Saturday, 29 June 2013

Center Parcs


After all the stress of exams, and then all the post partying, me and my flatmates decided to go take some down time in Center Parcs. Wide open countryside, the birds chirping, squirrels running freely amongst the people. No better way to celebrate and wind down after the mania of the last few months- wait scratch that, last 4 years!

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We went to Whinfell forest which is up in the Lake District. I had never been to a Centre Parcs before so had no idea what to expect, except my slightly warped pre judgement that it was for families with little kids.It is 400 acres of pure unspoilt forest; give or take the log cabins and water park, where no cars are allowed to be driven around except Monday or Friday. The accommodation are the most adorable wooden cabins nestled amongst the trees, and yes, if you do leave your back door open, a friendly squirrel may try to join you for dinner! 

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There are so many activities that you can do at Centre Parcs, whether you want a full on exhilarating adventure such as quad biking, tree top climbing or zip firing through the trees. Or for the more gentle natured, there is a spa, house drawn carriage rides and plenty of bars.

We spent most of the week in the pool, racing each other down the slides, braving the wave pool and then relaxing in the Jacuzzi.

However when 8 sort of still students come together, there is always going to be competition! 

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Also the lads had to prove their manliness and play Forest Laser Quest! They came back absolutely battered and bruised as of course they took it very seriously! There was even strategies and plans!

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Centre Parcs can prove expensive, especially if you eat out every night, however we made the most of the good weather and had a good ol’ British BBQ, complete with burgers and chops. So my mouth was in heaven. Give me anything chargrilled any day! I even re-did my Coconut S'more Macaroons for everyone. 

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If you follow me on Instragram you will already have seen my perfection of a chop!

However, let’s be honest, if you know anything about me by now, you know I love to eat out, and so on the last night we went for it, and we really did. We decided to go to the American Diner called Hucks. Complete with retro booths, and metal milkshake flasks. 

Everyone decided it was time to go naughty and get down to business with the double cheese and bacon burger, but one chicken, one beef. If you haven't tried that combo- just do it. Its revolutionary. 

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Look at that!

However last minute I changed my mind and went for the pulled piggy burger. Pulled pork sandwiched on a 100% beef burger layered with bacon and smothered in cheese AND onion rings.

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Oh dear lord! Pure filth! 

I probably should have stopped there but did I? Hell no. Chocolate peanut butter stack just called out to me from the kitchen.

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The next and final day we decided we probably should go work off some of those fries and so headed down to the badminton courts. Turns out I'm not so good. But one thing I am good at is...

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...Eating! After a oh so strenuous game, we went to the pancake house and I ordered the breakfast pancake, complete with egg bacon, mushroom and a side of beans. Oh it was good. Even if I could barely move afterwards.

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Sadly we then had to be out of the site and so we packed up the car and headed back to university. After the week up at Center Parcs I am defiantly I convert. It certainty isn't just for little kids. Hey, I might even be warming to outdoor life too. Well I had better with festival season coming up! 

Here is the Center Parcs website in case you like the sound of it and fancy knowing more.

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Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Graduation Ball


On Sunday evening I attended my graduation ball.  The biggest date in any final years university calendar, and it was defiantly one to remember.

10:30am I was woken to my flatmate WhatsApp-ing me to ask whether I had started getting ready. In wandered into the kitchen to find 7 girlies all being pampered to the nines, while I stood there in my PJ’s and bedraggled hair. 

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(I apologise for the grainy images, I'm not sure what I'd done to my camera that night)

However I had a secret weapon. I wanted my dress to be a showstopper, a once in the life time ‘wow’ piece. Yes, I did want to draw people’s eye, but who doesn’t want to be remembered eh?

I searched high and low the vast internet; however I just couldn’t find The One. But then I found Girl Meets Dress. It was by complete accident I stumbled across the site, but oh was it fate! They are a dress rental company, so I truly had my Cinderella moment, with my carefully wrapped package being delivered, but then sadly come Monday morning having to return the great beauty.

And here is The One.

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It is honestly the most stunning thing I have ever seen, I couldn’t stop staring at myself! How I am ever going to top this I will never know!

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As having a celebratory glass of wine, and taking a mountain of photos, we all piled into our carriage... or coach and we headed to Blackpool ball room.

On arrival we were treated to the Blackpool tower circus, which the acrobats were breathtaking, the flexibility, and strength were incredible. I defiantly might have to reconsider running away to the circus, I might do myself an injury.

Sadly, I didn’t get many photos as I got my camera banned, great DSLR is a little inconspicuous, but being the dedicated blogger, my friend let me nick a couple of photos which she sneakily took with her iPhone. Naughty. 

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After the show we moved into the ball room itself. Let me just say Wow! I’ve seen the ballroom on Strictly Come Dancing, but in real life it is just as breathtaking.

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We then danced till our feet hurt to Fleur (she sings the vocals on some of DJ Fresh’s songs) who by the way was fabulous; and Fenech Soleur, before heading up to the balcony for rest and recovery, e.g. seats and wine. 

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My beautiful friends Nessa, Becca, Mark and Heather.

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For the finally James Arthur took to the stage. Now I never watched X-Factor so wasn’t too familiar with his songs, but he was quite good.

We then danced some more until our feet gave out; we laughed, hugged and basked in the memories of 4 long but amazing years With all our fellow graduates until it was time to head home. 

I truly had an unforgettably night, and it was a fitting way to bow out of my university journey.

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Monday, 24 June 2013

Manicure Monday: Graduation Ball Edition


Last night was my graduation ball. It was such an incredible night, filled with glamour, splendour and hundreds of happy graduates basking in 3 years worth of memories. I had a truly Cinderella moment, wearing a dress which was probably the most captivating things I’ve ever seen. I promise to do a full post as soon as I’ve sorted out the picture. But first I wanted to do a Manicure tutorial on the nails I did. My dress was very very sparkly, so I wanted to keep my nails quite simple, with only a hint of my usual jazziness. Sometimes you can have too much sparkle... but only rarely mind.

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My dress had purple beads on it, so I used that as the main colour, and then my shoes were a bronze, so I decided to do an accent nails to tie it all together.

To recreate you will need:
  • Look by BIPA: 12 Fluffy
  • Sally Hansen Gem Crush: 03 Big Money
  • Nail Gems (I actually used MUA body gems- Just put a dab of clear nail varnish on first to stick)
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First paint all but your ring finger in 12 Fluffy, and allow to dry.

Then paint your ring finger in 2-3 coats of 03 Big Money.

Once  completely dry, using a nail art dotter, dot a blob of clear varnish on the base of your nail, then carefully pick up a gem stone using tweezers and place on the blob. Press down lightly to secure.

Once dry, you can cover with clear to secure further, but this does take away the shine. 

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It was a very simple design, but due to my new shaped nails, they defiantly stood out. If anyone else has got their graduation ball coming up, do let me know, I’d love to hear all about it. 

Laura x

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