Tuesday, 26 April 2016


 Disclaimer; I'm no travel guide expert, but Copenhagen was just too beautiful (and sooo instagrammable!) not to dedicate an entire post to this incredible city. If there are any specific questions/recommendations that you want to know, please feel free to comment on this post or email me directly!

Ok, so firstly, I've wanted to visit Scandinavia my entire life. As a child I was obsessed with all things Scandi; manily Ikea and Abba...but also the Vikings and the magical tales from Hans Christian Andersen. I was obviously hoping to run in to Prince Eric whilst over there, pretty awkward considering I went with my lovely husband! We decided on CPH as it's only a 20 minute bridge ride away from Sweden, which enabled us to tick off two countries on one trip! Our first stop when planning a holiday, especially a city break, is AirBnB. If you've not heard of it, it's a fantastic website where people can rent out their property (or even just a room) to guests, making it not only cheaper than a hotel, but you also really get into the culture of the place and 'live like a local' We stayed at the most beautiful top floor apartment, which was in the heart of the Vesterbro area of the city. The apartment itself was a dream; I must admit, how it looked on IG was definitely a contributing factor for choosing it...but hey, it worked out fine so everyone is happy!

As you can see, the place was just stunning. It was also really practical as we could cook, which is definitely a bonus as we were there for 5 nights, and eating out for 3 meals a day would be rather expensive! The area of Vesterbro is the old red light district, turned hipster central. It's very comparable to the Northern Quarter in Manchester, very chilled out, quiet, but full of culture. It was a 30 minute walk to the city centre, which may seem long, but when you're exploring a new city, it's so wonderful to get out there and discover new places on foot. The architecture is incredible all over the city; typically European stone town houses and quaint little town squares. It reminded me of Basel and Zurich in Switzerland, so clean and very organised.

Our biggest tip, and actually the one were told by countless people before we went, was to hire a bike. CPH is renowned for it's excellent cycle culture, and we knew it would be an inevitability, what we didn't realise was that bikes have priority over cars and people, so it's basically the only way to get around. Our lovely airbnb host gave us loads of info before she left us, so we went to a great little local bike hire shop called ReCycles. It was £10 for 24 hours, which is slightly cheaper than the official tourist bike hire (they're white and similar to the London bikes) which we found really heavy and difficult to use. I was really nervous about cycling in a city. From previous experience in this country, I've very nearly died on numerous occasions, but this was completely different. You have a pavement size cycle path, your own set of traffic lights and very easy to follow road signs. Everyone cycles, parents have their children in the front on a trailer and business men and women are wearing their suits and on hands free phones; very strange for us Brits, but the norm for the Danish. We cycled or walked everywhere; you become very fit in CPH, but again, this is just part of daily life over there, even the local Mall had a 'cycle park' instead of a car park.

We were frequently asked if we were over for the weekend, as a lot of people just visit for a few nights. We were initially worried that we would be bored and not have enough to do, well we couldn't have been more wrong. Yes, I think it is possible to visit for a weekend. You could quite easily visit Nyhavn (colourful houses), The Little Mermaid and a few other touristy bits in 2 days. For us personally, we found 5 nights to be the perfect amount of time, although we could have easily stayed an entire week. We loved cycling around the city, stopping for lunch, shopping, people watching and also squeezing in the main attractions. The Little Mermaid and Nyhavn being the most popular, and definitely worth a visit! The Little Mermaid it situated about a 20 minute walk along from Nyhavn, so you could fit them in together, and take a stroll along the beautiful, if not slightly industrial harbour.

Shopping in CPH was amazing; Cos, & other stories and H&M were the highlight for me. We had been warned that it was a very expensive city, we honestly did not find that to be true. To be fair, living in Manchester, we're used to city prices, but overall, the shopping was the same (Cos was about 15% cheaper!) and food and groceries were only slightly more than the UK. The Little Mermaid and Nyhavn are free, and the Royal Palaces and the Zoo are all under £20 per person. We wanted to visit the Botanical Gardens, but unfortunately we ran out of time! We took a trip to Sweden on the Monday, which included a trip across the famous Oresund bridge, which if you've watched The Killing or The Bridge, you'll know all about. Its absolutely incredible! We saw it when we landed and size of it is just mind blowing. It's a 4km tunnel, which turns into an 8km bridge, and it was a highlight of my trip. As a massive nordic-noir fan, I'd watched the Bridge on programmes for years, and it was amazing to actually cross it. The only negative was the price. This was the one activity that cost an awful lot, nearly £100 for the toll there and back. However, we got to visit Sweden! Malmo to be more precise, which is a nice little town 5 minutes off the bridge. It's not as picturesque as CPH, but its a great place for lunch. We even had time to visit Ikea, which was a dream...I need to get out more.

Overall, we found Copenhagen to be one of our favourite city breaks so far. It has everything you could possibly want from a holiday, probably not the weather in April, but the people, the sight seeing and shopping was incredible. The Scandinavian lifestyle is much more relaxed than over here, and it everywhere had such a great warm and friendly atmosphere. We've not got kids, but it's definitely a child centred lifestyle over there. Kids are a priority, and there's play areas everywhere!

One last thing, was to praise Easy Jet! We got our flights, including 20kg baggage for £125 per person, which you could actually get cheaper depending on the day. Both flights were on time and took just 1hr 35mins from Manchester. We had great service on both flights and just loved the ease and accessibility of the journey. Definitely check them out if you're heading over!

Sunday, 24 April 2016

Wide Leg For Life

It's no secret that I'm a wide legged trouser fan. I say fan, I should probably clarify that I was not a 'fan' at first. I found they made my look frumpy, short and added on half a stone. Totes selling them to you aren't I? Well, this all changed when, (like I discovered with culottes; my other addiction) that when you add heels, of any height, they transform you in to an elegant, sophisticated looking human being. I say any heel height, as I'm not really a heels fan. I find the older I get, the less time I have to put up with uncomfortable shoes. I now realise that even a kitten heel (especially with a pointed toe) can add that much needed few CMs to your height, therefore giving you the illusion of long, lean legs. This discovery changed my life. I can now wear pain free heels, with a variety of trousers, making dressing so much easier!

My current faves are some absolute 'must haves' from Asos. They were £22 and although I actually bought them 2 years ago, they are still available online and stand the test of time. I've styled them two ways for this blog post. I wanted to show you a sort of day to night look, with just the change of a top and some accessories. The best thing about them has to be the flattering silhouette they create. No matter how crappy you are feeling about yourself, you can't help but love how they make you feel. They skim over your thighs and bum and hang beautifully to the floor. The added height of a heel, gives you the 'legs for days' look which enables you to pair them with any style of top.  

For the day time look, I stuck with quite a usual outfit for me. Wide legs, white tee and my faux leather jacket. I obvs had to add a neck scarf, as since having my hair chopped off, I've been obsessed with them! I actually have worn this exact outfit with trainers, which despite my whole opening paragraph about needing heel, looked ok! 

I changed it up a bit for my evening look, and added an off the shoulder number from Zara which I picked up in the sale a few months back. Off the shoulder was massive last year and by the looks of it, the trend is going nowhere fast, so I'd definitely recommend investing in one (they are everywhere!) 

So there you have it. My new fave trousers. My biggest tip is TRY THEM ON. It took me a while to find the perfect fit, but when you do find them, you'll fall in love!

Look One: Trousers: Asos // Jacket: Boohoo // Bag: Catwalk Killa
Neck Scarf: Topshop

Look Two: Trousers (as before) // Top: Zara (similar here) // Neck Scarf: Asos

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Dressed Down Style

Something happened this week that made me laugh. Like literally oh em gee I can't breathe laugh. Ok, so it doesn't take an awful lot to make me LOL, but the irony of the situation was actually rather life affirming. As most of you will know, not all is as it appears on social media, especially picture perfect selfies or staged 'natural' shots. Now stick with me here, this is actually related to fashion/outfits. Basically, and as you will probably now know if you follow me on snap chat (fashion_panic) that I'm not the most naturally glamorous person. I work from home the majority of the time, which often means I stay in my PJs until 10am. I have actually pretended to the Post Man I 'work nights' so he didn't judge me when delivering his daily Asos parcel...I know, I'm going to hell. Back to the issue. Basically, I get changed into my gym gear, so when I have to pop out, it looks like I'm just on my way home from the gym (greasy hair included).  

Over the past few weeks, I've ran into a very old and dear friend twice, who on both occasions, didn't actually recognise me as I looked THAT rough. The first time, I was wearing a bobble hat (in 16c) my brother's hoody and gym pants. The second time, basically the same - the hat. No make up/hair scraped back and completely chilled. His actual reaction was omg you're a fashion blogger and you look like THIS (the only thing a close friend could get away with!). I was crying laughing, as once I could get away with it, but twice and my secret was out!

It made me think, I don't show enough of that side of me, and I don't think that's healthy. That's why I decided to download snap chat and give you a look at the 'real' me. To keep to this topic, this is a look I shot a few weeks ago when I wasn't wearing any make up. Ok so my face isn't in it. But the point is, I really didn't like this shoot. My hair wasn't done, I felt bloated and crappy, but I wanted to show it to you any way. In fact, I'm going to make a concious decision to be more 'real' on social media. Yes I love clothes and looking nice, can I be bothered to do it every day; hell no!

This is a complete staple outfit of mine. GF jeans, striped top and my faux leather jacket. I love how I can literally throw it on and not think too much about it. I've linked similar pieces below, as apart from the shoes and bag, everything is old!

Jacket: Boohoo // Jeans: Asos // Top: Asos // Bag: Radley // Shoes: Zara 


Tuesday, 5 April 2016

MCR Made Up

 I was first told about the MCR Made up event at the city's Manchester Arndale Centre last month, and ever since I had been beyond excited to see how it was going to turn out. The idea behind the event, was to show case the centres many and varied beauty stores. Manchester Arndale has held a succession of fab events over recent months, focusing mainly on fashion, so they thought it was high time to big up the beauty!

The event was held last weekend, although us bloggers, along with a few competition winners, had a special preview of MCR Made up on the Friday night. It was held in the space outside the big Next store, it's a great location, bang in the centre and if you were in Manchester Arndale at the weekend, you couldn't have missed it! They had a very special guest, the superstar vlogger Jamie Genevieve, who is not only beautiful and talented, but also absolutely hilarious and had us all in stitches. She had designed some fab make up looks inspired by Manchester. Throughout the weekend, you could choose one of the looks to try and to top it off, take your picture at the (very flattering) selfie booth!

We all had a great time watching Jamie apply the Manchester make up on a lucky competition winner, who looked absolutely beautiful! It was great to mingle with all of my blogger friends, sipping on champers and eating gorgeous cupcakes! Thanks for another great event guys!

Personal Shopping Experience At Selfridges

 So most of you will know if you already follow me on my social media, that I'm pretty clueless about make up and beauty products. I've never really been one to spend money on make up or skincare, I'd much rather have the money for clothes and accessories (bad I know!). However, when I was invited to have an exclusive insight to the Selfridges personal shopping experience at their beauty department in the Trafford Centre, I was intrigued to see if I could actually be persuaded to spend my hard earned cash on something other than what I wear!

I was greeted by the lovely Des, who is the personal shopper for the beauty department. I had actually been rather nervous about meeting him, as I am so clueless, I was concerned I'd be an embarrassment to bloggers. I needn't have been as he is one of the loveliest people I have met during my time as a blogger. I immediately felt at ease, and couldn't wait to ask him my very long list of questions. We first headed to the Birch Box station, which is at the Trafford Centre store until April 9th (you can find out more here). I had obviously heard of Birch Box, but I'd never thought of subscribing, so this was a great chance to see just what it was all about. If you haven't heard of it, it's basically a fab subscription box. You get 6 new beauty products direct to your door each month, which is great for people like me who need to try new things before I commit to buying them!

I had the choice of choosing 6 products from a fab selection of 24. I was so lucky to have Des to talk me through the choices as it was pretty overwhelming for a non beauty addict!
I chose some amazing products (all tagged on my Instagram) and they all come in a cute little bag and box which are so lovely for keeping my brushes in (yes I do own some!).

Next it was off for the consultation, this is the usual chat that Des would have with his clients before he takes them around the store. This took place in a gorgeous little room at the back of the beauty department. It's important for Des that this time is as private and relaxed as possible, so he can really get to know his clients. As well as being a beauty and skincare guru, with over 18 years in the business, Des is also a great listener and can totally empathise with the beauty problems that people come to him with. We discussed the fact that the beauty industry is not just a superficial, shallow world. In fact it's the opposite and can make women and men feel empowered, and feeling good about themselves which will ultimately get them through whatever life throws at them. 

Over the years Des has had a major impact on people's lives. He has made friends with his clients and can help them through a variety of issues, whether it's finding the right lipstick for a big job interview, or helping them through a difficult time finding them a way to build their confidence back up. 

I tell Des that it feel like I'm in a mini counselling session, as he asks me about my lifestyle, stresses and worries that have an impact on my skin care regime. Whether it's time your short of, or have a small budget, It's great to feel like someone is actually wanting to help you out, rather than just sell you a product. That's another great thing about the service; Des is employed by Selfridges, not a particular brand, which means a unbiased, honest and fair look at the make up and skin care available.

It was then my turn to ask the questions. I wanted to know more about the man behind the personal shopper, and see what makes him so passionate about beauty. Having worked in some of the most prestigious stores in the country, including; Harrods and stores on Bond Street, Des has seen it all. He knows what luxury is, and he knows quality when he sees it. He's worked with all the top brands, and trained at Givency. He describes luxury goods as "in his bones", yet this doesn't stop him from telling me about his latest favourite addition to the beauty hall, budget brand NYX. He openly admits that he's a user of both luxury and budget, which let's face it, most of us mix it up when it comes to beauty. He has personally tried most of the brands and his unbiased opinion is a valuable voice at Selfridges. 

He explains that he is so passionate about beauty due to the difference he can see it makes to his clients. He finishes his day with a genuine satisfaction that he has helped someone, and enjoys going into work every day, a pleasure most of us don't get from our jobs. This passion and clear enjoyment of the work he does make the whole experience enjoyable and fun. It's like talking to your best friend, who happens to know everything there is to know about beauty. 

Before I left, Des very kindly gave me what can only be described as a humongous bag of samples, which he had gone round and chosen before I had arrived. It was a fantastic experience and I can't recommend the service enough. A massive thank you to Des and the team at Selfrigdes, you have definitely turned me into a beauty addict!

You can make an appointment by contacting Des, either by phone: 07885271883 or via email at: des.davis@selfridges.co.uk

Monday, 4 April 2016

Radley Loves Manchester

 When I heard that there was going to be a new Radley store opening in the Manchester Arndale Centre, I just could not wait to see what it was going to be like. Luckily for me, I have been working with Radley since December, when I was invited to dinner in Liverpool to check out their store at Liverpool One. So guess how super excited I was when they invited me to have an exclusive preview of the new Manchester store, a whole day before it was open to the public! I did my usual little dance of excitement, and brought out my ever growing collection of beautiful Radley bags, to decide which one was coming with me!

Before the store preview, we were treated to a beautiful lunch at Evelyn's Cafe in the Northern Quarter. I'd never been myself, but had heard nothing but great reviews from my friends, so couldn't wait to get there. It's an absolutely stunning space, and a blogger's dream, with copper details and plants on every wall. The intense and wonderful smell hits you as soon as you walk in, I was ravenous already! I chose the chicken skewers which came with gluten free noodles, which was a total bonus, as I'm used to leaving half a dish due to my intolerance. They were incredible, so fragrant, and the mixture of textures from peanuts and spiralised vegetables was something I hadn't experienced before with total gluten free goodness! I'm usually on bland unimaginative food, so it was a real treat! On the place settings were our very own bouquet of beautiful flowers from Frog Flowers, which are now in pride of place in my room.

It was then on to the store itself. The new Radley store is on the ground floor of the Arndale Centre, opposite Topshop and near the big Next. When we arrived, we were treated to chocolates (from the amazing new Lindt store next door) and had the chance to have our 'Radley Loves MCR' tags personalised with our names. The new store is beautiful, so colourful and refreshing. The staff truly went above and beyond, and knew everything there was to know about the brand and each individual bag. The stars of the show had to be the two Radley dogs, Monty and Dixie! They were loving life, getting fed sausages and having their tummies tickled. Before we left, we were told we could choose any of the bags to take home with us! Totally spoiled again, and it took me a good 45mins to decide as I just love them all! 

A massive thank you to all at the Manchester store and to Lauren and Shona who always make sure us bloggers have an amazing an experience. I'm so proud to work with a brand that I genuinely love and to work with people who I now call friends.
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