Saturday, 11 August 2018

The best cruelty-free perfume brands

Hello, my loves! Today's post is something I've been working on for a little while, and I'm very excited to finally share it with you. As some of you might know, perfumes are amongst my favourite things in the world. However, going cruelty-free made me realise just how many mainstream fragrance brands conduct animal testing, which honestly surprised me - in a bad way. You'd think that in 2018 animal testing would be a concept of the past, but unfortunately, since some countries (for example, China), require foreign products to be tested on animals by law, we are still far away from the cruelty-free dream. I love perfumes, I love collecting them and talking about them, and it's not something that I'd ever want to give up. So, I've been on a mission to find the best, most amazing cruelty-free scents. I'm still exploring new brands, but there are quite a few that have impressed me so far, which is what I want to share with you today. Hope you enjoy, my loves!

Pacifica casual and fruity
Pacifica has always been one of my favourite perfume brands, long before I've decided to go cruelty-free. They offer a wide range of natural, exotic, fruity perfumes that are also very affordable (£19 for a 28ml bottle). My personal favourites from the range include Blood Orange (refreshing and perfect especially for hot summer months) and Island Vanilla (sweet, natural and comforting - a must-have for any vanilla lovers!).

Lush - versatile and sweet
I've always been a huge fan of Lush products (who doesn't love their bath bombs!), but only recently started to explore their fragrances. They have an interesting range of scents, definitely less mainstream, very unique and also quite affordable. My personal favourite is their Vanillary perfume, which offers an unusual take on vanilla. It's not as sweet, with some deep, almost smokey hints of tonka bean and floral jasmine.

Kat Von D - independent and edgy
Kat Von D doesn't actually have a lot of fragrances, but her Saint and Sinner duo (£50 for a 50ml bottle each) is absolutely gorgeous and will suit a variety of tastes. Saint is very delicate, floral and almost sparkling; whereas Sinner is more fruity, dark and mysterious. I've written a full review of Sinner on the blog before, and I'd wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone who enjoys perfumes that are a little dark and edgy; but still very warm and feminine.

Lavanila - elegant and comforting
I've only recently discovered this brand, but I'm absolutely in love with their Healthy Fragrance range! All of their scents are vanilla-based, but with a range of interesting twists that give them more depth and character. The quality is great, although they are a little more pricey at about £37 for a 50ml bottle. My personal recommendation would be the Vanilla Grapefruit, which is both sweet and zesty - perfect for the summer!

Tocca elegant and luxurious
If you are looking for something more sophisticated, I'd definitely recommend checking out Tocca. Their scents are a little more on the pricey side (£55 for a 50ml bottle, but check out your local TK Maxx for sales!), but also very luxurious and elegant. They're pretty good at capturing different scents as they would appear in nature, and focus mostly on floral, feminine and almost bridal compositions. Cleopatra is my personal favourite, with delicate notes of patchouli, jasmine and peach.

The Body Shop - casual and uplifting
You really can't go wrong with The Body Shop fragrances - they're affordable, likeable, and will suit many tastes. They're not as refined and long-lasting as your standard eau de parfum formulations, but more casual and suitable for everyday wear. They truly do have an amazing range of scents available, so there is definitely something for everyone here. Personally, I love their Japanese Cherry Blossom (floral and sparkling!), and White Musk Smoky Rose (dark and elegant).

Hope you enjoyed these recommendations, my loves! Let me know if there are any other cruelty-free perfume brands that you know of and would recommend. Always looking for more suggestions!
Follow on Bloglovin

Monday, 6 August 2018

Lumene skincare mini haul + first impressions

Hello, loves! It's been a while since I've done a skincare haul, so I'm very excited to share my finds with you today. On my search for good, cruelty-free skincare (which can be harder than you'd expect!), I've come across this brand from Finland, Lumene (not sponsored, although I wish!). They offer a wide range of cruelty-free skincare and makeup, including lots of vegan options, which is great! I went ahead and purchased a few products, and today, I'll be sharing with you my first impressions. Hope you enjoy!

Lumene Nordic Hydra Intense Hydration Moisturiser (£17.90)
This fresh, lightweight cream is quickly absorbed into the skin, leaving it soft, smooth and intensely hydrated from the very first application. Contains pure Arctic spring water to promote a healthy-looking complexion.

I actually tried a sample of this a while back, and enjoyed it so much that I just had to get the full size! This is, hands down, the most refreshingly hydrating cream that I've ever used. It's easy to apply and leaves your skin feeling thoroughly moisturised, without any greasy residue. I've tried a lot of creams in the past that just wouldn't absorb very well, which would put me off moisturising in the mornings. This one, however, feels unbelievably lightweight and absorbs beautifully in just a few seconds. It genuinely makes a difference to how your skin looks and feels, and it might just become my all-time favourite, cruelty-free day moisturiser.

Lumene Sisu Deep Clean Purifying Mask (£14.95)
The purity-boosting clay-based formula is enriched with natural exfoliating particles from Nordic cranberry and pure Arctic spring water. Combined with anti-pollution technology, it helps to protect against external stressors, leaving skin smooth, fresh and naturally radiant looking. 

Whoever designed this formula, was very serious about the 'deep clean' part! This mask leaves your skin feeling squeaky clean, smooth and soft. The texture is interesting as it feels more like a lotion (unlike clay or peel masks), that doesn't really harden when dried up. It exfoliates well without drying out your skin, although I'd say that it's probably more suitable for oily skin types. Also, despite how thoroughly cleansing it is, it actually feels very gentle on the skin! I'm always a little cautious about 'deep clean' face masks as they can be quite irritating, but this one feels incredibly gentle and almost soothing when applied.

Lumene Nordic Hydra Pure Arctic Miracle 3-in-1 Micellar Cleansing Water (£12.00)
The gentle freshness of water is combined with the efficient cleansing properties of micellar particles. Skin is thoroughly cleansed, and appears freshly hydrated and radiant.

I was looking for a good, vegan and cruelty-free alternative to my usual Garnier micellar water, and this one was actually amongst top-rated products on the feelunique website. The price is a little higher than what I'd expect to pay for a bottle of micellar water, but I thought it was worth a try, and I definitely wasn't disappointed! This micellar water gently melts away all your makeup without needing to rub, leaving your skin feeling fresh and clean. It's definitely as effective as the Garnier micellar water, although it does struggle a little more with waterproof mascara. The formula also feels more 'concentrated' - you need much less product per application to achieve the same results.

Overall, I am very pleased with my Lumene purchases, and will definitely be checking out more of their products in the future. Again, this post isn't sponsored in any way - I am just genuinely impressed with this brand, and wanted to share it with you, loves! It's not easy finding vegan, cruelty-free skincare products that actually work - it's sad how many brands still choose to test on animals, honestly. I've been on the lookout for good skincare and makeup alternatives, so will be sharing with you more in future posts. x

Have you tried Lumene skincare before? What skincare products have you been loving lately? 

Wednesday, 1 August 2018

Meet Cinnamon Roll, my baby hamster

Hello, my loves! Today, I want to introduce you all to someone very, very special - my little Syrian hamster, named Cinnamon Roll. We got him just over a week ago (it was an early birthday present from my partner), and I love him so much that I just couldn't wait to share with you the happy news! Cinnamon Roll is currently about 10 weeks old, and it is the cutest, fluffiest bundle of joy that I've ever seen!

A sneak peek of the current cage. :) 

Me and my boyfriend always wanted to keep a pet, and a little Syrian hamster seemed like a perfect addition to our family. We wanted to give him the most amazing home possible, so we invested in a large Living World Green Eco Habitat tank, which is 95cm wide and 49cm high, giving him lots of room to run around and explore. We also bought him lots of toys, places to hide, an exercise wheel (which I recently upgraded as the initial one ended up being too small!), food and treats. It's still work in progress, and I would like to eventually give the cage more of a theme (I'm thinking maybe a woodland or rainforest theme), but I think it's a good start. Let me know if you would like to see a more detailed hamster cage tour!

The minute I laid my eyes on this little hamster, I knew he was the one I wanted to get! He was all curled up in the corner, shy and super adorable. We've been getting to know him over the past week, but it's still early days. For now, we're just giving him space and letting him adjust to the new environment (as much as I'd love to just go ahead and give him a proper cuddle!).

So far, Cinnamon Roll seems to be adjusting very well to its new home. He's super curious and loves to explore his cage, which is so heart-warming to watch! He's still a little shy and quite easily startled, which of course is completely expected. He's made a nest and moved his toys inside one of the wooden houses, which seem to be his favourite spot to hide and rest. I've read up quite a lot on taming hamsters, and whilst they're naturally quite curious and friendly, we're being patient and taking things slow. I have yet to handle him properly, but it's okay as we just want him to fully adjust to his new home!

I hope you enjoyed this post, and please let me know if you'd like to see more updates from Cinnamon Roll's life! I am thinking of creating an Instagram page for him, and perhaps preparing some homemade hamster treats - let me know if you'd like to see a post on that! :)

What pets do you have? Please, tell me all about them! :) 
Follow on Bloglovin

Thursday, 19 July 2018

100 lifestyle blog post ideas!

Hello, my loves! Today, I am excited to share with you 100 lifestyle blog post ideas, that will hopefully help you out if you ever happen to hit a creative block. I think that it's only natural to feel a lack of inspiration from time to time, especially if you've been blogging for a while. Whenever I feel creative, I like to write down any blog post ideas that come to mind in a little notebook, and use them later on. There is an endless amount of things that you can talk about as a lifestyle blogger, so I've compiled a list of some of my go-to ideas. This includes everything from travel, blogging to food and personal posts - I really hope that you find them useful!

1. Share everything that you eat in a day
2. Your favourite smoothie recipes
3. Your favourite quick meal recipes (less than 20 minutes to prepare, or 3 ingredients or less)
4. Review your local restaurant, bakery, coffee shop, etc.
5. 'Cook with me' post where you try out a recipe with your readers for the first time
6. Share your favourite cookbooks
7. Your best cooking/baking tips
8. Your favourite healthy snacks
9. Round-up of your favourite breakfast/lunch/dinner recipes
10. Grocery haul
11. Your best food photography tips
12. Your favourite seasonal recipes (Christmas, Thanksgiving, etc.)
13. School/work lunch ideas
14. Tell us about the best restaurant you've ever been to

15. Share your morning/evening routine
16. Your lazy weekend routine
17. Random facts about yourself
18. Share your favourite motivational quotes
19. Five things that make you happy
20. Five things that annoy you (pet peeves)
21. Five things that inspire you
22. Story time post - share some interesting, embarrassing, funny stories from your life
23. Share your favourite childhood memory
24. Write a letter to your young (or future) self
25. Talk about a challenging time in your life, and how you've overcome it
26. Share some scary ghost/paranormal experiences (perfect for Halloween!)
27. Tips for people starting college (share your experiences)
28. Nostalgia post - share your favourite games, TV shows, toys etc. from your childhood
29. Share a typical day in your life
30. Talk about your goals and dreams for the future
31. Who inspires you the most in your life?
32. The most important lessons you've learned/ in your life
33. Tell us about your pet (if you have one)
34. 'Get to know me' tag
35. Five things that you are the most grateful for
36. Your best tips on how to stay organised
37. Bullet journal ideas
38. Your current travel wishlist
39. Tell us about the last place you've travelled to
40. Your beauty routine when travelling
41. A travel guide to visiting your home town/country
42. Your best tips for travelling alone
43. Your tips on how to save money when travelling
44. Share your scariest/funniest experiences when travelling
45. What's in your travel suitcase?
46. Review the last hotel you've stayed at
47. Share your first time abroad experience
48. A travel guide to your favourite city
49. Your top destinations for a summer/winter holiday
50. Your best safety tips for travelling
51. Your tips for taking travel photos
52. Your all-time favourite books
53. Your all-time favourite films and TV shows
54. Your all-time favourite games
55. Your stationery collection - shows us what you have!
56. Your all-time favourite apps
57. Share some of your favourite bloggers
58. Monthly/weekly Instagram roundup
59. Pinterest finds of the week/month
60. Review the last TV show/film you've watched
61. The worst film you've ever seen?
62. Review the last book you've read
63. Your favourite podcasts
64. Your favourite YouTube channels
65. Your favourite social media accounts to follow
66. Share your guilty pleasures - songs, films, etc.
67. Your all-time favourite songs
68. Your playlist for relaxing/date night/night out, etc.

69. Share your current workout routine
70. Share your workout playlist
71. Your best tips on staying fit and healthy
72. Share your health goals
73. Your tips on how to motivate yourself to workout
74. Talk about your favourite sport
75. Your favourite 'at home' workout
76. Have you ever been on a diet? Share your experience
77. The most important lessons you've learned as a blogger
78. Common blogging mistakes
79. Your top tips for starting a blog
80. Your best blog photography tips
81. Share your favourite blog resources - fonts, templates, etc.
82. Round-up of your most popular posts from the past year
83. Share your entire blogging process
84. Money-saving tips for new bloggers
85. Why did you start blogging?
86. Types of posts that get the most views
87. Your best photo-editing tips
88. Your best tips on growing a blog audience
89. Share your favourite blogging inspirations
90. Share your blogging goals (monthly or weekly)
91. Nail art of the month
92. Outfit of the day
93. Seasonal gift guides - Christmas, Valentine's Day, etc.
94. Budget celebration ideas - birthdays, anniversaries, etc.
95. Your Christmas/birthday wishlist
96. Your favourite accessories
97. Your top five favourite outfits
98. DIY decoration ideas
99. What's on your desk
100. Room/house tour

And that's about it! Hope you enjoyed these post ideas, and will find them useful. What are your main sources of blog post inspiration? 
Follow on Bloglovin

Wednesday, 11 July 2018

Tarte 'Rainforest of the Sea Vol. III' palette review + swatches!

Hello, my loves! Today, I am very excited to talk to you about this gorgeous highlighting eyeshadow palette by Tarte, called 'Rainforest of the Sea Vol. III' (£30, Tarte). I stumbled across this one whilst browsing Tarte's vegan makeup section, and, as a huge fan of shimmery eyeshadows, I was immediately drawn to how pretty it looked. This was actually my first time any of Tarte's makeup, making this review a very special one! Today, I will be sharing with you my honest thoughts on this little palette. Hope you enjoy!

First of all, I must say that I am absolutely in love with the packaging, and how beautiful this palette looks when you first open it. The design is so pretty and colourful; but also sturdy, compact and therefore perfect for travel. This little palette contains eight neutral shades total - seven shimmery, and just one with a matte finish to use as a base. There is also a large mirror included with the palette, but no brush or any other application tool (which is fine by me, as I like to use my own brushes, anyway).

The consistency of these eyeshadows is quite interesting - powdery in the pan, but creamy when applied, so they glide on really easily and evenly. There is quite a lot of glittery fallout which can make the application quite messy, so I'd recommend using a slightly damp brush. Still, these shades are really beautiful, and I love the multi-dimensional, shimmery (almost metallic) finish they give.
Tarte claim that you can use these as highlighters for other parts of your face, and I can definitely see why - the lighter shades especially work really well on the cheekbones, giving you a fairly dramatic glow. My only real criticism is that when applied as eyeshadows, a lot of these shades end up looking quite similar. It could be because of how shimmery they are, but there just doesn't seem to be a lot of contrast - even the darkest shade looks fairly light when blended on the eyelids. Because of this, it can be a little difficult to create more elaborate looks - I think that these work better if you just wear one or two shades at a time (which can be nice if you want something simple and uncomplicated).

Rainforest of the Sea Vol. III offers a very warm, neutral range of shades, which include:
Escape. Light, slightly pink nude shade. One of the more pigmented shades in the palette; it works beautifully for highlighting cheekbones on paler skintones.
Tiki. The only matte shade in this palette. Works well as a base/transition eyeshadow.
Heat wave. Soft beige with very warm, pink undertones. Not quite as pigmented, it looks fairly similar to Escape when applied as eyeshadow.
Malibu. Soft, plum bronze shade. Probably my favourite in this palette, it's actually quite light when applied as eyeshadow and blends beautifully.
Rays. Light copper with peachy undertones. One of the more intense shades in the palette, it works really well when used as a highlighter.
Compass. Light champagne with warm undertones. Quite similar to other light shades in the palette, and not as pigmented when blended out.
Jewel. Bright, warm copper shade. It's another favourite in this palette, quite intense and versatile.
Treasure. Sparkling white shade with warm undertones. Very intense and metallic when applied, I like using it to highlight the inner corners of my eyes.

Overall, I am pleased with this palette - I think that it'd be a great choice if you are just starting out with makeup, and want something compact, versatile and easy to work with. Fans of matte formulations probably won't enjoy it as much (given as there is only one matte shade included!), but if you love a sparkling, shimmery finish, Rainforest of the Sea Vol. III will be right up your alley. My only real criticism is that there isn't a lot of contrast between the shades when applied (they definitely work best if you only want to mix two or three colours at a time). Also, I definitely recommend that you check out Tarte's vegan makeup range - there is a huge selection of awesome, cruelty-free products (not sponsored, although I wish!), and I'm super happy to see Tarte offer a dedicated vegan section!
Follow on Bloglovin

Friday, 6 July 2018

What I eat in a day on a vegan diet - weekend edition

Hello, loves! Today, I am very excited to share with you the first in a new series of 'what I eat in a day' posts. Personally, I am a huge fan of these types of posts and videos - as a helpless foodie, I am always interested in new recipes and ideas. Today, I want to show you what I eat on a typical weekend day. This is by no means a dietary guide on how you should be eating - my food choices are not always the healthiest, and I like to keep any meal prep as minimal as possible (I'm pretty lazy, and helpless in the kitchen!). A lot of people seem to think that eating vegan involves a lot of cooking and prep; so today, I want to show you just how easy it can be. Hope you enjoy!

As it was a Sunday after a pretty rough week, I decided to treat myself to my favourite breakfast ever - a cheese toastie! Cheese toasties were always my favourite thing to eat before I went vegan, and it wasn't easy to find an equally satisfying dairy-free replacement. Having said that, the Violife cheese slices come pretty close - they're probably my favourite vegan cheese alternative that I've found so far. They're super creamy and milky, and melt really nicely when grilled. I've topped the toastie with fresh tomato slices and some szechuan pepper, chilli and ginger salt. I've also had a few strawberries so that I could pretend that it was a healthier breakfast, ha!

Since we're still in the summer season and fruits are not as expensive, I typically have a nice, big fruit salad for lunch. I am not much of a chef and like to keep things simple, so I typically just mix whatever fruit I have left at home. For this delicious salad, I used one large banana, a few handful of strawberries and mandarin oranges. Bananas are always a staple for me in any fruit meal - they're super healthy and much more filling than most fruits. It might not be the most adventurous, but it was definitely a really nice, light and satisfying meal!

For a cheeky afternoon snack, I had this scrumptious almond vanilla dessert by Alpro. It was so yummy and convincingly milky, that I had to kept reminding myself that it's actually vegan! These pots are delicious and only 72 calories (I don't care about calories myself, but I think that the low calorie count would appeal to a lot of people), so I also had a banana for a 'healthy balance'!

For dinner, I decided to prepare one of my favourite, easy vegan meals. I had some mash potatoes, baked Quorn's fishless fingers (which honestly taste just as good as the real thing) and a simple mushroom stir fry. I am not a talented cook and like to keep my meal prep as easy as possible (I'm lazy!), but this dinner was still very satisfying and delicious. For vegan mash potatoes, you can use soy milk and a nice-tasting, dairy-free margarine like Vitalite to make them extra creamy. For the veggie stir fry, I simply chopped up some organic mushrooms and tomatoes and fried them in one teaspoon of vegetable oil. I also added some thyme, lemon and bay salt for extra flavour!

And that is my whole day of eating! I know that my food choices are probably not the most exciting, but I just wanted to show you how easy it is to eat vegan - you can even have grilled cheese! Thanks to the many dairy and meat-free alternatives, it's so effortless to swap out your favourites for an equally tasty, vegan option. Hope you enjoyed this post, and let me know if you'd like to see more content like this! 


Sunday, 1 July 2018

Come shopping with me! My weekly vegan groceries

Hello, my loves! Today, I am inviting you to go on a fully-vegan, fully-awesome shopping trip with me! I've had a lot of questions regarding my current vegan diet and dairy/meat alternatives, so I wanted to show you just how many amazing options there are. I find that a lot of supermarkets have really stepped up their game recently with regards to vegan foods, which makes me so, so happy! When I first tried going vegan over a year ago, I felt very restricted as there just weren't many options around. Now, with supermarket sections dedicated to meat and dairy-free alternatives (including things like cheese, yogurt, milk, pizza and even ice cream!), I am finding it completely effortless to do my weekly shopping. And, I think that even if you would never consider going vegan, it might be fun for you to try out some of these alternatives - a lot of them are seriously delicious! Hope you enjoy this shopping trip with me!

I always try to make fruits and veggies the main staple of my diet - they are awesome, yummy, and super healthy for you. A lot of fruit can be pretty expensive (especially if you try and buy them outside of season), so I tend to stick to cheaper options like bananas, oranges, potatoes and tomatoes. Bananas especially are only 78 pence (just over one US dollar) for about five, which is super cheap so I always like to stock up on those. I know that the supermarket quality will never be as good as buying organic fruits and veggies, but unfortunately we don't have anything else available in my area, so we have to make do!

Here's my lovely fruitful basket so far! We have bananas, organic (yes!) tomatoes, potatoes, cauliflower and kiwi (also pretty cheap). And, since we're still in the summer fruit season, I've decided to treat myself to some yummy strawberries and blueberries.

This is probably my favourite section in the entire supermarket! We have vegan cheese, pizza, desserts, and ready meals like lasagne and mac'n'cheese (I tried it before and it was absolutely delicious!). It's a lovely, growing vegan corner with all sorts of dairy-free alternatives, and I am just so happy to see these emerging more and more. Of course, these options can be a little more expensive, but personally I am more than happy to support vegan brand and alternatives, to help them grow and expand. When I first tried going vegan over a year ago, this little aisle didn't exist and there were nowhere near as many alternatives around, which made me feel really restricted. Anyway, I stocked up on some vegan cheese and a couple of ready meals. A few of you asked me about the vegan cheese - I always go for the Violife! cheese slices for my toasties and sandwiches. They are easily the best cheese alternative I've tried to date - creamy, milky without the milk, and melt really nicely when grilled.

Here is an entire section of dairy-free milk - how beautiful is that! Even before I went vegan, I would always buy dairy-free milk. It's just a personal preference, but something about cow's milk and the way it tastes has always put me off. As you can see, there are plenty of delicious vegan alternatives with all sorts of flavours available - almond, coconut, rice, oats, soy. My absolute favourite however is Alpro's hazelnut milk. If there is only one thing that you're willing to check out after reading today's post, please try the hazelnut milk - you won't regret it! It tastes just like Nutella, and I am not kidding! Another bonus of dairy-free milk is that it stays fresher for longer - it can keep for up to five days after opening, whereas with cow's milk you typically have to consume it within two or three days.

Time for some vegan yogurts and desserts! Alpro's yogurts have always been my favourite, and they taste so much like real dairy that I had to double-check the ingredients the first time I tried them! I love their fruity desserts, and they're also reasonably priced compared to a lot of other, slightly fancier dairy-free options. The Coconut Collaborative is another awesome brand for desserts - their mango pana cotta is my favourite indulgent treat ever. I highly recommend that you check it out if you can - I promise you, you won't even be able to tell that it's vegan!

Here's my delicious basket so far - on top of our healthy fruits and veggies, we have some more indulgent options like the Violife! cheese, milk, tofu and a couple of hazelnut chocolate desserts by Alpro (beyond delicious!). I've also picked up a few Innocent smoothies - I usually prefer to just eat my fruit whole, but an occasional smoothie can be a nice energy boost.

I admit that I'm quite lazy when it comes to cooking, so I like to stock up on some easy to prepare, frozen dinner options. These days, most supermarkets have a pretty sizeable vegetarian dinners options (which is amazing!), but you need to be careful as a lot of them aren't actually vegan. Luckily, my local shop has a little vegan corner with some delicious alternatives from Quorn, Aunt Bessie's and Linda McCartney's. My go-to favourites include Quorn's fishless fingers (as a former fish finger fanatic, I can vouch for how yummy these really are!), burgerssausages, and even 'chicken' nuggets. It's pretty awesome to see how much these brands are expanding their meat and dairy-free options, and I honestly believe that even if you would never consider going vegan, you'd definitely enjoy a lot of these.

I hope that you enjoyed this little shopping trip with me! I know that my shopping choices are not exactly the healthiest (I'm lazy!), but I just wanted to show you how many delicious, vegan alternatives are available out there. It's becoming more and more easy to swap out your favourites for equally yummy meat and dairy-free options, so definitely check out your local supermarket, if you're interested! And please, let me know if you enjoyed this post and would like to see more like these - your feedback helps me out a lot! :) 
Follow on Bloglovin

Tuesday, 26 June 2018

A postcard from Tenerife

Hello, my loves! Today, I am very excited to finally talk to you about our nine-year anniversary trip to Tenerife. We had the most wonderful time, and I think that it might actually be our favourite holiday to date. It may seem a little strange, but whenever I am on holiday, it almost feels like living in an alternate reality. You are so far away from everything that makes up your everyday life - the grind, the routine, all the daily problems and challenges. You don't need to worry about going to work or any other everyday responsibilities - you are free to relax, explore and do whatever you like. Travelling is one of the few things in life that makes me feel truly happy and carefree, and I wish I could enjoy it more often. We always make a point to save up to be able to go on holiday once a year, and when we do, it is always super special.

Being a tropical island, Tenerife is well-known for its beaches, and let me tell you - they are absolutely gorgeous! The sand there is a little odd - it's a volcanic island, so the sand is very dark, but it also feels incredibly soft and silky. The water is warm and crystal clear, and we really loved going for a daily swim in the ocean. As cliche as this may sounds, relaxing on a beautiful beach is probably my favourite part of any holiday! I just love being near the ocean - something about resting in the sun and listening to the heavy waves hit the shore is so soothing and calming. We spent every evening watching the sunset at the beach, delicious cocktail in hand; and that was honestly when I was at my happiest - it felt so blissful.

One of the craziest things we did was going up to the very top of the mount Teide, which is actually the highest peak of Spain at 3718 metres above sea level. It was a pretty rough climb, especially near the top where the air kept getting thinner and thinner, and it was quite difficult to breathe. It was definitely worth the effort, though. Sitting at the top of the highest peak of Spain right next to the crater of an active volcano, with sulfur gas bursting from the vents was quite an experience! At the top, you are way above the clouds and can see the entirety of Tenerife, as well as a few neighbouring islands. It definitely felt like an achievement, and something that I won't ever forget. The peak is surrounded by the beautiful Teide National Park, with lots of stunning sights, wild lizards and little trails to explore. Looking back at it now, it was probably my favourite thing we did whilst in Tenerife. Nothing makes me happier than being in nature and channelling my inner Dora the Explorer!

View from the top of the volcano - you can see the entire island!

We also went on a couple of boat trips to observe wild whales and dolphins. Tenerife is one of the best places in the world for whale-watching, and if you're lucky you might even spot some blue or humpback whales. We were lucky to see a few dolphins on our trip, but the highlight was definitely finding a nursery of pilot whales! It was a group of a few adult whales, travelling with lots and lots of cute little babies. We also spotted a baby sea turtle, which was one of the most adorable things I have ever witnessed. I love observing animals in the wild (it is not only much more ethical, but also more enjoyable than seeing then in captivity!), so these trips were definitely a highlight.

The infamous Tower of Power... It looks innocent here, but it still gives me nightmares!
On our last day, we visited the Siam Park, which is Europe's biggest and most popular water park. I've learned a lot about myself that day - first and foremost, I now know for a fact that I am not a thrill-seeker! Most flume rides were very long, extreme and almost entirely in the dark (something that really terrifies me), and I was too scared to go on a lot of them. However, I am proud to say that I have conquered Siam Park's biggest challenge - the infamous Tower of Power. This slide is a 30m vertical drop where you're in free-fall at nearly 80km/h, speeding down through a freaking shark tank. Yep! Needless to say, it was the most frightening seven seconds of my entire life. I honestly felt like I was about to die, and my body froze up so much I couldn't even scream! It was definitely an experience, but not one I'd ever want to repeat again.

I hope you've enjoyed reading about our adventures! It sure makes me feel a little nostalgic writing it all up. Next year, we're planning on going to Iceland to mix things up a little for our ten-year (!) anniversary (we've done two beach holidays in a row, so it's time for something different!). Have any of you been to Iceland?
Follow on Bloglovin
© Shoes and Glitter | All rights reserved.
Blog Layout Created by pipdig