Sunday, February 12, 2017

Inventions Brunch at Disneyland Paris

One of my favourite things that happened on my Disneyland Paris trip in January was a visit to Inventions at the Disneyland Hotel for their Sunday Brunch. I say brunch, but it was definitely more of a lunch. Our booking was at 1pm, the food was a full buffet and there definitely wasn't just breakfast food.

This was my second character meal that I've done, but definitely my favourite. I went to Cafe Mickey for breakfast back in December 2015, and although the experience as a whole was great, and it was fairly cheap in comparison, the food just didn't compare.

We arrived at the Disneyland Hotel and headed up to Inventions. For the brunch we had, we weren't actually in the Inventions restaurant but had been moved next door to California Grill. It was still super picturesque, and the seventeen of us were sat across 3 tables right by the window. Being sat near the window was perfect for pictures, because the lighting elsewhere was rather yellow.

Once seated, we were given a glass of bubbly and were met by an array of characters. The theme was Russian New Year, so they were all dressed up. We got to see ten characters in total - Mickey, Minnie, Chip, Dale, Goofy, Donald, Daisy, Clarice, Duffy and ShellieMay. Although I'd met six out of the ten characters previously, getting to see them in the rare costumes was definitely worth it. The characters also came round multiple times, and most of them spent a decent amount of time with everyone.

The food was also fantastic - I had two or three plates of savoury food, and another plate full of desserts. Coming in at €70 per person (or €56 with my AP discount) the meal is one of the more expensive ones in the park, but for the amount of food we could have, as well as getting to meet ten different characters all in costume, it was well worth it. They were also extremely accommodating for such a large group!

I'm very very tempted to book the brunch for when I'm there at Halloween, especially after seeing pictures of the villains that attended last year!

Sophie x
Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Season Of The Force at Disneyland Paris

If we were to rewind time back a couple of months, I was in no way a Star Wars fan in the slightest. I did, however, know that I needed to give them a chance because my trip to Disneyland Paris in January coincided with the launch of Season Of The Force at the Walt Disney Studios Park. I took the week between Christmas and New Year to watch them, and within about five days I had seen Episode IV, V, VI and VII as well as Rogue One at the cinema. I've still got Episodes II and III to watch but just watching those five turned me into a huge fan. I can't believe I'd not attempted to properly watch them previously!

I arrived at the Walt Disney Studios Park in Paris at around 4pm, and by that time had missed two of the daytime events (or at least the English showings of them) - the First Order March and Star Wars: A Galaxy Far, Far Away. I did, however, catch the first ever Star Wars: A Galactic Celebration show. The show, which was a combination of projections on the Hollywood Tower Hotel, a stage show and fireworks, was absolutely incredible.

Photo: +DavidAtDisney | @DavidAtDisney

I then had a few days in the Disneyland Park, before heading back over to the studios on Tuesday to catch the two daytime shows. Just beforehand, we managed to be in the right place at the right time to catch the Stormtroopers who were parading. We then took a front row spot to watch the shows. It was great to see the inclusion of The Force Awakens with the First Order March, and then the Star Wars: A Galaxy Far, Far Away show was brilliant too! I loved all of the different aspects and characters they managed to include in all three shows and it was definitely a great addition to the studios park.

There are a few things that they definitely could have done to improve the experience. Sadly there were no meets with any Star Wars characters, which was definitely an opportunity missed. It would have been great to have gotten to meet Darth Vader, Chewie or Kylo Ren, and even though you could briefly meet the Stormtroopers whilst on patrol, it was down to being the right person in the right place at the right time.

Are you heading over to Disneyland Paris to experience Season of the Force? If not, check out DeAndre's vlog of all three shows here.

Sophie x

Sunday, February 05, 2017

A Valentine's Treat with Dr Botanicals

I first heard of Dr Botanicals when I tried their Moroccan Rose Superfood Facial Oil towards the end of last year (it featured in my skincare favourites post) so when they got in touch to say they'd like to work with me again, I couldn't resist. All of Dr Botanicals products are made only of natural ingredients, and they're also cruelty-free and vegan certified.

For the entire month of February, Dr Botanicals are having a Moroccan Rose themed month, with everything in the range reduced to between £24.99 and £29.99 - a complete bargain! To celebrate this, they sent me a lovely jar of their Moroccan Rose & Shea Butter Body Repairing Cream, and they've also given me a treat for you guys too, so read on to find out more!

The cream comes in a 100ml glass jar, and the smell that hits you as soon as you take the lid off is phenomenal. I'm a big fan of rose scented things as it is, but this is truly beautiful. Moving onto the cream itself, it's lightweight, non-greasy and soaks into the skin extremely well. I absolutely love the way my skin feels after using it, and I also love that the scent remains pretty much all day too.

There are four main active ingredients in the formulation, which are:

  • Moroccan Rose Oil, which is rich in Omegas 3 and 6 which aim to firm and hydrate the skin. 
  • Shea Butter, which contains high levels of Vitamins A, F and E which aim to protect, soothe and rejuvenate the skin, leaving it soft and hydrated. 
  • Apricot Kernel Oil, which is a fantastic source of Vitamins A and E, rich in essential fatty acids, which aim to deeply moisturise and nourish the skin. 
  • Ximenia Seed Oil, which soothes and nourishes dry, sensitive and chapped skin

It's currently on offer for £24.99 reduced from £89, and it is well worth picking it up for that price! I probably wouldn't pay full price for it, as I'm not one to typically splurge on skincare products, but I can see why people would.

If you fancy picking up a jar for yourself, or a loved one, not only is it already such a great price but if you use the code KEANBLOG you'll be able to get it at a further 20% making it only £24.99! The code is valid on all of the range, and can be used until the end of February.

I'd love to hear your thoughts if you try it, or buy it as a gift for someone else!

Sophie x
Sunday, January 01, 2017

Goodbye 2016 | Hello 2017

Twenty-sixteen was a tough year for us all. We lost some extremely prevalent figures, experienced some horrific events all around the world, and we saw some big changes in the world of Politics.

One of the biggest changes in my life this year was my Grandad passing away in March. It was a difficult time for the entire family, and it still is. It was my first real experience of losing somebody, and it was tough. It did, however, bring my family a lot closer together, and I am really thankful for that. I got to spend a lot of time with my Nan, aunts and cousins this year, and I treasure those moments dearly.

But alongside all of the hardship, I also had some really great moments in twenty-sixteen. From seeing some of my favourite country artists live at C2C Festival, to exploring London, Cambridge and Manchester with my Canadian bestie Kelsey and even spending Halloween at Disneyland Paris with lots of new Disney friends. I got a new job, which I'm really enjoying and I passed my driving test. As much as I would consider twenty-sixteen an awful year, I also want to be able to look back and remember all of those wonderful, happy moments, with people that I love.

Twenty-seventeen definitely has some exciting times ahead. So far, I'm off to Disneyland Paris for my twenty-fourth birthday in a couple of weeks, I'm planning on moving to London in a few months (and finally saying goodbye to the three to four hours of commuting a day I currently do) and I've also got a few theatre trips booked, including a trip to see The Addams Family with my bestie Sophie.

I'm not really setting myself any goals for the year, other than reading 52 books. I attempted it in twenty-sixteen and read a grand total of thirty-five, so I'm excited to give it another go. I started a bookstagram, so I'll be sharing my progress on there and on my Goodreads.

I'm excited for the year ahead, and what it'll bring for us all. Let twenty-seventeen be the year of chasing those dreams. Let it be the year of saying yes more. Let it be the year of realising that you're wonderful just the way you are. Let it be a year full of love and happiness.

Here's a goodbye to twenty-sixteen, and a very loving hello to twenty-seventeen.

Sophie xx
Sunday, October 09, 2016

My Skincare Favourites

Finding skincare products that work for me has always been difficult. I'll try something new for a month or two, and then my skin starts to get worse. Over the past few months, I feel like I've found a regime that really works for me, so I thought I'd share the products that I love the most with you.

Monday, October 03, 2016

September Reads

At the start of the year, I set myself the goal of reading 52 books. I've had good months, and bad months, and although I'm behind schedule, September was definitely a good month for reading.

A Girl series - Lindsey Kelk

I absolutely love Lindsey's writing and have (now) read all of her books. These three books have been on my shelf forever, and I decided it was finally time to read them before Lindsey's newest book comes out this week. I actually read the three of them in 2 days because I just couldn't put them down. The series follows Tess - the girl that's always had a plan. After her plans go to pot, she accidentally answers her flatmate Vanessa's phone and decides to borrow her identity and fly to Hawaii for a photography assignment.

Lindsey really does have a way with words, as I was completely gripped throughout all three books, which were full of moments that made me laugh, cringe and cry. I loved Tess and was absolutely rooting for her the entire way through. I'm so glad Lindsey managed to create a lovable set of characters, just like in the I Heart series, and it was nice to see the two series intertwine briefly too. I can't wait to get my hands on her next book, and to see her in London next week too!

It's Not Me, It's You - Mhairi McFarlane

This is another book that has been on my shelf for a while too (I actually bought it in this book haul in Feb 2015) and I finally got round to reading it. The event I'm seeing Lindsey Kelk at next week is actually one with her, Giovanna Fletcher and Mhairi McFarlane, so that made me pick it up and give it a read! I am so glad I got round to reading it, as I absolutely loved it and once again found myself crying and laughing throughout. The story follows Delia, who after proposing to her boyfriend finds out he's been sleeping with someone else. After a fresh start, Delia heads from Newcastle to London (and eventually back again) to tackle a new job, new life, and new love interest.

Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

I picked this up at the Penguin Platform stand at Summer In The City after noticing it was part of the Zoella Book Club. I've read some of the other books on the list, and absolutely loved them so I thought I'd try one or two of the others (I also picked up All The Bright Places, but have yet to read it). I read this book in a day, and absolutely adored it. Madeline Whittier is allergic to the outdoors and hasn't left her house in seventeen years. Olly is the new kid next door and wants to find a way to reach Maddy. It's heartwarming, creative, beautiful and has a great twist, and has quickly become one of my favourite YA books to date.

I really loved getting back into reading this month, and am excited to start reading Nina Is Not Ok today, before picking up Lindsey Kelk's We Were On a Break later this week. Let's see if I can catch up and reach 52 books before the end of 2016!

Sophie x
Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Boobs, Glorious Boobs!

Did you know that 84% of women wear the wrong size bra? Yep, 84% - crazy right? I always thought I knew how a bra should fit, but it turns out that up until last week I was part of that 84%.

Last week I headed along to Boux Avenue's AW16 launch, which was also a celebration of their City & Guilds Accreditation for their bra fitting service. To be completely honest with you, I hadn't had my bra professionally fitted in at least five years, but in that time I'd changed my size based on my own judgement, mainly due to a little weight gain. I didn't think I was wearing the wrong size, but clearly 84% of women don't.

I didn't really realise how important it was to wear the right size, until the past week of me wearing one of my brand new bras. Previously, I had gotten back ache if I hadn't had good posture (oh the woes of being a DD+) and my straps would also dig in at times, leaving my shoulders fairly painful.

The bra fitting service itself was such a great experience. I had put off going for one because I'm not exactly confident with my body, but the girl that was doing it was extremely lovely and I remembered that it's their job, and they see women of all shapes and sizes on a daily basis. I didn't feel embarrassed at all, and she started off by checking my current bra, measuring where necessary and recommending my new size. I then put my dress back on (which was also a bad choice on my part, but she offered me some of their pyjama bottoms to wear) before we both went out into the store to pick some new bras to try. I tried them all on one at a time, and when I had each bra on she popped back in to make sure it was all adjusted properly before we discussed how I felt it fit.

Not only did I get to find out my new size, I also learnt the tell-tale signs of a badly fitting bra. Boux Avenue call them their 5 Faithful Features for the best fit, but in a nutshell, you need to check the underband, straps, wire, centre front and the cups. Now, I can check myself when trying on a bra, and know what styles fit better than others.

After my fitting, I went with the gorgeous Bronwen balconette bra as it had the nicest fit from the five I tried. I also really loved the Sofia floral balconette bra, which is one from their AW16 collection, but they didn't have it in my size. As you can probably tell from the picture, I couldn't resist popping to another store the next day on my way home, and I managed to get my hands on it!

I absolutely love Boux Avenue and the service they provide, both with their bra fitting service and just in the store in general. If you haven't had your bra fitted in a while, I'd definitely recommend it!

Sophie x