both events were absolutely wonderful - I was blown away by how stunning Maltese models are and how they carry themselves on the catwalk! 

After two full days in Malta (and a day of travelling to Luqa) I was on my way home to my little Cookie rascal - because he missed me so much, erm, nope! And my final thoughts? Man, it is tough when you're forced to travel without a luggage (or even worse when you take one with but it doesn't arrive to the destination with you!). I used to travel without any travel insurance because I thought I was being oh so cool - yeah, that ain't happening ever again! If you're off for a sunny holiday this month (or anytime soon) go and get yourself a travel insurance, it costs a few quid and can literally save your holiday when things go tits up with your luggage or even flights! 

This way I'd like to say a big thank you to MoneySuperMarket for giving me this opportunity (or throwing me in the deep end, depends on which angle you're looking at it, ha! For more stories from my fellow travellers who also lost their luggage in the Lost Luggage Challenge - click here!    

Have you ever lost your luggage whilst on route to your holiday destination?
How did you deal with it?

9 May 2015

BEAUTY | Pink & orange: My lip colour picks for this spring

If I was to pick the one beauty product that I enjoy shopping for the most then it would definitely be everything lips. Just think about it - mascaras look all the bloody same, foundations are just various shades of liquid in tiny bottles or tubs. On the other hand - lipsticks, lip glosses, lip lacquers, lip polishes.. that's da shiz. Below are my 5 lip product picks for this spring!  

Shu Uemura Gloss Unlimited in Artist Shade 60 (£18.50, Liberty): This is a super hyper mega glossy gloss. Once applied you can see why this product is a part of the make-up artistry range by Shu Uemura - it has got that 'model gloss' finish to it which not only makes your lips look extra juicy but also makes you feel a million dollars. 
⇢ Shara Shara tinted style lip gloss: This lip stain was in one of the Memeboxes I received a while ago - you can read a full review of this Memebox here. I love the colour of this - quite a vibrant coral, and the fact that it's a highly glossy stain which lasts on your lips for hours without drying them out or fading in patches!   
Jane Iredale lip & cheek stain (£18, Jane Iredale): You might have already noticed that I have a soft spot for Jane Iredale make-up (here & here). What's not to love though - her packaging is absolutely spot on - always! And I haven't come across a product which I wouldn't fall in love with. Plus you know your lips are on fleek (hold on - does the fleek work for lips too or is it just brows? - Keith gives you the answer here, ha!) when other people comment on how nice the colour is!  
Elizabeth Arden lip gloss (£28, House of Fraser): I've never actually tried anything from Elizabeth Arden before (maybe a mascara once?), but I was very pleasantly surprised by the high quality of these glosses. Not only that the colours are beautiful but they also have a really rich vanilla scent which I absolutely adore in lip products! This lip gloss trio (there's a dark berry colour too which is not in the picture) is going to be a perfect addition to your holiday make-up bag!
Revlon Colorstay Moisture stain (£7.99, Boots): These stains are such a marmite product. Some people despise them, some people swear by them. I swear by them - especially the lighter shades such as the nudes and pinks. This particular shade is called LA Exclusive and it's just beautiful! 

What are your lip colour picks for this spring?
Have you tried any of the products above? Leave me your mini reviews in the comments below! 
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