Tuesday, August 23, 2016

OOTD | Goodbye Summer

Off The Shoulder Top* - Closet London
Joni Jeans - Topshop
Shoes - Topshop (Sale)
Clutch - New Look

I hope you all had a lovely weekend! I wish I could be writing to tell you how relieved I am that my breakwater swim was over, but unfortunately it didn't go ahead due to the bad weather, the bad news is I have to wait in agony until the 2nd of October to do it now! The only plus side is that it means there hopefully won't be many jellyfish left!

This weekends weather was a sure sign that we seem to be leaving the summer behind now, and although I'm already looking forward to snuggly weather and Christmas (yes, I said it!), I will miss the light evenings and generally better weather. But I couldn't say bye to my summer wardrobe without wearing one more off the shoulder top. Possibly the most worn trend of summer 2016, I'm still not ready to to depart with them. I love this coral one from Closet London, it has the prettiest tie up sleeve detail and could easily be worn tucked into a high waisted skirt for a more glam look. I paired it with some brand new Joni jeans - how amazing do these look and feel when they haven't been washed? I wish they could stay this black forever as they look so flawless and streamlined! I topped my toes off with the most beaut silver metallic flats that I picked up for £7 in the Topshop sale, I guess it helps having only size 3 feet sometimes!

What do you think of this outfit? Are you looking forward to winter fashion? Are you a fan of the off the shoulder trend?

*Products marked with an asterix (*) have been sent to me for review. However, all opinions in this post are 100% my own
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Friday, August 19, 2016

A Day At Tamar Trails - Archery, Zip Lining & Tree Surfing!

Tamar-Trails-centre
They say you should do something every day that scares you, as it's not until you get outside of your comfort zone that is where the magic happens, and how right this statement is! I was invited down to the Tamar Trails Centre on the weekend by DartPR where I had no idea what would be in store, and how I would cope with heights. Despite only being a short drive away from Plymouth, I'd never once heard of Tamar Trails. Who knew that I had been missing out on a whole lot of fun! Tamar Trails is located in the beautiful Tamar Valley, it's only a short 8 minute drive from Tavistock town, and for someone who really doesn't like driving to places I don't know very well, I think I managed quite well. It's well sign posted too, and I didn't even have to use my sat nav for the occasion which saved me going down 10 country lanes! Whether you're an avid walker, tree surfer or just want a fun day out for a party or a family outing, there's more than enough options for people of all ages to get stuck into! 
Tamar-Trails-centre
Heading to Tamar Trails for the day was a welcome escape from daily life, it's also a good opportunity to have an enforced digital detox as the phone signal wasn't very good, but there is free wifi provided in The Beech Tree Cafe, so you can share with your friends all of the fun things you've got up to on you day of adventures! 
Tamar-Trails-centre
It only costs £2 for the day to park your car at Tamar Trails, which can make it a relatively cost free weekend if you're just looking to use one of the network of trails for the day or take your bikes down to appreciate the open scenery. There are a variety of chargeable activities which need to be booked in advance to avoid disappointment, ranging from tree surfing, for adults and for juniors, archery and zip lining. Myself and 3 other bloggers were lucky enough to be able to try out all 3 things during the day, so I can give you a proper run down of what flying through the trees in the middle of nowhere is really like! 
Tamar-Trails-centre
Whilst we were getting ready for the days activities, we had a mini de-briefing in the wonderful Beech Tree Cafe on the site with Sam from Dart PR after the creator of Tamar Trails, Paul talked us through Tamar Trails and how big it has grown over the years to be as great as it is today. It was a good chance to see what would be in store for us during the day, and of course to sample the delicious drinks in the cafe. 
Tamar-Trails-centre
Tamar-Trails-centre
Tamar-Trails-centre
Set in the most picturesque setting, the interior of the cafe couldn't have been any cuter. With pretty bunting strung up, and mismatched coloured chairs, it was such a cosy atmosphere to start our day off! 
Tamar-Trails-centre
Tamar-Trails-centre
Tamar-Trails-centre
Full with tea and excitement, we headed through the woods to the first stop of the day, archery!
Tamar-Trails-centre
The last time I had a go at archery I was in year 7, so I was definitely in need of a refresher class! The lady who took our group was so friendly and helpful, she made a conscious effort of remembering our names from the start which is no easy feat when we were only there for half an hour! 
Tamar-Trails-centre
We got a fair few goes each and even had a mini archery competition as there was only 5 of us at this stage, Archery is surprisingly easy once you get the hang of it, and I definitely want to try it out for longer another time.
Tamar-Trails-centre
Next up was the tree surfing, I didn't think I'd anticipated what it was actually going to be like, and I did die a little inside when everyone agreed to try the 2nd, most challenging course to start with, eeek. I'm lucky that I'm not actually scared of heights, but I have a real fear of falling from a high height. Which is silly I know, as you're safely strapped in to the equipment, but those doubts did start to sink in when I found myself climbing the most narrow ladder I have ever seen! 
Tamar-Trails-centre
The course probably took just over an hour, I literally had no idea where time went! There were zip lines, ladders, and ropes along the way, the only thing that kept me going was knowing that I was getting closer to getting my feet firmly back on the ground!
Tamar-Trails-centre
Tamar-Trails-centre
Tamar-Trails-centre
Even though this was a very scary thing for me, I felt incredibly proud after completing it and it was something I would never in a million years have tried without finding Tamar Trails. There are 3 different rope courses at Tamar Trails for over 12s, with a junior rope course for under 12s that has only been open a year, but is already a huge hit with younger children. Despite the screams, raising pulses and bruises - I really would recommend anyone to give this a try and get out of your comfort zone, you might just surprise yourself! 
Tamar-Trails-centre
After a scary hour or two it was time to head off to the part I had anticipated the most, the zip wire!! Despite having to climb up one more very steep ladder, I made it to the top and was more than ready for the thrilling descent through the trees! Renown for being one of the best zip wires in Cornwall and Devon, you can see why when there is such stunning views of the Tamar Valley. Although, I must say I was enjoying the ride so much I did forget to look around, oops! It only costs £8 per jump, so I'm definitely going to have to go back and bring my friends! 
Tamar-Trails-centre
Tamar-Trails-centre
I'll spare you the video of me screaming whilst doing the zip line! With my feet firmly back on the ground, it was time to head back through the forest to The Beech Tree Cafe after an amazing, exhilarating and scary morning. Apparently climbing through the trees all morning makes for some very hungry bloggers!
Tamar-Trails-centre
As a fussy eater I always worry about what I can realistically have when I'm eating somewhere new, so I was incredibly impressed by their range of food on the menu, from sandwiches and pasties to sausage rolls. Being the typical British person I am, I opted for a traditional cream tea to share. Beautifully presented, the two warm scones came with plenty of jam and clotted cream. The only dispute of the day was do you put the cream or the jam on first?
Tamar-Trails-centre
Tamar-Trails-centre
Tamar-Trails-centre
We could have spent all afternoon whiling away our time in the cafe, despite being a Saturday no one bothered us, and the staff were super friendly and attentive. I think I'll be paying another visit to Tamar Trails again purely because of the cafe! 

Tamar Trails was an instant hit with me, and our group for the day ranged from young children to my mum (59!), so there really is something for all ages there! I might even go as far as saying it was one of my most fun weekends of 2016! I'll definitely be heading back soon, even if it's just to appreciate the beautiful scenery and have a cuppa in The Beech Tree Cafe! I'd like to say another big thank you to Tamar Trails for letting us experience the freedom and excitement for the day, The Beech Tree Cafe for delicious food and drink, to DartPR for inviting us down, and for some of the action shots of me from the lovely Ellie and Becca


Have you been to Tamar Trails before? Have you tried any of these activities before?

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Wednesday, August 17, 2016

OOTD | Ruffle Love

Plymouth-fashion-blogger
Plymouth-fashion-blogger
Plymouth-fashion-blogger
Plymouth-fashion-blogger
Plymouth-fashion-blogger
Plymouth-fashion-blogger
Plymouth-fashion-blogger
Plymouth-fashion-blogger
Plymouth-fashion-blogger
yas-apparel-ruffle-top
office-pink-mules
Jeans - Topshop
Mules - Office
Clutch Bag - Topshop

Okay, so this may be my favourite outfit of 2016! After spotting this top on Emma Hill (EJStyle), I was constantly refreshing this top on Asos until my size came back in, and oh was it worth the wait! Combining my two favourite loves of ruffles and off the shoulder goodness, it's a real winner in my eyes. I'd never purchased anything from Y.A.S before, but they have so many gorgeous bits, it's quite similar to your Mango and Zara pieces, and at reasonable prices too. I'll definitely be wearing this top through winter too, with oversized coats and denim jackets. They'll definitely be a few pops of pastel pink thrown in too...

On other note, it's only 4 days until the Breakwater swim!! In case you've not been following my posts it's a 2.2 mile open water swim in the Plymouth sound. It's safe to say that I've probably never been so scared about something in my life, I feel sick every time I start thinking about it ahhh! It's fair to say I won't be looking this good after the swim on Sunday... I've got my sister and James looking after my social media for the day to keep you all updated on the progress of my swim and so I can look back at the action from the comfort of my bed afterwards, they are part of the team behind Sleek-chic after all...

What do you think about this outfit? Are you a fan of ruffles this season?

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Saturday, August 13, 2016

Carnival Vista Mediterranean Cruise | Travel

Carnival-Vista-Cruise
It's been about a month since I got back from cruise now (where does the time go?!) and I've only just found the time to sit down and write this post. Where do I start? It was my fourth year of cruising, and after sailing with Royal Caribbean, Celebrity Cruises & P&O, it was time to try out Carnival's brand new ship the Vista. It was so new that the maiden voyage was only in May, one of their biggest cruise liners to join the fleet, the facilities on this ship were nothing short of perfect. Starting in Barcelona, we headed to Sicily (Mesina), Civatavecchia (Rome), Livorno, Naples, Corsica, Mallorca and back round to Barcelona. Not only was the itinerary fab, we only had one day at sea, so there was lots crammed in to this 8 day cruise. A lot of people I speak to are still not sure about the concept of cruises, but if you followed me on Snapchat whilst I was away I think it gave everyone an insight into cruise life that you just can't see if you've not been on one before. With everything going on in the world at the moment, it's hard to know where to go on holiday, but I felt 100% safe on the cruise, as I always do, as there's always vigorous security leaving and entering the port. Carnival Vista was definitely one of my top cruises, so here's a whirlwind tour on-board this gorgeous ship! 
Carnival-Vista-Cruise
We were warmly greeted as we arrived to our rooms, this year we opted for a balcony cabin for the first ever time, and I can definitely see what I was missing out on. Inside staterooms (without a window) are the cheapest options and you're usually not in your room much anyway, but I did feel like the balcony made the holiday that extra bit special, it was so magical looking out at the stars in the evening with the sound of the sea passing you by. I'm now a balcony snob and couldn't imagine having an inside stateroom again!
Carnival-Vista-Cruise
Our room was fairly spacious, and it was probably one of the more generous bathrooms that I have had, but you do have to bare in mind that they aren't the biggest bathrooms on cruise ships... Because we had a Spa cabin we were left a bathrobe, slippers and a lovely selection of Elemis spa products for our stay, heaven!
Carnival-Vista-Cruise
Carnival-Vista-Cruise
Every evening when we went back to our room after dinner our lovely cabin assistant had left us a towel animal, this was the first cruise I've been on that they did it every night, and I loved Carnival for it. This little dog was the cutest, the face reminds me of the sad face filter on Snapchat! We were left with an itinerary each night of the next day ahead too so you could see what was going on around the ship entertainment wise. If you think this towel animal is cute, wait until you get to the end of this post...
Carnival-Vista-Cruise
The sail away from Barcelona to our next port was amazing, The cruise director Matt Mitcham made the cruise for me, I've never seen someone so energetic and who genuinely loves their job (I mean who wouldn't when you get to travel to so many different places!). He threw some amazing deck parties throughout the cruise, there's really nothing cooler than having a loud party at sea with no land or people around you for miles.
Carnival-Vista-Cruise
I wish I got more pictures of the inside of the ship as it really was beautiful, but the reality is when you're having so much fun on a ship you don't want to have to be taking pictures all of the time. Even though a picture will last a lifetime, the memories of not having to capture every single moment is much better! 
Carnival-Vista-Cruise
This statue coming up from the bar area displayed different colours/images throughout the day that I thought was so cool. The ceiling also had a couple of portholes which were also filled with the same image. If you looked closely on the sea themed image you could spot a sting ray swimming across on the ceiling!
Carnival-Vista-Cruise
The eating & dining experience is for me, the integral part of a cruise. With buffets serving food pretty much 24/7 and a formal dining hall for breakfasts and evening meals, there's never a shortage of food. As I've probably mentioned before I'm literally the fussiest eater so the buffets are perfect for me as I can just take a little bit of what I like, it's also the only place you can eat about 5 different cakes after your lunch and no one will judge you, because everyone else is doing the same thing! An 8 day cruise was probably my favourite length for a cruise, as the food situation really does get too much after 14 days on-board, if you've ever been on a cruise before you'll know that there's just no self restraint when it comes to the food...
Carnival-Vista-Cruise
We ate in the main dining hall each night which we do on most cruises as we like getting dressed up for dinner and not having to do anything. I felt like the meals were quite fancy compared to other cruise lines which is great if you like trying new foods, but for me not so much! However, I am such a cake fiend and will happily try any cake or dessert that is thrown my way, so here are a few of my favourites from the cruise...
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Buttered popcorn dessert, wow!
Carnival-Vista-Cruise
DIY fondue!
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The best carrot cake ever, there were some seriously good pastry chefs on-board!
Carnival-Vista-Cruise
OMG! Guys, have you ever watched Diners, Drives and Dives?! Most of you probably don't know what the hell I'm talking about, but many an hour of mine was spent watching this mouth watering programme on the Food Network channel at uni. With Carnival being an American cruise line they're the first ship to get their very own Guys burger joint which is based on Guy Fieri's programme. Quick, easy and delicious, I am not kidding you that the burgers and chips from this place were insane, I think I had it like 3 days in a row which is something I would never normally do. I had to make the most of it though, right? 
Carnival-Vista-Cruise
Carnival-Vista-Cruise
If you've ever had TGIS Fries, Guys fries are like 100 x better..
Carnival-Vista-Cruise
We were lucky enough to be spending Independence Day on the ship which was just incredible. The whole boat got into the celebrations, with decorations around the ship, S'Mores for desserts and a huge deck party in the evening which was undoubtedly one of my favourite nights of the cruise. 
Carnival-Vista-Cruise
Carnival-Vista-Cruise
Leading on from deck parties, the entertainment was just as good on the ship, with a different show or theatre production every evening, an IMAX cinema, poolside movies with popcorn, comedy and more, there was never a shortage of fun things happening. Some of my personal entertainment highlights were the hairy chest competition (hilarious), the deck parties, poolside movies and the Love and Marriage show!
Carnival-Vista-Cruise
When friends always ask me about cruises I'm sure they just think that you have a room and you're confined to it for the whole stay. As far as activities and places to go on a cruise are, this year there was plenty! Vista is such a fun ship, and there was things targeted at all ages to enjoy.
Carnival-Vista-Cruise
The on-board water-park was a new one to me, and instantly became my favourite part of the ship. Every time I needed to cool down I just headed to one of the slides, there wasn't ever really a queue and you got the best views from the top of the slides!
Carnival-Vista-Cruise
Carnival-Vista-Cruise
Think tree surfing, but on a much smaller scale and you've got the clubhouse activities area! Based on the top deck of the ship, as well as rope climbing, twister and a mini gym, (unfortunately I didn't get a picture of it in action) there were cars that you could pedal around the perimeter of the ship that was called Sky Ride, it was probably one of the coolest things I've ever done on a ship, and as you can imagine the view was insane. I wouldn't recommend looking down though if you're scared of heights....
Carnival-Vista-Cruise
Carnival-Vista-Cruise
Carnival-Vista-Cruise
Carnival-Vista-Cruise
There were 3 main pools on the ship, but we're not talking Olympic sized pools, they're plunge pools that are great for cooling off in, but not for having a proper swim or splash about. It's like this on all cruises though which is the slight downside, but when I've spent the last 6 months seriously training in a pool it was nice to ditch it for a week and have some fun on the slides and sunbathing instead! 
We were lucky enough to have Spa cabins this year which meant we had unlimited access to the indoor spa facilities, watching the world go past from an indoor heated bed or whirl pool is certainly the best form of relaxation. If you have a normal stateroom cabin you can pay for the add on of the spa too, you can also indulge in massages, hair and nail treatments. Oh, and did I mention there was a gym on the cruise too, I think the question here is what didn't it have?! 
Carnival-Vista-Cruise
One of the best experiences of the cruise by far was the towel animal invasion. On the second to last morning we woke up to head down to breakfast to see that every single sun bed had been taken over by a cute towel animal. I have literally never seen something so amazing, I had heard that they did this thing on Carnival cruises but never expected it to happen on this cruise. 
Carnival-Vista-Cruise
Carnival-Vista-Cruise
There must have been hundreds of them, and it must have taken ages! The cabin staff that put these together put so much thought into them, there were dogs, hanging monkeys around the pool area and dinosaurs. 
Carnival-Vista-Cruise
Carnival-Vista-Cruise
This little cutie was one of my favs!
Carnival-Vista-Cruise
When the froggy towel animal looks better than you...
Carnival-Vista-Cruise
Another cruise been and gone, but I'm already much anticipating booking the next one. Honestly, when you've been on one cruise no holiday will ever compare. Cruises are still a very misunderstood holiday so I'll stop you now if you think that they're just for old people, and that being on a cruise ship is confined. You wake up somewhere different most days, you have unlimited food and drinks, amazing entertainment and activities and one of the safest holidays there is probably still on offer in this world. I would 100% recommend Carnival cruises for a first cruise as it was probably one of the funnest ships I've been on so far! 

If you have any more questions about cruises that I've not covered, comment below or drop me a tweet at @Sleekchicblog! I can't promise that I haven't missed out details from the ship, but I can promise that once you've got the cruise bug you won't stop, cruising isn't a holiday, it's a lifestyle choice... 

Have you been on a cruise before? Do you fancy going on a cruise?
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