Sunday, June 26, 2016

Holiday Diaries: Sunset Gondola Ride

I don't say this lightly the Gondola ride is without a doubt one of the best experience of my life. Top 5 for sure (after wedding, engagement party and honeymoon in case you wondered).

A lot of people we spoke with said not to bother with a gondola ride as they are so expensive and you can get a similar experience on a water taxi or water bus. But after chatting to a colleague who said it was one of her biggest regrets after visiting the city I knew I couldn't take the risk.

I'm a big believer in going all out on a holiday, we had dinner at the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, upgraded to our own private pool in the Maldives so in my eyes a Gondola ride was non negotiable and I'm so glad we did.

If you are planning on visiting Venice, the rides do increase in price on an evening and singing is extra, so if your on a budget I'd recommend getting one during the day - theres more than enough to choose from with Gondoliers easy to spot in their black and white striped top & straw hats.

We choose to start our ride at the edge of Sans Marcos so our Gondola passed under Bridge of Sighs, legend says if you kiss while you pass underneath your love will live on forever.

The ride was worth every penny as not only was it romantic but it also took us to quieter areas that we wouldn't of seen otherwise and the Gondolier pointed out key landmarks.

Including Casanova's house - if walls could talk ey!

We choose a half hour ride which was more than enough and meant we saw the sights, the sunset and wet our appetite for dinner when we were back on dry land.

Watching the sunset over Sans Marco's square from our gondola is an experience I'll never forget and one I can't recommend enough!

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Thoughtful Thursday #11

A positive outlook is a powerful one. 
Put on your positive pants and you can do anything.
Short but sweet this week, hope its a good one.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Holiday Diaries: The Best Tiramisu in Venice

I don't say this lightly but I have found the best Tiramisu in Venice, wait no the world. Tiramisu is my favourite dessert so I've done my far share of research for this post if you get my drift.

On our first night in Venice I ordered the magical dessert waiting with baited breath for holy grail of cream and alcoholic tang to hit me and I was bitterly disappointed. 

So on our first day in Venice when we walked past I Tre Merchant all was saved! Initially it was the hubby who pointed it out drawn by the colourful Macarons in the window but inside there was so much more than Macarons.

Spot the off duty Gondoliers! 

The shop doesn't look like much it reminds me of a Starbucks with the blackboards behind the counter highlighting todays fresh finds but everything else is authentic Italy. 

With fresh Tiramisu made in the shop every hour on the hour and not just the classic these food gods have made 25 fusion flavours of the stuff - I highly recommend Raspberry & white chocolate but nothing beats the original.

If you are in Venice please promise me you'll pay them a visit... and bring me back a tub!

I Tre Mercanti srl Campo della Guerra, 5364, 30122 Castello, Venezia VE

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Thoughtful Thursday #10

I love #bossbabe on Pinterest its full of inspiring quotes for women seizing life by the balls and going after what they want and getting it.

This quote in particular really spoke to me today, whether its an environment - work or home or a relationship or friendship that is toxic cut them loose and watch yourself grow.

Speaking from experience life is so much better when that weight on your shoulders is gone if it/they don't make you happy then its not worth it.

Hope you have a "bloomin" lovely week!

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Grounded Body Scrub Review

Coffee based scrubs have really taken off recently with any beauty blogger worth their salt posting a bathroom selfie covered in the stuff. I've always been a Soap & Glory Sugar Crush Body Scrub devotee but with Boots 2 for 3 offer on recently I thought it was worth exploring the pricer options and seeing what all the hype was about.

I may have picked up a few other bits... anyone else have an issue going into Boots and just getting what they went in for?! Tell me its not just me!

I'm a sucker for packaging but whats inside is just as amazing, the scrub is all natural packed with anti-oxidants, vitamins, minerals and extra virgin coconut oil which is great for sensitive skin like mine as its really moisturising. 

I have eczema and have to be careful what I use on my skin but unlike a lot of other coffee scrubs available it has no micro beads, paragons, fillers or chemicals and it makes my skin feel AMAZING and the smell, my god the smell. It stays on your skin all day and fills your whole bathroom. 

I choose the coconut version but theres also chocolate orange and grapefruit which I really want to try next.

You can use the scrub all over your body and face and Grounded recommend using it 2 -3 times a week and once buffed into the skin leave it on your skin for 10 minutes. 

2-3 times a week is a bit much for me I feel I get the same results once a week and 10 minutes is a long time to sit in the bath or shower and wait. So I tend to use it when I'm washing my hair and have a full pamper. Scrub first then, hair mask, facial, shampoo, condition and then wash off while the conditioner is working.

The scrub is a loose one so it is a messy affair, but easy to clean up with a quick rinse and doesn't stain. It'll probably be easier in a shower but until our new bathroom is fitted bath it is!

But so worth it, I've honestly never known a scrub leave my skin so soft and smooth. Worth every penny and I'm officially converted. 

I really want to try the Coconut & Lime face scrub from the range which no doubt will end up in my basket when I "pop into Boots for essentials" next.

You can get Grounded products from Boots or order online here.

Thursday, June 09, 2016

Thoughtful Thursday #9

I have caught the travel bug so much lately! 

After the most amazing honeymoon and our recent trip to Venice I can't wait to tick more places off our bucket list. 

I'm trying to squeeze in another holiday at the end of the year along with a holiday with the girls next year and a trip to New York with Bretts family to celebrate his mums 60th but I'm still desperate to clock up some more air miles.

 Here are my top 10 places I'm desperate to go to at the moment:

1. Miami
2. LA
3. Las Vegas
4. Mexico
5. Bora Bora
6. Bali
7. Santorini 
8. Japan
9. African Safari

I best get saving! Wheres on your travel list?

Wednesday, June 08, 2016

Holiday Diaries: Piazza San Marco's

The second day of our trip we were up bright and early to make the most of our time, we hopped in the hotels speed boat and sped off to Venice snapping away as we went.

The boat couldn't stop directly at Piazza San Marco instead we docked at Fundament Nove which is about a 20 minute walk from San Marco. 

Initially I was a little worried about finding the square given how far away from it we were but I needn't of worried the majority of the big streets are signposted and the fun of Venice is getting lost in it and exploring all the side streets and random squares and sights along the way.

Every where you look theres another bridge or house that you just have to photograph!

We came across the most beautiful church and had to go in and look around, every part of it was so intricately designed from the marble pillars to the ceiling with portraits of different saints. I didn't know how Venice could top this sight but we went off in pursuit of more!

We stopped off for an obligatory gelato (strawberry & passionfruit for me and double chocolate for Brett) and carried on our travels.

After exploring we were rewarded by San Marco's square, the first thing that blew me away was the amount of people in one place and then the beauty of every detail on every building. 

The symmetry of this building is like a trick on the eye, at first I thought it was having work done and it had rendering on with a picture as I didn't think something that perfect could be real!

We explored, had lunch, explored, stopped for a Bellini, explored some more and had more gelato. 

We decided to hop on a water bus to Salute the home of Guggenheim museum and Santa Maria church, its one stop away and takes a few minutes and is well worth the trip.

Not only is the church stunning its much quieter with less people, certain streets we felt like we has the place to ourself which was a welcome break from the madness of the square.

We decided to head back to the hotel, rest our feet (they were killing after a full day of sight seeing - comfy shoes are a must for Venice) and freshen up before heading back into Venice for a sunset gondola ride. Without a doubt one of the best experience of my life which deserves its own post!

Sunday, June 05, 2016

Holiday Diaries: Burano Island, Venice

We were determined to squeeze in as much as possible into our 4 day break so after spending the morning in Murano we hopped on a water taxi to explore Burano. 

When we first started planning our trip one of my favourite bloggers The Londoner was in Venice and her post on Burano made me add it to our list immediately and it didn't disappoint. I fell in love with the rainbow of colour instantly. 

Each house we passed was prettier than the last and we took great delight in choosing which one we'd live in. With our choice changing every time we turned a corner or stumbled across a new street.

This bold pink house was my favourite.

With this trio of primary colours being Brett's.

The whole island burst with colour and the residents take such pride in their houses from keeping the paint fresh to the flowers in their window in perfect bloom.

Ancient legend says that fishermen painted their houses to see them from long distance when they were far away for fishing, now they are one of the biggest draws to the island and you have to apply to the government to be assigned a colour!

The island also boasts great food, we originally tried to get in Trattoria al Gatto Nero after being highly recommend by both the Londoner & The Lonely Planet guide book, but we learnt the hard way that booking in advance is crucial! 

So we set off on the hunt for good food elsewhere and came across Riva Rosa where the pretty pink exterior matched the cold Rosè perfectly.

 I had the gnocchi and Brett was sold by the prawn pasta after the servers mouth watering description, both were amazing washed down with Aperol Spritz and Rose. The restaurant is voted third best on the island and I would highly recommend if you're in the area, a great result to say we were sold by the colour!

Make sure you add Burano to your must see list if your heading to Italy soon!