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7 Things to do in London

Here we are again! – I’m telling myself that because I’ve just completed a 2000 word blog post about my whole trip to London. But then I realized that was far too much; so… here we go again!


You can check out the lengthy version here. If not, here is a brief/itinerary of what I got up to on my latest tourist-y trip to LDN!

In this list I’ll probably sound like I hate everything, it was probably down to the torrential downpours we experienced on our trip – I had a good time really!


National History Museum

The last time I visited this place I was around the age of 7 years old. Since then, it has been on my bucket list to go back. I would have to say that this one would be a bucket list contender for families, but not for couples like us. Though we did find our 3-hour trip very interesting, there were a lot of interactive children’s activities.

Admission: FREE – but donations keep the museum going so do donate!
Nearest Tube Station: South Kensington – Accessed by Circle, Piccadilly & District Lines


The London Eye is a relaxing experience – one for when you’ve done loads of shopping and you need a good 45-minute chill. On our recent trip, I thought it would be a great idea to go when it was dark with the twinkling lights. However, I forgot about the weather, didn’t I…?

Nevertheless, it was still a nice experience and now I know that the next time I go, I’ll make sure to do it on a nice sunny day!

Admission: £27.00 per adult, £22.00 per child, Under 3 FREE (cheaper online)
Nearest Tube Station: Waterloo




Not my most memorable visit, I must say. It wasn’t busy in the slightest because of the rain, and her majesty was home, so it wasn’t visiting hours! I’ve always wanted to pay a visit inside the palace so I’ll more than likely return one day.

Nearest Tube Station: Westminster







I didn’t even know this place existed! I love a good park – you know, now that I’ve worked with plants for 5 years and I feel like I’m an expert. On the other hand, this park is literally the queen’s garden, so of course it is going to have some cracking features, such as a black swan… I mean, come on!

This is the same place as Buckingham Palace, so the above Tube Station still stands.



It’s a shame that this place gets so busy (especially when it’s a rainy bank holiday). My partner and I absolutely thrive off castles and historical monuments, and this one is no exception. If it wasn’t raining we could’ve easily dedicated a full day to this one, but it was constantly in and out so… not on this occasion thank you!

One of the other most interesting things I found about this place was that they have located where Henry the Eighth died, and they have the final resting place of Anne Bol
eyn, which I didn’t notice unfortunately, but I did recall feeling a presence in the chapel where she is apparently laid to rest.

The star of the show for this one, and something we were not expecting was to see the crown jewels! You can’t take any pictures, however, so this will have to be one to explore yourself.

Admission: Adults – £25.00, Children – £11.90 (Prices cheaper online)
Nearest Tube Station: Tower Hill – District & Circle Lines

I still want to go again. The last time I went to Hyde Park, it was a friends 21st birthday – we went to visit the winter wonderland and I really love the place! My favourite find, however, has to be the Parakeets. This was really unexpected and I want to visit London for a full week one day, and spend at least half a day in this park!

Nearest Tube Station: Hyde Park Corner


This place is not just a restaurant… it is an experience. We all know about the chain of Hard Rock Restaurants, hotels, and Venues all over the world. What stands out about the London one is that, not only is it the original Cafe, nearing 50 years to its name, but it also has its very own underground museum! It may be small, but it’s there, it has its very own tour guide, and it is called the vault!

Admission: Whatever you pay for your food!
Nearest Tube Station: Knightsbridge

Where did we stay?


During our London trip, we stayed at the Hub at Premiere Inn, Kings Cross. I knew exactly what to expect, thanks to YouTube, and I was excited! If you haven’t been yet but you’ve been to the casual Premiere Inns, you’re going to love this one!

If you have been to London, please leave below your favourite tourist spot. Not only will it help future readers, but it will also help me… thanks!

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xx

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Top Tips to Fixing Damaged Hair

damaged hair care ariverofroses a river of roses red hair alternative emma henry

From the first time I dyed my hair, I’ve learnt a lot. However, in the first 2/3 years I think it’s pretty safe to say I didn’t learn anything! The very first time I had my hair dyed I was 15. It went very badly really, I was a little emo kid who was longing for a bit of colour in my life, and on my head. So, one day my auntie came to visit, my mum told her that I wanted to dye my hair, so she offered to do it for me! So, I can’t remember if there was any bleach involved but I had an awful salmon-y toned look to my fringe for a good amount of weeks.


The salmon lasted longer than it probably should have, so around the age of 16, I decided to give it a go again. This time, I was going for the dark side! Black is a colour that I have honestly missed, there have been a number of times I have nearly approached my hairdresser and just said “Just dye it black!” but a part of me just can’t leave the bright side. If only we had proper alter ego’s, eh? Wigs just don’t do it justice!

When I was 17 I wanted my hair done like Paramore’s Hayley Williams… so I did! This was really the start of it. I continued to constantly dye my hair for the next 4 years, until I decided to have a break. Then my hair-growth mission began… you can watch the whole process on my channel!

Give It A Breather

If you’ve never had your hair dyed before, you can probably skip this one, and if you don’t really bleach it… likewise! The best decision I ever made for my hair was to just dye it back to its natural shade and leave it be for a couple of years. By the end of my experiment, my hair was in absolutely pristine condition. Over the time I left it, I:

  • Completely stopped using heat 
  • Washed my hair twice a week. 
  • I would also often sleep with Dutch braids in my hair to stop my hair getting tugged and damaged in my sleep.

Being Brunette is something I also miss; but worry not! I’ve always vowed to have brown hair on my wedding day!

Shampoo Routine

Nowadays, I wash my hair every Monday and Friday, if my hair gets to go a little bit on the sly-side between then, I take my Batiste and I go to town! When growing out your hair, it is really important to minimize your washes as much as you possibly can. In reality, the best nutrient for your hair is the natural oil it produces itself, so if you’re constantly stripping that – it ain’t gonna be happy!

When I was researching my new routine, I noticed a video from fellow YouTuber Mandy. This video was titled ‘You’re Washing Your Hair Wrong’, and since watching that video, probably when it first came out in 2015, I don’t think I’ve ever changed my routine from that!

wella elements shampoo conditioner hair care

Granted, I didn’t really use the products in the video, but here is my current Shampoo Routine:

  1. Brush hair through with Tangle Teaser.
  2. Shampoo hair using Wella Elements Shampoo – my hairdresser recommends. Focusing the shampoo on the roots only & Rinse. 
  3. Repeat Step 2.
  4. Apply generously – Wella Elements Conditioner – mainly focusing on the damaged areas but gradually making my way up to the main head area. 
  5. Glide Tangle Teaser through Conditioner-Coated hair. 
  6. Wash body whilst it’s soaking on in. 
  7. Rinse off hair! 
  8. Apply Heat Protectant Spray – My current favourite is the Mark Hill Styling Heat Protection – You can get this for £5 in boots.


I’d just like to put in a side note that it is really important to find a Sulfate-FREE Shampoo when you have bleached/damaged hair. Sulfate or Sulfur is basically salt and it works at stripping the bad stuff from your hair. It is really strong, and drying, so it naturally works to strip the dye out of your hair too, which makes it fade faster!

Following my Routine, I like to let my hair air-dry. I usually wash my hair just before bed, and leave an old t-shirt on my head to prevent friction that is caused by towels. At around half 11 I will take the t-shirt off my head and go to bed like normal. This leaves my hair feeling exceptionally soft in the morning! Personally, I know that my hair is less frizzy if I air-dry it too!

Styling

Personally for me, when I was going through my dedicated hair care routine, I was working in a plant nursery that involved a lot of moving around, and layering up for the cold weather. This meant I constantly had my hair up, and it was a 9-5 job, 5 days a week; the first proper job I had. To be honest, this did me a load of good, because I never noticed the rate in which my hair was growing!

Before my whole growth spurt, I always loved keeping my hair down, and growing it out made me into a changed woman! This may also be the fact that my hair now gets in the way 24/7.

As mentioned previously, I also slept in Dutch braids. Not only that, but I never even knew I could do them before I actually did it… they’re pretty easy!

Another hairstyle I used to flaunt was the hair-wrapped-in-and-around-a-head-band thing. Not sure what the technical term was but I used to feel very classy when I did this, and I would have naturally formed curls the next morning!

Here is a very cringe worthy hairstyling video I made back in the day (ignore the heat):

Hair Masks


If you’ve come from the cringe-y side of my channel, you’ll know all about this bit. If not, well… we’ll just leave it there shall we?!

Long story short, it’s safe to say I’ve had my fair share of experimenting when it comes to putting ingredients on my head. However, I have to say that my favourite ones are Argan Oil, and the more accessible one, Olive Oil. A lot of people absolutely idolize Coconut Oil, and I started using it; trying to force myself to like it, really, until my hairdresser pointed out that it actually clogs up your hair follicles stopping all the natural nourishment from all the natural oils. 

My Hair Before My Hair Care Journey!


This is probably the wrong post, but Coconut Oil actually quickly became my #1 favourite makeup remover that I still use to this day, so I don’t totally regret it!

Aside from natural products, 2 of my favourite branded hair masks are The Body Shop’s Banana Hair Mask, and the Argan Magic Restorative Hair Mask. The one I have linked is £40, but I got it at a much cheaper price in T K Maxx, and I’m sure you can too!

Dieting

Admittedly, I only put this on here because I know that you’re supposed to lead a healthy lifestyle… I don’t do that. What I do know, however, is that if you include lots of water, fruit, vegetables, and all that good stuff, your hair is gonna be well happy! But obviously, you’re reading this, knowing that I’m not the person to look up to in this category, so here are some recommendations:

    ariverofroses a river of roses lemons haircare



    *My hairdresser is Charlie Heap t/a The Hair Witch UK and she is based at Monroes Hair Salon in Idle, Bradford.


    You’ve heard my full overview of how I got my hair to the length it is today, I’d love to know your secret tips… don’t forget to leave them down below for future readers!

    Thanks for reading!

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    Acrylic Nail Newbie: First Impressions!

    I suppose you don’t see very many reviews acrylic nails. Most people know at least 1 person who has them, and you just go by word of mouth. Of course, I know people, but I’m also a blogger! So, if you happen to be one of those lonely souls… Don’t worry, I got your back, bro!


    The history of nail design and stuff like that. 

     

    Ever since starting my new job, I’ve got into the habit of researching the history of things before I talk about them, and this is honestly really interesting! So, without further a do… I’m bringing it home.

    So, where did it all begin? There’s no story set in stone as to when acrylic nails were first invented. However, rumor has it that back in the day the ye old Egyptian ladies used to wear falsies to present their status. They used to wear all kinds of substances; gold, ivory… and even bone! Ew. As you can imagine, the lower class couldn’t have long nails because they had to actually work for their dollar. I can relate! When I worked at the garden centre I could never wear acrylics because they’d just get broken; there was no point.

    The whole concept of the ‘artificial’ nail, however was created in the 50’s when dental surgeon, Fredrick Slack broke his nail and did a bit of an experiment to make some kind of prosthetic… for his finger (nail, not the whole thing). Now, I know he was a dental surgeon so he must’ve been smart but he can’t have been the brightest spark in the book because in 1970 the idea evolved; and it wasn’t by him! In 1970, the famous Dr. Stuart Nordstrom created the acrylic formula of liquid and powder that is still used today. Although, it probably wasn’t a big deal for Slack to miss out on this opportunity; he was a dentist after all!

    This is just a brief description of the beginning of the acrylic story, it get’s much more complex than that, but I can honestly say that Science and Emma’s brain don’t really have the strongest relationship. So, with that, the world is your oyster, now do with it what you wish! (after you’ve finished reading the whole post, of course)

    Where did I get the design for My acrylic nails from?  


    There is only one place I’ll probably ever go, and that is Pinterest! I absolutely love the app, and I’ve still got the board to this day, if you would like to view it you can find it here! The design of my nails was largely inspired by the creativity of Adiel Nuesmeyer, a blogger and nail boss from Utah. She did a whole blog post on her nail design, as she does with all her designs; you can view this particular one here!

    My Personal Experience 

     

    I honestly didn’t know what to expect. In honestly though, I was a little disappointed. I wanted my first nail experience to be a ‘girls date’ with absolutely any of my girls. But that never came to fruition, so I got fed up and decided to go on my own.
    My nails before… 

    Luckily enough for me, Lisa; a highly skilled nail technician from Idle, Bradford was available to schedule me in. Also, even luckier for me, she is based in the hair salon where I get my hair done!

    I can proudly say that I enjoy attending Monroe’s Hair & Beauty salon in Idle every 5 weeks! Charlie Heap; also known as The Hair Witch UK does my hair (and has done for over 10 years), and Lisa
    Moore does my nails; she’s a newbie to me, and I suppose I’m a newbie on the bigger scale of things too!

    I was quite anxious going in. I’d seen a few photos of Lisa’s work, but I didn’t know if she would be able to pull off something complex; and boy was I wrong to be anxious! Lisa made me feel completely at ease, she was super friendly, and throughout the appointment I enjoyed watching her work and telling her half of my expectations of Turkey… Spoiler alert, they were a lot better than the place itself.

    I was really amazed by the finished look. Lisa hand drew every intricate detail on my nails and I was super impressed. The little triangle was also free-hand and she used about 5 different greens for the… greens.

    See for yourself!…

    The Aftermath 

    I’m very ashamed to say I had a very strong emotional connection with my acrylics. They were on for quite a long time; at least 5 weeks… Eek! I know… All nail techs, don’t leave now, it gets better!

    The day had finally come. It was the day of England vs. Sweden, and we took a trip to Ikea in Birstall, but the main point of my trip was Boots. As much as it pained me, I needed my nails off now. I hoped that Boots would have a big selection of acrylic nail removal products, but they didn’t, so I settled for second best; Boots’ own, Acrylic Nail Remover Dip & Twist. I have to say, it took me a good hour to get them off, it definitely wasn’t as easy as they claimed on the packaging.


    When they did come off however, I couldn’t believe how much they had grown! Granted, they were a bit battered but I was willing to work with them. So, I logged myself into Amazon and ordered my ultimate lifesaver, the Sally Hansen NailGrowth Miracle. I put this stuff on after, and it instantly made them look a fraction better.


    I knew there would be some complications with my nails, and I knew it wouldn’t be all rainbows and fairies as I do suffer from Dermatillomania. Upon reflection however, since I have had them off, I have noticed that I must pick with my left hand a lot more than the right, which seems strange as I am right-handed! However, I’ve had no breakages on my right hand, the nails just keep getting stronger (especially my thumbs – they’re like rocks; literally), on the other hand (no pun intended), the left has had 3 breakages, so far.

    I really am looking forward to a life with long nails! I’ll just leave you with a little picture of my new naturals; just giving you a whole insight on how acrylics changed my life… and now I’m a very happy bunny – I feel like a new woman!




    QOTD: Have you ever had acrylic nails done? If so, what was your first experience? I’d love to know down in the comments!

    Thanks for reading.

    x

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    Paloma Foresta Resort & Spa – Review 2018

    I recently posted a vlog of my recent trip to Turkey on my YouTube channel, where we stayed at the Paloma Foresta Resort & Spa in one of the main cities, Antalya.
    ariverofroses - paloma foresta - review - front lobby entrance - a river of roses

    About The Resort:-

    Situated along the Southern border, the Paloma Foresta is twinned with a chain of resorts, some sharing the name ‘Sentido’, as opposed to ‘Paloma’. Each resort holds a minimum of 4*, and we found it quite evident of the luxury rating it had been rumored to have. 
    aaron - holiday - paloma foresta - review - ariverofroses - a river of roses

    The First Night

    Upon arrival following our very cramped flight with Thomas Cook, and a very drawn out flight (thanks to the elderly lady next to me who felt the continuous need to complain about the staff to me during the entirety of the flight), we arrived at approximately 3am. We were greeted at the front desk with a glass of champagne and a cold beer for my other half – I was quite jealous of the beer; I am a Yorkshire lass after all. I was completely delighted to see one of the cats behind the reception desk!

    We were then directed to our rooms and our cases followed soon after by a lovely member of staff. When he arrived at our room he didn’t hesitate in showing us where everything was; including the access code to the Wi-Fi… I’ll be honest; the Wi-Fi was awful so it didn’t matter much.

    That night we had our first (and probably worst) drama. As I was brushing my teeth I leant over to grab a towel and as I leaned forward, my leg brushed against a wood panel covering the sink, which wasn’t screwed on properly, at all. This proceeded to fall on my toe and it did come up as a bruise, but I didn’t get badly injured, so I just left it.

    Our first day!

    Monday morning rolled around! We were very excited to explore, so I got on my costume, and I think we had a stroll around the beautiful gardens, and went along to treat ourselves to one of the all-inclusive drinks! I think my first drink was a mojito! From what I recall, it was very odd. It was sour and the sugar just tasted crunchy… There wasn’t an ounce of sweetness at all! I later came to discover that all the measurements are completely different, but I didn’t get another Mojito after that.
    boyfriend - beer - alcohol - paloma foresta review turkey antalya - ariverofroses - a river of roses
     

    We then approached the buffet where I thought I had to change into ‘dinner wear’, when I came back… there were people in their swimwear… wonderful! The rest of the day consisted of wandering around a little bit more, and then we went to the buffet again for dinner!

    Following our soon-to-be-learnt very predictable lunch, we decided to head on over to the Irish bar. I might be from Yorkshire, but I’m also half Irish by blood and I love a good Irish bar. However, the Turkish need to do a bit more research to say the least… The lady singing hit songs in the band playing continuously repeated (without correcting herself) “Knock, knock, knocking on heaven’s dorch“.

    I’m probably offending a few people here but hey… come at me! I’m from Yorkshire, come near me and I’ll throw a pork pie at yer ‘ed.

    What also stood out to me at the Irish bar was this old classic vintage car outside. I don’t know what it is, but it looks pretty dapper doesn’t it.

    We then proceeded to the general bar, which was a lot better. I even met a kitten who was hanging out with my soon to be new friends who we met the next day. The kitten was very cute; you can see it in action on my video!

    Day 2!

    So, the next morning we managed to wake up in time for breakfast, which was again, the same buffet food as before. I’m not sure why meat in Turkey is so red, also… but this is another thing we noticed.

    After breakfast we decided to crack on with the cocktails and sunshine. So, I got quite drunk, then fell asleep for 6 hours (with factor 50 on) and got burnt to a crisp. I didn’t enjoy my showers for the rest of the holiday. That bloody Turkish sun! Nobody is gonna get offended at me saying that so I won’t be throwing no pork pies around.
    couple burnt - paloma foresta - antalya turkey - ariverofroses - a river of roses

    It was time for our evening meal. Due to the rest of the restaurants being full, we had to settle for the Seasons Restaurant. I have to say I wasn’t keen, but I guess as I didn’t have to pay extra, I couldn’t complain. For starters I had Beef Carpaccio, which was covered in pepper; I hate pepper. My main course consisted of Spaghetti Bolognese. My Italian relatives have always told me never to eat Italian food in a restaurant with no Italian chefs; I should’ve listened. The Spaghetti had not been salted at all, it wasn’t al dente, and it was covered in pepper… again. My main course I believe was chocolate cake and ice-cream, which got a thumbs up from me, I can live with that.

    The Evening

    Yes, you saw that correctly… this bit get’s it’s own little section! So we continued on with the evening by taking a trip to the bar; this time the beach bar! Me and Aaron were sat by the sea front – it was lovely. We made friends with yet another cat, and didn’t make friends with the random family with the abusive child. I mean, we didn’t make enemies but we were certainly giving them evils for letting their little girl continuously terrify our new feline friend – just for the fun of it!
    cat - paloma foresta resort - review - hotel - antalya - turkey - ariverofroses - a river -of- roses

    As time went by, we were honestly quite sick of the family, so our friend went for a wonder and we went further indoors. Shortly after sitting down we were approached by a lovely young lad about our age who invited us to sit with him and his friends. Boy, oh boy, little did we know we were in for a bit of a wild one on our luxurious relaxation holiday! We got talking – I believe some of the people were from North Yorkshire… There was a couple from Manchester, some from Wigan. Would you believe we actually bumped into a guy from Bradford, who used to work at the pub on the end of my road at work?! Unbelievable! Anyway, safe to say it got us talking. Further into the night we got drinks flowing, I even got up on the Dance floor!
    We met some Belgian bloke who proceeded to tell us about how much he loves concerts and he’s been to over 200. I mean he was pretty cool, not gonna lie. Loved his accent! I’m not sure how it happened but after exchanging instagrams, getting a little bit lairy, getting told off for noise complains by the bar maids… I ended up, with my brand new white pants… In the bushes… rescuing a kitten who LIVED THERE. Yes… you read that right! I heard meowing, so I crawled in, and it did not like me at all, poor thing hated me, and I was there trying to give it the most love it had ever been given in its entire life the ungrateful little shit. I thought it was stuck, but I walked back to the bar after one of my friends told me to give up, turned around… Guess who it was?! Yep, the kitten! So, I tried saying hello again, and nope… Wasn’t having any of it!

    The Bride

    She won’t remember me, and if she does, I’m sorry, I’m not saying your name so you can’t kill me, right?

    That very same night the bride and groom made their grand appearance to the hotel, and the bride was not happy. The groom on the other hand was buzzing. I felt a bit sorry for him if I’m honest! He got himself a drink at the bar (3am), and started talking to his friends, then he got a sudden violent nudge off the bride saying:

    “Don’t you even think about getting drunk tonight we’ve got stuff to do tomorrow”

    To which I replied (interrupting):

    “He’s hardly gonna get drunk it’s 3 in the morning, everyone is going to bed soon!”

    I then realised this was a bad idea when the bride gave me the nastiest look ever. But still, I’m Emma Henry, I’m determined to make friends with anyone! I went on to congratulate them both; groom said thank you, giving a nice cheesy grin, he looked very happy! Bride on the other hand?… “Thanks but I’m not married yet”. One more try, I thought; I’ll give her one more go just to see if she likes me a little bit and we could potentially be friends?

    I know what you’re thinking; Emma, you don’t have to make friends with everyone you meet… I know! But I was excited for her and she just wasn’t having any of it!

    So, here was the final straw… “So, what happens now then, if you’re getting married abroad, what about your honeymoon? Are you going to a different resort or a special area… somewhere else?”… “Nope, that’s next year!” She snapped.

    Okay, it was quite clear that she didn’t like me, and people seemed to be revolving around them… she liked everyone else! So, with this it was time for bed.

    The next day

    We spend the next day trying our best and failing to recover from Sunburn. I was so gutted because I was finally getting to wear my new costume that I’d been longing to wear for over a year. However, all it did was scratch the shit out of me, it was a right kill joy! So, we spent the day in the shade, suffering, drinking cocktails, feeling sorry for ourselves!

    The evening rolled around; yes, it was that quick! We head on over to the steak house in the resort, which regretfully the service was no better, and the only difference to the cuisine was the steak; starter, desert, and sides were all the same as everywhere else… Standard!

    This day wasn’t nearly as exciting. We went for a quiet drink in the bar and head on up to bed preparing for our departure in the morning!

    Home Time

    I didn’t enjoy home time. The journey home was horrific to be honest. We were taxied home in a little van that seemed to follow no speed limit whatsoever, swerving around all the collection of pot holes that Turkey had to offer.

    On route we saw a farming shop with sheep roaming around the streets, cars were tooting, I wanted out… It was the most horrible thing I’d ever seen! I know different cultures have different ways of life but I felt awful for those sheep. Could they not just let them roam around in a field, or at least auction them off somewhere other than a highway with no speed limit?!

    The airport was nice; I had a Subway with Tuna, Jalapeno’s and extra cheese… It was something I’ll happily remember. There isn’t much more to be said about the flight home. Thomas Cook kindly provide their customers with next to nothing leg room, and we had a grumpy man on our isle who huffed-and-puffed when we decided that yes, we did want something off the trolley!

    When I got home the first day back was awful. I had cronic food poisoning, my body did not like the Turkish dining at all. It didn’t surprise me, really, but I was happy to be home.

    Upon Reflection

    Would I visit Turkey again?
    I would, yes. However, I’d like to visit a different part of Turkey such as Instabul, or somewhere else… Recommend me pla
    ces!
    Would I stay at this resort again?
    That really is a hard question. If the food improved I genuinely would. The appearance and the cleanliness of the resort was spot on and I couldn’t fault that one bit. But the food definitely needs improving.
    Would I recommend it to a friend?
    I would yes. I wouldn’t go for longer than 4 days though, because there’s not much to do. But, my partner didn’t have any food poisoning and he loved it… So, maybe it’s just me!
    Marks out of 10?
    Food: 4
    Service (excluding restaurants – they’d get 1): 7*
    Accommodation: 9
    Wi-Fi: 1 – Seemed to cut off at every movement.

    * – Depends who you get. Tried telling the reception lady the toilets were fully blocked nearly over-flowing… ended up doing excentric hand gestures and her response was “Oh yes, toilet over there”.
    In reality though, I would go again. I might seem to be exaggerating a little bit, and I probably am, but food is important to me, and I was probably pissed off that I got burnt so I couldn’t tan. If I came home with a happy tummy and a happy tan I’d be a very happy man… Yes, I know I’m technically a woman but that bit sounded better.

    On another note (if you’ve got this far), have you ever been to Turkey? Hotel recommendations, anyone? Let me know in the comments below!

     

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    Always Look On The Bright Side of Life! – An Update (kind of)

    So, today was supposed to be the release of my massive blog post. The post in particular was pretty much a book… I say that in past tense… but it’s still a book. You’ll get to read it soon but it’s about my trip to Turkey. All about my trip to Turkey, and everything (or lack of) that I got up to… yet somehow I managed to write a book on it, but then again it is me.

    ariverofroses - a river of roses - update - positivity - lifestyle - vlogger - blogger


    Today for me is a solice… I think. 

    I’m saying that but I don’t really know what it means. To me, today feels like I’m opening a new chapter of my life, I’ve no idea why, it was just a normal day, but today feels different, and so I thought I would share my thoughts with you.

    I’ve been feeling a bit up in the air for a while now. I guess its to do with starting my career path, and changing my life, moving forward, and all that jazz. I’ve found a new love for YouTube again. I’m sure, if you have been watching my videos, you’ll have noticed that I have been slacking, there’s no doubt about that. But this week I feel very refreshed with my content. I’ve just uploaded a video that I am completely happy and buzzing about, and I’ve not had that for a while. You can watch it here if you like…

    ariverofroses - a river of roses - update - positivity - lifestyle - vlogger - blogger


    I know this is probably nothing to go by, but I recently met quite an interesting person, and without knowing it, they have pushed me to move forward with my life and this is quite honestly the most excited I’ve felt about everything. I feel like I’m constantly on an adventure. My diary is packed with stuff till like november, and then we have Christmas, which I could be going to Jamaica for, which is so exciting; either that or I tick another travel bucket list off… Budapest. Although, I do really want to go to Budapest, I’ve never really pictured myself exploring the city at Christmas, but then I guess I wouldn’t really say that to Jamaica either!

    Recently I’ve learnt to say yes to everything again. 

    This is something I did when I was single. I’m by no means putting a negative spin on my relationship, more so myself really. Me and my partner had a little bit of a hiccup recently, and we had a good talk and now things are completely rocketing to everest… Except, England is in a very very… very hot summer, so we’re not up everest! 

    ariverofroses - a river of roses - update - positivity - lifestyle - vlogger - blogger


    This post is all over the place. What I’m trying to say is… 


    If you’re reading this, say yes more. I introduced yes back into my life, I opened my doors again, and life is bloody good. 


    Let’s carry on the positive train! Tell me something great that’s happened in your life lately in the comments below!
    Uncategorized

    7 Little Hand Luggage Essentials

    It seems rather fitting for me to start writing this post the day before I go on holiday. But there are other things I could be doing… Like packing, getting travel insurance, washing my brushes before I go away. It’s currently 11:25am and I haven’t had breakfast yet. Instead, I’ve chosen to write a post about packing some hand luggage essentials. You never know, it could be helpful for myself when I decide to actually pack! 

    travel - hand luggage essentials - plane - ariverofroses - a river of roses

    So, at approximately 6pm tomorrow evening, I’ll be jetting off on a plane to Turkey. I’m not sure what it will be like, but I’m intrigued. The last time I went on a beach holiday was probably about 3 years ago. The last time I went on an all-inclusive holiday? Never. So, as you can tell, yes! I’m very excited! According to the web, the flight will take around 4 and a half hours. This leaves me with a lot of flexibility when packing. I’m going to be taking my trusty Superdry backpack because we get 20KG of hold capacity! Bargain!

    Without further ado… Here’s what Hand Luggage Essentials usually come with me on the plane!…

    1. Moisturiser

      I don’t know about you, but over the years, it has come as a big pet peeve of mine to have dry skin. I can’t stand the feeling of it! But I love it when my skin is nice and fresh. Unfortunately, I don’t know why, but planes seem to have a habit of sucking moisture out of our skin. It’s probably something to do with being contained up in the sky. My old favourite is the Nivea Soft Moisturiser. It’s super soft and leaves your skin moisturised for ages, and you can grab it for £1! I’ve got loads of these lying around the house because I keep losing them. So, chances are I’ll probably lose it when packing and add another addition to the family.

    2. Laptop

      This isn’t really an ‘essential’ as such, but I always bring my laptop everywhere with me. However, these days you can never trust airports. I’m not saying they’re going to steal it but there is a long history of them losing luggage. My uncle had some first-hand experience when we took a trip to Italy about 15 years ago. Luckily, our family live there so he had a backup plan,  but I don’t think his clothes were ever recovered! I can’t bring myself to put my whole life into a suitcase that is going to get lost!

    3. Camera

      This kind of applies to the last paragraph, too. But also, as you may be aware, I’m a vlogger who loves to film ALL her trips. So, there’s that one too!

    4. Magazines/Books

      I’ve been on and off loving Cosmo recently, I’m not sure why, but I just love some of the stories in there, and I’ll be definitely grabbing one of these to keep me company when I’m up somewhere in the sky.

      A book I’ll be taking is Carl Fogarty’s The World According to Foggy. This is work related really. I landed a job not too long ago as a Digital Marketing Manager in the Motorbike industry. In my job, I went to meet Foggy at his book signing, where I obviously bought the book, and he had some funny stories to tell, so I look forward to reading it!

    5. Sudoku

      This is a personal favourite of mine –  I can’t go abroad without a little puzzle book! In particular Sudoku for me!

    6. Money

      It’s always good to have both currencies of both countries in your pocket – which also reminds me to go get some Euros! Or Lire!… I also LOVE to use my Monzo card, you can top it up on your phone, and it doesn’t incur any charges. You can use it anywhere in the world. It’s contactless, and it’s great! I recently used it in America and it changed my life!

    7. Makeup

      If you’re a lady like me, it’s always nice to have a selection of cosmetics ready to top up when you need. I personally don’t really travel with a foundation as I like to apply moisturiser en route. So, I keep handy my mascara, eyeliner, and just a little bit of lip balm. All in a clear plastic bag ready for inspection!

    Some other little things we can’t forget are:

    • Glasses – personally
    • Hairbrush
    • Phone
    • Earphones
    • Notebook & Pens

      ariverofroses - beach - travel - hand luggage essentials - a river of roses

    I can’t wait to go on my travels, stay tuned for a vlog on my channel where I’ll no doubt be sharing my journey!

    Thanks for reading, hope you enjoyed reading this little snippet… Let me know if I’ve missed any off, or in general, any of your personal essentials which might come in handy for any future readers! 

    Emma x
    2018, alternative, Leeds, metal, music, pop punk, Review, rock, slam dunk

    Slam Dunk Festival North 2018

    So Slam Dunk has been and gone, yet again, and boy was this year intense! I got a little bit out of control and I can remember every second of it so I’ve basically come on here to tell you all about it!

    I’m not sure how many times I’ve been to Slam Dunk. I think it’s 3 consecutively; I missed 2014 because I was on holiday, and prior to that I know I went in 2008, and 2009. The rest my friends is a complete blur!

    So, this year; where do I begin?! 

    I guess I’ll start with the outfit and makeup. I wanted to make it a little bit fun with the makeup this year, so I added some gems to the look. I curled my hair with my Christmas present. Then I remembered the burgundy rose flower crown that would go with my burgundy eyeshadow and my burgundy lipstick; sorted! 

    nyx liquid suede lipstick pure society - slam dunk leeds 2018 festival music
    • Eyes – Huda Beauty Rose Gold Edition Eyeshadow Palette
                 Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance Palette
    • Brows – NYX brow pomade in black
    • Lashes… Eyelure x Kimberley Walsh
    • Eyeliner – Rimmel Kohl Eyeliner in black – for the waterline!
    • Lips… NYX Liquid Suede Lipstick – Pure Society
    • Concealer – NYX again; hate it… absolutely hate it!
    • Foundation – Urban Decay All Nighter Foundation in 1.5
                            Rimmel
    • Contour – Barry M Cheeks & Chisel Contour Kit – Darkest Shade
    • Bronzer – Benefit Hula Bronzer

    So; that was the makeup all done and dusted… onto the outfit!

    So I just went for some black skinny jeans and this playsuit. I got this from T K Maxx a while ago; not sure who it’s from! The flower crown was from New Look many years ago also.

    The necklace is from ClassyWomensCo; you can view the actual necklace here! If you decide to buy anything, don’t forget to use the code Roses20, for 20% off!

    Following a cheeky Nandos, we made it to Slam Dunk.

    The first point of call was alcohol; my order being Tuborg, which was my order for pretty much the whole day, aside from the Strong Bow Berry Cider, or whatever flavour it was. Let’s face it though, by the end of the night you could’ve replaced it with white spirit and honestly, I probably wouldn’t have noticed. Yes, I really was that drunk! 

    The time was around 12:45, we were sort of meandering around, waiting for Aaron’s favourite band, the Dangerous Summer. They eventually came on stage, I really did feel for them though. I think this was their comeback gig or something, and there was barely anyone there yet! 

    Who did I see?


    Okay, so I’ll be honest. Considering the amount of alcohol that was inside me, Michael Jackson, Elvis, and Paul Potts could’ve been on that stage and I probably wouldn’t have even noticed (at some points). So, with this being said, I can remember which bands were on, but I’ve no idea which order. So, I’m now going to open the app and write down which order we saw people!

    1:25 – 1:55pm
    Dangerous Summer
    2:20 – 2:55
    The Audition
    3:20 – 4:00pm
    Say Anything – All goes downhill from here)
    4:05 – 4:45pm
    Broadside (couldn’t remember them)
    5:55 – 6:40pm
    Zebrahead
    8:15 – 9:05pm
    Goldfinger – (can’t remember them)
    9:30 – 10:40pm
    Reel Big Fish (half)
    9:30 – 10:30pm
    As It Is (half)


    You see that table right there? I had to get help. ‘Broadside’, in particular,, was one band I didn’t know, I’m not entirely sure they were the right one, but the time scale seems right, I guess! Also, I can’t remember if I saw Zebrahead or Goldfinger. Ooh dear… Well, upon further discussions, apparently I saw them both! However, Goldfinger was one band I wanted to see… but unfortunately, I didn’t actually remember it.

     

    My Favourite


    Well! You’ll be delighted to know that I had a favourite from the glorious day that graced me with a tremendous hangover. Considering that the only 4 bands I actually remember are The Dangerous Summer, Say Anything, Reel Big Fish (Briefly), and As It Is; I have to say that my favourite band was Say Anything. I did remember The Audition, but I didn’t pay attention, that’s why they weren’t included. But, evidently, it all went downhill after Say Anything, and I think I went to the toilet after them and broke the seal… sorry, not sorry.

    Say Anything is a band that my boyfriend, Aaron always plays in the car. I think this was partially the reason they were my favourite performance of the day. I knew pretty much all their songs, to the point where I could potentially sing along, but I didn’t; thank god!

    The End

    Following the end of the As It Is set, we went to find the lads again. Afterwards, we went to the Afterparty, which I’m not going to lie; I hated it. Needless to say, I was very tired, very drunk, and I just wanted to keel over and pass out. The afterparty took place in the old Slam Dunk Venue; Leeds Uni. This is a place I knew and loved from back in 2008. I usually love going here and having flashbacks from meeting BbyCks clothing owner, Paul Griffiths, after there were rumours that he had just cheated on his girlfriend. Hey Paul, if you’re reading this, no shade man! I’m just having a cheeky throwback, leave me alone! 

    Anyway, after all, I had a lovely time; the day I mean. I’d repeat the day over and over again if I could, just with a fraction less alcohol! I forgot to mention the part when a random girl started licking my arm and gave me a temporary tattoo. My response was to invite her to Marbella, Spain with me (never been in my life). She then proceeded to pour a pint over my arm! I caught it all on Snapchat. I’ll be posting that in my next vlog very soon; so stay tuned!

    Did you go to Slam Dunk; North, South, or Midlands? Let me know your favourite flashback down below! 

      

     

    a river of roses, bikini, blog, bloglovin, diary, Family, highlights, skipton, weekend, yorkshire

    My Bank Holiday from Heaven 💕

    I think I pretty much speak to 90% of everyone in the UK when I say that this bank holiday weekend (5th – 7th May 2018) was pretty phenomenal; don’t deny it! Even if you were working, I already know that the sunshine brought a smile to your face, and I’m not taking no for an answer!

    The beginning of the weekend is what made it for me. Saturday afternoon, I approached Saltaire, Bradford, with so much anxiety to be honest, I’m not going to go into detail, but my issues were resolved, there were a few tears, but it was soon resolved, and I was able to go on with my day with my head held high.

    5pm Saturday afternoon rolled around

    My phone lit up, as I expected, it was all my friends letting me know that they were all meeting up! Most of them, I hadn’t seen in at least 4 years; you guessed it! It was a reunion. I was late to the party, mainly because I spent about 4 hours unnecessarily on my make-up; it wasn’t anything special, but I liked it.


    It was so good seeing all my friends, I got so drunk, downed a pint… you see that dress I’m wearing? I swapped outfits with one of my old male friends! That provided a lot of entertainment for everyone in the pub, let alone just our group! We had such a laugh for hours on end, I’d repeat the evening over and over again if I could! I really hope it wasn’t just a reunion, and we can continue to meet up every now and again, because I really did miss that lot!



    Our night continued in the curry house; lord only knows why I ordered a starter AND a chicken madras; something that I always order, yet something that is always too spicy. Anyway, long story short, I left a lot of it – it wasn’t really a long story. We then proceeded to pop up to ASDA, a couple of our group, lets just say, went a little bit bat shit at the fact that it was closed at 2am, and it said 24hrs on the sign, but hey ho! And, we then went home, but I wasn’t ready to go, I wanted to stay out, but anyway, I listened to physics, or whatever signs that told me to go to bed.

    Sunday morning rolled around.

    I had to think about this one, and then I realised that I actually did nothing on Sunday; nothing but Sunbathe, that is. Another glorious day meant that I could crack out my brand new bikini! What’s shocking to me, is that I hadn’t worn a bikini in probably over a year; this is shocking because I usually go on about 3 beach holidays a year, so it was definitely necessary. I bought this bikini from New Look, you can probably still buy it

     
    So, in hole, my day consisted of sunbathing, listening to music, and a barbecue; nothing much, really! Oh, and I went to get petrol; or gas as it’s commonly known everywhere else in the world. That’s car gas, not Co2.

    Monday Rolls Around

    I woke up at Aaron’s, after falling asleep at 10 whilst watching Thor, no surprise there. I tried to get up as early as possible; make the most of the sun. I don’t think any of Aaron’s ex girlfriends will read my blog, so none of you will know that Aaron is a heavy sleeper, and with that in mind, we ended up venturing out at about 12:00. 


    Monday graced us with a spontaneous trip to Skipton Castle. I’ve never been there. Though the Castle is a mere 18.9 miles, and 30 minutes away, to be exact; I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t ashamed at the fact I’ve never been. When I walked through the Castle gates, I instantly got a flashback to the San Jordi Castle in Lisbon, Portugal. But there’s 1 difference (1,541.5… if you want to get mathematical), Skipton is on my doorstep, Lisbon isn’t. 

    It goes without saying that I had a very beautiful, exceptional, exciting, (insert positive word here) long weekend. Thank you giving me sunshine, and lots of beautiful friends and family to celebrate with. This is the first bank holiday I’ve blogged about; I hope it’s not the last, but it will certainly be one to remember!

    Let me know in the comments what your favourite part of this bank holiday was!
    Thank you for reading!
    E
    x

    2017, culture, dining, disney, florida, food, orlando, travel

    My Disney (and beyond) Dining Guide

    So, I originally started out this post in another blog post, but then I got a bit carried away so I decided to write a completely different post! 

    disney dining food ariverofroses walt disney world wdw florida orlando

     

    In my previous content, mainly from my YouTube channel, I’ve featured many of my favourite restaurants from my favourite places. Generally, these don’t really go down too well, so I feel like I need to put out a little disclaimer, that I don’t really plan where to go, I just go off the bat and try whatever appears on my doorstep. We did try and book into the Be Our Guest restaurant, but if you’ve been to Disney before, you’ll know how hard it is to get in there!

    Anyway, with this being said, we all have different preferences when it comes to food; our pallets are all different, and so here are some overall restaurants across Orlando that I would highly recommend:

    Disney:

    🐭 50’s Prime Time Cafe – Hollywood Studios
    1950’s Style Traditional American Diner, with strict table rules – dine with an atmosphere with the acting staff! – From what I recall, I had the fried chicken and ‘Mom’s brownie’ for desert, and it was lovely. However, you definitely come here for the experience; would recommend. 

    disney dining food ariverofroses walt disney world wdw florida orlando prime time cafe 50's

    🐭 Dockside Diner – Hollywood Studios
    a pop-up place to eat! We stopped here just for a bite to eat one day and the Nachos were divine! (The waitress very kindly yet accidentally gave us 2 Nacho dishes when we asked for one, but charged us for one – don’t tell her though)! 

    🐭RestaurantMarrakesh – Epcot
    In the park filled with culture sits this beautiful restaurant in ‘Morocco’. We went here after viewing the fireworks during a thunderstorm (truly spectacular). I couldn’t resist having the Shish Kebabs! Living in the curry capital of the world; Bradford, they’re my favourite here, and it was lovely to taste them made the Moroccan way – would definitely recommend. 

    disney dining food ariverofroses walt disney world wdw florida orlando morimoto restaurant asia

    🐭 T-Rex Diner – Disney Springs
    The food was very nice here, after looking at the menu, regretfully, none of those dishes look familiar, but I know I had a burger! So, it’s either some of my brain cells have fizzled away or they’ve changed their menu; who knows! Although I must say, as good as the food is; alike the Prime Time Cafe, you come here for the experience. Surrounding your table you have animated models of dinosaurs popping out of the walls eating their green lunch too, and don’t forget to view the ‘Meteor Shower’, from what I recall, this happens every 15 minutes and, well, I won’t spoil it, I’ll just leave it to you… A must for kids!   

    disney dining food ariverofroses walt disney world wdw florida orlando morimoto🐭 Morimoto Asia – Disney Springs
    By far my #1 recommendation for the whole of my stay in Disney. The dinner we had here was absolutely exceptional – fine dining at it’s best! When I walked in, honestly felt like I’d stepped foot in a Michelin Star restaurant in the middle of London; the decor, service and atmosphere was just pristine, not to mention the food! I’m pretty sure I had the Beef Lo Mein Noodles and they were absolutely gorgeous. I’ll definitely be coming back to Disney one day, and this place is already on my list of places to visit!

     

    Beyond! (non-Disney):

    🎸 Hard Rock Cafe Orlando
    Years ago when I was growing up, my mum made it a tradition to hit every Hard Rock Cafe possible when travelling. However, once I’d blossomed into my teenage years, it seemed it was no more. I’m not sure whether my fiery hormonal steaming ears scared her away and she didn’t want to take me anymore, or she just forgot; which seems to be more likely.

    Anyway, after meeting my partner in 2014, I decided to set the tradition up again. I’m not sure when we first went to our first Hard Rock Cafe, I think it was in Amsterdam, 2016. But, my parents didn’t join in the encore until our 2017 trip to Orlando. Since my trip to Holland, I have been to a small handful of restaurants that the chain has to offer, but none of the meals have been quite so memorable as this one. Me, Aaron, and my dad all had the Atomic Burger (can’t resist a good Jalapeño). Okay, I’m not sure how I’m really going to tell you how good the meal was, without just sharing our ‘story’; if you can call it that. So, the week we spent at Universal, we paid a visit to the Hard Rock Cafe 3 times. Each time, my mum was daring; she had something different. One meal of hers was the famous Cauliflower burger, which I refused to order even though she begged me several times because she SWORE it was so good; I’m a big meat eater, and I absolutely love spicy food, and jalapeños in particular, so there was no way I was leaving my new found love. Anyway, the 3 times we went, aside from my mum, the rest of us had the same meal over, and over again. Granted I changed up my cocktails; girls gotta do what a girls gotta do, right?!

    disney dining food ariverofroses walt disney world wdw florida orlando - hard rock cafe

       🥘 Shogun Japanese Steakhouse
    Situated in the Rosen Inn Universal hotel itself, is this exquisite dining experience. We ate here during one of our last nights, it was a spontaneous decision made just one day when we couldn’t decide what to eat. We didn’t really know what to expect, we’re not experts but we wouldn’t generally put Japanese and Steakhouse in the same sentence.
    So, picture this: you’re sat at a massive frying pan table and the chef cooks the food for you, with his fancy chopping and dancing skills, right in front of your eyes! This was a fantastic experience and the food was delicious! 

     
       🇧🇷 Cafe Mineiro Brazilian Steakhouse
    Yes! I finally get to talk about possibly my second favourite place on earth?! Aside from my favourite restaurant in Mallorca, but that’s a different story for a different day! Cafe Mineiro is situated on the famous i-Drive; International Drive for all you newbies. Apologies for any member of staff who reads this, but the front of the restaurant didn’t look very appealing. We approached it on our first night, because it was conveniently situated straight in front of our hotel; the Rosen Inn Universal.
    This was another place we found ourselves eating at during our final week. You might know if you watched my vlogs, but we were unfortunate enough to encounter Hurricane Irma on our holiday; which was extended because mother-nature is a bit of an a-hole when it comes to things like that.
    So, Cafe Mineiro is a bit like a buffet, I think they do various set dishes too, but we only had the buffet. So, it goes like this; you get your plates, get your salad and sauce, then you queue up at the serving hatch waiting for your delicious meats. You tell the server how you like your steaks, he’s got them all prepared, and oh my goodness they were absolutely divine. If you are a meat eater like me, I would 11/10 recommend this restaurant. It might not look too pleasing to the eye on arrival but if you don’t go, you’re seriously missing out! As I said during my Morimoto feature further up, I’ll definitely be going back to Orlando and this restaurant is one I’ll probably go more than just once to! I absolutely loved it!

    So, these were my favourite dining places following my visit to America, feel free to leave some of your favourites in the comments section; I’m sure any future Orlando food-loving visitors will love to hear about them!

    disney, florida, orlando, travel, vlogger

    First Timer – Orlando Florida Travel Guide

    So, it’s been a while since I paid my first trip to Orlando, and boy do I miss it! These past 7 months have completely dragged and I’d quite honestly jump on a 10-hour virgin flight in a heartbeat if I could! 

     

    Whilst I’m feeling in the nostalgic mood, I thought I would share with you my top tips and recommendations for all you newbies out there who are thinking about taking your first trip to Florida!

    Orlando is pretty much on all our bucket lists; it’s been on mine for about 20 years (I’m 25). Situated in central Florida, Orlando is the king of the world when it comes to theme parks. Home to Walt Disney World, and Universal Studios, it hosts some pretty exciting rides to say the least!



    My Disney Itinerary

    ariverofroses - disney itinerary - walt disney world orlando florida
    Call me old fashioned, or downright stupid, but I didn’t have a clue what an ‘Itinerary’ was, prior to planning this trip. I personally think creating an Itinerary is completely up to you. As we were travelling to meet family who had been out there a few days, they were the ‘Itinerary-iers’, and with this, we pretty much followed everything they had planned, in regards to parks. We did however have days where there would just be the 4 of us as opposed to 9 of us; and in these days, we honestly just winged it! As a family, we’re not very structured at all, we don’t cope well with planning, and we just like to take it as it comes, so for those days, that’s what we did. Granted most of those days were spent in Disney Springs, but hey! I’m not complaining!

    If you would like to see an example of an Itinerary, here is ours for reference (using the word ours as a broad term). You can copy it if you like! 😝



    I can honestly say that after viewing this Itinerary 8 months later, I don’t think we actually followed any of it! I can’t speak for my half sister & her family, they were the ones who created this, but I know we all had fast passes for Flight of Passage on the first day, but they’re not on here!

    It should also be mentioned that we were there for 2 weeks; one of which we covered the Disney Parks, and the other we spent at Universal!

    ariverofroses - disney itinerary - walt disney world orlando florida - nachos - food - hollywood studios

    Dining Plan

    Just to clarify, I don’t mean the official Disney Dining Plan. As all 4 of us were adults, we didn’t really feel that getting this was necessary. However, our other party did purchase a dining plan and from what I can recall, they thoroughly enjoyed using it, and they thought it was well worth it! So if you’re travelling with kids, this is one to consider!

    In terms of actually planning your meals, I would highly recommend getting the Disney World App, where you can view menus and even reserve tables from all over the parks. This will guarantee you a seat in those hard to get places; like the famous Be Our Guest Restaurant, for example! This restaurant was fully booked for months prior to our visit, so if you happen to stumble across this blog post months before your trip, I’d have a look now if I were you!

    As much as I loved all the lovely dishes I had to eat in my time in Orlando, there are a lot of restaurants I didn’t get to eat at. But never mind; there’s always next time! If you’d like to view the places I did eat at, I wrote another blog post on that too!

    It’s All About The Money, Money, Money…

    (We don’t need your Money, Money Money… No? Just me? Ok!)
    Having never been to America before, let alone somewhere big like Florida. I had no idea how much money to take. I found myself searching around different websites for other people’s opinions on the matter. From what I recall we took $1,500 cash (between me and my boyfriend), and I uploaded £600 onto my Monzo App!

    Let me take a minute to talk about the Monzo app; I’ve wanted to talk about it since we got back and I never have, so it’s been a long time coming! I was completely sceptical and a bit scared to use the app. I remember uploading the initial mandatory £100, and using that as a trial run before putting any more on there. I had heard of Aaron’s friends using it but I didn’t really trust their word; I mean, money is a big thing! Especially abroad!



    I mean, let’s face it, I’d never used anything like this before; Aaron had previously used Monzo in Mexico just short of 4 months earlier, but that was a completely different country! I kept thinking to myself It might work at one place, or maybe a couple, but I won’t get carried away because it definitely won’t work everywhere… and boy was I wrong! The standard bankcard with a bright neon orange appearance stood its ground and proved me wrong. So, in conclusion, I would say I definitely recommend getting the Monzo card. There is about a 6-month waiting list and just a word of warning; when you sign up you have to talk to the camera to confirm who you are and that you do actually want a Monzo card. I mean, I’m a vlogger, but this was a whole new level of bizarre for me!


    Pack All Your Troubles… I’ll stop now.

    Getting my suitcase for America was a moment I’ll probably never forget for as long as I live. From what I recall, our flight was on a Monday, and we got our cases on… yep… you guessed it! Saturday! With our flight being a 7am number, it was quite a bit of a restriction in the old clockity clock area, if you get what I mean.

    So…  back to the point! Picture this: The Saturday; just over a day before we’re due to set off, and I go to T K Maxx, the cases are on buy one get one half price, so me and my mum buy a leopard print one and a bright blue one. I’m so excited! I’ve not had a case this big in YEARS! And we get to the till… The conversation goes somewhat like this:

    Me: “There’s nothing like buying your suitcase just over 24 hours before you’re due to set off to the airport”
    Cashier Lady: “Oh really?… Where are you going?”
    Me: “Florida”
    Cashier Lady: “Oh, really?! I might be on the same flight as you!”
    I’ve not a clue how the conversation flowed after that; all I remember is completely finding all the power inside myself not to jump up and down in circles clapping my hands because, YES! I was actually THAT happy.

    So! I get home, start to pack a LOT of stuff; throw in about 5 costumes, didn’t use 1. 4 pairs of shorts – only used about 2 because it rained a lot. I’d say my most used item was my leggings; of which I brought 1, because I wasn’t expecting the rain.


    Emma’s Ultimate Packing Guide

    Here is what I would recommend YOU pack in your suitcase if you’re a 24-year-old female traveller who’s off to Orlando for 2 weeks at the beginning of September. Feel free to print this page off as a check list!:
    o   6 T-Shirts – Honestly, this ones being generous; you’ll buy loads more!
    o   4 Pairs of Leggings – Assuming they don’t take up much room! Very handy to keep in your bag for those downpours.
    o   3 Pairs of Shorts – It’s very warm even though it’s wet – Wear them like jeans!
    o   2 Pairs of Jeans (One for travelling)
    o   2 Pairs of trainers/shoes. Ideally comfy ones. I brought 4 pairs with me, and switched between 2. The other 2 I don’t even think I’ve worn to this day!
    o   4/5 Dresses – It really depends when and where you’re going out. I brought 6 dresses with me and I’m sure I only wore 4 of them. I generally just dressed up with shorts and t-shirt most nights.
    o   Swimming Gear – I brought about 4 swimming costumes and used none – I’d plan your trip first and maybe bring one if you’re unsure about a water park; that’s really the only place you’ll use them!

    Other Stuff:
    o   Makeup – the list would be endless if I’d be writing mine, honestly.
    o   Underwear – Take a couple more than actually needed; just in case!
    o   Contact Lenses – Not sure if this is essential for you, but it is for me!
    o   Jewelry
    o   Hairbrush & Hair styling things – I don’t really do anything to mine, so this is entirely on here for you!
    o   Perfume – I usually use the little samples, they’re really handy for travelling, and I tend to find my favourites this way!
    o   Deodorant – Roll on was my preferred choice, I got a bit concerned about the cabin pressure and all that.
    o   External Batteries for Cameras – Alike the contacts, this is just personally suited to me. I knew that the 10 hour flight wasn’t going to be crammed full of activities so I only really needed one full battery. The rest could live in my case until I landed!
    o   Ladies Items – Oh, okay, FINE! I’ll say it. Sanitary towels; don’t forget them! I didn’t get chance to try the American ones, but I was quite happy with good old always thank you!

    Travel

    So, the time has come. Trust me – as exciting as it is, don’t get yourself worked up yet. Don’t forget, you’ve now got to sit in the same chair for the next 10 hours, with the odd wee break. It completely put’s a downer on the excitement, yes, but you can get excited again when you land, so that’s not too bad!

    For that long, long journey that you have ahead of you, if you’re flying with someone like Virgin, they tend to treat you to a few good movies, once you’ve figured out how to use the pain in the arse of a screen. However, as good as this is, it’s always advisable to pack a few extra’s, just in case! Here’s a brief inventory of what was in my travel bag:
    o   Glasses
    o   Sunglasses
    o   Sudoku – Don’t judge me, I promise I’m not 92.
    o   Books/Magazines
    o   Earphones
    o   External Battery Charger – Check airline regulations first.
    o   Your camera, of course!
    o   Chargers. I brought my MacBook charger; just a heads up, only some seats on the plane have sockets – mine didn’t! (You have to pay for WiFi too)
    o   Notebook
    o   Moisturizer & Lip Balm, under 100ml of course!

    You may have noticed that I didn’t include some key essentials on the ‘other’ section. That’s because I tend to leave these bits for the airport! If you’d like to go the same route as me, then here’s a little shopping list for you!
    o   Shampoo & Conditioner
    o   Toothbrush & Toothpaste
    o   Tanning Lotion, Sun Protection etc.
    o   Face Wipes/Face Wash – (I nearly died, I had to buy these when we got to America, and I couldn’t find them anywhere, and I couldn’t get my makeup off! – It was a nightmare, trust me)

    I had to just double check external sources when listing half of this, just so I didn’t miss anything. If you’re more of an adult than me, there’s a proper adult (apparently I’m not one at 25); Eagle Creek, they have created a checklist for when you leave the house! As well as the boring medical checklist. Sorry… I didn’t mean that… don’t forget your medicine.

    Vloggers

    I have to say, that I honestly didn’t watch that many Disney vlogs before I set off. I’m not too sure why, maybe I didn’t want to ruin it; who knows! I’m a bit disappointed I didn’t though! Watching videos back now just makes me so excited for when I finally get to visit again!

    So, speaking of vlogs. One person I did watch religiously, because she (eek) was on her honeymoon (eek) then, with her bridesmaid, her bridesmaid’s boyfriend, and (eek) her now ex-husband (eek) SORRY HELEN ANDERSON, LOVE YOU HELEN ANDERSON.
    Helen is one of my favourite vloggers ever, I’ve been watching her for years, and she just so happened to be venturing out into the happiest place in the world just a few weeks before me, so she was my introduction. Let me just say that in her video, if you just so happen to watch it; they all mention that they feel ‘so sick’ after the Jimmy Kimmel Ride. What do I say to that? I hear you ask?? Well, I think they all need to grow some balls; the ride was amazing!

    If you’d like to see some of my views on the rides I went on, I’ve got a full playlist live on my channel!

    On the other hand, following my depressing return, I came across the Ingham Family; little did I know that they’re actually pretty local to me. Sarah Ingham has been to get her nails done at my hairdressers every now and again. I’m not being funny but if I bumped into her, I’d probably act like I did to that check out lady from T-K Maxx. Anyway, they were out there at the same time as me, but I didn’t know how big they were or who they were when I was out there, unfortunately. To make things better, they’re regulars to Orlando, and they’ve just taken another trip!

    Instagrammers

    Or, Disneygrammers… not sure if I made that one up, probably not! Whilst I was out in Orlando, I found a lot of Travel Instagram Accounts. I didn’t go out there with that intention, it just kind of happened.


    Em Halford

    First of all, the girl that really inspires me, and she probably won’t ever read this but Em, if you’re reading this, hello! I’m not sure if it’s Emma or Emily, but your accounts say Em, so hello Em! Okay, so I found ‘@emhalford‘ when she was posting on the ‘it’s Orlando Time’ Facebook group that I am a part of, and even if I never go again (never say that again Emma) I’ll probably never leave!


    Em is a fellow vlogger but mainly an Instagrammer. Her and her Fiance Andy actually got engaged whilst I was on holiday in Disney (the good old romantic castle proposal!), congratulations! And now they look to be in St. Lucia. I’m genuinely not sure which one I’m more jealous at to be honest. Anyway, on their joint account, @disneywithandyandem, the name says it all really; they post about their travels!

    Mouseketeers and Butterbeers

    I mean, I’m sorry but this has to be one of my favourite accounts on Instagram, just because of the name! I’m not very good with Geography, but this Grammerlives in Alabama according to their page. I’ve a feeling Alabama is up north somewhere, but in my eyes, they live in the same country as Orlando, so they’ve got better access than me, and for that I’m very jealous. I’m not even too sure who owns this account, but the clarity and the brightness of the pictures has always stood out to me, and so has the name! Gosh that name, if only I could be that creative; it’s genius!

    So with that, ladies and gents, I’m going to leave you with some of my own favourite Instagram pictures of my holiday. Feel free to follow me over at @ariverofroses

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