Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Blog-a-Day Month!

08:30:00 20
Hey all!

I've officially taken the plunge. I've had so many blog ideas recently but struggled to actually get around to writing them and posting them since I've been keeping to my three blogs a week schedule. I know some people only do one post a week or maybe everyday, and I know some don't even keep to a schedule as long as they post regularly. I'm the sort of person who really needs to keep to a schedule otherwise you'd probably end up with no posts whilst I keep saying to myself "Oh I'll do it tomorrow instead". Knowing I've got to get my posts up on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday has kept my blogging going making it something I'm very proud to have stuck by.

blogging, lifestyle, updated, new, travel, photo, royalty free, month

My next big struggle is going to be keeping it up whilst I go to university. Especially in the first few weeks when I'm settling in and going to Freshers events. However, those first few weeks are crucial if I want to carry on with this whole blogging thing. If I don't post then, then I probably won't post for a long time and after all the hard work I've put into it, I don't want to give that up.

In the spirit of trying new things, wanting to write down all these ideas, and continuing kiralcurtis.com when I'm at uni, I have decided to have September as my BLOG-A-DAY MONTH! It's self-explanatory really, I am going to be posting on my blog every day throughout the entire of September. I move to Hull and start uni at the end of the month so I feel like this is the best way to ensure I continue writing when I'm there. I'm throwing myself in at the deep end really. When I come out I may continue doing the three post a week or I might give 4 or 5 a go. We'll see. It is going to be a challenge but if I can somehow manage to get myself organised, I believe I can do this!

What would really help me is your continued support!

Find me on Twitter - @kiralcurtis
Find me on Facebook - Kira L Curtis
Find me on Instagram - kiralcurtis
Add me on Snapchat - kiralcurtis
Follow me on Pinterest - Kira L Curtis

and finally...

Keep updated by following my blog on Bloglovin' - kiralcurtis.com

Feel free to comment on the posts too!

Thank you so much for all your support so far in my blogging journey!

- KC xx

Have you ever tried blogging every day before? What sort of schedule do you keep to?
Read more...

Monday, 29 August 2016

Great British Cake Toppers

08:30:00 24
Hi all!

There can be many perks to being a blogger and the main one has got to be the opportunity to gain free stuff for reviews, and when this free stuff is food, I'm all over it! Earlier last week I received an email asking if I would like to review some cupcakes. I am not going to say no to free cakes!

Similarly to BakerDays, Caketoppers offer a cake by post delivery service allowing you to order personalised cakes online and get them delivered the very next day. They specialise in all cakes and cupcakes with edible printed icing toppers. For the purpose of the review I was offered two cupcakes to be delivered to my door personalised in any way that I wanted.

The Olympics may now be over but we are still celebrating how brilliantly all our athletes and Olympians did. With 67 medals overall, 27 gold, 23 silver, 17 bronze, we finished second in the table behind the USA, making it one of the best Olympics Britain have ever seen. I've always been a lover of sports but not one for watching it, and even I found myself glued to my BBC Sport app, constantly checking up on how we were doing. My favourite sport to do is hockey so you can imagine how over the moon I was to watch the ladies GB hockey team power through each match to come out undefeated and win that gold medal!

britain, review, caketoppers, union jack, team gb, olympics, sport, rio 2016, paralympics,

This weekend, August 27th, marked the Nation's Biggest Sports Day as everyone got involved for #IamTeamGB, showing their continued support for our Olympians and taking part in some sports we may never have thought about before. It was a day for everyone to try something new and that's what we did. (Be around on Friday so see what I did!) Also, the Paralympics begin September 7th so we all need to continue our support for GB's best of the best in sports!

To continue this support I thought it would be a good idea to get my cupcakes personalised with the GB logo and Union Jack, making these cakes perfect for any sporting occasion and a Great British tea or street party! You know how much us Brits love our cakes (clearly shown by our love for GBBO)!

THE TASTE TEST!

My favourite part of the review. The tasting of the cakes. My boyfriend was over so I promised him that he could have one of them. That said, I made sure I got to try both flavours that I was given. I chose the vanilla cupcake and I was incredibly impressed. I took my first bite with a "mmm" and enjoyed every last crumb! It was deliciously soft and fluffy, and not too dry. In fact they were quite moist and just how I think cakes should be. Edmond loved his chocolate cake too. He couldn't stop saying how nice it was until he'd finished. I stole a tiny bite and I must say that it was the loveliest chocolate cake I've had in a long time. It was light, fluffy and moist like the vanilla cake. The printed icing was perfectly in the middle on top of and generous layer of buttercream. I loved how it was a generous layer too because you often find that buttercream is simply used to stick things to the cake but it was like it was part of the cake!

Overall, I loved the cakes and want to say a BIG thank you to Caketoppers for sending them to me. The cakes make for a great Team GB celebration but of course they can be used for all sorts of occasions from birthdays to corporate events. You can buy just a few or buy hundreds, depending on the size of your event! I definitely recommend checking them out! They were really lovely to work with and even sent me a little thank you card and a little present for my readers:

Use discount code 'KIRA10' to receive 10% off your order!

Hope you enjoy them just as much as I did!
- KC xx

How have you been supporting our Team GB? Which do you prefer: vanilla or chocolate cakes?


* As mentioned, I received the cakes in return for an honest review. All opinions are my own!
Read more...

Friday, 26 August 2016

Fitness Update 2 - Runhunt and Gym Refurb

08:30:00 17
Hey!

I'm feeling so pumped and proud right now! I remember at the beginning of the year when I said I wanted to get fit and ultimately train for my 5K Adrenaline Rush. I struggled to run with my asthma and hadn't actually done any proper exercise in a long time. I had put a bit of weight on over the past year and I'd managed to maintain it but I wasn't entirely happy. I wasn't feeling good in myself at all. I struggled a lot mentally as well as physically, so much so that I found myself repeatedly going to the doctors thinking something was wrong. 2016 has been a tough year but I've been making my way through it and now I can't wait for my next adventure at university.

fitness, motivation, inspiration, blogging, running, race, workout, exercise

Over a month ago now I planned to do fitness updates to show you what I've been up to and also in hopes that you'll help keep me motivated but my last update was basically saying how I hadn't stuck to my training sessions, I hadn't been going to the gym as regularly as I'd hoped, etc. I didn't feel like I was doing well and when my Adrenaline Rush came round, I didn't feel entirely prepared. To my surprise, I conquered the course. I was so incredibly proud of everything I managed to achieve and I still look at my medal and wear my t-shirt with pride. Doing that race has got me even more motivated. 

We all need something to give us that boost to tell us to get off our bottoms and move. I thought it would be wanting to train for the race but I found that it was actually doing it. I now want to do more! Seriously, I've not stopped looking to see if I can actually get to them. I'm hooked. Unfortunately I don't think there will be any more this year, but I'll definitely be trying for the early bird tickets for next years events. I want to challenge myself even more. I managed the 5K race so now it's time for a 10K. I believe that I can do it!

Running, fitness, workout, marathon, olympics, motivated, motivation, race,
Lytham Runhunt Runners! (Source)
On July 28th, I joined a local 6 week running club called Lytham Runhunt. The idea was that we all run as a group and at certain points we must find clues hidden along our route. Unfortunately I had already missed the first two weeks but I threw myself in at the deep end trying to build up my running ability. I knew I'd struggle but I kept pushing myself. On my first session we did a relay and repetition race in teams and I felt like my stamina had already improved since earlier in the year. By the final session, my RunKeeper app proved that I smashed my all time personal record. I can't say I have ever run more than a 1.5 miles before this year. I managed the 5K and now I'm way on my way to completing a 10K!

fitness, running, workout, exercise, healthy living, motivation, blogger, athletics

In the final Runhunt session we set off and just didn't stop! It was such hard work and I'm glad I have my little running belt that holds small water bottles because I desperately needed water. I'm so used to stopping for a little break but this time no one else took a break, so neither did I. In the end I had done 6.68KM! It the furthest I have ever done and the fasted too (as you can see from the screenshots above and below - ignore the most activities in a month, I've only just got the app)!

runkeeper, fitness, running, exercise, workout, race, olympics, athletics

Running in a group has kept me motivated and pushed me to better myself. I'd also definitely recommend downloading fitness related apps like Runkeeper to help document your activities. Seeing in figures exactly what I have done really does make me want to do better in the next week. 

My local gym has finally been refurbished and it looks fantastic. They've got all brand new equipment and LifeFitness machines that can link up to the LifeFitness app that can also track your activities. I can see myself doing a "Best Fitness Apps" post soon! Both of these two that I've mentioned allow you to work towards goals so they show you how close you are to achieving them!

fitness, exercise, workout, cardio, strength, bodybuilding, weights, running

Overall, since I did my last fitness update, I feel like I have done very well. I am very proud of how I've improved my fitness. From struggling to do 1K at the beginning of the year to doing at least one 5K run, plus workouts at the gym, a week. Bring on that 10K! When I go to uni, I'm really hoping I can join the Dance Squad and the Hockey Team so I will definitely need to keep my fitness up for that! I've already been looking into gym memberships! Wish me luck! I like being able to give you an update by using these screenshots so during September I am going to post a little fitness update every Saturday as September shall be my Blog-A-Day Month, you'll be able to read more about that soon!

Until then...
- KC xx

How have you been doing with your fitness? What's your motivation?
Read more...

Monday, 22 August 2016

Day Trip to Grange-Over-Sands

13:30:00 33
Good Afternoon everyone!

Before I go off to uni I've been trying my best to make sure we actually get out of the house and go exploring. Whether that means walks in parks I've never been to or actually going out on mini road trips. Whatever it is, I just want to see more of my local areas before I'm 3 and a half hours away!

grange-over-sands, north, lake district, cumbria, lancashire, northern rail, trainspotting, photography

Having a car for the past year has been the absolute best thing for me. I've been to places I would never have been able to get to without a very long bus journey and having the freedom to just jump in my car whenever gives me that sense of adulthood that I'm slowly moving in to. Last week, myself and Edmond had planned a day out but had no idea where to go. Knowing I had my car, we thought getting out of Lancashire and travelling North would be a good start. After talking to some Lake District fans, we planned to head to Grasmere for the day. The morning comes and unfortunately Ed (who doesn't drive and lives an hour away from me) struggled to get to mine early enough for us to be able to spend enough time in Grasmere. Whilst on the motorway we decided the best idea would be to literally be adventurous and take the next turn off and follow wherever it leads. We found ourselves on a very long dual carriage way no idea where we were heading and so again, just took the next turn off.

Forest, woods, reflections, photography, beauty, landscape, trees, nature

Eventually, early afternoon, we found ourselves in a small Northern town called Grange-Over-Sands. Thinking I had heard of it, we parked up and went for a wander. 

photography, nature, history, grange-over-sands, holiday, day out, trip

The Pay-and-Display car park we found was hidden between a bunch of small shops, cafes, and pubs, and the railway bridge. Unsure of where to go first we headed over to a small area covered over by trees, to see the train tracks. It was pleasantly beautiful. There was just something about the tracks that took you back a few hundred years. That was until Northern Rail sped past. We took some photos before walking back to the car to take off some layers. Who knew it could be so warm in England?!

promenade, coast, beach, holiday, north, grass, nature, grange-over-sands

Walking under the bridge brought us on to the promenade and what a beautiful sight it was. The coastline was mostly grassy but when the tide came in, you could understand why there were flood caution signs up. The sea came right up to the railings. I was a bit worried about some of the dogs that were walking free nearby their owners. One dog in particular had this thing about walking on the opposite side of the railing. A sign showed us the way towards a cafe, recreation facilities, tennis, putting, skate park and best of all, crazy golf. It had been such a long since I played a proper game of crazy golf so that was where we were heading to.

beach, coastline, promenade, grange-over-sands, holiday, trip, travel, day out

It was a nice lengthy walk to get to the crazy golf and park area, and on such a lovely day it was perfect. The sun was (mostly) shining so we were able to take it all in. I am so thankful for my new camera and I won't go anywhere without it now. 

golf, crazy golf, holiday, travel, trip, fun, family, kids, castles, grange-over-sands

Crazy Golf time! We picked up our putters and golf ball and began attempting to get hole-in-ones. After such a lovely day, the wind was picking up quite viciously so it may not have be the perfect day for a spot of golf but, despite the forces being against us, we powered on defeating the plastic ducks, miniature castles and bridges, and whatever else was in the way of us and the hole. I started and with a bit of practice I could remember why I won the odd certificate on my holidays in the Dominican Republic. Then it was Ed's go. With little hand-eye coordination, he didn't quite succeed, and in his words, those plastic ducks were the bane of his life! It was so funny watching both our failed attempts. The final hole definitely proved to be a difficult one and we almost gave up. Ed went first trying the get the hole-in-one that you had to get, or else the ball would roll straight back down to the start. After at least 15 attempts, I had a go and luckily made it after about 6. Ed took more shots and finally we came to an end when we had both beaten the course. Some were harder than others, obviously, but I think we both could've done a whole lot better, had the weather been slightly less fierce.

industrial, grange-over-sands, travel, blogger, travelling, holiday, day out, driving

We made it out alive and off the promenade, back over the tracks to the town centre. There wasn't that much to see other than the clock tower and a couple of charity shops. There was a gorgeous smelling Chinese restaurant and a Spar across the road. Like you do on any warm day, we bought an ice cream each and decided it was time to go back to the car park. Driving away we saw a few little cafes that looked very nice but I had to get home ready for the largest outdoor screening of Star Wars: The Force Awakens as part of Lytham Festival

What a lovely day out we both had. I got a bunch of videos too and we sat and watched all the golf ones today and we were still laughing at ourselves. Grange-Over-Sands is a beautiful little town if you fancy a visit. Perfect for families as there is the park and golf areas, but also we noticed a lot of people who didn't seem that local, like us, who had just brought their dogs for a walk out it is that nice!

I love days out like these and hopefully you'll be able to read more soon (when I can get time off work)!
Until then,
- KC xx

Have you visited Grange-Over-Sands? Is there somewhere you always like to go to on a little drive out?
Read more...

Friday, 19 August 2016

Mr Blanc Teeth Whitening Strips - Review

12:00:00 35
Hello!

Back in my FaceTox review I mentioned I had also been sent a Mr Blanc teeth whitening kit. I was a bit unsure about trying these out in the first place, especially after the horror stories you hear. However, I was still up for giving it ago and was hoping that all goes well.

teeth, tooth brush, dental, dentist, whitening, oral, hygiene, healthy living, beauty


I received the small package that contained 14 sets of strips to last me for the two week course. You get two strips for each day, of course one is for the lower teeth and one for your upper. When I received my box, it was slightly squashed probably due to the mailman ramming it through my letterbox like they keep doing recently. Luckily everything else was still intact and the strips were all in their own separate packaging. 

How to use:

1. Tear open packaging.

2. Dry teeth with a towel.

3. Place the smaller strip on bottom teeth and wrap around to make sure it will stay.

4. Place the longer strip on top teeth and wrap around, doing the same.

5. Avoid eating and drinking for 30 mins while you have the strips on.

6. Remove the strips and throw them away.

7. Rinse away any remaining gel.

beauty, tooth, oral hygiene, teeth, smile, happy, dental, dentist

Review:

The first time I used the strips I was amazed at how quickly it worked. You notice the changes straight away! I will say that the gel is very sticky so my advice would be to try and get hold of the the ends very gently otherwise you'll get it all over you. Also, because it's so sticky, it's difficult to get it off when you pull the strips off after the 30 minutes, most of the gel stays on. Rinsing it out didn't work very well so I found myself having to brush my teeth after every time.

Pros:
- You see immediate results
- Your teeth really do get whiter
- Helps to remove stains
- Easy application
- Has a minty flavour

Cons:
- Very sticky and can get every where
- If you don't like bits in your mouth then you might struggle

Overall, I was very impressed with the outcome! As you can see, there are a lot more pros than cons and I definitely noticed changes as the day went on which is what I like to see, fast results! If you're looking to have whiter teeth for a certain event, perhaps a wedding or a special birthday, and you're a bit conscious about the colour of your teeth on photos then I would definitely recommend Mr Blanc as a fast answer to your problems. You can get a two week supply here for £24.99 or you can subscribe and save 20% off your order.

Mr Blanc also offer a 4 week supply of the whitening strips but you can also get a two week supply of top ups that dissolve after 15 minutes so there is nothing to remove afterwards - these are £19.99. For £10.99 you can also get a pack of 4 bamboo toothbrushes that are 100% biodegradable!

Hopefully I'll be able to do some more beauty related reviews soon!
Until then,
- KC xx

Have you tried anything to whiten your teeth before? Do you worry about the colouring of your teeth?


* I was sent Mr Blanc in return for a review so all opinions are my own.
Read more...

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Adrenaline Rush - Manchester 2016

08:30:00 31
Hey!

One of the things I wanted to do as part of my 2016 bucket list, was to enter an obstacle race. A week later I was already updating everyone on how I signed up to the 5K Adrenaline Rush in Manchester. The race wasn't until August and considering how unfit I was, I begun my training. I started with my beginners obstacle race training and then worked up to trying to complete my summer fitness goals. My ultimate fitness goal of the year was to completely improve my fitness which has slowly been deteriorating over the past couple of years. Back in high school I did every kind of sport going. In my first year of college I did a lot of dancing, and therefore a lot of fitness, but then in my second year I didn't quite get to do as much so I took up aerobics every Monday night. Unfortunately I found it too difficult to fit it in to the rest of my studies so going to aerobics didn't last very long. After finishing college, I spent most of my time chilling in my bedroom until I finally got a part-time job and then it was only in the New Year that I decided it was about time I did something about my fitness slump. I wasn't necessarily gaining any weight but I felt unfit and mentally drained. Creating my bucket list and signing up for the Adrenaline Rush was my first step to getting up and moving.

manchester, north west, fitness, sports, obstacle race, adrush


We arrived at Heaton around 12pm. I live around an hour away from Manchester so I have never been anywhere else in Manchester other than the city centre. Being able to go to such a beautifully massive park was a great day out in itself. After wandering around trying to find the start point of Adrenaline Rush, we eventually found it and began getting ourselves prepared. We collected our numbers and had our faces painted by the Macmillan volunteers and the 1pm heat was called over to the start line. 

There were so many people. A lot more than I expected! We all squished into the area where start line was marked out and began a quick warm up. A couple of minutes before one, the first 50 people were set off to start their 5K. Next, it was our turn and immediately we were up and down hill in a slow jog.

obstacle race, sport, olympics, gymnast, fitness, manchester, north west, heaton park, adrenaline rush
Not exactly the most flattering photo but he's me tackling the monkey bars! I tried my best but had to let go half way because it hurt my hand way too much. Note to self: wear workout/weightlifting gloves next time I do an obstacle race!

On to the obstacles. Some were challenging, others were just a lot of fun. To begin with, there was the log walk balance (self explanatory) and from then the obstacles got tougher. To name a few, there was the Camouflage Nets, Barbed Wire Crawl, Inverted Wall Climb, and the Big Web. (You can read more about the obstacles here.) Many needed a lot of upper body strength but if you struggled, there was always someone there to encourage you or help you out. If you're in doubt, you're able to choose to pass on an obstacle. I loved how everything was up to you, so you could challenge yourself as much as possible or you could do it just for a bit of fun. I was there to do both, and that I did. 

We beat the quarter pipe in one try! YES! GO US!
I had so much fun completing the 5K Adrenaline Rush. For someone that has struggled building up my fitness, particularly my running (because of my asthma), I was very proud of myself to complete the entire course without giving up. To be honest, the obstacles were a nice, well-needed break from all the running. They gave you time to use a different part of your body and other muscles helping you regain energy in other places. There was a point where I was desperate for water but luckily at the next obstacle two angels that were marshals were there handing out free bottles of water, just when I needed some. Perfect timing!

total wipe out, manchester, heaton park, adrenaline rush, sports, running, fitness
Not quite the big red balls that are on Total Wipe Out but they were close enough. I struggled more at the end trying to get back up onto the platform. I wasn't quite tall enough and my shoes where all slippery!
For the past year or two I have been really badly struggling with my right wrist (I'm right handed too) which I have been to the doctors multiple times for, and physio, and there has bee nothing they can do because an x-ray didn't show any abnormalities. I was very frightened that I wouldn't be able to take part in a lot of the obstacles because of it but on this day I strapped my wrist up using kinesiology tape and got on with it. Somehow, it felt like my wrist had healed and I was able to completely lift myself over walls, which Ed didn't think I'd be able to do. I was amazed and felt so good. It had bee so long since my wrist felt remotely normal. I don't know if it was the adrenaline rush or what but I was able to keep on going! Unfortunately as soon as I got back to work the following Wednesday, it started aching again. It was nice while it lasted.

manchester, heaton park, fitness, sports, running, obstacle race
"I'm the king of the swingers!"
Overall I thoroughly enjoyed taking part in the Adrenaline Rush and for completing it we were given a proper fitness t-shirt with the Adrenaline Rush logo on the front, a medal and another bottle of water, which, again, we were desperate for. The weather was perfect for it, there was just enough mud, and I was knackered afterwards. That said, next time I'd like to try a 10K obstacle course to really challenge myself. Already in my gym sessions and running, I'm working my way up! I did get rope burn, or metal burn rather, from the monkey bars but it didn't stop me from carrying on. I am very proud of both myself and Edmond for completing our 2016 challenge. We have both been searching for our next challenge already! I definitely recommend taking part in the Adrenaline Rush when it comes to you next. I think the next ones will be all next years, but as soon as they are announced make sure you get your early bird tickets for big discounts! 


adrenaline rush, fitness, running, jogging, sports, manchester, heaton park
There's me and my new gym t-shirt! 

adrenaline rush, fitness, obstacle race, 5k, running, jogging, sports
And there's both of us! 
Thank you to all the volunteers and to everyone who helped out at Adrenaline Rush! Perhaps I shall see you all again next year!

Until then, 
- KC xx

Have you ever done an obstacle race? What has been or will be you 2016 challenge? 

Read more...

Monday, 15 August 2016

The Shires at Lytham Festival

15:00:00 46
Hey!

After my Lytham Sportfest post got put on the Lytham Life and Style Blog, I have been keen to help out and write more posts for the website, essentially becoming a regular guest blogger. Along with founder, Denize, and fellow guest blogger, Alexandra, we were fortunate enough to receive free tickets to go to Lytham Festival on the first week of August. We had two tickets per event so we took it in turns to go see what we could in order to get a well-rounded experience of the full festival. I got tickets for The Shires and Lawson, who both performed on the Pavilion Stage, and also the screening of Star Wars: The Force Awakens and the West End Proms, both at the Main Proms Stage. Of course like any freebies us bloggers may get, it's only right I do reviews and round ups, etc. Which is great because I have so much to say!

Concert, music, festival, the shires, country, nashville,

First up was The Shires. I went to see the English country duo with my Mum with no idea what to expect. I'm the sort of person who likes all kinds of music but I do only really listen to one type (80s rock with some Imagine Dragons and X Ambassadors thrown in) so it's very rare for me to actually go to a country style gig. I will say straight away though that I was very impressed. The duo, Crisse and Ben, were very bubbly and great performers, immediately getting the crowds up and dancing! The entire room was jam packed and I didn't see a single person not tapping their feet or waving their hands in the air. What I loved was that the age range was non-existent. Everybody from kids with their parents to the elderly men and women jamming whilst sat down on a stool. There was someone from every generation showing how real good modern day country music really can bring everyone together!

the shires, nashville, country music, folk, festival, lytham, blackpool, fylde coast, summer

Opening for The Shires was local singer-songwriter Robbie Cavanagh. What a fantastic choice of a support act. Robbie Cavanagh performed with a band and despite being undiscovered by this particular audience, it didn't take everyone very long to warm up to him. At times, he stripped it back to just him and his guitar for a little acoustic session. It was beautiful! Cavanagh currently has his debut record out now called 'The State of Maine' which actually sold out on the night. I didn't manage to get one for myself but I definitely will be doing very soon!

music, lytham festival, music, concert, gig, country music, manchester

It was such a great night and I am so thankful that I got the tickets, because I wouldn't have gone if I didn't. Next time I see that The Shires or Robbie Cavanagh are in town, I will definitely be getting tickets! What a fab night I had! My Mum really enjoyed herself too! All the musicians on stage were incredibly talented and brilliant singers. Crisse Rhodes and Ben Earle's voice blend perfectly and Robbie Cavanagh had one of those soft mellow voices that you could listen to all day. I definitely recommend you check out both acts and their music!

Thank you to Cuffe and Taylor, and their PR company for the free tickets!
There will be more about Lytham Festival coming soon!
See you then!
- KC xx

Do you listen to any country music? Have you heard of The Shires? 
Read more...

Friday, 12 August 2016

FaceTox Review

08:30:00 30
Good Morning All!

A couple of weeks back I received two packages in the mail that contained items to be reviewed. I got a 7 Day FaceTox kit and a two week course of Mr Blanc's teeth whitening! Today I shall be reviewing the FaceTox set! Hooray!


beauty, face masks, review, pr, bbloggers, detox, rose water, clay mask, night, routine

Firstly, I was very impressed to receive the full box. Initially I had no idea what to expect and this wasn't it. I love that it was all set out in this bright and colourful box that has all the information you need to know about the 7 day FaceTox, making it a great present to give to someone who loves a pamper night!

You get 7 sachets of rose water and 7 sachets of their mixed blend of clay powder, including a small mixing bowl and spoon. Supposedly the face mask will likely be the most powerful clay mask you'll ever try with it's Aztec healing abilities and 100% organic blend. It aims to prevent and draw out blackheads, reduce the appearance of scars, even skin tone, draw on external toxins, heal and regenerate skin tissue, and unclog and shrink pores. That's all according to the website. Now it was mine turn to give it a go.

How to use:

1. Use cleanser to get rid of all traces of make up.

2. Make sure face is completely dry.

3. Empty the contents of one organic rose water sachet and one FaceTox mixed blend clay powder sachet into the mixing bowl and mix together until they form a paste.

4. Use the spoon or hands to apply the paste to your face. (I found it easier to use the spoon because it stops it from getting all over your hands and it's easier to smooth out.)

5. Leave it to almost set for no longer than 30 minutes.

6. To clean it off, simply use warm water and a face cloth.

beauty, face mask, facetox, mr blanc, clay, aztec, mexico, healing, detox
It may not look particularly nice but that's what clay looks like I guess!


Review:

I'm going to make a little confession, this was the first face mask I have ever worn in my entire life, so when I talk about first impressions, I literally mean first. My first impressions were pretty good. It was easy to mix and there was plenty there (maybe even a little too much), it applied to my face smoothly and I could feel it working. I felt the pulling and tightening on my face and then after 30 minutes I went for the challenge of taking it off. Ok, so it wasn't really a challenge. I dampened the face cloth and gently rubbed my face and gradually bit began to break off. Once I figured it out, it came off very easily, and the more I used the face masks, the easier and quicker it got. I have quite sensitive skin so there was a lot of redness straight after taking it off. The box states that this is normal and it shall go within half an hour which it did. All was good, in fact all was great. I was really impressed by how fresh and smooth my skin felt. The few spots that I had, reduced in size and my incredibly patchy skin tone did seem to even out! Don't leave it on any longer than 30 minutes though because it will just continue to set and it may start to tighten your face more which will essentially hurt!

For optimal effect it suggests that you use it every day/night for a week which I tried but frankly, that can be quite difficult to fit into most peoples busy life times. I think it's a great thing to do maybe once a week or once a month and use other face masks in between to remoisturise. 

Pros:
- It smoothed out my skin tone
- My skin felt completely exfoliated
- Reduces spots and blackheads
- You get a lot for you money (Buy it here for £24.99)

Cons:
- Too much in one sachet for one person (great if you fancy a girly night with a friend though because you could probably get away with just using the one sachet for the both of you) and a lot got thrown away
- The rose water has a very strong smell which some may not like
- It's difficult to not smile and keep it from cracking (that's bound to happen with any clay mask though, and my mum kept making fun of me looking like a swamp monster!)

So not many cons then? And to add to the pros, it's suitable for all skin types, cruelty free, 100% organic (like I've said), contains no parabens, vegan friendly, and therefore 100% natural! There's just something about wearing a face mask that's all natural, it instantly makes you feel better and cleaner!

All good reviews from me! Since I didn't try it every day, I still have a couple of sachets left so I'm looking forward to a relaxing full on pamper night. Bath, face mask, painting my nails, you know? The works!

On their website, you can also buy boxes of 14 and 21 face mask sets, and konjac sponges.

Thank you FaceTox!

- KC xx

 Have you heard of FaceTox before? Would you give it a try?
Read more...

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Clubhotel Riu Tequila Review - Mexico

13:23:00 49
Holaaaaa

I've been so excited to write this post, purely and simply because of how much I love this hotel! For as long as I can remember I have stayed at RIU hotels. I first went to the Riu Bachata back in 2002 (I think - I was very young) and since then I have been back to that area to stay at the Riu Mambo another four times. The first time I went to Mexico, in 2010, I also stayed at the Riu Playacar hotel which last year we were hoping to go back to but it was getting refurbished. That's the worst decision the Riu hotels could've made. Since I stayed at the Riu Tequila for Christmas and New Year in 2013/2014, I decided that I would take Ed there when we were 18 and finally finished our college exams. What a place to go at that age!

For two 18 year-olds, it's unlikely that you go much further than Europe on your first holiday without parents. Whether it's the cost or the distance, most people tend to stay in Spain or Greece but we thought otherwise. I had been wanting to return to Mexico when I was 18 since the first time I went and I was so glad when I was finally able to make it happen. It's not as expensive as people may think. A little saving up and you're sorted. I will tell you now that for that holiday, we paid £1031 each. Seems a lot to pay out in one go but when you realise what that covers, you'll be amazed.

That £1031 included:
- Flights
- Transfers
- 2 Weeks in a 24hr 5* All Inclusive Hotel

So that's all your food, drink, travel costs etc. paid for in one go. Now work out how much you would pay overall for a week in Spain. Don't forget all that spending money for food and drink outside of the hotel! I'd recommend long haul holidays any day.

On to the hotel...

ClubHotel RIU Tequila


mexico, playa del carmen, cancun, holiday, travel, traveling, thomson, riu hotels,

Firstly, everything was booked through the Thomson website. It was quick and simple, as long as you don't get too excited like I did and spell your boyfriends last name wrong. Don't worry though because I rang them up straight away and they amended it free of charge. We didn't book seats because there weren't any that were two together because we booked quite late. It's always worth a look though. Security at Manchester Airport was fine. Nothing unusual there. We then moved on and had some breakfast at Burger King, after picking up a baguette for our lunch. I never like airplane food so I won't go into that but the flight was average. Not too hot or cold. Cleanliness was good. I thought they were lacking on the movies this time though. I had actually pretty much seen everything as most of the movies were on last years flight too. We flew on the Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner so all drinks were complimentary which saves you a lot of money!

Arriving at Cancun airport is one of my favourite feelings. It's immediately hot. You can smell the humidity but you don't care because it's a holiday smell and you are there! There's always a mariachi band that greet you creating a Mexican atmosphere from the start. I love it! We got our bags quick enough and were straight to the coach transfer - air conditioned coach transfer. After a few drop offs (around the same area) we were welcomed by the ever lovely Riu Tequila staff. I think some are starting to recognise us now. You're given a refreshing fruity drink and your all-inclusive wrist bands that you don't even realise your wearing after a couple of days, and we were off to our room!

riu tequila, clubhotel, kids club, trvel, holiday, all inclusive, booking. thomson, holidays, travelling, traveling,

Rooms

At first we were put in a room right at the very back and we did have complaints. The safe wasn't working and the shower wasn't very powerful. We spoke to our wonderful friend, Josh (he's been at the hotel every time I've been as part of the animation team but he now works in reception), and he sent someone to fix it right away. We weren't too happy being so far back in the hotel when last time we were near the front. Again, we asked at reception and a day later we were able to move into the block we wanted! First floor in block 27, facing the back. Even though the rooms are all pretty much exactly the same, this one felt much more comfortable for us. The shower was a lot faster too! It's beautifully decorated and you definitely feel like you are in the Caribbean. Paintings of cacti are on the walls and there's a 36 inch TV with all sorts of channels in every language possible!

Each room comes with everything you need. Two double beds, bedside tables, table and chairs by the balcony doors, and then two chairs and a small plastic table on the balcony. Heading into the changing/bathroom area, there's a mini bar and a fridge that gets filled up every other day. There's a large walk-in style wardrobe where you can find extra blankets, hangers, a safe, and an iron and ironing board. Of course then there's a shower and toilet. Next to the sink is a hairdryer and a plug socket for razors. You are given 2-in-one shampoo and shower gel in a dispenser and then bars of soap that look like lego with shower caps and flannels by the sink. Glasses and an ice bucket are provided, as well as all your towels.  If you decide to be nice and leave a tip for the maid, you'll be given a wonderful piece of towel art. (Or depending on which maid you get, you might be given towel art anyway, which I find is more of an incentive to tip.)

birthday, rooms, accommodation, hotel, holiday, riu tequila, mexico, playa del carmen, thomson holidays


Grounds


coatimundi, riu tequila, hotel, grounds, nature, animals, mexico, traditional, playa del carmen, holiday, thomson holidays

How stunning they are. The hotel has two pools that are either side of the "Lupita" restaurant (snack bar for lunch and steak house at night) and bar. One pool is mostly used for entertainment with pool basket ball and water polo whilst the other has a lovely water feature at one end and a swim-up bar at the other. Both pools are surrounded by luscious greenery. Palm trees are everywhere so you're also surrounded by nature. Coatis, all sorts of birds, agoutis, cats, etc. You feel like you could very well be in the jungle that it once was. All the animals could sometimes be a problem and they'd love to steal peoples food and drink but since we last went, they've put up two feeding trays which get filled up throughout the day with bread and fruits. I thought it was a wonderful idea. All the buildings either have burnt orange tiled roofs or of course, the very traditional, thatched roofs. Every night we saw workers going round and re-thatching the parasols so they were constantly working to ensure safety.

birds, nature, animals, coati, mexico, travel, playa del carmen, riu tequila, thomson holidays

Food

I can honestly say that in my 19 years of travelling to many different all inclusive hotels where they offer buffet restaurants, I have never had a buffet as nice as here. For starters, it is so grand. The decoration is beautiful with traditional Mexican artwork painted across the ceiling and vast chandeliers. There is seating both inside and out and there really is enough for everyone. If you are with a bigger family and you want to sit together you can either book seating in the morning and they sort it for you ready before you get there or if you just ask one of the waiters, they will sort it straight away for you! At certain times, it can get quite busy, mainly because a lot of people like to go for their food around 8pm. If you go before or after that then you can walk around and choose whatever you want with complete ease. All the food is delicious, and there is something for everyone. Vegetables, carvery, pastas, salads, etc. Everyday there is something different and some nights are themed too where the staff dress up and you can find more foods from around the world. If you don't like anything too fancy and you're quite fussy with food, there is also pizza and chips! There are so many deserts to choose from, including your basic fruits and ice cream. Not only that though, every night there is melted chocolate or a chocolate fountain! On the occasion, it is white chocolate too!

bbq, food, eating, foodie, mexico, mexican, cancun, playa del carmen, holiday, riu tequila, thomson holidays

My advice with the food is to go earlier if you're going to the buffet restaurant and then when you're done you can go get a seat in by the stage ready for the nightly entertainment. Also, make sure you try the soups. The cream of broccoli, cream of veg, and the potato and leek soups are the nicest. I have never had soup so beautifully tasting in my life. You don't need to put any extra seasoning in them at all. The chefs cook them to perfection!

Not only is there the buffet restaurant, there's the steak house, Asian (also buffet style) and the Mexican which is just across at the Riu Yucatan on the beach. For some of these you need to make bookings for in the morning although this might have changed since I was there according to some people I've spoken to since.

Entertainment


activities, holiday, entertainment, riu tequila, travel, mexico, cancun, playa del carmen,

The entertainment at all RIU hotels is always my favourite, and has been since I was a kid. Whatever age you are, I'm sure you'll find something to do and to get involved in. During the day there is the kids club for the little ones, up to 12, where they do crafts, play games, watch TV etc. But for the adults, and some kids if they want to, there are activities like Boccia ball (basically french bowls but on sand, and you gently throw the balls instead of roll them), horse shoes, rifle shooting, darts, shuffle board, etc. There is also water polo and a basketball tournament in the pool and ping-pong and volleyball tournaments on the sand. Every day there is also a Crazy Game which could include a belly-flop competition or maybe even a paper aeroplane contest. It changes every day but it's always good fun! Every Wednesday is Caribbean party day too. Coconuts, BBQs, towel art, and usually a water balloon game!

targets, entertainment, riu tequila, holiday, travel, mexico, playa del carmen, cancun

Every night there is a the mini disco for the kids at 8pm and then it's the pre-show, certificates (where everyone who won the activities during the day are given prizes and certificates) and then the main show. This time we saw Grease, Moulin Rouge, the Caribbean Show, the magic show, Michael Jackson, the Mayan show, and the Las Vegas show. Just to name few. The majority of them are all put on by the amazing animation team, most of who are dancers. All of them are so lovely and they work so hard everyday! The team run all the activities throughout the day and maybe get an hour break after lunch and in between rehearsals for the shows before they are back out to welcome guests into the restaurant or host a casino night or Mexican games night, and that's all before they dance full-out in the shows. Some nights they can sit back and relax with the audience as they get other touring dancers to come in and do a show. To be honest, I much prefer the shows the entertainment staff do!

shows, theatre, stage, mexico, horror, phantom of the opera, entertainment, mexico, holiday, riu tequila, thomson

I can't use words to explain how lovely they all really are. One night they took us to a night club for Ed's birthday and what a fantastic night it was! Every lunch time we had one or two of them sat with us and we always had a good laugh. Most of them speak pretty good English but even with the ones that struggled, the language barrier didn't stop us from becoming really good friends! I got to try and practice some of my Spanish and we were fine to help them practice their English!

Staff


entertainment, staff, hotel, thomson holiday, riu tequila, mexico, cancun, playa del carmen
This is actually one from last year but this is Fer, he was also there this year to it was great to meet him again! 

I think I've said enough about the entertainment staff so I'll move on to everyone else. You didn't get to speak to the chefs very much but whenever you saw them they would always say 'Hola' and be smiling as you walked past, and it was the same with the maids and gardeners. I spoke to one of the managers once and even he was incredibly lovely to just have a chat with. The waiters and waitresses were all wonderful too. They work so hard and I can imagine that they get some tough people to deal with from time to time so I always think it's nice when I see people standing up and shaking their hands letting them know how wonderful they are! In the buffet restaurant we sat in different places every night so we had different people waiting on us but there were two waiters that were particularly great. One of them was our waiter on Ed's birthday where we got a table for 2 with balloons and fancy napkin art, and later they brought out a delicious homemade cake and all the waiters sang to him! On our last night we choose to go to the Asian restaurant where both of our favourites were in there so we gave them both quite a good tip! They deserved it!

Overall

If you're looking for a place to stay that offers just about everything (there is a spa and gym nearby you can go to, and there's free wifi) then I would always suggest this hotel. I much prefer it to the others in the same area because it hasn't been done up, it's still very traditional and you feel like you really are in Mexico. After my 4th time, I still want to go back and I know of people who go back every year, if not twice a year! My parents keep trying other places in Mexico and each time they are disappointed, so next year guess where they are going back to?! I'd love to go back next year but I think it's time for us to do a bit of traveling around. Interailling is the next thing we think! I will always give this place 5 stars as long as it doesn't get refurbed!

Message to RIU Hotels and Thomson Holidays: DO NOT CHANGE THE RIU TEQUILA! It could maybe do with a little TLC here and there but NO PINK, PURPLE, SILVER AND BLUES, OR MIRRORED FLOORS AND WALLS!

I would really appreciate it if, when you have a spare 5 minutes, you could share this blog post with RIU hotels and Thomson Holidays and hope they get the message.

Thank you!
- KC xx
Read more...

Monday, 8 August 2016

Let's Go Fly a Kite

23:28:00 24
Welcome Back!

You may not have noticed but I took the week off, and what a hectic week it has been. I spent Sunday afternoon going over everything that has happened and everything that I did this past week and the list seemed to keep going on! I'm so glad I took the week off my blogging because if I hadn't I really don't know how I would've survived! Now Monday is back though, it's time to power on at full speed as I'm determined to grow my blog to a pretty good standard before I head off to uni!

Just at a glance, here's what I've been up to over the past week:

Sunday - St Annes Kite Festival
Monday - Work (went home ill with a terrible migraine)
Tuesday - Work then The Shires concert
Wednesday - Drove to Grange-Over-Sands then outdoor screening of Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Thursday - Got my student bank account then chilled because I still wasn't feeling very well
Friday - Went to see Suicide Squad then Lawson concert
Saturday - Went to Heaton Park, Manchester and completed the 5K Adrenaline Rush then picnic on The Green listening to Bryan Adams live at Lytham Festival
Sunday - Well needed lie in but then went and did some shopping!

Over the coming week/weeks, you can guarantee I will be writing about everything but for now I'm going to start at the beginning!

St Annes Kite Festival

If you don't know where St Annes is, then it's about a 10 minute drive south of Blackpool, along the coastline. Also known as Lytham St Annes but us locals tend to separate the two, into Lytham and St Annes-On-Sea, for unknown reasons. There is also Ansdell in between so it probably has something to do with that.

Here on the Fylde Coast, it seems like every week there is a festival at the moment, if not every day. Last Sunday was the start of it all!  (Although all the events are completely separate from each other.) Each year, on the beach front, hundreds of avid kite flyers descend on the promenade to show off their flying skills or their creative kite designs. Each year it seems to be getting bigger and bigger with a local fringe music festival popping up all round the town! I can't say I have ever seen St Annes so busy. 

Despite living here all my life, this year was the first time I have decide to go and see what's going on. Ed and I took a little drive out and, after surprisingly finding a parking space quite quickly, were able to head on over to the beach with our sunglasses on and cameras in hand.

lifestyle, day out, travel, st annes, lytham, festival, kite, internation, beach, coast, fylde, blackpool

The weather was absolutely perfect for the event. Sunny and warm but windy enough to get those kites high in the sky! Everyone was out taking strolls along the beach, eating their ice creams, building sand castles, it was simply such a perfect day. I can't explain how much I enjoyed myself!

caribbean, kite festival, st annes, blackpool, lytham, music festival, fylde, brazil, rio 2016

The festival was on throughout the weekend but choosing to go on Sunday (not that I had a choice because I had to work on Saturday) felt like the best idea because of Samba Sunday where Poco Loco and the World Wise Samba Band lead a procession down the promenade and then onto the beach. What a way to get in the Rio 2016 mood?! Being a huge lover of anything remotely Caribbean, I absolutely loved the costumes and of course the music. It immediately makes me feel ten times better! One day I want to be in a Caribbean carnival myself!

beach, traditional, coast, blackpool, st annes, kite festival, music festival, lytham

music festival, lytham, st annes, kite festival, beach, fylde, blackpool, culture, travel

St Annes beach was the perfect setting for such an event. Everything felt like a proper traditional British beach holiday, one I have never really been on. Not only did all the families bring out their buckets and spades, but the kids could ride a donkey along the beach just like in the "good ol' days". The Stage Company were also there with Mark Daniels (who I got to meet at the Lytham Sportfest interview day!) on the mic introducing everyone and getting people involved! The stage was also were live music was played but unfortunately we didn't get to see any while we were there.

Onto the kites:
kite festival, wind, travel, st annes, beach, music, lytham, fylde, blackpoolkite festival, st annes, fylde, beach, coast, lifestyle, travel, lytham, blackpool

How amazing they were! As a child I used to love the idea of going down to the beach and flying my kite but I don't remember doing it very often at all so I guess it's one thing I regret not doing enough of as a kid. So, getting the opportunity to see so many monster-sized kites was phenomenal! There were so many with such vibrant colours and designs. Giant dragons, life-like birds, and even a little teddy bear flying his own kite!


kite festival, music, lytham, st annes, fylde, coast, blackpool, beach, holiday
nature, kite festival, ladybird, beach, sand, sun, holiday, blackpool, st annes, lytham, music

teddy, children, family days out, lytham, st annes, blackpool, fylde, coast, beach, sea, sun, sand
This bear actually moved in the wind making it look like it really was flying the kite, amazing!

I was so fascinate I came home with hundreds of photos that I wish I could show you so I'm working on a slideshow that I can add to the end of this blog post! What a fantastic day out for everyone! Everyone I saw seemed to be thoroughly enjoying it. There were smiles everywhere! I can't wait until next years kite festival now! 

The St Annes Kite Festival was just the start of the local festivals going on. Monday brought us the start of Lytham Festival! More on that soon! It's also the 40s Festival this weekend too!

So much going on and I'm sure you'll get to hear all about it! Keep up to date on my twitter and instagram! (kiralcurtis)

See you soon!
- KC xx

Is there anything going on near you? Did/Do you love flying kites?
Read more...

Translate