27 October 2018

Saving Money with a Go Los Angeles Card.

When we began planning our Los Angeles trip, we made a list of the attractions we wanted to visit during our stay. Then we found out about the Go Los Angeles card by Smart Destinations. It's a good way of saving money versus paying for each attraction separately.

The Go Los Angeles card is available to buy from Attraction Tickets Direct, which we also used to buy our Disneyland tickets. The card covers 35 different attractions and you can get 1, 2, 3, 5 or 7 day tickets that can be used over the space of 14 days. We bought 5 day tickets, as Universal Studios Hollywood is only included on tickets with 3 days or more.

You can visit more than one attraction in the same day as long as you get to your last one of the day by 5:30pm. 

We visited the Queen Mary on our first full day. It was really interesting and you get to pick between one of three tours to do while on board. If I was in Southern California again, I wouldn't hesitate to go back and do one of the other two tours.

In the afternoon of the same day, we did a two and half hour whale watching cruise. You'll have to excuse the fact that I have no photographic evidence of this as I spent the majority of it feeling seasick and counting down til we headed back to land! We didn't see any whales while on the tour but we did see hundreds of dolphins right next to the boat.

We were planning to drive down to San Diego Zoo as this is also included on the card (or a visit to Legoland California) but we got an hour into the drive and headed back to LA. Los Angeles Zoo is another attraction available so that became our back up plan. I'm so glad we decided to do this, not only did we save ourselves a five hour drive there and back but LA Zoo was really quiet. This meant we were able to talk to the employees one on one about the animals and it was a great experience.

Universal Studios Hollywood was one of my favourite days of the whole holiday. The tram tour is a must do, and as a Harry Potter fan, The Wizarding World was a highlight. As for shows, Waterworld is a must watch.

Sony Studios Tour was good. We got to visit soundstage where The Goldbergs is filmed, which is one of my favourite shows. It was cool to actually be on the set where it's filmed and see all the details that are hard to notice on TV.

Warner Brothers Studio Tour Hollywood is a must do, especially for Friends fans. While the Sony tour is a walking tour, Warner Brothers is primarily a tram tour followed by a self guided tour around exhibits plus a photo op at Central Perk!

Six Flags Magic Mountain is a must visit for thrill seekers, these are some of the most intense rollercoasters I've ever been on. Not only was it a really good day out but it was so quiet that we hardly queued for anything!

The card costs £217 for a 5 day ticket though at the time we bought them, they were £206. If we had paid for everything on the day, it would have cost $417 which is about £325. Even if we booked everything in advance separately, it still would have cost about £273. 

If you're planning to visit Los Angeles, a Go LA card is the way to go.

Have you visited any of these attractions before?

25 October 2018

Glossybox VS Birchbox, October 2018.

The October editions of Birchbox and Glossybox have very different design themes. Glossybox have gone with the obvious Halloween Trick or Treat theme and Birchbox's is "autumnal nostalgia" with a springlike design for the box. Glossy win with the box design for me.

On a rolling subscription basis, the boxes actually cost the same price per month which is what makes these comparisons more interesting. Birchbox have mostly sample sizes whereas Glossybox feature mostly full sizes and a greater value for your money.

Let's start with Birchbox.

This month includes 2 full sizes, 3 sample sizes and 1 perfume sample. The total value of the full size products adds up to £11.95. Not the greatest to be honest.

BeautyPro ThermoTherapy Warming Gold Foil Mask (Full Size RRP £5.95)

"This hi-tech sheet mask in infused with hydrating hyaluronic acid and regenerating Q10. Its self-warming foil helps ingredients to deeply penetrate the skin to improve elasticity, reduce fine lines and boost glow."

Subscribers got to choose between this and the silver mask for this months. I choose this one as it sounder more suited to my skin type.

Gallinee Hydrating Face Cream

"Probiotics can do wonders for your complexion by helping promote healthy skin function. This lightweight creamy moisturiser contains a patented Triple Biotic Complex to deliver long-lasting hydration and brightness to all skin types."

I'm not keeping this. All the reviews on Birchbox from subscribers who've had it before say it smells disgusting and I don't doubt so many reviews when they all say the same thing!

Number 4 Lumiere d'Hiver Super Comb Prep & Protect

"This leave-in conditioner instantly detangles, provides a barrier against UV damage, and gives each strand a boost of lightweight moisture to prep your hair for the rest of your styling routine."

Meh. I'm not a big fan of receiving haircare in beauty boxes, even less so when they're small sample sizes.

Daily Concepts Multi-Functional Charcoal Soap Sponge (Full Size RRP £6)

"This 2-in-1 soap sponge combines a detoxifying charcoal cleanser with a gentle, exfoliating sponge so you can skip a step in your skincare routine."

I'll be using this, I'm just a little unsure if this is meant for the face or body?! So a little research is needed first.

Winky Lux Disco Gloss in Far Out

"This lip gloss might appear super bright and bold in its tube but once it makes contact with your lips, the pH-adjusting formula reveals a rosy hue."

Okay, so it may turn pink on skin contact but the chunks of glitter don't do it for me. I'm thirty years old! Hard pass.

I also got a sample of Joop! Wow! I quite like it.

The November sneak peek is a choice between two shades of a full size Manna Kadar Diamond Dust Rollerball Eyeshadow.

The October Glossybox contains four full sizes and one deluxe mini, adding up to a total box value of £68. There's no comparison here when it comes to value for money. Glossybox beat Birchbox every single month.

MUA Luxe Set & Reflect Finishing Kit (Full Size RRP £5)

"This vegan friendly and cruelty-free 2 in 1 compact is the perfect way to mattify your t-zone and top up your glow on the go. The luminescent highlighter helps you to achieve an intense, iridescent look in a single swipe."

The powder in this I could give or take, especially when one of the other products in the box is a loose powder but the highlighter in this? Stunning! I'm very happy with this.

This Works In Transit Camera Close Up (Deluxe Mini RRP £17)
"You'll be ready for your closeup with this cruelty-free mask, moisturiser and primer in one. The powerful blend of plant oils, Hyaluronic Acid, Argan and Starflower oils plus a hit of caffeine, result in a revitalising formula. This is the perfect way to rapidly erase the signs of fatigue, boost hydration and prep your skin for photo ready makeup."
Well, this sounds perfect, yes please! I haven't tried anything by This Works before but I have heard amazing things so I have high expectations for this.

Luna by Luna Cosmetics Loose Translucent Powder (Full size RRP £17)

"Hailing from New Jersey, this cruelty-free setting powder sets your makeup to keep your skin smooth for hours. We're in love with the lightweight formula that soaks up excess oil while softening fine lines and hiding pores."

I'm always going to need a setting powder and I'm not going to complain about having another one ready for when I've run out of my current one.

Illamasqua Antimatter Lipstick in Nebula (Full size RRP £20)

"The perfect clutch bag accomplice for your Halloween party, this cruelty-free lipstick from the British beauty brand with an edge will suit every outfit. The cushioned finish glides effortlessly onto your lips for an on-trend semi-matte finish. We're smitten with this girly bright pink that suits all skin tones."

This was the sneak peek and I love Illamasqua lipsticks so I was excited about this. I'll be saving this shade for spring rather than using it now but I'm really happy with this addition to my lipstick drawer.

Sleek Makeup Oh So Special Eyeshadow Palette (Full size RRP £8.99)

"Swap your summer shades for moodier, autumnal hues with this full-size cruelty-free palette. The 12 super pigmented, long-lasting, mineral based shades cover all bases from smoky and sophisticated to daytime chic."

I love getting eyeshadow palettes in beauty boxes and I'm a big fan of Sleek so this is a winner. This is the second sleek palette this year in glossy this year and the palettes are complete opposites shade wise.

The sneak peek for next month is a full size Huda Beauty matte liquid lipstick. And yes, you read that correctly.

As always, Glossybox wins and I'm counting down until I can cancel my annual subscription to Birchbox!

What do you think to these two boxes?


18 October 2018

We Got Engaged at Disneyland!

About a month ago, Glenn and I were preparing to fly out to Los Angeles. Glenn lets me do all the research about places to eat, where to stay and all that jazz.

But Glenn kept a plan to himself!

For our last five nights we stayed in Anaheim and bought five-day Disneyland tickets. On our first night there, we had a dinner reservation at Cafe Orleans and then just had a wander around the park. Glenn was adamant on getting a selfie in front of the castle, even though he isn't really that much of a Disney park person, but that's just what you do at Disney isn't it?
It was just part of his plan! Someone offered to take a photo of us for us, and as soon as Glenn got down on one knee, they started recording it so we can look back on this moment forever.

We're engaged!

15 October 2018

What I've Been Reading: September 2018.

When it came to reading, the month started off so well. The last week in September I was in Los Angeles and I didn't even read on the place there, never mind when I was actually on American soil. I did start a novel on the flight home though, but that's for next month's post!

We Were On A Break
Lindsey Kelk
Current Kindle Price: £2.99

"There's nothing worse than the last day of holiday. Oh wait, there is. When what should have been a proposal turns into a break, Liv and Adam find themselves on opposite sides of the life they had mapped out.

Friends and family all think they're crazy; Lin throws herself into work- animals are so much simpler than humas- and Adam tries to get himself out of the hole he's dug.

But as the short break becomes a chasm, can they find a way back to each other? Most importantly, do they want to?"

A cute, funny read. I've never read anything by Lindsey Kelk before but based on this, I'd give something else by her a go. I know we're over summer now, but this would be an ideal beach read if you're heading abroad somewhere warm!

Behind Her Eyes
Sarah Pinborough
Current Kindle price: £2.99

Since her husband walked out, Louise has made her son her world, supporting them both with her part-time job. But all that changes when she meets...

Young, successful and charming- Louise cannoy believe a man like him would look at her twice let alone her attracted to her. But all that comes to a grinding halt when she meets his wife...

Beautiful, elegant and sweet- Louise's new friend seems perfect in every way. As she becomes obsessed by this flawless couple, entangles in the intricate web of their marriage, they each, in turn, reach out to her.

But only when she gets to know them both does she begin to see the cracks... Is David really the man she thought she knew and is Adele as vulnerable as she appears?
Just what terrible secrets are they both hiding and how far will they go to keep them?"

I love Sarah Pinborough. A few months back, I was gushing over how great 13 minutes was and now, this. This will probably be the most fucked up ending (in a good way!) I'll read this year. She writes an amazing curveball, both books I've ended up in shock, I can't recommend either highly enough, though out of the two, 13 minutes is my favourite.

You Promised Me Forever
Monica Murphy
Current Kindle price: £2.49

"I've got it all, they say. I'm the starting quarterback for the best NFL team in the league. I'm rich. I'm famous. I can have any woman I want, any time I want.

Yeah, I've got everything- except for the one who got away. How do you move on from loving the same girl since you were in seventh grade? She promised me forever. Until forever got too hard and at nineteen, she dumped me.

By text message.

Now she's walked back into my life. Just as beautiful. Just as sweet. Just as smart. More grown up and incredibly sexy...
We're older now. Supposedly wiser. This time, I'm going to fight for what I want, no matter how hard it gets.

This time, I'm going to make her mine.


I've read the Friends series by Monica Murphy and this is a continuation of Jordan and Amanda's relationship from that series. I loved the original series based on their high school years but this one fell a little flat for me. It didn't have any of the drama that hooked me in the first place, it was just too predictable. But while I'm talking about it, I do recommend the friends series!

To All The Boys I've Loved Before
Jenny Han
Current Kindle price: £4.04

"Lara Jean keeps her love letters in a hatbox her mother gave her. One for every boy she's ever loved. When she writes, she can pour out her heart and soul and say all the things she would never say in real life, because her letters are for her eyes only. Until the day her secret letter are mailed, and suddenly Lara Jean's love life goes from imaginary to out of control."
I think we've all watched the Netflix movie by now. I mean, Peter Kavinsky. I don't think I even need to say anything else!

26 Kisses
Anna Michels
Current Kindle price: £8.49

"Getting dumped by her boyfriend is not how Veda planned on starting her summer. When Mark makes it clear that it's over between them, Veda is heartbroken and humiliated- but, more importantly, she's inspired. So she sets out on the love quest of a lifetime: use the summer to forget about Mark, to move on, and move up. All she has to do is kiss twenty-six boys with twenty-six different names- one for each letter of the alphabet.
From the top of the ferris wheel at her hometown carnival to the sandy dunes of Lake Michigan, Veda takes every opportunity she can to add kisses (and boys) to her list, and soon the break-up doesn't sting quite as much. But just when Veda thinks she has the whole kissing thing figured out, she meets someone who turns her world upside down."

This didn't do it for me. It was a slow struggle to finish it and I wasn't rooting for the romantic pairing. It was well written, but the story was a hard pass.

If I Fix You
Abigail Johnson
Current Kindle price: £2.99

"Some things are easy to fix... but are some meant to stay broken?
When sixteen-year-old Jill Whitaker's mom walks out- with a sticky note as a goodbye- only Jill knows the real reason she's gone. But how can she tell her father? Jill can hardly believe it herself. Suddenly, the girl who likes to fix things- cars, relationships, romances, people- is all broken up. It used to be, her best friend, tall blond and hot flirt Sean Addison, could make her smile in seconds. But not anymore. They don't even talk. With nothing making sense, Jill tries to pick up the pieces of her life. When a new guy moves in next door, intense, seriously cute, but with scars- on the inside and out- that he thinks don't show, Jill finds herself trying to make things better for Daniel. But over one long, hot Arizona summer, she realizes she can't fix anyone's life until she fixes her own. And she knows just where to start."
I really liked this. It wasn't quite what I was expecting but I ended up pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it.

What were you reading in September?