Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Summer Holiday.....

First of all, sorry for the lack of posts recently, university has been pretty hectic this last term and I have just been none stop working. Ok, so this is slightly late, as summer is well and truly over, but I started the draft of this post during summer so thought i'd post it anyway.......
This summer me and my family went on our summer holiday to the beautiful Ionian island, Kefalonia in Greece. I've had the privilege of going on some amazing holidays in my 20 years of life so far, including Skiing in Austria, Yachting in Monaco & Capri, Disneyland Paris and sight seeing in Italy, along with many other lovely holidays, there's too many to go through 20 years! It was glorious sunshine and over 30 degrees everyday for 2 weeks in Kefalonia, so coming back to England was a cold shock, it was freezing!!
First things first......Holiday essentials I couldn't live without whilst on holiday:
1. Blackberry/Camera
2. iPod
3. Ray Bans
4. Piz Buin Tan Intensifier Sun-Cream
5. M&S Aloe Vera After-Sun
6. Mosquito Spray
7. Coral Nail Varnish
8. Revlon Coral Lipstick/Lipgloss
9. Flower Headbands
10. Mini Chanel
I live on my Blackberry, so its a definite holiday essential for me. Whatever phone you have, I'm sure its an essential for all of you to take on holiday. You can keep in touch with all your friends and family whilst you're away and if you have Wi-Fi wherever you're staying you can access Facebook, Twitter, E-mails etc... I also used my phone for taking pictures on holiday seen as I always had it with me.
 iPod's are also a must for holidays I think, you can block out all the screaming babies and flight attendant speeches about snacks and duty free's on the plane. Also, its perfect for sun-bathing as you can just chill by the pool or on the beach and escape into the music of your choice.
Sunglasses are also important for holidays as everyone's hoping for some sun!! Well we certainly had a lot of sun in Kefalonia, so i'm glad I took my sunnies! I always take 2 pairs just in case one gets broken during the holiday, usually because someone ends up sitting on them or I drop them on the floor and they crack. Anyhow, this year I took my mirror aviator Ray Bans and some brown tortoise effect ones.
Sun cream is essential for summer holidays! I use Piz Buin Tan Intensifier Factor 30.
It enhances natural tanning and combines an exclusive UVA/UVB sun filter technology and Melitan - a peptide shown to naturally enhance the production of your skin's tanning pigment.
So now you can build a gorgeous, natural tan without compromising on your level of protection. It contains Vitamin A, C and E, and provides hours of moisturisation to help prevent peeling and nourish the skin. It's also water-resistant, which is great for when you want to dive into the pool or go swimming in the sea.

 Every holiday I go on, I ALWAYS take after-sun lotion, but this year I found one from M&S which also contains Aloe Vera, which is great for soothing sun burn, so its a win-win. The Aloe Vera After-Sun Gel instantly cools, soothes and moisturises sun-parched skin, helping to prevent peeling, and prolonging a natural tan, leaving skin soft, supple and smooth.

 I don't usually get bitten by many mosquitos when I go on holiday but I always take the precaution of using mosquito spray just in case, I usually spray it on my arms and legs before going out at night and it usually does the trick. This year I found this 'Formula Insect Repellent Travel Pack' from M&S which I thought was great for holidays. This handy travel pack contains insect repellent body spray, an insect killer spray and a soothing insect bite spray.

 For me, coral nail varnish, lipstick and lipgloss are essentials for summer holidays. I think coral is a great summer colour and brightens up any outfit very simply.

 Ok, so I love wearing flower headbands during summer and on holiday. I think they look so feminine and pretty. I'm a bit obsessed, I probably have way too many flower headbands now that I seem to have collected over the past 2 years. But nothing makes a summer outfit look prettier than a flower headband.

 And finally, Mini Chanel. Ok, so a Chanel bag isn't in everyone's budget, but I LOVE Chanel and I think the Mini Chanel is perfect for holidays as its small and compact, so doesn't take up room in your suitcase, you can wear it for day or night and it looks chic with any outfit. I used mine everyday and night to go out whilst I was in Kefalonia.

 So there you have my Top 10 Holiday Essentials
We stayed at a fantastic villa called 'Villa Brio', which was just outside of the town Skala. The villa was absolutely beautiful and had breath-taking views and a 180 degree view of the sea. This was our pool and outside patio area, with the sea view.
Whilst staying at Villa Brio, my mum woke up early almost everyday to watch the sunrise, as it was a perfect view over the sea. She'd told me how beautiful it was and how it was worth getting up at 6:45am to watch. As i'm not a morning person I wasn't too keen on the 6:45am wake-up but one day I set my alarm and got up to watch the sun rise. I'm SO glad I did, because it was so beautiful.
We also took advantage of the local area and other towns in Kefalonia and visited a few places. Firstly, one of my favourite places in Skala which was the town we were staying in, was the local Patisserie. They sold the most delicious looking cakes and ice-creams I've ever seen! I usually had the 'Oreo Cookies' ice-cream when we went, it was yummy!
Here's a picture of my favourite cakes from the Patisserie......
One of my favourite days of sight-seeing was when we visited 'Lake Melisani' which was like an underground cave with a lake inside. It was so unusual and interesting, I've never seen anything like it in my life. It's so strange what goes on underground that we don't know about. We got our tickets and then walked down this long tunnel to go underground, next we got into a little boat, which then took us around the cave and the lake so we could look at all the different parts of the cave. It was so beautiful and different to anything I've ever done or seen before. If you're ever in Kefalonia, it's well worth a visit!


On our way to the underground caves we found this lake called 'Karavomilos Lake'. It was such a serene setting with the beach and lake with a water-wheel. Here are some pictures which I took there....

Whilst sunbathing at our villa, I had noticed that the private beach area just in front of our villa was a popular place for snorkelers to gather, so I thought I had to give it a try! I went snorkelling for the first time on this holiday, and I became completely obsessed with it, as my friends know because I kept updating them everyday on my snorkelling experiences! I'm not a big fan of the sea as I don't really like the idea of not knowing what's underneath and around you in the water......sharks!!! But once I tried it, I couldn't stop, I wanted to do it everyday! It was so amazing, it was like spying on life underwater, I saw so many different species of fish!
Anyone who hasn't tried it, you've got to, but make sure you do it in a great snorkelling spot!

Here are some other pictures from the holiday......
Me & my brother in one of our favourite restaurants in Skala - 'The Scandinavia' 
Me & my singing partner....Polina

Me at the Jazz Night at 'Il Destino' in Skala, another one of our favourite restaurants
Overall, it was such a lovely holiday and if you ever go to Kefalonia, I highly recommend staying at Villa Brio.
Thanks for reading......


Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Summer So Far.....

I went on an adventurous day out to Llandudno in Wales for the day with my mum, brother and two friends, one who I've known for 16 years and the other for 9 years. It was a gorgeous day, sunshine, blue skies and great company. It was one of my favourite days out that I've had in a long time. It took us about 2 hours to drive down there, and once we got there, we came across this great park, right next to the beach.
Me and my childhood friend of 16 years Sam, having fun on the best swing ever!!
Me, my mum and my friend Sam on a Cable Car going across the hills of Llandudno.
This was my favourite part of the whole day. The views were breathtakingly beautiful, you could see everything in Llandudno, the hills, the ski slopes, the old Victorian Pier. It was slightly scary as there were no safety procedures involved, no glass in the cable car or seatbelts, it was just completely open-air, haha! But it was so amazing, I could sit on one of those all day just taking in the views.
Me & my Mum on the cable car <3
Whilst in Llandudno, we found 'The Smallest House In Great Britain'. We had a look inside and it was so tiny, I can't even describe to you how tiny it was. There were 2 rooms in the house, one downstairs and one upstairs. You can see how small the door was as i'm taller than it! And the lady talking about the house said that a family of six used to live there and then after them, a man who was 6ft 5 lived there for 15 years. As i'm 5ft 10, and i'm taller than the door and could only just stand up inside the house, I don't know how a 6ft 5 man manages to live there for 15 years.
I've also been meeting up with lots of friends whilst I've been back home for summer which has been great, catching up on what's been happening whilst I've been in London.
Me with my friends Hollie & Beth at our old school to celebrate our head teachers retirement!
Me and one of my best friends Melody, going out for a girly shopping day and to the cinemas!
Me and one of my best friends Mollie, going out shopping and for a meal #Italian
Me and one of my best friends Beth, on a girls' night out in Clitheroe!
Me & two of my best friends Beth & Kate, on a night out to celebrate both of their birthdays in Clitheroe!

Me & two of my best friends Beth & Kate, on a night out to celebrate both of their birthdays in Clitheroe!

Me & two of my best friends Hollie & Beth, on a night out to celebrate Beth & Kates birthdays in Clitheroe!
I also went to see Rihanna in concert at the M.E.N area in Manchester with my mum, she was AMAZING!
This was my favourite outfit that she wore during the concert! I loved the fact that it was a red, sexy and glamorous outfit with the diamonds, but that it still portrayed her unique style, with the crop top and thigh high slit skirt.

Me & my Mum at Rihanna #DiamondsWorldTour Concert
Me & my Mum out for lunch at one of our favourite places, Stanley House.

Me and my Mum in the gardens at Stanley House.
I also went to Canterbury for a few days to attend my brothers graduation ceremony at Canterbury Cathedral, which is such a beautiful building. I was so proud of my brother for graduating and it was such a happy and proud moment for me and my family to see him receive his graduation certificate.

Me & my family at Canterbury Cathedral
And below are some photos taken at Canterbury Cathedral where I did a quick photo-shoot seen as it was such a lovely sunny day :)
I really like this pleated coral skirt and white peplum top combo for summer, with the statement necklace and coral flower crystal flip-flops. It was a really hot day, so it was a comfortable and cool outfit to wear and was also suitable for the occasion.
After spending 3 days in Canterbury, me and my mum went to London for 5 days to have some girly days out in the sun. On our first night, my flatmate and close friend Mehri invited me and my mum out to a thai restaurant at Westfields, which was lovely called Busaba eathai.
My mum, Mehri and Me
Me and my Mum
Me, Mehri and our lovely waiter Pablo, haha!
On our second day, me and my mum went shopping at Westfields and had some retail therapy, which was great, I bought two new dresses from River Island, which i'm sure i'll be wearing soon!
On our third day in London, me and my mum went to Hyde Park for a picnic, it was a very hot, sunny day, a perfect picnic and sun tanning day. Also, I met the lovely Leah McFall who was a finalist in The Voice 2013, on Oxford Street. She was so lovely and we had a quick chat whilst waiting for our mums in a shop.
On our last day in London, me and my mum went to Chelsea for the day. We started off a Farmers Market, which wasn't really a farmers market, but a little group or quirky little shops and cafe's and an organic supermarket.
I found some water in the organic shop which I've seen lots of celebrities drinking and have heard great reviews about, so I decided to buy some and try it for myself, and I can definitely say its the best, clearest, purest tasting water I've ever tasted. Its water which  comes all the was from Fiji and is well worth a buy at only £1 a bottle!
We then went to a beautiful church where Charles Dickens got married, which had beautiful gardens attached, which is where the next few photos were taken.... 

Then we went to a restaurant called 'The Bluebird' where me and my mum had some cocktails and fries. Whilst we were at the Bluebird, Katherine Jenkins just happened to be sat at the table next to us, so I met one of the greatest female opera singers of all time and she was so sweet.
Me with my Mojito
Me & Katherine Jenkins
Me outside the Bluebird
This was our final day in London, and it was a great day. Me and my mum went for dinner to such a great burger restaurant called Byron, which had the best burger, onion rings and milkshakes I've ever tasted! And then for dessert we went to an amazing ice cream shop called Scoop, which was the best ice cream I've ever tasted!
Anyway, I hope you've enjoyed my "Summer So Far" post and hopefully i'll be doing another post soon :)
Thanks for reading!
Laura Jade Jackson