Liz Earle Giveaway!

Hello to my fellow bloggers and readers!

I am super excited to announce that this is the first official giveaway on my blog.

As a thank you to all of you for the support I have been given from day one, and admittedly in a bid to get to my ultimate goal of 1000 followers (cheeky grin), there is a 50ml bottle of Liz Earle Shine & Polish up for grabs, complete with a hot cloth cleanser!

 

lizearle

This multi-award winning product is rated 4.9 out of 5 stars with nearly 3000 reviews and I can see why. Over the past couple of weeks, in a bid to improve my skin I have used this myself. (Remember this post?)

Since using this cleanser my skin is clearer and firmer. There appears to be less shine around my T-zone and more of a radiant glow, even in this winter weather!

As I would recommend this to you all so highly, I thought that it would be the perfect giveaway.

All you have to do to enter this contest is;

  • Follow my blog if you haven’t done so already
  • Reblog this post or post on Facebook if you’re not a blogger (or both)
  • Comment below with what you want to see more/less of on my blog.

Please also feel free to add me on instagram at laurenod.x – of course this one is completely optional.

The winner will be announced on Sunday 3rd April.

Best of luck :o)

LwL x

Advertisements

The backpacker route: Donsol to Cebu

 

Philippines. From Donsol (West Philippines) you can get to Cebu via a boat and ferry.

The first boat you need to get is to ‘Masbate’. This leaves from Pilar port daily at varied hours (Pilar is a 30 minute jeepney drive fromDonsol) .

The jeepney is an experience in itself. We were lucky enough to ride on the roof!

The journey from Pilar to Masbate takes 2-3 hours depending on whether you choose a fast or slow boat.
On a Sunday we arrived in Pilar Port, but we didn’t really have a particular boat option. There only seemed to be one ticket office for a 3 hour boat to Masbate that left at 1pm. So we jumped into the cramped Catamarang and off we went.
From Masbate you will need to get a ferry to Cebu. We were told in Donsol that these depart at 6pm every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday and arrive at 8am the following day. When we arrived in Masbate, this was not the case.
After our 3 hour boat journey from Pilar, we was told by the tourist police that the transasia boat actually no longer runs to Cebu city? How true this is we’ll never know but basically most information advertised in Donsol is wrong!
There is however, a boat that goes from Cataingan (South of Masbate) to Bogo (North Cebu) everyday, at 12pm and at 7pm.
The nice tourist lady gave us a lift to a hotel called Novo, where we stayed for the night in Masbate.


The next day we grabbed a tricycle to the Masbate city bus terminal at 8am, and caught the 2 hour bus journey to Cataingan at 9am. They leave every hour and the bus cost 120 PHP per person. We also paid for an extra seat for our backpacks as there is no space to put luggage anywhere.
We was told that the ferry from Cataingan takes 8 hours. However we arrived at the Port just after 5.30pm. Something to take into consideration if you want to take the 7pm boat. The cost 455 PHP per person. Luckily for us this ended up being beneficial as Bogo is to the North and is a lot closer to Malapascua Island where we were heading. If you are looking to go to Cebu city, you would have to get a bus from Bogo following your ferry journey.

According to the Masbate government website the Transasia actually still runs. It’s all very confusing and I’m not sure how true everything is on any sites or what you are told after this cafuffle. Continue reading “The backpacker route: Donsol to Cebu”

#banishwipes Sanctuary giveaway this weekend! 

As part of the #banishwipes campaign by Amnesty, 50,000 bottles of the Sanctuary Miscellar water are being given away this weekend at Boots.

All you have to do is take a pack of of your face wipes to your nearest store exchange it for your freebie!

Such a great incentive for girls to look after their skin.
I’ve been an avid user of miscellar water for about 2 years now and I’ve never looked back!

Here’s 2 reasons why you should banish the wipes and opt for this greater alternative..
1. Wipes damage your skin: it’s very rare that you find a wipe that you can softly rub round your face to get lots of make up off. A lot of the time it involves dragging around the eyes and harsh rubbing to try to dig deep into those pores. Unfortunately this causes breakage and can lead to premature aging, sagging and wrinkles.

2. Wipes never remove all of your make up.

I have a little test for you. Take all of your make up off with a wipe, then grab some toner and rub over your face afterwards. I guarantee that you will still find excess makeup on your face!
If all makeup is not removed from your face each night, you will still get spots, clogging of pores and all other consequences of not removing your make up daily. So effectively using a make up wipe is pretty pointless.

Banish the wipes, get yourself to Boots and grab yourself a freebie!

LwL x

Spring Trends 2016

 

So the run of the fashion weeks finally came to a close last week, finishing in none other than Europes favourite romantic country. Paris may not have brought the sunshine but it definitely brought the style.

Here are three key trends in early 2016 that are sure to put a ‘spring’ in your step.

Stripes



Off the shoulder 

  

 

Ruffles and frills 
 

Some designers even incorporated all trends into one look! Continue reading “Spring Trends 2016”

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! 

Happy St. Paddy’s day my fellow Irish men and women! 

A day that commemorates Saint Patrick and the arrival of Christianity in Ireland. 

  
Did you know that Saint Patrick’s  day is celebrated in more countries than any other National day? Pretty cool huh, especially for such a small country.

   
I’m Irish of descent, yet i’ve still never managed to actually get myself to Ireland. Sorry excuse for a person I know.
Have no fear, I’m 100% heading to the green country this summer for a weekend. I’m just not sure where yet, any ideas? 
Anyway wherever you are, lets celebrate the heritage and culture of this beautiful country. A culture of friendly, family orientated people who love a good drink. (Me included). 
Grab yourself a Guinness, dress up in something green and cheers with a stranger.

You never know, you might just find your soulmate ha. 

  
LwL x 

Monday Blues: Travelling Reflection

Was it worth the money you spent? Was it worth quitting your job for? Was it worth having to start ‘all over again’?

It’s Monday, I’m home in London and I’m unemployed.
In the last four months I have watched beautiful sunsets over horizons and mountains. I’ve swam next to Whale Sharks and turtles and explored the inside of one of the biggest caves in the world.

I’ve selfie’d in front of beautiful viewpoints and took in sights that are postcard worthy. 

I exposed myself to the horror of a ping pong show and drank from coconuts and cups made of bamboo shoots.

I rode a bus through the borders of countries. I made new friends and missed old ones, sat listening in awe to some amazing stories, fascinated by the lives of people I barely know. 
I fell in love with the feeling of the warm sand between my toes and the lazy afternoons spent reading books and sleeping in hammocks. 
Ive woke up startled in the early hours to the alarms of rooster cries and have slept in shacks barely roofed, similar to the locals homes. 

I flushed toilets using buckets of water and slept in a bed too small to fit my feet in. Spent many a nights on cramped sleeper buses too, all part of the appreciation for what I have at home. 
I looked into the eyes of a Tarsier, one of the worlds most unique of creatures. Had my toes nibbled as I swam in a lake. Caught and ate a giant tuna and indulged on the flavour of barracuda steak. I enjoyed the absence of my phone, embracing the beauty of the world around me. 

My pasty skin has suffered hundreds of mosquito bites, attacks by mysterious insects, cuts, grazes and some serious sunburn. 

I found myself caught in a tropical thunderstorm and danced freely in the pouring rain. 

I experimented with worldly food, sometimes contracting bugs and sickness. I lost weight and gained weight. Starved myself for days to rid my body of food poisoning. Gorged for days on unhealthy carbs. 

I quad biked around white sand dunes, was taken downstream by the current of a river and have laughed so hard I almost wee’d myself. 

I have tasted the sweetness of raw sugar cane and have experimented with many different types of cheap Asian beer.

I hesitated to ride the roof of a jeepney, only for it to be one of my travel highlights in Asia. 

Ive experienced a strange Thai massage in Bangkok that I’ll remember for years to come. 

I slid from the top of rocks and jumped feet first through waterfalls. 

Walked through prisons where thousands of people were tortured and educated myself on shocking historical events. 

I shared food with kind locals on a ferry, climbed hills and dangerous pathways, trekked kilometres through stones and mud in only my flip flops and stumped my toe numerous times on bricks in the road. 

I revelled in the free time to reflect, without being interrupted by lack of time or chores for the day. I witnessed the most breathtaking of sceneries. 

I partied in the middle of a jungle and spent Christmas dancing on a beach covered in glow paint. I drank buckets until I could no longer stand and have felt the buzz of pure red bull. I’ve lived high on life.

I’ve felt lucky and thankful everyday for what I was born into. I’ve witnessed people live in poverty yet still find the strength to smile and appreciate life.

I walked through sand that glitters, cut my feet on the ridges of coral and shuffled on my bum through the Cu Chi tunnels. 

I washed frequently in freezing water and experienced adrenaline on the back of a motorbike. I’ve roamed freely with no plan of action, visited world heritage sites, dined in the dark and zip lined from a lighthouse. Swam in waters so clear that I could see starfish at the bottom.Sunbathed on the most blissful of beaches. 

I felt unsafe in the heart of a city and played chicken on the craziest of roads. Touched my hand over the carvings of temples hundreds of years old and climbed up giant statues.

I came face to face with tigers, fed and bathed a baby elephant, floated in a pool of mud in a dark cave and bamboo rafted down a flowing river.

I hustled and bustled through street markets and haggled until blue in the face. Purchased clothing on stalls for under a pound, learnt the basics of a few languages and interacted with those from all walks of life. 

I have soaked in the culture of 7 different countries and share some of my best memories with people that I only know the names of. I have learnt a great deal about life and a greater deal about myself. 

In answer to the questions above I say yes 100%. 
Why travel you ask?

Because travel is the only thing you buy that’s makes you richer’. 

LwL x 

Gili Islands: Swimming with Turtles

Did you know that Indonesia is one of the only countries in the world that inhabits all 7 species of turtle? Pretty cool huh?

Liam and I took full advantage of this and booked ourself on a tour to snorkel around all three of the Gili islands yesterday.
  We went on a mission to spot as many turtles as we could. 

We set off from the harbour in a small boat at 10am with Cha Cha tours. A mere 100k each paid for our whole trip that included the rental of a snorkel, mask and fins. 

We swam in 2 spots in the morning. The tour guide leads you around and luckily for us we found a turtle swimming near the surface as soon as we jumped in. 

 He/she was so calm, swimming gracefully through the water, not at all startled by us humans. I’m pretty sure they’re used to sharing the sands of the Gilis with us tourists by now to be fair. 

  After we had worked up an appetite in our first two sessions, we headed for lunch overlooking the beautiful beach at Sasak Cafe on Gili Meno. We had already seen 5 turtles by this point! 

    
At our last two swimming spots, not only did we see 2 more turtles, we saw a wide range of beautiful corals of all colours and lots of wonderful fish!

    
 
  We also found a very interesting display of bicycles and racks under water? We took full advantage of this unique and weird experience..

   
  How cool is that?!

We  finished up around 2pm and headed back just as it started to rain. How’s that for timing? 

We spotted a total of 7 different turtles throughout the day, some of them bigger than the torso of my body. Crazy stuff. I would say a very successful snorkelling trip wouldn’t you?

  
If your visiting the Gili Islands i’d advised you to do this tour. Such a bargain!
And don’t forget to visit the Turtle Conservations on Gili T or Gili Meno. You can see all of the newly hatched turtles that the locals protect and feed for their first year of life.

When they are big and strong enough to fend for themselves, they have a big festival and set them free into the ocean. 

Please try to make a donation too as its a non-profit organisation and all the money goes to feeding and providing for the turtles. We need to help these mammals as many species face extinction due to various causes! 

Happy International Womens day!

The day that celebrates the social, economic, cultural and political achievement of women.
 

We must continue to empower and support one another, embrace our strength and stay true to ourselves.


Without the likes of the Suffragettes or Germaine Greer, we wouldn’t be where we are today. We have come so far in fighting for our equality but we still have such a long way to go! 

 

Be the positive change we want to see in the world. Contribute at http://www.internationalwomensday.com

   
 
P.s. If you haven’t watched the Suffragettes film that came out last year, please do, it’s not one to be missed! 

Exploring Kuala Lumpur in less than 24 hours

We jumped off the plane and headed straight for the train. After all, we only had 5 hours left of daylight to enjoy the capital of Malaysia.

  

From the airport we grabbed a fast train to KL central. It took 35 minutes and each. From there we headed to Bukit Bintang on the metro, using our magic coins..

  This was the station closest to V’la Heritage which was home for the night. 75 minutes later we’d arrived. 

Just under the station there’s a coffee shop. We grabbed a bite to eat here as we were starving. Doesn’t travelling make you hungry?! 

As soon as our bags were down at the hotel, we scrubbed ourselves up and headed out to explore.

The city reminds me of home in London. Lots of high office buildings, the city business like buzz. I love it. For the first time since leaving for travelling I actually missed London.

First stop, the Petronas Towers! If your in KL you have to have a picture at the Towers. 

  
Did you know that Catherine Zeta-Jones supposedly walked the line between these two buildings in the film Entrapment?

The towers are futuristically beautiful, and are the tallest twin towers in the world! Islamic influences are evident in the towers 5 tiers, representing the 5 pillars of Islam. 

 We took a walk on the inside, through the unbelievable shopping mall. There was everything from Chanel to Topshop! We just window shopped of course. Tom Ford doesn’t really come under a travellers budget.. 

   

 

Just by the towers is the huge greenery famously known as KLCC Park. There colours are vibrant and the culture is rich. We stopped at one of the restaurants for a refreshment overlooking Lake Symphony; the 10,000 metre man made lakes with fountains that features a daily water show.  

   

 We then explored the park, taking in all the scenic nature. This place would be perfect for a picnic!

  Unfortunately we didn’t have enough time to head to the Batu Caves in the end which is a shame. 

In the evening we headed to the lively pub district: Changkat Bukit Bintang. A long strip of bars and restaurants and cheesy music awaited us. This was perfectly situated right behind our hotel.

   

 Kuala Lumpur isn’t the cheapest of places I have to say. I mean traveller wise of course. Tax is added on to ‘goods and services’ here so don’t calculate your bill in your head and expect the receipt to recall the same number. 

While drinks were expensive and tax were added in to each round, there were some good deals though. 

But one drink get 2 free cocktails. We took full advantage of this. Liam bought one overpriced Guinness and I got 2 cocktails free. The 3 drinks for the price of the one Guinness worked out about £5, so was almost acceptable for a round! 

We danced the night away. Well for a few hours or so.. We had a 5am wake up call the next day and headed to the Philippines.

Keep an eye out for our spending breakdown of KL

LwL X