Thursday, July 23, 2015

P&O Ventura Mediterranean Cruise | Travel

P&O-Ventura
Woah it feels like a lifetime since I last posted on here, as you can imagine life never stops when you work full time, exercise and have to enjoy your general life, so a break has very much been needed - but don't worry I will be back posting more regularly from now on! But as you may have guessed, I've recently been on a 2 week P&O Mediterranean cruise. There was never a moments thought about whether I would post about it or not as I love writing travel/lifestyle posts a lot! Anyway, if you've been following my blog for the last 2 years, I went on my first cruise 2 years ago, loved it and have been going on cruise holidays ever since. I have never sailed with a cruise company more than once yet as I like to see what other firms have to offer, we have been with Royal Caribbean and Celebrity cruises before which I absolutely loved, so lets see what P&O cruises had to offer...
P&O-Ventura
The first time sailing with a British company was a pleasant change, we departed from Southampton on the Sunday on what was a gloomy & rainy day, rooms are usually ready from 2pm onwards so until they you unfortunately have to lug your bags and dress covers everywhere, but this is the same case on every cruise ship, as it's such a tight turnaround with the previous passengers getting off. The cruise was for 2 weeks and the port of calls were Vigo, Lisbon, Gibraltar, Monte Carlo, Corsica, Livorno (Pisa), Civitavecchia (Rome) and Cadiz. Some really great destinations, three that I hadn't been to before, so I was very excited!
P&O-Ventura
This was the great British sailaway from Corsica, everyone had a Brtish flag and there were lots of famous songs to sing along too. I kinda wish we had this as we departed Southampton or Gibraltar, but nevertheless it was a fun afternoon in the sun!
P&O-Ventura
P&O-Ventura
I apologise for the poor quality in some of these photos before we proceed, I have a mixture between my canon, Iphone and digital camera, what a nightmare! Anyway - we had an inside cabin which means there's no windows, these are usually a lot cheaper than those with a balcony and they are a great choice if you don't mind. I barely spend any time in the room apart from sleeping so it's a no brainer really, it would be nice to sit out on the balcony in the evening though and get some air if the ships particularly rocky - luckily I wasn't sea sick this time! Anyway, the room itself was perfect, the bathroom wasn't as big as other ships but there was nice touches like a chocolate every night, biscuits, sweets (always food) and the occasional towel animal like the ones below. This type of thing is always a welcome sight after heading back from a late show!
P&O-Ventura
P&O-Ventura
P&O-Ventura
But, the walk in wardrobe was definitely a game changer..As any girl can vouch, a walk in wardrobe is 'goals'!
P&O-Ventura
The ship had 5 pools - all of similar size. To be honest I never think much of the pools on cruise ships as they really are just a pool you can dip in to cool off. They are always packed with kids too and the main laguna pool was shut most days - I guess you can imagine why when so many kids are using it every day... Being an ex lifeguard I unfortunately know the type of things that happen in pools causing them to close, so I avoided them at all costs after this. 
P&O-VenturaP&O-Ventura
P&O-Ventura
P&O-Ventura
Getting a sunbed on a cruise ship is like looking for a needle in a haystack but I didn't struggle on Ventura at all, and spent quite a lot of times on the highest deck soaking up the sun and reading a book - is anything better than that? Utter bliss!
P&O-Ventura
There was a spa on the ship which offered your bog standard beauty & hair treatments and massages, a nice luxurious thing to enjoy on the ship but the treatments do come at a cost!
P&O-Ventura
P&O-Ventura
P&O-Ventura
I was really pleased with the gym facilities and it was almost always quiet, I came in here mostly on sea days to fill the time up. They had a great selection of machines and a massive mat area with everything you need for a good workout. So much food was consumed on the cruise that the gym was all but a necessity.
P&O-Ventura
There were various bars around the ship that held films, talks, singers and demonstrations every day, I particularly like the tamarind club great which had Moroccan tendencies, the decor was so pretty!
P&O-Ventura
P&O-Ventura
They also put on a tropical night which was really fun, we had leis waiting for us in the dining room that evening and all the waiters were dressed in Hawaiian shirts. We then headed out for a deck party with lots of music and dancing!
P&O-Ventura
P&O-VenturaP&O-Ventura
Heading to the theatre on the ship in the evenings is my favourite thing after a late sitting at dinner. There were different shows each night, including singers comedians and their in house production theatre, it was their first time performing on our cruise and they were absolutely fantastic - I really could not fault their shows and their routines were flawless! The shows really do make the holiday that bit more special. Now we're getting to the good part...
P&O-Ventura
THE FOOD! You will board the cruise as a passenger and leave as cargo, FACT! The weight gain is an added extra to your overall cruise experience and one you don't miss out on. There is food available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, there is no start or finish. You feel hungry you eat, you don't feel hungry you eat. More times than not you just force yourself to eat because it's there, I almost couldn't remember what hunger felt like by the second week but it was great! The food is always my favourite part of the cruise, after the ports of call of course... The buffet restaurant was called the waterside but there was also a slightly smaller one called the Beach house. Both buffets served the same food but I would say the beach house was like an overfill one, it was usually much quieter and so cramped when queuing up to get food that I tried to avoid it at all costs. The selection of food was always good, but the breakfasts did get repetitive, the past 2 ships I have sailed with I would say had a much better selection.
P&O-Ventura
P&O-Ventura
Can you believe I've never had breakfast in bed before? This had to do be done on one of the at sea days, now finally ticked off my bucket list!
P&O-Ventura
The choice of cakes at lunch and afternoon tea were great, this carrot cake was a favourite! They also had a chocoholics afternoon tea where you guessed it, everything was chocolate themed and there was a massive chocolate fountain with lots of delicious fruits to dip, eyes bigger than my belly definitely springs to mind here.
P&O-Ventura
There was even a costa coffee at sea! You had to pay an additional charge to eat/drink here - there was enough food on offer already so we didn't eat here.
P&O-Ventura
The evening dining at Baytree was my favourite without a doubt - we opted for the late sitting at 8:30pm. This was the first year that we had to share a table with another family, full with dread at the thought of the first night, this quickly subsided and we got to make really good friends with the other family -  I actually think I enjoyed it more sharing with another family, getting out of your comfort zone really just might surprise you!
A big shout out to our waiters Bijesh and Angelo - who looks like Marvin from JLS by the way! They were brilliant and looked after us like royalty, they always do on cruise ships. The choice of food was much more traditional than other ships which I liked, with a choice of 4 courses, plus tea/coffee, cheese and crackers and additional cakes/chocolates, there really was no shortage of food. I tried a lot of new foods too which I wouldn't normally do at home as I am annoyingly fussy. But the highlight had to be the desserts, how good do these look?!
P&O-Ventura
R-L Meringue Swan, bakewell tart, Chocolate fondant, Baked Alaska
These were my select favourite desserts of the cruise, they were all absolutely divine though! I'm still in awe at the meringue swan - so cute!
P&O-Ventura
On the last day we were given a cruise log, documenting all the port of calls, the distance travelled and a little bit about each place. It's such a lovely thing to look back on and always remember - this was a really nice touch that we didn't have on other cruises. Our waiters also handed us a similar packet filled with all of the delicious menus from the 2 weeks- a gentle reminder just how much we really had eaten on the cruise.
P&O-Ventura
Home and back to work (boo!) but never forgotten! I had a really great cruise with P&O cruises despite my little niggles with the ship, but overall I really enjoyed sailing with P&O Ventura and the destinations were a great mix, as I've said before there really is nothing better than waking up in a different and exciting country each day. The possibilities with cruises are endless and I doubt it will be long until I'm back for more! Stay tuned for posts on my cruise outfits and travel diaries of all the lovely places I visited in the next couple of weeks! I hope you all have a great weekend!

Have you been on a cruise before? Would you like to go on a cruise? Are you going on holiday this year?

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Thursday, June 18, 2015

Holland & Barrett secret celebrity beauty secrets!


celebs weird and wonderful beauty secrets. Scarlett Johansson - Cider Vinegar. Catherine Zeta-Jones - Strawberries. Victorian Beckham - Bird Poo. Louise Redknapp - Snail Gel. Sienna Miller - Tomato Ketchup. Demi Moore - Leeches. Halle Berry - Coffee. Gwyneth Paltrow - Snake Venom
We all have our own beauty secrets that you may have discovered yourself or learnt after being past down by family members. As part of Holland & Barrett's Weird and Wonderful products campaign, they have commissioned the above infographic on 'Celebrity Secret Beauty Weapons'.

I know I for one have always wanted to know how certain celebs achieve their flawless looking skin, shiny locks and white teeth - with all cosmetic procedures and air brushing technology to the side! I found reading this infographic so refreshing that some celebs really do use natural alternatives to achieve a desired look, some stranger than others... 

It really does enforce how far celebs will go to get that perfect look. But as the saying goes don't knock it until you've tried it huh? My beauty secrets are boring compared but still just as effective, I have used lemon juice to lighten my hair in the sun which works incredibly well and for looking after my cuticles & hands a cheaper alternative to a fancy cuticle oil is extra virgin olive oil! 



What do you think of Holland & Barret's infographic? Would you try any of these beauty secrets or already do them? Do you have any beauty secrets? 

*This post was a collaborated with Holland & Barrett but all opinions are 100% my own
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Monday, June 15, 2015

Matalan Holiday Shop | Set for summer

In 2 weeks time I will be cruising around the Mediterranean for a much needed break, and I cannot wait! Matalan have completely hooked me up for my holiday with some pieces from their dedicated Matalan Holiday Shop range. Having a dedicated section for a holiday shop makes it so much easier to find outfits suitable for hot weather, they also have lots of different travel essentials such as suitcases and beach towels, it's your one stop shop for anything holiday related, and they have a really great selection this year! With a bundle of lovely holiday products to pretty much cover every eventuality I have styled the pieces to show you that if you invest in the right staples you can mix and match and never have the same look again!
Matalan-holiday-shop
So many gorgeous bright colours and patterns!
Matalan-holiday-shop
Matalan-holiday-shop
I picked out the main essentials that you would need for almost every summer holiday, that I knew I could mix and match with ease. One pair of black denim shorts, 5 different boob tubes, sandals, sunglasses and a bikini! The holiday shop currently have a 3 for 2 offer running across their products which is a great deal if you're looking to buy a new wardrobe for holiday. Without further ado lets kick it off with some stripes!
Matalan-holiday-shop
Matalan-holiday-shop
Matalan-holiday-shopMatalan-holiday-shop
Matalan-holiday-shop
This is one of my favourite looks, black and stripes will always be an effortless look. So easy to wear! 
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Matalan-holiday-shop
Matalan-holiday-shop
Matalan-holiday-shop
Matalan-holiday-shop
Matalan-holiday-shop
 For a more daring look, this brightly coloured top will certainly turn heads! I don't normally wear boob tube tops as they don't suit my swimmer arms and back, but I love the long length of them meaning that they can be tucked in to high waisted shorts easily!
Matalan-holiday-shop
Matalan-holiday-shop
Matalan-holiday-shop
I love being 10 minutes from the sea, nothing can compare to closing your eyes and listening to the calm sea lap the rocks. 


I'm starting to branch out with the type of sunglasses I wear and was instantly drawn to these cat eye sunglasses, the red colour isn't something I would normally wear but they look so chic with an all black outfit like this.
An all black look never goes out of fashion.
The great thing about these black shorts is that they literally do go with every colour and pattern under the sun, as you can see. They are so versatile and perfect for taking on a short getaway where you can't pack much! As the staple piece that I picked from Matalan Holiday Shop you can see how many different ways you can mix this look up, enough options to last for a 5 day holiday!
These sandals are insanely comfortable and will be perfect for all the sightseeing/walking that I will be doing on my holidays! I love the double criss cross of straps, obsessed with straps like these and lace up sandals this year.
Matalan-holiday-shop
I am a bandeau bikini type of girl through and through, I'm all about maximising my tan and I don't need any straps getting in the way of that! I love the candy coloured floral pattern and know it will look amazing with a tan!

So, pretty much a whole new wardrobe for a holiday and all under £50! With the 3 for 2 offers and the wide selection of products being reasonably priced there's no end to what products you can mix and match, there really is something to suit everyone's taste from their Holiday Shop. If you're not looking to spend much money on holiday items but still want a good selection of products then you need to have a browse at their one stop holiday shop!

What do you think of the pieces? Do you like Matalan's Holiday Shop? What outfit is your favourite?

*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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