Destinations with hidden gems

Did you know that in the heart of Vienna there is an 11-floor Aqua/Terra zoo featuring creatures from the great deep to birds and small mammals? Or that in Oslo there is a park dedicated to naked statues?! Not all hidden gems are that easy to find when you start searching on the immensely wide, wide web. So let me tell you all about some of these destinations with hidden gems I’ve discovered over the years…

Madrid

Madrid is filled with wonder and excitement, trust me I lived there! The centre is buzzing with a mixture of traditional vs modern shops and buildings and there really is something for everyone. Here are my hidden gems:

Palacio de Cristal del Retiro

The Palacio de Cristal del Retiro (Crystal Palace) is located in Madrid’s Retiro Park . This once royal park opened its gates to the public in the 18th century, and since then has become an iconic spot for boaters, runners and tourists. What you might not realise is that if you venture far enough through the gorgeous scenery, there is a lovely Crystal Palace by a small lake, which is home to ever changing art instalments. It’s a great way to discover new talent without having to go to a museum.

Teleférico Madrid

I probably used the Madrid Teleférico over ten times during my stay back in 2013. This is Madrid’s version of a cable car tour, which I absolutely loved. You can pick it up near Moncloa tube station and take a fabulous ride all the way over to Casa de Campo. This is sort of like a national park and is also home to the Madrid Zoo. The walk back to the nearest tube (if you don’t get a return) is quite lengthy and hilly so make sure you have the right footwear and suncream!

Dubai

Dubai is a favourite destination of mine which I have covered many times before on the blog. If you want to discover what Dubai has to offer, I really recommend you stay longer than a week as it just can’t all be done otherwise! Many people are put off from the UAE based on what they’ve heard about strict rules, but it’s honestly not like that at all. I wouldn’t recommend going to a shopping mall in your bikini and shorts, but as long as you are respectful then there is nothing to worry about. Here are my hidden gems:

Dubai Autodrome

The Dubai Autodrome is a great way to let off some steam and have a bit of family competition. They have both an indoor and outdoor track and the fun can start for ages 7 and up. I had fun as both a driver and a spectator when I went. I’m really not into this sort of thing normally, but I had a lot of fun at the Autodrome!

Ski Dubai

You may already know about Ski Dubai, but if not let me paint you a picture. It’s 42 degrees outside, you are baking and sweaty and not thinking straight. You enter the Mall of the Emirates, only to come across a huge winter wonderland behind a glass wall. Mountains of snow awaits you, you can’t help but to get into a snow suit and dance around in the sub-degree temperatures. You take your first skiing lesson, and proudly manage one time down the hill without falling over. When you can’t feel your fingers anymore, it’s time to get back to the heat after a gloriously cool afternoon. Sounds amazing, but also a bit crazy to go skiing when in Dubai? This is such a great experience, however skilled (or unskilled) you are!

Got the travel bug yet? Yearning to find some destinations with hidden gems of your own?  Holiday Gems specialise in sunny destinations closer to home such as Gran Canaria, Majorca and other Spanish provinces. Click to read more information on Gran Canaria Holidays for 2018/2019 with Holiday Gems

Saharasplash x

Let me transport you back a few weeks to when I went to the Henley Regatta with Debenhams!

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Top tips for moving your makeup safely

How many times have we seen that shocking Instagram story where a brand new bottle of foundation has smashed all over the floor? It’s hearbreaking to watch, and quite frankly I now have some sort of crazy phobia that it will happen to me. I move about a lot, as my Instagram locations can tell you better than I can no doubt, so I thought I’d share my top tips for moving your makeup safely.

Store products with similar products

Pack your lipglosses and lipsticks together, nail varnishes, palettes and flatter products together to maximise use of your space.


Get lots and lots of bubble wrap

Bubble-wrapped postage bags are really handy (you can get 3 for £1 in poundland which are fab!) and you can save boxes from online orders and subscriptions which are generally quite strong.


Sellotape lids closed

Secure those lids on all your nail varnishes and liquid makeup. It seems like a pain but avoids leakage which is even more of a disaster when it happens. I don’t wanna see casualties in your stories!


Newspaper is good for absorbtion

Lining every box with newspaper or kitchen roll is one of the best top tips when moving your makeup safely. It will stop them falling apart if it does leak without damaging the rest of your goodies. Keep your regular makeup in a travel bag and don’t pack it until last minute. Also, keep your brushes safe by wrapping them in newspaper or by keeping them in specialist brush bags/cases.


Clean everything while you pack

– it will make unpacking easier and far more enjoyable once you get to your destination!

Extra tip: don’t let your child have your makeup brushes! They will be returned wet ?

If you are looking for a reliable and speedy removals company, TFM Removals are based in Essex (moving all around Europe) who provide storage facilities as well as movement of large or unusual household items, like pianos, large furniture and much more.

Saharasplash x

Did you enjoy my top tips for moving your makeup safely? If so, you’ll love my newest summer skincare routine

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First experience of the Henley Regatta with Debenhams

It is not your average day when you open up your daily inbox to find a shiny email with an invite to the Henley Regatta. As if this wasn’t cool enough to begin with, it was in fact made better by being sent from the lovely team at Debenhams. I had exactly one month to prepare and plan my outfit down to the last detail, and for those who know me, this was just about enough time! Read on to find out all about my first experience of the Henley Regatta with Debenhams and what I wore…

The day was just glorious, puffs of white clouds scattered over the stretch of blue sky, a wonderful buzz of excitement from our girl gang as the day was about to commence. I chose to wear a traditional fascinator for the event and went with a colour palette inspired by the scenery. My floating dress from Debenhams was effortless to wear and I matched some of the yellow in my dress with mustard accessories…

Ariella London Green ‘Arden’ strapless stripe high low dress

Yellow patent ‘Jessica’ high block heel ankle strap sandals

Quiz Black Loop Jewel Fascinator

The races were underway in no time at all, in one and a half glasses of rosé to be exact!

Our riverside enclosure was situated at the very start of the race so we could watch everything get going, many spectators were crowded round the riverbank to cheer on the teams.

Lunch was served shortly after, and we were treated to a three-course meal which catered perfectly to my gluten free needs.

Oh yes, we brought Alice along for some fun as well. I managed to sneak her into the enclosure just long enough for the Debenhams teams’ hearts to melt, then she went back to having fun with dada.

Here we are at the end of the day, ready for an air-conditioned ride home!

My first experience of the Henley Regatta with Debenhams and these amazing influencers will go down as one of the highlights of my blogging journey so far. Such a diverse range of talent and charm, and I cannot thank the Debenhams team enough for hosting us.

Cheers!

Saharasplash x

Have you ever been to the Henley Regatta? Let me know in the comments below or if you’re dying to go after this blog post 🙂

Are you caught up with my previous post on the SEBC meet at Jump Street Chelmsford??

 

SEBC meet at Jump Street Chelmsford

I’m so excited to share all the news from the SEBC meet at Jump Street Chelmsford. For those of you wondering what does SEBC stand for, it’s the South East Blogger Club who organise fantastic events for local bloggers. Last year I went to an event when I was 40 weeks pregnant, just look at how mahoosive my belly was! I still find it totally amazing and crazy when I look back at pictures from last October, which seems far longer than just 9 months ago.

So, back to business…

This most recent event was held at Chelmsford’s most impressive trampoline park, Jump Street, so I made sure to wear something moveable and non-flashable!

The SEBC team had put together a lovely selection of brands for us to chat with on the night, including Happy Fabric, a very on-trend, online business which encourages you to get crafty.

I chose a delicate little purse and cut out my shapes using some holographic paper, which was then pressed into this beautiful design:

Next up, the Chelsea Candle Company. You can find these stocked in Urban Outfitters around the UK, and I fell in love with the gooseberry and elderflower scent. These candles are a true winner for style and smell, totally instagram-worthy and simply irresistible.

Another incredible brand featured at the event was Orthosole, an orthopaedic solution to your everyday needs. They have designed a unique system so that depending on what sort of support you need in your shoes, you can adjust these little pink insoles to suit your feet. With women experiencing four times as many foot problems as men, I was super excited to try these out.

I even had a pair of their prototype shoes to take home and put to the test, so far I’ve been wearing them out and about in this hot weather and no pain, no problems!

Now the SEBC meet at Jump Street Chelmsford wouldn’t be complete without a few snaps from my experience of the place itself. I was super keen to try out the clip n climb where you are slowly pulled up onto a vertical death slide. Not to brag but I got all the way to the top and totally owned it- I’ve got a very strong grip!

I had so much fun bouncing around too, I don’t think I had been on a trampoline for years but still had some moves. I can’t wait to go back again once the new soft play area is complete so Alice can join in on the fun too 🙂 Thanks to Voice Comms for organising the SEBC meet at Jump Street Chelmsford.

Have you ever been to a Jump Street or trampoline park? Let me me know in the comments below, I’d love to hear from you.

Saharasplash x

Take just a few more minutes to read my latest post, trust me your hair will thank me!