27 March 2015

Victoria's Secret Haul

Hello, everyone!

I thought I’d give you another break from my constant stream of America travel-related posts this week and instead show you what I bought from Victoria’s Secret while I was in LA.

I absolutely adore Victoria’s Secret – everything from the products to the in store environments to the branding. It’s all so well done! Also the floor staff are some of the friendliest people working in customer service that I’ve ever come across.

Victoria’s Secret is quite pricey when you live in England and the goods are being imported but when you’re in America, at the source, everything is so much cheaper!

The focus always seems to be on the underwear, however I’ve found that the beauty items are just as gorgeous.

I bought quite a few bits and bobs in the February sales, so without further ado…

(Please note that the prices are approximations.)

1. Victoria’s Secret Angel Wings Make-Up Bag - $8

I fell in love with this black glittery make-up bag with the Victoria Secret Angel wings printed on it at first sight. It’s the perfect size – you can fit several items of make-up inside but it’s not too big that you can’t pop it in your overnight bag for a weekend away.

2. Victoria’s Secret ‘Heavenly’ Perfume and Lipgloss Duo with Gold Case - $6

This, to me, is a genius creation. I love this perfume and lipgloss combo for when I’m out and about and on the go. It fits perfectly in the gold glittery case which is big enough to hold other daily emergency make-up items, such as concealer and mascara, and then it slips oh-so-easily into my handbag. The perfume is called ‘Heavenly’ and it’s quite easy to understand why. It smells so lush! The lipgloss is also a perfect texture and colour for a subtle everyday look.

3. Victoria’s Secret Beauty Rush Black and Gold Glittery Eyeliners - $2 each

These eyeliners were in a bargain bin and I feel lucky to have stumbled upon them! They look so lovely and glittery on my bottom lids for a night out or a dressier day time look.

4. Victoria’s Secret Beauty Rush ‘Sunset Kiss’ Lipgloss - $2

I know I already purchased the ‘Heavenly’ perfume and lip gloss duo, but I pulled this gloss out of the same bargain bin as the eyeliners – and it’s just divine! The colour is a bit bolder than the lipgloss in the combo and the taste is fruitier. It never hurts to have more than one gloss and for $2, you can’t go wrong!

5. Victoria’s Secret Angel Wings Toiletries Bag - $10

As I’d already grabbed the Angel Wings make-up bag, I simply just had to get the Angel Wings toiletries bag to match! I’d been after one like this for ages - they’re perfect for travelling as they unfold and you can hang them up in your hostel/hotel by your bed. Oh and how cute are the sequins that create the angel wings?

6. Victoria’s Secret Pink ‘Sweet and Flirty’ Hand and Body Cream - $5

I wasn’t aware that Victoria’s Secret offered toiletries until my trip to LA. There were a fair few bits and pieces in the sale but I thought I’d just buy one to try initially to see whether the range was any good! Well, I wish I’d have bought more in hindsight! This hand and body cream smells incredible and is so easy to apply. It does a good job of moisturising but isn’t too heavy in texture. Big thumbs up, Pink!

7. Victoria’s Secret Phone Case for iPhone 5C - $10

Now this is my favourite buy! I’m so in love with this phone case. As soon as I saw it, I knew it had to be mine. The stripes are part of the brand’s handwriting and I love the fresh, summery combination of the pastel pink and white. It’ll be staying firmly on my phone for a long, long time – let me tell you!

I’m super pleased with my purchases but I’m already missing the Victoria’s Secret price points in America. Take me back!

(Which is your favourite piece from this haul? Do you shop at Victoria's Secret? Please let me know in the comments! Thank you for reading this post. Katie-xo)


20 March 2015

Do's and Don'ts of North Carolina

The America Series

This is the fourth post in my America travelling series. If you’d like to catch up on part one, two and three, you can do so here, here and here.

My sister and I get a lot of people asking us ‘why did you go to North Carolina? What’s there?’ The truth is: we wanted to visit the filming locations of some of our favourite TV shows including One Tree Hill and Dawson’s Creek.

We did just that – but firstly there were a lot of obstacles in our path. If you ever travel to America purely for this reason, then please learn from our mistakes! Here are my do’s and don’ts for visiting North Carolina.

Do your research and make sure you get a flight to the right place.

America was my sister’s first travelling trip (not a holiday might I add, a budget travelling trip) and she was in charge of booking the flights while I was away on my first travelling trip. She didn’t read up on where the filming locations were, she listened to some spiel from our contact at the agency we went through and hey presto, before we knew it, we were travelling to Charlotte (not Wilmington where OTH and Dawson’s Creek were actually filmed). Shit.

Don’t stay at the Hilton Gateway Village hotel in Charlotte…

…Unless you want to pay ALL OF THE MONEY in taxes that they add onto your stay. When I was looking for a hotel in Charlotte, this was the best option at the time in terms of location and value for money. Had I realised just how much it was actually going to cost in the end, I might have stayed somewhere else. Having said that, there was nothing wrong with the hotel apart from the cost - in fact, it was pretty damn nice!

Do call up Greyhound buses the day before you travel with them.

Whilst researching how to get to Wilmington, I found Greyhound to be the most cost-effective travel method. Sure, we were going to be on a bus for eight hours for £35 return – but it beat getting an hour and a half flight for £200 return. However, we turned up on the day and found out that the bus timetable had changed and nobody from the company had thought to inform us. Hence us having to wait SIX AND A HALF HOURS for the next bus. Cheers, Greyhound.

Don’t expect a line of taxis to be queueing up outside Wilmington bus station.

We arrived at 10pm to a completely deserted bus station. If it wasn’t for the nice American man who found a taxi number on his phone and let us share his cab, then we would have been stranded in a strange place when we were tired and cranky from the day’s events.

Do go to Waffle House on Market Street.

Now having those bad boys for breakfast the next day would put a smile on anybody’s face! DE-LIC-IOUS! Plus it’s as cheap as chips.

Don’t be surprised if the locals are shocked to hear you’re from England.

When visiting Dunkin’ Donuts, a young American guy was listening to us debating whether we wanted a Valentines-themed pink heart-shaped donut or a cookie-dough-filled round donut. (It's a tough decision.) He then proceeded to cry out in alarm, ‘OMG ARE YOU BRITISH?!’ You’d think he was genuinely excited if it wasn’t for the look of disgust on his face. He must not get many British people coming into his workplace and he must not like them. Needless to say, we grabbed our donuts and ran.

Do the Hollywood Film Location Walk in Downtown Wilmington.

This two hour walking tour around Downtown Wilmington was excellent and so cheap for a tenner! Our guide took us to multiple filming locations of OTH, Dawson’s Creek, A Walk to Remember, We are the Millers and Iron Man 3 amongst many other movies and TV shows! He was so down to earth, friendly and knowledgeable – I couldn’t recommend this tour enough!

Don’t expect the local bus to take you directly to Wrightsville Beach.

For all those who don’t know, Wrightsville Beach is where they shot multiple scenes in Dawson’s Creek – including the Opening Credits montage under the pier. On the day of our mission to Wrightsville Beach, we were told which bus to get, where from and when to get off. What the bus driver failed to mention to us was the fact that the beach was an hour and a half’s walk from where she dropped us off. Once we’d figured out where we were going, we eventually got there and man… It was so worth it.

Do have a wander around Downtown Wilmington.

Downtown Wilmington is quite small but big enough to fill a few hours. It’s on the river front so it’s very pretty, and there are tons of cute little shops, bars and restaurants to explore. We went to a café/restaurant for brunch and ended up staying there for three hours! It had fab food, great music and an even greater atmosphere.

Don’t expect to get in a taxi without the taxi driver wanting to know your life story…

…This is Americans all over. I absolutely adore how warm and friendly there are though. Britons are miserable in comparison (or most Britons anyway)!

Do explore the nightlife in Downtown Wilmington.

We’d met someone in LA who was from Wilmington and he told us to check out Side Bar. We pulled up outside, got out and were ready to go in – then we heard some commotion across the road. What we saw was a little bar packed full of people drinking, laughing and having a good time, so naturally we decided to go in there instead. There was a cover charge as a band were about to go on stage, but my sister and I love live music so this didn’t faze us. We paid the cover charge and in we went! We met some really fun guys, danced along to the band and ended up having one of the best nights out we’ve ever had! I’ve since learned that the bar is called The Whiskey and the band was Flannel Rebellion. Not to sound like a total American but THANKS, YOU GUYS!

Don’t go out the night before you’re supposed to be taking a Greyhound bus.

This results in sleeping through your alarm and having to arrange alternate travel plans whilst hungover. These plans are likely to be worse than your original plans (i.e. a three hour bus, two hour wait and then a four hour train) and make you die a little bit inside. Seriously peeps, don’t do it!

We had an amazing time in Wilmington and felt really sad that we had to head back to Charlotte to catch our flight out of North Carolina. I would love to go back to Wilmington someday but I would give Charlotte a miss as there wasn’t a lot to see or do (in my opinion). We were told by one of our taxi drivers that Charlotte is a relatively new city and the perfect place to get to on your way to somewhere else as the travel connections are really good. But, other than that, there’s not a lot going for it.

Next time I will be sure to book the flight directly to Wilmington! (Face palm!)


(Have you been to North Carolina before? Do you like the look of Wilmington from my photos? Please let me know your thoughts in the comments below. Thanks so much for reading! Katie-xo)


9 March 2015

Vintage Florals

Floral Dress - Ark
Black Leggings - Topshop
Cream Socks - M&S
Doc-Marten-Style Boots - Topshop
Leather Jacket - Vintage
Shopper Tote Bag - Fossil
White-Leather-Band Watch - D&G
Gold Necklace - Vintage
Midi Rings - Miscellaneous

Hi, everyone!

It’s been a long time since I posted something fashion or beauty related, so I thought I’d give you a little break from the constant stream of travel posts and throw in a good ol’ OOTD (that’s Outfit of the Day to all you non-bloggers).

I’ve been back in England for a good couple of weeks now and forced to get back used to the unpredictability of the infamous British weather, which always makes day-to-day dressing difficult! I’ve been a resident of this country for 24 years and it still amazes me how you can get a show of all four seasons in the space of one day.

On this particular day, I had my own personal battle with the wind going on. There’s nothing more annoying than spending the time and effort getting ready for an outing and the wind messes up all your hard work in the space of a few minutes.

I had just washed my hair and it ended up all over my face in a frizzy mess which was then captured by my photographer in a way that resulted in me looking like a psychotic male lion. However, I did manage to get a couple of half-decent shots in the breaks between angry gusts.

This beautiful vintage-looking floral dress with the cutesy Peter Pan collar is from Ark. It had a fair few outings in America and I got several compliments from strangers on it. An American guy even went so far to shout how much he loved it one night over a live rock band playing in a bar in North Carolina, much to my surprise. Thanks very much, mate – but why are you more interested in my dress than the band?!

Anyway the point is - this dress always seems to go down a winner. The day I shot it I chose to team it with all black as I was feeling rather grungy (as I often am). The chilly weather meant that leggings were needed with thick cream socks and Doc-Marten-style boots. I then threw on my leather jacket with the faux fur lining and grabbed my classic shopper tote from Fossil.

In order to let the dress do the talking, I decided to accessorise simplistically in the form of classic gold hoop earrings, a long gold necklace and a designer watch with a white leather band.

After that it was just a case of leaving my naturally wavy hair to dry and applying gold eyeshadow, liquid liner and a slick of plum lipstick to highlight the plum tones in the dress. Then I was good to go!

Unfortunately I didn’t receive any compliments on the dress that day, much to my dismay. I don’t know whether it was just because British people aren’t quite as forthcoming as Americans or because nobody in England likes the dress. I’d like to believe it’s the former. Oh, America – how I miss you!

(What do you think to my Vintage Florals OOTD? What would you team this dress with? Thanks so much for reading this post!

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Thanks again! Katie-xo)

5 March 2015

The Music City of Nashville

The America Series

This is the third post in the America Series! If you’ve missed the first or second instalment, you can catch up on them here and here.

After mine and my sister’s three crazy nights in the one and only Las Vegas, it was time to check out Music City (otherwise known as NASHVILLE)!

Recognised for its country music and love of live bands, Nashville was on my personal list of places I needed to visit before I die. It has produced Kings of Leon (my favourite band) as well as Johnny Cash (my favourite country music artist) and Taylor Swift (my guilty pleasure).

Also, a couple of my friends had been there before me and both said how fun it was.

This was another one of those situations where Nic (my sister) had heard of Nashville but really wasn’t bothered about going. Like with the Grand Canyon, I managed to change her mind!

What you don’t realise about Nashville is that live music plays in the bars on Broadway all day every day. Acts start as early as 10am and just keep on coming, right up until 2am.

There are so many different bars to choose from and each of them offers something a little bit different. We went out on the Saturday night, as our five nights in Nashville fell over a weekend, and had one of the best nights out we've ever had!

That was, in large part, due to a bunch of amazingly awesome people that we met from Wisconsin who were visiting for the weekend. But it was also down to the atmosphere in those bars… It was just so electric, like one big party, and everybody was so happy!

Nic and I made the mistake of not going out on the Sunday night as well, which we deeply regret to this day, as we heard Sunday night is as good as Saturday night in Nashville.

But we wanted to feel fresh for the Country Music Hall of Fame the next morning which, if you’re ever in Nashville, is worth visiting!

Also worth visiting is this fabulous little restaurant/café called The Pancake Pantry near the University. As you can probably tell from the name, it does all different types of pancakes and the food is absolutely delicious! It’s such a good idea and was great to visit on a hangover.

Just FYI Nashvillians are some of the friendliest people I’ve ever come across and they seriously do have THE BEST ACCENT. The southern drawl is just a joy to my ears, especially on a good looking man!

I’m so glad we made the trip to Nashville and I definitely want to go back again someday, if only for one more weekend on Broadway!

(Have you been to Nashville before? What did you think? Thanks so much for reading! Katie-xo)
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