Tuesday, 28 February 2017

February Favourites | 2017

Happy pancake day! Hope you had a lovely February and are settled into 2017 well; my month has been very much full of ups and downs, deadlines, movies, training, birthdays, valentine's day, and pancakes. You take the good with the bad. Here's what I've been loving this past month...

Too Faced palettes

I know, I know, I'm late to the game. I've wanted these palettes for SUCH a long time I can't even tell you, so when I finally got paid, I thought 'sod it, let's get them now' and so I did. I went for the Sweet Peach palette and the Chocolate Bar palette and let me just say - money well spent.


The Sweet Peach palette is like the ultimate summer eyeshadow palette. I am completely in love with pretty much all of it. Even the scent is summery. It's actually a palette I find really cheers me up when I use it, and I cannot wait to go all out when it becomes warmer and sunnier; it'll be the perfect birthday palette, as I am a summer baby!


The Chocolate Bar palette is also gorgeous, and probably has more shades that I would wear on an everyday look; that said, it's got some really nice shades that are buildable to give a nice smoky eye, and I really like the way the colours blend together.

Both palettes are well pigmented and cost around £39 each.



La La Land - the soundtrack

I really enjoyed La La Land when I saw it in the cinema this month; I have to say, whilst the film was good, I did think it was overhyped. The music though was what really stood out for me! The next day, I streamed the whole soundtrack on Spotify and absolutely loved it; 'City of Stars' is probably my favourite.



Fujifilm Instax Mini Camera 8

I've also wanted one of these for a long time too; I was of the generation that kinda missed out on the whole 'love-for-polaroid-instant-film' but I always wanted one - they just stopped being sold and it was impossible to find one that wasn't priced as a collectible!

However, now Fujifilm have made these beauties, I finally achieved that small, fairly insignificant but still important, dream. My friend Maddy had one when we were travelling around the States and I really loved it, so much so that I nearly bought one there and wish I had!

I saw ASOS sold these in a few colours, and I know a lot of people tend to go for the white or pink versions; I'd never seen anyone use a red one, and I just had to have that one specifically. I used it for the first time on Valentine's and now I'm obsessed. I also saw (in my research for best prices) on Amazon, this 'selfie mirror' that you attach to the front of the camera lens which helps you position the camera correctly if you want to take a selfie; I'm not huge on them but I think it's pretty useful for one of these!


Disney

This is quite a broad one, but basically I've rekindled my love for all things Disney. I've been watching old videos from Brogan, Charlotte, Amy, and LucyAndLydia, of all their Disney vlogs, hauls and tips, and I just want to go back SO badly. It's even got me thinking ahead to some trips this year with both my friends and Paddy to try to plan visits to a couple of the parks...I'm just so excited to get my hands on a pair of Minnie Mouse ears!


via GIPHY

L'eau de Rose perfume by Jeanne Arthes

I received this perfume as part of my Glossybox (for those who don't know - it's a beauty subscription box that comes every month full of lovely treats) and was pleasantly surprised. I've subscribed for over a year now, and this is the first time I've had a perfume. It was part of their February Valentine's themed box, and so everything was centred around love. 

This fragrance is just perfect for me as it smells like roses. I adore pretty much anything rose-scented; it's been my favourite flower since I was little, and always makes me happy because it makes me think of June, when all the roses around our house would blossom, and it was my birthday time. 

I would honestly say this perfume is a good, cheaper dupe for Roses by Chloe; it's just as beautiful, the packaging is simple but really lovely, and it's a fraction of the price at only £20!


Aubaine

You can read more about my love for this place here, as I went with some friends to celebrate my friend's birthday. I really liked it - the decor is beautiful and so elegant; the food is delicious and the cocktails are amazing. Highly recommend if you're looking for somewhere in London!

M x
Thursday, 23 February 2017

The Grand Canyon.

The Grand Canyon. The big one. The humdinger.

One of the reasons I chose the specific tour I went on with +G Adventures was because there were certain places I really wanted to see and experiences I really wanted to do. The Grand Canyon was one of them.

I mean, if you're gonna go all that way for a while, why wouldn't you see it?

When we were on our drive, our tour leaders passed out paper bags on the minibus and said we all had to take one, and could draw whatever we wanted on them. (This is relevant, I promise haha!) We were all really confused but did as they said, and then when we got to Grand Canyon NP and got out of the minibus, we were told to put the bags on our heads and form a conga line, each holding onto the person in front. They led us a short way and then stopped and lined us all up. (Writing this now makes it seem really creepy, but it really wasn't!)

Then they told us to take the bags off our heads, and this is what was right in front of us:


The picture does it no justice at all! Honestly, it was weird at the time but I'm so glad they did that as it really did make it special. You just can't believe you're there and that this is the view. We were right up close to the railing and it was just INCREDIBLE.

And hilarious, as lots of tourists kept shouting to us 'oh man, you have no idea what's in front of you!'



The time that we went happened to be a very cloudy day; my tour leader Nelle said that even though she does this same route very often, she had never ever seen clouds in the Grand Canyon...which made it even more special!

It just felt like we were on top of the world, and honestly, if you have the chance to go, DO IT!



We were there for 2 nights, staying near the south rim of the canyon, and we managed to fit in some hiking in the time. Our leaders advised us only to go down to a place called Ooh Aah Point - because it's a spot where everyone goes 'ooooh' and 'aaaah' cos it's so impressive' - which was about a third/quarter of the way down into the canyon.

Tip: If you don't have proper hiking boots, get some. I attempted to do all our walking - which I was told would be fairly easy (maybe I'm just that unfit) - in Nikes, and let me tell you it was not worth it! I love those trainers, but they gave me blisters that eventually got infected and I had to go to A&E...that's a tale for another time. Moral is, get proper shoes!



Another great reason to go on an organised tour is that they have access to loads of really fun activities that you can do as an extra. An example being a helicopter trip over the Grand Canyon. I booked this in advance before I left, and it was quite pricey, but totally worth it. It's a once-in-a-lifetime experience and I am 100% glad I did it!







The ride lasts about 40 minutes or so, and it takes you over a good chunk of the canyon. When you're up in the air, you can really appreciate how deep it is and you can see everything in much more detail. I was actually quite lucky - as it had been cloudy the day before, visibility was getting worse as the day went on; but because I'd booked in advance, I was given first priority to go on the trip and so got a pretty good view!

It was absolutely one of the highlights of my entire trip, and definitely a bucket list moment. I honestly would go back and maybe see it from a different side this time.

Have you been before?

M x

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Cocktail O'Clock: Raoul's Bar, Oxford

Exploring the cocktail bars in Oxford doesn't happen a whole lot for me; usually because I'm not in Oxford to try them. But the other day my friend and I arranged to go for a catch up and went to Raoul's Bar in Jericho, which I've been wanting to try for aaaaagessss.

The 'Berry Cobbler'
We ended up staying for a while so had about 3 cocktails each; I went for the Berry Cobbler first, which is very fruity and looks gorgeous as all the berries are dusted in icing sugar...it's very drinkable! Second was the Jam Jar Hand Shandy, which was a bit stronger, but as there was a lot of crushed ice in it, it diluted quickly and then became more drinkable - I'm not a huge fan of cocktails where you can clearly taste the spirit which is really strong, prefer a bit more of a blend - with a sweet flavour; and then lastly the Mint Julep drink which I expected to be a bit like a mojito or like the Jumbled Julep at Turtle Bay - it wasn't. It's prettyyyy strong, and has a fair bit of bourbon in it which isn't usually my spirit of choice. However, there is a ton of ice with it again which helps, and aside from the strong taste of bourbon (which did go down) it was pretty nice!

The 'Jam Jar Hand Shandy'
The prices of the cocktails were usually around £6-7 each, which isn't too bad, considering that's similar to what'd you pay for a spirit and mixer in London! I think you get a lot for your money, and we ended up spending about £20 each, which I was quite happy with!

The 'Mint Julep'
What I really loved about Raoul's is not only the relaxed and fun vibe of the place, but the novelties. Their menu is all their own, and you can only view it when you're there - it's not online! They have a tonnnnn of different cocktails which you're unlikely to have ever heard of, and the way they present them is so cool and quirky; case in point above, as the Mint Julep was served in an old Lyle's Golden Syrup tin!

I really enjoyed going and will definitely be visiting again....

M x
Friday, 17 February 2017

My Desert Island Picks

In my time of unemployment, I was trying hard not to spend any extra money on things I didn't need, and it made me think about the things I really do love - all material things (just to warn), obviously family, friends, and my bed are a given...

Anyways, it made me think of the idea of doing my desert island picks! Soooo I've selected my favourites from a ton of different categories that I would take on a desert island with me if I could. (N.B. none of these are to specifically help me get off/survive the desert island...because everyone does that and it's boring and frankly given the state of UK weather at the moment, a desert island sounds lovely)

Here goes!

Beauty: MAC lipstick in Kinda Sexy
I discovered this last year after seeing a few people on Instagram wearing it and I adore it. I've talked about it in a favourites before here and it's the perfect peachy nude shade that is so flattering! I love it so much.



Skincare: Nip + Fab Kale Fix Moisturiser
I got this as part of a beauty subscription box and I've really taken to it - it's so moisturising and nourishing on my skin, particularly in the winter months when it's gotten a bit dry, which now my skin tends to do. It's quite lightweight, and I've heard quite a lot of people rave about it too!

Fashion: Nike Roshe Run Trainers
I wear these all time and they are some of, if not the most comfortable pair of trainers I've ever owned. Just don't wear them hiking as they will not work - take it from me. They're really breathable and lightweight so I take them everywhere; maybe not a hiking shoe but definitely a walking-around-a-city-with-no-blisters kinda shoe.

Film: Walk The Line
If you've not seen this one, I recommend it highly. The acting is great, the story is great (based on true events I might add), and the music is GREAT. I could watch this a million times over and not get bored.



Music: Beyonce - Lemonade
Best album of 2016? It was for me. I always liked Beyonce, but I was never a huuuge fan beforehand; then I saw her live and she was amazing and now I'm very slightly obsessed. I love this album so so much - it makes me think back to when I visited New Orleans and how much I love it there. The story through the songs is heartbreaking too, but kind of relatable, and as always, her voice is incredible.

Cocktail: Porn Star Martini
Despite the name, this one is my ultimate favourite, mainly because it doesn't taste alcoholic. It usually comes with a shot of prosecco, but I always put that into the main drink as I prefer a fizzy drink! You can get them most places nowadays, but I managed to make my own at New Year's which was so much fun!



Book: Christmas at Tiffany's by Karen Swan
This isn't entirely a Christmas book! I love the plotline, and it's quite a heartwarming and funny story of a woman who rebuilds her life after finding out her husband cheated on her with her best friend. It combines three different cities (London, Paris and New York) and how she survives and adventures about in each. I love it so much!

TV show: Gavin and Stacey
If you've seen this show, you'll know what I mean when I say the jokes just don't stop. It's a brilliant series that was, in my opinion, short-lived, and even now when I've watched all of it a million times, I still find it hilarious.


App: Instagram
Can't be dealing without this one can I? I'm always on Instagram (go follow me if ya like - @maevewaite) - because I love taking and sharing photos. I find it far more interesting than a simple Facebook status or comment, and it always inspires me to go to new places or try new things I've never even heard about before, and is always a time-killer.

Yours?

M x

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

How We Do Valentine's Day

I've never written anything about Valentine's day before, so this year, I thought why not? This year will mark the 6th year my boyfriend and I spent the day together (the first year just as friends funnily enough!) and we have fairly standard traditions.

Valentine's: Yay or Nay?
I'm a huge romantic so if I can, I like to spoil Paddy - not with balloons or teddy bears or big hearts etc cos we're not that sort of couple (ok if you are, it's just not our thing); I usually cook something for him, get him a card and some sort of present, and usually buy him Percy Pigs from M&S - that's one of our oldest traditions and he loooooves them....yeah I do too.

I like to celebrate Valentine's - I just like the idea of celebrating the people you love, no matter who they are - including yourself. I've bought friends Valentine's cards and presents and we've done girly things in the past too, just to celebrate our friendships, and I'm all for that! At the end of the day, I wouldn't be much without my friends!

A photo posted by Maeve Waite (@maevewaite) on


That being said, Paddy and I aren't the sort of couple that posts all over social media about how much we love each other etc, and we've never been that way. I occasionally post a photo of us on my Instagram but usually we're fairly low key; Valentine's is very much a chilled occasion for us to just spend time with each other and have fun.

A photo posted by Maeve Waite (@maevewaite) on


Marking the occasion
We actually went out for only two different Valentine's celebrations: in year 1 when we were at uni and he took me to the cinema and to a place in Southampton called Sprinkles (where they do the best crepes, waffles and ice cream, yuuuum). The only other time was in year 3 when we went to an Indian restaurant in London and well, there's a reason that was the last time. Don't get me wrong - I think it's a lovely thing to do to go out - my parents do it every year (their anniversary is on Valentine's day which is just amazing) - but it was very expensive and in hindsight, wasn't really worth the money for the meal and the uber back to his place - it was about 2.5x the normal price!

A photo posted by Maeve Waite (@maevewaite) on



Ever since, we've just had a chilled day and/or quiet night in - usually either me cooking or ordering pizza and just sitting down in front of the tv with a film, and that suits us just fine. It's very much more in tune with how we are as a couple, it's cheaper, and it's just so cosy and comfortable!

A photo posted by Maeve Waite (@maevewaite) on



Gift ideas
When it comes to gifts, Paddy is very hard to buy for. Are other guys like this haha?! He's just one of those people who doesn't really want anything, but if does it'll be something specific and to his taste - so I've gotten him experiences and cooked for him, and gotten him little things in the past!

He's one of those who could literally fit into any category: he loves sports, travel, music, food....it actually gives me a lot of choice!

Things I've got him in the past include:

- sweet treats
(images taken from www.notonthehighstreet.com - sellers are Choc On Choc and Eat My Cake London)
- The Jermyn Street Experience - read more about it here.

- Theatre tickets to Thriller: Live

- A homemade box full of date ideas (good if you're low on cash as I was, but still really sentimental, and now he can call me out on that golfing day date I promised...needless to say I forgot about that, but that's love huh?)

- Home cooked meal

Things he's bought me in the past include:

- flowers (because they're pretty much a failsafe option)

A photo posted by Maeve Waite (@maevewaite) on

- the ULTIMATE dessert afternoon tea at William Curley in Belgravia, London


I highly recommend doing this - it is incredible! I'm afraid I don't know exactly how much it is as it was a present, but it was very cool trying all these sweet treats after seeing them all made by professional chefs and chocolatiers in front of us! See more here....

- jewellery (yep, it works)


I know how much this was (because I dropped hints to Paddy mwahaha) and it was less than £20 from Not on The High Street! I love this because Perks of Being a Wallflower is my favourite book everrrrr, so this necklace is really sentimental to me!

Card ideas
I'm a sucker for sarcastic cards, but I usually get Paddy one that has reference to some sort of inside joke e.g. 'you're my lobster' - as we're both Friends fans!

These are the sorts of things I like to buy:

(image taken from www.notonthehighstreet.com - available here)
Because I have asthma...

(image taken from www.notonthehightstreet.com - available here)
Because we're Friends obsessed...

(image taken from www.ohhdeer.com - available here)
Self-explanatory really....

(image taken from Ohh Deer - available here)
And because this just sums it all up.

In general, I tend to browse places like Paperchase, Ohh Deer, ASOS, M&S....there's tons to choose from and I think more retailers are doing more fun ones now than they used to!

So this year, Paddy is getting a home cooked three course meal and tickets to something fun fun fun! :) we'll be having a chilled night at mine - probably with some sort of film or tv show, sat on the couch with blankets. PERFECT.

What are your plans?

Happy Valentine's Day to you - whether you be coupled up, with your best friends, with your family, or even flying solo; make sure you treat yourself no matter what.

M x

Thursday, 9 February 2017

Aubaine, Selfridges | Quick Bites

For my friend Harriet's birthday, we stopped by Selfridges to visit the restaurant Aubaine, which was on the second floor of the department store. Aubaine is a French restaurant, with other locations all over London including Mayfair, Marylebone, Kensington, and even one in Dubai too!




We didn't stop to have a full meal (as we'd already eaten), but we had a cocktail each and shared some desserts from their patisserie - a raspberry tart, a tarte au citron, and a chocolate souffle which were amazzzzinggg! It's not a cheap restaurant but it's not super expensive either - or at least it wasn't for what we had!



But what we really went there for was the decor. It. Was. Beautiful.

Hanging over the tables by the windows were all this gorgeous lavender and wisteria intertwined with fairy lights and it really was something else. This is only in the Selfridges branch, and honestly, we did have to wait a while to get seats there (we asked specifically)! It's a perfect setting for a romantic meal or drinks etc, but to be honest even though we were there for a girly celebration, it was still really lovely and gave us some really nice pictures! :)









If you're in London and looking for a place to go with your S/O or even just your best friends - particularly for Valentine's/Palentine's/Galentine's day, I'd definitely recommend checking this place out!

M x

N.B. This post isn't sponsored and all views are my own.