Saturday, August 22, 2015

#travelpost - Bogotá, Colombia

We made it

A 20 minute drive through town took us to our first hostel of the trip, Masaya Bogotá, tucked away on a hilly street in La Candelaria neighbourhood of Bogotá. I think we did ourselves proud with this one and I'm sure we'll stay in a lot worse.

Day 1:

First stop on our first afternoon was coffee of course and food. Our route took us through Plaza de Bolivar, a huge square filled with a lifetime supply of pigeons named after the political leader Simón Bolívar. Harry tried his first (of probably many) bowl of ajiaco, a soup made up of chicken and sweet corn served with rice, arepas, plantain and capers. I had chorizo with arepas and a side of avocado plus beers... This didn't even cost us 2.50 each....I don't think we'll have a problem with our budget after all. *dancing lady emoji*

Day 2:

It was predicted rain and storms for today but the morning started sunny with a breakfast of tamales and eggs at La Puerta Falsa thank you Anthony Bourdain for showing us the way to this hole in the wall in a 350 year old colonial building. For the rest of the morning we headed over to Museo Botero for a wander and sit in the patio and then back to the hostel for a quick coffee and sit down.

At midday we decided to head up to Monserrate, a mountain that dominates the skyline over the capital, via cable car and a steep one at that. At the top we had a wander around the gardens and the church that overlooks Bogotá and finished it off with a quick coffee with one of the best views I've ever seen. The view of the rolling clouds hanging over the mountains were close to giving the city view a run for it's money! A quick stop at the usually quite pricey Bogota Beer Company to catch happy hour £1.20 a pint and we were good to head back for a rest stop before dinner in La Macarena neighbourhood.


Day 3:

On Saturday, our last full day, we started the morning a little later with a lazy walk for arepas. We found a cute little place in La Candelaria filled with stacks and stacks of fresh bread and decided to order a huge cup of chocolate and arepas con queso. It was delicious! We even bought a cheesy loaf to save for lunchtime. The lazy day continued with a walk to the supermarket to buy our sandwich fillings and whatnots and then back to the hostel for a chat and coffee. The rest of our Saturday was filled with a walk around our neighbourhood and yes, another coffee.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

#stylepost - Reformation LA

Los Angeles based company Reformation isn't exactly new on the scene as it's actually been around since 2009 but only recently have I come across it. I'll get back to that in a minute.

A sustainable company that is proud to use renewable energy and recycled packaging at their onsite LA based sewing factory. There is no middleman. Reformation and it's simply designed garments go from factory to boutique to home. 

If that's not enough, 3/4 of the management team are women and all employees receive one paid day off a month to volunteer in their local communities. 
*hands up emoji*

So, back to finding Reformation in the first place. 

First it was Bella Hadid scattered across my Instagram/Pinterest feeds in the Avalon bodysuit $78 at Coachella and if that wasn't enough to make me grab my laptop and purse, Emily Ratajkowski, Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Benson and Chiara Ferragni weren't too far behind in the lace up number either. Unfortunately for me fortunately for my bank balance the Avalon is now sold out but there are more current options, including the new 'For Boobs' story.

Some of my favourite bodysuit picks and others.

Selena bodysuit $78 SOLD OUT
Serena bodysuit for boobs $78
Miramar dress $168
Miami tank $98

 Tijuana tees $68
Dan tee $28
Corsoca playsuit $178

                                           Lima dress $178                                       

Currently there are no stores in Europe, only LA and NY.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

#beautypost: Brew-tiful Skin. DIY Coffee Body Scrub

I don't know about you but my days don't function too well without my morning cup of coffee, not to mention the other three daily cups supplied by my java obsessed, V60 brewing boyfriend. You'll find me, brew in hand, at the dining table scrolling through the mornings latest Instagram/Pinterest feeds. Most often I'm waking up my sleepy eyes looking at other people's coffee pots and other foody whatnots but recently coffee has caught my attention for a completely different reason.

With the New Year here and ready to give me a kick up the bum, I needed a New Year's resolution that I could actually try and stick to and no.. if you're thinking that this is leading to me telling you that I'm quitting coffee, that just isn't going to happen. 

I don't think my other half would ever, ever forgive me.

No, this year I'm doing the most predictable thing... I'm going to get my skin and body in better condition and shape. Yes, living abroad takes it's toll on my physical situation.... as soon as Friday (most weeks I don't even wait until then) comes I eat and drink like I'm on some sort of weekly occurring holiday. And with a 3-month trip to South America on my horizon, I've never had a better excuse to cut down and get into better shape. I can't see myself stopping completely with the food-cocktail fuelled weekends but I suppose I can curb a few of them and between these 'mini breaks' I'm going to try my best to exercise more, eat a little smaller and greener and give my skin some well needed TLC.

So where does coffee come into this? 

I've read tonnes of things about how good coffee is for the skin and it's benefits and results. I also found Frankbody... a coffee scrub that's all over Instagram for all the right reasons and I almost bought it. That's when I realised, why buy when you can make? To be honest, the Frank range is quite affordable, starting at £11.95 a pack and up depending on the ingredients you're after, but for a fraction of the price and a little project to play with, I've made my own coffee scrub, face and body friendly. Please don't try this until you've tested a patch of skin first.

Here are some benefits of using coffee on your skin that might distract your mind from the not so appealing appearance of this scrub...

Health benefits of using coffee on our skin
Coffee grounds, when applied onto our skin, work as a great exfoliant whilst not being too harsh unlike some scrubs that include beads and seeds. Exfoliating our skin improves the skin's circulation and removes any dead skin cells, giving our skin a much brighter, softer glow and because of this it can really help to ease the appearance of blemishes, scars caused by acne and stretch marks.

Coffee not only affects above our skin but underneath as well; the caffeine in coffee helps temporarily eliminate the appearance of lumpy, bumpy cellulite so say hello to plump bums and thighs. Now, I've had a good scour on the internet and sadly the word temporarily isn't used lightly... doctors say that this elimination is best up to 2-3 hours after use and then returns back to normal. But all isn't lost... the circulation improvement that I mentioned earlier is the trick to eliminating cellulite on a more permanent basis.

Coffee also holds tonnes of antioxidants which eases inflammation and swelling... yes, this includes our puffy morning eyes when used on a regular basis. These antioxidants also keep premature skin ageing at bay caused by our terrible daily bad habits and those pesky UV rays... (the colourant in brown sugar is also extremely helpful in protecting our skin from the sun's UV)

This might not be your thing and the results will probably vary from person to person but when it's this easy and cheap, surely it's worth a go at least once... no?

3 parts coffee grounds
1 part sugar
Squeeze of lemon
Small drop of water (enough to make a thick paste) On this occasion I used to left over green tea

When your scrub is ready to use start from feet and work your way up to neck or face, rubbing in circular motions. Wait for 5-10 minutes and jump in the shower!
I've read it's better to keep away from soapy products when washing the scrub off as it removes any oils that have been left on your skin by the coffee. It's a messy job but so worth it.
Scrub away!

  • You can use fresh or used coffee grounds however we use a whole load of coffee each day so for me it's 100% worth using old grounds. Waste not, want not.
  • Whether you use white or brown sugar is completely up to you as both have there benefits and both are common in shop bought scrubs however, brown sugar is much softer on the skin which works better if you're planning to use this scrub on your face too. If you want a stronger scrub for your body only then go for it with white sugar.
  • If you find your scrub is way too runny then just add a few straws of kitchen roll for 5 minutes or so. Once removed, you'll be back to a thick paste... scrub saved!
  • Remember, if you want to keep your scrub for longer than a day then make sure to store it in a cool, dry place and keep it air tight... this way it will last 1-2 weeks.
Now why can't I hear your shower running?

Friday, October 24, 2014

#stylepost - Got Flair?

A short post to show some appreciation for my recent love of anything seventies..
AKA A Leandra Medine tribute

Anything involving:
Flared pants
Oversized sleeves
Fluff and fur
Suede mini skirts 
Off the shoulders
Bare eyes and a parting straight up the middle

Send any wide legged trouser suggestions this way.... 

Trouser Pull & Bear ¦ Top COS ¦ Sandals ZARA ¦ Faux Fur Stole ASOS ¦ Necklace Monica Vinader
High Waisted Jeans Topshop ¦ Top H&M