Beauty // Color Club Neon Nails

I love a nail polish and am always on the hunt for new nail polish colours to add to my already large modest collection. When I saw this instagram pic of Anna from South Molton Street Style wearing her Color Club polish, the hunt was on!

I don't currently subscribe to Birchbox but that didn't matter, you can also purchase the items they include in their gift boxes directly from their site.  This led me to purchase their Color Club Wanderlust mini collection. Already, I know this pack of 4 mini polishes are all the colours I'll be taking on my forthcoming holidays.

Reign In Spain (in daylight)

Reign In Spain (in shadow)

London Calling (in daylight)

London Calling (in shadow)

I'm looking forward to trying the purple (Pardon My French) and the off -white (Mod In Manhatten), I think this would look particularly good on toes...

Now these aren't expertly applied, I got them when I got in last night and did a quick polish change before going out for dinner.  As with other neon polishes, like the American Apparel Neons, they are quite thick so tricky to apply but that really hasn't put me off as the end result is so good.

What do you think of the colours?  Do you currently subscribe to Birchbox?

Travel // Caribbean Cruising

I was lucky enough to go on a family holiday waaaay back in March to celebrate my parents 60th birthdays.

The Intinerary
We flew into Miami and stayed overnight before connecting to San Juan the next morning.  From there we boarded Celebrity Summit to start our cruise.  We visited, Barbados, St Lucia, Antigua, St Maarten and St Thomas before heading back to San Juan to fly home.

Bridgetown, Barbados

Castries, St Lucia

St Johns, Antigua

Philipsburg, St Maarten

Charlotte Amalie, St Thomas

My favourite port of call was St. Maarten, I'm not sure why really - I just thought it was really pretty and I scuba dived there which was pretty cool - saw some reef sharks, turtles, barracuda and parrot fish.  We walked around Philipsburg in the afternoon and I really liked the look of some of the restaurants and bars we passed (I mean you can't go wrong when they're advertising 8 bottles of beer for $6!).

The ship was immense and our cabin had a balcony which was a real bonus.

And here are some pics from around the ship:

For those of you who have never been on a cruise, how do I explain it.  Depending on which company you choose it can be like a Club 18-30 holiday or a sophisticated resort holiday.  Carnival cruises tends to house a younger crowd whereas Royal Caribbean and Celebrity you find more families and the average age of the clientele is a little older.  The beauty of a cruise is that you can visit a number of locations on one holiday.  On the flipside, the drawback could be the lack of flexibility - which I have to admit I did struggle with towards the end.  What I mean is, everything has a schedule, for example, if you choose to dine in the main restaurant, you have to choose your sitting when you book your holiday so we had dinner every night at 8.30pm without fail.  The ship sails at a certain time so you have to be back at least 30 minutes before it sails each evening.  On the other hand, if you like to have a plan and don't mind sticking to it then it's for you!

Has anyone else ever been on a cruise or visited these ports of call on a holiday?  I'd love to hear your recommendations!

A Busy Weekend

An exciting weekend in all, a friend organised tickets to the David Bowie exhibition at the V&A which was a great excuse to get into town a bit earlier so we could have a bite to eat and a leisurely stroll around Chelsea.

The tennis balls at Bluebird

We started off with lunch at the Big Easy - I had the lobster (with thermidor sauce) and Peter had ribs and chicken.  A great way to start our afternoon.  

We then strolled up towards South Kensington and stopped at Hummingbird Bakery on the way.  We couldn't decide between the Red Velvet or Chicago Fudge cake so got a slice of each to share.

Dress: Primark

Eyes bigger than bellies!

The Bowie exhibition was very well done - a series of videos, interviews, costumes, photographs and handwritten notes.  I'm not a die hard Bowie fan so it helped that I'd watched the BBC documentary on iPlayer beforehand.

Sunday we did more eating and drinking, nabbing a table at our soon-to-be local pub by the river.

We also discovered this beautiful walled garden.

Shorts: H&M, T-shirt: eBay, Sandals: Topshop, Bag: Mulberry, Sunnies: Ray-ban

Did you get up to anything fun in the sunshine this weekend?

Sale Purchase // Mulberry Bryn

As those of you who have read my blog before will know, I have a small obsession with handbags.  So much so that in 2012, in an attempt to curb my bag purchasing habit, I didn't buy any bags for a whole year.  In 2013, that ban was lifted but rather than buying up every reasonably priced handbag I liked the look of, I wanted to hold out for something special.

For over a decade now I have lusted after Mulberry bags.  They are timeless, stylish and functional.  My first Mulberry love was the Roxanne - all that lovely hardware.

Mulberry Roxanne

I then graduated to the Emmy, again the buckles and postman locks really appealed to me.

Mulberry Emmy

I read some reviews of both bags and discovered that they were actually fairly heavy without putting anything in them (a massive no-no for me).  So the search went on...

Fast forward a few years and I'm all about the hands-free, cross body bag.  I have a Topshop cross body bag that I have used for years and years (see this post) but it's sometimes too small to get everything I need for work in it.

So, introducing my latest sale purchase...

As you can see the Bryn fits my long wallet, kindle, paper diary and sunglasses, and I could probably get an umbrella in there too.  It's a great size and I'm using it as an everyday bag.

I'm so pleased with this purchase, especially as the discount was so good (50% off).  I would love the smaller black version as an evening bag but one Mulberry at a time...

Did you pick up anything in the sales?

Travel // The Scottish Highlands

A few weeks ago when the summer was just trying to start I went on a holiday with my husband and his parents to Scotland.  We travelled up from Hartlepool to the gateway to the Highlands, Crianlarich.  There we rented a cottage for 4 nights so the in-laws could do some fishing and we could explore.

Having only visited Glasgow and Edinburgh (and both of them only briefly), I didn't know what to expect from the Highlands but I was greeted by spectacular scenery and welcoming pubs!

We also ended up "bagging our first munro", or climbing a mountain basically - we were woefully unprepared having just decided to do it the day before.  We climbed Schehallion, which is described in guide books as "the perfect introduction to hill-climbing".  Well we started off keen and smiling...That is of course until the path that you've been following disappears and is replaced by boulders and the wind and rain starts.  Joy!

As you can see Peter is only wearing a t-shirt under his shirt - that was the first of many blunders, the next being our inappropriate footwear (we were in trainers).  We started out on a balmy 18/19 degree day and ended the ascent in driving rain which was pretty cold, in fact we really could have used gloves at the top!

The descent was a bit more tricky, mainly because the rain had made the boulders at the top of the slippery and the cloud had moved in making it hard to find the path down again.  Luckily we asked to follow a much more able couple down to the path and they were very helpful.

Once down we congratulated ourselves on ticking "climbing a mountain" off the bucket list and vowed never to do it again.

Changeable weather and munro bagging aside, the Highlands are beautiful and I would recommend the cottages we stayed in.  One thing to note is that there is limited telephone service and some of the pubs don't serve dinner past 8 pm.

I'd be interested to hear about other peoples adventures in Scotland and whether any of you have bagged any munros?
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