Ultimate Holiday Essentials

The endless photos of stunning beaches and Pinterest-worthy hotels on my Instagram feed have got me hankering for another holiday. I'm hoping to snap up a last minute deal for a short break later in the year. Having these ultimate summer essentials to hand makes it easy to throw a weekend bag together.
   Ulimate Holiday Essentials with M&S

My #1 holiday beauty item is sunscreen. My pale skin stays protected and moisturised with Hawaiian Tropic Silk Hydration SPF50, followed up with M&S Sun Smart After Sun*. I don't tan very well at all so if I'm after a sun-kissed glow - I'll fake it. Fake Bake's Amplify Daily Gradual Tan* not only smells amazing, but works to smooth and soften skin before holiday and to boost your tan afterwards.
Philip Kingsley Swimcap* is the ultimate haircare solution. It protects against chlorine, salt water and the sun reducing your chance of post-vacation frizz. I like to pop this on and then braid my hair if I'm lazing by the pool or going for a dip.

For skincare, I like a good exfoliating product and the REN Glycolactic Radiance Renewal Mask* works its magic on your skin to wipe away dead skin cells leaving with healthy, happy looking skin. I'm yet to use the James Read Overnight Tan* mask as I'm waiting for warmer climes. I'm hoping this will give a lovely natural glow, reducing the need for heavy foundation and concealer in the heat.

 I like to keep it simple on holiday when it comes to makeup. A layer of Ultrasun Face* sun protection and lashings of Benefit's Roller Lash are all I reach for during the day. My teeny weeny MAC palette is great for travelling. Omega and Satin Taupe are my shadows of choice if I want something more in the evenings.

Lastly, Primark's travel rollerball perfumes are amazing little space savers. I have Miami Beach Club which is a really summery fruity scent. My nails where I like to splash out the colour when I'm on my hols. Leighton Denny Mini* polishes are super cute. I love the shade I Love Juicy (in the center) - it's a coral/red one coat wonder!

Ultimate Holiday Essentials with M&S Ultimate Holiday Essentials with M&S

When it comes to that one must have item, it's got to be a maxi dress. I'm a convert to the longer length and love how easy they are to style. M&S have a fab range of dresses at the moment. I adore this seventies inspired M&S Indigo Collection Floral Maxi*. It's stunning for evenings when paired with a messy updo. The boho vibes make it ideal for wearing on lazy days too. I paired it with a delicate layered necklace from Orelia and my trusty New Look gold sandals.

Denim shorts are another summer staple for me. They're just so comfy and perfect for exploring in. Add in white pumps and a simple tee and you have an outfit sorted! Another footwear choice is a fairly recent purchase. I never thought sliders would make it anywhere near my feet but I LOVE these white ones from H&M. They're so comfy! Sunnies are a must and this Primark pair are seeing my through summer nicely.

So there you have it. Everything I need for a short break. Have you got any holiday packing tips that I need to know?
M&S kindly sent a beauty box and the maxi dress to review for this post.

A Bookish Request

A Bookish Request

Let's talk about books.

I used to be that person who had 5 books on the go at one time. I was that child who would hide in bedrooms or bathrooms with my nose in a book when I visited other people's houses. And then university came along.

Of course, I studied Literature. The thing is, uni was tough for me. A fear of failure, perfectionism and a never ending course reading list didn't mix well. Since graduating I really haven't read as much as I used to. That is, until now. I'd forgotten what reading for pleasure was and it feels SO GOOD!

In between chapters of 'Elizabeth is Missing' and endless George R R Martin reading sprees, I've been discovering more and more BookTubers too. I've been aware of the BookTube community for a while now but only recently actually sat and watched people's videos. Despite not adding my two cents (just yet) and being a bit of a lurker in the comments section, I feel that I'm part of a conversation about something I love. And that makes me happy.

So I'd love some recommendations. For books, BookTubers, twitter chats, anything book related! 'H is for Hawk' is going to be my next novel to get stuck into - unless you have a brilliant book that you'd like to share with me?

Celebrating the Summer Soltice

The Summer Soltice is finally upon us and what better way to celebrate the longest day of the year than with a picnic! I grabbed my checked blanket and headed for the nearest green space. There's nothing better than enjoying pork pies and sweet treats while the sun is beating down and bees are buzzing nearby.

Waitrose Cellar Summer Soltice Picnic Waitrose Cellar Summer Soltice Picnic

With a little help from Waitrose Cellar, my Mum and I were able to treat ourselves to a bottle of Prosecco. Our morning had been pretty rubbish as we had to have our last bunny rabbit put to sleep - sleep sweet, Poppy. The picnic was the perfect afternoon pick me up. A dash of sparkling wine in the sunshine was just what we needed.

Waitrose Cellar Summer Soltice PicnicWaitrose Cellar Summer Soltice Picnic  This post is in collaboration with Waitrose Cellar, who kindly treated us to the wine and picnic food.

Costa Caleta, Fuerteventura - The Highlights

At the beginning of May, I spent a super-relaxing week on Fuerteventura. The resort of Costa Caleta is a stone's throw from the island's airport and is a central location for exploring both ends of Fuerteventura. Our week was filled with reading, eating and generally lazing about! There was so much more we could have seen but we both fancied a bit of a rest.

costa caleta fuerteventura travel holiday  photo cc 1_zpsjek2e7xl.jpg

We made the short walk from our hotel to the harbour for lunch most days. The food itself was pretty simple, but the whole area has such a chilled out vibe. It's recently undergone a major redevelopment and now looks modern and calm. One afternoon we watched the fish and crabs for ages before heading along the coastal path.

We'd been promised wild chipmunks but didn't expect the expanse of rock pools we found. It was honestly one of my favourite days as we climbed and clambered over the volcanic rock in an attempt to spy as many tiny fish as we could. After getting our toes wet and being caught out by the waves, we eventually reached the headland with our bag of treats. The chipmunks are so used to visitors that they'll take peanuts from your hand! FYI - they're not so keen on raisins!

costa caleta fuerteventura costa caleta fuerteventura costa caleta fuerteventura  photo PicMonkey20Collage205_zpsuzctdgi3.jpg

There is a free coach which picks up from a host of hotels all over the island and takes you to Fuerteventura's very own zoo and botanical gardens. The journey from Costa Caleta took just under an hour and we had from 10am until 6pm at Oasis Park. We were worried that we'd end up stranded and be aching to be back by the pool - how wrong we were! We didn't even make it to the botanical gardens as there was so much to see and do. The price of your entrance ticket includes the daily sea lion, parrot and birds of prey shows (the reptiles were having a day off when we visited). We saw the sea lions performance and it was really good but I would highly recommend booking one of the animal experiences.

We went for the camel safari and lemur experience. Both were incredible and I'm so glad we did it! I never imagined I'd be getting up close to month old lemur babies and being jumped on by Gypsy (the brother of Julian, apparently)! Camel fact of the day - travelling down hill is NOT as enjoyable as going up hill!

 I'd love to return to Fuerteventura one day and would love to hear recommendations for places that we missed this time.