Sunday, 26 November 2017

Tips For Travelling As A Couple + A Mini Travel Bucket List

Tips For Travelling As A Couple + Our Travel Wish List
My other half and I have lived together for almost three out of the four years we've been a couple. We've pretty much nailed it and whilst we have our routines and the ways we like to do things, travelling can throw that off a little. When away, we used to have the tendency to get on each others nerves a little - Not on purpose, we just weren't used to being out of our comfort zone.

These days when we travel, we're the greatest of teams. We know exactly what to do and what not to do and how to use having two of us to an advantage. We’ve travelled to a number of great places over the course of our relationship so I wanted to share our top tips for travelling together along with some of the destinations we hope to travel to in future. 

TIPS

Know your budget When choosing destinations or deciding on spending money it's important to understand how much you can realistically afford. Kudos if one of you can afford a weeks stay in the Maldives but if you're on more of  a weekend in Spain kind of budget, you're going to need to agree on something else. My partner and I set the same base budget each time and book our trip around that. If we want to spend anything more, we work out whether we can both afford it way ahead of time. 

Make lists We're list gals. We list what we need to pack, landmarks we want to see right down to places we want to eat and where we want to take photos. This way, we don't forget anything and we're able to plan our days so much more efficiently. With regards to lists for when we've reached our destination, we make sure we've both made equal contributions so one of us isn't left running around after the other. 

Compromise This follows on from the lists point perfectly and I find it's one of the key components to not only taking a trip together, but to a relationship in general. We've become very good at understanding what's important to one another so if we have 10 things we want to do but they're not doable in the time frame we have, we're able to compromise and recognise what's important to each other. Similarly when choosing a destination in the first place, over time it's become quite easy for us to compromise and come to an agreement.

Set aside relaxation time I don't know about you but we sure get pretty tired after a day of walking or sightseeing. With tiredness comes irritation and that's usually followed by unnecessary bickering. We make sure that whenever we're away, no matter how amazing the destination, we set aside some downtime. Whether it's lazing on a sun-lounger, taking a nap or just grabbing a coffee, we find that it makes such a difference to our trip when we take a moment to relax.

Split the duties You can apply this tip to your own travels in any way necessary but what I really mean is, don't have one person doing everything. If one person is carrying the bag, have the other navigate. If you picked dinner last night, have your partner pick it the next. We also apply this to money in terms of, if one of us picks up the bill, the other will get the taxi back. It's nothing that's set in stone, it's just something we've adopted over the years but it makes such a difference to our experience. 

DESTINATIONS ON OUR BUCKET LIST

Nashville, USA At the top of our destination list is the city of Nashville. We love the idea for a number of reasons such as music, culture and the fact that it's a place we feel really suits our personality. We love the idea of seeing a show at the Opry as much as eating some hot chicken watching an up and coming artist. 

Canada Canada is stunning in every aspect. Our dream would be to travel to multiple places like Toronto, Banff and Lake Louise. We'd love to climb some mountains, stay in a cabin and take in the amazing scenery. 

Santorini, Greece Santorini is on our list mostly for the reason it looks breathtaking but also because we loved Kos so much. The Greek culture is lovely and the locals are the most welcoming people we've ever met. 

San Francisco, USA San Fran has been on our travel list forever and if we could have afforded a two-stop trip next year, I absolutely would have booked it. We're dying to see Alcatraz and walk the Golden Gate Bridge. The city has such an amazing culture and I definitely think we'd leave our hearts in San Francisco. 

Havana, Cuba I always knew part of me wanted to travel to Havana but Victoria's post really cemented it for me. It's such a beautiful place and is so rich in history. I don't know the ins and outs of the political history surrounding Havana but it's definitely something I'll continue to read up on, especially with the hopes of travelling there one day.

Paris, France I never really thought about Paris until earlier in the year but now, I can't get it out of my head. Not only is it the most romantic city in the world but also, I know it's somewhere we'd love to explore. Neither of us have been to France previously so it's definitely on our list for the future. 
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I hope you enjoyed this little insight into our relationship when we travel. I'd love to hear your tips for travelling with friends or your other half and where are your dream destinations?

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Tuesday, 21 November 2017

4 Amazing Bloggers That Inspire Me

Ever since I started writing It's Hollie Ann, the way I consume content has changed. I no longer mindlessly scroll and skim read - I've become more appreciative of the stunning shots I see on Instagram and get incredibly excited when I read posts that make me think and reflect on a topic. 

As a result of this new way of consuming content, I often feel very inspired and what I choose to create myself is often influenced by a mixture of what people are currently talking about and by photographs and videos I see. I also take inspiration from the places I go and from events that occur in my personal life but as you can imagine, the biggest inspirations and influences to my blog are other bloggers. Today, I really wanted to talk you through four that I absolutely adore and how they inspire me. 

Joseph Burrows | When I really started getting into blogging I tried quite hard to scout out blogs that I would really enjoy. Since discovering Joe's back when he was known as Northern Blood, his blog has become permanently placed on my Google Homepage. His isn't the kind of blog I only click on after seeing a 'new post' tweet, it's a blog I click on because I'm too eager to find out what he's posted - It's inspiring because that's the kind of blog I want to be. I love his content and photography and well, his taste in music is just a bonus. He's crafted a pretty neat male lifestyle blog and I bloody well love it. 

Pint Sized Beauty | I used to read Lilly's blog every now and then but recently, I just can't stop myself. As if the fact she daily blogs and makes it look like a breeze isn't inspiring enough, like Joe, she's made her blog one that I want to open as soon as I sit at my desk. Her photography has an enviable level of continuity and though her blog features primarily beauty, she always manages to change up the themes of her posts and writes so genuinely. I trust her every word and if ever my gal pals need a recommendation, you can guarantee I'll be sending them a link from Pint Sized Beauty.

In The Frow | If you don't look at Victoria's posts like you look at presents on Christmas day, then who even are you. Every aspect from the photography and writing, right down to the layout gives me serious goals. Like her, I love the editorial style and after reading Cosmopolitan religiously for years, her blog, to me, seems like an extension of the most exquisite fashion pages. Like Lilly, I always trust her recommendations and despite growing such a large following, I think she's remained so true to herself. 

Beth Sandland | I'm relatively new to reading Beth's blog after her Instagram made me look like a real heart eyes emoji. I can't believe that in the year she's been writing on bethsandland.co.uk, I haven't started reading earlier. I find her real response to topics so amazing and she's so incredibly relatable. I love that her blog isn't niche specific and I enjoy reading her tips on blogging just as much as her London food recommendations. She's doing her thing and I think it's bloody great. 
I'd love to hear who or what inspires your content, let me know.

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Sunday, 19 November 2017

Why The Maybelline Tattoo Brow Is A Lazy Girls Best Friend

Why The Maybelline Tattoo Brow Is A Lazy Girls Best Friend
I love eyebrows. They're probably my favourite aspect of makeup to do and having groomed or filled brows really does make such a difference to my face. The problem? I'm lazy.  Through the week, I hate wearing a lot of makeup or makeup at all to be quite honest. It's a combination of not wanting to get up early to do it and not wanting perfectly defined brows whilst wearing little to no other makeup. The solution? Maybelline Tattoo Brow. 


I first used this just over a month ago on a Sunday night. Honestly, I was quite terrified. After carefully painting the gel over my brows and leaving it for about 20 minutes I just had to peel it off out of sheer panic and absolute excitement. My brows looked amazing - Even up close, they looked natural. I struggled getting a precise application with the wand at first but I just switched to a finer brush and it worked a treat. 



For the next few days my brows held up well and didn't appear patchy. I used the medium shade for my light brown hair and though it did start appearing slightly red, it still matched really well. I started using a brow pencil on the third day just to tidy them up as they began to fade but I believe that if you keep this on for over an hour, they last a lot longer. I've continued to use it almost every week to give my brows a base and it's exactly the look I was hoping to achieve for those no makeup days.  Win

Having easy to use products in my lazy makeup routine is so important to me. What are your go-to products for lazy make-up?

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Thursday, 16 November 2017

What I Ordered When Missguided Had 50% Off

Missguided 50% Off
Public service announcement, Missguided have 50% off today! You'd be absolutely crazy to not have a browse and since I really want to get this post up before everything is out of stock, I thought I'd quickly share what I've ordered. Note, you do need to order 'Babe50' at checkout and all delivery is standard.

The first things I picked up were two t-shirts from the Barbie collection. I've had my eye on them for absolutely ages and since they worked out to £9 each, I couldn't leave them there. They'll look adorable over leggings, jeans or tucked into shorts.

Next, I picked up a iridescent black sequin dress. I've been dying to find one for the upcoming party season but they either seem too pricey or just not the right style. I'm so hoping it fits well because it will be perfect for my Christmas party.

I picked up this Nashville, Tennessee sweatshirt after spotting it months ago! I tried to get my hands on the grey version but it was already out of stock and I figured this forest green would actually be perfect for this season and into the spring.

Lastly, I opted for two basic white t-shirts. One has a mesh panel which I think would be great for dressing up or down. The second has 'Honey' written across it and quite frankly, I couldn't resist. I actually think these pieces will be my most worn because they're so versatile.

I hope you enjoyed this spur of the moment type of post. Let me know if you picked anything up!


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Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Why I Fell Out Of Love With My Playlist Posts

I love music content. Whether it's reading, writing, watching, listening or looking, you name it I love it. Just over a year ago I started writing a monthly 'favourites playlist' which basically consisted of me taking everything I'd added to my Favourites on Deezer that month and giving you a round up of why I liked it. 

To begin with, I loved writing it and I loved writing it because I was discovering so much music. It wasn't just new releases, it was old music that I'd never heard or bands that were up and coming, it was the music you find on small festival stages and also some headliners I'd never thought to listen to. I started writing it in a year I where live music was such a big part of my life, I crammed three festivals into 2016 and who knows how many gigs in between. 

For the last few months of 2016 and the start of 2017 I was enjoying putting the posts together but as time went on I started to dread them. When the end of the month came around, I hated not having anything 'new' to add to the list. I felt like I was forcing myself to listen to music I didn't always have an interest in. I think the fact there was very little engagement contributed to me falling out of love with them - I know it's not all about the views and comments but when you work to put together a post, you hope people will enjoy it. 

I appreciate it's difficult to make those kinds of posts engaging because at the end of the day it's still just little old me, churning out a list of songs I've been listening to that month. I think going forward when there's an occasion, event or a song or album I'm damn right passionate about, I'll share it in the same 'favourite playlist' format but I really want to focus on other types of music content like live music and who to watch at festivals and hopefully, inject a bit more of me into the posts. 

Let me know what kinds of music content you like - I'd love some inspiration from you guys!

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Sunday, 5 November 2017

Latest Beauty Additions & Why I Can't Stop Using Them

Latest Beauty Additions & Why I Can't Stop Using Them
I love playing with makeup. Whether it's a brand new release or a cult favourite, nothing gives me more joy than taking a new product out of it's box and trying it for the first time. Now, I only tend to keep products that I really love so I manage to rotate my collection a lot because it's not so big but every now and then, some things stick. In this case, six things have stuck and here's why.

Radiance Reveal Concealer, Bourjois | I've definitely over mentioned this product but I just can't live without it and everyone needs to know it exists. It's creamy formula sits so well over almost all of my foundations and looks so natural when blended with a damp sponge. It does tend to crease but it's nothing that a soft sweep of powder doesn't solve. It has such a beautiful dewy finish and I reach for it more than any other concealer in my drawer. 

Hangover Primer, Too Faced | No joke, my skin has never looked as good after a primer as it does when I use this. I mentioned in my summer glow post that I use it with and without makeup because it just brightens up my face so much and adds a lovely glow to my complexion. It's not your usual slippery, silicone primer. It's a thicker consistency and almost feels like a sheer cream - My foundation glides over it like a dream and doesn't separate. 

Killawatt Highlighting Duo, Fenty Beauty | I picked up the duo in Lightening Dust and Fire Crystal and at first, I wasn't sure how I felt about them. Fast forward a month and now that my tan has faded, I absolutely love them. Lightening Dust is surprisingly natural looking and I actually like wearing it with just a tinted moisturiser as well as a full face of makeup. Fire Crystal is just stunning. I didn't think I'd get the wear out of it but it's perfect for a night out and I'm so excited to wear it over Christmas and shine like a bauble. 

De-Slick, Urban Decay | From the first time I tried this, I was absolutely in love. I'd already tried All Nighter which didn't really work out for me but my first night out using this, I couldn't believe how much my makeup didn't budge. It's worked wonders with every product I've used, even the most slippery foundations, and it also works well for foiling eyeshadow and making a powdered face look less cakey. I. Love. It. I actually cheated with this one - I've been using De-Slick for years but this just happens to be a new bottle.

Ka-Brow, Benefit* | As I mentioned in my brow post, this has to be the creamiest, most easy to work with and best colour matched pomade I've tried so far. I didn't know how I'd get on with this at first but it glides on like a dream. I've used it with the brush included and some other ones from my collection and it works wonders with every single one. I highly recommend trying this if you haven't already!

Cloud Paint, Glossier | I have to be honest, I wasn't entirely sure how I'd feel about this product to begin with but since trying it over the past few weeks, it's found it's way into my every day makeup stash. I touched on it briefly in my Glossier haul but to mention again, I've been using this on my cheeks for a subtle rosy glow and also as a stain on my lips. I'm planning on picking up some more shades in the future because they really are so versatile.
 I hope you've enjoyed hearing about the makeup I've been loving recently. What have you recently added to your beauty stash?

*This post contains a PR sample

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