An Open And Shut Case

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Wanderlust; A great desire or impulse to travel and rove about.

I had just hit my teen years when I first discovered this term. I decided I had caught it: a terminal case of the ‘wanderlust’ bug.

As a child my mother had always made it a key priority to educate me not only in the safety of school classroom walls, but also out in the world, meeting new people and being faced first hand with different cultures and ways of living. I’ll always be thankful for this. By the time I was a teenager I had lived for two months in a village on a remote Fijian island where we witnessed rituals, sipped ‘Kava (a traditional herbal drink) with the locals and visited a school that had around fifteen students who’s classes often took place on benches in the dust outside. I had also stood at the top of an Australian mountain looking out over the peculiar ‘Blue Mountains’, scorched my feet on the burning sand of Dubai’s sand dunes and much more.

There are days when I’m stuck in dreary England, looking out of the window through the drizzle and will catch a glimpse of a plane flashing between a huddle of several grey clouds. All I want in the whole world right then is to be sat on that exact plane, and I don’t even care where it takes me – anywhere new with a different climate, different birds (it’s always something I notice when I’m in a new country for some reason) and a different culture. I want to sit on the plane and see where it takes me and then just explore and breathe in fresh air.

Bring Out the Caviar, Darling!

Caviar

Caviar

I have been experimenting with a little bit of nail effects for the last few days and I think my favourite has to be the caviar from Claire’s Accessories paired with MUA’s ‘Pistachio Ice Cream’ (yummy name right!?) nail varnish. The fresh minty-blue colour is perfect for summer and it works so well with the striking gold caviar on the middle finger, sealed in on the nail with a bit of Seche Vite top-coat. The quality of these products is surprisingly very good: the nail varnish is very long lasting and the caviar was extremely difficult to remove, which is a good thing in terms of longevity, but a can be bit of a pain if you’re in a hurry!

As a little extra I have also found the chunky gold ring from Primark looks amazing with these nails. Overall this look (the MUA nail varnish, Claire’s Accessories nail caviar and the Primark ring) could not have cost more than £5, which is fantastic since I’m already spending money on stocking up on loads of summer clothes!

Healthy Banana Ice Cream!

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When the sun starts making more and more appearances all I want to do is laze around on a sun-lounger, sipping lemonade and indulging in a refreshing ice cream. However, I have a little holiday just around the corner so I need to start getting my bikini body on, and it isn’t enough to just have ‘low-fat’ ice cream. So a couple of clicks on my laptop later I end up on blogilates and what I found was so exciting I just had to share it with you!

Introducing the healthiest, tastiest snack ever, that I know will be a staple this summer: banana ice cream, with only one ingredient: a banana!

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Step 1: Chop a banana into coin shapes. Obviously use the amount of bananas that you would require to make the amount of ice cream you would want (I have found that one average sized banana is equal to one portion).

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Step 2: Pop the banana coins in a bowl or Tupperware box and leave them in the freezer for a couple of hours until completely frozen solid.

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Step 3: Take them out to blend, blend and blend a bit more in a food processor/blender until you have achieved a thick, whipped-cream-like product.

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Step 4: Serve in a pretty little bowl either by itself or with a trickle of toffee sauce which, I know, kind of negates the whole ‘healthy’ thing, but come on, bananas and toffee… Hmmm…

Enjoy!

P.S. Let me know if you liked this post and I may put up more yummy recipes; suggestions are welcome!

A Lovely Little Lip ‘Crayon’ Assortment

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IMG_0196Ever since Clinique launched the new interesting, innovative and inspiring ‘Chubby Stick’ range highstreet brands have been shooting dupes at us from all directions, from Soap and Glory to Poundland’s own-brand ‘Chit Chat’. I have collected a little assortment of these lovely lip crayons (we already have lip pencils and lipsticks, so why not lip crayons?) over this past couple months and I am thoroughly enjoying each and every one of them!

Firstly, let’s start with the one that started it all off – Clinique’s ‘moisturizing lip colour balm’, otherwise known as the wonderfully, humorously named ‘Chubby Stick’. I have the shades ‘Woppin’ Watermelon’ and ‘Curvy Candy’, and out of the two I think I would have to label ‘Woppin’ Watermelon’ as my favourite. It was with this one that my collection first began; this past Christmas my best friend, Amy, told me that I would not have my present on Christmas Day because of jam-packed post office deliveries around that festive time of year. I was a little disappointed at first, however all these feelings were brushed aside as soon as I opened the door one day in early January and saw the little silver box tied up in ribbon attached to a tag that had the CLINIQUE logo on the front in her outstretched hands. Removing the lid I was euphoric to find the small packaging of the Chubby Stick I had been coveting for weeks snugly nestled in the puffs of white tissue paper. She informed me that she had tried the same one and loved it, and Amy, I would absolutely have to agree! The subtle pink is a your-lips-but-better shade that highlights your natural lip colour with a moisturising sheen to the lips that lasts hours. It is the perfect lip for a ‘no makeup makeup’ look and never leaves my handbag, so thank you so much to my beautiful bestfriend who couldn’t have picked a better prezzie! ‘Curvy Candy’ has the same moisturising longevity, however the pink is more intense and pigmented. In the department store I bought this crayon in, I was two-ticks away from purchasing the ‘Chunky Cherry’ shade, however, thinking of the immense amount of red lipstick I have in a drawer at home, I made a snap decision to snatch up this plush pink. They are rather expensive (£16) for the amount of product that you get, but totally worth it for the amount that I use mine! The only flaw the Chubby Sticks have, in my opinion, is the smell: they smell like wax or rubber, so Clinique, all we are waiting for now are watermelon, cherry and candy flavours to match their witty names! Don’t you agree?

The first ‘dupe’ I picked up was the highly raved about ‘Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stains’ in the colour ‘Rendezvous’ for £8.99 (I think!). This shade is a bold orange, very similar to ‘Oversized Orange’ Chubby Stick, but a whole lot more pigmented. The intense colour matches that of a lipstick, yet the moisturising balm creates a glossy look and smooth-touch feel to your lips. And the bonus – it smells great! The strong mint scent that reminds me of After Eight mints (one of my favourites! Along with Jaffa Cakes – hmmm, Jaffa Cake flavoured lipstick…drool…) is very freshening to smell on your lips, just millimetres from your nose.

The last brand I have tried is a bit of an odd one – ‘Chit Chat’, which is Poundland’s (an English equivalent to the dollar store) own brand of makeup. I was very hesitant at first, but thought I would try it, seeing as it was only £1, but I am so impressed! The colour I chose is ‘Coral’ which is a subtle peachy colour which is something that I think the other two brands are missing; what ever happened to peachy tones? I know that the Revlon one looks peachy and the Chit Chat lip crayon looks orange in the photo, so sorry, but trust me on this one! This product is just as moisturising as the other two, the only drawbacks are that it is scentless and the packaging is very unimpressive.

So that’s it for my little collection of lip crayons…for now! If anyone knows of any other dupes or Clinique shades you would recommend, let me know below!

Let’s Get Naked!

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IMG_0194The recently raved about “Urban Decay Naked Palette’ is a collection of eye shadows that, I’m sure, you have all heard of! Tut, tut, if you haven’t! Out of the three available palettes – Naked Basics, Naked 1 and Naked 2, I chose to purchase Naked Basics, having spent about three hours scouring other beauty blogs and vlogs for information on this fabulous new addition to the much adored Urban Decay brand. I spent another twenty minutes in Debenhams testing each colour on my hand before easily coming to my conclusion: NAKED BASICS BABY!

I say ‘easily’, the reason behind my not-so-difficult-in-the-end decision is as follows; the other two palettes, although lovely, in my opinion have too many shimmering shades. Now, tones with this sparkling quality suit different people, and I unfortunately am not one who it suits; they highlight (and not in a good way) the lines and creases in my eyelids if applied across the whole lid making me appear to have the drooping eyelids of a forty year old woman. Not those of a young lady in her late teens! Also the size had a huge impact on which palette I would walk out of the doors clutching. The Naked Basics Palette is around half the size of the other two palettes. This makes it a whole lot easier to carry around in the inside pocket of my handbag should I need to touch up my makeup during the day: handy!

Anyway, on to the palette itself…

This beautifully compact and portable palette contains five gorgeous matte shades; Foxy (also featured in the Naked 2 palette), W.O.S, Naked 2 (obviously featured in the Naked 2 palette), Faint and Crave, as well as the only shimmer; Venus. One reason my love for this beauty product is so fierce stems from how very versatile it is; Venus is a shade I use everyday in the inner corners of the eyes to open up the eye area, and also use as a highlighter on the brow bone. Foxy is a yellowy – nude shade that can double up as a concealer setter. This palette is designed perfectly to be ideal for a calm, natural smoky eye look, which can be toned down for a subtler everyday eye. However, by layering the jet black Crave and striking Venus, you can ‘glam’ up for an outstanding night out.

I am completely head-over-heels in love with this product, using it on a daily basis and constantly raving about it to all I know personally, and now to all of you!

e.l.f St Lucia Contour Duo

e.l.f St Lucia Contour Duo

e.l.f St Lucia Contour Duo

It is such a shame that e.l.f is only available online in the UK (with a pretty large shipping fee, might I add) because a lot of their products are high in quality but very low in price and you know me, I’m a toucher shopper – I have to feel and test the products before I buy. I first saw Tanya Burr talking about this particular product on YouTube and quickly jotted ‘e.l.f. St Lucia Contour Duo’ down on my ‘list of things to buy in America’.  For $3 Target practically paid me to take it away, so a few minutes later I was taking this baby home with me ready to try her out for size, and months later I’m still loving it.

The bronze is a fairly good dupe for Nars’ ‘Laguna’ and is very pigmented. I would not recommend this for fair skin as it may be too orange toned, however, paired with my tan from spending the last two weeks of my American road trip in sunny Florida the product helps to warm up my face and create subtle shadows where appropriate.

(On a quick side note: does anyone else find that when they come back from holiday they have a lovely tanned body but their face has barely changed due to a combination of wearing SPF 15 makeup and face-exfoliator? It’s so frustrating, right!? So yeah, that’s why my face needed warming up!)

Anyway, back onto subject. The blush is a lot subtler and the minute gold flecks embedded in the powder create a healthy glow across the cheeks. I have found that the finish is actually better when this is applied with a firmer brush or even the pad at the base of your thumb, as opposed to the soft Real Techniques Blush Brush, which doesn’t quite pick up enough product.

The compact is the perfect size: small enough to fit in a little makeup bag for touching up throughout the day but large enough for a decent sized mirror in the lid – perfect for doing makeup on the way to wherever I may be jetting off to next!

Love At First Scent – Burberry ‘Body’

Burberry 'Body'

Burberry 'Body'

In my second ever GlossyBox a couple of years ago I received a small sample size of this particular eau de toilette and fell in love. It contained more than your usual amount of product for a sample, and, more notably, did not come presented in a tiny plastic case, but rather a chunky glass bullet – naturally setting the bar very high for future GlossyBox perfume samples and consequently fuelling my pet hate for typically tacky freebee tasters.

The musky, floral scent makes me feel very grown up when sporting it, and it has a quality that I have never before experienced in a perfume before: the scents have layers that become increasingly noticeable throughout the day. I often find with other fragrances that I have to reapply a few sprays every couple of hours in order for the scent to not fade too much and therefore become completely unnoticeable. However, I have found that with each passing hour the scent appears to relax into my skin and begins to smell better as the day goes on! Ideal for a night out, a no-handbag-day and naturally perfect for extending the life of a particularly expensive product.

So after quite a while of the sample sitting on my perfume rack being ‘saved’ yet often thought about, I finally sucked it up and…asked Santa for the full size for Christmas! Santa may not have delivered but the BoyF certainly did and I swear it hasn’t left my wrists since I unboxed it!

 

P.S. I still haven’t used up the sample: I think I may keep it as a memento of my one true love-at-first-scent!

My MAC Palette

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In the last few months I have aquired a fair few of these coveted shadows: the good, the bad and the ugly (I could never say ugly about a MAC shade, maybe disappointing is more appropriate!) and I thought I could share them with you in case you’re looking for advice for a purchase or even just as a quick read with your morning coffee on a Sunday much like today. So enjoy, as I have just as much fun rambling about my little pride and joys!

‘Phloof’ (top left of the palette) – I am obsessed with inner corner eye highlighting and therefore own a silly amount of shimmery white eyeshadows, so naturally when I was browsing the MAC counter I gravitated to the lighter shades on the shadow rainbow rack. ‘Phloof’ caught my eye as a perfect highlighting shade for both the contour areas on the face such as the top of the cheekbones, bridge of the nose and the dip on the cupid’s-bow, and also as an inner-eye-corner brightener. The champagney silver tone is not sparkly but rather it holds a natural looking sheen making it much easier to use as a highlighter – a favourite in my collection!

‘Espresso’ (top right of the palette) – I first heard about this matte, chocolate shadow from viviannadoesmakeup as she often boasts it’s multiple uses as both an eyeshadow but also brow filler. I agree that it’s a gorgeous shade that is multi-functional, highly pigmented and very flattering on all eye colours – an all round winner!

‘Bronze’ (bottom left of the palette) – I have to admit I was a little disappointed, just a little. I had had my eye on it for a while but tried to find alternatives in the drugstores like the Loreal Infallible Pressed Eyeshadow, the Maybelline Colour Tattoo and the Rimmel liquid shadow dupes, but nothing beats a bit a of luxury in the end does it? So I gave in to the craving and picked one up, however having tried it I have to admit that I actually prefer the drugstore’s alternatives as, unlike other MAC Eyeshadows, I found this one to have a particularly light pigment coverage requiring a good amount of work packing the product on to get a good colour payoff. Once a good amount of pigment is applied the shimmery colour pairs beautifully with the matte ‘Espresso’ and I find it makes blue eyes in particular really pop, but I wouldn’t say this is anything different to the cheaper alternatives.

‘Rule’ (bottom right of the palette) – This shadow is unlike anything else in my collection so it was a bit of a gamble purchasing it, however I used Christmas as a perfect opportunity to go outside my comfort zone and ask for it as a gift! I use this rusty orange colour mainly to warm the edges of an intense black smokey eye or to create interest with a pop of colour on the lower brow bone area when sporting nude shades. But it does also come in handy when while I’m messing around with over-the-top makeup looks that you can check out on my Instagram (there’s a link to the right of the page!). Like ‘Bronze’ it’s not the most pigmented eyeshadow, however I’m willing to let them off on this one as I only use a light hint of colour in the fear of ending up with umpa-lumpa eyes!

‘All That Glitters’ (bottom separate pan) – a favourite for many MAC lovers: a charmingly subtle shimmery pink champagne colour that is perfect to incorporate into a brown smokey eye or even by itself swept across the lid to add a little interest to an otherwise naked eyelid. It was the very first MAC eyeshadow I ever purchased, however it did take much debate. I found that the true quality and colour payoff can only be appreciated fully in real life: on photographs the colour appears a little darker and the tone comes out flatter, so it’s a shade to check out during your next peruse around your nearest MAC counter!

‘Club’ (top separate pan) – I was convinced by the ravings of Lily Pebbles’ love for this particular one, however I have only used it once in the six months I’ve had it in my collection. I find this a very difficult shade to work with – when applied with a brush barely any product is brushed on the skin, when applied with fingers more product is packed on but it is so poorly pigmented that the colour appears more as a dirty brown than a greeny-black. The man who sold me this shadow did show me a trick to make the colour stand out more though: he grabbed a black eyeliner pencil and coloured in a centimeter by centimeter square area of his hand and proceeded to push the shadow on top. The black base ensured that the muddy colour of the eyeshadow alone was not visible and only the interesting colour-changing quality was seen. This is therefore appropriate for a night out or even fancy dress but not wearable during the day in my opinion.

Emma Hardie Amazing Face Body Scrub Treatment

Emma Hardie Amazing Face Body Srcub Treatment

Emma Hardie Amazing Face Body Srcub Treatment

Emma Hardie skincare products – a cult beauty brand must have, a staple in many bathrooms. For some reason I must have missed the boat on that one; I live in a town far from the likes of Space NK and Selfridges and have a strict non-online-beauty-shopping policy as a result of too many disasters at the hands of not being able to swatch, smell or sample. However I found myself popping into a TK Maxx store for a nice leather-bound notepad (as you do) and ended up having a cheeky peak at the beauty section to see if they have any hidden gems, as per usual. On this particular day I saw a large box sitting alone, surrounded by bottles of shampoo and half opened bars of soap, and what a gem it turned out to be! I ran over, picked it up and held it under my arm as I marched over to the counter, not even thinking about my ‘swatch, smell and sample’ rule. The price tag was just a bonus – usually £46 this bargain was an astonishing £10! When the cashier told me I think I actually squealed, much to my own, and my boyfriend’s who was standing with me not understanding my excitement at all, embarrassment. Awkward.

As soon as I got home I opened the lid of the box and peered in at the silvery-gold tub. Swatch, smell and sample.

The thick, creamy texture of the product feels more like a mask than a scrubbing lotion and is packed with granules of ‘Himalayan salts and organic red corn’ that buff away any dry skin, chicken-skin or just polishes up any toughened skin on the soles of your feet or on your elbows and knees. An invigorating scent of citrus fruits and floral notes of rose and jasmine flowers (ideal for me right!) both relaxes and refreshes, so it’s ideal for chilling out in an evening with a bath or kick-starting the day in a shower.

A beautiful product well worth its luxury price tag, let alone the steal I got it for. It’s safe to say I forgot about the leather-bound notebook.

26th July, To Be Continued…

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I thought I’d write today’s entry on a separate post as quite a bit happened today too.

We decided that it was a shame we had been so jetlagged at the beginning of our holiday so we hadn’t actually managed to see much of Vegas yet. We woke up and went on the hunt for somewhere to eat breakfast and found ‘Denny’s’. The breakfast we all decided to get was called the ‘Red, White and Blue’ as it was two rashers of bacon, two fried eggs, some hash-brown (the American version which is just shredded potato, not what us Brits are used to) with a separate plate of pancakes with blueberries, strawberries and whipped cream. Oh my, if I wasn’t so full after it, I could have eaten a hundred!

After that we bought an all day bus pass for around $8 which we thought was very reasonable, and as a tip for touring Vegas, much cheaper than getting a cab everywhere! We hopped on it and headed for the famous ‘Welcome to Las Vegas sign’ – it had to be done before we left! It was so much taller and large than I expected, and there was a bride and groom next to it which reminded me that I hadn’t yet seen a drunken wedding occur in Vegas. I don’t know why I was expecting to see hundreds of Friends’ Ross and Rachels running around with ‘Just Married’ written in sharpie on their foreheads, but I am very disappointed that I haven’t.

Just as we were leaving having had our numerous photos taken I spotted a man proposing to a woman and we stopped behind a bush to secretly watch. We presumed she said yes because a lot of kissing and hugging was happening when we began clapping.

Then we began walking back along the Strip, hitting all the hotels on the way: The Luxor – a full sized pyramid shaped hotel, Excalibur – a knights themed hotel which made us miss our home in the UK quite a bit, and the New York New York hotel where we took a ride on the famous rollercoaster that is on top of it which was fun but hurt our shoulders quite a bit!

This evening mum was desperate to visit Freemont Street, however having been there five minutes and already seen several topless dancers and a man being chased down the street by armed cops we turned round and came straight back to safe Venice.

Goodnight.

Snacks, Soaring and SkyWalking

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Apologies I was unable to write yesterday, but due to being up for a total of seventeen hours I was literally falling asleep with my head on the keyboard while trying my hardest to enthusiastically recount a fabulous day. So I thought I’d wait until today when I can tell you all about it without a mess of words that don’t make sense and a ‘qwerty’ print on my forehead…

We got up at 5:30am. Shudder. We headed through the corridors of the hotel (which still smelt like wet carpet…) as a trio of zombies with tourist backpacks on, occasionally stopping to head down yet another elevator that blasted ‘Don’t Stop Believing’ into our numb heads. It was only when we saw a huddle of other zombies that we began waking up and feeling excited for the day ahead… THE GRAND CANYON! We planned to all asleep on the bus as we had three hours to kill, but as it turned out the drive to the canyon was so beautiful it would have been a shame to miss it. Also, the exuberant tour guide shouting about self-sufficient desert plants and beef jerky through the overhead speaker would have kept waking us up.

Around forty-five minutes into the journey we arrived at the top of the Hoover Dam and were permitted a twenty-minute break to use the ‘restroom’, visit the gift shop and take pictures of the stunning yet terrifying view. Mitchell and I took the opportunity to continue our tradition of buying a pin from each significant place we go.

We also stopped at little odd gas stations along the way for fuel and yet more bathroom breaks. I managed to snap a couple of really cool pictures that I thought looked straight out of an old western film.

[As a little side note: Mum bought us a large packet of ‘Twislers’ as they are something you can only get in America but they were awful! Tasted a lot more like liquorice than they looked. However, taking the advice of the tour guide we also picked up a pack of beef jerky. Oh my goodness. I’ve decided it’s my new favourite snack – it tastes just like salami – but much to my disappointment $11.00 for a small packet means that I definitely can’t be chewing on it all day…]

Back onto subject…

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The landscapes that we saw on the way were amazing and the funny little tour guide, who was very much growing on me by this point, informed us of some interesting facts about the surrounding area. For example, this is home to poisonous rattlesnakes and mountain goats, eek – due to my irrational fear of goats I wasn’t even worried about the snake…

After a quick bus change and farewell from the tour guide we began the bumpy approach to the canyon. It was made a lot more bearable by the people we met on the journey down. A very difficult exchange of handshakes across the chaotic bus taught us that a man named Steve and his brother had been here many times before, and that an Australian woman named Leanne and her daughter Maddy were doing the boat and helicopter ride along with us, so we decided we should stick together.

At the main canyon terminal we were separated into the groups who chose different activities they paid to do that day. As the helicopter ride was the first activity we were due to do, we were first weighed to see where everyone should sit in the aircraft. We then went outside to the landing area where a running helicopter was awaiting our arrival. I was called forwards first. I was then bundled in the front of the craft next to the pilot (oh my God) and desperately tried not to knock any of the hundreds of buttons in front of my with my shaking knees. I was scared as it was about flying over a canyon hundreds of feet deep, let alone scared I would push an emergency-landing button. All I wanted in that moment was to be huddled between my Mum and brother in the back seat. However, after everyone screeching over the sound of the moving blades above us about how “the front seat is the best view” and convincing me they were all “super jealous”, I felt better and we were off.

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We stayed only a few feet off the ground on the approach to the canyon and I thought, huh, this isn’t too bad, in fact I was worried it was going to be boring. BAM. Suddenly we were hundreds and hundreds of feet off the ground as we launched off the cliff face and over the river in the canyon below. It really was breathtaking. All of a sudden I felt completely safe. I felt like a bird soaring high above the ground and I have never felt freer. I wanted to extend my arms and yell at the top of my voice, however I composed myself and my thrill was conveyed only in a grin that reached my ears.

We descended to the bottom of the canyon where we were to get a boat tour down the river. However when we arrived there was already a crowd of around twenty people waiting for the only boat that was working that day. There was no drinking water, no wind and no shade to relieve us of the 45 degree heat and the scorching sun for the next hour of waiting. I had never felt so hot in my life, it felt like my blood was close to boiling and my head was starting to get faint by the time our names were called. It turned out to be worth it though.

Finally we were on board being lead by a very friendly guide who actually belonged to the tribe who were the Native Americans that own part of the Grand Canyon. It was cooler on the boat and the breeze on the water made a comfortable journey down-river.

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Our next activity we decided afterwards was no-where near as good as the others, and wasn’t really worth paying the extra amount – in case any of you were considering such a trip. It’s called the SkyWalk. It is a glass bridge hanging out over the canyon where you can look below your feet and see…well, thousands of feet of thin air (the hole below was deeper than three of the Empire State Buildings), and vaguely make out the bottom if you looked close enough. It sounds fabulous, but when we were on there it was terrifying, and you weren’t even allowed to take your own photographs, so when we got off five minutes later, bored of the same view, we succumbed to paying $25.00 for one photograph of us, in which you can barely see the view through the protective glass.

So yesterday felt like a true Langcaster-James tourist trip, and I’m now sure you can understand why I couldn’t write yesterday!

Breakfast, Browsing and Buying

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Oh my word it has been such a busy day, I’m struggling to think if it really has all been in the same day! First things first, we went to the Bellagio Hotel, which according to Mitchell is “extraordinarily famous and is in the film ‘Ocean’s 11’”…what ever you say! Despite me having never heard of it, it fell nothing short of my brother’s eager expectations. In true ‘viva Las Vegas’ style we decided today was the day we would try and stuff as much food in our bodies as humanly possible at the incredible all-you-can-eat buffet! Oh Lordy, it was heaven -

Course 1 – Eggs Benedict, O’Brien potatoes, spinach, bacon and a bagel.

Course 2 – Strawberries and cream.

Course 3 – French toast, 2 pancakes, a waffle, yet more bacon and practically a jug of syrup.

I’m just awaiting my heart attack: it will be completely worth it.

After that we very steadily and slowly wobbled around the hotel itself to explore. It was magnificent. In the front lobby there was an amazing piece of glass art covering the ceiling that fit in with the botanical theme of the hotel; flowers surrounded the front desk, including miniature hot air balloons in the background. I must say the effort gone into the display of this particular hotel was exceptionally impressive – a large conservatory was filled with different kinds of flowers, ornaments such as large snails made from flowers, and a bridge that took you over a small pond. Breathtaking.

Next we wandered further along the Strip to Caesar’s Palace Hotel, which was one of the largest buildings I had ever seen… in fact, the entire scale of Las Vegas is mind-boggling. They say that Las Vegas is a place to be when you’re 21 and can drink and gamble, but to be honest the quirkiness and intensity of the city made me feel pretty drunk despite being completely sober! It is definitely something to add to your bucket list! But anyway, Caesar’s Palace: The only thing about this hotel was that at first glance you would presume the designers clearly spent the budget on scale rather than detail. For example, the fake Colosseum situated outside the hotel really was massive, but a lack of detail caused it to not look very realistic and more like the set of a play. However, the inside was much better. Huge statues and fountains decorated an impressive array of designer stores, tiles on the floor added to a more authentic ambiance and ceilings that depicted Rome’s great history and culture were mesmerising.

From here we began making our way back to the hotel, but on the way I spotted a Sephora store so I let Mitch and Mum go on without me… the sale was too irresistible! After a perfect couple of hours milling in makeup shops (I may have spotted a Walgreens with drugstore makeup counters on the way out of Sephora) I headed back to our room where I found Mitchell Skyping our Dad who was busy gloating that England is too hot at the minute because it was ’27 degrees’… Gee Dad, I feel so sorry for you, one second while I turn up the air conditioning to stifle the 40 degree heat out of here.

Anyway I think I’m going to have to love you and leave you: we about to go downstairs to book a daytrip to the Grand Canyon in the lobby!