The Weekender!

February payday is just around the corner & you have booked a cheeky little weekend away with your loved one, the girls, a family break or you’re away with work (boooo!).

You don’t want to carry a suitcase because it’s too big for just your undies & a few outfit changes, but you ALWAYS end up with 6 small bags & another full of your toiletries! (come on girls, I know this isn’t just me!).

I’ve put together a collection of weekend bags to cater for all weekends & all budgets!  Weekend away playing bingo with Granny Joan? Romantic Birthday city break with Mr Perfect?  Wild Hen Do with the girls?  You’ve come to the right place!

Family Weekend

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The lovely Cath Kidston is a very cute way to travel away with the family.  Great for throwing everything in & putting in the car, it’s waterproof & will hold all of your essentials for that one night away.

 

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This is their foldaway overnight bag & at just £40.00, you’ll have Aunt Susanne ordering one as soon as you arrive.  With matching travel items available here, it’s a nice little item to have stashed away!

Festival / Camping Getaway 

Your going camping or to that festival you’ve been planning all summer, but you want to look the part?  ASOS have this little beauty to answer your prayers!

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The printed canvas design on this Mi Pac Weekend Travel Bag will have you fitting in immediately & with a removable shoulder strap, it’s easy to lug around to the campsite showers.  It’s also wipe down which is perfect for those festival spillages!

Was £34.99, now £25.00.  You can get it here!

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Romantic City/Countryside Break

Your man has just told you to pack a bag for the weekend.  He’s whisking you away to a log cabin/weekend in London.  For no reason.  This could be it.  It could be your big proposal.  Do you really want to be taking that tatty old holdall that you’ve had since your last school trip to Devon?!

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No!  This is your big day.  This is your future husband we’re talking about here! You NEED something to scream ‘LOOK AT ME!  I AM IN LOVE!’

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Even if your weekend turns into a big flop (his big ‘surprise’ was his promotion at work. Yuk!), then this little beauty will make up for EVERYTHING!!!

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The Louis Vuitton Keepall collection is everything.  It’s something I look at and I go weak at the knees.  The David Beckham of weekend bags if you like.   Starting from around £805.00, this little baby will last you a lifetime!

Activity Weekend

It was January, you needed to get fit, you & the girls had too much wine.  Next thing you know, you ended up booking yourself on a ‘health retreat’ activities weekend.  Running, biking, swimming.  You name it, you’ve signed up to it.

Well now it’s March & you’ve realised that A) You’re never drinking again and B) You actually own no sports gear whatsoever.  In the hope of at least looking like you know what you’re doing, here is your perfect companion to help get you through the weekend!

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This Nike Brasilia Large Holdall can be picked up from Argos & at the moment there is £8.00 off!  Get it online  here!

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I promise, if you turn up with this, Sporty Steve the swimming instructor will be thinking you’re fit as a fiddle from the get go!  Also a nice option to have stashed away for when you do choose to join that gym you have been promising to join!

Working Weekend

So, you said yes MONTHS AGO to that email that went around the office about that conference in Manchester.

I know, I know, WHY?!  But you did (silly!) and the only weekend bag you have is that big fluffy, faux fur number with the pompoms that is fine for those girly sleepovers, but hello! you’re an independent professional woman (or that’s what you want your boss to think!), well up steps River Island.

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A firm high street fave, this is the perfect option to board the early Train & check into the hotel ready to greet Rob from the desk opposite, who you have never spoken to, but find yourself sharing the whole weekend with.

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This is black, quilted & is big enough for everything you would need for the weekend.  Did I mention it’s only £65.00?

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With matching wheelie case & makeup bag available here, you can’t go wrong!

Shopping Weekend

You & the girls have booked a hotel in the city of London & are going to shop until you physically drop (preferably into a large mojito!).

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This Radley large weekender is perfect to take for the whole weekend but also handy to stash away your shopping bags during the day.

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With the pretty pink colours & the signature dog design, this will soon become a firm favourite in your collection!  Prices start from around £90.00 & you can see a familiar  version here.

Hen Do / Party Weekend

You’re planning a weekend clubbing or you’re flying out to Ibiza.

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Another perfect option by River Island.  It has an adjustable shoulder strap & with its black snake print design, it’s fun & a bit more ‘out there’ compared to your work or romantic weekend getaway bags!

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Large enough for a few outfit changes & even enough room for a bottle of champagne, at £65.00 this will be a firm favourite for your girlie weekends!  View this bag here!

The All-Rounder!

There are some things in life that are just perfect for any situation.

Like, a Chanel perfume or a Clarins mascara.

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You can add Longchamp shoppers & travel bags to that list.  These are absolutely perfect for anything.

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Versatile & stylish, these will last you forever.

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Starting from around £53.00, Selfridges have an amazing collection in all shapes & colours.

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SO!  There you have it!  What are you waiting for?!  GET PACKING! x

Girls Night – Part Two

So, Part One of Girls Night saw me get my makeup done by the lovely Sasha at Clarins in Debenhams.

The girls absolutely loved my final look & I was glad to see they had already ordered a bottle of Pinot for my arrival!

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We decided to meet at The Crown at Iverley.  It’s a restaurant/bar located in a nearby village of Stourbridge, West Midlands.

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We always love to catchup over drinks & food & knowing both here are lovely, it was a winner.

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On a Thursday & Friday evening, The Crown do a special cocktail deal: 5 cocktails for £20.00.  Anybody who drinks cocktails on a night out will know what an amazing deal that is!  The list of cocktails they offer is ENDLESS!  I had to stop looking at the menu & just pick one at random!

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We arrived at 7pm & our table was at 9pm.  The bar area was absolutely heaving.  A fantastic atmosphere with really friendly bar staff.  No cocktail was too much trouble.

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We got to our table around 8:45pm and embarked on the tough choice of picking what to eat!

We noticed the specials board & instantly chose the Steak.  The Crown also have a Steak Night on a Tuesday evening & I honestly could not recommend it enough!  You really do get a great deal on such a lovely meal.

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It came with big, fat homemade chips, an oversized mushroom & peppercorn sauce.  I never normally order/eat chips but oh wow, I made an exception for these!

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No matter how full we are, we always have to see the dessert menu!  We instantly saw a ‘Popcorn Cheesecake’ & ordered three of them!  I was not disappointed!  Washed down with another bottle of Pinot, the night was concluded.

If you’re in or around the West Midlands/Stourbridge area, be sure to check it out!  There are some lovely countryside walks around so maybe pop in for a drink to warm your hands on the roaring log fire!

You can access their website here. 

Enjoy!

Girls Night – Part One

So it’s Friday night, you’ve been to work all week, and you’re going out with your girls in the evening.

If you’re anything like me, you can do your makeup to a certain standard, & that’s about it.

My two friends are absolutely stunning & their makeup ALWAYS looks flawless.

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I decided to up my game & book myself in to Clarins for a makeover.  All of my skincare is by Clarins.  I will not use anything else!  I also use their foundation & have done since the young age of 15.

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I decided to book in at 5:30pm on a Friday evening.  I finish work at 5pm & work close to a Debenhams and a Clarins counter.   I was due to meet the girls at 7pm & so I thought this would give me enough time to get home & whack on a dress!

I arrived at 5:30pm and was greeted by the lovely Sasha who instantly made me feel at home.

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She began by taking off my makeup from the day & cleansing, all with Clarins products.

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She then went & applied my makeup starting with face cream, foundation and concealer.  I use their True Radiance foundation (£27.50).

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She then started to contour which is the most exciting thing ever.  I had never, nor had I ever even attempted to contour.  I am no Kylie Jenner let me tell you.  Sasha knew exactly what would suit me, what colours to use, the fact that I like to use bronzer (I believe in Summer all year round!).  She used little tricks like applying eyeshadows as blusher etc.  She’s a makeup genius.

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The fact that I have long eyelashes, she utilised those with their Wonder Perfect mascara, which is the best thing since sliced bread!  No more drugstore mascaras for me!  Good bye hard earned salary!

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She also used a liquid eyeliner on me because I said I never used it.  She created the perfect little flick.

Sasha chatted to me about what colours I preferred, what I normally wore & what I would like to try.  We also had some general chitchat, which is lovely when you’re sat thinking ‘did I forget to pluck my eyebrows?!’  She really made me feel at ease and it was a truly relaxing experience.

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She then went and applied eyeshadow – I went for a light eye and a louder lip.  I ALWAYS go for the dark eye, pale lip, but in the hands of an expert, I wanted something different.

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The whole look was finished off with some of their Fixing Spray.  I ended up buying some of this on the evening (along with the Wonder Perfect Mascara).  I am SO glad that I did!

My makeup literally lasted 7 hours straight.  Even my lipstick did not budge.  This, may I add, was after a 3 course meal, cocktails AND wine with my girlfriends!  I was so impressed!

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I have honestly never felt so ladylike & walked out of Debenhams feeling a million dollars!  As it’s my anniversary next weekend, I am looking to go back & let her work her magic on me again!  I need her to move in with me ASAP!

So, I was all set for my evening with my girls.  Be sure to check back in the next few days to see what we got up!

 

Vacation: Marbella Day Five

Our last day had arrived!

With 3 hours sleep, we made sure every alarm possible was set so we could enjoy our last few hours in Marbella!

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I had planned a boat trip over to Marbella Old Town at 11am, so we made sure we were ready!

A beautiful walk down to the Port saw any hangover drift away!

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The boat ride over to the Old Town was a highlight of the holiday. It was a perfect way to spend our last morning in Marbella.

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The views were utterly magnificent & I found myself pinching myself several times!

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Clear blue skies for miles & a beautiful sea breeze found ourselves feeling very lucky indeed!

After around 35 minutes, we were dropped at the beach. A little walk through shops, cafes & restaurants saw us in the Old Town.

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We love it here in the day time!

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The orange tress & the cute little shops are a must for us when in Marbella!

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We brought lots of lovely things to remember Marbella by & then stopped for some lunch.

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There was a singer in the square who was singing lots of beautiful love songs.

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It was like being in a film and we felt quite emotional that the holiday was soon coming to an end!

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After an amazing few hours, we got the boat back to Puerto Banus where we did some last minute shopping before catching our transfer back to the airport!

We had a late flight back to East Midlands, but with no delays & a good flight, we made it back to England with a lifetimes worth of memories.

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The holiday was absolutely perfect & I feel so lucky to have spent such a wonderful 5 days with such beautiful people in an utterly remarkable place!

Now I just need to book my next adventure…

Vacation: Day Four

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Day Four saw us somehow get up bright & early with our last but one breakfast on the balcony!

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We were getting very upset that the holiday was almost over, but we tried not to think about it!

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We had a perfect relaxing pool day catching the last bit of sunshine & lounging around with a book.

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We took a break from the 35 degree heat with some wine & some lunch at the pool bar!

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We then got ready for our last night out in Puerto Banus!

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After a bottle of cava on our balcony, we had just enough time for some last minute photos before our taxi arrived.

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When we arrived on Day One, I had emailed La Sala restaurant to see if we could reserve a table. With waiting lists of 3 weeks, I didn’t know what to expect.

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Thankfully, we got given a table & we were over the moon!

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The busiest place by far in Puerto Banus, we grabbed a pre-dinner cocktail at the busy bar!

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This is one of the best places I have been!

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Live music, fantastic food, friendly people, it was perfect!

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I couldn’t have picked anywhere else for our last night!

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After our meal, we decided to order a bottle of champagne to finish off our holiday in style.

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After La Sala closed at 2am, we then got given free entry into Aqwa Mist, which is the club attached.

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The music was fantastic & we stayed here until around 4am.

We had a plane to catch the following day, but we were having such a great time, we didn’t mind!

Come back to see what we did with our final hours in Marbella!

 

Vacation: Marbella Day Two

Hello & welcome to day two!

After a perfect sleep, we got up bright & early to enjoy breakfast in the sunshine!

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We had done a food shop on our first afternoon & stocked up on bread, meats, cheeses, fruit & yoghurt so we could enjoy our breakfasts on our balcony!

We then got dressed & ready for a pool day!

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The pool area at the Vasari is beautiful.

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It’s so quiet & peaceful, with palm trees & bright flowers that moving from the pool is a hard task!

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We grabbed some morning smoothies which are made fresh at the pool bar.  I went for fresh mango. Perfect in the sunshine!

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At lunch time, we grabbed a salad & a gorgeous glass of wine at the pool bar.

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With temperatures hitting over 30 degrees, we were in pure heaven! Our holiday tans were officially started!

After a fantastic pool day, we got ready for a lovely little evening in Marbella Old Town.

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Marbella Old Town is a firm favourite of mine & I love eating here!

Less commercialised than the strip in Puerto Banus, all food is traditional Spanish.

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With the old churches & restaurants lit up in the evenings, it’s just the most beautiful place.

We chose a restaurant on the corner & sat there for the majority of the evening.

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With the candles twinkling & the white wine flowing, we were so happy.

After our meal & around 1am, we grabbed a taxi back into Puerto Banus.

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With nothing really closing until the early hours, we decided to go to the Shisha Lounge on the edge of the Port.

Overlooking the sea & underneath the stars, we sat there & relaxed with a cocktail & some apple flavoured shisha.

I do not think we had ever been so chilled!

Around 3am, we got a taxi back to the Resort ready to grab some beauty sleep ready for Day Three! x

 

Vacation: Marbella Day One

So the time had come.  We had been working hard for months like little beavers, counting down to this day.

HOLIDAY TIME!

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Me & the girls visited Marbella, Spain last year for a girlie break & we loved it so much that we just HAD to go back this year!

Flying from East Midlands Airport with Ryanair, our flight was just after 6am.  I love early flights! It just means that you have a full day at your destination – what could be better than that?!

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After picking up breakfast & some duty free, we boarded our plane!

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We arrived into Malaga Airport just after 10am Spanish time & headed off to grab our transfers.

We booked private transfers so we were greeted by a lovely old Spanish gentleman who took us away to our resort.

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We stayed at the Vasari Vacation Resort which is located in Puerto Banus.  I stayed here twice last year, & I could not recommend the place more! It is beautiful. The location is fantastic – 5 minute walk to the Port where you will find all the bars, restaurants & clubs. It’s gated with security so safety is fully taken care of.  There is a supermarket at the end of the road, so stocking up your fridge & cupboards is no problem!

The drive from Malaga Airport to Marbella/Puerto Banus is around 40 minutes. We arrived to the Resort just after midday.  Check-in time is normally around 4pm & therefore our room wasn’t quite ready.  We LOVE the pool bar at the resort so we grabbed some lunch & a bottle of Cava.

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Reception said we could change into our pool wear in the reception bathroom, so we changed & grabbed some sun loungers & another bottle of Cava!

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When we finally got into our room, we were not disappointed!  We had a huge balcony, which is great as we love to sit out on an evening & get ready.  For our first night I wore a River Island dress, my Michael Kors shoes & carried my DKNY bag.

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We took a taxi to the Port around 10pm & grabbed some dinner at Picasso’s.  We love it here! The food & the atmosphere are second to none.  People queue to get in on an evening as everyone wants to attend this popular pizzeria. We ate so much food that we seriously could not move!

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Just look at the view we had over dinner! It truly is surreal!

After dinner we went to a few bars on the strip & then called it a night around 1am.  It had been a long day & an early start & we were so excited for the next few days!

Be sure to come back to see what we got up to on Day Two! x