Trip to Rome 2017

I recently returned from a 5 day trip to Rome to visit my bestie, Gigi from Uni, who was studying there on her year abroad. I thought I would share some of my favourite photos of the city and what I got up to there.

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On my first evening in Rome, my friend Gigi took me out for a night on the tiles. She has lived there for 6 months now and wanted to show me what the night-life is like compared to our usual stomping ground Hull, where we both went to uni. After a long day of travelling and partying under the light of the moon, till the early hours, we wearily made our way home to Gigi’s apartment on the bus. So far I had experienced all the typical modern attributes of any capital city and it was on the bus home that I got my first, magical glimpse of the Colosseum. It was crazy to look out the window of our bus and see such an iconic piece of history, something that was a regular occurrence in Rome…

thumbnail_IMG_0822 The Pantheon

thumbnail_IMG_0807 Trevi Fountain

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The Vatican

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“The Wedding Cake”

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Piazza Navona

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 At the Spanish Steps

19126328_10210056678193514_1570693644_o Roman Forum

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thumbnail_IMG_1016 Aperol Spritz!

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thumbnail_IMG_0830Caramelised fig gelato!

I recommend anyone to visit Rome who loves experiencing history and culture, it has become my favourite city. I couldn’t have done it without my best friend and amazing tour guide, Gigi; I would have been lost without her!

A rather large clothing haul!

Clothing Haul

Recently my shopping habit has got a bit out of hand… I can’t seem to stop myself from buying new clothes! I’ve got a few holidays coming up so I’ve used that as an excuse to justify my spending.

 Starting with these flatform espadrilles from JustFab at £35, which I think will be absolutely perfect for my upcoming holidays! They give you height, without the pain of heels, which is just what I want when strolling around in the evening on holiday!

 Ok I have no excuse for these, apart from that these are possible the cutest trainers I have ever seen! These Stan Smith Comfort Dot trainers from adidas are £70 and are great for jazzing up a casual outfit with a fun print, but are also super practical.

 Next up I got these two denim skirts as I am currently experiencing a bit of a denim obsession! The black skirt is from New Look but I ordered it off the ASOS website, and it was a complete bargain at only £19.99! The blue denim skirt is from H&M at £24.99, I absolutely love wearing this skirt with my new adidas trainers. H&M also have a great selection of colours, I love the look of the pink one!

I also bought a couple of jumpers, which I know seems strange for this time of year, but trust me in England you always need them as it gets cold at night. I bought both of these jumpers from H&M and I have really been enjoying wearing them while revising for my exams to stay cosy and comfortable!

 I love the clothes in Next, though sometimes they can be a little out of my price range. These beauties however, were very reasonably priced so I knew I had to get them as the quality of the clothes from Next are great. The gingham cami was only £16 and the t-shirt was only £10!

 Now for stripes! I have so many striped tops but, I decided to inject some colour this time. This unusual blue and pink striped tee from Topshop was £14, and this red and white one from TK Maxx was a bargain at under £5. My wardrobe can always do with a colour injection and these two do just the trick!

 I also got these two pretty tops from H&M that are going to be perfect for summer! The white crop top was £9.99 and I got the red floral top in the sale, so I’m not sure if it’s still available.

 Finally, my boyfriend was lucky enough to get us tickets to Radio 1’s Big Weekend, so I bought a denim jacket and some accessories to complete my festival outfit! The choker is from Missguided it came in a pack of three, but I only bought it for this choker with the stars. I also picked up a bum bag from ASOS for £12, as this is a festival essential to ensure you can dance to the music without having to carry a bag. I also got a denim jacket from Zara which was £25.99, as everyone seems to have one at the minute and is the perfect jacket for Summer. I wore this outfit for the festival and I would 100% recommend getting a bum bag if you are attending any festivals this Summer!

Thanks for reading, let me know in the comments if you have been feeling spendy lately and what bits you have your eye on!

Ruby Ray x

April Favourites

April Favourites

These are the items that I was loving in April. I received a lot of new items at the end of March, for my Birthday, which quickly became my favourites for April!

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Makeup and skincare wise, I bought this Drops of Youth Bouncy Sleeping Mask from The Body Shop, which I featured in my Birthday Haul. The mask is more like a gel than a cream, and it really lives up to its description as ‘bouncy’. When you scoop the mask out, with the spatula provided, the gel immediately bounces back into shape -it’s so cool! I’d never used an overnight mask before, and I was worried that my face would stick to my pillow as I was sleeping. If you use a light layer however, it soaks into the skin and doesn’t stick to your sheets at all! Next up I decided to try these Simple Micellar Cleansing Wipes, as I love micellar water and hoped that these wipes would be ok to use on my sensitive skin. The normal Simple face wipes leave my face feeling red raw, when I remove my makeup, however the micellar wipes removed my makeup without causing irritation. They get a thumbs up from me!

Also featured in my Birthday Haul, was the set of 3 NYX butter glosses. Out of the 3, I have been loving the shade ‘Creme Brulee’ the most! I’m not usually one for lip glosses however, the butter glosses go on smoothly and don’t leave your lips feeling sticky which I can’t stand! Creme Brulee is the perfect nudey pink for everyday wear.

Old Skool Vans

Again, these Vans Old Skool Trainers were featured in my Birthday Haul, and they have quickly become my new favourite trainer in April. After watching Tanya Burr’s ASOS haul I was inspired to purchase some fishnet socks from H&M, to pair with my Vans. I got a black and white pair, and I think they look super cool. I have to say I didn’t think I could pull them off at first, but they look amazing with black jeans and a t-shirt.

I have saved the best till last this month, as my next favourite is the bake at home Millie’s Cookies from Iceland! When I saw these I had to get them, as I was so intrigued as to whether they would live up to the Millie’s Cookies from the store. They were so easy to make, just pop into the oven for 10-15 mins and boom you have Millie’s Cookies at home that taste just the same! I chose the white choc cookies as they are my favourite, but they did have a selection including milk choc. I was planning on taking a picture of the cookies, but me and my boyfriend devoured them before there was even chance- woops!

Thanks so much for reading, hope you enjoyed, be sure to comment below with you favourites for April.

Ruby Ray x

Birthday Haul- 2017

It was my 21st Birthday in March and I have decided to share with you what I got for my Birthday!

I took a trip to Manchester with my Mum, Dad and boyfriend for shopping, food and drinks to celebrate me turning 21 and I picked up a lot of stuff. 2

First up is clothes and my favourite present that I received this year. My Mum and Dad treated me to a leather jacket from AllSaints, which I have wanted for so long now but had been making do with a £5 jacket from Forever 21. It feels amazing to finally have the perfect leather jacket as it goes with everything I wear, I never want to take it off! The leather jacket I chose is the Black Balfern Biker Leather Jacket, I definitely recommend this if you are willing to invest in a leather jacket!

 Seen as it was my 21st Birthday I decided it was time I retired my 6 years old Converses and invested in some new trainers! I had been wanting the Vans Black & White Old Skool Trainers for ages and I thought they would be the best replacement for my Converses. I had only planned on buying one new pair of trainers, but when I found a pair of floral, beaded, white trainers from Steve Madden I couldn’t resist. They are the Marcelo trainers and I found them for £29.99, however I was unable to find them on the TK Maxx website.

 I received a lot of make up for my Birthday from friends, family and I also bought some myself, which means I’ve ended up with tons of new make up! From one of my best friends I received an Essie nail polish in the shade ‘eternal optimist’. This is her current favourite shade as it is a gorgeous muted pink. I can’t wait to try it out on my nails! Also from my friend I received the stila convertible colour dual lip and cheek cream, in the shade ‘peony’. I had wanted to try this blusher for ages as I love cream blushers, and this one gives such a healthy glow to the cheeks. My boyfriend must have been examining my blog for ideas for my Birthday present, as he did very well this year! I’ve always wanted to try some of the Jeffree Star cosmetics and he picked for me the skin frost in the shade ‘ice cold’. I absolutely adore this highlighter it’s extremely pigmented and the pan is huge, so I can see this lasting me a very long time. Even though I had received so much make up from friends and family already, I couldn’t resist looking for some discount make up while I was in Tk Maxx. I found a set of three NYX butter glosses, in the shades ‘crème brulee’, ‘angel food cake’ and ‘ginger snap’. I love my soft matte lip cream from NYX, so when I saw these I had to buy them.

Skincare wise I received a few face masks, one from the brand Oh K! which was a gold dust hyrdrogel mask and also the Garnier moisture bomb tissue mask. I love sheet masks as they are perfect for keeping your skin hydrated without the mess. From the Body Shop I also picked up the drops of youth bouncy sleeping mask, this is a mask you leave on your skin overnight, which I thought would be cool to try out. My friends also got for me the obligatory bath bomb from Lush, they chose the twilight bath bomb which will be perfect for a relaxing soak. Finally, I had been after a new fragrance to wear everyday for uni, that wasn’t too expensive. After looking through the numerous weird and wonderful scents by the Library of Fragrance, I finally settled on ‘Fig Leaf’. I love the scent of fig, and as these are singular scents you can layer them with others and there are certainly lots to choose from! Also on the website it recommends different scents that layer well together, so I may have to invest in some more to create my own unique scent!

Beauty Haul

I also received some homeware bits and bobs for my Birthday, the first being a pineapple photo frame from the brand sass&belle, from my parents. This is such a cute little photo frame, now I just need to find a photo from by Birthday to go in it. My parents also got me a dog picture colouring book, titled ‘Keep Calm and Colour Dogs.’ This is great for me as I love dogs and colouring, so the two combined is great! My mum found this on the ASOS website. Continuing with books one of my best friends Lucy, bought me a cocktail recipe book, called ‘The Little Book of Cocktails’. I cannot wait to try these recipes out with my friends in the Summer. Also from my boyfriend I received a book called ‘The Elements of Journalism’, this is because I am starting a Masters in Journalism next year and this book is going to be very helpful!

As you can see from the picture I have a love for Cacti! I’ve had some from Ikea that have lasted me 3 years, but are sadly starting to look a bit sorry for themselves. So I picked up a new cactus from Next of all places. I really like this one as it comes in a stylish silver pot. My friends obviously also knowing my love for all things cacti, got me some cactus tea lights from the Range! These are so adorable and there is no chance of me killing them, which is a bonus! I also bought a Yankee Candle in the scent Cappuccino Truffle, as coffee is one of my favourite smells.  Finally from Oliver Bonas, I got this cute heart trinket dish to put my jewellery on in the evening, so hopefully there will be no more panicking the morning after a night out, trying to locate my jewellery!

  Homeware Haul

Thanks for reading, hopefully this will give you some ideas for presents if you have any Birthdays coming up!  Let me know in the comments what you would like to receive for your Birthday!

Ruby Ray x

March Favourites

 

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Sorry that this month’s favourites are super late, the end of march and beginning of April has been really busy for me as it was my birthday, and with my dissertation and uni work I haven’t had much free time for blogging! So here are my beauty and random favourites for the month of March, some of them new purchases and one an old favourite.

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I had been wanting to try out Maybelline’s Baby Lips for a while, but I had put it off because I already own so many lip balms. However, this month I found the Baby Lips Dr Rescue in the shade ‘Pink Me Up’ reduced to £2 in Savers and decided to try it out, and it has become my favourite lip balm. I love the pink tint it gives to my lips, and the tingly feeling from the menthol in the lip balm also feels amazing. Next up and also from the drugstore, is the L’Oreal Brow Artist Xpert in the shade ‘Cool Blonde.’ After recently dying my hair slightly pink, I felt that my Anastasia Dip Brow in the shade Blonde, was a bit too warm toned for my new hair colour, so I went to Superdrug in search of a new brow product. I wanted something more ashy and this one from L’Oreal seemed to be the only one I could find. I didn’t have too high expectations for this, after being so used to using my dip brow, however I’m really impressed with the colour and application of this brow product! It actually reminds me of the Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz, as it has a very similar pencil. The spoolie is also great to keep the brows looking natural.

This month I also decided to treat myself to one of Benefit’s boxed blushes, as I have never had one before and have heard such great things. I wasn’t sure which shade to go for at first, but I decided on ‘dandelion’ as I felt this suited my skin tone the best. The Benefit blushes are super expensive at £24.50, however if you want to treat yourself it’s a good investment and the packaging looks really pretty on my dressing table.

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The La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo (+) is a recurrent favourite of mine. Its the only treatment I have used that seems to reduce my spots, without scarring. A little goes a long way with this product, so at £15.50 it’s totally worth the money! Recently I had been after a nice body spray to use after the gym, to help freshen up and my friend had recommended the Ted Baker body sprays. I opted for the Pink Body Spray and unlike the cheaper body sprays you can find in the drugstore, this one has a long lasting fragrance that could easily pass for an expensive perfume!

Cocktail Desserts

Now for a couple of random favourites, I have been loving Mr Kipling’s Cocktail Fancies! I’ve always loved French Fancies, so when I found these cocktail flavours I had to try them. They have Mojito, Raspberry Daiquiri and Pina Colada which is definitely my fave flavour. Continuing with the cocktail theme this month, I also picked up these fizzy prosecco and cuba libre flavoured sweets from Lakeland. They are by the brand Sugarsin, and although they are slightly more expensive at £2.99 a pack, the prosecco ones are 100% worth it, if you love prosecco like me!

Thanks so much for reading, hope you had a great March and be sure to comment below with what products you were loving last month.

Ruby Ray x

My New Hair!

Bleach Blonde Hair

I got my hair done the other week for my 21st Birthday, as a treat to myself and I have to say I’m loving it! I had my hair bleached all over and the bleach is sooo itchy on your scalp, then I had a milkshake toner on top which really helped to condition my hair and also gave it a purple/pink tone. I was in the hairdressers for about 4 hours, but it was definitely worth it, it feels so great to have a change after having the same colour hair for years now!

For the cut I had a bit taken off the length as my hair grows super fast and a few layers put in! I am absolutely loving styling my hair now, its so quick and easy.

I’m trying to limit myself to washing my hair no more than 2x a week, as I want to ensure the toner stays in for as long as possible, although I’m going to get it topped up again soon.

Let me know in the comments what you think of my new hair!

Ruby Ray xx

Coffee Cake Recipe

Coffee is one of my absolute favourite flavours, I love coffee ice cream, coffee chocolate and of course coffee cake! Me and my housemate decided to have a go at baking a coffee cake for my 21st Birthday, as it’s my favourite, and I have to say it turned out amazing!

The recipe was from my housemates recipe book, and it’s really easy to follow. Be sure to give it a try yourselves, if you love coffee as much as me!

Coffee Cake  

Coffee Cake Recipe

Ingredients:

  • For the cake:
  • 175g unsalted butter
  • 175g brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 175g self-raising flower
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1tbsp coffee powder, mixed with 2 tbsp boiling water and cooled
  • For the icing:
  • 100g unsalted butter
  • 200g icing sugar

Method:   Coffee Cake Mixture

  1. Preheat the oven to 180c.
  2. Grease two 17cm round cake tins.
  3. Cream together the butter and sugar in a bowl, until the mixture is light and fluffy.
  4. Add the eggs one at a time, beating between each addition.
  5. Add the vanilla and whisk for 2 minutes until bubbles appear on the surface.
  6. Sift in the flour and baking powder.
  7. Fold in the flour and then add half of the coffee mixture.
  8. Divide the batter evenly between the cake tins and smooth the top.
  9. Cook for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown.
  10. For the icing, beat the butter and icing sugar together for 5 minutes, until smooth and fluffy.
  11. Add in the remaining coffee mixture and mix.
  12. Spread half of the buttercream evenly on the flat slide of one of the cakes, when the cakes have had time to cool.
  13. Place the second cake on top of the other cake, flat sides together and spread the remaining buttercream on the top.

Coffee Cake Ingredients

This cake turned out great, thanks to the help of my housemate! It also went down a treat with all of my friends, who are coffee lovers like me. I will definitely be making this cake again, as cake tastes so much better than shop bought, when you make it yourself.

What is your favourite type of cake?

One lovely blog award!

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I was nominated by Amy’s Lifestyle Blog to do the ‘One lovely blog award’, she has a great blog that I highly recommend you check out! Thanks Amy for the nomination, you can find her post here. 

The Rules  

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you and link back to them
  • Post about the award
  • Share 7-15 facts about yourself
  • Nominate 9-15 bloggers you admire and contact them to let them know

Facts About Me  

  1. Colouring in is one of my favourite ways to pass the time! I was recently given a dog colouring book for my birthday and I can’t wait to start colouring it in!
  2. I absolutely adore sleeping, I’d have to say it’s one of my favourite hobbies.
  3. I’m really into health and fitness, I aim to go to the gym most days and I also do boxing!
  4. I have a really bad habit of buying far too many skincare products and not actually using them, as I’m too lazy when it comes to removing my make up.
  5. I used to do all types of dancing when I was younger, my favourite was ballroom and I’ve been trying to convince my boyfriend to start taking classes with me…so far I’m failing.
  6. Chinese is my favourite food!
  7. I have a dog called Mylo, he is a Cockapoo, which is a Cocker Spaniel and Poodle cross.

My Nominations 

Make sure to check out all of their blogs, they are a great read!

The best way to discover new sunglasses

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Sunglasses are one of my favourite accessories. It doesn’t have to be sunny for me to wear my mine, as they are great to finish off an outfit, or even to bung on when heading out the house make up free if you need to!

I’m always on the look out for new sunglasses brands, that aren’t too expensive, yet still great quality and style. I can’t afford to splash a lot of cash on designer brands, being a student, so if I can find a designer brand for less I’m all for it! An added bonus would be being able to find and try on these sunglasses, from the comfort of my own home, as there aren’t a lot of sunglasses shops in my town centre that stock the brands I like.

When Perfect Glasses got in contact with me to see if I would like to have a new pair of sunglasses delivered to my door, I was initially wary as I tend not to order sunglasses online, as I prefer to try them on in store. I’m very picky when it comes to choosing a style of sunglasses to suit my face.

However, Perfect Glasses take away this worry as they have a tool on their website that allows you to upload an image of your face and click on the different styles to try them on. Meaning no need to leave the house! Hoorahh! Perfect Glasses also offer prescription glasses and prescription sunglasses, so they really have you covered.

There are many different styles to choose from and prices start from just £9 for standard frames, and they also stock a vast range of discounted designer glasses.

After trying on the various different styles, colours and brands, I finally decided on some pink sunglasses from a brand called Opium which were £39. I’ve recently dyed my hair bleach blonde and felt that the pink would really compliment my new hair!

The glasses arrived within a few days in a free glasses case, and on the day of delivery I received updates on when my sunglasses would be delivered with an hour time slot via text, which was extremely helpful as I tend to miss my parcels…

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Perfectglasses.co.uk is a great way of discovering new brands of Glasses Online at a discounted price, that you can virtually try on in your own home. I’ll definitely be checking out their website again when I’m on the look out for a new pair!

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Yay, the sun came out! This cherry coke and jammy dodger ice cream was to die for!

This post was written in collaboration with Perfect Glasses. All opinions are my own and are based on my honest experience.

My skincare routine

Skincare routine

I know that it is extremely important to look after your skin, so recently I have been making the extra effort to do my skincare routine every night, rather than reaching for the face wipes.So I thought I would share with you the products that I have been using.

  1. I make sure my hair is up and out of my face.
  2. Then I remove the majority of my makeup using the Garnier Miceller Oil-Infused Cleansing Water £3.99 on a cotton pad. There is no need to spend a ton of money on cleansing waters, such as Bioderma, as I have used both and they do the exact same thing!
  3. Next up I cleanse my face using the Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser £8.99, as I have sensitive skin. This cleanser is fragrance and soap free, and although it doesn’t get soapy it still does a great job at removing the rest of my make up, which I was pleasantly surprised by. It also means that it doesn’t leave your skin feeling dry afterwards, which I hate! To remove the cleanser I take a damp, warm flannel and wash the rest away. This cleanser I can also use around my eyes and it doesn’t sting at all, a winner in my book.
  4. Now I tone my skin with a quick spritz of the Lush Eau Roma Water £8.95. This spray is very hydrating and refreshing on the skin, and helps to also calm my skin after cleansing. This is due to the lavender water that is in this toner, which is very gentle and helps to soothe the skin.
  5. After toning I like to target any spots that have cropped up on my face. For this I have currently been using the B. Treated Blemish Gel from Superdrug at just £3.45. This helps to reduce the redness of my spots, though at £3.45 it is not going to work miracles and reduce spots completely. I am currently on the look out for a more intensive spot treatment and I am willing to invest a bit more money. If you have any recommendations please comment below!
  6. On evenings where my skin is suffering with a really bad breakout I like to skip my Lush toner and opt for the Nip+Fab Glycolic Fix Night Pads Extreme, £14.95 instead. If my skin is feeling particularly oily and congested, then I will reach for one of these pads. I tend not to use these more than once a week however, as I don’t want to strip my skin too much.
  7. Finally, I apply a generous amount of my Cetaphil Moisturising Lotion £8.99, all over my face. Again, this Cetaphil moisturiser is perfect for my sensitive skin, as it is fragrance free and doesn’t cause any irritation like I have experienced with other moisturisers. I also use this moisturiser in the morning as it’s not too thick, and sits nicely under my make up.

 

What are your essential products for your skincare routine?

Ruby Ray xx