I feel like I’ve been away more this past month than I have the whole year leading up to it! Last weekend I went to Edinburgh with my parents to visit my sister and visited my first Christmas Market, or Winter Market on the day it opened and had an open top bus tour. As Edinburgh is where JK Rowling was living when she wrote Harry Potter there’s a lot of buildings and places around that are supposed to have inspired her so we visited the supposed inspiration for Diagonal Alley (and I Mya have bought some things) as well as the grave of Tom Riddel, possibly the inspiration for Tom Riddle or Voldemort, and the cafe she wrote in.
I’ve always thought the hop on, hop off type open top bus tours seem a great way to visit a city. They are a bit expensive but you get to see the sites as well as get on and off it as many times as you want in 24 hours with a tour guide or recorded guide. It’s definitely a tourist thing to do but they go every twenty minutes so you’ll easily get one.
I may have decided to extend this mini series by one more post, I realised how many I have for the final day when we were on the ferry and where we wandered around before which was interesting so it seemed like it’s be a bit squashed in if I put them all in one, plus the Ring of Kerry pretty much deserves its own post to be honest.
The final full day in Ireland we decided to go for a drive around the Ring of Kerry, a route similar to the Slea Head Drive on the Dingle Peninsula but south and in an area that has more towns and villages in and is a bit less rural. Although the tourist attractions here are better signposted you still have to be prepared to do a last minute turn so hopefully the roads will be quiet when you go, luckily the roads are bigger than the previous ones we were on though. I would definitely recommend finding a good guide book or setting out with your own itinerary and map of places you want to see, we would definitely do that next time.
With the days getting colder it’s perfect bath weather and, having bought it in a recent haul, I decided to give the Plum Snow Bubble Bar from the limited edition Christmas range in Lush a go. This is a fair sized bubble bar, I used half for one bath but I can see it lasting for up to four if you’re careful with it. It costs £5.95 but is definitely bigger than the standard bubble bars Lush do.
Scent wise this is the same scent as the products in the Plum Rain scent range, just the solid bubble bar version rather than the shower gel that was available or the current body spray. I think it’s also the same scent as the sugar plum lip products, it definitely smells the same as the lip tint I got last year to me, but I’m not 100% sure on that one.
I feel a bit like there have been quite a few hauls recently but it’s that time of year when I end up buying more. I promise there won’t be too many, I just wanted to get this one up as the advent calendar is still in stock (as I’m writing this) and a couple of the things are Halloween so I’m not sure how much longer they’ll be around.
I think Marks and Spencer may have made more advent calendars this year, they seem to be in stock for a while longer than normal, or maybe it’s just the sheer number of beauty advent calendars that are around so they have less competition but whatever the reason they were available online longer than in the past and, though they’re sold out online, I’m pretty sure they’re in most stores, the online stock checker lists them well into double figures for some. Value wise it is one of the best value for the price, at £35 and an estimated overall value of over £250 it’s a big saving, but you do have the slight snag of having to spend £35 on other things to get this great price. However, as it’s Marks and Spencer and they have such a range of companies they sell, it really isn’t hard to spend that. I only needed the one Stila set I bought for it to go over that. As I know some people don’t want spoilers I haven’t included any of the products that are in the beauty advent calendar. If you want to know more you can click the link as it has a list of the products on their and I might do a small post soon with my thoughts on the few that I’ve already used and which are cruelty free, vegan, etc. if anyone’s interested.
First post from my new computer! This may take some getting used to so sorry if there are any really obvious typos that I’ve managed to miss! Also feel like I should add a photo heavy warning, not sure if that’s needed any more but there’s quite a few and they’re big.
The second part of the Ireland road trip mini series, if you can call three posts a mini series, is on the Dingle Peninsula which is the most Westerly point in Ireland. This is one of those areas in Ireland where the main draw is the scenery, apparently if you go in the summer there are a lot of tour buses and it’s best to drive around it clockwise as the roads do get very small and you don’t really want to have to reverse back to a passing point, especially on the more mountainous areas, when you come across a bus travelling in the opposite direction.
We did the Slea Head Drive, or Slea Head Loop, it seems to have a few names, which is a ring route around the tip of the peninsula. You do have to go through Dingle first to get to it, there’s a point where no matter which route you’ve taken to get to the end of the peninsula it goes through Dingle because of the mountains, so we did stop off there and have a bit of a wander round despite the rain. We didn’t do this but I would recommend going to the hotel or B&B you’re staying at, if it’s in Dingle, first as we did it after the ring route and they gave us a map of the area when we booked in.
My planning has slipped a bit recently so I bought a big planner from TK Maxx a month or two ago and decided that I’d get some stickers to make it look better as I tend to keep up with it then. I bought a few different packs from Your World of Colour on Etsy which are designed for the Happy Planner style planners which is fairly close to the size of mine. I also found a few other sheets I liked the look of, the monthly day celebration ones are a bit different and I just love the fact there are such things as Chocolate Covered Anything Day (16th December if you’re interested in celebrating it).
I realised I don’t think I’ve ever really done a travel blog post and, as we spent five days in Ireland driving around the south west, I thought I’d do a mini series as there’s way more photos I want to post than would fit into one. This post is about the first place we stayed; Bunratty, which is a small village with not much in it besides a castle which is inside the Bunratty Folk Museum.
Bunratty itself is a nice village to spend a day but could be a good base to go to surrounding areas. We spent three or four hours walking around the Folk Museum though you could probably spend more, especially in the summer when there are more of the workers in costume that would add to the atmosphere.
I feel like I maybe should warn you but this post will have a fair amount of photos in it. It may take a while to load, though I’m not sure if any internet tends to need the warning these days, maybe it was more back in the dialup years people did this.
This is just a small haul, I did buy more but I was extra organised and actually started on my Christmas shopping, and I did end up missing out on the advent calendar I meant to buy as it sold out but I’m happy with the few things I did get. Earlier this week ASOS had a site wide 20% off sale so I decided to get some things in it, including the first advent calendar of the year. Or sort of advent calendar. I have a question for any of you who get these twelve days of Christmas style advent calendars; do you open them in the lead up to Christmas or on the actual twelve days of Christmas which actually starts on Christmas Day? I’m undecided on when I’ll do mine but there’s plenty of time to decide and I just wondered what any of you guys do.
As I left this order a bit late in the day I did forget exactly what I’d bought so it was a bit like Christmas opening it and not sure what I’d got besides the advent calendar. Do you guys do that too? Make man order late at night or when you’re only half awake and forget what was in it? I should really stop but I did save nearly £10 on the advent calendar which made it even better value.
I really didn’t need any more eyeshadow palettes, especially neutral ones, but it was one of those days when you’re looking on a website and something seems like such a good price so I got it. It’s the IDC Color Makeup Natural Eyeshadow Palette, which is pretty much the closest dupe packaging wise I have ever seen for the Naked 3 palette and the colours inside aren’t bad either. I can’t remember if this palette was £6.99 or £7.99 but for the twelve eyeshadows it seemed such a great price and I was interested to see how close it would be to the Naked 3 as I haven’t actually seen reviews of this palette around. It does claim to have a RRP of £42.99 but I think that’s a bit of a stretch when the only online stores I can find have it around €10.
I have to say that normally I don’t go for products that are so obviously close to the originals (as far as I can tell this is a newer palette than the Naked 3 but feel free to correct me if I’m wrong, they’re just so similar it feels like it’s trying to be a dupe), it’s one of the reasons I haven’t gone for more of the Makeup Revolution chocolate palettes, but it was a moment of weakness so I thought I’d give it a proper try as I’d bought it. I also got their Bonbon palette, a dupe for the Too Faced Chocolate Bar Palette which I’m going to try next. I decided that, as this is so close to the Naked 3 palette I’m going to have the first half of this post be a review of the palette by itself and the second half will have some comparisons to the Urban Decay palette. If you’re only interested in seeing how they compare scroll down through the first bit.