Monday, 29 May 2017

A Dream Come True

A week ago, Richard (my partner in crime) and I packed our weekend bags and took a trip to Paris, to celebrate three years at university coming to an end. But my main reason for wanting to travel to Paris was to spend a day at Disneyland, something I have wanted to do for a few years now. But as we arrived on Thursday afternoon, we were met with pouring rain and not much of sunlight in sight making us wonder about the likelihood of us actually going to Disneyland. But as Saturday rolled one, the sun was shining f together with a cool breeze, which is the perfect weather if you were to walk around for hours. Something that you have to keep in mind, as the worst thing that can happen is you walking for hours either in pouring rain or a really hot day, hours after hours. 

Getting there from central Paris (in this case Bastille) was pretty easy and the tickets cost around 11€ each and could be purchased in any train or metro station. From Bastille, we got the metro to Gare De Nord and from there we got the train to Marne-la-Vallee, which was the last station on the line. We arrived just before 10 o'clock (opening hour), as we thought it would be a good idea to have an early start and leave at around 6 pm and grab some dinner in Paris instead.  It is was quite overwhelming at the entrance as there was a lot of people queuing, but it only took about 10 minutes getting through security and then we were in! After security, we went to the ticket booth to buy tickets as we decided not to buy them in advance (something I strongly recommend) due to the uncertain weather. So buying them on the same day cost us 79€ for one day-one park, which was 20€ more than you would pay online. Personally, I thought that was a fair price especially knowing that once you got in you did not need to pay anything in addition to the rides, which is quite common for other themes parks I have been to. Our decision to only visit one park instead of two was based on my partner's sister recommendation, who said that we would need at least two full days if we were to do two parks - so we decided to the main one - Disneyland Park (instead of Walt Disney Studios).

The Disneyland Park was everything and more than I envisioned! The first thing I did once we got into the park was to buy Minnie Ears (as you do) which I basically wore for the whole day - and that was when the fun began! After that, we wandered around the cute shops near the entrance before exploring the park with a map in hand. The first and main attraction being the sleeping beauty castle which took my breath away, and the closer you got to the castle the one thing you noticed and what impressed me is how well-made everything is, right down to every single detail - the windows, the decoration, the colours, the characters, just everything! The further we explored the park that more excited and impressed I became! As although I am soon turning 22 years old, I have grown up with Disney,  and I think you never grew out of that magical and fantasy world (at least not me) you knew and loved when you were younger. At times, it even seemed more eager and excited than most kids half my age! 

After exploring the park and getting to know where everything was, we decided to try a few attractions. First the star wars attractions then wandered around to the Thunder Moutain, where we along the way met Chipmunks Chip 'n' Dale and decided to take a picture with them - also because my partner thinks I have chipmunk/squirrel cheeks, so why not. From attractions to attractions and with the heat coming, we decided to stop and grab a bite at the Hakuna Matata restaurant. From there,  we took a few more attractions and by 6:30 pm our magical day came to an end. 

Was it worth it? Every single minute! I had so much more fun that I thought I would have and enjoyed everything about it, and now in the process of planning our second trip to Disneyland Park and Walt Disney Studios near Christmas time. Below I have included a few tips that might be helpful, and feel free to post any questions you might have!

TIPS for Disneyland 

Food - There were loads of restaurants as well, with different themes and menus to choose from. We personally were so hungry as it was getting hotter, so we decided to go to the 'Hakuna Matata' Restaurant (above), and got ourselves two 'meal 3' which included a drink, a kebab with french fries,  and an ice cream for 13€.  I must admit, the food at the park wasn't the best as it was mostly burgers and kebabs, and what we noticed was that many people brought their own food, drinks, and snacks, which is an option.  

Queuing - The one thing I will say about the rides is, look at the Disneyland map which you can find by the entrance and see if the rides and/or attraction you would like to see or experience have a fast track pass which will save you so much time! Once we got to the Discoveryland area of the park, we wanted to go on one of the rides realised that the waiting hour was over an hour (this is displayed near each attraction entrance to give you an indication of the waiting time). However, what we noticed was that near a few attractions there were 'fast pass' machines where you could scan your ticket and in return, a ticket with a time slot for that particular attraction is given. As an example, we were given a time slot between 12:00-13:30, so in between those hours we could go on the attraction without queuing up! So a good tip is to walk around the park and collect a 'fast pass' ticket for the rides and attraction you want to experiences, and in the meantime, see and do other things around the park. 

If not - Be prepared to queue up! As I mentioned above, there is a few attraction that offers you a 'fast pass' but unfortunately not all of them. For the main and most popular attractions such as the 'Star Wars: Hyperspace Moutain', we had to queue up for an hour. So keep this in mind when going, because for half of the day you will be queueing and there is no way around it. 

Attractions: Our favourite attractions were the Hyperspace Mountain, the Star Tours, the Big Thunder Mountain, and the Mad hatter's Tea Cup! As unfortunately the Indiana Jones and the Pirates of the Carribean were closed due to high demand. 

Weather: Going to Disneyland is very weather dependent! You do not want to be walking around for hours and hours when it's pouring rain, or when it piping hot. But even though the weather was great when we were there, the moment the sun had gone it because quite cold. So if you can, do bring a jumper or a scarf to keep you warm. Nonetheless, bring comfortable shoes that you can walk on the whole day without being in pain! 

Cost: If you are going to Disneyland, what it is going to cost you is all down to you. As I mentioned, you don't pay any additional money to go on rides, but for everything else such as food and merchandise you do. Food prices weren't bad, but the food wasn't worth it in my opinion. As for merchandise, it is up to you. I personally love disney and I thought that I didn't come all the way to  Disneyland Paris to not bring a least a few bits and pieces back with me. So overall, without the tickets, I think I spent approximately £120 between the both of us. That included merchandise, food, pictures with Darth Vader (my partner not me), and train tickets back and forth to Disneyland, which I personally don't think was that bad!


Tuesday, 23 May 2017

To Vote or Not to Vote?

Although I am not a UK citizen and do not have the right to vote, I still remember the day I turned 18, got my Norwegian passport and was allowed to vote in the upcoming election in Norway. I must admit that I didn't take it seriously and wasn't really bothered about the different parties and what they stood for. This was my mindset until I spoke to my dad and asked him what party he was to vote for and why he thought voting was important, his answer being - if you look at the world we live in, look at the countries where people get killed daily for expressing their opinions and worries, making their voices heard where the right to vote is non-existing, I think it's only stupid for us not to use the vote we have and take for granted. This got me thinking, and from that moment on I read through all parties and they stood for. For when the day came and my vote was to be given, I knew without a doubt who I wanted to vote for, and that is what I did.  

I think one of the reasons I didn't take my first election seriously in very the beginning, was because I knew that no matter who I voted for, the impact wouldn't be devastating or make a huge difference. Whether I voted for party A or party B, my safety, my voice, and my opinion would still be heard. Not that the democracy we have in Norway is all so perfect, but at least we do have a democracy that enables us to take part in the debates that we feel matters to us. Being beyond lucky that our country is one of the few in the word where democracy does not mean anything other than its primary definition. Not having to look far to see that in some countries, where the word 'democracy' is disguised as a wolf in sheep's clothing. Leaving its citizens with the feeling of insecurity and fear for what the future will bring. This is why one should not take their right to vote lightly and question whether or not one should vote. As I personally believe that if you are unsure of who vote for, then it is s because you haven't done your research and do not have the right to complain in the aftermath. This is a pattern I saw when doing research for my dissertation, where those who voted leave were unsure about the actual consequences, later regretting their choice, it being too late.  Making it clear that even though one chooses to use their vote, some do (unfortunately) take it lightly, not fully comprehending their duty as a citizen of a country they profess to love. My point is -   do not make voting into 'one of those things I just have to do' because you don't have to, but if
YOU don't along with a million others then don't be surprised by what may follow.

Please keep this in mind for the upcoming election on the 8th of June. Use your right to vote, and do not take it for granted! Because I believe we all want what is best for our country, our children, and ourselves.  Not every political body is perfect, but where you are given the right to vote, cherish it and use it! ( 

Monday, 15 May 2017

A Touch of YSL

Leading up to my trip to Paris this upcoming weekend and looking through my makeup draw, I remember when I first started working within beauty at the age of 17 and had no clue what all of these beauty brands were all about and why people would spend so much money on them. But what I do remember is the first time I had to open our small boutique shop all by myself, and while I was removing dust from around the displays, the YSL counter stood out to me. Its eye drawing golden packaging and sleek design all glamorous, intrigued me to know more about the story behind the brand. A couple of weeks went by when a representative from YSL beauty came to our store and told us more about the products and how Yves Saint Lauren himself was an inspiration within the fashion and beauty world, leaving behind a strong legacy for designer and artists to come. Telling us how Saint Lauren become one of the first designers to create a bright pink lipstick (Rouge Pur Couture 19  Fuchsia Pink) which was a very unusual at that time, as well as launching the controversial fragrance called Opium in 1977. Something that I admired, as we all know how hard it is to stand out in a crowd of sheep. It being one of the reasons for it being one of my favourite brands, as there is more to it than the golden packing and a range of colours. There is a story to be told, and it is a story I am willing to wear. 

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Current Night Time Routine

 I tend to be quite rigorous when it comes to my skincare cleansing routine as I suffer from mild acne and hyperpigmentation as a result. So that is why I choose my skin care products quite carefully making sure that my skin will respond to them as they should, without there being any irritation or there being opposite results to what I am trying to achieve and keep it at bay. After trying and experimenting with various products from the age of 14 until now, I can say that my current skin cleansing routine is the one that has made the most positive impact on my overall skin appearance so far. My routine including the products above - Garnier's Micellar water, Oil balancing exfoliating wash from Simple,  Garnier's' Anti-blemish clarifying toner, and Clinique's anti-blemish clearing gel. Not only do they work amazingly together, but they are also budget friendly which is a big plus. Because in the end of the day a £100 compared to a £5 product might be equally worth it depending on what works for your skin, as I believe you don't have to spend your life savings to achieve the desired skin goals. But let us get into why these products work and are worth the try!

1 Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water (£1.99) - I have for a very long time being quite skeptical towards the micellar water as I did not understand how 'water' would remove my makeup successfully, and it took me almost two years before I picked an 'on-the-go' bottle and tried it. Dipped it in a cotton pad, swiped it a few times across my face and was surprised over how easy it removed my makeup without much effort. Quickly becoming part of my night time routine for removing my makeup before moving on to the next step. However, although I think this is an amazing product and is a must in my skincare routine, I now rarely use it to remove all my makeup and I think I probably use around 5-6 cotton pads to do so. Using it only for removing my eye makeup - brows, mascara, eyeshadow, whereas for my whole face I tend to use the Garnier SkinActive Oil-Infused Micellar Cleansing Wipes which I find it to be quicker at removing my makeup while leaving my skin feeling moisturised.

2 Simple Oil Balancing Exfoliating Wash (£4.39) - As I managed to forget my Garnier anti-blemish soap free gel back in Oslo, I decided to give this product a go. As I usually use my Clarisonic every day, it is important for me to have a cleaning product that goes well with it, without leaving my skin feeling dry and irritated. At first, I found it quite hard to massage my face with the Clarisonic and this product, taking more time for it to lather up into a soapy cleansing wash. However, after giving it a few more goes and making sure my skin was wet, it did indeed make a difference! The one thing I noticed was that although it's supposed to be oil balancing, it did not leave my skin feeling dry even though I used it together with my Clarisonic brush. Instead, it left my skin feeling fresh and smooth! The one thing I will say is that, if you are buying this product because of its exfoliating components, then you are better off being a product like St Ives Apricot Scrub which is absolutely amazing! As the this 'Simple' one did not have any exfoliating beads, failing to exfoliate my skin whatsoever, but if you are on the sensitive side, it might be worth the try.

3 Garnier PureActive Sensitive Anti-Blemish Clarifying Tonic (£4.99) - Do I like? Do I not like? This is how I felt when I first started using this product. I have always used the Clinique clarifying tonic and loved the fact that it 'stung' when I used it with a cotton pad on myself, because for some reason, when you have blemish prone skin, everything that seems to sting equals 'this is definitely working' - at least that is how I think. So when I started used this toner from Garnier I didn't really know what to think of it as it didn't seem to do anything. But after a month of using it and actually paying attention to my skin's overall appearance, I could see how it help my skin keep at bay minimising the appearance of my pores which is one of my main 'problems'. Is it worth it? I personally think using either a tonic is a must in your skin care routine as it helps remove any residue from left on your skin from makeup or any impurities.

4 Clinique Anti-Blemish Clearing Gel (£21) - This is my favourite products all times and probably one of the most repurchased! Although I don't suffer from severe acne, I can't say that I have ever had my skin totally spot free. There is always 1-5 spots on my face,  something I have learned to live with and this is where this fabulous product comes in handy. Whenever I feel I spot wanting to say hello to the world, I just dot it on my face and leave overnight. Next day, it's either completely gone or on its way out. This product has saved my skin so many times and I love it! I know several other brands have it for example, Origins, Benefit, or Boots own brand for a great price. 

5 Tony Moly Sheet Mask (£13.88) - I cannot tell you how much I love masks! I am obsessed with them and have a quite big variety of masks that I tend to use one or twice a week. The one thing I like about sheet masks, in particular, is how easy they are to put on and remove, without the need to wash off or anything. So when I came across these tony moly sheet masks on amazon I had to order them, getting 11 MASK FOR £13.88! I haven't tried them all yet, but the ones I have tried (skin purifying and skin purity) have left my skin feeling so moisturised and dewy looking, and that is all I want for a mask to do. Applying it usually after my night time routine when my skin is  ready and prepped for the next step - ready to infuse all the nurishinsg ingredients!

What are your favourite products to use? x